How It Works

Get cards, get miles, travel the world, repeat.

Frequent Flyer programs began in the early 1980s as a way to encourage loyalty to one airline. Since then, they’ve exploded—every major airline, hotel, and even car rental company has a program you can join. Along the way, something changed: banks entered the picture, creating co-branded credit cards together with the travel companies.

To incentivize consumers to accept their cards, they offered signing bonuses of 25,000 miles and up. Airlines operate the programs as a profit center, selling miles to banks and knowing that most miles will never be redeemed. It’s free money for them… and it can be free travel for you.

This situation has never been better. Now is the time.

Beginning in 2009, card issuers began increasing the bonuses for new cards. It’s now common to receive bonuse multiple cards, including business versions—and if you’re accepted for one, you can usually get another. If you have a willing spouse or partner, they too can get cards, further increasing your bonuses.

Without much effort and by managing your credit responsibly, you can easily earn 100,000, 200,000, or even more miles a year. These miles can then be redeemed for trips that would otherwise be very expensive.

Traveling to Everywhere

Author and Explorer Chris Guillebeau regularly earns more than one million miles a year, with the majority coming through credit card bonuses and other non-flying activity. In 2013, Chris completed a ten-year quest to visit every country in the world. One reason he was able to achieve this goal was because approximately half of his trips were nearly free—all paid for with miles and points.

The easiest way to earn hundreds of thousands of miles all at once and redeem them for free travel is by taking advantage of credit card bonuses.