Need A Chinese Visa? Check The Process And Cost At Different Locations – Case: Bangkok, Thailand!


If you find yourself in the situation of needing to apply for a Chinese Visa from time to time it might be worth it to do some advance research and consider where you apply for it.

China Visa Center

Making the decision wisely could save time, hassle and money at the same because the fees are different in each country and they also vary based on citizenship.

Complimentary Langham 1865 Gateway Membership for Visa Signature Cardholders


You can get a complimentary Langham 1865 Gateway membership for being a Visa Signature cardholder. This offer is valid until December 31, 2012. You can sign up for this offer here.


The 1865 Gateway is an entry level status, but I like the complimentary 4PM check out that often comes handy. You only need a one stay per year to renew at this level. You can read more about various Langham membership levels here.


Note that you only need a first six digits of the Visa Signature card to sign up for this offer. You can use Google Image search and search for Visa Signature. It is very easy to find the correct first six digits to take advantage of this offer.



If you have a Langham hotel stay coming up, it makes sense to sign up for this offer to take advantage of the late checkout and fruit/mineral water benefit.

Here are the terms and conditions associated with this offer:

Visa Signature cardholders will need to register from 1 February 2012 to 31 December 2012, in the designated website to enrol for the membership.
Once enrolled within the promotional period, the membership is valid for 1 year (12-month).
Subsequent to the enrollment, membership will be renewed automatically when the eligible Gateway member stays at any of the affiliate hotels at least once annually.
Offer cannot be redeemed for cash.
1865 membership is not transferrable.
In the event of a dispute, the joint decision of Langham Hotels International and Visa shall be final.
The offers are subject to the terms and conditions of Langham Hospitality Group and Visa. Langham Hospitality Group and Visa reserve the right to amend, vary or terminate any such terms and conditions without prior notice.
All other standard terms and conditions of 1865 apply to above privileges. Details refer to

Hyatt Gold Passport 90 Day Platinum Trial for Visa Signature Cardholders

The time is running out on the Hyatt’s 90 day Platinum trial for Visa signature cardholders. The last day to register for this offer is May 11th, 2012.


If you complete 8 nights during the 90 day period, the Hyatt will grant you the Platinum status beyond the 90 day period. It doesn’t hurt to sign up even if you do not have plans to stay at Hyatt. You never know when you might end up staying at Hyatt.


There are some valuable benefits that come with the Platinum status like free internet access worldwide and 2PM check out. You will also receive 15% bonus on points and preferred room. Maybe you end up liking Hyatt a lot and will go for the Diamond status?

Here are the frequently asked questions by Hyatt:

What are the promotional dates?
March 29, 2011 through May 11, 2012

Can anyone participate in this promotion?
es, as long as they are a Gold Passport member, have a U.S.-issued Visa Signature consumer card, and register for the promotion at

What if I am not a Gold Passport member and I want to participate?
Individuals may join the Hyatt Gold Passport program by visiting or by calling 1-800-228-3360, and then they may register for the promotion at You must be a Gold Passport member and have a U.S.-issued Visa Signature card to participate.

What if I do not have a Visa Signature card and I want to participate?
Individuals may apply for a Visa Signature card at You must have a U.S.-issued Visa Signature card and be a Gold Passport member to participate.

Who is eligible to participate in this promotion?
This offer is open to all Visa Signature consumer cardholders with a U.S.-issued card who are enrolled in Hyatt Gold Passport and register for the promotion.

Do I have a Visa Signature card?
Visa Signature cards has the words “Visa Signature” on the front of the card. If a your are not sure if you have a Visa Signature card, they may enter your 16-digit card number at and attempt to register for the promotion. Numbers that are not Visa Signature cards will display an error message.

Are there any other methods to register for this promotion?
No, your Visa Signature card and Gold Passport account information must be verified through the website

Are all hotels participating in this promotion?
Yes, all hotels and resorts in the Hyatt Worldwide portfolio will be participating in the promotion. There are no non-participating properties.

Is this promotion only for our U.S. Gold Passport members?
This promotion is open only to Visa Signature consumer cardholders with a U.S. issued card. The Platinum status, however, applies to any worldwide Hyatt property.

If my stay begins before the promotion start date but includes nights within the 90 day promotional period, will I still receive this offer? (i.e. check in March 25 and check out March 31)
Unfortunately, this offer does not apply for any stays that began prior to signing up for the promotion. You will receive Platinum status benefits beginning with your first stay after you have registered for the promotion.

If my stay begins before the promotion end date but includes nights after the 90 day promotional period, will I still receive this offer? (i.e. register on April 2nd, check in June 29th and check out July 2nd)
Yes, as long as you register prior to checking out, your stay will count towards the offer. A “stay” is defined as the total number of consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, whether or not a guest checks out and checks back in again.

If I check into the hotel prior to registering for the promotion, can I still receive my Platinum benefits?
A Gold Passport member must register for the promotion prior to checking in for their hotel stay in order to receive the on-property Platinum benefits. However, if you register during your stay and check-out using your Visa Signature card, then you will receive benefits that would apply after check-out from the property, i.e. the 15% bonus points.

If I made reservations prior to the promotion start date, but the reservation dates are within the promotional period, can I register and participate in the offer?
Yes, as long as you register prior to checking in and use your Visa Signature card upon checking out your stay will qualify for the offer.

