In a few weeks, we’ll have the next Out for Miles frequent flyer meetup!
It’ll be Monday, April 16th, from 6 to 8:30pm. If you’re in the Dallas area, please come!
Here are the deets.
Debitize has been on my radar for a long time. It’s a website (and iOS app) where you plug in your credit card and bank account information. As you make purchases on your credit card, money is moved automatically every time you swipe – as if you were using your debit card.
For peeps who have trouble with the idea of managing credit, or afraid to overspend, you can still see money leaving your account every time you use your card. And Debitize will pay your card off in full each month.
In essence, you can treat your credit card like a debit card. But the big plus is, you can still rack up valuable credit card rewards!
Here’s more about the service.
I wanna type out loud for a sec to assess which card offers I can still earn. Before I begin, I know there aren’t many.
After all, I currently have about 30 cards and have rotated through many others since I started the points & miles game in 2012 (and heavily in 2013).
So what’s left for me? I know it’s not much.
Let’s take a deep dive.
Amex is bringing it with their small business cards. There are notable welcome offer increases on a few of them right now.
And they are definitely NOT created equal.
Here’s what to consider about each one.
Quick update about free Kindle books because:
You can get a free eBook just for being an IHG member (so anyone can get a free one). Redeem it through the IHG app!
Even better, you can get free books each quarter if you have elite status with IHG. (The number of books you can get depends on your status tier.)
You can get a free book this week. And another one next week on Sunday, April 1st – because it’ll be a new quarter! 🙂
Oh my purness, I cannot wait to get back to Japan right meow. 😻
I’ll be back in early April – just in time to catch the end of cherry blossom season (!) according to the forecast.
I’ll fly there and back in American Airlines Business Class, Dallas nonstop to Tokyo. (I reviewed the First Class cabin last time).
I’ll be at the Hilton Tokyo again for 3 nights (here’s my review). And at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo for 4. Was hoping to stay at the Conrad Tokyo for at least 2 nights. But demand was too crazy, obvi.
Still, I paid ~$58 out-of-pocket for a trip that retails for nearly $15,000. My only expenses when I get there will be train fares, food food food, and admission to art museums.
Here’s how I booked it!
I recently took a road trip from Dallas to Albuquerque to Colorado Springs to Denver – and back to Dallas. It was 1,925 miles and 29 hours of pure asphalt that took us through plains, mountains, and prairies.
I spent time preparing for the week-long journey. And figured how to save cash and have fun on the way. Because that’s a lot of time in a car!
If you don’t plan it right (or at all), you’ll likely spend too much, miss cool opportunities, or generally have a miserable time. And no one wants that. 😾
Here are tips to make your next road trip smooth as asphalt.
I wrote how I bought a car with credit cards in early 2016. It was a used 2004 Subaru Forester. And it fit my needs at the time.
I swore I’d never buy a new car. It’s a badge of honor within the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) community to have an old car with tons of miles on it. It means you’re frugal. And saving. And “doing it right.” A quick search on Reddit returns more opinions than you can ever filter through.
There’s even a rap song called “No Car Note.” (“I love my ’98 Honda!”)
But after running the numbers, I broke my own rule. And bought a 2017 Nissan Versa Note. With a car note.
Peeps conceptualize their points & miles in various ways. I’ve heard the argument they’re worth as much as you’re willing to pay in cash – logic that has always failed me. I use points because I won’t pay cash… right?
If I get a $10,000 Business Class flight for say, 50,000 miles – but I’m only willing to pay $1,000 in cash for the flight, does that mean the miles were worth the retail value of $10,000… or my “willing to pay” price of $1,000?
To me, they’re worth up to the cash cost because I typically travel for pleasure. Even though I value most points & miles at 2 cents each (at least!). Which in this case, 50,000 miles would be worth at least $1,000 but actually much more because of the retail price.
Knowing the selling price is the thrill of the deal. That’s the point of points in the first place (or First Class). And often, I use points & because only because of the retail value, despite what I’m “willing” to pay.
So I set my minimum value at 2 cents each because under that, you might as well use a 2% cashback card for the same (or better) result. I collect points for those times when I get outsized value – that’s what makes it worth it. And why I set the points value at – benchmark low – 2 cents each. But it all depends.
I get it. Not everyone spends their Friday nights taking epsom salt baths and pondering the workings of various points programs.
Lots of peeps directly asked about the Capital One Venture Rewards card: is it worth getting?
My answer’s always been: yeah, if you don’t want to deal with points programs.
It has a $95 annual fee, though it’s waived the first year. But the ease of redemption and earning might be worth it if you like the Capital One ecosystem.
(This is the last post about Puerto Vallarta, by the dubs.)
Y’all. I did something I’ve never done at a hotel before: paid out-of-pocket for a fancy spa day. I got a body scrub, body wrap, facial, and full-body massage. It was opulent, decadent, and completely amazing.
During our stay at the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, my friend and I took a stretching class one morning. On the way, we passed by the spa, mostly out of curiosity.
After touring the facility and taking a look at the spa menu, we decided the couples massage was actually a great value. So we set up the appointment to spend 4 hours in heavenly bliss.
If you’re paying fees to access your own money, it’s time to dump your stupid bank.
Do it now do it now DO IT NOW. If you pay $10 a month for not carrying a minimum balance, $2 to request a balance, or ATM fees when you need to withdraw money, vote with your feet. Get. Out. NOW.
I’ll share bank accounts that are completely FREE to have and use with NO minimum. Oh, and you don’t need a physical branch.