rewards points http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12574/all en-US 7 Easy Ways to Save on Travel Gear http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-598248080.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're getting ready for a big trip in the near future, you're probably discovering that buying travel gear can add up pretty fast. Maybe you're looking into investing in a good pair of hiking boots, a tent, and a sleeping bag. Maybe you just need new luggage or a backpack.</p> <p>Having the right supplies is a good way to ensure that the trip goes well, and some expenses just can't be avoided no matter what. The good news is your gear doesn't have to break the bank.</p> <h2>1. Shop Around for the Best Sales</h2> <p>Depending on where you're planning to go shopping, you'll always want to try to buy your items when they are on sale. This might mean buying last year's model, but if it's an investment piece such as sturdy luggage, you'll want to pick something that is timeless anyway.</p> <p>Some stores will have semiannual or annual sales, so ask a sales representative when their next sale will be. You can also subscribe to a store's email list to be notified of upcoming sales.</p> <p>When you're looking for the best deals on gear, start shopping earlier rather than later. Give yourself ample time before you leave on your trip and avoid paying full retail price at the last minute.</p> <h2>2. Check the Chain Discount Stores</h2> <p>Discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls are great places to look for steeply discounted travel gear. Find cheap travel gadgets like portable scales to weigh your bags (so you can avoid airline overweight baggage fees) and space-saver bags, which vacuum seal to store your clothing flat.</p> <p>These little items can add up faster than you'd imagine, but buying them at a discounter will ensure that your budget for gear goes much further.</p> <h2>3. Use Rewards Points</h2> <p>Some retailers offer rewards programs to encourage you to shop at their store more frequently. Eastern Mountain Sports, for example, offers a good rewards program that gives you a certain percentage back on your purchases in the form of a coupon that they mail out every so often. Especially when you're planning big purchases, make sure that you are getting reward points that can help defray the cost of future purchases.</p> <p>Other stores may further reward you for opening a credit card with them. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck?ref=internal" target="_blank">Store credit cards</a> can help you earn points faster and entitle you to special sales and discounts. If you're not familiar with their program, ask a sales representative before making your purchases. Just be sure you pay off your balance every month, because interest rates tend to be high on store cards.</p> <h2>4. Shop at the Right Time of the Year</h2> <p>To return to the example of Eastern Mountain Sports, this can be a great place to shop around the holidays. Often if you spend a certain amount, you will receive a gift card (usually for December, before Christmas).</p> <p>Even better are end-of-season sales (which often take place before the season is really over). Winter gear may go on sale as early as January; summer gear as early as July. Again, by planning ahead you can strategically purchase your travel gear when there are the best offers.</p> <h2>5. Consider Buying Secondhand</h2> <p>You don't always need your gear to be completely new and buying secondhand can be a great value if you're looking to significantly cut your costs. You can count on saving of at least 50% compared to buying new gear.</p> <p>There are some stores that specialize in secondhand gear and clothes, so check listings in your area to find out what your options are. You can also check online resources, like Craigslist and eBay, that will connect you directly with a seller.</p> <h2>6. Buy It When You Get There</h2> <p>Depending on where you're planning to travel, it may make more financial sense to hold off on your travel gear purchases until you arrive.</p> <p>For example, Nepal is a very common trekking destination and in the capital, Kathmandu, you can find entire streets filled with people selling sleeping bags, tents, and other trekking gear at steeply discounted rates from what you'd find in the United States.</p> <p>You can get quality, discounted gear in other places, too. In France, the store Decathlon offers good technical gear that is much more affordable than in the United States. Chamonix Alpine Equipment in Hong Kong has great prices on rock climbing shoes and other gear.</p> <p>Research your destination and find out how prices compare. Sometimes just waiting until you set off on your trip can save you a lot of money, plus the cost of transporting your gear there.</p> <h2>7. Does It Make Sense to Rent?</h2> <p>This is something every traveler needs to carefully consider. Sometimes rental costs can be exorbitant. Consider, for instance, renting a canoe at $45 a day. If you have the canoe for a week, you&rsquo;d have paid for the cost of the entire canoe.</p> <p>On the flip side, while you may not own the canoe, you do not have to haul it to your destination and back, store and maintain it, or find a buyer for it. All of that takes time &mdash; and money.</p> <p>Rentals often offer great convenience, especially if it's a one-time experience and not likely to be something that you will use again in the future.</p> <p>Whether you're buying new or used gear, or renting, there are many options to get a great value on travel gear. Decide what your priorities are and consider your budget before you get to the store. By doing a bit of research ahead of time, you can save a lot of money once you're ready to buy.