Let’s revisit the World Cup, learn about some secondary money savings features in our hobby, ponder things like the density of miles points and forums, watch Alex Honnold climb again, see a classic Emotion in Investing graph, look at how a King behaves and watch a video about gun “safety”.


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Incredible pictures from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Well done Germany, the best team won. This is my favorite picture from it. Great memories!

brazil world bup 2014 Germany trophy

Brazil Germany touching moment when the defeated recognize and accept the result with grace


There are several programs out there that can save you some additional money. Travel with Grant has a good summary of them: ” Refresh your Memory: Plink, Shopkick, Visa Savings Edge, Checkout51, and Chime Card

The Free-quent Flyer has a detailed post on point valuations: “Point density versus imputed redemption values“. Gets an A for the research effort. I have said it before….arguing about miles points valuations tends to bore me to pieces. Spend them the way you see fit and enjoy them :-)

Matt at Saverocity ponders about the Saverocity Forum: “The Forum is NOT a friendlier Flyer Talk“. Love the forum and the efforts behind this and the two rules behind it to remain a forum member: ”

  • Rule 1 Don’t be a jerk
  • Rule 2 Don’t talk about what others post in The Forum on any blog, or forum

I have also been around long enough to realize it will be very hard to “contain” secrets…

Alex Honnold now climbs buildings! Check out his interview as he prepares to climb Taipei’s 101 Building. Found at The Adventure Blog.

10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings. Hilarious!


Emotion in Risk vs Opportunity

Emotion in Risk vs Opportunity


A picture says it all…

master of my own domain king throne

I signed up for seven travel reward cards in the same day so I feel like I am king of the world. Found here


And now a PSA about gun safety. Coming to you from…Evolve. If you are offended, it is your problem, lighten up will ya?


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40 comments on “Brazil World Cup, Plink/Shopkick/Visa Savings Edge/Chime, Miles Points Density, Forums, Alex Honnold Goes Urban, Emotions & Investing, King, Gun Safety

  1. This is the greatest article I have read all weekend: 10 Tricks to Appear Smart During Meetings

    Thanks for the link to, I know there are lots of programs to keep track of. They are not necessarily MS tricks (hard to scale up), but can make/save you a few bucks each way for a cold beer (or 2).

      • Reminds me of a guy who is in every Greek national team game behind the goal posts. He hooked me up for the tickets to the game I attended. I asked how can you afford to be away for so long and he…mentions he is sponsored by Amstel beer and then sold me a fan club jersey with Amstel in the front lol.

  2. Its a disservice to readers to pump data mining scams like shopkick or plink without warning about the privacy issues involved. A good, simple overview of the issue was recently posted here: http://techspertsinc.com/big-brother-is-watching-—-and-it’s-not-just-the-government-san-diego-transcript/

    Key takeaway: “…thanks to failed government oversight, overly ambitious startups and investors — many with little ethical grounding — and the lure of rewards from data mining, hundreds of companies are gathering even more personal information. It’s become a currency they can sell to data brokers and use to target us with advertising or something worse.”

    • Absolutely fantastic note, thanks a lot for the comment and link!

      I do not participate in these programs for this same reason. The only one I did was Plink but then somehow the credit card I had registered with them got compromised. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I stopped participating in these as the potential for what you are referring to is out there!

      I shared the article because it was a good summary of these secondary programs. I should have added I don’t participate for these reasons but just ran out of time and could not insert any affiliate links LOL.

  3. ‘Matt at Saverocity ponders about the Saverocity Forum: “The Forum is NOT a friendlier Flyer Talk“. Love the forum and the efforts behind this and the two rules behind it to remain a forum member: ”’

    Evidently its pretty difficult to find that exact gap in the market to address in order to build a business being the 3rd or 4th mover. The first phases of a community are always exciting for all: its relatively small, secrets stay among a select few, the owner seems altruistic yet entrepreneurial. Over time and with increasing membership, the tide turns or rather maintaining the original spirit becomes tough because the human nature of the participants surfaces.

    What I’m also curious about is how everything revolves around MS: that the credit card gravy train is about to retire in a few months/years/decades seem to evident to all, yet everyone is building yet another way to talk about it….

    • Yeah…good thoughts…interesting to see how things develop considering where this community was 15 years ago.

      I want to enter my Amazon affiliate links so so bad right at this minute but just can’t :-)

      Please no more Merkel photos…please #nomas

      • Honestly speaking, I’d be quite happy if Credit card bonuses and rewards went away tomorrow. I like leveraging them as a tool, and I will do so while I can, but the price that society pays for them is too high to be too excited about them.

        @oliver, What I am confused about is how you think everything is about MS when you aren’t a member of the forum? Next you’ll be suggesting I merge with Travel Codex :)

          • Being a member of that forum i can vouch for the fact that it is much more than MS forum. There is plenty of information for everyone to learn, every day.

