Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as more market all-time highs, Bitcoin ETFs FAQ, grim Gaza peace prospects, new airline lounges, five investing ideas, US economy sizzling, more crazy crypto scams, living inside Myanmar, amazing photography as always, some really odd links in the Oddz and Endz section, we travel to Greece and Thailand, compare legroom in economy seats, University of Michigan football coach left us us at the top, the Detroit Lions get ready to play in San Francisco to make it to the Superbowl, new travel rewards credit card offers and a lot more. Enjoy the weekend, stay warm and go Detroit Lions!
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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. Update: I will have a Tuesday post next week, thanks for the support this month.
This is good advice: 5 Simple Investing Ideas, Executed Strictly.
1. If you have freedom, you have wealth
2. Complexity doesn’t mean better returns
3. The best antidote for high-interest rates is to save more money
4. Dollar-cost averaging is the best passive investing strategy
5. Avoid what you don’t understand
Good post about where we stand on the new tax filing season about to begin. And more specifics on Michigan tax law changes as well. 3 big changes coming to 2023 Michigan income tax returns, including extra check for some.
Good reference if you wanted to refer back to the Historical Returns on Stocks, Bonds and Bills: 1928-2023.
Very interesting table found here.
Meanwhile, The U.S. economy grew at a 3.3% pace in the fourth quarter, much better than expected. Again, making experts’ predictions look ridiculous. Even people in the US are starting to feel better about everything. People looking at their 4th Quarter 2023 401k statements and hitting stock market highs daily may have something to do with it.
This New York Times article will inform you about everything regarding the new Bitcoin ETFs: Bitcoin E.T.F.s Come With Risks. Here’s What You Should Know.
It never ceases to amaze me how creative crypto scams get and the fools who fall for them. Like the morons who gave this pastor $1.3 Million and then God told him to renovate his house, buy a Rolls Royce, jewelry and designer handbags lol. But wait, he did a video admitting to it, just smh.
And catch up on all the action in the crypto space with Molly White updating us all about the new ETFs, regulation, action in the courts, bankruptcies and of course scams and grifters.
I think it is good that some people are not giving up: Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians Remains Possible. But I mean, come on, really? I find the author really reaching here. Key to peace is the Saudis, seriously? I hope peace comes to this land one day in my lifetime. I certainly would not take this bet. And that is just sad, so much suffering.
What happens in Myanmar does not matter that much in geopolitics. Still, reading first hand accounts from four young people there was very interesting: How to Survive a Coup.
For Myanmar’s youth, the consequences of the post-coup turmoil have been devastating. Millions refused to attend school under the military, while employment opportunities in the formal sector have severely diminished. Tens of thousands of young men and women have taken up arms, while others have been swept up in a boom in illicit economies including mining and cyber-scamming, the latter of which has exploded in autonomous militarized zones along Myanmar’s eastern border with China and Thailand since the coup, and is run by Chinese criminal networks. According to the UN, an estimated 120,000 people, both from Myanmar and abroad, have been trafficked into the industry, where they are commonly forced to assume fraudulent online identities and convince people around the world to invest in false cryptocurrency schemes. [Here we go again with crypto shit…]
ODDZ & ENDZ
Fries. In 3D. It so belongs in this section. The Fry Universe.
I had no idea! The reason little noises drive you mad is about more than sounds. Fascinating research into ‘misophonia’ – an intolerance to specific sounds – is revealing an important role for context. I thought I was the only one suffering from this condition and good to know I am not crazy lol.
Remember that incident many years ago involving a pizza delivery man with a bomb strapped around his neck who robbed a bank only to be caught and then blown to pieces? In the “metropolis” of Erie, PA? One of the most bizarre crimes ever committed on US soil. I recently discovered and watched in amazement a Netflix documentary about it: Evil Genius. Amazing the human trash involved in this smh.
Amazing photography here in the International Photography Awards, enjoy!
Great to see my hometown Larissa make it into this Travel + Leisure List: 15 of the Best Towns and Cities in Greece.
Thank God for tourism in Greece. And it is great to see more direct flights! Flying to Greece? Here are the Non-Stop Flights from the US to Greece in 2024.
I am bookmarking this for future reference: The Best Beaches in Thailand.
As we expected, the University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh left to chase his dream to win a Superbowl in the NFL. Talk about leaving at the top after winning a national championship for us. So long Jim and thanks for the memories and the title.
Our Detroit Lions are just one win away from reaching the Superbowl. I can’t believe I just wrote this! We are all in disbelief and the fever is reaching unparalleled levels around here. The fans deserve it because we have stuck with the misery of this team for decades. And it’s an unbelievable orgasmic feeling and we don’t want it to end. And the touching stories: Lions fever is upon us. These are the people’s stories of heartbreak and triumph.
Remember when I linked to this story? Detroit Lions fan in hospice care dyes hair Honolulu Blue to support the team. Well, it is a small world. He is the father of a guy I met years ago at a financial industry conference who was a long time reporter at Investment News who posted about it in his Facebook page, unbelievable!
But my first love is the soccer team in my hometown in Greece. I was so happy to see that our only championship in the magical 1987/88 season was chosen as one of the top 10 most surprising league title winners of all time. Because it sure was and will most likely never experience again. I was in college in the US and I went back to be there for the last three games of the season and winning it all in dramatic fashion scoring the winning goal in the last minute of play and the massive eruption that followed is one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life.