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Travel%20Gear.jpg&amp;description=7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Travel%20Gear" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Easy%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Travel%20Gear.jpg" alt="7 Easy Ways to Save on Travel Gear" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-save-on-travel-gear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-beautiful-ski-resorts-to-visit-this-fall">7 Beautiful Ski Resorts to Visit This Fall</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-the-airport-faster">How to Get Through the Airport Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-these-sneaky-fees-on-discount-airfare">Beware These Sneaky Fees on Discount Airfare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-known-secrets-to-saving-money-on-your-next-cruise">10 Little-Known Secrets to Saving Money on Your Next Cruise</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel deals discounts gear luggage rewards points travel Wed, 25 Jan 2017 10:30:25 +0000 Nick Wharton 1877970 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways NOT to Spend Your Credit Card Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-not-to-spend-your-credit-card-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-not-to-spend-your-credit-card-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_000073626469.jpg" alt="Woman learning how not to spend credit card rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most credit card rewards go the way of our food scraps &mdash; down the drain. But it's not because they aren't valuable. Credit card <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">rewards can fly you to places</a> you couldn't otherwise afford to go. You can even redeem them for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards">free hotel stays</a> and rental cars. Yet many rewards go wasted because cardholders either don't understand how to redeem them or they mistakenly fail to do so by the expiration date. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-biggest-mistakes-you-can-make-when-redeeming-credit-card-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">7 Biggest Mistakes When Redeeming Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <p>Even if you're one of those card holders who uses their rewards, there's a good chance you could be flubbing it. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-american-express-membership-rewards-points">Not all redemption offers are created equal</a>.&nbsp;In fact, some rewards are far less valuable than others. Read on for our roundup of the worst ways to spend your credit card rewards.</p> <h2>1. Buying Stuff You Don't Actually Want</h2> <p>Redeeming your rewards for gift cards can be a great move &mdash; if you use them to purchase items you were going to buy anyway. Otherwise you'd be spending unnecessarily, which is contrary to the concept of a reward. Here's another tip: If you're going to trade in your rewards for a gift card, it's best to do so when the gift card is discounted (usually points are valued at one cent per point, so if you can get a $50 gift card for 4000 points, that&rsquo;s a good deal).</p> <h2>2. Redeeming Them for Overpriced Merchandise</h2> <p>With sites such as Amazon and eBay, it's easy to buy home goods and electronics for less than the retail price. And since credit card reward programs typically offer these items at an inflated price, redeeming your points or miles for a coffee maker or a digital camera is rarely a smart move. Better option: Get a gift card for Amazon or preferred vendor, and then buy the item at a discount.</p> <h2>3. Opting for a Cash-Out</h2> <p>Some credit card providers let you trade your points or miles for cash. Beware: It&rsquo;s likely you'll take a big hit on the redemption value. However, it can be better than nothing, if there are no other options (like gift cards) that you would use. It&rsquo;s better than letting your points expire. Again, look for a minimum one cent per point value.</p> <h2>4. Redeeming Them for Gas Cards</h2> <p>Gas is a major expense that most of us would love to trim down. Even still, don't be so easily romanced by credit card rewards that offer gas card redemptions. Many of these gas cards are tied to annual fees that you wouldn't otherwise pay at the pump. Others will require you to drive miles out of your way to the inconveniently located gas station that services your card, which could end up costing you more money than the gas card is worth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Credit Cards that Offer Gas Bonuses</a>)</p> <h2>5. Gifting Them to a Friend</h2> <p>In life, generosity isn't always rewarded &mdash; especially when it comes to your credit card points. If you decide to gift your points to a friend, you can get hit with fees to facilitate the transfer from your account to the other. If it helps, get a gift card instead, or redeem your rewards for whatever it is your friend needs.</p> <h2>6. Hoarding Them</h2> <p>Credit card rewards are only valuable if you use them. And while many people like to hoard as many points as possible in order to redeem a grand prize, this strategy is risky for two reasons.</p> <p>First, it puts you at risk of ending up empty handed. Many people save their rewards so long that they blow past the expiration date and end up with nothing.</p> <p>Second, since credit card companies and banks can alter the terms of their rewards programs at any time, the let-them-accumulate strategy could leave you with a load of rewards that have declined in value. That's why many experts advise you to redeem your rewards regularly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Expert Tips for Redeeming Rewards for Travel</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you maximize the value of your credit card rewards points?