As I get ready to pull the trigger on another round of credit card applications I can’t help but to think of the reasons for exactly why I love signing up for credit card bonuses. After all it’s not just for the sake of earning hundreds of thousands of airline miles and hotel points. So, what is the real reason?

The real reason is that it offers me the possibility to travel and explore far off places for virtually no money, and by means that I would probably not otherwise have. Would I have traveled as much as I have in the past couple years if I didn’t have the miles and points to burn? The answer is: most likely not.

I love to travel for free.

Having miles and points to book amazing trips opens up the door to worlds of adventure and takes the stress out of budgeting for an expensive trip. Nowadays I find it harder to find the time to travel, rather the points to pay for the travel. Since I stumbled into the world of credit card offers and the many ways of earning an (almost) endless supply of points I have been intrigued by it; how I find the next deal, the best offer, maximize my points, etc.  I’m like a coupon clipper of the points and miles world. I love to budget travel, be frugal, and at times spend as little as possible. And of course other times I enjoy splurging on 5 star hotels and living the high life.

Most of us do not sign up for credit cards just to earn the points–after all the end goal is not to hoard as many points as possible, and hopefully your not the one that does. The end goal is to open up opportunities for exciting travel that we would normally not be able to afford. This can be from booking an economy flight to South America to backpack the gringo trail on less than $1,000 a month or posting up in luxurious Europe hotels that run for $600 that you would otherwise never even think about paying for out of pocket.

So, this is why I love signing up for credit card offers.

I get excited when I apply.

I will admit, I do get a tad bit giddy when I click the submit button on a lucrative credit card offer. For me it’s almost like pulling the handle on a credit card application slot machine of sorts–you don’t know what the result will be, but you hope for the application to come back as approved. All I can think about when clicking the submit button is, “where can I go to next?” Future travel plans run endlessly through my head, and no doubt I get excited.

The funny thing is, after all they are just credit cards. I am not even applying for the credit card to get more credit. Hell, I could pay for everything in cash if I wanted. The only reason I use credit cards in the first place is to earn points and miles. Nowadays this comes second nature to me. I don’t even carry a wallet anymore, I just have an iPhone case with a card holder slot for my driver’s license and two credit cards. Credit cards are so deeply engrained in our consumer spending patterns they allow us to spend by solely that method. That cannot be said of most other countries. Try charging your coffee with a card in an Andean village in the highlands of Ecuador…not happening.

And that is what I find really funny because quite possibly the only reason I am in that said village to begin with is because I have charged every purchase for the past year with my card back home.

Americans get many great offers. We are lucky.

The fact that as Americans we have access to numerous high value credit card offers and that one can almost continuously apply for new cards to earn 500,000+ points per year is fairly unique. Look at the card offers in Europe for example. Not that these offers have just automatically landed in my lap, and I can’t deny that I don’t spend endless hours staring at a computer screen reading the fine print, but sometimes it just seems too easy. I will admit at times it seems unreal that I can travel the world for, well, basically free.

That is why I love signing up for credit card offers.

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