Marriott Hotel Rewards Program – Make Your Stays Worth More – A Review

In addition to credit cards that offer hotel rewards, there are a number of hotel chains that offer their own reward programs.

One of them that offers the flexibility to earn either hotel points or air mile points is Marriott Rewards.

Marriott Rewards are accrued at 10 points per dollar spent (or 2 air mile points per dollar) at Marriott and JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, Edition, Autograph Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, and Marriott Vacation Club International.  Other hotels that earn 5 points per dollar spent or 1 air mile point include Residence Inn, and TownePlace Suites, among others.  Qualifying hotels are found in 68 countries.

Signing up for Marriott Rewards is quite simple; you are required to give basic information such as your name, address, and e-mail address.  When you sign up, you can choose if you would like to accrue your points to earn free hotel stays or as air mile rewards.Continue Reading

Choice Privileges Hotel Reward Program – A Review

We are all familiar with travel rewards credit cards, but there are also reward programs offered by hotels themselves. If you are going to have to stay in a hotel, why not earn rewards for doing so?  Recently I joined Choice Privileges.

Where Points Are Earned

Choice Privileges rewards are accrued at 10 points per dollar spent at Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Ascend Collection and Cambria Suites hotel.  Choice Privileges are accrued at 5 points per dollar spent at MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn hotels.

Qualifying hotels are found in the U.S. including Hawaii, Canada, Caribbean/Mexico, Central/South America, Europe, Asia & Pacific.

Signing up for Choice Privileges can be done in less than five minutes.  You are required to give basic information such as your name, address, and e-mail address.  You can optionally give more information such as your birthday, phone number and credit card information.
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Is It Worthwhile To Move To Save Costs?

Are you trying to cut costs?  Did you have a sudden drop in income?  Are you a college student trying to avoid student loans?

One of the most common suggestions personal finance authors make is to move to a cheaper location to save costs, but does it really save that muchHow long do you have to be in the new location to reap the rewards of moving?

My husband and I currently live in a spacious, 1,000 sq. foot, two bedroom apartment.  We live in an urban area and find our $1,000 a month rent competitive with the area.  We have not had a rent increase in two years, and most two bedroom apartments cost more than ours does.  I will use our current situation as the example for the purpose of this exercise.
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Make Credit Cards Work For You By Earning Rewards

Credit cards have had a bad rap in the press lately; some credit cards have increased their annual percentage rates and some have increased their fees.  Most have made at least a few changes to the way they do business thanks to last year’s CARD Act.  However, if consumers are responsible with what they charge on their credit cards and are disciplined to pay off their balances each month, there are many benefits to using a credit card.
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Send Credit Card Companies A Message By Using Cash Only

Using cash instead of credit cards

A few years ago, it was a credit card user’s world. As long as you paid on time and didn’t go over your limit, you could have your choice of credit cards and interest rates.  However, with the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) that went into effect last year, meant to crack down on credit card companies, consumers are finding that they are paying higher interest rates.  In addition, it can be harder to negotiate a lower interest rate.

I had a credit card for over 15 years that routinely offered an interest rate below 10%.  Now, the interest rate is 15.99%.  When I called to have it lowered, they would not negotiate with me as they had in the past.  When I threatened to take my business elsewhere, they were unfazed.  “Sorry,” I was told, “there is nothing we can do at this point.”
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Freeze Your Credit To Protect Your Identity

Two years ago, my online identity was compromised; I have an eBay account, and someone hacked into it and bought $1,000 worth of electronics.  Luckily I caught the theft the very next day, and eBay was wonderful and took care of the charges.  However, that spooked me and my husband, so we decided to take the radical step of freezing our credit to protect our identity, in part because we plan to buy a home in the next few years and do not want anything to compromise our credit score.

Benefits of Freezing Your Credit

When you use a security freeze, you essentially lock down your credit.  If your information is stolen and thieves try to open up an account, they will be thwarted.  Ultimately, this is the best way to protect your identity.  Credit monitoring may help you recognize theft has occurred, but a freeze keeps the theft from ever occurring.
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