New Next Generation NEXUS Kiosks Coming

As a NEXUS member, I just received an email with some significant updates about the kiosk process when traveling by air between the United States & Canada.

“Next Generation” kiosks are being installed to provide “faster, more reliable and more efficient service in the air mode.”

These new kiosks are first being implemented at Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa and by November, the rest of the Canadian international airports will be completed.

Here are the directions from the email.

  1. Please have your NEXUS card ready
  2. Select language of choice before inserting your NEXUS card into the document reader;
  3. When prompted, insert your NEXUS card into the document reader;
  4. Ensure the card is face up (picture side) and fully inserted into the reader;
  5. Leave the card in the reader until instructed to remove it;
  6. You will receive audio instructions advising you to look into the mirror;
  7. You will use the arrows located on the mirrors to adjust to ensure that you see both eyes;
  8. Look into the mirror, moving slightly forward or backward until you see the circle centered between your eyes change from orange to green; and
  9. Follow the instructions on the screen and answer the questions on the monitor.

This is very different from the current process because now you will have to carry your actual NEXUS card with you. Previously, you could scan your passport before being prompted for the iris scan.

Why NEXUS & Not Global Entry?

Why do I have NEXUS and not Global Entry like so many others? Well for a few reasons:

  • It costs $50, which is $50 cheaper than Global Entry
  • It has the same benefits of Global Entry – faster entry back into the United States & eligibility for TSA PreCheck
  • It can streamline entry into Canada (which Global Entry cannot)

It is, however, a bit harder to get depending on your location. The interview and iris scan must be completed at a border crossing location. For example, I built my interview into a trip to Vancouver and went to the NEXUS enrollment center in downtown Vancouver.

For a complete list of NEXUS enrollment centers, please see this link.

If you find yourself near or traveling to/through one of these locations and would like to have the benefits of Global Entry for a lower price, definitely start the NEXUS application process at the official Global Online Enrollment System web site.

Chase Freedom 4th Quarter 2014 Bonus Categories are Live!

It’s October 1st, the first day of Q4! Let’s get started earning those 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points.

Don’t forget to activate your Chase Freedom cards to earn 5 points per dollar spent at the following bonus categories:

  • Amazon.com
  • Zappos.com
  • Select department stores
    • JCPenney
    • Kohl’s
    • Macy’s
    • Nordstrom
    • Sears

This bonus will run from October 1 – December 31, 2014.

If you want some ways to leverage this quarter’s bonus, please see my previous post.

So add your Chase Freedom card(s) to your Amazon account(s) and start spending for the holiday season. Get your money’s worth on that Prime membership!

Newark Airport Family Day 2014

Finally, I can tell my nephew, who has been asking me about this since the beginning of summer, the great news.

Newark Airport Family Day is back for 2014!

We took my nephew the past 2 years and he absolutely loved it.

Here are the details:

October 4, 2014
8:00AM
Parking Area P4

Other than a date, time, and place, there isn’t usually much info posted about the event. I wish United and EWR would publicize this a little more but the crowds are bearable so I won’t complain much.

There are signs directing you to P4 Parking once you get into EWR and after you park, there are shuttles that will bring you to the cargo area where everything is staged.

As far as activities, there is plenty to do for both kids and adult aviation geeks. You are able to walk through United planes and FedEx cargo planes. Port Authority of NJ & NY have their maintenance vehicles on display to check out, as well as the fire department & ambulance corps.

There is also a petting zoo, face painting, free food all day (popcorn, soft pretzels, hot dogs, chips, etc.).

In 2012, United had a BusinessFirst configured 767 on display. Last year, they had a 777. Can’t wait to see what they have for us this year.

For more information on the Plane Pull for charity, please visit www.njplanepull.org.

Small Business Saturday 2014

Shop Small

One of my favorite days of the year for free money is returning this year to kick off the holiday season.

Small Business Saturday (Shop Small) will happen on November 29, 2014.

Last year’s event was a bit of a downer due to the reduced statement credit of only $10 per card. However, this year Amex has stepped it up by offering three $10 statement credits per eligible American Express card! That is effectively $30 in statement credits per card!

Registration

Registration is limited (though I don’t recall ever being shut out of registering) and will go live on November 16 at 12AM MST.

Make sure you register every single Amex card you have.

As usual, corporate and prepaid cards are not eligible, but Serve and Bluebird cards are this year!

Eligible Small Businesses & Strategy

You can always check out the map of eligible small businesses to plan your day with the utmost efficiency.

Last year, I found a great local liquor store who had no problems ringing up our 16+ cards separately. Sadly, this year we only have 8 Amex cards, but I’ll still hatch a plan that will earn us $240 in statement credits.

Again, you will only receive the $10 statement credit if you make a purchase of at least $10 at an eligible small business. Do this 3 times per card. Don’t just charge a single $30 transaction.

Terms

Here is a link to the full Terms & Conditions.

One thing that I noticed in the terms & conditions that is different from last year is:

Purchases at gas or service stations do not qualify for the statement credit, regardless of whether they appear on the Shop Small Map.

Looks like I won’t be stopping by the gas pump to have Amex reimburse me for driving around on Small Biz Saturday.

Chase Freedom 4th Quarter 2014 – 5x Points at Amazon & Department Stores

You can now activate your Chase Freedom credit cards to earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent in the following categories:

  • Amazon.com
  • Zappos.com
  • Select department stores
    • JCPenney
    • Kohl’s
    • Macy’s
    • Nordstrom
    • Sears

You can see the list of all participating department stores here.

The 4th quarter bonus will run from October 1 – December 31, 2014.

Ways to Leverage This Bonus

I plan on leveraging this the easiest way I know how – buying something from Kohl’s to flip/sell. KitchenAid mixers are always a big hit, but we’ll see what surfaces for the holiday season.

If all else fails, I’ll buy some Amazon.com gift cards since I know I’ll be shopping there throughout the year.

Follow me on Twitter to find out what I’ll be flipping for profit & points next!