Travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/254/all en-US 3 Ways Your Bank Account Can Boost Your Travel Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_vacation_000048727382.jpg" alt="Couple using bank account to boost their travel rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The far-reaching airline perks of credit cards are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards">well-documented</a>, but what about those who choose to go the Dave Ramsey route and live credit-free? Good news: it's still possible to rack up rewards the old-fashioned way. Here's how to accumulate the most mileage using your bank account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Sign Up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Fly High With a Miles-Earning Checking Account</h2> <p>Although the number of debit cards that offer airline miles has dwindled due to the <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/durbin-amendment-explained/">Durbin Amendment</a>, there are still some worthwhile offerings to consider. One such card is the <a href="https://www.ufbdirect.com/personal-banking/checking/airline-rewards-checking#Overview">UFB Direct Airline Rewards Checking</a> account, which awards one mile for every two dollars spent in point-of-sale debit transactions made with the card. There's also a one-time bonus of 1,000 miles after making a direct deposit of $1,000. Currently, the only airline affiliated with the program is American Airlines, but UFB Direct says they may be adding more airlines in the future.</p> <p>BankDirect is another online bank that offers perks with American Airlines. For opening a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/programs/aadvantage.aspx">Mileage Checking with Interest</a> account, you'll receive 1,000 AAdvantage miles; once it's open, you can keep earning miles with recurring direct deposits (six consecutive monthly deposits of $2,000+ must be made to earn 10,000 miles). Pay at least three bills online each month (totaling $500 or more), and you'll score another 5,000 AAdvantage Miles. Plus, you'll also receive up to 100 miles per every $1,000 stored in your account based on the average monthly balance. The caveat? You'll pay a $12 monthly fee, and the &quot;interest&quot; paid is just .01%.</p> <p>Craving savings the &quot;Mahalo&quot; way? Sign up for the <a href="https://www.boh.com/personal/banking-products/debit-cards/bankoh-hawaiian-airlines-visa-check-card.asp">Bankoh Hawaiian Airlines Visa Check Card</a>, available only to Bank of Hawaii checking account holders. You'll earn one mile for every two dollars spent on qualifying purchases; plus, you can get up to 10 more HawaiianMiles for every dollar spent at participating <a href="https://partners.hawaiianairlines.com/pages/rewards/shopListing.aspx">&quot;Cardholder Exclusive&quot; partners</a> (most of which are Hawaii-based businesses, but there are also a few national companies like Hartmann and 1-800-Flowers). FYI: cardholders can only earn a maximum of 1,000 miles every month, and there's also a $3 monthly fee to consider.</p> <p>Here's an ongoing promotion to keep a hawkeye out for: The Citibank airline bonuses offered about once a year. (Tip: set a Google alert so you don't miss out on the special promotion code!) In the past, this promotion has awarded 30,000 AAdvantage miles for Citigold accounts; 15,000 AAdvantage miles for Citibank accounts; and 5,000 AAdvantage miles for basic banking accounts. Typically, to snag the bonus, one must open one of these accounts and then make a minimum debit card purchase of $125&ndash;$750, as well as set up at least one online bill payment for two months in a row.</p> <h2>Earn Airline ROI With a Miles-Earning CD or Money Market Account</h2> <p>Along with the checking account mentioned above, BankDirect also offers American Airlines rewards for those who purchase a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/products/cdmileage.aspx">Mileage Certificate of Deposit</a>. The longer the term, the better &mdash; since the two-year CD awards up to 1,000 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 invested, while the one-year and six-month CDs offer 500 and 250 miles for each $1,000 invested, respectively. A few things to know: there's a minimum opening balance of $10,000, and the interest rate is .10% on all three offers.</p> <p>They also offer a <a href="https://www.bankdirect.com/products/moneymarketmileage.aspx">Mileage Money Market Account</a>, on which the interest rate is .05% for accounts of more than $500. Account holders can snag 50 AAdvantage miles for every $1,000 of their average daily balance each month; once your account hits $50,000, you'll get 25 AAdvantage miles with the same setup. You'll also get a bonus of 1,000 miles just for opening the account.</p> <h2>Invest Your Way Into the Friendly Skies</h2> <p>Planning on making a somewhat sizable investment? You might want to consider signing up with Fidelity Investments &mdash; or simply adding to your existing Fidelity account &mdash; to get more bang for your hard-earned bucks. Here's how to earn miles with <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/united">United MileagePlus</a>, <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/delta">Delta SkyMiles</a>, or <a href="https://rewards.fidelity.com/offers/aa">American Airlines AAdvantage</a> with a non-retirement brokerage account (either new or existing): add at least $25,000 and you'll get 15,000 miles; $50,000+ and get 25,000 miles; or $100,000+ and get 50,000 miles. Be aware that the money must stay in your account for at least six months, or the mileage bonus may be withdrawn. Also, all money must be deposited within 60 days of signing up for the promotion.</p> <p>And, as always, it's important to weigh your objectives before signing up for any of these offers. After all, if you'd rather earn ample interest than rack up airline miles, it might be wiser to shop around for snazzier rates with accounts that <em>don't</em> offer flight incentives. But for those already considering one of these bank accounts and/or are trying to milk miles the credit-free way, these options just might be the (round-trip) ticket.</p> <p><em>Are you earning airline miles from your checking account?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jen-jones-donatelli">Jen Jones Donatelli</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-airline-partnerships-can-supercharge-your-travel-rewards">How Airline Partnerships Can Supercharge Your Travel 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/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost">7 In-Flight Amenities Worth the Cost</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-airline-perks-from-yesteryear-that-seem-unbelievable-today">10 Airline Perks From Yesteryear That Seem Unbelievable Today</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/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet">11 Ways Business Travel Helps Your Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines bank accounts miles rewards Thu, 21 May 2015 23:00:09 +0000 Jen Jones Donatelli 1430841 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 In-Flight Amenities Worth the Cost http://www.wisebread.com/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holding_phone_000021996824.jpg" alt="Man using in-flight amenity that is worth the cost" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The complimentary in-flight amenities we used to enjoy have mysteriously vanished only to re-emerge with a surcharge. Now that travel is a necessity more than a luxury, we'll take whatever quality of service we can get (right down to being stuck on the tarmac for hours). So, to make your travel experience a more pleasant one, try any combination of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">in-flight amenities</a>. Even if they cost a bit, they are worth the added comfort.</p> <h2>1. Priority Boarding</h2> <p>If you're running late for your flight or simply hate standing in long lines, know that some airlines let you purchase priority boarding passes. Buy these pre-flight or at a kiosk while you're checking-in for your flight. The cost is between $10 and $25.</p> <h2>2. Special Meals, Wine, and Spirits</h2> <p>Unless you remember to bring your own food and drinks or have a really short flight, don't give up your personal comfort because you don't want to pay for the onboard food and beverage service. It's not much more expensive than food purchased at any airport or train station.</p> <h2>3. Wi-Fi</h2> <p>In-flight Wi-Fi costs anywhere from $5&ndash;$14 per day to $25&ndash;$50 for monthly passes. Meanwhile, you can download your own movies or log-in to a subscription service and stream your very own in-flight entertainment (though some Wi-Fi packages include movies). It's a great way to be entertained or catch up on work and e-mails.</p> <h2>4. Headsets</h2> <p>Headsets are a necessity, especially if you're going to be on a long flight. Definitely splurge and pay the extra $2 for a pair. They are yours to keep, so you can hang on to them as a backup pair. It's worth it to drown out the noise of others and relax during your flight.</p> <h2>5. Extra Legroom</h2> <p>Personally, I will not pay for seats with extra legroom. Then again, I'm 5'7&quot;. But, if you're tall, or just like extra space, grab yourself an extra legroom seat and stretch out. They are definitely worth the cost on longer flights. And don't be fooled into thinking you can just wait until the flight takes off and switch seats, because that is no longer allowed.</p> <h2>6. In-Flight Entertainment</h2> <p>Some airlines offer in-flight entertainment programed with television stations, popular games, Sirius Satellite radio, and box office movies for around $6 per movie or $16 for a day pass for the full in-flight entertainment package.</p> <h2>7. First Class and Business Class</h2> <p>The in-flight amenities mentioned above are complementary if you're willing to shell out some extra cash and fly first or business class. Additionally, with a premium seat purchase, most airlines throw in added perks, like access to the airport lounge, one complimentary checked bag, and complimentary food and alcoholic beverages.</p> <p><em>Which in-flight perks do you indulge in?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-in-flight-amenities-worth-the-cost">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/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards">3 Ways Your Bank Account Can Boost Your Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-airline-perks-from-yesteryear-that-seem-unbelievable-today">10 Airline Perks From Yesteryear That Seem Unbelievable Today</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-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</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/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</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-fares-at-spirit-airlines-but-is-it-a-bargain">$9 Fares at Spirit Airlines – But is it a Bargain?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airlines amenities comforts flights Tue, 19 May 2015 21:00:09 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1423430 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Dramatic Vacation Spots for TV and Film Fanatics http://www.wisebread.com/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/breaking_bad_grafitti.jpg" alt="Breaking Bad fan graffiti art " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having a hard time deciding on your next vacation destination? Try looking through your DVR or Netflix queue! These are some of the five cheapest TV and film fanatic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-great-cheap-summer-vacations">vacation spots</a>.</p> <h2>1. <em>Breaking Bad</em>: Albuquerque, NM</h2> <p>Got a hankering for an action-packed road trip on the cheap? Heisenberg-hat wearing fans of <em>Breaking Bad</em> will want to pack up and drive to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a few days. Not only are there tons of real-life standing locations where Vince Gilligan and crew shot <em>Breaking Bad</em>, but there are even <a href="http://www.visitalbuquerque.org/albuquerque/film-tourism/breaking-bad/">self-guided and guided tours</a>!</p> <p><strong>Key Costs</strong>: Your biggest will likely be gasoline for driving to and from your place of origin, and prices vary across the U.S. Accommodations are cheap and plentiful in Albuquerque &mdash; try staying in the <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60933-d92752-Reviews-Hotel_Andaluz-Albuquerque_New_Mexico.html">well-priced Hotel Andaluz</a>. Meals at <a href="http://www.today.com/food/breaking-bad-fans-flock-albuquerque-restaurant-1C8896426">Los Pollos Hermanos</a> are very cheap!</p> <h2>2. <em>Best Exotic Marigold Hotel</em>: Jaipur, India</h2> <p>This smash-hit movie (and sequel) has inspired lots of empty-nesters to visit India. While you may not be flush enough to retire there, you can probably afford a two-week trip to Jaipur, one of the most beautiful cities in India.</p> <p><strong>Key Costs</strong>: The biggest expense will be airfare from your nearest international airport to the Jaipur airport, which could be approximately $1,600. However, once you are in India, one can live quite comfortably for $20 a day, and extremely well for $50 a day. Food and entertainment are cheap enough so you can splurge on plush accommodations.</p> <h2>3. <em>Game of Thrones</em>: Northern Ireland</h2> <p>Addicted to the racy, bloody, and exciting land of Westeros? Much of <em>Game of Thrones</em> is shot in Northern Ireland, where they shoot much of &quot;The North,&quot; from The Haunted Forest to Winterfell. Come to Ireland for <a href="http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/gameofthrones/">gorgeous, scenic tours</a> of the misty moors, then stay for nice B&amp;Bs and authentic Irish food and drink. While you're there, soak in some real history by touring Belfast and seeing the <a href="http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/downloads/Itineraries-Belfast-TimeTogether.pdf">birthplace of the Titanic</a> and famous prison Crumlin Road Gaol.</p> <p><strong>Key Costs</strong>: Airfare will the the lion's share of the costs, approximately $1500 per person. This is a great time to visit anywhere in Europe because the euro is not as strong against the dollar: one euro is about $1.12. This means if you stay thrifty, lodging, food, and entertainment will be about as much as they would be in America.</p> <h2>4. <em>The Hangover Part II</em>: Thailand</h2> <p>One of the highest grossing films to have shot in Thailand, <em>The Hangover Part II</em> might inspire those looking for a raucous, indulgent trip. While a <a href="http://bangkokhangovertours.com/">Hangover-themed tour</a> is certainly possible, Thailand is also a great destination for nature exploring. Visit <a href="http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/">beautiful elephant reserves</a>, enjoy the beaches, and hike a rainforest.</p> <p><strong>Key Costs</strong>: Your biggest expense here will also be airfare, as it can run approximately $1,200. Once you arrive, though, it's a bargain. One can live very comfortably for under $40 a day if staying on the mainland where the prices are generally cheaper than the surrounding islands.</p> <h2>5. <em>James Bond</em>: Mexico City</h2> <p>So many great films were shot in Mexico: from <em>Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid</em> to <em>Y Tu Mama Tambien</em>. The James Bond franchise has shot several of its films in Mexico, including <em>License to Kill</em>, <em>Tomorrow Never Dies</em>, <em>Quantum of Solace</em>, and <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/movies/spectre-james-bond-mexico-behind-the-scenes-first-116031156967.html">the upcoming <em>Spectre</em></a>. The new movie highlights the Zocalo in historic and beautiful Mexico City, where the Aztecs once ruled and where one can now find very <a href="http://nymag.com/travel/features/mexico-city-entertainment-2012-2/">hip shopping and entertainment</a>. If you travel to the coast, you can even enjoy a <a href="http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g150807-d2392342-r182051277-Jungle_Tour_Adventure-Cancun_Yucatan_Peninsula.html">James Bond speedboat tour</a>!</p> <p><strong>Key Costs</strong>: Mexico makes for a great, cheap vacation with its beautiful beaches (where many movies shoot instead of the Bahamas!), cheap hotels, and great food. Flights can be upwards of $700, but those living on west coast and southwest regions can manage an easy road trip. One dollar <a href="http://www.visitmexico.com/en/mexico-currency-and-exchange">equals about 15 pesos</a>, so your money will go very far.</p> <p><em>Have you ever traveled to scratch your film or TV fandom itch? where'd you go?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">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/25-great-movies-about-money">25 Great Movies About Money</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-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney">8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney</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/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</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-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</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/never-pay-for-a-redbox-dvd-rental-again">Never Pay for a RedBox DVD Rental Again</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel film movies television TV shows vacations Mon, 18 May 2015 13:00:11 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1421642 at http://www.wisebread.com Smarter Security and No Foreign Transaction Fees: The Best Credit Cards to Use While on Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_canoe_000034796040.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone has their favorite credit card in their wallet for everyday spending. (Expert credit card hackers have different favorites depending on what they're spending on.) But, when it comes to traveling abroad, there are only a few that are worthy of a spot in your pocket. You want to be sure to use the card that will give you the most security and travel benefits, as well as zero foreign transaction fees. Here's a list of the best credit cards to use on vacation abroad.</p> <h2>Cards with Enhanced Security</h2> <p>Some credit cards now have added security with EMV Chip&nbsp;Technology. The U.S. is one of the last to implement this (it has been around for more than a decade) so it has global acceptance and is standard practice in over 80 countries. The chip adds an additional layer of fraud protection that makes the card difficult to duplicate or copy. When traveling abroad the added security is essential. The cards listed below all have zero foreign transaction fees with EMV chip technology.</p> <h2>BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26141945&amp;fot=1143&amp;foc=2&amp;foc2=604907" rel="nofollow" alt="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card" title="BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; Credit Card"><img border="0" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/209868/604907.png" style="float:right; margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" /></a>With the <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26141945&amp;fot=1143&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; credit card</a>, cardholders can earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on purchases. In addition, cardholders can earn a 10% customer points bonus on every purchase if they have an active Bank of America&reg; checking or savings account, and that bonus can increase to 25%-75% if they're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client. New cardmembers will get to enjoy a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles on all their purchases, which then becomes a 14.99%-22.99% variable APR after the offer period. Not only that, there's currently an online <strong>bonus points offer</strong> where new cardmembers can receive 10,000 bonus points if they make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening, which is enough to redeem for a $100 statement credit toward travel purchase. This card offers EMV chip technology, no foreign transaction fees, and no annual fee.</p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26141945&amp;fot=1143&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Click here to apply for the BankAmericard Travel Rewards&reg; credit card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Capital One&reg; Venture Rewards&reg; Credit Card</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1145791" alt="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card" title="Capital One&reg; Venture&reg; Rewards Credit Card"><img border="0" align="right" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/161204/602905.png" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1145791">Capital One&reg; Venture Rewards&reg; </a>credit card is an excellent choice for people who love to travel. New applicants will receive a <strong>sign up bonus</strong> of 40,000 miles once they spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months after account opening, which is enough to redeem $400 in statement credit for travel purchases. Not only that, cardholders can earn 2 miles for every dollar they spend their purchases every day. There's no limit to the total amount of miles that they can earn, and the points will never expire. This card has chip technology, offers no foreign transaction fees and no balance transfer fees, and there's an annual fee of $59 that is waived for the first year.</p> <p><strong><a target="_top" href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards?ref=1145791">Click here to apply for the Capital One&reg; Venture Rewards&reg; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=13242651&amp;fot=1143&amp;foc=2&amp;foc2=599888" rel="nofollow" alt="Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card" title="Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card"><img border="0" align="right" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/204650/599888.png" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=13242651&amp;fot=1143&amp;foc=1">Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card</a> is a favorite among frequent travelers. Not only do you earn 2x points on travel and dining, its 1:1 point transfer to other travel programs give travelers additional discounts when using points for their trips. Cardmembers can also get 20% off travel when redeeming through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. So add those benefits to zero foreign transaction fees and chip enabled card security, it's no wonder that this is used by many travelers both at home and abroad. There is a $95 annual fee for this card, which is waived for the first year.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=13242651&amp;fot=1143&amp;foc=1">Click here to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred&reg; Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12009429-1419560302000?sid=mjackson-1145791" rel="nofollow" alt="Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card" title="Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card"><img width="154" height="97" border="0" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/Citi_Hilton_HHonors_Reserve_Card-154.jpg" style="float:right; margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" /></a>If you're a fan of staying at hotels within the Hilton HHonors portfolio (which include over 4,000 hotels and resorts in 91 countries), the <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12009429-1419560302000?sid=mjackson-1145791">Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card</a> may pack a punch in terms of points and rewards. The <strong>sign up bonus</strong> includes 2 weekend night certificates each good for 1 weekend night after $2,500 in purchases within the first 4 months. Earn 10x points for hotel stays within the HHonors portfolio, 5x points on airline and car rentals, 3x points on all other purchases. You'll also enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status. The card offers EMV chip technology, no foreign transaction fees, with an annual fee of $95.</p> <p><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12009429-1419560302000?sid=mjackson-1145791"><strong>Click here to apply for the Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Citi&reg; ThankYou&reg; Premier Card</h3> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12095672-1421936408000?sid=mjackson-1145791" rel="nofollow" alt="Citi ThankYou&reg; Premier Card" title="Citi ThankYou&reg; Premier Card"><img width="154" height="98" border="0" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/Citi_ThankYou_Premier_Card-154.jpg" style="float:right; margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" alt="" /></a>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12095672-1421936408000?sid=mjackson-1145791" rel="nofollow">Citi&reg; ThankYou&reg; Premier Card</a> offers a <strong>sign up bonus</strong> of 20,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months, and earn an additional 30,000 points after another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year. This can be redeemed for up to $625 in airfare through the ThankYou&reg; Travel Center. Earn 3x points for dining and entertainment, 2x points on airfare and hotel, and 1x on all other purchases. Enjoy a 20% discount when redeeming points or airfare through their travel portal. The card offers EMV chip technology, no foreign transaction fees, with an annual fee of $125 waived for the first year.</p> <p><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12095672-1421936408000?sid=mjackson-1145791"><strong>Click here to apply for the Citi&reg; ThankYou&reg; Premier Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>These are the best credit cards for your wallet when you travel. Other cards may offer insurance for a certain amount of time abroad when you rent a car, or cover loss and damages on purchases, but I like to stick to the basics when I recommend cards for using abroad. You want <em>no foreign transaction fees</em>&nbsp;and c<em>hip technology</em>. Do you have a favorite I didn't mention?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mark-jackson">Mark Jackson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">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/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card">Travel Better with the United MileagePlus Explorer 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/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-credit-card">Rewards that Change with Your Spending: U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Credit Card</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/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card">Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Program: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card</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/finally-a-card-that-adjusts-to-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-credit-card">Finally, a Card That Adjusts to Your Spending: US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Credit Card</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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card reviews Tue, 12 May 2015 08:34:24 +0000 Mark Jackson 1145791 at http://www.wisebread.com Travel Better with the United MileagePlus Explorer Card http://www.wisebread.com/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_business_trip_000018933413.jpg" alt="Woman on a business trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're a fan of United Airlines and its partners, the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26134092&amp;fot=1222&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">United MileagePlus&reg; Explorer card</a>&nbsp;provides frequent flyers and loyal users excellent perks. And with its limited time bonus offer, now's the time to apply! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Credit Cards with the Best Sign-Up Bonuses</a>)</p> <h2>Some Card Highlights</h2> <ul> <li>Limited Time Offer: Start with 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months</li> <li>Check your first bag for free &mdash; save up to $100 per roundtrip</li> <li>Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club with two one-time-use passes every year</li> <li>No foreign transaction fees</li> <li>Earn double miles on tickets purchased from United, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases</li> <li>Your miles don't expire as long as you're a Cardmember, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn</li> <li>Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight</li> <li>$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95</li> </ul> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>You can earn two miles for each dollar spent on tickets purchased from United Airlines and one mile for each dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no limit to the number of miles that can be earned and miles do not expire as long as you have account activity, which includes payment of your annual card fee.</p> <p>Your miles can be redeemed for award flights with United Airlines, as well as any Star Alliance member airlines. Economy class tickets are available for as low as 25,000 miles for a round-trip flight or 12,500 miles for a one-way Saver Award flight. Besides airfare, however, you can redeem miles for hotel stays and merchandise, but the value of each mile decreases from over one cent per mile when redeemed for award travel to as low as .56 cents per mile if you redeem for merchandise.</p> <p><a href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26134092&amp;fot=1222&amp;foc=1"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>First checked bag free.</strong> As the primary card holder, you receive your first checked bag free as well as one companion&rsquo;s first checked bag free when traveling on the same reservation with United Airlines. This saves you approximately $100 in checked bag fees for two travelers on a round-trip flight.