Master Travel through Points and Miles with Bryce Conway of 10x Travel

February 1, 2024

In this week’s episode of FIN-LYT by EWA, Matt Blocki welcomes special guest, Bryce Conway, Founder of 10x Travel. Bryce shares invaluable insights and resources for individuals and couples looking to unlock the power of travel using points and miles.

Matt and Bryce dive into the following and more in this episode: • How to identify a starting point for anyone interested in free travel

• How to access 10x Travel’s website, where you can access their free course on leveraging points and miles for incredible travel experiences.

• How 10x Travel can help you extract maximum value from your existing rewards points, including Amex points.

• How to utilize 10x Travel’s award-winning booking service, available on their website. This service is your key to optimizing your points and miles for various travel bookings, making your dream vacations a reality.

• How to access and explore a wealth of free resources including a Facebook group in which travelers share their experiences

• How to save time and reducing stress when planning your travel If you’re ready to take your travel game to the next level and explore the world using points and miles, this episode is your gateway to a world of adventure and financial savvy.

Once you embark on the points and miles journey, there’s no turning back. You’ll be hooked on a world of limitless possibilities, unforgettable experiences, and financial freedoms.

Episode Transcript

Welcome to EWA’s Finlit podcast. EWA is a fee only RAA based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We hope all listeners of this podcast will benefit as we deep dive into complex financial topics that we will make simplified for you. And we hope that this really serves as a catalyst so that you can make the best financial planning decisions for your family and also save time in. Welcome, everybody. Today’s Finlip by EWA podcast. We’ve got Bryce Conway, good friend, amazing client, and has really personally helped me save. I’ve counted up, Bryce. You’ve saved me $250,000 plus on travel cost over the last decade, so can’t thank you enough.

Speaker 2
·
00:48
Well, I’m glad to be here. I appreciate you starting off with that amazing statistic. That’s incredible. It’s got to be one of the highest numbers of any single person I’ve ever heard. But, yeah, thanks for having me on and excited to talk about points, miles travel and all the things.

Speaker 1
·
01:03
Absolutely. Well, Bryce, if you don’t mind, give us. When I first met you were like a full time, like you had a normal job out in Columbus, Ohio. So just give us a quick background on how you. Because now you run ten x travel. Tell us a little bit about your journey, and then let’s get into ten x travel and what exactly you guys do for all your viewers, readers, et cetera.

Speaker 2
·
01:28
Yeah, happy to. I guess to start the story, we have to go back even before I first met you and was working that job. My kind of points and miles journey, if you will, started in college trying to save money for spring break. Senior year, I was like a pretty broke college kid. I went to Ohio State. I was looking at spring break options. It was actually about this time of year, Christmas holiday was coming up, and it started just Google searches, like, how do I save money on travel? How can I actually afford spring break? I was trying to look for one of these mythical opportunities that at least back then you’d hear about where, hey, if you take a last minute bag for someone, they’ll pay for some of your airfare.

Speaker 2
·
02:11
If you travel with a wealthy family and take photos for them, they’ll subsidize your trip. So I was trying to find one of those and didn’t even find any mention of that being real or any really good advice at all. It was the usual, like, travel on Tuesdays and clear your cookies on your browser and nothing actually impactful. So I was disappointed. And I remember thinking like, all right, I’m going to have to go home for spring break. As a senior in college and just hang out with my parents. And that doesn’t sound fun. But from that point forward, I noticed basically every ad I saw anywhere on the Internet was for travel credit cards. And all the headlines were just so appealing to me based on my situation.

Speaker 2
·
02:48
It was like, open this card and we’ll give you two free flights or 60,000 points, whatever that means. And, and I was like, you know what? I can deal with the consequences. I know there’s probably a bad thing that’s going to happen, but I just want the good thing now. So I clicked one of the ads and it was for the southwest credit card offering two free flights. And I applied and I thought, I’m a college student. My only income is that I’m a tour guide. There’s no way I’m going to get this card. I did. I was immediately approved. Used it to buy textbooks for the following semester, which triggered the spend and the bonus to be given. And lo and behold, I actually got two free flights. I was expecting some caveat or downside. No two free flights.

Speaker 2
·
03:29
Use them how you want. So I then quickly realized, okay, let’s not just do like a basic spring break. Let’s use both these free flights. Right? College thinking, young, kind of risky guy. I was like, I’m going to go to Florida for the first half of spring break, and then I’m going to fly from Florida to Vegas for the second half of spring break, and then I’m going to fly from Vegas home. And that all worked out with the points and miles booked it. I was amazed. Went on the trip. I was able to kind of stay with other people who are already going, save money in other ways, but made it happen. And it was aWesome. And I came back and I was like, all right, now for the pain.

Speaker 2
·
04:04
I don’t know what bad is going to happen, but something has to because you don’t just get that kind of thing for free.

Speaker 1
·
04:11
So.

Speaker 2
·
04:11
All right, my credit score is probably shot. Check my credit. It went up. That’s weird. You open a credit card and use it as a college kid and your credit goes up, not od. Okay, but maybe the bank is going to be upset with me. No, they send me more offers for better cards, like pre approved and summit. Okay, weird. Maybe the cops will come or something. KNoCk on the door. Nothing BAD happened. So I just had the kind of natural thought of lIke, why wouldn’t I kind of do that agAin? Just open a new card to get a bonus, use it to travel. Looks like all good things HAPpen. Still SKEPtiCAl. So I started googling things around that, like, why can’t I just open a bunch of credit cards and travel for free?

Speaker 2
·
04:46
And that’s when I discovered that I wasn’t the first PErson to think of this. There’s communities like flyer talk and Reddit PEopLe KiNd of sharing ideas on how to do this. So kind of fell down that rabbit hole, and that became, like, my new obsession. So I got really good at kind of points and miles. I was DOIng this regularly, opening budget cards, earning a bunch of points, and just traveling everywhere that I wanted to right after college. And I would take my wife, I guess, girlfriend at the time. We’d go to PariS for the WEekend, come back. We’d be gone for like 48 hours just because we could. And eventually my friends are all just like, hey, how do you do that? I know that you don’t have a lot of money, but you’re taking these extravagant trips.

Speaker 2
·
05:26
And this is in the era where facebook is real big. So of course I’m posting about it, posting a bunch of pictures, ANd EverYOne started to ask me how I do that. And it became AlMosT like a social hindrance. Like every happy hour or house party or birthday party I went to, I would inevitably end up sitting in the corner surrounded by five to eight people all asking kind of the same questions, like, how does that work? There’s no way that actually is as easy as you describe. Yes, it is. And eventually it got to a point where it became a frustration for me because I couldn’t just enjoy myself out and about. So I kind of, like, frustratingly put together this email draft of like, here’s the basics.

Speaker 2
·
06:04
And then when someone would approach me in a situation like this, I would kind of use that to get out of it. I’d be like, cool, thanks. I’m going to email this to you. Let’s just talk about it next week. Email kept on expanding, expanding as I’d kind of adjust it to get ahead of common questions that would come back. And eventually it’s just thousands and thousands of words, like this large body of text that teaches this. So a friend of mine approached me, and he’s like, you know that there’d probably be, like, a market for this, right? You should just pdf that, put it up online and sell it. I was like, okay, let’s try it. And this is in the era of when online courses and stuff were really big.

Speaker 2
·
06:39
A lot of people might remember they tend to have headlines like, banks, hate this guy. See how he uses these tricks like that type of error. I bought getfreeflights.com. I put up kind of a scammy looking sales page that said airlines hate this guy because he’ll teach you tricks to save a bunch of money. And I tried to sell this book for like $49, and it didn’t go well. I think I sold, like, I don’t know, 20 some copies in the first month. They’re all the people I’ve kind of encountered. That’s no good. But I did get noticed somehow by ABC News. I got an email from a producer, kind of the blue, and they’re just like, hey, this looks kind of interesting. Do you want to come to New York? And we’ll see what we can do. We’ll film some stuff.

Speaker 2
·
07:24
We’ll see how it goes. So I go to New York and they surprise me, and they’re like, okay, actually what we’re going to do is you’re going to fly to Florida now with one of our reporters. And every step of the way, we want you to kind of show your methods, like your points and miles your savings. She’s just going to be like the everyday person. Let’s kind of compare savings. So I was like, oh, that’s neat. Did it? And it was very well received. The way that it worked in news, at least at the time, they would kind of start small. They’d show it to focus groups. They’d ask them, is this kind of interesting? And if it was, they’d put it on a slightly bigger channel. Is this interesting? Look at the metrics and keep on going.

Speaker 2
·
08:01
Well, this thing blew up like I was on Good Morning America, ABC World News, Barbara Walters said my name on Nightline. I thought that was like a lifetime accomplishment at the time. And that goes nuts. It was seen by 12 million people, according to ABC. And I’m like, all right. They tell me it’s going to be airing at this time while I was getting married. And I was expecting like, all right, this is it. This is like, I’m going to wake up and check my PayPal account, and there’s going to be like a couple of hundred thousand dollars in there and we’re going to make it. And I think I sold like 45 books from that. So that was a real gut punch because.

Speaker 1
·
08:34
Is that the book I see in the background there?

Speaker 2
·
08:36
Yeah, right here. This is the original cover, how to.

Speaker 1
·
08:39
Travel the world for next to nothing. And that you still have that on your website, I believe, right?

Speaker 2
·
08:43
Yeah, that’s the name of the course now. Yeah, it’s no longer a PDF. We’re kind of more with the times now.

Speaker 1
·
08:49
Those 40 people were pissed because they could have gotten it for free.

Speaker 2
·
08:52
Now. I know, right? Yeah, I should probably reach back out and refund them. So I quickly realized, okay, that’s not going to work. If I get free publicity to 12 million people and I sell like 40 copies, that will never, ever work. I did also get an email from someone at Barclays bank, and it was kind of funny. It was kind of like, are you the guy that was just on tv? And if so, we would really like to talk to you on a conference call. Let’s set something up. And I’m just thinking, I’m probably going to be sued or they’re going to be very upset with me because I’m on the news. Kind of just talking about how easy this is. Yeah, you can just open these cards and close them and it’s all a piece of kick.

Speaker 2
·
09:31
So I get on the call and I’m just waiting for, again, something bad to happen. Maybe that’s theme of this business. And it was completely the opposite. They were thrilled. They were like, oh, my goodness, thank you so much. That was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of free media for us. With you talking about the card, would you like to become a credit card affiliate of ours? And there’s a long pause by me because I muted the phone and I google, what is a credit card affiliate? And I quickly read and it’s like, oh, they want to pay me to kind of promote their product. This is pre influencer days, so unmute. I’m like, absolutely. I was hoping you’d reach out.

Speaker 2
·
10:06
I’ve always wanted to become a credit card affiliate, so they kind of onboard me, go through the process and set me up to where I get basically a referral link, but they pay me cash instead of like referral points in a card. But I was able to use that then to go to every other major bank and get an affiliate relationship with them, too. Even though I was tiny, like one man shop, I was still working on their job. Usually you can’t even get attention of financial institutions like that, but if you say, oh, but I’m working with Barclays, that’s kind of like your stamp of approval. And then you go, next one, I’m working with Barclays, and Chase and Amex is like, well, of course, yeah, so get all affiliate links. And that kind of changed everything.

Speaker 2
·
10:43
We made the book free because we want to teach people this skill set because if they do it, we ultimately win as well, and then that’s when the business started to kind of really take off. I was still doing a lot of this from my day job. We met at the time. I guess this is right around where we met. I was able to kind of balance both nights and weekends, lunch breaks, that kind of thing. And it just has been growing, growing ever since. We’re up to, I think we have eleven employees, full time employees now, and like 30 contractors who do a variety of different things for us. But it’s all kind of that same. I’m still sitting in the corner of a bar, happy hour, teaching people points and miles.

Speaker 2
·
11:20
I’m doing it at scale now and having a lot of fun.

Speaker 1
·
11:24
That’s awesome. I remember the first trip I took after you taught me this was to Hong Kong, then Thailand. We flew business class and you had done the Thailand trip before. Basically the flights alone was like, I want to say like $22,000 savings like that. And so I’ve done that ten times since, every year. So that just the easy math. But it’s been incredible. Now let’s talk about TEDx Travel. So you’re obviously not working your day job anymore. You have many team members, some of which I’m personal friends with and work with. And I’m looking on your Facebook group page and you have, I don’t know, like a quarter million people that are active on there, which is crazy. I’ve never seen a Facebook group so big.

Speaker 1
·
12:14
So for the audience, what exactly do you guys do other than just teach people how to start their credit card game? What do you do moving forward and where do you see ten x travel going from here?

Speaker 2
·
12:29
Yeah, everything we do kind of builds on education of points and miles. We have, I guess the PDF ebook cover which sitting right behind me has been adapted into a comprehensive online course. It has videos and quizzes and tutorials and all sorts of stuff. It’ll teach all the basics. That’s kind of what everything starts with. On top of that, we have a number of other paid services where we basically shortcut the process for you. It’s difficult to redeem points. And Miles, I think most people listening to this who’ve ever tried to redeem their loyalty points know this. And that’s on purpose. If it were easy everyone to do, you know, wouldn’t it be great if you had an expert like a Bryce sitting there at happy hour who just gladly opened his laptop and be like, Hong Kong? Yes. How many people?

Speaker 2
·
13:14
Ok, I’ll do this for you. So we got that question. A lot and we’re like, okay, let’s just launch a paid service where we have kind of our points and nerds take your points and book flights for you. And that has taken off. It’s our award booking service. There’s a link to it right there on the homepage. It’s as simple as fill out a form, tell us what points you have, where you want to go, and we’ll have some of the best points and miles minds on the planet kind of go through and book as if it was their trip. So they’ll help you optimize for plane types and like those really high end products that you see probably on social media, like the livelat seats, the suites, like the caviar, all that kind of stuff. So we help people redeem their points.

Speaker 2
·
13:51
We have a membership program where you can actually get consult calls on Zoom with us, ask questions, kind of someone will look over your specific situation and help. But it’s all kind of revolving around that teaching, that skill of points. And, Miles, you, of course, would be what we call, I guess, a power user. There’s not many who have taken it quite to the skill that you have over the length of time that you have. But we know every day, every hour, really, like, just completely normal people who will post in the Facebook group or email us who are like, oh, my. Like six months ago, I thought this was a crazy scam, like I did when I was starting. Now we just booked q suites to the Maldives, and we’re going in two months. It’s wild to see that type of transition happen.

Speaker 1
·
14:35
I just want to share a story about. Because last one, I mean, this is how easy it was to work with you. A girlfriend. Beth and I were like, let’s. Where do you want to go? We had all these points built up, but, like, you, like, they would have taken me probably, I don’t know, five or 6 hours to figure it all out, search it and stuff like that, so I could pay your company a nominal. So, you know, travis, who helped me book this trip, we had a british airway companion Pass. So bottom line is, the flights that he was able to get, which were. There were some nominal fees. When you fly through London on this thing, there’s, like, some fees, but the savings on the flights was 18,000 round trip. Because the way that works is round trip.

Speaker 1
·
15:18
And then he found in Switzerland, there’s like a Park Hyatt hotel. It was like 25,000 points, chase nights per night. And a lot of people, including myself, would go into the chase travel portal and start booking. And then at that point, you’re probably looking at 150,000 points to use it directly. He knew, okay, if you transfer it to Hyatt and book directly through Hyatt, it’s 25,000 points a night. The cash price of that hotel, New Year’s Eve, like, when were staying there, it was like $1,500 a night, cash. So then we stayed there like four nights. It was like flights, 18 grand hotel, six grand, all free. Like $24,000 like that. Because of the tips and the tactics. The tips and the tactics were awesome. I’m hooked and I’m totally convicted in the credit card game.

Speaker 1
·
15:59
But then I think it’s really cool because initially your company was just teaching people and now it’s actually booking, like making dreams come a reality, which is really cool. And I’m actually right. I just realized I do the companion pass every year on British Airways and one of them expires January 30. So I’m like, I’m talking to your team. You probably don’t even know this behind the scenes.

Speaker 2
·
16:19
I don’t.

Speaker 1
·
16:20
Where do we go? I don’t want this thing to go to waste. So it’s like between Morocco or I think, like, I don’t like Paris. I shouldn’t have said that, but I don’t like Paris. It’s okay. But we’re thinking about Paris or I think Amsterdam or something like that. But, yeah, it’s all happening behind the scenes, like all the flights. It’s super cool. I’m so glad you guys. Hopefully people take more advantage of that because that’s incredible. Because points can go basically. What is it? 100,000 points equals $1,000?

Speaker 2
·
16:52
Yeah. About one cent a point is a good benchmark.

Speaker 1
·
16:55
But there’s these deals, like business class flights, hotels, that you can, like six to ten x them in some cases if you redeem them.

Speaker 2
·
17:02
Right.

Speaker 1
·
17:02
So the redeeming is like the artwork of the game. Let’s talk about that because I think a lot of people would say, oh, is that really worth it? So how do your team, have this network and this expertise that people can plug into as far as getting those redemption values? Like, let’s say two x, five x, even ten x sometimes.

Speaker 2
·
17:25
Yeah. That really comes from the structure of how points and miles work. The way that most airlines tend to approach this is that they’re going to make the process difficult. Right. Their game is almost like the Chuck E. Cheese model. They want you to chase the tickets. They’ll make it easy to earn because it’s fun and it makes humans go crazy and be loyal and do all the things they want to do. But when you go to redeem them, it’s always a challenge. It’s like a puzzle that you have strange rules that you’ve never heard of before, but they always leave small, super high end loopholes open so that when they advertise, they can say, like, oh, yeah, 100,000 points. That’ll be a business class flight to Morocco.

Speaker 2
·
18:05
What that they don’t say is if you know exactly where to look and when to book and how to angle this whole system. So most people won’t ever encounter that, but we will. So we almost feel like card counters in a casino. We’re the ones who can tell you all the behind the scenes. Here’s how to play perfect strategy. So you are correct. Most people can learn this with enough effort. It takes a lot of time. And if you’re a business owner or you have kids or you just live life, you probably don’t have a lot of that time. But we do, and we have a lot of experience because we’ve seen most of these situations before.

Speaker 2
·
18:38
So when you have x number of points at these various programs and you want to go to this destination, we’ve probably booked that flight ten times before for other people. We know which airlines to look on, how partner word bookings work, and we’re kind of the ones that know all the rules and we’re ready to pounce when the timing is right. So it just makes it easy. I use the service myself, even though I know a lot about points and miles. And yeah, it’s been very popular. I always laugh with our staff because we’re in a unique situation where we kind of created a problem. Like, we launch a business, we teach you how to earn a bunch of points, suddenly all those people need help redeeming them, and then we productize the solution. We’re like TSA pre check.

Speaker 2
·
19:18
Like, hey, security is really hard. Pay us to make it easier. We’re the ones who made security hard, by the way. So we get a check out of that. But it really helps take all the thinking out of it. You just get everyday normal folks who are living normal lives who wouldn’t necessarily say that they are dramatically more intelligent than the average person. But we try to make this process easy so they can get all, breathe.

Speaker 1
·
19:41
It, live it, breathe it. Okay, so I just put up the email on my phone from your team. So here’s the options I’m going to ask you. Live what would you do? What would Bryce do? Because you’ve been everywhere. So we can go to Japan, tokyo. We could do Morocco or Istanbul, Turkey or Egypt.

Speaker 2
·
20:05
I’m going Japan.

Speaker 1
·
20:05
It has to before January 30. We have to leave before January 30. And it’ll be like a short trip. It’ll be like a working trip. Four or five days.

Speaker 2
·
20:16
Okay.

Speaker 1
·
20:16
Yeah.

Speaker 2
·
20:17
So that’s challenging because all else being equal, I think Japan wins that one by a landslide. However, it’s winter. It’s a quick trip. Japan’s very far away, and we got to do it.

Speaker 1
·
20:28
But Japan was really cool, though.

Speaker 2
·
20:30
Japan is probably the coolest place I’ve ever been. It’s the most different. Yeah. I feel like you go to Europe, and every city in Europe is a different flavor of the same thing. Right? You have old churches. You have castles, you have art. You have food that is, like, carb based with some sort of cream on it, and it’s like, just different varieties of that same thing. Japan is just this total shift where it’s like, hey, this Culture feels like it’s just so much older than anything you’ve ever encountered. You see restaurants and bars that are 400 years old, traditions that are just very different from what we do here.

Speaker 1
·
21:05
The food, they still look perfect, right? Because, like, Kaizen, that Kaizen mentality, everything is. You could eat off the streets. I think you told me that. I think it’s so clean.

Speaker 2
·
21:13
It’s so immaculately. Just when I came home from Japan, it just felt like, you rethink everything around you. You’re like, wait, why do we do it this way? Because it seemed way more efficient the way that they were doing it this way in just. It’s neat, but it’s very far away.

Speaker 1
·
21:31
So it may need to be for a longer trip. Okay, let’s talk about. So, obviously, most of our viewers are high income earner. They basically have a couple of attributes. They’re high income earners, or if they’re retired, they were retired from stressful jobs. They probably put a lot of this travel stuff behind them. So they’re definitely like the retired clients that we work with are eager to travel. It’s a very common thing. We see. They put off life, typically, but then we also have the perspective with our physician or executive clients are very low on time, but also understand, I feel like the younger generation kind of has a perspective. I don’t want to wait till I’m 65 for my bucket list. I want to do that now and kind of balance this out, which is great.

Speaker 1
·
22:19
So if you were to say someone has very little time, and I figured this out, I convinced a neurosurgeon that was making a million dollars a year like this is worth your time to spend 1 hour a month on, because this dream vacation that you just said it’s going to cost 50,000, we’re going to do it for free because of how high your income and expenses and bonuses are. So if someone’s really long time, what general recommendations would you have to keep it simple and for them to get started, basically like an 80 20 analysis, like what’s the 20% of they can do to the shortcuts they can do and already a shortcut thing and get the majority of the results.

Speaker 2
·
22:55
Yeah, and that’s a great question, because one of the more common reasons why we see people not start this hobby is because they hear kind of conversations like what we’re having right now. It sounds like it’s a very advanced thing that requires a lot of time and effort, and if they don’t have it, I’m not even going to start. But the reality is 80 20 works wonderfully in this hobby, especially if you’re a higher income earner and have a higher level organic expand or maybe you own a business. The fact that you are spending more money on credit cards means that this will be easier for you and that small tweaks will have much bigger gains.

Speaker 2
·
23:28
So to answer your question, I would spend just a little bit of time choosing some credit cards that are going to work for you long term so that you don’t have to constantly be doing the cycling thing that I described kind of early in my days, constantly opening new cards, switching your bills, et cetera, you don’t have time for that. So I’d get yourself set up with cards that are in transferable points. A few popular options, Chase Sapphire preferred or chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum or American Express Gold. There’s a business version of all those cards that I just described. I would say just get maybe two of them. Maybe get like a chase sapphire preferred use for your personal, maybe get an American Express business gold or platinum for your business.

Speaker 2
·
24:08
Just start using those for all expenses, and then you’re going to have valuable points accruing without you even thinking about it. So if you’re sitting there using like an airline card or kind of a basic cashback card, just upgrading to one of those cards I mentioned is going to make a big difference over time. And then as those points kind of add up without even thinking about it, you’ll be in a position where when it’s time to take that trip, you’ll have lots of options available to you and hopefully a sizable amount of points. We, of course, can help with our award booking team or if you’re more budget conscious or want to try to do it yourself. I would just YouTube search it. Just, I have chase points. I want to go to Japan and go.

Speaker 2
·
24:44
There’s a fair amount of tutorials out there that can help. But that one active.

Speaker 1
·
24:49
If someone’s making that much money, low on time, I don’t know what your booking service costs offhand.

Speaker 2
·
24:54
It’s $200 a passenger.

Speaker 1
·
24:56
Yeah. If someone’s really 1 hour of their time is worth $1,000, it’s like, okay. Or $500, 2 hours. They pay that, the stress is off. You guys search it, find the awards, find how to maximize, and can actually book it in some cases.

Speaker 2
·
25:09
Right. If you provide, yeah, we draw a line. We never want to take someone’s login info. We don’t want that data anywhere. We don’t want to store it.

Speaker 1
·
25:20
You get to the finish line and say, hey, you log into your account. Here’s the legs. Here’s everything done.

Speaker 2
·
25:25
Yeah, we record a screen video. Like click here, click here. So you just follow simple prompts and then there’s no concern over like data security or anything like that.

Speaker 1
·
25:33
Awesome.

Speaker 2
·
25:34
Make it super easy. And you’re right. You jump to the endpoint that we try to get people to. I feel like I always tell people, you can go out and try it yourself. And there are tutorials and that’s true. And if you’re like 99% of people, you’re going to realize it’s hard and then you’re going to come and book with us. But if you don’t do that first up, you’ll forever think like, oh, I just paid someone $200 and they hopped on google flights to book me a trip. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes and to know that helps. But yeah, most people end up there.

Speaker 1
·
26:05
Okay, I want to go through some objections with you because I hear as a financial advisor, but before we do that, so real quick, so getting the new cards, obviously everyone has like, this alluring bonus you’re going to earn if you’re a high income and if you put your expenses on there. And obviously the responsible way of doing this is you’re spending the same amount of money that you would without the card, paying it off, et cetera, building your credit. You’re going to have tons and tons of points. Now, for someone that’s a lower income earner, the hack around it would be to open up multiple cards, get multiple bonuses, get as many points as possible. Because just as an example, let’s say it’s me, I open up one card and I put over a year, $20,000 on it.

Speaker 1
·
26:48
And so the first 5000, I earned 100,000 bonus on it. And then the next 15,000, I basically earned another 15,000 points because after that, it’s almost a one to one ratio. There’s a science I know between dining out and you can multiply the points, but just to keep the math simple, 115,000 versus you. Hypothetically, if you had more time and spread that out over four cards, 5000 and earn four bonuses, you’d have the potential of earning 200 to 400,000 points depending on the. That’s really the trick. But obviously that option would take more time and you have to basically do the calculation, is my time worth? And I’m a nerd, and so I’ve done the calculation.

Speaker 1
·
27:26
And even if you’re making $2 million a year, the amount that you’re going to save on doing the multiple cards, it actually is totally worth your time. The amount that you can save on the travel. It’s very hard pressed, unless you’re like a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, that this doesn’t matter what you make, this is still going to be worth your time. Would you agree with that?

Speaker 2
·
27:46
Yeah, I completely agree. The dynamic that’s at play there with new cards is that you just get such a huge amount of value from that bonus up front. So the analogy often make is imagine if it was normal in the job world for jobs to have signing bonuses of like $80,000 and then annual salaries of like $15,000, right? Why would you ever stick around a job for more than a few months? You’d get the job, get the bonus, and then just keep jumping. So that’s how credit cards work. You get this massive bonus. For most people, it’s like a normal spending pattern. It’ll take you four to five years of normal spend to earn that same amount that you got for a bonus. And there’s dozens and dozens of cards out there.

Speaker 2
·
28:25
So if you were just a completely logical creature with no emotions, you would just jump to a new card every month, two months, however long it takes you to earn a bonus. And yes, it really adds up fast. I admit it’s hard for most people to accept that because it just goes against so many kind of stigmas and conventions that people have been told, and it feels reckless. And for some people, it is. If you don’t trust yourself with credit or you’ve had issues in the past, or maybe you’re still working on your credit score, you probably shouldn’t do this. But if you just view credit cards as a payment method, you aren’t carrying balances and never would unless something really emergency comes up. It’s just a natural kind of thing.

Speaker 2
·
29:06
And you kind of come to that realization through the same process that I went through in spring break of like, oh, I did it once. Why wouldn’t I just do that again? Okay, do it a second time. Why wouldn’t I do that a third time? And you keep going to a point in which you’re comfortable. But even doing two cards, three cards a year, is dramatically impactful. You don’t have to view it as like, well, if I’m not going to do 15 or 20 cards like Bryce, it’s not worth starting. It definitely is.

Speaker 1
·
29:32
All right, just as a sample for the audience, I’m going to go into my backpack here for a second, just to be clear for the audience. You’ve taught me well, Bryce. So I have one card in my phone. Like, one card, the chassis Sapphire reserve card. That’s the only thing I ever use, period. Like day to day. That’s all I use. However, because of what all the wisdom you’ve taught me here are all the cards. Wait, doesn’t stop there. There’s a couple more. There’s probably ten or 15. That’s just this year that I’ve opened up. So we’ll talk about some advanced topics here. But one of the things we do with, I definitely practice what I preach when it comes to credit cards, and you’ve taught me it also. I appreciate it.

Speaker 1
·
30:22
So, as a business owner, you have the unique way to pay taxes on a credit card. And I think this is if you’re an 80 20 analysis, like, getting the greatest benefit of. It’s a balancing act, right? If you want to keep fees low, you have to be really careful about how many cards you have open at a time, because some of them have annual fees. Some transactions like to pay tax on a credit card. It pays 2%. I could go switch card every, as soon as I hit the bonus, I could switch all my accounts to go on a new card, but that would take me a lot of time. I don’t want to do that. I want to keep my life as simple as possible. Now, this obviously does not look simple as possible.

Speaker 1
·
31:00
But I only put taxes on those and I accept I’m going to pay a 2% fee to get those bonuses. And in return I have a ton of points and I have saved my only non renewable resource, which is my time. So that’s kind of like my advanced for our audience at least. I know it’s not a lot of people that are part of your Facebook group, probably normal w two jobs, et cetera. But if someone has their own business and the ability to pay their own taxes, I think that’s the time hack. But is there any other time hacks you have? If you’re talking to a super busy professional, it’s kind of like dismissing this as like a good idea.

Speaker 2
·
31:42
Yeah, and that’s a great example with the taxes because that’s one of the more common ones we see. That is one example of kind of the broader view that I’d encourage most people take, and that is that anytime that you have a sizable expense that’s coming up that’s relatively predictable, use that as a chance to open a new credit card. Put that charge on the new credit card. Sometimes it’s even like a single swipe will earn you the bonus because most cards are going to ask for a minimum spend of 3000 $5,000. But like, in your case, I know I’m paying taxes every quarter. I know what date that next one’s coming, a month or so ahead of that time, apply for a new card. Make sure that the minimum spend is going to be met by your tax.

Speaker 2
·
32:19
And then you make that one purchase if you want to keep it as simple as possible. And then you put that card in your, I don’t know what that was. A trash can or whatever you just held out.

Speaker 1
·
32:27
Backpack. Yeah, it’s.

Speaker 2
·
32:30
Yeah, I use an old candle. Like an empty candle. Like everyone kind of finds some knickknack to store it in, but, yeah, but then you’re not updating your Netflix payment method, you’re not changing your Starbucks reload method because you’ll drive yourself crazy. You just have one big charge, you earn a big bonus, you pay it off. And then I encourage most people, do what you do. Just use one or maybe two cards for consistent use every day. Don’t overthink it. You get, some folks come into this hobby and they go way too far and they’re carrying like ten cards and they’re standing in line at Kroger and they’re like, which one of these do I use for groceries? They have a little cheat sheet and the net impact is half of a bonus after all of that work, they’ve gone way too far.

Speaker 2
·
33:09
But for non business owners or folks who don’t have quarterly taxpayers like that, other opportunities to look out for, like your kid needs braces or your HVAC goes out, or you need to buy a new car, sometimes dealerships will let you put a portion of the down payment on a card. Basically, if you see a big expense coming, that’s when you should start thinking, okay, this is a great time to open a card and keep it as simple as possible.

Speaker 1
·
33:35
Awesome. All right, well, let’s go through some objections. So some listeners are probably like, very a lot of time when I talk through this with clients, they always end up being 100% on board. They get excited. We just had a client got a bottle of wine because first european trip, they went to Spain. It was like, they’re not retired yet, but a couple of years, and it was all free, first class lay flatbeds. It was incredible. But it’s cool because now, as a financial advisor, just taking your advice and saying, hey, we’re doing a roth conversion. We’re going to generate some taxes here. Let’s then pay the taxes, which they were going to do anyways. On a credit card of a 2% fee, we’re going to pay $200, and boom, suddenly we’re saving $10,000 in travel cost. So it’s been incredible.

Speaker 1
·
34:21
But I get a lot of objections up front. So I want to get your perspective, the master of this game, of the points game, to answer, because I don’t think my answer is probably nearly as good as yours. So I’m just going to act like I’m a newbie here. So, Bryce, this all sounds great, but I’ve got a great credit score, and isn’t this going to ruin my credit score?

Speaker 2
·
34:42
And spot on. That is by far, like, the most common objection. The first thing people say, short answer is no. In most cases, this will actually be the best thing you ever do for your credit score. But it comes down to kind of a misunderstanding that most people have about what credit scores are and how they work. I think most people view credit score and they think it’s some sort of proxy of financial health, right? Like, if I get a raise and I put more money in my bank account and open a 401k, that’s going to help my credit, right? No, none of that has any impact on your credit. Your credit score is not a measure of financial health or a proxy for it.

Speaker 2
·
35:15
Your credit score is just a grade of how well you’ve used credit in the past, so it’s important to kind of make that distinction. You can have a great credit score and your financial life can be a mess. You can have a rock solid financial life. There’s the Dave Ramsey crowd. And your credit score is horrible because you’ve never used it before. So these are two completely different things. Speaking generally, anything that’s going to have you using more credit responsibly is going to help your score. And anything where you’re either using less credit or not at all or missing payments, it’s kind of using irresponsible harms your score. So even points. And miles aside, I do some work with credit repair folks.

Speaker 2
·
35:51
The fastest way to improve and build an amazing credit score is to open quite a bit of credit and use just a little bit of it, always making the payments on time. So it just comes down to kind of this disconnect. And there’s a lot of half truths in credit. People will say, okay, if you open new credit card, that dings your score, and that is correct, but it misses the second part of that fact, which is that ding is temporary when you open the card, but having an additional credit card and making more on time payments actually helps. So it’s kind of like saying if you go to the gym, it makes you weaker. Yes. Like when you walk out of the gym, you are physically weaker than when you went in.

Speaker 2
·
36:29
But no one would argue going to the gym makes one weaker. Right. It just misses that second part. Most credit myths work just like that. There’s a half truth up front. People see that headline and they miss the second part.

Speaker 1
·
36:44
Okay, yeah, you nailed that a lot better than I do, but so true. And then just speaking from experience, my credit score, I don’t know, when I met you, was like 750, and now it’s like consistently over 850. And if you look at, I open and close like ten cards a year, then it’s rock solid. I think you told me this, but I know you wrote a whole book on how to repair your credit as well, which has been incredibly helpful as well, because we’ve had some clients. Kids, miss a student loan payment just ruins your score. And here’s a couple of tactics of how to repair it, which has been awesome.

Speaker 2
·
37:33
Double click on that. We hear those stories a lot, too, of like, oh, I missed a payment that kind of wrecked my score. And yeah, missing a payment is definitely going to hurt anyone’s score, but the reason why it can be so detrimental to some people is because they just don’t have much else going on in their credit, almost like a GPA. Like, if you have only ever taken two college classes and one of them, you get a d, it’s going to wreck your GPA. Yeah, right. But if you view credit cards like college classes, if you’re taking ten of them, ten new ones every year, you’re getting an a in all of them.

Speaker 2
·
38:00
If you matt block, you were to miss a single payment, the impact would be relatively minor because you have so much else going on to kind of pad your score and it becomes got you a fortress.

Speaker 1
·
38:09
Those are amazing analogies. Yeah. That’s incredible. That’s perfect. All right, so annual fees. So, Bryce, you’re telling me to get this Chase sapphire reserve coin. I looked up the fee and it’s like $550. Why would I ever do that?

Speaker 2
·
38:26
Yeah. And that is by far the second most common objection that we hear. And to be clear to anyone kind of listening who’s thinking about starting out, you don’t have to go right for the big guns with the $600 annual fee cards. They offer a lot of value, but I don’t expect anyone to kind of jump in with those right away. But the way that kind of the fees work, both for the annual fees or a fee for paying taxes, you kind of just have to look at the whole picture and see what is the value, not the cost.

Speaker 2
·
38:54
Cards that have no annual fees, then there’s a lot of them offer very little value, and they tend to trick people who come at it with a mindset of like, oh, I don’t know why I’d pay for a fee for a credit card when this one has no fee. That kind of assumes that all cards are the same. What you have to look at instead is the value, which would be like the total benefits or the total savings, however you want to find it, minus any fees that you pay. So if a card has no annual fee, bonus is $50. Maybe the rewards are going to give you another $25 in cash back, whatever, per year. That card has a $75 value. Chase Sapphire Reserve, you pay a $550 fee. The bonus alone is worth over $750 of travel.

Speaker 2
·
39:33
You’re going to earn a few hundred dollars a year in points. It has lounge access. It actually has annual travel credit. There’s a lot more going on, but when you subtract total value, you get out of that card per year minus the $550 fee. That gap, that profit, if you will, is going to be much higher. So it’s kind of pay more to get more. That’s a hard thing to understand at first. I encourage most people to start with a chase. Sapphire preferred is great. It’s got a $95 annual fee. That’s just enough for most people. Like, okay, I’ll try that. And then you see how much value you get for that, and you’re like, oh, now I get it. I understand why people pay fees.

Speaker 1
·
40:07
Yeah. Just piggybacking like that. Because you taught me that. So $300 airline credit, which obviously I use. I may not use that card for everything. Now we’re down to 250. Free for me. I was speaking to a lot of clients that are busy. Free doordash delivery.

Speaker 2
·
40:21
Yes.

Speaker 1
·
40:22
That probably saves me, like, $1,000 a year just alone right there. Doordash. Then it’s like, free pre check. And then the lounge is like, if you’re traveling and you’re in one of these fancy lounge, I mean, it’s just a different experience for sure. What happened recently is every time you’re traveling, you use this as, like, you taught me this as well. You put it down as a car rental. You don’t need to buy any kind of insurance. It’s covered through that card. That could be hundreds of a year in savings. Let me not jump the gun here. So the third objection, then we’ll stop because I think we’ve talked about so many things to handle. A lot of the objections. The third one is, like, fraud. Aren’t I opening myself up?

Speaker 1
·
41:06
If I have all these accounts open for fraud, I feel like I’m not going to be protected and someone could steal my identity or some really bad stuff could happen.

Speaker 2
·
41:15
Yeah. And that’s a great concern. It’s one that we hear pretty frequently. Here’s how to kind of think about fraud with having more cards open. Yes. You’re putting yourself kind of at greater risk because you’re just more exposed. You have more cards out there. You have kind of more opportunities for someone to steal your information. It’s something that people should definitely be aware of. The first thing I always counter with this is to say, like, okay, credit card fraud kind of feels scary. It kind of feels like money is being stolen from you. But have you ever had your card stolen or realized all my info is compromised? Have you gone through that process before?

Speaker 1
·
41:50
It happens, like, once a year to me.

Speaker 2
·
41:54
Yeah.

Speaker 1
·
41:55
I don’t want to jump the gun on the answer, but the experience is incredible. It’s so easy.

Speaker 2
·
42:00
Right? Because I always say that, and people are so terrified of their credit card number. But if someone steals it, what actually happens. You log into your bank, you click, usually two buttons, like, hey, that wasn’t my chart. I didn’t buy $500 of stuff from a Walmart in Omaha. Click, not my card. And in most cases, there’s a new card in the mail, and you’ll have it, like in one to two days. Any charges that weren’t yours are erased. The whole process takes, I’m not even exaggerating, like three minutes. Just click the charges that aren’t yours, they’re gone. You have a new card. So it’s like there’s really no risk of you losing money if compromises your credit card and uses it to buy things. It happens. It’s actually becoming more rare in my experience.

Speaker 2
·
42:40
Anecdotally, I think, like, cards that are using chip technology or just tap to pay are much harder to steal. So it happens, but when it does, it’s not a big deal. But the identity thefting, that is a concern. The analogy I make for identity theft is it’s like cavities. If you are regularly checking up and you catch something early, it is super easy to fix. But cavities are most dangerous to the people who haven’t been in the dentist in five years. And then it’s like, oh, hey, by the way, this has been festering for a long time, and now you need a root canal.

Speaker 2
·
43:10
So when you’re kind of actively opening cards, kind of playing the credit card game, if you will, you are much more aware of kind of what’s going on with your credit score because you’re going to get a copy of it every time you open a new card, and you’ll spot anything coming from a mile away. Identity theft is exceptionally rare these days. In most cases, it happens from data hacks from large stores. It doesn’t matter how many credit cards you have open. When someone hacks targets database, you’re in trouble anyway. Nothing to do with cards. Right. And it’s relatively easy to get in front of.

Speaker 1
·
43:43
Yes, and I would further that, Bryce, because a lot of banks, debit cards don’t protect that. So if someone dangerous, you’re done. That money was actual money that was yours, that now was stolen from you. Some banks won’t give that back. Some big banks will. A credit card, a good credit card, it’s like, done like that, just like you said. So credit card spending is the safest possible spending. And I’m going to further back up the strategy you taught me as far as keeping the one card for the purchases and then doing the other ones just for the bonuses.

Speaker 1
·
44:16
The nice thing about these, I spot check them once a month is after I put the taxes on them and pay it off and earn the points, and I keep it open for the year, which you also taught me to then cancel it and then reapply five or seven years later to get the bonus again. But these should read zero. If they don’t read zero, I know the card got compromised. And so then that makes my decision fatigue so simple. And I don’t have decision fatigue because then I go into the one card that I have transaction, I spot check it once a month and I spot check these to make sure they read zero. And that’s it’s really not time consuming at all.

Speaker 1
·
44:51
And I hope to God if it is stolen, it’s a credit card, not my bank, because then I know it’s going to be easy to fix.

Speaker 2
·
44:57
Yeah, your bank would be tough for all the reasons you mentioned. I’ll give you a tip that can help you make that one step easier. Just turn on purchase alerts. Any bank will text you like, hey, if this card is used, I want you to text me. And then you don’t even have to worry about spot checking for zero. If you get a text from, hey, capital one is wondering if you’re spending $500 in the Walmart Omaha. You could usually just reply, n no, that’s not me. Boom. Or a lot of times we’ll proactively catch this stuff and be like, hey, it looks like someone stole your card because they’re making these purchases that are completely out of your normal pattern of behavior. We shut it down and new ones in the mail. That doesn’t happen with debit cards.

Speaker 2
·
45:33
Someone’s actually in your bank account taking your money, you might not get it back. Or if you do, it’s going to be out for a long period of time and the burden is really on you to go get your money back. Whereas if someone steals your credit card, they’re actually stealing the bank’s money that’s not yours. Okay. It’s so much easier seeing people pay with debit cards. Almost just feels, like, dangerous. I’m like, what are you doing?

Speaker 1
·
45:53
Yeah. I say when I take money out, it’s usually because when I use a debit card, it’s because I’m taking cash out, which means I’m at a place I’m mad about because they don’t accept the card. Usually it’s on a golf course, like tipping a caddy or something like that.

Speaker 2
·
46:08
Or like in Europe somewhere. Some cafe.

Speaker 1
·
46:10
Yeah, exactly. Okay. Well, just off the topic for a second because you’ve written a book on this, and then obviously, just naturally, you’re an expert in these different subjects. I want to ask you two questions. So first thing I know, read the book isn’t going to be your answer, but if were getting coffee or something and I was like a 60 year old doctor with my daughter just got through college and her identity got. No, not the identity. She missed a school loan payment. She’s in her six hundred s now. And I just want three simple tips to help her get her credit improved as quickly as possible. What is those three tips?

Speaker 2
·
46:50
Yeah. So the first thing is to send a goodwill letter. So if there’s kind of two different types of missed payments that I categorize, there’s ones that are what I’d call administrative error, like the bank, I set up the payment, I didn’t hit submit or I kind of forgot to pay it. That’s easier to fix. The other one is I just don’t have enough money. I could see this payment coming a long way away, and I have to kind of choose which ones to make and I can’t make that one. If you’re in that situation, that’s a broader financial concern that’s hard to get out of. So I’m going to focus primarily on the first one because that’s what usually see the best first step is to send something called a goodwill letter. It’s kind of just like, I’m sorry, please forgive me.

Speaker 2
·
47:28
You can just Google goodwill letter template and it’s like mad gabs. You just fill out, what’s your name? What happened? You just say like, hey, forgot to make my student loan payment. I’ve been paying this for x number of years. Can you just forgive me on this one and remove that from my credit report? And I’d say 60% of the time, just. Oh, yeah, sure. Sorry about that.

Speaker 1
·
47:47
Awesome.

Speaker 2
·
47:48
That’s number one. But then number two, assuming that doesn’t work out, you can just overwhelm it with positive credit. So if you have a younger student, the best thing you could do is add them as an authorized user to one of your cards, ideally an older card. There’s kind of this loophole in credit reporting where they have to pretend that’s that person’s card. So if you’re 60 years old, you’ve had an american express card for 25 years. You add your 19 year old daughter as an authorized user to that card, suddenly she has 25 years of credit history. Even if she’s not 25 years old. They have to consider that hers.

Speaker 1
·
48:23
I want to go through a quick role play here, but I don’t want my daughter, like, spending all this money to take her friends out to.

Speaker 2
·
48:28
You don’t have a docker.

Speaker 1
·
48:29
They don’t have money. Say that again.

Speaker 2
·
48:31
Yeah, she never has to use the card. You never have to give it to her. Just adding her in a future episode. I’ll talk you through how that weird circumstance came to be. But yeah, just adding them, they never have to use it. There’s no risk to your credit. Like if you add someone to your credit card as an authorized user who has the worst credit score in history. As long as don’t give them the card, that can’t impact you at all. It’s a one way relationship. And instantly you create all this credit history for that person and then maybe have her open one or two cards on her own and that we’re just kind know. We had a bad freshman semester of GPA, we got a d in a class. Let’s take five classes that are easy. Let’s.

Speaker 2
·
49:07
That’s how you bring it back up, boost it up.

Speaker 1
·
49:09
That makes total sense.

Speaker 2
·
49:10
It’s counterintuitive. Everyone runs because it’s like, oh, hey, I had this small credit problem and people like me are like, the solution is more credit. And they’re like, no, swear it off. And they don’t realize that by stopping there, they’ve actually just solidified the pain.

Speaker 1
·
49:24
So these are 15 minutes. Five minutes. You write a goodwill letter, you google the template. Five minutes, you log in line, add an authorized user.

Speaker 2
·
49:30
Yes. You don’t do that anyway. Really. That’s one of the best gifts you can give like a young person financially is you effectively start them on third base credit wise by adding them to one or two of your cards.

Speaker 1
·
49:41
And then five minutes, you help her get him or her a new credit card. So if my daughter, hypothetically, that 19 year old daughter had bad credit, what credit card would be the best to most likely to get approved?

Speaker 2
·
49:54
Discover it. Discover tends to be the best for folks who don’t have any credit. That’s kind of like their place in the market. If you have never had a credit card before and you go apply for one of these high end travel cards, you’re probably going to get declined. But do you know getting declined for a card, you’re not penalized for that credit wise? I always tell people it’s like a missed shot in basketball. You didn’t score points, but you don’t lose points or it’s like in the.

Speaker 1
·
50:17
GPA, it’s like you drop the class like a month in because you know you’re. And then it doesn’t count for the GPA. Gotcha.

Speaker 2
·
50:25
Yeah. There’s no downside of trying. So really just don’t be afraid of credit is kind of a general theme here, like applying for cards, getting declined. It doesn’t really matter. In fact, I’ll give you my three simple rules of credit. Credit score. This is all you ever have to know about credit to get a bulletproof credit score. Never miss a payment. Even if it’s just a minimum. Never miss payment. Get way more credit than you need. Like outrageously way more credit than you need. Keep your single oldest card open. Just the single oldest and nothing else matters. Increase, don’t matter.

Speaker 1
·
50:53
That’s powerful.

Speaker 2
·
50:54
Utilization doesn’t matter. If you do those three things, you do those over time, you’re going to have great credit.

Speaker 1
·
50:58
Awesome. 80 20 analysis on the credit score.

Speaker 2
·
51:00
Love it.

Speaker 1
·
51:01
All right, so just because I know you have such a big network here, this is totally off topic, but if you’re. I’ll just say my identity just got stolen. I call you up, I say, bryce, I’m low on time. I’m scared, though. What are three things I can do immediately?

Speaker 2
·
51:19
First thing you should do if you notice your identity stolen is that you should get copies of your credit reports. You get one free one from each bureau per year. I think the website is like annualcreditreport.com. It actually looks like a business, but it’s a government. And you get copies of your credit report and comb through those and look for anything that doesn’t look familiar. A bank account open in a city you’ve never been to, credit lines that you don’t recognize. And for anything that you don’t recognize, you need to contact whatever financial institution that is and just tell them, I don’t have this account. That will start them on the process of, okay, what happened? We’ll start on doing it. You can also formally tell the credit bureaus like, hey, that’s not my account.

Speaker 2
·
52:01
And then the burden goes on to them to work with the financial institution and fix it from there. It’s an easier process than it sounds like because they see this a lot and they’re not going to challenge the fact that if you sitting in Pittsburgh or, you know, bank of Anaheim, I don’t have a credit card with. Oh, ok. Yeah. Like it makes sense. So yeah, that’s what to do. Just get in touch, communicate as much as possible. Letting them know kind of what’s going on, and most importantly, too, stop the bleeding. A lot of times, if there is an identity theft situation, it’s not as if the individual who’s doing this swoops in, opens accounts, and then stops. They’ll usually keep going.

Speaker 2
·
52:41
They try to outpace you, so you’ll want to put a freeze on your credit, which you can do just by contacting a credit bureau.

Speaker 1
·
52:48
And that means they can’t open up any new accounts, right?

Speaker 2
·
52:51
Theoretically, yeah. It’s not, like, perfect. There’s ways that criminals can kind of get around that. But, yeah, banks, if your credit is pulled, there’s one more check step they have to go through to ensure that it’s actually you.

Speaker 1
·
53:01
Got you.

Speaker 2
·
53:03
But usually when the credit bureaus are aware of kind of that’s happening, they have their own measures in place, and they stop the bleeding. And then the individual who knows that you’re on to them generally moves on to someone else. Protecting identity theft is just kind of like your house. You don’t have to have the best locks and fortress and all kinds of stuff. You just have to have better locks than the average person, and criminals will go elsewhere. It’s identity theft. Keep an eye on your kids. One of the most ripe targets for identity theft is like, an 18 year old who isn’t watching their credit at all, but is old enough to open accounts and generally not paying attention to these things. So keep an eye out on your kids, including identity theft from people that you know.

Speaker 2
·
53:45
In a lot of situations, I see it’s from someone, a family member or a practitioner who is on hard times and got their social from their medical charge. It’s usually something like that. But I also feel obligated to say identity theft is exceptionally rare. I think if you ask the average person, how many people are impacted by identity theft are you? They’d probably tell you it’s like 20% to 30%. And in my experience, it’s, like, very low single digit percentages.

Speaker 1
·
54:13
There’s a difference between someone getting your credit card number and stealing.

Speaker 2
·
54:16
Right?

Speaker 1
·
54:16
Yeah, totally different. And so just to add to that, from financial advisor’s perspective, we love fidelity. As a custodian, we use Charles Schwab as well. But we can freeze your account so no money movement can go out. That’s happened to several clients recently, and it’s temporary. It’s easy to lift that way. No one’s getting a hold of your big assets as well. I would add that as an important. Well, a couple of questions before we close out. So, Bryce, what’s your favorite trip you’ve ever taken? One, and then it doesn’t have to be the same trip. But secondly, what’s the most amount of money you’ve saved using credit card points on a trip?

Speaker 2
·
54:54
These might end up being the same thing, right? That’s a great question. It’s one that I get a lot, of course, and it’s difficult to answer because trips are also different. But you’ve been everywhere. Use that to dodge it. Well, that, too. And a lot of it’s kind of like, know if you travel. My first ever trip to Paris with my wife, flying economy on points was incredible because I’d never experienced anything like that before, and it was free, and we’d never been to Europe, and it’s amazing. How do you compare that to my last trip to Europe? This past summer with my family, we flew Emirates first class, like the one with the showers on the plane, there’s a bar, and I eat caviar and stuff. Right. Economy versus shower and first class.

Speaker 2
·
55:33
You’d think these don’t compare at all, but there’s something about the context that changes it. But most money I’ve ever saved would be the Emirates trip. This past summer, we flew business class to Europe on Air France, we being my family of five. So that adds up quick. That would have been, like, $22,000 in tickets. And then on the way home, we flew Emirates first class, which is arguably the best commercial airline product on earth. There’s a spa on the plane with a shower. There is a bar in the plane. There’s Don perion everywhere. I had two servings of caviar. Those tickets go for 15,000 to 20,000 apiece, and I had four of them, plus a lap infant on points. So that’s a multi six figure trip. That was just incredible to be flying on that product.

Speaker 2
·
56:17
Lie flat with, like, my three year old, who’s sitting there.

Speaker 1
·
56:21
You had $100,000 worth of flights, probably more for free just using points.

Speaker 2
·
56:25
Yeah, there’s a distinction we made. I didn’t save 100,000 in the sense that I have $4.

Speaker 1
·
56:32
Yeah, you wouldn’t have spent that to get go. But, yeah, I like quoting, and neither would I have. I would be cheap and flying. Like, I would buy the seat. You know what I mean? Like, buy the bathroom if I could, if it was cheaper. But if it’s points, I’m first class.

Speaker 2
·
56:47
And then you use the extra to splurge when you get to Europe, it’s like, yeah, do we want to upgrade a suite? Yes, we do, because we would have paid all this money for flights and you kind of have this house money advantage, but I’m sure you’ll experience this at some point soon with your daughter, too. But seeing your three, four, five year, like, know how to behave in first. Know my oldest, Collette. She’s seven. She struts right in, sits down, opens the amenity kit. She knows what she’s doing, reclines her seat to the good spot. It’s just like, this is incredible. Giving them a lifestyle that is just very memorable.

Speaker 1
·
57:20
Yeah, that’s very cool. Well, what are your top three destinations that you have done and then what are the top three destinations that are still on the bucket list?

Speaker 2
·
57:32
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think top three that I have done in no particular order. I think Italy is maybe the best region or country or however you want to find it to visit on earth. The food is incredible, the weather is incredible, they have beaches, they have history that is much older than everything around it and way more advanced. It’s hard to not be smiling when you’re in Italy. I think Japan would be up there for number two, for the reasons I mentioned earlier. It’s just so different in so many just amazing and unique ways. There’s tons of high end options for flights and hotels. It’s very doable. Points. Japan would be two. I’d probably say South Africa, three.

Speaker 1
·
58:10
South Africa is awesome.

Speaker 2
·
58:11
Yeah, you’ve been right. Yeah. I think you went right before me. I might have gone because you went on a points trip and sent me pictures and it was like, this is amazing. And I was like, all right, we replicated most of that trip, so.

Speaker 1
·
58:22
Yeah, just certainly low.

Speaker 2
·
58:25
It is, yeah. And just to see animals up close, like, were 6ft from a lion that could have eaten me, it’s incredible.

Speaker 1
·
58:34
And the cool thing about that city is you have, like, a mountain. I think it’s like a 7th one of the world tabletop mountain. You have a vibrant city with all kinds of awesome food and culture, and then you also have your ocean front. You have like, three things. It’s like Denver or not Denver. I don’t know. Aspen, Colorado, not New York City. Like a mini city. And then you’re also, like, oceanfront. So it’s like all three of those things in one place. It’s so cool.

Speaker 2
·
59:01
Yeah. And I always have a soft spot for destinations that have transitioned cultures massively, multiple times, because you get these beautiful mashups of, like, oh, the Dutch had it for a very long time. And, of course, they’re not original to the space, and so their culture blends with south african culture, blends with british colonial culture, and then you get these amazing overlaps and just this vibes that can’t be replicated elsewhere.

Speaker 1
·
59:25
Something you taught me as well is, like, a lot of the travel. I don’t know about you. I felt so safe there. Yeah, I feel like that’s, like, some news, social media. It’s not safe to go to these countries. I feel safer there than I do. Like, walking to my.

Speaker 2
·
59:43
Any place people find headlines and fear mongering, and it’s easy to say it’s not safe. But what changes your mind is when you talk to locals from other countries, and when you say you’re from America, they’re like, oh, my God, it sounds so unsafe there. And you’re like, what if you go to New York? Are you going to be shot? I guess maybe. To them, that’s completely strange concept. So, yeah, I completely. Yeah. On my bucket list, highest up is New Zealand. Just looks gorgeous. Incredible. Hard to do with kids, though. I feel like my bucket list has to change at young daughters.

 

I hate to say this, but your team literally planned a trip for me to New Zealand in 2024.

 

Not to rub it in, but your team still happening.

 

Yeah, your team planned it well.

 

This is easy because I can just email and be like, hey, give me what Matt Block is having. Yeah, we’re excited. Yeah, New Zealand. Singapore has been high on my list. A lot of great flights to and from there that you can do on points and miles. I think I’d like to go back to Africa, not to South Africa. I want to go to Kenya or do one of the more adventurous safaris. That’s a little bit more remote, but, yeah, I feel like I’m grateful to be at a place where I’ve traveled most places on earth that, like, really wanted to go. At this point, I’m kind of reaching to, like, yeah, okay, it’d be cool to go there, but I’ve done a lot of things I want to do, and that feels great. And points and miles are the reason that happened.

 

Well, Bryce, I’m sure there’s a lot of know individuals, couples, et cetera, that want to learn more and get into this. So where can everyone find you, and where do they find the resources? What are the next steps?

 

Yeah, everything starts@tenxtravel.com. Ten. The number, like, 10. Xtravel.com free course. Start there. I would encourage anyone to join our Facebook group, we’re approaching 300,000 people in there now. It has completely open posting. Like, anyone can hop in and post immediately. It’s not like a bunch of rules and regulations on that. But most importantly, when you hop in there, you see thousands of interactions. Kind of like the one we’re having now.

 

Success stories.

 

Success stories. But a lot of people replicate. Like, if you want to go to New Zealand, you’ll be scrolling through one day and someone will be like, hey, I just got back from New Zealand. Here’s exactly how I did it. It’s like, sweet. There’s my blueprint. My trip to Thailand that I wrote about way back when has been copied hundreds and hundreds of times. The exact same know who wouldn’t want to. You see it and it’s so doable. So just being in there and kind of floating around, you can ask questions and get specific answers. But more importantly, you just kind of watch how people do this over and you learn from that repetition. So start there.

 

The booking service is directly on the Ten X travel website.

 

That’s right, yeah. Right at the top there’s a button called award booking. And really, even if you’re not what we call like a points and Miles junkie, you might just have accidentally owned a business for 20 years and been using an American Express platinum card. And you’re like, yeah, I got 2 million Amex points and I didn’t even know what these are worth. We can help. We can come in and help you get so much more value out of those than you probably ever imagined.

 

Well, Bryce, obviously you’ve provided so much value, so I just want a quick plug here. So obviously, ten x travel, you have an incredible team that obviously the company you guys have to generate the revenue to pay for and everything like that. So just to continue the value, encourage everyone, Ten X Travel is paid through the affiliate links that Bryce described at the beginning of this episode. But if you’re considering a card, go to his website, use those links to sign up for the cards and then sign up for the Facebook group because you’re going to get so much good free insight there. Go through the free courses and then obviously the booking service will be the only thing you have to pay for. Evaluate that if that’s worth the money.

 

For me, I’ve evaluated, it’s like the stress, the time, getting the most, the maximum out of the points. I mean, those three factors really for me, I’ll never book a trip overseas without using your service. I’m skilled enough, I can book a southwest trip to Florida by myself. I’m not that dumb, but, yeah, anything that’s, like, overseas or is not through southwest, basically, I personally use. I think that’s a case by case basis, but definitely give that a look as well.

 

Thank you for saying that. We appreciate it. We love helping people. Over 90% of our readers actually never pay us a dime, but we still make money on it. It’s like just this beautiful business model that shouldn’t exist, but it does, and we’re glad it is.

 

Awesome. Well, Bryce, any closing remarks? Thank you so much for being a guest, and I’m sure this will be a tremendous value to many people.

 

Yeah, just thank you for having me. To anyone who’s kind of mildly curious about points and miles, just give it a look. Give it one first step, and you might be flying life to New Zealand in two years, and you’ll always wonder how you lived without it. But just that first step is the hardest. But I’m glad for folks like yourself who are making this known to as many people as possible. I know that you build it into your practice and you tell everyone who will listen to you about it. So I appreciate that you do that. And I’m so happy to have come on the show today.

 

I’m going to warn people, once you do this, there’s no going back. It’s like a due world that you live in, and you will get hooked. I promise you that.

 

Yeah. There’s no greater example, I feel like, in my life. And most people I encounter, of the hedonic treadmill accelerating very quickly than when you do your points and miles. And then it’s like, wait a my daughter. We’ll board a plane to Florida on southwest, and she goes, daddy, where’s first? Where’s these seats don’t even lie flat. So, yeah, fun, but no going back. No going back. But I love it.

 

Well, thanks for joining Rice. Greatly appreciate you.

 

Yep. Thank you, Matt.

 

Thanks for tuning in to our podcast. Hopefully you found this helpful. Really hope this is as beneficial and impactful to as many people across the nation as possible. So hit the follow button, make sure to rate the podcast, and please share with any friends or family members that would also find this beneficial. Thank you very much.

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