Travel Freedom Tips

Chase Freedom Calendar: How to Multiply Your Ultimate Rewards

Chase Freedom Calendar

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

Are you looking for the current Chase Freedom Calendar?  We have the current Chase Freedom rewards calendar as well as all the old calendars dating back to 2013.  The Chase Freedom is a great credit card for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points on purchases. It earns 5X points on quarterly rotating category bonuses. Over the years these bonuses have ranged from grocery stores to gas stations. From movie theaters to Amazon. And, from restaurants to warehouse stores.

Not only does the Chase Freedom credit card have great category bonuses, but it also has no annual fee. Remember to activate your card each quarter. You’ll be reminded through email so it shouldn’t be too hard to remember. Here is the current Chase Freedom cash back calendar: (Remember to activate each quarter)

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2018

The Chase Freedom calendar shows us many popular quarterly category bonuses.  It should be possible to maximize the bonuses each quarter.  I’ve marked categories that sell gift cards to other stores (*):

  1. Gas Stations*, Internet/Cable/Phone Services, Chase Pay/Google Pay/Apple Pay/Samsung Pay
  2. Grocery Stores* (not including Walmart & Target), Paypal, Chase Pay
  3. Gas Stations*, Lyft, Walgreens*
  4. Department Stores*, Wholesale Clubs*, Chase Pay

Chase Freedom Calendar wide

Did You Know: You Can Multiply the Value of Your Ultimate Rewards?

Not everyone knows about it, but there’s a secret trick that can double the value of your Chase Ultimate Rewards. Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth just 1 cent each when redeemed using the Chase Freedom card.  Even though Chase doesn’t announce it, your Ultimate Rewards points are transferable between different Chase card accounts. They’re even transferable between different peoples’ accounts (household members). This is important because, with some of the premium Chase credit cards, it’s possible to redeem points at a higher value.

Double Your Ultimate Rewards Value

If you redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards through the travel portal. Only certain Chase credit cards have access to the travel portal though. The Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Preferred offers 1.25 cents per points (25% more value) while the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a whopping 1.5 cents per point (50% more value) by redeeming points through the travel portal!

Chase Freedom Rewards Calendar

 

Credit Cards with Chase Travel Portal Bonuses:

All three of these credit cards also come with the ability to use Chase’s travel transfer partners.  You can transfer Ultimate Rewards to these travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. By using your points with airlines or hotels it’s possible to redeem points for well over 2 cents each. Pairing these premium Chase credit cards with your Freedom card multiplies your redemption value by double more.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

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)

This is the best travel credit card to start with. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

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

This is the best premium luxury credit card. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Ink Business Preferred

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

This business rewards card has the most valuable introductory offer of any credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2019 – Coming Soon…

One can only wonder what 2019 will bring in terms of the Chase Freedom category bonuses.  I would assume that there will be at least one quarter with gas stations, one with grocery stores, and one with wholesale clubs.  I would also bet that Chase Pay is on at least one quarter, if not all of them.

 

Past Chase Freedom 5% Calendars

If you’re interested, here’s what was offered in the past. The Chase Freedom calendar’s category bonuses have evolved over the years. For the most part, the offers have become better and better. Having the Chase Freedom in your wallet has been quite the benefit over the past few years if you were able to maximize it’s category bonuses.  Each year it’s possible to earn up to 30,000 points, which is more than enough to take a round-trip flight.

