Friday, June 8, 2018

[FARE GONE] Detroit/Seattle/Minneapolis/Atlanta to Madrid $395 Roundtrip Sept - Dec 2018

6/9/2018 this fare sale has expired

Quick deal post.  It is possible to book tickets around Thanksgiving or Christmas via this fare sale.

Star Alliance airlines - Air Canada, Lufthansa, United, etc.

Detroit to Madrid.  Late September to December 2018 flights.

As low as $395 round trip.

Connections thru Toronto (Air Canada), Newark (United), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), etc.

Watch out for some United Airlines fares being a near-basic economy that does NOT include a free checked bag.

Sample Google Searches for Detroit (DTW) to Madrid (MAD):

Fri Oct 5 - Sat Oct 20 from $401 1-stop

Fri Nov 16 - Mon Dec 3 from $395 1-stop

Tues Dec 11 - Sun Dec 30 from $465 1-stop

Background information here:  https://www.theflightdeal.com/2018/06/08/united-402-seattle-atlanta-detroit-minneapolis-madrid-spain-roundtrip-including-all-taxes/









Friday, May 11, 2018

Last Call - 70,000 Delta SkyMiles for $195

This offer expires on May 16, 2018.

The offer is still available via referral, but only thru 5/16/2018.  (The public offer has expired.)

Here is my referral link for the personal version of the Delta Amex Platinum card:  http://refer.amex.us/JASONWoAVH?XLINK=MYCP

Delta Amex Platinum personal & business - 70,000 SkyMiles + $100 statement credit

  • 70,000 Delta SkyMiles + 10,000 MQMs (elite status miles) after $3K spend in first 3 months
  • $100 statement credit after Delta purchase in first 3 months
  • $195 annual fee NOT waived in first year
  • 10k bonus miles and 10k bonus MQMs (towards elite status) after $25k spend and + second 10k bonus miles and 10k MQMs after $50k spend per calendar year
  • Free domestic economy companion certificate after first year.  (Yes, this certificate really works.  Once it is in your SkyMiles account, you can use it regardless of whether your Delta Amex Platinum credit card account is open.)
  • Priority boarding and free checked bags.
  • Offer expires 5/16/2018
  • TIP:  *Any* spend with Delta, such as a $2 headphone or $8 snack box during a flight, should trigger the entire statement credit; you do not need to spend $100 to get the $100 credit
  • The personal and business version are two cards with the same signup bonus and benefits.  A person can hold both cards at the same time
  • More info here:  http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/03/01/four-new-offers-70k-60k-skymiles  (note that these offers expired in April, unless you apply via a referral link from someone.)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

[DEAL GONE] Earn 60 Miles per Dollar Spent on Flowers

This deal has expired

If you don't mind ordering flowers from a big national website - FTD, in this case - this is a great deal.

How to Get the Deal

  1. If you don't already have a Delta SkyMiles account, sign up and create one at www.delta.com
  2. Register for Delta's promotion to earn 100% bonus with any new provider (from whom you did NOT earn miles in 2017) for any transactions between March 20 and May 31, 2018.  LINK HERE
  3. Go to Delta's SkyMiles Shopping site and log in (provide your SkyMiles number or email address; no password needed).  LINK HERE
  4. Search for "FTD" to find the link to the FTD website.  LINK HERE
  5. Click the SHOP NOW button to be redirected to the FTD.com website.  The banner at the top will confirm you are earning 30 SkyMiles per dollar.  (The extra 30 SkyMiles per dollar is a bonus payout from the promotion you registered for, so it will not say 60 SkyMiles per dollar on the FTD site.)

How Good is the Deal?

Very good.  This is the highest miles earning rate for flowers I've seen in several years. 

15-30 miles per dollar is common on flowers when ordered online thru the appropriate airline shopping portal website.  All of the major domestic airlines offer these deals with FTD or 1-800-FLOWERS or other large flower companies.
This particular deal is 30 Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent from FTD.com.  The deal gets doubly good if you did not earn Delta SkyMiles from FTD.com at all during 2017.

