Andy Cantu can help you travel like a G, either for free or for pennies on the dollar. For the past decade, he’s been zipping around in first class, staying in luxury 5-star hotels, jet skiing, and even racing supercars, using very little of his own money. How on earth is this possible? Well, to start, you need to understand something: the banks are lying to you. You’re familiar with those credit cards offering rewards like points or cash back, aren’t you?
Yeah, well, the banks would have you believe these rewards are worth a certain value. For instance, 100,000 points equate to $1,500 you could use for travel. But here’s the sour, smelly reality: those 100,000 points could easily skyrocket in value to $4,000 to $10,000 – or even higher – when you stop accepting the banks’ tale as gospel and decide to take the reins yourself. Also, in the credit card world, no almost always means yes. Meaning, maybe you’ve got decent credit. So you go apply for a Chase card, and you get denied, right?
Most people would go, “Weird, I don’t get it. But whatever. Guess I can’t get the card. That sucks.” Right? And then they’d either move on to the next card or give up altogether. But what if there was a way to turn that no into a yes? According to Andy, there’s actually an appeals process that’s called “reconsideration.” All of these banks and credit card issuers have special departments devoted to taking calls for this very purpose. Alls ya gotta do is get ’em on the phone, and 90% of the time they’ll change their mind.
“A lot of the time,” Andy explains, “it’s just something stupid. They needed to verify your address or your middle name or something, and since they couldn’t do it automatically, they just denied it. Other times, it’s a little harder. Maybe they wanted to know more about you and what you do and why you want this card. So you fill ’em in, tell ’em why you want it, and they’ll approve you about 90% of the time. If it sounds easy, it’s because it is. You just have to know that it exists; know who to call and when; and call them. That’s it.”
What else? Credit scores. You might assume it just comes down to: Do I make my payments on time? But it’s more about how good (or bad) you are at borrowing money. Meaning, can you handle credit cards? Auto loans? Mortgages? Things with high interest? How ’bout high limits? How are you at balancing multiple cards and lines and loans? Of course you should make your payments on time and try to avoid interest and pay things off, and all that jazz. But you also need to understand the psychology behind it.
“Why you wanna do these things,” Andy says, “is that you wanna show that you are capable of managing bigger and bigger and bigger amounts of money – more and more and more accounts. And that is why getting more credit cards is actually a good thing in the long term. So understanding this and not being scared of it, is a major step forward in the travel hacking world.” Now you just gotta get max value from your points, right? To do this, never use credit card portals. If Chase or Amex is telling you, “Yo, just click here to book your flight and pay with points”? Run.
Secondly, only use points for amazing luxury travel experiences. Why? You get way more value. A $20,000 first class flight’s gonna have more wiggle room – to score a deep discount with points – than a $200 flight. Not to mention, you’re opening your eyes to new possibilities and broadening your perspective; something you just can’t do while wedged in coach. For more, grab Andy’s Lux Travel Hacks course for $997. Me? I’ll pass. My version of upscale travel is hailing an Uber to hit up happy hour where me and my girlfriends inevitably retell about three drinks worth of embarrassing college stories.