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 at Chip’s Money Tips’ credit card search engine. 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
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 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!
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.
My bromance with my Ink Bold card has never been stronger. Its terms were tweaked on 11/13/12, but I’m still smitten.
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.
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. Check out the current offer here.
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:
Reader Jesse heard the siren song of yellow bikini-clad Annie, and dabbled in a li’l Arbitrage! He wanted to know the best way to get the free money from Slate into his wallet and ultimately into Everbank where he could sit back and earn 1.25%. He already had a Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card – $100 Cash Back card, so this was simple.
Requesting an overpayment from Citi is the easiest way I have found to do this. I recently overpaid my Citi Dividend card to show you screen captures of how I got back my over-payment (see below). Login to CitiCards.com. Click on the heading “Tools & Services”. Scroll down to “Request a Credit Balance Refund”. I had a $40 credit balance and clicked “Request Refund”. A check arrived a couple weeks later. Done and done.
If Arbitrage is new to you, check out the video. In boring typing, here’s the scoop:
I am SO clever with the word play. Reader Cary asked me a question related to my Debt Strategy Sessions. Cary wrote:
“I have some friends who swear by the Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball method of paying the smallest debts off first. But most of what I read says that strategy is too costly. Where do you come out on this?”
My hunch is that Ramsey is appealing to the emotional side of emotional spenders. Paying off the smallest balance, regardless of interest rate on that card, gives someone a “win”. “Hey, I was in debt on three credit cards, I paid off the one that was doing the least damage, and now I only have two left! That’s good, right?!” Yeah, yeah, yeah… you IDIOT!
Without question, it makes the most sense to pay off the highest interest rate credit cards first, because those charge you the most interest, or money.
But people do not always do what makes the most sense. They do what is emotional. In most cases, people got in debt by making emotional purchases of stuff that they could not afford, because those purchases made them feel good.
More Spock, less Snooki
Are we not evolved creatures? Are we going to let emotions guide our actions? You