104R | Travel Rewards | End of Year Planning

104R | Travel Rewards | End of Year Planning

An update from Marla Taner on 2018’s best travel reward options, a hack for keeping your bills low, a review of Monday’s episode with Doc G.

  • Jonathan tries out a new service to ensure that his bills are staying low.
  • Billfixers.com says they will call your service providers for you and negotiate lower rates. You pay them 1/2 of what they save you the first year. Jonathan will report back how it goes. He has tasked them with lowering his Verizon internet bill
  • How can someone balance simplicity, and a willingness to say yes to opportunities?
  • Review of Monday’s episode: Purpose, Identity and Connection.
  • Finding your identity – the story you tell yourself, about yourself – is crucial to finding your space in the world.
  • Why was Brad was given singing lessons as a gift from a couple at Chautauqua?
  • Marla Taner joins the show to update about travel rewards:
    • She’s traveling to Hawaii for New Years with 9 friends.
    • Flight reward deals are not as good during Christmas, but hotels are usually consistent.
    • What is the Southwest Companion Pass and what is the strategy to get it?
      • Earn the ability to bring someone with you for free on every Southwest flight for up to 2 years.
      • Must earn 110,000 Southwest rewards points in one calendar year.
      • Current strategy:
        • Southwest’s Business card comes with 60k points.
        • Southwest’s Personal card comes with 40k points.
    • Southwest has good sales on right now.
    • What does it take to apply for a business card?
    • Barclay Arrival Plus – Marla’s recommendation for beginners.
    • Capital One Venture card has added a transferrable-points feature.
    • Don’t overspend, look for opportunities to front-load some of your normal expenses to hit minimum spends (i.e., utility bills, or internet, grocery gift cards).
    • Marla is joining Tim and Amy Rutherford from ChooseFI Episode 79 in Tempe, AZ for a few days. Want to join?
    • Best way to connect with Marla, Tim and Amy is via the Go With Less blog.


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3 thoughts on “104R | Travel Rewards | End of Year Planning”

  1. “If I give anything time it becomes a fun problem that I can solve”. That discussion about travel made my head swim. Thank you for the caveat at the end about responsible credit card use.

  2. Just to add a helpful tip to the Southwest Companion Pass conversation: Over the past few months, Southwest has been offering a special in-flight promotion for their Rapid Rewards Plus personal credit card with a 50,000 point bonus for a $2K minimum spend requirement and $69 annual fee. I only mention this because the standard 40,000 point CC will still bring you slightly short of the 110,000 Companion Pass requirement. However, if you utilize the in-flight promotion, the Business + Personal CC = 110,000 points with no additional effort required. The additional $1K spending equates to 10,000 additional points, which is well worth it in order to secure the Companion Pass. Please note that per the link below you may be able to log in from some airports to find this offer as well. Hope someone finds this information to be helpful. Thanks!

    Link: https://www.gototravelgal.com/southwest-credit-card-airport-offers-50000/

  3. Thanks for the inspiration, guys! I’ve listened to all your travel rewards shows (and many others) and am starting into this reward game. I’d like to achieve the companion pass via my husband since he travels a good bit for work. We both already have a Southwest Rapid Rewards Card (each of us have our own from a few years ago). My husband will likely achieve about 35k rapid rewards points in 2019 just on his travel alone. Would it be best to have him get a Southwest Business Card (we have two rentals that would warrant it) or should we look into an upgrade for his current Southwest Card? Or can we do both in the same calendar year? I think the business card would get us 60k more points which brings us to 95k total. We would have to do the remaining 15k on spending, I suppose, unless we can do an upgrade of his existing card as well in the same calendar year. Thoughts?

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