Blog Update – Fall 2017

Anyone that still has our blog on your reader may have noticed that it has been over a year since our last post.  This isn’t for lack of things to write on – I’ve just been slow to get to the posts I’ve been needing to type up.

I had hoped to have my posts on Spain/France 2016 wrapped up by year end 2016.   That didn’t exactly pan out.  But, the good news is that I now have that typed up along with wrap ups for our other trips since then (New York and Charleston).

There were a couple reasons for the delays.  A big one is that it takes a long time to type some of these posts up.  Sometimes I’ll even question if it is worth it myself.  Usually though I end up at the same spot: it’s mostly worth it.

First of all, I actually enjoy writing the posts.  The time commitment is the only difficult part.  I also enjoy occasionally going back and reading through old posts…especially as the years pass.  I don’t remember the details of trips 5+ years ago like I used to.  Reading a wrap up brings a lot of the memories back.  I’m sure this factor will only increase as the years go by.

I’ve also received some feedback that people have found my posts helpful.  I always enjoy that.  I know I found some other peoples’ blogs helpful when I planned our big trip.  I’m happy to repay the favor.

While I write the monster posts, Alyce does a great job with the in action daily posts.  I know our family enjoys those for sure.  As I’ve said before, she can convey as much information as I do in less words.  She also gives a better feel for the moment – especially as I can write my posts months after the fact.  She’ll sometimes fuss about doing it on our trip, but she always ends up writing completely on her own volition.  I think she likes it too.

Credit Cards, etc.

I’m not going to do a standalone write up on miles, credit cards, etc.  If you read my previous posts on the matter, that is most of what I have to say.

The only real difference is that banks continue to create and enforce new rules aimed at preventing people from gaming the system too badly.  If you’re just getting started, these are the factors to consider for each bank:

  • American Express: Amex only allows on bonus per product for a lifetime.  Sometimes you can get a targeted offer that doesn’t contain the “once per lifetime” language.  But that can be rare.  If you sign up for a new AMEX card, you want to make sure you’re getting a good bonus.
  • Chase: 5/24 is the big limiting factor for Chase.  This means that they will not approve you for a new card if you have more than 5 new accounts over the last 24 months.  The kicker is that business cards generally do not count towards this, as they don’t show up on your credit report.  You can google 5/24 for much more info.  Chase will usually let you receive a bonus for a 2nd/3rd/etc. time 2 years after you last received a bonus for that family of cards (i.e. all personal ultimate rewards cards are one family).  You may want to read more on the internet on Chase cards…We’ve been in a 5/24 timeout for a while now.  Almost out!
  • Citi: Citi has a rolling 2 year clock before you can receive a new bonus again (i.e. “churn” the card as the cool kids say).  The tough thing about Citi’s rule is that the clock resets when you open or close a card.  So closing a card will reset your 24 month clock.  They have some other timing rules you should be aware of if you’re really hitting the sign ups hard.
  • Barclay/Bank of America/US Bank: these banks seem to be cracking down a little bit, but nothing is too defined yet. They don’t have near the options of Chase/Amex/Citi generally.

So take some time to plan things out if you’re just getting started.

What’s on docket?

I’ll be posting my Spain/France 2016 posts in the next couple days.  They’re pretty much ready to go.  After that, I’ll have my New York and Charleston wrap ups ready to go.

Finally, I’ve got a post on a fantastic 3 week trip to Spain and Portugal I had all planned out…Then had to cancel.  That one still hurts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *