Aloha Sam, a new Point Hacks editorial team member

Sam comes to the Point Hacks editorial team via a meandering path of music, web development and teaching. Currently residing in Melbourne, he has also lived in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney.

Sam will share with you his tips on points earning, and may even get his hands dirty under the hood of the Point Hacks website.

What’s your history before today?

When I finished school, I did what everyone really wants to do and joined a band. This, and other parts of the music industry kept me going for quite some time until I found myself working in IT as a web developer, quite by accident.

How did you start point hacking?

I had the good fortune of marrying my wife in 2010. After our honeymoon, we returned home to the credit card bill of a wedding and subsequent holiday that was somewhat larger than a usual month.

My wife made a simple, yet life altering comment:

“Imagine how many points we could have earned if we had a rewards credit card”
Sam’s wife: 2010

And so it began. A rewards credit card was acquired and off we went. It was small at first. Manageable even. Then there would be the times that I’d come home with 30 jars of coffee because Woolworths were offering 1000 bonus points for spending $300 in one week.

This inflamed my love of travel, and added a determination to not pay for it.

What are your main ways to earn points?

I’ve found credit cards to be the easiest way, as in any given month your balance can go up by thousands of points just by diverting your everyday spending to the right card. Keeping an eye on bonus offers from card issuers, as well as retailers can bring in smaller amounts as well. They all add up to something!

Cash has no place in my wallet. Even if I’m buying a newspaper, it goes on Amex.

When was your last overseas holiday?

In July last year we took our then six month old to Hawaii for two weeks. Escaping a Melbourne winter to spend a fortnight ambling around Maui and Oahu was incredible- and highly recommended.
Sam and Clarrie in Hawaii
So much of that place looks like a postcard. I’d love to live in Hawaii one day.

What has been your most memorable overseas trip?

Apart from Hawaii, and for totally different reasons, my favourite and most memorable trip would be volunteering at Elephant’s World, just outside Kanchanaburi in Thailand.

Elephant’s World is a sanctuary for rescued elephants, many who have never lived in the wild, and so need to be hand fed and diligently looked after.

That was such a valuable trip, and one I can’t wait to take my son on when he’s older.

What has been your biggest points redemption so far?

We finally cashed in some big points to do an overseas trip in Business Class. In April, we fly out to Italy, Germany, Switzerland and France. Excited doesn’t even come close to how we’re feeling.

What do you do when you’re not writing for Point Hacks?

The technology industry has been my main source of work for around a decade now. I build websites for an agency in Fitzroy, and also teach other people how to do it at an independent college in the CBD.

I still play the drums regularly and am tossing up whether introducing my son to the kit is a good idea or not.

Aloha Sam, a new Point Hacks editorial team member was last modified: December 21st, 2017 by Sam Hemphill