How to Gain Free Centurion Lounge Access in One Easy Step

Have you ever heard of an American Express Centurion Lounge before? They’re known to be the most elite airport lounge brand of them all. If you travel regularly, you’ve probably at least noticed an airport lounge before. They look like a place where only business travelers and the rich are allowed to set foot in. Looks can be deceiving. There are other ways to gain access to these exclusive lounges where members receive free drinks and food in a more luxurious setting than the airport terminal.

The easiest and least expensive way to gain access to airport lounges is through premier travel credit cards. There are a handful of credit cards that offer the benefit of complimentary airport lounge access. Two of those cards offer the elite Centurion Lounge access.

centurion lounge access

What is a Centurion Lounge?

A Centurion Lounge is an exclusive room that members can enter while traveling. Inside they will be greeted with comfortable places to sit and lounge, TV’s to watch, newspapers to read, workspaces with computers and printers, and of course, amazing food and drinks that come complimentary.

  • Free high-speed Wi-Fi
  • Lounge pods
  • Computer workspaces
  • Printers
  • Large televisions
  • Premium cocktail bars
  • Showers
  • Buffet style dining at breakfast, lunch, and dinner

While most other lounges have just snacky type food, Centurion Lounges have full on cooked buffet’s that are prepared by chefs and have ever-changing menus. An example of a typical meal available in Centurion Lounges is a menu of fried chicken, wild rice, fresh bruschetta, Brussel sprouts, side salads, and vegetables, with chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

centurion lounge

Of course, you’ll find typical drink choices like beer, wine, and cocktails available at the bar, but you’ll also find a menu of specially designed mixed drinks from renowned mixologist Jim Meehan. The drinks are designed around the Centurion Lounge location with recipes like the “Tex Mex” (Tito’s Vodka, Cabeza Blanco tequila, corn, honey, lime, and jalapeno) at DFW in Dallas or the “Big Apple” (Zubrowka Bison Grass vodka, Doc’s draft hard apple cider, Yellow Chartreuse, Miracle Mile celery bitters) at LGA in New York City.

Food and drinks aren’t the only amenities you’ll find at a Centurion Lounge. Some of the Centurion Lounge locations even offer professional spa treatments like massages, skin treatments, and manicures. Yes, these amenities are included too. Once you’re in a Centurion Lounge, what you see is what you get, included. You are free to tip as you’d like but per American Express, it is not expected.

How to Get Centurion Lounge Access

Unfortunately, Centurion membership cannot be bought. Gaining Centurion Lounge access can be had in only one way. By applying for one of two American Express credit cards that exclusively offer Centurion lounge access. These two cards are the Platinum Cards by American Express that are offered in a personal and business version. The cards not only come with Centurion Lounge access but also have an array of great travel benefits.

Amex Platinum Card

INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
BENEFITS
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Instantly earn Centurion Lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. .

Amex Business Platinum Card

INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points. 50,000 after you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months, and another 50,000 Membership Rewards after spending an additional $15,000 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.
Earn 50% more points on purchases over $5000. (up to 1 million bonus points.)
BENEFITS
$200 airline credit.
Global Lounge Collection access.
TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
Get 35% back when booking a flight with Membership Rewards on a select airline.
Two $100 statement credits from Dell annually.
1 year of Platinum Global access to WeWork. (enrollment through 2019)
FEES
$595 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees
Terms Apply
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
If you have many high ticket purchases yearly, this card will earn you a good percentage back. The WeWork membership could be very valuable, if you need a place to work for a year.
LEARN HOW TO APPLY >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Instantly earn Centurion Lounge access plus more. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. .

If you’re a frequent traveler, the Centurion lounge access alone can make up for the annual fee of either Amex Platinum credit card, but they come with a bunch of very valuable benefits. The travel benefits offered by either of these cards are easily worth over $1000 in value.

I value the introductory offers at more than $1000 because you can often redeem them for at least two cents per point through Amex travel transfer partners. The statement credits are worth about $500 together. Even though the annual fee can look to be very high and be a mental hurdle to get over, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to the value you’ll receive in return.

Centurion Lounge Locations

There are nine Centurion lounges worldwide, with eight of those being in the United States. American Express has three more lounges in the works, all of which should open in 2019. There are also another six international lounge locations and two arena locations that Amex Platinum cardholders have access to.

centurion lounge san francisco

Las Vegas Centurion Lounge (LAS)

Location: Concourse D, opposite Gate D1

Hours: 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Dallas-Fort Worth Centurion Lounge (DFW)

Location: Terminal D, opposite Gate D17 on the upper level
Hours: 5:30 AM to 10:00 PM

San Francisco Centurion Lounge (SFO)

Location: Terminal 3, Boarding Area F, opposite Gate 75 on the mezzanine level
Hours: 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM

New York-La Guardia Centurion Lounge (LGA)

Location: Terminal B, pre-security, third level
Hours: 6:00 am to 8:00 pm

Miami Centurion Lounge (MIA)

Location: North Terminal, Concourse B, 4th floor, across from Gate D14
Hours: 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Houston Centurion Lounge (IAH)

Location: Terminal D, near Gate D6
Hours: 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM

Seattle Centurion Lounge (SEA)

Location: Concourse B, near Gate B3
Hours: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Hong Kong Centurion Lounge (HKG)

Location: Just before Gate 60, take the escalators or lift up to the 7th Floor, follow the signs to the lounge entrance
Hours: 5:30 AM to 12:30 AM

Philadelphia Centurion Lounge (PHL)

Location: Near Gate A14
Hours: 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Centurion Lounge Future Locations

As mentioned above, there are three Centurion Lounges being worked on for future locations. Denver, Los Angeles, and New York will be getting the newest and likely most lavish Centurion lounges in the near future. All three lounges will be very large and all three will likely include a spa inside.

