1) Don’t forget to activate 5% bonus on your Chase Freedom by December 14th. The extra cash back is retroactive for the entire quarter. If you need to make purchases on Amazon in 2015, you can always get a gift card now, since it doesn’t expire.
2) Hyatt has announced award chart changes effective January 22nd. You can still book at old rates till that date. Some properties are moving down to category 1, which costs only 5,000 points per night. They transfer from Ultimate Rewards program 1:1.
Among some interesting ones are Hyatt Place Orlando Airport and Hyatt House Colorado Springs. If you stay at the last one, visit House of Miles (no relation to Miles, the infamous pet), run by Randy Petersen. Tell him I said hi.
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa (near Fort Myers, Fl.) is going to be a category 4, which means it will be bookable with Chase Hyatt Visa annual renewal certificates. Seems like a family-friendly resort, fits 4 in one room, and winter rate hovers around $440 per night. (h/t Pizzainmotion)
Just a reminder: The official sign-up bonus is currently 50,000 miles on both personal and business Citi AAdvantage cards. Both pay me commission, see my list of bonuses for more info. (h/t Pointswithacrew)
4) FTU is coming to Dallas. The dates are April 17th-19th. The ticket for the main event is $149 per person. At least one of my readers lives near Dallas, so I thought this would be of interest.
If you are a single female looking for a nerdy boyfriend, this event is for you. Don’t waste your time on the best looking attendee. That’s Stefan, he is married. 🙂
5) I saw comments on Million Mile Secrets that some have been shut down after applying for targeted offer on US Airways Premier World MasterCard. The agent said it was due to that person not being a Preferred member. Apply at your own risk. This card no longer pays me commission, but is still my top bonus pick.
On my mind
I’ve mentioned before that my husband hates this hobby and has zero interest in the blog. The truth is, if it wasn’t for him, there would never be a blog in the first place. He actually was the one who encouraged me to start this whole crazy thing. I remember toying with the idea and he told me to just do it. I said: “But what if I run out of things to say?” His response: “You? Never!”
Little did we both know as to just how much work and time this “baby” would take. Bad blogging is easy. Spam posts, random drivel and repeating someone else’s analysis is a cakewalk. Producing original content that has value takes time and lots of energy. The ironic thing is that both look like they take the same amount of effort. Nothing could be further from the truth.
About 6 months into it, I seriously thought about hanging up my keyboard. The blog was (and still is) taking up a ridiculous amount of time. On quite a few occasions, I had to ask my husband to watch the kids while I worked on my posts, since they had to be published the next morning. Needless to say, he wasn’t too thrilled to do it after a long day of work.
I’ve made sooo many mistakes, it’s crazy. I gave a few individuals far more chances than they actually deserved. I made many definitive statements I later came to regret. I was arrogant and saw things as black and white (they are not).
I will say this: If you crave frustration, drama and love being bullied, feel giddy at the prospect of making less than minimum wage after writing for 1.5 years, and don’t like to spend time with your spouse or friends, then you should absolutely look into becoming a “miles and points” blogger. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
Add to it the fact that I have to take care of 2 small kids and million other things, and well, it was all getting to be too much. I decided it was time to walk away. It was actually my husband who convinced me to stick with it and not worry about anything or anyone else. I wonder if he doesn’t want to spend time with me? Hmm…
Well, fast forward almost a year, and once again I was debating if I should go on with this whole thing. And, yet again, my husband told me to just keep writing. After all, he said, look at the amazing feedback you get from your readers. So what if you don’t have thousands of them?
He said that my blog is like a mom-and-pop shop that makes unique kinds of cookies you can’t get anywhere else. It doesn’ t have a lot of customers, but for those who come, it’s a special treat. Side note: I hope I’m not baking “special” kinds of brownies!
Maybe he is right, as I would much rather run a little corner cafe than a huge chain restaurant. What worries me is that my few customers will get tired of the cookies at some point, go elsewhere and will never return.
So, that’s where the $35 Amazon gift card giveaway comes in. I need you to tell me what you like/don’t like about my blog. What topics would you like me to focus on more/less?Any suggestions for improvement are also welcome. Good, bad feedback, I would love to hear it all. Last chance to comment and be eligible for the prize is next Tuesday at 9 PM Eastern.
Remember, what’s keeping this blog afloat is making a real and positive contribution to this hobby. So, please, don’t hold back. Blogging is a two-way street. I don’t know how to benefit you unless you tell me.
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.