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View from the Wing wrote “How to Keep Your Airline Miles from Expiring“. Good list of airline expiration policies. A rare post I did not feel #deltarage.

Food, Wine and Miles wrote “The Secret To A Truly Efficient Points Strategy Is A Good Cash Back Card“. This is excellent down to earth advice imho. Notice how we miles/points via credit card junkies are slowly and steadily moving to cash back like cards!

You can now register for the latest Hilton Honors promotion. You can earn 1,000 HH points for every night and 5,000 points for a two night weekend stay (Thursday to Sunday) for stays from February 1 to April 30, 2014. Probably one of the most boring promos offered lately! And watch out for the massive list of non-participating hotels, a major pet peeve of mine. Sure Hilton, like this is going to make me stay in your hotel this quarter!

Get 100 Free Hyatt Gold Passport points. Found at Loyalty Lobby. Probably the most copied content after Flyertalk in the blogosphere :-) With all these “targeted” promos, if you do not get your points, don’t get angry. Move on!

Two observations: 1) How can bloggers keep trying to sell the American Express Platinum card with exactly the same arguments as before the massacre of its lounge access benefit is beyond me! 2) I have noticed much less Chase credit card related (and application links) blog posts from bloggers who (surprise?) lost their Chase credit card application links recently. Coincidence?

In case you were comatose, the new IHG Rewards Pointbreaks list is coming on Monday. Please contain your enthusiasm! It will magically appear here and there will be a frenzy of cut and paste activity on all the blogs who must be banging their heads on the wall being mad at Chase for not having as good of an affiliate credit card offer for this program!

Wyndham Rewards loyalty program sucks. Most of you hopefully knew that. This is the Cartera of loyalty programs. We are talking #deltarage like stuff. Don’t bother, life is too short to deal with it with so many others available. Please. For your sake. Yes I know about the deals and I don’t care. You need to make a stand! There. I feel better!

My Samsung Galaxy 3 just died suddenly yesterday and I immediately felt so inadequate!  I ended up getting a new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phone at the Sprint store and I LOVE the screen display of it. I am almost back to normal, all apps are back already. I do not like the sound quality/reception when talking on the phone, I wonder if it is the case or I am messing with the speakers somehow. I ended up staying with Sprint which now has a new thing going on in how they charge for their offerings. Basically, the more people in the same Framily Plan (yes there is an r in there, brilliant huh?) the less we all pay per phone. I have added my own Framily ID # in the Support TBB page. If you are checking out Sprint please click to learn more, we could both save some money. Thank you!

I have been the official driver of my kids to activities. My 6th grader daughter is a talker. She goes on and on. So, in the drive from ballet class to Greek language school she told me: “Justin Bieber got arrested because he is stupid!”. I thought that was funny.

Then she continued and out of the blue she started talking about her memories from our trip to Spain. “I think this was my favorite trip….Loved the french bread from the chinese lady at the store near our hotel (Westin Palace with Starwood SPG points of course!)…the great little place we found and had breakfast every morning…and then more stories of what she remembered”. I like listening to her (most of the time). Looking back, it was a great trip. One day I will manage to put up more trip reports up here. Since I do not break them down in 35 parts….they are legendary in their length. I may just start posting some pics from past trips for your amusement in the future. Here are just a few teaser pics:

El Rastro Street Band in Madrid

El Rastro Street band in Madrid


Real Madrid Mourinho impersonation

TBB pretending to be former Real Madrid coach Mourinho. Yes I did the Real Stadium Santiago Bernabeu tour. Overpriced but worth it!


The Amazing Life of a Travel Photographer. By Bored Daddy. Some excellent photographs:




Bizarre European Men’s Runway Looks. This is messed up. WTF is wrong with you Europeans? Do you expect us to buy this crap and wear it in days other than Halloween huh?  :-)

top hats mens fashion Yamamoto

“Designer Yohji Yamamoto sent a troupe of Victorian British vagabonds down his Paris runway. The top hats, cropped pants, and ill-fitting, wild suits were overkilll” – Yeah, no sh*t!


If you are a coffee lover and want to know how the coffee travels from a bean to your cup, this is an amazingly educational infographic!


A totally awesome paragliding video. Found at The Adventure Blog. Watching this brings to my mind the song that goes “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky”…


I am a blogger. Call me a journalist. The Ninth Circuit Court says so. Let me spell it out: “US Court: Bloggers are Journalists. Even When they are Libeling you“. And this excerpt: “they [bloggers] ’re entitled to all the protections the Constitution grants journalists.” Last time I checked expressing an opinion was allowed anywhere in this good old USA. God Bless America!


