Why T-Mobile has the best phone plan for travelers

People who read this site know that I don’t leave home without my unlocked iPhone as I mentioned in my 11 Must Have Travel Apps article. When I first went on my 5 month around the world trip in 2011, I was roaming on AT&T and ran up an $800 bill during my first month due to high data usage.  While prices have gone down since then, up until recently it made more sense to get a foreign SIM card from the local area and buy an inexpensive prepaid data package locally.  However with the launch of the T-Mobile Simple Choice plans about a year ago all of this changed.  My current trip to Ibiza, Spain was my first big trip to try out their service but I wanted to report back my experiences. Continue reading

SPG launches More For You Promotion for 4Q2014

SPG 4Q2014Starwood Preferred Guest just announced their new promotion for September 15 to December 31, 2014.  While not as good as the IHG promotion going on, it is still not too bad since any free points are free points!  After you register you get:

  • Double Starpoints on stays of two or more eligible nights
  • Triple Starpoints on eligible stays that include a Friday or Saturday night.

As always, reply with any questions and follow me on Google+FacebookTwitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss any great info!  And don’t forget to share this article with anyone who might be interested using the handy social share buttons right below this post!

Awesome Deal! IHG Into the Nights Promotion for 4Q2014

IHG Into the NightsIHG has announced their latest promotion and it is awesome!  It is the latest in the Big Win series of promotions that give you bonus points for meeting certain goals.  I scored 132,000 during my first Big Win then another 101,000 during the second big win while I was in China.  These offers are customized to your recent stay pattern and there are hundreds of variations. Most of them include some amount of stays combined with other tasks such as downloading their mobile app or other things.  But the payoff is big!  Most people get two nights at any IHG hotel in the world!

How does two free nights at the Intercontinental Bora Bora sound? That might be where I use my 2 free nights! This would make this promotion worth $1600+ since nights here run about $800 a night!

Intercontinental Bora Bora Continue reading

United and US Airways Buy Miles 100% Bonus, Good Deal?

Is buying miles a good deal when they have a 100% bonus?  In my email box yesterday I received two different offers from both United Airlines and US Airways, each for an up to 100% bonus on purchased miles.  Purchasing miles is something I haven’t covered much in the past so today I wanted to run the numbers to show when it makes sense and when it doesn’t.

united US Air Bonus

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How I am Flying to Burning Man for just $10

Burning ManThis is another of my How I am series of articles where I give you the nuts and bolts of awards redemptions that I am making and show you how to do the same!

I have talked about attending Burning Man in the past and it has become one of of my favorite events each year.  I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull all the pieces together this year, but luckily I had made a speculative booking back in June when Southwest was having a sale for a decent deal.FLL-RNO For just 19,534 Southwest points and $10 I was able to book my flights from Fort Lauderdale to Reno (which is the closest major airport to the event)!  Southwest is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards so I was able to use part of the 40,000 point sign on bonus I received by getting the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for these flights.  The great thing about using Southwest points for domestic coach flights is that you can cancel or change the flights any time up to 15 minutes before your flight leaves and get all of the points back without any fees charged. My plan was to keep these flights unless a better sale came along on Southwest where I could rebook and get the points savings.  For domestic short flights I don’t mind coach too much and the two free bags that Southwest provides certainly takes away some of the worry of getting stuck with a big bag fee.

Pro-Tip:  I actually booked the above trip in two separate one way reservations since the price in points was the same.  This gave me the additional flexibility to change either flight without effecting the other.  This comes in handy when one of the dates goes on sale but the other has gone up in price.  If you had it all under one reservation you would have to cancel both flights and might miss out on the savings opportunity.

As always, reply with any questions and follow me on Google+FacebookTwitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss any great info!  And don’t forget to share this article with anyone who might be interested using the handy social share buttons right below this post!

Make an easy 1000 AA Miles by Shopping Online

This is another of our No Credit, No Problem series of articles which you can take advantage of with no special credit or debit card.

If you aren’t familiar with online shopping portals and how they work then stop everything and check out our article on How to use Shopping Portals to make Mega Miles. We have literally made hundreds of thousands of miles with them in the past, so if you don’t know, you are missing out!

From August 17-25, 2014, American Airlines Shopping Mall is having a promotion where if you spend $200 at any of the 1000+ stores listed on their site, then they will give you a bonus 1000 AA miles on top of whatever you get from the merchant (typically 1-25 miles per dollar).aadvantageshopping1K

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The Discover It Chrome edition.

I have been recommending the Discover It® card for a while now because it is a great card to start out with to build your credit. Just last week I showed you how I made $62 in cashback with mine!  Not to mention that it saved my life when I was in China in April!   But on my Top Credit Cards page, I also have the Discover It® for Students and the Discover It® chrome card. Continue reading

Shanghai: The Pearl of the Orient

This is part 16 of a series on my trip to Austria, Germany and China.

I received 40,000 of the 100,000 miles I used for this award ticket by getting the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®!  This is a great card and one I still carry.  These miles will eventually become American miles which are some of the most valuable.  Click here to apply now for one of your own!

When I planned this trip, seeing Shanghai was definitely one of my highlights.  Living in Miami the last 8 years has made me love port cities.  There is just something about the water next to the skyline that is incredible.IMG_8660 Continue reading