If you are new to the world of earning miles/points with credit cards, join me as we learn together. This past week I got together with a friend that is an expert on making the most of sign-up bonuses and booking flights. He is self-taught, but very successful with earning miles/points for flights. After meeting, we came up with an action plan that will work for me. Let me share all the cool tidbits I learned.
I think I’ve only flown on three airlines my entire life: United, Aer Lingus, and Delta. Airlines partner with many other airlines, so it is wise to join the frequent flyer clubs of some of the the majors (United, American Airlines, etc.). It is free, so why not?
Want to earn some extra points with the big names? Visit their shopping portals to earn extra points on items you plan on buying anyway. This is perfect for the holiday season!
Credit Card Basics
There are some basic fundamentals that will help you with your journey into the world of earning flights. Here are some key pieces I’ve learned:
-Be prepared to pay for your credit card balance. Earning points is not about accruing credit card debt. If you want the points, you have to pay your bills in full and on time.
-Do your homework ahead of time. You will want to visit the resource section below to help you. Consider the following questions: how much can I spend, what airlines will I be using, is this smart for domestic/international travel, and can I apply for a business card. Let’s learn why these questions are important.
-Most credit cards have a minimum spending amount within a certain amount of time. It can range from $0 to $20,000 within a certain period. Make sure you can handle it.
-Decide whether flying domestically or internationally is your goal. If you are thinking domestically, British Airways may be your best bet (oddly enough). If you are thinking internationally, you may want to consider American Airlines depending on your destination.
-Business cards earn more rewards. If you can handle the minimum spending amounts, be creative with using a “business” to help you earn points.
There are some great blogger experts out there ready to reveal their secrets. Like their pages on Facebook to keep up with the word on the street.
The Miles Professor-This article is great for beginners.
Mile Value-Another great resource to get you started
American Airlines Award Chart-Major airlines have an award chart to let you know approximately how many points you will need to book a flight with rewards. Simply search the airline name and award chart. Here is a sample chart for American Airlines.
Award Wallet-Keep track of all your credit cards with this free, handy site.
I’m starting small with the Barclay Arrival Card. The minimum expense is $1,000 within three months. Then I will branch out to the American Airlines card. That one is $3,000 within three months for 50,000 points (at least one free flight). From there, I will look into the business card world once I’m a little more comfortable.
I am hoping to become a pro at this someday, but until then, I will share insider tips that I learn. Have you earned flights with points/miles? Please share your experiences!