T-Mobile Black Friday: Free Apple iPhone 7 with Trade-In and $200 Per Line Switched

Here are the details of T-Mobile’s Black Friday deals. Three separately available offers:

  • Free Apple iPhone 7 32GB, or Samsung Galaxy S7 32GB, or LG V20 64GB with trade-in. Free when you trade in a qualifying device with T-Mobile ONE or Simple Choice Unlimited, after 24 monthly bill credits. This deal is available until Sun., Nov. 27 at 11:59pm PT. Details on Apple iPhone 7 qualified trade-in devices here.
  • Get $200 for every line you switch to T-Mobile (up to $2400) with trade-in. For a limited time, when you switch a number to T-Mobile with T-Mobile ONE, we’ll give you $200 per line to spend however you want on a prepaid Mastercard. Valid 11/24-12/31/16.
  • Free hour of In-Flight Wi-Fi for Everyone – even AT&T, Verizon & Sprint Customers. Starting today through Sat., Nov. 26, the Un-carrier is giving everyone a free hour of Wi-Fi for their smartphone on Gogo-equipped domestic flights. Now, everyone can enjoy one of the perks T-Mobile customers already enjoy during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year.

If you prefer to set up your service with T-Mobile over the phone, you can call 855-407-3034 and ask for this offer.

Supposedly, Verizon Wireless will be matching these deals as well. It should be shown on this Verizon Wireless Black Friday deals page.

Barnes & Noble Black Friday Weekend: 30% Off Any One Item

bn0Barnes & Noble is offering 30% off any one item with coupon code BNBFRIDAY16. Offer is also valid in-store with Store Coupon #30164100000. For each customer, this coupon can be redeemed only once at any Barnes & Noble retail store or only once per billing address online. Valid from 11/24 to 11/27 (technically until November 28, 2016 at 2:59am ET). The discount will be applied to the most expensive eligible item in the order.

American Express Small Business Saturday 2016

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This year, Small Business Saturday will be on November 26th, 2016. Although it was started in 2010 by American Express on the Saturday after Thankgsiving, since 2011 this day has been officially recognized by Congress.

As was the case last year, there will be no flat statement credits in 2016 for shopping at a small business. Instead, American Express is offering double points or double cash back through the end of 2016 for shopping at small businesses from now until December 31st, 2016. You must register here first. Find local, participating small businesses on their Shop Small map.

The 2X promotion works these various flavors of American Express. When you use your enrolled Card at small businesses:

  • Membership Rewards cards will earn 1 additional Membership Rewards point per dollar spent.
  • Delta Skymiles cards will earn 1 additional mile per dollar spent.
  • Blue Cash cards will earn an additional 1% back per dollar spent.
  • Blue Sky cards will earn 1 additional Blue Sky point per dollar spent.
  • Hilton Honors cards will earn 3 additional Hilton HHonors points per dollar spent.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest cards will earn 1 additional Starpoint per dollar spent.
  • Plenti cards will earn 1 additional Plenti point per dollar spent.
  • Schwab Investor cards will earn an additional 1.5% cash back per dollar spent.

Rewards cap applies; 2X Rewards valid on up to $100,000 in purchases per enrolled consumer card and $250,000 in purchases per enrolled business card.

American Express has also been adding a lot of new offers – including local small businesses! – to their AmEX Special Offers. Log into your account online and see what you have targeted in your area. You may also see 10% off your cable or Satellite TV bill, 10% off your cellular phone bill, $25 off Verizon Wireless, $20 off $100 at Staples.com, or double/triple points at merchants like Amazon, Target, and Home Depot.

If you have a small business and accept American Express but aren’t shown on on their Shop Small map, here’s how to get yourself added:

Please contact the Shop Small Team at 1-800-235-8916, Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, EST and have your federal tax ID handy. We look forward to hearing from you!

Participating small businesses can also sign up for additional marketing materials here.

This Fortune article discusses the positive impact that American Express’s statement credits from 2010-2014 had on small businesses after the 2009 recession. It felt good that this promotion supported independent retailers, whereas most promotions go towards the big chains. Small Business Saturday was also a clever way for American Express to tell the public that they’ve increased acceptance of their cards at small businesses, which has always been their relative weak spot due to their slightly higher fees for the merchant.

