Category Archives: Airlines + Miles

Work from Home Diary 11: My Thoughts on TWG Turning 7 Years Old Today

Good morning everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to let you know that Travel with Grant (the blog) turned 7 years old today!  Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since I started blogging in May 2013.  Back then, I talked about Award Wallet, ITA Matrix, Credit Karma / Credit Sesame, using BA Avios to fly to Hawaii, converting Hawaiian Airlines miles to Hilton points, $500 Visa Gift Cards at Office Depot, and much more.

I thought about sharing my 7 favorite blog posts or top 7 most read blog posts, but thought I would share my thoughts on blogging and my continued goals as a blogger.  Back when I started my blog, I was a ferocious reader of Frequent Miler (still am), Million Miles Secrets, The Points Guy, Frugal Travel Guy, Mile Value, and Travel Blogger Buzz (love you George).  These were blogs that I looked up to and admired for their content and entertainment.  I’m not a full time blogger (and never have been), but the dream of working on a secluded beach with a laptop on my lap and big floppy hat on my head always made me smile. Continue reading

PSA: Don’t Cancel Airline Reservations through Citi ThankYou Portal; Cancel Directly with the Airline

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  A few months ago, I used Citi ThankYou Points to book an Alaska Airlines flight from San Francisco (SFO) to Orange County (SNA) for Mother’s Day Weekend.  Fast forward to Tuesday April 28 when I received this email regarding my airline reservation.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a schedule change to my Alaska Airlines flight.  I knew for the last several weeks that I was not going to fly down to Orange County, but I was hoping Alaska Airlines would cancel the flights and provide a full refund.  In this post, I will show what would happen if I cancelled the airline reservation through the Alaska Airlines website vs. cancelling through the Citi ThankYou Portal (which is what I did) and explain why you SHOULD NOT cancel through the Citi ThankYou Portal.

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PSA: Check Amazon Gift Card Balance for Missed Allowance Reloads

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Since I have several credit cards and only use a few on a daily basis, I put small recurring charges on some of my cards so that the credit card statements are generated every month.  I do this for a 3 main reasons:

  1. If you do not use no annual fee credit cards for several months, the bank may decide that you do not need that credit card and may close it automatically for you.
  2. I have 2 Bank of America Better Balance Rewards Credit Cards (no longer available) where I get a quarterly bonus of $30 per card (I have a linked BofA checking account) for making a purchase and paying my bill on time.  I don’t want to manually make a purchase or risk forgetting to make a monthly purchase on those cards.  It’s an easy $30 bonus x 4 quarters x 2 cards = $240 cash.
  3. I have credit card referral links on my blog and if a reader signs up for the card using my referral link, I get a referral bonus (airline miles or hotel points).  The bonus points do not automatically transfer to the airline or hotel account if a credit card statement is not generated.

For those reasons, I use Amazon Allowance to automatically charge $5 to several cards every month.  The funds are automatically added to my Amazon gift card balance and I usually receive several of the below emails on the 15th of the month.  But unfortunately, for some reason, I only received 2 emails, instead of the usual 8.  I did some digging and it looks like only 2 of my Amazon Allowances processed correctly and the 8 other allowances were skipped.  If you have allowances set up, I recommend checking your Amazon account to see if they processed correctly.

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Work from Home Diary 7: Adult Easter Egg Hunts & Seeing My Family on Zoom this Easter Weekend

Good Friday everyone.  I started sharing my thoughts regarding working from home in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.  For today’s update, I wanted to wish everyone a very happy Easter weekend.  I know that many churches around the country are closed and many family gatherings were cancelled, but we can still celebrate Easter individually but still be connected to others.  It is important to reach out to your friends and family members and check in on them, tell them you love them and are thinking of them, and reminisce about happier times.

One of my fondest Easter moments was from a few years ago when I was at my parent’s house.  Since all the kids have grown up, we did an adult Easter Egg Hunt.  The brightly colored plastic eggs were filled with mini alcohol bottles (the kind you would buy on flights), chocolate eggs, big chocolate bunnies, and some cash.  The real adults (our parents) hid the eggs all over the backyard and they made it very difficult to find all the eggs.  After 20 minutes of looking, all the brightly colored plastic eggs were found and we opened them up.  We compared hauls to see who got the most eggs and who got the best prizes.  It was a lot of fun and hopefully we can do it again in the years to come.

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Bank of America Changes: Cryptocurrency is Cash Advance, Simplified Foreign Transactions & No Payment Return Envelope

Good morning everyone.  I was reviewing my April Bank of America credit card statements and noticed a few changes to the Credit Card Agreement.  I believe these changes go into effect immediately for all Bank of America credit cards, but check your April credit card statement to be sure.  There are 3 main changes that I will cover in this post.  The first is that cryptocurrency purchases will be treated as a cash advance (like money orders, travelers checks, casino gaming chips, bail bonds, etc.).  I believe many other credit card companies have a similar policy regarding cryptocurrency.  When you make a cash advance transaction, you do not earn any rewards, but instead start accruing interest right away.  The next 2 changes involve foreign transactions and payments.

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