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:

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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.

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    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.

Personal Capital Black Friday Promo: Free $20 Amazon Gift Code

pc_logoPersonal Capital is a free tool that allows you to connect all your financial accounts to track your balances, asset allocation and performance. If you are familiar with Mint.com, it is somewhat similar but more focused your investment portfolio.

For Black Friday weekend, Personal Capital is offering the first 1,000 users to sign up for a free account and link at least one bank or investment account via personalcapital.com/holiday2014 will get a free $20 Amazon.com gift card. The next 3,000 users to sign up and link at least one account will get a $10 Amazon gift card. Easy money!

Valid from 12:00 am PT on Friday, November 28, 2014 and expires at 11:59 pm PT on Monday, December 1, 2014. But it really ends when the $50,000 of gift cards runs out, so probably a lot sooner.

Capital One Consumer Bank Black Friday $100 New Account Promo

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UPDATEThis promotion is now EXPIRED.

Capital One Consumer Bank has a few Black Friday weekend deals including …

This has to be your (or your joint account holder‘s) first 360 Checking Account (including Electric Orange Checking). Additionally, this has to be your (or your joint account holder‘s) first 360 Savings Account (including Orange Savings Accounts).  Good from Black Friday, November 28th at 12am ET to the end of Cyber Monday, December 1st 11:59pm ET.   This is usually the biggest bonus they’ll offer all year.

PNC Bank Card + Visa Checkout $10 Bonus

Get a $10 statement credit via this link when you enroll in Visa Checkout with a PNC Bank Visa debit or credit card by 12/31/2014. You don’t actually have to buy anything for this promotion.

Visa Checkout allows you to pay at participating online merchants without having to type in your card numbers every time, although you’ll need to remember your username and password (like Paypal).

Offer valid 10/20/14-12/31/14. Within 3 statement cycles after enrollment in Visa Checkout, customer will receive a $10 statement credit to either the enrolled PNC Visa credit card account or the primary checking account associated with the enrolled PNC Visa debit card, whichever card is listed as the preferred card in Visa Checkout. Business cards excluded. Limit of one $10 statement credit per customer.

Bank of America Card + Visa Checkout $10 Bonus

Get a $10 Prepaid Reward Visa® Card via this link when you enroll in Visa Checkout with a Bank of America Visa debit or credit card by 12/4/2014. You’ll need to be a new Visa Checkout account customer and add a BofA consumer card, but the promo doesn’t require you to actually buy anything.

Visa Checkout allows you to pay at participating online merchants without having to type in your card numbers every time, although you’ll need to remember your username and password (like Paypal).

To qualify for this offer, you must (1) create a new Visa Checkout account for the first time by [12/4/2014] via the “Enroll now” link above, via http://promo.bankofamerica.com/visa-checkout/ or the Visa Checkout link in Bank of America’s Online Banking, AND (2) add at least one consumer Bank of America issued Visa credit or debit card to the new Visa Checkout account during the initial account set-up (other cards do not qualify for this offer). Allow 60 days from Visa Checkout account opening for delivery of the Reward card to the billing address of the Bank of America issued Visa credit or debit card first added to the Visa Checkout account. Limit one (1) Reward card per customer.

American Express Small Business Saturday 2014 – $30 Total Bonus Per Card

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Reminder: Registration is now live on Shopsmall.com. You will get e-mail confirmation. I would highly recommend registering sometime on Sunday to guarantee your spot, as the number of registrations is limited. The actual day that you must make your purchases is Saturday, Nov 29, 2014. Details are below.

Have you made your SBS Game Plan? Remember that authorized users of eligible cards are also eligible for this promotion. Given that it is three separate $10 credits per card, it’ll make your live easier if you plan out your purchases ahead of time. Here’s my list:

  • Local grocery stores. There’s one where I can find the sunflower seed butter for my kid, and the one with the good raw lasagna.
  • Local restaurants and coffee shops. Just make sure they take AmEx!
  • Local doggie bakery. Usually too pricey for me, but a good place for gifts!
  • Local sporting goods stores and bike shops. Buy some tennis balls, some little things for my bike, etc.
  • Local hardware stores. These are a dying breed, but there are still some non-Home Depot small business hardware stores in my area.
  • Local bookstore. Another rarity, but there happens to be one next to a local restaurant we like!

If they sell gift certificates, buy them! If you only want to spend $10, you can say those can make good stocking stuffers. If you would otherwise buy a $25 certificate for a gift, hey that’s still 40% off what you would have paid. Also don’t be shy about using more than one card at a place. AmEx is paying those $10 credits, not them, so the merchants should still appreciate your patronage.

Original Small Business Saturday 2014 post:

American Express has confirmed that they will bring back Small Business Saturday (SBS) on Saturday, November 29th – two days after Thanksgiving.

The significant change this year is that now it is up to three separate $10 statement credits, for a total of up to $30 per eligible card. Details from the Official Terms and Conditions [pdf]:

  • Limit three (3) $10 statement credits per eligible American Express Card. To receive the offer, Card Members must register any eligible American Express Card for this offer. Corporate Cards and all prepaid Card products (other than American Express Serve® and Bluebird®) are not eligible.
  • The number of registrations is limited. Registration opens at 12:00 A.M. MST (“Mountain Standard Time”) on Nov 16, 2014 and will continue until 11:59 P.M. MST on Nov 29, 2014, unless the registration limit is reached sooner.
  • To receive the $10 statement credit, the Card Member must use his or her registered Card to spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location on Saturday, Nov 29, 2014.

Other important terms and tips:

  • Qualifying small business locations appear on the Shop Small Map.
  • If you don’t have anything specific in mind, even gift cards to a local non-chain restaurant, grocer, hardware store, or clothing boutique count.
  • In all previous years, additional authorized user cards have been eligible for their own $10 credit. (Authorized user cards with AmEx get their own unique card number.) I see nothing that changes that in this year’s rules. Many American Express cards offer additional cards for free to authorized users like your spouse, partner, or older children.
  • Most prepaid cards are not eligible, but American Express Bluebird and Serve cards are eligible. Given that these cards are free to obtain (officially you can only have one or the other, though) this is another path to an additional free $30 of small business patronage in 2014.

Small Business Saturday remains a very creative way for American Express to tell the public that they’ve greatly 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. (It also makes small business that aren’t accepting AmEx to think twice…)

This is a great perk for American Express cardholders. With a little advance planning multiple credits are very easy to get… I’ve gotten them every year without issue.

AmEx Small Business Card Offers: $150 off $150 AT&T Wireless

Quickly since this won’t apply to everyone – If you have a American Express Business card with OPEN, check to see if you were offered $150 back at AT&T Wireless. Simply log into your AmEx account online and scroll down until you see the “Amex Offers For You” tab. Not everyone will have this, but for those that do, simply make a $150 payment to your AT&T Wireless bill by phone at 800-331-0500 with that business card, and get that $150 back in statement credit!

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Fine print:

[Read more…]

Raise App: Buy Gift Cards on Smartphone Right Before Purchase

raiseapp2I prefer shopping tips that let you save money on stuff you’d already buy anyway. Raise.com lets you buy and sell gift cards online, and according to them they are the largest online marketplace for gift cards (plus they’ve raised $25M in venture capital).

Raise just launched their new iPhone app (currently no Android app), and you can tell they put some thought into it with little things like scanning your credit card number via smartphone camera and storing all your past gift cards in their “wallet”. This app makes it even easier to buy a discounted gift card after you’ve already decided what to buy and are on the way to the register. Store your credit card info ahead of time, buy a discounted card for 5 to 10% off, and use up the gift card a minute later. Why wait for shipping? Definitely worth keeping on your phone, if only for big $100+ purchases.

Always check the gift card to make sure it will be delivered electronically. The fine print states that eGift cards will be delivered “within 1 hour” but they’ve always arrived within a minute for me. Even their press release states “A user standing in line for coffee, for instance, could quickly find and buy a corresponding gift card and redeem it at the store counter, pocketing instant savings.”

Raise also guarantees that the gift card you purchase will have the correct value upon redemption. The only “catch” is that you must tell them within 60 days of purchase. I wouldn’t recommend waiting nearly that long with any used gift card, as at least one other person has the code.

Their current promotion is new customers can get $5 off $60 using code RAISE60AF. Yes, you can use promo codes in the Raise app. Inventory is constantly changing, but I just found a Home Depot gift for $61.76 (face value $65.01). After the $5 off coupon, that would be $57.76 or 12.7% off face value.

Target Gift Cards 10% Off on Black Friday 2015

I usually don’t write much about Black Friday “deals” as it usually involves a lot of stuff most people don’t need anyway, but this year it caught my attention that Target is selling their gift cards at 10% off face value. Here are details according to their Black Friday ad [pdf] hosted by Fatwallet.

  • 10% Off all Target GiftCards valid in stores on Friday, 11/28/14 from 6am until 12pm Noon local time and at Target.com from 6am until 12pm Noon Central time.
  • Target Gift cards purchased during this offer can only be used beginning Saturday, November 29th (no double-dipping on Black Friday).
  • Offer valid for up to $300 in Target Giftcard purchases per household. (Not sure how they’d enforce the per-household rule in-store, perhaps by billing address online.)
  • Quantities limited, no rainchecks.

The good news is that you can buy online, but the max discount is $30 on $300 of gift cards (less if you’d otherwise use Target RedCard with 5% off). Also, what is up with “quantities limited”? Why limit access to their own gift cards when they already restrict the time to purchase and place a cap on purchases? Hopefully they make this promo run smoothly.

As reader Helena points out, you can also use your Discover It card and get an additional 5% off if you buy the gift cards online at Target.com.

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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card Review: Roundtip Flight + Companion Pass INFO

Southwest Premier Card ImageSouthwest has brought back their 50,000 bonus point promo for the Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. That’s worth two Round trip Flight (over $700 in airfare with no limited-capacity seating hoops or $500 in Amazon.com gift cards) after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account.  There is a $99 annual fee that is not waived the first year.

2015/2016 Companion Pass
Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Companion Pass allows you to designate one person to fly with you for free (person can be changed 3 times). To qualify, you must earn 110,000 points in a calendar year, and yes credit card points count! If you are careful with when you meet the spending requirement (wait until January), you can earn the status in very early 2015 and then you can use the Companion Pass for the rest of 2015 and all of 2016. The companion pass even works on award tickets!

Besides a lot of spending or flying, the small business version of this card has a 50,000 point bonus. Spend $2,000 on each of these two cards and you’ll qualify for both the 50k bonus and 50k bonus plus the 4k from spending for a total of 104,000 Rapid Rewards points. Spend a little more on the card or take some Southwest flights to make up the last 6,000 points and you’ll have 110,000. Those 110k points will be worth over $1,400 in Wanna Get Away airfare split up into however many flights you want + a free companion pass which can effectively double the value.

More Details
An “average” round-trip $357 Wanna Get Away fare would cost about 25,000 points. In reality, the value of the bonus is $714 in Southwest airfare broken up however you like. Any 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. 25,000 points can also be converted to $250 in gift cards to Amazon.com, Wal-mart, and other retailers.

Currently 70 points = $1 worth of Wanna Get Away airfare, which means you get 1.43 cents of value per point. Southwest is still offering two free checked bags, which can be a significant roundtrip savings. Here are the rest of the details:

  • Get 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • Points Don’t Expire, No Blackout Dates
  • 6,000 points after your Cardmember Anniversary.
  • 2 pts/$1 spent on Southwest Airlines® purchases
  • 2 pts/$1 spent on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases
  • 1 pt/$1 spent on all other purchases

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“Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program.  “The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.”

Amazon Prime Photos: Free Unlimited Photo Backup

azphotosAmazon has announced another feature for Prime subscribers: unlimited free online photo storage. As part of their Cloud Drive, Prime Photos will allow you to back up all your photos in full resolution via either web browser, smartphone app, or desktop PC software. The iOS and Android apps can be set to automatically upload your “camera roll” photos.

Prime Photos requires an Amazon Prime, Amazon Mom, Amazon Student or Amazon Fresh membership (trials count).

Back in May 2014, Flickr announced 1,000 GB of free online photo storage also at full resolution. Their smartphone app can also auto-upload pictures from your phone. For Google+ Photos, any photos over 2048×2048 pixels will count toward your storage limit (15 GB free; 1 TB is $9.99 per month).

On the one hand, Prime Photos provides even more value to Prime subscribers and it is good to have a service you pay some money towards. Flickr is free, but that also means they might shut down in the future if they lack revenue for ongoing support. On the other hand, if you stop your $99 a year Prime membership you’ll either lose your photos or have to pay for Cloud Drive storage. It’s not very cheap: 1 TB of storage costs $500 year.