rewards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2076/all en-US Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-466442994.jpg" alt="Traveler earning experiences with credit card rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a travel rewards enthusiast, I've burned through well over a million points and miles in the last few years alone. While I've cashed in some of our credit card points for boring stuff (think motel stays and flights to work conferences), my family and I have also enjoyed once-in-a-lifetime excursions that have helped us see the world in new ways. (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</a>)</p> <p>The best part is, these experiences have all been free, thanks to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a> points and airline miles. Here are some of the most memorable adventures we've checked off our bucket list using rewards points.</p> <h2>Snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Cayman</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Greg%20Stingray.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>In May of 2016, I surprised my husband with a trip to Caribbean island of Grand Cayman. We used points from the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express?ref=internal" target="_blank">Starwood Preferred Guest program</a> to stay at The Westin Grand Cayman, and we paid for our flights with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-american-airlines-us-airways-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> miles.</p> <p>The highlight of the trip: an excursion to Stingray City, a famous stretch of sandbar that's home to dozens of huge stingrays. I booked this excursion with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly?ref=internal" target="_blank">Chase Ultimate Rewards points</a> so it didn't even cost a dime.</p> <p>Once we arrived by boat to the sandbar, we were surrounded by enormous stingrays within minutes. We climbed down a ladder into the crystal-clear water, and the stingrays approached all around. Some let you hold them and even kiss them, while others just swam around our legs. The entire trip was a hoot, and we got awesome pictures of ourselves holding stingrays as big as five feet across. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a>)</p> <h2>Luxing out at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme<strong> </strong></h2> <p>A few years ago, we used two free nights from my Hyatt credit card to book a weekend stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. Considering the fact that rooms here usually cost $800+ per night, this isn't just any hotel. (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 Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel</a>)</p> <p>The lobby is pristine, with art and décor that screams Parisian elegance. The large rooms are decorated in gold leaf, while the whole hotel reeks of luxury and seclusion. The breakfast, which we got for free, was regularly more than $100 for two people. And the service was impeccable.</p> <p>Because the hotel was the most luxurious I have ever stayed in, it was an experience in itself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Exploring Athens on an electric bike</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Late%20Day%20Athens.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When my husband and I visited Greece in 2016, we wanted a fun and interesting way to see the city. While we did a lot of exploring on foot, we were stoked when we found an electric bike tour we could book through Chase Ultimate Rewards.</p> <p>The weather was perfect the day of our trip, making breezing through ancient Athens fun and comfortable. On our electric bikes, we viewed the Acropolis and its famous Parthenon from afar, visited other historic sites like the Roman Agora and the Temple of Zeus, and zipped through busy streets lined with locals and tourists dining al fresco.</p> <p>We thought the bike tour was the perfect way to see parts of the city up close and can't wait to do something similar again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a>)</p> <h2>Touring ancient Tuscany on rewards</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/San%20Gimignano%20Tour%20-%20Tuscany.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>When we went to Italy a few years ago, we wanted to see some of the countryside near Florence without renting a car. We found the perfect solution: a day trip to three ancient cities throughout Tuscany, which we booked using Chase Ultimate Rewards points.</p> <p>After we boarded our bus near the train station in Florence, we set off to experience the unique charms of San Gimignano, Pisa, and Siena.</p> <p>Our visit to the medieval town of San Gimignano was a wander back in time. The walled city is home to beautifully preserved tower homes &mdash; the medieval equivalent of skyscrapers. After climbing 200+ steps to the top of the highest tower, we were rewarded with some of Tuscany's best views.</p> <p>In Pisa, we of course saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa and its adjacent baptistery. And yes, we got a silly picture of ourselves pretending to hold up the tower. Our last stop was Siena, where we visited the beautiful gothic cathedral known as the Siena Duomo, strolled through the famous Piazza del Campo in the heart of the city, then explored the winding city streets on our own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Which Airline Miles Have the Best Value?</a>)</p> <h2>Snorkeling through Cenotes in Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5169/Greg%20and%20Lydia%20Snorkeling.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Another excursion we loved was snorkeling within three separate ecosystems in Mexico. This is yet another trip we booked with points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and it was a great one.</p> <p>After the bus picked us up at our Playa del Carmen hotel, we went to swim in a freshwater cenote &mdash; a natural sinkhole formed where a cave ceiling has collapsed. There, we saw tons of tiny tropical fish and zip-lined from a platform high above. Next, we snorkeled in a freshwater cave with catfish and amazing rock formations. Lastly, we headed to a protected ocean reef where we snorkeled with vast schools of fish and sea turtles. While there, I dove down to the quiet ocean floor and observed stingrays and huge parrot fish. It was an unforgettable experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation With Credit Cards in 2 Months</a>)</p> <h2>Plan your own amazing rewards adventure</h2> <p>When it comes to credit card rewards, don't forget to think outside of the box. Sure, you can use your points for a regular flight or hotel stay, but there's so much more you can do.</p> <p>With the right card, you could take a hot-air balloon ride to see the Loire Valley's famous castles, dive for pearls off the coast of Hawaii, or spend a few nights in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel you could otherwise never dream of affording</a>. If you're ready to boost your vacation fun with credit card rewards, be sure to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">compare travel credit cards</a> to find an option that will help you see the world your own way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Get Started with Travel Rewards in 4 Simple Steps</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fonce-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FOnce-In-A-Lifetime%2520Experiences%2520I%2527ve%2520Earned%2520With%2520Credit%2520Card%2520Rewards.jpg&amp;description=Once-In-A-Lifetime%20Experiences%20I've%20Earned%20With%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Once-In-A-Lifetime%20Experiences%20I%27ve%20Earned%20With%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards.jpg" alt="Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I've Earned With Credit Card Rewards" 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/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</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/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel abroad caribbean Europe free travel hotels international travel mexico miles points rewards vacation Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Holly Johnson 1921684 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-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/iStock-516262792.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to save up a big travel budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling is an undeniably amazing experience, but as with so many of the finer things in life, it does come with a price tag attached. Cost is unfortunately one of the biggest factors that prevents people from traveling.</p> <p>However, if getting to see the world is a serious goal of yours, this may be the perfect time to renew your focus on savings so that you can afford to pay for your wanderlust. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-ways-to-save-for-your-dream-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Save for Your Dream Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>Set a goal and deadline</h2> <p>To help you get motivated to save more, set a clear goal and a timeline. The more specific the goal, the better, since it will allow you to visualize your trip and get excited about it. For instance, if you've dreamed about taking a trip to Europe for years, decide on your top destinations and how long you want the trip to last. That will help set a ballpark budget figure to aim for.</p> <p>Next, attach a savings deadline &mdash; for example, decide that you will buy your plane tickets within the next six to 12 months. Don't give yourself much more time, or you'll lose the urgency to put money away <em>now</em>.</p> <p>Having this type of a clear savings goal will help you stay motivated and make your trip feel more like a reality and less like a distant dream. It will also give you a schedule for your savings, allowing you to calculate how much you need to set aside each month to be able to afford your upcoming trip.</p> <h2>Slash unnecessary spending</h2> <p>Your goal will help you find the motivation to make some of the sacrifices that come with putting more money toward savings. You will want to shift your mindset from the short-term gratification of an immediate purchase (whose charm almost always wears off quickly) to the long-term gratification that comes from an experience that will leave you with memories for a lifetime.</p> <p>You may be surprised to realize how much of your spending is discretionary. Think of anything you are spending money on that you could live without. For instance, you can save a lot of money by cooking for yourself, instead of going out to eat. Even less-than-fancy meals at restaurants like Panera or Chipotle can cost $7 and up. If you indulge in this convenience three times a week, you're spending $84 a month. Substitute each of those meals with frugal home cooked meals and save.