7 Ways Using Credit Can Help You Enjoy a Cheaper, Safer Summer Vacation

Summer travel season has arrived! Whether you’re going to the beach, the lake, the mountains, or “The Happiest Place on Earth” (at least from the kids’ perspective), summer vacation can be expensive. It also can put you at risk for theft — both of your personal belongings and your identity.

According to Experian, the average per-person cost of a vacation is $2,275, and half of this expense is put on a credit card. Planning ahead, setting a budget, and saving money in advance are essential for a debt-free vacation. Even after putting in the time and effort to start a vacation fund at the bank, using credit can be a smart financial choice. Here are seven ways using credit as a financial tool during your summer travel can help you have a safer, less-expensive vacation without taking on debt.

1. Convenience

Figuring out foreign currency can be like Harry Potter counting Muggle money. Using a credit card can eliminate uncomfortable stares from the locals, who you know are thinking, Yup, they’re tourists, while you and yours hold up the line deciding whether the gold coin with the lady on it or the silver coin with the man is the right change. A credit card can also automate the calculation of exchange rates. Look for cards that don’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Finally, credit cards hold up much better than cash when you drop your wallet in the pool.

2. Travel insurance

Some credit card agreements provide travel insurance when you book flights or hotels. You’ll be glad you didn’t reserve those nonrefundable tickets with cash when the hurricane blows through two weeks before departure…

Amazon Will Now Give You 2% Cash Back for Paying With Your Debit Card

Amazon wants to reward you for buying stuff from them, but there’s a catch: you have to use your debit card and transfer cash into an Amazon account. It’s not that complicated, but here’s what you should know about the new Amazon Reload program.

First, you have to be an Amazon Prime customer. Then, you link your bank account and debit card to Amazon (you’ll also need your driver’s license). From there, you load money onto a virtual Amazon Gift Card. You can choose any amount you wish. Now you have a gift card balance and when you pay for Amazon purchases with that balance, you’ll get a 2% cash back bonus on all your purchases. It’s not a bad deal if you buy a lot of stuff on Amazon anyway.

However, some have pointed out that Amazon is just making another move to become your bank. Last year, they partnered with…

4 Credit Card Transactions That Don’t Earn Rewards

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Rewards credit cards can be a great way of earning a little something extra for the purchases you make every day. Most rewards cards dole out 1–5 points for each dollar you spend. But there are a few transactions that never earn rewards. Keep these in mind so you don’t end up disappointed when you look at your rewards statement later on (and instead try the strategies that follow to boost your rewards earnings).

1. Cash advances at an ATM

If you use your credit card for a cash advance at an ATM, you are running up a balance on your credit card. Unfortunately, that balance won’t earn you any rewards points — or any love from your card issuer. Whenever you take out a cash advance from an ATM, you should plan on paying a higher interest rate immediately on the advance amount, as well as a cash advance fee of 2–5 percent and any fees that the individual ATM charges.

2. Cash advance checks you receive in the mail

Those cash advance checks you receive in the mail might seem like an awesome deal. You write the check out to yourself, cash it, and the money is yours. Unfortunately, that money will need to be paid back, along with fees, of course.

You can expect to pay the same fees as you pay for withdrawing cash from an ATM, except for the ATM fee. You’ll still pay a transaction fee and a higher interest rate on your cash advance, though. There will be no grace period before interest starts accruing on the cash advance, either. And just like a cash advance from an ATM, you won’t earn any rewards for the privilege.

3. Balance transfers

In a perfect world, we could all earn millions of credit card points by endlessly transferring balances. We could transfer the same balance back and forth for years, earning oodles of welcome bonuses and points for our spending.

But in this world, you never earn rewards on balance transfers. Banks would simply lose too much money if they offered this…

10 Easy Tricks On How To Save More

how to save more

With online shopping and easy credit facilities, it’s easy to feel tempted to spend more than you normally would. There’s always a new gadget, appliance or a pair of shoes put on sale. If you are trying to cut down on your expenses and start saving, these things can easily put you off track.

To help you out, here are a few tips on how to save more.

How To Save More And Spend Less

There are many simple ways to save more money without feeling the pain. You can even turn it into a challenge or a game to make it more enjoyable.

Save your loose change

Put it on auto pilot

Transferring cash online from your main account to a deposit account each month can be difficult, especially if you think you need all the money for your expenses.

As a solution, you can open one or two recurring deposits and put your monthly deposit on auto debit. Because the transfer happens automatically, it will be easier for you to stick with your deposits.

Curb impulse buys

Received a promotional offer from your favorite shopping website with a big discount? Do not click on the link right away.

When you put off a decision and you decide not to take immediate action, you get to avoid unnecessary expenses. So, instead…