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First of all sorry if it is posted in the wrong group. Mods, please feel free to move.

I got an email from Chase to get $600 bonus by opening a Checking and Savings account after meeting the requirements.

For checking account, here is what the email mentions: For new Chase checking customers:Open a new Chase Total Checkingģ account1 and set up direct deposit.

I would rather not change direct deposit set up with my employer if there are other ways, I hope someone can point me. I googled but nothing helpful showed up.

I have checking bank accounts with Golden1 CU and BoA, as well as an investment account with Schwab and vanguard (though there is no money in Vanguard). 

I have appointment set with Chase tomorrow, so I hope someone can help me quickly.


I have a code for $20 Concession Certificate that needs to be activated by visiting

Asking for $10 Amazon GC. Please PM if interested.

Code must be activated and used by 12/31/19. Once you click on this link, the page asks for: "Tell us about who will use the Concession Certificate at the theater. We need to know that person's name and email address to generate and send the Concession Certificate to the right place". So, you can generate the certificate in your name.

Here are the terms:

**Concession Certificate is good for any food and/or drink purchase (up to $20 total value) at any participating theater's concession stand in the U.S. Reward code is void if not activated by 12/31/19, and Concession Certificate is void if not used by 12/31/19. If lost or stolen, cannot be replaced. No reproductions will be accepted. No cash value, except as required by law. No change will be provided. Internet access and printer required, and must bring printed Concession Certificate to the participating theater's concession stand to redeem. Not valid with any other offer. One-time use only. Not for resale; void if sold or exchanged. If cost of concessions is more than maximum value of the Concession Certificate, then user must pay the difference. Fandango Loyalty Solutions, LLC is not a sponsor or co-sponsor of this program. The redemption of the reward code is subject to Fandango's Terms and Policies at Use of the Concession Certificate is subject to the terms and conditions at FANDANGO and the Fandango Logo are registered trademarks of Fandango Media, LLC.

Have a code that is good for up to 4 free Fandango movie tickets. (Got this code from xfinity for being a loyal customer :) ).  Code valid till 12/31/19.

Asking for $20 Amazon GC for Promotional Code ("Code") that is good towards 4 movie tickets ($12.50 per ticket, up to $50 total ticket and convenience fee value).

Please see terms below.

Fandango Promotional Code ("Code") is good towards 4 movie tickets ($12.50 per ticket, up to $50 total ticket and convenience fee value) to see any movie. Code is void if not redeemed by 12/31/19. Only valid for purchase of movie tickets made at or via the Fandango app and cannot be redeemed directly at any theater box office. If lost or stolen, cannot be replaced. No cash value, except as required by law. Not valid with any other offer. One-time use only. Not for resale; void if sold or exchanged. If cost of movie tickets with Fandango's convenience fee included is more than maximum value of the Code, then user must pay the difference. Fandango Loyalty Solutions, LLC is not a sponsor or co-sponsor of this program. The redemption of the Code is subject to Fandango's Terms and Policies at FANDANGO and the Fandango Logo are registered trademarks of Fandango Media, LLC.

Hello experts:

I need to rent a car for one day (April 16th) from 7 am - 6 pm in Munich (near central station). I plan to drive the car on autobahn to go to Audi factory (about 80 Kms away). Planning to rent a luxury car, so I can go faster (if there is a no-speed zone).  Also, renting automatic transmission. Checked online, and seems Sixt is the best option. Are there any codes for Sixt?

Anyone knows if there are any speed limits between Munich to Audi factory? Or how do I know if there are no speed limits? What will the road-sign say?

Also, do I need to get any kind of insurance? I will be putting the charge on Sapphire Reserve.

Anything I need to know or be aware of?


Up In The Air / Lounge access question at SFO
« on: March 23, 2018, 08:43:05 AM »
Traveling on Cathay Pacific this weekend out of SFO. I have MP Explorer card, and one-time United pass. Can I access the United lounge at SFO using the one-time pass? I might be mistaken, but think I read somewhere that one needs to be flying United to use United lounges with one-pass. Is it true or I am wrong?

I recently signed up for Reserve, but haven't received PP card yet. Chase told me that they will reimburse one RT lounge access charges (only for the primary, no guests). There is a PP lounge at SFO (Air France - KLM Lounge). Should I just use this lounge instead? Which lounge would you recommend (United or this PP lounge).


Hello Experts:

I am posting this message for my sister (after reading this site, I personally would never plan such a short notice trip as deals are generally not there, so with that already out in open), here is the situation:

My nephew (high school student) wants to go on a sprint break vacation out of country. Spring break starts next Friday (March 23rd). My sister is based New York, home airport is EWR (preferred). My nephew is US citizen, and my sister has permanent residency (Green card holder), but with Indian passport. My sister has Schengen visa, but it is Business visa, and is valid till April 04, 2018. They want to be back by March 31st or latest April 01.
They are willing to fly from SFO if I join them :)

So, here are the questions:

1. If they travel to Europe (nephew doesn't need visa as he is US citizen), will it be a issue if my sister is traveling for leisure on business visa? On her recent business trip, she was asked at multiple ports what company she works and if she is traveling for business. We don't want to lie if she goes on leisure trip on this business visa?

