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Why I Love Credit Cards

Beaches in South Kauai

Last week I booked a $700+ per night hotel in the Bahamas for 4 nights over Thanksgiving break. Before you crucify me as a bad financial example, let me share how much I’m actually paying. Thanks to the Chase Ink credit card and a 70,000 point offer that was available last fall, we will only be paying $155.23. Yes, that’s $31.05 per night for a luxury hotel room on a beach in the Caribbean. We plan to fly there using Southwest points and a companion pass. I haven’t booked those tickets yet, but it looks like the cost will be around $300 in taxes for the three of us. This is why I love credit cards. I Am Smarter Than Credit Card Companies As I’ve written about many times, we used to be dumb when it came to using credit responsibly, running up over $30,000 in credit card debt before we graduated from Debt City University. While I don’t necessarily remember those times with glee, one thing I can say about digging deep to pay off the credit debt is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY we will ever pay a penny in credit card interest ever again. I am ...

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Why Do Frugal People Go To Disneyland?

being frugal at Disneyland

As some of you may know, our family has a big trip to Europe coming up this summer. It will be our daughter’s first international trip. In fact, none of us have ever been on a trip of this magnitude.With the transportation and lodging all booked, we are starting to plan what we actually want to do when we get there. We are not cool people who can float with the wind. Without plans, our adventures turn into chaos pretty quickly, and we want to take advantage of any advance discounts. One of the places we’re considering for our trip is Disneyland Paris. Disney can be the bane of a money saver’s existence. Overpriced admissions, food, drinks, and souvenirs disguised in mouse ears can really trip up a travel budget. It almost makes me wonder why frugal people actually go to Disneyland. Our Disneyland Experience We did go to Disneyland California a few years ago. It was halfway through our debt payoff journey. After almost a year of spending as little as possible, we needed a reward. Lest you think we went all crazy with the Pirates of the Caribbean, I can honestly say that this was the first frugal ...

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Family Trip To Europe With Points and Miles

Courtesy: Wikipedia Commons

This post is part two in a series about how I’m taking a family trip to Europe with the help of points and miles. If you are not into travel rewards, feel free to go back and read about debt or retirement. Part 1: My Ambitious Plan To Get 3 People To Europe With Points and Miles When when we last discussed this trip, my family was booked on flights from Durango, Colorado to Boston, then from Boston to Dublin. Now that we’re across the pond, the real fun begins. Let me say, it’s very hard to find basic hotel rooms in Europe that accommodate more than two people. You can’t even sneak in a cot. It’s a money making scheme fire safety rule that you have to either upgrade to a suite or pay for two rooms if you have a family. Since we ARE NOT putting our daughter in a room by herself, I’ve almost made my eyes bleed doing research to find hotels that we can book with points and be able to have 3 people in a room. Some of them are not right in the main tourist center, but that’s OK. It will give us ...

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Booking the US Airways $99 Companion Certificate

cheap flights to San Francisco

  Since we never carry a balance on credit cards anymore, Jim and I have been taking advantage of credit card sign up bonuses for the past couple of years. We’ve had a great trips to the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, Yellowstone, and are planning a blow out trip to the East coast and Europe next year. A large portion of these trips have been funded with points and miles we get for paying expenses with credit cards. With our rental properties and various business expenses, it’s pretty easy for us to hit minimum spending requirements to get huge bonuses. However, I know many readers don’t spend that much per month, which is great, unless you’d like to take advantage of all the bonus points floating around out there. Enter the US Airways credit card. With this card, the sign up bonus  kicks in after your first purchase plus the $89 annual fee. So for under $100, you can get all the points that I talked about in this post. Another benefit of this card is a companion certificate for two extra people with a paid ticket. I’ve had various companion certificates over the years from one promotion or another, but ...

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My Ambitious Plan To Get 3 People To Europe With Points And Miles

Dublin Castle

One of the main reasons I’ve completely changed my work and money habits over the last few years was to spend more time with my family.Travel is one of our main priorities, and we’ve taken some really sweet trips. Since learning to use credit cards responsibly, we’ve taken advantage of some amazing bonus offers to vacation for pennies on the dollar. Right now, I’m in the process of planning our most ambitious trip yet: 3 weeks of travel. We’ll be starting on the east coast, then on to Europe next summer, mostly with points and miles. I honestly never thought we could afford a three week trip to anywhere, let alone one with multiple flights and hotel stays, but I promise it’s possible and here’s how we’re going to do it. A Word About Travel Hacking If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know we used to be bogged down in the swamp of credit card debt. It really was like slogging through sludge to pay it off. I can totally see how someone who pays off debt would never want to use credit cards again, but I also see the beauty of taking advantage of all ...

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