TopCashBack: Spend $11.96 at Walmart, Get Stuff + $21.96 Back (New Members)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

TopCashBack.com rebates you back a percentage of your purchases made through online stores like Macys.com or Walmart.com. There are many such cashback portals, but TopCashBack promises to rebate you 100% of all commissions earned. If you are going to shop online for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any day, you should try to use a cashback portal. Many will boost their payouts on certain days.

Black Friday is coming, and November is usually when TopCashBack has the best offers of the year for new members. Right now, they have a stacking $11.96 Walmart freebie + $10 Amazon gift card for new members. Here are the directions:

  1. Sign up at this specific link for new TopCashback account (my referral link specific to this offer). It’s free to join and they won’t ask for credit card info. You should see “12pc Wine Glass Set Freebie”. Be sure to check your email and click on the link to confirm your email address.
  2. After entering your e-mail and pick a password, you should be redirected to the Walmart freebie offer page. This will include details and directions. Click on the pink “Get Offer Now” Button.
  3. Purchase any Wine Glasses Set for $11.96 or more at Walmart and get $11.96 cashback. They usually link up these offers with a special deal so you have a tangible “freebie”. However, technically you can buy anything at Walmart that generates cash back, as long as the total is at least $11.96. Categories that are not eligible include Grocery Service, Food, Household Essentials, Personal Care Items (though Personal Care is actually currently commissionable through the next month), gift cards, cellular purchases, prepaid phone cards, Sam’s Club, pharmacy, travel, financial services, tires, optical, and Wal-Mart Connect Internet Services. Try Free Store Pick-up or Free Shipping over $35.
  4. You’ll need to be a little patient, as it will take up to 7 days to show up online. After another 14 days the $11.96 cash back will become payable. Cash back can be credited straight to your checking or PayPal account.
  5. In addition, newly referred members who earn at least $10 cashback will earn a free $10 Amazon gift card. That means this $11.96 offer will instantly trigger this additional bonus.

Net result: You spend $11.96 at Walmart and you’ll get the stuff (wine glass set?) + $11.96 cash back + $10 Amazon gift card. Offer ends November 17th, 2019 at 23:59 PST.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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.

SoFi Money $50 Cash Bonus / SoFi Invest $100 in Free Stock / $100 Direct Deposit Bonus

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

Referral bonus updated, look for direct deposit bonus. SoFi (“Social Finance”) is expanding from students loans into a cash management and stock brokerage account. Both are competitive and modern app-first products, but enter a crowded field. To get your attention, they are offering $50 and $100 bonuses to try them out, and if you have a spouse/partner, you can refer each other to grow the total bonus pot up to $450. There is also a new $100 direct deposit bonus for existing customers (see below).

SoFi Money (Cash Management Account)

  • Get a $50 cash bonus when you fund your account with at least $100. That is a friend’s SoFi Money referral link. The referrer gets $50, so thanks if you use it! You don’t have to do anything else but wait for your bonus to arrive in a day or so. There is no set expiration date on this offer, so it could end at any time.
  • After joining, if you refer a friend yourself, you will get $50 and they will also get the $50 bonus. That means a couple together can earn a total of $150.
  • FDIC-insured. No account fees. No minimums.
  • Free debit card with unlimited reimbursed ATM fees.
  • Currently pays 1.60% APY.

SoFi Invest (Brokerage Account)

  • Get a $100 of your choice of stock when you fund your account with at least $1,000. That is my SoFi Invest referral link. The referrer gets $100. This is quadruple the standard $25 bonus, but with a higher minimum deposit.
  • After joining, if you refer a friend yourself, you will get $100 and they will also get the $100 in free stock. That means a couple together can earn a total of $300 value.
  • SoFi Invest allows fractional shares (“stock bits”), so you can get exactly $50 worth of Apple, etc. Trade as little as $1 at a time.
  • No trading fees.

For example, you can get $100 of Apple, S&P 500 ETF, or Berkshire Hathaway.

