Category Archives: Foreign Transaction Fees

5 Travel Rewards Cards for College Students

Million Mile Secrets reader, Liz, commented:

After studying abroad last semester, I’ve been bitten by the travel bug.  Although I have a very good credit score, I’m a college student and don’t spend that much, which precludes me from going for cards with sign-up bonuses that require spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.

I would like to get a card to start earning rewards for my purchases and develop a credit history.  But in keeping with the number one rule of paying off my balance each month, there doesn’t seem to be a card out there for me.

Ideally, I’m looking for a travel rewards card that offers a sign-up bonus requiring $1,000 in the first 90 days and has a waived annual fee for the first year, or none at all!  Is there a card that you’d recommend for me?

Welcome to the miles & points hobby, Liz!

I’m so glad to hear Liz is interested in earning rewards for travel.  Miles and points are one of the the best ways to travel cheaply.  They’ve given Emily and I the opportunity to visit amazing destinations around the world!

As a college student, it seems Liz has done her homework about the importance of developing a credit history and not carrying credit card balances!

Credit Cards College Students

There Are Lots of Great Rewards Credit Cards for College Students Looking to Get Started in the Miles & Points Hobby!

The good news is most banks offer credit cards with sign-up bonuses that have relatively small minimum spending requirements.  And these cards tend to waive the annual fee or have none at all.  So they’re great for students on a tight budget!

I’ll share tips for beginners in the miles & points hobby.  And 5 great rewards cards for beginners which have low minimum spending requirements!

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Increased Offer: 40,000 Hotel Points (Up to 5 Free Nights)

Folks who travel with large families should appreciate this deal!

Via Danny the Deal Guru, you’ll earn 40,000 Choice points when you sign-up for the Barclaycard Choice Privileges card by May 31, 2017.  That’s the highest offer I’ve seen for this card!

We don’t earn a commission for the Barclaycard Choice Privileges card, but we’ll always share the best offers with you!

Increased Offer 40000 Hotel Points Up To 5 Free Nights

You Can Use Choice Points at 5-Star Preferred Hotels, Too!

I’ll tell you about this new offer.  And let you know why this is NOT a good card for folks just beginning in miles & points.

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Which Sign-Up Bonus Is Better: 35,000 Hotel Points or 60,000 Airline Miles?

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Million Mile Secrets reader, Yvette, commented:

I’m trying to decide between the limited time 35,000-point offer with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and a targeted offer for 60,000 American Airlines miles with the Citi® / Advantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard®.  I can only meet the minimum spending requirements for one card at this time.

Great question, Yvette.

The best sign-up bonus depends on how you plan to redeem the miles or points to meet your travel goals.

If you’re unsure of your travel plans, I’d recommend the AMEX Starwood card.  Because you’ll earn flexible Starwood points, which you can use later for free stays at Starwood AND Marriott hotels or transfer to airline partners.

But the targeted 60,000-mile sign-up bonus with the Citi American Airlines card can potentially be more valuable.  Because you can redeem the miles for a one-way Business Class flight from the US to Europe, which might save you thousands of dollars.

Apply For An Airline Or Hotel Credit Card

Is Paris in Your Travel Plans? You Can Get the Citi American Airlines Sign-Up Bonus for Award Flights or Choose the AMEX Starwood Sign-Up Bonus for Free Hotel Stays

I’ll explain what else to consider when deciding between the airline and hotel credit card.

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Fantastic 100,000-Point Marriott Sign-Up Bonus!

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Fantastic news for folks who use Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, or Starwood points!

You can now earn 100,000 Marriott points with the increased sign-up bonus on the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card after completing minimum spending requirements.  That’s 20,000 more points than the previous offer!

And if you recently applied or are planning to apply for the limited time AMEX Starwood offer (available until April 5, 2017), you could have a total of 225,000 Marriott points!  That’s enough for 5 award nights at the Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, Autograph Collection.

Marriott Card 100,000 Points 2017

Emily Had an Amazing Time at the Scrub Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands! You Can Stay There Too Using Points From the Limited Time Chase Marriott Sign-Up Bonus

I’ll share details of the improved sign-up bonus.  And help you decide if you should apply!

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New! No-Annual-Fee Card Earns Up to 3% Cash Back

Via Reddit, there’s a new card that earns 3% on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% on everything else.

With the Capital One® Premier Dining Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn a sign-up bonus of $100 when you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

That’s not bad for a card with no annual fee.  But it’s NOT a good card for folks just getting into the miles & points hobby!

Capital One Dining Rewards

You’ll Get the Most Cash Back When You Use Your Card for Dining. But There Are Other Cards With Even Better Returns

I’ll tell you what you need to know about this card.  And help you decide if it’s worth it for you!

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Should You Keep the Southwest Card AND This Flexible Travel Card?

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Million Mile Secrets reader, Susan, commented:

Is there a benefit to having both the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve?  Our travel plans do not include any Southwest flights for the next 18 months.

Great question, Susan!

The only major perk you’ll give up by getting rid of the Chase Southwest card is the annual Southwest points bonus you receive on your card anniversary.

The 6,000 bonus Southwest points offset the card’s annual fee, which for some folks is a reason to keep the card open.

But you’ll earn more flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points and get better bonus spending categories with the Sapphire Reserve.  And you’ll still have the option to transfer points to Southwest to book an award flight.

Should You Keep The Southwest Card AND This Flexible Travel Card

Everyone Gets 2 Free Checked Bags With Southwest.  So the Only Major Perk of Having the Southwest Card Is the Anniversary Points Bonus

I’ll explain what else you should consider if you’re thinking of cancelling the Chase Southwest card.

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What Are the Best Current Credit Card Deals?

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Million Mile Secrets reader, Bansi, emailed:

Which credit cards currently have the best deals?  We are making a few large purchases for our home.

There are several cards offering terrific sign-up bonuses, including a few best-ever offers that are only available for a limited time.

Top Travel Card Sign Up Bonuses

One of the Top Credit Card Deals Is the Best-Ever Offer for the AMEX Starwood Card!  But It’s Only Available for a Limited Time!

I’ll share top travel cards with excellent sign-up bonuses!

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Don’t Miss Out on These 5 Sign-Up Bonuses If You’re Close to the “5/24” Limit

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Million Mile Secrets reader, Myles, tweeted:

I’ve opened 4 new cards in the past 24 months.  If I get the Chase Amazon Prime card, will it count toward Chase’s “5/24” card limit and keep me from getting other Chase cards in the future?

Unless Myles gets certain small business cards, new cards from ANY bank will count toward Chase’s card limit.

Because Myles is just shy of reaching 5 new cards in the past 24 months, he’ll want to choose his next card wisely!

If you’re in a similar situation, the best choice for a 5th card depends on which cards you already have and your travel goals!

Chase Card Limit

If You’re Close to Hitting Chase’s “5/24” Card Limit, You’ll Want to Plan a Careful Strategy for Choosing Your Next Cards

I’ll share 5 excellent travel credit cards for folks nearing Chase’s card limit!

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8 Reasons Why You Should Choose the AMEX Starwood Over the Chase Marriott Card

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

If you’re looking to earn the most points for free stays at Marriott, Starwood, and Ritz-Carlton hotels, you’ll want to consider the limited time AMEX Starwood offer.  It’s the biggest bonus I’ve seen for the personal and small business cards!

Remember, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood are now one company.  But the hotel chains still have separate co-branded credit cards.  And the current sign-up bonuses for each of the hotel cards are very different!

For example, the current AMEX Starwood card sign-up bonus is a total of 35,000 Starwood points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.  This can get you 3 free nights at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Hawaii.  But the sign-up bonus with the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card would only get you 2 free nights.

AMEX Starwood Versus Chase Marriott

You’ll Get the Most Big Travel at Marriott, Starwood, or Ritz-Carlton Hotels With the Limited Time AMEX Starwood Sign-Up Bonus. It Can Get You 3 Free Nights at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Hawaii

I’ll review the current AMEX and Marriott card offers and share 8 pros of the AMEX Starwood card.

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Improved Offers for These 3 AMEX Cards!

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

If you collect AMEX Membership Rewards points or like cash back, you’ll be interested in these increased AMEX offers!

For a limited time, you’ll earn up to 25,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points when you sign-up for The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express and meet tiered minimum spending requirements.

And when you sign-up for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express or Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express by May 3, 2017, you’ll earn 10% cash back at US restaurants the first 6 months you are a cardmember, up to $200 back.  That’s on top of the sign-up bonuses you’ll receive after meeting minimum spending requirements!

Improved Offers For These 3 AMEX Cards

You’ll Earn 10% Cash Back at Restaurants the First 6 Months You’re an AMEX Blue Cash Everyday Or AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Cardmember

I’ll tell you what you need to know about these new offers, so you can decide if they are worth it for you!

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