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Earning Airline Miles on the Ground

8:00 AM

It's true that I earn most of my miles and points on the ground and not in the air.  I rarely travel out of state for work or rarely pay for an airline ticket (because I travel cheap) which can make it hard to rack up airline miles.  Introductory credit card offers are by far the best way to start earning miles and points.  

How it works:
Credit card companies buy miles from airlines and then offer great introductory offers with usually 50,000+ miles to consumers if they sign up for the credit card.  Most cards require an annual fee that is usually waived for the first year and these credit cards usually carry a higher interest rate.  

How to get the miles or points:
Some cards give you miles or points after your first purchase and other cards require you to charge a minimum of $3,000-$5,000 in usually 90 days to qualify for the introductory offer.  They key is to put ALL the purchases you can onto these cards including utilities, phone/internet/cable bills, groceries, entertainment, dining, etc.  Remember to ALWAYS pay off your monthly balance so you aren't charged interest.  

Cards with an annual fee:
Some credit cards require you to pay an annual fee upfront like the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa Card.  I have paid the annual fee on this card because $69 or $99 is a small price to pay for 50,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards (worth approximately $900 in Wanna Get Away Fares).  

What to do if you don't want to pay the annual fee after one year:
If you don't want to pay the annual fee that is sometimes required by these credit cards, then cancel the card.  I have cancelled several travel credit cards and it's amazing how persistent the credit card companies can be to keep you as a customer.  I have been offered several thousand miles for not canceling and I even received an offer to waive the annual fee for another year by just making a few purchases.  Sometimes you can also move to a card that doesn't have an annual fee. 

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.  Feel free to follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

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