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Frequent Flyer Bonuses for Opening Credit Cards

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8:15 pm
March 31, 2011


financialstudent

Member

posts 86

Does anyone have an experience with opening up credit cards for the frequent flyer miles? I have a trip to Italy in the fall and was wondering if it'd be possible to open up a few cards in order to earn a free ticket. How good would my credit have to be to qualify for one of these offers? My credit score is 731. I have 2 other credit cards from Discover and Chase and was approved for the last one in December.

11:27 am
April 1, 2011


SavingMentor

Member

posts 217

Yes, I do have experience with this and it definitely does work.

If you only apply for a couple of cards and have a good enough income to qualify then your credit score should be fine in the long run. If you have an important loan you are going to need to qualify for in the near future, then this may not be the best idea.

I typically stick to North America with this strategy because one credit card is usually good enough for one flight and if you fly coast to coast then you do get good value out of the miles. Flying to Europe can be a lot more expensive and would probably take up to 3 credit cards for 1 ticket. You'll have to pay the annual fees and ticket taxes for each flight as well, which does add up.

My experience is mostly in the Canadian arena, where it is a lot hard to pull of this type of thing than in the USA. So many more credit cards in the USA with lower annual fees and more airlines.

I wrote one such article here:

http://www.howtosavemoney.ca/s…..ights-fast

If you have any specific question, just ask.

11:46 am
April 1, 2011


nerdwallet

Guest

SavingMentor is spot on.  It's a great strategy for free money, but be careful.  If opening a bunch of credit cards is going to encourage you to spend a bunch of money, then it might not be worth it.  And note that many of the best deals require you to spend a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to earn the bonuses.

I've actually used this tactic a few times in the past year.  I got 75k AA miles from the Citi AAdvantage card, 50k OnePass miles from the Continental OnePass Plus, and now I'm using the CapOne Match My Miles program to double up on the 75k. 

 

financialstudent said:

Does anyone have an experience with opening up credit cards for the frequent flyer miles? I have a trip to Italy in the fall and was wondering if it'd be possible to open up a few cards in order to earn a free ticket. How good would my credit have to be to qualify for one of these offers? My credit score is 731. I have 2 other credit cards from Discover and Chase and was approved for the last one in December.

3:58 pm
April 2, 2011


financialstudent

Member

posts 86

Awesome. Thanks for the input everybody. Nerwallet mentioned a couple of cards, but does anyone else know of other popular options? Preferably, I'd like ones that don't require spending X over X months to receive the bonus. But "Earn 20,000 points after your first purchase" is fine.

 

Should I set aside some time to apply for 2 or 3 at roughly the same time? That way my credit score won't take the temporary hit before I apply for another.

8:46 pm
April 2, 2011


JT_McGee

Member

posts 723

Definitely apply back to back.  I'd do it within the same day, if possible, so as to remove any possibility that the pulls show up before another card pulls your report.  With a 731, I would think you'd be fine to open a few accounts.  You might see a 50 point dip, but if you don't plan to borrow serious amounts of money in the next few months to 1 year, who cares?

JT McGee – MoneyMamba

URL: MoneyMamba.com 

Twitter: @JT_McGee

Recent Post: Are We Halfway Through Our Lost Decade? (4 Charts Inside)

9:57 am
April 3, 2011


nerdwallet

Guest

The Continental Card that I mentioned is after first purchase. There's also the United Mileage Plus Select Visa, which pays 25,000 points after first purchase, and the Delta SkyMiles Gold/Platinum also pay points after first purchase. Note that United and Continental points can be combined.

The Discover Escape is also a good card, since it gives 25,000 bonus points and is a 2% rewards card. The only problem is that the points are paid out as 100 points per month for 25 months. These aren't technically airline miles, but they can be used for hotel, airfare, rental cars, and other travel-related expenses.

And I agree that you should try to apply for them all at once.

10:00 am
April 3, 2011


nerdwallet

Guest

also, tooting my own horn here a little bit, but we have a ton of travel rewards cards listed on our site:
http://www.nerdwallet.com/trav…..les-credit cards

And we maintain a list of the best card signup bonuses here:
http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog…..nuses-100/

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