airline baggage fees

You want to make sure that you’re prepared for air travel ahead of time. When you’re flying somewhere on vacation or on business, it’s important to know what to expect. If you go in without the right knowledge, then it’s possible that you’ll be blindsided by certain fees. There are many different fees associated with air travel but the most common that you will encounter are airline baggage fees.

 

The baggage fees are going to be different depending on which airline you’re traveling with as well. Knowing this, it’s a good idea to look things up before your travel date arrives. This will prepare you and will allow you to ensure that you have enough cash to pay for certain fees. Below, we are going to be taking a look at everything you need to know about airline baggage fees.

 

This is going to give you all of the necessary information. All of the major U.S. airlines are covered here. Take the time to read through so that you’ll never be caught off guard. It won’t take long to inform yourself and it might help you to choose a certain airline over the others as your preferred option.

 

United Airlines Baggage Fees

United Airlines is one of the most popular airlines in all of the United States. It serves millions of people each year and you’ll definitely want to know about their baggage fees before moving forward. This airline generally charges similar baggage fees to its competitors but it may be higher in certain areas. Knowing this, you’ll be able to anticipate how much money your checked bags are going to add to your overall ticket price.

Everything You Need to Know About Airline Baggage Fees (US Airlines) 1

 

Carry-on Bags

  • 1: Free (restrictions apply)

 

Checked Bags

  • 1st checked bag: $25 to $30
  • 2nd checked bag: $35
  • 3 or more checked bags: $150

 

Overweight Bags

  • 1: $100-$200

 

Oversized Bags

  • 1: $200

 

Pet Fees

  • Pet in cabin: $125
  • Held in cargo area: $201-$1034

 

United Airlines has some of the higher baggage fees among all of the airlines in the U.S. It is a good idea to be aware of some of the restrictions of this airline too. For example, this airline offers basic economy tickets at a reduced price. These fares differ from standard economy tickets in that you will not be allowed to check a bag and will only be able to bring one personal item on your flight.

 

If you’re looking for the best possible deal, then you’ll need to be able to travel very light when flying with United Airlines. Depending on your situation, this may work out just fine. It really comes down to your expectations and what you plan to take with you on your flight. Looking at the above information will at least allow you to be prepared for everything.

 

Also, take note that United Airlines offers a convenient online baggage calculation tool. This can tell you exact fees for an upcoming flight. It is a good idea to check things out using this tool even when you know the numbers listed above. You can see by looking at the numbers that there is some variance in the pricing so do your best to be prepared.

 

American Airlines Baggage Fees

For American Airlines, you’re going to need to remember that baggage allowances are going to differ depending on certain factors. Both your fare class and your member reward status are going to have an impact on what bags you will be allowed to take or how much fees are going to be. Before buying a ticket on American Airlines, it is a good idea to confirm which fare tiers are allowed to have a carry-on bag. Take a look at the fees below to get an idea for how American Airlines stacks up.

american airlines baggage fees

 

Carry-on Bags

  • 1: Free or $25

 

Checked Bags

  • 1: $25
  • 2: $35
  • 3 or more: $150

 

Overweight Bags

  • 1: $100-$200

 

Oversized Bags

  • 1: $200

 

Pet Fees

  • Pet in cabin: $125
  • Held in cargo area: $200

 

After looking at the information above, you will see that the fees are mostly in line with what United Airlines is offering. You will have to make sure that you are even able to bring a carry-on to your flight without being charged a fee. You might not be eligible for a carry-on unless you pay the $25 fee. This makes American Airlines a bit trickier than some of the other options on this list.

 

You’ll be allowed to have a carry-on bag unless you’ve purchased a basic economy ticket. You’re going to be allowed to check up to ten bags when flying on this airline. This applies to domestic flights as well as transatlantic and transpacific flights. Other flights will allow you to check up to five bags.

 

Alaska Airlines Baggage Fees

Alaska Airlines is actually going to make things a little bit simpler for you. They give you fixed baggage fees that are very easy to understand. Many customers are going to prefer this as it eliminates confusion. This is going to make it a lot easier to keep your costs low since you’ll have a good idea of what to expect no matter what type of ticket you purchased.

alaska airlines baggage fees

 

Carry-on Bags

  • 1: Free

 

Checked Bags

  • 1: $25
  • 2: $25
  • 3 or more: $75

 

Overweight Bags

  • 1: $75

 

Oversized Bags

  • 1: $75

 

Pet Fees

  • Pet in cabin: $100 (1)
  • Held in cargo area: $100 (1)

 

The baggage fees at Alaska Airlines are very reasonable overall. When compared to the prior two airlines, they’re very favorable. This airline is customer-friendly when it comes to structuring their baggage fees. It makes things so much simpler when you’re trying to keep your costs down.

 

You’ll be able to check bags a bit more easily when you’re flying with Alaska Airlines. If you need to check more than one bag, then the fee on your second bag is going to be the same as the first. This is a good airline to make use of if you need to pack a lot of stuff. Consider flying with Alaska Airlines when possible.

