Millie Abadi is the is the director of Travel Planning & Concierge for PEYD Travel and today she shares her tips with us on the best Japan has to offer and all the insider secrets for making your dream vacation to Japan a success.For more information about planning your next dream vacation you can contact me at email@example.com.
Tips for travelling in Japan:· Very few public trash cans, so it’s good to bring a plastic bag in your purse that you can use to discard things, and get rid of at the end of the day at your hotel· A lot of places are cash only so it’s very good to have cash on you. There are tons of 7/11’s and they have ATM machines.· Suggested 5,000 jpy per person tip for guide for full day if it was great· You can round up for tip in a cab, but no need for a real tip· Other than that, there really is no tipping expected in the country.· Bring Comfortable slip on shoes especially in Kyoto,a s you have to remove them quite frequently· Make sure you have worn in shoes, may be hard to get new ones if you have larger or wider feet, since many stores won’t sell larger shoe sizes.· Public or restaurant bathrooms often have no hand towels, so good to bring a cloth if that would bother you. Even grab a washcloth from your hotel to keep in your purse.· A lot of stores and coffee shops don’t open until a bit later like 11am.· If into environment bring own reusable chopsticks.· People are extremely polite, do not show extreme emotion. So it’s good to be mindful of that when you’re in public.· Japanese are very into giving gifts. Could be nice to bring just a little something from your country to give out to specialists, ryokan staff, etc. soaps, foods, pins. For example an Australian brought little koala pins. Just a small token from home that they would greatly appreciate.· If you’re very allergic to anything, and you have a card written out in Japanese that says it, or you have the hotel let the restaurant know in advance, you have to say “for medical reasons I can’t have this.” They won’t necessarily understand otherwise.· For something like gluten or dairy free, you can say you don’t eat it, but they don’t really understand how many things it’s in, so need to be specific about what you can’t eat. For example, they don’t all know soy sauce has gluten. Don’t know yogurt is made of milk, etc.· For vegetarian , you want to say “I don’t eat meat in any form including bacon and ham.” They don’t always understand that pork is also considered meat.· If you need food that is prepared totally separate, need a card that’s very specific. More clear than you think you need to be.· The water is okay to drink in Japan· It’s a very safe country and in general you don’t need to be on guard as much as you may elsewhere. However, please note there are some pickpockets in Kyoto,· Don’t talk on phone on train.· Don’t eat or drink on the train except for the Shinkansen. If you are on a metro/subway, it would be considered very rude.· Don’t walk down a regular street eating and drinking and smoking. There are designated smoking areas. If you get vending machine drink, have it there. If getting street food, eat it by the stall.· Don’t wear perfume to a sushi restaurant.· At sushi restaurants, if it’s not a very small omakase experience where the chef has very thoroughly thought through what they are serving, it’s okay to ask for half portion of rice with Nigiri. Eating all those pieces ends up being a ton of rice so half rice can be nice so you can eat more fish.· Airport transfers in Tokyo:· From airport – a cost effective way is to take the airport limousine bus that goes to different neighborhoods. Definitely a good option from Narita as it’s far away and a taxi or private transfer will be very expensive. If flying into Haneda, you can still consider a taxi since it’s much closer to the city. Taking the train can be very confusing, especially on arrival, unless you book greeters on both ends.Ishikawa:The first half of my trip was a hosted FAM to the Ishikawa Prefecture (which includes the city of Kanazawa and some regions to the north and south of there where you stay in Ryokan style accommodations) and Kyoto. This was planned by tourism bureaus to try and understand and promote the luxury market more.Ishikawa is an interesting destination to include in an itinerary if your clients have extra time. Not a 100% must do, but definitely a great add on if they have time to go beyond, Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto. You can either fly into the airport here which is called Komatsu (KMQ) which is about a 30 min drive or so to Kanazawa. Or you can take the train from Tokyo or Kyoto straight to Kanazawa. This is more likely how you would do it, as you wouldn’t normally begin or end your trip here to make it worth flying into.Kanazawa is the main city, and it’s a place to come to experience more traditional japan. Some things you can do there: Food market, geisha district, samaraui district, gold leaf studio, make own chopstix or jewelry box or post card if shorter on time at gold leaf studio, contemporary art museum, beautiful gardens, castle park, tea