Music Mondays – Leaving on a Jet Plane


Leaving on a Jet Plane…(in about 16 months)

This week on the podcast, I am talking to my friend and credit card hacking guru, Holly Johnson from Club Thrifty. I have followed Holly’s adventures for a while now, and I always admire how well she maximizes credit cards to frugally achieve her love of travel.

Using Credit Cards to Travel

For those of you who are not familiar with credit card hacking, it involves signing up for credit cards, especially those with sign up bonuses (for example 50,000 points when you spend the first $1,000 on the card) and using the rewards from the cards to either travel or fund life events. Holly goes through her process in detail on the podcast, and she is a great example of the value a little time and organization can provide.

Credit card hacking is not for everyone and you certainly need a great credit score and proper planning so that you don’t overspend in an effort to get points; however, for those who can make it work, I highly recommend it. I have a few clients who would like to travel more, and we have set up savings accounts for their travel, but I have also encouraged them to try out credit card hacking to fill in the gaps and supplement their trips.

leaving on a jet plane

My Credit Card Hacking Inspiration

I have to confess that I never even thought of or contemplated credit card hacking until I became a personal finance blogger over a year ago, and anyone who blogs knows that this is a common practice in the community. Currently I just use two credit cards. They both offer rewards and they have saved me thousands of dollars in travel over the last few years, but I would like to raise my game this year.

I follow a number of bloggers and have read plenty of stories of credit card hacking, but I have to say that Holly and Kim from Eyes on the Dollar have inspired me the most to make the leap into credit card hacking. Last year, Holly traveled to Europe with her husband and Kim took her family to Hawaii through credit card hacking. This year, they both have more family adventures in the works, and thanks to their stories, now I do too.

 For the Love of Travel

Like many of my clients, I love to travel; however, I never left the United States until I was 24 and my dad took our family on a trip to Italy. After our Italian adventure, I truly understood the value of travel, especially outside of your own country. FB Hubby and I married not long after the trip to Italy, and not long after that we were blessed with Will who put a stop on our international travel. However, now that Will is old enough to not only sit through a flight, but also appreciate and remember the adventure, we plan to leave on a jet plane and take him to Italy next summer.

My family at the Coliseum
My family at the Coliseum

As my blogging friends have done, I plan to share with you exactly how we are going to make this work, and we have already begun the process. Once we have all the pieces put together, I will share the details, but I am really excited about this credit card hacking challenge we have committed to.

If you are new to credit card hacking, and want some guidance on the best and most efficient way to achieve your dream of travel, you should contact my friend Holly who is now offering free advice through her blog. You can also listen Friday to the podcast where Holly offers some other great credit card hacking advice. Again, this is not for everyone, but when done responsibly you can leave on a jet plane to travel the world and spend little additional money out of pocket to do it.

Have you credit card hacked before? What’s the best credit card hacking adventure you have planned? Are their cards that you think are great tools for this?


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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.

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