Earn A Free Vacation Without Spending More

Do you tend to pay your bills with an automatic bank transfer, debit card, or check?

If so, simply changing your payment method to a credit card can earn you hundreds of dollars in rewards every year!

For example, let’s assume you can shift most or all of the following to credit card spend:

Item Est. Monthly Cost
Cell Phone $100
Internet $100
Cable $50
Electricity $80
Groceries $300
Other $600
Total $1,230

This adds up to at least 14,760 points with almost any basic credit card.

Depending on the credit card program you can earn approximately 1% to 3% in cash back or rewards, netting you $147.60 to $442.80 in rewards a year.

However, depending on what cards you put your spending on, you could earn additional lucrative rewards such as:

#1. Point bonuses worth hundreds or thousands of dollars.  For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve costs $450 a year but offers up to $600 in travel credit ($300 per calendar year) and once you hit the minimum spend of $4,000 in the first three months, you can earn approximately $2,000 worth of points.

#2. Opportunistic point redemption offers.  For example, yesterday (and today through an extension!) JetBlue has been running a lucrative fare sale!  Flights from Fort Lauderdale to New Orleans were as low as $39 each way, or only 1,800 points.  That means during these special sales, I can basically earn a free round trip flight to NOLA every three months!

Those are some pretty crazy perks for simply shifting (and not increasing) your spend.

The Caveat: Of course, this strategy only works if you pay your credit card bills off every month — high interest fees will cost you more than you can ever hope to gain with kickbacks, points or rebates.

Are there bills that you are still paying with debit card, direct deposit, or a check?  How many free vacations are you leaving on the table?

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