Amazon Payments Free $1,000 Transfer Ending

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One of the easiest ways to generate credit card spend over the years has been using Amazon Payments. Amazon Payments let you send someone else $1,000 per month funded using a credit card. So while you’d pay a fee to use Paypal or another money sending service, the first $1,000 per month was free with Amazon Payments.

Why? Because they were trying to steal market share from Paypal and weren’t a big player in the market before. They figured it was a nice incentive for people to try Amazon Payments over Paypal, and I’m sure it generated a decent volume of transactions. Of course they weren’t exactly profitable, since it was the same people sending $1,000 payments funded by credit cards month after month. ;)

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International Baggage Fees

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Even though I live in hotels full time, I’m still traveling with my Tumi Carry-On. I haven’t been planning my travel more than a few days in advance this summer (if that), so it’s hard to justify taking more luggage internationally.

However, I recognize many people prefer to check bags, particularly when traveling internationally, and I get questions every day asking if bags will be checked through, how many bags one can take on a given airline, etc.

So I thought I’d try to answer some of the most frequent questions, and consolidate many of the airline baggage allowances as it’s surprisingly hard to find baggage information on many of the foreign carriers websites.

Can I check my bag all the way through to _____?

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The Happiness Of Pursuit

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Not a day goes by that I don’t receive an email, comment, or Facebook message from someone who is looking for advice on blogging, or on how to find a job that allows them to travel. I’m humbled and flattered that they’re asking me, when there are hundreds if not thousands of people who are better writers, savier business people, or more experienced professionals.

So I’ve given interviews on being self-employed, and written posts with tips for becoming a blogger, and generally tried to give the best advice I can. Some of the most insightful thoughts have actually come from you guys in response to a reader asking which jobs require lots of travel.

Because ultimately, my advice always boils down to one thing:

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How To Pick Up Flight Attendants?

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Maxim has an interesting article (I realize the phrases “Maxim” and “interesting article” don’t usually go in the same sentence) in which they interview Heather Poole about how to seduce a flight attendant. Heather is pretty awesome and kind of the voice of flight attendants worldwide, and I think there’s actually some decent advice in here.

No personal experience, of course (hi, mom!), but based on what I’ve witnessed from others over the years, I think many of these tips are actually quite useful.

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Blog Feedback: Additional Contributors

Priorities

I am, as far as I’m concerned, the luckiest person in the world.

I have the best job in that I get to spend my life doing the things I am most passionate about, and y’all have been incredibly supportive. I couldn’t possibly be more grateful.

Blogging about airlines/hotels is my absolute favorite thing I’ve ever done – I love blogging more than I love flying Lufthansa first class in an otherwise empty cabin. Which is saying something.

The fact that anyone reads what I write is just icing on the cake. I blogged for two years without making a dime from this site (literally not a dime), and enjoyed it just as much back then as I do now.

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Are Targeted Loyalty Program Promotions Unfair?

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Yesterday I posted about the targeted promotion I received from Hyatt Gold Passport, offering 50,000 bonus Gold Passport points after 20 stays.

Typically when there are targeted promotions there are several versions of it, and it can take a while for every eligible member to be contacted. After all, with millions of members all emails will rarely go out at exactly the same time. I recommended that people wait before being disappointed that they weren’t targeted.

That didn’t happen. A lot of people were pissed, and even said they would be switching stays to Starwood or another chain, despite the fact that other hotel chains haven’t even announced their fall promotion yet.

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Which Jobs Require Lots Of Travel?

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Reader Jase asked the following question on the “Ask Lucky” page of the blog:

“Hi Ben! Longtime fan of the blog, I really enjoy reading your articles.

I’m interested in a career that would allow me to travel as much as you do! (or at least more than I currently do). Do you have any advice for readers who are starting out professionally and want to find careers that allow for lots of travel, either for business or are flexible enough to allow for frequent trips?”

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A Few More Months Till My Dad’s Big Trip!

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I love my parents more than anything in the world, and do what I can to travel with them. Last year I took my mom to Bali in Cathay Pacific first class for her “round” birthday, and took my dad to Europe in Lufthansa first class as a pre-birthday trip. I had a blast on both trips.

This year it’s my dad’s “round” birthday, and I want to make it extra special, as I did with my mom’s trip last year. The great news is that my dad doesn’t know how to use the internet, so I can ask you guys for feedback throughout the planning process without him being filled in.

I started planning my dad’s birthday trip last December, around 11 months before his birthday. You guys provided some amazing feedback, which I really appreciate. In January I shared an update regarding the trip once everything was finalized and ticketed, which I called the “A380 trip around the world.” The itinerary looked as follows:

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Blog Feedback: Nested Or Chronological Comments?

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As some of you guys know, the blog underwent a massive redesign a bit over a month ago. The most exciting changes were on the back end, as the old version of WordPress that we were using lacked so much functionality.

But beyond that, hopefully the blog now looks like it’s actually from this century, and hopefully the blog’s new features are useful.

There’s one thing I’ve been getting a lot of mixed feedback about, and I think it’s time once and for all to make a decision on it. In general I’m very much an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy, though that’s what lead to me having exactly the same blog design for over six years, so clearly that doesn’t always end well.

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How Long For Connection On Award Ticket?

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Reader C Diddy asked the following question on the “Ask Lucky” page of the blog:

“Hi Lucky,

How much time do you leave yourself on a layover between a positioning flight and an international flight booked separately? I’m flying LAX-AUH shortly, and need to book my positioning flight from DEN. I get nervous that if something goes awry on the positioning flight, I might miss the long-haul. Just looking for some guidance on what you typically are comfortable with. Thanks!”

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Best Camera For Frequent Traveler?

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Back in early 2011 I asked you guys for suggestions on which camera I should get. After taking into account the useful feedback and doing some further research, I decided to get the Canon S95.

It has served me brilliantly for over three years, and all things considered I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s compact, takes great pictures in low light conditions, etc.

But at the same time technology is improving at such a fast pace that I think it’s time to upgrade, assuming there’s something better out there. For example, I see there’s now a Canon S120, which I assume is the updated version of my previous camera. But I’m not sure if it’s actually better.

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ExpertFlyer Adds Features: Visas, Timetables, Interlining, And More

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ExpertFlyer is a paid subscription service that I use. Membership costs $99 per year, and as someone that’s searching flight availability in one form or another on a daily basis, I find it to be well worth the cost. A vast majority of information found on ExpertFlyer is publicly available, though being able to access so much information in one place adds a lot of value for me. Then there are also some other unique features.

For example, ExpertFlyer allows you to set availability alerts, so if there’s not availability in your desired fare bucket, you can set an alert, and if space opens up they’ll email you. It’s worth noting that for award fare buckets this doesn’t work for all airlines. In the past it was super useful, because they displayed all Star Alliance availability, though that’s not the case anymore.

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