NOW is the Perfect Time to Stockpile Reward Points

With all the current worry over the coronavirus, many are more worried about travel. Especially international travel. Now is the perfect time to work on stockpiling reward points, saving them for when travel feels safer. Currently, I have a mother/daughter’s trip to Barcelona, Morocco and Italy planned for April. We were planning to just cancel the Venice portion and choose a safer destination but now with the travel ban from Europe, we’ll be making some more changes!

You may decide to travel more domestically during this time or, like us, travel to safer countries. Whatever you do, don’t quit applying for credit cards, meeting minimum spend, and getting those points. In fact, this is the perfect time to really get a lot of cards and build up your stockpile of points for use when it feels safer to travel. (Honestly, this will not keep me from travel but I will be more particular until things change.)

As a beginner travel hacker, you often get points towards a certain destination. Many people plan a trip and get points to make that trip happen. Then they plan another trip and do the same. What is the purpose of having a stockpile of points? Because I keep applying for more and more points, I have found that free travel (or nearly free) is possible whenever I have the urge. Remember that last-minute trip to Maui that Alex and I did in January? That was made possible by having a stockpile of points (and hating winter snow).

 

Help Yourself

Do you ever suddenly feel the need to get out of town? Are you ever exhausted from work or the daily grind? That is when a stockpile of points is literally a lifesaver. Whether you head to the beach, pool, or aim for high adventure, taking a break is one of the best things you can do to recharge!

 

Swimming Pool in Hawaii

 

Help Family

Have you ever had a family emergency and needed to travel to help someone sick or go to a funeral? Those last-minute trips can be super expensive but having a stockpile of reward points enables you to be anywhere, any time that you have to. I remember when my daughter in London was moving and I was able to volunteer to come to help her because I had points. This would not have happened if I had had to pay for the ticket but travel hacking allowed me to come to the rescue!

 

Woman with two children in restaurant

I was able to use some of my stockpile of points to help my daughter move in London!

 

Help a Friend

I have a good friend who is single and doesn’t have a lot of expendable income. Because I travel hack and have points, she and I now have an annual girl’s trip. We have gone to Thailand, Vietnam, and, most recently, Costa Rica. She has always thought she couldn’t travel hack because she doesn’t have a lot of expenses. I showed her last month how she could meet minimum spend by being able to put all her expenses on a credit card. She got the Hilton card last month and already has met the minimum spend and is ready to open another credit card. She hopes to stockpile points this year so our annual girl’s trip will be Bora Bora next year. The good news is that starting next year, she will be using some of her points for our trip too! She is now a beginner travel hacker!

 

Stockpiling credit card points let's me have great times with friends!

 

Fulfill a Passion

Travel is my passion. It is also the passion of many other people but it can be a very expensive hobby. Luckily, some of us have learned how to travel hack. We use credit card points to make our travel cheap beyond imagination. Never, ever in my life did I think that I could travel so many places in the world and pay so little. Never did I think I could afford to travel in business class or first class regularly. Staying in luxurious hotel rooms, even suites, was not something I imagined. Travel hacking and stockpiling points have made this my reality. I really don’t have limitations anymore where I can plan to travel.

 

Dazu Carvings in China

Seeing the Dazu Carvings in China fulfilled part of my passion for travel!

 

Making Family Memories

I love the quote, “You can always make money, You can’t always make memories.” The greatest perk of having a stockpile of credit card points is the ability to make memories. I have had great travel with my husband, my daughters, my friends, my sister, and others because I have that stockpile of reward points. It has given me the freedom to say “yes” to adventure, traveling with family, and making those memories together.

Because most of my family travel hacks, we are able to enjoy visiting places together and create some memories that we would not have enjoyed without this hobby. Nothing is more priceless than looking at photos we have traveled together to and remembering the sights, the funny moments, or the food we ate. I love that having a lot of points gives me the opportunity to travel whenever I, or a family member, have the inclination.

 

Woman with arm around two teenage boys

Travel Hacking helps me create family memories with these two grandchildren!

 

How to Build a Stockpile of Points

  1. The number one thing to create a hefty portfolio of credit card points is to keep applying for new credit cards. It is in acquiring the large signup bonus, over and over again, that you see your stockpile numbers increase. Once you are close to meeting the minimum spend on one card, it is time to look for another card.
  2. Never use cash or a debit card. Even if you aren’t meeting the minimum spend on a new card, you still want all the points you can get. Don’t leave points on the table!
  3. Use the right card for everyday spending when you aren’t meeting minimum spend. Honestly, if you really, really want to increase that amount of points, you should be opening new cards and getting that big bonus. The times you are just using any card for everyday spend should be much less. The only time I’ve done it is when I wanted to get under the Chase 5/24 rule. Be sure and use the right organizational tools to help you once you get a few cards.
  4. Consider whether you should use points or pay for a flight. I don’t like to use my stockpile on any flight under $200. I prefer to save my points for more expensive flights. That also keeps my stockpile of points high.

 

Bottom Line

Stockpiling credit card points is always a good plan. Try to continually be earning big bonuses for credit card signups. If you are always earning points, you will be able to help yourself and others to amazing adventures and create fabulous memories. The ability to say “yes” to travel, anytime, is one of the biggest joys I’ve experienced with travel hacking.

 

 

Beach in Hawaii

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