The Last Plane Home

S1 Eps 11 - What is Value Stacking (Earn Travel Points Quickly)

March 01, 2021 Guy Guyton Season 1 Episode 11
The Last Plane Home
S1 Eps 11 - What is Value Stacking (Earn Travel Points Quickly)
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we speak with Money and Travel Hacking expert Angel Trinh

Angel is the founder of the Pennywise Traveler blog which is about money and travel hacks. To date, she has been to 35 countries and all 7 continents. She started this blog to teach people hacks, so they can save money and travel on pennies. Her work has appeared on the Today Show, CNBC, Forbes, and BuzzFeed x Bank of America.

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • What is Travel Stacking
  • How to leverage shopping portals to level up your points earned and
  • What are some of the main challenges with travel hacking

Want to ask Angel a question? You can reach her on Instagram @pennywisetraveler

Have you subscribed to our podcast yet? It only takes a second and it's the best way to never miss an episode.

Make sure you stay in the loop with the latest travel tips by joining the Last Plane Home newsletter here! We love to spoil our listeners with goodies, travel tips, and inspiration.  Never miss an episode.

We’d love to hear from you, our listeners. Share your travel stories and tips with us and hey, maybe we’ll add them to our show! Feel free to give us your feedback and tell us what else you want to get from this podcast.

Do you have any questions about what you heard? DM me on Instagram @Travelwithguy or tweet me @travelwithguy_. Feel free to ask a question or just say hi!

You can follow more travel stories on our website, at www.travelwithguy.com, or on Instagram. We post daily travel tips, stories, and inspiration @travelwithguy. 

Until next time travelers, Peace!



Guy Guyton:

Hey there and welcome to the last plane home podcast here on the show we talk about all things travel and how to get you there and keep you up to date on the latest travel themes and what's going on outside of your own bubble. I'm your host Guy Guyton and today I'm show we have money in travel hacking expert, Angel Trent angel is the founder of Pennywise travel traveler blog, which is about money and travel hacks. Today, she's been to 35 countries in all seven continents. She started this blog to teach people hack so they can save money and travel on pennies. Her work as appeared on The Today Show, CNBC, Forbes, BuzzFeed and Bank of America. In this episode, we'll talk about what is travel hacking and travel stacking, how to leverage shopping portals to level up your points, man. What are some of the main challenges with travel hacking? Okay, travelers, I'm pumped. So let's get into this episode. Hey Angel. How's it going?

Angel Trinh:

Hi, I'm good. How are you today?

Guy Guyton:

Doing good. Just easing into this new Chinese New Year.

Angel Trinh:

That's how you say in Cantonese

Guy Guyton:

Well, I could certainly use some brushing up on my Cantonese. Plus, apparently I need to brush up on some of the restaurants and I'm checking out all these like awesome spots on Instagram now that just remind me of all the food that I'm not eating? It should be?

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, my, um, my family still lives in cuando in China.

Guy Guyton:

Oh, wow.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah. So my mom's side of the family. They still live in China and Guan, Jo. And then my dad's family lives in Los Angeles.

Guy Guyton:

That's amazing. So is it a little bit easier to you get authentic foods what you're saying?

Angel Trinh:

My mom is from China. So she makes like that authentic Chinese food. And then I actually saw my mom's family and August 2019. Right before like a few months before Coronavirus happen. So that was good. I was able to squeeze a trip before the whole thing happened.

Guy Guyton:

That's awesome. We need that now more than ever. So needless to say it's an understatement that travels a passion with 35 countries and all seven continents. But you're in you're in New York now. But you're from Cali. So maybe you can answer this controversial question. Which coast is the best coast and why is it California? I like West Coast a lot better.

Angel Trinh:

I'm actually from Los Angeles and I went to school in San Cisco. So the only reason why I moved to New York is my job is here in New York. So um, I would say like, I like la a lot better just because I like the weather a lot more. I feel like people are more relaxed. Versus in New York City, you're always in a rush all the time. And definitely nowadays that we have locked down. It's I feel like I really want a backyard. And I don't have that anymore. So like I have in California. So it's good that you recently relocated to California as well that you have enough space and everything to do stuff. Versus in New York, you feel like you're kind of crammed. It's lucky that I live near Central Park and a nearby park, but it's still not the same as your backyard. Yeah, I mean, you and I basically switch places and we kind of like which bike I was still kind of thing.

