You Have How Many Credit Cards?!? Robbiemoto and Traveling Without Paying For It
Do you want to travel more? Of course you do! Who wouldn’t like to drop everything and travel the world? So what’s holding you back? It's money, right? Traveling is expensive. You’ve got airfare, with prices that seem to go up without much in return. Hotels aren’t cheap either. If it’s located in the city center or by a popular destination, it can be especially expensive. Then you’ve still got food, transportation, activity costs and if you’re self employed, time off of work. It’s not cheap to jet-set around the globe. But what if you could travel for free? Or at least have most of your airfare and hotels paid for? That would make travel costs a lot more manageable wouldn’t it? That’s where credit cards come into play.
I’m not talking about about running up huge travel bills on those cards and never paying them back. I’m talking about using points, miles and signup bonuses so that you never have to pay for a plane ticket or hotel again. It’s possible. It’s the way we’ve been traveling for quite a while. In fact we haven’t paid for airfare or a hotel in almost two years.
The way this works is that credit card companies are greedy and they hope that you’ll be reckless with credit. They offer big signup bonuses as long as you spend a certain amount on the card. Their plan is that you’ll spend too much money and owe interest. They also want the transaction fees the merchant pays every time you use your card. As long as you're responsible and pay the debt on time, you’ll walk away with free money. How much free money? With so many credit card companies fighting for your business, the options are limitless.
Here’s an example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. It offers you 50,000 “Chase Ultimate Rewards” points, if you spend four thousand dollars on the card in the first three months. Those points can be redeemed for travel through Chase directly or they can be transferred to travel partners like United and Marriott. What are those points worth? You can redeem them for two roundtrip coach flights, anywhere in the states. However depending on where and how you use them, they can be worth even more. We're going to be writing more about how to use points in the future but this is the card we usually recommend everyone start with. As long as you don't spend more than you have and you pay your card off on time, you'll get two free plane tickets.
How has this worked for us? Like I said earlier, we haven't paid for flights or hotels in over two years. We've kind of taken it to the extreme though. We have 18 different credit cards. Every time I tell someone that they freak out but we really only use a couple of the cards day to day. We just signed up for most of them because of the bonuses. Plus we have no balances and our credit scores actually went up after we started doing this. You don't have to go that crazy though. It's possible to do one or two cards a year and drastically lower your travel costs. You have to be disciplined though. If you have any credit card debt, you should focus on paying that off first. Any benefit you get from credit card points is quickly eaten up if you have interest charges every month. Don't spend more than you have and you can game the system into some very nice vacations.
With so many credit cards, it's important to stay organized. We use spreadsheets to keep up with due dates and balances but what about the actual plastic? Before we learned about Robbiemoto, I had all my extra cards held together with a rubber band in a drawer...not ideal. Now all of my extra cards are stored safely away in Robbiemoto's leather "Data Jack" Wallet.
Robbiemoto is a leather goods company, located in Sacramento, California. It's a two woman operation, made up of Robbie Matsumoto and Haylie Santillanes. Since 2009 they have been handcrafting some amazing wallets and clutches. All of the products they make look and feel fantastic. Robbie, the owner, sent us some to try out. We're in love! The style these two have created is just great. Along with the "Data Jack" I'm using the "Loaded Dave" as my daily driver. Charise has had the "Penelope" in her purse almost everyday.
It's so hard to find unique items that we like because everything these days is mass-produced. We also love working with small companies because it can be so hard for them to get exposure to the great things they make. If you like the style of Robbiemoto's wallets you won't be disappointed with the quality. Robbie wanted to offer all of our readers and IG followers 20% off any order. Just head over to her Etsy page and enter the coupon code, "traytables20". We know you'll love whatever you find. Let us know your favorites from her site below in the comments.
Traveling can definitely put a dent in your nest egg. It doesn't have to be that way though. Credit card signup bonuses are a great way to travel for next to nothing. In the coming weeks we'll write more about getting the most value out of points and miles. In the meantime be sure to visit the Robbiemoto's website and use our coupon code, "traytables20". If you have any credit card questions or want to know more about how to use points and miles, leave us a comment below or shoot us an email.