Is everyone excited about the new JetBlue credit card products offered by Barclaycard, fine purveyors of the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®?  It sure seems that way when all of your favorite blogs are suddenly writing about the card.  This is a friendly reminder that the activity this week is primarily a sales pitch, not analysis or advice. I’m not privy to commission schedules, but I’d have to assume a new product is going to have a marketing infusion to get people to write about it, in the form of higher payouts for conversion.  The new cards may even be right for you, but think critically about the benefits versus the costs, and don’t take your advice solely from the folks being paid to sell it to you.  Look at the [...]

Disney World has really stepped up its dining game since I first visited as a kid almost thirty years ago. My most recent visit had some definite winners, which I’ll share along with some general thoughts on when to reserve, when to eat, when to sit down and when to temper your expectations while your kids have an awesome time. These days there are entire blogs devoted to reviewing and recommending Disney World food and beverage, and I can’t provide that level of detail.  What you might find helpful, though, is that I don’t live and breathe Disney.  At the prices printed on Disney menus, my expectations are on par with quality restaurants not located on theme park grounds.  Sometimes the kool-aid is, in fact, overpriced, but on the whole [...]

Disney World Epcot Night

If you have small children, or even if you don’t, odds are you’re going to eventually end up at  Disney World.  It’s been written about all over the internet, and covered very well here at Saverocity by Joe, Haley and Dia.  If you are planning your first or tenth trip to Disney World, you should read everything they’ve written about the planning process.  I did, and we had a great time as a result.  Nonetheless, every once in a while I need to come out of blogger hibernation to add something to the conversation, and today my best contribution is going to surround what I did not like about Disney World. We can get this out of the way up front:  You should still go to Disney World if you [...]

The concept of fast food in Italy is a little bit different than what we’re used to in the United States.  Sure, McDonalds and the other chains have a presence, but when a meal on the go in Florence is in order, there are local, authentic options. When visiting Florence, or Italy in general, I’d encourage you to sit down at meal time.  Take a bit of time to enjoy your company and the food.  However, as the parent of a three year old, I also know that’s not always practical.  Yesterday I mentioned the rather set meal times at Florentine restaurants, and today I’ll provide some options when those just won’t work. Pizza is a fairly common convenience food in Italy, and is one of our go-to snacks when [...]

I just returned from a nine day trip to Florence, Italy, with my family and thought I could jump back into blogging by writing about what we enjoyed about the food over the course of our stay. As a quick introduction, since I have not done much writing lately, we try to visit Italy every year or two since I grew up in an Italian family – my parents are immigrants – and we’re trying our hardest to teach the language to our daughter and also have her experience some of the culture directly, even if infrequently.  She’s also only three, so we have to pace ourselves! Over the course of the past nine days, we visited some old favorites, tried some new ones, and walked away with what I [...]

Citi AA Exec Terms and Conditions

Another seemingly targeted offer that I’ll pass along.  Citi is offering 3X earning using the Citi AAdvantage Executive card for department stores, restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores.  The bonus offer is good through June 30, but as always, there’s a catch – a maximum of 2500 bonus miles. The terms treat this as 1X base earning plus 2X bonus, so presumably this means you’ll earn 2500 additional miles on $1250 in base spending in the above categories.  Citi seems to be pushing an incentive to get folks to put everyday spend on their cards, rather than filing it away in the sock drawer or wallet for when Admiral’s Club access is needed – or, you know, churning. If you didn’t receive the offer, give the direct link a shot.  [...]

These days work has me thinking about the possibility of travel and vacations a whole lot more than those things actually happening.  Still, when I see an Alaska Airlines offer arrive in the mail, I like to post those since they’re not getting a lot of promotion. I just received a postcard in the mail in conjunction with the Bank of America Alaska Airlines credit card offering a 2500 mile rebate when I redeem an Alaska award.  It’s not much, but it does amount to 10% back on a domestic round trip at the usual 25,000 mile “saver” level. The postcard came with what appears to be a unique activation code, so I won’t post mine.  However, last time I wrote about one of these offers, others confirmed that they [...]

Whether you manufacture spending or collect points as they come through routine spend, one thing most of us can probably agree on is that the Chase Freedom rotating 5x categories are some of the easiest points to bank.  For the first quarter of 2015, 5x categories were supermarkets, movie theaters and Starbucks stores, and we’re down to the last week to earn those points. Chase Freedom pays 5x points that become transferable Ultimate Rewards points when combined into a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink account.  Each quarter, Chase offers these bonus categories on the first $1500 of spend. In this quarter, groceries are an easy category to quickly hit that $1500, especially if you’re shopping for a family.  In the event that you haven’t, don’t forget to check out [...]

Florence in February

There are many good reasons to visit Italy, but if you’re not doing it with a Top 10 list, you might as well not be doing it at all.  I only have 5 reasons, but I’m going to do it anyway. At any point of the year, I can figure out at least a few great reasons to go to Italy, but since my daughter was born we’ve been planning our trips in February.  It’s about that time to plan for next year, so check your mileage balances, mark your calendars, prepare to gain ten pounds and let’s get going. 1.  The Kids Are Off for President’s Day Anyway What else were you doing on February 15 anyway?  The kids are home.  You’re home, probably burning a vacation day because [...]

Trenitalia Frecciarossa

Trenitalia has introduced a direct train line from Rome’s Fiumicino airport to Venice, and that is great news for travelers entering Italy through its busiest airport.  If you’re from the United States, just about all direct routes to Italy serve FCO – other than the very competitive JFK-MXP route – and many are headed to other cities within Italy.  This news brings what I find to be the most convenient option to the mix. While Rome has perennially huge tourist numbers, Venice and Florence are right up there as well.  Previously, the way to get to those places was to generally fly direct to Rome or Milan and either connect to another flight or board a minimum of two trains to either destination.  At Rome, this would involve taking the [...]