Sprint Unlimited Kickstart: Unlimited Talk, Text, Data For $25/Month – Offer Expires September 5th

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Update late July 2019: Sprint/T-Mobile Merger approved. T-Mobile and Sprint have been doing the merger dance since April 2018, which meant Sprint was still highly incentivized to make their subscriber numbers as high as possible. Around July 26th, the U.S. Justice Department finally gave official approval the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile. In my opinion, that means that this Sprint promo will not last much longer.

Sprint ended their “Free Year” promo earlier this year, most likely never to be seen again. Sprint has now set a new expiration date of September 5th on their Unlimited Kickstart promotion that includes unlimited talk/text/data for $25 per month, per line. I don’t think that is a coincidence. If you are interested in securing what I call “barebones unlimited data” for $25 a month, time is running out.

Pros of Kickstart Unlimited:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data for $25 a month, per line.
  • You can bring over any compatible phone, or buy one from Sprint. Use their phone IMEI/MEID checker.
  • You can come over from ANY outside provider, Verizon/AT&T/T-Mobile or even another cheap MVNO.
  • No expiration date. Price will not go up after a year.
  • No annual contracts.
  • No family plan or minimum number of lines required.

Cons of Kickstart Unlimited:

  • New customers only.
  • Online orders only. You won’t see this offer in stores.
  • No mobile hotspot.
  • Unlimited video in standard definition. Video streams up to 480p, music up to 500 Kbps, gaming up to 2 Mbps.
  • Data deprioritization during congestion.
  • Autopay required.

Sprint Unlimited Kickstart is best for those that want to lock in unlimited data direct from a major provider at a low $25/month price. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile Unlimited may have slightly better networks but they are also significantly more expensive.

I am not a huge data user, but it was still nice when I was on Sprint Unlimited. I could stream videos without worry and switched all my settings to “use cellular data whenever the heck you want!” instead of having to wait to sync or download things like podcasts over WiFi.

Mint Mobile is another low-cost competitor with data caps. They are an MVNO that runs on the T-Mobile GSM network. You can get:

The thing about Mint Mobile is that you have to “buy in bulk”. Initially you have to buy at least 3 months upfront, and then after that you have to buy 12 months at a time to get their lowest price. After your LTE data runs out, you still get data included at slower 2G data speeds until your month resets. They do offer a 7-Day Money Back Guarantee (starts upon SIM activation) so you can test them out before making any commitment.

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.

Hilton American Express Cards Limited-Time Offers – Up to 125,000 Hilton Points Each

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Hilton Hotels has two American Express consumer cards, a no annual fee and a $95 annual fee version (with more perks of course). There is also a business card version. Each person can only get one welcome offer, per card in your entire lifetime, so it’s best to apply during one of these temporary bump-ups. (You could get all three of these welcome offers separately, but only one per card per person per lifetime.)

What are Hilton Honor points worth? The best value is from booking free hotel nights or using their “Points & Money” option where you pay with a combination of Hilton points and cash. Hilton has some really nice properties, but the value varies from hotel to hotel. I just ran a search and for the same 60,000 Hilton points, I could book rooms that cost $320 or $532 cash. I’ve seen some valuations around 0.6 cents per point, which I think is fair on average, but I would be more conservative at 0.5 cents a point. That would make 90,000 points = $450 value and 130,000 points = $650 value towards Hilton hotel stays.

The good part of Hilton points is that they have so many different hotel brands, from business-class DoubleTree to luxury Waldorf Astoria. Hilton also lets you transfer and pool points with other with other family or household members. As long as you keep them active (once every 12 months), I do like to keep some around. These credit cards are good at creating activity, but here’s another tip on how to keep Hilton points active.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

  • 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after $2,000 in purchases within first 3 months.
  • Earn an additional Weekend Night Reward certificate after you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • 12X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 6X Hilton Honors points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Honors Gold status (free breakfast, room upgrades based on availability, 5th standard reward night free).
  • Spend $40,000 in a calendar year on this card and get Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.

