How to Rack Up Air Miles Without Ever Stepping on a Plane

It used to be that to rack up air miles you had to buy a ticket, hop on a plane and fly to your destination. Not anymore. Now you can collect airline miles from your daily activities. Some people have accumulated points that enabled them travel all over the globe. From just using their cards on the ground. Learn how by following just a few strategies you too can rack up air miles and join the ranks of elite milers. All from the comfort of your home!

Sign Up Bonuses

Look for rewards cards that offer sign up bonuses. This is by far the easiest strategy to rack up air miles from the ground. Most credit card companies offer free mile points on sign up as an incentive for customers to apply for the cards. You can land a credit card with a low minimum spending limit and low annual fees through a bit of research. Most cards offer bonuses of up to 40000 points, enough for at least a free domestic flight.

Pick a Points Program and Stick With it.

Racking up air miles is a long term strategy. For the best results, pick a single program or credit card and stick with it. It could be an airline with a hub near your base of travel, or a credit card that offers benefits that cater to your needs. If you fly frequently on an airline or particular route; consider a program with that airline. With time, most programs promote you to elite status where you can earn double or triple the miles for money spent.

Reward Cards For Daily Expenses

Look for cards that allow you to earn miles for charging transactions to the card. With this strategy, you can purchase everyday items like groceries and gas and charge to the rewards card. These are items you would have purchased anyway. You get to earn miles for living your normal life. Be creative with what you charge to the card. Your morning latte’, charge it. You can also charge phone, electric, cable, utility bills and even rent if your landlord approves of it.

Rack up Air Miles Making Big Purchases

Thinking of buying that 56″ smart tv. Charge it to your rewards card and watch your miles triple. So is it with other big purchases. Home appliances, a car (if you can charge it to your credit card), expensive pieces of art etc can all be charged to your rewards card. One caveat though, pay all your credit card balances at the end of each month. If you can’t afford an item, don’t charge it to your airline miles credit card just for the miles.

Purchase Gift Cards

This is closely related to making purchases on your air miles card. You can buy a gift card with your rewards card when there is a limited offer, or a bonus that requires a minimum spending limit. Gift cards are a perfect choice since they are usually discounted. For example, you can get a $100 gift card certificate for just $90. With a coupon code you can further slash your bill. The beauty of gift cards is that you can use them whenever you want. Thus, you rack up air miles at a discount for a gift card you can use for your future expenses.

Donate to Charity.

Yes. Some programs allow you to earn miles donating to your favorite charity. Most donations are a tax write off. You get to earn bonus miles at the taxman’s expense. Simply charge your donation to your airline miles credit card and keep proper records so you can estimate your taxes accurately. Also, check with the charity to confirm whether donations to them are tax deductible.

Shop Online

Most air miles programs and airline miles credit cards have arrangements with shopping portals and outlets. They let you earn miles for purchases made. First, confirm the arrangements your program has with major retail portals and brands. Then when shopping online, use those portals and your air miles program details. You will receive bonus points for just shopping through them.

You Can Always Fly or Float!

Yes, I said it. Flying still remains the easiest strategy to rack up air miles. You don’t have to go on expensive trips. Choose cheap destinations to visit and use your airline miles credit card for your expenses and rack up air the miles.

If flying is not your strong suit, then consider getting a cruise rewards card instead. It’s more just like an airline miles credit card but you earn points and rewards for the amounts you spend on a cruise. Cruise reward cards are a great way to enjoy exotic ocean front destinations while getting something back.

Conclusion

You can rack up air miles in a variety of ways without necessarily flying. You just need to research available offers and make a decision based on your needs. Sign up to airline newsletters and follow them on social media. They usually have bonuses and offers that you can take advantage of and increase your frequent flier miles. Additionally, look for programs that allow you to earn miles from dining at select restaurants or staying at particular hotels. Remember, use your credit cards responsibly as you rack up the air miles.

What other methods have you used to rack up air miles without flying? Please share in the comments.

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Weekly Roundup – Aerophobia

Many people suffer from Aerophobia. Statistics shows that aerophopia has affected 25% of population worldwide. I would like to go further in explaining aerophobia, its symptoms, causes and how it can be managed.

What is Aerophobia?

Aerophobia is the fear of being on airplane or other flying vehicles while in flight. Also referred as Pteromerhanophobia, Aviatophobia or aviophobia.

Symptoms of Aerophobia

Symptoms of Aerophobia varies from person to person. However, the most common symptoms are; Heavy breathing, considering not to board the plane in the first place, muscle tension, palpitations, sweating, shaking, dizziness, inability to think clearly, fake smiles to passers-by or flight attendant.

Causes of Aerophobia

Aerophobia is triggered by number of factors. Fear of crashing, terrorism, fear of turbulence, fear of height especially when flying over waters or mountains. News from social media, friends, relative or passengers about a plane disaster. Trepidation – a feeling of about something that may happen, travel delays and also trauma for example caused by divorcee can trigger aerophobia in children while flying  are the most common causes of Aerophobia.

Aerophobia Management

Aerophobia can be OVERCOMED even if the underlying cause is not known. Reading a book, listening to music, playing games or watching video makes one relax thus diverting minds from your fears. Sharing with someone helps a lot in reducing your fears. It’s good to visit airports, watch motionless planes, those taking off and landing, this will help to get familiar with planes and their environs thus reducing your fears of flying. Also visit a psychiatrist if you are Aerophobic in order to be diagnosed and determine if you have any concurrent disorders. This will help to individualize treatment plans.

Aerophobia can have a devastating effect in your life but you can manage it as long as you are determined to do so.

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Embrace the Situation

If you’ve ever looked at last minute holiday deals, or even those further away in terms of dates, you’ll probably have seen that it’s more often than not cheaper to fly from London than any other regional airport. It’s quite frustrating for those of us that don’t live within easy reach of the capital, however I’ve decided to embrace the situation, and use it to my advantage.

I recently booked one of those holidays. Jetting off from Heathrow, and even with the cost of one of the hotels near Heathrow Airport, I got a good deal on holiday insurance also, the holiday was still cheaper than the same break, departing from my local airport. The major advantage wasn’t just the money saved, because it also meant I started my holiday sooner, had a night’s relaxation in a nice hotel, and I got to see some of London along the way!

Win-win!

Of course, travel costs and the price of staying overnight won’t always combine with the holiday price and still be cheaper, so it is a case of weighing it up before you book, however there are many occasions when it will be a definite option, and in that case, I say book it!

If travelling further, with the risk of delays or disruption, worries you then you can easily check up to date, real-time information on your airport in the days running up to your departure, and on that very morning. I did this, by constantly checking information on Heathrow departures, and was suitably informed. I also found out important information, such as my terminal number, as well as more sociable things, like where to eat and drink whilst waiting for my flight.

All important stuff!

You will probably also see that there are more destinations on offer from London airports all year around, with good flight times. Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and to a lesser degree, Luton, are all busy, huge airports, so it’s advisable to get there early and settle yourself in, especially if you’re not used to airports on this size scale. Of course, being there early means more time to peruse duty free, which is never a bad thing! Cutting out the stress with organisation means a much less stressful, and calmer start to your holiday too.

So, the next time you see that cheap deal, and you get downhearted because you see it’s not from your closest airport, think outside the box. Travelling a little further afield gives you more flexibility, experience, and also the chance to save money, and these days, it’s always better in your pocket.

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5 Sure-Fire Tactics To Fight Credit Card Fraud

It happens to a lot of people. Its probably happening to you right now and you don’t know it. When is the last time you checked you credit card statement? Did you closely scrutinize it? Notice any funny charges on it? Maybe it’s time you went back and read it with a tooth-comb. You could be the victim of credit card fraud.

So what is credit card fraud and how do you protect yourself from being a victim?

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud can simply be defined as the malicious use of your credit card by an unauthorized person to pay for goods or obtain favors, with your credit card being the source of funds. In most cases it’s a precursor to identity theft, where a malicious individual usurps your documents and legal persona and pretends to be you. They do this to obtain funds illegally or conduct questionable business/personal transactions in your name.

In most cases, credit card fraud starts with the unauthorized person getting your credit card or account information. How they use that information could mean ruin to your credit score and ultimately financial life. It’s worse if it goes unchecked for long periods of time. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from credit card fraud and secure your financial data.

Keep Proper Financial Records

Good financial records are not just the purview of small businesses. As an individual, proper financial records come in handy when you are reconciling your credit card statement with your expenses. Without the records you cannot be sure whether the transactions reported was yours or a fraudulent charge.

Monitor Your Credit Card Accounts & Statements

At the end of each month when you receive your credit card statement, take the time to go through it and confirm that all the transactions listed were conducted by you. Otherwise, you can access your card statement online and reconcile all the transactions cataloged. Online access gives you a hawks-eye view on your finances. You can immediately notice any funny transactions.

Keep Cards and Records Safe

Credit card fraudsters are after your financial information. They go to great lengths to acquire it. Keep your cards and financial records in a secure place. Only carry the card you often use when travelling. You might also want to separate your wallet and credit cards and reduce the chance of someone accessing your cards when your wallet is stolen. More often than not, preventing credit card fraud is a matter of awareness when you using your card.

Safe Transactions

Don’t give your credit card information over the phone. This is more so if you are not sure of the person or the organization you are dealing with. Verify they are who they say they are and only deal with reputable organizations.

It’s also sensible to only enter your credit card information on secure and reputable websites when transacting online. Refrain from sending your credit card information in emails, instant chats or other internet channels unless you are sure of the organization or the person you are dealing with, and even then, do it with caution.

Shred Sensitive Financial Documents.

Buy a shredder and periodically shred outdated financial documents, cards and details that you no longer use. Credit card fraudsters may obtain your financial information by rummaging through your trash. By shredding, you reduce the likelihood they will obtain any sensitive data that may lead to credit card fraud or identity theft.

