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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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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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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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 1-800-971-6736 and said my real business (ProEDI) had gotten an offer of $10K ...
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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. However, their valuable hotel currency shouldn't be overlooked.  The Starwood Preferred Guest Card (SPG)  is an Amex branded card with arguably the best ‘Points per Stay’ values.  its usually a 25K bonus, and twice a year it hits 30,000 points.  Similar to Hyatt, ...
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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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Chase Sapphire Reserve – The Best Card Ever?

Last August Chase tried to blow past their competition by offering the undisputed 'Best Card Ever'  - The Chase Sapphire Reserve. Normally when someone asks 'which is the best card for me?' I tell them it depends on their travel goals... but in many cases its the new'ish Chase Sapphire Reserve featured here.  You get $600 worth of travel credit*, a TSA PreCheck Credit, A...
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Why SouthWest RapidRewards is the Best Card for US Travel

Southwest Loves You
Is SouthWest the Best Frequent Flier Credit Card? When people ask me ''What's the Best Card to earn Miles on?"  I usually ask where it is they want to go.  If its within the US including Puerto Rico, then the answer is by far any of SouthWest's RapidRewards cards from Chase.  They service all major cities, and include routes to Cancun, Punta Cana,  Montego Bay and Nassau as we...
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Direct Links for Airline Rewards Programs

A quick and dirty resource for finding Award Availability in the most popular airlines: Book Award Flights on American Airlines Book Award Flights on All Nippon Airlines - Very Convoluted, requires a login Book Award Flights on United Airlines Book Award Flights on SouthWest Book Award Flights on British Airways Book Award Flights on Delta - Useful for findi...
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How to Meet Credit Card Minimum Spend Requirements Quickly!

our haul from Japan
How to Meet Min Spend Requirements Easily The 1st thing most people ask when they get into the 'Travel Hacking' game is 'How am I going to spend $2,000  or in some cases $5,000 in 3 months?  If I had that kind of money lying around I wouldn't be tryin' to Travel for FREE in the 1st place!'  Fear not my friend, there are ways around that.  Some which essentially don't includ...
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How and Why to Get the SouthWest Companion Pass

Companion Pass Closeup
If you're here, its because you have at least one friend (or God-willing, a Loved one) and want to travel the US/Caribbean with them for FREEish.  The Companion Pass basics are outlined in SouthWest's own words below: If that's unclear, what it means is that when YOU buy a ticket with EITHER Points OR real Money, your Companion gets to hitch a ride for FREE!*  Less the T...
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