I started this blog about a year ago as I always like to hear first hand reviews of services before deciding whether to sign up. It’s nice to know how services work in reality and not just how they are supposed to work. Around a year later I’m still blogging away and am surprised with how many views this site gets. This blog was never designed to make me rich – and believe me its not! However, I am looking to add a few more affiliate links to my posts in order to pay for the running costs of the blog and maybe earn myself a cup of coffee as well. However, I am determined not to allow the potential commission from affiliate links to sway my reviews. I want to be as upfront as possible so below are the three ways I will be monetising this blog.

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I recently came back from a trip where I used my N26 card exclusively. I used to be a Revolut fan but have since moved over to N26 and to be honest, I haven’t looked back. I still always pack my Revolut Card with me as backup but N26 is my main card now both at home in Ireland and when travelling. I thought it would be interesting to do the sums to see how much N26 ‘saved’ me during the trip.

There are things to keep in mind.

  • I pay for N26 Black which costs €5.90 per month. If I hadn’t paid for N26 Black and instead had the basic N26 MasterCard I would have ended up paying 1.7%.  This would have worked out at ~€17.95 for the trip so it would still have been cheaper than AIB and Revolut
  • If I wasn’t using N26 and instead using AIB or Revolut I would have done fewer larger transactions. This would have saved fees but I would have had to walk around with more cash on me which I like to avoid.
  • I am making some assumptions with exchange rates. Every third or fourth withdrawal I would use my Revolut card, that had no funds loaded to make the transaction. The transaction would fail as expected, but the euro converted amount shows as a failed transaction.

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I’m always trying to pick up as many frequent flyer points as possible. In countries like the US there are a shedload of credit cards you can sign up to that have very generous sign up bonuses. Unfortunately, there are very few of these options available in Ireland. I’ve started trying to earn as many Real Reward points as possible with the idea of transferring them over to Aer Club Avios points (and then potentially over to my BA Executive Club Avios). I have my Bank of Ireland Credit Card linked to my Real Reward Account and have recently linked my eir account – earning 1 reward point for every €2 spent with eir. These are very small time earning rates so I wouldn’t adjust your spending habits or move to eir just for the reward points.

I ended up with 400 or so Real Reward Points which in August would have transferred over to 1,200 Avios. However, every time I tried to make a transfer from Real Rewards to Aer Club I got an error saying “We were not able to convert your Real Rewards points to Avios Points at this time” I’ve been on to their customer support but kept getting a response along the lines of “we’re looking into it” with no timeframe to resolve the issue.

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I wrote this post months ago when I was travelling but forgot to hit publish. Booking.com have been running a lot of cashback offers over the last few months some of which worked out as 50% discount. The promotion is quite easy, sign up for a booking.com account, add a debit or credit card, make a booking and after the stay the cashback amount will be credited to your selected debit/credit card. You do not need to pay the hotel using the same card – for all my stays I paid in cash. However, you do need to start the booking by clicking a promotional link.

The first promotion was $40 back on a spend of $80 or more but this has now changed to $40 back on a spend of $200 or more.

Then there was €75 back on a spend of €225 or more which appears to be expired now.

There is currently £40 back on a spend of £120 or more which is still active.

A lot of these codes are posted on SecretFlying Hotels or Bargain Alerts on Boards.ie so its worth keeping an eye on these.

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When I book flights I tend to check the reservation every so often to make sure nothing has changed. How frequent I check depends on the airline and where I booked. If I book through a online travel agent like Vayama or BudgetAir I’d rarely check it same goes for Ryanair and Ethiopian. They tend to be very good at sending emails for any changes to the flight schedules. On the other end of the scale is United Airlines – I’m a fan of United but one area they need to improve is sending email alerts for changes to flight schedules. It has happened quite a few times to me and I’ve never received an email. I only noticed the change when I checked my reservation. The same can be said for Delta.

United’s reservation system Shares auto-rebooks in case a flight is cancelled or if a schedule change means the original routing will not work or violates minimum connection time. This is great in theory but Shares is very old and very buggy. I recently booked flights to Orlando going through Newark on the way over and Washington on the way back. As it turned out the Washington to Dublin flight got cancelled during the winter. This happened the day after I booked.

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