</p> <p><strong>Priority boarding.</strong> You and a companion on the same reservation are eligible for Priority Boarding, which allows you to board the plane before other passengers.</p> <p><strong>United Club lounge passes.</strong> You receive two one-time use passes for the United Club airport lounge every 12 months after you open your card account. These passes provide access to complimentary amenities such as wireless Internet, and beverages and snacks, and usually cost $50 for a one-time pass or $500 per year for a single membership.</p> <p><strong>Premier statuses. </strong>The United MileagePlus program allows you to earn Silver, Gold, Platinum, or Premier 1K premier statuses when you fly United, Copa, and select partners. These statuses require a certain number of flight miles, depending on the level, and provide additional flight benefits when you travel. For example, the Silver level requires 15,000 Premier Qualifying Miles (PQMs) or 30 Premier Qualifying Segments (PQSs) each calendar year, and provides benefits such as a 25% bonus on flight miles every time you fly paid flights on United, Copa, or MileagePlus partners.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <p>The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year. There is no foreign transaction fee. The APR for purchases and balance transfers is 15.99%, which varies with the prime rate.</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus.</strong> For a limited time, if you spend at least $3,000 with your card, you can earn a total of 50,000 bonus miles. Add an authorized user within the first three months and get <em>another</em> 5,000 bonus points. Combined, this is enough miles for two round-trip tickets or four Saver Award tickets.</p> <p><strong>No annual fee the first year. </strong>The annual fee is waived the first year, which can give you an opportunity to see if you can earn enough rewards with this card to justify the annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Anniversary spend bonus.</strong> If you spend $25,000 with your card within a calendar year, you receive an anniversary bonus of 10,000 miles, which is nearly enough for one Saver Award flight alone. Since you also earn double miles if that $25,000 is spent on tickets purchased from United Airlines, your total miles earned for the year is 60,000 miles, enough for two round trip flights or almost five Saver Award flights.</p> <p><strong>No foreign transaction fee.</strong> There is no foreign transaction fee. This is noteworthy because, unfortunately, there are still rewards credit cards &mdash; even travel rewards cards &mdash; which charge as much as 3% on purchases made outside of the United States. If you travel abroad frequently, this added charge can decrease the value of the rewards you may earn with the credit card. It is important that you choose a card without a foreign transaction fee in order to fully maximize the rewards program.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Limited airline perks.</strong> Offers very few extra airline perks, especially considering the annual fee of $95 that you pay after your first year. Free checked bags and priority boarding are often standard with airline rewards programs, even without being a credit card holder.</p> <p><strong>Award flight limitations. </strong>As with any co-branded airline credit card, your redemption is limited to that particular airline and its partners. If United isn't your favorite airline, or you prefer to have more options for redeeming awards tickets, you might want to look into other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">good travel rewards credit cards</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>If you travel frequently with United Airlines (especially outside of the U.S.) and can benefit from the airport lounge passes and free checked bags, the United MileagePlus&reg; Explorer card is a great card for earning and redeeming miles for award flights. Furthermore, if you spend at least $25,000 per year with your card, especially on purchases with United Airlines that pay double miles, you can earn enough along with the anniversary bonus to justify the annual fee of $95.</p> <p><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26134092&amp;fot=1222&amp;foc=1" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to apply for the United MileagePlus&reg; Explorer card!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-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-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/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">Smarter Security and No Foreign Transaction Fees: The Best Credit Cards to Use While on Vacation</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/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-credit-card">Rewards that Change with Your Spending: U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Credit Card</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/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card">Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Program: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card</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/chase-freedom-visa-review-200-cash-back-bonus">Chase Freedom: A More Rewarding Way to Shop</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/finally-a-card-that-adjusts-to-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-credit-card">Finally, a Card That Adjusts to Your Spending: US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel chase credit card reviews United Airlines Fri, 08 May 2015 07:19:27 +0000 Christina Majaski 1412737 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Has the Best Value? http://www.wisebread.com/which-delta-skymiles-credit-card-has-the-best-value <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-delta-skymiles-credit-card-has-the-best-value" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_travel_000023045528.jpg" alt="Couple waiting at airport for vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Delta Airlines has a loyal following of customers who appreciate its updated aircraft and its tendency to run a smoother operation than many of its competitors. Furthermore, frequent travelers who live in Delta's hub cities such as Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City, are dependent on it to reach most destinations non-stop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso">Which Airline Loyalty Program Has the Best Value</a>?)</p> <p>Frequent flyers can get perks and free flights by earning miles in its SkyMiles program. Using one of Delta&rsquo;s branded credit cards can help earn miles faster through bonuses and everyday purchases. Delta offers several SkyMiles credit cards through American Express. If you&rsquo;re wondering which one to get, here&rsquo;s a breakdown of the cards to help you decide. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with Companion Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>Delta SkyMiles Credit Card</h2> <p>This entry level card is extremely basic, and its main benefit is a 20% savings on in-flight purchases. Cardholders receive double miles on all Delta purchases, and one mile per Dollar spent elsewhere. In addition, cardholders who spend $25,000 on this card within a calendar year are exempted from the Medallion Qualifying Dollar requirement to earn elite status with Delta. There is a sign up bonus of 5,000 miles after the first purchase with the card. The annual fee is $55.</p> <h2>Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card</h2> <p>Like the basic SkyMiles card, the Gold version offers double miles on all Delta purchases, and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere, and all of the other benefits. In addition, cardholders receive a free checked bag for themselves and others traveling together on Delta flights, priority boarding, and reduced fee access to Delta's SkyClub Airport lounges. The sign up bonus is 30,000 miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months <em>and</em> a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within the first 3 months. There are no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is $0 for the first year and $95 after that. &nbsp;Terms and limitations apply.</p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050763&amp;fot=1233&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Click here to apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card</h2> <p>The mid-level Platinum SkyMiles card offers everything the Gold card does, plus a few other valuable benefits. Cardholders who spend $25,000 in a calendar earn 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) and 10,000 bonus miles. Those who spend $50,000 in that same year can earn an additional 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles. Also, cardholders receive a companion certificate each year for a domestic, economy class round-trip ticket, for just the price of taxes. The sign up offer is 5,000 MQMs and 35,000 miles after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months <em>and </em>a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase within the first 3 months. The annual fee is $195.</p> <h2>Delta SkyMiles Reserve Credit Card</h2> <p>This top of the line card offers everything that the Platinum card does, plus several other perks. The primary benefit is a membership in the Delta SkyClub business lounge network. Cardholders who spend $30,000 in a calendar year earn 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 miles. Those who spend $60,000 in that same year can earn an additional 15,000 MQMs and 15,000 miles. The sign up offer is 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 miles after the first purchase on the card.</p> <p>Delta also offers Reserve cardholders upgrade priority over other travelers with the same Medallion status, as well as access to concierge services while traveling. Reserve cardholders can gift MQMs to friends and family and get access to Sky Priority lanes at participating airports. Finally, cardholders receive a companion certificate each year for a domestic, economy or first class round-trip ticket, for just the price of taxes. There is a $450 annual fee for this card.</p> <h3>Which card is right for you?</h3> <p>The basic SkyMiles card doesn't offer much value, but it can make sense for those who already have elite status, which grants them the baggage fee waiver that this card lacks. So this no frills card allows you to earn miles for the least amount of annual fee.</p> <p>Nevertheless, it will take three years to come out ahead of the Gold card, which has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. The Gold card also has no foreign transaction fees and discounted access to Delta SkyClubs. <strong><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050763&amp;fot=1233&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Apply for the Gold Delta SkyMiles&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</a></strong></p> <p>Yet the real sweet spot seems to be with the Platinum card, even though its annual fee of $195 is a bit high. Most cardholders could easily justify this fee based on the companion certificate offered, as well as the chance to earn invaluable MQMs. As Delta flyers know, earning these elite qualifying miles on the ground makes it that much easier to reach the next level in their program, and increase their chances of being upgraded.</p> <p>But for the most frequent fliers, those who travel several times a month, the Reserve card is a must. Not only can travelers wait out layovers and delays in the SkyClub, they will be ahead of their peers on the upgrade list. $450 is an expensive annual fee, but it is in line with the cost of SkyClub membership and makes sense if its upgrade priority results in a few more flights in first class each year. Its companion certificate is also valid for first class travel, so it is easy to realize far more than $450 in value from that benefit alone.</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/which-delta-skymiles-credit-card-has-the-best-value">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/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-credit-card">Rewards that Change with Your Spending: U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express 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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel 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-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel american express Delta SkyMiles Fri, 08 May 2015 06:58:55 +0000 Jason Steele 1417140 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways Business Travel Helps Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman_luggage_000020489884.jpg" alt="Woman with business travel that&#039;s helping her wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Business travel is a love/hate relationship for many people. On the one hand, you get to visit new cities and live on the company's dime. On the other, you could be away from home &mdash; and friends and family &mdash; for an extended period of time.</p> <p>One of the bright sides of business travel, however, is that you have the chance to save the money you're earning &mdash; sometimes a lot of money &mdash; because you don't have to spend your own dough on transportation, lodging, or food while you're working. And those are just the obvious savings. Take a look at several more budget-boosters that may have you looking at business travel in a whole new light:</p> <h2>1. Saving on Gasoline</h2> <p>Gas is in a sweet spot at the moment (enjoy it now before the summer season inevitably drives the price up), so you're not saving as much money as you were a few years ago, but <em>any</em> money you can keep in your pocket and away from the pump is a win. Let your company cover the fuel costs while you're on the road, while your vehicle takes a breather in the garage.</p> <h2>2. Giving Your Car a Break</h2> <p>Speaking of taking a breather, the downtime your vehicle gets thanks to your business travel means that you're not putting as much wear and tear on it from everyday use. You might not see savings from the reduction in use right away, but statistically your car should experience fewer issues since you're not pitting it against the elements (and crazy drivers) on a daily basis.</p> <h2>3. Potentially Lowering Insurance Rates</h2> <p>Since your vehicle will be safely cooped up in its cocoon while you're traveling, there are less opportunities for accidents, not to mention you're putting fewer miles on it over the course of the year and its lifetime. Some insurance companies reward drivers for clean records over a period of time, which is just one more way you can slash your transportation budget.</p> <h2>4. Expensing Road Items on a Rewards Card</h2> <p>Not all companies require business travel expenses to be paid for with a company-issued credit card. In fact, many companies allow you to put your travel expenses on your own card, for which you're reimbursed after you submit an expense report at the end of the month. If that's the case, it's important to choose a really great credit card with a generous rewards program. Think about it: You don't have to pay for anything you're charging out of your pocket, and you can essentially make more money as a result of it, depending on how you cash in your rewards. It really doesn't get any better than that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Cards</a>)</p> <h2>5. Racking Up Air and Hotel Points</h2> <p>An important rule of business travel &mdash; as those in the know will tell you &mdash; is to always sign up for loyalty programs. If you're flying the friendly skies or staying in hotels frequently, the points will add up quickly. Unless you're working for a cheap-o who requires you to use points for future business expenses &mdash; which is a jerk move, no bones about it &mdash; you can treat those points as your own. Fiji, here you come. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">Best Hotel Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Reducing Your Grocery Bill</h2> <p>Since the company will be picking up your meals, your grocery bill will be significantly reduced &mdash; though this does require careful consideration to maximize the savings. First, if you know you'll be on the road for a few days or more, limit your purchase of fresh produce that you may not have time to eat; you don't want your money rotting away in the fridge. Second, limit your trips to the supermarket altogether if you can make do with what's already in your pantry or fridge before you embark on a trip.</p> <h2>7. Pocketing the Food Stipend</h2> <p>Instead of using your meal stipend on food, try to take advantage of free eating opportunities. There's generally food available at conferences and more intimate meetings &mdash; especially breakfast and lunch &mdash; that you can consume in lieu of finding something on your own. In those cases, if your company allows it, you can pocket the difference.</p> <p>I have a friend who works for the government who uses this tactic when she's abroad for weeks on end, and she often comes home with a hefty sum pocketed.</p> <h2>8. Lowering Home Energy Costs</h2> <p>This savings typically only applies to single people, as they leave their homes alone during periods of travel. To shave a little more off the bill, unplug non-essential appliances so they're not sucking out unnecessary energy, and turn the heat down to 55 degrees. If you have a family or a roommate, you're SOL in this scenario. Sorry 'bout it.</p> <h2>9. Spending Less Disposable Income</h2> <p>What do you typically do after work when you're not on the road? Probably run errands, go shopping, and engage in recreational activities &mdash; all of which cost money. There are fewer opportunities for this kind of downtime while you're traveling for business, because there's generally no need for it. If you're not spending money, you're saving money &mdash; and it'll help you feel less guilty when you get home and splurge on that impulse buy you just <em>have</em> to have.</p> <h2>10. Stocking up on Toiletries</h2> <p>Save money on shampoo, conditioner, lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste &mdash; basically whatever small toiletries the hotel provides &mdash; by taking them home with you. Build up enough stock and you won't have to buy these items for quite a while.</p> <h2>11. Pushing All That Extra Money to Savings</h2> <p>Since you've saved a decent amount of coin during your business travels, it's easy to go home and start spending without caution, but that totally negates the in-the-black path you've forged. Make smart moves with that stashed cash &mdash; like investments &mdash; and you might be able to retire early someday. One can hope, at least.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ideas on how business travel can boost your budget? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-bank-account-can-boost-your-travel-rewards">3 Ways Your Bank Account Can Boost Your Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads">Working on the Road: A Book Review for Professional Nomads</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/freedom-from-the-day-job">Freedom From the Day Job</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/a-beginners-guide-to-miles-and-points">A Beginner&#039;s Guide to Miles and Points</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Travel business trips expenses mileage rewards work Wed, 06 May 2015 17:00:27 +0000 Mikey Rox 1410071 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things You Should Never Skimp on When Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_traveling_on_vacation_000043963176.jpg" alt="Couple not skimping on certain things while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel should be pleasurable &mdash; not stressful. While it's almost inevitable for something to go awry from time to time, you can avoid most issues with a little foresight and planning. Sometimes all it takes is investing a bit more upfront in order to ensure a better travel experience.</p> <p>Take a look at these nine things you should never skimp on when traveling.</p> <h2>1. Luggage</h2> <p>I'm not including accommodations or method of travel on this list because I think those two items are relative. Some people like five-star hotels and first-class seating, while others are perfectly fine in hostels and economy class. To each their own.</p> <p>What we can all agree on, though, is that decent luggage is an important trip component for several reasons, namely because it needs to hold up against all the wear and tear you'll put it through in your travels. I'm not saying that cheap luggage will fall apart and expensive luggage is bar none, but there is something to be said about brands with a reputation for quality &mdash; and that usually comes at a cost.</p> <p>Personally, I prefer Herschel Supply Co. for my luggage, while my husband likes Tumi. Those aren't endorsements (I don't have any affiliation with either of those companies), but rather suggestions to help inform your future purchase if you're in the market for sturdier luggage.</p> <h2>2. Comfortable Shoes</h2> <p>A lot of people vacation in warmer climates. And why not &mdash; there's an abundance of things to see and do when the weather outside is perfect. But before you head out to explore, make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes and socks that can handle a day of walking without killing your feet. These should be the real deal &mdash; and definitely not right out of the box. You also want to avoid going sockless. I've worn both canvas slip-ons without socks and flip-flops on heavy walking days, and both footwear choices resulted in bloody, painful feet.</p> <h2>3. Personal Safety</h2> <p>Because I live in New York City, I'm generally not afraid of new surroundings, seemingly seedy neighborhoods, or people who look like they might be up to no good. I stay vigilant, of course, but I don't want to let a black cloud of fear follow me wherever I go just because the area doesn't look like it's maintained by Ritz-Carlton. There was a time in the Bahamas, however, that this joie de vivre could've gotten my friends and me into a sticky situation while traveling down a lonely road from one club to another &mdash; a mistake I'll never make again. Now I loosen the purse strings and spring for a cab to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.</p> <p>Safety first, people.</p> <h2>4. An Unforgettable Experience</h2> <p>Finally, we've gotten to the fun part &mdash; activities! I'm an activities-oriented guy, and I like to be out and about experiencing everything I can in the short time I have in a location. The problem, however, is that an unforgettable experience can be costly. Still, it's not something on which you should skimp &mdash; your fond memories of your trip will last much longer than any tchotchke &mdash; and there are ways to make it affordable.</p> <p>Remember when I mentioned earlier that the preference for high-end flight and hotel accommodations are relative? They still are, and personally this is how I justify splurging a bit on a great experience &mdash; I choose to stay in modest digs and fly the cheapest way I can, so when I get to my destination I can have all the fun I want without feeling guilty for spending too much money.</p> <h2>5. Travel Insurance</h2> <p>I once went on what was meant to be an unforgettable European vacation that included London, Dublin, and finally, Paris for New Year's Eve. But thanks to Mother Nature and an incompetent, famously low-priced Irish airline that shall remain nameless, my hopes of ushering in a new year in the City of Lights were dashed. The worst part? I was young and dumb and I didn't have travel insurance. Hotel, train fares, and airfare all went out the window &mdash; along with my usually jovial attitude. Don't let this happen to you, especially if you're planning a special-occasion trip. Spend the extra money to protect your investment.</p> <h2>6. Vaccinations</h2> <p>I suspect that pre-travel vaccinations are not only overlooked a lot of the times, but probably actively avoided sometimes due to cost and inconvenience. In that case, let's play a game of &quot;Would You Rather?&quot;</p> <p>I'll go first.</p> <p>Would you rather pay for pricey vaccinations that will help you avoid common illnesses, or would you rather spend your trip becoming besties with a toilet and visiting the very questionable local hospital?</p> <p>I win.</p> <p>Get the proper vaccinations before you depart. If you can't afford it, don't go. In some cases, it really could be the difference between life and death.</p> <h2>7. Health Care</h2> <p>Speaking of questionable local hospitals, they're the very last place you ever want to visit while you're traveling &mdash; even worse than jail. If you're ill, spring for quality medical care.</p> <p>Blogger behind Broke Girl Gets Rich, Chelsea Baldwin, just wrapped up a few years in Asia, and soon she'll embark on an extended stay in South America. As someone who has caught her fair share of stomach bugs while traveling and was subsequently treated at public health facilities, she advises better-quality healthcare as well.</p> <p>&quot;If the public health care in the country you're visiting is known for its quality, that's fine, but otherwise it's always worth the extra cost to get more attention and better care from a private doctor,&quot; she says. &quot;Most American health insurance companies will cover you for emergency situations overseas, but if you think the cost of visiting a private doctor at your destination could get expensive, there are numerous travel insurance companies you can get plans from to help cover you.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Cell Phone Data</h2> <p>When I travel to destinations outside my wireless provider's coverage area, I try to stick with the hotel's free Wi-Fi. If you want to be fully connected &mdash; it's not a bad idea despite the faction of people begging us to unplug every once in a while &mdash; there's a solution that will cost you a few bucks. Still, it's much cheaper than the fees you may incur from your provider.</p> <p>&quot;Buying a SIM card upon arrival in a country will cost you little more than $10 to $15 and it's invaluable for all the times you get lost or you're unable to communicate with your cab driver,&quot; says Matthew Newton, CEO of Tourism Tiger. &quot;Many small emergencies are solved through the simple asset of a SIM card charged with one gigabyte of data.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Bottled Water</h2> <p>My Wise Bread colleagues and I generally try to steer you clear of buying bottled water, but Dr. Irene S. Levine (who moonlights as a freelance travel writer) makes a good case for bottled water when you're traveling.</p> <p>&quot;There is no reason to take a chance,&quot; she says. &quot;Even if tap water is safe to drink, it may have a different mineral composition that is upsetting to your stomach and can potentially ruin your trip. Additionally, don't try to save money by not drinking enough water. When you're traveling, it's easy to get dehydrated either on planes or in hot climates when you're more active than usual.&quot;</p> <p>As someone who prefers tap water, I agree that this is a good practice to adopt, especially when traveling outside the United States. To save money and waste, consider buying a few large jugs of distilled water with which you can fill your permanent water bottle, instead of buying many single bottles the whole trip.</p> <p><em>Are there other items on which we should never skimp when traveling? I'd love to hear some of your suggestions in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</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-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">5 Dramatic Vacation Spots for TV and Film Fanatics</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-7-worst-travel-values">The 7 Worst Travel Values</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/negotiate-your-own-hotel-deal">Negotiate Your Own Hotel Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel saving money spending vacations Mon, 04 May 2015 13:00:24 +0000 Mikey Rox 1406709 at http://www.wisebread.com Rewards that Change with Your Spending: U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-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/checking_in_credit_card_000022784368.jpg" alt="Checking in at a hotel with a credit card" title="Checking in at a hotel with a credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26086835&amp;fot=1212&amp;foc=1">U.S. Bank FlexPerks&reg; Travel Rewards American Express&reg; Card</a> awards bonus points on both fixed and flexible categories, so you can get the most rewards based on your spending, even if your spending changes from month to month. This type of card can be more beneficial to you than <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">travel rewards cards</a> that award purchases made with specific airlines or hotels, especially if your spending varies, or you prefer more options when redeeming your rewards.</p> <h2>Some Card Highlights</h2> <ul> <li>Earn 20,000 enrollment FlexPoints with a new FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card after you spend $3,500 in Net Purchases (purchases minus credits and returns) on your Card within the first four months of account opening.</li> <li>2X FlexPoints at restaurants and on fast food. Plus, use your Card at select membership warehouse clubs.</li> <li>2X FlexPoints on gas, grocery or airfare - whichever you spend most on each monthly billing cycle - and on most cell phone expenses.</li> <li>No Foreign Transaction Fees.*</li> <li>Award travel starts at just 20,000 FlexPoints (up to a $400 ticket value) on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates or online redemption fees</li> <li>Redemption starts at just 5,000 FlexPoints for merchandise, gift cards, statement credits and more.