Travel Freedom Tips

How is a Credit Card Number Selected? They’re Not Just Random

How is a credit card number selected

A credit card number is a 16-digit string of numbers, separated in 4 groups of 4 numbers each for ease of reading. In some cases, the number can be as long as 19 digits.

 

Have you ever wondered how that number is generated? Well, we’ve got the answer. The numbers are based on the American National Standards Institute ANSI numbering system.

Travel Freedom Credit Card

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Purpose of the Credit Card Numbers

Credit Card numbers are more than just random digits. Parts of the number are identification markers for the kind of credit card that it is. The first six digits are used to identify the card issuer and the type of card it is. The first digit is called the major industry identifier or MII.

 

  • The numbers 1 and 2 are issued by airlines.
  • The number 3 is issued by the entertainment and travel industry. The MII for American Express card is 3.
  • The numbers 4 and 5 are reserved for banking and financial institutions. Visa Cards begin with the MII 4. Cards from MasterCard start with the MII 5.
  • Number 6 is issued by merchandising and banking industry. For example, cards issued by Discover start with the number 6.
  • The number 7 is reserved for petrol and oil companies.
  • Number 8 is issued by telecommunication companies.
  • Number 9 is reserved for national assignment.

 

The digits from 2 – 6 are reserved for the bank that is issuing the card, the currency information stored on the card or the kind of services that are available on it. Each card issuing authority may use the numbers in a different manner. For example, MasterCard uses the digits two and three or two through six to identify the bank number. On the other hand, American Express uses digits three and four to specify the currency on the card and services it provides.

 

The digits 8 – 15 on the card are used to identify the bank account holder’s information and links the card to the debit or credit account. When you enter the credit card number to an online vendor for purchase, these digits are used to forward the transaction to your bank and ask for verification.

 

The last digit on a credit card is called a checksum. It is a key that is used to identify whether a card is valid. The key is created by a formula known as the Luhn algorithm. The algorithm is used to create this last digit, based on the first 15 digits on the card.

 

The checksum is able to identify errors quickly as there is only a one in ten chance that a randomly generated card number has the correct last checksum. It can detect when a person enters incorrect card information.

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Luhn Algorithm Calculation

The Luhn algorithm can be calculated by the ‘modulo arithmetic’ principle of digital roots. The algorithm uses modulo 10 mathematics.

 

This method takes every odd digit on a credit card number from the left and multiplies it by 2. The result of multiplication for all the numbers is added together to give a total. This total is called the ‘digital root’.

 

The next step is to add all the even numbers on the card. The sum of the even numbers is added to the digital root to give the final total. The last digit is calculated as the number that would be needed to make the total a multiple of 10.

 

For example, supposes that the first 15 digits on a Visa card are 4051 2867 9734 524. The sum of odd numbers multiplied by 2 would be:

  • 4 x 2 = 8
  • 5 x 2 = 10 i.e. 1+0
  • 2 x 2 = 4
  • 6 x 2 = 12 i.e. 1+2
  • 9 x 2 = 18 i.e. 1+8
  • 3 x 2 = 6
  • 5 x 2 = 10 i.e. 1+0
  • 4 x 2 = 8

 

Total would be 8 + 1 + 0 + 4 +1 + 2 +1 + 8+ 6 + 1 + 0 + 8 = 40.

 

Then, we add the total of all the even numbers 0 + 1 + 8 + 7 +7 + 4 + 2 = 29.

 

These two numbers would be added to give us a total of 40 + 29 = 69.

 

In order to make the number a multiple of 10 i.e. 70, we would need to add the digit 1. Thus the last checksum for the hypothetical number above would make I 4051 2867 9734 5241.

 

While it is possible to calculate this checksum and hackers can get around the check, it does add a little complexity and security to the number to protect it from poorly educated criminals.

How to Apply for a Credit Card Online: It’s Quite Simple

how to apply for a credit card online

Credit cards are very useful as they can be charged for getting access to different types of funds. Short-term loans and bank credit are effective for funding business or personal expenses. Smart entrepreneurs also use credit cards to fund assets through debt restructuring where the outstanding credit can be apportioned to be paid over one or two years. If you’re nervous about the application process, read on. Here’s everything you need to know about how to apply for a credit card online.

 

Many businesses take loans to finance operations. Loans usually cost businesses less than it costs to raise equity. Corporate credit cards are effective for funding temporary projects. They are also easy to apply and receive through online registration.

 

Personal credit cards can also be acquired through an online application process. If you have a good credit rating, you should be able to get one through relative ease. In this blog post, we describe the process of how to apply for a credit card through an online application.

 

Safety for Online Credit Card Application

The first concern for people looking to apply for an online credit card is identity and information safety. There is some risk of identity theft when trying to apply for a card online. Hackers can steal your information and use your personal information to change the mailing address for the card.

 

However, the risk is very small. Most reputable banks are now using online encryption technology for application submission. To ensure the connection is secure, check the bank’s address at the top in the URL bar. If it says “https” instead of “http” then that means the website is secure.

 

Another thing to make sure for online application is that you are the one who initiates the application process. If you get an email offering you a credit card or a pop-up message on a website that offers a credit card, then be very careful about proceeding. Senders of such unsolicited messages asking for personal information like SSN, home address, or date of birth. Do not share any such information with them.

 

Purpose of Credit Card

Once you have the security sorted, the first step is to identify why you are getting the card. Are you looking to get credit to manage your monthly expenses? Or perhaps you want to get a rewards credit card to get the best sales offers? Most people get a credit card to fund their business expenses.

 

Depending on your needs, you will need to select one of three credit card types.

  1. Standard Credit Card
  2. Rewards or Loyalty Points Card
  3. Corporate Credit Card

 

Compare Rates and Fees

Next, you should research the card charges, rates, and benefits offered by different banks, and card providers. There are five important things that you should consider here.

 

  1. Available Limit – This will depend on your income and existing credit score.
  2. Annual Fee– This is the annual fees charged by the card issuing company. It is usually between $20 and $50. However, some cards can be more expensive.
  3. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This is the fees and interest you would be paying on the outstanding balance. Your APR can be fixed or floating. Fixed APR is charged at the same rate regardless of national interest rates. Floating charge fluctuates with changes in national interest rates.
  4. Grace Period – This is the time period you are allowed to settle the balance from the date of the transaction without incurring any interest on it.
  5. Late Fee – This is the fees you will be charged if you settle the debt soon after the due date has passed. Most banks charge a late fee for missed payments.

 

Know Your Credit Score

Your credit score is your history of meeting obligations and clearing outstanding balances on time. If you consistently buy on credit and clear the accounts on time, your credit score will go up. If you fail to meet payments on time, your score will go down. Increase in income, paying off debt or mortgage also increases your credit score. Taking on new debts or additional obligatory payments decrease the score.

 

A good score will allow you to get a better card limit and may also affect your fixed APR to give you better rates. Do note that every time you apply for a credit card or a new loan such as a mortgage or mobile plan, it has an effect on your credit score. If your request for credit is rejected for any reason, it further deteriorates your credit score. So, make sure that your application is ready for acceptance before applying.

 

Credit Sesame Price: Free Get your free credit score each month, and monitor your credit report at no cost. We'll also send you monitoring alerts about changes to your credit report. Credit Sesame Last Updated: 10/02/2018

 

Decide on a Credit Card

Once you have done the appropriate research on the credit card that you want, go through the company’s terms of services and conditions. Make sure you read and understand the conditions. Getting a credit card is a big commitment and you should never rush into applying for a credit card to meet expenses. Keep your income in mind and have a plan on how you will repay the balance before the due date.

 

If you are not clear on the terms or need help to understand the charges better, do not hesitate to approach the company on call and ask for clarifications.

 

Five of our Favorite Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN MORE >>

See our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

Capital One Venture

Introductory Offer:

You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You’ll earn 2X points on every purchase.

Benefits:

Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners.

Annual Fee:

$95 annual fee. (waived year 1)

Our Thoughts:

This is a great travel credit card. It offers a large introductory offer, free TSA PreCheck for 5 years, plus the annual fee is waived the first year.
LEARN MORE >>

See our full review of the Capital One Venture.

 

Amex Platinum Card

Introductory Offer:

You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.

Benefits:

Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).

Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.

$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.

Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.

Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.

Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.

Annual Fee:

$550 annual fee.

Terms Apply

Our Thoughts:

With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
LEARN MORE >>

See our full review of the Amex Platinum.

 

Ink Business Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN MORE >>

See our full review of the Ink Business Preferred.

 

Chase Freedom

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 5% on rotating quarterly categories. (up to $1500 in purchases per quarter)

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.

Free credit score.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You can earn up to 5X per dollar and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

See our full review of the Chase Freedom.

 

Fill Out the Online Application Form

Once you are satisfied with the company and credit card terms, visit the application page for your chosen card company. You will be required to fill out an online form which is similar to the form you fill out when applying at the bank in person.

 

Important information will need to be filled out such as full name, cell phone number, home address and date of birth. You will also need to fill in your SSN, your salary income and other relevant information such as existing loans etc.

 

If you are applying for a corporate card on behalf of your company, you may also be asked to submit business documents and information about the company’s directors and managers.

 

Once you have filled out all the information, you will be required to confirm your identity through a pin code that you will receive through an automated call, text message or email. After you have entered the code, you will need to submit the application.

 

Approval and Credit Card Delivery

After the application has been received by your bank or the credit card company, they will take 2 to 5 business days to go over the detail and confirm the accuracy of the details that you have provided. The company may approach your employer to confirm your job status. They may also check your bank account details. You may also receive a call by a company’s representative to confirm that you have applied for the credit card.

 

These steps are meant to improve transparency and ensure that you have indeed applied for the credit card. For instance, once the information is confirmed, you will receive the credit card through the mail on the address you provided during application submission.

 

Post-Delivery Confirmation

Once you have received the credit card, you will need to get it activated online or through call before it can be used. The verification process is quite easy and usually takes less than 2 to 5 minutes.

Chase Credit Card Application Status: How to Get Approved

chase credit card application status

After applying for a credit card, you’ll receive one of three different Chase credit card application status messages. You will either be instantly approved, denied, or your application will be marked as pending.

 

No matter what message you get, you can still be approved for the Chase credit card that you applied for. If your card is approved instantly, you have nothing to worry about. Your card will be mailed to you, typically within a week. On the other hand, if your card is instantly denied, it may be harder to get approved, but you can still call the Chase reconsideration line to have a human review your application. If your application is “pending”, it usually means that Chase will take a few extra days to make a decision on your approval.

 

If you contact Chase by phone or online to determine the status of a credit card application, you may find out that your application is under review or pending. This means that it has not yet been approved or denied. However, you will most likely receive the bank’s decision concerning your Chase credit card application status within 7 to 10 business days after you apply for a card. In some cases, Chase has been known to take up to 30 days to decide whether to approve or deny a card application.

 

After waiting for the ten days, you may want to contact the Chase customer service department by phone or on the bank’s website concerning your Chase credit card application status. A member of the customer service team may be able to give you updated information and details about the status of your card request. Of course, all Chase credit card applications are classified as “under review” at some point, whether for a minute or for a number of days.

chase card application status

 

How to Check Your Chase Credit Card Application Status

  • Online: If you have a Chase online account, in the search bar on the top left, select “application status”.
  • Phone: for personal credit card applications: 1-888-338-2586. For business credit cards: 1-800-453-9719 

 

If you do not yet have a Chase online account, you can open an account using your Social Security Number and your credit card application number. This will make it easier for you to check your Chase credit card application status quickly.

 

3 Possible Results After Receiving a Pending Application

  1. APPROVED: You may be notified by email or snail mail that your Chase credit card application status is “approved”, and your card should arrive within another week to ten days
  2. DENIED: You may receive notice that your application has been denied, with a follow-up letter containing a full explanation arriving within 7 to 10 days
  3. MORE INFO NEEDED: You may receive a request from the bank for additional information to correct or clarify one or more items on your application.

 

If your Chase credit card application status decision is taking longer to be determined than you expected, do not get discouraged. The bank takes time to review a number of different factors before deciding whether or not to accept you as a credit card account holder. These creditworthiness factors include your income, credit history, debt status, housing type and the number of credit card accounts you have opened recently. If your application is approved and you want to skip waiting for another 7 to 10 days to receive your new credit card, you can notify customer service to request expedited 72-hour delivery of your card. This may or may not come with a fee.

 

What if Your Chase Credit Card Application is Denied?

If you are denied for a Chase credit card, there is no need for despair or to have discouragement. All applications are automatically reviewed without a human taking a look. You always have the option to have a Chase rep look at your application to see how they can get your approved. After denial, the bank may suggest other credit card types that you may be eligible to apply for with a better chance of acceptance. Your options may include cards with lower credit allowances and secured credit cards for which you pay an initial deposit amount that can be refunded after you gain status as a responsible cardholder and bank customer.

 

However, the bank may not offer you the opportunity of applying for other types of credit cards with Chase. Instead, your card denial notification may include suggestions about how to improve your credit rating before applying for future cards or credit lines. If you receive only tips for acquiring a better credit report, be aware that there is further action that you can take concerning your denied application for credit. You should consider taking further action because Chase will often approve a previously denied application when it’s reviewed by a person.

 

Calling the Chase Reconsideration Line

No one likes rejection from a bank, especially when it involves a request for additional credit for more purchasing power. Whether you are rejected as a credit card holder due to delinquencies appearing on your credit report or because of too many open and active accounts, rejection of your request is never pleasant news. However, you should know that you can always request reconsideration of your Chase credit card application status.

 

Chase Reconsideration Line Phone Number: 1-888-270-2127

 

It is not generally known by many consumers that an applicant’s first card rejection is usually issued by a computerized acceptance/rejection program. This program operates based on an algorithm structured to reject applicants with certain entries on their credit histories. For this reason, it can be very worthwhile to request that your application is reconsidered if your initial card request is denied. I’ve personally been denied for many cards by their algorithm and then been easily approved after a human review. I did this by calling the Chase reconsideration line.

chase application status

 

Legally, you can always contact a bank representative to request a second review of your Chase credit card application status using any additional information that may strengthen your chance of acceptance. According to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, creditors must take into consideration all information supplied by the credit applicant that gives any indication that the credit history being reviewed lacks full transparency of the applicant’s true creditworthiness.

 

In general, your likelihood of gaining acceptance as a credit card holder via a reconsideration request will depend on your ability to refute, update or negotiate any damaging data on your credit report. If a credit score lower than the score required for obtaining a Chase card is what caused your application to be disapproved, be sure to point out any errors on any and all of your credit bureau reports. If low income kept you from getting approval for your Chase credit card application status, make sure that your latest credit report data includes your current salary or income level. Often times a denial will happen due to the number of credit cards you already have. In this case, you’ll want to be able to tell the Chase representative why you might need a new card and what benefits of this card differ from what you already have.

 

How to Request Reconsideration of Your Application

If you don’t already have a Chase online account, you can either call the bank or write a letter to request reconsideration of your Chase credit card application status. You can make a phone call if you’ll be able to make a strong, effective request for a second review of your application without the use of supporting documents. As a current Chase customer with an online account, you can also use the secure message center to request reconsideration. I’ve had cards reconsidered both by calling and through the secure message center on the Chase website.

 

However, if you think that your request requires a review of additional backup data and information to bring good results, mailing your request as a letter with these documents attached would be the best choice or ensuring an approved Chase credit card application status.

 

Some credit card application rejection notices include a bank contact number that you can call for a more detailed explanation of your denial of a Chase credit card. If you received a rejection notice without a phone number included, you can obtain a contact number for your bank’s card application status information and a mailing address in online website listings of bank credit cards to apply for. You can also locate this information on the Chase.com website under “credit cards” when seeking your Chase credit card application status.

 

5 Tips for Your Chase Card Reconsideration Request

 

Understand the Reasons for Your Credit Card Denial

If your credit card application is denied, your rejection notice should include reasons for this denial. If none are given, you are entitled to request these reasons during the 60 days following the date of your card rejection date. You will need these reasons if you intend to dispute your denial of a credit card from Chase Bank and ask for reconsideration of your Chase credit card application status. Knowing why your request for a card was denied will also help you focus on items on your credit report that need the most improvement.

 

If Chase’s reasons for refusing your application for a charge card seem to be in conflict with your credit report and rating, you should immediately contact a bank representative to discuss these differences. Sometimes, credit reports can include errors as well. There may be negative items that should have been removed from your report by now. Be sure to review your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus thoroughly to ensure accuracy.

 

Request Reconsideration Quickly after Denial

For getting faster reconsideration of your Chase credit card application status, it is best to ask for reconsideration within a few days after you receive your card account denial notice. If you delay and wait a few weeks or a month or more to send your request for a second review of your application, it may be treated as a new application. This could mean accruing another hard inquiry on your credit report and losing points on your credit rating.

 

Build a Good Case for Approval Before Calling

Review the strengths and weaknesses in your credit report carefully before requesting a second review of your Chase credit card application status. If your credit report shows missed or late payments in the past, be sure to point out to the bank representative who reconsiders your application that you have since paid on time for the last 20 months. You want to look like a responsible and reliable potential cardholder with Chase.

 

State Why You Value Being a Chase Customer

State clearly and convincingly why you want to become a Chase credit card holder and why you value this card. Reasons like wanting the travel advantages and the advanced EMV chip safety feature offered by Chase will help you gain reconsideration for card issuance. Be polite, but firm in expressing your interest in and desire for having a new credit card through a reassessment of your Chase credit card application status. If you’re already a Chase customer make sure to say that you are a loyal customer and would like to continue doing business with them.

 

Negotiate Your Credit Line if Needed

If all else fails to win acceptance for a new Chase card in your name, you may want to negotiate a “deal” like offering to accept a lower line of credit until you prove that you are a responsible and dependable cardholder. You should negotiate only after trying to gain “approved” as your Chase credit card application status by other means. You want to avoid appearing to lack confidence in your ability to maintain a good account or seeming like you are desperate for another credit card.

 

As a current Chase cardholder, you can also negotiate to move some of your credit line from another card to add room for your new card. It’s also sometimes possible to close an old card in order to be approved for the new card. In this case, you’ll also want to move the credit line over to the new card as it will help your credit score.

chase credit application status

 

7 Best Chase Credit Cards to Apply For

If you’ve yet to apply for your Chase credit card, here are the best Chase credit cards and some of their benefits. You can review them to be sure you’re choosing the best card for you. Chase is known for having some of the best signup bonuses and benefits of any credit cards.

 

Personal Chase Credit Cards

 Sapphire Preferred
Sapphire Reserve
Chase Freedom
Freedom Unlimited
Signup Bonus60,00050,000$150 (15,000 pts)$150 (15,000 pts)
Bonus Spending Categories2X on travel and dining3X on travel and dining5X on select rotating quarterly categories1.5X on all purchases
Annual Fee$95$450$0$0
Extra PerksBaggage insurance, trip insurance, rental car insurance$300 annual travel credit, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, Priority Pass SelectIntroductory APR offerPurchase protection, extended warranty
Best for People Who...Want a large introductory bonus

Like to Travel
Want a large introductory bonus

Want luxury travel benefits

Travel often
Want no annual fee

Also have a Sapphire card

Want to earn bonus points on spend
Want no annual fee

Also have a Sapphire card

Want simplicity in earning points
Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>

 

Business Chase Credit Cards

 Ink Bus. Preferred
Ink Business Cash
Ink Bus. Unlimited
Signup Bonus80,000$500 (50,000 pts)$500 (50,000 pts)
Bonus Spending Categories3X on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and online ads5X on office supply stores, phone, internet, and cable, 2X on gas and dining.1.5X on all purchases
Annual Fee$95$0$0
Extra PerksCell phone protection
Primary Car Rental Insurance
Travel Insurances
Introductory APR OfferPurchase protection, extended warranty, free employee cards
Best for People Who...Want a huge introductory bonus

Spend money advertising online

Want cell phone accident coverage
Want a large introductory bonus

Want no annual fee

Spend money at office supply stores
Want a large introductory bonus

Want no annual fee

Want simplicity in earning through spend
Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>

 

Alternative Methods to Apply for a New Credit Card

If your final Chase credit card application status ends with a denial there are always other good opportunities to explore and consider. For example, you can always apply for a card from another bank or other credit card issuer. Since every credit card application acceptance is based on somewhat different criteria, you may be successful in being approved for a card through another issuer.

 

You can also apply for a credit card with lower requirements for acceptance if you do not gain the Chase credit card application status of approval. Although it may seem better to apply through a different bank or credit card issuer, it can be to your advantage to apply through Chase again. By choosing this route, you are reinforcing your interest in becoming a Chase card account holder and reaffirming the fact that you value having a Chase credit card. By staying in touch with a bank credit division representative throughout the entire re-applying process, you may gain prompt approval.

 

You can also apply for a secured credit card with Chase Bank if you do not receive “approved” as your final Chase credit card application status. These cards do require that you pay a security deposit (that is later refundable) to the bank or other card issuing company, but they are excellent credit building and repair tools. Why not enjoy the use of a credit card from a valued issuer while increasing your likelihood of approval for a higher tier card and line of credit in the future? You can gain the card issuer’s approval for additional credit while enjoying use of your new charge card.

 

Once you understand the Chase credit card application status and how best to respond to each phase of your card request’s approval, denial or pending status, you will become more confident and successful at obtaining a new charge card from Chase. When you are fully aware of ways to reverse a card application denial and other options that are available for gaining additional credit cards and credit allowances, the process will be more relaxed and free of stress.

 

You will also gain valuable knowledge about ways to improve your credit report and rating to ensure greater success at obtaining new cards and more credit in the future. You will benefit from some very valuable information along the path to obtaining the desired rating of “approved” as your final Chase credit card application status.

10 Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit in 2019

best credit card for excellent credit

Do you have excellent credit and want to take advantage of the benefits that come with being smart financially? Having an excellent credit score isn’t just great for securing the best loans and rates. If you want to take advantage of being responsible and building an excellent credit score, you can earn rewards through credit cards. With an excellent credit score, you have access to the very best credit cards in the market.

 

Credit cards reward customers in two main ways, with travel rewards or cash back rewards. There are a number of credit cards that are aimed at people with excellent credit scores and have amazing benefits and rewards. Many of them even come with introductory offers that are valued at more than $1000!

 

How My Excellent Credit has Earned Me Free Travel

In 2012, I decided to start using my own excellent credit to my advantage. I started strategically opening credit cards to earn millions of travel rewards in total. I had never traveled much because it was just too darned expensive! Or, I thought it was anyway… Come to find out, because I had excellent credit I could get approved for travel credit cards that would allow me to travel for free or very close to it.

 

Ever since then, I’ve been traveling as much as I want, and essentially wherever I want. I’ve been to Hawaii every single year. I traveled back and forth across the country when my now wife and I lived long-distance. I’ve visited friends who live in other parts of the country. And, I’ve also traveled outside the country on vacations abroad! As of late, my wife and I (who is a teacher) enjoy taking what we call “weekend-cations” when she has a long weekend from school.

best credit cards for excellent credit

 

Won’t that Hurt My Credit Score? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

What most people are afraid of when it comes to credit cards is the myth that having them will hurt your credit score. It’s absolutely false IF you are responsible with your credit cards. Earning points for travel or cash back is worthless if you’re paying more interest to the bank than the points are worth. For this reason, it ONLY makes sense to open credit cards if you pay them off in full, every single month. This way you will never inquire interest or unwanted fees of any sort. It’s rule number one when it comes to travel credit cards.

 

I’ve found that each time I apply for a credit card my credit score will drop 4-5 points, but then will rise even more than that in the following year that I have the credit card open. As an example, I’ve opened 27 new credit cards since 2012 and my credit score has only improved. It is currently sitting at 812, which is high enough to always get loans I may need, the best interest rates for those loans, and of course the best credit cards.

