Image by Photography by Anne Rick Ingersoll, frequent flier expert and author of The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook.
Rick Ingersoll of South Carolina amassed the equivalent of 25 free domestic round-trip tickets in one year.
December 16, 2010 (HILTON HEAD, SC) – Using techniques he teaches in his book The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, author and blogger Rick Ingersoll has reported that he and his wife amassed one million frequent-flier miles in 2010 solely by taking advantage of credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses.
What does that mean in terms of actual travel for, as he puts it, ordinary folks? Twenty-five free domestic round-trip airline tickets for a family, eight to 10 business-class tickets to Europe, or four around-the-world itineraries.
“By maintaining an excellent credit score, we’ve found that applying for credit card signup bonuses can earn us the frequent flier miles we need to travel cheaply and often,” Ingersoll said.
The secret to his success, he says, is maintaining a good credit score and planning carefully:
“The inquiries for each credit card application nick your credit score by two to five points. But if you pay on time, under most circumstances that is the extent of the damage. And after we have reached the minimum spend to earn the sign-up bonus, we just put the card away and cancel it when the annual renewal bill comes due. The inquiries fall off your credit report in two years.”
One of the many offers he and his wife, Katy, took advantage of this year was a British Airways promotion that offered 100,000 miles for using its credit card and paying the $75 application fee. Together, the couple netted 200,000 miles on that deal alone.
With application and debit card fees, Ingersoll reports that he spent $1130 to earn over one million frequent flier miles – remarkably less than he would have spend if he paid for his future travel excursions.
Other Perks: Yet credit card/debit card bonuses aren’t the only techniques Ingersoll used in 2010 to get more miles and savings on travel. As he discusses in The Frugal Guy Handbook, he also used such opportunities as “Mistake Fares,” “Fare Wars,” “Rental Car Promos,” and – one of his favorites – “The Bump.”
“The Bump” is Ingersoll’s term for actively volunteering to be “bumped” from a crowded/over-sold flight. Airlines are required by law to compensate “bumped” passengers. On a recent trip to Alaska, he paid $400 for a ticket but got himself “bumped” so often that he ended the day with $1200 in travel vouchers.
Rick Ingersoll is frequently quoted in the travel media as an expert on free and frugal travel techniques that assure quality travel especially for those who think they can’t afford to travel.
For more information on Rick Ingersoll and his free-travel techniques, visit his blog at http://frugaltravelguy.blogspot.com.
About Rick Ingersoll:
Rick Ingersoll, author of The Frugal Travel Guy Blog and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, is constantly on the lookout for the best credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses. He posts travel tips daily on debit and credit card deals and on other interesting promotions with the goal of reducing his readers’ travel costs today and for the rest of their lives. He is also available for seminars and speaking engagements. A retired mortgage banker, Ingersoll and his wife live in Hilton Head Island, SC, and Traverse City, MI, when they’re not traveling the globe.