Reward Credit Card Mistakes
Rewards credit cards are the new black! They allow you to collect a variety of points, cash back bonuses and airline miles just by using them. They reward your loyalty and usage by giving you something back. However, just like with any credit card, there are downsides to rewards credit cards if you do not manage them properly. Today we explore some of the reward credit card mistakes you could be making and how to mitigate against them.
Getting Too Many Reward Credit Cards
A rewards credit card is still a credit card. It affects your credit score the way a normal credit card does. Opening too many rewards credit card accounts is bound to negatively affect your credit score. As with any credit card application, your credit background will be checked. Too many checks and lenders might get suspicious of your activities and downgrade your score.
Secondly, rewards credit cards award loyalty. With many credit cards you stand s smaller chance of accumulating any significant rewards with any program. As commonly said, you are spread too thin. The best solution for you is to consolidate your cards or programs and focus on one or two that fit your needs.
Overspending to Acquire Miles
The idea of earning miles and using them to fly free is alluring. It makes you want to grab your card and go on a spending spree. However, before you do that, consider the implications. You still have to clear the charges you make on the card. You have been loaned money and you will pay it back, with interest! Ask yourself whether the miles you earn are worth the interest you pay at the end of each month.
This is a rather common rewards credit card mistake. The best solution is to use your card normally. Follow your budget when using your rewards credit card. Do not under any circumstance go overboard just to earn the miles. It might lead you into unnecessary debt.
Paying Interest On Reward Credit Cards
Rewards credit cards have higher interest rates than normal credit cards. Many users make the mistake of accumulating huge balances on their cards and end up paying hefty interest rates and late payment fees. As with any credit card, ensure that you pay off your credit card balances on time each month. This will reflect well on your credit score and save you a tonne. It also means you earn rewards cheaply since you are paying normal interest rates and have no penalties.
Forgetting About Rewards
Do you know the rewards you have with all your reward credit card programs? You will be surprised by how many users are unaware of what they have accumulated so far. If anything, this is one of the more prevalent reward credit card mistakes! Users simply forget about their rewards. The rewards end up expired or devalued since owners fail to claim them.
Consider your credit card rewards an investment. Something of value. With any investment you want to know the performance and rate of return. Keep track of the programs you sign up for and what they offer in terms of rewards. You can sign up for services that allow easy tracking of your rewards such as Awards Wallet. You can also download apps to easily manage your points.
Redeeming the Wrong Reward
Most reward credit card users do not calculate the value of their redemptions. You get a raw deal when you fail to weigh the options. Of the available rewards for redemption, choose the one that makes the most economic sense while satisfying a need. For example, while it might be tempting to shell out 30,000 points for a trip to Mexico, basic math shows it is not an optimal choice. It would be cheaper to pay for the trip in cash! You can instead redeem your points for a gift card or item.
The reality is, redeeming points isn’t as easy as walking into Starbucks and ordering your morning latte. It’s a process. Lengthy at times. You do not always get what you want when you want it. Keep that fact in mind when earning and redeeming your rewards. Adjust your expectations accordingly. If you plan on redeeming your rewards and miles, plan well in advance. Book flights early and confirm often before your travel date.
Reward credit cards offer consumers a way of getting something back for money spent. They are not perfect, but, they are better than nothing. Used responsibly and managed carefully, these cards open opportunities for you to enjoy free rewards. You can make the most of your card by avoiding the reward credit card mistakes discussed and implementing the simple suggestions. There is much to be enjoyed if you plan well in advance and stick to your program!
What mistake has affected you the most and how have you solved it? Please, let us learn from each other in the comments below 🙂Read More
It used to be that to rack up air miles you had to buy a ticket, hop on a plane and fly to your destination. Not anymore. Now you can collect airline miles from your daily activities. Some people have accumulated points that enabled them travel all over the globe. From just using their cards on the ground. Learn how by following just a few strategies you too can rack up air miles and join the ranks of elite milers. All from the comfort of your home!
Sign Up Bonuses
Look for rewards cards that offer sign up bonuses. This is by far the easiest strategy to rack up air miles from the ground. Most credit card companies offer free mile points on sign up as an incentive for customers to apply for the cards. You can land a credit card with a low minimum spending limit and low annual fees through a bit of research. Most cards offer bonuses of up to 40000 points, enough for at least a free domestic flight.
