The magic of miles



Category: Travel

I’ve recently booked a 5-night stay in Amsterdam for later this year, and it reminded me of just how good things can be in the United States, and because of good ‘ol cappytalism.

Namely, that this trip was very nearly free, thanks to some very simple games I play with miles and points.

I don’t do anything spectacular either, I just have a few credit cards in the right bonus categories, and spend money on them, and then I use the miles and points for free stuff.

And really, it’s not all that difficult.

Take, for example, that I’m staying at…

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam.


The Intercontinental Amsterdam.

Both which routinely go for $400-$700 a night.

I literally had free nights at both the Hilton and IHG chain burning a hole in my pocket (quite literally, they’re both expiring within weeks of the trip).

The Hilton card I have is this one (and I do get a referral of points if you sign up). It’s pricey, but me thinks it’s worth every penny.

Plus, I had some spare Delta points, so I cashed those in for the tickets (shockingly expensive from Kiev to Amsterdam) and only had to pay $45 in taxes and fees (for two tickets) on that.

My strategy?

Quite simple.

I spend all my dining expenses on a card that gives me 5x points on that, and I spend all my advertising on Facebook for ecommerce on this card:

5x on dining is pretty self-explanatory, but let me give you an example with Facebook/ecom:

* Let’s say I spend $300/day on FB ads (not difficult to do)

* That card has 3x points on social media spend, so that’s 900 points a day being racked up = 27,000 points, per month

* That’s “worth” $270 according to Chase, if you book flights through them…

* BUT, (big big big but), you can transfer those 27,000 points to airlines like United Airlines

* You can then book a one-way economy ticket from Europe to the US starting at 30,000 points.

(Business tickets run as low as 60,000-70,000)

* Plus, a card like that offers 80,000 points if you spend $4k in 3 months

(Which, as you can see, would cover an international business class flight)

* So you see, you can basically rack up one free one-way transatlantic flight per month, fairly easily/simply

Neat, huh?

That’s the vast majority of how I rack up points, plus, if I know a big expense is coming up (such as a laptop purchase, for example), I’ll open a new card and quickly rack up minimum spend bonuses. Things like spend $3,000 in 3 months and get 50,000 points and the like. And no, playing this game to the max (i.e. opening new credit cards all the time) doesn’t hurt your credit in the slightest. For example, yours Troubly has opened up two cards recently and still sits at a credit score of 808 (it was 810 before).


If you’ve got suggestions or tips for Amsterdam, I’m all “years”…

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