Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as how funds destroyed wealth, retiring before 65, more Bitcoin busts, the 100 top romantic restaurants, Southwest free flights, Medicare Advantage scams, best places to work, China’s economy and immigrants leaving, Israel’s self destruction, miracle in the Amazon jungle, Alex Honnold climbs Greenland, we travel to Greece and to Mars, enjoy the Superbowl, all the important developments in the crazy world of miles and points and a lot more. Enjoy the weekend and get started on your taxes now!
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Welcome to my quirky original authentic blog. It all started back in 2012 focusing on my crazy
hobby addiction of frequent flyer miles, hotel and bank points. It has since evolved to a curated weekly post of the best web content I find along with my commentary. Here to Educate primarily, sometimes Entertain and if I get to Inspire you, well, that is a bonus.
This blog publishes on Fridays. This is a one man labor of love operation, enjoy it white it lasts. I may post on a Tuesday going forward if I get to it.
It takes a special skill to lose so much money! 15 Funds That Have Destroyed the Most Wealth Over the Past Decade. Speaking of ARK, here we go: Warren Buffett vs Cathie Wood over the past 3 years, Lol.
Really good article about Retiring Before 65? Make Sure to Know Your Healthcare Options. I keep running into more people who are having a really good experience with Affordable Care Act (ACA) policies, especially how cost effective it is when you take the tax credits into account.
And avoid these people trying to sell you this: The great Medicare Advantage marketing scam: How for-profit health insurers convince seniors to enroll in private Medicare plans. Saw a few setting up a table in my local Kroger. I did not go to that side of the store. Just be careful ok?
“There are two big downsides of going out of traditional Medicare: They don’t tell you that you give up the broad Medicare provider network, which has nearly every doctor. And should you need expensive medical care in Medicare Advantage, you will learn there are prior authorization requirements. Traditional Medicare does almost no prior authorization, so you don’t have that obstacle. They don’t ever tell you any of that,” he said.
Some surprising names on this list: Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work 2024 Revealed.
Best Places to Work 2024: Top 10 U.S. large companies
- Bain & Company
- Procore Technologies
- In-N-Out Burger
- 2020 Companies
- Fidelity Investments
Excellent article from Foreign Policy again: Israel’s Self-Destruction Netanyahu, the Palestinians, and the Price of Neglect. By Aluf Benn, Editor in Chief of Haaretz.
Can you imagine? But this happened in China: An epic stockmarket rout since late 2022 has seen investors lose $2trn. If only the Chinese spent like the US consumers? Ok, don’t answer that. Interesting article in the Economist: Can consumers rescue China’s economy?Our number-crunching suggests economic “rebalancing” will be exceptionally hard. Amazing how things turn around. And, again, no one has a crystal ball what will actually happen.
Oh, did anyone catch this at 60 Minutes? Chinese migrants are fastest growing group crossing into U.S. from Mexico. Well dressed, on their phones, TikToking. And the guy owning the land in that border crossing bitching about them while being an immigrant himself from…Yugoslavia. Just surreal.
ODDZ & ENDZ
Remember that story when a plane crashed in the Amazon in Colombia and four children were found alive 40 days later? Well, this is the story and it is amazing: Mayday Miracle in the Jungle.
I used to post a lot more about one of the greatest legends in sports, Alex Honnold. And you will be shocked (again) what he is up to now: Arctic Ascent.
I watched the movie “Iron Crawl“. It is about a wrestling family and it is really good. I am no wrestling fan and I had never heard of this family. Six Brothers. And it is an incredibly tragic story with just one of the brothers alive today. And this is his interview done in 2005 with Texas Monthly. And now there is only one. To live through the horrific cycle of suicide and tragedy that wiped out the other five, Kevin Von Erich has relied on the strange code of the professional wrestling world his family once ruled: What’s real is never certain, and what’s fake is never, ever talked about.
Amazing photography here: Winning Images from the 12th Annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest.
Valentine’s Day is coming up, so here you go: OpenTable’s Top 100 Romantic Restaurants in America for 2024.
The weather is incredibly warm in Michigan so I am thinking of the 20 Best Beaches in Greece.
Amazing! Mars in 4K: The Ultimate Edition.
Having wonder lust again, so here we go: 30 Amazing And Unique Places That Should Be On Everyone’s Bucket List.
A section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life and anything else that just does not fit in another section above
I am deep into tax preparation mode these days. Therefore, I don’t anticipate posting more often other than Fridays around here. But things always revolve, especially after support clicks show up around here…
Getting ready for the Superbowl this Sunday? It could have been the Detroit Lions…if it wasn’t for that incredibly disastrous second half against the San Francisco 49ers. Anyway, touching story here: 57 Super Bowl Rings, 57 Stories.
This blog started with a focus on miles and points and travel. It has evolved since then. Everything below deals with the hobby of collecting frequent flyer miles and points and maximizing your travel experiences. If you are not interested, you can stop here, thank you.
