The best way to fly free of charge (for actual!) utilizing bank card factors

Alright. I’m about to say a bunch of issues that’ll each dazzle you and piss you off concurrently. Are you prepared?

  • My flight from San Francisco to New Zealand was $43.00.
  • My flight from New Zealand to Bali was $25.00.
  • I simply booked a Thanksgiving flight from Detroit to San Francisco for $5.00.

And no, I’m not banging a pilot. No, I’m not stuffing myself in a canine provider.

These are bonafide, confirmed, regular-human tickets on precise airplanes – all I needed to pay for these flights was the tax. How?

Sing it with me, choir: CREDIT CARD POINTS!!!

credit card points travel
You: IDK what she’s speaking about but however let’s hear this psycho out (Hanoi, Vietnam)

Now, I could have misplaced a few of you on the phrase “credit score,” so earlier than you all go operating: I pay for flights utilizing factors that I gained by merely utilizing bank cards in a standard, strategic manner. Yup, it’s a legit factor – the Web world calls it “churning,” however I name it “dwelling my smartest, sneakiest Millennial unhealthy bish life.”

As talked about, I’m at the moment touring the world debt-free with my associate, and utilizing bank card factors for flights has saved us 1000’s of . It’s the primary motive we’ve been in a position to afford touring for thus lengthy. And all it value us was some research.

…Okay, a number of analysis. This methodology does require some muscle work; the factors simply don’t fall into your lap. However that’s why I’m right here: To condense what we realized and get you on this wave (and in that airplane) faster than I did.

In the event you assume a little bit elbow grease is value flying world wide for lower than the price of a foul pedicure? Comply with me, associates.

The best way to cease sucking at budgeting so you possibly can journey extra Half 1 and Half 2

credit card points travel
Is that rain, or the journey gods spitting sizzling fireplace down upon us? IT’S BOTH. (Sapa, Vietnam)

How Do I Get Credit score Card Factors?

You could have heard of a bank card level system earlier than: As an incentive to get you to spend, bank card firms will give you factors for each greenback you cost. These factors may be redeemed for stuff.

However usually, you solely actually hear concerning the sad-ass techniques the place you get, like, zero.0000004 factors for each greenback you spend on fuel. And usually, individuals waste their factors on the sad-ass crap supplied in credit score level present guides – bizarre fragrance, ineffective electronics, or present playing cards to TGIFridays.

No, darling. We didn’t come to play like noobs.

credit card points travel
That is my come-hither-for-secrets face; is it working? (Hanoi, Vietnam) 

To get the large ticket objects (actually), go for the sign-up bonuses – that’s the place you get anyplace from 10,000 to 100,000 factors simply for getting a brand new bank card and spending a certain quantity inside a time restrict. (For scale: A airplane ticket from San Francisco to New Zealand may cost a little anyplace between 40,000 to 80,000 factors.)

These gives pop up and disappear continually, like flash gross sales at your favourite shops. In the event you head to web sites like DoctorofCredit, you possibly can see an inventory of current sign-up bonuses out now, continually up to date by churning freaks like myself.

Now, pay attention intently: With a purpose to get these mega-point bonuses, it’s a must to be authorized for the bank card, after which it’s a must to spend a sure amount of cash on that card. A typical supply would possibly sound like, “Spend $3000 on this card inside three months to obtain 50,000 factors.”

That’s proper. You’ve received to spend large to earn large.

credit card points travel
You: If this bish tells me to go additional into debt, I WILL JUMP. (Hue, Vietnam)

Bish, wait. How do I work this method with out going into debt?

You thought I’d lead you into this entice and not using a strategic manner out?! I’m additionally not seeking to tackle extra debt simply to play a degree recreation, thanks very a lot. So, I got here up with the Spend & Unspend – my very own methods round this bizarre, bizarre system.

My first large churning journey gave me this problem: Spend $three,000 on this new bank card within the first three months, and obtain 100,000 factors. Right here’s how I Spent & Unspent my manner out of that.


credit card points travel
Ninja-ing our solution to free flights liiiiiiiike (Hanoi, Vietnam)

SPEND & UNSPEND METHOD #1: Work Reimbursement

I used to journey a TON for work, and normally if I spent my very own cash throughout these journeys, I received reimbursed by my employer. I noticed I could possibly be taking loopy benefit of this tremendous easy and customary system.

