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 [...]

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 [...]

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.  [...]

Amazon Prime is $72 today to new subscribers of the service.  Hat tip to mike971 over at FatWallet.  TheDealMommy has also written about it.  Amazon Prime is normally $99 per year and includes a large slate of benefits, including free 2 day shipping on Amazon sold or fulfilled items, a large library of streaming video and music, cloud storage, and more. I’ve been a subscriber since the product was introduced and it’s been a real time-saver for me.  We’ve always used it to have regular shipments of consumable items like paper towels, detergent, etc.  Once we had our daughter, we added diapers and wipes with the Amazon Mom program. The link to the offer, good for today only, is here.  The terms state that existing Prime members purchasing or receiving [...]

Quick Deals

Disclosure:  I am compensated by the links below if you use them to book and complete a stay or purchase a gift card.  Should you use these links, I appreciate your support. Just a quick deal to pass on. Hotels.com is offering 5% off “select hotels” when you book by January 25 and travel by March 1. The discount isn’t automatic – you need to enter coupon code AF5OFFJAN15 at checkout. While 5% isn’t a huge discount, I’m posting this because the “select” group of hotels doesn’t appear to be too limited.  I checked some random dates on the Park Hyatt Aviara and found the coupon to work, so long as I went with the prepaid rate.  It appears for this promotion that bookings paid at the hotel are excluded.  [...]


ExpertFlyer is my first stop for award searches, so it was pretty exciting when they announced an agreement with American Airlines and US Airways to improve the award data available to ExpertFlyer users.  Then, sometime in late 2014, the US Airways feed broke – suddenly US award inventory wasn’t working in searches, with a note that the airline and ExpertFlyer teams were working together to resolve the situation.  ExpertFlyer US Airways award searches have returned, better than they were before. Unlike past issues with ExpertFlyer and airlines like United and Delta trying to cut off access to the service, US Airways intended to supply ExpertFlyer users with data and this was a genuine technical issue.  As of today, it appears to have been resolved, with enhancements! As part of US [...]

In an effort to create the shortest post ever, I want to remind everyone that the Alaska Airlines Cyber Monday Sale starts tonight at 7 EST is currently ongoing.  I didn’t catch this last night when I wrote the post, but using discount code SHOPNOW will save you an additional 5%.  You can’t stack discount codes, meaning companion passes won’t stack with the percent off deal, but it’s a little extra if you’re booking an odd number of tickets.  We’re a family of 3, so a companion pass plus one of us on a separate reservation is generally how it works out. Its touted as their biggest sale of the year. I’m hoping for some good fares from Boston to Seattle, Portland or San Diego. Come back to the comments [...]

Status Lightbulb Shattering

JetBlue took an unusual path today in announcing some significant changes to its product.  Investors and analysts were presented with a fairly comprehensive plan to drive shareholder returns through “differentiation” during today’s Investor Day event.  This plan involves what amounts to a downgrade in its basic product across the board in order to project revenue growth over the next five years.  The impact will be very visible to customers, so naturally, JetBlue managed to get an email out to its TrueBlue members at around 7:30pm.  If I can sum up the changes in a sentence or two, it would be this:  Do you know how people on the internet try to sound smarter than they are (mostly dumb guys, bloggers, like me) by referring to airlines by their airline code [...]

The Travel Grinch

A while back I wrote about the impending devaluation of Amazon Mom.  On November 11, the discount on baby wipes was reduced to 5%, and the cumulative discount when you have 5 or more Subscribe and Save items in a shipment dropped from 20% to 15%.  Some Amazon Mom members were notified that they would be receiving a credit in some amount as a one time consolation prize (my words, not Amazon’s).  Today, I received my code for a $30 credit.  Check your inbox if you haven’t already. Overall, the devaluation is disappointing.  I particularly enjoyed the 20% discount on 5 S&S items, as it was easy, convenient, and very price-competitive to keep the home stocked with paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish detergent, diapers, wipes, you name it.  [...]

I’ve gone off and disappeared again, as the day job moves furiously to close the 4th quarter.  I should be able to get back to this regularly soon, especially now that the holidays are upon us.  For us, the holidays mean the opposite of relaxation – it’s a hectic shuffle to visit family in Philly and on the West Coast.  The upside is that we have some practical travel to write about. Let’s start with the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee. We plan to spend a week visiting my wife’s side of the family out in the Phoenix area this year, and while I don’t yet have the flights booked – the subject of my next post when I book them this Sunday – I do have our hotel.  I think [...]