AA USAirMergersm

Fly American? This One’s For You


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

25 Dollar Bill CropSM

33% Off Everything at Amazon.com



UPDATE 12/3/13: It was sweet while it lasted, but this offer is now closed.

For a limited time – American Express will give you a $25 statement credit after you spend $75 at Amazon.com by 12/31/13.  The catch: You must register your eligible card(s) for the promotion.  To see if you’re in with the in-crowd, login to your Amex account and scroll down to see “Offers For You” (screenshot below).

My Modus Operandi:  I registered my cards and then popped over here to buy Amazon e-Gift Cards.  If you click my link, it will cost you the same price, but I’ll thank you today for a tiny tasty referral credit I’ll get from Amazon on Tuesday.

Buying e-Gift Cards meets the requirement and lets you leisurely spend the money at Amazon.com.  I once bought gift cards for myself for $75 each, I received an email with the gift card code.  I entered the code in my Amazon account and the $75 is banked in my Amazon account (screenshot below).

This does not appear to be a targeted offer.  Although I received only one email about this offer, I registered my other cards here.  Then, I got emails from Amex thanking me

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SmallBusinessSaturday ShopSmallCircle Smaller

Register Now For Shop Small – Get $10 Per Amex


SmallBusinessSaturday-ShopSmallCircle-smallerRegistration for Small Business Saturday is now open.  Click here to register your American Express cards.  You’ll get $10 statement credit per registered card when you use it to spend $10 or more in a transaction this Saturday, November 30th.

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 business.

If you don’t have an American Express card yet, there may still be time to get in on this hot, credit card credit action.  While you’re applying, here’s why you should add additional users.

American Express has many personal and business cards.  I’m a fan of the Starwood & Delta cards.  To pick a card, any card, 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.

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New 100 Bill

Do You Want $200?


New $100 BillHere’s an opportunity for some free money.  You’ll get $200 tax free if you get the new Chase Freedom card, and spend $500 on it in the first 3 months that you have it.  If you aren’t an ultra-maroon or filthy rich, you might wanna check it out.

$500 is only $167/month x 3.  Use the card to pay for your phone bill, internet, TV, gasoline, groceries, banjo lessons – whatever!  Checkout my post on Amazon Payments to see how you can use the card to pay someone (maybe your landlord) money you owe.  Then pay off the card with the cash that you were going to use to pay for your stuff in the first place.

No catch.  The Chase Freedom card is the Visa that I carry in my wallet.  I got this card years ago when they last had the $200 offer.  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.

It never has an annual fee.  It pays 1% cash back on all purchases.  It pays 5% cash back on various categories that change every quarter.  For example, from October 1st – December 31st, it pays 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon.com and these select department stores.

Again, this $200 is tax free, so it’s more like what you have left after paying taxes on $300 – $400 earned at your job – depending upon which tax bracket you are in.

If you and your significant other get the card, well, you’ll be able to afford roast beast and taters this Christmas!


This content is not provided or commissioned by the company whose  products are featured on this site. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or  evaluations provided here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been  reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser. This site may be  compensated through the Advertiser’s affiliate programs.

Fred Flintstone

I Feel Like Quicken Tonight (2014)


fred_flintstoneI’ve been using Quicken for years.  If you wanna dip your Fred Flintstone sized big toe in the Quicken pool, there is a Mac version and five PC versions.  I think the Quicken Starter Edition for PC will do just fine.  They all come with a 60-day money back guarantee. You might give it a whirl for a couple months.

I started with Quicken Deluxe, never tried Quicken Premier, and now use Quicken Home & Business.  Why’d I do that?  Because I got a free upgrade!

One of the greatest things about Quicken is that with one click, it will go out to all of your financial accounts and bring in all of your new transactions. It goes to your checking, savings, CDs, credit cards, stock, retirement and brokerage accounts – and scrapes in the new info. You can see your empire in one place!

It makes tax time quick and painless – especially if you itemize deductions.

Another great feature is that Quicken 2014 comes with a free Quicken App that syncs your desktop and your iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. Now you will know exactly where your finances stand, even if you are out of town. No need to check into several bank websites. It’s all in the free Quicken app. I whipped up a li’l Chip’s Money Tips example of a Quicken account for you screenshot lovers:

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Mrs Olsen Folgers Cup

Over 17% Off Starbucks Gift Cards


mrs_olsen_folgers_cupAre 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!

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Crash Coach U CroppedSM

Jock Straps, Bunsen Burners and Passive Income


Crash & Coach U”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!

chip_on_3rd_rock_crsm2Passive 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

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Launder That Rubber Band o’ Cards


CardCashLogoDo 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.

AutoSlash Is Still Workin’ It


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:


How To Be An Amex Merchant (+ Profit On Small Business Saturday)


PodcastLogosCombo2A 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

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