Here’s an interesting development from my favorite airline awards program based in “America’s top hat.” Air Canada has recently expanded their little-known codeshare partnership with Cathay Pacific and their subsidiary Cathay Dragon and has hinted that soon they will begin allowing redemptions of Aeroplan miles for these flights as well.
For those of us who eat, sleep and breathe the points game the news that American Express was killing the Serve card was a bit like hearing that they were going to have to amputate our right arm. In terms of easy avenues for manufacturing spend, the Serve card was indeed just as indispensable as our dominant hand. The ability to liquidate $5,000 per month in gift cards in a fairly easy way has long been the backbone for many people’s mileage earning strategy (myself included), especially when it enhances your usual spending to allow for higher rates of credit card churning.
Flight du jour:
Chicago (ORD) to Tokyo (NRT)
September 6, 2015
Departs: 12:35 PM
Arrives: (Next Day) 3:35 PM
Duration: 13 Hours 15 Minutes
I love JAL first class. After the mediocrity that is domestic first class on American Airlines, what a lovely feeling it is to get settled into my JAL first class suite.
When boarding it is common for first class passengers to board through one door while the rest of the plane boards through the other. This time everyone boarded through the same door and first class passengers broke left, everyone else broke right. We were lucky enough to get the window seats on the right hand side of the plane; seats 1K and 2K, and were escorted there by one of the very friendly flight attendants who would be making the next 13+ hours a really wonderful experience.
Just a quick Public Service Announcement that as of Decemeber 15th, 2015 award prices for Aeroplan awards will be going up. This chart shows some of the more important increases for travel originating in the US (full chart Here).
In this chart a black dot represents an increase in the price of an award and an orange dot represents a decrease in price. As one might expect, there are more black dots than orange dots. It’s all black dots from North America and Canada, while if your are traveling from Africa to New Zealand, then good news, first class and coach tickets just got a little cheaper!
Hate is a strong word and so I reserve it for use only on truly egregious programs. Despite being granted Hilton Diamond status this week via the widely reported status match opportunity, I find myself with nothing but hard feelings about the hotel chain.
Them giving me status is not what’s rubbing me the wrong way, or the fact that Paris never returns my calls (just kidding!), it’s their loyalty program. Like many of you, I save points up with the hope of redeeming them for out-sized value. I get excited about aspirational products and experiences and if an airline/hotel/program can’t offer that then I simply put my spending on a 2% cash back card.
I know that there is more to travel than just drinking champagne and watching Despicable Me 2 while hurtling through the sky in an aluminum tube, which is why I like to keep you guys in the loop when a really killer deal that pertains to travel pops up. One such deal has appeared over at Amex offers.
Traveling the world is awesome. It’s so awesome that it’s worth a little suffering for and that suffering usually comes in the form of jetlag (unless you are flying coach, in which case it comes in the form of a tiny, upright seat, followed by jetlag).
I tend to travel back and forth between the U.S. and Asia at least a few times a year and I find that the full 12-hour timezone flip is the worst for jet lag. I’ve been doing this long enough to have picked up a few tricks that will help you karate-chop jet lag in the throat so you can get out and enjoy your destination!
There are still plenty of bargains to be had out there in the miles and points game, but India ain’t one of them. Coughing up your hard earned miles and cash to be crammed into coach for such a long flight seems like a terrible idea. Thankfully, a man with a handsome mustache has some tricks on how you can get there in style for fewer miles than you might normally pay.
The AAdvantage award chart has the Indian subcontinent at 67,500 miles for business class and 90,000 for first class each way. That is the second most expensive U.S. based award on their entire award chart!
Babies! I’m on summer vacation!
But a strange and wonderful thing happened to me this morning while doing some research. So wonderful in fact that I interrupted my regularly scheduled program on mustache grooming to fire off a quick post bringing you kittens in on the deal.
Despite the fact that we (you and me, baby!) are clearly awesome and that our tenancy invariably increases the property value of wherever we choose to live, many landlords still insist on charging rent. In light of this, we might as well transform the crappiness of paying rent into the awesomeness of traveling first class. We do this by signing up for credit cards that reward us with big bonuses for our mandatory rent payments.
For many sane people, one of the most nerve wracking parts of the travel hacking game is making the minimum spend when you sign up for a new credit card. The fact that you won’t get the bonus miles unless you successfully meet the spending requirements means that you definitely need to pay attention to how you can “make the spend” when you get a new card.
Until recently there was a great service called WilliamPaid that allowed you to pay rent with your credit card for a 3% processing fee. Sadly, WilliamPaid was discontinued some months ago and so, it seemed, was the ability to easily pay rent with your credit. That is until today, when I came across a new service that will once again allow you to pay your rent with your credit card.
The service is called RadPad and it will allow you to use a credit card to pay your rent for a 2.99% processing fee.
Here’s how it works:
- Click on the “Pay My Rent” tab.
- Put in the amount you would like to pay and enter your email address.
- Specify whether your landlord is a company or individual and then enter their info and where to mail the payment to.
- Enter in your name and billing address.
- Put in your credit card info and then click “I’m not a robot” to make sure you are indeed not a robot and then click “Confirm Your Account.”
- Enter in your details and phone number to create an account and then click “Wrap It Up.”
- Confirm that all the details are correct and then submit your payment!