Background Information

Frequent Miler, one of my favorite miles and points blogs, has a good article on this deal - LINK HERE


Miles are NOT earned on shipping, handling, and fees - so you earn 60 miles per dollar on the product(s) you order, but not 60 miles per dollar on every dollar you spend on the order

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

[Expired] Detroit to Europe $400+ Round Trip May/early June

This fare sale has expired

Excellent price on United and other Star Alliance carriers (e.g. Air Canada) from Detroit to Europe with departures in May thru early June.  As low as $400 per person round trip.


NOTE:  fares are pricing out cheaper on Google Flights as of 4pm Eastern than reported on The Flight Deal's article (link above)

Most of the cheap fares look to be to Amsterdam, but some availability to Paris and other cities is also sprinkled in.


Sample searches on Google Flights:


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Credit Card Bonus Offers Worth Signup Now

This is a roundup of several worthwhile credit card signup offers as of March 2018

Several credit cards are currently offering higher-than-usual signup bonuses.  For all cards, to get the signup bonus the cardholder must spend a certain amount within the first few months of holding the card.

These cards are offering bonus amounts at or near their respective highest signup bonus and therefore now is a good time to jump on any of these cards.  At one time or another, I've held all of these cards and personally recommend all of them as solid cards, especially with these increased signup bonuses.
  • Citi ThankYou Premier - 50,000 ThankYou points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred - 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points
  • SPG Amex Business - 35,000 Starpoints
  • Delta Amex Platinum personal and business - 70,000 SkyMiles + $100 statement credit
  • Delta Amex Gold personal and business - 60,000 SkyMiles + $50 statement credit
  • Mercedes-Benz Amex Platinum - 60,000 Membership Rewards points

Citi ThankYou Premier - 50,000 ThankYou points

  • 50,000 ThankYou points after $4,000 spend in first 3 months
  • Annual fee $0 first year, $95 per year thereafter
  • Earn 3X travel and gas - this is HUGE to get 3 points per dollar on travel and gasoline
  • Earn 2X dining and entertainment
  • Earn 1x everywhere else
  • This is one of the best travel credit cards because of the great bonus categories and travel-related benefits for spending and the flexibility of Citi ThankYou points
  • This card had a 50k signup bonus a couple years ago, but then it dropped to 40k and for many months the card had ZERO signup bonus because of its popularity
  • More info here:  http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/02/25/50k-points-w-citi-thankyou-premier-back

Chase Sapphire Preferred - 60,000 + 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 spend in first 3 months
  • $95 annual fee NOT waived the first year
  • Earn 2x on travel and dining
  • Earn 1x everywhere else
  • Similar to the Citi ThankYou Premier - great all-around points-earning card with excellent travel-related benefits, but not as strong for bonus category earning
  • If you do not want to pay the annual fee, use my referral link for 55k points total signup bonus with no annual fee first year.  50k points signup bonus with $4k spend in first 3 months.  Additional 5k points when adding an authorized user (free) and making 1 purchase with AU card in first 3 months  https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6/1LVJ1ZR9X6
  • More info here:  http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/02/26/65k-ultimate-rewards-w-new-sapphire-preferred-signup-bonus
UPDATE:  Chase has a targeted offer of 60,000 point signup bonus with $0 annual fee in 1st year.  Check your pre-qualified offers to see if you are targeted for this better-than-the-public offer https://creditcards.chase.com/prequalified-offers

SPG Amex Business - 35,000 points

  • Offer ends 3/28/2018
  • Spend $7,000 in purchases within first 3 months
  • Annual fee $0 first year, $95 per year thereafter
  • Starwood (their loyalty program is SPG, or Starwood Preferred Guest) was bought by Marriott, so the SPG-branded Amex credit cards will no longer be offered at some point in the not-too-distant future, so this is probably the last chance to get this card with what is tied for the highest every signup bonus.
  • Starpoints are considered the most valuable of all travel points programs anywhere.  Points can be used for Starwood hotel group (Westin, Sheraton, etc) properties and also transferred into most airline mile programs at 20k Starpoints to 25k airline miles
  • Earn 2x Starpoints on eligible purchases at SPG and Marriott properties
  • Earn 1x Starpoints everywhere else
  • Get credit for 2 stays and 5 nights toward elite status
  • Sheraton Club Lounge Access when staying at Sheraton properties with a club lounge
  • More info here:  http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/03/01/new-35k-starpoints-offer

Delta Amex Platinum personal & business - 70,000 SkyMiles + $100 statement credit

  • The personal and business version are two different cards with the same signup bonus and benefits.  A person can hold both cards at the same time
  • 70,000 Delta SkyMiles + 10K MQMs (elite status miles) after $3K spend in first 3 months
  • $100 statement credit after Delta purchase in first 3 months
  • $195 annual fee NOT waived in first year
  • 10K bonus miles and MQMs (towards elite status) after $25K spend and + second 10K bonus miles and MQMs after $50K spend per calendar year
  • Free domestic economy companion certificate after first year.  (Yes, this certificate really works.  Once it is in your SkyMiles account, you can use it regardless of whether your Delta Amex Platinum credit card account is open.)
  • Priority boarding and free checked bags.
  • Offer expires 4/11/2018
  • TIP:  *Any* spend with Delta, such as a $2 headphone or $8 snack box during a flight, should trigger the entire statement credit; you do not need to spend $100 to get the $100 credit
  • The personal and business version are two cards with the same signup bonus and benefits.  A person can hold both cards at the same time
  • Referral link:  Please consider applying via my friend's referral link.  The signup bonus is the same, and Nick will earn 10k SkyMiles when you are approved.  http://refer.amex.us/NICHOBlQdJ?XL=tw39
  • More info here:  http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/03/01/four-new-offers-70k-60k-skymiles


Delta Amex Gold personal & business - 60,000 SkyMiles + $50 statement credit

  • The personal and business version are two different cards with the same signup bonus and benefits.  A person can hold both cards at the same time
  • 50,000 Delta SkyMiles after $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months
  • 10,000 Delta SkyMiles after $1,000 more in purchases in first 6 months
  • $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in first 3 months
  • Annual fee:  $0 first year, $95 per year thereafter
  • TIP:  *Any* spend with Delta, such as a $2 headphone or $8 snack box during a flight, should trigger the entire statement credit; you do not need to spend $50 to get the $50 credit
  • More info here:  http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/03/01/four-new-offers-70k-60k-skymiles

Mercedes-Benz Amex Platinum - 60,000 Membership Rewards points

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spend in first 3 months
  • This card is being discontinued Jan 2019, so time is running out on signing up for it
  • Annual fee $550.  Very steep annual fee but may still be worthwhile for some folks because of the strong travel benefits
  • $200 travel incidental credit - get automatic statement credit for bag fees and other in-flight purchases.  Airline gift cards work as well, if you know what you're doing
  • $200 annual Uber credits ($15 per month + $35 in December)
  • Includes automatic Hilton Gold status, SPG Gold status, National Executive status
  • This card is a good pick for people who can make use of the free airline lounge access - 1) Amex Centurion Club lounges (only a handful of locations in the U.S. but VERY plush lounges) 2) flying Delta same-day for Delta SkyClub lounge access 3) Priority Pass Select program
  • $100 Global Entry credit (application fee reimbursed via statement credit)
  • TIP:  Add 3 authorized users for $175 total.  All 3 users each get $100 Global Entry credit and lounge access.  Just use the card to pay for any person's (does not need to be the cardholder) Global Entry application fee and receive $100 statement credit.
  • This Mercedes-Benz version of the Amex Platinum card is one of several different Amex Platinum personal cards.  Each is a separate product, so you can get the signup bonus on the Mercedes version even if you have had the 'regular' Amex Platinum or other versions of the Amex Platinum such as the Schwab Amex Platinum
  • More info here:  http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2018/03/02/mercedes-benz-platinum-discontinued-get-60k-can/


DISCLAIMER:  Know the rules of the game!