An excerpt of the terms is below, and the way I read it, you can get one Money bonus and one Invest bonus since SoFi Invest and SoFi Money are different accounts. If so, a couple could earn $450 altogether. Find your referral links to refer others in the SoFi app.

Only one Money Referral Bonus and one Money Welcome Bonus will be awarded for each referred Eligible Money Recipient, regardless of whether the Eligible Money Recipient opens and funds multiple accounts. An Eligible Money Referrer will not earn a Money Referral Bonus if the Eligible Money Recipient has or had an existing funded SoFi Money account, or does not use the unique referral link provided by the Eligible Money Referrer.

Only one Invest Referral Bonus and one Invest Welcome Bonus will be awarded for each referred Eligible Invest Recipient, regardless of whether the Eligible Invest Recipient opens and funds multiple accounts. An Eligible Invest Referrer will not earn an Invest Referral Bonus if the Eligible Invest Recipient has or had an existing funded SoFi Invest account or does not use the unique referral link provided by the Eligible Invest Referrer.

Opened an account recently? New targeted $100 Direct Deposit bonus! If you opened an account, or after you do open an account, be on the lookout for an e-mail offer of another $100 bonus if you make two direct deposits of $500+. The e-mail ended up in my spam folder, but had a subject line of “Get $100 when you set up direct deposit”. If you have the ability to split your direct deposit or have a small business where you pay yourself, this is another easy $100. Here are the terms that I got:

Only SoFi Money members without any history of direct deposit transactions as of 11/07/2019 are eligible. To receive the bonus offer, a payroll direct deposit of at least $500 must be made by the SoFi Money member’s employer, or payroll provider by ACH deposit before 12/31. A second deposit from the same employer must then be made to the member’s SoFi Money account within 31 days of the initial direct deposit. Direct deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. Within two weeks of the second direct deposit clearing, qualifying participants will receive a $100 deposit into their SoFi Money account. This offer is limited to one per person and is limited to recipients of this email. The offer expires on 12/31/2019, at 5pm EST.

You can also get another $100 bonus if you refinance your student loans through SoFi.

SoFi does try to deliver on their “Social” claim by hosting free member events around the country. For example, they are hosting a free brewery tour + tacos tasting at Blue Owl Brewing in Austin, Texas on November 7th. By opening one of these accounts, you become a member and thus free beer and food!

I don’t see anything groundbreaking about either of these accounts, but high interest and free trades are what’s hot these days. The good news is that SoFi makes the opening process quick and simple. You can open, apply, fund online and be poking around the app all in the same day. They also don’t require you do to keep the money in there for months or move assets over.

Bottom line. SoFi is offering cash and free stock bonuses for trying out their new products. They can quickly add up to easy money for a minor amount of effort. There’s also a new direct deposit bonus for even more free money.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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 Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – November 2019

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

Updated November 2019. Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Uber/Lyft, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb? You are eligible to open a small business credit card, which keeps your personal and business expenses separate. If you are not a corporation or LLC, you can apply as a sole proprietorship, with your name as the business name and your Social Security number as the Tax ID number. I did this for years successfully before incorporating my business.

Small business credit cards are offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to try out a new card. Below are the top 10 credit card offers that I would apply for (or have applied for already). Recent changes:

  • CapOne Spark Cash/Spark Miles $2,000/200k miles – limited-time offer.
  • AmEx Platinum Biz 100k – limited-time offer.
  • United Biz 100k – limited-time offer.
  • JetBlue 60k – limited-time offer.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers for personal cards. Notice that small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

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 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.

