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Your next Hilton Stay could earn you 1000 HHonors points with digital Check-in

I received an email this morning from Hilton. It says “Open Your door” with your phone and earn 1,000 Bonus Points. hilton digital key

1,000 HHonor Points are not much but I will take them anyways. All you have to do is download the Hilton HHonors app and Select Digital Key. It will let you choose your room and bam!!

I like this Digital key feature because I hate those plastic keys which easily get deactivated when in contact with an electronic device such as cell phone and then you have to make trips back and forth to the front desk for new keys.

If you have an Hilton stay coming up check your emails, you may have received this offer for an extra 1000 points.

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Simon Mall will stop selling In-store gift cards at several locations

UPDATE – SIMON MALLS IN A FEW CITIES HAVE BEEN SOLD TO ANOTHER PROPERTY AND ONLY THOSE LOCATIONS ARE EFFECTED STARTING TOMORROW INCLUDING RICHMOND, VA WHERE I LIVE

Simon Mall sells gift cards are a great way to manufacture spend. We are able to purchase several thousand dollars of these gift cards at one time and liquidate them using prepaid cards such as Serve and Bluebird to earn miles and points.

I was at the Simon mall location in Glen Allen, VA this morning and my friendly rep handed me the below brochure –

Simon Mall

According to the note this particular Simon mall location will stop selling Gift cards starting March 1st 2016. It is still a few months away but may change the way a lot of us do manufactured spending.

I am not certain if this will be implemented nationwide at every Simon Mall location I guess we will have to wait and see. When I asked the rep reason behind it she was very vague and mentioned that  a new company is probably taking over the gift card division. I guess we will have a better picture here in the next few days.

 

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Jamaica Day 1 & 2- Lost Phone, Complimentary Airport Lounges, Free Suite Upgrade and Awesome FOOODDD!!

PS – I am almost ready with my new website milesmaniac.com. Do visit the website and suscribe to the newsletter for a whole lot of tips, tricks and savings

Introduction

As few of you already know I am on a family vacation to Jamaica with my wife, son and my in-laws. The start to the trip wasn’t that great as I lost my cellphone at the airport but I have hopes!! I have sent prayers to every Indian god and hoping for a miracle before we leave Jamaica next week.

We spent time at the UNited Club Lounge at EWR AIrport during our layover flight. I had four FREE passes that we received from signing up for Chase United Card. On Arrival at Montego Bay, Jaamica we immediately crashed into the Mobay Lounge using priority club lounge access we gained for Free from Citi Prestige and Amex Platinum Cards so we did not spend a penny at Airports for food and were totally relaxed after reaching Jamaica. Between four of us the lounge access could have easily retailed $200 for four of us to both United and Mobay lounge. I am addicted to lounge and now I make it a point to find a layover flight with a few hours layover because we have free lounge access to almost everywhere using credit cards

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United Club Lounge – EWR Airport

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Breakfast options were good – Oatmeal, Scones, Pretzel Bread and ummm – Merlot 🙂

For the folks who like bottom line I booked Five round-trip tickets to Jamaica (MBJ) from Richmond (RIC) for under $200 TOTAL using miles and points!! Don’t get me wrong there was definitely some legwork as I used a combination of two frequent flier programs (AA and United) and a combination of Airline credits (American Express Gold Card) and other benefits from a total of three different credit cards to finally purchase these tickets for under $200  using approximately 20,000 United Miles, 27000 Citi Thank you Points and 60,000 American Airlines miles. The five round-trip tickets would have easily costed me $500 a piece and $2500 total so I was able to save almost $2300 just on airfare!!!

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Zane was so excited to find out we got upgraded to a 1 Bedroom King Suite

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He was unstoppable after sitting on his butt for four hours in the flight

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Like father Like son – we love oceanfront suites!!

The Hotel

We booked five nights at the Holiday Inn SunSpree using points and cash. I used one of the tricks to earn a lot of IHG points and if you are not familiar with the trick you can read more on it hereBetween Three IHG Credit cards (wife, Father-in-law and I) I used a total of 125,000 IHG Points + $350 cash per room to stay at this all inclusive hotel for a total of five nights. So for two rooms we used 250,000 IHG points and $700 cash. Remember, I charged the $700 cash onto my Barclay Arrivals World Elite Mastercard so after doing some manufactured spending I will drop the $700 cash to $300 or less which is $150 per room!!!! We earned all the IHG points when the Chase IHG card increased the sign-up bonus to 85,000 points.

