Disclaimer: The information provided on FreePassengers.com is for informational purposes only.  It should not be considered legal or financial advice.  You should consult with a financial advisor or other professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. 

Navigating the world of travel rewards successfully can change your life and let you travel the world for next to nothing. By sticking to a few key best practices you’ll ensure success and soon be off on your first trip.

Be responsible with your finances.

Take care of your credit score, spend within your means, and don’t apply for too many cards.

Forget about cash, pay with your credit card on every purchase possible…

…unless you’re charged an additional fee—perhaps on rent payments—for using a card. Fees can cancel out the value of any points earned.

Stay organized using a points manager and keep your records up to date.

It will make trip planning much easier, and keep you aware of any upcoming expirations or annual fees.

If prices are equal, book on the airline or hotel that you have the most points with or that will get you closer to your points goal.

Staying loyal to a rewards program will also help you achieve elite status, which brings a variety of benefits.

Understand how credit scores work and check yours periodically.

Our Credit Score 101 guide will get you started on the basics.

Pay your bills on time—and in full—every month.

This is the most important tip when managing your credit.

Stay up to date on new card offers.

The best new offers are sometimes only available for a limited time; keep yourself informed to ensure you take advantage of the most lucrative rewards out there.

And don’t discard that credit card marketing letter / e-mail before first taking a look, targeted offers are often better than the rewards you would find online.

Apply only for the best offers, and limit new card applications to a maximum of one every 3 months.

This is part of being financially responsible; avoid applying for too many new cards to often.

Downgrade annual fee cards you no longer want to pay for.

It’s better for your credit than canceling them altogether, and it will save you some cash to downgrade cards you don’t benefit from.

Use and switch active dining rewards strategically.

Your credit cards can only be hooked up to one dining rewards program at a time, so use the program that most benefits your current goals. And look out for sign-up offers!

Every. Point. Counts.

Even if you rarely fly on the airline you’re traveling on or never stay at the hotel you’re booked at, take the extra two minutes to sign up for their rewards program and claim the points—they might come in handy down the road.