How to Fly for Free: Master the Points Game & Travel Cheap
4.6 (112 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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How to Fly for Free: Master the Points Game & Travel Cheap

Maximize credit card travel rewards without ruining your credit score. Go from beginner to free-flight ninja in 1 hour.
4.6 (112 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
3,137 students enrolled
Created by Daniel Stanford
Last updated 1/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $40 Discount: 75% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Choose the best credit cards for earning free flights.
  • Maintain a strong credit score while earning free flights.
  • Avoid common mistakes beginners make when earning and redeeming frequent flier miles.
  • Maximize the value of their travel reward points.
View Curriculum
  • This course is meant for U.S. Residents or anyone eligible to apply for credit cards in the U.S. (The lessons in this course focus on U.S. airlines and credit cards.)
  • If you already know your credit score, that's fantastic! If not, consider signing up for a free account at a site like before beginning the course.

Please note that this course is designed for United States residents and anyone eligible to apply for credit cards in the U.S. All of the lessons focus on U.S. credit cards and U.S. airlines. 

In this travel-hacking course, I'll teach you a few simple strategies I've used to earn hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles. In one hour, you'll learn exactly how to maximize the benefits of travel-reward credit cards, which cards to apply for, and how to keep earning points and miles year after year—all with minimal impact on your credit score.

Start Earning Free Flights Immediately with Quick, Practical Advice

In this course, you'll learn:

  • How to pick the best travel-reward cards for each airline.
  • Which cards allow you to earn big sign-up bonuses again and again (and which don't).
  • Secrets the travel-hacking pros use to make the most of their frequent-flier miles. 
  • How using credit cards to earn free flights really affects your credit score.
  • How to avoid the most common mistakes amateurs make when earning and redeeming miles.

Most travel-hacking resources are overly complicated. This course isn't one of them.

Dozens of friends have told me they're overwhelmed by all the travel-hacking advice out there. These friends don't want to juggle dozens of credit cards so they can fly half way around the world every month. They just want to earn a few free flights a year or learn how I fly business class for free every time I go abroad. I designed this course with those friends in mind. 

If you're a beginner, this course will walk you step-by-step through exactly which cards to apply for (and in what order). By watching a series of short videos, you'll learn what frequent flier miles are really worth, the minimum value you should always get every time you apply for a new card, and how to spot a bad deal a mile away.

In just under one hour, you'll emerge a free-flight ninja ready to see the world for next to nothing.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for anyone interested in maximizing U.S. credit card bonuses to earn free flights on major U.S. airlines with minimal impact on their credit score.
  • It's ideal for busy people who don't have time to manage lots of credit cards or obsess about the miles they're earning every time they make a purchase.
  • You'll need to be eligible to apply for credit cards in the United States and have a credit score above 620 to get the most out of this course.
  • This course is not recommended for advanced travel hackers who are looking for complex strategies for earning free flights.
Compare to Other Travel Hacking Courses
Curriculum For This Course
Expectations & Essential Vocabulary
3 Lectures 04:51

In case you missed this video when you signed up for the course (or just want a refresher), this short introduction provides an overview of what we'll cover. 

Preview 01:25

By the end of this video, you'll be able to identify common travel-hacking myths, determine how much time it really takes to earn free flights, and set realistic goals to fly for free with minimal effort.

Preview 03:23

The attached PDF provides an overview of jargon and essential concepts that every good travel-hacker should know. By reviewing this short glossary, you'll have a better understanding of how to optimize the ways you earn and redeem miles. As an added bonus, you'll find it easier to understand what people are discussing on message boards, blogs, and other types of online travel-hacking resources.

Key Terms & Concepts
Credit Score Considerations
3 Lectures 07:20

Lots of people think opening and closing credit cards will have a serious negative impact on their credit scores. While it's true that there are some negative potential side effects of playing the travel-points game, they might not be as devastating as you've heard. By the end of this video, you'll be able to identify some common myths about how opening and closing credit cards impacts your credit score. You'll also be able to identify the risks of frequent credit card "churning" more objectively. 

Preview 05:50

Wondering how high your credit score will need to be to qualify for certain types of travel-reward credit cards? By the end of this video, you'll be able to determine how your credit score will impact your options for earning free flights.

Getting Approved

Credit Scores Needed for the Best Cards
Best Airlines & Cards
2 Lectures 18:13

By the end of this video, you'll be able to identify the best credit cards for earning miles on different airlines.  

Best Airlines & Cards

In this video, you'll get a direct comparison of all the best no-fee cards and get advice on which card to apply for first. For a zoomable version of the comparison chart, see the attached PDF file.

Card Comparison Chart
Maximizing the Value of Your Miles
2 Lectures 07:52

By the end of this video, you'll be able to calculate and maximize the value of miles when redeeming them.

What's a Mile Worth?

By the end of this video, you'll be able to identify common mistakes people make when earning and redeeming miles and identify simple ways to avoid them.

Common Mistakes
Advanced Strategies & Finding the Best Bonuses
4 Lectures 16:47

In this video, you'll learn about strategies that advanced travel hackers use to earn free flights and other travel perks. Keep in mind these strategies should only be used once you have a strong understanding of the basics and have already maximized the bonuses you're able to obtain with no-fee credit cards. 

Advanced Strategies

Update: Since this video was recorded, Chase has reduced the mileage bonus on the Sapphire Reserve to 50,000 points. This is the same bonus typically offered for the Sapphire Preferred card, which has a much lower $95 annual fee that is usually waived for the first year. In this scenario, you're better off getting the Preferred because you'll get the same 50,000-point sign-up bonus without the $450 annual fee of the Reserve. 

With that said, I would seriously consider getting the Reserve at a bonus of 60,000 points or more. You'll get $300 in travel credits to offset the annual fee, plus a few other benefits that experienced travel hackers love. For instance: access to Priority Pass airport lounges, a credit for Global Entry fees, and a 50% bonus if you redeem points when booking flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website (vs. the 25% bonus of the Sapphire Preferred).

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

In this article, you'll learn where to find the best sign-up bonus offers from the banks to ensure you're getting the maximum value every time you apply for a new card. 

Finding the Best Bonuses

Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
About the Instructor
Daniel Stanford
4.6 Average rating
112 Reviews
3,137 Students
1 Course
Travel Hacker & Personal Finance Geek

Daniel Stanford is a graphic designer who has been obsessed with bargain hunting, saving, and investing ever since he used double coupons and a roll of nickels to buy his first set of Hot Wheels. In 2009, he was upgraded for free to a business-class seat on a flight from Stockholm to Chicago. After several mimosas, a reindeer filet mignon, and a long nap in his lie-flat bed, he decided he'd never again suffer the agony of a coach seat on an overnight flight. Since then, he's accumulated tens of thousands of dollars in free airfare from credit card bonuses.

Daniel holds and MFA in Interactive Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He enjoys helping people save money, invest wisely, and create beautiful presentations, websites, and apps.