Beware the Amazon Trap Designed To Drain Membership Rewards And Citi ThankYou Points Accounts

Amazon.com has “enhanced” their website making it easier for you to pay for your Amazon purchases with the flexible points from your credit cards. If you’re not careful, the points you were saving for a trip to Hawaii might end up paying for that 18 foot inflatable Frosty the Snowman you’ve been wanting to buy. I mean, it’s awesome but not a great use of your Membership Rewards points.

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Flexible Points

Flexible Point currencies like American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Points are useful because of the various ways you can redeem your points. Some redemptions are great values, like when you’re able to transfer points to travel partners and make once in a lifetime trips. Other redemptions are average, such as using the points to book travel through the designated booking portal where you’re typically get 1 to 1.5 cents of value per point. These bookings are good when you need a reservation where transferring points is undesirable or unavailable, Still other redemptions are terrible, like redeeming for merchandise, magazines or even TSA Precheck memberships. You’ll often get less than 1 cent of value per point (and the merchandise is also overpriced to begin with).

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What Credit Cards Are In Our Wallets? (September, 2018)

It’s been almost a year since I’ve gone over which cards Sharon and I are carrying in our wallets. Since we each have a different approach to earning miles and points, mine being obsessive about earning the maximum points for each transaction, and her desire to exert the least amount of thought into the process (Note from Sharon: Hell yeah! LOLOL!), the cards we carry are different.

There’s a method to my madness, as I manage to balance the two approaches and come to a plan where we maximize earning while minimize effort (and still keep our marriage together). (Note from Sharon: Again. Hell yeah!)

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It’s Not Too Late To Get 5% Back At Restaurants, Gas Stations, Walgreens and Lyft

The Discover It Cash Back card and The Chase Freedom card both have rotating categories where you can earn 5% back every three months. We’re into the last month of the third quarter but it’s not too late to maximize your benefits. There’s not many opportunities to earn a 5% return on purchases so you need to make them count when you can.

What’s really great is that both of these cards charge no annual fee so you’re getting 5% cash back with no out of pocket costs.

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How To Avoid Extra Credit Card Fees During International Travel

Going on an international trip is very exciting but it can also be very expensive. Using a credit card to pay for purchases when traveling internationally is often the best way to get a good exchange rate and the rate your bank gets will be better than the one you’ll get on your own if you exchange cash. Using a card also means that you don’t have to carry around a bunch of cash with you. However, many cards will add on a “foreign transaction fee” to any transactions made with anything except your home currency. Here’s an easy way to keep from paying that extra 2-3 percent on all of your purchases while away.

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Deadlines, Great Sales, Giveaways and New Stuff

It’s the weekend, y’all! HOORAY! Here’s a quick recap of the posts we wrote this week:

This week Joe wrote about:

And Sharon wrote about:

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love if you decided to hang around and clicked the button on the top (if you’re on your computer) or the bottom (if you’re on your phone/tablet) of this page to follow our blog and get emailed notifications of when we post (it’s usually just once or twice a day). Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group, where we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel  articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!