</li> </ul> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26086835&amp;fot=1212&amp;foc=1"><img alt="" p="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>You can earn two points for each dollar spent in the category you spend the most among airlines, gas, or groceries. You also earn two points for each dollar spent on restaurant purchases and cell phone expenses, and three points for each dollar spent on qualifying charitable donations. All other purchases earn one point per dollar spent. You can earn an unlimited number of points, but they do expire five years from the end of the quarter in which they are earned. Additionally, if you spend more than $120,000 within a calendar year with your card, all rewards you earn decreases to one point for every two dollars spent, or half a point per dollar spent with the card. Finally, you'll get 3,500 bonus points each year you spend at least $24,000 in purchases.</p> <p>You can redeem your points for gift cards, statement credit, merchandise, and more. Airline tickets with over 150 airlines are also available, starting at 20,000 points for a ticket worth up to $400.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Airline allowance.</strong> As a card member, you receive a $25 airline allowance with each award travel ticket. This allowance can be used for expenses such as baggage fees and in-flight purchases of beverages and movies. This allowance appears as a statement credit and must be requested within 90 days of purchasing the award ticket.</p> <p><strong>American Express benefits.</strong> The U.S. Bank FlexPerks&reg; Travel Rewards card includes American Express benefits such as access to luxury hotels through the Luxury Hotel Program. This program includes complimentary amenities as well as up to 20% off hotel rates. American Express also provides 24/7 concierge service, car rental insurance, and fraud reimbursement.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <p>There is an annual fee of $49 which is waived your first year. The balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3%. There is no foreign transaction fee.</p> <p>The APR for purchases and balance transfers is 13.99% to 23.99%, depending on your credit worthiness and variations in the prime rate.</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Valuable sign-up bonus.</strong> If you spend at least $3,500 with your card within your first four months, you can receive a bonus of 20,000 points, which is worth up to $400 if redeemed for airline travel. At the very least, the bonus is worth $200 in gift cards, which is a significantly sized bonus for a card with an annual fee of only $49 (which is waived the first year).&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Low annual fee.</strong> The annual fee of $49 is competitive when compared to other travel rewards cards that do not carry foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is also waived the first year, giving you a year to basically give the card a test run. Also, the 3,500 annual bonus can cover most of the fee.</p> <p><strong>Bonus rewards in multiple categories.</strong> There are various purchase categories associated with the rewards program, which gives you an opportunity to earn bonus points on a wide range of purchases. This means that you aren&rsquo;t limited to just one category, such as gasoline, when earning bonus award points. This card allows you to not only earn double points in the category you spend the most in each month (of airline, gas, or grocery purchases) but also awards double points for restaurants and cell phone purchases, covering multiple categories associated with traveling.</p> <p><strong>No foreign transaction fee. </strong>If you travel abroad frequently, you don&rsquo;t want to have an additional fee on top of other expenses just for using your credit card. The foreign transaction fee on other cards can be as much as 3%, which can significantly minimize the value of any rewards earned from your purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee, which can save you money if you travel outside of the U.S. or make foreign purchases.</p> <p><strong>Smart Chip Technology.</strong> This card also comes with smart chip technology which provides better security worldwide.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Multiple purchase categories.</strong> The opportunity to earn bonus points in multiple categories can be handy for some card users, but for others, it can be confusing. It also requires keeping track of the purchases you make to ensure that you are using the card for various purchases. The &ldquo;most used&rdquo; category, which awards double points each month for the category you spend the most in, can end up being more complicated, and if you find that most of your purchases are made in one category such as airline, you can earn more rewards with a card that specifically awards those types of purchases rather than taking a chance on it each month.</p> <p><strong>Half point after $120,000 per year. </strong>If you spend more than $120,000 per year with your card, any purchases made over that amount only earn one point for every two dollars spent &mdash; half a point per dollar. This is the lowest rate of rewards earned on any card. If you generally spend more than $120,000 per year with your card, you can earn more rewards with cards that allow you to earn an unlimited number of points, without caps or limitations. As an example, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review?ref=internal">Capital One Venture Rewards Card</a> awards an unlimited two miles for each dollar spent on all purchases.</p> <p><strong>American Express.</strong> If you travel abroad frequently or in many rural areas of the United States, you may find that the American Express brand isn&rsquo;t as commonly accepted as Visa or MasterCard.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express card is best for those who travel frequently &mdash; domestically or abroad, yet do not spend more than $120,000 with the card per year. It is also best for those whose spending varies, but lie within the gasoline, airfare, grocery, cell phone, restaurant, and charitable donations categories.</p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26086835&amp;fot=1212&amp;foc=1">Click here to apply for the U.S. Bank FlexPerks&reg; Travel Rewards American Express&reg; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-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-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-delta-skymiles-credit-card-has-the-best-value">Which Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Has the Best Value?</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/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card">Travel Better with the United MileagePlus Explorer Card</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/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">Smarter Security and No Foreign Transaction Fees: The Best Credit Cards to Use While on Vacation</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/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card">Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Program: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card</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/aeromexico-visa-secured-card-rebuild-your-credit-while-you-travel">AeroMexico Visa Secured Card: Rebuild Your Credit While You Travel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Food and Drink Travel american express credit card reviews u.s. bank Mon, 04 May 2015 07:02:19 +0000 Christina Majaski 1406705 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Program: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-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/woman_travel_000020667562.jpg" alt="Woman boarding a flight " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frequent domestic travelers love the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26143538&amp;fot=1211&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">Southwest Airlines&reg; Rapid Rewards&reg; Premier card</a>. Not only is Southwest Airlines one of the most popular airlines, the card offers perks such as free first and second checked bags, priority boarding, and no foreign transaction fees. The reputation, in addition to the many features included with the card, continuously places it among the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">top rated airline rewards credit cards</a> available.</p> <p><strong>For a limited time, Southwest has <em>doubled</em> its usual sign up offer. Earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months!</strong></p> <h2>Some Card Highlights</h2> <ul> <li>Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.</li> <li>Points Don't Expire, No Blackout Dates</li> <li>6,000 points after your Cardmember Anniversary</li> <li>2 pts/$1 spent on Southwest Airlines&reg; purchases&gt;</li> <li>2 pts/$1 spent on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases</li> <li>1 pt/$1 spent on all other purchases</li> </ul> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26143538&amp;fot=1211&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow" class="img-exempt"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Rewards Program</h2> <p>You can earn two points for each dollar spent on Southwest Airlines purchases as well as two points for each dollar spent on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases, and one point for each dollar spent on all other purchases. These points can be redeemed for flights, gift cards, car rentals, and hotel stays. Points are worth as much as 1.4 cents per point, with the most value in redeeming for Wanna Get Away flights, which are Southwest&rsquo;s least expensive tickets.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Bags fly free.</strong> Southwest Airlines allows free first and second check bags, which with other airlines, can cost as much as $60 per flight.</p> <p><strong>No change fees.</strong> Southwest Airlines also does not charge change fees, which is an important benefit in the event you need to change your flight. If you have a family emergency, for example, you could end up paying a change fee of as much as $200 with other airlines.</p> <p><strong>Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs).</strong> You can receive a bonus of 1,500 TQPs for each $10,000 spent with the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier credit card. TQPs are used to earn elite statuses with Southwest Airlines that qualify for additional flight benefits. For example, A-List Preferred (the middle status between A-List and Companion Pass), requires 50 qualifying one-way flights or 70,000 TQPs within a calendar year, and includes added perks such as free inflight Wi-Fi, Priority Check-In and Boarding, and a 100% point earning bonus on Southwest flights.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <p><strong>Annual fee.</strong> There is an annual fee for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card of $99, which is added to you first billing statement. The APR for purchases and balance transfers is 15.99%, with variations in the prime rate.</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign up bonus.</strong> If you spend $2,000 with your card within the first three months of opening the account, you can receive a bonus of 50,000 points. This is enough for two round trip Wanna Get Away fares, where each point is worth approximately 1.4 cents.</p> <p><strong>Anniversary bonus.</strong> You also receive an anniversary bonus each year on your anniversary date of 6,000 points.</p> <p><strong>Balance transfer bonus.</strong> If you transfer a balance within the first 90 days of opening your account, you can receive a balance transfer bonus of one point for each dollar transferred, up to 15,000 points. There is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater, but if you are planning on transferring a balance from a higher APR card, you can enough points for at least one more free flight.</p> <p><strong>No foreign transaction fee.</strong> There are many travel rewards cards which still charge foreign transaction fees as much as 3% on purchases made abroad. The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card does not charge this fee, which allows you to fully maximize the rewards potential, especially if you travel outside of the United States frequently.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Slightly higher annual fee.</strong> Although you receive a higher sign up bonus and additional perks with the Premier version, the annual fee for the Rewards Plus card is $30 less at $69. You also earn the same amount of points per dollar, which is something to consider when choosing between the two cards.</p> <p><strong>Points expiration.</strong> Your points don&rsquo;t expire as long as you have flight or partner activity every 24 months. This is something to consider if you only plan on taking the occasional trip every few years. You will lose the points you have accumulated if you don&rsquo;t have earning or redemption activity at least once, every couple years.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>Because there is no foreign transaction fee, if you travel frequently outside of the United States, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier card is an important card to carry with you and more than justifies the difference in the annual fee charged by the Plus version of the card, if you are choosing between the two. This card is also best for those who will use their anniversary bonus, ideally on Wanna Get Away fares, in order to help compensate for the annual fee of $99.</p> <p><strong><a rel="nofollow" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26143538&amp;fot=1211&amp;foc=1" target="_blank">Click here to apply for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards&reg; Premier credit card today!</a></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-domestic-frequent-flyer-program-southwest-airlines-rapid-rewards-premier-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-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-better-with-the-united-mileageplus-explorer-card">Travel Better with the United MileagePlus Explorer 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/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation">Smarter Security and No Foreign Transaction Fees: The Best Credit Cards to Use While on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rewards-that-change-with-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-american-express-credit-card">Rewards that Change with Your Spending: U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Credit Card</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/finally-a-card-that-adjusts-to-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-credit-card">Finally, a Card That Adjusts to Your Spending: US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Credit Card</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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card reviews southwest Sat, 02 May 2015 05:16:46 +0000 Christina Majaski 1406612 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Cheapest Cities to Fly to This Summer http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-cheapest-cities-to-fly-to-this-summer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-cheapest-cities-to-fly-to-this-summer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/summer_vacation_city_000063758487.jpg" alt="Couple travling to cheapest cities on summer vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on cities with the cheapest flights this summer, the dirtiest places in your kitchen, and questions to ask yourself before you say yes.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/3549/cheap-cities-to-fly-to">10 Cheapest Cities for Summer Air Travel</a> &mdash; Save some money on airfare by going to Chicago, where the average roundtrip flight is lowest of all major domestic cities this summer. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://adebtfreestressfreelife.com/the-8-dirtiest-places-in-your-kitchen/">The 8 Dirtiest Places In Your Kitchen</a> &mdash; Clean your sink right after rinsing raw meat, veggies, and pet bowls so that germs don't linger and spread to other parts of your kitchen. [A Debt Free Stress Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-questions-ask-saying-yes/">5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Saying Yes</a> &mdash; Before you agree to a commitment, make sure that it aligns with your values and that taking part in it makes you feel good. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/steps-anyone-can-reach-financial-goals/">4 Simple Steps Anyone Can Use to Reach Financial Goals</a> &mdash; State your goals, and be as specific as you can. Having a clear destination in mind will make it easier to create action steps for accomplishing the goal. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Southwest-Airlines-35880199">12 Southwest Hacks For Cheap and Cheerful Flights</a> &mdash; Do you dine out often? The Rapid Rewards Dining program allows you to earn points when you eat at your favorite restaurants. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-find-the-best-rated-529-plans">How to Find the Best Rated 529 Plans</a> &mdash; You can contribute to 529 plans in other states, but if you choose a plan offered by your own state, you'll likely receive a tax break. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/budgeting/want-to-master-time-management-use-your-budgeting-skills/">Want to Master Time Management? Use Your Budgeting Skills</a> &mdash; Paying yourself first can be applied to time management as well. If you invest 20 minutes on your schedule, you won't end up missing plans, meetings and deadlines later in the day. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://afewshortcuts.com/2015/04/7-life-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-kids">7 Life Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Kids</a> &mdash; Teach your kids how to read a compass and a map &mdash; they'll be grateful for it when they find themselves without a working GPS device. [A Few Short Cuts]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyspruce.com/tactics-for-breaking-your-lease-without-losing-money/">8 Tactics For Breaking Your Lease Without Losing Money</a> &mdash; If you want or need to leave your apartment but you don't want to pay for breaking your lease, see if you can sublet your place for the remainder of the lease. [Money Spruce]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cashthechecks.com/three-ways-to-boost-your-cover-letter/">Three Ways To Boost Your Cover Letter</a> &mdash; Because you're talking about yourself in a cover letter, it's easy to start every sentence with &quot;I&quot; &mdash; but don't! [Cash The Checks]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-cheapest-cities-to-fly-to-this-summer">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</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/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel">20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-most-creative-ways-to-avoid-airline-fees-like-wearable-suitcases">The 10 Most Creative Ways to Avoid Airline Fees (Like Wearable Suitcases)</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/is-companion-airfare-really-worth-it">Is Companion Airfare Really Worth It?</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-get-the-best-fall-and-holiday-travel-deals">7 Ways to Get the Best Fall and Holiday Travel Deals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel Airfare best money tips Fri, 01 May 2015 19:00:28 +0000 Amy Lu 1408869 at http://www.wisebread.com Working on the Road: A Book Review for Professional Nomads http://www.wisebread.com/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/noradunn.jpg" alt="Nora Dunn author of Working on the Road" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nora Dunn's new <a href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?af=1624698">Working on the Road</a> may not be the right choice for those looking for a vicarious thrill, fantasizing about a more free life. But for those looking for actionable information &mdash; who are ready to make the jump and are looking for practical tips for avoiding missteps as they change their lives &mdash; it's worth the read.</p> <p>And I should know: I took several different stabs at arranging my life to enable living as a digital nomad. (For more, see my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-paths-to-being-a-digital-nomad">Three Paths to Being a Digital Nomad</a>, which ought to provide some context as a reviewer of this book. See also the disclaimer at the bottom.)</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?af=1624698"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/GumroadCover_605x340.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>The Guide to Working on the Road</h2> <p>The book is very much aimed exactly where the title suggests &mdash; at someone working on the road, or planning to. If your plans are for merely <em>going</em> on the road or <em>living</em> on the road, there will still be useful material here for you, but you'll be wasting more than half the book.</p> <p>On the other hand, the book's focus on work is by no means limited to any stereotype of the sort of work that's typical for the digital nomad. No kind of work is excluded, meaning that this book would be ideal for anyone whose goal is to be productive on the road. For example, I think it would be excellent for someone preparing to take a sabbatical (a sabbatical in the traditional sense &mdash; taking six to 12 months away from a regular job in order to undertake a significant piece of research or complete a major project). It would also be excellent for someone who thinks getting away for a year would help them finish a novel.</p> <p>With working on the road being the focus, you won't be surprised to learn that's where the book starts &mdash; with a look at two big categories of working on the road: location-independent work, like freelancing or writing, and then work that needs to happen in a particular place, but where the places are accepting of people who come from afar and plan to move on, such as teaching English or working in the many branches of the hospitality industry.</p> <p>There are sections on brainstorming for the sorts of things that you might need to do, and on how you might quickly develop a few extra skills that would enable working on the road (either as a complement to the skills you have, or as a whole new thing). There's also a good section on the sort of abilities, work habits, and self-knowledge you need to have if you're going to be successful.</p> <h2>Cost of Living on the Road</h2> <p>One of the few bits of the book that I have a beef with &mdash; and only because it's a personal peeve of my own &mdash; is the section on the cost of living on the road. Nora points out that, &quot;Traveling full-time can actually cost far less than it does to live in one place.&quot;</p> <p>This is true in the strictly technical sense that you can always find a more expensive way of life than the one you want to call less expensive. (It's exactly the same, except we buy three times as many toothbrushes.) It's also true in the deeper sense, that almost anyone can live a lot more cheaply if they're prepared to dramatically change how they live, and the shift to living on the road is going to be the sort of dramatic change that enables all sorts of economies.</p> <p>I just always bristle at the implication that you couldn't just as easily &mdash; in fact, more easily &mdash; find all those economies without going on the road if you're prepared to make the same sort of dramatic change in the way you live. Let your lease run out, sell your car, donate all your stuff beyond what fits in a suitcase, and then rent a cheap room a few miles from your old neighborhood.</p> <p>There are other savings besides those that come from choosing to make a dramatic change toward a cheaper lifestyle. One big one that is often a source of savings for people going on the road is that if you travel to a place where people are poor, things are going to be cheap.</p> <p>However: I'd be willing to bet that there are places where people are poor very close to where you live now.</p> <p>Most of the other sources of cost savings for being on the road are very specific as to time or place. For example, favorable exchange rates can make particular places very cheap, if your income (from your work on the road, or your savings and investments) is in a strong currency but your expenses are in a weak one. There can be some large tax savings, but they are highly dependent on exactly where you live and exactly how you earn your money.</p> <p>Finally, there's the fact that being someplace that's really different provides novelty that can substitute for entertainments that you'd otherwise spend money on.</p> <p>I've written about all this before, in an article called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-abroad-for-less-also-at-home">Live Abroad for Less (Also at Home)</a>. As I say, it's peeve of mine.</p> <p>But the fact that Nora manages to push this precise button of mine should not be held against the book, which actually has a great section on managing your expenses. It presents examples of several different households &mdash; single folks and families, people who travel a lot and those who have a home base for extended periods, all at a range of different income levels.</p> <h2>Work-Life Balance on the Road</h2> <p>The section on work-life balance while on the road is excellent. In fact, it takes exactly the tone I'd have liked to see Nora take for the section on how it can be cheaper to live on the road. Working on the road does not magically give you work-life balance. Whether you're on the road or not, work-life balance comes from the choices you make about what work you do and what you expect from yourself. Just like with living cheaper, choosing to work on the road is inevitably a dramatic change in your life, and making a dramatic change gives you space to choose a better work-life balance. But it still comes down to your choices.</p> <p>The stories Nora tells about her successes and failures along the way to work-life balance are instructive. She provides good tips on striving for a proper balance. (The tips are not much different than you'd come up with for someone who's not on the road, which is kind of my point, but they're good tips.)</p> <p>There's a section on dealing with the fact that you'd probably had great expectations for the magic improvement in work-life balance that was supposed to come from working on the road, and dealing with the disappointment you'll probably face. There are specific tips for people on the road with kids, covering things like education.</p> <p>There is some advice that's very specific to being on the road &mdash; for example, suggesting that housesitting can provide welcome relief for someone who's been staying in hotels or hostels or tents or RVs, and praising the advantages of slow travel.</p> <h2>Heading Out</h2> <p>There are two sections on things to do and how to do them, roughly divided into things to do when heading out and things to do <em>before</em> heading out.</p> <p>This one section alone may make the book worth buying, for a certain class of reader. If you know you want to hit the road, know what kind of work you're going to do, and know how to support yourself on the amount of money you're going to have available, there are still some practical issues to sort out, and this chapter provides a solid overview of a bunch of them:</p> <ul> <li>Dealing with official documents when you're halfway around the world from your file cabinet<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Deciding what kinds of insurance you need<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Managing your cash, and paying your bills when you don't have a local bank<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Managing your investments when you don't have a fixed address<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Figuring out visa rules as they apply to people who will be doing work of one sort or another</li> </ul> <p>The material is nicely organized with a good focus on the arrangements to be made before you head out.</p> <p>There's also a focus on things to do that will help enable a return to working at a fixed location, because you might want back into the world of working at a regular job for a regular paycheck. There are things you can do up front that will make this step easier, and this section mentions some. (I wrote an article with my own suggestions, aimed at people who were going to be working on the road for a specific length of time, who know they will want to option to return, called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fund-your-own-sabbatical">Fund Your Own Sabbatical</a>.)</p> <p>And there's a good list of things that are easier to do while you still have a day job, such as applying for credit cards.</p> <h2>Tools</h2> <p>There are two sections on tools, divided between regular tools and business tools.</p> <p>The first is about the tools you'll want for everyday stuff (such as a phone) and for work stuff (such as a computer). It's about figuring out what you need, pros and cons of various choices, practicalities (like cables), and so on.</p> <p>This section covers things like:</p> <ul> <li>Backups for people working on the road</li> <li>Information security</li> <li>Getting paid on the road</li> </ul> <p>The second section covers the broad category of things that working on the road make less predictable, more necessary, or more expensive than they'd be for someone working in a fixed location &mdash; internet fees, hiring an accountant, shipping and receiving, etc.</p> <h2>Expanding the Package</h2> <p>The review above covers just the book. There are additional resources that can be purchased with it, including some special-topic articles on things like dealing with your stuff, paying your bills, working on the road with a family, and dealing with property. There are a couple of interviews by Nora (one of someone who built up and then sold a personal finance blog, one of parents working on the road with kids), provided in both MP3 and transcript form. That material is all good. Whether it's worth the extra cost depends on whether it addresses something you personally really need to know.