Want to Earn More Miles? Get a Credit Card and Help Cranky


I’ve received a lot of expressions of support from readers over the years wishing that they could do more to help support Cranky financially. Until today, the main way you could help was by using Cranky Concierge, and that’s not changing. But there are many of you who don’t need or want our service. So what else can you do?

Starting today, I’m getting in on the credit card game. A lot of our clients ask us about ways to get more miles to use for trips, and one of the best ways is by signing up for credit cards. You’ve probably seen a million other blogs talking about different credit card deals, and there’s a good reason. Credit cards pay pretty solid referral fees.

You’re not going to see me writing about credit cards and pushing deals. That’s not what The Cranky Flier is about, and I have no interest in changing that. But I will be maintaining a page on the site (you can see the link in the menu bar up top) that will have the latest credit card deals. Maybe, on occasion, if there’s something truly amazing, I’ll post on a Wednesday (as I’m doing today) so that it doesn’t interfere with the regular posts. But don’t expect to see that often.

So, if you’re in the market for a new credit card or you’re just looking to get some miles, check the page out and see what’s there. If you have any questions, email me at cf@crankyflier.com and I’m happy to answer them. Here’s a list of the cards that I have on the page today:

[Update: My participation in this program ended on July 6, 2012 so all links have been removed. Thanks to everyone who participated.]

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32 comments on “Want to Earn More Miles? Get a Credit Card and Help Cranky

  1. OMG I can’t believe it. Please please please keep the blog about airlines and don’t go the way of the other mileage/points/card churning blogs.

    But anyway good luck if its helps you make ends meet esp. with the baby.

    1. Do NOT worry, Sanjeev. The blog is not changing at all. That space is way too crowded for my taste, and I’m not a churning kind of person anyway. But if people are interested in getting a credit card to earn more miles, then I will now be able to provide links so that we can both benefit.

      1. Ok that’s great to know! And yes I agree with below that a t-shirt, airport kiosk (presumably LAX/LGB), and Cranky card would top this off nicely :)

  2. When you next do an update add INK bold and Amex Gold business for business use. Both have nice signup bonuses and reasonable minimum spends. INK also uses the Ultimate Rewards Mall, which has some nice points multipliers. (My cable bill alone is good for about 6K points a year).

    For those reading this who’ve never done the credit card bonus route, earlier this week I booked a pair of first class tix Newark to Nairobi for 300K miles with Cranky’s help. Last year we did First to Beijing for 250K. Of those more than half a million miles, I flew about 100K of them over 2 years (barely making Gold on CO).

  3. Interesting, I’ve actually been wanting to finally break down and get a mileage card, but have balked at the time and effort required to do comparison shopping. If you could set up some kind of comparative matrix, I’d be glad to get a card through you.
    One request: USAirways card. (Don’t laugh at me…)

  4. I have the United MileagePlus Club Card and as a nonrev that really gets use out of his benefits (read: will not buy an airline ticket if at all avoidable) I think the benefits are VERY well worth the extra $300/yr, mostly because it is the cheapest route to what equates to annual membership to United Clubs (and other *A clubs). I also enjoy that it has no foreign transaction fees!

  5. Consider the Capital One Venture card if you’re an international traveller. They don’t charge any fees for international usage (something that 99% of the other cards do – I’m going to be canceling my Chase Continental (now United) and my Delta Amex Gold and switching exclusively to the Venture card this year.

  6. Awww, I was hoping there would be a Cranky Flyer branded card! That would be fun to pull out when checking in for a flight :)

  7. I have both the Southwest and an American Airlines cards. Southwest is a Signature and offers a good return for points. I also like the $99 fee is returned with a 6,000 point anniversary gift (worth $100 in travel). Citi offers (offered) a Bronze AAdvantage card which has no annual fee, but gives one point for every $2 spent.

    1. Offered, I believe, is the correct answer. My wife has a Citigold account and the debit card was tied to AA miles but not any more. Perhaps the credit card is different?

  8. Will you be manning your own airport kiosk? If so location and concourse please. I’ll stop and say hello instead of pretending to be in a rush.

    1. I should do that, James. I can harass people and throw crappy t-shirts at them while yelling at them to get a free flight. Sweet.

  9. I’m just glad that the comments on this post have been pretty classy. I was prepared for the worst when I saw the content and that there were 19 comments on it..

    1. Hey, No shame in making money! I know flight attendants who make upwards of 3 THOUSAND bucks per month hawking credit card applications. GOOD LUCK.

  10. Thanks for posting this Cranky! If there are any new card deals, please feel free to share with us!

  11. Any good Alaska Airlines deals? Love their Debit card, as there are not many options to earn miles w/o credit card. Just too bad its BofA

  12. I like your approach – keeping it available as a page, but otherwise out of the mainstream. I agree with yours and others assessments, far too many travel bloggers have merely become CC bloggers. Bummer. Love your stuff.

    From a pure curiosity standpoint, what is the rough range of the kickbacks they give?

    Thanks as always!

    1. Ray – Good question. It all depends on the card, but referral payouts can be anywhere from tens to even a couple hundred dollars or more when someone signs up.

  13. I’m a big fan of this site because it’s not a shill for credit cards and Cranky has been very above board in telling us when a travel provider has provided their services gratis.

  14. Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident. I bookmarked it. This article is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

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