rewards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2076/all en-US 5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_635966732.jpg" alt="Woman meeting her credit card&#039;s minimum spending requirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're new to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=internal" target="_blank">chasing credit card rewards</a>, it can feel like there's a lot to learn at once. One of the fastest ways to earn credit card rewards points is through a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">sign-up bonus</a>. This is a big slew of points you'll get from a new card if you spend a certain amount on that card within a specified period of time &mdash; often the first three months. The spending requirement could be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the card.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation With Credit Card Rewards in 2 Months</a></p> <p>Of course, the whole idea for earning points that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">translate into travel rewards</a> is to spend less. It's counterproductive to go into debt just to meet a minimum spending requirement. That's why the tips below relate to things you're likely <em>already </em>spending on, not additional expenses that will break your budget. You should never let a balance accrue on a credit card just to get rewards. You will never come out ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start With Everyday Expenses</h2> <p>Chances are you can get a significant fraction of the way to meeting your minimum requirement just by putting your regular expenses on your credit card whenever you can.</p> <p>If you're conditioned to paying for things in cash, it's time to break that habit since you're missing out on tons of potential points-earning opportunities. This means putting all your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">grocery purchases on your card</a>. Same for when you pay for gas, dry cleaning, prescriptions, or any of your other regular expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Use for Everyday Expenses</a>)</p> <h2>2. Pay Your Bills With Your Card</h2> <p>The same is true for monthly bills like your Internet, Netflix, cellphone, cable, etc. If you have automated payments set up, update them with your new card. For any other bills, see if there's an option to pay with a credit card instead of a checking account. Watch out for any fees charged for credit card payments, though. It's usually not worth it.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>3. Let Little Things Add Up</h2> <p>If you use Uber or Lyft to get around, make sure you update your payment method so that it is linked to your new credit card. The same goes for other apps that you are using to make payments, as small as they may be. If you use Venmo to pay individuals or iTunes for the occasional song download, you'll want to link them to your new card, too, so you'll be earning points toward rewards even when you're not thinking about it.</p> <h2>4. Prepay Current Subscriptions</h2> <p>If you have the extra cash to pay for subscriptions up front, you'll not only help meet the spending requirement, but may score a discount in the process. Many services offer a discount for prepaying.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Ways to Get Free or Almost Free Airline Tickets</a></p> <h2>5. Buy Gift Cards</h2> <p>Buying gift cards is a straightforward way to earn points toward reaching your minimum balance. You are spending money now by purchasing the card, which you can then use later. Due to fraud concerns, many brick-and-mortar retailers no longer take credit cards for gift card purchases, but many e-tailers, including Amazon, will.</p> <p>Again, the most important thing to remember is to only spend what you can pay off every month. Make your payments on time, so you don't accrue interest or late payment fees that will obliterate any rewards you get for your purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Anyone Can Travel for Free</a>)</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/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">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/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</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">How 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/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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> Credit Cards bills free travel gift cards groceries hacks minimum spending requirement points rewards sign up bonuses subscriptions Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:00:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1870054 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vacation_home_pool_509553708.jpg" alt="Finding vacation rental alternatives to airbnb" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Airbnb has quickly grown to be a giant in the world of short-term rentals since its inception in 2008. While it may be the most well known of Internet vacation rental options, it is far from being the only website you can use to rent on the road. The sharing economy has offered us nothing if not diversity in choice. If you're not finding the right rental option on Airbnb, there are alternative websites to consider.</p> <p>One thing for credit card rewards chasers to keep in mind, however, is that Airbnb is the most rewards-friendly platform because its <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-card-issuers-classify-your-purchases-for-bonus-rewards">merchant category code (MCC)</a> is hotel. If you have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">general travel rewards card</a> that lets you redeem points as statement credits to pay for hotels, Airbnb should count. There are even opportunities to earn bonus points for Airbnb stays with cards that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-travel-purchases?ref=internal">rewards on travel purchases</a>. In contrast, most other vacation rental services are coded as real estate.</p> <h2>1. HomeAway</h2> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10784590-1463767048000">Home Away</a> is considered by many to be Airbnb's main competitor, with approximately 1.2 million listings in 190 countries. HomeAway is owned by Expedia and specializes in renting whole properties. It also has a reputation for slightly more upscale listings, so if that's what you prefer, it's a good place to start. Since its payment system is not streamlined, though, (it's up to the owner how they want to accept payments), be wary of owners requesting money to be deposited in advance into their accounts. If you pay for your rental through the HomeAway site, your payment is protected.</p> <h2>2. VRBO</h2> <p><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10784831-1463767133000">VRBO</a> has existed for 20 years and it is owned by HomeAway. While the website interface is not particularly pretty, it is functional. Like HomeAway, VRBO lists many full-size vacation properties, which means that the prices tend to be higher than Airbnb. VRBO is marketed more toward families, but otherwise, the differences between HomeAway and VRBO are negligible.</p> <h2>3. FlipKey</h2> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11964279-1446056276000">FlipKey</a> is owned by TripAdvisor, another giant in the travel industry, and it includes rentals in 11,000 locations globally. All of the hosts are verified by FlipKey staff, unlike Airbnb, where a host's reputation is just based on user reviews. With 300,000 listings, FlipKey has fewer properties than Airbnb and other major sites. While that's not negligible, it's not the biggest selection of places you can find. Additionally, not all of the listings are available to book online. Sometimes you will have to call or email with the property manager or owner directly.