Alright, so this was something I learned just recently and my GOD it has changed the game….
POINTS, POINTS, POINTS, POINTS PEOPLE!!!!!
Using your points when you travel is absolutely MAJOR KEY ALERT.
The Best Travel Credit Card:
I had the Sapphire Preferred card from Chase for years. I loved it. It’s highly recommended by The Points Guy: a favorite of theirs.
But THEN right before my trip (literally a month before) I discovered the upgrade from this card to the Sapphire RESERVE card….WOW. AMAZING… and it’s not just me, it’s the most talked about card out there and it’s The Points Guy’s “best card for travel 2020”.
I called, asked to upgrade, asked me a few questions, they approved me, and it was done. I definitely recommend calling to upgrade rather than doing it online.
The Preferred card is a $95/year annual fee. The Reserve card is $450/year (when I signed up it was; idk if it’s changed or not) but with the Reserve you get a $300 TRAVEL CREDIT every year, which you’ll obviously use.
If you don’t spend at least $300 a year on some sort of travel then you need to get your priorities straight.
So essentially the Reserve is only $150/year. Only $50 more than the Preferred. So why not. The perks are WAY better.
What I recommend doing is getting the Preferred card and getting their sign up bonus because it’s more points than what the Reserve offers.
Get the Preferred card and get 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. SPEND THE 4K AND GET THE POINTS.
I DO NOT CARE HOW YOU DO IT; JUST DO IT.
YOU HAVE ONE SHOT: do not fuck this up!
Purchase visa gift cards or gas cards if you have to. Or ask to put some of your parents’ expenses on your card to get you over that line. I don’t care, just get. it. done.
After you’ve received the bonus, upgrade to the Reserve card. I liked it more because the turn in value for rewards is amazing for travel. 3X points in comparison to 2X. It makes a big difference.
My travel partner had the Preferred and I had the Reserve so when we’d book with points I was able to see the difference and it was big.
But to be honest, the MAIN reason I loved this upgrade was because you get Priority Pass which gives you access to airline lounges WORLDWIDE with 2 guests as well. I was in a lounge every time I was at the airport and I saved a lot of money on food (and alcohol…lol) by having this.
Let’s be real, every time you go to the airport you are spending at least 30-40 dollars if not more on Starbucks, snacks, a meal, a $8 Smart water bottle, alcohol, whatever it may be. I got a literal meal (and unlimited alcohol or whatever other drink I wanted) for free every time I went to the airport; incredible.
The Reserve also gives you $100 credit towards Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, which is so helpful. There’s also no foreign transactions fees… savior.
For me, the Reserve card was a life saver. I was so thankful that I upgraded before I left.
A lot of people in America have an American Express…or rave bout Amex because it’s well known. It’s a great card, but internationally no. Most places don’t take Amex because it is expensive for them, so I don’t recommend…
I have a few tips that I have acquired over the years on how to get MORE points so I can swindle my way into getting some free expensive flights. WHAT A PARADOX.
It cuts those travel expenses (quite literally) in half.
Tips to Saving More Points:
- One big thing that I did prior to my trip was that I saved ALL of my points for about 1 year. I never use my points on stupid things. It’s either for a large flight expense or a hotel upgrade if I’m feeling boujee, but that’s it.
- A big thing that I recommend people start doing is that they book all of their WORK EXPENSES on their own card and then ask to be reimbursed. Some companies allow you to do this regardless; mine didn’t they had HR do it. So being the pushy person that I am, I asked if this would be okay and they said sure if I just showed them what I was booking. PERFECT. I was getting all the point for my work trips.
- Another thing that I would do is if my family was going on a vacation or if my siblings needed to come home from college via flight I would ask my parents if it would be okay if I booked the flights/hotels on my card and they could just transfer me money after. Sometimes they’d let me, which led to even more points for me.
- If you have points from an old credit card then see if you can transfer them all to this one. Check with that bank or credit card company and see what kind of transfer policies and partnerships they have.
- Some people are against this but I am not. I only use one credit card for all transactions.
If you are still using a debit card; knock it off.
Some people think it’s best to use some cards for certain purchases and others for other purchases; way. too. complicated. With the Chase Reserve card (or Preferred) the benefits and trade in value is amazing so I put EVERYTHING on this card to rack up all the points I can…but that’s just me. Don’t @ me. It works well for me.
- Everything, I mean everything, should be paid with that credit card. Rent, mortgage, gas, utilities, groceries, student loans, tuition, food, alcohol, everything!!!! If you have roommates, offer to put your card down for deposit, for rent, for all utilities, and then they can transfer you the money. It’s extra work, but worth the points. If you go to dinner with friends, offer to put your card down.
After you’ve saved up all your points, use points to purchase all of your LONG HAUL or most expensive flights. This saved me A LOT of money.
Even better: because of that fact that I saved my points so well I also had left over points to use for upgrades on hotels if I wanted to while I was gone.
If you aren’t craving an upgrade like I was sometimes then use the points on more flights! Save even MORE money.
When I was gone I really only used my Chase card for all transactions. I don’t carry cash normally EVER because in almost all parts of the world they accept VISA…not Amex…VISA.
Lots of people ask if they should pull out cash or exchange currency at the airport.
To be honest, no.
Use your credit card WHENEVER you can because it will keep your points accumulating even while you are gone! If there came a time where a place only took cash I would just go pull out of an ATM nearby…easy.
Did I bring cash with me? Yeah, I brought 500 USD. But only because my dad begged me to because he was paranoid. It stayed in my backpack locked the entire time. It was only for emergencies. You do not need it….if my dad didn’t beg me to bring it I wouldn’t have.
The biggest inhibition for people (AMERICANS IN PARTICULAR) traveling is that the flight costs are *too much money*….
Okay well, they’re not if you book them with points.
They’re practically free actually, so enough with the lazy excuses…
Moral of the story: get your sign up bonus, upgrade your credit card, start saving those points, and get some FREE SHIT to cut your travel expenses in half!
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