Monthly Archives: December 2020

2020: The Year In Travel

What a difference a year makes! In 2019 I had 30 flight segments and nearly 50,000 miles flown. In 2020, just 7 flight segments and 4,155 miles in the air.

Of course we all know why. I’m not positive I’d ever heard the word “pandemic” before March of this year and now it’s part of our everyday vocabulary.

Map created by

I did get two ski trips in before the US shut down(-ish) and had related lodging reviews:

Then there was the small fire in my home that caused me to live at the Homewood Suites Southwind/Hacks Cross here in Memphis for four months.

I was able to get back to Nashville in the late summer and stayed at the new Home2Suites by Hilton Nashville Bellevue on the southwest side of the city and stayed there again at Christmas. Over Thanksgiving I was at nearby Hampton Inn that I reviewed late last year. Amex Offers provided discounts to both places which was an unexpected bonus.

I’ve got a ski trip planned for early February and am hoping it doesn’t get canceled. At the time of this writing some Colorado counties are not allowing folks who don’t live together to share vacation lodging. Hopefully that won’t be the case in Eagle County during the week I’m planning to be there.

This past October we were scheduled to go to Hawaii and attend a Hilton timeshare presentation in return for several free nights on the Big Island. Obviously that got canceled but I was still on the hook to attend a presentation. So we’ve moved it to Myrtle Beach, SC in May and will hope to take a few days on either side to explore the Carolinas.

We don’t have plans for our usual big trip in the fall; it will all depend on how things go with vaccines, etc. Hopefully in a few months we’ll be able to get the ball rolling on that – even if we stay domestic instead of going abroad in 2021.

How did your 2020 travel plans change and what do you have on tap for 2021?

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Activate 2021 1st Quarter Bonus Categories

It’s the 15th of the 3rd month of the quarter so it’s time to activate bonus categories for card that have quarterly bonuses for next quarter.  All of these cards offer bonus points or cash back on up to $2000 in purchases during the quarter.

US Bank Cash+

If you’re not already getting 5x Ultimate Rewards points by using a Chase Ink card (and even if you are!) you may want to switch the card you’re using for payment for TV/Internet/Streaming Services and Cell Phones.  You must register your card before March 25th to get the bonus cash-back in the categories you select.  As a reminder, you choose two 5% categories and one 2% category.  To register, click on the link in the email you received from US Bank or visit this link.  I’m choosing Home Utilities (as usual) and Gyms (as usual).

Discover Card

Discover has already given us the full calendar for 2021.  For Q1 the categories are:

Until this weekend I’d have said this was an easy category to fulfill.  But with Wal-Mart attempting to shut down manufactured spending opportunities, it may not be as easy as buying 3 x $500 gift cards.  However, if you still have a Bluebird or Serve card and are allowed to load with a gift card, this might not be too difficult.


Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom’s Q4 categories are Wholesale Clubs, Internet/Cable/Phone services, Select Streaming Services.  As mentioned above, if you’re not already getting 5x on Internet/Cable/Phone via your Chase Ink card, this is a good opportunity to earn more for a few months.

To register you can go to this link to look at the calendar, then click on the Activate Now button as seen above.

In the end

Always register for the bonus categories even if you don’t think you’re going to use them.  You’ll never know when they might come in handy!

Categories: Cash Plus, Chase, Credit Cards, Discover, Freedom, US Bank | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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