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!
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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
“Fan” is short for “Fanatic” – a person marked by excessive enthusiasm, intense devotion… and body paint. Fans like me gotta root for the laundry, despite my Bengals’ stripes having mustered only four winning seasons in two decades.
Never an annual fee. Make one purchase and get bonus points worth $100 in cash back statement credits. Check it out!
I 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.
- 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.
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!
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