Chase Southwest Credit Cards: 80,000 Bonus Points (2021/2022 Companion Pass)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

New 80k consumer, 100k business offers. Southwest Airlines offers a unique feature called the Companion Pass, which lets you pick one person to fly with free when you book either paid or award flights (including to Hawaii!). If you either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points or 100 one-way flights within calendar year 2021, you’ll earn the Companion Pass for the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022! This might be ideal timing to grab these boosted bonuses when travel is weak and you have an entire year to earn enough points for a Companion Pass through the end of 2022. You can change your designated companion up to three times each calendar year.

Points earned from credit cards count toward that 125,000 point requirement, including sign-up bonuses! You can often get very close to that magic number when you add up the potential miles from these Southwest consumer and business cards. This is on top of the value of redeeming those points for miles (75,000 points can get you $1,100+ in Wanna Get Away airfare). Right now, you can get up to 80,000 bonus points from a single consumer card and 100,000 from a single business card.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card

  • Up to 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after $10,000 in purchases in the first 9 months.
  • 3,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 5X points per $1 spent on Southwest(R) purchases, between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 spent per month. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other Southwest(R) purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $69 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card

  • Up to 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after $10,000 in purchases in the first 9 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 5X points per $1 spent on Southwest(R) purchases, between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 spent per month. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other Southwest(R) purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority card

  • Up to 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. Earn 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after $10,000 in purchases in the first 9 months.
  • 7,500 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit.
  • Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on inflight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies.
  • Earn tier qualifying points towards A-list status.
  • 5X points per $1 spent on Southwest(R) purchases, between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021 on up to $2,000 spent per month. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on all other Southwest(R) purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $149 annual fee.

The following are business credit cards:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card

  • Up to 100,000 Rapid Rewards points. 70,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $25,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • Inflight WiFi Credits (up to 365 x $8 credits per year).
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® Fee Credit in the form of a statement credit of up to $100 every four years.
  • $199 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card

  • 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Value of Rapid Rewards points. Redeeming Southwest points for flights varies in a narrow range, but a very reasonable approximation from my experience is 1.5 cents in Wanna Get Away airfare in per point. That works out to $600+ in Wanna Get Away airfare from 40,000 points or $900+ in Wanna Get Away airfare for 60,000 points or $1,100+ in Wanna Get Away airfare from 75,000 points (you are still liable for taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way). Importantly, Southwest does NOT have blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem with points. This means that Southwest points are much easier to use than a “saver award” on traditional airlines.

Now, if you manage to qualify for the the Companion Pass on every trip that you book with those points, that doubles the potential value of each award redemption. In other words, 125,000 Rapid Rewards, would usually get you $1,850 in Wanna Get Away airfare, but with the Companion Pass you’d get an extra companion ticket for every flight booked.

A backup option is gift card redemptions. You can currently redeem 6,750 points for a $50 a Amazon.com or Walmart gift certificate. That makes 60,000 points worth $444 in Amazon or Walmart gift cards. It’s something, but less than half the value you could get from redeeming for flights.

Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person. The fees on the other airlines have crept up to $30 per bag, each-way. That adds up.

Our family policy is to not try out a new credit card unless it offers us $500 in total value. Just the free award flights from the points are enough to satisfy that rule, and then you can add on the potential value of the companion tickets.

Card restrictions. All of these Southwest credit cards are subject to “5/24” restrictions, which means that your application will be automatically denied if you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months (check your credit reports). Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else. There is also this language on the consumer card:

The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.

Basically, you can get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest consumer card once every 24 months. You can also get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest business card once every 24 months.

Extending your Companion Pass with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest points on a 1:1 basis. If you book an award flight with those Southwest points while you have the Companion Pass, you can double the value of your Ultimate Rewards points as well.

Bottom line. Right now, you can earn up to 100,000 Southwest points from qualifying for a single credit card sign-up, which in itself can be redeemed for a lot of free Southwest flights (including Hawaii). Earning 125,000 points overall (including from credit card rewards and bonuses) in a year will earn you the Southwest Companion pass, which provides a free companion ticket on every flight bought with cash or points for the rest of the current year and all of the next year. Finally, Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person on every flight.

Also see: Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers and the Top 10 Best Business Card Offers.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Target: 10% Off Gift Cards, 10% Off One Entire Shopping Trip

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

First up, Target Circle is offering 10% off one entire shopping trip either online or in-store from 12/1 to 12/12. Target Circle is their rewards program and free to join. You must activate the offer in your Target Circle account, which you can access at the website or in the Target app. Note that there is a pretty long list of exclusions* including Apple (see bottom of post).

Next, Target Circle is offering 10% off Target Gift Cards on Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th, 2020. Offer available both in-store and online. Before you buy the gift cards, look for the offer to activate in your Target Circle account, at the website or in the Target app.

  • Limit one transaction up to $500 in Target gift cards ($50 maximum discount). So buy them all at once.

A reminder that the 5% REDcard discount does not apply to gift card purchases, so you should use another rewards credit card. You may wish to use your Discover or ABOC Platinum Rewards card as they offer 5% cash back at Target this quarter.

* Here are the exclusions on the 10% off one single shopping trip coupon:

*Excludes alcohol, Apple products, Baby Alive Grow Up Baby, Barbie Dreamhouse & Camper, Beats Powerbeats, Beats Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro, Bose, Cards Against Humanity, Casper, The Child action figure, clinic & pharmacy, Cricut, dairy milk, DockATot, Dockers, Disney Frozen Castle, DSLR cameras & lenses, Elf on the Shelf, Elvie, Facebook Oculus and Portal, facemasks, Fitbit, gift cards, Google, HALO Baby, Hasbro Games (Classic Monopoly, Connect Four, Jenga, Rubik’s Cube, Sorry, Trouble), Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage, HP, Imaginext Batcave, Infant Optics, Instant Pot, JBL, LEGO, Levi’s Red Label, LG OLED TV, limited-time designer partnerships, Little People Rampway, L.O.L. House & Collector, Mega Bloks, mobile contracts, Motrin pain relief, Nerf Ultra, Nintendo hardware and Switch games, Polder, Poo-Pourri, Peg Perego, Philips Avent, power shave, power dental, Harry’s and Flamingo, prepaid cards, PlayStation consoles and accessories, Samsung TVs, simplehuman, Sonos, Sony Electronics, Target Optical, Tempur-Sealy, Traeger, Tylenol pain relief, Weber, What Do You Meme?, and Xbox consoles and accessories.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Giving Tuesday 2020: Double Your Impact With Matching Donations

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

givingtuesdayTuesday, December 1st is Giving Tuesday 2020, an international day about giving support through charities and nonprofits by donating money or volunteering your time. In case you aren’t inundated with mailings already, this time of year is a big deal for charities, with 40% of donations occurring in the last six weeks of the year. Here are some ways you can “double your impact” with a matching donation.

Facebook Match (good toward any charity that accepts donations via Facebook). Starting at 8am Eastern on 12/1, Facebook will match $7 million in donations to U.S. nonprofits – up to $100,000 per nonprofit and $20,000 per donor. Donations will be matched for the first $2M, 10% for the next $5M.

For example, give directly with the donate button on the The Humane Society Facebook Page. You can also start your own fundraiser here or simply post up a donate button to support your favorite charity.

Check for an employer match. Try this lookup tool from DoubleTheDonation. Most of these programs don’t require you to actually give on a specific day, but you may want to start the process today so you don’t forget in the holiday rush.

Individual charities. Many charities are organizing their own matching program for #GivingTuesday. Here are some large charities have organized their own matches in the past, but I would check to make sure.

Also check with your favorite local community nonprofit. GivingTuesday.org has some additional ideas.

Having trouble deciding where to give? Here are some charity comparison sites that will help you pick where to send your help.

  • CharityNavigator – Largest and well-publicized charity rating site, provides a 4-star rating based primarily on financial criteria.
  • GiveWell – Tries to identify the best charities, not rate them all. Focused primarily on charities working internationally
  • GreatNonProfits – Allows clients, volunteers, and funders to post personal reviews based on their experiences.
  • GuideStar – Tries to be a one-stop shop for both financial data and personal reviews of charities. Must register to see a lot of things, and pay a subscription fee for premium in-depth data.

Looking to volunteer your time? Check out FeedingAmerica.org and find a volunteer opportunity at a food bank near you.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Porte Banking App Review: 3% APY on up to $15,000 (+$50 Bonus)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Porte is another banking fintech app, this time with the notable feature of 3.00% APY on up to $15,000 on their attached high-yield savings account. To enable access to this account, you must have a one-time occurrence of $1,000+ of direct deposits within one month. There doesn’t appear to be any ongoing requirements after that. This makes it a more simple setup than the 3% APY accounts of HM Bradley and One Finance, albeit with a lower balance limit. Thanks to reader Matt for the tip.

Referral bonus. New sign-ups can also earn an additional $50 bonus if you open a new account via referral link (must open link in mobile browser, goes directly to app store) and establish a direct deposit of at least $500. That’s my link and I will also get the same bonus, so thanks if you use it! If you have issues with the bonus posting, please let me know.

Quick 3% APY math. If you were to max out the $15,000 at 3% APY and this interest rate holds for a year (a big if), you would get $450 of interest over that year. Compare with a 0.50% APY savings account that would earn $75 in interest on $15,000 in a year, for a difference of $375 a year. As long as that gap stays wide enough, that could be an ongoing $20 to $30 a month in extra interest income.

Additional features.

  • No monthly fees, no minimum balances.
  • Fee-free access to Moneypass ATM network (32,000+ locations).
  • Free debit Visa card.
  • Mobile check deposit via app.

They have “real human” (their words) customer service available at 800-267-7080. FDIC insurance is provided by their partner bank, MetaBank. This is the same bank behind Netspend, which used to have a more interesting 5% APY prepaid card. Note that interest also posts quarterly.

An important missing feature is that you can’t use their app to link an external bank account to make ACH deposits/withdrawals. You can make one-time deposits via a debit card from one of your other accounts (they use Plaid). You will have to link this account using another online bank as the hub (Ally, CapOne 360, Marcus, etc) to make ACH transfers. Otherwise, you’ll have to use their debit card and use Venmo/Apple Cash or similar. Little things like this show that it is a small start-up.

My experience. I opened the checking account and was allowed to open the savings account immediately after making $1,000 in qualifying direct deposits. (They don’t seem to be highly discerning as to what constitutes a direct deposit, but no guarantees.) You must manually transfer your funds from the checking to savings in order to get the 3% APY, which makes the funds inaccessible to your debit card. Even so, I declined their “Overdraft Service”, as I’d rather they just reject any transaction that would send me into negative territory. It doesn’t appear that the savings can be used as an overdraft source. My routing number is 073972181, which matches MetaBank, NA. I was able to make deposits and withdrawals to this account.

Bottom line. Porte is a new fintech app that offers a notable 3% APY on balances up to $15,000 once you complete a one-time direct deposit of $1,000 within a month. This is currently a much higher interest rate than the competition. The rest of the app is similar to other fintech offerings, but the high-yield savings account may be attractive for savers.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

HMBradley Bank Review: 3% APY After Saving 20% Of Your Deposits

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Black Friday promo: If you open via a referral link between 11/27 and 12/25 and complete a direct deposit, HM Bradley will give you 3% APY immediately and lasting until the end of 2020, instead of the usual 1% APY. Normally, you would have to wait until the next quarter so that they can calculate your savings rate. My referral link (wish they had better landing pages, but thanks if you use it).

Applicants who use your unique referral link to successfully open a new HMBradley Account between November 27, 2020 and midnight Pacific Time on December 25, 2020 and establish at least one qualifying direct deposit per month before December 31, 2020 can earn the Tier 1 annual percentage yield from the date of first direct deposit through December 31, 2020. These new customers are eligible to remain in Tier 1 until January 1, 2021, at which point their new Savings Tier will be set based on their savings rate of the previous quarter.

Original review:

HMBradley is a fintech bank startup that differs by offering customers a variable interest rate based on their savings rate. Deposits are FDIC-insured through Hatch Bank. As of October 2020, the top rate is 3% APY, which is over 2% higher than the popular online savings accounts like Ally Bank, Capital One, or Marcus. Is there a catch? What’s the fine print? Here’s my review of HMBradley after opening an account and reading their FAQ, fee schedule, and deposit agreement. Thanks to reader Guarav for the tip.

Rate tiers. Interest is earned on balances up to $100,000 and is set each calendar quarter. The interest rate updates for all customers at the beginning of each calendar quarter: January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st. In order to qualify for a “Savings Tier”, you must receive a direct deposit at least once every month and save at least 5% of your quarterly deposits.

New customers start in Tier 3 and stay there as long as they maintain at least one direct deposit per month. For example, if you open in October, the next reset date would be January 1st and your interest earned for the next 3 months is based on your activity in the previous 3 months. Here are the current rates for each tier:

Requires a “real” direct deposit every month. You must receive some sort of direct deposit each month, as defined below:

For our accounts, we define direct deposits as those deposits made by the customer’s employer or a federal or state government agency or retirement benefits administrator. These generally include payments made by corporations and other organizations. We do not consider deposits to an account that are made by an individual using online banking or other payment provider such as PayPal or Venmo as direct deposits.

They appear to be relatively strict on receiving a “real” direct deposit and not a person-to-person transfer. Based on my experience, they have a system for detecting incoming deposits and marking them automatically as “real”, but it is not 100% accurate and your direct deposit may have to be reviewed manually. Their online account interface clearly tells you if you have made the required direct deposit for the current month (see screenshot below). If not, you should contact them in order for them to manually check and mark your transfer as a direct deposit. I have a legit employer direct deposit and still had to do this every month. Having it marked properly is required to get the top rate.

