- I have been working towards my purpose of visiting each nation on the earth for a couple of years. I am at present as much as 87 international locations.
- Whereas I am not in any rush to complete, bank card factors and miles have been a giant a part of my technique to afford to succeed in my purpose.
- Rewards bank cards just like the Chase Sapphire Reserve earn me factors that I take advantage of to ebook free journey, and I additionally get precious journey insurance coverage like journey delay protection.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
Across the time I became a digital nomad and began touring internationally (virtually) full-time, I set a lofty purpose: visiting each nation on the earth. Earlier than I began exploring the world of miles, factors, and bank cards, this could have appeared inconceivable – however now I am assured I could make it occur — and I’ve already crossed 87 international locations off my record.
Listed here are 3 ways I take advantage of bank cards to assist attain this purpose and make my life simpler alongside the way in which.
Understand that we’re specializing in the rewards and perks that make these bank cards nice choices, not issues like rates of interest and late charges, which is able to far outweigh the worth of any factors or miles. It is vital to apply monetary self-discipline when utilizing bank cards by paying your balances in full every month, making funds on time, and solely spending what you possibly can afford to pay again.
Utilizing airline bank cards and versatile journey rewards to fly free of charge
Frequent flyer miles are a significant a part of my journey technique. Whereas airline credit cards just like the United Explorer Card from Chase and the Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Choose® World Elite Mastercard® will be very helpful to spice up your mileage steadiness (and get airline-specific perks, like precedence boarding and a free checked bag), my favourite playing cards are these with versatile rewards currencies just like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Platinum Card® from American Express, Citi Premier℠ Card, and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
That is as a result of factors earned with these playing cards can be transferred to a wide variety of airline partners, which means I am by no means restricted to a single airline or alliance. It is typically the case that completely different applications will cost completely different costs for a similar flight.
For instance, an economic system ticket from New York to London on United would value 30,000 United miles, 27,500 Singapore Airways miles, or simply 20,000 Avianca LifeMiles. Or I may fly from New York to Dublin on Aer Lingus for simply 13,000 British Airways Avios factors after which use money to purchase an affordable one-way ticket to London. Getting access to a number of frequent flyer applications means I can store round and select the most effective mixture of worth and comfort.
Utilizing resort bank cards free of charge nights
Whereas I spend most of my time in Airbnbs and hostels, there are occasions when a resort makes extra sense — whether or not for comfort or as a result of generally you simply really want your personal bathe for a couple of days. The factors earned from signing up for a hotel credit card just like the IHG Rewards Membership Premier Credit score Card, the World of Hyatt Credit Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, or the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express can get you a lot free resort nights in cities all around the world.
Every of those playing cards retains a everlasting place in my pockets, as a result of yearly additionally they give me a free evening certificates. Though I can not use these certificates to ebook resorts on the very high finish of the award chart, I have been in a position to ebook some wonderful resorts with these free evening awards, and I constantly get way more worth out of the free evening certificates than I pay in annual fees to keep the cards.
Utilizing bank card perks to make journey simpler
If you journey as a lot as I do — and even when you journey a lot much less — a few bank card perks could make a giant distinction in your journey expertise.
Signing up for International Entry free of charge
Many journey rewards playing cards, together with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the United Explorer Card, and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, provide as much as a $100 assertion credit score to cover the enrollment fee for Global Entry, which makes going by way of US immigration and customs a breeze.
You additionally get entry to TSA PreCheck, which suggests shorter traces and easier safety screening at US airports. I might pay the $100 enrollment payment in a second, so the truth that I can get this free of charge with a bank card is additional candy.
Entry to airport lounges
The Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Status® Card, the American Express Platinum, and a handful of different playing cards embody a Priority Pass Select membership, which supplies you entry to greater than 1,200 airport lounges around the globe. (Non-American Specific playing cards additionally provide entry to a rising variety of airport eating places — an effective way to cut back meals prices whereas touring).
American Specific Platinum cardmembers additionally get entry to the exclusive Centurion Lounge collection. And every main US airline additionally has a bank card that grants entry to its personal community of lounges: the Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, and the United Membership Card from Chase.
These lounges make a giant distinction in your consolation degree when touring, particularly when it means having the ability to take a bathe after an extended transoceanic flight.
Profiting from bank card protections
After I’m touring, I can sleep a lot simpler realizing that if I run into issues alongside the way in which, my bank cards will assist me resolve points rapidly and inexpensively. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve presents trip delay protection, reimbursing as much as $500 in incidental prices in case your flight is delayed six hours or extra.
Many bank cards provide baggage delay safety or misplaced baggage safety, providing reimbursement above and past what the airline will cowl in case your bag is delayed or misplaced. And although I hope I by no means want it, the American Express Platinum card supplies emergency evacuation insurance for you and your rapid household — even when you do not use your Platinum card to pay on your journey.
Whereas visiting each nation on the earth would technically nonetheless be attainable with out the miles, factors, and advantages I get from my bank cards, it might most likely be too costly for me to moderately attain. That is why I am extremely grateful to have found these choices – and why I really like sharing them with others.