If you love Fage Greek yogurt and movies, you have 2 more days (until June 19, 2012) to get them for free (a $66 value + bonus points/cash back on your credit cards).
This is part 5 of a series of posts devoted to our whirlwind tour of Peru & Chile.
- Less than $1,000 per person all-in for our 11-day tour in Peru & Chile
- How you can use <75,000 points to replicate our itinerary to visit Machu Picchu, Easter Island, and more
- How to prepare for altitude sickness in Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca
- What to bring for your trip to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and/or Easter Island
- How many different sets of tickets do you have to buy for that one-day visit to Machu Picchu?
- How to Create Your Own Machu Picchu “Inka Trail” Experience in One Day
- Using the Tambo del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Resort, as Your Base for Your Visit to Machu Picchu
- Tour Guide #1 – Sabino for Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Peru
- Tour Guide #2 – Silvia for Puno, Lake Titicaca, Sillustani, Peru
- How We Did Lima, Peru in One Day
- Tour Guide #3 – Sergio for Easter Island, Chile
- Taking Advantage of an Airport Hotel for Our Walking Tour of Santiago, Chile
- Airport Lounge Access + LAN International Business vs. Economy
- Budgeting for Your Next Big Dream Vacation
- You Won’t Believe What Happened on Our Way Home!
As I mentioned in an earlier post, visiting Machu Picchu is made quite expensive by non-local tourist-only pricing. On average, you’d expect to spend about US$150-200 per person on tickets, just to get you from your base in Cusco or Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu and back.
**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.
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.
Our Twitter reader Chris asked us for help with planning his upcoming 6-day/5-night trip from Washington DC to London in October with his girlfriend to celebrate his graduation from graduate school (Congrats, Chris!). I thought that this topic might be helpful to some of our other readers who might be considering a similar trip.
Update (11:45am PST, April 5, 2012): The $350 Chase Freedom offer link is no longer available for new applications.
Update (April 13, 2012): The 50,000 Chase Sapphire Preferred offer link is no longer available for new applications. Check out MillionMileSecrets’ Credit Cards Page for latest offers.
Right after Gary @ViewFromTheWing pointed out how fast Chase had been pulling their higher-than-usual bonus offers, I saw a link posted by a Twitter friend (Thanks, Michael Shimada!) introducing a $350 cash-back offer for signing up for the Chase Freedom card.
In my beginner series, I briefly talked about the benefits of having a combination of the Chase Freedom card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Ink Bold card. The 50,000-point sign-up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred VISA card officially expired yesterday, but you can still get the bonus through this application link (for the MasterCard version).
Chase allows one personal and one business card application on the same day, so if you are interested in getting a combo today, you can apply for the Ink Bold card through MillionMileSecrets’ link.
The publicly available application link I posted in the “What Credit Card(s) Should You Get?” post is now showing only 40,000 sign-up bonus points. However, there are still active links that will give the 50,000 offer. Please apply here if you’d like. Again, I do NOT receive any commission if you do decided to apply for the card. I have updated the link in the original credit card post, too.
Update 4/13/12: The 50k offer has expired, feel free to check out MillionMileSecrets’ Credit Cards Page for latest offers.
Before we start, here is a quick index of the “How to Get Started” series:
- Things to Think about Before You Start;
- What Is a Mile or Point Worth?
- Is Your Credit Going to Take a Hit?
- What Credit Card(s) Should You Get?
- How Do You Keep Track of Everything?
- What Else Can You Do to Increase Your Mile & Point Balance?
As a beginner, you might find that there are an overwhelming number of travel-related credit cards out there. In the past year or two, credit card sign-up bonuses have become so good that a general rule of thumb is NOT to apply for a card unless you get at least $500 (which generally means 50,000 miles/points). Some of the best offers last year all came with 75,000 or 100,000 sign-up bonuses. To help you answer the question “What credit card(s) should you get?” I am going to start by giving you a quick rundown on the three different types of miles & points credit cards.