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Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Amex Gold Delta, Amex Platinum, Amex Premier Rewards Gold, Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Southwest Premier, Citi AAdvantage, Citi AAdvantage Business, Credit Cards | 0 comments

Maximize Credit Card Retention Offers

In my guide to opening credit cards for rewards, I wrote that you should always cancel the credit card before the annual fee hits. I also said that I aim to cancel credit cards about 10 months after the date of approval. You may wonder why I don’t cancel credit cards a full 12 months after opening the card right before the annual fee hits. The answer is simple – credit card retention offers.   Credit Card Retention Offers When a customer calls in to cancel a credit card, banks will often offer credit card retention offers to persuade the customer to hold onto the card. These credit card retention offers come in the form of bonus airline miles, points, and/or cash in the form of statement credits. Sometimes the retention offer will be small, but sometimes it can be very generous. The reason credit card companies offer these bonuses is because it often costs them less to pay out a retention offer than to lose you as a...

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Posted by on Oct 4, 2013 in Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Caterer, Credit Cards, Hotel, Queens, Starwood | 0 comments

Wedding Caterer Menu: Sheraton LaGuardia Eastern Wedding Menu 1

A few people have contacted me asking about the wedding caterer menu for some of the wedding venues I’ve analyzed thus far. Almost all vendors will have menu upgrades or banquet options you can add so the final menu will vary from couple to couple according to your preferences, but the venues generally have a core menu. Here is the Sheraton LaGuardia Eastern Wedding Menu 1; I analyzed the venue cost here.     Sheraton LaGuardia Eastern Wedding Menu 1 Roasted Suckling Pig Platter Deep Fried Crab Claw Stuffed with Mashed Shrimp Sautéed Chicken & Squid Slices with Vegetables in XO Sauce Braised Shark’s Fin Soup Bamboo Pith, Seafood & Shredded Chicken Sautéed Beef Tenderloin with Asparagus Pleasant Shanghai Sea Cucumber Steamed Seasonal Fish Deluxe Lobsters with Ginger & Scallion Forever Crispy Chicken Soft Noodles with Mushroom Tender Green Fried Rice with Shrimps Red Bean Soup with Lotus Seeds Fresh Fruit Platter Freshly Brewed Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee & Herbal Tea   The Main Point The Sheraton LaGuardia Eastern Wedding...

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Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, Credit Cards | 0 comments

Guide to Opening Business Credit Cards for Rewards

Recently, I posted a guide to opening credit cards for rewards. By following the guidelines and opening up credit cards from my top credit card bonuses page, you can easily recoup a significant portion of your wedding cost and fund almost the entire cost of your honeymoon while flying first class and staying in a suite. Of course, you’ll have to be smart about opening and using the right credit cards, which includes meeting the minimum spend requirements without actually having to spend a lot of money. All that information is explained in the guide to opening credit cards for rewards.     When you browse the top credit card bonuses page, however, you may notice that some of the credit cards are labelled “business credit cards”. A lot of people think that means you need a business in order to be eligible for that credit card, but that could not be further from the truth. ANYONE can open business credit cards and while many of the guidelines to...

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Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 in Airline, Amex Business Gold Rewards, Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Barclays Arrival, Credit Cards, Singapore Airlines | 2 comments

Flight Review: Singapore Airlines Business Class from Hong Kong to San Francisco

Recently, my sister flew from Hong Kong, where she currently lives, back to the U.S. for my wedding. She wanted to visit a friend in San Francisco, however, before coming to New York City for the wedding. Normally, this type of airplane ticket would be expensive but using airline miles and points, I was able to book the ticket for free and just pay a small amount for tax and fuel surcharge, which cost nothing since I put the charge on my Barclays Arrival credit card and redeemed its bonus miles. More importantly, I was able to fly her from Hong Kong to San Francisco on Singapore Airlines Business Class.   How You Can Do It Singapore Airlines has some of the most sought-after airplane seats so it is very restrictive about releasing award seats unless you are part of their own frequent flyer program, KrisFlyer. As a result, your best bet is to collect American Express Membership Rewards points and Starwood points then transfer the points over to KrisFlyer...

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Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Credit Cards, Hotel, Starwood | 0 comments

Last Few Days for American Express Starwood 30,000 Points Signup Bonus

Just a reminder that you have until 9/3/13 to open the American Express Starwood credit card and the American Express Starwood Business credit card, two of the best rewards credit cards. On each card, you will receive 35,000 Starwood points after spending $5,000 within 6 months (30,000 points signup bonus on top of the 5,000 points for spending). If you don’t have large wedding expenses to charge, you can still easily meet this spending requirement via Amazon Payments. 30,000 Starwood points can get you three free nights at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, and 40,000 Starwood points can get you five free nights since you get the fifth night free when you redeem points at any category 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 Starwood hotel!     The Main Point I’ve done the cost analysis of having a wedding at the Shertaon LaGuardia East Hotel for both an Eastern style wedding and a Western style wedding, and it’s a great hotel to have a wedding for both styles. If...

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2013 in Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Blue Nile, Cash Back, Credit Cards, Ring, Top Cash Back | 0 comments

$30 Off $100 at Blue Nile Via Amex Sync Blue Nile

From now until 10/15/13, you can get $30 off a $100+ purchase at Blue Nile via Amex Sync Blue Nile. Earlier this week, I introduced Amex Sync and wrote about one example where you can use the current Amex Sync Best Buy deal to score free money. As a result, I won’t elaborate too much about Amex Sync again, but I will mention this fact – you can combine Amex Sync with a cash back portal, such as Top Cash Back, to get even bigger savings! For example, Top Cash Back currently gives you 10% cash back if you make a Blue Nile purchase of $499 or less. Let’s say you decided to buy a wedding ring that was $300. If you clicked through Top Cash Back AND used Amex Sync, you would get $30 from Top Cash Back (10% of $300) and a $30 statement credit from Amex Sync. $60 off a $300 purchase is a 20% saving!   Amex Sync Blue Nile If you are going to buy...

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Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Amazon, Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Cash Back, Credit Cards, Gift Cards | 0 comments

Free Money from Amex Sync and Best Buy

Amex Sync is a great program from American Express where you can sync your American Express credit card via Twitter, Facebook, of Foursquare to get deals and discounts at many popular retailers. My advice is to just use Twitter for Amex Sync, because you won’t always see all the deals when syncing with Facebook or Foursquare. Amex Sync is fantastic if you were going to shop at one of the retailers anyways. In the past, for example, I was able to get $25 off $75 at Ticketmaster and $25 off $100 at Costco. But the program is also great for retailers you don’t shop at, because some of the deals often mean free money for little to no work.   Amex Sync Best Buy Take for example, the recent Amex Sync Best Buy deal (expires 9/8/13) where you will receive a $25 statement credit for spending $250 or more at Best Buy. Until recently, I had not bought an item at Best Buy in 5+ years much less spend $250...

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Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Credit Cards, Hotel, Queens, Starwood, Venue | 0 comments

Wedding Venue Cost: Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel #3

As mentioned before, the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel’s intro western wedding package is the Elegant Wedding package. The other western wedding package is the Grand Wedding package, and here is the price breakdown.     Wedding Venue: Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel Date Price Quoted: June 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: Summer 2014 (Saturday evening) Price Assumptions: Includes dinner reception for 150 guests Room Name: Western Wedding Grand Wedding Capacity: 180+ Venue Fee: $0 Catering Per Person: $109 Tax: 8.875% Gratuity: 21% Total Wedding Venue Cost: $21,539   The Main Point At $109 a person instead of $99.95, the total cost is just $1,788 more than the Elegant Wedding package. For that price, you get five hours of open bar instead of four hours, and the bar offerings are better. In addition, you receive a carving station and pasta station for the one-hour cocktail hour as well as the hot hors d’oeuvres passed butler style. Last but not least, you receive better, more diverse menu choices for the appetizer, salad,...

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Posted by on Jul 2, 2013 in Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Credit Cards, Hotel, Queens, Starwood, Venue | 0 comments

Wedding Venue Cost: Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel #2

The Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel is not just a popular choice for Asian couples to hold a low-cost Chinese wedding reception, but it’s also a popular choice to hold a western style reception! Like the eastern style receptions, you have a couple of package options to choose from, including the Elegant Wedding package.     Wedding Venue: Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel Date Price Quoted: June 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: Summer 2014 (Saturday evening) Price Assumptions: Includes dinner reception for 150 guests Room Name: Western Wedding Elegant Wedding Capacity: 180+ Venue Fee: $0 Catering Per Person: $99.95 Tax: 8.875% Gratuity: 21% Total Wedding Venue Cost: $19,751   The Main Point For the western wedding packages at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel, you are charged per person rather than per table of 10 for the eastern wedding packages. For the entry-level Elegant Wedding package, it’s $99.95 a person. Other aspects, such as 8.875% tax and 21% gratuity stay the same. What is interesting is that the western wedding packages also include a cocktail hour,...

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Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 in Amex Starwood, Amex Starwood Business, Credit Cards, Hotel, Queens, Starwood, Venue | 0 comments

Wedding Venue Cost: Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel

Situated just a few miles from New York LaGuardia Airport and right in the heart of Flushing in Queens, the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel is a popular choice for Asian couples to hold a wedding reception. It’s convenient for traveling guests, it’s nicer than a lot of the older banquet halls in Chinatown, and the cost is quite low.     Wedding Venue: Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel Date Price Quoted: June 2013 Wedding Date Quoted For: Summer 2014 (Saturday evening) Price Assumptions: Includes dinner reception for 150 guests Room Name: Eastern Wedding Menu 1 Capacity: 180+ Venue Fee: $0 Catering Per Person: $88.80 Tax: 8.875% Gratuity: 21% Total Wedding Venue Cost: $17,548   The Main Point Chinese wedding venues usually charge by tables of 10 guests, and the Sheraton LaGuardia operates in a similar manner charging $880 for a table of 10. The old rule of thumb for weddings in Chinatown is $1,000 a table, so the price of the lowest cost menu at the Sheraton LaGuardia is actually better. Higher-price menu options do...

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