MILES & POINTS NEWS/PROMOS/MY ACTION
It was a very eventful week in this space. From the absolute destruction of the Turkish Airlines miles to a change in the SLH Hotels moving from Hyatt to Hilton and the introduction of a yet another signup bonus of the personal Southwest Airlines credit cards. So, here we go:
First, here is a February 2024 Hotel Promo Update: Best Western, Choice, Hyatt Radisson & Wyndham.
If any airline wants to gift me one of these please contact me! The Ultra Secret, Invite-Only Elite Statuses Airlines Don’t Want You to Know About.
Sad to see Small Luxury Hotels leave Hyatt and hook up with Hilton. Not that there were amazing redemptions with World of Hyatt points. But still, Hyatt’s footprint is still small and this will make it smaller. Until its latest purchase Mr. and Mrs. Smith gets integrated into the World of Hyatt program that is. A lot of things are up in the air with all of these moves, hoping by June everything is squared away. I dread to see how many Hilton points it will cost for a suite in an SLH hotel going forward. Hilton partners with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Hyatt dumped.
Heads up, Hyatt is going to bring back the Bonus Journeys promotion to earn 3k World of Hyatt points every three nights for stays between March 1 and April 30, 2024.
Good discussion (and justification) for the Amex Delta credit cards: Delta and American Express: Break-even Changes to Break-even Cards. For readers totally immersed in the Delta sphere I guess these could be a keeper. You know where to find them, thanks.
The Southwest credit cards always come around regularly with a new Signup Bonus. Like clockwork. So, you need to ignore them when the offers are under 50,000 ok? And you should wait until they are up there, say 70,000 or 80,000. And the beauty of this program is to get the coveted Companion Pass. And you should do it VERY early in the year, say January/February 2024 so you can keep the Companion Pass all the way to the end of 2025, almost two full years. And, depending on the Signup Bonus of the Southwest credit cards at the time, you could easily get two credit cards and you can score the 135,000 Southwest points needed to earn the Companion Pass. Unless, the signup bonus offers the companion pass. Which it does periodically.
- Earn a Companion Pass good through 2/28/25 & 30,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- The annual fee is not wavied
- Priority Card – $149
- Premier Card – $99
- Plus Card – $69
Assuming it will take a few months to complete the spend you would get 10 or 11 months to use the Companion Pass. You would also get 30,000 points worth around $450 in travel.
Remember, bloggers in this space make money by selling credit cards. And the vast majority of them will sell their mother if that will ensure they can shove another credit card down their readers’ throats for the sales commission. The key distinction of this offer is that the Companion Pass is only good until 2/28/25! Unless you can get this fast AND have lots of travel on Southwest with a companion for the rest of the year, you may be better served by waiting until later this year and hopefully the Signup Bonus is over 70,000 points to go for it at that time to enjoy it for almost TWO years instead.
So, if you still decide to go for one of the Southwest credit cards, please consider using My Credit Card Links to support the blog, you will be first this month!
If you are into IHG One Rewards and staying in Holiday Inn type hotels for free, Chase has a new Signup Bonus offer for its IHG One Rewards Premier card. Annual fee is $99 and the signup bonus increased from 140k to 165k after a $3k minimum spend in the first three months. At each anniversary you get a free night cert. And Platinum status as long as you keep the card. You earn 5x on travel, gas and restaurants and 3x on all other spend. And a staggering 26x for IHG hotel stays. For the record, the signup bonus offer for this card went up to 175k last year. If you regularly stay in IHG hotels, this card may be a keeper for you with its decent earning and you basically get a night for $99 every year and some goodies with Platinum status. You can even get $100 off your fee towards Global Entry or TSA Precheck once every four years. Available under Card Category/Hotel HERE, thanks for the support.
Best credit card offers remain the same, see below:
The Signup Bonus for the two no annual fee Chase Ink business cards is down to 75,000 points. It is shocking the 90k Signup Bonus that recently expired lasted so long. The 75,000 point Signup Bonus is still excellent. I think I am going to keep them both in my Top Three Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers, see below. Referral Link.
The TOP offer NOW is the 75k Capital One Venture X card. It is amazing what you get for free with this card actually. And knowing the stingy history of Capital One bank it amazes me this offer is still alive.
Always check my TOP THREE TRAVEL REWARDS CREDIT CARD OFFERS RIGHT NOW below. Available HERE.
Do not EVER be sorry taking thousands of miles and points from the banks ok? They are doing fine as most over spend and pay them ridiculously high interest on the debt they carry smh:
Credit card balances, which are now at $1.13 trillion outstanding, increased by $50 billion (4.6%). Auto loan balances increased by $12 billion, continuing the upward trajectory that has been in place since 2020Q2, and now stand at $1.61 trillion. Other balances, which include retail cards and other consumer loans, grew by $25 billion
I think both me and my daughter should be getting 1099 tax forms from Chase Bank for card referrals. But only wife has received two of them. Were they lost in the mail? Why doesn’t the bank make them available online? I don’t get it. If I file our tax returns and then I receive them I am going to be angry. So, I think I am going to wait another week just to be on the safe side. Asking about them via secured message on the Chase website produced…silence. It is like these are prepared in a bunker somewhere without no one in the bank knowing its existence, it is just very strange.
