The Traveling Dad beginner’s guide to credit card points and miles.
We’ve scoured the Internet for the best resources available so you will be better equipped to understand and use credit card rewards. The ability to travel the world on points is accessible to anyone who puts in the time to read about it, so grab your favorite cup of coffee, wine, or bourbon, and buckle up. Figuratively speaking, of course.
RESPONSIBLE USE OF CREDIT WARNING: Points and miles from credit card spending are amazing if you never carry a balance on your card and never pay interest. This “hobby” — though it can quickly become a way of life — is for those who can use and pay off credit cards in full each month. Understand the FICO credit score equation, how opening and closing cards affects your score, and how you are most likely to be approved for the specific card you want.
Five Steps to Traveling With Points and Miles
- Sign up for loyalty program accounts.
It’s free and easy to register for the loyalty programs of your favorite airlines and hotel chains. Open accounts for the major airlines and hotels, even if you think you’ll never use them. Then sign up for AwardWallet.com, an online resource that stores all of your loyalty account information in one convenient place.
- Research your credit score and credit report.
Head to FreeAnnualCreditReport.com and pull your credit report to ensure you recognize all the accounts opened and closed with your social security number. Then head to creditkarma.com and look at your FICO score and get tips on how to keep your credit in good standing.
- Make a travel goal.
The best way to learn the basics of points and miles is to practice with your first trip. Decide where you want to go, in what class you want to travel, and how long you want to stay.
- Find out which points or miles will allow you to reach your goal.
Once you have your destination and all the particulars in mind, its time to figure out which credit card points, hotel points, or airline miles can make your trip happen. Use the resources below to begin diving into the subject matter knowledge.
- Get the credit cards that give you the points need for your trip!
You’ve got your credit score covered, your destination in mind, and you know the points you need to get. Its time to apply for the credit cards that can make it all happen. Keep careful track of your new cards, make sure you are meeting the minimum spend required for sign up bonuses, and keep track of any annual fees for the cards.
Ready to get started? Check out credit card offers here.
MommyPoints’ Beginner’s Guide – Ten steps to getting started in the world of miles and points.
Frequent Miler Trips and Tricks – Links to posts about everything you need to know in “the hobby.”
One Mile at a Time’s Beginners Guide To Miles & Points – Tricks to improve the quality and quantity of your travels.
The Points Guy’s Beginner’s Guide – How to guide for setting up an effective points strategy.
Travel Miles 101 Travel Course – A two week, online course that provides an introduction to travel hacking through credit card signup bonuses.
Mad Fientist Card Ratings – An online card comparison tool