Travel Hacking: Juggling Multiple Credit Cards

In my most recent posts, I’ve talked about using credit cards to earn miles and points for travel, and have looked at a comprehensive list of the offers out there. Now comes the next step in the equation: juggling multiple credit cards.

After you’ve signed up for a credit card, and have spent and earned the proper bonus, it’s time to move on to a new card. If you’re looking to gain maximum points and miles for your spending, continuing to spend on a single card after the bonus is over won’t provide you with much. Juggling multiple cards, though, is not an easy feat, and is one that takes lots of precision and follow-up. Without it, you can find yourself drowning in too many cards, or in renewal fees up to your eyeballs (yikes!).

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Travel Hacking: A Comprehensive List of Travel Credit Cards

There are dozens of travel credit cards out there. With all of the options, decision making can get a bit overwhelming! Which card do I choose? How do I know which card is right for me?

This list is here to help. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of current travel credit cards and what sign-up bonuses they offer (this list will be updated regularly). As you browse through the options, think realistically about a few things:

Am I willing to pay all credit card bills on time? Am I comfortable calling to cancel the card when the time comes?

What type of reward am I looking for? Flights? Hotels? Something else?

How much can I spend in the allotted time, without overspending or spending unnecessarily?

Am I willing to pay an annual fee in exchange for more points, or do I want all annual fees waived?

Note that these offers are limited, and my vary depending on your credit score and eligibility. I’ve highlighted my favorite offers below in red.

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Travel Hacking: Credit Cards, Points, & Miles

One of the best and easiest ways to travel for next to nothing is by using credit cards to collect reward points and miles – or, more specifically – to sign up for a new credit card that’s offering a terrific sign-up bonus to collect a lump sum of reward points. Sound simple? Because it is!

This is the solid foundation behind our travel hacking. Because flights and hotels tend to be the most expensive part of travel, using credit cards is a great way to lower, and even waive, these costs. Sign-up bonuses are key here, as they provide far more points and miles than you could gain by spending over time. For example, let’s say you spend $20,000 a year on credit cards. Spending on a normal airline credit card without a sign-up bonus will earn you 20,000 miles. But by completing the steps below multiple times, with different cards, you can earn 20,000 miles in regular spending, plus another 300,000 miles in sign-up bonuses, for a total of 320,000 miles. Not to mention the free hotel nights, lounge access, and other perks that come with reward cards!

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Travel Hacking: An Introduction

Travel Hacking [verb] The act of using cunning techniques, skilled searches, a collection of travel points and rewards, and jedi mind tricks to travel for less.

Travel can be out-right insanely expensive, making most of us feel like we don’t have a way to do it, or to do it well. But, the truth of the matter is that we can all travel for much less than we think with a little bit of travel hacking. I learned from some of the best, and am excited to pass this information on to you! Want to travel without breaking the bank? Budget travel isn’t just for the lucky few. Read on.

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Exploring Manchester

Welcome to Manchester Banner at Town Hall

We took the train into Manchester, England for a day trip yesterday. It’s a bright and buzzing city, full of life – and an unusually stark and beautiful contrast of old and new. Modern glass and steel skyscrapers sit side by side with gorgeous, ancient stone buildings. It was a bit surreal to take a picture of the National Football (ahem, soccer) Museum, and then to literally turn around and take a picture of the stunning Manchester Cathedral!

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Hello, Halifax!

Downtown Halifax

Albert in Halifax

Hello, Halifax! We are finally here – and have taken the last two days to explore this calm, wintery town. It’s beautiful here! The architecture is stunning: beautiful town homes and churches line the streets (some still made with stone). I can’t help but look at every building or street and say, “Oh my gosh, Harry Potter!” Albert just laughs at me.

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Thank Yous

We’re sitting at the airport, waiting to board our very first flight, and have a LOT of thank yous to pass around. I can hardly believe today is finally here – and though I’m excited about our journey – it’s more than hard to leave behind our incredible community of family and friends. So without further ado:

To Bob and Bertha: Thanks for the home, the warm bed, the food, the support, and the amazing steak for dinner. // To Laurie and Gina: Thanks for all of the advice, love, and excitement you’ve sent our way. // To Patty: Thank you for your encouragement, support, and the warm socks. // To Maggie: Thank you for surprising us on Christmas Day! To think we would have had to leave without seeing you was heart-breaking. // To William: Thanks for the warm wool. // To Fae and Wally: Thanks for taking in the cats and making them feel at home. We are forever indebted to you! // To the Boys: Thanks for endless games of pingpong and laughter. // To MeMac: Thank you for your support and encouragement, and sharing sushi with us one last time. // To Peggy and Susie: Thanks for the awesome travel gift. We love it! // To Kevin and Melissa: Thank you for our amazing friendship, your excitement and support, and prayers as we planned our journey. // To Steph and Jeremy: Thanks for the first aid kit we hopefully won’t have to use, for being there always, and for promising to Skype when baby #2 is born. // To Sushi and Queso: Thanks for love and cuddles. // And to everyone reading this post: THANK YOU for prayers, for encouragement, and for all of the fun comments on Facebook. We love you all.

Here we go!

Our Round the World Packing List

What do you pack when you’re going everywhere? Good question.

There’s a lot to gather when you’re traveling across the world – through different climates and different cultures. We’re sticking to one backpack and one bag each (and we’re super impressed by those who do it with less!). Thanks to smart thinking, research, and help from other bloggers and travelers, we’ve somewhat figured it out. We’ll wear the heaviest items on the planes, and stuff the rest in our bags. Here’s what we’re bringing with us:

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The American Dream

As Americans, we’re expected to follow a lot of patterns – one of the most important being that so-called “American Dream.” What is the American Dream, exactly? Everyone defines it a bit differently. Some say it’s a steady job or financial security. Others, a husband or wife, two and a half kids and a dog. And to others, a pretty house with a white picket fence. We follow the patterns our parents followed, their parents before them, and their parents before them. Get an education, get a job, get married, buy a house, have children, teach those children the pattern, work, and retire. Sound familiar?

But, though it may sound nice or simple, ultimately, this pattern can be totally unsatisfying. Why? Because, though it’s hard to admit, I don’t think my God believes in the American Dream.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2

God calls us to a life of love, service, sacrifice, and great adventure. He tells us to leave our possessions and to follow him (Luke 18:22), to give away our last penny (Mark 12:41-44), and to take up our crosses (Matthew 16:24). But we rarely do it. Instead, we succumb to the “pattern of this world,” earning and spending our money in comfort. But, as Switchfoot so aptly put it (listen below), “success is equated with excess.” We measure our lives in dollars and material goods, all while worshiping a God who measures life in love.

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Here We Go

We’re really doing it! We are packing our bags, putting our stuff in storage, quitting our 9-5 jobs, and traveling the world for a year. Yes, we’re serious.

How will we do it? International House-Sitting, while we work online as freelancers. An incredible opportunity to watch others’ homes (rent free) while they travel.

Where will we do it? The UK. France. Fiji. And then… who knows. The world is our oyster, right?

We’re excited. Scared. Nervous. We’re taking a big risk, leaving behind a world of comfort, a great salary, our insurance coverage, our family, our friends, our cats, our home… But with great risk comes great reward, and we are looking forward to the way this journey will truly shape us.

Follow us here, on www.Traveloggers.com, to see our journey unfold. We’ll share some of our favorite moments, the challenges we face, the incredible things we see, and what we learn along the way.