YES I AM STAYING AT an ALL INCLUSIVE HOTEL in JAMAICA FOR FIVE NIGHTS FOR JUST$150 or $30 PER NIGHT!!! Try getting into a Motel 6 for $30 a night. The room has a whirlpool

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I can show you lot of tips and tricks to get FREE upgrades at Hotels worldwide

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Zane with in-laws

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We love burgers

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The water is superb!!!!

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Complimentary Sailing at the Hotel we probably sailed for two hours the first day

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Dinner at the Italian Restaurant in the resort

We had a great day as you can see in all these pictures. Started the day with a nice buffet breakfast with a lot of traditional Jamaican food such as coconut bread, Ackee and Saltfish and the regular sausages, omelette, potatoes and a wide spread of other typical buffet dishes. The breakfast was good but not great!!

For lunch we ate mostly at the shacks on the beach and close to the pool – Burgers, Fish & Chips, Ice-cream and a lot of Jamaican Rum punch!

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I can get use to a workday like this one

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The food at Italian restaurant was excellent

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Someone loves Pizza

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Wrapping up a fun filled day

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The ambiance at restaurant was good just like the food

I will try to right an updated post in the next couple of days. We are booked to visit to the Secret Falls and Blue Hole, Lagoon Night cruise, Grotto Caves. I have not paid a single penny for any of these activities – A mi fi tell yu (That’s right in Jamaican). Read my next post on how I made it happen!

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Get a $25 Settlement Rebate For Your Old TV

If you ever purchased CRT or a TV, Computer/Monitor with CRT you can qualify for a $25 refund.

Danny the Deal Guru

If you bought a cathode ray tube (CRT) or a TV or computer monitor that contained a CRT you could get money from settlements totaling $576.75 million.

CRT

Cathode Ray Tubes (“CRTs”) are a display technology that was widely used in televisions and computer monitors. Before LCD, Plasma and LED display technologies became popular, CRTs were the main technology used in displays so most people should have purchased some version of it.

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Great Delta fares from DFW, MIA, PHL, RDU, PHX, STL to Dublin $531, Athens $647 and many more Europe airports

The Delta fare sale for Europe today from American Airlines/US Airways hubs has some great deals. Six US airports have more than 20 airports across Europe at discount economy fare prices today from low $500s to high $600s. Most of these deals are available for online booking through Delta, KLM and Air France websites.

There are some low fares to eastern Europe flying KLM and Air France that have only been available as Aeroflot discounts this past week.

Delta’s sale launched today from these six American Airlines/US Airways hub airports to about 20 airports around Europe.

  • Dallas DFW
  • Miami MIA
  • Philadelphia PHL
  • Raleigh RDU
  • Phoenix PHX
  • St. Louis STL

The Delta sale has triggered other discount fares today like American Airlines SFO to Dublin $629 round trip and Eau Claire EAU Wisconsin to Barcelona for $590. American and Delta are battling it out at JFK for Dublin passengers with round trip fares dropping to $400s for nonstop flights with both airlines.

Here are sample ticket prices from Phoenix PHX to Europe for travel Friday September 11 to Tuesday September 15 as one example of how widespread this Delta/Skyteam sale reaches. Many of these prices drop lower for October and November 2015 departures.

Philadelphia round trip to:

Dublin DUB, Ireland $531

Shannon SNN, Ireland $534

Prague, PRG, Czech Republic $620

Oslo OSL, Norway $648

Bergen BGO, Norway $651

Gothenburg GOT, Sweden $651

Billund BLL, Denmark $654

Manchester MAN, UK $673

Krakow KRK, Poland $675

Sofia SOF, Bulgaria $676

Athens ATH, Greece $677 (drops to $647 in October)

Bucharest OTP, Romania $680

Istanbul IST, Turkey $682

Zagreb ZAG, Croatia $685

Budapest BUD, Hungary $688

London LHR, $715

Similar fares are available from Dallas DFW, Miami MIA, Philadelphia PHL, Raleigh RDU and St. Louis STL.

