This week’s interview is with a family that takes travel hacking to a whole new level! Meet MilesHusband and MilesWife and learn how they take advantage of credit card points and reward to travel in maximum luxury, for minimal dollars!

Download/listen elsewhere:

LIBSYN | STITCHER | ITUNES | GOOGLE PLAY | SPOTIFY

Resources from this episode:

Full transcript:

INTRO: [00:00:00] Hello. And welcome to the Young Scrappy Money podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Waymire. And each week, I’ll be bringing you tips and tricks to help you take control of your finances as well as interviews with people who made big financial changes in their own lives. So join us. And we’ll help you get your financial s**t together. 

MICHELLE: Hello, everybody. Welcome, welcome to another episode of the Young Scrappy Money podcast. I’m really excited today because I’ve had travel on the brain. There’s not really a point in my life where I don’t have travel on the brain. 

For those of you who know me, I’m either on vacation, planning a vacation, or dreaming about planning a vacation. This is hardwired into my DNA. I come by it honestly. My family is the very same way. This is— this is how my brain works. 

So funny story, I post a lot on Twitter about various financial topics @theyoungscrappy. And bless her heart, one of my number one followers is actually my mother, who is not on any other social media channels. For some reason, she just really loves Twitter. And so I posted a story the other day about travel hacking, something that actually a friend of mine had written that I thought was really neat about how you can use miles and points to boondoggle the travel system, which I am all here for. 

So anyway, my mom sees this tweet and sends me a message and is like, hey, if you are into travel hacking, and you really wanna talk about travel hacking, I follow somebody else on Twitter who is really into this. And you should check them out. And you should see what they’re about. And you should have them on your podcast. And I was like, OK, Mom, that’s cool, like cool story. 

And so I started doing some digging. And lo and behold, she was absolutely right. So that’s how I found out about Daryn Kagan and her husband Trent Swanson. They go by MilesWife and MilesHusband. And travel hacking is their number one jam. 

And luckily for me, they actually live in Atlanta. And so I was able to persuade them to come on the podcast and talk about all the work that they do in travel hacking and all their sweet experiences. And so we’re actually here live in person— I guess not live if you’re listening, but certainly in person for us recording— here in Atlanta to talk about travel hacking. So welcome, y’all. I super appreciate you dropping by. 

DARYN: It’s great to be here. Nice to meet you in person. 

MICHELLE: Yeah. Likewise. Um, so tell us a little bit about your background. Like how did you get into all of this? 

DARYN: Well, Trent, let’s start with you because this was your discovery.

TRENT: So back around 2010, I saw an article online actually. And I saw the headline saying, “Buy a Pair of Shoes, Get a Free First-Class Ticket.” It’s like, that sounds interesting. A little skeptically, I said, let me see—

DARYN: Yeah. You were like, no way.

TRENT: Let me see if I can repeat that. Let me read and repeat. So I actually followed the step-by-step process, bought my pair of shoes using a specific set of techniques. And lo and behold, a few weeks later, when the shoes arrived, the points posted to my account. And there were enough points actually for two first-class tickets to Miami. And back being a newbie, I thought, well, how great that is that I can— I can fly to Miami for free on these tickets. 

So since then, I’ve learned a lot more about why that’s probably not the best way to use those miles for a $100 ticket you could pay with cash. But the process worked. The pattern worked. And it’s always repeatable and scalable and something that would be useful for our family to be able to travel for very, very low cost. 

DARYN: And with that pair of shoes which he bought online, which he can talk more about in a moment— but, um, that pair of shoes launched an obsession that has taken over our entire life. Everything about miles, every dollar that we spend brings multiple miles back into our family so that we can take these amazing trips. 

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s awesome. Um, just out of curiosity, do you still wear the shoes? 

TRENT: You know, I still have those— those same shoes, absolutely.

MICHELLE: I feel like if they ever make a museum about— about your experience, like there’ll be this beautiful, like glass-encrusted display case of like the shoes that started it all.

DARYN: The shoes, yeah.

MICHELLE: That’s awesome. Um, and I love that you use the phrase repeatable and scalable, uh, which spoken like a true consultant. Um, that’s definitely— that definitely clocks with what I know about your background. 

Um, because I feel like so many people think that this is not really an option for them, or it’s like this one-off— you get super lucky, and you find a good deal. And you travel once. And then you tell your friends about it. 

But you don’t really make it like a permanent lifestyle. But Daryn, I love that you mentioned that this is something that your family does consistently. Like this is kind of built into the fabric of how you operate your finances. 

DARYN: Everything. And I will say, you know, as you hear more examples of what we do, we’re nuts. (LAUGHING) We are extreme.

TRENT: Extreme, yeah, yeah.

[00:04:58] DARYN: Extreme, exactly. And so because of that, we’ve had some extreme experiences. Um, the way we have structured our finances one might say is extreme. 

However, what’s cool about the hobby is even if you don’t go full-blown, if you just make a few adjustments to what your spend is, which Trent can talk about some more, some of the dollars that you’re sending out into the world can bring back more. And why not? You basically see it as when a dollar doesn’t bring a mile back, it’s like throwing money out the window.

TRENT: The opportunity cost, when we go to restaurants, and we see friends, and those that are not our friends but we’re still watching, uh, pull out a debit card and pay for a nice meal, we realize they’re gonna earn zero points and zero miles. They might earn some cashback, might not. So just the very product you use is really free to you. So why don’t you pick the right product that’s going to bring the most points and miles and maybe even cashback to match what your travel goals are instead of using the convenient debit card which will really give you none of those benefits? 

DARYN: Shockingly, some of those friends don’t go out to dinner with us again. Because, you know, like if you’re splitting the bill, and everybody pulls out a credit card, I do a little tap on Trent’s knee like, OK, be nice. I know it’s making you crazy which card they’re paying with. 

TRENT: Well, we’re in Atlanta, right? So we’re pretty much hub captive with Delta. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: So how many people, maybe yourself, have the Delta Amex co-branded card, right? So we’ll pull them out. Rarely, if ever, will they offer a bonus category wherever you go. Yet, people will, as a matter of convenience and habit, or maybe more scarily because they think those SkyMiles are worth proportionally as much or more than the other miles’ currency. And every time they make that swipe, pull out that card, they are leaving tens, if not hundreds, of dollars on the table that can be converted for premium travel.

MICHELLE: Oh, wow. OK. So I’m about to get schooled this episode is what I’m hearing, as a proud owner of the Delta SkyMiles Amex card, which they are not paying me to say. I promise you this. Because it sounds like we might be about to, uh, slightly rip them apart in this episode. No shame, Delta. We still love you. 

