International travel restrictions are starting to lift.
· Who has already booked a trip?
· Who is already planning a trip?
· Who is dreaming about a trip?
For me, planning is well underway. And if you know me, you’d know I have a few tricks up my sleeve thinking like a contrarian.
When I get back on a plane to travel overseas, I’ll be doing it at the pointy end. And the truth is, almost anyone can do it (with a bit of planning and the right knowledge).
It wasn’t always like this though. I used to struggle with the idea that I’d need to pay, say an extra $4,000, for an upgraded airfare to Hong Kong, Singapore or Bangkok. I justified in my head that the extra $4,000 would go a long way for spending and entertainment, no matter how bad the passenger was next to me for the 10+ hours of the flight.
Today, I still don’t pay the extra thousands for flight upgrades or guaranteed business or first class tickets.
I use points.
You see, during the lockdowns, border closures and non-travel periods, myself, my wife and my business have never stopped spending money.
Hidden in plain sight are credit card points systems that most people simply don’t understand, or know how to leverage properly.
I used to convert 100,000 credit card points to $1,000 of David Jones or Myer vouchers and give them to my wife.
Actual value of points in this case = 1c per point.
What most people don’t know, is that if you use these points in their most efficient way, you can get business or first class flights at a value of sometimes 10c per point! That’s ten times more value for your points!
Then there’s the challenge with booking the right fares. I don’t have someone that can spend hours on hours searching for me and I’m never going to do it myself. So for me, everything changed when I met Steve Hui from iflyflat.com.au aka The Points Whisperer who organises everything (note that this is definitely not a paid ad or joint venture – Steve doesn’t even know I’m writing this article).
However if you have the time, this is something you can definitely do for yourself.
Here’s the absolute biggest and most important step in this process.
You must pay your credit card to a zero balance every month. If you accumulate even 1c of interest, the maths no longer works for this process.
It’s also a very important money management step, even if you are not interested in the points.
Once you have set up your credit cards to pay the balance in full each month, you need to understand how many points you earn from your credit card and how you can earn them. Set up your spending in the most efficient way to accumulate points changing none of your spending habits in the process.
It’s possible for most people to earn 50%, 100% or even more points than they currently earn just by understanding how to pay for things. Just beware of the fees that come along with points programs! Sometimes the fees of attractive programs will leave you worse off financially, so be warned.
What’s the bottom line?
Don’t change what you spend. Don’t change where you spend. Just consider the points you earn when you do spend.
The absolute best use of points is international business and first class travel. You’ll get so much more bang for your buck.
Here’s a caveat. Not all airlines charge the same points for the same routes and often it can be a similar price to fly first class somewhere with a stopover than it is to fly direct on business class. There’s so much to consider, though I just wanted to help open your eyes to the opportunities.
Have fun exploring.
If you like this type of content, then you’ll love my book, “How to Live the Life of a Multimillionaire… Without Being One”. If you haven’t yet downloaded a copy for yourself (or the audio book) for free, you can get one by clicking here.
Want to know the most common question asked every time I share this information?
Hey Chris… which credit card should I use to earn the most points?
I’m not up on whatever is the latest from Steve’s perspective but the main one I use is the Business Amex Platinum that he put me on to years ago.
A pretty enticing benefit is that if you sign up to this card from the link below and spend the minimum, this link will give you 300,000 free points which could be 3 x return trips to Asia (plus halve the annual card fee). The referrer (that’s me of course) also gets 150,000 points so everyone wins!