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$10 Signup Bonus at e-bates

One of my miles and points New Years resolutions is to be sure to earn miles or cashback for all your online purchases, and I recommended EV Reward to search for earning opportunities. For cash back sites, I used Fatwallet the most, followed by e-bates. Signing up blind for e-bates doesn’t come with any bonuses. Being referred by an existing member gets both the new member and referring member $5 most of the time (after the new member makes a qualifying purchase). Through the middle of February, though, e-bates is currently offering a $10 signup bonus (again, new members have to make a qualifying purchase — by February 14). So this is a good time to sign up and start using e-bates. To be clear, using the link about does earn credit for me as…

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Looking on the Bright Side

Online Travel Review has a Christmas message for travelers: complaints aside, the world looks pretty good. We can travel basically anywhere in the world on a whim. Average roundtrip airfares between New York and London were about $6500 (in today’s dollars) back in the 1950s. I could fly there for $500 in 2 weeks. Despite rising fixed costs, airfares continue (for the most part) to be incredibly affordable in ways that most other countries can only dream about. It’s changed the way we keep in touch with friends, go on vacation, and do business. We’re all better off because we can fly off to Michigan to visit friends for $150, when driving the same route would cost about $180 in gas. Frequent flyer programs and the growing airline alliances have allowed us to visit roughly…

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Southwest New Member Bonus

Southwest is promoting its new San Francisco service (they used to serve the airport then stopped, offering flights only into the other Bay Area airports) with a new member promotion for its frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards: start out with 8 credits (halfway to an award ticket) and earn double credits for all flights in and out of San Francisco through October 31.

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40% Discount on Beds at W Hotel Store

The W Hotel Store 40% discount on beds is back through August 31 using discount code WH7G4. This is an employee code, so it’s up to you whether you’re comfortable using it. It’ll work for online orders without difficulty, it certainly has in the past.The W bed itself is the plush top with a featherbed (get the featherbed protector too so the feathers don’t poke you!). But you also have pillowtop for a softer effect. A queen plush top bed with boxspring and frame is less than $750 delivered with this offer.

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Non-travel Happenings

To show just what a dork I am, last night I went to see Weird Al in concert at the Warner Theatre, and was surprised at just how much it’s possible to enjoy something while remaining ironic and detached. On Jenni‘s recommendation, I’ll go see Rocket Science this weekend, and really looking forward to it. Apparently it’s a better debate movie than the one my old coach consulted on. The Washington Post reviewed it today. Yoram Bauman, The Standup Economist has a new comedy routine up on YouTube. I loved his “Principles of Economics Translated”… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgB6mFmYEcM&e

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Amex Platinum (and Centurion) adds American Airlines lounge access benefit

American Express and American Airlines have announced a deal where Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders can access American Admiral’s Club lounges (along with immediate family or up to 2 guests) prior to boarding American flights. This adds American to Continental, Northwest, and Delta in the stable of airline lounges accessible with a U.S.-based Amex Platinum card.With Continental, Northwest, and Delta all in the same alliance the Amex Plat was a slightly expensive way to get lounce access compared to buying a membership in one of those programs (which gets you access to all three programs’ lounges, without the limitation of flying on the carrier whose lounge youre using. So getting the card had to be justified by other benefits, such as the Fine Hotels and Resorts program… a valuable feature for those likely to make…

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A New Take on Immigration

A colleague writes* I am on a Continental flight from Houston to Washington and — in the first class cabin — the majority language is Spanish. I am one of only four English speakers. Forget taking our jobs — they’re taking our upgrades! * for the uninitiated I suppose I must point out the tongue-in-cheeck nature of the missive.

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Free Southwest Ticket for Credit Card Signup

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa now has an offer of 16 credits with signup ($59 annual fee). The signup bonus is enough for a free roundtrip ticket. The Small Business version of the card also offers 16 credits as a signup bonus and a $59 annual fee. I believe — though have not verified this myself — that the Southwest Visa can be churned (along with the British Airways Visa, Marriott Visa, and Priority Club Visa). Used to be that all Chase products could be signed up for multiple times, earning the signup bonus each time. That’s no longer the case with the United co-branded cards. But I don’t believe a lockdown on this has taken place with the other Chase products such as this one. Anyone with recent experience, please share in the comments.…

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What Transportation Used to Cost

Tyler Cowen points to what the cost of transportation used to be, from The Pursuit of Glory, Europe 1648-1815 In England it was calculated that one horse was needed for every mile of a journey on a well-maintained turnpike road. So, for the 185 miles from Manchester to London, 185 horses had to be kept stabled and fed to deal with the seventeen changes required by the stagecoaches which traveled the route. Those horses in turn required an army of coachmen, postillions, guards, grooms, ostlers and stable-boys to keep them running. …A journey from Augsburg to Innsbruck by stagecoach, although little more than 60 miles as the crow flies, would have cost an unskilled laborer more than a month’s wages just for the fare. Kinda puts gripes about airfare in perspective.

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