It seems like everyone who we speak to is travelling the world these days. With airline travel extremely accessible and affordable, more and more people are taking to the skies. Additionally, as the global economy seems to be humming right a long, leisure travel is climbing, resulting in hotel occupancy on the rise. So the question is: Are you travelling for free?
Travelling for free these days is difficult to comprehend, but thanks to our favorite US financial institutions, it is completely within your reach. Here is a brief credit card sign up guide to help explain some strategies of how we travel for free.
Introducing the Points Partners Method
Signing up for credit cards to earn points and miles for free travel depends on where you're looking to go (US, Europe, Asia, etc.) and what you're using the points for (hotels vs airlines), what points you already have, and what credit cards you've applied for in the past. You may only need air or hotel, or both. Also, when are you looking to travel (within a few weeks or months)? Generally, it costs less to redeem points the farther out in time you travel begins. These factors impact the decision as to which credit cards to apply for (best offers, travel credits, and the like). So there are a few variables, but we can help you travel for free or low money with a little more information!
Answering these 7 questions will allow you to help plan what points you need to go after in order to redeem for free travel:
That said, here are a few personal and business cards that you may want to consider now:
Personal credit cards:
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve ($399 annual fee) - 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening transferable to both airlines (United, British Airways, Korean Air and Air France) and hotels (Hyatt, IHG, Marriott), or you can redeem these points on Chase Ultimate Rewards for 1.5x per point (good to redeem when flights are cheaper than redeeming points). Comes with a $300 travel credit per cardmember year, so this heavily offsets the annual fee, plus you earn 3x points on travel and dining (tolls count, but not gas). For example, you can transfer 50,000 points to fly roundtrip on Air France from JFK to Tel Aviv, Israel for only 50,000 miles + $200+ in taxes for a roundtrip ticket. So, by applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, with this one card you essentially get a free ticket to Israel (subject to Air France availability and I think they're announcing a new rewards program soon) less the difference in the annual fee of the credit card. You also can apply for Global Entry (TSA Precheck) for free and lounge access for free. After the year, it's possible to downgrade the card to a less expensive card if you don't like this card. This is definitely one of the most popular premium credit cards on the market. Plus if you combine with 2 or 4 below, any points you earn can be redeemed for 1.5x points when transferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve points account. Both you and a spouse can apply (and anyone 18 or over). Just be sure you can meet the spending threshold (if this is a problem, there are ways to meet this).
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) - 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Almost the same as above, but it's only a 2x dining card and no $300 travel credit or free benefits. You can transfer these points to other Chase partner programs or redeem at Ultimate Rewards by transferring to your Chase Sapphire Reserve account for better redemption value. Again, this Chase Sapphire Preferred offer can potentially be another airline tickets (except for the taxes in this case) for a small annual fee.
3. Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card ($89 annual fee) - 80,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You also get a free Category 1-5 night at any Marriott hotel after your first year anniversary. If you need a place to stay, this is a good value. Combine with the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card for even more points..
4. Chase Freedom (NO annual free) - $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus rotating 5x points categories each quarter of the year (sometimes its department stores, Starbucks, pharmacy, it depends). The money really is in points, so you can transfer to the Chase Sapphire Reserve for even greater benefit or redeem for cash. We prefer the points, but you're saving $150 right away.
I recommend Chase cards because they have a rule that prevents getting accepted for new cards where you applied for 5 personal cards (no matter who issued the credit card) in 24 months. As such, it makes sense to apply for these first and then you can start applying for certain business cards that aren't counted to this rule.
5. Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card ($65 annual fee) - 25,000 Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. However, these can be transferred to Marriott at 3x the points. So 25,000*3=75,000 Marriott Rewards points (you have to link your accounts). When Combined with #3, you now have over 150,000 Marriott points, from one person. If you and your spouse each sign up, well, now you have over 300,000 Marriott points, resulting in a long and FREE hotel stay at very nice hotels.
In sum, it depends on where you're looking to travel, but this is a very good start towards earning a lot of points. Additional note, this assumes approval of the cards and you can't apply for all of these at one time. Essentially you need to stack these applications over a month or two or three and have enough spend to qualify.
We have a few tricks up our sleeves that may help satisfy this spending (fees may apply). Check out our webpage for additional information at www.PointsPartners.com!
The answer: Thomas Street. That's right! Thomas Street is a block to find great student housing at a strong value!
Only about two blocks from campus, or only a 4 minute walk to Zoellner, Thomas Street is the place to be!
This house has renovated floors in an open concept kitchen / dining room / living room set up, which leads outside to a private backyard.
3 bedrooms and a full bath on the 2nd floor, while 1 more bedroom awaits up on the 3rd floor, like a private suite.
Functional basement with built in washer and dryer.
Check out our webpage at www.lehighstudenthousingrentals.com for additional information.
Rent with us by May 15th and get a $400 credit on your second months rent. Click here to register for our newsletter to get started.
"You create what you expect." - Darren Hardy
As the Spring 2017 semester draws to a close, what better way to finish the semester than by setting some Summer goals. Why should you set Summer goals? The answer is simple, "You create what you expect."
What does this mean for your success? It means if you don't plan your goals for success, you will never reach them because you haven't expected more from yourself. If you always believe you're going to fail at something, chances are you will.
However, if you set out a few goals to attain this summer, your expectations for yourself have now changed! You actively set the bar higher for yourself, so now what your actions will try to create something that meets your increased expectations. The result will be a more aware self, a more confident you, and greater success.
5 Goals College Students Should Make This Summer
1. Exercise daily for at least 30 minutes
2. Read a business book daily for at least 15 minutes
3. Review your finances daily for at least 15 minutes
4. Check your credit score / open a new credit card
5. Network with family and friends
Your goals are personal and should reflect your definition of success. Our goal for students is to help you stay healthy, increase your understanding of business and personal finances, working on your credit, and networking with friends and family.
Increase the expectations you set for yourself, and before you know it, you'll be creating more success for yourself than you ever imagined possible!
Let us know what your goals are for this summer!
Lehigh Student Housing Rentals Inc. has a limited number of student rooms for rent at 506 Selfridge Street.
Room #4 is fully furnished and is available to rent beginning August 1, 2017 for rent through May 31, 2018.
Room #5 is partially furnished (bed and frame not included) tp rent beginning June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018.
Quick walk to Lehigh University.
Two brand new renovated bathrooms including radiant floor heating
Large and comfortable bedroom, as well as indoor living rooms for students to enjoy
Brand new laundry area on the first floor
3 blocks walk to Zoellner and business school
Freshly painted rooms, renovated inside and out.
Visit our website at lehighstudenthousingrentals.com/506selfridge for more information about the property.
Visit our website at lehighstudenthousingrentals.com/viewing to schedule a viewing.
Stay tuned for our open house by signing here.
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For Lease: Restaurant space plus equipment, on E 4th Street in Bethlehem, PA.
Currently occupied by the Borinquen Restaurant.
Total square footage approximately 1,000 sq ft, plus additional storage available in the basement.
Great location for a restaurant, located in the Four Blocks.
Excellent visibility and close to all Bethlehem has to offer.
Within walking distance of Lehigh University.
Great opportunity to start a restaurant since all equipment is already installed and available for lease as well.
*Equipment rental is additional $400 per month.
For additional information on this exciting opportunity, click here.
For more information, visit our listing on LoopNet. http://www.loopnet.com/lid/20222875
#LSHR is a blog about off-campus student housing, financial education, networking, travel and helping you build your career.