(This offer is for first-time Surpass cardmembers only, and not eligible for those who previously had an Ascend Card.)

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 7X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 5X Hilton Honors points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Honors Silver status (5th standard reward night free, 2 bottles of water in your room).
  • Spend $20,000 in a calendar year on this card and get Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee.

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • 125,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward certificate after you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases in the same calendar year.
  • 12X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 6X Hilton Honors points on Select Business & Travel Purchases (ex. U.S. gas stations, U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines)
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free upgrade to Honors Gold status (free breakfast, room upgrades based on availability, 5th standard reward night free).
  • 10 free airport lounge visits each year once enrolled in complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges in over 120 countries.
  • $95 annual fee.

Bottom line. Hilton American Express cards offer regular Hilton customers a good opportunity to earn additional points towards free Hilton hotel stays as well as additional perks like status upgrades. The best time to apply for a Hilton co-branded American Express card is during a limited-time increase to their welcome offers. This is because American Express has changed their policy to only allow each person to get a welcome bonus once per card per lifetime.

Also see: Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

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.

American Express Blue Business Cash Card: 2% Cash Back on First $50,000 in Purchases, 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. Thank you for your support.

The American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a new business rewards card that earns 2% cash back on up to $50,000 of purchases per calendar year (then back down to 1% after that) and no annual fee. There is also a 0% intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months (variable rate after intro period). This card replaces the SimplyCash Plus card, which has been discontinued and is no longer open to new applicants.

This is a solid offer for small business owners who want a simple-yet-competitive rewards credit card. If your business purchases don’t exceed $50,000 within each calendar year, this card provides flat 2% cash back and no annual fee. (Many other 2% cash back cards charge an annual fee.) In addition, your cash back is automatically credited to your statement as a statement credit, so you don’t have to remember to redeem anything. Easy. Automatic. I would say the only drawback is that there is no welcome offer.

My primary small business card for day-to-day spending is the sibling Blue Business Plus Card from American Express (my review), which offers 2X Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year and no annual fee. I prefer earning the double Membership Rewards points per dollar over 2% cash back because I regularly redeem each MR point for more than 1 cent per point of value. I enjoy the flexibility of having some Membership Rewards in my back pocket to convert to miles, points, etc, and I like not having to pay an annual fee.

If you don’t expect to get at least 1 cent per mile value by converting to airline miles or hotel points, then this card is better.

Business credit card eligibility. Many people aren’t aware that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. Any individual can be a small business. Perhaps you sell items on eBay, Craiglist, or Etsy. Maybe you do some graphic design, web design, freelancing and/or consulting. If you received a 1099-MISC tax form and filled out a Schedule C, that means you have business income, you pay self-employment taxes, and you’re a sole proprietorship. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

This card will require you to personally guarantee that you’ll pay them back what you charge on the card, which means they’ll check your personal credit score like any other consumer card. However, as the card is a business card, American Express won’t have it show up on your personal credit report, so it won’t change things like your credit limits, average account age, or credit utilization ratio.

Bottom line. The American Express Blue Business Cash Card is a new small business card that earns a flat 2% cash back on ALL purchases up to $50,000 per calendar year with no annual fee. This is a high cash back percentage, and your rewards are automatically credited on the next monthly statement, so you don’t have to remember to redeem anything.

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.

Marcus Bank Promotion: 1% Additional Cash Bonus up to $500 (~6% APY 3-month CD)

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Online bank Marcus (formerly Goldman Sachs Bank) has a new Cash Bonus Offer which includes 1% cash bonus (up to $500) on new deposits on top of their existing interest rate (currently 2.15% APY). Valid for both new and existing customers. Given the holding period, this roughly equates to the same total interest paid as a 3-month bank CD at 6% APY.

Here’s how it works:

  • Enroll first at the offer link and designate a specific savings account to be tracked for this promotion.
  • Deposit your new funds ($1,000 minimum) within 10 days of enrollment. Multiple transfers within that 10 days is fine, but funds must be new to Marcus Bank.
  • Maintain your balance at enrollment plus the new funds for 90 days.
  • Receive your 1% cash bonus (up to $500) on your new funds within 14 days after the 90-day period ends.

To be clear, the bonus applies to new funds added after enrollment, not your total balance. Since the 10-day clock starts when you enroll, you may consider waiting until the last day of 7/29/19 if you need some time to gather your new funds together. However, they can also revoke the offer at any time, so I wouldn’t wait any longer than necessary.

This offer is available to new and existing Marcus customers who are not currently enrolled in another Marcus bonus offer. Each customer is limited to one 1% cash back offer, which can only be applied to a single account. For eligibility purposes, each joint owner will be treated as a separate customer. For example, if you apply the bonus offer to a joint account, the remaining joint owner(s) may apply this offer to another account they own if they have not done so already.

Rough math. Given that you can an additional 1% bonus after about 3 months, the bonus itself works out to the equivalent of a 4% annualized yield. 2% + 4% = 6%, so you’re looking at the equivalent of a 3-month CD at 6% APY for new money deposits between $1,000 and $50,000. Alternatively, if you are lazy, you could leave it in there for a year and still earn a bit over 3% APY over that year (assuming the base interest rate stays above 2%). That’s still good compared to a 12-month CD. Either way, the max benefit is $50,000 of new money held there for 90 days to earn a $500 bonus.

This combination makes it a great 3-month rate at that balance size when compared to my most recent update of best interest rates.

Should I move money out of Marcus and back in to qualify? No, it won’t make any difference. Funds deposited in your account prior to enrollment are not eligible for the cash bonus.

I am an existing customer (just recently for their expired $100 promo), and did not see a hard credit check at opening. Since I already have an account, I’ll probably be taking advantage of this one as well.

Bottom line. Marcus Bank has a new promotion to attract new money to their Online Savings Account – a 1% cash bonus (up to $500) on new deposits on top of their existing interest rates. This works out to a 3-month holding period paying roughly 6% annualized interest. You must enroll by 7/29 and transfer over new funds within 10 days of enrollment.

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.

Voyager App: $25 Free Bitcoin For New Users (Now Live in All States but NY)

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Update July 2019. Voyager has now launched trading in 49 out of 50 states (all but New York). If you signed up for this $25 bonus (and hopefully referred others), you can now claim all your credits by downloading their Invest Voyager iOS app (Android app not out yet) and creating a new account with the same email address you used initially. It may take up to 30 days to receive the bonus, according to their terms. I did receive my $25 new customer bonus as promised and additional $25 bonuses for referring others that opened an account. I was also offered an additional $50 bonus for funding with $250 and making any trade of $250 (even a quick commission-free buy and sell). I never thought I’d own any Bitcoin, but here I am:

I’m still not a Bitcoin enthusiast and plan on selling my BTC for good ole’ USD, but Voyager itself seems legit and growing. They are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, recently acquired the Ethos wallet, and also acquired a FINRA broker-dealer.

Original post:

Update: Referral program has ended, but new users can still get $25. Voyager is a new trading app that intends to offer commission-free trading of least fifteen different cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). It hopes to differentiate its service by offering more access to different exchanges and thus better liquidity and pricing. Sounds like “smart order routing” when it comes to stocks. This means it will compete with the Robinhood app, which also offers free trades for both stocks and certain cryptocurrencies.

I have never owned a single Bitcoin. I’m checking into this company because it is offering $25 in free Bitcoin to anyone who signs up early, and other $25 for each person that you refer to sign up (up to 100 people). As far as I can tell, it seems like a legit start-up with real venture capital funding and real (rich) people backing it. If they want to give away free stuff to try out their service, I will accept. You can build up referrals now and claim the early bonus, but the app is not live yet so you can’t actually open an account yet to claim the credit. Right now, they just want your name and e-mail.

*All BTC credit is issued in pending status and requires the opening of a valid Voyager account to be claimed. Stay tuned for news about when Voyager launches in your area. Voyager’s promotional and referral programs are currently only available to US residents.

Voyager’s co-founders include some notable figures in the industry. The CEO is Stephen Ehrlich, the former CEO and founder of Lightspeed Financial (which was formed by the spinoff of the professional trader arm of E*Trade). Oscar Salazar, Uber co-founder and former Chief Technical Officer. Philip Eytan, an early Uber investor. Here is a Fortune magazine profile.

Here is my $25 BTC referral link, thanks if you use it. (Update: The referral program has ended, but it appears you can still use the link to get $25.) After you sign-up and confirm your e-mail, check your e-mail again and you should be given your own referral link to share with friends.

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.

Webull App: Free Stock Trades + Free Share of Stock For New Users

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 July 2019. Webull has tweaked their referral program again. Short version: Newly referred users now get a free share of stock worth more than twice as much on average than previously (minimum $8 value instead of $3), but you get one share instead of two for opening an account and depositing $100 within 30 days.

Full post:

Webull is a new brokerage app that has unlimited free stock trades with no platform fees, free real-time quotes, and no minimum balance requirement. (Similar to Robinhood.)

Webull also has a referral program where new users can get a free share of stock worth between $8 and $1,000 for opening an account and making a $100 deposit within 30 days. I believe the referring user also gets the exact same share of stock. It’s like a lottery where most people will get an $8 stock like Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA).

Here are the full odds for the opening share bonus ($3 to $300 value) from their Terms and Conditions:

$8 to $10 value, odds are ~1:1.02
$10 to $100 value, odds are ~1:52.63
$100 to $200 value, odds are ~1:1111.11
$1,000 value, odds are ~1:10,000

Here is my Webull referral link. Thanks if you use it! I have received shares of TEVA, SNAP, SBUX, and even one AAPL. You will need to sign-up initially either with a phone number or e-mail address, and then open an account after downloading the app (Android or iOS). Webull is a real SIPC-insured broker, and the application is the same (name, address, SSN, work questions, investing experience questions, etc).

After you get the new user bonus, you can refer other people as well. For your first referral, you get a $10 Amazon gift card on top of the free share to both.

Robinhood vs. Webull.

  • Robinhood definitely has a sleeker user-interface, which should appeal to younger users and those who want a simple trading experience. Webull has a more “busy” interface with charting, news, technical indicators, and stock screeners. You may like having more information, or you may want a cleaner app.
  • Robinhood offers free options trading. Webull does not offer options at all.
  • Both are primarily apps, but Robinhood has a web trading option now. Webull does not that I know of.
  • Webull has customer service available via Live Chat or phone number. Robinhood only has an e-mail address.

Both will make money from normal users via interest on cash balances and selling order flow. Robinhood’s premium features basically let newbie users access a simple version of margin (flat fee instead of interest rate). Webull has traditional margin accounts that allow shorting, and makes money by selling premium subscriptions to advanced quotes so serious traders can get the absolute best bids and offers across any of 13 different stock exchanges.

Firstrade is a more traditional online brokerage firm that also recently started offering free stock trades and free options trades.

Bottom line. Webull is a new entrant to the world of free stock trading apps. The feel is more of a full-featured traditional brokerage account in app form as compared to competitor Robinhood. The commission-free trades are the real draw, but new users who open an account and deposit $100 can also grab a free share of stock worth up to $1,000 (but probably about between $8 and $10 each). It’s like a free lottery ticket, so why not?

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 Day 2019: Big List of Deals and Discounts (Updated)

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Last call for deals + good stacking offer: Up to $60 Amazon credit for buying through the app. Amazon Prime Day 2019 is July 15th and 16th. I’ll try to keep this post updated with the most recent offers (and remove the expired ones). There are usually many opportunities to save some money without buying stuff you don’t need (and thus offset a chunk of that membership fee). In fact, if you have any things you’ve been looking for on your Wish List, you should just look them up and see if they are on sale today. (I bought an Eero mesh Wifi system to replace my 5-year-old router.)

As the name suggests, most deals require a Prime membership. New members can sign up for a 30-day free trial. If you’ve already done the trial, you can simply buy a month of Prime for $12.99.

