Hanoi Food Tour: Cobra Wine, Water Bugs, Egg Coffee

Posted: 22nd November 2014 by TheRewardBoss in Tour Review
Tags: , ,

Hanoi Food on Foot Tour - cobra wine

If you find yourself in Hanoi, Vietnam, I highly recommend the “Food on Foot Tour” run by Vietnam’s Awesome Travel.  Skip the fancy restaurants – this food is better and much much cheaper.

We arrived in Hanoi last night and wanted to check out the food in the neighborhood.   I read about recommendations not to eat on the street and the need to be really careful (like “use bottled water even to brush your teeth because you may get sick”).  Some bloggers recommend the opposite – do not eat at the restaurants (which will be empty btw) and only eat street food.  Walk around the old quarter and you probably won’t know where to go or what most things are.  I usually don’t have stomach issues but the Mrs’ stomach isn’t as forgiving.  Just in case, we took some Grape Seed Extract (GSE) in the morning and neither of us had any problems.

We ate at one normal highly recommended restaurant on a different day and my main dish had a long black hair in it.  Meanwhile, all of the street food we had was delicious and we never found any problems (even though it was often handled with bare hands).

For $25 per person, we got around 4+ hours (it was scheduled for 3 hours) of sampling food in the Old Quarter.  Don’t worry, you won’t have to eat bugs and drink cobra wine…but you can.  The guide will find things that you can eat but Vietnamese are mainly meat eaters.  Vegetarians, be aware, you won’t have so many options.  I tried many of the choices on this food tour but just could not stomach some of them.

TheRewardBoss Ranking:  5 out of 5: Excellent! Not to be missed!

Tour Provider:  Awesome Travel (www.vietnamawesometravel.com)
Tour: Food on Foot
Price: $25 USD per person
Included: 3+ hours of food drinks, street food and restaurant meal, dessert
TripAdvisor:   Ranked #4 of 434 activities in Hanoi

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Earn Up To 2 Free Nights After 4 Stays – Starwood SPG

Posted: 10th November 2014 by TheRewardBoss in Hotel Deals
Tags: , ,

SPG Starwood Free Night Awards

Starwood SPG sent me a fantastic offer:  Earn Up to 2 Free Nights

This is a fantastic offer – if you are eligible.  Up to 2 Free nights (Category 1-5) and I have over a year to redeem them! Try to register and let me know if you are eligible and what your offer is.  I have not seen this type of offer for many years and may need to switch some of my award stays to paid stays to take advantage of this. It might be worth as some hotels in Asia are very cheap.  Check your emails – you may have received this offer too!

Is this Starwood’s Q4 2014 Promo?  I don’t think so if it is super targeted.


  1. Its targeted.  They write this on the sign up screen: “THIS MEMBER EXCLUSIVE BONUS IS NOT AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.”
  2. My offer: 2 Stays = 1 Free Night.  4 Stays = 2 Free Nights
  3. Promotion Period: Stays must be from November 3, 2014 through January 31, 2015
  4. Eligible stays: Paid stays booked through Starwood only.  Award stays do not count!
  5. What category? Free nights can be redeemed for Category 1-5 hotels and must be redeemed by March 31, 2015 and consumed by December 31 2015 (per the terms and conditions).
    • To redeem, you must call customer service and mention Award ID 1TDFN


Click Here To Register/See if you are eligible (Sign up before December 31, 2014)



  • After 6 stays, get 25% off a future Starpoints redemption
  • double elite credit
  • 5,000 points every 5th stay up to 15 stays
  • 3,000 points every 3rd stay up to 9 stays
  • 1,000 points every stay up to 3 stays
  • 2 stays = 1 free night.  4 stays = 2 free nights  <My offer>

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Here are the Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards!

Every month when I publish my Top 5 Credit Card Deals for Travel Rewards, I scour the web for the best offers. These are the offers my I’m signing up for myself or suggesting to friends and family.  