 

What is Considered an Excellent Credit Score?

An excellent credit score is one that falls between 750-850. A perfect credit score is 850. Even though 850 is the pinnacle score, it’s not very important what the number is after you’ve reached 800.  Anyone with a credit score over 800 will have an optimal chance of being approved for any and all credit cards. With an excellent credit score, you’ll also be given the best interest rates for both credit cards and loans.

 

Having an excellent credit score of at least 750 puts you in an exclusive club of only about 20% of all credit scores in the United States. Having an excellent credit score is only possible if you’ve been responsibly using credit cards and loans for multiple years. With a score of 750-799 you should qualify for all credit cards and loans, but may not always get the best terms. Having an excellent credit score of over 800 will ensure you get the best cards and the best terms.

 

By having an excellent credit score, you’ll be able to get approved for basically any credit cards you want. The great news about being able to choose from any credit card is that some cards have excellent benefits. Credit cards that you can be approved for with excellent credit will often give you rewards and benefits that are worth well over $1000 in value. Because we have excellent credit ourselves, we’re very familiar with the credit card offers. Now that you’ve got it, we’ll show you which are the best credit cards for excellent credit.

credit cards for excellent credit

 

Rewards & Benefits of the Best Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Now that you understand that you can benefit from having an excellent credit score by earning virtually unlimited credit card rewards, let’s find out more about the rewards. The back story is that banks want you as a customer so bad that they’re willing to offer up to thousands of dollars in rewards to get you as one. Banks make money from interest and fees. The more people who have credit cards and are using them, the more money they will make. This is why they’ll give you a ton of value when you get a new credit card.

 

Many credit cards offer introductory offers that earn travel rewards that can be worth thousands of dollars. The best credit card offers are only available to those with excellent credit, so you’re in luck. As well as earning rewards, many of these cards also offer excellent benefits such as airport lounge access, expedited airport security lines, upgraded hotel rooms, travel statement credits, cell phone protection, and elite status with both airlines and hotels.

 

Most cards also offer reward earning bonuses for certain spending categories such as gas, groceries, dining, travel, and even on cable and cell phone bills. These earning bonuses can allow you to earn a far larger amount of points on your spending than the typical 1 point per dollar.

 

How We Travel Luxuriously Now

When my wife and I travel, we zip through security at the airport with our TSA PreCheck, head to the closest airport lounge where we receive free food and drinks (using our Priority Pass), and even sometimes get upgraded seats on the plane and hotel rooms at our destination due to the elite status we have. All of these luxurious benefits have been gained through travel credit cards. They may sound like things you thought were only available to the wealthy, but in reality, they’re available to anyone with excellent credit.

credit card for excellent credit

 

Enough with the back story of excellent credit and how it can get you free travel. Let’s talk about credit cards, already. We’ll lay out the best credit cards for excellent credit and explain why they’re the best.

 

Best Travel Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Chase Sapphire Preferred *BEST FIRST TRAVEL CREDIT CARD

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially even more if transferred to travel partners.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 2 points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve *BEST LUXURY TRAVEL CARD

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: Earn an introductory 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months.
  • Statement Credits: Receive a $300 in statement credits each year (based on your account anniversary) to cover travel expenses like airfare and hotels.
  • Receive a $100 Statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining and on travel that doesn’t qualify for the $300 travel reimbursement each year and one point per $1 on everything else.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Receive 50 percent more value for your points when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Visit more than 1000 airport lounge locations while traveling with a Priority Pass Select membership.
  • Annual Fee: $450

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Capital One Venture Rewards *BEST SIMPLE REWARDS EARNING FOR TRAVEL

50,000 Points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Capital One Venture Credit Card Review

  • Introductory Offer: 50,000 points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months
  • Earning Categories: 2X points on all purchases
  • Receive a $100 Statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Amex Gold Card Learn More >>

35,000 Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months

amex gold card

LEARN MORE >>

  • Welcome Offer: You’ll earn 35,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 4X Membership Rewards points at US restaurants. 4X points at US supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X). You’ll earn 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel. Also earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card participating dining. Enrollment required.
  • Statement Credits: $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per year for incidental fees at one selected airline.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Annual Fee: $250 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

LEARN MORE >>

 

PS: There’s also an Amex Business Gold Card: Compare it here >>

 

The Platinum Card from American Express Learn More >>

60,000 Points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months

american express platinum card

LEARN MORE >

  • Welcome Offer: You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Uber: Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel.  You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Lounge Collection.
  • Statement Credits: $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
  • Annual Fee: $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
LEARN MORE >

 

Best Cashback Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Chase Freedom *BEST CARD FOR SPENDING CATEGORIES

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Credit Card Review
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.  The categories are things like grocery stores, gas stations, internet, cable, phone services, Walgreens, and even using Chase Pay.  You’ll earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Freedom Unlimited *BEST CARD FOR SIMPLE SPENDING REWARDS

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earning Points: You’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.  No worrying about category bonuses.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

 

Best Business Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Chase Ink Business Preferred *BEST INTRODUCTORY OFFER AVAILABLE

80,000 Points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from your account opening.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories (including social media advertising!) each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Other Benefits: Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can redeem points for travel, cash back, and gift cards, or transfer your points to an airline or hotel partner.  You’ll get a cell phone protection plan of up to $600 when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.  You’ll receive rental car loss and damage coverage if your reservation is paid with the card.
  • Annual Fee: $95

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Ink Business Cash *BEST INTRO OFFER FOR NO FEE CARD (tied)

50,000 Points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on the first $25,000 spent on purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 2 points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Ink Business Unlimited *BEST INTRO OFFER FOR NO FEE CARD (tied)

50,000 Points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase made for your business.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Decision Time: Which is the Best Credit Card for You?

So, which credit card(s) will you get with your excellent credit score? As you can see there are a lot of cards that offer great bonuses and benefits for travel or for cash back. It really depends on your preferences, as to which card is best for you.

the best credit cards for excellent credit

 

As a first travel credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture is often recommended. For luxury travel benefits, the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Amex Platinum are great choices. If you have a business (even a sole proprietorship), the Ink Business Preferred has the most valuable introductory offer of all cards. And, if you’re just looking for a cash back card, the Freedom cards are great choices as well.

 

My first travel credit card was the Chase Sapphire Preferred. I used the signup bonus to book two round trip flights to Hawaii and I’ve never looked back since. My two current favorite cards are the Ink Business Preferred because of its huge signup bonus, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve because it offers the best travel benefits. While these are my favorites, you may prefer one or two of the others. There are enough travel points to be had for a lifetime of travel. You might as well start benefiting from your excellent credit score by earning thousands of dollars of rewards through credit cards.

Credit Score Range: How to Reach Excellent?

credit score range

If you’re trying to understand the credit score range better, you’ve come to the right place.  You’ll learn what the credit score range is, what good credit scores are, and what excellent credit scores are.  Have you ever wondered what goes into calculating a credit score, or how to improve your own credit score?  It’s possible to get into your desired credit score range if you understand a few simple facts.

 

There are different types of credit scores, so you’ll learn the difference between them.  The main scores are Experian, Transunion, Equifax, and the most popular FICO credit scores.  Because FICO is the most used credit score that lenders see, we’ll focus on it mostly.  If you have a good credit score you can use it to your advantage.  You can even travel for free (or close to it) by earning travel points and miles through credit card introductory bonuses.  Learn how this is possible after understanding how the credit scores range works.

 

credit scores range

 

What is Credit?

Simply put, credit is money borrowed for purchases or services that must be paid back within a certain timeframe.  This money is typically borrowed from a bank or financial institution.  Credit usually involves paying a fee, called interest over the time period that the money is borrowed.  Credit can come in the form of a house mortgage, a car loan, or credit cards to pay for smaller purchases.

 

The better your credit score is, the better the terms (lower interest) will be on your borrowed money.  Also, with better credit scores you are able to be approved for travel credit cards that can earn thousands of dollars worth of travel for free.  I am a frequent traveler who uses my excellent credit to earn millions of points to use toward travel for my family.  I’ll show you how that is possible later.

 

 

What is the Credit Score Range?

The most common credit score range is between 300 and 850.  Almost all types of credit score use this range or something very similar.  Within this credit score range, 300 is the worst possible score and 850 is the best.  It is thought that any credit score above 800 is essentially the best because you will always receive the best interest rates Credit Score Rangeand be approved for the best credit cards.  For this reason, you should strive to earn an 800 or better on the credit score range.  Knowing the possible scores within the credit score range is the first step to understanding credit.

 

FICO Credit Score Range

Now you may be wondering what scores mean and what credit score ranges are bad, fair, good or excellent.  To the right, you will find a chart that shows the credit score ranges for each of the ratings.  This chart separates the top scores into good, very good, and exceptional credit scores, while most ratings only have either good or excellent.  It also shows what percentage of people in the United States fall into each of the categories.  As you can see 66% of Americans have at least good credit.  If you have at least a good credit score, you’ll have a better chance of being approved for some of the best travel credit cards.

 

What is a Good Credit Score?

A good credit score is one that falls between 670-749.  With a score in this range, it is possible to be approved for credit cards that require good credit or better.  Having a score of 700+ gives your chances of being approved for those higher level credit cards a boost.  670-699 is more of a gray area.  Some lenders qualify this credit score range as good and others consider it to be fair.  If you have a good credit score, you will likely be approved for loans, but will not get the best terms available to the market.

 

what is a good credit score

 

What is an Excellent Credit Score?

An excellent credit score is one that falls between 750-850.  A perfect credit score is 850, but it is not very important what the number is after you reach 800.  Anyone with a credit score over 800 will have the best chance of being approved for any credit card, and get the best interest rate on loans.  Having a credit score of 800+ puts you in an exclusive club joining only about 20% of all credit scores.  This high of a credit score is only possible if you’ve been responsibly using credit cards and loans for multiple years.  With a score of 750-799 you should qualify for all credit cards and loans, but may not always get the best terms.

 

How are Credit Scores Calculated?

In order to have a FICO credit score, you need to have had at least one account open for six months.  It must also have been reported to the credit bureau within the same time frame.  Also, you must not show as deceased on your credit report.  If you have a joint account with someone who passed away, you may need to close it or have the name of the deceased person removed from the account before your credit score will show up.  While there are three major How Credit Scores are Calculatedcredit bureaus, with whom you’ll have slightly different credit scores, we’re going to focus on FICO.  As mentioned before FICO scores are within the credit score range of 300-850.

 

FICO credit scores are calculated by using five differently weighted factors.  The chart to the left shows the five factors and what percentage each is weighted in calculating a credit score.  The most important factor is payment history, followed closely by credit utilization.  The last three factors: credit age, types of credit, and inquiries combined are weighted about as much as the first two. This means that when you are considering how to improve your credit score, the two largest factors should be focused on the most.

 

Credit Score Range Factors

  1. Payment History (35%)

    Paying your loans and credit cards off in full and on time will help your credit score the most.  An easy way to make this happen every time is by using automatic payments.  It’s also wise to think about your credit card as if it were a debit card.  Don’t spend money that you don’t actually have.  Not only will it hurt your credit score, but you will be paying high-interest charges.

  2. Credit Utilization (30%)

    In terms of a credit card, this means that you want to keep the amount you spend to be less than 30% of the amount of total credit you have been given.  So, if you have a credit line of $10,000 you never want to have more than $3,000 of debt on the card at any time.  If you want to have an excellent credit score you should really try to keep this amount under 5% utilization.  That means the higher credit line you have the better your utilization should be.

  3. Credit Age (15%)

    The longer you’ve had your accounts open, the more it will help your credit score.  Just because you stop using a credit card very often doesn’t mean you should close it.  If the card has no annual fee, keep it open and try to make a charge on it each year so that it doesn’t get automatically closed.  If the credit card does have an annual fee, call the credit card issuer and ask if there are any no fee options that you can convert to.  This is often an option and will help your credit score in the long run.  For instance, if you have had a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, but no longer get enough value out of it to validate paying the annual fee, you can convert it into the no annual fee, Chase Freedom card.  This will extend your overall credit age.

  4. Different Types of Credit (10%)

    Having different types of credit will slightly help your credit score.  This means having multiple loans, such as credit cards, car loan, and mortgages actually help your score. While this does slightly affect your credit score, it is a very small factor.

  5. Number of Inquiries (10%)

    The number of hard credit inquiries you have within the past two years slightly affects your credit score.  A hard inquiry happens each time you apply for a loan or credit card.  Hard inquiries can also occur for things like rental applications.  Typically, each time you apply for a credit card, your credit score will dip 3-5 points.  Over the course of having a credit card, your score will improve more than that, due to the heavier factors above.

 

what is an excellent credit score

 

free credit scoreDo You Know Your Current Credit Score? Check for Free!

Is your credit score a sports car or a clunker?  You should be regularly watching your credit score.  Errors do occur, and it’s always wise to keep an eye on what is going on with such an important factor in your finances.  You can check your credit score for free with Credit Sesame.

 

Along with your overall credit score, they give you a grade A-F for each of the five credit score factors.  They also send you updates and alerts via email anytime major changes happen to your credit.  It’s an easy and completely free way to make sure your credit is safe.  They even have an app now that you can check your score anytime you want conveniently on your cell phone.

 

700 Is the Magic Number for Travel Credit Cards

If you have a credit score of 700 or higher, you are in great shape to apply for travel credit cards that offer excellent rewards.  With a score in this credit score range, you will likely be approved for any credit card you want.  Many credit cards come with introductory offers that can be redeemed for more than $1000 in travel rewards.  The best travel credit card to start with is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  It typically offers a 60,000 point introductory offer and waives its annual fee for the first year.  That’s enough points to take a very nice vacation with.

 

This was the first ever travel credit card I applied for back in 2012 and it’s still the best card to start out with.  In this post I wrote, you can find out how I spent those first points I earned through the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  You’ll also learn more details about this card and what makes it so great.  If you’re interested in traveling, points can be your savior.  You don’t have to be rich to travel like you are.

 

travel and leisure

 

The Best Travel Credit Card Offers

While there are hundreds of rewards-earning credit cards, there are a few that really stand out.  The main reason that certain credit cards stand out above the rest is the introductory offers for travel points.  Travel credit cards offer an array of introductory offers ranging from 30,000 points to over 100,000 points.  Two important factors in deciding what travel credit card to apply for are how many bonus points are offered and what the value of those bonus points are.  Not all points are worth the same value when it comes to travel.  When redeemed, some rewards points may be worth less than one cent, while others may be worth more than two cents each.  Here are some of the best offers:

 

Best First Travel Credit Cards

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Capital One Venture

Introductory Offer:

You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You’ll earn 2X points on every purchase.

Benefits:

Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners.

Annual Fee:

$95 annual fee. (waived year 1)

Our Thoughts:

This is a great travel credit card. It offers a large introductory offer, free TSA PreCheck for 5 years, plus the annual fee is waived the first year.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Best Business Travel Credit Card

 

Ink Business Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN MORE >>

 

*For more information on even more great business credit cards check out this post: Best Business Travel Credit Cards.

Best No Fee Credit Cards

Chase Freedom

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 5% on rotating quarterly categories. (up to $1500 in purchases per quarter)

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.

Free credit score.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You can earn up to 5X per dollar and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Wells Fargo Propel

Introductory Offer:

You’ll earn 30k points after you spend $3000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You’ll earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in. 3X on gas, transit, and rideshares. 3X on travel. 1X on all other purchases.

Benefits:

Intro APR offer.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee.

Our Thoughts:

This is a great no-fee credit card. It has a good introductory offer and earns bonus points on many categories.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Best Premium Travel Credit Cards

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

$300 annual travel credit.

Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$450

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Amex Platinum Card

Introductory Offer:

You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.

Benefits:

Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).

Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.

$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.

Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.

Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.

Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.

Annual Fee:

$550 annual fee.

Terms Apply

Our Thoughts:

With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
LEARN MORE >>

 

How to Improve Your Credit Score

If your credit is not yet within the 700+ credit score range you need to work on building your credit.  “How?”, you may ask yourself, is it possible to improve your credit score?  Start by understanding the five factors that go into a credit score: Payment History, Credit Utilization, Credit Age, Types of Credit, and Inquiries.  If you only focus on two things, let them be the two most important factors that add up to 65% of how credit score ranges are calculated.

 

Focus on the Most Important Factors

First, make sure your payments are always, always, always paid on time!  ALWAYS!  Second, get your credit utilization under 5%.  Paying off your credit card in full every month will help with this.  There are two ways to help this utilization percentage.  Lower the amount of credit you use, or raise the amount of credit given to you.  You can spend $500 monthly of a $10,000 total credit line, or $5,000 of a $100,000 credit line.  If you keep your spending as is, and gradually add credit cards with $5-10,000 credit limits, ultimately your credit utilization will go down.  Also, if you are in the market for a new car or home, don’t pay in full.  Taking out a loan for either will help your credit mix which will improve your position in the credit score range.

 

fico credit score range

 

Credit Scores Range Conclusion

Now that you have a better understanding of credit score ranges, you can take advantage of, or work to improve your own score.  You’ve learned what the credit score range is, what good credit scores are, and what excellent credit scores are.  You know how a credit score is calculated and how to improve your own credit score.  It is possible to get your credit score into your desired credit score range and to take advantage of the benefits of your good score.  If you love to travel, go use your credit score to earn the vacation of your dreams.  Over and over again!

 

Travel Blog Ideas, Tips & Success from Travel Sites Around the World

travel blog ideas

Every day I personally look through hundreds of travel blog ideas, tips, and success from the best travel blogs on the internet. When I find articles that I feel would be valuable to you, I put them together and post them to this article on Travel Freedom. I also usually input some commentary. Today I found a new travel idea that meets my standards to pass it along. Here’s what I found…

 

Travel Blog Ideas (2018)

 

Airplane Etiquette – Live & Let’s Fly

Always be aware of your surroundings. If you’re thinking about reclining your airplane seat, that’s fine, but make sure to check behind you first. It’s possible that the person sitting behind you has things on their tray table that could be broken with the sudden recline of your seat. This almost happened to Matthew, when his laptop became jammed between the tray table and the back of the reclined seat.


Travel Credit Card Offers

Add Egypt Back to the Bucket List – The Points Guy

Egypt has a lot going for it. The safety concerns stemming from its 2011 revolution have been stabilized, a new sphinx has recently been uncovered, new hotels are being built, and a huge museum focused on the Egyptian civilization is about to open. I have always been fascinated with the Egyptian civilization, but have not yet been able to travel there. I hope to make the trip within the next five years, to see the pyramids, Sphinx’s, the Nile River, and experience the culture first hand.

 

Over the past few years, I haven’t felt comfortable enough to travel there due to safety concerns. This article, along with other news has helped ease my worries about traveling to Egypt. I can’t wait to see it all and check it off my bucket list.

 

Westin Hapuna Beach Hawaii – The Points Guy

Next time I go to Hawaii I think I’ll spend at least some of the time at this hotel. With a decent redemption rate through Marriott, this resort is a good deal if using points. I’ve never stayed at this hotel, but have been to Hapuna Beach and enjoy the area. It’s just North of Kona and very near to some amazing beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii.

 

Hopefully, the redemption rate stays the same at this property so that we can get multiple free nights with the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus credit card, SPG credit card (Read more – terms apply), or the SPG Business credit card (Read more – terms apply). They all earn points and free annual nights in the newly merged SPG/Marriott program.

 

17 Incredible Safari Photos – Million Mile Secrets

Going on an African Safari is one of my top bucket list ideas. They were lucky enough to see a huge assortment of animals on the game reserve in South Africa. When I go on a safari, I’d like it to be in Kenya or Tanzania during the Great Migration. I’d really like to go on a camping safari for a week, even though it’s probably not quite as safe as some other African Safari’s. It would be amazing to be able to see so many exotic animals in their natural habitat.

 

16 Amazing College Towns – Million Mile Secrets

Have you ever visited any of these college towns? Maybe you happen to live in one as I do! I’ve been to three of the cities on the list and live in one of them. I’ve been to Boulder, Charlottesville, and Berkeley. I have lived in Eugene, Oregon for all but one year of my life and will expand on Million Mile Secrets’ explanation. It’s the home of the University of Oregon Ducks, many outdoor activities, breweries, vineyards, running enthusiasts (Track Town USA), and great bike paths. Also, the Oregon Ducks aren’t the only green thing you can legally experience while in the state (if you can read between the lines and you’re into that). Eugene is nestled between the mountains, the Pacific Ocean, rivers, lakes, and the city (Portland). All of which are within a two-hour drive, making this a great place to visit or live!

 

Being Single Makes Travel More Expensive – The Points Guy

While this is up for debate in the comments of the post, I’d have to agree that traveling with a partner is much more frugal. While flights remain the same per person, hotels and such end up costing the same price no matter how many people are staying with you. For a $100 hotel room, it will cost the full amount for a single traveler, while it will cut the price in half if you’re traveling as a pair. Sometimes my wife and I will save on food as well by sharing plates at a restaurant. Especially when we go somewhere with huge portions and we lack the equipment to save or reheat them.

 

Free Messaging on Southwest – The Gate

It’s always nice to be able to communicate with friends and family while in the sky. Southwest is rolling out free messaging on their flights and should be done in October. This means you can message whoever is picking you up with an accurate time of when you should be arriving at the airport. Or you can get in on that group chat that you’d normally come back to with hundreds of unread messages.

 

From experience on Alaska’s free messaging, I noticed that it also allows some other apps to work, whether on purpose or not. While I was flying to and from Washington DC this summer I was able to receive updates on Twitter through the free messaging.

 

Best Hawaii Hotels Using Points – Million Mile Secrets

While we normally stay in a condo in Hawaii, we’ve also stayed in two of these hotels as well as a few others. Hawaii is our favorite destination due to its beauty and ease of travel from the west coast. We typically stay in condos so that we can prepare most of our own meals. But, with these options available using points, we may try booking a hotel for “free” next time. I say “free” with quotations because many of these hotels have resort fees, which you still have to pay on reward stays. I’m not a fan of resort fees. Why should a hotel have a set price for a room and then for no particular reason add another fee to the price?

 

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai using our free nights through the World of Hyatt credit card. The hotel was in a great location in Poipu and was beautiful. The sand bottom pool was great for relaxing if we didn’t want to make the trek another 100 yards to the beach. It had nice white sand beaches just in front of the property. We even made S’mores one night out near the pools!

 

Another of these hotels that we stayed at was the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, which we did not enjoy. It’s a few blocks from Waikiki Beach and in a great location if you like that area. We found the hotel to be pretty run down and not what you’d typically expect from a Hyatt Place Property (they usually have nice chic rooms with the somewhat separated bed and living space with modern shower). Also, we dislike the Waikiki area. The beaches are not nice and it being overcrowded is an understatement.

 

Alaska Airlines Has VR Headsets on Flights – The Points Guy

Virtual reality has hit the skies. Alaska Airlines has rolled out VR headsets on a few of their flights. You’re only able to watch a few movies in virtual reality 3D. Fortunately, the films that are on the headsets are only forward facing VR. If not you might have passengers moving all over the place on the plane! I’ve never watched a movie with one of these headsets, but it’s supposed to give the feel of being in the theater. It seems like a good touch for Alaska Airlines. I just hope they wipe off the headsets with sanitizer after each use.

 

$169 Flights to Iceland – The Points Guy

If you’re able to travel between September and December you may want to look at going to Iceland. Wow Air currently has tickets on sale for $169 round trip. They fly from quite a few major airports in the US, including a couple on the west coast. The US airports that have this deal available are PIT, EWR, JFK, BWI, BOS, CLE, STL, CVG, DTW, DFW, SFO, & LAX.

 

Alaska Airlines is Giving Away 100,000 Miles – The Gate

Free miles. Yes, please! Alaska Airlines is giving away 100,000 miles plus money to cover the taxes that it may incur. It would be pretty nice to have some extra miles. Where would you go if you were to win? I think I would use my Alaska Miles on short-haul flights along the west coast. Good luck if you enter!