Denver Centurion Lounge (DEN)

The DEN Centurion lounge is expected to be 14,650 square feet and will include all of the Centurion lounge basics, plus even more. It will feature a premium cocktail bar, high-speed internet, hot food buffet, showers, a family room, phone rooms, and a tranquility area for sleeping. On top of those amenities, the Denver Centurion lounge will have a spa (like DFW and MIA). It will also offer local beer and wine tastings within the lounge.

Los Angeles Centurion Lounge (LAX)

The LAX Centurion lounge is expected to be 13,900 square feet and will offer the typical luxurious amenities of all Centurion lounges. It will feature a full cocktail bar, a hot food buffet, and showers. The Los Angeles Centurion lounge location will also feature a spa, a family room, and a “tranquility area” with a mix of bright and dimly lit areas specially designed to help travelers adjust to new time zones.

New York City Centurion Lounge (JFK)

Coming in at an expected 15,000 square feet, the JFK Centurion lounge will be the biggest Amex lounge in their Global Lounge portfolio. It will occupy two levels in terminal 4 at JFK in New York City. While the exact details have not been officially announced, the New York Centurion Lounge should open in early 2019. The lounge will supposedly have extravagant views of the JFK airfield and extraordinary amenities. The amenities will include a complimentary bar, a food buffet, showers, soundproof workspaces, and likely much more. With that amount of space, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a spa as well.

centurion lounge miami

Centurion Clubs & Platinum Lounges at International Airports

American Express also has a few international lounges that are accessible for Amex Platinum cardholders. They include the Centurion Clubs and Platinum Lounges located in the following airports:

  • Mexico City (MEX)
  • Buenos Aires (EZE)
  • Rio De Janeiro (SDU)
  • Sao Paulo (CGH)
  • Mumbai (BOM)
  • Delhi (DEL)

Centurion Suite Locations in Arenas

American Express has expanded their lounge locations from exclusively in airports to other stadiums and arenas. Literally, professional basketball arenas to be exact. There are now lounges, which American Express is calling Centurion Suites, in both the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Staples Center in Los Angeles. They also had a Centurion Suite at the 2018 US Open Tennis Championship.

At the two arena Centurion Suites, food and drinks are not complimentary but you may have more options than the stadium food. At both locations, there are a limited amount of people who will get access to the lounge and it is on a first come first served basis. You’ll likely need to arrive at the arena when it opens to get access.

Amenities in the Centurion Suites

  • Premium Food & Beverages
  • Dedicated Servers
  • Flat-Screen TVs
  • Limited Seating with a View of the Event
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi Access
  • Phone Charging Stations

centurion lounge lga

Our Concluding Takeaway: Amex Platinum is Worth Getting for Access to Centurion Lounges

If it’s luxury travel you’re looking for, access to the Centurion lounges is the perfect way to both start and end your vacation the right way. With an American Express Platinum card you’ll be living a life of luxury the minute you walk into the airport. It gives you both lounge access and priority security so forget having to sit in the crowded, dirty, and expensive airport terminal. Say hello to traveling with comfy seating, amazing complimentary food, custom cocktails and sometimes even spa treatments.

My wife used to call me a “princess traveler” when I first told her about airport lounge access. Now she complains if we’re at an airport that doesn’t have such lounges. Once you get used to traveling in luxury with things like lounge access, it’s hard to go back to the life of a peasant traveler. Go get an Amex Platinum to try it out for yourself. I’ll bet you won’t ever want it to end!

What Is a Known Traveler Number & How Do You Get One? Find Out Now

what is a known traveler number

People who travel frequently want to be able to make their traveling experience as streamlined as possible. There are actually several things that travelers can do to help themselves out. One of the most popular methods is to get a Known Traveler Number (KTN). If you have never heard of this before, then you might be wondering “what is a Known Traveler Number?”

In this article, we are going to be explaining what a Known Traveler Number is and what you need to do to obtain one. Once you’ve read through all of the information, it’ll be a lot easier to move forward with this. It isn’t a difficult process, but you do need to know how to go about getting the number. Read on and we will explore everything that you need to know together.

What Does a Known Traveler Number Do?

Firstly, you should know that Known Traveler Numbers are also referred to as Trusted Traveler Numbers by some. The terms are interchangeable, so don’t be alarmed if you see this being referred to by its other name. With that out of the way, we can focus on why you will want to get a KTN. KTNs can be issued by the Department of Homeland Security, the US Transportation Security Administration, and the Department of Defense.

This number shows that you have gone through a background check process or other screening methods ahead of your flight. You can use your KTN when booking your airfare to increase the chances of using the TSA PreCheck system. This is a streamlined process that lets you pass through security a whole lot faster than usual. For many travelers, this is going to save them countless hours of time every single year.

The KTN gives you access to another neat benefit as well. You’ll be able to enjoy streamlined customs processing if you’re a member of the Global Entry program. This is only going to be available at certain airports, but it’s still a nice perk. It’s another great way for you to save yourself some time when you travel a lot.

Do You Get TSA PreCheck Status Every Time?

You don’t get TSA PreCheck status every time you fly. Even with your KTN, there are going to be times when you’ll have to go through normal security. The KTN simply increases your odds of being chosen for the TSA PreCheck status. It works a lot of the time, but sometimes you might simply not have good luck.

You’re probably wondering what the reasons are for people with Known Traveler Numbers not being chosen. There are a few explanations. The most common explanation is that the TSA tries to randomize the selection process as part of their regular security screening procedures. This can be frustrating for those who went to the effort of obtaining a KTN, but sometimes it does occur.

The other reason is that you may not have used your KTN properly. There are many situations where customers find out that they wrote their KTN down wrong on an application or ticket. This can cause wires to get crossed and you’ll wind up not being allowed to go through the TSA PreCheck screening lane. This is why it’s so important to check to ensure that your KTN is written down properly.

Also, your KTN might not be saved to your frequent flyer profile properly. You’ll want to log into your frequent flyer account to check things out. If the number isn’t there, then it will be easy enough to remedy the situation. Once you get this fixed, it’ll be less likely to cause you any problems moving forward.

Many people choose to book their travel through third-party agencies as well. Sometimes, these agencies do not pass the KTN to the airlines properly. You can fix this by choosing to contact the airline directly. Just give them a call and make sure that your KTN is linked to your reservation.

There are some hoops to jump through to make sure that your KTN is being used properly. Even so, it isn’t that difficult once you know what to look out for. If you’re a member of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, then you’ll be able to enjoy a streamlined process. Knowing this, you may want to consider applying for one of these programs to obtain your KTN.

known traveler number

Why Do People Sign up for These Programs?

These programs are really going to make your traveling experience that much easier. It costs money to apply for TSA PreCheck status and the same goes for the Global Entry program. The Global Entry program provides the same benefits of TSA PreCheck status while also offering faster US customs screening for international travelers when entering the country. Your KTN is valuable, and you’ll still be using it even when you gain membership into these programs.

Whenever you purchase airfare, you’ll need to write down your KTN. You want to make sure that this number is always present so that you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of being a known traveler. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of always looking for your KTN number when purchasing airfare. If it isn’t there, then you should ask questions and make sure that it gets put into the system.

How Do You Get a Known Traveler Number?

The simplest way to obtain a known traveler number is to apply for the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs. You can go about this in a couple of different ways. One of the most common ways is to simply apply on your own. As of the time of this writing, the American citizens can pay $85.00 to apply for the TSA PreCheck program and $100.00 to apply for the Global Entry program. If approved, you will get a five-year membership into the program that you applied for.

You also receive your KTN upon being accepted into one of these programs. These are the most common programs that people sign up for to expedite their traveling experience. It’s also possible to receive a KTN by signing up for the NEXUS or SENTRI Programs. We are going to go over why you might want to sign up for each of them below to give you a better idea of which programs will appeal to you.

TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is the best option for frequent travelers who only travel within the United States. If you’re a US citizen or a permanent resident of the US, then this is a great program to consider. It makes it a lot faster to get through security while traveling in the United States. Your travel within the United States will always be more pleasant when you’re a member of the TSA PreCheck program.

Being able to make use of the TSA PreCheck screening lanes really does save you a lot of time. Most travelers will save themselves many hours by simply being able to cut down on time spent going through security. It also makes it possible to show up to the airport a little closer to your boarding time due to the security process not being so time-consuming.

Global Entry

Global Entry offers you all of the same benefits as the TSA PreCheck program. The added benefit is that it makes getting through customs easier when you’re traveling internationally. This is going to be a good fit for anyone who has to travel outside of the country regularly. Business travelers and personal travelers both benefit from this convenient program.

It’s actually not much more expensive to get a Global Entry membership than it is to get the TSA PreCheck status. If you’re going to be traveling internationally at all, then this is the one you’ll want to sign up for. You’ll be able to make your travel that much easier, both domestically and internationally.

NEXUS

NEXUS is a program that appeals to those who travel to Canada regularly. It makes it simpler to get through customs when you’re traveling in the United States and when you’re passing through the Canadian border. This is a great program for both United States citizens and Canadian citizens. If you want to be able to travel across both countries easier, then this makes a lot of sense.

Also, it’s worth noting that becoming a NEXUS member allows you to go to Canada without having a Canadian passport. Many Americans who have family members living in Canada sign up for this program. As of the time of this writing, there is only a $50.00 online fee to become a NEXUS member. You’ll be issued a PASSID when you become a member of the program and this is the same as a KTN.

SENTRI

SENTRI is a program that is actually very similar to the NEXUS program. The difference is that this is for people who frequently travel to Mexico. Crossing the United States and Mexican border is going to be streamlined for those who are SENTRI members. If you’re a US citizen who travels to Mexico a lot on business or for personal reasons, then this is an ideal way to obtain a KTN.

As of the time of this writing, the SENTRI fee is $122.25. This is substantially more expensive than the NEXUS program. Similarly to the NEXUS program, you’ll be issued a PASSID once you have been approved. This will act the same as a KTN, so you’ll want to enter this whenever you’re traveling.

Receive a Known Traveler Number through the US Armed Forces

You should know that all US Armed Forces members will receive a KTN in the form of a DoD identification number. All of the benefits of using a KTN will apply to those who have earned it through their service. Whenever you travel, you should also make sure to enter the DoD identification number to reap the benefits. This will allow you to have a smooth traveling experience.

Get a Known Traveler Number for Free with these 3 Credit Cards

You can purchase Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for around $100, which gives you access to a known traveler number for 5 years. Even better yet, you can get either of those programs for FREE, through a few different travel credit cards. All of the following cards offer a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck as a benefit.

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

2. Capital One Venture

Capital One Venture

INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 2X points on every purchase.
BENEFITS
Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners.
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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

3. American Express Platinum Card

Amex Platinum Card

INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
BENEFITS
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Remember to Book Your Travel with an Airline That Recognizes Your KTN

Not every airline recognizes the KTN system. There are a large number of airlines worldwide that will participate in this program. Many of the common airlines in North America such as United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and Southwest Airlines are among those that are participating. Take the time to check and see if your preferred airline participates in this program.

Some airlines will even issue their frequent travelers a KTN by giving them access to TSA PreCheck status. There are also many airline-related credit cards that reimburse you for the fees that are associated with the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry programs. If you’re a regular traveler, then you likely already have a favorite airline that you stick with. Be sure to check what they’re offering to see if you can make obtaining your KTN easier.

Our Last Thoughts

Getting your known traveler number is really going to speed things up for you when you’re a frequent traveler. This is worth your while and you’re likely going to want to get one if you travel a lot. There are a large number of different ways that you can obtain a KTN. Which one of them is going to suit you the best is really dependent on your personal circumstances.

If you only travel within the United States, then applying for the TSA PreCheck program might be your best bet. Those who travel internationally frequently will be far better off paying the extra money to become a Global Entry member. Both the NEXUS and SENTRI programs are worthwhile for those traveling to Canada and Mexico respectively. You have many choices when you’re interested in obtaining a KTN.

Now that you have read all of the information above, you should have a much deeper understanding of what a KTN is and what it can do. You’ll be able to use your KTN to make your traveling experience more enjoyable. Take your time and consider your options before applying. You’ll be enjoying the benefits of having a streamlined traveling experience soon enough.

7 Travel Apps to Save You Time & Money

travel apps

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

LoungeBuddy (use code JnSjMo28aP for $10 credit)

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

Skyscanner

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

top travel apps Lyft / Uber

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

Service

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

Rocketmiles

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

best travel apps Google Translate

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

Travel Apps Save Time & Money

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

Chase Ink vs Sapphire: Best Chase Credit Cards

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.

  • Ink Business Preferred Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. (Best Intro Offer)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. (Best First Travel Card)
  • Ink Business Cash Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. (Best to Earn Pts Spending – 5X Bonuses)
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. (Best Travel Benefits)
  • Ink Business Unlimited Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. (Best for Simple Earning – 1.5X on Everything)

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

Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.
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 3X on 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

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INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 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.
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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

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INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 100,000 points after spending $15000 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.
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Ink Business Cash

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INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn $750 (in the form of 75,000 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.
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Ink Business Unlimited

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INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn $750 (in the form of 75,000 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.
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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 Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Top Premium Travel Card: Sapphire Reserve Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Best Card for Earning: 5X Points on Many Purchases: Ink Cash Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Top Card for Simplicity in Earning: Ink Unlimited Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

CHASE INK vs SAPPHIRE CHAMPION: INK PREFERRED Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

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.

The US Passport Application Process: Learn How to Apply

US passport application process

If you’re planning on traveling outside of the United States any time soon, then you should really look into getting your US passport. A passport is necessary for US citizens who wish to travel abroad. If you don’t have your passport, then you’ll likely be denied entry into whatever country you’re trying to travel to. There are some exceptions to this rule, but you’re going to need to get your passport if you want to travel to most countries.

Those who have never applied for a passport before might not even know how to get started. This isn’t something that everyone does, as many people never bother to try to leave the country. If no one in your family has ever applied for a passport before, then it’s perfectly understandable to not know what you need to do. Thankfully, the process isn’t all that difficult once you know how to get started.

Today we’re going to talk about the US passport application process. You will be able to learn how to apply for a US passport and we’ll also speak about some other pertinent information. This is going to give you the necessary knowledge to get your passport situation handled properly. You should be able to get your passport and you’ll be ready for your upcoming trip in no time.

Applying for a New Passport in Person

If you have never had a passport before, then you’re going to need to apply for a passport in person. This shouldn’t be difficult to do, but you’ll need to know where you’re supposed to go. Depending on where you live, the location for getting a passport is going to differ. Some people might need to go to the local courthouse while others may need to go to a government building known as the Secretary of State.

Passport Holder Cover Wallet RFID Blocking Leather Card Case Travel Document Organizer (Coffee Grey) You should do some research online to determine where your local passport acceptance facility is ahead of time. This will allow you to figure out where to go and you’ll be able to do everything that you need to do from there. This information should be readily available on your local government websites. Going to the state government website should provide you with the right answers.

Once you’ve figured out where you need to go, you’ll need to make sure that you’re bringing the right stuff to the passport acceptance facility. You’re going to need to have several different items to get your passport. Take a look at the items below so that you can gather everything that is necessary. You’ll have a far easier time if you bring these items to the passport acceptance facility.

  • DS-11 Form
  • Proof of US citizenship
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Color passport photograph
  • Fee payment in the form of a check or money order

Additional Requirements for Children

  • Proof of relationship to the child
  • Both parents must be present
  • If both parents cannot be present, the absent parent needs to sign a consent form

What to Know Once You Get to the Office

Now that you’ve gathered all of the necessary items and documents, it’ll be time to pay a visit to the passport acceptance facility. Go and speak to the appropriate workers at the right government building to get things started. They will be able to guide you through the process. This is actually going to be fairly straightforward once you get things going.

It should be noted that you can print the DS-11 form online and fill it out ahead of time. If you can’t do this for one reason or another, the office should have a DS-11 form that they can give you. Depending on how busy the building is, it might be practical enough to sit there and fill out the form. The form isn’t overly long or complicated, so it shouldn’t take too long to get things sorted out.

All of the other items really need to be gathered ahead of time. If you’re missing even one piece of the required items listed above, then you won’t be able to go through with your passport application. Note that proof of US citizenship is going to include items such as your birth certificate or naturalization certificate. You should also know that a military ID will work as a substitute for a driver’s license.

You also need to keep in mind that you can’t pay for the passport fees with cash or your debit card. Many people don’t use checks any longer, but this is still one of only two accepted payment methods. This may change at some point in the future, but you’re going to need a check or a money order to pay for your passport. Both checks and money orders should be payable to the U.S. Department of State.

Applying for a Passport Outside of the US

Applying for a US passport from outside of the US is going to play out a little bit differently. Instead of going to a local government office, you’re going to need to travel to a US embassy or consulate. You’ll be able to request the proper forms to apply for your US passport while there. The process is going to be similar to obtaining your passport while inside of the country, but you’ll be dealing with the embassy or consulate the entire time.

Zoppen Rfid Blocking Travel Passport Holder Cover Slim Id Card Case (#21 Grape Purple) There are some differences when you’re applying for a US passport from Canada. Canada has a different relationship with the US and there are going to be situations where some Americans who are living in Canada will be able to do things by mail. This is mostly going to apply to renewing a passport, rather than applying for a new one. Just be sure to contact the US embassy to get more details on what needs to be done if you’re at all confused.

Passport Photos

Passport photos need to be considered ahead of applying, too. We mentioned that you’re going to need a passport photo above, but we’d like to go over this in more detail. If you’re new to applying for passports, then you might not be aware of all of the requirements. These photos won’t be difficult to obtain, but you do want to make sure that you’re doing things right.

All passport photographs need to be in color. The photo should be a clear picture of your face and it needs to have been taken in the last six months. No filters or other alterations of the image are allowed. Someone else needs to take your photograph too, meaning that selfies are strictly prohibited.

If you wear eyeglasses, then you’ll need to go ahead and remove them for the photo. The photo should also be taken against a plain white background. The background can also be off white if necessary. As long as you can meet these requirements, you’ll be able to take the photos at home while being sure to follow the proper rules.

Most people choose to have their passport photos taken at a place of business, though. Many drug stores have passport photo areas where you can easily get your passport photos taken. They’ll even print the photos off for you in the right sizes. Passport photos need to be 2 x 2 inches, so it’s likely going to be more convenient to have the photo taken at a drugstore or other professional facility such as this.

The photo needs to be printed out on glossy paper, too. Typical printer paper is not going to cut it for a passport photo. You’re supposed to have a neutral expression on your face during the photo as well. Be sure that you have your eyes open, too, to avoid any potential problems.

How Long Does it Take to Get Your Passport?

The length of time that it takes to get your passport will differ depending on the season and other factors. If you want an up to date estimate, then it’s going to be best to check your local state government website for more information. There are some general guidelines that you can follow to give yourself a good idea of how long it will take on average. This information should be accurate, but it could change slightly based on certain factors.

Routine service is usually going to take somewhere between four and six weeks. You’ll receive your passport in the mail sometime after one month has passed. This is the most common situation that people deal with when applying for their passport. That is why it’s best to apply for a passport months in advance to give yourself time to actually receive your passport.

There will also be an expedited service option that can make things go a little bit faster. You can choose to pay more money to get your passport issued to you within two or three weeks. This is substantially faster, but it’s still not immediate. For most people, it’s still going to be practical to just apply for a passport far enough in advance.

Zero Grid Passport Wallet - Travel Document Holder w/RFID Blocking If you need to travel abroad due to an emergency, then it’ll be possible to make use of a really fast expedited passport option. This is available at agency locations and can get you your passport within eight days. You have to meet certain criteria to qualify for this, though. You have to be facing an immediate life or death emergency or be traveling within two weeks to make use of this.

Passport Book Versus Passport Card

You’ll also want to know that there are two different types of passports that you can apply for. There is the passport card and the passport book. Passport books are going to be the traditional types of passports that make traveling by air possible. If you plan on traveling to another country via airplane, then you’re going to want to apply for a passport book.

Passport cards are going to be a lot less expensive to get. The only downside is that they don’t allow you to enter other countries via airplane. You’ll be able to get into other countries by land or by sea using the passport card. Also, you can’t use a passport card to enter all countries.

The passport card will allow you to enter Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda via land or sea. If you’re planning a vacation to Europe or Asia, then you need to pay the extra money to get yourself a passport book. It’s important to understand the restrictions that have been placed on the passport card. For most people, the passport book is going to be the better option, since it doesn’t come with the same strict limitations.

There is a certain convenience to the passport card, though. It’s a lot smaller and you can even fit it inside of your wallet. Even so, it just can’t do as much as a normal passport book. Consider where you want to travel and how you want to travel before coming to an ultimate decision.

Our Final Thoughts on US Passport Applications

Now that you’ve read all about how to apply for a passport, you should be ready to go out and get yours. If you’re thinking of traveling outside of the country anytime soon, then you need to take care of this right away. Standard service can take between four and six weeks to get your passport to you. As long as you get things started several months in advance, you shouldn’t have any problems keeping your travel plans.

Getting a passport doesn’t have to be a stressful situation. When you follow the rules and do your best to gather the necessary items, it’ll be a smooth experience. You can get your passport in your hands in time and you’ll be ready to go see the world. Remember to think about what type of passport you want and do your best to pick an option that works for you.

Renewing your passport will generally be easy too. US passports are valid for 10 years after they’re issued. This means that you’ll be able to go a long time without having to renew it. Also, you’ll usually be eligible to renew by mail so long as you don’t wait too long and let your passport lapse.

Where Does Southwest Fly? Our Epic Southwest Destination Guide

where does southwest fly

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

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

Where Does Southwest Fly: Listed by Region

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

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

Midwest Destinations (17)

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

Where Does Southwest Fly in the South (24)

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

East Coast Destinations (22)

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

Where Does Southwest Fly Internationally (15)

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

Southwest Flights to Hawaii (4)

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

Southwest Route Map

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

Where does southwest fly

Fly with a Free Companion on Every Southwest Flight

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

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

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

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus

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INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 3000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$69 annual fee.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
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Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier

Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$99 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
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Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 50,000 points after spending $1000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
$75 Southwest travel credit each year.
4 Upgraded boardings per year.
25% back on in-flight drinks and wi-fi.
Earn 7500 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$149 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
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Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Premier

Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You'll earn 3X points on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rentals.
BENEFITS
Earn 6000 points on your cardmember anniversary.
All points from credit card count toward Companion Pass.
FEES
$99 annual fee.
No foreign transaction fees.
Employee cards at no additional cost.
TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
Southwest points are great because when they have a sale, their award chart goes on sale as well. By getting a personal and business Southwest card you can be well on your way to Companion Pass status.
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How to Earn Even More Southwest Miles to Use with Your Companion

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

Chase Sapphire Preferred

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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 3X on 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.
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Ink Business Preferred

Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 100,000 points after spending $15000 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.
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If you’re looking to travel a lot in the next year with that Companion Pass, you might also be interested in priority airport security screening and airport lounge access. You can receive those travel benefits and much more with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.
INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 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.
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vacation from business using points

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

Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Codes: Explained & Examined

chase ultimate rewards promo code

Have you ever been on the checkout page of the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal and noticed a box to enter a Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code? When I see promo code boxes of any online checkout, it makes me wonder if I’m missing out on a discount of some sort.

Well, when it comes to Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo codes, you’re probably not missing out on anything. There have only been a few times in recent years that there was actually a live Ultimate Rewards promotion code, and they were all targeted.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Promo Codes Available in the Past

Most likely you won’t find a current Chase Ultimate Rewards promo code because they don’t offer them very often. As mentioned, over the past few years, there have only been a handful of Chase Ultimate Rewards travel promo codes. Here are some of the previous offers.

