Free Travel Expert Rick Ingersoll Disputes Dave Ramsey Advice

Now Is The Time to Sign Up for Credit Card Awards

"The Frugal Travel Guy" Rick Ingersoll © Photography by Anne

December 2, 2010 (HILTON HEAD, SC) – When personal money management expert and radio personality Dave Ramsey appeared on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Show recently, something Ramsey said sent free travel expert Rick Ingersoll straight to his computer to pound out a rebuttal.

Ramsey, the author of New York Times best-seller Total Money Makeover, told Cavuto that Americans should not be “sucked in” by credit card companies’ special offers and rewards programs, such as frequent flier miles. “People are so arrogant they say, ‘I am smarter than Bank of America and smarter than City or Sears and I am going to take them on and I am going to win and beat them’,” Ramsey said. “Well…you are full of it, and you will use the card.”

Ingersoll, author of the award-winning blog The Frugal Travel Guy.com and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, couldn’t disagree more. “Now is a terrific time to sign up for rewards credit cards if you have the discipline to pay them off in full every month,” he says.

Ramsey’s position “left me feeling as if the average American is not capable of using credit wisely,” says Ingersoll, a retired mortgage banker who now travels the globe, largely for free, by taking advantage of such things as credit card reward offers. He shares his hobby-turned-expertise on the subject in his blog, in his book, and through speaking engagements and seminars.

Calling himself the “world’s expert on free flying,” Ingersoll says: “My wife and I have earned over one million airline and hotel points within the last year for a total cost of $1130 in application fees, and we never paid a penny in interest on the cards. “Why? Because we sign up, meet the minimum spend required on everyday living, pay off the card in full each month, then reapply for another great signup offer  —  over and over again.”

He admits credit inquiries can affect your credit score, but by only two to five points per inquiry. The key, he says, is keeping a close eye on your credit standing. And he believes anyone can do it.

“Sometimes people need to be given a little more credit for their ability to make sound decisions,” he says, noting that the millions of miles and points he and his wife earned this past year will afford them significant free travel. “We have been around the world twice using these techniques while Mr. Ramsey pays for his tickets and hotels. We’re pretty sure we have a better system.”

Bottom line: Ingersoll believes people should take advantage credit card companies’ scramble to attract customers with rewards programs “if we continue to apply and use our cards only to meet the minimum spend level. If the credit card companies are in trouble, let them up the bonuses all they want and we will give them applications and minimum spend, but never a days worth of interest”

For more information on Rick Ingersoll and his free travel techniques, visit thefrugaltravelguy.com.

About Rick Ingersoll “The Frugal Travel Guy”

Rick Ingersoll is the world’s expert on flying free and author of The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook. A retired mortgage banker, he splits his time between Traverse City, Michigan and Hilton Head, SC. Rick’s expertise includes frequent flyer programs, getting the “bump,” customer service requests, and using good credit ratings to take advantage of bank promotions. He has collected over five million frequent flyer miles and has a current “bankroll” of over 1.5 million miles and points. He shares his expertise in his book, The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook, on his daily-updated blog, http://frugaltravelguy.blogspot.com, and through speaking engagements and seminars around the U.S. The Frugal Travel Guy blog was a 2009 Budget Travel Award winner presented by Tripbase.com.

Expanding Broadband Could Be Tourist Boon For Rural Regions

nathistcultmap-copyMay 4, 2009 (CHARLESTON, SC) – The new economic Stimulus Package’s proposed spending on broadband Internet access could prove to be a huge boon for recreational tourism and economic development in rural regions that could greatly benefit from tourists’ dollars, according to recreation planner Edwin Gardner of Heritage Strategy Group in Charleston, South Carolina.

In a recent article posted to his blog “Heritage Strategies” (heritagestrategy.wordpress.com) Gardner applauds the fact that expanding the base of broadband into rural areas is a priority in the President’s package.

“The Internet is by far the most cost-effective way to reach the traveling public,” he writes, “and it allows a location’s message to reach a target audience far more effectively than the traditional shotgun approach of printed brochures, tourism guides, and other print media.”

That’s especially significant for undiscovered rural locations that are rich in natural, historic or culture opportunities the general public simply doesn’t know about.

“Once these regions figure out how to use the Internet effectively, they will be found by a growing visitor market,” Gardner writes. “If a desire to stay closer to home and save gas returns as a prime motivator, scenic rural counties within two hours of a big city will be more and more in demand.”

Assuming that could happen, Gardner warns that decision-makers in rural areas must learn “the principles and practices of sustainable tourism and quality growth planning before they get flooded with visitors. Otherwise, as in so many other ‘discovered’ areas, they end up killing the goose.”

To read Edwin Gardner’s complete article on broadband and rural economic development, visit heritagestrategy.wordpress.com.

Heritage Strategy Group is a planning initiative to develop recreational areas and scenic byways in a manner that allows local businesses and other stakeholders to enjoy growth and prosperity while the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the effected areas are preserved and enhanced.

“A heritage planner’s central mission is to enable local businesses to prosper,” Gardner says. “A strong entrepreneurial focus yields the best justifications for conservation and preservation of a place’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage. And a good heritage planner never gets between a people and their heritage.”

Heritage Strategy Group is a subsidiary of Studio A, Inc., a full-service architecture firm based in Charleston, SC. For more information visit www.studioa-architecture.com.

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