If you have signed up for new credit cards in the past couple years, make sure you understand the rules of each card issuer.  Examples:
  • Citi will not give you the signup bonus if you have opened or closed a card within a card family within the past 24 months. This means that if you have opened or closed this card or the Citi ThankYou Preferred or Citi Prestige card within the past 24 months, you are not eligible for the signup bonus.
  • Chase will reject all applications for most of their cards, including the Sapphire Preferred mentioned in this blog post, if their data shows that you've signed up for more than 4 new credit cards - from ANY credit card company - in the past 24 months

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Travel Laptop Deal - Macbook looks with a Windows 10 Price

The Huawei Matebook X 13" laptop is an excellent value right now, on sale for $700 at Amazon (LINK).  Very strong specs, premium materials, and top-notch build quality for under $1,000.  Thin and light.  A great travel laptop.


Features / High Points

  • Lighter than comparable Macbook
  • 2K screen resolution (2160x1440 pixels)
  • Office 365 Personal included
  • Narrow bezel 13" screen with 88% screen-to-body
  • Metallic body
  • First laptop in the world with full Dolby Atmos sound.  Much richer, better sound than typical of a laptop this size
  • Intel Core i5 dual core 2.5 GHz CPU
  • 8 GB memory
  • 256GB solid state drive
  • USB-C
  • Includes a port dock and USB-C to USB adapter
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Comfortable, smooth chiclet keyboard
  • Battery life good (8-9 hours) but not great.
  • Thinner (12.5mm) and lighter (2.31 lbs) than Macbook
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel HD Graphics 620
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless compatibility

Cons

  • Battery life trails behind many competitors.  E.g. half of the Microsoft Surface laptop
  • Non-touchscreen display
  • No standard USB ports; must use the included dock or converter cable to connect older USB devices
  • No optical drive - not really a con as it is not expected on a laptop this small and light



Professional Reviews

Pictures
(courtesy CNET)







Thursday, February 8, 2018

[Expired] Mainland US to Hawaii from $296 Round Trip

This fare sale has expired

no time to get into all the details, but search from your desired departure cities.  Many large cities - particularly Delta hubs such as Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City - have the best fares.

Most of the sale flights are to Honolulu (HNL) but some good fares also seem to be available to other airports in Hawaii including OGG and LIH.

Spring break (first week in April) and summe are EXCLUDED from this sale.

FYI - Toronto (YYZ) has sub-$500 Hawaii flights almost all the time, so check there if you are within reasonable driving distance.

MSP and SLC are cheapest, from $296.  DTW from $515.  Delta fares are basic economy, so add $70 if you want to get an advance seat selection, upgrade eligible, etc.  American's fare is a standard economy.

From GRR, could possibly book separate flights to and from MSP and combine with the $300-310 round trip fares.  Or drive to Detroit.

American, United, and Delta are all participating in this fare war.

Deal popped up earlier today and could expire at any moment.

Advice
Recommend booking flights right away - *even if you are not sure you can go.*  Get the ticket booked and take the 24 hours afterward to figure out if you can keep the reservation or if you need to cancel.

Background articles
Note that prices are cheaper than stated from certain cities mentioned in these articles.

http://faredealalert.com/2018/02/08/united-starting-318-las-vegas-orlando-kansas-city-maui-kona-honolulu-kauai-hawaii-and-vice-versa-roundtrip-including-all-taxes/

http://www.secretflying.com/posts/many-us-cities-hawaii-vice-versa-395-roundtrip/

Sample Searches
April 4 - 16 DTW from $515

May 9 - 17 MSP from $306