DansDeals.com

Loaded HP Pavilion dv6t Quad Edition 15.6″ Notebook For Just $849.99 Shipped!

Buy this computer on a credit card like the Starwood AMEX Consumer Card, the Starwood AMEX Business Card or the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold and you’ll get an extra year of top notch, all-expenses paid/full refund warranty coverage from AMEX for free!

HP Pavilion dv6t Quad Edition 15.6″ Notebook Linky

Use the following code to drop the price down to $849: NB1166

Specs at $849 (Click on overview tab for upgrades)
-Windows 7 Home Premium
-2nd generation Intel Corei7-2630QM (2.0 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 2.9 GHz
-1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 6570 GDDR5 graphics
-6GB RAM
Upgrade available to 8GB for $60
-640GB 7200RPM Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
Alternatively, 750GB, 5400 RPM for the same price
-6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (6 hours of battery life)
Upgrade available to an extended life 10 hour battery for $30
Upgrade available to an additional extended life 10 hour battery for $60
-15.6″ High Definition HP BrightView LED Display (1366×768)
-SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
-HP TrueVision HD Webcam and Dual Digital Integrated Microphones
-Intel 802.11b/g/n wi-fi.
-Microsoft Office Starter 2010 (Word and Excel)
-Upgrade available to bluetooth for $25
-Upgrade available to -Backlit Keyboard for $25

HT: AsherO, via the DansDeals Forums

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Get $100 Off A Round-Trip Virgin America Flight Between Dallas And The West Coast For Just $25 From Groupon!

Groupon Virgin America Offer Linky

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Ad: Hot! Get Cash For Gold From A Reliable Metal Refiner!

Please note: This is a paid advertisement which is stickied as the top post, please scroll down for new posts.  Statements, assertions, and speculation in an ad are made solely by the advertiser, not by DansDeals.com.

Gold is now valued at around $1500 an ounce, and it’s a better time than ever to get cash for gold jewelry, platinum, and precious metals because gold is at an all-time high. As the economy begins to stabilize gold prices will drop. Don’t wait for your gold to lose all its value.

Take advantage by getting cash for gold! Captain Cash for Gold is a reputable metal refiner with a sterling reputation who is now offering quick cash with little effort! They offer the highest payout, and the entire transaction is 100% transparent and legitimate.

Captain Cash buys gold coins, old gold jewelry, platinum, silver, and virtually anything of value. You’ll receive the highest value for your gold with Captain Cash. “It often surprises those who sell platinum or gold how by selling just one thick chain they can make a few hundred dollars,” says Mr. Rich, precious metal expert at Captain Cash. You can be one of the many satisfied gold sellers. Visit captaincashforgold.com for more details.

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Chase Launches New Southwest Visa For The New Rapid Rewards Program!

Southwest Visa Linky

Southwest’s new Rapid Rewards program launched today.  With the new program you earn points based on how much you spend on your airfare and the type of fare purchased.  Not so good for folks who buy cheap tickets, but what does this mean for their credit card?  I did some investigation into it and it’s actually pretty good!

If you still have credits in the old program you can transfer increments of 1,200 new points into 1 credit under the old rules.

The new points won’t ever expire as long as you have activity every 24 months.

With the new program you can redeem points for any seat on any flight.  For the regular “wanna get away” fare it costs 60 points for each dollar of airfare.  In practical terms this means for example:
A one-way LGA-BWI flight on 04/05 is $79.70 with tax.
It can also be bought for 4,140 points plus $2.50 tax.
So 4,140 points gets you a value of $77.20 ($79.70 airfare less the $2.50 tax required on the points ticket)
So each point is worth 1.865 cents (77.20/4,140), valid for redemption on all flights.

The new Southwest card comes with a 20,000 point signup bonus, which at 1.865 cents per point is worth $373 towards Southwest flights just for opening the card!
There is a $69 annual fee but they give 3,000 points every anniversary that you have the card, which is worth $55.95 towards Southwest flights and negates most of the annual fee!

You get 1 point per dollar on regular purchases, which is equal to a rebate of 1.865%.
You get 2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases, including hotel and car rentals via Southwest, which is equal to a rebate of 3.73%

Plus you get a free companion pass if you earn 110,000 points in a year from any source, including earnings from credit card bonuses and credit card spending! If you earn 110,000 Southwest points for example by 07/01/11 the pass will be good until 12/31/12. The pass allows you to bring a companion with you for free when you fly Southwest, even if you are flying on a free ticket!

Southwest flies to LaGaurdia and starts flying to Newark this month as well!

And as always, Southwest:
-Gives 2 free checked bags per passenger
-Does not charge change fees to switch your flight
-Does not charge a cancellation fee to cancel your flight (you will get Southwest credit for the full amount paid, even on non-refundable wanna get away fares)
-Refunds the fare difference if the price of your flight goes down after you buy it, just call to get the credit at any time!

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Wittnauer Women’s Orpheum Watch, Was $750, Now Just $175 After Exclusive Savings!

Wittnauer Women’s Orpheum Watch Linky

Use the following code in your cart to drop the price down to $175 shipped (Exp: 03/07): DANDORPHEUM175

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100 Free Continental Miles For Continental Credit And Debit Cardholders!

Related:
Continental: Take Advantage While You Can…
Click here to read all of the benefits of the Continental OnePass Plus Card



100 Free Continental Miles Linky

Just enter your Onepass number and click the little arrow to register and you’re done!

It usually takes Continental up to 4 months to post miles for these types of offers, so please don’t hold your breath!

Add this to the bucket of every mile helps you travel for free faster…

HT: mordylich, via the DansDeals Forums

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Today Only! 30% Off Jetblue Award Flights!

Jetblue Offer Linky

You must book travel by 11:59pm EST.

30% award discount valid for travel between 05/01-05/25.

HT: jack12, via the DansDeals Forums

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AwardWallet: Keep Track Of Your Mileage Balances And Never Have Your Miles Expire Again!

Update 3: The code below has been used 1,000 times so it is now dead but AwardWallet has made another code for DansDeals users, use it while it lasts!: aw-dansdeals2

Update 2: The code below expires today!

Originally posted on 02/23:

Update: AwardWallet has expanded the code below from 500 uses to 1,000 uses! Get AwardWallet Plus for free while the code lasts!

I’ve been using AwardWallet for some time now and it’s an excellent service.  You do have to have a leap of faith as you will need to hand over your account passwords for the service to work.  They have been around since 2004 and I’ve yet to read about any security breaches or problems with the service, so that’s a good sign :)

It keeps track of all your mileage accounts on one convenient page.  One glance and you’ll see your up to date balances for airline mileage account, hotel points account, and accounts like AMEX Membership Rewards.  They’ll even keep track of points you have with Pampers or Tropicana and hundreds of other programs!

You can track all of your accounts and even your family’s accounts all one page. Plus it will keep track of upcoming itineraries and stays!

That part of the service is free.

Their paid service, AwardWallet Plus, also displays the expiration date of each of your mileage accounts, displays extra reward accounts, allows the exporting of award balances into excel, and displays charts of historical account balance changes.

The expiration part is wonderful, you’ll never have to worry about any of your obscure accounts expiring again without getting advance notice!

And the best news? Here’s how to get a free upgrade to AwardWallet Plus!

-If you don’t use AwardWallet yet, signup for it here.
-If you have AwardWallet but don’t have the Plus version go to “My Account” and click on “Upgrade to AwardWallet Plus”
-If you have AwardWallet Plus and your account is expiring soon and would like a free renewal go to “My Account” and click on “Renew Now”

-On the next page it will say “I elect to pay $ for the next 6 months of service.”
-Enter $5 and click on “proceed to payment options.”
-Click on the credit card payment method.
-Use the following coupon and click “enter” (Exp: 03/01 or after 500 uses) : aw-dansdeals.com
-Click continue and you will have a free 6 month extension of AwardWallet!

Use the service already? Love it? Hate it? Just starting to use it now? Sound off in the comments!

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Ad: Sizzling Deals For Online Marketing, Exclusively For DansDeals Readers!

Please note: This is a paid advertisement which is stickied as the top post, please scroll down for new posts.

