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Since opening up our first travel rewards card, our family has earned approximately $7,240 towards future travel. This free travel has been acquired by opening up 5 new credit cards and meeting the minimum spending requirements to earn bonus sign-up points.
In addition to those 5 credit cards, we are currently working on 3 more. When those minimum spending requirements are met, we will have earned approximately $9,230 in future travel. All of this will have been done in less than 1 year from when we first started.
We plan to use some of this travel over the summer months to spend time with our family. But our long term goal is to build up enough points and rewards to take our family of 5 to Hawaii for FREE!
Each time we hit our spending requirements on a card and earn the bonus points, I like to write a review of how we did it. Our most recent card of the 5 listed above earned us bonus miles just a few days ago. We actually refer to this as card #7 … since it was the 7th card in the order we have opened them.
This latest card earned us “fixed value” rewards, which was our first of this kind. A fixed value point system (or miles in this case) have an exact value for travel reimbursement right from the start. So you basically know how much free travel you earn … assuming you hit the minimum spending requirements.
Note – Cards #5 & #6 will be finished up very soon as well … so expect a few more updates coming.
Here is a recap of our 7th travel rewards card. We took advantage of some business expenses in order to hit our spending requirements on this card.
Travel Rewards Card #7
We recently finished up our minimum spending requirement on card #7, which is the Capital One Spark card for our business.
This latest card has a minimum spend of $4,500 in the first 90 days to earn 50,000 bonus miles. Those bonus miles will end up helping our family get over $500 in free travel this summer! Plus with the added spending, we will get another 9,000 to 10,000 miles pushing our rewards close to $600.
The good thing about these miles is they are not tied to any particular hotel or airline. All we need to do is use our card to pay for a hotel stay and then use our miles to reimburse the expense.
I can’t wait to spend some quality time later this year with my family using these miles … that didn’t cost us anything!
How Did We Use Card #7?
We hit our $4,500 minimum spending requirement on day 54 of opening up this business credit card.
For the first few weeks after receiving the card, I was worried we had overextended our openings … with 3 new cards opened around the same time. I had opened card #5 a few weeks earlier, which was the Marriott Rewards business card from Chase. That card had a $3,000 minimum spend … which we planned to use on paying our homeowners insurance ($1,000) and a few other expenses.
Then my wife needed a new card, so we got her the Capital One Venture card … which is #6. This was another $3,000 minimum spend card. My wife does almost all of our grocery shopping, so it always makes sense for her to be working on a card.
Note – We are just finishing up spending on card #5 and #6, and actually hit our our minimum spend on card #7 before the other two.
A few days after opening up my wife’s new account, I decided to open up the Capital One Spark business card (#7) … which has the $4,500 minimum spend.
Our strategy for the Capital One Spark card was a bit different than all the other cards we have opened up in the past. After reviewing our upcoming spending (I like to plan our big expenses around card openings), I realized we had a bunch of large business expenses coming up.
Most of these business expenses revolve around our blogs, as well as a few other side hustles we are working on. I figured it would be close in hitting the spending on all 3 cards, but we gave it a shot.
In the next 2 weeks, we will have successfully hit our minimum spending requirements on cards – #5, #6, and #7! And guess what? We just opened up card #8.
Here is a breakdown of where our spending came from on card #7 –
- $4,000 on business expenses
- $500 on personal expenses
We spent approximately $4,000 on business expenses, using the card. We finished the card off with an extra $500 in spending … which was mostly gas for the cars and a few utility bills.
Hopefully that $4,000 worth of business expenses will eventually payoff in the future into more income for us. That would help with our tax optimization strategy and investing for financial independence.
Travel Rewards Card #7 – Points Recap
Our purchases on this card went over the minimum spend by about $130 (at the time of this writing). I always like to go a little over on our spending, just to make sure we are covered. It would be a tragedy if we somehow missed our minimum spending on a card by a few dollars and didn’t get those sign-up bonuses.
Here is a recap of the miles we have earned on card #7 on our travel rewards journey.
- Spending Miles (2 miles/$1 spent) – 9,272
- Sign-up Bonus – 50,000 miles
Total Miles = 59,272
One of the things I really like about the Spark Business card is that you earn 2 miles for every dollar earned. So our $4,500 spending turned into over 9,000 miles.
Because of this, we may decide to use this card for miscellaneous purchases for the next couple months in between cards. Each mile is worth around $0.01 in future travel reimbursement, so for now each dollar spent on the card would be worth about $0.02.
How Much are These Miles Worth?
Unlike Chase Ultimate Rewards points, these Capital One Miles are easy to figure out their worth. Each Mile earned is worth $0.01 in free travel. And these points can only be redeemed through travel expenses put on the actual card.
So based on this point/mile value, these 59,272 miles are worth $592.72 based on their $0.01 redemption. All we need to do now is use our card and pay for a hotel and then we can wipe out that expense on the card with our miles.
There is another option for mile redemption that is not as attractive. We could use those miles towards a credit on our balance from the card. Unfortunately, those miles are worth 1/2 as much when redeeming for a credit to help payoff our balance.
So those miles could be redeemed for a $296 credit on our next statement. Since we are planning a few trips this summer, we plan to use our miles for hotel costs.
What’s Up Next for Travel Rewards
The annual fee ($95) is waived the first year for this card. Since we opened it up back in February, we still have about 10 months to decide what to do with the card in the future.
In the meantime, we will likely use this card on miscellaneous purchases in between opening different cards up. I like the 2 miles earned for every $1 spent. And until we decide to redeem our miles for travel expenses, it won’t hurt to let this balance grow.
As for our other cards, we are currently wrapping up cards #5 & #6, which are listed below –
- #5 – Chase Marriott Preferred Business (Mr. Money Sprout) – 75,000 Marriott Bonus Points
- #6 – Capital One Venture Rewards (Mrs. Money Sprout) – 50,000 Miles ($500+ in travel)
We have hit our minimum spending requirement on card #5 (Marriott) but are waiting for the next statement close to be awarded the bonus points. As far as card #6, we have about 3 weeks remaining to spend another $140 on the card … which shouldn’t be an issue.
Next up is card #8, which I just got in the mail a few days ago. This is the American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card, which offers a 25,000 Starpoints bonus after $3,000 spend in the first 3 months. This will likely be our only active card for a month or two … which means it won’t be an issue hitting our minimum spend.
To follow our journey of earning free travel, check out our Travel Rewards page.
Are you building your travel rewards portfolio? Would love to hear your comments and experience!