Now Is The Time to Sign Up for Credit Card Awards
December 2, 2010 (HILTON HEAD, SC) – When personal money management expert and radio personality Dave Ramsey appeared on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Show recently, something Ramsey said sent free travel expert Rick Ingersoll straight to his computer to pound out a rebuttal.
Ramsey, the author of New York Times best-seller Total Money Makeover, told Cavuto that Americans should not be “sucked in” by credit card companies’ special offers and rewards programs, such as frequent flier miles. “People are so arrogant they say, ‘I am smarter than Bank of America and smarter than City or Sears and I am going to take them on and I am going to win and beat them’,” Ramsey said. “Well…you are full of it, and you will use the card.”
Ingersoll, author of the award-winning blog The Frugal Travel Guy.com and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, couldn’t disagree more. “Now is a terrific time to sign up for rewards credit cards if you have the discipline to pay them off in full every month,” he says.
Ramsey’s position “left me feeling as if the average American is not capable of using credit wisely,” says Ingersoll, a retired mortgage banker who now travels the globe, largely for free, by taking advantage of such things as credit card reward offers. He shares his hobby-turned-expertise on the subject in his blog, in his book, and through speaking engagements and seminars.
Calling himself the “world’s expert on free flying,” Ingersoll says: “My wife and I have earned over one million airline and hotel points within the last year for a total cost of $1130 in application fees, and we never paid a penny in interest on the cards. “Why? Because we sign up, meet the minimum spend required on everyday living, pay off the card in full each month, then reapply for another great signup offer — over and over again.”
He admits credit inquiries can affect your credit score, but by only two to five points per inquiry. The key, he says, is keeping a close eye on your credit standing. And he believes anyone can do it.
“Sometimes people need to be given a little more credit for their ability to make sound decisions,” he says, noting that the millions of miles and points he and his wife earned this past year will afford them significant free travel. “We have been around the world twice using these techniques while Mr. Ramsey pays for his tickets and hotels. We’re pretty sure we have a better system.”
Bottom line: Ingersoll believes people should take advantage credit card companies’ scramble to attract customers with rewards programs “if we continue to apply and use our cards only to meet the minimum spend level. If the credit card companies are in trouble, let them up the bonuses all they want and we will give them applications and minimum spend, but never a days worth of interest”
For more information on Rick Ingersoll and his free travel techniques, visit thefrugaltravelguy.com.
About Rick Ingersoll “The Frugal Travel Guy”
Rick Ingersoll is the world’s expert on flying free and author of The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook. A retired mortgage banker, he splits his time between Traverse City, Michigan and Hilton Head, SC. Rick’s expertise includes frequent flyer programs, getting the “bump,” customer service requests, and using good credit ratings to take advantage of bank promotions. He has collected over five million frequent flyer miles and has a current “bankroll” of over 1.5 million miles and points. He shares his expertise in his book, The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, on his daily-updated blog, http://frugaltravelguy.blogspot.com, and through speaking engagements and seminars around the U.S. The Frugal Travel Guy blog was a 2009 Budget Travel Award winner presented by Tripbase.com.