Bill Murray answers questions in reddit. Wow, how refreshingly honest and down to earth talk by Bill. Bring some pop corn, it is a long read. Go Park Hyatt Tokyo :-)




Check out my updated blog lists: Blogs I Love, Blogs I Like, Blogs I Ignore

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70 comments on “Cash Back credit cards, IHG Rewards Pointbreaks, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 & Sprint, Justin Bieber is stupid, Madrid trip memories, Coffee, Paragliding, Bloggers are Journalists, Bill Murray

  1. Greek language school! So it is just like the movie BFGW? I’ll never forget the time my friend and I ate all the greek baptismal candies at our friend’s house, thinking they were just Jordan almonds. That make me orthodox right?

  2. Unless MMS and Mrs. MMS toured the Fernet distillery while in Milan, I consider their trip a failure.

    Mourinho, the original cara de pau. I would say he makes John Wooden, Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson look like beginners, but he hasn’t coached low-budget squads in a long while. Call it a draw at present.

      • Mourinho is a coaching legend in that sport you play with your feet and rightly called football :-)

        Used to coach in Real Madrid and now is back with Chelsea in the English Premier League. If he was here he would be on ESPN 24/7, the guy is a head case with his antics (but nobody doubts his coaching abilities). Then again he always had the best players available.

      • Mourinho has won league championships in Spain (R. Madrid), Portugal (Porto), Italy (Inter), and England (Chelsea). He’s also had top talent at the clubs he coached to championships.

        Wooden had Walton, Alcindor, and others, Auerbach had Bill Russell, Cousy, and others, and Phil Jackson had Jordan, Shaq, Kobe, and others. They built championship dynasties.

        Hence the “call it a draw” at managing and winning with top talent.

          • Can you imagine having to follow Ferguson? I feel sorry for the guy at Man U now, he appears overwhelmed…a little. I am hoping his streak continues and the Greek team Olympiacos pulls the upset in Champions League!

            • I love that you just referred to David Moyes as “the guy at Man U now” – poor guy, he no longer gets his own name, he’s just that guy that followed Fergie at United. Oh well, maybe he will make a name for himself there. Or at least get his own name back.

  3. Every blogger will tell you about pointsbreaks

    Lots of bloggers will tell you that you can transfer UR points to IHG

    Few bloggers will tell you about 80K sign up bonus for the IHG card

  4. @Shaun: You are Number 1!

    @Spencer F: Don’t get angry, it was not even close :-)

    @BigHabitat: You can be whoever you want to be…especially in the TBB Comments lol.

    @Kim: Those Greeks got some weird traditions. I used to love baptismal candies myself too! I was born Orthodox but I am not getting along too well with these Orthodox priests. They are not doing much to get Greece out of the crisis…they could afford to bail it out themselves!

    @harvson3: If I coached his teams I think I would probably do well too. I have a pic in the press conference room with my son but I am laughing too much, that would be way not…cara de pau (I googled it) :-)

    @ real slim shady: I told you Kim was no good. Take care of Hailie :-)

    @ yep :(

  5. Pingback: PSA: Get 16 PointBreaks Hotel Nights with the Chase IHG Rewards Club Visa | Travel with Grant

    • I am all in on the recent comeback of the Amex Blue Cash offer for 5% over the first $6.5k of spend for drugstores, drugstores and drugstores :-)

      Then I round it with the 5% categories in Discover, Freedom and Ink Plus.

      After that it’s the Arrival card.

      I have a whole bunch of other cards I am finding that I am not using anymore and slowly I would be cancelling.

      Got $75 statement credit on my CitiBusiness from Retention. This was on top of another $75 statement credit from wife’s CitiBusiness card. Which was on top of my $95 statement credit & offer for 2k AA miles for every $1k spend per month for the next 18 months on my CitiAmex card (I will do it for a few months via Amazon Payments and then still cancel all 3 cards to get the 18 month clock started).

      I am handling four Bluebirds now…

      Call me the 5% man. When not 5%ing it, I am 2.2%ing it.

  6. From the “you can’t make this stuff up department”

    As we all know, the tagline for MMS interview is “Welcome to the next interview in our interview series where TRAVEL BLOGGERS…..” (caps mine)
    Why did you start your blog? What’s special about it?
    “MY BLOG IS NOT ABOUT TRAVEL, it’s about personal finance.”

    If you were going to interview someone who isn’t a travel blogger as part of your travel blogger interview series, couldn’t you at least do a good blog, like PFDigest?

  7. anyone have any ideas on possible warm-weather destinations over the President’s Day break? Hoping to fly somewhere from NYC and not able to find any availability to MIA/LAX/SFO on UA/AA. Might do Scottsdale or sedona (PHX) but hoping to go somewhere near the water…would love to get out of this ball-chilling cold.