 

Delta Airlines Baggage Fees

Delta is another one of the large airlines that people fly with all the time. As one of the larger airlines, this is going to be a common one that you will come across when searching for a good deal on airfare. Thankfully, Delta has fairly middle-of-the-road baggage fees. The fees listed are going to be for flights within Canada and the United States.

delta baggage fees

 

As with some of the other airlines, fees are going to vary somewhat depending on your fare class as well as your member reward status. This is why it is a good idea to look into specific information for your ticket. This will give you a 100% accurate idea of how your baggage fees are going to look.

 

Carry-on Bags

  • 1: Free

 

Checked Bags within US

  • 1: Free for Delta One, First, and Business Class; otherwise $30
  • 2: Free for Delta One, First, and Business Class; otherwise $40
  • 3: $150
  • 4 or more: $200

 

Overweight Bags

  • 1: $100-$200

 

Oversized Bags

  • 1: $200

 

Pet Fees

  • 1 in cabin: $125
  • 1 held in cargo area: Based on kennel size (varies)

 

Baggage fees can vary quite a bit with Delta Airlines. They also really change things up depending on the class of your airfare. Also, certain baggage fees may be charged in Canadian currency and then converted into the local currency. You’ll want to be prepared for this ahead of time.

 

JetBlue Baggage Fees

JetBlue is a common airline that people make use of as well. There is not really much that stands out about their baggage fees. This is going to be an airline that falls in the middle of the pack when it comes to baggage fees. As long as you know what to expect, you’ll never be caught off guard by the fees that they charge.

jetblue baggage fees

 

Carry-on Bags

  • 1: Free

 

Checked Bags

  • 1: $25
  • 2: $35
  • 3 or more: $100

 

Overweight Bags

  • 1: $100

 

Oversized Bags

  • 1: $100

 

Pet Fees

  • Pet in cabin: $100 (1)
  • Held in cargo area: Not allowed

 

It’s easy to see that JetBlue Airlines doesn’t have the best baggage fees when compared to the other options. It is just about the same as some of the options and worse than some of the more customer-friendly airlines. Even so, the fees being charged are not shocking in any way. It’s simply important to be prepared for the fees they charge ahead of time so that you will know how to best pack for your flight.

 

Southwest Airlines Baggage Fees

Southwest Airlines manages to stand out from the competition in a few positive ways. The most important thing to know about this airline is that they offer two free checked bags with every ticket purchase. This is going to be a great deal for anyone who needs to take several items with him or her on a trip. It helps you to avoid spending much money on baggage fees and keeps things as convenient as possible.

southwest baggage fees

 

Carry-on Bags

  • 1: Free

 

Checked Bags

  • 1: Free
  • 2: Free
  • 3 or more: $75

 

Overweight Bags

  • 1: $75

 

Oversized Bags

  • 1: $75

 

Pet Fees

  • Pet in cabin: $95
  • Held in cargo area: Not allowed

 

Looking at the above airline fees, you’ll see that Southwest Airlines is one of the most reasonably priced airlines when it comes to baggage fees. This is definitely one of the recommended airlines to travel with when you want to keep the fees as low as possible. For some people, it winds up becoming more practical to buy a slightly more expensive ticket with Southwest Airlines than it is to buy a cheaper one for United Airlines. Much of this is going to depend on the situation but it is worth noting.

 

If you want to be able to avoid baggage fees, then you’ll “WANNA GET AWAY” with Southwest who gives you a reasonable chance of doing that. Being able to enjoy free checked bags is a great perk. This will definitely make traveling that much easier for just about anyone. If you can fly with Southwest Airlines, then you should have a good overall experience.

 

Our Final Thoughts on Airline Baggage Fees

Now that you have all of the information about airline baggage fees that you need to know, you will be able to make an informed decision. This gives you a much better idea of what to expect. You will be able to feel prepared for any baggage fees that you’re about to incur. As you can see based on the information above, fees can vary a bit from airline to airline.

 

Some of the airlines on this list are really good at giving passengers the best deals possible. Others are going to be less than customer-friendly. Those who are flying with budget tickets at the basic economy level will likely want to limit their baggage as much as possible. Sometimes you may not even be allowed to have a traditional carry-on bag without paying some type of special fee.

 

As long as you know this ahead of time, you can decide whether your airline ticket is truly going to be a good value. You have to factor in these fees when determining the overall cost of a flight. Failure to do so is going to make it tough to stick to your budget. Use the above information to give yourself a good idea of what you should expect moving forward.

 

It’s also important to keep in mind that these fees will change over time. This information is accurate as of the time of writing but it will likely change moving forward. If you’re ever curious about the baggage fees, it is a good idea to go directly to the source in order to get the most up-to-date information. Just remember to be proactive and you’ll never wind up facing baggage fees that you aren’t prepared for.

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 2

Free flights… Upgraded to first class… Free hotel rooms… Upgraded to a suite… Free food and drinks in that fancy airport lounge… Sounds nice, right?!? These are some of the points and miles travel benefits and perks available to anyone who decides to travel using credit cards to earn miles and points.

EXPERIENCES FROM POINTS & MILES TRAVEL

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 3These are all parts of travel that I have experienced over the past few years. I have flown countless flights where I paid nothing but the taxes and fees (as low as $6). I’ve have flown in first class. I have stayed at hotels without paying any money. I’ve been upgraded to suites in some of those free hotel stays. And, I now can’t stand a layover where I don’t have access to an airline lounge where they have free food, drinks, sockets to charge my phone, and comfortable chairs.

BEFORE TRAVELING WITH POINTS AND MILES

It’s hard to think that just a few years ago, I had no idea that these things would ever be possible, let alone that I could afford to travel much at all. Before points and miles travel appeared in my life, I didn’t think much about travel besides dreaming of places that I wanted to visit someday when I was much wealthier and could afford it. Is this you right now? I want you to know how easy and how available travel can be.

TRAVEL CREDIT CARD BENEFITS5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 4

Whether you want to start traveling for the first time and be able to do it for very small amounts of money, or you already travel and want to upgrade how you do it, travel with points and miles can open new doors to either option. The quantity of your travel as well as the quality of your travel can be boosted tenfold by following the simple steps of traveling with points and miles.

FLIGHT BENEFITS

The major flight benefit that comes from travel with points and miles is the airline miles you can acquire without actually traveling to earn them. Through very generous credit card introductory bonuses, you can almost instantly earn multiple free flights. For instance, I just signed up for a Chase Ink Preferred Business card which offered me a introductory bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards. This bonus alone, has the possibility of being used for 3 round trip flights to Hawaii if redeemed how I explained in the blog post “How I Fly Round Trip to Hawaii for $11”. Different credit cards all offer different introductory bonuses that all differ in value, depending how you want to spend the points.

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 5Another benefit from some of these credit cards, is access to lounges which are in all major airports. American, United, Delta, Alaska and many other airlines all have lounges within airports for customers to enter and relax in before and after flights. Normally you would need to be flying first class or pay somewhere around $40 to enter such lounges. Thankfully, there are a handful of credit cards that grant you unlimited access. When you’re traveling often, having access to a lounge is a great benefit. It gives you somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of airport terminals, allowing you to also get a snack and charge your phone.  You can see where these lounges exist by visiting LoungeBuddy who has an extensive list (code JnSjMo28aP gives a $10 credit).

If you’re looking to up your quality of travel, you can use miles and points to book first class flights.  You can even upgrade to first class on a flight you’ve already purchased. I mostly use points to upgrade the quantity of my travel, but I’ve upgraded quality a couple times.  It’s quite nice sitting in first class. I definitely suggest trying it out at least once!

HOTEL BENEFITS

5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 6Now for the benefits that traveling with points can give you towards hotels… The major benefit, similar to the flight benefits, is the ability to redeem points for free hotel stays. There are credit cards and points systems that can be used at most major hotel chains. Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, and Club Carlson are a few of the main brands. Each of these brands has different chains that are part of their reward system. While I find that points and miles are often more valuable when used towards flights, I do still use them for hotels when it deems advantageous.

Along with point bonuses, some credit cards offer elite status for certain hotel chains. If you had ever heard of elite statuses at hotels, like me, you probably thought that the only way to earn it was by staying at hotels all the time. While that is one way of earning status, you can also earn it simply by having the right credit card. Once you have status at a hotel chain, you are very likely to have your room upgraded. Sometimes, you’ll even be upgraded to a suite if one is available at your check-in time.

GETTING STARTED TRAVELING WITH POINTS5 Benefits of Points and Miles Travel 7

Now that you see what some of the travel benefits are, I can imagine you may be interested. Remember to keep the following in mind when getting started.  When I first learned how to earn nearly unlimited miles and points through credit cards, I jumped in.  I didn’t have much of a plan. If I could go back, I would make a plan before earning points. As I said earlier, all points and miles are not the same and are valued very differently. Having an idea of where you would like to travel is a good starting point.  That way you can earn the points that will be most efficient and beneficial to your personalized travel.

I hope this has given you an idea of what traveling with points and miles can bring into your life. It has opened the door of travel to me, and I would like to invite you in to join the party.

 

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

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 that 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!

 

Keep Your Hands Clean While Traveling

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 flying

 

Stay 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.

Hydro Flask 24 oz (710 ml) Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle Price: $34.95 Our favorite water bottle for traveling. It will keep your drink cold, and they don't leak. Most airports even have bottle fill stations now. Hydro Flask 24 oz (710 ml) Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle

 

organifi healthy travelDrink a 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 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.

I 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!

Organifi Green Juice Super Food Supplement Price: 15% off w/ code: RYANK15 Organifi Green Juice Super Food Supplement

 

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 traveling

 

Exercise and Stretch while on Vacation

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!

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 automated information regarding card applications: 1-888-338-2586

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
Chase Credit Card Application Status: Learn How to Get Approved 8
Sapphire Reserve
Chase Credit Card Application Status: Learn How to Get Approved 9
Chase Freedom
Chase Credit Card Application Status: Learn How to Get Approved 10
Freedom Unlimited
Chase Credit Card Application Status: Learn How to Get Approved 11
Signup Bonus60,00050,000$150 (15,000 pts)$150 (15,000 pts)
Bonus Spending Categories2X on travel and dining3X on travel and dining, 10X on Lyft5% on select rotating quarterly categories1.5% on all purchases
Annual Fee$95$550$0$0
Extra PerksBaggage insurance, trip insurance, rental car insurance$300 annual travel credit, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, Priority Pass Select, Lyft Pink, Door Dash statement creditsPurchase protection, extended warrantyPurchase 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
Chase Credit Card Application Status: Learn How to Get Approved 12
Ink Business Cash
Chase Credit Card Application Status: Learn How to Get Approved 13
Ink Bus. Unlimited
Chase Credit Card Application Status: Learn How to Get Approved 14
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
Strong 5X Rewards CategoriesPurchase 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.

chase ink vs sapphire

There are five Chase credit cards that earn at least 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points from the signup bonus alone. Two of them are personal Chase Sapphire credit cards and three are business Chase Ink credit cards. All five of these Chase Ultimate Rewards cards earn top ranks when it comes to travel credit cards. Out of the five, we’ll analyze each card and determine which comes out on top in the battle of Chase Ink vs Sapphire.

 

As you can see, the Ink Preferred card has the highest introductory offer. All of these cards have their own benefits. Let’s start comparing them.

 

Chase Sapphire: Personal Credit Cards

There are two versions of the Chase Sapphire credit card. The all-around good credit card in the Sapphire Preferred, and the ultra-premium credit card in the Sapphire Reserve. They’re both excellent travel credit cards in their own ways. It just depends on what you, the consumer, prefer. Let’s see what they have to offer.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 15
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.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 16
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.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
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.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Best Chase Sapphire Card

Before examining the Chase Ink vs Sapphire debate, let’s find out which of the Sapphire cards is the best. This will be a tough decision because the differences between the cards are great. The signup bonuses are very similar. The Sapphire Preferred earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining compared to 3 points per dollar on the Sapphire Reserve. Now to compare the benefits and fees. The Sapphire Preferred has minimal travel benefits and has an annual fee of $95. Sapphire Reserve, on the other hand, has extremely valuable benefits but also comes with a high $450 annual fee.

 

Basically, the better Chase Sapphire card depends on what you’re looking for as a cardmember. If you don’t want a high annual fee, the best card is the Sapphire Preferred. But, if you want airport lounge access, TSA PreCheck, and will spend at least $300 on travel to receive the statement credit, the Sapphire Reserve is definitely worth the fee for you.

 

Overall, we’ll say that the Sapphire Preferred is the winner of the Chase Sapphire category because it has no annual fee the first year and has an equal signup bonus. Now let’s check out the Chase Ink business cards so that we can find out which is better in the Chase Ink vs Sapphire contest.

 

chase ink vs chase sapphire

 

Chase Ink: Business Credit Cards

Now that we’ve seen what the Chase Sapphire cards have to offer, let’s dive into the details of the Chase Ink business credit cards. There are three Chase Ink cards with widely differing features. They are all excellent choices. I actually have all three of these credit cards because they work well together. If you have multiple Ultimate Rewards credit cards you can transfer points between accounts to join them together.

 

Ink Business Preferred

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 17
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.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Ink Business Cash

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 18
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn $500 (in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 5X points on internet, cable, phone, and office supply stores.
*Limited to first $25k per year.
Earn 2X at gas stations and restaurants.
*Limited to first $25k per year.
BENEFITS
Points can be transferred to primary Chase card accounts for better redemption.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
ANNUAL FEE
No annual fee
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus on this no-fee card is amazing. Pair that with some great 5X reward categories for your business and this card is great. This card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Preferred.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Ink Business Unlimited

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards 19
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn $500 (in the form of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 1.5X on all purchases. No limit.
BENEFITS
Points can be transferred to primary Chase card accounts for better redemption.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
ANNUAL FEE
No annual fee
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The signup bonus on this no-fee card is amazing. Pair that with 1.5X rewards on every purchase for your business and this card is great. This card pairs well with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Preferred.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

The Best Chase Ink Card

Hands down, the best Chase Ink card is the Ink Business Preferred. It is honestly the best credit card out there. Period. The signup bonus is nothing less than amazing. My wife and I were able to book both round-trip flights to Hawaii and a resort on the beach for 3 of our nights with just the points from this signup bonus. No other card can get you that kind of value. Plus, the card only has a $95 annual fee. The Ink Preferred can also be converted to a no-fee card at any time if you wish.

 

Here’s why I have all three of these cards for a deadly combination of points earning. The Ink Business Preferred earns 3 points per dollar on certain business expenses and when the points are in this account they’re worth more and you can transfer to partner airlines and hotels (I often get 2 cents per point on redemptions this way). The Ink Business Cash earns 5 points per dollar on common expenses like cable, phone, and office supplies (5X on gift cards at an office supply store – they have a lot of options – wink, wink). Then, the Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5 points per dollar on everything else. Together, they are a point-earning machine!

chase sapphire vs ink

 

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Who’s the Winner?

Now we’ve seen the features of each credit card. We’re now ready to discuss which is better between Chase Ink vs Sapphire. This is how we’ll do it. We’ll have a few category winners for the cards that are the best at one particular feature. Then we’ll crown the overall winner of the Chase Ink vs Sapphire battle.

 

Best First Travel Card: Sapphire Preferred

Top Premium Travel Card: Sapphire Reserve

Best Card for Earning: 5X Points on Many Purchases: Ink Cash

Top Card for Simplicity in Earning: Ink Unlimited

CHASE INK vs SAPPHIRE CHAMPION: INK PREFERRED

 

Deciding which cards are best between the Chase Ink vs Sapphire is difficult. They’re all very good travel credit cards in their own right. But we have to choose a winner. The champion of the Chase Ink vs Sapphire debate is the Chase Ink Business Preferred card. It has the best signup bonus, a low annual fee, good earning potential, and great point-redemption value. Not only is it the best card in the Chase Ink vs Sapphire battle, but it’s also the best credit card of ALL cards. The value of the signup bonus can be worth well over $1500 in travel if redeemed through partners.

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 ,000 you never want to have more than ,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.

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

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

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 20
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.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Capital One Venture

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 21
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.
FEES
$95 annual fee. (waived year 1)
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Best Business Travel Credit Card

 

Ink Business Preferred

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 22
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.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

*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

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 23
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
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Wells Fargo Propel

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 24
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 20k points after you spend $1000 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.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is a great no-fee credit card. It has a good introductory offer and earns bonus points on many categories.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Best Premium Travel Credit Cards

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 25
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.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
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.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Amex Platinum Card

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score? 26
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.
FEES
$550 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
With a large introductory offer, statement credits, and airport lounge access, this is an excellent premium travel credit card.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

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

 

Our Last Thoughts on the Credit Score Range

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!

Chase Freedom Calendar: How to 5X Your Ultimate Rewards 27

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 2020

The 2020 Chase Freedom Calendar offers a couple of popular quarterly category bonuses in quarter 2. Grocery stores should be easy to utilize with more meal preparation happening at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. Streaming services is basically a waste considering each service typically costs about $10 per month. Woohoo, a whopping 50 points… Why even include it? Also, most gyms were closed for at least part of the quarter as well. Anyway, it should be possible to maximize the bonuses each quarter with the use of gift card purchases. I’ve marked categories that sell gift cards to other stores (*):

  1. Gas Stations*, Internet/Cable/Phone, Streaming Services
  2. Grocery stores*, Fitness/Gym Clubs, Streaming Services
  3. Not yet announced
  4. Not yet announced

chase freedom calendar 2020 Q2 categories

 

Here’s What the Chase Freedom Card Offers

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom Calendar: How to 5X Your Ultimate Rewards 28
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
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

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

Chase Freedom Calendar: How to 5X Your Ultimate Rewards 29
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.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Freedom Calendar: How to 5X Your Ultimate Rewards 30
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.
Also Earn a total of 10X points on Lyft rides.
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.
1 year of Lyft Pink.
FEES
$550
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Ink Business Preferred

Chase Freedom Calendar: How to 5X Your Ultimate Rewards 31
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.
FEES
$95
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM 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 HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

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 2019

The 2019 Chase Freedom Calendar offered a couple of popular quarterly category bonuses in quarter 2. Grocery stores and home improvement stores should be easy to utilize with those Spring projects you’ve got waiting to be finished. Not seeing Chase Pay on the list once again is a bit surprising. Maybe they’ve finally ditched trying to push Chase Pay. Has anyone actually used it for any reason other than earning extra points? Anyway, it should be possible to maximize the bonuses each quarter. I’ve marked categories that sell gift cards to other stores (*):

  1. Gas Stations*, Tolls, Drugstores*
  2. Grocery stores*, Home improvement stores*
  3. Gas Stations, Select Streaming Services
  4. Department Stores, Paypal, Chase Pay

chase freedom calendar 2019 quarter 4 october november december

 

Chase Freedom Calendar 2018

2018  was the year of Chase Pay as it was a bonus category three out of four quarters.

  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

 

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.

janice lintz travel interview

Welcome to the first episode of Travel Freedom’s “Traveling With Points” interview series.  We will regularly be featuring travelers who take advantage of points and miles to enjoy adventures all around the world.  You will get a glimpse into the lives of people who are already traveling by using points and miles.  Let’s get it started and jump into our first ever interview!

Tell Us a Little Bit About Yourself

My name is Janice Lintz

I am passionate about travel and good food.  I travel for food.

I am divorced and have two grown children, ages 24 and 20.

I live in NYC.

I grew up traveling.

 

How long have you been traveling with points and miles?

Since American Airlines (AA) introduced points, but I grew up with a mother who always chased the deal. She once booked the Eastern Airlines promotion where we could fly anywhere Eastern Airlines flew for 21 days as long as we went in the same direction. It was an incredible trip to Bermuda, Jamaica, Las Vegas and Mexico. We looked like jet-setters when we were just a typical American family.

 

How did you first find out about this somewhat secret world?

Someone told me about the AA card when AA introduced it. But I upped my game when I met a couple at a safari lodge in South Africa who told me I could get two free Park Hyatt nights from a sign-up bonus. I had never heard of sign-up bonuses until then. I was obtaining points from regular spend. Learning about the sign-up rewards was a game changer.

 

What was the first trip you took using miles and points?

We flew to Nepal using points. Although, at the time we could only fly to Frankfurt on AA and then we had to pay for the flight from Frankfurt to Kathmandu.

Whats the best credit card introductory bonus youve ever received?

Recently, the Ritz Carlton bonus was initially three-nights free at a four-star Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz-Carlton Aruba fell into this category. My status at the time entitled me to free breakfast, and the front desk clerk insisted my stay included a resort credit. The hotel knew it was my birthday, so they upgraded my room and provided me with special treats. A standard room alone would have cost $1,908, but I paid nothing. My fantastic stay was an incredible use of my certificates. Plus, I received the travel credit and the other perks. Sadly, the card no longer exists.

janice lintz traveling with points

Near Aruba’s Natural Pool which is a “must see.”

Although, years ago, AA used to give free night certificates with AA awards. For some bizarre reason, we never used them. But once we returned home from France and our home’s construction wasn’t finished. The contractor didn’t get around to installing the staircase. So we had to move to a hotel.

Suddenly, I remembered having a stack of free night certificates. We took the pile and booked a room at the newly opened, first W Hotel, on Lexington Avenue in NYC. The room was so tiny that we had to be upgraded multiple times to fit four people in the room. The manager wasn’t happy that we were about to camp out in the hotel for about a month for free. Plus, my children didn’t fit the profile of the W’s demographic. The manager agreed to let us stay for a week. My daughter still remembers marching down the elevator in her school uniform and wondering why everyone wore black?

 

What do your friends and family think of your points and miles traveling?

My children and friends think I am insane but yet, they can’t believe the trips I take. My daughter has zero interest in obtaining sign-up bonuses, but she is happy to join me on trips.

As good as I am, I think my mother was better than me. She would never leave a point on the table. When my mother died, she was so frustrated that she couldn’t use or gift us some points, that she used them to obtain gift cards. She refused to draft a will, but she left a stack of gift cards for my brothers and me.

 

What is the best trip youve taken? Tell us a little bit about it.

janice lintz traveling with points

In Burundi, dining at Cercle Nautique De Bujumbura and request the table on the terrace to dine adjacent to the hippos. Does it get better than this?

After my divorce, the judge stuck me with substantial legal bills despite me being the non-monied spouse. I have never carried debt in my life. So, I slashed every expense. I sold my car, cut chords and eliminated shopping to pay-off the six-figure debt. I am never one to waste a crisis and view obstacles as opportunities. One attorney permitted me to pay him using credit cards and didn’t charge me interest. So, each payment to him resulted in a sign-up bonus. In about three years, I earned over two-million points in sign-up bonuses alone excluding free nights. The points and sign-up bonuses have enabled me to take incredible trips.

My most recent trip was epic. I traveled for seven weeks in East Africa and the Indian Ocean. All of my international flights were on points. I went to Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia for transit, Burundi, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Comoros, Mayotte, Madagascar, Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi. My goal is to visit every country in the world, and this trip added quite a few new destinations.

janice lintz traveling with points

Above: In Zanzibar, go to The Rock Restaurant for an incredible meal at one of the coolest restaurants on a rock. Pro-tip: You may need to walk through the water in low tide so don’t wear a long dress and bring swim shoes.

I transferred Amex points to Aeroplan for Ethiopian Airlines (ET) flights, since Aeroplan allows one stop in addition to an open-jaw. My flights were EWR>ABJ>ADD>BJM and then LLW>EWR (airport codes).

Plus, ET had an overnight in ADD with a free hotel. Although, the hotel was disgusting, so if I ever transit again, I would pay for my room next time. Free is not good when the sheets and carpet are stained.

Planning the trip was complicated until I discovered an outstanding site, AwardEx.io. Its a game changer and simplified the process for me.

For flights, I used Citi Thank You points when flights weren’t available on points, or the airline like Rwandair didn’t participate in a frequent flier program. Plus, I saved 20% off the airfare while earning points when available. Amex had a terrific 25% transfer bonus to Flying Blue before the program changed this summer. One of the best cards which is not well known is the MERRILL+ Visa Signature. It came with a 50,000 point sign-up bonus. But the real benefit is that the first 25,000 points are

janice lintz traveling with points

Seeing the gorillas in Rwanda was my number one bucket list item. Can you believe how close I am?

converted to $500 when booking a $500+ flight. The only issue is finding an agent who understands the program. I used the bonus to pay for a pricey plane from TNR>LVI.

US Bank’s Radisson card provided two free nights at the Radisson Blu in Kigali, Rwanda. I used points plus spend at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar so that I would still receive points, and get a better rate for my points.

Both properties were outstanding. I also used the Citi fourth night free program for my hotel in Mozambique toward the end of the trip when I knew I would need a little R&R.

For small hotels, I purchased gift Hotels.com gift cards when they were on sale to stack the discounts with coupons or free nights. I saved at least 20% on my stays. Calling or

janice lintz traveling with points

My Capital One Venture card paid for my pricey Microlight flight over Zambia’s Victoria’s Falls.

emailing properties directly sometimes saves money but not always. Sometimes, the OTA’s have better prices.

Also, thank you Capital One Venture card for an experience of a lifetime. Microlighting above Victoria Falls

 

How often do you travel now, compared to before you knew about traveling with points and miles?

Our family, including my grandmother always traveled extensively including when I was younger. After my siblings and I were grown, my mother was away so frequently; it was hard to remember her schedule. Travel is part of my DNA. The points have enabled me to continue traveling.

I travel when I can leave. Sadly, my divorce while final, continues after eleven years. Even on this trip, I was served yet another motion. It is mind-boggling how a person who has money can use the judicial system to torture another person. Traveling provides me freedom. Hence, I am writing a book, Passport To Freedom.

 

What are your upcoming travel plans?

My goal is to travel to all 193 UN countries and the Traveler’s Century Club’s (TCC) 327 destinations. To date, I have visited 116+3 UN countries and 160 TCC destinations.

I am in the process of planning my future trips, but one of my tours is to see the polar bears in Churchill, Canada. Again, the flights are on points.

 

What is your best tip for people just getting into traveling with points and miles?

The process can seem overwhelming. But, its best to start small. I always recommend a person who can manage credit, pull their three credit reports and go over them with a fine tooth comb. Make sure the information is correct. You don’t want a bank to decline you for inaccurate information. My credit report said I worked in a pizza shop and had a lien in Lewiston, NY. Neither was correct.

If there is wrong information, then contact the reporting agency. If they don’t correct it quickly, then file a report with the CFPB. It’s online and thanks to Senator Warren. The reporting companies resolve the issues rapidly. Then start with the Chase cards while you are under the 5/24 mark. But read a few 101 Points guides for guidance after you get your feet wet.

 

How can people follow you?

On my website: janicelintz.com and on Instagram @janicelintz

 

Thank you Janice

Thank you for letting us dig deep into your travel experiences.  Your trip to Africa definitely sounds epic!  Can’t wait to find out more about your book in the future…

 

Would YOU like to share your points & miles journey on Travel Freedom?

We would all love to find out how YOU travel using points and miles!  If you’d like to be considered for a future “Traveling With Points” interview, please EMAIL US.  We’re always happy to hear more success stories in the points and miles community.

Photos courtesy of Janice Lintz

6 Ways to Save Money on Travel 32

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

6 Ways to Save Money on Travel 33Most 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

6 Ways to Save Money on Travel 34If 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

6 Ways to Save Money on Travel 35Can 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.

 

6 Ways to Save Money on Travel 36FIND 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

6 Ways to Save Money on Travel 37Depending 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.

 

6 Ways to Save Money on Travel 38USE 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!

marriott category 5

The Marriott Bonvoy rewards program has seen a lot of changes recently. The addition of Starwood and the SPG rewards program is the largest change of all. Along with these changes came alterations to their co-branded credit cards. Now there are multiple credit card options to earn free Marriott stays which can be used to stay at Marriott category 5 hotels. Instead of the old Marriott Rewards Premier and SPG business and personal cards, there are two Marriott Bonvoy cards.

 

One of the options, the newly reconfigured Marriott Bonvoy credit card (Chase personal Visa) offers an introductory offer that will earn you approximately two free nights at Marriott properties that cost 35,000 points or less (Marriott category 5 and below). It also comes with a free night award every calendar year that you keep the card. 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy rewards points are enough to stay at a Marriott category 5 hotel. The other option, the Marriott Bonvoy Business credit card is alternatively from American Express. It also offers points as an introductory offer and also gives a free night award at a Marriott category 5 hotel annually.

 

Get The Most Value with Marriott Category 5 Resorts

Since you can use your free night awards at any Marriott Bonvoy category 1-5 hotels, you’ll usually get the most value if you stay at a Marriott category 5 resort. There are 8 Marriott Rewards categories in all but don’t worry, Marriott category 5 is the most plentiful when it comes to resorts. With the addition of Starwood hotels, there are now 1138 Marriott category 5 hotels worldwide and 695 in the United States alone. We’ll focus on just the Marriott category 5 resort properties. There are 162 Marriott category 5 resorts worldwide and 56 in the United States.

 

If you’re wondering how much a free night award at a category 1-5 Marriott is worth, it depends on where you stay. Some Marriott category 5 resorts can cost upwards of $700 for a single night. But, by having one or both of the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards you’ll earn at least one free night award automatically on every cardmember anniversary.

 

Is the Free Night Award Worth Paying the Annual Fee?

Earning the free night award does come with a fee. The annual fee for the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards starts at $95. Every year, if you use your free night award for a hotel stay that would normally cost more than the annual fee, it’s worth keeping the credit card and paying it. If you keep this card in your wallet and pay the annual fee, you can easily find a redemption that is worth a few hundred dollars. If you stay at a resort that is $400 using your free night award, it’s like paying $95 for a $400 room. Plus, you’ll get the other benefits of the credit card all year.

