I love credit cards so much! v5.0 - 2022 (see first page for add'l details)

afan

Honorary Bus Driver
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Japan is opening up, but taking baby steps to reopen starting June 10th, you must book a tour package - so lame. The daily entry cap is increasing to 20,000 on Wednesday.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/05/26/national/tourism-restart-package-tours/

Not really what I call opening up but at least it's something. But the 2 that I follow on twitter make it seem it's all opening until you click their link. You should see some of the comments, not that I blame the people. It really was very clickbaity. Though they all should have seen the tweets last week that this was what is happening.

I can't get excited though, neither had any info on how to book or who is doing the tours. If that's bot out there it gives me less hope of them fully opening. However I have also seen that other countries are starting to complain about them still being closed when japanese can go wherever. Schegen I think is part of it, if I remember the reddit post I saw yesterday I think they are threatening to ban until it's back to being reciprocal.

Thank you all for the responses about the aviator business card. I just got an email about paperless billing. Lol. So I checked and i only have a 900 dollar limit. Lol. Can I move credit from a personal card? If not then I will be making multiple payments in a month.

No clue on this but all these low biz limits and they gave me over 10k to go with my ridic personal card so I have well over 30k in cl from them on two cards. I do not understand their system.
 

becauseimnew

Planner-aholic
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
I can't get excited though, neither had any info on how to book or who is doing the tours. If that's bot out there it gives me less hope of them fully opening. However I have also seen that other countries are starting to complain about them still being closed when japanese can go wherever. Schegen I think is part of it, if I remember the reddit post I saw yesterday I think they are threatening to ban until it's back to being reciprocal.

Yeah, I really don't want to go to Japan next summer, the way they are handling things isn't very tourist friendly and from what I've read the Japanese citizens don't want the boarders to open either.

I'm actually rethinking our 2023 summer plans. I'm thinking a week in Ireland or Norway then a week in Iceland. This will probably be the last summer we can travel in July, so might as well head north, all the way north.

Or does anyone have a better suggestion to use up Avios without the super high taxes?
 

leeniewdw

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
That does make me feel better actually! I can honestly say I haven't looked into hawaii stuff since our trip in 2018, but we do want to go back next year, so I guess I better be prepared for sticker shock on that too 🙈😆
It is honestly more expensive than I ever thought a Yellowstone/GTNP would cost in my mind. But I am trying to keep optimistic that it'll be a completely different experience than anything we've done before, and that’s what we’re paying for. It’s just absurd to me that our RC cruise on Harmony of the Seas the week leading up to Xmas, including drink package and excursions, is cheaper than this vacation, LOL.

I agree it's expensive! And you pay for location -- true for all the National Parks. We find it "worth it" but some of these prices are just crazy. Last time we went (2019) we thought about staying a night in Jackson since we'd not visited the town at all on prior trips. Prices where were insane for regular hotels. And if you want to spend your time in the Park, it adds time and driving to your day. So we ended up back at Signal Mountain (which we love). Now add crazy rental and gas prices. Ouch.
 

Albort

ODV Crew
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
I should be getting excited for our Yellowstone trip in August, but with gas prices continuing to skyrocket out of control, I know it's gonna cost an arm and a leg to be driving around the park everyday, driving from Yellowstone to Tetons, etc. It's just going to be a lot of gas. No idea what gas prices are out there, but here in SC it's historically one of the cheapest in the nation, and so I know it's going to likely be more, and that just hurts! I feel like domestic travel should NOT cost more than international travel. This trip is costing us more than cruises and international travel has cost us in the past, and that just doesn't sit right with me. We could do our 2 week, 4 island Hawaii trip for about the same it's costing us a week at Yellowstone. *sigh* Someone reassure me that Yellowstone is worth it, lol.
Well, the way to also think is probably a lot of ppl are thinking the same way you are. In that case, chances of the park being less crowded is a high possibility. when i went to yellowstone, man it was crowded and parking was a big hassle. also having to wait in line for bathroom and etc. With less ppl driving, it might be a lot more chill now.
Yellowstone was beautiful and i would totally go again.
Not really what I call opening up but at least it's something. But the 2 that I follow on twitter make it seem it's all opening until you click their link. You should see some of the comments, not that I blame the people. It really was very clickbaity. Though they all should have seen the tweets last week that this was what is happening.

I can't get excited though, neither had any info on how to book or who is doing the tours. If that's bot out there it gives me less hope of them fully opening. However I have also seen that other countries are starting to complain about them still being closed when japanese can go wherever. Schegen I think is part of it, if I remember the reddit post I saw yesterday I think they are threatening to ban until it's back to being reciprocal.



No clue on this but all these low biz limits and they gave me over 10k to go with my ridic personal card so I have well over 30k in cl from them on two cards. I do not understand their system.
Japan is opening. EU basically sorta threatened them, EU had said they would ban Japanese citizens from entering EU just like Japan bans EU citizens from entering Japan. id say by next month, it would open to the rest. for now, its just tour groups.
 

Crazed4DisneyinSC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 21, 2019
I agree it's expensive! And you pay for location -- true for all the National Parks. We find it "worth it" but some of these prices are just crazy. Last time we went (2019) we thought about staying a night in Jackson since we'd not visited the town at all on prior trips. Prices where were insane for regular hotels. And if you want to spend your time in the Park, it adds time and driving to your day. So we ended up back at Signal Mountain (which we love). Now add crazy rental and gas prices. Ouch.
We're staying in Jackson Hole two nights, and honestly that's all we could squeeze because those nights are costing us a small fortune, lol. But we want to do the rodeo, Teton Village tram, and some other stuff in the town so it's better for us to have that home base for those nights.

ETA: I actually wish we lived closer, and had a nice camper to tow so that we could just camp in a non-primitive way, but then have the truck to detach and explore. I saw the campsites were actually pretty affordable! We just aren't "campy" type of people and never have been. I've hated it since I was a child and my parents forced me to tent camp, haha.
 

sinnika

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 9, 2008
@sinnika Just wanted to mention I recently took advantage of Chase's 30% bonus transfer promotion to Virgin Atlantic. Scored economy OW flights from Chicago-Italy for about 9k points plus a couple hundred in taxes, for November.

I see they have flights from Houston-Frankfurt for about 19k +$177 OW, so about 15k Chase points + taxes fees with the 30% transfer bonus. Not sure how that compares to what you are paying with United, but I thought you might be interested. Lots of availability for KLM and AF flights.
Thanks for the info! How do you find out about bonus transfers? 15,000 points is half of what I get an economy seat on United using points. I do have a good deal of United points through my United biz and United Quest cards. And a decent stash of Chase UR points. I tried to find flights on Virgin from Houston to Frankfurt and nothing came up. I’m pretty new at booking overseas flights and have only booked with United directly so far.
 

leeniewdw

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Well, the way to also think is probably a lot of ppl are thinking the same way you are. In that case, chances of the park being less crowded is a high possibility. when i went to yellowstone, man it was crowded and parking was a big hassle. also having to wait in line for bathroom and etc. With less ppl driving, it might be a lot more chill now.
Yellowstone was beautiful and i would totally go again.

If hotel and car rentals are any indication, the parks will be full again (unless there are late cancellations). We booked our lodging in August and had to grab rooms/cabins bit by bit because things weren't available. I checked today on our Teton lodging and there is no rooms available for our dates (we have a room, but not the kind we normally prefer). This has been the most difficult set of reservations we've ever had arranging this trip and we're going to the exact same places we've used since 2007. However, I suppose they aren't filling all their capacity due to staffing issues. Guess we'll find out in 3 weeks. But we do a good job avoiding the crowds. We stay on EDT and get up before dawn, take mid-day naps, and then go back out for the late afternoon/evening when people staying in more populated areas of the park (Canyon, Mammoth, Old Faithful, Lake) head back or people who stay outside the park head out.
 

FreeDiningFanatic

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Thanks for the info! How do you find out about bonus transfers? 15,000 points is half of what I get an economy seat on United using points. I do have a good deal of United points through my United biz and United Quest cards. And a decent stash of Chase UR points. I tried to find flights on Virgin from Houston to Frankfurt and nothing came up. I’m pretty new at booking overseas flights and have only booked with United directly so far.
I follow quite a few points blogs and like to use pointsbuzz to see all the blogs in one place- they usually announce point transfers.

When searching for flights on Virgin Atlantic, do an Advanced Search and be sure to check the box that says use points, because then you'll see partner availability, like Air France and KLM. I picked a random date in November and there's lots of days with availability for 19k points, so about 15k with the bonus transfer from Chase UR.

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Crazed4DisneyinSC

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 21, 2019
If hotel and car rentals are any indication, the parks will be full again (unless there are late cancellations). We booked our lodging in August and had to grab rooms/cabins bit by bit because things weren't available. I checked today on our Teton lodging and there is no rooms available for our dates (we have a room, but not the kind we normally prefer). This has been the most difficult set of reservations we've ever had arranging this trip and we're going to the exact same places we've used since 2007. However, I suppose they aren't filling all their capacity due to staffing issues. Guess we'll find out in 3 weeks. But we do a good job avoiding the crowds. We stay on EDT and get up before dawn, take mid-day naps, and then go back out for the late afternoon/evening when people staying in more populated areas of the park (Canyon, Mammoth, Old Faithful, Lake) head back or people who stay outside the park head out.
Same here. We've had to piece-meal our hotel together, and we still don't have the same room type all our nights, so I'm sure they're going to move us mid-trip. I keep checking almost daily, but there is just nothing open. I was hoping our dates (last week of August into Sept) would be a little less crowded because a lot of kids will be back in school already, but it seems that's not the case at all!
 

wanderlust7

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 10, 2015
Yeah, I really don't want to go to Japan next summer, the way they are handling things isn't very tourist friendly and from what I've read the Japanese citizens don't want the boarders to open either.

I'm actually rethinking our 2023 summer plans. I'm thinking a week in Ireland or Norway then a week in Iceland. This will probably be the last summer we can travel in July, so might as well head north, all the way north.

Or does anyone have a better suggestion to use up Avios without the super high taxes?

Been looking at how to use up Avios since I have a boatload from the canceled Japan flights. What I've seen out of SFO is Aer Lingus to DUB seems to release 5 economy seats. Iberia to MAD releases 2 biz and a good number of economy. To BCN, they release 4 premium economy, but those don't seem to make it over to BA. The Avios can be transferred over, but my Iberia account isn't 90 days old yet.

If Flying Blue releases seats at a reasonable number of miles, I'll go that route instead in order to get 4 in biz.

Avios for domestic can be a good deal if there are AA or Alaska saver fares. I might use some to fly to New York for 13k plus $5.60 one-way in economy.
 

becauseimnew

Planner-aholic
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Been looking at how to use up Avios since I have a boatload from the canceled Japan flights. What I've seen out of SFO is Aer Lingus to DUB seems to release 5 economy seats. Iberia to MAD releases 2 biz and a good number of economy. To BCN, they release 4 premium economy, but those don't seem to make it over to BA. The Avios can be transferred over, but my Iberia account isn't 90 days old yet.

If Flying Blue releases seats at a reasonable number of miles, I'll go that route instead in order to get 4 in biz.

Avios for domestic can be a good deal if there are AA or Alaska saver fares. I might use some to fly to New York for 13k plus $5.60 one-way in economy.
Thank you, I guess I had been already researching using Iberia because I created an account back in February.

Our Japan booking window opens at the end of July, so I still have some time to decide what we're going to do. But I would really like to use those points to fly business class, without the $500+ in fees, I'm willing to spend $250 in fees.

Maybe Thailand? But I think that's a bad idea in June/July.
 

afan

Honorary Bus Driver
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Thank you, I guess I had been already researching using Iberia because I created an account back in February.

Our Japan booking window opens at the end of July, so I still have some time to decide what we're going to do. But I would really like to use those points to fly business class, without the $500+ in fees, I'm willing to spend $250 in fees.

Maybe Thailand? But I think that's a bad idea in June/July.

You'd have to avoid an airline that passes on the fees on award bookings to not pay high fees. Until gas prices go doen it'll be nuts.
 

djmeredith

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
I searched this thread and Google but didn't find an answer. I have Priority Pass through my CSR and it's activated and been used. I also have 10 free passes through my Hilton Honors Business, but I cannot figure out how to claim these passes. When I try to click through the AmEx site, it takes me to a registration page that appears like it is going to charge me the annual PP membership fee. Any tips on how to redeem this benefit without getting charged? Also, it says I can use them for guests. Can I use 5 passes at one time (me and 4 guests)?
 

amcc

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
I searched this thread and Google but didn't find an answer. I have Priority Pass through my CSR and it's activated and been used. I also have 10 free passes through my Hilton Honors Business, but I cannot figure out how to claim these passes. When I try to click through the AmEx site, it takes me to a registration page that appears like it is going to charge me the annual PP membership fee. Any tips on how to redeem this benefit without getting charged? Also, it says I can use them for guests. Can I use 5 passes at one time (me and 4 guests)?
Your CSR allows you to bring in 2 guests free of charge.
 

djmeredith

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 9, 2005
Your CSR allows you to bring in 2 guests free of charge.
Thank you, I did know that and have been able to use it a few times. However, I am traveling with 4 other people this time and trying to avoid paying the guest fees for the extra 2 guests. The Am Ex site says you can use the passes for "guests," but it doesn't say how many guests you are allowed to have at one time.
 

becauseimnew

Planner-aholic
Joined
Jan 14, 2020
Thank you, I did know that and have been able to use it a few times. However, I am traveling with 4 other people this time and trying to avoid paying the guest fees for the extra 2 guests. The Am Ex site says you can use the passes for "guests," but it doesn't say how many guests you are allowed to have at one time.
I would chat with Amex, you shouldn’t have to pay for the membership
 

calypso726

Escaping reality one Disney vacation at a time
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
We had a driver pre-arranged through my Virtuoso TA to take us to Ashford Castle, which is just shy of 3 hours from Dublin. There aren't adequate words to describe Ashford Castle. It was breathtakingly beautiful. The staff here made us feel like royalty. Probably my favorite hotel stay ever. If you ever have the chance I can't recommend it highly enough. Food was beyond delicious, staff were amazing, grounds were stunning, activities were well-run and did I mention that the staff were incredible?

I had booked a Lake View deluxe room and while it was compact, who cares? We were staying in a castle! The bathroom was large and gorgeous with heated marble floors, large stand-alone shower, heated towel rack, stand-alone tub and 2 sinks and also had a stunning view of the lake.

The afternoon we arrived we had booked a 2 hour horseback ride. We took a quick walk to town for lunch (oops, the restaurants are closed on Monday, so we went to the sandwich bar at the Spar station and they turned out to be very good -- I also had a sausage patty and it was delicious). We speed-walked to the castle for our trail ride. They fitted us with boots and a helmet, assessed our riding skills (dd is an expert and I am a low-level intermediate rider) and we set off. My horse was stubborn and wanted to snack on grass and leaves, but after 5 or 10 mins I was able to get him under control. We trotted and galloped as much as the trails would allow and dd and I both LOVED our ride. The 2 hours flew by. Dd loved her ride so much that she booked a lesson the following morning (she hasn't ridden since she fell and suffered a serious concussion a few years ago). We had dinner the first night at George V and it was positively divine. After dinner we went to the lounge, where they had a piano / guitar duet, who were excellent. We stayed there until just after 11:00pm.

Our first and only full day we went for a walk with the hotels 2 Irish Wolfhounds, which are 165lbs and stand at 6'4" on their hind legs, through the forest and it was very nice. Upon our return we had an AMAZING breakfast and dd went to the room to get ready for her riding lesson while I went on the lake cruise! We met for a delicious lunch in the drawing room and walked the grounds a bit before our 60 min archery session (so much fun!). Dinner this night was at Cullen's and it was very good! We went back to the castle and spent a little while in the lounge before we turned in for the night.

The last morning we did the dog walk through the forest again, then breakfast and a falcon walk. We both LOVED the falcon walk.

We were both so enamored with our stay that we decided that we will go back next year for 5 or 6 nights.

bedroom
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I had a feeling you'd love Ashford Castle as much as I do. So glad you enjoyed your stay. I'm hoping to book 4 or 5 nights next time. Two nights was definitely not enough.
 








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