Archives for December 2015

Chase Freedom Card Review: 5% Cash Back on Quarterly Categories + $150 Sign-Up Bonus

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Chase Freedom Visa

The Chase Freedom Card is a popular cash back rewards credit card. What makes it unique is the combination having no annual fee and the ability to get 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter. Here are the highlights:

  • $150 cash bonus after $500 in purchases within your first 3 months.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
  • New 5% categories every 3 months like Gas Stations, Restaurants, and Select Grocery Stores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • No Annual Fee

Note the following text regarding the sign-up bonus eligibility:

This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

2018 5% Cash Back Category Calendar

From October 1st through December 31st, 2018 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Wholesale Clubs (Costco/Visa)
  • Department Stores
  • Chase Pay – Try at Shell gas stations, Walmart.com.

Activate each quarter at ChaseBonus.com, via your online account page, or call the number on the back of the card.  The categories usually include at least one big-spending area, and seem to go with the seasons (home improvement for spring, gas and travel for the summer). This is another “keeper” card for me, as I can keep it around and use it when the bonus categories fit my spending needs.

If you’d rather have “set it and forget it” rewards, compare with the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, which offers a flat 1.5% cash back on everything (no special 5% categories) and no annual fee.

Bottom line. The Chase Freedom Card is a unique cash back rewards card that lets you earn 5% cash back on select categories each quarter. It’s a little extra work to keep track of things, but it allows me to earn hundreds of dollars in extra cash each year without buying extra stuff I don’t need.

529 Plan Qualified Expenses Now Include Computer Hardware, Software, and Internet Access

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macbook_smallThe government just passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, which had a few notable provisions for 529 college savings plan participants. Some of them need to be taken advantage of quickly.

  • Laptops, computers, and related technology and services are now a qualified higher education expense. As defined by the new IRS code, this includes peripheral equipment, computer software, and internet access. They must be purchased for use primarily by the beneficiary of a 529 college savings plan during any years the beneficiary is enrolled at an eligible educational institution. Previously, certain computer purchases counted only when they were explicitly required by the school for course enrollment.
  • You are now allowed to re-contribute qualified withdrawals from a 529 plan that are later refunded by an eligible educational institution into a 529 plan without tax penalty. For example, you may receive a tuition refund after leaving school due to sickness or other reason. Except for a special case for 2015 (see below), you have 60 days from the date of the refund to redeposit the money.
  • Accounting rules were updated to eliminate distribution aggregation. This mainly eases burdensome recordkeeping requirements for plan administrators. Hopefully this will lead to lower administrative expenses for accountholders.

All of these actions are retroactive to January 1, 2015. So if you’ve already made a qualifying computer, software, or internet access expense in 2015, you can take out some more money tax-free. You must initiate this withdrawal by December 31, 2015.

Account owners who received a refund of Qualified Higher Education Expenses between January 1, 2015, and December 18, 2015, the date the law was enacted, have until February 16, 2016 — 60 days from the enactment date for the PATH Act of 2015 — to redeposit the money. Account owners who receive a refund of Qualified Higher Education Expenses on any date after December 18, 2015, have 60 days from the date of the refund to redeposit the money.

Qualified expenses for 529 plans still include tuition, fees, textbooks, supplies and equipment. Room and board also counts up to the greater of (1) the school’s official housing cost estimate or (2) the actual cost of school-operated housing. In all cases, keep good receipts and/or documentation.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit was also made permanent. This provides up to $2,500 in tax credits on the first $4,000 of qualifying educational expenses on up to 4 years of post-secondary education, and increased the phase-out limits to $80,000 (single) and $160,000 (married filing jointly) of modified adjusted gross income.

Sources: CollegeAdvantage, Kansas City Star, UESP e-mail to accountholders.

My 529 Plan Asset Allocation, Part 3: Final Decisions

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college_shirtAfter probably too much thought, I have settled on an investment plan for our two 529 college savings plans (one per kid). My circumstances and preferences are unique and likely different than yours, but as usual I will share my process and final decision. Based on my conclusions from Part 1 and Part 2, here are the general requirements:

  • Each 529 portfolio will be similar but separate from my retirement portfolio. Similar means a low cost, balanced portfolio of roughly 60% stocks and 40% bonds.
  • I want the stocks to have a long holding period. I plan to front-load my contributions early on, and then not touch it for 10 years. After that, I will gradually shift the portfolio to short-term bonds and cash.
  • Low maintenance is good. Zero maintenance would be even better, where I wouldn’t even rebalance annually.
  • Since 529 plans are tax-deferred with tax-free qualified withdrawals, I have the ability to play a little bit with higher-turnover or higher capital-gains strategies. No tax paperwork until withdrawal time.
  • My state has no special tax benefits for 529 contributions, so I should pick from any nationally-available plan.

I narrowed it down to my top three combos:

1. Utah Educational Savings Plan and DFA Global Allocation 60/40 Portfolio (DGSIX)

Pros

  • The Utah Plan is a top rated plan, with many low-cost investment options and probably the best customization tools.
  • Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) applies academic research to try and capture a more “efficient” portfolio to focus in on size and value factors. More here.
  • The DFA Global Allocation 60/40 Portfolio is their all-in-one portfolio that includes domestic and international stocks as well as high-quality bonds.
  • This allows me to “scratch the itch” of investing in a DFA fund without having to deal with any tax drag on performance or additional paperwork.

Cons

  • DFA’s methods are more expensive than Vanguard’s cap-weighted indexes. The total expense ratio is 0.49% annually, vs. roughly 0.26% for a similar Vanguard portfolio. I may or may not experience enough extra return to offset the higher fees.

2. Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan and Vanguard Wellington Fund

Pros

  • The Ohio Plan is a top rated plan with many low-cost investment options, some of which are relatively hard to find like the Wellington Fund and TIPS.
  • The Vanguard Wellington Fund is an actively-managed fund that has a target allocation of roughly 65% stocks and 35% bonds. Run by Wellington Management, it has been around since 1928 and is run with a conservative, long-term view. There is plenty of information elsewhere on this fund. The stocks are usually dividend and value-oriented, and the bonds are actively picked for moderate income.
  • This allows me to “scratch the itch” of investing in the Wellington Fund without having to deal with the tax concerns of owning an actively-managed fund (higher turnover, capital gains distributions).

Cons

  • The Wellington Fund is very cheap for an actively-managed fund, but is still slightly more expensive than Vanguard’s cap-weighted indexes. The total expense ratio is 0.35% annually, vs. roughly 0.22% for a similar Vanguard portfolio. I may or may not experience enough extra return to offset the higher fees.

3. Nevada Vanguard Plan and Custom Mix of Vanguard Index Funds

30% US Total Stock Market Index
30% International Total Stock Market Index
20% US Total Bond Market Index
20% US Inflation-Protected Securities

Pros

  • The Vanguard 529 Plan is a top rated plan with many low-cost investment options, some of which are relatively hard to find like TIPS.
  • Simplicity. If you already have a Vanguard account, you wouldn’t have to add another monthly statement or online account login to your financial life.
  • This portfolio would most closely match my existing retirement portfolio.
  • The total cost would be 0.28%. This is a bit higher than other pre-made portfolios since I like to have a higher amount of international stocks and TIPS which are slightly more expensive than the traditional default options.

Cons

  • I don’t like any of their pre-made static portfolios, so I would have to make my own and rebalance periodically.

In the end, I went with the DFA 60/40 fund. My reasoning is that I have the potential for some higher returns using their strategies, and if I don’t, the passive structure prevents returns that lag too far behind the overall market. The most likely result is a slight win or slight loss. Obviously, I hope for the former but I can tolerate the latter. However, I think any of the options above (or something similar) will also work out just fine.

Bogle 10-Year Stock and Bond Return Forecasts, December 2015

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As a follow-up to Vanguard founder Jack Bogle’s 2015 stock market prediction paper and related Morningstar article, here are a few selected slides from the presentation deck by Jack Bogle at the Bogleheads XIV conference in October 2015.

bogle2015_1

bogle2015_2

The formula for predicting future stock market returns is:

Future stock returns = Current dividend yield + Predicted earnings growth ± (Reversion to long-term average P/E ratio)

The formula for predicting future bond market returns is:

Future bond returns = Current yield to maturity

At 6% nominal for stocks and 3% nominal for bonds, both 10-year numbers are below long-term averages. However, the 10-year breakeven inflation rate based on TIPS and Treasury yields is roughly 1.5% as of now (late 2015). Using those inflation numbers would result in 4.5% real returns for stocks and 1.5% real returns for bonds, a brighter picture than that painted by other forecasts.

Admittedly it is not a large sample size, but here is a plot of how the 10-year predictions have done so far (1990-2014):

bogle2015_3

As noted previously, I like to keep track of these forecasts along with those provided by:

Free Rideshare Promo Codes: Uber, Lyft, Gett, Sidecar, Curb, And More

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uberscreenUpdated, possible $20 free credit for existing Uber customers, new codes for both new and existing Silvercar customers.

Summon everything from your phone! Most of these startups offer bonus credit for first-time users. If you live in a major metro area, this can add up several free rides. I’ve used Uber several times now, and it is amazing how the entrenched taxi industry missed a huge tech opportunity. I see the same thing with Target’s online buying experience being so much worse than Amazon.

Uber. $20 off your first ride via this special link or promo code uberMYMONEYBLOG. Existing users can get another $20 in Uber credit using the Facebook Messenger app, with details here (see bottom of post) and here. I couldn’t get it to work myself, but others report success and supposedly they are adding more cities. Cities.

Lyft. $20 ride credit via promo code THOMAS82499 or my referral link. Cities.

Flywheel. $5 off your first ride until with this special link or promo code 27A8AP.

Gett. You can usually find the best available new user promo code here, up to $50 in the past but right now I don’t see anything. Alternatively, you can try my referral code GTJONAT17 for $20 in free credit. Black car service in NYC only.

Sidecar. $10 ride credit with promo code jdhmd. If that doesn’t work, get a $5 ride credit with my referral code JONATHAN931.

Curb (formerly Taxi Magic). $15 ride credit with promo code CURBFIRST. If that doesn’t work, get a $10 ride credit with referral promo code 00b72a or via this special link. Cities.

Summon (formerly Instacab). $5 ride credit with referral code JPING or use this special link. Flat fares from anywhere in San Francisco to SFO ($35), OAK ($50) and SJC ($120).

Bonus Stuff

Silvercar. Rent a sleek Audi A4 with your phone. First-time renters can get $75 off their first rental of 2+ days with promo code JOLLY75 now through 1/10/16. Returning customers can get 15% off any rental with promo code JOLLY15 now through 1/10/16. I’m not sure if you can stack with the referral offer of $25 in Paypal when you sign up with referral code JPING (referral link, program details). I would sign up for an account first ($25 in PayPal), and then make a rental second ($75 off).

LoungeBuddy. This app helps you locate airport lounges, read reviews, and even book access directly. Get a free $10 in credit using my referral code SMMiI89dbv. In addition, until December 31, 2015, LoungeBuddy is offering a Holiday promo 100% rebate on lounge access at select locations in the form of app credit. So spend $10 cash on an airport lounge, and get $10 in LoungeBuddy credit to use again later.

Where the best deal is a referral code, I have included my own and will usually get a bounty of whatever you get (you get free ride, I get free ride). If my code isn’t the best deal, I have posted the better deal first. Thanks in advance if you use any of them. Let me know if you find a better confirmed deal.

GMO 7-Year Asset Class Return Forecasts, December 2015

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As 2015 winds down, here is a snapshot of the asset class forecasts provided by GMO and the most recent market commentary by co-founder Jeremy Grantham. You can access both of these at GMO.com, although some items require free e-mail registration.

Here is a snapshot of their 7-year expected future returns by asset class, inflation-adjusted, published in mid-December 2015 and using data as of November 30, 2015.

gmo_7year_1511

The chart represents real return forecasts for several asset classes and not for any GMO fund or strategy. These forecasts are forward-looking statements based upon the reasonable beliefs of GMO and are not a guarantee of future performance. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and GMO assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, which change over time. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements. U.S. inflation is assumed to mean revert to long-term inflation of 2.2% over 15 years.

I like to keep track of these forecasts along with those provided by:

Here are some reasons why I like keeping track of these types of forecasts:

  • The projections are based on fundamental, historical, and valuation-based models. This is not to say they can’t be wrong, but the strategy is at least unemotional and provides a reasonable range of expectations.
  • They usually provide support for rebalancing and buying more of beaten-down and unpopular asset classes. Currently, Emerging Markets stocks would fit that description.
  • They usually temper the mass enthusiasm for putting all your money in hot and popular asset classes. Currently, US stocks would fit that description.

Financial Independence Heat Map: Starting Age vs. Savings Rate

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If you are into podcasts and enjoy long conversations about higher-level personal finance topics (put that in your dating profile!), check out the Radical Personal Finance podcast. I’ve only listened to a few, but I enjoyed Episode 181 on The Impact of Your Savings Rate on Your Time to Financial Independence. If you make $50,000 a year and spend $40,000, then your savings rate is 20%.

Based on math formulas mentioned in the podcast, a commenter named Philip Frey created a “heat map” Google Docs worksheet with starting age, savings rate, and age at financial independence. Green means you retire by age 40, yellow by age 50, red by age 65, and grey… means you’ll be heavily reliant on Social Security. 😉

fi_heatmap

I believe the assumptions include (1) both income and spending numbers are after-tax, (2) once you reach 25 times expenses you reach financial independence (4% safe spending rate), and (3) outside pensions and Social Security are ignored. It’s not perfect and I wouldn’t take hard numbers from this chart, but it’s still a neat visualization.

Savings rate is a great way to measure your velocity towards financial independence. Treating the components of income and expenses as separate, as opposed to intricately linked as most people assume, is the key takeaway.

Achieving financial independence is quite difficult no matter how you do it, but my bet is that at least 10x more people have achieved early retirement through high income and average spending, as opposed to average income and very low spending. This is based on our own observations, including having household income that varied between slightly below average and well above-average. I could be wrong; I’d love to see some good data on this.

Free 1,100 Le Club AccorHotels Points = 550 Delta SkyMiles

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accorpromo_logoPromotion has expired.

Accor Hotels is a huge hotel network, especially in Europe. Their new Rewards Quest game promotion will net you over 1,000 free points in their Le Club AccorHotel loyalty program, all in under 5-10 minutes. You don’t even need to answer the questions correctly. It was actually educational for me 😉

If you are a regular Accor Hotel traveler, you’ll probably know what you want to do with your points. You’ll also have the required one hotel stay ever 12 months in order to keep your points from expiring.

If you are NOT a regular Accor Hotel customer, then you should know that these points will convert to various airline programs. The minimum is usually 2,000 points = 1,000 Delta Skymiles, for example. However, it is not well known that if you set your points to automatically convert to a preset miles program, there is no minimum! In that case, your 1,100 Free Le Club AccorHotels Points = 550 Delta SkyMiles. After you create an account and are logged in, try this link to set things up.

I would like to convert my Le Club Accorhotels points into points for other loyalty programs systematically
– Points will be transferred automatically to the selected partner as soon as my account has the required number of points.
– My points will be credited to my partner account within 6 weeks following the transfer
– I cannot receive other Le Club Accorhotels Rewards

Here’s a screenshot from my account which shows an automatic transfer of less than 2,000 points:

accorpromo1

There may be other airlines more to your liking, such as Iberia or British Airways, although Delta is the only domestic airline option that I see. At the minimum, it can help delay the expiration of some frequent flier miles.

The Economics of Reality Court TV Shows (Behind-The-Scenes)

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gavelforsaleHave you ever wondered how the participants get paid in court TV shows like Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, or The People’s Court? Over the weekend, I got this tweet from a casting director for a new court TV show where a celebrity gets to be the judge:

I’m guessing this is due to a previous guest post on Winning Our Case in Small Claims Court. Here’s the recruitment flyer:

CV9uhmWUkAABz5p.jpg-large

Of course, me being me, I found the payment details the most interesting:

  • If you win the case, you are guaranteed to collect because the show pays the judgment directly to the winner.
  • If you lose the case, you don’t have to pay anything, again because the show pays the judgment for you.
  • No matter what, both parties will receive an appearance fee.