So, I began utilizing my new bank card for EVERYTHING work-travel associated – airfare, taxis, meals, WiFi providers – charging perhaps $1,000 on a typical work journey.

Right here’s the gag: I saved all these receipts, and when my work reimbursed me, I took that $1,000 reimbursement money and paid my bank card again right down to zero. That manner, I technically spent $1,000 on the cardboard, and received $1,000 nearer to my $three,000 spending objective – however I didn’t use any of my very own cash, and I escaped with a zero stability.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

credit card points travel
Don’t fear, honey. I received the Uber. (AKA, my employer received the Uber.) (Hue, Vietnam)

SPEND & UNSPEND METHOD #2: Hellloooo, Spendin’ Buddies

At this level, I used to be like: Oh, shit. If I can maintain “spending” cash that isn’t mine, I’ll crush this recreation. So, I began asking my family and friends if anybody was saving as much as make some kind of large money buy – like if a pal was about to purchase a laptop computer or a digicam or a $400 water heater (true story).

I instantly instructed them skkrrrrrrrr, don’t make that buy but – let me purchase that $400 water heater on my new bank card. After which I requested them to pay me again in money. Or, y’know, Venmo, the Millennial’s money.

Lastly, I took that $400 paid-back money and deposited it to pay my bank card again right down to zero. Growth, there it was once more: I received $400 nearer to my spending objective, however I didn’t spend my very own cash, and my stability stayed a cute and perky measurement zero.

credit card points travel
Me collaborating with my spendin’ family members liiiiiiike (Milford Sound, New Zealand)

SPEND & UNSPEND METHOD #three: Making My Payments Pay Me

You bought pupil loans, lease, or different main payments? Glorious. You’ll be able to pay these payments and hit your spending objective utilizing your new bank card.

Now, watch out with this methodology: You WILL be utilizing your personal money. In the event you already save as much as pay sure payments like pupil loans or lease, this can work superbly.

Let me introduce you to my pal, an organization referred to as Plastiq based mostly out of my hometown, San Francisco. Right here’s the way it works: You pay a invoice together with your bank card by means of Plastiq, and Plastiq takes a 2.5% price. Then, Plastiq sends a paper test to wherever your invoice is due. Your card will get charged; your invoice will get paid. Straightforward. 

credit card points travel
Hey, operator? Pls inform Sallie Mae to suck it? (Auckland, New Zealand)

I used to be already placing away about $1000 in money every month to pay my pupil loans (cue collective groan of forty million different individuals who really feel me). However as an alternative of writing Sallie Mae a fatty test, I charged $1000 to my bank card utilizing Plastiq, who then despatched a paper test to Sallie Mae on my behalf.

Then I took that $1000 money I normally saved to pay my pupil loans, and – say it with me, y’all – paid my bank card stability again right down to zero.

Invoice? Paid. Spending objective? SLAYED.

I received nearly all of my bank card factors utilizing this methodology. Try Plastiq right here — and, in the event you use my code FeliciasWallet, you earn $500 Charge Free if you make your first cost (which means you get to sidestep that 2.5% price, lady!).

credit card points travel
Leveraging my debt into free flights like weeeeeeeeee (Hoi An, Vietnam)

As soon as I hit my $three,000 spending objective, I received a little bit notice on my bank card assertion saying that I’ve obtained 100,000 bonus factors.

Utilizing their journey reserving system (and yup, firms like Chase allow you to guide tickets utilizing factors straight on their web sites) I used 80,000 factors to purchase two one-way tickets from San Francisco, California to Auckland, New Zealand.

And the one factor I needed to pay out of my very own pocket was the tax (flings the mic throughout the universe)


credit card points travel
Have y’all seen my mic? I dropped it someplace down there… (Cat Ba, Vietnam) 

A lot of these hacks would possibly sound a little bit sophisticated, however y’all, it was so value it to leap by means of these few hoops after we boarded our airplane to New Zealand (and Bali, and Vietnam, and Taiwan) figuring out that we saved 1000’s of .

Airfare could be a enormous barrier to getting your journey on, however with the following tips, you possibly can bust these limitations proper down and stroll to the gate, money and cocktail in hand.

I break all of it down verbally on this video, under — and don’t neglect to seize your Plastiq low cost utilizing this hyperlink or my code, FeliciasWallet!

In the event you might purchase a free ticket outta city anyplace on the earth, the place would you go? Share!