Monthly Travel Hacking Update: January 2017
It goes without saying that I am very bad about getting posts out on time. There was a lot I wanted to write about but I had to prioritize getting inventory in for my Amazon FBA company.
I had planned on spending 5k on inventory in January but failed miserably and in the process lost my biggest supplier. I rebounded in February though and hit my 5k. So hopefully, now that I’m done with purchasing inventory for my Amazon FBA business, I’ll be able to update more frequently.
Thankfully, despite my struggles with my business, I had a lot more progress with Travel Hacking.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
I hit and received my bonus for the Chase Sapphire Reserve in January 🙂 which added a sweet 100k ultimate rewards points to my Chase account. I now have 185,145 points which The Points Guy values at $3,888.045. I’m not sure if that takes into account the 50% extra value that redemption through the Reserve gets you but either way I value it as more.
The reason I value it as more is because I will use the points to transfer to partners when there are really good deals available. You can see an example below with how I redeemed my AA awards to go to Brazil.
Back to Brazil
Speaking of which, I know I never wrote the original post on my experience in Brazil during the Olympics (it’s probably not going to happen) but I’m heading back to Brazil and this time it’s going to be a whole lot cheaper.
Last time, I paid out of pocket and had no flexibility in scheduling the flight. I was also going during the Olympics which meant everything was going to be more expensive. The round-trip ticket cost me over $1400. Ouch. This time the ticket cost me $5.60 😉
I’m going to write an in-depth post on how I did this but basically I used 17,500 AA points to fly down to Manaus. When I did the math I think it came out to $0.08 per point which is without taking into account the 10% in points that I got back from having an AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard.
I also got a new offer from American Express. It’s an improvement on the AMEX Business Plat 100k membership point bonus after $3k in 3 months which was already better than any public offers. Now I’ve been given that same offer plus an additional 50k after an additional $10k in spending in 3 months.
This is an amazing offer but not one I’m ready for quite yet. I exhausted most of the liquid cash I had in my checking account for my recent inventory purchases. Those purchases went towards achieving the Chase Business Preferred bonus which I have met and am now just waiting on the award.
Luckily, the offer is good until mid-April and I should know in March if I will have the money to apply. Spending $5k a month won’t be easy but between the returns from the Amazon business and work I should be able to do it. Remember, I don’t ever intend on carrying a balance so it’s important I can pay it off. Even if I can’t hit the $15k spending, the $5k spend will still be worth it.
My totals as they stand now
To wrap things up let me give you with my points as they stand now.
Chase Ultimate Rewards – 185,145
AAdvantage Points – 26,934
Overall I think that’s pretty successful. I’ll start showing the differences in points from month to month and I think I’ll just do it with a screenshot of an excel sheet. Now I just got to write a few more posts..