Thanksgiving & Travel Hacking

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Whatever your situation is, I hope you find at least a few moments to be truly happy and thankful. Even if that’s just you and your pie of choice (chocolate pecan for me, please).

And can I tell you what my chocolate pecan pie equivalent of pursuing financial independence is? It’s the world of travel rewards hacking.

WTF is travel rewards hacking, you might ask?

It’s where you sign up for credit cards explicitly to get the sign up bonuses, then use those sign up bonus points to travel for free.

For example, my husband and I started travel rewards hacking awhile back, and used points to pay for:

  • A 10 day family vacation in upstate New York
  • Spur of the moment hotel staycations
  • Airbnb rentals this summer
  • My flights to and from a conference

And we’ve still got more than 150K left for next year’s family adventures! Once both kiddos are vaccinated, of course.

If you’re not yet convinced, let me introduce you to my sister-in-law Elizabeth. She is super smart and cool and is the best at travel rewards hacking.

Elizabeth has earned over 1 million points and has paid for 50+ trips!! Check out her blog about travel hacking here:

She’s also on Instagram! Follow her:

(Confession: I didn’t tell her I would do this today so please give her some love and follow her, kthanks)

The credit cards I personally use for travel hacking right now are:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – Chase Sapphire points are some of the best in the biz. It comes with a $95 fee, but I’ve found the point flexibility and perks of the card to be worth it.
  • Capital One Venture Card – I got this one because you can use the points to “erase” travel related expenses on your credit card, such as Airbnb rentals, Uber rides, etc. The points are “worth” more using it this way than simply redeeming the points for cash. Also has $95 fee.

Those are both referral links, so if you decide to sign up I get bonus points at no extra cost to you. After all, part of financial independence is side hustling!

Finally, the cardinal rule of travel rewards hacking is this: only sign up for bonuses that you can earn through your regular spending.

So if you need to spend $5000 in 3 months to earn a 50,000 points sign up bonus, ask yourself: would you normally put $5K on credit cards over the course of 3 months?

Never spend more than you normally would just to get a sign up bonus. Trust me and my mistake-laden past, not worth it.

There is so much more to the great wide world of travel rewards hacking, but I’ll end here for now. Please resume your food prep and/or internet stalking old high school acquaintances who are in town for the holiday weekend.

See you on the other side of Thanksgiving!

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