Travel http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/254/all en-US 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-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/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/the-7-worst-travel-values">The 7 Worst Travel Values</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-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling">The 14 Best Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling</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" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26086835&amp;fot=1212&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">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 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>Travel Advisor Fee: $25</li> </ul> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26086835&amp;fot=1212&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" p="" /></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 or merchandise. 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. The U.S. Bank FlexPerks&reg; Travel Rewards American Express&reg; Credit 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&reg; Travel Rewards American Express&reg; 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" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26086835&amp;fot=1212&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">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-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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards">Breakdown of Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Credit Cards</a></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-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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 target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26123359&amp;fot=1211&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">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> <h2>Some Card Highlights</h2> <ul> <li>Get 25,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.</li> <li>Get 6,000 points after your Cardmember Anniversary.</li> <li>Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines&reg; purchases made directly with the airline and on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.</li> <li>Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.</li> <li>Redeem points for gift cards, car rentals, cruises, hotel stays and international flights to over 800 destinations on 50+ global carriers.</li> <li>No foreign transaction fees.</li> </ul> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26123359&amp;fot=1211&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p> <h2>Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Rewards Program</h2> <p>You can earn two points for each dollar spent on Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways purchases as well as two points for each dollar spent on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental purchases, and one point for each dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn. 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 $1,000 with your card within the first three months of opening the account, you can receive a bonus of 25,000 points. This is enough for a round trip Wanna Get Away fare, 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 target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26123359&amp;fot=1211&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Click here to apply for the Southwest Airlines&reg; 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-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards">Breakdown of Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Credit Cards</a></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 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-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/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/is-companion-airfare-really-worth-it">Is Companion Airfare Really Worth It?</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/20-secrets-of-last-minute-travel">20 Secrets of Last-Minute Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-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-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-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/10-things-people-without-debt-do">10 Things People Without Debt Do</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-budget-items-you-may-be-forgetting">7 Budget Items You May be Forgetting</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-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">10 Sites and Apps to Help You Track Your Spending and Stick to Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-six-figures-really-that-much">Is Six Figures Really That Much?</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 target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050761&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a> and the <a target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=3050762&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">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 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 href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12009442-1419560330000?sid=jsteele-1379495" target="_top">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 href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12009429-1419560302000?sid=jsteele-1379495" target="_top">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 target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26113024&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">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 target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=26113024&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"><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 target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=15850175&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">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. Cardholders receive a free night stay each year and Silver Elite status. 