Axiom for Bank Points and Airline Miles

Axiom time.

Value

It is very hard to assign a monetary value to points and miles. Specifically, points issued by banks (Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, Thank You points, Arrival “miles”) and airline mileage programs (AAdvantage, MileagePlus, SkyMiles, Easy Returns, Avios, etc., etc. etc.)

Valuations vary wildly depending on who you ask. But if you ask me, it’s simple. You want to get at LEAST two cents of value out of each point or mile.

And that’s the smoking gun right there. Don’t waste time trying to assign some sort of arbitrary value out of your points and miles. You want to shoot for a minimum value of $.02 each.

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Oil Pulling: Day Two

I kicked off day two properly. As soon as I woke up, I went and stuck a spoonful of coconut oil into my mouth, set a timer, and started swishing. Normal, right? You’re supposed to do it first thing in the morning to start with a “fresh palette,” and it’s more effective because you haven’t eaten in 8 or so hours. Also – just a good way to start the day.

There were some dishes in the sink and a few things around the house that needed to get done, so I set about cleaning up, which helped A LOT to get my mind off the fact that I was swishing. I resumed the same pattern as the first day and the twenty minutes flew by.

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Oil Pulling: Day One


If you’re thinking “WTF is oil pulling?“, that was also me two days ago. Those were the exact words in my thoughts. Luckily, if was also the title of this blog post that explains what it is in detail. (I borrowed the image above from that post.)

Then I went to the Google monster and found a few other choice links:

http://www.designmom.com/2014/01/oil-pulling/

http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/oil-pulling-the-habit-that-can-transform-your-health

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/oil-pulling-benefits_n_3940361.html

So now, I thought I’d document my experience along the way in case anyone else is interested. Feel free to skip this little mini-series if this is like, totally not your thing. I totally understand. 🙂

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Free Admirals Club Membership Through Business Extra? Yes, please!

Beginning March 22nd, 2014, the American Express Platinum Card will no longer permit entry to American Airlines Admirals Club lounges (only Delta SkyClubs, Priority Pass Select lounges, and Centurion lounges).

While looking through the Business Extra website, I noticed something mighty interesting: a  yearly Admirals Club membership can be had for 3,000 points!

business-extra-1

Click “Redeem Points”

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Review: Al Dhabi Lounge @ AUH

Al Dhabi, just beyond checkin

Al Dhabi, just beyond checkin

Our business class ticket on Lufthansa came with complimentary access to Al Dhabi lounge. After hanging out at the Park Inn at Yas Island all day, we were itching to get on the move, but not quite sure how to approach a 3am departure. The AUH-FRA flight was the earliest/latest flight I’ve ever taken. So, we left the hotel around 11pm, propelled by cabin fever after being sequestered in all day, and figured we could grab some food and drinks in the airport lounge and kill an hour or two.

The Al Dhabi lounge is located just outside security, which was a breeze by the way. We showed the agent our tickets and invitation from Lufthansa and were easily admitted. And then we walked into the space behind the checkin counter.

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New App Alert: AirHelp. Know Your Options When You Get Bumped from a Flight

Ever been bumped from a flight and had no idea what your options were?

Nowadays, with mergers, elimination of hubs, and less competition on certain routes, airlines routinely oversell flights based on how many people haven’t shown up for the flight in the past. Sometimes the bumps are voluntary, and fliers are happy to accept a voucher or rebooking for a future flight. But what if you’re bumped against your will? What are your options?

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Club Carlson: Is Second Night Free Using Points and Cash?

As a few of you know, there are some changes coming to Club Carlson starting March 15th (say it ain’t so!). Club Carlson has been one of the most generous hotel loyalty programs since its inception. It’s only fair that they take a little bit back. After all, the program wouldn’t be profitable if they continue to give give give.

Even with the upcoming devaluation and category changes, it still manages to offer supremely great value – especially if you hold the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card. Cardholders get 2-4-1 award redemptions. Meaning if a hotel costs 44,000 points per night, you can get TWO nights for that amount of points instead of just one – an amazing value no matter who you slice it.

They also offer Points + Cash redemptions. The question is, as a cardholder, do you still get the 2-4-1 deal on the points side? 

The answer: NO.

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FoundersCard Membership: Is it worth it?

Also see:

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!

FoundersCard popular benefits
FoundersCard popular benefits

Why I joined

I joined FoundersCard earlier this year from a referral I received after flying in Pearl Class on Etihad. I mostly signed up to be able to review the benefits and see if they’re really worth it. So far, so good. I’m on target to more than recoup the annual fee.

The membership offers numerous discounts on a LOT of different services that are useful for business, lifestyle, or travel. There are one or two that I really zeroed in on, and I think the card could offer a lot of value both with monetary discounts and with opportunities.

Events

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Awesome Deal Alert: 60% Off Beds at the W Hotel Store

For anyone who’s ever stayed at a W Hotel, you’ve gotten to experience firsthand how great the beds are. They actually sell them, often for around $1,000 to $1500 (more or less, depending on which options you choose).

They’ve just put up a sale with a 60% off promo code – easily the best sale they’ve ever had. The code is W6EM9

I tested it out and added a Queen Plush Top Mattress to a cart which retails for $1,059.

With the promo code that price comes all the way down to…

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Las Vegas is great for Hyatt Gold Passport Members

Screenshot 2014-03-04 19.16.12

After the stay at New York-New York Hotel & Casino for two days, it was time to move across the walkway for a one-night stay at Excalibur. Both of these hotels are part of MLife, MGM’s loyalty program, and they’re literally connected by a long walkway. These hotels are located on the south side of The Strip, and very close to the airport. A taxi to/from was only $15 in each direction.

mlife
Why so focused on MLife? For Hyatt stay credits, of course. By switching hotels, I got three nights and two stays credited to my Gold Passport account, which is Hyatt’s loyalty program. A few months ago, Hyatt announced a partnership with MGM with reciprocal benefits between MLife and Gold Passport. I recently got the Chase Hyatt Visa, which comes with Platinum status just for having the card. And because of this partnership, I found myself as a mid-tier Gold with MLife, which gave me priority checkin/checkout, bonus points for staying in the rooms, and a bonus for gambling in the casinos.

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