Credit Card Strategy Consulting for Businesses

El Yunque
Business Travel Consulting   There are a few different types of organizations that can use Credit Card Points to their advantage: Companies who send employees to conferences, trade shows, and training seminars Organizations who provide on-site consultants to their clients Larger enterprises that handle accommodations and flights for their internal personnel Small...
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Bar Symon Priority Pass Lounge Added to CLEveland Airport!

Get $56 worth of FREE food and Drinks when flying through CLE! If you live in or travel to CLEveland - You're in Luck!  The Priority Pass program has recently added a new Lounge, and its not their standard boring 'no frills' PP Lounge that just offers coffee and fruit... But a Fantastic restaurant Bar Symon! "Cardholders can use their lounge visit entitlement to receive...
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Travel Hacking Basics

Intro to Travel Hacking If you're like most people, you WANT to Travel more, but simply don't have the funds.  An average US vacation can cost around $500 per person for a flight, plus a couple hundred dollars or so a night for hotels.  Thrown in car rental and even a trip to Florida becomes cost prohibitive to the average person who doesn't have an extra $2,500 lying around. ...
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Free Family Trip to Hawaii Using Points

A Family Trip to Hawaii Using Points One of the  most aspirational ‘Free Travel’ Hacks out there is the coveted ‘Free Family Trip to Hawaii’.  While the size of your family may dictate just how difficult this endeavor may be, this guide will walk you through the basics of planning a FREE Trip to Hawaii for 3 or more people. The 1st step is deciding which cities you wa...
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Is TSA PreCheck Right for you?

A Value Proposition Do you enjoy waiting in long lines as part of the Security Theater TSA forces you to engage in before flying?  Do you like being groped like a a Freshman on Prom-night by a stranger?  How about being singled out for a more pronounced fondling and interrogation because of your long hair or dark skin?  Do you crave the exciting gamble of racing down the conco...
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How to Buy BitCoin with a CreditCard (and other E-Currency)

How to Buy BitCoin with a Credit Card ...and why this is potentially one of the easiest Manufactured Spending techniques around at the moment. By now even your Grandma is asking 'how do I cash in on this CryptoCraze?'.  You might not have the vaguest idea of how BitCoin works, but you can make $10 by 'Investing' as little as $100... Which can be funded by a Credit Card. ...
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American Express $100/$200 Airline Reimbursement Airline Gift Card Options

Best Options for your Amex Airline Fee Credit Certain American Express Cards will give you an ANNUAL 'Credit' Towards airline incidentals like luggage fees, drinks, seat upgrades, and other NON-Ticket items...  This benefit is often ignored because you have to choose your 'favorite airline' and then pay for the services with your Amex card.  However, This annual benefit is act...
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How to Fly to Italy for Free!

JAXsonville to Firenze (Florence/Rome) Trip for 2 A friend of mine who is new to the Travel Hacking game was intrigued about the possibility of going to one of my favorite places in the world, Florence Italy, for Free.  Unfortunately, NO Airlines fly directly into Firenze (FLR) , but you can fly into Rome (FCO) and take a peaceful* Train 1.5 hours to Florence a couple cities a...
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What are Points Actually Worth?

Valuing Hotel Points and Airline Miles - What Makes Cent$? In the Free Travel Game, one of the most important things to remember is the concept of 'VALUE' - Compared to simply accumulating points because they seem like a high sign up bonus.  For example, 40,000 Hilton Points may SOUND like a lot, but in many cases, thats just enough for one night hotel stay in a big city.  Con...
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Best Amex Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses

American Express Credit Card Offers As we've mentioned before, all bonuses change monthly*, so you're goal is to sign up when the offer is at its historical highest if possible.  Remember, American Express only allows you to get a Sign Up Bonus ONCE in a lifetime, so make it count! American Express Business Rewards Gold Card The Amex  Biz GOLD Card is a lot more attr...
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Traveling to San Francisco with a Toddler

CLEveland to SanFranciscO for Free Using United Points A couple of years ago, planning a trip anywhere in the world for us was fairly easy.  Now however, we have a 1.5 year old with us, and he's not too fond of 12 hour drives in the car or long layovers.  We waited 2 years to take our son Leo on his first flight, but you can fly with a child older than 2 weeks without any issu...
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AMEX Reimbursement Times