Capital One Spark Cash for Business Card

  • Up to $2,000 cash bonus. $500 cash bonus after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months, plus another $1,500 cash bonus after $50,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • Flat 2% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card

  • Up to 200,000 bonus miles. 50,000 bonus miles after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months, plus another 150,000 bonus miles after $50,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. 200,000 miles is redeemable for $2,000 towards travel. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • Flat 2X miles per dollar on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

American Express Business Platinum Card

  • Up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points (worth $1,540 towards airfare). 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 within your first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Largest airline lounge access network. Includes Delta Sky Club membership + their own Centurion lounges.
  • Free year of WeWork co-working membership.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a calendar year in baggage fees and more at one airline that you pick.
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.
  • $595 annual fee.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

  • 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,000 towards flexible travel) after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

American Express Plum Card

  • $600 cash back. Earn a $200 statement credit after each $10,000 you spend in purchases, up to $30,000, within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 1.5% early pay discount on all purchases which stacks on top of the bonus above.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $250.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Card

United Explorer Business Card

  • Up to 100,000 United miles. 50,000 after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months + another 50,000 after $25,000 total in purchases in the first 6 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip).
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to redeem for that saver award economy ticket.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Card

  • Up to 75,000 American Airlines miles. 65,000 miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. Additional 10,000 miles when a purchase is made on an employee card. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $95 annual fee.

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

  • 75,000 American Airlines miles after $5,000 in purchases in first the 5 months. Limited-time offer. 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.

Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard (Barclaycard)

  • Up to 70,000 Hawaiian miles. Earn 60,000 miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, and an additional 10,000 miles after a purchase is made on an employee card. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and the Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

JetBlue Business Mastercard (Barclaycard)

  • Up to 60,000 JetBlue True Blue miles. Earn 50,000 miles after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, and an additional 10,000 miles after a purchase is made on an employee card. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free for you and up to 3 companions on the same reservation when you use your card to book JetBlue-operated flights.
  • $99 annual fee.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Wells Fargo Business Platinum Card

  • $500 cash back bonus after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent, OR earn 1 point on every $1 spent + 1,000 bonus points when company spend is $1,000+ in any monthly billing period.
  • No annual fee.
My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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 – November 2019

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

Updated November 2019. That space in your wallet or purse is more valuable than you think. Credit card companies are fighting it out, offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to encourage you to apply and try it out. These are the top 10 credit card offers that I would personally apply for right now, if I didn’t already have most of them. Notable changes:

  • United 65k – limited-time offer.
  • Delta, Southwest, Marriott 100k, IHG 125k limited-time offers all ended.

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-class 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.

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.

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.

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.
  • 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, $450 annual fee, $300 annual travel credit.

Chase United Explorer Card

  • Up to 65,000 bonus United miles. 40,000 miles after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months, plus an additional 25,000 miles after $10,000 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.

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard

  • Up to 75,000 bonus miles. 50k after $2,000 in purchases within 90 days + additional 25k after $6,000 total in purchases in the first 12 months. 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.

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.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

  • 50,000 miles (worth $500 towards travel) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 2% cash back on ALL purchases. Plus earn 10X miles at Hotels.com through January 2020.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

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.
My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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.

Chase United Explorer Card Review – 65,000 Bonus Miles Limited-Time Offer + Annual Fee Waived First Year

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

New limited-time offer. The United Explorer Card is a Chase-issued credit card that offers unique perks on United Airlines including free checked bags and expanded award seat availability for redeeming miles. Right now, there is also a limited-time offer bump up to 65,000 bonus miles with no annual fee during the first year. Here are the highlights:

  • Limited time offer – Up to 65,000 bonus miles. 40,000 bonus miles after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Plus earn an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total in purchases in the first 6 months.
  • 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 ticket.
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to find that saver award economy ticket.
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Fee Credit
  • Priority boarding + 2 United Club one-time passes every year for your anniversary.
  • 2X miles at restaurants and on hotel stays.
  • 2X miles per on purchases from United.
  • 25% Back on United inflight purchases (Wi-Fi, Food and Drinks).
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
  • Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Keep in mind the following terms and conditions:

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.

This card is very focused on making it a better experience to fly on United. You have the first checked bag for free on United flights, both for your and a companion traveling on the same reservation. The bag fee is usually $30 per person, each way, so that adds up to $120 each roundtrip. Before you board, you might use one of your free United Club lounge passes. You also get Priority Boarding, which helps you find space for your carry-on. While onboard, you get 25% back on your inflight purchases of WiFi, food, and drinks.

