Four Ways to Save on Foreign Transactions While Traveling

Four Ways to Save on Foreign Transactions While Traveling

Your trip is booked, your bags are packed, and you’re ready to go. Chances are the last thing on your mind is how you’re going to save money on currency conversion fees, securing pocket cash and on your foreign purchases.

These expenses can add up though and without some upfront planning, you’ll return from your holiday with a bank or credit card statement full of fees. Minimal time invested before you go can result in reducing transaction fees, avoiding overcharges for foreign travel expenses and even earning rewards while you’re traveling.

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The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Credit Card Without a Social Security Number

The Ultimate Guide to Getting a Credit Card Without a Social Security Number

The good news is that you don’t need a Social Security number to get a credit card. The bad news is that you’ll probably have to establish a credit history in the United States before applying.

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Flying Blue Eliminates Free Stopover on Award Tickets

Flying Blue Eliminates Free Stopover on Award Tickets

Flying Blue is the frequent flyer program of Air France-KLM. They share it with some partners: Kenya Airways, Tarom, Aircalin, and Transavia. It is one of Europe’s major frequent flyer programs, along with Executive Club (British Airways) and Miles&More (Lufthansa group).

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Chase Implements Major Restrictions on the Sapphire Family of Cards

Chase Implements Major Restrictions on the Sapphire Family of Cards

Chase continues to make it more difficult to get approved for new credit cards and earns large sums of points with sign up bonuses. By now, many are familiar with the 5/24 rule, in which Chase will automatically reject applications for most of their cards if you have opened five or more new credit card accounts with any bank within the last 24 months.

Now, Chase has come out with a new rule, targeted at the Sapphire family of cards. There are three cards in the Sapphire family: the no annual fee Sapphire card, Sapphire Preferred, and Sapphire Reserve. Here are the new rules per a memo sent to Chase bankers:

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Should you Keep, Cancel, or Downgrade your Chase Sapphire Reserve?

Should you Keep, Cancel, or Downgrade your Chase Sapphire Reserve?

It’s hard to believe it has already been a year since Chase announced the release of the Chase Sapphire Reserve℠. This card and its promotional 100K point sign up bonus sent shockwaves around the travel blogosphere.

For those who signed up for the card shortly after it was announced, the annual fee is coming due, so it’s time to decide whether to keep, cancel, or downgrade the card. With a hefty $450 annual fee, the threshold for keeping this card is higher than most.

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How to Visit Two Caribbean Islands for the Price of One

How to Visit Two Caribbean Islands for the Price of One

Travelers who are also country counters always look for ways to maximize their travel time and visit more than one place per trip. Although traveling longer is the most obvious answer, sometimes traveling smarter also does the trick. Knowing special routings and which frequent-flyer miles to use where can help you maximize that time on the ground.

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How Do I Know if a Flight Redemption is Good Value?

How Do I Know if a Flight Redemption is Good Value?

When you collect points and miles you do it for the value, not for the mere pleasure of accumulating millions of them–although there is certainly some excitement when you see them piling up. I still remember how thrilled I was to accrue my first 30,000 miles. But I was even more excited to make my first redemption for a round-trip flight to South East Asia with the return flying Thai and Lufthansa first class. This was a ticket worth a few thousand dollars in value. The economy round trip-ticket would have easily run $1,200.

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How to Maximize SPG Points with Marriott Travel Packages

How to Maximize SPG Points with Marriott Travel Packages

When Mariott and SPG merged last year we wrote about the new opportunities the merger created. First Marriott quickly installed a policy allowing members of either program to convert their points back and forth at a ratio of one SPG point to three Marriott points.

SPG points are one of the most valuable currencies in the travel rewards game, with the ability to transfer to over 30 airline partners providing a great deal of flexibility. And if you transfer increments of 20K SPG points to airline partners, you receive a 5K mile bonus, effectively making SPG points worth 1.25 airline miles of your choice. But you can do even better than that. We will show how you can get more than 1.25 miles per point and get a free hotel stay.

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Could Chase Devalue Ultimate Rewards and How to Protect Your Points

Could Chase Devalue Ultimate Rewards and How to Protect Your Points

Chase recently sent out a survey to selected cardholders to gauge opinions on several potential negative changes that could be made to the Ultimate Rewards program and its associated credit cards. While no changes are imminent, this survey could give us some insight into what may occur in the future. Since program devaluations are a constant source of risk in the travel rewards game, it helps to consider which opportunities currently provide outsized value that may be ripe for devaluation.

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Top 9 Reasons Why I Love the Premium Citi Prestige Card

Top 9 Reasons Why I Love the Premium Citi Prestige Card

The Citi Prestige credit card is one of my top cards. In fact, I always use it for booking flights, but it is also great for a few other reasons! Here’s why I love the Citi Prestige.

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Guide to the Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free Benefit

Guide to the Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free Benefit

One of the greatest –if not the greatest –credit card benefits is the 4th Night Free perk exclusively with the Citi Prestige® Card. Today we’ll do a deep dive into what it is and how to use it.

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Use the Fifth Freedom Right to See More Places

Use the Fifth Freedom Right to See More Places

World leaders tend to argue about everything, but they have worked out a lot of issues to make sure that most of our flights go smoothly. The International Civil Aviation Association (ICAO) recognizes five Freedoms of the Air that make modern commercial aviation possible. Since all countries are protective of their borders and revenues, international treaties had to be put in place to ensure that airlines can fly freely anywhere in the world

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American Express Authorized User and Spending Bonuses

American Express Authorized User and Spending Bonuses

Lately American Express has been offering some great authorized user and spending bonuses for several of their cards. Many of these bonuses are targeted, but it might be worth calling American Express to see if you can get the promotion applied to your account. Below I will go into detail about the authorized user and spending bonuses that have been popping up so you know what to be on the lookout for!

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Hard-to-Reach Islands You Can Get to With United’s Excursionist Perk

Hard-to-Reach Islands You Can Get to With United’s Excursionist Perk

If you’re looking to maximize your hard-earned airline miles by booking trips to multiple cities, or even countries, United MileagePlus is one of the best programs to do just that. The program allows for a longer stop in a city on the way to your destination, dubbed the Excursionist Perk, which lets passengers book a free one-way flight within a round-trip. Essentially, you can book three flights for the price of two if you do it correctly. A stop can be as short as 24 hours and as long as the calendar allows you to book.

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Do You Need New Visas When You Get A New Passport?

Do You Need New Visas When You Get A New Passport?

Say you’re planning a trip to a country for which you have a valid visa, but then you realize something: by the time you depart, your passport will have expired, but your visa will not have. What can you do?

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Mid-year Status Considerations for Airline Loyalty Programs

Mid-year Status Considerations for Airline Loyalty Programs

Now that the year is half over it’s a good time for savvy travelers to reflect on the awesome and free trips they’ve taken, on the miles they’ve flown, and on the status they’ve achieved or hope to.

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How Long Can You Live on Hotel Card Sign-Up Bonuses

How Long Can You Live on Hotel Card Sign-Up Bonuses

There are quite a few different hotel credit cards out there all offering lucrative sign-up bonuses. Some offer a number of free nights while others offer a certain number of points. It’s pretty clear how many nights you can stay for free with the first type of sign-up bonus, but the cards that offer points are a bit more tricky. Here are the main hotel credit cards currently available and the number of free nights you can get — plus the total number of nights you could live out of hotels if you got all of these cards at the same time (which I totally don’t recommend)!

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Earn More Miles with the MileagePlus X App

Earn More Miles with the MileagePlus X App

United Airlines is one of the biggest airlines in the world, and therefore it’s no surprise that their loyalty program, MileagePlus, is also one of the most popular airline loyalty programs. It allows you to earn miles by flying on United Airlines flights, and redeeming those miles for free flights on United. But did you know that you can also earn United miles from your everyday shopping, through the MileagePlus X app?

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Premium Credit Cards: Which Ones to Keep

Premium Credit Cards: Which Ones to Keep

In the last year several banks have come out with new premium cards, and there are more to come. With an onslaught of ultra-expensive credit cards tempting us with huge sign-up bonuses, deciding which card to keep becomes a real dilemma. As of now, there are seven premium credit cards that you might want to hold due to their bonuses and other perks:

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Exceptions to the Chase 5/24 Rule

Exceptions to the Chase 5/24 Rule

Chase’s 5/24 rule really rocked the boat last year when it came to light what was happening. For those of you that haven’t heard of the rule or aren’t entirely clear what it means; Chase will not approve you for [most] new credit cards if you’ve gotten five or more new credit cards within the last 24 months. Luckily for us, there are exceptions to this rule both in the form of cards that don’t count toward your 5/24 status and cards that are not bound by the 5/24 rule.

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