Educate yourself and get answers to your questions (don’t do or agree to anything you don’t understand).
Get the right cards for your goals.
Bank your miles without paying any interest and avoiding mistakes.
Oh and there’s nothing you can buy on this site – no upsell, no book, no workshops. All I ask is that if you find this helpful I would really appreciate you signing up for any cards through the links on this site.
Let’s start by answering the big questions I had when starting out – how does it work? Is it really free? Will my credit suffer? I’m sure other questions will come up and I’ll do my best to answer every one of them. Let’s Boogie!
You’ve probably heard about credit cards where you get 1 airline mile for each $1 you spend. It’s a great way to earn free tickets over time, but it’s not going to get four people to Cape Town every year. However, when you first sign up there’s often a bonus. A typical offer could be 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. That’s over 16 times the normal number of points.
Yes! They can give you hundreds of dollars worth of points because most customers carry a balance and pay huge interest rates. You, of course, will set up autopayments so you don’t pay any interest (more on that in Step 3).
The general consensus is that you can apply for four cards every three months without negatively affecting your average credit. One round could easily give you 200,000 miles – enough for roughly eight domestic or four international tickets. I recommend starting with one or two. The following is based on the Boogie team’s experience, and is consistent with a lot of others who write about travel hacking.
My credit scores went down by 10-15 points in the first few months, but after that have only increased and are now higher than ever. There are a few different factors at work. The reason for the initial, temporary decrease are the credit checks when applying and that opening new cards brings down the average age of your credit. After that your increased credit limit and on-time payments bring up your credit (here’s a link to more info on credit scores. Step 3 will explain in detail on how to make sure you keep your credit as high as possible.
These top 10 cards are an excellent place to start. Note that Chase has implemented a “5/24” rule – you cannot have opened more than 5 personal cards across all banks in the last 24 months to be approved for a Chase card. So we recommend starting with the Chase cards first, and moving on to the other providers in subsequent rounds.
Yes, you’ll need to do a few things for all this free travel, but once you’re up and running you’re probably looking at ~30 minutes per month. It’s hard to find something that will pay you such a high hourly wage.
Keep these simple guiding principles in mind to make sure your credit score stays healthy:
So, what do you need to do next when you are approved for these cards? Firstly, you’ll want to create an online account, set up auto-payments for the full balance each month, and add them to your tracking tool (here’s a link to ours) to keep track of your spending deadlines. Secondly, each month you’ll update how much you’ve spent on each card and make sure that your reward miles are hitting your account.
We hope this brings you as much happiness and freedom as it has for us. Now jump in and give it a shot – we’ll see you on the beach in Cape Town!