Getting credit cards can be scary. And up until about three years ago, I refused to apply for a credit card.

Probably because I was afraid I would go into debt and that getting credit cards would hurt my credit score.

But those are just a few of the myths and misconceptions about applying for credit cards. And now three years later, I have nearly two dozen credit cards, and my credit score is over 750!

When I applied for my first credit card three years ago, I wanted to get a sign-up bonus for the Gold Delta Skymiles American Express Credit Card so that I could take my fiancé on a birthday getaway. I checked my credit score (check your credit score for free on Credit Sesame), and my credit score was barely 650. I was not at all confident that I’d be approved, but I also figured I had nothing to lose.

To my surprise, I was approved! And after spending 3,000 dollars over the course of a few months on things I was already buying or paying for (like expenses and bills), I earned 50,000 bonus Delta Skymiles.

And just like that, I was bitten by the travel rewards credit card bug. (Note: this only works if you pay off your balance every month without fail!)

To date, I’ve redeemed over ten thousand dollars in free travel, thanks to those reward credit cards! Here are a few of my favorite travel brags:

 

1. I’ve stayed for free at hotels in Hawaii, Phoenix, Miami, and Washington D.C.

The American Express Hilton Honors credit card has allowed me to stay for free in more Hiltons than I can count.

 

2. I’ve stayed in a two bedroom, 1400 sq. ft. suite in Puerto Rico for free.

Again, Hilton Honors!

 

 

3. I’ve stayed for free at the Park Hyatt in Australia.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, I’ve transferred tens of thousands of points from Chase to Hyatt and used those points to stay for free at some of the most beautiful hotels around the world.

 

4. I’ve stayed for free at the Park Hyatt in Chicago and the Andaz West Hollywood.

Again, thanks to Chase Sapphire Preferred! These Hyatt hotels tend to cost a couple hundred dollars per night.

 

RELATED: How to Use Rewards Credit Cards to Travel for Free

 

5. I used my Gold Delta American Express Card to earn miles for two round-trip flights to Australia.

This one thing saved my spouse and me almost $3,000!

So yes, I have 20 credit cards in my wallet. But those credit cards are my free pass for traveling the world, and my credit definitely has not suffered. Want to learn more about how to travel for free with credit cards?

 

UP NEXT: Top 5 Credit Cards to Earn You Free Travel

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