Allow me to take you back to the memorable stay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego I did with my parents back in February 2022. Nestled along the picturesque San Diego Bay, this historic hotel is the perfect place for quick stop in San Diego before heading up to..
Airline credits are often provided to passengers as compensation for flight cancellations, delays, or as part of travel vouchers. They serve as a form of currency that can be used towards the purchase of future flights. However, one important aspect to be aware of when it comes to airline credits..
There was so much hype when Capital One announced its entry into the premium travel card space with the launch of the Venture X (review) credit card. Along with the announcement came Capital One's ambitious plan to take on Amex and Chase with rolling out its own airport lounge network...
As one of the earliest Centurion Lounges, the SFO location was in dire need for expansion. After closing for several months in late 2022, the newly renovated lounge reopened in January 2023. Luckily, I had a flight planned in the same month, so was able to check it out. Most..
So, you've earned a bunch of points...but now the real headache is how to use it effectively. Enter BILT. It's been just over a year since I signed up for BILT, the first credit card to let you earn points on your rent (and HOA!) with no fees! Although..
One of the biggest painpoints is getting approved for your first credit card with limited or no credit history. This is particularly challenging for newcomers / international students in the US. It then becomes a bit of a chicken or the egg situation, where without credit history, you cannot get a..
Back in 2019, I had the chance to stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Taipei hotel (台北六福萬怡酒店) during my quick trip to Taipei from Taichung to visit some friends. The contemporary glass fronted hotel was built in 2015 and has 465 rooms across 20 floors (F11-30). Not to be confused..
In February 2022, I stayed at The Grand Hyatt at SFO located right on the SFO airport premises with my parents. It was one of the nicest airport hotels I've experienced and a true heaven for aviation enthusiasts! Opened in 2019, the hotel features 351 rooms, including 22 suites. The..
How often do you try to visit a Priority Pass lounge in the US and realize there are no lounges at your airport terminal? Even if there is, the lounge is at capacity or the food just sucks. Unfortunately this is all too common as nearly every major credit card..
The Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, which opened in March 2021, is one of the newest additions to Hyatt's portfolio. Prior to our visit, I had read mixed reviews online about the hotel and quality of the service. However, when I finally had the chance to stay there with my..
The new Delta One Suites could be one of the best ways to fly across the country today and is bringing some serious competition to alternatives such as United Polaris, AA Flagship First, and JetBlue Mint. Here's my recent AA Flagship First review: Review: American Airlines A321T Flagship First San..
I visited The Plumeria Lounge at Honolulu International Airport (HNL) in October 2021 during my Hawaii trip. The lounge is technically a Hawaiian Airlines lounge, but is also used by many of the airline's partners. Notably, the lounge is also open to Priority Pass holders (which was how I got..
I finally got to visit one of American Airlines' top-tier lounges - The Flagship Lounge at New York JFK - which features the "Flagship First Dining" facility that's been on my list for quite a while! Apart from the JFK location, AA currently operates Flagship Lounges in four other major..
The new American Airlines Admirals Club at San Francisco's Harvey Milk Terminal 1 was completed in October 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, and has been on my to-visit list since then. In January 2022, I finally got the chance to visit the lounge for my trip to New..
With the announced demise of PayPal Key, where for over a year I have taken advantage of it's great "virtual card" feature to pay rent with no fees while earning points on my monthly rent (it had been an amazing way to earn rewards and hit signup bonuses, with any..
The Ritz-Carlton Residences - located in the Waikiki Beach neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii, is considered one of the few modern hotels on the island. The hotel complex is comprised of two towers -Ewa Tower, which opened in Summer 2016, followed closely by the opening of the second "Diamond Head Tower"..
Usually when asked which card people should start with, I would reply with, "It depends". However, the Chase Freedom Flex changed that and has become THE go-to card I recommend to friends & family. Read on to find out why! UPDATE: Reminder to activate quarterly 5% categories! Apply Now: [referral link]..
