As I've previously mentioned, one of the reasons I wanted to work for myself was so I could travel whenever I wanted to.
Fortunately, not only do I have that kind of flexibility, but my business also requires me to travel to conferences every year. Even if it's not for a conference, my travels somehow always turn into story ideas I can then use to pitch editors.
As a business owner, the question then becomes how are supposed to pay for these trips?
Well, I'll let you in on a little secret.
Aside from taxes, I haven't paid for a flight in almost four years. In fact, I just booked free flight number 15 a couple of weeks ago and I'll be booking a free flight for my assistant this week so she can travel to a conference with me.
How am I able to do this? By travel hacking. The art and science of booking free travel with credit card points. It's totally legal and very easy to do thanks to business expenses you already have to pay for, and in this article, I'm explaining how to do it.
Find a credit card with a good promotional offer.
While credit cards aren't the only way to rack up those travel points, it is arguably the easiest and the fastest.
The key is to find a credit card with a good promotional offer. These credit cards are all competing with each other and as a result, they sometimes have some insane promotional offers you can take advantage of.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which recently hit the market, was offering 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months. That about $1,500 worth of travel costs!
Additionally, you get triple points for dining and travel, a $300 travel credit which you can use annually, and they cover the fee for Global Entry.
This is far superior to a measly 25,000 or 30,000 promotion you might get by signing up for an airline credit card at any other time. The problem is these offers don't last long so it's up to you to jump on them as soon as you find out.
You don't just have to stick to one card either. Once I get all the points and bonuses I'm going to get out of one card, I keep an eye out for another offer and repeat the process. At this point, I have nearly 500,000 points I can use on multiple airlines. That's a whole lot of flying if I play my cards right.
Hit the spend goal with regular business expenses.
The second part of travel hacking is being mindful of not getting into debt. This is what separates the pros from the amateurs.
A $4,000 spend goal in three months may seem like a lot of money and it may get some people into trouble in their personal lives, but a business is probably already spending that much or more. All you have to do is pay for these expenses with a credit card, pay off the card in full each month, and you'll be well on your way to racking up those points which you can then use to book free flights.
As you can see, it's not difficult for businesses to participate in credit card promotions that lead to points and free flights. The hardest part is staying on top of the promotional offers. After that, it's simply a matter of paying for your regular business expenses with a credit card.