Discover more from The Introvert Entrepreneur
TIE #011: How You Can Travel the World for Free (not clickbait)
I haven't paid out of pocket for travel for years and this is how I do it...
Apparently you hate money. If you didn’t, you’d be using Rakuten every time you shop on websites like Walmart and Target to save money.
They have paid me over $8,000 for things I was already going to buy for my one-person business (click here for proof).
They are also the reason this post is free to read. Sign up here and get $30 for free after your first use.
Just about every post I publish here falls into one of these categories:
How to make money online with a one-person business
How to compound the profits that business makes
How to become self-employed
How to reach financial freedom
Today I’m going to venture outside that box and explain how I travel for free and how you can too.
Instead of trying to decide if that next trip “fits your budget”, you’ll be able to book it without hesitation because it won’t cost you a dime.
This isn’t a sponsored post or some other bullshit, this is a technique that many people call “travel hacking” and I’m not the first to talk about it.
How it Works
If you operate an online business, you will have expenses.
To pay those expenses, you almost always use a debit/credit card.
Since credit card companies compete with each other, almost every single one offers a reward of some kind for using their card.
There are no downsides to a credit card with rewards (outside of an annual fee), as long as you pay your balance in full and do not accrue interest.
That means you earn something for spending the money you were already going to spend.
It’s as close to “free money” as you can get.
As an example, let’s take a look at one of my favorite cards:
This card offers the following for $95/year:
1% cash back on everything
3% cash back on postage, advertising, internet/phone, and travel (up to $150,000/year in spend)
25% bonus in travel point redemption
$1,000 cash back ($1,250 if spent on travel) if you spend $15,000 within 3 months after signing up
This means that if your business spends $100,000/year to operate, with $50,000 of the expenses falling inside that 3% category, that is $4,000 worth of travel in the first year and $3,000 every year after.
You can do a lot of traveling with $4,000.
I travel a few times each year and the rewards this card alone pays for every trip in full.
You can sign up for it or one of it’s alternatives that require less spend for the bonus here.
This isn’t the only card I have, I like these too:
American Express Business Prime - 5% cash back on Amazon + $125 gift card
American Express Business Gold - 4% cash back + 70,000 points bonus + 25% airfare points back
Capital One Business Spark Cash - 2% cash back + $1,000 bonus
FYI: Business cards don’t require you to have a licensed business, there are a ton of simple guides on Google on how to apply without one.
Don’t just use a rewards card for your business, do it for all personal spending. Here are my favorite personal cards:
Chase Freedom - 3% - 4.5% cash back first year, then 1.5% - 3%
American Express Blue Cash Preferred - 1% - 6% cash back + $250 bonus
Capital One Spark Cash Plus - 2% back + $1,000 bonus
Must Know Information
Like I said before, there are no inherent drawbacks outside of the annual fee that some of these cards have.
However, there are some things you should know:
These rewards are not worth paying interest for
Don’t spend more than you’d normally spend without them
You should not use credit cards if you cannot budget like a mature adult
Space out your credit card applications by at least 3 months at a time
Do not apply for more than 5 cards in a 2 year period (some cards bypass this rule, google it if you want to learn more)
I am not a financial advisor or expert, I’m just explaining what I do
There is a reddit community dedicated to min/maxing sign up bonuses called “churning” if you want to take this to the extreme
Don’t Spend Enough?
The main issue you will run into is spending enough money to earn the points required to pay for a trip.
If this is you, you need to start an online business or ramp up the amount of spending in your online business.
You don’t just want to spend aimlessly though, it should be on something that will generate profit or at worst break-even.
Even if you break-even on some of your spend, it is worth doing because you’re getting these rewards on the back-end.
Sometimes I will pay for advertising for my digital products if I am having a low spend month, just to earn more points.
As long as I break even on the advertising, it’s well worth it.
If you need a business idea, I recommend starting with the two things I talk about most:
Buying and selling books on Amazon
Investing in LEGOs
They are perfect for generating credit card rewards.
When you are ready, there are two different ways I can help you:
If you are interested in starting an efficient one-person online business, I recommend starting with one of the following:
Textbook Flipping Mastery - My in-depth guide on how to start a high-margin Amazon e-commerce business.
LEGO Investing Mastery - My in-depth guide on how to start a long-term “buy, hold, and sell” LEGO investing business.
The Conference Room - My private mentorship community that includes the two guides above, for free. Pay once and stay a member for life.
If you are interested following along with my personal LEGO investment portfolio and unlocking access to 4 additional posts each month:
Become a paid subscriber here (7-day free trial available)
The Introvert Entrepreneur is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.