</p> <p>This book is perfect for someone who has gone beyond the stage of just thinking that working on the road sounds cool, but who has not yet figured out any of the details &mdash; what they might do, how they might live, and where they should start.</p> <p><a href="http://unconventionalguides.com/cmd.php?af=1624698">Buy your copy of <em>Working on the Road</em> today!</a></p> <h2>Disclaimers</h2> <p>Nora Dunn is a fellow Wise Bread writer, and a friend of mine. The publisher provided a review copy of the book, and Wise Bread paid me to write this article (same as they pay for other articles I write). Wise Bread policy does not allow writers to benefit from affiliate links (any payment from the affiliate link will go to Wise Bread, not to me), and I have no other financial interest in the success of the book.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/working-on-the-road-a-book-review-for-professional-nomads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</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-easy-ways-to-save-50-every-month">9 Easy Ways to Save $50 Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-people-without-debt-do">10 Things People Without Debt Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-business-travel-helps-your-wallet">11 Ways Business Travel Helps Your Wallet</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-first-step-to-budgeting">The First Step to Budgeting</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Career Building Travel book review expenses lifestyle nora dunn working on the road Fri, 01 May 2015 17:00:25 +0000 Philip Brewer 1408868 at http://www.wisebread.com Breakdown of Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-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/hotel_pool_000020943516.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">airline reward credit cards</a> enjoy more attention, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">hotel reward credit cards</a> can be surprisingly valuable. The reason is that airlines are making fewer seats available for mileage awards, and charging more miles for privilege of doing so.</p> <p>On the other hand, many hotel chains now offer any available standard room for an award, with no blackout dates or capacity controls. Many programs also have airline partners that you can transfer points to, so you have more options on how to spend your points. Here is an assessment of the value the major hotel loyalty programs, and their co-branded credit cards.</p> <h2>Starwood Preferred Guest</h2> <p>The Starwood Preferred Guest program includes over 1,200 hotels and resorts, in nearly 100 countries, over nine brands: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Le Meridien, Westin, Sheraton, aloft, element, and Four Points.</p> <p>SPG is a favorite among frequent travelers due to the high points value of Starpoints (around 2 cents per point). Free award nights start at 2,000 Starpoints with no blackout dates. Upgrades start at 1,000 Starpoints. If you redeem five nights, you get the fifth night free (except for Category 1 and 2 hotels). You can also get 50% off regular RACK rates by spending 1,000 Starpoints and booking up to 5 nights.</p> <p>Starpoints can be redeemed for flights through SPG's web portal, which includes over 150 airlines without blackout dates. Redemption start at 10,000 Starpoints for tickets up to $150. Members can also transfer Starpoints to frequent flier miles at a 1:1 exchange ratio for most airlines. Get 5,000 bonus Starpoints per 20,000 transferred in a single transaction. Starpoints can also be transfered to rail miles with Amtrak at a 1:1 ratio.</p> <p>Starpoints can also be used to redeem stays at participating Caesars Entertainment hotels, and also earn 2 Starpoints for each eligible $1 spent at Caesars Entertainment hotels. Additionally, members can use and earn Starpoints when purchasing tickets to participating Broadway shows.</p> <p>Moments by SPG allows members to purchase or bid on special events in music, sports, and culture. Other ways to spend your Starpoints include gift cards, donating to charity, or even sharing points with others in your household.&nbsp;</p> <p>Preferred Guest level members earn two points per eligible dollar spent at Starwood properties. Gold and Platinum members earn three Starpoints for every eligible U.S. dollar spent.</p> <p>Members can also earn 1 Starpoint for every dollar spent on eligible Delta flights. Platinum members get priority check-in, priority boarding, complimentary upgrades, and first checked bag free. Gold and Platinum members get similar benefits for Emirates.</p> <p>Finally, holders of the <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050761&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a> and the <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050762&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Business Credit Card from American Express</a> can also earn another two points per dollar spent at Starwood properties, and one point per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. There is $65 annual fee for these cards that is waived the first year. (See our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express?ref=seealso">review on the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card</a>.)</p> <h2>Hilton HHonors</h2> <p>Hilton HHonors includes more than 4,200 hotels and resorts worldwide include brands such as Conrad, Canopy, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy suites, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, and the Waldorf Astoria. Hilton HHonors points are worth about a half a cent each.</p> <p>Award nights start at 5,000 HHonors points, with no blackout dates. Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members receive every 5th night free on reward stays of 5 consecutive nights or more.</p> <p>Points can be converted into miles with over 60 airline and rail partners or redeemed for car rentals, cruises, or gift cards. Like SPG, Hiton @Play offers members special events for redemption. Points can also be transferred to friends and family or donated to a charity of your choice. Hilton HHonors will make an equivalent cash donation for every HHonors point donated.</p> <p>Members earn 10 HHonors points per eligible dollar spent at a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio (except Home2 Suites, which earns 5 points). Members can also choose to earn 5 bonus points per eligible dollar spent or 1 mile per eligible dollar spent. Get a 15% bonus when you reach Silver status, 25% bonus when you reach Gold status, and a 50% bonus when you reach Diamond status.</p> <p>Members can sign up for Hilton HHonors Dining and earn up to 8 HHonors points per dollar spent dining at one of over 10,000 locations in the program. Members can also earn extra points by using Shop-to-Earn Mall to make online purchases.</p> <p>There are four Hilton HHonors credit cards:</p> <ul> <li><a target="_top" href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12009442-1419560330000?sid=jsteele-1379495">The Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Visa Signature&reg; card</a> offers six points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels, three points at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations, and two points per dollar elsewhere. Enjoy Silver status as long as you're a cardmember. Get Gold status when you make $20,000 or more in purchases each year. There is no annual fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-visa-signature-card-big-rewards-with-no-annual-fee?ref=seealso">Citi Hilton HHonors Visa: Big Rewards with No Annual Fee</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a target="_top" href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12009429-1419560302000?sid=jsteele-1379495">The Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve card</a> offers 10 points per dollar on hotel stays within the Hilton Portfolio, five points on airline and car rental purchases, and three points on other purchases. Enjoy Gold status as long as you're a cardmember. Upgrade to Diamond with $40,000 or more in purcahses each year. Each year you spend $10,000 on purchases you'll get an anniversary bonus of one weekend night at select hotels and resorts. There is a $95 annual fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays?ref=seealso">Enjoy More Free Stays with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The American Express Hilton HHonors&trade; card offers seven points per dollar at Hilton properties, five points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, and three points per dollar everywhere else, with no annual fee.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The American Express Hilton HHonors&trade; Surpass&reg; features 12 points per dollar at Hilton properties, six points at US restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, and three points per dollar elsewhere, with a $75 annual fee.</li> </ul> <h2>IHG Rewards Club</h2> <p>IHG&reg; is the world's largest hotel company, with over 4,700 hotels including brands such as Intercontinental hotels, Hualuxe, Crowne Plaza, hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Even Hotels, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Stuies. IHG points are worth about three quarters of a cent toward free night stays.</p> <p>Reward nights redemption start at 10,000 points, with no blackout dates. Points can be redeemed for miles at a 10:2 rate for most airlines. Or use points to purchase travel with almost any airline or hotel.&nbsp;</p> <p>Points can also be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, and digital rewards like ebooks and games. Points can be transferred to another member or donated to IHG's disaster relief program.&nbsp;</p> <p>Travelers earn 10 points per dollar spent at IHG hotels (except Staybridge and Candlewood, which earns 5 points per dollar). Members can also earn&nbsp;125 points per rental day with Hertz, Avis, or Budget rental cars, and&nbsp;5 points per dollar at over 10,000 participating restaurants and clubs through IHG Rewards Club Dining. Additionally, members can choose to earn miles instead of points for qualifying stays. Mileage earning rates vary per airline.&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, earn even more points when they use the <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26113024&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1">IHG&reg; Rewards card from Chase</a>. It offers five points per dollar spent at IHG&reg; properties, double points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Cardmembers also get a 10% rebate on point redemptions, an annual free night's stay, and platinum elite status which includes benefits like priority check-in, 50% bonus earnings, complimentary room upgrades, and more. There is a $49 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26113024&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1"><strong>Click here to apply for the IHG&reg; Rewards card from Chase today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Marriott Rewards</h2> <p>Members Rewards includes over 3,800 Marriott brand hotels, spanning 15 brands in 70+ countries. Brands include JW Marriott, Autograph Collection, Renaissance, Edition, AC Hotels, Vacation Club, Courtyard, Springhill Suites, Fairfield Inn &amp; Suites, Gaylord Hotels, Moxy, The Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn (5 points), Towne Place Suites (5 points).</p> <p>Members earn 10 points per dollar spent (except at Residence Inn and Towne Place Suites which earns 5 points). Members also earn 2.5 points per dollar spent on room rates at Marriott Executive Apartments and ExecuStay. Marriott points are worth about three quarters of a cent toward free night stays, although this program has capacity controls that restrict award redemptions. Also, starting February 2016, points will expire if there is no qualifying activity for 24 months.&nbsp;Members can also choose to earn air miles with over 30 airline partners instead of Marriott points.</p> <p>Hotel reward nights start at 7,500 points. Members can also take advantage of various travel options, including Air + Car and&nbsp;Hotel + Air packages. Points can be transferred to airline loyalty programs (at various transfer rates). Points can also be redeemed for merchandise or gift cards, to pay for Priority Pass, transferred to another member, or donated to charity.</p> <p>United MileagePlus members can take advantage of the RewardsPlus program, which allows Marriott Rewards members to receive a 20% discount when converting points to MileagePlus award miles. Also receive 10% more MileagePlus miles when redeeming points for a Hotel+Air Package.</p> <p>Those who hold the <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=15850175&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1">Marriott Rewards&reg; Premier Credit Card</a> will also receive five points per dollar spent at Marriott properties, double points at on airline, rental car, and restaurant purchases, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. There's no limit to how many points can be earned. Cardholders receive a free night stay each year at a Category 1-5 location after the account anniversary date, and 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better. Additionally, every $3,000 spent earns 1 credit toward Elite status. There is an $85 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=15850175&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1"><strong>Click here to apply for the Marriott Rewards&reg; Premier Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Club Carlson</h2> <p>Club Carlson covers more than 1,000 hotels worldwide, and include budget brands in the United States such as Radisson, as well as boutique brands overseas such as the Radisson Blu. Other brands are Quorvus Collection, Park Plaza, Park Inn, and Country Inns &amp; Suites. Points are worth a little more than half a cent each towards free night stays.</p> <p>Award night stays start at 9,000 Gold Points with no blackout dates. Gold Points can also be redeemed during stays for in-room hotel items such as movies, laundry credits, room upgrades, and more. Other ways to redeem points include gift cards, prepaid cards, charity donations, and airline miles with over 20 partners.</p> <p>Members earn a remarkable 20 points per dollar spent at Club Carlson properties. Members can also earn points through their car rental partners or even shopping at FTD (1,500 points per purchase).&nbsp;</p> <p>Additional points are available with the Club Carlson℠ Premier Rewards Visa Signature&reg; card. Earn 10 points per dollar spent at Club Carlson hotels, and five points per dollar elsewhere. Cardholders also get 40,000 points each year with card renewal and Gold Elite Status.&nbsp;</p> <p>Until June 1, 2015, cardholders will receive their last night free each time they redeem at least two nights, making two night stays half off! Starting on June 1, 2015, cardholders will receive a free night stay at a Carlson Rezidor hotel every year by spending $10,000 on purchases annually and paying the annual fee.&nbsp;There is a $75 annual fee for these cards.