 

A great way to earn a lot of Marriott points as well as a free night award every anniversary is by getting one of the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards. Here is a little more information on what each of the credit cards offers…

 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Marriott Category 5 Resorts: The Best Way to Use Your Bonvoy Free Night Awards 39
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 100,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 6X points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels, and 2X points on all other purchases.
BENEFITS
One free night award (up to category 5) every account anniversary.
Automatic silver elite status with Marriott Bonvoy
Gold status after spending $35k
15 elite night credits each calendar year.
FEES
$95 annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The introductory offer is just ok, as it will earn you enough points for two free nights at a category 5 hotel. The free night award each year for $95 is well worth it if you can use it on an otherwise expensive night.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

Marriott Bonvoy Business

Marriott Category 5 Resorts: The Best Way to Use Your Bonvoy Free Night Awards 40
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 6X points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels.
Earn 4x points at US restaurants, US gas stations, on US cell phone services and US shipping purchases.
Earn 2x points on all other purchases.
BENEFITS
One free night award (up to category 5) every account anniversary.
Earn an additional free night award after spending $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.
Automatic silver elite status with Marriott Bonvoy
Gold status after spending $35k
15 elite night credits each calendar year.
ANNUAL FEE
$125 annual fee.
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
The introductory offer is good, as it will earn you approximately enough points for three free nights at a category 5 hotel. The free night award each year for $125 is worth it if you can use the award on an otherwise expensive stay.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>

 

*TRAVEL FREEDOM HINT

You can also earn Marriott Rewards points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards. Ultimate Rewards transfer to Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. Two great options are the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business cards from Chase. A great thing about earning Chase Ultimate Rewards is that you can use them on any of the Chase travel transfer partner programs. This gives you much more versatility in your travel.

Compare Chase Credit Cards

 

Best Marriott Category 5 Resorts in the United States (56 Total)

Listed below are the top-rated Marriott category 5 resorts in the United States. There are a total of 56 resorts in the US and we’ve hand-selected the best properties for you to use your free night awards at. Our selections were made by looking at value, location, guest ratings, and our opinion. After looking at Marriott resorts all over the world, it was apparent that the best value to be saved is in the United States. Other countries and regions have some very nice category 5 hotels, but they tend to cost much less per night if paying for cash. Here is what we came up with during our search to find the best of the best.

 

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club, Autograph Collection

 

  • Location: Holmes Beach, Florida
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.8/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $466 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A-

 

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

 

  • Location: Big Island, Hawaii
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.2/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $765 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A+

 

The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

 

  • Location: Marana, Arizona
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.7/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $587 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A

 

The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection

 

  • Location: Point Clear, Alabama
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.7/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $278 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: B-

 

JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa

 

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $271 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: B-

 

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

 

  • Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $424 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: B+

 

JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa

 

  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.4/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $554 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A

 

Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa

 

  • Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.2/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $300 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: B

 

The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

 

  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Average Guest Rating: 4.1/5 stars
  • Average Price (March 23-29): $519 per night
  • Redemption Value Grade: A

 

How to Book Your Marriott Bonvoy Free Night Award

When booking a free night using your award, you have over 6,000 available options of Marriott category 1-5 properties to choose from. With so many options, we chose to cut it down to only resorts because they typically cost more to stay at. By booking a Marriott category 5 resort with your award you will get more value out of it.

 

A big part of the decision on where to stay depends on where you will be needing a hotel room. It’s pretty hard to take advantage of the newly remodeled Westin Hapuna Beach Resort if you won’t be on the Big Island of Hawaii this year. I look forward to staying at this hotel next summer when we (hopefully) use our Southwest Companion Pass on a Hawaii trip for the first time. When booking a Marriott category 5 award night, you’ll want to find a hotel or resort that gives you a great value in an area that you plan on traveling to.

 

Find Your Free Night Award in your Marriott Account

After your cardmember anniversary of either Marriott Bonvoy credit cards, a free night award will appear in your Marriott Bonvoy Rewards account on the activity page. To use your free night award, log in to your account and search for your desired hotel and date. To book your free night using the free night award, you will select “Use reward points”. On the reservation details page, you will see the option to use your free night award. Continue your booking as you normally would. Your award will be applied to the reservation giving you a free night.

 

Be aware that only hotels with standard or off-peak category 5 award rooms available will be bookable. Category 5 peak pricing is unfortunately above the 35,000 point limit to use your free night award. Remember, that you don’t have to book a category 5. You can book anything up to a Marriott category 5 hotel.

 

You can use both points and cash on stays if you don’t have enough points. But, when you’re looking to add your free night to either end of a longer paid stay, be sure to book the more expensive night (between the first and last) with your award if the nightly prices differ. Then book the remaining nights separately using cash. You may need to call to have the reservations linked afterward so that you don’t have to check out and back in. If you have any more questions about booking or Marriott Bonvoy Rewards you can check out their official FAQ page.

 

Using Points to Book Free Nights at Marriott Hotels

If you’re looking to book a Marriott category 5 hotel using points, it will cost you 35,000 points for a standard room. Marriott Bonvoy Rewards has eight redemption categories, ranging from 7,500 to 85,000 points per night for a standard room (not including peak and off-peak dates).

 

Marriott Bonvoy Rewards points can be earned in a few different ways. The easiest way is by applying for either of the credit cards that earn Marriott Bonvoy Rewards. You’ll earn Marriott BOnvoy Rewards points through the introductory offers and you’ll also earn points by making purchases on the cards. Here is a chart that includes all Marriott Bonvoy Rewards categories and how many points it will take to book a free night in each.

CategoryOff-PeakStandardPeak
15,0007,50010,000
210,00012,50015,000
315,00017,50020,000
420,00025,00030,000
530,00035,00040,000
640,00050,00060,000
750,00060,00070,000
870,00085,000100,000

 

*All photos courtesy of Marriott International