At ChooseFI, we believe the path to financial independence does not mean living a colorless life of deprivation. Far from it. Not only is it possible to lead a rich, fulfilling, and adventurous life while working toward FI, you can do it while traveling the world for nearly free using credit card travel rewards.
One of the biggest hurdles for beginners when it comes to getting started with credit card travel rewards is figuring out how to track all of the applications, deadlines, fees, bonuses, and monthly spending for all the various accounts one might potentially have. Previously, your only real option was to create an extensive spreadsheet to track all of your information – which has the potential to get a bit overwhelming.
That’s where Travel Freely, a ChooseFI favorite for travel rewards management, comes in to digitally hold your hand and guide you with their 100% free app. Travel Freely users earn the most rewards in the least amount of time – averaging over $2000 in free travel every year.
But what exactly is Travel Freely and what does it do? Keep reading because we’re going to break it down for you right now.
What is Travel Freely?
Travel Freely is a free, user-friendly app that helps beginners with good credit organize and fully optimize their credit card signup bonuses, points, miles, and rewards for up to two users. It simplifies the complex landscape of travel rewards, making it much more accessible and easier to understand for those just starting out.
The clean, user-friendly interface found on both the mobile app and website is remarkably straightforward and does a great job of presenting (the sometimes) complex information in an easily digestible manner. The comprehensive beginners tutorial and help sections are also super valuable resources – providing beginners with valuable insights on how to get started earning and maximizing their credit card rewards.
Through their timely newsletters, blog articles, and ultra-smart CardGenie feature, you can turn every dollar spent into free flights, hotel stays, and more.
The Man Behind the Mission
Founder and ChooseFI community member, Zac Hood, started his journey into the world of travel rewards for the first time when he redeemed points to book two round-trip tickets to Southern France in order to pop the question to his bride-to-be. His own subsequent struggle to maintain organization among his multiple rewards cards inspired him to create a system that would help regular people travel the world for nearly free – and in 2017 Travel Freely was born.
“I hate spreadsheets, but I tried my best to use one to keep track of my cards. I failed to keep my info updated. I never checked it at the right time. It quickly became a mess of misinformation. I was paying annual fees and missing out on getting great credit card offers for more free vacations. So I set out to create a simple software that could automate the whole process, or at least 99% of it. That’s how Travel Freely came to be. It started with a browser-based app and has led to a mobile app launched this year.”Zac Hood
Zac has been enjoying free travel with his wife Virginia for more than a decade. Together they’ve globe trotted around the world to visit places like South Africa, Greece, France, Italy, Iceland, Peru, and Hawaii without shelling out for airfare and oftentimes hotels.
Travel Freely Features
One of the great things about all of the features and tools Travel Freely offers is that both beginners and more advanced travel rewards seekers can learn and level up their strategies. Here are some of our favorites that we want to highlight for you.
Sign-up Bonus Tracking
One of the first things that will become apparent to new users is that sign-up bonuses are a significant source of reward points. Travel Freely helps you track these bonuses, ensuring you meet the minimum spend in the allotted time. It also keeps you up to date on any new credit cards with generous sign-up bonuses you’re eligible for. This helps you maximize the initial reward potential of every one of your new cards.
Annual Fee & Point Expiration Alerts
Even experienced users can accidentally overlook things like annual fee dates or points expiration. Travel Freely allows you to create personalized reminders to ensure you never miss key dates. It will also alert you to any upcoming fees – giving you plenty of time to decide whether you want to keep the card or close it.
CardGenie is a service that uses a highly tailored algorithm to present you with individualized recommendations for which credit cards you ought to consider applying for next.
The service is unique in that it provides more than just a general list of public “best offers” for prospective new cards. Instead, CardGenie makes use of the most recent data regarding any rule modifications, potential contradictions, as well as your current card lineup. It then presents you with a comprehensive list of card offers, including those on which they won’t receive any affiliate commission.
Chase 5/24 Status Tracking
If you have any Chase cards, Travel Freely will track your 5/24 status and alert you when you’re eligible to apply for one of their cards again.
If you’re over 5/24, it will prevent you from being approved for a card if you have opened 5+ cards over the past 24 months from ANY bank.
Easily See Individual Card Perks & Benefits
Instead of having to open and log into multiple apps to review the perks and benefits of any one of your cards – one click inside the Travel Freely app shows you what each of your cards has to offer.
Travel Goals Tracking
Trave Freely allows you to set and track your travel goals and provides a step-by-step guide to help you reach them using your available credit card rewards. This feature turns your dream trips and ultimate travel bucket list into achievable goals.
As you become more familiar with the app and travel rewards in general, the app will provide you with insights into the best ways to use transferable points, leverage airline alliances, and even maximize the value of business travel expenses.
Each of these features is designed to take the complexity out of the rewards game, making it easy for users to earn, track, and redeem their points in the most effective way. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced travel rewards enthusiast, Travel Freely has all the features you’ll need to achieve your travel goals quickly and efficiently.
Full List of Features
- Personalized dashboard that’s front and center
- Task list for most important action items
- Card Genie for customized best offers
- Individual card details with stats, perks, bonus tracking, and spending categories
- Push notifications for annual fees, bonus deadlines, next application eligibility, and deals
- Monthly report emails
- Tutorials and eBook for beginners
- Regular email updates about card opportunities and bonus offers
- Handy Chase 5/24 tracker
- Free financial resources to help you monitor and improve your overall credit health
- Ability to track up to 2 users
- Bill reminders
- Trip tracking tool
- New features are regularly added and updated
How to Get Started
To get started with the Travel Freely app, you can either download the app for iOS or Android or go to their website here. Once you’ve signed up to create your free account, you’ll be able to choose your experience level, how many users you’ll need, and then it creates your personalized dashboard.
You can then choose to jump right in and add your first card or opt to take the more guided approach and start working your way down your list of tasks. Each task has a quick, helpful video to explain any details, a button to help direct you to the appropriate section of the app to complete the task, and a paragraph or so of additional information.
Taking your time and being thorough during this part of the initial setup of your Travel Freely account is the only time-consuming part of the entire experience – everything after is practically automated.
Helpful, Related ChooseFI Resources
While Travel Freely does link out to their own blog to help you set up each of the 7 steps you’ll see, we wanted to share a few of our own resources we think you’ll find extremely helpful along the way:
- Credit 101: The Ultimate Guide to Credit
- Intermediate Travel Rewards | Ep 442
- Free Credit Report
- ChooseFI’s Top Recommended Travel Rewards Cards
- Earn $1,050 or More With These 3 Cash Back Cards
- How To Avoid Fees When Getting Cash When Traveling Abroad
- 13 Travel Rewards Credit Cards FAQs
- All ChooseFI’s Travel Rewards Resources
- 009 | Travel Rewards: How To Travel The World For Almost Free (The Easy Way)
- Travel Rewards Refresher 2022 | Lyn Mettler| Ep 393
The Bottom Line
Overall, Travel Freely is a top-tier tool for both educating beginners about the world of credit card travel rewards and providing them with a practical way to leverage those rewards. It acts as a personal travel rewards assistant and auto-pilot that’s constantly working in the background to ensure you’re capitalizing on every point-earning opportunity.
So whether you’re just dipping your toes into travel rewards or you’re looking to streamline your current strategy, Travel Freely offers a uniquely beginner-friendly, yet robust approach to the hidden world of travel rewards with credit card rewards.