Tag Archives: Free Stuff

My 1 Year Wedding Anniversary Trip to Carmel, Monterey, and Big Sur

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Yesterday (July 27) was my 1 year wedding anniversary – what a crazy year it has been!  If you are unfamiliar with our love story, please read Quick Update Regarding the Old 150x British Airways Avios & Match.com Promo.  Long story short, I joined Match.com because British Airways was running a huge promo and offering thousands of British Airways Avios.  In the end, I didn’t get the Avios, but I did get the girl and we got married in Sonoma, CA on July 27, 2019.  Last weekend, we drove down to Carmel / Monterey / Big Sur for our anniversary.  Here is where we stayed and ate during our trip…

Grant & Laura’s Wedding Day – July 27, 2019

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Contact American Express via Chat Regarding Missing $10 Dining Credit on AMEX Gold Card

Good morning everyone.  Long story short, I contacted American Express via chat because I had an issue with the monthly $10 dining credit on my American Express Gold Card.  I was a procrastinator in June and used my AMEX Gold Card to make a Grubhub purchase on June 30 (to trigger the June $10 dining credit).  The purchase posted the following day on July 1 and the $10 dining credit posted to my account on July 4.  The next day on July 5, I made another Grubhub purchase (to trigger the July $10 dining credit).  I immediately received the “Great news! You just used your Amex Offer” email from American Express.  Fast forward to today and I was still waiting for the $10 dining credit to post to my account.  I reached out to American Express via their chat feature.  Here is my conversation with the AMEX Rep and my thoughts…

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My Wife’s Super Easy Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Retention Call

Good morning everyone.  A few days ago, the $59 annual fee posted on my wife’s Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.  Laura has been a loyal Capital One cardmember since before she met me and uses this card as her go-to 2% back everywhere card.  I told her she should call Capital One and ask them to waive the annual fee.  She looked at me strangely wondering why she should ask to waive the annual fee.  I told her that my Citi Double Cash Credit Card earns 2% cash back with no annual fee and we aren’t travelling, so we haven’t put any eligible travel purchases on the card that could be reimbursed.  Plus, she has never transferred Capital One “Miles” into frequent flyer miles.  She called the number on the back of her card and talked to a friendly Capital One rep.

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Why I Redeemed 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Pay Yourself Back Feature

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well.  I recently had a change of heart and decided to redeem 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points with the Pay Yourself Back feature.  Chase introduced the Pay Yourself Back feature on May 31 and I wrote How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points via Pay Yourself Back (1.5 Cents Per Point for Restaurants, Grocery Stores & Home Improvement).  Initially, I was not very excited about the new feature, since I convinced myself that I could use my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points in other ways and get more than 1.5 cents per point.

After realizing that I had no concrete travel plans remaining in 2020 (I recently cancelled trips to Boston & New York along with a big trip to Africa), I figured that my stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards Points would probably not be used much this year.  Before redeeming 1/3 of my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, I looked at Chase’s travel partners to see if there were any major reasons to keep my Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.  Chase has 13 airline and hotel partners, but only has 4 exclusive partners (Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, IHG, and Hyatt), the remaining 9 travel partners are accessible with American Express Membership Rewards Points, Citi ThankYou Points, and Capital One Miles.

My wife and I have ~58,000 Southwest Airlines points and ~$150 in travel credit, so I would not need to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Southwest Airlines.  I am not a huge fan of United Airlines and can usually book Star Alliance flights with other travel programs, plus I have ~$178 travel credit from a cancelled United flight.  IHG points are worth ~0.5 cents per point and I have ~222,000 IHG points in my account.  Last but not least, Hyatt is the only travel partner that stands out from the list.  I decided to save at least 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points just in case we stay at a Hyatt later this year).

I figured that normal spending on our Chase Ink Cash Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, and Chase Freedom Credit Card this year would replenish our Chase Ultimate Rewards Points balance by the end of 2020.

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American Express Automatically Issued Missing Membership Rewards Points from AMEX Business Platinum 35% Rebate

Good afternoon everyone, I hope your week is going well.  Yesterday morning, I received an email from AMEX with the subject line “Important Notice About Your American Express Account.”  That subject line could mean many things (my mind automatically assumes the worst when receiving these type of emails), but I was very happy to see that American Express gave me Membership Rewards Points due to an issue with the Pay with Points feature available on my American Express Business Platinum Card.  I have only used the Pay with Points feature once in May 2019 and wrote about My Disappointing Experience with AMEX Business Platinum 35% Membership Rewards Point Rebate in August 2019, so I don’t have any immediate plans to use the feature again.  There were 2 strange things about this email.

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