How are you Feeling about American Express Centurion Lounges these Days?

Anytime you bring up the topic of American Express’s Centurion Lounges, you will get lots of differing opinions, which will include the good, the bad, and the ugly. And with the seemingly never ending changes to the various versions of the American Express Platinum Charge Card, both personal and business, including higher annual fees and reductions in rebates on Membership Reward Point tickets, there are even more discussions than usual about whether or not the cards are worth keeping.

But I’ve decided to keep mine, and the American Express Centurion Lounges are a big part of that decision. I also use these card benefits:

  • $200 airline fee credit, for incidental charges such as baggage fees, on a single airline of the cardholder’s choosing.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Gold Status and Hilton Honors Gold Status.
  • Airport lounge access through an expansion of the Global Lounge Collection. This includes Delta SkyClubs, Priority Pass lounges, and American Express Centurion Lounges.

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OC Travel Hackers Meetup Saturday, July 1 @ 12pm at Tustin District In-N-Out

Good afternoon everyone.  I can’t believe it is almost the Fourth of July!  I will be flying down to Orange County this weekend for the Fourth of July holiday and I want to do a travel hackers meetup on Saturday afternoon.  If you are free this Saturday, I would love to meet you and talk about frequent flyer miles, hotel points, credit card rewards and MS.

  • Where: In-N-Out Burger, 2895 Park Ave, Tustin, CA 92782 (Google Maps)
  • When: Saturday, July 1 @ 12-2PM

In-N-Out Tustin District Map

There is no need to RSVP to the meetup, just show up at 12pm and be ready to talk travel.  I hope to see some of you there!  Have a great day everyone!

Save Time & Spend Less Money on Car Rentals with AutoSlash

Do you ever have something on your mind to do and then KNOW that today is the day? That’s how I’m feeling about this post on AutoSlash, the rental car tracking and booking company. Why today? Well, recently Brian Cohen at The Gate wrote a blog post about saving money on a car rental. It was a good read and I’ve also had the same experience where using a different location in a city makes a huge difference in price. But I kept waiting for AutoSlash to be somewhere in the post.

Ian at Points with a Crew may forget to fill up his gas tank before he returns cars, but he’s a total AutoSlash convert. Dan, the PWAC chief, is an AutoSlash cheerleader as well, but his post on AutoSlash is two years old now.

Then I realized at TWG, we don’t have any posts on AutoSlash. When I told Grant what I was writing about today, he replied: “I love AutoSlash. I just book the easiest rental car reservation, send AutoSlash my reservation details and wait for them to do their magic. My car rental in PDX went from $150 for 2 days down to ~$60 for 2 days.” So that confirmed it. Especially because I receive quotes like Grant’s from lots of family and friends whenever I tell them about AutoSlash.

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My Cold Brew Favorites from the Coffee Lover’s Kitchen

My Bean Around The World series is offering up some Coffee Lover’s Kitchen recipes today! Not only has cold brew coffee become popular, but it’s the summer season here in the northern hemisphere and many people turn to cold coffee drinks to cool them down. First off, let’s not confuse cold brew coffee with ice coffee – they are not the same. Ice coffee is simply putting ice in your coffee beverage. Cold brew is different and easy to make, so it’s fun to try at home. By using cold or tepid water (not hot) to brew your coffee, that causes the beans to extract different oils and compounds. So you’ll have different tastes from the same beans if all you change is the temperature of the water!

All you need is a mason jar and a metal strainer or French press pot to make your basic cold brew concentrate. In the old days, this was called Toddy coffee. Anyone out there remember this? Use 1 part coffee to 5 parts water. Coarsely grind the coffee and mix it with cold (preferably filtered) water and put it in a jar or French press. Let it sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours and then strain it. Keep it in the fridge and use within 2 weeks time. You can dilute the concentrate 1:2 parts with water or any other liquid such as milk. Of course, adjust this to your personal preference.

Cold Brew Coffee. Image source: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/cooking/a33597/how-to-make-cold-brew-coffee/

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My 2 Favorite Hotels for Chase Hyatt Credit Card Anniversary Free Night Certificates

Last month, Ben at One Mile At A Time wrote a post about his choices for the best uses of your Chase Hyatt Credit Card anniversary free night certificates. But I think he left out two great choices in the states and one of them is a hotel I’ll be using mine at this year. As a reminder, each year Hyatt gives its cardholders an anniversary free night certificate. It can be used at any Hyatt category 1-4 hotel. There are some exclusions, but as Ben pointed out, there are still plenty of awesome choices all over the world. He did list the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, which is one of my favorite hotels in Vancouver, BC.

King room at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
Image source: https://vancouver.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/our-hotel.html

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