Pick a Points Program and Stick With it.
Racking up air miles is a long term strategy. For the best results, pick a single program or credit card and stick with it. It could be an airline with a hub near your base of travel, or a credit card that offers benefits that cater to your needs. If you fly frequently on an airline or particular route; consider a program with that airline. With time, most programs promote you to elite status where you can earn double or triple the miles for money spent.
Reward Cards For Daily Expenses
Look for cards that allow you to earn miles for charging transactions to the card. With this strategy, you can purchase everyday items like groceries and gas and charge to the rewards card. These are items you would have purchased anyway. You get to earn miles for living your normal life. Be creative with what you charge to the card. Your morning latte’, charge it. You can also charge phone, electric, cable, utility bills and even rent if your landlord approves of it.
Rack up Air Miles Making Big Purchases
Thinking of buying that 56″ smart tv. Charge it to your rewards card and watch your miles triple. So is it with other big purchases. Home appliances, a car (if you can charge it to your credit card), expensive pieces of art etc can all be charged to your rewards card. One caveat though, pay all your credit card balances at the end of each month. If you can’t afford an item, don’t charge it to your airline miles credit card just for the miles.
Purchase Gift Cards
This is closely related to making purchases on your air miles card. You can buy a gift card with your rewards card when there is a limited offer, or a bonus that requires a minimum spending limit. Gift cards are a perfect choice since they are usually discounted. For example, you can get a $100 gift card certificate for just $90. With a coupon code you can further slash your bill. The beauty of gift cards is that you can use them whenever you want. Thus, you rack up air miles at a discount for a gift card you can use for your future expenses.
Donate to Charity.
Yes. Some programs allow you to earn miles donating to your favorite charity. Most donations are a tax write off. You get to earn bonus miles at the taxman’s expense. Simply charge your donation to your airline miles credit card and keep proper records so you can estimate your taxes accurately. Also, check with the charity to confirm whether donations to them are tax deductible.
Most air miles programs and airline miles credit cards have arrangements with shopping portals and outlets. They let you earn miles for purchases made. First, confirm the arrangements your program has with major retail portals and brands. Then when shopping online, use those portals and your air miles program details. You will receive bonus points for just shopping through them.
You Can Always Fly or Float!
Yes, I said it. Flying still remains the easiest strategy to rack up air miles. You don’t have to go on expensive trips. Choose cheap destinations to visit and use your airline miles credit card for your expenses and rack up air the miles.
If flying is not your strong suit, then consider getting a cruise rewards card instead. It’s more just like an airline miles credit card but you earn points and rewards for the amounts you spend on a cruise. Cruise reward cards are a great way to enjoy exotic ocean front destinations while getting something back.
You can rack up air miles in a variety of ways without necessarily flying. You just need to research available offers and make a decision based on your needs. Sign up to airline newsletters and follow them on social media. They usually have bonuses and offers that you can take advantage of and increase your frequent flier miles. Additionally, look for programs that allow you to earn miles from dining at select restaurants or staying at particular hotels. Remember, use your credit cards responsibly as you rack up the air miles.
What other methods have you used to rack up air miles without flying? Please share in the comments.Read More
Since their introduction in the late 1970’s, airline miles credit cards have gained the appeal to travelers worldwide. This is because you earn rewards or points using them. You can redeem your points for free flights to your preferred destinations. You can also get upgrades and other travel related perks. So, how do you choose the best airline credit cards for your travel needs? In today’s post, we explore some of the key factors you should consider before you open your travel credit card account.
With any undertaking, the first thing to do is plan. Consider your travel and spending habits and use that to determine your strategy. Do you want to enjoy the travel perks? Do you want to receive upgrades on your flights? Earn loyalty points for purchases at particular outlets or how about free flights to your vacation destinations. With a plan, you can tailor your choice of cards and avoid damaging your credit score or running into excessive debt.
Airline Vs. Bank Branded Cards
Each has their pros and cons. While choosing, consider your location. Do you live in a major airline hub serviced by one dominant airline? Do you travel frequently on that airline? If so, you might be best suited to get an airline miles credit cards with that airline. This way you enjoy all the travel perks offered by that particular airline such as choice of seats, upgrades, lounge facilities.
Bank branded travel credit cards are best suited if you live away from major travel hubs and prefer a variety in choice of the airlines you do business with. These cards also come with other benefits attached such as discounts at particular stores and outlets that lets you increase your points.
