The Help Me Travel Cheap Creed

I’ve been using Help Me Travel Cheap as a resource to help newbies use credit card sign up bonuses to earn frequent flyer miles for free flights around the world.

It’s been fun hearing back from so many of you about the trips you’re planning or taking.  To be honest, I sometimes get jealous of all the places you’re going.

Since this website focuses on helping newcomers, I get a lot of rookie questions – which is good.  It’s good because, while I think the frequent flyer community is extremely gracious in providing information, it is also hard for newcomers to digest it all.

So I’ve been feeling good about Help Me Travel Cheap and feeling good about all the folks who are now learning how to maximize credit card rewards.

But then this morning, I had an awful thought:  what if people aren’t using their credit cards responsibly?  What if they’re not doing what I’m doing and paying off their balances every month?  What if I’m just introducing them to a world of debt and credit collectors?

So, I decided to write this post. 

It’s not one that I can legally enforce or control, but I can plead with you to abide by the new Help Me Travel Cheap Creed.

  1. I will pay off my credit card bills each and every month.  If I’m ever unable to pay off my balance in full, I’ll cut up my credit cards, cancel them, and realize it’s a losing game to try and earn miles by going into debt.
  2. I will properly organize my credit card applications so I can avoid multiple annual fees.  (I think to successfully manage your credit card applications you must be organized.  You’ll need to know what you need to cancel and when.  This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever choose to pay the annual fee on a credit card, but it does mean you won’t pay eight annual fees just because you forgot.) 
  3. I will track, manage, and protect my credit score.  (I suggest using one of three options to track your credit score:  Credit Sesame, Credit Karma, and/or myfico.com.  The first two are free services, and the last is a paid service.) 

There you have it!

If you don’t want to abide by this creed, then please don’t follow this blog because I’m afraid that my advice will do more damage than good.  I want to be sure that I’m spending my time helping and not hindering your finances.

Comments

  1. heather123 says

    I’m a newbie and fully on board for the creed! I’m also a homemaker, so I’m especially interested in the new credit card act in effect October. You’re the first (and only) source that’s informed me of it, so please let us know how it impacts your family and credit apps. I just got into this game, and hate that it could end so soon for me!

    • Craig says

      Heather123,
      It will be interesting to see how things change in the future. I bet the upcoming changes will just be a hurdle to jump over instead of a deal breaker. At least I hope so …

  2. Kurtis says

    Great thoughts! As I’ve begun following this blog more closely I’ve had similar concerns for other “points junkies”. Thanks for the reminder about the potential pitfalls of this hobby.

    • Craig says

      Kurtis,
      “Potential pitfalls” is a perfect phrase. They hobby could get dangerous if you don’t control you personal finances in the midst of collecting all these miles.

  3. Jeff says

    I couldn’t agree more. Credit cards are dangerous if your your not organized and paying attention. I wouldn’t play this game if I didn’t pay off the balance each month. It’s very interesting with all the “unprofitable” credit card customers out there(most of us reading this blog), these companies are still making a lot of money. I read yesterday that Chase had a great 2nd quarter, beating market expectations!

    • Craig says

      Jeff,
      You’re right that it makes zero sense if you don’t properly manage your finances. Hopefully readers of this blog will be the smart ones who benefit from the promotions.

  4. minty says

    Hmm, I didn’t get approved for the AAdvantage Citi Card, applied through your website. I have an AAdvantage number and have good credit (though a lot of credit cards on my credit profile..could this be why?). Thanks

    • says

      Minty,
      usually when you get denied they’ll tell you the reason. If they haven’t done that you can call and ask for a reconsideration and explanation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *