How can you afford to take all of these fabulous trips?

People are always shocked and slightly dubious when I tell them that my family of four travels far and frequently using Points and Miles.  “How is that not a scam?” they ask.  “I don’t have time for that stuff,” they say.  “Sounds like a losing proposition!” they declare.

I have no interest in trying to drag people into the fabulous world of Points and Miles if they don’t want to go!  I do have an interest in helping folks who want to learn.  Growing up, my family could never afford to travel, but we all desperately wanted to.  I hope that this blog helps other families who are in the same situation…that would make me very happy.

What are Points and Miles?

If you fly on a particular airline and are enrolled in their frequent flyer program, you will earn frequent flyer miles.  If you stay in a hotel that belongs to a certain hotel chain and are enrolled in their loyalty program, you will earn loyalty points.  There are also banks that give out points for every dollar you spend using their credit cards; these bank points are transferrable to numerous different airlines, hotels, or retail stores (via gift cards).

Once you have earned points and miles, you can redeem them for free air travel or hotel stays; for other goods and services; or for travel upgrades or other perks.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to plan entire (free! or mostly free!) trips using Points and Miles.

How do you earn all these Points and Miles?

You can earn Points and Miles just by doing what you already do anyway – grocery shopping, filling up your car with gas, dining out, etc.  If you have a credit card that earns you points per dollar spent, then it is important to charge everything to that card (and pay it off completely at the end of the month)!

In order to maximize your points earning, there are certain credit cards that rack up points more quickly than others.  The  Chase Sapphire Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest card by American Express are great cards to start with.  Between the large sign-up bonuses and the points you can earn on everyday spend, these cards are powerhouses.

Another important way to maximize points earning is to always go through a shopping portal when making purchases online.  Sometimes by going through a shopping portal, you can earn 10x, 15x, even 40x the amount of points you normally would.  An easy portal to use is evreward.  This lists all the possible deals in list format so you can quickly see which one is most lucrative for you.

If you want to fast-track your points balance, then applying for premium travel cards with large sign-up bonuses is the best way to go.  I keep a running list of all the best deals I find here.  Sign-up bonuses of 50,000 points are common, and occasionally you will see bonuses of 75,000 or even 100,000 points.

There are multiple ways to earn large amounts of Points and Miles without signing up for credit cards.  I always write about these promotions as they happen, so check in daily for my latest updates.

Of course, you can also earn Points and Miles by flying and staying in hotels 🙂

This sounds too good to be true.  Is this hobby illegal?

No.  It just requires some time and effort on your part.

Won’t this destroy my excellent credit score?

No.  In fact, if you are conservative in your approach, this may actually raise your credit score.  See this post for more info.

I feel overwhelmed.  How do I get started?

See this post.


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