My Kickoff Into Manufactured Spending

Simon gift cards

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but that’s because we’ve been hard at work on the app. While working on it I’ve started getting more into a side of the points game I’ve mostly stayed away from, manufactured spending (or as most of you know it MS or MSing). I decided to write about my adventures on the topic.

I’ve been playing the points game for a few years now. During that time I’ve amassed a lot of points and have been able to travel for very cheaply. For the most part this has been achieved through signup bonuses and optimizing my daily spending. I got into points after returning to college to finish my degree. Money (and time) became tight and I had to be very frugal. That meant I couldn’t sign up for cards that didn’t have their annual fees waived, float a ton of cash, or do any major manufactured spending that cost me anything.  That has mostly changed. I have a steady job and more disposable income. I find myself less willing to let availability of signup bonuses dictate when and where I can go. I’m more willing to spend a little money and some time if it means I have the flexibility to take the trips I really want. That’s why I started MSing.

Continue reading My Kickoff Into Manufactured Spending

The question that keeps coming up

Which card?

If you’ve ever visited sites like Flyertalk or Reddit’s r/churning you’ve seen this question come up over and over again.

“I travel a lot for work and stay in IHG hotels. Should I use my IHG card or something else?”

“I have a lot of non-bonus category spend coming up, which card should I put it on?”

“I wanted to start collecting miles but I don’t know which card to signup for”

It comes in many forms but it’s ultimately the same. It’s not only newcomers but seasoned veterans that sometimes ask themselves, “What card should I be using?“. Continue reading The question that keeps coming up

What’s stopping you from seeing the world?

Old City, Nice, France

Welcome! This is the first post for the Track & Hack App’s blog. Ashley and I thought it would be a good idea to share some details about how we got into travel hacking and the experiences that have motivated us to start developing this app. We’ll be using this blog to share our adventure in making the best traveling hacking app along with posting interesting reads and travel hacking tips.

Continue reading What’s stopping you from seeing the world?


Paris, France
Paris, France thanks to AA miles

Co-founder, CPA, Troublemaker

Formally the blog for my finance independence / early retirement goal of 5 – 10 years.  This is my next step; creating passive income streams so I can live anywhere in the world and get the hell out of my corporate 9-5.  Even if we don’t figure out a way to help other travel hackers, it’s been a great ride so far and I’m grateful for the new friends I’ve made along the way.

My Hacking Style: I focus on traveling as cheaply as possible (shocking – the CPA is frugal).

My Travel Style:  I like to alternate luxury with locals meaning I’ll rent a room with a local or stay in a hostel for one week but the next stay in a 5 star hotel with free breakfast buffet, mini bar, happy hour and lots of bubble baths.  I’ll mix up 5 course dinners with wine and champagne pairings in the same week as shopping at the local farmers market and eating 1.5 euro pizza.

Cards in My Wallet:
Citi Business Ink Plus (5x category spend)
SPG Personal (30k promo)
CapitalOne Venture (non-category spend)
Chase Sapphire (2x category spend)

About Andrew
Canyoning in Gitgit, Bali thanks to AA miles

Co-founder, Developer, Lazy SOB

My day job is a software developer but my passion is travel (I’m actually passionate about programming too). I got into travel hacking a few years back after overhearing a conversation about a credit card signup bonus. It’s been a non-stop adventure ever since. I’ve been able to cheaply travel all over the world thanks to miles and points. Now I’v finally got the chance to combine my two passions together. I hope we can make Track & Hack the must have tool for every travel hacker.

My hacking style:
I focus on premium international travel. Being 6’1″ person who can not sleep on plans I value comfort a business class seat gives you.

Cards in my wallet:
Chase Ink Cash (took advantage of the increased signup bonus)
Chase Freedom (while dining is 5x, then it’s back to my Sapphire Preferred)
Barclay Arrival (for non-bonus category spending)
Citi Prestige (3x on travel)

Top 10 Reasons You Should Read This Blog

  1. Learn what travel hacking is
  2. Watch two people who have no idea what they’re doing try to figure something out – painfully and slowly too!
  3. Learn travel hacking tips we’ve used in the past
  4. Learn how to and how not to create an app
  5. Learn how to track your credit cards – spreadsheet library (coming soon)
  6. Learn how how to avoid mistakes made with an online startup
  7. Learn about other travel blogs
  8. Meet the 2 coolest people on the interwebs
  9. Contribute and give advice to other travelers
  10. Don’t like us?  That’s cool!  Learn about competitor apps and offerings for travel hackers