With the rising price of airline fuel, many Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to purchase flights or go on family vacations. Fortunately, even if you don’t have hundreds of spare dollars lying around, there are strategies you can follow that are uncomplicated and 100% legal that will enable you to fly for free. In this post, we’ll explain a straightforward approach to flying for free that doesn’t involve anything financially irresponsible, time-consuming, or overly challenging.
Related: How to earn air miles without actually traveling
Earning Airline Miles Strategically
First things first—our technique doesn’t involve spending any more money than you already do since the whole point is being able to fly without breaking the bank. Instead, we’re going to show you how using your credit card more strategically which will allow you to cash in on travel rewards without changing any of your spending habits. All that you’ll need to do is signup for a credit card or airline program, both of which can be completely free.
Choosing a Mileage Program
The most effective way of earning free flights is to hone in on a single mileage program, rather than spreading your miles out on a number of airlines. We recommend choosing an airline that has frequent flights to your preferred destination(s), as well as one that offers a large signup bonus with their credit card. If you have a hard time narrowing down one airline because you like more flexibility, then go with a nonairline specific card. This card will allow you to redeem your air miles with any airline carrier. If you always fly the same airline, then it might behoove you to get an airline specific card. It all simply comes down to what works best for you.
Keep Reading: 5 tips on how to travel the world for less
Capitalizing on Signup Bonuses
When evaluating the pros and cons of different credit card offers, look closely at the signup bonuses of travel credit cards. The leading card issuers offer huge signup bonuses for their travel rewards credit cards. A sign-up bonus doesn’t mean that you open a card and immediately get 50,000 extra points, there is a minimum spend requirement to get those points, but it is usually very reasonable and a great way to get a ton of points at a higher earning percentage. The massive allotment of bonus points you receive in the first few months of opening a credit card is worth the equivalent value of several hundred dollars. It’s a great way to jumpstart your air miles nest egg.
The Trick to Accruing Credit Card Points
Sure, the signup bonus is definitely convenient, but is it possible to keep on accruing large quantities of points even after you’ve redeemed your signup bonus? The answer to this question is a resounding yes, even if you’re a frugal consumer. You just need to whip out your credit card for transactions for which you would normally use cash. By using your credit card anywhere that it’s accepted—including at the supermarket, the gas pump, and for your monthly bills—you’ll be amazed by how quickly you can earn points without purchasing anything extra. You already have to fork out hundreds, if not thousands on monthly expenses, so why aren’t you using a credit card and getting miles on the purchases you make anyway? As long as you pay your credit card off in full every month, this method will not cost you anything extra!
Keep Reading: Are hotel rewards programs better than air miles?
While it’s always important to use your credit card to earn free air miles, it’s even more essential not to squander opportunities when it comes to transactions in bonus categories. Many travel rewards credit cards offer double or triple points on purchases in certain categories, such as at restaurants or on travel expenses, so pay close attention to your credit card’s terms.
Bottom Line: The most important takeaway is that earning free flights is within the reach of everyday Americans. While it’s ill-advised to take on credit card debt in order to gain points, the reality is that our strategy can earn you free flights without costing you a penny. This is not a get rich quick scheme, it might take you 6 months to a year to get enough points for free flights. The more you use your card the faster the rewards will build, it’s all about setting your own pace.
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