The Travel Hacking Mom Show

By Travel Hacking Mom: Travel on Credit Card Points

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Description

Are you tired of not being able to travel because it's just so expensive? Do finances keep you from your dream destinations and making memories with your family? In this podcast, we show you how you can fulfill that dream of traveling without spending more money. We've earned millions of credit card points to travel all over the world and take our families on amazing vacations. Vacations to Hawaii, Europe, and Disneyland are all possible for nearly free with credit card points and miles. By using credit cards strategically for your everyday expenses, you too can travel for nearly free! We can't wait to help you get that first, nearly-free vacation! Tired of not traveling due to the expense? We can teach you how to travel for pennies on the dollar by using credit card points and miles!

Episode Date
9. The #1 App For Travel Hacking: Get Organized & Maximize Rewards with Travel Freely and Zac Hood
23:44

If you want to enjoy the life of nearly free travel, but are overwhelmed by the idea of keeping track of credit cards, then this episode is for you! And hey, even if you already have a spreadsheet and a card routine, this conversation can still take your points/miles earning to the next level!

Welcome back to The Travel Hacking Mom Show! In this episode, we're talking to a professional credit card organization and Travel Hacking extraordinaire, Zac Hood, the founder of Travel Freely.

We're all familiar with the struggle of keeping track of multiple credit cards, their rewards, expiration dates and security. That's why we were so excited to chat with Zac about his solution to the problem - Travel Freely.

If you’ve listened to past episodes, you already know that this app is one of our #1 tips for all Travel Hackers in 2023, by the end of the show, you’ll understand why! Travel Freely combines a user-friendly interface with top-notch security features, making it the perfect tool for managing your credit cards.

With Travel Freely, you can store all your credit card information in one place, set reminders for annual fees, track rewards, and even see what cards are available to you with the biggest travel earning potential.

The best part? It’s 100% free and you don’t have to give them any sensitive information! Plus, the app's reminders when annual fees are coming up can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Hit play to hear How Zac got the idea for the app, and his great insights on credit card organization and the benefits of using Travel Freely.

Give it a try and simplify your credit card management today! Check out the links below or download now: >>Travel Freely | Free Travel App<<

More Of What’s Inside:

  • How Zac fell in love with Travel Hacking 
  • When Zac got the idea for Travel Freely
  • Zac’s first trip to France and his proposal story 
  • Alex and Jess’ top reasons they recommend the app
  • The downsides of online using a spreadsheet to keep track
  • How this app helps beginners and pros alike 
  • One feature that can help you find the best deals in the game
  • And much more!

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

Links For This Episode: 

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:59 Get to know Zac!
  • 3:55 From Dave Ramsey to Travel Hacking
  • 6:52 Why Zac developed Travel Freely 
  • 9:39 Why Zac keeps the app 100% free
  • 12:16 Our favorite feature on Travel Freely
  • 16:28 How this app can save you hours in research
  • 19:16 Why Alex now never misses her annual fees
Jan 31, 2023
8. How Jess Took A Luxurious Vacation to Greece for Less Than $500!
26:45

Greece is a destination that should be on everyone's bucket list. With its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, it's a country that has something for everyone. All three of us have had the privilege of visiting Greece and we're here to tell you that if it's not on your list yet, it's time to add it.

But maybe you’re thinking, “can you still experience the best of Greece without breaking the bank?” The answer is yes, and in today's episode, we're sharing Jess's incredible story of how she went on a luxury vacation to Greece that normally would cost $10,000+ and paid less than $500 out of pocket.

So, how did Jess do it? That kind of story is only something Travel Hacking can explain! By taking advantage of credit card rewards and loyalty programs, Jess was able to redeem points for flights, accommodations, and hotels.

A trip to Greece is something Jess and her childhood best friend had been dreaming about since they were in college. After looking into a trip in their early 20s, they knew they wouldn't be able to afford it on a student's income.

