Choosing the Best Credit Card (For Travelers) NYTimes


Are you tired of finding too many "extra charges" in your credit card bills for charges made while abroad? Here's a fantastic new list of suggestions for some of the "best credit cards for travelers", published by the New York Times today, April 24, 2011.

Word for word, these are the cards they recommend:

"For the Occasional Flier

THE CARD Capital One Venture Rewards

THE PERKS No foreign transaction fees and double miles on every purchase (not just hotel stays or airfare), which can be redeemed for monetary credit toward any travel purchase, including plane tickets on any airline, hotel rooms, rental cars and cruises. Just add two zeros to the cost of your travel expense and trade in that number of miles to pay for it. In other words, spending $12,500 earns 25,000 miles, good for a $250 travel credit.

ANNUAL FEE/APR $59; 11.9 to 19.9 percent.

BOTTOM LINE You don’t need to travel to earn miles with this card. And you won’t be tied down to one airline or run into blackout dates when using those miles.

For the Mileage Hound

THE CARD American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Card

THE PERKS Points can be used for Starwood hotel stays or be exchanged for miles on many airlines including American, British Airways, Delta, US Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Plus, you get a 5,000-point bonus when you trade in 20,000 points for miles. There is also a sign-on bonus of up to 25,000 points (10,000 points for your first purchase and 15,000 points if you spend $15,000 in six months).

ANNUAL FEE/APR $65; 2.90 percent for the first six months, then 11.99 percent.

BOTTOM LINE You’ll get the equivalent of a domestic ticket for roughly every $20,000 you spend or about 1.25 miles per dollar. That’s “a better earning rate than offered by most airline branded credit cards,” said Tim Winship, an editor for SmarterTravel.com and the publisher of FrequentFlier.com. And unlike those cards, you’re not tied to just one airline. It’s that combination of value and flexibility, added Mr. Winship, “that has long endeared it to frequent travelers.”

For the Worrier

THE CARD Escape by Discover

THE PERKS In addition to the usual secondary collision damage waiver insurance provided by many credit cards, which require travelers to first file a claim under their personal auto policy, this card offers $50,000 in primary collision damage waiver coverage — that means claims do not need to be filed under the traveler’s policy. The card also includes roadside assistance, lost or damaged luggage insurance in case the airlines lose your bags and trip cancellation insurance. It even comes with up to $500,000 in flight accident insurance. Cardholders earn double miles for every $1 spent on purchases, which can be used toward the cost of any trip.

ANNUAL FEE/APR $60; 10.99 to 15.99 percent.

BOTTOM LINE You’ll avoid paying for separate travel insurance for most trips.

For the Penny-Pincher

THE CARD The Chase Freedom Visa

THE PERKS 1 percent cash back on all purchases, plus the opportunity to earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 worth of certain purchases each quarter. For example, April through June of this year is home improvement. There is also a $100 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months.

ANNUAL FEE/APR None; zero percent for the first six months, then 11.99 to 22.99 percent.

BOTTOM LINE “Miles can be confusing and hard to redeem, but cash has no blackout dates, and everyone understands that value of a dollar,” said John Ulzheimer, president of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com. “If you’re getting reimbursed for your travel expenses and your company pays you back before your due date, this is a no-brainer.”

More on this article in the blue link below. Hope this helps!

Choosing the Best Credit Card - Practical Traveler - NYTimes.com

Photos, courtesy of American Express.

Car Sharing, an alternative to car rental and car ownership – Zipcar


Wow, where have I been while this "Car-Sharing" idea slipped into so many cities in the US and around the world!!! It is such a novel and green concept! To share cars in densely populated cities like London and San Francisco for example, where it's so expensive to store, insure and park one's vehicle and where it would be best to get a car "loaner" to forgo the expense! Brilliant!

That's what Zip Car does. It allows you to select a car from several vehicle models for the amount of time that you wish/need. As a result, you can "borrow" for example, a pick up truck, or an SUV, or perhaps a four door sedan for some business calls? They even have Hybrid cars available! Cool concept no? Just sign up and follow the websites' directions, pay a small annual fee and your ready to borrow away.

Zip Car's are now available in many US cities, like Washington DC, Portland, Boston, San Francisco, New York and more. They're also available in London, Vancouver and Toronto.

If you live in one of these "Zip" cities, or plan to visit them any time soon, visit Zip Car's official web site to see is their car-sharing plan suits your needs. Go to www.zipcar.com or click on the enclosed blue link below.

Happy Zipping!

Car Sharing, an alternative to car rental and car ownership – Zipcar

Pretty Locks "On the Go" with Mini Pro


If hair styling when traveling is your thing, courtesy of my dear friend and flying partner Lynn, here is a small and handy hair ceramic styler for your next trip - the Mini Pro by Conair

For those of you who don't know what a "ceramic styler" is (don't feel bad, I did not know either), it's a heated contraption that helps you style your your hair manually, strand by strand, so it ends up looking neat, sleek, shiny and straight or wavy in the ends.

The beauty of this unit for travelers like us, is that it's tiny (see photo enclosed) and "dual voltage", so it can be plugged in overseas.

It's also cheap! Only $19.00 dollars at any Walgreens Pharmacy.

Thanks again Lynn!!! for sharing all this with us!

Interline Travel, Interline Discount, Nonrev Travel - ID90.COM


Attention ID90 Shoppers! Here's a good website for ID90 discounts - www.id90.com.
Visit this website for airline employee deals and let me know if it's worthwhile! For more information, click on the blue link below or head directly to their site.

Thanks Lynn for sharing with us this handy "nonrev" web address. Happy deal shopping to you all!!!

Interline Travel, Interline Discount, Nonrev Travel - ID90.COM

Frankfurt Eats - Crew Prices and Great Food


Lynn Burnett (dcasw), one of our flight crew members who often flies to Frankfurt just gave me this card with high recommendations for the food the place serves. Thanks Lynn!!!

The Kund Kim Westend restaurant is a new restaurant located not far from our layover hotel. Please ask the concierge for directions. They serve "very good" German food, according to Lynn and they have an airline menu with discounted prices for crew. Bring your ID.

The restaurant's address is on the card I posted above, but if it's hard to read, here goes the address and phone number again.

Arndtstrasse 24
60325 Frankfurt Am Main
tel - 069 - 742-287-87
)Good for lunch or dinner)

Do you have any restaurant favorites you wish to share? Please let us know. Pass this on. It's how we grow.

Sterilize Your Tooth Brush While Traveling


Cute, inexpensive and useful. What more can travelers ask for. Steripods, a clever, plastic clip-on contraption that covers your toothbrush to protect it and keep it bacteria free.

Where to get them? At you local pharmacy or in Amazon (link enclosed). They come in three packs, fit regular toothbrushes or electric ones and they sell for $5.99 a pack. All you have to do is "clip the Steripod onto your toothbrush...and the antibacterial system goes to work immediately". It's clinically proven to kill up to 90% bacteria for up to 90 days! Love it!

For more details on this handy product, please visit Steripod's official website at www.steri-pod.com or click on the the enclosed blue link below.

Happy trails traveling partners!

Amazon.com: Steripod Toothbrush Hygiene System (2 Pack Green and Blue): Health & Personal Care

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