Companion Flies to Hawaii only for $121 |Cheap Flight to Hawaii

Alaska Airlines MBNA World Elite MasterCard Annual Fee Goes Up

Alaska Airlines recently increased its World Elite MasterCard and Platinum Plus MasterCard annual fees to $75 and $99. However, these cards still provide a lot more value than their annual fees.

These cards come with a bonus 20,000 and 30,000 Mileage Plan miles after spending $1,000 within the first three months. 30,000 miles are good enough to fly one-way business class (for example, Vancouver to New York) short distance or one-way economy class long distance (for example, Toronto to Iceland) on Alaska Airlines partner members.

And then Alaska Airlines MBNA World Elite and Platinum Plus MasterCard let your companion fly for $121 US only when you pay full fare for yourself.

You can fly anywhere Alaska Airlines flies and one popular destination is Hawaii, which could cost around $1000 to $1200 for your companion. The only drawback is that companion fare can be used only on Alaska Airlines and they serve only Western Canadian cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Kelowna, Vancouver, and Victoria.

Fly Companion to Hawaii for $121 | Alaska Airlines

Companion fare can easily pay off the cost of the annual fees for these cards: $75 and $99 for Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus & World Elite Mastercard every year.

In the first year, you will have to meet the minimum $1000 spent requirement within the first three months and then the companion fare will be awarded to the primary account holder’s Mileage Plan account after two billing cycles.

Starting the 2nd year, companion fare will be awarded after the anniversary date + within 2 billing cycles.

The anniversary date is not the date when you opened your account, but when you opened the account + an additional 6 to 8 weeks.

As you can see, these two Alaska Airlines cards still provide value if you use them tactically.

Self Help Books; Are They For You?

How To Pick Self-Help Books

A thriving industry has grown up around the practice of writing self-help books. It is not actually a new thing, either, when you think back you can all probably name a few yourself. They may be about weight loss, they may be about finding (and keeping) your perfect partner. Some are about understanding the special people in your life that bit better. What they all have in common is that they address a need within a person – a need that that person has identified and considers an immediate concern. This can be just about anything – if you have lain awake at night, or spent idle moments in the day thinking about something that makes you anxious, the chances are that it has been written about somewhere by an author looking to address the problem.

What makes a self-help book is its outlook. Generally, you will find that they speak in bracing, positive terms directly to you as an individual. This differentiates a self-help book from a more scientific textbook that may address the specific problem in dry language and enumerate possible solutions to it. A self-help book will generally favour one specific approach, and concern itself with getting you to follow that approach. There is a tendency for self-help books to be written by someone who has faced the problem themselves and wants to share how they overcame it. This fact alone will be a good way of deciding whether the self-help book is for you.

Many people feel that self-help books take a simplistic, cajoling approach that offers only platitudes and a set, unchanging solution to a problem that may be a lot more complicated. As individual human beings, we have all learned over time that something that works for a friend may not be quite as beneficial for us. The same is true about plans of action for specific problems. Though you may see on the surface that your problem is similar to that of someone else, a solution that works for them might not help you – indeed it may even exacerbate your problem.

All of the above gives the impression that self-help books are of no value, but this would be misleading. Several self-help books have had results that have been proven over time. As a rule of thumb, a book that has been around for a while will have some words of wisdom in it that never go out of date and are as true for one person as they are for the next. Using a self-help book like this is certainly unlikely to do you any harm, particularly if it comes with the blessing of someone who knows you well and is aware of your needs. However, the most important thing is to always be aware that the book will not make things great all on its own. It may give you some handy advice, but it is up to you to put that advice to work for you. As was always the case, matching words with action is the key.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on Feb 28, 2009.

Why You Should Avoid American Express Use Points for Purchases

How Amex Wants You to Lose Big Time

First Published: Published Date : September 27, 2016

American Express Canada recently launched a new option, letting card members fall for instant gratification by letting them redeem daily purchases for small amounts. According to Amex, this option will provide ultimate flexibility and make daily life seamless. However, what Amex is not saying is that clients lose big time when they redeem points for daily purchases instead of converting to miles.

American Express points provide the best bang for your buck when you transfer them to airline miles, such as with Aeroplan or Avios. The transfer rate is 1:1, meaning you will receive 1 airline mile for each point. Now, if you are knowledgeable about airline rewards programs you should be easily able to extract 5 to 6 percent return per dollar flying business or first class. Sometimes the return can be astronomically high like 30 percent flying business or first class on airline miles. If you fly economy class using miles, your extraction rate will be a poor 1 to 2 percent.

So what’s the rate you are getting from American Express if you redeem points for purchases? Not even 1 percent. On the Amex Gold Card, the redemption rate is $7 for redeeming 1000 points. What this means is you get $0.007 per point, which is even less than 1 cent per point, making it a 0.7 percent return – not even 1 percent return. If you use Amex TripFlex option to redeem points for travel, you will get a 1 percent return or 1000 points for $10.