Onlinemarketingisrael.com is waiving all start up fees for DansDeals readers – that’s hundreds of dollars in savings!

Online Marketing Israel is your go to source worldwide whether you need SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay per click advertising), SEM (search engine marketing), and more!

Start being found online – contact onlinemarketingisrael.com today!

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IdeaPad Toploader Notebook Carrying Case For Just $7.50 Shipped From Lenovo!

IdeaPad Toploader Notebook Carrying Case Linky

Use the following code in your cart to drop the price down to just $7.50 with free shipping: USPC11M16484

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Today Only! Executive 3-Button Wool/Cashmere Suit, Normally $550, Now Just $167 From Jos. A. Bank!

Jos. A. Bank Linky

Deal of the day for 03/01 until 11:59pm PST (Sometimes it may work until a couple hours later): Executive 3-Button Wool/Cashmere Suit With Pleated Front Trousers, Normally $550, Now Just $167!

“Smooth and lightweight premium wool and wool/cashmere specially finished for a clean texture. Perfect weight year-round. Soft shoulders, fully lined. Pleated trousers are half-lined to the knee. Unfinished bottoms for altering ease. Dry clean. Imported.”

Available in Black, Brown, Charcoal, Charcoal Stripe, Navy, and Navy Stripe.

Shipping is free on $195+ orders and you can make returns or exchanges in-store or by mail.

“Your satisfaction is the cornerstone of our business. With 105 years of manufacturing expertise, we guarantee our clothing to be of the finest quality. Every item will give you complete satisfaction, or you may return it for a refund.”
There is no time limit for returns to Jos. A. Bank!

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Free Custom Luggage Tags From KLM!

Update: Alive again!

Originally posted on 01/19/10:

Free Custom Luggage Tags From KLM Linky

“Throw away those boring luggage tags and give your baggage a new look by designing your own, unique tag. You can use a photo of your family, your favorite destination, or, to make it easier, you can choose from one of the images pre-selected by KLM.”

HT: Shmuli T. and Ryan for the update, via the DansDeals Forums

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Today Only! Loaded Garmin Nuvi 1370T With Maps Of North America And Europe For Just $159.99 Shipped From Amazon!

Garmin Nuvi 1370T Linky

This is today’s Amazon gold box deal. The price on this yesterday was $201.36!
You can also pick up the excellent Garmin friction mount for just $15.59 now.

Garmin Nuvi 1370T features:
-Maps of Europe as well as North America! Comes with millions of points of interest for both continents!
-Lifetime free traffic subscription: “Receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction that lie ahead on your route. Next, simply touch nüvi’s screen to view traffic details or detour around the problem area.”
Bluetooth: “Just pair it with your compatible Bluetooth phone and talk hands-free through the 1370T while staying focused on the road. Simply dial numbers with nüvi’s touchscreen keypad to make a call. To answer calls, just tap the screen and speak into its built-in microphone. Enjoy convenient one-touch dialing for calling contacts and points of interest.”
-Lane assist: “Lane assist guides you to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit, making unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate.”
-Test-to-speech: “The device announces the name of exits and streets so you never have to take your eyes off the road.”
-Widescreen ultra slim design (approximately 25% thinner than previous models)
-Enhanced pedestrian navigation capabilities.

This GPS is also compatible with Garmin’s Israel maps!

HT: bh, via the DansDeals Forums

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Getting To Israel Using AMEX Membership Rewards Points!

Update: Through 03/31/11 there are transfer bonuses available for BA (40%) and for Delta (50% for first-time transfers with 25,000 bonus elite miles or 30% for additional transfers) that will change the points required as posted below.

Related:
-Get 51,000 AMEX Membership Rewards Points After Spending $1,000 On The AMEX Platinum Charge Card!!!
-Getting To Israel Using Starwood Starpoints!
-Membership Rewards Transfer Partners Linky

This must be one of the most common questions out there, maybe this will settle it once and for all?
While these aren’t all of the possible transfer options, this should cover the good ones.
If I’m missing any good AMEX transfer methods or if there any mistakes let me know!
You are able to transfer AMEX points form your AMEX account into someone else’s mileage account!

The rates in this chart are for flights from NYC to Tel Aviv. Rates from other cities should be similar, but may differ depending on the airline.

Confused about which airlines charge a fuel surcharge on award travel? The good news if that generally US based carriers never do, but I’ve been compiling a chart of the policies of 44 airlines on the Dansdeals Forums where you can read more about the murky policies of fuel surcharges.
I wish the offending airlines would just call them what they really are: Mileage co-pays. It has nothing to with fuel and everything to do with a deceitful cash grab that will ultimately kill the mileage cash cow that is the most (only?) profitable segment of the airline industry! The airline that books your reward ticket (not the operating carrier) decides whether to charge a fuel surcharge or not.  On principle I avoid accumulating miles with airlines that resort to charging them. For a trip like NYC-TLV a fuel surcharge may range from $250 to as much as $500 per ticket! I’ve noted which airlines below charge them.
—————————————————————————————————–
Star Alliance:
With 28 airlines (not even counting that most airlines have even more non-Star Alliance partners), Star Alliance offers the best availability for flights to Israel by leaps and bounds.

Using ANA miles, from 60,000 AMEX points.
-If there is availability on Continental or USAirways for your dates: Transfer 60,000 points per ticket to ANA for coach or 90,000 points per ticket for business.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: ANA does not charge fuel surcharges for travel on Continental, United, USAirways, and Virgin Atlantic, but they do charge heavy fuel surcharges for travel on other airlines.
-Check availability for Continental rewards on Continental.com and USAirways awards on USAirways.com.
-It takes a few days for AMEX points to transfer into ANA miles and there is no way to have ANA hold a ticket if have no miles in your account.
-ANA miles expire after 3 years, regardless of account activity.
-ANA partner flights must be booked 7 days in advance.
-ANA does not charge for date changes.
-ANA allows a ticket to be canceled and the miles to be redeposited for a fee of just 3,000 miles.
-You can book alliance travel on on ANA’s website once you have miles in your account, although you may need to call them to book travel for flights not found on their website.
-AMEX normally charges .0006 per mile transferred, but this fee does not apply for transfer to foreign carriers like ANA.

Using Continental miles, from 75,000 AMEX points.
-If there is Star Alliance availability besides for Continental and USAirways (generally you should transfer to ANA for those airlines), transfer 75,000 points per ticket to Continental for coach or 115,000 points for business.  Continental also gives its own elite members expanded award availability for travel on Continental.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: Continental does not charge fuel surcharges for travel on any airline.
-While you can check availability for Continental rewards on Continental.com many airlines with great availability will not show up, such as Lufthansa and Swiss. You must call Continental to check availability and to book flights on many partner airlines. You may be able to check Star Alliance availability on ANA’s website and then call Continental to book. See this forum thread for info on using ANA to search Star Alliance availability and workarounds to use ANA’s website even if you don’t have any ANA miles.
-Continental allows free date and route changes.
-AMEX points must be transferred to Continental by 09/30/11. They will not be partners after that date.
-AMEX points are instantly transferred over to Continental.
—————————————————————————————————–
OneWorld:
Oneworld availability to Israel can be tough. Flights to Israel include BA from London, Iberia from Madrid and Barcelona, Royal Jordanian from Amman, and Malev from Budapest.
While AA is partners with El Al, they are a non-alliance partner and El Al is not a partner with BA. AA is not an AMEX transfer partner.

Using BA miles, from 65,000 AMEX points.
-If there is OneWorld availability, transfer 65,000 points per ticket to BA for coach or 130,000 points per ticket for business.
Notes:
-Fuel Surcharges: BA has recently started charging fuel surcharges on most partner airline flights. They do not charge a surcharge for travel on LAN. They also do not charge a surcharge for travel on AA if booked online. If you book over the phone they charge a surcharge even for AA travel if it involves flights outside of North America.

-You can only search partner flights on BA.com after searching for BA availability. If there is no BA availability you will then see the option to include partners in the search. This search is far from perfect, you should call BA to check more partner availability
-AMEX points are instantly transferred over to BA.
-Oneworld availability can be searched by creating an account and searching on Qantas.com.
—————————————————————————————————–
Skyteam:
Skyteam has by far the worst availability of the 3 alliances. You can try searching some Skyteam on Delta.com.

