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Scott: I, too, was afraid. I had an “excellent” credit score and viewed it like an honor roll report card. I didn’t want to mess it up. At the same time, I saw all these people taking awesome trips using miles instead of money.
Credit Cards and Credit Score
Just open up a travel credit card, they said!
Me: But the TV financial gurus say don’t! And when you open a credit card doesn’t your credit score drop?
Moment it hit me… the TV geniuses weren’t talking about me. They were simplifying the message. Too many Americans can not or do not pay their credit card bills in full and on time. And they’re right, those folks should NOT participate in our hobby!
But whether I’m broke or I’m ballin’, I pay all my bills. I despise high-interest debt. Are you like that? Then you’re ready to become a Million Mile Secret Agent. Have a friend like that? Invite them to our secret society of people who have no business flying in Business, yet we do it like it’s our business.
If you’re not sure if you want to get your first travel credit card — or you’re not sure if you want to encourage your friend or loved one to jump in — consider this… your credit score doesn’t matter too much if your finances are a hot mess. Don’t get involved with travel rewards if you are spending more than you make each month.
Here’s how to rock at this — use your credit card like a debit card. Don’t buy what you can’t afford. And enjoy amazing credit card benefits like extended warranty protection and bonus miles.
And here’s another beginners’ tip: keep your no annual fee credit cards open forever — even if you don’t use them much or at all. Why? Because length of credit history helps you. I never close my no annual fee credit cards. There are a few I hardly use. For those, I put a calendar reminder that alerts me every 6 months to make some kind of purchase so the bank doesn’t close it for lack of use.
Ready to Get Your Feet Wet?
We recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card as the #1 card for beginners. I’ve had this credit card for many years. Once you open the card, come back here and we’ll show you exactly how to use the points for flights, hotels, cruises, rental cars, and more.
Plus, we’ve got an amazing community of humans who started out just like you. And they’re happy to help you too!
Pay your bills on time and in full, and you can reap wonderful travel rewards. If you’re able to use your credit card like it was a debit card, this is a hobby that will upgrade your life! It has for me. 🙂