Hi Travel Junkies,
Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite readers, Steven from Pittsburgh.
Steven has been absolutely killing it with free travel lately, but his success didn’t come overnight.
In fact, it took more than a year for him to get started with the points/miles game. After a little bit of a push from myself and a few of my readers, Steven finally decided to get started with earning points/miles and he hasn’t looked back since.
He has taken 6 free trips in the last year and is well on his way to booking many more.
His success so far has been nothing short of remarkable. So I invited him to answer a few questions for the GFF community with the hope that it will inspire more of you to follow in his footsteps.
Take it away, Steven.
How did you get started in the world of points/miles? What finally convinced you to get started and what were some of your first steps?
I knew Bryce outside of GFF and he would bring up the points/miles game every once and awhile. I mainly ignored him, partially thinking it was a scam but worse so I was worried about the effect to my credit.
He finally convinced me to sign up for my first card when I was planning a big trip for my wife. It was going to be pretty expensive, so I figured I would give it a shot. He walked me through an opportunity to earn points on money I was already spending so I figured, why not?
It was when those points later helped my wife and I get 2 flights to Italy for ~$300 that I realized he was on to something.
What were your biggest concerns before getting started?
My biggest concern was the impact it would make on my credit score but also the difficulty of managing multiple credit cards.
What has been the hardest part of your points/miles journey so far?
Honestly, I would say it is easy, too easy. Often I think back at how much money I spent unnecessarily to travel or about trips I bypassed because I ‘couldn’t afford it.’
I hope my words do not come across like a cheesy late night infomercial. It does take effort (minimal) to plan trips, know the right cards, and efficiently earn the miles but that effort is exponentially worth the savings.
Tell us about some of your trips. Where have you gone and how much have you paid for them?
Here are the trips I’ve taken in and some planned for 2015, all with my wife (I am not allowed to leave home without her).
Chicago weekend to visit family – Total cost of airfare = $22.50
Las Vegas for a Bachelor/Bachelorette Party. Total cost of airfare = $22.50. Two nights at the MGM Grand = $69 total.
Italy for a week vacation – total cost of airfare = $250
Virginia Beach wedding/weekend – total cost of airfare = $22.50 / two nights at Hilton hotel on the beach = $0.
Aruba for 5 days all-inclusive – total cost of airfare $150 / 5 nights all-inclusive = $0.
CA Winery weekend – total cost of airfare = $22.50
What advice do you have for those who are also considering giving this a try?
My two bites of advice are:
1) Do not write this off as a ‘get rich quick scam’ or ridiculous scheme. There are significant benefits to working with Bryce. At the very least, dip your toes in and give it a chance.
2) Never carry a balance on your credit cards – this process is not about accruing debt but rather benefiting from credit card rewards.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
It is completely acceptable to be cautious. I was. I did not rush into this and sign up for 10 credit cards. It was one at a time until I was comfortable and saw the benefits.
Lastly, realize that having liquidity is not a bad thing. Having 10 credit cards with good-sized limits can be a huge asset if you use them responsibly.