How I use American Express points to strengthen my marriage, my mind and my business

How I use American Express points to strengthen my marriage, my mind and my business


Hey, I want to share with you how I use
American Express Rewards otherwise known as points to strengthen my marriage,
strengthen my mind, and strengthen my business. Now I don’t know if you ever
thought about it that way but a lot of people use their their cash back for
frivolous things. They use their points maybe to get away to come to Las Vegas
and blow a bunch of cash. Generally, what I use my points for is to take my wife
on vacation vacation we really don’t ever vacate when you’re an entrepreneur
and you care about your business and you care about people and you care about
change in the world there is no such thing as vacation time there’s some
downtime, but it’s not like you know going to laying on the beach drinking
mai tais and forgetting the world. So what do I do with my points? Well I went
in back in September of last year I purchased two round-trip airfare tickets
first class tickets on Alaska Airlines from Las Vegas to Homer, Alaska.
I purchased a $7,900 all-inclusive lodge resort like setting on the Kenai
Peninsula in Homer to do four days of world-class halibut and salmon fishing
paid for all through American Express Points. Now that would be a vacation,
right? Knowing going up there there is no Wi-Fi.
I will have a cell phone signal but that’s about it.
But it gave me the time the downtime to finish up my book – Dan Kennedy’s
latest book – How To Be a Ruthless Manager – in the “No Bullshit” series of his,
incredible book. But it also gave me time to spend time with Michelle without all
of the distractions and if you saw the pictures of me on the boat, especially on
the cold rainy day, I was all bundled up and we were out there for about eight
hours it gave me a lot of time to reflect on you know my personal life, my
spiritual life, physical well-being, as well as my business life. So you really
want to do that, you want to take some downtime and not necessarily seven days
of sitting around drinking beer you know but take a book with you and start studying.
Now how can you get the AMEX points to allow you to do stuff like that? You know
that $10,000 trip really didn’t cost us anything.
It just cost us our time to fly up there and fly back.
Now how is that possible? Well, I use a business American Express card to pay
for all of the expenses in my business or all of them that I can pay for. I
do pay a team of approximately 22 people I pay their salaries, their wages on my
American Express. I pay the rent on my house here in Las Vegas with American
Express. I pay the rent, I used to pay the rent on another building with American
Express I don’t any more cuz the lease has expired. I pay my insurance, pay the employees’
health insurance. I pay everything that I can pay with American Express, there are
a few things that you can’t, right? But the advantage of doing that is every dollar
I spend I get anywhere from 1 to 1.5 percent back. Now, it’s not a lot of money.
It’s just one penny basically for every dollar spent I get a penny a penny
and a half but when you spend millions of dollars those pennies add up now you
might not be in the position to spend millions of dollars you might not have a
business there are personal cards as well. My Chase Freedom Card. We use Chase to pay for our groceries. We pay Chase, err use
Chase, to pay for my electricity bill my water bill in Lake Tahoe on my personal
residence. I pay my personal car insurance with it, uh like I said groceries. I pay for my gym
membership with it and it’s about on average $4,000 a month depending on how
much Michelle and I travel if it’s not business-related how much how many times
we go out to dinner. You might be the same. Maybe you only have a $2000/month outlay. Well, if you get a two percent cash back card like the
Discover or the Chase Freedom, that’s two percent a month you’re getting back. It
might not seem like a lot, but after a year, you have one maybe two depending on
what airline you fly on round-trip airfare tickets anywhere in the United States
for free, just simply by using your credit card versus a debit card. Now if
you saw my video that I did on the day after Mother’s Day about my daughter
using her debit card at a casino the next day or two days later it got hacked
and they drained her bank account and she woke up she woke up Mother’s Day to
having no money and at the time my wife and I were kind of joking and laughing
people were a little offended saying there’s nothing funny about my daughter
losing all her money and it’s not funny it was funny that she didn’t listen to
me and it happened to her that’s what was funny about it and she got her own
all her money back but there’s a pain in the butt. The stress alone, you know not
knowing for sure if you’re gonna get that money back because you don’t always
get your money back all the time sometimes the banks say no and they keep
it see when use your debit card versus a
credit card you have to prove to the bank that it wasn’t fraudulent versus
when use a credit card the credit the merchant must prove it wasn’t fraudulent
you have to prove it if you use a debit card the merchant has to prove it if you
used a credit card so you’re always safer by using a credit card plus you
don’t get points generally I’ve heard a one bank and I can’t remember who it was
somebody in San Diego some bank in San Diego that was giving points out on debit
cards I’ve never heard of that ever again
so you want to use your credit card anytime you can and then save those
points up I mean if if just by using your credit card for average everyday
expenses your grocery your electricity your internet your cell phone your
gasoline whenever you especially never use a
debit card at a gas station but if you started just changing your habits
instead of you reaching for that debit card you reach for a credit card use the
credit card that will allow you and your your significant other to go fly
anywhere in the United States for free you know two tickets once a year just by
using your credit card versus your debit card along with saving you the stress of waking up with
no money saving you the stress of having to call every single account you had on
the debit card to pay off now you got to switch them over to the new debit card
and start that whole game all over again now what if you can’t get one of those
debit cards well there’s a couple reasons why you wouldn’t be approved for
one of those cards and the first thing is you’re probably thinking your credit
score or your income and it could be your credit score it’s rarely your
income it’s very rare very very few times have I ever been
asked to provide proof of income to a credit card company the only time that
I’ve done that is through American Express because I was trying to get up
to that ability to I don’t have a limit per se on it doesn’t have a preset limit
there is a limit on how much you can spend but I was trying to increase that
limit to several hundred thousand dollars a month and so I had to show
bank statements to increase that to go faster because what they do with
American Express is they will only give you the amount that you’ve spent in the
past so if you’ve never spent over 50 grand they’re not gonna give you
$500,000 limit, right? So you got to work your way up to it or you send them bank
statements and show them that you can you can afford to pay it back in full
but back to why you can’t get a credit card a couple reasons it’s rarely ever
income it’s almost always the way you use your
credit the way you use your credit cards how much you spend on a credit card
every month how much you leave as a balance on your credit card every month
as well how many credit cards you have and your credit score do you notice how
I mentioned the credit score after the rest of them it’s because the credit
score probably most cases has least of an impact than all the rest of them
because there are cards out there like Capital One venture card which in my
opinion is by far the best consumer travel rewards card I think it is the
best Capital One venture card it is not credit score driven so they don’t
necessarily approve you or decline you based on credit scores it has to do more
with how much you spend every month and whether or not you maintain a balance
now what if you have bad credit what can you do to increase your credit score the
number one thing number one is you need to pay down your credit cards get them
below 10% not 30 not 50 not 70 10% get your balances below 10% if you pay
your credit cards off in full every month all you have to do is call the
credit card company ask what day of the month do you report to the credit
reporting agencies and then make sure your credit card is paid in full three
days prior to that report date because if you’re paying your credit cards off
in full every month on the due date and they report 10 days prior to the due
date they’re reporting your full balance and you’re not getting credit for paying
off the credit cards and it’s driving down your credit score
so the number one thing you can do is to pay down or pay off your credit cards
early or pay them down below 10% or keep your balances below 10% number two
that you can do you need to have at all times without exceptions with all times
you need to have at least three credit cards open at all times that’s really
important so pay off your credit cards early pay them down fast you need to
have at least three credit cards now could it be a department store card
absolutely could it be a charge card like the American Express Platinum
absolutely you need to have at least three open credit cards at all times and ready never ever stop using them you
have to use them every single month now there’s a couple exceptions to that and
it’s primarily not because of FICO but because I don’t want you spending money
for credit sake all right don’t just go spend money just so you can increase
your credit score don’t just go spend money so you pay interest so you can
crease your credit score I don’t want you doing that so the only exception to
not using your cards every month as if it’s a department store card like JC
Penney’s Victoria’s Secrets Best Buy maybe Walmart on those cards you want to
use them every 90 days or once a quarter you don’t have to go crazy you don’t
have to go to Best Buy and buy a big-screen TV every time simply go in
get a bottle of water buy your bottled water and leave or buy
a set of batteries it’s gonna cost you more money to drive their most likely
than it is one you’re gonna spend so you want to kind of manage it around you
know there’s a Best Buy right next to Costco so if I had a Best Buy card I’d
go in there once a quarter buy a bottle of water buy a set of nine volt
batteries for my smoke detectors whatever wait for it to report and then
I pay it off I would not pay interest excuse me one of the other things you
can do let’s say you have a Kohl’s car and we do this with our a care credit
card for our dogs we use it about once a quarter once every six months for the
dogs’ checkups grooming stuff like that we won’t pay it off in full because it’s
0% interest for six months so if you have one of those cards that will give
you zero percent interest then go ahead and you know buy a couple pair of socks
or buy a couple sets of batteries and then go six months if you can and pay
the minimum for the six months so you’re not paying interest so you have that
activity the reason you have to use your credit cards every single month is
because without activity on there, FICO, the company creates the credit score for
the credit bureau, they’re going to reject that card and they’re gonna kick
it out of the algorithm so you’re not gonna get credit for that long opened
credit card does that make sense so number one you gotta pay down your
credit cards off then pay them down fast number two you gotta have at least three
credit cards open at all times and number three keep your inquiries
down don’t just go willy-nilly applying for credit cards all the time you want
to try to do it all at once not every month because if you do it every month
or every thirty days at the end of the year you can have 12 inquires now
inquiries 90% of them are completely ignored completely ignored however if
you’re on a low credit score or high-risk scorecard they do look at
those inquiries at a, they do have a larger impact on your credit score than
someone who is in a low risk credit score so if you have a 600 credit score
or a 500 400 those inquiries are going to have more of an impact on your credit
score versus someone who’s 740 or higher the inquiries really don’t matter
and the reason you want to lump all of your inquires into the same 30-day
period is because then FICO looks at it as one inquiry versus 12 inquires the
other thing is if you do it all at once it doesn’t always show up immediately on
your credit report so it allows you a better opportunity of getting those
other credit cards so you want to kind of plan your spending around the same
timeframe and a good time to get your credit cards is in May so this month is
a great month for it because what do we have coming up we have vacations coming
and so the credit card companies want to they they lessen their requirements for
you to get the cards an attempt for you to spend some money and pay some
interest which I don’t want you to do and then the second best time of the
year or maybe the best time of the year would be prior to Christmas so sometime
around Halloween they really lower their requirements
just like in the car business they’ll lower their requirements they’ll drop
the interest rates to zero or point zero nine because they’re trying to finish up
the year with with better numbers and the reason the credit card companies
will do it is a couple reasons one they want to tempt you into spending money so
they can make interest and two if they issue you a $10,000 credit
card and you spend $5,000 on it, that $5,000 goes on their balance
sheet and it makes that company more profitable.
Does that make sense? So you want to kind of figure out when you’re gonna do your
your inquiries for the year. May is a great time, October is a great time. Now
if you have bad credit, you know I can help you fix that or you can hire
anybody else out there. There’s lots of us out there but whoever you hire this
is the most important rule who ever you decide to hire to that you trust with
your social security number your driver’s license your work history every
little dirty secret about your finances whoever you decide to give that
information to make sure that they only charge you after the fact after they fix
your credit. Now there’s a lot of companies that are copying my model.
We’re the first company in America to do 100% paid on performance
and a lot of people are now copying it because it’s the only way to do business.
It’s the most profitable way to do business. The problem is it takes about
three years to break even and so what they do is they cut corners. They’re not
licensed, they’re not bonded, they’re doing it themselves. They don’t have FICO
trained professionals doing it, they don’t have an attorney on staff. So when
you decide to hire someone to fix your credit, do your research. Make sure
they’ve been around the block a few years, make sure they charge you after
the fact, make sure they’re licensed and bonded. Alright,
I got to go into the office, haven’t been here for over a week, see you later.

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