It was a dream that sat on the shelf for years until Jess and her friend decided to make it happen by combining their efforts and racking up points together! By the end of this episode, you'll see how fast your dream trip can happen with a little teamwork.

Jess started by referring her friend a card with a high sign-up bonus and rewards program that allowed her to redeem (and even transfer points) for travel. Once she had her credit card, they started earning points through her everyday spending.

She paid for everything from groceries to gas with her credit card to hit the minimum spend limit to unlock the most amount of points. This allowed the Travel Hacking Duo to fly business class flights, stay in $2K nightly hotel rooms, eat for free during their stay and so much more, all thanks to points!

Jess's experience in Greece is proof that you don't have to spend a fortune to have a luxury vacation. By taking advantage of credit card rewards and loyalty programs, and teaming up with your travel buddy, you can experience the best of what the world has to offer for a fraction of the cost.

So, add Greece to the top of your list and start planning your dream vacation today! To start your Travel Hacking journey or to connect with us, check out the links below!

 

More Of What’s Inside:

  • Why we all love Greece 
  • Learn from Jess's story and plan your luxury vacation for less
  • Why Jess and her friend have been dreaming about this trip for years
  • How a “travel buddy” can be cheaper than traveling with a spouse
  • Jess went on a luxury vacation to Greece valued at $10,000 and paid less than $500
  • Why Jess booked her hotel rooms 13 and 10 months in advance
  • Want to transfer points to a friend or family member? Hyatt has the hacks.
  • Jess recommends for a truly luxurious stay in Greece
  • Why Jess thought there was a greenscreen outside her window
  • A look inside one of the fanciest flights you can take 
  • And much more!

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:05 How Jess went to Greece for only $500
  • 0:47 When Jess first started dreaming about Greece
  • 2:00 How Jess helped her “Travel Hacking Light” friend
  • 4:38 The best time of year to travel to Greece
  • 5:55 How Jess unlocked so many Hotel points for this trip
  • 10:42 Jess’ favorite Hotel of all time
  • 15:29 How to rack up the points to to fly business class 
  • 19:30 Why Turkey’s Airlines is so fancy
  • 22:33 Mind-blowing experiences are still possible 
Jan 24, 2023
7. Top 5 Reasons We Love Southwest For Family Travel Hacking
29:10

There are a lot of mixed feelings about Southwest and the Airline overall in 2023. But when it comes to family travel, you just can't beat Southwest, especially when you factor in the Southwest companion pass! 

But wait! It gets even better. In this episode, we will share our Top 5 Reasons We Love Southwest For Family Travel Hacking! The perks of flying Southwest Airlines can be hard to fit into just one episode, but it can’t be overstated enough that The Southwest Companion Pass is hands down one of the best deals in travel. 

This one hack alone can save any family hundreds to thousands of dollars annually in travel costs. This pass allows us to fly a guest for free with every single flight we take on Southwest. That means your spouse, a friend, a relative or anyone you choose can tag along for FREE! 

We know it sounds too good to be true, but it's not. Earning the Companion Pass is actually pretty easy - all we had to do was earn 135,000 points in one calendar year. And let us tell you, it's not as daunting as it sounds. After this episode, you’ll see just how fast you can make it happen!

The flexibility, convenience and savings don't stop there. Southwest also has a great cancellation policy. and if the price goes down, you can easily change your tickets and get the points redeposited into your account. Plus, you can cancel up to 10 minutes before the flight takes off and get a full refund or flight credit, which takes the stress out of traveling if things can come up unexpectedly with your busy family.

That’s just scratching the surface! Hit play to hear more about why we love Southwest, how to find the cheapest flights, how we travel with food for the whole family, the exact steps Jess is taking to unlock her Companion pass this year, and so much more! 

So, where are you heading next? We hope you take advantage of these amazing perks from Southwest Airlines! To learn more about how to get started, check out the links below!

 

More Of What’s Inside:

  • How Southwest Airlines is a game-changer when it comes to booking flights, with their unbeatable cancellation policy.
  • How to get the best deals of the year by booking flights 
  • How refund points work for Southwest
  • A feature that's hard to come by in other airlines
  • We speculate and book flights in advance and get more points
  • How many times Alex has used her companion pass
  • Where the Chase credit card rules come into play
  • Why we think the best Travel Hacking Starter Kit comes from Southwest
  • And much more!

 

Links For This Episode: 

 

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

 

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:04 What to expect from today’s show
  • 1:15 Everything you need to know about the Southwest Companion pass
  • 2:55 Why it’s so easy to accumulate points
  • 4:06 How Jess is getting her companion pass in real-time
  • 6:22 Where Jess plans to travel in 2023
  • 7:32 How to add different people as your companion 
  • 8:36 Our thoughts about the Southwest boarding procedure 
  • 14:05 An easy way to get in the A 1-15 boarding class 
  • 16:30 Flight change and cancellation perks
  • 20:33 A huge Southwest Perk for parents
  • 22:19 Big family Momma: This will save you tons on checking luggage
  • 25:58 Why you get so much bang for your buck with Southwest Points
Jan 17, 2023
6. Our Favorite Credit Cards For Travel Hacking and Why
40:58

Does the amount of credit card offers out there make your head spin?

We have been there too! When you first start the process of Travel Hacking, it can feel a little overwhelming, and you can start to question what cards work best for you. 

In this episode, we go through our top cards and what makes them our favorites. There are a lot of great credit cards out there that can help you travel for nearly free. However, just because some cards work for us, doesn’t mean they will work for you. 

Every Travel Hacking journey is as unique as the traveler themselves! We encourage you to get clear about your travel goals, where you want or need to go, when you want to go, and who is coming along for the ride. 

You’ll be amazed how a little intentional planning and goal-setting can make your card selection a breeze! Even though we all have different situations, there are a few rules we follow and standards a card needs to have before it makes the cut and lands in our wallets. 

Hit play to learn our card criteria, when and why we are willing to pay an annual fee, what makes a card our favorite, plus more. If you have ever wondered about the benefits of having different cards for hotels, business, and airlines, we will explain the difference and how to leverage all three!

We will also let you in on the perks and incentives that our favorite cards have to offer such as discounts at our favorite stores, exclusive access to travel lounges around the country, TSA pre-check, and bonus luggage for the whole family, just to name a few. 

To learn more about the cards we mentioned today, connect with us for questions or to receive a Free Credit Card Consultation, follow the links below! 

More Of What’s Inside:

  • A look into our luxury Airport lounge access
  • Why we love The Chase Sapphire Preferred card
  • Our favorite airline cards and why
  • The difference between the United Quest and the Explorer
  • What you need to know about The American Express Gold Card
  • Cards that give us the most points
  • How some cards benefits outway the annual fees
  • One card most people don’t use for Travel Hacking
  • And much more!

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

Links For This Episode: 

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:02 What’s inside today’s episode
  • 0:55 Let’s talk about our favorite cards
  • 1:24 Pam’s favorite credit card for Travel Hacking
  • 7:34 Jess’ favorite credit card for Travel Hacking
  • 11:51 Alex's favorite credit card for Travel Hacking
  • 16:52 Our favorite airline cards
  • 26:54 Our favorite hotel cards
  • 30:35 Our favorite business card
  • 34:41 Cards that deserve an honorable mention
Jan 10, 2023
5. How You Can Visit Hawaii For Nearly Free
36:35

The “omg, pinch me, is this really happening?” Type moments of life are not just reserved for Disney characters and fairytale stories. Surreal and once-in-a-lifetime moments are possible for every Travel Hacker! 

Seeing pictures and videos on the internet is one thing, but living it is something different. All three of us can look back at moments and memories we have been able to create because of Travel Hacking that still take our breath away. 

The best part is we never experienced these moments alone; taking our friends and family along for the journey is what makes it all worth it. Things and items fade, but memories last a lifetime. If you want to leave a lasting legacy and give your kids the gift of travel, this episode is for you!

One of our go-to spots for family vacations is the beautiful islands of Hawaii! Most people assume that a trip like this would take years to save points for. However, with the hacks and tricks we have picked up over the years, we have found that a trip to Hawaii is one of the best and simplest trips to pay for with points and miles! Some of us even capitalize on a Hawaiian vacation every year. (Almost totally free!)

Maybe you are more of a mountain climber or city thrill seeker than a beach babe! Either way, we want to help get you there. In this episode, we share everything you need to know about the best destinations to take the kids, what trips we have planned for 2023 and how we are making them happen, the most magical pool in the USA, the best locations we have been to so far, and more! 

If you are new to the world of Travel Hacking, you’ll also learn our top pick for hotel credit cards and advice on getting started! What’s your dream destination? Let us know by reaching out to us via the links below!

More Of What’s Inside:

  • Marriott or Hilton? Our top pick and why
  • How to get to Hawaii on Southwest
  • Jaw-dropping views we will never forget
  • How we book our flights and hotels with points
  • A British Airways hack all the pros use
  • The benefits of having your parents with you on a trip
  • How we travel to Hawaii for almost to free
  • Why Hawaii is so special for Alex and her family
  • The moments we could have only experienced through Travel Hacking
  • When we saw celebrities in our hotel 
  • And much more!

 

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

Links For This Episode: 

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:02 What’s inside today’s episode
  • 1:46 The best hotels in Hawaii that take points
  • 5:11 The best places we have stayed in Hawaii
  • 13:24 Best place to take to the kids 
  • 18:16 The flights we take to get to Hawaii
  • 22:01 One of Pam’s top tips for Travel Hacking
  • 27:34 The different ways to book your trip
  • 34:57 Why we recommend Hyatt for beginners
Jan 10, 2023
4. Our Biggest Mistakes and Wins: What We’ve Learned While Travel Hacking
31:31

Travel hacking has completely changed the way we approach travel. After years of accumulating points and miles, we've been able to take trips that we never could have afforded otherwise. 

However, it hasn’t been all jet-setting and checking trips off our bucket list. After 6+ years, it’s safe to say that we have made our fair share of mistakes…

In this episode, we pull back the curtain on our journey and let you know some of the most important lessons you can learn. 

Even though we have made a few mistakes along the way, the feeling of getting to travel without breaking the bank is absolutely amazing and worth the trial and error process and we wouldn't change our journey for anything.

Hiccups and bumps in the road aside, we must admit the scale leans heavily in the success department. That’s why we will also share our biggest wins! Get a look at our first trips, that made us believers in Travel Hacking, why we feel spoiled every time we travel and why we are never going back to our old ways.

Once you start collecting points and taking trips for nearly free, you’ll discover that it’s much easier than you think. Not only that, Travel Hacking is more practical than you think as well! 

Even though we all dream about luxury vacations and flying first class, sometimes life events happen and you need to get somewhere ASAP. In some cases, getting where you want to be, when you need to be there is priceless. 

Especially if your kids are in sports that require you to travel, or when someone in your family has to see a specialist for a medical issue in another state. These are the types of moments that take Travel Hacking from a hobby to a lifestyle. 

You may have heard us say before that “Travel hacking is for everyone!” By the end of this episode, you’ll understand exactly what we mean. Hit play to find your Travel Hacking path! 

More Of What’s Inside:

  • Mistakes we made with credit cards
  • Our sign-up Bonus mistakes
  • Pam’s first trip with points and miles
  • Specific cards that unlock hotel stays
  • You can do whatever you want with Travel Hacking
  • One surprising thing Alex spent her points on
  • What it feels like traveling for nearly FREE
  • There is a path for everyone in Travel Hacking
  • Making the process work for your life and goals 
  • And much more!

