Tactical Traveler: S1:E10 | Travel through Credit Card Point Mastery with Dave and Lisa Muz

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The podcast explores the secrets of travel adventures through strategic credit card point mastery, focusing on how Dave and Lisa managed to snag first-class tickets to Japan for $15 each. They share their journey from floor cramming to first-class living, accumulating credit card points through everyday expenses like groceries, utility bills, and taxes. They also discuss navigating credit card fees and rewards, building credit responsibly, and turning unexpected expenses into opportunities for earning bonus points and free hotel stays. 

The podcast also provides insider tips for travel hacking success, raising credit scores, and embarking on epic adventures without breaking the bank. It explores the Chase Gauntlet strategy, leveraging business cards for contractors, crafting the ultimate vacation for less than $500, and balancing points and cash. The podcast also delves into travel hacking beyond credit cards, including tips for finding budget-friendly excursions and leveraging credit card portals for unique experiences.

Highlights:

{02:00} Japan Adventure

{03:30} Credit Card travel hacks

{06:30} Hacks for Everyday Spending

{15:00} Strategic Credit Card Planning

{26:30} Crafting the Ultimate Vacation

{32:00} Balancing Points and Cash

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Dave and Lisa Muz Bio:

Dave and Lisa Muz are an easy-going, fun-loving couple from Buffalo, NY. With a shared passion for adventure and a desire to explore the world, they embarked on a journey that would forever change their lives.

Their travel journey began with extreme couponing, but it wasn’t long before they discovered the power of credit card reward points through the “Basic Travel Method.” This newfound knowledge allowed them to travel the globe affordably, often for cheap or even free.

Dave and Lisa have experienced transformative moments through their travels, from immersing themselves in new cultures to overcoming obstacles together. Their adventures have not only broaden their horizons but have also strengthened their bond as a couple.

With a commitment to sharing their experiences and insights, Dave and Lisa continue to inspire others to embark on their travel adventures and discover the world’s wonders.

Links:

https://basictravelcouple.com

https://tacticaltravelerclub.com

Sponsored Links:

https://therootbrands.com/product/zero-in

https://newulife.com/hk/en 

https://trufinco.com 

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John

Welcome to the tactical traveler, everyone. Today, I have a very special guest for you. I have known these two for about a year and a half now, and I’m a spy. I watch them from a distance and have seen them do some of the most amazing and crazy stuff with credit card points and travel that you would ever think about doing; as a matter of fact – I’ll have them talk about it here in a second – I believe they went to Japan for, like, 15 bucks or some insane number. 

Dave and Lisa, thank you for joining me on the show. And I love you guys. I try to bring you on as much as possible because you are far better at the point game than I am. So, I just welcome you to the show. How are you guys doing?

Lisa

Thank you, John. We’re doing good. Thanks.

Dave

Yeah, thank you. We’re doing great. It’s starting to get a little bit warmer here in Buffalo, NY.

John

Yeah. So it’s what … 40 now?

Dave

Yeah, seriously, we did have some. It was like 80°, and then it was 20. All the snow is coming down, and it’s starting to thaw again. Hopefully, we’re going to be nice and warm here by July.

John

Yeah. Now, did I get that right? Did you guys go to Japan for $15 or some crazy number?

Lisa

Yeah, it. Well, it was 230, but it was in first class each.

John

So for $460.

Lisa

Yes, in first class round trip.

Dave

Yeah. But those and those flights are supposed to be about $20,000 each.

John

Right, right. Yeah. And then that also included your hotel stay, right?

Lisa

Yeah, our hotels were. Yeah, I don’t think we paid for any of the hotels.

Dave

I think we paid for one hotel, which was a cool hotel. You sleep in a pod. It was about 10 Bucks.

John

All right. Oh yeah.

Dave

It’s like sleeping on Mars.

John

Yeah, I’ve been to Japan three times. I remember when those things became popular.

Lisa

It was an experience—that’s not so good when you’re recovering from a broken leg—but overall, it was pretty good.

John

Yeah. Cool. So, listen, you know, why don’t we do this? I’ve known you guys so long that I kind of know your story. So, I will ask it because, as a tactical traveler, I have a new audience, a new crowd of people who have not enjoyed getting to know you guys. So, let me start with this. Where were you three years ago? On this credit card point journey, what got you started in the madness I watch you guys do regularly now?

Lisa

That is a great question. So, three years ago, we were probably like a year and a half into our credit card journey. So, we started. Oh, almost five years ago now. Ironically, we went to this credit scores class locally in Buffalo to learn more about credit scores, finances, and different things. And someone in the class had told us about, you know, credit cards and being able to travel all around the world on these points and miles. 

We, Dave, dove in first, researching this weird thing called Travel hacking, which started our journey. We were trying to maximize our spending in any way possible because travel was something we both enjoyed but couldn’t afford.

Dave

Yeah, if you go back three months, we slept on our friend’s floor in Key West because it was too expensive to stay anywhere during spring break.

John

Yeah, yeah. And that’s one of the things I love about you, too. So, just for the audience, Dave, you’re a teacher. And Lisa, what do you do… because you just switched? You were a flight attendant, and with COVID, that went away, and you’re doing something different now, right?

Lisa

I’m just running our travel blog now. We started dabbling a little in real estate investing, so I have been 100% self-employed this last year, focusing on our businesses.

John

And I think the highlight, though, is it’s not like you guys are millionaires.

Lisa

Oh yeah, far from it.

John

Far from it, right?

Lisa

Yeah. And just for retrospect, before that, I worked at a desk job from 9:00 to 5:00, so my salary was very similar to a teacher’s, just working at a local health insurance company.

John

Didn’t you do something with the flights?

Lisa

Yeah, I did. I was a flight attendant for a little bit. I probably haven’t flown in a year and a half, and I’m not sure about the return on that.

John

Right. Well, I want to highlight that because I often think people think you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars every single month to make credit card hacking worthwhile. 

And you guys are not doing that. You live a very disciplined life, and then you’ve met and learned how to maximize your credit cards so you can afford these great vacations. You guys did a Western part, too, similar to what I did. And I think you paid for most of that on points, right?

Dave

Yeah, like the whole thing.

Lisa

Yeah, it really. We don’t spend 10,000 a month. Our bills are not that expensive. It’s just maximizing your everyday spending. Looking at your budget, I think most people spend more than you realize. So anytime you go out to eat dinner or grocery shop, gas in your car, utility bills, anything you do, and buying clothes. But if you have kids props, I’m sure they’re involved in many activities, anything for them. 

There are so many different things. You can spend money on those just by reallocating it to a specific credit card to earn bonus points that maximize the value of your everyday spending.

Dave

Absolutely. I’ve paid for everything with credit cards, everything from speeding tickets.

Lisa

Our taxes recently.

Dave

Taxes to a doctor’s visit, like anything.

John

Right.

Lisa

Breaking your leg, really, and there’s so much buying new patio furniture and renovating houses. You know, there’s a lot that if you dig deep, you can find that you probably spend more in a month than you might realize.

John

Yeah, right. Well, let me ask you this. So, let’s start it this way. What can you not put on your credit cards for points?

Dave

Hmm, that’s a great question.

Lisa

I feel like if there’s a will, there’s a Way.

Dave

I wonder if there’s anything I can’t put on a code of cards for points.

John

Can you put it? Can you put your mortgage on it? Your rent?

Lisa

You could. Yeah, there are ways to pay mortgages with your credit card. However, there are typically high fees, like a 2% or 3% fee, and we don’t advocate paying that percentage, depending on what it’s for. So, we’ve never actually paid our mortgage on our credit card.

Technically, it could. I just don’t see the value in it. It could be worth it if you are trying to meet a minimum Spending Requirement.

Dave

Yeah, it depends on whether you are in a bind and need to; you’re just looking for something to meet that minimum spending requirement. 

So, if you open a new credit card, it costs $4000 in three months. And you spent 3000 and want to avoid buying random things. That’s when I look at what I can pay ahead of time. Maybe I could prepay some bills if it is the mortgage. I recently paid my federal taxes back, which was like a 2.2% fee, but I had opened a new credit card. And you know, anything that helps me meet that minimum spend. I will do that because the return is usually closer to 15 or 20% when you include that bonus.

John

Wow. Yeah. So, in that case, it would be worth it. What about your car payment? Are there fees with the car payment, or if you’re leasing a vehicle?

Lisa

I don’t know if that’s something we’ve ever looked at, but I think it would be the same thing where it’s probably going to depend on the leasing or not mortgage vehicle company that you have the loan through. The bank typically. Again, there’s that same fee with mortgages, but I think it would be possible.

Dave

Yeah, no, it’s possible. There are a handful of bill-paying services. One of the most popular ones is ELASTIC: You can paint anything with a credit card, but again, you’ll get charged those fees.

John

Right. So, let’s discuss some of the common ways you guys rack up credit card points. Then, we’ll transition and discuss it. Well, I’m a brand-new person with an OK credit score. How do I get started in this?

Dave

OK, some common things will be the everyday groceries, the utility bills 100%, and our school tax. In New York, we pay our taxes all separately on credit cards.

Lisa

City tax and county.

Dave

all the taxes … Almost always, if we have to pay a tax, we’ll pay it with a credit card.

Lisa

So, I did when we originally bought the house, got the mortgage, and opted out of escrow. I purposely wanted the bills in the mail so I could pay with the credit card. Then, I allocated monthly money from our checking account to pay for that in full once the bill came.

Dave

Some other good hacks involve, for example, if you have friends or family members who will be….They are not into credit card games. I know it’s a big shock that we know people who are not into this, but even like our parents, if they make big purchases, we’ll slide our credit card in there if they use cash.

Lisa

My favorite way.

You may have yet to get one if you are new to the credit card world.

John

Right.

Lisa

Good credit score. The biggest thing you will want to do is raise that first. So, we’ve helped many friends, family members, and reader groups figure out why their scores might be lower, and we can help with different tips and tricks to raise your score first. If you’re in debt or you’re, you know, not able to pay the bills every month, then this is technically for you later. But you have a starting point, maybe. Get out of that debt, raise your credit score, and then you can get into it.

John

Right. You know, and I was going to put a caveat on this. Listen, if you max out your card and don’t pay it off every month, this is not a good plan for you, right?

Lisa

Definitely.

John

Talk to me about that because there’s a strategy with that, right? I’ve read you guys’ stuff. And, like, when you’re looking at the percentages, if you don’t pay the card off, talk a little bit about that with us.

Lisa

So, if you don’t pay the card off every month and pay interest, it negates any savings you would be getting from travel hacking and utilizing those points.

Dave

You want to avoid carrying high balances because you lose all your points and miles earned. You know, your kind of. You are giving right back to me—the banks. So that’s like a lose-lose situation.

John

Yeah. Because if you’re earning, on average, what do you think you’re earning per dollar spent and points?

Dave

Oh, man, I’d say between 3 and 5X or 3 and 5% on average.

John

So yeah, you’re only interested if you’re paying off. Your credit card is probably. Well, it depends on how good your credit is, but there’s at least 8%, right?

Dave

Oh, yeah, I’m saying about 15 to 20%, right?

John

Yeah. I thought it was more than 15 to 20, but I was like,

Lisa

Higher, it’s high.

John

Well, maybe it’s lower. But even at 8%, you lose .5% if you’re not paying off your card. So, it’s kind of like why Dave Ramsey is totally against credit cards. So, it would be best to have discipline, as you guys have to do the right thing.

To maximize the benefit of it.

Lisa

Yeah.

Dave

Absolutely. But if there’s and, there’s. If you have … let’s say something crazy happens in your life. As for us, we had these two giant trees that had to go down. And we’re like, oh, boy. This is going to cost us an arm and a leg. 

But instead of fretting about it and being annoyed that we would have to go into our savings and pay for this, we decided to make it a positive. We opened up a new credit card, the Hyatt Card, and earned about 15 or 20 nights in points. This was last summer. And you know the tree had to come down regardless. But when you can pay for that with a credit card, you get a bunch of free nights from Hyatt.

John

I have a question because I was just sharing this with a buddy, and my experience probably soured me slightly. I was young as far as travel goes. I was still traveling a lot, but I didn’t understand travel hacking and sure did not understand the credit card point game. I was contracting for the government. I had nine guys with me. We flew up to West Point, NY. We stayed there for a month, and everybody got their hotel room. 

And I paid for everybody’s hotel room. And so it cost me 25 grand for a month of hotels for eight rooms. Right. And by the time I was done, I got, like, freaking eight nights out of the thing!

You know, like, and I, you know, looking back, I didn’t do it on a credit card. I think I just did it on my debit card. And I had Hilton reward points. But it just really left a bad taste in my mouth, you know, because I could only use it at Hilton, and I only got, you know, cause you’re 25,000. So, you’re looking at, you know, you get a cent per dollar or something. Yeah. Yeah. 

And I think it might even have been less because it was a debit card. You know, so. Talk to me about it. If you were in that situation as a contractor, because I know it’s on military contractors, and you had to dump $25,000 on a card that you would pay off in 30 days because that’s when the government pays you. What would that look like in terms of points for vacation?

Lisa

You can use many different strategies, especially when the cost is high. So, first, I would figure out a strategy for opening different cards. You could either split up; I would probably split up the expenses on different cards because a lot of the bonuses they have are something like earning 80,000 points. 

After spending 4000 in three months, so if you know you’re going to be able to spend that super fast, you know you might be able to strategize with a couple of cards, or you could go for a business card since you are a contractor, you will qualify as like a 1099 kind of position. Like, open a business card where they usually have a higher spend limit with higher points allocation so that it could be like a $15,000 spend for 100,000 points. How many nights would you get? You would be. You would have substantially more than eight at the hotel nights.

Dave

Yeah, for sure. I would definitely. On the low, you could stay at a Hyatt for 5000 points a night. So, think about even just 25,000 Hyatt points. I guess that’s five nights. But there are so many ways to slice $25,000 like I would. I would try to open up five credit cards.

John

It’s pointing out to each one of them.

Dave

On average, yeah. Because each credit card, like a new credit card welcome offer, requires an average of around $5000 in spending to get that bonus. So, you would. You know you would make out. Let’s say you’re getting $500.00 on average for each. That’s like good money right there.

Lisa

Yeah. If you go with our Hyatte tree example from last year, we had one credit card spend, which equated to seven hotel nights. I believe it was 17 hotel nights. So, if you did that five times, that’s almost 100, right?

Dave

True, true. Yeah, I was like, there are many ways to slice the cake, that’s for sure.

John

Yeah, a lot of them do that now. Have you guys read a lot about the Chase Gauntlet? I’m getting a brand-new credit card, and I kind of want to do the hacking deal. What would you say is the best strategy? Is it to follow that Chase Gauntlet? Or how would you guys advise somebody and tell everybody what Chase College is?

Dave

It’s a great question, and I guess this piggybacks off the last question, too. You know, if I were going to go down the list as a brand-new person, I would just start at the top of the chase cards, the top chase cards, and work my way down the gauntlet because I do still believe, you know, and have believed at least for the last four years since the chase FI reserve came out that the gauntlet was the way to go. And you know what that means. There’s this rule that Chase had put in place where you can’t. Open any of their cards if you’ve opened more than five or more cards in the last 24 months with any bank. 

So, it is advantageous to take advantage of the chase offers first before moving on to any other banks, and the second important factor is that the most lucrative points in the game are those chase staffs chases the ultimate worst points. And you can take those points and use them for pretty much anything. You could transfer them to partners like Hyatt, Southwest, United, and Marriott. You can use them to rent cars or hotels through their portal. You could get crazy and cash them out for groceries and home improvement. At one point, $0.05 per point.

 Those points have many options, which is why they’re so valuable. You could use and earn those points on some made-for credit cards under the Chase umbrella.

John

Right. So OK, Chase Conley is basically that there are five of these Chase cards that are the most sought-after travel cards. So, you get those five, max out your rewards, and then move on. 

So, let’s say, Dave, I remember you telling me at this point, but how many credit cards have you had, or do you have again?

Dave

Oh, I was counting the other day. I think Lisa and I were over 100. I think I’m at 51, not currently open. I’ve closed about 30 of those.

Lisa

But that’s in the last four or five years, yeah.

Dave

And before that, I had… I know it’s so wild to think about how fast it adds up, but before that, I had only had, I think, two credit cards I had. It’s super ironic because when I was 18, I had saved up all this money, like $1000, to buy a brand new big-screen TV on Black Friday at Sears. I went down there the day before, scoped it out, and got talked into opening a credit card for 0% for 12 months and taking like $100 off of the sticker price. 

So, 18. I’m like, awesome. Like you’re saying, I have to save my money and not use it right now for this TV and get to buy other stuff instead. So, you know, you probably already can guess where this story is going. I got the TV, spent the money on video games, and I don’t even know how to make pizza. It’s 12 months later. I had no money to pay for this TV, so my 0% credit card had run out, and they charged me some astronomical interest. Like I got hit with. Some sort of crazy fee, which was a long time ago, 15 years ago. And they ended up tripling the price I would have paid for the TV if I had just bought it the day I planned to buy it. 

I decided not to pay it because I was stubborn and felt like they put one past me. Life went on for about seven years. Finally, I got a call from a debt collector. My pride was ruined, and I ended up settling. I slowly built back my credit and opened up an American Express card. That was the only car I could get, and I had it for several years. 

Fast-forward to five years ago, and we’re sitting in that class, talking about credit scores. You can imagine how apprehensive I was after all I had been through to rebuild my credit from scratch—you know, after I had destroyed it. 

So, I certainly did my due diligence on this crazy travel hacking world. And you know, I’m very careful about what we spend our money on, ensuring that I’m not being taken advantage of by the banks or falling into one of those traps.

John

On average, how many credit cards would you say you get a year?

Dave

Great question. I think I, I don’t know, maybe 5 or 6. When I first got out of the gate, I was. Oh, my God. I had opened up like 12/13 in that first year. It was wild.

Lisa

Yeah, I would say I’m probably about the same.

Dave

Yeah, there were days I was coming home. I was open one-on-one on a bathroom break at work, and I came home and opened two more. I was just opening cards left and right. That’s. If I could go back in time, I would have been slightly more strategic because I was just opening cards. I saw the light and understood the value that you could accumulate from, you know, those welcome offers.

John

So, what are you doing now? Are there six cards for you, six for Lisa, or six for both?

Lisa

And I think I’m already up to three this year, so I’m sure I’ll be sick by the end of the year or maybe more this year. We have many wedding expenses and a honeymoon that we’re planning for, so I’m sure we’ll throw in a couple more before that happens.

John

Wow. Right now, after you get the bonus, you shut that card down and move to the next card, right?

Dave

Yeah, most likely. I don’t know. Some cards have reoccurring benefits; for example, you know you could squeeze some value out of them.

John

Yeah, like the kick.

Dave

The. Yep, yep. You read my mind. Chase Freedom has rotating 5X categories, and some cards have great benefits, like lounge access, travel insurance, and rental car coverage. So, some, you know, definitely keep them around. But we have a pretty big, if you imagine, business card holder with all the different pages of business cards. We have a huge one for just our credit cards.

John

All right, I am using the credit card.

Lisa

We’ll send you an Amazon link if you want to see it.

John

Right. Yeah, right. Oh, my God. So, how many vacations have you guys been able to take for, let’s say, less than 500 bucks to premium destinations through these strata?

Dave

We usually go on like…. Because I have the school schedules, most of ours are usually lumped within those breaks. So, since we got into this, we usually do our new tradition: to do tropical holidays during the cold months or northeast in the northeastern United States because it is really cold. 

We typically go on a trip for Thanksgiving and Christmas somewhere like a Caribbean Island, and we always use points of miles. Then I have spring break, and we’ll usually try to go somewhere that’s not super far but also not, you know, in the continental United States. So, we went to Iceland and Finland, and for one year, we went to the Globe, the Agos Islands.

Why was one of the years, and then the big trip is always the summer one? And that’s. It’s usually 7 to 8 weeks, and we try to go to as many countries as we can fit in without, you know, cramming too much together. Our last big one before the pandemic was Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore, and that was you. Know. It was just an awesome trip.

John

You’re telling me? That you’ll do seven to eight weeks for less than 500 bucks.

Dave

Ooh, less than 500 bucks. If we were frugal, we would also save up some money via bank account bonuses to help subsidize the costs—I would say $500. I mean, if we were frugal, we could pull it off. But we also do like to live a little bit, you know, on those trips.

Lisa

If you want to know the numbers, I’ll have the last well, not 2020, but 2018 and 2019. I kind of did an overall breakdown of the year, including how many points we used, how many countries we visited, and how much we paid for the whole. For that whole year we traveled for our flights and hotels, and in 2019, we went to seven countries. It was 80 nights of hotels. So that’s almost three months of hotels, and we should have spent about $70,000, but we only spent 5,000. So that was for both of us, for all of all. Of those trips.

However, many weeks of travel, that is.

John

That’s wild, Lisa.

Lisa

Yeah. And I think we’ve gotten it. 

So we’ve gotten better at it, but we’ve also gotten a little more bougie. I guess you can say where we like; we like to have the finer things we wanted to test out first-class flights. We’re talking a little bit higher on hotels. But I’ve indeed written reviews, or we both have written reviews of trips you could take to Mexico or the Caribbean. And I think we went to Costa Rica for $800. Our very first travel hacking trip was for both of us.

 So, lots of fun. It’s $400 a person, but we have plenty of reviews—like 2. You can open these two credit cards and the type of trip you can take with them for your hotels and flights. It’s less than 500 bucks.

Dave

Yeah, those are the cheaper aspects of travel for us, like the flights and hotels, because we have so many points. What costs money are the excursions, and that works. We want to do all the cool stuff, right? Like I want to, you know, fly in the helicopter over the volcano.

With something, an igloo, a glass igloo in Finland, and rode UM snowmobiles at midnight, chasing the Northern Lights. Like, stuff like that. That’s why I love to do things like that.

John

So, do you usually can’t pay for the excursion with points?

Dave

Not directly, and if you can, you could do some of the banks that have portals that have experiences, but the value could be better.

John

  1. Yeah, it’s way over. Yeah, I’ve seen that on the credit card portals where I’ve had. I don’t hack credit cards like you guys do. I just do travel hacks, right? And I’ve told people that if you use your points, that’s one thing. However, you should only purchase through your credit card if you use points.

Dave

Exactly.

John

Because it’s significantly marked up, is what I’ve seen.

Dave

Yeah, 100% of it is significantly marked up.

John

Yeah. So what’s so? This might be a biased question, and you might be unable to answer it. But what’s the best credit card on the market right now for somebody to get? Let’s say they have perfect credit. They could get any card they want. What would you say? Yeah.

Dave

Chase Sapphire preferred it to have an 80,000-welcome offer, the highest it’s been. That will be worth at least $1000 in travel through the portal or if you want to cash it out for groceries or home improvement services. But that’s the best car you could use to transfer those 80,000 points to the Southwest; you could transfer to the United from anywhere round trip in the world. You can’t beat that value.

Lisa

Yeah. And that’s just a $4000 spending requirement in three months.

That’s like our love for that card.

Dave

Hmm.

John

So, you would say that Chase has surpassed American Express?

Dave

Yeah. So, especially for someone just starting, I think it’s as if somebody was starting out looking for something. Let’s say all the bells and whistles, and they wanted the best premium car on the market. Then I would say that platinum if they could find a targeted 100,000 or 125,000 points with the 10X points bonus and grow grocery stores for the first six months. That’s a. Killer offer, but it’s also about a $600.00 annual fee. Many people are traveling less to take advantage of some of the bells and whistles that come with it. So, the other card just makes a whole lot more sense.

John

Right. Yeah. So they have a deal where they waived that fee. I don’t know if they still do, but if you’re a veteran, disabled veteran, or active duty, American Express waives that fee.

Dave

They still got it. They still have it, and that’s a great option for folks with military experience in their backgrounds.

John

Oh, they do. Cool, cool. So. Yeah, because, you know, I’ve got a couple of podcasts I listen to that promote Chase Gauntlet heavily. Then they go into the American Express, and then after that, they’re like, hey, just get whatever you want. You know, that’s got a good point structure, right? What’s the? What are the highest points you’ve ever seen?

Dave

Highest points have you ever had Seen.

Lisa

Isn’t it the Amex?

Dave

The platinum 125,000 with that 10X opportunity is probably just a killer if you can spend. Depending on your grocery budget, it’s a six-month time span. If you can maximize that, that is huge. 

John

What? What’s the 10X?

Dave

It’s 10X on groceries, up to $15,000 spent for the first six months. So if you could maximize that plus the 125 or 150,000-point welcome offer, that’s a ton of membership rewards points.

John

You get up to $15,000, and then you, Tenex, get your points. So, instead of getting two cents to a dollar, I think it’s $0.05 per dollar on groceries, right?

Dave

The platinum. 4. For the gold, the platinum might be 3.

John

  1. So, you were getting $0.40 instead of four cents.

Dave

Yeah, 10, well, 10X, so 10.

John

Yes, well, 4 * 40. I mean 4 * 10, so you’re getting 40 points per dollar.

Lisa

Well, no, it’s not on top of it. It was 10X total, so it’s.

Dave

Well. 9-9 cents extra.

Lisa

Yeah. Normally, you would get 1X and everything, but on this special promotion, you get 10X. So it’s like nine extra points in addition to that 1X point.

Dave

Yeah, yeah.

John

Yeah. So you’re talking about almost another 100,000 points?

Lisa

Right. Yeah, yes.

John

Yeah, but now listen, I have four kids, a couple of adults who hang around too much, and $15,000 in groceries over a year. I wouldn’t say I like it. I wonder if they’re feeding an NFL team, or that’s a lot of feeding.

Dave

So that’s wild.

Lisa

Hmm. Mm-hmm.

Dave

Yeah, seriously. But you know, I don’t know. Even if you did half of it right, that’s still huge.

John

I just talked to all my neighbors and did theirs—grocery shopping for them.

Lisa

Right, well, if you. Break it down. That’s a little more than $1000 a month. It’s not that unrealistic for a year of spending, you know, 15,000.

Dave

Depends on what you’re in.

Lisa

Right. And with four kids, I don’t know. I think I don’t know how much to spend on groceries.

John

I’ve never spent that much, but the Lord.

Lisa

  1. Well, yeah, yeah. But I would. I would do the same thing going. I’ve seen people at the cash register paying in cash, and I honestly have yet to do it, but I’m sure the day will come when I prefer to pay with my credit card, and they will give me the money. It will happen at some point, but that’s. I cringe when I see the cash pulled out and want to do it. But I just, I haven’t. I have yet to offer it and am trying to figure out why.

John

So I won’t bring up his name, but it’s so funny. You guys bring that up because I had a very good friend. He was very well off as a professional fighter, and there were 40 of us at lunch with him because he was a champion, and we were all hanging out. The game, and they were about to start bringing the checks out, and he goes, hey, everyone, just real quick. How many of you are paying with cash today?

And this is before the cash app before you know any of that kind of stuff, you know, and quite a few of them raised their hand, and he goes, I’ll tell you what, why don’t you just give me the cash and I’ll pay for it on my card. And I was looking at him, and I wondered, why would you do that? You know, in my head. So, we get in the car. And I was his host. 

So he hops in the car. And I’m like, hey, bro, what’s up with that? He goes, oh. Because at the end of the year, I will turn this receipt into the tax account. I got cash, but I paid for everybody’s meal. So, it’s a larger deduction for me. And really, what you guys are doing is the same thing, just not on taxes.

Dave

Right. Yeah. That’s a double win right there because if it’s a meeting or a taxable meeting, it’s like a business expense.

John

I love it.

Dave

That’s huge.

John

Yeah, right. I mean, it’s wild, and I was just.

Lisa

Yeah.

John

Looking at him, I’m like, huh?

Dave

I like what it says.

John

I never really thought about it. That you.

Lisa

I know that’s great.

John

Yeah, you know. So, I interviewed you guys after COVID hit my YouTube channel. When we talked the last time, COVID and what you were doing with the credit card points didn’t hurt you. And Dave, I think you mentioned that it helped you advance. Could you explain that?

Dave

Yeah. I mean, what was unique about the COVID time is that the bank.

We still know that people spend as if they still have to buy things. They just pivoted to reward people and fight for the businesses people were spending on. 

So, the bank’s ramp ramps up ******** the sort of bonus points they’re offering for groceries, home improvement, and dining. Those were the big three, and that’s pretty much all of the major banks were just throwing out points like candy, essentially like they were throwing crazy denominations. There was a point last year that I think the Amex surpassed her or the no the spare, like a 15X bonus—groceries like July like they had some crazy offers. 

So, we went through all of our cards, some of which we hadn’t used in months, and maximized them in every way we could.

John

Right. And you know, you start getting, you know, multiple cards with multiple points. You just pay for different sections of your trip on one card point, right?

Dave

Yeah, yeah. Easy. Most of the points you can combine, especially if you’re in the same household with somebody, but even if you’re not, Hilton makes it easy to pull points. JetBlue, you can pull points. There’s a ton of them, a ton of the programs that allow you to pull or transfer directly to somebody, like the city. Thank you. Point you could transfer to somebody up to 100,000 a year.

 You could transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you’re in the same household. And, umm, XMR is a little bit trickier. If you’re as somebody as an authorized user, they could transfer those points into your frequent flyer accounts. So, there are a lot of different strategies. Points.

John

What would you say about the difference between a business and a personal credit card?

Lisa

So, I think the misconception about business credit cards is that you have to be a multimillionaire business to have one, and that’s just not true. So you can have a business credit card as a sole proprietor, which means you sell stuff online, drive for Uber, make a craft, and sell it. You know, there are so many different things. Qualify people for a business credit card; they’re great for keeping your business and personal expenses separate. Besides that, there’s no real difference between the credit cards and the points you can earn.

So there are Chase business cards and MX business cards, and the points you still earn, like Chase business cards earn Chase Ultimate Reward Points, and Amex business cards can earn Amex membership. Board points, and you can combine your business and personal points for personal use.

John

Hmm. Yeah, because the points aren’t taxable. I think it was your guys’ group. I just saw this article, or maybe Dave posted it, where some guy got over on the IRS.

Dave

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I know that. I hope we can reap these rewards and not have to shake hands with Uncle Sam for many more years.

John

Right now, that’s pretty much stayed consistent, whether credit card points or hotel points. You know, I’ve only seen it when you win a trip. I wonder if I was talking to you guys when I won the trip to Ireland. But they taxed me on that trip. But outside of that, yeah, I got a W9 for it. It counted as income, so.

Dave

Oh, did they?

Lisa

Yeah, yeah.

John

It wasn’t too bad. So I want a free trip to Ireland for 11 days.

You know, so cool. Well.

Dave

Sounds great, yes.

John

What is the best way for somebody to contact you guys? I know you have a blog and a Facebook group. Just tell me what those are real quick.

Lisa

Our travel blog is basictravelcouple.com, and our Facebook group is basic travel, 101 points miles, and more. We’re pretty much on all other social media, including Instagram.

Dave

Pretty much everywhere at basic travel couple.

Lisa

Yeah. The only one that’s different is Twitter, which is basic. Trav, TR, AV. Couple because they limited us in our words.

John

Right. Yeah. Sometimes that happens. I had to do that on Instagram. Tactical Traveler had to leave out the second E so. Or the first, then yeah, the first. They only had to leave that out for some reason. I don’t know if somebody had it, but I didn’t see anybody with it. It just wouldn’t let me do it for some reason.

So, I get that, man. I always love talking to you guys. You’re a wealth of information. Thank you so much for coming on today.

Lisa

Yeah.

John

I love sharing that with people and connecting with you guys because you have free ebooks and all kinds of stuff that people can get to start learning how to play this game. It’s such an important game, too. So, I just love talking to you guys. Thanks for coming on.

Lisa

Thank you so much for having us. We love talking with you, too. And I will say we’re coming out with a course if someone is interested in an ebook. I’m working on creating a course that’s kind of like a YouTube ISH-type video that we’ll launch in June—the first.

John

Nice. So, on June 1st, this episode will come out after that. But so well, what I might do is bump this one up.

Lisa

OK.

John

It comes out the week before you guys release the course. Now, how much is that course going to cost?

Lisa

I think we might do a pre launch for $99.00, and then after that, I believe 129 is what we’ll probably do.

John

Will people be able to get points for it?

Dave

Of course, that’s the prerequisite.

Lisa

Oh, yes, of course, of course they.

John

Will, what’s that course going to be called?

Lisa

You know, I’m. I’m going back and forth on that, so I’m not sure what the course name will be, but it will be the basics of travel hacking. So, something along the way to get your first dream trip, like a Dream Trip.

John

OK, cool. Cool, cool. Cool. All right, everyone, thanks so much. And we’ll talk with you. Soon.

Lisa

Thank you so much.

Dave

Awesome. Thank you.

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