Cheap Parking at EWR – $4 a day

Amazon Local has a deal today worth checking out if you find yourself in need of parking around Newark Airport (EWR).

There are 3 options:

  1. $12: 3-Day Airport Parking Pass
  2. $20: 5-Day Airport Parking Pass
  3. $55: 14-Day Airport Parking Pass

You can purchase 2 vouchers for yourself, and up to 6 more as “gifts” ūüėČ

The vouchers are only good until July 29, 2013.

If you’ve ever parked around EWR, you know these prices are pretty damn good.

Here are the reviews on Newark Liberty Parking. They seem to be very good.

 

Hat tip Deals We Like

 

How I Almost F$@%ed Up Our Trip to Madrid

travel.state.gov

Did you know that some countries require your passport to be valid for 90 days after you leave?

Well I did, and I STILL almost %$#@ed up our trip to Madrid!

I don’t know if it was me being bad at math or what, but for some reason, I thought an April 1, 2013 expiration (for both mine and Joann’s passports) was perfectly fine for our trip on January 24-28, 2013. That’s 90 days right?

Either way, for some reason, it just dawned on me today that our passports weren’t valid for the 90 days and I went into total freak-out mode.

After settling down and realizing it’s not the end of the world, I got the lowdown on what we had to do. Yelp was REALLY a lifesaver for some great tips.¬†We had to go to our closest regional passport agency and apply in-person.

Note: The best tip Yelp gave was to call the automated number and make an appointment. Then go to the agency whenever you can. The actual appointment time doesn’t matter. The fact that you actually have an appointment matters, and will get you into a shorter line.

Here’s what we needed to bring with us:

  • Completed DS-82 form
  • Old passport
  • Proof of travel within 14 days, on paper
  • 1 passport-size photo
  • Check, money order, cash, or credit card to pay the fees
  • Birth certificate – Many people said we’d need this, but they never checked ours.

We got to the New York Passport Agency at 375 Hudson Street, parked, and lined up at about 6:40AM. Luckily, there were only about 7 people ahead of us.

When they opened at 7:30AM, we had to go through airport-like security. It was eerily familiar, even the grumpy officers scanning our belongings.

We got a number at the information desk, went upstairs to the processing center on the 10th floor, and our number was called before we even sat down.

All our forms were in order and $340 later ($110 renewal fee + $60 expedited service fee x 2 people), we were given a pickup receipt and told to get our passports the following day between 10AM and 4PM.

Joann was able to go the next day and pick up both of our passports easily. It’s good to know a government agency can run this efficiently! Just make sure you get there early.

No harm, no foul, I suppose. Now we’re all set for Madrid!

2013-01-16 18.47.53

The #hustle Blog Year in Review 2012

As we end another year here at The #hustle Blog, I think it’s a great time to look back on the great year we’ve had. It’s probably been the best year in terms of everything – travel, points accruing, and life in general!

My year of flight

My year of flight

Here’s a list with links to my highlights of 2012:

Those are all the things that come to mind when I reflected on what a great year this has been. Let me know in the comments what your 2012 highlights were – travel or otherwise!

I want to thank all of you readers who have helped grow this site and continue to give support. I appreciate every bit of it and hope to continue bringing valuable content in 2013.

For 2013, be sure to follow me in any way you want:

Here’s to another year of travel #hustle!

Newlyweds at Four Seasons Maui at Wailea Fountain Pool

Honeymooning in Hawaii

Wrigley Building

Wrigley Building, Chicago

cathay pacific first class jfk hkg hong kong bali

Cathay Pacific First Class JFK-HKG

Bali Hyatt, Sanur

Bali Hyatt, Sanur, Bali

Joann @ Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali

Joann and a friend @ Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali

 

What Card Do I Use For This Purchase?

This is a question that many friends & family ask me almost every day. There is usually a simple answer, but sometimes there are just so many types of purchases that one can forget.

A fairly updated array of all our credit cards

Here are a list of categories that you might commonly spend your money on and the cards that offer bonuses for spending within those categories:

Groceries

American Express Blue Cash Preferred: A straight up, no frills 6% cash back.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Hilton Honors Surplus: 6 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent.

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

Gas

Chase Ink Bold Business: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.

Chase Ink Plus Business: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Mercedes Benz: 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Business Gold: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Hilton Honors Surplus: 6 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent.

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

Dining/Restaurants

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

American Express Mercedes Benz: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

Citi Forward: 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent.

Airfare

American Express Premier Rewards Gold: 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent (3 if you purchase through Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal)

Hotels

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Chase Ink Bold Business: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Chase Ink Plus Business: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Other Travel (Tolls/Taxi Fare/Train Tickets)

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spen

Office Supplies

Chase Ink Bold Business: 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Chase Ink Plus Business: 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Drugstores/Pharmacies

American Express Hilton Honors Surplus: 6 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent.

Communications (Cable/TV/Internet/Cell)

Chase Ink Bold Business: 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Chase Ink Plus Business: 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Advertising/Shipping

American Express Business Gold: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

Amazon.com

Citi Forward: 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent.

Department Stores

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

Movies

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

Things to Note

  • ALL the links in this post are PUBLIC OFFERS that don’t pay me any commission. They are open to anyone and can be found with a simple Google search. That is, in face, how I found these links.
  • The¬†Chase Freedom¬†appears in a lot of these categories. Its bonuses change every quarter (as I’ve most recently posted about¬†here) and with no annual fee, it’s almost a no-brainer to always have one in your wallet.
  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred also shows up in a lot of categories, mainly because Chase considers a lot of things in the category of “travel”.

Wrap-Up

Clearly, there are A TON of bonus categories that you’ll come upon in your everyday spending. It can get a bit daunting, but hopefully this guide will help you out.

As for me, I have my favorites of the bunch. Both the aforementioned Chase cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, which is why they are my favorite card combo for earning points that can be transferred to the following:

  • United Airlines
  • Southwest
  • British Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Hyatt
  • Priority Club
  • Marriott
  • Amtrak

Please let me know what you think and if this helps. Also, if you have other categories you are wondering about, post a comment and I’ll see if there is a card that qualifies for it!

Frequent Traveler University

What a great end to a busy week in the travel world! I had some wonderful experiences that really make you realize how awesome the travel community really is. I already wrote about Thursday’s¬†2012 Freddie Awards and they were a blast. On Friday, Randy Petersen hosted a Travel Executive Summit. It was a moderated discussion among top executives from some major loyalty programs in the travel industry. Some topics that were discussed were using points as currency (boo!) and what makes hotel loyalty programs tick.

And then we come to the highlight of the weekend, Frequent Traveler University. At $99 for 2 days of sessions (including lunch), this is an event worth attending. There is content for beginners and experts alike. Everyone in the miles and points community is super friendly and you can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. If you don’t learn at least ONE thing this weekend about miles and points, then you just aren’t listening.

I won’t go into detail about each session because 1) you should go yourself and 2) in my opinion, there was no crazy groundbreaking info shared. I will say that this was an amazing event and totally worth it. There is so much information on the Internet and the forums, but these seminars really explain that data in easy to understand ways. Moreover, just the coming together of so many passionate minds is an invaluable experience. There were some great giveaways, some even donated by generous milepoint members, and even a new iPad was raffled off. I won a bottle of wine! Probably for the best because I was one of the few that drove. I can’t imagine all these savvy frequent flyers checked any bags. All net proceeds went to the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

If your’e interested in attending one of these things, Tommy announced that there will be another FTU in Los Angeles from Dec. 7-9¬†and the Chicago Seminars still have seats available. Don’t hesitate! I had so much fun this weekend that I hope I can attend another one!

Special thanks for FTU goes to Randy, Tommy, Ed, Brian, Gary, Daraius, Summer, Seth, and everyone that made this event possible!