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You may be overpaying credit card annual fees as travel continues to remain low

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In the miles and points world, we often recommend readers about the best tips and tricks to maximize and improve their travel experiences. Readers love signing up for the best credit card offers. They help jump start travel plans by providing a large chunk of miles in the form of sign-up bonuses. However, hefty annual fees also accompany many of these tempting credit card offers.

Credit Card Annual Fees

Credit card annual fees often receive a lot of attention. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card generated a huge amount of buzz when it initially launched with a 100,000 points offer. We’ve seen steady increases in annual fees for card like the American Express Platinum Card, The American Express Gold Card as well as the business version of the Platinum Card.

While these increases in annual fees have come in along with an addition of benefits, are these cards still really worth it? How should we really be viewing annual fees?

An annual fee is an amount that gets charged once each year on your credit card statement. Think about this like a membership fee for a sports club or any professional association. Irrespective of how many benefits you derive your membership, you still have to pay that fee.

Most issuers charge the annual fee on the very first statement that closes after you sign up for the card.

Justifying the Annual Fee

Credit card reviews often talk about the benefits and how you can maximize the annual fee that you’re paying. This is largely true. However, many people make the mistake about thinking that benefits actually discount your annual fee. They don’t. These are essentially rebate programs.

For example, you pay the $250 annual fee on the American Express Gold Card. You use the $100 airline fee credit and the monthly dining credit totaling to $120 ($10 x 12). What this means is that you’ve redeemed $220 out of the $250 you spent on the annual fee.

Effective Annual Fees

Net annual fee or effective annual fee is a commonly used term to talk about how these rebate programs help reduce your travel costs. I think this term is both useful as well as misleading. Let me explain.

It’s correct to use this term in a scenario where I’m not drastically changing my behavior as a customer. Continuing with the example about the American Express Gold Card, the annual fee is justified if I’m using the airline fee credit benefit for an airline that I’d fly even if I didn’t have the card. Also, the dining credit would only be justified if I were already eating at the restaurants before I had the card. Card issuers make a lot of money via co-brand partnerships. These credits or rebates are designed to influence your behavior and make you switch from brand A to brand B.

It’s incorrect to use the term in a scenario where I’m going out of the way to earn back the money I’ve paid out in annual fees. For example, when I was residing outside the US, I found no sense to hold the American Express Platinum card as the airline fee credit benefit was worthless for non-US airlines.

The Pundit’s Mantra

Attain your travel goal by picking the correct card

Many issuers have made modifications to their products and offered temporary benefits in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on travel. However, does it still make sense to hold on to premium credit cards that charge hefty annual fees over $500, especially with no signs of normalcy returning to the world of travel any time soon?

All said and done, annual fees are an amount you owe to the bank no matter what. I always recommend aligning your travel goals smartly with the credit card that you want to sign up for.

It’s always prudent to look at the annual fee as an actual expense and then map out how the benefits stack up in comparison to the annual fee. No matter how the benefits, but if they’re making you go out of your way to change your consumer behavior drastically, then they may not be worth the effort.

What do you think about paying hefty annual fees and how they change your behavior or make you switch brands? Do you think they’re really worth it? Have you downgraded or canceled a premium credit card in the last 6 months? Tell us in the comments section.

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The Points Pundit loves these newly relaunched Chase credit cards!

Firstly, they offer you a 0% APR for the first 15 months.

Secondly, they have no annual fee and have a lucrative welcome bonus of $200 or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $500 in the first 3 months.

Moreover, you can earn an additional 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points by simply using your card for spend in bonus categories!

They’re packed with brand new benefits and bonus points categories.

Overall, a great option to carry in your wallet for everyday spend!

Apply Now

(Chase’s 5/24 rule may apply to these cards)

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Disclosure: The Points Pundit receives NO compensation from credit card affiliate partnerships. Support the blog by applying for a card through my personal referral links. This article is meant for information purposes only and doesn’t constitute personal finance, health or investment advice. Please consult a licensed professional for advice pertaining to your situation.

By: The Points Pundit
Title: You may be overpaying credit card annual fees as travel continues to remain low
Sourced From: travelupdate.com/credit-card-annual-fees-reduce-refund/
Published Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2020 12:30:06 +0000

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Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday

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Days spent on hiking is beneficial to every individual involved. It boosts up metabolism, burns out calories, releases oxytocin, and strengthens the muscles while keeping our bodily functions alert sharpening our senses. Hiking is a delightful way to explore places with our loved ones, friends, and relatives, so if you know a hiker inside your closest circle, giving them quality presents that can be used for hiking can enhance their experiences.

Black Friday Outdoor Equipment Deals

Hiking and wilderness exploration can be an excellent dynamic activity open to everyone. For some of us, a common detriment that we encounter is the amount of gear and equipment to prepare and bring for each of our adventures. These things should ensure our safety and convenience while being able to function proportionate to our needs.

Every seasoned backpacker or trekking enthusiast may indulge in quality tools and equipment that can assist them with their undertakings. If you know a passionate hiker you can read this review of the north face jester backpack in case you are wondering what to give them as a gift this coming holiday. Remember that the gear you want to present to them is manufactured with rugged materials built to withstand the strains and difficulties of natural terrain and different atmospheric conditions.

Black Friday is one of our most awaited shopping days of the year since it gives us the opportunity to land affordable deals with items of interest. Several companies have already launched many discounts and sales three weeks early before the actual event happens. More enterprises and products are expected to follow this trend until the ultimate showcase of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

If you want to purchase gifts in the form of outdoor gear and equipment, some of them are already accessible for early acquisition. But it is recommended to wait for Black Friday to avail them at their most discounted price. Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a shopping experience you do not want to miss when choosing and buying the best equipment for your next hiking activity.

Top Black Friday Gifts for the Hiking Enthusiast

Every outdoor specialist or hiking enthusiast knows the value that every tool on their arsenal can bring them while on the trail. They know that the quality of each item is proportionate to the function with their primary purpose. Modern-day equipment is built with robust materials that perform in conjunction with each personal need during any hiking adventure.

Hiking Jacket

Any person that wants to go on a hike should be prepared with every possibility. Rain, snow, hail, sleet, are probabilities that come naturally with adverse atmospheric conditions. Having a reliable hiking jacket layered with quality waterproof and tear-resistant fabrics keeps you dry while regulating your sweat output and body temperature.

Hydration Flask

Modern fluid flasks come in various forms such as the camel bak that lets you sip water or the rugged hydro flask manufactured with industrial metals. One of the difficulties caused by strenuous activities such as mountain climbing, jogging, hiking, or PT is the onset of dehydration. Outdoor items such as flasks and hydrating-equipment are designed to accompany every adventurer while providing them enough fluids during their journey.

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are built with nylon, advanced composites, and durable yet lightweight fabrics. These shoes are designed to be waterproof while having a slip-resistant base that helps you grasp even the slimiest surfaces. They are also incorporated with enough padding and fits well with the contours of your feet that aids in preventing physical damages and discomfort while hiking or navigating rough terrain.

Campground Tents

In case your hiking ends up in a two or more day ordeal, having a convenient camping tent may provide you immediate shelter and a forward outpost. Camping tents are now capable of fitting in 8 people all at once built with reliable and flexible all-weather fabrics supported by modular poles for quick builds. These tents can be easily folded and stored in a carrying bag for travel convenience.

Conclusion

Hiking is an enjoyable activity that everyone can benefit from. It is great for exploring natural areas of the earth while providing enough exercise to burn out calories and excess fat stored while sitting in the office. If you know an outdoor enthusiast, then Black Friday can be a great opportunity to gather items valuable to their next adventure.

The post Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Shahbaz Ahmed
Title: Gift Ideas to Buy for Hiking Fans on Black Friday
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/iLTbl2wK9RE/gift-ideas-to-buy-for-hiking-fans-on-black-friday.html
Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 13:44:00 +0000

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6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip

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Fishing is a favorite pastime of many. Unfortunately, due to the current lockdown restrictions imposed upon us by our governments, we are unable to go fishing for the foreseeable future. With that said, however, we can still prepare for our next fishing trip, whenever that may be. Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies the world over, and for a good reason, for it is both relaxing and exhilarating [as any fisherman will attest to].

Now, whether you are a new fisherman or an experienced one, it is important that you prepare and have your kit full of equipment and essentials ready for when you can go fishing again.

This page will tell you what essentials you need to get ready for a fishing trip, for arriving at the lake and realizing that you have left some important equipment behind can be soul-destroying, or at the very least, can ruin the day.

Here are six must-have essentials to prepare for your fishing trip:

Gloves

Bringing gloves along with you fishing is very important and not only for keeping your hands warm. Many are completely unaware that diseases like Weil’s Disease may lurk just below the water’s surface, and a tiny cut can allow it in.

Additionally, it is very easy when unhooking a fish to get the hook stuck in your skin, which then opens you up for infection. By investing in a pair of the best gloves for fishing that you can find [providing they are anti-hook gloves], you will prevent illness, disease, infection and ensure that you stay warm through long winter’s days on the water. Never neglect the importance of a pair of gloves when you are fishing, for they can make the difference massively.

Keepnet

Many fisheries do not allow for keepnets on their waters, so it is always good to research beforehand if they will be allowed on the one you are going to. Keepnets are large nets that can be left in the water, and they allow you to store your fish alive in them. Not every fisherman kills his fish, and many do catch and release. Even if you are a catch and release fisherman, you can still make use of a keepnet, for it will allow you to store the fish for photographs afterward. And, for fishermen who eat their catches, it allows you to keep them alive and fresh before killing them.

Unhooking Mat

Most fisheries throughout the world demand some form of unhooking mat or another. If you are fishing on private land, it is always good practice to bring one. An unhooking mat is a padded mat that you put the fish on to, as the name suggests, unhook it. Unhooking mats prevent the fish from becoming covered in mud and potentially hurting itself. Unhooking mats are a very humane way to unhook a fish, and it is always good to treat the fish respectfully by using these.

Barbless Hooks

Look, this is a bit of a point of contention. Some fishermen will swear by barbed hooks, others won’t. For the sake of being kind to animals, opt for barbless hooks. Barbed hooks can tear away at a fish’s cheek and can cause serious harm to them. When you are fishing, always have a pack of barbless hooks in your rucksack. While there is more of a chance that the fish may get away, to us, that makes it more exciting. For much larger fish like sturgeon and pike, admittedly, you may have to use barbed hooks, but avoid it if you can.

6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip

Non-Conventional Bait

When going fishing, it’s fun to get creative. Rather than splurging on tackles and lures, why not invest in some non-conventional bait. Many carp, barbel, and trout fishermen swear by using Spam and sweetcorn, as well as bread, prawns, and capers. Getting creative with your bait can be a lot of fun, and it can save you a lot of money. While preparing, raid your cupboards for tinned snacks and load up your equipment bag. Non-conventional bait can be very exciting, and even if you just end up pulling out Breams and Chubs, you will still have a good day.

Bivvy

For long, rainy sessions, a bivvy is essential. We’ve all seen the so-called ‘experienced’ fishermen using these, so why not you? They provide shelter while fishing and ensure you can stay dry, warm, and even brew a pot of tea if you should want to.

With the help of this page, you now know six essential pieces of equipment to bring with you on your next fishing trip. Fishing is a great hobby that is a lot of fun, and one that many, unfortunately, cannot do at the moment. But with time, all things pass. Before you know it, you will be back out on the water.

The post 6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: 6 Must-Have Essentials to Get Ready for a Fishing Trip
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/JcEbWUpReOg/6-must-have-essentials-to-get-ready-for-a-fishing-trip.html
Published Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2020 03:13:22 +0000

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4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle

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Known as one of the most stunningly beautiful and stylish cities in America, Seattle is also the perfect destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Revelling in the boundless nature based activities with your sweetheart or touring the art scene around the city are wonderful ways to spend a romantic day.

Romance is sure to bloom if you and your sweetheart are enthusiasts of natural beauty. Seattle has everything from statuesque mountains, rugged shorelines and wandering forests to explore. You can sail out from Emerald Landing and explore Puget Sound searching for a pod of whales and enjoy a life changing experience together.

Seattle also has a variety of fun and sophisticated indoor activities for couples to enjoy. From first class dining on local cuisine to thrilling entertainment and art installations, there are plenty of places to take a romantic stroll with your partner. Let’s take a look at a few of the ultimate romantic destinations that truly makes Seattle a paradise for lovers.

The Most Romantic Things To Do In Seattle

Bainbridge Island Ferry

After a short cruise where you and your sweetheart can enjoy unparalleled views of the Seattle skyline you will arrive at the beautiful and charming island of Bainbridge. A visit to the island is like taking two steps back in time. Bainbridge island’s quaint downtown area is filled with shops and restaurants to keep you busy all day. On your ferry ride back to the city you can enjoy a romantic sunset view as the light slips away over Mount Rainier.

Gas Works Park

Nestled at the northern end of Lake Union sits one of the most unique parks in Seattle. This one-time industrial area was converted in 1975 to a family-friendly recreational area that has something for everyone. Enjoy a sun-filled day by the water, walk along the promenade, and enjoy a romantic picnic at the top of the park hill that gives one of the best views in Seattle. Gas Works Park is host to many festivals and celebrations throughout the year and visitors can enjoy outdoor entertainment and catering at a few parkside restaurants and cafes.

Paramount Theatre

Allow you and your partner to be transported back into the last century with a trip to the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. This historical entertainment venue has been expertly restored to reflect the style and opulence of the 19th century. Enjoy big name concert entertainment or settle in for a worldwide sensational stage play like Hamilton which debuts in 2020. Sweep your sweetheart out for a night at the theatre and then enjoy one of the area’s many excellent restaurants after the show.

Golden Gardens

This popular park located along the shores of Puget Sound has something to keep romance seekers busy all day. You can ride bikes along the boardwalk, lay out the perfect romantic picnic lunch, visit the exoctic array of gardens through the area and enjoy the stunning views of the shoreline. Settle on the beach for the day and watch the kayakers and volleyballers or enjoy some fishing from the dock.

Whether you enjoy indoor or outdoor activities, Seattle has much to offer couples that are looking for a romantic getaway. You can explore an unlimited amount of nature activities or spend your day together enjoying the sophisticated Seattle art scene. Whatever your taste, Seattle is a great place to fall in love all over again.

The post 4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.


By: Marina Villatoro
Title: 4 Romantic Things To Do In Seattle
Sourced From: feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheTravelExperta/~3/fgDpys-FlWA/4-romantic-things-to-do-in-seattle.html
Published Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2020 00:25:03 +0000

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