Many Credit Cards offer off perks like 'Free TSA Pre-Check' and 'Free Travel Credits' for certain designated items like Luggage, Flight Changes, or drinks/snacks bought during flight.  The Amex Gold and Platinum Cards include a $100 or $200 'Travel Credit' that technically can't be used to buy regular airline tickets... But you CAN buy a SouthWest or other brands of Gift Cards ...
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CLEveland to LAx – October 2017 for 2 People

CLE-to-LAX-FREE
A friend from Shaker Heights wanted to treat her BFF to a trip to LA.  The time frame was ideally mid October, and they'd be flying out of CLEveland (Hopkins). She is new to Churning, so the planning for this trip went as follows for simplicity: Find Flights - Cheapest with Points without being 8.5+ hours Find the card(s) that are offering bonuses now that line up with ...
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Credit Card Application Rules to Be Aware Of

Amex, Chase, and Citi Application Rules to Know As we discussed in the Chase 5/24 Post, Chase doesn't take too kindly to folks opening up a lot of NON-Business Cards in the lats 2 years... However they aren't the only ones to frown upon this hobby.  While they have the strictest of the 'rules' to limit Credit Card Churning, their competitors implement similar tactics that you ...
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The Infamous Chase 5/24 Rule

In the 'Free Travel' Game, Chase is regarded as the Best Card Issuer out there, as they have a bulk of the market share and tie ins with many hotels and airlines, PLUS a few amazing cards that earn 'Ultimate Rewards' Points. Unfortunately - Chase does not take too kindly to our gaming the system and winning Free Trips on their behalf.  They have to balance their love of mone...
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Amex Biz Platinum – $10K Spend for 100K Points Phone Trick

The current (Average) Offer for the American Express Platinum Card is spend $10K, get 50,000 Points, and another 25,000 points when you spend another $10 Grand in THREE Months.  Even with Manufactured Spending this would be tricky, but for some folks, there's an alternative.   I called  855-854-2682.  [old # was 1-800-971-6736]  and said my real business (ProEDI)...
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Useful Traveling Resources – Air and Hotel Redemption Guides

Links to Reward Maps, Flight Planning Tools, and Hotel Points Calculators Here's a great place to find how many points it takes to reserve a flight or hotel in various programs.   Finding the best Rewards Program to FLY from Point A to Point B There's a handful of very helpful flight-points calculators that are eager to help you plan your trip.  While none of these can...
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How to Use Vanilla Gift Cards & Money Orders to Meet Minimum Spends

A lot of the old fashioned 'easy' methods for Manufactured Spending are no longer viable.  However, there is still one tried and true method that only involves a little more work.  This option involves using your new CC to buy Visa Gift Cards, and then using the VGCs to buy Money Orders, which themselves can be used as fungible cash or deposited back into your account. The...
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SPG Card – Points Worth Considering

When you mention 'SPG Points' -  A lot of people will look at you like a dog who's just been shown a card trick.  UPDATE August 2018 - SPG Points have Merged with Marriott Points.  If you had SPG Points, they were automatically converted to the combined brand at a 3:1 ratio. The SPG Business card still still exists though, and you can snag an easy 100,000 Marriott Points by ...
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An Easy Way to Top Off & Earn More Marriott Points

You might find yourself in a situation like me, where you have 2,800 seemingly worthless Marriott Points.  You perhaps did $2,800 worth of spending on the ol' Marriott Card you recently canceled to get those.... But you can't redeem them for nights, magazines, OR anything fun.  Sure you can transfer them to SPG (at 3:1)  BUT, they only allow you to transfer in 1,000 point incre...
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A Quick Way to Top off your American Airlines Points

If you find yourself in a situation where you have say 12,100 American Airlines Points, and want to buy a one-way ticket for 12,500... You might be able to just 'use your AA CitiAdvantage Card to buy $400 worth of stuff'.  But what if you've recently canceled your card?  Fear Not.  You can make a donation to various Charities that pay out 10x AA points per dollar... The points ...
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