Good morning everyone, happy Friday! Yesterday, I received an interesting comment on my post: My 5 New Year’s Travel Resolutions for 2020. The commenter, MrDioji, asked: “How do you get Award Wallet to display airline and dining credits? Or do you manually add them?” He was referring to this screenshot of my American Express balances in my AwardWallet account. Instead of answering the question in the comments section, I thought it would be helpful to write a post about this topic to help other readers. In this post, I will show you how to view or hide airline credits, dining credits, hotel free night certificates, and many other pieces of information.
Good morning everyone, long time no blog. I hope you all had a great holiday season and have exciting plans for New Years. Quick update from me: Laura and I drove down to Orange County from the Bay Area for Christmas and then we *tried* to drive back up to the Bay Area on December 26, but since the Grapevine (on the 5 Freeway) was closed due to snow, we only made it half way up on the 101 Freeway. We stopped in Santa Maria (near San Luis Obispo) for 1 night (shout out to the Holiday Inn Express Santa Maria for 20K IHG Points) and then we drove up the rest of the way on December 27 for a second Christmas with Laura’s family. Then on Saturday morning, we flew to Las Vegas to visit my new niece (born on December 21). On Sunday night, after a nice relaxing dinner at the LAS Centurion Lounge, we had a minor weather delay on our return flight to SFO, followed by sitting on our United flight for 90 minutes as we waited for an open gate (half of SFO is United, so there should be an open gate…). We are glad to be back home and I have a few blog posts in the pipeline.
For today’s post, I will list my top 10 most read blog posts written in 2019 along with the top 10 posts of the year (regardless of the year they were written). By the way, here are the most popular posts from 2018, 2017, and 2016. Continue reading
Good afternoon everyone, I hope your weekend is off to a great start. A few days ago, I wrote a post titled I Paid $4,588 in Credit Card Annual Fees in 2019 – Was it Worth it? In that post, I shared the 21 credit cards that I plan on keeping and how I justify paying the annual fees on those credit cards. I felt bad for the 16 no annual fee cards that Laura and I have and decided to write a post about them too. Roughly half of the no annual fee credit cards were downgraded / converted from a credit card with an annual fee. Besides the rewards that some of the no annual fee credit cards provide, keeping no annual fee credit cards open long term is good for your credit score. It improves the length of credit history (average age of accounts), which represents 15% of your total credit score. It also helps with the amounts owed (your credit utilization ratio), which represents 30% of your total credit score. Lastly, it helps with payment history (paying your credit card bills on time), which represents 35% of your total credit score. For more info, check out this Doctor of Credit page.
Good afternoon everyone. Doctor of Credit has a Best Bank Account Bonuses page that he keeps up to date with the best offers each month. In that master post, he links to individual bank account bonuses with helpful information regarding the bonus details, how to avoid monthly fees, when to close the account, how often you can open a new account, and much more. For the last 5 years, I have been opening new checking accounts for the new member bonuses. And at the end of each year, I share my results on the blog. Over the last 5 years, I have made $11,450 in bank account bonuses. You will receive 1099-INT tax forms every year, so you have to pay taxes on the bank account bonuses, but sometimes you can fund the opening deposit with a credit card and earn miles, points, or cash back. If you are lucky, you can meet a minimum spending requirement by funding a new checking account or reach a high spending target to earn more rewards. Here are my results from the last 5 years with links to corresponding blog post summaries:
- 2015: $1,175 (no post)
- 2016: $2,850 (summary)
- 2017: $3,700 (summary)
- 2018: $2,725 (summary)
- 2019: $1,000 (this post)
Good afternoon everyone. I have some good news for Starbucks Rewards members and Alaska Airlines flyers. On December 12, Alaska Airlines and Starbucks are partnering for a special Happy Hour “that will spread a ‘latte’ holiday cheer.” Starbucks is offering customers a BOGO (buy one, get one) free on any handcrafted beverage (grande or larger) from 2 – 7pm. Alaska Airlines is also giving away 6 trips during a special #AlaskaHappyHour, but you need to follow @alaskaair on Twitter for details on how to win a trip to an iconic Starbucks location + $100 Starbucks gift card. Also, Starbucks Rewards members can receive up to 20% off flights anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. The discount code will be shown in the Starbucks App (iOS or Android) and you need to enter that discount code when you book your Alaska Airlines flights (discount code expires at 11:59pm PT on December 13).
You need to book through alaskaair.com/happyhour and use discount code IFLYALASKA. See complete terms and conditions below.