 

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

 

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:02 What’s inside today’s episode
  • 1:00 Pam’s biggest mistake Travel Hacking
  • 5:05 Jess’ biggest mistakes Travel Hacking
  • 7:08 Alex’s biggest mistake Travel Hacking
  • 11:58 Our biggest wins and first free trips
  • 16:48 You can go at your own pace
  • 18:17 Perks of traveling to Asia
  • 21:09 Why Jess feels spoiled by Travel Hacking
  • 28:54 It still feels surreal when we travel for free
Jan 10, 2023
3. Travel Hacking Basics: Cards We Love and The Ones We Canceled
33:39

If you hear “two-player mode” and “Chase 5/24” and think we are talking about video games, you may need to brush up on your Travel Hacking terminology.

If you don’t know the lingo, it can feel like everyone speaks a different language in the Travel Hacking world. Never fear; we are here to help! 

In this episode, we will give you the rundown of all the common terms and lingo you need to know before diving into the deep end of applying for credit cards to earn points.

After years of trial and error, we have found some of the best options on the market that can help you earn faster than you thought possible. We aim to help you understand which of the three card options for Travel Hacking works best for you. 

By the end of the show, you’ll know the basics about Travel Hacking and be ready to start building a strong foundation of cards that fund your dream vacations. 

After you know how to start, you also need to know how to end things. During this conversation, we will give you a look into our wallets and share our decision making process for when we close a credit card, when we downgrade our cards and let you know what cards we plan never to stop using. 

We also share our top picks for business cards, what you need to know before making someone an authorized user on your card, how many cards you can apply for a year and more!

 

PS: 

Don’t forget to check out the links below to find all the cards we mentioned if you want to start applying today! 

 

More Of What’s Inside:

  • The Chase 5/24 Rule and why it matters
  • What we use to track our 5/24 status
  • How we manage the annual fees
  • Why we always keep our cards for at least a year
  • The benefits of the Hyatt card
  • Why Pam loves her American Express card
  • When and why we cancel a card
  • What it takes to keep an account active
  • The benefits of having a business card
  • Cards that will never leave our wallets
  • How you and your spouse can open cards to earn more
  • And much more!

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

Links For This Episode: 

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:02 What’s inside today’s conversation
  • 0:44 Let’s talk about the Travel Hacking Basics
  • 1:43 The 3 types of cards for Travel Hacking
  • 4:18 The perks of having transferable points
  • 5:45 Understanding the Chase 5/24 Rule
  • 11:02 Two-player mode and what you need to know
  • 14:42 Think about this before make someone an authorized user
  • 17:42 One card that doesn’t have annual fees
  • 20:27 When and why we close or cancel a card 
  • 24:48 Cards we will probably never cancel
Jan 10, 2023
2. The Most Common Travel Hacking Misconceptions
25:56

Are you interested in Travel Hacking but…

In the back of your mind, do you worry about the impact on your credit score? Or the time and money required to see results?

You're not alone! When we first started Travel Hacking, we had similar questions! These are common concerns for people just starting out.

But here's the thing: Travel Hacking is a skill, and like any other skill, the more you practice and understand the process, the better you'll get at it.

In this episode, we'll address some of the most common misconceptions about Travel Hacking and answer frequently asked questions like:

  • How much money do you need to spend to earn points?
  • How do you maintain a high credit score while Travel Hacking?
  • How much time does Travel Hacking take?
  • How many credit cards do you need to use?

We'll also share our #1 tip for keeping your cards organized, and an app you can use as a travel hacking tool to track your points, miles, and credit card offers.

This will help you stay on top of your progress and make the most of your Travel Hacking experience and make your next trip a breeze!

It may sound overwhelming at first, but don’t psych yourself out. If we can do it, anyone can! By understanding the common misconceptions and frequently asked questions and by staying organized and consistent, you can become a pro at Travel Hacking and enjoy the benefits of free or discounted travel.