</p> <h2>4. Roomorama</h2> <p><a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>, another smaller site, emphasizes security. Roomorama has about 80,000 owner and professionally managed properties to rent, and like FlipKey, it verifies all its hosts to enhance safety for renters. Roomorama's payment system also helps deter scammers. You pay Roomorama when you book and then get a six-digit code, which you'll give the property owner once you've successfully checked in. Only then does the host get paid.</p> <h2>5. Tripping</h2> <p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/">Tripping</a> provides aggregate information about rentals that it gathers from many other sites, so it can be a convenient place to one-stop-shop for accommodations. If a property is listed on multiple websites, Tripping will automatically provide price comparisons, so you can get the best deal. The key word here is choice, as Tripping claims more than eight million properties in 150,000 destinations. In fact, Tripping is the largest search engine for rentals. As such, you can find places ranging from $10 to $10,000 a night. Tripping may be great for finding a place online, but you will then be redirected for the booking process to whichever other website has listed the rental property. For instance, after a quick search of properties in Berlin, the majority were in fact listed on the HomeAway website, so any booking would have to made through HomeAway.</p> <h2>6. MeshTrip</h2> <p>Like Tripping, <a href="http://meshtrip.com/">MeshTrip</a> is also an aggregator, but it claims to only list properties that are instantly bookable. That means you shouldn't have to wait for word from the property owner on whether the space is available on the dates you want to book (although our test of the site led us to an apartment with a message reading, &quot;Sorry, we've just checked with our partner and this place isn't available on those dates after all&quot;). The site is only a couple of years old, but still boasts 1.3 million properties in 190 countries.</p> <h2>7. 9flats</h2> <p><a href="https://www.9flats.com/">9flats</a> is a European property rental company with approximately 200,000 listings to choose from. Its website design is appealing and easy to use and it has a section for &quot;all star hosts&quot; who come with high recommendations from renters. The website does not charge booking fees. Compare that to other sites that add 3%&ndash;15% fees, and the savings can really add up. 9flats is relatively small so the listings and locations it offers are more limited.</p> <h2>8. PerfectPlaces</h2> <p><a href="http://www.perfectplaces.com/">PerfectPlaces</a> is similar to 9flats in that it's also relatively small. Unlike 9flats, its listings are more concentrated in the U.S. Some bookings can be made directly through its website while others require you to contact the property owner. As with 9flats, you will not be charged a booking fee, which can help you save.</p> <h2>9. Haven In</h2> <p>If you really want to splurge on a European trip, check out <a href="https://havenin.com/">Haven In</a>. It offers home rentals in Paris, Provence, London, and Tuscany, and it's a good luxury alternative to the options available on Airbnb. The apartment and villa listings are carefully curated for a boutique rental experience that is often more memorable than a hotel. You'll be met by a bilingual greeter when you arrive, and round-the-clock service is available if you need anything during your stay. You can expect personalized attention from a professional, as opposed to the hit-or-miss experience you may have with Airbnb. It's more pricey than other peer-to-peer services, and even many five-star hotels, with listings in Paris starting at around $250 a night during low season.</p> <h2>10. Apartments Actually</h2> <p><a href="http://apartmentsactually.com/properties/paris">Apartments Actually</a> is a similar service offering boutique rental accommodations in Paris and Provence. Its properties are centrally located and beautifully curated, so you don't have to hunt through hundreds of listings to find one that you like.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">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/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</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-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?</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/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</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> Travel accommodations AirBnb booking sites rentals rewards short term rentals vacations Tue, 03 Jan 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1865736 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Build Your Best Travel Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_scooter_travel_518707448.jpg" alt="Couple learning how to build the best travel budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people live for trip planning, while others would rather get it done quickly and just enjoy their vacation. Whichever camp you fall into, creating a comprehensive travel budget is a crucial part of the planning process and will help ensure that you have the best trip possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel (And How to Pay Less)</a>)</p> <p>Instead of worrying about money while you're away, a travel budget can help you to enjoy, relax, and live in the moment, knowing that you're not going to come back to a pile of debt. By planning out your finances before you leave, you may even realize you have a little money to spare for a fun activity or excursion while you're away.</p> <p>Planning a travel budget can present a challenge, however, especially if it's your first time visiting somewhere. Here are a few ways to make your perfect travel budget a little easier.</p> <h2>1. How Much Will My Trip Cost?</h2> <p>This is the most basic and yet important question you will have to ask when planning your travel budget. There are several factors you need to consider.</p> <p>In broad brush strokes, you'll want to think about two main components: the cost of things at your destination, and your travel style. Is it vital you stay in five-star resorts to enjoy your destination, or could you be just as happy in more modest accommodations? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-travel-expenses-you-forgot-to-budget-for?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">9 Travel Expenses You Forgot to Budget For</a>)</p> <h2>2. Define Your Travel Style</h2> <p>Travel takes many shapes and forms, from luxury trips with five-star accommodations to roughing it on a backpacker's budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Say in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a>)</p> <p>While making your travel budget, it's a good idea to decide where you want to indulge and where you're okay doing with less. For example, maybe you're happy to stay in budget accommodations to make sure you have enough money for an expensive, once-in-a-lifetime activity. By making this a conscious decision, you can enjoy your splurges while knowing that you're making financially sound decisions that you can afford.</p> <h2>3. Consider Costs at Your Destination</h2> <p>The cost of travel can vary greatly in different countries, or even in different regions of the country where you live. For instance, you're going to need to plan a much bigger budget for a trip to New York City than for upstate New York. Websites such as PriceOfTravel.com and BudgetYourTrip.com can give you ballpark figures for travel costs in various destinations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">40 Most Useful Travel websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <p>You'll need to factor in the price of transportation to the destination and on the ground while you're there, plus accommodations, activities, and food. Be sure to check if you've earned any free travel through airline, hotel or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card rewards programs</a>. That could significantly reduce your trip costs. Credit card perks such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">free rental car insurance</a> can also help leave more breathing room in your budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-free-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Easy Ways to Get Free Travel</a>)</p> <p>Generally speaking, the Internet can be useful in figuring out approximate costs at your destination. However, keep in mind that larger booking sites may only list more expensive hotels and tours. Smaller mom and pop type businesses won't necessarily be included. Check out reputable travel blogs, online forums, and guidebooks for accurate information on less expensive, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling?ref=internal" target="_blank">off-the-beaten-path options</a>.</p> <p>Just make sure to look at when your resources were published and try to get the most up-to-date information. Prices can change quickly, and using outdated information in your budget could set you up for a nasty surprise when you get to your destination. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a>)</p> <h3>Known Expenses</h3> <p>With this research, you'll find you can figure out most of your big expenses in advance.</p> <p>If you're booking your accommodations ahead of time, it will be easier to factor into your budget since you will have an exact amount before you leave home. If you're going to book things as you go, you'll have to use your research to estimate what you will spend per night on average.</p> <p>Some expenses go hand-in-hand. For instance, knowing whether your accommodations will have a kitchen can help you better estimate your food budget: Will you be going out for every meal, or cooking some of the time? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling</a>)</p> <p>Consider, too, whether you want to set aside some money for souvenirs and gifts, and be sure to factor in these expenses as well.</p> <h3>Unknown Expenses</h3> <p>You will also want to budget some money for unexpected expenses, which could include a health emergency while you're traveling or just the ability to splurge on something you hadn't necessarily planned on.</p> <p>Assign an amount that feels comfortable to you and include this extra padding on your travel budget so that you avoid coming up short.</p> <p>Trip planning doesn't just involve an itinerary and wish list of activities and sights. Creating a comprehensive travel budget will help you get excited for an awesome trip, while giving you the confidence that your travel is financially sound.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-build-your-best-travel-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Build%20Your%20Best%20Travel%20Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Build%20Your%20Best%20Travel%20Budget" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Build%20Your%20Best%20Travel%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Build Your Best Travel Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">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/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How 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/7-easy-ways-to-budget-for-summer-vacation">7 Easy Ways to Budget for Summer Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-spring-break-budget-busters-to-avoid">11 Spring Break Budget Busters to Avoid</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Travel accommodations Airfare expenses hotels miles rewards saving money travel costs trip planning Mon, 02 Jan 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Nick Wharton 1864426 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Use Miles and Points for Holiday Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts <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-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_shopping_621576836.jpg" alt="Woman using miles and points for holiday gifts" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although shopping isn't always the best way to get value out of your credit card or other loyalty rewards &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles">international flights and upgrades</a> typically get more punch for the point &mdash; there are lots of good reasons to consider spending some points on holiday gifts.</p> <p>If you're short on cash, tapping your miles and points is an easy way to come through for loved ones without racking up debt. It's a sneaky way to treat a spouse who shares your checking and credit accounts without having a bill for the &quot;gift&quot; arrive in January. Shopping can also be an expedient way to use up small caches of points that might otherwise expire, which should be part of your year-end financial cleanup anyway.</p> <p>Check out some of these easy ways to turn points into presents under the tree.</p> <h2>1. Shop Amazon With Points</h2> <p>This is so easy that even I, usually a die hard &quot;save points for travel&quot; girl, bought my kids some toys using this method this year. Some credit cards allow you to link your Amazon account directly to easily use points for purchases. Amazon is also a popular vendor in shopping portals. Check your credit card issuer to see if they have a members-only shopping portal that allows you to use points (or earn bonus ones) when you shop with their partners.</p> <h2>2. Buy Gift Cards With Points</h2> <p>Many rewards programs offer gift cards as a redemption option. You can usually exchange your points at a $0.01 rate, so if you have 500 points, you can usually get a $5 gift card to a popular store, like Starbucks, Home Depot, or Banana Republic. Make sure to check whether your gift cards will arrive by mail or email, and if by mail, when they will be shipped.</p> <h2>3. Hit Macy's With Plenti</h2> <p>Introduced by American Express in 2015, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/plenti-one-rewards-program-to-rule-them-all?ref=internal">Plenti is a rewards program</a> that allows members to earn and spend rewards at a number of businesses, including Macy's, Rite Aid, ExxonMobil, and more. You don't need an Amex card to join. If you have Plenti rewards, you can buy gifts in-store or online at Macy's or Rite Aid at a rate of about $10 for every 1,000 points. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-new-rewards-card-partnered-with-tons-of-retailers-the-plenti-credit-card-from-amex?ref=internal">Plenti Credit Card from Amex</a> will get you even more points when shopping with Plenti partners.</p> <h2>4. Give the Gift of Travel</h2> <p>If you have a lot of points, you can always use them where you get the best value: airline flights. This is a great gift idea for a loved one you'd like to visit you. Simply use your points to book a ticket in his name. Southwest is a good candidate for this kind of gift, since your recipient can change the flight itinerary at no charge if your proposed travel dates don't work. You can earn Southwest Rapid Rewards with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card?ref=internal">Southwest Credit Card</a>, or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to your Rapid Rewards account.