Credit and Debit Cards / Cruising / Manufactured Spend

Pay With Points at Chase Ultimate Rewards Cruises

Chase Ultimate Rewards Cruise Portal

You can use points to pay for the total cost of  Chase Ultimate Rewards cruises.  These rewards are earned with several Chase cards.  You can redeem Ultimate Rewards online to book airfare, hotels, and cars, but cruise redemptions must be done over the phone with a cruise specialist.

Airport Lounges / American Airlines / Award travel / etc.

Use Airline Miles or Pay Cash? How We Decide

George Clooney Should I Use Miles or Pay Cash

Our family took numerous flights this spring.  In each case we had to decide whether we would redeem airline miles or pay cash for tickets.  In most cases, we used miles if we could get a valuation of at least 1.5¢ per mile for our airline miles.

Manufactured Spend / Nonrev (standby) travel

Goodbye to Nonrev Travel (A Sabbatical)

One of the Many Issues with Nonrev Travel

My daughter the pilot is going on leave until the end of the year.  During this time, our flight benefits will be suspended until she goes back to work.  I am trying to convince myself that this will simplify life and at the same time, urge me to be more focused in my travel.  I try to remember all the bad things about nonrev travel.

Award travel / Credit and Debit Cards / Cruising / etc.

I Just Paid Cash For An Airline Ticket (No Miles Or Points!)

Instead of using miles and points to position ourselves on an upcoming cruise, I’ve bought revenue tickets from Delta.  I will pay cash for a ticket if I can’t get at least 1.5¢ in value per mile.  I am also trying to get out of the mindset that all travel has to be for free.

Carnival / Cruising / Gift Cards / etc.

How to Use Carnival Gift Cards

My most popular posts are about how to get discounted Carnival gift cards, but getting the cards is only half the equation.  There are a few quirks to spending them, and I will outline these in this post. Before You Board You can use the gift cards to pay for a cruise.  You may use them if you are booking online on the Carnival website, and you may also use them if you’ve called Carnival to book your cruise.  You can also use them while booking with a third-party travel agency.  They can be used for the deposit and

Carnival / Cruising / Prepaid Cards

Save $15 on Carnival Gift Cards at Publix–Expires Jan. 1, 2016

You can get $15 off of Carnival gift cards at Publix supermarkets when you buy $50 or more in groceries.  At lower denominations, this is even a better deal than the AARP or Verizon gift cards which offer 10% off.  You will find the Carnival gift cards at the gift card rack. Notice this card is a variable load card– you can load any amount from $25 to $500.  To use the coupon you would have to load at least $100.  This gives you more flexibility than the AAPG or Verizon cards which come in denominations of $100 or

Award travel / Carnival / Credit and Debit Cards / etc.

Redux–10% Off Carnival Gift Cards on

While I’m traveling, I’ve scheduled a few of my more popular posts to appear.  Any changes I’ve made to content will be italicized This post on discounted Carnival gift cards has been my most popular post to date.  Since posting this, I’ve purchased $100 gift cards through the site that I’ll use for onboard credit on my Carnival cruise next month.  You can get discounted Carnival gift cards through the website.  You do not have to be a member of AARP, and the gift cards can be used just like a debit card to pay for cruises, excursions,

Credit and Debit Cards / Manufactured Spend / Prepaid Cards

The Parable of the Tortoise (Bluebird) and the Hare (Redbird)–Redux

Here is an excerpt from a blog post I did back in May, right after Redbird stopped allowing credit card loads.  I think it is apropos today, as it looks like Redbird is not allowing loads by debit card either. Viva La Bluebird! Both the Tortoise and the Hare had been using Bluebird for several years to help them meet their minimum spends on their credit cards.  As time went by, they got several Bluebirds (one for Mom, one for spouse, etc.) so that they could put more spend on their credit cards and earn even more miles and

Carnival / Cruising / Prepaid Cards

10% Off Carnival Gift Cards on

You can get discounted Carnival gift cards through the website.  You do not have to be a member of AARP, and the gift cards can be used just like a debit card to pay for cruises, excursions, and any other on-board credit.   If you know that you’ll be taking a Carnival cruise within the next year or so, why not use these to get a 10% discount?  The only downside is that the cards sell out right away, so you have to check the website frequently. Here’s how to get the cards: Go to and click

Credit and Debit Cards / Manufactured Spend / Prepaid Cards

Manufactured Spend on the United Club Card

I don’t usually go into details of how I manufacture miles and points.  There are other bloggers that specialize in this, and I also do not want to publicize fragile methods that I don’t want to disappear due to too much exposure.  I don’t mind talking about dead deals, or zombie deals that are on their last legs.  This post discusses a method that is on its last legs.  I’m posting it to explain this method to curious friends and family.  Yes, this is for you whose eyes glazed over as I was trying to explain what I do.