  8. “Which Credit Card Earns the Most Rewards on Cable, Internet, and Phone Service?”

    That post ACTUALLY EXISTS today over at FTG.

    They must not be too proud of it though, because instead of crediting the author it is by “FTG Staff”

    See? You need a whole staff to come up with the content over there. And not just a rhesus monkey.

  9. So I ventured over to DP blog(after a loooong time), and I just realized that DP pimped one last time before Chase fired him. This is worse than drug addiction I bet.

    I read the bit about him drinking mai tai — couldn’t help remembering the Office Space lines at the end of the movie.. “NO Salt, NO Salt I won’t be leaving a tip, ’cause I could… I could shut this whole resort down. Sir? I’ll take my traveler’s checks to a competing resort. I could write a letter to your board of tourism and I could have this place condemned. ” :D

  10. Hey “5% man”:
    Discover sent me a free Starbucks $5 card for no reason. I only use it for 5% back categories.

    I left another comment at Food, Wine, and Miles that appears to have been eaten. Buying MC GCs at Office Max today is essentially getting 5%+ back, if you convert UR points to cash (and there’s no shame in that). You also don’t have to use an Amex card. I too have too many miles and can always use more cash; I’m burning miles at 1.4 cents each for a work conference because a) we’re not planning international travel soon and b) the miles aren’t earning interest.

    • I let FWM know about your comment. These spam comment filters sometimes they have a mind of their own. Apparently Discover does not love me as much. Been busy taking care of things not involving TBB, no time for such activities this weekend. $10k on my Blue Cash Amex gets $500 cold hard cash…sure pays for lots of annual fees.

      Damn snow keeps coming down here….We broke the record for snowiest month this year. And then some as it keeps coming

  11. It is sad that I used to be in this credit card sign up shenanigans since the 0 percent balance transfer days when we put them in ing accounts for 5 percent. Have we finally come full circle back to cash? Only took 14 years…

    • Not full circle yet as long as we get 50k plus cc signing bonuses. But certainly half circle for sure I would say…I still have that ing account by the way, Capital One has not “:enhanced” it too much…yet.

  12. Hey, TBB, I have a question: I went into Amazon and put something in my shopping cart, and then remembered I should have gone in via your link. So I closed the browser, opened another browser, clicked your link and then made the purchase (it was still in the Amazon cart, waiting for me). Will you get credit? Not to worry if you don’t; the purchase barely qualified for shipping ;) – still, every little bit helps.

    • I am not sure. I hope so. Don’t worry about it. At this pace I will be able to pay for a second latte at Starbucks :-) But it does show the IRS that this may not be a hobby thing after all ;-)

      And thank you, I appreciate it.

    • I would have to agree. I have some retired clients who are just living the dream with Social Security and a pension each (from the Big Three and/or state of Michigan). Some have been retired for over 30 years! It’s a different environment for us and our children, it appears, may have it even tougher. But I am the eternal optimist. I think the technological advances & innovation will surprise us all…to the positive! I keep pounding it to them that education is important, working hard is good for you and saving money is sacred because there will come a time when we would not be able to earn money…

      January 2014—-Ann Arbor Snowmageddon (broke record and it just keeps coming!)

  13. Ok lets hear how many OfficeMax MC trips everyone made last week. Yesterday on my last store visit, the cashier tells me you can have all you want, I just sold someone $4,000 worth this morning. I bought 2 sets of $600 there, $3600 for the week only because I had the Ebola Flu Virus…………..Buzzy, what was you take for the week?

    • Mahatma/Ebola Flu Virus—-Lol

      This week has been very busy in my other sane life. I am at 5% with my Blue Cash Amex now…attempting to divert the discussion aka [subliminal message: I have been accused of hoarding/hiding/buying Vanilla Reload cards at that Convenient store already on Twitter so I better keep my mouth shut here because I may be called more nice names lol.

  14. Ingy, Have you seen Captain Phillips yet. The Somali actor who calls himself “I’m The Captain” is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He wasn’t even the best Somali actor in the movie. They say I have the DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS acting method down pat. But this guy makes my performance in Argo look like Nickolson in Cuckoos Nest.

    • I liked the movie. I was surprised to see him nominated.

      Last night I saw “Dallas Buyers Club”. Wow, Matthew McConaughey is just amazing (and I don’t really like him in general). I will pick him. My 2nc choice would be Chiwetel Ejofor for his role in 12 Slaves (that movie is so strong it made me uncomfortable!). DiCaprio only for the Quaaludes scenes :-)

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