Introduction to Points Banking

The easiest and fastest way to get frequent flyer miles is to sign-up for credit cards with big bonuses.

Some credit cards will give you 100,000 points for signing-up and completing a certain amount of spending.  You can turn those 100,000 points into a lot of cheap travel!  Some of these bonuses are enough for a family to go to Hawaii, or fly First Class to Europe and Asia.

You don’t have to get 50 cards to get enough miles for a vacation.  One or two is all you need to get started. With our updated Deals Page, you may not even need a single credit card to earn miles, but it will take little longer.

You will be getting credit cards with lucrative sign-up bonuses.  Some of these bonuses are enough for a First Class trip to Hawaii, Europe, and Asia!

What’s the Catch? (Read This Before You Get Started!)

Be sure to read my post on the 5 Factors that Determine Your Credit Score before getting into this hobby.  Collecting miles & points isn’t for everyone.  This may not be for you if you don’t:

  • pay your bills on time
  • have a credit score of at least ~700
  • pay attention to detail or
  • track your credit card balances


If you have a credit score significantly below ~700, it is better to fix your score 1st and get into this hobby afterwards. In the mean time, you can benefit from our Daily Deals to start racking up Miles and Points.

You can estimate your credit score for free by using Credit SesameCredit Karma, or the tool on CreditCards.com.   You’ll see your credit score and report.  All of these services can help you monitor your credit moving forward.

Expect to invest some time and effort into organization and shopping.  But the pay off is worth it. 


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Step 1 – Set Your Travel Goals for the Next Year

The 1st step to getting started with collecting miles and points involves making some fun choices.

Where & How Do You Want to Travel?

A mistake many people say they regret making when they started collecting points was jumping right in and not setting goals or determining a strategy to reach them.  This can leave you with lots of points in different accounts that can’t be used to their full potential.

Also, it’s much easier to find flights you can book with miles if you plan a year in advance.  

So it’s a good idea to plan ahead.

You can still find good deals only 3 to 4 months in advance, but it may require more flexibility.  For instance, you may have to leave the US on Wednesday instead of a Friday.  Here are some questions that only you can answer:

  • Are you mostly interested in traveling within the US or internationally?  Do you want to visit a beach destination, a big city, etc.?
  • Do you prefer fancy hotels or budget hotels where you can stretch your miles?
  • How many people will be traveling with you?  Are you part of a family of 4 or more, or is it just you and a companion?
  • How often do you want to travel?
  • Which destinations appeal to you?

For domestic flights, the best way to get Big Travel with Small Money is with the Southwest Companion Pass.

I also like collecting Hyatt and Hilton hotel points for my hotel stays because it’s easier to use the points.

You can earn points with airline and hotel branded credit cards.  Or you can earn bank points such as Chase Ultimate Rewards points and AMEX Membership Rewards points which gives you the ability to transfer to airline  and hotel partners.

[/vc_toggle][vc_toggle title=”Step 2- Sign Up For Loyalty Programs” el_id=”1493125271630-0e295df6-d86b”]Sign-up for a few hotel and airline loyalty programs.  There are many programs to choose from, but I recommend signing-up for just a few of the major programs initially.  You can always sign-up for the rest later on.


This page has all the best Airline and Hotel loyalty program links


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