With 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.
(Updated 12/11/14) If you sign up for Uber by clicking on my link which contains the promo code “uberChipCheese”, you’ll get $20 off your first Uber ride, and I’ll get $20 off my next ride 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.
For 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:
- 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.
- 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
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.
A 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
The 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.
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
Registration 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.
Here’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!
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I’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:
Are 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!