I gave a talk recently to a high powered group of entrepreneurs. We talked about travel and frequent flyer programs, arbitrage, and choosing the right credit card.
And I realized when question time came that I sometimes assume too much. A gentleman sitting in the middle of the audience asks, ‘so if we’re just getting started and my wife and I wanted to book a trip using points from credit cards, how can we do that as quickly and easily as possible?’
That should have been the beginning of the talk, or its central focus. And I realized I had skipped over that entirely.
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 50,000 points after $4000 spend within 3 months, and another 5000 points for adding a no annual fee authorized user and making a purchase. Do that and there’s a minimum of 59,000 Chase points.
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card offers 80,000 points after $5000 spend within 3 months. Do that and there’s a minimum of 85,000 Chase points.
Singapore Airlines New Airbus A380 Business Class
Sure that’s $9000 spend in 3 months, or $3000 a month, I explained during my talk how to easily hit that spend.
If they each follow the advice they’ll have 288,000 points to spend in about 3 months. That’s enough for the two of them to choose a trip from:
- Transfer miles to United, fly business class roundtrip to Europe.
- Transfer miles to United, they’re within 12,000 of two roundtrips business class to Asia
- Transfer to Korean Air, that’s more than enough for 3 business class roundtrips to Europe on Air France or KLM
- Transfer to Korean Air, that’s enough for 9 coach roundtrip tickets to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines
- Transfer to Korean Air, book 2 business class roundtrips to Asia
- Transfer to Virgin Atlantic, book 2 first class roundtrips to Japan on ANA
- Transfer to Southwest and redeem for nearly $5000 in airline tickets
- Transfer to Hyatt and book 11 nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives
Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives
Of course it doesn’t stop there and what you do with the points depends on the trip you value most. Airlines used to give you 5000 miles when you drained all the points in your account, they were so afraid that if you used up all your miles you’d have no reason to stick with the program.
They stopped doing that because they learned that people don’t walk away after using all their points. They learn how valuable collecting them was in the first place, and their points accumulation speeds up rather than stopping. It becomes easier, you notice points opportunities everywhere, and soon you’re earning points as fast as you can spend them.
All it takes is getting started.