Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ANA will launch SEA – NRT via Boeing 787 Dreamliner starting Oct 1, 2012

ANA will launch SEA – NRT via Boeing 787 Dreamliner starting Oct 1, 2012. Wow, I checked the price at ITA Software and got the coach price of $1268 of Nov 1, 2012

How do you fly to Tokyo with FIRSTCLASS for ONLY $1693

If I am asking you to pay a little bit over coach price but offering you FIRSTCLASS, you may think I am mad. J here is how.

1.      UAL is running a mile promotion of 40%


So, you buy 75,000 miles for only $1693
 

2.      Apply for Chase United Mileage Plus card


3.      Put together and book your award ticket

75k+59k=134k miles, great, go to ual.com and search for your firstclass from your city to Tokyo with 130k. no brainer.
 

You might challenge me, the credit card consumes one hard pull, so it's not only cost you $1673. Of course, isn’t it the goal of our hobby: spend coach, fly FIRSTCLASS?

Friday, September 21, 2012

You’ve been approved

I’ve been denied twice for Citi AAdvanage business card. Now, persistence paid back. I’ve been approved this time by mailed their Executive Office a letter below. I don’t recommend everyone’s copycat as each case varies, however, you got the picture.

 
CitiBank Executive Review Department

P.O. Box 6000

Sioux Falls, SD 57117

 Dear Sir/Madam,
 
I hope all is well with you. I am writing to you to ask for your reconsideration of my Application ID: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx of Citi xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx card.

I have a 30+ pages Experian credit report that shows the below facts

1.      All my accounts are in good standing since Day 1

2.     There are quite a few credit inquires over the last 6 months, it might sound a bit too many, but for my annually income ($xxx) and household (>$xxxx), I think it’s pretty reasonable as we need to separate the personal and business expense and each credit card has a hard limit that it’s not possible to charge to one card for some expense at all.

 
I would like Citi to reconsider my application

Thank you very much in advance,

 
Let me know any question you may have, you can email me at xx@xx.com or call me at xxx.

 
Best Regards,

 

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hyatt diamond member benefits review

I’ve completely my challenge of 12 nights within 60 days at Hyatt and achieved my Diamond status until Feb 2014. Also, the 12 nights credited me a total of ~40,000 points because I registered up to 65000points promotion . Here below is my personal experience of the benefits as Diamond member vs the official statement here

During the last 12 nights, I’ve experienced the following benefits and enjoy Japanese’s hospitality.

1.      Free breakfast in Regency Club


The breakfast is not as good as the buffet which will cost you 2500 Japanese Yin, however, it’s good enough, you got latte, fresh juice, bakery and variety of fruits. I didn’t eat there much as I have to go to work earlier and prefer to have my breakfast in JR stations.
 

2.      Regency club cocktail party everyday 6pm to 8pm


All kind of beers, cocktails and wines, if you know how expensive alcohol in Japan, you definitely appreciate the benefits. It saved me at least 2000 Yin/day. J
 
 

3.      Free Gym/Swimming pool


4.      Free internet


I know, I know, just like Gym/swimming pool, most of hotels here in America offers these free of charge. However, everything you need to pay in Japan if you are a normal guest, say, 2000 Yin for Gym, 300 Yin/day for Internet

5.      Welcome gift


As diamond member, I received fruits plate, again, fruit in Japan is expensive, I took it as 1000 Yin at least

6.      Surprise buffet breakfast voucher


As long stay guest, I received one voucher of Japanese style breakfast, 2500 Yin value.

7.      Apologies from Hyatt Sales manager for not being able to upgrade me to a Suite


As diamond member, you have 4 times (up to 7 nights per stay) of free upgrade to a suite per year, however, the hotel I stayed was at 80% capacity and the upgrade has been run out. The sales manager personally apologized to me. The feeling of Japanese’s hospitality and being important is PRICELESS.

In a nutshell, Hyatt Diamond is definitely worth your pursuing it and once you have it, you just can’t live without it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NCL Bahamas Cruise booking trick

I ended up booked two connection ocean view staterooms for X'mas for our family (4 people, 2 adults and 2 children) for 3 nights Bahamas NCL cruise with a total of $1459 including everything. If I were to book one ocean view statement with 4 people, it would have cost us $1350. Essentially, I spent $100 more and got a “Suite”. J

This is very nice deal as I kept my words to my wife with next cruise on “Suite” and saved $1000+ and best of all, we have two bathrooms which  doesn’t cause conflict in the morning, as I am pretty sure the free-style cruise (food in particular) will keep each of your party a bit longer in the bathroom in the morning. LOL.
I used Costco Travel to book and saved $80 more vs NCL and/or other travel agents which will likely get you a few thousands of miles. I like Costco Travel, their service and flex is nice, i managed to switch cred cards last time which helped me complete my spending requirement.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Planning X’mas Trip to Orlando and Bahamas and some tips /tricks

Essentially, after vacation, I do two things 1) read thru email backlog 2) plan next vacation.

1.      Air flight


I want to take any opportunity to max Southwest companionpass, therefore, I booked via Southwest from SEAàMCO around 30k points per person, not go great, for X’mas time, I am ok with that. I still leave 100k points in my bank as I’ve confirmed you can get all 4 versions of those SW cards, however, each app-o-rama, you can only  apply one personal and one business from Chase. This is the rule.

2.      Hotel stays


Club Carson’s 144k promotion was so great, that I managed to get all the nights in Orlando free. You can match their Gold status by sending them an email with your other hotel’s elite status.

3.      Bahamas


We plan to book a suite statement for a 3-nights cruise this time, for 4 people, like my family, it’s around $2700, it’s much cheaper than 7 nights, which normally charge $7000. Last time we cruised Alaska, we booked Balcony statement, but it was still too small for people >220 lbs like me. :-)

If only you and your partner, I will highly recommend you wait for the last minute deal, normally at least 30% off an inner statement, as there are too many cruise companies in Caribbean area. For us, I don’t want to take the risk.

4.      Disneyworld tickets


Unlike Disneyland in CA which you can use eBay to sell your tickets for the remaining 2-3 days to other family after you buy 5-6 days to compensate the expense, there is no way for Disneyworld and we have to purchase almost the list price of the tickets.

For Ebay trick for Disneyland, you need to sell your 2-3 days first on eBay, then buy the 5-6 days and after you’ve done the trip, use 1day expedite mail service to the other family. If you look at eBay, you can find tons of people doing this, it works just fine, it saves you 50% money at least as a seller. I’ve been doing this for the last a few years, ping me if you are not following.