The free travel game relies heavily on signing up for credit cards. Having a good credit score is one of the biggest aspects in being able to qualify for travel credit cards.
A good place to start is finding out what your credit score is. There are many free sites out there that give you a free credit score weekly or monthly. These websites make their money by offering premium upgrades and by credit card referral links.
There are a number of different credit bureaus that generally all report a different score for you. Each bureau has different algorithms on how they weigh pluses and minuses. Make sure you at least get your Equifax and TransUnion scores so you can have a good idea of where you are at.
According to credit.com, this is how they categorize scores by range:
- Excellent Credit: 781 – 850
- Good Credit: 661-780
- Fair Credit: 601-660
- Poor Credit: 501-600
- Bad Credit: below 500
Knowing that, most travel credit cards that offer a large sign up bonus will want good to excellent credit. Creditkarma.com has a really cool feature that gives you a median range of other applications’ scores so you have a good idea whether or not you will be approved.
Follow this link here to explore different credit cards and check out the average approval scores
For those with good credit, the Venture One a is good credit card option:
As you can see, the average credit score is a 695 for approved applicants. You can also see that credit scores as low as 632 have been approved. (as always, your mileage may vary)
Another great option is the Chase Freedom card. For a few more days, there is a $200 sign up bonus and you only have to spend $500 to get the sign up bonus. This card also has no annual fee as well as quarterly bonus categories, currently it is 5% cash back on gas. So if you spend $200 in a month on gas, you will receive $10 cash back, not bad.
Remember, if you are going to apply for multiple credit cards in a short period of time, do it all in one sitting on the same day. The banks will not be able to see that you are applying elsewhere if you apply for multiple cards back to back. You could apply for the Chase Freedom and the Capital One Venture card and get approved for both on the same day (assuming you qualify). That would give you $400 after you spend $1,500. That is a good return!
If you need help meeting your minimum spend be sure to check out chargesmart.com, you can pay your bills with a credit card (for a small fee). Do you pay your rent by mailing a check? Use radpad.com, they will charge your credit card and mail a physical check to your landlord. I have used it before and it works perfectly. They do charge about 3% but if it helps you reach your sign up bonus it is definitely worth it. Keep in mind, all cards are at least 1% cash back, so that 3% fee is really only 2% if you look at it that way.