Sunday, August 17, 2014

Free round trip flight to Boston (for my wife)

When I found out that my wife had an upcoming business conference in Boston to attend, the first thing I did was to try to find the best redemption of miles to pay for her flights. 

I checked my usual airline carriers: American, United, and Southwest.  I found that American Airlines offered the best value for the flights she wanted to take.  This was great because we have a ton of American Airlines AAdvantage miles.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

“I can’t afford to save for my future right now, I’m already struggling to make ends meet.”

Don't become an old man, filled with regret.

The Federal Reserve Board recently found that 31%, nearly one third of American adults had no savings or pension to help them afford retirement.  The survey also found that 19% of adults between ages 55 and 64 had no savings.

What are these survey respondents going to do about retirement? 

Many said they planned on working full or part-time in their retirement years.  25% of survey respondents had no idea how they could afford retirement at all. 

If you don’t save for your future, you will one day reach retirement age with no money.  Your excuses won’t matter by then.  Do you want to be filled with the regret of not saving more during your working years?

Have you started saving for your retirement yet?  If not, what’s your excuse?

The most popular excuse I’ve heard:

“I can’t afford to save for my future right now, I’m already struggling to make ends meet.”

Sunday, August 3, 2014

5 free hotel nights in Tokyo

We are putting together the details of our upcoming trip to Japan (and Taiwan).  This is where our Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Starpoints come into play.  We make many purchases with our American Express SPG card wherever AMEX credit cards are accepted.

This helps us to slowly accumulate Starpoints, 1 Starpoint per $1 spent at a time.  The SPG card only earns more Starpoints when making eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts participating in the SPG program (up to 5 Starpoints per $1).  Even though earning Starpoints takes more time, each point is extremely valuable.  Starwood also allows family living in the same address to combine and share points. 

Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo
Located in the center of Tokyo in Shirokanedai, a district renowned for its greenery, the Sheraton Miyako has been called the “oasis in the center of a large metropolis.”  This hotel is an SPG Category 4.  There are some nice benefits like free high speed wifi, free shuttle service to surrounding areas, bathroom bidet, and the famous Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed. 

Paying for our hotel stay with cash
If we were to book our 5-night stay in Tokyo with cash, it would cost us at least JPY 21,489 per night after charges and taxes.  21,489 JPY converts to $209.49 USD per night.  If we were to pay for this hotel stay in cash, a 5-night stay would have cost of $1,047.45!  That’s a lot of money that we would rather use on food and entertainment. 
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