Um, so before we get into some of these tactics, let’s talk about some of the outcomes just to get people super excited about what’s possible here. So talk about some of the favorite places you’ve ever traveled and how you used miles to get there. 

DARYN: So we’ve taken some spectacular trips both together as a couple and with— we have two daughters, who are both in college. So we’ve traveled as a family of four.

TRENT: MilesCoeds.

DARYN: We call them— they’re called the MilesCoeds, which they— they hate. They hate that. Um, so a couple, most recent with them, last 4th of July, we did a thing called spin the wheel, where we know we’re going somewhere.

And because a lot of award space opens up at the last second. So we were all on standby 4th of July. 8:30 in the morning, Trent found four business class tickets to Venice, Italy for— do you remember off the top of your head? 

TRENT: Oh, it was $30 or something like that.

DARYN: About apiece. And 2 o’clock, we were on the plane on our way. 

MICHELLE: Whaaat?

DARYN: Yeah, on the way to Italy. Um, we’ve taken them to Africa. The four of us business class would’ve been about $30,000.

TRENT: Back when Delta SkyMiles was a great program, uh, absolutely.

DARYN: Yeah.

TRENT: Just before one of their big devaluations, we were able to redeem on partner airline KLM. 

DARYN: The big, over-the-top— just this last year, since both girls are in college, we’ve gone around the world twice. Um, and just in September, Trent wanted to fly Singapore Airlines, which is one of the most beautiful, nice first class apartments. It’s not a seat. It’s an apartment, basically. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: Um, they were retrofitting their first class. And it was going from Zurich to Singapore. So he waitlisted us. And a week before, he found out we got on the flight. So he had to get us to Zurich, which he did on first class, I think.

TRENT: Yes.

DARYN: Um, but let me just tell you about the Singapore Airlines flight. So it’s 12 hours. They made a double bed in the sky. They served an 11-course lunch on bone china and fine linen. The champagne— what was the champagne that they— ?

TRENT: It was 2006 or 2009 Dom Perignon. And you had Krug as well. Uh, that was the very two things they led with were multi-hundred dollar bottles of champagne.

DARYN: A butler, a steward.

TRENT: Now, we did pay. We did pay about $40.

DARYN: No, $35.

TRENT: $35 a person.

DARYN: It was— but it was a— the ticket would’ve been $14,500 each.

MICHELLE: Wow. 

DARYN: And we paid $35.

MICHELLE: With miles?

TRENT: Yes, plus miles, yes, yes.

DARYN: Which was a combination of Chase and American Express miles I think that you transferred over to KrisFlyer, which is the Singapore Airlines currency. 

TRENT: Yeah. One of these things about this travel hacking, using points and miles, is it really all starts with understanding which partners’ programs— which programs partner with each other. And so you wanna earn the currency in the program that gives you the most value because of its award chart, meaning how many miles it takes to fly from point A to point B, but also the quality of the onboard product, and the catering, and the seat, and the service, and those sorts of things. 

[00:10:03] So there’s a correlation there between the currency you’re earning and the partners that are most luxurious. And that’s kind of one of the sweet, sweet packing pieces of this game is, how do you map those together? Then how do you go attack it in terms of how you earn miles? 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: We’re getting ahead of ourselves. She was asking about experiences.

TRENT: Yep.

DARYN: And we’re already getting into the— the weeds.

MICHELLE: No. No, that’s a great segue. Um, so because now I’m 100% here for trying to get my buns on a flight to Singapore and relax in a double bed drinking champagne. 

DARYN: OK, yes.

MICHELLE: I am bought in for sure. So let’s get tactical with it. Um, walk us through all of the different ways that people can get reward points. 

TRENT: So I think it really— it first starts with this. I mean, and most people, um, need to focus, for their own financial wellbeing and for their own financial health, getting their own finances in order. And so really, you know, taking a look at, what is my credit score? How much debt do I carry? What’s my obligation to my, uh, you know, bachelor’s or master’s programs in terms of the loans I’ve taken out with the government? What’s my monthly obligation with mortgage? 

And get— so get your finances in order first. And then once you have that healthy credit score— you’ve eliminated any derogatory remarks. You’ve got your— your credit to debt ratio where it needs to be. Then you can go, OK, I’m now prepared to start going toward this game. 

So the number one method to earn miles is through credit card signup bonuses. So step one, get your financial health in order. Because, um, if you do start signing up for credit cards, you know, the rewards are really rich. But the 25% interest and late charges for missing a payment or having a late payment or getting yourself in trouble will far outweigh any benefits you would get with airline miles. So focus on your financial health and getting yourself healthy would be step one. 

MICHELLE: I love that. Because I think people are all gung-ho about travel hacking. And then they don’t realize, you know, if you have credit card debt outstanding, and you’re already having trouble paying your bills, you know— listen on. Because this might get you excited about paying those credit cards down faster. 

But know that you might not be ready to start doing this right away. That’s a wonderful point. Um, so you mentioned that the first way that people kind of earn the big bonuses upfront is by opening new cards.

TRENT: Right. 

MICHELLE: How do you start to choose what cards to open? 

DARYN: Good question.

TRENT: The right credit cards to open is— is kind of an output of a series of inputs. And the series of inputs really starts with, what are your travel aspirations? Specifically, where do you want to go? How many people do you want to go with you? What class of service do you wanna travel in— basic economy, or luxury first class, or somewhere in between?

DARYN: Oh, Michelle’s doing first class. 

TRENT: And then— 

DARYN: Yeah. 

MICHELLE: Yeah, I am.

TRENT: And then what time of the year do you need to go? Do you need to get 12 people to New Zealand on Christmas? Or do you need to go to Tulsa on a Wednesday night on Southwest? 

DARYN: To see Grandma.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: Yeah. So, you know, answer those four or 3.5 questions. And anybody who tries to sell you credit cards and gets an affiliate income from that is generally not asking you those questions. They’re pushing a card in front of you because it generates the highest commission for them rather than asking these travel goals. So the way MilesHusband works is we sit down and say, these are the three and a half or four questions you need to answer first. Let me, in a nonaffiliate way, where I’m getting no commission— let me explain to you which cards you should attack that perfectly map to those travel aspirations. 

DARYN: Which is a good point to get in there because there are travel sites out there, and they will recommend credit cards. Just know that most— almost exclusively all of them— they’re getting $100 to $200 per person who is approved for a card. 

TRENT: Conversion, yeah.

DARYN: So they’re not— they’re like, oh, this is the most amazing travel card. Yeah, the most amazing for them. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad card. But chances are, it’s not the best card for you or even the best card on the market. It’s just the card that the bank is paying that website to promote. 

