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Monday, June 30, 2014

Travel Tips

Capital One
Capital One (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Travel tips:
I thought I knew about all the deals, discounts but realized I am still learning. Things I learnt last week. I can get rebates for travel booking in via, or, etc.  if I click through Great Canadian Rebates.  I could have earned around $50 rebates on previous booking. But good thing is that I know and I want all of you to know as well.
I also learnt that I can use the   Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World MasterCard® points to cover my Presto Card purchase for the  Go Train. I added $350 to Presto Card and then redeemed the points to cover $350.  With this card, I had to pay $120 fees but Great Canadian Rebates credit covered $75 of that.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My almost free air and hotel booking for upcoming Miami trip

English: no original description
English: no original description (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love to travel.  But sometimes trip costs can be expensive.  But who does not like to getaway during winter for few days.Thanks to Amex Canada.  I was able to use the points earned from American Express Gold Rewards card and American Express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card and book my air ticket for less than $60 (only paid the taxes) and hotel was 100% free.

American Express Gold Rewards card offers 25K bonus points and it is free for the first year.  It is a great card.
  • You will earn double points for every $1 in eligible travel purchases charged to the card, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more.
  • You will earn double points for every $1 in eligible gas, grocery and drugstore purchases charged to the Card.
  • You will earn one point for every $1 in purchases charged to the Card everywhere else.
The points from the transactions are posted immediately and you don’t have to wait till the statement. One disadvantages is that it may take little bit of time for them to post the bonus points but they will eventually post. Other disadvantage is that I would like to use this card for groceries as well but Real Canadian Superstore does not take American express. Please also note this is a charge card and you have to pay full balance each month.

Time to time Amex has bonus which will let you transfer the points with 50% bonus to BA – Avios points. (That means 25K will be 37.5K Avios points. You can book return ticket to from Toronto Miami for 20K+ $60 using Avios in points in the American airlines. That is direct flight.
If you like for apply the card, here is the Application Link

I also have an American express Starwood Preferred Guest credit card which I use for my business expenses. This card will earn SPG points on purchases.  I am ardent fan of SPG hotels and when I got the card I received 21K bonus points.  Unfortunately this card has fee of $120/year.  As I use the card for business purposes that fee is deductible. SPG points are well worth for the fee.
  • You will earn one point for every $1 in purchases charged to the Card everywhere else.
  • You will receive a Free Weekend Night Award when you reach $40,000 in purchases each year.
  • You will get an automatic upgrade to Starwood Gold level when you spend more than $30K in a year.
 I was able to earn 13K points with transactions I posted to the card. I was able to book Four Points Sheraton in the Miami Beach for 20K points for two days and then Sheraton airport hotel for 14K.

SPG points can be transferred to airline points as well. It provides bonus for transfers to most of the airlines (provide bonus of 5K if you transfer 20K points). I usually keep the SPG points for hotel stay as those are more valuable for me for hotel stay.
If you like for apply the card, here is the Application Link

Voila I have booked air and hotel with out of pocket cost of $60.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Great Travel Site for Air Travel Booking

Image representing Momondo as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
 I have used expedia and cheapoair to get a quotes for airline tickets but found it does not give me a good price when there is more than one transit. I recently found Momondo is a good site when you have multiple transits.  I was able to print the quote and took it to my travel agent to get it matched. Next time, I am actually going to book the tickets via the site.
It is a Danish company and they are in the business since 2006.
Here is more info about the company and some reviews about the company.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Online Shopping for clothes

I used to shop at Amazon and Chapters for books and other things. But I my sister does most of her clothes shopping and her kids shopping online. Recently I started online purchasing for clothes at Land’s end.  Initially I was bit nervous about sizes and quality but so far happy with the casual clothes purchases.  During November – December they had 30% off and free shipping and I was able to buy fleece tops for $10.00 and no tax or duty or shipping charges.   If you are purchasing anything less than $20.00, there will be no duty or sales tax but usually shipping charge will apply.

They have online chat line in case you have question about sizes and the online reviews are also helpful. Once your order, if they have it in stock you will get it in 3-4 days. They also adjust the length or make cuff for free.
Time to time they email discount coupons for 30% off or 40% off. Recently I bought ski jacket with 30% coupon and it is pretty good deal.  If you are not satisfied with the purchase you can return it but there will be shipping cost of $7.95 but if the product is defective they will waive shipping charge. I have done around 10 purchases in the last 4 months and only one I returned because the size was not what they indicated. You can also get rebate by going through rebates sites (Great Canadian Rebates, Red Flags Deals or ebates)
All the billing will be done in US dollars. I use rewards visa which provides good exchange rate without additional charge.