Chase

United Club, AUS

On the way home from Austin, we had about an hour to kill before flying home to Boston Logan International.  I’ll echo what I’ve said in previous lounge reviews:  I’m a pretty laid back guy, so I don’t worry if it’s a bit crowded or the food isn’t absolutely out of this world.  If you’re expecting first class service at every lounge, just make sure that you take my review with a grain of salt!

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Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards to Southwest Rapid Rewards

We’re working on one final hurrah for the Companion Pass – I’m going to snag a few vacation days, and we’ll plan 4 or 5 days in Havana, Cuba sometime around the end of the year!  Obviously, I couldn’t just let the Companion Pass sit there and collect dust.  My pass expires at the end of this year, and I knew I needed to get one more international trip.  Southwest’s limited route network left me with a handful of option, and we settled on Cuba.

Only problem?  I’m starting to run low on Southwest Rapid Rewards.

In keeping with the theme from earlier this week…that’s where flexible points come in!

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First Impressions: Chase Southwest Plus

I took a break from my “First Impressions” posts on my new credit cards, as I thought they were starting to get repetitive.  Apply.  Get card.  Spend $$$.  Get miles.  Travel.

Obviously, credit cards don’t differ heavily from one to the next on the surface.  Sure, there’s a few different networks, different airlines partner with different banks, and then there’s fixed-value card, hotel cards, airline cards.  But they’re all the same shape.  Most are plastic.  All your cards will turn around and bite you if you’re not careful.

While reviewing some of the data on my posts, I realized the First Impressions category was quite a hit  Don’t worry, I use that term very loosely.  By “hit,” I mean that you know, a handful of people clicked on it.  The Southwest Premier vs. Personal post was particularly well-received.

So, this one is for you credit card nerds!

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Southwest Plus vs. Southwest Premier

When I’m not traveling, I tend to be looking for the next trip.  At the very least, I’m looking into how to get here or there, really anywhere.  You see, I have a bit of wanderlust.

It doesn’t so much matter where I’m going, just that I’m going.

Unfortunately, the only place I’ll be going in the next few weeks is work.  I might be able to sneak in another weekend excursion or a little day trip, but I won’t be doing any real traveling until this summer.

That leaves me with some idle hands.  Very idle hands.

I thought I’d put those hands to work and whip up a little post on the Chase Southwest cards.  I was approved for the personal Premier card a few months back, and just recently approved for the Plus card.  There’s also a Business version of the Premier, for any of you entrepreneurial folks out there.  You see, I was rather excited about getting approved for the other Southwest card.  I had to tell someone.  A friend of mine would do.  Unfortunately I picked one that thinks my travel hacking is crazy…

“But wait, both cards are for the same planes?”

“Well, yeah…”

“Ok, so you have two identical cards?  Why on earth do you need two of the same credit card?”

“Identical?  No, no, no, wait.  Wha-well, sure they both have planes on them, but..”

“That’s crazy.”

“Let me explain!”

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IHG Priceless Surprises Promotion Experiment

If you thought the days of mail-in sweepstakes were over, think again!

The InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) runs promotions from time to time, as ways to award people some extra points, get people excited about their hotels, and apparently they just like to give stuff away!

I originally heard about this promotion on Flyer Talk.  If you like the material on this blog, I’d recommend heading to Flyer Talk for even more information, the latest news, and clever travel hacking strategies.  The forum there is an amazing asset for anyone even slightly interested in travel hacking, or travelling in general.

Anyway, after carefully reading the Official Rules for the IHG and MasterCard Priceless Surprise Promotion, I decided to experiment.  The main variables in this experiment are the direct costs associated with entering the sweepstakes, the time cost of entering the sweepstakes, and the projected return on my time/money.  The ROI (return on investment), will not be in dollars or minutes of course, but in IHG Rewards Club Points.

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The Difference Between Waived and Deferred Interest

This post is inspired by a friends’ recent request for advice.  A lot of the time, people see great offers for 0% APR.  We think,

Wowee, that’s great!  Now I can buy my [insert wonky overpriced consumer item here]!  It’ll be so cheap, since there’s no interest on the first year!

But wait, there’s more!

More interest, that is.  See, most of these offers are deferred interest, not waived interest.

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