Not only the latest 90k+ Chase Ink landed but it looks like two more referrals landed. Holy crap, instead of trying to get under 4 Million miles/points in the bank, I am again back to nearing 5 Million. This sucks 🙂 Do NOT be like me, earn and burn!
If you can use a Hyatt Suite Upgrade or even Club access before February 29, 2024 please let me know as I have some available and I could gift to a reader. Priority will always be given to the readers who have supported the blog in the past.
This has been happening ever since this quirky hobby became an avenue to sell credit cards for the banks smh.
The reason? This blog broke the news: Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Publishes New Award Charts. Another devastating devaluation and, you know, these sweet spots are getting fewer and fewer, sad! Also, . You have a week left. I have found dealing with this airline incredibly frustrating with the worst website. I mean, for some reason, I was not able to open an account there. And my preferred email address is somehow blocked or something. Life is too short to deal with an airline like this. Glad some of you managed to get some good, sometimes great, value out of these miles. RIP.
Amex continues its beatings against the species who just likes to take and take…Us 🙂 It took a little while and the cancer spread to this card too: Amex Rolls Out New Family Rule For Green Card. The post lists the details of every other Amex card family rule. Looks like only the Hilton co-branded cards have escaped this so far, you have been warned. For newbies in the Amex sphere starting out, here is now the preferred sequence on how you apply for its cards to maximize your haul:
Amex Green > Amex Gold > Original Platinum OR Charles Schwab Platinum OR Morgan Stanley Platinum
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: 75k CHASE Ink Business Cash, 75k CHASE Ink Business Unlimited, 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture X, (up to) 300k CAPITAL ONE Venture X Business, 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture Rewards, 100k CHASE Ink Business Preferred, CHASE Southwest 30k AND Companion Pass, 60K CITI Premier, $1,000 Cash Back CHASE Ink Business Premier, 165K CHASE IHG One Rewards Premier, 60k CHASE Sapphire, 60K CHASE Sapphire Reserve, 60k US BANK Business Altitude and many more including many AmericanExpress cards such as Delta Airlines, Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors cards! Please check out my Affiliate links. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. If you do not see a credit card with my affiliate links, perhaps I could refer you?
This section is about my
hobby addiction of collecting frequent flyer miles and hotel points since the early 1990’s! SKIP if you are not into it!
As of today, I have burned 27,829 miles/points year to date (1,148,286 in 2023) and have 4,720,766 miles/points in the bank. Some do drugs, I do miles lol!
Thanks to US banks, very lucrative travel rewards credit card offers come and go all the time. This section will act as a reference point on the best CURRENT offers. I will designate new material preceded by NEW.
TOP THREE TRAVEL REWARDS CREDIT CARD OFFERS RIGHT NOW
The Capital One Venture X card offers a 75,000 point Signup Bonus after a minimum spend of $4k in the first three months. If you like simplicity and looking for one (premium) card, I highly recommend this card (and yes, I have it myself!). It has an annual fee of $395 but it comes with an easy $300 statement credit for travel booked on its excellent travel portal, essentially turning it into a $95 annual fee card. But wait…there is more! On each card anniversary you earn 10,000 points essentially making it FREE! Every dollar of spend earns 2 points and flights booked on the travel portal earn 5 points per dollar. You get access to Capital One and Plaza Premium airport lounges and a Priority Pass Select lounge membership and, this is important, you can add FOUR authorized users FOR FREE who can also have their own Priority Pass Select airline lounge membership. You can transfer your Capital One points to up to 18 Transfer Partners. No foreign transaction fees. Free Hertz President’s Circle rental car top elite status. Cell phone protection and PRIMARY rental car coverage. Awesome seats at baseball stadiums for just 5k points each. And lots more. Available with my Credit Card Links, thank you for your support!
The Chase Ink Business Cash and Chase Ink Business Unlimited card offers are back down to a 75,000 Signup Bonus! These are NO ANNUAL fee cards. The Ink Business Cash earns 5% on office supply stores and internet/cable/phone services and 2% on gas and restaurants. Why don’t you go to Office Depot and buy gift cards of the stores you usually buy from, hello 5% Amazon! The Ink Business Unlimited works differently, it just earns 1.5% on everything…so if you were going to use a card to earn 1% why don’t you pull this one out instead? Bottom line, I think these are still the BEST business travel rewards cards out there right now! The 75k Signup Bonus can be earned after $6k of spend on the cards in the first three months. you can apply HERE to support this blog, thank you (they can be found under Category/Business).
Remember, you are NOT allowed to ever carry a credit card balance if you ever get a credit card here!
Let me leave you with this:
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Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.