Huge Sign Up Bonus
Look for airline miles credit cards offerings with huge sign up bonuses. The higher the sign-up bonus the faster you will accumulate points and hasten your redemption. Ordinarily I look for offers with at least 30,000 sign up bonuses. Some cards offer up to 50,000 sign up bonus points. These are worth at least a domestic flight.
Bonus Points Per Dollar Spent
Most airline miles credit cards program employ a one dollar one point policy. Spend one dollar on your purchases and you receive one airline mile or points. When choosing, look for offerings that give you more for every dollar spent. This could be in form of extra points earned for shopping at particular outlets, occasional bonus points promotions to clients, loyalty programs that let you acquire more points for being a long time customer. This strategy quickens the pace you accumulate points.
Low Minimum Spending
Unfortunately with airline miles credit cards, the minimum spending requirements for most cards are insanely high. Who wants that? Most people just want choice, and cards that compliment their normal spending behaviors. Look for cards with at most $1000 in minimum spending requirements. That is a threshold you can easily cross with your domestic spending needs.
Fees on airline miles credit cards are inevitable. In my experience, fee based credit cards tend to have better managed point schemes. In the long run, you will end up saving more than the annual fees you pay through better travel protection, perks and special offers. That doesn’t mean you splurge on the fees, on the contrary, research and settle for cards with fair annual fees.
Consider the APR
The Annual Percentage Rate is the rate at which you repay your credit card monthly balances. Airline miles credit cards tend to have higher APR’s than ordinary credit cards. Weigh this while choosing your card and factor in your monthly expenditures. The last thing you want is being stuck with high credit card bills for the points you collect.
Foreign Conversion Fees
Most cards charge a 3% fee on foreign usage. If you travel frequently to foreign destinations, weigh the rates while choosing your card. Ordinarily you want a credit card thats hassle free to use internationally and that has a fair rate.
Does your preferred airline miles credit cards allow teaming up to earn more points? You can team up with your spouse by adding them as an authorized user on your card and any purchases they make earn you points on the card. This also helps when you travel as a couple or family.
Airline Miles Credit Cards Vs. Credit Scores
It’s a recognized fact that rapidly opening and closing credit card accounts (aka, churning & burning) will affect your credit score. A lot of checks on your credit history and outstanding loans/balances will lower your credit score somewhat.
So how do you avoid this eventuality?
- Space your credit card acquisitions.
- Only get airline miles credit cards that fit your strategy.
- Maintain a great credit scores by timely servicing your loans
- Clear your credit card balances at the end of each month.
- Follow your budget when using the card. Do not go overboard for the points.
- Get creative with your credit card usage. Look for inexpensive ways to earn points.
Airline miles credit cards offer the opportunity to travel for free to the most exotic destinations for just using the card for your normal purchases. Your choice of card ultimately depends on your needs. With responsible usage and an excellent choice of credit cards, you stand to benefit immensely and travel the globe on a shoestring budget. It just takes a bit of planning and strategy to achieve it.
So, what do you consider while choosing an airline miles credit card? Let me know in the comments!Read More
A credit card is a plastic card used to purchase goods and services and then pay the cost at a later date. Some credit cards offer more than just a convenient way to make purchases. For example, credit cards with airline miles benefits allow consumers to rack up free air travel miles simply by making purchases with the credit card.
How Can you Use Your Airline Miles Benefits?
Some credit card companies have specific guidelines involving how and when you can use your accumulated miles. Other credit card companies allow customers to use their airline miles benefits whenever and to wherever they want. It’s important to consult your credit card company to see precisely how they govern the use of airline miles. That way, you won’t be caught off guard or inconvenienced when you are ready to start your holiday.
Where Should You Travel?
One of the hardest decisions to make with regard to a credit card that has airline miles benefits is where to travel. Some consumers simply want to cash in their miles to visit family members who live in the same country but too far away to comfortably drive. Others use their miles to visit exotic and faraway locations in different continents around the world. This decision is completely up to you.
Saving Miles for Greater Opportunities
One great trick for consumers who have a credit card with airline mile benefits is to save your miles for as long as possible. Often, credit cards add miles slowly at the beginning. The miles can increase exponentially the longer you hold onto them. Plan to use your airline miles a few years down the road. You’ll save money on your airline tickets or even travel to a more exotic location around the world.
Saving your accumulated miles can be difficult; many consumers want to use their miles as quickly as possible by taking short flights around the country. However, when you can travel to a destination that you may never again see in your life, you’ll form lifelong memories and have incredible experiences that will be well worth the wait.
A credit card with airline miles benefits is a useful tool to have, but it can also provide some exciting perks to account holders. If you have a credit card that allows you to accumulate air travel miles, you can pursue your love for travel without racking up huge airfare bills.
Credit cards are small rectangles of plastic that have a great deal of power, which is why they must be used responsibly by consumers. A credit card can be a great financial solution, but it can just as easily represent huge financial problems or spell financial disaster for an irresponsible consumer.
If an individual uses a credit card to pay off regular monthly expenses and bills, it may be difficult to make minimum monthly payments in the future. Similarly, if a consumer acquires multiple credit cards and maxes each credit card out within a very short time frame, the minimum monthly payments for each credit card may be quite high.
Credit Cards With Miles
On the other hand, responsibly using a credit card can be quite convenient. Consumers can purchase expensive items like new clothing, modern appliances, or even home renovations without having to save for months in order to afford the purchase. Consumers can also use credit cards as a backup in the event of a serious emergency. Also, credit cards that offer benefits and perks may be able to save customers even more money on special things like airline travel. Credit cards with miles can be incredibly beneficial to customers if they know a few tricks for maximizing air travel mile accumulation. Here are some tips that may help you.
Use Your Credit Card Frequently
First, start using your credit cards with miles to pay for everything that you would normally use your debit card for. Don’t exceed the amount of money that you have within your bank account, but trade out your credit card for your checkbook every time. This ensures that you are racking up as many airline miles as possible. Be sure that you are using your credit cards with miles at approved mile accumulation locations, as some credit card companies only add miles for purchases at retail stores, gas stations, or restaurants.
Pay off the Balance Each Month and Save Your Miles
In order to prevent interest charges from canceling out the money you save on air travel, it’s important to pay off the entire balance of your credit cards with miles each month. If you end up paying excessive interest amounts, you would have been better off simply buying an airline ticket in the first place.
Also, it’s a good idea to save your airline miles and use them all at once. Many credit card companies offer increasingly valuable benefits the longer you hold off on redeeming your airline miles. When you responsibly use your credit cards with miles, you enjoy benefits that will help you travel to exotic destinations for close to nothing.
Going on a vacation doesn’t have to be a pricey event that completely empties your bank account. There are some great ways to save money on vacation simply by making a few subtle changes to your itinerary and your plans.
Avoid the Peak Tourist Seasons
If you want to save money on hotel expenses, travel expenses, and even ticket prices at popular tourist attractions, consider planning your vacation during the off-season. The prices of attractions change dramatically in the winter months when tourist numbers are down.
Use Complementary Airline Miles Credit Cards
If you have an airline miles credit card, with continued use of the card, you can save those miles and exchange them for a huge discount on the cost of airfare. Air travel is extremely convenient, but it’s also one of the most expensive ways to travel. Any discount can make a huge difference.
Visit a Grocery Store for Some Meals
Dining out for every meal can quickly become expensive while on vacation. If you are planning a long vacation, you might consider stopping at a local grocery store to pick up some snack foods and easy meal items. Substituting just a few restaurant meals for cheap groceries is a great way to save money on your next vacation.
Choose Free Attractions
It may be tempting to pay big bucks to see live concerts, catch a theatrical show, visit a high cost museum, or shell out cash for yet another expensive tourist attraction. However, these aren’t the only options for vacationing. Most tourist locations have free tourist attractions that are just as exciting and culturally interesting as paid attractions. Instead, of riding an escalator to the top of the Eiffel Tower, for example, you can walk around the base and take beautiful snapshots of the structure.
Opt for the Low-Cost Transportation Option
If you are visiting a big city like New York City or London, you might be tempted to give your feet a rest and take public transportation or hail a cab. However, the fees required to access these modes of transportation can add up quickly. You can save money, in fact you can spend nothing at all, by choosing to walk to your next destination rather than catch a ride. You’ll get some great exercise, and you’ll also be more likely to take in the everyday sights of these bustling metropolises.
Your next vacation doesn’t have to be expensive, there are a myriad ways to save money on vacation. You just have to get creative, do your research and compare deals before you buy.Read More