I found some related details from the Wikipedia page of the Judge Judy show:

  • The award limit on these types of shows is usually $5,000, the same as “real” small claims court.
  • The appearance fees varies, but is in the neighborhood of a few hundred dollars plus $35 a day if it takes multiple days. They pay may also pay for your airfare and hotel if you are not from the area.
  • Most of the audience extras are comprised of (low) paid (aspiring) actors.

For an honest disagreement, this seems to be a pretty fair arrangement. Both parties will still want to win the case, but both will stand to benefit financially. The show gets cheap material (court shows are much cheaper to make than sitcoms), and the audience gets entertained.

However, in the style of Freakonomics, this incentive structure can create unexpected consequences. Namely, fabricated lawsuits. If you think about it, dishonest conspirators can get a paid vacation to Los Angeles, an appearance fee, seen on TV, and they can split up to a $5,000 judgment. An example per Wikipedia:

In April 2013, former litigants from a 2010 airing of the show revealed they conspired together in fabricating a lawsuit in which the logical outcome would be to grant payment to the plaintiff. The operation, derived by musicians Kate Levitt and Jonathan Coward, was successful: Sheindlin awarded the plaintiff (Levitt) $1,250. The litigants involved also walked away with an appearance fee of $250 each and an all expense paid vacation to Hollywood, California. In reality, all the litigants in question—plaintiffs and defendants alike—were friends who split the earnings up among each other. It was also reported that the show’s producers were in on the sham and knew of the contrivance all along but went along with it. The lawsuit was over the fictitious death of a cat as a result of a television crushing it.

The judge does have somewhat of an “out” with the option of dismissal without prejudice, which means that there is no decision and the lawsuit may be refiled and retried in another forum.

[Judge Judy] Sheindlin has dismissed cases without prejudice when she has suspected both the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) of conspiring together just to gain monetary rewards from the program.

If you have a case, please contact Mr. Simnowitz, and don’t forget to tell me about it if you get on TV!

Pay with Chase Ultimate Rewards Points at Amazon.com ($10 First-Time Bonus)

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Chase Sapphire Preferred ImageIf you have Ultimate Rewards points accrued from Chase credit cards, you can now use them to buy eligible items at Amazon.com. The redemption rate is 1 Ultimate Rewards points = 1 cent at Amazon, which is the same rate as their statement credit redemptions. The only added benefit is that there is no minimum redemption size. However, you may still get a better value by converting them to frequent flier miles like those from United Airlines or British Airways.

You’ll need to connect an eligible Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, including:

However, if you have even one Chase Ultimate Rewards point, you can now get $10 off your first purchase using this feature. See the details at this Chase / Amazon promotion page. Offer valid through 12/31/15 with promo code SWP15CH10S. Limited-time offer, while supplies last.

The instructions are pretty clear:

1. Link your Chase Sapphire® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® card to your Amazon account.
2. Enroll your Chase Sapphire or Chase Sapphire Preferred card in Shop with Points.
3. Add products sold and shipped by Amazon.com to your Shopping cart.
4. Choose your enrolled Chase Sapphire or Chase Sapphire Preferred card as your Payment Method and select to use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to pay for all or part of your order. Click “Use this payment method”.
5. Enter the promo code SWP15CH10S in the box provided and press “Apply”.
6. Redeem at least $0.01 (or 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point) and press “Apply”. If you receive an error message while attempting to apply the promo code, please wait 72 hours and try again.
7. The Shop with Points promotional offer of up to $10 of savings will be reflected instantly on the right side of the checkout page. If the shopping cart order is less than $10, the promotional credit will be applied against the full order. You can change the amount of points redeemed at any time prior to placing the order.

Here is a screenshot of my successful application of this offer (click to enlarge):

swp1b

I only had to use 1 Ultimate Rewards point, and it took $10 plus $0.01 off my order. Remember to add only products “sold and shipped by Amazon.com” to your cart.