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Amazon $25 off $75 on Household Essentials

az_larabarAmazon is offering a $25 off $75 promotion when you buy $75 in total items from on their Holiday Essentials list. Here are all of the eligible items sorted by category.

Sample deals. Here are a couple of quick, simplified scenarios to work out if the deal is generally worth it. I picked these two products at random out of the items that I had a rough idea of what they should cost.

Larabar Gluten Free Snack Bar, 1.7 oz Bars, 16 Count is on the list and costs $16.38. If I buy 5 boxes to reach $75, my total is $81.90 – $25 off = $56.90 net. At 80 bars, this works out to $0.71 per bar, which is a pretty good price. Here’s a screenshot of the $25 off:

az_spend75save25

24-pack of Energizer MAX AA batteries is on the list and costs $9.79. If I buy 9 packs to reach $75, the total becomes $88.11 – $25 off = $63.11 net. That ends up at $0.29 per battery, which is a good price as far as Energizer MAX batteries go. I could certainly buy a cheaper generic brand for a little less (AmazonBasics at $0.24 per battery). I have found that Energizer MAX batteries really do leak less than both Duracell and Costco Kirkland brands.

Basically, if you would buy these items otherwise, this promotion can save you some money by mixing and matching products. The prices don’t appear to be hiked up just to be taken back down. You do have to pick from the items listed on the page, in their listed quantity. They should already be set as such, but they must also be sold and shipped by Amazon. You should see the $25 off on your checkout page before committing to purchase.

RingPlus: Basic, Free Cellular Phone Service Plans With a Catch

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November 2016 Update. The most recent update:

Starting December 1, 2016, all Plans that are not Mad Plans will not renew at the end of their billing cycle. Members can change to any of the currently offered plans from our website. Phone Swaps will be free starting Wednesday (11/23/16) until further notice.

Realistically, this was always the type of deal that was not going to last forever, and hopefully if you participated you got good value out of it. I got over a year of Sprint-based cellular service with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 text, and 1 GB of data for an total cost of $10 (technically the $10 is still in my account). The party is winding down… in the meantime I recommend taking the following precautions:

Know that your plans can and will be discontinued with little or no notice. Don’t buy an expensive phone just to switch to R+. Don’t pay for their lifetime Member+ plan. To put it simply, commit as little money as possible. Have a plan to port your number elsewhere; Ting can use Sprint or there are many free or $1 SIM cards out there on GSM networks.


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Andrews Federal Credit Union 84-Month Certificate at 3.01% APY (Black Friday Deal)

afcu_logoAndrews Federal Credit Union is offering the following special Black Friday certificate rates. They must be funded by 11/30/16. Update: According to multiple accounts, this promotion has been extended to accounts funded by 12/31/16. Please verify yourself as the website has not been changed as of this writing. Thanks to Rudi for heads up.

  • 3-month Share Certificate at 3.01% APY
  • 18-month Share Certificate at 1.81% APY/li>
  • 84-month Share Certificate at 3.01% APY

(There is also a 6-month Share Certificate at 3% APY with $15,000 maximum balance, viewable only to existing members.)

For most people, the best deal is the 84-month 3.01% APY certificate because the early withdrawal penalty is a rather modest 180-days of interest. The minimum opening deposit is $1,000. No maximum balance cap. I created a spreadsheet to calculate the effective interest rate if you withdraw early, and here are the results visually:

afcu_bf2016

If you withdraw after one year, you’re already at 1.50% APY. After 2 years, you’ll have earned 2.25% APY. After 3 years, you’ll have earned 2.51% APY. At all these intervals, you are ahead of nearly all the top rates from other banks and credit unions.

If you don’t qualify directly, anyone can join the credit union by first joining the American Consumer Council for $8. Try the promo code consumer and you should be able to save that five bucks. After that, join AFCU online, and deposit the minimum $5 to open a share account. After your share account is open, you can try to open the promotional CDs online. Alternatively, you may need to call them up directly and expedite things. Make sure you fund it by the deadline.

