Back in December, I finally signed us up for CLEAR. That’s the service that gives you an express lane access past the TSA ID checkpoint. I had a free trial membership with TripIt Pro for three months and a free family membership so I figured we’d give it a shot. Well it’s been over six months and I’ve been able to use the CLEAR lanes a couple of times. As of now, I just don’t see how it’s worth the extra money they charge for the service. There are several things that led to this conclusion.: Continue reading “We’ve Decided CLEAR Is Not Worth It For Us. Here’s Why…”
When it comes to hotel loyalty programs, IHG Reward Club is one of the easier ones to understand. You earn points that you can redeem for hotel rooms. That’s pretty much it. No worrying about if you’re supposed to get a suite upgrade (you’re not) or a free breakfast (not unless everyone at the hotel gets one anyway).
Their co-brand credit card shares that no-nonsense sensibility. You don’t have to choose between multiple tiers of cards like you do when getting a Marriott or Hilton credit card. IHG only offers one card. But that single card offers some pretty great benefits for a reasonable annual fee which makes it a great card to consider adding to your collection.
Here are six reasons you should consider getting the IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card from Chase:
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card by American Express is the top-level Marriott Bonvoy card available to new applicants. Marriott points are useful because of the variety of hotels available in the Bonvoy program in addition to the other ways you can redeem your points with their travel partners.
With more and more people traveling, depending on where in the U.S. you’re flying/driving/floating into or out of, the lines at TSA checkpoint and/or customs/immigration can be ridiculously long sometimes (I’m looking at you, Orlando International Airport, but there are others, too). Fortunately, there are ways to bypass the queues. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are several options of programs nowadays, some government-run, one not, and unless you sit down and read each one, it’s hard to decide if, or which one, you should consider. Hopefully, this will help.
I’m finally willing to admit I’ve had an irrational attachment to certain travel credit cards. You know, the cards that I’ve had for a while and kept paying the annual fee even though the benefits aren’t worth what the card cost me every year. I tried to rationalize why paying for the card made sense. My arguments were convincing but eventually I took a step back and gave a long and hard look at the money I was spending. I realized that I was giving way too much value to the “possible uses” for the card instead of looking at the actual value I was getting.
I give the credit card companies credit; they were able to make me think I was winning at this game. I had all these perks, got statement credits for expenses and my out of pocket cost whittled down to almost nothing. It’s like they were paying me to keep the card. Wait, I know that’s not true. No bank is going to pay you to keep a card for the long term. They’d eventually go out of business.
So how’d the person who is so proud of not being loyal to any airline, hotel or rental car company end up in a unhealthy relationship with some credit cards? Here are just a few of the traps that I fell into that lead to making irrational decisions.