Who Sells Uber Gift Cards?

Have you ever been in the “know” about a topic only to find out you were in the “how did I NOT know about this” with that very same topic? Even though, thanks to Harry, our Uber insider, I’m totally in the know when it comes to all things Uber, I’m not an Uber user myself.

But my cousin is! She uses Uber a lot. So when I wanted to get her a special present, being the practical cousin that I am, I thought an Uber gift card would be the perfect gift. I figured Uber had gift cards since every business these days has gift cards. But I had no idea which stores carried them. I’m not late to the party of people who enjoy earning extra miles and points on purchases, though it’s entirely possible I am late to the party in knowing about this Uber link. So just in case you’re like me and need gift cards for those Uber using special people in your life (or even for yourself), take a look at this link. I don’t like showing up to stores and finding they don’t carry the gift cards I’m shopping for, and I’d imagine you don’t either. Here’s the link to find a store near you. Just plug in a zip code and you’re good to go. And please, don’t tell my cousin about her upcoming gift!

Marriott Rewards: New Program Launch Day is Here!

Though the talk about Marriott and its new combined hotel rewards program has been going hot and heavy all summer, the day is finally here when the new program will finally launch. The combined program will launch tomorrow, August 18. I hope everyone who wanted to book hotels before the rates went up has already done so!

No one has covered this news better and given us easier to understand rewards points lists more than Ric over at Loyalty Traveler. If you’re still confused or need the most up to date information on Marriott’s 8 hotel categories and the hotel point increases, head over here.

One aspect of all combined program I’ve thought about, having been an SPG loyalist for years but not much of a Marriott customer, was how much I’d be affected by this merger. I took a look at the Marriott stays I had booked and decided to pay with cash instead of points. It’s a better value for me because I use Pruvo and never overpay for my hotel stays and also because I use my Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit and reduce my out-of-pocket costs that way, as well. It’s always good to let math be your friend and see whether points or cash gets you the best value.

Were you able to book some of your favorite Marriott hotels before the prices in points increase tomorrow?

Which Credit Cards Offer Free (or Almost Free) Companion Tickets?

There are many choices when it comes to increasing our miles and points so we can travel more for less. Recently, however, when using my companion passes and free tickets from credit cards, my friend Carrie asked how that worked and which credit cards came with that perk. Good question!  There are many credit cards that come with free bags or priority boarding. Along with those benefits, these three credit cards also provide a free (or almost free) companion ticket benefit.

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card

The Alaska Airlines credit card is one I’ve had for many years and I never miss using the Companion Fare. Essentially, this annual benefit is a free buy-one-get-one ticket in economy class. The primary traveler must pay the fare, but the companion pays just $99 plus taxes and fees. I always get more than the annual fee of $75 in value per year using this fare. I’ve used it for trips across the US and most recently to Seattle. The certificate is easy to apply to your fare and more than worth the annual fee.

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Chase IHG Premier Credit Card $50 Statement Credit Posted (1 Week After First Purchase)

Good afternoon everyone, I have a quick update to my recent post: Get Matched to the New Chase IHG Rewards Premier 100,000 Point Sign Up Bonus.  In that post, I sent Chase a Secure Message (SM) and got matched from the 80,000 IHG Points sign up bonus to the 100,000 IHG Points sign up bonus.  In the comments section of that post, readers wanted to know if I would still get the $50 statement credit after my first purchase if I accepted the higher sign up bonus offer.  I’m happy to report that the $50 statement credit posted a few days ago.  My first purchase posted on August 7 and the $50 statement credit posted on August 13, roughly 1 week later.  My $89 annual fee posted on August 1, which is roughly 2 weeks before the $50 statement credit posted.

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What Tour Guides Never Tell You

Group dynamics are tricky. And group dynamics when we travel…….well, they can be super tricky. Friends of mine just came back from an African safari and were telling me stories about the group dynamics on their tour. I’ve never been on a tour of any kind, or even on a cruise where you get off at ports and take tours. I guess I’m more of an independent style traveler. However, I do find group dynamics and whether or not people enjoy tours a fascinating topic.

The day after hearing the saga of my friend’s safari trip, I came across this article. So interesting to read about what tour guides have to share from their side of the tour experience. Though some of what guides mention seems like common sense, I often think common sense isn’t too common!

If you’ve ever taken a tour or plan to, it’s a fun, easy read. See what you think.