Pointshound Promo: 100 Free American Airlines Miles

PointsHound is a new hotel reservation site that lets you earn frequent flier miles and other loyalty currencies when making a hotel booking. For example, you could earn American Airlines miles by staying at a small boutique hotel. It seems basically like a little rebate on your purchase like Expedia+ points, but be careful if you are trying to rack up hotel-specific elite stays.

Right now, they have a promotion where you can get 100 free American AAdvantage miles just for signing up at PointsHound.com/AAdvantage and linking up your American Airlines account number. No booking required for the 100 miles, but you can also get an additional 2,000 bonus AAdvantage miles after your first booking.

100 miles is maybe worth a buck or two, but it does present a good way to reset your miles expiration date at no cost. AA miles currently expire after 18 months of inactivity.

Sling by Dish: Live Internet TV with ESPN for $20 a Month

One of the notable announcements from the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show that Dish Network will stream a package of major cable networks live over the internet. Getting channels like ESPN, Food Network, and CNN without a traditional cable subscription is a big shift in the industry and a sign of things to come. Official press release, NYT.

slingpage

The specific product is called Sling TV and Dish promises to offer the following 12 channels as part of their “The Best of Live TV” core package for just $20 a month:

  • ESPN (live sports!)
  • ESPN2
  • CNN
  • Food Network
  • Travel Channel
  • HGTV
  • Cartoon Network
  • TNT
  • TBS
  • Cartoon Network
  • Disney Channel
  • ABC Family

Here is a list of devices that it will work on:

  • iOS and Android devices
  • Mac / OS X
  • Windows PC
  • Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
  • Google Nexus Player
  • Select LG and Samsung Smart TVs
  • Roku TVs, boxes, and Streaming Stick
  • Xbox One

No contracts, no hardware installation, no credit check. More channels will be available in themed packages at an extra cost. The service is designed for individuals – You can only stream one show at once. (You can’t watch CNN on your TV and then ESPN on your tablet. Or it seems CNN on your TV and CNN on your tablet.) Even though I watch less TV than ever, I still pay for traditional cable for the ability to watch ESPN or Travel Channel when I do happen to catch some free time. This type of package could save me some bucks.

Related: Haggle to lower your cable and satellite TV bills.

Sam’s Club $25 Discount – New and Renewal Memberships

samslogoSam’s Club has a new deal that can get you a $25 gift card when you join or renew your membership. Here is the deal link, but everyone who does the Facebook share ends up at this page (in case you don’t do Facebook). Print it out (or load on phone) and bring it to the store to get your $25 gift card.

This is one of the few deals that I’ve seen still good for existing members. Sam’s Club gift cards also work at Wal-mart. Expires 1/31/15.

Gyft Promo Code: $5 off $25 Gift Cards to Target, Home Depot, More

Gyft just sent me an e-mail that you can get $5 off your gift card purchase of $25 or more with promo code LASTMIN, good for existing customers. Expires very soon on 12/25/14 at noon PST. (Note: If you are a new user, get your new user free $5 Gyft card first here.)

Good at lots of popular places like Target, Home Depot, Starbucks, and iTunes. Amazon won’t work directly, but you can buy a $25 Gyft card and then redeem that for a $25 Amazon gift card. The whole process took a minute.

gyft25

Straight Talk Promotion Codes: $20 off $45 Unlimited Monthly Plan Card + SIM

Straight Talk is a prepaid MVNO that offers the ability to buy SIM cards that you can pop into any AT&T-compatible, T-Mobile-compatible, or unlocked GSM phone. This includes many Samsung Galaxys and iPhone 5s that you can buy refurbished or on the used market. For $45 a month you get unlimited minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data with no contracts and no credit checks. You also avoid the usual cell phone taxes that can add $5 to $10 per line. Unlimited means 3G/4G data speeds for 2.5 GB per month, throttled to 2G data speed after that.

Right now they have some good coupon codes for both new and existing customers. Found via SD.

  • Get $75 off any $199+ smartphone plus free shipping with promo code STWB75OFF. Choose between Android or Apple phones, although the iPhones can get expensive. Their refurbished iPhone 4s appears sold out at the time of writing.
  • Get $20 off a SIM + $45 plan card bundle plus free shipping with promo code STWB20OFF. You can buy up to 4 plans per order.

The second code can be a great deal since existing users can simply use the $45 plan card to reload their existing card. You don’t have to use it with the separate 99 cent SIM card, it’s sold as a bundle but the two items are separate. That’s an unlimited month for just $26. Here’s a screenshot of my order screen for $20 off:

stcoupon20

Here’s another screenshot for $80 off if you buy 4 of them. That’s 4 monthly plan cards for $103.96.

Free EPIX Movie Membership Trial

epixlogoMovie streaming service EPIX and the NHL are giving away a free trial membership good until March 6, 2015. Only thing you really need is a working e-mail address; no credit card or personal information required.

Won’t work on your TV, you’ll need an internet connection. Compatible with iPhone/iPad app, Android app, Chromecast, Roku, PS3, PS4, XBOX 360, and other streaming devices. Note: When logging in, under provider choose “Free NHL Trial”.

If you already have Amazon Prime, you’ll see a lot of overlap as Amazon has a partnership agreement with EPIX. Otherwise, a nice freebie, especially for the cable TV cord-cutters out there in need of some free holiday viewing material.

Obihai FREE Monthly Home Phone Service; Get Started For $29.99

obi200

Updated: $29.99 with free shipping (40% off) for a limited-time. If you still have landline phone service and are looking for a cheaper alternative, Obihai is officially supported by Google:

Obihai is excited to announce official support for Google Voice. With a Google Voice account and a companion OBi device you can make and receive VoIP calls on a regular telephone. To get started, just login to the OBiTALK website, add your OBi device and select Google Voice as your service. You’ll then confirm your account with Google, and within minutes, you will be making and receiving calls from the comfort and convenience of your home phone.

An Obihai VoIP phone adapter is a little box that will allow you to plug in any standard landline telephone and use Google Voice to make free phone calls within the US and Canada. You can also make cheap international calls starting at 1 cent a minute.

obi200a

It’s tough to beat under 50 bucks upfront and no ongoing monthly fees for unlimited home phone service. I bought one earlier this year – check out my OBi200 Adapter + Google Voice Installation Review.

Obihai is running a holiday promotion where you can get a Obihai OBi200 VoIP Telephone Adapter from NewEgg for only $29.99 with free shipping from December 18th to December 21st, or until supplies last. Retail price is $49.99.

You must use promo code EMCWHWB45.

20% off Gift Cards to Various Retailers & Restaurants

chilicardAmazon runs various temporary “Lightning Deals”, but if you filter to only show the Gift Card deals you’ll see a running list of gift cards to various retailers at 20% off for a limited time. Amazon Prime members get early access, but many of them don’t sell out and there is also a waitlist option.

For Thursday, December 18th, the line-up includes Chilis/Maggianos/Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Dave & Busters, and AMC Theatres. Seems like an easy way to knock out some last-minute gifts at 20% off face value (i.e. , $20 for $25 gift card, or $40 for $50 gift card). Physical cards get free shipping.

Stack this discount with the 5% cash back at Amazon from Chase Freedom and Discover It cards this quarter.

Similar deals!

  • Get a $20 eGift card if you buy $100 in eGift cards for Panera Bread.
  • Get a free slice of cheesecake with a $25 gift card purchase (electronic or physical) at Cheesecake Factory.
  • Free large pizza if you buy a $25 gift card at Papa Johns.
  • Get $5 eGift card if you buy $25 eGift card at Petco.

Find more special offers by going through the list here at Cashstar and looking for the red “Special Offer” banner.

Amazon.com Coupon: 25% Off Any Book

dinnerlove

Updated, good until 12/14. Similar to their Black Friday promo, take an extra 25% off any book at Amazon.com with promo code BOOKDEAL25. Print books only, max $10 off, must by sold and shipped by Amazon.com. Valid until December 14, 2014 at 11:59pm PST.

Here are some recommendations for those looking to give or receive some financial inspiration:

Here are all my book reviews in reverse-chronological order.

I would have to say my favorite book of the year was Dinner A Love Story. It has some inspirational material to help you cook for yourself and your family, along with the best compilation of weeknight dinner recipes I’ve read in a cookbook. They taste special enough (not bland or boring), but they also take 30 minutes. I just used it again last night.

I bought the new Tony Robbins book MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom. I’m skeptical, but I think I have to read it. What other informercial guru could get book blurbs from Jack Bogle, Bill Clinton, Ray Dalio, and T. Boone Pickens?

Send a Starbucks $20 Gift Card for $10 with Visa (Expired)

Expired as of midnight Eastern. I thought 100k would last longer than a day. Starbucks has a new $10 holiday bonus promotion:

Be one of the first 100,000 to buy a Starbucks Card eGift (min $10) with your Visa® card and we will add an additional $10, courtesy of Visa. Send $10—they get $20, send $25—they get $35, send $50—they get $60, just for using your Visa card. Offer valid from 12/8–12/12/14. One per person. Cannot send to yourself.

