We go on another wild run and bitch about Feedly, learn about joining Blog Networks, how to double dip with Sears, two new terms like PM and CP, visit Thailand, Saigon and the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. We end with some jokes, gym etiquette, and we go undercover to bring you the Blog Frontline Report!

 

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FEEDLY SITUATION

As most of you probably know, Feedly is the service I use to keep up with 500 plus blogs. And you probably heard that it has been under a severe wave of Denial of Service attacks or something technical like that. Therefore, the service was down all day Wednesday, unstable for most of Thursday and just started working properly later in the day on Thursday. TBB staff is VERY behind. We are working our way forward and we intend to catch up at some point. I am so dependent on Feedly that is ridiculous. It was a weird feeling not going through blogs the whole day. I must admit it was a bit liberating and so hard at the same time. At least I could escape to entertain ourselves in the TBB comments yesterday where even seniors go to enjoy their retirement!

 

Tahsir, the Bengali Miles Guru, wrote “New Power Couple: Manufactured Spend & Revenue Based Programs” at Hack My Trip. Very good summary of where this hobby stands, much wiser beyond his years. And thank you for not clobbering your readers with a credit card machine gun. Then again, this is why this blog is in the TBB Approved Blogs we Like list!

A very interesting piece by PointchaserThings to Consider Before Joining a Blogging Network“. I find it interesting Upgrd was mentioned but not Saverocity. Anyways, this may help some readers who may be blogging and/or thinking about this specific issue. Fits the educational part of the TBB mission. The owner of the blog, for those who don’t know, is the editor at Frugal Travel Guy. I save the beatings for that blog in the section at the end as usual :-)

Big Habitat discovered “Deal Alert: Sears 9x Points Per Dollar through Southwest Portal Double Dip for 18x“. Looks like a deal to me. Even me, allergic to shopping, took notice. Cartera runs it, beware of this company!

The Two Types of Award Points. By the Wandering Aramean. We are finally hitting some new terminology that now makes so much sense: PM=Program Miles (from flying) and CM=Commercial Miles (Banks.etc). No Chase Ink Bold links to be ambushed with here, come in lol.

Finally made it to Walmart again as I am trying to just take care of wife’s new Ink Bold. Ran into friend and blog reader at the Customer Service. It’s a disease :-)

 

 

Beautiful Thailand in Pictures. By Bored Daddy.

thailand beautiful sunset

What an incredible shot!

 

Why I Love Saigon. By Legal Nomads. Let’s just say this is a quality travel blog post. So glad we did not get a ridiculously cheerful “And you can travel there too!”

Saigon skyline vietnam

Saigon Skyline

The Gym-Goer’s Etiquette Guide. Fantastic!

gym donuts wtf

Please do NOT do this!

 

Adventure, Discomfort and the Richness That Comes with Struggle. At Twisted Sifter. Wow, what an inspirational video this is!

 

Random Financial Advice Generator. Hilarious!

 

Incredibly powerful commercial featuring Neymar that captures the essence of soccer so vividly, Wow!

 

16 most profound jokes. Here is one to LOL:

A masochist asks a sadist, “Please hurt me.”

“No,” replies the sadist. Arnon Mishkin

 

TBB FRONTLINE REPORT

Not sure I can keep up this section, especially with World cup soccer games every day now!

Frugal Travel Guy – Revenue Based Frequent Flyer Miles: Who Cares?    [Look at me, I am a travel hacker, I make all this money and fly for free and you can do it too because your credit is my most important asset. I sign off now, the rest of the crew will bombard you with credit card hard sells and I will likely join in with them starting with my next posts…as usual]

Million Mile Secrets – Today Only: Save on Universal Studios Hollywood Tickets   [Just wanted to drop you six of my regular credit card app links because some of you are so bright that you will click on them…this “deal” was just an excuse for just that, thanks!]

Million Mile Secrets – How Your Travel Plans Will Be Affected by the Changes at United Airlines   [ An unnecessarily long winded analysis, you have read better ones elsewhere. And it has become a habit…I try to guess how many affiliate credit card links these mega pumping blogs will insert. The answer in this one: 13. But what made me laugh was this comment by one of the blog’s readers named “Robert”: “This post is a perfect example of why Daraius has the best miles and points blog. Instead of reading complaints and moaning over this change (as I’ve already read elsewhere), Daraius has showed there can be a few positives to be found here. The positivity and upbeat nature of this blog is what keeps me coming back every day. Thanks Daraius!”  WTF! It won’t be long before he gets it! 9 comments, all ignored, perhaps too busy preparing for more posts and massaging the credit card links? I am not angry. I am just observing the reality of the blogs on the ground level so readers are better informed of what is really going on.

Delta Points – All of them   [If you are not going to get someone to look over your posts to correct obvious grammar mistakes, at least look for misspelled words. You readers will certainly appreciate it! You are welcome! The logo was changed to add Rene’s in front of Delta Points. Someone in Flyert Talk said a close friend told him the change was done by Delta. Rene says Delta had nothing to do with it. See relevant Flyertalk thread. I am just reporting here guys. And Oliver, come on man, you are becoming like a serial moderator closer lately :-) ]

One Mile at a Time – Why Chase Sapphire Preferred Is Best Credit Card For Airfare  [Pre 2014, you only saw a few credit card pump posts here. This year they are so common. Here we go and do a sell job on the Chase Sapphire credit card. It has, please sit down, a “baggage delay benefit”, WOW! I can’t help but wonder if the site still had Amex affiliate links would that amex card that earns 3x points may have been the winner? Let me drink to that and go on, it is crazy catching up!]

Million Mile Secrets – Do Southwest Dining Program Points Count Towards the Companion Pass?  [ For the millionth time. No comments at all. Maybe they suspect whats’ going on?]

View from the Wing  – Here’s the New Game Plan for Non-Elite Flyers That Travel on United  [ Great article. From the old days. If we can keep this up maybe we can get out out of the Ignore list. But doubt it as I am sure, you know, we know what’s coming….Yep, did not miss the opportunity to shower the post about ditching the airline card with six affiliate credit card links. Sad ]

Just Another Points Traveler – It Just Got 25% Cheaper to Book an Ultimate Rewards Award to Hawaii + Other Sweet Spots  [ If this isn’t proof that diapers are expensive I don’t know what is. A new mommy finding a reason to pump some Chase links. Come on, be an original. Post a pic of your super cute baby, tell us he poops like a machine, need some help, click my links :-)  And save all the time to tell us about the Singapore Airlines being added to Chase Ultimate Rewards!]

Mommy Points – Don’t Miss Out on This Quarter’s 5x Earnings  [I suggest you do this weekly…oh wait]

Noob Traveler – Noob Q&A’s: “Do Arrival Miles Expire, Can I Transfer My Ultimate Rewards Points, Am I Eligible for the 30k SPG Offer?”   [ Amazing how 3 different questions are conveniently asked to serve the readers more credit card links. ]

Deals We Like – Utilizing Hilton’s 5th Night Free Redemption Option  [ An incredible feast of credit card pumping ensued ]

Extra Pack of Peanuts – How I Got $5 Flights to Rio for the World Cup  [ Words do not begin to describe …” So how did I score 2 direct flight plane tickets from New York to Rio for $2.50 each? By following a system that is simple but unknown to most of the general public.”  Apparently , the secret is, please sit down, to earn miles without flying by getting credit cards. Flog me please!

One Mile at a Time – Limited Time Credit Card Offers To Consider  [ They ‘re always limited. Dropped another eight. It did not used to be this way. ]

One Mile at a Time – Coming Soon: The New One Mile at a Time  [Is it me or is the new look very similar to The Points Guy? Too bad the content is starting to resemble it too!]

The Points Guy – Daily Getaway June 12: Avis Deals   [ You can save 10% if you buy with an Amex card, here are my links. If your fingers are cramping, you can still click on my links]

Million Mile Secrets – You Can Now Only Get Starwood Gold Status With the Starwood Business Card   [Well, completely wrong. You can still get SPG Gold by spending $30k per year in either Personal or Business SPG Amex card. Error correction posted on top. Bet you bet there was no mistake in presenting all the Amex credit card links. What a waste….Nope, as long as some readers got the cards. Remember, dear readers, what the esteemed TBB troll said “It’s all about conversions”!]

