In my last post, we talked about using your every day spend to build up your rewards balances. Today we are going to focus on, in my opinion, the BEST way to get TONS of free travel!
What exactly am I talking about?
I am talking about credit card sign-up bonuses that you probably bypass every week! How do you bypass them? Well chances are, if you have decent credit, you get credit card offers in your mail daily, weekly or monthly for new credit cards. Many of them if you notice closely will say things such as:
50,000 Bonus Points for Spending $1,000 in 3 months
Cards that offer promotions such as these are called rewards cards. Many of the promotional offers are GREAT! Some not so much. The key is finding out what works best for what you are looking to do.
In the last article we talked about how you can rack up thousands and thousands of points per month. And while that is great! It pales in comparison to the amount of points you can rack up with credit card sign ups.
With new credit card sign ups you can easily get 50,000 or 75,000 or even 100,000 points by simply using the card! Most credit card companies require you to spend a little bit of money on the card, but that is nothing out of the ordinary. As we mentioned in my previous post, you can use credit cards to fund almost anything these days! So you can see how easily points can rack up.
The other thing to keep in mind too is that different points mean different things with different companies if that makes sense. For instance, 50,000 Delta points is not the same as 50,000 Hilton points which is not the same as 50,000 united Points which is not the same as 50,000 Marriott points. All companies points structures vary. We will get into this more later, and in other posts.
So you probably have a lot of questions or concerns now. The first thing people are generally worried about is opening up new credit cards. Obviously everyone has a varying degree of risk. But hopefully I can ease your concerns a little.
Every time you open up a new line of credit, your credit will take a 3-8 point temporary hit in credit. That hit is temporary and jumps back up generally within 3 months. It will not have a lasting affect on your credit! In fact, my credit has only improved since I started getting rewards credit cards! It hovers right around 750 consistently.
The biggest thing as I say over and over again is to MAKE SURE YOU PAY YOUR BALANCE IN FULL! Not only will that help prevent you from getting in financial trouble, but it will continue to improve your credit, or keep it high.
My only warning in regards to taking our rewards credit cards is if in you are in the process of taking out a large loan. For a house, car, or other large purchase. Sometimes lenders will see the ‘Inquiries’ on your credit report and be alarmed or worried.
The only way I would be worried about this is if you are taking out a substantial amount of credit cards regularly. I have never had a problem with this, even though I get anywhere from 10 – 15 new credit cards a year! I have taken out a few car loans without a problem, or even a word on this.
So if you are planning on taking out a large loan in the next 2 or so years, I would recommend being fairly conservative. Not saying you shouldn’t get any new credit cards, but I wouldn’t overdue it. If an amazing offer came up, I still wouldn’t hesitate. But that is me…. you need to gauge your own level of what you feel comfortable with.
If you are just starting out and have no experience in taking out rewards credit cards, I recommend making sure your START SMALL. Be conservative in the beginning. Take excellent records. Slowly you will start to feel comfortable with it, and maybe after a little bit of time you will want to take a bigger plunge!
So I am sure I am opening up a pandora’s box full of questions for you. Are you wondering, what are the best rewards credit cards? How do I know which airline or hotel has the most valuable points?
Follow along with me as I teach you the slow road to TRAVELING THE WORLD! If you have any tips or suggestions on how you travel cheap please post them below! Any questions or concerns and you can comment below as well! I will do my absolute best to get back to you.