  • $100 off a hotel stay of $300 or more
  • $30 off a hotel or flight booking

Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code on Amazon Purchases

LIVE OFFER: (You may need to link your accounts before the offer is activated)

Amazon Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code Price: 15 OFF ($60 purchase) Use 1 Ultimate Reward point to get $15 Off your $60 Amazon purchase. (Targeted Offer) Amazon Chase Ultimate Rewards Promo Code Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

PS: There is also a LIVE OFFER for Amex Membership Rewards. ($30 off $60 purchase)

There have also been a few promos in the past that give a discount on Amazon Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. when you redeem at least one Ultimate Rewards point towards the purchase. These Chase Ultimate Rewards promo codes are typically found within your Amazon account if you’ve linked your accounts. At checkout or on the product page, you’ll typically see an offer saying something like “Use Chase Ultimate Rewards to get $15 off your purchase of $60 or more”.

These Amazon offers, like the other Chase Travel Rewards promo codes, are also targeted. They will not be offered to everyone. A good place to find out if there’s a current offer is on Slick Deals where you can search for “Ultimate Rewards Promo Code”.

How to Get Targeted for a Chase Rewards Promo Code

There’s a chance that Chase has had other targeted Ultimate Rewards promo codes on occasion. If you were a targeted Chase customer, they would email to you directly with an Ultimate Rewards promo code. To see if you’ve been targeted for any of these promotions in the past, do a simple search within your email for something like “Chase Promo Code” or “Ultimate Rewards Promo Code”. Any emails that contain those words will show in the results.

chase ultimate rewards promotion code

Which Chase Credit Cards Earn Ultimate Rewards?

If you want more Chase Ultimate Rewards, there are seven credit cards that earn them. There are four personal credit cards and three business cards that offer Ultimate Rewards signup bonuses. The signup bonuses range from 15,000 points all the way up to 80,000 Ultimate Rewards. Here are each of those cards and their signup bonus offers.

The Personal Cards that Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

 Sapphire Preferred
Sapphire Reserve
Freedom Flex
Freedom Unlimited
Signup Bonus60,00060,000$200 (20,000 pts)Extra 1.5% for 1 yr
Bonus Spending Categories3X on dining, 2X on travel3X 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

The Business Cards that Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

 Ink Bus. Preferred
Ink Business Cash
Ink Bus. Unlimited
Signup Bonus100,000$750 (75,000 pts)$750 (75,000 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Credit card signup bonuses are by far the easiest way to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. Some of the signup bonuses are worth more than $1000 in travel if you redeem them with Chase travel partners. For example, you can book a roundtrip flight from the west coast to Hawaii for just 25,000 Ultimate Rewards.

Why Ultimate Rewards are the Best Travel Points

Chase Ultimate Rewards is the best loyalty program of all travel points systems. Ultimate Rewards are so valuable because they’re easy to earn and are so flexible to redeem. There are four ways to earn Ultimate Rewards and three ways to redeem them. Chase Ultimate Rewards are just easy to use.

Earning Ultimate Rewards

There are four ways to earn Ultimate Rewards. They can be earned through travel credit card signup bonuses, credit card spending, the online Chase shopping portal, and through referring friends to Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards. After earning Ultimate Rewards, there are three different ways to redeem them.

  1. Credit Card Signup Bonuses
  2. Credit Card Spending
  3. Chase Shopping Portal
  4. Refer a Friend

Earning Ultimate Rewards is done most simply by signing up for Chase Ultimate Rewards travel credit cards. There are primary Ultimate Rewards credit cards and secondary Ultimate Rewards cards. The difference is that the primary cards have more options for redeeming points. They are the only cards that offer Chase transfer partners and they have elevated redemption rates in the Chase travel portal.

Redeeming Ultimate Rewards

There are three ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards. The two options that involve travel will earn great point redemption rates of 1-2+ cents per point and one option that is essentially cash back will give an average redemption rate of just 1 cent per point. Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel is by far the best option if you’re looking to get the most value out of your points.

  1. Chase Travel Portal
  2. Chase Transfer Partners
  3. Cashback-Like Redemptions

By far, the most valuable way to redeem Ultimate Rewards is to transfer them to travel partners. There are 13 partner airline and hotel loyalty programs to choose from. They all transfer at a ratio of 1:1 with Ultimate Rewards. You can also book travel through Chase directly, or use your points for cash back, but these redemption options aren’t as valuable as transferring to partners.

chase rewards promo code

Learn More about Chase Ultimate Rewards

As you’ve seen, Chase Ultimate Rewards are very valuable. They are easy to earn and also easy to redeem, making them the most flexible travel points around. If you want to learn how to earn and redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards like a pro, check out our epic guide that covers everything “Ultimate Rewards”. If you’ve already heard enough and are ready to start earning Ultimate Rewards, go ahead and apply for one or more of the credit cards mentioned above.

Funding Your Travel with an Airbnb Business

funding travel with an airbnb business

When travelers consider making use of Airbnb to save money, it’s typically with respect to finding affordable accommodation options. Indeed, as noted in ‘6 Ways to Save Money on Travel’, the service is typically very easy to use, and can often be cheaper than other rental or booking options.

Flipping things around though, Airbnb can also help travelers save money as renters. Some who travel regularly have realized that by listing their own homes while away, they can build up Airbnb businesses of their own, thus offsetting the costs of trips — and more, in some cases. Below, we’ll look at some of the reasons that this can actually work, and become a good, strategic way to fund your travel ambitions.

Airbnb Renters Make Real Money

A lot of apps and online services that claim to be able to make you money tend to wind down to lots of work with little reward. But Airbnb renters tend to be able to make fairly respectable earnings. In The Balance’s assessment of Airbnb returns, or instance, it’s suggested that renters in a big city like Seattle can make roughly $150 per night posting their own properties on the service. That’s on the higher end of things, given that Seattle is both a big city and a popular destination. But even a third of that rate for several nights while you’re on a trip abroad can add up to a meaningful chunk of income. Even if it doesn’t totally offset your vacation cost, it will make a big difference. And if you do happen to live in a big city or sought-after destination, you’ll be in even better shape.

Starting an Airbnb Business is Easy

While some travelers might disregard an idea like this simply because it can seem like more hassle than it’s worth, there’s actually not that much involved with getting started with this kind of effort. Per ZenBusiness’s outline of Airbnb businesses, all you really need to do is define your business plan and structure, register the business, and manage costs and property needs. Once you get the early processes taken care of, you’ll be ready to rent out your property, and listed on Airbnb. Yes, there are some management and upkeep efforts involved. But part of the idea of Airbnb is that once you’re up and running the platform does a lot of the work for you.

You Can Market to Gain Visibility

Some may also opt out of the Airbnb idea out of concern that they don’t have desirable properties, or aren’t in popular locations. Of course these factors can affect your earning potential, and a high-end Seattle condo is going to perform better than a low-cost studio apartment in a small town. That said, your visibility and appeal are at least partly up to you. As the aforementioned outline of Airbnb businesses points out, it’s up to you to “paint a picture” of your property, convey what’s interesting or appealing about it, and then do a bit of external advertising to draw attention to it. You won’t have full control over rental potential, but if you make a bit of an effort you’ll already be ahead of a lot of other Airbnb renters who rely entirely on the platform.

There’s No Effort While Traveling

Another major perk to the idea of funding travel through Airbnb is that it doesn’t require effort of you while you’re traveling. So many suggestions related to this topic — such as teaching a language, taking on odd jobs, or running a travel blog — effectively involve taking time to work during your trips. Even among Travel & Leisure’s travel work suggestions, which are by and large more laid back (ideas like selling videos, or taking on courier work), there is some level of distraction that can take away from your time abroad. With Airbnb though, all the work you need to put in is done before and after you’re away. You can make money to offset travel costs without worrying about the effort at all while you’re actually traveling.

Because of these factors, Airbnb is a legitimately interesting avenue to consider if you’re looking for a way to help fund your travel.

Credit Score Range: How to Reach an Excellent Credit Score?

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 Range and 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 Calculated credit 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 score Do You Know Your Current Credit Score? Check for Free! Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

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 Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. .

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 Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

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

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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 3X on 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Capital One Venture

INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 2X points on every purchase.
BENEFITS
Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners.
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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Best Business Travel Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred

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INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 100,000 points after spending $15000 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

*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

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INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn $200 (in the form of 20,000 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Wells Fargo Propel

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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Best Premium Travel Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve

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INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You'll earn 60,000 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.
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Amex Platinum Card

INTRODUCTORY OFFER
You’ll earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
REWARDS
You’ll earn 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel. You’ll earn 5X points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
BENEFITS
Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month (bonus $20 in December).
Enjoy access to the exclusive Global Airport Lounge Collection.
$200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 every calendar year with one qualifying airline. Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your card. Enrollment required.
Fine Hotels & Resorts Access.
Hilton & Marriott Gold Status.
Discounts on First/Business/Premium Economy tickets.
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.
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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 Travel Portal: How to Book Travel with Ultimate Rewards

chase travel portal

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

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

Types of Travel that the Chase Travel Portal Offers

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

Flights

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

Hotels

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

Car Rentals

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

Activities & Events

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

Vacation Rentals

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

Cruises

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

Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal

How Much are Ultimate Rewards Worth in the Travel Portal?

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

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

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

How to Book Travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards

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

The Chase Travel Portal is Now Powered by Expedia

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

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

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

Are there Chase Travel Promo Codes?

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

ultimate rewards travel portal

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

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

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

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

Redeeming through Chase Transfer Partners Instead

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

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

Chase Transfer Airline Partners

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

Chase Transfer Hotel Partners

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

Travel Credit Cards that Earn Ultimate Rewards

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

Personal Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

 Sapphire Preferred
Sapphire Reserve
Freedom Flex
Freedom Unlimited
Signup Bonus60,00060,000$200 (20,000 pts)Extra 1.5% for 1 yr
Bonus Spending Categories3X on dining, 2X on travel3X 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Business Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

 Ink Bus. Preferred
Ink Business Cash
Ink Bus. Unlimited
Signup Bonus100,000$750 (75,000 pts)$750 (75,000 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 >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you. Learn More >> Full Disclosure: We may earn a commission if you click this link, at no additional cost to you.

Decision Time: Travel Portal vs Travel Partners?

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