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2017

2017 was a good year for maximizing the bonus categories each quarter. It also introduced Walmart as a category bonus in quarter 4:

  1. Gas Stations, Transportation
  2. Grocery Stores, Drugstores
  3. Restaurants, Movie Theaters
  4. Walmart, Department Stores

Chase Freedom Calendar 2017

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2016

2016 was very similar to the previous year.  It gave a decent shot at reaching the maximum bonus rewards each quarter.  Wholesale clubs were very popular:

  1. Gas Stations, Transportation
  2. Grocery Stores, Wholesale Clubs
  3. Restaurants, Wholesale Clubs
  4. Department Stores, Wholesale Clubs, Drug Stores

Chase Freedom Calendar 2016

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2015

In 2015 the categories got a little bit better.  There was a real chance of maximizing the category bonuses:

  1. Grocery Stores, Movie Theaters, Starbucks
  2. Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond, H&M, Overstock.com
  3. Gas Stations, etc
  4. Amazon.com, etc

Chase Freedom Calendar 2015

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2014

2014 was a little more useful than 2013, giving customers a better chance of maximizing their bonuses each quarter:

  1. Gas Stations, Movie Theaters, Starbucks
  2. Restaurants, Lowe’s
  3. Gas Stations, Kohl’s
  4. Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Select Department Stores

Chase Freedom Calendar 2014

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2013

2013 brought us a selection of category bonuses, but some of them were difficult to maximize.

  1. Gas Stations, Drugstores, Starbucks
  2. Restaurants, Movie Theaters
  3. Gas Stations, Theme Parks, Kohl’s
  4. Select Department Stores, Amazon.com

Chase Freedom Calendar 2013

 

As you can see, having a Chase Freedom credit card can pay off. Earning 5X points on many purchases can earn you a free round-trip flight each year or more. When you bundle your Freedom card with other premier Chase credit cards, you can redeem those points for even more. The Chase Ultimate Rewards system is the best in the market. The Chase Freedom is one of the easiest ways to earn Ultimate Rewards. If you don’t have one yet, you should think about adding it to your wallet.

Where Does Southwest Fly? The Ultimate Destination Guide

where does southwest fly

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

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

40,000 Points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months

Chase Southwest Plus Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual Point Bonus: Receive 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • Earning Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Bags fly free and no change fees.
  • Annual Fee: $69

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

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

40,000 Points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months

Chase Southwest Premier Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual Point Bonus: Receive 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • Earning Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Bags fly free and no change fees.
  • No Foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual Fee: $99

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

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

40,000 Points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months

southwest rapid rewards priority credit card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual Point Bonus: Receive 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • $75 Southwest travel credit every year.
  • 4 Upgraded boardings per year.
  • 20% back on in-flight drinks, wi-fi, messaging, and movies.
  • Earning Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Bags fly free and no change fees.
  • No Foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual Fee: $149

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

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business

60,000 Points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Chase Southwest RR Premier Business Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual Point Bonus: Receive 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary.
  • Earning Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • Bags fly free and no change fees.
  • No Foreign transaction fees.
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost and earn points on employee spending.
  • Annual Fee: $99

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

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.

Credit Score Range: How to Reach Excellent?

credit score range

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

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 50,000 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 STARTER TRAVEL CREDIT CARD


Chase Sapphire Preferred

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.


TOP RANKED BUSINESS CARDS


Ink Business Preferred

80,000 Points after spending $5,000 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.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: 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 Annual Fee

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


Ink Business Cash

50,000 Points after spending $3,000 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% cash back 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% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

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

 

*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

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
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 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.


Wells Fargo Propel

30,000 Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months

Travel Freedom Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 3X points for dining out and ordering delivery.  3X points at gas stations, on rideshare and transit.  3X points for travel including flights, hotels, home rentals, and car rentals.  You’ll then earn 1X points on other purchases.
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then 14.49%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rates and fees.
  • Annual Fee: No Annual Fee

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


PREMIUM TRAVEL CREDIT CARDS WITH EXTREME BENEFITS


Chase Sapphire Reserve

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.


The Platinum Card from American Express

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

american express platinum cardLEARN 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 >

 

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!

 

Find Love on an Airplane, Mistakes New Flyers Make

love on airplane

Every day I personally look through hundreds of blog posts from the best travel blogs on the internet. When I find posts that I feel would be valuable to you, I put them together in a Travel Blog News article. Today I found a few travel articles that meet the standards. Here are the best of the best from today.

companion pass southwest41 SIGNS YOU ARE A TRAVEL ADDICT – NOMADIC MATT

Yes, Yes, YES… I’d say I am officially a travel addict and have the bug.  I would agree with most of the list, and since you’re reading this, I would assume you probably do too.  This summer we (my wife and I) were gone more than we were home so I’d say it’s time to take a little break and call it travel rehab.

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…

travel mistakes12 AMATEUR MISTAKES NEWBIE FLYERS MAKE – MILLION MILE SECRETS

While I’ve never actually made any of these mistakes (luck I guess), I could see how they would be made by people who are new to travel.  You might want to read through them, so that you don’t find yourself on the wrong end of a mistake.  You wouldn’t want to end up in San Jose, Costa Rica instead of San Jose, California would you?

 

If you missed the last Travel Blog News, check it out HERE.

PS: If you’re interested in traveling more often or more luxuriously, check out our FREE 5-DAY MINI COURSE.

Stay Healthy While Traveling – 7 Simple Tips

stay healthy while traveling

I’m sure you’ve experienced getting sick while on vacation or immediately after traveling.  We’ve all been there and it’s really not very surprising.  It’s hard to stay healthy while traveling.  When we travel we put our bodies through a lot.  We’re around a ton of people, some of which are potentially sick. We eat different foods than our body is used to.  We don’t have access to our normal resources for exercise and even sleep. I’m sure you can think of a few more. There are more than a handful of things we tend to do differently to our bodies when traveling that can send our systems into overdrive.  

Fortunately there are some very simple things you can do to keep your body in check and stay healthy while traveling.  I have seven tips to tell you about, that I live by while traveling and have found to help tremendously to keep me healthy.  Whether you incorporate all of them into your travel regiment or just a few, they will surely help you stay healthy while traveling!

 

sick while travelingKeep Your Hands Clean

Like your mom always told you, wash your hands!  While traveling, it’s important to wash or sanitize your hands regularly.  Just think about how many things you touch throughout your day of traveling, that everyone else is touching too.  It’s a lot of touching! First off, trying your best to touch as few things as possible, will cut down your chances of picking up bad germs.  

Also, try not to touch your face as that’s a common way people get sick.  The average person touches their face nearly four times per hour, so just try to be aware.  Next time you travel, think about carrying hand sanitizer and maybe even some sanitizing wipes to clean off the tray and armrests in your plane seat.

 

Sit Near the Window With Your Air Vent On

Airborne viruses are transmitted by tiny droplets that can stay in the air for up to five hours.  To combat these possible droplets, you can simply turn on your personal air vent. By aiming your overhead vent in front of your face, it will create an invisible air barrier to protect you from unwanted lingering particles.  Also, sitting by the window will give you the cleanest air.  Most airplanes have vents below the windows that lead to the HEPA ventilation system that cleans the air.

 

stay healthy while flyingStay Hydrated by Drinking Plenty of Water

During an average five hour flight you can lose a liter of bodily water.  This equates to losing 1-2% of your hydration, which can impact health, mood, fatigue and irritability.  Instead of getting that Coca-Cola or Coffee, you might want to request water, or at least ask for both.

What my wife and I do is take our Hydro Flasks and fill them up after we get through security.  Most airports now have water bottle filling stations that make it super easy to stay hydrated without spending five dollars for a water bottle.

 

Organifi Green Juice Supplement

The number one thing I do personally to stay healthy while traveling is take my Organifi Green Juice supplement daily.  Most of us (me included) don’t always eat the healthiest while traveling. Hamburgers, pizza, french fries, pasta… vegetables?!?  It’s much harder to eat nutritious meals and to get the amount of vegetables needed by our bodies when we’re not at home. While I do try to be conscious of what I’m eating while on vacation, it’s just easier to take a supplement to make sure I’m getting what I need every single day.

organifi healthy travelI actually choose to take Organifi Green Juice every day, whether I’m traveling or not.  It’s perfect because it’s easy and it actually tastes surprisingly good. All you do is pour either a scoop or travel packet into a glass of water.  Then mix it up, and drink it down.  It mixes very easily, which is nice while staying in a hotel with limited utensils and containers.  And like I said, it tastes good with a similar taste to green tea.

I’ve personally been taking Organifi for nearly a year now, and have not been sick even once (knock on wood)!  I find that to be pretty incredible, since I travel often and my wife is an elementary teacher who brings home all kinds of germs and colds from her students.  All I can say is I’m a big believer in this product as it’s worked wonders for me.  Organifi has been nice enough to give my readers an exclusive 15% off all orders.  Just use code RYANK15 at checkout!

 

Wear Compression Socks on long Flights

While blood clots are not a common problem caused by flying, getting swollen legs, ankles and feet are.  The longer your flight is, the higher your risk of this happening is. While moving your legs, getting up to walk around, and drinking plenty of water can greatly help, many people are turning to compression socks for good reason.

Compression socks fit snuggly, feeling like a light hug around your legs (if they hurt, you have the wrong size).  What they do is squeeze your legs enough to efficiently increase blood circulation, cutting down your risk of swelling and the possibility of DVT or blood clots.  Compression socks are a cheap and now fashionable way to stay healthy while traveling.

 

exercise while travelingExercise and/or Stretch

It doesn’t matter how you do it, but get some kind of physical activity and movement each day while traveling.  It could be at your hotel gym, on a hike, going for a run, stretching at a park, swimming… Anything!  If you aren’t staying at a hotel with a gym, there are a few alternatives to maintain your muscles. You can use stretchy resistance bands or TRX style bands that are easily packable.  Push-ups and sit-ups are also always an option. You may even be able to find a place to be able to do some pull-ups.

It’s easy to skip out on your regular exercise routine while on vacation, but it can be just as easy to get it done.  Don’t let excuses like fatigue, or lack of resources get in your way of staying healthy while traveling. It can be done without much extra effort!

 

Stay Healthy While Traveling

Don’t let travel get the best of your health next time.  Take these tips and keep them in mind while you’re traveling. That way you can stay healthy even when you’re not at home.  I’ve been practicing these tips and find them to be very beneficial. No one likes being sick.  Taking a few precautions and adding a few tasks to your routine can really pay off.  Your body will thank you!

7 Travel Apps to Save You Time & Money

travel apps

When it comes to travel, I’m sure you already have a few travel apps downloaded onto your cell phone.  The real question is whether any of the apps you have, actually benefit you.  I’ve put together a list of the travel apps that I find to be the most useful while I’m traveling or planning to travel.  Some of them will save you time, some will save you money, and some will do both.  Do you already have any of the following travel apps?  If not, I suggest you give them a shot.

LoungeBuddy (use code JnSjMo28aP for $10 credit)

If you have a Priority Pass giving you access to airport lounges, this is a necessity. It shows you what lounges are in each airport, reviews them, and tells you how to find the lounge. Once I get passed security or land for a layover, this is the first thing I check on my phone. Free food, free drinks, a relaxing place to wait, and TV? Yes please!  If you don’t have Priority Pass yet, there are a few credit cards that offer membership as a perk.

Skyscanner

This is an app that allows you to do in depth searches for paid flights, hotels and car rentals to find the best deal. You can also save flights, specific searches, and even get price alerts. It’s a must have for booking a vacation when you’re unable to use miles and points.  It’s similar to Google Flights, but seems more in depth and has a phone app which makes it more convenient.

top travel appsLyft / Uber

If you’re traveling around a large city, getting a Lyft or Uber car is very convenient.  Depending on your travel location, taking rides when needed might be much more efficient than renting a car.  Also, if you’re planning on drinking, you can let them be your DD. Lately, I’ve found Lyft rides to be slightly cheaper, but I always check both each time to get the cheaper of the two.

