In Pursuit of FREE TRAVEL: Adding plastic to your wallet

credit card points I have to admit, it seems counter-intuitive to add credit cards to my life.  I spent a good deal of the third     decade of my life concentrating on getting out of debt, paying off student loans and credit cards as quickly as I could.  Consumer debt and the high interest rates always charged on credit cards can wreck havoc on your finances.  Once I paid everything off, I promised myself I would never carry a credit card balance again and I have stayed on track.

So, when I learned that part of Ketih’s traveling genius involves “churning” credit cards—taking them out to get the thousands of bonus points offered, I admit I cringed a bit.  Handling lots of cards and dealing with the various payments made me a bit nervous.  I like simplicity!  But, with the picture of my European dream vacation forming and getting clearer in my mind, I decided the small hassle of additional credit cards is more than compensated for by FREE TRAVEL perks.

I have reached a responsible level with my finances and know that changing where I spend my money will not affect keeping myself in line with responsible spending.  Again, this program is only for folks who have a handle on their finances and are not in any danger of carrying credit balances.

Once I saw all the free points that I could get by opening additional cards—I decided to take the plunge!  BRING IT ON!  –But which card to choose?

Part of the “secret sauce” for Keith’s formula is to open cards slowly and carefully over time.  We don’t want to do anything to damage our credit score.  Make sure to find out your score and keep an eye on it as you start to take out credit.

Next, select your credit card carefully, and, most likely, begin with Chase bank.  Make sure to open a credit card that has an offer that gives you at least 50,000 points.

Chase offers some great cards with exceptional points.  Chase’s points are termed “Ultimate Reward Points” and they can be used in lots of flexible ways for travel.  Chase has partnered with Marriott, Hyatt and United Airlines so it makes using Ultimate Reward points with those companies extremely easy.

Several of the Chase cards have double points in some categories and some of the cards actually pay FIVE TIMES points in some categories.  The reason to start with Chase is that Chase has a rule termed the 5/24 rule.  Chase will only let you take out five credit cards over 24 months—this includes credit cards from any other bank (excluding American Express.)  Most other companies are less strict, so it makes sense (and travel dollars!) to start with Chase when looking to capitalize on credit cards and points.

There are many choices when it comes to credit cards at Chase Bank, right now they have the Chase Freedom Card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card,  The Chase Ink Card for business, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  Most of these cards offer between 60,000 and 100,000 points just for signing up.  The cash value (again, the lowest way to redeem points) on that is $600 to $1000 dollars.  This cash value is if you were to trade these points in for the “cash back,” again, our goal is to get a much higher return with travel benefits.

So, look into your wallet, look at your credit score and then pick the best Chase Card and start earning FREE TRAVEL now.

 

 

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