If you are reading this, wow! I actually started this website. My talented sister-in-law Erin created the logo months ago and then I just didn’t do anything for months, which frankly I completely expected of myself. But anyway, I am excited that I have finally put words down here. I’m keeping the website design very simple right now because the website builder thing had all these boxes and menus everywhere and I got frustrated and just deleted them all.
Here’s the quick back story on why I’m starting this site: I spend way too much of my free time searching for new credit card offers and deals in general online that I want to share some of that “knowledge” with more people.
Credit card sign up bonuses are where there is real “free money” to be made. I haven’t paid for a flight or hotel in 10 years. I would estimate I have obtained more than $50,000 worth of free travel through credit card bonuses. Over the years, I have convinced a few friends and family to get into the points game, but many others remain skeptical. How can credit card companies give away all those points? Won’t opening new credit cards hurt my credit score? I’m going to tackle some of those FAQs a little further below, but first let me run through the basic details of how obtaining a massive stash of airlines and hotel points works. For those who don’t travel, you can of course get straight cash back on many cards, but the real value comes in using points for travel.
Let’s take a look at one of the best credit card offers out there right now as an example. The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you spend $4,000 on the card within three months after obtaining it. 50,000 Chase points are worth $500 cash or closer to $1,000 worth of travel if you transfer those point to frequent flyer programs. The toughest part of “earning” this free money can often be hitting the minimum spend in time, but there are many ways (buying Visa gift cards to use later, pre-paying bills, etc) that can help you get there. I will explore them in depth in a future post.
Now let’s tackle some of the myths that often make people skeptical of jumping into the miles/points game.
MYTH: If I apply for new credit cards, it will ruin my credit score. TRUTH: My credit score is 800 and I open 10+ cards every single year. If you apply for several cards over a short period of time, yes, your score could drop a few points but it will almost certainly rise back up to where it was and probably even higher after a couple months. 65% of your credit score is based on your payment history and credit utilization percentage (i.e. how much of your available credit you are using compared to your total credit line across all credit cards). Opening new cards increases your total credit line, thus lowering your credit utilization percentage.
MYTH: You have to pay annual fees on cards with large signup bonuses. TRUTH: Now this one is partially true, but I’d say 80 percent of credit cards with annual fees waive the fee for the first year. So if you are just trying to rack up points like myself, you just cancel the card before the annual fee hits for the second year.
MYTH: It must be a scam. The credit card companies aren’t giving away all these miles for free. TRUTH: Yes, I swear they are. This is all totally legal. In just the second quarter of 2018, Chase made $8.3 billion profit. The credit card companies are doing just fine. Their goal with these signup bonuses is to rope people into a long term relationship and they are hoping you rack up a ton of debt so you have to pay them a ton of money in interest.
Let’s be clear: the cards I will recommend on this site are not ones you should apply for if you don’t plan on paying your balance in full every month or if you are trying to get out of debt. High reward cards tend to have high interest rates. But if you are looking for a card to help you work your way out of debt, one of the best is the Amex Everyday Card. You can apply for it here. It offers no interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. And even better, balance transfers are free (they are 3-5% on most cards) if you requested one within the first 60 seconds of opening the card.
A disclaimer: I like free things, thus if I can receive a referral bonus by sharing credit card referral links on this site, I shall. The caveat is I will always post links to the best available bonus offer at the time and that may not always be one in which I can get a referral bonus. Basically if you click a link from this site to apply for a card, I can promise you the offer you receive is the highest one you will find anywhere else online. One important thing I haven’t mentioned so far: you need a good credit score to be approved for the best rewards cards. In general, that means above a 700. You may get approved for a few with a score as low as 650, but over 700 is really where you want to be. You can check your credit score for free on Credit Karma.
My main goal with this site is simple: help people travel the world for free as I have done for the last decade.