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Contests have been the theme of August, a chance at big prizes in exchange for giving up any remaining shred of online privacy through required facebook registration for many contests. Plenty of blogs, an electric mix, have had various giveaways, maybe I should try harder but any entries that require more than a minute of work I pass on.
I may be a Discoverer at heart but Marriott should have asked about my wife instead, because I better darn well be a Luxury Lover as far as she is concerned.
Yet I am dutifully flipping through online picturebooks for the Club Carlson Global Giveaway. Makes no rational sense to do it for 100 points a day. I daydream a bit when I see the pictures and in contrast to many of thecontests, do not feel like I will be exposing my online contacts to a marketing onslaught. Plus Carlson is based in my home state so I have soft spot for them. Frequent Flyer University was the tip-off that got me the first day bonus before Carlson emailed me.
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Marathon in the Florida Keys. Decent location in the middle of the Keys, good reasonable rate compared to Key West hotels, free parking/free internet/free breakfast, though a frustrating 11:00 am checkout time. Manager approved a 12:00 checkout for my credit card granted platinum status yet a maid was furiously banging on the door at 11:00 sharp and on a walkie-talkie with a different manager who barked, “I did not approve that.” I insisted, she desisted, but I wonder, is it really worth it for hotels to be outliers with checkout times before noon?
My personal record for outrageous early check-out time is the Megapode Nest in the Andaman Islands, India. 7:30 checkout. That one I negotiated later but by 8:00 a young many was at the door saying I could only stay by settling the bill on the spot.
Back to Priority Club, I guess the FlyerTalk set does not frequent Holiday Inn Express because I have not see this code, one of many, for the credit card video, here is the link and here is the code: EYWMTK3A29, good luck. That link will trigger the 80,000 sign-up bonus offer for some people, that is the highest sign-up bonus that I am aware of for the Priority Club credit card.
A working $200 offer for Chase Total Checking has surfaced on FatWallet, available to 10/6/12. $150 is pretty common but $200 at times involves wasting a lot of time testing codes. A Chase checking account comprises part of the ‘trifecta‘ and is good to have anyway if obtaining a number of Chase credit cards as it strengthens your relationship with Chase. That is if the checking is right for you and you can meet the requirements to avoid fees. I have looked at their small business checking products and there is zero chance I will be moving that from TD Bank, but the personal is harmless enough for me to hold.
National Car Rental:
The One Two Free promotion is back. My current employer lets me choose between Hertz and National. Hertz’s many levels and point structure are too complicated and every car I get from them does not even have a MP3-capable CD player for my burned podcasts. Sticking with Emerald Aisle.
There are occasional US-Canada flights with award availability at the low-award level. Wife and I just got back from a weekend at our new favorite place in North America, Prince Edward Island, at 25,000 miles/person on the seasonal nonstop from JFK. That flight is typically $500+. Other Canadian cities also have decent availability, though always best to see if an American Airlines redemption with British Airways Avios is available, which can be as low as 9,000 Avois roundtrip for short routes like New York-Toronto (or 50% Avios with a cash copay).