 

How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Airline Partners – Points, Miles & Martinis

Since the most popular card for beginners in the points and miles space is the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this will be pretty useful. The blog post shows how to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to Airline partners. This is the way to get the most value out of your points, so take notes. I often transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to British Airways to fly to Hawaii, and to Southwest to take advantage of my Companion Pass status.

 

Personally, I dislike the Seahawks… GO RAIDERS!!! But, in this case, Delta is giving away miles to Washington Residents as part of their 12status promotion. You will earn miles without even flying. They’re giving you a mile for every yard the Seahawks throw for, which should be a few thousand. You will also receive priority boarding. Seems like a good deal for those of you who consider yourselves Seahawks fans… EW!

 

Man Lives in Airport – View From The Wing

Could you live in an airport for a day? A week? A month? How about 18 years?!? That’s how long a man once lived in Paris Charles De Gaulle airport (as seen in Tom Hanks’ movie The Terminal). I never realized that the movie was a true story… Now I want to go watch it because I never have. How long do you think you could live in an airport? It might be an interesting journalistic story for a travel blogger to try out. Priority Pass would be a necessity, as well as a boarding pass that you could delay over and over somehow…

 

1 IN 50 PASSENGERS WILL FIND LOVE ON AN AIRPLANE – VIEW FROM THE WING

Oooo la la! Are you the 2% who has already found love on an airplane? Was it love at first site? This article talks about a survey that also says what flyers pet peeves are while aboard an airplane. The survey is actually probably pretty inaccurate because it only surveys 2000 people… but it was a fun read anyway. Did you know the first couple found joining the mile high club was found naked and dead, because they crashed the plane they were in?!? At least they died having fun…

 

I’M GIVING AWAY 1,000,000 MILES – THE POINTS GUY

The Points Guy has partnered with United Airlines to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. They’re giving away a whopping one million miles to the winner of their raffle. To enter you can donate at least $10. With some of the larger donation amounts, you will receive some swag along with your entries. The article also shows a few ways you could spend your million United miles if you’re the winner. My favorite on the list is number 1, having first-class going all the way around the world.

 

BEST TRAVEL TOYS FOR KIDS – MILLION MILE SECRETS

Emily from Million Mile Secrets has put together a list of toys that travel well with children of all ages. She compiled a group of toys for babies, toddlers, and young children of age three or higher. A flight of five hours is a long time to keep your child occupied in a confined space. If you have children, let us know what their favorite toys to bring on the plane are in the comments. I’d love to hear, for future reference!

 

AIRLINE GIMMICK TO AVOID COMPENSATION – LIVE & LETS FLY

Have you recently had any flights where the flight time seemed extraordinarily long for the distance you were traveling? I definitely have, but didn’t realize why. This article makes complete sense to why airlines would be fluffing the estimated arrival time of your flight. My wife and I actually experienced this on our recent flight from Washington DC (DCA) to Dallas (DAL). Our flight was delayed nearly an hour, but somehow we actually got there before our expected arrival time. I was confused and didn’t think we could have made up that much time in the air. This gimmick would make sense to why we made it to Dallas on time. Have you experienced this yet?

 

Southwest to Hawaii News – Mile Value

Hawaii is due for some good news, after suffering from earthquakes, heavy rains, volcanic lava, and a hurricane to top it off. Finding out that Southwest will be booking and flying it’s new Hawaii routes starting in September or October is excellent news. My wife and I have earned a Southwest Companion Pass for the rest of 2018 through the end of 2019. We plan to use it for some buy-one-get-one-free Hawaii flights! Now I’m interested to see what the pricing will look like, and when they will add new departure cities from the mainland. I’m really hoping for Portland or Seattle to be added soon after launch.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred card holders are VIP at Popular Events – Million Mile Secrets

Whether you knew about it or not (most don’t), the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with a somewhat secret benefit. It’s cardholders have VIP Access privileges at many concerts, sports, and dining events. I have never looked into these in the past, but I’m going to start as some of the events sound pretty amazing. VIP Access at an Ed Sheeran concert in a luxury box for $300 sounds pretty cool… Having a special dinner at a Michelin Star restaurant… Yumm. Did you know about this benefit of having the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card?

ALSO: Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card holders also have access to some of the events.

 

GUIDE TO EATING HEALTHY ON PLANES – THE POINTS GUY

While I’m not a mom, my wife and I do want to have children soon, so this one hits home. Many people with kids claim that it’s impossible to travel once you have kids. I’m sure you’ve heard something to this extent before… Well, whether they mean financially or just the difficulty of added passengers who don’t always obey or even understand, I’m going to boldly say they’re wrong! No, I don’t have children yet to judge how hard it really is, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say we won’t stop traveling when we have kids. This article explains how traveling with her kids actually made her a better mom.

 

HOW AIRLINE MILES MAKE ME A BETTER MOM – MOMMY POINTS

Airplane seats that kill bacteria instantly? Sounds like people will be getting sick less from travel… Oh wait, aren’t some bacteria we carry good for us? I’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not these newly designed airplane seats are a good thing.

 

SELF-CLEANING AIRCRAFT SEATS – THE POINTS GUY

Ok, this isn’t really travel related unless you consider driving to 7-11 travel… But, they’re giving away free 12 oz cans of Redbull at 7-11. All you do is click this link, input your phone number, and you’ll receive a coupon. Make sure not to redeem the digital coupon until you actually are ready to purchase the Redbull, because the coupon will only be valid for 15 minutes from that point.

 

WORST TRAVEL HABITS – THE POINTS GUY

Here’s a list of the worst travel habits out there. Hopefully, you aren’t one of “THOSE” people, when it comes to flying…

 

THINK TWICE BEFORE TURNING OFF THE AIR VENT – TRAVEL & LEISURE

Keep that airplane air vent flowing! It may just prevent you from getting sick… did you know that those vents were originally made to clean the air from cigarette smokers on planes? I still can’t believe that was ever allowed… DISGUSTING!

 

EASY 5X AT OFFICE MAX – FREQUENT MILER & FEE WAIVED VISA GC’S AT STAPLES – DAN’S DEALS

If you’re trying to meet a minimum spend for a credit card, or have a credit card that earns multiple points per dollar you’ll want to know about these two promos going on right now. I’ll be heading to both stores with my Chase Ink Cash credit card that earns 5 points per dollar at both.

 

7 WAYS CREDIT CARDS CAN HELP GROW YOUR BUSINESS – THE POINTS GUY

If you have a small business, or work independently you may find this article interesting. It describes a few ways that credit cards can help your business. As a small business owner, myself, I find this topic interesting and will be writing about it soon as well.

 

Increased Chase Ink Preferred Introductory Bonus – Miles to Memories

The Chase Ink Preferred normally has one of the best introductory bonuses, but if this is true and the bonus is even higher than normal… Oh boy, jump on that if it is indeed true. 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points can go a long way. No joke! I can think of four ways I could spend them… how about 4 round trip flights to Hawaii from the west coast.

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited (double) 3x Points – Mile Value

Let’s keep it going with increased Chase introductory bonuses! This one is for sure… Normally this card will give you 1.5 points on all purchases, but now they’ll give you double that in the first year of having the card. Three Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all types of spend is something to write home about!

 

10 Life Changing Decisions People Make on Vacation – The Points Guy

On to the list articles for the day. This one by The Points Guy and his peeps is a list of 10 things people decide to do while on vacation… Some good, some bad… All life changing.

 

10 of the Worlds Best Hotels that Cost Under $300 – GODSAVETHEPOINTS

Next on the list of 10 articles is one about the best hotels around the world that will cost you less than $300 per night. $300 per night is pretty expensive in my book, so I’d sure hope they’re nice!

 

Have Plane Seats Really Shrunk – The Telegraph

This article shows which airlines have the most and least legroom. It also compares how the sizes of seats in many of the airlines have changed over the past 30 years. It’s kind of funny to me that over that 30 years while people seem to be getting fatter, the seats are getting smaller.

 

Google’s In-flight Wi-fi Play – Paxex.aero

Is Google going to make a run at in-flight wi-fi? Well, it’s uncertain, but this article explains why it may be a potential for the tech giant. I’d have to say, more options for wi-fi on planes would be a good thing. Sometimes in-flight wi-fi is a bit too pricey for my budget and maybe this will help.

 

Travel Contests – Johnny Jet

To end today’s Travel Blog News, I’ll leave you with this weeks travel contests and giveaways. You may think you’ll never win one because the odds are so bad, but it’s not true. Someone’s gotta win… why not you. I used to sign up for every travel giveaway I saw and I surprisingly won 5 or 6 giveaways, including 100,000 Starwood points which ended up giving me about 10 free nights at some great hotels.

 

SW Rapid Rewards Double Points – Frequent Flyer Bonuses

First up, we have a short article from Frequent Flyer Bonuses, that tells you about a Southwest Airlines promotion that you need to sign up for if you’re planning on flying with them before summer. Two words – DOUBLE MILES!

 

Damning Allegiant Air Safety Expose – Live & Let Fly

Here’s one that’s been on just about every travel blog this week. It’s about a 60 Minutes episode that talks about an airline that’s not safe to travel on. Supposedly, many of their pilots don’t let their families fly the airline they work for. Hmmmm… who could it be? Maybe you’ve flown them. It’s US budget airline, Allegiant. Stay safe Travel Tribe.

 

Pay Rent by Credit Card for 1.5% Fee – Frequent Miler

This travel news article shows you how it’s now possible to pay your rent with a credit card for a 1.5% fee. That may sound crazy to pay extra, but it could be useful if you’re trying to meet a minimum spend on a new credit card.

 

How to Save on Car Rentals – Million Mile Secrets

Car rentals are always a difficult one for me. You don’t get a lot of value using your points on them, but it’s also sometimes hard to find a decent deal. I usually check Hotwire and Costco Travel, but will definitely be trying out the tricks I just learned in this article.

 

Top Travel Mistakes and How to Avoid Them – Travel with Grant

Part 1 | Part 2

Travel with Grant lists out quite a few travel mistakes that are easy to make. I’ve done a few of these, and I’m sure you have too. This will be a good reminder of how to avoid these travel mistakes in the future.

 

Chase Cards You Can Still Apply For Despite the “5/24” Rule – Deals We Like

Chase bank has a rule for many of their credit cards, where you will be declined if you’ve added 5 new credit cards in the past 24 months. This number is easily reachable if you’re a points and miles traveler, trying to rack up miles and points. Luckily this rule does not apply to ALL Chase credit cards. Here is a list of the Chase Credit Cards that DO NOT fall into this rule.

 

The Best Airplane Seat to Avoid Catching a Cold – GODSAVETHEPOINTS

Nothing is worse than getting sick while on vacation. I learned a few things from this blog post and I’m sure you will too. Here’s to never getting sick from being on a plane again!

 

How to Save Money on Food while Traveling – Bald Thoughts

This one’s about saving money on food during your travels. My personal favorite way to save on food, is by staying at condos. With a kitchen, I’m able to pack snacks and lunches while on the go, and make meals for a majority of the trip’s dinners. Most condos also have public barbecues!

 

How to Book the Best Stopover Possible – Travel with Grant

Stopovers are when, instead of flying from point A to point C, you fly from A to B and spend some time visiting, then finish your route to point C. I need to start taking advantage of this more myself.

 

Why to Always Redeem Points When you Can – Point Me to the Plane

Use them, or lose them. Well, sort of… Points and miles occasionally are devalued and end up not being worth as much in travel rewards. Also, if you have inactivity in your accounts, you may lose your points. Don’t let that happen. Trust me, I let some expire on accident recently and I’m still upset about it.

 

Why You Should Always Check Alternative Airports – Frugal Travel Guy

When booking tickets, remember to always check alternative airports for both departure and arrival locations. If you’re having trouble finding a flight, every so often you’ll get lucky and this will save you.

 

Travel blog ideas is an ongoing post that brings the best of the travel blogging world to you. Every day we read hundreds of blog post to look for the best. This Travel Freedom blog post will keep you up to date on all travel blog ideas from around the world.

How to Use the Chase Travel Portal with Ultimate Rewards

chase travel portal

There are two ways to redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel. Either through the Chase travel portal or with Chase transfer partners. Depending on what type of travel you want to book and how much it costs, you may or may not want to use the Chase travel portal.

 

Sometimes you’ll get a better redemption rate through the travel portal and other times it will be better by transferring your Ultimate Rewards to airline and hotel travel partners. In this post, we’ll show you what types of travel can be booked in the Chase travel portal, when it makes sense to use the travel portal, and how to earn points to use in the travel portal.

 

Types of Travel that the Chase Travel Portal Offers

When inside the Chase travel portal, you’ll have six redemption options. The two most popular are flights and hotels, but you can also book car rentals, activities, vacation rentals, and cruises. Recently, I’ve found a lot of value in booking hotel rooms through the Chase travel portal.

 

Flights

Through the Chase travel portal, you can book flights on 250 different airlines around the world. While it’s most often more beneficial to transfer your Ultimate Rewards to an airline to book, if you can find sale flights, you can get very good redemption rates in the travel portal.

 

Hotels

The Chase travel portal has an astonishing 272,000 worldwide hotels in their catalog. The largest of these hotel groups are Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton. Wherever you’re traveling, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a place to stay that is bookable in the Chase travel portal. I was recently searching for a hotel on the Oregon coast and had no problem finding an abundance of options. Booking hotels with Ultimate Rewards through the travel portal typically is a good option for non-luxury hotels. A hotel that costs $120 per night will only take 8,000 Ultimate Rewards.

 

Car Rentals

One of the worst parts about travel is booking car rentals. It seems that there’s no way to get a good deal unless you’re just very lucky. Renting a car through the Chase travel portal can make sense if the pricing is similar to other sources (Costco Travel & Hotwire) because you can get 1.5 cents per point on redemptions with the Sapphire Reserve. Otherwise, it’s smarter to book elsewhere for a better deal.

 

Activities & Events

This section of the Chase travel portal is labeled “Things to Do”. When you click on the tab you’ll have to select a location and date range to see what activities are available. Searching in San Diego for an upcoming trip, to my surprise, I found that almost all the popular things to do there are available. The San Diego Zoo, USS Midway Museum, Legoland, whale watching are all available. Even cooking classes, tours, escape rooms, and special meals are available. Honestly, I had no idea this existed. I’m going to book a few fun activities for our upcoming getaway. PS: Who knew there were so many different Segway tours in San Diego?!? “Lookout! Here comes another Segway gang!”

 

Vacation Rentals

The vacation rentals seem to be condos that are run by large companies. It’s different than what you would find on VRBO or Airbnb in the sense that the condos aren’t actually individually owned homes. This section of the Chase travel portal could be a good place to book a condo for family vacation where you want to prepare your own meals.

 

Cruises

The cruises section of the Chase travel portal actually takes you to a separate website. It looks like you can book cruises with Princess, Norwegian, and Celebrity but you have to call to book. Prices are listed in dollar amounts and range from $500 to $2000 per person, which should mean an Ultimate Rewards cost of about 33k to 133k points if you’re using the Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal

 

How Much are Ultimate Rewards Worth in the Travel Portal?

Depending on which Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card you’re using to book travel in the Chase travel portal, the value of your points will vary. Each of the Chase credit card accounts will have a set redemption value ranging from 1 cent per point to 1.5 cents per point.

 

The secondary Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards only have a redemption value of 1 cent per point, while the primary cards get a premium redemption rate. Points in Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Preferred accounts can be redeemed at 1.25 cents per point. The king of value in the Chase travel portal goes to the Sapphire Reserve. Ultimate Rewards in a Sapphire Reserve account can be redeemed for the max value of 1.5 cents per point.

 

 Travel Portal ValuePrimary or SecondaryTransfer Partners Available?
Chase Sapphire Preferred1.25 cents per pointPrimaryYes
Ink Business Preferred1.25 cents per pointPrimaryYes
Sapphire Reserve1.5 cents per pointPrimaryYes
Chase Freedom1 cent per pointSecondaryOnly by transferring points to a primary card
Freedom Unlimited1 cent per pointSecondaryOnly by transferring points to a primary card
Ink Business Cash1 cent per pointSecondaryOnly by transferring points to a primary card
Ink Business Unlimited1 cent per pointSecondaryOnly by transferring points to a primary card

 

How to Book Travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards

To book any of the previously mentioned types of travel through the Chase travel portal, you’ll first need to login to your account. This will take you to the Chase Ultimate Rewards login page. You’ll then select “Travel” from the selections at the top of the page. From there, you’ll select which category of travel you want to book. The rest is pretty self-explanatory, searching for the exact flight, hotel, car, activity, condo, or cruise that you desire.

 

 

The Chase Travel Portal is Now Powered by Expedia

In October of 2018, the Chase travel portal began using Expedia to power its travel booking. With the travel search engine changes come a few changes to the way Ultimate Rewards bookings work.

 

The good news about this change is that Chase Ultimate Rewards customers now have access to more than double the travel options. Chase’s partnership with Expedia has opened up access to 272,000 hotels and 250 airlines, worldwide. Being powered by Expedia also lets you book 11 months in advance, which is 2 extra months.

 

The bad news about Expedia powering the Chase travel portal is that they no longer have low-cost airline carriers. Frontier, Allegiant, Spirit, and even Southwest are no longer bookable in the Chase travel portal. Southwest is the worst news of those, as you were able to book flights directly with Ultimate Rewards (at a 1.5 cents per point rate with Sapphire Reserve) and later add a companion with your Southwest Companion Pass.

 

Are there Chase Travel Promo Codes?

People are always wondering if there are promo codes that can be used for Chase Travel. There are not. In the past, there have been a few promo codes that worked in the Chase travel portal, but there is no longer even an input box for promo codes. There are other types of promo codes that have to do with Chase, but not in the travel portal. You can read more about them in our Chase Ultimate Rewards promo code post.

ultimate rewards travel portal

 

Is the Chase Rewards Portal the Best Way to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards?

With Chase Ultimate Rewards, you have multiple redemption options. This is what makes Ultimate Rewards so valuable. They’re the most flexible points that you can get with a credit card. But, which option is the most valuable?

 

“It depends”, of course. The answer to everything when it comes to travel points, it seems. Sometimes it’s more valuable to use the Chase travel portal and sometimes it’s more valuable to transfer your points to Chase travel partners. What it comes down to is how many cents per point your redemption will earn you.

 

For instance, if you want to book a hotel room that is a Hyatt category 4 hotel in the World of Hyatt program, you have two options that use Chase Ultimate Rewards. It will take 15,000 points if you transfer your points to Hyatt to book directly. If that same room costs less than $225 (including taxes & fees) on the Chase travel portal, you’ll be able to book it for less than 15,000 points (with a Sapphire Reserve). For this reason, if the room costs less than $225 you’ll want to book in the Chase travel portal, but if it costs more, you’ll want to transfer points to Hyatt to book.

 

Redeeming through Chase Transfer Partners Instead

Like in the example above, you can see that sometimes it’s much more rewarding to transfer points to a travel partner instead of booking through the travel portal. If a flight that costs $750 can instead be booked with 25,000 airline miles, it’s a far better option to transfer. In this example, using the transfer partner would earn a redemption rate of 3 cents per point. That’s double the redemption rate of using the travel portal, even with the 1.5 cents per point rate of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

Below are the travel partners that you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to at a 1:1 ratio.

 

Chase Transfer Airline Partners

 Transfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer Lingus1:1Instant
British Airways1:1Instant
Air France1:1Instant
Iberia1:1Instant
JetBlue1:1Instant
Singapore Airlines1:1Up to 2 days
Southwest1:1Instant
United1:1Instant
Virgin Atlantic1:1Instant

 

Chase Transfer Hotel Partners

 Transfer RatioTransfer Time
Hyatt1:1Instant
IHG1:11 day
Marriott1:12 days
Ritz-Carlton1:12 days

 

Travel Credit Cards that Earn Ultimate Rewards

All this talk about Chase Ultimate Rewards might have you wondering how you can earn some for yourself. There are seven credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. Below are the four personal cards and the three business cards. They all have their own features and benefits that make them unique for earning points. Some of them even have some great travel benefits.

 

Personal Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

 Sapphire Preferred
Sapphire Reserve
Chase Freedom
Freedom Unlimited
Signup Bonus60,00050,000$150 (15,000 pts)$150 (15,000 pts)
Bonus Spending Categories2X on travel and dining3X on travel and dining5X on select rotating quarterly categories1.5X on all purchases
Annual Fee$95$450$0$0
Extra PerksBaggage insurance, trip insurance, rental car insurance$300 annual travel credit, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, Priority Pass SelectIntroductory APR offerPurchase protection, extended warranty
Best for People Who...Want a large introductory bonus

Like to Travel
Want a large introductory bonus

Want luxury travel benefits

Travel often
Want no annual fee

Also have a Sapphire card

Want to earn bonus points on spend
Want no annual fee

Also have a Sapphire card

Want simplicity in earning points
Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>

 

Business Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

 Ink Bus. Preferred
Ink Business Cash
Ink Bus. Unlimited
Signup Bonus80,000$500 (50,000 pts)$500 (50,000 pts)
Bonus Spending Categories3X on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and online ads5X on office supply stores, phone, internet, and cable, 2X on gas and dining.1.5X on all purchases
Annual Fee$95$0$0
Extra PerksCell phone protection
Primary Car Rental Insurance
Travel Insurances
Introductory APR OfferPurchase protection, extended warranty, free employee cards
Best for People Who...Want a huge introductory bonus

Spend money advertising online

Want cell phone accident coverage
Want a large introductory bonus

Want no annual fee

Spend money at office supply stores
Want a large introductory bonus

Want no annual fee

Want simplicity in earning through spend
Learn More >>Learn More >>Learn More >>

 

Decision Time: Travel Portal vs Travel Partners?

Now that you have all the details about the Chase travel portal and you’ve seen what Chase transfer partners can do, you’re ready to decide how to use your Ultimate Rewards. I suggest that when you are booking travel to check both options to see which is a more valuable redemption. In the past, I’ve made the mistake of not comparing. Come to find out I used 15,000 points when I could have used 9,500 on the same exact hotel. In certain situations, they can both be very good redemption options for your Chase Ultimate Rewards.

 

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Destination Guide

where does southwest fly

A common question I’ve heard recently is “where does Southwest fly?” It’s a good question because, in recent years, their route map has been changing drastically. Just a few years ago, they only had flights within the continental US. Through their expansion, Southwest will soon have 103 destinations that they fly to. Their destinations will include flights within the continental US, internationally to Mexico, Central America, and the Carribean, as well as to all four major Hawaiian islands.

