I created this website to explain to my friends and family how my wife and I have been able to travel the world for free. The “secret” has been using various credit card mega bonuses (often non-publicized), layering additional offers and some other tricks that I will show you. Below are some of my favorite offers or delve deeper by reading my Points Blog.
Before applying, make sure to check your credit. You can get two of your three FICO scores for free at Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.
If you apply for a card with good credit and you don’t get instant approval, click here for a list of credit analysis and reconsiderations departments’ direct lines. They can often expedite an approval or fix a denial.
Unless otherwise stated, my advice is for people with good credit that are able to pay off their entire credit card balance each month. You also accept that my advice is provided as a courtesy and you agree to do your own research. Also, credit card bonus offers change rapidly — while I try to keep this site up to date, you must check the credit card company’s website for the latest rules before you apply. For a more complete introduction and details on how card applications can affect your credit score, click here.
For those focused on spending, below is an analysis of Category Bonuses for some of my preferred cards to help you decide which to pull out of your wallet.
|Ink Pref.||Ink Cash||Ink/Freed. Unlim||Sapphire Pref.||Sapphire Reserve||Amex Biz Rewards|
|Travel||3X||1X||1.5X||2X||3X (5x* Flight, 10x* Hotel/Car, 10x* Lyft)||2-3X Air Only|
|Tech||1X||1X||1.5X||1X||1X||2-3X Select merchants|
|Bonus (Nov 2021)||100k||75k||75/25k||50k|
* Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) offering 5x for Airline and 10x for Hotel & Car purchases made through Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal (powered by Expedia). I usually prefer to purchase travel directly on the suppliers website instead of Expedia since the supplier doesn't always honor elite status and elite/point earning rules when booking through Expedia. However, it may sometimes make sense especially if Expedia happens to have a cheap block of rooms/tickets. Until March 2022, CSR also giving 10x for Lyft. CSR is offering 10x (Chase Freedom & Sapphire Preferrred offering 3x) for restaurant purchases made through "Chase Ultimate Rewards portal" (powered by Tock dining), for prepaid takeout and prepaid reservations, however, there are so few restaurants on Tock that I don't consider this of much use right now. Other Bonus Categories Supermarket: If you spend over about $50/week, you should use the Amex Blue Cash Preferred for the supermarket to get the 6% cash back. Non-Bonus Spending
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Premium Cards (Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, Ink Preferred): transferable into United and Hyatt points among others. I generally consider United and Hyatt points worth over 2 cents each, though not everyone should
- 2-2.1% Cash Back Cards(Barclay's Arrival Plus, Capital One Venture, Capital One Spark): fixed cash value
- Your bonus card for convenience. Realistically, there are only so many cards you want to physically carry, especially if you don't have an iphone.