Alaska AirlinesAmerican AirlinesCLEAR

Traveling During COVID-19

Traveling during the pandemic, and whether or not you should consider it, has become a polarizing issue. On one end of the argument, are the scientists attempting to curb the spread; on the other end are the professionals whose livelihoods depend on people traveling. This dichotomy is strikingly pervasive throughout most industries in the country these days. Unfortunately, after over four months under the same roof, my wife needed to return to Nashville from the Bay Area in July. This provided us with a glimpse into the current conditions of air travel and ground transportation; all photo credits to her. Purchasing Tickets The earliest sign of change that we experienced was the lack of nonstop tickets. In fact, there were zero nonstop flights between the Bay Area (SFO, OAK, SJC)...

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AMEX Green CardAMEX Hilton AspireAMEX PlatinumCash BackCredit CardsDiningPerksRideshare Apps

COVID-19: AMEX is Adapting

AMEX card holders like to travel. While there are exceptions to everything, the cards offered by American Express, especially their top-tier cards, offer incentives and perks to those who travel often. You know what people are not doing during COVID-19? Traveling often. In response, American Express has been the front runner in adaptation. The shared goal here is to provide value where it may not otherwise exist without travel. If you can make use of the credits below, you'll stand to earn over $1,000 in statement credits this quarter. Platinum Card AMEX has introduced a pair of statement credits beginning May 1 and lasting through December 2020. First, a $20 monthly statement credit on streaming services (think Apple Music, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) as well as an additional $20 month...

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Credit CardsPerks

The Importance of Being Debt Free

In 2017, after four aggressive years of payments and intentional lifestyle choices, my wife and I became debt free. Student loans, car payments, credit card bills, paid. It was the happiest day of our lives since the wedding. It was a long four years between realizing our mutual objective, to be financially free from the burden of debt, and hitting that milestone. We became very creative grocery shoppers; we developed a weekly date night that didn't involve spending any money; we even found this whole credit card points hobby of ours. Getting out from under the "normal" way of life, to live with debt, was a triumphant moment for us, and was the culmination of life lessons that we'll keep with us for the rest of our lives. I find that this is an important reflection to make as I cont...

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AMEX PlatinumChase Sapphire ReserveCredit CardsDiningPerksPriority PassRental CarsRideshare AppsTravel

Chase Sapphire Reserve Announces Changes

In January, Chase announced the first-ever changes to its Sapphire Reserve (CSR) card since it premiered a few years ago. The CSR is the most competitive alternative to American Express' premium cards offering similar benefits for travelers who seek a mix between luxury travel and dining perks. The Original Benefits The Chase Sapphire Reserve card generally offers: $300 in travel reimbursement (airlines, hotels, etc.)6% back on dining and travelPriority Pass Membership (airport lounges)Primary Rental Car Insurance (the only card that offers this) This, in exchange for a $450 annual fee. I've told you before that the only reason we carry this card is for the rental car insurance which (at a rate of $12.50/month after credits), is a policy I'm happy to pay for. The Added Bene...

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AMEX Gold CardAMEX Green CardAMEX PlatinumCLEARCredit CardsLoungesPerksRental CarsTravel

The Revamped AMEX Green Card

On October 24, American Express finally announced their release of a revamped Green card. Easily among the most iconic cards in American Express’ history, the new card carries a refreshed look, new benefits, and is made from recycled plastic; a play on the “green” component of the card itself. This card complements the benefits offered by the Gold and Platinum cards, and offers an overlap benefit with the Gold card when it comes to dining for those that don’t need the groceries reward. The Green Card carries an annual fee of $150, but issues $200 in annual credits, $100 in additional annual credits in the first year, and a reward bonus between 30,000-45,000 membership reward points (worth $600-900 when considering the $0.02/point valuation) making it a no-brainer to try out for the ...

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JSX Review: The Private Jet Experience

You only live once, and sometimes you have to cross an item off of your bucket list. That's why last month, I flew on a private jet to Las Vegas for the weekend. JSX is a revolutionary product in the air-travel market offering a "private jet" experience for 30 customers at a time. With service between a dozen cities including Seattle, Oakland, Las Vegas and Phoenix, you can take your next flight without setting foot in a major airport. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=58&v=fAwxRsZbJas JSX's Promotional Advertisement The Perks The benefits of a private jet experience over a major carrier may seem obvious, but here's how JSX will summarize them: Comfortable leather seatsBusiness class legroomPower outlets at every rowFull flight attendant serviceComplimentary ...

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AirlinesAMEX Gold CardAMEX PlatinumBritish AirwaysCredit CardsHiltonHotelsLondonMarriottParisPerksTravel

London + Paris on Points!

Earlier this year, my wife asked me to keep an eye out for any opportunities for us to visit Europe in May 2020 to celebrate her milestone birthday. Accordingly, I tracked trends, and continued to save our points while I waited for a deal. Our primary cards are the American Express Platinum, Gold and Blue Business Plus which means when we earn 4-10% back on our purchases, we earn those rewards in the form of American Express points (valued by TPG at $0.02/each). One of the things I like about these points, is the Point Transfer travel partners that allow you to convert your American Express points into various brands such as hotel points with Hilton or Marriott; or to airline miles with over a dozen airlines including Delta, Flying Blue (Air France, KLM), Hawaiian, Emirates and more. ...

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Apple’s New Credit Card

After teasing it earlier this year, Apple officially entered the credit card market in August by partnering with Goldman Sachs to release the new Apple Credit Card. What makes this card unique is that it is primarily a digital card, designed to live in your iPhone's Wallet rather than the one in your pocket or purse. The card has no card number, and instead initiates a different encrypted transaction code with each purchase. This is the first card on the market that's number cannot be stolen from you. The application process for this card is unique and innovative in many ways: First, you apply through your phone's Wallet App rather than on the bank's website. The application itself is one of the most visually pleasing applications out there, and only requires the last four of your ...

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Shopping with Points

Earning and collecting points with your credit cards can be a fruitful activity when done well. It may require a spreadsheet or two, but by being diligent and intentional with your method of payment, the money you are spending each year could earn you thousands of dollars worth of rewards! But when it comes to redeeming your points, you must be careful. All points cards offer a myriad of options for redemption, but just because you have options, doesn't mean you should use them. Take for instance the American Express Shopping portal. Your hard-earned points can be used to buy things on Amazon, purchase gift cards, pay your bill and more. But the only option that will help you earn the full potential of your points, is to transfer them to a travel partner. Just because you have op...

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AirlinesAlaska AirlinesPerksUpgrades

Benefits of MVP Gold

As you know, I visit my wife who is pursuing her career in Nashville twice a month. So when I myself chased a career opportunity out of state, I was faced with an overwhelming amount of useless pre-booked flights. Luckily, I was able to take advantage of my MVP Gold status with Alaska Airlines to solve that problem. Logistics Regardless of your Elite status, Alaska allows you to cancel and change flights online without speaking to a representative. However, some of my itineraries were complicated in nature (I had used companion fares and needed partial rather than full changes), so I opted to call the MVP Gold line for assistance. The team was great to work with, and in no time, my 16 flights were cancelled or changed accordingly with the refunds deposited as a credit to my Alaska ...

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