Author Archives: Grant

About Grant

Grant is an expert in frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, credit card rewards, and cash back deals. He also has a pretty cool travel blog. Find him on Twitter @travelwithgrant.

Hilton Grand Vacations (Timeshare) Package Extended Expiration Date & Free Change to Other US Resorts

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  This summer, Laura and I were supposed to go to Boston and New York City for a week.  Then the Coronavirus Pandemic hit.  We recently cancelled our entire trip, including our JetBlue award flight from SFO-BOS, our Hilton free night stay in Boston, our Amtrak trip from Boston to NYC, our hotel stays in NYC, and our American Airlines award flight from LGA-DFW-SNA.  Part of our stay in NYC was at a Hilton Grand Vacations resort with the purchase of a timeshare package (and mandatory timeshare presentation).  Fun read: Profiting from 2 Timeshare Presentations in Hawaii (Secret: Attend, but do not Buy!)

Long story short, I originally bought the timeshare package in November 2018 and have extended / renewed it a few times over the years.  After cancelling my NYC timeshare package, I learned about the extended expiration date and the ability to change to another Hilton resort in the US for free.  More details at the bottom of the post.  My original timeshare package was $286 and gave us 2 nights in NYC (choice of 4-5 properties), $100 Spend a Night on Us voucher (hopefully no headaches like last time), $100 Elevated Rewards Dollars (Hilton resort credit during our stay), and 5,000 Hilton Honors Points (worth ~$25).  The original timeshare package expiration date was November 15, 2019.

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2 Strategies for Buying USPS Forever Stamps Online (AMEX Business Platinum Card $20 Monthly Benefit)

Good morning everyone.  On May 1, American Express introduced many new (temporary) benefits to the American Express Business Platinum Card, including a $20 monthly credit for shipping (which includes USPS, UPS & FedEx) that is valid from May 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.  A few days ago, I wrote How to Purchase & Print USPS Shipping Labels Online (AMEX Business Platinum Card $20 Monthly Benefit).  I’ve also read a few other blog posts where travel bloggers said that they will buy $20 of stamps every month, even though they have no need for stamps.  I thought it would be a good idea to share 2 strategies for buying stamps online.  Just a heads up, the USPS charges a small $1.30 shipping charge for buying stamps online, but if you would rather avoid the $1.30 fee, you can visit your local post office.

Strategy 1: Buy Stamps Throughout the Year for the Holidays

You might be surprised to know that there are 40 different versions of Forever Stamps currently available for sale on the USPS website, with new stamp designs added throughout the year.  If you are someone who sends Christmas / Hanukkah / holiday greeting cards, there are several options available and you can purchase the necessary stamps monthly throughout the year.  If you live in Alabama or Maine, there are also specific stamps featuring your state.

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Citi Rewards+: 2,500 Bonus ThankYou Points Posted to TYP Account, Not Credit Card Statement

Good afternoon everyone.  Last month, I received a targeted spend offer on my Citi Rewards+ Credit Card where I could earn 10x Citi ThankYou Points up to 2,500 TYPs for online purchases.  Doctor of Credit wrote about the offer.  Spending $250+ online in a month seemed pretty easy and 2,500 TYPs is worth $31.25 toward TYP travel redemptions, so I activated the offer, made the online purchases, and waited for the TYPs to post.  My credit card statement closed yesterday, so I downloaded the statement and looked at the TYP earning section, but I didn’t see the 2,500 TYPs.  I did some digging and found that the 2,500 TYPs posted directly to my TYP account instead.  I will share my findings below.

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Sweet Retention Offer on Chase Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card ($99 Annual Fee)

Good afternoon everyone.  A few weeks ago, I wrote Reconsideration Strategy for Credit Card Annual Fees During Coronavirus Pandemic.  In that post, I shared all of my credit cards with annual fees that were coming due soon and my plan for retention offers.  While I struck out with American Express regarding my American Express Gold Card and American Express Hilton Aspire Credit Card, I did score a sweet retention offer on my Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card.

I don’t believe this credit card is still available for new applications, but if you have another Chase Marriott business credit card, you should be able to product change to this card.  According to the card benefits, there is really nothing very special about this credit card except for the fact that you get a free night certificate every year that is valid at Marriott properties that cost up to 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.  If you spend $60,000 on this credit card, you will earn a second free night certificate.  The credit card has a $99 annual fee.  The annual fee just posted to my account, so I decided to call Chase to see what kind of retention offers were available.

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New AMEX Business Platinum Shipping & Wireless Phone Service Credits Post Fast

Good morning everyone.  A few days ago, American Express unveiled several new benefits for several of their personal and business cards.  Doctor of Credit has all the details regarding the card benefits, but for today’s post, I am going to talk about the monthly $20 Shipping and $20 Wireless Phone Service credits for the American Express Business Platinum Card.

These benefits were announced and went live on May 1, so I waited no time testing out the credits.  On May 1, I wrote How to Purchase & Print USPS Shipping Labels Online (AMEX Business Platinum Card $20 Monthly Benefit).  I purchased a $10.90 shipping label through the USPS website to ship an item I sold on Amazon.  Later that day, I made a one time $20 payment to my AT&T wireless phone bill.  Both purchases posted on May 1 and the subsequent statement credits posted on May 4.  That is a really fast turnaround time for the statement credits to post.

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