reward cards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2424/all en-US Maximizing Rewards Programs with Points.com http://www.wisebread.com/maximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/maximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-credit-card-451830759-small.jpg" alt="couple credit card" title="couple credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't fly or travel frequently enough to make the most of rewards points, but I still like <em>earning</em> them with the notion that someday I might be able to take advantage of them. However, I recently found out that most of my frequent flier rewards points had expired, and that made me angry! Although I accrued them for &quot;free,&quot; I would have liked the opportunity to use some of them even if they didn't equate to a rewards ticket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perform-a-credit-card-rewards-annual-review" title="Perform a Credit Card Rewards Annual Review">Perform a Credit Card Rewards Annual Review</a>)</p> <p>While I was checking on all of my points through various websites many years ago, I grumbled to my husband how nice it would be to manage the different rewards programs through one website. Of course, I wasn't the only one to think about how convenient that would be: <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10485462">Points.com </a>created a website that does just that and more. Points.com actually offers alternatives for those of us who never accrue enough points to make the most of our benefits! I know I'm a bit late to the party since this service has been around a few years now, but I recently signed up and was amazed at how easy it was to view all of my remaining points throughout various programs.</p> <h2>Easy to Use</h2> <p>With just a quick email and password to sign up for a new account, I located most of my rewards and loyalty programs through their &quot;Add Programs&quot; widget in their right sidebar. Since most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-scoring-a-frequent-flyer-rewards-flight" title="5 Tips for Scoring a Frequent-Flyer Rewards Flight">frequent flyer</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-budget-hotels" title="The Best Credit Cards for Budget Hotels">hotel rewards programs</a> only require an account or member number and a password, I didn't feel like I was divulging all of my personal information in one place when I entered my information for each program. Within a few seconds, Points.com was able to connect to most of my individual accounts and show me my most recent points summaries, or at least the points I had remaining in each of my programs.</p> <h2>Make the Most of Your Points</h2> <p>Out of a possible 104 rewards programs listed on Points.com, each program has a &quot;Learn More&quot; link that shows what you can do with each program on their website. For example, Aero Mexico's Premier Rewards program allows you to track and earn points through Points.com. Tracking points is easy since Points.com automatically pulls the rewards information directly from the Aero Mexico website. But Points.com also lists additional ways to earn points besides booking a flight, such as renting a car or reserving a specific hotel.</p> <p>The most beneficial service Points.com offers for me is their redeem option. I can redeem a select group of rewards program points for gift cards to various vendors. From Amazon.com gift cards to Starbucks gift cards, I can select one of my rewards programs that offers redemptions from a drop down menu and choose a dollar amount. Points.com will calculate how many rewards points I need to purchase the gift card. Of course, not all of my rewards programs offer this feature, but for those that do, I no longer have to worry about unused points.</p> <h2>Swap and Trade with Others</h2> <p>Another feature of Points.com is the ability to share, swap, and trade points with other Points.com members and between existing rewards programs. I haven't tried exchanging points with any other members yet, and there are some limitations depending on the individual rewards program, but it's another alternative to help make the most of my points in any one account.</p> <p>In the past, I've swapped points between individual rewards programs to take advantage and utilize rewards points. Making these transfers on one website is convenient, and I can track all of my transactions through my account history.</p> <p>The few drawbacks that I came across while adding my accounts through the site were fairly minor and wouldn't discourage me from using this program in the long run. They have partnered with 14 hotel rewards programs, which covers the majority of hotel chains. However, a popular hotel chain that is absent from their list is Marriott, which I happen to be a member of. I also experienced a small problem with registering my American Airlines AAdvantage; the site kept timing out and wasn't able to register my account at all. However, registering my remaining accounts was successful, so it could just be a temporary glitch.</p> <p>All in all, now that I've realized I can keep track of all of my points online, I look forward to maximizing those rewards programs to my benefit, instead of watching them expire.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fmaximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMaximizing%20Rewards%20Programs%20with%20Points.com_.jpg&amp;description=Maximizing%20Rewards%20Programs%20with%20Points.com" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Maximizing%20Rewards%20Programs%20with%20Points.com_.jpg" alt="Maximizing Rewards Programs with Points.com" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-hate-credit-card-points">Why I Hate Credit Card Points</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top 7 Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">The Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel frequent flyer miles reward cards rewards points Fri, 10 Dec 2010 13:00:10 +0000 Little House 371197 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Money on Christmas This Year http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-christmas-this-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-money-on-christmas-this-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6488058787_6fa7cb7747_z.jpg" alt="Santa figurine" title="Santa figurine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="163" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I know we haven&rsquo;t even hit Thanksgiving yet and that talk of Christmas is taboo before then, but the truth is that it is much easier (and less stressful) to begin thinking about Christmas as early as possible. With that in mind, here are some ways to save on Christmas this year:</p> <h2>Start Saving Yesterday</h2> <p>Okay, so it&rsquo;s not possible to actually start <em>yesterday</em>, but the earlier in the year you start saving for Christmas, the better. Having money saved up when the holiday season rolls around allows you to pay for gifts in cash, thereby avoiding finance charges on credit card purchases and giving you the peace of mind to enjoy the season. I recommend estimating the amount you want to spend per person and dividing the total by the remaining number of paychecks you&rsquo;ll receive before Christmas. You can then set up an automatic transfer from your bank account to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banks-still-offering-free-checking-and-great-interest-rates">high-interest savings account</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-ready-for-christmas-7-things-you-should-do-today">Get Ready for Christmas: 7 Things You Should Do Today</a>)</p> <h2>Use Your Rewards Points</h2> <p>If your credit card awards points for usage, it might be worth your while to consider using them on a Christmas gift or two. True, the goods you can buy with these points are often overpriced, but if you&rsquo;re like me, you might not have another plan for your points anyway. Before you do redeem credit cards rewards points, though, check out this article on the <a href="http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/article/credit-cards-worst-ways-to-redeem-rewards/444386/">6 Worst Ways to Use Credit Card Rewards</a>.</p> <h2>Shop Sales</h2> <p>Shopping for sales is a no-brainer, but there&rsquo;s more to sales than just the discount racks. Sign up for the email list of any store that you might be remotely interested in. I have signed up for emails from several of my favorite clothing retailers and wouldn&rsquo;t dream of buying anything for less than 25% off (you could argue that their prices are marked up 25% or more regularly, but it&rsquo;s still better than paying full price). If the thought of having hundreds of spam-like emails in your inbox sounds distasteful, you can open a designated email account specifically for offers like these.</p> <p>In addition to signing up for retailers&rsquo; emails, you could also try searching for coupon codes prior to checking out of a retail site. Just go to your favorite search engine and type in the store&rsquo;s name + coupon codes to see if you can score a deal that way. Similarly, if you have a specific gift in mind, try a comparison-shopping website like <a href="http://www.nextag.com/">NexTag</a>, <a href="http://www.bizrate.com/">Bizrate</a>, or <a href="http://www.pricegrabber.com/">PriceGrabber</a>.</p> <h2>Make Something</h2> <p>No, I&rsquo;m not suggesting that you knit sweaters as Christmas gifts (unless you actually are talented at knitting and have some sort of fashion sense). <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today" title="25 Gifts You Can Make Today">Making a Christmas gift</a> that is appreciated and used requires some creative thinking and knowledge of the recipient. Have a friend who loves her dog? Consider personalizing ceramic dog bowls with her pet&rsquo;s name. Does your friend love accessories? Your local craft store will have all the supplies to make her an awesome headband, bracelet, or earrings. Love cooking? Put together a gift basket with a theme. A little thought could produce a pretty awesome gift while also saving you money.</p> <h2>Buy It Used or Refurbished</h2> <p>Although some people are wary of used and refurbished items, they are a great choice when you can&rsquo;t afford the item new. If your mom loves cashmere sweaters, but you can&rsquo;t afford to buy one at full price, it might be worthwhile to search for the item on eBay. If you want to buy your boyfriend an iPod, try purchasing a refurbished one. You can find refurbished iPods, iPads, MacBooks, and more on the Apple Store website, and they all carry a one-year warranty. Other retailers offer significant discounts on refurbished products as well, and reputable retailers will offer the same return policy as with new purchases.</p> <p>Now that you&rsquo;re armed with tips to save money for Christmas this year, get shopping! And if you have any tips for how you have saved money on Christmas shopping, please share.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janey-osterlind">Janey Osterlind</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-on-christmas-this-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-self-care-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">6 Self-Care Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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/gift-giving-etiquette-to-get-you-through-the-holidays">Gift Giving Etiquette to Get You Through the Holidays</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/december-deals-that-are-better-than-black-friday">December Deals That Are Better Than Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-credit-card-moves-now-to-prepare-for-holiday-shopping">Make These 6 Credit Card Moves Now to Prepare for Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping christmas shopping holiday shopping reward cards Tue, 02 Nov 2010 12:00:17 +0000 Janey Osterlind 276253 at http://www.wisebread.com