How to Earn a Free Family Vacation From Shopping!

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We’ve all signed up for rewards credit cards to earn travel rewards and miles with our favorite airlines, but do you know the limitations and clearly understand all the fine print? Most programs have purchasing limits, blackout retailers, and other details that prevent us from earning the travel rewards we all hoped for. It’s never as easy as it seems, and we usually end up frustrated and losing reward points and miles that expire!
Matthew Goldman, CEO and co-founder of Wallaby, says with a few easy tips and online services, shoppers can actually earn a free vacation in just a few months by making the right credit card choices.
You must read this Q & A Matthew Goldman to learn some valuable tips to end the frustrations and earn a free family vacation!
-In addition to the Wallaby Card, do you have any other tips for ways travelers can maximize rewards when using credit cards?
Be diligent in using the card and paying the balance, so you can earn the most rewards with minimal expense. Pay attention to limited-time offers where you can earn two or three times points. Certain purchases such as gas or hotel stays often earn extra rewards.
Don’t spread spending across too many rewards cards, concentrate on the type of rewards that matter most to you. If you are a big spender, then be sure you read the fine print to see if reward points will be capped at too low of a level.
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-What are common mistakes people make when using their credit card for travel?
Some people don’t understand their benefits rules, so they blindly swipe their card without considering if another card is better for travel rewards. For individuals traveling internationally, it’s important to understand which cards might have international charge fees (which can approach three percent). Some travelers allow their miles to expire because they don’t keep their frequent flyer account active. Using the card for even a pack of gum is often enough to reset it. Letting miles expire defeats all of your planning and work. Understand the fine print. For example, if a card offers three percent cash back on gas, it might only provide rewards up to a certain amount. Once that cap is reached, it makes sense to move that spending to a different rewards card.
-Any other travel/credit card reward related tips you have are welcome!
Picking the right rewards card is difficult. You have to think about what you want to earn, whether it is cash back, miles, or hotel stays. Promotions run all the time, and keeping track of the optimal card for any given transaction is not easy. Tools such as Wallaby are available which can help consumers to organize their cards and earn maximum rewards. The average traveler has nearly four credit cards. It pays to eliminate unused cards and do research into the best rewards options. Always sign-up for loyalty programs and earn points on your stays or airline trips. Sign up the kids, too! They can have accounts and you can earn points towards future trips. Pay attention to benefits credit cards can provide towards stay levels for free services. For example, a hotel card might get you halfway to “silver” and Silver guests might receive free breakfast. Savings can add up fast.
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Take Back the Kitchen with Alma Schneider

I dare say I outdid myself when the challenge arose to bring an Asian dish to a Chinese New year’s Party.
I wanted to make Peanut Butter Bars but I needed to make them Asian-y somehow.
Peanuts? Hmmm.
Coconut oil, chili pepper and lime zest!
Crazy Amazing Thai Peanut Butter Dessert Bars with Chocolate Lime Frosting:
First layer:
2 sticks of butter , melted
1 1/2 packages of graham crackers, crushed in a food processor-about 2 cups when crushed
1 1/4 cups smooth, creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
For topping:
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 TBS coconut oil
1/8-1/4 tsp ground chili pepper, depending on your tolerance for heat
zest of 2 limes, more if you like lime flavor but make sure you put the freshly zested lime on top RIGHT before you serve them
Combine all of the first layer ingredients in a big bowl until fully combined.
Press into a 9″X 13″ pan and set aside
In a double boiler or a stainless steel bowl over boiling water, melt 2 cups chocolate chips with the coconut oil and the chili pepper. Stir until all is melted and combined
With a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture onto the peanut bars
Sprinkle the lime zest over the chocolate layer and refrigerate until chocolate is hard (I actually stuck mine in the freezer for about 20 minutes since I was in a hurry to get to the party).
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.