How to Donate Your Miles and Points to Support Hurricane Harvey Victims

I know watching the news stories about the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey can make you feel helpless. The scope of this event just causes you to feel numb and you want to do something 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 cash to spare, you can donate those random points you have here and there to the recovery effort. ¬†Face it, it’s better to donate them than redeem them for some magazines that you’ll never read. Personally, I have points with LaQuinta and Choice that I’m going to donate right now.

Here are the links to the program pages where you can make donations.

(Thanks to our reader John B. for the tip on this way that you can to contribute to the relief effort)

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Winter Hotel Promotions – Sign Up To Get Extra Points!

It’s that time when the summer hotel promotions are ending and hotels are announcing the offers for the rest of the year.

So far, both Hilton and IHG have launched websites for their upcoming offers. As always, it’s a good idea to sign up even if you aren’t sure if you’ll take advantage of the promos. Otherwise, it’s possible you’ll forget and miss out on the bonus points.

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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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Earn Extra Points When Staying at Holiday Inn Express

Hotel promotions are a great way to increase your point balances and they don’t require you to pay with a certain credit card (or any credit card) to take advantage of them. Hotel programs are already the most generous about rewarding points, with several chains rewarding up to 10 points per dollar spent for their base members. If you’re lucky enough to be staying at a hotel during one of these promotions, your balances can start to pile up quickly.

Starting on August 1st, you can earn double or triple points for stays at Holiday Inn Express hotels – here’s how to sign up.

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How To Get Elite Hotel Benefits Just By Having A Credit Card

Elite benefits from hotels are nice. These are the benefits that frequent guests of the hotel chain are given as a thank-you for being good customers. While each chain has different benefits for differing levels of membership, the things you’ll usually see offered are a welcome gift, free wifi, early check in, late check out, an upgraded room and a variety of other perks.

SOMHorseTrough
Pferdschwemme (Horse Pond), as seen from our (upgraded) room at the Goldener Hirsch

While I’d like to think that we are traveling all the time, we actually aren’t. We stayed outside of our home for 33 nights in 2016. The breakdown of our stays looks like this:

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Should you keep, downgrade or cancel a credit card that has an annual fee?

When you have a credit card with an annual fee, you should evaluate every year whether or not the benefits of keeping the card are greater than the cost of keeping the card. This would seem to be an easy thing to do but there are many variables that need to be taken into consideration. A card that has great value to one person may be useless to another and therefore when reading posts about if a card it worth it, remember that Your Mileage May Vary. 

So what should you be thinking about when deciding if you should keep that card?

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Make Sure To Sign Up For Summer Hotel Promotions For Extra Points!

It’s after Memorial Day! That means it’s now OK to wear white pants (except in Florida where it’s always acceptable), and the hotel chains are out with their summer hotel promotions. These offers give you bonus points for your hotel stays and you need to actively enroll for them, as they’re not automatically activated. You also really should read the fine print to make sure you don’t lose out on points because of a technicality.

I always recommend signing up for these offers even if you don’t expect to stay at any of these hotels. You never know when a last-minute hotel stay will happen. (Note: I’m already signed up for some of these but for those where I’m not, I’m doing so for each offer as I write this post.)

Here are the offers for the major hotel chains this summer:

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