$100 Statement Credit off $550 for Chase Sapphire Reserve, targeted?

I just got a secure message through my Chase account regarding the upcoming $550 annual fee on my CSR. “We recognize this is a difficult time for everyone. As a way to help, we’re providing you a one-time $100 statement credit toward the 2020 $550 annual fee on your Reserve credit card. On an upcoming billing statement (based on your renewal date), you’ll see a $550 charge for the annual fee, followed by a $100 statement credit. We will continue to bill the $550 annual fee in 2021. Because this credit only applies to open Reserve accounts, if you’ve closed your Reserve account or traded to another credit card before your renewal, you will not receive the $100 statement credit. We know COVID-19 has affected people in many different ways. Please check chase.com/StayConnected for updates and helpful ways to stay connected to your accounts.

I wasn’t super worried about the increased fee as I still get value out of the travel credits, insurance and increase in Ultimate Rewards points redemption but had considered closing my account. This is enough to keep me a customer for another year. I don’t find much value in the new Doordash or Lyft credits as I will only use those when I travel but neither service is available in my rural town, yet.

Chase

Unpacking “illegal” Kinder Surprise Airbus Eggs. 

Kinder Eggs are slightly illegal to bring into the USA which would be OK I guess 

Kinder Surprise eggs, an Italian brand of egg-shaped chocolate candies containing a toy “surprise” inside have been banned in the USA since long before they were first manufactured in the early ’70s.

That’s because the US has had a ban on candies with toys inside since 1938.

Inside the egg is a large plastic pod that contains to airplane parts. 

Inside you find the parts and you can easily assemble your own Airbus. This one is an A330 in Lufthansa livery.

As you can see you end up with a cool airplane model. The eggs are tough to find. After failing to find them at LHR in past months my wife managed to find an Airbus collection at CDG and was sweet enough to buy them for me during our layover on the way to Israel this week.

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

Hacking Citibank EMV chip card in France videos

So I’m online today confirming my new Citi Costco card and decided that I have no life and clicked on the EMV chip card videos.  The first one on train travel in France cracked me up. I was expecting (or maybe not expecting) them to show me some work around for the train kiosks since Citi fails to let you use Chip & Pin. Check it out. Pay close attention to how they give you the Hack to be able to buy train tickets, it’s awesome.

Citi Credit Card with EMV Chip Technology Citi.com

There are also 3 other videos that will teach you some other good travel hacks using your Citi card in France.

How to shop in France and confuse the shop keeper

Have a man show you how it’s done

How to impress two women with your “French” skills

Oh and my review of the new Costco Citi card that kicks in on 6-20-16. It’s awesome except it charges foreign service fees of 3% 😦

Of course the smart folks in the videos won’t fall for the Dynamic Currency Conversion I’m sure….

 

 

 

Free (sorta) movies from VUDU and Walmart

If you have bought any dvds or blurays that have a ultraviolet or related code you may be interested in VUDU or you may already have a VUDU account. I know when I signed up they had a deal where they would give you some free movies. Check out the internet to see if those deals still are around. Not the point of my post today.

VUDU and Walmart have teamed up to sell the VUDU Spark

VUDU Spark

Not a big deal in itself since it seems everyone from Amazon (Fire Stick) to Google (Chromecast) are selling hdmi devices to turn your tv into a smart tv dongles or whatever. But right now they are offering a $5 a month VUDU credit for up to 5 months = $25 in movie credit if you buy a Spark. So what you ask. Well the Spark is $24.96 at Walmart so you come out 4 cents ahead if you can avoid taxes and shipping. I assume you can buy it in the store but online they will get you for shipping unless you can add some other random products to bring it up to $35 for free shipping.

VUDU Spark2

Still a good deal. For more details go to walmart.com or try VUDU

And no I don’t get any money for this. Just FYI. Heck go check your dvds you’ve bought over the last couple years you may have a ton of free codes laying around. If they tell you they are out of date just email the movie studio for a new one. You may also need to link your ultraviolet or other type account to VUDU to get them all in one place. Oh and make sure to go through a shopping portal to earn some cash back, airline miles, etc. Cash back monitor is the best search site for this at http://www.cashbackmonitor.com/

My quickie airline miles earnings so far today

I typically read Boardingarea blogs everyday for tips on earning airline miles and to learn more about being a smart traveler. Well OK to feed my addiction.

So I’m busy today and had a couple minutes so I clicked over to Boardingarea and saw one of my favorite bloggers Mommypoints who had a post about an American AA shopping portal bonus where you can earn up to 2,250 bonus miles through shopping.

Special Promotion   Shop Online at AAdvantage eShopping mall

Not typically that great but if you have stuff you need to buy anyway it can be good. So what did I buy today in less than 5 minutes:

How about dog food. I have several dogs that eat Blue Buffalo Senior food (which is very good and better than most of the RX types even). So it cost be about $33 to $35 a bag plus a 12+ mile each way drive to get it. I clicked on Petco as they had the best price:

Search   Shop Online at AAdvantage eShopping mall

So for 4x per $ I bought about $135 worth or 4 bags. I had to pay sales tax but got free shipping. I figured I saved time and gas money. I’ve ordered dog food online many times so it’s just easy.  So $135 x 4 miles x 1 mile for credit card = 275 AA miles plus 250 mile bonus = 525 miles approx.

I was getting ready to log off when I remembered that I needed to still do my taxes (I’m way behind this year). So I click on H&R block software that I use each year and really like.

All Online Offers   Shop Online at AAdvantage eShopping mall

So for 12x per $1 I bought the $45 version I use so figure $45 x 12 x 1 for card = 585 AA miles plus I’m on my way to the next promo level of $300 so that will eventually add another 750 miles to the 250 I got already.

5 minutes = 1,110 miles added to my AA account. Next trip……

Enter to win 5 nights at Marriott

Click Here to enter to win a Marriott bed or 5 night vacation at Marriott.

marriott contest

Not a bad contest by Shop Marriott which is a company associated with Marriott Hotels that offers various products like the Marriott bedding.

Win a 5 Night Hotel Stay  a Marriott Bed and Bedding Set  Marriott Pillows  and Other Marriott Hotel Prizes in the ShopMarriott Sweepstakes

Good luck.