Queer and There

Category Archives for Queer and There.

Is Citi Planning Changes to the Prestige Card?

I got an email from Citi asking me to take a survey put together by ISG Research (Insight Strategy Group).

Citi's

Citi’s rather vague email

The subject was, “We want your feedback on the best credit card rewards programs.”

But once I got into it, I realized they were asking about the Citi Prestige card.

The email even said, “Cardmember since 2015,” which was the year I got my Citi Prestige card.

In the survey, they ask the respondent to consider several mash-ups of card features and select the best option.

They throw around current Citi Prestige features like the 4th night free, annual fee, transfer partners, and ancillary benefits like the 3 free rounds of golf.

What is Citi considering?

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App-O-Rama: 4 New Cards and ~200,000 Points

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Oh man, looking back on my first AOR 3 years ago is such a stroll down memory lane.

Still the best high I've found

Still the best high I’ve found

I was still newish to points and miles, new to blogging, still finding my voice and figuring out my travel goals.

I mentioned them at the time:

My travel goals for this round of apps are Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Dublin, Seattle, Alaska, and eventually, Australia. I’d also LOVE to fit in Vienna/Prague sometime this summer.

I made it to all of those places with the exception of Prague (which I mentioned recently as a possibility with Hilton points, so it’s still on my radar):

It goes to show the power of setting a goal.

But I should take a little wisdom “Three Years Ago Harlan” because my recent round of applications were rather scattershot. After I get settled in Dallas, I’m gonna need to plan a lot of trips with all the points and miles I’ll earn from this newest AOR.

4 new cards!

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Get FoundersCard for $295 Through May 13th, 2016

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Update: This offer has been extended through May 24th, 2016. My feeling is that it will keep getting extended. You can always contact me and I’ll check for you – I’ll also try to keep this page up-to-date.

Thought I’d post this promo and how to get it as a few readers have contacted me about the specifics.

Through May 13th, 2016, you can get FoundersCard for $295 a year – for life. The rate will never go up, so you can lock it in for $100 less than the usual $395 a year.

It sounds steep, but my FoundersCard has already paid for itself this year – and I just renewed (at the higher rate) in March 2016.

There are a ton of benefits that come with the card (including Total Rewards Diamond status).

I’ll show you how to get the lower rate because it’s not as straightforward as it should be.

How to get the $295 deal

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Osaka: Bullet Train, Food, Nightlife, Aquarium, & Wanderings

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After exploring Tokyo, it was time to head to Osaka, the Japan’s second-largest city.

Bullet train

We left Tokyo via bullet train (Shinkansen) for the journey of about 500 kilometers. It took a little over 3 hours, not including getting to and from the train stations on either side. One-way tickets were ~$145 for the fare and seat reservation.

Because we departed from the Shinjuku station near where we stayed at the Hilton Tokyo, travel time was minimal (~20 minutes, if that).

We had reserved seats, though the midday train was only at about half capacity. An attendant came through every so often to offer snacks and coffee, but I noticed savvier riders unwrapping their pre-packaged meals on board.

The train was clean, the seats were comfy, and the overall experience was positive. Watching the scenery flying by was hypnotic.

On this day, the clouds gathered low to the ground. For that reason, we only got the faintest glimpse of Mount Fuji in the distance. But I bet on a clear day, the views would be incredible!

From Tokyo to Osaka, you’ll see Mount Fuji from the right side of the train. It’s huge. You literally can’t miss it.

The bullet train was awesome! Calming, actually. No squealing metal and sparks of fire shooting out from the wheels *cough* New York City MTA *cough*

Eating Osaka

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My FoundersCard Membership Just Paid for Itself This Year

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Update: You can lock in a FoundersCard membership for $295 a year through May 13th, 2016 when you sign-up with my link. This is $100 less than the usual rate!

Peeps are curious about FoundersCard. The many posts I’ve written are amongst my most-Googled. And a good 1/3 of reader emails ask about a specific benefit.

So I thought I’d post an update, as I still have and use mine regularly.

In fact, I just used it to join the Equinox in Dallas – and got $29 knocked off my monthly rate thanks to FoundersCard.

asd

Just saved a bundle to get back into shape

Now I’m not saying “join Equinox!” Instead, I’d say FoundersCard is worth it if you have a particular benefit in mind, like:

As long as it stays good, I'm on board

As long as it stays this good, I’m on board

Any one of these benefits can make up FoundersCard’s $395 annual fee if you really maximize it. And more if you can make use of 2 or 3 (or more) of them.

