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$7,000 IRA Contribution Bonus Challenge: $4,673 in Bonuses (2024 YTD Edition)

Each year, I challenge myself to earn the equivalent of the maximum annual IRA contribution limit ($7,000 for 2024 if under 50) using the profits from various finance promotions alone. I earned $5,592 in 2021, $6,259 in 2022, and $5,444 in 2023 (plus another $2,500 in stock special situations). Here’s a progress update after the end of the first quarter of 2024.

If you combined these hobby profits and steady investing, this CAN create enough for a house downpayment (unlike perhaps spare change roundups). If you had put $6,000 into your IRA every year for the recent 10 year period (2014-2023) and invested in a simple Target Date retirement fund, you would have turned small, weekly deals into a $95,000+ nest egg.

That’s worth repeating: An extra 100 grand has been the real-world result of playing this game and investing $500 a month in proceeds for the last 10 years! I have the brokerage statements to prove it. Not to mention, a couple could double these numbers. Focus + Long attention span = Surprising results.

Ground rules: Real-world results for one person only. Following with My Money Blog tradition, this will track my personal, real-world results. It would be quite easy to list a bunch of promotions that add up to $6,000, but these will be promotions that I personally sign up for and complete the requirements (even though I’ve already opened 100+ bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerage accounts over the years). I will track my individual results only, although my partner does also participate on a more selective basis. Nearly all of them have been documented in real-time in the Deals and Offers category, Top 10 credit cards list, and brokerage bonus list.

2024 bonuses and promotions list. The 💵 symbol means I have received and/or cashed out the bonus successfully. The ⌛ symbol means that the promo is still in progress. “Still live” means the offer is still available but the values may have gone up or down.

I chose the Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines cards because I already had planned trips within the next 12 months and knew I could take advantage of the free checked bags, companion fare savings, and redeem the miles. I valued the miles at a simple and conservative $0.01/mile. The Alaska Companion fare on its own saved us nearly $700. The LFCU credit card was something out of the ordinary since I have gotten most of the mainstream cards already, and I was already an LFCU member from their checking account bonus and sometimes-competitive CD rates. They did give me a very low credit line ($2,000).

Total for 2024 YTD: If I assume that all bonuses for which I have completed the required activity will eventually post, the total tally so far is $4,673, which is 67% of the $7,000 annual IRA contribution limit for 2024.

Honorable mention #1: Cummins / Atmus Odd Lot Tender Offer. I did make a $4,819 profit over only 23 calendar days from the expired Cummins / Atmus Filtration odd lot tender offer. This did require a $26,000 commitment to buy 99 shares (the max allowed as an individual small investor) before the odd lot tender, but the lockup time was short with an annualized rate of return of 1,528%.

Honorable mention #2: Robinhood 3% IRA Transfer / 401k Rollover Bonus. After some hesitation, I went for this expired 3% of assets transfer offer using my largest Roth IRA account from Vanguard. The size of this bonus will depend on the size of your assets, and there is a 5-year hold period, so I won’t include this bonus in my annual sums. My bonus was roughly $8,000.

Honorable mention #3: Webull 2% Taxable ACAT Transfer Bonus. I am in the middle of this 2% of assets transfer offer with a portion of my buy-and-hold stocks. Again, the size of this bonus will depend on the size of your assets, so I won’t include this bonus in my annual sums. My expected bonus value is $4,000 on $200,000 of assets transferred.

This is a personal challenge/game that I like to play (and have played for a long time now). It’s not for everyone. I happen to enjoy trying out new apps and services. I also like my hobbies to be profitable – not gonna lie – but I don’t like to waste my time either. I look for a solid return based on the time commitment required. I try to avoid speculative bets, bonuses that are hard to convert to real cash-equivalent value, and anything that requires driving to stores where things may or may not be in stock. The deals that I post often last only a few days, but it’s a bit like value investing where you have to be ready to get off your butt and take decisive action when an opportunity shows up, because they won’t last forever.

Many things I have to skip simply because I’ve already done them. For those new to this hobby, I would first grab the best overall cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve and build up a nice stash of flexible Ultimate Rewards points. After that, I would recommend looking at the Citi Premier (ThankYou points), Capital Venture X (Capital One Miles), and American Express Gold (AmEx Membership Rewards points) to jumpstart your points stashes.

This list also ignores the additional interest earned from otherwise optimizing my existing cash balances, as well as everyday credit card rewards like 2% to 2.6% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on specific categories or 1% or better cash back on rent.

Finally, I am also excluding small-business deals like huge $1,000+ value business card bonuses, big business checking bonuses, and so on. Even you can apply as a sole proprietorship using your name and Social Security number, without having to file for any special ID numbers or licenses…

Photo was generated by Adobe’s Firefly tool (AI).

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Limited-Time Offer, Up to $1,000 Towards Travel

New limited-time offer with added $250 Capital One Travel credit. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel rewards card with unlimited 2 Miles per dollar on all purchases. 75,000 miles can be redeemed as a $750 credit towards any travel purchase made with the card (any airline website, any hotel website, AirBNB stays, Uber rides, no blackout dates). Right now, there is a limited-time offer that includes another $250 Capital One Travel credit. Here are the highlights:

  • Limited-time offer: 75,000 Miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, plus receive a one-time $250 Capital One Travel credit in your first cardholder year – that’s equal to $1,000 in travel.
  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
  • 5 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase-or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 annual fee.

$250 Capital One Travel credit details. Capital One Travel is a travel portal similar to an Expedia or Travelocity. You can use this $250 Capital One Travel credit to offset any airline, hotel, or rental car booking done through their portal. You can use it all at once or split it up across multiple purchases. Here is the fine print directly from their Terms and Conditions:

How does my one-time travel credit work? Eligible Venture primary account holders will receive a $250 Capital One Travel credit (“Credit”) to use toward purchases made through Capital One Travel. Credits will expire one year after account opening. The Credit will be available within Capital One Travel and can be applied to purchases at checkout. The Credit may be used in whole for a single purchase or in part over multiple purchases. Rewards will not be earned on the Credit. If the purchase using the Credit is canceled before Credit expiry, the Credit will be restored. An expired Credit will not be restored upon cancellation of a purchase by the Customer. A Venture card account must be open and in good standing to receive or use the Credit.

Note the following about existing or previous cardholders:

You will earn 75,000 bonus miles if you spend at least $4,000 within 3 months of your rewards membership enrollment date. Once you qualify for this bonus, we will apply it to your rewards balance within two billing cycles. Existing or previous cardmembers are not eligible for this product if they have received a new cardmember bonus for this product in the past 48 months.

(Capital One’s “ultra-premium” card is the Venture X card, which has more perks including Priority Pass airport lounge access and a $300 annual travel credit through Capital One Travel, but also a higher $395 annual fee. This Venture card is more directly competitive with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, while the Venture X competes more directly with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.)

Redemption details. Capital One “miles” can be redeemed directly for a cash statement credit on a 1 mile = $0.01 basis when offsetting any travel purchase made on the card within the past 90 days. In other words, 50,000 miles = $500 toward travel. That means you can fly on any airline or stay at any hotel, pay with this card, and then “erase” that purchase using your miles balance later. This even includes AirBnB vacation rentals, car rentals, and Uber rides.

This means that earning 2 miles on on every $1 in purchases essentially makes this a 2% back card when applied towards travel. You also have the option of booking travel through their travel portal, similar to Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you are not required to do so. You have the flexibility of booking through them or making the purchase directly through the airline, hotel, car rental counter, etc.