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s a great point. And I feel like too I love your nuance about where you’re going and who’s going with you. Because I think when we evaluate card offers— and I’ve been guilty of this previously— is just, what’s the number associated with the sign-on bonus? So I’m like, oh, 50,000, that’s a big number. Or 75,000, that’s a big number. Surely that has value to me. 

Rather than actually understanding the currency behind the points to say, well, they say 75,000. But what if that is like one round-trip ticket to Tulsa? Maybe that’s not actually where I wanna go. That’s a great point. 

TRENT: We love you, Tulsa. (LAUGHING) Nothing wrong with you. 

MICHELLE: Yeah, no dishing on Tulsa either. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure, Delta, Tulsa, you’re all friends here. 

DARYN: Yeah.

[00:14:55] MICHELLE: Just we have other preferences. That’s great. Um, so once you open up the card, you kind of do the digging on your goals, I mean, do you have a good resource for people, if they figure out where they wanna go and what class, like how to map on the different types of cards? Is there any like science to that? 

TRENT: So there’s actually a bit of art, um, and a smidge of luck. But mostly it is science. Um, it’s science that evolves. Nearly on a weekly basis, there are nuanced changes that really impact how you attack earning these miles. 

And so, yes, we offer consulting services on mileshusband.com that walk through a series of coaching steps that starts with financial help, goes very quickly into the travel aspiration three and a half questions. And then we map, based upon those, the types of currency that you want to earn to be able to travel on either that carrier’s planes or its partners’ operating aircraft. And that’s how that, all that map, works. 

So it really is tied to, you know, where. Where you’re going and what class of service are kind of the biggest, the first two, questions. And then you look at all the loyalty schemes out there that map to those. 

And so it’s a broad answer. But it all depends— you know, are you going to Southeast Asia? You wanna probably invest heavily in American, Alaska, uh, mileage plan points and also in the Chase and American Express membership rewards because of the relationship with Singapore. So that’s the most luxurious way to get to Asia, for example. 

DARYN: But Europe, if someone was going to Europe—

TRENT: If it’s Europe, you want to invest in— in currencies that map to United and its Star Alliance network. And so that would be Chase. That would be American Express. That would be United. 

But there are big— big changes. And this is one of the nuances that really makes the hobby interesting. But unfortunately, it complicates it for some of the beginners. And that is the reward programs are now injecting machine learning, artificial intelligence, these things into the program to really advantage the shareholder.

MICHELLE: Mmm, yeah.

TRENT: And in many cases, that disadvantages the hacker. So as the rules change more in favor of the company and less in favor of the hacker, we in our space have to tweak and bend a little to map to that. And United is announcing some big, really customer-unfavorable changes to their program. So anybody who’s investing heavily in the Chase Ultimate Rewards programs, specifically because of its United partnership, or has a United card needs to really pay attention to, how do you pivot from those currencies toward a currency that will bring you less exposure to devaluation? 

MICHELLE: Yeah. OK. That’s a great point. So once you have the card open, and you’ve kind of decided like— yes, I’m going to Singapore, so I need this specific type of points or miles to get me there. And here’s the card that offers those things. Um, what other ways can you get reward points besides— 

TRENT: Well— 

MICHELLE: I mean, yeah, go ahead. I’m not gonna cut you off. Tell me. 

TRENT: Well, I mean, there’s a lot. So, um—

DARYN: We should talk portal shopping. 

TRENT: Well, I think, you know, in terms of recency, August is, you know, fall semester for the MilesCoeds, right? 

MICHELLE: Ooh.

TRENT: So tuition comes due the first week or two for everyone, right? And everyone’s trying to make a decision. How am I gonna pay for this? You know, can I use a credit card to actually pay for this and get miles? And of course, the 100% answer by the— by those less-informed, oh, no, it’s 2.5% to 3%. And, you know, the school’s gonna collect that because that’s with their credit card issuer. 

It’s like, wait, no. There are other options. Like in 2018 fall semester, we actually earned 95,000 airline miles for free because we had a promotion through a vendor called Plastiq with a Q. And Plastiq sent out a promotion that said, unlimited fee-free payments if you use Mastercard. 

So as long as you had a Mastercard credit card or had a card that you could buy Mastercard gift cards, you could actually pay your school tuition and earn all those miles for free, um, and have Plastiq actually cut checks to the— the tuition bursar’s office. And, uh, you earn miles for free. So most people can’t wrap their head, or don’t wanna wrap their head, around that. 

Yes, it’s manually intensive. I had to string dozens of $200 payments together. And some poor person at Plastiq was cutting $200 and licking envelopes. And then the poor tuition office had to, you know, unpack 35 or 40 $200 checks. But, yes, you can earn miles through techniques like that. That would fall with Daryn’s maybe extreme. Um—

DARYN: That was. We should really talk portal shopping.

TRENT: Yep. 

DARYN: Because that’s something that I think everybody can relate to. Uh, we basically buy nothing inside of a store. 

[00:20:02] MICHELLE: OK. Portal shopping is what it’s called.

DARYN: Yes, portal shopping. Um, all the airlines and banks and credit cards have their own shopping sites.

MICHELLE: Sure.

DARYN: Um, what would be some of the like— some of the airline ones? Like—

TRENT: Well, each airline has its own portal. So there are really maybe two or three different types of currencies. There are bank currencies. And then there are airline currencies. And most of the banks will partner with airlines. 

But so the portals— Chase has its own portal. American Express does not. Um, I don’t know if the Barclays and US Bank— most of the banks don’t have portals. However, the airlines all have portals. 

And the whole purp— the whole purpose of a portal is it’s really— it’s a marketing tool where retailers will use their marketing and their co-op dollars. And they will actually pay this portal to advertise that retailer’s products and services. And so what happens is when the customer clicks on a portal, say American AAdvantage eShopping, you earn American AAdvantage miles.

DARYN: So that would be for American— that would be for American Airlines.

TRENT: Yeah. You would earn American miles. Go to that portal and say, I’m gonna go buy bedsheets at Macy’s. Let me see what Macy’s is paying out. Oh, it’s paying out 10 miles per dollar spent if I buy through the portal.

And so I’ll go— instead of going to macys.com, I’ll log on to americanaadvantageeshopping.com, search Macy’s, click through to Macy’s. It passes the affiliate link through. And I— every— everything I buy at Macy’s, they will pay a commission to— back to the portal. And a portion of that commission will be paid from the portal to me in the form of airline miles.

DARYN: So—

TRENT: So that’s how the circuit works in terms of buying, going through a portal, earning— instead of going to Macy’s, pulling out your debit card, earning zero.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: Or your SkyMiles, earning 1x. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: Actually go— go to the portal, use whatever card you wanna use. You’ll earn miles on that credit card. Plus, you’ll earn an additional 10 American AAdvantage miles just by buying the bedsheets at Macy’s through that distribution channel.

DARYN: So do the math on $100 worth of sheets. So if you buy— if you pay— if you pulled your debit card at zero.

TRENT: If you used like, um— everyone really should be using a card that earns at least two times, two points per dollar, two miles per dollar because those cards are free, no annual fee. The American Express Blue Business Plus gives you two miles per dollar. So everyone, at minimum, should be using that card. 

So in that scenario, you would buy $100 worth of sheets. You would get 200 membership rewards points for using that American Express card. And then you would earn $100 times 10, which is 1,000, American AAdvantage miles for buying those sheets. So that takes you from a potential of zero points by going in store to buying it up to 1,200 points for buying the very same product using this technique instead.

DARYN: And you could say $1,200— um, 1,200 points or miles, where are you gonna go on that? Well, nowhere. But when you do it with— consistently with everything that you’re buying, that you were gonna buy anyway— you needed those sheets because your dog ripped up the sheets, right? Which happened at our house. (LAUGHING)

MICHELLE: Real story.

DARYN: Yeah, real story, real life. Um, why not have that money you had to spend bring the miles back in?

MICHELLE: Yeah. I love that. Because I feel like, again, in my limited worldview, not knowing very much about travel hacking, when I coach people financially sometimes, I’m like, well, if you didn’t overspend on a credit card, you could literally save money and buy airplane tickets. And so I love what you’re saying is, if you are making purchases already, and this is already something you’re planning to do, why the hell not get paid for it? 

TRENT: Right, right.

DARYN: So you wanna hear his record for the biggest portal spend? We had a week— and this is how stuff happens, right? The dishwasher died. And he needed new tires on his car the same week. Why does it always happen like that? 

MICHELLE: Yeah, sure. 

DARYN: You know, it does. So we were looking at about a $2,000 spend. And through different techniques of portal shopping and layering, again on the extreme layer, he took that $2,000 and turned it into 72,000 miles.

MICHELLE: Shut up. Are you serious?

TRENT: Yeah, yeah.

MICHELLE: Wow.

DARYN: And that was through the layers of like buying gift cards and going— I mean, again, extreme.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: But shows you what’s possible as well.

MICHELLE: Let the record stand that I have been doing this horribly wrong. Um, and as somebody who is in the process of moving and like into a house that’s gonna need some work—

DARYN: Perfect time.

MICHELLE: This is perfect timing for me, no joke. We’re going to Berlin next year. 

DARYN: Yes.

MICHELLE: We’ll talk about that afterwards. (LAUGHING)

TRENT: It’s amazing, though. That’s very typical. People will fall in love with a certain credit card and certain earning techniques. And— and they’ll do an awesome job of earning and earning and earning and earning. They’re stacking up these miles. 

And they’ll come and see me. Look, I have 1.4 million of these miles. It’s like— and I wanna go to Australia in first class with my family of four. It’s like, OK, um, great. Let’s get you in a product that actually can earn the type of miles for Australia because this one will get you and your family to Tulsa next Wednesday night.

[00:25:07] MICHELLE: (LAUGHING) Yeah, right, right, right.

TRENT: Yeah, yeah.

DARYN: Again, we love you, Tulsa. 

MICHELLE: This is the Tulsa bashing episode.

DARYN: Yeah.

MICHELLE: Um, that’s awesome. So we’ve talked about like intro bonuses, portal shopping. Um, any— any other techniques that you’ve used to kind of get miles once the card is open that you’d like to share? 

TRENT: I—

DARYN: This is— this is showing not our dirty laundry, but this is what we do for fun on Saturdays. Wanna talk about manufactured spend?

TRENT: Uh, I don’t really. Um— 

MICHELLE: That’s totally fine.

TRENT: I don’t really. You know, off the camera, off the— 

MICHELLE: OK.

TRENT: Yeah. Manufactured spend is a dirty word. It’s, um— Amex has actually hired a whole staff of people called the RAT team. It’s an acronym for something, but we call it rat. 

DARYN: Rat.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: And so they’re specifically looking for, uh, people who abuse the rewards system. So manufacturing spend is a dirty word. Um, what we will call it instead is opportunistically spending money on your credit card that you can very easily convert back to liquid cash. 

MICHELLE: OK.

TRENT: So that’s, you know— it’s basically spending something on your card and being able to convert most or all of it back to cash in your checking account. And then the residual is actually the miles or cashback that you earned by actually swiping the card. 

MICHELLE: Oh, I see.

TRENT: So it— yeah.

MICHELLE: Yeah. So that’s like a form of arbitrage that we won’t get to on this episode.

TRENT: Right, right, right.

MICHELLE: OK. Cool.

DARYN: And it’s also a whole other level. It’s not for beginners.

TRENT: Yeah. You know, I think one— probably one of the, um— one of the least-seized opportunities that’s available to everybody are every American Express cardholder who creates an online account— and if you don’t have— if you have a card, and you don’t have an online account, you should create one. Amex has a program. Um, really it’s um— it’s kind of a co-op program they have with the merchants where they’ll partially subsidize spend.

And so these are called Amex Offers. And at the very landing page of American Express, uh, just right below the fold, you have Amex Offers. And these are merchants— some of these merchants are merchants that are specialty. And you’re gonna go out of your way to shop there. 

But many of these merchants are, um, you know, really goods and services that you already— you must have or need. They are your phone service. They are your— all your telecom, your cable, your gas, you know, places that you have to spend money in order to survive and live. 

If you just go add those offers to your account periodically and use that card at that merchant, they will throw in either free money in terms of a rebate, give you up to 5,000 free membership rewards for a single transaction. Or they’ll, um, actually give you double or triple miles for that specific merchant. And so these are available to everybody, an easy hack that takes a few minutes a week to go and make sure you take advantage of those. 

But you can really earn multiples of miles very quickly by taking advantage of things that are not really hidden tricks. They’re just right there in front of you. And just actually, they’re— they’re probably not marketed by American Express as much as they could be. Because most people don’t know about them to take advantage of them.

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s great. And again, getting back to this viewpoint of so many people think that in order to— to do this, you have to run up your credit card a whole bunch and make irresponsible decisions, when actually it’s really just, what are the things that you’re already buying? And is there a way to like maximize that multiple of miles that you get on the normal stuff? Um, which I think is super, super neat. 

