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The Best Credit Cards Around for Every Kind of Situation

The Best Credit Cards Around for Every Kind of Situation

Traveling can be an extremely exciting time in your life but you need to make sure that you have properly prepared for your trip so that unexpected issues don’t completely derail what might have been a great vacation.

Having a credit card specifically designed for travelers can save you a great deal of money on vacations. Of course you have to look into the payment options within your country but, in general, it is a great idea to carry one or more of theses credit cards with you when you travel.

Different cards offer different benefits. Some allow you to get great deals on flights; others are better suited to those who spend money on hotels and lodging, tourism, and traveling abroad. It is important that you conduct enough research and have a basic understanding of the different benefits that are offered by each card. Determine which benefits are going to be the most useful to you, and seek out cards that provide those benefits. Some of the better credit cards that are available to travelers include;

Chase Ink Plus – Traveling Abroad

Chase Ink Plus is an excellent card for would-be travelers. Its impressive list of rewards make it an ideal choice for individuals who travel abroad.

The card offers a wide range of perks, including an initial bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points, which are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel booked through Chase. This means that the initial bonus provided by the card could be worth as much as $625.

The card also provides a good amount of flexibility in terms of payments, along with no foreign transaction fees. To determine whether or not this card would suit your needs, consider its complete list of benefits.

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British Airways Visa Signature – Flights

The British Airways Visa Signature card is another excellent choice. The card is aimed toward travelers, offering no foreign transactions fees anywhere in the world.

The card offers a 50,000 bonus once the cardholder has made $2,000 worth of purchases within their first three months with the card. The introductory annual fee is waived for the first year, and is just $95 per year after that.

Cardholders receive 2.5 Avios for every dollar spent on British Airways, and 1.25 Avios for all other purchases made with the card. Additionally, cardholders can earn a Travel Together Ticket, good for two years during any year that more than $30,000 in purchases are made.

To find out more about the benefits of this card, read our review.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premiere – Flights and Hotels

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premiere Credit Card is the perfect card for travelers who are interested in earning benefits as quickly as possible.

Every dollar spent on the Rapids Reward Vista earns 1.67% back as credit for purchases with Southwest Airlines. This means that even the basic day-to-day use of the card can earn plane tickets.

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For a limited amount of time, the company is offering 50,000 points towards two round-trip flights when cardholders spend at least $2,000 within the first three months of opening an account. Additionally, each and every year cardholders receive 6,000 points. Find out more about these deals here.

Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard – Traveling Abroad

The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is one of the premiere options for those who spend a great deal of time traveling.

Cardholders can earn as many as 40,000 bonus miles when they spend $3,000 or more during the first ninety days of holding an account. This alone could save them as much as $400 off their next trip.

This card earns 2X miles on all purchases, with no mileage caps or foreign transaction fees, which makes this the ideal card for traveling abroad.

Users are also able to redeem their miles for statement credits, which can then be applied to a wide range of services including flights, rentals, lodging, and even cruises.

The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is an excellent choice for those that do a lot of traveling. It offers a high reward rate, though it does require an annual fee be paid – $89 -, but that amount is waived for the first year. Learn more about this option on Impossible Travel.

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Starwood American Express – Hotels

The Starwood American Express card is certainly an excellent choice for travelers.

Cardholders can use this card towards not only purchases from Starwood but also flights from a number of airline partnerships including American Airlines, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic, among others.

The Starwood American Express is particularly suitable for those with luxurious lifestyles who make large purchases. The base rate of rewards for the card provides one Starpoint for every dollar spent. That may not seem like much compared to others cards, but the overall value of each point sits at about 2.3 cents, which can save you a great deal of money in the long run.

Cardholders are provided with 10,000 bonus points after their first purchase, and an additional 15,000 if they are able to spend $5,000 during the first six months that they hold card membership. Cardholders also earn up to five Starpoints for every dollar spent at SPG hotels.

The Starwood American Express has quickly become a very popular card for travelers due to its wide range of different hotel-related bonuses. Find out more here.

Ink Bold Business Charge Card – Interest

The Ink Bold Business Charge card is an excellent business charge card.

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This card comes with excellent sign up bonuses, no foreign transaction fees, and a $95 annual fee. Cardholders earn over 50,000 bonus points if they spend over $5,000 in their first three months.

The card is excellent for interest, providing no interest charges when the balance is paid off in full each month. The Ink Bold Business Charge Card is therefore an excellent choice for those looking to severely limit their interest payments.

Finding the right card can be a difficult task. There are many different cards with a wide range of benefits, many of which are suitable for those who do a good amount of traveling. It is important that you examine the benefits of any card before making a final decision, so that you can ensure that you receive the benefits that you have been looking for.

Photo credit: Kaiyan

 

Featured photo credit: Kaiyan via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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