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077 | Travel Rewards | Marla Taner

Experienced travel rewards optimizer and world traveler Marla Taner shares story of reaching financial independence, and her best tips for getting to Hawaii, Costa Rica and the Caribbean with minimal expenses, using credit cards points and air miles.

What you’ll get in this episode:

  • How Brad and Jonathan come to know Marla
  • What does it mean for Marla to be 3rd generation FI?
  • What lessons did she learn from her parents and grandparents in regards to managing finances?
  • How did Marla learn to budget as a teenager?
  • How did Marla reach financial independence?
  • Why is Marla committed to being fully retired in her 40s, without any side jobs?
  • As an early retiree, with lots of time for self-reflection, what activities and aspirations has Marla come to embrace?
  • How did the Vancouver Olympics jump start Marla’s habit of travel rewards?
  • Airfare Tip: redeeming British Airways miles through Alaska or American Air allows you to travel to Hawaii from the West Coast for just 25,000 air miles.
    • Most popular ways to get British Airways miles are through their credit card, or through Chase Sapphire and Amex credit cards.
  • Hotel Tip: Sign up for hotel credit card to get free points or free nights.
    • Hyatt Credit Card
    • Sheraton / Starwood Hotel Credit Cards
  • What is a “sweet spot” in regard to travel rewards?
  • How does the flight booking process work with the British Airways travel rewards?
  • Getting to Hawaii from elsewhere in the US: points through Korean Air, which is partnered with Delta.
    • Points available from Korean Air credit card, Chase rewards, or Citibank rewards
  • How would someone determine if they’re getting a good deal on travel rewards?
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and IHG Rewards Club Club Premier Credit Card have a yearly fee but offer anniversary points.
  • What is Marla excited about in travel rewards this year?
  • Southwest Companion Pass: earn 110,000 miles, then bring a companion for free
  • Marriott Nights and Flights: redeem 200,000 or more Marriott points for Southwest Rapid Rewards, and a 7-night stay at any Marriott
  • Vacation Tip: Stack your Southwest Companion Pass with Marriott Nights and Flights for a family vacation.
  • Costa Rica Tips: Fly Southwest from Houston or Fort Lauderdale, redeem points for the Hyatt.
  • Navigating between Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve opens some nice travel options.
  • Do travel rewards actually end up costing more money?

Top Travel Rewards Offers

Top Travel Card

Ready to unlock a world of free travel? Start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card.
Details: $95 annual fee | $4k min spend in 3 months to earn $750+ of travel.

Most Flexible Travel Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card can be used for almost any travel expenses.
Details: $95 AF | $4k spend in 3 months to earn $750 in travel.

Flexible Chase UR Points & Cashback Card

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has no Annual Fee (AF) and earns Chase UR points.
Details: No AF | $500 spend in 3 months to earn $200.

Best Card for Side Hustlers and Business Owners

Side hustlers! The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card can earn you $1.25k+ of free travel!
Details: $95 annual fee | $15k spend in 3 months to earn $1,250+ of travel

Other links mentioned in this episode:

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