Conclusion

Avoid credit card fraud by practicing safety in the way you handle your credit cards and financial information. This includes being aware of your surroundings, when you use your cards, and immediately reporting stolen or lost credit cards. By taking simple measures you stand a better chance of preventing card fraud and safeguarding your financial life.

Have you been a victim of credit card fraud? How did you deal with it? What other measures can we take to fight against credit card fraud? Share in the comments!

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How to Choose the Best Airline Miles Credit Cards

Since their introduction in the late 1970’s, airline miles credit cards have gained the appeal to travelers worldwide. This is because you earn rewards or points using them. You can redeem your points for free flights to your preferred destinations. You can also get upgrades and other travel related perks. So, how do you choose the best airline credit cards for your travel needs? In today’s post, we explore some of the key factors you should consider before you open your travel credit card account.

Strategize

With any undertaking, the first thing to do is plan. Consider your travel and spending habits and use that to determine your strategy. Do you want to enjoy the travel perks? Do you want to receive upgrades on your flights? Earn loyalty points for purchases at particular outlets or how about free flights to your vacation destinations. With a plan, you can tailor your choice of cards and avoid damaging your credit score or running into excessive debt.

Airline Vs. Bank Branded Cards

Each has their pros and cons. While choosing, consider your location. Do you live in a major airline hub serviced by one dominant airline? Do you travel frequently on that airline? If so, you might be best suited to get an airline miles credit cards with that airline. This way you enjoy all the travel perks offered by that particular airline such as choice of seats, upgrades, lounge facilities.

Bank branded travel credit cards are best suited if you live away from major travel hubs and prefer a variety in choice of the airlines you do business with. These cards also come with other benefits attached such as discounts at particular stores and outlets that lets you increase your points.

Huge Sign Up Bonus

Look for airline miles credit cards offerings with huge sign up bonuses. The higher the sign-up bonus the faster you will accumulate points and hasten your redemption. Ordinarily I look for offers with at least 30,000 sign up bonuses. Some cards offer up to 50,000 sign up bonus points. These are worth at least a domestic flight.

Bonus Points Per Dollar Spent

Most airline miles credit cards program employ a one dollar one point policy. Spend one dollar on your purchases and you receive one airline mile or points. When choosing, look for offerings that give you more for every dollar spent. This could be in form of extra points earned for shopping at particular outlets, occasional bonus points promotions to clients, loyalty programs that let you acquire more points for being a long time customer. This strategy quickens the pace you accumulate points.

Low Minimum Spending

Unfortunately with airline miles credit cards, the minimum spending requirements for most cards are insanely high. Who wants that? Most people just want choice, and cards that compliment their normal spending behaviors. Look for cards with at most $1000 in minimum spending requirements. That is a threshold you can easily cross with your domestic spending needs.

Annual Fees

Fees on airline miles credit cards are inevitable. In my experience, fee based credit cards tend to have better managed point schemes. In the long run, you will end up saving more than the annual fees you pay through better travel protection, perks and special offers. That doesn’t mean you splurge on the fees, on the contrary, research and settle for cards with fair annual fees.

Consider the APR

The Annual Percentage Rate is the rate at which you repay your credit card monthly balances. Airline miles credit cards tend to have higher APR’s than ordinary credit cards. Weigh this while choosing your card and factor in your monthly expenditures. The last thing you want is being stuck with high credit card bills for the points you collect.

Foreign Conversion Fees

Most cards charge a 3% fee on foreign usage. If you travel frequently to foreign destinations, weigh the rates while choosing your card. Ordinarily you want a credit card thats hassle free to use internationally and that has a fair rate.

Teaming Up

Does your preferred airline miles credit cards allow teaming up to earn more points? You can team up with your spouse by adding them as an authorized user on your card and any purchases they make earn you points on the card. This also helps when you travel as a couple or family.

Airline Miles Credit Cards Vs. Credit Scores

It’s a recognized fact that rapidly opening and closing credit card accounts (aka, churning & burning) will affect your credit score. A lot of checks on your credit history and outstanding loans/balances will lower your credit score somewhat.

So how do you avoid this eventuality?

  • Space your credit card acquisitions.
  • Only get airline miles credit cards that fit your strategy.
  • Maintain a great credit scores by timely servicing your loans
  • Clear your credit card balances at the end of each month.
  • Follow your budget when using the card. Do not go overboard for the points.
  • Get creative with your credit card usage. Look for inexpensive ways to earn points.

Conclusion

Airline miles credit cards offer the opportunity to travel for free to the most exotic destinations for just using the card for your normal purchases. Your choice of card ultimately depends on your needs. With responsible usage and an excellent choice of credit cards, you stand to benefit immensely and travel the globe on a shoestring budget. It just takes a bit of planning and strategy to achieve it.

So, what do you consider while choosing an airline miles credit card? Let me know in the comments!

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