Thursday, June 4, 2015

Improved Chase Hyatt Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus

The Chase Hyatt credit card has in my opinion one of the more lucrative sign-up bonuses of any credit card.  The standard offer for this card is 2 free nights at any Hyatt hotel in the world.  I used my free nights at the Park Hyatt Paris - Vendome where rooms often go for over $1000/night.




The new sign up bonus, which requires a few tricks (see below), now not only includes the 2 free nights but also $50 statement credit and 5,000 Hyatt points which can be used for an additional free night at a category 1 Hyatt property.  If you play your cards right you can get ~$2000 in value from this sign up offer.  Note that this card does come with a 75$ annual fee which is waved the first year.  After the first year you get a free night certificate good for any category 1-4 hotel.

To get this improved offer you must do the following:

-For the 50$ statement credit, go to hyatt.com, act like you are booking a hotel (any hotel for any dates).  At the page where you enter your payment information, you will be presented with a credit card offer with the additional statement credit

-For the 5,000 bonus points you need to add an authorized user and have them make a purchase within 3 months.

Note: Unlike most, I do not receive a commission from Chase.  I simply think this is a great deal.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Trip Report: Arpiau Guest House, Manarola, Cinque Terre

While in Cinque Terre last month we stayed at a small guest house called Arpiau in the town of Manarola.  Our room was Aargan (see website for more information).  Since Cinque terre is made up of 5 small villages there are no large chain hotels here.  Your lodging options include staying several miles away in a traditional hotel or staying in a converted house/guest house.  We chose the town of Manarola to be our base for no other reason other than the fact that I liked the pictures of this guesthouse.  Arpiau has an excellent location, situated right above the water not far from the main street.  It was quiet yet close to everything.  The best thing about this hotel was the patio with sweeping views across the town and sea.  there was only one other couple saying there during the time we were there (march) so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  The room itself was basic but had all necessary amenities.  

In general Cinque terre was very enjoyable.  It was an easy train ride from Milan and there was more than enough to see and do to keep you occupied for a week.  One of the best features was all the hiking trails that wound up and through vineyards clinging to the hillsides.  All 5 of the towns have a different feel and other unique features.  If i ever find myself back in this part of the world, I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.


Aargan Room



Basic but updated bathroom


Amazing patio (shared with other guests)

Views down the coast



Communal room


View of Manarola from deck



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Amazing Deal Alert: New York to Oslo Norway $260

Round trip flights from JFK to Oslo, Norway on Norwegian are currently as low as $260 round trip.  That price includes all taxes.  Keep in mind that Norwegian is a "low cost airline" meaning that there can be lots of added charges for baggage, etc.  However, this could be a great deal if you pack light.


2,097NOK = 260USD.  Note that you must select NOK as the currency to get this price

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tip: Getting from Toronto to Europe for under $350

For those of you living in and around Toronto, you are in luck.  There is a way that you can get to Europe for under $350 round trip.  As a added bonus you can even get to check out a pretty cool and exotic destination on the way.  To get this pricing you need 3 things: be creative, be adventurous, and not mind flying low cost airlines.  SATA airline which is the flagship airline of the Azores Islands currently has flights from Toronto to Ponta Delgada for $255 round trip.  Piece that together with a flight on Ryan Air for $67 round trip to Lisbon or Porto, Portugal or a $130 flight to London Stansted and you have yourself a deal.  Of course, you need to be flexible and creative with your dates to find a combo of flights that will work at that price.

SATA also has good deals from Boston to Ponta Delgada as well.

Azores Islands, Portugal


Porto, Portugal 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015