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-not-to-spend-your-credit-card-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation in 9 Months or Less with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire">How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom">Maximizing Rewards Programs with Points.com</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards gas cards gift cards redemptions rewards miles rewards points wasting points Tue, 31 May 2016 09:30:18 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1718094 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Reasons Your Debt Isn't Diminishing http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-your-debt-isnt-diminishing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-reasons-your-debt-isnt-diminishing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/scissors_cutting_money_000035636770.jpg" alt="Learning reasons why your debt isn&#039;t diminishing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your 2016 New Year's resolution was to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-why-i-need-to-find-31k-this-year" target="_blank">finally pay down all your debt</a>. But it's now May, and your balance has hardly budged. What's going on? Here are the top 10 reasons why your debt isn't dwindling &mdash; and what you can do to get debt-free by the end of the year:</p> <h2>1. You Are Still Using Your Credit Card</h2> <p>To quote my old sailing instructor: &quot;The boat is taking water, Missy. You might want to plug that hole before you start bailing. A'yup.&quot;</p> <p>Don't add to the debt you are trying to pay down. Leave your credit card at home, freeze it, or even cut it up. Just. Stop. Using. It. If you cannot pay cash for something, then you cannot afford it.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Have an Emergency Fund</h2> <p>Your car breaks down. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">Your computer breaks down</a>. You break down. If you don't have an emergency fund in place, all those unplanned costs go right back onto your credit card. Before you start reducing debt, you should first put $1,000 into a savings account.</p> <p>Life happens. Think of your emergency account as the financial equivalent to your car's air bag. It's more likely that you'll walk away from an accident if you've got something to cushion you against the crash.</p> <h2>3. Your Income Is Too Low</h2> <p>If you are using your credit card to pay for necessities like groceries or utility bills because you are short on cash, you will be in debt for a long time. Credit cards are a very expensive method of borrowing money.</p> <p>If you are in this situation, you need to raise your income by any (legal) means necessary. Can you get a part-time job? Can you save on housing by renting out a room in the house, even if that means you have to sleep in the living room or share a bedroom with your kids? Can you apply for food assistance? Now is not the time for vanity. Vanity is for rich people. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-ways-to-make-more-money-this-year?ref=seealso">100+ Ways to Make More Money This Year</a>)</p> <h2>4. You Are Keeping Up With the Joneses, and the Joneses Are Stupid</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-peer-pressure-keeping-you-poor">Peer pressure keeps you poor</a>. It's true. Many people would rather struggle to pay their huge credit card bills than admit that they can't afford lunch, concert tickets, private school for the kids, car insurance, etc.</p> <p>The people who make you feel bad about not spending money that you don't have are never the people who will help you get out of debt. Don't let other people dictate how you spend the money that you earned.</p> <p>Shut down the Joneses by telling them that you are saving up for your dream. For example, anytime anyone pressures me to spend money that I don't have I say, &quot;That sounds lovely, but I can't afford that because I am saving up for a camera body so I can work professionally as an architectural photographer.&quot; What's your dream? A home? A vacation? An education? Early retirement?</p> <p>Your dream is also a great motivator to get out of debt. My husband really wants to go to Easter Island for his 50th birthday (he's currently 48). He got serious about paying down our line of credit when he realized that we won't have the time to save up for that vacation if we don't pay down our debt by the end of this year.</p> <h2>5. You Are Only Paying the Minimum Balance</h2> <p>Banks love it when you only pay the minimum balance. The longer you take to pay down your debt, the more money they make by charging you interest. Even if you can only pay $20 more than your minimum balance per month, every little bit helps.</p> <p>For example, say you are carrying a $5,000 balance on a credit card with a 12% APR. If you pay the minimum monthly payment of $100, it will take you 70 months to pay off the card and you will pay an additional $1,966 in interest! But, if you raise your monthly payment to $120 per month, you can pay off the card in 50 months and pay $1,500 in interest. Just about anyone can create a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites">side hustle</a> to make an extra $20 per month. That little bit of extra work will save you $466 in interest!</p> <h2>6. You Aren't Paying Off Low-Balance or High-Interest Cards First</h2> <p>According to a Gallup survey, the average number of credit cards Americans carry in their wallets is at an all time low. (Good job, Americans!) Although 33% of Americans only have one or two credit cards, 18% of Americans have three or four cards, and 7% of Americans have more than seven cards. So, if you have debt spread over multiple cards, how do prioritize which card needs to be paid down first?</p> <p>There are two main schools of thought when it comes to paying down debt quickly: Pay off the loan with the highest interest rate first (the Avalanche Method) and pay off the loan with the lowest balance first (the Debt Snowball). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you?ref=seealso">Snowballs or Avalanches: Which Debt Reduction Strategy Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <p>When budgeting for either method, remember you will still have to pay the minimum balance each month on your other cards.</p> <p>With the Avalanche Method, you devote all your extra funds to paying down your credit card with the highest interest rate first. Obviously, the higher the interest rate, the more expensive it is to borrow money using that card. So, you will pay less interest in the long run, if you pay down your high interest rate card first. Once you pay down your card with the highest interest rate, you move on to throwing all your extra cash against the debt on the card with the next highest rate. Repeat until all your debt is gone.</p> <p>The only downside to this method is that your highest interest rate might also be the card with the highest balance. If this is the case, it will be a marathon, not a sprint, to pay down that debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Use a Balance Transfer to Cut Out Interest Fees</a>)</p> <p>The Debt Snowball is similar to the avalanche method except you use all your available cash to pay down the card with the lowest balance first. With this method you get the sense of accomplishment by paying off a card quickly, which can give you the motivation to continue throwing money at your debt.</p> <p>Both methods work if you are diligent. Use whichever method works best for you.</p> <h2>7. Your Payments Are Going Toward Fees</h2> <p>The best card is the one that combines the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">lowest APR</a> and annual fee with the greatest perks for your life. In order to compare cards and loans, you need to know how much you are paying in interest and fees on each tool.</p> <p>Speaking of fees. Don't be late with your payments. Late fees are a totally unsatisfying way to spend your money. If you get dinged with a late fee, call your lender and see if they will waive the fee for you. Lenders often have secret grace periods for late payments, but you have to ask. Pro tip: ask nicely.</p> <p>Banks also love to charge extra should you happen to use the wrong ATM. I have seen ATM fees as high as $3 per transaction! If you are like me and live far away from where you bank, make sure that you withdraw enough cash to pay for your life between bank runs, and be crystal clear about what ATMs you can use without getting dinged.</p> <p>Before you travel, make sure that your debit or credit card doesn't charge you an additional money exchange fee on top of the ATM fee.</p> <h2>8. You Are Buying for Reward Points</h2> <p>Many reward cards are more expensive than cards that don't have perks. Not only do reward cards generally have higher APRs, they also tend to come with a yearly fee. Are your rewards worth the extra cost? Do the math. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-if-an-annual-fee-credit-card-is-worth-it-for-you?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Decide If an Annual Fee Credit Card Is Right for You</a>)</p> <p>It's important to note that most reward card perks are only perks if you don't pay extra interest costs. If you cannot zero out your card balance every month, it might be less expensive to just buy discount airfare instead of trying to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-miles-and-points-for-a-big-award-trip?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">use mileage points to travel</a> on the cheap.</p> <p>Even if you are one of those rare birds who pays off their card every month and never accrues interest, you can still fall victim to purchase acceleration. People often buy things on credit that they would not have bought with cash if they know they are close to &quot;earning&quot; a reward.</p> <h2>9. You Don't Understand the Scope of Your Debt</h2> <p>A recent study showed that people have a pretty good idea about <a href="https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/research/epr/2015/EPR_2015_comparisons_brown.pdf">how much they owe</a> on their homes and their cars, but are terrible at estimating other types of debt. Researchers found that people estimate their credit card debt to be 40% less than what lenders report, and families underestimate their student loan debt by 25%!</p> <p>I have more than one bank account. I have more than one loan. I have more than one retirement fund. I use Mint.com to get a snapshot of all my banking on one page. This kind of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-free-or-almost-tools-and-resources-for-creating-a-new-2015-budget">finance app</a> is good for keeping track of all your accounts.</p> <h2>10. Your 0% Balance Transfer Period Has Expired</h2> <p>Obviously if you go from paying 0% interest to paying anything more than 0% interest for the privilege of using credit, it is going to cost you. But before you move your debt, do the math. Is it cheaper to pay the fee to transfer your debt to another credit card with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">0% balance transfer period</a>, or is it cheaper to just pay down your existing debt quickly?</p> <p>It's important to note that every time you open or close a card, your credit score will take a hit. Even if you are turned down for credit, just the act of having your credit checked by a lender will ding your credit. The lower your credit score, the harder it will be for you to get the best home or car loans. Think strategically.</p> <h2>11. You Are Not Talking to Your Lender</h2> <p>Have you called your credit card company recently and asked them to lower your APR? If you have been a longtime customer or have received a better offer in the mail, call your credit card company and ask for an interest rate reduction.</p> <p>While we are on the subject of lenders, have you talked to your bank or credit union about a debt consolidation loan? The interest rates on a Home Equity Line of Credit or a debt consolidation loan are often much lower than credit cards.</p> <h2>12. You Lack a Plan</h2> <p>Only one out of every three Americans has a <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/162872/one-three-americans-prepare-detailed-household-budget.aspx">detailed household budget</a>. This means that the majority of Americans have no clue where their money goes. It is impossible to make smart financial decisions if you are only guessing how and where you spend your money.</p> <p>People that successfully pay down their credit cards quickly throw every spare dollar at their debt. The only way to find every spare dollar is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-first-budget-in-5-easy-steps">create a budget</a>. If you have never created a budget, don't stress. It is way easier than you think.</p> <p><em>Have you successfully paid down a debt? What did you do? Share your debt-killing techniques with your fellow readers in the comments section.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-your-debt-isnt-diminishing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off">5-Day Debt Reduction Plan: Pay It Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-better-less-debt-or-more-savings">What&#039;s Better: Less Debt or More Savings?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-way-to-decide-which-credit-card-to-pay-off-first">The Simple Way to Decide Which Credit Card to Pay Off First</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-debt-in-10-minutes-a-week">How to Manage Your Debt in 10 Minutes a Week</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-prevent-a-debt-spiral">5 Ways to Prevent a Debt Spiral</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management avalanche method emergency fund high interest paying down debt rewards points snowball method Thu, 12 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Max Wong 1707447 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Store Loyalty Programs That Are Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/target_shopping_cart_000035488722.jpg" alt="Learning which store loyalty programs are worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've never taken advantage of store loyalty programs, then it's time to start. If you frequently visit the same stores, then you deserve to be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-pricing-secrets-grocery-stores-dont-want-you-to-know">rewarded for your purchases</a>. But not all rewards programs are the same. Some are more of a hassle than they're worth, while others are ultra-generous.</p> <p>Here are nine store rewards programs that are definitely worth your loyal dollars.</p> <h2>1. Starbucks</h2> <p>If Starbucks is a place that you visit frequently, then the <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.225262&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.starbucks.com%2fcard%2frewards" rel="nofollow">My Starbucks Rewards</a>&nbsp;program is a must. You can simply register online or download the app to your smartphone and accumulate points every time you visit Starbucks. There are different levels to the program, so the more you visit Starbucks, the more you will be rewarded. For instance, once you reach the gold level, every 12 drinks you purchase will earn you one free drink. You can even pay for your drinks using the app, and rewards members also receive exclusive deals and discounts throughout the month.</p> <h2>2. Target</h2> <p>Target offers its own unique apps to help shoppers find what they need faster, while saving more at checkout. Their Cartwheel app (available for <a href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/103561/2092">Android</a> or <a href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/103560/2092">iOS</a>) offers access to hundreds of coupons, which you can add to your mobile barcode to quickly scan at checkout. Additionally, <a href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/99528/2092">Target's REDcard</a> saves 5% in-store and online, and you can still use all of your favorite coupons and money-saving apps along with it.</p> <h2>3. Sephora</h2> <p>Sephora's <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.885673&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.sephora.com%2fprofile%2fbeautyInsider%2f" rel="nofollow">Beauty Insider program</a>&nbsp;is perfect for anyone who frequently purchases beauty products. With this multi-level program, you will earn points for every dollar spent, which can later be used to purchase items in the store. As a Beauty Insider, you will also have exclusive access to special products, free in-store beauty classes, select promotions, free items from time to time, and even a free birthday gift. When you accumulate enough points, you may receive an invitation to the Beauty Insider VIB Program, which grants you access to exclusive events and specialty products. <em>U.S. News</em> and <em>Refinery29</em> selected this as the best loyalty reward program for makeup mavens.</p> <h2>4. CVS Rewards</h2> <p><a href="https://www.cvs.com/extracare/landing.jsp?t=mySavingRewards">CVS Rewards</a> offers its shoppers coupons, exclusive deals, and cash back to spend in the store. This program is unique because it tracks what you purchase to provide you with customized coupons that fit your shopping habits.</p> <h2>5. Best Buy</h2> <p>With the <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1372516&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.bestbuy.com%2fsite%2fglobal-promotions%2fmy-best-buy%2fpcmcat309300050007.c%3fid%3dpcmcat309300050007%26type%3dcategory%26id%3dpcmcat309300050007" rel="nofollow">Best Buy Reward Zone</a>, shoppers are rewarded in a number of different ways. You can earn points for every dollar spent, receive exclusive offers and promotions, and have access to special events. The more you spend every year, the higher your status will be, which translates to even more money saved.</p> <h2>6. Safeway</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.259769&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Safeway</a>&nbsp;has mastered the art of the grocery store loyalty program. Now, every time you save at the market, you can save at the gas station as well. That's because with Safeway's Rewards Points program, you can turn every point earned into a discount at Safeway and Dominic's, as well as most Mobil stations. Simply use your rewards card at checkout to earn one point for every dollar spent. Once you hit 100 points, you will earn $0.10 off per gallon of gas.</p> <h2>7. Century 21</h2> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=318965.7&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0">Century 21</a> is one of the largest retail stores, and with its delightful array of offerings, it can be difficult to leave with only what you came in for. This is why the C21 Status program is so beneficial to frequent shoppers. It allows you to earn cash back, as well as access to express checkout lines and exclusive discounts. <em>Refinery29</em> selected this as one of the best store loyalty programs.</p> <h2>8. Bloomingdale's</h2> <p>Bloomingdale's <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1637099&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.bloomingdales.com%2faccount%2fsignin%3ffromLoyalty%3dloyaltySignIn" rel="nofollow">Loyalist program</a>&nbsp;offers points for every purchase made and double points for cosmetics and fragrance purchases. For every 5,000 points, you receive a $25 gift card. If you make big purchases at Bloomingdale's, then these rewards will add up quickly, and you can save even more by signing up for a Bloomingdale's credit card as well.</p> <h2>9. Gilt</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11438951-1441397967000" rel="nofollow">Gilt</a> offers a unique online-only loyalty program. You can earn points for things like visiting the site, making purchases, and connecting with the brand. The points can be redeemed for discounts, early access to sales, free shipping, and a variety of other goods and services.</p> <p><em>Do you know of any other store loyalty programs that are actually worth it? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-has-the-time-or-money-for-deals">Who has the time (or money) for deals?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping deals free stuff loyalty programs rewards cards rewards points Tue, 22 Sep 2015 09:00:24 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1567320 at http://www.wisebread.com NFL Extra Points Card: Fumble or Touchdown? http://www.wisebread.com/nfl-extra-points-credit-card-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/nfl-extra-points-credit-card-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-with-football-tickets-iStock_000004519967Small.jpg" alt="couple with football tickets" title="couple with football tickets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Because teams play only eight regular season football games at home, tickets to America's favorite games can be incredibly hard to obtain and increasingly expensive. According to the <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/193425/average-ticket-price-in-the-nfl-since-2006/">Team Marketing Report</a>, the average cost of an NFL ticket is $92.98, assuming you could find one. But wait &mdash; Barclaycard offers its NFL Extra Points credit card that can earn rewards in the form of tickets to any regular season game and even the Super Bowl.</p> <h2>How the Card Works</h2> <p>NFL Extra Points cardholders earn rewards for spending in the form of points in the NFL rewards program. You earn 1 point per $1 spent on most transactions, with 2 points earned per $1 on NFL or team purchases, such as game tickets and merchandise purchased in-stadium and at team Pro Shops.</p> <h3>Redeeming Points</h3> <p>When it comes time to spend your points, you have several options.</p> <p>Points can be redeemed for game tickets, gift cards at the NFL shop, or as statement credit or cash.&nbsp;</p> <blockquote></blockquote> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p>NFL tickets aside, this card does offer a handful of other valuable features:</p> <p><strong>Special financing on football tickets</strong>. When cardholders use this card to purchase tickets to football games from any participating NFL&nbsp;ticket team office, they will be eligible for financing on tickets.</p> <p><strong>20%&nbsp;off at NFLShop.com</strong>. All cardholders receive a 20% discount at NFLShop.com.</p> <p><strong>Visa Signature benefits</strong>. As a Visa Signature card, NFL Extra Points cardholders are eligible for travel accident insurance, purchase protection policies, and a concierge program.</p> <p>As always, I strongly recommend against getting a rewards card if you do not plan on paying all of your balances in full. Those of us who have credit card debt should look for a product with the lowest interest rate and not be tempted to spend more to earn rewards.</p> <h2>Considerations</h2> <p><strong>Only one point per dollar on most purchases.&nbsp;</strong>This nominal rate of rewards is like getting 1% cash back. Other cards offer bonus points for gas, groceries, or other common purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=review">Best Credit Cards for Everyday Purchases</a>)</p> <p><strong>Unsure Super Bowl seats.&nbsp;</strong>Before I go on a quest to earn points for Super Bowl tickets, it would be nice to know approximately how good those seats will be.</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee</strong>. You should reconsider if you plan on using your card for foreign transactions because the fee will cancel out any rewards you earn and end up costing you more. Instead choose a card with no foreign transaction fees to save yourself some money on foreign purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=review">Best Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>Since there is no annual fee for this card, it may be tempting to conclude that cardholders have nothing to lose by applying. Instead, you should consider what other rewards you could have earned if you spend the same amount of money on a different reward card. But if you would rather have NFL tickets, then this is the card for you. Since these are some of the most sought after and expensive tickets in the world of sports, this credit card can represent an excellent way for NFL fans to attend the game of their choice.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards?ref=review">Back to the Credit Card Guide</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nfl-extra-points-credit-card-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/crowdsourcing-experiment-barclaycard-ring-mastercard">Crowdsourcing Experiment: Barclaycard Ring Mastercard</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barclays-us-airways-premier-world-mastercard-review">US Airways Premier World MasterCard Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards">The Best Secured Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-fairaverage-credit">The 5 Best Credit Cards for People With Fair/Average Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barclaycard-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank">Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Review: A Promising New Card From an Old Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards barclaycard barclays credit card review points program rewards points Super Bowl Fri, 09 Nov 2012 10:36:54 +0000 Jason Steele 955656 at http://www.wisebread.com Maximizing Rewards Programs with Points.com http://www.wisebread.com/maximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/maximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-credit-card-451830759-small.jpg" alt="couple credit card" title="couple credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't fly or travel frequently enough to make the most of rewards points, but I still like <em>earning</em> them with the notion that someday I might be able to take advantage of them. However, I recently found out that most of my frequent flier rewards points had expired, and that made me angry! Although I accrued them for &quot;free,&quot; I would have liked the opportunity to use some of them even if they didn't equate to a rewards ticket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perform-a-credit-card-rewards-annual-review" title="Perform a Credit Card Rewards Annual Review">Perform a Credit Card Rewards Annual Review</a>)</p> <p>While I was checking on all of my points through various websites many years ago, I grumbled to my husband how nice it would be to manage the different rewards programs through one website. Of course, I wasn't the only one to think about how convenient that would be: <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10485462">Points.com </a>created a website that does just that and more. Points.com actually offers alternatives for those of us who never accrue enough points to make the most of our benefits! I know I'm a bit late to the party since this service has been around a few years now, but I recently signed up and was amazed at how easy it was to view all of my remaining points throughout various programs.</p> <h2>Easy to Use</h2> <p>With just a quick email and password to sign up for a new account, I located most of my rewards and loyalty programs through their &quot;Add Programs&quot; widget in their right sidebar. Since most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-scoring-a-frequent-flyer-rewards-flight" title="5 Tips for Scoring a Frequent-Flyer Rewards Flight">frequent flyer</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-budget-hotels" title="The Best Credit Cards for Budget Hotels">hotel rewards programs</a> only require an account or member number and a password, I didn't feel like I was divulging all of my personal information in one place when I entered my information for each program. Within a few seconds, Points.com was able to connect to most of my individual accounts and show me my most recent points summaries, or at least the points I had remaining in each of my programs.</p> <h2>Make the Most of Your Points</h2> <p>Out of a possible 104 rewards programs listed on Points.com, each program has a &quot;Learn More&quot; link that shows what you can do with each program on their website. For example, Aero Mexico's Premier Rewards program allows you to track and earn points through Points.com. Tracking points is easy since Points.com automatically pulls the rewards information directly from the Aero Mexico website. But Points.com also lists additional ways to earn points besides booking a flight, such as renting a car or reserving a specific hotel.</p> <p>The most beneficial service Points.com offers for me is their redeem option. I can redeem a select group of rewards program points for gift cards to various vendors. From Amazon.com gift cards to Starbucks gift cards, I can select one of my rewards programs that offers redemptions from a drop down menu and choose a dollar amount. Points.com will calculate how many rewards points I need to purchase the gift card. Of course, not all of my rewards programs offer this feature, but for those that do, I no longer have to worry about unused points.</p> <h2>Swap and Trade with Others</h2> <p>Another feature of Points.com is the ability to share, swap, and trade points with other Points.com members and between existing rewards programs. I haven't tried exchanging points with any other members yet, and there are some limitations depending on the individual rewards program, but it's another alternative to help make the most of my points in any one account.</p> <p>In the past, I've swapped points between individual rewards programs to take advantage and utilize rewards points. Making these transfers on one website is convenient, and I can track all of my transactions through my account history.</p> <p>The few drawbacks that I came across while adding my accounts through the site were fairly minor and wouldn't discourage me from using this program in the long run. They have partnered with 14 hotel rewards programs, which covers the majority of hotel chains. However, a popular hotel chain that is absent from their list is Marriott, which I happen to be a member of. I also experienced a small problem with registering my American Airlines AAdvantage; the site kept timing out and wasn't able to register my account at all. However, registering my remaining accounts was successful, so it could just be a temporary glitch.</p> <p>All in all, now that I've realized I can keep track of all of my points online, I look forward to maximizing those rewards programs to my benefit, instead of watching them expire.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fmaximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMaximizing%20Rewards%20Programs%20with%20Points.com_.jpg&amp;description=Maximizing%20Rewards%20Programs%20with%20Points.com" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Maximizing%20Rewards%20Programs%20with%20Points.com_.jpg" alt="Maximizing Rewards Programs with Points.com" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-hate-credit-card-points">Why I Hate Credit Card Points</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top 7 Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pitfalls-when-chasing-travel-rewards">6 Pitfalls When Chasing Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel frequent flyer miles reward cards rewards points Fri, 10 Dec 2010 13:00:10 +0000 Little House 371197 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Financial Perks of Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-perks-of-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-financial-perks-of-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/99127128_7059dacbf5_z.jpg" alt="wedding" title="wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you heard the stories about how finances are one of the leading causes of divorce? What exactly are people arguing about? Being married actually has some pretty good financial perks!</p> <p>I don't mean to downplay the financial challenges of married life. We've had our share of heated discussions over money; but there are some definite benefits to pooling together your resources in marriage. Here are ten ways that you and your spouse are hooking each other up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tips-for-planning-a-last-minute-wedding" title="8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding">8 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Wedding</a>)</p> <h3>1. Employer benefit options</h3> <p>If you're both working, you have access to each other's employee benefit plans. You can mix and match between the two to pick the best fit for your family. If one spouse loses their job, they can fall back on the other's benefits. If only one spouse is working, then the obvious benefit is that the non-working spouse has access to benefits.</p> <h3>2. Multi-car auto insurance discount</h3> <p>As a married couple, you have the added benefit of being able to add multiple cars to one insurance policy. This multi-car discount can help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">save money on car insurance</a>.</p> <h3>3. One rent/mortgage payment</h3> <p>For those who live separately before getting married, the notion of combining homes or apartments is one of the best financial perks of marriage. By consolidating to a single mortgage or rent payment you can save hundreds of dollars each month.</p> <h3>4. One utility bill</h3> <p>Similar to making only one rent or mortgage payment, married couples enjoy the added advantage of having to only make a single payment for their utility bill. When you take away a whole set of water, gas, electric, and trash bills you'll definitely save money each month.</p> <h3>5. One insurance bill</h3> <p>See a pattern here? Consolidating to one set of bills can really make a difference. Not only are you getting rid of an insurance bill, now you're covering all the same stuff with only one deductible instead of two.</p> <h3>6. One set of furniture/appliances</h3> <p>When married couples move in together, they often downsize their furniture and appliances to only one set. Not only does this mean less to take care of and maintain, you can also make decent money by selling your furniture and appliances.</p> <h3>7. Fewer property taxes</h3> <p>This one only applies if you owned a house or apartment before getting married. Since marriage usually means moving in together, you only have to pay property taxes on a single property instead of two.</p> <h3>8. One tax return</h3> <p>Filing your taxes can cost a chunk of change if you hire an accountant. If you file jointly, suddenly you have one tax prep bill instead of two. It won't save you as much if you're just using tax prep software, but it still saves you at least an e-file.</p> <h3>9. More valuable rewards points</h3> <p>If you use a rewards credit card with a tiered reward structure, having both spouses using the same account can boost you into the higher tier of rewards more quickly. For example, we share a credit card where the higher tier means 5% cash back instead of 1% &mdash; a big difference.&nbsp;</p> <h3>10. Spending accountability</h3> <p>While everyone likes to splurge on purchases every once in a while, doing so too often can put a big dent in your bank account. If you know your spouse is going to see a big charge on your card or debit from your bank account you may be less likely to spend money on something you don't really need.</p> <p>It's not just the fear of being quizzed by your spouse about a big bill that keeps you honest with your money. Having to share the same financial resources means you're more likely to discuss spending ahead of time and make shared decisions. That other voice of reason can sometimes help save you from bad money choices.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-perks-of-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-for-retirement-while-caring-for-kids-and-parents">How to Save for Retirement While Caring for Kids and Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-financially-during-a-divorce-or-separation">How to Protect Yourself Financially During a Divorce or Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family auto insurance marriage rewards points taxes Thu, 07 Oct 2010 14:00:06 +0000 Ben Edwards 256528 at http://www.wisebread.com