Monday, October 17, 2011

Credit Card Hacking - How I earned 515,000+ free miles

My family of 5 need to travel between the US and Middle East this upcoming summer. So, how was I going to afford this? Since I love bargains and have always been on the lookout for them I thought, why not try to get some deals with travel? Boy, was I excited when I started reading the amazing deals that were out there. I started reading up on certain blogs and the most helpful ones were &, and, which is an online frequent flyer community; thank you TPG & Daraius! 

Now, you only want to do this if you are very responsible at paying your bills on time. What I did was pay all the credit card bills with automatic payments so I wouldn’t have any issues with bills being paid late. I also created a spreadsheet to keep track of all the details of all the credit cards. I will be reviewing all these cards, so please follow my blog and you will get all the information you need soon.

Here are the cards I got and the bonus miles I earned with them:
Penfed Premium Travels Reward American Express- 20,000 Me
Chase Sapphire Preferred- 50,000 Husband
Continental- 30,000 Me (matched to 50,000), 30,000 Husband (not matched)
United- 30,000 Me (just requested a match to 50,000 Feb 10,2012)
Capital One Venture (Visa)- 25,000 Me (now the bonus is only 10,000)
Citi Select® / AAdvantage® American Express® card- 75,000 me, 75,000 Husband
Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® Visa Signature® Card- 75,000 me, 75,000 Husband
Some information about these credit cards:
Penfed Premium Travels Reward American Express Card- Some experts don’t think that this is a good credit card since you need to purchase the airline/travel purchases through their booking tool. But I think it’s a great deal, if you are willing to buy tickets through them when it’s not high season and only are interested in economy seats. When it’s high season the miles you need are astronomical! But more about this card and its benefits in a future post. I charge this card for all my airline tickets since I get 5 miles per dollar spent. See my post here about the special offer going on now.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card- 50,000 bonus points is quite a good deal, I applied for this card for my husband, but I didn’t apply for for myself, because I realized that since this is a Chase card, I need to wait a bit before applying for another one. I got 2 Chase cards recently (Continental & United). See my review here.

Continental OnePass Plus/United MileagePlus Explorer Credit Cards- These 2 airlines are in the process of merging, so when you get your miles for both airlines, you can merge them. Instead of getting 30,000-40,000 miles for the Star Alliance Network you will be getting 60,000-80,000 miles. The latest buzz is that in November, United will be increasing their bonus miles from 40,000 to 60,000. I applied for both these cards at the same time and got approved for the Continental Card, but not for the United Card, the same goes for my dear husband . So, I just called up and got approved over the phone for myself. Now, I needed my husband to call to ask for the approval on the United Card, but he was out of the country. By the time he came back, I heard about the possible 60,000 mile offer so I haven’t called Chase, because I would like to go for the extra miles.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card- This is a great credit card and I would recommend everyone getting it when the bonus miles increase because one gets 2 miles per dollar on EVERYTHING! This is good for people that are only interested in Economy class tickets. Since a $1,000 ticket uses up 100,000 miles, and a business/first class ticket would use up thousands of miles. You can purchase a ticket in anyones name and also transfer miles between Capital One accounts. A couple of months ago the bonus miles were 25,000 and unfortunately they have reduced it to 10,000. When it goes up, I would recommend getting it right away; this is my everyday spend card.

Citi Select® AAdvantage® American Express® card -
Citi® Platinum Select® AAdvantage® Visa Signature® Card –
If you haven’t already, please first sign up for the American Airlines Advantage Program here before applying for these credit cards.

You can only apply for these cards if you don’t have them already. I received 75,000 bonus miles with $1,500 and $4,000 spend with the instructions Dariaus gave here, but people have reported that this deal is dead and one can only get 50,000 bonus miles with it. Without the link the current offer is for 40,000 miles. I hope you can all get 50,000 bonus miles instead of 40,000. Please post comments and let me know if you have been successful.

Please read the following post here using the 2 click browser rule to learn how to apply to both cards and receive both bonuses:
Terms and Conditions for the 40,000 bonus miles offer for the
Citi Select® / AAdvantage® American Express® card taken from Citi’s website:

·     Annual Fee: $85.00 (Fee waived for first 12 months)
·     Purchase APR: 15.24% Variable
·     Balance Transfer APR: N/A

30,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after $750 in purchases in the first 4 months of cardmembership Additional 10,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases in the first 12 months of cardmembership.
One time $100 statement credit for the 1st eligible AA  purchase made in the first 12 months of cardmembership

Note: I do NOT make any money from these links.


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