TRENT: I think it’s one more thing too. That it’s great for cord cutters. Because the different distribution, the Netflix, the Hulus, the fuboTVs, they’re running promotions monthly under Amex Offers. And so if you don’t wanna subscribe over a 12-month period, you can sign up for trials between seven and 30 days. 

And you can unlock a “spend 50, get $30 back” bonus. And suddenly, you’re cord cutting and actually saving a ton of money. It’s a bit of an administrative overhead, but it’s something that you can do just to take advantage of offers that are right in front of you. 

MID-ROLL ADVERTISEMENT: If you love the Young Scrappy Money podcast, you’ll love our digital subscription service. For less than the cost of your gym membership, you get access to our whole suite of classes, workbooks, a private Slack channel, and more. Check us out online at www.youngscrappymoney.com.

MICHELLE: Do you ever do anything with, um— so for example, I know that Amex recently ran a promotion about like, if you recommend the card to others, that also gets you a boost. Do you do anything with that at all?

TRENT: No, that’s great. You know, everyone— a part of my coaching teaches this to people— is you are your own— you are your own kind of salesperson that can generate value for you and your family. And that is both Chase and American have similar programs that you can refer a friend, refer others. And what— what you will get in terms of referral are typically a bonus anywhere between 5,000 and 15,000 free miles for pitching this card, sending a link to a friend, and having them get approved for that card. 

[00:30:15] So yeah, it’s— everyone can take advantage of this program. The rules are differently nuanced between Chase and Amex. But, yes, everyone can take advantage of these— you know, realizing, however, it will benefit you personally. But by unknowingly, innocently pitching a specific product to one of your friends, you may actually be taking them out of the game from actually signing up for additional cards that may be much more worthwhile to their travel aspirations.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: Does that make sense? So for example, Chase and Barclay now penalize you for how many credit cards you’ve signed up for in the past 24 months. And so if you’re pitching a bunch of Amex products to your friends to get your 10,000 free miles, and they suddenly say, I wanna go big in Singapore first class, or I wanna go big— and then suddenly, oh, well, the way I wanna go big is with these, you know, Barclay or Chase products. 

And you go apply for a Barclay or Chase product. And they go, sorry, um, you’ve applied for and been approved for five or more accounts in the past 24 months. You know, no soup for you. 

MICHELLE: (LAUGHING) Yeah. 

TRENT: So if your friends come back to say, wait, you know, I can’t fly anywhere on these— you gave me four cards. I got 10,000 miles. I can’t go anywhere for 40,000 miles. Why did you give me this bad advice? And you’re like, wait, I was— I was just trying to get— throw a 10,000 free miles my way. I wasn’t trying to hurt you.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: So the— you know, be careful what you do to your friends. Because it might actually hurt them if they wanna, you know, earn a lot of miles for— like if you have a family of four, you need a pile of miles in order to do this. So—

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s a great point. And I think to— to put a slightly like money nerd technical spin on it, so when you have your credit report, one of the components of your credit report is credit inquiries. So how many times did somebody who was not you pull your credit history? And so if you apply for a card, and you get denied, it stays on your credit report for 24 months— which is how, when you go apply for another card, those companies will then know not just what are the cards that you have open now, but how long have they been open? And how many things did you apply for and get rejected for? 

So do be very careful with that. Um, I think, on that note, I do have a kind of a follow-up question there. Um, how— if you don’t mind sharing, like how many credit cards do you maintain open at any— 

DARYN: (LAUGHING) Oooh, boy. 

MICHELLE: Is this like a revolving door? Am I opening up Pandora’s box? How many cards do you have now? 

TRENT: Well, you know, there are reasons to initially open a credit card. And there are— 

DARYN: Wait. Can we just say extreme? We’re extreme. I mean— 

TRENT: Well, no. No, I’m gonna say, first of all, one can throttle this to her or his capacity to manage.

DARYN: Yeah.

TRENT: And so one of the misnomers that’s out there is that it’s linear, right? Like the more cards you have, the more miles you have. And that isn’t true. What you really have is a couple— really a couple different buckets here, to keep it simple. 

One is a bucket of cards you want to apply for because of the sign-on bonus. And many times, you’ll actually meet the sign-on bonus. Sorry, Chase, Barclay, and Amex. But then you’ll put those in the sock drawer. Because you don’t ever wanna use them again because it doesn’t benefit you to continue to swipe that card. Because the opportunity cost of those earnings for additional swipes is much too high. 

MICHELLE: So— so basically, like the two pieces of— sometimes the right card to get you the good upfront bonus is not the best card for your ongoing spending. Is that what you’re saying? 

TRENT: Correct, correct.

MICHELLE: OK.

TRENT: So you’ll have that, those series of cards in kind of one category. And then another card, another series of cards, is you wanna— you wanna apply for these. Most often, they do have a nice sign-on bonus. But that’s secondary.

The higher value on those cards is they offer merchant bonus multiples, meanings— meaning if I go to a supermarket or a restaurant, I get four miles per dollar. I go to a gas station, I get three miles per dollar. So those are the kind of cards you want to have and hold on to. 

Because generally, those cards may actually be worth paying a recurring annual fee on because the benefits that come back to you are so great. So those are kind of two high— two major buckets of cards. So not dodging your question— 

DARYN: Yeah, you’re avoiding the question. It’s time to spill.

TRENT: (LAUGHING) Yeah, not— not— not dodging the question.

DARYN: My name is Trent. And I have how many credit cards? 

TRENT: Well, we’ve closed more than 100 in our eight or nine years, eight-ish years in this hobby. We only have around 20 open right now. Um, and of those, we actively use four or five of them. 

MICHELLE: OK.

TRENT: Yep. 

[00:34:58] DARYN: Again, to go to my original point, because you’re gonna— so many people are going click, click, click on this podcast. But before you do that, even if you don’t wanna manage four or five, even if you don’t wanna manage 20, if you just get a couple, you might not be earning the massive amount of miles that we are. But you’re still earning more miles than you would have if you hadn’t done anything. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: There’s different levels to do it at. 

MICHELLE: Yeah. It’s not an all-or-nothing strategy. It’s not 100 cards or zero.

DARYN: Yeah, exactly.

TRENT: Right.

MICHELLE: Thank God for that. 

DARYN: Yes. Did you see her jaw drop when you said 100?

MICHELLE: I know. I— I love this. Because I do a lot of debt coaching. So whenever somebody comes to me with like, I have 20 credit cards open, it’s rarely that they’re using them to fly around the world.

DARYN: Yeah.

MICHELLE: Um, but in your case, like if this is your number one hobby, and it’s getting you to Singapore drinking champagne, then, again, I’m super here for it. So— 

DARYN: And we carry no balances on any card.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: Number one rule.