For example, I save about $20 a month off my AT&T bill.

And the TripIt Pro membership I got from my Barclaycard Arrival Plus is about to expire.

Free TripIt Pro saves $49

Free TripIt Pro saves $49

I’ve grown to love the service and use the app constantly for my travel plans. Would I pay for it? Maybe. But I won’t have to think about it for another year, because the next one is free thanks to FoundersCard.

How I use FoundersCard to save

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Goodbye to All That: In a Month, Dallas Here I Come!

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It begins: my last month as an official New York City resident.

Movers are booked.

The date is set to wake up and start driving away, all my things loaded in my new Subaru Forester – including the pup!

Resting after a run upstate

This little guy has spent his whole life in Brooklyn!

My dog will be 6 this year, and he’s never known much outside of New York. He’s gonna shed SO MUCH in Texas.

My house is sitting there, waiting to be lived in. I even went ahead and joined a gym in Dallas (and got a sweet discount thanks to FoundersCard).

The house

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Lyft: Cheaper & Better Than Uber, Now With Cashless Tipping

It took me a long time to get into the whole “Uber” thing. I was always like… why not just take a taxi?

The price wasn’t that much cheaper until recently.

The few times I uber-ed, the main thing I liked was the cashless tipping. The price, all things considered, was equal to a cab (I say/write this in NYC).

Then, they slashed fares. 

uber vs lyft

Underdog extraordinaire

And, I started going to Dallas a whole lot more, without a car. I grew accustomed to firing up Uber as I walked outside and getting a ride to my condo. Again, with the cashless tipping.

I love the simplicity of the bundled fare. You just get out when you arrive, and you’re on your way. The receipt comes via email seconds after the door closes.

…But now there’s no cashless tipping

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Tokyo: Cherry Blossoms, Microbars, Amazing Food, Views, & Wanderings

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Back in January when I burned some American Airlines miles for a round-trip First Class award ticket to Japan, I had no idea of what to expect from the place.

The trip was my first time there (and in Asia!). I was nervous about getting around, the language barrier, navigating the huge metro system, and figuring out the basics, like ordering food and buying train tickets.

From landing at Narita, to getting to the Hilton Tokyo, to taking the bullet train to Osaka, and everything in between, it could not have been easier.

In fact, over the week I spent in Japan, I quickly fell in absolute love. The cities, the Japanese, and the country’s infrastructure… simply incredible.

Exploring Tokyo

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BauBax Ultimate Travel Jacket Review

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I wrote back in July 2015 about the “ultimate travel jacket” from BauBax.

I was on the fence about getting one, but Jay got it for my birthday, which was in late August.

And um, I just got it this month. So yes, flash forward 10 months and the jacket has finally arrived.

Just in time for summer when you don’t need a jacket lol.

I threw it in my bag and took it with me to Japan to start exploring its features.

But first things first…

About the BauBax ultimate travel jacket

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Bye to RadPad, Hello to Plastiq for 2% Bill Payment Fees With MasterCard (Including Mortgages and Utilities)

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RadPad has been a sweet deal these past few months thanks to their 1.99% fee for paying with a MasterCard.

You could earn 3X Citi ThankYou points by paying with the Citi AT&T Access More card (and still can until June 1st, 2016). Because I have 3 Airbnbs, it’s been a points-generating machine for me.

Even better, when you pair it with Citi Prestige, the 3X points are worth nearly 5% back when you redeem for American Airlines flights. Even with the fee considered, you still come out ahead.

Another one bites the dust-ah

Another one bites the dust-ah

RadPad increases to 3.49%

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Reflecting on 3 Years of Blogging on Out and Out

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Three years, eh? I can hardly believe it.

When I started Out and Out, I was floating through life, working at a public relations firm in Manhattan. Yeah, your typical rat race 9 to 5 that was actually 8 to 6ish. I was tired most of the time, and didn’t travel nearly as much as I wanted. Most of my travel was to and from a cubicle.

On a whim, I bought a domain, OutAndOut.net (it still works btw), and used it as a journal for all the points and miles stuff I was reading as my daily dose of escapism under the fluorescent office lights.

Yup, that included The Points Guy, View From the Wing, and Million Mile Secrets. Those blogs have all changed in the past 3 years. And so has this one.

400 posts

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