Groupon is selling a $10 Starbucks Gift Card for $5. They want to teach you about their search bar for some reason. Over 100,000 sold already, limit 1 per person. Easy to load the eGift card on their smartphone app.
Archive for the 'Deals & Offers' Category
(Update November 2013: Google announced a few days ago that third-party apps like Obihai and GrooveIP will no longer work with Google Voice as of May 15, 2014. Obihai confirmed this on their official blog, while stating that your box will still be compatible with many other low-cost VoIP providers. It looks like Google wants people to do the free calling via their own apps…)
Original post December 2012:
(Update: Just got an e-mail that Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers will now get a free official FICO score all year-round (TransUnion-based). You will also get to see the top two factors currently affecting your score and a graphical chart showing historical score changes. Scores will be updated “regularly” but not daily, although you will get an e-mail when your score changes.
If you already have this card, you can opt-in now by logging in and clicking on “Tools and Education” and then “Your FICO Score”. I ended up getting this card, already got the $400 bonus, and here is a screenshot taken from my account today. Not a bad addition to the 2.2% cash back towards travel, see the rest of my review below.)
The new Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases is a new premium travel rewards card with a nice sign-up bonus and also works out to 2.2% cash back towards travel. This results in card that may be the best option for people who like to travel but aren’t loyal to any specific airline program.
Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 miles = $400 off your next trip
There is a limited-time sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles after you make $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. This is double the previous bonus of only 20,000 miles. 40,000 bonus miles is redeemable towards $400 in cash credit towards any travel purchase, plus 4,000 miles rebated back. Details below.
Rewards Structure: 2.22% Cash Back Towards Any Travel
With this card, you earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases; no special categories. These miles (easier to think of them as points, really) are then redeemable towards travel booked from any merchant or retailer classified as Airlines, Travel Agencies & Tour Operators, Hotels, Motels & Resorts, Cruise Lines, Passenger Railways and Car Rental Agencies.
On top of that, the card gives you a 10% miles rebate when you redeem for travel. So in that 40,000 redemption example above, you would actually get you 4,000 back for a net cost of 36,000 miles. Getting $400 of value out of 36,000 miles at 2X miles/$ spent works out to 2.22% cash back towards any travel. That is very high in terms of easy conversion to cash value.
Other Card Highlights
- Free subscription to TripIt Pro mobile travel organizer ($49 annual value), which tracks your itineraries, tracks miles balances, and notifies you of airfare price-drop refunds.
- Complimentary FICO Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
- 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, 14.99% or 18.99%* Variable, based upon your creditworthiness.
- Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases.
- No mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
There is a $89 annual fee that is waived for the first year. Balance that with the $400+ opening bonus + 2.22% cash back the first year, and the ongoing 2.22% cash back past the first year. There is also a Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® with no annual fee that is similar but has a lower 20,000 bonus miles but only 2X miles on travel and dining purchases as opposed to all purchases. I will probably try to downgrade the card to the no annual fee version after a year if I don’t think the 2X miles is working out for me. Barclays does offer instant approval; if you don’t get it call their credit analyst line at 1-866-408-4064.
Pentagon Federal Credit Union is now offering 2.02% APY rate on it’s 3, 4, 5, and 7-year CDs (they call it a Money Market Certificate). The minimum opening deposit is $1,000. Early withdrawal penalties are as follows:
- For terms from 6 months to 4 years, you will lose the last 180 days of interest. If you haven’t earned 180 days of interest yet, you lose all the interest and get back only your opening amount.
- For terms of 5 years or longer, you will lose the last 365 days of interest. If you haven’t earned 365 days of interest yet, you lose all the interest and get back only your opening amount.
As a credit union, you must meet their eligibility requirements to join. Basically all members of the military and their immediate families are welcome, as well as many other military-related groups. Otherwise, simply become a member of the organization Voices for America’s Troops. Membership costs $15/yr, and you don’t need to renew to remain a PenFed member. “Voices for America’s Troops advocates for a strong national defense, including sustaining and improving quality of life programs for America’s troops, their families and survivors.”
(I ran a search through the blog archives and found a post about PenFed offering 6.25% APY 3-year CDs back in late 2006. I wonder how long until we see rates like that again?)
Groupon has a special Sam’s Club Plus membership deal where for $45 you get:
- One-year Sam’s Club Savings membership ($45 value), which includes a membership card for the primary cardholder and a complimentary membership card for a spouse or other household member.
- $20 Sam’s Club gift card
- Fresh-food vouchers, redeemable through Monday, February 10, 2014 ($20.14 total value):
- One free Artisan Fresh rotisserie chicken (about 3 lbs, a $4.88 value)
- One free Main St. Bistro Scalloped Potatoes (2.5lbs, a $8.98 value)
- One free Artisan Fresh Pippin Apple Pie (10”, a $6.28 value)
Valid at any Sam’s club location. New members only, which is defined as someone who does not have a currently valid membership. Remember that you can save even more on your Groupon with cashback shopping sites like eBates ($5 new customer bonus), Mr. Rebates ($5 bonus), and BigCrumbs.
Santander Bank (formerly Sovereign Bank) has a new banking package called the extra20 checking and savings account that pays you up to $20 each month:
- You must open both an extra20 checking and extra20 savings account.
- Get a $10 bonus each month that you have direct deposits totaling $1,500.
- If you qualify for the first $10, get another $10 bonus each month that you pay two bills from your extra20 checking account through Online BillPay.
$20 a month = $240 a year. If you choose to simply use this account to pay your bills, it shouldn’t be hard to keep a $1,500 average balance. Earning $240 on a $1,500 balance works out to a 16% APY. If you aggressively emptied your account after each direct deposit, you could increase this effective APY even more.
The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has re-launched with a new sign-up bonus and purchase rewards structure. Get 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points as follows:
- Earn 20,000 bonus points after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
- Earn an additional 30,000 ThankYou points after you make another $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of your second year of being a cardmember.
- First year annual fee waived, $125 after that.
50,000 ThankYou points is enough to redeem for $500 in gift cards or $625 in airfare when you redeem through their ThankYou Travel Center (25% travel bonus only works if you have the Premier card). Details below. You can also redeem 50,000 TY points for a $500 check towards your student loans and/or mortgage.
The new rewards structure lets you earn:
- 3 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment.
- 2 ThankYou Points for every $1 spent on purchases for airfare and hotels.
- 1 ThankYou Point per $1 spent on other purchases.
$625 in Airfare (ThankYou Travel Center)
With the new Citi Premier card, you get a 20% discount on the standard travel redemption that a “regular” Citi card offers. The reverse math means 1 TY point = 1.25 cents towards travel. For example, with my non-Premier card, I found that a flight that cost $360 including taxes and fees on Expedia would cost 36,000 TY points from Citi Travel. But with the Citi Premier, it would only cost 28,800 TY points.
ThankYou Travel Center screenshot:
So 50,000 TY points will get you $625 in airfare. The Citi Travel pricing seems fair, with no inflated prices as compared to Expedia, Orbitz, etc. Since you can book any flight that can be found on Expedia, there are “no blackout dates”.
Due to birth of our first child, we haven’t been traveling much the last 24 months. However, I’ve still been racking up the miles (via credit card bonuses, credit card rewards, dining rewards, and shopping portals) and have built up a sizable pile with the three major “superpoints” programs – those that allow transfers to a variety of air and hotel partners. Everyone has their own preferred programs and unique travel needs, but here is a quick reference guide to simplify things. My favorite transfer partners are bolded, but all of the other options are also included. These days I’ll probably just be topping off an account off to qualify for an award ticket or free hotel night. Ratios are 1:1 unless otherwise noted.
Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) Points
- United Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- British Airways
- Korean Air
- Virgin Atlantic
- IHG Rewards Club
Credit card bonuses and rewards are the fastest way to jumpstart your miles balance. Here are related offers:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review – 40,000 Ultimate Rewards point bonus, 2X points on travel and dining.
- Chase Ink Bold Business charge card review – 50,000 Ultimate Rewards point bonus, 5X points on office supplies, internet, phone, TV service, 2X on hotels and gas.
- Chase Ink Plus Business credit card review – 50,000 Ultimate Rewards point bonus, 5X points on office supplies, internet, phone, TV service, 2X on hotels and gas.
American Express Membership Rewards (MR) Points
American Express Membership Rewards Transfer Bonuses – British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Choice HotelsThursday, October 24th, 2013
American Express occasionally runs limited-time promotions that increase the transfer rate from their Membership Rewards points. To see these bonuses, visit MembershipRewards.com. Currently promotions:
- British Airways 20% Bonus. That makes 1,000 Membership Rewards® Points = 1,200 Avios. Points must be transferred in increments of 1,000. Promo expires December 31, 2013.
- Virgin Atlantic 30% Bonus. That makes 1,000 Membership Rewards® Points = 1,300 Flying Club Miles. Points must be transferred in increments of 1,000. Promo expires November 30, 2013.
- Choice Privileges Hotels 20% Bonus. That makes 1,000 Membership Rewards® Points = 1,200 Choice Privileges® points. Points must be transferred in increments of 1,000. Promo expires November 30, 2013.
If you have an American Express card, log into your account online and scroll down until you see the “Offers For You” tab. Many people (seems to work once per account username) have found a $25 off $75 Staples offer. The fine print specifically says “Gifts Cards are eligible” (AmEx really can’t tell what you bought anyway). E-Gift cards are not eligible. So save $25 on physical gift cards from Home Depot, Lowe’s, Starbucks, Subway, Kohl’s, etc. Expires 12/10/13.
You may also see a $10 off $50 at Lowe’s if you didn’t do the Twitter version. Fine print:
Link your American Express card, write an approved review on TripAdvisor, get $5. Details at sync.americanexpress.com/tripadvisor:
Get a $5 statement credit when you connect your eligible American Express Card with TripAdvisor and leave one posted review (approved by TripAdvisor) before 23.59 (EST) on December 31, 2013.
You must connect your American Express Card to TripAdvisor to be eligible to receive the $5 statement credit. Quantities are limited. Only one $5 statement credit per connected Card. Your Card must remain connected until the statement credit is applied. Statement credit may not be received if a review doesn’t meet TripAdvisor’s qualifications and is not posted by TripAdvisor.
Groupon is currently offering a $50 Gradsave gift card for $30, which can be redeemed for a $50 deposit into any national 529 college savings plan. So if you’re already meaning to contribute some money towards a 529 plan, it’s basically at least $20 in free money. Thanks to reader Jon for the tip. Gradsave ran a similar promotion earlier and I successfully got it transferred to my daughter’s existing Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 plan. It may take a couple of weeks.
Expires 60 days after purchase. Limit 1 per person, may buy 3 additional as gifts. Limit 1 per customer, beneficiary, account, savings plan, or 529 plan. Online only. New customers only. Cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers.
You can save a little extra on your Groupon deals with cashback shopping portals like eBates ($10 new customer bonus), Mr. Rebates ($5 bonus), and BigCrumbs. This should also count towards the Alaska Air promo I posted yesterday.
Also, 529 contributions can be taken out without penalty. If you withdraw any earnings for unqualified expenses, then you will be subject to income taxes as well as a 10% penalty. You can even set yourself up as the beneficiary if you have qualified educational expenses now or coming up (computer equipment counts if you’re a student). I’m just tucking it away for the kiddo.