“Fan” is short for “Fanatic” – a person marked by excessive enthusiasm, intense devotion… and body paint. Fans like me gotta root for the laundry, despite my Bengals’ stripes having mustered only four winning seasons in two decades.
Never an annual fee. Make one purchase and get bonus points worth $100 in cash back statement credits. Check it out!
A playa can’t make it rain if his grips are locked in a CD. Are you on the hunt for a place to park your cash and earn a li’l cheddar – but want to be able to access it?
A great savings rate for a liquid account is EverBank’s Yield Pledge Money Market Account. It pays 1.25% guaranteed for six months on balances up to $50K. To earn more, you’d have to sock it away in a CD for over a year or dabble in loan sharkuterie.
I’ve had this account before. All legit. FDIC insured. $1,500 to open. Must keep $5,000 daily average to avoid $8.95 monthly service fee. Free online banking and mobile check deposits – because people love photographing the fruit of their labor.
Everbank’s Pledge Checking Account is also 1.25% guaranteed for six months on balances up to $100K.
Since Everbank’s deals are for 1st time account holders, and I am no longer an EverBank virgin, I am going to move my dough to Ally Bank Savings (.95%). Other bigger banks that have decent rates are FNBO (.85%) and Capital One 360 Savings (.75%).
I’ve been known to give Ulysses S. Grant certificates as gifts. Go to the bank. Get a crisp bill. Pop it in the bank’s official “I didn’t know what to get you, but use this to buy it” envelope. Scribble “Merry Christmas! From Uncle Chip” on the outside. Then enjoy some figgy pudding.
You can use it like cash, because it IS cash! Alas, I’m old school. Nowadays, people give prepaid Visa, MasterCard and American Express gift cards.
If you got one of these gift cards, and the small remaining balance is now starting to nag you, here are three easy ways to use it up:
- Gas Stations – I had 11 cents remaining on an American Express gift card. Yes, ELEVEN cents. I’m thrifty, but even I was thinking I could toss it. Nope! I pulled up to the pump and wrung almost half a cup of petrol out of that piece of plastic.
- Amazon.com gift cards – You can get a get a gift card for any amount (at least 15 cents). I did it with 47 cents. Put yourself as the recipient. You’ll get the email immediately. Enter the gift Claim Code and have that amount credited to your Amazon account for future purchases. It never expires. See screen captures below.
- Split Tender transactions – If you know how much is on your gift card, tell the cashier that you’d like to pay that amount first. I did this once at my grocery with three American Express gift cards on one purchase. Thankfully no one was behind me or I’m not sure I could have withstood the eye-rolling and disdain. So, split tenders are my least favorite way. This is not to be confused with chicken tenders – my favorite poultry presentation. Mmm…transactions.
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Are you a coffee-achiever like Mrs. Olsen? If those nouns sound like gibberish to you, congratulations on being under 30. I’m talking about the bean, man!
Starbucks will email you an eGift card worth $2.60 at Starbucks. This is a Starbucks Blonde Roast promotion, but you can use the $2.60 for anything there. You’ll get the eGift in about an hour. You don’t have to post anything on your wall.
Remember: Stay away from that last drop!
Well lookie there. It’s 2013. I wish you a Happy & Prosperous New Year!
Thanks to you avid readers spreading the word to your friends, the popularity of Chip’s Money Tips jumped in 2012. Free subscriptions to the newsletter increased 38% and visitors more than tripled! I am so happy my “Money tips in a candy-coated shell” are helping so many.
Most of all, I am thrilled when I hear your success stories of tips you used to make your lives better. Please keep those cards and letters (and comments) coming!
In case you missed ‘em, here’s a list of the Top 12 most popular posts of 2012:
Now though Thursday, January 3rd – Carbonite will give you a $20 Amazon gift card if you use my referral link to buy their computer file back-up service. Try it for free for 15 days. If you like it, it’s $59/year (that’s $1.14/week). The first year is effectively $39 with the gift card.
I have used Carbonite to automatically back up my computer files for years. I have 500GB of photos, videos, music, spreadsheets and documents on Carbonite.
Thankfully, I have not had to use Carbonite to get my files back in the event of theft, fire, or computer crash. I have used it numerous times when I have accidentally deleted files. I was able to instantly retrieve the backup version from Carbonite, and continue working. You can even access any backed up files from any computer connected to the www – or even from your iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry.
It’s well worth the $1.14/week for that peace of mind.
Did I say I was giving away three iPad Minis – I meant three Mini Pads. Oops! Boy is my face red. But… I am no pumpkin eater (as in cheater cheater).
I was a FOOL to think a Mayan calendar could bail me out of having to make good on this giveaway. Looks like “Mayan” is Mayan for liar! I guess they simply got tired of making that calendar. That or their village got invaded and someone stole their chisel.
Without further ado, and Random.org doing the picking, the 2012 Chip’s Money Tips Subscription Drive winners are Bob L, Dave A, and Jim P. Congrats guys and Merry Christmas everyone!
I have openly admitted to my bromance with the Chase Ink Bold® Business and Chase Ink Plus® Business cards. I’m able to use their Ultimate Rewards points for travel or turn into cash.
Another reason I am smitten with those cards is because I can instantly transfer their Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United & Southwest Airlines precisely when I need the miles. A few weeks ago, I did a test drive and grabbed a few screen captures below to show you it’s for reals.
This gives tremendous flexibility if you need a few more miles for a flight on one of those airlines. It also refreshed my airline miles’ expiration date. Screen Captures –>
I usually reserve the use of my phone to win concert tickets, give my political opinions to robots, and to ask strangers if their refrigerator is running. Alas, I have found another use:
Stop the Presses! I was asked to take this post down. I will try to get some version of it back up. Meanwhile, treat yourself to these awesome bonuses – while they are still around. 50,000 points = $500 cash or $625 in travel.
Remember, if you aren’t a business entity like an S-Corp or LLC, you can still apply for the Ink cards as a Sole-Proprietor, use your name as the business name, your social as the Tax ID number. Very easy, legal and FUN! Click here for more info on this, Snoop Dogg and Festivus.
- Chase Ink Bold® Business Card – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee waived first year. No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Chase Ink Classic® Business Card – 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in 3 months from account opening. No annual fee.
- Chase Ink Cash® Business Card – 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in 3 months from account opening. No annual fee.
- Chase Ink Plus® Business Card – 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in 3 months from account opening. $95 annual fee waived first year. No Foreign Transaction Fees.
One of the best gifts I ever received was when I was an ignorant, flat-broke, imbecilic baby. My grandmother gave me some shares of Procter & Gamble stock. After 40 years, every $1 in stock that she gave me grew to be worth $70.
I do not have the gift-idea gene. If you get stuck, here’s a really good one! Open a ShareBuilder Custodial account for your child with Promo Code STOCKGIFT12. Deposit at least $25 and ShareBuilder will kick in $25.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
Another nice perk about P&G stock is that every three months it pays a dividend. Every time I look at that stock and get that dividend, I am reminded of this perpetual gift.
You can get a $100 bonus if you deposit $5,000 by clicking here. They even have a fancy certificate that you can fill out online, print out and present.