A friend of mine, Brian, recently moved to my neighborhood. Very excitedly, he told me about how he was able to get a great deal on a mortgage because he borrowed the money from the bank holding his checking accounts. Brian had saved enough money to apply some of the proceeds from the sale of his previous home toward a vacation in Europe ­ the tickets were free because he used frequent flyer miles accumulated from using an affinity card associated with his favorite airline.

Brian loves living in my area because he and his wife can manage the cost of living much better than in his previous neighborhood, especially because all the supermarkets have "bonus cards" that provide additional discounts on many food item purchases. They also love shopping at the local warehouse club because there are a lot of rebate offers on the products they buy there. By using his credit card to buy groceries, Brian has quickly accumulated additional frequent flyer miles.

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