Considered one of the most luxurious way to fly domestic coast-to-coast commercially, the American Airlines Flagship First product on the A321T is the only remaining true "First Class" that is still offered within the US today*. Earlier this year, I got the chance to experience this ultra-premium domestic flight from..
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at San Francisco's SFO may be the airport's best kept secret [lounge]. The combination of amazing food and service, relatively ease of access and generous guest policy, as well as the lack of crowdedness in the lounge makes this one of my favorite places to hang..
I recently got the chance to experience renting a Tesla from Hertz for a week-long road trip across California with my parents. For context, Hertz announced late last year that they ordered 100,000 Teslas that will gradually be introduced into their US and European markets over the coming months...
New York's LaGuardia airport (LGA) finally has a brand new Centurion Lounge thanks to the LGA Terminal B renovation project. The 10,000 square feet lounge opened in June 2021 and is now located post-security (yay!). Here's my experience from my January 2022 visit. Overview Location & Access The LGA Centurion..
What was once seen as the king of premium travel cards has over the years evolved to something much different. The Platinum Card from American Express may have once been associated only with the wealthy elites, and often seen as a status symbol (and in many countries, it still is)..
At more than 15,000 square feet and spanning two entire floors, the American Express Centurion Lounge at JFK's Terminal 4 is one of the newest and largest in the network. The lounge also feature unique amenities such as an Equinox Body Lab and a speakeasy. Overview Location & Access The..
Traveling this holiday season and don't want to deal with security lines? You may be surprised to find out that your credit card may fully reimburse you for the cost of enrolling in some of the most popular expedited screening programs available in the US, such as TSA PreCheck, Global..
I visited the Delta Sky Club (Terminal 4) at JFK on my recent trip from San Francisco to New York. In case you missed it, check out my previous review on the Delta Sky Club at SFO! Also check out other JFK lounge reviews such as Amex Centurion Lounge (JFK)..
On a recent trip, I had the chance to check out the Delta Sky Club San Francisco (SFO) for the first time! I'll be sharing my experience and how you too can relax at the lounge before your flight! Overview Location The Delta Sky Club is located in SFO Terminal..
Maximizing point earnings on a big purchase is nice, but buying the item with a credit card which offers comprehensive warranty and return benefits is arguably even more critical. Here's my story of how these lesser-known benefits saved me hundreds of dollars in repair costs... What Happened I bought a..
UPDATE: The previous 100k + $200 vacation rental credit offer ended on 3/14/2022. The new offer is 75k for $4k spend in 3 months. Dare I say, the Capital One Venture X might be the most exciting card to have launched since the Chase Sapphire Reserve refresh back in..
The Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach was the first of four hotels we stayed at during our recent trip to the island of O‘ahu, Hawaii. This will be a full review of our 2-night stay at the property. How I Booked Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach is a Category 4 property..
I recently took a week-long trip with my girlfriend to Oahu and paid for the entire stay with points. During our 6-night stay on the island, we experienced 4 different hotels at various price levels - ranging from the budget-friendly Hyatt Place all the way to the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Residences...
One of the most common questions I get is "Should I get the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve?". In this post, I'll break down the pros and cons of each. [referral link] Chase Sapphire Preferred (UPDATE 4/13: 80k offer is back!) UPDATE 8/10/2021: Chase has..
During my summer 2019 trip to visit family, I had the chance to try out Air China's short-haul business class product between Taipei and Beijing. I'll be sharing how I booked this flight for free and my overall experience! How I Booked I previously wrote about how I flew EVA..
UPDATE 3/21/22: PayPal just announced the PayPal Key program will be going away in late April 2022. It was fun while it lasted... Good news is there is now another way to earn points on rent, check out my BILT card review! At first, this sounded too good..
You already know you can earn cashback/points from your credit card. However, did you know that sometimes you can stretch this further and get even more from your purchase (without spending more!)? The Basics It's simple. The main idea is to go through as many "layers" as possible with..
I recently went on a road-trip with a couple of friends to Crater Lake National Park, and stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Medford for 3 nights. Hotel Overview * Opened in 2021 * Marriott Category 4 Hotel * Free Parking (with EV charging) * Complimentary breakfast * Amenities include heated indoor pool, gym,..
I was recently looking at rental car bookings for my upcoming Hawaii trip, and came across a neat little trick that will upgrade me to the highest status level of National Car Rental's loyalty program: Emerald Club Executive Elite - for free! Overview As an Amex Platinum cardmember, I already..
I recently booked my flights for an upcoming Hawaii trip later this year. For this journey, my girlfriend and I will be trying out United's newest Polaris First Class (as well as EconomyPlus). The entire journey is completely paid for with points, costing ~66k Chase UR points per person for..
UPDATE 12/31/2022: SFO Centurion recently finished renovating the expanded lounge and has reopened! Note this article is no longer being maintained, so information may not be accurate. Check out my updated review here. The Amex Centurion Lounge is arguably one of the biggest reasons why many are attracted..
It's not a secret that the easiest way to earn lots of points fast is to open new cards and get the welcome bonuses. However, one of the most common comments I get when people are hesitant to open a new card is "I don't spend that much" or "I..
Citi recently announced a brand new credit card called the Citi Custom Cash (public link). In short, this is a card that automatically earns 5% back on your top eligible spending category each billing cycle. This article will be breaking down the main pros and cons of this card and..
The Jinmao Hotel Lijiang (麗江金茂酒店) is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. This five-star hotel is located in Yunnan Province, China. One of the biggest features of this location is the spectacular backdrop of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. My parents recently expressed interest in visiting, so I decided to..
Did you know that simply by asking, you may be able to reduce or completely waive your credit card annual fee? This article will share some ways to do that! Why Would Banks Do This? Credit card issuers make money off your transactions (via swipe fees), so they have incentive..
This post will share some of the ways I have used to maximize my returns on Amazon spend. If you are like me and buy a lot from Amazon.com (including Whole Foods, Prime Now, etc.), this will be worth your time! 1. Chase Amazon card (5% cashback) The easiest,..
My American Express Gold card is due for another renewal soon. Should I keep the $250 annual fee card for another year or is it better to cancel? Read on to find out! [referral link] - (open in incognito, make sure to compare offers before applying) Overview & Current Offer Here..
The focus often is on earning points, but most don't really know best to use them when the time comes. In this post, I'll be sharing some incredible places as examples of where you can get outsized value for your World of Hyatt point redemptions! Hotel Examples Below are just..
Since I got into the "credit card game" around 2018, I (fortunately) have not had to deal with delayed or lost luggage, but it always gave me a peace of mind knowing that if something were to happen, my credit card travel protection benefits would kick in. In summer of..
The Chase Ink family of cards have some of the best signup bonuses, earning categories, and lowest annual fees on the market right now. Combined, you can earn up to 250,000 points (worth at least $3750) on the signup bonus alone! However, these bonuses come with hefty spend requirements..
In the summer of 2020, my girlfriend and I booked two American Airlines First Class tickets from Philadelphia to San Francisco using points. In this article, I'll be sharing our experience flying during the pandemic. For a review of the transcon A321T Flagship First, check out this review. Key Trip..
Have you ever boarded a domestic U.S. flight, walked past the first few rows and thought to yourself - "I wish I could sit up front...must be nice not being crammed like sardines in the back of a 6-hour transcontinental flight."? Today, I will share exactly how I..
This is the return leg of my EVA Air Royal Laurel Business Class award redemption I did in the summer of 2019. Read more about my full SFO-TPE flight experience or find out how I booked this entire roundtrip for only $50 in taxes! As the world begins to slowly..
One year into the pandemic, most people haven't been and will probably not be traveling much in the near future. With so many airline, hotel, and credit card programs to manage, how do we keep track and prevent our points from expiring without actually traveling? How I do check which..
This used to be a card that simply earned 1.5% back on everything. However, Chase really upgraded the power of this no-annual-fee card last fall by offering additional bonus categories and many other benefits. Note that this is a different product to the Chase Freedom Flex (previously known as..
UPDATE 8/14/2022: The information provided may not be accurate as the article is no longer being maintained. This is probably not a good time to have large amounts of cash sitting in your bank account uninvested, as I discussed in this article. However, it is a good idea..
UPDATE 2/24/2021: Deal is dead! Follow and enable notifications on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter so you don't miss out on future deals! UPDATE 2/22/2021: Rewards posted in my account! For a limited time, Betterment is offering $127.50 cashback or 12,750 Amex MR points by..
In January 2020, I used points to redeem for a night's stay at the Courtyard Marriott Taipei Downtown (台北國泰萬怡酒店) while on a road-trip with my parents. The central location, free parking, modern design (opened in 2018), sweeping city views along with a very reasonable award rate were some reasons why..
I'll be unveiling my entire Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) credit cards setup for maximizing return on spend in this article! In just a few years, I've been able to earn over 700,000 UR points across my seven Chase UR cards. Before we begin, a little background on the UR..
Ever wondered if you are getting the best value out of your hard-earned American Express Membership Rewards (MR) points? I'll be sharing the best (and worst) ways to redeem them below! For best/worst ways to use Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points, check out this earlier post. If you don't..
This is a story of how my problem-plagued and out-of-warranty Mac was mostly reimbursed by Chase simply because I had put the purchase on my Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Backstory In fall 2018, I bought a new MacBook Pro for graduate school. Back then, I didn't have a sophisticated understanding..
Here are 4 well-known apps that I use where you can easily start investing as well as a few pros/cons to be aware of (although there is no harm to sign up for all of them just to try and get the free stocks). Also, none of these services..
With record low interest rates, a second stimulus under way, and the inevitable inflation, the stock market has become one of the best places to retain (and grow) the value of your assets (we're going to ignore crypto for today's discussion). You will essentially be losing out if you are..
Great, you got a credit card (or several) and accumulated some points (HOORAY!). However, earning is only half the game. How you SPEND is a whole other topic and arguably more important as there are so many traps that can misguide you to redeeming your points for cheap. Today's article..
As part of a trip to Taiwan in the summer of 2019 that I booked fully using points to fly EVA Air's Royal Laurel business class product, I was able to check out United's Polaris Lounge at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Facilities Overview Polaris lounges are United's highest-tier lounge..
In the summer of 2019, I booked my first long-haul business class using points to fly Taiwanese carrier EVA Air's Royal Laurel business class. My previous post outlined the details on how I was able to redeem a flight worth ~$8000 with 160,000 Chase UR Points and ~$50 in..
[referral link] - $40 bonus after first qualifying purchase! In my earlier post, I mentioned how you can earn additional rewards on top of your credit card rewards with cashback portals like Shop Through Chase, United MileagePlus Shopping, Rakuten etc. Today's topic will be a more in-depth look at what..
The Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) is usually not the first card I recommend people, as the Chase Sapphire Preferred currently has a higher signup bonus and can be easily upgraded to the higher tier CSR later on when needed. However, if there is one card that offers the best of..
Last summer, before all this COVID-craziness, I made my first long-haul premium cabin redemption for EVA Air's Royal Laurel business class experience back to my home in Taiwan. For 160,000 points and ~$50 in taxes, I redeemed for a round trip between the US and Taipei, with a (free)..
One of the lesser known perks that come with many of today's credit cards is something called Purchase Protection. You may be reimbursed for the value of your product in the event of damage, theft, or other factors. Note that there is another closely related (and often confused) benefit called..