Every so often, people ask me, how do you accumulate so many miles to fly around the world? How much do you have to fly to get all the miles?
The answer is, majority of my miles portfolio is made up from sign up bonuses from credit cards, and out of those, a huge chunk is from American Express cards. The rest of the miles come from casual flying, credit card spending, promotional events… etc. But they barely add up to 50,000 per year. In comparison, I redeemed 500,000 miles in the past year: a mini-around-the-world trip for 2 in business class(150K miles x 2), a trip to China and HK for a bachelor party with my best buddy (150k miles), and a roundtrip from Toronto to Vancouver in business class on the new 787-9 Dreamliner (50k miles).
This game is not for everyone. First, you need a decent annual salary, since most credit cards require 40-50k annual income. Secondly, you need a solid credit history, that means, you have not defaulted credit or declared bankruptcy in the past few years. Lastly, and most importantly, you need to understand how credit score works, and how applying credit cards can affect your credit score. I have previously posted a guide on this, please check it out here.