weekend update
Don’t have time to sift through BoardingArea and Flyertalk?  It’s been a BUSY week while I was featured on BoardingArea this week!
Here are the Rewarding Highlights from the past week:
  • $1,000 Lyft Driver Sign-Up Bonus: What a crazy promo! The short version: if you sign up to be a Lyft driver in one of the cities below, receive $1,000 cash bonus after completing 30 rides by Mar 8. Links to sign up for the $1,000 promo: THOUSAND
    • Qualifying Lyft Cities: Boston, Nashville, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. (list updated as of 2/28/15)
    • Full details here
  • Barclays 50% US Air Bonus: As The Winglet points out, Barclays US Airways cardholders can register for a 50% bonus on spend – worked for me!
  • SPG Category Changes for 2015: Check out the list of all SPG hotels going up and down in categories for 2015.  If your hotel is going up, book before March 10 to lock in the lower rate.  As Mommy Points notes the changes, here are my personal picks:
    • Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant, Quebec 5 to a 4
    • The Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, Beaver Creek Mountain 6 to a 5
    • Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas, Avon / Vail Valley 5 to a 4 (nights & flights sweet spot)
    • The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali 6 to a 5
    • Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa 6 to a 5
  • SPG-Uber Crossover: Earn SPG points for your Uber rides and a chance to win 15k SPG pts on 2/28/15
  • Double Starwood SPG points + 1,000 for every 5 nights for stays. Register by 3/31/15. Stay by 4/15/15.
  • New SPG Platinum 50+ benefits: I can’t imagine any Plat 50’s who would want these options instead of the usual 10 suite night awards (SNAs). Which would you choose, something worth $100 or 10 suite night awards?
  • Marriott Changes for 2015: Check out the list here. I was never a fan of Marriott’s loyalty program and am very glad I don’t have many Marriott points.

 

In case you missed them, here are my posts so far for my feature week:

Weekend Update: 11 Free Lyfts, Chase Ink+ 60K, Hyatt 20% Rebate, Sapphire Referral
Trip Report ✈ 20 Day Honeymoon To Asia Using Miles & Points
Review: EVA Air Lounge at New York JFK – not impressive
Flight Review: EVA Air JFK-Taipei Royal Laurel Class Using Miles
Review: EVA Air Infinity Lounge – Taipei
Flight Review: EVA Air Taipei-Hanoi Business Using Miles
How to Get a Vietnam Tourist Visa – Faster and Cheaper
Updates: SPG Platinum Suite-Blocking, SPG Amex Credit Stack, Mistake Airfares & More
Tour Review: Hoa Lu Tam Coc (Vietnam) Boats, Bad Food + Broken Bikes
Credit Cards That Are Worth the Annual Fee
$1000 Bonus For New Lyft Drivers – Give 1 Ride – 1 Week Only
Hotel Review: 5 Nights At The Andaman Langkawi Resort, Malaysia
3 Free or Cheap Ways To Get Passport Photos
FEELGOOD FRIDAY: I Will Match $1250 KIVA Loans This Weekend
$1000 Bonus For New Lyft Drivers – Extended BUT…
Vote Your Favorite Small Business To Win $25k FedEx Grant Contest

 

 

 

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Langkawi Restaurants: Leave Your Resort For Dinner!

Posted: 28th February 2015 by TheRewardBoss in Trip Reports
Tags: ,
There are many good Langkawi restaurants!
Excellent food and prices await!
Mangoes Langkawi Malaysia

TRIP REPORT INDEX

PartTitleCategory
1Trip Report ✈ 20 Day Honeymoon To Asia Using Miles & PointsItinerary
2Review: EVA Air Lounge at New York JFK – not impressiveFlight
3Flight Review: EVA Air JFK-Taipei Royal Laurel Class Using MilesFlight
4Review: EVA Air Infinity Lounge - TaipeiFlight
5Flight Review: EVA Air Taipei-Hanoi Business Class Using MilesFlight
6How to Get a Vietnam Tourist Visa – Faster and CheaperVietnam
7Hotel Review: Sheraton Hanoi – Clueless in Vietnam + My Burned ShirtVietnam
8Hanoi Food Tour: Cobra Wine, Water Bugs, Egg CoffeeVietnam
9Tour Review: Hoa Lu Tam Coc (Vietnam) Boats, Bad Food + Broken BikesVietnam
10Hotel Review: 5 Nights At The Andaman Langkawi Resort, MalaysiaLangkawi
11Langkawi Restaurants: Leave Your Resort For Dinner!Langkawi
12Langkawi Island - Biking to Temurun WaterfallsLangkawi
13Hotel Review: Singapore IntercontinentalSingapore
14Singapore - What do to in 3 daysSingapore
15Review: Singapore Air LoungeSingapore
16Flight Review: Singapore Airlines SIN-MaldivesFlight
17Hotel Review: LVIS Boutique, Male, MaldivesMaldives
18Review: Conrad Lounge, Male, MaldivesMaldives
19Conrad Maldive's Uber-Expensive Seaplane TransferMaldives
20Hotel Review: Conrad MaldivesMaldives
21Hotel Review: Newtown Inn, Hulhumale, MaldivesMaldives
22Review: Maldives Airport LoungeMaldives
23Flight Review: Male - IstanbulFlight
24Review: Turkish Air Lounge Istanbul: Huge & Amazing!Flight
25Flight Review: Turkish Istanbul - Warsaw Business Class Using MilesFlight
26Review: LOT Polish Airlines Lounge WarsawFlight
27Review: LOT Warsaw-JFK Business Class Dreamliner 787 Using MilesFlight

 

SUMMARY

Since we stayed at The Andaman Resort which is secluded all the way in the northwest part of the island, going out to eat easily turns in to a 2+ hour event with most of that time spent driving/looking for the restaurant (some are hidden). The prices you will pay at the restaurants outside of the resort is probably about half and the portions are very good. These restaurants are also less likely to have crying babies, unlike The Andaman’s restaurants (though they may have loud groups or smoking).

The concierge recommended two places that were close by: Mangoes and Shin Mi Seafood Village.  Another restaurant that was highly recommended and was looking forward to but never made it, was fatCupid (its much farther from the resort).

Read the rest of this entry »

FedEx Grant Contest For Small Business 2015 – up to $25,000!
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

 

The FedEx Grant Contest will select a few small business and provide up to a $25,000 prize!  Vote for your favorite small business now through 3/17/15. I’m voting for a start-up called Peaceful Fruits a social good snack company created by a friend, former Peace Corps volunteer and professional tree-hugger (see below). I asked him to send out free samples to promote the brand and contest but that was against the rules (sorry).

HOW VOTING WORKS

  • Find the small business you want to vote for in the gallery (or directly to Peaceful Fruits)
  • Voting is linked to your social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • You can submit up to 3 votes per 24 hour period (one through each social media account button)
  • Voting ends 3/17/15 @ 11:59pm.
FedEx Grant Contest - How to vote

The voting buttons let you vote once each on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (up to 3 per day)

Read the rest of this entry »

 $1000 Bonus For New Lyft Drivers – FEWER CITIES – Deadline Extended
Lyft Logo

READ THIS BEFORE YOU SIGN UP!!

UPDATE 2/27/15: Soon after I posted this, Lyft changed the terms again at about 4pm!  They now require you to complete 30 rides by the deadline.  This still might make sense for some people but its not as easy as the original offer!  I am adding the new screen shots below and updates as fast as I can.  Did you sign up in time? Please email or comment below if you applied and how the process is going, or if you have any questions.

You snooze you lose.  Congrats to all those who signed up already! Lyft just changed the terms of the $1000 Bonus promotion I wrote about yesterday. As long as you applied before 3pm EST Feb 27, 2015, the promotion is valid for all the cities I posted yesterday. They removed cities and extended the $1000 bonus until Sunday March 8 for the cities below.  That was the first change around 3pm. Then around 4pm, they added the requirement for 30 rides (instead of 1) to be completed by the deadline. Here are the details on the Lyft website.

The offer is no longer available in the following cities: Seattle, Atlanta, Austin, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City (I’m not sure about NYC – see screen shot below)… IF YOU APPLY AFTER 3pm Feb 27.

 

NEW TERMS

  • Apply starting today (3 p.m. EST) on Friday, Feb. 27
  • Complete your first ride 30 rides by 11:59 p.m. local time, Sunday, Mar. 8
  • Enter the promo code below for your city and we will each get $1000 (you can also use the code BENJAMINS which will only get you the bonus, I will not get anything).  Thanks in advance if you use the links!

 

I just received this email update from Lyft at 9:24pm EST 2/27/15.  It confirms the promotion is still live in certain cities but require 30 rides now. They include NYC as still live with a $500 Bonus even though the Lyft website makes it seem that it has ended in NYC as well. (click the image to zoom in).

$1000 Bonus For New Lyft Drivers - Change in Terms

*Note – Lyft’s background check, photos, and mentoring session takes a few days so you would need to sign up and go through Lyft’s process as soon as possible to have enough time to take your first ride and get the bonus.

