Monthly Archives: December 2022

2022: The Year in Travel

2022 saw my return not only to skiing but to international travel. In both cases there was a wonderful sense of normalcy returning. While masks were still required for my ski trips, by the time I took a flight in May they were optional. I chose to wear a mask on my trip over to Europe as I didn’t want to chance catching anything that would ruin my enjoyment but I didn’t wear one on the way back.

I had five trips this year that involved flights. Three were ski trips and the other two were with my travel buddies. For trips to see family I just have a three-hour drive.

Ski trips this year were to Beaver Creek, Colorado (where I’d intended to fly into the Vail/Eagle County airport (EGE) but learned that during inclement weather regional jets can’t land there! But I caught a ride from Denver and was able to return home from Eagle), to Crested Butte, Colorado (Gunnison – GUC) and Steamboat, Colorado (Hayden – HDN). I had a round-trip flight to Chicago (ORD) in May where I met up with friends for a trip to the Great Plains, including Mount Rushmore.

My 2022 Domestic Travel

In October I finally left the country for the first time since 2019, flying United to meet my friend in Chicago and flying to Florence (FLR) via Zurich (ZRH) on SWISS and then flying to Paris (CDG) on Air France where we took a Viking River Cruise to Normandy and back before I returned to Chicago on Air France and back to Memphis on United. I’m still working on that trip report but hope to finish it early in the new year.

My 2022 International Travel

My flight maps this year have a lot of overlapping lines, especially between MEM-DEN, MEM-DFW and MEM-ORD but that’s life in a non-hub city.

Though I didn’t add any new entries to my “countries I’ve visited” list, I thought I’d include a map of that here.

Countries I’ve visited so far. I plan to add at least one new country next year! Get your own map on the Matador Network

Where did your travels take you this year? Leave me a comment!

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Activate 2023 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 $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 15th 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 again as 5x categories and will try out Ground Transportation as I will need to use airport shuttles for my upcoming ski trips.   I’ll continue with Grocery Stores for 2x.

As a side note, for Q3 I selected TV/Internet/Streaming Services as a 5% category.  For streaming services it only mentions getting the 5% after 11 months of continuous charges but I found that since I pay for BritBox a year at a time that I earned 5% on that as well, so that’s good news.

US Bank CashPlus categories for Q1 2023


Discover Card

Unlike years past, Discover is not revealing the entire year’s calendar.  For Q1 the categories are:

Discover Q1 2023 categories

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 Q1 categories are Grocery Stores, Target, Gym & Fitness. Grocery Stores is always a favorite though I hate that it overlaps with Discover.  Plus, for the last two quarters several of my Chase co-branded cards have also offered 5x at Grocery Stores.  Note that you can’t double-dip by buying groceries at Target.  You’ll get a max of 5x there.  Don’t forget to check your Chase co-branded offers each quarter at

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!

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

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