Another TBB post featuring the most eclectic links around the web such as Ukraine in NATO, US economy resilience, Global Tastemakers picks, my fifth marathon is in the books, great Morningstar podcast, John Oliver rips cryptocurrencies, writer goes undercover to uncover Sadghuru, an amazing account of an American spy and a horrific plane crash survival story, luxurious train rides and Japan castles and much more, enjoy the weekend!
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Very interesting podcast at Morningstar with Jonathan Clements: ‘Humility Is a Hallmark of People Who Are Financially Successful’. Everybody’s money journey is different. You do not have to and you will certainly not agree with everything on this podcast. And that is perfectly all right, we are all different. Maybe one day I will post about my own money journey, it will shock you lol. The one theme underlying all financially independent people is I think a saver mentality. Without it, it is really a tough uphill battle…
We have been through hell in the last several years ever since, you know, that date when the NBA shut down due to yet, or so we thought, another virus. And so much has happened since then it is kind of surreal really. And our economy has been continually hit from way too many directions and yet, someway somehow, still no concrete signs of a real recession ahead…It is just mind blowing, the way we adapt to whatever is thrown at us! How Much Can We Take? Yeah, really!
Brace for debt ceiling shenanigans…
Years later, John Oliver rips cryptocurrencies again, it is awesome!
I really enjoyed this! Inside the temple of Sadhguru, the internet’s favourite mystic. Jagadish Vasudev, the Indian mystic better known as Sadhguru, has built a global following and a horde of celebrity fans (McConaughey! Smith! SZA!) with his fresh, Insta-ready approach to spirituality. We sent a writer on an exclusive retreat with the man himself, hoping to find the fast track to inner peace. This writer is funny, thanks for the lols!
UKRAINE RUSSIA WAR/GEOPOLITICS
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs is stating the obvious: Why NATO must admit Ukraine. After the war is over as all wars eventually end, phucking idiot Putin would have his country surrounded by NATO members with Sweden and Finland and Ukraine…and he has said he attacked Ukraine to prevent this…why hasn’t someone in the inside placed a bullet strategically in his brain yet? Or, even better, caused an accident involving windows?
ODDZ & ENDZ
For some reason I had not heard of this one. Or maybe I am confused, it happens with aging you know. I was the sole survivor of a plane crash. This is what I learned in eight days alone in the jungle. Annette Herfkens was on holiday with her fiance when their plane went down, killing everyone but her. Three decades later, she reflects on how the trauma changed her. What a story, wow! She married and that husband also died…on the same day, unbelievable!
Maybe this is a journey to the past of things I was not that aware of. Like this dude! The American Spy Who Surrendered to the Nazis to Save Civilians. Peter J. Ortiz, what a life!
Amazing photography, outta this world! NASA’s Photographer of the Year Awards Showcase Stellar Shots.
This is for reference, it will lead you to tasty destinations, I guarantee it! Food & Wine Global Tastemakers 2023. We’ve rounded up the best culinary experiences from around the world, as voted on by our readers.
If you are going to take the train, these look like fun! The Most Luxurious Train Rides in the World.
These look amazing: 10 Incredible Castles In Japan To Add To Your List.
I managed to beat my previous PR by 4 minutes in my fifth ever Marathon in the Glass City Marathon in Toledo, Ohio. I ‘ll take it but I was aiming to beat it by at least 10 to 15 minutes. I have a long way to go to reach my main goal, which is to run a marathon under 4 hours. My training was interrupted a few times by injuries which is becoming a really difficult thing…to stay healthy! Anyway, not giving up and ready to start training for Marathon #6 later this year in Chicago. The best part about it was my wife finishing her first ever marathon, she is a marathoner and very proud of her!
Weather was ideal, cool and cloudy. Only after I finished the weather turned into a mix of freezing rain and wind and…hail! So I was really glad when I saw her crossing the finish line and after this pic we made it to the pizza station lol.
This week is recovery…can’t wait to get back out there running again! Finally, I have entered into the lottery for the 2024 London Marathon, wish me luck!
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.
Can’t wait for the movie! The GameStop saga is getting a movie. Seth Rogen is cast as Wall Street Bets’ most reviled hedge funder, and Paul Dano will play meme-stock hero Roaring Kitty.
My all time favorite player: The legendary Johan Cruyff would have turned 76 today, so to celebrate we thought we’d do a thread of some of his career highlights and most famous quotes.
After the top seeded Milwaukee Bucks crashed out of playoffs by the Miami Heat led by Jimmy Butler, crushed Giannis was asked if this season was a failure. And how he responded went viral. And this is why everyone loves this guy, truly inspiring! “There is no failure in sports…”.
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
Yet another reason to go for this card: (Reports) Chase Approving Some People For Sapphire Preferred Despite 5/24 Status. Please see discussion of the card in the next section below. Available HERE.
Been in this hobby for almost three decades and still learning something new: How to use Hyatt free night certs on a multi-night stay.
So much hype about Bilt lately. For a company that came into existence to get people who pay rent earn rewards. And, this is important, has never had a REAL signup bonus (where the juice is in this hobby baby). Instead, the company prefers to wine and dine bloggers and offer limited gimmicky promotions. Anyway, we’ll see how long the money will last, money is no longer free out there you may have noticed. Also, I predict Air France Flying Blue is preparing for a big devaluation because of this promotion, so you have been warned: Amassing Bilt Rewards. But if you want to apply, here is my REFERRAL LINK, thank you!
Two good credit card offers going on right now not shown on my own Credit Card Links I have no control over are the following:
Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard – 75,000 Miles
IHG Business Card Offering New Best Ever Bonus of 165,000 Points
Tried to help son burn some AA miles/points for trips to Alaska and Portland from Honolulu. Forget about AA miles. Southwest was doable but no direct/convenient flights. I think he found nonstops/convenient flights with paid fares that he is okay with. Don’t let bloggers trick you into thinking earning miles and points is the best thing since sliced bread (hmm, ever wondered how this expression started?)…if only you would apply with their affiliate links they just keep pummeling you with several times a day with! Airlines are selling lots of tickets out there so opportunities for great redemptions are not plentiful and require a lot of work to uncover…something else the bloggers in this space never tell/warn you about!
My site has sold just two credit cards this month, this remains a labor of love for over ten years. Still saying no to ads and hideous clickbait so many specialize in. Commercially this blog has been a fiasco. But it was never set out to be a commercial success so I continue trying to achieve the blog mission: To Educate. Entertain. Inspire. In That Order. The few support clicks show me some of you do care and sure helps to keep this justified in my own head I guess. We have lost numerous bloggers who gave up and went to work in the industry writing “content” to sell more plastic to the masses. Anyway, I feel better now, give the clicks to blogs that matter and ignore the pumpers and posers who fake enthusiasm repeatedly selling plastic for the banks! And if you are reading this right now carrying credit card balances…please LEAVE now and don’t come back until you have paid them off!
Update: This just broke in the news just now. Hyatt has done it again with another acquisition enlarging its footprint: Hyatt Acquires Mr and Mrs Smith. That is an eventual 1,500 properties, wow!
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 4,344,748 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.
The Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started with Credit Cards, Points & Miles
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!
Credit Card Recommendation Flowchart: March 2023
TOP TRAVEL REWARDS SIGNUP BONUS CARDS
Master Guide to Credit Card Applications: All the Rules You Need to Know, Bank by Bank
How to Sign up for Chase Ink Cards
The Chase 5/24 Rule: Everything You Need to Know
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!
Chase Sapphire Preferred Complete Guide
Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Remains the Best Starter Rewards Credit Card
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!
Get 75K Miles, Lounge Access & More with the Capital One Venture X Card
The Best Ways to Use Capital One Venture Miles
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…
Some of the links are behind a paywall. You can try to read them using Archive.is.
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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.
Nick @ PFD says
I’m trying to get a few days at the beach next month the week before Memorial Day and I’m slightly annoyed with hotel points right now… Hyatt Wild Dunes is not showing points availability despite having rooms available. And of course all the IHG hotels are blacked out. Sad!
Congratulations on the runs!
The crypto video reminds me how interesting the lawsuits against the crypto celebrities will be.
Thanks for the link!
Carl Pietrantonio says
Silver! (Hard to misspell that one) Good luck on the London lottery! Crypto is still, to me, a huge scam. I sort of feel bad for the thousands of people who will end up, or already have ended up broke, from this stuff. More folks are gonna end up in prison too, is my prediction!
I read that plane crash story a couple days ago and how she survived is just amazing!!!
Have a great weekend!!
Updated the post for the latest Hyatt acquisition!
@ Nick: Yeah, I have been noticing that too! This is what happens when occupancy is way up and Hyatt is becoming very annoying for this…Can’t wait to read about that on TPG and VFTW and how they will threaten to lower World of Hyatt point valuations 😉
@ DML: Yeah, I really enjoyed John’s beating too!
@ Carl: Silver? 🙂 Amazingly bitcoin is still around $29k, it is resilient too! Never had heard of that plane survivor story…I think. She is still great looking too, must be the genes 🙂
Raining all day here….
I’m happy with the Mr & Mrs Smith news. I love the uniqueness of their properties and think it would be a struggle for a lot of them to conform to brand standards so hopefully they join and just be themselves. To me the excitement is having additional locations to get a night’s credit towards status.
Off to Europe this weekend, excitement level is low as flying United business class and can’t say a glass of 2 buck chuck in a plastic cup served with the slop they call food doesn’t do it for me but it allows me to take care of using an outstanding credit.
Someone sent me a screenshot of a comment that was left at Live and Let’s Fly by a “Vicky”. If that was you…it was perfect!
Of course it was answered cynically 🙂
And thank God, no more Freddie Awards…the winners were always beyond ridiculous!
Yes that was me. I don’t get all the fawning over Randy and the thought leaders. I went to FTU in LA in 2012 with a friend. We ended up leaving early as just felt dirty listening to their scammy ideas presented as if they had just invented something important. Some of these presenters were downright embarrassing, Pizza Guy Ed was so bad if anyone got an idea out of the gibberish he presented they should have given up the game immediately. Greg was actually coherent and presented useful information and Ben was entertaining but the rest of them I failed to see the point.
I was there I think! I think that was the one DO I asked a fellow attendee how much these speakers get paid for a credit card and he replied: “I don’t know, maybe $5?”. And that was when I decided to start my blog to educate people when, if I was sane, I would start a blog to imitate them showing “family and friends” how to travel for “free” smh.
I am glad no more Freddie Awards. I mean, look at the winners…I even got an email yesterday from Accor thanking me (lol) for winning a 210 award, wtf is that? Half of 420? Can’t even smoke all of one joint those French! 🙂
I think it was at the next one, Chicago Seminars, when Darauis of MMS advised me with “content marketing” when I asked him if he has any tips for new bloggers. I should have listened perhaps smh…
That image of Randy in a space suit with a Wells Fargo flag was just painful, time to retire dude!
Can you imagine accepting an award from VFTW dude? I mean, is he ever going to stop writing about panties and bikinis and urine?
All the attendees are in the miles/points ecosystem, it is a giant circle jerk all paid by…Wells Fargo. Of all banks, how embarrassing. Not like they have any shame at all.
I could stop my whining easily if I got this blog to join Boarding Area. No way, I just don’t conform…I mean, Wells Fargo flag WTF!
It was held at the LAX Sheraton. It’s so memorable to me because not only were there a bunch of turds presenting, but something happened and the toilets would not flush so there were turds floating everywhere in the public bathroom. The perfect ending was waiting for valet to bring our car around and the rap music being played dropping f bombs. I remember complaining to the hotel about it on the survey and not even getting acknowledgement.
Randy, the worshippers seem to put him up on the pedestal with Ghandi and all things great and good. None of them seem to recognise that Randy and his band of thought leaders are making bank out of them. Certainly no contribution to world peace or saving the environment but you would think that is the case. As for Gary, well think maybe you should offer to share your marathon training program with him as he looks almost as wide as he is tall. Maybe he should take a few more trips in economy where the food is not so good.
Yes, I do remember the toilets problem, I was there!
Randy’s business model is traffic, the more the bloggers under his platform the merrier. Being nice is good business too! I am surprised he has not had any defections, especially among the big three there, OMAAT/VFTW/FM. And I would like to know what is the exit plan of BA? Would be funny if he sells the platform to TPG 🙂
If the saying “you are what you eat” was more like “you are what you blog”…I would not be near this guy! Of course the FM team was so impressed by yet another post of his, one involving a garbage bin, that again they linked to his blog…
It is completely insane staying independent…but I like not conforming to the establishment 🙂
Holy crap, the Hyatt acquisition of the Mr and Mrs Smith platform will add, please sit down, 140 properties in Greece! Still not a single one in my hometown dang it.
Missed out on investing in First Republic. Amazing how a bank can lose 100% value in 50 days! Who’s next?
Jenny Craig is struggling. Apparently obese folks prefer spending $900/month on injections rather than $600+/month on a dietary plan.
Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly have the fattest PE ratios in big pharma.
Should have listened to Jim Cramer 🙂
Not following the stocks you listed. But I did have First Republic on my radar after it went under $10 but never pulled the trigger, thankfully.
An open window with a pool of novichok below perhaps….
Congratulations on the marathon to both of you, and good luck on the lottery Buzz.
Have a great weekend
Thank you David, you too!