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OmarBadu
zidik
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i always stay in the hilton conrad in tokyo and it's one of my favorite hotels i've ever stayed in - i've heard from the guys i travel with that are marriott guys that they love the ritz there but don't know about kyoto though

the group i'm going with in july when i head back again are doing this http://maricar.com/en/shinagawa.html in addition to we have lunch reservations at jiro's

6/27/2017 2:32:49 PM

neodata686
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11531 Posts
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niceeeee.

I was told to go in late October as my friends went in earlier September said the heat/humidity was miserable. Like NC but worse. I'm not a huge heat/humidity fan so I'm making sure it's colder when I go.

6/27/2017 2:42:17 PM

David0603
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12608 Posts
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I just get one of these every quarter now

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
Congratulations, David, you're approved
Thanks for being a customer.
Status: Approved Credit limit: $18,000

7/1/2017 5:34:57 PM

Jrb599
All American
8718 Posts
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so do you have multiple at a time? or do you close them out when you get the bonus?

7/2/2017 6:19:15 AM

David0603
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12608 Posts
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I have multiple.

7/2/2017 1:20:11 PM

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54287 Posts
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https://slickdeals.net/f/10322504-amazon-30-off-60-with-amex-membership-rewards-points-ymmv?src=featured-cat

7/11/2017 11:05:14 AM

neodata686
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Tickets booked to Tokyo October 8th - 20th. 140k United points / 35k per segment for 2 people. Used to be only 30k but it recently went up.

Staying 5 nights at the Tokyo Ritz for 280k points then deciding on the remaining nights.

Is Osaka worth it or should we just spend more time in Kyoto?

We're staying 1-2 nights here in Koyasan: https://www.fukuchiin.com/

Also trying to get a tour of the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery.

7/11/2017 3:49:54 PM

tulsigabbard
All American
2070 Posts
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damn thats a lotta points

7/11/2017 6:08:46 PM

neodata686
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11531 Posts
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Took me about 6 months to get them. 75k of the United points was from the United sign-up bonus last year. With Marriott mega bonuses and such I accrue those like crazy.

7/12/2017 11:01:28 AM

wahoowa
All American
3262 Posts
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Finally got a 100K MR Personal AmEx Platinum offer in the mail and signed up. Unfortunately the fee has increased to $550.

[Edited on September 26, 2017 at 1:47 PM. Reason : a]

9/26/2017 1:47:07 PM

dmspack
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i'm not an expert on some of the stuff i read in this thread and i'm sure this has been covered multiple times but i'll pose the question again anyways.

i'm recently engaged and while we have no real idea what/were the honeymoon will be, would it behoove us to open some credit card specifically for travel rewards? we use citi double cash and chase freedom almost exclusively...and while that's good for everyday expenses and simple cash back rewards, i'm sure we could be doing better. as far as our spending habits, we don't really travel much at all right now so we wouldn't be accruing a whole lot of travel expenses (i assume travel expenses get extra points/miles idk). our credit card bills, total, come out to ~$2k/month, maybe a little more. we don't have a date or anything at this point, but would be looking at, roughly, a year or so from now for the honeymoon...but again, nothing's decided yet. so my question is basically...do y'all have travel card recommendations if we're trying to earn some travel rewards for a specific trip or are we better of just getting cash back rewards like we've been doing?

got a barclaycard arrival+ thing in the mail today that prompted this post (that could be a shitty card, idk). thanks

9/26/2017 3:46:50 PM

dtownral
All American
21501 Posts
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if you don't travel, get a reward card that gives you the most points for your largest purchase (amazon, food, dining, gas, groceries, whatever)

9/26/2017 4:12:24 PM

dmspack
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^yeah that's what i figured. and citi double cash and chase freedom seem to work out fairly well for us as general cash back cards. so travel cards are far better for frequent travel, as opposed to saving for a single future trip?

9/26/2017 4:24:49 PM

ShawnaC123
All American
46156 Posts
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Do some churning and have a baller ass honeymoon, then switch to a Citi Doublecash or something like that.

9/26/2017 8:12:57 PM

ncsujen07
All American
1469 Posts
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^^
I would definitely open up travel cards with huge bonuses and then save them for your honeymoon. If I had a year's time to plan a honeymoon, I would open up an airline card that gave you enough points for a free flight and then I would look at maybe specific hotel credit cards. IHG is a good hotel card to have. There's a $49 annual fee, but you get a free stay at any IHG resort every year, which includes their all-inclusive resorts in any country. I just opened it a couple months ago to get the 80k points. Chase Sapphire is also good if you haven't opened up 5 credit cards in the past 24 months. Right now the bonus is 50k points, but it amounts to $625 when you redeem it through Chase Ultimate Rewards...so that could go towards rental cars and cruises if you already have flights and hotels covered by other cards.

