Our favorite hobby, travel hacking, has been so good to us. Millions of points were earned, millions of points redeemed, all while still achieving high credit card scores. Nearly free trips to Greece, Italy, London, Amsterdam, Vietnam, Thailand, and more. Trips to Mexico and Hawaii yearly. But, the question, has to be asked, “Is travel hacking for YOU?”
If you currently have credit card debt then travel hacking is NOT for you at this time. If you pay interest on credit card bills, you are defeating the purpose of earning points/miles. Travel is not free in this instance.
Pay off all your credit card bills before you get into this hobby. Make a plan to get your credit card debt paid off. Do this before even considering travel hacking.
Know your credit card score. You really should have a score above 700 to consider this hobby. If it is low, work on building your score by paying off all your bills in full and on time each month. It may take you some time to build up your score but this is an important step in the journey. Here are some ways to build your credit card score fast.
If you tend to buy expensive items on a whim, then travel hacking may not be for you. We teach using credit cards and obtaining amazing signup bonuses by using them on normal, everyday spending. Many people think that you have to spend thousands of dollars on a credit card to get a bonus and that you carry a lot of debt. The opposite is true. We use our credit cards to meet the minimum spend on items we have to buy anyway – groceries, gas, clothes, utilities, etc.
If you can tame any wild spending habits before you start this hobby then travel hacking can work for you. Having a big purchase coming up like dental or medical bills or a remodel is a great time to get a new credit card. Planned purchases are great for earning more points/miles.
If you miss payments simply because you are disorganized, you need to take care of that first. Sign up for Travel Freely and Award Wallet to keep track of your points and 5/24 status. Set up automatic payments for your credit cards so you are assured that all your payments are on time. Once you know you can be an organized travel hacker, you can proceed.
We love, love, love this hobby but we do not want to see people get into it without being prepared. We are absolutely not encouraging people to get in debt. What we are encouraging is people getting rewarded for responsible credit card purchases on things they have to buy anyway.
Is travel hacking for you? It might be. It’s been unbelievably good for us. If you aren’t in credit card debt, have a good credit card score, can tame your spending, and are organized, you too can earn points/miles for nearly free travel!
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