Guy Guyton:

Exactly. We went hiking in the bay, like mount pious and it was just gorgeous. Like, wow, I'm never getting this view. to the park is great. I love the park. But if you want views and hikes, it's it's out here for sure.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, well, especially like if you're in like Berkeley, or you have the big c true. Like, it's not like even if you want to be like close by like that's like a mini hike. That's not even too bad.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, it's gorgeous, for sure. Mm hmm. All right. So maybe give the listeners a bit about now what started this love of travel and what is the lead? What does it lead to?

Angel Trinh:

Okay, perfect. So, um, when I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley, I actually studied abroad in Rome. So like, my parents didn't have any money because I was a first generation college student and everything. So what I did when I was an undergrad, I actually applied to a bunch of random scholarships. And this has led to me getting free tuition free housing for me to study abroad in Rome plus $5,000 in spending money, so I had to use that money or else the University Center to give it back to them. So I actually traveled a lot when I was in Rome selling abroad and because one of the scholarship donors, they gave me a scholarship, they also let me volunteer in Botswana for free because he was the founder of the organization. Wow. Yeah, so that's what started all like, I guess my travel hacking. Even before it started, I became a for like college level where you just apply to a bunch of random scholarships to study abroad for free and then use that money to study abroad like travel time.

Guy Guyton:

That is definitely a the definition of a good travel hack there.

Angel Trinh:

But I kind of wished This is like part of my problem, too. I kind of wish I went to a points conference before that. So, there's this conference I went to in 2019, called Chicago seminars. So at that conference, I was literally the dumbest person there. But that's how you learn, you had to learn from somebody else. So they, they taught me all the stuff about stacking and then like laying on different coupons and stuff, which you could explain more about later about stacking and all the travel hacking. Yep, cuz like you, there's only so much you can learn from reading blogs and stuff, you actually have to learn from other people. So when I was at the conference, I was literally, I didn't know anything, I had no hotel status, no airline status, nothing. And I went to this conference where everybody had pretty much status with like, who knows where like, almost everywhere. And like, I didn't have anything I was, like, littered there, by I learned so much from that conference. So like, for anyone just wondering, it's okay to start small. And I would say try to invest into going to different events, like I know, we met on club house, you can try to go to events on a club house or going to a conference like Chicago seminars. They had it a few months ago, but it was through YouTube, I believe. Oh, wow.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I was gonna ask you what is this word? Prince, you speak of a?

Angel Trinh:

I know, right? Because um, clubhouse is now the audio form for conferences, right, because you go there, you hop into these different rooms. And like, before that the conferences, you had to go first. And then this was the first time I think they had it on online. And through Chicago seminars, they had it like through either their zoom or YouTube where you just went to see the conference. But definitely, it's um, if you have the opportunity to go into clubhouse or to go on to a different virtual conference. It's very good for networking, because you get to meet a lot of people there and learn from other people.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, your first call house is super powerful, you haven't heard of it already. Download the app, need a referral, feel free to reach out to either one of us. And we'll help you set it on that. But it's amazing. Just drop in audio. And to learn your point, I entirely agree. You can't learn too much to learn from all the blogs, and from the credit card terms and conditions and things like that. It's like, Don't waste your time, like spend, you should, you should definitely do your own research to an extent. But you're gonna learn so much more from some of these other content creators and perspective just talking to people?

Angel Trinh:

Definitely, I think one of my regrets is that I actually had still had some student loans, because my scholarships didn't cover everything one of my first few years at university, so I didn't know this, but he couldn't like, you know, plastic, have you used it before? He checks plastic?

Guy Guyton:

No, I haven't.

Angel Trinh:

Okay, so a lot of people use plastic because they can, you can charge your credit card, and then they write a check for you. So if you're trying to get a signup bonus with, let's say, Chase, for example, for Sapphire reserve, or Sapphire preferred, let's say like, you need to spend three or $4,000, to meet the signup bonus, you can have them write a check to pay for your rent, or have it paid for your student loans. And I kind of wish I did that earlier. But I'd really like to know about this, because there's only so much you can read about online. So plastic occasionally has promotions. And one of the person like people that I met at the conference for Chicago seminars, they actually use it to pay off their college loans, because they had to be back the 2% double cash. So whenever plastic had a promotion, he actually made money off paying off his credit card with plastic to pay off his student loans. And I didn't know you could do that, like wished? I know, right? It's like stuff you didn't you just didn't know about back then. And then like, you know how to do double cash, you can use that point, if you have to be Premier, for example, I linked the programs together to transfer the points of pretty much you made money from paying off your student loans. And then you can transfer those points to state of premier and then travel. So like, I wish I knew that too. But I didn't. I know.

Guy Guyton:

Almost spend, like, especially the RN in New York and California, like it's substantial. It's a lot of value you can get out of that instead of like wasting wasting money on sort of like paying interest or like wasting money on interest and stuff like that. You can turn it around and start racking and stacking.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, and I didn't know you can pretty much get paid like you pretty much like you make money off paying off student loans. Because I believe it's the like right now it's it's different for us because you know, right now, the Biden administration did delayed paying college loans. But when you're the first six months after you're graduating, they give you a grace period for like, you know, back like a few years ago. Yeah. So what you do is that, during that time period, have you had enough money, let's say like you had a good paying job, right after college, you pretty much knew that crease time to like, sign up for credit cards and stuff. If you had a job, and you pretty much made money, I'll pay your college loans, because he hadn't even had to pay the interest until six months. So I didn't know you can actually do that. So I guess that's something you wouldn't have known unless you got into credit card hacking, right?

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, that's awesome. So maybe it's a good segue to is like, what would you say? What is travel hacking? And then maybe what what is travel stalking?

Angel Trinh:

Okay, so credit card hacking. I mean, sorry, travel hacking is taking advantage of all the airline hotel and credit card rewards that are currently available to get free travel. And then I guess stalking I guess you could think of this as a modern like, coupons, like, like kind of like some of different apps and digital app dealer coupons where you stack them on top of each other. Like you stack the promo code. stack the portal, you stacked like another app that you might have like ibotta to get even more discounts. It's like different apps you stack on top of each other get discount.

Guy Guyton:

So it's like the equivalent of your crazy grandma in the corner. Yeah, clipping things and shoving all these like, you could get a year's worth of toilet paper to ship.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, it's like the crazy coupon lady, I guess. But like, I guess like, it's funny because like, I feel like in travel hacker hacking terms, it's more discreet. Because you have the portal, like, no one's gonna see the portal piece. And then your credit card. And then you have your apps like, let's say like you have ibotta or coupons, calm app, like no who's gonna see that just you, the cashier is not going to see that the person waiting in line is not going to see that because you're online. There's no one seeing it besides us. I feel like this is kind of like the street version of like saving money where you don't have to be so embarrassed, where you're going to like normal. Like, let's say like, go to a grocery store, you have paper coupons and your coupon or coupon. But there's no one waiting because you're the person there waiting behind you.

Guy Guyton:

It's like ever seen those, those grocery carts or like BJs, or the car Costco or wherever it is, and they just have like, five carts of random so you're never gonna use half of that.

Angel Trinh:

Exactly. But I think people do that sometimes. Also, because even though right now right, the chase freedom five x, it's at the wholesale stores. So you can actually use that BJ or Costco. So I'm partially wondering if people have a big freezer fridge, like you know, somewhere or just a lot of cupboard space, and they just max out the 1500. And how that as background or they could bring a friend like, you know, like, let's say like, you want to pay for a membership, right? You can bring a friend with you. And then they have all that stuff, like piled up in their house.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I mean, living in New York and living here. I have never had the luxury of like having a second like I know people that like a neat freezer and like a beer fridge. Things and busy definitely time to use that. But when the chase thing, like right now, it's like I just called up Comcast either day and said, Can I just prepay all of my Wi Fi? Like, the guys like pennies? Like to confirm you want to pay us more money? Yes, please. Can I get that five next?

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, definitely. Cuz that's an easy five x because I know that I'm in New York, I actually, um, I guess it was a funny segue to so like, I didn't know this. So like my roommate just moved out recently. But whenever you get a new roommate, like you technically qualify for like a new resident kind of thing. So instead of us paying like close to like $75, or something $9 per month that used to be for the Internet, and lowered it back to 499. Because we were tackling a new resident on paper. So if you have a new resident, like a new roommate coming in, you're like, Hey, you want to take care of that internet bill, and I take care of our bills. And you can actually negotiate that, that because a lot of time, sometimes companies like spectrum or ryzen, they don't want to lower your bill. So for me, I actually did that with my bill, because I was at my current apartment for less than 12 months, and my roommate was moving out. And we didn't know that in the beginning. If I like did it sooner, we would have gotten even cheaper. That's awesome. stuff to learn, right? Like you just you never know about these kind of things.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, it's definitely the he figured out from like just listening more and more in stacking. And I think the point is like, you can kind of start slow, and then learn more tips. But then as you learn them, they just integrate into your systems for years to come forward.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, I think that makes a good sense. So like, I'll give you an example for that. So I'm American Express gold, that's a keeper my wallet because I already shop at for x for groceries. So that's up to 25,000 I believe. And up to four x add on restaurants. So for me, I also have the $10 monthly grub hub credit and also the $10 Uber credits so if for if if you eat takeout, like once or twice a month, like that's an easy moneymaker already. And then I also have my corporate discount from work because I have American Express card from my, my job. So I also get the 100 credit for American Express gold. So that's literally I layered on the $1 Uber, the 100 grub hub, and then the $100 for the corporate discount. That's $300 minus 250. That's an easy like, what like $50 easily that you made already my credit card if you have a corporate card, their work.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I mean, I have a corporate card. And then I just got the Amex gold for my business too. So it's like, trying to balance out like do I need, like, do I need all these cards that have all these fees based on COVID? Where I'm like, you know, I'm not gonna travel as much and so some of the perks like the lounge access and party that's like I won't use and then you just kind of reinvest and you still look at the value effects like i'd include a single card even though I'm not traveling for the year because I'm still getting so much value out there.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, cuz like they have the fact credit so like Saks like, I mean, for a woman, it's a little bit different. They're cheesy, actually. They sell it I'm really selling it back for you to buy skincare Have you wanted to, like Chrome and you're like, Okay, if I had to go to Saks and the way I'm gonna mind was by my makeup there. instead. Going into support, right? Because I have the credit. So like for a woman is a little bit different because you already like needed all right? Yeah. And then um, what's it called they also have the alien incidental credit. So that's that adds up to I'm trying to think of whether credit I just literally about this yesterday we had the monthly PayPal credits that's very easy to because a lot of companies like let's say CVS, for example, CVS, let's use a pay pal QR code in person. So you can easily just buy stuff at CVS if needed stuff, right. And I think target and Best Buy to also accept PayPal, like not in person, but online. But you could do it in store, like in store pickup, or you can go through your house. Yeah, like for me, I'm in New York, I try to do, it's kind of harder to do delivery because like for Well, I mean, besides Amazon. But like for Walgreens, for example, you need to spend the least $35 to get free delivery. But for me, this is actually a hack. So you actually lose money, because then I would have to spend $35. I also don't get a paper receipt. If I do online shopping through Walgreens versus I do in store pickup, and it's a 10 minute walk from my house, I get to have a paper coupon and I mean paper receipt. And I can layer on the apps to stack it with like ibotta, or coupons, calm and fetch. But if I do an online order, I only get the mailing one, I don't get a paper receipt. So then I can't even stack with those apps if I wanted to.

Guy Guyton:

So the real hack is you get to exercise for 20 minutes a day.

Angel Trinh:

Walking from my house, no hard walk. No, that's my excuse, right?

Guy Guyton:

I'm literally sitting. Where do I go outside enough? Like, am I getting enough vitamin D? You're like skincare, I'm like, do I get enough vitamin D anymore? Like I don't? I don't even know.

Angel Trinh:

I think you need to go use your credit now. Right? Yeah.

Guy Guyton:

But I think I mean, it's such a good point to where a lot of this is just stuff you had already bought. It's just moving your spend a little bit and just being a little bit more strategic and

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, definitely.

Guy Guyton:

And I think people get intimidated cuz it's like, Yeah, well, there's like all these different things and all these cards, just move half of half your things in one and then the other and then get another, you know, introduce a different way to spend and just keep adding to it over time.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, definitely. It makes sense. Because, um, for me, I don't know if this is an easy hack for you. But I grew up all the stuff I need to scan my like say like paper receipt, right? If I was just stuck at Walgreens, right? So I put them all like, you know, and the Apple phone, iPhone, you can put the icon on top of each other to make a different folder. I actually put all my apps there. I know that easier, right? Because then you just know that you just go to that folder. That's all you need to do. You just go to that folder. And then you check. Okay, does it have vetrewards to scan my paper receipt? Do I have coupons calm to have a coupon like there? Do I have it on by ibotta? Do I have it there like it's all in one place? And you know, you just use it for Walgreens. So just there's like, I think for me, like the easiest way to organize is just to make a folder like even on your iPhone, for example. And just group everything in there. So every time you like go to the store, you just associate that. Yeah,

Guy Guyton:

I totally agree. I mean, I have like my whole trip my like my folder structure for like the travel when I'm out travel for prep, like sometimes, like Skyscanner and figuring out like, where I want to go and things like that. And I think for shopping it also makes so much sense right there.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, and there's places that you would never even like expect to go shopping, right? Like I know that for American Express. They had the best buy offer right? So like what can you get at Best Buy, right? You can get kitchen products there you know, but people don't think about that kind of stuff. Because they just think that best buys electronics right? But you can get kitchen stuff there right? Like if you need to buy like let's say like you need to buy like a coffee for Keurig or like something else like coffee, the coffee pods for example for Keurig you can buy it that you can easily just use your best buy credit there and by carrier if you want to get rid of the credit because literally American Express with all these American Express offers. They're pretty much paying you to like user like card right now with all these different offers. I unfortunately don't have that Best Buy offer, but I wish I did because it's literally free money.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, absolutely is. I mean, so maybe it'd be a good time to introduce what are how would you visualize or explain some of these portals? Are you talking about oh, we're talking about rockin like, what are these portal portals for one and then maybe some of the credit card portals too. So people use one. What does that mean?

Angel Trinh:

Okay, so for me th first website before I go to an portal is cashback monit r, so cashback monitor if you t pe in the website so let's say w type in Walgreens, right, it wi l tell you which one is the b st portal to use based on the p rcentage of the cashback. So I ight say like 3% for like not q itting for example, it might give you a Delta option for h w many miles and so forth. So fo before I go to any port I doubl check and cashback monit r to see what's the best redem tion and like let's say like ock content is higher 3% I might just lean more towards rocke ing because I like the flexi ility of transferring my rocki 10 points to American Expre s versus just getting strai ht up cashback.

Guy Guyton:

Chip. Yeah,

Angel Trinh:

yeah. So I think it depends on your goals, right. So like I know, for the US airline lines are mostly like the miles only expired. It's mostly the International Airlines, for example, like British Airways, I think it expires in 36 months if you don't have activity. And I think ama expires in 36 months, 36 months, regardless if you have an activity or not. So you have to double check, even if they have a portal for you to use to keep the miles for example. Yes. Oh, sorry. I'm sorry. Yes, shopping portals are a good way to keep your miles like refreshed, because you can pretty much instead of like booking a flight to go somewhere, you can just use a shopping portal to give you miles for you to keep your miles balanced. Because if you don't have activity for a while, sometimes depending on the airline, you just move those miles.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I entirely agree. And I think I try to try to align my strategy with like, upcoming trips for the year. So I'm kind of using them in or at least, least keeping some activity but the ones who are going like, if it's gonna expire either way, those are the ones I literally don't target unless there's a specific like route that I want to go. I'd be willing to like plan around that trip entirely.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah. And also for ama, I think it takes two or three days, it's not instant. True. So like, you have to be kind of like I guess we're coming into it looks like we're good rectangular events here, which is fine, I guess. Like you kind of have to when you plan on your trip of menus points, you have to be very mindful of how fast the points transfer and you can just Google it, like maybe Google like just like an article saying like, Chase transfer timeframe for points or something like that. It would tell you how fast it usually is. Like I think there's one of the points guy or like other blogs too, when he tell you on average, how long as you pay. It's this actually happened to me. I'll give you a no trouble hacker sport. So I was transferring my post to my points to Hyatt and it's usually instant but it was not. What happened was um, my it took a day and a half but I was leaving that day because um, when I was traveling in December, because it's Coronavirus. I wouldn't be very careful. I didn't book my my flight or my hotel until I got confirmation. I didn't have Coronavirus then I booked a flight which is kind of stressful. I know. But I wanted to travel as carefully as possible when I was meeting my friend in Savannah. And we were going to Savannah and Asheville. So what we did was that we I literally booked the flight on Friday, like Friday night and I flew out Saturday morning. And I know it's kind of stressful because it's like you live in the pack the day before and everything and book all the flights and the hotel the day before, but I wanted to be as safe as possible. So when I I thought the Hyatt is usually instant, but it wasn't for me. So it took a day and a half. But my friend I posted on my Instagram story, my friend, Gio, he actually saw my story and he has globalist with Hyatt. So what he did whether he booked the hotel for me, and then I just fill out the form. Like when you go to Hyatt they let you print out documents. So they printed out a document for me to transfer the points from my account back to his account. That's great if you ever come in that kind of money. So if you ever come in that kind of situation where your points in insulin transfer for Hyatt, for example, they let you transfer your points from your account to your funds account.

Guy Guyton:

Oh, wow. That's great.

Angel Trinh:

So that one might also be helpful if you have a group of friends, for example, and you guys all want to stay at the Hyatt for example, and someone has status but other person doesn't, then you guys could just transfer that person or if you're living in a room with someone and the author of Chase, you can just split the room evenly.

Guy Guyton:

So you say you travel hack, and you still have friends now I know you're a unicorn

Angel Trinh:

because some of my friends that aren't travel hackers, it'll be harder to travel with them because they don't understand, like, how much work you put into this. And they're like, Well, that was free anyway. And I'm like yeah, but I did all the work like I'm just wondering with the whole show, it's like who knows but to get the point

Guy Guyton:

10 minute walk, how dare you

Angel Trinh:

even do any of the work and it gets kind of hard when you travel with friends that aren't travel hackers sometimes because they don't understand how much effort it takes sometimes to even get points. So like I'll give you an example right so like you booked an Airbnb right? So like that's a pretty easy one. If you ever have friends that don't have points, right? Because you can easily just buy a gift card let's say at Walgreens right these are Airbnb gift cards. So if your friend has a chase freedom unlimited card, they can divide that there has no annual fees if you want to get their feet wet, you tell them to get that card or chase freedom flex. So they have three times at drugstores you can buy the gift card there. Also Alternatively, you can also tell them to buy on flues, which is a cashback within the app itself for like Airbnb for example. So it's like when you're traveling with friends who don't have points sometimes it's easier to like book through Airbnb versus like booking through points because then like for me, I guess like an easy hack for me to get Airbnb gift card right is for me to use my chase freedom. I'm sorry, Chase Sapphire reserve pay myself back. So let's say I went to the grocery store and I spent like $100 right Right now Chase Sapphire Reserve has a promotion for three times that groceries. So if I bought a $100 gift card at Whole Foods for Airbnb, I do pay myself back. That's 1.5 higher. So I got a 4.5 x return. And that's just from buying the gift card. So let's say we had $300 and I spent 100. My other friends got 100 and Miller funds spend 100 that's an easy way to split the bill.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, yeah. And we had a whole episode on the podcast earlier about just traveling in groups. And the number one thing is setting expectations communicating beforehand and, and you're building, you know, your travel itinerary around what the other groups capable of and you line up the budget and think there's some interesting hacks right to not just like points Echo, like just travel hacks in general to make sure you're setting it up and yet, yeah, this question is, like, is this a redo in Airbnb? I like obviously, taking advantage of all my status as a different hotel. I'll usually just say like, Look, let's just do this because that might be a little bit more expensive on paper, but I can get us on the lounge. Here's free breakfast and on those tire temporaries where you have those 6am buses that are outside like ready to pick you up. That breakfast is so clutch so it's like

Angel Trinh:

exactly,

Guy Guyton:

or if you're doing Airbnb, I love that that was that too because then you're just like, Hey, we're going to grocery store beforehand we're in cook our own breakfast.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, I do think it depends on who you're traveling with like Airbnb is good if you don't want to be near other people. So if you're really careful about traveling right now, because it's Coronavirus. Yeah, it's good because you're away from everybody else. And also their b&b depending on which one that you booked sometimes they have free parking. And you think about how much parking costs is at a hotel like you think about Marriott for example. Even you book an award stay with Marriott you still have to pay for resort fees and parking. They don't cover the parking. But if you book of Hyatt on on points, I believe because they had the promotion recently, we had free parking. So like Do you have any kind of mindful of how each different hotel program works, too?

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, those resort fees never feel good. It's like 30 bucks a day. 30 bucks a day. Alright, just what what other travel hack? Would you say we should we should cover?

Angel Trinh:

Okay, so I guess we'll go back to the Airbnb or not, I guess I finish that one. So like, let's say like, you bought all your Airbnb gift cards, right? You went to Whole Foods, or you did it like foods app, or you did raise calm, either one like where you got like money back. So when I did that with my friend who didn't have the credit card I had for the groceries that she bought the race, because you can stack that through Rakuten, and then shrink your race to get the gift cards. So we split it that way. You can also even if you pick up a gift card, you can actually get British Airways points or delta points, it could go through their portal to the Airbnb. So that that also helps to.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, that's an easy way to kind of stack it through, have a conversation early, and then figure out like what how do we how are we maximizing this and ultimately, the whole purpose of this. We're trying to find creative ways to not only earn points, and then use them to get the maximum value. But then click create a system where we can continue to travel cheaply and flexibly.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, definitely. And I guess like for the Walgreens one I could go more in detail about that one. So I literally open my Instagram app and I type in hashtag Walgreens deals. I sort the hashtag my most recent and the most recent post says it's post by like, you know, like whoever posted the hashtag. And he told me what deals and what coupons like like what apps to use, so I never have to go fish around and dig through each app for each different coupon it's already done in through Instagram through like already done for me because people post it on Instagram

Guy Guyton:

power of crowdsourcing

Angel Trinh:

I know right? Like don't make extra work for yourself like because whenever I explain to people they thought I knew that I manually went through Walgreens looking through the aisles and I'm like no, I actually found this through Instagram through the hashtag I don't look around for the different aisles for deals because that's too much time to look for which which app to use which which coupon to click in the app like it's too much effort. So like don't like for Walgreens so easy literally look up Walgreens deals the hashtag sort by most recent look through the process to see what people post about a tell you what app to use to like let's say like the Saudis ibotta coupons.com all that work is done for you. Like don't don't put more extra work than you don't even need. So when I booked my trip to go to in December when I was flying to see my friend Nashville, and I'm Savannah what I literally did was that I am literally like, I mean this is how I did it. I literally googled like cheapest points to redeem to fly like us domestic or whatever. So I found like I think it was an article on point sky and they told me like, oh like check Avianca check British Airways, blah, blah. So I actually did that. And by accident, Avianca was having a transfer bonus on American Express. So and I'm actually being cheaper. And the flight if I paid in cash, and would have been like, I think like close to three or 400. But because I use points, it was only 7500 each way. That's pretty cheap because I'm down 500 Yeah, because usually it's like 12,000. Isn't it? Like for

Guy Guyton:

12? Kind of average on any of them? Yeah, for one way? Yeah, absolutely.

Angel Trinh:

It was only 7500. And also, if you book an award flight, I did it through Avianca. We don't pay for the carry on. So like, if you booked with cash on united, for example, you pay for the carry on, but you don't use points. And people don't know that, like, that's another hack in itself, because that's literally like $20, right? That you can save by just using points instead. And like you think about it, like, I think when we did our Hyatt Hotel, because they also have a promotion, and get free breakfast there. And the free parking, we literally, if you just booked that trip that one weekend trip already, and you had just the Chase Sapphire preferred card, you literally saved more money than you did for that just that one, one or two days alone, because like you would have paid for parking, you would have paid for breakfast, if you didn't have like, have points to book it through Hyatt. So like, it's just like, even though like one or two trips alone, you're being made back the money that you would have paid for $95 already.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, there's so many ways to justify the cost of annual fees on these cards. And if you're using it the right way, and just gotta be a little bit creative. And you don't have to reinvent the wheel to your point like I just I just drafting off your Instagram. So I'm not even searching. What else

Angel Trinh:

are you looking for in the Instagram guides because I made a stalking section and I made like a chase strategy section. Because every time asking me they're like, they're like, oh, how do you do this on Chase and like blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, this is my chase strategy right now. And like I use my chase freedom unlimited card. For mostly like three times x at drugstores, I find those deals on Instagram for Walgreens. For the chase freedom card. I have the five x for the wholesale membership. This is another hack actually. So I actually Um, I think I read them doctor of credit, I forget which website it was, but they had a free coupon code and I actually got my friend My mom free sam's club membership. So she's using the chase freedom card there to get five extra points. And like for Sam's Club, I think you have to be a certain mile I think it's like up to 10 or 12 miles away but have free towing. But I would have free roadside assistance through Chase Sapphire reserve anyway, but like they already have like roadside assistance up to a certain mile to

Guy Guyton:

Well, that's pretty cool, too.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, cuz look Sam's Club that adds up to because it's like wholesale, right? And imagine you save like, what, 40 $50 a year for getting their membership done for free with the promo code. Like you only have to spend like I think like $40, and you get a $40 coupon for your next purchase. But that's so easy, because you just literally just bought groceries,

Guy Guyton:

right? That's just normal spend things you need every day. Anyone

Angel Trinh:

that who doesn't mind buying like dinner, right? Chicken, veggies, all that stuff you're gonna eat anyway, right? My uncle just got a Sam's Club. And my mom she lives like within like 10 minutes from Sam's Club. It's like super easy and to get gas there. So like, she can just do her normal shopping. She doesn't need a gas card or anything because she just use the chase freedom category now for the five times the points,

Guy Guyton:

right? That's awesome. And yeah, and Costco gas is so cheap, too. I mean, California Gas is like, I've never seen a blue three anything like 365 except for a Costco where you can get it or something in the to something like Sign me up.

Angel Trinh:

Yeah, and also, um, if you don't have insurance or anything, because, um, it's so funny, because that's like, my old workplace. What people did was that they just went to Costco or Sam's Club. It's actually cheaper than getting the visual insurance through your workplace.

Guy Guyton:

Oh, wow. So that's

Angel Trinh:

kind of a little bit of a conversation we went from. But um, even then, right, like, let's say like, you need to see the eye doctor, right? Because you need to go every single year. Right. And right now this court is is like five times the points at wholesale right? You can't let her go to Sam's Club. Like right and you got the free membership from using the promo code online. Right. And then you can go get your eyes checked, because you can get your eyes checked anyway.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, what are these doctrines people talk about? I don't I don't do those things anymore. COVID boy, yeah, exactly. Alright, so this has been awesome. If the listeners want to hear more from you or find out just ask me any questions. How can I reach out?

Angel Trinh:

Sure, so you can find me on Pennywise traveler so I'm still fixing off my website right now because I turned from NYC blogger towards miles and points bloggers. So all my handles are the same except on Twitter and club health IPS. KNYWI Strv. DLR. It's not the full word Pennywise. traveler just because we had character restrictions.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I know that life. So. All right. Well, it was awesome talking to you today.

Angel Trinh:

Thanks for having me.

Guy Guyton:

Hey, traveler. That's our show for this week. We really appreciate you coming on the show and sharing her travel hacking wisdom with us today. Feel free to reach out to her and give her some love from the show. We'll link follow her contact information in the show notes below. And hey, if you have any questions on the show, reach out. You can DM me on Instagram at trouble with guy or on Twitter at trouble with guy underscore thanks So much to everyone who's already subscribed to the show that helps us grow and it only takes a second. If you haven't already. Make sure you never miss an episode by clicking that SUBSCRIBE button now. And if you'd like to read a transcript of the episode, you can find that on our website travel with guide.com. All right, I'm out of here. Until next time, travelers peace