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

Monday, July 19, 2010

Burswood Entertainment Complex upcoming developments

The only casino in Perth is about to get even bigger with an approval from the Government to pump $350 million to expand the casino floor and add more restaurants to the complex which includes the Intercontinental Hotel and Holiday Inn. Some of the things to look out for in the coming years at Burswood include: 
  • Completion of the full upgrade of all rooms at InterContinental Perth Burswood along with creating luxurious new pool and resort facilities. The end product will deliver Perth's best hotel that will offer international standard five star accommodation. 
  • The construction of Rockpool Bar & Grill, a renowned restaurant brand, to be opened by Neil Perry at Burswood in early 2011. 
  • Two luxury villas to be constructed in the hotel grounds for international premium players featuring magnificent views of the Swan River and the City. 
  • An expansion of the existing casino building to accommodate the new gaming product and new restaurant and bar facilities on the expanded main gaming floor. 
  • A new private gaming salon to be constructed on the roof of InterContinental Perth Burswood allowing international premium players the opportunity to play against the dramatic backdrop of the Perth City skyline and the Swan River. When completed the salon will be amongst the best in the world with its unique setting and outlook. 
  • New premium Japanese and Italian restaurants will be constructed to further add to the existing suite of dining options at Burswood. A new food court will be constructed and a contemporary buffet restaurant and bar will open in the lobby area of the hotel. 
  • The purchase of a 40 metre luxury motor yacht which will enable international customers and their families to enjoy the natural beauty of the Swan River, Rottnest Island and the Western Australian coast line. This will be a unique asset compared to other integrated resorts in the Asian region. 
  • An improvement to car parking facilities in order to address the lack of on-site parking during peak periods. Subject to Government approval, Burswood intends to construct a 1,000 bay multi-deck car-park.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Use free VOIP calls by avoiding 13/1300 numbers

In the last few years, there has been a shift in telecommunications companies to offer unlimited local and now with VOIP, even unlimited national calls. However, the exception is the 13 and 1300 numbers which still get charged $0.30c which is quite frustrating when you have unlimited free calls! One such phone plan is iiNET's talkpack which gives you free calls to local and national numbers. Here are some telephone banking numbers which would allow you to avoid the 13 number and call for free on VOIP and other similar phone plans.
  • Westpac (02) 9293 9270
  • HSBC (02) 9005 8187
  • NAB (03) 8641 9083
  • ANZ (03) 9683 9999
  • Everyday Money (1300101234) 02 8276 0144
  • Ubank (02)87560947
  • Commonwealth Bank Netbank (02) 9999 3283
  • Qantas Sales, Booking & Flight enquiries, Frequent Flyer enquiries : (03) 9658 5302
  • 3 Customer Care (02) 9964 4646. You have to ask the operator for "3 Customer care"
  • iiNET residential sales (08) 9214 2222
  • Bankwest (08) 9449 2840
  • Australia Post (03) 8847 9045
If you know of a popular 13 number which ought to be avoided, leave a comment below.

NBN comes to Western Australia

The first people in Western Australia to try the National Broadband Network will be residents in Victoria Park, Geraldton and Mandurah following an announcement made today.

Cheapest $1/month prepaid mobile plan

I've recently been looking for a new pre-paid mobile plan which is cheap enough to use as a spare SIM. I came across this TPG Budget Mobile plan which is worth having a look at and discussing. Have a look at their rates and services. I am particularly impressed with the fact that you can use 50mb data per month for only $1 which would be good  to have for anyone who likes to check their email on the go through a more reliable phone network (TPG uses Optus).

Initial cost   $40 ($20 credit)
YES TIME Can receive, not call
Calls to TPG Mobiles $0.10 flagfall + $0.099 Per Min, billed per Sec

National Calls to non-TPG Mobiles & Landlines $0.10 flagfall + $0.099 Per Min, billed per Sec

Voicemail Deposit $0.15 Per 30 Sec
Voicemail Retrieval $0.15 Per 30 Sec
Diversions $0.099 Per 30 Sec
SMS National $0.099 Per SMS
SMS International $0.20 Per SMS
MMS National $0.60 Per MMS
MMS International $0.60 Per MMS
Data $0.0275 Per MB
(WAP over GPRS and Wireless Internet) (billed per 100KB session)
13/1300 numbers $0.35 flagfall +$1.02 Per Min
1800 numbers $0.35 flagfall +  $0.62 Per 30 Sec

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Virgin now flies American Express Platinum cardholders

So about 3 hours after posting this blog entry, it just happened that I received a letter in the post from American Express stating that they have changed their airline provider from Qantas to Virgin. This means from the end of August, if you book your free flight through the Platinum call centre, you will be flying Virgin Airlines. Until then, all bookings will still be with Qantas. 

So what does this mean for the American Express Platinum holder? 


  • Greater number of destinations to choose from 
  • You will still receive a reasonable 23kg luggage allowance. 
  • Obviously flying with Qantas is worth much more money than Virgin. 
  • You will no longer get an in flight movie but instead you will have to put up with revolving ads begging you to swipe your credit card to end the pain. 
  • You won't get any free food unlike with Qantas. 
  • You will no longer earn Qantas frequent flyers on your flights. 
Following this announcement, I am considering cancelling my platinum card as it does not justify the $395 fee. If you are a member of the Chartered Accountants or some other institutes for Engineering or something, you are probably paying $295. 

Perhaps what may change my mind is if Virgin offers free entry into their lounge as part of this new change.

Other AMEX posts

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Why Perth is the best place for American Express Platinum

We are so used to being disadvantaged in the West with many things. When we watch TV, we always have to do our maths to figure what time a live program really is on. Sometimes we can't even participate in some shows because by the time we get to the phones, the show is over and the result has been announced. So when there is an advantage for Perth residents, we like to talk about it. 

The American Express Platinum card is not very cheap. It retails at $395 per year but the advantage is that it comes with a free flight or free hotel stay every year. This is where the advantage lies in being a Perth resident. For many cities around Australia, your "free" flight only takes you a few thousand km to your next destination. For Perth Amex users, you can fly to Adelaide, Melbourne or Sydney for free by booking with the American Express Platinum call centre. Below is a table of places you can go with this card. 

The typical flight from Perth to Sydney costs around $1000+ return (on a red e-deal flight). You can even earn frequent flyer points for your flight! So if you see yourself flying to Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide once a year, or you are looking for an excuse to do so, the American Express Platinum card is ideal for Perth users.