My Money Blog
If you have young children and like to travel, you likely appreciate a lightweight stroller that still retains those small-but-important features.* After trying out several different brands, our family favorite is the ZOE XL2 double stroller (see 600+ reviews, buy direct from ZOE as a third-party seller). They aren t a big name brand and you won t find them in any major big box retailer.
This double stroller weighs only 16 pounds and the single stroller only weighs 10 pounds. That means this double stroller is lighter than many single strollers. How? They made it from aluminum as opposed to steel. Meanwhile, it still has quick-folding capability, extended shade canopies, 135 degree recline, lower basket, and snack/cup holders.
We ve taken the ZOE XL2 on multiple extended international trips and the weight savings makes a big difference. It can be hard to explain until you compare it side-by-side with strollers that call themselves lightweight yet are twice as heavy. Weigh your current stroller and compare! Both of us can carry the XL2 with one hand.
There are also cheap umbrella double strollers, but they lack the extended shade canopies and/or deeper recline that allows for easier naps in the stroller.
Our only warning is to keep the removable cupholders in your carry-on bags if you don t use a gate check bag. (We also recommend a gate check bag for protection. Yes, it ll get beaten up and probably torn after about 10 flights. I think of it as paying less than $2 per flight. Besides, would you rather have the abuse be inflicted directly upon your stroller?)
Right now ZOE is liquidating their stock of returned and open-box strollers. The prices and discounts vary, but as of this writing you can get the XL1 for $100 and XL2 for $190. They promise it to be like new and never taken outside. This is not a sponsored or paid post, we are simply happy customers and they announced this sale to their mailing list members.
* I m not saying this stroller is only for travelers as it is our daily driver as well, but it does cost more than some other value brands. A few more pounds matters less when you re not carrying it through airports and pushing it 10 miles a day up and down hills.
JetBlue Plus Credit Card: 60,000 Point Limited Time Offer
The JetBlue Plus credit card by Barclaycard has a new special offer for 60,000 bonus TrueBlue points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. Valid for first-time cardmembers. Expires 12/31/17. This is the double the standard offer of 30,000 bonus points and also higher than previous bump-ups to 40,000 points. Highlights:
- Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
- No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking.
- First checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights.
- Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don t expire.
- Earn and share points together with Family Pooling.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary.
- 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases including cocktails, food and movies.
- Enjoy Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases after your anniversary date.
- Get 10% of your points back every time you redeem to use toward your next redemption.
- Get a $100 statement credit after you purchase a JetBlue Getaways vacation package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card.
- $99 annual fee.
Free checked baggage perk can be valued at $25 to $35 each-way, per person. The free checked bag perk applies to you and up to 3 travel companions on the same reservation when (1) the ticket is purchased with your JetBlue Plus card, (2) the primary cardmember s TrueBlue member number must be entered at the time of booking. If you buy higher fare classes, a certain number of complimentary bags may already be included. Here is a chart of JetBlue s baggage fees:
How does redeeming TrueBlue points work? TrueBlue works on a revenue-based system, where the points required depends on the current cash cost of the flight (with no blackout dates). If they sell it for cash, you can book it with points. This is opposed to traditional chart-based systems that charge a fixed point balance but imposes blackout dates and limited seat availability.
TrueBlue points are best redeemed for JetBlue flights. There are some other options like newspaper or magazine subscriptions, but I won t cover them here.
TrueBlue points can be estimated at 1 points = 1.4 cents. Ex. 30,000 points would cover $420 in JetBlue airfare. The exact value may vary, but 1.4 cents is very close to what I found across Blue, Blue Plus, and Blue Flex fares. You can easily test it out yourself by pricing out the same flight on JetBlue.com using points or cash.
This means 2X points back on restaurants and groceries can be estimated as 2.8% back in the form of TrueBlue airfare. The 3X points back on Jetlue-operated flights can be 4.2% back in the form of TrueBlue airfare. The 6X points back with the Plus card on Jetlue-operated flights can be 8.4% back in the form of TrueBlue airfare.
Upon the renewal of your $99 annual fee, you get another 5,000 TrueBlue points ($70 of airfare value at 1.4 cents/point). If you can take advantage of the free checked bag perk, there is definitely ongoing value for regular JetBlue fliers. I haven t investigated the $100 off a JetBlue Vacations package, but it could be worth something as well.
Bottom line. At 1.4 cents per TrueBlue point, 60,000 bonus points can be valued at $840 towards JetBlue fares. Add the baggage perk which you could value at an additional $50 per roundtrip Blue fare, per person. Minus the $99 annual fee, and that is still a very solid sign-up incentive for even casual JetBlue customers. If you are a frequent JetBlue flier, the 5,000 point anniversary bonus and other perks can create additional ongoing value.