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Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Barclays Arrival, Credit Cards, Transportation | 0 comments

Save Money on LIRR or Metro North with CityTicket

Recently, I realized a lot of people did not know they could save money when riding the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) or Metro North by buying a CityTicket. When I told them I pay just $4 one-way between Penn Station and many popular stops, such as Flushing or Jamaica for JFK International Airport, they were often surprised. A normal off peak ticket from Penn Station to Jamaica, for example, costs $7 so a CityTicket can result in quite a big discount.     LIRR or Metro North CityTicket Only available on Saturdays and Sundays, and it has to be used the day it was purchased Allows travel between Brooklyn or Manhattan and Queens on MTA Long Island Rail Road Allows travel between Manhattan and the Bronx on MTA Metro North Railroad   To buy them at the ticket kiosk, simply hit the CityTicket button rather than the one-way or round-trip buttons. Instead of paying the normal rates, you’ll pay just $4. For a list of the eligible CityTicket stations,...

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Posted by on Jun 4, 2014 in Barclays Arrival, Credit Cards | 2 comments

Trip Review: Narita Express and Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen

Japan loves trains and it’s not surprising given that their trains are efficient, fast, and clean. After our ANA First Class Square flight landed, we took the Narita Express from Narita International Airport to Tokyo Station since we were staying nearby. When we left Tokyo for Hiroshima, we boarded the Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen, better known as the bullet train.   How You Can Do It Normally, the Narita Express costs 3,020 JPY one-way between the airport and Tokyo Station; this price is for the Ordinary Car, which is what I recommend, because the Green Car (first class) is not worth the extra money for this short ride. If you have a foreign passport, however, you can pay just 1,500 JPY for the one-way from Narita International Airport to Tokyo Station. The special price is not valid for the reverse route from Tokyo Station to Narita International Airport. A direct Nozomi Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Hiroshima Station takes about 4 hours, and a one-way ticket costs 18,040 JPY for...

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Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Airline, ANA, Barclays Arrival, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase United Explorer, Credit Cards, United Airlines | 0 comments

Flight Review: ANA First Class Square from Chicago to Tokyo

After stopping over at Charlotte for my friend’s wedding, my wife and I continued on to Japan for a week-long vacation at Tokyo then Hiroshima and Miyajima. We flew ANA First Class Square going to Tokyo and flew United BusinessFirst coming back to New York City from Hiroshima. By using United Airline’s MileagePlus miles and booking a round-trip, we were able to get one free stopover and one free open jaw. The free stopover meant our flight down to Charlotte was free, and the free open jaw meant we could fly back home from Hiroshima even though we flew into Tokyo.   How You Can Do It We booked our award flights before United Airlines completely changed their award chart and increased mileage prices substantially especially for nicer Star Alliance airlines, such as ANA. While you can still book the same ANA First Class Square flight, the number of United miles needed is so high I wouldn’t recommend doing so. Instead, I recommend using United MileagePlus miles to book...

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Posted by on Apr 30, 2014 in Barclays Arrival, Credit Cards, Hotel, Hyatt | 0 comments

Trip Review: What to Eat in Washington DC

We recently stayed three nights at the Park Hyatt Washington and was able to try a range of restaurants in the city. While I can’t think of any food that Washington D.C. specializes in, we really enjoyed the food in the city. As a result, I thought I’d share with you ideas on what to eat in Washington DC.   What to Eat in Washington DC We liked the free breakfast at Blue Duck Tavern that was included in our stay since the menu items were quite varied and different from what you might see on typical breakfast menus. Dishes, such as Maryland crab with scrambled egg whites and short rib hash, were all fantastic. The restaurants we went for dinner were all great as well, and we particularly enjoyed Estadio, which was recommended by my friend who lives in Washington D.C.     The Main Point Washington D.C. has a great selection of restaurants that will satisfy your taste buds. Just a quick tip for those of you...

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Barclays Arrival, Chase Hyatt, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Credit Cards, Hotel, Hyatt | 0 comments

Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Washington Park Executive Suite

Recently, my wife and I decided to visit Washington D.C. for the opening weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. We’re going to Japan in a few weeks and thought it would be great to get a sneak peek of the cherry blossoms here. While the trees haven’t bloomed yet due to the delayed Spring, we still had a great time in the city. Washington D.C. can be quite scenic and full of culture during this time of the year, and our stay at the Park Hyatt Washington Park Executive Suite was fantastic. During our Segway tour, we also met a British couple who were on their honeymoon so while it’s not your typical honeymoon destination, Washington D.C. can be a romantic place. If you do decide to visit Washington D.C., I highly recommend staying at the Park Hyatt Washington.     How You Can Do It The Park Hyatt Washington is a category 6 hotel on the Hyatt Gold Passport chart, so a standard room will cost 25,000...

