Throughout the series, both TravelWhimsy and I briefly touched on the topic of airport lounges and LAN’s international business class product. I’d like to take this opportunity to share our experiences with the various lounges we used during the trip, and to also throw in my two cents on whether it was necessary to fly business class or not.
For those of you not interested in free Greek yogurt and free movie tickets, or don’t have access to a Safeway-owned grocery store, you can spend $500 on gift cards at a Kroger-owned grocery store and save up to $70 for your next fill-up at the gas station. That is a 14% return, before you factor in any bonus points/cash back on your credit cards. You also have 2 more days (until June 19, 2012) to take advantage of this.
Have you noticed this when filling up your car at the gas station?
If you are like me, you probably value miles & points too much to go with the cash option. If your car takes 20 gallons each time, the cash discount saves you $1; but if you do the math, 5 cents per gallon represent 1.3% in savings. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get that cash discount AND use our credit card of choice to maximize miles & points?
**Giveaway of two invitation codes for Chase Ink – bonus points after first purchase with no minimum spend required!**
To get that 5% cash back or 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points I talked about yesterday, you need a Chase Ink card (Bold for $95, or Classic/Cash for free). If you opt for the free Ink card, you will ALSO need to have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card in order to turn those points into free travel.
A couple of days after I wrote the Walmart post, I updated it with my own experience of purchasing a $500 VISA gift card at my local grocery store and then using it to buy gas. If you don’t mind the trouble of buying and using a prepaid gift card, you will be on your way to earning 5% (5x points) for almost all your purchases. [I started this post over the weekend, but today Frequent Miler posted his new discovery, and I will go over his strategy later in the post, too, for those of you interested.]
Quite a few readers who are ready to embark on the miles & points journey asked about how to get started with credit cards. This post is meant to be a follow-up to our initial beginner series on credit & what credit cards to consider for beginners. We will go over two tables, the first of which helps you determine what card(s) might work best for your various spending habits, while the second shows you what cards I personally use most often.
Before we start, I would like to quickly talk about cash back cards. Some of you may be aware of the fee-free Fidelity Rewards American Express Cards, which give you 2 cents back (2%) for every dollar you spend (There are also other Amex, Citi, or CapitalOne cash back cards with bonus spending categories). I personally don’t use cash back cards, because I can usually get 2 cents or better from using most miles & points. But if one or more of the following describes you, then a straightforward 2% cash back card might work better for you.