TLDR: Two people spend $1,500 per month on a credit card. One earns 7X more rewards with one trick.
Here’s how to spend less than 45 minutes and earn huge travel rewards. This quick case study should put a shimmering lightbulb over your head in the next three minutes.
In the world of travel rewards, there’s one trick that skyrockets your rewards: It’s knowing the incredible value of your everyday, monthly spending. You do not have to travel more to earn the most rewards. Once people realize this, it’s life changing.
You can achieve your travel dreams in record time.
How to Earn Rewards From Your Credit Card From Everyday Spending
This is possible by knowing that rewards credit card sign-up bonuses are incredible values. With one sign-up bonus, you could triple or quadruple your annual rewards.
Yes, you may pay a $95 annual fee. Would you pay $95 to get $750-plus in free travel? Do the math before dismissing cards with annual fees.
This warrants repeating: Do the math before dismissing cards with annual fees.
I am talking specifically about your everyday, monthly spending. Whether that is your personal expenses or business expenses, you could be racking up free travel rewards by getting one new credit card from time to time.
I laid out a full strategy for earning lots of rewards in “How to Earn Free Vacations With Travel Rewards Credit Cards.”
How is this possible?
Banks are in competition for your credit card loyalty. The average person uses the same credit card for seven years. If a bank can offer a nice sign-up bonus to earn your loyalty, it’s a big win for them.
Banks earn transaction fees on every swipe, plus the interest fees of people who do not pay their monthly balances in full. (Hint: Do not carry a balance.)
As a result, there are incredible sign-up bonuses on rewards cards. But you have to make sure you get the right ones. If you do, you’ll start taking dream vacations for free every year.
Case Study: Comparing 2 Credit Card Holders
Same Card Carl
Carl is a loyal credit card holder of his favorite airlines. He earned a sign-up bonus five years ago, and he continues to use the card for his monthly spending.
Same Card Carl spends $1,500 per month on monthly expenses.
$1,500 per month x 12 months = 18,000 points
Meanwhile, Seth spends the same amount, but he gets two new credit cards over the course of one year. He applies for one rewards card that earns a 60,000-point bonus. Then, he gets another card that earns 50,000 points once he hits his sign-up bonus spending requirement.
The two cards Savvy Seth got required spending $3,000 in the first three months of opening the account to hit the sign-up bonuses. Since he spaced out his applications, he had to put $1,000 per month on each card. He spends $1,500 per month on his everyday expenses, so he easily hits the spending requirements.
Savvy Seth spends $1,500 per month on monthly expenses.
$1,500 per month x 12 months = 18,000 points
So, his rewards card bonus No. 1 equals 60,000 points. And his rewards card bonus No. 2 equals 50,000 points.
Total earning for the year:
18,000 + 60,000 + 50,000 = 128,000 points ($1,500 or more in cash value)
Savvy Seth made his everyday spending SEVEN TIMES MORE VALUABLE than Same Card Carl. Getting two cards and connecting autopay to the new accounts probably accounted for 30 to 45 minutes of actual time during the year.
This is all part of earning a lot of free travel with very little effort. If you want to read more on how to jump start your free travel, read this comprehensive article of best strategies and tips. Especially if you have a spouse or a business, you can double or triple up on these opportunities.
Why Using Rewards Cards Just Makes Sense
If you already have a budget, you know how much you can spend on a card. If you do not have a monthly budget, this is a great reason to make one.
You can estimate your monthly spending and know exactly what kind of sign-up bonuses you can hit. High credit scores, organized budgets, and financial confidence are all side benefits of racking up travel rewards the easy way.
As you can see, this requires very little effort—just your own regular monthly spending. I recommend trying this with one great rewards card. Make sure you pay off your statements in full and do not overspend. Most people can easily hit some big sign-up bonus spending with regular monthly expenses.
By the way, since it’s the beginning of the year, make sure you check out how to earn a Southwest Companion Pass since it’s the best time of year to do this.
Questions about rewards cards?
Ask me in the comment section below.
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.