How Double your Credit Card Sign Up Bonus (for most people)

Call me boring, but there is an exhilarating feel when you hit the final “submit” button when you apply for a credit card.  The moments feel like hours as they make a final decision as to whether or not you’ll be accepted for the 50,000 point bonus.  Finally the acceptance screen arrives and you bring out the champagne to celebrate.  The only thing sweeter would be a double bonus, but how do you double the credit card bonus?

The Need for Double Credit Card Bonus

Credit Card

Credit Card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

These celebrations pale in comparison to those that will happen when you take your (next to) free vacation.  The problem for a lot of people comes when they have 2, 3, 4, or more children and they want to take a family vacation.  Getting flights for two people is great, but when you’re looking for flights with a family of 6 people, that just ain’t cuttin’ it.

Those who have larger families find themselves in a struggle trying to use enough points and miles to severely reduce the cost of their upcoming vacation.  Sometimes it takes some creativity, but definitely worth the savings so let’s review some of the great ideas.

How to Double the Credit Card Sign Up Bonus

Ok, I know you’re expecting me to pull an elephant from a hat here, but that probably isn’t going to happen.  We see a lot of our worldwanderlusters missing out on big bonuses.  The best way to double your credit card bonuses is to apply for the same card for both you and your spouse.

We’ve written before about how a stay-at-home spouse can also apply for a credit card using the household income.  This is awesome.  It means that you can not only get 50,000 miles for the primary breadwinner, but you can also pick up 50,000 for the spouse, which now gives you 4 airline tickets.  Now you’re just paying for two, or if you pick up another card, sometimes you can get all six of you for just the cost of the taxes.

Don’t delay, and don’t hog all of the cards for yourself.  Make sure you’re splitting your applications between both spouses to maximize the bonuses!

Double the Credit Card Bonus (with time)

Living on Credit Cards

Living on Credit Cards (Photo credit: Images_of_Money)

Some credit cards will issue the same card to you (with time restrictions) time and time again.  Right now there are people who are taking AAdvantage of the Citi Executive World Mastercard and they’ve picked up the card 3 times in the last six months.  Have they paid $750 in annual fees.  Yes.  Does that sound painful, yes indeed.

The flip side is thinking about it this way:  with their 300,000 AAdvantage miles they’ll be able to take 7.5 people to Europe during the offseason and they’ll only have to pay for the taxes.  When was the last time you heard about someone who took five and half kids to Europe for $750?

Not all credit card issuers will give their bonuses multiple times.  Chase will only issue a bonus per card once.  American Express just changed their stance and now only allow one bonus per card per person.  Jump on the bandwagon an double the credit card bonuses before the well dries up.

Other Ideas on how to maximize your sign up bonuses

Some of these ideas might work for you to help you take more vacations for less.

  • Fly on separate airlines.  Nothing says that you have to all fly on the same plane to get to your vacation spot.  Plus dividing up the kids might reduce the amount of refereeing that you’ve got to do as a parent.  Why don’t you fly on Southwest with two kids, and let you sweetheart take the other two children on US Airways.  Brad talked about an incredible way of doing this with the companion pass that comes with the USAirways credit card.
  • Make sure you’re getting all of the cards- Did you know that there are 4 different Southwest Airlines credit cards?  That amounts to 200,000 Rapid Rewards points, which is easily enough for six airline tickets.  Take our advice that we just wrote about an you can have up to 400,000 Rapid Rewards.  Believe me, if you can’t take all 6 of you on a couple of vacations for that many points then you’re doing something wrong.
  • Use a Low-Cost-Carrier These are huge in Europe and Southeast Asia.  These airlines abound and offer very low cost options.  Of course you aren’t going to get a drink of water for free, and they might charge you for the use of the seatbelt, but they’re cheap.  Plus you can use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World MasterCard® points to help cover the cost of the flight.  If you go on the right weekend you can get flights for ULTRA cheap to awesome destinations.

How else do you double your credit card bonus?  Please share with us.  Thanks for Worldwanderlusting with us!

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