</p> <h2>5. Give Subscriptions</h2> <p>If you have a few points close to expiration, you may have received an offer in the mail to trade points for magazine and newspaper subscriptions. This is a good way to squeeze some value out of miles for an airline you're unlikely to fly, or points from any program where you don't expect to accumulate enough to redeem anything big.</p> <p>For instance, while 3,200 miles is not enough for even a short flight on American Airlines, it can get you a yearlong subscription to The Wall Street Journal, a $278 value. Through <a href="https://www2.magsformiles.com/index.html?utm_source=expired&amp;utm_medium=10024767">Mags for Miles</a>, you can redeem United, Spirit, and a number of other types of miles for People, Sports Illustrated, or many other titles. This is a particularly good idea for Spirit miles, since they expire quickly.</p> <h2>6. Redeem Points for Merchandise</h2> <p>This usually ends up giving you the <em>worst </em>value for your points, but if it prevents you from actually spending your cash, it can still be worthwhile. Look at your options for points redemption, and you'll usually find a &quot;merchandise&quot; option, which lists gadgets and gifts you can get with your points. If the gift you really want to get is there, or you really wouldn't be able to use the points in a better way, why not?</p> <h2>7. Give Exclusive Experiences</h2> <p>Sometimes Broadway shows, sporting events, and other experience vendors offer exclusive opportunities to cardholders. For instance, in San Francisco, hard-to-get Hamilton tickets were recently offered on pre-sale to Amex cardholders only. Chase cardmembers were also recently offered a VIP experience at the Sundance Film Festival.</p> <h2>8. Redeem Points for Cash</h2> <p>Even if your credit card isn't labeled a &quot;cash back&quot; credit card, you may still be able to redeem your points for cash or a statement credit. Sometimes they don't advertise this option, so dig a little into their rewards center to see whether it's an option. You simply shop normally for your gifts &mdash; except without denting your checking account.</p> <h2>9. Make a Donation</h2> <p>If your giftee is the type of person who would appreciate a charitable donation in their name, many issuers will allow you to donate your points to charities. Check your rewards center for options and availability.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-miles-and-points-for-holiday-gifts">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-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</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/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</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">How 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/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</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-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon cash back charities christmas shopping gifts holiday shopping miles rewards subscriptions Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1850499 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Earn Extra Income While Christmas Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping" 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_phone_78930915.jpg" alt="Woman earning extra income while Christmas shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Christmas shopping can be expensive and time-consuming. Wouldn't it be great if you could take advantage of that time to make some extra money? Fortunately, we found a few ways for you to earn extra cash for the holidays while you do your Christmas shopping.</p> <h2>1. Use Your Car</h2> <p>If your vehicle is in good condition, you may want to consider signing up with one of the ride-share services. With services like Uber and Lyft, you can choose which rides you want to provide, at a time most convenient for your schedule. So, for instance, you can pick up riders when you have some extra time, who happen to be going in the same direction as your favorite holiday shops. You can even charge for carpool services to take your neighbors with you on your next shopping trip. They can avoid taking their car, you'll get gas money, and you can even shop together to make the experience more enjoyable.</p> <p>If you're already using your car to drive people around, you may also consider renting out your car with sites like <a href="https://turo.com/">Turo</a> when you're not using it. Around the holidays, people tend to travel more and are in need of a reliable vehicle during their vacation. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car?ref=seealso">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a>)</p> <h2>2. Deliver Items</h2> <p>Getting paid to run errands can be fun, rewarding, and a quick way to earn money on your own time, on your own schedule. Typically, these gigs include shopping for groceries, delivering food, driving people around, and a myriad tasks that may be suited more to your specialties or interests. You can deliver items and run errands with sites like Postmates, Instacart, Amazon Flex, Door Dash, TaskRabbit, Fiverr, and many more.</p> <p>During the holidays, it can be especially lucrative to run errands for people when they are too busy with holiday plans to do things like gift buying, shopping for decorations, and mailing out packages at the post office. If you actually enjoy holiday shopping, you can even make money personal shopping for people who just don't have the time or desire to do it themselves. All you'll have to do is complete their holiday shopping while you complete your own, so it won't take much time out of your day and you can earn a decent amount around the holidays. Typically, you can charge by the hour or by the trip. You can also sign up with a company like <a href="https://www.care.com/errand-runners">Care.com</a> to run errands for seniors, with an average rate of $13.50/hr.</p> <h2>3. Use Rewards Cards and Reward Sites</h2> <p>Using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">credit cards with rewards</a> for holiday shopping can result in quite a bit of cash back after holiday shopping is complete. If you need to spend money on Christmas gifts anyway, you might as well save money, and earn a little money, while you're doing it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money On Holiday Shopping</a>)</p> <p>Sites like <a href="http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=vIhagUaAxdMIsu435wELZg%3D%3D&amp;eeid=26471">Ebates</a> and <a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a> can give you cash back when you shop and save you money with promo codes. With these sites, you can also take advantage of surveys, videos, and online games that reward points upon successful completion, which you can later exchange for gifts. You can even play games and watch videos while you're waiting in line to pass the time and earn points for dollar rewards. Sites like Ibotta also offer challenges (such as shopping at particular stores or for particular items), and once you prove that you have completed these challenges by submitting a screenshot of your receipts, you can earn points for cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps?Ref=seealso">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a>)</p> <h2>4. Complete Online Surveys</h2> <p>Completing online surveys while you stand in line will help you earn a little cash and will make the time fly by. Sites like Opinion Outpost, ProOpinion, and Nielsen Homescan will pay you for each online service you complete, so you can complete them on your own time. You can also be selective about which surveys you fill out, only completing the most lucrative ones.</p> <h2>5. Make Extra Crafts to Sell</h2> <p>If you have a talent, such as painting, jewelry making, knitting, or crafting, consider gifting some of your work to your friends and family. It will cut down on who you need to shop for, cost you less, and will mean more to the recipient. Better yet, consider making extra crafts to sell on eBay or Etsy so you can also make some extra money from your craft.</p> <h2>6. Take Photos</h2> <p>Sites like <a href="https://us.fotolia.com/Info/Contributors">Fotolia</a>, <a href="http://submit.shutterstock.com/?language=en">Shutterstock</a>, and <a href="https://www.smugmug.com/features/sell-photos-online">SmugMug</a> will buy your original photos. Consider taking photos of your area while you Christmas shop to sell online. This can be particularly lucrative if you live in a large city or popular destination. Just take a camera with you during your Christmas shopping and you can sell the photos later when you get home.</p> <h2>7. Become a Mystery Shopper</h2> <p>With mystery shopping, you will be paid to visit a store and give input on your experience. Whether you complete your mystery shopping in a store that you were already going to shop at, or at the same mall that you were already planning on shopping at, it will only require a small investment of your time and can garner you some serious side cash. However, it can be difficult to find legitimate mystery shopping positions that pay well, so you may have to research this a bit before getting started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/check-out-these-5-legit-mystery-shopping-gigs?ref=seealso">Check Out These 5 Legit Mystery Shopping Gigs</a>)</p> <h2>8. Lose Weight</h2> <p>Believe it or not, you can actually get paid to lose weight. Sites like <a href="https://www.dietbet.com/">DietBet</a>, <a href="http://www.pactapp.com/">Pact</a>, and <a href="https://www.healthywage.com/">HealthyWage</a> will allow you to set weight loss goals for yourself. If you meet those goals, or complete weight loss challenges and contests, in a specified amount of time, you will receive money. Not only will this help you make a little money while you're running around doing your Christmas shopping, but it can also provide another incentive not to gain an excess amount of holiday weight. <a href="https://www.achievemint.com/">Achievement</a> offers a similar type of payout program for completing healthy activities, which won't require any additional investment of time or energy during the holiday shopping season.</p> <p>Many people actually burn calories during their holiday shopping, but then gain it back during their holiday eating. It doesn't take much more effort to burn more calories while you're out and about, so this is an easy way to make a little bit of extra money on the side. The only downside to this is in order to take part in these challenges, you will need to contribute a small amount of money yourself. If you do not complete the challenge or meet your goals, the money you invested will be split among the winners.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping">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/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays</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/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">Here&#039;s How to Monetize Your Unwanted Gifts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</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/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</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-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Shopping Christmas delivery Holidays losing weight making money mystery shopping rewards ride share surveys Fri, 18 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1834287 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal? http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_map_credit_card_94754805.jpg" alt="Woman learning if airline or travel credit cards are better" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is a battle underway for a place in the wallets of credit card users who value travel rewards. In one corner are the traditional <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">airline credit cards</a>, which offer frequent flyer miles, as well as perks and benefits when traveling with a particular airline.</p> <p>Putting up a great fight against these traditional airline cards are the new crop of general travel rewards cards. These travel reward cards are not associated with a single airline. Rather, they offer points and miles that are worth a fixed amount toward travel reservations, or they can offer points that can be transferred to miles with several different airlines, and even hotels, allowing more flexibility when redeeming rewards for travel.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">best travel rewards card</a> for you depends on your travel preferences.</p> <h2>The Current State of Airline Credit Cards</h2> <p>It wasn't that long ago that frequent flyer miles were like gold. Airlines published award charts, and travelers simply had to accumulate enough miles and then redeem them for the flights they wanted. And when miles were redeemed for expensive flights in business class, or reservations with little advance notice, it was possible to receive tremendous value from these miles.</p> <p>But now, airlines have devalued their miles by raising the number of miles needed for award seats, and by reducing the number of award seats available. However, these airline credit cards attract frequent flyers by offering an array of perks and benefits that save money and time, and provide comfort and convenience. These benefits include a free checked bag, priority boarding, in-flight discounts, access to airport lounges, and more.</p> <p>These cards make sense for travelers who are committed to flying a single airline, are flexible with travel times, and can use the additional benefits. Flying frequently with that airline will rack up miles faster than using another credit card because of the extra bonus points.</p> <h2>The Case for General Travel Reward Cards</h2> <p>For those who travel infrequently, or like to have flexibility in which airline they fly, the more general travel rewards cards will work better. Whether it's a card that can transfer points to various airline partners, or a card that simply offers a statement credit for any travel purchase, users won't get stuck with sold-out award seats or overpriced ones.</p> <p>Finally, these general travel reward cards are more likely to offer bonus points or miles for non-travel categories, so infrequent travelers can still rack up <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">points for everyday purchases</a>.</p> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>By examining your travel habits and the way you like to redeem your miles, the right kind of travel rewards credit card for your needs will become clear. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Use this Guide to Choose the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card for You</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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">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/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How 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/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</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-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</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> Credit Cards Travel benefits best value flying frequent flyers miles rewards vacation Tue, 09 Aug 2016 09:30:31 +0000 Jason Steele 1767288 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/toy_plane_map_65033677.jpg" alt="Learning miles secrets only frequent flyers know" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most frequent flyers are experts at collecting and redeeming miles for free travel. They know all the tricks for squeezing a bit more value from each point, where to find more award seats, and secrets to getting miles faster. These are the little known secrets for getting more miles and value so you can be on your way to your next <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=tavel">free vacation</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=travel">How to Get a Free Vacation through Credit Card Rewards in Less Than 9 Months</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Can Earn More Miles on the Ground Than in the Air</h2> <p>Even for frequent travelers, most airline miles are earned on the ground, not in the air. That's because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">airline credit cards</a> award miles based on how much you <em>spend</em>, not how <em>far you fly</em>. That includes nonflying purchases. Use your card to pay for all your expenses and watch your miles add up.</p> <h2>2. You Don't Need an Airline Credit Card</h2> <p>Some of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">best travel rewards credit cards</a> aren't airline branded cards, but their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">points can be transferred to the airline miles</a> of your choice. This gives you more flexibility in choosing the card that offers the most points for the category you spend the most in. Choose a card that offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">bonus points for dining</a> if you frequent restaurants often. Get a card that offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">high grocery rewards</a>. This will help you earn more points faster.</p> <h2>3. Not All Redemption Opportunities Offer the Same Value</h2> <p>Frequent travelers know how to look for <em>value</em> when redeeming their miles. Planning ahead of time to grab the best award price and comparing different routes will get you a much higher value for your hard earned points.</p> <h2>4. Look for Award Flights on Partner Airlines</h2> <p>If you're searching for award seats on a particular airline, look up the partners that also accept that airline's miles, and search for flights through them. Sometimes award seats show up on a partner site search rather than the specific airline site you're looking to fly on. Sometimes fees are much lower for the same flight through a partner airline. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=travel">The Secret to Getting the Cheapest Award Flights</a>)</p> <h2>5. Look for Business and First Class International Flights</h2> <p>You might think that business or first class seats are out of your reach, but when it comes to miles, a seat in business class on an international flight that would normally cost two to three times the cost of a coach seat, might only be 50% more miles. Instead of using your miles for a few domestic flights, saving them for upgraded seats on an international flight would give you much more value for your points.</p> <p><em>Do you play the airline miles game? How do you wring out the most value?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Airline%20Miles%20Secrets%20Only%20Frequent%20Flyers%20Know.jpg&amp;description=5%20Airline%20Miles%20Secrets%20Only%20Frequent%20Flyers%20Know" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Airline%20Miles%20Secrets%20Only%20Frequent%20Flyers%20Know.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">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/get-the-most-from-your-airline-miles-in-these-5-overlooked-cities">Get the Most From Your Airline Miles in These 5 Overlooked Cities</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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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">How 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/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-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> Travel airline miles flights frequent flyers international points rewards vacation value Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Jason Steele 1764990 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_shopping_000086939113.jpg" alt="Woman using apps that pay her to shop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know &quot;there's an app for that.&quot; Usually we're referring to apps that make our lives a little bit easier somehow. But what if there were a bunch of apps out there that'll actually <em>pay </em>you to shop? Whether it be through earning cash back by purchasing stuff we'd be buying anyways, or simply paying you to snap a pic of your receipt, these apps all have the potential to help you earn some significant money. What's more helpful than that?</p> <h2>1. Swagbucks</h2> <p><a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a> is a cash back app with a twist &mdash; namely it focuses on surveys as its primary business model. You download the app, pick a survey to complete, and earn &quot;Swagbucks&quot; when you complete it. The cool thing about the surveys is they tell you exactly how long they will take to complete, and the number of Swagbucks you'll earn. For example, a six-minute survey will give you 50 Swagbucks and the questions are very simple, opinion-based questions. Earn 500 Swagbucks and you'll be eligible for a $5 gift card from Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart or Target. Sitting in the doctor's office waiting room, or maybe at the DMV, complete a Swagbucks survey or two, and before you know it, you'll be treating yourself to a free Venti Frappuccino.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online?utm_source=wisebraed&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Make Money Online Without Even Trying</a></p> <h2>2. iBotta</h2> <p>While already on the radar screen of most frugal shoppers,&nbsp;<a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">iBotta</a> is a terrific way to earn cash at the grocery store. Cash back takes the form of &quot;rebates,&quot; and you simply unlock rebates on specific items before you head to the grocery store. Items that often have rebates available include such staples as milk, eggs, yogurt, and butter. Then when you return home, just scan the receipt with the iBotta app and your rebates, once verified, go straight to your account balance. When your iBotta account reaches $10, you can request payment via PayPal or Venmo. The app is terrific way to supplement traditional paper coupons and double your savings in many cases.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Earn Thousands Per Year With These Cash Back Sites</a></p> <h2>3. ShopKick</h2> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.shopkick.com/">ShopKick</a> app rewards you with free gift cards for doing the shopping you'd be doing anyways. It works by giving you reward points, known as &quot;kicks,&quot; just for walking into stores like Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, and even at your local grocery store. Then when you buy something from the store, you earn even more kicks. Earn enough kicks, and you'll get rewarded with free gift cards to the store of your choosing. Surprisingly, it doesn't take much to earn things like a $5 Starbucks gift card. You'll also be kept updated with new coupons and deals at your favorite stores so you can save even more. An insider tip to quickly add up kicks is to follow&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/SHOPkick">ShopKick on Facebook</a> as they update their feed with new ways to earn free kicks.</p> <h2>4. Mobee</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mobeeapp.com/">Mobee</a> touts themselves as a &quot;fun, new way to make money on your phone.&quot; Once downloaded to your smartphone, the app works by displaying &quot;missions&quot; in your local area that pay you money to complete. The missions are displayed on a map allowing you to quickly see which ones you can easily perform on your next shopping trip. The idea is that you're going to be there anyways, so why not earn a couple bucks in the process?</p> <p>For example, your local Starbucks might have a mission that requires you to answer a few questions about your visit. Most missions give you 250&ndash;750 points and a $5 Starbucks gift card is available after about 500 points. Earn 2,500 points at Walmart and trade your points in for a $25 gift card. I was happily surprised to see the points required to earn gift cards were very reasonable, making this app worth a look.</p> <h2>5. Receipt Hog</h2> <p><a href="http://receipthog.com/">Receipt Hog</a> allows you to cash-in on your shopping receipts. Unlike cash back apps like iBotta, Receipt Hog lets you earn rewards by scanning your receipt from ANY store and it doesn't matter what items you purchased. Once you earn 1,000 points, you'll be eligible for a $5 Amazon gift card or $5 sent directly to your PayPal account. You'll earn 50&ndash;100 points per receipt making a free $5 pretty easy to obtain. I've been using this app for a few months and have already earned $25 in Amazon gift cards with very little effort.</p> <h2>6. Loot!</h2> <p>The folks at&nbsp;<a href="http://earn.loot-app.com/">Loot!</a> have created an app that lets you earn rewards by sharing, typically via social media, recent experiences with a particular brand or retailer. These experiences often require you to snap a picture to share, but not always. For example, you might be asked to snap a picture of a movie you're viewing and share it on Facebook, or perhaps share a print advertisement for a particular product via Twitter. These tasks typically pay in the $0.50 to $1.75 range.</p> <p>You can also earn $0.05 for a Twitter and Facebook &quot;shout out&quot; on specific products and brands that Loot! is currently promoting. The app automatically links your social media accounts making it a simply process to perform a shout out.</p> <h2>7. Gigwalk</h2> <p>When you're out-and-about, on a shopping trip, or simply taking a stroll through town, use the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gigwalk.com/">Gigwalk app</a> to earn some extra cash by completing small tasks. A couple &quot;gig&quot; examples include $10 for taking a dog on a walk or $4 for taking a picture of a store display. The closer you live to a large metropolitan area, the more gigs will be available to you. While the app is appealing as a cool way to earn a few extra bucks, the negative reviews of the app revolve around not enough gigs available and a waiting period for approval that often exceeds a week. But it definitely has potential and is worth being on your radar screen.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Jobs Sites</a></p> <h2>8. Field Agent</h2> <p>Somewhat similar to Gigwalk,&nbsp;<a href="https://app.fieldagent.net/">Field Agent</a> pays you to do small jobs in your local area. The biggest difference between the two apps is that Field Agent is more shopping-focused and has &quot;jobs&quot; at locations like Costco, RiteAid, Safeway, and Marshalls. Jobs are first come first serve, pay between $2 and $15, and must be accomplished within two hours of accepting. An example of a past Costco job was an &quot;egg audit,&quot; which for $7, required you record the egg sizes, egg prices, and count the number of egg products in the warehouse. An easy $7 in your pocket if you're on your way to Costco anyways. Similar to Gigwalk, the closer you live to a metropolitan area, the more jobs will be available to you via the app.</p> <p>Free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/field-agent/id364946558">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.fieldagent">Android</a>.</p> <p><em>How do you use your smartphone to earn a little extra money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</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-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</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-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology apps gift cards groceries ibotta online shopping rewards smartphones swagbucks Fri, 27 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Kyle James 1717319 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Unexpected Ways a Credit Card Can Save You Money on Travel http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-ways-a-credit-card-can-save-you-money-on-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-unexpected-ways-a-credit-card-can-save-you-money-on-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_travel_credit_card_000076858727.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways credit cards can save her on travel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are plenty of obvious reasons to use a credit card while traveling. For example, it's easier than carrying a lot of cash, and if it gets lost or stolen, you can call your credit card company and you won't be held responsible for fraudulent charges. But did you know that using a credit card actually saves you money on your travels? Here are eight ways that credit cards can save you money on your next trip.</p> <h2>1. Rewards Points</h2> <p>Surely the most obvious way that credit cards can put more funds in your travel piggy bank is earning rewards points. It might seem overwhelming to dive into the world of credit card rewards, but it doesn't have to be.</p> <p>To start out, simply apply for three of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">best travel credit cards</a> for you. Chose two based on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">good sign up bonus</a> so that you can get a head start on your points, and one based on a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">good percentage of cashback</a> return.</p> <p>Make sure you spend the minimum amount on each card in the first three months to ensure you get your sign-up bonus. Then continue to use the best cards based on their highest earning potential. For example, if one of them offers 3% <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">cash back on groceries</a>, always use that one at the supermarket. If one offers a high percentage on gas, use that at the pump.</p> <p>If you have a hard time keeping track, you can always put a sticky note on each card. After a while, you won't need the notes anymore.</p> <h2>2. Rental Car Insurance</h2> <p>This is a really easy way to save a few bucks a day on your rental car. All major credit card providers offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card">good insurance coverage on rentals</a> if you put the full cost of the rental car on your card (obligatory with most rental companies).</p> <p>Don't pay extra for the damage collision waiver or for extended coverage if your credit card includes it! Many people who don't know about their credit card's coverage buy a ton of extra insurance through the rental company, not knowing that it's already covered on their card.</p> <h2>3. Travel Insurance</h2> <p>This is another place where so many people waste their money because they don't know that their card has them covered. There are dozens of cards that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards">complementary travel insurance</a>.