Delta Airlines Philadelphia (PHL) – Dublin, Ireland

Delta Roundtrip

Snapshot of availability wide open in October

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IHG PointBreaks Live Now – Book these Hotels for only 5000 points

I am always waiting anxiously for IHG to release the PointBreaks every quarter. These are properties you can book using just 5000 IHG Points. The cherry on the cake is if you are holder of the Chase IHG rewards credit card you will earn 10% back in rebates (up to 100,000 in a calendar year) essentially costing you only 4500 points for these stays!! Here is a complete list of properties – LINK

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With the 5000 PointsBreak promotion possibilities are endless

The current promotion, which goes live Monday July 27, 2015 will cover bookings and stays until October 31, 2015. As always, this promotion is subject to availability so act fast as lot of properties get sold out very quickly. You can book up to 2 reservations per hotel.

Some more fine print –

Due to the limited availability, each member may only book two PointBreaks® Reward Nights reservations per hotel during the special offer time period. Offer and participating hotels are subject to change at any time, valid for booking through October 31, 2015. All other Reward Night terms and conditions apply. To view participating properties, simply click one of the regions below.

Please note that Reward Nights booked through PointBreaks® may not be sold or used for commercial gains. Doing so is a program violation and may result in the freezing of your account, the forfeiture of all point transfers, rewards, vouchers, or merchandise issued pursuant to point redemptions and any accrued points or miles in your account, as well as cancellation of the account and your future participation in the Program.

Some Interesting properties

Here are few properties that caught my attention

Holiday Inn Rock Springs, Wyoming 

You can enjoy beautiful view of the mountains

Holiday Inn Rock Springs Wyoming

Holiday Inn Rock Springs Wyoming

Staybridge Suites Fairfield Napa Valley

This is extended-stay all-suite hotel. Located between San Francisco and Sacramento, the hotel is just minutes from Napa Valley Wine Country. Enjoy some wine tasting while staying at this hotel for just 5000 points this quarter.

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Napa Valley wine tasting just became more affordable with IHG PointsBreak

ANA Crowne Plaza Wakkanai, Japan

Japan ha always been on my bucket list and now with this promotion you can stay at Crowne Plaza Wakkanai for just 5000 points.

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Enjoy beautiful views from the Crowne Plaza in Japan

Holiday Inn Express Lisbon – Oeiras

Ever dreamt of visiting Portugal? You can go visit fairytale palaces and moorish palaces in Sintra, Portugal.

Along the castle walls

Moorish Castle, Sintra, Portugal

Intercontinental Mendoza Hotel, Argentina

This is a luxury Intercontinental hotel in Argentina wine country.

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Fabulous Architecture

The list is awesome with more than 100 properties on the list. Find your hotel of choice for 5000 points by visiting the IHG page here – LINK

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Amex 60,000 Delta Miles Offer with $50 Statement Credit

This is another reason why I subscribe to so called “Junk emails” from Airlines and banks. Just received an offer from American Express in my email for 60,000 Delta SkyMiles with a $50 Statement Credit with $95 annual fees (waived first year). I;d need to spend $1000 in 3 months to earn the sign-up bonus.The public offer is only for 30K miles and no statement credit, so this is definitely a much better deal.

PS – This offer does not earn me any referral bonus but I will always share the best offer with you. If you are interested in applying for the card, here is the direct link to the offerLINK

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Snapshot from the offer in my email.

Some Great ways to redeem Delta Miles

1. Get to New Zealand or Australia one way for 80,000 Skymiles on Virgin Australia

Delta SkyMiles gets you allows you to fly business class on one of the finest products out there – Virgin Australia Business Class. You can score a one way flight from Los Angeles to Sydney/Brisbane for 80,000 Skymiles.

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Long flight to Australia can be fun

2. 62.5 K SkyMiles for One-way business class to Brazil on Korean Airlines

You can fly from Los Angeles to San Paulo for just 62.5 K SkyMiles one way and also there are no fuel surcharges which maximizes your redemption value!!