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 target="_blank" href="http://track.linkoffers.net/a.aspx?foid=15850175&amp;fot=1210&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow"><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 Carlsonâ„  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-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/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/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/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/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/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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-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/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/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling">9 Things You Should Never Skimp on When Traveling</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-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation">7 Stress-Free Ways to Stay Productive 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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling">The 14 Best Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling</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-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/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/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers">25 Secrets From the World&#039;s Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</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/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</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 Why This Thing in Your Wallet Is Almost Useless Today http://www.wisebread.com/why-this-thing-in-your-wallet-is-almost-useless-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-this-thing-in-your-wallet-is-almost-useless-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thrift_shopping_travel_000035257486.jpg" alt="Woman shopping with practically useless travelers checks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Fewer and fewer people are using travelers checks today, but at one time they were considered a popular form of payment when traveling abroad: There was about <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/TVCKSSL">$9 billion in travelers checks</a> outstanding back in 1996. Fast forward to February 2015, and that value has dramatically dropped to just $2.9 billion! This explains why one major worldwide currency exchange company, Travelex, stopped issuing travelers checks in 2008.</p> <p>Here are five good reasons why fewer people are using travelers checks today &mdash; and why you probably shouldn't use them anymore, either.</p> <h2>1. Limited Acceptance of Checks Across the World</h2> <p>If their declining popularity isn't enough of a deterrent, here's another: Several countries are planning to <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8414341.stm">stop accepting checks</a> as forms of payment in the near future. For example, the U.K. set October 31, 2018 as a target date to encourage other forms of payment. Virtually all major British supermarket chains in the U.K. don't accept any form of check (or &quot;cheque&quot; in British English), including travelers checks.</p> <p>Other countries, such as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, did away with checks about 30 years ago. The more countries that stop using checks, the more cumbersome it becomes for banks to process travelers checks.</p> <h2>2. Fewer Redemption Locations</h2> <p>A review of online travel forum discussions about redeeming travelers checks abroad is very discouraging. From Puerto Rico to Vietnam, many travel destinations share common pain points about processing travelers checks:</p> <ul> <li>Travelers checks can only be redeemed at banks or exchange houses. Both of these have limited hours of operation.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Exchange rates at locations accepting travelers checks are far worse than those at other financial institutions.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Difficult Redemption Process</h2> <p>If finding a redemption location isn't hard enough, it's also difficult to cash those travelers checks. Some actual <a href="http://www.consumeraffairs.com/credit_cards/amex_travelers_cheques.html">users of travelers checks</a> complain that they:</p> <ul> <li>Were not able to cash travelers checks at locations that sell those same checks<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Had to still pay for exchange fees and commissions, even after having paid for those charges upfront<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Were asked for their social security number when redeeming the checks<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Must hold an account at the bank cashing the travelers checks<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Had their travelers checks &quot;bounce.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Keep in mind that on top of valid photo identification (very often your passport), you also have to present your original purchase receipt when redeeming travelers checks. This means that you have to carry your passport more often than necessary, increasing the chances of losing that valuable document.</p> <p>Also, if you lose you original purchase receipt, you may be completely out of luck and may not be able to cash in your checks abroad at all.</p> <h2>4. Expensive Redemption Fees</h2> <p>On top of getting less money (from a less favorable exchange rate) in local currency, you could also get hit with additional charges. These charges can range from 0.75% to 2.5% with minimum transaction fees as well.</p> <p>Some countries may also impose redemption limits. For example, redemption locations in Mexico enforce a maximum daily limit of $300-$500 and a maximum monthly limit of $4,999. This means that additional processing fees, such as commission charges, will hit your pocket again and again with each additional redemption.</p> <h2>5. Cheaper Alternatives</h2> <p>There was a time in which all credit cards would hit you with a flat fee per foreign transaction, a percentage fee for total purchase amount, and a foreign currency fee. Nowadays there are plenty of debit and credit cards that charge no fees when used abroad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-ought-to-get-another-credit-card?ref=seealso">10 Signs You Ought to Get Another Credit Card</a>)</p> <p>Contact your financial institution to check if it offers a credit card without foreign transaction fees. Also take a look at our list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">best travel reward credit cards</a> with no foreign transaction fees. Remember that some financial institutions may require you to notify them in advance if you plan to use your card abroad.