Take the stress out of credit card bonus hunting: Travel Freely

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I’ve taken the unprecedented (for me) step of entering a business relationship with another business — Travel Freely.  I met the founder, Zac Hood, through the Frequent Miler Insiders Group on Facebook.  Via web-conference, he walked me through Travel Freely’s features and I realized that his site would work well for me.  And I figured that it would be great for my readers as well.

Travel Freely conveniently displays annual fees coming up soon, bonus deadlines (e.g. how much longer you have to meet minimum spend), and your Chase 5/24 status.

Travel Freely does one simple thing: it guides you through the steps involved in earning points and miles through credit card bonuses.  Travel Freely recommends cards for you based not just on the current best offers, but also based on what cards you’ve signed up for previously.  And it’s aware of most of the known multi-card rules.  For example, it won’t recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve if it has been less than 48 months since you obtained a signup bonus for either one.  Once you sign up for a card (and enter it into the website), you’ll get periodic emails reminding you of the due date for meeting minimum spend.  Later, Travel Freely will notify you when it’s a good time to sign up for another card.  Travel Freely will also notify you when an annual fee is coming up so that you can plan to downgrade, cancel, or seek a retention offer if the card’s benefits don’t outweigh the fee.

You might wonder why I would want to use a tool like this.  Isn’t this way too basic for me?  The truth is, if it was just me, I wouldn’t.  I’ve long kept all of my credit card info in a Google Doc spreadsheet and I’ve been fine using that to track my card applications.  For a novice or intermediate user, though, or for someone who doesn’t have the time to track their cards and to keep up with the latest application rules, I think it’s great.  In my case, I like it because I manage card applications for multiple family members.  Remembering to meet minimum spend and monitor annual fees for my own cards is easy.  Remembering this for each family member is tough.  I like that Travel Freely can do that for me.

Readers often ask whether they are eligible for various cards based on what cards they already have.  We’ve done our best to answer that question with application tips on each of our individual credit card pages (see, for example, the App Tips section for the SPG card) and in our Best Credit Card Offers page, but that doesn’t seem to be enough. It can be challenging for the average person whose life isn’t dedicated to miles & points to keep track of these rules: To get a similar card again, do they need to wait 24 months from sign up, cancellation, or the day they got the sign up bonus….or does this count against 5/24 or is it subject to 5/24, etc.  Travel Freely is a tool that knows. And when something changes unexpectedly (such as when Chase suddenly changed the rule for getting a second Sapphire bonus from 24 months to 48 months after the previous bonus), this tool knows and won’t recommend a Sapphire card if you’ve received a bonus within the past 48 months.

Travel Freely lets you manage two people’s cards within one log-in.  In my case, I decided to create a separate log-in for each family member that I manage.  I already use the Google Chrome Switch Person capability (see my post about that here), so it’s natural for me to sign up for Travel Freely separately within each log-in.

The Travel Freely Card List shows you the status of each of your cards. You can even record product changes here, such as when you downgrade to a no-fee card.

Travel Freely makes money primarily through credit card affiliate links. That’s true for most points & miles blogs too (including Frequent Miler). But, unlike most blogs, Zac has agreed to do things the Frequent Miler way: If a better public offer exists, he has promised to show that better offer even if it means getting no affiliate commission for that card.

DISCLOSURE: I like the site and find it useful. And I love that Zac has been open to the idea of showing only the best public offers. So, Zac and I now have a business relationship. I won’t go into complete details, but suffice to say that Frequent Miler may gain financially If you use our link to sign up for Travel Freely and use the site regularly.

Here’s the link again: Travel Freely.  It’s free.

After you try it out, please post your reactions in the comments here. Zac is determined to make the site as useful as possible and is eager for feedback.

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