Seriously, no lie, it’s true. I have already done it and I am going to explain how you can too. Right here, right now.
Credit Card Points.
There are a lot of credit cards in the world and most lenders offer a variety of sign-up bonuses. Why? So you use their card. Why? Money. Once they got you, they think they are going make money from you, but making money for you is NOT mandatory.
Some offer cash back, some offer gifts and others offer points. You can use points to acquire various items you may want or need. You can also use points for travel. I steer almost all of my credit card usage for this. Why? They offer the best bang for your buck.
Let me explain, with 60,000 points you may be able to get a 4K HDTV worth $600; this has the equivalent of 1 penny per point (600 / 60,000). However, if you convert them to airline miles (for free) you can acquire an international round trip ticket with a value of $800-$1400, or possibly even more. This equates to 2 cents per point or more, (1200 / 60,000) or as they a say, “the best bang for your buck.”
OK great, so what is the catch? First, you have to qualify. If your credit is toast, well, this will probably not work for you. On the other hand, if you work hard, pay your bills on time, even if you have some balances, you will more than likely be able to qualify.
As I mentioned, there are a lot of credit cards out there and many of them offer points that can be converted into miles. I am going to start with just two very good cards that will give you points (or miles) on the world’s largest airline, American Airlines.
These two cards are different. One has a small annual fee ($95.00) and you are required to use it once. The other one has no annual fee but requires you spend a set amount within a certain period. After you understand both, you will need to determine which one is better for you. It is also feasible both may work and yes, you can sign up for both and walk away with two international round trip tickets on American Airlines, one for you and one for your significant other!
To start, go over to AA.com and sign up for the AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program. It is free, easy and quick. After an email confirmation, you will get an AAdvantange Account Number that you will include in your credit card applications. Once you satisfy their requirements, they will transfer the points you earn into this account as airline miles automatically.
Here are the two cards:
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®
There are only two requirements to earn points. One, pay the very nominal annual fee of $95.00 and two, use the card ONE TIME to purchase something, anything! That is right, go buy a $2 pack of gum or a cup of coffee, pay the $95 annual fee and soon after you will get at least *50,000 American Airlines miles. *If you are not in a big rush and have no plans to fly in the next 90 days, I suggest waiting a month or two. On a very regular basis, they increase this sign up bonus to 60,000 and once in a blue moon it even goes to 75,000! I received 60,000 when I signed up.
Citi®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
This card offers the card free for the first year but there is a minimum spending amount required to earn points. Currently, you must use the card to spend $2000 within the first four months of receiving the card and you will receive 40,000 points. An average of $500 per month. They also sweeten the offer by adding an additional 10,000 points (total of 50,000) if you spend an additional $4000 by the end of the first year (8 more months).
Why? They hope you develop a habit of spending $500 per month (or more) on the card. They also hope that if you do, you will continue to do so for many years to come, BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TOO!
I highly recommend you follow this advice:
1 – Do NOT carry balances. PAY THEM OFF IN FULL EVERY MONTH. What that means is do not use the card for something you cannot or do not intend to pay for in full at the end of the month. The interest rate fees they charge will quickly delete any benefits of the airline miles! Remember NO BALANCES – PAY OFF IN FULL EVERY MONTH!!!
2 – After the first year, both cards charge a renewal fee at the start of Year Two. I recommend that a month before the renewal date you find a new card, with a new and improved sign- up fee that works great for you, and sign up for that one! After which you then cancel the original card and avoid the renewal fee!
A FEW THINGS TO NOTE:
- Some people have asked, “If I cancel the card, will it hurt my credit?” Possibly, but only very little. If you pay your balance off in full every month, all year, your credit will be much better than it was from a year ago when you started. The small drop in your FICO score (the credit rating score) is nothing to worry about because you already have the new card and after paying this card for 11 months, your credit will most likely be even higher than it was before you canceled the original card! So to answer the question again, no, you will be fine.
- Is this illegal? NO, there is NOTHING wrong or illegal in doing this. People do this all the time (myself included). I am just playing by the rules and passing on the info to you.
- Any extras? Yes! When you book a flight using miles, BOTH cards gives you 10% back on points, 60,000 mile round trips will only cost you 54,000! How’s that for awesome !
- What about me? Just so you know, I get NOTHING for providing this information. NO kickbacks or paid endorsements from the airline, zero, nada, goose-egg. I do this strictly because I want to provide help and information to those looking to fly as inexpensively as I