Get to the Points

Points are essentially loyalty rewards offered by airlines, hotels, and credit card companies. By strategically earning and redeeming these points, you can significantly reduce your travel expenses or even travel for free. It’s a game-changer that opens up a world of possibilities.

Common Questions

For earning airline miles, we suggest focusing on United Airlines and American Airlines. They’re good choices because they fly all over the world and it’s pretty easy to earn miles with them. United Airlines has several credit cards you can get all at once, allowing you to collect a significant number of miles. American Airlines is similar. Having accounts with both of these airlines gives you the flexibility to find flights to almost anywhere you want to go.

American Airline Cards: (click on links to apply)

United Airline Cards: (click on links to apply)

Chase Ultimate Rewards is super flexible because they team up with three big hotel chains – Marriott, IHG, and Hyatt. That means you have lots of options for free hotel stays. They also partner with 11 different airlines, giving you plenty of choices to get to your destination. Though it does take some time and effort to organize, these cards give you the most options for free travel.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards: (click on links to apply)

We would begin with the first card on the list below, Chase Sapphire Preferred, since it provides you a good amount of points and the initial spend is possible for most. If you have a business, which can be anything as simple as selling things on eBay from time to time, you can apply for the Chase Ink Business Preferred card. The points of all of these cards can be combined into one of your Preferred cards. This will allow you the most flexibility.

There are two basic ways to use these points. The first is by using the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal to search for airline tickets or hotels. It works in a similar way to searching on Expedia. How much are the points worth? As an example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 when used to buy airline tickets or hotel stays through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

The other way to use your Chase points is to move points from your Chase account to Marriott, IHG or Hyatt hotel or to an airline, where you may have found cheap hotel nights or airline tickets. Important: once you transfer points into a partner program, you can’t transfer them back to Chase.

Things to Remember

  • Once you’ve been approved for the credit cards, focus on meeting the spending requirements as soon as possible. To make your initial spending, you can refer to this list of items that can be conveniently paid for using your credit card.
  • Be sure to keep track of the date you apply, so that you make sure to not miss your deadline for your initial spend.
  • If you have a travel partner, be sure you both apply for the credit cards individually to ensure both of you benefit from the bonus offers.
  • At times credit cards may have a bonus offer if you add an authorized user. If they do, can you add your spouse? Before adding them be sure your spouse has applied for the card themselves and received their bonus. Only after that would I add them as an authorized user to your card.
  1. Everyday Expenses & Large Purchases: Use your new credit card for your regular expenses like groceries, gas, bills, and online purchases. Don’t forget your vacations and home improvement projects.
  2. Pay Bills: Pay your monthly bills, such as utilities, insurance, rent, and cell phone bills.
  3. Dining Out: Use your credit card when dining out at restaurants or ordering takeout. If going out in a group, offer to pay the bill and have them pay you back.
  4. Pay for Family and Friends: Ask them if they have any upcoming big purchases you could pay for and have them reimburse you in cash or through other means.
  5. Auto-Pay Subscriptions: If you have any subscription services, such as streaming services or gym memberships, update your payment method to your new credit card.
  6. Prepay Expenses: Some bills, like insurance premiums, property taxes, or cell phone bills, and donations can often be paid in advance.
  7. Business Expenses: If you have a small business use your credit card for business-related expenses.
  8. Pay Taxes: Depending on your local tax laws, you may be able to pay your income taxes or property taxes with your credit card. Be aware of any associated fees or potential interest charges.
  9. Add an Authorized User:  Just ensure that the user is not someone that will also want to apply for the card for themselves.