Saturday, July 21, 2007

Travel Cheap

I love to travel. But with a limited income we have to be creative in how we do so. One way we fund our travel is through credit card rewards. For instance, Stephanie just recently received an American Airlines Mastercard. There is no annual fee the first year, and after she spends $750, she will get 20,000 frequent flier miles. Then we cancel before we have the card a year, and thus avoid paying an annual fee. She already has 5000 miles, so this credit card will enable us to have a free plane ticket anywhere in the United States. These kind of deals have helped us fund our flying back to see family. (FYI: If you want to actually get a ticket for 25,000 miles, you need to book 3 months in advance or more)

The other one I recently got was the Starwood Hotels Credit Card. After your first purchase you are credited with 10,000 Starpoints. You can use those points to pay for 1 or 2 or 3 nights at a Sheraton, Westin, Four Points, or a few other hotels. For instance we are staying at a Sheraton in Birmingham in September on our way to the beach. It will cost 4000 points for a $150 room. A night at a hotel on the beach or in a place like San Francisco or Chicago would run you closer to 10,000 points.

Disclaimer: If you have had trouble with credit in the past, please avoid these. They give these deals because most people end up spending more in interest and fees than they get in plane tickets or hotel rooms. But if you have the ability to use a credit card, pay it off each month, and avoid ever paying interest, these deals may be of interest to you.

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