I want to write the post that everyone should share with their completely beginner friends. This is that post.
My newbie friends recently got a ton of free flights and have been “singing the praises” of miles and points to their friends and family. But… their eyes glaze over as soon as they hear the details.
This is common. Get excited about an “easy” and “free” flight… and then feel overwhelmed about the work that has to go into it.
I’ve thought a lot about how to introduce people to the miles & points world without overwhelming them, and these are my sincerest thoughts…
Just get a few cards with a decent miles bonus. Then figure it out.
If I start giving you all the details now, it will sound intimidating… when it’s not that complicated. Maybe it’s because we’ve got our own lingo. Or maybe it’s not explained well.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be as time consuming as any hobby. But I know lots of people who don’t think about it until they need to book a flight. And otherwise they may or may not get a credit card or two every now and then.
Most people find the spend requirements intimidating. I’m super tempted to link to posts of tricks explaining how easy it is…
However, I’m not! Just google it, or tweet me, after you’ve got the cards.
“What if I get the wrong cards?”
Oh no! Then you get 1 roundtrip to Europe instead of 2. Not a big deal, imo.
And to be honest, I likely have that second tier card now anyways. Not a big deal.
“What happens to my credit score when getting multiple credit cards?”
It goes up. It goes down when you mishandle your credit – mainly if you’re late for payments.
But you should pay off your credit cards in full and on time to avoid fees! That’s good for your score and wallet.
But don’t take my word for it. Get a few, and monitor your credit. View it as a test, worse case scenario you get the miles and decide it’s not worth it to continue. Best case scenario, your credit score goes way up… like everyone I know.
Where The Rubber Meets The Runway
I’m tempted to say don’t worry about it. You can always figure out how to do something, or how to use your miles later (and it’s not that hard).
But here are my tips:
- Bigger bonuses are better, in general. (Pretty obvious so far, eh?) 50,000 miles and up is a good place to start.
- Airline miles and bank points are better than hotel points, in general.
Credit Card Recommendations would be to start with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, AA miles, United (when it’s 50,000+), and American Express points. That’s pretty broad.
But if my tips got too complicated… ignore them.
Just go figure it out. Just get some carts. A card! Just do something.
Why not? The upside to be gained is a flight or two. The downside? … None! Just try.
Luck favors those who take action.
Again, I’ve seen people get overwhelmed by the details… and believe me, it’s not that complicated. But when it’s perceived to be complicated, it paralyses people from doing anything.
So contrary to my normal lengthy and complicated style, I honestly believe the info above is everything you need to know to get started! In fact, more than this can often be detrimental. This is the maximum you need to know.
When you get to the next stage, come back, and then browse the resources. Because instead of then seeing infinite possibilities you will say, “hey I’ll have ____ amount of miles” and you’ll chart a less overwhelming course. It will be a lot simpler this way.