No matter if it’s planned or unplanned, no one likes being faced with a large bill that you need to pay. It could be something you know is coming, like your tax payment. You could also be planning some renovations that’ll cost a pretty penny. There are also unplanned expenses like car repairs or emergency medical bills. Needless to say, there is any number of these things that you’ll need to pay. One thing you want to happen is that they’ll accept a credit card for the amount due.
Hopefully, you’ll have enough money stashed away to pay these bills. You don’t want to carry a balance on your card and pay the interest charges. However, if you can put the charge on a card, you can earn a bunch of points and miles for these expenses, if you’re prepared.
Here are some of the ways you use large expenses to your advantage to maximize travel rewards.
Continue reading “How To Maximize Your Points Earned With A Large Expense”
It’s now the second half of 2019. Besides being a good time to look at how we’re doing on our New Year’s Resolutions (I’ve joined a gym but I’m not going as much as I’d like), it’s as good of a time as any to look at our points and miles situation.
Some bloggers are looking at their progression on qualifying for status with airlines or hotels (Ben from One Mile at a Time wrote about his progression, and congrats to him for figuring out it doesn’t pay to be loyal). Since I couldn’t care less how many nights I’ve stayed at a hotel chain or how many miles I’ve flown with an airline, what can I look at?
After sign up bonuses for credit cards, ongoing spend is the next most important way I accumulate points and miles. Looking into where I’m putting that spend and if it fits the plan I have for our points earning is a smart thing to do.
Thanks to Quicken and some scrap paper, here’s a breakdown of our spending for the first six months of 2019.
Continue reading “How I Spread Out Our Credit Card Spending For The First Half Of 2019”
Signing up for credit cards is one of the best ways to build up your points and miles balances. But this isn’t the Wild West anymore. You just can’t sign up for credit cards indiscriminately. The banks are on to us. They know what we’re doing. Lucky for us that they’re willing to let us continue in our credit card ways as long as they can balance the money we cost them against the money they make from everyone else.
In order to do that, banks have placed restrictions on signing up for credit cards. Name a bank and I bet they have some sort of term associated with their specific rule. 5/24, Once a lifetime + 4 max , 2/3/4, 1/6 + 6/24. All of these are unwritten rules the banks have put in place to keep you and me from signing up for every card under the sun.
To make things worse, American Express is now denying cards to people they feel are gaming the system to their advantage. What do they consider gaming?
We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.
So now when you sign up for a card with American Express, they actually expect you to keep it open. For how long, who knows. But don’t open it and then close it before that first annual fee hits.
Collecting miles and points has always been like a game of cat and mouse. The banks are constantly changing the rules and we find new ways to play under those rules. Until the rules change again. Back and forth and back and forth.
So in the current environment, how has my approach to signups changed? I think the styles of signing up for cards can be divided into two camps:
Continue reading “My Current Credit Card Strategy”
I’ve spent almost all of my points and miles life earning sign up bonuses for flexible currencies like Chase Ultimate Rewards or program specific points with Delta SkyMiles or Marriott Bonvoy. There came a time where I had to look at other options and I’ve had plenty of times where I ended up paying for a trip with cash instead of using miles. So why haven’t I signed up for a card which would help me pay for those charges?
When the Barclaycard Arrival+ card offered a 70,000 point sign up bonus, I decided it was finally time for me to sign up for a travel cash back card.
Continue reading “I Have 80,000 Barclaycard Arrival+ Points. How Do I Spend Them?”
Finding a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale is so frustrating for me. It only takes us about three hours to drive there so we’ll sometimes plan a quick getaway weekend. It’s just far enough away that driving there and back for the day is a pain (especially if we stay late for something), but it’s still close enough to home that we don’t want to spend a bunch of money for a hotel room for one night.
All of the hotels near downtown charge extraordinarily high rates and some of them even charge an additional resort fee as well as mandatory valet parking. I learned this when a free night at a Hilton ended up costing me over $65.
As this was going to be a truly quick trip, I had a few main requirements. The room would preferably be free and relatively close to Ft. Lauderdale. After looking with IHG, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt there were no good options to redeem points. Even the base hotels were costing a tremendous amount of points in relation to the cash price. Since it looked like I was going to need to pay for the room, I focused on Hilton since Sharon needed a stay to keep her account active. I found a decently priced hotel and booked it for the night, and figured out a way to get it for free, while I was at it.
Continue reading “Hotel Review: Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale-Commercial Blvd – Tamarac, FL”