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Messages - yyonah

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1
With the new rules regarding expired passports (link below), I think we're OK. They can use his passport that expired in 2020 to enter the U.S. The question is whether they need to present his U.S. passport when they leave the U.S. For entering Israel, they can use his unexpired Israeli passport.
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html

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My 6-year-old dual citizen grandson's U.S. passport has expired. They're hoping to come to the U.S. during the summer (after Tisha B'Av, which is July 18), but there are no appointments available in May or June. It looks like they haven't started scheduling appointments for July yet, but even if they got an appointment for the beginning of July, the passport probably wouldn't be ready in time. Suggestions?

3
Up In The Air / Re: TLV-YYZ $656 rt summer travel on BA
« on: April 22, 2021, 08:11:42 PM »
Normal price these days.
Why are flights to the US so much higher than flights to Canada?

4
Up In The Air / TLV-YYZ $656 rt summer travel on BA
« on: April 22, 2021, 08:57:16 AM »
British Air has some good prices for summer travel from TLV to YYZ. Example: $656 round trip July 19-July 28.

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Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Southwest Visa 50,000 bonus points
« on: March 07, 2021, 12:36:50 AM »
We got them because Southwest had direct flights between LGA and HOU, which they no longer have.
Correction: the LGA-HOU route is back.

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Credit Cards And Finance / Re: Southwest Visa 50,000 bonus points
« on: March 05, 2021, 12:11:34 AM »
My wife and I each got the Southwest Rapid Rewards card a year ago, pre-COVID. After the initial spend, we've only used them for Chase offers. We got them because Southwest had direct flights between LGA and HOU, which they no longer have. So we're sitting on a good amount of points and no place to go (unless they reinstate the route). I'm thinking it's not worth the $69 annual fee now. Is there any advantage to holding the cards?

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Up In The Air / Re: chase travel portal
« on: January 27, 2021, 11:50:53 PM »
I solved my own problem by using Wells Fargo points instead of UR. I have the WF Visa Signature, so WF points are worth 1.5 cents, same as CSR. The only downside was I had to call because there was an infant on the reservation.

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Up In The Air / Re: chase travel portal
« on: January 27, 2021, 11:03:13 PM »
I'm trying to book a Delta non-stop from LGA to IAH using UR points with my CSR. The flight shows up on the Delta website with many available seats, but it doesn't show up on the Chase website or on Expedia. I called Chase and they weren't helpful. Any ideas or suggestions?

9
General Discussion / Re: Smart thermostats
« on: December 29, 2020, 10:41:59 PM »
I ended up getting two Honeywell RTH6580WF's from Amazon using one-point deals from Amex and Citi. My total cost including tax was $183 in Amazon gift cards (which were purchased at a 10% discount). I'm getting $150 in rebates from National Grid and I signed up for a program with PSEGLI that will get me $85 (x2 maybe) the first year and $25 in succeeding years.

10
Virgin Atlantic has some bargains for YK/Sukkos. For example, 9/12/21-10/3/21 for $573 with reasonable layover at LHR.

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She signed up for an online course. I suspect there was a checkbox that she had to uncheck to avoid the free trial. She was disappointed in the course and had no interest in continuing, even with a free trial. She got frequent emails but ignored them because she thought they were just sales pitches.

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Credit Cards And Finance / Disputing a charge for negative option billing
« on: December 27, 2020, 04:01:07 PM »
I was just going over our credit card charges for the year when I found a $47 a month charge that's been going on my wife's Chase card since May. She contacted the vendor and was told that she had signed up for a free trial that became a monthly charge when the trial was over, and that it's not refundable. What are the chances that she can successfully dispute any or all of these charges with Chase?