</p> <p>A car can be a significant expense, so if you can do without it you are setting yourself up for big savings. According to AAA, it costs the average American car owner around $8,558 to own and maintain their vehicle each year (this includes $3,759 in depreciation but doesn't include car payments). Even if you factor out the depreciation, that still means Americans are averaging $4,799 a year just to run our cars.</p> <p>In contrast, Numbeo.com reports the average cost of a monthly transport pass in the United States is around $70, or $840 a year. If you live in an area with good public transportation, you could potentially pocket more than $3,900 a year by giving up your car.</p> <p>If you can't completely forego having a car, you could still reduce your transportation expenses by driving less often. Walk, bike, carpool, or take public transportation instead. You'll not only save on gas, but also parking.</p> <p>Need inspiration to cut costs? Consider this woman from the U.K. who essentially <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/buy-nothing-year-one-woman-saved-22000/" target="_blank">spent nothing for an entire year</a>. While that may sound drastic, her savings while living in notoriously expensive London added up to nearly $27,000. Even half that amount would make a significant travel budget.</p> <h2>Work more, spend less</h2> <p>During one six-month period of my life I saved $12,000, which then allowed me to travel comfortably for the next six months without any income. I was able to do this by ensuring that my costs were as low as possible</p> <p>I split a $500 studio apartment with a roommate, so my rent was only $250 a month. Living quarters were cramped, but I was hardly ever there. I worked three jobs so I could make more money (around $2,500 a month). My 50-60 hours-a-week work schedule also meant that I had less time to spend my earnings.</p> <p>I was able to keep grocery costs to $100 a month because I was working in the food industry at the time. My other main costs were gas ($50 a month), and the cheapest cellphone plan I could find ($30 a month).</p> <p>For fun, I mostly did free activities, taking advantage of the fact that I lived in the mountains in California. I could go hiking and biking for free and there were often free concerts in the evenings. When I needed new clothes for work, I would get them from the local thrift store for $10&ndash;$15.</p> <h2>Get rewarded for your purchases</h2> <p>There are many ways to use various types of credit cards so that you get rewarded for your necessary expenditures. Especially for major expenses such as gas, groceries, and plane tickets, selecting the appropriate credit card can help you save a significant amount of money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save an Extra $1,095 a Year</a>)</p> <h3>Grocery credit card</h3> <p>Groceries are a big expense for most people. Since you can't avoid spending at least something on groceries, you may as well get rewarded for your spending. Use a credit card that gives you extra rewards points for every dollar you spend at supermarkets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>You may even be able to stack rewards by using a loyalty card from the supermarket chain where you do most of your shopping. Often these loyalty programs offer you cash discounts that can help cut your overall grocery bill.</p> <h3>Gas credit card</h3> <p>If you just can't live without a car, you can still save on the cost of gas by opening the right credit card. Cards that are co-branded with a particular gas station give you discounts at the pump, usually a few cents per gallon. These cards tend to have high interest rates, though, so if you tend to carry a balance, you'll usually be better off with a rewards credit card that gives you bonus points for purchases made at gas stations. If fuel is one of your bigger expenses, it's worth opening a gas rewards card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>Travel credit card</h3> <p>Although you may not be traveling a lot while you save up for your big trip, it's worth getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a> well in advance of your trip. By using your travel card for everyday purchases, you can rack up points toward free flights or hotel stays when it comes time to hit the road. (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 a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less</a>)</p> <p>What's more, most travel cards offer significant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">points bonuses</a> when you spend a certain amount within the first few months after opening the account. These bonuses can be worth hundreds of dollars in travel, but you'll need time to meet the required spending amount and wait for the bonus points to be posted to your account.</p> <p>Finally, airline cards often come with free checked baggage and other perks such as free rental car insurance, lost baggage coverage, and trip interruption insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance That Credit Cards Include</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Easy%2520Way%2520to%2520Save%2520Up%2520a%2520Big%2520Travel%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Save%20Up%20a%20Big%20Travel%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Save%20Up%20a%20Big%20Travel%20Budget.jpg" alt="The Easy Way to Save Up a Big 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/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-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-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/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/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</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-ultimate-money-saving-tips-for-travelers">6 Ultimate Money-Saving Tips for Travelers</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-travel-in-retirement-keeps-you-young">6 Ways Travel in Retirement Keeps You Young</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> Travel cash back cutting costs expenses Food groceries rewards saving money transportation trips vacations Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1927306 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ultimate Money-Saving Tips for Travelers http://www.wisebread.com/6-ultimate-money-saving-tips-for-travelers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ultimate-money-saving-tips-for-travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626659588.jpg" alt="Woman traveler learning money saving tips" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're addicted to travel like I am, you know that travel expenses can rack up fast. Between airfare, accommodations, and food, cost is one of the biggest factors that prevents people from traveling as much as they'd like to.</p> <p>But with a little bit of research and legwork upfront, there are easy ways to travel for much less than you may have thought possible. (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> <h2>1. Sign up for a travel rewards credit card</h2> <p>Maybe you've heard this tip before, but if you're still on the fence, it is high time you join the club. You can save a <em>lot </em>of money just by signing up for a credit card. That's because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> often offer a big welcome bonus that can earn you free travel when you meet a spending requirement within a fixed amount of time. (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">How to Get a Free Vacation From Credit Card Rewards in Nine Months or Less</a>)</p> <p>Use your card for purchases you would make anyway to collect rewards and before you know it, you'll have enough to book your next trip.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></p> <h2>2. Own a business? Get a business credit card that will reward you with travel</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses?ref=internal" target="_blank">Business credit cards</a> often come with higher rewards bonuses, though you will often have to meet a higher minimum spending requirement, too. Put all your business expenses on a card that offers travel rewards and pool them together with your personal card for even quicker returns.</p> <h2>3. Never pay an overpriced ATM fee again</h2> <p>ATM fees can add up quickly, especially overseas. When you make a withdrawal outside your bank network, you may be charged an out-of-network withdrawal fee by your bank, a non-customer withdrawal fee by the ATM owner, and a foreign transaction fee by the debit card networks such as Visa and MasterCard.</p> <p>One solution: Open a checking account with Charles Schwab. The bank and brokerage house automatically refunds any ATM fees you accrue at the end of every month. The checking account is linked to a Schwab One brokerage account, and both accounts are free with no minimum account balance requirement.</p> <p>Alternatively, with a Capital One 360 checking account you'll have access to fee-free withdrawals at 55,000 ATMs in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Puerto Rico, Australia, and Mexico.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-avoid-bank-fees-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Avoid Bank Fees While Traveling</a></p> <h2>4. Sign up for flight deal alerts</h2> <p>If you feel frustrated that you're not getting the best deals on airfare, you can easily start saving by subscribing to airline newsletters, which announce all of their sales. You can also sign up to receive news of flight deals from websites such as the <a href="http://www.theflightdeal.com/" target="_blank">Daily Flight Deal</a> and <a href="https://scottscheapflights.com/" target="_blank">Scott's Cheap Flights</a>. They scour the web and pass along the best deals to subscribers.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Book the Cheapest Airfare</a></p> <h2>5. Buy your domestic ticket two months before your trip</h2> <p>According to research done by CheapAir.com, the <a href="https://www.cheapair.com/blog/cheapair-news/the-best-time-to-buy-a-flight-is-54-days-out-or-is-it/" target="_blank">cheapest time to buy</a> a domestic airline ticket is 21&ndash;112 days in advance, with the average being 54 days. The website based its figures on a study looking at 1.3 billion airfares.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.cheapair.com/blog/travel-tips/when-to-buy-international-flights/" target="_blank">best time to book an international ticket</a> varies widely, depending on your destination. For Canada, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America, the best time is 70&ndash;75 days in advance, on average. For Europe, it's about four months; Asia, 160 days; and for the Caribbean and South Pacific islands, it's 320 days &mdash; nearly 11 months out.</p> <h2>6. Book accommodations with a vacation rental site</h2> <p>Hostels might not be your idea of a good time, but there are other &quot;budget&quot; accommodation options you should be considering to save money on your next trip.</p> <p>Airbnb and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=internal" target="_blank">other vacation rental sites</a> allow you to stay in an individual's spare room or even a whole house or apartment, often at competitive rates that can undercut costly hotel stays. Check out these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel?ref=internal" target="_blank">cities where Airbnb can save you</a> big time compared to hotel rates.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ultimate-money-saving-tips-for-travelers&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ultimate%2520Money-Saving%2520Tips%2520for%2520Travelers.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ultimate%20Money%20Saving%20Tips%20for%20Travelers"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ultimate%20Money-Saving%20Tips%20for%20Travelers.jpg" alt="6 Ultimate Money-Saving Tips for Travelers" 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/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ultimate-money-saving-tips-for-travelers">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</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-of-the-craziest-coolest-airbnb-listings">9 of the Craziest, Coolest Airbnb Listings</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations atm fees flights miles rentals rewards sign up bonuses vacations Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1915984 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Important Credit Card Lessons Your Parents Didn't Teach You http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-594938216.jpg" alt="Learning credit card lessons parents didn&#039;t teach you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our parents taught us many of life's important lessons, but did they adequately prepare us for smart credit card use? Maybe not. Here are six credit card lessons your parents might not have taught you.</p> <h2>1. Credit cards offer more fraud protection than debit cards</h2> <p>Credit cards offer a much greater level of protection against fraud than debit cards. Many credit companies come with $0 fraud liability, meaning you aren't responsible for any reported fraudulent spending. In most of these cases, the creditor will credit your account immediately. However, with debit card purchases, it can take the bank up to two weeks to refund your money, and even then you might still be held responsible for a certain percentage of the charges. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-credit-is-safer-than-debit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons Credit Is Safer Than Debit</a>)</p> <h2>2. You must be proactive to build your credit</h2> <p>A common myth is that an open credit card account is all you need to build your credit. Credit scores reflect an individual's relationship with debt management. Lenders and creditors want to see how you interact with finances, especially if you are going to take on more debt. This doesn't mean you need to be in debt to have a good credit score. Instead, a credit score is established through paying your bills on time, whether that be your credit card bill or your mortgage.</p> <p>One of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-with-the-biggest-impact-on-your-credit-score" target="_blank">biggest factors in determining your credit score</a> is your credit utilization ratio. Lenders want to see how much debt you have versus how much credit you have access to.</p> <p>Build your credit by using and paying off your credit card, making payments on time, and asking for credit line increases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>3. Keep your credit utilization ratio as low as possible</h2> <p>Generally, it is important to have a credit utilization ratio of 30 percent or less. For example, someone with $500 of debt on a $1,000 total credit line will look worse to creditors than someone who has $5,000 debt with a total credit line of $30,000.</p> <p>Calculate your credit utilization ratio by dividing your debt total by your credit line total. For example, $500 of debt divided by a $1,000 credit line would equal a 50 percent credit utilization ratio, whereas $5,000 of debt divided by a $30,000 credit line is just over 16 percent. Remember, your credit line total is the combination of all lines of credit you have open.</p> <h2>4. Interest payments can make debt hard to pay off</h2> <p>A few thousand dollars of debt can feel like an impossible hurdle if you try to pay it off in minimum payments only. You will feel like you are making zero progress on your debt when you have to pay interest. Interest makes anything you purchased with a credit card more expensive. Did you really mean to pay double for that clearance shirt? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fastest Way to Pay Off $10K in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. Differences in interest rates do matter</h2> <p>Perhaps your parents didn't make a big deal about the difference between an A and A-, but when it comes to interest rates, the difference is noticeable. Even a half of a percent can make a big difference when it comes to your monthly payments on a loan. Getting a $20,000 car loan for three years at 4 percent doesn't seem much different from the same car loan at 3.25 percent, but it is. The difference is $6 a month, or $216 in the lifetime of the loan. Wouldn't you rather that money go to something necessary or fun instead of an interest payment? The same is true of paying interest on a credit card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>6. Rewards don't negate debt</h2> <p>We know your mom always told you to look at the bright side of things, but credit card rewards are not the bright side. If you are constantly running up credit card debt to benefit from rewards points, then you will be sorely disappointed by their rate of return. There is no credit card on the market with a reward program that makes going into debt worth it.</p> <p>Pay off your monthly credit card bill to ensure you benefit from the rewards, but aren't being burned by the interest rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Credit Card Reward Tips Many People Don't Follow</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/reduce-your-credit-limits-to-manage-your-spending">Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-the-best-way-to-get-out-of-debt">What&#039;s the Best Way to Get out of Debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</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-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money 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/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards">7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit debt fraud protection interest payments money lessons parents rewards Wed, 12 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1925376 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Myths About Credit Cards That Won't Go Away http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-credit-cards-that-wont-go-away <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-myths-about-credit-cards-that-wont-go-away" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-637754848.jpg" alt="Woman learning myths about credit cards that won&#039;t go away" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of evaluating a person's creditworthiness goes back as early as 1899, when Equifax (originally called Retail Credit Company) would keep a list of consumers and a series of factors to determine their likelihood to pay back debts. However, credit cards didn't make an appearance until the 1950s, and the FICO score as we know it today wasn't introduced until 1989.</p> <p>Due to these timing differences, many U.S. consumers hold on to damaging myths about credit cards. Let's dispel five of these widely held but false beliefs and find out what to do to continue improving your credit score.</p> <h2>Myth #1: Closing unused cards is good for credit</h2> <p>Remember when United Colors of Benetton used to be all the rage and you shopped there all the time? Fast forward a decade; you don't shop there anymore, and you're thinking about shutting down that store credit card. Not so fast! Closing that old credit card may do more harm than good to your credit score.</p> <p>Your length of credit history contributes 15 percent of your FICO score. If that credit card is your oldest card, then closing it would bring down the average age of your accounts and hurt your score. This is particularly true when there is a gap of several years between your oldest and second-to-oldest card. Another point to consider is that when you close a credit card, you're reducing your amount of available credit. This drops your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit utilization ratio</a>, which makes up 30 percent of your FICO score.</p> <p><strong>What to do:</strong> Keep those old credit cards open, especially when they are the oldest ones that you have. Just make sure that you're keeping on top of any applicable annual fees and they're not tempting you to spend beyond your means.</p> <h2>Myth #2: Holding a credit card balance is good for credit</h2> <p>The amount you owe lenders accounts for 30 percent of your FICO score. The smaller your credit utilization ratio (the amount of debt you hold compared to your total available credit), the better your score. This means if you can avoid carrying a balance, you should do so. However, responsible use of a credit card allows you to buy big ticket items, such as a kitchen appliance or laptop, that you can't pay off all at once. So, sometimes you will have to carry a credit card balance. When you do, credit lenders recommend that you keep your credit utilization ratio below 30 percent -- the lower, the better. Keeping a low credit utilization ratio demonstrates that you're more likely to be able repay your debts, positively affecting your credit score.</p> <p><strong>What to do:</strong> Pay back your credit card balance in full every month as much as possible. When you're not able to do so, then seek to maintain a debt-to-credit ratio below 30 percent across all your credit card debts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h2>Myth #3: Paying the cellphone bill builds your score</h2> <p>Since some cellphone carriers may run a credit check to decide whether or not to approve you for financing, you may think that those cellphone carriers report your on-time payment history back to the credit bureaus. Payments to service companies, such as cellphone carriers, electricity providers, and natural gas providers, aren't reported back to the credit bureaus. (However, Experian does provide eligible renters the option to make their rent payments count toward their credit history.)</p> <p><strong>What to do:</strong> Don't sign up for a cellphone plan thinking you'll get a boost in your credit score. Do continue paying your cellphone bill (and all other bills!) regularly on-time. If your cellphone account were to be sent to collections, then the cellphone company would surely report that info to all credit bureaus.</p> <h2>Myth #4: Choosing a popular card will benefit you</h2> <p>A 2016 study of 20,206 credit card users by J.D. Power found that at least one in five credit card holders have a card which has fees or rewards not aligned with their actual purchase habits.</p> <p>In the hunt for bigger and better rewards, 20 percent of credit card holders end up with a card that doesn't match their needs and would be better served by a different rewards card, or even one without any without rewards at all and a lower interest rate. Here's an example from the study: One of the reasons that 44 percent of airline co-branded card holders appear to have the wrong card is that those individuals aren't spending at least the necessary $500 per month to gain enough rewards to cover the average annual fee of $75. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a>)</p> <p><strong>What to do:</strong> You don't just want to follow the crowd when choosing a credit card. Stack up your current credit card against others and figure whether or not it's time to find a new card more suitable to your lifestyle. Check out our guides on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=internal" target="_blank">how cash back cards really work</a> and choosing the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">best travel rewards credit card</a> to find the card that fits your lifestyle.</p> <h2>Myth #5: Believing there's only one credit score</h2> <p>That <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?ref=internal" target="_blank">free credit score</a> on your credit card statement may not be the same one used by a lending officer reviewing your application for a mortgage or car loan. Did you know that there more than 50 different types of FICO scores? Lenders have several options to choose from depending on their industry and preferred credit reporting agency.</p> <p><strong>What to do:</strong> If you get a free credit score through your card, check with the card issuer whether or not that score is a FICO score and what type of FICO score it is. This will help you know whether or not you can do an apples-to-apples comparison with the one used by your lender. Also, inquire with your lender if they can give you a target range for your loan to be approved. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fico-or-fako-are-free-credit-scores-from-credit-cards-the-real-thing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">FICO or FAKO: Are Free Credit Scores From Credit Cards the Real Thing?</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-credit-cards-that-wont-go-away">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ditch-a-credit-card-without-dinging-your-credit-score">How to Close a Credit Card Without Dinging Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-credit-score-monitoring-with-credit-karma">Get Your Free Credit Score from Credit Karma</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/what-to-expect-when-youre-expecting-a-huge-credit-card-bill">What to Expect When You&#039;re Expecting a Huge Credit Card Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</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-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bills credit history credit scores credit utilization ratio debts fico miles myths rewards Tue, 21 Mar 2017 10:31:11 +0000 Damian Davila 1907103 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays? http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-495903984.jpg" alt="Woman using her credit card to get free hotel stays" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If your goal is earning free hotel stays, it's hard to know which type of rewards card to get. While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded hotel credit cards</a> are an obvious pick, general-purpose <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel credit cards</a> that let you redeem points for different kinds of travel rewards can work well for free hotel stays, too.</p> <p>Which card is best? It depends on your travel style and vacation goals. Let's dig into both types of cards to see how they work, whom they're best for, and where they fall flat.</p> <h2>Co-Branded Hotel Credit Cards</h2> <p>Each major hotel chain &mdash; Hyatt, Carlson, Marriott, IHG, Hilton, and the like &mdash; offers a unique set of options. Where IHG only has one co-branded hotel credit card, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-hilton-hhonors-credit-card-should-you-get?ref=internal" target="_blank">Hilton has several</a>. Some hotel brands offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hotel-rewards-for-business-owners-american-express-starwood-preferred-guest-business-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded business cards</a>, too, giving you even more ways to rack up points.</p> <p>These co-branded cards have several benefits and drawbacks, compared to more flexible travel rewards cards.</p> <h3>Focused Strategy Generally Nets Extra Points and Perks</h3> <p>Hotel credit cards can offer great value if you're an enthusiast for a specific chain. If your family always stays at Hiltons, for example, getting the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve</a> might be smart. Not only do you get automatic Gold status just for being a cardholder, but you can quickly earn points on stays for free nights. Co-branded cards generally offer very high bonus points for stays at its properties. They also often feature <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-sign-up-bonuses-for-hotel-stays?ref=internal" target="_blank">generous sign-up bonuses</a> that can cover free stays for a few nights. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-using-hotel-reward-points-to-get-the-most-value?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Tips for Using Hotel Reward Points to Get the Most Value</a>)</p> <h3>You're Stuck With One Chain</h3> <p>The downside with hotel credit cards is that they aren't as flexible as general travel credit cards. With a co-branded hotel credit card, you can only book free nights at a hotel within that chain. So, if your travel plans change or you want to try a different hotel brand, you might be out of luck.</p> <h3>Award Availability May Be Limited</h3> <p>Another downside with hotel credit cards is that even though most major hotel brands advertise &quot;no blackout dates&quot; for award nights, they still may limit award availability. So, even if you have the points to burn, you may not be able to use them for the exact dates you want.</p> <h3>Hotel Credit Cards Are a Good Fit for You If:</h3> <ul> <li>You like to stay with the same hotel chain. This is a particularly good strategy if you travel for work and are able to book your own room and then get reimbursed by your employer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You love earning special hotel status and room upgrades.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You tend to have flexible travel dates when you want to redeem rewards.</li> </ul> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Cards</a>)</p> <h2>General-Purpose Travel Credit Cards</h2> <p>General-purpose travel cards come in a couple of different flavors, but they all offer one trait that co-branded hotel cards simply cannot &mdash; flexibility. With flexible travel cards, you can usually use reward points to book nearly any hotel you want.</p> <h3>Statement Credits Make Rewards Redemption Simple</h3> <p>One type of flexible travel card lets you use points to get a statement credit for a travel purchase you've already made. Take the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel" target="_blank">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg;</a> credit card, for example. You earn points with your purchase, and to redeem, simply book any hotel you want with your card, then use your points as a statement credit toward your travel purchases. You can book directly or through a booking site. Most travel purchases are eligible. Each point is worth one cent.</p> <h3>Travel Booking Portals Let You Book at Multiple Hotels</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review?ref=internal" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg;</a> card&nbsp;is another flexible travel credit card that makes booking hotel stays easy. The flexibility this card offers helps it stand out as a winner among all travel credit cards. Why? Because you can redeem your points for hotel stays or other types of travel in more than one way.</p> <p>For starters, you can use points to book hotel stays through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. The portal lets you search for hotel stays based on destination and price. The benefit here is that you can use your points to book a room with any hotel chain of your choosing, from high-end luxury hotels to cheap roadside motels.</p> <h3>They May Offer Extra Value</h3> <p>On top of the added flexibility you get from using the travel portal, you also get a 20% discount when you book. That means each Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1.25 cents in its travel portal.</p> <p>If you can't find the exact hotel you want through the Chase portal, you can redeem your points for cash back at a rate of one cent per point (e.g. 50,000 points = $500) and cover your hotel stay that way. Clearly, though, that doesn't offer as much value as booking through the portal.</p> <h3>Transfer Partners Give You Even More Options</h3> <p>Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; let you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-hotels?ref=internal" target="_blank">transfer points to several hotel partners</a> at a 1:1 ratio. Hotel transfer partners for Chase include IHG, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Hyatt.</p> <p>If you lean toward one of these travel brands, it can be smart to have both the co-branded hotel credit card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card. You could, for instance, rack up extra points using the hotel card when you pay for stays within the chain, and use the Sapphire Preferred card for other kinds of travel and dining purchases, maximizing your earning power for that chain.</p> <h3>Flipside of Flexibility: Earning Less Concentrated, Extra Perks Scarce</h3> <p>The main drawback of these more flexible cards is points accrue slower. The rewards you get for your hotel stays will be much lower, but generally you do get more rewards for other purchases than you would for hotel specific cards. You also won't get the free anniversary award nights, or the upgrades and other special treatment that come with many hotel cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Hotel Cards That Offer Free Status Upgrades</a>)</p> <h3>General-Purpose Travel Cards Are a Good Fit for You If:</h3> <ul> <li>You don't spend a lot at a particular chain and don't want to be tied down to only staying at one.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You don't have flexible travel dates &mdash; you can use your points regardless of award availability or blackout dates.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You spend in categories that other rewards cards offer higher bonuses for.</li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhich-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhich%20Credit%20Card%20Should%20You%20Use%20to%20Get%20Free%20Hotel%20Stays-.jpg&amp;description=Which%20Credit%20Card%20Should%20You%20Use%20to%20Get%20Free%20Hotel%20Stays%3F" 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></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Which%20Credit%20Card%20Should%20You%20Use%20to%20Get%20Free%20Hotel%20Stays-.jpg" alt="Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?" width="250" height="374" align="middle" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel co-branded cards free hotel stays hotels perks points rewards sign up bonuses vacation Wed, 08 Mar 2017 10:30:30 +0000 Holly Johnson 1904519 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-637964304.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting the most out of a travel rewards credit card isn't as easy as it might seem. Sure, the basic premise is simple: Rewards credit cards dole out points when you make a purchase with your card. Then you redeem them for free or discounted travel. But there are plenty of pitfalls to watch out for. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-started-with-travel-rewards-in-4-simple-steps?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Get Started With Travel Rewards With These Simple Steps</a>)</p> <p>Before you put too much effort into earning travel rewards, it's crucial to know what you're getting into. If you don't, you could end up with expired or useless points, or worse, debt.</p> <p>If you're angling to use credit card rewards to your advantage &mdash; not the card issuer's &mdash; here are some mistakes to avoid along the way.</p> <h2>1. Missing the Minimum Spending Requirement for a Bonus</h2> <p>Most top travel rewards credit cards offer a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">sign-up bonus</a> for hitting a minimum spending requirement within a specific length of time when you first get the card. For example, you might earn 50,000 points if you spend $4,000 within the first three months of card ownership. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>If you should happen to fall short, however, you'll never see that bonus hit your account. That's true whether you're $20 short or $200 short. Unless you meet the minimum spending requirement in its entirety, you're out of luck.</p> <p>If you get a new card for the bonus, make sure you're prepared to spend enough to hit the minimum with ease. You should also remember that the clock generally starts ticking on the day you're approved for the card &mdash; not the day you received it or activated it. So, if your card takes 10 days to show up in the mail, that's 10 days less you have to meet the spending requirement. If you're unsure of the exact date you were approved, call the number on the back of your card and ask. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement</a>)</p> <h2>2. Earning Loyalty Points You Can't Use</h2> <p>Racking up Hyatt Gold Passport points for a trip to Denmark sounds like a genius plan until you realize there are no Hyatt properties in the entire country. And earning Southwest Rapid Rewards points sounds smart &mdash; that is, until you realize Southwest doesn't even fly out of your home airport.</p> <p>This might sound crazy, but it happens all the time. Believe it or not, some people get so excited about earning points or miles that they don't even check whether they can use them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Choose the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card With This Guide</a>)</p> <p>Before you sign up for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded card</a> that only works with a specific loyalty program, it's crucial to figure out if those points will leave you better off. If you're unsure or want more flexibility, steer clear of co-branded cards and instead choose a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">flexible travel rewards card</a> that lets you use points for multiple airlines and hotel chains.</p> <h2>3. Carrying a Balance</h2> <p>Paying interest on your credit card charges is never a good idea, but that's especially true if you're using the card to earn rewards. Since rewards credit cards typically charge higher interest rates than non-rewards cards, your misguided pursuit of points and frequent flyer miles can leave you worse off than if you had a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">low-interest credit card</a>.</p> <p>Before you chase credit card rewards, you should be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">debt-free</a>. Even better, you should track your spending to make sure you're on track with your goals.</p> <h2>4. Forgetting About Annual Fees</h2> <p>While many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back credit cards</a> don't come with annual fees, the same cannot be said about travel rewards cards. Some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">excellent premium cards</a> come with annual fees as steep as $450, while more basic cards cost anywhere from $59 to $95.</p> <p>Before you sign up for a rewards card, make sure you know about fees and when they come due. You should also make sure you're going to extract enough value from the card to make the experience worth it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-guide-to-evaluating-a-credit-card-with-an-annual-fee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Simple Guide to Evaluating Whether a Credit Card With an Annual Fee Is Worth It</a>)</p> <h2>5. Letting Your Points Expire</h2> <p>Some points expire if you let them sit idle for too long, while others never expire. Of course, the burden falls squarely on you to keep up with expiration policies and deadlines. If you fail to plan and don't ensure your points stay active, you could see thousands of points disappear overnight.</p> <p>Before you get too wrapped up in any rewards program, make sure you know what it takes to keep your points active. Some airline programs will wipe out your point haul after 12&ndash;24 months of inactivity, but you can keep your account active by using your co-branded credit card for a purchase or transferring points.</p> <p>Either way, make sure you know the rules and stay organized enough to follow them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Best Tools for Keeping Track of Your Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Not Using the Right Card for Your Goals</h2> <p>A friend of mine had been using her only rewards card &mdash; a cash back card &mdash; to save up points for an international flight that normally costs around $1,500. At the rate she was going (earning around 30,000 points per year), it would easily take her five years to earn that round-trip ticket &mdash; and that's only if the price didn't surge in the meantime.</p> <p>Once I realized this, I guided her toward the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review?ref=internal" target="_blank">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; card</a> for its generous sign up bonus. Once she earned the bonus, she would have more than enough points to transfer to the United MileagePlus program to pay for the same international ticket right away. Overnight, her strategy morphed from one that would take up to five years to a plan that would culminate in just a few short months. (Keep in mind the card has an annual fee.)</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 Two Months</a>)</p> <p>The bottom line: If you have a specific goal in mind, you can save time and heartache by optimizing your rewards from the start. (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 (or Close to Free) Vacation Quickly With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>7. Overspending to Earn More Rewards</h2> <p>Because rewards credit cards dole out points based on your spending, it can be tempting to spend more to earn more rewards. This is especially true when certain bonus categories come into play. If you can earn five times the points on a brand-new flat screen television, for example, you might feel inclined to buy one, even if you didn't need it.</p> <p>But if your rewards goal is truly getting ahead, you should think long and hard before buying anything out of the ordinary. After all, spending money you wouldn't spend otherwise won't help you save money in the long run.</p> <p>Remember, the best credit card rewards strategy is a simple one: When you use your cards for bills you were going to pay anyway, you'll truly be rewarded. But if you use credit card rewards to justify a spending spree, you're not really helping yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Credit Card Reward Tips Many People Don't Follow</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/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/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes">Don&#039;t Make These 6 Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Mistakes</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-credit-cards-that-wont-go-away">5 Myths About Credit Cards That Won&#039;t Go Away</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bonuses cash back fees miles Mistakes points rewards spending requirements travel Wed, 01 Mar 2017 10:30:34 +0000 Holly Johnson 1898658 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Pay Your Bills With a Credit Card? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-bills-with-a-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-pay-your-bills-with-a-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-635966758.jpg" alt="Woman wondering if she should pay bills with a credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the smartest &mdash; and easiest &mdash; ways to earn more credit card rewards is to charge as many regular bills as makes sense. By using credit instead of your checking account to pay bills you normally pay anyway, you can increase your rewards without spending money you don't have.</p> <p>First step: Get out your monthly bank statements and make a list of expenses you pay on a regular basis. These might include utility bills, insurance premiums, and even rent.</p> <p>Next, determine whether you can pay these bills with credit. Using a credit card to pay your bills allows you to rack up <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hotel points</a>, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">airline miles</a> a lot faster, but there are some downsides you need to consider, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a>)</p> <h2>Beware of Fees<strong> </strong></h2> <p>While some businesses let you use a credit card without an added fee, others might charge a fixed or percentage-based convenience fee for using credit. This is because companies are charged a fee for processing credit card payments.</p> <p>If a fee is involved, it's usually not worth it to put the payment on your credit card. That additional fee would cancel out (and sometimes be more than) any rewards you'd get for the charge.</p> <p>Let's say you want to pay your $100 cellphone bill with a credit card, but your service provider charges a flat $1.95 fee for doing so. If your credit card offers 1% back for each dollar you spend, you would earn $1.00 in rewards for a $1.95 fee. You'd clearly be better off using some other payment method.</p> <p>On the other hand, if you have a rewards card that offer 5% back on cellphone purchases, you'd earn $5.00 in rewards on that $100 cellphone bill in exchange for a $1.95 fee. That's still a pretty good deal.</p> <h2>Don't Get in Debt for Rewards</h2> <p>No matter what, you should never charge bills you can't afford to repay right away. There is no amount of rewards that would be worth the interest credit cards charge for carrying a balance. Before you charge any bill, you should make sure you have the cash to pay your bill in full when it's due.</p> <h2>Don't Use Convenience Checks</h2> <p>Don't think you can bypass the fees by using those convenience checks credit cards send you, either. Those are considered cash advances, and you will not only not earn rewards using them, but you will be assessed interest the moment they are cashed. The interest on cash advances are much, much higher than the standard APR, too. So never, ever use those checks to pay your bills!</p> <h2>Overlooked Bills You Can Pay With Credit</h2> <p>With all of those caveats in mind, consider this list of bills you might not currently be paying by credit card:</p> <ul> <li>Cable/Internet/cellphone bill &mdash; Depending on which telecommunications service providers you use, you may be able to charge these bills to a credit card online or over the phone.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Car/homeowners/renters insurance &mdash; Most providers of these types of insurance let you pay your premiums with a credit card, though you may have to pay a fee. This is true whether you pay your bill monthly or just once or twice a year.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>College tuition &mdash; Not all schools accept credit cards for tuition, and many that do charge a fee. For all the rest, charging your bill to a credit card can help you earn points and miles quickly. Because this tends to be a large bill, it's especially important to point out that this only pays off if you can pay the credit card charges in full at the end of the month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for College Students</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Day care &mdash; Many larger daycare centers let patrons charge their weekly or monthly day care expenses. Smaller providers may also accept credit cards, though they are more likely to charge a convenience fee.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Electricity, gas, water &mdash; More and more utility companies let consumers charge their bill payments to a credit card.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Health insurance &mdash; If you buy your own insurance on the open market or through the exchanges, you may be able to pay for your premiums with a credit card. Although some large health insurance companies have dropped this option, there are still some providers who allow it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Income taxes &mdash; The Internal Revenue Service authorizes three providers to accept and process <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/pay-taxes-by-credit-or-debit-card" target="_blank">federal income tax payments by credit card</a>. All of them charge fees, but at least part of the fee may be tax deductible. If you want to charge state income taxes, you'll need to check with your state for rules and additional details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-pay-your-taxes-with-a-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should You Ever Pay Your Taxes With a Credit Card?</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Kids' sports and activities &mdash; If your children are in baseball, ballet, or any other activity, don't forget to charge their activity fees or dues. You may also be able to charge equipment rental and uniform fees.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Offerings at your house of worship &mdash; An increasing number of churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship accept credit card donations. If you tithe or regularly contribute to the offering plate, this is an expense to consider charging, keeping in mind that part of your donation will go to pay for credit card processing fees.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Rent &mdash; For a few lucky tenants, paying rent with a credit card is an option. Some landlords provide this service for free. Otherwise, there are companies that will accept your credit card payment and then pay your rent or mortgage by check, but the fees are almost always greater than any rewards you could earn.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Subscriptions and membership dues &mdash; You can usually charge your fees for a gym, video streaming service, dating service, magazine, and other subscription services. Most large organizations will also let you pay for membership dues with a credit card.</li> </ul> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fshould-you-pay-your-bills-with-a-credit-card&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FShould%20You%20Pay%20Your%20Bills%20With%20a%20Credit%20Card-.jpg&amp;description=Should%20You%20Pay%20Your%20Bills%20With%20a%20Credit%20Card%3F" 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/Should%20You%20Pay%20Your%20Bills%20With%20a%20Credit%20Card-.jpg" alt="Should You Pay Your Bills With a Credit Card?" 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/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-bills-with-a-credit-card">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/6-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you">6 Important Credit Card Lessons Your Parents Didn&#039;t Teach You</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-myths-about-credit-cards-that-wont-go-away">5 Myths About Credit Cards That Won&#039;t Go Away</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</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/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards">7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using 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/how-to-get-back-on-track-when-youre-behind-on-your-bills">How to Get Back on Track When You&#039;re Behind on Your Bills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards autopay bill pay bills budgeting credit rewards utilities Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:30:36 +0000 Holly Johnson 1893287 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Make These 6 Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-626262030.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are few things as rewarding as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">generous sign-up bonus</a>. Credit card issuers offering you hundreds of dollars worth of points, miles, or just plain cash back can seem irresistible. But at the same time, earning these bonuses may not be as easy as it appears. There's plenty of room for error along the way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards That Offer Cash Bonuses</a>)</p> <p>The next time you are looking to score big on a credit card bonus, be careful to avoid these six mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Failing to Reach the Minimum Spending Amount<strong> </strong></h2> <p>When it comes to sign-up bonuses, credit card issuers advertise the rewards in big bold print, but describe the minimum spending requirements in tiny type. Most credit cards require you to spend a certain amount within 90 days of account opening in order to earn the bonus. Calculate how much you'll need to spend each billing period and whether you are confident that your regular budget and spending can accommodate it. You'll have to plan ahead and make a list of all the places you'll need to change your payment method (recurring subscriptions and other payment accounts). Do it as soon as possible so you don't miss a charge.</p> <h2>2. Missing the Minimum Spending Deadline<strong> </strong></h2> <p>When credit card issuers offer bonuses that must be earned within 90 days, it's easy to misunderstand when the clock starts on the offer. The 90 days is based on when the account was opened, which is when your application was approved. Considering that it can take up to a week from issuing you a card to actually getting it in the mail, you may already be down 10 days by the time you have the card in hand. To be extra careful, you can ask your card issuer to confirm your account opening date as well as the last date that you can make a purchase toward the minimum spending qualification for the sign-up bonus. (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 With Credit Card Bonuses</a>)</p> <h2>3. Overspending to Earn a Bonus<strong> </strong></h2> <p>It's tempting to use the large bonus to justify some extra purchases. You might even see it as a discount, since you're getting rewards for it. But it's never a good idea to go into debt to earn rewards, no matter how big the offer. Paying off your balance every month is the number one rule of using rewards cards. If you find yourself consciously or subconsciously overspending to earn rewards, then you should probably take a break from reward credit cards and focus on sticking to a budget. You'll never come out ahead if you're paying a drop of interest on those purchases.</p> <h2>4. Making Returns That Affect the Spending Amount<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Part of the fine print of any bonus offer is that you must make a certain amount of <em>net</em> purchases in order to earn the rewards. Net purchases means the total amount of purchases you make, minus any returns. This prevents people from buying and returning a big-ticket item in order to get around the minimum spending requirement.</p> <p>That's not to say you shouldn't return an item you're unsatisfied with. But if you do happen to return an expensive purchase such as an appliance or a new television while qualifying for a bonus, then you have to realize that it won't count toward your card's minimum spending requirements.</p> <h2>5. Not Reading the Exclusions for Past Cardholders<strong> </strong></h2> <p>In recent years, credit card issuers have been cracking down on customers who repeatedly apply for the same cards in order to earn multiple sign-up bonuses. As a result, some credit card applications now have language that excludes bonuses for applicants who have received a bonus for that card within the last 24 months. What's more, some issuers will deny bonuses to anyone who has <em>ever </em>had the same card in the past. Look at your records to make sure you haven't had the card before, and if it's been a long time, you can call the issuer to check if you'd still qualify for their new offer.</p> <h2>6. Trying to Pool Offers That Don't Mix<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Let's say you're trying to pool together a large amount of points to get a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">free trip for your family</a>. If you have good credit, you might be able to get approved for multiple offers within a short period of time. But this isn't as easy as just adding points from one card to the points of another card. You need to understand how each card allows points to be redeemed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>Some points are only redeemed as a statement credit toward travel purchases. Others allow you to purchase travel with points but only through their exclusive portal. And others allow you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">transfer points to travel partner</a> programs. For example, both Chase and American Express allow you to transfer points to Singapore, Virgin Atlantic, and Air France/KLM. In any case, you have to know what your travel plans are to ensure that you won't waste bonus points because you weren't able to use them all together effectively.</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/dont-make-these-6-credit-card-sign-up-bonus-mistakes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards 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/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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit miles minimum spend points rewards sign-up bonus Thu, 16 Feb 2017 10:30:33 +0000 Jason Steele 1889841 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-514475258.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to save money using credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many people, credit cards are simply a payment method. But savvy users take advantage of the additional benefits and services that only credit cards offer. A credit card may give you cash back, free travel, insurance, and other services worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Check out some of the most significant ways you can save money by paying with credit cards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Reasons You Should Always Use Your Credit Card to Pay</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get an Interest-Free Loan for a Large Purchase</h2> <p>If you can't afford something, it's always best to either forgo it or save up for it before making the purchase. In some cases, however, you don't have the option of waiting. Your refrigerator dies just when you need a new transmission, or your dentist orders a root canal, stat. If you are disciplined, you can swing free financing on that fridge or dental work by getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card with a promotional 0% APR on purchases</a>. These cards allow you to make new charges and carry a balance with no interest for an introductory period &mdash; in some cases, as long as 21 months. After that, your purchases will be subject to the card's standard interest rate. As long as you make your payments on time and clear your balance within the intro period, you'll stay out of debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/same-as-cash-store-offers-vs-0-intro-apr-credit-cards-which-is-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Difference Between Store Credit Offers and 0% Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>2. Get a Break From Interest on Debt</h2> <p>Sometimes bad decisions in the past continue to haunt us. Interest that continues to accrue on current debt makes it even harder to make up for those bad decisions. Once you've decided to put your financial life back in order and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-day-debt-reduction-plan-pay-it-off?ref=internal" target="_blank">create a debt repayment plan</a>, one of the best tools you can use to help <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">pay off debt faster</a> is a balance transfer to a card <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">offering an intro 0% APR</a>. These offers allow you to take a break from your interest charges so that you can devote 100% of your monthly payments toward paying down the principle. These interest-free offers can last up to 21 months, giving you the time you need to finally pay off your debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article" target="_blank">When to Do a Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <h2>3. Earn Cash Back<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Are you diligent about paying off your credit card bill each month? If so, getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash back card</a> is a no brainer. You can get a card that gives a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?ref=internal" target="_blank">flat rate percentage for all purchases</a>, allowing you to get unlimited cash back. Or you can get a card with a higher return for the category that you spend the most in. For example, certain cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">big cash back rewards for groceries</a>. There's no reason you shouldn't get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewarded on your everyday expenses</a>.</p> <h2>4. Get Free Travel</h2> <p>You can score hundreds of dollars worth of free travel by using a travel rewards credit card that gives you points or miles every time you use the card &mdash; again, assuming you clear your credit card balance every month. There are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide?ref=internal" target="_blank">different types of travel rewards cards</a>. Some allow you to use rewards to get a statement credit for any type of travel purchase you make on the card. Others let you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles?ref=internal" target="_blank">transfer points to airline or hotel</a> loyalty programs so you can claim award flights and stays. Many offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">valuable sign-up bonuses</a> that can get you free flights fast, and money-saving travel perks such as free checked bags and even exclusive <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal" target="_blank">airport lounge access</a>. The best travel rewards card for you depends on your travel preferences and habits. Need more advice? Check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">our favorite travel rewards cards</a>.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a></p> <h2>5. Use Free Travel Insurance</h2> <p>Credit cards can be essential when you are traveling not just for their <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal" target="_blank">security and convenience</a>, but because they include important insurance. For instance, you can decline your rental car company's expensive optional insurance and use your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card's collision damage waiver policy</a> instead. Some credit cards also have coverage that reimburses you for additional expenses in the event that your trip is delayed or canceled, your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what?ref=internal" target="_blank">luggage is lost</a>, or you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">hurt while traveling</a>. Just be sure to check with your card issuer to find out which policies your card has, and what they cover. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance Your Credit Card Includes</a>)</p> <h2>6. Protect Your Purchases</h2> <p>Many credit cards come with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-cards-protect-your-purchases-from-damage-or-theft?ref=internal" target="_blank">valuable purchase protection policies</a> that repair or replace your purchase if it's damaged or stolen, typically within 30&ndash;90 days of when you buy the item. In addition, most cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty</a> programs that add up to two years to your manufacturer's warranty. That can save you a bundle on expensive service plans. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Free Extended Warranties Work on Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Some cards even offer return protection policies, meaning they'll accept your return if the store won't. You'll need to ask to make the return within 90 days of purchase, but that's still longer than many stores allow for refunds.</p> <p>All this is included as long as you pay for the purchase with a card that offers these features. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>7. Get a Price Match</h2> <p>Not only can your credit card protect your purchases from theft or damage, it may also provide <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-price-match-through-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">price matching services</a>. If the price goes down on a purchase you made (within a specified amount of time), your card may reimburse you for the difference. Different cards have different policies, but usually you don't have to do anything more than submit a claim. Sometimes the card will even track prices for you and automatically issue you a credit for the price difference. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-credit-card-offers-applications-reviews?