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. The new offer is 50,000 points for spending $5,000 in first three months your card is open. Check it out 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
A good friend of mine passed away suddenly last week (see video below). Just like when I flew to see my dying dad, I needed a plane ticket asap. Instead of buying a ticket for $1,102, I used Delta frequent flyer miles that I have been saving. Delta frequent flyer miles never expire.
I suggest that all adults have frequent flyer miles in reserve for such emergencies.
Don’t compound a huge personal loss with a huge financial loss. An airline “bereavement fare” is only a slight discount off the expensive ticket. Bereavement fares 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 discount. Airlines have requirements that must be met and they call the funeral home to confirm. Even if I qualified to get the bereavement fare, Delta told me that it would still cost an even $1,000.
You can quickly earn 30,000 Delta frequent flyer miles (more than enough for a flight) with a Delta SkyMiles Gold Amex card for Personal as well as one for Business use. You can get BOTH and end up with 60,000 bonus miles. Here’s how to fill out the application if you aren’t an “official” business.
Wipe your credit card interest slate clean. Pay 0% on Purchases and 0% on Balance Transfers for 15 months + No Transfer Fee!! Oh, and No Annual Fee.
Apply for the card, then transfer your higher rate balances on other cards to this card during the first 60 days your account is open. You will pay NO BALANCE TRANSFER FEE! That’s huge. Any new balances that you transfer over after AFTER your account has been open 60 days, will get hit with a fee of 3% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5. You wanna avoid that 3% – which is the norm for balance transfer cards.