The Marriott-SPG loyalty program merger brings credit card benefits

The Marriott-SPG loyalty program merger brings credit card benefits

With the merger of the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programs occurring in August, I wanted to highlight some of the practical benefits of that combination for moderate travelers like me. Specifically, there are some definite benefits coming to Marriott/SPG co-branded credit card portfolio.


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Why I prefer trains to airplanes in Europe

For many, if not most, people, a transportation method is a choice borne primarily of expediency: which options is cheapest, easiest and fits a schedule. For others, getting there is part of the overall travel experience. Personally, I love European trains and I wanted to discuss how they enhance my travel experience.

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The long wait is over! I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve!

The long wait is over! I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve!

That was a long road, but I have finally reached the destination! Yesterday my shiny, new Chase Sapphire Reserve card arrived via UPS! Earlier this week I applied for and was instantly approved for what is perhaps the most popular points and miles card on the market. My excitement level was higher than normal given that I have been waiting to get this card since its debut in September 2016. The card has a $450 annual fee but great benefits. The question begging to be answered is simple: “Is the card worth such a high fee?”

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Rick Steves: enhancing my travel experience

Rick Steves: enhancing my travel experience

The name Rick Steves can elicit a mixed response in the travel world. Some love him, with his devoted followers called “Rickniks,” while others are not quite as smitten. Me, I am somewhere in the middle. and I lean toward liking Rick far more often than not. Today, I will discuss how his variety of media content has greatly aided my European travel experience.

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Evaluating my credit card portfolio - Citibank

Evaluating my credit card portfolio - Citibank

Since my pursuit of points and miles has resulted in many open credit card accounts, I recently began a top-to-bottom review of my overall credit card portfolio. In today's entry in the series covering this review, I will consider the Citi card products I hold.

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Evaluating my credit card portfolio - Chase

Evaluating my credit card portfolio - Chase

Since my pursuit of points and miles has resulted in many open credit card accounts, I recently began a top-to-bottom review of my overall credit card portfolio. In today's entry in the series covering this review, I will consider the Chase card products I hold.

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Amex Starwood Preferred Guest card Statement credit promotion

Amex Starwood Preferred Guest card Statement credit promotion

Last week, I reviewed my American Express credit card portfolio. My primary takeaway was to close my consumer Amex Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card. Ironically, yesterday, I received a spend promotion from American Express for that very card. 

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Latest Debrian Travels video - Thalys from Brussels to Paris

Latest Debrian Travels video - Thalys from Brussels to Paris

Yesterday, I finished editing and posted my latest Debrian Travels video. You can check out my experience on Thalys high speed rail from Brussels, Belgium to Paris, France. We made this journey last year and will repeat it this summer when we return to Paris via Brussels!

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Evaluating my credit card portfolio - Overview

Evaluating my credit card portfolio - Overview

When pursuing points and miles using credit card sign-up bonuses, you soon accumulate a lot of credit cards. I was accustomed to carrying multiple cards before I became immersed in these rewards, but the number of cards I currently hold has tripled. As an early-year task, I decided to undertake a top-to-bottom review of my open accounts in order to decide if any should be closed, and I want to strategize how to adjust my card portfolio in 2018. Today, I want to provide a little background to frame my analyses.

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Optimizing travel experience: depth or breadth?

Optimizing travel experience: depth or breadth?

I have begun planning my family's summer trip to France and Norway. While my wife and I have visited Europe annually since we met, this year we are taking her oldest son for his first visit. Our vacation was originally conceived as primarily a Scandinavian adventure. However, as I dove into the planning process, our general itinerary evolved. Because I want to writing more about maximizing travel experience, I wanted to address this morphing of our trip’s initial concept as the result of honestly assessing a trip plan that risks a shallow experience by trying to do too much. 

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I earned over 11,800 AAdvantage miles in 2017 via the AA shopping portal!

If you actively collect travel points and miles, you want to leave no stone unturned when looking for ways to earn these rewards. Making as many of your purchases as possible through online shopping portals is one of the best methods for accomplishing this. A portal I frequently use is the American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping site, where last year I earned 11,827 miles by starting shopping "trips" on the site.

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Developing my Hedgehog Concept

Developing my Hedgehog Concept

Last week, I debuted the new look of Debrian Travels and discussed why I would say I am not relaunching the blog but rather tightening its brand. Part of that process was defining my Hedgehog Concept, a framework developed by renowned business author Jim Collins in his book Good to Great. While the business analysis of my blog does not fall within the branding I outlined in my previous post, I think a deeper dive into that thought process could be useful to better understand the focus I will have with the updated Debrian Travels. An ancillary benefit is that it can serve as an example for other small businesses or bloggers.

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A tweak, not a relaunch

A tweak, not a relaunch

Earlier this week, I debuted the new look of Debrian Travels. While I would not deem this a relaunch, the update is part of a tightening of my blog's brand. Unfortunately, given my status as a hobby blogger, over the last month, the effort took most of the time that I can devote to Debrian Travels. However, before I return to travel posts, I want to touch on why I decided to undertake this update, then get into a little detail of my thought process as I worked on the rebranding and, finally, what that will mean for future content.

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The new look of Debrian Travels is live!

The new look of Debrian Travels is live!

The new look of Debrian Travels is now live. This is a few days later than i had hoped - I wanted to relaunch before the end of 2017, but I missed it by a few days! This refreshening is in conjunction with a tweaked approach to the content you will find here. I will speak to change in a couple of posts over the coming days. In the meantime, I think I have worked out all the kinks on the new site, but if you encounter any bugs, please drop me a note and let me know! Enjoy!

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