Credit Cards

Category Archives for Credit Cards.

6 Ways to Save Big on Dining: Find Faves, Get Points + Cashback With Every Visit

Eating out is probably my biggest weakness. I give myself a couple of things to spend relentlessly on. And beyond that, I save like a madman.

My 2 things are: eating out and travel. I do well stocking up at Costco and cooking at home most nights. But my god if a good happy hour deal doesn’t get me.

I pay pennies on the dollar when I travel. Dining is easy, too. By enrolling my cards once and having a few go-to places, I get discounts close to 20% off in the form of points, miles, and cashback – and the savings add up!

save on dining

I love happy hours at this cantina. Plus, I get points, miles, and cashback every time I visit

It’s not hard. Here’s how to do it.

Dining programs + cashback app + points card = big dining discounts

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Why I’m Switching Spend to SPG Cards the Next 2 Months (And a Useful Tip!)

Welp, the Marriott-Starwood merger looms nigh. On August 1st, 2018, we’ll all wake up and have a new program – with excellent deals through the end of 2018.

Also on that day is an event I’ve dubbed in my mind as “The Triplin’” – because everyone’s Starwood balance will increase by 3X!

So now’s the time to earn as much as possible to take advantage of redemption opportunities later this year.

spg card spending

Marriott’s award chart as of August 1st

In 2019, the new program will be dead to me. I’ve never liked Marriott hotels, and occasionally stay with Starwood. At that point, I’ll go back into my Hilton/Hyatt hole for as long as the water’s nice.

Ah, to be a fairweather traveler free agent.

5 months of great deals – under 2 months to earn with SPG card spending!

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This Month: Save 10+% on Shell & Exxon Gas With These Cards

There are a couple of good offers to save at the pump these next few weeks. I’ve been using them to fill up – and found it’s cheaper than buying gas at Costco, where I usually get gas in conjunction with a shopping trip.

You can get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Pay with the Chase Freedom card (compare it here) on up to $1,500 in spending through June 30th, 2018 – and Shell is a Chase Pay merchant. Chase Freedom cardholders also get free Gold Status with Shell Fuel Rewards, which saves 6 cents per gallon through the end of 2018.

And Amex has an offer to get 10% cashback at Exxon through the end of November. Plus, when you pay through their Speedpass app, you can save 10 cents a gallon. And when you add your Amex card in the Dosh app, you’ll get another 2% cashback through July 10th, 2018.

save on gas

Combine apps and offers to save on Shell and Exxon gas

Either offer also gets you savings for most of 2018. And for the next few weeks, you can combine offers to save over 10% at Shell or Exxon.

Here’s how they work!

Stack credit card offers to save on gas

1. Chase Freedom + Chase Pay at Shell

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How I Got Started With Points & Miles 6 Years Ago

TL;DR: Had crappy credit. Used points cards as motivation to improve my credit score. Hooked ever since.

I’ve taken a server job a few nights a week to get out of the house, stay active, and be social. I see people using credit cards more than ever. I’m shocked by how many people still throw down debit cards. Most of them are millennials.

getting started with points

Google has the tea on millennials and CCs

My generation is a complicated story of student loan debt, job-hopping, delaying children, unable to afford or save to buy homes, living longer than ever – and definitely NOT wanting to get sucked into credit cards.

I see cool metal cards here and there – but most millennials are using well-worn debit cards from local banks.

If you can use credit responsibly and pay the balance in full every month, then you’re leaving money on the table by using debit cards. Even a 2% cashback card with no annual fee is free to use and earns literally free money.

I started college in rural Vermont – and promptly got into credit card debt

I remember the sting of credit cards: opened a student credit card when I was 18, charged textbooks I couldn’t afford, and fell into the soul-crushing cycle of debt. Such a slippery slope.

Then I did the unthinkable: defaulted on a student loan. I was so poor, making $120 a week working overtime at retail jobs. And they wanted $500 a month? I ripped up the bills and threw them in the trash. I didn’t have extra money. How was I going to come up with $500 more every month? And that was the “financially burdened” plan. 😑

Getting into rewards credit cards

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Chase Avios 100,000 Point Offers: Deals for the Rest of Us

Also see: 

I’m down to the wire with card offers I qualify to get. Especially with Chase. But their Avios-earning cards are in the few NOT subject to the 5/24 rule.

If you live in an American or Alaska hub (because you can use British Airways Avios points on both airlines) – you should have one of these cards. That includes peeps in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland… pretty much any place with lots of American or Alaska flights. Because on expensive routes, these points are the easiest way to save money.

Most everyone can apply. I got a Chase British Airways card in late 2017 – and definitely LOL/24.

avios 100k offer

I use Avios to visit Memphis, Austin, and Mexico on the cheap

More often in recent time, I’ve been redeeming Avios points. And when you sign up for a 100,000-point offer, you’re basically earning 6X points on the first $20,000 you spend within a year.

About the Chase British Airways 100,000 point deal

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Chase Freedom Vs Freedom Unlimited: Which Is Better for Your Spending?

Chase has 2 great no annual fee cards that pair nicely with premium Ultimate Rewards cards: Freedom and Freedom Unlimited.

The Freedom card earns 5X in rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 per quarter in combined spending. The Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5X on all purchases with no cap.

Really gonna depend on bonus categories and how much you typically spend

Lots of peeps ask which is better. To which I always answer: it depends on how much you like the bonus categories. But there’s a longer answer even beyond that: how much to you plan to spend on the card each year?

Let’s talk about the break even point and which is better for your finances.

Freedom Vs Freedom Unlimited

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Which Chase Card Is Best When You’re Starting With Points?

In general, I tell most peeps to start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s the quintessential points card, even after all these years. And you can transfer the points you earn directly to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio – most of them instantly.

If you spend a lot in travel & dining, or if you want lounge access, spring for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Here’s how to find the break even point with the annual fees ($95 for the Preferred and $450 for the Reserve, but you get a $300 annual travel credit).

which chase card is best

I transferred Chase points to Hyatt to stay 3 free nights at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta

Already have one or the other? Then get the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited. The only difference is the bonus categories. Freedom has 5% rotating quarterly categories. Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 points per $1 spent – and you can combine the points with your Sapphire card points. So they’re an easy way to boost your Ultimate Rewards points balance fast. And both cards have a $0 annual fee!

If you’re looking for a small business card, get the Ink Business Preferred or Ink Business Cash. The former earns points that transfer directly to travel partners and has a $95 annual fee; the latter requires you to have a premium Chase card to access travel partners, but a $0 annual fee.

If you just want to earn cashback, spring for any of the cards with a $0 annual fee (Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, or Ink Business Cash).

But to get awesome travel (think international Business Class flights, upscale hotels, and cheap flights to Hawaii), you want one of the annual fee cards (Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred). The annual fees are worth it for the huge travel savings you can get. It’s how I got a $2,000+ Mexican vacation for $90!

Which Chase card? Here’s a flowchart

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New! Chase Hyatt Visa Offers for Spending at a Dozen Merchants

Just got this email from Chase. Peeps with a Chase Hyatt Visa can now sign up for an official offer page and activate offers – very similar to Amex Offers. The only difference is there’s a dedicated page for it – you can’t activate the deals from your Chase accounts page.

Visa Offers with the Chase Hyatt card are live

I have 13 offers on my card after signing up for access, to places like Lowe’s, Boxed, Hulu, and StubHub. Here’s how to find it!

Chase Hyatt Visa Offers

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7 Easy Tricks to Use 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for Cheap Travel

Right now, a few Chase cards have sign-up bonuses with 50,000 Chase Ultimate Ultimate Rewards points. These are by far my favorite kind of points. And the ones I focus on collecting above all others.

The Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Business Cash all offer a 50,000 point sign-up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements. That got me thinking how I’ve used Chase points in the past.

use chase rewards

I’ve used Chase points to spend time in Austin via British Airways, Hyatt, and Southwest

Here’s more about each card, as they all have different fees and earning rates. And ideas for how to spend those bonus points!

3 Great Chase Offers

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Bottom of the Barrel: Have I Gotten All the Points & Miles Cards I Possibly Can?

I wanna type out loud for a sec to assess which card offers I can still earn. Before I begin, I know there aren’t many.

After all, I currently have about 30 cards and have rotated through many others since I started the points & miles game in 2012 (and heavily in 2013).

which cards are left

My first award trip was to Hawaii in 2013, with Delta miles and Hilton points

So what’s left for me? I know it’s not much.

Let’s take a deep dive.

Which cards are left that I can even get?

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3 Excellent Amex Small Business Card Welcome Offers – Which Is Best for You?

Update: The Starwood small business Amex 35,000 point offer expired as of 3/28/18. It is NO LONGER available. 

Amex is bringing it with their small business cards. There are notable welcome offer increases on a few of them right now.

And they are definitely NOT created equal.

amex business card offers

#spgamex is gonna go the way of the #dodo

Here’s what to consider about each one.

Big welcome offers on Amex small business cards

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Capital One Venture: A Solid 2X Card for Simple Rewards With No BS

I get it. Not everyone spends their Friday nights taking epsom salt baths and pondering the workings of various points programs.

Lots of peeps directly asked about the Capital One Venture Rewards card: is it worth getting?

My answer’s always been: yeah, if you don’t want to deal with points programs.

capital one venture review

The $500 sign-up bonus covers 5 years of the annual fee and is worth ~302,000 Chilean pesos (I drew that bull)

It has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived the first year. But the ease of redemption and earning might be worth it if you like the Capital One ecosystem.

Capital One Venture Review

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