 

Southwest is quickly becoming much more than a regional airline. They’ve grown substantially in the last decade and continue doing so. Not only have they been growing, but they continue to bring great service and excellent travel features to their customers. They are the home of no fees and continue to go the opposite direction of other airlines. Let’s find out the answer to your question: Where does Southwest Airlines fly? Here’s our complete list:

 

Where Does Southwest Fly: Listed by Region

Where Does Southwest Fly in the Western United States (21)

  • where does southwest fly westSeattle
  • Spokane
  • Portland, Or
  • Sacramento
  • Oakland
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Burbank
  • Ontario
  • Los Angeles
  • Long Beach
  • Orange County
  • San Diego
  • Boise
  • Salt Lake City
  • Denver
  • Reno/Tahoe
  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • Tucson
  • Albuquerque

 

Midwest Destinations (17)

  • where does southwest fly midwestMinneapolis
  • Des Moines
  • Omaha
  • Kansas City
  • St Louis
  • Wichita
  • Milwaukie
  • Chicago
  • Grand Rapids
  • Detroit
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Cincinnati
  • Indianapolis
  • Louisville
  • Tulsa
  • Oklahoma City

 

Where Does Southwest Fly in the South (24)

  • where does southwest fly south El Paso
  • Amarillo
  • Lubbock
  • Midland
  • Dallas
  • Austin
  • San Antonio
  • Houston
  • Corpus Christi
  • South Padre Island
  • Little Rock
  • Memphis
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Birmingham
  • Atlanta
  • Pensacola
  • Panama City
  • Jacksonville
  • Tampa
  • Orlando
  • Ft Myers
  • West Palm Beach
  • Ft Lauderdale

 

East Coast Destinations (22)

  • where does southwest fly eastPortland, ME
  • Manchester
  • Boston
  • Hartford
  • Providence
  • Rochester
  • Buffalo
  • Albany
  • Long Island
  • New York City (La Guardia)
  • Newark
  • Pittsburgh
  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore
  • Washington DC (Dulles)
  • Washington DC (Reagan)
  • Richmond
  • Virginia Beach
  • Raleigh
  • Charlotte
  • Greensville
  • Charleston

 

Where Does Southwest Fly Internationally (15)

  • where does southwest fly internationalCabo
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Mexico City
  • Cancun
  • Belize City
  • Liberia
  • San Jose, CR
  • Aruba
  • San Juan
  • Punta Cana
  • Turks & Caicos
  • Montego Bay
  • Grand Cayman
  • Havana
  • Nassau

 

Southwest Flights to Hawaii (4)

  • Oahu
  • Maui
  • Kauai
  • Big Island (Hawaii)

 

Southwest Route Map

If you’re wondering “where does Southwest fly”, but need to see it visually, you can look at their route map. To see where you can fly from each Southwest location check out the Interactive Southwest Route Map.

Where does southwest fly

 

Fly with a Free Companion on Every Southwest Flight

By earning a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass you can have a free companion on every single Southwest flight you take. The companion pass stays active for the calendar year in which you earn it as well as the following year. That means if you earn the Southwest Companion Pass in January of 2019 you will have it through December of 2020. How do you get Southwest Companion Pass? It’s actually pretty simple.

 

You must earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points. It sounds like a lot, but you can actually earn that many points very quickly without ever taking a flight. Amazingly, points earned through the Southwest credit cards count toward earning the companion pass. Both, signup bonuses and earning through spending on the credit cards work.

 

With typical credit card introductory bonuses ranging between 40-60,000 points, you can earn enough (or close to enough) points simply by being approved for two of the Southwest credit cards. One personal card and one business card (don’t worry, you probably qualify for a business card – or could easily). You can learn more about how to earn it in our detailed Southwest Companion Pass post.

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.

Benefits:

Earn 3000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.

Annual Fee:

$69

Our Thoughts:

Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.

Benefits:

Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
No foreign transaction fees.

Annual Fee:

$99

Our Thoughts:

Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.

Benefits:

$75 Southwest travel credit each year.
4 Upgraded boardings per year.
20% back on in-flight drinks and wi-fi.
Earn 7500 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
No foreign transaction fees.

Annual Fee:

$149

Our Thoughts:

Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Premier

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.

Benefits:

Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$99

Our Thoughts:

Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN MORE >>

 

How to Earn Even More Southwest Miles to Use with Your Companion

It’s your lucky day. Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. That means that when you earn your Southwest Companion Pass, you can stack your Southwest miles account balance by earning Chase Ultimate Rewards to transfer over. Below are the two best credit card offers to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Ink Business Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN MORE >>

 

If you’re looking to travel a lot in the next year with that Companion Pass, you might also be interested in priority airport security screening and airport lounge access. You can receive those travel benefits and much more with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

$300 annual travel credit.

Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$450

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN MORE >>

 

vacation from business using points

 

Even if you don’t have an interest in earning the Southwest Companion Pass, these Southwest credit cards can add up to a lot of free travel. Southwest is one of the best programs for using points to fly. With 103 destinations, you better get started if you want to visit them all. Now that you know all their destinations, you’ll never have to ask “where does southwest fly” ever again.

Wanna Get Away? Learn How to Save Money with Southwest Airlines

Wanna Get Away

If you’ve never flown Southwest before, it can be a daunting task to figure out what’s going on. Southwest does things a little bit different than most other airlines. I love them for it, and so do most people who take the time to understand how the process works. I’ve found that I save a ton of money by flying Southwest and I’m sure you could too. Also, because I often use points for flights, I save a lot of points by knowing how Southwest works. Everyone has heard Southwests slogan “Wanna Get Away”, but not everyone knows what a Wanna Get Away fare is.

 

What is a Southwest Wanna Get Away Fare?

First, we’ll start by learning about the types of flight booking fares that Southwest has. Southwest Has 3 different booking fare types. They’re called “Business Select”, “Anytime”, and “Wanna Get Away”. So, what’s the difference between them? In the big picture, the only difference that really matters is the price you’ll pay. There are other small differences like automatically getting to board first, a priority boarding line at some airports, and a free in-flight alcoholic drink. But, do these differences really matter very much?

 

The Difference Between Southwests Booking Fares

The only difference, besides the price, that may matter to you is the ability to get a refund on a canceled flight. Wanna Get Away fares are the only ones that don’t offer a traditional refund. Later on, I’ll explain to you why I don’t think any of these features warrant paying extra money (or points) for your flight. Wanna Get Away fares can be very low priced and extremely cheap compared to Business Select and Anytime fares. In fact, I’ve never booked a flight outside of the Wanna Get Away fare class. It just doesn’t make sense for me to book the others.

southwest booking fares wanna get away

 

As you can see, there’s really not that much of a difference in the three booking fares. When booking a Wanna Get Away fare, you’ll still be able to check two bags for free, you’ll still have no change fees, and you can still cancel your flight and get reusable funds to use on another flight within 12 months (almost as good as a cash refund). I calculate the value of a Business Select fare at about $20 of value more than a Wanna Get Away fare. Here’s how I calculated that:

  • Priority Security: $4 Value (TSA PreCheck is $85 for 5 years)
  • Priority Boarding: 5 Minute Value (you can set an alarm to check in at 24 hrs)
  • Complimentary Premium Drink: Up to $7 (Southwest Drink Menu)
  • 600 Extra Miles per $100 Spent: $9 (1.5 cents per point)

 

Southwest Wanna Get Away Fares Save Money

Get Priority Security with TSA PreCheck

When it comes to priority security, you can get it in other ways. I recommend purchasing TSA PreCheck if you travel much at all. It gives you priority security lines for EVERY flight, no matter which airline you’re on and it’s only $85 for a 5-year membership! That’s the best $17 per year you can possibly spend toward travel.

 

EarlyBird Check-In for $15

If being one of the first people to board the plane is important to you, Southwest offers “EarlyBird Check-In” which automatically checks you in before the 24 hours before your flight. It costs $15-25 for each one-way flight.

 

Get Group A Boarding by Setting an Alarm

Or, you can basically get priority boarding for free on Southwest flights, by doing one simple thing. Set an alarm on your phone for 24 hours and 5 minutes before your departure time. When your alarm goes off, open the Southwest app on your phone and wait to check-in until exactly 24 hours before your flight. You’ll use your confirmation number and last name to check in. It’s as simple as that to always get boarding group A. This technique has never failed me and is far better than paying extra money simply to check in. I can’t help you with the complimentary drink, but hey, they only cost $6-7…

southwest airlines companion pass

 

Southwest Fare Types: Paying with Cash

The difference in prices for a Wanna Get Away fare and the other two fare types are astronomical. Just see the booking table below for a flight I was searching for. The top table shows dollar amounts for flights and the bottom table shows the same flight costs if using points.

southwest booking wanna get away


Southwest Fare Types: Paying with Points (same flights as above)

southwest booking with points wanna get away

Save even more money by booking your flight with points. Don’t know how to earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points? It’s as easy as getting a new credit card (or two). I’ve earned hundreds of thousands of Southwest Rapid Rewards points through the co-branded Southwest credit cards and through the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards. Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio.

 

It’s even possible to earn the coveted Southwest Companion Pass through credit card introductory offers alone. My wife and I have a companion pass through the end of 2019, which means we fly 2 for 1 on every Southwest flight we take (including flights booked with points). It essentially doubles the value of your Southwest Rapid Rewards points.

 

Wanna Get Away Fares are 4X Cheaper

As you can see in the booking table above, Wanna Get Away flights are nearly 4X cheaper than the other fare types. Is it worth paying 4X more, essentially to get a free $5 drink?!? I don’t think so. With the money you saved, you could go buy a 5-year membership to TSA PreCheck, buy a top-notch alarm, AND buy a few cases of alcohol. You do the math… Next time you book a flight on Southwest, I wouldn’t look at anything but Wanna Get Away fares.

 

The bottom booking table shows the flights in points prices. As you can see, Southwest points are worth about 1.5-2 cents per point when used to book Wanna Get Away fares. This is a great way to use your points for a high-value return. You can make it even higher (double the value) by earning a Southwest Companion Pass as my wife did.

 

Southwest Airlines Check In Process

The Southwest Airlines check in process is different than other airlines. Everyone boards the plane in the order of their boarding position. When you check in for the flight you will be given a boarding position with a letter and a number. For example, if you were to check in 24 hours before your flight using the alarm procedure I described earlier, you might get boarding position A34.

 

The boarding process goes like this. Group A boards the plane first (then B, then C) and with A34 you would board 34th out of all passengers. When you board, you have the option to sit in any available seat. So, basically the earlier you board the closer to the front of the plane you will sit (unless you like the back). The only important parts of boarding early are getting a seat next to your travel partner(s) and getting the seat you want (window or aisle). I doubt you like the middle seat, but who knows…

 

Southwest is Testing a New Boarding Process

wanna get away southwestAt a few airports, Southwest is currently testing out a new boarding and deplaning process. In Burbank, Long Beach, Sacramento, and San Jose Southwest is boarding and deplaning through both the front and back doors of the plane.

 

Opting into boarding or deplaning through the back door means you will have to walk up or down portable stairs leading to the plane. You’ll still be welcomed to sit wherever you desire. They are testing this out to see if it will speed up the boarding process and get passengers to their destinations sooner.

 

 

Wanna Get Away? Funny Southwest TV Commercials

Here are some reasons you may wanna get away. While looking into Southwest Wanna Get Away fares, I came across this compilation video of Southwest TV commercials. I found a lot of them to actually be pretty funny and bring back memories of when they were airing on television. Take a few minutes to watch and they might give you some Wanna Get Away inspiration.

 

Where Does Southwest Fly? Hint: It’s not just the SW

Southwest is absolutely not just a regional airline anymore. They have 103 total destinations including 15 internationally and 4 in Hawaii. The routes that Southwest flies cover the whole United States and beyond, flying into Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

 

Credit Cards that Earn Southwest Rapid Rewards

There are four credit cards that earn Southwest Rapid Rewards directly. They typically offer between 40-60,000 points as an introductory offer. If you time your applications right and are approved for both a personal and business card, you can even earn a Southwest Companion Pass automatically. To earn the Southwest Companion Pass you must earn 110,000 points in one calendar year.

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.

Benefits:

Earn 3000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.

Annual Fee:

$69

Our Thoughts:

Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.

Benefits:

Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
No foreign transaction fees.

Annual Fee:

$99

Our Thoughts:

Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 40,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.

Benefits:

$75 Southwest travel credit each year.
4 Upgraded boardings per year.
20% back on in-flight drinks and wi-fi.
Earn 7500 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
No foreign transaction fees.

Annual Fee:

$149

Our Thoughts:

Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Premier

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.

Benefits:

Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$99

Our Thoughts:

Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
LEARN MORE >>

 

how to get southwest companion pass

 

Earning Even More Southwest Rapid Rewards Points

There are some other credit cards that offer the ability to transfer to Southwest. Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer at a 1:1 ratio into Southwest Rapid Rewards. If you have a companion pass, you can also book Southwest flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal and then add your companion to the flight.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 2X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfer partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

This is the best first travel credit card to get. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Ink Business Preferred

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 80,000 points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and select business expenses (including online social media ads).
*Limited to first $150k per year.

