Want To Earn More Points & Miles? Here’s How To Know What Kinds To Get

Before you start earning miles and points from your credit cards, it’s really important to know what type of points you’re earning. There are several types of reward miles/points that banks offer and they can be most easily be divided into four categories:

  • Transferable (Flexible) Points
  • Airline Miles and Hotel Points
  • Fixed Value Points
  • Cash Back

I’ll go over some of the basics for each of these points below:
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My Most Embarrassing Travel Mistake

When you travel, you’re eventually going to make a mistake. It could be as simple as forgetting to pack your toothbrush or leaving your credit card at home. People who travel for a living will always have the story of how they’ve showed up at the wrong airport or hotel, or even booked a trip for the wrong day.

This is the story of my most embarrassing mistake.
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We Got To Throw Beads From A Mardi Gras Float at Universal Orlando

One really cool, albeit obvious thing about living in Central Florida is that you can sometimes take advantage of what Orlando-area theme parks have to offer. Case in point: Joe and I have been Universal Orlando annual passholders since around 2009 or so. Besides the fact that we can go to the parks pretty much whenever we want (which was particularly WONDERFUL when each of the two Harry Potter lands were in previews and then opened), we also occasionally have some access to some benefits and experiences that people who are “just visiting” might not get. Case in point: being able to throw beads from one of the floats at Universal Studios Florida’s (USF) Mardi Gras parade.
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We went to Australia …and didn’t die

How many articles have you seen about all the crazy animals in Australia that can kill you? They usually have titles like this one I saw on Oyster’s twitter feed. 

9 Things That Can Kill You in Australia (and Why You Should Visit Anyway)

That just makes you think the entire country is like this:


Don’t listen to them. Australia is totally worth visiting. For this:


and this:


and this


and because you get to see sunrises like this.


But on your way back from the beach you get a bit worried when you see this sign and remember those articles you read about all the things that can kill you.


Fortunately the only crocodiles we saw were at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. I wouldn’t want to run into one of these while walking on the beach.


So yeah. Don’t listen to them. Australia is REALLY cool. Even though there is a teeny tiny, itsy bitsy, teeny weenie little chance that something there could kill you. It probably won’t happen.

How to give a compliment to a Starwood employee

Everyone likes to be told they are doing a good job.  However, it’s not always easy to complement an employee of a large corporation in a way that lets his/her bosses know. I used to fill out those surveys you get after your trip but by then I’ve usually forgotten the name of the person who was really helpful. Now I’ll usually drop a tweet to the corporate account saying how great ______ who works at _________ is because they _________, It’s quick and I can write it before I forget the details. Starwood has a very good Twitter team at @spgassist if you ever need to reach them.

If I knew of them at the time, I would have used one of these codes for the Desk Associate who pointed us to a great Greek restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.

If you are a Starwood Gold member or higher, it’s really easy to tell a Starwood employee (remember, that includes Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, Aloft, Four Points, etc.) that he or she did a good job. I just read an article at  A View from the Wing that tells you how you can print certificates from home. You can give these directly to the employee, the codes are apparently good for 500 Starpoints and I imagine that corporate can track who redeems them. The FAQ for the codes does say that you are forbidden to use them as a form of bribery. So no telling the hotel,”If you upgrade me, I might have something special to give you.”

I have SPG Gold and had 4 certificates which I could print out. Sharon doesn’t have any SPG status and she didn’t have any codes available so YMMV when checking to see if you will have any in your account. It only takes a minute to check and you may have another way to tell someone who helped you, “Thanks!”

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