Earning Airline Points for Europe

 

I have always wondered what the hype was about credit card points. Like most young Americans, I was taught nothing about managing my personal finances.  At the age of 18, I completely destroyed my credit by ignoring a series of medical bills. Because of this, I have never had good enough credit to qualify for a credit card with points.

Increasing my score

Since I increased my credit score by 100 points, I have been able to qualify for better credit card offers and to buy our first home. There were a number of steps I took to increase my score. My steps ranged from disputing inaccurate information, paying off creditors to REMOVE accounts from my credit reports, and just waiting it out for certain items to come off of my report.  After 2 years of steady improvement and effort, I have finally entered the coveted “GOOD” range of credit reporting.

How do credit cards work?

Avebury Frugal Travel

Avebury, UK on an amazing sunny day.

Never carry a balance.

I cannot emphasize this enough, do not carry a balance on your credit card. Most credit cards have a 25 day grace period from the date of purchase, but you should check with your credit card company to confirm the rules on your credit card.  Once you understand the rules, you can feel confident that your use of credit is going to benefit you – not hinder you.

How a reward point credit card works

Any credit card you sign up for, that touts a rewards program, will have specific points and allocations. The Chase Freedom card for example was the first credit card I signed up for after improving my credit. This card allows for 1 pt per dollar, with 4 quarterly bonus points that will award 5 pts per dollar spent in specific categories up to 1500.  An example is that this quarter (October-December) for the Chase Freedom card is allocating 5pts per dollar for all purchases at Amazon.com and other department stores. By using my card, I can accrue roughly $75 per quarter. If I pay my balance off monthly, that means I can earn an extra $300 just for making my usual purchases.

Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Earning points on your card for everyday use is one way to earn points. But there are a number of sites out there, dedicated to earning millions of miles through a tactic called “churning” this is a fascinating way to increase your points and earn travel miles.  It is only possible to start “churning” once you have good credit and are able to manage your credit cards like a checking account. You must pay off your balances monthly in order to maintain your good credit and avoid the high interest rates associated with credit cards.

 

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