How to Fly First Class Around the World for Free | Ep. #500

On episode #500, Eric and Neil discuss the value of credit card points programs and how you can use them to your advantage. Tune in for some great tips on how to make money while spending money.

Time-Stamped Show Notes: 

  • [00:27] Today’s Topic: How to Fly First Class Around the World for Free
  • [00:37] As entrepreneurs and marketers, you have probably spent a good deal on Facebook or Google Ads.
  • [00:50] Neil recommends getting an American Express Gold Card, because they give you 3x the points for every dollar you spend.
  • [01:05] For example, a first-class round trip ticket from LA to Dubai will cost roughly $30,000. If you use a cash back credit card, you will get 1.5-2% cash back.
  • [01:30] For every $100,000 spent on advertising, the AmEx gold card will give you three times the points.
  • [02:00] Unfortunately, the gold card only gives you 3x cash back on your first $100,000. So Neil keeps applying for more gold cards.
  • [02:35] If you can put your client’s cost on your card, you will rack up points very quickly.
  • [03:20] If a client wants to spend money on your card, you can charge them more for doing that.
  • [03:41] If you use AeroPlan, you can end up getting a business class ticket for 55,000 points.
  • [04:15] Checking deal sites is helpful and will save you money/save you points.
  • [05:05] Using Expert Flyer helps you track when seats are available.
  • [05:15] That’s all for today!
  • [05:28] Make sure to sign up for an AmEx Platinum or Gold Card to take advantage of the amazing points program.
  • [05:40] Chase Ultimate Rewards is also a card with a great points program.
  • [05:56] Eric and Neil recommend the Problem Solvers podcast, because there is a great episode about the Hello Fresh CEO. To listen go to

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The post How to Fly First Class Around the World for Free | Ep. #500 appeared first on Marketing School Podcast.

Full Transcript of The Episode

Announcer: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the gile and experience to help you find success in any marketing capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors, Neil Patel and Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Siu.

Neil Patel: I'm Neil Patel.

Eric Siu: Today, we're going to talk about how to fly first-class around the world for free. Neil's got quite a few more of these than I have, but, Neil, you can go first.

Neil Patel: As a entrepreneur marketer, you probably have ad spend. I was doing a survey on my blog audience, and 51% of you guys said that you guys spend money on either Facebook or Google ads. What I want you to do is go get a Amex Gold Card. The reason you want to get a Amex Business Gold Card, not a personal, it has to be business, is they give you 3X the points for flying or 3X the points for every dollar you spend.
For example, I'm going to Dubai, and I want to fly first-class from Los Angeles. A round trip will roughly cost me $30,000. That's a lot of money. If you use a cashback credit card, you're going to get roughly 1.5 to 2% cash back. If you spend 100 grand, you may get $2,000 back. You can roughly get a Emirates first-class ticket for around 300,000, 400,000 points. The cool part about a Gold Card is for every $100,000 you spend on advertising, you get three times the points, so 100,000 is 300,000 points. In theory, you only have to spend $200,000, which would normally be $4,000 cash back, and you can fly Emirates first-class. Technically, it doesn't even take 600,000 points. It's actually quite a bit less than that, but that's the math I ended up doing, and it works out really well, and it's one of the best [inaudible 00:01:58] charges out there.
With the Gold Card, they only give you 3X on your first 100,000 in spend, so what I do is I keep rotating up my Gold Cards, and I'll go and apply to get 20 at a time and just keep going through them, one after another, and they don't care and they let you do them.

Eric Siu: You have a manager that helps you manage that entire process, right?

Neil Patel: Yeah, and the manager's provided by American Express.

Eric Siu: They know what's going on, too. Credit cards are great. Here's what I'll also say, too. A lot of people listening to this are probably a marketing agency or a good chunk of you. What you can do is even if you can take 10 or 20% of your current client spend and put it on a card, because some of them are willing to do it ... We have a couple clients that we put the spend on Amex Gold Cards, and we just keep refreshing it, exactly what Neil's saying. Your points will rack up very quickly, just to make sure you manage it well. That's how you can get first class tickets. How much is a Emirates ticket if you were to pay for it, first-class?

Neil Patel: 30,000.

Eric Siu: Oh, my God. I can't justify paying that. I don't think I could ever justify paying that. Have you ever paid for that?

Neil Patel: No. I wouldn't even pay for business class. That stuff's too expensive.

Eric Siu: When you use points, you're paying for the experience at the end of the day. You can definitely do that. Just manage it well. I would say this. One thing we have in our terms, I think, is if a client wants to put it on our card, we charge them more money to put it on our card, as well. We're taking on the risk, but, at the same time, we're collecting more points, we're collecting a little more juice on it, but most of our clients like to put it on their card. Just keep in mind you can also add that as a clause, as well.

Neil Patel: The cool part about this is you don't even have to fly Emirates first-class. Using AeroTime, which is the United Lufthansa Network, the Starwood Alliance, you can end up getting business class ticket for roughly 55,000 points, and that's what it ends up being for each leg, so a round trip would cost you 110,000 points. That normal ticket price would be around $5, $6,000. It's quite a bit of a savings because, normally, if you get 100,000 points, you'd be like, "Oh, my cash back would be $2,000." Why would you want $2,000 when you can get $5, $6,000 worth of value.

Eric Siu: My thing is I always look at these different deal sites. I'll look at The Points Guy, look at whatever deals coming out. Here's an example. I'm leaving for Japan in two days, and I saw a deal where I could transfer to Virgin Atlantic. There's where you transfer 1,000 points, you get 1,300 points. The benefit to that was I could transfer to Virgin Atlantic points to Japan ... Not Japan Airlines. All Nippon Airways, which is another-

Neil Patel: ANA.

Eric Siu: ANA, whatever. It is ANA. Then, what you can do there is when I transferred it, I was paying 150,000 points for a first-class ... It was like an apartment basically on its own. Maybe less than an apartment. Not like the Singapore ones, but it's still pretty nice. That one typically would have cost, I think, 17 or 18 grand or so, but I got it for 150,000 points. Just keep in mind, I wasn't paying the full 150,000 points. I got that bonus from Virgin Atlantic. Subscribing to these things and keeping track of how these things are and using a tool like ... I think I have something called Expert Flyer that shows me when seats are available, too. You can go deep into this stuff and really try to maximize your travel hacking.

Neil Patel: That's pretty much it from what I have on my end. Just don't transfer to hotel reward programs or anything like that. American Express points are the best way to fly. Make sure you sign up for American Express Platinum or Gold Credit Card, ideally Gold. You get the 3X on advertising, cloud computing, and there's three other categories where they give you 3X the points.

Eric Siu: Then, if you don't like American Express, whatever reason, you can also go with a Chase Reserve Card, too, has 3X on travel, 3X on dining, and then Chase Ultimate Rewards is pretty good, too, as a system. Then they also give you a nice bonus. Always look out for those bonuses, too, when you're starting out with these things because it can be 50,000 points or 100,000.
Anyway, before we go, we want to tell you about a cool podcast called Problem Solvers. There's a really cool episode on the Hello Fresh CEO, and they talk about marketing cohorts and how they increase customer retention. If you want to go listen to this, just go to, and we'll see you tomorrow.

Announcer: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe for more daily marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of, and don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to bring you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow right here on Marketing School.

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