Don’t Make This Huge Mistake with Statement Credits & Minimum Payments

Don’t Make This Huge Mistake with Statement Credits & Minimum Payments

Bank of America Statement Credit Towards Payment In the credit card game it is the little things that can kill you. Even if you know what you are doing and know the rules, you are going to make mistakes. Recently I made a stupid mistake, even though I theoretically knew better. For teaching purposes (and to shame myself) I thought I would share my tale of woe to help you my readers avoid the same situation….

Read More

Can You Just Flash Any Credit Card To Get Lounge Access?

Can You Just Flash Any Credit Card To Get Lounge Access?

No need to have a working Amex to get lounge access and free beer. An anonymous tipster who didn’t want to be named (for the obvious reasons!) turned me onto this trick rather recently. He mentioned it was possible to get access just by flashing his American Express Platinum card to get lounge access, even when it wasn’t valid. In this particular case, the American Express Platinum card allows “complimentary entry to a Centurion Lounge, Airspace Lounge…

Read More

SPG Rewards Officially Loves Uber

SPG Rewards Officially Loves Uber

It’s a good thing at least someone loves Uber, because I don’t love Travis Kalanick, who’s possibly the worst human being on earth. But maybe you love Starwood and free hotel stays! The Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program has now partnered with Uber so that guests can earn points toward free stays every time they take an Uber. All guests are at least guaranteed to earn one point for every dollar they spend with Uber, with…

Read More

The One Hack That Will Save You Hundreds While Traveling

The One Hack That Will Save You Hundreds While Traveling

Things I hate: Searching for a no-fee ATM, cash-only establishments, and foreign exchange fees. Things I love: Finding a bank that eliminates all of those things. If you’re paying ATM charges or penalties for using your debit or credit card while traveling, stop that right now. There are plenty of banks out there that now offer no monthly fees, no foreign transaction penalties, and will even refund any ATM fees you might incur from other…

Read More

Avoid Teller Fees Through the Global ATM Alliance

Avoid Teller Fees Through the Global ATM Alliance

Cash is king. And the worst place to exchange your money is at the airport: foreign exchange desks are known to rip you off. In fact, it’s often much, much cheaper (and more efficient, to boot) to withdraw from an ATM. Especially when there are no charges. However, most banks will charge transaction fees (anywhere from $3 to $5) and can often charge an additional percentage for each foreign currency withdrawal. This scenario often leads…

Read More

Why It’s Always Better to Pay in the Local Currency

Why It’s Always Better to Pay in the Local Currency

And the answer to this one isn’t just so you don’t look like a tourist. Let’s assume you haven’t gotten ripped off by ATM or exchange commission fees, first. That said, it is almost always better to pay in the local currency. Often merchants will user a preferential (read: higher, and thus more expensive) rate if you choose to use non-local bills. But it’s just a couple of cents, you say. For a weekend trip,…

Read More

Reader Q: What’s the Best Way To Get Foreign Cash?

Reader Q: What’s the Best Way To Get Foreign Cash?

There are so many options to get foreign cash that it can be confusing. Chris wants to know the best and cheapest way to exchange U.S. dollars. With much ado: I’m looking for the best way to get foreign cash (in our case, Euros). I was hoping to see if it’s ultimately less expensive to get cash while at home before, exchange cash on the trip, use ATMs, or (god forbid) cash traveler’s checks. Does…

Read More

Read the Fine Print Before You Swipe Abroad

Read the Fine Print Before You Swipe Abroad

Nothing’s more certain than life, death and fees. Taxes you can escape if you have offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands. There’s also no quicker way for banks to take your card for a wild ride than when you’re out of the country. Not only do most banks charge a fee for using an out-of-network ATM (a $5 fee per withdrawal is common), but if you decide to swipe your card instead, they can often…

Read More

The Pros and Cons of Playing the Credit Card Game

The Pros and Cons of Playing the Credit Card Game

I’ve been playing the travel game for a long time now, but for those who decide to do it by taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses, do so at your own risk. Credit cards, without a doubt, are the fastest way to accumulate free miles to a free trip. If you’ve got a good credit score, some of the best travel credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard and even…

Read More

Alert the Bank Before You Leave the Country

Alert the Bank Before You Leave the Country

Nothing brings a trip to a quicker halt than having no cash to pay… for anything. It may be low down on your to-do list but make sure you let your bank know your travel plans. Banks are lean and mean machines – not surprising, since they’re billion-dollar institutions. They get to know you and your spending patterns by keeping tabs on your history. If you don’t usually leave the country, the system will automatically…

Read More
1 2 3