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Tag Archives: Credit Card rewards

How to Use Credit Cards to Your Advantage

How to Use Credit Cards to Your Advantage

The advice you get from some finance blogs is to use extreme measures to avoid running up credit card debt. They may suggest things such as cutting up your credit cards or placing them in a container of water and freezing them to prevent you from using them – at least until they thaw. But I know that credit cards can be used to your advantage if you are able to use them with self control. Like anything else, they are a tool. It’s you that determines if they will be an asset or detriment to your finances. Here are some ways you can use credit cards to your advantage. Pay Your Balance off Each Month Don’t run your credit card balance up so high you can’t pay it off each month. Doing so will allow you to eliminate paying interest on your balance and giving away your hard earned money to credit card companies for free. In addition, you potentially have the ability to use that same money to earn interest for yourself for the same time period. If you aren’t able to pay the balance each month, always make the minimum payment and make a larger payment whenever possible. ...

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Spring Break Trip to Washington D.C.

spring break at Cherry Blossom Festival

It’s been less than a month since our last vacation, but I’m already chomping at the bit to head out of town again. I may have missed my calling. If it were the 80’s all over again, I’d be opening up a travel agency. Luckily, you don’t need a travel agent to take a fantastic and frugal vacation. I just booked a spring break trip to Washington D.C. for less than $500. The Value of Different Points and Miles Programs There are rarely saver level redemptions from the small regional airports that are convenient to us, and we don’t have time or desire to drive to Albuquerque this spring break. Tickets were pricing out at around $800 each from Durango, way more than we wanted to spend. I have been known to hoard points and miles, usually for a blow out trip like our European vacation last summer. Right now, we are sitting on a huge stash of American miles, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend 100,000 of them for two tickets from Durango to DC. Those miles can take us back to Hawaii or Europe. We needed another alternative and decided to use Citi Thank You Points. Those ...

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Visiting Amsterdam With Children

canal ride in amsterdam

Amsterdam was the last stop on our summer European vacation. I’ve always been told that this is the city where one can legally consume or participate in all sorts of debauchery, but I also know that most cities wear far more than one hat. Heck, if you think all Coloradans sit around smoking weed all day, you aren’t really paying attention. I would advise parents not to worry about visiting Amsterdam with children. Despite some awful weather, we had a great time. If you missed other stops on our tour, feel free to catch up. Dublin Edinburgh and St. Andrews London Paris Double Tree Amsterdam Above and Beyond We arrived at Centraal Station by train from Paris. I thought it was strange how security was non-existent as we boarded the train. Sadly, an alleged terrorist attempted an attack on this very same train shortly after we arrived back home. I hope they have since put some stronger measures in place. Our train ride was thankfully uneventful. We chose the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station for our first two days because it was bookable at 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night, and it is right beside the train station. ...

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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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Fun Things You Get To Do After Paying Off Credit Card Debt

Fun after debt

I know there are many readers out there who are struggling to pay off debt. I’m not necessarily talking about mortgages or well chosen student loans, although those can certainly become burdensome if you get in over your head. I’m talking about the big bad debt that comes with high interest payments or a deadline you have to meet before you get socked with even higher interest. We’ve seen our share of bad debt with credit cards, revolving finance plans, and car payments for new cars we didn’t need.  I like to think of this as evil debt because it robs you of choices and freedoms that you can never have unless you are debt free. I’m living proof that you can overcome those type debts, and when you do, there is so much fun to be had! Here are a few of my favorite fun things we’ve been able to do since paying off our evil debts. Use Credit Card Rewards for Free Travel Over the past year or so, I’ve learned so much about how to use various credit card bonuses to earn points and miles for buying things I needed to buy anyway. If you do it ...

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