For those in Perth always looking for a better, faster, cheaper way

Monday, December 20, 2010

Perth Speed Camera Locations this Double Demerit Week

This is just a reminder that double demerit points penalties start to apply from this Friday 24th December to the 3rd January next year. Follow this link for the speed camera locations for the coming and future weeks here. If you did notice a speed camera today, leave a comment even anonymously. You may help someone like yourself :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What's wrong with AMEX Platinum Edge Travel Insurance?

We all know the privilege of waving a platinum card around such as free travel insurance when you pay for the trip using the card. However, a recent dissection of free travel insurance offers attached to credit cards found the American Express Platinum Edge card wanting. 

"Out of all the cards we reviewed, American Express Platinum Edge stood out as by far the worst.
Why: American Express won't pay medical claims over $1,500 unless they have approved them first (and medical coverage is not unlimited like most cards); the excesses is up to $500; there's no reverse-charge number to call worldwide; no missed connection coverage (often a cruciual issue for business travellers); no income protection or cover for general accidental death; low per-item claim limits for property; and no rental car excess coverage."

Read more here and if you have heard of anyone having experience making such travel insurance claims, leave a comment below. 

How to Shop EVERYWHERE in Westfield with AMEX

AMEX as we all know is a great rewards card to have but often it seems quite a challenge to find any stores that would accept the card! However, I thought of an idea today.

I was wondering around a Westfield shopping centre when I noticed that you can buy gift cards that can be used at Westfield shopping centres using an AMEX card. I asked how much you need to pay as a fee for each card and the cost was $1.95 for the traditional Westfield gift cards and you can load up to $995 on each card. That means you can use your AMEX card to buy a $995 gift card which will cost you an extra $1.95 which is only 0.2% of the total value of the card.
Using this gift card, you can then buy from any specialty stores except for certain stores such as Myers and Kmart. These stores accept AMEX anyway sot that's not a problem. Obviously this tip is for those who do not mind "pre-paying" $995 worth of credit but this is also a good way to earn the FF points that you may need to make your next trip. So what do you think?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Unleaded Petrol in Perth Running Out

An article this morning confirmed my experience last night as I discovered that Coles Express in Bull Creek ran out of petrol. I was also told that Kardinya and Leeming were also out of unleaded petrol however Brentwood Coles Express was still selling unleaded for 117.9.

The article did not mention which bowsers were out. As of this morning, some petrol stations are still running dry.Another article by The West Australian did mention that stations in Karawara, East Victoria Park and Canning Vale were also out.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tony Roma's 50% off

I was quite surprised when I noticed that there is a discount voucher for Tony Roma's as it has always struck me as quite an expensive place to eat. Hope you find this voucher particularly useful. You can receive two meals for the price of one using this voucher here.
Edit: Try this new link to ensure your voucher will work. Removed the old link that is no longer working.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Burswood Atrium Buffet Re-Opens

The much anticipated re-opening of the Atrium Restaurant at Burswood Entertainment Complex happened last night. I personally have not checked it out yet but would be interested in anyone who has. The new Atrium includes a show-kitchen which cost $1.3 million to install. There are now separate sections for western buffet, carving station, chopping station, Asian buffet and dessert station as well as seafood. 
The re-opening has also been accompanied by a change in prices and opening hours. 
Monday – Saturday 06:30-10:30  Full $35.90 & Continental $27.90
Sunday Brunch 06:30 – 14:30                 Full $49.90 (includes sparkling wine)       
Monday – Saturday 12:00 – 14:30           $35.90
Sunday Brunch 06:30 – 14:30                 $49.90 (includes sparkling wine)
Sunday – Thursday 17:30 – 22:00           $51.90
Friday – Saturday 17:30-19:30
& 20:00-22:00                                        $59.90
Nights where a show is on will be at the full $59.90 regardless of which night it is. Children aged 5-12 eat for half price off any meal period.
The Perth Entertainment Book which has a 25% off voucher is still valid at Atrium Burswood following its re-opening. Priority Privilege cards can also get one free meal per booking where guests >1.