More Of What’s Inside:

  • How does travel hacking impact your credit?
  • The misconception is that you just get one card
  • The power of sign-up bonuses 
  • How to use credit cards to break up your expenses
  • Planning your card applications around life events
  • How it’s easier than ever to get started with travel hacking in 2023
  • Our favorite app for traveling
  • Everyone can make time for this (even the busiest moms) 
  • And much more!

 

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

Links For This Episode: 

 

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:02 What’s inside today’s episode
  • 0:38 Traveling hacking misconceptions
  • 1:02 Will Travel Hacking Ruin Your Credit Score?
  • 2:27 What makes up your credit score
  • 5:22 Why Alex doesn't look at cards APRs
  • 6:17 The power of sign-up bonuses
  • 8:58 How many credit cards Pam opens within a year
  • 10:26 Why you DON'T have to spend a crazy amount of money to earn points
  • 14:31 How Alex earned points from paying medical bills
  • 16:35 Why Travel Hacking can fit into even the busiest schedules
  • 18:34 Age isn't a limit! Pam is a grandma of 21 grandkids and still Travel Hacks
  • 20:42 The best and easiest way to stay an organized Travel Hacker
Jan 10, 2023
1. Travel Hacking Basics: How We Got Started and You Can Too!
26:07

Welcome to the FIRST ever Travel Hacking Mom Show! 

We are Alex, Pam, and Jess! A trio of Moms who love to travel the world for nearly free, thanks to credit card points and miles. Now we are on a mission to help you and your family do the same! (Without spending more money.)

Maybe you may have seen us on a viral clip on Tiktoc or Instagram with a quick hack or maybe this is the first time you’ve heard of us! Either way, we are so glad you are here.

We've earned millions of credit card points that allowed us to travel the world and take our families on amazing vacations. As you can imagine, there is only so much you can share during a quick video on social media versus a deep-dive conversation. That’s why we started this show!

This podcast has been a long time in the works, and we couldn’t be more excited to share even more #TravelHackingTips and hacks you need to know. We believe that anyone and everyone (not just moms) can Travel Hack. 

To start things off right, we want to debunk the myth that you must be Traveling Hacking for years or spend a bunch of money to earn points before going on one of your dream trips. This is 100% a myth and we will prove it! In this episode, we share what travel hacking is, how we got started, and our favorite trips using points and miles. 

By the end of the episode, you’ll be ready to bust out a vision board and start planning all the trips you never thought you could go on. We will give you a look into our favorite trips to Scotland, Greece, Italy, Hawaii, and other amazing places. The best part? Some of these trips cost less out of pocket than a meal at a fast-food restaurant…not even joking. 

What are you waiting for? Hit play to learn more! 

PS:

Check out the links below to connect with us!

 

More Of What’s Inside:

  • What is travel hacking?
  • How we got started, Travel Hacking
  • Why you need to experience business class
  • A look into the Marriott’s overwater bungalow in the Maldives
  • Our favorite trips using points and miles
  • The only thing that makes travel hacking even more fun
  • Interesting facts about the Singapore economy
  • Why Alex goes to Hawaii every year
  • Pam’s couponing blog in the early days of the internet 
  • How Jess took her kids across the EU
  • And much more!

Links:

 Free Gifts and Resources To Start Your Travel Hacking Journey:

Our Website:

Connect With Us:

Episode Minute By Minute:

  • 0:02 What's inside today's conversation
  • 0:48 Our definition of "travel hacking"
  • 1:35 How we all started Travel Hacking
  • 3:36 How Alex sold her mom Pam on the idea
  • 7:38 We started The Travel Hacking Moms
  • 9:19 Our favorite trips we've taken on points and miles
  • 23:27 Bonus Tip: How we save even more money on food while traveling
  • 24:12 This isn't too good to be true, you can do it too!
Jan 09, 2023