Mar
16
2015
How to travel to Disney for FREE!

Posted at 8:00 AM on Mar 16, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Mar 16th, 2015

What if I told you I went to Disney for free?  Here is exactly how to do that!

This is a guest post from Brad Barrett. He is a Certified Public Accountant, husband, and father to two lovely little girls.  He is an avid traveler and through his site RichmondSavers.com he helps teach people to travel the world using rewards miles and points.

Before you read this, you will want to read my post on how I got two free tickets to see my sister overseas this summer.  He also can teach you how to travel to disney for free.

Here is Brad…

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My wife and I absolutely love to travel, but as I’m sure you know, it is incredibly expensive to take a family of four on a significant vacation.

We knew if we wanted our girls to really experience the world that we’d have to come up with the most cost effective way possible, and after a lot of research we found the answer:

Credit cards.

No, that’s not a misprint, I really said credit cards!

Before you think Lauren has gone crazy letting me guest post on ‘I am THAT Lady,’ let me explain:

The major credit card companies offer huge bonuses (often 50,000 miles/points!) to consumers to sign-up for one of their top rewards credit cards. Each of these bonuses can be turned into, on average, $500-$1,000 of free travel!

We found that if we opened up a few new credit cards each year and put our normal everyday spending on them that we could fulfill the bonus requirements for each card and earn a number of lucrative signup bonuses. We could then take those large signup bonuses and turn them into nearly free travel for our entire family!

Silhouette of kids jumping on the beach

Each card has a “minimum spending requirement” that you have to hit in order to earn the bonus. A general example would be to “Spend $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months from account opening.”

In this case you would:

  • Open the travel rewards credit card (see below for my top recommendations)
  • Use this card to pay for your normal expenses until you spend over $3,000 in total. Pay the credit card off in full each month.
  • Get the bonus points automatically credited to you after spending the required $3,000.
  • Set your travel plans and redeem your points!

Since you’re paying it off on time and in full every month, there is no interest expense at all. The annual fee is waived the first year on most of these cards, so you really can earn these bonuses for $0 out of pocket.

Keep in mind – This is credit card related so it is NOT for everyone.

My wife Laura and I are both CPAs, so you know we did a ton of research on this topic before we even considered jumping into it. We determined it made sense for our family because we already used our credit cards for our normal everyday spending and paid them off on time and in full every single month. We were only getting 1% “rewards” on those cards and we just weren’t satisfied with that.

After doing this for nearly 4 years we have earned over 1,000,000 frequent flier miles and hotel points that we estimate are worth nearly $20,000 of free travel.

That’s $20,000 of free travel just for being smart about which credit cards we used to pay for groceries, gas, restaurants and all our other normal spending.

How can you beat that?

So – How do I travel to Disney for free?

Our family of four took a nearly free trip to Walt Disney World using points and miles and saved $4,000 in the process.  You can get free Disney tickets, stay at the Walt Disney World Hotel, and fly for almost free!

Laura and I took a four night luxury trip to Bermuda (in a $1,000 per night suite no less!), and we are currently planning our 10th anniversary trip to Europe for later this year – all with points and miles from credit card signups.

So we know this works.

Okay, so if you think this might be good for your family, how would you get started?

There are lots of card options and it can be a little overwhelming at first, so here are my top two cards for those starting out:

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®:

This card offers you a bonus of 40,000 Arrival Miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months the account is open. You also earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend, so you end up with 46,000 Arrival miles.

This is worth $460 of completely free and flexible travel.

People love this card because it is so easy to use and understand: You just pay for your normal travel expense with your Arrival Plus credit card and after the fact you log into your account and redeem your miles to effectively erase that purchase off your credit card bill.

So you don’t have to change anything at all with your travel planning as there are no “blackout dates” or limits to worry about. It’s just $460 off your normal travel expenses.

These include anything coded by the credit card company as travel, which includes: airline tickets, hotels, trains, car rentals, cruises, tour agencies and tour operators (including the major online sites like Expedia, Travelocity, etc.).

Barclays also gives you 10% of your redeemed miles back as a “dividend,” so that gives you another $46 of free travel for a future redemption for a total of $506.

Chase Sapphire Preferred:

This card offers you a bonus of 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months the account is open. You earn an additional 5,000 bonus UR points if you add an authorized user who makes at least one purchase in the first 3 months. When added to the 4,000 points you earn for your spending, this is worth a total of 49,000 Chase UR points.

There are 3 ways to redeem these points, which I’ll list in increasing order of potential value:

  • You can immediately cash them in for $490 of actual cash. $490 free in your pocket just for opening this card and hitting the spending requirement!
  • You can book travel through the Chase UR online portal worth $612.50.
  • You can transfer the points to one of their 11 airline and hotel partners including Southwest, United, Hyatt and British Airways. This is the most complicated option, but the one with the most potential value. We were able to turn 45,000 of these points into five round-trip flights between Richmond and New York City, each worth $400+. That’s $2,000 of value from one credit card signup! There are many redemption options, but a few more examples would be $700 of flights on Southwest Airlines or up to 9 nights at a Category 1 Hyatt hotel.

These are just two of many rewards credit card options for you to choose from, but the two that I recommend most frequently to those starting out.

If you could use a little help getting started with travel rewards, I offer a completely free 1-on-1 coaching service through my site, so visit this page I created for ‘I am THAT Lady’ readers and we’ll get you started!

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On a personal note, I asked Brad to write this up for you all because he is the one that helped me get my free tickets to see my sister.

I would highly recommend that you sign up for his free 1-on-1 coaching service to help you get started.  But PLEASE – I urge you to not start using credit cards and get into debt doing this. This is only for people who have a manage on their finances and can handle paying your bills off in full every month!

 

Jan
04
2015
LAST CHANCE! Discount Mags: Mags Up to 90% Off! Travel, Sports, Business, Health, Fitness!!

Posted at 3:52 PM on Jan 04, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 4th, 2015

Nyesale

This is the last chance for this awesome sale! It ends tonight! Hurry over to Discount Mags to check out their New Year’s Magazine Sale! Save up to 90% on Health and Fitness Magazines! There are other great deals on sports, business, travel magazines and more! This sale is good through Sunday!

Magazines make great gifts

If this magazine deal isn’t something you are interested in, you can still save 20% off any magazine at DiscountMags.com using the coupon code THATLADY at checkout.

Jan
04
2015
Samsonite Tote-A-Ton Duffle Bag: Only $19.99 {Down from $60} Great for Travel, Getaways!

Posted at 11:17 AM on Jan 04, 2015 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Jan 4th, 2015

Samsonite

Wow! Look what Amazon has right now! You can get the Samsonite Tote-a-ton 32.5″ Duffle Luggage for only $19.99! The list price is $60.00! Shipping is free with Amazon Prime or with Super Saver Shipping and a $35.00 order!

This is great for travel!  It folds up small so you can pack it to carry all your extra stuff home that we all seem to accumulate when we travel! It also fits in the carry-on bin too!

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If you are doing a lot of Amazon shopping – now is the perfect time to sign up for your 1 month FREE Trial of Amazon Prime.

 Amazon Deals can change at any time, so make sure you double check the price before making your purchase.

Amazon

If you shop a lot on Amazon I also recommend signing up for Amazon Prime. You get FREE 2 Day shipping, FREE movie rentals through their Movie library, FREE TV Shows, and also the FREE Kindle Lending Library for your Kindle. It’s worth the $99.99 per year investment, you can sign up here.

You can also earn Amazon gift cards by taking at home surveys and by using Swagbucks.

 

 

Dec
27
2014
Starbucks: End of Year Sale! Save Up to 50%! KCups for $0.41! Travel Tumblers! Mugs!

Posted at 1:30 PM on Dec 27, 2014 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Dec 27th, 2014

starbucks

Hurry over to Starbucks.com to check out the End-of-the-Year Sale! You can save up to 50% off of lots of items!

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Prices start around $6.00 on some of the mugs! These would make great gifts– especially since many of them don’t look like the holidays so grab them now for the gift closet for those last minute gift ideas! They would be great for a co-worker or neighbor or even a family member!

starbucks3

If you like the Starbucks K-cups, you can grab the 24 count boxes of the Christmas Blend and Christmas Blonde for only $9.98! That is only $0.41 per K-Cup!

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Whole bean and ground coffee is also available at 50% off!

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Be sure to look around since there are lots of items available!

These prices are only good while supplies last!

Shop this sale 2

Thanks My Litter!

Dec
13
2014
Disney FROZEN Travel Bag Set with Bag, Olaf Key Chain: Only $5.49!

Posted at 2:24 PM on Dec 13, 2014 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Dec 13th, 2014
Amazon has the awesome Disney Frozen Travel Bag Set for only $5.49 right now! It is regularly $11.99. Wouldn't the little Anna or Elsa love to carry this bag on her travels! It will even ship for free with Amazon Prime or with Super Saver Shipping an
Dec
11
2014
Contigo Stainless Steel AutoSeal Travel Mugs! Save 40% or More! As Low As $13.99!

Posted at 9:32 AM on Dec 11, 2014 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Dec 11th, 2014
Wow! This is an awesome deal! These travel mugs are unbeatable! Hurry over to Amazon for a Deal of the Day on Contigo Autoseal West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mugs with Easy Clean Lids! They are 40% or more off! Prices start at $13.99! Choose fro
Nov
20
2014
20 oz Contigo Leak Proof Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug- $12.90!

Posted at 3:36 PM on Nov 20, 2014 by I am THAT Lady: Lauren

Nov 20th, 2014
My husband doesn't travel in the car without his coffee! Ok, maybe sometimes but if he is going to be in the car for more than 30 minutes, the coffee goes with him! And he loves his Contigo SnapSeal Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug, 20-Oun