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I wrote this back in 2016, still so relevant: So You Want To Travel For Free Like Me? Are You Sure?
BASICS: This travel hacking hobby is mostly about getting the fat Signup Bonus of travel rewards credit cards while of course NEVER EVER carrying a balance. Banks have a marketing budget and are willing to give us many THOUSANDS of miles/points to travel mostly for free hoping to hook us to then charge confiscatory 20%+ interest rates on our balances. The poor souls who fall for their marketing paying these ludicrous interest rates end up subsidizing us responsible consumers who enjoy taking advantage of, cough, such bank marketing budgets! Some of us have been doing this for thirty years creating amazing travel memories. Feel free to ask me questions or post them in the comments of the blog posts, we were all newbies once!
BASICS: Prefer credit cards from the proprietary points programs of banks, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Network, Capital One Rewards Miles because they are a lot more flexible and are not devalued as frequently. Over pure airline and hotel travel rewards credit cards. Pure cash back credit cards may work for you best and they are getting more valuable as airline and hotel loyalty programs keep getting devalued. Sometimes, a pure no annual fee 2% cash back card works best for simplicity! Do only as much as you can handle and ignore others in this quirky hobby who always like to show off what they managed to accomplish, we are all different.
Just do two basic things every day:
1. If you are going to spend, get some rewards for it!
2. Never EVER pay interest to the bank, ALWAYS pay your credit card balance off every month, no exceptions.
I recommend only the following blogs:
There are a few communities we hang out but I warn you that you may be lost, just do only as much as you can:
FlyerTalk The grand daddy where we all started at back in the late 90’s. Can be intimidating with horrible navigation.
Reddit/Churning Don’t miss its fantastic Basic Reading links on the right hand side, best for beginners!
Milenomics Advanced users, I am a Patreon supporter.
A collection of info below geared to newbies and as reference points:
Before I travel, I always check this for CURRENT Hotel Promotions
BEST RESOURCE LINKS:
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