Webinar recording: How to turn Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Signup bonus into $1000 to $15,000 in travel benefits

Ever feel like the airlines have a gun to your head when you NEED to fly somewhere?

Here’s a guaranteed method to turn the tables on them.

Don’t want to watch the whole 60 minutes?

Click here to read a summary in another blog post.

Click on any link below for highlights of the video above:

1:10 – If I’m not selling anything – WHY would I do this webinar?

2:45 – How to prevent EVER having to pay high prices again.

4:10 – The only two types of travel you need to know about

7:32 – 6 common objections to trying point-hacking

9:25 – Objection 1: “The hassle of getting a new credit card vs. the hassle of finding a cheap flight”

17:07 – Objection 2: “I already have a travel card” (and where the hidden magic of travel cards REALLY is)

19:00 Objection 3: “I don’t want to ruin my credit” (The 3 main things that go into a credit score)

23:53 – Objection 4′: “I prefer getting cash back” (and the opportunity cost of cash vs travel benefits)

30:11 – Objection 5: (I don’t want Juggle a bunch of credit cards” (And how not to have to do that)

34:00 – Objection 6: “I don’t have good credit” (and how to fix it to get thousands of dollars in travel benefits.)

36:55 – 5 ways to fix your credit

41:44 – How to solve the the “I wish I could travel more” problem

43:20 – Free resources

45:25 – Questions from viewers

Resources discussed in this webinar:

Chase Sapphire: 80,000 point signup bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred has some of the most valuable and most diverse points in the industry – and they’re currently offering an 80,000 point signup bonus.

If you haven’t explored the world of point-hacking, this is a great way to start. For simply signing up, paying the $95 annual fee, and spending $4000 with this card, you can get enough points to:

  • Book two round-trip flights anywhere in Mexico, the Caribbean, or Europe ($1000 to $3000 value)
  • Book one round-trip to Europe in Business class ($4000 to $10,000 value)
  • Book as many as 8 domestic flights on Southwest ($1600 to $2400 value)
  • Get 3 to 5 free nights at a luxury resort anywhere around the world (including all-inclusives.)
  • If you REALLY learn how to hunt-down point-bargains – you can book a one-way flight in a first-class private suite. ($10,000 to $15,000 value)

But most importantly – having a stash of points is like having monopoly money you can use any time you don’t like the cost of a flight you’re looking at.

If you’re not familiar with point-hacking, try this quick-start guide (but don’t use the referral link in it. That only gets you 60,000 points.)

Seriously – this is a great value.

  • Already have a travel card? Spending $4000 on it will get you 4000 points. Get this card, spend $4000, and go back to your old one after collecting your 84,000 points.
  • Already have a Chase Sapphire card? Have your significant other get one.
  • Loyal to Delta? You can do more with 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points than 200,000 Delta points (and “Delta One” doesn’t hold a candle to a private suite on Singapore Air or Emirates.)
  • Prefer cash-back? 80,000 points is worth $800 in cash or statement credits ($400 if they’re Capital One points). 80,000 points with this card can be redeemed for $1200 to $15,000 in travel benefits.

Have questions? Here is a recording of a Facebook Live discussion I did in JGOOT Village.

Happy Travels,
Joel “We flew home from Singapore in a $7000 lie-flat business seat for less points than Chase is giving away just for trying their card.” McDonald

PS – Don’t want to mess with frequent flyer points? Most of the trips we share at Just Get Out Of Town – are actually better  deals than redeeming frequent flyer points. You can see for yourself at JustGetOutOfTown.com

Webinar Recording: JGOOT Lunch and Learn

Watch this member-only video where we discuss various ways to travel for 50% to 95% less with a few simple changes (I call it the “Triangle of Travel”, and I reference it quite a bit in the webinar. Here is a link to that blog post.)

Don’t want to watch the whole video?  Feel free to click a link to skip around to topics that interest you most:

  • 1:15 Watching close-by airports that JGOOT to increase odds of finding the best deal.
  • 3:46: How to get to deal for all-inclusive Mexico or Beach vacation (Here is a blog post about the Triangle of Travel I mention)
  • 8:05: Question from San Diego Subscriber: How to watch Mexico flights originating from across the border. Here is the blog post I reference about how to do this.
  • 11:56: How do I decide what travel credit card is best?
  • 24:53: Simple advice on getting started with point-hacking without getting overwhelmed
  • 27:40: How do I plan a trip to Barcelona/Portugal/Italy?
  • 30:22: How important is it to book flight & hotel at the same time?
  • 33:40: You gave me a $100 discount card as an incentive for signing up for your service, but it doesn’t seem to save me any money.
  • 34:50: Do you ever publish direct flights, or do they require multiple layovers to get that rate?
  • 42:00: How do you collect so many frequent flyer points?
  • 43:47: We mostly fly on AA and have 600,000 points on AMEX. Should we transfer our points to AA so we can use them there?
  • 45:24: I don’t have much time so I like quick weekend trips. How do I find those on your site?
  • 50:05: Why do some of the trips I look up say “error” or “not found”?
  • 52:55: Advice from a listener: Chase sapphire reserve gives perks
  • 54:38: Advice from listener: Just use one card for everything (and my response – including how we used two cards to fly in a first-class private suite)
  • 56:21: My response to “I’ll kiss your feet if you can find anything to Vienna or Bonn”
  • 57:13: Thinking out of the box: How one of our subscribers flew to Portugal for $290 round-trip, and took a $12 ferry to get to Morocco.
  • 58:30 We have a cruise in Hawaii May 7. What are average prices?
  • 61:00: We had a nightmare while traveling and had our cards frozen.
  • 62:05: Where do I find your point-hacking resources?
  • 62:54: Why can I never find the same fares you find – even when clicking the link you provide? (And here is a link to a blog post/video with more info)
  • 66:09: Shout-out to the amazing Brooke Merkle – who is the one answering all of your email questions!
  • 67:40: What is the best way to get to Maui this Summer?
  • 69:40: I’ve heard about travel sites falsely raising prices to get you to buy. Is this true, and do you do this?
  • 72:25: I’m going to Manila, PH. How do I find those fares?
  • 73:45: In Summary: If there is nothing else you take from this webinar, I hope it’s this. (And here is a quick-start guide to help you get started on preparing your backup plan.)
  • 75:30: One last question: “Why can’t I find anything for Christmas of 2020 on your site? [11 months from the time of this webinar]

 

A lesson that had NOTHING to do with travel, but EVERYTHING to do with travel

I’m sitting here on a plane returning from my last trip of 2019 thinking what an awesome year it has been (and was so impacted – I had to share so I typed most of this post out on my phone.)

As 2019 comes to a close, I’m reflecting on how my family’s traveling life has changed because of a simple little lesson I learned over 7 years ago.  Although it had NOTHING to do with travel, it had EVERYTHING to do with how my family travels (and how many of our subscribers now travel) for about $.10 to $.20 on the dollar.

When I was going through difficult financial times in 2012, one of the best things I did for my mental-health was to take up new affordable hobbies.

One of those hobbies was photography. I had a decent eye for composition, but I really struggled with things like my kids’ basketball games, band performances, or just about anything in low-light situations (and relying on a flash almost always seemed to make it worse.)

It wasn’t until I took a few classes that I learned how much I DIDN’T know about how to take a good shot in less-than-optimal lighting conditions.

One of the most revolutionary things I learned was a concept called the “Triangle of light.” (And man – did learning about it ever make a difference with my photos.
 
Once I learned those 3 basic rules – I had all the knowledge I needed to get the best shot possible – no matter what lighting conditions I was working with.
 

For example:

Blurry action-shots at your kid’s indoor basketball game? Crank up your ISO, open up your aperture, & your action shots will be crisp & clear.
 
Want a clear picture of a still object at night? Slow down your shutter speed & take the shot on a tripod.
 
Don’t have time for a tripod because it’s nighttime and you’re hoping to catch a shot of a celebrity walking into a donut shop to sell to The Enquirer? No problem. Crank your ISO as high as it will go, and you’ll get the shot without even needing a flash.
 
In fact – I’d be willing to bet that if you ask ANY photographer when they learned about the concepts of “the triangle of light” – they could tell you the exact time and place they learned about it.
 
IT’S THAT POWERFUL

Want to know something funny?

I applied a similar philosophy to my travels, and despite being broke – I traveled more than ever before.
 
I call it “The Triangle of Travel” and when you implement all 3 rules – there isn’t a single travel problem you can’t solve. (And you’ll be able to do so for pennies on the dollar – every. single. time.)
 
A word of warning though: It’s best to forget EVERYTHING you know about travel if you want these seemingly simple concepts to work.
 
Seriously – try to apply the 3 tips below to the way you’ve always traveled and you may as well quit reading now.
But ignore your old travel habits and give the triangle of travel a try???
 
There isn’t anything you can’t do.
 
  • So broke you can “never” travel? The triangle of travel will help you more than people who travel 6 or 8 times a year.
  • Last minute flights? No problem.
  • All-inclusive resorts for less than what you’d expect to pay for a Motel 6? Done.
  • Take a whole family on a trip for less than what the solo traveler cramped up in the middle seat behind you paid? Piece. Of. Cake.

 

Ready for the 3 magic elements of “The Triangle of Travel?”

 

Ok – but don’t forget… You MUST forget everything about how you’ve always traveled. 
 
Here they are:
1) Consistency
2) Flexibility
3) Backup plan

Let’s break them down:

1) Consistency

This probably sounds simple, but it is the biggest thing most people miss (and is the biggest reason your old habits are getting in the way of bigger/better/more travel.)
 
You see – most people decide to take a trip, and then spend hours on end (for days at a time) looking for a good deal. What they don’t realize is that half a dozen AMAZING deals came-and-went in the weeks/months before they started looking.
 
Look every day whether planning a trip or not and you’ll be AMAZED at the number of options you’ll find (many that fit quite nicely with the plans you have for a vacation that is months down the road).
 

2) Flexibility

Note that I mentioned that many of the trips you find ”fit quite nicely” with your vacation plans and not ”fit perfectly.”
 
Want an ok deal that allows you to take a nice vacation every year or two? Great. There are plenty of mediocre deals out there that fit PERFECTLY with your Friday to Sunday nine-day vacation.
 
Want a deal so good – you can take two to five vacations for what everyone else is paying for just one trip? Plan on being a little bit flexible.
 
Don’t worry though – it’s not as hard as you think, and the amount you save will almost always be exponentially more than the changes you might have to make to your schedule.
 
*Sometimes that might mean a Thursday to Thursday vacation.
*Other times it might mean going to Costa Rica instead of Cabo.
 
But either way – a little bit of flexibility goes a LOOOONNNG way when it comes to stretching your travel budget to unfathomable lengths.
 
Combine rules 1 & 2 by looking for good deals and planning vacations around the good deals you find? You’ll be amazed at how much less your vacations will start costing. (Or how much more you can spend on stuff that matters – like seat upgrades, room upgrades, or activities/excursions.)

3) Have a backup plan

The best part about rule number 3 is that the more you implement rules number 1 and 2 – the less you need rule number 3.
 
But when you need it? Trust me – you’ll be REEEAAALLLLY glad you have it in place.
 
The idea is to have at least 50,000 frequent flyer points readily available for when rules 1 & 2 don’t work for you.
After all – Murphy’s Law says that when you
1) don’t have time to plan ahead and
2) don’t have the ability to be flexible…
Other than occasionally getting lucky – paying cash is going to be EXPENSIVE.

Why rely on luck when you can put a backup plan in place that will be there to rescue you whenever you need it?

When you have a backup stash of points available – that family emergency that you need to fly 4 of you out for and can’t find flights for less than $750 each – goes from “unexpected $3000 travel nightmare” to “This was so cheap – let’s fly aunt Sallie out too!”
 
Want to travel more in 2020? Put the concepts of “the triangle of travel” a try. You can implement all 3 tips yourself for free and I guarantee if you do them:
 
You’ll travel more…
 
You’ll spend less time hunting down deals…
 
You’ll travel more comfortably…
 
All for a budget so low – you’ll wonder what took you so long to start traveling more.
 
Here’s to an adventurous travel-filled 2020!
 
–Joel
 

PS – If you’re a premium subscriber – you can find help with rules #1 & #3 in the trip-alerts you receive every day. (Rule #2 is up to you. 😉

Not a premium subscriber? Give JustGetOutOfTown.com/upgrade a try risk-free for 30 days.

We eat, sleep, and breath “The Triangle of Travel” and are certain once you give it a try – you’ll never go back.

The more often you look – The luckier you get

I’m flying my family of four across the country for only slightly more than what most people would pay for one passenger and just had to share…

I was about to admit defeat and pay more than I’ve paid for a flight in over 2 years: $222 per person to fly my family from Denver to Raleigh. (I even did a video to document why I was going to suck it up and pay $222 vs. flying for free by dipping into my backup stash of frequent flyer points.

But then, GUESS WHAT?!?!

I.

Got.

Lucky.

Because Rule #1 of “The JGOOT Way” of travel is to watch fares every single day starting as early as possible, I waited a couple more days, and stumbled across a Frontier sale. It turns out we got those same flights for under $100 each – round trip. (That price is WAY better than a “free” flight that would have cost my family of four 120,000 to 150,000 frequent flyer points. (And I can save my frequent flyer points for what they’re supposed to be used for: As a backup plan when flights are too expensive.

Want to travel for $.10 to $.50 on the dollar EVERY time you travel?  It’s not rocket science.  Watch fares (and watch for sales) every. single. day. You’ll be surprised at how often you get lucky. Here are plenty of free tips showing you how. Don’t want to read? Try my YoutubeChannel.

Don’t want to go to all that trouble? Click here and let my team of analysts watch for them for you. For as little as $8 per month, we’ll watch for trips day in and day out. We’ll alert you of the ones we find that are so inexpensive – you would be better off paying cash than using frequent flyer points.

Whatever the case, I wish you happy travels!

–Joel

PS – You know what’s even better than flying your whole family across the country for about the same price as what most people pay for just one person? Being able to get there plenty early, relax at the lounge, and feed your whole family for free.  Here’s a quick video from the archives about how we do that almost every time we travel.

Here’s that link again if you want to give our trip-alert service a try.

“No way these fares are real.”

Whether via email, public comments, a personal conversation, or comments on Facebook or my blog, I get the exact same objection multiple times a day.

Here is my response to a “No way.  I checked and it’s not on sale.” public comment on Facebook.

 

Some other favorites:

“I just got back from Hawaii and paid over $1500, so I KNOW FOR A FACT this can’t be true.” 

“I used to be a travel agent. These prices are LIES!” (oh… the irony.)

“How can it be cheaper to fly to HAWAII than what I paid to go to Omaha?” 


Find the deals first.

Go there when you can work your schedule around them.

Just like having car insurance for when you drive, plan ahead and set up a backup plan for when you don’t have the flexibility and advance notice to find a good deal.

That’s The JGOOT Way.

Don’t want to read a bunch of travel tips from a geeky ex-Google author about how to find these kinds of prices?  We’ll do it for you for as little as $8 a month. More details here.

–Joel

I’m not a travel agent, and even if I were, I’m not a magician.

OK, fine, I stole the title of this post from Billy Bob Thornton’s Character “Billy McBride” in Goliath. He uses a similar line when he tells a convicted criminal who was caught red-handed and was going to be going to jail for a LOOONG time; “I’m not your fucking lawyer and even if I were, I’m not a magician.”

That’s the feeling I get 20 or 30 times a day when people have been free subscribers for months (or years) and resort to asking me if I can beat the price they’re finding for an upcoming trip.

What I tell them:

“I’m very sorry. We’re not a travel agency, and even if we were, we couldn’t find anything better than what you’ve already found yourself online. 

If you want to save 50% to 98% every time you travel, it takes a minimum of several months of advance planning and a little bit of creativity and flexibility. If you’d like to start consistently saving that much on the trip after this upcoming one, The JGOOT Way of travel virtually guarantees you’ll never have to pay full price for travel again. You can become a member of our premium trip-alert service here.

I rarely hear back from them because I didn’t have an immediate solution to their problem. When I do, it’s usually a reply along the lines of “fuck off” or “what good are you then?”.

What I wish I told them:

Absolutely!

  1. Get yourself a time machine and set it for 4 months ago (6 or 8 months would be better). Read the free quick-start-guide I’ve emailed you about 10 times telling you there would come a day when you needed to fly somewhere. I said you wouldn’t like the prices you’re finding, and I said there would be nothing I could do to help if you didn’t apply the tips in that quick-start guide.
  2. Don’t want to do the point-hacking thing? You can still save a bunch of money. Use your time-machine to join our premium membership 6 months ago and start watching the mistake fares we send you every day. When your destination pops up, play with the dates to see if something works with your calendar. If not, keep watching. Something will eventually pop up.

Don’t have a time machine?

Well, you know what they say about the best time to plant a tree…

Rant over.

I’ve got to

  1. Send the above template response to 4 more people who can’t find cheap prices for the trip they’re going on.
  2. Pack my bags so I can hop on an $83 flight for a fishing trip that my friends are paying $350 to $450 for.