I know there are many families with kids out there that would love to fly somewhere fun and exciting but the cost to put the family on an airplane to that destination seems way out of reach.  I’m here to tell you that it may not be out of reach and actually far from it.  It could actually be almost FREE!  I know it’s hard to believe for some.  There are many stories I could tell, but just let me break down the actual cost of my recent trips this year and upcoming trip next year.  This will give you a clear picture of why I say the average family with good credit can afford to travel the world.  Here is my personal airline miles spending chart for last year and the upcoming years plans so far.

8-2012 Czech Republic San Francisco to Prague 75,000 Delta $34.00
10-2012 East Coast Los Angeles to Boston – Direct flight 100,000 British Airways $20.00 ($5.00 per ticket)
4-2013 United Kingdom Los Angeles – London – Direct
Dublin – Los Angeles
American Airlines

Okay, so you can see obviously that most average families could afford the cost of these flight in dollars.  But where did I get all those miles?  I am a stay-at-home Momma.  I don’t work (except at home teaching the kids, managing the house, coaching basketball ball, and all that Momma stuff).  I don’t earn any miles from flying or traveling at all.  My husband works for the phone company AT&T.  He isn’t a corporate guy though traveling all over the place racking up miles and points for us.  He is a blue collar hard working splicer.  He works hard and I plan our trips; get the miles and points so we can play hard.

So I plan our adventures, budget for the amount of miles we will need to fly and the points we will need to stay.  I very calculatedly apply for credit card bonuses to secure thousands of dollars worth of almost free travel.  If we had to pay in U.S. currency for the above listed tickets we would never be going that is for sure.

I’ve been doing this for many many years and my credit is excellent.  You can check out my Credit Sesame Guru badge on here.  So funny huh!  Just means I have stellar credit which I’m very proud of.  I apply every quarter (90 days) for 1 card from multiple lenders.  The bonuses add up very quickly year to year and give me large balances to use when I’m planning a trip.  So the miles you see above weren’t just earned this year but in the previous years and I’m continually earning more for future adventures.

So if you are a middle class family with a desire to travel and you have good to excellent credit, you can use that credit to secure free travel.  Your credit is one of the most valuable assets you own.  You take care of it and it will love you back!  Mine has given me lots and lots of love!  If you misuse credit, don’t pay your bills, charge up your cards than sadly this opportunity isn’t for you right now.  You are better to focus on paying off your debt and living within your means.  Credit cards can be a great tool but they can also be “evil” if you know what I mean.  We have no debt and keep no balances on our credit cards.  I currently have 16 credit cards open.  I keep them in a draw.  I only carry 2 cards at any given time that I am using to earn extra bonus miles/points from various spending category bonuses.  I even pay my credit cards weekly to keep on top of any charges.

Well, that’s my pep talk!  I just want to encourage people that you can live the dream of traveling where ever it is you’ve dreamed of.  Travel isn’t just for the rich and famous!  It can be for your average family too!  I still pinch myself all the time when I think of all the places we have traveled as a family.  We would never have if it wasn’t for using my good credit.  I feel thankful and blessed.

So start off with a goal; and build a miles budget.  If you need help with this, feel free to email me and I’ll send you example of my current budget.  If you have questions and don’t know where to start I’d be happy to help you come up with a plan to get you to your dream destination.  Feel free to email me any time!

Here are some of the best credit card offers out right now that could be very lucrative for families applying with both spouses.  Below is another chart to show how lucrative these bonuses could be when both spouses apply for cards.

Ink Bold Business Card CHASE  50,000  100,000  $5,000  $10,000 First year waived
Ink Plus Business Card CHASE  50,000 100,000 $5,000 $10,000  First year waived
British Airways Visa Signature® Card CHASE
  • 50,000 Avios after $1,000  spend in 3 months
  • 25,000 Avios after $10,000 spend first 12 months
  • 25,000 Avios after additional $10,000 spend first 12 months
 200,000  $10,000 $20,000  $190
($95 x2)
Chase Sapphire Preferred SM Card CHASE 40,000 80,000  $3,000 $6,000  First year waived
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express AMEX 30,000 60,000  $500 $1000 First year waived
Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN AMEX 30,000 60,000  $500 $1000 First year waived
The US Airways Premier World MasterCard BARCLAY 40,000
10,000 anniversary bonus
100,000 -after 1st year
 First Use First Use $178
($89 x2)
Citi Platinum Select Advantage Visa Signature card CITIBANK 50,000  100,000  $10,000 $20,000 First year waived
CitiBusiness Advantage World MasterCard CITIBANK 50,000 100,000  $10,000 $20,000  First year waived
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express  AMEX  25,000 50,000  $5,000  $10,000  First year waived
Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN AMEX  25,000  50,000 $5,000 $10,000  First year waived
Chase Hyatt Credit Card CHASE  2 free night at any property worldwide  4 free nights at any property worldwide  $1,000 $2,000  $150
($75x 2)
Citi Hilton HHonors TM  Reserve Card CITIBANK 2 free weekend nights -select properties 4 free nights – select properties $2,500 $5,000  $190 ($95 x 2)

NOTE: All of these links are affiliate links but the Citibank Advantage and US Airways are direct lender links that offer a better bonus than the offer available through the affiliate network.  I always want you to get the best bonus offered online.  Thank you if you choose to support my site by using these links.

These are just a sample of a few great offers currently available.  There are so many and they are constantly changing.  My suggestions before you apply for any cards is to have a travel plan.  Where do you want to go?  How many miles do you need on what airline.  Where do you want to stay.  How many nights.  How many points do you need from which programs.  Build a miles and points budget and then see which credit cards could help you move towards your goal.  That being said, sometimes there will be extremely lucrative bonus offers that you don’t know exactly what you’ll use them for but you just grab the miles/points and figure it out later.  If you do decide to start using credit card bonuses to secure free travel for you family be sure to keep good records.  I keep an extensive running spreadsheet of all my credit cards opened and closed in the last 2 years.  Here is my current spreadsheet for your reference.  This will give you an idea of how to track your cards and keep things organized.  You can view it here.(Click on “edit” to view document)  If you need any help or have questions, don’t hesitate to email me.  I’m always available to answer questions and no question is too silly.  I was once a newbie and some kind more experienced collector helped me learn.

If you are concerned about the effect of applying for credit cards on your credit history, then just dabble and monitor it.  You will see that each application drops your score 2 -3 points which is nothing significant.  You will probably see that as you add credit cards and your credit score will begin to rise and get even better.  The top two free sources I recommend for long-term credit monitoring are Credit Sesame and Credit Karama.  I use both of these services personally and they are completely free and do not require a credit card.  They do not give you your full credit report which I do recommend you get at least every 6 months.  There are some good services to obtain your credit report here my site.

So start now to plan for next year’s adventures and the years to come.  I always say, “Dream it or it will never happen!”  I’m living my dream of travel and so could you.  If I can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to call on me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *