Cheating the system

We are all cheaters, lets face it!

We are all looking out for #1 (yourself) by trying to get the best deal, the best seat, the most money, the most discounts and so on. It’s a fact. I too am a cheater! I want the most of out my memberships, coupons, discounts and I want it to benefit my addiction to travel.

Below I have compiled a variety of ways to “Cheat” and how I’ve been cheating the system to benefit my travel needs.

sw-card

How to Cheat (101):

  • Find a credit card that suits your needs: travel, points, benefits, etc
    • preferably one that has an incentive to sign up
  • Check out when and how your points accrue
    • points may not be added until the following billing cycle and may not be able for use until the billing cycle has cleared
  • Additionally find out when / they expire
    • if they expire, be sure you’re ready to pack you bags and jet off before they’re gone
  • Can you use other cards in conjunction to earn more?
    • for instance, my card can tie into any skymiles program/card as long as I set it up
  • Can you add additional people to your account to earn more?
    • having an additional card holder can get you points faster. Remember that saying, “two heads are better than one?”
  • Ask about annual fees, benefits, etc.
    • will you need to pay an annual fee for your card to reap the benefits? If so, make sure you know in advance when your fees are due
  • Always ask questions!
    • seriously, ask your card service rep anything and everything
  • Pay bills on your card, if possible
    • most companies will take Visa or Mastercard. Sometimes they will take American Express. You pay your bills monthly and its gernerally 1/3 of your finacnes—why wouldn’t you!?
  • Use your card when promotions occur
    • this is the easiest way to earn points, take advantage of when your card provider has reward promos
  • Find out where your points can be stretched the most- flight, car, hotel, etc.
    • some card’s rewards will spend differently, know where they are best utilized before using those points
  • Shop at specified retailers
    • your card may offer 2x rewards or incentives to shop at certain places, check to see if they have a map or benefits shops
  • Inquire if your card has spending benefits
    • you may be able to earn more points when you spend “x” amount of dollars each billing cycle or reach “x” amount of transactions

There you have it! I hope this may help you get started on making your travel easier and maybe a little less costly. This has helped me out on several occasions since getting my American Express.– If you’d like to know more about my experience(s) with my cards continue reading below.

You can also read a little more here

 

About two years ago I decided I needed some structure, so I got an American express (Everyday) card. {by the way this is not a sponsored post} How would getting a credit card give me structure? Well, if you don’t pay off your total balance in full then you’ll get docked on your credit and tack on additional interest {in my case 24% on my Amex}. If that isn’t scary enough to make you want to pay that damned card off, then I don’t know what is. Since having it I’ve really reaped the benefits in my credit; as well as, there benefit programs and points. Then one day I got this fabulous silvery-gray envelope that felt like buttery velvet. It was so soft! I opened the envelope to an invitation on a pre approved platinum American Express.

At the moment I was truly astonished about the presentation of this invitation, it came with a booklet and everything. Thinking to myself, I can just pay off my other card and the get this one. I decided to make the call and speak with someone about this card. Was it really going to be worth it? 2 hours later I had signed up for that platinum card.

To make this brief, I spent those 2 hours drilling this poor amex representative with a million questions. The most important thing she told me {which was not in the brochure, btw} was that if I purchased a First Class ticket I would be able to get a companion ticket complimentary plus the cost of fees. {Say What!?} Yes, this is wild! Now, I had to ask her to repeat that because I wasn’t believing my ears. Any time you book a flight overseas you can get a complimentary companion ticket (plus fees). This was the only selling point I needed.

Now that I somewhat have your attention…

There are a billion ways to rack up points with your cards, be it airline miles, hotel, disney, etc. Almost every card has a travel option for you to get points. You’ve heard the stories of people taking extravagant trips and paying next to nothing for them and all they did was use points. Why aren’t you taking advantage of it? If you need the push to get one, here it is. Take me for your example and also, read the “How to Cheat” section again 😉

My regular Amex earns me points 1x regular purchases, 2x grocery & gas. Then I can earn 3x for booking through amex travel and an additional 20% when I reach 20+ purchased for the billing period. Then there are countless reward offers (cash back or points) and special occasions they offer additional rewards for specifics. For example, right now they are offering 5x rewards when you book travel on amex travel until the end of the year. Now that I have the platinum card, my rewards have sky rocketed! It started out as a deal of 50,000 points for signing up and spending “x” amount in 60 days. Both my cards add up tremendously quick. I’ve had my platinum for almost 6 months with a total of a little over 100,000 points.  How did I do it?

First of all, I signed up with the premise of spending the “x” amount in said time frame. Secondly, I switched all my utilities to this card. Unfortunately I can’t put my mortgage on it! (1x points per dollar). Third, I purchase all my travel on amex travel.

My dad asked me about my card last week, I wanted to help him take my mom on vacation. I had called my Amex services and was delighted to know that even though I can’t buy their tickets for the companion travel, I am able to add someone to my card and they will be able to benefit from being on my account. Needless to say, I’ve added my mom to my account to get them first class seats for travel. It will also help me to build my rewards points. This can only be a win-win situation…

They travel, I save (points, that is). I travel and I save {because each booking is more points!}.

I could go on about how much I love my card and all the perks, but I’ll leave it at this. Should you have any questions… leave me a comment. I’m also open to hear about your cards & perks!

Safe Travels.

 

3 thoughts on “Cheating the system

    1. I’m glad it helped! It’s always good to ask questions. Even if it takes 2 hours, ask everything, you may even find out additional benefits that aren’t clearly lined out. 😊

      Like

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