Pentagon Federal 5-Year, 7-Years CD Rates at 3.04% APY


Pentagon Federal Credit Union officially announced some competitive new rates for their money market certificates (basically CDs, or certificates of deposit) starting December 1st, 2013. The minimum opening deposit is $1,000.

Term APY Early Withdrawal Penalty*
(days of interest)
2-Year CD 1.41% Last 180 days
3-Year CD 2.02% Last 180 days
4-Year CD 2.22% Last 180 days
5-Year CD 3.04% Last 365 days
7-Year CD 3.04% Last 365 days

Here is an interesting chart comparing the effective APY depending on holding period (taking into account the early withdrawal penalty) for the 4-year and 5-year CDs. We see that the 5-year CD (and 7-year CD) actually matches the 3-year CD held to maturity at the 3-year mark (both 2.02%) and is slightly better than the 4-year CD held to maturity at the 4-year mark (2.28% vs 2.22%). However, for some interim time periods (7 to 28 months) the shorter penalty will make the effective yield of the 4-year CD higher.

[Read more...] $25 off $75: American Express Offers

Update: This deal appears to be expired for new registrations.

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American Express Small Business Saturday 2013 – $10 Bonus Per Card

Shop Mall Logo

Small Business Saturday is today 11/30! American Express has confirmed that they will bring back Small Business Saturday (SBS) on November 30th in 2013. The significant change this year is that now it is a $10 statement credit instead of the $25 from previous years. Details:

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Capital One 360 Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2013 Savings and Checking Promotions

Capital One 360 has a few Black Friday weekend deals including a $125 bonus for their 360 checking account and $75 bonus for 360 Savings Account. New customers only – you can get one checking bonus and one savings bonus per person. Good from now until Cyber Monday night at 12/2/2013 11:59pm astern. This is usually the biggest bonus they’ll offer all year.

Click here to start saving with Capital One 360

$100 Target Gift Card for $90

I have no idea how long this will last, but seller giftcardmall on eBay is offering a $100 Target gift card for $90. Limit 2 per eBay customer. Free shipping of physical gift card. Seems legit to me. I bought two, we’ll see how it goes.

(They are also selling a $50 iTunes gift card for $40, although I’ve seen similar deals to this elsewhere.) 30% Off Any Print Book

Get 30% off any one print book with coupon code BOOKDEAL, must be sold and shipped by 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.

Capital One Sharebuilder Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotions: Up to $1,000

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:

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Barclaycard Travel Community: Share Stories for Bonus Miles

Barclaycard recently started a “Barclaycard Travel Community” at Although it’s obviously another “social media” attempt to promote their new Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases (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 gift code each time they accumulate 2,500 miles).

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card New Bonus: 40,000 Points = $500 In Travel, Plus 5,000 Points For Authorized User


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.

More Details

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Free 39-Week Subscription to Wall Street Journal


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.

Shoprunner Membership with American Express


Update: American Express is now offering Shoprunner if you enroll at 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,, 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 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 Free


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:
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