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Citi Credit Cards and Benefits</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/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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-important-credit-card-lessons-your-parents-didnt-teach-you">6 Important Credit Card Lessons Your Parents Didn&#039;t Teach You</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/reduce-your-credit-limits-to-manage-your-spending">Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-annual-fees">The 5 Best Credit Cards With Annual Fees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Shopping big purchases borrowing credit deals offers rewards Wed, 15 Feb 2017 10:30:23 +0000 Jason Steele 1892610 at http://www.wisebread.com How One Man Used Credit Card Rewards to Go to the Last 11 Super Bowls http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-man-used-credit-card-rewards-to-go-to-the-last-11-super-bowls <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-one-man-used-credit-card-rewards-to-go-to-the-last-11-super-bowls" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/football_player_498545428.jpg" alt="Man using credit card rewards to go to the Super Bowl" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Millions of Americans use their rewards credit cards to earn frequent flyer miles, hotel rewards, or just a little extra cash back. But Artie Lange, business owner and New York Giants fan, goes for a more unusual reward. His credit card is his ticket to the Super Bowl. When this 50-year-old father of four arrives at Houston's NRG Stadium, it will be the 12th consecutive Super Bowl he's attended using just credit card rewards.</p> <h2>Rewards Get Him to the Game</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Artie%20and%20his%20son%20on%20the%20Field.jpg" width="454" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>Lange's Super Bowl attendance began 22 years ago when he started cajoling some of the well-connected clients of his business, which builds and renovates custom homes, to give him tickets each year. &quot;When you're 29, it's easy to ask people for tickets,&quot; he remembers. But after a while, he could tell that his annual pleas were starting to wear thin.</p> <p>Then, Lange discovered the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nfl-extra-points-credit-card-review?ref=internal" target="_blank">NFL Extra Points credit card</a>, which allowed him to earn rewards for his spending that could be redeemed for cash back, or for a variety of exclusive NFL purchases, including Super Bowl tickets.</p> <p>With the NFL Extra Points card, you earn two points per dollar spent on all NFL and team purchases, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. You also get a 20% discount on all purchases from NFLShop.com, and special financing on all eligible NFL ticket purchases. New cardholders earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 on their card within 90 days of account opening. There is no annual fee for this card.</p> <p>Lange uses his NFL Extra Points card for all of his personal purchases and many of his business expenses as well. By November every year, he's ready to go. When tickets were released in 2016, they sold out within hours. Once again, Artie Lange was able to redeem his points and book his trip to the big game in February.</p> <h2>How Many Points Do You Need?</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Our%20Seats.jpg" width="605" height="454" alt="" /></p> <p>For Super Bowl LI, Barclaycard offered three different ticket packages, each with the option to add hotel accommodations. That's a valuable option, as getting a hotel reservation in the host city for Super Bowl weekend is not only expensive, it can be almost as hard as getting the game tickets themselves.</p> <p>The options for this year were:</p> <ul> <li>175,000 points for two upper-level tickets, or 325,000 points including three hotel nights.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>225,000 points for two mid-level tickets, or 375,000 points including three hotel nights.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>275,000 points for two premium-level tickets, or 425,000 points including three hotel nights.</li> </ul> <p>Furthermore, Barclaycard invites all cardholders to a welcome brunch featuring an NFL player. This year it will be former quarterback and nine-time Pro-Bowler Warren Moon.</p> <h2>Other Ways to Use NFL Extra Points Card Rewards</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Arties%20Son%20On%20The%20Field.JPG" width="453" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>The NFL Extra Points program offers unique awards beyond just Super Bowl tickets. You can redeem points for tickets to regular season games, starting at 25,000 points for two tickets and even playoff games. There is also a variety of exclusive opportunities available to cardholders that vary by team, including sideline passes, tickets to the coach's press conference, and the chance to be in the tunnel as the teams exit the locker room.</p> <p>And during the Super Bowl, cardholders can redeem points to attend events such as opening night with the media, a VIP player meet and greet, and a private kicking clinic with legendary kicker and four-time Super Bowl champ Adam Vinatieri.</p> <h2>Super Bowl Memories Worth Every Point Spent</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Super%20Bowl%20L.jpg" width="454" height="605" alt="" /></p> <p>As a New York Giants fan, Lange's favorite game was Super Bowl XLII in 2008, when his underdog team emerged victorious in a spectacular finish against the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. He also has great memories of going with his wife, who's been to 12 Super Bowls, and his son, who will be attending his 10th this year.</p> <p>Then there was halftime at Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3, 2002. &quot;As a New Yorker, there was nothing more memorable than U2 singing while all the names of the victims of 9/11 scrolled in the background.&quot; Lange says. &quot;I had three friends that died in the towers, so that brought me to tears and is burned into my brain.&quot;</p> <p>On a happier note, he and his three daughters got to go on the field during halftime of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in 2013, and watch Beyonce up close. As he recalls, &quot;The kids went crazy for that experience.&quot;</p> <p>Not everyone will be able to spend the amount needed on an NFL Extra Points card each year to join Artie Lange at the Super Bowl, but it's within reach for many small business owners. Others might save up their points over a few years for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, or just redeem fewer rewards points for a regular season game or other NFL experiences. But Lange's story proves that it's possible to use credit card rewards to attend the Super Bowl every year, and to bring home some incredible memories with it.</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-one-man-used-credit-card-rewards-to-go-to-the-last-11-super-bowls&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20One%20Man%20Used%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards%20to%20Go%20to%20the%20Last%2011%20Super%20Bowls.jpg&amp;description=How%20One%20Man%20Used%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards%20to%20Go%20to%20the%20Last%2011%20Super%20Bowls" 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%20One%20Man%20Used%20Credit%20Card%20Rewards%20to%20Go%20to%20the%20Last%2011%20Super%20Bowls.jpg" alt="How One Man Used Credit Card Rewards to Go to the Last 11 Super Bowls" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-man-used-credit-card-rewards-to-go-to-the-last-11-super-bowls">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/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/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">The Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles churning football free travel rewards sports Super Bowl Mon, 30 Jan 2017 11:00:09 +0000 Jason Steele 1882260 at http://www.wisebread.com 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-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/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-credit-cards-that-wont-go-away">5 Myths About Credit Cards That Won&#039;t Go Away</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-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards 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> <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%2F10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Vacation%20Rental%20Alternatives%20to%20Airbnb.jpg&amp;description=10%20Vacation%20Rental%20Alternatives%20to%20Airbnb" 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/u5180/10%20Vacation%20Rental%20Alternatives%20to%20Airbnb.jpg" alt="10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb" 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/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-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/6-ultimate-money-saving-tips-for-travelers">6 Ultimate Money-Saving Tips for Travelers</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-of-the-craziest-coolest-airbnb-listings">9 of the Craziest, Coolest Airbnb Listings</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-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</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-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</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-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</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-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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget</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-ultimate-money-saving-tips-for-travelers">6 Ultimate Money-Saving Tips for Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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. 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>4. 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>5. 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>6. 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>7. 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>8. 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/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</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/7-things-you-should-never-do-with-your-travel-rewards-credit-cards">7 Things You Should Never Do With Your Travel Rewards 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/how-to-get-5-cash-back-on-holiday-purchases">How to Get 5% Cash Back on Holiday Purchases</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