I’ve recently been tracking my online earnings on this site, and if you’ve noticed, one of my top earnings sources is Swagbucks. When I started this site, my first post detailed how to earn and redeem Swagbucks. I’ve continued using Swagbucks since then, and I’m now up to nearly $1,600 in lifetime earnings.
You can read the review above or check out this e-Book to learn more about the part about earning Swagbucks. The earning process is only one part of achieving success with Swagbucks.
The digital currency, made up of points known as SBs, can really pay off with some great redemption options. Here are five of the best options when it comes time to redeem Swagbucks.
5. Charitable Organizations
When you’re ready to redeem Swagbucks, you can put your SBs toward a few charitable organizations. It’s possible to donate 5 SBs (essentially $0.05) to great works like Doctors Without Borders or the Wounded Warrior Project.
There are other options for charitable contributions. Additionally, you can save up 2,500 SBs and get a $25 e-gift card that you can designate to one of about 150 charities.
4. Department Stores
Some of the leading retailers in America, like Kohl’s and Macy’s offer e-gift cards through Swagbucks. You can redeem Swagbucks for these gift cards that range from $10 all the way up to $250.
If you’re looking to earn a bit to offset the expense of Christmas and birthday gifts, Swagbucks can really help you out. These gift cards from leading retailers are just like cash, and you can earn them in your spare time.
If you like to travel without spending money, Swagbucks can help you out. You can redeem Swagbucks for e-gift cards on airlines like Southwest and Delta (currently offered at this writing, although American Airlines has also been featured as a reward option on the site).
2,200 SBs will get you a $25 e-gift card that can offset your expenses on a flight. Wait until you get up to 25,000, and you’ll be able to get a $250 gift card.
I’ve seen flights from Denver to LAX on Southwest for as little as $40 one-way during one of their famous fare sales. Throw in a few Hotels.com gift cards, and your trip to Disneyland could be quite a bit cheaper than you’d expect.
Need I say more? AMAZON. You can literally get just about anything you want on this website. Auto parts? Check. Clothing? Check. Collectibles? Check. What started out as an online bookstore is now so much more.
When I first started earning on Swagbucks, I usually cashed out for $5 Amazon e-gift cards. These are still available, as well as higher denominations, and they can really help you out on Christmas presents. However, they’re not my favorite redemption for my hard-earned SBs.
1. I Redeem Swagbucks For PayPal Cash
My favorite redemption option now is straight up cash. I have to take a couple of steps to convert my SBs to money in my checking account and then to my investment accounts, but it’s worth it.
I use my Swagbucks as soon as I can redeem for $25 in PayPal cash. This then ultimately ends up buying dividend stocks. Hopefully, these dividends will go to buy more dividend stocks, so the money I earn with Swagbucks today will hopefully contribute to my income stream for the rest of my life (and possibly the lives of my kids and grandkids in the future).
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. I obviously appreciate any support you choose to give. You can just go to Swagbucks and earn as much, but I appreciate if you decide to click on my link.
2016 is about to pass into the record books, and 2017 is about to commence. One of the major strategies I’ve been thinking about as I get ready to embark upon the new year is what the best travel credit cards that might help me achieve my goals in the near future would be. I’m already planning what cards I might like to apply for to maximize my travel benefits over the next few years. Here are 5 cards that I’m seriously considering having myself or my wifedoodle apply for in 2017.
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
When Chase first announced its new Sapphire Reserve card in mid-2016, I must admit that it piqued my interest. 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points made up what I’ve been referring to as the “Mother of All Credit Card Bonuses” and puts the Reserve at the top of my list of travel credit cards for 2017. Unfortunately, I ran afoul of the infamous 5/24 rule with Chase and was denied getting the Sapphire Reserve in a fail of epic proportions.
Fortunately, the wife got the card, and we set up a European itinerary of epic proportions. While I’d like to start on the bonus ASAP, I’m waiting until around February to try my luck with another application so that I can maximize the travel reimbursement to offset the hefty $450 annual fee that comes with the card. I’ve already gotten this card as of 1/4. I learned that the 100,000 bonus was getting slashed in half on 1/11, so I risked the hard pull and got approved.
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred
I already have this card, so you might wonder why I’d want another. It’s not for me. My hope is to cancel my card when I (hopefully) get its more impressive brother, the Reserve. However, the 50,000 Ultimate Reward point signup bonus is nothing to sneeze at. For this reason, I’ll have the wife attempt to cash in on this card around the time that her Reserve card is up for a renewal of the annual fee. That way, we’ll earn more than 150,000 Ultimate Rewards points this year from the signup bonuses and minimum spends.
Keep in mind that this is all subject to approval in relation to the infamous 5/24 rule. While the two Sapphire cards might not seem like the best credit card for travel miles, the ability to transfer them to airlines like United, Southwest, British, and Air France/KLM, among others, make them a great flexible option. They’re also two of the best credit cards for travel because they don’t carry any foreign transaction costs.
If you’d like to help support this site while signing up for a credit card, you can apply for the Sapphire Preferred with the 50,000 bonus after spending $4,000 in three months. This card has a $95 annual fee, and Chase waives it for the first year if you’re worried about having to pay out the $450 that the Sapphire Reserve requires.
This is the best offer that’s currently available publicly, but I’ll also earn 10,000 points for the first five approved referrals if you apply through the link above. You can go straight to Chase to get the same benefits, but I definitely appreciate any support you might choose to give.
3. CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card
Another of the travel credit cards I want to get this year is the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Card. This card currently has a nice 50,000 mile bonus in return for spending $3,000 over three months. These miles are limited to the American Airlines AAdvantage program, and I’m looking to top these off as we go into 2018 as I have another family vacation that I’m hoping to take to Europe and perhaps a bit beyond. Both the wife and I have recently had the personal version, so this is likely the only chance we’ll have to score a bonus in the near future because of tighter restrictions with Citi approvals (although there is also the new 40,000 bonus from Barclaycard and the AAdvantage Aviator Red card). H/T to Million Mile Secrets for this last little bit of info.
4. Starwood Preferred Guest (Personal Version)
I’ve already earned the bonus for this card, which was 35,000 StarPoints when I first picked it up. I transferred all of my points to American Airlines when there was a 20 percent bonus promotion going on, and it went along with 10,000 bonus miles because of the 5,000 bonus for every 20,000 transferred. Now, I’ll have to let my wife apply for this one. The reason? You can transfer all of the points from the bonus, currently at 25,000, to Marriott, which is my favorite hotel chain. They’ll transfer at a 1:3 rate, which means that the bonus plus the automatic spending would be worth at least 84,000 Marriott Rewards points.
Pair Starwood With Marriott
I’ve never done this before, but I’m thinking of attempting to get one of the vacation package deals with Marriott that give a week at a nice resort (hopefully in some tropical location in Hawaii, Mexico, or the Caribbean) and some frequent flyer miles to get there in addition to the hotel stay. I would recommend going directly through the Starwood site to get this card. I could refer you, but I think that the flexibility of the points is better than the two nights you’d get from my referral, so I won’t even give it. If you’d like to build up some Marriott points, however, feel free to check out my link to that deal by clicking on the Twitter link like the example above. Again, I appreciate any support that you decide to give the site.
Also, if you’re not yet a member of the Marriott Rewards program, you can get 2,000 bonus points for each of your first five stays for a possible total of 10,000 bonus points by letting me refer you to the program. You should let me know you want referred in the comments of this blog (you have to give your email address to post a comment), and I’ll send the email.
Then you can also apply for the Marriott Rewards Premier card. You’ll get 80,000 points, which is the current standard offer, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll get 20,000 points for the referral. Again, I appreciate any support you feel free to give me. I would also point out that there is the possibility for 5 points on the first $30,000 of spend in the first year with another link, but the 80,000 points for $3,000 in 90 days is easier to attain and you could earn even more signup bonuses from other programs during the same year.
