[quote] Brandy says: This awesome, funny and informative article is from Travis of Extra Pack of Peanuts where he shows you how to Fly Anywhere in the World For Less Than Two Tanks of Gas giving you all the insider information on what cards to get, and how to maximize your every day purchases for the most miles. Make your money work for you, listen up! [/quote]
Sitting on a beautiful beach in Bali, sipping a cold Bintang and watching the waves
roll in while getting a foot massage, I thought “Life doesn’t get much better thanthis.”
And really, it doesn’t. I had just come from Singapore, where I had spent a few days sampling some of the world’s best food and taking in the amazing sights of one of the world’s most modern cities.
In 7 days, I was on my way to India to see the Taj Mahal, camel trek through the desert, and of course, eat some more delicious food.
In between, I was enjoying the splendid beaches and stunning rice terraces of this amazing island paradise.
The reason I could do all this?
You guessed it: I’m rich.
But not in the way you’re thinking.
You see, I’m miles rich.
As in, frequent flyer miles.
And just how rich am I? Well, in the last year I’ve been able to earn over 1 million frequent flyer miles.
To put that in perspective, the trip I just told you about, roundtrip from Japan to India with stops in Singapore and Indonesia, costs me 40,000 miles.
Math experts will tell you that I could do that same trip 25 times before exhausting my stash of miles.
And if I really want to spoil myself, I could upgrade to first class and take the trip 15 times a year!
Decisions, decisions. What a rough life!
But here’s the kicker: You can do EXACTLY the same thing!
Ways to Earn Frequent Flyer Miles
The biggest misconception about frequent flyer miles is that you can only earn them from flying a lot.
Out of the 1 million miles I earned in the past year, only 8,000 of them came from flying. Yep, less than 1%!
So where did all those other miles come from?
1. Credit Card Signups
Before you roll your eyes and think that I’m telling you to go out and get yourself in boatloads of debt, hear me out.
In fact, I’m telling you the opposite.
Start slowly. Open up one card and get used to it. Learn how to set up online payments. Always pay off your balance.
This is a marathon, not a sprint.
The only way you’ll continue to be able to earn miles through credit cards is if you are responsible with your spending. Get yourself in debt and you’ll not only be screwing yourself in life, but you can wave all those frequent flyer miles goodbye.
The first thing to do before even considering this option is to check your credit,which can be done for free at Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. If you’ve got a scoreof over 700, you should be able to get approved the best credit cards out there.
Most of the best credit cards offer a pretty substantial sign up bonus, which is where you can really rack up some frequent flyer miles. For example, by opening just one card that offers a 50,000 mile sign up bonus, you’ll already have a free roundtrip ticket to Europe.
Now we’re talking!
When opening a credit card, one thing to pay special attention to is the minimum spend requirement. If the card requires you to spend $1,000 in 3 months in order
to get the sign up bonus, make sure you do it. If not, you won’t get the miles and you can kiss that free plane ticket goodbye!
2. Smart Spending
The second way to pull in a decent amount of frequent flyer miles is through smart spending, with a heavy emphasis on SMART!
Having a credit card is not a green light to spend freely and recklessly. It shouldn’t mean that you go out and buy that new designer purse or 65” tv you’ve always
Instead, simply use your credit card to pay for all the purchases that you would make anyway.
A standard credit card will offer you 1 mile for every $1 you spend, so that $50 grocery bill just became 50 miles!
Some cards will even offer bonus categories that will earn you even more miles. For example, a card may offer you 2x miles for every $1 spent on gas. Spend $40 and
earn 80 miles. That helps take the
sting out of filling up!
So put those bills away and start swiping your plastic at every opportunity and you’ll be staring at a nice chunk of frequent flyer miles in no time.
3. Online Shopping
I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I absolutely hate shopping. Ok, let me rephrase that. I absolutely hate shopping AT THE STORE.
But in the comfort of my own home, at any time of day, with thousands of options at my finger tips? It’s not so bad.
And the best part about it? You can earn TONS of frequent flyer miles for buying the same things you were going to buy in the store.
Every airline and credit card company (Chase, American Express, Citi) has their own shopping portal. Within each portal, there are thousands of shops that will offer you varying amounts of miles for buying their product through the shopping portal.
For example, I recently made a $100 purchase at Nike. If I had gone directly to nike.com, I would have earned 100 frequent flyer miles for using my credit card.
However, the Chase shopping portal was offering an additional 10x miles per $1 spent at the Nike store.
I took 2 minutes to route from the Chase shopping portal to Nike.com and that $100 purchase earned me 1,100 miles!
Special deals pop up all the time, especially around holidays (how’d you like to earn 25x miles per $1 spent on flowers for Mother’s Day?) so be on the lookout.
Forego the crowds, save yourself gas money, and earn tons of frequent flyer miles by shifting your shopping online.
Have Miles, Now What?
Now it’s time to travel to your dream destination!
By using frequent flyer miles to “buy” your ticket, you’ll be able to fly anywhere in the world for virtually free.
While you’ll still have to pay some miscellaneous fees, these pale in comparison to the price of a plane ticket. I’ve been able to fly to Australia, Japan, India, Thailand,Spain and many other places all for less than 2 tanks of gas!
In addition, there are also some other cool benefits that using frequent flyer miles gives you.
Remember that trip I took above? I was able to stop in 3 different places (Singapore,Indonesia, and India) and in essence, have three different vacations.
By taking advantages of a thing called stopovers and open jaws, you can use your miles to travel to multiple cities for the same amount of miles as just traveling to one.
Why go to just Paris when you can go to Barcelona and Rome as well?
Another cool feature of award tickets is that most airlines will allow you to change your dates after you book for no extra fee. If anyone has ever tried to change a date on a purchased ticket before, you know just how hard (and costly) this can be. By using frequent flyer miles, you have a lot more flexibility in making changes.
So, what are you waiting for?
Frequent flyer miles have given me the amazing ability to hop on a plane at anytime and visit any place in the world for pennies, which means more money for foot
And now, you can do the same thing! So start collecting those miles and begin packing because that dream vacation will be a reality sooner than you know it!
“If you’re ready to learn more about how to travel around the world for free, check out the Ultimate Guide to Frequent Flyer Miles“.