There are only a handful of places in the world that I love so much that I’d want to visit at least once a year, and that’s Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, and Canada. I figured that Oahu would be the best destination for me to post my suggestions for next, because I lived here for 3 months in 2010 and thoroughly explored the island and fell in love with it to the point where it has become one of my favorite destinations in the world. There are some who would say “if you hate people, go to one of the lesser-populated islands instead,” but I love that Oahu has the best of both worlds. Just head over to Kailua or North Shore and it feels like one of the less-populated islands. When you get bored, come back to Honolulu and its great food and fun things to do! I love Oahu, and for those of you who hate Oahu, I hope you will give it another chance after checking out this post.
TL;DR: the marginal difference is so small that it doesn’t matter. Do whatever you feel is more convenient for yourself / the cashier. If you can lump together multiple MOs in one transaction, or have some small value debit gift cards to get rid of, get the maximum value of the MO.
Given the TL;DR, why am I writing this post? For the math of course!
Say you have 2 $500 Visa gift cards that you have acquired through mysterious means, and you are at your favorite place to get money orders. The fee for a money order of value between $500.01-1000 is $1.60. The question is, should you purchase a $998.40 money order with total value of $1000, or a $1000 money order for a total cost of $1001.60.
I’m doing a lot of mileage running this year with the target of hitting the Executive Platinum status on American, so I had one of those crazy Panama runs booked. But as the date was getting closer, I decided I wanted to go for a shorter period of time, and didn’t really want to go on the weekend I booked.
I knew about American’s schedule change policy, which states that schedule changes over 2 hours will allow you to cancel a flight for free. But as I had booked through Citi with my ThankYou points for 1.6 cpm because I have a Citi Prestige, I wasn’t sure what their schedule change policy was. According to the Citi ThankYou terms & conditions regarding travel:
Having multiple phone numbers is helpful for a lot of reasons. Personally, I use my Google Voice number when filling out any potentially spammy forms or when selling things on Craigslist. I like being able to easily screen and block callers, as well as get voicemail transcriptions.
I also used to give it out to people after determining whether they were an iPhone or non-iPhone user — if they were an iPhone user, I gave them my real phone number so we could use iMessage…if they were not, I gave them my Google Voice number. The reason was not to be phone elitist, but that I used to be on that AT&T unlimited data plan and didn’t have free texts. Now that I’ve switched to T-Mobile (to save a LOT of money and have free international data), I no longer need to make that distinction.
As a follow up to the guide on how to get to Asia using your transferable points, Adam from The Jet Set Blog commented that he also had a comprehensive guide for Europe. He’s also planning to add guides for each major region, so I’d give him a follow.
I’ve got some reading to do! And now that I will have 100k extra MR points, Alitalia is looking like an increasingly attractive option for business redemptions.
I stumbled upon a very nice and comprehensive guide on how to effectively use your Chase UR, Amex MR, and Citi TYP to redeem for flight awards to Asia the other day. Given that I love travelling to Asia, this was perfect.
What Adam at the Jet Set Blog has compiled is a guide on the cost of awards from North America to Asia as well as details on how to book for every single airline transfer partner for each program. I haven’t found a guide this comprehensive before, and certainly not for the 3 major programs (excluding SPG). I personally got a lot of value out of the Membership Rewards part, as I hadn’t yet figured out what to do with the 50k I received for my PRG as well as the upcoming 100k from the Platinum card I just applied for.
UPDATE: if you used mine or Michael’s referral link, could you please let us know? Apparently the referrals are not getting automatically tracked.
I’ve been getting bombarded for over a year by FoundersCard (referral link, see end of post for details) to join their program at a lifetime rate of $295/year. That wasn’t very appealing to me at the time, since I couldn’t justify how to get more than $295/year of value from the program. My friends Kenneth and Tonei were telling me about some of the great benefits. I’m going to rank them here as well as a few thoughts:
One of the reasons I switched to T-Mobile is because of the unlimited international data plan. Although the speed is limited to 2G, it’s really taken away the stress about how to get data while travelling. I mostly use it to look up directions, message people, and call taxis, and it has been super useful in situations where there isn’t any free Wi-Fi around.
Previously, my international roaming had been working flawlessly on my Nexus 6P, except for the fact that I had to manually select the T-Mobile compatible network when I arrived into a country. I play around a lot with custom ROMs for my phone though, and I had installed a new update a week or so before I left for Panama.
EDIT: That was fast, as expected. The Amex Platinum link is now down.
Via ChetHazelEyes through reddit r/churning, the American Express Platinum 100k offer is back publicly. It is 100k Membership Rewards points after spending $3k in the first 3 months. I applied, was approved over recon, and confirmed the bonus offer.
You can access the offer through this link:
Well you certainly don’t get to try again, as I found out. I was in Miami on the way back from Panama, chatting with some new travel hacking friends I met on the flight back. We headed over to scan our documents at the Global Entry kiosks. I was going through the standard answer the questions, take a picture, scan your fingerprints, and got the last screen, where it said “Validating information. Times out in 31 seconds”