Personal Finance

Where Would You Go With 70,000 Ultimate Reward Points?

With Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points being some of the most valuable points around (due to the availability of great transfer partners in their program), any way to earn more points quickly is crucial.  You can often squeeze two cents per point of value out by utilizing transfer partners in the right way.  Yesterday, we got word that Chase has raised the sign-up bonus for their Chase Ink Plus card to 70,000 miles for in-branch applications.  That's 10,000 points above the current 60,000 point offer and 20,000 above the historic 50,000 point sign-up bonus.  Let's dive into just how to take advantage of this offer!

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You can now use Citi ThankYou Points for rewards seats on 84 airlines

If you've been paying attention to credit card rewards programs, you probably think Citi ThankYou Points are kind of a joke. Once a great program, ThankYou points were devalued over and over until the same points that once could sometimes get you across an ocean were all but useless. Until today. Read more

Beginner's Guide To Points and Miles Part 4: Earning Rewards From Travel

In the first part of this beginner's guide, I introduced the concept of points and miles, and where they come from. In part 2, I showed you how important credit cards can be to earning points and miles. In part 3, we learned you how you can use promotions and other special offers to boost your your balances of points and miles. Today, I want to show you ways to earn more points and miles from the travel you purchase.
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Want To Save On School Supplies? Skip The Bundles

Like the holiday shopping season, back-to-school shopping seems to start a little earlier with each coming school year.

A recent poll of Brad's Deals shoppers found that 52% of consumer start their back-to-school shopping by Mid-July, and the National Retail Federation projects back-to-school shopping will hit $74.9 billion this year, a slight increase from 2013.
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Beginner's Guide To Points And Miles Part 3: Promotions And Special Offers

In the first part of this beginner's guide, I introduced the concept of points and miles, and where they come from. In part two, I showed you how important credit cards can be to earning points and miles. Today, I want to show you how you can use promotions and other special offers to boost your your balances of points and miles.

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Beginner's Guide To Miles And Points Part 2: Using Credit Cards

Last week, in Part 1 of this beginner's guide, I laid out exactly where points and miles come from, and what they are. Furthermore, I implored you to organize your accounts and set a modest goal for earning and spending miles on nice trip.

Today, I want to show you how credit cards have become one of the most popular way to earn miles and points, and how you can safely use them to reach your award travel goals. Read more

Beginner's Guide To Miles And Points, Part 1: Where Do Miles And Points Come From?

Every year, my family and I travel across the country and around the world, flying in business class and staying luxury hotels. It's not that we're rich, we just know how to earn and redeem points and miles offered by airlines, hotels, and credit card issuers.

The truth is that collecting and spending these points and miles is not that hard, anyone can do it. Read more

Show Me the Money: How to Find, Apply, and Write Your Way to a Winning College Scholarship

STOP. I know what you're thinking. Why waste time writing and applying for a college scholarship when you know you won't win?

I've heard this response from students countless times, year after year. It's almost as though everyone has been brainwashed to think they can't be a winner. And who can blame them?

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Which Type Of Travel Rewards Credit Card Should You Use?

The credit card industry is nothing if not fiercely competitive. Card issuers are continuously creating new products to appeal to customers, and trying to convince everyone that its cards are the best.

When it comes to travel reward credit cards, there has been a sharp divide in recent years between two types of products.

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When Should You Cancel a Credit Card? Almost Never!

When searching for good deals, the credit card companies are my allies. They offer me tons of free points and miles, and allow me to travel the world for nearly nothing! Yet one of the questions I hear most often is, how long I keep these cards? Others ask me what they should do when their card comes up for renewal and the annual fee is due.

Here's the way I handle it

When to Cancel a Credit CardI know that having several credit cards open in good standing improves my credit history, so I have no problem hanging on to cards that I have applied for, even if I rarely use them.

One of the biggest myths about credit cards is that you can have too many. That is not even close to being true! First, the length of your credit history has a big influence on your credit score, so dropping a card is a bad move since it kills the length and breadth of that history. Another big factor is your credit utilization ratio. When you cancel a credit card, your available credit shrinks, making your existing credit card debt a bigger percentage of the whole. So if you carry any credit card debt at all, between losing that card's history and increasing your credit utilization ratio, closing a card will hurt your overall credit score!

The only downside to keeping open most credit card accounts is that they require an annual fee.

Here are some other reasons why I keep them open:

First, I have the signup bonus, so there is no reason to cancel the card for a year, at least until the annual fee is due. Besides, I might find that this card has some value and continue using it. In other cases, I have received some great bonus offers in the mail where I get double or triple miles for certain purchases during a limited time.

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