Tag Archives: AMEX

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Grant is Back from South America: Upcoming Hotel Reviews & Trip Reports

Good morning everyone, I am back from my week-long trip around South America.  I was going to write about my experience during the trip, but I accidentally left my laptop charger on my flight to Bogota, Colombia, so I had no way to charge my laptop during the trip.  With that said, here is a tentative list of blog posts that I will write about my trip.  Here are my 4 hotel reviews:

  • Aloft Bogota Airport Hotel (3,000 SPG Points / Night)
  • Holiday Inn Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport Hotel (20,000 IHG Points / Night)
  • Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa (Iguazu Falls, Argentina) (12,000 SPG Points / Night)
  • Sheraton Libertador Hotel (Buenos Aires, Argentina) (7,000 SPG Points / Night)

Along with those hotel reviews, I am going to share my experience with these trip reports:

  • How Cheap is Bogota, Colombia?
  • Should you Visit the Argentine or Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls?
  • Buenos Aires Centurion Lounge (Access with US AMEX Platinum Card)

There are also a few upcoming posts from Shelli about her interview with a full time Uber driver and her next stop on her coffee world tour.  Whitney just got back from her trip to Spain, so she will have several posts about her trip.  I’m not sure what Tonei and Will the Tactical Traveler are working on, but I am sure they have some interesting posts in the pipeline.

If you have any questions about any of my upcoming hotel reviews or trip reports, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

P.S. Here is a sneak peak of our trip to Iguazu Falls, full of rainbows and big water falls.

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Using American Airlines Gift Cards for a Last Minute Trip to Attend a Memorial Service

For most of us, most of the time, we have the luxury of thinking through our travel plans maybe months or even a year in advance. Especially if we’re using miles and points to book air and hotel reservations, booking way ahead is a good idea.

But what happens when we have an emergency trip that needs to be booked NOW?

That’s the situation I found myself in just last month. As I mentioned here, there was a death in my family and I wanted to get to Florida for the memorial service.

Here were my parameters:

  • My flight was from San Diego to Florida on specific dates, both on the outbound and inbound.
  • I had to fly into Fort Lauderdale (FLL).
  • I had to land at FLL in the evening so my cousin could pick me up after work.
  • I had to leave late in the day after the Miami Dolphins game. Don’t ask, my cousins are nuts for those Dolphins and luckily they won their game so everyone was in good spirits.

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My Outrageous 2017 Travel Predictions + Reader Ideas Needed

Good morning everyone, I’m sorry for the delay, but I have been diligently thinking about my 2017 travel predictions.  I am going to channel my inner Nostradamus to come up with some outrageous travel predictions for 2017.  Doctor of Credit has a good resource for all other 2017 travel predictions.

Disclaimer: I have made some travel predictions in previous years and I am more often wrong than right, but that losing streak has not dampered my prediction spirit.  To see how bad I am at making predictions, please read A Look Back at my 2016 Predictions (Airlines, Hotels, Credit Cards & MS).  I consider myself an optimistic pessimist (I prepare for the worst, but hope for the best), so these travel predictions will sound depressing.

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  • Southwest seems bent on making the Companion Pass very difficult to get unless you fly Southwest every week.  I believe credit card signup bonuses will no longer count toward the Companion Pass and Southwest might kill the whole concept of the Companion Pass entirely or switch to a certificate program similar to the Alaska Airlines companion fare or Virgin America companion ticket.
  • Other airline credit cards will adopt the Alaska Airlines companion fare (you pay full price and your companion pays up to $120) or the Virgin America companion ticket (you pay full price and your companion pays full price minus $150).

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Is US Bank Eliminating Credit Card Retention Offers?

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all are enjoying the new year so far :)  I recently had 2 disappointing attempts at retention offers with US Bank so I wanted to share them with you and see if anyone has had any recent similar (or hopefully better) experiences.

Like most travel hackers, I have something like 30+ credit cards so I have to be very careful about only paying annual fees when I think I’m getting good value from that card beyond the first year.  Why 30+ credit cards?  Well, most of them are cards that I no longer use but I didn’t want to ding my credit score by closing the account so I downgraded to a no annual fee version and it just sits there until a bank tells me that I have too many open accounts and I have to close one in order to open another.  Two of those 30+ cards are US Bank FlexPerks cards (US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature and US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express).  I believe the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards American Express Card was replaced by the the US Bank FlexPerks Gold American Express Card a few months ago.

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Lowe’s $10 Off $50 AMEX Offer = $200 Amazon Gift Card for $160

Good evening everyone, I hope you are all having a great holiday season.  Tomorrow afternoon, I will fly from LGB (Long Beach) to JFK (New York City) to spend New Year’s in New York City.  But before I start packing all my warmest winter clothes, I braved the low 60 degree weather in SoCal to visit my local Lowe’s.  I had the below Lowe’s AMEX Offer ($10 off $50) added to 4 of my AMEX cards and I still needed to do some gift card shopping.  If you have this AMEX Offer linked to your cards and have not met the spending requirement, you only have a few days left since the offer ends on December 31, 2016.  As long as the charge is authorized on/by 12/31, you will receive the statement credit.

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I ended up buying a $200 Amazon Gift Card and doing a split tender at the register to charge $50 to all 4 AMEX cards.

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