My Week in Points: Ozarks, Walmart Gives $50 and I Eat Too Much

A lot happened this week, or not, I don’t know. I stayed mostly away from the glowing screen, with a quick jaunt to Grand Cayman and Turks & Caicos, followed by a Memorial Day holiday weekend combined with business in Bentonville, AR and Branson, MO. Yep, it’s not all far-flung destinations for me. My wife and I had a great time in the Ozarks enjoying the scenery and the food overload, including A Q Chicken House, and even a great restaurant run by Bass Pro Shops, White River Fish House. What’s next, a Target restaurant serving cherry quail?

I did learn that various Target cards, like in North Carolina, do not load at all in Arkansas due to POS system differences. Over in Missouri things are A-OK.

There were low fares on Lan to Brazil. Like Tagging Miles, I passed. I don’t have the time, and at the risk of taking a lot of heat, Brazil is near of the bottom of my list of Latin American countries to visit. There are not enough attractions unique for the region to overcome the high prices and atrocious logistics. I was in Brazil two weeks ago, the beaches of Rio for one are spectacular, still, it is more a one and don’t need to go back country, though have been several times.

I might get a chance to see my wife in a lie-flat seat from NY-Toronto on TAM yet this summer (MileWriter). We are looking to make our annual Avios-aided weekend trip and making sure to avoid the Pan Am Games.

The Caribbean trip I took earlier in the week was a combo of off-season AA fares and Citi Prestige ThankYou points at 1.6 cents/point, a tremendous value. May-June is the best time to visit the Caribbean. Low hurricane risk, few cruise ships flooding the islands and well, if you don’t want hot weather, why go?

Dan’s Deals is one of the few I get tweets by text message because he posts just the deals and not fluff. I jumped on the $1 Walmart free shipping deal and was rewarded with a $50 e-gift card. I won’t read the comments because there will be people who will have claimed to have signed up for dozens of accounts.

The other deal that came in handing was Frequent Miler Quick Deals sharing $34 cash back for car or hotel bookings through British Airways, originally reported by The Deal Mommy. It seems limited to destinations serviced by BA. I immediately changed my rental car in Turks & Caicos, curious to see if I end up with a negative cost rental. I also tried for the hotel and only options were mega-expensive.

Closing with two miles and points blogging navel-gazing pieces, Confession: I copied a post by Gary Leff from Matt at Severocity and over at FlyerTalk, Loyalty Traveler changes. The ripple effect of the arms race of blogging velocity and the clickbaitization of the area I don’t think benefits bloggers or readers, and I am finding myself pulling away from the screen and returning to books that have long collected dust, heartily enjoying Collected Essays by George Orwell.

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  • Jamie

    Interesting about the Ozarks. I’d never heard of Branson when I was growing up in Florida. Now that we are back in the Midwest, it sounds like it might be a nice driving holiday. Is it not too touristy? Branson always sounded very touristy, but maybe the Ozarks are the kind of place where you can easily avoid the touristy bits? Are there points hotels?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Jamie – it is incredibly touristy and the main strip is as tacky as can be. The Branson Landing on the river is nice, and get out of town to the west from there to Eureka Springs and you have beautiful forests and lakes with small lodges. Branson has some points hotels, the Hilton is in the prime spot by the water, we stayed at the Radisson in the hills, and there are a few Choice hotels.

    Bentonville is nice for the frequent flights with cheap weekend hotels and Crystal Bridges museum. It is a 2-hour drive up to Branson.

  • Eric

    Curious how you have your Dan’s Deals texts set up. His twitter account (or at least what I think is his account) doesn’t seem active. Are you using IFTTT?

  • john

    Fully agree about Brazil. Plus you need a real visa. Even worse, they speak Portuguese (I chose to learn Spanish as it works in the whole rest of the Americas — well, except for the French dots)

  • Shannon

    will you consider retweet good deal you mentioned in this isuuse going forward? Also curious about how do you set up text Dan’s deal? Not sure about his tweet but his daily email is full of junkie ad!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Eric, @Shannon – I think Dan’s Deals has or had several twitter handles, the one I set for text message notifications is @DansDeals which has his posts and occasional extra deals. Shannon, I will try to get better at twitter and retweet things.