</p> <p>Before paying for expensive third-party insurance, call your credit card provider and ask what kind of travel insurance they include in their policy. You may be surprised to find out that they cover you for more than the expensive third-party insurance you've paid for in the past!</p> <p>Stop wasting money on extra insurance. Call your credit card provider before your next trip.</p> <h2>4. Rental Car Discounts</h2> <p>Many credit card providers offer discounts if you book your rental car with their partners. If you can't get a direct deal with the rental car agencies, many issuers have their own travel portal sites that allow their cardholders to book travel with exclusive discounts.</p> <h2>5. Lost Luggage Insurance</h2> <p>As someone who has recently been a victim of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what" target="_blank">lost luggage at an airport</a>, I have to say that this is something you may take for granted, but can save you a lot of money.</p> <p>You may think that when an airline loses your luggage, they'll reimburse you for everything you lost, plus pay you a little extra for your troubles. This simply isn't true with most airlines. While recent laws have been enforced to hold airlines accountable for your belongings, they are still only required to pay you the depreciated value of your used goods.</p> <p>Credit card lost luggage insurance will help to top up the amount that the airline isn't willing to pay and will even give you a small amount to pay for emergency purchases while the airline tries to retrieve your luggage. That way you can at least pick up some warm clothes, extra underwear, and a toothbrush knowing that your credit card insurance is paying for it.</p> <h2>6. Airline Credits</h2> <p>Some credit cards will actually offer to reimburse a certain amount each year for airline fees and in-flight food and entertainment. At a minimum, most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards">airline credit cards</a> will offer a discount for in-flight purchases.</p> <h2>7. Baggage Fees</h2> <p>These days, pretty much every airline in North America is charging passengers for their first checked bag. Put an end to this by having the right plastic in your wallet.</p> <p>Again, this is where airline credit cards will come in handy. Most of them will give you a free checked bag, plus for your companions, too. Before you book your flight, make sure you're using the right credit card.</p> <h2>8. Foreign Fees</h2> <p>Most credit cards will charge a 3% foreign transaction fee for using your credit card abroad. This fee cancels out any convenience or advantages of using a credit card abroad. Worse is figuring out whether the exchange rate is going to leave you better off or worse off than the 3% fee.</p> <p>The good news is that there are credit cards that have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">no foreign transaction fees</a>. Sign up for one and make sure to use that one on your travels.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>If you're a disciplined spender, signing up for numerous travel rewards credit cards and putting all your purchases on plastic can save you a lot of money both at home and on the road. Just make sure that you're careful about how many cards you apply for and how you spend.</p> <p>There's no point in earning points if you are paying 19.99% interest. Be sure to pay off your card each month and abide by the minimum spending for sign-up bonuses and you'll have more money to enjoy (or to save up for your next adventure).</p> <p><em>Have you taken advantage of any of these credit card travel savers?</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/8-unexpected-ways-a-credit-card-can-save-you-money-on-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-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/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/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what">The Airline Lost Your Luggage. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-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-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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines foreign transaction fees insurance lost luggage rental cars rewards sign up bonuses Thu, 05 May 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Nick Wharton 1703936 at http://www.wisebread.com 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> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Questions%2520to%2520Ask%2520Before%2520Accepting%2520a%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Offer.jpg&amp;description=10%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Before%20Accepting%20a%20Credit%20Card%20Offer"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Questions%20to%20Ask%20Before%20Accepting%20a%20Credit%20Card%20Offer.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-signs-its-time-to-break-up-with-your-credit-cards">7 Signs It&#039;s Time to Break Up With Your 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/8-smart-money-moves-to-make-in-the-new-year">8 Smart Money Moves to Make in the New Year</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> 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> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%2520Expert%2520Tips%2520for%2520Redeeming%2520Miles%2520for%2520Free%2520Travel.jpg&amp;description=12%20Expert%20Tips%20for%20Redeeming%20Miles%20for%20Free%20Travel"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Expert%20Tips%20for%20Redeeming%20Miles%20for%20Free%20Travel.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></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-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/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How 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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</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> 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 How 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> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards%20Cards%20to%20Get%20Free%20Trips.jpg&amp;description=9%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards%20Cards%20to%20Get%20Free%20Trips" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/9%20Ways%20to%20Use%20Travel%20Rewards%20Cards%20to%20Get%20Free%20Trips.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></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-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/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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</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> 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/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</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-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">How 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/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/citi-double-cash-card-18-month-bt-offer-pays-you-to-pay-off-your-debt">Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 Month BT Offer 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/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-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-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/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">7 Amazon Prime Perks You&#039;ve Forgotten to Use</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/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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