Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as money journeys and lessons from them, update on Sudan violence, AI secret history, space elevator, my latest marathon, last one on the fading banking “crisis”, Twitter is devolving into hell, another scammer tricking greedy people out of their money, aftermath of mass shootings, the dude who made $1 million in an NBA game, the most walkable cities, aliens kill cows in Texas and much more, see you Friday!
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This blog publishes every Friday and Tuesday…for now.
Ran a marathon on Sunday so this will be shorter than usual…something I have been trying to accomplish around here…maybe the answer is run marathons more often?
Over at Humble Dollar 29 contributing writers are taking part in a new book “My Money Journey”. And eight themes stand out below in the article titled Learned Along The Way. Not much to add when you are in complete agreement..
1. Our parents mold our financial beliefs.
2. The key to financial freedom is good savings habits.
3. Complexity is unnecessary.
4. We don’t need to be great investors.
5. Success is apparent only in retrospect.
6. Don’t discount the role of luck.
7. We infuse money with meaning.
8. At some point, we need to declare “enough.”
Excellent thread on the banking “crisis” we just had…
Sadly true, so sad! Elon Musk Revealed What Twitter Always Was. Nails him…
So, I lost my blue checkmark recently on Twitter and now…the company recently started giving it back to people who stated that they are not going to pay for it. I hope the company does not give it back to me, what a shitshow! How Elon Musk Turned the Blue Check Mark Into a Scarlet Letter.
Unfortunately, the real reason most people, and especially those of us who used to be verified, do not want the new check mark is not that exciting. We do not want it because having the check mark circa late April 2023 is embarrassing. Musk has successfully made it a humiliating thing for someone in most social circles to pay for Twitter.
Some people are just prone to scams, looking for gurus aiming for the next quick hit to shortcut to riches. Well, that almost always does not work out very well. So, it looks like what happened with this guy here: Followers Describe Allure of Chinese Businessman Charged With $1 Billion Fraud. Guo Wengui has pleaded not guilty to accusations that he took money from thousands to fund a lavish lifestyle. Learn from the mistakes of these people who fell for this guy…
UKRAINE RUSSIA WAR/GEOPOLITICS
While we wait for the Ukrainians to attack…let’s learn more about the situation in Sudan. Remember this name, Hemedti. He may make former dictator Omar al-Bashir look like a saint I am very afraid. I think this guy will not be stopped…I hope I am wrong! Sudan’s outsider: how a paramilitary leader fell out with the army and plunged the country into war. Just when this country was starting to offer hope to its people…here we go again.
Very educational: The Secret History of AI, and a Hint at What’s Next. Artificial intelligence is already a big part of our daily lives. ‘We are at an inflection point.’
ODDZ & ENDZ
Do NOT read this because I guarantee that it will make you extremely uncomfortable, you have been warned: They Saw the Horrific Aftermath of a Mass Shooting. Should We? The crime-scene investigators are the ones who document, and remember, the unimaginable. This is what they saw at Sandy Hook.
What a fun story from the past! The guy who made $1 million from making a shot on an NBA basketball court in 1993…with Michael Jordan watching. Learning more about the guy, how the party responsible for paying him tried to wiggle out of its obligation and, the coolest part, the story about his son, how a professor made a difference in him becoming a doctor and, at the end, the father gives him the $1 million basketball he kept in the basement all these years…very touching story, way more pleasant than the one before it.
Amazing art, I think I featured this guy in my blog in the past: Meet Simon Beck: The Cartographer Who Creates Stunning Geometric Snow Art.
This is not directly related to travel but it sure is a lot of fun! Space Elevator. Let’s go for a ride you guys! 🙂
Move your body, walk if you can! And do it here: The Most Walkable Cities in America. Not surprising seeing these cities on this list…
Shoes make a huge difference! Battle of the super shoes: Nike under threat in London Marathon tech race. I used to be a big fan of Brooks shoes, now I am with New Balance.
Marathon #5 is in the books. I managed a PR by 4 minutes in the Glass City Marathon in Toledo, Ohio. I have a long way to go to become, in my mind, a legitimate marathon runner running one in under 4 hours. Maybe it is my fat genes, you know, genetics! I was aiming for a PR by 10-15 minutes so I am kind of disappointed. Anyway, another learning lesson to build on my running experience. Official race photos are not out yet, I may have a few pics in the Friday post. Also, my wife ran her first marathon, she is a marathoner and am very proud of her! It is a huge accomplishment, I was on cloud 9 for days after I ran my first marathon in Detroit back in 2019. Here is us the day before the big day:
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.
Part of the blog mission is to entertain. And this news segment in a Detroit TV local station made me lol and you will too! Celebrating 420 day in Detroit. At the end: “Look at me mom, I made it” woohoo!
Are the aliens already here? Cows turning up dead with tongues, sex organs removed. Texas officials aren’t sure why. Don’t go there…but if you read this in detail and you have a better explanation please enlighten us all.
Tucker Carlson at Fox News. Don Lemon at CNN. Gone. George TBB…still here!
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. If you are not interested, you can stop here, thank you.
MILES & POINTS NEWS/PROMOS/MY ACTION
In my household, we prefer swimming in the Chase Ultimate Rewards points ecosystem. We all four have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. My kids got it six months to a year after they turned 18 (when they both got the Discover for Students card) and they have been building up their credit score ever since, it is their go to card. The annual fee is $95. The main earning structure is 3 points on dining and 2 points on travel (and others you are not likely to use but bloggers LOVE to tell you to entice you to get the card with their affiliate links). Most importantly, you must have a premium Chase card (Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Business Preferred) in order to be able to transfer your points out to partners such as Hyatt and United where you can get more value out of them. The card is also very valuable when you rent cars as it provides primary insurance benefit, meaning, in case of an accident you don’t have to involve your own car insurance company. There is a 10% anniversary bonus on all annual spending. So, Chase gives you basically $1,000 towards travel…for $95! Or just take $800 in cold hard cash, hello? So I guess I can say I recommend it. To me, this card and the Capital One Venture X card are keepers. And now the Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points as Signup Bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months hooray! You can read the posts below but if you prefer to support my blog please apply with my own Credit Card Links HERE, thank you! (This paragraph is reproduced below in the sticky TOP TRAVEL REWARDS SIGNUP BONUS CARDS).
If you like to keep it simple, you can just stick with Chase to do all your banking and earn rewards. You can add the no annual fee Chase Freedom Flex card to maximize revolving 5% earning categories and the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for 1.5 points earning for every dollar. If you want to go one step higher and you have a business…there are two other no annual fee Chase business cards (available with 75,000 Signup bonuses right now): Chase Ink Business Cash has 5x earning on supply stores where you can buy gift cards from most shops you regularly shop at (Amazon!) and Chase Ink Business Unlimited where you earn 1.5 points on everything. The premium business card is the $95 annual fee Chase Ink Business Preferred card with a 100,000 Signup Bonus at this time. Yeah, we have had several of these cards going round and round in my household properly spacing them apart. Thank you Chase for all the points and the memories!
Some interesting choices if you are swimming in World of Hyatt points: World of Hyatt: Complete list of all-inclusive properties in Europe. There is one in Corfu island in Greece that has picked my interest.
There goes Delta again: Ugh: Delta Basic Economy Award Fares Are Spreading Across the Globe. Bloggers will say ANYTHING to sell you any credit card that pays them a sales commission. I say, do NOT collect Delta Skymiles if you have plenty of other choices!
If you have an Amex card and the annual fee hits…Amex Retention Offer Guide: How to get a Retention Offer. Also, Bougie Miles has moved to Boarding Area. I am still independent here doing my thing, thanks to the one reader who got a credit card with my blog’s links in the month of April…please laugh.
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: 75k Capital One Venture X, 75k Capital One Venture Rewards, 75k Chase Ink Business Cash, 75k Chase Ink Business Unlimited, 100k CHASE Ink Business Preferred, 60k CHASE Sapphire Preferred, 40k Capital One VentureOne Rewards, 45k Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus, $1,000 Cash Back CHASE Ink Business Premier 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 501,000 miles/points year to date in 2023 and have 4,344,369 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.
BASICS: This travel hacking hobby is mostly about getting the fat Signup Bonus of travel rewards credit cards while of course NEVER EVER carrying a balance. Banks have a marketing budget and are willing to give us many THOUSANDS of miles/points to travel mostly for free hoping to hook us to charge 20%+ interest rates on our balances. The poor souls who fall for their marketing paying these ludicrous interest rates end up subsidizing us responsible consumers who enjoy taking advantage of, cough, such bank marketing budgets! Some of us have been doing this for thirty years creating amazing travel memories…Feel free to ask me questions or post them in the comments.
BASICS: Prefer credit cards from the proprietary points programs of banks, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Network, Capital One Rewards Miles because they are a lot more flexible and are not devalued as frequently. Over pure airline and hotel travel rewards credit cards. Pure cash back credit cards may work for you best and they are getting more valuable as airline and hotel loyalty programs keep getting devalued. Sometimes, a pure no annual fee 2% cash back card works best for simplicity!
TOP TRAVEL REWARDS SIGNUP BONUS CARDS
In my household, we prefer swimming in the Chase Ultimate Rewards points ecosystem. We all four have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. My kids got it six months after they turned 18 (when they both got the Discover for Students card) and they have been building up their credit score ever since, it is their go to card. The annual fee is $95. The main earning structure is 3 points on dining and 2x on travel (and others you are not likely to use but bloggers LOVE to tell you to entice you to get the card with their affiliate links). Most importantly, you must have a premium Chase card (Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Business Preferred) in order to be able to transfer out to partners such as Hyatt and United where you can get more value out of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points. The card is also very valuable when you rent cars as it provides primary insurance benefit, meaning, in case of an accident you don’t have to involve your own car insurance company. There is a 10% anniversary bonus on all annual spending. So, Chase gives you basically $1,000 towards travel…for $95! Or just take $800 in cold hard cash, hello? So I guess I can say I recommend it. To me, this card and the Capital One Venture X card are keepers. And now the Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points as Signup Bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months hooray! You can read the posts below but if you prefer to support my blog please apply with my own Credit Card Links HERE, thank you!
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 a VERY 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!
Sticking with Capital One Bank…it is offering 75,000 points for its Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Annual fee is $95, minimum spend required to earn the Signup Bonus is $4,000 over the first three months and the card basically earns 2 points for every dollar. And you can transfer the points out to airline and hotel partners just like the Capital One Venture X card above.
Capital One has a no annual fee card, the weirdly named Capital One VentureOne card that offers a 40,000 point Signup Bonus after just $1,000 minimum spend in the first three months. It earns 1.25 points per dollar and has no foreign transaction fees. If you want more Capital One points and/or you just hate annual fees. It appears the Capital One Bank credit card offers have the best offer with my Credit Card Links.
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.