If only more people realized how easy it is is to travel free! The convergence of the credit card industry and frequent miles and hotel loyalty programs created a fascinating loophole that anyone with good credit can use to their advantage.
The idea of travel reward credit cards is nothing new. Banks went into business with travel providers a long time ago, somewhere back in the 90-s. In the end, very few things make better incentives than free travel, and credit card industry was probably the first to recognize it. But the explosion of free travel opportunities with sign up bonuses of 50,000 miles and more having almost become a norm is truly phenomenal. I have been doing it for a very long time, and never before has free travel been this easy!
Let’s take the two most-traveled international destinations in the world: London and Paris. What does it take you to get there for free? JUST ONE CREDIT CARD!
That’s right. Just one. This is how you do it.
1. Go to my Free Flights section and sign up for one of the Citibank AA credit card applications if you haven’t done that already. I recommend the business card, because they will give you a $150 statement credit and two Admiral Club passes to relax before your flight in a nice environment (otherwise $50 each).
Yes, you absolutely can apply for a business card even if you don’t run an official business. If you sell stuff on Ebay or garage sale or have a hobby that you hope will turn into a side business one day, that’s all it takes. Just put your SSN number in the EIN field and re-type your own name as a business name.
2. Don’t worry that the application page does not spell out what you’re getting–-you will recieve your miles. If in doubt, go to this thread and read the latest posts. And no, you can’t just go to their “official” application, because it will get your a smaller bonus. I understand you would be more comfortable if all the terms were spelled out, but unless you can find an official application that says 50,000 miles, stay clear.
3. Meet their spend requirement and grab this coveted 50,000 AA miles bonus. If you can go between October 15 and May 15, that’s all you need (otherwise it’s 10,000 miles more). Please make sure you spend money on goods and services you buy anyway. Never spend more money than you can afford or buy stuff you don’t need only to meet the spend requirement. If you find it difficult to charge $3,000 in 4 months buying stuff you need anyway, my book has a dedicated chapter on meeting the spend.
4. Go to American website and plan your trip (note that you need to be somewhat flexible if you want to redeem your miles with whatever program). Choose Redeem AAdvantage Miles and Multi-City search. My screenshots below show the itinerary from NYC, so substitute that for your own city.
Since, this route is very expensive in taxes terms, your taxes will amount to $220. However, your $150 statement credit will help you with that and if you count your two Admiral Club lounge passes, and the first bag free–all courtesy of Citibank, you will come out ahead!
Not too shabby, is it?
If you think you could use some FREE, quality travel time in your near or even not so near future, check my books. More free flights and free luxury hotel stays are just moments away! Check them out. You’ll be glad you did!