SmallBusinessSaturday ShopSmallCircle Smaller

Shop Small is ON – Get Out There!


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SmallBusinessSaturday-ShopSmallCircle-smallerAmerican Express’ VERY GENEROUS Small Business Saturday promotion is happening right now – November 29th. If you have already registered your cards, remember, they have juiced the prize! You can get up to three $10 statement credits per registered card.

I really like this promotion because it is a win-win for small businesses and consumers. Basically, Amex is buying you something at your local businesses.

Check out the map of participating shops at ShopSmall.com.  Get all the nitty-gritty here. Spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location on Saturday, November 29, 2014. Do that three times per card for three $10 credits.

If you don’t have time to shop the Mom & Pops

Do what I do. Walk into your favorite participating restaurant that has gift cards. Have them charge each of your registered Amex cards three times for $10 per transaction. Total up the transactions and have them throw it on one gift card for future use.

You give business to the businesses – AND YOU GET FREE STUFF. It’s a win-win!

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CapOne360BF1

Get $100 + $100 at Capital One 360 “Sale”


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CapOne360BF1Now through Monday night ONLY, Capital One 360 will give you a $100 BONUS if you open a 360 Checking account and a $100 BONUS if you open a 360 Savings account.  Click on the links to learn more and open your accounts.

I have both of these accounts.  Once you meet the requirements (below) for the bonuses, there are No Minimums. No fees. No tricks. No brainer.

Black Friday is about deals.  Where else can you actually earn $200 in ten minutes today?

When you get back from the jungle of credit card wielding, sleep-deprived bargain hunters, reload your bankroll!

Let me know if you have questions. Details here:

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Uber GiveRidesGetRides+logo+30

Uber’s “$30 Free Ride” Is Ending


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Uber - GiveRidesGetRides+logo+30+CMTUber’s $30 sign up bonus for newbies ends this Saturday night.  If you have not signed up yet, click here to sign-up for Uber.  Then you will get $30 off your next ride. I will too, but his isn’t about me.  It’s about you, right?  The $30 bonus will drop to $20 when your chariot turns into a pumpkin Saturday night at midnight.  Sign up now and use the free ride later!

As I said in my review of Uber, there may be times when you should leave your car and grab a cab.  Grabacab is also the name of my favorite Genesis song.  That’s GOLD!  What, I can’t repeat my jokes?  C’mon, the Rolling Stones still play Satisfaction every show.

Go on now, git!  Here’s that fancy link that will get you $30 off your next ride.

Amex SmalBizSat3x10 2014

Small Business Saturday – Register Now!


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Amex - SmalBizSat3x$10 - 2014Oh, it’s on.  As of now, you can register your American Express credit cardsssssss (that’s the super-plural) for Small Business Saturday.  Do it at ShopSmall.com.  You can get $30 in statement credits per card.  Read my post $240 for Hooters and Me for more info and how I do it – quickly.

This is a great win-win. Basically, Amex is buying you stuff at small businesses on November 29th.  If you don’t have an Amex card but want in on some of this hot, free-money action, you still have time.

Which Cards Work?

I’m a fan of the Delta Airlines & Starwood hotel and travel cards.  Click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for more info.  Email me if you have any questions. Some of the cards that qualify are:

  • Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card
  • Amex EveryDay Credit Card
  • Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card
  • Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Premier Rewards Gold Card
  • TrueEarnings® Card from Costco

UFB125 Combo2

1.25% at UFBDirect


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UFB Direct has made a big leap in interest rates on your cash.  To get the 1.25%, you have to have at least $25,000 in the account.  If you don’t have $25K, you will only earn .2%.  In that case, you’d be better off leaving it at Capital One 360 Savings where you get .75% on every penny.

If you have $25K, click here for more info on the UFB Direct Savings account.

Years ago, UFB Direct had some of the highest interest rates like they do now.  But then other whipper-snappers beat them out and I moved my dough elsewhere.  This is one reason I leave a buck in old bank accounts and sign in online now and then to keep my account from going dormant.  Of course, my Quicken signs in for me every time I tell it to update all of my accounts.

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SmallBusinessSaturday ShopSmallCircle

$240 for Hooters & Me!


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SmallBusinessSaturday-ShopSmallCircle-smallerAmerican Express’ VERY GENEROUS Small Business Saturday promotion is back on November 29th.  This year, they have juiced the prize!  You can get up to three $10 statement credits per registered card.

I really like this promotion because it is a win-win for small businesses and consumers.  Basically, Amex is buying you something at your local businesses.

Get all the nitty-gritty here.  In a nutshell, you must register your Amex card(s) at ShopSmall.com as soon as November 16.  Then spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location on Saturday, November 29, 2014.  Do that three times per card for three $10 credits.

To pick a card, any card, click here to get the ball rolling.  Email me if you have any questions.

If you don’t have time to shop the Mom & Pops

Do what I do.  Walk into your favorite participating restaurant that has gift cards.  Have them charge each of your registered Amex cards three times for $10 per transaction.  Total up the transactions and have them throw it on one gift card for future use.

You give business to the businesses – AND YOU GET FREE STUFF. It’s a win-win!

Double, Triple… Gazillionize the Promotion

Authorized users on your account can register for the promotion as well.  Amex makes it easy to add a card member to your account.  Sign in to your Amex account online, click

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Incorporate 101sm

To Inc. or Not To Inc.


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Incorporate_101smIt’s Election Day, unless you are going to cancel out my vote in which case it is next Tuesday.  Liberal, Conservative and an all shades in between – I don’t know anyone who willingly pays more taxes than they owe (although you can here).  With the goal of paying lower taxes, many of my showbiz friends form S-corporations for themselves.  But should you?

Last week, a couple Chip’s Money Tips subscribers asked me that very question.  Unlike Harry Truman, I passed the buck to my accountant Ernest Hicks.  He is an Enrolled Agent.  If you have any questions about what he wrote, please click here to email Ernest.  Take it away, Ernie!

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Sprinkler Boug

It’s Not Water, It’s H2O


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We just had our first November rain in Los Angeles.  That means it’s time for my annual post about turning off your sprinklers.  Woo-Hoo!!  That’s right.  “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle” also applies to money tips.

The reason you should do that is really SEXY: Saving on your Sewer Service Charge (SSC). Hubba-hubba. My most recent bill’s SSC was only $15.46. It had been TEN TIMES as high – as much as $155.55 until I wised up.

I will tell you the answer first, because the explanation could put you in REM 3. If you have automatic sprinklers and you live in an area that charges you a sewer usage charge based upon water you use – you might wanna shut them off until spring time. I live in the warm and sunny, drought-riddled Los Angeles “Valley”. I turn off my lawn sprinklers between the first rain in November until March-April.

To be clear, the savings I just mentioned was not money I banked from bill to bill by cutting back on the water itself, that I used to soak my lawn.  That was additional savings in the “Water” portion of the bill.  I’m talking about a separate part of the bill under “Sanitation Charges” called the Sewer Service Charge.   See below.

I started doing this a few years ago and my lawn, in full sun, has not suffered a bit. Individual results may vary. Void where prohibited without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball.

Serve your environmentalist side with your “green” stance on water conservation while currying favor with your inner capitalist by keeping “green” in your wallet.

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Attention: “Frequent Flyer” Floozies!!


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Wacky-Packages-Series-9-1974-3-MosquitoesAmerican Airlines just announced that in the second quarter of 2015, US Airways Dividend Miles will become American Airlines AAdvantage Miles.

If you’d like to pick up 40,000 US Airways Dividend Miles that will magically become American AAdvantage miles in Q2 of 2015, click here to apply for the card.

All you have to do is make one purchase and 40,000 miles are yours!  There is also an $89 annual fee.  Heck, get yourself some Wacky Packages, a bunch of bananas, ANYTHING and you’ll meet the spending requirement.  This is a cheap and easy way to get a slew of miles.  You should apply before the offer goes away.

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Wayniefeds

Should You Take Early Retirement?


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wayniefedsbiggie

Please Click here to Tweet this post (I hope).

Have you seen the Geico ad in which Kenny Rogers is playing poker while singing “You Gotta Know When To Hold ‘em”?  Mi amigo Wayne is the guy who tells The Gambler “I get the gist, yeah.” See the funny ad below.

Wayne and I were talking the other day about whether or not it would be a smart idea to take early retirement from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) pension.

Maybe you find yourself in a similar conundrum at your place of employment.  I will use the SAG pension as an example.  Hopefully, some of the decisions we face will be similar to yours.

SAG would pay out 100% of what is waiting for us if we don’t take it until we’re 65. We could take it as early as 55, but we’d only get 70% of what we’d get at age 65.  That is because for every month we take it early, the benefit is reduced .25%.

My initial reaction was that the bean counters who pore over the actuarial tables are not going to make it more attractive to pay out money early. But after running the numbers, and conferring with two accountants and three financial planners, it looks like early retirement might be a good move.  There are some factors to consider.

In A Nutshell

I realize that lots of folks want a quick answer.  Suffice it to say, if I were 55 and never

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