Like a lot of folks my travel came to a screeching halt during the pandemic. After returning home from my last ski trip on March 7, 2020 the only times I left the Memphis area for the remainder of that year were to visit family in Nashville. I’d planned to go skiing at the end of January this year but as COVID rates started increasing and vaccines were not yet a reality I ended up canceling that trip. As a result 2021 will close out without me getting on a plane. I believe this is the first time since the mid-1990s that has happened.
After being double-vaccinated my friend and I met in Nashville in May and took off on a 10-day roadtrip around the Southeastern US. Part of our plan was to use up some of the free night certificates we’d accumulated. It was great to enjoy the warm (but not hot yet!) sunshine, walk on the beach, see some minor-league baseball as well as visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
Instead of a flight map of my travels, this year I have a road map:
I’m not usually a fan of road trips but was so glad to get away that the mode of transportation didn’t even matter.
Have a safe and healthy 2022, please get vaccinated (and boosted!) and let’s put this whole miserable pandemic behind us.
As the end of 2021 approached I had several hotel free night certificates to spend. As I was not doing much in the way of traveling, I decided to use some of them on my trip home to the Nashville area for Thanksgiving. While I normally stay in the Bellevue area, which is the southwest part of town, there are currently only two Hilton properties and an independent hotel there. A Fairfield Inn property in Bellevue is due to start construction soon but not soon enough for me to use the two expiring certificates I had.
So I decided to stay near my sister in Franklin, which is directly south of Nashville. There are several properties there in the general area of the Cool Springs Mall and I selected the SpringHill Suites as I knew it would come with free breakfast.
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Franklin Cool Springs
(photo from Marriott.com)
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 $1500 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 has already given us the full calendar for 2022. For Q1 the categories are:
To activate the bonus, simply log into your Discover account and click on the Activate Now button.
Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom’s Q4 categories are grocery stores (excluding Target and Wal-Mart) and eBay.
To register you can go to this link
to look at the calendar, then click on the Activate Now button.
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!