PROMOTION CITIES

City Offer Promo Code Link
Philadelphia $1,000 New Driver Bonus THOUSANDPHL Link
Boston $1,000 New Driver Bonus THOUSANDBOS Link
Chicago $1,000 New Driver Bonus THOUSANDCHI Link
Washington DC $1,000 New Driver Bonus THOUSANDDC Link
Denver $1,000 New Driver Bonus THOUSANDDEN Link
Dallas $1,000 New Driver Bonus THOUSANDDFW Link
Nashville $1,000 New Driver Bonus THOUSANDNAS Link

The offer is no longer available in the following cities: Seattle, Atlanta, Austin, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City… IF YOU APPLY AFTER 3pm Feb 27.

 

Lyft changed the terms of the promotion twice – once around 3pm then again around 4pm: Read the rest of this entry »

FEELGOOD FRIDAY: I Will Match $1250 KIVA Loans This Weekend

Posted: 27th February 2015 by TheRewardBoss in Other Deals
Tags: ,

kiva-logo-300x300

I Will Match up to $1250 Kiva Loans This Weekend

I will match up to $1250 of loans, up to $100 per person who joins my team and makes a Kiva loan this weekend.

Why?

I love to travel.  I love to see amazing and beautiful places and believe everyone needs to travel more.  Many of these amazing places are surrounded by poverty.  By funding these microloans (a minimum of only $25 at 0% interest) I hope to make an small impact and with your help, a larger impact.  Spend even just a few minutes reading some of the profiles and you will get an idea how how much these small loans can help.

In addition, I have a new Amex Platinum where I need to hit the spend to get 100,000 point sign up bonus.  Below is an explanation about why Kiva is not a great idea if you are in it just for the points.

I did this last year and a friend suggested that I offer more to get more people interested.  Ok, how much more?  He said $1250.  Ok, this year, I’m bumping up my total loan matching amount from $500 to $1250 (and per person match from $25 to $100).  Within 3-7 months I expect the loan to be repaid in full.

HOW THIS WORKS

  1. Click here to Join TheRewardBoss Kiva team
  2. Make a loan (min $25) and assign it to TheRewardBoss Team.  Post a comment below to let me know.
  3. Get Repaid (its a 0% loan).  Withdraw or lend again.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Free or Cheap Ways To Get Passport Photos

Posted: 26th February 2015 by TheRewardBoss in Other Deals
Tags: ,
ID Photo Passport Photos - iPhone

ID Photo Print – iPhone App

$12 Passport Photos At CVS / Walgreens = RIP OFF

Do you ever feel ripped off after paying about $12 for a passport photo at CVS or Walgreens.  After all, I can print one photo for about 50 cents. They are taking your photo so it makes sense that it costs extra.  However, if you want a second set of passport photos, they charge another $12, even though they don’t need to take another photo.

Sometimes you need additional passport photos for visas or applications – and going to the pharmacy each time can be expensive and time consuming, especially in crowded New York City.  I waited more than 30 minutes for the CVS employee to take and print the photo because there were 2 very slow customers ahead of me.

When I needed another set of passport photos for my Vietnam tourist visa, I decided I would not repeat my last mistake.

 

3 Better + Cheaper Alternatives:
  1. ID PhotoPrint – This is a fantastic iPhone App!  I love it – its free and easy.  After you take your photo, you can email yourself a 4×6 picture (for free) that has six 2×2 pictures.  Print it cheaply at your local pharmacy or at home, cut carefully, and you’ll have 6 passport photos.  Another option they provide: for a fee ($6.95 for 2 photos), the app has a service that will print and mail you the photos if you prefer.  I would have used this app had if I had found it earlier.  There are other apps like Passport Photo Booth but has bad reviews so I didn’t try it.
  2. epassportphoto.com – offers a similar free do it yourself tool, or you can have your photo delivered to your home or local CVS / Walgreens for ~$1.50.  I used their free tool and the picture came out acceptable despite looking a little bit stretched.  I printed the photo at my local pharmacy and used it to obtain a my Vietnam Tourist Visa.  This was probably not something I would use for a passport but I didn’t spend much time tinkering with the software to get a better quality image.
  3. The free US Dept of State Template Tool – upload your photo then print it at home or at the drugstore.  The problem I had was the photo could not be printed easily in the right size (you will need one or more 2×2 images on a 4×6 size photo because that is the standard size the pharmacy prints for cheap.

 

After learning about these tools, I probably never use the pharmacy photo service again (except maybe if I need a photo to renew my passport.  Have you used any other tools to get your passport photos?

 

Note:  If you click some links on this site, TheRewardBoss may receive a 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!

Want to see how I earn enough points and miles to travel for free? Read this first.  Be one of the 10s of 10s of people who subscribe to receive email updates whenever I post a new article. Enter your email address in the top left corner of the site (mobile users scroll down) and that’s it.  Cancel anytime.  Follow me on FacebookTwitterGoogle+.

The Andaman Langkawi Resort
Andaman Langkawi

TRIP REPORT INDEX

PartTitleCategory
1Trip Report ✈ 20 Day Honeymoon To Asia Using Miles & PointsItinerary
2Review: EVA Air Lounge at New York JFK – not impressiveFlight
3Flight Review: EVA Air JFK-Taipei Royal Laurel Class Using MilesFlight
4Review: EVA Air Infinity Lounge - TaipeiFlight
5Flight Review: EVA Air Taipei-Hanoi Business Class Using MilesFlight
6How to Get a Vietnam Tourist Visa – Faster and CheaperVietnam
7Hotel Review: Sheraton Hanoi – Clueless in Vietnam + My Burned ShirtVietnam
8Hanoi Food Tour: Cobra Wine, Water Bugs, Egg CoffeeVietnam
9Tour Review: Hoa Lu Tam Coc (Vietnam) Boats, Bad Food + Broken BikesVietnam
10Hotel Review: 5 Nights At The Andaman Langkawi Resort, MalaysiaLangkawi
11Langkawi Restaurants: Leave Your Resort For Dinner!Langkawi
12Langkawi Island - Biking to Temurun WaterfallsLangkawi
13Hotel Review: Singapore IntercontinentalSingapore
14Singapore - What do to in 3 daysSingapore
15Review: Singapore Air LoungeSingapore
16Flight Review: Singapore Airlines SIN-MaldivesFlight
17Hotel Review: LVIS Boutique, Male, MaldivesMaldives
18Review: Conrad Lounge, Male, MaldivesMaldives
19Conrad Maldive's Uber-Expensive Seaplane TransferMaldives
20Hotel Review: Conrad MaldivesMaldives
21Hotel Review: Newtown Inn, Hulhumale, MaldivesMaldives
22Review: Maldives Airport LoungeMaldives
23Flight Review: Male - IstanbulFlight
24Review: Turkish Air Lounge Istanbul: Huge & Amazing!Flight
25Flight Review: Turkish Istanbul - Warsaw Business Class Using MilesFlight
26Review: LOT Polish Airlines Lounge WarsawFlight
27Review: LOT Warsaw-JFK Business Class Dreamliner 787 Using MilesFlight

 

SUMMARY

I loved almost everything about my stay at The Andaman.  “Paradise found” were my initial thoughts when I arrived.  The staff here was really fantastic (they seem happy to be there and go out of their way to help you) — this is where I gave away all of my ‘Platinum Thank You Cards’ to a few select staff members.  One star was subtracted because the resort forgot that some of their guests would prefer peace and quiet and not listen to scream kids, especially at a nice restaurant.

TheRewardBoss Rating:  4 out of 5 Stars 

Read the rest of this entry »

 $1000 Bonus For New Lyft Drivers ($500 in NYC) – FOR ONE WEEK ONLY!
Lyft Logo

READ THIS BEFORE SIGNING UP!!!

UPDATE: 2/27/14: THE PROMOTION FOR ALL THE CITIES BELOW IS VALID FOR ANYONE WHO APPLIED BEFORE 3pm EST FEBRUARY 27!  FOR ANYONE APPLYING AFTER 3PM EST on FEBRUARY 27, LYFT REDUCED THE NUMBER OF CITIES AND EXTENDED THE DEADLINE FOR THE FIRST RIDE TO 11:59 p.m. LOCAL TIME, SUNDAY, MARCH 8.  Click here to for the updated details.

 

Lyft is offering huge bonuses for new drivers for 1 week only ($1,000 or $500)!  Looks like they signed up so many passengers with their recent free ride promotion and now they desperately need more drivers to meet demand.  If I only had a car I would sign up right now!  If you sign up, and successfully finish all the steps in time, we will each get a $1000 bonus.  It sounds too good to be true but according to this Lyft page, this is the real thing.

 

Promotion Terms:

  • Apply using this link starting today Feb 26, 2015
  • Complete your first ride (just 1 ride!) on or before March 5, 2015 (March 2 for NYC) (usually they require a lot more rides to get the bonus)
  • Enter the promo code below for your city (you can also use the code BENJAMINS which will only get you the bonus, I will not get anything).  Thanks in advance if you use the links!
  • Drivers who get an email can do 30 rides by March 1 at 8pm will receive a $500 bonus in Boston or NYC and in $300 in Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Nashville, Washington DC, Philadelphia.  See more here.

*Note – Lyft’s background check, photos, and mentoring session takes a few days so you would need to sign up and go through Lyft’s process as soon as possible to have enough time to take your first ride and get the bonus.

PROMOTION CITIES Read the rest of this entry »