Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some Free Stuff

1- Book: What to Expect When You're Expecting
1- Luggage Tags
2- Stencils sample
3- Dove Hair Product sample
4- Envelopes sample
5- Gold Bond Lotion sample
6- Invisible Glass wipes sample

Previously posted:
Men's Deodorant sample
Sippy Cup - Mine arrived.
Note: When signing up for samples etc. you might want to use a separate email address, just in case you get added on to their email list.

Toddler Clothing Sale At Kohls

Here is a pair of boys pants for $2.40. It comes out to $3.15 shipped.
Update: The material is polyester, not cotton)
They have lots of toddler girls clothing on sale too.
10% coupon: HOLIDAY6608
$0.99 shipping per item.

Kohls Cardholders use KCCARD15 for 15% off and MVC4614 for free shipping.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Closing Credit Cards – Is It A Good Idea?

Updated 04/20/2010

Should I close unused credit cards or leave them open?
A. Although it's usually it’s better to leave unused personal credit cards open, it often doesn't make much of a difference.

This article discusses the effect closing a credit card has on your score. You might want to leave a card open for other reasons, like having access to the credit line etc.

There are two main reasons why closing a credit card can lower your credit score:
1. It lowers your total available credit.
2. It shortens your credit history. Don't worry about this too much, because it won't affect your credit for at least 7 years, when this card might drop off your credit report. Until that happens, the card will still be used to calculate your credit history.

Having too many cards will also slightly lower your credit score. So, if you have more than, say a dozen personal cards, closing some cards, if they are closed the right way, can actually raise your score. Whatever you do, I would recommend to always have at least 3-4 personal credit cards. It’s better if they are from different issuers so that even if one card closes you down, you will still have other cards.

There is another reason to close some unused credit cards. Back when credit was extremely easy to get, having lots of cards wasn't a big deal. Now, however, when it seems that credit card companies are looking for excuses to close people down or lower their credit lines, you might want to play it safe and close some cards if you have more than around 10 personal cards. People with lots of credit cards seem risky to credit card companies.

The right way to close credit cards:
  • Don’t close your last card with a major bank, as you never know when you might need them.

  • If you have more than one card from the same issuer (e.g. Chase, Amex, Citi), and you don't need both of them, cancel the one you don't need.

  • Close the newer cards. Leave your oldest cards open. As I wrote above, it's not as important as people make it out to be.

  • Move the credit over to an older card before canceling. Besides for helping your score, this is a good idea because now you have a higher credit line on your credit card in case you need to ever make large purchases.

  • If you earned a signup bonus for opening the card, wait at least six months before closing the card. Some companies might take away the bonus if you close the card too soon.

  • Many people don't realize that it makes a difference which card you leave open and which you close when combining cards (also called ‘consolidating accounts'). Just because you are combining credit cards, it doesn't mean they become one card. One of the cards will be 'closed' and that will be reflected on your report, while the other card will remain open. Make sure the card that is closed is the newer one.
Some terms explained:
  • Lowering your available credit:
    There are two issues with a card reporting a lower credit line to the credit reporting agencies: 1) The debt to credit ration on this specific card changes. Whenever you carry a balance, you will be using up more of your available credit than before. 2) The debt to credit ratio of all you personal cards combined changes. If between all your cards, you have an overall credit line of say, $30,000. If you close a card that has a $10,000 credit limit, you will now only have $20,000 total available credit.

  • Shortening your credit history:
    Your credit history means how old your average credit card is. If you close one of your older cards, you will shorten your credit history. The closed card will continue to stay on your credit report even after it closed for at least another 7 years. So it will take a while until it has an effect on your score, and by then you will have other old cards.

  1. This is a general answer and might not apply to every situation. Feel free to email me with specific questions at dealreviews@gmail.com.
  2. The number of cards I mentioned throughout the article isn't necessarily exact. Fico doesn't release to the public exactly what causes scores to go up and down. My assumption is based on many cases that I know about.
  3. Business cards don't show up on your report in the first place, so closing them won't make a difference at all to your score.
  4. It’s not always possible to consolidate all cards. If that's the case by you, just make sure to leave open the card with the most credit, and if possible, the oldest card.
  5. Citi AA cards don’t report your credit line at all. So if you’re closing a Citi AA card, it won’t help your score by moving over credit. The only thing it will help with, is it will give you a higher credit line. If you’re going to move the credit to a Citicard that does report your credit line, it will raise your score!
For more on credit, read the Credit Education Series.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Get Cash Back Easily When Shopping Online: FatWallet Now Toolbar

Whenever you shop online, you could be getting cash back. It's easy and simple and it's a shame people don't take advantage of it. Read more about cashback sites.

In short: Let's say you are shopping at Macys, but instead of typing macys.com, you click a link from a different site that takes you to macys.com. The site where you clicked from gets a percentage of whatever you spend, in payment for referring you.

Cashback sites are set up to give you part of what they get (anywhere from 1% and up), in return for clicking from their site. So, for instance, if you spend $100 at macys.com and first click from Fatwallet, you will get $4 cash back!

One reason many people don't use cashback sites, is that they can't be bothered to go to the cashback site every time they want to shop somewhere and then find the store on the cashback site. This is especially true if you are not spending a lot and that store will only get you 1%.

I can relate to that. That is why I like the 'FatWallet Now Toolbar'.

You install their toolbar once. Then, whenever you shop, at any site, just click their toolbar. A window will pop up telling you if you can get cashback at this site, and if yes, how much you will get, along with a link to get back to the site through FatWallet. Click the link, it will take you right back to the site where you were before. Only now, you will be getting cashback on everything you buy!

The only problem is, if you added items to your shopping cart before clicking on the FatWallet toolbar, you might not get cashback for the items that were already in your cart. If you want to be sure you are getting cashback, delete everything from your cart and add them again

Note: If you don't see a window popping up when clicking the FatWallet Now toolbar, make sure to 'allow popups' from FatWallet.com.

P. S. If you're not using a cashback site, (many sites, like Amazon, don't earn you cashback) then please click from this site before shopping and support DealReviews.net! I have a list of recommended sites on the side of the page which you can right click and save to bookmarks/favorites. Then, any time you shop, you can just click the link from your bookmarks/favorites, and support this site.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Baby Items On Sale At Kohls

Update 12/28: Prices have gone up

Kohls is having a 50% off sale on Fisher-Price Baby Items.
Get an additional 15% off their sale prices with coupon code: JOY15
Free shipping on orders over $100. Otherwise, shipping is $7.95.

Some items worth looking at:
Check out the reviews (and prices) at Amazon.
Prices after 15% off

Infant-to-Toddler Rocker - $14.87 - Amazon link
Healthy Care Booster Seat - $10.62 - Amazon link
Sounds 'N Lights Monitor - $14.87 - Amazon link
Soothing Motions Glider - $29.74 - Amazon link

Shop through Bigcrumbs to get another 3.6% cashback.
If you have a Kohls charge card, use code MVC6535 for free shipping.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Everyone Can Open A Business Credit Card

There are two general types of credit cards: Business and Personal.

If you are opening lots of cards for the signup bonuses, then you should sprinkle in some business cards as well, because business credit cards are better for your credit, as they don't show up on your credit report.

You should make sure to have some personal credit cards as well, because they are important for building your credit. If you only have business cards, and no personal cards, your credit report will show that you don't have any credit cards! That's not a good idea.

Many people tell me that they are scared of opening a business card, as they don't actually own a business. There is no need to worry though, even if you don't have a business, you can still open a business credit card. If you think about it, chances are that you have done some 'business'... for example, selling on eBay, negotiating a deal with someone or selling something to a friend. If yes, you're 'in business'!

The simplest way to open a business card is to use your full name as the name of your business. If the application requires a Tax ID, put down your Social Security number.
Even if you write that the business has $0 in revenue and just opened, you can still be approved for the card.

You can call the credit card companies and confirm this as well.

Relate articles:
Credit Cards With Great Signup Bonuses
Advanta Business Credit Card - How it can help your credit. Or borrow money with 0% interest!

Monday, December 22, 2008

GetHuman.com - How to get through to a human at lots of companies

Looking for the phone number of a company? Check GetHuman.com. They have phone numbers for lots of companies. They write what method to use to quickly get through to a real live person, instead of a machine.

This site has been around for a while and people seem to like it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Buying Airline Tickets Without Paying Fuel Surcharges?

I just read an interesting post over at Flyertalk. This guy writes how to fly without paying the Fuel Surcharge (also called 'YQ'). This can be a really big chunk of your ticket price.
Basically, it involves one airline ticketing a flight on a different airline. For example, buying a British Airways ticket from an American Airlines ticket agent.
I never tried this, but anybody planning on flying might want to check it out!
If it works for you, please let me know.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some more 0% APR Credit Card offers

Two weeks ago I blogged about opening an Advanta Business Credit Card with a 0% APR promotion. I explained how it can help raise your score and pay off debt. Please read that post first. Here are some more Credit Cards with 0% APR promotions. Please read the terms and conditions before applying, as they may have changed from when this was posted.

A word of caution on 0% APR on balance transfers: If you open a card with 0% APR on balance transfers, remember that you will still probably have a high APR on purchases. If you use the card for purchases, any money which you pay the credit card will be applied toward your 0% balance transfer, not towards your purchases! The credit card company will usually apply any money you send in towards the lower APR.

Remember, opening a 'no-name' card can have an advantage as explained

Bank Atlantic Business Card
0% APR for 15 months.
3% balance transfer fee. The most you'll pay for the transfer though is $75.

Advanta Business Card
0% APR for 15 months.
3% balance transfer fee. The most you'll pay for the transfer though is $90.

Juniper Business Card
0% APR for 13 months.
3% balance transfer fee. The most you'll pay for the transfer though is $75.

Citi Business Card
0% APR for 12 months.
No fee for balance transfer.

Some notes about this Citi card:

If you are like me, and like to earn lots of signup bonuses from opening credit cards, and 'churn' the Citi AA card to get the 25,000 mile bonuses, then it might be better to get a non-Citi card (Juniper or Advanta), because these days, when credit card companies are becoming stricter, you don't want to give Citi any reason to close you down. Opening lots of cards plus taking out a large loan, might, and I say might, cause Citi to look closer at your account...

Another thing to note about the Citi Business Card, is that they offer 15,000 points after first purchase. If you want to get the points, it might be better to first buy something on the card, then pay off the bill, and then make the balance transfer. If you don't first pay for what you bought before making the balance transfer, then, as mentioned before, you will have to completely pay off the balance transfer before paying off the purchase. Another option might be buy something for $1, and then it won't be so bad even if you pay a high interest rate every month on that $1.

Personal Credit Cards:
Personal cards are sometimes easier to be approved for, but the debt will still show up on your credit report, which means that it isn't as good as a business credit card.

Citi Professional Card
0% APR for 12 months
No fee for balance transfer

ADA World Mastercard

0% APR for 12 months
No fee for balance transfer

US Bank Liniux
0% APR for 12 months
No fee for balance transfer

Make sure to read the Credit Education Series. It will help you understand what credit means and how to take control of your credit.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Digital Camera Canon SD1100IS - $103.49 Today Only!

Update 4:00 pm: Out of stock

Buy.com has the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS Digital Camera for $118.49. Paypal is running a promotion that's only valid today: $15 back on purchases of $75 or more. So, total will be $103.49. Tax will be added where applicable.
Regular price is over $150

When you buy the camera, 'checkout' with PayPal. Paypal will deposit the money back in your Paypal account by January 31st.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Becoming An Authorized User Still Works

As I previously wrote about, one of the quickest ways to raise your credit score, and get into the credit card 'market', is to become an Authorized User on someone else's card. This means that you ask someone who has a good credit score to add you to a card that has a high credit limit and no debt. They have to add your Social Security number to their account. This card will be reported to your credit report. Then... you'll watch your score rise!

The new method of calculating your credit score, FICO 08, was going to make this obsolete. Many people would see their score drop, and it would be harder for people who have never had a credit card to get their first card.

