Can Retirees With a Reduced Income Still Earn Big Travel?

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Can Retirees With a Reduced Income Still Earn Big Travel?

Million Mile SecretsCan Retirees With a Reduced Income Still Earn Big Travel?Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Million Mile Secrets reader, Tara, writes:

Would you please write about retirees and miles and points?  Is it more difficult to get the bank to approve the credit card application due to reduced income or age?

Hi, Tara!  Many of our readers in their golden years are traveling the world on miles and points!  And you can do it too!

Can Retirees With A Reduced Income Still Earn Big Travel
Big Travel With Small Money Isn’t Just for Young Folk!

I’ll explain how you can still get approved for the best reward cards, even with a smaller income.

Can You Get Approved for Reward Credit Cards in Retirement?

You don’t need a 6 figure income to get approved for rewards credit cards.  So even if you’re in retirement and on a budget, you can get into the miles and points hobby!

Can Retirees With A Reduced Income Still Earn Big Travel
Having a Good Credit Score Is the Key to Getting the Best Credit Card Offers, and It Doesn’t Require a Big Income

Your credit score is the most important factor banks consider when evaluating your credit card application.  They want to know you will pay back any credit they extend to you.

You’ll need a credit score of at least ~700 to get approved for most reward cards.  You can get your estimated score for free on sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.  If you’d like to bring it up a bit, see my tips and tricks for giving your credit score a boost!

By the time many folks retire, they’ve mastered the art of budgeting and paying bills on time.  So they likely already have a solid credit score.

And many retirees aren’t saddled with debt, like big mortgages or student loans.  So their debt-to-income ratio is better.  Banks may also look at the equity you have in your home and any investments you hold to determine whether they’ll extend you credit.

Plus, retired folks probably have a long history with their bank.  Having a good relationship with your bank makes it more likely they’ll approve you for their cards.

This, combined with the fact that retirees have more flexibility and free time, gives them a leg up in this hobby.

Can Retirees With A Reduced Income Still Earn Big Travel
Without a 9-to-5 Job Determining Your Time Off & Location, the World Is Your Oyster!

Before You Get Started

Link:   Beginner’s Guide

Link:   5 Dangers of Applying for Credit Cards

Here are things to think about before you start applying for credit cards:

  • Start Out Slow – I recommend applying for 1 or 2 cards at 1st, until you’re comfortable.

Chase has some of the best rewards cards available.  So even though I don’t think folks who are new to the hobby need to worry too much about these new rules, you may want to apply for Chase Ultimate Rewards cards 1st to ensure you’ll get approved.

Can Retirees With A Reduced Income Still Earn Big Travel
Folks Get Excited When They Read About All the Travel Opportunities Available Through Miles and Points, but It’s Important to Start Slow and Have a Strategy Before You Sign-Up for Reward Cards

Bottom Line

Applying for award credit cards that offer sign-up bonuses can quickly earn you enough miles and points to travel the world.  And even if you’re a retiree on a reduced income, you can still get approved for these credit card deals!

The key is having a great credit score!  This is the major factor banks consider when approving credit card applications.

To get the most out this hobby, just be sure you know the risks and have a plan before you start signing-up for cards.

Are you retired and still earning miles and points or know someone who is?  Share your experience in the comments!

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

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  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I started collecting miles and points out of necessity. I knew this was the only way I could see my children and grandchildren on our fixed income. We typically travel 4-5 times a year with most of it being free or close to free. So glad to have all the support from the wonderful bloggers! Thank you!

Hi Daraius! Thank you so much for responding to my request! I am your big fan!