1) Get Paid To Dine Out
Wouldn't it be great to go out to eat or have a drink without spending so much money each time? What about getting money back for each time you dine out or when your friends dine out? I recently came across the app Seated and am currently obsessed! When you sign up, you will literally earn money when you go to eat at hundreds of restaurants in your city. Simply make your reservation through the app and upload a pic of your receipt before you leave. Within a few hours, you'll see your dollars grow on average 20-40% of your bill! Use those "free" dollars for gift cards to Amazon, Uber, ClassPass, and other brands you are likely already using... and then you'll have more money in your pocket for travel! Plus, when you refer friends, you BOTH get a cash referral bonus!
Level it up: Connect your credit card to your favorite airline's dining miles program (e.g. United and American Airlines) to earn airline miles + credit card points + cash back at each meal. Basically get paid to eat and drink.
Special offer: Get $15 when you join and use Seated for the first time with code STACY118.
2) Earn Cash From Shopping
You may be familiar with Rakuten (formerly Ebates), the popular cash back shopping app that sends you a “big fat check” based on what you spend at regular online stores. But did you know if you have the mobile app you can also check in for cash back in stores!?
Level it up: check out Cashbackmonitor.com before you shop to find out the best apps to use to earn back your spending.
Get $10 when you sign up for Rakuten and spend your first $25 at almost any store!
3) Pull Out The RIGHT Credit Card To Pay
Looking to save for travel? Look for a credit card that a) has a serious sign on bonus b) offers travel-based perks like no foreign transaction fee and reimbursement for Global Entry c) gives you value for purchasing travel e.g. reimburses a % of your points when you redeem points for airfare or values points at 1.5% when you use points to book travel.
Level it up: if you’re serious about smart savings, invest in a card where the benefits outweigh the annual fee.
Our personal credit card pick: Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve - Both cards will let you redeem your points for travel at a favorable rate (25% more value with the Preferred, and 50% more with the Reserve!). The Reserve also offers you a $300 travel credit each year, access to 1,000 worldwide airport lounges, and reimbursement for Global Entry / TSA PreCheck. The hefty $550 annual fee may be steep for some, even with all these benefits, but the Preferred card. at $95 per year comes with some great benefits of its own like 2x points on travel purchases and no foreign transaction fees.
Our business credit card pick: Chase Ink Business - Get 80,000 points (over $1000 in travel) when you spend $5K in your first 3 months. It's only $95/year and also includes FREE Global Entry and TSA PreCheck so you can pass through airport security in a breeze.
Our other business credit card pick: American Express Business Platinum - Get 50,000 points when you spend $10K in your first 3 months. This card has amazing travel perks including $200 annually automatically reimbursed from purchases on your preferred airline e.g. baggage fees and on-board WiFi! Also, if you purchase airfare on your preferred airline through points, you can earn 35% of those points right back! You get access to lounges, 5x points on travel purchases through their travel portal, and much more. It's. $550/year and the benefits are always changing (for all cards), but it could be a huge money saver for you!
4) Connect Your Accounts
Go for the double whammy and connect your Lyft account with travel brands like Delta and Hilton for extra travel benefits. and savings. With Delta, earn 2 miles per $1 on airport. rides and 1 mile per $1 on other rides in the US! With the Hilton combo, earn up to 3 points per $1 on Lyft rides!
Level it up: start your Lyft ride by logging in through Rakuten (see above). You get $.25 per ride but that can add up fast!
5) Lucky Pennies
We all some kind of jar, piggy bank or pile of coins laying around the house, but the thought of rolling them (where do you even get those paper rollers?) is annoying and the idea of losing ~12% in fees for machines that trade you for cash seems like a perfect waste of money. But did you know that most Coinstar locations will trade your coins for gift cards like Amazon without taking a dime? Use the gift card from this ‘free money’ to make your purchases and save your dollars for travel!
Do you have a great money-saving tip without changing your spending habits? Comment below, we'd love to hear it!