Author Archives: Caroline Lupini

About Caroline Lupini

Caroline absolutely loves to travel. She's been to 70 countries so far and is on a quest to visit them all! Frequent flyer miles help her get there. Find her at carolinelupini.com, on Twitter @carolinelupini, and on Instagram @caroline.lupini.

Google Fi Introduces New Unlimited Plan

For those of you who haven’t already switched to my favorite phone service of all time, now might be your perfect chance. Google Fi (formerly Project Fi) is Google’s flagship mobile service that offers coverage in 200+ countries and territories, flat data rates, no contracts, and unlimited domestic calls and texts within the US.

Over the past several years, Google Fi has evolved from its beginnings with the Nexus and Pixel phones to present day, where members have the opportunity to bring their own phone to Fi. Most Android and iPhone models work with the Google Fi SIM card, so users aren’t required to buy a Pixel anymore. (I still would suggest buying a Pixel if you don’t have one, but that’s another story.)

Recently, Google Fi put a $60 cap on the cost of data for each cycle. Before then, data cost a flat $10 per gig but there wasn’t any relevant volume discount, so free data after 6GB was certainly a welcome change. Now, however, Google is upping their game with new unlimited plans that especially benefit families and groups.

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4 Tools I Use to Keep Track of My Credit Cards and Money

During my time as a professional travel hacker, I’ve found that the best way to stockpile points and miles is to intelligently stockpile credit cards. Over the years, I’ve collected over 30 credit cards and have accumulated hundreds of thousands of points and miles in almost every currency out there, so you can imagine that organizing my accounts has the potential to turn into a messy logistical nightmare. Fortunately for me, there are several tools out there that were designed to help people like me manage multiple accounts. Here are four of my favorite, go-to apps and tools that I use to keep myself organized.

1. Travel Freely

Travel Freely is a webapp that is dedicated to helping travelers optimize their points and miles game, which is exactly why I use them. Not only is Travel Freely great for learning the ins and outs of rewards programs, but it’s also a hugely practical tool for organizing the rewards credit cards that you already have. For me, I use it to keep track of annual fee and bonus deadlines as well as 5/24 status. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 5/24 rule, it’s specific to Chase accounts. Chase does not approve applicants for a new card if they have opened 5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months. Travel Freely has all of my logistical credit card information stored in one place so that I don’t have to go back and individually search for deadlines or have to guess my 5/24 status.

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Join Me @ FBZ Elite Summit in Austin, Texas (Oct 26, 2019)

Have you been trying to figure out ways to travel more and spend less? Do you wonder how people stock up enough points to stay in luxury hotels and fly first class? Or maybe, you’re just trying to figure out how to divvy up your points for the maximum amount of free stuff. If any of this interests you, then join me at this year’s FBZ Elite Summit in Austin, TX!

FinanceBuzz is proudly hosting the FBZ Elite Summit for FBZ Elite members, which will be a day-long conference that aims to help attendees learn how to manage points and miles, travel frugally, save money, and connect with other travel enthusiasts. Most importantly, the main FinanceBuzz goal is to help people become financially independent and aware of the clever financial footwork involved in the points and miles game, ultimately resulting in free and discount travel for you and your friends.

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Get $50 When You Sign Up for Chime

Chime is one of the fastest-growing mobile banking apps in the US, and you can get $50 when you sign up and receive at least $200 in direct deposits within the first 45 days of opening your account. Technically, the direct deposit has to be from your employer and ACH transfers are not supposed to count, but in the past, I have had success with ACH transfers counting as direct deposit.

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Rumor: Capital One to Launch Premium Credit Card (Q2 2020 Launch)

I have it on good authority that Capital One is going to launch a premium credit card to compete with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Platinum Card from American Express, and other premium cards.  My source has let me know the following details about this card:

  • 10X points per dollar on hotels booked through the Capital One portal
  • 5X points per dollar on airfare booked through the Capital One portal
  • 4X points per dollar at restaurants
  • 1X points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Additional point bonuses at certain spend thresholds
  • $300 travel credit
  • $495 annual fee

I’ve been told that this card is slated for a Q2 2020 launch, so it may be awhile before we have confirmation about this card offering and any of the specific details.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any developments!