Million Mile Secrets -Today Only: Save on Avis Car Rentals   [ See previous entry from The Points Guy for the same “deal”.]

Delta Points – To DING or not to DING?  [Dong]

Doctor of Credit – Added a staff writer. Pays $50 for contributing a post. Hey, that is double what the Frugal Travel Guy pays for reader “challenges”!

 

WORLD CUP 2014

Brazil 3 – Croatia 1: Brazil came in very tight. Croats took advantage by scoring first. Neymar tied it in a brilliant (and kind of lucky) goal. And then the decision that marked the game: The Japanese referee totally fell for a dive by a Brazilian in the box and Neymar made it 2-1. And it was pretty much over after that. Good start for the home team. Croats will fight hard in the next two games.

I am having fun in my personal Facebook page chatting with some other soccer fanatics. From now on, it is at least 3 games a day. It is like  heaven!

As of Thursday night at 2.230 am, I am caught up!

I was going to pimp my personal and business SPG Amex and my Chase Freedom cards for 5k of points each per referral. I forgot. If you are in the market for one please contact me.

Weighed myself, new weight loss record, down 23 lbs. And did a personal best (after age 35) in a 1 mile run: 7.34 mins. High five?

 

And I leave you with this disturbing image…

WTF Grandpa plastic sex doll

WTF Grandpa! Found here

 

 

 

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53 comments on “Feedly issues, Blog Networks, Sears Double Dip, PM and CP, Thailand, Saigon, World Cup 2014 in Brazil, Jokes, Gym etiquette, Blog Frontline Report

  1. Found on the twitterverse:

    The English team at the World Cup took a few hours to visit an orphanage the other day in Brazil. “It was so sad to see their heartbroken faces with no hope” said one, Jose, age 6.

    There’s also a funny comparison pic of the England vs Italy teams getting off the plane making the rounds.

    My question for the day. If I apply for a new card 1. with a bank where I already have some other cards (i.e. apply for the United card when I already have CSP) and 2. my income is way lower on the new application than when I applied for the old cards -> then does this lead to a likely decrease in my credit limit on the old cards?

    • I’d say: yah never know! I had some expired Alaska Air miles, and when I called to see about maybe getting them back, the rep said I could either pay money or apply for a new card and the miles would be reinstated free. Cool. Applied (on the phone, with her) — and after a few minutes, she came back horrified, because not only had I been denied the AK card, the #@&+&* bank (of America) had ALSO cancelled my other BofA card (which I had recently paid it down to zero, with a $14k limit, that I had had since the early 90s!) Took a painful hit to my scores because of the closing of this card.

      So, who knows? The banks play dice with our credit card lives! (And so do we!)

      (The “bad credit” (which really wasn’t, cause my scores were still low 700s…) was caused by the ramifications of my husband’s sudden death. The bank claimed they “had to” close the card because the terms it was under no longer existed… Funny, the terms hadn’t existed for a couple YEARS — but it was only now they acted?! {frown})

    • Funny stuff on the English team.

      I think each bank handles these issues differently. As Elenor shows, be VERY careful about BofA…they just suck big time!

      As far as Chase goes, you are assigned ONE $$ amount as a credit line. When you apply for another credit card, they see what room is available. You MUST call the reconsideration line if you do not get instant approval. I have never been turned down after talking with them on the phone as I have either a card I want to sacrifice (as it is time for the annual fee & am not keeping it) or plenty of cl I can shift around from other cards. I do NOT know how Chase handles your specific situation, it is a very interesting question. My guess is that this $$$ cl amount may get shifted downwards a bit later on and you still have the time to “negotiate” with the reconsideration folks (call shortly after you apply, I always call within an hour!). Anyone know for sure?

  2. Lots of us on the west coast are up too. And I just saw a tweet from Pat and Mike who are having their morning coffee. Hope that baby boy is settling in. Hey, isn’t this your first first? Most appropriate on the baby’s first night at home. Hope you eventually get some sleep!

  3. It should be noted that I only pay $50 a post for guest posts contributed without links, staff writers get paid no where near that amount. The idea of offering to pay people for posts was to try and get different perspectives/give people a chance to blog occasionally without having to commit themselves to doing it regularly whilst rewarding them for doing so.

    It hasn’t really taken off, but you’re always welcome to submit something – George. The new writer found out about the $20 staples offer before I did, so it’s nice to have somebody else on the ball as well!

  4. George, I thought you were ignoring these folks, so your feedly list should have been pruned by now… ;)

    Sad game last night, the Croats could have kept it at 1:1… :(

      • I recommend to my readers to ignore them. I can not ignore them as I need entertaining material for my blog and as I get some new readers all the time I want to show them what is really going on in this space :-)

        Sad that the Japanese ref will be remembered for just one blown call, he called a decent game I thought. Lord knows we have seen so many more blown calls in the WC! The Croatian goalie sure has the reach but…a little bit slow :-)

  5. Re: hosting services. I doubt you get affiliate links from Upgrd if you don’t tweak your content. Anyone with half a brain can get a wordpress site to work, see TBB. Once it picks up momentum, get someone to help you out a bit, see TBB. Seth & co even offer free guidance on how to DIY a decent blog. Getting that initial traffic can be bitch though, but thats where content kicks in.

    • I like my own destiny. Besides, if I become a part of a network I will be influenced to go easier on fellow bloggers and we can’t have that around here. TBB=independence….for now anyways

  6. That Neymar/Jozy/Luis Suarez ad made me grin insofar as, for a certain type of Western advertising executive/copywriter, everyone in Brazil lives in Rio de Janeiro and everyone in Rio either lives in Copacabana, Ipanema/Leblon, or in a favela.

    Neymar isn’t Romario, who was discovered playing in Jacarezinho in Zona Norte. He’s a middle-class mogiano and came up as a peixe in Santos. I’ve always been nervous for the kid; he never seemed that emotionally mature at Santos and always seemed overwhelmed with his sudden emergence as the best striker in the Brazilian league. On Santos he seemed to always be looking up to Robinho as a big brother figure, and then Robinho went back to Europe.

    When Neymar Sr. says to junior, “it’s important that you not save anything,” the ad translates it as “it’s important that you don’t hold back.”

    Anyway, it was a lousy game. Brazil need some real competition.

    • Are you referring to the most overpriced cans ever?
      Support Brooklyn and buy a pair of Grados. The best sounding cans you can get for <$100. But yea, it's not worn by cool guys chasing balls.
      I believe Belgium will be the big surprise of the tournament.

      • I don’t know much about Neymar, all I know is the dude is incredibly talented and seems to be handling the fame pretty good so far. I hope he turns out to be a positive force to humanity and does not pull a…Maradona lol.

        For a WC opener, it was not that bad. And 4 goals was enough :-)

        Belgium puts me to sleep. Everyone expects them to be the surprise. I hope they do not come out of first round.

    • I saw your comment few days back on saving 15% on hotels.com booking + portal discount. I see that Topcashback is offering 7% back now. Can you please help me how to get the 15% discount? I have a major trip coming by and want to see if i can maximise my savings.

  7. I LOVE the TBB FRONTLINE REPORT, it’s retro TBB! ……. The picture of Bad Grandpa with the blow up Dolly Parton, why, he’s driving in the diamond lane (where vehicles must have 2 or more passengers)………………………………………………………..or he is short winded and had the porno shop where he bought it blow it up for him to go.

  8. Gary out with post number 56 trying to convince himself that airlines are hurting themselves when they make moves that hurts people like Gary

    • C’mon Steve show a little sympathy for Gleff, if the airlines keep this up he might have to go to The Maldives for the 4th year in a row in coach.