Free Amazon Credit Offers

Site-wide

Specific Items

Amazon Device Deals

Targeted deals

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.

Our Family Travel Award Redemptions 2019

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I’m not a Instagram travel blogger and I’ll never visit every country in the world, but I do earn enough points from navigating the top credit card offers to fund a big chunk of our annual travel each year. We are a family of five including a toddler, so we redeem for domestic economy class tickets to see grandparents instead of business class seats to an over-water Maldives bungalow. We also travel in peak times due to school schedules, so it’s harder to hunt for high value opportunities. I used to worry about this, but now we just earn ’em and burn ’em.

We are heading to Kauai later this month, which included these redemptions:

Economy flights to Hawaii – 15,000 to 40,000 American miles roundtrip each
The actual redemption amount will vary based on dates and times. The interisland flights are 7,500 miles each way (both AA/Hawaiian), and Mainland US to Hawaii are 20,000 miles each way.

You can earn American Airlines miles from multiple credit cards, as there are versions from both Citi and Barclaycard. Sometimes one offer is much better than the other, right now both are solid. Marriott/SPG points also transfer over to American miles. The cards will also let us get free checked bags and priority boarding, saving us more money.

Grand Hyatt Kauai – 25,000 Hyatt points per night
I’m excited to visit what is consistently rated the best resort in Kauai for the first time. You can earn Hyatt points from multiple credit cards as well. There is the Chase World of Hyatt card, and Ultimate Rewards also transfer over on a 1:1 basis instantly to Hyatt. That means the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited all earn points that can lead to a nice resort in Hawaii. (I also got a ton of points from the Ink Business Preferred for small businesses.)

Transferring some Chase points over let me top off the account to reach exactly the number of points needed. Redeeming with Hyatt points also includes all taxes and let me avoid the daily $35/resort fee. Here’s a screenshot showing that the total cash cost for our stay would have been $701 per night (2.8 cents per Hyatt point) after adding in the resort fee:

(I’m also getting 10% of my redeemed points back from this promo, so in the end I’ll be getting more than 3 cents per Hyatt point.)

For the holidays, we are heading to visit family in Austin, Texas:

Economy flights to Austin – 20,000 British Airlines Avios roundtrip each
The flights are actually on American as well, just using Avios. While far from my best Avios redemption, it worked out as British Airways allows you to “household” an account. We had a previous trip so a lot of miles were spread across the kids’ accounts, and this feature lets us pool the points and use them all up. For example, what if you had 18,000 points in five different accounts and the award you wanted was 100,000 points? Avios lets you pool them together, and you could transfer over some American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards points to top things off.

Besides past flights, our main source of Avios points was the Chase British Airways card.

SpringHill Suites Austin – 14,000 Marriott points per night
No free scuba lessons or water slides here. This is just a nice suite hotel so that we can fit all five of us in comfort. There is a solid free buffet breakfast, and it’s close to family (and a Rudy’s BBQ).

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The Texan’s Food Pyramid

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Marriott also has credit cards from both Chase and American Express that can provide lots of points-earning opportunities.

Both my wife and I apply for a few new cards each year, but we don’t go past that much anymore. Our basic idea is to try out one card at a time. Sometimes the perks are pleasantly much better than expected, and other times they are harder to use than expected.

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.

Simple (BBVA USA Bank) $250 Bonus for $10,000 Goals Deposit

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(Update: Offer extended to an open date by 8/31/19, funded date by 9/16/19, and maintain date until 12/31/19. Thanks Robert for the tip.)

Simple was one of many fintech startups that tried to add fancy tech and smartphone app sprinkles to your vanilla checking account. They were acquired by the big European-based bank BBVA in 2014, but never really took off. It looks like they are making another push by adding high-yield “Protected Goals” accounts that earn 2.02% APY (as of 7/10/19) and offering additional $250 bonus if you deposit $10,000 and meet certain requirements and deadline dates:

  • Open a new Protected Goals Account by 7/31/19 4:59 PM PT.
  • Deposit(s) totaling $10,000 or more must post to the new Protected Goals Account by 8/15/19 4:59 PM PT.
  • Maintain a balance of at least $10,000 in the new Protected Goals Account through 10/31/19 4:59 PM PT.
  • Qualifying customers will receive the bonus credit to their Protected Goals Account by 11/15/19 4:59 PM PT. Accounts must be open and in good standing at the time of bonus credit.

You can earn $250 bonus for each new Individual or Shared Protected Goals Account, for a total of $500. This means a couple could both open accounts and technically earn $750 total ($250 each for two individuals, plus $250 for one shared). Protected Goals Accounts opened prior to 7/1/2019 do not qualify. FDIC-insured and all that. Thanks to commenter CM for the tip.

It looks like you’ll have to open their base checking account as well if you don’t have one already. Move money into the base checking, and then into a new Protected Goal account. Basically a 2.5% bonus on $10,000 if you keep it there for 90 days, which makes it roughly 10% APY annualized. The bonus is on top of the standard interest rate, currently 2.02% APY (as of 7/10/19). This combination makes it a great 3-month rate at that balance size when compared to my most recent update of best interest rates.

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.

Navy Federal CD Special: 5-Year Share Certificate at 3.50% APY

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navyfed0

New offers. Navy Federal Credit Union is the nation’s largest credit union, but is primary limited to those with a military relationship. However, their membership now includes veterans and family members of veterans. Here are their current banking specials:

  • 5-Year Certificate at 3.50% APY. $1,000 minimum. No maximum. No add-ons. Available as a Share Certificate, IRA or ESA.
  • Special EasyStart Certificate at 3.50% APY. Open with as little as $50. Make additional deposits anytime (up to $3,000). 12-month term. Certificate owner(s) age 18 and older must have Direct Deposit of Net Pay or payroll allotment and a Navy Federal checking account within 90 days of the certificate issue date.

That 5-year certificate rate would be a top rate in my Best Interest Rates on Cash – July 2019 post. Note that there is an early withdrawal penalty of 1 full year of interest (or all of the interest earned if less than 1 year old). There is no firm expiration date, and the rate can change at any time.

Navy Federal Credit Union has solid bank and loan products, including checking accounts with ATM rebates, competitive mortgage rates, and limited-time 0% balance transfer promotions. Readers have commented on their excellent customer service and the fact that they often keep and service the mortgages and other loans they originate. I would consider joining if you are eligible.

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.

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

(Update: HealthyWage is offering a $50 Prize Boost for a limited-time. Joining during a promo is a good time to boost your winnings.)

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.

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 had been willing to bet that I would lose 50 pounds like I actually ended up doing, 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.
  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.

If you missed it before, HealthyWage is offering a $100 Prize Boost for limited-time. This can potentially double your winnings!

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: Spend $10 at Whole Foods, Get $10 Amazon Credit on Prime Day

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 Prime Day 2019 is going to start on July 15th, where they offer big discounts because the holidays are too far away. If you’re selective, you can grab some nice savings and promo deals. Here is a $10 Whole Foods promo – if you are an Amazon Prime member and spend $10 at Whole Foods from now until July 16th (be sure scan your Prime code or linked phone number at checkout), they will give you $10 Amazon credit on July 15th and 16th. The details:

Prime members: scan your Prime Code, use your linked mobile phone number at checkout, or make an order via Prime Now for delivery or pickup in the U.S. between July 3, 2019 and July 16, 2019 on a single purchase of $10 or more from Whole Foods Market. Exclusions apply. You’ll get $10 to spend on Amazon for Prime Day, a two-day parade of epic deals starting July 15, 2019 12am PT. Limit one per customer.

If you haven’t done them already, you can also load up these past deals:

  • Amazon App promo: Get a $10 Amazon credit with first app sign-in, plus another $10 after first in-app purchase, plus $5 Amazon for using camera and Alexa features for the first time.
  • Amazon Gift Card reload promo: $10 bonus on your first reload of $100+.
  • Amazon Assistant promo: Install this browser extension and receive desktop notifications for a $10 off $50 discount.
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.