Almost everyone is interested in free travel and reading frequent flyer miles sites like mine can be a bit overwhelming due to the sheer amount of information available. What I provide on this page is a simple 3 step plan to getting started in the frequent flyer game. Once you have completed these steps, you can move on to our “Easy Quarter Million” and get started earning your points and miles for free travel.
Note: This part will be a whole lot easier if you do it on a desktop computer instead of a phone.
Step 1: Sign up for the most useful frequent flyer programs.
This is sort of an obvious step to earning miles and points but since there are hundreds of airline, hotel, and other programs available which ones should we sign up for? Since the programs sometimes offer promotions for new customers, I prefer to sign up for just the core programs initially and add the others either when I need them or when there is a promotion for free points for doing so. Click on each of the links below, fill out the information and write down your login information for each one on our Getting Started Worksheet that you can print out. This part is important because you will be using it for step 2. Please note that we are adding Qantas due to its excellent award search engine rather than actually accumulating points on it. Also while there is a ton of information on each signup page about the programs, don’t worry about reading it all right now, just sign up for the programs so we can get you started. You can always go back later to read the promotional materials. Make sure to complete the confirm your email step for the programs that have it as well.
- American Airlines AAdvantage
- British Airways
- Qantas Airlines
- Delta Skymiles
- United Airlines Mileage Plus
- Hilton HHonors
- Intercontinental Hotel Group
- Starwood Preferred Guest
Step 2: Sign up for AwardWallet
AwardWallet is a great free tool for tracking almost all of your frequent flyer and points information in one place. It will also let you know of any points or miles that are about to expire so you can take action to make sure that doesn’t happen. It has a mobile app that will free you from having to carry around a wallet full of loyalty cards and will give you all of your account numbers in one centralized spot. While there are other similar quality sites, this is the one I use and the one I recommend.
Now take each of the logins you created before from your worksheet and add them one at a time. Once you have them added, with a single click it will transfer you to the loyalty site and log you in automatically without you having to enter the login information again.
If you have a smartphone such as an iPhone or Android you can also now download the AwardWallet app and have all of this information available on your phone as well!
Step 3: Check your credit with Credit Sesame or the credit bureau’s.
If you just want a quick look at your credit, a good free service to use is Credit Sesame. It takes a quick look at your Experian credit report (one of the three big credit bureaus) and gives you a score as well as advice on how to improve your score. Once you get more into it, I suggest getting the individual reports from the three bureaus as we show you in our Credit Repair 101 page, but for a quick look, Credit Sesame will do. It takes three easy steps to view your information. The following are screen shots of the respective pages. Click here to actually enter your information, but read on if you want an overview before you start.
A) Enter your email and password (the below is just a screen shot)
B) Enter your name, address and Social Security Number. Only select the first checkbox so you don’t sign up for the credit monitoring service. Again, the below is just a screen shot.
After you hit get my data, it will ask you some verification questions about your debts to make sure it is really you who is trying to access this and not someone else using your info. Answer the verification questions they ask, such as car payments and car types, or simply not my information if none of the answers apply. Assuming you can answer the questions successfully, you will get moved onto the next step. If you didn’t answer the questions correctly, it may require you to contact the bureau directly to find out why.
C) You may have to hit ok on one more screen, but you then should be looking at your Credit Score on the left side of the screen! If your credit is 740 or above it is considered excellent and you should be able to get any type of credit card you want. Between 680-740 is considered good, and between 640 and 680 is fair. If your score is 680 or under, you should probably check out our Credit Repair 101 article to help get some of the bad information off of your credit report. While you are doing that, why not look at some of our No Credit, No Problem articles?
That’s it! If your credit is 680 or above you can probably just go to getting started earning miles with our Easy Quarter Million Miles program.