Using Alitalia miles, from 50,000 AMEX Points.
-If there is Skyteam availability transfer 50,000 points per ticket to Alitalia for coach or 80,000 points per ticket for business, plus expect to pay fuel surcharges.
-Fuel Surcharges: Alitalia charges a fuel surcharge for travel on all airlines.
-AMEX points are instantly transferred over to Alitalia.

Using Flying Blue miles, from 25,000 AMEX Points.
-If there is a promo award available on Flying Blue for your dates and you’re ready to work really hard to get them to honor it and cut through miles of red tape: Transfer 25,000 points to Flying Blue per ticket for coach or 50,000 points per ticket for business.
Flying Blue charges a larger fuel surcharge than Alitalia, so transfer to Alitalia if you don’t want the hassle of booking a promo award.
-Fuel Surcharges: Alitalia charges a fuel surcharge for travel on all airlines.

Using Delta miles, from 80,000 AMEX points.
-You can also transfer to Delta Skypesos to avoid fuel surcharges for travel originating in the US, but their mileage rates are variable.  Coach can be between 80,000 and 190,000 and business can be between 120,000 and 370,000.
-Fuel Surcharges: Delta does not charge a fuel surcharge for round-trip travel originating from the US on Delta but does charge fuel surcharges on select partners.
Delta always charges a fuel surcharge for round-trip travel originating from outside the US on all airlines.
-AMEX points are instantly transferred over to Delta.
—————————————————————————————————–
Other:
Using El Al miles, from 98,000 AMEX points.
Note: Through 11/30 transfers to El Al receive a 25% points bonus, so 1,050 AMEX points will become 18.75 El Al points.
El Al normally charges 1,400 E Al points for a RT ticket from NYC-TLV. However for tickets booked in November for travel through 02/28/11 they will only be 1,050 El Al points.
With both promotions, 58,800 AMEX points becomes 1,050 El Al points after the 25% point bonus, which is enough for a RT ticket from NYC-TLV after the 25% award ticket discount.
-Without any promotions, if there is El Al availability transfer 98,000 points per ticket to El Al for coach or 210,000 points per ticket for business.
-Fuel Surcharges: El Al charges a fuel surcharge.
-El Al points can only be redeemed for travel on El Al.

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Up For Grabs: 2 Free Cavs Vs. 76’ers Tickets For Tonight’s Game In Cleveland!

Update: GONE!

I’m giving away 2 tickets to tonight’s 5pm Cavs game at Quicken Loans Arena. The seats are dead-center court, upstairs.

First come, first served, email me at:

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HOT! Great Magazine Subscription Deals From Just $2.99 Per Year!!!

Update: These codes will expire at 11:59pm PST tonight!

Originally posted on 02/24:

Budget Travel Magazine Linky
Use the following code to make the price $2.99 per year for 1, 2, or 3 years: 4791

Reader’s Digest Magazine Subscription Linky
Use the following code at checkout to drop the price down to just $3.99 per year for 1, 2, 3, or 4 years: 3999

ESPN (With Free ESPN.com Insider Access) Magazine Linky
Use the following code in your cart to drop the price for a subscription to just $3.99 per year for 1, 2, or 3 years: 6294

Fresh Home Magazine Linky
Use the following code in your cart to drop the price for a subscription to just $3.99 per year for 1, 2, 3, or 4 years: 3789

If you already have a subscription just select “renew my subscription” and it will add the time onto your existing subscription! You can order as many years as you like. If you make multiple orders of the same magazine it can just be added onto the length of your subscription!

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35% Off Everything At The W Hotel Store, Including The W Hotel Exclusive Mattress!

Charge the W Mattress to your Starwood AMEX Consumer Card or Starwood AMEX Business Card and get double Starpoints, as with all Starwood expenditures!

FYI: The W Hotel plush top mattresses have better reviews than the W pillow top mattresses. Want an even softer mattress? Go for the plush bed but get the W featherbed for about $110 after the coupon!  Fair warning: It will be hard to sleep on other mattresses after buying that combo!

W Hotel Store Linky

W Store Mattresses Linky

35% off code (Exp:???): WD574

-W Hotels beds are consistently ranked as the best of any hotel chain in the world!
-W is a high-end Starwood hotel brand.
-The mattress comes with a 10 year warranty!
Plush top mattresses prices:
Twin: Normally $799, now $519.35.
Full: Normally $899, now $584.35.
Queen: Normally $999, now $649.35.
Cal King: Normally $1,299, now $844.35.
King: Normally $1,299, now $844.35.

The 35% off works on everything in the W store, but only the beds have free shipping as well.

Tax is only charged for deliveries to New York.

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$5 Off At DSW!

$5 Coupon Linky (Exp: 02/28)

Plastic Jungle also sells DSW gift cards (just 1 in stock for now, but their stock is updated daily) and gift cards for dozens of other stores (11% off at H&M, 8% off at Bed Bath & Beyond besides for those 20% off coupons, 4% off at American Airlines, etc.) at discounted prices with free shipping.  Plus they’ll buy your unwanted gift cards!

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Groupon: Get 3 Redbox Rentals For Just $1!

Groupon: Get 3 Redbox Rentals For Just $1!

Redbox Locator Linky

These expire on 06/01/11.
Redbox lets you rent and return to any location nationwide. Going on a road trip with the kids? Rent in one city and return anywhere else there’s a redbox!

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DansDeals.com: Working To Make It Happen!

Update, 02/26:
Ric Garrido has already typed up a full timeline of the deal history, so I’ll punt on writing all of the gory details and tackle this from another angle…

Ever have a company try to back out of an offering?  You may want to read this!

On Thursday some 112 (or 113? somehow the number jumped from 112 to 113 on Friday, long after the deal ended) people bought a deal for a night at the presidential suite at The Fairmont San Francisco. The real reason they bought it was for a fringe benefit of the deal, lifetime Platinum status at Fairmont.  Lifetime status gets you an annual free night at Fairmont hotels worldwide.  (A night at The Plaza NYC, Savoy London, or the Kea Lani Maui can go for upwards of $600 for a night).  It also comes with other bennies like a handful of annual upgrade certificates and an annual $100 spa or restaurant voucher.

I called the hotel and Fairmont President’s Club to confirm the details of the deal and they were all familiar with the offer, including the lifetime platinum status.

Not long after the deal was posted the $2,000 package sold out.  Later that evening the deal said “sold out”, even though it was still showing 112 sold as it did many hours before that.  Commenters on the deal on this site reported that they had spoken to employees in the hotel who had confirmed that somewhere along the line a massive mistake occurred and the deal had been pulled prematurely.

A commenter by the name of “don’t bother” wrote at 5:10pm. “just spoke to district manager at hotel because as i was purchasing it sold out, so i got an email confirm but no actual confirmation #. he told me living social totally messed up the deal, it was for one year plat not lifetime and they are pulling the whole thing $10,000 also. oh well.”

A commenter by the name of “me” wrote a little later, “dan, i spoke to some guy Benjamin Shih at the fairmont, he was the west coast regional manager and he basically told me they were in a frenzy dealing with this… and that they told living social 1 year and living social worded it wrong. he was working with some guy in DC who he couldn’t reach ect. im just repeating info he told me. thats why they cut the deal completely. he offered me the one night at 50% off.. as if i am paying $2000 for one night in a hotel. i dont know if they will honor it or not. my guess would be yes with only 112 sold!”

Apparently, the fringe benefit of Platinum status was only supposed to last for one year, not for the lifetime of the purchaser! But that’s not what was promised at the time of the sale. Would Fairmont honor the deal as advertised or would they try to weasel their way out of it?

On Friday at about 9am PST I called the hotel sales staff to hear for myself what the story was.  They confirmed that a mistake had been made and that the outcome was still undecided. I was told that I would be contacted later in the day.

That was my cue to kick it into high-gear! They were not about to take away my lifetime Platinum status without a fight!

I tweeted from my @dansdeals twitter account to @FairmontSF, @fairmonthotels, and @LivingSocial: “Rumor has it that Fairmont may not honor the lifetime Platinum promised in the LS deal, hope you’re ready for the bad press!”

They tweeted back “Hi all, a promo ran yesterday on Living Social in error. It’s since been shut down, and we are working on fixing it as soon as possible!”

Didn’t sound very promising!

The next thing I did was compose an EECB, an executive email carpet bomb. This tactic involves composing a formal, clear, and concise email explaining the situation and the result that you wish to see.

I’ve done this in the past when I had a Dell computer that broke that was under their complete care protection. My computer was an ultra-compact 12″ laptop and they had replaced it with a monster 17″ laptop. I had tried reasoning with their offshore customer service to no avail as there were no “Inspiron” compact laptops being made. Soon after sending out the EECB I received a call from their executive office saying that they would replace my Inspiron laptop with a 13″ Studio XPS laptop.

To send out an EECB then have to gather email addresses. In this case I wanted to email contacts at the Fairmont San Francisco, Fairmont Headquarters, Fairmont President’s Club, and Living Social. To get those emails you can search on google, or you can figure out the company email format. For Dell it is Firstname_Lastname@dell.com. In Fairmont’s case it is Firstname.Lastname@fairmont.com. Living Social’s C-level executives can be reached by just using Firstname@livingsocial.com. Look up the names of the top executives and other relevant sales staff and fire away!

In this EECB the main points I covered were:
-Summary of what the deal was for. After all the people you’re emailing don’t necessarily know what happened.
-That it was purchased by 112 people in good faith at rates of $2,000-$10,000.
-The bad press that would ensue from myself and other influential bloggers would be picked up by the national media.
-If Fairmont did not honor the deal as promised it will cost Fairmont and Living Social far more in negative PR than the cost of honoring the deal.

I felt it was important for Fairmont and Living Social to realize that we weren’t just 112 folks who spent $2,000 and would go away quietly. If they were not going to honor the deal our voices would be heard!

As far as including Living Social in the EECB is concerned, a deal doesn’t run on sites like Groupon or Living Social without it being checked over by many people with a contract signed by the client after they check it over as well. If Fairmont ultimately decided to back out it would be in Living Social’s best interest to push them to honor it as well. After all, their own reputation is only as good as their deals being honored, so I felt it was worth getting them involved as well.

I still hadn’t heard back from the hotel so I called the hotel back. When I asked a sales rep if she knew the status of the deal she said that they were compiling a list of purchasers and that they would reach out to each purchaser individually on Tuesday to let them know the final story.

I told her that the deadline for refunds from Living Social in Monday and she got excited, “Oh do you just want a refund?” No, I want to hear that you will be honoring the deal as promised, but if you do plan on reneging at least let us know before it’s too late. (Of course you can always do a chargeback as well within 60 days, but that’s besides the point)

A number of us were debating what the right move would be at this point. Obviously email pressure would be crucial, but was it too early for me to make a post on this site blasting Fairmont and Living Social for creating the mess and ignoring it? Or should we give them time to figure out what to do. On the one hand we didn’t want them to decide to ignore the 112 of us and just offer us refunds. But on the other we didn’t want to apply too much pressure prematurely…

Another person who purchased the deal had a contact with USAToday and arranged for me to be the face of the Fairmont 112 and tell the reporter what was going on. Operation Lifetime Platinum was in full force. We figured we were in for a long-haul. Fairmont was being non-responsive at that point and Living Social had sent out certificates that made no mention of the Platinum offer.

And then almost as soon as our operation had started I got a call from Benjamin Shih at Fairmont. This was the same person that a DansDeals commenter reported speaking to that had said the whole thing was a mistake. He told me to give him until the end of the day before writing anything bad about Fairmont. He also said that they were literally jumping through hoops to see if would be possible to honor every aspect of the deal as promised and that he would be calling me back as soon as he could give me a definitive answer either way.

Soon thereafter he did return the call and let me know that they would be honoring the deal and would grant all purchasers lifetime Platinum status! He told me that the same info would be shortly sent out via press release and twitter, which they were.

At the end of the day Fairmont came through with flying colors
and even though there was apparently a mistake made, they did decide in a timely fashion to honor the deal and in turn, create 112 people that will be undoubtedly be priceless ambassadors for the Fairmont brand. I just hope nobody loses their job over the deal!

And I’m just happy that I was able to play a part in helping us reach such a quick and positive resolution!

Were you one of the lucky buyers of this deal? Have your own story of working with a company to keep them honest? Hit the comments!
————————————————————————-
Originally posted on 02/25:
Yesterday Fairmont Hotels ran a great deal on Living Social, a daily deal group-buying website.

They tried to back out, but I just got a call back from them that the effort to get them to honor it had succeeded, they will be honoring the deal as advertised despite the “human error!”
I’ll write more after Shabbos about how I helped convince them that it would be in their best interest to honor it…

In the meantime, kudos to Fairmont for doing the right thing and doing it quickly!!!

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Earn 100 To 100,000 AAdvantage Miles For Liking AA On Facebook!

Update: The miles have already posted to my AAdvantage account!

2 commenters below have reported winning 100,000 miles! Here’s the proof!


That’s awesome! Congrats!

Originally posted on 02/22:

AA Facebook Linky

Just like AA, enter your AAdvantage number and see how many miles you win!

Then post a comment to let us know how many you got!

Best of all they’ll extend the expiration of all of your AA miles for another 18 months!

You can get miles for your entire family all from the same facebook account!

Your AAdvantage miles will be deposited within 3 – 5 business days.

HT: hocker, via the DansDeals Forums

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Living Social Cleveland: Get 2 Hours of House Cleaning From The “Mini Maid” Group For $60 Or $55 For New Living Social Customers!

Sign up for a new Living Social account with this link and you’ll get $5 off your first purchase!

Then click on this link to purchase the “Mini Maid” Group Cleaning Offer

Get your house professionally cleaned for Pesach on the cheap! This is normally a $160 cleaning!

-Limit 4 per person, buy as many as you’d like as gifts.
-Valid for two hours worth of house cleaning by 2 cleaners.
-Expires on February 28, 2012.

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Lenovo IdeaPad G460 14″ Laptop, Normally $899, Now Just $549 Shipped After Coupon!

Update: DEAD!

Buy this computer on a credit card like the Starwood AMEX or the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold and you’ll get an additional year of top notch, all-expenses paid/full refund warranty coverage from AMEX for free!

Lenovo IdeaPad G460 Laptop Linky

Apply the following code in your cart to drop the price to $549: USPU2D0217

Click here to learn more about features in the Lenovo G series.

Specs at $549:
-Intel Core i5-480M Dual-Core Processor (2.66GHz)
-Windows 7 Home Premium.
-Intel HD Graphics
-4GB RAM
-14″ WXGA LED Backlight TFT
-CD/DVD Recordable Dual Layer Drive
-500GB Hard Drive
-802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.
-Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
-Integrated webcam
-Microsoft Office Starter 2010

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Palm Pixi Plus For Verizon For Just $54.99 Shipped After Coupon From Meritline!

Complete List Of Meritline’s Deals For 02/24
You can only use 1 coupon per order, so you’ll have to make multiple order for multiple items!

Palm Pixi Plus Linky

Use the following code to drop the price down to $54.99 shipped: MLC255319022430NL1

Meritline offers free shipping and no tax!

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SIZZLING HOT!!! HURRY!!! Get Lifetime Fairmont President’s Club Platinum Status With A Free Night In A Suite In Any Fairmont EVERY YEAR!!!

PLUS A Night In The Presidential Suite At The Fairmont San Francisco For Just $2,000 From Living Social!!!

Update 3: All packages are now sold out! Congrats to everyone who got one!

Update 2: The $2,000 package is now SOLD OUT!!! You can still purchase the $10,000 penthouse package with the free Maserati rental, Tiffany’s China for 4, and much more…

Update: I have contacted Fairmont President’s Club and the San Fransisco hotel’s sales staff. They both confirmed that as a lifetime Platinum member you will get the same benefits as a regular Platinum member every single year, so you will get the free night and free suite certificates just like if you earned the status the hard way by staying in Fairmont hotels for 30 night every year!
You also do not need to use the free Presidential Suite in San Fransisco in order to get the lifetime Platinum status!