Curbside App: Get $20 off Target “Drive Thru Window” (Limited Locations)

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

curbside_logoCurbside is a new app that adds a “drive thru window” to local stores like Target, Best Buy, or Home Depot. You order stuff with your smartphone (iOS or Android), and pick it up without parking your car. No handling fees, no markups. An interesting compromise between dealing with in-store crowds and waiting around for the UPS truck. Right now they are only in very limited areas.

New customers can get $20 off their first Target order. Curbside is currently ONLY available in the Greater Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York/New Jersey Area. Limit one per household. First time customers only. While supplies last.

You’ll get an e-mail with the title “Your $20 Offer is waiting.” You may need to install the app, sign up for the account, and then go use the link in that e-mail again to activate your $20 promotion balance. Here is a screenshot.

Note that the above promo is better than the standard refer-a-friend offer of $10 off $20 minimum order. You’ll see these codes readily available everywhere… including here! But don’t use my $10 off promo code NCDLO unless the above linked offer is expired.

FileThis App Review: Automatically Backup Your Online Statements

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filethis_applogo

A few months ago on my post about Paperless vs. Paper Statements, I received this helpful comment from reader Daveraham:

I like the services FileThis.com. It’s setup similar to MInt, where it stores account information, but instead of fetching dollar amounts and transactions, it grabs every statement available and stores them where you direct. Personally I store it an evernote account and then periodically pull it off to store on a removable HD that get’s stored in a fireproof box. Overkill?? Sure…. But its the point. You want to keep that snapshot of data for a long period of time.

I made a mental note to check the site out and… promptly forgot. I was again reminded in this Liz Weston article about apps to organize your financial life. In November 2015, FileThis announced their 2.0 version with new features. You can use the FileThis.com website, iOS app, or Android app (1.0 version only for now).

FileThis is now one of many “bill organizers” that ask for your account passwords in order to sift through your accounts and remind you of due dates. Personally, I don’t need or use due date reminders. I sit down at the end of every month, read through all my paper statements, track expenses, and pay my bills. I’m an old fart like that (although I do use free online billpay).

I previously shared that I maintain physical statements for critical financial accounts and have it mailed to a secure PO Box. But I also have several other financial accounts which are either dormant, temporarily opened for reviews or experiments, or have low balances which are set to paperless. Ideally, I would still log in and download those PDF statements every month and back them up. But I never do.

FileThis will log in and automatically download all your paperless statements and then save them to your cloud service of choice: Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Amazon Cloud, and more. You can even use their in-house storage (500 mb free). The cost options:

  • Free for up to six (6) connections. Checks weekly.
  • $2 a month ($20 a year upfront) for up to 12 connections. Checks weekly.
  • $5 a month ($50 a year upfront) for up to 30 connections. Checks daily.

Besides things like bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerage statements, FileThis will grab stuff from your mortgage provider, car loan servicer, cell phone bill, utility bills, insurance bills, and even online shopping accounts like Amazon. An added bonus is that they will even grab tax documents like 1099 forms.

I linked up a few accounts, the list is relatively extensive but it couldn’t find a local credit union. Here are some screenshots from my website and smartphone app.

filethis1

filethis2

Remember that the actual files are on your cloud service. Here’s a screenshot from my Dropbox app. The files are stored in the folder Dropbox > Apps > FileThis.

filethis3

This is pretty cool. The initial download basically grabbed all the older documents that were available as well (up to last 3 years, supposedly). They’ll even grab PDF statements if you also get mailed paper statements (assuming they are available), giving you an additional backup copy.

By allowing backups directly to a third-party cloud service (Dropbox in my case), I will still have all of my online statements even if FileThis shuts down some day (remember Manilla?).

The trade-off here is that another FinTech startup has your account logins and passwords. Their security measures seem fair enough (encrypted SSL transmission, passwords are encrypted on server, the documents can be stored at your cloud service). I already track my paperless accounts in real-time with Mint, but I am willing to make this trade-off as I think it’s worth it to have my old statements backed up for me. (Why can’t Mint do this for me too?) The only other service I know that offers something similar is Finovera, but I think they store the statements on their own servers as opposed to your personal Dropbox.

As an existing user, if you sign up using my referral link, both you and I will receive an additional free connection (so you’d have a total of 7 free to start) and an additional 250 mb of free in-house cloud storage.