You know what it’s like when you go on vacation.  You use your credit card to book your hotel and your airline ticket, and of course, you go shopping. It’s all fun and games until you come home to a giant credit card bill to pay off. You suddenly develop a case of the post-vacation blues. This can all be avoided if you use your credit card and rewards points wisely. Let me show you how!

The first rule of thumb is HOTEL LOYALTY.  My husband and I have a Marriott rewards card, so we try to stay at Marriott when we travel. As a result, it’s not difficult for us to build up enough points to redeem for hotel rewards. When my girlfriend invited us to spend New Year’s Eve in Florida, I knew there was a Ritz Carleton resort there featuring the Tiburon Golf Course as well as free access to their beach resort.  It’s simply unbelievable.  My husband could golf and I could enjoy the beach — $450 per night. Luckily, we had enough rewards points for FREE night!

Always look and ask for special opportunities.  On a whim, my husband asked the hotel staff about other ways to earn hotel rewards points. This is when he discovered they had a promotion offering 50,000 points simply for opening a new Marriott MasterCard – no minimum purchase and no strings attached. BAM! Another FREE night! Our hotel bill went from $900 to FREE!

The second rule is to know the perks connected to your credit card. Sometimes we don’t realize the extras connected to our credit cards. For example, when we booked our trip to Florida, we used an airline credit card that allowed us to check our bags and golf clubs for FREE. That was a savings of $120. In addition, we used the 12,000 points on our card toward the cost of the tickets – another savings of $130. This brought the cost of our flight down to $630.

The savings don’t end here. Let me tell you more!

The third rule is to find a credit card that PAYS you. Our credit card pays us 6% on all our gas, groceries, and pharmacy purchases, so we use this card for these types of purchases and then pay it off at the end of the month. By the end of the year, we usually accumulate a sizeable amount. Prior to our trip to Florida, we received a check from the credit card company for nearly $1,800. This meant that our entire trip was FREE! We received enough back from our credit card to pay for the flight AND have over $1,000 to take with us.

So that’s this week’s Smart Money Tip.  Be sure to use your credit cards wisely and make them WORK for YOU.  Have a wonderful week and live with purpose, passion, and prosperity!

P.S. If you haven’t checked out our FREE course yet featuring my signature six-step system called, Unlock Your Financial Power: They Key To Health, Wealth & Happiness, be sure to do that now by clicking here for immediate access!

Contest: Visit the Smart Women’s Coaching Facebook Fan Page and post your questions along with your own Smart Women Money Tips. Tell us what you are doing to make smart money choices because we have a CONTEST!

We will choose ONE winner each week for the NEXT THREE WEEKS to the woman who posts the best Smart Money Tip on our Smart Women’s Coaching Facebook Fan Page.

The winner will receive a 90-minute Money Breakthrough Method Coaching Session with me worth $525. The winner will also receive a money personality card and two other great bonus gifts! In this session with me, we will identify your money personality and your limiting belief. We will identify your new empowering belief and create an action plan.


Katana Abbott, CFP® practitioner, is a Life and Legacy Coach™, host of the Smart Women Talk Radio™, founder of the Smart Women Companies with over 1 million subscribers globally, inspirational speaker and author of several books.

She began her financial planning career in 1987 and became a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner. In 2003, Katana created Smart Women’s Coaching® to offer financial coaching and educational workshops for women in transition who are dealing with caregiving, death of a loved one, divorce, retirement or looking to create or grow a business.  She founded Smart Women’s Empowerment in 2008 to bring free financial empowerment resources and programs to women around the world through her team of Contributing Experts.