Visiting China: Get Your 10 year Visa in the USA

My biggest regret in 3 years is to not be able to visit my ancestral homeland of China for more than 3 days. I will be taking part in a 72 hr transit visa as I visit next week on my way to Thailand, this will make my trip very rushed and unenjoyable. I should of applied for a visa at the Chinese embassy while I lived in Washington DC, stupid me! I would of had a visa that was good for 10 years, and would continue to be good even with a new passport as you are allowed to bring your visa in your expired passport to count towards your entries in the new one.

Better yet, the wife of a good O-5 friend has started a company: http://www.okichinatour.com/ that will get you visa in as little as 10 days. She offers tours of Zhangjiajie National Park! Which is picture perfect sightseeing. Be sure to check out her site, and be sure to get your visa while stateside!

-Derp

Edit: Thank you Nathan for mentioning that there is now a 6 day visa free stay in China while in transit.

Redemption: The whole point of Churning

Imported French Cathedral in Saigon

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica: Imported From France

So I am a points millionaire! It only took me a year from zero to the 2 comma club. As for realizing this I started a spreadsheet where you can input your UR points and MR points and it will auto calculate what you will get for each transfer partner. You can also put in how many points you have for each program and it will give you a grand total. I used TPG for my valuations, keep in mind your redemption can be much more than whats estimated.

Whats the point really of having a million points over all these programs? The answer is nothing, since they are pretty much worthless when not used, and with the yearly devaluation of value there is really no point in holding on to them for more than you need. My only regret is to not have the end game figured out before earning these points. I should of started with a trip in mind, and then earn points to achieve this goal.

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Confirmed: $200 travel credit on Luxury Gold Card for tickets

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Its been about a month since getting my Barclay MasterCard Gold Luxury Card from Barclay Bank. They have been pretty good on customer service, and its been a joy to be able to ask via secure messaging for most things such as card replacement, setting up replacement cards for authorized users etc. They even sent a card directly to me in Japan in 3 days, a new record compared to a week for JP Morgan Chase or AmEx Platinum.

There has been a lot of questions regarding using the $200 travel credit on the Barclay Luxury Gold Card and so I just went for it. It is confirmed that they will cover airline tickets without question, you don’t even have to do a silly gift registry or gift cards like other cards.

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Been pretty happy with the product despite its appeal to the flashy and flossy, it does have some good service to justify its hefty $995 price tag. Hope this $200 and 50,000 points for $1,000 statement credit make it worth it for just the novelty.

-Derp

Don’t Forget Haneda

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These are some sweet sleeping coffins found only at Haneda!

Rule #1 of Okinawa travel, if you want some good mainland access try Haneda airport and not rely only on Narita, also don’t assume that  JetStar, Peach or Vanilla are worth the “savings” especially if you want to check luggage. Haneda is a huge airport that is much closer to Tokyo, and has many more flights per day to Okinawa. Narita on the other hand is over an hour away via train or bus pending traffic:

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To get to Tokyo from Naha the cheap and easy way you can use Experience Japan on ANA and earn United Miles or Japan Explorer on JAL and earn American Airline Miles. Both are only 10,800 yen or $96 as of today.

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