RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Chile – those are just some of the places Jonathan Hayes, founder and CEO of RewardStock has been.
The list goes on. Jon Hayes is the definition of a frequent flier – he’s traveled first class across the country and the world. It sounds like a pretty pricey hobby, but it’s not, according to Hayes.
“For domestic flights, I typically pay $11 round trip. For international business class flights, I’ve paid $75 a round trip flight,” he said.
From nearly-free flights to free luxury hotels. Hayes does it all using credit card rewards points. Hayes said anyone can do it by using his website called Rewardstock.com. The website uses algorithms to calculate the best way to maximize your travel rewards.
The ways to do it?
“Things like taking advantage of different redemption options within a program or taking advantage of transferring rewards between programs or using rewards from one program to redeem from a partner a travel partner like an airline or hotel company,” Hayes said.
At a recent presentation in RTP, he explained how it works.
“If you are earning a point per dollar with your purchases, I have just made your dollar work five and a half times harder for you,” he said.
RewardStock is still in the start-up phase, but some travelers are already taking advantage of it. Hudson Callaway, director of user success at RewardStock, recently traveled to Singapore and Hong Kong
“All our hotels for the most part are paid for on points, so [it’s a] very inexpensive trip that we’re taking, but it’s also one of those trips of a lifetime,” Callaway said.
Of course in order to get the points, you do have to spend money on your credit cards, and RewardStock will recommend certain cards if you want to earn more points. Most people who use the program say they don’t spend more money than they would otherwise, they just spend it differently.
One user said that RewardStock recommended she get two credit cards and put $7,000 spending on them to get the points she needs for her trip.
“Yeah $7,000 is a lot of money, but not over eight months’ time, especially if I’m doing my rent and my groceries and my gas,” she said.
“You don’t have to be rich to travel like you’re rich,” Hayes said.