Sunday, October 4

Travel Internationally for Free!

My husband Shawn and I avid travelers and love to go abroad. This past summer we went to Argentina but I didn't pay for my ticket. I got it free with American Airlines points. Last summer Shawn and I both went to a wedding in Los Angeles. Again both of our tickets were free because of our American Airlines points. We don't travel enough to have earned these points ourselves. We got them through the Citi American Airlines credit card.

Every year we both get credit card offers for Citi American Airlines. Basically they waive the credit card fee for the first year and if you spend $750 on the card in the first four months you get 30,000 bonus miles in your account. I sign up for this card, get the 30,000 miles, and then cancel. Every year I do the same thing. It costs 60,000 miles for international travel so every two years Shawn and I get a free international trip!

Some friends have stated that they are concerned that this plan will hurt their credit score. I definetely would not suggest this idea for my friends who have credit card debt or are about to purchase a home or who only have a $3,000 available in credit to them. However, your credit score is affected by your available credit to debt ratio. So if you have 50,000 available in credit and only have a $1,000 balance that you pay in full each month opening and closing one card a year probably isn't going to be detrimental to your score.

Decide for yourself. Know your credit score. Don't carry credit card debt. Buy your first home before the $8k first-time homebuyer credit expires this November!

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