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Jason Steele
Jason has been writing about personal finance, travel, and other topics on blogs across the Internet. When he is not writing, he has a career in information technology and is also a commercially rated pilot. Jason lives in Colorado with his wife and young daughter where he enjoys parenting, cycling, and other extreme sports.

What Is Chase Blueprint – Review of Credit Card Payment Program

By Jason Steele

chase blueprint logoUnder the Credit CARD Act of 2009, credit card companies must allow their users at least 21 days to pay off their credit card bills in any given month free of interest. However, with most credit cards, when you fail to pay your entire balance before the due date, you give up this “grace period” and are retroactively forced to pay interest on the entire month’s worth of purchases, including any portion that you were able to pay off. Under this system, falling short of paying off your entire balance, even by just $25, can result in significant amounts of additional interest on your entire balance.

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Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card Review from American Express

By Jason Steele

delta platinum skymiles credit cardIf you’re looking for an airline-affiliated credit card, a card that offers more than just frequent flyer miles will set itself apart. You’re probably looking for added perks, and an opportunity to be recognized as a valued customer by your favorite carrier.

While airlines are increasing fees and reducing the quality of customer service, they’re still managing to continue lavishing privileges on elite members of their frequent flyer programs. Normally, the only way to enter the ranks of elites is to fly as many miles as possible. Now, with Delta’s Platinum SkyMiles card from American Express, you can earn miles that qualify towards their elite Medallion program.

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7 Essential Computer Maintenance Tips & Checklist

By Jason Steele

clean computer lcd screenYour computer might not come with as high of a price tag or as many moving parts as your car, but laptops and desktops require just as much regular maintenance to keep running efficiently and securely. Desktops come with lots of peripherals that need regular upkeep and cleaning, and compact laptops are vulnerable to trouble caused by everything from dust to accidents.

Whether you primarily use your computer for work or for leisure, you invested plenty of money in a high-tech machine. While you know the technology may eventually be too old to keep using, you want to maximize your equipment’s life in the meantime. If you fail to keep up with maintenance and instead operate a slow, dirty machine, it will be vulnerable to damage and hacks, and you’ll be more prone to making mistakes.

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Delta Reserve Credit Card Review from American Express

By Jason Steele

delta reserve credit card amexDelta Airlines and American Express partner to offer a wide selection of rewards cards, and at the top of the pile is the Delta Reserve Card. It leads their other cards in many ways, from the perks to the annual fee, which stands at a whopping $450.

With a fee that high, the card does offer significant benefits if you’re a frequent flyer and you pay your bills on time, but will you take enough advantage to justify spending $450 a year?

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Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card Review from American Express

By Jason Steele

gold delta skymiles card american expressEvery airline has an affiliated credit card that lets you earn frequent flyer miles for everyday purchases. And each one has their own special promotions and bonuses, so if you’re lucky, your favorite carrier and your most common purchases match up for the best deals.

While these cards and programs have been around for years, an emerging trend involves banks and airlines teaming up to offer innovative rewards that go beyond mere miles. The Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, for example, entices members by offering non-mileage benefits that can earn you some major money, if you fly Delta frequently enough.

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9 Places to Look for Restaurant Discounts & Coupons

By Jason Steele

eating out restaurantI’m an extraordinarily frugal person, but my one weakness is eating out at restaurants. There are only so many times that I feel like cooking and cleaning, and there are some dishes that I can only get at my favorite restaurants. Though menu prices are getting expensive, I’ve found enough tricks to save big at restaurants, and I never pay full price.

Some might tell you to just skip appetizers, cut out alcohol, and never indulge in dessert. But you can enjoy a few courses and even a glass of wine if you have the right tools. My goal is to show you how get the most out of your meal, not the least. If you’re looking for a filling meal, an enjoyable evening, and most importantly, great value, check out these nine sources.

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How to Use an Air Pass from Airline Alliances – Save Money Traveling the World

By Jason Steele

travel world flightEveryone has heard of the rail passes that tourists typically purchase on their visits to Europe so that they can travel through multiple countries without buying new train tickets at every stop.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could do the same thing for air travel – buy one ticket and visit multiple destinations? Well, you can! Behold the air pass.

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4 Types of Luggage You Need Traveling on Flights – For Less than $150

By Jason Steele

plane luggageNo matter where I travel, I’m amazed by how many people struggle with unwieldy and expensive luggage. Their fancy luggage will inevitably get scraped, scuffed, and abused by the airlines – if it doesn’t get lost in the first place. I’m left wondering, “Why bother investing any more than necessary to get stuff from one place to the next?”

I have had the same luggage set for the past six years, and I didn’t pay more than $150 dollars for all four pieces. I easily navigate airport arrival halls, hotel lobbies, and busy city streets, surviving on the road for weeks at a time.

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How to Improve Computer Performance & Supercharge Your Productivity – Tips From an IT Pro

By Jason Steele

computer nerdI’m not the fastest typist in the world, yet I’m still able to operate a computer with a level of speed and efficiency that amazes some people.

Over time, I’ve learned that the number of words you can type per minute isn’t everything when it comes to maximizing your time on the computer. As someone who has been working in information technology for over a decade, I have made a concerted effort to find every trick to getting the most done in the least amount of time.

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How to Plan the Best Cheap, but Memorable Honeymoon

By Jason Steele

couple honeymoonSix months before my wedding, my wife was consumed with wedding plans related to dresses, bridesmaids, and floral arrangements. It fell on me to plan our honeymoon, and I didn’t know where to begin.

Back then, I wasn’t quite the travel expert I am now, so I was really starting from scratch trying to put together a honeymoon that would be the equal of our wedding. Ultimately, I learned that a honeymoon is not like any other trip you have ever taken.

With some research and effort, I was able to design an awesome honeymoon. Here are the essential guidelines I followed to plan a memorable and affordable honeymoon.

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11 Tips for Avoiding Airline Checked Baggage Fees

By Jason Steele

luggage suitcasesAs if finding affordable fares for air travel isn’t tough enough, rising and surprising fees are making it an even bigger challenge to figure out the best deal if you want to pack any luggage.

After all the fee increases, the best advice the airlines seem to have for saving on baggage fees is to “pack light.” That’s not good enough, especially since families with young kids, individuals who don’t travel often, and anyone traveling in search of better weather can’t simply “pack light.” And everyone’s definition of “light” is different.

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3 Home Phone Landline Alternatives that Save You Money

By Jason Steele

talking on phoneFor over 100 years, simple copper wires have transmitted phone calls between households and offices around the world. It’s a system far more technical and complicated than soup cans attached to string, and the expensive wire and complex systems are owned by big phone companies. It’s tough to find a lot of “new” phone companies, so while your provider may not have a monopoly on the industry, chances are it has a pretty good stronghold on business in your area.

Comfortable with the demand for service, these companies frequently raise the rates on long-distance calls and seem to enjoy adding fees and charging for every little feature you want to add to your service.

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4 Types of Outdoor Barbecue Grills – Which Should You Buy This Summer?

By Jason Steele

grill barbecue meatIs there anything better than the smell of juicy hamburgers and hot dogs sizzling on a grill on a hot summer day? If there is, I can’t think of it.

Spring is the perfect time to make sure you’re prepared for a season full of amazing culinary experiences. If you don’t have a grill, you’re ready to upgrade the grill you have, or you’re looking to try out a different type of grill, read this guide before you go shopping.

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PenFed Promise Credit Card Review – Low APR & No Fees

By Jason Steele

penfed promise cardYou can’t turn on your television or open your mailbox these days without seeing yet another credit card offer from a major bank. Some offers sound better than others, and they all have potential benefits and drawbacks. The sheer number can be mind-boggling, and if you’re in the market for a new card, the information can be overwhelming.

In light of this, I’d like to let you in on a little secret. One of the best offers out there is not from a bank at all; it’s the PenFed Promise Card from the Pentagon Federal Credit Union. If, like many people, you’re struggling to get a handle on your debt, this could be just the card for you.

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9 Ways to Clean, Repair, and Restore Your Old Outdoor Gas Grill

By Jason Steele

gas grill upgradeEvery time I go to the Home Depot in the summer, I stare longingly at the shiny, manly grills lined up out front like soldiers waiting for orders. They’re so new, and have so many knobs and buttons! They can smoke, grill, or keep baked beans warm!

Like most Americans, I had an old grill on my back porch. It was a little rusted and had years of wear on the rack, but it could still turn out a decent hamburger. So instead of buying a new grill, I saved money by restoring and upgrading my old grill to its former glory – and added a few bells and whistles along the way.

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