Lillian travels to 2-13 countries a year, and mostly flies and stays in hotels for free or cheap - through credit card travel hacking. She walks you through how to do it as a hobby- and why you might not want to. There are no referral links in this post, because I don't want you to think I'm doing this for the points. I do a lot of things for the points, but getting my audience into my weird hobby is not one of those things!
Steps to adventuring on travel hacking through credit cards as a hobbyIf you are in credit card debt, stop and do not pass go. Focus on paying off your credit card debt, as this is a hobby that will cost you money, not earn you perks, if you can't pay off your balance every month.Make sure you have a credit score above ~720 or so. You can find out by getting your free score from Discover (without a discover card) or getting your "FAKO" score from creditkarma.com.If you have a new credit file or score below 720, the best starter cards are usually the Chase Freedom and the Discover It. If you use them responsibly for about 8 months to a year you will build up a credit file. If you are a student there's also a Discover It Student and Capital One student card if you’re a student.Know how much you spend in a month on credit card spendable expenses. You need to hit this for minimum spend. This could be high if you get reimbursed for work expenses or could be low. Generally you need about $1,000 of expenses a month for most cards at a minimum, but there's a few ways around it but you may have to pay a small fee.Set up accounts with all the majors airline rewards perks - even if you don't think you'll use them. For keeping track of your different accounts, use a password management software (I use 1password). Even if you never are going to stay at a Hilton, for example, you still want an HHonors account. [visit the full post on Ohmydollar.com for more since I can't fit it all in here]Links mentionedMy Full Budget from my 13-country trip, including the travel hackingCurrent credit card offers google spreadsheetReddit.com/r/churning/ - The best place to ask newbie questions, it's less scary than other parts of reddit, I swear!For more advanced folks, https://www.flyertalk.com/ has a forum that's a great place to go but it's not very newbie friendly
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We finally have a forum! Join us at forum.ohmydollar.com is a great non-judgemental place to ask questions or participate in our daily check-ins and challenges. It's really quite fun. This show is made paw-sible by listeners like you - visit ohmydollar.com to read the latest transcript!
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