You don’t need to be a frequent flyer, or a flyer at all to earn millions of frequent flyer miles and turn them into incredible, free flights. That’s it. It’s really that simple. The one big catch here-is that you need to have great credit. How else can you get someone to fork over 100,000 miles just for buying your daily latte? Here are a few tips to keep your credit game on point…

We are not financial planners, this is anecdotal information based on years of successfully applying for credit cards and maximizing benefits, and based on trusted industry advice. We are not responsible for your personal financial decisions.

You Shouldn’t Play If You Carry A Balance…

This game is about traveling for free. Paying interest on a credit card is not free. Before you get in this hobby, do your best to go debt free and pay in full every month. You want to charge every single chargeable expense to your credit card, but you don’t want to buy anything you wouldn’t buy if you were using cash. Basically, only buy stuff you can immediately pay for.

You Shouldn’t Use More Than 30% Of Available Credit…

Now this is where things get a bit tricky. What really matters here, is that at the end of the month, beginning of the month, or whenever your statement turns over, that you are using a maximum of 30% of your available credit. If you have a 10,000 credit line, you can spend 100,000 during the month, as long as you pay it off, and ensure that when the statement’s generated (before you get it in the mail) that you’re only using 30% of what was avail. 

Don’t Apply For TOO Many Cards, But Don’t Be Afraid Either…

Applying for lots of credit simultaneously is a sign of desperation to the scoring wizards. Do not be afraid at all to apply for a couple cards to get your feet wet. Do not however apply for 10 cards in a day. Each card you apply for will make a very, very minor ding in your score which does not last long, (and generally goes higher than before afterward) so long as you don’t keep applying for cards. 

Let At Least Some Cards Age Gracefully…

Some cards you get just because the sign up bonus is incredible and the annual fee is waived for the first year. After that first year many people balk at paying the annual fee or keeping the card. I get it, it’s part of the game, but you want to have at least 50% (ideally more) of your cards-ones that you’ll let age. The longer the average age of account (amount of time you’ve had a card) the better your score for that segment of your scoring. 

Diversifying Your Credit Is Good…

Just having credit cards limits your potential for the highest scores. Credit scoring models in the US like to see a mix of loans, like car leases, credit cards, even store credit cards as well. A well aged mortgage is the icing on the cake. There’s a reason homeowners with perfect payment history can get just about whatever card they want, any time! 

Ensure Your Current Credit File Is Correct, Lots Are Wrong!

Checking your credit report, or using some form of credit monitoring can be really important. It’s not at all uncommon for reports to contain entirely inaccurate information of people with similar names, or improperly reported history. This can be the reason for a surprise denial, despite your personal knowledge that you’ve never missed a payment. You can dispute wrong information on your file and eventually get it removed, restoring your credit health…