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Archive for September, 2010

Chase Freedom Card

September 22nd, 2010 at 06:50 pm

I am a dedicated credit card user who is in it for the rewards. While some folks are adamantly opposed to using credit cards, it has never created a problem for me. I closely monitor my transactions and my credit card balance is paid in full each month. Most transactions are budgeted items that I would have had to pay for one way or another. Paying my card is done with a few clicks via the "bill-pay" option.

A few months ago I switched from a card that had a $75 annual fee (an airline card) to the no-fee Chase Freedom card. Since I'm already a Chase customer, it's easy to monitor my card online. Plus, I get extra points for each transaction, bonus points at selected merchants, and 5% back this quarter on department stores, movies, and groceries.

Today, I logged on to the Chase Freedom Ultimate rewards site and in less than a minute used 2,500 points to request $25 in cash to be transferred to my Chase savings. I like how easy it is to access my rewards and how quickly they add up. For example, in the last two months I had less than $1,900 in transactions but earned over 3,400 in rewards.

Love Our Senior Discounts

September 17th, 2010 at 07:27 pm

For the past week, dh and I have been staying at Brian Head, Utah. Many people have never heard of it but it is in a beautiful corner of the state, high (and I do mean high) in the mountains. With the summer crowds dwindling, we thought this would be a good time to visit nearby Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.

Two years ago, dh purchased the lifetime senior pass to enter any national park, along with up to three adult guests. The senior pass is a bargain at $10 and is available to anyone 62 or older. The entrance fee to Zion and Bryce Canyon is $25 per car or $12 per person, so we saved quite a bit. We also used it to enter Cedar Breaks National Monument, although the entrance fees there are only $4 per person.

We opted to stay in Brian Head, an hour and a half scenic drive from the national parks because we reserved a comfortable 1-bedroom condo at a beautiful lodge for only $139 for the week. This was done through our timeshare exchange program. The elevation at Brian Head is 10,350 feet, something we were unaware of although it turned out to be a good thing. In about two weeks we will be traveling to Peru and staying at Brian Head gave us an idea of the effect of high elevation on our bodies.

It did take about a day to get acclimated to the high elevation, but we learned some important things: stay hydrated, take it easy for a day or so, eat carbs, and avoid alcohol.

Here are some pics... while they last:

Cedar Breaks National Monument is only 5 miles from Brian Head. Here they get 400 inches of snow annually and close the park in October:


Bryce Canyon visitors can drive right in. It has spectacular vistas... it's like a cross between Sedona and the Grand Canyon:


Zion National Park is open from May 28 until December 1 and is a national treasure. Visitors can go deep into the park by shuttle only, and these run every 6-8 minutes. There are many hiking trails, from moderate to challenging. We went on two hikes, to the Weeping Wall and the River Walk. Here is a shot of some of the interesting Zion hoodoos: