The airline industry is becoming stricter every year about their frequent flier programs. There is a large transition into revenue based frequent flier redemptions and this makes flying for free a bit more difficult. Luckily, there is still a good way to fly for free. This post will teach you how to earn a FREE flight today!
Opening a travel credit card is the easiest and probably fastest way to earn a free flight. There are tons of options out there to sign up for a credit card and earn a ton of free miles.
I just signed up for my 4th credit card a few weeks ago, Chase Sapphire Rewards Card, and will be earning 45,000 more miles to contribute to my 560,000+ miles I already have saved up! The Chase Sapphire is one of the best cards on the market, but more on that later!
Most people are worrisome with opening credit cards, which is completely understandable. There is really no need to worry unless you are incompetent in managing your finances. Having multiple credit cards actually helps build credit. I have been building credit since I was 18 and have built up a near perfect FICO credit score of 839/850. The best practice is to treat a credit card like a debit and to not spend money unless you have it…makes sense right? Don’t live beyond your means, unless you absolutely have no other choice!
In the past I have used the American Airlines Citi Platinum card to earn 50,000 Miles and fly for free. This card is great and offers a few other perks like priority boarding and free checked luggage and a they just added no foreign transaction fees. The two other cards I would recommend are Chase Sapphire (multiple airlines, no foreign fees) and Barclays Card (no foreign fees/cash back). They all have their own strengths, but if you already have miles on an airline, it is smart to use their credit card. If you are spending money and not getting rewarded for it then you are really missing out! Credit Cards are simple, don’t spend money unless you have it and pay off the “Statement Balance” each month. If you can handle a debit card, you should be responsible enough to start building some credit.
My American Airlines card rewarded me with 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in 3 months. Okay, so you’re probably thinking so how is this a free flight? After you put your rent, food, gas, bar tab, etc all on this card you will easily reach this goal. You can even be savvy and use your credit card to buy Visa Gift cards…so you don’t really spend anything extra (**some cards don’t allow this though or will charge a cash advance, so do some research and be careful).
Using my miles to fly from San Francisco to Sydney allowed me to do a layover in Hawaii, but this part was a little more confusing. Since Hawaii is an international hub, it was free to do a layover for any period of time. (*You have to call the airline to book this) I chose to stay 3 days since I was Moving to Australia W/ Under $5,000 and needed a job. Everything ended up costing me $57, you still have to pay taxes and a booking fee, but it beats that $2,000+ flight.
Picking the right card can be difficult, since there are a lot of options available. I recommend deciding if you want an international or domestic flight. If you live by a city that has Southwest Airlines, then it might be a good option to get their card, but they don’t have as many international destinations. If it is your first travel card, then I HIGHLY recommend getting the Chase Sapphire Card. This card is the best on the market. The customer service and rewards are outstanding! Some other notable cards are the Bank of America travel card or the Barclays Travel Card.
Do you have a travel credit card? Which one do you prefer? Leave a comment below!