Typhoon Motors Coded as Restaurant?


I had fun at Okinapa over the weekend, so much so that I woke up to a $461.10 charge on my AmEx Bill! It was coded as a restaurant with MCCS, so naturally I thought I went overboard and spent $461.10 on 2 bottles of Chateau Latour. The charge was dated on the day of my visit to Okinapa, I got home and checked my wine I bought and sure enough I had just bought 6 bottles of $9.95 wine. Thinking it as an error from the wine fest I called up MCCS and thy were very nice to confirm that the charge was not from the Butler Officers Club. They reminded me that the charges are placed on Eastern Time, so the charge was probably made early Sunday morning Japan time.


I racked my brain on how the hell I could spend that much on dining, and it hits me! I spent that $461.10 at Typhoon Motors on car repairs that next morning on my SPG card! So for some reason when you use an AmEx card at Typhoon Motors on Camp Foster you get coded as a restaurant. If I had know this I might of put it on my Chase Sapphire, or Chase Ritz Carlton to earn 2x points on car repairs. Now if this is just a fluke of AmEx, I would consider the Premier Rewards Gold Card from AmEx of which I only know gives you 2x points on dining of any AmEx product. I went back to my statements to find that my other AmEx SPG card had done the same thing in August.


Its a shame that there is no bonus on dining for the SPG card. Has anyone tried a Visa or MasterCard product at Typhoon Motors, and gotten the 2x points on dining? I hope they don’t fix this glitch any time soon, please comment below.


Congrats to My Wife on Making Gold!!!

united-mileageplus-premier-gold-card gold-track-badge

Good news, my wife got one last TAD before the year is up to DC. This will earn her 1002 PQM from Naha to NRT, then 6753 PQM from NRT to IAD on a grueling 12 hour and 35m flight on UA 804. It’s on her birthday so I hope to use 30k MP miles and $600 to upgrade her to business! Unless some United Platinum Premier Member steps up to upgrade her full fare Y fare ticket!


She was pretty close to not making it this year! Thanks to 150% mileage on experience Japan on ANA she gets the bonus to make gold!

From To PQM PQS Times flown Total PQM Total PQS
NRT IAD 6753 1 2 13506 2
OKA HND 1476 1.5 5 7380 7.5
OKA NRT 1002 1 5 5010 5
OKA ISG 378 1.5 2 756 3
OKA NGS 726 1.5 2 1452 3
IAH TPA 787 1 2 1574 2
NRT SFO 5124 1 2 10248 2
NRT IAH 6643 1 2 13286 2
TOTAL 53212 26.5

So now she won’t have to tag along with me for her access to ANA lounges or any of the star alliance lounges like EVA or Asiana Airlines. I get the benefit now with my United Club Credit Card. However she will be ahead of my in the upgrade list as well as being booked on a standby flight. We will both get Premier Access lines and Priority luggage. Other benefits are listed here, but bottom line only difference is a 48 hr heads up on business class upgrades, instant notification on booking on economy plus upgrades, two free bags (already a military benefit), and star alliance lounge access internationally (already have with United Club). Best benefit for her is the reciprocal gold status with Marriott hotels that she can get free hot breakfast on her own. I have this with my Ritz Carlton card.

So turns ut my wife is the more seasoned traveler than me, I will be pretty jelly of her luggage Brag Tag.


Made Silver, but no gold for 2015

It’s mid-September so the fiscal year is almost to a close. I thought I would take a look at my United Status.


Now I have one more Experience Japan Trip to Tokyo so adding everything up I estimate my year end totals to be as such:

From To PQM PQS Times flown Total PQM Total PQS
OKA KIX 1110 1.5 2 2220 3
OKA UKB 1110 1.5 2 2220 3
OKA HND 1476 1.5 11 16236 16.5
OKA ISG 378 1.5 1 378 1.5
OKA NGS 726 1.5 2 1452 3
NRT SIN 3328 1 2 6656 2
HND IWK 686 1.5 2 1372 3
OKA HIJ 975 1.5 2 1950 3
TOTALS 32484 35

So I’m 17,516 or 25 segments short of gold, which is pretty significant. With less than 4 months left I don’t think I’m making Star Alliance Gold this year. Even looking at my previous mileage runs to Las Vegas and Chicago it appears to be a long shot:

OKA NRT 1503 1.5
ORD NRT 6274 1
LAS ORD 1514 1
ORD SPI 174 1
ORD SFO 1846 1
SFO LAS 414 1
TPE OKA 407 1
GUM TPE 1711 1
ORD DCA 612 1

Now with my United Club Credit Card, I already get access to any Star Alliance lounges while flying them. Is it even worth going for gold? Any suggestions? Please comment below!


Experience Japan Extended to Saturday, March 26, 2016




Good news everyone! They extended the Experience Japan for another few months! Before it was to October 2015 only. So I wanted to put together my compilation of Genki Gajin Japan benefits!

For Air travel:
ANA has the best deal, just have a foreign passport, and a ticket to japan and you can fly any inter-Japan Flight for 10,800 JPY per segment: https://www.ana-cooljapan.com/ejf/ . So for about $90 USD you end up getting a full fare Y class ticket for any route including Okinawa Naha to Hokkaido Sapporo (normally $400). Additionally If you use your United Mileage Plus Number you get 150% miles and segments good for Premier Status. To book, just use your latest international flight ticket number, and foreign passport number, or book a Happy Plus Peach flight that is fully refundable ($10 rebooking fee). Use that number, then cancel the ticket (www.flypeach.com). At the airport they have never really checked my ticket, but have always verified my passport.


Solaseed airways has a similar program, but not available for SOFA Status holder: https://www.skynetasia.co.jp/eng/fare/price/visit.html. Not quite sure if they even check, but its for stand by only, so not worth the risk in my book.
For Trains we have Japan Rail Pass: http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/ the trick is for this one is to send the rail pass to an American address and then reship it to the FPO/APO. This pass allows unlimited rides on the JR run railways, buses, and ferry boats for 38,880 yen (first class) or 29,110 yen (normal class) for 7 days. Very worth it considering a bullet train is around $100 one way. You must pick the region to get a pass. There are offices that will exchange the pass for an actual ticket.
Let me know if there are any more gajin perks!


Save 10% off your Japan Insurance


Remember to get your old insurance carrier to issue you a letter stating you were a good driver (no claims made) so when you check into Japan you can get 10% off your compulsory auto insurance. More information here.


When you pick out your car and get the title transfered at the AIU office at the gas station you will buy auto insurance the same day. You give them the no claim letter from an american carrier and you will get a discount.