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2017

Prior to getting my most recent Samsung phone (Galaxy S7 Edge) I had been leery of mobile payment services like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay.   I had previously thought those payment services were unsecure and susceptible to identity theft.  After doing some homework, I found that that is not the case.  Using mobile payment systems like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay are even more secure than using your credit card directly.

When you use a mobile payment service, your actual credit card number is not stored on your phone. The applications actually transmit an alternate number to the merchant’s payment system.  That means if the merchant is hacked they will not have your actual credit card number.   Mobile Payment Transactions require a Pin or Fingerprint (depending on your phone and application) which adds an extra layer of security.

 

If you have access to Samsung Pay, I highly recommend it over Android Pay & Apple Pay.  All three services use NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to transmit payment information to a merchant credit card terminal. In addition to NFC, Samsung Pay also uses MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) which “is a technology that emits a magnetic signal that mimics the magnetic strip on a traditional payment card”. Since Samsung Pay has both NFC & MST I have been able to use it about 95% of the places I shop.  It is fun to go into stores and see the reactions of clerks who are unfamiliar with Samsung Pay.  Many of them will say, “Oh I don’t think that will work here”.  Then they are amazed when it does work.

 

Samsung Pay commercial - YouTube

 

Another reason to use Samsung Pay is the Samsung Rewards Program.  In addition to earning points with using my Marriott Credit Card on Samsung Pay, I am also earning Samsung Rewards Points.  The more you use Samsung Pay the more points you earn.  Samsung Rewards Basic Members earn 10 points per transaction, Silver Members (min 5 transactions per month) earn 20 points per transaction, Gold Members (min 20 transactions per month) earn 30 points per transaction, and Platinum Members (min 30 transactions per month) earn 40 points per transaction.  Points are redeemable for items such as merchant gift cards, Visa Gift Cards, and Samsung Merchandise.

 

I have been using Samsung Pay for several months now and absolutely love it.  My wallet has become much slimmer as it is also capable of storing Gift Cards and Merchant Membership Cards.  Earning extra points for using the service is a Win Win!

 

Tip:  New users signing up for Samsung Pay should check the promotions tab first.  Usually you can earn extra points for signing up.

 

Here is a great C-Net Article about Samsung Pay: Samsung Pay: What you need to know (FAQ) - CNET

eclektech & I just completed a Friday night stay at the Marriott Richmond Short Pump hotel.  We have stayed at this property a couple of times since the hotel was renovated in Fall 2015.  However this was our first time being upgraded to one of their new “Stay Well” Rooms.

 

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What is a Stay Well Room?  It’s a concept developed by Delos Hospitality, a Marriott Franchise Company, to create “Healthy Travel”.   The idea is to create an environment that uses “scientifically validated features” to “positively impact health, vitality, sense of relaxation and well-being.”   Features of our Stay Well Room included an Air Purification System, an Aromatherapy scent diffuser, Mood Lighting, Dawn Simulation Alarm Clock, Energizing Light system, a Stay Well Mattress (Natural memory foam derived from plant extracts), Filtered Water purification and a Stay Well Vitamin C Shower Infuser.

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Other hotels that offer the Stay Well Rooms include:  Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Charlotte Marriott City Center, Courtyard Orlando Lake Nona, MGM Grand Las Vegas, Residence Inn Orlando Lake Nona, Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, and the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Find a Stay Well Room

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All of the guest rooms on the 2nd Floor of this hotel are “Stay Well” Rooms.  Both eclektech & I enjoyed the extra amenities of the included gadgets.  Underneath the bed was motion sensor night lighting should you need to get up in the middle of the night.  We found the Stay Well Mattress very comfortable.  Since we wanted to sleep in the next morning we did not try the Dawn Simulation Alarm Clock.  There is also a Stay Well Shop Online where you can buy the Stay Well mattress and many of the same devices.

 

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I love the new showers at this hotel.  The shower head and wand option are great.  I have to admit I did not notice much difference with the Vitamin C Infuser attached from one time usage.  I did read a review online where someone said they experienced a “definite change and glow to the skin” after using it for a week.

 

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This hotel is located in a quiet office park setting and is close to many attractions in the Richmond area. The staff is extremely friendly and outgoing.  There is an indoor pool and fitness center. Guest Rooms have access to Internet TV (Nextflix, Hulu, Crackle, & YouTube).  There is also a small M-Lounge located in the lobby area.

 

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