Sign up for a new Living Social account with this link and you’ll get $5 off your first purchase!

Then click on this link to purchase the Fairmont Lifetime Platinum Status+Free Presidential Suite Offer

Although the deal says it’s $10,000, just click buy now and you will be able to select the $2,000 package!
“Both Packages Include Health Club and Group Exercise Classes, Wi-Fi, and Permanent Platinum Status to The Fairmont’s President’s Club Program

-This hot deal was sent to all of our dansdeals.com facebook group members. Join the 3,740 people already registered on the Dansdeals.com facebook group to automatically receive similar alerts of only the hottest deals!
-Want to be alerted of more deals? Every single deal is instantly sent to the 1,813 followers of our dansdeals twitter page! Follow us and you can choose to get a text message whenever the site is updated!

This offer is for lifetime top-tier Platinum status in the Fairmont President’s Club program!

Here is a list of all of the exclusive Fairmont properties worldwide, including The Plaza New York, The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, The Fairmont Orchid Hawaii, The Fairmont Banff Springs, The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, The Savoy London, and many more!

Platinum status gets you a free night certificate good at any Fairmont property every year with no minimum stay required!!! Seemingly (at least as far as I understand) with lifetime Platinum status you will get a free night every single year!  When you normally earn Platinum status (through staying 10 times or 30 nights in Fairmont hotels) you definitely get a free night certificate with your yearly Platinum credentials package.

When your Platinum status is activated you will get your free night certificate in your welcome package good through 02/28/12!

The other benefits that Platinum gets you are also amazing:
-2 confirmed suite upgrade certificates every year (valid for up to 5 nights)
-2 confirmed room upgrade certificates every year (valid for up to 5 nights)
(Upgrade certificates can be used together with free night certificates and all certificates are transferable to family members!)
-Complimentary access to BMW courtesy vehicles and bikes in Canadian hotels and resorts.
-Complimentary access to Lexus courtesy vehicles in U.S. Hotels and Resorts.
-$100 dining or spa certificate every year
-Free internet access and local calls every stay
-1,000 airline miles per stay
-Guaranteed early check-in and check-out
-Personalized welcome amenity every stay

Now that’s just for the Platinum status. The main part of the deal (which is basically just gravy!) is a free night in a presidential suite in San Francisco good through 12/31/11.

HT: FT

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Garmin Nuvi 265WT Widescreen GPS With Free Lifetime Traffic, Bluetooth, And Text-To-Speech For Just $99.99 Shipped From Amazon!!!

Garmin Nuvi 265WT Linky (4.3″ LCD)

The Nuvi 265WT comes with a receiver that includes free traffic information for the lifetime of the device!

Bluetooth is included on the device for hands-free calling, the screen displays the speed limit for roads and highways, and the 265WT has the critical text-to-speech feature, so it will say “turn right on Main Street,” instead of just “turn right.”

HT: Deal Guy, via the DansDeals Forums

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Refer A Friend To Costco And You’ll Each Get A $10 Costco Cash Card!

Costco Referral Coupon Linky (Exp: 06/30/11)

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Starwood’s 30th Airline Transfer Partner: Southwest Airlines.

Update 2: The deadline for transferring Starpoints to Southwest credits will be 3pm EST on 02/28! After 3pm you will no longer be able to transfer Starpoints to Southwest!
Remember you can only transfer a maximum of 60,000 Starpoints (technically 79,999, but then you would lose out on transfer ratio) to an airline within a 24 hour period!
Act now if you want to earn that 2 year companion pass (with a mimimum of 12 free tickets) for 120,000 Starpoints as described in the update below!

Update, 01/08/11: Southwest has announced that on March 1st they will be gutting their program (Of course the PR folks don’t spin it that way ;)) They will switch from a credit system where 16 credits can get you a free last minute Round Trip flight worth many hundreds of dollars to a points system where each point is worth just a penny each.  You can read more about the new program here.

However in the meantime there’s a unique opportunity. If you rack up 100 credits from any source by the end of February you not only will get the 6 free round-trips under the old rules, but you will also get a free companion pass (good on paid and free tickets) valid until 12/31/12 instead of the normal 1 year expiration! Plus Southwest will continue to allow you to renew the expiration of the free round-trips for up to a year as long as they’re renewed within a year after they expired. So free tickets earned in January 2011 could still be used in January 2014.

You can earn the 100 credits with transfers from Starwood (It would take 120,000 Starpoints to get 100 credit if you have none) or from the Southwest credit card if you apply soon.

Originally posted on 09/16/10:

Related links:
Starwood Consumer AMEX Linky 
Starwood Business AMEX Linky 
Southwest Visa Linky (Earn 16 credits with your first purchase.)

Starwood quietly added Southwest Airlines as an airline partner for Starpoint transfers.

For most of the airlines you can transfer 20,000 Starpoints into 25,000 miles.  For Southwest it’s a little more complicated.  20,000 points becomes 16.5 Southwest credits. 60,000 points becomes 50 credits.

If you earn 100 Southwest credits in a year you get a free companion pass for free. So if you transfer 120,000 Starpoints to Southwest you will get 100 credits, which are enough for 6 free round-trip tickets, as well as a 12-month companion pass.

As long as there is a seat available on the flight your companion can travel for free, there are no capacity controls on it.

The free companion ticket is even available when you are traveling on a free award ticket! In other words you will get 12 free round-trip tickets for 120,000 Starpoints.  Plus of course checked bags are free on Southwest.

After selecting your companion, you are able to change the name of your companion up to 3 times.

Curious about the other 29 Starwood transfer options and ratios? Here they are!  With so may different airlines to transfer to it’s just a matter of figuring out which one has the lowest rates to where you want to go.  I’ve separated them by alliance so you can know which airlines are partners and will therefore let you book award travel on partner airlines.  Of course airlines also have lots non-alliance partners, but by definition they are partners with all airlines in the same alliance.

OneWorld Alliance:
AA: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
British Airways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
JAL/Japan Airways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
LAN: 20,000 Starpoints=50,000 kms
Mexicana: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles

Skyteam Alliance:
Air France/KLM Flying Blue: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Alitalia: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Delta: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles

Star Alliance:
Air Canada: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Air China: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Air New Zealand: 20,000 Starpoints=385 points
ANA/All Nippon: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Asiana: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Continental: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles
Lufthansa Miles & More: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Singapore: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles
Thai: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
United: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles
USAirways: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles

Unaligned:
Air Berlin (Joining Oneworld in 2012): 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Alaska : 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Emirates: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Hawaiian: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Kingfisher (Joining Oneworld in 2011): 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Qatar: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Saudi Arabian: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles
Varig: 20,000 Starpoints=12,500 miles
Virgin Atlantic: 20,000 Starpoints=25,000 miles

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Ad: Last Chance!! Chinese Auction Is THIS Motza’ei Shabbos!

Please note: This is a paid advertisement which is stickied as the top post, please scroll down for new posts.

Click HERE to participate.  The deadline for purchasing tickets is this Motza’ei Shabbos at 10:30pm EST!

Now is your last chance to participate in these amazing deals. Don’t delay, participate TODAY!!!

  • HOT! Win An Ounce Of Gold (worth $1400) For Only $35!!!

For details, click HERE!

  • SIZZLING! Win 50 NY Lottery Scratch-Off Tickets For Just $5!!!

For details, click HERE!

  • AWESOME DEAL! Win a Disney World Vacation!!!

For details, click HERE!

  • Just in Time For Purim! Win a 12” Megillas Esther Scroll & Leather Case!

For details, click HERE!

The Golden Treasures Chinese Auction benefits Kollel Ner Dovid, the Rabbinical Graduate Institute of the renowned Rabbinical Seminary of America- Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim. Talented young men come here from throughout the country to train and develop the skills necessary to serve Klal Yisrael with dedication, integrity and sincerity. Kollel Ner Dovid was organized in 1945 as the first Rabbinical Graduate Institute in NY City. Today, the Kollel ranks as one of the premier centers for advanced Talmudic research and rabbinic training.

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Up For Grabs: 2 Free Cavs Vs. Rockets Tickets For Tonight’s Game In Cleveland!

Update: Gone!

I’m giving away 2 tickets to tonight’s 7pm Cavs game at Quicken Loans Arena. The seats are dead-center court, upstairs.

First come, first served, email me at:

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Ad: HURRY! 2 Day Sale! Fly To Israel For Pesach Non-Stop On Delta Or ELAL For Only $1,325 Total With Tax!

Please note: This is a paid advertisement which is stickied as the top post, please scroll down for new posts.

2 day sale! Fly to Israel for Pesach non-stop on Delta or ELAL for only $1325 total after tax!

Bookable on www.globaltoursinc.com

Add a hotel booking of $3,000 or more and get FREE 7 day car rental!

Flight times are as follows:
Depart: Delta 4/13/11 from JFK 7:10pm, Arrive Tel Aviv 1:10pm (next day)
Return: Delta 4/27/11 from Tel Aviv 12:05am, Arrive JFK 5:00am
or Delta 4/28/11 from Tel Aviv 12:05am, Arrive JFK 5:00am
————————————
Depart: ELAL 4/13/11 from JFK 12:00pm, Arrive Tel Aviv 5:25am (next morning)
Return: ELAL 4/27/11 from Tel Aviv 10:40am, Arrive JFK 3:40pm
or ELAL 5/1/11 from Tel Aviv 1:00am(Sat. night after midnight), Arrive JFK 5:40am
————————————
For other dates please call. Not to be combined with any other offer. Offer expires 2/25/11. Valid while supply lasts. Some restrictions apply.
=================
For any questions please call 877-SEE-TEL-AVIV, 212-986-7400‎ or email sales@globaltoursinc.com

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Deals Of The Day From Meritline!

All coupons are currently active but are limited in usage, so be sure to hurry and get what you want!
You can only use 1 coupon per order, so you’ll have to make multiple order for multiple items!

Complete List Of Meritline’s Deals For 02/23

3 in 1 Laser Pointer, Flashlight and Banknote Checker for just $0.79 shipped with code: MLCK400438022375NL1
($1.39 shipped after .79 code expires with code: MLCK400438022350NL1)
3 in 1 Laser Pointer, Flashlight and Banknote Checker Linky

Mini Wireless Bluetooth USB Adapter, for just $0.99 shipped with code: MLCK192102022367NL1
Mini Wireless Bluetooth USB Adapter Linky

Logitech QuickCam Deluxe, Factory Refurbished, for just $9.99 shipped with code: MLC210432022250NL1
Logitech QuickCam Deluxe Linky

Maxell Blank DVD-R 16X 100 Pack Spindle, for just $15.99 shipped with code: MLC102730022340NL1
Maxell Blank DVD-R 16X 100 Pack Spindle Linky

Microsoft Arc 2.4G Wireless Laser Mouse, Red, for just $15.99 shipped with code: MLC174223022333NL1
Microsoft Arc 2.4G Wireless Laser Mouse Linky

Sonic Wave Ultrasonic Jewelry & Eyeglass Cleaner, for just $19.99 shipped with code: MLC215317022333NL1
Sonic Wave Ultrasonic Jewelry & Eyeglass Cleaner Linky

iGrabber USB 2.0 Convert Home Videos or TV Show to Quality DVDs with a Push on the Button, for just $20.99 shipped with code: MLC201189022342NL1
iGrabber USB 2.0 Linky

Loctek 10″- 32″ Low Profile LCD Fixed Wall Mount, for just $9.99 shipped with code: MLC202082022340NL1
Loctek 10″- 32″ Low Profile LCD Fixed Wall Mount Linky

Tilt Adjustable 30″-63″ LCD Wall Mount, with Free 15 Feet High Speed HDMI Cable, for just $29.99 shipped with code: MLC202110022225NL1
Tilt Adjustable 30″-63″ LCD Wall Mount, with Free 15 Feet High Speed HDMI Cable Linky

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Today Only! Wrinkle-Free Stays Cool Dress Shirts, Normally $79.50, Now Just $19.98 From Jos. A. Bank!

Deal of the day for 02/23 until 11:59pm PST (Sometimes it may work until a couple hours later):Stays Cool Wrinkle-Free Dress Shirts, Normally $79.50, Now Just $19.98!

“Our Finest broadcloth is soft yet crisp, elegant, and enduring. Special moisture-wicking 80s two-ply cotton keeps you cool and dry. Remains virtually wrinkle-free and eliminates shrinking and fading. Single-needle construction, side pleats, front placket, and button-through sleeve placket. Extra-durable buttons. Machine wash. Imported.”

Additional, today only, the entire site is discounted by 50%!

Shipping is free on $195+ orders and you can make returns or exchanges in-store or by mail.

“Your satisfaction is the cornerstone of our business. With 105 years of manufacturing expertise, we guarantee our clothing to be of the finest quality. Every item will give you complete satisfaction, or you may return it for a refund.”
There is no time limit for returns to Jos. A. Bank!

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Get $25 Restaurant Certificates For $2 Or Less!!

Restaurant.com Linky

To get the prices listed below, enter the following code in your cart and then click “apply” to take 80% off of the regular discounted coupon price (Exp: 02/28): DINE

Certificates are valid for 1 year from the date of issue. Limit of 1 certificate per party. See the site for full terms and conditions of each certificate.

Some restaurants may have already sold out of their February inventory of certificates, be sure to check back on 03/01 to grab them!

Kosher restaurants include: (Prices listed below are after you apply the coupon above to your cart!)

Cherry Hill, NJ:

-Cherry Grill-$10 Off $20 Certificate, Normally $5, Now $1 after coupon code.
$25 Off $40, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.

Las Vegas:

Panini Cafe-$10 Off $20 Lunch, Normally $5, Now $1 after coupon code.
$25 Off $45 Dinner, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.

Los Angeles Metro:

-Shwarma Palace-$10 Off $20, Normally $5, Now $1 after coupon code.
$25 Off $35, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.
$50 Off $100, Normally $20, Now $4 after coupon code.
$75 Off $150, Normally $30, Now $6 after coupon code.
$100 Off $200, Normally $40, Now $8 after coupon code.

Miami Metro:

-Cafe Emunah-$25 Off $35, Normally $15, Now $3 after coupon code.

-17 Restaurant and Sushi Bar-$10 Off 2 combos, Normally $5, Now $1 after coupon code.
$25 Off $35 dinner, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.

New York:

-Back To Nature:-$10 Off $20 Lunch, Normally $5, Now $1 after coupon code.
$25 Off $50 dinner, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.

-Eretz:-$25 Off $40, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.
$50 Off $100, Normally $20, Now $4 after coupon code.
$75 Off $150, Normally $30, Now $6 after coupon code.
$100 Off $200, Normally $40, Now $8 after coupon code.

-Five Town Grill:-$25 Off $35, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.
$50 Off $100, Normally $20, Now $4 after coupon code.
$75 Off $150, Normally $30, Now $6 after coupon code.

-Madras Mahal:-$25 Off $40 dinner. Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.

-Orchidea:-$25 Off 2 Entrees. Normally $17.50, Now $3.50 after coupon code.

-Safa:-$25 Off $35 dinner, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.
$50 Off $100 dinner, Normally $20, Now $4 after coupon code.

-Traditions-$25 Off $50 dinner, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.
$50 Off $100 dinner, Normally $20, Now $4 after coupon code.

-Wolf & Lamb Steakhouse-$25 Off 2 Entrees, Normally $17.50, Now $3.50 after coupon code.

Sacramento:

-Carmita-$10 Off $20 lunch, Normally $5, Now $1 after coupon code.
$25 Off $35 dinner, Normally $10, Now $2 after coupon code.


Aventura Pita still sells certificates but is apparently no longer kosher hashgocha.

HT: DealFinder92, via the DansDeals Forums

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6 Boxes Of Celestial Seasonings Fruit Tea Sampler (5 Flavors) For Just $8.73 Shipped From Amazon!

