Get $225 By Spending $500


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225 dollarsWould you spend $500 to get $225 tax-free cash back?  For a limited time – you can!  Chase just increased the sign-up bonus on their Freedom card from $100 to $200 cash back.  They also sweetened the pot with an extra $25 if you add an authorized user.  The card has 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.  See details below.

This is the Visa that I carry in my wallet.  It never has an annual fee.  You always get 1% cash back on everything.  You get 5% cash back on various categories that change every three months.  For example, now through December 31st you get 5% cash back at Amazon.com, Zappos and these Department stores.  January 1- March 31st, it is grocery stores, Starbucks, and movie theatres.

To get the bonus, you need to meet the $500 spending requirement in the first three months your account is open.  That might be pretty easy to do by just paying your phone, internet and cable bills.  $500 in three months is an average of only $5.55 per day.  Like I said, it’s pretty easy to achieve.

Remember, you don’t have to give a card to an authorized user.  You just have to give a name that gets printed on a card for the authorized user to use.  Maybe you get one for the President or First Lady.  It’s your call.

Read my post 11 Ways To Meet A Spending Requirement for some  helpful ideas.  Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers and then “Cash Back”.  Email me if you have any questions!
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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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United Explorer Card Bonus Increased to 50,000-55,000 Miles


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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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Put a li’l Vasco in your da Gama


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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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Why NOW Is Home Fix-Up Time


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deep-impact-vs-armageddon2In the summer of 1998, there were two movies about an asteroid coming to destroy Earth.  TWO!  “Armageddon” & “Deep Impact”.  The odds of that happening are about as remote as, well… an asteroid destroying our planet, AM I RIGHT PEOPLE?!  Pardon me for yelling into the microphone.

Here’s another freakish coincidence – of discounts.  Now through June 30th, all THREE cards I wrote about here are giving 5% cash back at Home Depot (Citi Dividend), Lowe’s (Chase Freedom), or Home Improvement Stores (Discover it) up to a certain amount.  The 5% cash back is limited to purchases up to $6,000 annually (Citi Dividend) and $1,500 per quarter (Chase Freedom & Discover it).  Besides 5% cash back which could total $450 tax free, you could also get $200 tax free in sign up bonuses.

Another 10% off
If you are planning on doing some fixing up around the homestead, please read my post “Craigslist for Coupons = Big Savings”.  That will tell you how to find 10% off coupons.

$10,000 for only $8,350
Let’s say you have a

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Updated 5% Cash Back Categories (+$100 Bonus on TWO Cards)


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If you’re going to purchase something you need, and someone is willing to pay you tax-free cash for doing so – I say let them!

Check out these cash back cards. Right now, Chase and Citi sweetened the deal with $100 bonuses!

Here’s the scoop: Chase, Citi and Discover have credit cards that never have an annual fee and always give 5% cash back in certain categories.  The categories change every three months.  We can use these cards to get up to $900 cash back every year – without changing our spending habits.  That cash back money is tax free.  It adds up!

Instead of using cash, use these cards, get 5% cash back, and then pay off your bill with the cash you were going to spend in the first place.

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.

Here are the new categories:

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Get Free Cell Phone Insurance ($600 Per Phone)


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i_text_on_the_toilet_tshirtA rash of people in my life have dropped their cell phones in public toilets.  How many people in a “rash”?  Three.

This post’s title is more than a Spam Catcher’s entrée – it’s true.  If you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo personal credit card, you’ll get up to $600 protection (subject to a $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft at no cost.  You can do this twice a year.  If you need it more frequently than that, what’s wrong with you?

Thinking of gaming the system?  Terms and conditions specifically address phones that are lost or “mysteriously disappear.”  This coverage is on the primary phone, and up to three secondary phones on the account.

What if you break your phone, take it swimming, or drop it in a Port-A-Let?  Your provider doesn’t let you out of your contract.  You have to buy a new phone unless you have insurance.

I used to pay Sprint $8/month for insurance before realizing it was a bad plan.  If I used

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Fly American? This One’s For You


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US Airways-American Airlines merger moves forwardThe official okie-dokie came down yesterday for the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.  This is an excellent chance to boost your American Airlines frequent flyer miles.

For an unknown amount of time, you can get a US Airways credit card that has no annual fee the first year and gives you 35,000 frequent flyer miles if you make one purchase.  Click here for that application.  I did that one and it worked like a charm.

A few years ago, I got a Northwest Airlines card and bonus frequent flyer miles before they were absorbed by Delta.  Last year, I did the same with Continental before they became United.

Once my miles were safe and sound, I eventually canceled the defunct airline’s card.  This made it possible to get the sign-up bonus on the surviving airline’s card.  It’s a double-dip of sorts.  Had I not canceled the card, the new and improved airline would have eventually replaced the old airline’s card with the new airline’s card – but no second sign-up bonus.

I don’t know if I had ever flown Northwest or Continental, but I knew their miles would eventually become Delta and United miles.  It’s the same with US Airways becoming American miles.

For the US Airways, use the link in this post above.  Other airlines have cards that offer nice sign-up bonuses.  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.

Photo: nypost

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