2. If no issue with #1, will she be ok if she will be back in US by April 01 (her business visa expires April 04). I know passport has to be valid for 6-months from the date of departure (or something like that), but not sure about visa.

3. Where else can they go that she can get visa quickly, as I am sure she will need visa to go to most places as she has Indian passport (but US Permanent residency).

4. How easy and quick is it to get Japan visa?


Tech Talk / Tethering/Hotspot on iPhone for Total Wireless?
« on: December 28, 2017, 11:27:07 AM »

I know that Total Wireless doesn't allow Hotspot (doesn't stop either), but has anyone been able to tether using a Workaround or third party app for iPhone? If yes, can you please share how you do it.


Destination Guides And Trip Planning / Cell phone in Spain for 5 months?
« on: December 24, 2017, 07:06:58 PM »
Hello All:

My nephew is traveling to Spain on a study-abroad program for a semester, beginning in January. We have prepaid Total Wireless service in US. I was wondering what is the best way to get cell service in Spain for 4-6 months? I think phone is unlocked, but I can check that before the travel. I know T-Mobile service has roaming included in Europe, but don't want to sign up for a contract just for this trip.

Any advice is appreciated.


Hello Experts:

My uncle dropped his laptop and now System would no longer boot. He hasn't backed up his data for sometime (I know, he made a mistake). It is a Lenovo laptop, with Windows 7. He has important data on the HD that he would like to recover. Is there a way that data can be recovered?

Already tried using HD as external drive, but still no luck. Hope you awesome folks can help us recover the data.


Up In The Air / Walk-in for GE at SFO?
« on: July 28, 2017, 10:39:04 AM »
Hello helpful folks:

My appointment for GE is scheduled at SFO on August 12th (booked several months ago). However, I will have to cancel it as I need to travel soon, and will be out of state on August 12th. I will be at SFO a week before my appointment time, and will have 2-4 hours before my flight (flight time is 10:30 PM, GE office is open till 11 pm). Just wondering if anyone has a recent walk-in experience at SFO? If yes, how much time did it take before you were seen? Anything else I need to know?


PS: Hope this is the correct form to post. If not, mods please feel free to move. Thanks.

Up In The Air / Question about China Transit visa.
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:13:19 AM »
Recently, I found on SD that China Southern had great deal on SFO-Del route, fare that has since expired. I was not interested in flying, but fare was very tempting. My limited knowledge from reading here has been that for transit up to 72-hours no Chinese visa is required. However, when I was looking at the discounted itinerary, there was a note that mentioned otherwise. The note still shows today but no cheap prices anymore. Here is the exact wording from their site:

Note:72-hour Visa-free Transit is not applicable for stop flights. Please make sure you have the valid visa.

I am just curious why would this be?

I am just trying to be better informed so that if another good deal comes along, I know at least what to expect. I am a USA citizen if that helps.


Tech Talk / Updated Plex Media server, now can't find server
« on: September 30, 2016, 09:54:13 AM »

Plex has been working great for the last 2 years or so, but after updating the Server (have updated numerous times earlier without any issue) yesterday, Plex keeps on looking for Media Servers. Have restarted the system, gave 10 hours to find the server, still nothing, repaired, uninstalled, re-installed the media server, and restarted the system again. I am signed in to my account. Server is on a Windows 10, 64-bit machine. Latest version of Plex Media server is installed.

Please help.


Credit Cards / Question about CSP downgrade and keeping the miles
« on: September 21, 2016, 11:55:32 AM »
AF has hit on my CSP (well actually wife's, but I manage all this aor thing, she doesn't want to be bothered). Her application for new reserve card was denied, too many credits. Have about 140K UR points currently. I understand that we can downgrade this CSP to Freedom card with no AF and keep our points active. I also understand that going this route, we won't be able to transfer these UR to any airlines. We dont have any travel plans at this time, and so dont want to transfer the points to some airline now when we dont know where we would need points later.

I will be doing aor in my name in a couple of months (will apply for reserve card then if the offer is still available) as I want to get SW companion pass (CP). Wife's CP is good till Dec '16. I haven't signed up for any card in my name in over 2 years. Thinking of applying for Chase cards first during that aor and then later on for other issuer cards. Will come back for advice then :)

My question is: if we downgrade wife's CSP to Freedom (keep points active without transferring yet), then when I apply cards under my name (let's say Reserve or ink plus), can I add myself as AU to wife's Freedom card and then transfer her UR to my UR and thus transfer to airline?