13
General Discussion / Re: Smart thermostats
« on: November 26, 2020, 09:51:15 PM »
I read Dov's posts on tribetechreview.com, and it seems that the Ecobee3-Lite is the only one offered by National Grid that's relatively easy to be made Shabbos compatible. Unlike Dan, I don't need my thermostat to tell me what time it is and what the outdoor temperature is (I have a watch for the former and an indoor/outdoor thermometer for the latter). But it seems that the Honeywell Home RTH9585WF1004 (successor to the RTH9580WF mentioned in Dov's post) is the most Shabbos compatible simply because it's not as "smart" as the others -- it doesn't have the sensors that cause the Shabbos problems. Unfortunately, it's not offered by National Grid, but it seems that it's eligible for a $75 rebate for from National Grid. Also it does qualify for the PSEG-LI Smart Savers program. It's $99 at Amazon, Best Buy, and Lowe's. One thing to be aware of is that most smart thermostats require a C-wire. Check your existing thermostat to see if there's a C-wire. If not, there might be a simple fix which is beyond the scope of my post.

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General Discussion / Re: Smart thermostats
« on: November 26, 2020, 05:59:54 PM »
I should have googled smart thermostats Shabbos first. I found this, a little bit dated but helpful.
https://www.dansdeals.com/more/dans-commentary/smart-thermostat-get-cyber-monday-experiences-trying-find-perfect-one/

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General Discussion / Smart thermostats
« on: November 26, 2020, 05:46:55 PM »
My gas utility, National Grid, has some Black Friday deals on smart thermostats, with various models of Google Nest, Emerson Sensi, and ecobee being offered. My electric utility, PSEG-LI, pays you to let them control your central AC settings at peak demand times ($85 the first year and $25 in succeeding years).

My house has 15-year-old builder's specials thermostats, so I'm thinking of replacing them. One concern I have is that I saw a video review of a Google Nest that said its display is proximity activated. I'm concerned that this would be a Shabbos problem. Also, I've seen complaints in Amazon reviews about smart thermostats being inaccurate, showing temperatures that are several degrees off, and that customer support is really bad. So I'm looking for comments from people who are users of smart thermostats.

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Up In The Air / Re: Flying with infant
« on: November 05, 2020, 01:00:16 PM »
My daughter will be flying with her 10-month-old on Delta domestic on a 3.5 hour flight. Since she's going to be solo (husband is flying back earlier), she'd like a seat for the baby. Any problem with basic economy? They're not too likely to seat them separately. Second question: they'll be flying while Delta is still blocking middle seats. I'm assuming they'll let her put the baby right next to her, right?

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Deals/Deal Requests / Re: Gift Card and gas Promo at Stop & Shop or Giant
« on: September 09, 2020, 11:04:32 PM »
Are you sure you can even use the first $500 without registering it? 

Any updates from anyone who has bought/used them this week?

I don't know how accurate this is, but I found a Youtube video that says you can avoid giving them your SSN by putting a DOB that makes you a minor (under 18). You can't get cash and you can't reload. I don't know if they have a way of dunning you for the monthly fee if you zero out the card.

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Deals/Deal Requests / Re: Gift Card and gas Promo at Stop & Shop or Giant
« on: September 06, 2020, 10:08:32 PM »
I can either not register it, in which case it's about as useful as an Amex gift card, or register it and deal with hefty monthly fees until I can go through all the hoops that are needed to cancel it. It's not worth the aggravation, especially if it can't be purchased with a credit card.

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Deals/Deal Requests / Re: Gift Card and gas Promo at Stop & Shop or Giant
« on: September 04, 2020, 05:28:53 PM »
Keep in mind, reloadables Can't be purchased with a CC, AFAIK

If that's the case, it's not even worth considering.

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Deals/Deal Requests / Re: Gift Card and gas Promo at Stop & Shop or Giant
« on: September 04, 2020, 10:30:41 AM »
This week they have 5X GO points on Green Dot reloadable Visa debit cards. Here's what I've gleaned. Please correct me if I'm wrong. You can use them right away for purchases. You need to register them, including your SSN and DOB, to do much else. Once you've registered, it becomes an Unlimited Cash Back card. That's a misnomer because you get 2% back only on online and mobile purchases. You can do free ATM withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs. There's a $7.95 monthly fee which is waived if you spend $1000+. They pay 2% APY on balances up to $10K. Cancelling the card is very difficult, and customer service is non-existent.

I was originally thinking that I would get one for $500, register it, withdraw the balance at an ATM, and then cancel. But it looks like the difficulty in closing the account makes this a non-starter.


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