ceremonies. This region is surrounded by water so it’s known for really good seafood.They have some decent 4 star hotels here, but nothing true 5 star or over the top. However, if someone wants to come to this region and you set the right expectations, they will be totally fine. I stayed at Hotle Nikko http://www.hnkanazawa.jp/english/ which is right near the train station. So location is convenient for that, but there is also a 4 star hotel that is more centrally located to the sites. However, this is a small city so it really shouldn’t matter too much either way.Food: There are lots of places to eat depending on what you’re in the mood for, and definitely many sushi restaurants since there’s good seafood.Ate lunch at a really good teppanyaki steak house that I would definitely recommend: Rokkakudo Seseragi: http://experience-kanazawa.com/restaurant/list_kanazawa.htmlThen north is noto peninsula, surrounded by water. Stay in ryokans, though they are larger like 60 rooms. This is a very cool area to come for a night or 2. The setting on the water is beautiful and different from other ryokans you will stay in.Tadaya ryokan –https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1021236-d1082647-Reviews-Tadaya-Nanao_Ishikawa_Prefecture_Chubu.htmldecor is very dated but have amazing suite with open air hot spring tub right on the water, about 800,000 jpy per couple including breakfast and dinner. Other rooms are not great and not worth staying there for.Kagaya Bettei Matsunomidorihttps://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1021236-d3863770-Reviews-Kagaya_Bettei_Matsunomidori-Nanao_Ishikawa_Prefecture_Chubu.htmlMuch more updated decor, beautiful setting.Starting at 100,000 jpy per couple per night all inclusive of breakfast and dinner and beverages. This is for a room that doesn’t have private open air tub.*note at all the ryokans the public onsens are strictly nude and separate for men and women. Because of this, highly recommend having a room with private bath*Also note that to book these ryokans you really need to go through an onsite. Will be too difficult otherwise.In this area, you can go Kayaking and canoeing, fishing, relax, go 45 mins north to wajiyma – morning market, craft shop of Japanese laquerware, terraced rice patties, museum for lanterns (which is actually amazing) and if visiting in the summer, there are these street festivals throughout the region where they carry these amazing massive lanterns that you can see in the museum. But you can go to the festival in person in the summer., a little further north, go to area where people are still making sea salt manually. Summer time can do a 2 hour experience of meeting local oyster farmer, go out on gangway with him watch him farm the oysters and open and grill it for you in restaurant. You can swim with dolphins in the summer.There’s a very nice French restaurant as well called l’atelier noto for a very fine dining experience.Then, there’s another area that’s accessible from Kanazawa called Kaga. Instead of being on the water, this is more in the mountains. I feel that there is less to do here and the region feels less special than the noto peninsula. So what I would recommend this for is if someone is visiting kanazawa for a night, and then wants a ryokan experience for a night, and is on a tighter budget.The Ryokan I liked here is called :Beniya Mukayu, which is a Relais and Chateaux.Nice simple design, rooms have open air tubs, beautiful spa, they offer yoga classes in the morning. The one thing they don’t do here is the private in room kaeiseki meals. You would eat in the main restaurant, but it’s very lovely and the food is supposed to be great! There’s also a town area you could walk around. I would say, good for 1 night.Kyoto:
I loved Kyoto and I think Abby covered it pretty thoroughly but I’ll add my two cents below:Hotels:Ritz CarltonDefinitely my favorite. Beautiful hotel that still feels traditional and not run of the mill ritz carlton. Great location, can walk to shopping and restaurants. They offer some great complimentary activities like morning run with GM, or bike ride to Fushimi Inari Shrine. They also do hikes. This is a nice perk for clients. The food is outstanding on property. The one thing to note is that the entry level rooms look out to a high school, so the view is bad and it can be very noisey. I recommend urging your clients to book a higher category than standard. The next category up does not have many king beds, as its very common in japan to do 2 beds even for couples, so that’s also something to take note of.Four SeasonsDidn’t get to see rooms but saw the public space. Just felt pretty cold, and location not great. There are things to see during the day time that are walkable but definitely at night you will need to take taxis to go out. They do have a lovely garden out back, and an old tea house that is a champagne bar. That’s a very nice setting so could be good to come to one evening even if not staying there. They also have a geisha come to the lobby to intereact with guests on some evenings which is nice.Hyatt RegencyDidn’t see it but passed it in the car. Similar location to four seasons, but lower price point, so could be a good option for someone spending less.Suiran, Luxury CollectionThis is located in the Arashiyama area, which is where the bamboo forest is. It’s definitely an area worth visiting, lots of tourists go as it’s very beautiful, but its outside the city center, and probably not where I’d want to stay unless you are looking for something more quiet and secluded in the evenings with a more natural surrounding. However, the rates for the rooms are quite high for what it is in my opinion. If spending that much, I’d just go to the ritz, even if it’s a tiny bit more. They do have a really nice café on the river though that could be nice for a tea or lunch if you are in this area mid day.HoshinoyaI didn’t see this property but I know it’s located also in the Arashiyama area, but across the river so you have to take a quick boat transfer to get there. If you are looking for more of a ryokan experience here if you aren’t getting it elsewhere, then maybe it could be nice. Otherwise I think it’s really just unnecessary and a pain.Kizashi the SuiteI did not see this hotel but recently had clients stay here and they really liked it. It’s in the Gion District which is the geisha district.Kyoto Hotel OkuraI did not see this hotel either, but it’sv ery close to Ritz Carlton and was told it’s not a bad option for lower price point if you still want that location.Activities in KyotoThere is a lot of stuff to see and do here. I would say you want at least 3 nights. Typical touring of temples and shrines and that kind of stuff, but beyond that I had a few cool experiences:1) We met with a local weaving artist at his private studio, who was amazing. If you have clients who are into art and hand crafted things it could be interesting for them2) Visit to a sake brewery and tasting. We went to one that has been around for a very long time and is small batch very high end. The owner lead our tour and he is a 14thgeneration brewer. Extremely interesting man, very well connected. If possible to arrange something like this it was a very good experience3) Kimono rentals – it’s very common in Kyoto for people to rent kimonos and spend the day walking around in them and taking photos. I know a lot of our clients wont want to walk around necessarily in it, but the kimono rental experience was SO cool. Lots of different price points, for men and women, based on how nice the kimono is. They dress you in it which is a very intense process, and then you have optional, hair and makeup and accessroies. They do a photo shoot, and you can even arrange a dance ceremony or lesson with a geisha. We had so much fun with this and I think people would really love it, just for the pictures!!4) Tea Ceremonies are very popular to do here as well with a tea master. You can sign up for ones on viator, or even arrange more high end private experiences. I found it to be interesting but could be a little boring/slow for some, so just get a guage of your clients interest.Restaurants:Unfortunately and fortunately at the same time, I did not dine out at all in Kyoto. The Ritz Carlton hosted us for both meals. So I can say their food is amazing (we had all of their Japanese style cuisines in a special menu they prepared for us,) and we also ate at their Italian restaurant which is arranged like a tasting menu and was superb. There’s still always some Japanese influence, so it can definitely be worth a try especially if your clients are getting sick of straight Japanese food.Tokyo:This part of the trip I just planned on my own personal time off. I stayed at Andaz and Mandarin and did site inspections at a bunch of others. I set up some touring through Destination Asia, and I also spent time with a private guide that came highly recommended as well. See my reviews below:AndazCoolest vibe out of all of them. More modern décor, really nice ambiance. Staff wears jeans, white shirts and cool fitted blue blazers. Great perks included like minibar in the room of non alcoholic beverages, daily happy hour in the lobby lounge from 6-8 with wine and snacks complimentary to guests, an iphone included in each room so you can have internet around the city without using your own data. Jazz band playing in the main bar/restaurant, very cool rooftop bar with amazing views and dj music. small sushi restaurant as well. really nice spa area that’s complimentary to all guests that includes a nice size swimming pool with views, a series of Jacuzzis, a steam room and a massage chair room that was unbelievable. It honestly was like having a real massage, never experienced a chair like that. I would say this is a home run for younger and/or hip clients, but the location is really not great. In a business district that’s still being built up, so lots of construction., no restaurants/bars/shopping in the immediate area. It’s also about a 7 min walk to the closest subway, so its really inconvenient if you’re not trying to take taxis everywhere. You’re about a 10 min taxi to roppongi or ginza. If your client doesn’t mind taxis everywhere then it wont really matter. It can just get expensive depending on where you’re going. The other thing to note is that the rooms have this hideous carpet color that’s like a lime green almost. At night you don’t really notice it too much, but in the daylight I found it to be extremely ugly. Green is very Japanese though.Mandarin OrientalOverall very nice hotel. Traditional touches but still modern. I wouldn’t say it’s over the top luxurious but definitely one of the nicest if not nicest in Tokyo. Would suit a high end client just fine. Location was nice in Nihonbashi, which is not too far from Ginza, with different shops, department stores, and some restaurants around. More sense of place than where Andaz is located. There is also a metro station below the building which is very nice, as well as a food concourse. The few things to note about the hotel is that it was the only luxury property we saw that did not have a full pool. They did have a wet area with little pools, sauna, steam and showers. But aside from the early morning hours, this area was at additional cost to guests. Compared to this really nice complimentary spa and pool access at the andaz, it did feel like a bit of a letdown. Also, our room did not have any outlets by the bed whatsoever which drives me crazy. It would be great if they could update that. The hotel does have many different restaurants though including a great little sushi bar as well as an awesome pizza counter. So the dining experience here is definitely very good.All other hotels I did not stay at but did site inspections of:AmanBeautiful zen like hotel, just as you would imagine an Aman to be. However, it did feel somewhat cold. My friend I was with got a message from one of her travel agent friends while we were there, saying she just had to check her client out early because he felt that it was completely soulless. Now, that’s of course a personal opinion and we’ve had many people say it was their favorite hotel ever, but it is worth noting if you think your clients prefer a warmer environment. Spacious airy rooms, amazing spa, nice views.Ritz CarltonNice hotel, with pretty lobby and decent rooms. Basically a nice, non-offensive place like you’d expect from a typical ritz carlton. Price point is pretty decent and so is the location in Roppongi. This is an area that’s known for a lot of nightlife especially with expats. Can be kind of cheesy if you ask me but at least it feels lively. There are also some good restaurants in this area too. The restaurants in the hotel looked nice as well, and good spa.PalaceI’m glad I saw this hotel as I haven’t heard too much about it before, though it is a virtuoso hotel. This one felt pretty different from the others in a few ways. One is that you enter the hotel on the ground floor, and the rooms are not high rise like the others. The hotel is located right at the palace gardens so you still have nice views, but not those sweeping skyline views that you get elsewhere. However, one benefit of tis is that they can have balconies on most of their rooms. The hotel in general has a much brighter arier feel, while others are a little darker and moodier. The immediate location aside form the palace is somewhat businessey so they do get a lot of business travelers. However, the price point is good out of the virtuoso options and I would feel totally fine sending someone here, especially middle aged clients or families. Young hip couples may want something more vibey. A nice thing to recommend to anyone, but that’s especially easy from here, is to go for a run in the morning around the palace garden. It’s about a 5k run and people really enjoy it. Again, good dining and decent spa facilities.Park HyattPark Hyatt was a little bit of strange one. The location is not great. While it says Shinjuku it’s actually quite far from the subway and the heart of that area. However, they do provide complimentary shuttles for guests throughout the day to the Shinjuku subway station, which is nice. But there’s not much to see/do right in the immediate area when you walk out of the hotel. I only visited this one at night, but when you walk in and go upstairs there definitely is a really nice ambiance. The first area you see is this bar/restaurant that feels like a big atrium and felt really cool. Then you kind of wind through a maze almost to get to the reception area. Now the issue with this hotel is the décor feels very 80’s Boca Raton with a Japanese twist. That’s the best way to describe it. Definitely needs an update. I’m sure there are people who wouldn’t mind, as they seem to get a lot of guests, but its not my favorite décor. What I do love, is that they have the New York Bar which is the one featured in Lost in Translation. This is a place I would recommend everyone to come to one night in Tokyo. Very classy and cool feeling, with amazing views over the city, really good jazz band playing, nice drink and food menu, and people watching. They typically don’t take reservation so you just walk in. I’m sure it’s easier if you come not on a Friday/Saturday night. Loved this though!Trunk HotelThis is a very hip boutique hotel in what I think was the best location. Its smack in the middle of Shibuya/Harajuku, which is kind of a hectic iconinc area, lots of young people, shops, restaurants, etc. and Ommotessando which is kind of like the champs elysees of Tokyo. Luxury shopping, beautiful tree lined street, award winning architecture everywhere. And the hotel itself is just off this awesome street called Cat Street, which has very local hip boutiques and cafes. The thing about the hotel is, while it’s very cool, it doesn’t have much of a Japanese feel. It might as well be in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s got a very hipster vibe, lobby space that feels like an ace hotel with tons of people lounging, drinking coffee, working from their laptops etc. this is a small building and only 15 rooms, so no views here. The rooms are pretty small and contemporary. This is a good option for young hip couples, wanting to spend a little less (starting in the $400’s) and be in a great location. The suites here are just way too expensive to make it worth it. If spending that much, than I’d probably just go and have the facilities of one of the more luxury high rise hotels. Though the suites are very cool looking. Nice restaurant with a rustic elegant vibe, a casual café connected ot the hotel for grab and go foods, bikes that you can rent which would be really fun to go around the neighborhood. Staff dresses really cool. I’m pretty sure they are expanding to other cities internationally.Restaurants:A huge takeaway for me after visiting Tokyo is that I don’t think its really necessary to spend crazy amounts on food and eat at really high end restaurants. Because the truth is, the food is SO good everywhere. It’s hard to have a bad meal here. So you can go to a Michelin star tempura restaurant because they claim it’s less greasy, or you can go to a hole in the wall one and you may not taste the difference. Same with Sushi, it’s definitely an experience to go to one of the super high end omakase places, but there are many mid tier ones that serve just as good quality sushi and the chefs are still amazing, but maybe they didn’t apprentice under someone as well known, maybe its less fancy, and its definitely a fraction of the price. But the food is still really good. So if you have clients that are just very into upscale expensive dining experiences, there is an ENDLESS amount of places to send them. But I would not say by any means is it a necessity. Considering the first half of my trip was hosted and we had very intense tasting menus about 3 times a day, we decided to be more casual in Tokyo. Some places I ate at and enjoyed were:1) Hachibei for Yakitori in Roppongi2) Ramen Row for ramen under Tokyo Station. There are about 6 or 7 different ramen places all in a row3) Tons of amazing street food in Shinjuku area4) Hanamaru for very good conveyor belt sushi. This was near Tokyo station in a shopping mall5) Maisen for amazing Tonkatsu (breaded pork cutlet) in Shibuya6) Totoshigure – very cool local izakaya in this sort of bohemian neighborhood called Shimokitazawa. A guide took us here.7) Tuskiji Itadori Bekkan – amazing place for sushi breakfast in the outer market at Tsukiji.8) New York Bar – This one is more upscale and is the bar at the park hyatt. You can eat here or just have drinks but definitely worth coming to for views, scene and live music.Activities in TokyoYou can do typical historical touring of temples and shrines and gardens, you can just explore a bunch of different neighborhoods getting lost and walking around on your own. Lots of day trips you can do from here as well. Visit the fish market, do a sushi making class if that’s of interest. If in season, go to a sumo match. We went to the robot show which everyone said we must do, but I personally found it to be ridiculous. It’s definitely a very “Tokyo” experience, but I wouldn’t say it’s amazing. Just a funny unique experience. If you do that, I recommend eating dinner first, no there, and then going out to golden gai after since both are in Shinjuku. Golden gai is the old street filled with tiny 6-8 person bars. Really cool/fun/authentic experience. You just walk down the street and pop into different places if they will let you in. Not everyone like’s tourists, but you can definitely find plenty of places to go. Ebisu is also a cool area to go at night. funky, lots of alleyways with little yakitori places, standing shot bars, coffee shops craft beer, brewery. Mid range not fancy. Another nice neighborhood to walk around, probably more for day time or a date night type dinner is Daikonyama – kind of a shi shi area,- shopping, lunch, brunch, cafes, date nights.
If you have already received many of the signup bonus offers and are not eligible the same ‘new’ offers here is a link for a list of credit cards and offers for EVERYDAY SPENDING.
Our favorites are the Capital One Venture and the Barclays Arrival Card which also come with great signup bonuses.
BONUS OFFER CARDS
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 80,000 Point Offer
Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
$95 Annual Fee.
10,000 Points for enrolling in American Express’ Pay Over Time Offer
It’s entirely possible that the targeted letter is still on the way, but it seems as if if the 10,000 point offer shows up for you you’ll get the 10,000 points regardless of whether you received the targeted communication or not. You can try these links:
American Express Delta Gold Card
American Express Delta Platinum Card
American Express Business Plus Card
American Express Blue for Business
Earn 10,000 Bonus Points and 2x
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American Express SPG Card
Earn 35,000 Bonus Points after you spend $7,000 within three months.
Southwest Credit Card Bonuses are now 50,000 & 60,000 Miles Each. Here is why it matters!
We have talked to you in the past about the Companion Pass from Southwest, and what an amazing deal it is. In summary, Southwest has a promotion where passengers who earn 110,000 points in a calendar year can earn a Companion Pass, which basically allows you to choose one person to fly with you FOR FREE, EVERY TIME YOU FLY until the NEXT CALENDAR YEAR IS OVER.
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And finally, if you earned the Companion Pass in January of this coming year, it will last you until the end of Dec of 2017.
Yes, you heard right.
This deal is valued in the thousands.
The last time we sent out this info one of our customers took advantage of the information. Here is his story:
“After being informed by PEYD about the Southwest promotion, I signed up for one card. The same computer wouldn’t allow me to sign up for the second card [to get both 50,000 card offers] but I was able to sign up for the second offer using another computer. Just make sure you are on a site where the offer is for 50,000 bonus points. I almost signed up on a site where it was 25,000 for one card. I spent the amount on each card needed to get bonus points, plus the additional amount needed to reach 110,000 [$2,000 for each 50,000 bonus card, only gets to 104,000 points, with 6,000 additional points still required] by paying for my kids summer camp tuition in advance. I then received an email within a day of of my statement date, which was within 3 months from the sign-up, that I got a companion pass! A few days after choosing my spouse [as the beneficiary] of the companion, I received a card in the mail. I booked a flight to Las Vegas, two tickets for the price of one, which I find amazing. I feel like this is too good to be true. After that one flight, I still have 90,000 plus points for future flights or use for hotels/car rentals [earning the Companion Pass doesn’t take away any points, you still have the points to pay/use for the flights as well!!]. Its gotta be worth thousands of dollars which was awarded to me, just for spending what I anyways needed to spend. Thank you PEYD for informing me about, what in other words, is a deal that will be paying for my future vacation(s). ” Sd
Here is what you need to spend to earn the 5 bonus points and and the perks that accompany the card.
50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
6,000 Anniversary points after your Cardmember Anniversary
60,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
6,000 Anniversary points after your Cardmember Anniversary
Click HERE to access the 50,000 bonus point personal Premier Southwest Credit Card.
Click HERE to access the 50,000 bonus point personal Plus Southwest Credit Card.
Click HERE to access the 60,000 bonus point business Southwest Credit Card.
CUSTOMERS MUST VERIFY INFORMATION PRIOR TO APPLYING AS TERMS & CONDITIONS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
Helping Businesses do Business Better
In today’s marketplace, the ability to change and grow is a key component of success. Whether it’s being on top of the latest social trends or zeroing in on your clients’ needs before they know it, evolving is essential. Yet, transformation needs to be built on top of a good reputation and a strong foundation of trust – and one company’s progression is a prime example of how it’s done.
Founded as a rewards redemption service, Get PEYD initially focused solely on assisting consumers in maximizing airline miles and credit card points. Within a few short years, the company developed into a full scale travel agency, addressing travel needs of both private individuals and small businesses. Get PEYD’s latest venture, PEYD360° takes it to an entirely different sphere, as it is now attending to the business marketplace, and in many more avenues than ever before.
The specialists at PEYD360° work with businesses to determine the most beneficial program for each particular situation. Business owners who use corporate cards to pay for inventory and operational expenses, or who conduct the majority of their business online, can potentially earn hundreds of thousands of points per month by choosing the best program to fit their corporate profile. PEYD Sales Deck Corporate
After careful review and analysis of a company’s spending profile, PEYD360° experts will then decipher the benefits of each program and advise which cards and programs to use in order to accrue the maximum rewards. Through their particular expertise on the redemption side, the mileage experts are able to then assist in utilizing those miles and points in the most efficient way.
Moshe Fried, Account Manager at Get PEYD, added that through their relationships with companies such as American Express and Visa, PEYD360° can also help companies save money in unique and lesser-known ways. “The credit card companies have come to us and said: How can we work together to get the best value for your clients?” Fried says. “We collaborate by analyzing the client’s business and spending habits to maximize their dollars and find new ways for savings and revenue.”
For example, in place of wire services for payments, companies can utilize a program at AMEX to send wire payments through one’s credit card, eliminating the issue for cash flow and increasing the opportunity for accumulating additional miles.
Founded in 2011 by four lifelong friends from New York, and now with a dedicated staff of consultants across the globe, “Get PEYD” and the PEYD logo represent the first name of each of the partners – Pinny Ackerman, Eli Schreiber, Yaakov Portnoy, and Dudi Akerman. The young entrepreneurs recognized that rewards programs were often complex and difficult to navigate, leaving many people to allow their hard won points to expire. Up to 90 percent of the 300 million-plus in frequent flyer and rewards points earned each year can go unclaimed, often because both private individuals and businesses find redeeming them to be either too challenging or too time-consuming.
By 2014, the group found themselves inundated with travel related requests from both private clients and corporate accounts. With a customer base comprised of all types of travelers – from the occasional flyer, looking to use miles or points to enjoy a free trip, to frequent flyers who have amassed high quantities of unused miles – PEYD Travel will assist clients in bundling miles and points together to allow them to enjoy their rewards in a variety of ways. Rewards can be applied not only to airfare and hotels, but to premium luxury experiences as well. PEYD Travel also works with luxury villas in destinations such as Jerusalem, Miami Beach, the Catskills, Maldives, Poconos, and the Caribbean Islands.
Pinny Ackerman, Director of Operations, explained that the PEYD Team uses its extensive knowledge of the intricate mileage network employed by various airlines and alliances to find the best deals for clients. A coach ticket to China may cost $1,000 or 70,000 miles, while a business class ticket to the same destination can run $6,500 or 140,000 miles. Although mileage tickets can offer significant savings with their substantially smaller price differentials, they can be difficult to acquire.
“An infrequent traveler may not know how to navigate the system to take advantage of that mileage ticket, but we can do that, discounted business class tickets are our specialty,” explained Ackerman. “Our agents utilize the vast network of rewards options to book the ticket and take care of everything.”
While expanding to the business sector, PEYD still maintains a strong focus on individuals’ needs, small and large, such as helping find the right credit card that fits their lifestyle, providing discounted hotel options for corporate hotel stays, or full-scale travel concierge services. The company also offers discounted airfare, and mileage specialists will search all published fares and even those industry-insider unpublished fares, getting you to your destination in the most cost effective manner.
Travel experts and concierge personnel help provide clients with a smooth travel experience and the ability to enhance every aspect of travel, from air, lodging, and car rentals to customized itineraries. PEYD offers VIP packages in Israel with several levels available including hassle-free entry and exit and optional transportation service.
“As our company has grown, we renewed our focus on business travel and rewards management,” said Eli Schreiber, PEYD’s director of marketing. “We are the only company that offers credit card rewards, airline miles and travel services merged into one cohesive product based on your business type and where you are traveling.”
Through the establishment of PEYD360°, executing efficient corporate travel itineraries has become a high priority. The PEYD team navigates through all of the tedious and time-consuming travel planning details, to allow for maximum savings and increased productivity. Services like these prove especially beneficial for small businesses that may lack the manpower and the time to deal with the consuming task of travel planning and reward redemption. Even small details, like being able to speak to a knowledgeable travel specialist, versus customer service representatives in foreign countries who don’t understand their needs, make a big difference in getting the job done well.
Through PEYD’s extreme level of attentiveness coupled with a loyal client base, this Long Island based company has grown from a four man, one room operation in NY to a full scale global business with additional offices in New York, Pittsburgh and Jerusalem, serving a diverse clientele. With an unwavering commitment to customer service and a willingness to listen to client needs, PEYD is filling marketplace voids and helping consumers and businesses simply do business better
Family of 5 Does LA/Disney
Eli is sharing a great redemption story that involves his family of 5 traveling on points to LA and of course visiting Disneyland while they were there!
As one of the 4 partners of PEYD, a credit card reward and travel concierge service, Eli knows his way around some points. It’s a good thing too because securing a redemption trip for 5 people can take some serious work!
Since tickets to Disneyland can get quite pricey without many discounts offered, Eli tells us it was even more imperative to find flights and hotels that could be purchased on points.
In order to accomplish this, he utilized a number of tactics to accrue points: spending on his Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, transferring points, and opening new airline and hotel credit cards for everyday spending.
Eli says the greatest way to maximize rewards potential using SPG points is to take advantage of points transfers. Certain SPG transfers of 20,000+ points yield an extra 5,000 points when converted to airline miles.
After looking at numerous airlines with direct flights from JFK to LAX, Eli decided Virgin America would be the best bet based on price and their partnership with SPG. This locked in the extra 5,000-point bonus.
Next, Eli opened 2 new Virgin America Visa Signature Cards for himself and his wife to earn 2 sign-up bonuses of 15,000 points after reaching the minimum spend limits.
- 20,000 SPG points
- 5,000-point transfer bonus
- 2 x 15,000-point minimum spend bonus
Eli’s grand total was 55,000 Virgin America miles to be used for the family’s flights. Combined with some additional miles he had in his account, Eli was able to book 5 seats in economy for 64,660 round-trip.
One perk of flying Virgin America is that they allow customers to cancel flights free of charge. So when Eli saw airfare rates drop nearer to the trip date, he was able to cancel his initial flights and rebook the tickets for significantly fewer points! His new tickets came in at 53,030 points plus $58 in taxes and fees. That’s a savings of over 10,000 points!
When it came to booking accommodations, it was important that Eli find a hotel near a water park for his kiddos. After some research, he was able to find a Howard Johnson in Anaheim, California that not only has a water park on the premise, but is also just minutes from Disneyland!
It’s important to note here that the Howard Johnson chain is connected to the Wyndham Hotel group. This hotel group offers a Wyndham Rewards®Visa® Card with a 30,000-point minimum spend bonus. You can probably guess where Eli was going with this one…
Two new credit card sign-ups later, Eli and his wife had earned 60,000 bonus points from hitting the minimum spend limits. This earned their family a free 4-night stay at this convenient Howard Johnson, with enough points left over to stay at another local hotel over the weekend.
All in all, this redemption story proves family travel on points IS possible, though you might have to do a little extra work to get there!
Eli, we’re so glad you chose to share this family redemption with our readers!
Click HERE to see the feature story on upgradeablepoints.com!
Another tax season is upon us. Paperwork, endless tax forms and if you aren’t lucky enough to get a tax refund, your payment to the IRS is already due. Let’s figure out how you can pay your taxes with your credit card and earn rewards during the process.
The Different Ways You Can Pay Your Taxes
There are a variety of different ways one can pay federal taxes to the Government. The IRS authorizes three different companies to accept payments on its behalf via debit or credit card. Although, these companies are allowed to include “convenience fees” on these tax payments if you are looking to earn a large bonus and meet certain minimum spending requirements it may be worthwhile to pay your taxes via a payment service, even when adding a small percentage to your overall balance and payment.
Debit Card Payment
When you pay with your debit card, a flat fee is added on to your payment, which is generally around $2.60 and $3.95, depending upon which payment processing company you utilize and — in the case of one specific payment service— whether the payment to the IRS is larger than $1,000. Using your debit card is always an effective and cheap option, as the payment charge will never exceed $4. You will also receive an immediate receipt, which can help you get approved for a loan when you’ve reported a tax liability. Unfortunately, there aren’t any debit cards at this time that will offer any type of benefits for this type tax expenses.
Credit Card Payment
Another option to pay your tax liability is by using one’s credit card with an added fee based on a percentage of the amount being paid. At present, those charges are approximately 1.9% to 2% per transaction. These payment processor rates are dependent on the kind of credit card with AmEx cards being charged a relatively more expensive fee.
This can be a really great way to earn frequent flyer miles or bonus points which require a minimum spend within a certain time frame. So for example, if you were looking to earn the 50,000-point bonus with the Chase Sapphire card, you are required to spend $4,000 within a three-month period.
Let’s say you owe the IRS $4,000, you can choose to pay them with your Chase Sapphire card, pay an extra $80 (2% fee) and thus earn the 60,000 bonus miles, worth roughly $650!
For more information how to utilize your credit card spend and earn bonus miles and points please visit, www.getpeyd.com