Those of you who understand that the titles of this website and my book series are not a cute marketing gimmick (it would be a terrible marketing gimmick, by the way) know that my philosophy about getting free travel is very simple. I do not want to invest my whole life into this hobby. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I’m couch potato lazy. But it does mean that I look not only for free or cheap, but also for easy ways to jet myself wherever I want to go.
The easiest way to get free travel if you have good credit, financial discipline, and reasonable income is to apply for multiple credit cards with huge sign up bonuses. This is what I do. Everything else is too long, too cumbersome and/or expensive, so the only time I use manufactured spend (please see related thread on Flyertalk if you don’t know what it means) is to meet reward credit cards spend requirements.
So it should come as no surprise to you that I’m extremely pleased with the current state of affairs in the credit card industry. Last year, I kind of expected that they would crank down the volume of sign up bonuses due to the improved economy. So far, it has not been the case. This website has two sections that are especially useful to everybody: Best Credit Cards for Free Flights and Best Credit Cards for Free Stays. They are not affiliate links and I post them here as a public service. If you find an interesting credit card offer before I do, please let me know.
It doesn’t mean that all is peachy and rosy. Credit card companies have considerably increased spend requirements across the board in the last year. A year ago, my suggested app-o-Ramas had $28,000 annual spend. This year, it’s around $40,000. Is it a deal breaker? Not to me. If you find these requirements too high, just plan accordingly. It’s OK to slow down or even stop for a while; this is not a freaking race!
Don’t let all the hype you can see on Flyertalk get under your skin. Some crazy things people do for miles and points should be declared legally insane! You have jobs, families, and yes, other hobbies. Do you really have nothing better to do than drive from one CVS to another in search of Vanilla cards, and then from one Walmart to another to find the one that would allow you to load them to your Bluebird without an issue?
Maybe those manufacturing opportunities are right on your way to or from work and take 10-15 extra minutes of your time–then I stand corrected. But if you pour hours upon hours into this hobby every day, and try to justify your “savings” by getting to fly in comfort for a few hours, then you’re delusional. Just ask yourself if there is really, really nothing else you’d rather be doing with your life.
I’m always busy meeting spending requirements, which means I don’t have time to manufacture spend or think and get confused about quarterly bonuses and what’s not; which credit card to use where, etc. OK, I use Freedom for gas and Amazon this quarter, but that’s it. It’s not complicated. And that’s a good thing! Because we could use fewer complications in our lives.
Stay lazy, my friends :-)…