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9 Good Credit Cards With Little Or No Minimum Spend

I’m currently working on meeting the minimum spend on The Platinum Card®, and I’m still about a month away from hitting the $5,000 mark, after which I expect to get 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points. The Amex Platinum has the highest minimum spend of any card I’ve applied for all year, and I specifically planned to apply toward the end of the year so holiday expenses could help me reach $5,000 in spend relatively quickly. Meanwhile, I’ve been considering what other cards I might want to apply for while I’m trying to meet the Amex’s minimum. It’d have to be a card that doesn’t have a large minimum spend requirement of its own. I’m sure others sometimes find themselves wondering how to juggle budgets with minimum spends, so here are a few decent options that might fit the bill (pun intended): JetBlue Plus Card I’ve been meaning to pick this card up for a while. The JetBlue Plus Card offers 30,000 TrueBlue points after $1,000 spend in the first 90 days. The card also has no foreign transaction fees and offers a 10% rebate on points every time you redeem them for a flight. It also is a “chip + pin” card, which makes it extra easy to use abroad. I’ve heard anecdotally that Barclaycard only lets you have two or three of their cards at once, so plan out whether you’d like this card, the AAdvantage Aviator card (see below), the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, or one of their other cards. If you live in or near a city where JetBlue has a hub (like New York, Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, etc.), I’d definitely recommend applying for this card. It has a $99 annual fee, not waived the first year. You can redeem TrueBlue points for flights on JetBlue’s Mint business class IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card I already have this card, otherwise it’d be a no-brainer. Getting a free night at any IHG hotel worldwide every anniversary you have the card is a steal. The icing on the cake is the 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. Better yet, the annual fee is only $49, and it’s waived the first year. If you don’t already have this card, you should consider picking it up. Avianca Vuela Visa® Card The great thing about this card from Banco Popular is that there is no minimum spend – you get the 40,000 LifeMiles bonus after your first purchase. Also, many people report receiving a 60,000 bonus (instead of the advertised 40,000) when entering the code AVSPWE on the application. LifeMiles are one of the most lucrative points currencies for Star Alliance premium cabin redemptions. The annual fee is $149, not waived the first year. AAdvantage Aviator Red Card This card is just like the Vuela Visa in two ways: It has an alliterative name It requires no minimum spend: you get 60,000 bonus miles after you make your first purchase and pay the annual fee ($95) Sometimes it can be tricky to find a good redemption option for AAdvantage miles, but they certainly do

Is A Dine On Demand Concept In Business Class Realistic For All Airlines?

A couple of days ago I wrote about how Cathay Pacific is testing out some improvements to their business class experience, including introducing mattress pads and dine on demand in business class. Initially they’re rolling these out as trials on flights to Chicago and London Gatwick, with the hopes of expanding them to all longhaul flights in the future. However, apparently the feedback for the dine on demand has been awful… from the cabin crew. No matter what service concept an airline implements, I think the key is that they do so consistently. A service that only works well on half of flights just isn’t worth much, since it doesn’t help manage the expectations of customers, and inevitably leads to disappointment. So it got me thinking, are Cathay Pacific cabin crew just “lazy,” or is dine on demand not a realistic service expectation in business class? The more thought I put into it, the more I question the merits of a dine on demand concept (certainly Cathay Pacific cabin crew aren’t lazy). The way I see it, there are a few different airline service concepts when it comes to business class dining: There’s the assembly line approach, where the crew comes through with carts, the service isn’t at all personalized, and you feel like you’re just part of the process (similar to Cathay Pacific’s current service) Slightly better is when airlines don’t use carts, and instead flight attendants bring stuff to you directly on a tray, as it doesn’t block the aisles, and feels a bit more personalized (similar to Emirates’ current service) Even more I prefer when there’s a single flight attendant dedicated to a small area, and they just have to look after 8-12 passengers; as you develop more of a relationship with the flight attendant, service is more personalized, etc. (this is something Lufthansa implemented not too long ago, and it’s quite effective) Then there’s dine on demand, where you can eat what you want when you want (like Etihad and Qatar) Cathay Pacific’s current “assembly line” service Even within those categories you have quite a bit of variance. For example, some airlines bring you an entire tray that they plop down in front of you. Etihad’s current dine on demand concept Other airlines offer more of a restaurant-style experience, and place everything directly on your tablecloth. Qatar’s current dine on demand concept Of course I love when an airline has dine on demand and sets everything directly on your tablecloth. This is what Qatar Airways does, and it’s a great experience… when done correctly. The problem is that sometimes it’s not. For example, recently I took four Qatar Airways business class flights: On two of the flights, the dine on demand concept was executed flawlessly On one of the flights the service was awful, and the crew was visibly stressed to the point that I felt bad asking them for anything, as they were so frazzled On one of the flights the crew was good, but because of the dine on demand concept everything was really drawn out, and they weren’t as quick

Hurricane Irma Continues To Cause Massive Disruptions To Air Travel

There’s always a balance when it comes to reporting on events and how they impact travel. Like many of you, we’ve been glued to coverage and updates of Hurricane Irma for the past several days, and there have certainly been plenty of travel-related announcements, but there’s a point where it can be a bit much, hence why we haven’t reported on every hurricane development over the past few days. I think this image from U.S Customs and Border Protection showing the status of the various Florida Ports of Entry sums things up in many ways: Ben’s parents also live in the Tampa Bay area, and like most people in the city, hadn’t evacuated based on the initial trajectories. So it was a very tense weekend, and while Floridians certainly have a long and difficult recovery ahead of them, and there will be continued impacts to other cities as Irma heads north, we’re breathing a bit more easily this morning. That being said, there are still major and serious storms throughout the Southeast, and over 7 million people are without power. And as even minor travel disruptions tend to impact the entire route network, an update seems appropriate. The status of Florida Airports Almost without exception, every airport in Florida from Tallahassee and Jacksonville down to Key West received rain and major wind gusts during Irma, in many cases destroying radar and other instruments. South Florida airport weather readings. At least what's left of them. #Irma — Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) September 10, 2017 As a result, most airports continue to be closed today, and possibly tomorrow. Crews have to clear debris, inspect runways and taxiways to make sure they’re safe for heavy airplanes, fuel lines and tanks may have to be repaired, and so forth. There’s a lot of work to do. In all cases, you should definitely not go to the airport if your flight isn’t operating. And for the most part, any flights scheduled over the next few days probably aren’t operating. To give some highlights: Miami (MIA) No commercial flights scheduled for 9/11, damage assessment underway Ft Lauderdale (FLL) No commercial flights scheduled for 9/11, damage assessment underway Orlando (MCO) Not operational. Wind gusts still preventing damage assessment Tampa (TPA) Not operational. Storm still preventing damage assessment, anticipating no flights until 9/13 If you intend to travel to or through Florida in the next few days, you’ll want to contact your airline ASAP to make other arrangements. If you’re flying American or JetBlue anywhere, you’ll want to pay particularly close attention to your flights. Having the Florida airports closed means 24% of American’s flights for today have been canceled, and the Caribbean situation has led to 41% of JetBlue’s flights being canceled, so there’s a significant impact on the fleets and staffing for both carriers. Irma continues to pose a threat to the Southeast United States While Florida seems to have avoided the worst-case scenarios of direct hits on Miami or Tampa, the storm isn’t over. Jacksonville has major flooding, the sea levels are incredibly high in Charleston, and there are high winds and tornado warnings across the Southeast. As a result, we’re