2014 year started out with some incredible credit card offers up to 100k miles.  The excitement lasted more than half a year, but those offers are gone.  If you have big spend coming up soon, I would still suggest the credit cards below.  If you don’t have any big expenses coming up, check out #1 below, or I would advise you to wait for better offers.

Soon I will be heading to the Maldives, Vietnam, Singapore which cost me 120k miles per person in Business Class. The cash cost would be about $10,000 per person (who spends that kind of money on flights??).  Anyone can do the same.

If none of these cards are what you’re looking for, check out the credit card offer directory and tools here.

Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards - Billboard




1) Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard®

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • My affiliate link: this takes a few seconds extra to click through my link “Airline and Frequent Flyer Credit Card Offers”, thank you in advance if you use this!!

Bonus: After spending $5,000 in 90 days you receive 50,000 miles (worth up to $4,200 if used for 3 free 1st class 1-way domestic flights)

Annual Fee: $79 (not waived unless you are a Senator or HON member)

ITS BACK!  This was last offered in June 2014 and Oct 2013.  It was so popular the first time that they shut it down after a couple days.  Now its back again (see my original post here).  Expires November 30, 2014!

Why you should get it:

  • My favorite part – I can book 3 one way First Class/BusinessFirst Class domestic tickets!
  • US domestic First Class/BusinessFirst Class tickets are only 35,000 miles round trip or 17,000 miles one way.  Yes, you can save 1,000 miles if you book 2 one way tickets instead of a round trip, strangely.
  • Get a round trip flight from US to Hawaii, Europe or the Caribbean (Europe is often 60k miles on United during peak season, but only 50k here)
  • US domestic round trip tickets are 25,000 miles, same as on United and many other airlines (if you don’t use them for the 1st class tickets, you won’t get stuck with them)
  • Lufthansa gives you access to their reward seats much sooner than if you try using United miles (with United you have to wait until about 2 weeks before departure for Lufthansa reward seats)
  • Check out United’s 180 degree lie flat seats here
  • After keeping the card for 1 year, you get a free companion ticket (of course, after you pay the annual fee) (link for details)


2) Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card

Links to Apply:  Apply online now (you no longer have to go into a branch)

  • Direct Link
  • My affiliate link:  Takes you to my business card post which contains an affiliate link.  It’s an extra step- thank you if you use the link there to sign up!

Bonus: After spending $5,000 in 3 months you receive 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points (which are worth at least $700 if you redeem them for United Miles).

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $95

Why you should get it:

  • This offer was recently 70k (first yr annual fee not waived) and 60k (first yr annual fee waived).  50k miles is still good but not as good.
  • The #1 reason: Ultimate Reward Points transfer to United 1:1 – so 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points =  50,000 United Miles.  After you spend the required $5k, you will have a total of 55,000 points which is worth 2 domestic round trip tickets (worth approx $700+)
  • Read my more detailed post here
  • 5 points per dollar spent at office supply stores, cell phone, landline, internet and cable services
  • Free Lounge Club Membership – including 2 visits to airport lounges free.  Click here to sign up for free (for some reason, Chase does not provide this info to you unless know to ask).  The invitation code is “CHASEINK”.


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Keyless Entry Now At Starwood SPG Hotels

Posted: 3rd November 2014 by TheRewardBoss in News
Tags: , ,

Starwood SPG Logo


Now You Can Open Your Hotel Room With Your Smart Phone Using SPG Keyless


The Starwood SPG App has a new cool feature: SPG KEYLESS.

It can check you in, get your room number, and open your hotel room.  I’m looking forward to it!  One less line to wait on!  Also, one less thing to find or lose (where did I put that room key again?).


This is a great new feature but there are not many places to use it yet.  SPG Keyless goes live Wednesday, November 5, 2014, at only 10 properties: Aloft Beijing, Aloft Cancun, Aloft Cupertino, Aloft Harlem, W Doha, W Hollywood, W Hong Kong, W New York-Downtown, W Singapore and Element Times Square.  According to Gigaom.com, Starwood “will roll out keyless entry to 30,000 rooms in 150 hotels in early 2015, focusing on the W, Aloft and Element brands”.



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American Airlines LogoAmerican Airlines Win Trip for 2 to France

American Airlines is celebrating their Admirals Club 75th Anniversary and they are giving away a trip to France – a complete First Class Experience!


Enter Now Button



HOW TO ENTER:  I read the rules to figure out how to get the most entries in the least amount of effort:

1)  Click here to enter (1 entry).
2)  Repeat #1 – You can enter a total of 3 times this way (just hit back in your browser and submit it again 2 more times).


PROMOTION PERIOD: November 3, 2014 to 11:59:59 p.m. CT on December 2, 2014



One lucky winner will get a prize package with a approx retail value of $16,096:

  • Two First Class round-trip tickets to Paris (you actually get 540,000 AA or US Airways miles which I would probably use for Business Class and save the remaining miles)
  • 5-night Hilton hotel stay in Paris
  • $3,350 prepaid gift card which would pay for
    • 1-night Bed & Breakfast stay in Reims, France
    • Champagne cellar tour and tasting for two
    • $2,000 prepaid gift card for shopping and dining
  • 1 Admirals Club annual membership

Enter Now Button

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Aeroplan Logo

Via CandianKilometers, there is a huge fare mistake going on right now.




Book an award ticket to anywhere for the price of a domestic round trip.  This won’t last long!  Looks like a mistake/glitch to me.

UPDATE: This appears to be dead.  They have removed the Multi-City option from the website.

How to book it:

  1. Go to www.Aeroplan.com to search for your flights
  2. Select Multi-City (UPDATE: looks like the Multi-City option has been removed to prevent you from booking an award flight).  Your first city should be a domestic city (you will just connect here).  The second city should be your international destination.  The third city would be your home city.
  3. The total number of points required will appear as full price but the actual lower price should appear during the checkout.

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50 Free Rides in New York City


Last week for Lyft $25 credit (1 free ride) – Expires 10/31/14 Extended Until 11/3/14


The Lyft $25 credit offer is expiring on Halloween – Friday October 31st, 2014 Monday Extended until November 3rd, 2014

As long as you sign up by 10/31/14 11/3/14 and use the code, you will have a free ride up to $25.  After that, your free ride will have a value up to $10.  If you were thinking about signing up, this is the week to do it.

  1. Click here to sign up  (new customers get 1 free ride up to $25)
  2. Download the mobile app
  3. Sign up then click in the Settings –> Payment –> scroll to the bottom below your credit card info.  You should see “1 free ride, up to $25″.  If the credit does not show up in the app on their own, go to the Payment screen and enter the code TRYIT before requesting your first Lyft!

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Win World Series Tickets with Lyft

Lyft is giving away a World Series Trip!
(including flights, hotel, and $100 Lyft Credit)

4 DAYS ONLY – ENDS 10/21/14 @ 5pm PST


How to Enter  (for NEW and EXISTING customers)

Step 1:  New Customers Click here to get 1 free ride up to $25. ($25 Free Ride Offer Expires 10/31/14!)

Step 2:  Sign up then click in the settings (top left corner) –> payment –> below your credit card info you should see your free ride (up to $25).  If not, where it says “Apply Lyft Credits” enter the code GOFREE before requesting your first Lyft!  THEN enter the code WSTIX.  I got $1 extra ride credit too after entering the code.

Step 3:  Ride Lyft for additional entries (up to 5 rides/entries per day)*

* Only five rides per passenger per day will be counted towards entry. No purchase necessary. View Sweepstakes rules. Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights used with permission of MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

CONTEST ENDS:  October 21 2014 (5pm PST) — only 4 days!


Note:  If you click some links on this site, TheRewardBoss may receive a small commission at no added cost to you.  By doing so, you help support my project and allow me to continue providing you with more rewarding information.  I research, travel, and write my opinions regardless of whether there is a commission available.  You don’t have to use my links, but I appreciate when you do.  Thank you for your support!


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