rewards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2076/all en-US 10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Credit Card Offer http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_credit_card_000069657419.jpg" alt="Woman asking questions before accepting credit card offer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unsolicited credit card offers can flood your mailbox and email inbox, and in most cases, you may not give these offers a second glance. But once you're ready to add a new credit card to your financial portfolio, it's important to understand the basic features of these offers and choose the right card. Credit cards are not one and the same, so it's important to ask yourself these 10 questions before accepting an offer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pre-approved-for-credit-card-offers-are-you-pre-qualified?ref=seealso">How to Understand Pre-Approved and Pre-Qualified Credit Card Offers</a>)</p> <h2>1. Is This the Right Time to Apply for a Card?</h2> <p>You may not know this, but there are right and wrong times to apply for a credit card. Typically, you don't want to apply for new credit if you're in the process of or thinking about financing a home. Anytime you get a loan, lenders take your current debt load into consideration. If you get a new credit card and amass a large balance fairly quickly, this can increase your debt ratio and reduce purchasing power. There's nothing wrong with getting a new card, just make sure that the decision to accept an offer doesn't interfere with your ability to get financing in the near future.</p> <h2>2. Am I the Right Candidate?</h2> <p>There are credit cards for every type of borrower. Before accepting a credit card offer, read the fine print and know the qualifications for the card, or else you'll waste time applying for cards you're not eligible to receive. Some credit cards are designed specifically for people with excellent credit, whereas other cards are suited for people with low credit scores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-fairaverage-credit?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for People with Fair or Average Credit</a>)</p> <p>Credit card companies typically prescreen and match recipients with the appropriate credit card offer. So if you receive an offer in the mail, you're more than likely a suitable candidate. But if you're researching offers on your own, be aware of basic qualifications.</p> <h2>3. What's the APR?</h2> <p>If you'll carry a balance from month to month, make sure you know the card's annual percentage rate (APR). This rate lets you know how much you'll pay in interest if you don't pay off the card in full every month. Interest rates vary and depend on your credit score. Ideally, you want the lowest rate so that you pay the least amount in finance fees.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Cards With the Lowest APRs</a></p> <p>Credit card applications feature the APR prominently. A credit card may offer interest rates ranging from 10.99% APR to 21.99% APR, in which case borrowers with the lowest scores pay the highest rates. Some cards also have low introductory rates, such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">0% interest on balance transfers</a> and standard purchases for a certain number of months. The interest rate on a credit card can also be fixed or variable. A fixed rate remains the same, but a variable rate can move up or down based on the market.</p> <h2>4. Is There an Annual Fee?</h2> <p>Some credit cards charge an annual fee which can range from $50 to $450. The fee often depends on the number and level of cardmember perks. Make sure you read the fine print for information on annual fees. Not every credit card has an annual fee. If you're looking for a basic, no-frills credit card and you don't care about cardmember perks, it is possible to find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees">credit cards with no annual fees</a>.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-decide-if-an-annual-fee-credit-card-is-worth-it-for-you?ref=seealso">How to Decide if an Annual Fee Card Is Worth It for You</a></p> <h2>5. Is There a Rewards Program?</h2> <p>Many credit cards offer rewards, such as miles, points, or cashback for every dollar you spend. A rewards credit card can work if you use credit cards frequently. But it's important to find a credit card with rewards that fit your lifestyle. If you're a frequent traveler, you can search specifically for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">airline credit cards</a> or a credit card that lets you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">earn miles or points redeemable for travel</a>. The point of the rewards is to get something back for spending (as an incentive for spending, too), so you might as well get something you want or need.</p> <p>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: Which Credit Card Is Right for You?</a></p> <h2>6. Does the Bank Report to the Bureaus?</h2> <p>Not every credit card company reports to the three major credit bureaus on a regular basis. Whether you want to build or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score">improve your credit score</a>, choose a credit card company that will report your activity to the bureaus on a monthly basis. You can find credit bureau reporting information in the terms of agreement on the application, or you can call the bank for this information.</p> <h2>7. Do I Need Another Credit Card?</h2> <p>Getting a credit card offer in the mail doesn't mean you have to complete the offer. Consider whether you need another credit card. Will the new credit card offer you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">additional perks and benefits</a>, or save you money by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">offering cash back</a>? Is there a card with an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">enticing sign up offer</a>? Then again, if you can't keep up with your current monthly payments, or if your current credit cards are maxed out, adding a new card may further complicate your finances.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?ref=seealso">How to Save $1,094.86 a Year With Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>8. What Are the Credit Card Fees?</h2> <p>The cost of owning a credit card doesn't stop with the annual fee and APR. Credit cards include a variety of other fees, and it's important to count the cost before accepting an offer. You need to consider the late fee, the cash advance fee, and the balance transfer fee. Additionally, if you used the credit card in a foreign country, would you be charged a foreign transaction fee? Credit card fees add up quickly. You can save money by picking a card with the least amount of fees.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-no-balance-transfer-fees?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards With No Balance Transfer Fee</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees</a></p> <h2>9. What Else Can the Card Offer Me?</h2> <p>Besides reward programs, credit cards include a host of other offers and incentives to lure customers. For example, some credit cards give cardholders <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores">free access to their credit scores</a> and the ability to download an app and manage their account from a mobile device. Other cards include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card">car rental insurance</a>, trip cancellation insurance, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">extended warranty protection</a>, price protection, and many other perks.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-card-perks-beyond-points-and-miles?ref=seealso">The Best Credit Card Perks Beyond Miles and Points</a></p> <h2>10. How Does the Offer Compare to Other Offers?</h2> <p>It isn't enough to review the specifics of a particular credit card offer, you should also determine how this offer compares with other offers. The truth is, you can't truly identify a good credit card offer until you make comparisons. After receiving an offer, the fees and interest rate may seem fair and reasonable. But shopping around may open your eyes to something better. This doesn't mean you have to spend weeks comparing different credit cards, but you should compare at least three cards before making a decision.</p> <p><em>What do you consider before accepting a credit card offer?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer">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/7-important-things-you-should-know-about-balance-transfer-cards">7 Important Things You Should Know About Balance Transfer 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/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal">Is a Balance Transfer Offer a Good Deal?</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/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With 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-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases">5 Best Credit Cards with 0% APR for Purchases</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/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi Double Cash Rewards Card Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards applying for credit APR balance transfers cashback fees rewards Wed, 20 Apr 2016 10:30:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1690617 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_tropical_vacation_000045753702_0.jpg" alt="Woman using expert tips for redeeming miles for free travel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A bite from the travel bug can be a pricey itch to scratch. While we've covered many ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=internal">travel the world for less</a>, one of the simplest ways to jetset on a dime is to take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">credit cards that offer travel rewards</a>.</p> <p>Wondering how to get the most bang for your rewards mile buck? The experts weighed in and gave us 12 tips to get you travel-hacking like a pro.</p> <h2>1. Treat Yourself to International First Class</h2> <p>Flying business or first class on an international flight can cost tens of thousands of dollars. But in the wonderful world of rewards points, that luxury can be yours for only about twice the amount of miles you'd spend on an ordinary round-trip domestic flight. Ariana Arghandewal, who blogs about her years of travel-hacking experience at <a href="http://www.pointchaser.com/">Pointchaser</a>, has capitalized on this amazing value in a major way.</p> <p>&quot;I recently booked a vacation to Asia for myself and four family members, using a combination of points and miles,&quot; she shares. &quot;We traveled to Singapore, Bali, and Hong Kong in mixture of business and first class. The airfare alone would have set us back $12,000 per person. Instead, we redeemed just around 125,000 miles per person. We stayed at some of the best hotels in each city and received elite benefits like club lounge access and amazing room upgrades.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Book Award Tickets Immediately... Or at the Last Minute</h2> <p>This is a tip many travel-hackers agree on. When it comes to awards flights, timing is everything.</p> <p>Grant Thomas of <a href="http://travelwithgrant.com/">Travel With Grant</a>, a BoardingArea blog, explains: &quot;When it is time to search and book your award ticket, you have the greatest chance of success if you book way in the future (10&ndash;12 months before your flight) or last minute (one to two weeks before your flight). This does not work 100% of the time or during holiday travel, but it works pretty consistently.&quot;</p> <p>Daraius Dubash and Emily Jablon of <a href="http://millionmilesecrets.com/">Million Mile Secrets</a> echo this advice. They take it one step further in suggesting you book saver-level awards seats, which let you use a minimum amount of rewards points, as soon as you find them &mdash; they don't last long, especially for flights during peak times such as summer or during holidays.</p> <h2>3. Say Hello to the Avio</h2> <p>Jonathan Sacks, frequent jet-setter and blogger behind <a href="http://everybodyhatesatourist.net/">Everybody Hates a Tourist</a>, makes use of this great little hack involving the British Airways club currency, Avios. &quot;While everyone wants to redeem miles for exotic destinations, it can be hard to find those awards,&quot; Jonathan explains. &quot;For only 4500 Avios, you can fly on any Oneworld Alliance flight of up to 650 miles.&quot;</p> <p>This can be a killer way to score rewards flights on typically short, but pricey trips. You can earn Avios through the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-together-for-less-with-british-airways-visa-signature-credit-card">airline's co-branded card</a>, or by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">transferring points from participating rewards credit cards</a>.</p> <p>For those who aren't in the know, Oneworld Alliance is not just British Airways, either. This group of affiliate airlines includes American Airlines, Air Berlin, Japan Airlines, Quantas, LAN Airlines, and many others.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards with Airline Partners</a></p> <h2>4. Get Companion Pass Status</h2> <p>How cool would it be if your spouse, parent, or best friend could tag along on flights with you &mdash; for free? If it sounds too good to be true, it's not. Enter the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card">Southwest Airlines Companion Pass</a>.</p> <p>This top-tier benefit is awarded to frequent fliers who accrue up to 110,000 qualifying points in one year with the airline's co-branded rewards card. Once you hit that milestone, your Companion Pass will let a travel partner of your choice fly free with you for the remainder of the calendar year <em>and </em>all of the next! Get your timing right, and that's almost two years of free flights.</p> <p>Robert McNamara, the Vagabond behind <a href="http://frugalvagabond.com/">The Frugal Vagabond</a>, is a big fan of the Companion Pass. &quot;My fiancé and I have traveled all over the U.S. and Mexico &mdash; me on miles, her on the Companion Pass &mdash; for only the cost of airport taxes,&quot; he says. &quot;In May, we traveled to Mexico for a total of $95 each in taxes, round trip! For domestic flights, those taxes come down to only $11 per person round trip! Unbeatable!&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">Best Credit Cards with Airline Companion Tickets</a></p> <h2>5. Forget Layovers... Enjoy a Stopover!</h2> <p>Stopovers give travelers the opportunity to literally stop and see the sights of a location en route to their final destination. While this can be a costly decision for conventional travel, it becomes a killer value when using rewards points. Drew Macomber, expert travel hacker, explains:</p> <p>&quot;Most miles allow you to stop in at least one other destination for as long as you want. Spend one week in London, and then one week in Rome... and it doesn't change the price of the ticket! If you did this with a revenue ticket it would increase the price a ton, but with most airlines, it doesn't cost any extra miles.&quot;</p> <p>Drew has a breakdown of airline stopover rules, including &quot;open jaws&quot; (flying between three cities with one leg of the journey open), on his blog, <a href="http://travelisfree.com/2014/12/04/list-of-airline-stopover-routing-rules/">Travel Is Free</a>.</p> <h2>6. Stay in Style</h2> <p>Rewards cards aren't just for miles. With a little research, you can find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades">co-branded hotel rewards cards</a> that not only grant you frequent flyer miles, but free nights in any resort bearing their brand. Many also award killer freebies and extras when you hit certain spending requirements. Robert Winter of <a href="http://www.mylakecountrytravel.com/index.html">My Lake Country Travel</a> has scored an amazing value with this type of co-branded card.</p> <p>&quot;By spending just $2,500 in four months, [I got] a two-night weekend certificate and gold status,&quot; he says.&quot; &quot;This [got me] a $1200 per night room at the luxurious Conrad Maldives including daily breakfast and happy hour. I just used this award and it was amazing!&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards">Breakdown of Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>7. Pick Up the Phone</h2> <p>Did you know that many airline websites don't show all of their affiliates in search results? Instead of trying to book your miles through the Internet, pick up the phone. Call the airline rewards program directly and ask them to do the booking for you.</p> <p>Kyle Zuvella, the travel-hacking pro behind <a href="http://thefarawayguide.com/about/">The Faraway Guide</a>, breaks it down:</p> <p>&quot;Let's face it: calling an airline is usually a terrible experience. But it also holds hidden value, because almost all airline agents can view partner airlines not shown on the website. This means that flyers have an immense amount of unrealized options when it comes to their itinerary. More options equals more potential for value.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Prepare for Peak Season</h2> <p>Peak seasons are a point of consideration for any form of travel. You should definitely consider time of year when using your miles, too. John Z. Wetmore, who travels frequently to film his public affairs TV series <a href="http://www.pedestrians.org/index.html">Perils for Pedestrians</a>, points out that much like when purchasing normal travel amenities, seasonal demand can totally change the value of a rewards mile.</p> <p>&quot;With American Airlines, a round trip to Europe is just 40,000 miles after the middle of October, versus 60,000 miles during the summer,&quot; he points out. Do a little homework to find out what time of year will net you the most value for your hard-earned points.</p> <h2>9. Watch Out for Fees</h2> <p>Wetmore also points out that in addition to costing you miles, a flight can also come with taxes, airport fees, and sometimes other arbitrary charges. That's money directly out of your pocket &mdash; and the more you spend, the less bargain you're really getting for your rewards miles. For example, booking through American Airlines partners (OneWorld Alliance) may require you to do a bit of price-comparison.</p> <p>&quot;American waits for you to select a flight before telling you the cash cost,&quot; John explains. &quot;You need to go back and forth to make sure you have the best deal.&quot;</p> <p>He also points out that British Airways is known for its higher-end fees. A point to consider.</p> <h2>10. Use Multiple Rewards to Steer Clear of Crazy Connections</h2> <p>As we all know, getting from Point A to Point B in an airplane can involve lots of annoying stops along the way. This is where accruing miles across different programs can be a lifesaver. Instead of being tethered to one airline or limited group of affiliates, you can look at several different options for getting to your destination in the shortest possible time, with the most straightforward connections.</p> <p>John Wetmore shares an example: &quot;If you want to fly from Hong Kong to Honolulu with the American Airlines program, they send you all the way back to the U.S. mainland, and then back to Hawaii. But United will send you from Hong Kong to Honolulu via Beijing, Seoul, or Tokyo, saving you many long hours of backtracking across half the Pacific.&quot;</p> <p>Look before you book.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-cards-have-the-best-travel-redemption-value">Which Credit Cards Have the Best Travel Redemption Value?</a></p> <h2>11. Join a Forum or Two</h2> <p>If you're new to the world of rewards miles and travel-hacking, you may want to connect with your fellow travelers online through forums or groups. This is a great way to pick up some insider tricks of the trade for earning points, netting the best redemption values, and finding amazing deals. Kristen Addis, investment banker turned lifestyle traveler behind <a href="http://www.bemytravelmuse.com/">Be My Travel Muse</a>, is a fan of online travel-hacking communities, even if you have to pay a fee to join.</p> <p>&quot;It's worth reading up on forums and joining groups that share travel-hacking strategies, so that you can maximize every dollar you spend in an intelligent way,&quot; she shares. &quot;It takes some time to learn the ropes, but it's worth the investment in order to get elite status for free.&quot;</p> <p>She points out the crazy-but-true story of the man who racked up <a href="http://gizmodo.com/how-an-engineer-earned-1-25-million-air-miles-by-buying-1339646546">1.25 million miles buying pudding</a>. Being in the know ahead of time will let you jump on great opportunities to rack up points before the issuing company realizes it's too good to be true.</p> <h2>12. Keep Track of Your Miles</h2> <p>Imagine the bummer of your miles expiring before you got to use them. Don't let that happen &mdash; it's money burned. Expert travel-hackers are unanimous in their diligence of carefully tallying and monitoring their rewards points, and many swear by <a href="https://awardwallet.com/?Register=1">AwardWallet</a>. Simply sign up, input your credit cards, and let AwardWallet alert you when your balance changes or points are nearing expiry. It even has accompanying (free!) apps for iOS and Android devices.</p> <p><em>How do you make the most of rewards miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-bellucco">Amanda Bellucco</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><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></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/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards 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/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-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 Travel best value first class frequent flyers hotels miles points rewards travel hacking Wed, 28 Oct 2015 17:15:40 +0000 Amanda Bellucco 1601082 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000062614562_Double.jpg" alt="excited woman credit card miles trip" title="excited woman credit card miles trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A bite from the travel bug can be a pricey itch to scratch. While we here at Wise Bread are no strangers to teaching you ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=internal">travel the world for less</a>, one of the simplest ways to jetset on a dime is to take advantage of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">credit cards that offer travel rewards</a>. Millions of people are able to fly and stay for free (or pretty close to it) thanks to the wonder of rewards miles.</p> <h2>How Credit Card Points Work</h2> <p>Travel credit cards come in many forms. Some are generic bank cards, while others are branded to partner with specific hotel chains or airlines and their affiliates. Despite what logo is printed on the plastic, the concept is the same; every time you (responsibly) swipe, you rack up rewards points to use toward a much-needed getaway. There is a seemingly endless variety of cards to choose from, each with their own benefits and features. With a little research, you're sure to find the perfect fit for you and your travel needs.</p> <p>Want in on this action? We're rounding up the smartest ways to get the most out of travel credit cards, with advice from some of the Internet's most experienced lifestyle travelers. Get earning!</p> <h2>1. Pick the Right Card</h2> <p>There are a few basic options to weigh for just about every travel credit card on the market. Almost always, one of the first points of interest will be the bonuses. A hefty sign-up bonus may be a marketing tool to reel you in, but they're often worth it &mdash; many will even cover the costs of a domestic flight in and of themselves. Matt Kepnes, blogger behind <a href="http://www.nomadicmatt.com">Nomadic Matt</a> and best-selling author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399173285/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0399173285&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=GMHP4EZMKIO7CAH6">How to Travel the World on $50 a Day</a>, is a big advocate of the sign-up bonus. &quot;I simply won't sign up for a card that doesn't at least give me 30,000 points when I sign up,&quot; he writes. &quot;Otherwise, it takes too long to get to a redemption.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Current Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses for Miles</a></p> <p>Kepnes also encourages people to look at minimum spending amounts, annual fees, and points per dollar. If you have to spend a small fortune to earn your bonus, or only ever earn one point for every dollar you spend, it may take longer than you'd like for your miles to gain traction. He points out that having to pay an annual fee isn't necessarily a bad thing &mdash; and many of those cards make up for it in added features.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with Annual Fees</a></p> <h2>2. Use the Card!</h2> <p>Earning points is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. As long as you're vigilant about paying your credit card bill on time &mdash; and you should be &mdash; forego the cash and pay with plastic. Some travel credit cards even have their own shopping portal, letting you rack up additional rewards while making purchases through hundreds of partnering online retailers. And if you're a frequent flyer, using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal">co-branded airline credit card</a> will give a boost to your miles count and offer additional perks, too.</p> <p>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 Points to Airline Miles</a></p> <h2>3. Know That Points Are Not Created Equal</h2> <p>Not to confuse you, but rewards points are not on level playing fields across the board. There is no standard worth or conversion rate they all must fit, and 50,000 points on one card may be nowhere near the same as 50,000 points on another. Howie Rappaport at <a href="http://www.frugaltravelguy.com">Frugal Travel Guy</a> breaks down the difference between general credit card points and branded airline or hotel rewards cards:</p> <p>&quot;...To the untrained eye, 100,000 hotel points with Marriott may appear to have a similar value as 100,000 [Starwood Preferred Guest] points &mdash; in fact, they do not,&quot; he writes. &quot;The potential values of the hotel points aren't even close.&quot;</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> <p>It's also a good idea to check out the free <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rewards.html">Wallaby</a> app. Wallaby will help you maximize your rewards and figure out when's the best time to use each of your cards.</p> <h2>4. Those Pesky Blackout Dates</h2> <p>Many hotels and airlines prohibit rewards travelers from using their points during certain times of the year. Generally, these &quot;blackout dates&quot; fall around holidays and other times of hot-commodity peak travel. If you're a frequent peak-season jetsetter, or someone who just wants to be home for the holidays, you should take this into consideration. Otherwise, what's the point? Read the fine print and see if you can find yourself a rewards card with no blackout dates.</p> <p>Or, use a travel rewards card that simply gives you a statement credit for your travel purchases. These cards offer the most flexibility in terms of redeeming rewards for travel. You aren't limited to a specific carrier and can avoid the limitations airlines can put on award redemption. While these rewards don't carry as much potential value, consider the value of points that are wasted and left unused. Check out credit cards like the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-miles-simple-and-flexible-travel-rewards?ref=internal">Discover it Miles</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review?ref=internal">Capital One Venture</a>.</p> <h2>5. Foreign Transaction Fees</h2> <p>If you're planning on using your card overseas, you may want to read up on its foreign transaction policy. Sure, you may be reeling in the savings thanks to your points, but that can easily be canceled out by expensive fees on purchases made outside of the States. Kristin Addis, investment banker turned globetrotting expert behind <a href="http://www.bemytravelmuse.com/">Be My Travel Muse</a>, points out, &quot;If you're going to make the most of your purchases abroad, make sure it's with a card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees, as they will take away from any benefit gained from miles.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a></p> <h2>6. Keep Track of Your Points</h2> <p>These days it honestly couldn't be simpler to keep track of your points. <a href="https://awardwallet.com/?Register=1">AwardWallet</a> is a favorite among travel hackers who want an organized approach to tallying their rewards &mdash; it even has free apps for iOS and Android devices. Simply list your credit cards, and let AwardWallet alert you when your balance changes or points are nearing expiration.</p> <h2>7. Put Your Small Business to Work</h2> <p>Matt Gibson, adventure travel writer and photographer behind <a href="http://xpatmatt.com/maximize-frequent-flier-airmiles-with-a-good-credit-card/">Xpat Matt</a>, knows a thing or two about credit card miles. He points out a lesser-known tip on his blog: &quot;Some small business credit cards have their own programs that will enable you to collect miles while buying business-related products,&quot; he says. &quot;This is a fantastic way to rack up charges and miles and is definitely something small business owners should look into.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=seealso">Best Small Business Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>8. Set Your Goals</h2> <p>This piece of advice from Daraius and Emily, expert travel hackers behind <a href="http://millionmilesecrets.com">Million Mile Secrets</a>, is perhaps the most fun point on this list. Before you go crazy trying to rack up those rewards miles, take some time to actually think about your travel goals for at least the next year. Think about where you want to go and how you want to get there. Do you plan to fly coach, or does first class sound more appealing? Are you looking for a luxury hotel, or simply a place to crash? Are you bringing family or friends? Are you going abroad, or simply touring the U.S.? These are all factors that will determine how many points you need, what <em>kind </em>of points you need, and let you get an idea ahead of time how to start spending accordingly. That way you aren't stuck with an odd number of leftover points, or paying for too many expenses out of pocket.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></p> <h2>9. Consider the Alternative</h2> <p>Another great piece of advice from Million Mile Secrets brings attention to the fact that some forms of travel don't lend themselves to rewards points. Maybe you prefer long road trips. Maybe you're planning a cruise. If this is the case, look into a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back card</a>. Cash back cards will convert the points you earn into credits to spend as cash. Daraius and Emily also point out this is a good way to cover incidental expenses and other small costs while traveling, but note that these cards generally don't offer the best value.</p> <p><em>What hacks do you use for making the most of rewards miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-bellucco">Amanda Bellucco</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">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/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</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-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi Double Cash Rewards Card Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</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/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</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/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel cash back frequent flyers hotels miles points rewards travel hacking Mon, 12 Oct 2015 09:00:41 +0000 Amanda Bellucco 1586398 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_dressed_as_pilot_000036134522.jpg" alt="Child learning how to donate or sell his airline miles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have a bunch of airline miles that you're not going to use? Hoping to get rid of them or help someone less fortunate? You've come to the right place. Here are six different ways that you can part with your hard-earned miles without violating the frequent flyer terms and conditions of airline loyalty programs.</p> <h2>Donating Miles</h2> <p>Good for you! You've decided to use your airline miles for a greater purpose. Note that donating your miles truly is an act of charity &mdash; that's because the IRS considers airline miles a gift to you from the airline, and donated miles are therefore not tax deductible.</p> <h3>1. American Miles for Kids in Need</h3> <p>(1,000 Miles Minimum Donation)</p> <p>Your AAadvantage Miles can be used to give an advantage to children and families in need of help. American Airlines supports a variety of child and family focused charities including Miles of Hope, Miles for Kids in Need, and more.</p> <p>Through these programs AA focuses on food, clothing, shelter, health, education, and employment. Their goal is to benefit organizations that provide a strategic focus on children and/or those afflicted by unexpected adversity.</p> <p>For more information, call 1-800-882-8880 or visit <a href="http://hub.aa.com/en/ju/donate">American's Giving webpage</a>.</p> <h3>2. United Charity Miles</h3> <p>(500 Miles Minimum Donation)</p> <p>United Airlines works with a number of charities that focus on youth, humanitarian, health, community, and military aid. There are nearly 50 charities to choose from including American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Americares, and many more.</p> <p>Check out the <a href="https://secure.unitedmileageplus.com/CharityMilesSSO.jsp">United donation page</a> for the full list of Charities.</p> <h3>3. Delta Donate Miles</h3> <p>(Minimum Donation Varies by Charity)</p> <p>By donating your Delta Miles you can help children and animals in need, struggling communities, and breast cancer patients. Delta has a wide variety of wonderful charities to choose from, but each one has its own minimum donation requirement.</p> <p>With charities in the U.S., Latin America and around the world, you can put your points where they are needed most. Head to <a href="http://www.delta.com/buygftxfer/displayDonateMilesLatAm.action">Delta's Donate Miles</a> page and check out their comprehensive and well-organized list of charities which include Make A Wish, Habitat For Humanity, UNICEF, and many more.</p> <h3>4. JetBlue True Giving</h3> <p>(500 Point Minimum Donation for most Charities)</p> <p>You can use your TrueBlue points to contribute to great causes all around the world. When you donate your points, they'll go directly to your chosen charity, and in turn, they will be able to use the points for JetBlue flights to help their cause.</p> <p>With many different charities aiming to help youth, education, families, communities, and the environment, you'll be able to donate your points to where they are needed most. Points can be donated locally or globally to more than 2.5 million causes in the True Giving database.</p> <p>Visit <a href="https://trueblue.jetblue.com/web/trueblue/charity">JetBlue's Charity Page</a> for a full list of programs and start making a difference today.</p> <h2>Trading or Transferring Miles</h2> <p>Most programs will allow you to gift miles to other users. Check with your program&rsquo;s options for transferring miles. If that&rsquo;s not available, there are still other ways to move your points.</p> <h3>5. Redeem or Transfer Miles Through Points.com</h3> <p>You can trade miles with other frequent flyers through <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11373616-1368501104000">Points.com.</a> You can also transfer miles between frequent flyer programs, or redeem miles into Paypal credit, merchandise, dining, or gift cards.</p> <p>This may sound a lot like bartering miles, but airlines are okay with customers using Points.com because when you trade on this site, they're collecting fees every step of the way.</p> <p>While it is perfectly acceptable to trade your points in at Points.com, it's definitely not the best way to redeem them. You will not get as much as your miles are worth and you will be charged hefty fees, similar to the ones that airlines charge.</p> <p>If your miles are about to expire, or you're sure that you'll never use them, then this service could be right for you. But if you can use them on travel, you'll get much more bang for your buck.</p> <h3>6. Book Awards Tickets for Your Family &amp; Friends</h3> <p>Technically this is still a grey area when it comes to frequent flyer program regulations, but it is perfectly okay to fly your friends and family using your points, if they just so happen to give you something in return at the same time, that's a complete coincidence... right?</p> <p>Spending your miles on friends and family is a great way to use miles that would otherwise expire.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">Best Credit Cards that Offer Companion Tickets</a></p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>I personally have never (and will never) sell my air miles to a broker and neither should you. There are just too many risks:</p> <ul> <li>Ticket confiscation;</li> <li>Reservation cancellation;</li> <li>Confiscation of all accumulated miles on your accounts;</li> <li>Strongly worded emails and accusations;</li> <li>Ban from rewards program.</li> </ul> <p>You can trade in your miles, use them to help make the world a better place, or fly your family and friends around the planet for a visit. Don't ever let your points go to waste. Use Points.com or credit card donation services to ensure that you're making the most of your unused miles.</p> <p><em>Have you ever donated or transferred airline miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">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/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With 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/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell 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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe">The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles charity donations rewards Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:00:46 +0000 Nick Wharton 1578552 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Times Credit Cards Are Smarter Than Cash http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-credit-cards-are-smarter-than-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-credit-cards-are-smarter-than-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000021011264.jpg" alt="Woman deciding that credit cards make more financial sense " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all heard the admonishments about over-reliance on credit cards. If you don't dutifully pay-off your bill in full every month, debt can quickly mount, and wreck your budget &mdash; along with your credit.</p> <p>Assuming you use credit prudently, however, it can often be a better bet than cash. In fact, the benefits of careful credit card usage are so great, that they often outweigh the simplicity of cash. Here are five solid reasons why credit cards can make more financial sense than cash.</p> <h2>1. They're Safer Than Cash</h2> <p>There are some who feel that cash is safer than cards, but what happens when your cash is stolen or misplaced? There is no getting it back. There is 100% liability on your end and all is lost. Credit cards, on the other hand, offer myriad protections, giving you peace of mind when your card is lost or stolen. You're also able to track purchases and spending more efficiently, and spot fraud or card misuse.</p> <p>Sure, hackers can steal your credit card information, and a lost card presents challenges of its own. But there's no financial institution ready to help when you lose cash. Credit cards come with the backing and help of professional staff trained and equipped to handle such situations.</p> <h2>2. They Help Build Credit</h2> <p>As much as we fear over-using credit, not having any credit can have its own repercussions. Lack of credit can hamper your ability to take out necessary loans (such as auto loans or mortgages) and even limit more basic things, such as rental car options. Have you ever thought about renting a car, but all you had was a debit card or cash? From my experience, many companies such as Hertz or Enterprise will do a soft credit check to see if you are eligible for the rental. Plus, having established credit also gives you a shot at better interest rates and expedites approvals on loans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>3. You Can Earn Cash Back or Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Many credit card companies offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back incentives</a> &mdash; some as much as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cashing-in-at-the-supermarket-blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express-review?ref=internal">6% on grocery purchases</a>, or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-discover-it-card-attractive-cash-back-awards-for-shoppers?ref=internal">5% on shopping purchases</a>. Cash back incentives add up and you'd be amazed after 90 days just how much cash back you've earned. That cash is yours to keep &mdash; no strings attached. (Check out one of our favorites: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt?ref=seealso">Citi Double Cash Card</a>)</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">travel rewards credit card</a> can get you even more value from your purchases. Redeem your earned miles for free flights, stays, and upgrades. In addition, many cards include travel perks like priority boarding, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal">exclusive lounge access</a>, free checked baggage, and more. (Check out our favorite travel card: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review-500-signup-bonus?ref=seealso">Chase Sapphire Preferred Card</a>)</p> <h2>4. There Are Insurance Protections</h2> <p>Credit cards also offer insurance perks. Just by using your credit card you have access to multiple insurance options, such as supplemental insurance, lost luggage insurance, travel and accident insurance, and more. Plus, some credit card companies also give you the ability to halt or reduce payments during periods of change or difficulty &mdash; such as a relocation, new baby, new job, unemployment, or death in the family.</p> <h2>5. Cards Offer Purchase Tracking and Customer Service</h2> <p>Credit cards enable you to more efficiently track your purchases, and let you dispute payments should problems arise. Plus, credit card companies' customer service hours extend well beyond those of your local bank branch, allowing you to resolve issues at any time. And though ATMs can be used 24 hours a day, for larger purchases, credit cards facilitate bigger spends at any time of day.</p> <p><em>When else do you prefer to use cards over cash?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-credit-cards-are-smarter-than-cash">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/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi Double Cash Rewards Card Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</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-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash</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/6-times-to-use-credit-cards-instead-of-cash">6 Times to Use Credit Cards Instead of Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards cash cash back credit payment methods rewards Fri, 07 Aug 2015 13:00:12 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1511547 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Cool Companies That Pay You for Referring Friends http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-companies-that-pay-you-for-referring-friends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-cool-companies-that-pay-you-for-referring-friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_relaxing_couch_000066499351.jpg" alt="Woman learning lowdown on popular referral programs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you like shopping online? Better yet, would you like to make money (or get other cool stuff) for shopping online? There are a number of retailers, websites, and subscription clubs with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-over-12000-through-referrals">awesome referral programs</a> that let you do just that. Check out the perks and start earning some major rewards for all your hard work.</p> <h2>1. Zulily</h2> <p><a href="http://www.zulily.com/">Zulily</a> offers thousands of trendy items for the whole family. From baby gear to home decor to apparel, toys, and more. If you refer a friend, you can earn $15 to spend on the site. The credit is added to your account when your friend's item ships. There's no limit to the number of credits you can earn, and they expire 18 months after issuance.</p> <h2>2. Hulu Plus</h2> <p>By now, we all know that cable television is expensive &mdash; it's one of the first things we cut from our budget in a pinch. Switch to Hulu Plus to save money and still see the shows you love. If you refer your friends, you'll even get <a href="http://www.hulu.com/help/articles/29781737">two weeks free</a>. This deal is so great, you can earn up to a full year if you get 26 of your friends to join in on the fun.</p> <h2>3. ThredUp</h2> <p>Not only can you sell your used clothing on <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=334662.5&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0">ThredUp</a>, but you can also make money for telling friends about it. Their system is set up as a share-and-earn model. You send invitations to shop on the site to your friends, they get $10 to spend, and if they spend it, you &mdash; in turn &mdash; get $10 added to your account when their items ship.</p> <h2>4. Airbnb</h2> <p>Travel can be expensive, and sites like Airbnb have unique options to help make it more fun and affordable. I love how their <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/support/article/84">referral program works two ways</a>. You get $25 if your friend completes a reservation request. And you get a whopping $75 if your friend lists a place as a host. What a wonderful way to make money to go on vacation.</p> <h2>5. Sock Fancy</h2> <p>We all need socks. They keep our feet warm, cozy, and looking good. When you refer friends to <a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=669237&amp;U=255320&amp;M=56285&amp;urllink=">Sock Fancy</a>, they get 15% off their first order and you get a free pair of socks. Send invitations via email, Facebook, or Twitter.</p> <h2>6. Birchbox</h2> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=335035.188&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0">Birchbox</a> lets you pretty yourself with products delivered to your front door. When you tell your friends about the service, you earn 50 points. For every 100 points, you get $10 to spend in the Birchbox Shop.</p> <h2>7. Stitch Fix</h2> <p>Need a little help with your style? <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11713107-1413249375000">Stitch Fix</a> gives you personalized clothing options according to your list of preferences. You try them at home and decide whether to purchase or return (for free). If you get your friends to sign up for the service, you earn a $25 credit to spend on the site. This credit is activated when your friend's order ships.</p> <h2>8. MyHabit</h2> <p>Shop amazing deals on the popular brands you love at <a href="http://www.myhabit.com/?tag=wisebre03-20">MyHabit</a>. For a limited time, this site is giving members $20 for each friend they refer. The extra incentive: Those friends you refer also earn $20 for signing up. It's a win-win!</p> <h2>9. Dollar Shave Club</h2> <p>Keep your face smooth and get free stuff with subscription-based Dollar Shave Club. For every friend you successfully refer to the site, <a href="http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/faqs#/faq11">you'll earn $5</a> toward your next purchase. You can choose from all different blades and products, so there's something each of your friends can enjoy.</p> <h2>10. Ebates</h2> <p>You've probably heard about <a href="http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=vIhagUaAxdMIsu435wELZg%3D%3D&amp;eeid=26471">Ebates</a>. Those of you who haven't are missing out, quite literally. Shop at your favorite stores through the site and earn back a percentage of the total price in the form of a quarterly check. And refer your friends to sign up for a $5 bonus. They're even offering an additional bonus for the first three friends you refer now through the end of June.</p> <p><em>Which referral programs have you benefited from?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-companies-that-pay-you-for-referring-friends">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/get-more-money-for-your-stuff-with-these-retail-secrets">Get More Money for Your Stuff With These Retail Secrets</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/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</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/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">11 Retailers Where You Can Negotiate a Lower Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-collectibles-that-almost-always-become-more-valuable">10 Collectibles That Almost Always Become More Valuable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Shopping free stuff online shopping referral programs rewards Fri, 10 Jul 2015 09:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1478519 at http://www.wisebread.com Make an Extra $200 a Year Just By Doing This Online http://www.wisebread.com/make-an-extra-200-a-year-just-by-doing-this-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-an-extra-200-a-year-just-by-doing-this-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_on_tablet_000063417699.jpg" alt="Woman earning $200 by searching the internet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How'd you like to earn $100 to $200 a year just for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-silly-internet-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making-today">searching the Internet</a>? Are you &quot;Binging&quot; yet? That is, have you joined the <a href="http://bing-rewards.evyy.net/c/27771/89275/2168">Bing Rewards program</a>, and are you using Bing as your search engine? If not you're missing out on free money.</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://bing-rewards.evyy.net/c/27771/89275/2168">Bing Rewards</a> program pays people to use the Bing search engine. They award credits (points) which can be redeemed for rewards such as gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Applebee's, Fandango, GameStop, iTunes, and more. You can also use the credits to get Hulu Prime, or Xbox Live memberships, or donate your credits to charity.</p> <p>Participating in the Bing Rewards program is simple and only takes a couple of minutes a day. To make sure you're getting the most out of the program consider the following eight tips below.</p> <h2>1. Max Out Your Points and Go Mobile, Too</h2> <p>Max out the number of credits you can earn each day and receive $100 to $200 a year in free rewards. When you join Bing Rewards you'll be able to earn a certain amount of credits per day. It seems most people earn 15 credits per day searching on their computer or tablet.</p> <p>Regardless of how many credits you can earn by Binging on your computer or tablet, everyone can earn an additional 10 credits a day by downloading the Bing search engine app on their mobile devices. Add these credits to those earned by searching on your computer and tablet and you're looking at a few extra dollars each month.</p> <h2>2. Bing Every Day</h2> <p>If you want to earn $100 or more a year in free gift cards or other goodies, make sure to use the Bing search engine every day. Sounds easy, right? It is, especially if you use a computer or tablet a lot. Plus, it only takes a few minutes. But here's the thing: Because there is a limit to how many credits you can earn each day (between 15 and 45), it can also feel a bit tedious, too &mdash; like it takes an eternity to earn enough points to do anything with. This leads some people to give up, cash in points for smaller rewards, or use the Bing search engine sporadically.</p> <p>To combat this, many people default their homepage to Bing or download the toolbar to make it easier to remember to use it when searching. That can help, but it's just as important to do it every day. My suggestion is to search for 60 days without thinking about cashing out. Take that pressure off of yourself. Once the time has passed, you'll be more satisfied with the amount of credits you have to work with to get some bigger rewards.</p> <h2>3. Get to Gold Level Status</h2> <p>Why is this important? Because once you hit Gold level, you receive a discount on many of the rewards available, thus increasing the value of your credits. Here's how it works. When you first join Bing Rewards you are a regular &quot;member&quot; as you search and get credits. Once you accrue 200 credits, you are promoted to Silver status, and receive a one-time 50 credit bonus. You also have to redeem some points for something before moving onto Gold level. Choose something small, like a sweepstakes entry, so you keep as many credits as possible for bigger rewards. Continue Binging until you hit Gold level, <strong>which is when you hit a total of 700 credits.</strong></p> <p>Now get ready for discounts on certain rewards. For instance, non-Gold level members redeem 525 credits for a $5 Starbucks gift card, while Gold level members pay 475 credits for the same $5 card. That 50 credit difference adds up over time and can make a difference in your yearly reward earnings. To maintain Gold level status and remain eligible for the discount, you must earn 150 search credits per month. This is very easy to do in a few days if you are maxing out your searches.</p> <h2>4. Don't Forget About the Bonus Credits</h2> <p>Bing offers bonus credits practically every day, and they come in various forms. Sometimes they'll offer double points for a day (or a week or a month), or points for answering trivia questions, or for checking out a product or story they are sponsoring. The credits add to your freebie bottom line and all you have to do is check your Bing rewards dashboard each day that you search to see what's available.</p> <h2>5. Know the Value of Your Credits</h2> <p>How much are Bing credits worth? I like to think of each credit being valued at roughly one cent each. Bing awards a credit for every two searches performed up to the max allotted each day. So one penny is earned for every two search queries. Converting it in this way helps me evaluate the relative value of the rewards available for redemption.</p> <p>For instance, if I wanted to redeem my points for a $5 Amazon gift card it would cost me 525 credits if I were not a Gold level member. This translates to paying $5.25 for a $5 gift card. Not a bad deal considering it's free. But, if I wait until I am at Gold level, that same $5 Amazon gift card could be mine for 475 Bing credits, or $4.75. Getting a $5 gift card for $4.75 is more like it! Sure the difference is only a quarter, but it adds up over time.</p> <p>Some rewards are bad even if you are a Gold member. For instance, to get a $5 Tango gift card (Tango is a company that offers gift cards to numerous retailers like Home Depot, Williams Sonoma, Target, and more) you'd have to redeem 575 credits. That's the discounted Gold level price! Hmm. Paying $5.75 for a $5 gift card? I think I'll pass. Speaking of passing&hellip;</p> <h2>6. Always Bypass the Sweepstakes Entries</h2> <p>Bing has some wonderful sweepstakes opportunities. At any given time Bingers can win cash, all expenses paid trips to sporting events, computers, and more, all for the price of a few Bing Rewards credits. Don't do it! It's not that the sweepstakes aren't legit. They are. It's just that the odds of winning are so tiny that you're throwing your credits away. I mean, sure Bing offers fabulous prizes, but they are saving money in the end because the more people who enter the sweepstakes the less Bing has to pay out in reward redemptions. Yeah, I'm tempted to enter every now and again, but I think I'll keep my 35 cents, I mean credits.</p> <h2>7. Consider Binging With Someone</h2> <p>You know the saying &quot;Two heads are better than one?&quot; Well the same can be said for Binging. Bing Rewards allows up to five members of the same household to join and earn rewards. While that means free stuff for everyone, there are times when doubling up can increase your spending power. For instance, my husband and I like Groupon because we live in an area where there a lot of offers to places we frequent anyway. Since a $5 Groupon can be had for 470 credits ($4.70) as a Gold member, we'll redeem a number of those, wait until there is a $10 off coupon, and get our deal for free with a discount!</p> <h2>8. Refer Your Friends</h2> <p>Any good rewards program has a referral program, right? Bing is no different. When you refer people to Bing Rewards and they join, you earn referral credits once they hit Silver status (earn 200 credits).</p> <p>The Bing Rewards program is probably the simplest, lowest effort rewards program out there. But is it worth it? You spend a few minutes a day doing what you're already doing on your computer, tablet, or mobile device. It's almost silly not to do it.</p> <p><em>Do you Bing? </em><a href="http://bing-rewards.evyy.net/c/27771/89275/2168"><em>Sign up today</em></a><em>!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-an-extra-200-a-year-just-by-doing-this-online">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/do-you-own-a-domain-name-that-s-worth-a-fortune">Do You Own a Domain Name That’s Worth a Fortune?</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/get-free-stuff-by-eating-cereal-drinking-soda-and-watching-tv">Get Free Stuff by Eating Cereal, Drinking Soda, and Watching TV</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/6-great-retirement-jobs">6 Great Retirement Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income bing Internet rewards search engines Thu, 04 Jun 2015 17:00:18 +0000 Kim Owens 1439324 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Your Bank Account Can Boost Your Travel Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_vacation_000048727382.jpg" alt="Couple using bank account to boost their travel rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The far-reaching airline perks of credit cards are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards">well-documented</a>, but what about those who choose to go the Dave Ramsey route and live credit-free? Good news: it's still possible to rack up rewards the old-fashioned way. Here's how to accumulate the most mileage using your bank account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Sign Up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Fly High With a Miles-Earning Checking Account</h2> <p>Although the number of debit cards that offer airline miles has dwindled due to the <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/durbin-amendment-explained/">Durbin Amendment</a>, there are still some worthwhile offerings to consider. One such card is the <a href="https://www.ufbdirect.com/personal-banking/checking/airline-rewards-checking#Overview">UFB Direct Airline Rewards Checking</a> account, which awards one mile for every two dollars spent in point-of-sale debit transactions made with the card. There's also a one-time bonus of 1,000 miles after making a direct deposit of $1,000. Currently, the only airline affiliated with the program is American Airlines, but UFB Direct says they may be adding more airlines in the future.</p> <p>BankDirect is another online bank that offers perks with American Airlines. For opening a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/programs/aadvantage.aspx">Mileage Checking with Interest</a> account, you'll receive 1,000 AAdvantage miles; once it's open, you can keep earning miles with recurring direct deposits (six consecutive monthly deposits of $2,000+ must be made to earn 10,000 miles). Pay at least three bills online each month (totaling $500 or more), and you'll score another 5,000 AAdvantage Miles. Plus, you'll also receive up to 100 miles per every $1,000 stored in your account based on the average monthly balance. The caveat? You'll pay a $12 monthly fee, and the &quot;interest&quot; paid is just .01%.</p> <p>Craving savings the &quot;Mahalo&quot; way? Sign up for the <a href="https://www.boh.com/personal/banking-products/debit-cards/bankoh-hawaiian-airlines-visa-check-card.asp">Bankoh Hawaiian Airlines Visa Check Card</a>, available only to Bank of Hawaii checking account holders. You'll earn one mile for every two dollars spent on qualifying purchases; plus, you can get up to 10 more HawaiianMiles for every dollar spent at participating <a href="https://partners.hawaiianairlines.com/pages/rewards/shopListing.aspx">&quot;Cardholder Exclusive&quot; partners</a> (most of which are Hawaii-based businesses, but there are also a few national companies like Hartmann and 1-800-Flowers). FYI: cardholders can only earn a maximum of 1,000 miles every month, and there's also a $3 monthly fee to consider.</p> <p>Here's an ongoing promotion to keep a hawkeye out for: The Citibank airline bonuses offered about once a year. (Tip: set a Google alert so you don't miss out on the special promotion code!) In the past, this promotion has awarded 30,000 AAdvantage miles for Citigold accounts; 15,000 AAdvantage miles for Citibank accounts; and 5,000 AAdvantage miles for basic banking accounts. Typically, to snag the bonus, one must open one of these accounts and then make a minimum debit card purchase of $125&ndash;$750, as well as set up at least one online bill payment for two months in a row.</p> <h2>Earn Airline ROI With a Miles-Earning CD or Money Market Account</h2> <p>Along with the checking account mentioned above, BankDirect also offers American Airlines rewards for those who purchase a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/products/cdmileage.aspx">Mileage Certificate of Deposit</a>. The longer the term, the better &mdash; since the two-year CD awards up to 1,000 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 invested, while the one-year and six-month CDs offer 500 and 250 miles for each $1,000 invested, respectively. A few things to know: there's a minimum opening balance of $10,000, and the interest rate is .10% on all three offers.</p> <p>They also offer a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/products/moneymarketmileage.aspx">Mileage Money Market Account</a>, on which the interest rate is .05% for accounts of more than $500. Account holders can snag 50 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 of their average daily balance each month; once your account hits $50,000, you'll get 25 AAdvantage miles with the same setup. You'll also get a bonus of 1,000 miles just for opening the account.</p> <h2>Invest Your Way Into the Friendly Skies</h2> <p>Planning on making a somewhat sizable investment? You might want to consider signing up with Fidelity Investments &mdash; or simply adding to your existing Fidelity account &mdash; to get more bang for your hard-earned bucks. Here's how to earn miles with <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/united">United MileagePlus</a>, <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/delta">Delta SkyMiles</a>, or <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/aa">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> with a non-retirement brokerage account (either new or existing): add at least $25,000 and you'll get 15,000 miles; $50,000+ and get 25,000 miles; or $100,000+ and get 50,000 miles. Be aware that the money must stay in your account for at least six months, or the mileage bonus may be withdrawn. Also, all money must be deposited within 60 days of signing up for the promotion.</p> <p>And, as always, it's important to weigh your objectives before signing up for any of these offers. After all, if you'd rather earn ample interest than rack up airline miles, it might be wiser to shop around for snazzier rates with accounts that <em>don't</em> offer flight incentives. But for those already considering one of these bank accounts and/or are trying to milk miles the credit-free way, these options just might be the (round-trip) ticket.</p> <p><em>Are you earning airline miles from your checking account?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jen-jones-donatelli">Jen Jones Donatelli</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-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-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards with Airline Partners</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</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/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With 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/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines bank accounts miles rewards Thu, 21 May 2015 23:00:09 +0000 Jen Jones Donatelli 1430841 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways Business Travel Helps Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_luggage_000020489884.jpg" alt="Woman with business travel that&#039;s helping her wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Business travel is a love/hate relationship for many people. On the one hand, you get to visit new cities and live on the company's dime. On the other, you could be away from home &mdash; and friends and family &mdash; for an extended period of time.</p> <p>One of the bright sides of business travel, however, is that you have the chance to save the money you're earning &mdash; sometimes a lot of money &mdash; because you don't have to spend your own dough on transportation, lodging, or food while you're working. And those are just the obvious savings. Take a look at several more budget-boosters that may have you looking at business travel in a whole new light:</p> <h2>1. Saving on Gasoline</h2> <p>Gas is in a sweet spot at the moment (enjoy it now before the summer season inevitably drives the price up), so you're not saving as much money as you were a few years ago, but <em>any</em> money you can keep in your pocket and away from the pump is a win. Let your company cover the fuel costs while you're on the road, while your vehicle takes a breather in the garage.</p> <h2>2. Giving Your Car a Break</h2> <p>Speaking of taking a breather, the downtime your vehicle gets thanks to your business travel means that you're not putting as much wear and tear on it from everyday use. You might not see savings from the reduction in use right away, but statistically your car should experience fewer issues since you're not pitting it against the elements (and crazy drivers) on a daily basis.</p> <h2>3. Potentially Lowering Insurance Rates</h2> <p>Since your vehicle will be safely cooped up in its cocoon while you're traveling, there are less opportunities for accidents, not to mention you're putting fewer miles on it over the course of the year and its lifetime. Some insurance companies reward drivers for clean records over a period of time, which is just one more way you can slash your transportation budget.</p> <h2>4. Expensing Road Items on a Rewards Card</h2> <p>Not all companies require business travel expenses to be paid for with a company-issued credit card. In fact, many companies allow you to put your travel expenses on your own card, for which you're reimbursed after you submit an expense report at the end of the month. If that's the case, it's important to choose a really great credit card with a generous rewards program. Think about it: You don't have to pay for anything you're charging out of your pocket, and you can essentially make more money as a result of it, depending on how you cash in your rewards. It really doesn't get any better than that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Cards</a>)</p> <h2>5. Racking Up Air and Hotel Points</h2> <p>An important rule of business travel &mdash; as those in the know will tell you &mdash; is to always sign up for loyalty programs. If you're flying the friendly skies or staying in hotels frequently, the points will add up quickly. Unless you're working for a cheap-o who requires you to use points for future business expenses &mdash; which is a jerk move, no bones about it &mdash; you can treat those points as your own. Fiji, here you come. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">Best Hotel Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Reducing Your Grocery Bill</h2> <p>Since the company will be picking up your meals, your grocery bill will be significantly reduced &mdash; though this does require careful consideration to maximize the savings. First, if you know you'll be on the road for a few days or more, limit your purchase of fresh produce that you may not have time to eat; you don't want your money rotting away in the fridge. Second, limit your trips to the supermarket altogether if you can make do with what's already in your pantry or fridge before you embark on a trip.</p> <h2>7. Pocketing the Food Stipend</h2> <p>Instead of using your meal stipend on food, try to take advantage of free eating opportunities. There's generally food available at conferences and more intimate meetings &mdash; especially breakfast and lunch &mdash; that you can consume in lieu of finding something on your own. In those cases, if your company allows it, you can pocket the difference.</p> <p>I have a friend who works for the government who uses this tactic when she's abroad for weeks on end, and she often comes home with a hefty sum pocketed.</p> <h2>8. Lowering Home Energy Costs</h2> <p>This savings typically only applies to single people, as they leave their homes alone during periods of travel. To shave a little more off the bill, unplug non-essential appliances so they're not sucking out unnecessary energy, and turn the heat down to 55 degrees. If you have a family or a roommate, you're SOL in this scenario. Sorry 'bout it.</p> <h2>9. Spending Less Disposable Income</h2> <p>What do you typically do after work when you're not on the road? Probably run errands, go shopping, and engage in recreational activities &mdash; all of which cost money. There are fewer opportunities for this kind of downtime while you're traveling for business, because there's generally no need for it. If you're not spending money, you're saving money &mdash; and it'll help you feel less guilty when you get home and splurge on that impulse buy you just <em>have</em> to have.</p> <h2>10. Stocking up on Toiletries</h2> <p>Save money on shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste &mdash; basically whatever small toiletries the hotel provides &mdash; by taking them home with you. Build up enough stock and you won't have to buy these items for quite a while.</p> <h2>11. Pushing All That Extra Money to Savings</h2> <p>Since you've saved a decent amount of coin during your business travels, it's easy to go home and start spending without caution, but that totally negates the in-the-black path you've forged. Make smart moves with that stashed cash &mdash; like investments &mdash; and you might be able to retire early someday. One can hope, at least.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ideas on how business travel can boost your budget? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet">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-8"> <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/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With 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/find-work-worth-doing">Find work worth doing</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/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You&#039;re a Slacker</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/6-pearls-of-career-wisdom-from-brian-tracy">6 Pearls of Career Wisdom From Brian Tracy</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-work-exchange-way-to-see-the-world">The Work Exchange Way to See the World</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Travel business trips expenses mileage rewards work Wed, 06 May 2015 17:00:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 1410071 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Free Stuff by Eating Cereal, Drinking Soda, and Watching TV http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-stuff-by-eating-cereal-drinking-soda-and-watching-tv <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-free-stuff-by-eating-cereal-drinking-soda-and-watching-tv" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_soda_picnic_000029438108.jpg" alt="Couple getting free stuff by drinking soda" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How would you like to get free stuff for eating cereal, drinking soda, and watching TV? Sounds like fun (and also a bit couch potato-y), right? Well, the four companies listed below will help you do just that. If you're looking for low energy ways to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-loyalty-rewards-programs-you-didnt-know-existed">earn free rewards</a> through programs that give you stuff for doing what you already do, put down the cereal bowl for a minute and check out these four programs.</p> <h2>Kellogg's Family Rewards Program</h2> <p>While Kellogg's sells more than cereal, most of us associate it with Frosted Flakes and Tony the Tiger &mdash; &quot;They're Grrrrrreat!&quot; Even better, Kellogg's also rewards loyal customers with free stuff.</p> <p>By joining the&nbsp;<a href="http://track.mysavingsmedia.net/click.track?CID=308703&amp;AFID=361810">Kellogg's Family Rewards</a> program, members collect points that can be redeemed for rewards, including high value coupons, magazines, toys, and gift cards for retailers like Best Buy, Old Navy, Applebee's, Starbucks, and more. Just buy what you usually do and let the points add up.</p> <p>When selecting a product, simply look for the Kellogg's Family Rewards logo on the package. That logo indicates there is a code (or codes) inside. Take that code and enter it online to get your points. The number of points earned per product varies.</p> <p>Kellogg's also offers bonus code opportunities where members don't have to purchase anything.These codes are sent out via e-mail or social media, or can be found online by doing a search for &quot;Kellogg's Rewards codes.&quot; Members can also earn bonus points by purchasing specific products promoted by Kellogg's.</p> <p>Is it worth it?</p> <p>Well, if I were going to purchase the product anyway, and it was on sale (and I had a coupon), I would totally take a few seconds to enter my point codes to earn a few free gift cards. Free is free, my friends.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Drink Soda. Get Free Stuff. Cool.</h2> <p>Even if you don't drink soda, you're sure to have indulged in a Coke or Pepsi product at least a few times in your life. If so, have you thought about joining one or both of their rewards programs?</p> <h3>My Coke Rewards</h3> <p>The My Coke Rewards program premiered in 2006, and was revamped in January of 2015. Similar to many programs, people who join <a href="http://www.mycokerewards.com/content/home.html">My Coke Rewards</a> earn freebies by collecting points and redeeming them. Points are earned by looking for codes which are located on Coke products (i.e. underneath bottle caps) and entering them in the online rewards portal. Coke has also introduced a tiered program where members can achieve Bronze, Silver, or Gold level by completing &quot;status&quot; activities such as tweeting and other social media related tasks. Each tier offers perks like bonus points and unlocks different rewards, such as gift cards to retailers like Target and Walmart, and products like Keurig coffee machines.</p> <p>Personally, I rarely drink soda, but I still drink a lot of bottled water. I won't be a fast points earner, but looking under the caps and entering codes in exchange for free gift cards a few times a year is low-effort enough for me to participate.</p> <h3>Pepsi Experience Points</h3> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://points.pepsi.com/">Pepsi Experience Points</a> program is different than My Coke Rewards in that members don't have to purchase anything to earn rewards. There are no codes on caps or packages to look for to get points. Instead, the Pepsi program revolves around members participating in activities Pepsi sponsors or wants to promote. Activities include reading targeted articles, checking out specific websites, watching videos, tweeting, liking Facebook pages, and so on.</p> <p>The reward options are different as well, focusing more on logo-stamped merchandise such as camping chairs, baseball caps, and sweepstakes entries. Their gift card options are limited, too (as of this writing there were only two gift cards available). Still, points are easy to accrue since everything is done online. It can feel like Pepsi is paying you in points in exchange for free promotion&hellip; which is basically what it is. However, if you don't mind, free stuff could be in your future.</p> <h2>Watching TV Just (Sorta) Got Profitable With Verizon FIOS</h2> <p>Verizon FIOS has a rewards program where customers can earn free stuff like Starbucks and Visa gift cards. While this is not a reason to go out and sign up with Verizon or switch companies, it's definitely a reason to log into your account once a month and spend a minute looking around after paying your bill.</p> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.verizon.com/home/MLP/myrewards.html">Verizon My Rewards+</a> program is similar to the above programs in that it is a points for rewards venture. Sample activities include checking out a Verizon product demo, completing your profile, liking them on social media, enrolling in auto pay, and so on. Of course, the big point earning opportunities come if you do things like add or upgrade services (never gonna happen!).</p> <p>Each month when your bill arrives, there's a reminder to check out the rewards program. Take a moment and log on. It's an easy way to earn a free gift card or two this year. To be fair, I'm not sure a couple of free gift cards a year is a fair trade given the cost of cable (from any provider!). But hey, at least with Verizon FIOS, I get to enjoy a free Starbucks latte while watching my favorite shows.</p> <p>So, there you have it. Four programs where you can earn free stuff just for doing what you already do. If you're already a consumer of these products, earning free gift cards and other rewards is easy to do.</p> <p><em>Do you participate in any of these or similar programs? Let me know in the comments below. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-stuff-by-eating-cereal-drinking-soda-and-watching-tv">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-9"> <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/make-an-extra-200-a-year-just-by-doing-this-online">Make an Extra $200 a Year Just By Doing This Online</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</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/an-open-invitation-to-pinecone-research">An Open Invitation to PineCone Research</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/prizes-and-freebies-from-coupsmart-for-the-iphone">Prizes and Freebies from CoupSmart for the iPhone</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income cereal freebies points rewards soda tv Tue, 05 May 2015 21:00:21 +0000 Kim Owens 1410140 at http://www.wisebread.com The Secret to Redeeming Travel Rewards with Airline Partners http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_000040747052.jpg" alt="Woman at the airport waiting for her flight" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you getting the most value from your airline miles?</p> <p>Many travelers are disappointed when the airline they have earned their miles with is unable to offer them an award seat to their destination, or is charging far more miles than they expected.</p> <p>But what most people don't realize is that many airlines belong to a web of alliances and partnerships that allow you to use your miles to book award flights on other carriers. Here is how this system works.</p> <h2>Airline Alliances</h2> <p>There are three major global airline alliances operating today: Star Alliance, SkyTeam Alliance, and oneworld. Those who belong to the frequent flyer program of one carrier may redeem their miles for flights <em>on any alliance partner</em>.</p> <h3>Star Alliance (27 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>Adria</li> <li>Aegean</li> <li>Air Canada</li> <li>Air China</li> <li>Air India</li> <li>Air New Zealand</li> <li>ANA</li> <li>Asiana Airlines</li> <li>Austrian</li> <li>Avianca</li> <li>Brussels Airlines</li> <li>CopaAirlines</li> <li>Croatia Airlines</li> <li>EgyptAir</li> <li>Ethiopian</li> <li>Eva Air</li> <li>Polish Airlines</li> <li>Lufthansa</li> <li>Scandinavian Airlines</li> <li>Shenzhen Airlines</li> <li>Singapore Airlines</li> <li>South African Airways</li> <li>Swiss</li> <li>TAP Portugal</li> <li>Thai</li> <li>Turkish Airlines</li> <li>United</li> </ul> <h3>SkyTeam Alliance (20 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>Aeroflot</li> <li>Aerolineas Argentinos</li> <li>AeroMexico</li> <li>AirEuropa</li> <li>AirFrance</li> <li>Alitalia</li> <li>China Airlines</li> <li>China Eastern</li> <li>China Southern</li> <li>Czech Airlines</li> <li>Delta</li> <li>Garuda Indonesia</li> <li>Kenya Airways</li> <li>KLM</li> <li>Korean Air</li> <li>Middle East Airlines</li> <li>Saudia</li> <li>TAROM</li> <li>Vietnam Airlines</li> <li>XiamenAir</li> </ul> <h3>oneworld alliance (15 carriers)</h3> <ul> <li>airberlin</li> <li>American Airlines</li> <li>British Airways</li> <li>Cathay Pacific</li> <li>Finnair</li> <li>Iberia</li> <li>Japan Airlines</li> <li>LAN</li> <li>TAM Airlines</li> <li>Malaysia Airlines</li> <li>Qantas</li> <li>Qatar Airways</li> <li>Royal Jordanian</li> <li>S7 Airlines</li> <li>SriLankan Airlines</li> </ul> <h2>Using Partners to Maximize Miles Value</h2> <p>There are different ways to access award flights for an airline's partners to redeem your miles. Some require additional digging if an airline doesn't offer partner award seats through their website.</p> <h3>How it Works</h3> <p>There are many ways to leverage an airline's alliance membership and partners to maximize value from your miles. For example, United is part of the Star Alliance. So if you have United miles, then you can redeem them for flights that include one or more Star Alliance partners. In fact, an award trip booked with United Miles doesn't even have to include any flights on United Airlines itself. In addition, travelers can earn mileage credit on United when they purchase a ticket to fly on any of the Star Alliance partner carriers.</p> <p>In addition to these global airline alliances, many airlines have other partnerships with carriers that are part of a different alliance, or are independent of any alliance. For example, American, Delta, and British Airways are each partnered with Alaska Airlines, which is not a member of any of the three global alliances. Delta also has partnerships with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and Hawaiian Airlines, none of which are members of SkyTeam or another airline alliance. However, some of these partnerships only allow travelers to earn miles, not to redeem them for awards. For example, United is actually partnered with Amtrak, so you can earn miles when you book connecting train service from United between the Newark airport and Philadelphia, Wilmington, Stamford, or New Haven, but you can't redeem United miles for Amtrak tickets.</p> <h2>How to Claim Award Seats</h2> <p>First, you have to learn which airlines are partnered with the frequent flier programs you belong to, including both alliance and non-alliance partners, which will be listed on each airline's website.</p> <p>Then, you need to determine how to search for available award seats among the partners. Some airlines, like United, will display most partner award seats when you search online, but others such as US Airways will not display any. And when a partner flight is not visible online, that means that you must call the airline to book an itinerary that includes it.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the staff at airline call centers might not be as motivated to find partner award seats as you will, so <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=inarticle">award travel enthusiasts</a> have discovered ways to perform these searches on their own.</p> <p>One way is to use another alliance member that has a better website. For example, American's website will show available awards for several oneworld partners, while the US Airways website shows none. Therefore, you might search American's website to find partner awards, then you can call US Airways to book an award and politely suggest the available award flights that you have already found.</p> <p>In other instances, you can leverage these partnerships to save reward points and miles. For example, if you had points or miles in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel rewards credit card</a> that allowed you to transfer them into a loyalty program, and you wanted to fly from San Francisco to Hawaii, you could transfer them to miles with United Airlines, which would require at least 40,000 miles round-trip. Instead, you could transfer them to British Airways which requires only 25,000 miles. Of course, British Airways doesn't fly between San Francisco and Hawaii, but it is a oneworld alliance partner with American and a non-alliance partner with Alaska, both of which offer service from the Bay Area to Hawaii.</p> <p>You would save 15,000 miles by understanding how to get award seats through a partner carrier.</p> <h2>Spend American Miles to Fly to Italy on a Spanish Carrier</h2> <p>Last spring, I had plenty of American Airlines miles, and I wanted to take a family trip to Italy. Although American serves Italy, it had few award seats available, and none during the summer when we wanted to travel. Nevertheless, I knew that American's website did not display awards for some of their partners, including Iberia Airlines of Spain.</p> <p>So I signed up for a frequent flyer account with Iberia, searched for award seats on its website, and found the flights that I needed to Italy on Iberia flights via Spain. Finally, I called American to book the award seats. In fact, it is very likely that these seats were still available during the peak season precisely because they did not appear on American's website, and were never seen by tens of millions of American frequent flyers. So it really pays to look for these &quot;hidden&quot; partner awards, as they are far more likely to be available.</p> <p>When travelers learn how to leverage airline partnerships, they will find that their frequent flyer miles can take them farther than they may have thought.</p> <p><em>Have you leveraged carrier partnerships to get the most out of your miles?</em></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/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-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-10"> <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/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With 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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your 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/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards">3 Ways Your Bank Account Can Boost Your Travel 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/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> Travel airline alliance airline miles airlines frequent flyer rewards Wed, 11 Mar 2015 09:00:07 +0000 Jason Steele 1329720 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Credit Card Benefits Every College Student Must Have http://www.wisebread.com/5-credit-card-benefits-every-college-student-must-have <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-credit-card-benefits-every-college-student-must-have" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/college-student-credit-card-Dollarphotoclub_18681440.jpg" alt="college student credit card" title="college student credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>College is a place for many firsts. One of these firsts is a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-getting-your-first-credit-card-0">first credit card</a>. Since the Credit Card Act in 2009, many protections have been created to shield students from the dangers of credit cards. However, it's still necessary to enter into this new realm of financial responsibility with the tools and knowledge to start off on the right foot.</p> <p>Parents and students should be looking for these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">credit card benefits</a> to build a good credit history. The length of credit history is a large component of a credit score, so it's best to get started with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-habits-of-highly-responsible-credit-card-users?ref=inarticle">healthy credit habits</a> as soon as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)</p> <h2>1. Limited Credit Line With Room for Growth</h2> <p>Look for a credit card that has a low credit line (some can be as small as $500) that can grow over time if you make monthly payments on-time. Keeping a card for a long time will boost your credit score, so be picky about which credit card to sign up for first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">How to Use Credit Cards to Your Improve Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>2. Strong Fraud Protection</h2> <p>While most cards carry strong fraud protection if the card is lost, stolen, or compromised, that's not true for every card. Make sure to seek out a card that offers it. Some credit cards will watch for suspicious activity and alert you immediately. Another way to monitor your account for fraudulent activity is to review your statements carefully. Make sure you recognize each of the transactions, and promptly contact your credit card issuer if you see a charge you did not authorize.</p> <h2>3. Payment Due Alerts</h2> <p>Many cards allow you set up a variety of alerts via text or email that let you know when a payment is almost due or you are nearing your card's credit limit. The payment reminders are especially important because it's easy to miss a payment date when you're busy (or just not used to paying bills). A late payment on a card <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score?ref=inarticle">negatively impacts your credit score</a>, so take every advantage to make those payments on time.</p> <h2>4. Free Roadside Assistance</h2> <p>Whether you're driving an old car or you're driving a long distance to get home for the holidays, knowing you have roadside assistance provides peace of mind. Many credit cards carry this benefit (though often you must pay for any service charges if you need them.)</p> <h2>5. Cash-Back When and Where Students Need It Most</h2> <p>There are many options today when it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back rewards</a>. You can have rewards automatically deposited into a savings account, redeemed for gift cards at specific retailers, or simply as a statement credit to help pay the bill. Decide what types of rewards would be most helpful. Then, seek out a card that offers the right redemption opportunities.</p> <p>A rock solid start to your credit history is the basis for a bright financial future. Learning to use credit cards responsibly is the best way to achieve that.</p> <p><em>What common credit card benefits have helped you? 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-credit-card-benefits-every-college-student-must-have">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-11"> <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/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With 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/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer">10 Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Credit Card Offer</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/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi Double Cash Rewards Card Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt</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/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-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 credit card benefits responsible borrowing rewards student finances Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Christa Avampato 1267188 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 Platinum Select MasterCard</h3> <p><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=52&amp;uv=xcard"><img width="154" border="0" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiAAdvantagePlatinumSelectMasterCard.jpg" /></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; MasterCard&reg;</a> from our partner Citi allows cardholders to earn double miles on American Airlines purchases. There is a sign up bonus for 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage&reg; miles after making $1,000 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; 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><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" alt="Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express" title="Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=9&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1183"><img width="154" border="0" height="97" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/gold-delta-skymiles-credit-card-from-american-express-022415.png" /></a>American Express offers the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=9&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1183">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 eligible dollar spent on purchases. Also, get first checked bag free and Priority Boarding. Get 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within your first three months. Plus, get 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 restrictions apply.</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=137&amp;pid=9&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1183"><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 width="605" height="361" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/Airline Table_0.png" /></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 Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card</a> awards two points for each dollar spent on Southwest Airlines as well as on Rapid Rewards 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-12"> <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-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</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/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</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 The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_cards_000033135246.jpg" alt="Woman with credit card" title="Woman with credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many credit card users reach a certain point when they realize that they are able to get more benefits from credit cards that have an annual fee than they are from those that don't. Perhaps these cardholders use the extra travel benefits, or maybe they find themselves spending enough to justify paying for a card that offers a lot more rewards.</p> <p>For those who are willing to pay an annual fee, the question then becomes how to find a card that offers the most valuable features relative to the cost of the annual fee. Here are the best cards that have the most competitive cost to benefit ratios.</p> <h2>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" alt="Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card" title="Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1178"><img width="154" border="0" height="97" class="img-exempt" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/chase-sapphire-preferred-091814.png" /></a>One of the most popular travel rewards card, the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1178">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> earns double points for travel and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">dining expenses</a>, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Points can then be redeemed for travel, gift cards, cash back, merchandise and more, or transferred to points and miles at full 1:1 value with participating frequent travel programs. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.</p> <p><strong>Sign up offer:</strong> Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first three months of account opening (worth $625 in travel when redeeming through Chase Ultimate Rewards), plus 5,000 more bonus points after adding the first authorized user and making a purchase &mdash; also within the first three months.</p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=38&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1178">Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</h2> <p><a target="_blank" alt="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" title="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcard"><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float: right; margin: 0px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card-101614.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card</a> offers a straightforward points system &mdash; get 2x miles per dollar, <em>unlimited</em>, on every purchase. Redeeming the points is just a matter of applying the miles to your travel purchases as statement credit. This methods provides the traveler with the most flexibility in terms of airline and hotel stay options. You aren't limited by partners, blackout dates, or limited award seats. There are no foreign transaction fees. The $59 annual fee is waived for the first year.</p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=26&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" alt="Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express" title="Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1178"><img width="154" border="0" height="97" alt="" style="float: right; margin: 0px 10px; class=" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express-012815.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1178">Blue Cash Preferred&reg; Card from American Express</a> offers an amazing 6% <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">cash back at U.S. supermarkets</a> on up to $6,000 spent each year, 3% <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards">cash back at U.S. gas stations</a> and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There is a $75 annual fee for this card, which is easily justified by those who spend just over $100 a month on groceries, without considering any additional spending at grocery stores, gas stations, or qualifying department stores. Its current <strong>special offer</strong> includes up to $350 cash back (as a statement credit) after you meet the spending requirements (offer ends June 15, 2016). Terms and limitations apply.</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=6&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1178"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Blue Cash Preferred Card&reg; from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</h2> <p><a title="The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express" alt="The Platinum Card&reg; from American Express" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1178"><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float: right; margin: 0px 10px; class=" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/platinum-card-102015.png" /></a>While this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards">premium card</a> does have a $450 annual fee, <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1178">the Platinum Card&reg; from American Express</a> offers rewards that can be worth far more to frequent travelers. To start, cardholders receive an annual $200 airline fee credit for incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, and a $100 credit towards membership in the Global Entry program which speeds access through immigration when returning to the United States, or $85 credit towards the application fee for TSA PreCheck which gets your through the security line much faster. Cardholders also gain <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access">access to the airport lounges</a> of the Delta SkyClub, the Priority Pass Select network, and American Express's growing network of Centurion airport lounges. This is also one of the few American Express credit cards that does not have foreign transaction fees.</p> <p>Cardholders also get points in the Membership Rewards program which can be transferred to miles with several different frequent flyer programs or points with hotel programs, plus they'll get complimentary Hilton HHonors&trade; Gold Status upon enrollment. Throw in numerous purchase protection and travel insurance programs, and it is easy to see how the benefits of this card can be worth considerably more than its annual fee. Terms and limitations apply.&nbsp;</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=11&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1178"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Platinum Card&reg; from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; MasterCard&reg;</h2> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=52&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1178&#10;"><img width="154" border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" alt="" src=" http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiAAdvantagePlatinumSelectMasterCard-191.jpg" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=52&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1178">Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; MasterCard&reg;</a> from our partner Citi, offers one of the best airline rewards programs available. Cardholerds get two miles for each dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, and one mile per dollar spent on all other purchases. You can redeem miles for award flights with American Airlines or OneWorld airline partners, and you get a 10% rebate of your award redemptions, up to 10,000 miles, each calendar year.</p> <p>Other reasons that the card is worth the annual fee include extra boarding privileges on American Airline flights, 25% savings on in-flight food and beverages, first checked bag free, and many other travel and card benefits. This card also includes access to the World Card Hotel and Resorts Program, which includes other extras like VIP status and complimentary breakfast. <strong>Sign-up offer</strong>: New cardholders get a bonus of 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening the account. The annual fee of $95 is waived your first year. There is no foreign transaction fee with this card.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=23&amp;pid=52&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1178">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;Citi&reg; / AAdvantage&reg; Platinum Select&reg; MasterCard&reg; today!</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">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-13"> <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-with-no-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With No Annual Fees</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-credit-cards-are-smarter-than-cash">5 Times Credit Cards Are Smarter Than Cash</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/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards annual fees best credit cards credit miles rewards Fri, 05 Dec 2014 10:00:11 +0000 Jason Steele 1263798 at http://www.wisebread.com Citi Double Cash Rewards Card Pays You to Pay Off Your Debt http://www.wisebread.com/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cash_000015373407.jpg" alt="Woman with cash" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are all sorts of tricks that credit card issuers can play on customers who are looking for the most cash back from a rewards card. They can offer bonuses for certain types of purchases, or feature extra cash back on categories of purchases that change every quarter. Others have limits on the rewards that can be earned on certain kinds of purchases each year, or charge a large annual fee that offsets much of the savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=review">How Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>But in this highly competitive market, Citi created a card that pushed past many of these traditional gimmicks. The <a target="_top" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=102&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sname">Double Cash Card</a> from our partner Citi offers cash back twice on every purchase &mdash; once when you buy, and again when you pay for those purchases. And there is no annual fee.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Cardholders can earn an unlimited 1% cash back when they make a purchase, and an additional 1% cash back when their purchase is paid. Customers receive their rewards as soon as they reach $25. There are no caps or restrictions on the amount of cash back that can be earned. There is no annual fee.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Travel benefits</strong>. This card features plenty of valuable travel benefits and protections. Traveling cardholders will receive up to $50,000 in worldwide rental car coverage and up to $250,000 in worldwide travel accident insurance. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is also included as a benefit of this card.</p> <p><strong>Citi Price Rewind</strong>. Citi's Price Rewind service automatically refunds customers up to $300 per item (up to $1200 per year) when there is a price drop on a registered purchase found within 60 days of the purchase.</p> <p><strong>Shopping benefits.</strong> Cardholders will receive an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=review">additional year of warranty coverage</a> on items they purchase on the card, as well as theft and damage <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=review">purchase protection</a> of up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 a year, which covers items damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York State residents).</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>13.24% - 23.24% variable APR (0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers made from the date of first transfer when transfers are completed within four months of account opening)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee ($5 minimum)</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <p><a target="_top" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=102&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2"><img alt="" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Cash back rewards and intro APR</strong>. Getting 1% unlimited cash back is pretty standard, but the 1% back when you pay makes this one of the best cash rewards credit cards available. In addition, the 18 months of interest-free balance transfers is also a very valuable feature.</p> <p><strong>No annual fee</strong>. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=review">additional benefits</a> of this card are as strong as they are on some high end reward cards with pricey annual fees. However, there's no annual fee for this card.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Split cash back rewards</strong>. It is unclear why Citi chooses to split awarding the cash back between the time of purchase and the time of payment, which runs contrary to its otherwise simple rewards program. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=seealso">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee</strong>. In addition, when traveling internationally, customers will want to use a different card with no foreign transaction fees, and leave this card at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>This is a great product for rewards credit card users who would rather earn cash back than airline miles or other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=review">travel rewards</a>. For those who always avoid interest by paying their balances in full each month, Citi's Double Cash is now the product to beat among cash back rewards cards.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a target="_top" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=102&amp;pid=47&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi Double Cash Card today!</strong></a></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/citi-double-cash-rewards-card-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">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-14"> <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/retire-your-credit-card-debt-with-citi-simplicity-card">Retire Your Credit Card Debt With Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever</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/chase-slate-visa-review">Chase Slate&amp;reg; Review: Balance Transfers With No Intro Fee</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/be-an-elitist-with-the-citi-aadvantage-executive-world-elite-mastercard">Be an Elitist with the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard</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/citi-platinum-select-aadvantage-world-mastercard-review">Travel with Comfort and Ease: Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer cash back Citi credit card reviews rewards Wed, 03 Dec 2014 23:00:11 +0000 Jason Steele 1263097 at http://www.wisebread.com