Why pay for flights or a stay at your favorite luxury hotel while you can do all that for free? Yes, for free, or for a ridiculously cheap rate. Credit guru Umesh Agarwal has for years studied how to leverage credit for travel hacking. By knowing the best credit cards to go for and how each works, Umesh travels the world on his own terms and gets to stay at world-class luxury hotels at almost no cost. If you have never heard of this or have a profound interest in leveraging credit for travel hacking, here is all you need to know about the subject from the guru himself.
First, credit refers to any borrowed money that an individual can use to buy goods and/or services when needed. If you want or need credit, you get it from a credit grantor. This is the person or institution with whom you agree to repay the amount spent at an agreed-upon time. This will include any applicable finance charges. To further understand credit, you’ve got to look into the four types of credit.
Types of Credit
Revolving Credit: Any type of credit where you are issued with a maximum credit limit within which you can make charges. You revolve the debt or carry a balance each month and make a payment. The most common example of revolving credit applies to credit cards.
Charge Cards: Though they look like revolving credit cards and are often used the same way, charge cards are a little bit different. With charge accounts, the holder makes the payment for the total balance every month.
Installment Credit: In the case of installment credit, your creditor provides you a loan of a certain amount following which you agree to pay back the money plus interest in regular installments. The installments are usually paid in a fixed amount over a specified period of time. A good example of installment credit is a mortgage or car loan.
Service Credit: This is where all arrangements with service providers are in the form of credit. For instance, your phone service, electricity, and other bills or memberships are based on credit arrangements. Most arrangements will have you pay for the credit monthly.
How To Leverage Credit for Travel Hacking
Borrowing from the credit guru Umesh Agarwal, the best way to use credit to travel hack is by signing up for multiple credit cards. Choose the ones with lucrative bonuses to earn points or miles and use them to travel for vacation. When you master the art, you will be in a position to even fly business class or otherwise called luxury class.
It gets even better with the possibility of staying at luxury with little or no cash. You can also use credit cards to qualify for higher airline status as well as earn rewards from hotels. These rewards can be used for free upgrades within the hotel or free meals in the best hotels during your holiday.
What are the best Credits Cards for Travel Hacking
Unlike what you will commonly hear, Umesh Agarwal says that there is no single preferred card for travel hacking. Experience has taught Umesh that each card has its own unique perks. Even so, there is one tip he shares with you. Umesh says, “Do not stay away from credit cards with annual fees since those cards can help you to travel hack and even earn big sign-up bonuses to milk $2-10K value from travel. Also, there are multiple ways to bring annual fees down even for cards with $400-550 annual fees.”
If you insist on knowing the best credit card for travel hacking, Umesh Agarwal the credit master recommends Chase Sapphire Reserve, AMEX Charles Schwab platinum card, AMEX Personal Gold card and City National Bank Crystal Infinite card. He also encourages aspiring travel hackers to research for the most favorable cards. You might be surprised to find a particular card that is lucrative but hasn’t been explored yet.
How To Start Travel Hacking for Beginners
To begin with travel hacking, it is important to have a good credit score (>700) to qualify for premium cards which you can use to reap bigger rewards. Then learning about airline reward programs and airline alliances/partnerships and how you can use this to your own advantage.
Research is very important and being flexible with the travel dates helps to fly in luxury by using miles/points efficiently. For instance, many people don’t know but you can use British Airways miles to fly American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar, etc. Similarly, you can use American airline to fly other airlines like British Airways, Etihad, Cathay Pacific among others.
In a world where everyone pays for everything, you could do with some help getting a cut from all the expensive luxuries of life. Umesh Agarwal has made it his mission to help people get anywhere in the world for free or for cheaper fees than usual through leveraging credit. If you would like to learn more about how to use credit for travel hacking, check out Umesh and contact him on Instagram, @uagarwal_.