Wouldn’t it be great if your expenses can pay for all your vacations? Wait a minute…they can! At least, significantly lower the cost of your flights and accommodations. How can you do that you might ask? Simple. Through credit card sign-up bonuses. You’ve probably seen credit cards with minimum spend requirements. And, after fulfilling the minimum spend requirements, you’ll receive a big lump sum of points. Those points can be redeemed towards flights or accommodations. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on flights and accommodations, you reduce them to hundreds instead. In this article, I will go over the three steps for your expenses to pay for your vacations.
VIDEO – How Your Expenses Can Pay For Your Vacations in 3 Steps
Step 1: Determine your total expenses for the entire year
In order for your expenses to pay for your vacations, you need to determine first how much money you’ll probably need to spend for the year. Generate a list of expenses and put a number figure beside it. For example:
- Rent / Mortgage – $20,000
- Vehicle and gas – $2,400
- Utilities and internet – $2,500
- Phone plan – $720
- Subscriptions and memberships (gym, Netflix, etc) – $1000
- Gifts – $500
- Purchases for self – $2000
In this example, your total annual expenses is about $29,120. Our next step is to funnel these expenses to the appropriate credit cards that will earn us lots of points and miles.
Step 2: Funnel to the right credit cards that will earn you a big sign-up bonus
Since you know you need to spend $29,120 per year, you can be strategic when it comes to applying for a credit card. When you know you have a big expense coming up, you can apply for a credit card that requires a bigger minimum spend requirements.
Strategic spending example:
- AMEX Business Platinum – $7000 minimum spend + 75,000 points earned + $499 annual fee
- AMEX Business Gold – $5000 minimum spend + 40,000 points earned + $250 annual fee
- RBC British Airways Visa – $5000 minimum spend + 40,000 Avios earned + $165 annual fee
- HSBC World Elite Mastercard – $5000 minimum spend + 100,000 HSBC points earned (during promotional periods) + $149 annual fee
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Business – $3000 minimum spend + 20,000 Aeroplan points earned + FYF (first year free)
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite – $1000 minimum spend + 20,000 Aeroplan points earned + FYF
- MBNA World Elite Mastercard – $1000 minimum spend + 30,000 Alaska miles earned + $99 annual fee
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite – $1000 minimum spend + 30,000 Aeroplan miles earned + FYF
As you can see, out of the $29,120 worth of expenses, you were able to funnel $29,000 towards a credit card that can earn you a big sign-up bonus. In total, you earned 115,000 AMEX points (transferrable to Aeroplan or Avios), 40,000 British Airways Avios, 100,000 HSBC points (transferrable to Avios), 70,000 Aeroplan points, and 30,000 Alaska miles and you paid $1,162 in annual fees. You essentially have 300,000 points including the points earned from your spends. 300,000 points can buy you at least 3 international round-trip flights in Economy and 1 domestic round-trip flight in Economy. You can even increase the value of your points by booking in Business Class.
If you’re wondering how you’d pay your rent or mortgage with a credit card, companies like Plastiq allows you to pay for a lot of things that you normally cannot pay with a credit card (such as your taxes, rent, or mortgages) for a small fee.
Step 3: Redeem your points and miles to pay for your vacations
The last step is to redeem your points to pay for your flights. Your goal here is to maximize the value of your points. This can be done by booking your flights in Business Class which multiplies the value of your points. With 300,000 points, you can probably book two round-trip flights on business class worth at least $10,000. So as you can see, you just got $10,000 worth of value while only paying $1,162 in annual fees.
Alternatively, if you book your points to stay at hotels for free, you just saved money on accommodations.
$1,162 is roughly what you would pay anyways for a round-trip international flight out of pocket. But, by following this strategy, you got to fly on Business Class round-trip twice. And, you also get unlimited lounge access thanks to the priority pass card. Even if you never fly on Business Class, this strategy would have gotten you 3-4 international round-trip economy flights which is better than just the one you would get if you paid strictly out of pocket.
Plan ahead and you will come out ahead.