Get 30% off any one print book with coupon code BOOKDEAL, must be sold and shipped by Amazon.com. Expires December 1, 2013 at 11:59pm PST. Max discount $10. Books can be the gifts with the highest ROI. Visit this link for more information. Here are my financial book reviews.
Archive for the 'Deals & Offers' Category
Online stock brokerage firm Capital One Sharebuilder announced a few Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions this year. Please note the valid dates on the promotional codes below. I’m full of tryptophan so I’m just going to pretty much copy and paste the press release I got. Real-time trades are $6.95, automatic scheduled trades are $4.
New non-IRA Account Bonus with Promo Code BFSB2013
- $150 bonus for new customers who open a ShareBuilder account between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2, 2013, and execute at least three trades by Dec. 27, 2013.
The other current promotion is a $100 bonus for $5,000+ deposit with no trade requirement, using promotional code 100LSQ4. Must open account by 12/31/13 and deposit must be completed by 2/14/14.
IRA-only Bonus with Promo Code BFIRA2013
Investors who open a new IRA account between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2, 2013, and fund it (deposit, transfer and/or roll over into) by Jan. 31, 2014 are eligible for $75 to $1,000 in bonuses based on rollover size:
Barclaycard recently started a “Barclaycard Travel Community” at Barclaycardtravel.com. Although it’s obviously another “social media” attempt to promote their new Barlcaycard Arrival World Mastercard (actually a pretty good travel card with 2% rewards), you do earn “Participation Miles” for sharing your travel stories and tips:
- Completing a profile will earn each Member 500 miles; a profile is considered complete when the following information is added: 1) the City and State in which the member lives 2) At least one travel interest is selected 3) at least one travel companion is selected 4) at least 1 travel style is selected 5) at least 5 cities are added to the “My travels” map
- Members earn 200 miles for each travel story that is posted.
- Every time the story that is authored by a member is kudoed by another member, the member will receive 10 miles.
The points earned directly transfer over the miles balance on your Arrival World card (500 = $5 travel credit, or non-cardmembers can get a $25 Amazon.com gift code each time they accumulate 2,500 miles).
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card New Bonus: 40,000 Points = $500 In Travel, Plus 5,000 Points For Authorized UserTuesday, November 19th, 2013
Chase has improved the bonus to 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, plus 5,000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a rewards credit card that has upped their sign-up bonus to new cardholders to 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. This is quite a good deal, as 40,000 points can be redeemed for $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards™. You can buy a more expensive ticket and simply pay the difference. No annual fee for the first year, $95 in future years.
Rewards Program Summary
Points under the Chase Sapphire program are pretty flexible. There are also no earning caps or expiration dates. You also earn a 7% “dividend” on your earned points each year, even if you already redeemed them. I guess this is their way of encouraging you to keep your card, so you don’t waste the “interest”.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants. Earn 1 point for every dollar in other purchases (100 points = $1, or the usual 1% back).
Simple cash rewards. Cash redemptions are easy – you can redeem in $1 increments as long as above $20, so you could cash out $27 or $253 without anything left over.
Points redeemed towards travel are worth 25% more, and easy to use. As noted above, hotel room or airplane ticket redemptions can also be maximized because you can book wherever you want and simply pay the difference. For example, 25,000 points can be used for any ticket up to $312.50, but if say you wanted a $325 ticket you could just pay the $12.50 difference. You’re able to use every last point on this program. On other cards, you would have to go up another tier and spend an extra 10,000 point chunk.
Transfer to airline miles. If you prefer, you can also transfer to United Airlines, British Airways, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott Hotels, and Amtrak. 1 Sapphire point = 1 mile/hotel point for these transfers. If you collect miles, this is really lucrative as I don’t know of any other card that gives 2 miles/dollar spent on travel and dining.
Ultimate Rewards points are instantly transferable to other accounts like family members, so you can pool points for trips and such.
Same offer, but link works again. Here’s a free 39-week subscription to the Wall Street Journal. New subscribers only. Not a trial, no credit card required. Just fill out the first page, hit “Click Here”, and that’s it. Use a spam e-mail if you want. No need to sign up for anything else.
I’ve passed on this offer in the past, but these days it seems that most good WSJ articles are behind their paywall unless you read it on the first day of publication (even with the Google News trick). I don’t think I’ll read the physical paper all the way through, but the free online access will be appreciated. Readers have already reported receiving their issues from signing up in October, but quantities are limited.
Update 11/18: All Discover IT cardholders (new and existing) will now get a free FICO® credit score on their monthly statements. So you get a free FICO score once a month, printed on your statement (online or paper). The score will be based on your TransUnion credit report, making it similar to Barclaycard. This is only for the Discover it® Card, so if you have another old Discover card flavor you may want to call in and switch it over. Full review below.
Update: Get 5% back on ALL Online shopping in 4th Quarter 2013. From October to December 2013, get a 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases for the very broad and gift-friendly category of “Online Shopping”. 5% rewards start only after activation each quarter and are not retroactive, so sign up now by logging into your account online.
Original full review:
Update: American Express is now offering Shoprunner for free indefinitely if you enroll at ShopRunner.com/AmericanExpress and agree to keep your AmEx card as the default payment method for their Express Checkout feature. You can still choose to use another credit card for any specific purchase. I didn’t see this as a big deal as in May 2013 they already offered a year-long subscription for free, and who knows how long Shoprunner itself or this AmEx partnership will last.
Shoprunner is similar to Amazon Prime in that it offers unlimited free 2-day shipping with no minimum order amount from a variety of online merchants including Newegg, Babies R Us, Blue Nile, Sports Authority, Drugstore.com, and GNC. It also allows you free return shipping and the ability to ship to any address, making it handy for gifts. You can also get free delivery from Domino’s pizza.
You’ll need a consumer or business American Express card issued by an AmEx-affiliated bank (Starwood Preferred yes, Blue Cash Preferred yes, Business Gold yes, Costco yes, FIA/Fidelity no, Citibank no, prepaid versions no).
I’ve used my free membership a few times to send gifts from Babies R Us, although I wouldn’t pay $79 a year for it.
Republic Wireless: Moto X Phone On Sale Now, New Plans $5-$40 a Month, Switch Between Plans For FreeThursday, November 14th, 2013
Updated. Republic Wireless is a mobile phone service that uses WiFi internet to place calls and text whenever possible, saving both you and them money. When WiFi is unavailable, you fall back onto Sprint cell towers. No contracts, but you must buy a phone from them as you cannot bring your own. Some new updates:
- Moto X. As of November 14th, you can buy the new Moto X smartphone for $299 (Engadget, Anandtech reviews). You can still buy the old Defy XT for $99 but it’s pretty old.
- Switch between plans for free. You can switch between any of the new plan options, up to twice per month, with no penalty. This means you could upgrade to 4G for a week or a month if you need it, and even downgrade to the $5 or $10 plan if you are traveling or don’t plan to use any data that month. Nice flexibility
- MMS now supported. MMS (multimedia/picture texting) is now officially working with all major carriers and most regional carriers.
Four New Plans
Here’s a new graphic that explains the plans pretty succinctly:
- $5/month = WiFi only. No WiFi = Nothing works.
- $10/month = WiFi + Talk + Text. Unlimited talk and text, no cellular data.
- $25/month = WiFi + Talk + Text + 3G Data. Unlimited talk, text, 3G data.
- $40/month = WiFi + Talk + Text + 4G Data. Unlimited talk, text, 3G/4G data.
Prices don’t included taxes and surcharges. Below is information quoted about their Acceptable Use Policy:
Read the rest of this entry…
If you have an American Express card, log into your account online and scroll down until you see the “Offers For You” tab. Many (but not all) will find a Walmart.com offer where you can simply buy a physical or electronic gift card for $79 and get $20 back. (Looks like this, but for Walmart.com). If you ever shop there, that’s an easy $20. I believe you can use Wal-mart gift cards at Sam’s Club and also their gas stations.
Get a one-time $20 statement credit by using your enrolled Card to spend a total of $79 or more online at Walmart.com by 12/31/13.
After you make the purchase at Walmart.com, you should get a confirmation e-mail shortly thereafter. There may be some other deals worth a shot as well such as $5 off $25 at BP gas, $5 off $30 at ExxonMobil, or $10 off $50 at Lowe’s.
Update 2: 50,000 point offer is now EXPIRED. Southwest has brought back their excellent 50,000 bonus point promo for the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. That’s worth 2 Roundtrip Flights (over $800 in airfare with no limited-capacity seating hoops or $500 in gift cards) after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. Another opportunity to *save* money with credit cards as opposed to losing it paying interest. Details below.
Update: Currently 60 points = $1 worth of Wanna Get Away airfare, which means you get 1.67 cents of value per point. Starting March 31, 2014, it will take 70 points per $1, or 1.43 cents of value per point. This means 50,000 points = $714 worth of Wanna Get Away airfare after the change. I would recommend making your redemption before 3/31/14 if possible, even if your trip takes place after that. Southwest is still offering two free checked bags.
The huge “2 roundtrip flights” banner on the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card application page is based on the fact that one round-trip $416 Wanna Get Away fare would cost about 25,000 points. In reality, the value of the bonus is about $833 in Southwest airfare broken up however you like. Any free Wanna Get Away fare is eligible, so this bonus is very useful for Southwest fliers. If you take shorter flights or wait for a fare sale, this could easily be worth multiple roundtrip flights. This offer has gone to down to 25k in the recent past.
- Get 50,000 points for 2 ROUNDTRIP FLIGHTS after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. Government fees as low as $10 not included.
- Get 6,000 points every year after your Cardmember Anniversary.
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines® and AirTran Airways® purchases made directly with the airlines and on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Redeem points for gift cards, car rentals, cruises, hotel stays, and international flights to over 800 Destinations on 50+ global carriers.
- No foreign transaction fees
Amazon Mom is a program that has some nice perks for parents (open to anyone… mom, dad, grandparent, or caretaker). The main draw is the 20% off diapers & wipes (5% Subscribe & Save discount + 15% Amazon Mom discount) and the fast shipping.
If you already pay for Amazon Prime at $79 a year, you can sign up for Amazon Mom for free. New Prime/Mom members are eligible for a 3-month free trial (must not have had free trial previously on your account) where you’ll also get the free 2nd-day shipping of Prime but not the video streaming or free Kindle book borrowing. Canceling is easy, you can even cancel the trial ahead of time while still getting the remainder of your 3 months.
Right now, Amazon Mom Members who join for the first time between October 28, 2013 and November 10, 2013 will also get a $25 off diapers credit on 11/18. Details in link.
You’ve probably heard the adage “pay yourself first”. Well, now there is a website that will help you essentially tax yourself first. Recently mentioned in Businessweek magazine, SavedPlus.com tracks your spending and automatically transfers a set percentage of whatever you spend into your savings account.
Let’s say you choose a 10% preset savings and spend $75. SavedPlus will then transfer $7.50 from your checking account into your savings account. (In practice, the transfers are only done once a week.) This is an interesting way to force yourself to save, and perhaps knowing you’ll have to set aside extra will keep you from spending so much in the first place. You will have to provide your financial passwords for them to track everything. They claim the usual security precautions, using Yodlee for account aggregation. iOS and Android apps are also available.
After playing with it for a couple of days… so far I felt the interface to be a bit clunky and it took me a few tries to get my accounts linked up properly. It’s just not as polished as say Mint.com. A handy feature allows you to link credit card(s) to track spending; you don’t have to buy everything with your checking account debit card.
Expired $100 bonus offer.
Their new Christmas promotion offers to match up to $100 your SavedPlus savings as of December 15th, 2013. You have to follow the directions carefully to set it up and it is limited to the first 100 new users, but otherwise it appears to be a pretty easy 100 bucks and they provide enrollment confirmation so you know you’re in. There is no need to change your spending habits at all. The promo worked, it got my attention!