Starbucks is verifying people follow the terms. Your eGift card must be sent to a different e-mail address than your own and purchased with a Visa credit card that hasn’t been used with the promo. How do you know if you’re still in the first 100,000? Look for the sentence “This offer is still available” after the quoted text above.

I wish this was physical cards, those are better for gifts to friends. Alternatively, a couple could gift each other $20 gift cards for $10 each. The recipient only sees the $20 gift card, no mention the sender got a discount. Here’s one of our receipts:

sbux20

US Airways Premier World MasterCard Review: 50,000 Mile Bonus (Updated)

Bonus improved from 40k to 50k miles for limited time. American Airlines and US Airways have announced new details about their upcoming merger. As expected, the two frequent flier programs will merge and all the miles will become American AAdvantage miles in 2015. (US Airways Dividend miles will convert at a 1:1 ratio.) Along with that, they have updated both the Citi American Airlines card and Barclaycard US Airways card slightly.

Here are the updated features of the US Airways Premier World MasterCard®. I got the bonus myself (unfortunately at only 40k miles) and have posted details on that below as well.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee
  • First checked bag free on eligible bags for you and up to four companions on domestic US Airways operated flights only.
  • One companion certificate good for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways operated flight at $99 each, plus taxes and fees.
  • Priority boarding Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights only.
  • Redeem miles for award travel on US Airways and American Airlines booked through usairways.com or US Airways Reservations
  • Earn miles on every purchase with 2 miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways and American Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 on purchases everywhere else
  • New! Receive a 25% savings on eligible US Airways and American Airlines in-flight purchases
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details

Again, the unique thing about this card is that American Airlines and US Airways are merging and these bonus miles will become American miles. You can already book reward flights on American with US Airways miles. That also means this Barclaycard-issued card will no longer be accepting applications and you won’t be able to get its sign-up bonus or other unique perks ever again. It is reported that this card will eventually convert essentially into a Barclaycard American Airlines card. So these are miles I didn’t want to leave on the table.

Note that 50,000 mile bonus does not require any minimum purchase amount and that there is an $89 annual fee that is not waived for the first year. 50,000 miles for example is more than enough for a roundtrip from the US to Hawaii or even two roundtrips within the continental US, so that is worth it for me. The US Airways companion certificate is also a unique feature which would be awesome if it eventually applied to American flights (though it probably won’t).

My bonus experience. Applied on 7/14. Approved on 7/21. First statement closed on 8/12, in which I charged $10 and also paid the $89 annual fee. I read some stories about other people making only a single purchase (the minimum technically required) but having to call in about the bonus. Thus, I put on another 4 small charges during the second statement period which ended 9/12 totaling about $49. My 40,000 bonus miles posted 9/13, one day after the closing of my second statement period. Here is a screenshot:

usair40k

The card is issued by Barclaycard, which means you also get a free FICO score every couple months.

Gyft: $40 in Amazon Gift Cards for $30

Updated. This may be a limited-time offer, but here’s how a new Gyft.com customer can get $40 in Amazon Gift Cards for $30. Plus, you can even get a $5 gift card to Toys R Us. (There are other ways to spin this deal, but Amazon gift cards are the most flexible.)

  1. Go to Gyft.com and open a new account. Validate your e-mail address by checking your e-mail and clicking on the link inside.
  2. Check your Gyft Wallet and you should see a $5 Gytf promo code ($15 minimum purchase required). Copy the $5 Gyft code.
  3. (Optional) You can try to stack the 3% cash back from shopping portal TopCashBack, or if you don’t have an account you could try to earn the sign-up bonuses from eBates ($10 new customer bonus) or Mr. Rebates ($5 bonus).
  4. On Gyft, add a $15 Amazon gift card to your cart. When checking out, if possible pick Google Wallet as your payment method (for $5 Toys R Us promo card). Link whatever rewards credit card you like to Google Wallet, and make the $10 purchase.
  5. Now start a new purchase. Add another $25 Amazon gift card to your cart, and apply the promo code FDFAMILY (for $5 off $25 purchase). You must pay with a method other than Google Wallet, so just pick PayPal or credit card. Make the $20 purchase.
  6. Now you’ll have charged $30 on your credit card, and you’ll have $40 in Amazon gift cards that you can use immediately. Plus a $5 Toys R Us gift code. I did my purchases little differently back when you could stack the two promos, but the result was the same.

    gyft1

    gyft2

    Only took about 5 minutes, and I have already applied the codes to my Amazon account. Credit to FW and SD.

    Perhaps someone else has a way, but I was only able to see my $5 Toys R Us gift card (also works at Babies R Us) via the Google Wallet mobile app on Android or iOS. The code works in-store as well as online.