$252 Tax Free in Two Hours


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252WyoHowdy Numbnuts! This is for folks who are watching their nickels, as well as deal-seekers. We have a pretty cool 7-week window of opportunity here for you to clear $252-$300 tax free. Plus $100 if this is new to you.

The Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card (boy that’s a lot of ®s for a name) is a card that pays 5% cash back in categories that change quarterly. What separates this card from other 5% cash back cards, is that you are only limited to $300 cash back in the 5% categories per calendar year. The others are $75 per quarter.

I love to use my Citi Dividend card for opportunities like this. It has “Drugstores” as one of its 5% cash back categories through March 31, 2014. CVS is a drugstore. Heck, I could earn $300 cash back at CVS in one stop!

Of course, I don’t need $6,000 in bunion pads, wart remover and unmentionables – which I won’t mention. Alas, CVS is more than opiates and Whitman Samplers. Here’s how you can easily get $300 without actually buying $6K in stuff.

Before I forget, you can 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.

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Old Friends Simon And Garfunkel2

Things I Did To Make Easy Money in 2013


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old-friends-Simon-and-Garfunkel2My old friend and CMT reader Lee suggested I do a post detailing all the booty I hauled in last year.  Here you go!

There are plenty of things that have nothing to do with credit cards.  I’ll get to those momentarily.  But… I got 14 new credit cards that gave me $2,273 cash back and 425,000 airline miles and hotel bonus points – all tax free!  I didn’t pay for a plane ticket all year.  I earmarked that cash back dough as “mad money” to make playing in the World Series of Poker not seem like frivolous idiocy.

My Strategy
I use cards because cash is handled by hobos, hookers and booger-eating morons.  Not only do I like the firewall that a credit card puts between merchants, thieves and my money – but I also like the perks.  I use a credit card to pay for everything possible, and then pay the card off in full with money I would have otherwise used to buy the stuff in the first place.

I usually only carry an American Express and a Visa in my wallet.  But sometimes, I use

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TargetBullseye

Cyber Panty Raid on Target


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TargetBullseyeAs you probably have heard, a few weeks ago hoodlums pulled a cyber panty raid on Target’s database of customer information.  They gathered semi-public information (names, addresses, phone numbers and emails) on 70 million people.

In an effort to calm the hysteria, Target is offering a year of free credit monitoring at creditmonitoring.target.com.  I found out about this from an email sent to me from TargetNews@target.bfi0.com.

Whoa!  Rule #1 of e-crimestoppers is to be suspicious of any weird looking URL in an email.  When I got the email, I figured it was some young-toughs out on a little cyber phishing expedition.  Maybe even the folks who stole the data from Target.  I deleted it.

Turns out the email was legit.  It was from Target’s email marketing company Big Foot Interactive.  You may have received previous Target emails from them if you are a regular shopper.

Still suspicious?  Go to Target.com and click on the “important notice: data incident involving certain guest information” near the top of the page to see for yourself.  It only takes a minute to sign up.  If someone tries to open a credit card or get a loan in your

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Amazon Prime Free 30 Day Trial


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AmazonPrimeFreeTrialBlack

Amazon Prime is more than just free two-day shipping.  It’s also a desert topping.  Wait, that’s Shimmer.

Amazon Prime is kinda like NetFlix.  It streams 41,000 movies and TV shows to over 650 compatible devices and TVs.  As I wrote in 257 Channels and Nothing On, it may not be worth $1,000 a year to watch Honey Boo Boo and your Duck Dynasty via cable or satellite when these handy-dandy inexpensive program options are out there.

Only the primary Amazon Prime member can get the instant video streaming.  So if you piggy-backed onto someone else’s Amazon Prime account for free shipping (they allow up to four people to do that), you may have to give this free 30 day trial a whirl to see if you want your own account.  Amazon Prime also gives you access to 350,000 Kindle titles to borrow for free for you fancy pants, high fallutin’ intellectual types.

The free shipping is pretty handy at Christmas.  Instead of flying across the country with Legos and skillets, I buy stuff for my kin on Amazon and have them ship it free to my family back east.

Amazon Prime costs $79/year.  Click here for the free 30 day trial to help you decide if it’s for you.

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UberGlass

Uber and UberX — $10 Off


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UberGlassWith all the Christmas and New Year’s parties, there may be times when you should leave your car and grab a cab.

Grabacab is also the name of my favorite Genesis song.

You might wanna give Uber a whirl.  If you haven’t heard of Uber, it is an easy to use car service that is comparably priced to a cab.  Heck, that’s what it is even if you have heard of Uber.  It’s pretty simple.  Request a car from the app on your phone.  The closest one will pick you up in minutes.  You can even track them on the app.

If you sign up for Uber by clicking on my link which contains the promo code “uberChipCheese”, you’ll get $10 off your first Uber ride, and I’ll get a $10 credit too.

Once you are ready to try Uber, open the app, and choose which type of ride you want: UberX, Black Car or SUV.  You can also get a Fare Quote right there to help you make a decision.

Here are some actual Uber estimates that I got today versus a taxi cab.

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CostcoStore

3 More Costco Angles / Loopholes


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CostcoStoreFor me, paying for the privilege to shop at a store reeks of buying a seat license for the honor of purchasing season tickets, or a membership to a video rental store.  The latter may sound nuts, but in the 1990s I was a card carrying, dues paying member of Lakeside Family Video.