</p> <p>Another cheaper alternative to travelers checks are ATM cards. Certain banks with very large international networks, such as Citibank, charge <a href="https://online.citibank.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=TravelingAbroad">no fees for withdrawals</a> at participating locations. Other banks, such as Ally, may charge you a <a href="https://www.ally.com/help/bank/atms-withdrawals.html">fee of up to 1%</a> for using an ATM in a foreign country. Depending on your destination, this charge may be much lower than the one for using travelers checks.</p> <p>Contact your financial institution to find out all applicable charges and learn how to minimize ATM fees when traveling abroad.</p> <p><em>What is your craziest story about using travelers checks abroad? Please share in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-this-thing-in-your-wallet-is-almost-useless-today">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/the-7-worst-travel-values">The 7 Worst Travel Values</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation">7 Stress-Free Ways to Stay Productive 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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling">The 14 Best Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling</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-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cheques tourism travelers checks vacation Wed, 15 Apr 2015 17:00:32 +0000 Damian Davila 1380928 at http://www.wisebread.com The 14 Best Ways to Cut Food Costs While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-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_vacation_000025633555.jpg" alt="Young couple trying to cut food costs while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In 2001, as we deplaned on Maui, my husband was handed a survey from the Hawaii Tourism Authority. It sought our assistance in tracking daily vacation spending. As a CPA, he took to it like a duck to water, and as we went from restaurant, to activity, to luau, he tracked every last cent we spent. (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> <p>Scrutinizing the cost of the activities and meals so closely made us spend less money than we may have been inclined to on that trip, but it also altered our spending habits on all vacations thereafter. After finding the best deals on tickets and lodging, we tackled daily food costs. Below are our tips for saving money on those.</p> <p>A caveat, though: Dining in great restaurants and trying out new foods are often part of your travel adventure. If you find yourself eating a peanut-butter sandwich in your hotel room in Chicago instead of a street-vendor hot dog or a deep-dish pizza, I think you are missing out. Better to save a larger travel fund than to miss out on a fun part of the experience.</p> <p>Here are 14 ways to save on food costs while traveling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling?ref=seealso">4 Secrets to Eating Great Food for Cheap While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>1. Choose an Apartment Instead of a Hotel</h2> <p>This tip is at the top of my list, because it is so much cheaper to eat in than rely on restaurants. However, if you don't like to cook, and part of &quot;vacation&quot; means a break from the kitchen, this suggestion is not for you. If you do like to cook, though, look for condo advertisement comments where people have mentioned &quot;well-stocked kitchens.&quot; This is usually code for decent knives, pots and pans, cooking oils, and seasonings. Also, look for condos that have outdoor grills. Grilling adds to that vacation-y feeling and shares the cooking workload.</p> <p>I usually make a shopping list on the plane or in the car, hit a grocery store when we arrive at our destination, and then go unpack. I wouldn't suggest that you eat every single meal at a condo, lest you miss out on local restaurants and foods, but this will give you a big savings over needing to frequent restaurants three times a day.</p> <h2>2. Look for Hotels With Refrigerators</h2> <p>If you can't do the above, let's hope your hotel has a small refrigerator. If so, you can at least store some milk for cereal, juice, yogurt, etc. for in-room breakfasts. Many hotels also have microwaves, which is another bonus.</p> <h2>3. Stock Your Own Alcohol</h2> <p>We live in a cruise ship port town. Guess where a lot of folks head during shore excursions? To Walmart, to buy booze. Cruise or resort bar prices are going to be considerably higher than what you'll pay if you pick it up yourself. While it's nice to have the occasional drink out for the vacation ambiance, it will also add up quickly if you spend a lot of time in bars.</p> <h2>4. Camp!</h2> <p>Not everyone loves to camp, I realize &mdash; but if you do, it's a really inexpensive way to go. And what's better than bacon and fresh trout with coffee in the morning? If you like just a little more luxury in the great outdoors, consider a KOA Deluxe Cabin which has a kitchen, or an RV rental. Camping food is, by its very nature, cheap! Think about hot dogs, pork and beans, pancakes and of course &mdash; s'mores.</p> <h2>5. Eat Lunch in Restaurants, Instead of Dinner</h2> <p>My husband and I rarely go out for dinner, but we frequently go out to lunch because it is considerably cheaper. Although the menu choices or portions aren't as large, we never feel limited. Often, we find that the same menus are featured for both lunch and dinner &mdash; the former is just much lower-priced.</p> <h2>6. Picnic</h2> <p>My mother was a champion picnic-er and made terrific salads, fried chicken, snacks, and soups in thermoses. We'd just pick a pretty spot and pull the station wagon over. It also gives everyone time to stretch their legs, take some pictures, and relax (while saving money). It's also fun to pack a lunch and head to an area park. Many even have barbecues available.</p> <h2>7. Take Advantage of the &quot;Continental Breakfast&quot;</h2> <p>Many hotels now offer free breakfast as part of the deal, so you might as well take advantage of it. While cereal and muffins may be the only fare at some, higher-end places have eggs to order and trays of bacon. I usually grab a few pieces of fruit to snack on later, too.</p> <h2>8. Eat Local Foods</h2> <p>As the saying goes, &quot;When in Rome...&quot; Food grown locally will be the most inexpensive, and usually at its best. This doesn't just mean produce, though &mdash; think of the inexpensive, ubiquitous musubi in Hawaii, street tacos in Southern California, or gyros from stands in New York. Keep the travel adventure going by trying new (and often inexpensive) foods.</p> <h2>9. Check Out the Appetizer Menu</h2> <p>Want to try a restaurant, but are frightened off by the dinner prices? Check out the appetizer menu. The prices are lower, the portions often generous, and you'll still enjoy the restaurant ambiance.</p> <h2>10. Look for Deals</h2> <p>Try <a href="http://www.groupon.com/">Groupon</a>, <a href="https://www.livingsocial.com">LivingSocial</a>, or check a coupon book for restaurant deals. Or, try giving the restaurant a call to see if they offer an &quot;early bird&quot; or &quot;kids eat free&quot; special.</p> <h2>11. Ask a Local</h2> <p>Don't be bashful! Somebody who lives where you are traveling is probably your best bet for finding cheap, great eats.</p> <h2>12. Read Up on Restaurants</h2> <p>Do some homework before you go. Check the area's local paper, blogs, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.</p> <h2>13. Any Food Trucks Around?</h2> <p>Want great food in a casual atmosphere? Find a food truck. Take it to go, or find a spot to picnic. <a href="http://roaminghunger.com/">Roaming Hunger</a> will help you find the trucks!</p> <h2>14. Buy in Bulk</h2> <p>Even when traveling, if we're staying in a place with a kitchen, we seek out a nearby Costco or a Sam's Club. There are items we know we'll want (such as eggs, beer, bagels, or muffins) every day.</p> <p><em>How do you save on food costs while traveling?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-14-best-ways-to-cut-food-costs-while-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-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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-eating-out-cheaply">Tips For Eating Out Cheaply</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/pop-that-corkage-a-cross-country-byo-roundup">Pop That Corkage: A Cross-country BYO Roundup</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/making-a-good-and-memorable-first-impression">Making a good and memorable first impression.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-savvy-strategies-to-ward-away-college-hunger-and-avoid-overspending">6 Savvy Strategies to Ward Away College Hunger and Avoid Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Travel byob dining eating restaurants saving money vacation Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:00:06 +0000 Marla Walters 1379755 at http://www.wisebread.com Traveling to Asia? Snatch Up AirAsia's Asean Pass http://www.wisebread.com/traveling-to-asia-snatch-up-airasias-asean-pass <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/traveling-to-asia-snatch-up-airasias-asean-pass" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/asia_000016198994.jpg" alt="Beautiful scene in Asia that makes you want to travel there" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In January, my husband and I went on a 12-day whirlwind trip around Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand that seemed to have it all: great food, adventure, sightseeing, exploring various neighborhoods, and fun times with locals. (Oh, and lots of mosquito bites.) The one thing we were missing? The new Asean Pass from AirAsia, which lets you jet around Southeast Asia on a proverbial dime.</p> <p>The savings we could have snagged are pretty significant: between the two of us, we spent $655 (plus 30,000 United MileagePlus miles) jetting around to the various places on our itinerary once we arrived in Asia. But for $160 USD each, we'd have received 10 credits on our Asean Pass &mdash; enabling us to visit way more than three cities. That's about half of the cost&hellip; and a lot more value! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>But just because we missed out doesn't mean that <em>you</em> have to.</p> <p>Here's how it works.</p> <h2>140 Routes in 10 Countries</h2> <p>The Asean pass provides an all-in-one passport to travel more than 140 routes between 10 countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam). Depending on the number of credits purchased, pass-holders have between one month (10 credits) and two months (20 credits) to complete all travel. And according to <a href="http://stevyong.com/2015/02/25/airasia-asean-pass-review/">finance blogger Stev Yong</a>, who's done the math, the pass can save you anywhere between 35%-42%.</p> <h2>Certain Routes Are Worth More Credits</h2> <p>If maximum mileage is what you're looking for, you'll probably want to choose a bunch of one-credit routes like Bangkok &rarr; Phuket or Kuala Lumpur &rarr; Singapore. (Check out a full breakdown of <a href="http://www.airasia.com/my/en/book-with-us/asean-pass.page">how many credits each route costs</a>.)</p> <p>AirAsia also provides some cool ideas for suggested itineraries. For instance, the &quot;Islands and Beaches&quot; trail takes you to Bangkok, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Terengganu (in Malaysia), and Lombok (in Indonesia) for a total of 10 credits, while the &quot;Epic Food Trail&quot; itinerary includes Kuala Lumpur, Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Penang for just eight credits. (See all the <a href="http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/digitalexclusives/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-asean-pass">itinerary possibilities</a>.)</p> <h2>Credits Can Only Be Redeemed for Base Fare</h2> <p>The price of the pass doesn't include airport taxes, so that cost will be added onto each flight that you take. (Bright side: you won't have to pay any processing fees.) Also, AirAsia is similar to low-cost American airlines like Spirit and Allegiant in that add-ons like checked baggage, seat assignments, and in-flight meals aren't included. If you know you'll be toting a large backpack or can't function without an aisle seat, be sure to factor those costs in when deciding if the pass is right for you.</p> <h2>Each Route Can Be Redeemed Once and Not All Destinations Connect</h2> <p>The pass is entirely suited to leisure explorers rather than business commuters, since pass-holders can't fly the same route more than once.</p> <p>Also, it's important to do due diligence ahead of time and make sure that the pass will suit your desired itinerary. Here's how AirAsia suggests devising a master plan: make a list with two columns &mdash; the first for must-visit cities, the second for lower-priority (but still desirable) destinations that you're open to visiting. Next, mark your first-column cities on a map and check to see if <a href="http://www.airasia.com/my/en/book-with-us/asean-pass.page">there are flights between them</a>. If not, consider incorporating some of the second-column cities to make the connection.</p> <h2>Rezzies Must Be Made 14 Days in Advance</h2> <p>Though many long-term travelers like to fly by the seat of their pants, that won't work so well with the Asean Pass. Since the pass is only good for a maximum of two months and all reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance, it's advisable to book at least most of the itinerary ahead of time (especially since seat availability can be limited, particularly on popular destinations like Bali and Phuket). If need be, flights can be changed up to 48 hours ahead of time; however, a flight change fee will apply, as well as any difference in fare.</p> <p>Also, keep in mind that you won't be able to check availability until you buy the pass &mdash; so there's a bit of a leap of faith involved (as well as the willingness to be flexible if your dream destination is a no-go). However, Danika Garlotta, who runs the blog <a href="http://www.nodestinations.com">No Destinations</a>, says it's been totally worth it for her and her husband. Having purchased 10 credits, they are currently traveling through five countries and nine different cities with the Asean Pass.</p> <p>&quot;What I love most about the pass is that it offers such an array of cities and countries to visit,&quot; says Garlotta. &quot;Some places we didn't consider before are now on our list, simply because the flight is feasible with the pass.&quot;</p> <p><em>Have you traveled through Asia via an Asean Pass? What advice can you share?</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/traveling-to-asia-snatch-up-airasias-asean-pass">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling">9 Things You Should Never Skimp on When Traveling</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel airasia asean pass overseas southeast asia travel vacations Mon, 13 Apr 2015 11:00:06 +0000 Jen Jones Donatelli 1379738 at http://www.wisebread.com Citi Prestige Card: World Class Benefits http://www.wisebread.com/citi-prestige-card-world-class-benefits <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/citi-prestige-card-world-class-benefits" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_plane_champagne_000028836248.jpg" alt="Couple on a plane drinking champagne" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is an arms race going on among <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards">premium credit card issuers</a> as each is trying to outdo the others by offering the best possible rewards and benefits. At first, this niche was filled almost exclusively by the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amex-platinum-do-the-perks-justify-the-fee?ref=inarticle">American Express Platinum card</a>, but other card issuers eventually began offering their own premium reward cards. Now, Citi has re-launched its top-of-the-line <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12177135-1428585868000?sid=jsteele-1372976">Citi Prestige&reg; card</a> with better rewards and an updated selection of travel benefits.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>New cardholders receive 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. Get three points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels, double points on dining at restaurants and entertainment, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no limit to points you can earn and they don't expire.</p> <p>If you are a Citigold member, you can earn an additional 15% in points. Those with a Private Bank relationship will earn an additional 25% in points.</p> <p>Once earned, points are worth about one cent each for gift cards and merchandise, or even more for travel. Tickets for travel on American and US Airways return 1.6 cents per point, while all other airline tickets can be redeemed for 1.33 cents per point. In addition, ThankYou points can now be transferred to miles with eight different frequent flier programs or points with the Hilton HHonors program. Points can also be shared or given to other ThankYou Members.</p> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12177135-1428585868000?sid=jsteele-1372976"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p>Citi's Prestige card comes with numerous other travel and shopping benefits. Most valuable is the $250 annual air travel credit that can be used for baggage fees, lounge access, in-flight purchases, and even for the payment of airfare. Cardholders also receive a $100 credit towards an application in the Global Entry program operated by the US Customs and Border Patrol. In addition, cardholders receive a membership in the American Airlines Admirals Club business lounges as well as the lounges in the Priority Pass Select program. Another benefit is that cardholders receive a fifth night free when booking four consecutive hotel nights.</p> <p>This card also features many different purchase protection policies including extended warranty coverage, Citi Price Rewind, damage and theft protection, and 90 day return protection. In addition, travelers receive several benefits such as, Citi Prestige Concierge, medical evacuation insurance, lost baggage protection, and trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">10 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <p>There is a $450 annual fee for this card, but there are no foreign transaction fees imposed on charges processed outside of the United States. This card comes with the standard APR of 15.24% on purchases and balance transfers.</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p>As a premium travel rewards card, the Citi Prestige has a lot going for it. The airport lounge access benefit can be worth hundreds of dollars. A 1.6 cent return on American Airlines and US airways flights is competitive. In addition, cardholders are able to transfer their points to 11 airlines as well as the Hilton HHonor program. When applicants also consider the $100 Global Entry application fee credit, and the $250 annual airline fee credit, then it is easy for frequent travelers to justify this card's $450 annual fee.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p>While it is an important first step for Citi to feature transfers from points to miles, the airline partners it currently offers leave much to be desired. Out of the 11 airlines available to transfer points to, none are based in the United States, and several don't even have service to North America. So there is no way around the fact that these mileage transfer partners are inferior to those offered by its competitors, as far as domestic service is concerned.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>This is a great product for frequent international travelers who can really utilize the features and benefits of a premium rewards card. Those who regularly utilize the airline lounge club benefits and airline fee credits will find themselves receiving plenty of value in exchange for the $450 annual fee. On the other hand, those who are looking to use rewards for domestic travel and don't want to be limited to American Airlines or US Airways might be&nbsp;frustrated by the limited selection of carriers. However, at a minimum, points can be deposited as cash at a 1 cent per point rate, so even if they aren't redeemed for travel, they won't go to waste.</p> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-12177135-1428585868000?sid=jsteele-1372976" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;"><strong>Click here to apply for the Citi Prestige&reg; card today!&nbsp;</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-prestige-card-world-class-benefits">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/citi-platinum-select-aadvantage-world-mastercard-review">Travel with Comfort and Ease: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays">Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: Enjoy More Free Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-visa-signature-card-big-rewards-with-no-annual-fee">Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card: Big Rewards with No Annual Fee</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/a-credit-card-that-rewards-you-for-online-shopping-att-access-more-card-from-citi">A Credit Card That Rewards You for Online Shopping: AT&amp;T Access More Card From Citi</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/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Doesn&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One Venture Rewards Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel Citi credit card review Thu, 09 Apr 2015 04:46:04 +0000 Jason Steele 1372976 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Arts http://www.wisebread.com/6-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-arts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-arts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/art_lovers_000024031897.jpg" alt="Frugal art lovers enjoying an art show in the city" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, booming coastal metropolises like New York or San Francisco have well-deserved reputations as hotbeds for the arts. But unless you're really successful, or willing to live like an actual starving artist, it's costly and difficult to enjoy all they have to offer. Here are six lower-cost, but equally artistic cities you might enjoy.</p> <h2>1. Detroit, Michigan</h2> <p>While it's true that Detroit's economy has experienced some difficulty, it's not all bad news: Cheap rent and low-cost buildings are a great opportunity for young upstarts with creative ambition. Detroit is in the stage of mass vacancies and lack of jobs (think Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, or New York City in the 70s), which will almost inevitably lead to its revival. Artists are <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/11/travel/as-detroit-flounders-its-art-scene-flourishes.html?_r=1">moving to Detroit</a> in flocks, and the city is paying them to revitalize its urban core.</p> <h2>2. Tucson, Arizona</h2> <p>Want a place to live that even hipper-than-thou <a href="http://www.sfchronicle.com/travel/article/Hip-little-Tucson-heats-up-4484163.php?t=69177aa32f">San Francisco calls hip</a>? This is your town. The youth population has turned downtown Tucson into a walkable paradise of shops, restaurants, and a great art scene with <a href="http://hotelcongress.com/">Hotel Congress</a> as its beating heart. Comedians, fine art, and theatre are all flourishing here. Plus, low average monthly rents mean you can afford to experience this desert beauty for yourself.</p> <h2>3. Columbus, Ohio</h2> <p>Columbus is a great model for the rest of Ohio: lots of small businesses combined with a thriving creative class. The <a href="http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2015/03/16/not-starving.html">Short North Art District</a> is a mecca for the hip and creative, while COSI Columbus, Columbus Museum of Art, and the Ohio Craft Museum are brilliant examples of the great art Columbus has to offer. Oh, and cheap rent, anyone?</p> <h2>4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania</h2> <p>Pittsburgh has happily become the less pretentious &quot;Portland of the Rust Belt.&quot; Local young people are now choosing to stay in Pittsburgh, and new people are flocking here for great, cheap housing and an opportunity to grow their creative endeavors with low risk. The <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/12/how-the-cultural-arts-drove-pittsburghs-revitalization/383627/">extensive art scene</a>, with favorites like Mattress Factory, Unsmoke Systems, and Industrial Arts Co-Op, are drawing more budget-conscious artists every day.</p> <h2>5. Buffalo, New York</h2> <p>While many upstate New York natives historically moved to NYC, many Millennials now seem to be leaving NYC to return upstate. And their <a href="http://gothamist.com/2015/01/28/millennials_buffalo.php">first choice is Buffalo</a>, another rust belt town that's been in resurgence for years. Artists and other creative small business owners are taking their work to Buffalo to enjoy the great artisanal coffee, beer, and food while admiring the proliferating arts scene anchored by two excellent museums &mdash; the Burchfield Penney and the Albright Knox.</p> <h2>6. North Adams, Massachusetts</h2> <p>Another industrial town that's got it mojo back, North Adams is booming again thanks in part to its <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/10/18/north-adams-rebounds-with-art-education/ZtAmWawaWg6NwnnvyZErZP/story.html">creative youth population</a>. A happening arts scene includes 21 galleries and museums in downtown alone, plus Mass MoCA, which is one of the largest museums in the world. With rents as averaging as little as $450/month in some areas, how can you not have extra time and money to see it all?</p> <p><em>Which other lower-cost cities have strong arts scenes?</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/6-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-arts">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/8-best-cities-for-frugal-lovers-of-the-outdoors">8 Best Cities for Frugal Lovers of the Outdoors</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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-seattle">Free and Cheap Things to Do in Seattle</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/a-complete-guide-to-saving-at-americas-baseball-stadiums">A Complete Guide to Saving at America&#039;s Baseball Stadiums</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/25-things-to-never-pay-full-price-for">25 Things to Never Pay Full Price For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel arts cheap cities cities creative galleries museums Wed, 08 Apr 2015 21:00:09 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1372996 at http://www.wisebread.com Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: Enjoy More Free Stays http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_swing_beach_000023956532.jpg" alt="Couple on a swing on the beach" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you travel regularly, than you should be using a reward credit card when you pay for your hotel stays. The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">right hotel reward card</a> will offer all sorts of perks and benefits during your hotel, as well as points towards free award nights. The <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12009442-1419560330000?sid=jsteele-1322876">Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card</a> meets all of these requirements, and more.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>New cardholders will receive two certificates that are each good for one free weekend night stay when they use their card to make $2,500 in purchases within the first four months after opening their account. 10 points are earned per dollar spent at brands within the Hilton portfolio, which includes Hampton Inns, Doubletree hotels, Embassy Suites, and the Waldorf-Astoria. Earn five points per dollar on airline and rental car purchases, and triple points on all other transactions. Points can be redeemed for free night stays at any of the Hilton brands with no blackout dates or capacity controls.</p> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12009429-1419560302000?sid=jsteele-1322876"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" width="154" height="50" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p>Cardholders automatically receive Gold status in the Hilton HHonors program, which offers a 25% points bonus, 5th night free on award stays of 5 nights or more, room upgrades, early and late checkouts, and free WiFi. Customers can even be upgraded to Diamond status after spending $40,000 on their card within a calendar year. Cardholders also receive a weekend night certificate each cardholder year when they spend $10,000. As a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/primer-on-visa-signature-credit-cards-all-the-benefits-that-come-with-your-card">Visa Signature</a> card, numerous travel insurance and purchase protection benefits are included such as lost baggage protection, trip cancellation and interruption protection, and damage and theft protection. Finally, this card is equipped with an EMV smart chip and is compatible with the new Apple Pay system.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <p>There is a $95 annual fee for this card, but no foreign transaction fees. This card comes with the standard APR of 15.24% on purchases and balance transfers.</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p>Earning 10 points per Dollar at Hilton properties is a very fast way to earn a serious amount of points. The five points per dollar earned from airline and rental car purchases will also contribute to business travelers potentially earning tens of thousands of points per week when they use this card to pay for all of their reservations. Earning triple points on other purchases is an excellent rate of return. Furthermore, travelers will appreciate the amenities that they can enjoy when they have Gold, or even Diamond status in the HHonors program. And although this card does have an annual fee of $95, the two free weekend night certificates should more than make up for this expense during the first year. There is also no foreign transaction fee, so it's good to use while traveling abroad.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p>For $95, cardholders will have to be certain that the rewards and perks justify the costs. Casual travelers who want to cash in Hilton points may prefer the no-fee version, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-visa-signature-card-big-rewards-with-no-annual-fee">Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>This card is ideal for the frequent traveler who is a fan of the Hilton HHonors program. These cardholders can earn generous amounts of points on their most frequent expenses of airfare, hotel, and rental cars. Yet you don't have to be on the road every week to make use of the two free weekend night certificates, the room upgrades, or the free breakfasts that cardholders will receive. When all of these perks, benefits, and rewards are considered, the $95 annual fee becomes a relatively small price to pay.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-12009429-1419560302000?sid=jsteele-1322876"><strong>Click here to apply for the Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Reserve Card today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/citi-hilton-hhonors-visa-signature-card-big-rewards-with-no-annual-fee">Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card: Big Rewards with No Annual Fee</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/citi-platinum-select-aadvantage-world-mastercard-review">Travel with Comfort and Ease: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-prestige-card-world-class-benefits">Citi Prestige Card: World Class Benefits</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/a-credit-card-that-rewards-you-for-online-shopping-att-access-more-card-from-citi">A Credit Card That Rewards You for Online Shopping: AT&amp;T Access More Card From Citi</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/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Doesn&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One Venture Rewards Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel Citi credit card review Hilton Wed, 08 Apr 2015 07:14:28 +0000 Jason Steele 1322876 at http://www.wisebread.com Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card: Big Rewards with No Annual Fee http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-visa-signature-card-big-rewards-with-no-annual-fee <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/citi-hilton-hhonors-visa-signature-card-big-rewards-with-no-annual-fee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_spa_000032868916.jpg" alt="Woman at the spa" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you considered a credit card from a hotel chain? Credit cards that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">rewards in hotel loyalty programs</a> are often overlooked by travelers who are obsessed with frequent flyer miles, and that's too bad. When it comes to satisfying their customers, the hotel industry is doing a much better job than the airlines are, and part of the reason is their loyalty programs are much more straightforward. The <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12009442-1419560330000?sid=jsteele-1322915">Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Visa Signature&reg; Card</a> allows you to earn at least two points per dollar spent on all transactions, with no annual fee.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>New customers receive 40,000 Hilton HHonors points after making $1,000 worth of purchases within the first four months of account opening. Cardholders then receive six points per dollar spent at all of the different Hilton properties, which include Hampton Inns, Doubletree hotels, Embassy Suites, and even the Waldorf-Astoria. Three points are earned for every dollar spent at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations, and double points on all other purchases.</p> <p>Points can be redeemed for free night stays at any of the brands in the Hilton portfolio, with no blackout dates or capacity controls. If a standard room is available for sale, Hilton HHonors members can book it with their points. There is no annual fee for this card.</p> <p><a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12009442-1419560330000?sid=jsteele-1322915"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" width="154" height="50" alt="" /></a></p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p>Cardholders automatically receive Silver elite status in the HHonors program which includes a 15% points bonus, free access to fitness centers, and a fifth night free on award stays of five nights or more. Cardholders who spend $20,000 on their cards are given Gold status with even more perks such as free WiFi.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <p>There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a foreign transaction fee of 3% imposed on all purchases that are processed outside of the United States. This card comes with the standard variable APR of 15.24%-19.24% on purchases and balance transfers, based on your creditworthiness.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p>This card has a pretty good sign-up bonus that will allow cardholders to enjoy a free night stay. Furthermore, the minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus, $1,000 over four months, is fairly low. It is nice to get Silver status automatically and many cardholders should be able to earn Gold status too. Double points on all transactions, and triple points at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations will allow cardholders to accumulate rewards quickly. And unlike many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel reward credit cards</a>, there is no annual fee.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p>Each Hilton point is not worth as much as points in other hotel programs, which is why they can offer double or triple points for regular purchases. Nevertheless, Hilton is such as large chain with so many brands, that its points are still very valuable. With over 4,200 locations in 93 countries, cardholders can access properties in places where other smaller programs are absent, and have a wider variety of choices in more popular destinations.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>This is a great card for people who want a taste of award travel, but don't want to play the airline's frustrating game of &quot;find the award seat.&quot; This product also makes sense for those who are interested in earning hotel points, but are unwilling to pay an annual fee to use a credit card. Finally, this card appeals to travelers who stay in Hilton properties from time to time, while those who are really frequent travelers might be more interested in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays">Citi's Hilton HHonors Reserve card</a>, which offers even more points but has a $95 annual fee. By offering competitive rewards with no annual fee, the Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card becomes a compelling alternative to airline miles.</p> <p><a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-12009442-1419560330000?sid=jsteele-1322915"><strong>Click here to apply for the Citi&reg; Hilton HHonors&trade; Visa Signature&reg; Card today!</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-hilton-hhonors-visa-signature-card-big-rewards-with-no-annual-fee">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/citi-hilton-hhonors-reserve-enjoy-more-free-stays">Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: Enjoy More Free Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-platinum-select-aadvantage-world-mastercard-review">Travel with Comfort and Ease: Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-prestige-card-world-class-benefits">Citi Prestige Card: World Class Benefits</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/a-credit-card-that-rewards-you-for-online-shopping-att-access-more-card-from-citi">A Credit Card That Rewards You for Online Shopping: AT&amp;T Access More Card From Citi</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/capital-one-venture-rewards-card-review">Travel Rewards Doesn&#039;t Get Easier Than This: Capital One Venture Rewards Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel Citi credit card review Hilton Wed, 08 Apr 2015 07:12:44 +0000 Jason Steele 1322915 at http://www.wisebread.com