This follow-up post to getting started will delve deeper into overcoming your fear of applying for credit cards. The first steps are:
- Obtaining your credit score for free from CreditSesame.com
- Getting a copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com (free as well)
Some of your intimidation may stem from the more experienced applicants relaying stories of applying for 8-10 cards every 90 days. I’m guilty of bragging those big winners up as well. But in all reality, we all began with our first credit card application and in most cases it was one and only one that first time around.
Once you know your credit score, and hopefully it is over 700, why not start with just one application. The minimum spending you need on that card can be as little as a first purchase. I typically get a cup of coffee from Java Joe’s with my new US Airways Barclays card and in doing so, earn two free domestic tickets. It is indeed that simple. Two of you can fly on a domestic coach itinerary and get your feet wet with this whole idea of using your credit. A success here will hopefully give you the confidence to continue earning free travel. Your credit score will drop somewhere between two and five points and only temporarily. That’s it. That will be the extent of the change in your life, except of course now having enough frequent flyer miles for two domestic tickets in your US Airways account. Oh yeah, you can use those miles to fly domestically on United too (no extra fees either)
Don’t be intimidated by the big shots doing multiple applications all on one day. If you get one credit card with no first year fee and earn two round trip tickets for buying a cup of coffee, you’ll see how easy this is. And, oh by the way, you must then pay that $3-$5 credit card bill when it comes due. For two free tickets, I think you can remember that and in the long run you will have actually improved your credit file.
And if you are still afraid and have more questions, email me and I’ll give you confidential answers. The only dumb question is the one you don’t ask and get answered, to send you on the way to free travel. And, I’ll never ask you for your last name, address, social security number or any other personal information. Just your credit score and information about what cards you have, and what your travel goals are. You can even make up a dummy email address to write me. What have you got to lose?
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day American Airlines AAdvantage® has provided 2500 AAdvantage® miles for the best deals, fares, promotions, anything related to American Airlines, their oneworld partners or AAdvantage® partners. Add it to the comments section of this post or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post (with your first name, last initial, and home airport) to be eligible to win.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49