Giving Tuesday Logo

Sweet Charity (Giving Tuesday)


We have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Lazy Sunday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.

Being charitable is a good thing – especially if it will get the guy next to the red kettle to stop testing your eardrums with his bell.

Some people “tithe” – which is giving 10% of one’s income. It’s like God is their agent and that is his commission. I can hear Him now, “I put you in America, how about a little something for the effort? Thank you. Me Bless.”

We hit the lottery just by being born in the good ole US of A.  Everything else is gravy.  Still, some folks here have legitimate needs.

It’s great to do things for charities. If you were looking for ways to be able to give more to charities, I have a few suggestions that have worked for me.

  1. I have a savings account at my bank that I call my “Donation Fund”. Every month I have an automatic transfer from my checking to that fund. If your bank won’t give you a free interest bearing account, set one up at Capital One 360 Savings (.75%).  That pays interest, has no minimums and no monthly fees. It’s amazing how fast those funds will grow!
  2. Now that I have my Donation Fund, when I get a request to Save The Tatas, Bike
    Read More

$3 for $25 Restaurant Certificates


restaurantsdotcomREDEveryone eats, right?  Here is a perfect stocking stuffer / Hanukah gift idea.  Today (Cyber Monday) and tomorrow (Regular Ole Tuesday), you can buy a $25 restaurant gift certificate for $3.  Code “CYBER”.

I’m a late-adopter of because it sounded too good to be true. Then I received gift certificates as a “Thank you” from a friend. Even though the gift certificate said that alcohol was not included, when I called to make a reservation, the restaurant said alcohol could be included.  Make sure you inquire, boozy.

Several months ago, I picked up three certificates. I decided not to use two of them. Both were credited back to my account as two $25 credits. I can use those credits to buy a combination of $10, $15, or $25 gift certificates to ANY restaurant.

So, buy certificates now at the $3 special offer.  Enjoy the restaurants you chose, or use that work-around to go to different places that they offer.

You can search by zip code or city. Certificates do not expire, but this $3 deal does tomorrow night.  Click to get some now!

FYI: The $3 price will show up at checkout after you apply the code “CYBER”.  Here is a screenshot of my purchase a few months back when the deal was $4 each:

Read More

Gift Card Granny

Before Festivus Shopping…


gift-card-grannyBefore you buy hundreds of dollars of stuff for Christmas / Hanukhah / Festivus, consider this.  Buy gift cards to those stores at a significant discount (10-20% less is common).  Use the gift card(s) to make your purchase.  Doing this has saved me $793.58 so far in 2015.

Here’s the deal. Sites sell discounted gift cards that are:
Physical (card mailed to you)
Electronic or eGift (online use only)
Mobile (show on your phone in store)
Voucher or Printable Electronic (Emailed. Print out to use in store or online)

Choose which you want when making your purchase.  I prefer Voucher or Printable Electronic whenever available because I can use them in store or online.

Do This Now

Get registered with these sites now.  This will get your discounted gift cards delivered in minutes, sometimes instantly.  Not being registered can delay delivery.

Use these links to register and you will get $5 off your first purchase at Raise, Cardpool, and Gyft.

Otherwise, sign up by clicking these links: Cardpool, GiftCardRescue, Gyft, MonsterGiftCard, Raise, and SaveYa.  I have used them all.  No problems.

Gift Card Granny

Once you are registered with various sites, go here:  This is an

Read More

ChaseFeeedom10Per 250

Extra 10% Cash Back with Freedom


ChaseFeeedom10Per-250Last week I told you about Chase Freedom’s increased sign up bonus. You’ll get $150 if you spend $500 in first 3 months the card is open. Plus $25 if you add an authorized user. That’s a grand total of $175! Never annual fee. 1% cash back on every purchase. 5% cashback on purchases in categories that change every quarter.  No brainer!

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website.  Once on that page, click Cash Back.  It’s the 5th card down.  Email me if you have any questions.

Hot New Offer!

You know those 5% cash back categories I mentioned?  Chase has decided to double it to 10% starting today through December 31st.  This is for combined purchases up to $1,500 at Amazon, Zappos, and

If you have already been using your Freedom card at those stores and getting 5% cash back since October 1st, Chase is resetting your quarterly bonus maximum amount starting today.  Their fine print FAQs say:

Read More

Christies Modigliani 200

$170M for Naked Lady Pic


christies-modigliani-200Did ya hear the one about the Chinese art investor who paid $170 million for a Modigliani painting?

Mr. Liu made the purchase with his American Express card so he and his family could fly free on the membership rewards points he accrued.  No joke.  For that, he is my hero!

Come to think of it, I have purchased all of my artwork with a credit card instead of cash for the rewards points.  If you are going to pay for something, why not get something extra in return?  That’s how Liu and I roll.

His wife told the New York Times “We are on a one-year payment plan for the painting,” Ms. Wang said. “If we had to pay cash upfront, that would be a little difficult for us.”  She added: “I mean, who has the money for that?”  Whoa… WHAT?!?!?!

Please tell me he clicked on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” (in the top right corner of this site) to get an Amex with no-interest for 12 months.  Otherwise, he’s an idiot.  If he doesn’t pay off his balance in full every month, interest alone will probably be around $2 million per month.  That woudda more than covered their plane tickets.


Increased Bonuses: $550 + $175 Tax-Free


BonusThe holidays are upon us.  Evidently Chase wants you to pay for Festivus with their plastic.  They increased the bonuses on Sapphire Preferred & Freedom personal (not business) cards.

The bonuses can pay for a lot of Christmas presents, or even a free round trip to Europe!

If this is in your wheelhouse, click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website. Email me if you have any questions.

Sapphire Preferred

Sapphire Preferred’s bonus is at an all-time high.  It’s usually 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points.  Now it is 50,000 + another 5,000 if you add an authorized user and make one purchase using that card.  Remember, an authorized user can be anyone and you don’t have to give it to them.  To get the bonus, you must spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.  No annual fee the first year.  No Foreign Transaction fees.

Besides the bonus points, you also get 1 point per dollar spent.  So if you spend $4,000 and thereby meet the bonus’ spending requirement, you will have 59,000 points (4,000 + 50,000).  59,000 points is worth $590.  Because it is technically a rebate, that money is tax-free should you decide to cash out.

Check out “11 Ways To Meet A Spending Requirement” for suggestions to make this very easy without wasting money.

Best Bang For Buck

With Sapphire you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to loyalty programs at

Read More


Spend $60 at Amazon, Get $15 Back, More…


amazon$15backIn case you didn’t know, your Amex card always has “Amex Offers” on it. Some are just noise, but some are slam dunk no-brainers!  Find out what is waiting by signing in to your Amex account online, scroll down to “Amex Offers & Benefits” and click “Add to Card”. Not all offers are available to everyone.

The slam dunk of which I speak is getting $15 back if you spend $60 at Amazon.  To make your life easier, after adding the offer to your card, click here and buy yourself $60 Amazon electronic gift card. A couple minutes later you’ll receive it in an email with a link to add it to your Amazon account.  Click, click, done.  You’ve met the spending requirement for the offer, you have a $60 credit at Amazon, and you will owe Amex only $45 on your next bill. My $15 Amex statement credit showed up 2 days after my Amazon purchase.

STOP!  Before You Do That…

Are you are like me and have multiple American Express cards?  Once you accept an

Read More

Sprinkler Boug

It’s Not Water, It’s H2O


Do you have lawn sprinklers? It’s November. That means it’s time for my annual post about turning off your sprinklers.  Woo-Hoo!!  That’s right.  “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle” also applies to money tips.

For Los Angelenos, the reason you should do that is really SEXY: Saving on your Sewer Service Charge (SSC). Hubba-hubba. My most recent bill’s SSC was only $15.46. It had been TEN TIMES as high – as much as $155.55 until I wised up.

I will tell you the answer first, because the explanation could put you in REM 3. If you have automatic sprinklers and you live in an area that charges you a sewer usage charge based upon water you use – you might wanna shut them off until spring time. I live in the warm and sunny, drought-riddled Los Angeles “Valley”. I turn off my lawn sprinklers between the first rain in November until March-April.

To be clear, the savings I just mentioned was not money I banked from bill to bill by cutting back on the water itself, that I used to soak my lawn.  That was additional savings in the “Water” portion of the bill.  I’m talking about a separate part of the bill under “Sanitation Charges” called the Sewer Service Charge.   See below.

I started doing this a few years ago and my lawn, in full sun, has not suffered a bit. Individual results may vary. Void where prohibited without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball.

Serve your environmentalist side with your “green” stance on water conservation while currying favor with your inner capitalist by keeping “green” in your wallet.

Read More


“Shop Small” Is On… Sort Of


YogiBerracatchercoachOne of the greats is making for the exit. It’s like Pete Rose, Yogi Berra or an even older reference becoming a player/coach. The end is near.

For the past five years, American Express card holders could get statement credits when they “Shop Small” on Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving). I’m talking $25-$30 per registered card. It was like being given a shopping spree worth hundreds of dollars. We’d buy stuff from small businesses and Amex footed the bill. Pretty sweet!

This year, the offer has been gutted. It is a shadow of its former self. The offer is not available to all. It is targeted to certain people. And… it’s only one $10 statement credit per registered card.

I received an email saying that one of my cards has been targeted. In the past, I

Read More

TradeKing200 2

$200 From TradeKing


I hear ya: What the heck is a “TradeKing” and how many are there in a bushel?

TradeKing is a brokerage house (place to buy and sell stocks and funds).  They’re celebrating 10 years in business with this sweet promotion for new accounts.

All you have to do for the $200 is:

It’s only $4.95 per trade. Even if you only did 3 trades, you’d still be up $185. Click this link to open the account and deposit $3K. You don’t have to spend it all, but you gotta show your bankroll! Make a few trades over the next 3 months and you’ll get your $200 bonus.

I have an account here. It’s legit. FINRA member and SIPC insured. You gotta click this link to qualify for the promotion!


Page 1 of 3412345»102030...Last »