Credit Card Hack 2.1

It is Friday!!! Time to recap on some of the small wins throughout the week!

So I have some exciting news about the referral program that we mentioned last week, after going over some details with a friend about how beneficial credit card rewards points can be, he signed up for one of the best credit cards currently out there to start off with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card (in my opinion). Then to my delight I received an email from chase confirming I will be receiving the referral points!!! 

To be a little bit more specific on the time frame, the person applied for the credit card  and was approved on Nov 20th and on Dec 6th, I received the confirmation email that I will see the bonus points on the next month’s statement. So, it seems that the approximate timeframe is about ~20 days and BAM someone gets paid at the very least $100 but potentially even more if used through affiliate programs (see previous post for info). 

Now, onto what we had mentioned at the end of the last post, the almighty Southwest Companion Pass…

What is the Southwest Companion Pass? 

Essentially, it is a “perk” that if you can accumulate 110,000 Rapid Rewards Points, in 1 (one) calendar year then you will be able to get a free ticket for a “companion” for every flight you book with Southwest Airlines. So for example, you buy an Southwest Airline ticket to Denver, you can also book a “companion” ticket for free on the same flight!!

So maybe not completely free…there are some fees that will need to be paid see above. 

There are a lot of mentions of this is a great way to travel for less and an awesome credit card airline hack…but how exactly can someone get this 110,000 qualifying points?!?!?!? Well, I am starting this small journey myself and will document the process I am taking. 

One of the key things that I am reading, is that the qualifying points that will be counted in the 110,000 points need to be earned in the same calendar year. Once the Companion Pass is earned you essentially have this pass for the rest of the year and until December of the following year. So if the pass is activated February 2019, you will have the pass active until December 2020. That means, if you time it correctly you have a Companion Pass for almost 2 years! 

This is where it can get a little tricky, (at least for me) I opened the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card November 2018 and plan to charge $1,000 on this card to obtain the 40,000 points to be awarded in 2019.  Then I will apply for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card and charge $3,000 in the first 3 months to obtain the 60,000 point bonus. That should give me 100,000 points and I will only be 10,000 points away. I am hoping to get a referral bonus in early 2019 to get my last 10,000 points 🙂 . So if anyone is feeling giving and is going to try to get the companion pass as well please try to use the Southwest Credit Card link in the post to apply for the credit card. 

The business credit card requires a little more information/effort to get. You have to have proof of an actual business to apply for this. A couple of ways this can be done, if you have a Tax ID for the business, then that’s it! If not, then you could prove it by having your tax return show you declared a business. 

I am hoping to have this companion pass by March or April of 2019, wish me luck!!! 

If you have any questions or comments please let me know!

The First Small Win

Where do we even start? How do we start? How do we get to this HUGE goal of financial independence?!?!?!?!? Can I commit to this goal? Do I need to just save and never spend any money? Do I save everything in these investment accounts (401ks, 403b, 457, IRAs..)?!?!

I am already overwhelmed…

Well, how about we take a step back? Let’s take things 1 step at a time. 

As we both started this journey, we realized that this is a daunting task for all of us. How can we follow a concept that we may feel is unreachable? That we can’t touch or feel? 

We learned there are many ways to “save” money for financial independence. One easy step is to change how we approach spending money, there is a system in place that allows us to get more out of each dollar $$$ we spend. 

The answer is credit cards…sounds counter intuitive, but let’s think about it. We have all heard about credit card rewards and points. It is all over the media and advertisements, but isn’t credit cards bad? Well if you are at a point in life where you are spending more money than you can pay off every month, then yes. If you are able to allocate your spending and route them through what the industry calls a “premier” credit card, and can pay the monthly statement balance in full and not pay the interest fees, then this concept/method is perfect for you! 

I felt in over my head on many concepts at this point but due to life’s obligations to attend family and friends’ milestones, I looked into how to better use my credit card rewards points. 

For the rest of the post I will go into the specifics on how I am maximizing the use of my Chase Ultimate Reward Points and I hope this will help anyone that already has Chase Ultimate Reward Points or is looking into getting a Chase Credit Card for this purpose. 

To start off, I have the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. These cards allow me to earn “Ultimate Rewards Points,” which I can claim as cash back (10,000 points = $100.00), redeem for travel (10,000 points = $125.00), or anything else at (10,000 points = $100.00). 

No that has been established, I needed to take a small road trip and after all of the advice that points can be used better than cash back, which I had been doing for the past 10 years…I decided to look into it. 

I decided to follow the advice that I should try to spend the points on things I am already planning on doing such as having to travel for the obligations mentioned earlier. So I started looking for places to stay for this road trip, options included Airbnb and hotels. From the advice, I started looking into transferring these points to a travel program. 

There are many Travel Partners, that we can transfer points to. 

I found a hotel meeting my requirements for the trip and it happened to by a Hyatt hotel and that is one of the travel partners. In order to transfer the points I had to create a “World of Hyatt” rewards member account, which is free, then looked for the place I wanted to stay and how many points it would require. After that I transferred that amount of points 5,000 points per night and booked the room. 

So let’s break this down a little more. When I searched how much the room would cost, it was $100 per night. I was then able to see that it would cost me 5,000 points per night. If you can recall earlier, the cash value for the 5,000 points would have been equivalent to $50. So I was able to book $100 room for basically $50 worth of free points. 

That really amazed me!!! I use to waste my points by redeeming them as cash…instead I could have been getting double value for all of my points if I was using them for travel that I was already planning on doing!

This was my first small win! I really hope to make many small wins, which will help me save more and spend money or points 😉 smarter.

Please feel free to leave us any feedback or questions on this! We would be happy to answer questions to help others trying spend points in this fashion!