We bring you family money dynamics, hotels losing millions, stimulus timing, nuclear weapons, travel in Europe on a luxury train or on a boat in the Netherlands or to Niue if you are out of your mind, more Amex lounges, learn about the dying bank branches, what to do when markets go crazy (read my blog), Ted Cruz gives reason 1,345,696 to confirm he is a douche bag except to the people who still vote for him, best photography and Covid-19 links, we landed another Rover in Mars hooray and much more. Enjoy the weekend!
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Top picks are not excerpted at all. I recommend you find time to read every word!
I almost skipped this. I am glad I didn’t as it is just so wild! Of course interesting family dynamics involved, no doubt. But what the financial “advisors” did not charging her loaded grandmother fees…only to get her into absolute shit that paid them fat sales commissions is disgusting. And she made them pay for it, bravo! I could make my commentary about this article a separate post and really unload onto them and what to watch out for and stuff like that but I won’t. Because, you know, tax season is going on and I already spend way too much time blogging, so here it is, enjoy!
One more time, get the vaccine so we can get back to normal please! Again: “you’re 20 times less likely to get Covid-19 with a vaccine than without”.
This is a long excellent article about nuclear weapons in the US. You will learn a lot here like I did. Many of the places with nuclear facilities would be dead if it was not for them #hint
MILES & POINTS
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If you do not see a credit card with my affiliate links, perhaps I could refer you? Contact me!
Newbies: The absolute worst thing you can do in this hobby and in personal finance in general is…not pay your credit card balance in full every month. WORST.THING.EVER. FULL STOP! Stop blowing your money this way PLEASE. The way to thousands of miles and points leading to free travel begins when you STOP paying interest to the banks. Actually, the way to start building a great foundation for your financial well being and future also begins the same way.
Good reference: Best Current Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses & Offers For February, 2021. Please support blogs that do not sell you to death, thank you.
Hotels are reporting annual results and it is not pretty as expected. Hyatt lost $203 Million and Hilton lost $720 Million. If this was a normal year these companies would have taken it out on cuts in the goodies given out to rewards members. But of course it is not a normal year and instead they are doing their best to get us back into their properties. A few things that stand out is that select service brands are outperforming full service brands as expected. And Hyatt is still tiny in its footprint when compared to its competitors…I wonder if we will see an acquisition by Hyatt by June as the sector can sure use additional consolidation. Marriott had a $164 Million loss but with some financial engineering the company found about $500 Million to offset that…
Well, I guess this is positive but still…the Amex Centurion lounge expansion is slower than an average turtle’s: American Express to Open New Centurion® Lounge at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Expand Centurion Lounges in Seattle and San Francisco.
I am not sure why but IHG Rewards is consistently late in rolling out such changes way after competitors do: IHG Rewards has rolled over your elite nights from 2020.
This is a good reference chart: Airlines eliminate change fees: Quick reference chart (New: JetBlue eliminates fees).
I do not think I have seen a trip report ever from this place: Neui…er, no…Neiu?…no—Niue! Yeah, yeah, that’s it. I really like the quirky writing and humor at Pacific Voyages.
They all speak English, sure, but the word for thank you is fakaaue. So if you’re in a hotel and you compliment them they will say…well—just sound it out.. Niue is a self-governing independent nation and all the citizens are also citizens of New Zealand…Since joining up with NZ a 120 years ago the population of 6,000 has dropped to 1,300. 24,000 Neuians live in New Zealand so basically all the kids skedaddle.
This train, the Venice Simplon-Orient Express looks amazing: See Europe in Luxury With This Historic Train’s Stunning New Suites and Routes. Then I saw this and it did not look as amazing 🙂
The two-night package includes one night on board the train and one night at a Belmond hotel, starting at $2,735 (£2,000) per person, based on double occupancy. For an extended stay, a six-night offer, including one night on board and five nights at Belmond Castello di Casole, starts at $7,650 (£5,589) per person or five nights at Belmond Villa San Michele at $7,440 (£5,438) per person.
This is really cool: Travel from Rotterdam to Amsterdam in 10 minutes by boat: a 4k timelapse.
Well, when I visit Bilbao I will make sure I go see this: The historic Vizcaya Bridge in Bilbao, Spain.
We will be studying this virus for a very long time. Why Are Covid-19 Cases Declining So Quickly in the US? Also, prepare to see/hear the word “seroprevalence” a lot more going forward.
Seroprevalence is the number of persons in a population who test positive for a specific disease based on serology specimens; often presented as a percent of the total specimens tested or as a proportion per 100,000 persons tested.
The opening scene showing a surging crowd at a funeral will haunt you! Inside Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Communities During Covid. If you can not read it, here is a link to it that escapes the paywall but it does not include the opening haunting scene…
We will see but it looks like this virus will become endemic at some point, sad! The coronavirus is here to stay — here’s what that means.
A certain failed blogger (by conversion metrics) is quoted here by the way: How the timing of your tax return could affect your third stimulus payout.
Things have been crazy for a while and it appears the level of crazy just keeps going higher. 12 Things I Remind Myself When Markets Go Crazy. Sometimes things just happen, don’t overthink it. If you wanted to play along, open a fun account and go at it. Just make sure you do not lose more than you can afford to lose. You will soon find out that it is not that easy, even in an environment that appears to be bullish to the bone. Or core. Or whatever. I am doubling down on the fundamentals and focusing on what matters.
We all knew this was happening but it still hits you in the face: Why Branch Banking is Dying in America. I recently had to go to a Chase branch to be added as a joint owner in my daughter’s new Chase Student Checking account. Weird having to schedule an appointment first but it is what is in this Covid living I guess…
This war crimes trial is going on right now and this dude was found guilty on almost all counts, his story is shocking. I prefer this type of shocking stories than moronic sensationalized clickbait crap infesting the blogosphere, for the record. The Extraordinary Trial of the Child Soldier Who Became a Brutal Rebel Commander.
NASA made it to Mars again and I have this urge to send Ted Cruz there on a one way ticket…
Of course Ted Cruz will escape to Cancun during the mother of all emergencies in his state, same old lying sycophant scum bag! Cruz says he went on vacation amid storm ‘to be a good dad’.
ODDZ & ENDZ
Epic Twitter thread: Worst people you’ve interviewed and why. (No names.)
Amazing collection of 30 photographs that won a Pulitzer prize.
One more photography link: Sony National & Regional Photography Awards Announces Its Winners.
We are now entering BLOG BUZZ, a section for advanced hobbyists and veterans of this fast imploding hobby and also a section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life because it helps me feel better about myself.
So, after my daughter’s Southwest 80k card application was denied, we finally opened a checking account for her at Chase. Something we should have done when she was in high school but got too lazy. Deposited $5,000 in it. And then I had her call the Reconsideration line and, to make the long story short, she was approved for a $2k credit limit, yes! Phone call took about 40 minutes, not joking! I can respond to any questions in the comments. Just a few tips: Be nice, have a plan and have perseverance!
About to give up fighting with Hertz to gift son President’s Circle (they erroneously gave him Five Star status) and then did not give me back the points after a cancelation because they expired…even though they extended points expiration. What a shitshow!
I got me a cortisone injection shot, feeling okay now and I am hoping tomorrow Saturday I can walk and run without pain. #developing.
More snow but this should be the end of it for a little while at least. Sending loving support thoughts to all in the South who have been affected by the severe weather.
These posts still take too long and support clicks have gone way down so I am thinking to make them even smaller, maybe up to three items in each section. No idea. At this point, I don’t care as I have given up making minimum wage here. I am not going to be making credit card “reviews” and shocking clickbait shit several times a day for the $, it is just not me. It is what it is.
And I leave you with this… A video of me shoveling lol.
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