Are credit cards your friend or foe? For those of us on the path to FI and especially when your path to FI includes a real estate business where you have a lot of expenses, credit card points can totally be your friend.
Let me introduce you to a little strategy known as “travel hacking”.
Travel hacking is the art of using credit cards and other loyalty programs to save money on travel expenses. By choosing the right credit card and maximizing its rewards, you can save thousands of dollars on flights, hotels, and other travel-related expenses. In this blog, we’ll explore how you can use credit card points to travel hack your way to a dream vacation.
First, let’s talk about credit card rewards. Most credit cards offer rewards in the form of points, miles, or cashback. These rewards can be redeemed for a variety of travel-related expenses, including flights, hotels, and car rentals. The key to successful travel hacking is to choose the right credit card and use it strategically to maximize your rewards.
When choosing a credit card, it’s important to consider your travel goals. Are you looking to save money on flights? Do you want to stay in luxury hotels for less? Or do you simply want to earn rewards for everyday expenses like gas and groceries? The credit card you choose should align with your travel goals.
For example, if you’re looking to save money on flights, you might want to consider a credit card that offers rewards in the form of miles. Airlines like American Airlines, Delta, and United offer credit cards that allow you to earn miles for flights on their respective airlines. These miles can be redeemed for free flights or upgrades, allowing you to save money on airfare.
If you’re looking to stay in luxury hotels for less, you might want to consider a credit card that offers rewards in the form of points. Hotel loyalty programs like Marriott, Hilton, and Starwood offer credit cards that allow you to earn points for stays at their respective hotels. These points can be redeemed for free nights, room upgrades, and other benefits, allowing you to save money on hotel stays.
Finally, if you simply want to earn rewards for everyday expenses, you might want to consider a cashback credit card. Cashback credit cards allow you to earn cashback on everyday expenses like gas, groceries, and dining. This can add up quickly, allowing you to save money on everyday expenses.
Once you’ve chosen the right credit card, it’s time to start using it strategically to maximize your rewards. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Use your credit card for all eligible expenses: Make sure to use your credit card for all eligible expenses, such as flights, hotels, and everyday expenses like gas and groceries. This will allow you to earn rewards quickly and easily.
Pay your bill on time and in full: To avoid paying interest and late fees, it’s important to pay your credit card bill on time and in full each month. This will also help you maintain a good credit score.
Take advantage of sign-up bonuses: Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses for new customers. These bonuses can be in the form of points, miles, or cashback, and can be a great way to jump-start your rewards earnings. Just make sure to read the terms and conditions carefully, as some sign-up bonuses come with spending requirements.
Use the right card for the right expense: If you have multiple credit cards, make sure to use the right card for the right expense. For example, if you have a cashback credit card and an airline miles credit card, use the airline miles card for flights and the cashback card for everyday expenses. This will allow you to earn the most rewards for each expense.
Take advantage of promotional offers: Credit card companies often offer promotional offers, such as bonus points or miles for spending a certain amount in a period of time.
Will having a ton of credit cards or having credit card debt get you closer to FI? Heck no!
Financial independence requires a comprehensive approach to managing your finances, including budgeting, saving, and investing, in addition to earning rewards through credit card travel hacking. It is important to be responsible with credit card use and to understand the potential risks and costs associated with using a credit card, such as interest charges and fees.
But one thing we like about travel hacking is if vacations are a priority for your happiness, and there for your success, then traveling via points is a great way to be able to afford the vacation you want!
Want more tips on financial independence? Follow @thefiguy on Instagram. Let me know what you’re doing to achieve FI!