        • wrong, there already was a shift

          It shifted from flying to “yes Chase, whatever you say”

          He’ll argue and argue to no end about how this is bad for them (aka, bad for him)

          Meanwhile, in the real world, Southwest and Jetblue are swimming in revenue-based cash and Delta and their screwing over the Gary’s of the world are doing just fine

          If you took the list of the most profitable airlines, and reversed the order, you’d probably get the list of the most profitable airlines in Gary’s theoretical mind

    • Starting with the disclaimer that IMHO TBB was spot on moving VFTW to “ignore” given the blog’s rapid descent from the top quartile of those I used to follow–I nevertheless find myself agreeing with the VFTW position on UA copycatting DL, at least within the margins of the argument. The DL hard and soft products are far superior to those of UA. FFers with a choice will choose DL over UA, everything else being equal. UA needs it’s FF program to offer a competitive advantage over DL’s, and should stick with a simple mileage based strategy to lure the masses. If you’re behind, you can’t simply mimic the leader if you want to gain ground.

      But the argument being waged may be missing the forest for the trees. In the current airline oligopoly, everything else is rarely equal, and its unclear if any of the US airlines want to gain ground, or if they’re content with the acreage they already have. Competition has been significantly reduced or eliminated. If one wants to fly nonstop very early or very late in the day, then one gets one or two choices of carrier–and thats if they live in a hub. (If you have to connect, then your main choice is to pick the poison of which hub to avoid.) Fares rarely vary more than a few dollars. Without competition and real choice, FF programs that reward loyalty, measured by either revenue produced or miles flown, may no longer be needed.

      However, the FF programs still serve a purpose as the drug of choice for Chase, Citi, AMEX, and to a lesser extent Barclays. As long as miles continue to sustain addiction to high interest/high-fee affinity cards, the FF programs will have value to the banks, and to the airlines selling the miles to the banks.

      FF programs are no longer about building and sustaining loyalty to the airline. They’re about sustaining addiction to the CC and ancillary products, like the Catera portals.

      • Thanks for taking the time to make this comment. I think you nailed it. I will add this to the Sunday weekly Gem comments roundup, heck this may be an MVP comment! I agree by the way, let’s get that clear. Now I gotta get back to the World Cup!

        • Online Travel Review has a great post today explaining why United is doing so badly compared to its peers. Being relatively new – that is, not having been around travel hacking when the Continental/United merger happened – it was very informative.

          I guess if I am going to be coming here in the next weeks I’d better brush up on the World Cup:

          Many years ago, this conversation ensued:

          My cousin: Would you be interested in tickets to the World Cup? My husband’s company is working on it and we can get tickets.
          Me: Is that golf?
          My cousin: OK, we are not wasting tickets on you!

          Some years later we happened to be in France when they hosted the World Cup. So I do get it now.

    • Hey ingy, you should maybe troll your own site today – again TERRIBLE advice given.

      The site still bares your name and image. It shocks me that you don’t care how bad the advice is, given that you still are the face of the site. Sure you don’t own it, but you could at least push that the writers get it right. Given that they are paid for it

  9. Buzz,

    Reporting from Sao Paulo where we just flew in from JFK on TAM. We had the whole F cabin to ourselves and it was a wonderful flight overall. Will report in later with first-hand info on how things are on the ground here!

    • Sounds great. Will you be attending any games? I watching Greece vs Colombia in a few hours…and the anticipation resembles the anticipation of seeing another 60k Chase UR points any day now :-)

      • We have tickets for USA v. Ghana. Bit of a last-minute trip so couldnt get a chance to get tickets to other games. Will root for Greece in your honor today!

  10. TBB Gets Results!!! Looks like the shaming worked, like the rest of the content or don’t but TBB added VFTW to the Ignore list and it looks like he’s dialed by the credit cards links. Only 6 out of 65 posts so far this month include any credit card affiliate links. Don’t know if George is responsible for this, but I like to think so. =)

  11. I am due to be in Seoul this autumn; and I was contemplating visiting the Korean Demilitarized Zone and stepping foot into North Korea just for you, George…

    …but then I thought about taking a side trip to China and going into North Korea on a tour for a few days. It is quite expensive — think at least $2,000.00 or so out of my pocket — and there will be no Mass Games scheduled for 2014.

    I still have not purchased my airline ticket back to the United States; so the day I return is still open.

    What do you think, George? Should I consider going? Would you go with me?

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