Savings rate is based on ALL deposits and withdrawals. For the calculation of “savings rate”, all deposits are considered including incoming transfers from another personal bank account. At the same time, your “spending” will also include any transfer out of your account, even if it’s just to another bank account that you own.

Basically, money has to keep coming into HMBradley and not go back out, if you maintain a positive savings rate. That’s rather clever. They just have to maintain the high interest rates to keep reinforcing this cycle.

NOW account? No paper checks. It should be noted that HM Bradley’s account is actually a lesser-known form called a “negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) account”, which per the CFPB which gives the bank the right to require at least seven days written notice of a withdrawal. Supposedly, this is rarely done in practice. Like a checking account, there are no limits on the number of withdrawals each month. However, unlike a checking account… there are no checks! I suspect that not having to deal with paper checks saves them a good chunk of money. I’m personally fine with that as long that equates to a higher interest rate.

The Bank offers Negotiable Order of Withdrawal transaction checking accounts, which allows you to make deposits by check, ACH payment, transfer from another account at the Bank, or wire transfer. NOW accounts only are available to consumers for personal, family, or household purposes. The Bank does not offer business accounts and you agree not to use your HMBradley Account for business purposes. The Bank may request 7 days’ advance notice of a withdrawal or transfer of funds from the NOW account.

Credit card adds 0.50% APY. They recently added a credit card, but it is only open to those that have sizable payroll direct deposits as that is part of their creditworthiness criteria. If you do get it, you can earn another additional 0.50% APY, for a total of up to 3.5% APY.

Additional features. No minimum balance, no monthly fees. $100 minimum to open. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. No paper checks. There is fee-free ATM access via your Debit Mastercard at over 55,000 ATMs in the STAR and MoneyPass networks (or at any store that allows for cash back on debit purchases). There is no online billpay (“coming soon”) and there is no ability to deposit checks (remote deposit also “coming soon”). They may close your account without notice if you maintain a zero balance.

My thoughts. In the current rate environment, the ability to earn 3% APY on up to $100,000 is exceptional. I don’t know of any “rewards checking” account has a balance limit of $100,000. This can be a good opportunity if you understand the rules and the top interest rate stays higher than the competition.

All new customers that open now will earn a maximum of 1% APY until the next quarter starts (January 1st, 2021 as of this last update). This is actually a good rate in the current rate environment. If your savings rate is determined to be above 20% as of December 31st and you had a “verified” direct deposit each month, then you will reach Tier 1, but will Tier 1 still be 3% APY then? There is no rate guarantee and they don’t promise to provide any set amount of advance notice. I was happy that they maintained their 3% APY rate for October-December 2020, but it should also be noted that some of their lower rate tiers have already dropped from when they first starting taking deposits.

The idea of incentivized higher savings rates is good, but it may be a tough hurdle for those living paycheck-to-paycheck. On the other hand, as long as you can switch over a partial direct deposit, adding some consistent amount each month with minimal withdrawals would also work.

Bottom line. HMBradley is a digital bank startup that differs by offering customers a high rate (currently up to 3% APY) based on the percentage of their deposits that they save. They require moving over a monthly direct deposit, and the rules are a bit more complex than I’d like, but if the rates hold steady it can be a very competitive offer for motivated savers.

Added 11/16/20: HMB added a new referral program. If you sign up via my referral link, I will get a free “Tier Rewind” if my savings rate drops later on. You can refer others for the same benefit. Thanks if you use it! Also here is an interesting interview with the CEO, which thankfully shows a good respect for anti-fraud vigilance.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Healthywage Review: Bet on Yourself, Get Paid To Lose Weight ($100 Prize Bonus)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

(Black Friday Promo: Click this special link for $100 Healthywage Prize Boost for a limited-time until 11/30. This greatly improves your betting terms (see below) and is the highest bonus that they historically offer. Look for the banner on top. Read on for how it helped me lose 50 pounds.)

hw_logoAfter reading academic studies which found that financial incentives were effective in helping people lose weight, I joined HealthyWage.com. You tell them how much weight you want to lose, your current body details, how much time you want, and and they’ll calculate what prize to offer you based on how much you want to bet on yourself. Since I eventually lost 50 pounds with the help of HealthyWage and other weight-loss betting sites (and have kept it off since), and I wanted to share my experiences including both positive and negative aspects. Importantly, you can do everything from home!

My overall HealthyWage bet was to lose 10% of my body weight over 9 months (22 pounds in my case). My offered bet was to put up $50 per month for 9 months for a potential win of $50. You may like the sound of “winning $500”, but know that a lot of it will be your own money:

healthywage500

Honestly, risking $450 to win $50 didn’t feel like a very good risk/reward ratio, but I wanted the extra motivation. Perhaps my goal was too easy and that was why the payout wasn’t as high. You can put up your own numbers and calculate your own HealthyWage offer. Your payout may be much better than mine. The quote is free, you just need to provide any e-mail address.

If I joined during a limited-time offer prize boost, I could have earned a lot more money:

Initial weigh-in verification. There are four ways to verify your weight:

  1. Smartphone app. There is a HealthyWage app for iOS and Android. You take a clip using the app and your personal scale. Importantly, everything can be done from home!
  2. Video Verification. Upload a video to their website using your personal scale.
  3. Verification by a Fitness or Health Professional – Bring a form to your “local gym, pharmacies, corporate wellness clinics, walk-in clinics, HR reps, nurses, your personal doctor, your personal trainer or your chiropractor.”
  4. Verification at a Weight Watchers Meeting.

I followed their directions carefully, uploaded my video, and both my initial and final videos were accepted with no issues or additional requests.

Every month, I would see a $50 charge on my credit card bill from Healthwage. However, that was about it. There were no encouraging e-mails. No fun tokens or prize giveaways.

Upon initial sign-up, I was given my 2-week window for final weigh-in. HealthyWage’s two-week window is definitely more generous than DietBet’s 48-hour window, with the important difference that I was never sent any reminders by HealthyWage when the time actually came. In comparison, Dietbet sent me multiple reminders beforehand. Now, I had the date marked on my digital calendar with several alerts, so I completed my weigh-in by the second day of the window. It is quite possible that if I waited until closer to the final deadline, I would have gotten a reminder. But I wouldn’t rely on it. Remember, if you forget, they keep your money!

I also did a DietBet at the same time, which is similar but different in that it collects participants into groups and then takes a cut from the pooled bets. See my separate DietBet Review.

Extra final verification hoops. Upon final weight verification, you’ll have to submit the verification video again (see above). But that’s not all. I also had to locate and upload a “before photo” and an “after photo”, which could be any photo from “around the time” of the start and end of the challenge. I also had to upload a scan of my driver’s license. Here’s a screenshot of their page asking for additional information.

Finally, I successfully referred a few people to Healthwage and received extra money added my “pot”. This referral program is nice feature to get some social support, but remember that you get the referral money only if you win your own bet.

Final payout options. There are two options to receive your winnings. A mailed check takes 3-4 weeks to process, with no fee. The other “fast” option is PayPal, which charges a 3% fee. I picked the PayPal option because I didn’t want to wait around for a check. However, they later clarified that it would still take 3-5 business days for Paypal transfer. The 3% fee is taken out by PayPal, so HealthyWage actually sends the full amount (they just choose not to subsidize the fee). In retrospect, maybe I should have just waited for the check. Here’s a screenshot:

hw_finalpay

Bottom line. I committed to a Healthywage bet to lose 10% of my initial weight over 9 months. I lost the weight, completed my verifications without hassle, won the bet, and was paid my winnings. Although I found the process a bit impersonal, they are a legit company. Calculate your own HealthyWage offer here. No obligation to get a quote. However, the fact that HealthyWage motivated me to finally lose over 50 pounds was worth more to me than the cash winnings. I’ve kept it off in the years since as well, so it literally changed my life and quite possibly made it longer.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Amazon: Pay with American Express Points, Get 10% to 40% Off (Targeted)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

I just got this yet again for 20% off, so it’s worth another click to check if you do too! If you have an American Express card with Membership Rewards (MR) points, you can redeem them to buy eligible items at Amazon.com. The redemption rate is 1 MR points = 0.7 cents to spend at Amazon, which unfortunately is less than a cent per point and thus not really the ideal use of MR points. However, here are targeted promotions where you can save money after redeeming just 1 single MR point.

Here are some additional tips:

  • If you haven’t linked yet, you can link your Membership Rewards points balance to your Amazon account here.
  • If you have already linked your cards and aren’t targeted, you may consider removing your American Express card from your account completely, and then linking it again after a day, and then checking the offer page(s) again after another day.
  • Items must be marked as both sold AND shipped by Amazon.com.
  • Be sure to select your American Express as your payment method and redeem at least 1 point or $0.01 in value of Membership Rewards points.
  • Savings should be reflected on the final order checkout page, before you commit to purchase.

This is a recurring perk for existing American Express cardholders, which is why one of my two “keeper” consumer American Express cards is the Amex EveryDay Card (keeps my Membership Rewards points active with no annual fee, helps qualify for various Amazon promotions). The other is the Blue Cash Preferred from AmEx (6% cash back on US supermarkets, up to $6,000 annually).

You can also earn and keep Membership Rewards points active with a small business card. My favorite business American Express card is the Blue Business Plus Card – 2X MR points on all purchases, of up to $50,000/year. There is also the Blue Business Cash Card that earns a flat 2% cash back on up to $50,000 in purchases each year. Both have no annual fee.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Discount Magazines Black Friday Sale 2020

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

The annual DiscountMags.com Black Friday Sale is one of the few times where they post their lowest prices for the year. This is time of year that I either order some gifts or just lock-in cheap pricing for multiple years. For example, Consumer Reports is only $15.99 a year (13 issues). The Economist is $30 for 25 issues ($1.18 an issue), with the digital-only version even cheaper. Many popular titles are under $5. Sale ends Sunday night.

Importantly, DiscountMags does NOT require auto-renewal, where they charge your credit card automatically at the end of the subscription period at a higher price. Watch out for this “feature” elsewhere! This mean you never have to call in to cancel, and makes it easier to shop for another deal later.

Many magazines are now available digitally through your local library system, but I still prefer the physical magazine format.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Big List of Free Stocks For New Commission-Free Brokerage Apps

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

I have the strange hobby of trying out new fintech apps while also collecting their sign-up incentives. Here are several different brokerage apps that offer some variation of free stock trades, modern user interface, real-time quotes, and social sharing. Many are structured like a free lottery ticket with a minimum payout – the odds are that you’ll get a stock valued on the lower end of the ranges mentioned, but I have gotten a few big shares like AAPL before the recent split. They all require a referral link, which means I can get some free stocks as well. A couple are offering 2X to 4X their usual bonuses right now.

WeBull 4 Free Stocks Offer

  • Open a Webull brokerage account by 11/30/2020 and get 2 FREE stocks valued between $2.50 and $250. Make an initial deposit of $100 or more and receive 2 FREE stocks, each valued between $8 and $1600.
  • WeBull offers free stock trades, free options trades, free crypto trades, and a full-featured brokerage account. This is a limited-time offer, the standard offer is only one free share of stock.
  • I have done this deal and gotten my free share of stock as promised without issue. See my WeBull review for more details.

MooMoo 2 Free Stocks Offer

  • Open a Moomoo account and deposit $100 to get a free stock up to $200. When your net deposit reaches $1,500, both of you will get an extra free stock up to $1,000.
  • Moomoo offers free stock trades, free options trades, and a full-featured brokerage account. This is a limited-time offer, the standard offer is only one free share of stock.
  • I have done this deal and gotten my free share of stock as promised without issue.

SoFi Invest Free $50 Stock Bit Offer

  • Open a SoFi Invest account and deposit at least $1,000 to get $50 worth of your favorite stock. Choose from over 100 popular stocks like Amazon, Tesla, Disney, Apple, and Nike.
  • SoFi offers free stock trades, free fractional trades, and free crypto trades.
  • I have done this deal and gotten my free share of stock as promised without issue.

Public $15 Free Stock Offer (Open in mobile browser)

  • Open a Public account via referral download link (open in mobile) and get a free stock slice worth $15. No deposit required.
  • Public app offers free fractional stock trades, in additional to the ability to share your portfolio.
  • I have done this deal and gotten my free share of stock as promised without issue. Be sure to open the link in a mobile web browser, which will redirect you to the app download.

M1 Finance $10 Offer (Open in mobile browser)

  • Open an M1 Finance account and get $10 after you use a referral link and make an initial deposit of $100 for taxable accounts and $500 for IRAs within 30 days of sign-up, and not withdraw the initial deposit within 30 days. If you are transferring over a sizable portfolio from another brokerage, you can earn much more money with a transfer bonus.
  • M1 is different in that it actually promotes a long-term buy-and-hold portfolio and it automatically invests and rebalances your contributions according to your chose “pie”. See my M1 Finance post for more details.
  • I opened my account with no bonus, just wanted to try out their software.

Robinhood Free Stock Offer

  • Open a Robinhood account and link a bank account to get a free share of stock (up to $200 value). No deposit required.
  • Robinhood app offers free stock trades, free fractional trades, and free crypto trades.
  • I have done this deal and gotten my free share of stock as promised without issue.

Firstrade Free Stock Offer

  • Open a Firstrade account and get a free share of stock ($3 to $200 value) right away. No deposit required.
  • Firstrade actually a long-established traditional discount brokerage that offers free stock trades, free options, and free mutual fund trades. There have been bigger past bonuses with $2,000 minimum deposits, but this one requires nothing but a new approved account.
  • I’ve had a Firstrade account for several years, got a bonus way back when as promised without issue.

Voyager Free $25 Bitcoin Offer (open link in mobile web browser)

  • Open a Voyager account and trade $100 of crypto to get $25 in Bitcoin free. Use link above and/or promo code JONA3F at sign-up.
  • Voyager app offers free crypto trades and allows you to earn interest on cryptocurrencies, including stablecoin.
  • I have done this deal and gotten my free BTC as promised without issue.
My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Buy $100 Apple Gift Card, Get $20 Target Gift Card Free

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Here’s an easy deal if you buy Apple products/services and shop at Target. As part of their Black Friday sale, get a $20 Target GiftCard free with $100 Apple gift card purchase. Expires 11/28 or while supplies last. Offer available online (e-mail delivery only) and in-store. Apple gift cards are now good for everything from Macbooks to iPhones to music to iCloud storage. The code just adds to the balance in your Apple account. (Apple products and their iTunes/iCloud services used to have separate gift cards.)

You can get 5% cash back at Target.com on your Discover card and ABOC Platinum Rewards card this quarter, or perhaps you already have the Target REDcard.

(On 11/26, you can get a similar deal from Best Buy. Buy a $100 Apple gift card and get a $20 Best Buy gift card free.)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

One Finance Review: 3% APY on 10% of Direct Deposits and Roundups

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

There seems to be a new fintech app every day, but that’s also where higher interest rates on FDIC-insured funds still live (after doing your due diligence). I’m genuinely curious to see what each one comes up as a differentiator. One Finance offers up to 3% APY on select balances and replaces overdraft fees with a line-of-credit. Thanks to reader Matt for the tip. New sign-ups can earn a $20 bonus via referral link (Matt’s link) and $5 after their first debit card purchase. FDIC insurance is provided by their partner bank, Coastal Community Bank.

Let’s cut straight to what earns the 3% APY in their “Auto-Save Pocket”:

  • Paycheck Auto-Save. Add your paycheck direct deposit and contribute up to 10% of each paycheck. Up to $1,000/month.
  • Debit card automated round-ups. Round up every One card purchase to the next dollar and deposit the difference.

If you have any sort of Direct Deposit, you can earn 1% APY on up to another $25,000 (“Save Pocket”). If you don’t have Direct Deposit, you earn 1% APY on up to $5,000.

This structure is rather clever, as it directly incentives real-world savings while inherently limiting the balance on which they pay 3% APY. Even if you made 100 debit card purchases a month, you’d only average $50 a month in savings via roundups. Most people would also have to move over their entire direct deposit to take full advantage of the paycheck deferral portion. It would take $10,000 in monthly direct deposits to max it out.

(There is also no cash back or round-up matching on those debit card purchases, so you’d be giving up potentially valuable cashback/points/miles rewards to get that 3% APY. I’d prefer the 2% cash back, personally.)

Another somewhat unique feature is the no-fee line-of-credit for overdraft protection (charges 12% APY). There is no interest at all if you repay any negative balance by the end of the same month. Even at 12% APY, this can be a lot less painful than a $35 flat fee if you only overdraft by a few dollars for a few days. For example, overdrafting by $500 for a week would cost nothing if you went back up by the end of the month, or about $1.15 if you didn’t. However, if you’re joining this for the 3% APY, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Additional features.

  • No monthly fees, no minimum balances.
  • Fee-free access to Allpoint ATM network.
  • Free debit Mastercard.
  • Person-to-person payment system.

Finally, they promise “World-Class Live Customer Service”. That is a bold claim coming from a crowd of startups with the bare minimum of customer service. It’s truly refreshing whenever I speak to a knowledgeable, caring customer service rep these days. They did have some app glitches back around November 12th based on a quick scan on Twitter, so we’ll have to see. I hope they pull it off, a la Zappos.

If you have the ability to move over some direct deposit and save part of it, you should compare with the structure of HM Bradley. It’s easier to earn 3% APY on a big balance with HM Bradley (and with a smaller direct deposit), but it may be harder to maintain the top rate over the long run as you can’t take out net money without hurting your savings rate. One Finance appears better at encouraging steady savings over the long-run, even if your spending varies.

Bottom line. One Finance is a new fintech app that offers up to 3% APY that incentivizes savings from your paycheck and rounding up your debit card purchases. This might be a good fit for people that want a simple, high-interest savings system.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – December 2020 (Updated)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Updated December 2020.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. We do this multiple times a year for thousands of dollars in extra income. These are the top 10 credit card offers that I would personally apply for right now (or have already). Notable recent changes:

  • New Southwest 80k, AmEx Platinum 10X bonus, United 70k, JetBlue 100k, Capital One 100k, IHG 140k.
  • Removed United, NavyFed, Marriott 5 Free Nights.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Business Card Offers. Small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

The Platinum Card from American Express

  • 75,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 in purchases in first 6 months. See link for details.
  • 10X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s up to another 150,000 points!
  • $200 in Uber/Uber Eats credits annually.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Airport lounge access including Delta SkyClub and exclusive Centurion lounges.
  • $550 annual fee.

JetBlue Plus Card

  • Up to 100,000 total bonus TrueBlue points. 50,000 bonus points after $1,000 in purchases and paying the $99 annual fee, both within the first 90 days. Additional 50,000 bonus points after a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first 12 months. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for you and up to 3 companions when you use your JetBlue Plus Card.
  • $99 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $750 towards travel) after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Short-term COVID-related benefits.
  • 2X points on Travel and Dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.
  • Alternative: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. 3X on Travel and Dining, Priority Pass airport lounge access, $550 annual fee, $300 annual travel credit.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card

  • Up to 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards points. 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months. Additional 30,000 points after $10,000 in purchases in first 9 months. See link for details.
  • Southwest still gives everyone two free checked bags.
  • More than halfway to Companion Pass. If you can sign up for this one and also the small business version, you can fully qualify for a Companion Pass in 2021/2022. If you put enough spending on this card, you can reach it that way as well.
  • $69 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase United Explorer Card

  • Up to 70,000 bonus United miles. 60,000 miles after $3,000 in purchases within 3 months, plus an additional 10,000 miles after $6,000 total in purchases within the first 6 months. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your United ticket.
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to find that saver award economy ticket.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Freedom Flex Card

  • 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points (can be $200 Cash Bonus) after only $500 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. That’s up to $600 cash back the first year. Remember that you can buy gift cards from many retailers (like Amazon or Apple) at grocery stores.
  • 5X points (5% cash back) on rotating quarterly categories.
  • 3X points (3% cash back) on dining out, take-out, and eligible delivery services.
  • Cell phone insurance via Mastercard World Elite.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.
  • No annual fee.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

  • 100,000 miles (worth $1,000 towards travel) after $20,000 in purchases within the first 12 months. See link for details.
  • 2X miles on ALL purchases..
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Card

  • 140,000 IHG Rewards club points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free Night after each account anniversary year (valued up to 40,000 IHG points).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $89.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.
  • Want something lower risk? The no-annual fee Traveler version is now offering 100,000 IHG points.

Alaska Airlines Visa Card (Bank of America)

  • Up to 65,000 Alaska miles + Companion Fare Voucher. 40,000 miles after $2,000 in purchases in first 3 months. Additional 25,000 miles after $8,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. See link for details.
  • Companion fare voucher is “Buy one ticket, get from $121” ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22).
  • Free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • $75 annual fee.

Gold Delta Skymiles Card from American Express

  • Bonus varies. Enter your Delta Skymiles number and last name to see if you are targeted for a special offer.
  • 50,000 Skymiles are worth at least $500 in Delta airfare with “Pay with Miles” option.
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person). Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Mastercard

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles after any purchase in the first 90 days and paying the $99 annual fee. See link for details.
  • $99 Companion certificate offer. Earn a certificate good for 1 guest at $99 (plus taxes and fees) after making your first purchase and paying the $99 annual fee in the first 90 days.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $99 annual fee.

Citi Premier Card

  • 60,000 points (worth $750 towards travel booked at ThankYou.com) after $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points for every $1 spent on travel including gas stations.
  • Must not have gotten bonus from or closed a Citi Rewards+, ThankYou Preferred, Premier, or Prestige card in the past 24 months.
  • $95 annual fee.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

  • 50,000 points (worth $500 towards travel) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $100 annual Airline Incidental Statement Credit.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

  • 50,000 Hawaiian miles after $2,000 in purchases within 90 days. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for primary cardmember when using your card to purchase eligible tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines.
  • Receive a one-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and The Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Credit Card

  • 50,000 bonus points ($750 value towards airfare) after $4,500 in purchases within 90 days. See link for details.
  • $325 in annual statement credits towards travel per Cardmember year (based on account opening date)
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Priority Pass Select membership for airport lounge access.
  • $400 annual fee. (Bigger bonus, big annual fee.)

Chase World of Hyatt Card

  • Up to 50,000 Hyatt points. 25,000 Bonus Points after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. See link for details and rough valuation of points.
  • $95 annual fee, free night award upon card anniversary.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

If you pay off your balances every month, then you can join me and many others in funding a huge chunk of your annual travel budget with cash credits, points, and miles. You don’t need to be a “I only fly business class” world traveler. I mostly use my rewards points on domestic economy flights, mid-range hotels, and cheap car rentals. If you have credit card debt, you should focus on paying that off first as the interest charges could offset most of the perks.

Note: Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.