credit card

Did you know you can accumulate enough points to travel anywhere in the world in about 3 months just from accumulating credit card points? Most credit cards will give you a sign-up bonus of 40,000 to 70,000 points just to sign with them.  A typical round-trip fare to Europe takes about 45,000 points. Some sign up bonus are free and some cost a yearly fee of around $99 but what is a small fee to get free international travel from points.  To use this strategy, you will need good credit to get card approval plus you should not be in any debt or tempted to use the credit card to incur further debt.  This is simply a good strategy for using points with minimum cost to you.  If you are prone to incur credit card debt, please don’t use this strategy.  This is just for people who can manage their finance and will not fall into the trap of leaving big balances on their credit card.

Evaluate your Present Credit Card Balances

If you have major credit card debt, don’t use this strategy because it will only get you into more trouble. The object of credit card company is to lure you into debt by giving you major bonus points to sign up with them knowing that the average person will leave around a $5,000 balance.  Unfortunately, a balance this large at around 30% interest means big bucks for the credit card companies so you must understand their game from the start. If you suffer from major credit card debt or you’re not a good manager of your money, this method will put you in the grips of the credit card company as they are attempting to lure you into more debt. 

Now that we discuss the motive of the credit card companies and you are comfortable with acquiring a new credit card without running large monthly balances, then you are ready to get a free trip anywhere in the world within a few months, just make sure you carry no credit card balance with the new card sign up.

Do Internet Search for Credit Cards that Give Travel Points with lots of Bonus Fee for no or Minimum Cost (max $99 per year) 

Keep in mind that after you use all your bonus points, you know must decide to continue the yearly fee of the card or cancel the card.  Cancelling your credit card may incur a few points drop in your credit because you now have less credit available to you which influences your credit score but if you keep your credit card limit to a minimum such as $5,000 to $7,000, you will be Ok.

With my strategy, you don’t need to cancel your card because you will be using the card throughout the year for regular purchases and paying them off on a monthly basis.  Each time you use the credit card, you accrue points.  You do not need to use the credit card for travel related expenses, you accrue points for any purchases.  So, by charging your normal monthly expenses on the credit card and paying off at weekly or monthly intervals, you accumulate points every month and these points can pay for a big travel every year.

Here are some Credit Cards with Big Signup Bonus and Accrue Points for Normal Expenditures

American Airline Advantage (Citi Bank)

Chase Sapphire Preferred (Chase)

Southwest Rapid Rewards (Chase) 

United Explorer Card (Chase)

Delta Sky Miles (American Express)

Evaluate Your Monthly Budget and Put Some expenses on Credit Card 

Evaluate monthly expenses that you have no trouble paying such as utilities and car payments and place these expenses on your credit card. Instead of paying from your bank account. Make payment with one credit card that give you points.  Make all purchases through this one credit card ! Also, make sure that you have no trouble paying these expenses, so you don’t fall into the trap of leaving a big balance and paying interest on the balance. I repeat, for this strategy to work, you must know exactly what monthly expenses you can put on your credit card and pay off the entire balance monthly without any issues.  If you are not comfortable paying off monthly expenses with one credit card, then DO NOT use this strategy or else you may inadvertently cause more debt that is certainly not worth a free or near free airline ticket.

Also only pay predictable monthly expenses. Try to avoid expenses with a high degree of variance like food, gas, and entertainment. Although you can certainly pay food and entertainment with one credit card, you need to monitor these expenses daily via web interface to your credit card and bank account.

Typical Expenses that are PREDICTABLE and can be paid Monthly through Credit Card

Car Payments

Electrical Bill

Gas Bill

Water Bill

Internet Provider Bill

Cable TV Bill

Streaming Services Bill

Mobile Phone Bill

Car Insurance

Let’s say your car payment along with above utilities averages $2000 per month.  Just on car payments and utilities alone, you accrue 24,000 points per year.  Add in any other expenses you would pay by cash such as home or car repairs and you could easily earn 40,000 points each year just on normal expenses. That’s enough for a free roundtrip from the U.S. to Europe every year. Two people can travel with free airfare every other year simply by paying your bills with credit card and acquiring enough points to travel anywhere you like.

Keep Daily Watch on Your Expense

For the strategy to work, credit card must be paid on time at least every month.  However, I don’t recommend paying every month.  Paying monthly allows for too many unknowns to creep into your budget. As soon as you pay a bill by credit card, go online and pay the same amount to your credit card.  By grouping certain bills at the end of the month, you can pay most bills at the same time and then make a cash payment to your credit card the same day. This way there are no surprises, and you have a sure way of accumulating travel points without ever going into credit card debt.

Major Home Repairs

Major home repairs are a quick way to gain many extra points outside your regular budget.  Lets say you are planning a $10,000 remodeling or upgrade that you were going to pay in cash. Instead, put the expense on your credit card and simply make the payment to your credit card immediately after incurring the expense.  That’s an extra 10,000 points to your travel points or One-Way air fare to Europe for one person.

Beware of Credit Cards Attempt to Get You in Debt

Credit cards company will reward you with double or triple points on certain purchases.  Beware, they know what typically is put on credit which are purchases like entertainment, restaurants, food, and travel. They know you will put these types of expense on credit and incur a 30% interest charge so don’t fall for their attempt to get you in debt. Only use one credit card to pay for normal monthly expenses or additional expenses that you would otherwise pay cash for.  If you have no problem paying for entertainment and travel by credit card and paying off balance by end of month, then go ahead and get those extra bonus points. If you don’t fall into the category of easily paying all your expenses each month with credit card without carry a monthly balance, then just keep your expenses paid with credit card to monthly utilities and car payment to keep you safe from incurring additional debt.  Remember, you are beating the credit card company at their own game by paying them as you incur an expense, maintaining zero monthly balances and taking advantages of their generous bonus points to use as travel.

Three Months, You Have Points to Travel the World

After taking advantage of the additional signup bonus of 40,000 to 70,000, it takes about two to three months before the credit card will release the points. You are typically required to spend a certain amount with 3 months to be given the bonus points. Usually about three to four thousand dollars to qualify.  If you sign up for the bonus points and don’t use the card, you will not be given the bonus points. That’s why you need to use your new credit card like cash.  Make regular cash payments to your credit card on bills and car payments that you would make cash payments. The only difference is that you are using the credit card for transaction and banking on the bonus points to pay for your travel. Lets, say you sign up for a card that rewards 60,000 bonus points for sign up with a $99 yearly fee. If you pay monthly bills and car payment by credit card of $2000 per month, within 2 months you have more than met the minimum requirement of spending $3000 within 90 days plus you gained an additional 6000 points so at the end of 3 months, you acquired 66,000 points which is enough points to travel roundtrip almost anywhere in the word plus one-way fare for a companion such as your spouse, relative or good friend.

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