When I got engaged last year, I knew immediately I’d want to honeymoon somewhere far away—and far away usually means an expensive plane ticket. I figured it would be a great time to experiment with travel hacking. Forbes describes travel hacking as “ways frequent travelers save loads of money.” It goes much deeper than finding a good deal online. It’s about diving into a magical world of free travel, upgrades, and elite status. After doing some research, I figured out how to get the points I needed to score us free plane tickets to Bali and Hong Kong. Here is the best credit card system for travelers who want to get free flights.
WATCH MY VIDEO EXPLAINING WHAT WE DID:
CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED CREDIT CARD
Several months before our wedding, we both ordered the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. Why? They offer 50,000 signup bonus points, which are worth $625 in plane tickets. As long as you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of opening the credit card (and pay off your credit card of course), you get those 50,000 bonus points.
Engaged couples – listen up. This is important. You are getting married. You’ll be spending big bucks for your wedding. Order your Chase Sapphire Preferred card right before you get ready to make those big purchases—if you’re like us, you’ll easily be able to spend $4,000 during those first 3 months of getting your card. And don’t forget. Since my husband and I BOTH got the card, we ended up getting 100,000 bonus points total. That’s worth $1250 in free flights when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards!
Get more info about Chase Sapphire Preferred + apply here (referral link).
Highlights of the Card:
- 2 points on dining and travel per $1 spent
- 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
- Points are worth 25% more when you use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- 50,000 = $625 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- You can link your credit card to someone else’s and transfer points back and forth
- You can also transfer points between your Chase Freedom and Sapphire card
- No foreign transaction fees while you’re traveling abroad
- CON: The card is free for the first year, but it will cost $95 every year after that if you decide to keep it
CHASE FREEDOM CREDIT CARD
If you don’t want to stop there, you can also get the Chase Freedom card. I got this card because it offers 5x the points in certain categories. For example, they may offer 5x the points on gas and grocery purchases during a specific time frame—so during those months, I would use my Chase Freedom card for any purchases in that category.
Doing it this way, I was able to maximize every single dollar I spent to ensure I was getting the most points possible for all of my purchases. The great thing about having both of these credit cards? You can transfer points from one credit card to the other.
BOOKING OUR TICKETS
When it was time to book our expensive flights to Bali and Hong Kong, we wound up paying nothing. Between our 100,000 signup bonuses and all the points we racked up from our everyday purchases (and big wedding spending), we were able to completely cover the costs of both our plane tickets to Asia! We were also able to link our credit cards to make booking the travel easier. Karl was able to transfer all his points to my card, so all I had to do was call the travel department at Chase Ultimate Rewards and I booked our trip with all our points.
WE ARE REALLY GOOD WITH MONEY
It’s important to note that we are both very financially responsible people. I think of my credit card like a debit card—I don’t spend what I don’t have. If you can trust yourself with a credit card and you have a huge trip coming up, I would highly consider using the same system. Debt-free is the way to be, so always be smart when opening a credit card! Don’t just go spending money all willy nilly. Make your purchases and pay them off in full. Now go forth and enjoy your free trip. We certainly enjoyed ours and had a honeymoon we will never forget!