          • Hi Oliver,

            I can’t see how a casual visitor would make that connection to be frank, the MS sub forum, and the Travel Hacking sub forum are both invisible to guests. Even if you sign up for an account you can’t see them until you are manually upgraded.

            The topics you can see are:

            Travel: Quick Deals/Credit Cards/Hotels/Flights/Cars/Trips
            Finance: General/Investments/Debt/Taxes

            The MS stuff appears in the Travel section for invited users. The purpose being that we don’t want it indexed by Google, and we don’t want it broadcast to people who aren’t onboard with the concepts of stewardship and not being jerks.



        • Just my 2 cents..

          I am reminded of one politician in India who fought hard against the government in the 1970s to restrict introduction of government sponsored wine shops in one of the states of the country. These evils once introduced cannot be curtailed at all and that too government sponsored citizens drinking scheme was the worst thing that a government can do to its citizens. That is simply not what the government is supposed to do. However, his intelligence was not accepted. Then the entire state started paying the price of it when many people started drinking and government was happy with the money that was coming in without realizing the evils. After a decade or so, the decision has done its damage and currently it is just impossible to ban drinking and there is no way government could get out of this business as well, as it had caught the tail of a tiger and just don’t know what to do.
          One could correlate the same to one of the evils that has happened here in US – credit cards. It is also a government sponsored evil. The damage has already been done and neither the government nor the society knows how to come out of this. If you take India, the savings rate was more before the wide spread usage of credit cards that started after the year 2000 or so. People were happy using cash for their spending and saved the rest in banks or stock markets but once credit card usage started gaining acceptance, the savings rate of the people fell a lot and before even anyone could do anything, the evil of credit card debt started shaking the roots of many families there.
          Having said that, my point of view is slightly different – I think all these double edge swords in the hands of intelligent people are always going to be “used” and in the hands of stupid people are always going to be “abused”.
          Further I don’t think the credit card bonuses are going to go away soon. The big circle of deflation due to excess money printing is yet to show it true colors, which will be the case once Fed stops printing money. It has already done the damage once it started pumping money out of the thin air and we are just yet to see the results of it. People are not going to get in to spending mode until the economy “truly” (not Fed induced) gets out of its lows, which is not going to be the case for at least two more decades according to me. Until the real income based spending mode comes back, the only way to generate more spending would be through MS which is in a way doing good to this economy as far as I am concerned. It is definitely increasing the money circulation which is indirectly keeping the economy alive. I think banks also know this and are thus not getting too much in the way of MS even though they know very well that most of the credit card spend out there is due to MSing. So, they will try to show that they are keeping it under control by curbing some people here and there but overall they will allow this to happen until they know that the economy has truly recovered. Till then, those who know to manage their credit properly, by playing the credit card game in the “right” way, are going to be the winners.

          • Kumar,

            Interesting thoughts, thanks for sharing. We can equate that line of thought to…lottery and casinos. The revenue is addicting to local govts, the smart ones avoid them and the idiots get ruined. Same with credit cards all over the world. It happened to Greece…it “felt like free money” I heard so many times. Yeah, it sure was…6 years austerity and 27% unemployment, how do you like the free money now?

            I still think MS is a tiny part of the spending picture. We are a drop in the bucket :-)

            I do not make economic forecasts, I know better. I tell my clients over the past year to “enjoy the ride” we just don’t know when the ride up will stop, no one does.

            Now with the World Cup over…I went back to Wal Mart lol.

        • Unless the government starts regulating who can and cannot get a credit card, like they do in some countries, I don’t see how the death of credit card bonuses or awards could benefit the society. It will not benefit the society if the issuers simply lower their APRs; for a simple reason that people will find even more excuses to borrow from credit cards. While these enormous credit card bonuses are mostly a US phenomenon, credit card debt is most certainly not.

          I’d rather keep gaming the system even though it’s unfair to many people, simply because taking these bonuses away from me will not make anyone else happy.

          • Andy – I bought and read your book “Lazy traveler’s handbook”. Pretty impressive. Well written with sufficient warnings and tips. I would happily suggest it to any newbie who starts this game. I will leave a detailed feedback through amazon but just thought of sharing this here as well. Overall nice book but a bit overpriced :(

            • Thank you for your kind words, Kumar. Yes, people have told me I was stupid putting up all these warnings, as it looks I don’t even want them to buy it. One book guru I sent it for the review called it anti-marketing that needs to be taught in business schools. Ouch!

              As to being overpriced, point taken, but I think the price is fair. It was a lot of work to write it, and considering that I update every now and then (and practically re-write it every year), it’s still time-consuming.

    • “the credit card gravy train is about to retire in a few months/years/decades seem to evident to all, yet everyone is building yet another way to talk about it….”

      LOL, Oliver. There seems to be a huge gap between a few months and a few decades, don’t you think? I could live with a few decades. :-)

      And what CC gravy train are you referring to; sign up bonuses or affiliate commissions?

      • I mean both. The battle for grabbing the major airlines and hotel chains has been fought. There is no further landmark victory left like Amex signing Delta. The milking of customers handing them cards they should use for travel has been done since nearly 8 years now and as the market consolidates and the masses realise there is nothing to gain by putting spend on loyalty point cards the industry will move on. Cashback cards will be the next thing IMHO.
        The decades thing was a joke :)

        • And airlines and hotels are what–gonna just sit there and watch how their loyalty programs die an agonizing death? I don’t think so. Who are they going to sell currency to? I’m pretty sure they will come up with something to spice things up.

          And besides, while the acquisitions (so to speak) are over, there is still a matter of competition between the issuers. Even freaking Wells Fargo–let them go to hell–jumped in with a travel card of their own. No, I’m not worried. Not yet.

  4. Gary gets to combine 2 of his favorite hobbies into one post – criticizing Obama and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (full disclosure: I’m no Obama fan myself)

    Lord have mercy had Obama used that card at the Franklin BBQ on the first Friday of the month. I think Gary would’ve had a seizure

    • I like OBAMA!. It’s cool to dislike Obama. Why? I have no f@cking idea. Bengazi? WTF! Immigration? The Republicans don’t want to lose the Hispanic vote either. They won’t do anything but talk about it. More people now have healthcare (prior to which my wife’s job was to write off 50% of it’s Practices bills from folks w/o money or health ins.as unpayable) You paid for it with your high ins. premiums. Don’t believe Rupert Murdoch’s B.S. machine (fair and balanced my ass, how stupid does it believe it’s viewers are) It would make Joseph Goebbels, head of Germany’s Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda proud. Obamacare is a good thing for so many people! It’s bad for Health Insurance Co. profits. Obama didn’t invade any countries and destroy it. Obama wasn’t responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, injuries and peoples lives destroyed. He did not send our countries kids to go get killed.The only way Iraq was stable was under Saddam. We had him under control. Yes he was brutal but that was nothing compared to all the killing that has taken place including our boys. He got our boys out of there and Afghanistan. FYI, everyday on facebook for the last two and a half years I get to see my nephew in pain still at Walter Reed Hospital after getting blown apart in Iraq, begging them to remove his other mangled leg. The stock market is booming and the economy is taking off after Obama was handed one on the verge of collapse. The rest of the world does not hate us like the did w/ Bush. And pot laws are slowly getting lifted, I didn’t know Gleff didn’t like Obama but it figures.

      • Gleff doesn’t like Obama because he’s a hardcore libertarian

        I don’t like him because I’m fairly libertarian as well

        I don’t like Gary’s blowharding on politics even though I agree with most of them, because as you’ve seen countless times with his ridiculous “feet on the wall” or “checking email while on vacation” post, he’s the worst kind of blowhard – the holier than thou kind

        Not to be confused with Lucky’s “We sat on the tarmac for an hour and they only came around with champagne once” blowhardedness

        • I fully agree with both of you guys.

          I like Obama. My insurance premiums skyrocketed but then wife got hired full time by Ford and we were saved lol. Several clients’ children are in the family policy while they are in between jobs or in school along with a few who were able to quit jobs and line up a policy without any prior health condition crap. And I agree about the wars and the direction of the stock market! The one thing I despise about Obama was that he let the bankers go off way too easily instead of ramming some sentences and jail time down their throats! I have always been in favor of pot legalization because if you are high on pot you won’t be committing any crimes like if you were high on heroine…you would be eating Doritos LOL.

          I am light Libertarian too but some of the extreme positions they can take scare me!

          Deep down I am a centrist & non extremist dude. Fairly liberal socially and conservative fiscally (not the Republican blow hard conservatism…why do these guys spend like there is no tomorrow when they get elected!).

          Okay, enough politics. LIke religion, abortion and the MIddle East we can debate for decades.

          Just saw that dude who killed a whole family…I do not like the death penalty but for these cases please tell me why my tax dollars should go feed that MFer for even one day???

          Oh crap Feedly blog count is in the hundreds…and there was no WC game for an excuse!

          • “Fairly liberal socially and conservative fiscally (not the Republican blow hard conservatism…why do these guys spend like there is no tomorrow when they get elected!)”

            Agreed 100%. I usually reluctantly vote Republican (and with Romney, an extra heap of reluctance) but am fully aware that nobody walks the walk less than Republican leaders in Washington

            I don’t even know the name of Mitch McConnell’s opponent or care what their positions are – I would vote for them in a heartbeat

              • Because sometimes when there are only 2 electorally viable options, you go with the clearly superior soda (coke, by a mile)

    • Welcome back Steve; missed your asshattery. Can you educate Ramsey on proper use of carriage returns or spacing on what appear to be sentences?

      Hope both of your days are filled with misery or at least a busy day up your favourite bloggers ass.

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