Many parents dream of taking their young children to Disney World, but the price tag can be as steep as the drop from Splash Mountain. A Henrico couple plans to fly the family to Florida for a visit - without spending a dime.
"We try to put every penny we spend in life on credit cards," said Brad Barrett.
It's the reward points that will cover the expenses for the Barretts to go to Disney World for five days.
"Chase and American Express, they generally offer these big sign-up bonuses," said Brad.
Brad gets a large point bonus for signing up, another bonus if he spends $5,000 in six months and a 5000-point credit for the actual dollars spent.
"You put your normal spending on there, you pay it off in full every month, and once you have $5,000 cumulative spent, they give you the bonus," said Brad.
"He found a credit card that will get us the flights for free," said Laura Barrett.
Opening one Southwest Visa card, they get 52,000 points.
"It adds up quick," said Laura.
Brad says that covers the flights that would have cost $800.
The card has a $99 annual fee, which Brad says you should try to avoid, but in this case, it's worth it. The Barretts won't pay for their hotel either. They both have Starwood-brand American Express cards. The four-star Disney Swan and Disney Dolphin hotels are Starwood properties, and points can be cashed in there.
"Right there in Epcot, 40,000 points for five nights," said Brad.
30,000 of those points came from opening the cards, the rest came from everyday spending.
"Opening three credit cards at this point and we have flights and our hotel completely for free," said Brad.
Brad opens these cards at strategic times when the sign-up bonus points are high.
"The credit cards we've opened in the last two years, we've earned about $10,000 to $20,000 worth of travel," said Brad.
Some cards the Barretts will keep open, others they'll close. If you're worried about your credit score, Brad says his only dropped about five points.
If you carry a balance, this technique is not for you. You've got to pay it off every month.
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