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:
A 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
The 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.
Here’s an opportunity for some free money. You’ll get $200 tax free if you get the new Chase Freedom card, and spend $500 on it in the first 3 months that you have it. If you aren’t an ultra-maroon or filthy rich, you might wanna check it out.
$500 is only $167/month x 3. Use the card to pay for your phone bill, internet, TV, gasoline, groceries, banjo lessons – whatever! Checkout my post on Amazon Payments to see how you can use the card to pay someone (maybe your landlord) money you owe. Then pay off the card with the cash that you were going to use to pay for your stuff in the first place.
No catch. The Chase Freedom card is the Visa that I carry in my wallet. I got this card years ago when they last had the $200 offer. Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on this card and more. Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.
It never has an annual fee. It pays 1% cash back on all purchases. It pays 5% cash back on various categories that change every quarter. For example, from October 1st – December 31st, it pays 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon.com and these select department stores.
Again, this $200 is tax free, so it’s more like what you have left after paying taxes on $300 – $400 earned at your job – depending upon which tax bracket you are in.
If you and your significant other get the card, well, you’ll be able to afford roast beast and taters this Christmas!
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If you EVER fly Southwest, listen up. For you aficionados and muchachos, there’s something HUGE in the second half of this post.
From time to time Southwest offers a sweet 50,000 Bonus if you get their credit card and spend $2,000 on it in the first 3 months you have the card. Now is one of those times. So you wanna move this up on your To-Do list.
Southwest promotes it as “Get 50,000 Points For 2 Roundtrip Flights”. But those of you who fly Southwest know that 50,000 points can go a heckuvalot further.
To illustrate, I punched in a few trial runs on the most coveted days – on a Friday and returning on a Sunday. I can fly Los Angeles to San Francisco round trip for 6,960 points. I can fly from Burbank to Las Vegas, or Burbank to San Francisco, same peak dates, for 8,040 points round trip. See screen captures below. If you are flexible with your dates, you can fly for much fewer points.
The card has a $99 annual fee, but you get 6,000 points on your cardmember anniversary. As you can see from how far the points stretch, that ain’t so bad. It has no foreign transaction fees. Free checked bags. You get a point for every buck you spend on the card.
The 50,000 BONUS in and of itself is GREAT, but there is more!
Southwest’s Companion Pass is one of my favorite things. It ranks up there with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens.
Here’s the deal: In any calendar year in which you earn 110,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points, you earn a Companion Pass for the rest of that year, plus the following year. Cross that threshold in January 2014, and you can have a Companion Pass through December 31, 2015, That is virtually TWO YEARS!
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.
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 30,000 Starpoints. The fine print says “This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.”
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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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, and sign a two-year contract with the “Entertainment” package or higher (~$25/month).
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, this is how I got it free. I called DirecTV. I told the robot that I wanted “Customer Retention”. That got me
If you are like me, you have done things in the past to screw up your credit. Like me, you can fix it – without a Hot Tub Time Machine or a fully-functioning Flux Capacitor. I’ll tell you how you can join me in rarefied credit score air so high you’ll wanna bring a Sherpa.
The past is the past. Mistakes do not have to continue. We all used to wear diapers, but at some point that way of life lost its appeal.
Having good credit is possible even if you defaulted on loans, made late payments on credit cards, have collection agencies bugging you, or have gone bankrupt.
As detailed in my post “I Cut My Mortgage Rate in Half” when I refinanced my house, my FICO credit score was 817. That’s on a scale of 300-850, thankyouverymuch.
Lipstick on a Pig
Even if you have sworn off borrowing any more money, you should polish up your credit report as best you can – and correct any mistakes on there. Employers are increasingly doing credit checks of job applicants. Yes, your credit determines rates at which you can borrow money, but also whether you have to pay deposits on utilities and cell phone plans.
Of course, landlords don’t like to rent to folks with a sketchy credit history. As I mentioned in “The Chickenpox of Your Report”, in my ten years of landlordiness I found that not all people with bad credit are irresponsible, but most irresponsible people have bad credit. Here’s how we un-sketchify your credit history:
My hobbies have always involved cards: baseball, poker and credit. Last week in my April Amex App-Aloosa, it took 20 minutes to apply for four American Express cards. I was approved for all of them.
This hobby isn’t for everyone. I like trying out different credit cards while marinating in their huge sign-up bonuses. I always pay the cards off in full so I never pay any interest – otherwise this would be a losing proposition.
Here’s how my April Amex App-Aloosa went down:
I got the Gold Delta SkyMiles personal and business cards, as well as the Starwood personal and business cards. I will get over 100,000 miles/points in bonuses once I meet the spending requirements. These cards have great perks.
I opened up a clean browser window for each application and clicked on “In Private Browsing” in Internet Explorer. Google Chrome calls it “Incognito”. You may feel compelled to do this in a tuxedo while drinking something shaken not stirred.
Ben Franklin said, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” April 15th is only 20 days away, so the latter is top of mind. Unfortunately, the former made a surprise visit to my extended family this week.
I don’t wanna be pushy, but I hope you will take this as a Call To Action. Don’t compound a huge personal loss with a financial one. Just like how you (hopefully) keep some money stashed away for emergencies, you should have frequent flyer miles at your disposal.
Bereavement Fares are NOT the Answer
In the past two years, I have had to catch a quick flight to be with my dying dad and to attend a close friend’s funeral. Both flights would have cost $1,000 each – even IF I qualified for the bereavement fare. That’s the way it is. Period.
Bereavement fares aren’t cheap. They are for close family who must be there – not friends. Basically, if you aren’t mentioned in the obituary or married to someone who is, don’t expect to get the small discount. Airlines have requirements that must be met.
What’s The Solution?
The best/easiest/cheapest way to get miles that never expire is via Delta offers for 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. For some, the toughest hurdle will be getting rid of the mindset that having a