ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


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Donating to charity is a great way to help meet a credit card spending requirement.  That’s how I paid off my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Donation.  There are TWO fantastic 50,000 mile sign-up bonus offers right now.  You must apply for United’s by Tuesday (September 2nd).  You have a week to apply for Delta’s (September 8th).  Both offers are usually 30,000 miles, so 50,000 is mucho better!!  Apply while you can!

Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on this card.  Email me if you need help or have any questions.

SpinalTap11Nigel 2

11 Ways To Meet A Spending Requirement


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SpinalTap11Nigel-2You’re not a maroon.  You see a sweet sign-up bonus for a credit card.  The bonus is yours if you get the new card and spend a thousand dollars or so in the next few months.  AWESOME!  But, $1,000?!!  You realize it doesn’t make sense to waste $1,000 on stuff you don’t need, just to get a free plane ticket or points worth $500.  What do you do?

1)  $11/day

Use your new card for purchases where you’d normally use cash.  Then pay off the new card with the cash you would have used in the first place.  If you are afraid that you will use a card to spend money that you don’t have, I suggest signing in to your card account online and paying off the card balance as frequently as you wish – even daily!

$1,000 divided by three is only $333.33 per month or $11 per day.  You can probably reach that spending requirement using your new card only paying the bills for your telephone, internet, cable and groceries.

I use my credit card everywhere for everything – instead of cash.  I use a card for any purchase I make online or in stores.  Heck, I just used a card to buy a banana at 7-11.  I use it EVERYWHERE possible.  I don’t write checks.  I don’t use a debit card.  A credit card puts a firewall between my money and other people.  The only things I have not been able to pay with a credit card, without being charge a fee, are my mortgage, property tax and natural gas bills.

2)  One Fell Swoop

Maybe you are like me.  You’d rather not upset your system by involving another card.  You already pay for everything with a credit card, and then pay the card off in full.  Some of the bills are automatically charged to your credit card.  Instead of getting 10

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United50Kslash30K2small

United Explorer Card Bonus Increased to 50,000-55,000 Miles


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united50Kslash30K2

For a limited time, Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card has increased its sign up bonus to 50,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.  But you must apply by September 2nd.

Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on this card.  Email me if you need help or have any questions.

You will get an extra 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user in the first three months.  Instead of adding your cat Mr. Tibbers or The President, this may be a good emergency credit card for a college student.

The sign up bonus is usually 30,000 miles, so this is a sweet deal.  If you are like me and got this card a couple months ago, call the number on the back of your card and ask if they will honor the 50,000 mile offer.  They did for me!

This card comes with many perks:

- Free checked bag (up to $100)
- Priority boarding
- No foreign transaction fees
- TWO United Club lounge passes per year
- The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
- Any Seat, Any Time. Cardholders have access to award seats that non-cardholder riff-raff scum does not!

50,000 miles can get you two round trip coach tickets!

If you are concerned about meeting the $2,000 spending requirement, there are many ways to achieve that, frugally.  I use a credit card to pay for everything possible, then

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Nfl Sunday Ticket Box

Get NFL Sunday Ticket for FREE


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>>>>>>>>>>>>> Click HERE to get your NFL team’s Visa card! <<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I just got NFL Sunday Ticket MAX ($330 sticker price) for free. I’m on a nice little run here. I’ve gotten NFL Sunday Ticket for free – 3 years in a row!

Here are a few ways you can get it free:

A) You could steal it. But, it’s probably best to not spend the 7th day resting while simultaneously shattering one of The Commandments.

B) You can get it free if you are a new customer to DirecTV_Refer_Friend-smDirecTV, and sign a two-year contract with the “Choice” package or higher. If you are going to be a new customer to DirecTV, you can also get $100 off if you are referred by someone who has it. The referrer also gets $100 in statement credits. Order online at directv.com/refer or by calling 1-800-507-4045. Please give them my account number 15929124 when asked who referred you – so we can both get rich. Rich, I tell you. RICH!

C) If you are already a DirecTV subscriber and eschew thievery, here’s one way I got it free. I called DirecTV. I told the robot that I wanted “Customer Retention”. This got me a human.  If you aren’t going to utter the words “Customer Retention” – just hang up the phone. You are wasting your time.

In 2013, I politely asked MJ in Customer Retention if there was any way I could get NFL

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House Money

The Upside to “Upside-Down”


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When you owe more on something than it’s worth, you are “upside-down”.   If your home is worth less today than when you bought it – there is a silver lining to your upside-downitude.

Get the Tax Man to reassess your property’s value and thereby lower your tax bill.

My buddy JT had his home’s value reviewed.  The Assessor came back with an even lower value than what JT hoped.  He saved over $1,000 in property taxes.  That is after-tax money.  In his case, that was more like what is left after paying taxes on income of $1,500.

I dunno what goes on in your parts, but here is information about the appeal process in Los Angeles, where property owners are allowed to appeal their value between July 2 – Nov. 30.

