Simple tip for multiple email sign-ups

One thing I run into with points and miles is the need to have various email addresses for accounts. Stuff like contests, E-miles accounts, etc. One simple tip I saw today HT to CavemanCircus is:

You can use @gmail.com and @googlemail.com interchangeably. Perfect for signing up to a website twice without setting up two accounts.

 

 

Is Microsoft Rewards the worst earn per $1?

So I gather Microsoft reward points by clicking on news links and doing a little searching on Bing. I prefer Google but I use Bing a little to gather some rewards. This started out a couple years ago as a good way to get a few airline miles or hotel points, I forget. I think at that time you could get like 100 miles for 5,000 points and you could earn those points in a month or so of searching at my pace.

Today I was clicking to see how far away I “still” am from getting a $5 Amazon card. It seems this is the only decent reward left. So I notice this offer to earn 1 points for each $1 spend at the Microsoft store. 1 point per $1, really.  Keep in mind it takes 5,250 to earn a $5 Amazon card. So if I spend $5,250 at that site I’ll “earn” a $5 card. I guess it’s not bad but it just seems like a lot compared to just shopping there through a portal like American Airlines, etc.

AA will give me 3 miles per $ so that would be  15,750 miles or enough for a short haul airline ticket for the same spending. Heck just trying MS Edge will earn me 3,000 points.

Sorry I’m ranting here but it just seems that Microsoft and Bing have ruined this little search engine reward program. I’d also be better off using a search toolbar I guess. Bing is good but it’s not that good.

fireshot-capture-3-trump-clinton-bing_-http___www-bing-com_search

Trip review Houston / Kemah Texas

I had a recent quick trip to Houston for business. I stayed at the Kemah Texas Holiday Inn Express. Not a bad hotel located near the Ocean front boardwalk area in Kemah. This is on the South side of Houston.

The room was decent although I’m not sure it was much of an upgrade based on my IHG Spire and Ambassador status. The room was comfortable, clean and quiet.  The only negative was the HVAC system. It seemed to be set way too sensitive. It has the dumb Inncom electronic thermostat which can be set to VIP mode but it would switch between cold and hot. For example I came in the room and it was slightly too cold like at 68 degrees so I turned it up to say 69 and the AC would go off and then switch to heat to try and moderate 1 degree.

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The view from my room was nice. It was a bit cloudy and rainy but you could see the boardwalk area and ocean. img_20161106_150027654

The wild colored bathroom sink. Interesting. This room had a walk in good shower. Not sure if all the rooms have walk-in showers. img_20161106_145958886

Another view of the room. Microwave and mini frig. Desk was fairly good set up for work. img_20161106_145937762

A morning run view of the boardwalk amusement area. img_20161107_062803777Part of my morning run in the area. View of the rough sea on a cloudy morning. img_20161107_063438777

I flew into Houston Hobby on AA but had to get over to El Paso for other business so I elected to fly the United non-stop out of IAH. I was surprised that I didn’t have to pay a big surcharge to drop the rental car from National at a different airport so that was impressive.

The regional UA jets are lumped into one terminal cattle holding area where they call you down the hallway method to walk outside to board. I always love it for some odd reason. My wife things I’m an idiot for getting so excited about walking out on the tarmac. img_20161107_144617778Always a good photo-op situation. I love it. img_20161107_144643367

Holiday Inn Express MXP Italy

I stay in A LOT of Holiday Inn Express hotels. This stay was for two nights at the end of a trip to Austria, Germany and Northern Italy. It’s super close to the MXP airport but way out on the edge of Milan. The hotel was very average and kinda depressing I think as yoi may be able to see from the photos. 

While it served a purpose I was disappointed in some things that might seem picky. The ice machine was broken and the hotel bar had no ice. They only offer liquid soap, no bar soap, minor I know. The windows in the rooms are tiny so it made the room seem like a prison cell. The good part is they did offer a bar which was nice but very limited choices for dinner. Luckily there is a fantastic Italian restaurant nearby and only about two blocks away in this small town area. 

The next time I’m in the area I would tempted to try the nearby Crowned Plaza, that doesn’t look awesome, or the Sheraton that is in the airport. The MXP HIX is very average in my personal opinion. 

Holiday Inn Express Denton Texas

I recently needed to stop overnight along I-35 on my way from San Antonio to Kansas City. I selected the HIX Denton mostly due to location but also good reviews. My luck in the DFW with Holiday Inn has been spotty at best. Many of the hotels in this area are in serious need of a make over or are in bad areas I think. This hotel was a pleasant surprise. The staff was outstanding. As a Spire Ambassador member I was upgraded to a huge room. Breakfast started a 6am if not before which is super valuable for a roadside stop. 

I’d say the only weak part of this visit was a lack of places to walk for dinner or run outside as I tend to do. Still a good place on the Northside of the metro Plex. 

Is it Tripe or Tryp? Marketing Fail

I often see marketing errors. Maybe it’s just me or maybe I have a warped sense of humor but I say to my wife all the time “why didn’t they just ask me?” I could have set them straight before they launched a new product, marketing campaign or brand. This one comes under that topic.

I was browsing through my company travel discount Lifemart site. It’s fun because usually the deals aren’t that great but I’ll save that topic for another day.  I saw an add for a new brand of hotel by Wyndham called TRYP. The first thing, like the very first thing, that entered my mind was the street side signs for Tripe. So how is that bad. Well if you’re not familiar with Tripe it’s not fish or some random sandwich it’s usually beef and is usually made from the muscle wall (the interior mucosal lining is removed) of the first three chambers of a cow’s stomach. It’s fairly gross unless you are one of the few that think it’s great (I guess). Click on the photo below to go find “awesome” recipe ideas.

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So Wyndham likely has focus group research and whatever but I call this one a fail. If I was the CEO and someone brought this idea and name to me I would fire them on the spot.

FireShot Capture 1 - TRYP by Wyndham Hotels - https___www.tryphotels.com_en_

In Wyndham’s defense it does look like a nice chain of hotels and way above the Knights Inn’s and Travel Lodge locations they have in many places. I just think that, well…they should have asked me…..OH you mean it’s like “TRIP” not “TRIPE” I get it now.  You too can “Own the City”

Oh and Wyndham if you really want to turn around your company just come ask me about such ideas. I’d be glad to give you my opinion such stuff…really.