Danube Trip: Chicago to Brussels
Danube Trip: Brussels Adventures and Getting to Prague
Danube Trip: Marriott Courtyard Prague
Danube Trip: Prague, Czech Republic
Danube Trip: Boscolo, Autograph Collection
Danube Trip: Prague to Nuremberg
Danube Trip: Viking River Cruise Boats – the Njord and the Bestla
Danube Trip: Nuremberg, Germany
Danube Trip: Weltenburg Abbey and Danube Narrows
Danube Trip: Regensburg, Germany
Danube Trip: Passau, Germany
Danube Trip: Wachau Valley and Göttweig Abbey
Danube Trip: Vienna, Austria
Danube Trip: Budapest, Hungary
Danube Trip: Hilton Budapest (Castle District)
Danube Trip: Budapest to Chicago
Monday morning our longship docked in the town of Regensburg, Germany. I found it interesting that native German speakers pronounced “burg” like “bourg”, making the name sound almost French. No matter, we docked there and some folks took the city tour in the morning. We’d take that tour in the afternoon, after our optional excursion down the Danube Narrows to Weltenburg Abbey.
We boarded motorcoaches that took us through the countryside, past the retirement home of Pope Benedict XVI, to a dock where we set sail on the day cruiser that would take us through the scenic Danube Narrows. As it was still morning and somewhat cool, the first part of the trip was spent inside, with many folks sampling some of the different kinds of beer brewed at our destination, Kloster Weltenburg. As I don’t drink alcohol I enjoyed a non-alcoholic beverage and the pretzel that came with it.
In some places either side of the river was flat for a bit before hills rose behind it. In other places, I guess the true “narrows” portion was where the rock walls rose high on either side of us. The landscapes where the morning sunshine shone seemed especially cheery.
Like a lot of loyalty programs, Hawaiian Airlines allows you to earn miles for shopping online through their portals. Unlike many other programs they also allow you to earn miles for shopping at local businesses as long as you use your registered credit card.
Log into the Hawaiian Miles portal and register your Amex and Visa cards. Then when you shop at one of these businesses you’ll earn one Hawaiian Mile for each dollar you spend:
- Banana Republic
- Old Navy
- Whole Foods Market®
Can’t get much easier than that, right? Plus it’s a great way to keep your Hawaiian Miles account active.
Though I’ve not mentioned it here, the top bloggers in the world of points & miles have all let us know about Chase’s new offering that’s meant to compete with the Citi Prestige and Amex Platinum.
The card comes with a $450 annual fee – not waived the first year – which is similar to those cards. But whereas the Platinum comes with an annual $200 airline credit (and you must specify which airline) and the Prestige has an annual $250 airline credit, the Sapphire Reserve comes with a $300 annual credit good on any type of travel. Since these credits are valid for a calendar year, that means that in the first year you have the card you can get $600 in travel credits which totally offsets the annual fee. In future years it knocks the annual fee down to $150, which is quite reasonable for a card like this.
Like the Freedom cards and the Sapphire Preferred, this new Sapphire Reserve card earns Ultimate Rewards (UR) points that can be transferred to a number of airlines and hotels:
- Air France/KLM
- British Airways
- Korean Air
- Singapore Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
I don’t know if people are applying for this card at record rates or not but they’ve actually run out of card stock for it! It was supposed to be issued on a metal card, similar to the Sapphire Preferred but apparently the demand has far exceeded Chase’s expectations so people are receiving temporary plastic cards until the metal cards can be issued.
The Discover family of cards have rotating bonus categories each quarter. During a given 3-month span purchases in these categories will earn 5% cash back, for up to $1500 in purchases during the quarter.
Registration is now open for the fourth quarter of 2016. The bonus categories are amazon.com, department stores and Sam’s Club. These are terrific categories for holiday shopping and if you play the manufactured spending game, some Sam’s Clubs sell Visa and MasterCard gift cards.
Go ahead and register your card today so that you don’t forget to do so next month. You can find the registration link HERE.
Back in April I visited with a couple of friends for a long weekend. The Crowne Plaza Milwaukee West is actually in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin which is where one of my friends live. I used my annual free night certificate from the IHG Platinum MasterCard.
I arrived late on a Sunday afternoon and had a short wait to check in. Once I reached the counter my Platinum status was recognized and the friendly associate soon had my room assigned. I was given a king room on the 7th floor. Though it overlooked a busy intersection, I never had any issue with traffic noise.
Crowne Plaza Milwaukee West King Bed
Hello and welcome! There are about a million other travel blogs out there but I’m adding my voice in hopes that I can share my trips and explain how I used miles & points to do so. If I can help you use your miles and points for your next trip, all the better! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or would like me to help you.
First up, a recent trip to Europe for a cruise on the Rhine river!