Looks like the prices will go up after Christmas so get in quick! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We're giving you $10 off your dinner

I never even realised that home deliveries are now being arranged by restaurants around Perth through a website called Menulog. I am sure that I have visited this website whilst researching a restaurant or two but the idea of arranging home delivery over the net is a pretty cool option especially in this day and age with open offices and you don't want everyone in your office discussing whether eight spring rolls constitutes dinner, for example. When you order, you will receive instant confirmation from the website. There are around 1000 restaurants around Australia that use Menulog and this voucher is valid for those restaurants that do home delivery.

Even more exciting is that Menulog has arranged $10 off your first order at srestaurants. Just use the coupon code phacks but make sure it is a restaurant that is accepting vouchers (marked with a VA next to it eg Check out and let us know how you found your meal, even if you want to do so anonymously.

So what are the conditions
  • Minimum spend $20 so you can effectively save up to 50% off your dinner
  • Home delivery restaurants only - no mark up
  • Valid till 31st December 2011
  • Only for first time users of Menulog (not the restaurant)
Don't forget the code phacks to let em know we sent you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

2010 Best Tourist Attractions in Perth


CATEGORY 1 -Major Tourist Attractions
Sponsored by Sunday Times
Gold - Perth Zoo
Silver - Rottnest Island

Bronze - The Bell Tower, Home of the Swan Bells, Perth

CATEGORY 2 - Tourist Attractions
Sponsored by Business Growth Centre
Gold - Sandalford Wines
Silver - Western Australian Museum - Geraldton

Bronze - Bibbulmun Track

CATEGORY 4 - Festivals and Events
Sponsored by Starworld Framing
Gold- Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster
Silver - Australia Day SkyworksBronze - Sandalford Wines - Spandau Ballet & Tears for Fears

CATEGORY 5 - Ecotourism
Sponsored by Department of Environment and Conservation
Gold - Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises
Silver - Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat
Bronze - Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association - Wildflower Tour

CATEGORY 6 - Heritage and Cultural Tourism
Sponsored by National Trust
Gold - Fremantle Prison
Silver - Two Feet & a Heartbeat
Bronze - Donnelly River Cruises

CATEGORY 7 - Indigenous Tourism
Sponsored by WAITOC
Gold - Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat
Silver - Home Valley Station
Bronze - Uptuyu Adventures

CATEGORY 8 - Specialised Tourism Services
Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia
Gold - Natural Olive Oil Soap Factory
Silver - Fremantle Prison Gift Shop
Bronze - Tree Top Walk Gift Shop

CATEGORY 9 - Visitor Information and Services
Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia
Gold - Swan Valley Visitor Centre
Silver - City of Perth i - City

Bronze - Kununurra Visitor Centre

CATEGORY 10 - Meetings and Business Tourism
Sponsored by Perth Convention Bureau
Gold - Esplanade Hotel Fremantle
Silver - Hyatt Regency Perth

CATEGORY 11 - Major Tour and/or Transport Operators
Sponsored by McInerney Ford
Gold - Adams Coachlines and Swan Gold Tours
Silver - Veolia Transport WA Pty Ltd

CATEGORY 12 - Tour and/or Transport OperatorsSponsored by McInerney Ford
Gold - Kimberley Wild Expeditions
Silver - Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises
Bronze- Wine for Dudes Wine Tours

CATEGORY 13 - Adventure Tourism
Sponsored by MGIB

Gold - Ningaloo Reef Dreaming
Silver - Windward Balloon Adventures
Bronze - Three Islands Whale Shark Dive

CATEGORY 14 - Tourism Marketing
Sponsored by Country Wide Publications
Gold - Geographe Bay Visitor Guide
Silver - Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association
Bronze - Top Trails WA

CATEGORY 15 - Tourism Education and Training
Sponsored by FutureNow
Gold - Quinlan’s Hospitality & Tourism Training Centre - Challenger Institute of Technology
Silver - Central Institute of Technology
Bronze - Home Valley Station

CATEGORY 16 - Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services
Sponsored by HOSTPLUS
Gold - CafĂ© Pronto
Silver - Sandalford Wines
Bronze - Matilda Bay Restaurant

CATEGORY 17 - Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Boutique Breweries
Sponsored by Manic Botanic
Gold - Sandalford Wines
Silver - Saracen Estate
Bronze - Elmar’s in the Valley

CATEGORY 18 - Tourist and Caravan Parks
Sponsored by Caravan Industry Association WA
Gold - Aspen Parks - Exmouth Cape Holiday Park

CATEGORY 19 - Backpacker Accommodation
Sponsored by Loco TV
Gold- Blue Reef Backpackers - Exmouth Cape Holiday Park - Aspen Parks

CATEGORY 20 - Hosted Accommodation
Sponsored by Bent Knee Creative
Gold - Cape Howe Cottages
Silver - Wildwood Valley Villa and Cottages
Bronze - Loose Goose Chalets

CATEGORY 21 - Unique Accommodation
Sponsored by Book Easy
Gold - Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat
Silver - Injidup Spa Retreat, Yallingup
Bronze - Forest Rise Eco Retreat

CATEGORY 22 - Standard Accommodation
Sponsored by Print Logic incorporating Matrix Design
Gold - Perth Ambassador Hotel

CATEGORY 23 - Deluxe Accommodation
Sponsored by Eyezon
Gold- Kununurra Country Club Resort
Silver - Jarrah Grove Retreat
Bronze - Habitat Resort Broome

CATEGORY 24 - Luxury Accommodation
Sponsored by Prime Laundry
Gold - Pinctada Cable Beach Spa Resort
Silver - Smiths Beach Resort, Yallingup


CATEGORY 25 - New Tourism Development
Sponsored by Budget
Gold - Nullarbor Links
Silver - Wilderness Getaways
Bronze - Skydive Jurien Bay

CATEGORY 26 - Qantas Award For Excellence in Sustainable Tourism
Sponsored by Qantas
Winner - Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat

Sir David Brand Award for Tourism
Sponsored by City of Perth
Winner - Willie Creek Pearl Farm

Sir David Brand Medal
Winner - Jon Jessop

Sir David Brand Young Achiever Medal
Sponsored by Hospitality Group Training
Winner - Frances Jones

FACET Golden Guide Award
Sponsored by Department of Environment and Conservation
Winner - Sean Blocksidge

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Same Same Chicken Treat... but Different

What's the difference between all the different chicken stores in WA? Chicken Treat chips are better. Chicken Treat's chicken roll is really good.People argue that the fried chicken from Chooks are better than Chicken Treat's West Coast Fried Chicken. Red Rooster apparently has chicken that isn't as dry as Chicken Treat.

Would you believe they are all owned by the same company, Quick Service Restaurant Holdings? No wonder they seem to have alternating deals. An article in WA Today mentioned that Chooks was only recently bought over by Quick Service Restaurant Holdings and will be rebranded next year as Chicken Treat! So next time you want to stick it up to Chicken Treat or Red Rooster by taking your business to Oportos or Chooks, you may be just be biting your tongue to spite your face. This is not a hack but for someone out there, it may be worth knowing that these chickens all come from the same egg.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Ultimate Fireworks Guide to Perth

When something happens in Perth, we all want to know where it is. If you are an avid fireworks fan or you happened to glance into the sky tonight and noticed fireworks over Perth but you just have to know what it was for, you will be very happy with this post :)

There is one place where you will be able to find out where all the fireworks action is for the coming week. Treat it as a TV guide for your free outdoor show in Perth on a lazy Saturday night. And everytime there are fireworks, you can be sure that you will know about it because every fireworks display requires an explosives license. You can see what's coming up in Perth fireworks events here. Bookmark this page on your phone to always be ready to check up what's happening in the Perth skies.

On a related but hopefully less intentional note, for those wondering about where the fire is today and any other day, keep an eye on the FESA website here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What happens when Scoopon Zoupon Jumponit Spreets deals go wrong?

EDIT: We've started a blog dedicated to Perth group buys where you can leave your experiences. Check it out after this post :)

We recently mentioned the increasing number of one day deal websites popping up in our sleepy Perth community but there is the other side of these websites that I hope we can address in this blog and comments. What happens when you take your zoupon to the restaurant and they say that "sorry that deal does not include chilli mussels" or something like that?

