Are you a coffee-achiever like Mrs. Olsen? If those nouns sound like gibberish to you, congratulations on being under 40. I’m talking about the bean, man!
This week only – CardCash is offering Starbucks gift cards at over 17% off. Click here. Then click the BUY button at top left and search “Starbucks”. It’s already 14% off, but click “Edit My Cart” to type in coupon code 4MOREOFF to fill the discount to the rim for an additional 4% off the discounted price. That comes to roughly 17.44% off. Remember: Stay away from that last drop!
”Crash & Bernstein” is a TV show on Disney XD, in which I play Hank Urkhart: Coach – Science teacher. How’s that for a hyphenate? My purview is jock straps and Bunsen burners. Never the twain shall meet.
Between scenes, I was talking to the writing team who wrote the episode in which my character first appeared. Then another hyphenate, the head writer – executive producer, ambled over. He told the writing team, “You guys get another $500 this week, because Chip’s here.” It turns out there is something in the Writers’ Guild called a “character payment”. If you wrote the episode in which a character debuts, you get extra cash every episode in which that character reappears. This was my 5th time on the show. The guys get paid that extra bump even when they don’t write the episodes I’m in. Pretty sweet!
This conversation was a perfect storm for me: Comedy, Performing and Money. More specifically, Passive Income, which is income received on a regular basis with little or no effort required to maintain it. These guys worked hard coming up with Coach Urkhart, but they didn’t have to do anything else to keep getting paid for it. Even if they never worked another minute on the show, they’d still get a check in the mail every time my character came back. Nice!
Passive income was in the air that day. When I got home from the set, I was greeted with some mailbox money, a residual check from 3rd Rock From The Sun (the very first sitcom I ever did). That’s also where I had my first on-screen kiss. Unfortunately, that was with John Lithgow.
I worked two days on that episode over 16 years ago! The check was only $55, but still… it was $55! And all I had to do was reach into my mailbox.
When it comes to money, little amounts can become big amounts. Over the years, the total passive income I have received from that episode of 3rd Rock is six times what I was paid for those two days of work in 1997.
I hear ya. “Well that’s nice, ChipsMoneyTips, but I’m not a TV writer or actor. How can I get passive income?”
The first step is to squirrel away a little somethin’ somethin’ in
Do you have a rubber band around a stack of gift cards that you’d like to turn into cash? As I wrote about in In “Mr. Bojangles & The Plastic Jungle”, there are sites like CardCash and Raise that will buy your gift cards. You won’t get face value, but you’ll get back most of what’s on the card. CardCash says they pay up to 92%. Not too shabby.
These sites also sell gift cards at a discount. For example, Baja Fresh is 15% off at CardCash. Christmas is only six weeks away. Hello stocking stuffers.
Do you have any Visa or Amex gift cards? Maybe you’d rather pay your rent or mortgage with that money instead of blowing it on something you don’t need. You can load Visa, MasterCard or American Express gift cards at AmazonPayments.com. Then send the money on that card to a friend’s AmazonPayments account and have them give that cash to you. You can read more in my “Amazon Payments’ WebPay” post.
UPDATE 10/24: They sent an email this morning, slashing another $16.69, making my 3-day rate $40.68. The 90 seconds it took me to enter my info at AutoSlash has saved me $52.93 total so far!
Some of the big rental cars companies got their seat belts all in a bunch when AutoSlash rolled into town. The AutoSlash rental car search engine is one of my first loves. It’s different from Expedia or Orbitz, in that AutoSlash tracks your rental rate and rebooks you if they can find you a lower price. When that happens, they send you an email with the details. Pretty sweet.
Despite some of the big rental car companies not playing ball, I have had success booking a rental with those big companies using AutoSlash. I simply make a reservation elsewhere, then plug my rental info into AutoSlash where it says “Track a rental you’ve booked elsewhere”.
For an upcoming three-day rental, my buddy let me use his corporate code (‘cuz we are gonna conduct some high-level bidness). I didn’t think AutoSlash could find me a better deal than a corporate rate. So far, my rental has been slashed $36.24- from $93.61 to $57.37. And… they booked me into one of the forbidden rental car companies. Here’s my 2010 AutoSlash video:
A lot of my readers are comedians who sell merch on their websites – be it T-shirts, CDs, or downloads of their podcasts.
