Points with a Crew https://www.pointswithacrew.com/ Helping families (especially large families) travel for free / cheap using miles and points Fri, 26 May 2023 15:36:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.2.2 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/cropped-pwac-siteicon-1-32x32.jpeg Points with a Crew https://www.pointswithacrew.com/ 32 32 86788479 Wow! – Everything is SO Cheap Here! https://www.pointswithacrew.com/wow-everything-is-so-cheap-here/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/wow-everything-is-so-cheap-here/#comments Fri, 26 May 2023 20:17:29 +0000 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/?p=41580 A few weeks ago, I got back from an epic trip around the world trip with my son. We used Air Canada Aeroplan miles to book a trip that featured about 40 hours of business class flights. And while we stopped in a few different places (you can read the table of contents of our trip report at the bottom of this page), two of our major destinations were Egypt and Japan. These two countries were very different in a variety of ways, but perhaps none more than their overall cost. I expected

A Cheap Hotel

First off was our hotel. We stayed at the Staybridge Suites Cairo Citystars (read our review). This hotel wasn’t AMAZINGLY cheap, but at only 30,000 IHG points for a hotel in a pretty upscale area, it was a pretty good deal.

(SEE ALSO: How hotels categorize themselves (the difference between upscale and “upper upscale”))

And of course, since it was a non-US hotel, the breakfast and hotel dinner (evening reception) were way better than you would expect in a North American Staybridge Suites.


The Big Mac Index

You might be familiar with the “Big Mac Index“, which attempts to compare cost of living in various countries by determining how much a Big Mac costs in that country. The theory is that McDonalds is tied into the overall economics and supply chain of the locations where they operate, so you can get at least a rough idea of cost of living by seeing how much a Big Mac costs.

I didn’t have a Big Mac, but our combo meal cost about 80 Egyptian Pounds, which is less than USD$3. That’s about half of what a corresponding meal would cost in the U.S.

Ubering For Nothing

But nowhere was the cost difference as dramatic as the cost of taking an Uber. When we went from our hotel to the airport, we called an Uber. The car took me to the airport (about an 8 mile / 20 minute drive). I was blown away when I saw the quote from Uber

Even after I gave a nearly 50% tip, it was EGP124. That is like $4 USD! After this ride, I joked to my wife that I couldn’t even get an Uber to my next door neighbors’ house for $4!

The Bottom Line

I suppose I probably shouldn’t have been surprised at how cheap everything was in Egypt, but I was. I was definitely not expecting it to have the same cost of living as the U.S. or Europe, but I was surprised at HOW much cheaper everything was in Egypt. The downside was that you pretty much had to pay off the police for doing just about anything, including when my Uber driver arrived to the airport complex, or when we wanted to take pictures at the Sphinx.

Have you been to Egypt? Where do you think it lands on the list of the cheapest countries?

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Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card review – the best business card out there? https://www.pointswithacrew.com/chase-ink-business-unlimited-review-the-best-business-card-out-there/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/chase-ink-business-unlimited-review-the-best-business-card-out-there/#respond Fri, 26 May 2023 13:47:25 +0000 https://pointswithcrew.wpengine.com/?p=24614 KEY LINK: card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees

Small Business credit cards are a bit of a special animal in the credit card world.  Unlike what we call “personal” cards, some cards like the Chase Ink Business Unlimited that are tagged as “business” cards do require you to have a business to apply.  You’ll be asked for business identifier (SSN or EIN), business income, years in business and other things about your business on your Chase Ink Business Unlimited application.  I’m lucky to have a couple of businesses, but you might have a business too, even if you don’t think you do. You can often apply just as a sole proprietorship with your own SSN if you don’t have a separate business EIN.


Chase Ultimate Rewards are one of the best types of miles and points currencies out there – because it’s a transferrable currency, it’s able to be transferred to a variety of miles and points partners, which helps insulate it from devaluations.

Plus it’s easier than others to get a lot of – including the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred, Ink Unlimited, Ink Cash, Freedom Flex, Freedom Unlimited.


The Chase Ink Business Unlimited has 3 main things going for it

  • First, a welcome offer that allows you to bonus_miles_full (it’s advertised as a cash bonus, but see the section below)
  • 1.5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent
  • No annual fee

And that’s…. pretty much it.  No frills, no category bonuses.  Just a solid welcome offer, a solid earn for your everyday spend, and no annual fee. This is very similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, but with a much bigger welcome offer. This card does fall under the Chase 5/24 rule, so you’ll likely not be approved if you’ve applied for 5 or more cards in the past 24 months.

Combining Chase Ultimate Rewards from your Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Since the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card is not considered a “premium” card, its points are only worth 1 cent when considered by themselves.  However, if you already HAVE a premium card (like the Sapphire Reserve or Ink Preferred for example), then you are able to (at least for now!) combine all your Chase Ultimate Rewards into one account.

So your 1.5x for every dollar spent, if transferred to an account with the Sapphire Reserve (where you can REDEEM for 1.5 times), would give you 2.25% back on purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.  And of course if you transfer them to travel partners, you can often get even MORE value.

To me, this makes the Chase Ink Business Unlimited possibly the best business credit card to put everyday spending on, if you’re not meeting a minimum spending requirement or getting a category bonus.

Primary Rental Car Coverage and Travel Protections

One of the best Chase Ink Business Unlimited benefits is that it offers primary car rental coverage in most countries around the world, as long as you are renting the car for business purposes. Renting a car using a credit card that has primary car rental coverage can be a big time and money saver if you happen to get into an accident or cause damage while renting.

(SEE ALSO: How a Chase car insurance claim saved my mom nearly $900)

(SEE ALSO: Why you’re foolish to rent a “standard” car)

The Chase Ink Unlimited card also offers travel and emergency assistance services.

Is the Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card the best business card out there?

I think the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card has a case for the best business card out there.  Here’s a quick look at some of the other contenders

  • card_name – welcome offer lets you bonus_miles_full. You’ll earn 3x category bonuses but only 1x on every day spend and a $95 fee
  • card_name – welcome offer lets you bonus_miles_full. You’ll earn only 1x on everyday spend and 5x on certain categories and no annual fee. Comparing the Ink Cash to the Ink Business Unlimited will depend on how much of your regular spend is in these bonus categories
  • American Express Blue Business Card – no annual fee, 2x Membership Rewards on every purchase and a 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus (though I’ve seen the bonus vary over time)
  • American Express Business Platinum card – this card has a $695 annual fee but comes with a variety of premium benefits (but only 1x on everyday spend, though there are bonuses in some categories and for large purchases). Currently it has a bonus of 120,000 Membership Rewards bonus but there are often targeted offers for more.

KEY LINK: card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees

If you’re looking for links to apply to the American Express business credit cards instead, you can find it on our top credit card offers page, under small business cards. If you’re interested in signing up, we may receive a commission if you sign up through our link – we appreciate the support!

What do you think? Where does the Chase Ink Business Unlimited card fall in the list of best business cards out there?  Leave your thoughts in the comments

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The cheapest and best way to get from Manhattan to Newark airport https://www.pointswithacrew.com/the-cheapest-and-best-way-to-get-from-manhattan-to-newark-airport/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/the-cheapest-and-best-way-to-get-from-manhattan-to-newark-airport/#comments Thu, 25 May 2023 20:21:21 +0000 https://pointswithcrew.wpengine.com/?p=9802 On one of my first ever trips to New York, I took my daughter on a special birthday trip to New York City – it was just the 2 of us.  Since we were staying in mid-town Manhattan at the Sheraton Times Square (click here to read the review), none of the 3 New York City airport options (JFK / LGA / EWR) were markedly better than any of the others.  After searching the various options for paid and award tickets into New York, we decided to fly on Delta from CVG to EWR.  If you are also landing at Newark, I’ve written a guide to find the cheapest and best way to get from Newark airport to Manhattan.  After a great time in New York City, it was time to head back from Manhattan to Newark, and since we did a bunch of research to find the best way from Manhattan to Newark, I thought I would share with you some of my information to help you figure out the best way to get from New York City to Newark Airport.

Manhattan to Newark airport by Uber or Lyft

Uber has an estimated price of $59-72 to go from Manhattan to Newark Airport, though obviously that depends on where you start out in New York City and probably time of day (how long it takes)


Lyft is similarly priced from Manhattan to EWR though both Uber and Lyft often are running promotions especially in New York City so be sure to check with them before you go

[The time my Lyft driver went the wrong way down a one-way street]

If you do sign up for Uber or Lyft, signing up through my referral code you will get you $10 off on your first ride.

Getting from Manhattan to Newark airport by taxi

You can absolutely take a taxi from Manhattan to Newark airport but it will be fairly expensive.  Depending on where you are coming from in Manhattan, a taxi from New York City to Manhattan is likely to cost anywhere from $40 to $70, exclusive of tips and tolls.

If you do want to take a taxi from Manhattan to Newark Airport (EWR) in New Jersey, you’re likely to save money by using a service like Carmel Limo — plus you can save $4 off using this link

And obviously you will be in a car, so subject to New York City traffic, especially if you’re traveling in rush hour (which seems like every hour!)

How to get from Manhattan to EWR by bus

You can find several express buses that go from Manhattan to Newark airport, in the $15 to $20 (one-way) range.  These are large buses designed for airport runs, so most of them should have plenty of storage underneath the seats for luggage. GO Airlink Shuttle is one such bus – it costs $21 one-way.  It runs every half hour on the half hour and they will pick you up at a variety of hotels and NYC transportation hubs (Grand Central, Penn Station, etc).  Try promo code SHUTTLE to save 5%

It will drop you off at Newark Liberty airport at either Terminal A, B or C.

If you want to travel on a public bus from EWR to New York City, you won’t be able to do it in one trip – since different public bus companies serve New York and New Jersey. NJ Transit bus lines 28, 37, 62, 67, and 107 all serve Newark Airport.

Another option would be to take the PATH train from WTC to Newark Penn Station and then take one of those NJ Transit buses from Newark Penn Station to Newark airport. This is probably the absolute cheapest way from Manhattan to Newark airport, but I don’t think it is quite the best way from Manhattan to Newark Liberty airport.

And remember, buses also go on the road, so when going from New York City to Newark by bus, you’ll be subject to traffic during peak traffic periods.

The cheapest and best way to get from Manhattan to Newark airport

While taxi, Uber, bus and even other ride share services or limos are all options to get from Manhattan to Newark airport, in my opinion, just like getting from Newark Airport to Manhattan, the absolute best way to get from Manhattan to Newark airport is by train.

The train costs $13 which includes both the NJ Transit train from New York Penn Station to Newark Liberty Airport Station as well as the AirTrain Newark which takes you from Newark Liberty Airport Station to the actual Newark airport. The Air Train inside Newark Airport runs every 3 minutes for most of the day.

The cost of a ticket from New York Penn Station is $13, which includes the AirTrain portion of $5.50.  The Newark AirTrain is free to ride if you stay at Newark Airport but if you go to Newark Liberty Airport station, it is $5.50.  The $5.50 portion is not charged for children 11 and under, AND the other portion is half price, making the child’s ticket $3.50


Adult ticket on the left; child ticket from Manhattan to Newark Airport on the right

Another advantage of taking the train from Manhattan to Newark is that you’re not on the road (duh), so you don’t have to deal with any of the famous New York City traffic.

Step by step instructions for riding the NJ Transit train from Manhattan to Newark

After we had our fun weekend in New York (SEE: 5 awesome things I did in New York City), my daughter and I took the subway and then walked to New York Penn Station, between 7th and 8th Avenues and 31st and 33rd streets in Manhattan.

Once inside NY Penn Station, follow the signs for NJ Transit.  If you bought roundtrip tickets on your way from Newark to Manhattan, you won’t need to buy tickets again.  There is a small waiting area / lounge for NJ Transit passengers.  It doesn’t have any type of food / drink, but it does offer phone charging stations.  In our case, we had just missed a NJ Transit train, so we had to wait for awhile for the next one.  Since you’re just going a few stops to Newark Airport station, you can take just about any NJ Transit train.

While you’re waiting, it won’t say what platform the train will be at, but once a train is announced, they will tell you – at that point, join the masses of humanity as you all go to that platform.  Board the train and then get off at Newark Liberty Airport Station


How to take the train from Newark Penn Station to Newark Airport

Once you’re at Newark Liberty Airport Station, follow the signs to the Air Train (it’s easy to find). Board the Air Train and then get off at the terminal that your flight is in.

I hope this guide has helped you travel from New York City – remember, I also have a guide on the best way to get from Newark Airport to Manhattan, if you need to make this a round trip

If you're going from New York City to Newark Airport in New Jersey, here's the best and cheapest way to get from Manhattan to Liberty Airport - complete guide with map and step by step instructions

What are your tips for the cheapest and best way from Manhattan to Newark Airport?

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How to get from DCA (or downtown Washington DC) to IAD UPDATED with Silver Line https://www.pointswithacrew.com/how-to-get-from-dca-or-downtown-washington-dc-to-iad-silver-line/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/how-to-get-from-dca-or-downtown-washington-dc-to-iad-silver-line/#comments Thu, 25 May 2023 13:39:18 +0000 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/?p=41578 The Washington DC metro area has two airports (three if you count Baltimore-Washington / BWI). Washington National Airport (DCA) is in northern Virginia directly on the Potomac river across from Washington DC. Dulles International Airport (IAD) is also in northern Virginia, but much further west in the far western exurbs. I have flown in and out of both DCA and IAD, such as on a trip to Machu Picchu Peru. where we had to travel from DCA to IAD.

How to get from DCA to IAD – car, taxi or Uber

You can get from DCA to IAD by taxi or Uber of course, but depending on traffic, you’re going to be either paying an arm and a leg… or TWO arms and TWO legs :-).  How far is it from DCA to IAD?  About 28 miles – see map below

Map copyright OpenStreetMap contributors

It will take you about 45-60 minutes if there’s no traffic (and there’s almost NEVER no traffic).  How much will it cost to get from DCA to IAD?  A taxi will run you $75-100, and Uber will cost anywhere from $50 to $75 (depending on traffic and surge pricing.

(SEE ALSO: What is going on with Uber?)

If you do want to take a taxi, you can generally get better rates if you book it through a service like Carmel Limo — plus you can save $4 off using this link.

There are a variety of airport shuttles as well which will cost about the same amount to get from downtown Washington DC to Dulles Airport.  You can check out GO Airport Shuttle, and use coupon code GOWEB to save $5 off your ride anywhere between IAD, DCA, BWI and points downtown.

The cheapest and best way to get from DCA or downtown Washington to IAD

My preferred way to get from DCA to IAD and what I think is the best way to get from DCA to IAD is taking public transport. Washington DC has a fairly robust transit system (Metro) and both Dulles Airport and Washington National / DCA are directly accessible from the Metro. Washington National is on the blue or yellow line, while Dulles Airport is on the Silver Line (see map below)

When I first traveled between DCA and IAD back in 2017 the Silver Line did not go all the way to Dulles but thankfully it now does. So going from DCA to IAD or from Washington DC to IAD airport can be done fairly easily and inexpensively using the Metro.

Using the Silver Line to get from Washington DC to Dulles Airport

Up until a few years ago, the Silver Line ended at the Wiehle-Reston East stop. However now the Silver Line extends out to Dulles Airport (and a few stops further), which makes it super easy to use the Silver line to get from Washington DC, DCA or anywhere in the area to Dulles Airport. You’ll connect on the Metro to the Silver Line however it is most convenient, depending on where you’re coming from. If you’re going from DCA to IAD on the Metro, you should take the blue line from National Airport to Rosslyn, then switch to an Ashburn-bound Silver Line train.

You’ll get off at the Washington Dulles airport metro station, and it is about a 5-10 minute walk from the Dulles Airport Metro station to the main part of the airport

Cost varies on where and when you’re coming from, but should be between $2 and $6. My off-peak ticket from the Smithsonian station to Dulles Airport on the metro cost $3.85.

The Bottom Line

The total trip from DCA to IAD should take you about 60-70 minutes, including the transfer at Rosslyn.  If you’re traveling off-peak with no traffic, a car ride will definitely take less time, but if you’re traveling during rush hour or peak travel times, taking the Silver Line is likely to be SIGNIFICANTLY faster (and cheaper!) to get from Washington DC to IAD.

Readers – any other tips on how to get from DCA or Washington DC to IAD?

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Kickstarter: LIVSN Century All-Natural Jacket (back by today) https://www.pointswithacrew.com/kickstarter-livsn-century-all-natural-jacket-back-by-today/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/kickstarter-livsn-century-all-natural-jacket-back-by-today/#respond Wed, 24 May 2023 19:21:57 +0000 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/?p=41573 Occasionally I see some interesting travel related products that I think you guys might be interested in.  We’ve talked recently we talked about Gravel Toiletry Bags and blankets, the R72 Grab and Go Vest, the RetraStrap luggage strap and the Uphold travel cutlery set, among others.

Travel related kickstarters:

Today I wanted to talk a bit about the Century all-natural jacket

All Kickstarter / Indiegogo links in this post may pay me a commission if you boost the project through my link.

LIVSN Century All-Natural Jacket features

Here are a few pictures of the LIVSN Century All-Natural Jacket

LIVSN Century All-Natural Jacket video

Here’s a video showing off some of the different options and features of the LIVSN Century All-Natural Jacket

LIVSN Century All-Natural Jacket cost

The LIVSN Century All-Natural Jacket is currently on Kickstarter and has currently raised over USD$293,401from a $9,000 initial goal. You currently only have until May 25th (Thursday) to back the project. Here are a few of the levels that you can back the project at

  • 199 Euros (about USD$215) – one Century All-Natural Jacket

There are also discounts for buying multiples.

Again, here is the link to back the Century All-Natural Jacket – it says it is scheduled to ship in December 2023

What do you think of this jacket?  Planning on backing this?  Leave your experience in the comments!

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Hilton Honors American Express Card Review – No Annual Fee https://www.pointswithacrew.com/hilton-honors-american-express-card-review/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/hilton-honors-american-express-card-review/#comments Wed, 24 May 2023 13:51:53 +0000 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/?p=40358 KEY LINK – card_name bonus_miles_full annual_fees

I’ve often said that one of the best ways to get a decent number of points is by signing up for new credit cards. It’s just too hard to get any appreciable number of points by earning them through everyday spending, unless you have a LOT of spending. While I do say that you should not sign up for a credit card just because some guy on the Internet says you should, one of the ways that our family has been able to travel so much is by signing up for new credit cards every couple of months. Applying for the card through our link may support the site – thanks in advance if you use these links when you apply for a new credit card.

card_name (with no annual fee)

There is currently an increased offer for the no-fee Hilton Honors American Express card.

  • bonus_miles_full
  • You’ll earn 7X Hilton Honors points for spending at Hilton Hotels
  • 5x Hilton Honors points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations
  • 3x Hilton Honors points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status
  • No annual fee

You’re only eligible for the bonus on this card if you have never had this card. American Express also will consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Best Ways to use Hilton Points

The best way to use Hilton points is for stays at Hilton hotels. Hilton no longer has a set award chart, which makes it difficult to get any kind of outsized value. Still, you should be able to get at least 3 or 4 nights free with 100,000 Hilton points. And remember that the 5th night is free on Hilton Honors redemptions. Remember that because Hilton doesn’t have an award chart, the number of points you’ll need varies up and down over time. So, just like keeping an eye on Southwest flights for price drops, you should carefully monitor your Hilton reservations and rebook if the cost goes down.

(SEE ALSO: Now you have to constantly check your HILTON reservations too?!?)

(SEE ALSO: Exhibit #143 why it pays to proactively check your reservations)

5 best uses of Hilton points

I had a great stay at the Hilton Beijing (with an amazing indoor swimming pool) and have also had good stays at several Homewood Suites hotels (for free hotel dinner!), including at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive.

Other hotel credit card alternatives

If the Hilton Honors American Express card isn’t right for you, there are a couple of other options for hotel points

Find other hotel cards on our top credit card offers page

The Bottom Line

KEY LINK – card_name bonus_miles_full annual_fees

If you’re looking for a bunch of Hilton points for an upcoming stay, the Hilton Honors American Express Card can be a great option. You’ll get 100,000 Hilton Honors points plus up to $100 in statement credits for purchases at Hilton hotels in the first year of having the card. While Hilton Honors points are not as valuable as some other points, you can still get good value from the card, especially considering there is no annual fee.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Review – 80K offer ENDS WEDNESDAY https://www.pointswithacrew.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-review/#respond Tue, 23 May 2023 22:23:00 +0000 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/?p=41389 KEY LINK: card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees (I’ve been told that the 80K welcome offer is ending May 25th at 9 a.m. EDT)

I generally believe there are three reasons to apply for and keep a credit card.

  • First is any welcome offer on the card.
  • The second reason is if the card has attractive spending categories.
  • The final reason is any ongoing benefits you receive for having the card.

Most credit cards check at least one of these boxes, but it’s rare that a card will check all three. The card_name, with its current welcome offer allowing you to bonus_miles, checks maybe 2 and a half. It has a great welcome offer and excellent ongoing benefits. The rewards you get from ongoing spending are okay but not extraordinary, though Chase has made some nice updates like adding 5x on travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal and a $50 annual hotel credit. Still, the welcome offer alone makes it worth considering.


Outstanding Welcome Offer

The biggest reason to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card right now is that its welcome offer is at an increased level. The Chase Sapphire Preferred was one of the first credit cards I ever got, and the signup bonus was 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points. That was 6 or 7 years ago, and over time, the welcome offer on the Sapphire Preferred has gradually continued to go up and up. First we saw 50,000 points, then 60,000 and then 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points. We have seen it go as high as 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points but I don’t know if or when that offer will ever come back.

Now you can bonus_miles_full And if you have a spouse with a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, it could be worth even more. And even better, you can often get even more value by transferring to Chase’s travel partners. Like the time I turned 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points into a $6,500 train trip.

Earning Ultimate Rewards points

Here is the earning potential while using the card_name

  • 5x total points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.
  • 2x on other travel purchases
  • 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).
  • 3x points on select streaming services.
  • 1x points on all other purchases

Combining Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

Another great reason to consider signing up for the card_name is the ability to combine Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can combine your Ultimate Rewards points that you’ve earned on different cards, and you can also combine points with authorized users on your account. That makes it fairly straightforward to combine points between spouses / partners as well.

The reason this is so important and valuable is that the value of your Ultimate Rewards points depends on the card that you earn them on. If you only have a no-fee Chase card like the card_name or card_name, then your points are only worth 1 cent each. But if you have a premium card like the card_name or card_name, then your points become worth 1.25 cents per point. So if you already have a lot of Ultimate Rewards that you’ve earned with a Freedom Flex or other no-fee Chase card, then applying for the Sapphire Preferred not only lets you bonus_miles, but it makes all of your EXISTING points worth 25% more. Having a premium Chase card like the Sapphire Preferred also unlocks the ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s hotel and airline transfer partners.

Points for those who have the card_name are worth 1.5 cents per point. Unfortunately, you can’t hold both the Sapphire Reserve and the Sapphire Preferred at the same time. But if you have a spouse or partner who does have the Sapphire Reserve, then you should be able to combine points with them. That might make the welcome bonus worth $1,000 or more.

Primary Car Rental Insurance

Another great reason to have the card_name is for the car rental insurance. Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Sapphire Preferred has outstanding car rental insurance. Paying for a rental car with the Sapphire Reserve saved my parents nearly $1000 when they ran into problems with their rental car. The best part about the rental insurance with the Sapphire Preferred is that it’s primary, unlike the insurance with many other credit cards. That means that it comes into play before you would be required to make a claim with your own auto insurer.

Other card_name Benefits

Besides primary car rental insurance, some of the other benefits that come with the card are:

  • Earn up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Unlock 1:1 point transfers to Chase’s hotel and airline travel partners
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Earn 5x points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025
  • Complimentary access to DashPass
  • $10 monthly statement credit from Gopuff.
  • 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ if you activate by July 31, 2024. Plus, Instacart+ members earn up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • annual_fees

If you use the $50 hotel credit, that more than cuts the annual fee in half

The Bottom Line

If you’re eligible to get the welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you should highly consider it. This is one of the best offers that we’ve ever seen, on any card. In order to be eligible for the bonus you must:

  • Be under Chase 5/24
  • Not be a current cardholder of any Chase Sapphire card – aka the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Not have received a new member bonus for any Sapphire card in the past 48 months

KEY LINK: card_name – bonus_miles_full annual_fees

If you have any questions about this offer or want to talk over how it might work for you, please email me at dan at pointswithacrew dot com. I am more than happy to talk to anyone about this or any other offer and how it might work for you.

Are you planning on applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred with its outstanding welcome offer? Leave a note in the comments.

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(Another) Hyatt Hotel Trying to Screw Over Elite Members https://www.pointswithacrew.com/another-hyatt-hotel-trying-to-screw-over-elite-members/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/another-hyatt-hotel-trying-to-screw-over-elite-members/#respond Tue, 23 May 2023 19:19:10 +0000 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/?p=41566 Here’s some news and notes from around the travel world that you might be interested in:

Hyatt Regency Nice (not the hotel in question…)

Up for more travel news?  You might like our last recap post – Southwest Passenger Commits the Ultimate Seat Stealing Sin

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Book Vacation Rentals for 73% off (ENDS TODAY) https://www.pointswithacrew.com/book-vacation-rentals-for-73-off/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/book-vacation-rentals-for-73-off/#comments Tue, 23 May 2023 13:41:07 +0000 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/?p=41107 The deal to buy Wyndham points with a 25% discount ends today – May 23rd at 11:59 ET

I wanted to write a followup post to the recent opportunity to buy Wyndham Rewards points with a 25% discount. Normally, I do not recommend buying miles and points just “to have them”, but there are a few cases where I think that buying miles and points can make sense. The biggest one is if you have a specific redemption in mind, where buying the miles and points means that you’ll spend less than if you booked the same trip directly with cash. Even better if you can combine that with a bonus or discount on buying the points.

I wanted to write about one such opportunity where buying Wyndham points can make some sense.

Using Wyndham Points to Book Vacasa Vacation Rentals

To give a bit of background, you can use Wyndham Rewards points to book Vacasa vacation rentals at a rate of 15,000 points per bedroom (per night), and this is by far the best use of Wyndham points currently. I have easily been able to get 3 cents per point value out of using Wyndham points in this way

We stayed in a “1 bedroom” condo in the Smoky Mountains that slept 10 (pictured above), and we have stayed in a 2 bedroom beachfront condo in Maui right on the ocean using Wyndham Rewards points.

(SEE ALSO: Is This REALLY a 2 Bedroom Suite?)

In both cases, we got well over 3 cents per point in value. So with that kind of redemption in mind, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea to buy points for under 1 cent per point. After all, 60,000 points would get you 4 nights in a 1 bedroom Vacasa vacation rental, and you’re unlikely to get one of those for under the $585 you’d spend buying points. Remember too that you get 10% off your price if you have a Wyndham credit card, making it only cost 13,500 points per bedroom per night.

Booking a Vacation Rental for 73% Off

So let’s run the math on the current promotion to see how you can book a vacation rental for 73% off. I used the same “1 bedroom” condo that my family has previously booked in the Smoky Mountains. I picked a 9 day stay around next Memorial Day. The cash cost to book this condo was $4,281.46

You can book that same condo for 121,500 Wyndham Rewards points if you have a Wyndham credit card (13,500 points per night). During the current Wyndham promotion, you can get a maximum of 60,000 points for $585.

If you and a player 2 are both able to do this (And if you already have 1,500 points in the bank), it would be a total cost of $1,170.That’s a 73% discount on the cash price by selectively buying Wyndham points. Even if you don’t have a Wyndham credit card and need to pay the full 135,000 points (15,000 points per night), it’s only $1,261 to buy the points you’ll need with the current promotion.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes my “clickbait” sensor is a bit off, so maybe you might think this is a bit of a clickbait title, but I don’t think so. This is a real deal and a real opportunity that anyone should be able to take advantage of. Of course the exact amount of discount that you’ll get will depend on the exact vacation rental that you book, but I think that there’s no denying that you can get a significant discount on booking a vacation rental by buying Wyndham points, even if you don’t have any Wyndham points to start with.

KEY LINK: Buy Wyndham Rewards points with a 25% discount

Will you buy Wyndham Rewards points with the current bonus and use them for Vacasa vacation rentals? Leave your plans in the comments

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Top Travel Destination Puts Up a Fence To Block Tourists’ Views https://www.pointswithacrew.com/top-travel-destination-puts-up-a-fence-to-block-tourists-views/ https://www.pointswithacrew.com/top-travel-destination-puts-up-a-fence-to-block-tourists-views/#comments Mon, 22 May 2023 22:21:31 +0000 https://www.pointswithacrew.com/?p=41561 There’s no denying that it can be somewhat of a balancing act for locations that are tourist hotspots. The money that comes in from tourist visits helps to fuel the local economy and keep taxes low. But the crowds can also serve as an annoyance and an impediment to a high quality of life. Deciding how to balance these two competing viewpoints can be a bit tricky. One town in Austria has apparently gotten fed up with the number of tourists that come to the villages to take selfies and has chosen to put up a fence blocking at least some of the views.

Halstatt, Austria – backdrop for the movie Frozen?

The town of Halstatt, Austria is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, and many people believe that it is the inspiration for the mountain villages featured in the Disney movie Frozen.

The picturesque Alpine village is a magnet for tourists, who come to see the beauty and also (of course) to take selfies. The town has a population of around 800, but according to CNN, may see over 10,000 tourists per day in peak travel season. The town is trying to redefine itself to focus on “quality tourism”, and one of the ways they have attempted to do that is to erect a fence at one of the best spots where people take selfies. The idea was that if people couldn’t “do it for the ‘Gram”, they might decide to go elsewhere.

According to the CNN article, the fence was only a pilot project and intended to be a temporary measure. Personally, I can’t see how this would be likely to work – I imagine people will either find a way around it or damage the fence over time. And that is of course setting aside the fact of whether it even makes sense in the first place.

The Bottom Line

The town of Halstatt, Austria, which many people believe is the inspiration for the Disney movie Frozen, has put up a fence intended to block people from taking selfies and other pictures. Their hope was that the fence would deter people from stopping by just to take selfies of their picturesque mountain village.

What do you think about this “selfie-blocking” fence? Do you think it will work to keep tourists out? Leave your thoughts in the comments below

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