Search found 822 matches

by rjbraun
Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase - $500 to open business checking account. Worth it?
Replies: 5
Views: 603

Re: Chase - $500 to open business checking account. Worth it?

Thanks for all the input, especially the link to doctorofcredit.com. Definitely seems like a helpful site, and I have signed up for the weekly e-mail and also got the free ebook on making money through bank account bonuses. Plan to review this weekend, should help me assess whether to proceed with C...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I think AA used to have a lot more award space and over the last 4 or 5 years they've changed that. So your prior experiences may not be indicative of what your future experiences will be, depending on when you booked award flights with them in the past. Many partner awards ARE searchable on AA. Bu...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase - $500 to open business checking account. Worth it?
Replies: 5
Views: 603

Chase - $500 to open business checking account. Worth it?

Got an offer in the mail to get $500 when I open a Chase Performance Business Checking account. I need to deposit $500 in new money within 10 business days, maintain that balance for 60 days and complete 5 qualifying transactions within 60 days (debit card purchases, checks paid, Chase QuickDeposit,...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I find AA Miles to be pretty awful (awful availability, awful redemption values, awful routing), at least for the places I want to go, but I would tell you that the website is also useless as it doesn't show all their partners. You need to look at all One World carriers websites to find available a...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

+1 AA miles are very hard to use to get to Europe without fuel surcharges as almost all the availability is on BA. They can be useful to get to other parts of the world, though I'd much rather have Alaska miles in general. And you should definitely collect your Chase UR/United points first. Thanks,...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Using American to London isn't the best bet unless you can find flights on American metal. Most flights are going to be on British Airways, and they pass on huge fuel surcharges. If you want to use American miles look for flights on American metal, AirBerlin, or Iberia. Skyteam and Star Alliance ge...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage
Replies: 32
Views: 1983

Re: Major health issue - finding new employment with health coverage

Something I haven't seen mentioned but that could be an issue to OP, I would think: in my experience, companies can change their healthcare coverage terms as well as their healthcare providers. In that regard, I would think that OP may want to consider the prospect of said employer's coverage possib...
by rjbraun
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential New Job: Career Faux Pas
Replies: 6
Views: 1081

Re: Potential New Job: Career Faux Pas

Another thought that comes to mind would be what the rest of your career history looks like. If your current job is your only position to date and you've been there, say, 10 years or more, maybe a change is warranted (all else equal). On the other hand, if you've had five jobs in the last 10 years, ...
by rjbraun
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Interesting. Can you provide some general guidelines for how much spending one should be prepared to do to rack up sizable point balances to fly business class internationally, let's say, twice a year. I realize that a bunch of factors will influence the answer, but, back of the envelope, if a roun...
by rjbraun
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I remember feeling like that when I first started travel hacking. We flew economy at first, but now I have more miles than we even have time to use, so we fly business class on international trips now. If you're aggressive you'll end up with some pretty big point balances. If you're just doing one ...
by rjbraun
Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential New Job: Career Faux Pas
Replies: 6
Views: 1081

Re: Potential New Job: Career Faux Pas

Yes, the vagueness makes it a bit tough to reply. But, I would say that "major mistake" sounds kind of strong. There's no reference to work-life balance and the work environment / conditions at both positions. Are these important considerations for you? If so, how do the two positions comp...
by rjbraun
Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: co-worker had a baby, chipping in on gift- how much?
Replies: 57
Views: 2936

Re: co-worker had a baby chipping in on gift- how much?

OP, Maybe I live in a different culture, but I don't think it's customary at all to solicit co-workers for gifts. If this co-worker is a good friend of yours I think that's a different situation. A number of co-workers at my workplace have had kids in the last few years and nobody has ever asked me...
by rjbraun
Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Just to make sure I follow, you booked business class on United for 70k miles and $280 fuel surcharges, one-way -- is that right? And that's non-stop to where in Italy? Just trying to get a sense of what the market is for business class to Italy. Personally, I'd be looking to start from NYC. In my ...
by rjbraun
Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I'm aware of two no-annual fee cards that offer 2% cash back across the board. Pentagon Federal Credit Union has a straight 2% cash back card if you have their checking account. Capital One Spark offers 2% back, but it's a business card. I applied at a branch and the card has no annual fee. I think...
by rjbraun
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rent versus Buy in NYC
Replies: 14
Views: 1811

Re: Rent versus Buy in NYC

To inbox788 I'm not sure 5 years is sufficient for me to make such a big investment. It's quite possible you buy the place and in 6 months meet your soulmate and start a family. And similarly to furwat A place you find suitable might not work if another person enters the picture. If that would be t...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I just booked business class to Italy and the worst I paid for fuel surcharges was $280. Which is completely reasonable in my opinion for a decent business/first itinerary. I haven't looked a ton at other routes at other times, so it could be an issue, but the few times I've wanted to book with the...
by rjbraun
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2017 BOGLEHEADS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT
Replies: 129
Views: 10748

Re: 2017 BOGLEHEADS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Three cheers for Mel and the rest of the team for all that they do for the Bogleheads! :D

A big thank you to you all :beer
by rjbraun
Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

This is slightly off topic, but I recommend consulting seatguru.com before choosing a seat. +1 I check SeatGuru every time I get to choose a seat myself. Not OT at all, imo. I actually did a google search on "airplane exit row seating" (or something similar) and got comments from seatguru...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

Doing the same thing myself; Cathay Pacific, LAX to HK. My wife found a great deal for flight and hotel without pre-assigned seats; I was not thrilled but she prevailed. The last hotel we stayed at gave us the free phone/hot spot which can be used to call the US and call at the 48 hour mark. Our re...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

I don't go anywhere for any length of time without getting connectivity via a local sim. There are many ways my smartphone enhances my travel experience and safety. http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Hong_Kong It's cheap and easy to do in Hong Kong. They even have an easier sim option for ...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

How much does it cost just to upgrade your booking so that you can select a seat in advance? Either it's worth the cost to do so and be guaranteed a seat your a comfortable with or you should just check in when it's convenient and you can take the seat you get. Some people really care about what se...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

If you have the SPG Personal, you should have Boingo wifi access and that might be available where you are. I would call Verizon to make sure your phone is truly unlocked for international. My SO's phone, even though we bought it outright, wasn't completely unlocked. Another option which we used wa...
by rjbraun
Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

If you aren't familiar with bulkhead seating, there are a few pros and cons. Also, in my experience you are more likely to be seated next to passengers with infants, leading to sleep deprivation. Ah, yes! I forgot to mention that earlier: our "premium" exit-aisle seats were located just a...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

I regularly travel overseas on 16+ hour flights and always pay up for the bulkhead seating. I can't physically sit in other coach seats otherwise because the distance from my hip to knee it longer than from seat back to seat back. The do have more knee room but perhaps not anymore room to stretch o...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

Doing the same thing myself; Cathay Pacific, LAX to HK. My wife found a great deal for flight and hotel without pre-assigned seats; I was not thrilled but she prevailed. The last hotel we stayed at gave us the free phone/hot spot which can be used to call the US and call at the 48 hour mark. Our re...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

You are a stronger person than me. I would never book international travel without a solid guarantee of a non-middle seat. A middle seat for 16 hours is just about my idea of what hell is like. It's tolerable on an Asian or Middle Eastern airline. On a US or most European airlines, forget about it....
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

You are a stronger person than me. I would never book international travel without a solid guarantee of a non-middle seat. A middle seat for 16 hours is just about my idea of what hell is like. Actually, I had paid up for exit-row seats on this flight and had second thoughts after reading some revi...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

Many nicer/high-end hotels offer a free wifi phone in the room that you can use to surf, use as a hot spot and even take it out of the hotel while around HK to use for call back to the US and hot spots etc, all for free. Check if your hotel offer this phone. Thank you, good point. I know that our f...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

Connect to wi-fi with your phone or get a local SIM card and you can do it from wherever you are. Thanks. I don't think my phone is unlocked. Can I still use a local SIM card? What kind of phone do you have, how long have you had it and who's your mobile provider? Given that info, I may be able to ...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

We booked a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. The price was attractive, but as a result seat assignments can only be made 48 hours before departure. While it's not ideal, at least on the outbound flight we will be home with ready computer access, more control over our time, etc. Obviously, while ...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

Connect to wi-fi with your phone or get a local SIM card and you can do it from wherever you are. Thanks. I don't think my phone is unlocked. Can I still use a local SIM card? What kind of phone do you have, how long have you had it and who's your mobile provider? Given that info, I may be able to ...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

Connect to wi-fi with your phone or get a local SIM card and you can do it from wherever you are. Thanks. I don't think my phone is unlocked. Can I still use a local SIM card? Just use your phone to connect to wifi. SIM card not required Call me crazy, but I am increasingly concerned about using &q...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

new2bogle wrote:Internet cafe on that day while you are touring the city?

Good idea. Just checked a guide book. With some advance planning I think I should be able to situate myself to be near a cafe or other means to get internet access. Thank you :happy
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Re: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

bluebolt wrote:Connect to wi-fi with your phone or get a local SIM card and you can do it from wherever you are.

Thanks. I don't think my phone is unlocked. Can I still use a local SIM card?
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits
Replies: 49
Views: 2709

Flights with limited pre-assigned seating benefits

We booked a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. The price was attractive, but as a result seat assignments can only be made 48 hours before departure. While it's not ideal, at least on the outbound flight we will be home with ready computer access, more control over our time, etc. Obviously, while w...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire - travel credit (Reserve), min spend (Preferred)
Replies: 2
Views: 309

Re: Chase Sapphire - travel credit (Reserve), min spend (Preferred)

Chase pulls back UR points for returns. I can't comment on them pulling back a bonus...I've personally never cut it that close or took that kind of chance. Yeah, probably not worth the risk. I'm sure we'll eventually get around to charging $300 in travel before the year is up. And it's worth just c...
by rjbraun
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire - travel credit (Reserve), min spend (Preferred)
Replies: 2
Views: 309

Chase Sapphire - travel credit (Reserve), min spend (Preferred)

I recently charged $600 for seat upgrades to the exit aisle. On reflection, we had second thoughts and managed to get a refund. At the time of purchase, we split the charge between two cards: Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) and CSP (Preferred). The idea was to use $300 against this year's still outstan...
by rjbraun
Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block tax software - others also having downloading issues?
Replies: 4
Views: 214

Re: H&R Block tax software - others also having downloading issues?

No problem for me in downloading HR Block software from Amazon, but I purchased and downloaded months ago (and actually finalized and efiled a couple weeks ago). Maybe a herd of tax procrastinators were simultaneously attempting to download and/or access their site are overloading their server capa...
by rjbraun
Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: H&R Block tax software - others also having downloading issues?
Replies: 4
Views: 214

H&R Block tax software - others also having downloading issues?

Anyone else have trouble downloading the software? I'm trying to load the software from Amazon, where I purchased the software a while ago. I have the activation key and was also going to try to just load the software from the H&R Block website, but I'm not able to access the site at all. I don'...
by rjbraun
Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Credit Card Question
Replies: 18
Views: 1819

Re: Chase Credit Card Question

I've heard of folks having the Preferred and then applying for the Reserve, but not the other way around. I'd be certain that Chase allows you to have both, in the order you're planning. If not, you might have to downgrade your Reserve to a Freedom first. Yes, it's possible. SO got Reserve, followe...
by rjbraun
Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1474
Views: 219614

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/amex-fires-another-shot-at-chases-sapphire-reserve-1490802710 AmEx in coming days is expected to increase the points bonus to 60,000, from 40,000 , according to a person familiar with the matter. But there is likely to be catch: To get the larger amount of points, card ...
by rjbraun
Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $50 AMEX Gift Card - What does a Boglehead/minimalist do?
Replies: 29
Views: 2046

Re: $50 AMEX Gift Card - What does a Boglehead/minimalist do?

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but it reminds me that I still have several unused Amex and MasterCard gift cards generously given to me in the recent past. I actually dined out "mentally" using the cards to cover the meal but, in fact, ended up charging to various credit cards to earn p...
by rjbraun
Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non-refundable hotel reservation booked with Chase Sapphire card
Replies: 0
Views: 302

Non-refundable hotel reservation booked with Chase Sapphire card

Let's say I book a non-refundable hotel room and charge the reservation to my Chase Sapphire Reserve card (though I believe Chase Sapphire Preferred has comparable benefits). If a qualifying event occurs that would trigger the trip cancellation / interruption insurance benefits, in the event the hot...
by rjbraun
Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 216
Views: 29186

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Easily justified to have gotten separate cards in our case. +1. Was a "no-brainer" for SO and me as well. We also both applied for Global Entry (I'm done, SO's interview will be later this month). CSR worked well in that regard too, i.e., no point in only one of us having Global Entry as ...
by rjbraun
Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Second home or not ready
Replies: 56
Views: 4456

Re: Second home or not ready

gasdoc wrote: :happy But I wouldn't do it in your situation.

gasdoc

Yup, I agree :happy To the extent I even toy with the idea, I am resisting. Hard.

I can find no justification for why we would / should do it. Thanks for the confirmation!
by rjbraun
Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Second home or not ready
Replies: 56
Views: 4456

Re: Second home or not ready

rjbraun, We had already decided we wanted to retire in The Villages, FL. One time when we visited, we found a house on a lot that had a view that DW fell in love with. We decided that with the rate at which the boomers were retiring we would have an easy time renting it- and that has been the case....
by rjbraun
Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Second home or not ready
Replies: 56
Views: 4456

Re: Second home or not ready

Buying a second personal use property is really a lifestyle decision and you haven't given us enough information about your lifestyle and how you would use the property. We have multiple homes but they were all purchased without using mortgages. Seems to me that buying a second house with cash real...
by rjbraun
Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued
Replies: 154
Views: 17699

Re: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued

I was under the impression that the points would transfer over to the new card. Do we know for sure that it will (or won't), or is that still a guessing game? I had been using the card the up until now and want to redeem all my points at once. Not sure, you may well be right. If there's any uncerta...
by rjbraun
Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued
Replies: 154
Views: 17699

Re: Sallie Mae Rewards MC being discontinued

I just redeemed my outstanding points balance now and asked about a product upgrade. Similar to what another poster indicated above, I was offered the Barclays Reward Card with no annual fee: 2% back on groceries, gas, utilities; Target and Wal-Mart excluded. "Bonus points" of 10,000 with ...
by rjbraun
Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mysteries or other books set in contemporary Japan?
Replies: 14
Views: 911

Re: Mysteries or other books set in contemporary Japan?

Apparently, Matsumoto Seicho was the "most famous" 20th century Japanese crime writer. While he does appear in the site noted above (under "M" for his family name of Matsumoto) it doesn't seem to have as extensive a listing of his works in English translation as shown on the wiki...

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