In my May post “This is for Podcasters, Comedians, Actors and… Everyone!!” I detailed how ANYONE could “make a lot of money selling something that won’t cost your customers anything” on Small Business Saturday. The only change is that the 2013 promotion gives a $10 statement credit when you spend $10 or more in a transaction, not the previous years’ $25 and $25.
In a nutshell, get yourself approved as an American Express merchant (see below). Tell your fan base to register their American Express cards for Small Business Saturday here, when enrollment begins on November 24th. Once registered, they will be able to receive ONE statement credit per registered card.
Let your fan base know that you will be selling Product X for $10 on November 30th. If they call or email you their American Express card info, and you process it on November 30th, they will get a $10 statement credit per registered card for patronizing your small business on that day. So, they got something for nothing.
To get the $10 statement credit on their registered Amex card, they must spend at least $10 in one transaction. Two $5 transactions will not work, but one of at least $10 will trigger the $10 statement credit. Authorized user cards can also register for the promotion. See more about that in “Make $100s Shopping Small”.
Small Business Saturday is meant for stand-alone brick and mortar businesses. But as Kay Clay at American Express Product Solutions Group has advised me, there are a couple ways that you can participate as an online small business.
Ms. Clay is happy to help you with this. USA & Canada can reach her at 800.528.0682, option 7, ext.55205 or via email. Kay wrote:
“You can feel safe advising your audience to first establish an American Express merchant account by calling 800-445-2639. It is free to set it up. We will need
Last year I picked up $300 worth of gift cards at my favorite restaurants at no cost to me.
It’s only five weeks until the 4th annual Small Business Saturday on November 30th. That is American Express’ SWEET promotion for consumers and small businesses where you get $10 statement credits when you spend $10 or more at a small business. Here are details.
This post is giving you the heads-up that you should call the number on the back of your American Express cards to get Authorized User cards for the adults in your home. Why? Authorized Users cards can also register for the $10 statement credits. As you can imagine, that could add up! More details in last year’s posts here and here. Keep in mind that last year it was a $25 credit when you spent $25, but it’s now $10 for $10.
If you don’t have an American Express card, here are my referral links to cards that
Scribbling an I.O.U. on a napkin may soon be a thing of the past. Options are running out for chronic cheapskates, welchers, and those who left their money in their other wallet.
Square Cash allows people to send and receive money just by sending an email. It is remarkably simple and free. Unlike PayPal, there is no logging in to websites to send or withdraw money. Just open up whatever thing you use to send an email. In the “To” space, put the email of the person to whom you wish to send money. Also “Cc” the email to email@example.com. In the “Subject”, type the amount you wish to send. See screen capture below.
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!
I shamelessly pimped my TV appearance in my post “Arsenio Says Bad Credit = Soul”, as a way to tell you how to get your free FICO score.
15 Point Drop - Two years ago, I got my free FICO from myfico.com. Last time I had 798 at EquiFax. This time I had 783. Why the 15 point drop? Over those two years, I refinanced two properties and got TWELVE new credit cards. I blame recent credit inquiries. 10 of the 12 new cards were obtained in the past six months, and got me almost 400,000 bonus points/miles.
What can I say? I am a rewards whore-der. My score will come back up soon.
If you want to cancel your free trial at myfico.com after getting your score, here’s how.
Okay, maybe I was just trying to sell some newspapers with that headline. In the second night of Arsenio’s new talk show, there is a taped piece in which he quizzes his employees to make sure they have “soul”. In it, he fires a guy just for having an 840 FICO credit score (850 is the maximum).
The guy who plays “Chip” the show’s Executive Producer looks familiar. I think it’s a funny bit!
You can get your actual FICO score for free at myfico.com by signing up for the 10 day free trial. If you are doing it just to get your score, be sure to cancel before the 10 days are up or you will pay $14.95 per month until you do. You can even cancel right after you get your score. You can do the free trial once every 24 months. Here’s the clip: