Originally Posted by Painthappy
Credit cards with cash back. I have the capital one card: Cash Rewards for Newcomers | Details
I pay a yearly fee, but it pays for itself. I get 2% cash back to go towards any travel related expenses (1% to whatever else). So the 2% pays for my hotels, rental cars, flights.
Works out real well for me. I use my card for general purchases, pay it off every month (this is key folks... keep track of your purchases and cash, and don't go negative). And I get my hotel rooms for free when I go to EMR.
Just checked my rewards balance, and I have $209 to go towards travel or hotel right now. I think they only charge me $35 to have that ability. Yeah, it pays for itself.
Again, the true key to making this work is to let the credit card work FOR you, not against you. You can't make flippant purchases. Have an allowance, and never spend more than what you have put aside to pay off the card.
There's a new fee free cash rewards card with 1% cash back on all purchases and a 50% anniversary bonus, so you net 1.5% over 12 months. If you aren't spending enough on travel to bring your average to 1.5% it could be worth it for you to switch, plus you save on your AMF.