The best value Amex rewards points generate is when you redeem them to convert into miles. Of course you need to know how airline miles work and if you don’t want to follow that path, you should not have this card in the first place. There are other credit cards that offer higher return for redeeming points for groceries and other purchases. There is no point in having American Express credit cards, paying hefty annual fees and redeeming points at such a horribly low rate. Also don’t forget that although American Express is charging a hefty $150 on its popular card Amex Gold Rewards, it’s not providing many common benefits that another premium card would provide for a $120 annual fee such as Trip Cancellation Insurance, Concierge Service, etc.

Why It's Great To Travel

Why We Should Travel

Ask a hundred people what they would do if they became a millionaire overnight, and at least half of them will include among their imaginary spending plans “a nice holiday somewhere hot”. Some will be able to take or leave the hot weather, but in the main the holiday will play an important part. We love our holidays, as they allow us to recharge our batteries and have a good time away from work concerns and other stresses. While some people will choose to take their holidays at home, there are enough of us who simply insist that a holiday must involve travel. Why is this? Well, there are a few reasons.

1. A change of scenery – With the best will in the world, spending a holiday at home gives too many reminders of work. Waking up in your own bed makes it all too easy to get the irrational fear that you are late for work. Sitting watching TV in your own living room gives way too much of a feeling of a surreptitious sick day – you spend too much time wondering if work is going to call and ask you to come in. Let’s see them do that if you are a few hundred miles away – or further. On a holiday abroad – or even just in a different state – you get the chance to unwind completely in a different setting. That change of scene can make a huge difference to your ability to relax.

2. A change of culture – The old saying goes “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. Many people have had their own hilarious interpretations of this phrase in times gone past, many involving lions and Christians and almost all thinking they were the first person to make the joke. The key point about the original saying is that when you holiday somewhere different, to get the full benefit of it you should attempt to experience the things that locals do as a matter of course. The huge number of cultures in this world makes it interesting, and seeing things from a different perspective is never a bad thing.

3. A change of cuisine – We all know what we like, and many of us would go further, saying that we “like what we know”. While there is some truth to the suggestion that we all deal better with things that we are used to, the enjoyment of a holiday is often greatly increased by sampling the local cuisine. Of course, cuisine has become diverse even in single countries – most of us will have heard the possibly apocryphal story of a young boy holidaying in Italy, tugging on his mother’s sleeve and saying “Hey Mom, look! They have pizzas in Italy, too!” – but there is nothing like eating food made the way it was meant to be made, by people who have been eating it for years.

These are just three reasons, and undoubtedly you will have some of your own – feel free to share those, because people are like nations – we each appreciate different things.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to site. This article originally published on the above website on May 1, 2009.

Why You Should Not Get Too Attached To Developed Property

When Buying To Let, Don’t Develop For Living

Many real estate investors fall into a simple trap on their first development. Having purchased a property with letting it out in mind – or even the idea of selling for a quick profit – they behave too much like themselves. That may sound wacky, after all we are all told often enough to “be [your]self” when we are young, so why change? The problem comes with the fact that a buy-to-let real estate property may look wonderful to you when you are done with it – but you are not going to be letting it to you. It is all too easy to become personally involved with the development and make a mess of it. So remember to take a detached approach when it comes to development.

One thing to remember about real estate development is that it tends to involve homes. Even if only subliminally, a house conveys to us the feeling that it is for living in, and when we come to develop it we often do this based on what we would like to live in. This is fine, in small measures. To put it another way, you need to be able to look at the house and feel that people would be at home there. It is not about standing back and thinking that you would feel at home, because you are not going to be living there. Adding idiosyncratic touches to the development because you feel it gives the house some character may well be an artistic approach, but remember that your idiosyncratic touches will make the character of the house your character.

This is not to say that a new development should be bland and consciously inoffensive. There needs to be something innovative about it if you are to realize a profit. To get an idea or two, it is helpful to view a house or two in the same area, houses which are selling for close to the price you hope to realize. By doing this you will be able to see what kind of stamp you want to place on the property when it is finished. Location is important when it comes to the kind of touch you want to put on the house. If your development is in a neighbourhood that is by tradition the place for retired couples, then developing a classic bachelor pad or a house for a young family is obviously going to lose you profits.

It doesn’t need to be rocket science – you can do some very simple research and find the ideal development property, then with a few simple touches have the ideal house or set of apartments to sell to the local market. Don’t make the mistake of getting too attached to the house, or to your idea of what it should look like. The chances are the potential buyers will have tastes which differ with yours. Save those touches for when you develop a property for living in. that is when you will need them.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com. This article originally published on the above website on July 11, 2009.