Contact your local assessor and turn those lemons into a half full glass of lemonade!

AOL Canv Drips

3,360 Reasons To Check Statement


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g&c_AOL_psychI wrote about automatic recurring withdrawals from a bank account in “Are you a Miniature Donkey Talk subscriber?”.

The person who hired me to do a Debt Strategy Session got a one year magazine subscription as a joke for a friend.  But the joke kept on giving, and braying, because the giver had the subscription auto-renew from his bank account.  It was years before he checked his bank statement and found the auto-withdrawal.

Wasting hundreds of dollars is vexing. But I have a new entry atop the Leader Board. One of you guys sent me this email:

“My wife just realized she has been paying AOL for a dormant internet account she never cancelled at her place when we got married. $3,360 bucks over 7 years. Her mom warned me she doesn’t pay attention to her money. That’s a vacation in Spain.“

She paid her balance every month, but it took her 7 years to glance down the page to see the $39.99 charge from America Online. Uhhh… please check your statements.

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Maslow Needs + Wants

R U Like My Former Stupid Tenant?


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Maslow Needs + Wants Bubble2Here’s today’s pearl of wisdom for the mouth-breathers among us: If you can’t afford rent, you can’t afford a housekeeper.

If you struggle to make rent, why do you pay a maid $300 a month? You should get a butler, too. You can’t afford him either!

If Maslow were alive today, idiots would beseech him to amend his Hierarchy of Needs. “Abe, of course food, clothing and shelter are awesome – but what I REALLY NEED is an iPhone, Internet, Cable TV and a Maid!”

My former stupid tenant had all those – except the rent. So, he got to move back in with his mommy and daddy and mooch off them.

Are YOU doing something that is creating angst in your financial world? Do you have your own maid/butler money-suck? Do you shell out for things that you simply cannot afford? People often confuse needs with wants. Here are some of my posts that can

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This Buffoon’s Family Vacation


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1972FordLTD2smWhen I was a kid, we went on family vacations every summer.  We’d load up the Ford LTD Country Squire and hit the road!  This car was the inspiration for The Griswold’s Family Truckster station wagon in National Lampoon’s Vacation.

In that movie, they strapped Aunt Edna to the roof rack.  In real life, my mom put my infant sister at her feet in the front passenger seat.

My dad was able to trick the seal belt alert light, by pulling out the belt and then tucking it under some carpet to simulate it being used.  Why?  The prevailing response of the day was, “In case of an accident, I want to be thrown clear.”  What can I say?  It was a different time.

$3,500 Saved
This summer, my sister is flying her family out from Ohio to visit me in Los Angeles for their family vacation.  She and her husband are dropping the kids with me and shooting up to San Francisco for 5 days to celebrate their anniversary.  Then they will return to LA for a couple days before heading back to Ohio with my niece and nephew.

The really cool thing is that all their plane tickets and hotel stays are completely free

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Starwood Sign

Put a li’l Vasco in your da Gama


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DisneyWorldDoplhin

A trip across the country is now affordable – assuming free is in your price range. Here’s how to get flights and multiple nights in a swanky hotel for zip, zilch, nada.

You can pull this off with Starpoints.  To get a bunch of Starpoints, there are nice sign-up bonuses with Starwood Preferred Guest (personal and business) cards.

Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more.  Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.

This offer will give you 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $1 and 15,000 bonus Starpoints for meeting the spending requirement within 6 months.  You get a point for every buck you spend.  Spending $5,000 within 6 months will give you 25,000 Starpoints. The fine print says “This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.”

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If you and your significant other, gal-pal or homeslice each get a card and meet the spending requirement – you’ll have enough Starpoints for two round trip flights and multiple hotel nights. I type from experience.  I’ve done it!  People living at the same address can combine their Starpoints. This is ideal if one is an organization freak and the other keeps misplacing his toothbrush. So, if a husband and wife got their own cards… do the math!

Starwood “Nights & Flights” is a fantastic use of your Starpoints for a

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Show Me The Money2

Is This Your Dough?


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show-me-the-money2An old college buddy read my post “Putting FUN in Unclaimed Funds”.  He discovered $600 waiting for him in a small life insurance policy of his dad’s.  Each of his siblings also got $600, but his wealthy brother didn’t want to bother with his cut.  What the, what?!!  I suggested my pal offer to do all the paperwork and split it with his frère.  More on this story as it develops.

There are billions of dollars in unclaimed funds in the US.  Well, billions minus $59.  Last year, my annual perusal found $59 waiting for me from Home Depot.

As you may have gleaned from this site, I am an organization freak who occasionally dips his big toe in the pool of OCD.  This $59 was a surprise to me.  All I can figure is that I got a rebate from a rehab project of my rental properties and Home Depot didn’t know how to contact me.  To quote Lord Jerry Maguire Tennyson, “Ours is not to reason why. Show me the money!”

In previous years I came across something for my dad, a couple pension payments for my mom, and some dividend from some railroad thing that was my grandfather’s. Give these free sites a whirl:

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