Smart Credit Card Strategies Carry These Couples Around the World

Brady and Mary Tengberg wanted to travel the world without going beyond their means. That’s why they started saving credit card rewards together.

“Our whole desire of getting credit cards is based on: We both want to travel, but it didn’t fit in our budget, so we had to find some other way to travel,” says Brady, 24. The Tengbergs, now married for three years, have visited 10 countries together, mostly using credit card rewards to pay their way. They never carry a balance, paying their bill in full every month. 

For the Tengbergs and other couples who travel extensively together, credit cards can deliver a windfall in rewards. But maximizing benefits as a team across multiple cards requires constant communication, careful strategizing and, in some cases, expert-level budgeting.

Here’s how these globe-trotting couples manage their credit cards together.

The college sweethearts

Brady Tengberg, 24, and Mary Tengberg, 23

Married for three years, together for six.

Number of credit cards: Brady has 18; Mary has 15.

Most-used cards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve℠, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

The Tengbergs, who run the personal finance blog The Credit Kids, got married in college and, when interviewed, were about to move to Dallas. (They’ve since made the move.) That’s where Brady, who recently graduated, plans to start his full-time job as an associate consultant. Mary, who graduated last year, works as a special education teacher. They’re expecting their first child, a girl.

This summer, they’ve done plenty of traveling, visiting Canada, Hawaii and Europe. Most recently, they flew business class to Europe, where they traveled for three weeks, visiting Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. On the three trips, they paid for all their flights and hotel stays with credit card rewards, Mary says.

“It’s our last summer of freedom, so we tried to…

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