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Transforming Everyday Spending into Dream Vacations with Owen from the Points Partner



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Show Summary

Curious about how people use credit card points to fly free to bring down the cost of their trips to Disneyland? Today's guest, Owen, delves deep into the process of accruing points through daily expenses and the strategy of choosing the card that aligns with your spending habits and wanderlust goals. Owen's insights are a springboard into not just saving on flights and hotels but also unlocking a lifestyle of savvy, financially sound luxury travel.

 

Chapters and Time Stamps

0:00 Intro

48:07 Outro

 

Show Transcript

The winner for this month's call is Julie Roni. So if your username on iTunes is Julie Roni, then please reach out to me at [email protected], and we will see about getting you your free consultation call where I can help you plan your trip to Disneyland. Congratulations.


Welcome to the Park Magic podcast, your place for insider tips for your next Disneyland Adventure. Whether you're a first-timer or first-time-in-a-while visitor, we're here to unwrap the secrets to creating and simplifying your dream Disneyland vacation.


Robyn:
Introducing Owen of The Points Partner

I'm so excited for today's show because today we're gonna be talking about something that might save you thousands of dollars on your trip to Disneyland, and that you can do multiple times. I don't have a lot of gurus in my life, but Owen is my credit card points guru, and he definitely helps me in a lot of different ways but he's made it so I've been able to travel all over, including like a full 18-day trip to Costa Rica, lots and lots of trips to Disneyland and Disney World without having to pay for airfare or sometimes hotels, and sometimes both. So, Owen, thank you so much for coming on the show. Can you tell us a little bit about you and what you do for people?


Owen:

Good morning. Good to hear you again. Sure, yeah, for those that don't know me, my name is Owen. I am known as the Points Partner. And what I do is I help individuals maximize their credit card benefits and I help people get as many credit card points and air miles as is mathematically possible for their lifestyle. And then I teach them how to use said points efficiently. In other words, I put people on beds on planes for free. That is what I do for a living. So basically, anything that stretches from credit card, credits, points, miles, beds on planes, airports, pre-check, Global Entry, Clear lounge access, you name it, that's kind of my jam, yo.


Robyn:

And you're really, really good at it, you know, we definitely went from getting some credit card points and using it and having a little bit of freedom to, you know, we have a friend's wedding, we don't have to worry about how much that Chicago flight is going to be. And if you're going to Disneyland, the flights and hotels will be a big chunk of your overall expense. So if you can use points to get either a free hotel or your free flights, that might make a trip that it's not possible for you possible. Can we start with, what does somebody need to have like either credit scores or income or spend in order to even make what we're going to talk about work?


Owen:

Well, let's, let's, let's, we can even start before that, which is your listeners, your crowd are trying to get to Disney and back. And the starting point is I can help them do that for free. That's the most important thing.


Requirements for Travel Hacking with Credit Card Points

I think that a lot of people that aren't familiar with credit card points and air miles don't see the value in them. They had a bad experience, they weren't able to use them, they didn't think the value of them was very high. And I am here to tell them that that is not the case and to walk them through that process. Everyone, if you are spending $1 on groceries every week, that is a free flight that you can take. And it's understanding how it works and how to derive the benefit from it. That's the important part.


So I kind of want to grab the attention of everyone who's listening to this, you, whoever you are, you as long as you're alive, you're eating, and if you're eating, you're buying food, and if you're buying food, you're earning enough points that if you use them correctly, you can fly to Disney and back for flee, for free, not for flee for free, just to clarify, maybe there'll be a flee on the plane. And by the way, that probably wouldn't have paid for it either. 


What Credit Cards are "The Best" for Travel Hacking

Okay, so that's the starting point. So what, what's the requirements? Well, the first of all, you've got to have decent credit, otherwise you can't get a credit card on my website, right? And what's decent credit? Credit is not really judged by the score. That's more for you and I to talk about. It's more about your credit profile and I'm not going to bore you to death with what that all means. But general rule of thumb, if you've got above a 700 in your credit score, you're probably in good shape to start getting good credit cards on my website. Right, that's the starting point. Then the next thing is which credit cards should you get? There are a million to choose from. They all are good and they all are bad for you depending on your situation. People always, they love waving their credit cards in my face and saying, ‘Is this a good credit card?’ There is no such thing as a good credit card or a bad credit card. What there is, is a good credit card for you or a bad credit card for you, depending on how much money you spend every month, where you spend that money, and most importantly, what you're going to do with those points once you're given them. Free travel is a very generic term. Are you traveling alone? Are you traveling with family? Are you traveling in coach? Are you traveling in business class? Are you going one way? Like, do you have certain requirements? Are there certain terminals, airports? You know, there's so many permutations, and that's why it's kind of a minefield, which I can kind of walk people through. Alright, so let's presume that that said, Joe Bloggs has got good credit. Where do they start? Right? They start by you can go to my website, thepointspartner.com. There's a bunch of free resources, there is a free course that you can watch that will start to talk you down the path. And then once you've started picking the credit cards that are going to suit you best, and the easiest place to start is where you spend the most money, which for most people is food and drink grocery stores, supermarkets, cafes, bars, coffee houses, delicatessens, food delivery, is this sounding familiar? Robyn?


Robyn:

Yes, all things that we use. And I think that's one of the things that I learned in the course, is depending on what you spend your money on, that helps you determine which card is going to get you the most points.


Owen:
Cards for Food and Drinks

Absolutely, I love it. So let's, let's just talk about, let's give a couple of examples. Let's say we talk about food and drink. Now there are seven or eight different credit cards that will give you extra points for food and drink but the best one, or certainly the most popular credit card on my website is the American Express personal Rose Gold card, right, which gives you four times points on all your food and drink. So let's do a little bit of math. So people can understand how much free travel you can get. 


Let's say the average family probably spends I'm gonna guess 500 bucks a month on food in the supermarket, and probably 1000 bucks a month on restaurants. Now for some families, it might be the other way around. But let's just call it 1500 bucks a month roughly on food and drink for a family of three or four. So we're getting four times points, that's going to come out as 6000 points a month, there are 12 months a year, six times 12 is 72, which means that 72,000 points just on food and drink, and food and drink tends to represent about 35% of what people spend on their credit cards. So let's kind of check in, we'll be very conservative. And we'll say 150,000 points a year that you can achieve what's 150,000 points actually worth in free travel? Well, if you don't know what you're doing, and you just click on the travel button on your credit card company, 150,000 points will get you roughly 1500 bucks worth of free travel. And some people listening to this might be thinking, Wow, that's great. And I'm here to tell you, wow, that's terrible. Because if you were to use those 150,000 points correctly, it could be worth about 12 or $13,000 worth of free travel, but understanding what to do with the points you can move them out of the credit card company and into airlines at certain times, and all that kind of good stuff, right where it starts to increase the value of it.


Getting Started with Points for Your Disneyland Vacation

So when we start talking about, you know, trying to get free travel, even if you're a big family of five, or six, and you want to go to Disneyland five times this year, all of those times can be done for free using the right credit card points at the right time. So I think fundamentally, from a bird's eye perspective is you can say okay, if I've got good credit, I can go to thepointspartner.com, get some free videos, watch some stuff and then I can pick a couple of credit cards on his website. And now theoretically, you can start to travel for free. It is that simple. 


It can also be a lot more involved and more complicated. As I'm sure you'll talk about later on Robyn, your experience coming through one of my processes and how you can actually take it to the next level and start getting beds on planes to Asia and Europe and Africa. And wherever else they're going to put a new Disneyland for us next.


Robyn:

Let’s start with like so let's say somebody's like brand new, what are some ways that if somebody is you know, because we're putting our tickets on our credit card, maybe or when we've got to purchase a bunch of different things for our trip, if somebody just wanted to say just get their airfare or just their hotel for Disneyland, what is like a one card that they could do if they don't want to if they're not quite ready to dive in, but they want to use this trip to kind of test the waters.


Owen:

So, a couple of great starting points. And I'll kind of do one for each of the major credit card companies. I'm a big fan of the American Express Rose Gold card just because it gives you so many points on a place where most people spend money, which is food and drink. Under Capital One, there's a couple of great options, there is the Capital One Venture Card which gives you two times points on everything, which for somebody who doesn't spend so much on food, that's a great option if you're spending a lot on other things, bills, online shopping, all sorts of stuff. So what that’s the Capital One Venture Card now for those of you who have a family, and you when you get to the airport, it drives you crazy that you have to then spend 150 bucks on coffees and food at the airport. Lounge access is a massive part of travel that doesn't get spoken about enough. The Capital One Venture X, which is its big brother gives your entire family lounge access at 1300 Lounges. 


Now, again, let's do the math. Robyn, the average kid in an airport spends about $25 before their flight on snacks and drinks and food adults, it's 45. So that means every time if you're a family of four, you're saving 100 - 150 bucks every time you go to an airport if you have lounge access. So the venture X comes with that lounge access, you can save yourself a fortune by getting the right credit card and the venture X, yeah, it has a big annual fee. It's 395 bucks, which most people, it scares them off. But it comes with a $300 travel credit. So really, it's 95 bucks. It also comes with free Global Entry and pre-check, which is worth 100 bucks. So when you start to look at you know, what is the value of having lounge access, even if you went to Disneyland, once in a year round trip, you'd be saving at least 300 bucks. And you would have only paid 95 for the access to the lounge. So the Capital One Venture or The Venture X if you want the lounge access are a couple of great options as well. Citibank has got the Citibank premier card, which gives you three times points on all food and drink. Why would I mention that if if I've already offered you one that has four? Well, the Citibank premier card is a MasterCard, not an American Express, which means more places take it, which can be a stomping point for some people. 


So there's so many credit cards, and they all do different things in it. Some of them give you free, clear Global Entry pre-check. Some of them give you lounge access, some of them give you travel credits, some of them give you more points for spending money on food, or drink or gas, or travel marketing, office supplies. All of these places are called what's known in the industry as bonus categories, places that will get you extra points for your day-to-day spend. And there is no one credit card that can do all these things. And the more involved you become in it, and the more you see the benefit of it, probably the more credit cards you'll get.


Isn't Having a Lot of Credit Cards Bad?

Which brings us on to another contentious topic, which is some people think that having lots of credit cards is bad. And I'm here to tell you, it's the opposite. If you are responsible with your credit cards, you can improve your credit score, and the amount of available credit you have and the amount of benefits you're getting by having lots of credit cards, your credit is a tool, you can do good with it and you can do bad with it, you can take a hammer, and you can knock down my house with that hammer, you can also, Robyn, take a hammer and build me a house right and your credit is exactly the same, it's your responsibility will decide whether credit and credit cards is a good thing for you. And you can leverage the opportunity and get free travel and all these benefits. Or you can get yourself into debt and ruin your credit. So that comes down to the responsibility of the individual. And obviously, I wouldn't recommend anyone going on my website and getting a credit card if you don't know how to use one and how to pay one off.


Robyn:
Understanding SUBs (Sign Up Bonuses)

And I think that, there, you know, there can be a pitfall where, you know, with the way that you get the big bulk of points in the beginning, is by using what the signup bonus. So you spend three or six, sometimes 12. Depending on the card in this period of three months.


Owen:

So, let's, let's explain what that, what that is and why that is. So it's called a signup bonus when you get a new credit card if you complete the minimum spend, which is normally around three or $4,000 within three or four months, which is pretty achievable for, for most average people, you then get a ton of points and that can range between 30 and 100,000 points just for getting the card. Why did they do that? They do that to buy you, they buy you as a customer. It costs them money. It costs them lots of money to buy you to use their credit card. Why do they want you to have their credit card? Massive misconception people think that credit card companies make money by charging you interest when you don't pay on time. Well, they do but that's not how they actually make their money. How they actually make their money is charging the place that you're swiping that credit card, a percentage of how much money you're spending there. 


So let's use an example. Let's call it McDonald's. McDonald's will take your Capital One or your American Express credit card, and they'll get charged by American Express or Capital One, two or 3% in order to use that credit card at their terminal. That's how they make their money. So they actually make more money from us spending and paying it back than they do from us spending and not paying it back. If that makes sense. And the interest, the crazy interest that these credit cards have is actually there as a deterrent to make sure that you pay on time, not as a punishment when you don't, right? And that's the massive misconception. They would love for you to pay on time. They just make money by charging the vendor itself. 


So that's the reason they give the signup bonuses and they spend the vast majority of their marketing budget on the signup bonuses because that's what attracts us. Fundamentally, I live off of those signup bonuses. I do about $150,000 worth of free travel a year. I'm on, you know, $10,000 beds on planes to Europe, Asia, South America, Middle East Africa, pretty much, you know, at least once a month. If you, if you keep up with me on Instagram, you see it all. I do it all. I show people how I do it all, and I don't pay for it. It can be done. And admittedly I'm at the higher echelons or the most advanced level of this game, and it is a game. Let's not be under any misunderstanding. But everyone has to start somewhere. And I'd love for you to talk a little bit about how you started because I believe when you first came across me, you were relatively fresh to it and now one could argue you're somewhat of a Jedi Master yourself at this point.


Robyn:

Before I go into that, I just want to talk about that responsibility thing. The pitfall is, you have to spend that amount of money in that piece. So if sometimes people will buy things they might not normally have bought during that time. And you don't want to go into debt, you want to spend the way that you're normally spending and pay things off and not carry a balance because otherwise you're, you're not getting everything for free anymore. Now you're losing the value because you're paying some interest.


Owen:
The Value of Purchase Protection

I can summarize what you just said in one sentence. Admittedly, I do this for a living, treat your credit cards as if they are debit cards. It is that simple. If you don't have the money, don't spend it, don't look at it as an opportunity to spend money that you don't have, look at it as a different way of spending the money that you've already got to get a benefit. And the benefit is not just credit card points, or air miles or cash back. There's also purchase protection. That is a huge part of this, especially if you're buying stuff like a trip to Disney, where potentially somebody could get sick or you get robbed at the hotel room or some other drama that comes along with life. For example, my car didn't start this morning. And if you have a good credit card, it has this awesome purchase protection that you can phone, and it's almost like an insurance policy where you don't have a deductible. Right? And I always tell this famous story, I'm sure you've heard me tell this Robyn, I used to be in the photography business. And I went and bought $20,000 worth of camera gear for one of my photographers, and I drove back home, and somebody, some scumbag had followed me back from the store and broke into my car while I was in my house and took the whole lot five minutes after I bought it. I didn't phone my now ex-wife at the time, I didn't phone the police, I didn't phone my car insurance, I phoned American Express and within five minutes, they put all $20,000 back on my credit card and went straight back to the store. I wish I had an iPhone back then; I could have taken a photo of the sales guy's jaw dropping when I went back in and said, ‘Can I get the same again, please?’ And that's kind of, you know, a great example of how phenomenal credit cards and purchase protection can be.


Robyn:
Increasing Points Earned Per Year

And same for rental car insurance, you know, on like the platinum, you can get, you can save yourself the amount of the rental insurance because some of them do have that but like you said, I only spend things on credit cards if I can pay them off in cash every month. I don't buy them on, ‘Oh, hopefully one day someday my life will turn out and I'll be able to pay this off.’ Like, I think it's really important credit card debt is really dangerous. So you'd want to be, be really careful. But when we started out, we had a couple credit cards. I had like American Express Platinum for our business. And a couple of, you know, I think I had one or one or two credit cards that were, you know, for personal. And we were, you know, we were doing all right, like I was getting some fights and things along those lines. But instead of earning, you know, I think I was earning maybe like 20 to 250,000 points a year maybe. And then, you know, after taking, having, oh, and look at my spend now granted, I have a business so my spend is higher. So I was able to move things along faster. You know, we basically went to getting a million points in the first year.


Don't Book Through the Portals

And that allowed us to take several trips to Disney both on both coasts. And that 18-day trip to Costa Rica where I only paid for two nights of hotels, everything else, the flight, the hotel, the insurance on the rental car, all of that was taken care of. So a lot of things were taken care of there. It has really helped me be able to expand and before I was really just going into the portal and booking in the portal, so American Express would say, ‘Here, buy this plate and then you can get 35% back because you're a platinum member.’ And I thought that was a really, really good deal. But then I learned how to transfer those out to different airlines to get the best value for my points. And it made a big difference in how far I was able to travel and how often I was able to travel.


Owen:

You mentioned during that bit, that you learn the difference between using the portal and transferring the points out. And fundamentally, that is a one-line explanation of my entire career: teaching people the difference between just booking it through the way the credit card company wants you to, versus doing essentially manually and moving the points out into airlines and they become miles. But the value difference is so significant that it's impossible to ignore. In some scenarios, you're talking 10-12 times the value of your free travel by clicking two extra buttons. And that the complex detail behind that is essentially the content that I share. And people always, it's so funny, people book calls with me just for 10-15 minutes to ask me a couple of questions. And they always say, ‘Well, what do you want me to do?’ And I tell people, I don't mind what you do. It's the same content, you can invite me on your podcast, you can book me for a private session, you can have me do after-dinner speaking at your company, you can watch my online course, you can have me find your flights or book your flights, you can do anything you want. My answer won't change. It's just a case of how do you want to consume that knowledge and information on this topic. And it's different for different people. Some people like to read, some people like to listen, some people like to do it in group therapy, other people like to do it over Zoom, some people want to come to my house and have me teach them in my living room. I don't mind, it's the same content, however you consume it, but it's important to consume it because it will be the difference between free travel for life and luxury, versus paying for it less often and sitting upright.


Robyn:

So let's, let's, if somebody wanted to, you know, take the because, one thing that if you are already in the credit card points, if you're looking to buy your Disneyland tickets, Disneyland usually registers as entertainment. It codes as entertainment. Our friends at Undercover Tourist, because they're a travel agency, it usually does code as travel, which can be a higher multiplier depending on the card.


Getting Your Flights To Disneyland Free

But if somebody's looking to just pay for their airfare, what is one recommended path that they could use to kind of get started?


Owen:

Here would be my recommendation is we're going to work backwards. They don't want to pay for their family of four from Ohio to Los Angeles. So I'm going to tell you how much we can save. And the best way to do it. To buy tickets from Ohio roundtrip is probably going to be roughly 300 bucks, ish, per person. There's four people. So that's $1,200. So what we're trying to do see, how much of that $1,200 can we get rid of?


So now let's talk about the cost of those tickets in mileage, in the best-case scenario, it would be 12,000 points per person each way. So that's 24,000 points per person. So it's just under 100,000 points. Plus, it would be $5.60 in taxes per person each way. So any way you slice it, you've got about 40 bucks, 45 bucks of taxes, right? So I'm going to try and bring $1,200 down to as near to 45 bucks as I can, okay, and it's so, so simple. You can go on my website, get yourself the Capital One Venture Card, right, it's I don't think it even has an annual fee the first year, and I think it's 95 bucks, the second year, it comes with a 70,000, I think is a 60 or 70,000 Point signup bonus. So even in the first month or two, you would have 70,000 points. And if you're getting two times points on all of your spend, you would only need to spend about $10,000 before you would have enough points to take a family of four to Disneyland and back and plus the 45 bucks in taxes. So in other words, if you were spending roughly let's call it $4,000 A month on all of it, you put everything on the credit card every month, it would only be about three and four months before you would have enough for the entire family to go round trip for free to Disneyland and back. And where it gets interesting is that's like one credit card. If you want to get two credit cards immediately, you'd have your free trip because the signup bonus, if you were to get the American Express Rose Gold card as well, that's another 60,000 points. So you'd already have 135,000 points. In fact, you could already book your free trip to Disneyland for the whole family and be halfway on your way to your next round trip to Disneyland. That's how it can get and then you end up with people like me. I have I think I have 57 Credit cards right now. So imagine when you start scaling that up, and I haven't Millions of points millions. I can go anywhere I want in the world in any class with anyone I want, stay in any hotel get picked up five, five, I just this week alone, I booked a trip for me and my girlfriend to Egypt, where we were going to the pyramids. We're going there, six-foot lay flat beds, we're staying at the Four Seasons. And we just booked for October next year, we're going to the Maldives, or business class beds, we're going to have the heart on the water, all that kind of stuff, these crazy bucket list trips that people pay 10s of 1000s of dollars for I do it for free.


What About Annual Fees?

Yes, I do spend a lot on my credit cards every month. But no more than I would do if I didn't have credit cards, it's still the same amount of money I'm spending every month and people people moan about annual fees, every single annual fee of any credit card ever, is easily justified. If it's the right credit card for you. Yes, there's no point paying 500 bucks a year for a big boy credit card, if you're not going to use any of the benefits of it. But if you're somebody who travels a lot, and you can save 50 bucks every time you go to an airport on food and drink by having lounge access, all of these things pay for themselves very, very quickly. I am the most extreme case there is I have 57 credit cards, I pay, I think just under two and a half $1,000 a year in annual fees of all these credit cards, but I'm doing $150,000 worth of free travel. So that means I'm paying less than 2% of the free travel that I'm getting in annual fees. So let's, let's scale that down to somebody who who's never done this before. What's 2% of 1200 bucks, and that's what you would be paying in annual fees. It's so so worth it. The math is in our favor, not theirs.


Robyn:
Why Not Get an Airline or Hotel Card?

So let's talk. I think a lot of people say, ‘Well, if I know I’m gonna use it for airfare. I think I should probably just get an American Airlines or a Delta or a Marriott card.’ Can you talk about why these other cards have a better benefit most of the time for most use cases, then going with the airline card?


Owen:

There are two types of credit cards, there are generic credit cards that collect credit card points. And those credit card points can be used on any airline, any hotel at any time. And on top of that, they can be transferred into a bunch of different hotels and frequent flyer programs of airlines and become air miles or hotel points. And those are predominantly the big blue bank that rhymes with face. Capital One, Citi Bank, and American Express. And then you have what's called co-branded credit cards, that's when a credit card gets together with either an airline or hotel group, you earn your benefit on that credit card in the local currency, which will be either frequent flyer air miles or hotel points. Now, they are massively misunderstood these co-branded credit cards, you would think that we're all supposed to get an American, a Southwest, a Hawaiian JetBlue, Delta United and Marriott Bonvoy and a Hilton card. No, they're actually meant for business travelers and people that use those brands excessively. They are mis-marketed and everyone thinks that they should get one, if they fly a lot on JetBlue that, ‘Oh, I should get the JetBlue credit card.’ No, you shouldn't. It's not meant for you. These air miles that you're collecting on these credit cards are not as valuable as generic credit card points that can turn into those in this example JetBlue air miles, but they can also turn into Bonvoy points, they can also turn into Air France, they can turn into British Airways, they can turn them to whatever you want them to. So let's talk a bit about the value, your average air mile is worth 1.1 cent each. Your average credit card point used badly is worth more than that. But in the best case scenario, is worth eight cents each. So credit card points are worth way, way more than air miles and you can do more with them. So my recommendation as a general rule of thumb is to be loyal to the credit card companies, not to airlines, you can still enjoy airlines, you can still fly the majority of your time or even have status and all that good stuff with an airline. But the majority of your organic monthly spend should be going to the credit card companies not to the airlines.


Robyn:

And that also gives you more flexibility. So let's say you want to fly from Ohio. And you know that you want to try to avoid LAX because no one lives there. Like I tell people, not even people who live near LAX like going to LAX.


Owen:

Exactly, exactly. So yeah, absolutely. So you don't want to pin yourself into one airline. If you've got a Delta credit card and you can only fly on Delta and Delta doesn't have anything good the day that you want to go, you're screwed, you're gonna end up buying tickets. Whereas if you have generic credit card points, you can move them to a different airline and you have a lot more availability, a lot more flexibility, a lot more availability, and thus, a better option of pricing. So on the day that you know that I talked about it being 12,000 air miles each way from Ohio, there's somebody listening to this, who lives in Ohio, who had a look today, and they're gonna go, ‘No, it's not, it was 45,000 points.’ That's because you are only looking on American Airlines, where they've already sold all their tickets, if you had every single air mile, you'd be able to find one of them that was doing it for 12. So having generic credit card points that you can transfer to any airline is the ticket to cheaper free travel. The assumption is, you're already you're not paying for it. But I don't want to even pay, I want to pay the least amount of air miles on top of the least amount of money.


Robyn:
Transfer Bonuses

And because most of you are going to want to try to fly into SNA, Santa Ana airport, or Long Beach airport using Delta as an example. Delta has very, very few flights into those airports. So having that flexibility, especially with Disneyland is helpful. And then sometimes the credit cards will offer a bonus. They'll say, ‘Hey, if you transfer your points to Marriott, we'll give you a 40% bonus.’ Can you talk a little bit about that?


Owen:

Absolutely. So there are two bonuses that make a huge difference in the credit card points. Well, the first one we've already spoken about, which is a signup bonus, when you get a credit card, they give you tons of points. The other bonus, and this is really, separates the amateurs from the ninjas, is the transfer bonus and every month, different credit card companies offer different percentage bonuses when you move credit card points to an airline or hotel group. I shall give you an example. Right now if you've got, I think it's American Express points, you can move them to Virgin Atlantic, and you'll get 30% more air miles will show up than points the new transfer. So let's say you transfer 100,000 points, 130,000 air miles will show up. And somebody's probably thinking, ‘Oh, that's cool. But I don't want to fly Virgin Atlantic, they don't fly to Disneyland, or Disney World.’ Well, actually they do.


Understanding Airline Alliances

So let me explain to you how it works. Each airline is a part of an alliance, alliances are groups of airlines, there are three major alliances, there is SkyTeam, there is Star Alliance, and there is one world and pretty much every single airline you've ever flown on is a part of one of those three, and you can book any one of those airlines from any one of those members. So Virgin Atlantic is a part of sky team. Who else is a part of sky team well, approximately a third of all the airlines out there, but included but not limited to delta, which means you can book Delta flights using Virgin Atlantic air miles. And here's the crazy part. Here's the bit that blows people's minds, it's nine times out of 10 cheaper to book the same seat on the same delta plane through Virgin Atlantic than it is to do on Delta's website. And that's not even unique, it is exactly the same for American Airlines and British Airways. And it is exactly the same for United Airlines and Air Canada, it is cheaper to book through partners than it is with them directly. And the reason it's cheaper to book through their partners than it is with them directly is the only people that have watched my online course or listen to me speak on a podcast or TV know that that's the case. And therefore everyone goes to the big brands, the Delta United or American. So they hike the prices up.


Robyn:
Can I Use My Points on Hotels?

And let's talk about, you know, somebody might say, ‘Well, you know, I think my hotels actually gonna be more expensive. And I'm only flying from Arizona. When is it better to save your points and only use it for airfare? And when is it worthwhile to use it for hotels?’


Owen:

So we spoke briefly about the value of these points, and we said that airline miles are worth less than credit card points. Well, there's one thing worth less than air miles and that's hotel points. In fact, excluding Hyatt all of them are worth roughly 0.4 or 0.5 cents each. Hyatt can be worth considerably more, their program's a bit more beneficial. But any way you slice it, your points are best used for flights and then hotels. So how do you distinguish the two? Well, here's the simple rule of thumb, which is once you finish booking all of your flights for the year, whatever you've got leftover in theory you can use that for hotels, but to do it the other way round would be mathematically inefficient. If you don't have any flights to book then and you live within driving distance of Disney then absolutely use your points for hotels, but if you've got flying to do, you will end up it will end up costing you more money if you try and get the hotels free and not the flights. It is literally that simple.


Robyn:
Most Common Mistakes

And if somebody was looking to, if you had to tell somebody if they were going to try this for the first time, what are some things that you would say like, these are the biggest, you know, or have we already covered them the biggest mistakes that people make?


Owen:

Yeah, so the number one mistake that people make is they don't know how to use the points, they just go into the portal or the travel button it within American Express or Capital One, and they click travel, and then they just use all their points, you're throwing them away doing that it's worth the investment of watching an online course or doing a session with me or learning another way. Because once you've learned it, once it's like riding a bike, you then have that skill set, and you can, you can increase the value of your points 10 fold that fundamentally is, is the number one mistake is learning how to use your points. The second mistake is when you do start looking for your mileage tickets is people search round trip. And you don't want to do that you want to search one way, always going to find more availability and better pricing searching one way and booking two one ways than you will be as a round trip. And it seems counterintuitive, because we all grew up being told always book a round trip, it's cheaper. And it is cheaper if you're paying for your ticket. But we're not paying for it. This is a mileage ticket. It's not the same rules. It's not the same availability, it's not the same pricing. And it actually is more beneficial to book to one ways. Even if I found something as a round trip, I would still book it as two one ways. And the reason I would do that is if you book a round trip, and while you're on that trip, you need to make that trip shorter or longer and you phone for example delta and say, ‘Hey, I'm sick, I need to stay here an extra couple of days,’ now they've got you by the balls, you're in the middle of your trip, they're going to charge you $67, $100 bucks per person to change those flights. But if you booked to one ways, technically you haven't started, what is your return trip, but it's actually a one way. And the way they look at it is they don't want to lose your business, you haven't even started your trip yet. And they let you change it for the phone fee, which is $50, we find ourselves in this curious position where it makes more sense to collect credit card points, but turn them into air miles. And we should book to one ways which can be booked as a round trip. But that is the math behind what I have discovered over the years. And I teach and I preach, and I help others do it. It makes a massive difference, a massive, massive difference. I'll give you another thing and you touched on it briefly before you were talking about which airports to fly into and how do I know which who flies where and what and all that kind of good stuff.


Flight Connections

Here's a great tip, people love this one, go to flightconnections.com. It's a free website that won't cost you a penny flightconnections.com and put in the name of the airport that you're trying to fly to or you're flying from. And it will show you exactly what Airlines on what days fly where to and from that place. So let's say you want to fly into Orange County, you can put in Orange County and see if there's a flight that comes from your airport. Rather than going to each individual website and seeing if they've got a flight for you you can you can work out the flight path yourself. And that's another way of kind of cheating the system. And that you can do some really cool stuff at the advanced level of this game. So for example, there's a feature on that website where you can just draw a circle and it shows you all the airports within that area. Well, I'm going to Sardinia, which is an island off of Italy this summer. And there was no flights from Cairo where we're going to be in Egypt to Sardinia. So I drew a map around the whole island. And it turns out, there's not one airport there. There's one airport that everyone's heard of, there's also six tiny ones. And they fly to lots of places included but not limited to Athens of which I could find the cheap flight from Cairo to Athens. So now I'm going to go from Cairo to Athens, Athens to Sardinia without having to do 14 extra stops, which is what Google Flights wanted me to do. And that's where this stuff kind of gets a bit more involved. But it's good to hear these examples. So you can understand, you know, what can be done.


Robyn:
Skipping the Airline Loyalty, Keeping the Perks

And one thing you had that I really struggled with in the beginning was, I was like, I fly American, I fly American. But how can I... You don't have to worry about the same benefits of loyalty because you can get that upgrade to get you the earlier boarding because you're able to use that on the point so you don't need to be loyal to just one airline when you're using the points.


Owen:

Oh, I like. It's like music to my ears, Robyn. So yeah, absolutely. A lot of people struggle when they hear me say points are better than air miles because they love their status. Let me just tell you, status is a joke. You are left at the gate sweating, staring at a board, praying that somebody fell ill and you're gonna get an upgrade because of your status. When you do it my way, you'll have more points than you will air miles, and you can put yourself in business class six months earlier, and probably for the same amount that you were paying to go in coach anyway. So there's different ways of skinning a cat, and the way that they want you to, which is with the status where you're tied to them and all this stuff. It just doesn't make sense in today's day and age, it makes much more sense to get a boatload of points and bully your way into beds. I walk past, you know, million miles on every flight, and I go and sit in business class and I paid less than them. And I didn't have to sweat at the gate, I put mine six months ago.


Robyn:

And then you still get the free luggage and all of that because you're booking the higher value.


Owen:

Once you’re business class, you get the lounge, you get the luggage, you get everything.


Robyn:

So, it gives you more options. And for every airline, there are cities that are a pain to get to. You know, from Phoenix, Delta just doesn't work well for me, you know, but they're, you know, but my friends in Florida, they can't really imagine flying in from another a different airline, because Delta works really great from Atlanta, and a couple other places.


Less Stressful Layovers

So having that flexibility will give you the ability to go anywhere you want to avoid layover. What are your thoughts on like, when is a layover worth it? Or when should you, you know, pay the extra 10 points or dollars to avoid a layover?


Owen:

Yeah, so I think that if you're not an experienced traveler, the layover is torturous. Because you're hanging out in an airport, it's uncomfortable, it's smelly, it's expensive. If you're a regular traveler, the likelihood is you have a premium credit card. And thus you've got lounge access free food and drinks. When you do travel, luxury, and there's no cost involved, I do it all for free. But when you do it in luxury, it's a pleasure a travel day, not a burden. Most people hate traveling because it costs them a fortune.


Robyn:

The credit card points can be really, really helpful. They can I mean, they could take your chip from a 5000 or $10,000 trip down to, you know, sometimes half or less depending on where you're flying from. So it can be really valuable. And it can even get you to some of the Disney's like Tokyo, Shanghai. You know, all of those Disney's as well if you're a big Disney person. So I know that you said you had a hard stop. I want to be respectful of your time. Can you tell people a little bit about you know how they can reach you? And if somebody's like, I have points, but I don't know how to book them how they can use you to book their tickets.


Owen:
Where to Find Owen

Yeah, absolutely. So the starting point, if anyone who wants to find me is thepointspartner.com. That's my website. And I'm on all social media platforms. At the points partner, Instagram is probably your best port of call. So I'll just talk you through it. The first thing I would say anyone who's interested in this stuff, just go on my website, watch the there's a free version of my online course, which is called the Fly Free Academy. Go watch the free course it's about an hour and a half of free stuff, does not cost you a penny. And then if you do want to watch the full course which Robyn has watched, and perhaps you can speak on that in a minute, I'll give you guys a discount code, just use a discount code I G as an Instagram Live, IGLIVE. And that will get you a chunk of the full course. Everything I do is completely guaranteed money back guarantee. If you're not happy with anything ever anywhere, with anything I've ever said or done, I'll happily give you back your time, money or anything else you are owed. It doesn't happen. I am obsessed with what I do for a living. It is not just my business is my life, my hobby, my passion, it is my everything. So that's the online course if you want to help booking a flight on my on my website, there's a form you just fill out take 10 seconds to fill it out, what points have you got? Where are you going, how many people, what class what dates, and I will or me or someone of my team will come back to you with options. You pick them, we'll book them, and you pay us for the service of doing that all the prices are on the form so you can see what it will cost you, it is a phenomenal deal. If you are traveling international for domestic, I wouldn't recommend it, you should do that stuff yourself. So if you want beds on planes for Europe, or Asia, or Africa for next summer, we’re the people to come to. If you've got a ton of points and you don't know how to use them. Outside of that, there's a couple of other services that I offer, I do a white glove consultation, which is basically an hour and a half to two hours with me on Zoom, which will be bespoke made to your situation. I recommend that for high spenders or business owners. So if you're spending more than seven or $8,000 a month, or you own a business that spends more than that every month on credit cards, that's probably your best starting point. But there's also everything else under the sun. So if you just want help choosing a credit card, you can book a call with me for 15 minutes and you know, have a bunch of questions that you can ask me, that's a tip that tends to be a lot of the place that people start, they want to just kind of grab me on the Zoom call for 15 minutes and bend my ear on their situation. So maybe that makes sense. And I can kind of guide you from that point as to where to take it from there. But those are predominantly the offerings that I have. I'd actually Robyn I'd love for you just before we, we wrap I'd love for you to tell people, how you found me, and what you've done with or of my process, and kind of where you're at now.


Robyn:

I don't remember how I found you. I think I must have seen somebody post something, or I must have seen a TikTok or something. I saw something. And I reached out to you. And then, because you know, we have a, we have a business outside of what we do at ParkMagic, we did the white glove thing first. And that really helped because we, you know, we were able to really change how many points we were able to do. I took the course afterwards. And I recommended that to a bunch of friends. Because it really did lay it out like, okay, that makes sense. And he goes, there's a section where he goes through like each credit card, and why you know, what's the right use case for each credit card. And that really did help some of my friends identify the best place to start. And then, he has kind of this inner circle, that we do that, you know, there's a Zoom call, where people can ask questions, and he has guests on that talk about specific topics. So I found all of them helpful. I think in the beginning, I was just, you know, I came actually from more of like a Dave Ramsey all the way over here. So, you know, I think that I was very overwhelmed in the beginning of it. So it definitely helped to have some one-on-one time. But I think that even if I hadn't done that, the course would have gotten me most of the way there.


Owen:

Awesome. Awesome. I always find it interesting because some people, there's no real sort of starting point or finishing point because the inner circle, which I forgot to mention before, which is my private community, we do two zoom calls a month. That's just kind of ongoing in the background, people come and they go and you know, that doesn't necessarily pay relevance to people that do white glove consultations, or watch the course or any of these things. So there's no real starting point, I would say go to my website, fish around, pick something. Either way, I'll be here and I will get you on your beds on planes for free. That's what I do.


Robyn:

Well, I want to thank you for your time here. I know you're busy, I know you present. I know you're probably getting ready to go someplace else. So thank you so much for coming on the show today and sharing about credit card points and how to use them.


Owen:

My absolute pleasure anytime. Thank you.


Robyn:

Just a reminder, make sure you use those credit cards responsibly. It can be easy to get yourself into a mess you can't get yourself out of, so only do this if you know you have enough discipline to do it responsibly and keep your well-being, your family, and financial future safe.


Thanks for listening to this episode of the ParkMagic podcast. For more tips and planning tools designed to help simplify your Disneyland adventure, visit ParkMagic.com. If you enjoyed today's episode and want to hear more tips, be sure to subscribe to the ParkMagic podcast. And don't forget to leave us a review - your feedback helps us spread the magic even further. Leaving a review could also help you: each month, we will be selecting one reviewer to win a one-hour planning session with Robyn. Winners will be announced at the end of the first episode of every month. Thanks for tuning in, and remember that we are here to help you have a less stressful and more magical trip to Disneyland.


 

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