Welcome to the 4th part of the “Around the World for Free” series!
In this part, we’ll be talking about how to obtain points via credit card sign-up bonuses and why you should do it.
Finally, “Around the World for Free” is a multi-part series that is posted weekly, so make sure you tune in and check out the other posts whenever you can!
What are Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses and Why Should I Care?
Travel is expensive.
However, there are ways to mitigate the amount of impact travel can have on your wallet.
One of those ways is by signing up for credit cards for the sign-up bonuses.
Thankfully, by being in the US, we tend to have way higher bonuses for our credit cards, so we can earn/collect them at a faster rate.
These bonuses would usually come in as points or miles and the consumer (us) would have to spend a specific amount of cash before we receive them.
For example, the most popular beginner card would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
The current offer for the card is 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 purchased in the first 3 months from account opening. 50,000 points! That’s essentially $625 toward travel when redeemed through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program.
And to put some extra icing on the cake, you can transfer the points to any of their rewards partners and redeem it towards travel there!
Furthermore, if you already have expenditures totaling $4,000 or more for the next 3 months, why not just move all of your spending to the card and get some free points out of it?
So why should you care?
You should care because instead of spending thousands of dollars to pay for travel, you can easily travel at a reduced cost by meeting credit card sign-up bonuses with what you already spend.
All of the groceries you buy, all of the gas you use, the rent or mortgage payments you pay for shelter, and more! These can be placed on your credit card and used to meet the spend and in return, you’ll get points for free!
Then you can use the points for free travel!
This is assuming that you are in great financial shape and know a little bit about your credit score, if you don’t, check out my Simple What To Do With Your Money Guide and The Five Factors that Affect Your Credit Score.
Now What Do I Do with the Bonus?
Getting started with Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses is relatively easy, it’s using the points that are hard.
Here’s a short 4 step guide on how to get the bonus:
- Apply for Credit Card
- Get Approved for Credit Card
- Spend the amount needed to get the bonus ($4,000 for Chase Sapphire Preferred)
- Receive the Bonus (50,000 Chase Points)
Now after you receive the bonus, you want to spend it on travel, because we want to reduce our travel costs and it can get us a higher point value than redeeming for cashback.
Redeeming for cashback would get us 1 cent per point, whereas for travel, it would be 1.25 cents per point. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserved, it would be 1.5 cents per point.
Now that we’ve got the points, we have to redeem it for travel!
The easiest way to redeem it is through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Program Portal.
With 50,000 points, you can take a round-trip to Hong Kong from Los Angeles for free and check out the Big Buddha statue at Victoria’s Peak!
With the same 50,000 points, you can get a round-trip ticket to the exotic Honolulu, Hawaii and enjoy paradise!
You can stretch your points even more if you can find awesome deals on award tickets and hotel stays with any of Chase’s Frequent Travel Partners.
Currently, the list of partners are:
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- World of Hyatt
- British Airways
- Flying Blue Air France KLM
- Korean Air SkyPass
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewrads
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
With that, you should now have an idea on how to use credit card sign up bonuses to curb travel in your favor and potentially travel for free!
What are you going to do with you points when you get them?
If you aren’t in the points game yet, are you going to get into the points game and start collecting in order to visit exotic destinations?
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Here is the table of contents for the “Around the World for Free” series: