Making Miles & Flying Free
If you're here, you probably came because you saw a friend of yours traveling all over the world and they told you how they do it all for almost free using frequent flyer miles and credit card bonuses.
Well, you've come to the right place! I want to give you a quick guide to earning frequent flyer miles and hotel points so you can be the person your friends are seeing traveling all over the world for almost free!
Growing up, I saw some of my family members and friends get into credit card debt and fall victim to sky-high interest rates and predatory lending. It didn't take long for me to grow suspicious of credit and vow to myself that I would never end up in the same sort of situation.
It was like pulling teeth to convince me to get my first credit card. One of my relatives kept explaining to me that I needed at least one to build up my credit and how "no credit = bad credit." I was skeptical, but once I figured out that paying interest was entirely up to me, I realized that I could be the one in control of my credit. Learning that paying off my credit card balance in full meant I would never pay any interest was what finally helped me to get over my fear and mistrust of credit.
I say all of this because I know there will be at least a few people who, like myself, are new to credit and are just as worried as I was about falling prey to the same type of debt I witnessed growing up. As someone who got "over the hump," I'm here to tell you that the best thing you can do is start building your credit early and start building it right!
Building Credit and Earning Rewards
In brief, building your credit right is simply about creating a credit history of carrying low-to-no balances and making on-time payments. For most people, the easiest way they can do this is by getting a good credit card and learning how to manage their account responsibly.
The only added part from travel hacking is that I point you to the best cards to help you fly free and earn rewards on your everyday spending while you're already doing the things you need to do to build your credit!
Making the Miles
The way most people earn frequent flyer miles and credit card points is by taking flights and spending money. Unfortunately, there's one big issue with that strategy... it takes A LOT OF POINTS to get a free flight!
Here's a real-life example to give you an idea of what I mean:
Let's say you wanted to take the most commonly flown rate in the United States, the 700-mile route from Chicago, IL to New York, NY. This route is incredibly popular and flown by over 4 million passengers each year!
So let's try to figure out how many frequent flyer miles you would need for this route! Below is the domestic award chart for a major U.S. airline:
If you're traveling on the above route you'll fall into a very nice sweet spot where you could get a nice One-way saver Award of only 10,000 Miles. So, for a roundtrip fare, you are looking at 20,000 miles (plus $11.20 in taxes).
I also looked up that a passenger would earn about 1,250 miles on that flight for a fare of $300 roundtrip. A little bit of math later and you'll find out that it would take 16 of these flights to earn 20,000 miles!
Translation: Spending $300 on 16 flights = $4,800 earns you 20,000 miles
The math is even simpler for credit card spending. Most airline credit cards earn about 1 mile per dollar on everyday spending.
Translation: Spending $20,000 on your credit card earns you 20,000 miles
I don't know about you, but I didn't quite like the way that math worked out. That's a lot of spending to earn just a single flight!
So using traditional methods, you would have to wait until you flew 16 flights for $4,800 or spent at least $20,000 in order to earn one free trip.
In contrast, the average credit card sign up bonus is about 50,000 miles! In order to earn it, you don't have to fly any flights and it usually takes about $3,000 in spending over 3 months to earn those miles.
Translation: Spending $3,000 earns 50,000 miles = 2 ½ Roundtrip Flights
I don't know about you, but I like that math a whole lot better!
Combine that with the fact that you could easily open 2 credit cards each year and you're looking at 5 free roundtrip flights each year!
Now, that's just meant to be a quick and easy example of how incredibly generous credit card bonuses can be and how much more sense it makes to fly free using them as opposed to more traditional routes.
So if you're ready to put your credit to work for you and fly free then feel free to send us a message about how to get started or join our facebook group, The King's Club to join a community of fellow free flying travelers!
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Learn the Game and Live the Dream!