Trip Reports / First-ever Europe trip..just the details (no photos :) )
« on: September 15, 2016, 02:11:39 PM »
Finally finished writing long-due TR of out first-ever Europe trip. I had started couple of threads here (with questions, advice, etc.). Here is the main thread:

Here comes the TR now..

On June 2nd, we left for our first ever Europe trip. We flew United (3 tickets booked using miles), Sacramento - Washington - London. Landed in London around 7 AM. From airport, took the tube? (whatever they call it there, I am completely lost from all the travel) to Green Park station, and hotel was 2-minutes walk from the station.

We stayed at Holiday Inn London Mayfair. Hotel booked using points (had almost 260,000 IHG points, from card signup, bought 100,000 points 2 years ago using AMEX summer travel promo (or something like that), some work travel, etc.I think it was 40,000 points per night. Room was for only 2 adults (Europe overall had limited availability for 3), but was advised here to book for 2, and it will be fine with kid. That is what happened, we would make our kid sit in the lobby, and she would just follow us on the elevator :). Due to IHG card, I am Platinum member. E-mailed hotels 5-7 days before arrival that it is our first Europe trip, I am IHG platinum member, and coming to celebrate our wedding anniversary, so if they can offer an upgrade, that would be awesome. Also requested early check-in (based on the expected arrival time). Requests accepted at most of the hotels. 

Reached hotel around 9:30 AM. Checked-in. Concierge told us that Changing of Guard ceremony is at 11:30 AM and we should be there early for good views. Just walked to Buckingham Palace (almost 10-minutes walk), and already lots of people there, but we were able to find a good spot for the ceremony. Enjoyed the ceremony, and took lots of photos.

Overall, just amazed at how well they have managed all the palaces, and these are huge palaces, but then Britishers have looted wealth from all over the world, and it shows in London. Also, went to Trafalgar Square, and took photos there.

It was cold on June 3rd, plus daughter was not feeling very well. So after the ceremony, we had lunch on main street (next to hotel, decent places to eat), and then went to room for nap. Having Indian roots, I wanted to go to Lords Cricket Ground (mecca of cricket). Wife & I decided to walk to Lords (bad decision as it was about 30 minutes walk), but on the way saw Rolls Royce showroom & Bentley showroom. Nice cars :). By the time, we reached Lords, it was closed, but the guards quickly allowed us to take photos. On the way back, we took bus and got off at Oxford street. Just enjoyed the vibe there. Spent some time here, and then walked back to hotel. Had dinner (mainly pastries) and then slept.

June 4th: Took Uber to St Paulís Cathedral. We were there before opening, so didnít see big lines. It was just beautiful. Went all the way up, and soaked in panoramic view of London.

Then, went to Tower of London. Wanted to see the jewels and crowns that are still used. Also saw Kohinoor, one that Britishers took (looted) from India. It was very exciting to see it, such a big diamond. Also did Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Harrods.

June 5th: Took Uber to Big Ben. Then just roamed around and saw London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster, Abbey, 10 Downing Street, Trafalgar Square.

Then took MegaBus to Brussels (dont remember the exact price, but it was cheap). It was overnight bus, but saved on hotel :). Got some sleep on the bus. Reached hotel around 7 AM (June 6), early check-in allowed (stayed  at Holiday Inn BRUSSELS - SCHUMAN: close to European Union buildings), and slept for 3-4 hours. Then Uber and went to see, Royal Palace, Grand Place, Pissing Boy, and had waffles and other items there. Good food.

June 7 - 9: Took Mega Bus to Paris (again was cheap, if someone is interested, I can probably dig around and find the exact fare), and reached hotel around 1 PM. Stayed at Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysees for 2 nights (courtesy of certificates from here). Our first stay in a high-end hotel, location was great (next to Arc de Triumphe). For one night, we also stayed in InterContinental PARIS - AVENUE MARCEAU (IHG free night certificate), very close to Radisson Blu). I dont remember the exact order we saw things, but wife made a list of things we saw:  Eiffel Tower, Louvre museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Royal Palace Gardens, Jardin de Tuileries, ile Saint Louis, Le Marais, Place de la Concorde, Avenue de champs elysees, Arc de Triumphe. Ate at  LíAs Du Fallafel (thanks to suggestion here), and enjoyed the food. Enjoyed walking around the area, it was nice.

June 10: Took TGV Lyria to Zurich (very fast train, enjoyed the ride a lot), reached Zurich around 2:30 PM, and stayed for 2 nights at Crowne Plaza, courtesy of IHG points). Decent hotel, kind of little away from the touristy spots, but their rail system is amazing, so it was ok. Covered Old town, Zurich lake, Uitelberg, and lake cruise. One good thing was that buying 24-hour train pass included 90-minutes (or so) lake cruise. That was the highlight of our Zurich part, really enjoyed the scenic views from the cruise).

