Deals

Filed your taxes? Now get some free stuff.

As of March 16, at least 61 million early bird tax filers had already received refunds averaging $2,960 from the Internal Revenue Service.

But millions of other taxpayers are still rushing around gathering receipts and grappling with paperwork and electronic forms as the April 17 tax filing deadline nears.

Whichever column you’re in, you can still take advantage of Tax Day rewards ranging from free pizza and cookies to discounts on hotel stays and getaways.

Here’s a sampling of some of the deals I gathered for a piece on CNBC:

Free (and charmingly discounted) food and snacks

As is their tradition, on Tax Day, April 17, Great American Cookies will be giving away a free cookie to anyone who stops at one of their participating stores. This year’s treat is a Cookies & Cream cookie.

In keeping with its Tax Day motto of “No taxation without relaxation,” Kona Ice trucks will once again show up in many communities on April 17 to hand out free shaved ice. As part of its “Tastes Like America” menu campaign, on April 17 participating Hardee’s will offer customers a free Sausage Biscuit until 10 a.m. and Hot Dog on a Stick will give each customer that stops by participating locations one free Turkey or Veggie Dog on April 17.

Taking a cue from the tax forms, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria locations around the country are offering 16” Traditional Cheese pizzas for $10.40 on April 17. Bruegger’s Bagels is offering a downloadable coupon for a Big Bagel Bundle (13 bagels and two tubs of cream cheese) for $10.40, a $3.50 “deduction,” they note, off the regular price. (Valid through April 17).

And Potbelly Sandwich Shops has set aside 75,000 free sandwiches as a Tax Day reward for people who join its Potbelly Perks program. Those already enrolled in the program will find a buy-one, get one-free sandwich offer loaded on their app April 17 for Tax Day use.

Travel Deals

Throughout the month of April, four Kimpton hotels southern California – Hotel Palomar and Hotel Salomar in San Diego, the Shorebreak Hotel in Huntington Beach and The Goodland in Santa Barbara – are giving out “Random Refunds.” Each day one randomly chosen guest at each hotel will find they’ve been refunded a hotel charge such as the resort fee, parking charges, restaurant bill or perhaps the in-room movie.

From April 17 to 20, Hotel Saugatuck in Saugatuck, Michigan is offering a 20 percent discount to anyone who shows a current 1099 tax form (or proof of membership in the United Auto Workers or Freelancers unions). The B&B is also offering guests a box of local chocolate fudge at a discount, for $10.99.

Thinking of spending your tax refund in Europe? Rail Europe is offering travelers $25 off bookings of $400 made through April 24. Use code: TAXDAYRE18.

Budget-minded tax filers can also take advantage of some other timely travel deals that just happen to fall around April 17.

Filing taxes may not be a walk in the park, but anyone can take a walk in a National Park for free on Saturday, April 21, when entrance fees are waived at any of the National Parks that have them, including Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park and others where the entry fee per car can reach $20.

The U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways sale runs this year from April 9 through May 8 and features daily deals up to 60 percent off everything form loyalty point programs and car rental coupons to attractions tickets, hotel stays and more from travel companies such as Hertz, Hilton, and Universal Parks and Resorts.

 A tidying-up trip

Once you’ve filed your taxes, be sure to store away the important financial paperwork you might need should the IRS come calling for an audit.

But don’t stuff everything back in that shoebox. Take a moment to review Consumer Report’s advice on what receipts and records you really need to keep and what can be thrown away.

Bundle the discards, print out this coupon for 5 pounds of free document shredding and take your first post-Tax Day trip to your local Office Max/Office Depot store.

Updated list: Travel Deals for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

Updated Monday at 9:11 a.m. West Coast Time

Looking for Black Friday/Cyber Monday travel deals? Of course you are!

Check here for what I’ve found so far for airlines deals and here for deals on hotels, rail, travel books and other travel-related options.

I’ll keep updating through Monday – so send me notes about anything that looks really great to you.

 

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Travel Deals

Thinking about all the things you’ll be able to shop for at great discount once Black Friday and Cyber Monday come around?

Add travel to the list.

Here are some deals that have arrived in my inbox. Check back (I’ll remind you) as the list gets longer and the deals go live.

*In some cases the links/deals mentioned won’t be ‘hot’ till November 27, but some are available now.

Among those offering deals:

Read up on where you’re going – or want to go with discounts (us code BF5017) on DK Books 

Amtrak – 30 percent off on select travel through Monday

40 percent off Joie de Vivre properties – throughout the year – if you book by Nov. 29.

Rail Europe 

Priceline.com will have Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday deals for its email subscribers.

Hotels.com will offer a slew of deals – some 50 percent off – Tuesday November 21 through Wednesday November 29.

There are also Black Friday/Cybe Monday deals from GoAhead Tours,

Expedia.com

W Hotel’s newest hip property in Bellevue, WA, W Bellevue  will join Starwood’s “Biggest Sale of the Year,” coming Cyber Monday.

Hotwire is currenlty offering what they call a ‘million-dollar deal,’ with a batch of 5-star hotels available for booking for $50 for travel Dec. 8-28, 2017.

The Viceroy Hotel Group will roll out Cyber Mondays deals beginning on 11/20 that will bookable throughout the week. Discounts of 30 to 40 percent at various properties.

These properties are among those promising Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals as well: Carmel Mission Inn (CA), Chicago Athletic Association hotel Godfrey Hotel Boston.

Loews Hotels will launch a 3-day sale on Cyber Monday with 20 percent off rates.

Liftopia will offer 25 percent off gift cards on Cyber Monday.

And if all this shopping news is making you dizzy, keep in mind that you don’t have to participate.  To help you avoid all this buzz, New York State is offering free admission to all its state parks on Black Friday and many state and national parks nationwide have fun, free, family-oriented activities on tap.

More to come…

 

 

 

 

 

Cyber Monday airline deals to check out

suitcase

Holiday shopping season is in full swing and there are some airlines participating with Cyber Monday offers and Black Friday deals that last beyond Friday.

Alaska Airlines has a Cyber Monday sale scheduled that begins at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, Nov. 27 at alaskaair.com.

Emirates Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale feature two-for-one round-trip airfares for travel out of its 11 U.S. gateways: Chicago (ORD), Boston (BOS), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Washington (IAD), Orlando (MCO), New York (JFK) and  Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

British Airways’ Black Friday fare savings offer continues through Cyber Monday.

More later…

 

 

Flight deal: 75% off 1st class to Hong Kong

C-1 flight

Cathay Pacific has had fare sales, but they’ve never had a First Class fare sale.

But they’re having one today and this one is a doozy.

The airline has teamed up with GILT to offer a trip voucher that is 75 percent off the first class round-trip fare to Hong Kong from a variety of U.S. airports – including San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport.

Cathay pacific seat

The usual First Class fares for this trip is $20,000 but during the Gilt/Cathay Pacific fare sale the vouchers are selling for $5,000.

That includes taxes and surcharges – AND Gilt is throwing in a $500 Gilt shopping credit.

Small print? There’s a page full of it.

You’re buying a voucher, not making a reservation, for example. So you’ll need to get your voucher and then make a booking by December 31, 2015.
And you’ll be able to apply your voucher to a limited number of First Class seats.

But if you want to do this trip – and drink champagne, eat food prepared fresh just for you from galleys equipped with rice cookers, toasters and steam ovens and then sleep in a fully-flat bed in Cathay Pacific pajamas – and visit the first class Cathay Pacific lounges at the airports at either end – the restrictions shouldn’t be insurmountable.

The sale starts today – Wednesday, November 18. So get your calendar and your credit cards and go check it out.

Cathay pacific bed