I’m sure a Costco membership works out financially for some people who buy stuff they actually need.  It was not worth $55 a year for me.  Like I said here, most of my purchases were for booze, taquitos and tube socks.

If you are thinking about joining Costco, here are three things you might wanna consider:

  1. Two people in a household can share a membership, even roommates.  Who are we to say what a household is?  It takes a village!  No H8!  Sisterhood of Traveling Pants!  Who’s with me?!?!?!  I know a couple dudes who got a Costco membership when they were roommates.  When they moved out into their own swingin’ bachelor pads, they kept the membership alive.  Sure, this may get them thrown in Costco jail if their cover is blown.  For now, they split the cost of membership.
  2. There is such a thing as a Costco Cash Card.  It’s a gift card that can be purchased and reloaded by a Costco member in denominations from $25 to $1,000.  Regardless of whether you are a member or not, if you have one, you may use it to
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Costco = Non-Members Can Buy Rx & Booze… Cheap!


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When it comes to Christmas parties, you are either throwin’ or goin’.  In both cases, alcohol is probably involved.  It can get pricey unless you have a still, or belong to a wholesale club.  But will you save enough to pay the membership?

As you know, membership has its privileges, but so does non-membership. Turns out, you don’t need a membership at Costco to buy prescription drugs and alcohol.  You pay the same price as members.  The same may apply to your area wholesale club.

Years ago, I joined Costco in the Bank of Bur (Burbank, CA).  All I’d buy at their li’l boutique was party fixins and tube socks.  Once I stocked up on athletic hosiery, I pulled the plug on my $55/year membership.

Thanks to Attorney Daniel Perlman for providing me with the chapter and verse from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Rule 27 (b). From Title 8, CCR §27 re: qualifications for licensing.

“Alcoholic beverages offered for sale shall be displayed and available for convenient inspection and purchase by the general public. The licensee shall not refuse to sell, for immediate delivery, to qualified purchasers any item of alcoholic beverages on display for sale.”

I confirmed all this with the store manager. She said that if the greeter at the door is unaware that you can walk in for alcohol or prescriptions, just tell them you are going to “Membership”, then go shop. Check your local Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s to see if your state makes this possible for you.

I Text On The Toilet Tshirt

Get Free Cell Phone Insurance ($600 Per Phone)


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i_text_on_the_toilet_tshirtA rash of people in my life have dropped their cell phones in public toilets.  How many people in a “rash”?  Three.

This post’s title is more than a Spam Catcher’s entrée – it’s true.  If you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo personal credit card, you’ll get up to $600 protection (subject to a $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft at no cost.  You can do this twice a year.  If you need it more frequently than that, what’s wrong with you?

Thinking of gaming the system?  Terms and conditions specifically address phones that are lost or “mysteriously disappear.”  This coverage is on the primary phone, and up to three secondary phones on the account.

What if you break your phone, take it swimming, or drop it in a Port-A-Let?  Your provider doesn’t let you out of your contract.  You have to buy a new phone unless you have insurance.

I used to pay Sprint $8/month for insurance before realizing it was a bad plan.  If I used

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Fly American? This One’s For You


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US Airways-American Airlines merger moves forwardThe official okie-dokie came down yesterday for the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.  This is an excellent chance to boost your American Airlines frequent flyer miles.

For an unknown amount of time, you can get a US Airways credit card that has no annual fee the first year and gives you 35,000 frequent flyer miles if you make one purchase.  Click here for that application.  I did that one and it worked like a charm.

A few years ago, I got a Northwest Airlines card and bonus frequent flyer miles before they were absorbed by Delta.  Last year, I did the same with Continental before they became United.

Once my miles were safe and sound, I eventually canceled the defunct airline’s card.  This made it possible to get the sign-up bonus on the surviving airline’s card.  It’s a double-dip of sorts.  Had I not canceled the card, the new and improved airline would have eventually replaced the old airline’s card with the new airline’s card – but no second sign-up bonus.

I don’t know if I had ever flown Northwest or Continental, but I knew their miles would eventually become Delta and United miles.  It’s the same with US Airways becoming American miles.

For the US Airways, use the link in this post above.  Other airlines have cards that offer nice sign-up bonuses.  Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards and more.  Email me if you have any questions about which card might be right for your situation.

Photo: nypost

Sweet Charity (Giving Tuesday)


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We have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday.

Being charitable is a good thing – especially if it will get the guy next to the red kettle to stop testing your eardrums with his bell.

Some people “tithe” – which is giving 10% of one’s income. It’s like God is their agent and that is his commission. I can hear Him now, “I put you in America, how about a little something for the effort? Thank you. Me Bless.”

We hit the lottery just by being born in the good ole US of A.  Everything else is gravy.  Still, some folks here have legitimate needs.

It’s great to do things for charities. If you were looking for ways to be able to give more to charities, I have a few suggestions that have worked for me.

  1. I have a savings account at my bank that I call my “Donation Fund”. Every month I have an automatic transfer from my checking to that fund. If your bank won’t give you a free interest bearing account, set one up at Capital One 360 Savings (.75%).  That pays interest, has no minimums and no monthly fees. EverBank (.86% for the first year) requires $1,500 to open the account.  It’s amazing how fast those funds will grow!
  2. Now that I have my Donation Fund, when I get a request to Save The Tatas, Bike
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