The Miles Man 3

How to Trek the Globe For Basically Free

With the holidays fast approaching, that can only mean airfares are rising even faster. Sure, you can use Google Flights (or, for the more advanced, the ITA Matrix) to get close to the bottom-dollar rate, but I advocate the method I’ve been using for the past 10 years: Fly for free!

By collecting frequent flyer miles using primarily credit cards, I’ve amassed millions upon millions of miles. They’ve taken me everywhere, from Australia to Japan to back home for Christmas—and all for nearly free.

If you’ve already been collecting points and miles via credit cards or flying, now might be the perfect time to book a free award flight with those miles because of the spiked holiday fares.

Now, I know some are unsure exactly how the process works or have very little experience redeeming miles, so as a special this holiday season I’ll attempt to help as many local residents as I can book holiday flights with their miles for absolutely free, just for referencing this article!

If you don’t have any miles yet, there’s no time like the present to begin earning them. Here are a few tips on how to get started:

  • Sign up for a credit card that allows you to transfer your miles to a variety of airline and hotel programs, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Citi Thank You Premier.
  • Also, choose a credit card where the spending bonus categories match your lifestyle. For instance, I’m a fan of the Chase Sapphire Reserve because it earns 3x miles on travel and dining. However, your spending habits might lean toward gas, groceries or entertainment purchases. Nowadays, you can find a credit card with a bonus earning-category for nearly anything. Do your research.
  • Sign up for more than one credit card. I know that may sound scary to some, but your credit score usually only dips 3-5 points for 90-180 days for every credit card that you apply for, and then your score bounces back. (Assuming you’re using your credit responsibly.)
  • Get organized! Use Award Wallet to easily track all your miles and points in one place. Also, sign up for Credit Sesame and/or Credit Karma to monitor your credit score throughout the process. You’ll then be able to corroborate my above claim.
  • Follow someone like me on Facebook. I can be found on Facebook at Conway’s Travel Hacks, but Mommy Points and Million Mile Secrets are great, too. We post daily about the best offers and travel deals. You’d be surprised how many free miles and heavily discounted flights you’ll find just by following us.

Enjoy the holidays, and happy travels!

Andrew Conway has redeemed nearly $1 million dollars in free travel all over the globe in the last 10 years. He helps others do the same at ConwayTravels.com.