Back in the day, I had a list of things I needed to do before going on a trip. Among other things, I had to print out the itinerary, pack the travel books and call the banks to let them know I was going to be using my cards in places I usually didn’t. This was especially important if I was traveling outside of the U.S. because the last thing I wanted to do when I was in a foreign country was to pay for a phone call to the bank to unfreeze my account.
Times have changed. I don’t bring a stack of travel books with me on vacation and my entire list of plans for the trip are stored on my iPhone. But do I still need to let the bank know I’ll be traveling? There’s a good chance I already booked the tickets using their card so knowing I’ll be visiting an area should already be in their computer system, right? Not exactly. Here’s what the banks say about informing them of your travels (and Spoiler Alert!: Most of them still want you to alert them about your travels)…
Continue reading “Do You Need To Tell Your Credit Card Companies That You’re Traveling? Usually Yes. Here’s How.”
Discover just announced the quarterly bonus categories for all of 2019. Every three months, Discover offers 5% cash back on specific types of purchases, up to a limit of $1,500 each quarter. If you max out the bonuses all year long, that’s an additional $300 in cash back. Not bad for a card with no annual fee.
I’m sure there are ways you can get better than a 5% return with a rewards card if you’re maximizing your points earning and redemptions. Personally, I feel that sometimes 5% off is just fine for me. Sharon will even allow the Discover to creep into her wallet if it’s a simple request like, “Use this card for gas stations for the next three months.”
Continue reading “Here Are The Discover Card Quarterly Bonus Categories For 2019”
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.
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).
Continue reading “Beware the Amazon Trap Designed To Drain Membership Rewards And Citi ThankYou Points Accounts”
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!)
Continue reading “What Credit Cards Are In Our Wallets? (September, 2018)”
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.
Continue reading “It’s Not Too Late To Get 5% Back At Restaurants, Gas Stations, Walgreens and Lyft”