Getting started has a few meanings as I start this blog. This is my first blog post and I’m nervous, excited and hopefully this is a long journey of writing about this crazy game I play to travel for less or earn the most cash back I possibly can. The next question is, how did I get started in this game? How crazy must I be to actually play this game? These are all questions I have answered to friends, family and strangers who are just as crazy to listen to me talk at nausea about credit card points and reward portals. All while receiving blank stares and receiving the many responses of “it must be a scam.”
So how did I get started in the credit card points?
When I was in college I signed up for a USAA credit card where they gave me points to redeem for cash or merchandise! I thought this was so awesome!! Being in college, it really helped earning an extra $25 cash back for things, like groceries or a pair of jeans. I felt like a superstar when I would redeem my 3500 points for $25. I was earning 0.7 cents per dollar I spent. I later learned this was a TERRIBLE redemption rate!
When I began dating a woman (who is now my wife), she had a Discover credit card. She had WAY more money in her cash back account than I did. She was earning 5% on select categories and 1% on all others, while I earned 0.7%. So she convinced me to apply for a Discover card. Now I was earning more cash back than before. There was no way it got any better than this, right? WRONG. It got way better, but I’ll save you the boring details. A year and half later, I have accumulated enough points/miles to travel anywhere in the world. We have gotten a few great redemptions so far and I know there are many more to come! I will tell more in future post.
So the next question is, How crazy am I, this must be a scam right?
Some people think I am nuts!! I tell them I apply for many credit cards and I get lots of stares and lectures about how bad credit cards can be. To some extent this could be true, but I believe if you’re responsible then this is the perfect game for you. My number 1 rule is to not hold a balance because interest rates on these cards negate any benefit of point or cash back earnings. If I told you paying your bills and expenses every month on time with the right card could lead to a free vacation with your family, would you take it? Another way I explain it to friends and family, if you were to give me $100 and I gave you $500 you would do it right? OF COURSE YOU WOULD!
People begin to listen when I explain that I was able to fly my wife and myself to Jamaica, for our honeymoon, for $15 round trip. Or how I redeemed points for 4 roundtrip tickets to New Orleans for $45. Then they start asking questions and want to know more.
There are many ways to travel for less and I can help you achieve it.
This is me getting started, hopefully this will help you get started on being able to achieve things you never thought were possible.