Prior to my LA / Seattle trip, I came to the realization that I needed some new headphones.
Since the iPod came out during highschool, I have always just used the free headphones that came with my iPod or iPhone.
As long as they produced sound and stayed in my ear, they were good enough for me.
When I travel, I like to watch Movies and TV shows on my Computer, and when flying to Washington DC, I came to the conclusion that Apple’s iPhone headphones are not very good for that.
Over the years, I have read countless reviews from other Travel Bloggers that swear by Bose Headphones, so I thought I’d give them a try.
Bose Headphones are a bit pricey, but luckily I had a Best Buy gift card, so I only spent $40 or so dollars out of pocket.
Since I knew I was going to be purchasing the headphones from Best Buy, I checked Evreward.com to see if there was any ways to get additional bonus points.
Ultimate Rewards was offering 1 UR Point per $1 Spent at BestBuy.com, so I opted for that.
I remember a post on FrequentMiler’s site talking about how sometimes if you use a gift card via Ultimate Rewards online shopping mall, it still processes as bonus points, so I decided to give that a try.
After logging into UltimateRewards.com and then clicking through the online shopping mall to BestBuy.com, I went ahead and purchased the Bose Headphones and opted to pick it up at the store.
I entered my Credit Card information, as well as my Best Buy gift card and hit submit.
Fast forward to this week, and I got an email from Chase saying I earned bonus points!
The Headphones were $130, and the tax was $13, so it seems that via Ultimate Rewards, you only get the Points for the actual purchase price and not the tax.
I paid $100 with the Best Buy gift card and then $43 out of pocket.
This of course was my just my personal experience and Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV), but it seems that using Gift Cards via Ultimate Rewards does in fact earn you bonus points.
I know other Blogs talk about using Ultimate Rewards Mall to buy Gift Cards, and then use those same Gift Cards again on Ultimate Rewards, but I would just say be careful.
A FFU Reader emailed me to say he did that with Sears and bought $6,000 worth of Sears gift cards via Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall, and then went back through the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall and used those Sears gift cards to buy merchandise.
Ultimately, only the 1st transaction posted and now he is stuck with $6,000 in Sears gift cards because he can’t sell the merchandise he bought!
I probably won’t go out of my way to buy gift cards and then use them on Ultimate Rewards, but if you just happen to have a gift card, then you might as well go thru Ultimate Rewards and earn some bonus points!
Bose MIE2i Headphone Review
As for the Headphones I bought, for those of you not familiar, this is what they look like.
The reason I went with these In-Ear Bose Headphones over the larger Over-The-Ear Bose Headphones (below), is that I wanted to use my Headphones all the time and not only for specific activities.
The Bose Over-The-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones are great (I tried them at Best Buy), but unless you are sitting at home, at Starbucks, or on an airplane, they aren’t exactly practical.
With the In-Ear Headphones, I can wear them on the bus or while working out, and then quickly stash them in my pocket when I don’t need them. The same cannot be said about the Over-The-Ear Headphones.
Also the price difference between the 2 types of Headphones is substantial.
The In-Ear Headphones I bought were around $143, the Over-The-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones were a cool $300 before tax!
While the In-Ear Headphones aren’t noise canceling, they do come with 3 different silicone ear bud pieces, so you can customize the Headphones so that it actually stays in your ear.
I think that is the single biggest problem with the free iPhone Headphones. Since they are a generic one size, they don’t fit in your ear properly.
The Bose In-Ear Headphones are identical to the iPhone Headphones in that they also have a volume control and mic for taking phone calls which is useful.
I had an opportunity to use my new Bose In-Ear Headphones on my flight to LA and from Seattle this past week, and over all I was pretty impressed by them.
While they obviously aren’t as good as the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones, the sound quality of the Headphones is exceptional.
Even with the custom silicone pieces in my ear, the low humming sound from the Airplane was still apparent, however once I turned my Computer or iPod on and there was actual sound, you couldn’t hearing the Airplane hum.
If I was a serious Road Warrior who was constantly flying, then I’d consider getting the Over-The-Ear Noise Canceling Headphones, but for everyday use, I personally find these Bose In-Ear Headphones to be excellent.
I am sure there are other Brands out there that make far cheaper In-Ear Headphones but at the end of the day, you get what you pay for.
I paid $40 and I am happy!
If you have either type of Bose Headphones, I’d love to hear what you think of them!