Car 16 Years 176700

My Car Can Drive Itself


Car_16_years_176700-cropped-mileageMy car can drive itself.  Well, it could, if it were human; and had its license.  In other words, my car is 16.

I don’t cotton to car payments.  I’ve had two cars in 29 years.  As I said in My Hooptie’s Total Recall, my first car ran for 13 years and 328,536 miles.  My 1999 Infiniti just turned 16 and 176,700 miles.  It’s just getting broken in and looks pretty sweet.  Thankfully, I don’t live where rust never sleeps.

About a year ago, I cancelled the Collision portion of my insurance coverage.  So, please don’t hit me.

My insurance agent said my car falls in the “classic/antique car arena”.  What tipped him off, my cassette deck?  My Thomas Guide map in the glove box?  A glove box?

He said it would be worth about $1,000 if totaled.  Well, that is my deductible, sooo… This must be what it feels like to stop taking a medication and start greeting every day as a gift.

Lots of folks assume any 16 year old car must always be in the shop.  In the three

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3 Delta Bonuses Expire Tomorrow Night


3The jacked-up bonuses on THREE Amex Delta Rewards cards expire tomorrow, June 30th.

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website then “Airline Miles” to get up-to-date info on these cards and to apply. Email me if you have any questions.

On the personal AND business cards, get 50,000 Delta SkyMiles after spending $2,000 in 3 months of card opening.  That’s an average of only $22/day.  Use the credit card to pay bills that you otherwise would have paid using cash or check.  Use the miles to take free round trips!  Check out: 11 Ways To Meet A Spending Requirement.

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ABC – Always Be Closing???


“Is it smart to close a credit card? If yes, when?”  That’s the gist of emails I received recently from Brad, Jan, Sam, and Tony.  Here’s what I do.

I try out a lot of different cards.  If I decide that I no longer want to keep a card after trying it out for a year, I do three things before cancelling.

  1. Call the number on the back of the card and ask if they will waive the annual fee for another year. If no…
  2. Ask if they have a free version of this card. Many do.  That keeps the card’s credit history alive.  If no…
  3. Ask if they will transfer the credit line to another card that I have at their bank. My experience is that they usually move all but $500 of the credit line.  This keeps one’s current available credit limit amount over all your cards at their bank virtually the same – even if you cancel the card.
  4. If I strike out on all three options… only then do I cancel the card.
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Chip6kMan By Croston Sm

A Colossus Breakdown, WSOP-style


chip6k (by Croston)250As Travolta said in Saturday Night Fever, “You know what I wanna do?  Strut.”  No humble-brag here.

Over the weekend, I was in Las Vegas at the World Series of Poker.  I played in The Colossus event. With a field of 22,374 entries, it set a world record for the largest single poker tournament event ever held.

22,374 entrants. I beat 22,005 of them. I came in 369th. That paid $6,331.  I’m the Six Thousand Dollar Man!  Bettor, stronger, faster. One doesn’t usually crow about finishing 369th in anything, but that’s the top 1.6%.

See the video below (shot by my friend The Coaster) when they announced that we made it into the money during Day Two.

Affording A “Bucket List” Item

bucket-listI like playing poker, but plunking down a $565 entry fee + hotel + travel is an expensive, if not frivolous undertaking.

If you have a Poker Tournament, Scuba Trip, or Ski Vacation on your Bucket List, here are some tips as to how you might be able to afford it.

This is what I did to make it happen:


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Get $225 By Spending $500


225 dollarsWould you spend $500 to get $225 tax-free cash back?  For a limited time – you can!  Chase just increased the sign-up bonus on their Freedom card from $100 to $200 cash back.  They also sweetened the pot with an extra $25 if you add an authorized user.

The card has 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.  See details below.

This is the Visa that I carry in my wallet.  It never has an annual fee.  You always get 1% cash back on everything.  You get 5% cash back on various categories that change every every 3 months like Gas Stations, Restaurants, Movies and Groceries.

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website and then “Cash Back”.  Email me if you have any questions!

To get the bonus, you need to meet the $500 spending requirement in the first three months your account is open.  That might be pretty easy to do by just paying your phone, internet and cable bills.  $500 in three months is an average of only $5.55 per day.  Like I said, it’s pretty easy to achieve.  Read my post 11 Ways To Meet A Spending Requirement for some helpful ideas.

Remember, you don’t have to give a card to an authorized user.  You just have to give a name that gets printed on a card for the authorized user to use.  Maybe you get one for Pampero Firpo or Ivan the Terrible.  Ha ha.  As you know, they are the same person.

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Airbnb Logo

My Airbnb Experiment


airbnb-logoI am a land baron – kinda like The Donald but with a better coiffure.  When a significant portion of my vast real estate portfolio became vacant (my furnished guest house), I decided to dabble in a little Airbnb.

In case you are saying, “Air-what-the-what?” is a website where people can list their home for rent and find places to rent – often short-term.  People list anything from a single family house right down to a shared room in an apartment.

It means extra cash for an Airbnb host and often a less expensive alternative to a hotel for an Airbnb guest.

If you are new to Airbnb, use this link to sign up and we will both get $25 off our next stay in an Airbnb place.  Not “our” stay, your stay and my stay – unless you wanna bunk up.  You can pay for one night and I’ll pick up the other.  I digress.

Nothing New Under The Sun

Renting out part of your home is not a new thing.  In fact, you don’t even have to pay taxes on the income if you rent out your home for less than 15 days a year.

You might use that fortnight to test the Airbnb waters and pocket some tax-free cash.

Contrary to what you may have read, it is not illegal.  Here is the chapter and verse from the IRS:  “If you rent property that you also use as your home and you rent it less than 15 days during the tax year, do not include the rent you receive in your income and do not deduct rental expenses.”

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5 Days Left (My “Cromance”)


You have 5 days to get some extra tax-free cash.  I’m talking about $300.00 – $500.00+!!

Chase bumped the sign up bonus on TWO cards for a limited time.  This offer expires Monday (that’s Memorial Day, folks).  Dilly not, nor dally.


  • The Ink Plus Business card increased to 60,000 points (worth $600 cash) when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months your card is open.
  • The Ink Cash Business card increased to $300 when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months your card is open.

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website, then “Business Cards” for up-to-date deals, terms, and conditions on these cards. Email me if you have any questions.

Why Get These?

Let’s face it.  I’m smitten with plastic.  My cromance (card romance) compels me to take advantage of these bonus signup offers.  I use the resulting bonus free cash to splurge on otherwise frivolous things.  Personally, I’m eyeballing a new grill and picnic table.

How To Achieve The Spending Requirement

Check out my post 11 Ways To Meet A Spending Requirement for easy,

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Free Movie Fridays via Fandango


Who doesn’t like a 2-fer?  April 22 thru August 21 – go here on a Friday.  Buy two or more tickets to a Friday movie and one will be free (up to $19.50 value).  You must buy your tickets with a Visa Signature card.  Plug in your Visa at the above link to see if it is eligible.

You can cut to the front of the cyber line if you have a Chase Visa Signature card.  With it, you can buy your tickets Wednesday – Friday for any film currently on sale for that Friday showing.

Limit 1 complimentary ticket per Visa Signature card per 30 days.  Multiple cards = multiple times you can do the offer.

If you used a different card each of the 18 weeks, this could save you $351.00! That’s only 4-5 cards total.  If you and you movie-buddy each happen to have two Visa Signature cards, you can make it happen!  Knowwhattamean?

Want some of this hot 2-fer movie action, but don’t have a Visa Signature card?

Click on “Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers” at the top right side of this website 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.


Dude, Where’s My Refund?



I filed my taxes yesterday, so… Dude, where’s my refund? Don’t bogart my bucks! The only thing better than getting a tax refund is knowing when you will get it. Pop over to

It’s very user-friendly. Yes, I am suggesting you spend some of your free time browsing the Internal Revenue Service website. Do I know how to have fun or what? Don’t harsh my mellow.

Fistful Of Dollars

Here’s Where You Can Shove Your Tax Refund


fistful_of_dollarsMany of us are about to get back the “no-interest loan” we gave Uncle Sam.  Generally speaking, that’s what a tax “refund” is.  If you don’t have debt to pay down, you might wanna put a fistful of those dollars in your checking account – and fuhgeddaboudit.

Most checking accounts these days are not free unless you jump through hoops.  Banks vary, but you usually have to pay at least $10/month unless you have a daily balance of about $1,500.  You should not have to pay ANY monthly fees to have a personal checking account.  I never have.

People don’t think of it his way, but the money you pay for a checking account is usually after-tax money.  You might have to earn $200-$300 at your job to have enough money left after taxes to pay your bank $150 in fees – every year.  That adds up!

Make the best of your tax refund.  If you already have free checking and no debt, start building that Emergency Fund.  EverBank’s Yield Pledge Money Market Account pays 1.40% guaranteed for six months on balances up to $50K. I’ve had it. FDIC & legit.  And a pretty sweet rate!

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