Service

This app is awesome, especially if you travel often. It will automatically find your flight and hotel bookings in your email and if your flight gets delayed or canceled it will automatically send the airline a message trying to get you compensation. It will also find upcoming bookings and make sure you got the best price for your flight or hotel and re-book them if not.  The best part is you don’t have to pay anything until you actually get compensation.

Rocketmiles

If you want to earn airline miles for paid hotel stays, this is for you. Every stay at a hotel that you book through their app earns you miles on your airline of choice. Sometimes they even have promos where you can earn 5000 or more bonus miles for just a one night stay.  I earned 11,000 Alaska Airlines miles for two one night stays, which was enough miles to book a short round-trip flight!

best travel appsGoogle Translate

This is pretty self explanatory. If you don’t speak the native language of where you’re traveling all you have to do is tell the app whatever you want to say. It translates your words to the native language and then you can push play for the person you’re trying to communicate with. It supports over 100 languages.

Travel Apps Save Time & Money

Have you already tried any of these?  How do you like them?  If you haven’t tried these out, I’d suggest testing them for yourself when you travel next.  If you use any other travel apps that you can’t live without, leave a comment and share with the rest of us!

Vacation Condos are Cheaper and Better than Hotels

beach vacation condo

Most of the time when people go on vacation, they naturally think of staying in a hotel.  While that mindset has changed a bit with Airbnb’s emergence, hotels are still the norm.  I’d like to show you that you have options when it comes to accommodations while traveling. There are a handful of reliable options when it comes to booking a place to stay. Staying in vacation condos or houses can be cheaper than a hotel, but that’s not the only benefit.  You can have more space, more privacy, separate rooms, possibly laundry, and most important to me, a full kitchen. Vacation condo and house owners also often have useful items for their guests such as beach chairs, coolers, and recreational equipment.

VACATION CONDOS HAVE MORE SPACE & PRIVACY

taking a nap in vacation condoHaving a little more space than a hotel room is nice sometimes.  For instance, If someone wants to take a nap, they can do it without occupying the whole space.  Or, if someone wants to go to bed early, they’re able to go to their own room. Often, condos and houses will have much more privacy too.  Everyone who occupies the housing next to you isn’t coming and going regularly as they would be at a hotel.

In a vacation condo or house, you have more ability to live like you would if you actually lived in the place you’re vacationing.  With laundry available in many units, you can throw your clothes in the wash if you spill mustard on your brand new white shirt.  You can dry that swimsuit before you stick it in your luggage. Just having the option to do laundry without any hassle is a nice amenity, especially if you’re on a longer vacation.

preparing meals vacation condoPREPARING MEALS ON VACATION SAVES MONEY

The biggest reason I love staying in condos or houses while on vacation, is for the kitchen.  The ability to cook your own dinner, pack lunches for on the go, and have cold drinks readily available are so valuable.  Think about how much money you could save by not eating out for every single meal! Food, drinks and tips can really add up after just a few days, even if you’re not going to the most expensive restaurants.  When my wife and I go to Hawaii, we definitely still eat out some of the time, but most of our meals are prepared in our condo. We pack lunches to take to the beach in our cooler on most days, which also saves us from having to pack everything up in the middle of our day to go eat.  Many of our dinners we prepare either in the kitchen or on a barbecue which are also usually included at condos.

VACATION CONDOS AREN’T FOR EVERYONE

vacation eating outFor some people, traveling is all about the food, in which case this may not be the best option.  For me, I don’t care too much about food on vacation, other than trying some of the local specialties. I am happy to eat out a few times, and prepare the rest of my meals. Not only does this save a lot of money, but it is usually much healthier. Besides traveling with points and miles, this is one of the best ways to save money and make budget travel possible.

Next time you’re booking a vacation, think about whether you want to stay in a hotel or in a vacation condo or house.  There are many options for finding vacation rentals that make it very easy to book. The one’s I’ve used are VRBO and Airbnb.  I’d suggest checking out both when you’re searching for a place to stay because the variety differs between the two.

