A while back I wanted to find the best ways to fly on the cheap, or the best time to buy airline tickets. Not only was it for travel any time I wanted to go on holiday, but I had a desire to see more than I had done, go to cities I have never visited and just expand on my experiences. Not even counting the cost of flying internationally, the cost of flying to a place only two states away from yours can cost hundreds of dollars easily.
Now obviously unless you are pretty well off in the money department, you could not afford to do all of this flying around everywhere in planes.
However what I did discover, was that it is possible to fly for free. In fact there are even forums on the internet setup by people who help share tips and advice to others looking at how they can fly for free.
One of the easiest ways to fly for free, or pretty darn close to it, is to use miles or points accrued in some kind of frequent flyer program. Now these programs used to be exclusive, but now all you have to do is signup on the airline’s website for free and you are enrolled! In this instance, you use your miles to pay for a flight instead of cash.
When i first looked into frequent flyer programs, I assumed that you had to fly a lot to get these miles as the clue is in the name right??
Wrong! And this is where credit cards come into play.
The market for credit cards is arguably more competitive than ever before. This is because as finance companies and credit card lenders tighten their belts, they value new and repeated business even more than they had done previously. As a result, they are offering increasingly attractive rewards for signing up to and using one of their credit cards.
The amount of miles you can be awarded will differ from card to card, but miles or points into the tens of thousands is not as uncommon an occurrence as you might think. Some credit cards even offer you a free flight instead of miles, which will tempt those who do not want to be tied into any other kind of program just to use the reward.
Whether it is miles or a flight that you are rewarded with, you can fly as far as Europe with a free upgrade to your travel class. Imagine how much that one flight would set you back if you had to pay for it with cash!
Getting these credit cards and using them just to get the reward can seem off-putting to some. After all, a lot of people view credit cards as the evil monster that caused the economy to fall into the mess it currently finds itself. However, it will not adversely affect your credit rating and can be done quite easily.
The people who maximize their credit cards to get free flights are known as “tarts” or “churners”. What these names refer to is their practice of applying for a credit card with a free flight or air miles reward, spending the minimum amount to activate this reward on the card and then cancelling the card once they receive the free flight.
In order to carry out this process without damaging your credit rating, you need to be disciplined. It is no good slipping into the habit of regularly spending on the new card and not paying off the balance in full each month just to get a free flight.
In fact, if you pay the balance in full you can improve your credit rating. This is because by opening a new credit card, you are increasing your overall available credit amount. As a result, your credit to debt ratio will improve in your favor. Increased activity and good behavior using these new credit cards to get free flights will also be reported to the credit bureaus, which will help boost your score.
If you can’t afford or are not disciplined enough to pay the balance in full, then becoming a “churner” or “tart” is not for you as it would do more harm than good.
Used in the right way, you can easily use your credit cards to fly for free.