Hertz Logo

$40 off Hertz


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My writer/comedian friend Tom Hertz had a joke in his act that I always liked: ”I’m no relation to the rental car company unless I’m talking to a woman – in which case I own the rental car company.”

Go to Hertz and plug in Promotion Code 176396.  Offer good through December 31, 2012.  I used this weekend discount to rent a luxurious Kia Rio economy car over Christmas.

Hannibal3

I Love It When a Plan Comes Together!


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Carrie wrote: “Six weeks ago, I got the Chase Ink card that you recommended for Festivus.  I met my spending requirement and got my 50,000 point bonus – which I redeemed for $500!  Momma needs a new pair of (expensive) shoes!!   I plan to use the Ink card for at least the no-annual-fee first year.  If I decide to cancel the card at some point, what happens to my unused Ultimate Rewards Points?”

Carrie, in times like this, I like to quote The A-Team’s Hannibal Smith: I love it when a plan comes together!  Chase’s generous card bonuses are legit.  Like you – I’ve done them as have gajillions of others.

About your points…  If you cancel your card, the unused points go bye-bye – BUT it’s easy to keep them off death row.  You can dump those points to another card that gives Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  You may combine points between your own accounts as well as those of your spouse or domestic partner.  This is EASY!

In the screen captures below, you can see how I moved points from my Chase Freedom to my Chase Ink Bold and back to Chase Freedom – instantly.

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Salvation Army Bell

Is Charity a Good Thing?


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Okay, the title was just a grabber.  Of course being charitable is a good thing – especially if it will get the guy with the red kettle to stop ringing his bell long enough for me to get out of earshot.

Some people “tithe” – which is giving 10% of one’s income.  It’s like God is their agent and that is his commission.   I can hear Him now, “I put you in America, how about a little something for the effort?  Thank you.  Me Bless.”

A couple weeks ago, my friends Jimmy Pardo, Pat Francis and Matt Belknap did their annual “Pardcast-a-thon” to raise money for SmileTrain.  The star-studded guest list included Conan O’Brien, John Hamm, Laraine Newman and Zach Galifianakis.  They raised over $100,000 and are still accepting donations at Pardcast.com

It’s great to do things for charities.  If you were looking for ways to be able to give more to charities, I have a few suggestions that have worked for me.

  1. I have a savings account at my bank that I call my “Donation Fund”.  Every month I have an automatic transfer from my checking to that fund.  If your bank won’t give you a free interest bearing savings account, set one up at Ally Bank (.95%) or Capital One 360 Savings (.75%).  Those pay interest, have no minimums and no monthly fees.  It’s
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SWAirTransLimtedTime

Two Free Round-Trip Flights on Southwest AND AirTran


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Just a quick mention about two current airline offers for TWO FREE FLIGHTS.  Go getcha one now!

This is billed as “Two Free Flights” but the 50,000 Southwest bonus points can be stretched to many more round-trip flights.  For example, I just plugged in a random mid-January trip from Burbank to Las Vegas that is 5,880 points – round trip.  Big Bonus-Point Bang!

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.

Opt Stop Receiving Letter Of Offer

Opting-Out for Dead People?


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They keep sweetening the deal to get my dead dad to sign up for a United MileagePlus Explorer card.  Well, it is a generous offer – but he’s not doing any more flying.

These card offers come because he didn’t Opt-Out of them.  How could he?  He doesn’t have wi-fi at his current locale six feet under.  To avoid the temptation to accept their sweet offer on his behalf (and commit fraud), I opted-out for him at OptOutPrescreen.com. You can do this Dead or Alive.

There are pros and cons to this.  If you Opt-Out, you will get less junk mail.  Then you can find out what the best offers are if you click on Chip’s Favorite Credit Card Offers for up-to-date deals, terms and conditions, and more.  Woo-hoo!  All right!  Yea Chip’s Money Tips!

But don’t Opt-Out so fast!  Junk mail has a silver lining.  If you Opt-In to mailings – you

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Ink Blue Cropped

4 Ways Ink Don’t Stink


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Chip’s Money Tips Subscriber-Extraordinaire Jacko has a question:

“Can you recommend a decent rewards card that will allow me to float some payables for a few months?”

Absolutely!  Three of the four Chase Ink cards have a 0% introductory rate for the first six billing cycles that your account is open.  Float, float on… until Summer!

Ink Classic, Ink Cash, Ink Plus and Ink Bold are similar but different.  If they were unfamiliar food, we might say they all “Taste like chicken.”

Ink Classic, Ink Cash and Ink Plus all have a 0% introductory rate for six billing cycles.  For that time period, there is 0% interest.

The Ink cards were created for business use, but that pretty much includes anyone who makes a buck doing something.  As I have said before, if you are a handyman, nanny, dog walker, actor, or sell stuff online – congratulations the IRS says you are called a sole proprietor!

When you apply for one of these cards, put your name as Name of Business, your social security number as Tax ID Number, and sole proprietor as Type of Business.  It’s all legal and legit.

Before I give you the breakdown of what each card offers, here’s a way to maximize these bonus babies!

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AutoSlash

AutoSlash is Still Slashin’ Rentals


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Why walk from the airport, over the river and through the woods for MeeMaw’s roast beast? If you need some wheels, check out the free AutoSlash rental car search engine.  What makes them different from Expedia or Orbitz, is that AutoSlash tracks your rental rate and rebooks you if the price drops – then sends you an email with the details.

AutoSlash could not find a car for me this upcoming Christmas week, so I booked one via Expedia. Then I went back to AutoSlash and plugged in my new reservation under “Track a rental you’ve booked elsewhere”.  A few days later, I got an email from AutoSlash that my four day Christmas week rental was slashed $42.21 – from $138.61 to $96.40.  Here’s my 2010 AutoSlash video:

Sprinkler Boug

Save Green Being Green, er… Dry


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Now for something really SEXY: Saving on your Sewer Service Charge (SSC). Hubba-hubba. My most recent bill’s SSC was $22.89. I had paid 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. I live in the warm and sunny Los Angeles “Valley”. I shut off my lawn sprinklers between the first rain in November until March-April.

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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SmallBusinessSaturday ShopSmallCircle Smaller

TODAY is Small Business Saturday


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Happy Guilt-Free Fun Spending Day! Today’s the day to help yourself and small businesses.  Take a minute to enroll all of your American Express cards at ShopSmall.com, then spend at least $25 per transaction on each card to receive a $25 statement credit.   Not sure what to buy?  Try gift cards for local shops, baby!  Confirm participating businesses at ShopSmall.com‘s map.  More details in my posts here and here.

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