Stop Falling In Love With Travel Credit Cards!!

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.

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How To Renew Your Global Entry, Step By Step

I’ve written several times about how wonderful it is to have Global Entry. Sharon and I have been members for about five years, and that means it’s time for us to renew our memberships. While we applied at the same time, our renewals happen several months apart, as your enrollment expires on your birthday. I still have a few months left but decided to get this done now, just in case they want me to come back in for another interview.

It’s important to know that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection department now requires you to log in with a ID. This is different than the GOES login you needed to make when applying before. Here are the steps you need to go in the renewal process:

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Global Entry & TSA Pre-Check: It’s Not Just For Americans Anymore

Joe and I have had Global Entry for several years now; it simply makes life easier when we’re traveling overseas because we don’t have to stand on as many queues. That’s a nice thing but since we only travel outside the U.S. one or two times a year at most (and sometimes not at all, depending), it admittedly has limited use to us. However getting Global Entry also gives us automatic TSA Pre-Check, which is WONDERFUL, especially since our home airport is MCO and their TSA checkpoint is so slow that they’re getting ready to do some major construction to add more lanes.

I was always under the impression that TSA Precheck was only available to U.S. citizens, but apparently a few years ago the program was expanded to be available to citizens of several other countres around the world. And just like with American citizens, if you have Global Entry, it also gives you TSA Pre✓ eligibility.

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The Credit Cards That Will Pay For Your Global Entry Or TSA PreCheck Application Fee (Updated June, 2018)

Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer decision for any frequent traveler to sign up for this program. The $100 non-refundable application fee is a small price to pay in order to blow past the long immigration lines when returning to the United States. Your Global Entry status is then good for five years. So that’s $20 a year. Where else can you buy VIP treatment for twenty bucks?

What makes this an even better deal is when you’re approved for Global Entry, you also get a Known Traveler Number (KTN), giving you access to TSA Pre✓® lanes at domestic airports. This program charges an $85 membership fee if you apply for it separately, so it only costs an extra $15 to get expedited entry when entering the U.S. on international flights (as well as some cruise ports and land crossings). You could just apply for TSA Pre-Check instead of Global Entry but the process is similar and if you’re getting reimbursed, why not go for the better deal?


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Hotels Removing Parking Fees, The Flight That Left With No One’s Luggage, & More

Happy Sunday, friends! Hope you’ve had a good week! Here are the travel articles we’ve recently seen that we think you may enjoy.

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