Edited to say I've had the Barclay Arrival + before and it was a great card. I can't remember which trip I put it towards, but it basically made it free. I wish I knew about all of this 6 years ago when I was planning my honeymoon.

[Edited on September 27, 2017 at 8:13 AM. Reason : .]

9/27/2017 8:11:29 AM

dmspack
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all very good info. thanks.

9/27/2017 11:41:11 AM

neodata686
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I'm fresh out of Marriott and United points. 2 rt tickets direct from Denver to Tokyo then 5 nights at the Ritz. Then we're staying in Ryokans the rest of the time.

10/7/2017 12:42:44 PM

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Time for a new churn!

10/7/2017 1:20:12 PM

neodata686
All American
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Yessir. I need to cancel my United card so I can sign up for it again.

10/8/2017 3:17:18 PM

tulsigabbard
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2070 Posts
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are there rules about canceling cards and signing up for new ones other than chase 5/24?

10/8/2017 4:15:26 PM

David0603
All American
12608 Posts
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yes

10/8/2017 10:03:07 PM

wahoowa
All American
3262 Posts
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Whoa so new change for the AmEx Plat card - I can add unlimited AUs to my account with a gold card and no additional fee. And the AU gold card gives the $100 Global Entry credit independent of the Plat card. Free Global Entry for everybody!!

10/11/2017 2:55:36 PM

David0603
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Looks like BOA just started limiting approvals per year and it sucks with Citi losing out on Hilton. Running out of cards...
Just got approved for platinum amex delta business for 70k miles plus $100 delta credit
Worst case scenario I can keep spending on my chase british airways for 100k miles
Want to get the ritz carlton card but holding out for another 3 night bonus instead of 2

10/13/2017 3:04:35 PM

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^ keep us updated if you see anything good come out

10/13/2017 3:27:43 PM

David0603
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Just booked RDU -> London and Dublin -> Philly
22.5k each way was a nice surprise plus 10% rebate on my points, not too shabby
I'll probably use flexpoints for the hotel rooms, although may see what amex fine hotels and resort has to offer

10/13/2017 4:53:47 PM

theDuke866
All American
51296 Posts
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Got my SCRA benefits approved with Chase and AmEx...no annual fees (or any other fees). At the very least, I should be getting $450 back from my Chase Sapphire! I'll have to look out for whatever other good cards are out there (especially Chase or AmEx). I already also have Blue Cash Preferred.

10/15/2017 10:14:19 PM

Bobby Light
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2615 Posts
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Wife and I are looking to get a new card that we will use for all of our purchases. Groceries, gas, paying utilities, Netflix, etc.

What's the best all-around card these days? We are pretty basic, dont fly a ton for personal trips (so miles isnt a huge motivator).

10/16/2017 2:49:44 PM

dmspack
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^people here are far more knowledgeable than me on the subject, but i have citi double cash. it's 2% cash back on all purchases, no annual fee. i also have chase freedom which has rotating categories of 5% cash back (but only 1% on non-eligible purchases)...no annual fee on this card either. on the chase freedom card the categories change quarterly and you do have to log on to "activate" those rewards once per quarter...all you gotta do is click a button, but if you don't do it you won't get the 5%. for non-travel type stuff, i think most places i've looked consider these two to be pretty good for just everyday use. i use my chase card for the 5% categories and the citi card for pretty much everything else. i think there's some bonuses for the chase freedom...like spend x amount in the first 3 months and you get an extra cash back reward.

edit to add: this quarter the 5% category i think is department stores. in another quarter it might be gas stations, or drug stores, or stuff like that.

[Edited on October 16, 2017 at 4:09 PM. Reason : f]

10/16/2017 4:08:31 PM

David0603
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Looks like I'l be able to take advantage of my Hilton diamond status in Manchester and Belfast.
Used flexpoints for the last hotel in Dublin.
Used AMEX fine hotels and resorts for the first time in London.
I've never used it but all the nice hotels close to the middle of the city were crazy $$$ so figured I'd splurge here.

Excited to learn about AMEX's new line of Hilton cards now that they're severing their relationship with Citi.

11/5/2017 10:59:02 AM

wahoowa
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^ Stayed at the Savoy through FHR and really enjoyed it. Was upgraded to a one-bedroom suite. Food in the restaurant was great.

11/6/2017 2:00:05 PM

NCSUMEB
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I've PM'd several of you all regarding referral bonuses in the past when I sign up for various cards (mostly Chase) but if anyone needs a referral link (we can essentially split it) I have the Chase Ink/Chase Sapphire Preferred/Chase Freedom cards. All offer decent referral bonuses if you are thinking of signing up for either cards. I think the Amex SPG card also has a decent referral but I don't have that one. I don't think any of the Citi cards are in the referral spectrum. Anyways, seems like this thread has quite a few people in the rewards game.

