Travel Hacking: Credit Card game

Previously, I mentioned about buying points. I have since bought points off Alaska airlines at a discount and redeemed for 2 business class tickets on JAL for a 9 day trip to Japan. It was a great trip and I managed to tick some items off my travel bucket list. I have plans for redeeming a pair of Cathay first class tickets to Japan again with a 7 night stay at Marriott’s for less than the cost of S$1500/pax all in. I can’t wait.

Some of you may be wondering how could I travel hack my way to such savings for luxury travel. The secret is NOT flying frequently. But credit card spend. I applied for the right credit cards and watched my expenditure carefully as the banks reward me with points redeemable for air miles to frequent flyer programs. This means identifying the expenditure to credit the correct card that will reward me for the category spend. The secret is to stack as much savings/benefits together as possible.

For example, buying points from Alaska coded for online spend. I waited till Alaska offered bonus points for points purchase making it cheaper per point bought. Whilst I saved more than half the price of the business class tickets, I also gained a number of points via my credit card spend because it was an online transaction and I was awarded 10X points from the expenditure.

Having said that it does not mean I increased my spending per month willy-nilly. I just looked for ways to convert as much of my expenditure to credit card payment as possible. For example, using another credit card I was able to get 10X from grocery shopping at NTUC buying their vouchers using paywave, deducting the remaining amount using a general spend card that gives 1.4X and the expenditure nets me linkpoints which has dollar values that can be used to offset grocery bills. In addition, I discovered a nifty trick in credit card ‘spend’ in a certain way which is considered hitting the credit card minimum spend criteria but which qualifies me for higher bonus interest for my savings account. The ‘free money’ gets deposited back to my bank account afterwards. Some in the field call it ‘manufactured spending’.

So its not difficult travel hacking my way to premium cabin I found out. A bit of due diligence, planning, and reading the terms and conditions and you can be on your way to premium cabin travel too. COMMENT.


  • On August 17, 2017