Update 3: Now $10.27 as subscribe and save isn’t available currently.

Update 2: Alive Again!

Originally posted on 01/03:

Update: DEAD!

6 Boxes Of Celestial Seasonings Fruit Tea Sampler Linky

“-Case of six boxes, each box containing 18 tea bags (total of 108 tea bags)
-Includes four bags of Raspberry Zinger, Country Peach Passion, Black Cherry Berry, Cranberry Apple Zinger, and Tangerine Orange Zinger
-Naturally caffeine-free; contains all-natural ingredients”

Just click on the product link and select the 1-6 month subscription offer on the right side of the amazon page and select “subscribe now.” Do not click “add to cart” or you will not get the savings. You must click on the “subscribe now” button.

With Subscribe and Save you will get free shipping without any minimum purchase and you will get 15% off which will be reflected on the final checkout page.

You can cancel the subscribe and save service at any time with absolutely no obligation or penalty. To do so just click here to manage your subscriptions and you can choose to change or cancel your subscriptions at any time. Easy as 1-2-3!

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Ad: SIZZLING! Win 50 NY Lottery Scratch-Off Tickets For Just $5!

Please note: This is a paid advertisement which is stickied as the top post, please scroll down for new posts.

Win 50 NY Lottery Scratch-Off Tickets For Just $5!

For details, click HERE!

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Coming March 1st: 2011 Starwood Category Adjustments!

Related: Starwood Consumer AMEX Linky (The Starwood AMEX is the best credit card out there for spending!)
Starwood Business AMEX Linky

Many people use Starpoints just to transfer into airline miles.  Starwood points transfer to most airline miles at a 20,000:25,000 rate.  (Some airlines are at 20,000:12,500, others at 20,000:50,000)  But another amazing use of Starpoints is for Starwood hotels. You can redeem points with no blackout dates or capacity controls on standard rooms starting at just 2,000 points per night. When you redeem 5 consecutive nights with points the 5th night is free. There are also cash and points options that make the rooms even cheaper and help stretch your Starpoints. There are also nights and flights options that make stays even cheaper when you transfer Starpoints to miles at the same time. And of course you can also use points for upgrades to suites and much more.

The redemption points rate is determined by the category assigned to them by Starwood. This redemption category is usually assigned yearly, based on the predicted room rates for each hotel for the coming year.

Effective 03/01 some 84 hotels will go up and will now cost more Starpoints, 93 will go down and will now cost fewer Starpoints.  The vast majority of Starwood hotels will stay the same as they are now.

Here is a PDF of all the hotels that are changing categorizes, sorted by the category change.

Important: You can lock in the old rates for hotels going up in category by booking before March 1st!
Starpoint reservations are generally fully refundable until a day or so before check-in. Again, the old rate is valid for stays anytime until the end of scheduling at all Starwood hotels as long as they are booked before March 1st!

If you have a Starwood AMEX you can also borrow Starpoints from AMEX and pay them back as you spend money on the card in the future!

If you have Starpoint reservations at a hotel that is going down in category just wait until March 1st and then get it readjusted downward.

Hotels that went up in category: 84
Single category jumps:
From 1->2: 11 hotels.
From 2->3: 17 hotels.
From 3->4: 31 hotels.
From 4->5: 15 hotels.
From 5->6: 6 hotels.
From 6->7: 2 hotels.
Double category jumps:
From 2->4: 1 hotel.
From 4->6: 1 hotels.

Hotels that went down in category: 93
Single category drops:
From 2->1: 1 hotel.
From 3->2: 37 hotels.
From 4->3: 26 hotels.
From 5->4: 18 hotels.
From 6->5: 6 hotels.
From 7->6: 1 hotel.
Double category drops:
From 3->1: 1 hotel.
From 4->2: 1 hotel.
From 5->3: 1 hotel.
From 6->4: 1 hotel.

Here are some sample hotels that will change categories that caught my eye. What other hotels do you see that will affect you?

Going down:
Le Meridien Dead Sea, Israel, from 3 to 1 (Now just 2,000 Starpoints on weekends on 3,000 Starpoints on weekdays!)
Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles from 3 to 2
Le Meridien Chiang Rai Thailand Resort from 3 to 2
Westin Resort Macau from 4 to 3
Sheraton Tribeca New York from 5 to 4
W San Diego from 5 to 4.
Luxury Collection/US Grant San Diego from 5 to 4
Sheraton Hacienda Del Mar Resort & Spa Los Cabos from 5 to 4
Luxury Collection/SLS Beverly Hills from 6 to 5

Going up:
W Retreat Koh Samui from 6 to 7.
Hotel Gritti Palace, Venice from 6 to 7.
Westin Ka’anapali Maui Ocean Resort Villas from 5 to 6
The Westin Excelsior, Rome from 5 to 6
Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel and Towers from 4 to 5
Westin Harbour Castle Toronto from 3 to 4
Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel from 3 to 4

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Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, And More Technology Magazine Subscriptions From Just $6/Year From Amazon!

Plus Get A $10 Amazon Promo Code When You Spend $20 On Magazines From Amazon!

Amazon Tehnology Magazines Sale Linky (Exp: 02/26)

See this post for more info on the current magazine special this month at Amazon to get a $10 sitewide Amazon promo code when you spend $20 on any magazines this month.

You can order multiple 1 year subscriptions and then combine them to extend the length of your subscription.
You can order the $20 of magazines in separate orders and you’ll still qualify for the $10 promo code!

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Lenovo IdeaPad U460 14″ Laptop, Normally $999, Now Just $649 Shipped After Coupon!

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Round-The-World Trip Notes, Part 2: Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Continued from: Round-The-World Trip Notes, Part 1: Khao Lak, Thailand.

Here are some trip notes from our recent travels.  Hopefully some will find them useful and maybe even inspiring for their own travel planning.  If not, just go on down and pretend that this post doesn’t exist ;)

Chiang Mai Tiger Kingdom

12/23-12/26: Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Our flight from Phuket to Chiang Mai was again on low-cost carrier Air Asia. The Phuket airport feels like something from the 19th century. It’s old and decrepit. The gate for our Air Asia flight did not even have a single seat next to it so everyone just sits on the floor…We had all of the exit rows on the nearly 2 hour flight to ourselves as nobody else had paid the $9 upgrade fee. The flight attendants were very careful to eject poachers from taking the seats. The Chiang Mai airport is much more modern looking. Once again we grabbed some more of the free SIM cards with free minutes and took a 15 minute taxi from the airport to the Le Meridien Chiang Mai. The taxi was just 120 Baht ($4). Thailand is great like that, stuff is so cheap!

The Le Meridien Chiang Mai is new, ultra-modern, and beautiful! It is just a Starwood Category 2 hotel so it was just 1,600 points+$30 (even less as a Starwood Platinum as you get back 500 points for the Platinum amenity). They gave us an amazing corner suite which was very spacious and comfortable. Huge bathroom, a bedroom that closes off from the living room with a couch and desk.  There is a jacuzzi at the end of the bathroom that overlooks the entire city.

The hotel has an awesome rooftop infinity pool about 20 floors up where it looks like the water flows off the side of the building. I went to go in the water in the morning when nobody else was around and quickly realized just why nobody else was around…the water was FREEZING!

So the hard product of the hotel is stunning, but the service in the hotel is at times a little bit too much “in-your-face” though for my taste…how to describe? There is a lounge on the top 2 floors where there are free drinks all day long as well as free breakfast and snacks. If you even reach for a bottle of water they absolutely insist on taking it to the back and opening it and serving with a glass. It’s a needless process that takes 10 minutes and accomplishes nothing. I don’t really want to answer to 6 employees in the lounge that I’m OK with just water and fruit. Maybe I’m being too nitpicky as I wouldn’t hesitate to stay in this great hotel again.

Chiang Mai is a very fun city. Right outside the Le Meridien is the night market where every night you can pick up all kinds of cheap knick-knacks or counterfeit goods or at very low prices. Beware though that many booths will try to rip you off. For the fake La Coste or Ralph Lauren polo shirt they may ask for 500 Baht ($16) but they can be bargained down to 130 Baht ($4.33). Same story for everything else there. When they name a price just name a ridiculously low price until you can compromise. Be ready to play the calculator game 😉
Don’t buy from the first vendor as there will be 40 more selling the same thing so get the hang of negotiating before buying. The famous Chiang Mai market is the massive Sunday night market in the old city where you can get authentic Thai goods, but we weren’t there for that unfortunately. We did go to the Saturday night market on Wua-Lai Street where they sell other authentic Thai goods. Same negotiating story. One vendor asked for 2,000 Baht ($66) for a silver bracelet but we paid just 200 Baht ($6.67).

The Le Meridien is also on the same street as the Chabad House and is about a 10 minute walk from it. The restaurant is in the Chabad House and there are security guards outside. The young couple who are the shluchim there are very friendly and helpful. The restaurant had a simlar menu to the Chaabd House in Phuket, although the food items themselves tasted very different and the prices were different as well. On Shabbos there are free public meals. On Friday night there were about 200 people packed into the Chabad House, most of them Israelis. I think every Israeli guy was wearing a La Coste or Ralph Lauren polo shirt :) The shabbos food isn’t gourmet (especially the Friday night meal when there are so many mouths to feed) but does the job. The beautiful spiritual atmosphere and singing make up any lack of food… For Shabbos day there is a much different and smaller crowd and I got to bentch my first hegomel of the trip.

We ate at the Chabad restaurant on Thursday night (it has great hours of operation) and met up with David, a frum traveler from the old city of Jerusalem who was traveling by himself. We arranged to hire a taxi to together take us around for the entire day. The cost to do that? Just 800 Baht ($26.67).

The taxi took us to many of the animal shows in Chiang Mai. We saw an amazing Elephant show (120 Baht/$4) where the elephants play soccer, paint amazing art, shoot some hoops, hula-hoop, play harmonicas, and perform other incredible feats. The elephants are even trained to ask you for a tip if you take a picture with them and then they garb the tip with their mouth!  Afterwards we went for a 30 minute elephant ride. Here you don’t actually ride on the elephant, but on a carriage on top of the elephant. There are better places to do that than at the show, but we were pressed for time. They even took a picture of us and had it framed by the time we were done and only charged a few bucks for it! We also took in a monkey show where the monkeys demonstrate their basketball, bicycling, and many other skills. The elephants seemed to be much happier than the monkeys…Finally we went to the Tiger Kingdom (300-500 Baht) where you get to lie down next to, or even on top of, tigers! It is more expensive to be with the baby tigers than the adult tigers. You can hire a photographer and get a CD (300 Baht) but there are plenty of employees that would be happy to take pictures with your camera in exchange for a tip. Our employee was ecstatic with the 100 Baht tip that I gave him! There were tons of other activities that we just didn’t have time for. There’s bamboo rafting, river long-tail boat rides, scooter/motorbike rentals, long-neck tribes, snake shows, bungee jumping, ATV’ing, etc, etc. DansDeals forum member ChikkyMonkey was spot-on with his help is suggesting Chiang Mai as a worthwhile spot and with his activity suggestions.

It’s hard to describe how fun it is being in a country where the dollar goes so far!

Getting around the city can be done by red van (shared ride vans/sherut) where they take you and some others directly where you want to go. Remember to negotiate and figure on a fare of 50 Baht for 2 people. Tuk-Tuks are everywhere and are also an option if you can put up with the bumpiness and fumes. You do have to try one at least once! 40 Baht can take you anywhere local on one. Yellow vans are even cheaper but run set routes. Taxis are also cheap, figure on 100 Baht fares. The difference is less than $2, but when you get caught up in all of the negotiating in the markets it’s easy to lose sight and make a big deal about small amounts of money that seem much bigger due to the higher-sounding numbers…

We roamed around in the old city at some of the old and grand palaces and the like.

We made the mistake of telling a Tuk-Tuk driver that we were looking for jewelry. He offered to take us to a great spot (biggest jewelry store in the world?) for a good price so we went. Turned out it was quite far away and ridiculously overpriced. But they did have nice clean bathrooms which pleased my better half. The men’s bathroom had shall we say, the most interesting “artwork” I’ve ever seen over the urinals. I was shocked that they could get away with what they had up there…

Our driver was sorely disappointed that we didn’t buy anything (he must get a huge commission from them) and we had to really fight with him to get him to take us away from the rip-off dumb tourists district to the real Thai Silver district. We finally made it there and got some beautiful Silver earrings for just 200 Baht.

Tailors here are everywhere and are incredibly cheap, but with such a short period of time we didn’t have time to actually make anything. I did want to have a store make a duplicate of my kapota, but there just wasn’t enough time.

Massage parlors are even common than tailor stores. Massages are dirt cheap, they start at just 100 Baht or so. Many stores also have these weird “fish spas” where you stick your feet into a giant fish bowl and the fish eat the dead skin off your feet. Didn’t seem too sanitary though so we skipped that!

And that was it for the smog filled streets of Thailand. We flew on Star Alliance carrier Thai from Chiang Mai to Bangkok where I get plenty of free checked luggage as a Continental Platinum elite member. We had to fight again to let them take our carry-on onto the flight. Nobody has US-sized carry-on luggage here. Most people just bring on small bags and the carry-on size allowance is ridiculously small. They were insisting that it would not fit and I had to argue that I’ve flown on dozens of flights with the bag and I’m 100% positive that out bag will fit. They finally agreed to let us try and of course it did. I was surprised when I was able to order a kosher meal on the 45 minute Thai flight. The flight was on a jumbo-jet and I’ve never seen any airline pass out food boxes as fast as they did on this flight. The kosher meal consisted of an apple, orange juice. and coffee creamer. It had no certification on the box and the OJ and coffee creamer only had Thai writing on it so I’m not even sure how that qualifies as a KSML as it was marked…

12/26: Thailand-Hong Kong:

We flew on Cathay Pacific in business class from Bangkok to Hong Kong. The Hermolis meal was absoltely divine. It had this amazing canoli in it and moist chocolate cake and great chocolates as well. The seats were much more spacious on this flight than on the Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok.

I traded 4 Continental lounge passes that I got from my Continental OnePass Plus credit card with an FT’er for a night at the Marriott SkyCity at the Hong Kong Airport. The hotel was very comfortable for an airport layover but I definitely wouldn’t stay there when actually visiting Hong Kong. There is a free shuttle between the airport and hotel. Internet is free in the hotel lounge.

I made some free phone calls back home from my Gizmo5 phone application from my computer while using the internet in the lounge and then we turned in for the night, excited for our first trip to Australia, that we would take the following day!

Hotel costs for this leg:
3 nights in a Starwood category 2 hotel with cash and points=3,800 Starwood points (1,600 x 3, less the 500 point platinum amenity for each of us) plus $90 cash.
Total hotel costs for 5 nights in Thailand: 8,400 Starpoints and $180.

I also have some neat videos of the animal shows.  If people want to see them just leave a comment and I’ll upload them to Youtube when I have a chance.

Pictures (Click to enlarge):

Le Meridien Chiang Mai, Corner Suite

Le Meridien Chiang Mai, Corner Suite

Le Meridien Chiang Mai, Corner Suite

Mae Sa Elephant Show

Mae Sa Elephant Show

Mae Sa Elephant Show

Elephants Painting!

Elephants Painting!

Elephants Paintings For Sale…

Mae Sa Elephant Show

Mae Sa Elephant Camp

The view from on top of an elephant!

Mae Sa Elephant Camp

Monkey Show

And for my next trick…

Monkey Show

Tiger Kingdom

Tiger Kingdom

Le Meridien Chiang Mai Club Lounge

Le Meridien Chiang Mai Corner Suite Jacuzzi

Le Meridien Chiang Mai Infinity Pool

Le Meridien Chiang Mai Infinity Pool

Le Meridien Chiang Mai Infinity Pool

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang

Thai “Kosher” Meal

Cathay Pacific Business Class Kosher Meal. Yay…it’s Hermolis!

Cathay Pacific Business Class Kosher Meal.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Kosher Meal.

Marriott SkyCity Hong Kong

View from our Hong Kong Hotel Room

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