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.
Citi Prestige® Card
- Annual Fee: $450 fee
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Bank
The increase to 50,000 ThankYou points for the Citi Prestige card may be a signal that Citi wants back in the game, big time. The sign-up bonus has just been increased to 50K points from the previous 30K offer. An added benefit is a $250 annual air travel credit each calendar year -- so, if you sign up in April, you'll receive the credit this year, and again in January of next year -- which more than covers the $450 first year fee. When you add in lounge access for you and up to two of your guests, you’ve added another $400+ in value. One more benefit worth mentioning is the fourth night free for any four-night hotel stay booked through Wagonlit Travel. And lastly is the $100 statement credit when you sign up for Global Entry and pay for it using the Prestige card. Don’t forget the ever-growing number of airline transfer partners that work with the ThankYou points program.
- $250 Air Travel Credit each year
- Complimentary 4th Night for any hotel stay
- Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
- Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
- Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
- Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
- Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
- 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases