credit card rewards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13635/all en-US 5 Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards this Christmas http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-use-credit-card-rewards-this-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-use-credit-card-rewards-this-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-495229472.jpg" alt="woman holiday shopping" title="woman holiday shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the holidays almost here, you've probably already braced yourself for the busy days ahead. November and December are notorious for packing in so many events &mdash; with end-of-year work parties, family get-togethers, and holiday parties galore.</p> <p>But, what about the impact on your budget? With the <a href="https://nrf.com/resources/consumer-data/holiday-headquarters">average consumer expected to spend $935.58</a> on gifts this year, the financial impact of the holidays shouldn't be underestimated.</p> <h2>5 Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards this Christmas</h2> <p>If you're struggling to afford Christmas this year &mdash; or just want to save as much as you can &mdash; your rewards credit card could become an unlikely ally. With enough points and miles, you could save a boatload on holiday gifts and other end-of-year expenses.</p> <p>Consider these 5 strategies to maximize your rewards and boost the number of gifts you can put under the tree:</p> <h3>Redeem credit card points for gift cards.</h3> <p>While not every rewards credit card lets you redeem points for gift cards, most do. For example, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-cash-back-for-every-purchase-chase-freedom-unlimited-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Chase Freedom Unlimited<sup>SM</sup></a> offers this perk, and it's easy to use. You can redeem your points for gift cards at a normal rate of one cent per point. For example, most $25 gift cards ring in at just 2,500 points, most $50 gift cards are 50,000 points, and so on.</p> <p>While gift cards can be the perfect gift for some loved ones on your list, you don't have to give your gift cards to others to save. If you'd rather, you can use your gift cards to purchase the perfect gift instead.</p> <h3>Use your rewards to book holiday travel for yourself or others.</h3> <p>Have hotel points or airline miles? A stash of flexible travel credit? Consider using your points to bless your family with the best gift of all &mdash; your presence during the holiday season.</p> <p>That's right; you can use your points and miles to travel to see family, or bring them to you. While it isn't commonly advertised, most rewards programs let you use your points to book airfare and hotel stays for others.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> makes booking travel easy. Simply use your points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and score a 20 percent discount for doing so.</p> <p>You can also transfer your points to a slew of popular loyalty programs like Southwest Airlines, United MileagePlus, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG. While hotel loyalty programs usually require you to be on the reservation when you use points for your stay, almost all airline loyalty programs let you use miles to book flights for others whether you fly or not.</p> <p>If you have the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; card</a>, your options are even more flexible. Book any type of travel for anyone you want, and use your points to pay for it as statement credit. So, you can set grandma up in a nearby hotel this Christmas.</p> <h3>Use statement credits to save on your holiday shopping bill.</h3> <p>Most standard <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back credit cards</a> and some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">travel credit cards</a> let you redeem points for a statement credit. You'll usually get the standard rate of one cent per point.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-cash-back-for-every-purchase-chase-freedom-unlimited-review?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Chase Freedom Unlimited</a> is one card that makes using cash to cover your Christmas bills easy and lucrative. If you have this card, you can easily redeem points for a statement credit to cover part of your holiday purchases. You can also cash in your points for a direct deposit into your bank account, making holiday shopping a breeze.</p> <h3>Redeem points for merchandise.</h3> <p>Various rewards credit cards offer their own version of a shopping mall. By logging into your credit card account, clicking over to your card's rewards portal, and browsing options, you can redeem your points for nearly anything you can buy, or get big bonus points for shopping at the vendors through the portal.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;">Buy your mother the KitchenAid blender she's always wanted, pick up a tablet for your nieces and nephews, or shop for electronics, jewelry, or arts and crafts. There are usually hundreds of vendors to select from.</span></p> <h3>Book experiences you can share.</h3> <p>Certain cards let you use your points for much more than merchandise and cash; some let you book valuable once-in-a-lifetime experiences as well.</p> <p>Type your city into the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal and select &quot;activities&quot; to see what we mean. Depending on where you live, a wide range of fun events can be booked with points &mdash; and at no additional cost.</p> <p>Out of San Francisco, for example, you can use your points to book a ferry to Angel Island, a Napa and Sonoma wine country tour, or a champagne brunch cruise! How fun would that be?</p> <p>In Pensacola, Florida, options include a haunted cemetery tour, an ocean eco-tour, and a wildlife kayak tour. Even in a landlocked locale like Boise, Idaho, experiences run the gamut from scavenger hunts to culinary and cultural tours. No matter where you live and what your family enjoys, you can use your points to book something fun and unexpected.</p> <h2>Final Thoughts</h2> <p>While credit card rewards are often seen as something you earn for your own use, there's no reason you can't leverage your points to buy things for others. And if you want to be charitable this year, there's no reason you shouldn't use your points and miles to cut down on costs.</p> <p>If you're in the market for a good rewards card, now is also the perfect time to sign up. With plenty of holiday spending in your future, you could earn a huge signup bonus and more rewards for every dollar you spend. Make sure to check out Wise Bread's guides on the top rewards credit cards before you decide:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=nav">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=nav">5 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-use-credit-card-rewards-this-christmas">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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top Seven Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</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/3-smartphone-apps-that-manage-and-maximize-your-credit-card-rewards">3 Smartphone Apps That Manage and Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards</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/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</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/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping Christmas credit card rewards credit cards Thu, 24 Nov 2016 11:30:11 +0000 Holly Johnson 1839477 at http://www.wisebread.com How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation with Credit Card Rewards in 2 Months http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000027276924_Large.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One area where having a family can really cost you is travel, especially if you are like me and want to take your brood on international trips. This year, a family wedding is calling my family of five, plus my mom, to Sydney, Australia. Round trip fares from San Francisco to Sydney range from $1,000 to $2,000 a ticket, meaning that our group could have spent a hefty $12,000 getting there and back. Instead, we&rsquo;re <a href="http://carfreemom.com/?p=519">flying there for nearly nothing</a>.</p> <p>I&rsquo;d heard about this increasingly popular hobby of collecting frequent flyer miles through promotional offers, mostly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">credit card sign-up bonuses</a>. But as I was planning this trip in February, I worried that I would not be able to accrue the needed miles -- about 450,000 -- in time to reserve our seats for the September wedding.</p> <p>See also: <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">How to Get a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less</a></p> <p>But just two months later, all six of my round trip seats are reserved, and all we paid was $651.86 in taxes and fees -- about $180 per person. How did I get so many miles that could be applied to one airline in such a short time? Here is the process I followed.</p> <h2>Step 1: Make a flight plan</h2> <p>My first order of business was making a list of airlines that flew from my starting point (San Francisco) to my destination (Sydney), and noting their routes. A Kayak search can give you an idea of that -- but keep in mind that not every airline is on the site.</p> <p>I narrowed down the list of potential airlines by itinerary. Then, I looked at what reward &ldquo;currencies&rdquo; I already held. I had about 100,000 American AAdvantage miles and 75,000 American Express Membership Rewards Points. Ideally, I would look for a way to combine the different reward points I held; you can use a <a href="http://www.webflyer.com/programs/mileage_converter/">Mileage Converter</a> to figure out how. Unfortunately, while it&rsquo;s possible to transfer Amex MRP to the American AAdvantage system, it&rsquo;s not a great deal. I decided to use AAdvantage miles and look for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-american-express-membership-rewards-points">smarter way to use my Amex MRP</a>.</p> <p>I decided to take Qantas because it flies direct from San Francisco to Sydney, and because it&rsquo;s part of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">American&rsquo;s oneworld alliance</a>, meaning that I could book seats on Qantas using AAdvantage miles.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=seealso">Best AAdvantage Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>Step 2: Figure out what it takes</h2> <p>By consulting American&rsquo;s award chart, I found that I would need 37,500 miles per person to travel in coach from San Francisco to the South Pacific region, which includes Australia. (American recently reconfigured its chart, and now the same flight costs 40,000 miles.) So for six people to fly both ways, I&rsquo;d need 450,000 miles.</p> <h2>Step 3: Get what you need</h2> <p>Remember, I only had about 100,000 miles at this point. My mom had 30,000 miles in her AAdvantage account. How on earth were we going to rack up more than 300,000 miles in a short time?</p> <p>Two words: credit cards.</p> <p>Many of us are already used to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">receiving airline miles</a> as a reward for credit card spending. But I had been using the same card for years, and hadn&rsquo;t paid much attention to the many generous bonuses being offered to sign up for new cards.</p> <p>One thing that surprised me is that you can generally get approved for different kinds of cards from the same bank. For instance, I already held a Citi AAdvantage Gold card, but Citi was happy to also issue me an AAdvantage Platinum card, as well as a Platinum card for my freelance writing business. My husband got both Gold and Platinum cards, and my mother got a Platinum card.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-platinum-select-aadvantage-world-mastercard-review?ref=seealso">Travel in Comfort and Ease: Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World Elite&trade; MasterCard&reg;</a></p> <p>Most of these cards were offering 50,000-mile sign up bonuses at the time (they have since reduced their bonuses). These five new cards -- after meeting spending targets -- yielded 225,000 bonus miles. Plus, between the three of us we earned about 15,000 miles on spending because we had some major expenses that we were able to put on the new cards, helping us meet the $3,000 spend that most require to get the bonus. So, after adding the 240,000 from these cards to the 130,000 we already had, we ended up with 370,000 miles -- still about 80,000 short.</p> <p>I wasn&rsquo;t sure how to get the remaining miles until a friend who has been playing the miles game for a while pointed out that we could each get 25,000 Starwood points by getting the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express">Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card</a>. Starwood points are the award currency of Sheraton hotels, and not only can you transfer them to American AAdvantage, but you can get a 5,000-mile bonus for every 20,000 miles you transfer at one time.</p> <p>Three Starwood bonuses later, we had the 450,000 miles we needed to book six round trips to Australia. Credit cards always say that it could take a few weeks for the miles to hit your account, but all of mine were credited right after the close of the period in which I completed the minimum spend.</p> <p><strong>Frequently Asked Questions</strong></p> <p>When I tell friends about the maneuvering I did to fly the family around the world for free, a few recurring concerns pop up:</p> <p>1. Don&rsquo;t you end up spending more than you would have spent just buying the airline tickets outright?</p> <p>Answer: Well, yes, but you should only be charging purchases that you were going to make anyway. And it&rsquo;s very important to pay off all these charges as soon as you get the bill, to avoid accruing financing charges that would make the whole exercise pointless. If you can&rsquo;t afford to pay off the minimum spend right away, <em>don&rsquo;t play this game</em>. In our case, we were able to charge a major purchase (new furnace) and the kids&rsquo; summer activities, which we had to pay for anyway, so it made sense.</p> <p>2. Won&rsquo;t applying for so many new cards trash your credit?</p> <p>Answer: While having too many recent inquiries and too many cards that you haven&rsquo;t had for very long could hurt your chances of qualifying for a loan in the short term, it&rsquo;s not a long-lasting effect. Also, the number of recent inquiries and age of accounts are only responsible for a small part of your credit score; factors such as your payment history and the overall amount you owe are more important.</p> <p>My FICO score was 790 in January, before I started this project. In February, when I made most of the credit applications, it went up to 796; in March it was 783. My report listed the young age of my accounts as one factor why my score was not higher, so it&rsquo;s plausible that this activity dinged my credit slightly. However, 783, like 790, is still near the top of the second highest category, meaning that lenders view me as &ldquo;very dependable.&rdquo;</p> <p>3. Isn&rsquo;t this a lot of work?</p> <p>Answer: Frankly, yes, especially because I wanted to accrue a lot of miles in such a short time. I ended up spending large chunks of several days when I would have normally been working doing nothing but researching miles and figuring out what expenses to charge to what card.</p> <p>However, you know what else is a lot of work? Work. I received $6,000 to $12,000 worth of airfare for my efforts, and I couldn&rsquo;t have earned that much by working those hours. So the game was definitely worth playing for me. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps?ref=seealso">How to Get Started with Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months">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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit 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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles 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/extreme-mileage-hacking-creative-ways-to-earn-flier-miles">Extreme Mileage Hacking: Creative Ways to Earn Flier Miles</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-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</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/the-best-credit-card-perks-beyond-points-and-miles">The Best Credit Card Perks Beyond Points and Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card rewards free travel Mon, 09 May 2016 19:38:03 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1695512 at http://www.wisebread.com Extend Your Vacation for Free With Open Jaws and Stopovers http://www.wisebread.com/extend-your-vacation-for-free-with-open-jaws-and-stopovers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/extend-your-vacation-for-free-with-open-jaws-and-stopovers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/map_camera_compass_000074722915.jpg" alt="Learning how to extend a vacation with open jaws and stopovers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If the words &quot;open jaw&quot; and &quot;stopover&quot; are new to you, you're going to want to read through this post when cashing in your miles from your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel rewards cards</a> for your long awaited vacation. If you're planning a vacation in Rome, why not fly to Paris first and stay a week or so? The flight will be <em>free</em>. I&rsquo;m going to break down what open jaw and stopovers are, what their limitations are, and how you can utilize them to enjoy free flights. Let's get started.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value?ref=seealso">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a></p> <h2>Introducing Open Jaw</h2> <p><a href="http://www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/air-travel/open-jaw-and-circle-fares">Independent Traveller</a> says &quot;an open jaw flight is one that, in the simplest terms, flies from Point A to Point B, then from Point C back to Point A.&quot;</p> <p>Example: You take a flight from New York to Paris, then you travel overland (or by sea or by air) from Paris to Morocco, and then you return to New York from Morocco to complete the loop on your awards ticket. The ticket you booked is New York to Paris and then Morocco back to New York and booking this way will not cost you any extra points.</p> <p>Open jaw tickets (while not available on all airlines) are only available for those booking flights with their awards, meaning that you can not take advantage of this method of travel if you are paying for your flights with cash, credit, or whatever.</p> <p>If you were to draw this trip on a map, the flight portion of the journey would look like an open jaw and that is where this method of booking gets its name. In the photo below, I added some teeth to better illustrate the analogy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/map.jpg" width="605" height="396" alt="" /></p> <p>The black lines indicate the flights booked on an &quot;open jaw&quot; ticket. The blue line indicates overland travel.</p> <h3>When Is an Open Jaw Ticket Useful?</h3> <p>This type of ticket can come in very handy when you want to add a long road trip, overland journey, or cruise into the middle of your itinerary. It can also save you a lot of money because in places like Europe and Asia, you can get on a discount carrier flight to fill your open jaw for very little (Ryanair flights in Europe and AirAsia flights in Asia for example). Alternatively, you could fill your open jaw with another awards flight.</p> <p>Return flights are often cheaper than open jaw tickets, but if you're planning to backpack around the region for a while before returning back to your arrival point, you may want to consider open jaw.</p> <p>For example, if you are planning to fly from New York to London, then backpack around Europe for three months before returning to London to fly home to New York, open jaw is probably a better option for you. The money you'll spend backtracking to make your way back to London is likely more than the difference between an open jaw and a return ticket.</p> <p>Instead, book an open jaw flight from New York to London, and then back to New York from Istanbul. This way you can travel overland from London to Istanbul and then fly home from Istanbul to New York.</p> <h2>Introducing Stopovers</h2> <p>According to <a href="http://www.airliners.net/">Airliners.net</a>: &quot;A stopover is loosely defined as a connection time exceeding four hours on a domestic itinerary or 24 hours on an international itinerary.&quot;</p> <p>Example: You fly from New York to Bangkok, but you stop in Hong Kong for three weeks on the way. This is free and doesn't cost you any extra miles, but can sometimes incur fuel surcharges (see more about these and how to avoid them below).</p> <p>If you are flying from New York to Bangkok and your flight stops in Hong Kong for five hours, that's technically called a &quot;layover&quot; or a &quot;connection&quot; not a &quot;stopover.&quot; A stopover exceeds 24 hours and it gives you time to actually leave the airport and explore. The cool thing is that a stopover can be a week, a month, or even up to a year, so basically it can be an extra vacation rolled into your flight itinerary.</p> <p>Let me explain. Let's say you want to fly from New York to Barcelona, but you've always wanted to see Paris. By booking a stopover in your itinerary, you can easily take your flight from New York to Barcelona, but add a one week stopover in Paris... for free.</p> <p>How is it free? If you booked with United Miles, a round trip awards ticket from New York to Barcelona will cost you 60,000 miles. Add in a one week stopover in Paris and it would cost the same, 60,000 miles. You're essentially seeing two destinations for the price of one.</p> <p>This wonderful loophole is only available for those who book their flights with awards and stopovers aren't possible with all rewards programs.</p> <h3>When Is a Stopover Useful?</h3> <p>A stopover is perfect for anyone who wants to add a bonus destination into their itinerary. Surprisingly, you can get very crafty with these as well. The stopover doesn't always have to be &quot;on the way&quot; to your destination.</p> <p>You can sometimes have a stopover in Hong Kong on the way to Sydney, or stopover in Spain on the way to Iceland. Get the words &quot;on the way&quot; out of your mind because a stopover can basically be in any city that a flight can be routed to.</p> <p>The possibilities would be endless... if it weren't for the individual airline reward program&rsquo;s limitation and guidelines.</p> <h3>Limitations of Stopovers</h3> <p>Airlines sometimes limit the stopovers by region. With United, you can always stopover anywhere in Europe on the way to Africa, for example. Their system of stopovers is completely region-based. But other airlines are different (and more complicated).</p> <p>American Airlines routing rules can be a bit tricky to figure out as they include restrictions on mileage and regions. You can use sites like <a href="http://www.expertflyer.com/">ExpertFlyer.com</a> to navigate these confusing routing rules.</p> <p>Delta and American rewards both don't allow stopovers, but you can book a ticket on an American Airlines flight using your Alaska Miles and land yourself a free stopover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=seealso">The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards Through Airline Partners</a>)</p> <p>Each and every airline has its own limitations and guidelines for stopovers. Some of the major ones are:</p> <ul> <li>US Airways = one stopover or one open jaw</li> <li>United = one stopover <em>and </em>two open jaws</li> <li>Air Canada = two stopovers</li> <li>Delta = n/a</li> <li>American = n/a</li> </ul> <p>Check out <a href="http://www.welltraveledmile.com/a-table-comparison-of-award-ticket-stopover-and-open-jaw-rules-for-major-airlines/">this post by welltraveledmile.com</a> for a full list of airline stopover and open jaw limitations.</p> <h2>Extra Fees and Fuel Surcharges</h2> <p>It's important that you watch out for hidden fees and extra charges. There's not much use in landing yourself a &quot;free&quot; flight to Paris if you end up spending more in booking fees and fuel surcharges than you would've spent on a cheap discount carrier flight.</p> <p>Again, every airline rewards program is different, but if you're booking your flights with United Miles, you'll never pay any fuel surcharges. If you pay for the flight with different awards program miles, you may have to pay the fuel surcharge.</p> <p>For example, if you book a flight on an Air Canada plane from New York to London with a stopover in Barcelona and you use your United Miles, you won't pay any fuel surcharges.</p> <p>If you were to book the same awards ticket using your Air Canada Miles, you'd have to spend $320 in fuel surcharges! Travelisfree.com has put together <a href="http://travelisfree.com/2014/04/15/master-charts-to-avoiding-fuel-surcharges-yq/">this incredibly useful list</a> to help you calculate fuel surcharges on different airlines using different rewards programs.</p> <p>There are also some extra charges when trying to book stopovers domestically. United, for example, charges 10,000 extra miles for stopovers on domestic U.S. tickets.</p> <h2>Stopover + Open Jaw = Free Flights</h2> <p>Some airline rewards programs allow for an open jaw and a stopover. What this means is that you can essentially have a holiday in Europe, and then get your next one-way flight paid for to another destination.</p> <p>Example: You book an open jaw ticket for a holiday in Europe. You fly from New York to London, you travel overland from London to Madrid, and then you return to New York after a wonderful three week holiday. But you can actually call your home town (New York in this case) a &quot;stopover&quot; on a flight to, let's say, Los Angeles.</p> <p>Don't worry, you don't have to go to LA right away, you can plan to fly there up to a year later. That's right, you can &quot;stopover&quot; at home for a year, and then a year later fly to LA for free.</p> <h3>When Is a Stopover + Open Jaw Flight Useful?</h3> <p>Anytime you have two trips planned in a year, you can use this handy little hack to enjoy a free one-way flight on your second trip. Go on a vacation in Europe, fly back to your home airport but call it a &quot;stopover&quot; to your next holiday destination (LA?). By doing this, you've essentially landed yourself a free one-way ticket. Now you just have to book a cheap awards flight back from your holiday.</p> <p>This secret method of landing a free one-way flight is great, but it requires some advanced planning because you're essentially booking one and a half holidays at the same time.</p> <h2>How to Book Stopovers and Open Jaws</h2> <p>Booking stopovers and open jaw tickets online can be difficult with some airline websites. Basically you're looking for two things in the flight booking engine that you're using.</p> <ol> <li>The &quot;rewards flight&quot; check box to ensure that you're only viewing flights that are available for awards customers (these are usually more limited than regular paid fares).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Multiple-destination search will allow you to find flights to one destination and then to another before returning home.</li> </ol> <h3>If the Website Is Fussy, Call</h3> <p>Not all websites allow you to search multiple destinations and awards flights only, so the easiest way to book your stopover and open jaw flight is simply by calling an agent. They have a better booking interface to work with and they'll be able to better help you find the right flights for you. The only problem is that you may not have the same flexibility as if you were to piece together the journey yourself.</p> <p>By booking open jaw tickets and adding stopovers to your awards flight itinerary, you can save a lot of money. By combining the two, you can actually piece together an amazing trip and even land yourself a free one-way flight to your next holiday destination. Awards flights may not always have the same availability as regular paid fares, but you can take advantage of lucrative loopholes like the ones listed in this article. Give it a try. Book open jaw and stopovers on your next awards flight and watch the free travel add up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards that Transfer to Airline Miles</a>)</p> <p><em>Have you ever taken advantage of stopover or open jaw flights? Where'd you go?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goats-on-the-road">Goats on the Road</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extend-your-vacation-for-free-with-open-jaws-and-stopovers">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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit 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/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</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/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</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-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</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/extreme-mileage-hacking-creative-ways-to-earn-flier-miles">Extreme Mileage Hacking: Creative Ways to Earn Flier Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel award flights awards travel credit card rewards free flights open jaw stopover travel hacking travel rewards Fri, 08 Apr 2016 09:00:13 +0000 Goats on the Road 1686649 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Airline Loyalty Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles? http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-man-airport-Dollarphotoclub_68548189.jpg" alt="happy man airport" title="happy man airport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be really hard to place a value on airline frequent flier miles compared to other types of credit card rewards. For instance, we all know how much <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">cash back offers are worth</a>, and most other rewards points typically offer a fixed value, often one cent per point towards merchandise or gift cards. But the value of travel rewards miles depends on the carrier as well as which class you're flying. Also, international flights will net you a much higher value per mile.</p> <p>Nevertheless, there are some ways to compare the value of different airline mileage programs so that cardholders can choose the best credit card for their needs. Let's take a look at the major US airline frequent flyer programs, and come to a reasonable value of what their points and miles are worth for various types of awards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>American Airlines</h2> <p>When considering the value of these miles, keep in mind that American continues to offer some of the best award availability on its domestic routes, and it's often possible to find several award seats available at the lowest mileage levels. Furthermore, if you have their co-branded credit card, you can get reduced mileage awards, that can result in a savings of 5,000 to 7,500 miles round trip. So for most domestic travelers in economy class, these miles are worth about two cents each.</p> <p>On the international side, American offers few economy class awards and barely any business class award seats at the lowest mileage levels. Worse, its partner British Airways imposes huge fuel surcharges on award tickets that cost travelers nearly as much as an economy class ticket. Nevertheless, American miles are good for redeeming flights from other OneWorld partner carriers which get about three cents per mile from international economy class awards, about four cents in value from business class travel, and even more when booking awards in international first class. American's award chart offers better value than its competitors. For example, business class flights to Europe are still just 100,000 miles, while United and Delta are 20 to 40% more.</p> <h3>Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World Elite&trade; MasterCard&reg;</h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiAAdvantagePlatinumSelectMasterCard-0601.jpg" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=52&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target=" rel=" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=52&amp;uv=xname">Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World Elite&trade; MasterCard&reg;</a> from our partner Citi allows cardholders to earn double miles on American Airlines purchases. There is a sign up bonus for 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage&reg; miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Other benefits include priority boarding, 25% off in-flight purchases, and first checked bag free. Also get 10% back on award redemptions.</p> <p><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=52&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; World Elite&trade; MasterCard&reg; today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Delta</h2> <p>Delta has gone through several rounds of devaluation, which is when they change their award chart to ask for more miles. Furthermore, Delta has the worst reputation for offering vanishingly few award seats at the lowest mileage levels, and few award seats from its partners Air France and KLM. To top it all off, Delta's award search engine offers very unreliable results, which makes booking an award an exercise in frustration. Travelers also have to find a return flight, since Delta doesn't allow one-way awards for half price.</p> <p>Therefore, I would value SkyMiles at one and a half cents for domestic travel in economy class. It's even very hard to find more than two cents in value per point in international business class, except for those who travel alone and are extremely flexible and persistent.</p> <p>The good news is that Delta claims it will make more award seats available at the lowest mileage levels in 2015, offer one-way awards, and fix the problems with its website.</p> <h2>Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card From American Express</h2> <p><img src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/73/598430.png" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=9&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" alt="Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express" title="Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express" target="_blank" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>American Express offers the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=9&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card</a> which offers 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta, and one mile on every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Also, get first checked bag free and Priority Boarding. Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first three months. Plus, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card within the first three months. There are no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year of Card Membership with an introductory offer. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=9&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>United</h2> <p>When it comes time to redeem miles, United's domestic award availability is not nearly as good as American's, but it's far better than Delta's. So I value their miles at 1.5 to 2 cents each for domestic economy class travel.</p> <p>Internationally, their award availability is much more reasonable than American's. Travelers can rely on its strong partnerships with Star Alliance airlines, although United does charge more miles for some international partner awards than it does for the flights it operates. Therefore, I would value their miles at 3 to 4 cents each for international flights in business class.</p> <p>With the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card">United MileagePlus&reg; Explorer Card</a>, cardholders can earn two miles for each dollar spent on United purchases and 1 mile on other purchases. New cardholders can get 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. If you add an authorized user to your account, you can get another 5,000 bonus points after making a purchase during that time frame. There is no limit to the number of miles you can earn, and your miles don't expire as long as your credit card account is open. Other benefits include priority boarding, discounts on in-flight purchases, and two United Club passes each year, as well as a 10,000 bonus miles each year you spend at least $25,000 in net purchases on your card. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <h2>Sample Mileage Valuation and Comparison Chart</h2> <p>And now here's a helpful chart to compare all the data above.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/Airline Table_0.png" width="605" height="361" /></p> <p>*Domestic data based on one RT ticket from JFK (New York) to LAX (Los Angeles). International data based on one RT ticket from LAX (Los Angeles) to CDG (Paris, France).</p> <h2>Other Carriers</h2> <p>These smaller or regional airlines don't offer the great miles programs of the larger carriers, but there are still deals to be had.</p> <h3>Southwest</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card">Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card</a> awards two points for each dollar spent on Southwest Airlines as well as on participating hotel and car rental partners. Each point earned is worth 1.4 cents each towards flights in its &quot;Wanna Get Away&quot; fare class. However, cardholders who have earned Southwest's Companion Pass can get a second seat free, doubling the value of these points whenever they travel with someone.</p> <h3>Alaska Airlines</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaska-airlines-visa-signature-credit-card-review">Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card from Bank of America</a> offers triple miles for Alaska purchases, and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Its frequent flier program is much like the major legacy airlines, and it has quite reasonable award availability and some great partnerships. I would value their miles at about two cents each for domestic and international economy class travel, and four cents each for business and first class travel both domestically and internationally.</p> <h3>JetBlue</h3> <p>JetBlue Airlines offers the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-points-for-award-flights-faster-with-the-jetblue-rewards-mastercard-from-barclaycard">JetBlue Card</a>, which allows its cardholders to earn three points for each dollar spent on JetBlue purchases, two points for every dollar spent on restaurant and grocery purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points tend to be worth about 1.5 cents each towards their fares, but sometimes slightly higher or lower.</p> <h3>Virgin America</h3> <p>This arm of the Virgin franchise offers a credit card from Comenity Bank that earns triple points for Virgin America flights, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points are worth 2 to 2.5 cents each towards flights.</p> <h3>Frontier</h3> <p>Frontier offers a credit card through Barclays Bank that earns double points for Frontier purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points tend to be worth just about 1-2 cents each as cardholders now have to pay for both checked and carry-on bags, even on award tickets.</p> <h2>Other Considerations</h2> <p>Unlike other reward cards, there is never just one airline mileage card that can offer the best value for everyone. Those who have the most flexibility and travel as a single or a couple, can often find great value with the major airlines that have finite award seats. Otherwise, families who travel in larger groups and have less flexibility need a program that doesn't control awards so tightly. And of course, where you live and travel will often dictate which airlines that can most conveniently reach your destination. But by understanding the value of each airline's loyalty program, you can choose the best credit card for your needs.</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/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better">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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</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/3-smartphone-apps-that-manage-and-maximize-your-credit-card-rewards">3 Smartphone Apps That Manage and Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards</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-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying">How to Earn Tons of Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying</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/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">9 Ways to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</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/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards airline rewards credit card rewards miles rewards Thu, 11 Dec 2014 22:00:10 +0000 Jason Steele 1265967 at http://www.wisebread.com This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly) http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-168759740.jpg" alt="family on plane" title="family on plane" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are so many different types of reward programs that offer miles and points that it can be very difficult for those newer to the world of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">rewards credit cards</a> and (almost) free travel to know where to start. If you're interested in diving in, a very good place to consider starting is with the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. These points are flexible, valuable, and easy to earn.</p> <p>However, a &quot;secret&quot; that many people don't know is that cards within the program can work together to help you earn even more for your purchases. Here are some details about how the program works and how to get the maximum value when earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards.</p> <h2>What Is a Chase Ultimate Rewards Point?</h2> <p>A Chase Ultimate Rewards point is a credit card rewards point earned via a Chase credit card that falls under the Ultimate Rewards umbrella. Right now that includes cards such as the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-freedom-visa-review-200-cash-back-bonus?ref=internal">Chase Freedom</a>, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review-500-signup-bonus?ref=internal">Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</a>, Ink Cash, and Ink Plus.</p> <h2>How Do You Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?</h2> <p>You earn at least one point per dollar charged on a card that earns Ultimate Rewards. But the real trick is to take advantage of the bonus categories of these various cards in order to rack up the points much faster.</p> <h3>Chase Freedom</h3> <p>Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 month like gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is no annual fee.</p> <h3>Chase Sapphire Preferred</h3> <p>Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants &amp; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. Also, get 20% off travel redeemed via Ultimate Rewards. Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.</p> <h3>Chase Ink Cash</h3> <p>Earn 5x points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, Internet, and cable TV services. Earn 2x points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent annually at gas stations and restaurants. (No annual fee.)</p> <h3>Chase Ink Plus</h3> <p>Earn 5x points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services. Earn 2x points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and hotel accommodations (when purchased directly with the hotel). Also, pay 20% off travel redeemed via Ultimate rewards. ($95 annual fee.)</p> <h3>Ultimate Rewards Mall</h3> <p>Another great way to earn Ultimate Rewards points is via the Ultimate Rewards Mall. This is an online shopping portal that is open only to those with an Ultimate Rewards earning card. In this &quot;online mall&quot; you can earn bonus points for online purchases at retailers such as Home Depot, Sears, Kohl's, Pottery Barn, REI, Apple, and J.Crew. You click via provided links from the Ultimate Rewards Mall to your favorite retailer's site and then make your purchase like normal. For doing so, you earn a bonus number of Ultimate Rewards points that range anywhere from one extra point per dollar to 25 extra points per dollar.</p> <p>At 10 extra points per dollar this means that your $100 online purchase at Kohl's goes from earning 100 points to earning the 100 points it normally would on your card plus 1,000 bonus points for making the purchase at 10x via the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall. This is a great way to earn a ton more Ultimate Rewards points in a hurry!</p> <h2>Redeeming Ultimate Rewards</h2> <p>You can redeem the points at a one point equals one cent value for merchandise such as a digital camera, retailer gift cards to places like Gap, as a direct deposit into a Chase account, at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Amazon.com</a>, or as a statement credit.</p> <p>But that's as much as you can do with a Freedom or Ink Cash cards as far as redemption.</p> <p>The other cards (the ones with an annual fee, of course) offer you more travel value.</p> <p>First, you get an additional 20% off travel redemptions through Ultimate Rewards.</p> <p>But the best redemption value comes when you transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to a hotel or airline partner such as United MileagePlus, Hyatt Gold Passport, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Korean Air Skypass, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Virgin Atlantic.</p> <p>Many people, myself included, get far more than the one cent per point value when you can transfer to some of those programs listed above. For example, via Hyatt Gold Passport you can book a room on the ski slopes at the Hyatt Escala Lodge in Canyons Mountain Resort for just 15,000 points per night. During peak ski season nights, rooms at this hotel can go for $400 - $500 per night, so clearly you get more than one cent per point value when you use your Ultimate Rewards points in this manner.</p> <p>Even better, you can combine points with spouses or domestic partners!</p> <h2>The Chase Duo</h2> <p>As I mentioned earlier, you can use Ultimate Rewards to its fullest power by having several cards and accounts under Chase. Specifically, if you have two of the following:</p> <ol> <li>A Chase Freedom Card or Chase Ink Cash Card;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus Card.</li> </ol> <p>As I mentioned above, the Freedom and Ink Cash cards allow you to redeem your points for gift cards, travel (spent via the Ultimate Rewards portal), or cash at one point equals one cent. However, if you also have one of Chase's top tier cards (Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus), you can transfer your points to these cards, which you can then use to transfer 1:1 directly to hotel and airline partners!</p> <p>This means you can take advantage of Freedom's 5x quarterly bonus points <em>and</em> be able to transfer them at a 1:1 rate to travel partners. You can't do this if you have the Freedom card alone. You must have either a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus card in order to do the 1:1 transfer.</p> <p>Ultimate Rewards points, when used to their maximum potential, can bring otherwise unattainable luxury travel expenses like ocean-front resorts, first or business class flights, and more into the realm of very possible. Now get out there and start turning your everyday purchases into a pile of valuable Ultimate Rewards points!</p> <p><em>Have you taken advantage of the Chase Duo to wrack up the reward miles?</em></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%2Fthis-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%20Might%20Be%20the%20Best%20Travel%20Rewards%20Program%20(No%20Matter%20What%20Airline%20You%20Fly).jpg&amp;description=This%20Might%20Be%20the%20Best%20Travel%20Rewards%20Program%20(No%20Matter%20What%20Airline%20You%20Fly)" 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/This%20Might%20Be%20the%20Best%20Travel%20Rewards%20Program%20%28No%20Matter%20What%20Airline%20You%20Fly%29.jpg" alt="This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)" 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/summer-hull">Summer Hull</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit 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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles 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-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</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/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</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/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles credit card rewards travel travel rewards Tue, 29 Apr 2014 08:00:37 +0000 Summer Hull 1137336 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Earn Tons of Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-178575598.jpg" alt="traveler" title="traveler" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I earned my first airline miles as a teenager by flying on airplanes via purchased tickets. At the time, I assumed that was the only way to earn airline miles. Turns out, that isn't even the main way to earn airline miles. You can earn airline miles doing everything from dining out to shopping online to setting up an investment account. You can then use those miles that you earned in everyday life to fly to places near and far &mdash; virtually for free. If that sounds as intriguing to you as it did to me, here are a few simple ways you can rack up enough airlines miles to fly in first class on an award ticket without ever having to step on a plane.</p> <h2>Airline Credit Cards</h2> <p>The easiest and quickest way to rack up a whole bunch of airline miles is via the airlines' <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">co-branded credit cards</a>. Virtually every major airline has at least one credit card partner, and they often have at least one personal and business credit card available, and sometimes more than that. Make everyday purchases on those credit cards, and watch your miles add up.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">sign-up bonus alone</a> is usually enough to get you a couple of free domestic flights, or a good chunk of the way to a premium international flight. In addition to being a fantastic way to earn airline miles, these co-branded airline cards often give you perks like free checked bags, early boarding, or an annual discounted <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">companion airline ticket</a>. (See also: <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?ref=seealso">How to Use Sign-Up Bonuses to Get a Free Vacation</a>)</p> <p>Some credit cards aren't specifically labeled an airline credit card, but they still earn points that can transfer to airline miles, so don't discount those either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>Online Shopping</h2> <p>If you do any of your shopping online, you could be earning major airline miles for those purchases. There are online shopping portals such as United MileagePlus Shopping and American AAdvantage e-Shopping that will pay you airline miles for going to your favorite online retailer websites such as Gap, Home Depot, Apple, Sears, and more via their website. They will track the purchases you make by first going to their site, and then pay you airline miles for each dollar you spend. I have earned as many as 30 extra airline miles per dollar for making online purchases during some lucrative airline shopping portal promotions. In this case, a $100 purchase would earn 3,000 valuable airline miles, so it can really add up quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-guide-to-cash-back-shopping?ref=seealso">Guide to Cash Back Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>Dining Rewards</h2> <p>If you register your credit cards with the Dining Rewards Network via programs like United MileagePlus Dining you can earn up to 5 miles per dollar when you dine at participating restaurants. This is <em>on top of any miles you might earn</em> directly from your credit card for dining purchases. Some areas of the country have more participating restaurants than others, but it is another free and simple way to pick up some extra airline miles. When you sign up, look for new customer promotions such as earning 1,000 United miles for spending $30 at a participating restaurant.</p> <h2>Send Flowers</h2> <p>If you need to send flowers to someone, then you can also have a smile put on your face by earning more than 30 miles per dollar for your generous gift! On a $50 flower order this would come to 1,500 airline miles! That is roughly the same as you would usually earn flying from New York City to Austin. The offers change from time to time, but FTD offers points for <a href="http://www.ftd.com/29649/">United MileagePlus</a>, <a href="http://www.ftd.com/13708/">Delta SkyMiles</a>, and <a href="http://www.ftd.com/29697/">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> members.</p> <h2>Investments</h2> <p>You can earn airline miles for funding investment accounts. This one may not work for everyone due to the amount of cash involved, but you can get up to 50,000 <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/aa?ccsource=alliance">American</a>, <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/united">United</a>, or <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/delta">Delta</a> miles for funding a Fidelity non-retirement brokerage account.</p> <h2>Being Social</h2> <p>Airline frequent flyer programs have become very active on social media in recent years, so from time to time there will be opportunities to earn free miles for participating in promotions, completing surveys, or via contests that they advertise on Twitter or Facebook. I recommend following a few of the major airline programs on your social media accounts so you can stay on the lookout for the free and easy miles they sometimes make available. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-win-sweepstakes?ref=seealso">This Is How You Win Sweepstakes</a>)</p> <h2>Hotels and Rental Cars</h2> <p>Another way to earn airline miles is to stay on the lookout for bonus miles offers from hotel and rental car chains. You can often choose to earn airline miles instead of rental car or hotel points, and while this doesn't always make sense, occasionally bonuses make the airline miles you earn more valuable than the points you are forgoing.</p> <p>There are also hotel bookings sites like <a href="https://pointshound.com/">PointsHound</a> and <a href="https://www.rocketmiles.com/">RocketMiles</a> that will pay you literally thousands of airline miles for some hotel bookings that you make via their respective websites.</p> <p>These are a few of the main ways that you can earn enough airline miles to literally fly around the world without ever having to buy an airline ticket!</p> <p><em>Where do you pickup bonus airline miles? Please share some in comments!</em></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%2Fhow-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Earn%20Tons%20of%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles%20Without%20Flying.jpg&amp;description=This%20Might%20Be%20the%20Best%20Travel%20Rewards%20Program%20(No%20Matter%20What%20Airline%20You%20Fly)" 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/How%20to%20Earn%20Tons%20of%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles%20Without%20Flying.jpg" alt="How to Earn Tons of Frequent Flyer Miles Without Flying" width="250" height="374" />&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/summer-hull">Summer Hull</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying">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-2"> <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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit 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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles 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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</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/extreme-mileage-hacking-creative-ways-to-earn-flier-miles">Extreme Mileage Hacking: Creative Ways to Earn Flier Miles</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/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card rewards miles Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:36:28 +0000 Summer Hull 1135028 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Wasting Your Credit Card Rewards on One of These Stupid Things? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-your-credit-card-rewards-on-one-of-these-stupid-things <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-wasting-your-credit-card-rewards-on-one-of-these-stupid-things" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card-1680448-small.jpg" alt="credit card" title="credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not all credit card rewards are created equal. The value of some depend on your spending habits, others depend on your needs, and others yet are just plain bad investments. Here's what you need to know to evaluate the best &mdash; or worst &mdash; credit card rewards for you.</p> <h2>Various Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Here are seven different kinds of credit card rewards and the cards that can earn you these awards. I've ranked them from smart to stupid, but as usual, there are exceptions to every rule.</p> <h3>1. Frequent Flyer Miles</h3> <p>If you fly, then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">hacking the frequent flyer mile game</a> with credit cards earning you points on every purchase and lucrative sign-up bonuses is a must-use strategy. Case in point: most of my long-haul flights are in business class, for less than the price of equivalent economy tickets. See Wise Bread's picks for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">Airline Miles Credit Cards with the best Sign-Up Bonuses</a>.</p> <h3>2. Travel</h3> <p>Some credit cards are affiliated with specific frequent flyer mile programs, while others earn you universal points redeemable for multiple airlines or different types of travel reservations, including hotels and car rentals. These can be very flexible with lucrative options, but you need to pay attention to the value per mile. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Top 5 Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>).</p> <h3>3. Cash Back</h3> <p>Earning <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back on your purchases</a> each month obviously affords you the most flexibility (but it's kind of boring). Generally, you earn an average of 2% cash back on purchases, with some cards giving you varying amounts depending on the type of purchase.</p> <h3>4. Groceries</h3> <p>Most grocery rewards are hybrids of cash back cards. Some are very store specific (the more store-specific the card, the less useful it is). Grocery rewards are often dependent on how and where you shop, and in some cases you only get cash back from specific purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso">5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>).</p> <h3>5. Restaurants</h3> <p>Having a restaurant credit card is not an excuse to dine out! Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">credit cards affording restaurant perks</a> are again hybrids of cash back cards, with bonuses varying depending on the purchase. Although you might consider having a dining-affiliated credit card just for when you dine out, you might be paying for a privilege that doesn't even cover your annual fee.</p> <h3>6. Gas</h3> <p>Gas rewards are usually either expressed as a percentage savings on your total gas purchases, or a fixed savings rate per gallon. Beware: between annual fees, and having to drive farther (a cost of both time and money) to gas stations that service your card, you might actually spend more than you're saving. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso">5 Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a>).</p> <h3>7. Blenders</h3> <p>&quot;Blenders&quot; is a euphemism for products that many reward credit cards offer. Although it might seem appealing to trade in your points for that blender or television or movie passes, more often than not you're getting stung. Why on earth would you use your points for an iPod Touch valued at $359 when you could <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow">use the same points for airfare totaling $1,500</a>?</p> <h2>Determining the Value of Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Credit card rewards have both financial and intangible values; as with so many things, a clear answer is rarely easy to find.</p> <h3>Financial Value</h3> <p>A good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-the-value-of-your-airline-miles-and-points">baseline to aim for is two cents in value</a> for every dollar you spend on the card. And since many cards earn you one point per dollar spent, it's a fairly easy calculation &mdash; at first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow?ref=seealso">Credit Card Rewards Tips That People Don't Follow</a>)</p> <p>One way to calculate the value of credit card rewards is to divide the retail cost of the underlying reward by the number of points required to get the reward. For example, if it costs you 71,000 points for a product retailing at $360, you're getting half a cent worth of value per mile &mdash; <em>bad value</em>.</p> <p>But this is also a crude way of calculating the value of points; it doesn't take into account sign-up bonuses, credit card annual fees, and other factors that skew your cost to attain each mile; not to mention the taxes and redemption fees that increase the cost of the reward itself.</p> <p>Thus, we turn to the intangible redemption values.</p> <h3>Intangible Value</h3> <p>What's important to you? What do you need? And what might be a special treat that you couldn't otherwise afford?</p> <p>These are all intangible factors that might go into your own perceived value of your points.</p> <p>For example with frequent flyer miles, you usually get the best value in redeeming them for long-haul travel. Most often better value yet comes with a business class fare. Even if this isn't quite the case, I'm prepared to spend a few more miles to fly in business class, a luxury I wouldn't pay for if I had to fork out the cash, but one I really appreciate when lounging in style at the front of the plane.</p> <h3>Remember the Key Factors of Reward Value</h3> <p>Remember the following factors when determining the value (financial and intangible) of your credit card rewards:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Annual credit card fees;</p> </li> <li> <p>Taxes and other fees paid to gain your reward benefit;</p> </li> <li> <p>Flexibility of your points and how they can be used.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Most importantly, to gain any value from credit card rewards, you must pay off your balances in full each month. Not doing so results in interest charges, which immediately reduce the value of any rewards, defeating the entire purpose of this exercise.</p> <h2>The Stupidest Thing to Waste Credit Card Rewards On</h2> <p>Although products (don't get the blender!) are usually the worst things to spend your credit card rewards on, there is an even bigger offender that depletes the value of your miles completely: Nothing. If you don't use your miles for anything, then there's no point in having a rewards credit card in the first place.</p> <p>Have a plan for what you want to use your points for, stick to that goal (don't get sidetracked by the blender!), and spend those points. Waiting for a rainy day can backfire on you, as points can be devalued or policies can change.</p> <p><em>How do you prefer to use your credit card rewards? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-your-credit-card-rewards-on-one-of-these-stupid-things">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-15"> <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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit 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-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back 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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card rewards reward programs rewards ripoffs Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:37:00 +0000 Nora Dunn 1129553 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Smartphone Apps That Manage and Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/3-smartphone-apps-that-manage-and-maximize-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="/3-smartphone-apps-that-manage-and-maximize-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/shopping-5117081-small.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm not a natural when it comes to technology. But in spite of that, I'm totally fascinated when technology and credit cards are brought together.</p> <p>Most recently, I've enjoyed tracking the progress being made with smartphone apps and credit card rewards. Keeping track of rewards is a major issue for a lot of folks. A 2011 study by COLLOQUY showed that Americans waste about a third of the rewards they earn. You want to know how much is wasted? A whopping $16 billion, give or take a few dollars. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-best-mobile-shopping-apps-for-your-phone">16 Best Mobile Shopping Apps for Your Phone</a>)</p> <p>I know it's easy to get confused about your rewards. There are some great sites out there to help you keep track of your credit card rewards, such as <a href="http://awardwallet.com/">AwardWallet</a> and <a href="https://www.points.com/">Points.com</a>.</p> <p>But here's the cool thing about smartphone apps for rewards. The apps, in general, aren't about counting your miles, points, or cash back. No, these apps want to play a bigger role than that.</p> <p>There are several players in the space, but there are three that I've kept up with over the past year. I've watched how these apps are evolving and changing with consumer needs.</p> <p>There are two things that are common to all three. They're free, which always gets my attention. And these apps all have bank-level security.</p> <h2>Reward Summit</h2> <p>This <a href="http://rewardsummit.com/">website has nice visuals and lots of white space</a>. Remember I said I'm not a natural with technology? For people like me, visual help is essential. I'll bet many of you can just download an app and figure it out on your own. I'd love to have that skill!</p> <p>OK, let's get to the details. This app tells you the best credit card to use for a given purchase based on your location and the rewards program. You don't have to share your credit card account numbers with the app. You just identify the cards you use.</p> <p>Since Rewards Summit keeps up-to-date information about credit card rewards, the app can recommend the best choice based on your location and purchase.</p> <p>The app even converts points into a dollar value so you can quantify the rewards you're getting from a specific credit card. It also shows you how much you could've earned if you had used a different credit card. And if you link your accounts through Intuit, the app will also recommend new credit cards based on your actual usage patterns over time.</p> <p>This app is available for both iPhone and Android phones.</p> <h2>Glyph</h2> <p>With <a href="https://www.paywithglyph.com/">Glyph</a>, you have the option to give your personal banking and credit card information, or you can simply choose a standard profile.</p> <p>If you feel comfortable handing over your banking information, you can take advantage of more features. Glyph looks at your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/building-a-credit-history">financial history</a> and offers recommendations for which credit card to use to get the best rewards when you make a purchase.</p> <p>But the recommendation considers a lot of factors: rewards, interest, fees, merchant surcharges, offers, your balance on each card, and how your credit score could be affected. I don't think I've seen another smartphone app consider how your credit score could be impacted.</p> <p>If you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-own-identity-what-to-do-when-yours-is-stolen">uncomfortable handing over your personal financial information</a>, you can use Glyph a different way. You can choose a standard profile (for example, young family or college grad) and get credit card recommendations based on that. It's nice to have a choice.</p> <p>At the moment, Glyph is available only for the iPhone. But I've been told that an Android version is in the works.</p> <h2>Smorecard</h2> <p>Don't you just love the name of this card? &quot;<a href="http://smorecard.com/">Smorecard</a>.&quot; I think it's brilliant marketing.</p> <p>With this app, you don't need to give your credit card account information. You just select the credit cards that you currently have. There's a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-an-iphone-can-save-you-money">GPS system</a> and the app picks the best credit card to use based on your location. If more than one of your credit cards is an option, you'll see the reward value for each card.</p> <p>You can use this app the way I just described or you can customize your credit card profile. If you do this, the app will consider (or not consider) intro offers and special reward opportunities.</p> <p>This app is available for both iPhone and Android phones.</p> <p>By the way, make sure you don't rely on these apps to choose new credit cards for you. It's great to get suggestions, but always do the research yourself before applying for a new credit card. Think of these apps as tools to help you choose a card when making a purchase, but not as a substitute for research if you're in the market for a new card.</p> <p>I'd love to hear about your experiences either with one of the apps I've mentioned or with an entirely different one. There are other apps out there that are also worth looking at. It's a rapidly growing niche, so look for abundant options in the future.</p> <p><em>Have you used a credit card rewards app?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beverly-harzog">Beverly Harzog</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-smartphone-apps-that-manage-and-maximize-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-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/5-ways-to-use-credit-card-rewards-this-christmas">5 Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards this Christmas</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/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better">Which Airline Loyalty Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles?</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/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</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-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</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-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card rewards credit cards rewards Wed, 31 Jul 2013 10:36:39 +0000 Beverly Harzog 980927 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-with-cash.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people prefer cash back rewards to other credit card perks such as frequent flyer miles. Cash has the advantage of being simple to understand and universally accepted. Unlike points and miles, cash can earn interest when unused and are not subject to the constantly changing terms and conditions of corporate loyalty programs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>My family is a perfect example of how you can use credit cards to receive cash back. Using our cards for day-to-day purchases, we may spend as much as $2,500 with them each month. When we are not looking for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel rewards</a>, we use a card that returns 2% on all purchases in order to earn an additional $50 a month in cash back. That equals a return of <strong>$600 each year</strong> that we can add to our discretionary spending or apply to our savings.</p> <p>Just one word of caution &mdash; cash back credit cards should only be used by people who can pay their credit card balances in full and on time. To do otherwise virtually ensures that you will owe more in interest and penalties than you will ever receive as cash back.</p> <h2>The Top 5 Credit Cards Featuring Cash Back Rewards</h2> <p>Once you have decided to earn credit card rewards in the form of cash back, you should definitely consider my favorite cash back rewards cards.</p> <div style="background:lightgoldenrodyellow;padding:15px;margin-bottom:10px;"> <h2>BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card</h2> <p><img class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/BoA_Cash_Rewards-154.jpg" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" alt="BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card" title="BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname">BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card</a> offers 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 3% back on gas, and 1% on other purchases. (Grocery store, wholesale club, and gas bonus rewards apply to the first $2500 in combined purchases in these categories each quarter.) Bank of America customers get an extra 10% bonus when redeeming rewards directly into a Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account (instead of a statement credit). <strong>There is no annual fee</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Bonus offer:</strong> $100 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Also get a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases, and any balance transfers made within the first 60 days; after that, a variable APR that's currently between 13.24% and 23.24% will apply. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to balance transfers.</p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> </div> <h2>Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express</h2> <p><img src="http://usweb.dotomi.com/cj/feeds/4019917/images/bcpcardart_300x200.jpg" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" alt="Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express" title="Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express</a> offers the highest cash back you can get for groceries. Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 3% at U.S. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards">gas stations</a>, and 1% on other purchases. There is currently a special offer where you can earn 10% cash back on purchases at Amazon.com in your first 6 months, up to $200, if you apply by 1/11/2017. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. There is a $95 annual fee.</p> <p>As a <strong>bonus offer</strong>, you can earn $150 back in the form of statement credit after spending $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. You also get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. After that, your APR will be a variable rate, currently 13.24%-23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</h2> <p><img alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiDoubleCash.jpg" height="98" width="154" border="0" /><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</a> from our partner Citi stands out from other credit cards offering cash back rewards in that you earn cash back not once, but twice on every purchase. You get 1% cash back when you buy, plus another 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases. No need to wait until you pay off a purchase to earn the additional cash back &mdash; you'll get it whether you can pay in full or over time, as long as you pay at least the minimum amount due. Unlike many other cards, the Double Cash card has no category restrictions, no enrollments in rotating categories, and no limits on the amount of cash back that you earn. <strong>There is no annual fee</strong>.</p> <p>There is a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24%-23.24%, based on your creditworthiness</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-quicksilver-cash-rewards-072516.png" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" height="97" width="154" align="right" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>Don't want to bother with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending">rotating quarterly categories</a>? The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname">Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Card</a> will get you unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There is no limit to the amount of cash you can earn, and no minimums to redeem the cash back. The cash back doesn't expire, either! You can get cash back in the form of an account credit, check, or gift card. <strong>There is no annual fee</strong>.</p> <p>There is currently a<strong>&nbsp;one-time bonus offer</strong> of $100 cash after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of approval. There is also a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 9 months. (After the promotional period, there is a 13.24%-23.24% variable APR; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred.)</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Chase Freedom Unlimitedâ„ </h2> <p><img src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-freedom-unlimited-072116.png" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=130&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target=" rel=" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=130&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname">Chase Freedom Unlimitedâ„  Credit Card</a> is one of the newest cash back credit cards on the block, offering unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic! Earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.The cash back does not expire and can be requested at any time with no minimum requirements. There is no annual fee for this card.</p> <p>Get a 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (then 14.24%-23.24% variable APR). Balance transfers have a fee of $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=130&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimitedâ„  today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Barclaycard CashForward&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</h2> <p><img src="http://imgsynergy.com/product_creatives/5641d56a186b0b48a85002dbfa883aed.png" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" height="97" width="154" border="0" alt="" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=21&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target=" rel=" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=21&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xname">Barclaycard CashForward&trade; World MasterCard&reg;</a> offers 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase. Cardholders also get a 5% redemption bonus. The minimum redemption requirement is $50. As a bonus, new cardholders can earn $100 after spending $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Additional benefits include various travel insurance, extended warranty, purchase and return protection, concierge services, and a free FICO score every month. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=25&amp;pid=21&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Barclaycard CashForward&trade; World MasterCard&reg;&nbsp;today!</a></strong></p> <p>Within the credit card industry, the term &quot;deadbeat&quot; is used as slang to describe customers who always pay their balances in full and on time. These customers don't provide the banks with any profits from interest payments or late fees, but they are still valued customers due to the merchant fees their spending generates and their impeccable payment history. If you are a proud member of this group, and you have no interest in travel rewards, you should be using one of these cards that offer the maximum cash back for your spending.