Expanded award seat availability. You earn United miles for all your purchases (double miles on restaurants and hotel stays), but then they also make it easier for you to redeem those miles on Saver level tickets with no blackout dates. Expanded award seat availability is another of the top perks from this card, and I’ve found a very significant difference when searching. If you’re constantly trying to find economy tickets for the entire family like me, this is a big deal. Saver Award ticket redemptions start at 12,500 miles one-way within the continental U.S. and Canada.

Another unique feature of this card is that it offers primary coverage on the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. On most other consumer cards, this coverage is offered as secondary coverage, meaning it only kicks in after your personal auto insurance has been exhausted.

Bottom line. The United Explorer Card offers great perks for folks that fly United even just once or twice a year. The card provides lounge passes, a free checked bag, priority boarding, and inflight discounts. There are bonus categories to earn more miles, and special expanded award seat inventory for credit card holders to make it easier to actually redeem those miles for flights. Right now, there is a limited-time offer up to 65,000 bonus United miles with no annual fee during the first year.

I’ll be adding this limited-time offer to my list of Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers. The United Explorer Business credit card also offering a limited-time offer of up to 100,000 United miles.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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 Veterans Day: 10% Off Coupon For Military Until 11/11

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

Back for 2019. Target is offering a 10% off discount coupon for active duty military, veterans and their spouse and/or dependent children. Offer is valid for a single use at Target and Target.com through Nov 11th. A nice gesture of appreciation towards our military and their families. Exclusions apply.

*Excludes alcohol, Baby Born, Barbie Dreamhouse, Bose, clinic & pharmacy, dairy milk, Disney Frozen Castle, DSLR cameras & lenses, Elf on the Shelf, Elvie, Fitbit, gift cards, Google, Harry’s & Flamingo, HP, Infant Optics, JBL, LEGO, Levi’s Red Label, LG OLED TV, limited-time designer partnerships, L.O.L., mobile contracts, Nerf Ultra, Nintendo hardware and Switch games, Nintendo Labo kits, Polder, Peg Perego, Philips Avent, prepaid cards, PS4 hardware, Samsung TVs, Sonos, Target Optical, Vera Bradley, and Xbox One hardware.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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.

Sam’s Club 1-Day Sale, Saturday 11/9 : Gift Cards 30% Off Face Value

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

Back for 2019. Sam’s Club is having a one-day sale on Saturday, November 9th. There are the usual discounts on huge TVs and the latest Apple products, but what caught my eye was that all of the “Extreme Value” gift cards that are usually $40 for $50 face value or $80 for $100 face value will be discounted to $35 for a $50 face value or $70 for $100 face value gift cards. These are mostly food gift cards that vary by geography, but I see 186 gift cards options online. Some examples include:

  • Chili’s
  • Steak ‘n Shake
  • Build-a-Bear Workshop
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Jamba Juice
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Papa John’s Pizza
  • Smashburger
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory
  • Coldstone Creamery
  • Bonefish Grill

In my mind, this 30% off gift cards sale is an easy way for those that hate shopping to put a serious dent in their holiday gift list. Surveys keep showing that givers think they are impersonal, but recipients actually like getting gift cards!

If you don’t have a Sam’s Club membership, the Groupon Sam’s Club membership deal is still live.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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 Prime Discount For Veterans & Active Military $79 a Year (Limited-Time Offer)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

Amazon is offering discounted rate of $79 for a year of Amazon Prime ($119 normal price) for verified U.S. veteran, Active Duty or Reserve or National Guard members. This only applies for the first year and is a limited-time offer that ends November 11th (Veterans Day). Basically, a $40 savings if you were going to buy Prime anyway.

Both new and existing Prime members can apply. If you are an existing Prime member, it will extend your Prime membership by one year. You can attempt verification a maximum of three times. Discharge date is the day you left the military.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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.

