I am so impressed by the benefits of our Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card! I know that this will sound like a commercial, and trust me, Chase is not endorsing me in any way! But I just have to share with my family and friends how this credit card has really blessed us!
AIRPORT LOUNGE: On the way back from Hong Kong, we were able to wait in an airport lounge. It was beautiful! There were nice bathrooms, showers, charging stations at every seat, comfy chairs and tables! AMAZING! There was also a full buffet, hot entrees, delicious pastries, two espresso makers, endless drinks, even free beer (though I didn't have any)! This was all FREE! Part of our benefits as credit card holders. We could have also brought a couple of guests.
TRAVEL POINTS: We just booked a hotel in Thailand for a trip later on in the semester, and we were able to use some of the points we accrued from making travel purchases. Our hotel ended up being free too! A 5-star oceanfront hotel!
Aside from these recent benefits that we enjoyed, the credit card has also covered our TSA Pre-Check and reimbursed us for $300 worth of travel, which offset the enrollment fee. It also covered four meals at LAX before we left for Shanghai! We were able to treat two students to lunch in the terminal before getting on our plane. I think we had a $60-$80 credit at the restaurant in the terminal. So the benefits really pay off!
If you travel regularly, I highly recommend checking out this credit card.
After being in China for a week now, I have reflected upon what I was glad I brought and what would be helpful for future participants of this program to know while packing and preparing before coming to Shanghai. I formulated the following lists of ideas that will hopefully be helpful to others. Charlie, the Program Director, also sends out an important document outlining 7 things you MUST DO before coming to China and a list of FAQ's. This is the document he shared with us; future ones may be updated.
Things that I am glad that I brought:
These are the apps that I recommend downloading before or during the program:
IDEAS FOR FACULTY:
Richard and I met with a friend of ours who has been living abroad for many years, and one of her suggestions was to get the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card. We looked into it and found that there are many travel benefits! Some of the highlights include:
1) it covers up to $100 of Global Entry or TSA Pre-check every 4 years,
2) you can receive $300 travel credit reimbursements,
3) you can access airport lounges worldwide, and 4) there are no foreign transaction fees!
*Side note: The application fee is $450 but you will get most of that reimbursed from all of the benefits.