Add Funds in the Starbucks App to Trigger Starbucks AMEX Offer (15% Cash Back)

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is off to a great (sleepy) start.  I was at the Seattle FTU travel conference over the weekend and enjoyed listening to the great presentations and talking to many new and returning attendees.  In other news, there is a Starbucks AMEX Offer that came out a few weeks ago that I recently linked to my American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card.  With the AMEX Offer, you can get 15% cash back on Starbucks, up to $5 cash back.  $5 may not seem like much, but that is basically a free drink and 15% discount on Starbucks is a pretty good discount.  You can sometimes buy more discounted Starbucks eGCs online, but those are prone to fraud and I didn’t want to risk my Starbucks account to save a few bucks.  With the AMEX Offer, it clearly states that “app reloads” will work for the AMEX Offer, so that is exactly what I did.

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Come Say Hi to Me at FTU Seattle this Weekend (March 9-10)

Good morning everyone.  I am heading to Seattle this weekend for a fun-filled FTU (Frequent Traveler University).  If you are heading to the travel conference, say hi if you see me.  I will be wearing my Travel with Grant shirt on Saturday and Sunday.  It is always fun to meet TWG readers and catch up with old friends.  If this is your first FTU, try to meet and talk to as many people as possible.  Preferably, try to find people that live in the same state or region as you do, since you can swap MS stories and share local tips & tricks.  Even though I am not giving any presentations, feel free to ask me any travel, bank account, or credit card related question.  If I do not know the answer, I will probably know how you should ask.  Here’s to good weather, great conversations, and a fun weekend talking about miles, points, and travel!

Getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) at AAA was Very Quick & Easy

Good afternoon everyone.  I will be in Tahiti & Moorea in a few months and booked a rental car for my trip.  After I booked the rental car, I decided to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) from AAA (Automobile Association of America).  I was worried the process was going to be similar to a trip to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), but I am happy to say that the process was 100x more pleasant.

According to the AAA website, “Your IDP is a valid form of identification in 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information. It translates your identification information into 10 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Most countries highly recommend an International Driving Permit.”  In addition, “Many countries require an IDP to drive legally. Fines for driving without an IDP can be quite costly. Check countries requirements before travel. ”  For $20, the IDP seemed like a no brainer (the cost is $20 whether you are a AAA member or not).  Here is how to get your IDP quickly and easily from AAA.

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Reality Check: My Dilemma Booking $200+ Hotel Room (But $200+ Flights Are No Problem)

Good afternoon everyone.  My last reality check post was pretty popular (Reality Check: Traveling with Non-TSA PreCheck Travelers Sucks) so hopefully you guys enjoy this post and I get some good feedback from you guys.  Here is some background info and how I think.  I love nonstop flights and tend to book those even if they are not the cheapest option.  Booking flights under $100, under $200, and under $300 do not bother me at all, but when it comes to booking a hotel room, I find it hard to justify paying $200+ for a hotel room.  For the nonstop flights that I tend to book, using miles is not ideal.  Either the flight is so cheap that I would be getting a terrible value using miles (like a $100 Alaska Airlines flight vs. 12,500 Alaska Airlines miles) or only standard awards are available (like a $200 United Airlines flight vs. 25,000 United Airlines miles).  I mostly fly Southwest Airlines and have a stockpile of Southwest Airlines gift cards (thanks to airline reimbursements from American Express Business Platinum, American Express Hilton Aspire, and Chase Southwest Airlines Priority) and discounted gift cards sold on eBay, along with many Southwest Airlines travel credits that I need to use before they expire.  When I fly Southwest Airlines, I always use up my travel funds and then redeem Southwest Airlines gift cards.  In those instances, those Southwest Airlines flights seem much cheaper to me than the original price.

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Targeted Spending Offers for US Bank Radisson Rewards Business & Personal Credit Cards

Good morning everyone, happy Friday! I’m heading to Las Vegas this weekend to do some hiking and watch the Golden Knights NHL game.  I hope you have a fun filled weekend ahead too!  Yesterday, I received 2 targeted spending offers from US Bank regarding my US Bank Radisson Rewards Business Credit Card and US Bank Radisson Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card.  I will go through both offers and tell you what I think of each offer.  If you received different targeted offers, please let me know in the comments.  Without further ado, let’s go over the targeted spending offer on my US Bank Radisson Rewards Business Credit Card.

After spending $2,000 on the credit card, I will earn 3 bonus points per dollars, up to 5,000 bonus points.  I would need to spend an extra $1,666.67 to max out the 5,000 bonus points.  In total, I would need to spend $2,000 + $1,666.67 = $3,666.67 and earn 23,333 points ( [5 x 2,000 = 10,000] + [8 x 1,666.67 = 13,333], 10,000 + 13,333 = 23,333).  If I spent $3,666.67 on my Citi Double Cash Credit Card, I would earn $73.33.  So $73.33 cash back vs. 23,333 Radisson Rewards Points.  According to Frequent Miler’s Reasonable Redemption Value table, Radisson Rewards Points are worth 0.38 cents per point, so 23,333 points is worth $88.67, or only $15.34 more than the cash back.  I’m currently sitting on a stash of 146k Radisson Rewards Points, so I do not want/need any more points.  If you value Radisson Rewards points at more than 0.38 cents per point, you might be interested in this offer.

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