Is it possible to pay for your honeymoon (or at least the flight and hotel accomodations) using points you earned when you spent money on your wedding? Yes! This episode breaks down how. We’re happy to have Keith King on the podcast because we too need to learn about our credit cards! Miles, points, travel hacking - woohoo!
Keith King is quickly rising the ranks as a blogger, and freelance writer. The travel bug was planted in him when he was young. That was when his love for planes started. It continues to this day, as it led Keith to become a licensed pilot. His other love is writing. After all, it's what he does for a living AND a hobby. He's a TV news executive by trade.
At KeithKingReport.com, you'll find Keith's experiences with travel, budgets, and more. The goal for this blog is to make sure you can do more than just live to work. Rather, we want you to work to live.
Keith's first book, Cracking the Code to Travel Hacking, was published in November of 2017. A great read if you're interested in jumping into the world of travel hacking with credit cards.
Disclaimer: It’s super important that we mention a few things here. We are not affiliated with any financial institutions or credit card companies! We’re speaking from personal experience and it’s very limited! Keith King is a hacking and travel expert and his opinions are his own. Don’t come back and blame us if you rack up thousands of dollars in debt on credit cards and wedding planning! Even credit cards that give you incentives and points are ONLY worthwhile if you pay them off every month. The interest incurred for a balance due will never be less than the rewards or points you are getting. There is a reason why credit card companies make money! Don’t be that reason. And don’t spend a lot of money on your wedding that you just don’t have. Unless you are ok with debt and interest piling up and in that case, do you. We encourage you all to always pay off your credit card statements!
Who would this whole thing work for? Responsible adults who pay off their cards on time! If you are in credit card debt, or if you can’t pay off your debt in a cycle or two, you shouldn’t apply for a new credit card. Pay off the debt you have and then once it’s clear, you can get the card with the points that you want. Also, it will work specifically for you if you love to travel and plan on traveling on flights and staying in hotels for your honeymoon! Double awesome if you also want to host your wedding in a hotel.
_Cards that are awesome for the ‘starter hack’: _
--#1 suggestion right now - Chase Sapphire Reserve and/or Preferred - depending on the card -- 2 or 3 points per dollar at restaurants and travel (good card to use if you're reception is at a restaurant). You can transfer these incentives to the travel partners like hotels and airlines. Super easy to use, Michelle loves it.
--Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5 points per dollar on everything)
--Amex Gold (4 points per dollar on dining and supermarkets)
--Barclaycard Arrival Plus (cash back)
--Capital One Savor Cash Rewards (cash back)
What about points with a specific airline credit card or hotel affiliated card? Pretty much every airline has a branded credit card, so if you get that card and spend money on it (and pay it off), then you get points to spend on the same airline for flights. If you know where you want to go on your honeymoon - find out the major airlines (and their affiliates) that go to that location and then consider applying for that credit card a year or so out. You can spend money on the credit card throughout wedding planning and for any flights you take during the wedding planning phase. Then you’ll be able to collect enough points for at least one round-trip flight to your honeymoon destination. Most of these airline cards have a great starting incentive (50k points on the AA Barclays card, for example) - just read the fine print. You may have to spend and pay off a certain amount in then first month or three. Oh! And Southwest is flying to Hawaii now!
Hotel branded cards...most hotels have them. Check out the newly rebranded Marriott card - it’s called Bonvoy. SO many hotel chains are a part of the Marriott family now. They own Starwood now. If you can honeymoon in the same hotel that you host your wedding at -- like get married at a Marriott Hotel in SF and then honeymooning at the Ritz in New Orleans...you can get upgrades and incentives because you are spending so much money with the chain. When booking your wedding at a hotel, it helps with negotiating and room rates if you are a card holder. Hilton and Hyatt have cards too.
Getting married at the hotel that you have the credit card at is a good way to get incentives on both ends. Maybe you can get your suite for the wedding weekend upgraded because you are a card member. And then you are also collecting a lot of points for your honeymoon, because you are spending a lot of money on the reception at the hotel. You’re spending the money! Might as well get some freebies out of it.
“There are three main types of credit cards you can use for travel hacking. Airline branded cards, hotel branded cards and general points and dollared cards that you can use.” - Keith - starting with the basics
“So for 60k American Airlines miles, you can get two round trip tickets to Europe in economy. That will save you over $3500 on the flights alone.” - Keith, BOOM. Two flights to Paris
“What I would recommend doing if you are just beginning the process...I would sit down and make a schedule of expected payments. This way, you have a schedule of when money is due and apply for your card accordingly.” - Keith
“If you’re going to spend anyway for your wedding and you have money in the bank to pay off your statement balances, then it’s definitely something to consider.” - Christy, summing it up
“So if you’re getting married at a venue that isn’t one of these branded hotels and you know you are going to be spending a lot of money, the best card to get is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.” - Michelle, in a nutshell!
“We’re constantly talking about all the money being spent, being spent, being spent on a wedding and here’s a way to get something out of it! So, this is awesome.” - Michelle
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