HomeDepot.com 2X Membership Rewards Offer

I logged into my American Express account today and saw a new offer on my Platinum card.  The offer is for 2X Membership Rewards points on HomeDepot.com purchases through March 31, 2015.  This offer is targeted, but like most, I’d assume it’s targeted to a fairly broad group.  Log in to your American Express account and see if there is a HomeDepot.com deal for you. The deal is only for online orders on HomeDepot.com, not in-store or phone, but your mileage may vary (heh) ordering gift cards online to spend in-store.  Quite honestly, I’d much prefer to earn via 5X Ultimate Rewards on Home Depot gift cards at an office supply store, but if you’re looking to earn Membership Rewards points this isn’t a bad deal.  Other avenues would include [...]

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 [...]

Southwest A-List Challenge Email

Southwest delivered an interesting email to my inbox yesterday.  It’s been years since I’ve flown a single segment with them – none since they’ve gone to a points/revenue based program from their prior segment-based system, in fact.  However, yesterday Southwest targeted me with what amounts to a fairly easy A-List status challenge.  The challenge offers A-List status for the rest of 2015 after flying 3 round trips, 6 one ways (flights, not total segments), or earning 8750 tier points with any combination of the above. Update January 23, 6:10pm:  Hat tip to Giddy for Points – she posted her link without her name in the URL.  I took that a step further and removed the Rapid Rewards hash.  The link seems to direct to a blank form, which you can [...]

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.  [...]

Alaska Airlines MVP Card

Alaska Airlines announced late in 2014 that they would be restructuring their elite qualifying and redeemable mileage bonuses based on fare class.  While the shuffling of earning on Delta fares got the most attention, Alaska made some favorable moves to passengers on its own metal. Starting in 2015, passengers on refundable Y and barely-discounted S fares would see a 50% mileage bump, while M and B fares would see 25% bonuses on top of the base mileage flown. This is an improvement over 2014, where only Y fares received any bonus – 25% – while all other economy tickets received no bonus.   First class bonuses increased from 50% to 75%, for both refundable and discounted fares. I recently took my very first true mileage run – meaning I flew somewhere [...]


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 [...]

School Bus

My daughter’s at that age where she’s insisting on doing things by herself.  Truthfully, she was born that way, then developed the words for it, then the kind of physical coordination it requires, in that order.  But right now we’re hitting a pretty big bus and train phase.  I mean, there is a yellow school bus sitting in my living room that she “drives” her stuffed animals around in. Indeed, demand for public transportation from the under 3 demographic in my household is at an all time high.  Truthfully, my wife and I are happy to do it – we’re city people at heart, and for the decade before Maine, public transportation and cabs were just how we did things. As a result, we’re starting to plan more of the [...]

Hyatt Place Portland Balcony View

A belated Happy New Year to everyone.  Not long ago we took a family staycation in the Old Port area of Portland, just a short drive from where we live, to check out the new property and ride the Polar Express.  We were left with a favorable impression of the hotel so I thought I’d share some thoughts and pictures of the stay here.  I suppose one resolution I’ve made is to post more pictures!  The Hyatt Place Portland Old Port is reasonably priced in a great location for walking, shopping, eating and sightseeing. Arrival at the Hyatt Place Portland Old Port The hotel is located on Fore Street, one block up from the waterfront, right on the corner of Fore and Union Streets. What most maps won’t tell you [...]

Quick Deals

Today is the last day to register for the Chase Freedom 4th quarter cash back category, which includes Amazon, Zappos and select department stores.  While the 4th quarter bonuses have been effective since October, you actually had until December 14 to register.  Today is that day.  I am in the middle of Christmas shopping and was just about to head out to Staples for Amazon gift cards, figuring I should at least get an easily attainable 5 points per dollar on the gifts I’d be buying anyway.  On my way to the door, I realized I had a Chase Freedom card and had not yet registered for this quarter’s cash back promotion.  Luckily, I was able to register, but tomorrow would have been a different story. None of the links [...]

Firenze (Florence) Skyline

If you add it all up, it worked out to about 18 hours real time between the time we left home and our arrival at Granduomo.  All of us agreed, the prospect of sitting on something that didn’t have a seatbelt, and where we couldn’t kick our feet out and touch the person or wall in front of us, sounded really great.  Thankfully, Marinella, the wonderful manager and incredible hostess, was there on our arrival at Granduomo (English version). This really turned out to be a home away from home and we can’t imagine staying elsewhere when we return. Introduction Why Florence? Getting to Florence on Points and Miles Air France Flight 333 to Paris Transiting CDG and Getting to Florence Granduomo Review Granduomo Location and First Impressions Getting here [...]