Cut to the CHASE (Sapphire Reserve Card)

Like many amateur travel hackers, I’ve been eyeing up the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card with it’s incredible 100,000 Chase Reward bonus points.  However, as the child of a fiscally responsible accountant and mathematician couple, the thought of paying $450 a year to a credit card company for the pleasure of using it’s services put a lump in the pit of my stomach.

Here is the article that convinced me to pull the trigger.  Apparently the $300 annual travel credit is per calendar year, not card holder year.  So by signing up prior to the end of 2016, I will get to use the $300 credit this year and again after the first of the year.  Right out of the gate this puts one up $150.  Mix in the complimentary Priority Pass Select membership that comes with the card and the triple point earnings on travel and dining and there is no question that I’ll come out ahead with this card.  The mathematical breakeven points for annual spend are demonstrated here in an article by The Points Guy.

Immediately after approval I contacted the Chase team via email portal to see if I could have the card expedited in anticipation of upcoming travel.  They replied that due to extreme demand for the card they were unable to accommodate expedited delivery at this time.  Imagine my surprise and delight when just four days after applying (including a weekend), my card arrived via UPS!  Thrilled with their customer service and can’t wait to start making a dent in the qualifying minimum spend.

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Card Benefit Summary:

  • 100,000 Chase Reward points after $4,000 spend in the first three months (worth $2,100 or MORE)
  • $300 in statement credits annually for travel purchases
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® (NOT limited to primary cardholder)
  • Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Special car rental privileges from National Car Rental, Avis and Silvercar
  • Earn 3X points on travel worldwide from airfare and hotels to taxis and trains
  • Earn 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide from fast casual to fine dining
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 50% more value when you redeeming for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Access to benefits through Chase’s The Luxury Hotel & Resort CollectionSM
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • 24/7 direct access to a Customer Service specialist
  • Worldwide Travel Assistance
  • Access to the Visa Infinite Concierge (reservations or Broadway, music and sporting event tickets)

This Halloween, Paint the Town!

October is here and you know what that means…pumpkins, cider and Halloween parties!

With a professional face/body artist in the family my inclination for costumes usually turns toward make-up oriented ensembles.  To pull off the more complex of these looks, you really need to go to an experienced painter!  Try searching for a local branch of a Face and Body Art Guild.

One of my favorite looks for 2016 is the Pop-Art Look.  To complete your outfit, try going with a polka dot dress or bright primary colors.  For a simpler approach, stick to a black tank or tee, jeans and boots.  Black, red, yellow or blue wigs are another way to make this look pop!
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A second, slightly creepier pick, is optical illusion art.  For these looks, keep clothing extremely basic – all black or jeans and tee.  Let the makeup do all the work. 

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Lastly, despite seeing TONS of this look last year, I’m still a huge fan of the sugar skull.  Complete this look by incorporating a band of flowers in your hair and donning a slinky, long dress.  For men, a suit and hat combo work just fine!

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