Monthly Archives: November 2013

American Express Rewards Platinum Card Review

American Express Rewards Platinum CardAbout
The ‘American Express Preferred Rewards Platinum Card’ is a charge card issued directly by American Express.

Known Benefits

  • Earn one ‘Membership Rewards’ point per full £1 spent on your card.
  • Unlimited access to over 1,000 airport lounges in 83 countries.
  • Elite tier membership with hotel and car hire organisations including: Starwood Preferred Guest Gold, Le Club Accorhotels Platinum, Club Carlson Gold Elite, Hertz #1 Club, and Avis Preferred.
  • Dedicated travel and concierge service – find those hard-to-get tickets or reservations.
  • Comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for cardholder plus spouse or partner and dependent children under 25 years old – including gap year cover.
  • 24/7 emergency help wherever you are in the world.
  • Overseas car hire rental insurance.
  • Complimentary ‘extras’ at partner restaurants in the UK.
  • Invitations to ‘exclusive’ events – e.g. art gallery viewings
  • Shopping protection.
  • No preset spending limit.
  • No interest to pay as it’s a charge card. (Balances MUST be paid in full each month)

Sign-up Bonus
30,000 bonus points when you spend £3,000 on your card in the first 3 months.

Hidden Benefits
5,000 bonus points if you are referred by an existing member. (i.e. including the above bonus, your total sign-up bonus can be 35,000 points)

Annual Fee
£450 per year.

Cost vs Benefits

If you travel a lot, then this card has everything you could possibly want: insurance, elite tier car and hotel memberships and unlimited business lounge access.

The elite tier memberships will grant you extra bonus points, upgrades and access to better facilities whenever they’re used. The lounge pass is from Priority Pass and can be worth up to £259 per year. The comprehensive travel insurance is also a substantial saving. However… if you travel a lot then you might already have some of these anyway.

These extras come down to: if you need to use them, then this card will save you a lot of money. If you don’t use them, then you might be better looking at a different type of card: e.g. the American Express Rewards Gold Card.

What are American Express ‘Membership Rewards’ points worth? That depends on how you redeem them!

Membership Rewards points can be converted 1 to 1 into Avios points or in varying quantities to 12 major frequent flyer and hotel programmes. They are also redeemable against bookings made and goods or vouchers bought through the American Express website.

For example, 5,000 membership rewards points can be converted into a £25 gift card – which represents a poor 0.5p per point ratio. However redeeming them as Avios for flights can make the points worth 0.75p to 1.5p each depending on which flights you use them for.

American Express occasionally run special offers where if you convert your points to airline rewards points between certain dates, then they will provide a 2 to 1 deal. Obviously this means that the 0.75p to 1.5p value of each point instantly doubles!

Verdict
We give this card 4/5 stars. Huge sign up bonus and you get a ton of rewards and benefits with no pre-set spending limit. The downsides are the hefty £450 annual fee and you’ll need to travel a lot to make use of the rewards.

Conditions
Minimum household income of £40,000
Sign-up bonus is only available to customers that have not held an American Express issued Rewards card in the previous 6 months.

How to search a MongoDB database for entries between two dates or times

So you have a database in MongoDB with a collection. (I presume you know what that all means, otherwise you may be on the wrong page!)

If each of the documents in your collection contains a timestamp, then you can search for all documents between two dates or times. The following example searches for all documents with timestamps between 2pm and 8pm on the 19th Nov 2013:

> db.collection.find({ timestamp: { $gte:ISODate("2013-11-19T14:00:00Z"), $lt: ISODate("2013-11-19T20:00:00Z") } })

This will the timestamp field to have an index, otherwise the result will take a very long time to compute.

How to remove a formula but keep the value in an Excel spreadsheet

When you delete a cell in an Excel spreadsheet, both the formula and value are deleted. If you want to keep the value, then you can delete the formula only.

Procedure:

  1. Select the cell or group of cells you wish to remove the formulae from.
  2. Select the ‘Home’ tab from the menu bar.
  3. Click ‘Copy’. (You can alternatively do this using the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+C.)
  4. Press the down arrow under ‘Paste’ and click ‘Paste Values’. (You can alternatively do this using the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+V instead, then a small icon should appear in the corner of the pasted area with ‘Paste Values’ available within a context menu.)

American Express Rewards Gold Card Review

American Express Rewards Gold CardAbout
The ‘American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card’ is a charge card issued directly by American Express.

Known Benefits
Earn one ‘Membership Rewards’ point per full £1 spent on your card.
Earn double points on your travel spend.
Earn double points on all your spend made while abroad.
Earn double points on petrol and major supermarket spend for the first 12 months.
Two complimentary airport VIP lounge passes each year.
Travel and shopping protection.
No preset spending limit.
No interest to pay as it’s a charge card. (Balances MUST be paid in full each month)

Sign-up Bonus
20,000 bonus points when you spend £2,000 on your card in the first 3 months.
Earn 7,500 bonus points when you renew your card each year.

Hidden Benefits
2,000 bonus points if you are referred by an existing member. (i.e. including the above bonus, your total sign-up bonus can be 22,000 points)

Annual Fee
Free for the first year, £125 per year afterwards.

Cost vs Benefits
What are American Express ‘Membership Rewards’ points worth? That depends on how you redeem them!

Membership Rewards points can be converted 1 to 1 into Avios points or in varying quantities to 12 major frequent flyer and hotel programmes. They are also redeemable against bookings made and goods or vouchers bought through the American Express website.

For example, 5,000 membership rewards points can be converted into a £25 gift card – which represents a poor 0.5p per point ratio. However redeeming them as Avios for flights can make the points worth 0.75p to 1.5p each depending on which flights you use them for.

American Express occasionally run special offers where if you convert your points to airline rewards points between certain dates, then they will provide a 2 to 1 deal. Obviously this means that the 0.75p to 1.5p value of each point instantly doubles!

Verdict
We give this card 4.5/5 stars. Huge sign up bonus and you get a ton of rewards and benefits with no pre-set spending limit. The downside is the hefty £125 annual fee after the first year. However, there’s nothing to stop you only using the card for a year before cancelling.

Conditions
Minimum household income of £20,000
Sign-up bonus is only available to customers that have not held an American Express issued Rewards card in the previous 6 months.

How to delete a ‘Property’ from Google Analytics

The new version of Google Analytics has moved a lot of the settings and features around. In order to delete a property:

Step 1: In the upper right hand corner, select ‘Admin’

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Step 2: Under ‘PROPERTY’, select the property you wish to delete. Then under ‘VIEW’ select ‘View Settings’

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Step 3: Scroll down to the bottom of the new screen and select ‘Delete View’

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How to capture snapshot of the screen in Windows

All PC keyboards have a key marked ‘Print Screen’. This may be abbreviated to say ‘PrtScn’, ‘PtSn’ etc.

Historically these would literally print out what was on the screen, however the modern usage is to capture the current screen and copy it as an image to the Windows clipboard. If you open an image editor, e.g. Paint, you can use Ctrl+V to paste it in.

To capture the current window only, e.g. the internet browser you are currently using, then hold down ‘Alt’ when pushing ‘Print Screen’

How to keep Track Changes when copying text from Microsoft Word

If you are copying and pasting text from one Microsoft Word document to another, then any track changes in the original will be lost in the new document. However if you ‘cut’ the text using a key combination and then paste you can keep this markup.

Procedure:

  1. As you are cutting text from the original document, it would be best to make a backup.
  2. Ensure ‘Tracked Changes’ is switched OFF in the new document. Otherwise, the entire paste will appear as new text.
  3. In the original document, select the text you wish to copy.
  4. Press ‘CTRL + F3’ to cut the text.
  5. In the new document, press ‘CTRL + SHIFT + F3’ to paste the text.
  6. If you wish to undelete the text in the old document, simply press ‘Undo’ or ‘CTRL + Z’. If this doesn’t work for some reason, then don’t worry as you have hopefully made a backup in Step 1!