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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Weekly Review: Highest SPG Amex bonus, Credit cards I own, Carnival to sail to Cuba, AMEX Business Platinum 100K bonus, and more

Here is a brief recap of all the posts you may have missed from this past week.

Time running for SPG Amex highest sign up bonus ever

As you are probably aware by now, American Express is offering their highest sign up bonus ever for their Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards (personal and business versions) with a chance to get 35,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. However, time is running out to take advantage of this offer and it ends next Wednesday 3/30/16 which is less than a week away!

What's in your wallet?

Despite using the slogan from Capital One, I actually don't have any Capital One credit cards in my arsenal. But I wanted to take this post to highlight some of the cards that I do have and discuss why I have them and in which order I obtained them.

Carnival receives approval to start sailing to Cuba

Again, I realize this news may be a few days old but as they say better late than never. There has been a lot of talk about Cuba in the news lately with the recent historic visit by President Obama (and the awkward handshake that went viral), Starwood Hotels & Resorts signing a deal to control 3 hotels in Havana, and the announcement to resume commercial flights to Cuba in the near future and now there is one more way to plan a visit there.

AMEX Business Platinum card 100K sign up bonus

I received an interesting offer in the mail today for a 100K Membership Rewards sign up bonus for the AMEX Business Platinum card which is one of the highest bonuses they offer. I had heard of reports of others being targeted for this offer but I never expected to be targeted myself. I had previously tried to see if I qualified for this increased sign up offer before when I was applying for the AMEX personal Platinum card last year but unfortunately I was only able to receive the standard 40,000 Membership Rewards sign up bonus which is what they are still advertising on their website.

Capital One becomes first financial company to partner up with Amazon Echo

I know this news is a few days old but I thought I'd share it regardless. Recently it was announced that Capital One teamed up with Amazon to let customers use their Amazon Echo to perform different actions such as paying your bill or checking your balance.

Free food from Chipotle

I know this has nothing to do with travel but I thought I'd mention it anyways. It is no secret that I have always been a huge fan of Chipotle. Even with the whole recent E. coli outbreaks I still love their food and think they are a quality company so I will keep going there.

And the 2016 best airline reward program goes to ...

The 5th annual FlyerTalk "Best Rewards Programs" awards were announced earlier today and the winners come as no surprise as they were also the winners from last year as well. American Airlines, Starwood Hotels, and Hertz car rental took home the top prize in their respective categories and the entire list including past winners can be found below.

Should Zika affect your travel plans?

In anticipation of an upcoming cruise that I'm taking next week that is stopping at many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the inherent risks associated with the recent worldwide outbreak of the Zika virus. As most people have heard by now, Zika is a virus that is transmitted via mosquitoes and has also been suspected to be transmitted sexually. It is of most concern to pregnant females or females of child-bearing age since it has been linked with the birth defect known as microcephaly which literally means "small head" but is a condition in which the brain also does not develop properly.

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