Uber American Express Promotion: 2 Free Rides From Airport (up to $65 each)

uberlogo200 Just in time for the holiday travel season! Uber and American Express are running a new promotion for 2 free Uber rides from an eligible airport up to $65 each. This promotion is valid for both new and existing users.

  • Enter code AMEXAIRPORT in your Uber app under Promotions or Payment.
  • Be sure that an American Express card is linked to your Uber account and selected as your payment method for the ride. (Prepaid cards not eligible.)
  • Good for two rides, up to $65 each. Any amount over $65 will be charged to your American Express. Valid on all Uber options.
  • Your ride must originate from one of the eligible airports listed below.
  • You must complete your trip by 11:59pm on 12/31/16.

Hera are the eligible airports:

  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)

If you don’t have an Uber account yet, you can get $20 off your first ride via this special link or by using promo code uberMYMONEYBLOG at signup. But remember – Uber promo codes cannot be combined or stacked. When you enter multiple promotion codes in the Uber app, the most recently entered code that is eligible for the ride will be applied to that ride. Once you have added a promotion code to your Uber app, you cannot delete it.

FreeCreditReport.com Review: Free Experian Credit Report Every Month, No Credit Card Required

freecreditreport0Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus, has bought the domain FreeCreditReport.com and converted it to a place where consumers can view their Experian Credit Report for free. There is no credit card required, no trial membership required. Like most of its competitors, “free” does mean that you’ll see advertisements and offers for paid premium features. Checking your own credit will not hurt your credit scores.

All things equal, why not get your credit reports “straight from the source”? If I get my Experian data directly from Experian, that means one less third-party that may have access to my personal information. (I admit, I do sign up for a lot of such sites anyway, and I signed up for this one as well.) Here’s a screenshot (click to enlarge):

freecreditreport1

Sign-up process. You will need to provide your personal information like name, address, birthdate, and Social Security Number. You’ll also need to verify your identity by answering some multiple-choice questions based on your credit report data.

I’m okay with some unobtrusive ads and upsells in exchange for free monthly credit reports. I have not tried any of their paid premium features. I did notice that when you sign up, it is not mandatory to sign up for their special offers. You can still proceed even if you uncheck the box.

How can I refresh my report? You can refresh your Experian credit report as often as every 30 days, but only if you log in to the website. Many sites operate this way, as it reduces their costs of grabbing your score if you are no longer interested. Also, they want you to log in so that they can show you advertisements.

Bottom line. FreeCreditReport.com is legit, owned by Experian, and offers free access to your Experian credit report. Experian already has all your information anyway. Being able to get an updated report every 30 days is 12 times as often as what you’d get from the government-mandated site AnnualCreditReport.com (updated every rolling 365 days). No credit card required in either case.

See also: Get a free copy of your TransUnion credit report (another of the three major credit bureaus) through the TransUnion-owned site called TrueIdentity.

Amazon Prime $20 Off Grand Tour Promotion (11/18 Only!)

grandtour0If you’ve been in withdrawal from “proper” Top Gear, the new Amazon series The Grand Tour premiers on Friday, November 18th (press release). The three original stars Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have gotten back together and there are 12 new episodes that will stream weekly.

To try and attract these new gearheads, Amazon is running a one-day Grand Tour Prime promotion on Friday 11/18 from 12:00am ET to 11:59pm PT.

For one-day only, eligible new Prime members can join Amazon Prime for $79 (normally $99) and save $20 on your first year’s membership in celebration of The Grand Tour launch.

The promotion does not apply to existing or gift memberships. I’m not 100% positive on this, but I believe that a “new” membership simply means that your account must not currently have an active Amazon Prime membership, not that you’ve never had one in the past.

Here’s the official trailer on YouTube. If you already have Amazon Prime, here is the Grand Tour streaming link. I’ll definitely be watching. 🙂

IKEA In-Store Discount: $25 off $150 Coupon

ikea0Back again for this holiday season, IKEA has a printable $25 off $150 coupon [pdf] that is valid until December 24th, 2016. The coupon states that you can also show it on your phone at checkout. Valid in-store only.

