Saturday, 29 December 2012

Unlock iPhone 5 via eBay for less than u$d10 - CRAZY!

I am the worlds biggest skeptic on services that claim to offer unlock codes for iPhones since Apple lock down the system pretty well.  Unlocking means you can pop any SIM card into your phone so you can use it with any mobile carrier you want.  When travelling this can save you $$$ in roaming charges.

It seemed to good to be true but since eBay offer the buyer a lot of protection and the cost was a fraction of what many other websites were offering, I decided to buy an unlock code for my wife's GSM iPhone 5 for u$d9 off of eBay from this seller.  I had used eBay to successfully find an unlock code for my own Samsung Galaxy 3 a few months earlier so I had at least a little optimism.  Sure enough 24 hours later I got an unlock code which iTunes confirmed unlocked the iPhone 5.

I believe this seller probably has a contact in AT&T to assist the process but I don't really care so long as it works and I confirmed by popping an Irish SIM card (3 Network) into the phone while visiting Dublin a few weeks back and it worked like a lucky Irish charm.  The price has now dropped to less than u$d6 which is less than the cost of a SIM card in many countries. Enjoy the savings brought to you by PADDY in BA. Also check out my previous posts on unlocking iPhones here and hereCheck out the rest of my travel hacking tips here.

Tags: ..Unlock iPhone 5 via eBay for less than u$d10..
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Thursday, 27 December 2012

United Airlines Business First Class

A lot of point junkies never seem to get around to using their hard or easy earned miles. I splurged a lot of miles to fly the missus and wee lad in first class on the eleven hour direct flight from Newark to Buenos Aires and it did not disappoint.

The seat reclines to a full horizontal bed so after a 4 course dinner and a little too much champagne and a movie we slept very well. The baby slept most of the trip too which I'm sure the other passengers were somewhat relieved at.

Now it just remains to adapt back to flying coach :-(


Monday, 24 December 2012

Paddy is back in BA

I started this blog as a way to keep a journal of my sabbatical year in Buenos Aires back in 2007. Now I'm back (for 2 weeks) but you wouldn't think that looking at our check-in bags.
I will update my Cost of Living in Argentina post shortly. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Credit Card Churn

I wanted to add a few more cards and more importantly points before year end so I applied for and was approved for not one but two no annual fee Citi Hilton credit cards offering 50K bonus points each after $1500 spend within 6 months (see details on flyertalk here). This will bring my Hilton points balance up to 350K which is enough for at least 5 nights in high-ish end hotels or 10+ in normal Hilton brand hotels.

Last application for 2012 was the Club Carlson 85K bonus points after $2500 in spend in 90 days (see details on flyertalk here) There is a $75 annual fee not waived but there are so many perks with this card including 40K renewal bonus that it is definitely worth it. This will top up the Club Carlson bonuses of 300K I've picked up from here 

Happy 'free' Travels folks!
Tags: ..Credit Card Churn..
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Monday, 17 December 2012

New Policy from AMEX - No more than 4 AMEX issued credit cards

I haven't applied for any credit cards recently in fact I've been closing accounts where the annual fee became due. I decided to start a credit card churn last month so first application was for the no annual fee Amex Hilton for 40K points for $750 spend within 90 days + a limited (now expired bonus - sorry) of 25K points for an additional $3K spend within 6 months link.

When I clicked submit I got the message they would need more time to consider my application.  I got a call a few days later from an AMEX rep who said they received my request for the new card but due to a new policy of no more than 4 AMEX branded cards per person (business and personal) she could only approve my app if I closed 2 other accounts. (Note: AMEX cards issued by banks etc are not subject to this limit) 

This was actually ideal because I had recently just closed 2 gold cards (where I netted 175K bonus Membership Rewards points) but still had two Delta Gold cards (personal and business) where I netted a bonus of 80K Delta points, where the annual fee was now due so I asked her to close those and she went ahead and approved my Hilton card.  

Hilton points are not worth a lot e.g. 30K points will get you 1 night at a reasonable hotel with a standard nightly rate of ~$200 so this offer is worth approx $400 (not bad for 5 minutes work).

I recently converted the 75K bonus miles from the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card into 150K Hilton points (here's how) so I now have a nice little nest egg of $250K Hilton points.  I'd like to add to that so next up on the churn is the no annual fee Citi Hilton Visa. 

Note: I don't receive referral commissions for any credit cards
Tags: ..New Policy from AMEX - No more then 4 AMEX issued credit cards..
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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Baby on Board

Last week the missus and I and 3 month old junior headed to Dublin to introduce the wee man to his grand parents. This was our second flight with a baby and worked out very well.  I typically squirm when I see a baby on a flight as do most people.  The plane seat configuration in coach was 3 and 3 and I booked the aisle and window in the hopes it wouldn't be a full flight. That hope was fulfilled and we were able to put a car seat in the free seat which makes a huge difference to having an infant on your lap the whole time.  Flight time to Dublin is approx 7 hours and he slept (like a baby!) for the majority of the trip there and back. 

Tags: ..Flying with a baby, weekend in Dublin..
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