Miles and Points Recap: Amex Offers, Virgin Atlantic Transfer Bonus, Belarus Culture Project and More!

1) Check Amex offers in your profile. A few good ones have popped up recently, like  $10 off $25 Carrabba’s (h/t Runningwithmiles). I believe it’s targeted because it’s not showing up on any of my Amex cards. I tried to Sync it on Twitter, but couldn’t make it work. There are several  pretty good offers on cruises as well: “Spend $250 or more, get $75 back on Carnival” and “Spend $500 or more, get $100 back on NCL.”

These  may also be targeted, but if you can get them to come up, it’s a fantastic deal on either cruise line. If you have two Amex cards with this offer, use one for deposit, and the second one to pay the remaining balance. If you can find a cheap Carnival cruise, this is a no-brainer. I don’t cover all Amex offers, but recommend you check your profile from time to time. This is an extremely lucrative program, and with some work, you can usually save at least $100 per year on stuff you would buy anyway.

2) Get 1,250 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles for every 1,000 ThankYou Points you transfer until April 6, 2016, 11:59 PM. You do have to have Citi Prestige or Citi Thank You Premier credit card in order to perform this transfer (read about them here).

Should you go for it? It really depends. Virgin Atlantic program has some pretty good deals. You can redeem miles on Delta flights (read my post on specifics of this redemption), or one-way flights to (not from) London with fairly mild surcharges (see the end of this post for more.)

3) In case you’ve missed it, SPG is currently running a game where you can win instant prizes and points. I got a rock so far, but your luck may be different.

4) Just wanted to  show this school project my daughter and I completed yesterday. Since it’s a travel-related blog, I hope you find the photo interesting. The theme is “My culture,” so I suggested that we showcase Belarus, my home country.  Very often, it’s lumped together with Russia, but in reality, it’s quite different. We have a distinctive language, traditions and clothes.

For example, in Russian “please” is pronounced as “pozaluista,” but in Belarus native tongue it’s “kali laska.” Couldn’t be more different, right? The dynamic between the two countries resembles  that of Ireland and England. Think of Belarus as a Slavic dish with a hint of Scandinavia. Anyway, here we go:

belarus project

The handwriting is my daughter’s, in case you are wondering!

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11 thoughts on “Miles and Points Recap: Amex Offers, Virgin Atlantic Transfer Bonus, Belarus Culture Project and More!

  1. Cute project! Does your daughter feel Belarusian at all? I keep telling mine she’s Uruguayan but she’s not very convinced, even after we got her the Uruguayan passport.



    • @Leticia Thanks! I’m afraid she doesn’t really identify with Belarus culture a whole lot. I used to teach her some Russian, but have been slacking lately. Sigh… My Belarussian is very rusty, even though I used to be fluent in it as well. I definitely want her to be familiar with that part of her heritage, but we only go to Europe every couple of years. I do hope you get to take your daughter to Uruguay often to visit family. It’s definitely getting tougher with all of these negative hobby developments.


  2. Kali-laska. (Puh-leeze.) Such obvious click bait throwing in that “Belarus Culture Project” tease in your leader. How shameless! 😉 But I do appreciate the brief primer on the country. Now I have enough facts to impress friends next time the subject comes up. Definite “A” material I’m sure. (Love the “One of many castles” caption. Good to know that’s not the only castle left in Belarus!)


    • @Cbax22 You got me. I thrive on clickbait titles! Hey, how else is a gal supposed to get traffic in this neck of the woods? I’m totally shameless and proud of it. 🙂 I actually thought about doing a separate post on Belarus, but figured this brief introduction would suffice. It’s not like many of my readers are considering going there. Grodno, the city I grew up in, is actually a beautiful place that hosts European culture festival every two years. And it has not one, but two castles!


  3. @Leticia and Leana…My mom spent her whole life telling me that I was a New Zealander, not an American (I was a legal resident most of my life with no citizenship so it was true!). She even told me that I didn’t have to say “the pledge” at school if I didn’t want to because it wasn’t my flag! And she always told me about other ways to think and see and pointed out to me that the American way wasn’t the only way. I think it rubbed off. Here I am, living in New Zealand! So don’t lose hope! You’re kids will learn! But they might move away so be careful! And SUPER CUTE project! I’ll have to make a “American” one with my son! 😉


    • @Amanda That’s pretty interesting! Well, New Zealand is not a bad place to end up in, right? I guess, I’m hoping to raise my kids to be citizens of the world, as corny as it sounds. I’m actually not a true Belorussian myself. I’m part Russian, part Polish and part Jewish. Oh, and my dad told me recently that apparently, we also have some Croatian heritage. How is that for a hodgepodge of nationalities? But I do hope my kids will identify with Belarus culture when they grow up.


      • I start to get shy if I post too much in public! But I’m all for the Global Citizen mentality. My mom just took a pride in her country. But to relate to you… I’m English, Irish, Scottish, Jewish (Russian Jew). My dad was an “American” who lost his citizenship for dodging the war so even though he was born in the States I wasn’t an “American”. My mom’s mom was English and immigrated to NZ and my mom’s dad was a Kiwi but of Scottish heritage. My dad’s dad was Russian Jew that immigrated to the States and he grew up speaking Yiddish as his first language. And my dad’s mom was half Irish and have Norwegian. Something I’ve learned after moving out of the States. I think I identify more as a “Minnesotan” than as an “American”. Why am I telling you all this? I don’t know! Mostly for fun! 🙂 Amanda.


    • @Amanda That’s quite a story and heritage, so thanks for sharing! You are definitely a mix of many nations. I actually just found out about Jewish heritage about two years ago. My dad found some old passports written in Yiddish. Apparently, his mom was half Jewish, and we never knew. Nobody in the family talked about it, and it’s a shame. I would have liked to know more, but they are all dead now. It was bizarre to discover in my thirties that I’m part Jewish. Not all that surprising, I suppose, considering half of my city was Jewish before WW2. I probably should investigate it more, would love to know the backstory and where that part of my family came from.


      • Wow! A passport in Yiddish? Am I ignorant? What country would that be from then? I thought it was more of a tribal language that didn’t go with a particular country?


    • @Amanda You are not ignorant! My dad said it was in Yiddish, but he probably meant Hebrew. I haven’t actually seen it in-person. I should ask him to take a picture and email it to me, I suppose.


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