Whoops! Turns out that you CAN NOW GET JUST A SIM CARD from AU. This was not the policy two years ago. A very special thanks to Phil and Joe for cracking this code. Joe just checked in from Chicago with a Unlocked Sprint phone, some how showed the about logo and was issued a SIM card.
You must show them this regulation found in your iPhone menu. Look under Settings>General>About>Legal>Regulatory and if you see the above logo, show it to AU and they will issue a new SIM card with a new 2 year contract.
Don’t have to sell a locked AU phone to re-coop cost
No additional Monthly charge of $6.40 for a phone I don’t need
No discount on the bill for a new phone, after 2 years my iPhone6 16GB will cost me only $153.50.
No Backup phone if this one is lost
Note: The iPhone 6 from Verizon (Model A1549) is not Japanese Certified!!!
Hope that clears things up, i Updated my previous post on the issue. I guess you could show them an AU phone, activate, and then swap. Or i guess you could show them this logo, but that is all on you!
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and welcoming some Derp Report readers to the island this week. Who knew this blog would take off in becoming the next okinawa hai for news of the island? I got to pick up my new sponsorees from Kadena on Friday and already by Monday I got them set up with new calling plans on their Verizon Phones as well as having them earn 5x points on their Chase Ink Plus Cards (referral link below).
Tomorrow were looking for new cars as well as hopefully getting an ETC card reader and then earning 2x points on tolls in Okinawa with Chase Sapphire Preferred (link below).
Chase Sapphire Preferred Referral
Chase Ink Plus
Annual fee not waived for active duty.
Don’t forget first Friday of the month you get the 3x points on dining on CSP as well!
I also got to show the new check in around the bases where they can get 3x MR points or 3% cash back at the base gas station, and 4.5x MR points or 6% cash back at the commissary with American Express Everyday Preferred or American Express Blue Cash Preferred respectfully. (send email in comments for a referral).
Annual fee is waived for all Amex Products for Military
If you just checked in, Welcome to Okinawa! Please use the links or send me your email for a referral for any of these products. I will buy you dinner!
Happy B-Day 3D MLG! We got a three day weekend to celebrate last weekend in September so why not hit Tokyo and Hakone. If you have even seen this movie you will realize its a giant advertisement for the Park Hyatt Tokyo and Suntory whiskey. What you probably didn’t know is that the Hyatt Visa Signature Card give you 2 free nights there as well.
So for $1000 spend and $75 annual fee (waived for year one, not waived for AD military (unless you had it before you joined)) I got a 2 nights valued at $1,721.90. at the park hyatt.
Additionally i got 5000 Hyatt Points for adding an authorized user! I’m thinking about sending a referral for her, but if you are interested in some free hotel nights, let me know and I can send you a referral.
There are two different Platinum cards out there, the regular one, and a Mercedes Benz Platinum AmEx. The Mercedes platinum gives you everything the normal platinum card has and:
- 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you charge $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first three months of Card Membership.
- Receive a $1000 certificate each year you charge $5,000 in purchases, good toward the future purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz
- Up to 2,000 excess miles waived at lease-end on leases through Mercedes-Benz Financial Services
- $100 certificate at renewal of your Card account, good toward Genuine Mercedes-Benz Accessories
- Annual fee of $475
Well it turns out they are offering 50K MR points for a modest $3,000 spend on the Mercedes Benz Platinum, even if you already have a “normie” AmEx Platinum. So you can potentially have 90,000 MR points (50k for MB Pt and 40K from normal Pt) with $6k spend. Also they fixed the problem where cards were being sent via UPS and never making it to their intended APO/FPO boxes. Now they will be sent via USPS priority mail upon approval. A very nice O-6 Select I referred to verified this with his most recent application.
The major point of having two of the same card is to also have a $400 combined annual airline fee reimbursement. For things like incidentals and potentially airline tickets when used towards the United gift registry. Also this gives you the ability to buy Global Entry for someone other than yourself such as a child or spouse. Lastly you could get another log in for Boingo WiFi.
Oh yeah they waive the annual fee for Active duty regardless of your time in or when you got the card, so i have $475 waived for this one as well as for the $450 for my normal one and $175 for my additional card holders, thats $1,100 a year waived. If your getting out, then downgrade all the cards to the blue cash NON preferred for $0 a year. Do not close the account!
So please let me send you a referral, I will def buy you dinner with the 7,500 referral bonus for either of the Platinum cards.
If you moved from Okinawa to Florida last week this deal is for you! Pensacola is a Southwest Airline City and right now for $4k spend you get 40k Ultimate Reward points on Chase Sapphire Preferred and 50K for $5k spend on Chase Ink Business Plus.
So what does 90,000 UR points get you? Well for one Southwest airlines is a transfer partner for UR points. You get a 1:1 ratio for UR points to Southwest Rapid Rewards Points.
Just wanted to update, they are now offering 30K SPG instead of 25K for the same spend in the offer mentioned here. This means I screwed myself out of 10K SPG points in getting the card early for both of us. I called amex and they won’t honor the new offer since I signed up one day too early! Booo, but my loss is your gain. Planning to stay at the Sheridan in HK for $313.92 x 3 Nights for $941.76. This booking will cost me 36,000 SPG points making use of about $0.026 per point. This makes the old offer of 25k points worth $654, and now the new offer of 30K SPG is worth $780. So I am out $260 by being too eager. Offere ends Sept 14, 2015 so hit me up if you need an referral!
The two universal currencies out there (that I use) for reward points are American Express Membership Reward Points and Chase Ultimate Reward Points. More about the two can be found on many sites.
You have to learn about the hotel, airline, credit card cliques. We have two main players: American Express and, J.P. Morgan Chase. Some of the big partners with American Express are SPG, ANA, Delta and British airways. On the other side Chase has relations with Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and United airlines. So it may appear that you have to be loyal to one point system vs the other. This is not the case. For example If you wanted to fly on united from Tokyo to Guam, you have the option of booking a flight through ANA Milage Club using American express points:
Forget getting a AAA membership, AmEx Platinum will bail you out on the road:
When I got my AmEx Platinum I added my entire family as authorized users. I had my wife, mom, brother, and I would put my baby on too if I could (they must be 15 to have an AmEx Platinum). I did this because each authorized user gets a Priority Pass Select card, $100 for Global Entry, a boingo wifi account, access to all the AirSpace and Centurion Lounges, and then they can each participate in the many random AmEx offers per account. The annual fee for the Platinum Card is $450. For up to three Additional Platinum Cards, the annual fee is another $175. Each Additional Platinum Card after the first three Cards is $175. But all these additional fees are waived for Service Members. If your worried about your family members bankrupting you, you can set a cap on how much each card can spend online:
It’s been two years since I’ve been on island so it was time to renegotiate my contract with my wireless carrier. If you slack off and don’t renegotiate you end up stuck with the same phone and plan for another two years! They give you only the anniversary month to negotiate otherwise it will auto renew with the same price and same phone. Before you would have to pick between month to month or to sign another 2 year contract. However the good people at AU KDDI informed me of a new policy where you can cancel without fee after 27 consecutive months with the company if you have PCS orders. This means if you have 3 year orders, you can show PCS orders to cancel your contract at 36 months without a cancelation fee. Before this you would have to do month to month at a higher rate or you would need to sign two years and then get hit with a fee t the end of 36 months to break the second 2 year contract.
I have been on a kick on mixing and matching award programs among the alliances. I posted on booking JAL flights using avios miles. Now I want to show how you can earn more award miles for cheaper flying ANA using your UAL MP number. For example these are some routes I flew this year on ANA using my United number:
|ANA 994-Y class
|ANA 633-Y class
|ANA 1871-Y class
|ANA 1781-E class
|ANA 3730-Y class
|ANA 1740-Y class