I waited for people that used this strategy to suddenly see a drastic drop in their credit scores. But it never happened. Scores stayed high. I hadn't seen official word from FICO about it until now. I just came across this PDF of the testimony from someone from the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), that being an authorized user on someone's account will continue to help your credit score.

He says that there will be some changes, and becoming an Authorized User might not be as beneficial as it used to be, but bottom line, if you are looking to get your first credit card, it is still a good idea to get added on to someone's account. I don't know how much longer this will work though, so take advantage of it by building your own credit quickly.

Why does Authorized User work?
It seems that the Credit Reporting Agencies don't 'know' if you are actually related to the person who added you as an Authorized User. This is why it helps to be an Authorized User, as they think you are a spouse or otherwise closely related, and responsible for the credit as well. You can become an Authorized User on a friend's account, even if you are not related, and it will still help raise your score. It is totally legal to get added on as an Authorized User. Although, your 'intention' should be to have access to the credit line, not to fool the credit card companies.

Read Part Three of the Credit Education Series to fully understand this concept.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shirts on Sale at Amazon! - Great Prices!

Update 5:30 pm: Stock is dwindling.

The Dress Shirt Group is selling shirts on Amazon at amazing prices with free shipping! These shirts will probably sell out very quickly!

Click here, check out the brands they have. There is a large selection of shirts on sale, including lots of white shirts.

Check out these brands
Calvin Klein - $12.37!
Donald Trump - $14.87
IZOD - $9.87
Van Heusen - $9.37
Geoffrey Beene - $9.87 - $22.50
Kenneth Cole Reaction - $11.24 - $22.50
Arrow - $9.00 - $18.00

Specific shirts to check out (all come in white as well):
Calvin Klein Silky Poplin Solid - Point Collar - $12.37 - No more white.
Donald Trump Non-Iron Dress Shirt- Spread Collar - $14.87
Izod Easy Care Cotton Twill Solid Dress Shirt - Spread Collar - $9.87
Geoffrey Beene Wrinkle Free Fitted Shirt (not 100% cotton) - $9.87 - Mostly gone, try these instead for $11.25

Monday, December 15, 2008

Free Weekend Day Rental From Hertz - Not in NYC

Get a car from Hertz for free, one day a month, until 03/31/09.

Promotion Link

Some restrictions:
1. Only at participating locations (Hertz doesn't supply a list of participating locations. Go figure.)
2. You have to pay taxes and fees. Should be anywhere from $2 to $10
3. Excludes the NY metro area, Florida and Hawaii.
4. Must be a weekend day. Pick up the car between Thursday noon and Sunday noon.
5. Not available for all weekends. You will have better luck for dates in 2009.

Basically, if you have patience, check it out.

Here are some more Hertz promotions,
50% off weekend rentals
No Underage Fee (from age 21)

Related articles:
Review: Cheap Car Rentals
Review: Car Rental Tips - Insurance

Pampers Reward Program

This is for people who buy lots of diapers and like to collect points.

Pampers has a reward program called Gifts to Grow. You enter codes from packages of Pampers and earn prizes. There is a 15 digit code on each bag of diapers.

Do I think it is worth the time and effort for the prizes they offer? No! The prizes are not that great. But, hey its free, and I decided to try it.

Here are a few codes to get you started:
WEAPPRECIATEU08 - 10 points
WELCOMEBONUS089 - 1 point
WELCOME2GTG0809 - 1 point

Sunday, December 14, 2008

FreeCreditReport.com is NOT the place to get your free credit reports!

Related articles: Credit Education Series

I often hear people saying that they will get their free credit reports from FreeCreditReport.com. That's wrong. Even though they advertise heavily, and their name makes it sound like a good place to check your reports, that is NOT the place to get your free reports. Too many people get caught by their claim of 'free credit reports'.

For starters, the name suggests something that it is not. You don't get a totally free report, you only get a 7 day trial. And after the trial it costs $14.95 a month! Also, FreeCreditReport.com only gives you your Experian report and score (which is not FICO), it doesn't give you the Transunion and Equifax reports (although to be fair, they do monitor all three reports).

FreeCreditReport.com gives you less information, for a shorter trial period, after which it costs more money than other companies. So, do yourself a favor and don't use them, period. (Unless you are looking for another free trial...)

So where should I check my reports and scores?

Totally Free Reports:
Get one report a year from each of the three agencies.
All Three Reports and Scores:
For a 30 day free trial for all three reports and scores, along with credit monitoring, try Citi IdentityMonitor (get up to $30 cashback as well), Amex CreditSecure or Chase Identity Protection (Chase will charge you for the first month, and then refund it when you cancel). The score they provide is not the FICO score.
FICO Score:
MyFico has a 30 day free trial, where you get your Equifax report and FICO score. You can cancel online easily without actually talking to anybody, and they send you an email a week before your trial is over reminding you to cancel! (And, you will be supporting this site just by signing up for the free trial)
You can get Experian and Transunion FICO scores at myfico.com as well.

Click here for more information on where to check your reports and scores.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One year and counting...

Happy anniversary to DealReviews.net! It's one year since I started this site!

The nicest thing about this blog is hearing how people have gained from this site. Thanks for all those e-mails and comments! I really believe that people can live at a much higher standard, for much less money, if they read and implement the advice and tips from this blog. There are tips on all things related to money, from getting a cheap phone line to fixing your credit, earning lots of miles and much more.

I would like to point out the Categories to all those who have started coming to the site recently. Check out the different categories, found on the right side of the page. Many of the articles, even those written a year ago, are still just as helpful- and can save you money - today. You will find some really amazing tips in these articles. When something expires, I change the label to Expired.

I am going to try a different approach to how I have been posting until now, by posting more often in the future, although not every post will be a complete article. I will try to post something almost every day. It might be a good price on something, an interesting website I came across, some useful information or just something I thought night interest people. Every so often, I will post a longer article as well.

I am looking into building a permanent credit help site, with a blog included. If you have any ideas for a name for the site, please e-mail me. In general please email me with any comments or suggestions about the site.

If you, or someone you know, needs credit related help, or advice on which credit card to get, and cant find the answer on the site, feel free to e-mail me.

The advice on the site and by e-mailing me is free. Please continue to support this site though by clicking from this site before shopping or opening a credit card.

Looking forward to a money saving and better living year.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Canon Powershot SD880 Camera - $189.99

Update 12/12: Expired

Dell has a great digital camera, the Canon PowerShot SD880 IS Silver 10.0 MP 4X Zoom for $189.99 with free shipping.
Tax will be added where applicable.

Regular price is around $250

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Melissa & Doug Wood Dollhouse - $49.99

Update 12/16: Price back up to $79.99
Update 12/11: Price down to $47.99!

Amazon has the Melissa & Doug Multi-Level Solid Wood Dollhouse for $49.99 with free shipping.
Regular price is around $100 (although Amazon sold it for $79.99 for a while).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Some Free Samples

1- Degree for Men Deodorant
2- Clean Bee Soap
3- Colgate Advanced Toothpaste (watch video first)
4- Sippy Cup
5- Periodic Table of Elements (England)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Advanta Business Credit Card - How it can help your credit. Or borrow money with 0% interest!

For more on credit, read the Credit Education Series.

Do you have debt piled on personal credit cards?
Is your credit score suffering because of it?

If you have debt on a personal card, it can affect your credit score, because it lowers your credit/debt ratio (read more). It can also be tough paying off your debt when you have very high interest rates, because you are always paying off your interest and not necessarily your actual debt.

As explained in the Credit Card Education series, one solution is to open a business credit card, and transfer your debt to that card. It will help raise your credit score, because your debt won't show up on your credit report anymore. (Business credit cards don't show on your report). Even better is to get a business card with 0% APR promotion, and a low fee for the actual transfer. 0% APR means that you don't pay interest, say for the first 15 months. This gives you some time to pay off your debt, interest free.
Remember, anyone can open a business credit card, even if you don't have a 'business'. For this card, just choose 'Proprietorship', and you can use your name as your business name.

Recommended Card
One Business card that I recommend is the Advanta Business Credit Card.