Best Interest Rates on Cash – November 2019

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

Here’s my monthly roundup of the best interest rates on cash for November 2019, roughly sorted from shortest to longest maturities. There was another Fed rate cut last week. I track these rates because I keep a full 12 months of expenses as a cash cushion and also invest in longer-term CDs (often at lesser-known credit unions) when they yield more than bonds. Check out my Ultimate Rate-Chaser Calculator to get an idea of how much extra interest you’d earn if you are moving money between accounts. Rates listed are available to everyone nationwide. Rates checked as of 11/5/19.

High-yield savings accounts
While the huge megabanks like to get away with 0.01% APY, it’s easy to open a new “piggy-back” savings account and simply move some funds over from your existing checking account. The interest rates on savings accounts can drop at any time, so I include banks with a history of competitive rates. Some banks will bait you with a temporary top rate and then lower the rates in the hopes that you are too lazy to leave.

Short-term guaranteed rates (1 year and under)
A common question is what to do with a big pile of cash that you’re waiting to deploy shortly (just sold your house, just sold your business, legal settlement, inheritance). My usual advice is to keep things simple and take your time. If not a savings account, then put it in a flexible short-term CD under the FDIC limits until you have a plan.

  • No Penalty CDs offer a fixed interest rate that can never go down, but you can still take out your money (once) without any fees if you want to use it elsewhere. My eBanc has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 2.15% APY with a $10,000 minimum deposit. Marcus Bank has a 7-month No Penalty CD at 2.00% APY with a $500 minimum deposit. Ally Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 1.90% APY with a $25,000 minimum deposit. CIT Bank has a 11-month No Penalty CD at 1.85% APY with a $1,000 minimum deposit. You may wish to open multiple CDs in smaller increments for more flexibility.
  • Total Direct Bank has a 12-month CD at 2.36% APY ($25,000 minimum) with an early withdrawal penalty of 3 months of interest.

Money market mutual funds + Ultra-short bond ETFs
If you like to keep cash in a brokerage account, beware that many brokers pay out very little interest on their default cash sweep funds (and keep the difference for themselves). The following money market and ultra-short bond funds are not FDIC-insured, but may be a good option if you have idle cash and cheap/free commissions.

  • Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund currently pays an 1.85% SEC yield. The default sweep option is the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund, which has an SEC yield of 1.76%. You can manually move the money over to Prime if you meet the $3,000 minimum investment.
  • Vanguard Ultra-Short-Term Bond Fund currently pays 2.09% SEC yield ($3,000 min) and 2.19% SEC Yield ($50,000 min). The average duration is ~1 year, so there is more interest rate risk.
  • The PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity Active Bond ETF (MINT) has a 2.19% SEC yield and the iShares Short Maturity Bond ETF (NEAR) has a 2.30% SEC yield while holding a portfolio of investment-grade bonds with an average duration of ~6 months.

Treasury Bills and Ultra-short Treasury ETFs
Another option is to buy individual Treasury bills which come in a variety of maturities from 4-weeks to 52-weeks. You can also invest in ETFs that hold a rotating basket of short-term Treasury Bills for you, while charging a small management fee for doing so. T-bill interest is exempt from state and local income taxes.

  • You can build your own T-Bill ladder at TreasuryDirect.gov or via a brokerage account with a bond desk like Vanguard and Fidelity. Here are the current Treasury Bill rates. As of 11/5/19, a 4-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 1.56% annualized interest and a 52-week T-Bill had the equivalent of 1.62% annualized interest.
  • The Goldman Sachs Access Treasury 0-1 Year ETF (GBIL) has a 1.83% SEC yield and the SPDR Bloomberg Barclays 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) has a 1.66% SEC yield. GBIL appears to have a slightly longer average maturity than BIL.

US Savings Bonds
Series I Savings Bonds offer rates that are linked to inflation and backed by the US government. You must hold them for at least a year. There are annual purchase limits. If you redeem them within 5 years there is a penalty of the last 3 months of interest.

  • “I Bonds” bought between November 2019 and April 2020 will earn a 2.22% rate for the first six months. The rate of the subsequent 6-month period will be based on inflation again. More info here.
  • In mid-April 2020, the CPI will be announced and you will have a short period where you will have a very close estimate of the rate for the next 12 months. I will have another post up at that time.

Prepaid Cards with Attached Savings Accounts
A small subset of prepaid debit cards have an “attached” FDIC-insured savings account with exceptionally high interest rates. The negatives are that balances are capped, and there are many fees that you must be careful to avoid (lest they eat up your interest). Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others do. There is a long list of previous offers that have already disappeared with little notice. I don’t personally recommend nor use any of these anymore.

  • The only notable card left in this category is Mango Money at 6% APY on up to $2,500, but there are many hoops to jump through. Requirements include $1,500+ in “signature” purchases and a minimum balance of $25.00 at the end of the month.

Rewards checking accounts
These unique checking accounts pay above-average interest rates, but with unique risks. You have to jump through certain hoops, and if you make a mistake you won’t earn any interest for that month. Some folks don’t mind the extra work and attention required, while others do. Rates can also drop to near-zero quickly, leaving a “bait-and-switch” feeling. I don’t use any of these anymore, but the Orion offer is worth consideration.

  • Consumers Credit Union Free Rewards Checking (my review) has up to 5.09% APY on balances up to $10,000 if you meet make $500+ in ACH deposits, 12 debit card “signature” purchases, and spend $1,000 on their credit card each month. Orion FCU Premium Checking (my review)has 4.00% APY on balances up to $30,000 if you meet make $500+ in direct deposits and 8 debit card “signature” purchases each month. Find a locally-restricted rewards checking account at DepositAccounts.
  • If you’re looking for a high-interest checking account without debit card transaction requirements, the rate won’t nearly as high, but take a look at MemoryBank at 0.90% APY.

Certificates of deposit (greater than 1 year)
CDs offer higher rates, but come with an early withdrawal penalty. By finding a bank CD with a reasonable early withdrawal penalty, you can enjoy higher rates but maintain access in a true emergency. Alternatively, consider building a CD ladder of different maturity lengths (ex. 1/2/3/4/5-years) such that you have access to part of the ladder each year, but your blended interest rate is higher than a savings account. When one CD matures, use that money to buy another 5-year CD to keep the ladder going. Some CDs also offer “add-ons” where you can deposit more funds if rates drop.

  • You could build a CD ladder at Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) at 3.00% APY for 5-year, 2.75% APY for 4-year, 3.25% APY for 3-year, 3.00% APY for 2-year, and 1.95% APY for 1-year. Early withdrawal penalty: Up to 2-year CD is 90 days of interest. 3 to 5 year CD is 180 days of interest. Some of these are limited-time specials. Anyone can join this credit union via partner organization ($10 one-time fee).
  • You could also build a CD ladder at current rates of First National Bank of America at 2.55% APY for 5-year, 2.50% APY for 4-year, 2.40% APY for 3-year, 2.37% APY for 2-year, and 2.35% APY for 1-year.
  • You can buy certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. You may need an account to see the rates. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance and easy laddering, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. The rates are not competitive right now. Watch out for higher rates from callable CDs listed by Fidelity.

Longer-term Instruments
I’d use these with caution due to increased interest rate risk, but I still track them to see the rest of the current yield curve.

  • Willing to lock up your money for 10+ years? You can buy long-term certificates of deposit via the bond desks of Vanguard and Fidelity. These “brokered CDs” offer FDIC insurance, but they don’t come with predictable early withdrawal penalties. As of this writing, I am seeing no inventory on 7-year and 10-year CDs. Watch out for higher rates from callable CDs from Fidelity.
  • How about two decades? Series EE Savings Bonds are not indexed to inflation, but they have a unique guarantee that the value will double in value in 20 years, which equals a guaranteed return of 3.5% a year. However, if you don’t hold for that long, you’ll be stuck with the normal rate which is quite low (currently a sad 0.10% rate). I view this as a huge early withdrawal penalty. You could also view it as a hedge against prolonged deflation, but only if you can hold on for 20 years. As of 10/2/19, the 20-year Treasury Bond rate was 1.90%.

All rates were checked as of 11/5/19.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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.

Mint Mobile Promo: 3 Months of Unlimited Talk, Text, 12 GB Data For $45 Total ($15 Per Month)

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In my own phone, I use Mint Mobile to keep my cell phone costs low. They use the T-Mobile network, which means if you have a compatible phone switching just involves swapping in a new SIM card. It works just fine in my iPhone X. I just renewed for another full year of service for $240 at the 8 GB tier ($20 per month).

They just started a limited-time 40% off promo on their highest data tier with Unlimited Talk, Text, 12 GB of LTE Data per month. Instead of $25 per month if you buy a full year, it’s only $15 a month for 3 months ($45 total).

As with most of their promos, it’s about getting you to try them out so you can feel comfortable buying an entire year at a time. That’s their “gimmick”, where you buy in bulk and save.

They also offer a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee (starts upon SIM activation) so you can test them out before making any commitment at all. Here is my Mint Mobile SIM Activation and Number Port Transfer Review. Be sure to use their phone compatibility checker first to see if you can bring your current phone over and just pop in the Mint Mobile SIM card.

Also see:

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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.

Mastercard Free ID Theft Protection and Credit Monitoring

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Data breaches are scary fact of life these days. If you have a Mastercard, did you know that they offer a Mastercard ID Theft Protection service to cardholders for free? If you activate it, Mastercard has paid on your behalf for a private-label identity theft protection service provided by Generali Global Assistance, Inc. (GGA). The same way that Safeway doesn’t actually make their generic version of Cheerios, Mastercard has outsourced this service. Thanks to reader Bill P for the tip.

Services are provided by Generali Global Assistance, Inc. (GGA), one of the largest providers of private-label identity protection services in the United States. GGA has handled thousands of identity-related cases and has protected millions of customers since it began offering the service in 2003. GGA’s in-house identity theft resolution specialists are certified identity theft risk management specialists – CITRMS® certification by the Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) and FCRA-certification (Fair Credit Reporting Act by the Consumer Data Industry Association).

You’ll receive an alert if there’s a change to your TransUnion credit report (e.g., new inquiries, new accounts, updated personal information by creditors). That’s nice, but I already get more comprehensive coverage from all three bureaus than this from my combination of Credit Sesame, Credit Karma, and FreeCreditScore.

The difference that caught my eye was their emphasis on full-service, human help if you do become a victim of identity theft. Emphasis mine:

This program is designed to help protect you from identity theft and provide full-service, hands-on assistance in the event of an incident. Studies have shown that the largest cost to victims of identity theft is lost time and stress associated with figuring out how to restore their identity, including replacing cards and documents while communicating with creditors to dispute fraudulent activity. In the event of an incident, we will assign you with a personal case manager to help you resolve issues, saving you countless hours and reducing the stress associated with identity theft.

Their package of services includes: identity theft affidavit assistance and submission, creditor notification, dispute and follow-up, 3-bureau fraud alert placement, inform police/legal authorities, placement of credit freeze and opt-out services provided by certified identity theft resolution specialists.

These could be hollow claims, but hopefully they are truly helpful in taking care of these things on your behalf. If you have a Mastercard, it may be another worthwhile service to add to your defenses.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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 Fresh Grocery Delivery Now Free for Prime Members

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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. Thank you for your support.

Grocery delivery via Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods (Prime Now) is now free for Amazon Prime members (previously $14.99 per month). If you are an existing Amazon Fresh member, your price drop applies immediately. Newly interested members should register for an invite now to get on their waiting list.

It’s not just Whole Foods, they work with other local grocery stores as well. You can buy meat, seafood, produce, snacks and household essentials, often delivered within a 1-2 hour window. They are not available everywhere, but Amazon says they now cover 2,000+ cities. For most areas, the minimum order amount will be $35 ($50 in New York City).

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings 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.