I went to a cafe last night in Victoria Park and before I could order my meal, they asked whether I was with the Scoopon voucher and mentioned some exceptions to that deal. I wasn't using a Scoopon voucher but I was interested to hear the exceptions to the voucher such as chilli mussels. I have a concern that if 2000 people in Perth turned up at your restaurant with a voucher which seemed like a good idea at the time, would you as a restaurant owner have the temptation to change the rules? Has it happened to you?

Whilst there may be official avenues to complain to Scoopon or Jumponit if something goes wrong, there is no online forum for people to share their (bad) experiences with these websites. So if you had a bad experience using a Zoupon or a Spreet voucher, please let us know. Someone else googling the same thing will come across your post :)

Late night shopping in Perth - Who's Open?

I was thinking of tacking this at the end of an existing post but many of you will be wanting to have a dedicated list of shops that open at night in Perth. So here's a list of who's in and who's still not playing ball. 

Open till 9pm Monday - Fridays everywhere: 
  • Coles
  • Woolworths
  • BigW (excl Mandurah & Mirrabooka)
  • Kmart
  • Officeworks 
NOT open till 9pm Mondays - Fridays
  • Myers (reported by @suzyfoodie)
  • David Jones
Shopping centres are now open on Sundays 11am-5pm around Perth. Read more here.

Please leave a comment! This list will be updated as you all report various shops that choose to open between 6pm and 9pm on weekdays, please give extra mention for businesses like BigW who go the extra mile to promote late night trading with special promotions. We're all about supporting late night trading in Perth. Right now this is the most official list we have in Perth! Scary isn't it?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Perth Daily Deals - Scoopon Zoupon Jumponit

If you haven't noticed recently, businesses in Perth have been taking turns making massive sales in 24 hours with the help of social media and one day deal websites such as Spreets, Scoopon, Zoupon and JumpOnIt. Today I watched Clancy's fish pub make 300 sales in 2 hours by selling $100 vouchers for only $39. That works out to be just under $12,000 worth of sales even if it is at a 60% discount. I am just amazed how many of these websites there are but the idea is excellent. Businesses offer vouchers but require a number of customers to sign up before the deal gets "activated". In this case, Clancy's were really just hoping for 10 people to activate the deal which took less than 10 minutes to achieve.

Another deal that was recently mentioned from JumpOnIt sold $53 Sweetlips packs for only $19. That deal reached the maximum 1,000 vouchers being offered, which amounts  to $53,000 revenue generated in just under two days! If you don't want to miss out, sign up for these website mail outs. Today's JumpOnIt is a $19  voucher for two burgers, chips and drinks @ V Burger Bar.  Share your favourite bargains in the comments below.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Perth CBD Slowing Down to 40kmh

People always say that Perth is very slow, so it seems the Perth City Council wants us to live up to our reputation. The Perth CBD will be slowed to 40kmh soon as a means to reduce pedestrian casualties in a similar way to the 40kmh speed limit during peak hours on Beaufort Street Mt Lawley. Impact on travel times is apparently minimal because of the number of traffic lights. It just means the hoon who wants to go from 0-70kmh between red lights will be a thing of the past as we crawl from one light to the other.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Photos from Garden City Late Night Shopping

Went for a little wander around Garden City tonight to see how Perth would respond to extended trading hours, something that politicians in WA have been arguing over the last 10 years.

When we got to the car park, the trepidation set in as we looked for any sign of life. "Are you sure the shops are open tonight?" was probably what everyone driving past were wondering. For the brave souls who finally ventured into the shopping centre, they were warmly welcomed by the centre, lit up as if it were Thursday night except for one thing... everything except Coles, Woolworths and Baker's Delight were closed. Here are some photos.

Rebecca Holland took some photos from Karrinyup Shopping Centre which shows ample parking and what looks like mood lighting by centre management in the shopping centre. If you have photos from your local shopping centre, send them in. 

Hopefully the weekday shopping trend will only warm up in the coming weeks and months. Although it may not show, I actually like the idea that shops will be open till 9pm. I just wish other people believed in it as much as I did. I know these are the sad cases but in places where eateries are open and  people want to pick up some groceries after dinner, extended hours trading will be great. Maybe we just need to accept that Monday nights are just not for window shopping, but for eggs and milk.

Perth Shops Open Tonight

With the deregulation of shopping hours starting today, 1 November 2010, it was interesting to see what the shopping centres were reporting about their opening hours. 

Garden City had this on their website:

With the recent deregulation of trading hours in Western Australia, Garden City Shopping Centre will now be trading till 9pm Monday to Friday. The stores which will be open to 9pm are:
  • Kmart
  • Coles
  • Woolworths
Nothing could be seen on the Westfield Carousel website regarding extended trading hours. 

Westfield Innaloo said that the centre was open till 5:30pm on weekdays but also said that Kmart, Coles, Woolworths and Target are all open till 9pm on each weekday. 

Centro Galleria website has mentioned it will be open till 9pm every weekday. 

As you try out your shopping centre tonight, please report back what you found about who is open and who is not especially those smaller shops. Leave a comment below. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

William140 in the city

Coffee Club to the left, Forever Now and a Surf Shop downstairs

New meets Old

Mei Mei in the Food Court

Seating in the Food Court

Acropolis Now Cafe upstairs in the food court as well as Sarpino's Pizza

The corner of William and Murray street may be the most famous intersection in Perth. Now there is a shopping mall built to fill this iconic address. Here are some photos of William140 and the food court upstairs which is still being built.

Friday, October 29, 2010

How to Avoid Credit Card Annual Fees

Someone once said to me, you should never have to pay credit card annual fees. Its somewhat true because most cards when you do intend to cancel it, they are willing to waive the credit card fee.

In the past I've received a refund on BP Citibank card every year. The Everyday Money Woolworths card has also offered a waiver of the annual fee for the year as well. One time, I was offered two years annual fee refund to keep my American Express Premium Card. 

But there is one credit card which never offered a change in the annual fee even if I were to cancel. It is the American Express Platinum Card for Chartered Accountants. This card is normally $395 but CA accountants get it at $295. After the AMEX Platinum Edge Card recently came out as we reviewed in an earlier post, I decided to apply for this new card, getting all the benefits of my existing Platinum card for half the price. 

After applying, I called up to cancel the $295 card (now called the Platinum Reserve Card) and they offered to give me 50% off the annual fee with a $150 rebate. Thinking I could always use this card's free return flight to Bali or domestic destination, I decided to keep the card and have the awkward situation of having... two platinum cards and two flight redemptions (and luggage incl) in the coming year for under $300! So there you have it, if you are in a similar situation, let us know how you go and what you decide to do. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Best Restaurant in Australia is in Perth

Amuse Restaurant in East Perth has been named restaurant of the year and best fine dining restaurant at the National Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards For Excellence. Amuse beat Sepia Restaurant in Sydney, Muse Restaurant in Pokolbin, La Fontaine in Queensland, The Manse Restaurant in Adelaide, Jaques Reymond in Prahran, Voyager Estate Margaret River and Mezzalira Ristorante in Canberra to claim the awards.

So you want to rush out and book a Saturday night at Amuse? Try book in January 2011 because the weekends are fully booked until the new year.

Other Western Australian finalists in the national awards across all categories include:

  • Ha-Lu, Mount Hawthorn
  • Maleeyas Thai Cafe & Studio, Porongurup
  • Coode Street Cafe, Mount Lawley
  • Soda Cafe, North Beach
  • York Street Cafe, Albany
  • Aquarium Seafood Restaurant, Ascot
  • Must Wine Bar, Highgate and Margaret River
  • Bouchard, Perth
  • Clarkes of North Beach, North Beach
  • Red Cabbage, South Perth
  • Red Cray Seafood, Belmont
  • Ecco, Subiaco
  • Galileo, Shenton Park
  • Relish The Experience, Dunsborough
  • Newton House, Busselton
  • Sandalford Wines, Caversham
  • Wild Duck Restaurant, Albany
  • The Breakwater Ishka Restaurant, Hillarys
  • Matilda Bay Restaurant, Crawley
  • Nahm Thai, Perth
  • Prego, Floreat