Did you know you can earn hundreds of frequent flyer miles and hotel points all without ever sitting on an airplane?
Getting a credit card with a large sign-up offer is the fastest way to get a large balance in your frequent flyer account.
“The old-age thinking that you have to be a frequent flyer to get points and miles is completely out the door. These days, credit cards are so lucrative that if you even get a couple of cards every year, you can be flying for free and staying for free at hotels,” said Brian Kelly, founder of thepointsguy.com and all-around credit card expert.
You see the offers all over the place, like getting 40,000 miles for signing up for a United credit card and 50,000 points for signing up for the Amex Business Gold credit card.
Those offers are worth well over $500. If you already have good credit, getting approved for a new card isn't going to wreck your score, as long as you're careful not to overdo it.
But keep in mind that if you're opening and closing cards non-stop, it can have a negative effect on your credit. The average age of your accounts is important when calculating your score.
Also do your research. Forums like flyertalk collect the best available credit card offers from different banks.
Most offers require you to spend some money on the card before you earn your bonus, so make sure you can handle it. Spending $5,000 in three months sounds like a lot, but keep in mind, you can always buy gift cards or prepay some of your bills.
As always, if you're the kind of person who goes on a shopping spree you can't afford just because you have a new credit card, this isn't for you. Remember, you're in this for the miles.
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Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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