Benefits:

Points are worth 25% more when used in the Chase travel portal.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.

Annual Fee:

$95

Our Thoughts:

The signup bonus alone for this card is amazing. Pair that with some great rewards earning for your business and this card is great. If you have a business, we find the Ink Preferred to be the best offer available.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Chase Freedom

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 5% on rotating quarterly categories. (up to $1500 in purchases per quarter)

Benefits:

Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.

Free credit score.

Annual Fee:

No annual fee

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You can earn up to 5X per dollar and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Introductory Offer:

You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months.

Rewards:

You'll earn 3X points on travel and dining.

Benefits:

$300 annual travel credit.

Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.

TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Points are worth 50% more when used in the Chase travel portal.

No foreign transaction fees.

1:1 point transfers to partner hotels and airlines.

Annual Fee:

$450

Our Thoughts:

This is one of the best premium travel credit cards if you want some luxury. It has a valuable signup bonus with easy to redeem points. You also get a boost to your points value in the Chase travel portal. The biggest key to this card is the airport lounge access. If you travel a lot, it's extremely valuable.
LEARN MORE >>

 

Wanna Get Away on Southwest? Go For It

If you wanna get away, there are a lot of options to do so. When flying Southwest, I’d recommend always booking a Wanna Get Away fare. It will save you either money or points and will give you nearly just as good of an experience. Remember, Wanna Get Away flights are 4X cheaper than the other booking fares. That’s the most important thing when it comes to booking your flight.

 

Chase QuickPay vs Chase Pay: What’s the Difference?

chase quickpay vs chase pay

Many people get confused about the differences between Chase Pay and Chase QuickPay and often consider them one and the same. However, they are quite different. In fact, each of them serves its own purpose and the only real similarity is their name. Granted both services are offered by Chase Bank, but Chase Pay is a mobile service, whereas Chase QuickPay is a method in which customers can send and receive money to family and friends.

 

Let’s find out in more depth what the core differences are between “Chase QuickPay” and “Chase Pay”. Below we’ll detail how these two services offered by Chase work and what makes them different.

What is Chase QuickPay?

Customers who have a bank account at Chase Bank can use Chase QuickPay to send money to family or friends and can receive money from others upon request. Consider it more of a person-to-person electronic payment option that is similar to Venmo or the old Amazon Payments.

Chase QuickPay

 

Benefits of using Chase QuickPay

You may have noticed Chase QuickPay with Zelle, which basically means the same thing as Chase QuickPay. Zelle is a partner of Chase Bank who used to offer this service to Chase customers. You may be asking, “Can this service be used by those who are not a Chase customer?” The answer to this question is “absolutely, yes”. There are other banks that also use Zelle, which makes it easier for Chase customers to send and receive money using these banks.

 

Chase QuickPay makes it easy to split the costs of things with friends and family. When going out to dinner you won’t have to have the bill split five ways, annoying your waiter or waitress. One person can pay with their credit card and everyone else can pay their share to that person by using Chase Pay.

 

Other Banks that use Zelle Payments

  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of Commerce
  • California Bank and Trust
  • Bank of Hawaii
  • Bank of the West
  • Capital One
  • First Citizens National Bank
  • TD Bank
  • U.S. Bank
  • Union Bank and Trust
  • USSA

 

How to Enroll for Chase QuickPay using the App

You can enroll in Chase QuickPay in about two minutes by using the Chase mobile app or by going online to Chase.com.

  1. To enroll in the app, use your mobile device and sign in with your normal Chase.com credentials.
  2. On the top left-hand corner select the menu button and then choose QuickPay with Zelle.
  3. Get started by entering the email address of your choice followed by checking the appropriate box to agree to the terms and services.

It’s as simple as that. You’ve just completed the Chase QuickPay registration process.

 

How to Enroll Online for Chase QuickPay

  1. To enroll online, go to Chase.com and log into your account.
  2. In the navigation menu on the top left of your screen, select Pay and Transfer, then choose Chase QuickPay with Zelle
  3. Select the blue sign up box to move forward with the process
  4. Be sure to read the service agreement as well as the privacy notice, afterward, select the appropriate box and then choose next to continue
  5. You will need to add your mobile phone number or your email address so that you can be alerted when a payment is being sent or received. Select next to continue
  6. You will need to go through a verification process during this step using the email address or the phone number that you provided in step five. Once you receive the verification code, type it in the box provided and select the activate button which then completes your registration

 

Sending Money through QuickPay

When you’re ready to send money, simply get the email address or the phone number of the person that will be receiving the payment. If you need to set up recurring payments, you can do that too.

 

Requesting Money through QuickPay

To receive money, you can initiate the process by requesting money using the name of the sender and the phone number or email address and the amount that you are requesting. You can also select the option where the sender will determine how much they will be sending.

 

Alternatively, you may receive money that has been initiated by another individual. Meaning that you can receive money that you did not request.

 

Pros and Cons of Chase QuickPay

Some pros and cons associated with this transfer option consist of the following:

Pros

  • It can be used with many participating banks
  • It has a great notification and verification systems
  • There are no transaction fees

 

Cons

  • Not all payments are posted immediately
  • There’s somewhat of a learning curve for new users
  • It does not work with foreign banks

 

What is Chase Pay?

Chase Pay is a mobile payment option that has been set up by Chase Bank to make it easier for customers to make a secure payment online or through their mobile device relatively quickly. This service works with selected merchants by utilizing a wide variety of retailers.

Chase Pay

 

Benefits of using the Chase Pay App

The Chase Pay Service has been compared to Apple Pay and is known to be similar in many ways. Customers can use this service with any of their personal Chase cards. Including their Chase Liquid card and their Chase Visa cards. However, Chase business cards and the Mastercards are not eligible to be used with the Chase Pay service.

 

When paying you won’t have to search through your wallet or purse for the card you want. You can put all your personal credit cards on the Chase Pay app and pay easily. You also won’t have to carry as many cards in your wallet, helping with that sciatica your fat wallet is causing you. If you have a Chase Freedom card, you’ll often earn 5X Ultimate Rewards on purchases when using Chase Pay. In 2018, Chase Pay was featured in the rotating category bonuses 3 out of 4 quarters on the Chase Freedom Calendar.

 

How to Enroll in Chase Pay

Enrolling in this service is easy. Simply sign into your Chase account by visiting Chase.com, then click on the navigation menu that is located in the top left-hand corner of your computer screen. Next, select Pay and Transfer, followed by choosing Chase Pay and then clicking on the blue Enroll button that is located at the top of your screen.

 

You will need to use one of your Chase debit or credit cards. You can do this by selecting the card of your choice from the drop-down menu. Whichever car you select will be the one that you will be able to use to make payments using Chase Pay. After the card of your choice has been chosen, select continue. That’s all there is to it. You’ve successfully enrolled for Chase Pay. The great thing about it is if you decide to change your settings, all you need to do is just go back to “Pay & Transfer”, followed by “Chase Pay”; then select the blue change settings option located at the bottom of your screen on the right side.

 

Where is Chase Pay Accepted?

Now you’re ready to begin using this service. It’s easy to use and works well with online payments that can be made from your mobile device. Here are some of the retailers that accept Chase Pay:

  • Fruit Bouquets
  • The Gap
  • Harry and David
  • Kung Fu Tea
  • Old Navy
  • La Madeleine
  • Potbelly
  • The Popcorn Factory
  • Park Mobile
  • Quiznos
  • Stockyards
  • Shell Gas
  • ShopRite
  • Tock
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Wolferman’s

 

Using the Chase Pay Mobile App

You can also make purchases using your mobile device by downloading the app. You can use your same login credentials that are used when you log in to Chase.com.

 

The app works a lot easier when the location settings are turned on. This allows you to see which merchants that are near you accept this Chase Pay payment option. It also allows you to see what offers and discounts are available to you.

Take the following steps once you have the Chase Pay app open:

  1. Once you get to a merchant that accepts this particular payment option, simply open the app, followed by selecting the blue “pay” button located at the bottom of your mobile phone or tablet. When doing so it brings up what’s referred to as the QR code. This will be needed for the cashier to scan. While in the app you will also be able to identify the card that you will be paying for your purchase with.
  2. Some merchants offer discounts and ways to save you money. To see those merchants that are nearby and can possibly save you money, select the More option that is located on the lower right side of your mobile device. Afterward, select Merchants to see a list of vendors in your area that accept this payment option.

 

Using Chase Pay on Your Computer

To make purchases online using the Chase Pay payment option, please follow the steps indicated below.

  1. When making payments while online, you’ll notice that it’s a bit different than using the app. While you’re online and shopping for various items, you’ll want to look out for the Chase Pay logo. It has been provided to alert you that it is available to you as a payment option. You may be used to seeing payment options such as PayPal, Visa, MasterCard or American Express, but now Chase makes payment options available for their customers too through Chase Pay.
  2. After going through the process in step 1, you will then be prompted to log into your regular Chase account. It will prompt you to the specific page so that you can select the card that you decide to use when making your purchase. You can either make a payment using cash or points (which is explained in more detail below.)
  3. Select continue so that you can choose the shipping and delivery options of your choice as well as provide your shipping information. Before the transaction is completed you will be able to confirm your order.

 

Paying with Points using Chase Pay

If you decide to pay with points instead of with cash (which was the option made available to you in step 2), then the points option is certainly available to you. However, generally speaking, using your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for online purchases is not the best option because of the lower value you’ll receive. However, there may be times when it’s a better option for you based on your personal situation. In any case, you will only receive 0.8 cents for each point.

 

By alternately using your Chase Ultimate Rewards to book travel in the Chase travel portal or Chase transfer partners, you will receive at least 1 cent per point, and sometimes up to 2 cents per point or more. This is why Chase Pay is not usually a good redemption option for Ultimate Rewards. It basically reduces the value that you would receive for each point.

 

For example, the points that you earn using the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are worth 1.25 cents each in the travel portal. Points that you earn using the Chase Sapphire Reserve are worth 1.5 cents when using the travel portal. In addition to that, you can redeem for a lot more per point when you transfer them to any of Chase bank’s travel partners.

 

Ordering Food with Chase Pay

Certain restaurants allow you to order directly on the Chase Pay app. Some of them even have special offers if you do so. For instance, right now I have an offer for $5 off my first Chase Pay order at Five Guys with no minimum order. I also have an offer to earn 3X points when I order at Five Guys with the Chase Pay app.

 

The other benefit of using Chase Pay to order food is that the food will be ready when you arrive at the restaurant. No waiting is always nice!

 

Pros and Cons of Chase Pay

Some pros and cons associated with the Chase Pay mobile app consist of the following:

 

Pros

  • Chase already has a solid customer base that it can tap into to capture a great deal of the market by using its loyal customers.
  • Is part of and backed by the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) system, a network of over 100,000 participating retail locations.
  • It uses the QR barcodes that can be scanned by any merchant that uses 2D barcode scanning.

Cons

  • Chase is a latecomer as far as the mobile payment processing market goes and still needs to compete with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay for market share.
  • Merchants who aren’t associated with the MCX Consortium that supports the current platform will have some integration challenges.
  • Consumer usability issues are associated with a complicated check out process.

 

Popular Chase Credit Cards that offer Chase QuickPay and Chase Pay

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Bonus Spending Categories2X on travel and dining3X on travel and dining5X on select rotating quarterly categories1.5X on all purchases
Annual Fee$95$450$0$0
Extra PerksBaggage insurance, trip insurance, rental car insurance$300 annual travel credit, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, Priority Pass SelectIntroductory APR offerPurchase protection, extended warranty
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Who Benefits from Chase QuickPay and Chase Pay?

Chase customers can benefit from both of these services along with most of their family members, friends, and retailers with whom they do business. By using Chase Pay through the mobile app or online, retailers that Chase customers do business with can receive more business when the service is used online or through the app. When the Chase QuickPay transfer option is used, those who know the customer can experience the convenience of using this service relatively quickly. Not only does it save time, but no additional cost or fees are associated with the transactions.