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avatar You are viewing an archive of articles by Aaron Pinkston. Aaron Pinkston is the founder of Clarifinancial. He wasn’t satisfied with the ways people had to get life insurance quotes, so he had to create something better.

Aaron Pinkston

If travel is in your plans, you may want to know about this offer from American Express. It’s the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card, and it offers 25,000 bonus points when you make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months after opening your account.

You can redeem those points for free nights when it works for you because there are no blackout dates at over 1,200 Starwood hotels and resorts in almost 100 countries. (Some hotels may have mandatory service charges and resort charges.) For international travelers, though, it’s a big plus that there are no foreign transaction fees. You can stay connected with free in-room premium Internet access, but booking requirements apply. Other perks give you access to discounts and presale tickets for live events as well.

After the introductory period, your travel and everyday purchases continue to help you earn travel rewards too. You can get up to 5 points for every dollar you spend at Starwood hotels and 1 point on all other purchases. The offer includes a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year and goes to $95 per year after that. Terms and conditions apply.

This card was voted one of the best travel credit cards in CardRating’s Editor’s Choice Awards: Best Credit Cards for 2016 article. (CardRatings.com is one of our partner sites. Here is CardRating’s full review.)

Another travel reward card offer

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card was also honored in the CardRating.com Editor’s Choice Awards article for its introductory offer – 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. (That translates to $625 in travel rewards.)

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you earn two times the points on travel and dining. You earn one point for each dollar spent on all other purchases.

It seems that turning your everyday purchases into better travel experiences is getting easier – and there are a number of options to choose from to boot. Happy trails!

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This is a guest article by Aaron Pinkston, founder of Clarifinancial. He wasn’t satisfied with the ways people had to get life insurance quotes, so he created something better.

Have you ever noticed you can relax about decisions you made while others around you are still running around frantically? On the other hand, you probably have certain decision obsessions that seem to grab all your energy and focus.

Some people are maximizers and feel compelled to find the single best possible solution available (or find a new one). Other people are satisficers who are comfortable with decisions they make, as long as they are mostly confident the decision they make is reasonably good.

Many people seem to believe being a satisficer is better because they are happier and can make decisions more efficiently than maximizers. However, I believe there is a lot of value in being a maximizer. Like most things, you can probably have both attributes.

I know that I am a maximizer in some parts of my life but a satisficer in others. In fact, I can be more specific than that — I am only a maximizer in areas that matter to me.

Matrimonial mania

People love to give examples of weddings, so I’ll follow suit. When it came to my wedding, I was a satisficer. Both my wife and I thought it was a silly question when people asked what our “colors” were. I had no idea what that question even meant!

Secretly, I think my mom took it too far when she planted the garden with flowers in the color we were forced to choose. The only reason I let her do that was because she plants annuals, which are plants that die after just one year. She even considered the blooming cycles of different plants to maximize the color on our wedding date. But to her, this was an important decision that would help make the whole design more harmonious.

Come wedding day, we moved it inside because of the rain and everybody was happy.

Am I saying my wedding was unimportant to me? Sort of. But only because I maximized my decision for a life partner. Others seem to take the opposite approach.

Happiness and innovation

I agree with the research that shows satisficers are usually happier. I know I’m consistently happy when I don’t have to worry about something, and this includes many things in my life, like what I wear.

But I love a challenge. Sometimes, being exceptionally great just isn’t enough. It’s not until I have found the very best possible answer that I can experience true and lasting satisfaction. Satisficers might typically be happier, but if it weren’t for maximizers, the quality of our lives would stagnate.

Look at all the innovation around you. Better yet, since you’re reading this on a computer, stop to think about all the innovation at your finger tips. I’d be willing to bet that your computer and the network of computers that enable you to read these words wouldn’t rock so hard if folks were okay with the answer they already had. In fact, as good as it is, it’s not good enough for some. What will they create next?

Those people are maximizers in part of their life but are probably satisficers in other areas. We wouldn’t have knives if a chipped rock was good enough. Knives come in handy. I have a few in my kitchen. But I don’t need them to be the best.

Think about it. Are you a maximizer in some areas of your life and a satisficer in other areas? When are you content when others continue searching and when do you keep looking for better answers when others have moved on?

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