How secure is the landing page since I am entering my full 16-digit credit card?
The page is very secure. The 16-digit verification process transmits your information securely with highly effective industry standard level of encryption (SSL).The card number entry is encrypted and only the last four digits of the cardholder’s account number are displayed. The cardholder is also instructed to enter the two words displayed on the screen (varies) as an added layer of security.

When can I expect my Gold Passport Platinum Membership materials?
If you are 1) new to the Gold Passport program and 2) have never stayed at Hyatt prior to signing up for the promotion, and 3) don’t stay at a Hyatt property during the trial Platinum period, you will not receive any materials until your first eligible stay after the promo period ends, in which you will receive your Gold Passport Kit. If you are 1) new to the Gold Passport program at the time in which you sign up for the promotion and 2) you stay at a Hyatt property after signing up for the promotion, but not enough to earn on-going Platinum status, at the end of the trial Platinum period you will receive a letter thanking you for your participation in the promotion and a Gold Passport Kit. If you achieve on-going Platinum status during the trial Platinum period, you will receive a Platinum Welcome Kit as soon as you achieve the on-going Platinum status. Please allow 4-6 weeks to receive the kit in the mail.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

You must be an active Hyatt Gold Passport member in order to participate in this offer. Hyatt Gold Passport Members must register by May 11, 2012 with their valid U.S.-issued Visa Signature card at Registration through any other source will not qualify for this offer. Once registered, Visa Signature cardholders will receive Platinum status for 90 days beginning with the day of registration. To maintain Platinum membership through February 2013, member must complete eight (8) eligible nights at any Hyatt worldwide within 90 days of enrollment. Platinum 15% point bonus will be awarded for all eligible stays during 90-day trial membership period when member chooses points for their stay.  If you qualify to retain Platinum status through February 2013, you will receive a new membership card, valid through February 2013, within 3-4 weeks of qualifying. Membership benefits will be available to you when you present your membership card at check-in. Limit one trial tier offer per member. Hyatt Gold Passport will track all eligible nights for which a Hyatt Gold Passport account number is provided. An eligible night is defined as a single night at any Hyatt in which an eligible rate is paid. For the purposes of this promotion, an “Eligible Rate” shall be defined as any hotel published room rate, including, but not limited to rates found on, the Hyatt Daily Rate, Volume Account Rates, AAA and Senior Citizen rates. “Ineligible Rates” are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays, Third Party Internet Rates (examples include,, Expedia, and Travelocity), traditional wholesale rates (examples include GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, etc.), airline crew rates, airline employee rates, travel agency employee rates, Club at the Hyatt discount certificate stays, Hyatt employee or employee family discount rates, airline interrupted-trip vouchers or contracted rooms (a contract is a room that has been reserved pursuant to a written and executed agreement between a hotel and a corporation, government agency or individual for a negotiated room rate in exchange for an agreed upon number of rooms to be rented for an extended period of time). Back-to-back stays at a single Hyatt are considered one stay.

Offer available only to qualifying U.S.-issued Visa Signature cardholders and is not transferable. For more details of Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Membership and to join, click here. Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Membership benefits are subject to availability and may vary at each hotel. Hyatt reserves the right to alter or withdraw this offer at any time without notice. Hyatt Hotels and Resorts® encompasses hotels managed, franchised, or leased by subsidiaries and affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Hyatt Gold Passport membership, earning of points and redemption of points are subject to Hyatt Gold Passport Terms and Conditions available at The trademarks Hyatt®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2012 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

Priority Club Rewards On the Go – 1000 Bonus Points for Signing up + 5000 Bonus Points After a Stay


Priority Club is offering 1000 bonus points for registering an eligible Visa card to their On the Go-program by May 31st, 2012. Visa and Hilton have a similar program going on too. You need to give consent to IHG to send you tailored offers by SMS (max 3 per week) based on the transaction history with the registered Visa card.


Then, if you complete a stay at any IHG group of hotel by July 31, and pay using the Visa card that you have registered to this program, you will receive additional 5000 bonus Priority Club points.


I think that this is a good offer especially if you have a paid InterContinental Hotels Group stay coming up before end of July. You can combine this promotion with other current Priority Club bonus point opportunities that I always write about

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) And Why You Should Always Decline.


Sometimes when you are withdrawing money from a foreign ATM, you are presented an option for the bank operating the ATM to do the currency conversion for you instead of Visa/MasterCard. Also, when paying for hotels or other expenses in a foreign country, you are often given similar option to pay in the currency of you home country.

You should ALWAYS decline these offers and here’s the reason why. The rates that are offered are NEVER markets rates. The bank operating the ATM or the bank who is handling the credit card machine is offering you a rate that is anywhere from 3% to 7% off from the actual market rate. This conversion is done for your “convenience”, when in fact it does nothing else than increase their fee income. It is better to let the network to do the conversion using the actual market rates.

Carry Multiple Credit and Debit Cards Especially When Traveling Overseas.

When traveling, we more and more rely on debit and credit cards to pay for things and get money from ATM’s. All is good when things work. When something starts going south it is good to have back up plans in place.

Over the years I have had my wallet lost, card(s) deactivated due to merchant database compromises, Visa/MasterCard authorization systems not working etc. These are all manageable when you have alternative plans in place.

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