Travel Hacking & Credit Card Churning 101 - How to travel around the world for free, forever | Joshua Walter | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Travel Hacking & Credit Card Churning 101 - How to travel around the world for free, forever

teacher avatar Joshua Walter, Travel and adventure, usually for free

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Travel Hacking explained in (approximately) 5 minutes


    • 2.

      Who isn't this course for?


    • 3.

      How much are all these points worth?


    • 4.

      The single greatest class project on Skillshare.


    • 5.

      What cards would I get first if I was just starting out?


    • 6.

      A solo trip around the world for free


    • 7.

      Credit card offers to take a free trip around the world


    • 8.

      How to think about hotel points


    • 9.

      How to keep track of all your points


    • 10.

      Let's talk about credit scores


    • 11.

      How do I actually spend these points? 101


    • 12.

      A family trip to Europe for 4 for FREE


    • 13.

      The end.


    • 14.

      Most Recent Best Credit Card Offers


    • 15.

      Q&A #1 - When To Cancel Cards? What To Do if There's No Availability?


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Ok, I'm going to be as brief as I can here. I respect your time and attention too much to waste any of it.

Here's what you get out of this course:

The resources, tools, experience, and information to safely leverage credit card sign up offers. Doing so will help you get hundreds of thousands, probably even millions of frequent flier miles and other points. This will allow you to travel around the world for free, for as long as you want.

That's it :) Come on in, the waters fine.

Looking for the credit card links? They're in the class project section.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Joshua Walter

Travel and adventure, usually for free

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


14. Most Recent Best Credit Card Offers: In Chiang Mai, Thailand? Yeah, it's been a few months, benefit months. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, but we're back top five credit cards of this month. And since last time we did it since the new year, basically, everything has changed. Let's get into it. The number one spot is one that hasn't changed, but it's become a lot better just because a lot of the other credit card offers that were really good at the end of last year are now gone. This is the city premier card. You can get 60 thousand city points if you spend $4 thousand within the first three months. This one, as always, his great transfer partners, including some of the really rare ones that aren't available with the Chase. It really small ninety-five dollar annual fee that is unfortunately not waived for the first year. I know it'd be amazing if it was, but next up at the number two spot is a US bank altitude or reserve. This car gets you 50 thousand points if you spend $4,500 in the first three months and you might be thinking to yourself, US Bank points, what do I use those four? That's a really good question. These things are basically used one for one to offset travel costs. So the amount of points that you'll get just from signing up for this card is worth $750. But where this card really shines is in all the perks is your cheapest way to get priority pass and TSA pre-check plus go-go inflight, wifi plus all the money that you get just from the points. It's a great deal. It's a great card. $400 annual fee offset every single year by those $325 in annual perk. So what's not to love here? It's up in the number three spot is the Chase British Airways card. Two unused to be amazing and then kind of fell off for awhile with incredibly insanely huge minimum spend requirements who's just made it unreasonable, but it's back in a much more reasonable level and it's honestly the best it's ever been going to get 100 thousand British Airways miles for spending $5 thousand in three months. These points are amazing for flying everywhere except for Europe. You're planning on going to New Zealand, Australia, anywhere in Southeast Asia, Hawaii from the United States. These points are incredibly valuable. But if you're gonna fly to Europe, that means you're going to end up paying a whole bunch and surcharge. So just keep that in mind before you apply this one. It's got a $95 annual fee, which is great for this card. Moving up the newcomer in town, the Capital One Venture x. This one has a very high minimum spend of $10 thousand in six months. But for that you get a 100 thousand Capital One points. They're also offering a $200 onetime sign-up bonus right now, as well as an annual $300 travel credit. You also get lounge access with this one, which as we all know, is an amazing got a pretty hefty $395 annual fee. But due to the offset of the $300 credit that you get every year through travel is not so bad. What you're really getting out of this thing as those 100 thousand Capital One points that are flexible, you can use them almost anywhere. They're amazing. Next stuff, this has been on the list for awhile because this is one of my personal favorites. It's a great card, it's a chase. Ihg premier. It was one of the best intro cards is in the first card to get when you're just starting out churning because of how simple and straightforward it is. No annual fee the first year at all. All you gotta do is spend $3 thousand in the first three months and you get a ton, a 125 thousand ISG points for us in Southeast Asia that would allow us to stay for about three weeks to a month at one of the lower-end hotels here or go crazy on an over water bungalow and get a night or two there. So that's it for this month. Thank you so much for watching. We'll see you next month. 15. Q&A #1 - When To Cancel Cards? What To Do if There's No Availability?: Mexico City. So I had noticed over time that there were a lot of people asking the same questions down in the discussions. And scarcer doesn't really give you a good way to like surface the answers to those questions that way everyone can see them. And I also want it to be able to interact with all of you out there as you're going through this course a lot more. So that's what this is. It's a Q&A. You get it. Alright. First one, and this is the one that I've seen a lot throughout the discussions here is when, if ever should I cancel those credit cards that I've signed up for? This is a really good question because you don't just want to keep accumulating them and then just end up with like 40 different credit cards at the same time and then be like, I'm paying like $3,000 per year in annual fees that you probably start cutting this down a little bit. So to answer this question, yes, definitely, you should be canceling the credit cards. But the real important question is when general rule, after I get the points for a credit card, unless those points are stuck to that particular credit card, e.g. like Chase, if I canceled my Chase card without spending all my chase points, those points just disappear. Nobody wants that, unless it's one of those cards is the thing that I do is just wait until right before the annual fees gonna come up and then I just cancel it. And then I'll wait another two or three years. And then reapply for that exact same card, The same sign-on bonus again, rinse repeat indefinitely, and that's the basis of credit card churn, and that's how the whole thing works. A great example, this is the hotel and airline cards like these ones, you get the big point bonus and then they transfer all of them like from your credit card to American Airlines. And then all the points are stuck in American Airlines no matter what you do. So unless you really need the extra check bag or maybe some status that you get from the hotel thing, just cancel those right before the annual fee comes up for the chases, the amex, I really love keeping just one of these around that I spend on every single day. E.g. this is our Chase Sapphire reserve. We've had this thing forever for five years now, really long time, much longer than I keep most of my other credit cards. So I'm keeping that one basically indefinitely. Really, really liked the benefits on it, right? Like you get the lounge axis and you get like three points most of the year on stuff that you're buying anyway, these chase points are super flexible to be able to move them to different airlines like I just spend them on United when we went to Japan a little bit ago and then also transfer them to high it to be able to get some good hotel stays. It's just, it's really nice to have this very flexible thing and that's worth the foreign and 50 dollar or however much it annual fee it is now more than enough valuable cars really kinda keep this churning going on forever. Like you sign up for an American Airlines card and then you cancel it 11 months later. And then you wait a couple of years after that, and then you sign back up with that same car to get an in-between that time, you're just signing up for new credit cards, getting the new point bonuses and just kinda accumulating this massive treasure chest of points that you can spend on almost anything that travel for free kinda indefinitely the W back from the trip and ready to travel again, cards will have gone past. They're kinda like turning expiration date, which means that you can sign up for them again and get the point bonus again. And then you just keep doing it and keep traveling for free, hopefully forever. So the next question is, this sounds great, but what about when you have a travel goal and then go and get those points within the tickets aren't available for those points when and where you need them because of dynamic pricing or just they're not available. This is an awesome question and something that I struggle with all the time. Perfect example of how I solve this problem just happened like two days ago. I was trying to fly from Hawaii back to Wisconsin and I was trying to do it for free. There were a ton of different points, options. There's plenty of availability, but most of them were terrible deals. We're talking like 50,000 Delta miles, totally not worth it or like 70,000 American Airlines Mileage just couldn't find the right flight to go exactly where I want it. So I started looking at other city pairs nearby. The super cheap flight for only 7,500 points on Turkish Airlines going, going from Honolulu where it was leaving from Milwaukee instead of Chicago. Now, walk is only like an hour or two from Chicago. Not a big deal. It's not exactly where I want it to go until it got me 95% of the way there for free. And then I just took the train or maybe I'll rent a car once I get down there to drive the rest of the way. Now when you're flying into the United States is generally less convenient than flying almost anywhere else because we don't really have good public transportation in this country. But e.g. if you're trying to get a free flight over to Europe, all you have to do is like fly generally to the area that you want to get to. Like let's say you wanted to go to Munich, but the only free flight available with points that made any sense was to Berlin. No problem finding Berlin and then you're only like a three hour train ride away. Or there's like 7,000 other options that you could use to get there, including probably a flight for like 15 to $20 on something like Ryanair saying is that flexibility is the most important thing if you can't find exactly what you're looking for. And not only that, but flexibility is going to get you a lot cheaper options. And I know it's going to add maybe an hour at the beginning or an hour at the end of the trip where you're actually getting to the place that you want it to go in the first place. But you could also just like rearchitect your trip. And instead of starting in one place and then going to the next place is a nice way to start at the end and then just do the trunk backwards if that happens to be where the butterflies. We've got another question here from Megan Henderson and says, I am brand new at this, so I'm still trying to wrap my head around all the info before knowing any of this about a year ago you on an amex Delta Sky Miles card, been using it ever since and have the bonus miles plus some extra about 83,000. If I want to start getting some other cards like the chase preferred while I only be able to combine points if I fly with delta, wondering if it's too limiting to try to do that. And if I should find a Delta flight for the miles already have and start from scratch with some new cards. I hope that makes sense. There's a one-year definitely asking the right questions, right. Like you're trying to figure out, how do I best spend these mile, things that I have and how do I make it like not a pain in my life? So generally the way to think about this is that if you're miles or within individual hotel or an airline, that's kinda their final destination, that's where they'll live forever. But something from Chase to say United. Once they're at United, they are there and you can't transfer them anywhere else. That's where they live. This is exactly why I think of points like Chase or Amex as the most valuable point currency because you can transfer them to any of the airlines at anytime to get the best deal possible. And I think it's really important to not transfer those points from say, chase to anything else until you're absolutely sure that they have the right availability and what you're looking for there, just so flexible, so useful. And the perfect example of this is that Hawaii flight I was just talking about. I hadn't ever booked a flight with Turkish Airlines. But since Turkish Airlines is part of star lines, that means that you can actually book a united award flight using Turkish miles. And it turns out there's some pretty great deals in there, especially to and from y 7,500 points. One way to get from Hawaii to literally anywhere in the United States. There's no cheaper option that you can find on any of the airlines that way, I would've never thought to move my miles there in the first place if I didn't see the Capital One had the ability to transfer directly to Turkish Airlines to be able to make this thing happen. But I think two more directly answer your question. The thing that you should do is just assume that those delta miles or their use them to fly on something awesome on Delta Airlines, but also start getting credit cards that give you a little bit more flexibility to be able to move them to any airline whenever you want. It's really not all about trying to like, get all of your points into one bucket. In fact, it's much more about diversifying where all of your points are. So that way you can always have the best deal and the most flexibility. And it's much less about trying to get them all in one place. Totally understand that. And you feel like your points are just all over the place and it's really hard to keep track of. It would be nice if it was just in one spot and then one spot was the best spot, but there is no best spot. There are some tools to help out with this. The one that I use all the time, It's called award wallet, a word wall. It just automatically logs into all of the different point buckets that you have, like logs in a delta at Chase and everything else. And tell you exactly how many of each of these points that you have across all these different places that we don't lose track of them, which I do pretty frequently. Alright, that's it for this one. If you have more questions or want more clarity about any of the answers that I've given here for free. To leave that down in the discussions below, and then I'll just answer them in another video like this. Alright, thanks so much for watching. See you soon.