You could use your points for a room like this one that I enjoyed at the Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino.
5. American Express Gold Card (Personal Version)
The last of the travel credit cards I’m looking at is the American Express Gold. This card does not come with a massively huge signup bonus at this time. It’s only 25,000 Membership Rewards points, but Amex waives the annual fee of $195 for the first year and the minimum spending level is $2,000 in three months to earn the bonus. This will pair quite nicely with my recent acquisition of my first business card, the Amex Blue for Business.
I’ve avoided Delta after having been pretty much locked into them because of geography for about three years in the fairly recent past. I also ignored them because of their reputation of having a loyalty currency derisively known as SkyPesos by those in the travel rewards community. However, I recently did a few searches and found quite a bit of low-level availability to Europe…in the summer even. This made me rethink the value of Membership Rewards, and since neither I, nor my wife, has had many Amex cards, I decided it might be time to start collecting them.
These are only five of the travel credit cards that I’m considering this year. There are others the I might get depending on what comes down the pipe. Perhaps Amex will offer another 70,000 bonus on the Delta cards, or the Alaska Airways cards will increase their bonuses to 50,000.
Maybe a card issuer will come out with a card that no one yet knows about that will have a bonus that even eclipses than the “Mother of All Credit Card Bonuses” of the Sapphire reserve. My goal is always to find the best credit card for travel miles at any given time. These five applications are not set in stone, but they are definitely on the radar. What cards might you want to get this year to help fund your travel goals? Be sure to let us know in the comments
Disclaimer: You can go into serious debt with travel credit cards. I recommend only using them if you can pay them off in full on a monthly basis. Otherwise, the interest charges eat up the travel or cashback rewards. Apply at your own risk.
Earlier this year, I wrote about getting rejected for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and its bonus that I’ve since started calling the “Mother of All Credit Card Bonuses” because of having too many recent accounts opened in my name. Luckily, however, my wife was able to get this card because she had not run afoul of the infamous 5/24 rule that Chase has instituted.
The big downer for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, however, is the massive $450 annual fee. This would cause many people to take pause. If you time your application and travel purchases right, you can also do much to alleviate this annual fee. You can actually get a $300 credit for travel each calendar year (defined by the statement end date). This means that you could possibly actually earn $150 in free travel for the first year you have the card, in addition to the huge sign-up bonus. I was running down to the wire, but as the article linked above regarding booking our tour of Europe noted, I still had to book a flight from Prague to Lisbon.
How I Offset The Chase Sapphire Reserve Annual Fee
I searched on Expedia.com for flights and the date that I wanted because the aggregator shows just about any flight that you can take on any airline. For a bit, the best price on this trip was a $127 direct flight on TAM Airlines, a Portuguese carrier. Just a couple of weeks ago I ran the search again, and a $95.50 flight on Czech Airlines came up. I snagged it and dutifully used both my wife’s and my Delta Skymiles frequent flyer numbers in the process. I’m not a huge Delta loyalist, but I try to get every single mile or point
I can and I figure that I’ll be flying Delta at some point in the future for one of the trips that I have planned after 2017. It took awhile for the charge to go through, but when it did, it automatically refunded. Furthermore, while doing a bit of traveling to visit family for Christmas, I had to stop at a hotel. Thanks to the remainder of the $300 credit, I paid a whopping $6 for the night, all while earning some Marriott Rewards points in the process. Here’s a graph that shows we completed the credit for 2016.
I’ll have to stop at a hotel on the way back. Marriott will be the chain of choice, because one more stay before January 15 will result in the regular points for the stay, a credit for the night since the $300 calendar year rebate clock will start over again, and 5,000 bonus points that are a part of Marriott’s Fall MegaBonus. That’s what I call stacking rewards that are beneficial to my both my bank account and my rewards account. How have you been able stack rewards like this? Let me know in the comments.