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Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Barclays Arrival, Credit Cards, Miscellaneous | 0 comments

A&S Foreign Exchange Has the Best FX Rates in NYC

When traveling internationally for your honeymoon or other trips, I highly recommend getting a no foreign exchange fee credit card, such as the Barclays Arrival credit card, which offers a fantastic signup bonus. You should also exchange for some foreign currency ahead of time, because it’s easy to get hit with ATM fees overseas or worse yet, get gouged by currency services providers, such as Travelex. If you are based in New York City, I recommend A&S Foreign Exchange for your FX needs. They are conveniently located near Penn Station at 357 7th Avenue and in my opinion, offers the best exchange rates in NYC.     A&S Foreign Exchange From the outside, A&S Foreign Exchange looks nothing like a foreign exchange service provider. It’s actually located inside a souvenir gift shop, but there is a large banner at the top that says, “A&S Foreign Exchange.” Feel free to get 5 New York T-Shirts for $10.99 while you are there! Near the door is also an easel sign claiming...

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Posted by on Feb 26, 2014 in Barclays Arrival, Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, Credit Cards, Hilton, Hotel | 0 comments

Hotel Review: Hilton Bentley Miami South Beach Part 2

Last time, I reviewed the Partial Ocean View One Bedroom Suite at the Hilton Bentley Miami South Beach. As great as the rooms are, the best part of the hotel is actually its location and beach club. Maybe it’s just me, but I really like that you can be in the ocean one second, grab something in your room 5 minutes later, then be back in your beach chair shortly after that. In addition, the restaurant, gym, and spa facilities are also nice.   How You Can Do It We booked two nights using the 2 free weekend nights that comes with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card. The card gives you 2 free weekend nights after spending $2,500 within 4 months and also gives you free Hilton HHonors gold status, which means you’ll get free breakfast and the resort fee waived if you are on an award stay. Paid stays require the additional resort fee, which includes Internet access, two mojitos, and rentals (umbrella, chairs, and towels) at the...

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Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in Barclays Arrival, Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, Credit Cards, Hilton, Hotel | 0 comments

Hotel Review: Hilton Bentley Miami South Beach One Bedroom Suite

Because our recent trip to Aruba and Turks & Caicos were both cancelled due to weather, my wife and I decided to do a makeup trip by heading down to Miami’s South Beach for a weekend. Being a major airport hub, Miami has so many incoming flights that it’s easily accessible from many cities across the United States. The nice beach and vivid cultural scene make it a great honeymoon destination for those seeking an active nightlife rather than a low-key atmosphere. We stayed at the Hilton Bentley Miami South Beach, which is known as the hotel where the Kardashians stayed at while filming Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami. I actually consider that a negative aspect of the hotel but Kardashians asides, the Hilton Bentley Miami South Beach offers fantastic rooms at a prime location in South Beach.   How You Can Do It We booked two nights using the 2 free weekend nights that comes with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card. The card gives you 2 free...

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Posted by on Feb 21, 2014 in Barclays Arrival, Credit Cards | 0 comments

Barclays Arrival Minimum Spending Requirement Increasing to $3,000 in 90 Days

Previously, the Barclays Arrival credit card offered one of the best signup bonuses available. You could earn 44,000 miles (worth $440 towards travel) after spending just $1,000 in 90 days, and you can read about all the other perks and benefits in my analysis of the credit card. When deals are too good, however, they tend to change and recently, the Barclays Arrival minimum spending requirement increased to $3,000 in 90 days.     Barclays Arrival Minimum Spending Requirement Increased While the minimum spending requirement increase to $3,000 is certainly a negative development, it’s really not that big a deal. It’s still very easy to use Amazon Payments to meet your spending requirement needs, and the core features of the credit card do not change. You still earn 2 miles per $ spent (2.2 miles if you factor in the 10% miles rebate), the annual fee is still waived for the first year and most importantly, you still earn the large signup bonus, which is worth around $440 towards any...

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Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Airline, American Airlines, Barclays Arrival, Citi Executive AAdvantage, Credit Cards | 0 comments

100,000 Miles and Admirals Club Membership Via Citi Executive AAdvantage Credit Card

A special, promotional offer for the Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card has been floating around the Internet lately. The offer is targeted to guests who visit an AA Admirals Club and offers a great signup bonus including 100,000 American Airlines miles after spending $10,000 within 3 months and Admirals Club membership for lounge access. On the application page, however, it asks for a 6-digit referral code and a 3-letter airport code. While people have been successful in applying for the card without the referral information, I know some people like to have the application fully completed and only want to apply if they feel it’s official. As a result, I grabbed the promotional offer from the Admirals Club when I was at LaGuardia Airport this past weekend to share the information with you.   Citi Executive AAdvantage The biggest positives of the Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card’s signup bonus is the 100,000 AAdvantage miles and Admirals Club membership. The biggest negative is the $450 annual fee, which is not...

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