Miles transfer options. Capital One now allows you to transfer your “miles” into select airline miles programs as well. Here are the airline transfer partners:

  • Aeromexico
  • Air France/KLM
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Avianca Lifemiles
  • British Airways Avios
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad
  • EVA
  • Finnair
  • Qantas
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer
  • TAP Air Portugal
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Red

Hotel partners

  • Accor Live Limitless
  • Choice Hotels

If you know how to leverage one of these international airline miles programs, this can be a very valuable option. Otherwise, it’s nice to know you can always get a certain level of value by redeeming against any travel purchase.

Bottom line. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, which you can either redeem against any travel purchase or transfer to one of their airline/hotel partners. Right now, there is a limited-time offer that combines 75,000 bonus miles, worth $750 towards travel, and a one-time $250 Capital One Travel credit.

Due to the $1,000+ potential first-year value, I will be adding this card to my list of Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

Pepper Rewards App: 10% Back on Amazon or Walmart Gift Cards (New Users) + 7/16-7/17 Amazon Promo (Existing Users)

Update 7/16/24: Pepper has 1.5X points on Amazon for Prime Day (7/16 and 7/17). That works out to 7.5% off on Amazon gift cards, plus you still get whatever credit card rewards from the Pepper purchase. Total savings could be 9.5%+. The gift … [Read the rest]

Amazon Prime Day 2024: 20% Off Gift Cards, Amazon/Apple/Samsung/YETI Deals, Music/Audible/Kindle Free Trials, Link Credit Cards for Discounts

Amazon Prime Days are here: July 16th and 17th, 2024. I'm the boring one trying to score a deal on toilet paper and kid snacks. I like to check this "Buy Again" tab where you can see if there is a discount on the stuff that you already bought and … [Read the rest]

Laurel Road High Yield Savings Deposit Bonus: 5.15% APY + Up to $200 (Referral Offer)

Updated; now with higher base rate. Laurel Road is a digital subsidiary of KeyBank (not a fintech) that reminds me of SoFi in that they are building a relationship that starts with student loan refinances and then expands to personal loans, … [Read the rest]

Laurel Road Loyalty Checking Bonus $300 + $20/Month ($540 First Year Total)

Updated; bonus is back up to $300. Laurel Road is a digital brand of KeyBank (not a fintech) that reminds me of SoFi in that they are building a relationship that starts with student loan refinances when you are young, and then expands as you grow … [Read the rest]

Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – July 2024

Updated July 2024. Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Freelance, Uber/Lyft, DoorDash, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb? A small business credit card separates your personal and business expenses and can build up … [Read the rest]

Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – July 2024 (Updated)

Updated and added new offers. That space in your wallet or purse is valuable, and you should be the one to get that value. By being smart and picky, you can find offers worth $500+ for a single card, all to encourage you to apply and try it out. … [Read the rest]

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card Review: 120,000 Bonus Points worth $1,500 Towards Travel (Limited-Time Offer)

New limited-time 120k offer. Business credit cards can be used by self-employed or side-gig workers with eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Uber/Lyft, DoorDash/Grubhub, Adsense or other 1099 income that make you a sole proprietorship. The Ink Business Preferred® … [Read the rest]

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card Review: 5 Free Nights (Up to 300,000 Total Points Value)

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card is the premium IHG hotel co-branded card that includes special IHG perks like a free night award every year you keep the card, Elite status, and every 4th award night free. Here are the … [Read the rest]

IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card Review: 100,000 Bonus Points Offer, No Annual Fee

100k limited-time offer boost is back. The IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card is the IHG hotel card that includes special IHG perks but with no annual fee. Here are the highlights: 100,000 bonus IHG points after spending $2,000 on purchases … [Read the rest]

Webull ACAT Transfer Bonus: 2% of Assets (Up to $5 Million)

The Webull brokerage app is offering a 2% ACAT Transfer bonus plus up to $100 in outgoing fee reimbursements if you transfer at least $2,000+. Must transfer by 7/31/24. The minimum hold period is 2 years (must hold past 7/31/26). Nice to see … [Read the rest]