These are pretty rare. Here is the fine print:

Valid November 14 – December 24, 2016. One coupon per household. Valid in stores only. No cash value. Cannot be combined with other IKEA offers or discounts, except IKEA FAMILY product offers. Not valid on IKEA Kitchen Event offer, IKEA services, Eat for Free or Kids Eat Free IKEA Food Offers, IKEA FAMILY Individual Kitchen Planning Service Offer. Not valid on previous purchases or the purchase of IKEA Gift Cards. See store for details.

Amazon 20% Off Promotion Code With Wedding Registry

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Amazon is offering a Registry Completion Discount for people who open a wedding registry with them. Within a month of your stated event date, you’ll receive a promotion code good for 10% off an entire order of up to $1,000 ($100 max discount). If you have Amazon Prime, the discount is bumped to 20% off an entire order up to $1,000 ($200 max discount).

Selected terms and conditions:

  • Promotional code expires within 90-days from the date in which the promotion was received via email.
  • If you created your registry less than 30 days before your wedding and no purchases were made off your registry, you will not be eligible for the promotion.
  • The Wedding Gift may be used only one time for one order of up to an aggregate of $1,000 USD (a maximum discount of up to $100 USD) for non-prime members. Prime Savings Wedding Gift may be used only one time for one order of up to an aggregate of $2,500 USD (a maximum discount of up to $500 USD).
  • The Prime 20% off Wedding Gift promotion will be limited to Prime customers who are members of Campus, Fresh, Prime Members with Shipping Benefits, Prime members with Mom benefits. This excludes trial, Student and Invitee members.
  • The Wedding Gift applies only to select items sold by Amazon.com. It does not apply to the same items sold by other sellers.
  • The Wedding Gift may only be redeemed through the Amazon account of the primary registrant of the Wedding Registry.
  • You may not qualify for another Wedding Gift for 2-years following the use of the Wedding Gift.
  • Promotional code may not be applied toward the purchase of gift cards, sales tax, gift wrap, or additional shipping costs.

Notably, you do not have to submit any documentation about your event. However, your registry must be active for at least 30 days and someone must have bought something off the registry in order to qualify for this promotion.

AmEx Special Offers: $20 off $100 at Staples.com

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Updated. It looks like the ongoing double points on purchases at small businesses is going to be the only Small Business Saturday promotion this year, but here’s a pretty good Staples.com promo that can easily generate some extra cash on each of your American Express cards. I prefer offers where I can do everything from the computer anyway.

Look for this offer in your online account or link your card to Twitter and tweet #AmexStaples.

Staples.com. Spend $100 or more, get $20 back. Get a one-time $20 statement credit by using your enrolled Card to spend a minimum of $100+ in one or more transactions online at staples.com by 12/31/2016. See terms for exclusions.

Valid online-only. Staples-branded gift cards are excluded, but you can still buy other gift cards like Visa gift cards, Target, Gap/Banana/Old Navy, Home Depot, Whole Foods, and more. For example get a $100 Target gift card with free e-mail delivery for $80 net. Use the offer on every American Express card you have, and the benefit multiplies.

There are also some good targeted offers out there, like 10% off your cable or Satellite TV bill, 10% off your cellular phone bill, and others linked to specific merchants.

Background. American Express cardholders can participate in “AmEx Offers” which offer discounts to various merchants. These promotions often offer the opportunity for easy savings without changing your spending habits. For places that I shop at regularly, I can often buy a gift card to lock in the savings.

Each separate card, including authorized users, may have different offers available to them. In addition, adding an offer to one card may remove the same offer from another card. Although as commenter Oleg notes “If you have multiple cards and you activated for an offer on one of them, this offer may disappear from others. You can open several [web browser] tabs, retrieve each card separately and apply for an offer.”

Here are the various ways to access these offers:

  • Log into your AmEx account online and scroll down until you see the “Amex Offers For You” tab.
  • Use the AmEx smartphone app.
  • Access via social media at AmExOffers.com – Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor.
  • Not everyone can access every offer, but the ones on Twitter tend to be available to everyone. You can track these on their Favorites page.

There are many different American Express cards today, but these two are my current favorites: