Deathandtaxesandmoretaxes Cartoon

Is a “Bereavement Fare” Fair?


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deathandtaxesandmoretaxes-cartoonBen 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 funeralBoth 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

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DonAdamsShoePhone

Why I Called…


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DonAdamsShoePhoneI usually reserve the use of my phone to win concert tickets, give my political opinions to robots, and to ask strangers if their refrigerator is running.  Alas, I have found another use:

Stop the Presses!  I was asked to take this post down.  I will try to get some version of it back up. Meanwhile, treat yourself to these awesome bonuses – while they are still around. 50,000 points = $500 cash or $625 in travel.

Remember, if you aren’t a business entity like an S-Corp or LLC, you can still apply for the Ink cards as a Sole-Proprietor, use your name as the business name, your social as the Tax ID number. Very easy, legal and FUN!  Click here for more info on this, Snoop Dogg and Festivus.

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.

  • Chase Ink Bold® Business Card – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee waived first year. No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Chase Ink Classic® Business Card – 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in 3 months from account opening. No annual fee.
  • Chase Ink Cash® Business Card – 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in 3 months from account opening. No annual fee.
  • Chase Ink Plus® Business Card – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in 3 months from account opening. $95 annual fee waived first year. No Foreign Transaction Fees.
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SWAirTransLimtedTime

Two Free Round-Trip Flights on Southwest AND AirTran


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Just a quick mention about two current airline offers for TWO FREE FLIGHTS.  Go getcha one now!

This is billed as “Two Free Flights” but the 50,000 Southwest bonus points can be stretched to many more round-trip flights.  For example, I just plugged in a random mid-January trip from Burbank to Las Vegas that is 5,880 points – round trip.  Big Bonus-Point Bang!

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.

Opt Stop Receiving Letter Of Offer

Opting-Out for Dead People?


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They keep sweetening the deal to get my dead dad to sign up for a United MileagePlus Explorer card.  Well, it is a generous offer – but he’s not doing any more flying.

These card offers come because he didn’t Opt-Out of them.  How could he?  He doesn’t have wi-fi at his current locale six feet under.  To avoid the temptation to accept their sweet offer on his behalf (and commit fraud), I opted-out for him at OptOutPrescreen.com. You can do this Dead or Alive.

There are pros and cons to this.  If you Opt-Out, you will get less junk mail.  Then you can find out what the best offers are if you click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms and conditions, and more.  Woo-hoo!  All right!  Yea Chip’s Money Tips!

But don’t Opt-Out so fast!  Junk mail has a silver lining.  If you Opt-In to mailings – you

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Ink Blue Cropped

4 Ways Ink Don’t Stink


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Chip’s Money Tips Subscriber-Extraordinaire Jacko has a question:

“Can you recommend a decent rewards card that will allow me to float some payables for a few months?”

Absolutely!  Three of the four Chase Ink cards have a 0% introductory rate for the first six billing cycles that your account is open.  Float, float on… until Summer!

Ink Classic, Ink Cash, Ink Plus and Ink Bold are similar but different.  If they were unfamiliar food, we might say they all “Taste like chicken.”

Ink Classic, Ink Cash and Ink Plus all have a 0% introductory rate for six billing cycles.  For that time period, there is 0% interest.

The Ink cards were created for business use, but that pretty much includes anyone who makes a buck doing something.  As I have said before, if you are a handyman, nanny, dog walker, actor, or sell stuff online – congratulations the IRS says you are called a sole proprietor!

When you apply for one of these cards, put your name as Name of Business, your social security number as Tax ID Number, and sole proprietor as Type of Business.  It’s all legal and legit.

Before I give you the breakdown of what each card offers, here’s a way to maximize these bonus babies!

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SmallBusinessSaturday ShopSmallCircle Smaller

TODAY is Small Business Saturday


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Happy Guilt-Free Fun Spending Day! Today’s the day to help yourself and small businesses.  Take a minute to enroll all of your American Express cards at ShopSmall.com, then spend at least $25 per transaction on each card to receive a $25 statement credit.   Not sure what to buy?  Try gift cards for local shops, baby!  Confirm participating businesses at ShopSmall.com‘s map.  More details in my posts here and here.

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AmexSBS Enrollnow

Oh it’s on! ($mall Biz $aturday)


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If you aren’t hip to this week’s Small Business Saturday awesome deal – read my post on it.  Enrollment started in the wee small hours of the night.  It ends on Small Business Saturday – November 24th.  Go to ShopSmall.com and plug in all of your American Express cards.  Go on now – GIT!  I did and immediately got an email thanking me.  If you don’t see an email, check your junk folder to make sure your card is enrolled.

Once enrolled at ShopSmall.com, check out their map of participating small businesses.  Type the name of the business in the search box or search by zip code to plan your attack.  I have so many cards to use that I am going to get multiple $25 gift certificates at a couple of my favorite restaurants – and a lube job.

Please do this for yourself and the Mom & Pop business trying to make a living.  This is a generous promotion from American Express and it really helps small businesses.

It’ll be tight, but here’s a last minute idea for you.  Remember that authorized users on your American Express card can register their cards as well.  You can still add authorized users.  You may have time.  It’s worth a shot.

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28. Chase Ink Bold 250.StillSmall Laptop

Just in Time for Festivus – UPDATE


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My bromance with my Ink Bold card has never been stronger.  Its terms were tweaked on 11/13/12, but I’m still smitten.  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.

Now it is twice as easy to get 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points worth $500 in cash or $625 in travel.  The old promotion of getting 25,000 points for making one purchase has left the building.

Why should you get this one?  Like I said in the original post, it’s only a few weeks until Christmas, Hannukah… Festivus. Which means you could probably use some extra cash.  Here’s how you can actually get $500 tax free by Christmas.

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ChaseURPoints 30719sofarStacked

Too Good To Be True? Nope. See for Yourself!


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I don’t suggest things unless I think they are a good deal, and more often than not, are things I have done myself.

Last week, I got the Chase Ink Bold card and made a purchase.  Today, I received my single purchase bonus of 25,000 points worth $250 cash or $312.50 in travel – tax free!  It really is that easy.  See my statement below.

UPDATE: That offer changed on 11/13/12.  The single purchase bonus of 25,000 points went away.  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.

You can earn FIVE points for every dollar spent on internet, cable, phone bills and at office supply stores.  That’s the equivalent of 5% cash back or 6.25% back for travel booked through Chase online.  To make it easy, I signed into my online accounts for DirecTV, Sprint, Vonage and Time Warner and switched my automatic bill payment credit card to the Chase Ink Bold card.  I also bought a couple $500 Visa Gift cards at Office Depot – which also qualify for 5x points.  Here’s my statement which details everything:

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