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Many people can’t apply for credit cards for a variety of reasons: whether they are about to apply for a mortgage and can’t have any hard pulls on their credit or they simply aren’t credit worthy enough to get approved for a card (which has gotten much harder since the credit crisis hit). When my clients ask for ways to get points without credit checks, I always recommend airline debit cards. Most of the major US airlines have them, but Continental has been the most generous and easy to get in my opinion.

Continental currently offers branded debit cards with Chase checking accounts. Until October 31, 2010, you can get 25,000 miles for signing up for a new account.
Personal account– $25 a year, 1 mile for every $2 spent. Or pay $65 a year and earn 1 mile for every $1 spent.
Business account– $65 a year, 1 mile for every $1 spent.

The gameplan:
1) You can open these accounts online , over the phone or in a Chase branch.
2) Use $100 to open the account
3) You get the first 10,000 just for setting up a direct deposit or making 5 credit (non-pin) transactions with your Continental debit card. I repeat: You will NOT earn miles for purchases that require a pin. If prompted, always hit “clear” or cancel. Let the cashier know you want CREDIT.
4)  You get the remaining 15,000 for making 5 additional credit (NON PIN) purchases.
5 You can sign up for a business account even if you don’t have an official business. Just use your social security number and say you are a sole proprietorship if asked (ex. Ebay business)
6) The yearly fee will be pulled after about 6 weeks, so make sure you leave enough of a balance to cover it.
7) Once the miles post, reapply the next calendar year for another 50,000 total points. Yes, as long as they are running this offer (which they have kept extending for well over a year), you can reapply the next calendar year.
8 ) You can open both a personal and business account and then link them you can manage from one log-in.
About an hour of work and $90 for 50,000 Continental points- not bad if you ask me!
9) Coupons can only be used once. So don’t print a coupon and share with friends. They need to go to the link, refresh and print a coupon with a newly generated code.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

While this premium card has one of the highest annual fees on the market, it has several valuable perks that could make it worthwhile, depending on your travel patterns. These include a $200 annual airline rebate, lounge access, free Hilton Gold status and free Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5X points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year for baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations worldwide. Terms Apply.
  • Enroll to enjoy the benefits of complimentary Hilton HHonors™ Gold Status with your Platinum Card.®
  • No interest charges because you pay your balance in full each month.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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