Just the Tip(s)

Category Archives for Just the Tip(s).

Get into the habit of earning more points

Yesterday, I was out with a friend for lunch. When the check came, I threw down my Chase Sapphire Preferred to get double points on dining. He put down a Barclays US Airways World MasterCard. I was kind of surprised, since I didn’t know he was into points and miles.

“That’s a pretty good card,” I said, thinking about how I’d just gotten it the week before.

“The points are useless,” he replied. “I never earn enough to actually go anywhere.”

Ummm… I definitely don’t have this problem.

Also see:

My habit loop

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Details about FoundersCard benefits (Cathy Pacific, Avis, hotel discounts)

I recently got a thoughtful email from a reader with a few questions about FoundersCard benefits (HT: Kevin).

I’ve written before about the many benefits FoundersCard offers.

Also see:

I thought I’d turn my reply into a blog post as others might have similar questions before deciding to sign up for the card.

His email:

Let me get your advice…

1.  I am already BA Gold (Emerald) but could use a bit of VS Silver and CX Silver headstarts… and definitely could use the 10% off on US-originating BA flights to the UK (and the rest of Europe?).

2.  I’m already Avis Presidents’ Club so not sure about the Car Rental benefits.

3.  Especially keen on the hotel discounts, eg Park Hyatt Tokyo, SLS in Los Angeles.   Would you be able to share with me as a prospect what the rates are at these properties if you have the FoundersCard?

Awesome questions! I’ll go in order.

#1

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26 More Awesome and Creative Uses for Evernote

Be the elephant

<3

While brainstorming for my previous post, 7 Awesome Uses of Evernote for Travelers, I found some really inventive ways to use this app in ways other traveling and thought I shouldn’t keep it to myself. Thus, this entry. So pardon for the Evernote bonanza!

Evernote is one of those apps that found its way into my life gradually, then suddenly, and now I use it all day every day, for hundreds of tiny things. It really is my external brain, and increasingly, as I use it to remember the things I love and the goals I hold dear, my external heart.

Here are some other things to use Evernote for.

1. Brainstorming.

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Points and miles as insurance – why it’s good to have a stash

Everyone knows I’m Mr. Earn and Burn: I typically like to keep my miles balances as close to zero as possible.

I don’t trust any mileage or point program, really. Not for a second. Every major airline has had a drastic, no-notice-given change to their mileage program this year.

That being said, I like to have a little stash.

Where to keep the stash and how many to tuck away

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Snap: An Awesome App for Saving Money on Groceries

A friend of mine (HT: Jason) shared this link with me last night, and I thought I’d pass it along to you guys because I know I will definitely be using it in the future. It’s called Snap, from Groupon.

Snap

Snap’s a new app for saving money on groceries – at any grocery store. You locate a coupon you want to use, “snap” a picture of the receipt, then upload it through the app. After it’s approved, they add money to your account, and you can request a check once you hit the $20 mark, which seems really easy to do as some of the coupons are for unlimited use.

And a lot of the coupons are for household staples. Here are some screenshots: Read More

FoundersCard Promo: $395 a year forever and a new AA promo

Screenshot 2014-09-26 15.58.56
Worth mentioning since I’ve posted about FoundersCard before.

When you join FoundersCard, you get to enjoy the initial rate you paid… forever. I joined when the rate was $495, and have gotten that much value out of the card despite only being a member coming up on a year. Here’s a chance to do even better than the deal I got in on.

You now can join FoundersCard for $395 a year, and you’d get to keep paying that rate every year you keep the card.

Here is the link to the promo and the promo code to use is FCHARLAN818.

If you’ve been deliberating about whether to join or not, this $100 off the usual lowest rate ($495) might be the thing that makes this deal a little bit better.

Also, if you’re an AA flyer, their current AA promo is 5% off most fares on American. You will receive a discount code that is good for unlimited use. If you heavily fly on American/OW and are trying to meet some sort of status before the end of 2014, you’d get to take advantage of the fare discount and start earning your $395 back right away.

That, combined with the multiple other discounts and freebies offered by the card, as well as the fantastic global networking events, makes this card a great investment for entrepreneurs in major cities.

AA’s last quarter promo was a free Gold status challenge, and bonus Business Extra points. They’ve featured 5% off fares before, and that seems to be a hit with most members of FoundersCard.

Read my full review to learn about the other discounts offered and to decide whether this membership might be worth buying.

If you have any questions, email me at zynner@gmail.com or feel free to post a comment below.

Free Caesars Total Rewards Diamond Status with FoundersCard

Screenshot 2014-09-01 23.39.08Also see:

Update: You can lock in a FoundersCard membership for $295 a year through May 12th, 2016 when you sign-up with my link. This is $100 less than the usual rate!

(To begin, if you are not at all into gambling, please skip this post!)

I’ve written about FoundersCard in the past, and, about six months in, am really enjoying the benefits of the card. Click this link to read my review of the card and to learn about some of the benefits. So far, I am loving it. The AT&T discount alone nearly pays for the card, and when you throw in all the perks it offers along the way, it makes this card a really nice companion to urban living. Next month, I will be attending my first networking event here in NYC sponsored by the card and will be sure to write about the experience.

FoundersCard has done a great job at stepping up their benefits package lately, like offering American Airlines Gold status, giving 10% off British Airways fares, and, most recently, offering free Diamond Status with Caesars Total Rewards.

Now, I’m not a gambler and don’t even live near a casino (unless you count Atlantic City), but I went ahead and made myself Diamond with Total Rewards just because of the “why not?” factor. A list of all their casino locations is included here. When I was in Las Vegas earlier this year, I got preferred treatment thanks to Hyatt’s relationship with MLife, and most of those benefits are duplicated with Total Rewards. The biggest ones are lounge access and priority treatment in just about every corner of the hotel and casino.

Diamond benefits

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The Points Game is free today for Kindle downloads! 9/1-9/3!

As a thanks for reading the blog, I decided to make The Points Game e-book free for three days starting today, Labor Day.

It’s the exact same content as what’s in the NEW? section of this website, but formatted for Kindle – in case you’d like to download and read on-the-go.

Feel free to pass the link along to anyone you know who might want an intro to the points and miles world. There’s a lot to know, and it can seem daunting at first, but readers here will know that it is all very worth it!

Without further adieu, here’s the link: bit.ly/pointsguide

Feel free to copy and share anywhere. Enjoy.

Thanks for reading and happy Labor Day!

Not New, But Improved: Shell Fuel Rewards Network

From the I’ll-never-use-this files (similar to my previous pondering about Alaska’s MileagePlan), I stumbled upon the Shell Fuel Rewards Network and wanted to share an overview of the program because it looked really interesting.

Stop me if you’ve already heard about it and I must also disclaim: I live in New York City. I don’t have a car. I don’t even know where the closest Shell station is. But I signed up for the Fuel Rewards Network program all the same.

Why?

Automated savings

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FoundersCard offering free AA Gold Status Challenge until 5/31/14

I’ve written before about the benefits of FoundersCard.

Quick overview of current bennies

They partner with American Airlines to offer a unique benefit each quarter. In the past, they’ve had discounts of 5% or 10% off most fares on AA metal, which can be quite a nice break with you fly American a lot.

Here are the current airline benefits:

  • Virgin Atlantic: Complimentary Flying Club Silver Elite Status & Fast Track to Gold Elite Status
  • Virgin Atlantic: Up to 20% off US & Vancouver originating Flights to the UK
  • Cathay Pacific: Complimentary Marco Polo Club Silver Tier Status
  • Cathay Pacific: 5-25% off flights
  • JetBlue: FoundersCard Members save 5% on fares (excluding multi-city trips)
  • Qantas: FoundersCard Members receive up to 25% off travel between US, Australia, and New Zealand. Discounts are available on most classes of service
  • Emirates: 5-15% off fares for US originating flights
  • British Airways: 10% off most roundtrip US, UK & Canada originating airfares

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Confirmed: Amex Serve $50 Bonus Works with Amazon Payments + Posts Instantly

Always a good feeling to wake up to an extra $50 when you don’t expect it. Last week, I talked about my experience getting the Amex Serve card after ditching Bluebird. I’m currently testing out different banks to see if they charge cash advance fees + give me points for using credit cards. So far, I’ve confirmed US Bank does not charge any fees and they already posted my Club Carlson points.

Serve’s $50 Bonus Promo

Right now and until the end of June, Serve is running a promo that gives $50 for two direct deposits of $250 or more. The questions in mind when I saw this were:

  • Does Amazon Payments count as direct deposit?
  • When will the bonus post?

Bluebird generates a monthly statement like any other bank account. I thought maybe Serve would do the same thing and post the bonus at the end of a statement cycle, that is, if Amazon Payments counted at all.

I can confirm that Amazon Payments does indeed work as direct deposit AND that the bonus posts as soon as the second direct deposit clears.

All in a day's work

All in a day’s work

I loaded $1,000 to Amazon Payments after getting in on the recent (and current!) 6.6% cashback at the Arrival portal. It’s a great way to generate some points and liquidate Amex gift cards. In fact, I just ordered a second round.

From there, I sent over two direct deposits of $250 to my Serve account simultaneously.

This morning, all the cash was in the account with the bonus $50. Can’t beat that!

Bottom line

If you’re at all interested in getting a Serve account, I highly recommend signing up using this promo link and scoring an extra $50 for doing so.

Serve is a great complement to the points and miles world if you’re far from a Walmart and can’t load up Bluebird at CVS any more. Or if Walmart stops accepting gift cards for Bluebird reloads. (There have been reports that this might be starting to happen.) $1,000 a month is the credit card load limit (on the non-Isis version) for Serve accounts. It isn’t much, but it’s enough to pay a few bills and still get some points rolling in. Every little bit helps. It really does! – I did some quick math on this post.