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Business Class Korean Airlines

3. 70 K China Southern Business Class one-way

You can use 70 K  SkyMiles for one-way and 140 K to fly from Los Angeles to several places in China in Business Class on China Southern. Delta unfortunately charges fuel surcharge fees for this redemption (~$300 for round-trip). Although, I am not sure if vegetarians will find anything suitable to eat even in Business Class (Pun Intended)

China Southern Business Class

China Southern Business Class

4. Air France or Air Tahiti Nui to Tahiti 

These redemption are not cheap. It will cost you 100K SkyMiles in economy or 160K miles (roundtrip) in Business class. You would have to use expertflyer to search for award spaces as Delta is not the best when it comes to searching award spaces on Air France and Air Tahiti Nui. You can use the free night from IHG card to stay at the IHG resort in Tahiti.

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There are many more things you can do with Delta SkyMiles. Stay tuned as I am launching an exciting Travel Reward Coaching program in the next few weeks that will get you insight into earning and redeeming miles and make your travel dreams turn into reality while saving thousands of $$$.

Bottomline

American Express sent me an email with a link to apply for Delta SkyMiles credit card to earn 60K SkyMiles and $50 statement credit after I spend $1000 in three months ($95 annual fees waived the first year). This is one of the best offers I have seen on this credit card. The public offer is only for 30K miles. Here is a link to the offer – LINK

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Amazon Prime Day is ON!!

The much anticipated Amazon prime day is here and there are some ongoing good deals.

Amazon-Prime-Day

For me the only deal that made sense is purchasing the multipack (3-pack) Amazon gift cards for $45 (3 gift cards for $15 each) and using the code PRIMEGCS at checkout will give you $10 credit for future purchase. Also, I used my newly arrived Discover IT credit card as they have 5% on all Amazon purchased for this quarter. The $10 credit will automatically be loaded to your Amazon Prime account for immediate use (expires 8/29/15).

Also, remember if you are not an Amazon prime member you can still enroll in the 30-day FREE TRIAL and take advantage of all the great deals. Happy Amazoning!!!

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$10 American Express statement credit for some freebies

American Express.com is offering a One Time $10 Statement Credit when you use Amex Express Checkout at participating online merchants listed below. Simply use your existing American Express account, just make sure you checkout using the Amex Express Checkout button. It does not work for prepaid cards such as redbird, bluebird and serve.

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Easy $10 using American Express checkout

Qualifying Online Merchants

  • Newegg
  • Ticketmaster
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • WSJ Wine
  • Barkbox
  • Ledbury
  • Warby Parker
  • Burberry
  • Sabon
  • Laithwaiteswine
  • VirginWines

What to Buy?

I used the credit at Newegg.com to purchase $10 e-gift card to Groupon, Regal Cinema and Home Depot using different user account and also different american express credit card each time. If you and your spouse each have Amex cards than you cannot purchase the same type of gift card if the billing address is same i.e you cannot purchase two Groupon gift cards even using different account if the billing address is the same.

Offer valid through September 7, 2015 or while supplies last. Limit (1) $10 Statement credit per American Express online account per merchant. In order to qualify for credit, items must be purchase at qualifying online merchants and using the Amex Express button at checkout. Statement credit will appear on your billing statement within 90 days after September 7, 2015 (provided that American Express receives information from the merchant about your qualifying purchase)

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My latest round of Credit Card Applications

By smartly using Credit Card sign up bonuses and maximizing travel rewards our family has been able to take several vacations around the world while paying pennies. But I always like to remind my readers that this game may not be for if you are poor in managing finances (sorry if I sound blunt) as I was in my 20’s. Also, please ONLY ONLY ONLY apply for new credit cards  if you have no plans of getting a car or home mortgage at least six months from time of your application.

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Travel Rewards got us to  the top of Burj Khalifa – tallest building in the world

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Motor biking in desert at Dubai. We paid under $300 TOTAL for three return tickets from US to UAE i.e $100 per RETURN ticket flying on Etihad from Washington DC to Abu Dhabi

Here is my app-o-rama from June 2015. I was approved for all these cards instantaneously (which has not alwasy been the case and I had to call recon lines). You may apply for any of these cards and more at creditcards.com. But I suggest always having  a strategy in place to maximize your reward benefits.

Credit Card Sign-on Bonus Minimum Spending Required          Annual Fee
Total 100,000 Points + $650 Cash + $600 Airline Credit + $100 Global Entry Fee $9,250 in 3 months $254 Waived for 1st year + $450 Not Waived for 1st year
Capital One Spark Cash for Business  $500 $4,500 in 3 months     $59 Waived For 1st Year
American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card 50,000 Bonus Points + $100 Airline Credit $1,000 in 3 months     $195 Waived For 1st Year
Citi Prestige Card 50,000 Bonus Points +$250 Airline credit each year +$100 Global Entry fee waiver $3,000 in 3 months     $450 Not Waived
Discover IT Card $150 Statement Credit $750 in 3 months     No Annual Fee

The reason I apply for multiple credit cards in 1 day (and if possible within the same time frame) is because it has least impact on your credit score and also other banks are not able to see your inquires in real time. Note that you should NOT apply for multiple cards just because I or other bloggers do.  As always, do what is comfortable for you!  Make sure you can meet the minimum spending requirements comfortably.  There is no harm in applying for just 1 or 2 cards at a time.

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Thrilling Desert Safari in UAE

The reason I applied for the credit cards I did in my latest applications is to earn a combination of cash back and points from different banks (Thank you Points from Citi and Amex membership points from Amex).

Discover IT is a cash back card that offers cash back in rotating categories throughout the year and also has no annual fees which is great to build credit as you don’t have to cancel the card. Another reason I applied for Discover IT card is because they offered me a targeted offer for $150 cash back by simply spending $750 in 3 months and they recently upped their game by offering doubling  cash back on all your earnings for the year i.e if you earn $300 in a year then at end of the year Discover will throw in another $300 to double up your earnings. Watch out for Junk mails (credit card offers) in your mail box as this one turned out to be a treasure for me.

Capital One also has fantastic offer on their Spark Cash Business card for a limited time. Earning $500 after spending $4500 in three months is no brainer of a deal. We are currently finishing a few house projects and all the cash back earned from credit cards and the bank bonuses (~$1500) I mentioned in my previous post would go a long way  and help us spend least out-of  pocket. Also, this card is definitely a keeper as it offer 2% cash back on ALL PURCHASES. I have friends who got approved for The Spark Cash card by simply using their SSN instead of the EIN, FYI.

On my bucket list is to travel from NYC-Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines Suites which retails for $6000 one-way. Both Citi and Amex points are transferable to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer. I only need 55,000 KrisFlyer to fly one way sleeping all the way to Frankfurt and enjoying luxury second to none. With the points I’d earn from Citi and Amex cards I can easily score a return ticket on these suites making my sign-up bonus worth $12000 just from two cards!!!

Double bed on board the new Singapore A380 after it arrived at Heathrow. picture David Dyson

Double bed on board the new Singapore A380 and scoring a space is easier than you think

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Ferrari World Abu Dhabi – Largest indoor theme park in world

Also, some may question reason I paid $450 upfront for the Citi Prestige card but check out the benefits –

  • $250 in Airline Credit (Each Calendar year) i.e total of $500 so I am already $50 ahead!!
  • $100 Global Entry Fee Credit (No more standing in long lines at airport)
  • Three Rounds of Golf at TPG golf courses (I don’t know anything about Golf but who cares when you have a few free rounds)
  • Free Access to Priority Club lounges and American Admiral Lounge at Airport (value of ~$200 or more).
  • 50,000 Thank you points – If used to redeem on American Airlines that is equal to $800 in Airfare or $600 on other Airlines, Cruises and car rentals

As you may realize it is always good to evaluate full benefits and  worthiness before applying for any card. A $450 annual fee may scare some away but getting a value of $2500 (or higher) from one card is awesomeeeee!!!

I have been able to help several friends and family member plan fantastic vacation to Disney, France, Italy, South America to name a few while paying few hundred dollars out-of -pocket. I’d be glad to help you plan your next vacation. Fill in the below form for a FREE 15 minutes phone consultation.

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