These are the credit cards we mention in the podcast:
Between the time we posted this podcast and when it got published, a new Chase Southwest Credit Card promotion came out. If you spend $4000 in the next three months, you get the companion pass for the rest of 2019! THIS IS AMAZING! The Southwest link reflects the new promotion.
How can we afford to travel? We get this question all the time! Our follow up question is what travel credit cards do you use?
The industry is flooded with tons of credit cards that have different benefits and programs. We found three that we see the greatest benefits for our goals. Let us tell you our goals so you have a better understanding of what we are trying to accomplish.
We travel as a family of four, 2 adults and 2 kids, not only domestically but also internationally. We try to stay at one chain of hotels to really take advantage of the perks that we get for being loyal to one brand. What we used to do was do the whole Hotel.com, stay 10 nights and get the 11th one free but that was the only thing you ever got! We found out that sticking with one brand, in our case the Marriott (now Marriott/SPG) properties, we not only racked up the points that got us free rooms, but we also got free wifi, free upgrades (sometimes Presidential suites with single room rates), the concierge lounge which provide free breakfast, appetizers (dinners), snacks, and sometimes free alcohol, which we love! This saves us so much money on eating out, especially when you have 2 kids who are picky eaters! After being a loyal Marriott Member we shortly became Platinum Elite Members, and they now provide us with our very own Marriott Ambassador who helps with special request, upgrades, if a room isn’t available they will find something that is, and helps clarify any questions with the property. They even arrange special welcome gifts that are waiting for us in the room! It really is the best program ever. The link to become Marriott members is here. https://www.marriott.com/loyalty.mi
You only need to join one of the three loyalty programs to be able to book, earn and redeem seamlessly across all 6,700+ participating hotels and 29 brands. The tiers and benefits will be the same whether you have an account with Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, or SPG.
On the podcast Vanesa talked about using points to redeem for amazing experiences. Just another reason to sign up with Marriott Rewards!
Once again, if you are using cash, checks, or debit cards to make purchases and you want to travel more, those opportunities are literally flying away. We are NOT advocating going into debt making your travel dreams happen but what we are saying is to use a card with points to pay for everything you are going to pay with cash in the first place. Gain points, gain status, gain freedom.
You certainly don’t need all three if you are not a frequent traveler but if you want to start earning points, you have to get a card that will give you more opportunities to start exploring. If you use these links, we get points for referring you, and you get extra sign up points as well! It’s a win, win!
So our rule of thumb is that if a room is over $275 dollars a night, we then use points. If the rate is cheaper, we pay with credit card, with cash ready to pay it off. It is not worth using points for a room that is relatively inexpensive. Something we forgot to mention is that if you book a room on points for 4 nights, the 5th night is free! We love this perk and take full advantage if possible.
Remember, we are an everyday middle class American family. We did not sell an app to Google for a billion dollars, we did not win the lottery, we did not have a rich uncle who died and left us a boatload of cash. We save money, we do not buy things that we do not need, and we learn how to hustle the system so we get to live our best life. We are not selling you some “Get rich, sell my products scheme.” You can do this too.
Let us know which credit card you signed up for! If you ever have questions, please send them over. We are happy to help.
Hopefully we get to bump into you on the road.
We look forward to you Joining Our Vida Loca!
This episode brought to you by:
We Bee Poppin – Gourmet Popcorn Use the promo code “VidaLoca” for 20% off your total checkout.