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Miles and Points, Ice Lake Rebels

1. Few days ago I got an email from American with an update on the merger. Here is the important part relevant to me: “If you have a Dividend Miles® and an AAdvantage account, we’ll combine them in the second quarter of 2015.”

No changes to the award chart were announced. Yes! I’m certain that some sort of devaluation will occur next year, but for now AA execs are too busy with integrating both systems into one, no small task.

2. Next January Delta will stop allowing stopovers on international awards. Right now you can still book them over the phone. Not a huge thing to most families who read this blog, but I still wanted to mention it. (h/t One mile at a time)

3. Amex Everyday Preferred and Amex Blue Cash Preferred (both pay commission) now come with  1 free year of Amazon Prime benefit. Both cards are on my “keeper” list. (h/t  Dansdeals)

4. Up to 25% bonus on transfers to Aeroplan from several loyalty programs through November 24th. Membership Rewards is not on the list, but SPG is. The last one already gives you 5,000 miles bonus for every 20,000 mile transfer. Transfers are not instant, so I recommend you have some flexibility when it comes to travel dates.

You can redeem Aeroplan currency on United flights (Star partner) and pay no fuel surcharges within Americas. The best way to leverage it is to get an award flight to Alaska, which costs 12,500 miles one-way, as opposed to 17,500 miles through United Mileage Plus program. (h/t View from the wing)

5. In April I applied for standard offer for US Airways Mastercard in my husband’s name. My plan all along was to cancel it and apply 6-7 months later to get the sign-up bonus again. Well, yesterday I did just that  and it went to pending status. I’m pretty sure it will be rejected, but we’ll see. Will keep you updated.

My “Best deals” page contains my affiliate offer as well as a link to Flyertalk discussion with various other offers. One is supposed to give 10,000 miles after paying your annual fee on your first anniversary. It’s marketed to Preferred status members, but reports are that it’s not enforced.  It’s your choice which offer to go with, but I do recommend you get this card before it’s gone.

6.  Chase British Airways Visa Signature card currently comes with a waived first year fee (normally $95). It was listed in my “Best credit card deals for family” before this new development, so this only sweetens the deal. You can get this bonus as long as you didn’t receive it in the last 24 months. The card pays me commission. (h/t View from the wing)

7. I never heard from the winner of my Amazon gift card, so I randomly selected another subscriber. The winner is a#uff.k#y07@gmail.com  I’ve already contacted that person and sent out the gift card. Congratulations!

On my mind

I really dislike reality television. Scripted interactions between people (aka drama queens) that are passed off as real life make me a bit nauseous. There are exceptions, of course, like “The Amazing Race.” Sure, it’s scripted, but it does involve travel. Plus, I would like to think there is an element of realism because these people are so darn tired from changing time zones every day, they don’t have the energy to pretend.

But there is a reality show I’ve discovered lately, and it’s different. It’s  “Ice Lake Rebels” on Animal Planet. It follows house boaters living in harsh conditions in Canada’s far north. They are mostly self-sufficient, enjoying life off the grid in their overwater bungalows. Take that, Bora Bora!

Well, “enjoying” is  a strong word. One of the reasons they chose this lifestyle is to avoid paying property taxes to the county. Yet, they spend thousands of dollars, not to mention countless hours per day, all just to survive, basically. Living on a boat on a freezing lake is no picnic, which is why most people eventually abandon their boats altogether.

These people are the cream of the crop among survivalists group, sort of like Marathon Man among M/S crowd. It’s quite fascinating to see the interviews of different participants. I’m sure some of it is scripted, but a good chunk appears to be as real as it gets.

A lot of it is about making a statement, and many suffer from a condition known as Stickittothemananitis. Honestly, some of the expressions sound just like the ones you would read on M/S forums, except instead of fighting the local government, the latter is out to stick it to the banks.

I liked what one of the rebels said about his lifestyle and how society views it: ” So, normal people go to work every day and sit for hours in traffic. Seems pretty crazy to me. At least I know my “crazy.” Do you?”

That’s exactly how I feel about my blog!

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

7 thoughts on “Miles and Points, Ice Lake Rebels

  1. Has the BA card always waived their annual fee?
    I thought in the past that they did not waive the annual fee for the first year and thus never applied for their card (plus coupled w/negative avios stories).

    I also think that I was hoping someday too, that the 100k miles offer would come back and was just holding out for that as well.

    I don’t get cards with an annual fee, unless waived the first year, so I may look into the BA card for the AA partner benefits or in a way, add to my AA miles stash.

    • @BB BA card only waives the first annual fee occasionally. It has been almost a year since they’ve done it. So, yes, this offer is better than normal. It is a great program for domestic AA flights. I will briefly touch on it next Monday, or you can read my post here http://milesforfamily.com/2013/12/23/what-if-you-could-only-pick-one/
      I don’t know if they will bring back the 100K Avios bonus again, it’s been awhile. There is a good chance it will come back at some point, though I have no knowledge as to when. However, the annual fee with a 100K offer is never waived for the first year, if that’s important to you. There is no question that the 100K bonus is very lucrative, but be careful with such high minimum spend.
      Whether you should wait for it to return or go for 50K bonus is totally up to you. Either offer is great, it just depends on your goals. I constantly switch cards, so for me 50K bonus is preferable. Hope it helps, and let me know if you have any other questions.

    • @BB Forgot to add. I know you got Chase United card in yours and your wife’s name back in August. Thanks again for using my link! You may not get approved for BA card if you apply right now, though it’s certainly possible. Be prepared to call reconsideration line. I didn’t see any specific expiration date for this offer, will update you when I find it.

    • @Holly Congrats on getting it approved! It is a great offer, especially since the first year fee is waived. I wish I could apply myself, but we are tapped out with Chase at the moment.

  2. I love Avios for our Mexico trips. I’ve actually found great availability from Cincinnati and Chicago to Cancun or Cozumel for our trips to the Playa Del Carmen area. And for so cheap with Avios! Unfortunately for me, my wife and I have a Southwest and Marriott/Ritz Carlton only strategy with Chase right now so that we can finance one of our 3 trips we have scheduled for 2016. Aiming for enough points for Marriott Flights & Hotels to the Bahamas, and combine that with the southwest card sign up for the companion pass. Then off to the Tour de France and the Olympics that year on some combo of American & Avios.

    • @Cheapblackdad Sounds like you are a planner. I’m the same way. Everything is planned out few years in advance. Yeah, Avios can be great for Mexico and Caribbean, especially compared to what AAdvantage charges for the same flights in the spring. I’ll have more on it this coming Monday. This hobby can definitely make exotic vacations quite affordable for regular family.

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