$10 free credit for all Uber users

Posted by: Jason

Add promotional code 10r62014 to receive $10 off a trip. You must use the credit by July 10, 2014 at 1 am Eastern time.

This promotional code is even for existing Uber users which is quite rare.

Celebrating Swedish Midsommer

Posted by: Jason

One of my favorite traditions to relive is the Swedish Midsommer (Mid summer) celebration. It marks the longest day of the year and as the majority of the year in Sweden is covered in darkness and cold, it really is a time to celebrate.

In Utah there is a Swedish Heritage Society where natives living here and also others who have ties to Sweden come together each year to celebrate these traditions.

Decorating the tree

Decorating the tree

First, the preparations are made for the maypole that is the focus of the celebration. It is decorated by everyone.

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Now it’s time for everyone to help carry the maypole around while traditional songs are played by the orchestra.

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Then it’s hoisted up in the center of the area where people link arms and dance around the maypole singing traditional songs.

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There were other activities including a Swedish store that had many items such as cheese, caviar, wienerbröd, Swedish chocolate and other items from the area. There was also a catered dinner for those wishing to purchase that included meatballs, mashed potatoes, jansons frestelse, and many other items.

A traditional summer cottage

A traditional summer cottage

We were fortunate to have gorgeous weather while friends in Sweden reported that it was still snowing in Stockholm – a depressing reality after having waited so long for summer to come. This coupled with the fact that Sweden hadn’t qualified for the World Cup makes for a pretty grim summer.

If you’ve never had the chance to experience a Swedish summer celebration, I encourage you to see if there are local Swedish societies near you or if you have the time, take a trip to Sweden during the summer – you’ll be glad that you did.

The winner of the Gate8 luggage Twitter contest

Posted by: Jason

The winner of the Twitter contest for the Gate8 luggage is tweet number 16, Daniel Skiffington (@danskiffington) who said that he would take his Gate8 luggage to Dubai. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for entering the contest.

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Gate8 luggage giveaway part 2

Posted by: Jason

I tried two weeks ago to giveaway a piece of Gate8 luggage that I was given to review. The winner, however, never came forward – therefore, I’m putting it back up for grabs again with a little twist.

This time, I’ll be doing the giveaway via Twitter. In order to enter:

1) follow me on twitter @questformiles

2) Tweet at me @questformiles and let me know where you’ll take your Gate8 luggage if you win.

The contest will end on 6/29/2014 at 3 PM MST. Once again, due to the bulk of the item, only US resident are eligible to win.  Good luck!

Save 20% on gas via Home Depot

Posted by: Jason

There currently is an American Express offer of a one time $15 statement credit off a $75 cumulative purchase at Home Depot by June 30, 2014. Registration is required.

My preferred method for registering is to tweet #AmexHomeDepot through your American Express synced twitter accounts. Each authorized user on each account is eligible for these offers if you tweet from each separate synced account. You can also load it through americanexpress.com, and click on “Offers for You”. I installed the TweetDeck plugin for Chrome and have loaded all my Twitter accounts so that I can tweet one time for all accounts.

You certainly could use this offer to purchase Home Depot gift cards. However, I always try to use these deals on items that I’m already purchasing in order to maximize savings. At Home Depot, there is a gift card aisle. My Home Depot carries gas gift cards from Shell and Esso in denominations of $25 and $50. These gas gift card purchases (and any other gift card purchase) count as a purchase for this promotion.

$75 of Shell Gas Cards

$75 of Shell Gas Cards

The best part is you can go through the self checkout to do this transaction which makes using multiple cards for multiple transaction painless and easy.

There is a Shell station nearby where I live and therefore I will be purchasing over $1000 in gas gift cards in order to save 20% off gas this summer.

The winner of the Gate8 trifold luggage is….

Posted by: Jason

random1

Comment #2 – Candace!

Candace said,

I prefer a window seat since I can lean on the wall of the plane or the window and try to sleep. I also control the windowshade that way! Some people still don’t get it that you are supposed to sleep or at least rest on the way to Europe from the USA!

Congratulations Candace!

How to get lots of free Dunkin’ Donuts

Posted by: Jason

As a child, my dream was to become a Dunkin’ Donuts store manager. In fact, my parents bought me a little toy box of Dunkin Donuts that I still have today.

Dreams of chocolate iced donuts

Dreams of chocolate iced donuts

So I pretty excited to see a new American Express Sync offer for $5 off of $5 at Dunkin Donuts. Remember, each authorized user on each account is eligible for these offers.

My preferred method for taking advantage of these deals is through Twitter due to the ease of it. I’ve set up a separate Twitter user account for each American Express authorized user and then I send a mass tweet via TweetDeck, in this case #amexdunkindonuts. If you haven’t done this yet, I encourage you to do it quickly as these deals disappear quickly or you can do it via American Express website or app.

The key to maximizing this deal, though, is to purchase Dunkin Donut gift cards. Here is how I’ve been adding $5 per authorized user.

Step 1. Download the Dunkin Donuts app
Step 2. Click on “Gift” at the bottom
Step 3. Enter in $5 in the “other amount” section. Select either text or email as your delivery option.
Step 4. Enter in your synced American Express card to pay for the $5 card
Step 5. Receive the text or email.
Step 6. Click on it and it will take you back to the Dunkin Donuts app where your $5 will be applied to your account
Step 7. Repeat the process for all of your authorized users

Enjoy a lot of donuts!

Gate8 trifold luggage giveaway contest

Posted by: Jason

A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed the Gate8 trifold cabin bag.

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Benefit booklet

Benefit booklet

While this great bag is currently out of stock on their website, I’m happy to give this one away to a lucky commenter. In order to win this bag, leave an answer to this question in the comment sections: “When flying economy, do you prefer a window, middle, or aisle seat?

I will randomly select one of the comments on June 6th. This contest is only open to US based participants as I’m not keen to ship this bag outside the US.

A non-luxurious hotel concept to support the needy

Posted by: Jason

Fakthum Hotels in Gothenburg, Sweden has an interesting hotel concept. Their “rooms” are ten places where homeless people might spend the night. You can book them online like any hotel with the money going towards their work for the homeless and vulnerable people. You won’t be able to actually stay at the “rooms” but instead will be giving money to a worth cause.

Here are examples of six of the end rooms.

Room 1: Located in Haga park it’s close to Haga’s church.

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Room 2: This “room” boasts of the sounds of Mölndal River rushing by near the desolate paper mill.

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Room 3:

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Room 4: Elk and deer can be seen grazing nearby.

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Room 5:

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Room 6:

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If you would like to book a room and support the homeless, please do so at their website.

Photos courtesy of Faktum Hotels

My checking account was hacked – how you can protect yourself

Posted by: Jason

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, there was always the fear that criminals would be rifling through your garbage, finding old bank statements, credit card statements, and checks. The way to protect yourself was to buy a shredder and make sure that anything of importance went through a proper shredding. I still follow this today – any credit card statement, bank statement, financial statement gets a proper 16 cut shredding before being tossed.

Secondly, there was a risk of someone looking over your shoulder to see your pin as you used an ATM. Therefore you were instructed to shield the information by putting your hand over it. Credit card skimmers began showing up so that crooks wouldn’t even need to watch you and could duplicate your cards.

Recently criminals haven’t needed to resort to dumpster diving and have become even smarter as data breaches have hit major institutions like Target, Living Social, AOL, and most recently Ebay. Crooks made off with millions of credit card numbers, names, addresses, passwords, and email addresses.

I was affected by the Target breach and took Target up on their offer for 1 year of free credit monitoring through ProtectMyID.

Two weeks ago, my wife received a notification from Mint.com (which we use to track our finances) that we had incurred an ATM fee. This was strange as we only use ATMs in our banks network. She looked at our checking account and noticed there had been two ATM withdrawals in California for $500 and $300 the day prior. There was another withdrawal for an additional $500 that day. We scrambled to try to find out where the breach had come form. It was the weekend and therefore our credit union was closed. We called our debit card issuer and cancelled both of our debit cards and called the police to fill out an identity theft police report.

We spent the rest of the weekend bracing for more withdrawals but luckily they had stopped. I called ProtectMyID and told them of the problem. My assumption was that a credit monitoring service would take over at this point. Alas, their advice was to head to the bank on Monday morning to sort it all out. People really pay for their services???

On Monday morning, we both went to our credit union and after doing some research they found that my debit card had been compromised and someone had made a duplicate card with my PIN number and withdrawn money in California. We filled out some paperwork about the fraud and within 2 days the entire amount was back in our accounts. Both the police and the bank seemed quite doubtful that they would ever find the perpetrators. Perhaps it was the work of Jose Manuel again? Apparently there has been some credit card skimmers installed in the post office kiosks and that was probably where they were able to get my information.

Protection
So what is someone to do to protect their identity as thief’s become more advanced, even resorting to hacking information from ATMs wirelessly?

There really is no fool proof way to prevent identity theft, but these are some ways to make it harder.

1) Use a password generator to make really difficult to crack passwords. I’ve used 1Password and LastPass and like the functionality of LastPass. It will store all of your passwords and create new ones for you and store those. You can unlock it with a master password.

2)Use non-sensical answers to challenge questions. Websites often ask for challenge questions, but by answering the questions with your mom’s actual maiden name makes it easy for crooks to find out this information. Use random strings as challenge questions.

3)Monitor all of your accounts constantly With the explosion of the Internet, all financial institutions have online access and apps to monitor things. You can use an aggregator like the free Mint.com to pull in all of your information at once or use individual apps.

4)Have a good storage system for credit and debit cards Keep track of which accounts are open and closed and keep your cards in a safe place. We use a spreadsheet to track dates they are opened, which accounts have been closed, and shred any credit cards no longer needed.

5)Pull your free credit reports each year. Annualcreditreport.com is a service that will give you a free credit report from all three bureaus each year. We pull one from each bureau every 4 months.

The best bet is to pay attention and be aggressive defending your identity. It’s not a matter of if you identity is stolen, but when.

Do you have any identity theft horror stories?

Double Elite Qualfying Miles promotion on Alaska Airlines for Salt Lake City flights

Posted by: Jason

Alaska Airlines is expanding their service to include more flights to Salt Lake City. They’re offering double elite qualifying miles for certain Salt Lake City flights from June 9, 2014 to August 1, 2014 on Alaska Air operated flights.

Photo: alaskaair.com

Photo: alaskaair.com

Eligible flights are between Salt Lake City and

* Boise
* Las Vegas
* Los Angeles
* Portland
* San Diego
* San Francisco
* San Jose
* Seattle

Registration is required by June 15th.

Tip of the cap to reader Sice

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