MICHELLE: Oh, that’s a great point.

DARYN: Number one rule, no balance on any card. 

TRENT: And I think one of the— probably the most underst— misunderstood rule on this, are you carrying a balance or not? It has nothing to do with whether you’re actually carrying a balance. And let me explain. It’s the date that the bank, issuing bank, reports your balance to the credit bureau.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: That’s your balance, whether or not it’s before your statement cut, after your statement cut, when your bill was due, when it’s not due. So people— if people are not paying— if people are paying their full balance by their payment due date, yet the bank is reporting to the bureaus before that payment arrives, then it’s artificially overstating your balance. And that’s really knocking a few points or more off your credit score each month. 

So most people need to realize that if you figure out when your banks report to the bureaus, and get that full payment to the bank by then, you’ll actually get a bump in credit. So you won’t get artificially knocked down for that fake revolving balance that you don’t have. 

MICHELLE: Yeah, right. 

TRENT: Does that make sense?

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s a great point. So, um, do you— so let’s say, for example, to make this a little bit concrete for those listening, let’s say your monthly statement close date is like the 15th of the month. And so on the 12th of the month, you make a $1,000 purchase to like get a billion miles. 

Because this is how you operate. And that math totally makes sense in my brain. Um, if the credit bureaus report on the 15th as well, even if you’re not past due, even if you have the money comfortably in your checking account to pay it off, it will still look like there’s 1,000 miles on the card— or, I’m sorry, $1,000 on the card just because the credit bureau reported it before you had a chance to pay it off. 

TRENT: Correct, correct. 

MICHELLE: OK. So it’s not just this strategy of, you know, obviously make sure that you’re not overspending and that you can comfortably pay them off, but there’s also an element of timing there to say, make sure sometimes that you pay them off almost immediately so that the credit bureau doesn’t think you’re in massive debt when really you’re just about to pay them off. 

TRENT: Yeah, absolutely, correct, yeah.

MICHELLE: OK. Great. So I— because I think that’s some people’s concern is like, yes, getting miles is sweet. But is it actually gonna wreck my credit? And I think that’s a great point. That if you’re smart about the timing involved, it shouldn’t even have a major impact on your credit beyond the obvious fact that you have, you know, potentially multiple credit inquiries on your account.

DARYN: Well, and actually it has increased our credit scores. 

TRENT: Yeah. I mean, another misnomer is, oh, you know, carrying all those cards, um, and even canceling the cards is a— there’s a misnomer that that actually hurts your credit score. And, you know, it can situationally hurt your credit score. But over the course of the nine years, our credit score has increased 15% to 20% from what it start— maybe more than that from what it started at. You know, starting at low sevens, and now it’s in— you know, the FAKO score is well under the eights. 

MICHELLE: Yeah. 

TRENT: The real FICO score is in the upper sevens. And that’s all because of these habits of, um, really increasing our— or increasing the amount of credit that has been extended to us.

MICHELLE: Yeah, yeah.

TRENT: And keeping the amount of money we spend against that credit below, you know, 10% every month and then, you know, paying that bill off before it’s reported to the bureau.

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s a great point. Um, because— so we actually did a podcast, uh, it would’ve been a couple months ago now, with Gerri Detweiler on credit scores. And if y’all listened to that episode, and you remember that your credit score has multiple, multiple components, making on-time minimum payments helps your credit score. Actually having multiple lines of credit helps your credit score. 

So in theory, those are also ways that you can take advantage of this. I mean, credit inquiries is such a small, small part of your credit score overall. Um, I think that’s a great point that this actually could potentially help your credit in other ways if you are responsible with it. There’s the big caveat— if you are responsible with it.

[00:39:56] TRENT: I think the other thing too is most people don’t realize that, um, most people are eligible to be a sole proprietorship, meaning they’ve bought or sold something on eBay or Amazon or Craigslist. You know, they’ve had a garage sale. You know, they’ve donated to a not-for-profit. All those qualify for a sole proprietorship. 

And if you qualify as that, you are eligible for a new sliver of credit and charge cards called business cards. And so the beauty of business cards is you get a whole fresh new set of sign-on bonuses. But an equally good benefit of business cards, I’m sure that you know, is those are not reported to the bureaus. So if you get a $10,000 line of credit, and if you need to go, you know, spend— I don’t know— $7,000 on a new roof— 

DARYN: Again, our life.

TRENT: You know, very poignant memories, yeah. So— so— and you don’t wanna hurt utilization. You could put that 7,000 on that business card. And so your 70% ratio is gonna look very bad to the bureaus. But business cards, balances are not reported to the bureaus unless you’re 60 or more days late on the payment.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: So it’s another way to look at your— how to manage that credit score month over month is put the high-dollar items on the business cards to keep your utilization ratio lower. 

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s great. So I think we’ve talked about multiple ways to get points. One of the other things that you specialize in is spending the points. So how can you make sure that, if you’re actually going to pull the trigger, and you’re buying your flight or whatever— that you’re spending them in the optimal way? 

TRENT: Yeah. I think that’s a great point. I think, um, once you have the points, hopefully the right kind of points, you need to very— you need to have already have a plan to kind of spend them. And the reason is anybody in there who has invested in Bitcoin over the past two years knows, you know, the pain points of holding the Bitcoin, um, too long or maybe ever getting it in the first place. 

And so many of the mileage programs have a system of enhancements that the marketing folks will call them that are actually significant devaluations. And so what you— what you have is this is a currency that, um, is owned by the bank or the airline partner. And you are just a steward of it. 

So at any time, they can take it from you. They can tell you your point is worth nothing. They can tell you your point can no longer take you to Tulsa. They can do anything. So what the point here is, the points you earned, you need to very quickly have a redemption strategy that you can execute. 

Because holding these points is actually pretty high exposure. So whatever point you earn, you should really have a plan on how I’m gonna redeem that. So making sure there’s a constant earning and redemption is really important to kind of hedge your own risk and then to get the value of the actual aspirational travel. 

And so earn the points because you have a plan to redeem them. And so how do you redeem them? The best technique is obviously make sure your school schedules and your work schedules are in alignment. You need to have a 330-day running plan of, what are the big outages? What are the blackout periods? When are the free periods? 

And so when that mistake fare opens up, or when that award redemption opens up in business or first class, you know exactly when that your family’s free to go. And then you go ahead and book that. Because these— the actual inventory is capacity controlled.

DARYN: So I’m just gonna jump in for a second to like bring us back to normal people. Because so I sometimes have to explain normal people to him. So normal people have usually like a specific trip in mind. Like they know they want to go to Paris next summer, or they know they want to go to Hawaii. So if you’re trying to plan for a specific trip, what should people look for, like in terms of the calendar?

TRENT: OK. So, again, do you have the right type of miles? 

DARYN: Right.

TRENT: Because assuming you have the right type of miles, these calendars open up anywhere between 11 and 12 months in advance. Calendar means I have a pile of miles I want to use with this partner’s plan that flies on these planes. So you’ve gotta know where to go find the award inventory. 

Because you know there’s coach. There’s retail inventory, basic economy, economy, premium economy in some markets, business, and international first. There’s also another bucket called award inventory. And it’s attached to each of those five retail buckets as well. 

So where do I go to find this inventory that I can use these points to redeem for? So the best time to do it are two times. It’s when the schedule opens up 11 months out, or it’s within two weeks of departure, which really stresses—

DARYN: Normal people out. 

MICHELLE: Yeah, sure.

TRENT: What do you mean I’ve got it within two weeks? Sometimes it’s 48 hours. And so those are the times you’ve got to be attacking the openings. Because it’s really competitive. You have to really know where to search for the space, then know how to actually redeem the space. Because it’s two different things. Where do I find it? And how do I book it?

And so get your plan in advance. Earn the right types of miles. Be ready to pull the trigger. I’m helping a family now who has a bar mitzvah in Tel Aviv 333 days from now. And so I sent an email last night saying, here are the things— here’s what it’s looking like. Here’s what you need to do. Here’s gonna be your options. 

[00:50:10] And at midnight, when the schedule opens, we will be on the phone, you know, booking these flights. Because that’s when the inventory is most widely available. So having a plan well in advance is kind of the number one limiting factor to a lot of folks because a lot of people just can’t plan that far in advance. 

DARYN: But again, to repeat, the 330-day rule and then the two-week because people— that’s— I mean, that’s basic in our world. But people don’t know that little bit of— 

TRENT: So in order to be able to use these miles you worked so hard to acculumate, you have to have a way to redeem them. Award capacity is— is limited by the revenue management teams in the airlines. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: They’re most liberal with this award inventory 330 days out and two weeks out from departure. 

MICHELLE: OK.

TRENT: So those are your two attack— kind of your two largest attack vectors. So if you can schedule your trips around those two intervals, you’ll have a better chance of redeeming your miles for the most sought-after award travel.

DARYN: So one technique he also uses— and again, I’ll explain the extreme in our case. But he’ll book a one-way at 330 days. And then let’s say your trip is 10 days later. It’ll be two one-ways. 

He’ll wait 10 days to see what that inventory— instead of trying to do a round-trip. Because if you’re trying to get your outbound at 330 days, well, then the return inventory hasn’t opened up yet. So it might behoove you to do two one-ways and do it in two parts. 

MICHELLE: Ooh. That’s neat. 

DARYN: Right.

TRENT: And it would not only behoove. It actually— it’s pretty much mandated that— and we’re kind of working on a— 

DARYN: Another client.

TRENT: A few followers who are working on a big Tokyo Olympics trip in 2020. And so there’s a certain series of techniques you’ve gotta use to be there and be ready to book those tickets.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: And one of these— every technique is gonna be you’ve got to book the outbound without any knowledge of when and how you’re getting back. And so that’s an element of risk many people don’t want to take on. 

DARYN: Many people don’t. 

TRENT: But many people are like, OK, let’s go for it. Because I know that there’s always a way back. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: And so this inventory is, um, kind of spoiled inventory. It’s in the airline’s best interest to get compensated, you know, for that. Because the loyalty program will pay them for these seats that people redeem on award miles. So it’s in their best interest to use these seats. It’s just a very different way of traveling, a big learning curve.

DARYN: In our extreme, for those who like to watch at home, um, almost every single trip we go on, we go with no way back. He figures it out while we’re there.

MICHELLE: Oh. So when you say like while you’re there, you literally mean we are in Tokyo right now.

DARYN: Yeah. We—

TRENT: Yes.

MICHELLE: And hypothetically, we’re flying home in five days. But question mark, we might not actually be flying home in five days.

TRENT: Correct.

DARYN: Right, yeah. So when we did that trip— 

TRENT: Or we might be flying home in three days. You just won’t know it until day two and a half from now. 

MICHELLE: Right, yeah.

TRENT: Yes, yes. 

DARYN: And people think that is totally nuts. But he does always get us home. 

MICHELLE: (LAUGHING) That’s awesome. That’s amazing.

TRENT: Usually, we have multiple ways. We have multiple options home. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: Like when we— the trip we took on Singapore Airlines, we went to Thailand. And he had us going home through Qatar, which lovely. But I wasn’t feeling it. So he did his tippy tappy thing. And six hours before, he switched us. And we went home Cathay Pacific through Hong Kong. 

TRENT: Through the other side. 

DARYN: Yeah. Instead of going this way—

TRENT: Around the world east instead of west. 

DARYN: We went around the other way. 

TRENT: Yeah.

MICHELLE: OK. So for people who are listening and have really flexible schedules, this like opens up a whole new world. If you’re not reliant on a typical “I’ve gotta be in the office 9:00 to 5:00,” and you’ve got a lot of flexibility about your schedule like that, then you really do have the freedom to say, I know that I’m leaving for Berlin on October 8. And then when I get there, we’ll figure out when I’m coming home. Like that’s— 

DARYN: Yeah, Michelle. You have a laptop. Have laptop, will travel, right? 

MICHELLE: It’s true. I do a lot of work via video conference. 

DARYN: Yeah, yes.

MICHELLE: This is my future right here. I love it. 

DARYN: Yes.

MICHELLE: Um, so we’ve talked about— um, we’ve talked about getting miles. We’ve talked about spending miles. I want you to talk about some of your other family rules. So, um, there are two big family rules. This is what I’m learning. Um, experiences over stuff.

DARYN: Yep.

MICHELLE: And carry-ons only. Talk to us about these.

DARYN: Well, experiences over stuff, you know, as I mentioned, we have two daughters who are now in college. And that just kind of is how we decided to raise them. You know, one year it was, guess what you get for Christmas— an elephant in Africa. 

MICHELLE: Wow.

DARYN: You know, you didn’t get a thing. Um, but I guarantee you, at this age, whatever thing we would’ve given them that Christmas, it wouldn’t have been as magnificent as the picture we have of them, you know, hanging out of the safari Jeep this close to an elephant. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: Or the elephant that was actually charging our safari Jeep. We do have video of that as well. 

MICHELLE: Oh, wow.

DARYN: And carry-ons started because very early on in the game, Trent and I went to South America. Right? We went to— 

TRENT: American Airlines, first class.

DARYN: American Airlines, first class, it was great. And we arrived. And our luggage did not. And we spent like two days just going through Buenos Aires just like— 

TRENT: I bought underwear from a phone booth.

DARYN: (LAUGHING) I mean, not— yeah, was it the Sunday? I mean, it was just— it kind of— it didn’t ruin the trip. But it definitely affected the trip. And that was it— carry-on only. And so, yeah, if we go around the world for two weeks, carry-on. Um, and our girls don’t really even know any other way that you’re allowed to travel.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: Um, you might not be as cute. You might not— you know, I tell him, OK, you’re gonna see the same dress at dinner every night. But, um— and explain the flexibility it gives. I mean, it’s not just to be, um, difficult. You actually have a method to your carry-on madness.

TRENT: Well, you know, it’s a lot of different things. I mean, irregular operations can really hit you. And if you are separated from your luggage, it just makes it more difficult for you to be nimble and get on kind of a different flight. 

And the other thing is, a lot of times, you’ll have a business class award on a certain flight. But then first class opens up on a flight, you know, two hours later. And why would you, you know, give up a first class flight? And to separate yourself from your luggage, again, that makes it more difficult.

DARYN: Because you’ve already checked your luggage, so you can’t get it off. Or it just— yeah, the flexibility. 

MICHELLE: Yeah, yeah, that’s a great point. 

TRENT: Yep.

MICHELLE: And in my— my personal experience too, I don’t— I’m not carry-ons only, usually. But I’m also a big fan of booking travel when it’s looking like the airport’s gonna be a huge cluster. Because then when they’re like, “Does anybody wanna take $1,000 to get bumped till tomorrow?”— I’m like, hell, yeah, see you guys tomorrow. 

I’m not going yet, which my like— my shameless story, which is not super, um, super extreme or anything like that, but I was going to Europe to visit a friend. And it was just me traveling. And, um, my flight to London got overbooked. And so I took $1,000, and I went home. 

TRENT: Sweet. 

MICHELLE: And then the next day, I came back for my flight. And it was overbooked. And I took $800, and I went home. And just by delaying my flight by two days and having the flexibility— I wrote my friend an email like, sorry, bud, but also now I get like three more plane tickets. So I’ll see you later. 

DARYN: Yeah.

MICHELLE: And it was totally, totally worth it to have that last-minute flexibility, which I think is a great point about being on team carry-ons. Yeah. 

TRENT: That’s a great hack. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

TRENT: It’s getting harder these days. I think the airlines are putting a cap on it, or it’s gonna be a more competitive bid. And so it’s difficult to get that high mark.

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: So even more impressive. Way to go, Michelle.

TRENT: Yeah, well done.

MICHELLE: It only— it only works too, admittedly, if you’re flying by yourself. Because I’m 100% flexible almost all the time when I’m flying by myself. If you have like a family with you where there’s more constraints, that’s a little bit harder. 

DARYN: Sure.

MICHELLE: And sometimes, people are like, we’re not going home and coming back. But I’m— I mean, I’ll do anything for a travel boondoggle basically, in that regard. 

DARYN: Yeah.

MICHELLE: So I’m— I’m always ready to get bumped and hang out at an airport for eight hours by myself. Like no shame in my game. Um, so we’ve talked a little bit about some of the ways that you help other people make these decisions. So this is like a formal consulting service that you offer. Can you talk about that and what that looks like when people work with you?

TRENT: Sure. We have a few different options to kind of match the needs of— of different groups. One option is just a quick 15- or 30-minute sit-down and say— many of my customers will say, I have a lot of cards. I don’t think they’re the right cards. Can you give me the one best card? And so I’ll sit down and talk to them quickly for 50 bucks. Here’s the best card. You know, go for it. 

Then I have another service for people where I will only book their award travel for them. They’re on their own for earning miles and keeping track of all their cards. And I’ll help them book the award— um, find it, book it, give them the best lounges, tell them the best things to do along the way. That’s another service I have. 

And then I have a kind of a subscription service where I’ll sit down four times a year, once a quarter approximately, and go through their portfolio of cards, go through their portfolio of points, and fine-tune their travel aspirations, as we talked about earlier. And I offer that service as well. That’s the most popular service because most customers realize this isn’t a one and done. A single card is not gonna get me maybe where I need to go. But a whole portfolio of solutions targeted to a travel aspiration is how I can make these repeatable and scalable for my family.

DARYN: And that package includes you book two tickets for them. 

TRENT: Yeah. Oh, that also, two tickets, both directions, as part of that annual subscription.

MICHELLE: Awesome. And so people can find your work at mileshusband.com. Um, and there’s a newsletter that you send out. So definitely feel free to sign up for that. 

There are a couple of other places y’all are at online. Do you wanna share those as well? We’ll make sure that all of this stuff, all of the items that were mentioned, makes it into the show notes at youngandscrappy.com as per usual. Um, where— where else can people find y’all? 

[00:54:55] DARYN: I think the best place to follow him is on Facebook at the MilesHusband. 

MICHELLE: OK.

DARYN: That’s where he tends to post the most— um, and also Twitter.

TRENT: Yes.

DARYN: And Instagram, I’m posting, you know, photos of our travels and stuff. But the best, I would say, is Facebook. 

MICHELLE: OK. Awesome. So website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Um, awesome. Anything else you wanna share? Any like parting words of wisdom or like magic for our listeners? 

DARYN: Adventure awaits is our— is our tagline. 

MICHELLE: I love it.

DARYN: Yeah. And we’re gonna figure out where you’re going, Michelle. 

MICHELLE: Yeah.

DARYN: Yeah.

MICHELLE: Yeah. I— I have a really long list. So we’ll, uh— we’ll definitely figure that out together. Um, thanks, y’all. Thank you so much for joining us today. It was an absolute pleasure to have you listening. 

Wherever you’re listening, know that when you like, comment, follow us, tell your friends, that means we get more people to, uh, listen. That means we get to have cooler interviewers. Just like all of this great stuff happens when you give us your love in return. So again, thank you for listening. And I wish you all a wonderful weekend. 

END CREDITS: I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Young Scrappy Money podcast. If you want to read about my work as a financial advisor and financial coach, you can do so at www.youngandscrappy.com. That’s www.youngandscrappy.com. Thanks again for listening. 

Made with love by Jesse in Atlanta. [SMOOCHING SOUND]

Diggin' on Our Blog?

Then you'll love THIS:

Join our mailing list to get sweet insights, free templates, and educational event invitations delivered straight to your inbox.

Score! You have successfully subscribed!

Share This