The Windy City, the Second City, the City of the Big Shoulders. Whatever you call it, Chicago has a way of growing on you. It seems like everyone I talk to who has visited the city absolutely loves it. It's the city I still call "home" even though I live in Texas. No, Chicago isn't perfect, but to paraphrase a quote I once heard, the city survived the Great Fire and ended up building the world's most beautiful skyline... because if there's one thing Chicago knows, it's how to punch back.
In this edition of Picture This, a semi-regular series on The Keith King Report, is a picture blog of Chicago. If you're interested in more of this series, you can find the others here.
Winos of the world rejoice! If you’re looking for a lovely getaway where there are more kinds of wine than there are people that live there, I’ve got quite a treat to tell you about. Just about 75 miles from both San Antonio and Austin sits the Fredericksburg and Gillespie County area of the Texas Hill Country that just so happens to also be home to over 50 wineries and tasting rooms.
This area is well known in Texas with some absolutely fantastic wines coming from the area. It’s the second most visited wine region in the country, behind (you guessed it) Napa Valley. However, most of its visitors come from Texas. I just went on a tour in the area with about five or six other people and they were all from different parts of Texas.
The war on credit cards is ramping up thanks to what several major retail chains just announced.
They want to be able to keep you from using certain credit cards. Specifically, the ones that offer the biggest rewards. According to the Wall Street Journal, companies like Amazon, Target, and Home Depot want to end a rule that requires merchants that accept a Mastercard- or Visa-branded card to accept all the cards branded that way.
“If merchants could pick and choose among Visa or Mastercard credit cards, those with the highest merchant fees—and most generous rewards—likely would be on the chopping block,” wrote the Wall Street Journal.
The 300-acre Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio has been in business for over a quarter century. But the land that it sits on, which is now home to 500 guest rooms, a full-service spa (when it’s not closed (more on that in a minute)), 27 holes of golf, and a five-acre water park, has a history that goes back much further than that.
A brief history of the Hyatt Hill Country
There are a lot of people out there that don’t like credit cards. I don’t know if “scared” is the right word, but it seems to fit. They’re scared that all the perks you may get by signing up for a credit card is too good to be true. They’re scared that they may start to use a credit card for what banks hope you use it for: living today on tomorrow’s (possible) income. Indeed, if you use credit cards like that, you’ll be up a creek… and it won’t smell anything like flowers.
Why the hostility towards credit cards?
After the ring, the big day itself, and all the events surrounding it, oftentimes there’s not much left in the coffers for a dream honeymoon. However, there’s no need to run away and pout! There are plenty of destinations out there that’ll check all the right boxes when it comes to a romantic getaway for a newlywed couple without breaking the bank.
Halfway around the world
So far this year, I’ve spent way more than should be legal on my wedding. But it’s not all bad! I’ve put most of that on credit cards trying to maximize my earning potential when it comes to points and miles. You see, I’ve figured out first hand that expenses can add up quickly when planning a wedding, but using the right credit cards for wedding and honeymoon purchases can pay off big time for future travel.
Including bonuses, I’ve earned:
The Platinum Card by American Express is one of those cards that exudes a bit of clout in the credit card community. That clout seems to have dissipated somewhat as of late, due to stiffer competition like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Citi Prestige, but it’s still there. And the Amex Platinum also has quite a few perks up its sleeve that may make the fact that it has a $550 annual fee worth it. Ultimately, though, that’s up to you.
This is a charge card
First and foremost, I think it’s important to point out that this is a charge card, not a credit card. What’s the difference, you ask? The biggest difference is the fact that a charge card needs to get paid off in full every month. A credit card can carry a balance. But because of that, you will typically have more spending power with a charge card because you won’t have a set limit that you can put on them.
Not paying off a charge card will come with severe consequences. Those consequences can include suspending your line of credit entirely. So if you decide to get one, it's best to pay it off.
Main card benefits
NOTE: If you are depressed and are having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
On June 8th, the world-renowned travel writer, chef, and television host Anthony Bourdain committed suicide at the age of 61.
There’s no doubt, Bourdain was a lot of things. Before I started travel writing, I thought of him more as a chef and television host. But shortly after I began my little trek into the world of travel writing, I found out that Bourdain was a fantastic writer. Much like his career as a chef, as a writer, he seemed to know what ingredients (words) belonged and he knew where to sprinkle them in.
Below are just a few of his quotes that may inspire you to travel, cook, or live life to the fullest every single day:
Podcasts. They’re a fantastic way to kill time. Whether it’s on your next long drive or long layover/flight, there’s a binge-able podcast for everyone.
The choices are seemingly endless. That’s because basically anyone with a smartphone can make a podcast. Many say we’re in the golden age of podcasting. And it’s hard to argue with that. But while having so many choices at your fingertips is a good thing, there’s at least one unintended consequence: you have to sift through a lot of crap in order to find the good stuff! Now, if you had all week, you could theoretically do a deep dive into that list and find your favorites. But who has that kind of time?