1. Being that its a business credit card, it won't show up on your credit report (aside from the inquiry for applying for the card).
2. The most you will pay for the balance transfer fee is $90, no matter how much money you are transferring. The minimum is $5 or 3%.
3. 0% APR for 15 months. You don't pay interest for 15 months, so you have time to pay off your debt.
4. It's not such a famous card, so it won't affect your standing with the 'regular' credit cards from companies such as Chase, Citi, Amex etc. For instance, if you have a Chase Business credit card, even though it doesn't show up on your report, Chase will still know that you have the card, and that can affect your standing with Chase.

Last I heard from someone, Advanta did their inquiry by Experian.

Personal Card
If you are looking for a personal card with a 0% APR, check out this card from Citi/Associated Bank, it comes with 0% APR for 12 months, and there is no charge for the balance transfer.

Related article:
Some more 0% APR Credit Card offers

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Buying Dollar Coins From The US Mint - Free Shipping

Update 2: It seems like the Mint started speeding up their order processing times. While in the past it has been taking a few weeks to receive an order, lately it’s been arriving in just a few days! My shipments are being sent via UPS Next Day Air!
Update: The Native American coins seem to have a $5,000 limit, not $500.

A few people have been asking me about buying coins from the US mint.

Link to Dollar Coins from Mint

The US Mint is selling dollar coins at face value, with free shipping. You need to click through till the final checkout page in order to see the free shipping. This allows you to earn miles or cashback from your credit card, without actually spending any money.

Once you receive the coins, take them to the bank, deposit the coins in your bank account and use that money to pay your credit card bill, and 'pocket' any miles or cashback from the credit card. Or you can just pay your credit card directly with the coins, i.e if you have a Citi credit card, and a Citibank nearby, you can bring the coins in to Citibank and tell them you want to pay your credit card bill with these coins.

You can order up to $500 of each type of coin. As of now there are 5 different ones in stock, each with the face of a different President.
If you try to order more than $500 of one type of coin, your order will probably be canceled. If you want to order more then that, make sure to use a different credit card and a different shipping and billing address.

Carrying the coins to the bank can be a headache, so I wouldn't generally recommend it just to earn a few points from the credit card. If you need to reach a threshold in spending though, this can be a great way to do that.

I open a new Citi American Airlines credit card quite often, in order to get the signup bonus. You need to spend $750 before earning the 25,000 miles signup bonus. The coins are a quick and easy way to reach $750.

Note: When depositing the coins, Chase let me deposit everything at once without a problem. Apple Bank only allowed $250 a day. (Not that I recommend banking at Apple Bank to begin with.)

Original Post

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pampers on sale at Amazon

Amazon is running a 30% off promotion on select Diapers.
Pampers Link
Use code PMPRSDO8 for 15% off, and Subscribe & Save for another 15% off.

Note: These boxes are smaller than the regular big boxes, but with the 30% off it comes out quite a bit cheaper than Amazon's regular price per diaper.

You need to choose Subscribe & Save, which means that you are asking Amazon to ship you an order every certain amount of time. Don't worry though, as soon as you order the item, you can cancel your subscription in a second. Just click here, and cancel your subscription.

From Amazon.com:
"Save up to 30% on Pampers
Save 15% today when you buy select Pampers diapers offered by Amazon.com. Use the following promotional code when you check out: PMPRSDO8. Plus, save another 15% when you combine this instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order--bringing the total savings to 30%. This offer applies only to products offered by Amazon.com and for purchases made between December 1 and December 7, 2008."

Monday, December 1, 2008

American Express Wishlist

Update 12/02 11:05 am: I scored a 25% off Amazon order! (I clicked when there was 1 second remaining.)

Amex Wishlist
Starts today. Lasts till Dec 18th.

Every day, from December 1st - 18th, American Express will be offering products at cheap prices and giving away gift certificates to different stores. They call this their Wishlist. Various products and wish certificates are released at different times of day. (One great wish certificate gives you 25% off your entire purchase at Amazon.com.)

Don't get your hopes too high though. Their supply is limited, and chances are slim that you will get anything too great. If you want to try, you have to be ready exactly when the product/certificate is released. You should also make sure to have your Amex card ready just in case you score something.