Travel and Accommodation


Written by irdeb51

I get criticism whenever I use points and miles as an example of how to go further and longer for less.

People tell me via email or comments on posts on social media that points and miles are bogus, cost money, are difficult to obtain, and only work in the United States.

However, I do not consider using points or miles to be unfair or cheating in any way.

Points and miles are, in my opinion, free money. I pay nothing for them. To acquire them, I will not give up anything. They are, in my mind, a reward for being frugal with my money.

I’m aware that some of you believe that points and miles have a time-related opportunity cost. However, I do not view them in that manner. They are simply a result of spending money that I would have spent otherwise.

The Myth of the Scam A scam implies that there is a catch and that something dishonest is going on. This is how many people see travel hacking. They think it’s too good to be true when they hear “free flights and hotel rooms.” That individual will emerge from behind the curtain and scream, “Gotcha!” while running away with all of their money and laughing maniacally.

Most people, at the very least, believe that using points and miles doesn’t work, that it’s hard to get them, and that you have to do crazy things to get them.

However, this simply is not true. The main thing to comprehend about obvious travel hacking is that it wasn’t really necessary to focus on getting just a single mile/point per dollar spent. It’s not difficult to get 2-5x and now and then even up to 10x focuses for each dollar you spend.

To ensure that I always get the most miles for every dollar spent, I keep a chart of the cards I use for which expenses.

However, this simply is not true. The fact that true travel hacking never aims to earn one mile or point for every dollar spent is the most important thing to know. It is simple to earn 2 to 5 times and occasionally even 10 times points for every dollar spent.

To ensure that I always get the most miles for every dollar spent, I keep a chart of the cards I use for which expenses.

I can earn at least a million miles annually through all of this. I would have to spend one million dollars annually if it were just one point/mile for every dollar spent, but that is not the case.

I use airline shopping portals to shop online whenever I need to for bonus points (I recently received six times as many American Airlines miles for my Macy’s shopping as I did for my credit card points). Do you need a new computer? I’m set to get another card to raise a ruckus around town spending for the reward. Got a couple of moments? I respond to surveys to earn points.

I always get multiple points for every dollar I spend.

Because I do not spend additional money to earn points or miles, I do not consider them to be a “cost.” As far as I might be concerned, something has an expense when I surrender cash to get it. However, everyday purchases that you would have made anyway earn you points and miles.

If you live in a place where points and miles are available, you must use them if you want to travel more. They help you realize your dreams by significantly lowering the cost of everything, even if it takes you a year to accumulate enough points to make a difference.

But what about the various costs?

Although taxes and fees must be paid when booking flights using points and miles, these costs are still less than the price of a full ticket. Additionally, hotels do not charge these fees, so using points is practically free.) Additionally, you may be able to eliminate charges on certain credit cards.)

Next, individuals will cite high credit card fees, which frequently amount to hundreds of dollars annually. Since credit card companies are just taking your money, that must be a con, right?

Exactly not.

Keep in mind that premium credit cards come with perks and points-earning rates that outweigh the fees (if you use them), so you’ll have to decide if cards with higher fees are worth it for you.

For instance, with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which costs USD 550 per year, I get:

Purchase protection so that I can get refunded if things I buy are lost, damaged, or stolen A priority pass membership for lounge access (about USD 100 a year) Trip insurance Monthly statement credits for DoorDash, Instacart, and GoPuff Although the $550 annual fee appears to be extremely steep.

the travel credits (effectively erasing $300 worth of expenses coded as travel on my statements) reduce the fee to a more manageable $250. $300 in travel statement credit The other perks and benefits of this card more than makeup for the fact that I earn far more points than $250 annually. You, not the credit card companies, are the ones acting like bandits when viewed in this manner!

Additionally, keep in mind that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most expensive credit cards on the market. To get started, there are numerous other travel credit cards with much lower annual fees, some of which have no fees at all. Finding the best cards for your travel style and objectives, as well as utilizing banks to assist you in getting there rather than the other way around, is the core of travel hacking.

Take the Chase Sapphire Preferred, a “starter” version of the Reserve card, which is more expensive. In addition to other benefits, it only requires an annual fee of $95 and offers double points on travel, triple points on dining, online grocery services, and select streaming services.

Or the Bilt Rewards card, which is the only card that lets you earn points on rent and double points on travel and has no annual fee.

I save hundreds of dollars each year thanks to the free checked bags and free nights offered by my airline and hotel credit cards.

In addition, the fact that I now have more credit and less debt, as well as a good payment history, is the only reason why my credit score has increased. Additionally, Gary, a friend of mine, asserts, “What use is a credit score if you don’t use it?”)

If travel hacking is so beneficial, then why aren’t more people doing it?
The majority of people simply shrug and respond, “I don’t know,” when I inquire as to why they do not travel hack. It seems hard, I suppose.

I think that because travel hacking seems complicated, people assume that it must be.

Additionally, it appears that travel hacking goes against everything we have learned about finance. We are instructed to view credit and money in one manner:

Bad credit cards exist. The businesses are subpar. Never incur a cost. You won’t get a loan because doing things like this hurt your credit score.

But that’s just nonsense. People continue to believe it, even though it is a myth perpetuated by…well, I don’t know who exactly.

Saying no to points and miles is saying no to free money if you pay your bills on time and use your money wisely. “I don’t want to be rewarded for my good spending habits” is the message.

The best word in travel is “free.”

*** The only person you are hurting is yourself when you don’t travel hack. You are not harming airlines or banks. They are part of the action.

Travel hacking should be embraced, in my opinion. It decreases the expense of movement. This is possible in numerous nations worldwide! Regardless of whether takes you a year to procure a free flight, why not take the flight? A single free flight is preferable to none at all.

Every traveler should take advantage of any opportunity to cut costs and save money.

If you reject travel hacking, you are also agreeing to spend more money on travel, which is absurd.

About the author


Leave a Comment