We’ve greatly expanded our travel options by utilizing credit card reward points to cut our costs.
Lacey and I love to travel. It seems the more we do it, the more the addiction grows. The only problem with this is that Lacey and I are on a fairly tight budget each month. So how are we going to be able to pay our bills, put money into retirement, and travel all over the world? It’s simple, by getting as much free travel as possible through credit card bonus points.
Disclaimer: If you have a tough time paying your monthly bills on time already, this is NOT a road you want to head down.
Now, assuming that those of you who are still reading are super responsible and organized, I’ll give you a glimpse into how all of this works. Credit card companies reward those who sign up for their cards and spend a certain amount of money over a certain amount of time with tens of thousands of bonus points. These bonus points can be used for flights, hotels, rental cars, event tickets, and many other perks depending on the card you sign up for. That being said, 1 credit card sign up bonus most likely won’t get you an entire vacation (flights/hotels) for free, you will need to sign up for a few different cards that partner with each other and stack those bonus points together to put towards your end vacation goal.
Sound overwhelming already? It’s not as confusing as it may seem. In fact, I’m willing to bet that once you educate yourself on how easy this can be, you’ll be kicking yourself for not getting involved in this sooner. It does take a while to understand the strategy behind this process, and Lacey and I are by no means experts, but luckily there are plenty of helpful resources out there to help you get started. Our favorite points blog is ThePointsGuy.com
When we tell people of our involvement in the credit card points game, the first question we get is “but doesn’t that wreck your credit?” I’ll be honest, if you don’t pay your monthly statement balance every month, on time, this will destroy your credit. On the flip side, if you pay your bills on time and educate yourself on the other factors that effect your credit score, your credit score should and will improve.
So as you get more involved with our blog and see the places Lacey and I are visiting, you’ll know that we likely spent 6 or more months planning and stacking credit card points in order to make the trip possible. We are not millionaires and could by no means afford to travel as often as we do if it weren’t for getting a lot of it for free through points redemption.
Even if you only get a free flight to your vacation destination, that is likely $500 or more that you saved and can now use to enjoy an extra excursion or two. Maybe you’ll finally be able to order that expensive bottle of wine at dinner like you always wanted to. Little differences like this will make or break your overall travel experience.
Lacey and I are currently stacking Hilton Honors points in hopes of earning a highly discounted (if not completely free) stay in their over the water bungalows in Moorea, Tahiti next year. We have a long ways to go, but are hopeful that one day we’ll get there! Stay tuned for posts with updates on this planning process.