Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well. Last week, the $99 annual fee posted to my legacy / grandfathered Chase Marriott Bonvoy Premier Plus Business Credit Card (no longer available for new members). The only reason I keep this credit card is for the 35K Marriott Free Night Certificate, which I value slightly more than $99. I decided to call Chase to see if I was eligible for a retention offer. I explained to the Chase rep that I wasn’t travelling much this year and asked if the annual fee could be waived. The Chase rep said I could get a $50 statement credit or product change to the no annual fee Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card. I gladly accepted the $50 statement credit and that credit posted to my account about a week later.
Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well. On April 10, 2021, Citi reduced the value of Citi ThankYou Points (TYPs) when redeemed for travel from 1.25 cents per point (CPP) to 1.0 CPP. To make up for the devaluation of TYPs, Citi started allowing members with a Citi Premier Credit Card to cash out TYPs at 1 CPP in any amount, down to a single TYP (this redemption already existed on the Citi Prestige Credit Card). With that info in mind, I wanted to test out the cash out feature on my Citi Double Cash Credit Card. I made several small purchases and then several cash out redemptions.
Unfortunately, the cash out statement credit redemptions do not count as eligible payments, therefore they do not earn cash back on the Citi Double Cash (I missed out the normal 1% cash back for paying off the credit card). As you can see by my recent statement, I made $88.99 in purchases, made a $5.01 payment, and $83.98 in cash out statement credits (which posted as credits instead of payments).
Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is off to a great start. 8 years ago today (back on May 1, 2013), Travel with Grant was born! Even though I am not a full time blogger and writing this post from a secluded beach, I’m still very happy and grateful to still be writing and sharing my thoughts with my readers. Every year (when I remember), I like to write a birthday / blogiversary post about TWG. If you want to reminisce through the years, check out these old posts: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, and I forgot about year 7 during the Coronavirus Pandemic (oops).
Before I share my top 8 blogging moments, I wanted to share some advice I learned about blogging:
- I feel like the traditional advice and reason for starting a travel blog is to “help friends and family travel.” That couldn’t be further from the truth for me. I was tired of telling my friends and family about all the cool credit card sign up bonuses, cool airline alliances, cool sweet spots, and having them not care at all. I started my blog because I wanted to help people that actually wanted to travel!
- Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme either. Most of the time (at least for the first few years), you will be working for free or working for less than minimum wage. Don’t start a blog for the money because you will run out of steam and enthusiasm very quickly.
- Anyone can start a blog, but keeping a blog going week after week, month after month, and year after year takes a lot of dedication. Which leads to my next point – write about the things that interest you. If you are not excited about a topic, chances are your writing will come off boring and your readers will be bored too.
Without further ado, here are my top 8 travel & blogging moments (in chronological order):
May 1, 2013 – Travel with Grant is born. I was between jobs at the time and thought that having a blog would help me get a job. A few months later, I started working at Panasonic Avionics (in-flight entertainment and global Wifi provider), so maybe my plan worked out. I had never started a blog, so I brainstormed blog names and chose Travel with Grant over Grant’s Trips because when you type out the URL, it looked like www . grant strips . com and I didn’t want people to be dissapointed when they clicked the link. Looking back at the first few months of blogging is like looking at your work from kindergarten now that you are in college. Thankfully, my writing, logo, and blog layout improved over time. Continue reading
Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well. In the last 24 hours, I have received 2 vacation package offers that I wanted to share. The first is from Hilton Grand Vacations where you can get a 3 night stay in Orlando or Las Vegas + 15,000 Hilton Points for $149. The second offer is from Wyndham Vacation Resorts for a 3 night stay in Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Branson, Smoky Mountains, Las Vegas, San Antonio, or Destin + 15,000 Wyndham Rewards Points for $199. Both of these vacation packages require attending a 2 hour timeshare presentation (please see the terms and conditions before booking). I’m not sure if this matters, but I am in California, I am Diamond Elite Status with both chains, and I have credit cards with both chains. Here is the email I received from Hilton Grand Vacations:
Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well. If you have no plans this coming Saturday (April 10), I highly recommend attending the FTU Virtual Seminar (tickets available for $25). The seminar starts on Saturday at 11am ET / 8am PT. I really enjoyed attending the first FTU Virtual Seminar back on December 12 and I’m sure this seminar will be just as entertaining and educational. If you have the FTU Online Annual Membership, you can attend the seminar for free.
If you registered for the seminar on Saturday, but are unable to watch the live stream, you can access the recording of the seminar and watch later on. This is also a great way to re-watch your favorite presentations and catch any details that you originally missed.