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.
I know watching the news stories about the devastation in the Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian can make you feel helpless. After a while, you just feel numb and you want to do something, do anything, but don’t know how you can help.
Luckily, most of the airline and hotel programs are making it easy to contribute in any way you can. Even if you don’t have the cash to spare, you can donate those random points you have here and there to the recovery effort. Even better, you can donate points if you have more of them than you know what to do with. Face it, it’s better to donate them than redeem them for some magazines that you’ll never read, overpriced luggage or an Amazon InstaPot. Continue reading “How to Donate Your Miles and Points to Support Hurricane Dorian Victims”
I don’t know what to think about IHG’s Accelerate promotion anymore. When it was first launched, it was one of the most novel promotions out there. With multiple offers and a kicker bonus for completing some or all of the tasks, you were encouraged to game the system. There was a time where I earned 25,000 extra points when I met four out of five of my requirements.
Oh, what I’d do to have those old offers back. Now getting a new Accelerate offer from IHG is like getting news of a new promotion from Starbucks. I’ll look at it, but I’m not holding my breath that it’ll be anything worthwhile,
IHG has managed to underwhelm me so much with their current offer that I think they’re not really even trying anymore.
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?
Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.