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Hyatt Gold Passport</h2> <p>Hyatt's Gold Passport program covers over 500 properties. Despite its size, Hyatt points are very valuable, and can usually be redeemed for about two cents each towards free night stays.</p> <p>Standard awards start at 5,000 points and upgrades start at 3,000 points. Members can also use their points during their stays for dining and spa purchases. Free car rentals with Avis start at 6,000 points per day.</p> <p>Members earn five points per dollar eligible dollar spent at Hyatt. Platinum members earn a 15% bonus and Diamond members earn a 30% bonus. Members can also earn 300 points per qualifying rental through Avis or 500 <em>miles</em> per stay with 28 participating travel partners. Points can also be converted to miles through participating airlines.</p> <p>Finally, the Hyatt credit card allows members to earn another three points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels, double points at restaurants, airlines, and car rentals, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Cardholders get Platinum status and one free night every year at any category 1-4 property.&nbsp;The card has a $75 annual fee that is waived for the first year.</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/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-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-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel 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/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-card-the-starwood-preferred-guest-credit-card-from-american-express">Best Rewards Card: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel hotel rewards Thu, 30 Apr 2015 04:34:11 +0000 Jason Steele 1379495 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Worst Travel Values http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-travel-values <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-worst-travel-values" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_on_vacation_000054076798.jpg" alt="Couple on vacation experiencing worst travel values" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Treating yourself to a vacation should be just that &mdash; a treat. And treating yourself by paying extra for some things you normally wouldn't splurge on, such as a massage on the beach or an overpriced cocktail with a view, should be considered a normal part of some vacations.</p> <p>But some travel expenses &mdash; from small to big &mdash; just aren't worth the money. Even some things travelers believe actually save them money are also bad deals. Here are seven of the worst travel values we could find. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less?ref=seealso">10 Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel</a>)</p> <h2>1. Visiting Popular Locations in Peak Season</h2> <p>Sometimes you can't get around this, especially if you have children. If your family is set on going to Hawaii, Disneyland, or another popular resort during summer vacation, then plan on paying more as you compete with the masses for flights, hotel rooms, rental cars, and anything else you need. (See Also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-popular-vacation-spots-that-arent-worth-the-money-and-where-to-go-instead?ref=seealso">7 Popular Vacation Spots Not Worth the Money</a>)</p> <h2>2. Room Service Breakfast</h2> <p>It sounds like a good idea at night before you go to sleep: Check off a few items on the doorknob menu, and in the morning breakfast will be delivered to your door. While you may save time while getting ready for the day in your room, you probably won't save any money.</p> <p>Look closely at the room service menu and you'll not only see inflated prices for nearly everything, but delivery charges are usually exorbitant, too. The hotel restaurant is usually a cheaper alternative, and if that doesn't work for you, find someplace else nearby that serves breakfast. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-most-tourists-overpay-for-and-how-you-can-avoid-them?ref=seealso">19 Things Tourists Overpay For</a>)</p> <h2>3. Not Doing the Math on Credit Card Points</h2> <p>If you have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">hotel credit card</a> that gives you reward points for spending, it can be a smart way to get a free room for a few nights while you're on vacation. But different cards and loyalty programs offer different values for their points. Before you choose where to spend your points on (or even which <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel reward card to sign up for</a>), do your research to figure out which program has properties and award flights where you want to go. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better?ref=seealso">Which Airline Loyalty Program Has the Best Value for Their Miles?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Perks That Cancel Each Other Out</h2> <p>Stacking perks is a great idea, but sometimes they can cancel each other out, and you won't get as great of a value as you thought. For example, using Hotels.com coupons prevents users from collecting its Welcome Rewards. And using one of its coupons that's worth less than 9% is actually worth less than using the reward points.</p> <p>Its Welcome Rewards gives users a free night for every 10 when collecting rewards, essentially giving 11 stays for the price of 10 &mdash; roughly a 9% savings. Therefore, finding a coupon worth 10% off or more is a better deal than collecting reward points. But if the coupon is less than 9%, then the rewards points offer better savings.</p> <p>Travelers can also use a rewards credit card to earn points and and use coupons or collect rewards to double down on benefits</p> <h2>5. Paying for Wi-Fi</h2> <p>Putting technology aside can be a good goal during vacation, but sometimes it's not that easy. An Internet connection can help you plan the next day by studying maps and looking for things to do. Unfortunately, travelers are often charged for Wi-Fi access, with $15 for 24 hours of use common.</p> <p>High-end hotels are more likely to charge for Wi-Fi, while smaller ones are getting the message that guests don't want to pay for such basic services, and usually offer it for free. If you can't get Internet service for free in your room, go to the lobby and have your device search for free access.</p> <h2>6. Guided Tours</h2> <p>With few exceptions, guided tours are often overpriced side trips that you can plan on your own. Tours are especially popular at cruise ship dockings, and can be booked through the cruise line at mega mark-ups. Instead, find a locally governed taxi to take you to the beach &mdash; along with a return trip.</p> <h2>7. Saving Money Over Time</h2> <p>Your vacation time is limited, making it a valuable asset that shouldn't be wasted. That hotel on the outskirts of town is probably a lot cheaper than one downtown, but it won't look like much of a deal when you spend an hour on a train or bus to get to the historic center of town.</p> <p>The same goes for travel. A short flight or train trip in Europe is more expensive than taking a bus or ferry (or both), but it will give you more time to spend exploring Paris, for example.</p> <p>Don't let these poor values dissuade you from traveling. It just takes a little extra work.</p> <p><em>How do you save while on vacation?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aaron-crowe">Aaron Crowe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-travel-values">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-this-thing-in-your-wallet-is-almost-useless-today">Why This Thing in Your Wallet Is Almost Useless Today</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/make-your-escape-with-these-14-affordable-weekend-getaways">Make Your Escape With These 14 Affordable Weekend Getaways</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-and-track-expenses-for-your-next-vacation">How to Budget and Track Expenses for Your Next Vacation</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/housesit-on-your-next-vacation">Housesit on Your Next Vacation</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/15-easy-ways-to-save-for-your-dream-vacation">15 Easy Ways to Save for Your Dream Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel peak season room service spending tourism vacation values Tue, 21 Apr 2015 17:01:57 +0000 Aaron Crowe 1392312 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun, Creative Uses for Airline Miles http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-creative-uses-for-airline-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-creative-uses-for-airline-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_000041408032.jpg" alt="Woman happy with using airline miles in cool ways" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Airline miles. Most of us have a few ways of racking them up, either through credit cards, loyalty clubs, or frequent flyer programs. Depending on which way you earn your miles, they can be worth <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/comparing-miles-which-airline-loyalty-program-is-better">several cents per mile</a>, with one cent per mile being the average.</p> <p>The question is, what do you do with all those miles once you've collected a bunch? After all, 100,000 miles is a cool $1000, and can be acquired quickly with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">double miles card</a> and some business and personal trips.</p> <h2>1. Do Something Thrilling</h2> <p>How do you fancy doing a tandem skydive? What about doing three laps in a stock car or Indy race? Maybe a hot air balloon ride, fighter pilot experience, or scuba diving is your thing. Airline miles can now be turned into memories you will never forget. Some of them run as little as 10,000-11,000 miles, and others, they're over 650,000 miles. It all depends on how much of your breath you want taken away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-adventurous-things-you-should-do-before-you-die?ref=seealso">15 Adventurous Things You Should Do Before You Die</a>)</p> <h2>2. Turn Them Into Magazines</h2> <p>If you really want to stretch your airline miles, why not turn a few thousand in for some subscriptions to big magazines and newspapers? The price is so cheap, it's almost free. Many annual magazine subscriptions are under 2,000 miles, or $20. When you consider the average price at the newsstand is $4-$5, that's a steal. Newspapers also take part, and you can use local papers. Simply enter your zip code, and you'll get airline mile quotes for your local papers, usually for 13 weeks and above.</p> <h2>3. Donate to Charity</h2> <p>If you're feeling philanthropic, airline rewards can easily be donated to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good">whole host of charities</a>. It's not limited to the big ones, but some of the smallest charities in your local area. Just enter your zip code, and the area of interest you'd like to help out with. The miles will be turned into cash donations, and of course, they are tax deductible.</p> <h2>4. Get the Latest Music, Movies, and TV Series</h2> <p>Airline miles are now so flexible, you can use them on digital media downloads. Whether it's the latest albums, songs, eBooks, audiobooks, movies, or TV series, you can easily exchange the miles you have accrued for hours and hours of great entertainment. Just check out the offers page of your airline miles website.</p> <h2>5. Bid in Auctions</h2> <p>Most of the airline miles reward sites have an auctions section now. For instance, United is currently accepting mileage bids on VIP experiences with sports stars, and tickets for opening night at Doctor Zhivago on Broadway. Of course, if you don't win, you don't lose the miles, so you can bid again on something else. It's quite an invigorating way to use the miles.</p> <h2>6. Upgrade to Business or First Class</h2> <p>It can cost many thousands of dollars to buy a first class ticket to Europe. But when you use your miles, it's nowhere near as expensive. For instance, <a href="http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/09/19/many-miles-take/">take a quick look at this chart</a>. A typical upgrade to business class, from economy, is coming in at around 50,000 miles. You can take your long haul flight from a sardine can experience, to something much more pleasurable indeed. American Airlines <a href="http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/redeemMiles/mileage-upgrade-chart.jsp">charges just 25,000</a> miles to go from a full fare ticket to a business seat.</p> <h2>7. Get a Better Hotel Room</h2> <p>Airline miles aren't just for air travel. Most miles you accrue can be transferred to hotel loyalty programs, be it Starwood Preferred Guest, Hilton HHonors, or Marriott Rewards. So, next time you check in, see if you can use some of your miles to get a much better room. It can cost as little as 6,000 miles to go from a standard room to a very fancy suite.</p> <h2>8. Take a Cruise</h2> <p>Turn your award miles into another vacation, at very little cost to you. These days, you can redeem your airline miles for tickets to cruise lines including Norwegian, Royal, Celebrity, Carnival, and Princess. And the cost? How about four nights in the Bahamas for under 25,000 miles? In fact, the average cost of a night on board a cruise ship is between 9,000 and 10,000 points. That's cheaper than a mediocre hotel room in the mid-west.</p> <h2>9. Pay Off Your Credit Card</h2> <p>Some credit cards have programs that can give you cash credits to your statement or even cold hard cash. With the former, you make travel related purchases with your credit card, and then use your miles to put that money back on the card at a later date. It's basically like using your miles to go shopping without worrying about using points to redeem flights or stays..</p> <h2>10. Get Cool Merchandise</h2> <p>What kind of cool stuff? Well, what do you want? Airline miles can be turned into great purchases, with categories including apparel, accessories, automotive, tools, baby gear, electronics, gadgets, home and garden, sports, outdoors, toys, collectibles, and more. I recently used rewards to get a fantastic hybrid coffee maker that uses both pods and regular filters. It's also great fun to browse. Of course, make sure you're not paying over the MSRP for anything. Some items are marked up considerably. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-your-credit-card-rewards-on-one-of-these-stupid-things?ref=seealso">Are You Wasting Your Credit Card Rewards on One of These Stupid Things?</a>)</p> <p><em>Now, have you done something cool with your airline miles that isn't on this list? Let us know. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-creative-uses-for-airline-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cheapest-way-to-fly-to-europe">The Cheapest Way to Fly to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-airline-perks-from-yesteryear-that-seem-unbelievable-today">10 Airline Perks From Yesteryear That Seem Unbelievable Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airline miles flying frequent flyers loyalty clubs rewards programs Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1386037 at http://www.wisebread.com