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards"><strong>Back to the Credit Card Guide</strong></a></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-best-cash-back-credit-cards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Best%20Cash%20Back%20Credit%20Cards.jpg&amp;description=5%20Best%20Cash%20Back%20Credit%20Cards" 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/u5180/5%20Best%20Cash%20Back%20Credit%20Cards.jpg" alt="" height="374" width="250" /></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/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">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-4"> <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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit 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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</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/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Extra Income best credit cards cash back rewards credit card rewards Fri, 14 Jun 2013 11:48:20 +0000 Jason Steele 789703 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_groceries_credit_card_000030863634.jpg" alt="Family using a credit card for groceries" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even though I do my best to keep up with credit card rewards, I don't take credit card reward hacking to the extreme. I'd prefer not to have to carry around 10 cards in my wallet. I want to get the most points in categories that I actually spend a lot of money on. After our mortgage, the highest percentage of our monthly expenses comes in the form of groceries. So, I set out to determine which credit cards actually give the highest percentage back on groceries. (See also: <a title="Best 5 Cash Back Credit Cards" target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src=" http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/BoA_Cash_Rewards-154.jpg" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card" alt="BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card " rel="nofollow" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname">BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card</a> offers 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 3% back on gas, and 1% on other purchases. (Grocery store, wholesale club, and gas bonus rewards apply to the first $2500 in combined purchases in these categories each quarter.) Bank of America customers get an extra 10% bonus when redeeming rewards directly into a Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account (instead of a statement credit).<strong> There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><strong>Bonus offer:</strong> $100 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Also get a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles on purchases, and any balance transfers made within the first 60 days; after that, a variable APR that's currently between 13.24% and 23.24% will apply. A 3% fee (minimum $10) applies to balance transfers.</p> <p><strong><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://usweb.dotomi.com/cj/feeds/4019917/images/bcpcardart_300x200.jpg" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express" alt="Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express</a> offers a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases). You can also earn 3% from purchases at U.S. gas stations and 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. It does have an <strong>annual fee of $95</strong>, but if you have a big grocery budget, the rewards would be more than enough to cover this yearly cost.</p> <p><strong>Special offer:</strong> Earn $150 back after spending $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Also get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. If you apply by 1/11/2017, you can earn 10% cash back on eligible Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, worth up to $200. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-quicksilver-cash-rewards-072516.png" alt="" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target=" rel=" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>With the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname" target="_blank">Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card</a>, you earn a simple unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is no limit on how much you can earn and no changing categories to keep track of. Rewards don&rsquo;t expire, and you can redeem your cash back at any time for any amount. Plus, you&rsquo;ll earn a one-time bonus of $100 after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of approval. The $500 requirement is not too difficult to meet if you use this card for groceries and other household necessities. <strong>There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend" target="_blank">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express</h2> <p><img style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://usweb.dotomi.com/cj/feeds/4019917/images/bcecardart_300x200.jpg" height="97" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express" alt="Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=5&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>If the idea of paying an annual fee for a credit card is unappealing, try the no-annual-fee <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=5&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname">Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express</a>, which allows you to earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases), 2% at U.S. gas stations, and 1% on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. <strong>There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><strong>Special offer:&nbsp;</strong>Earn $100 back after spending $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Plus get 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors. If you apply by 1/11/2017, you can earn 10% cash back on eligible Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, worth up to $200. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=5&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Blue Cash Everyday&reg; Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiDoubleCash.jpg" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" height="98" width="154" border="0" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>With the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer</a> from our partner Citi, you get 1% cash back when you buy, plus another 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases. No need to wait until you pay off a purchase to earn the additional cash back &mdash; you'll get it whether you can pay in full or over time, as long as you pay at least the minimum amount due. Unlike many other cards, the Double Cash card has no category restrictions, no enrollments in rotating categories, and no limits on the amount of cash back that you earn, which makes it easy to earn cash back on groceries and other everyday spending. <strong>There is no annual fee</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Special Offer:</strong> There is a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24%-23.24%, based on your creditworthiness</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=37&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi&reg; Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer today!</strong></a></p> <h3>The Best Credit Card Offer for You</h3> <p>If you like <a title="Credit Card Guide" href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide">credit card rewards programs</a>, but have recently been unhappy with changes to your card, it may be time to consider a new one. The best way to choose a rewards card is to simply look at what your biggest category of spending is each month, and find a card that gives you the most back on that category. For me, this category was groceries.</p> <p><em>What's your biggest category of spending each month? Do you earn extra credit card points for those cards?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">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-2"> <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/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</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-get-5-cash-back-on-holiday-purchases">How to Get 5% Cash Back on Holiday Purchases</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">5 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/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Food and Drink Shopping best credit cards cash back credit card rewards groceries supermarkets Fri, 19 Apr 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 784541 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couples-vacation-beach.jpg" alt="Couple on the beach" title="Couple on the beach" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things as alluring as the promise of free travel to exotic destinations. The banks know this, and have long offered travel rewards to their customers for using their credit cards. In turn, savvy credit card users maximize their rewards to travel in comfort and style well beyond their means. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>Recently, I was explaining this to an European executive sitting next to me in Lufthansa's Airbus A380 business class while returning home from a vacation in Italy. I told him that my family and I could not possibly have paid for our three $7,000 tickets for this flight. But thanks to my travel rewards credit cards, my journey was all but free after some taxes and fees. Through careful selection and use of rewards, these kinds of trips have become an annual occurrence for my family. While there are innumerable ideas, tips, and tricks to be gleaned from endless hours of research, my mission is to do the work for you and deliver only the most valuable advice to busy people who lack the time and patience to discover and decipher these deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=seealso">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Card for you</a>)</p> <h2>Choosing The 5 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</h2> <p>It would be nice to pick the best travel reward cards in a purely empirical manner, the way one would choose a card with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">lowest interest rate</a>. Unfortunately, each travel rewards card offers a unique mix of benefits and drawbacks, and rarely is one card ideally suited for everyone's travel aspirations. I have read thousands of blog and forum posts, written hundreds of credit card reviews, and personally held dozens of different travel rewards cards over the last twenty years. In the end, I judge these cards based on three criteria:</p> <ul> <li><b>Value: </b>The return in cents per dollar spent</li> <li><b>Flexibility:</b> Cards that offer the most opportunities for redemptions &mdash; no blackout dates, a variety of partners, etc.</li> <li><b>Costs And Fees:</b> If fees are justified by its rewards and benefits</li> </ul> <p>Of all the travel rewards cards currently offered, these are the ones I find most rewarding.</p> <h2>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h2> <p><img src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-sapphire-preferred-card-110716.png" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcardbutton" target=" rel=" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>Cardholders of the <a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> are able to transfer their points to Chase travel partners at full value &mdash; 1,000 Chase points equal 1,000 partner miles/points. For most cards, some value gets lost during the transfer. Or get 20% off travel booked through Chase's site. Earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants &amp; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. There are no foreign transaction fees. The intro annual fee is $0 the first year, then 95.</p> <p><strong>Bonus offer:</strong> Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That&rsquo;s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards&reg;. Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.</p> <p><strong><a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/BoA_Travel-154.jpg" alt="" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" alt="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" title="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" target="_blank" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-exempt img-button" alt="" /></a>The <a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card</a> offers 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase, with no limit to the points you can earn and no expiration date on the points. If you're a Bank of America&reg; customer, you get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active checking or savings account with Bank of America. Points can be redeemed as a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more with no blackout dates and restrictions. This card has <strong>no annual fee</strong> and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong>Online exclusive bonus offer</strong>: Get 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1000 in purchases in the first 90 days &mdash; redeemable for a $200 statement credit that you can put towards travel purchases. New cardmembers will get to enjoy a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles on all their purchases, which then becomes a 15.24%-23.24% variable APR after the offer period.</p> <p><strong><a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=18&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card-101614.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton" title="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" alt="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> is a simple travel rewards card that offers two miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Earn unlimited miles and redeem them for statement credit on travel purchases, allowing you to choose any airline or hotel, <em>and</em> earn miles on your travel rewards. There is no annual fee for the first year. It's $59 thereafter.</p> <p><strong>Bonus offer:</strong> Get a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Card from American Express</h2> <p><img class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/gold-delta-skymiles-credit-card-from-american-express-022415.png" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" alt="Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Card from American Express" title="Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Card from American Express" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname">Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Card from American Express</a> offers 2 miles for every purchase made directly with Delta and 1 mile for all other eligible purchases. You also get a slew of travel benefits, including your first checked bag free on every Delta flight, Priority Boarding, discounted airport lounge access, and 20% savings on in-flight purchases. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then a $95 fee applies annually. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, plus a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within your first 3 months. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><strong><a onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=9&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><img src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-ventureone-rewards-credit-card-101614.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" width="154" border="0" height="97" /><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=5&amp;uv= xcardbutton" title="Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card" alt="Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');">Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> offers unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase. While the rewards are lower, the APR range is also lower than most cards (0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.24% - 22.24% variable APR after that). There are no foreign transaction fees and <strong>no annual fee</strong>.</p> <p><strong>Bonus:</strong> 20,000 one-time bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval &mdash; equal to $200 in travel!</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=58&amp;pid=33&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" onclick="window.fbq('track', 'Lead');">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; VentureOne&reg; Rewards Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Conclusions</h2> <p>No discussion of rewards credit cards is complete without the warning that these products are only best for those who always pay their balances in full and never incur interest. Everyone else should use the card with the lowest APR. That said, if you do pay your balance off every month, and you love to travel, then you have much to gain by applying for and using one of these top travel rewards cards. Join me in the exciting world of those who regularly travel for free.</p> <p><em>My wife and daughter on one of our trips earned through travel rewards cards</em>:</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/my-family-on-vacation.jpg" width="605" height="405" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide"><strong>Back to the Credit Card Guide</strong></a></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%2Ftop-5-travel-reward-credit-cards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Best%20Travel%20Reward%20Credit%20Cards.jpg&amp;description=5%20Best%20Travel%20Reward%20Credit%20Cards" 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/u5180/5%20Best%20Travel%20Reward%20Credit%20Cards.jpg" alt="5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards" 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/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">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-2"> <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/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles 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/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</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-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards credit card rewards travel rewards Fri, 05 Apr 2013 09:48:24 +0000 Jason Steele 775181 at http://www.wisebread.com Stupid Credit Card Tricks: How Your Credit Card Company Lies to You http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-credit-card-tricks-how-your-credit-card-company-lies-to-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stupid-credit-card-tricks-how-your-credit-card-company-lies-to-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6902180872_56da9287f1_z.jpg" alt="credit card offer" title="credit card offer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It didn't exactly make headlines outside of personal credit and finance websites, but <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/24/pf/discover-penalty-telemarketing/index.html">Discover announced</a> last week that it would pay out millions in refunds to customers who claim that they were deceived by telemarketers. The scandal in question involved customers signing up for payment protection and credit monitoring services they didn't actually want because the telemarketers spoke too quickly. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed a lawsuit in tandem with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Discover settled the suit to the tune of $200 million in refunds paid to 3.5 million customers and $14 million in fines.</p> <p>Whether or not Discover was willfully committing fraud is sort of beside the point. What is important is that there is a current of deceptive and quasi-legal system-gaming processes designed to maximize profits in the financial sector at the expense of consumers. This is just business as usual, and for every story about Discover getting caught red handed, there are probably hundreds of stories of companies not getting caught deceiving customers. While some deceptions might be more obvious than others, most fall under the rubric of &quot;read the fine print closely.&quot; Of course, this only helps if you actually know what it is that you're looking for. I've put together this handy list that no one should apply for a credit card without having read. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-we-spend-more-when-we-pay-with-credit-cards">Why We Spend More When We Pay With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Zero Percent APR</h2> <p>This is a favorite of credit card companies looking for new customers. It's especially attractive when it includes <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=inarticle" title="the best balance transfer credit cards">balance transfers</a>, as it allows you to move your debt from a high-interest card to a no-interest card.</p> <p><strong>The Catch:</strong> The intro APR is legit, but it has an expiration date. Cinderella's carriage turns into a pumpkin when the ball is over, and you get hit with all the back interest charges that would have accrued over the course of a year. This can run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on how much debt you have on the card.</p> <h2>No Annual Fee</h2> <p>A lot of rewards cards require that you pay an annual fee for the privilege of taking advantage of their programs. In many cases, the annual fee can totally be worth it. If you're going to save $500 over the course of a year, it's not a bad idea to pay $100 up front. A lot of credit companies will waive these fees, especially for the first year. But unsurprisingly, there's a catch.</p> <p><strong>The Catch:</strong> This could be an entire article in and of itself. The biggest reason that no annual fee is a scam, though? A lot of times it comes with terms and conditions a mile long. Fail to meet these terms and conditions, and you're going to be paying that annual fee, despite the fact that you got a letter in mail saying that you wouldn't have to.</p> <h2>&quot;Rewards&quot;</h2> <p>It used to be that you used credit cards for emergencies or for purchases you couldn't afford at the time but couldn't get bank financing for. Nowadays, people pay for all kinds of things on their credit cards to accrue points. This is dangerous if you can't pay off the entire balance at the end of the month. However, even if you can do that, there might be a catch.</p> <p><strong>The Catch:</strong> A lot of times the rewards points aren't worth anything. What I mean by this is that if you never buy pumpkin seeds (for example), it doesn't matter how many rewards points you have if they can only be used for pumpkin seeds. Always read what you can purchase with your rewards points before you start racking them up. Further, if you're using rewards points for travel, look into the blackout dates and restrictions before you get too excited. Finally, note that many credit card rewards programs have expiration dates.</p> <h2>Cash Back</h2> <p>People hate paying bills, and credit card bills are probably the least favorite bill going. So what better way to entice customers to use your credit cards than by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-earn-cashback-rewards-without-extra-spending">offering them cash back</a>? But you're going to be totally unsurprised that there's a lot more smoke than fire here.</p> <p><strong>The Catch:</strong> The devil is, of course, in the details. You might only get cash back on a certain amount. Or the percentage of cash back that you can get fluctuates. Or you might be required to spend a certain amount and keep a balance for a certain period of time to be able to collect on the cash back. No matter what the case is, remember that credit card companies are in the business of making money off of the money that you spend. They're not just going to give you cash because they think you're a nice guy.</p> <h2>Repayment Hierarchies</h2> <p>You have a high-interest card carrying a high balance. In an attempt to make your finances healthier, you get a zero-interest credit card and transfer the balance over. You have a plan to pay down the debt within a year to ensure that you aren't going to incur the massive interest rates and fees that come along with not paying off the card within the year. But the unexpected happens, and you need to make new charges on the card.</p> <p><strong>The Catch:</strong> Your plan to pay down your debt has just been thrown into total disarray, thanks to a little something known as repayment hierarchies. Put simply, this means that you pay down different debts in different ways. If your credit card has different interest rates for balance transfers and purchases, guess which one you pay down first? The one with the lower interest rate. This is so your credit card company can maximize the amount of money it is getting from you via interest.</p> <h2>Caveat Emptor</h2> <p>There are few places where caveat emptor (&quot;let the buyer beware&quot;) are more applicable than with credit cards. Read the fine print, but also <em>understand</em> the fine print and its long-term consequences. This will keep you from turning advantage to adversity and help you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-fighting-debt-today">get out of debt</a>, not accrue more.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nicholas-pell">Nicholas Pell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-credit-card-tricks-how-your-credit-card-company-lies-to-you">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-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit 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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward 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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</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/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card rewards fraud frugal tricks Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:36:34 +0000 Nicholas Pell 954803 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Myths About Credit Card Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-credit-card-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-myths-about-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/young-couple-with-shopping-bags-and-credit-card-iStock_000019095990Small.jpg" alt="Young couple shopping online with credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I first started writing about credit cards in 2007, I was surprised by the demand for information about this subject. Credit cards are incredibly popular, yet there are relatively few unbiased voices out there compared to the banks' constant siege of marketing propaganda. In the absence of credible sources, an entire mythology has been constructed around credit cards that bears little relation to the truth. And it doesn&rsquo;t help that many of these beliefs concern the credit scores and the secret formulas used to come up with them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>So let&rsquo;s deconstruct these myths a little and shine some light on how your credit cards and credit scores actually work. Here are five common myths about credit card rewards.</p> <h3>1. &ldquo;Applying for a Credit Card Will Hurt My Credit Score.&rdquo;</h3> <p>Since so many people get into trouble with credit cards, many believe that applying for a new card will hurt their credit score. While it is true that credit scores take into account your number of recent applications for credit, applying for a single credit card will not hurt your credit score. In fact, it will probably help your score. Although the exact formula that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debt/credit-scores">Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO)</a> uses to create credit scores is a secret, they do <a href="http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/whatsinyourscore.aspx">disclose what factors they use</a>.</p> <p>&quot;New credit,&quot; a factor that includes the number of recent inquiries does compose 10% of your credit score. Yet even this relatively minor factor is not affected by a single application for new credit. Apply for several new credit cards in a short period of time, and you may see only a small (and temporary) decline due to this factor.</p> <p>At the same time, being granted new credit affects other factors that will help your score. By being extended new credit, you will decrease your debt-to-credit ratio (also known as &quot;debt utlization&quot; or &quot;debt-to-limit ratio&quot;). This is part of the &ldquo;amounts owed&rdquo; factor that makes up 30% of your credit score.</p> <p>So if you find a credit card that is worth applying for, don&rsquo;t let this unfounded myth stop you.</p> <h3>2. &ldquo;Canceling Credit Cards Will Help My Score.&rdquo;</h3> <p>If people mistakenly believe that applying for a credit card is bad for your score, it follows that cancelling your credit cards must improve your score. Actually, it will usually hurt it.</p> <p>Cancelling credit cards will reduce the total amount of credit you have been extended and increase your debt-to-credit ratio. Cancelling credit cards that you have held for some time will also reduce your average length of credit history.</p> <p>So as long as you are not paying an unreasonable annual fee, it is best to keep your existing cards on your credit report.</p> <h3>3. &ldquo;Earning Points and Miles Is Not Worth It.&rdquo;</h3> <p>Everyone who has collected points and miles has found out the hard way that rewards can be over-promised and under-delivered. In response, many have concluded that all these points and miles are just a scam.</p> <p>It is true that airlines have limited availability of awards seats at the lowest mileage levels and hotels are great at hiding blackout dates and capacity restrictions in the fine print of their program terms. Yet the value is still there for those who are willing to look hard enough for it.</p> <p>I can still find business class international award seats if I am flexible and search far in advance.&nbsp;In addition, domestic award seats for last minute flights can be a great value when compared to full-fare, walk-up prices.</p> <p>I also try extra hard to find eligible partner award flights that may not be included in online search results.&nbsp;Most airlines allow you to redeem their miles for flights on a dozen or more of their partners, yet few do a good job of displaying these partner's results when you search for award seats online. Often you have to search the partner's own website and then call the airline to have the award booked over the phone.</p> <p>Finally, there are still <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">several programs that offer awards with no blackout dates or capacity controls</a> such as Starwood Hotels and Southwest Airlines.</p> <h3>4. &ldquo;You Can&rsquo;t Just Apply for a Credit Card to Get the Sign-Up Bonus.&rdquo;</h3> <p>Many people have trouble accepting that banks will offer you something for nothing. But when you apply for a new credit card and accept a sign-up bonus, you are giving the bank an opportunity to earn your business. You are under no moral or legal obligation to renew the card at the end of the year. If you compare the terms and conditions of these cards, you will conclude that the banks understand this and choose whether or not to include incentives for your use and renewal of their card.</p> <p>For example, many cards require that new applicants spend a minimum amount before receiving some or all of the promised bonus. Other cards grant bonuses not just when a card is received, but only upon renewal. The fact is that credit card customers are so profitable for banks, that they are willing offer up plenty of free bait in order to reel in a catch of new customers. </p> <h3>5. &ldquo;I Can Carry a Balance and Still Earn Rewards.&rdquo;</h3> <p>This may be the most dangerous myth of all.&nbsp;Credit card rewards are great, but they should only be earned by those who always pay their balances in full and on time every month.</p> <p>If you carry a balance and think that you are earning rewards, you are forgetting three things:</p> <p>First, you are not getting the lowest interest rate you can, as reward cards will always have a higher interest rate than comparable non-reward cards.</p> <p>Second, the value of the interest paid will be far greater than the rewards that you receive.</p> <p>Finally, earning a reward for spending is the last thing that you should be thinking about when you have credit card debt. If you are carrying credit card debt, you should always find the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=inarticle" title="5 Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards">card with the lowest interest</a> and be working to pay off your debt as soon as possible.</p> <h3>Make Credit Cards Work for You</h3> <p>Credit cards are powerful and complex financial tools, and you shouldn&rsquo;t rely on popular myths when you make decisions about their use. By understanding how these myths are wrong, and using trusted sources to learn the facts, only then can you make your credit cards work for you.&nbsp;</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/5-myths-about-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-5"> <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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit 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/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer 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-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back 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-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management credit card rewards Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Jason Steele 954961 at http://www.wisebread.com Common Money-Saving Mistakes That Can Cost Big Bucks http://www.wisebread.com/common-money-saving-mistakes-that-can-cost-big-bucks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/common-money-saving-mistakes-that-can-cost-big-bucks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7658196436_9cf5155a71_z.jpg" alt="tearing money" title="tearing money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thrifty shoppers are always looking for <a href="http://dealnews.com/editors-choice?eref=wisebread">ways to save money</a> whenever possible, whether by cutting weekly or monthly spending, or by stretching your dollar through sales and coupons. But take heed, because some common efforts to save actually result in wasting money. Changing the way you shop, switching to a different financial service, and more &mdash; all under the guise of saving &mdash; can often be more detrimental than you might think. Instead, think twice and avoid these common pitfalls. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-do-to-save-money-that-end-up-costing-you-more">10 Things You Do to Save Money That End Up Costing You More</a>)</p> <h2>Switching Banks</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;Why am I paying all these bank account fees? I'm going to switch banks for a free checking account and more ATMs.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> Despite last year's fervor for <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/moneywisewomen/2011/11/04/will-bank-transfer-day-really-change-anything/">Bank Transfer Day</a>, switching banks can be costly. You can easily incur overdraft fees from un-posted or pre-written checks and from transitioning automatic bill payments and direct deposits. New deposit requirements or availability policies can result in low-balance fees while you learn how to maintain &quot;free&quot; checking accounts.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Find a bank that offers free checking with no requirements and a ready-made bank &quot;switch kit.&quot; Keep your old checking account open for several months until you are certain all automatic payments and checks have cleared.</p> <h2>Spending for Rewards</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;I get cash back for things I buy anyway, so put it on the credit card.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> According to a <a href="http://www.credit.com/press/statistics/credit-card-statistics.html?">recent Nilson Report</a>, average monthly spending on a non-rewards credit card totaled $465; with rewards, it reached $890. Clearly, it's easy to feel compelled to spend more when you think that you're earning rewards. But be careful, balances carried over can quickly eclipse rewards as you'll have to pay off interest on your principle balance. Personal finance experts warn, also, that mental accounting weakens with credit card spending. You'll likely have a harder time keeping track of what you're charging than if you were paying for everything in cash.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Stick to your shopping budget and always pay off credit card balances before their due date. For rotating rewards categories, spend only in those higher-paying categories (for example, 5% on groceries vs. 1% on gas). Search for a reward credit card with no rewards expiration dates and no annual fees.</p> <h2>Sharing Your Max Monthly Payment</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;The salesman will stick to my monthly payment budget if I tell him what it is.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> Rather than offering you the best price for an item (paid for in installments, like a car or loan), salesmen often try to bloat the package cost so that it reaches (or goes slightly over) your max budget. If they know you're willing to spend a certain amount each month, you can bet they won't opt to <i>under</i>sell you.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Stay focused on cutting the overall price of your purchase so that you'll end up with a lower monthly payment. Don't let salespeople pack any extras into your plan.</p> <h2>Shopping at Warehouse Clubs</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;Everybody knows that buying bulk results in a lower cost per unit.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> Not every item at a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-or-saving-money-with-a-warehouse-club-membership">warehouse club</a> like Sam's or BJ's Wholesale is a great deal; many are bundled and packaged specifically for the warehouse clubs. So even though you're buying a cellophane-wrapped crateload of regular-size items that appears to be cheaper overall, you may not be saving much per unit in the end. Instead, you've succumbed to an expensive impulse buy that you might not actually use completely.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Know your grocery store's regular and sale prices, as well as the package sizes of items you buy in bulk at warehouse clubs. Then, do the math to compare the unit price to confirm savings. Make a list of only those warehouse items that save you money and stick to it.</p> <h2>Outlet Shopping</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;They sell last season's brand names at a lower price.&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> Not everything at the outlets is of the same quality you'd find at a full-price department stores. In fact, manufacturers often produce cheaper goods specifically for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-outlet-malls-worth-your-time">outlet stores</a>. Moreover, there are plenty of outlet stores online, and many of them will frequently offer additional promotions that beat the savings of shopping at the traditional, brick and mortar outlets.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Be sure to compare outlet prices with department store prices, and learn the differences between designer or brand name items. When considering an item, look at the fit, stitching, fabrication, and embellishments, as this is where manufacturers tend to cut costs on producing outlet goods. At department stores, you'd do well to shop end-of-season clearance sales and can save a bundle with&nbsp;<a href="http://dealcoupon.com/">stacking store coupons</a>.</p> <h2>Using a Prepaid Debit Card</h2> <p><strong>Why You Think It Saves Money:</strong> &quot;My paycheck gets deposited directly onto the card so I can automatically use it and avoid bank fees!&quot;</p> <p><strong>How You Can Overspend:</strong> The ads makes prepaid debit cards sound easy, but don't fall prey to their marketing without understanding the swipe/usage or reload fees. These can end up costing more than a &quot;free&quot; checking account with a debit card.</p> <p><strong>Smarter Saving:</strong> Read the fine print on these offers and be sure to read through the fee chart. You should consider a free checking account with no requirements instead; it will help you learn to budget your money and track spending better.</p> <p>The trick is not to act impulsively when employing new ways to save money. Think carefully about the actual costs of your purchases and savings attempts, especially if &quot;saving&quot; costs you upfront.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/common-money-saving-mistakes-that-can-cost-big-bucks">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-6"> <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/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</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/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</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-keep-your-kids-rich-friends-from-ruining-your-budget">How to Keep Your Kid&#039;s Rich Friends From Ruining Your Budget</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-switch-banks">How to Switch Banks</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/50-things-you-can-do-today-instead-of-going-shopping">50 Things You Can Do Today Instead of Going Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Banking buying in bulk credit card rewards financial mistakes shopping switch banks Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:24:40 +0000 Dealnews 952371 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Credit Card Reward Tips Many People Don't Follow http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4211839788_5f49a7bc09_z.jpg" alt="credit cards" title="credit cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As someone who advises a lot of people about credit card rewards, I'm often surprised by what the average person forgets to do when it comes to their rewards credit cards. Here are some helpful tips for making the most of your card rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>1. Conduct an Annual or Bi-Annual Award Card Audit</h3> <p>This is the biggest mistake people make. Ten years ago, you might have done some research and found that card XYZ was the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-type-of-rewards-credit-card-is-right-for-you">best card (according to your needs)</a> on the market. The result is that 10 years later, you're still using the same card.</p> <p>Credit card reward earning rates and redemption benefits change. New card offerings can easily make old card offerings obsolete. Recently I was talking with a relative about his use of a certain card, and I realized that by re-evaluating the current card offerings, he would be able to earn an extra $100-$200 per year.</p> <h3>2. Don't Chase After Rewards When Payments Are Costing You More</h3> <p>It's human nature to think that we're smarter than most other people, and it's amazing the number of people who carry a balance on their rewards cards, thinking they are doing something smart because after spending $10,000, they get a $100 reward. The problem is that the $100 award is costing them $1,000 in interest . That simply doesn't make sense.</p> <h3>3. Don't Use a Point Card If the Value Is Less Than a Penny Per Point</h3> <p>Personally, I'm a big fan of<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards"> airline and hotel points</a>. I find that our family can easily get a 2-5 cent value out of each dollar point we spend on different credit cards. However, there are a lot of people who will redeem their points at below even a .05 cent value. That's a bad idea. If you're not going to redeem your points for valuable items, then you should just use a straight cash back card that will at least give you 1-2% on every purchase. If you're earning less than 1% value from your points, it's time to consider a new card.</p> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: Georgia, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 2em;">4. Always Know the Most Valuable Use of Your Points or Miles</span></p> <p>Free is good, but more free stuff is better.</p> <p>You can use your points to buy things like an iPod, but here are some other things you could do:</p> <ul> <li>You could transfer your points to British Airways and pay 50,000 points plus about $100 in taxes and fees to fly business class return from Miami to Lima. That trip is pricing out at Orbitz starting at $1,500. &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You could transfer those points to Delta and have enough miles for almost three round-trip tickets anywhere in the US (three tickets would require 75,000 Delta miles). With the average cost of a domestic ticket over $300, that's nearly a $900 value.</li> </ul> <p>That's a bad feeling when you realize you wasted your award points.</p> <p>Don't spend all your time focusing on how you earn your points. Learn how to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-scoring-a-frequent-flyer-rewards-flight">maximize using your points</a> as well.</p> <h3>5. Develop a Credit Card Spending Strategy</h3> <p>If you own more than one awards card, do you know which is the best card to use for specific situations?</p> <p>Certain cards offer extra points for gas, office supplies, restaurants, travel, and other specific categories. You must know the best ways to use your cards.</p> <p>Right now I have three cards that I rotate. How, when, and where I use them is determined by the rewards potential by each use. A spending strategy doesn't just consider award benefits, but it also considers other benefits like warranty coverage, rental car benefits, and foreign currency exchange fees.</p> <p>Some cards offer one additional year of extended warranty coverage, so use those to buy electronics. When renting cars, you should give consideration to cards that offer primary rental car insurance. And you don't want to spend a few thousand dollars on your vacation overseas only to find out that if you used a different card you could have saved hundreds of dollars in foreign currency exchange fees. Be sure to use a 0% foreign currency exchange credit card when traveling overseas.</p> <h3>6. Don't Overlook a Reward Card Simply Because It Has an Annual Fee</h3> <p>If you can get a good reward card that doesn't have an annual fee, then that's great. However, I've known people who could earn a lot more points by using a rewards card with an annual fee, but they refuse to do it out of principle, even when the rewards value far outweighs the annual fee cost.</p> <p>Don't pay an annual fee if you're not going to get more awards for doing so. However, I've advised a lot of people to get an award card with an annual fee because they'll actually end up with more rewards value than the cost of the annual fee.</p> <h3>7. Focus on Diversity in Card Brands</h3> <p>IIf you're going to have multiple cards, be sure that they are from different companies, as you'll be able to have the most flexibility to maximize the rewards. Often, the rewards are not just spending bonuses, but cards might offer different discounts the companies will run throughout the year.</p> <p>Visa Signature card holders have different perks than American Express users.&nbsp;By having a diversity of cards, you'll be able to take advantage of all the best current offers each company is promoting.</p> <p><em>What other important credit card reward tips do you think people don't follow?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow">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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit 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/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</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-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</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-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards annual fees credit card rewards travel rewards Tue, 24 Jul 2012 10:24:37 +0000 Craig Ford 942738 at http://www.wisebread.com