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In this video I go through my $38,000 worth of free travel I have redeemed through credit card points and other benefits like hotel free nights.
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In this video I'm going to share with You the exact strategy that has got me And my family over 38 000 worth of free Travel in the form of business class Flights five-star hotels Luxury Resorts And free food and drink over the past Few years and by the end of this video You will be armed with the tools to do What I do and enjoy the High Life for Free or next to nothing and if you like The sound of that do consider Subscribing for more videos like this oh And this video is brought to you by Dave But more on that later so I'm Ben Hedges Aka the credit Shifu and what we are Talking about here is travel hacking the Practice of using credit cards to Accumulate points to use for free travel Using this method you could either get a Large amount of economy class flights And lower level hotel stays for free or A smaller amount of business class and First class flights and five-star hotel Stays for free or heavily discounted and That's because those higher level Redemptions require more points so how Do we build up points well the first Three topics we're going to discuss in This video are about how to build up Points and then the next three are for Some additional value so here's what We're going to talk about spending on Credit cards welcome bonuses paying Taxes with credit cards Hotel free
Nights two-player mode credits and Statuses and then at the end I'll show You a load of the free travel that I've Got with points and also how many points I currently have in my accounts so let's Go Spending on credit cards Now I'm not a cashback guy I'm a Points Guy I'm not the points guy but I'm a Points Guy all right I collect points And only points and in this video I am Going to show you the exact set of Credit cards that I use to earn the most Points I can in all my different Spending categories first for dining and Grocery I use the Amex Gold Card which Gives me four points per dollar back on Both of those categories last year on Dining I spent seven thousand six Hundred and twenty six dollars and on Grocery I spent 8 685 so for those two Categories together which is what I Mostly use the card for I earned 65 244 Points that is enough for a United Polaris business class flight from the US East Coast to Europe Polaris is their Premier business class product all right Now here are some of the other credit Cards I use for different categories for Gas I always use the Wyndham Rewards Earn a business card which gets me eight Wyndham points per dollar back and I Only buy gas from Exxon or mobile gas Stations using the Walmart Plus app
Since it gives me 10 cents off per Gallon I get my Walmart Plus Subscription for free from my AmEx Platinum Card which I also use when I'm Paying for flights since it earns 5 Points back per dollar on flights booked Directly with Airlines only time I don't Use the Platinum is when I'm flying British Airways in which case I use the British Airways Visa signature card from Chase then I also have two Freedom cards That I use for rotating quarterly Categories the limit on these cards for The five points per dollar is one Thousand five hundred dollars per Quarter but I have two of them so that's A limit of three thousand dollars per Quarter or fifteen thousand chase points That I can earn every quarter in this Way for hotels I have the Hilton Honors Surpass card which earns me Hilton Points when I stay at Hilton and the Marriott born by Amex which gives me Extra Marriott points when I stay at Marriott now let's look at business Spending I have the Chase Ink preferred For its three points per dollar on Shipping and the ink unlimited for its 1.5 points per dollar on everything I Also have the business Platinum that I Use for non-category purchases over five Thousand dollars since it earns 1.5 Amex Points per dollar on purchases over that Amount so that is basically my system of
Earning points through spending but Sometimes your personal spending may not Be enough to build up a large number of Points quickly and you may need a little Bit of a helping hand in the form of Welcome bonuses But before we get into talking about Welcome bonuses if you're living Paycheck to paycheck and you have a Sudden unexpected expense come up while You may have a load of credit cards that You're using to collect points and Miles I never recommend going into debt for Some unexpected expense on credit cards Okay they charge like 20 interest Instead let me introduce Dave which is a Banking app that could help you get up To five hundred dollars instantly with Their extra cash account and that is With no interest no late fees and no Credit check basically they're advancing You your own money from the future now I Know I've been in a situation where my Battery and my spark plugs on my car all Died at once and they had to be replaced Quickly and I had to come up with the Money Dave can get you out of those Situations With a Little Help from Future you they also provide banking Services where you can get paid up to Two days early and they give you access To 37 000 no fee ATMs Nationwide so down Hello Dave today at dave.com Ben that's Dave.com Ben sign up for an extra cash
Account and get up to 500 instantly for Terms and conditions go to dave.com Legal instant transfer fees apply Banking services provided by evolve Member FDIC so welcome bonuses this is Where a credit card will give you a Certain number of points for spending a Set amount of money in a specific period Of time for example 50 000 points for Spending four thousand dollars that you Are going to spend anyway in the first Three months the most recent welcome Bonuses I have got were forty five Thousand Windham points on the Wyndham Rewards earn a card seventy five Thousand British Airways miles on the Chase British Airways Visa signature Card last year and 150 000 points on the AmEx business platinum and 90 000 chase Points on the chase Inc unlimited this Year Mrs credit Shifu was also able to Get the hundred thousand Point bonus on The Chase Sapphire preferred last year But actually I think it was the year Before and she still has a lot of those Points stashed in her account now some Of these welcome bonuses have very high Spending requirements especially the Business ones on the AmEx business Platinum I had to spend fifteen thousand Dollars in three months to get that Hundred and fifty thousand bonus now if You have high business spending you may Be able to meet that spend requirement
But for me my business spending wasn't That high so I did it in a different way Paying taxes with a credit card That's right this is America Of course you can use a credit card to Pay your taxes I paid a twenty one Thousand dollar federal tax bill on my Business Platinum which triggered the 150 000 points welcome bonus in addition Because the business Platinum offers 1.5 Points per dollar on transactions over Five thousand dollars well this Transaction was over five thousand Dollars so the points that you would Earn on the transaction Um increased to 1.5 points per dollar so I earned thirty thousand points or Thereabouts on the transaction in Addition to the bonus so I ended up with Over a hundred and eighty thousand Amex Points in my account then I paid my State taxes which were around ten Thousand dollars on the chase Inc Unlimited and that triggered the 90 000 Points welcome bonus and that card it Actually also earns 1.5 points per Dollar on everything so that was an Extra fifteen thousand points from my Ten thousand dollars in spending so I Ended up with about a hundred and five Thousand chase points in my account too And the cool thing is Amex and Chase are Now both promoting paying taxes with a Credit card Chase they've set up a
Special website on paying taxes with a Credit card and Amex is sending emails Out to card holders informing them that They can do this like this one that one Reddit user received which shows that Both of these card issuers are serious About keeping tax payments in the So-called eligible purchases that Trigger bonuses and point earnings now Tax payments through the irs's official Providers cost just under two percent Okay there is a fee so it's not going to Be worth it if you're just getting one Point per dollar you may only just break Even or actually be at a slight loss That's why I use my tax payments to Trigger welcome bonuses but even if You're not getting a welcome bonus let's Say you don't have a new credit card That has a bonus some of your existing Credit cards may actually have bonuses That you can get each year for certain Levels of spending such as Hotel three nights A few years back I actually paid my Taxes two years in a row using the Hilton Honors surpass card now the Hilton Honors points that I earned Offset the two percent fee but this card Has another trick up its sleeve because If you spend over fifteen thousand Dollars on the card in any given year They will give you a Hilton free night Now Hilton free nights are the best type
Of free nights out there because you can Use them at almost any Hilton Hotel even The really high level ones now during The pandemic they extended the free Night certificates beyond the usual One-year validity so I was able to Accumulate two in my account from two Years of tax payments and when travel Opened up I used them for two nights at The Oceana Santa Monica it's a 650 per Night boutique hotel right by the beach So the value of that together was one Thousand three hundred dollars I've also Redeemed a load of other free nights From IHG and Marriott at more mid-range Hotels over the years costing around two Hundred dollars a night and I'm gonna Add those into my calculation at the end Of this video too and some of those Redemptions have been done together with My wife Mrs credit Shifu and that is our Next section Two-player mode This is where you play the credit card Game with a partner usually your spouse In the case of Hotel free nights let's Say you both have a free night one each You can combine them booking two nights In a row and when you check in you can Explain that you have two separate Bookings and they'll usually let you Keep the same room we also use the IHG Free nights from Mrs credit shifu's IHG Credit card for two nights at the
Venetian which is one of my favorite Las Vegas hotels costing at least two Hundred dollars per night on the Cheapest nights then in two player mode You can also pool points for example Hilton allows family points pooling so Does British Airways with Chase you can Transfer points from one Chase card to The Chase card of your close family Member with American Express you can Also transfer points from your account To the Loyalty program accounts of your Authorized users okay your Airlines and Hotels so if you add your player 2 as an Authorized user you will then be able to Pool points in account or they can send Them to you Etc and this will make some High value redemptions easier to book Since it's faster to build up the points Needed if you've got two people earning Those points from their spending and Their welcome bonuses and then pulling Them together but in addition to pulling Your points together there are some Other credit card benefits that work Really well in two-player mode or if You're traveling on your own Credits and statuses The best example of a really useful Credit would be the 200 fine hotels and Resorts collection credit on the American Express Platinum Card both me And Mrs credit shift who have that card And last year we booked two nights at
The Bellagio in Las Vegas that was one Night each and we each got refunded the 200 credit so that was four hundred Dollars back then the fine hotels and Resorts collection also gives you extra Benefits like you get a 100 food and Beverage credit per stay this one's per Stay so even though we had two separate Bookings because we told them this when We checked in because we wanted to keep The same room Um we didn't get it twice we just got it Once for you know the whole stay you Could be sneaky about it and change Rooms you know check out and then Re-check in but we couldn't be bothered To do that just for 100 bucks you also Get free breakfast for two each day Which was 44.99 per person per day so That ended up being about 180 for the Stay at the Conrad at Resorts World in Las Vegas we see the benefits of both Status and credit since I have Hilton Gold status from my Hilton honor Surprise card we got an upgrade to a Strip view king suite which costs around 800 per night and I'd only paid about 400 a night for the room I booked so Since we stayed three nights that gave Us about an extra one thousand two Hundred dollars in extra value then we Also got a 22 food credit for two people Per room each day so that was 132 Dollars for three days so there are a
Few examples about how Hotel status from Credit cards and also all the credits From the AmEx fine hotels and resorts Collection can get you a ton of extra Value all right let's now go through a Load of the redemptions that I've done For free travel when I made this video a Few years ago I was at twenty three Thousand dollars worth of free travel But I'm now adding in all of the points Redemptions I've done since then and That takes us up to about thirty eight Thousand dollars worth so in addition to The hotel redemptions I talked about I Also stayed at the Conrad in DC where I Use points to book one room I also Booked another the room through the fine Hotels and resorts collection and got All the credits and stuff so I'm adding In the value for that then over the Winter I use points to book Courtyard by Marriott at Lake George and uh Hampton Inn in Bennington Vermont a few times That was for ski trips over the winter a Lot of fun I exchanged 60 000 chase Points for 759 off a flight to Las Vegas For me and the family I exchanged 300 000 British Airways avios for six Thousand dollars or four business class Tickets for me and the family to go to The UK at Christmas and I just exchanged 60 000 chase points for United Polaris Business class from London to New York a Flight that I will be taking in June in
Addition to those redemptions lastly I'm Going to show you how many points I have In my account from using this strategy In my Windham account I have 50 000 Points in my Chase account I have 58 000 Points in my AmEx account I have a 161 000 points and over in me and my wife's Pooled British Airways account we have 81 000 points and my wife tells me Apparently she has 80 000 chase points In her account too but I won't include Them in this calculation so why not add Together all of my main accounts it's 350 000 points and at a sort of conservative Valuation of two cents per point that Would be about seven thousand dollars Worth of value that's in addition to the 38 000 worth of travel uh that I have Talked about in this video guys I hope You have enjoyed this and most Importantly I hope it has inspired you To try doing some of this for yourself a Big thank you to Dave for sponsoring This video sign up for an extra cash Account with my link below and get up to Five hundred dollars instantly please Subscribe to the channel if you're new And I'll put on screen in a moment Videos of some of the redemptions I Talked about British Airways business Class the Conrad Strip view king suite And also the Bellagio put them on screen For you to check out please subscribe if
You're new and see you next time bye