June 12: Took Bernia express (no wonder it is billed as one of the most scenic route trains, we just couldnít stop gazing at the natural beauty and wondering what life would be to live here). Thanks to the suggestion here, got the ticket using the cheap trick :). for scenic beauty. Had the Panoramic seat reservation too, so it was just wow!! Then, took train from Tirano to Milan (ate at Milano station), and then to Pisa. All day spent traveling, and it was kind of long day, but it was good to see regular trains too :). Checked in to AC Hotel Pisa (Marriott) around 11 PM. Next morning (June 13), covered Leaning tower of Pisa, and took a train to Florence. We stayed at AirBnB in Florence, and really enjoyed our first AirBnB experience. Did the San Lorenze market, central market. Very cheap prices for fashionable clothes (did some shopping here). This is one place where one should go to change their wardrobe :)

June 14:  Train from Florence to Rome (train tickets booked in advance). Stayed at a boutique hotel for 2 nights (Hotel Indigo ROME - ST. GEORGE) using IHG points, very nice hotel.  Covered Colosseum, Roman Forum, Jewish Ghetto, Sistine Chapel, St. Peterís Basilica.

June 16: Took flight from (United open-jaw flight) Rome to Athens. Then took Ryan Air to Santorini. We used airport locker to store one of our carry-on baggage (it was slightly bigger than their size limit, and I didnt want to pay them outrageous check-in fee). We transferred some of our stuff from other 2 carry-ons to this piece, and travelled light to the islands. Stayed at Memories Beach hotel for 2 nights, about 20 minutes taxi from airport, but hotel is right on the beach. Enjoyed the sun-rise & sun-set from the beach. Staff was very helpful and had a decent variety for breakfast. We were kind of tired from so much traveling, and now the relaxation part of the trip had started. So, we just took it easy. Rented a car for one-day ($45) and covered Black sand beach, red sand beach, sunset at Oia. Spent lot of time just relaxing on the beach next to hotel.

June 18: Took ferry to Mykonos island (on this trip, travelled by bus, train, ferry, & plane). Stayed for 2 nights at AirBnB. It was kind of a hotel, but staff was amazing, and nice ocean views from the room. Loved it :). Again, took it easy here, just relaxing on the beach and roaming around town. Town comes alive late in the evening.

June 20: Took Ryan Air to Athens. (flights were cheap, think paid about $130 or so for 3 of us). Stayed at InterContinental ATHENAEUM ATHENS for 2 nights. These were booked using the points from promo where you had to mail them postcards and get points. Used daughterís and wifeís points, and at check-in combined the bookings. It was nice to be able to stay in very spacious rooms after London/Brussels/Paris/Zurich small rooms.

Not much to do here, so we just did the main things: National Archaeological museum, Acropolis, pantheon, ermou street, first modern Olympic stadium, parliament building.

June 22: Flight back to home (Athens - LA-Sacramento). Reached home on June 23rd.

Couple of notes:

1. We switched to T-Mobile to use data in Europe. Out of 3 iPhones, only one had data working. All the settings were same, tweeted T-Mobile, and they tried to find the error/fix it. But somehow it just didnt work on 2 phones. Glad that it was working on one phone at least as that helped with maps & Uber. Data speed was decent, cant complain for free. All hotels had free wifi, so family was ok with not having data.

2. Used Schwab visa debit for ATM withdrawals. This card has unlimited fee-refund, so will see how it turns out. My preliminary check shows we got decent conversion rate, and no fees were charged.

3. Used Uber for most of the taxi rides. Since we had so many things to cover & limited time, didnít want to walk around a lot, get lost and waste time.

Any questions, please feel free to ask (PM or post here). This trip wonít have happened without all the knowledge gained here, and wonderful ever-helpful folks.

I am planning to book flights for my parents using my AMEX card (to take advantage of $50 back on $300 or more purchase). I will be booking it directly with Asiana airlines to take advantage of this offer (may make separate bookings to take advantage of the offer on 2 cards).

I was checking Asiana airlines site (just making a dummy booking to see if I can use multiple cards, apparently NO) when I cam across the following wording before hitting Pay Now button:

Enter your payment information in English including the cardholder's name.

Only the traveling passenger's credit card can be used for the transaction.
If an airport agent notices that the passenger's name differs from the card used for the ticket purchase at the check-in counter, that card will be required to be shown to the airport staff for verification.
In case of the card's absence, in accordance with our credit terms and international transportation article 3,

the passenger may not be permitted to board.
Asiana Airlines shall not be liable for the denied boarding of unauthorized passengers.

Should I be worried about them having any issues at check-in? I will be dropping them off at the airport here, so not worried about that part, but on the way back, I wont be there with them.

Any advice/feedback is appreciated.


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