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Best Travel Credit Card… For What?

Carrie makes fun of me because people often ask me, “what’s the best [fill in the blank]?”, and I give them an answer like, “whatever works for you”. My thing is that it often depends, but Carrie tells me “people are just asking your advice”.

So I want to be better at being helpful, and yet I still feel it depends. This is my compromise… I call it “For What?”

“What is the best [fill in the blank] for what?” I answer. If people like this, I could say “for what?” about best programs, redemptions, etc… But I won’t get ahead of myself.

“What’s the best credit card?” you ask. Well, the best credit card for what?

I’ll start from the beginning of possible questions.

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Egypt, Land of the Most “Free Hotels” (and Cheapest)

Get 9 nights here from 1 card

This is not a joke, Egypt has the cheapest hotels I’ve seen. And partly because of that, there are ample opportunities to get free hotels.

$29 for the Sheraton in Luxor (one of the oldest cities on earth). $50 for the Marriotts, Hiltons, and Radisson in Sharm El Sheikh. It’s begging me to come BRG these hotels. Plus, many hotels in the country are category 1 awards for many brands. Begging me to burn my points.

I’m eager to talk about all kinds of strategies for getting free hotels.

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Touring Ex-Yugoslavia (July Travels)

Kotor MontenegroI’m pretty excited about the Balkans right now and the ex-Yugoslavia countries, so much so that I decided to split the July post into two, July Expenses, and this one, July Travels.

Seriously, I love the Balkans, and I love love love Bosnia and Herzegovina. Right now I’m thinking about how I can possibly convince my friends to do a road trip and camping trip next July across Bosnia, Montenegro, and Albania.

July was mostly in ex-Yugoslavia, which is the part I’ll focus on entirely (I’ve been to Budapest many times before and written about it already). Apart from Croatia’s coast and parts of Montenegro’s coast, it has very few tourists (relative to the western and central Europe). Truly a lesser known gem of Europe.

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July Expenses

July started where June ended (duh), in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I can not say enough good about it. So I decided to break the travel & expenses into two different posts. I’ll go into the details about expenses here and maybe people interested in ex-Yugoslavia aren’t as interested in how many Airbnb credits we used, or vice versa.

Yes, there are still 3 more days left in July but the hotel is paid for and accounted here. And food is cheap in Bosnia, so we’ll probably pay $20 more in food and that’s it.

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Best Use of Hilton HHonors Points

Hilton points are by far the easiest hotel points to earn via credit cards. 6 points per dollar at select stores on the Surpass, and over 15 different credit cards are out there that can earn a decent amount of Hilton HHonors points. Therefore, I’ve spent a bit of time recently thinking about the absolute best use of Hilton HHonors points.

This is a post about best uses of Hilton points and not how to earn them, but like I said, the ease of earning is the inspiration.

As I mentioned recently, we both just got the Citi HHonors 75,000 point card (the one with no annual fee) again. I couldn’t pass up the offer. But I encourage you to read the post on the 15 credit cards to earn Hilton HHonors points. There are 4 different Hilton cards alone.

Then there are cards like the Virgin Atlantic card, which has a 75,000 mile bonus and transfers 1:1.5 to Hilton. At least 112,500 Hilton points.

And if you just wanted to earn via spending you can earn 3 points per dollar everywhere via the Hilton Reserve and Hilton Surpass, or 6 points per dollar via the Surpass with dining, gas, and grocery.

Enough about earning, let’s talk using points.

Let me go over awards, what I think the sweet spots are, best hotels by category, and then conclude with some of the best options over all.

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We have spent the majority of our marriage traveling full time, living out of hotels.   All the while, we list our expenses publicly, budgeting ~$20,000 a year for our nomadic life while still staying in mostly 4 or 5 star hotels across ~20 countries a year.
Go to About Me to learn more.