11/24/2017 11:16:15 AM

David0603
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Just completed London -> Manchester -> Wales -> Belfast -> Dublin -> Philly
I only had to pay for the London hotel which worked out really well through AMEX FHR
I also used TPG's suggested trick of not selecting a seat prior to checkin and ended up with a free upgrade to economy plus in American on the way back
I hit the new Centurion lounge right after I landed and plan on utilizing it again before heading back to NC and cancelling the platinum.

11/24/2017 1:24:46 PM

tulsigabbard
All American
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how many points did that run you?

11/25/2017 1:48:32 PM

David0603
All American
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20,500 AA miles X 2 (offpeak + 10% back)
~75,000 US Bank Flexpoints (Hilton point redemptions were shit since the rooms were so cheap)
AMEX Platinum FHR got me free third night and upgrade which basically gave me free breakfast/lunch/dinner + booze all day
Hilton Diamond status got me executive lounge access for free breakfast + drinks at night + food
I dropped another ~$100 on trains on top of that

[Edited on November 25, 2017 at 4:37 PM. Reason : forgot a zero]

11/25/2017 4:36:55 PM

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Apparently Citi Forward is now giving 2% back for restaurants/Amazon instead of the 5% it used to do.

Any good replacements out there? Amazon CC is only 3% amazon and 2% restaurants.

12/27/2017 4:42:58 PM

Jrb599
All American
8718 Posts
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if you're a prime member the amazon cc is 5% cashback on amazon purchases

12/28/2017 7:58:37 AM

neodata686
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11531 Posts
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Quote :
"AMEX Platinum FHR got me free third night and upgrade which basically gave me free breakfast/lunch/dinner + booze all day
Hilton Diamond status got me executive lounge access for free breakfast + drinks at night + food"


While eating in hotel lounges is nice and convenient I hope you're getting out and getting some local food on all these trips. My last trip we ate club level at the Ritz in Tokyo but only once. I get enough of that shit traveling for work.

^^There's actually two Amazon cards (Synchrony + Chase). I believe they're both 5% back if you're Prime. The benefit of Chase is they transfer to your Chase rewards program so you get 5 Chase points compared to just a credit back with Synchrony. The benefit of Synchrony is they always have 6-18 month 0% financing options if you use those types of offers.

12/28/2017 1:50:07 PM

tulsigabbard
All American
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i will vouch for hilton that they always seem to have local food as well. best pho i had in vietnam

12/28/2017 3:36:35 PM

David0603
All American
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Quote :
"While eating in hotel lounges is nice and convenient I hope you're getting out and getting some local food on all these trips."


I hear ya. Did a 12 course Indian dinner in Wales which is probably the third or fourth meal best meal I've ever had.










[Edited on December 30, 2017 at 4:30 PM. Reason : pics]

12/30/2017 4:28:42 PM

neodata686
All American
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Nice! Speaking of Indian we went to Vij's in Vancouver. Spectacular.

12/31/2017 11:59:46 AM

beatsunc
All American
9349 Posts
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i have a 1% cash back citibank card, found out they have a 2% now. called them and they are making me get a new account numbers. so now i have to log into many things to change the draft

1/2/2018 7:13:38 PM

Jrb599
All American
8718 Posts
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When do you guys close cards that you are churning?

1/4/2018 10:23:01 AM

David0603
All American
12608 Posts
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Normally 11 months in although sometimes its better to do it earlier in case they give you a retention offer you can accomplish and then still cancel at the 11 month mark. Sometimes I do it after the 12 month mark if I know I can get the annual fee waiver or a better retention offer after the af hits.

Gotta love the Hilton promotions

31 Dec 2017 - 01 Jan 2018 Embassy Suites by Hilton
Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront

Base Bonus Miles

3375 0 0

2017 HH3 DOUBLE UP OFFER

0 3375 0

2018 HH1 POINTS UNLIMITED BONUS OFFER

0 2000 0

50% BONUS ON BASE POINTS

0 1687 0

DIAMOND VIP BONUS - 50% 2018

0 1687 0

MYWAY PREFERENCES BONUS OPTION

0 1000 0

ES WILMINGTON RIVERFRONT 1,000 PTS OFFER

0 1000 0

1/4/2018 3:01:48 PM

Jrb599
All American
8718 Posts
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^Does cancelling have anything to do with getting the bonus again?

1/4/2018 7:38:24 PM

David0603
All American
12608 Posts
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Yes

1/7/2018 3:08:24 AM

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