Amtrak Rewards Gutted, Hyatt Cracking Down on Hotels, Gift Cards on Sale & More!

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Posts That Caught my Eye

Amtrak to tie award prices to ticket prices. Sigh.

So Amtrak will be the latest company to go revenue based. This doesn’t really surprise me since $.05-$.10 per point redemptions were often possible. Now I have to figure out if I can book a cross country trip before the devaluation, because I really do love to travel by train. Even the short distance redemptions were fantastic. Miles4More on Twitter also seemed to discover that Bank of America most likely will issue the new credit card. Not huge news, but interesting nonetheless.

Hyatt Solves Issue of Hotels Playing Games With Reward Space and Confirmed Upgrades

It is good to see that Hyatt is cracking down on some of these hotels that are basically violating the terms of the program. Members work hard for status and to earn points and the hotels should be held to the rules of the Gold Passport program. Now if Hyatt would just get their act together and allow Points + Cash bookings online.

Travel Bloggers: How to Guarantee the IRS Will Dissallow Deductions

I find this interesting because I used to be someone who lived on the road and wrote about my travels. At that time I didn’t really monetize the blog and never thought to write off any of it. In other words, back then I didn’t make money and thus didn’t have a business. Somehow this guy thought he would deduct $30K in expenses with almost no revenue. I would hate to see how much the IRS is charging in interest and penalties.

Great Deals

  • Raise is offering an extra 5% off a number of gift cards with the code TAKE5. They run this promo often, but I think some of the discounts this time around are decent. The discount is running through 8/16/15 at 11:59PM CST. I would try using a portal as well, but sometimes they don’t stack with codes.

Have a great day.


  1. Hi Shawn, I get one question for you:

    If amex redcard is qualified for the 5% discount at target just like any other target redcards. I thought it was because I remembered I saw such claim somewhere, however I never received any discount using my amex redcard to check out at target.


    • The RedCard Amex should be eligible for 5% off but many Target store’s computers do not automatically take it off and you have to fight for it. Usually its just a quick override, but I’ve been been told a couple of times that it doesn’t get 5% off and even accused of trying to use another credit card and lying to get 5% off once but a letter to Target customer service usually does the trick.

      • Thanks Laurel,

        Will I get 5% discount at automatically if I check out with redbird? Based on my experience, my redbird is classified as amex credit card when I typed in card number. I also tried to enroll in the red-card program with my redbird number, still no go. Any suggestion?


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