Tag Archives: Promotions

Work from Home Diary 1: Cancelling My Ireland & Kauai Trips

Good morning everyone, I hope your week is going well.  These are very uncertain times and I have difficulty finding motivation to write about anything travel related.  Therefore, I decided to share my feelings in a series of Work from Home Diary posts.  Feel free to share your work from home feelings in the comments section below.

First of all, I am very fortunate that I work for a company where we have the ability to work from home.  My heart goes out to everyone affected in the retail industry, travel/hospitality industry, restaurant/bar industry and many other industries that are affected by the coronavirus.

Last week, my company gave us the option to work from home or go into the office. I decided to work from home the entire week.  I’m used to working from home a few days a week, but working from home 5 days in a row takes a toll (both mentally and physically).  In my next diary post, I will share how I am doing in week 2.

Laura and I were supposed to fly to Ireland last Friday (March 13) for a week for her spring break (she is an assistant principal).  On Wednesday evening (March 11), the Europe travel ban was announced and we decided to cancel our Ireland trip.  I cancelled our Aer Lingus flights booked with British Airways Avios, hotel awards booked at Hyatt and Radisson Blu, Hertz rental car, and a few Expedia activities.  Canceling everything online only took a few minutes and thankfully everything resulted in a full refund, with the exception of the $55 cancellation fees per person charged by British Airways (I called to see if they could be waived, but it was not possible). Continue reading

I Cancelled My Last Minute Trip to Hawaii [Rescheduled for June]

Reposted on 3/17/20 at 7:30am


Updated 3pm PT on 3/14/20: I was planning on going to Kauai in March but have rescheduled my trip to Kauai for June.  I have cancelled / rescheduled all the reservations below.


Good afternoon everyone, I hope your Friday is going well.  As a sequel to yesterday’s post (I Cancelled My Trip to Ireland), we decided to go to Kauai instead for Laura’s spring break (we went to Kauai 2 years ago for Laura’s spring break as well).  I checked flights from the Bay Area to Hawaii and flights were in the $100-$130 price range each way to all the Hawaiian Islands.  Prices were so cheap that it was a better deal to pay for flights than to book award tickets.

Laura had ~52K Southwest Airlines Points in her account, so we booked 2 roundtrip tickets from Oakland (OAK) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) using 50,292 SWA points and $22.40 in taxes/fees ($5.60 per person per flight).  About an hour later, I checked the flight prices and saw a price drop.  I immediately rebooked the SWA flight for free and saved 8,174 SWA points.  This morning, I checked the flights again and saw more price drops.  I quickly and easily rebooked those flights using the SWA app.  After the dust settled, our SWA flights now cost a total of 35,087 SWA points (a savings of 15,205 SWA points in ~12 hours).  I kind of feel bad that the prices keep dropping so dramatically (but I will keep checking the flight prices to see if they get any cheaper).

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$5 TurboTax Chase Offer Triggered with State Tax Return E-File

Good afternoon everyone.  If you are working on your taxes this weekend and using TurboTax, don’t forget about the $5 TurboTax Chase Offer.  $5 is not much, but it’s better than nothing.  The Chase Offer expires on April 30, 2020, and should be triggered with any TurboTax purchase.  I saw the same TurboTax offer on all my personal Chase credit cards but I decided to add and use the offer on my Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card since Chase Ultimate Reward Points are more valuable than Marriott, Hyatt, or IHG points.

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2020 Datapoint: AMEX Airline Fee Credit for American Airlines Posted in 7 Days

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well (despite the daylight saving time change).  Last week, I wrote Use American Express Chat to Change Airline Fee Credit Airline Choice (Almost 100% Automated).  In that post, I showed you how you could easily change your airline choice for the American Express airline fee credit by using the AMEX chat feature.  In today’s post, I will share my experience getting the airline fee credit for a few American Airlines seat upgrades.  As you can see by this email from American Express, my airline choice was changed to American Airlines on 10:16am on February 29, 2020.

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My Travel Philosophy for Redeeming Miles vs. Paying Cash for Flights (w/ Account Balances as of March 2020)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I just finished listening to the Miles to Memories podcast (latest episode) and enjoyed listening to them talk about Disney when they redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights.  I don’t have a hard and fast rule that I live by, so I thought it would be fun to share my travel philosophy of when I redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights.  I specifically mention flights because I plan to write a similar article about hotels and didn’t want to make this article too long.  Lastly, when I use the word cash, that could mean paying for the flight with a credit card, or paying with an airline gift card, or using credit card rewards to pay for the flight – basically anything other than booking an award ticket with airline miles.

I also think it is important to share how many credit card reward points I have, since my thinking would be much different if I had 1,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points vs. 1 million Chase Ultimate Reward Points.  With that said, here are my transferable points balances, as of March 2020, from smallest to largest:

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