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A weird thing happened to me last week, and I wonder if it happened to you as well. Last Wednesday morning, June 10th, I updated my Iphone with the latest IOS13.5. Throughout the day I could make calls, but never hear anyone on the call. It persisted most of the day and I worked around it by using FaceTime, Whatsapp, and TextNow. Today, I stumbled upon many people who had experienced the same exact thing when they downloaded the new update. One thing I didn’t realize was that the update contained a Covid-19 Tracker. I discovered this is also installed on Androids as well.
I looked on my phone…sure enough – it’s there.
Back in May, Tim Cook announced that it was available, and according to CNET, it uses bluetooth to track users. Well, it’s not just available, but the infrastructure is installed without you choosing. 9to5Mac Informs us that the default setting is to not track; however, I have a healthy amount of skepticism. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear differently months from now, especially if you travel to any country in the near future that mandates such trackers ( the UAE for instance if you’re positive). Regardless, if you downloaded the latest update, you have it on your phone.
Technology can help health officials rapidly tell someone they may have been exposed to COVID-19. Today the Exposure Notification API we created with @Google is available to help public health agencies make their COVID-19 apps effective while protecting user privacy.
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) May 20, 2020
Here’s how you can find it…and make sure it’s on or off
Under settings go to Privacy…it’s blue and the last icon before iTunes
Next Click on Health – it’s the one with a heart icon
At the very top you’ll see Covid-19 Exposure Logging
You’ll now see that mine is turned off, if I wanted it on, I would need an app to populate the data.
I’ve written in the past about how the UK is urging everyone to download an app they would develop, but it was just recently announced that they were abandoning this venture in lieu of using one developed by Apple and Google. Personally, I’m extremely reticent to believe that data isn’t already being collected regardless of whether I opt in or not, but for many of your reading, you may not even know the infrastructure is on your phone. You may even want the tracker on. The choice is yours, but personally, I don’t like the idea of tracking technology tied to medical data one bit.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.