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 watched “American Fiction” which I found outstanding. Dealing with race, hilarious and heavy at the same time, a very intelligent film. And yes I went to see Poor Things and I got exactly what I expected by the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos who again goes on a film making rampage with his camera going wild. The result is, well, wild. As is all the sex scenes in it. Just prepare if you dare lol. I predict Emma Stone wins an Oscar with her performance.
We’re guilty of rampant human rights violations.
We take this one very seriously. The press is maligning us with claims that our employees are working eighteen-hour days for as little as $550 a month. You know what the press ISN’T telling you? Those same employees are treated to Jeans Fridays. EVERY FRIDAY. Never hear about that, do you? Now, are they technically required to sew the jeans first? Yes. But our motto is “Work hard, play hard!” But mostly, work hard. Let’s be real here: five-dollar rompers don’t sew themselves.
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
I am separating this Section this way:
You can try to register for the latest IHG Rewards promo with the link found HERE.
Looking forward to them: Hyatt Issues Enormous List of New and Upcoming Hotels.
Banks keep entering the airline lounge space. And here comes Chase with a new Sapphire lounge in NYC La Guardia airport. So it joins Sapphire lounges in Hong Kong, JFK and Boston. With new ones to arrive in the future in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, San Diego, Phoenix, Washington IAD.
Let’s stick with the airport lounges. And we now have airline alliances doing this too with Oneworld opening its first lounge in Seoul’s Incheon airport.
Note the complicated access rules with both Sapphire and Oneworld lounges and wish you find no lines like them Amex Centurion lounges lol.
Both of these World of Hyatt credit card offers below require much higher minimum spend to enjoy the full Signup Bonus, you have been warned. Sadly, not available with my links so if you decide to go for them please give your clicks wisely to a worthy blogger, ok?
Speaking of even higher minimum spending required: Capital One Launches Massive Offers for Two Business Cards, Earn up to 300,000 Miles. To get the FULL Signup Bonus, you need to spend $100,000 on each card in the first six months. LOL. So, when you see bloggers try to pump these two cards to sell to you, be very afraid and run away. These cards may be suitable to a very few people in this hobby who have big businesses and/or do not bat an eye to swing this type of spending. For the vast majority of us, spending $100k is just not realistic. Even if it was, you can go and meet the minimum spend on SEVERAL other travel rewards credit card offers and amass a gazillion of miles/points! Yes, both available with my links (Card Issuer/Capital One and Card Category/Business). If you can do this, maybe you can sponsor my blog? Lol.
There is a new pretty good offer for 100k United miles: Improved United Business Cards Offers, Earn Up to 100,000 Miles. As far as I know there is no affiliate link out yet. Annual fee is $99 and minimum spend is $5,000 in first three months. I would definitely ignore the $450 annual fee 75k offer for the United Club Business card.
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 just 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.
I need to sit down this weekend and decide if I should go for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card Offering 5 Free Nights Welcome Bonus. There is a Marriott property I am targeting to stay in when we visit Machu Picchu, maybe this is the year and this is the opportunity. Because, you know, why pay for travel when you can have Chase bank pay for it? 🙂 I have tried to phase out Marriott Bonvoy in my life but this is going to be hard to ignore at this point. There are severe and very complicated conditions to be able to earn this bonus, check out the crazy table at the bottom of this post. Again, no links available to support this blog. But if you supported my blog before and you have a referral link for this offer, please email me, thank you.
The minimum spend on my wife’s latest Chase Ink Business Unlimited card is done so I expect to see another almost 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to be added to the vault. And I haven’t done any burning because I am getting ready to attack the new tax filing season. Priorities. With the miles/points addiction intact, it is so hard to quit!
My daughter is planning some trips. She managed to find some very cheap tickets on Spirit to Florida and back from Puerto Rico. So, I guess we have to thank the US Department of Justice for killing the merger with JetBlue? Ok, don’t respond to this. And in the summer she is traveling to Asia with four friends and they start in Japan. So, they all bought a round trip ticket to Tokyo. On Delta on specific flights all together. So, I guess no opportunity to burn some miles.
I am learning more about Alaska Airlines MVP Gold elite status. Why? Because son is one of them and want to make sure he maximizes it. Because, this is what we do in this hobby. I also sent him this Alaska Airlines Ad on SNL, lol.
Hilarious: The 2024 Hater’s Guide to Credit Cards. Must click.
Sapphire Preferred. You live in fear of Hyatt being discontinued as a Chase partner. You have no idea how to use the $50 portal credit without overpaying by a similar sum. You have Instacart+ and Peloton credits but will never use either. You have excellent travel protection but frequently consider putting travel expenses on other cards with better earn rates. You literally cry when someone mentions “buying groceries in-person.” You contemplate switching to the AMEX Gold a few times per year.
Ink [Anything]. You have absolutely no loyalty to anything in life. You churn through credit card issuers like you move through relationships. You outright lie about your revenue or income to the bank. You don’t wonder whether or not personal spend can go on business cards — you’re certain that it may. You get, like, three of these per year for your “resale business.” You tell literally everyone about the Chase 5/24 rule. You are a member of r/churning.
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: 75k CHASE Ink Business Cash, 75k CHASE Ink Business Unlimited, 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture X, 150k CAPITAL ONE Venture X Business, 75k CAPITAL ONE Venture Rewards, 100k CHASE Ink Business Preferred, 60K CITI Premier, $1,000 Cash Back CHASE Ink Business Premier, 140K CHASE IHG 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 4,477,643 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!
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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.