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:
Don’t confuse this with the Inuit Payment Network which involves a fleet of dogsleds, kayaks and some dude named Nanuk.
No More Trips To The Bank! The money goes directly from the payor’s bank account to the receiver’s bank account. Most deposits hit your bank in 1-2 business days. Mine did. It’s free to send money, and only 50 cents to receive it. To initiate a payment or request money, all you need is the other person’s email address.
Tenants can use this to pay their rent. Heck, I’d eat 50 cents to give mine this convenience. When I first started landlording, I used to waste a lot of time collecting rent. I had a tenant who used to go to his bank to withdraw the rent money, and then give me the cash, which I then had to physically deposit in my bank. That’s a lot of needlessly wasted time.
You can send money to kids away at school, friends you owe dough – anyone in the
For better or worse, today marks a quarter century since I left my 9 to 5 cubicle. “Chip Chinery – Director of Communications at The Bank Mart”. That was my handle. I graduated with a degree in Psychology, worked as a TV cameraman, then as a banker. That’s pretty much the natural progression. But all along, what I really wanted to do was be a full-time, professional stand-up comic.
As those of you who have taken a leap of faith can attest, it isn’t easy. There’s a saying, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” Well, that makes a nice bumper sticker, but there are some bankrupt and homeless people who may disagree.
Fear of failure keeps most of us from taking a shot at what we really want to do. This is especially true if you are used to eating every day and sleeping inside. It certainly postponed my launch. I thought, “What if it doesn’t work out? THEN what will I do?” For some people, it is easier to take the route of nothing ventured – nothing lost. If you never try, you never fail. After all, no one wants to be washed up at 23.
I’d been working at The Bank Mart in Bridgeport, Connecticut for six months when I had an epiphany. I shouted, “Today doesn’t suck. EVERYDAY sucks!” I loved the people, but hated the job. So, I walked into my in-law apartment on the Housatonic River and pulled out a book I just finished about stand-up comedy called Comic Lives. Looking for an answer, I closed my eyes, flipped through it and then stopped on a random page. I asked for a sign to tell me what I should do. Where my finger landed it said, “It
I usually run a little late to the technology party. It’s a combination of not feeling the need for the newest gadget and my innate frugality. Although I was born in the ’60s, my brain was set to The Great Depression. “Waste not, want not” and all that jazz, flatfoot.
Twelve months ago, I finally bought an HDTV. Last month, I ended my 16 year laptop hiatus. My previous laptop had a whopping 80MB hard drive. That’s not a typo – 80 MEGAbytes. Just enough room for a Word document that says “I need to get a larger hard dri”.
And a couple weeks ago, I jumped on the NETFLIX train with a 1 month free trial. It streams perfectly on my HDTV and laptop. Who knew?
This was driven by my desire to do a li’l binge viewing of Breaking Bad, starting with Episode One. I’d never seen the show but a lot of my friends are nuts about it. Better late to the water cooler than never. Besides, it don’t cost nuthin’, and I wasn’t watching much of anything else except Under The Dome. Man, that show’s like LOST with a lid!
I also checked out a few of the NETFLIX documentaries, including The Queen of Versailles, who is the polar opposite person I am fiscally (although we have the same taste in rattlesnake lederhosen). As I wrote about in “257 Channels and Nothing On”, it may not be worth $1,000 a year to watch Honey Boo Boo via cable or DirecTV with handy and inexpensive options like NETFLIX.
If you wanna take NETFLIX out for a spin, here is the link to the 1 month free trial.
Back in the 1900s, I ran the New York City Marathon in 4:10:00. The winner did it in 2:15:00. If he was so good, why couldn’t he go the FOUR hours like The Chipper? It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Ahhh… Classic Chinery. At the time, I was juicing (the out-of-a-bottle or rind kind, not the baseball-player kind).
If you are a healthy Naked Juicer, there may be some money in it for you. I don’t recommend lawsuits as a money making strategy, but if you are a Naked Juice patron, you could get up to $75 with proof of purchase, or up to $45 without proof of purchase. This is from a proposed class action settlement.
You can file your claim at this website. The direct link to the claim form is here. Thanks to readers Tim & Jack for the heads-up on this. They said it takes less than a minute to fill out the form. Keep those tips comin’!
A trip across the country is now affordable – assuming free is in your price range. Here’s how to get flights and multiple nights in a swanky hotel for zip, zilch, nada.
You can pull this off with Starpoints. To get a bunch of Starpoints, there are nice sign-up bonuses with Starwood Preferred Guest (personal and business) cards.
This offer will give you 10,000 bonus Starpoints for spending $1 and 15,000 bonus Starpoints for meeting the spending requirement within 6 months. You get a point for every buck you spend. Spending $5,000 within 6 months will give you 30,000 Starpoints. The fine print says “This offer is also not available to applicants who have had this product within the last 12 months.”
If you and your significant other, gal-pal or homeslice each get a card and meet the spending requirement – you’ll have enough Starpoints for two round trip flights and multiple hotel nights. I type from experience. I’ve done it! People living at the same address can combine their Starpoints. This is ideal if one is an organization freak and the other keeps misplacing his toothbrush. So, if a husband and wife got their own cards… do the math!
Starwood “Nights & Flights” is a fantastic use of your Starpoints for a
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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