Credit Cards used to make and save money!
These 5 credit cards are no ordinary credit cards…. they are ones you should never live without. Considering all the opinions and hype out there regarding whether or not you should apply, listen to a couple of normal people, who love to save money and make money, especially if it helps us to travel on a more regular basis!
First, lets begin by laying out the 2 most common misconceptions regarding credit cards.
- Applying for multiple credit cards will hurt your credit. – NOT TRUE. It’s funny how your credit score is calculated, but in the end, having more, open credit will look better on your report and your score will grow. This does not mean you should apply for 12 cards tomorrow. Applications need to be spaced out over a period of time, but two a month will not seem desperate nor will it dock your credit score. Keeping a couple long term cards open and active on your report will also help your score.
- It’s impossible to pay off my bill each month. – NOT TRUE. You need to be balanced. I’m not saying that you will not need to exercise control over your spending. Credit cards will save you money if you use them for purchases you were already going to make during that month, purchases you would have made with a debit card. Pay the CC balance in full, on time and ta-da! You earned money, rewards, or points and will thank yourself later for simply signing on that “dotted” line.
Points to Value: Avg $0.02 per point
Why you need to apply: Our favorite thing about this credit card is the hotels attached to it. We love the comfort and luxury Hyatt Hotels offers, without the price tag attached. In our opinion they have the most incredibly comfortable beds out of any hotel chain we’ve ever stayed in. This credit card enables us to earn points towards rewards stay nights at Hyatt properties world wide.
Bottom line: FREE LUXURY HOTEL stays for CHEAPER TRAVEL.
- Sign up and earn 40,000 bonus points = 1 Free night at a crazy luxurious $1,000 a night hotel or 2 Free nights at a high quality (category 4) property such as The Olive 8 in Seattle. If you choose category 1 hotels, you will get 8 FREE NIGHTS!
- Each year on your sign up anniversary you get a FREE NIGHT at a category 1-4 hotel.
- You have a better chance of getting your room upgraded when you are a Hyatt credit card holder.
- Points to value ratio is one of the best there is offered by a credit card company. Their points are more valuable than most other hotel chains.
- Earn 3 points per dollar spent at Hyatt properties.2 points at restaurants, and 1 point on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees for international travel.
Points to value: Average $0.01 per point
Why should you apply: Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world, meaning you can’t pick a location without having this hotel as an option to stay. These properties are high quality, upscale and clean no matter which location you choose.
BOTTOM LINE: FREE NIGHTS at convenient locations.
- Sign up to receive 80,000 bonus points after qualifying purchases.
- Annually receive a FREE night at a category 1-5 hotel which more than offsets the annual fee.
- They often have promotions during the year where you can earn additional free nights upon stay.
- You earn 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott properties and 1 point on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees for international travel.
Points to value: Earn 6% back on grocery purchases & 3% back on gas and department store purchases.
Why you need to apply: This card offers a generous cash back feature that can be used as a statement credit to pay your bill or can be deposited into your bank account. We all have to spend a ton of money on everyday grocery purchases and there’s no other card out there that can compete with this percentage back, equaling money in your pocket. If the average family spends $500 per month in groceries, over the course of a year you will earn over $600 dollars cash back! No brainer!
BOTTOM LINE: Generous MONEY BACK percentages on everyday purchases.
- Earn $250 cash back after qualified purchases.
- Bonus offers on specific merchants. Example: currently taking advantage of $50 off a HULU account and 10% off at Chevron Gas Stations.
- Extended warranty protection on purchased items.
Points to value: Average $0.03 per point
Why you need to apply: Starwood is one of the most valuable point “currencies”. Starwood is apart of a group of luxurious hotel chains such as the Weston, Sheraton, and St. Regis. Whether you choose high end or more modest hotel chains, this card offers the ability to stay multiple nights for FREE.
BOTTOM LINE: FREE NIGHTS and EASY TO EARN POINTS
- Very few points are required to redeem FREE nights, so your points stretch further.
- If you redeem 4 nights on points, you receive the 5th FREE!
- Redeem Starwood points for reward airfare or transfer to your favorite frequent flyer account program!
- On weekdays, category 2 hotels are only 4,000 points or 3,000 weekends. With 25,000 sign up bonus points, do the math on how many FREE NIGHTS you earn!
Points to value: Average $0.02 per point
Why you need to apply: This is the ultimate travel card. If you like to travel, this is the card for you. At face value the $450 dollar annual fee looks like a deal breaker, but the rewards outweigh the cost. Let me explain. Annually you receive a $300 dollar travel credit. You can also receive $100 credit back when applying for TSA precheck, making the airport security lines less stressful.
You receive access to elite airport lounges, meaning closed off rooms at airports with FREE food, alcohol, espresso makers and plush leather chairs for naps. Elite rent-a-car services and benefits, means not only do you save on the rental car price but you can walk in, show your card and walk out with your keys in less than five minutes. Read of my experience on the East Coast using this benefit. The card offers primary rental car insurance giving you peace of mind, helping you avoid tacking on the insurance fees at the rental car counter.
BOTTOM LINE: These perks make your travel days more enjoyable.
- 50,000 bonus points on qualified purchases.
- Quickly earn points for FREE travel.
- Easy to earn points with 3% back on all travel and restaurant purchases.
- Points are flexible/transferable to other reward programs.
Try one of these travel credit cards to start the “earning points game”! If you decide to apply for multiple cards, you will get to the point when you can piece together a FREE vacation. Start planning now! Traveling can be expensive and at times stressful due to the amounts we pay. By using these cards you can feel relief that you’re getting the most for your money, allowing you a stress free, relaxing vacation. Let the credit card companies pay you to travel!