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Old Aug 8, 12, 1:19 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Hi everyone!

I'm new to this forum and have been lurking for a while. I'm a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information that is out there concerning earning airline miles by using your credit card but it seems like a great opportunity if done right.

So, I'll be going back to grad school in the fall and will be paying significant tuition rates (~25k for the year). Ideally I am hoping to travel to London and Istanbul next summer and was planning on putting my tuition costs on a credit card. Now the question is which credit card should I apply for (preferrably one with no annual fees and low APR)? and if you all think this is even a doable feat? I have very very good credit and have always paid my credit card bills on time.

Any input on this would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 8, 12, 1:46 pm   #2
wcj
 
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Are you planning to run your tuition through a card and then pay back, either cash or via student loans? If not, then I do not think that your tuition should be placed on a rewards credit card. The fees (either annual fees or interest rates) will effectively obliterate any rewards you earn as typically, the interest rates are higher. IMO, you can't carry a balance and be in the game. I will admit that it's been awhile since I actually read any of the t & c s concerning interest rates as I pay off monthly, but I think you will find that the rates far exceed student loan rates, especially, if you qualify for some of the tax deductions they are allowing these days. I'm not saying that you could not apply for credit cards, get bonuses and then pay off monthly to get your tickets, but you need to plan on doing that without putting your tuition on the cards.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 2:02 pm   #3
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if you want air travel from the card, you will want to get a miles card w/mi's sign up bonus....look at the card info in this forum....there are a bunch...

also look at the mi's needed on each carrier...

lots of threads on this so take the time to look at the what card should i get posts....

check w/ the school to make sure there's no fees when you use a cc...

hope it works for you...
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Old Aug 8, 12, 2:03 pm   #4
 
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Hi wanderer786. Welcome to FT.

First, I will agree with wcj that you cannot play the credit card game if you carry a balance, unless it is on a card with 0% APR (some cards offer intro 0% APR for the first 12 months, or the like). You should always plan to pay your credit card bills in full each month. Also, you should make sure that your school does in fact accept credit cards for tuition payments, and does not charge anything for doing so.

Otherwise, putting your tuition and other school costs on a credit card is a great way to make a lot of miles and points. I think what you are trying to do is definitely doable. As for choosing the right card, we don't have much information to offer you advice. Are you only interested in airline cards, or do you need hotel points as well? What is your home airport? (That gives us an idea of what airlines you are able to fly). Do you have any miles/points in any programs currently?

In addition to having good credit, you must also have a good credit history, otherwise it may not be very easy for you to get multiple new cards. For example, hypothetically, if you've only ever had one card with a $1000 limit, but always paid it in full, you would have good credit, but would have difficulty in getting more than 1 or 2 decent cards approved. I assume you don't have any cards that would be helpful towards your goal? (cards that earn points that can be transferred to programs).

Sign up bonuses are the best way to get large chunks of miles quickly. But if you have a large transaction, like $25k, that you can put on a credit card and pay back, that's a pretty easy large chunk of miles as well.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 2:18 pm   #5
 
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I agree with wcj, as soon as someone tells me they are looking for a low APR, I tell them they are not ready to play in this credit card game. the cost and fees for the rewards cards are very high and only can be taken advantage of if you pay you bill in full on time every month. Someone who asks about an APR is thinking about carrying a balance. I would be happy to sign up for a card with a 35% apr if the signup bonus was great, but would not even consider a 0% APR unles the signup bonus is great.
If you always pay your bill in full and on time every month, the apr will be 0% forever on all these rewards cards.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 2:22 pm   #6
 
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+1. I neither know nor care what the APRs are on my cards. You'll most likely lose more making interest payments on a rewards card then you'll gain from the spending.
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Old Aug 8, 12, 2:26 pm   #7
 
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Most universities will charge extra for using a credit card - keep in mind, they pay a fee to the card companies - and it is almost never worthwhile to pay the extra 2-3% fee to get rewards points. (Exception is if you need a relatively small amount to reach the threshold for a bonus, or need a relatively small number of points to redeem an award you want.)

Most people will get more points from signup bonuses than actual spending. (Yes, there are people who drops $000,000's or even $millions/year on CC's.) You could probably get the points needed to take your trip to LON and IST from two Citii AA cards (see the "two-browser trick"). UA and US also have cards with nice signup bonuses and no minumum spend (although US is less useful for a trip like yours, because you will only get 40K for signing up and they don't have one-way awards, so it's not like you can accumulate 30K or 40K or 50K and use them to go in one direction, then use a different carrier to go in the other.)

I know some of what I've said is a little cryptic, but the information is definitely all out there.
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Old Aug 10, 12, 12:48 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer786 View Post
Hi everyone!

I'm new to this forum and have been lurking for a while. I'm a bit overwhelmed with the amount of information that is out there concerning earning airline miles by using your credit card but it seems like a great opportunity if done right.

So, I'll be going back to grad school in the fall and will be paying significant tuition rates (~25k for the year). Ideally I am hoping to travel to London and Istanbul next summer and was planning on putting my tuition costs on a credit card. Now the question is which credit card should I apply for (preferrably one with no annual fees and low APR)? and if you all think this is even a doable feat? I have very very good credit and have always paid my credit card bills on time.

Any input on this would be appreciated.

Thanks!
The short answer to your question: get credit cards for the sign up bonuses, not in order to put an actual spend on them if you can't pay full balance every month. And pay your tuition with a check. For which cards go to Mile Buzz and read, read, read...
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