6 Ways to Save Money on Travel

There are numerous ways to save money on travel expenses.  While I talk about them a lot and it’s the main topic of Travel Freedom, points and miles are not the only way to save massive amounts of money while on vacation.  In fact, points and miles can’t always be used, so it pays to understand where you can save money on paid travel as well.  There are six valuable ways to decrease your costs and save money on travel, without downgrading.  I’ll explain each of them to you.

 

RENTING A CONDO OR HOUSE

Most people only think of staying in hotels when they book their vacation.  What if I were to tell you that by instead booking a condo or house, you could save money and have more amenities.  You won’t have a buffet breakfast, and you won’t have a concierge desk, but do those things actually bring you any value?  What’s great about having your condo or house while on vacation is that it feels more like a home.  From my experience, it usually also saves you money compared to a hotel.  The best part of having a condo is that the condo has both laundry and a kitchen.  

There are many resources for booking condos and homes to rent, but I’ve used both airbnb and vrbo with nothing but success.  They are both very easy and have many options, everywhere that I’ve taken advantage of them.  I also try to find a property that waives their cleaning fee for a week or more stay to save even more money.

 

PREPARE YOUR OWN MEALS

If you’re staying at a hotel with a kitchenette, or a condo with a full kitchen, you can save a bunch of money by preparing some or all of your meals.  Eating meals out, really adds to the travel bill.  Let’s just imagine a week vacation for two where you eat out for every meal.  If the average bill is $40, that ends up being $120 a day and $840 a week.  The way I like to save on food is to prepare most of our breakfasts and lunches, and prepare one or two dinners each week.  This alone can save you and your family hundreds of dollars, plus you’ll probably be eating healthier if you make it yourself.

 

 

BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR TRAVEL DATES

Can you fly on Friday instead of Saturday?  Can you take your vacation the week after popular spring break dates?  Being just a little bit flexible in the dates you travel can save you quite a bit of money.  If you’re paying for your flights, many of the travel search engines like Sky Scanner, will tell you if it is cheaper to fly the day before or the day after.  Also, hotel room prices fluctuate depending on the dates you want to book, so one day may be half the price of the next.  It’s not always possible to be flexible on your dates, but when you can be, there is an opportunity to save money on travel.

 

FIND FREE ACTIVITIES

There are so many fun activities and beautiful sites to be seen in any city or region that don’t cost a penny.  Just go search on google “Things to do in (vacation destination)”  and you will find an abundance of places to visit that either cost nothing or are very affordable.  Often times these places are the most memorable activities from your vacation too!  Hikes, snorkeling destinations, architecture, museums, parks… There are so many possibilities for your vacation.  Don’t only stick to the touristy activities.  Venture out and I can guarantee you’ll have a lot of fun.

 

USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Depending on your travel destination, public transportation may be a viable option to get around.  It doesn’t work everywhere, but a lot of larger cities have very good public transportation.  You can take light rails, subways, trains, buses.  Uber or Lyft are other options to save money if you won’t be driving enough to warrant a rental car.  It’s available almost every now and continues to grow rapidly.  Rental cars can be very expensive depending on the location and dates of your travel, so it makes sense to look into alternative options.

 

USE MILES INSTEAD OF MONEY

The biggest way of saving money while traveling, and the whole reason I started Travel Freedom, is the use of miles and points instead of your hard earned money.  As shown in almost every blog post of Travel Freedom, you can earn miles and points without actually traveling to earn them.  Banks are willing to give out huge introductory bonuses for having one of their branded credit cards, which can lead to thousands upon thousands of dollars saved for you.  

Imagine using 50,000 points instead of $1,600 for your honeymoon flights, or staying for free with credited nights at a five-star resort for 3 nights instead of paying their typical cost of $500 per night…  You can absolutely travel abundantly without having to spend much money at all.  Points and miles are the number one way to achieve this.

Now that you know of these six ways to save some money on travel, get started on booking your next trip.  You know you need it!  If you have any tips on how to save money on travel, please share with everyone in the comments!