Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chase Checking Accounts - Another 50,000 Miles Or Cash

Here's a reminder to those that didn't sign up for Chase checking accounts in 2010: Every calendar year you can get the signup bonus for both the personal and business accounts. You don't need to close your first account in order to get a second account.

For details on how to open the account and how to keep it free, read theses posts: Chase Personal Checking Account. and Chase Business Checking Account. A point to keep in mind, if you choose a cash signup bonus, you will receive a 1099 at the end of the year. For the miles bonus, there is no 1099. That maybe a reason to get the miles.

Personal Checking Accounts
  • 25,000 Continental Miles
    Coupon Link

    • Deposit at least $100.
    • Sign up for the Continental debit card with a $25 annual fee. You don't need the $65 one. If you get the $65 one, you get 15 Mileathon points as well. Make sure to make at least one non-pin purchase with the card.
    • Do one of the following to get the bonus and also to keep the account free:
      1. Set up direct deposit. It's very easy to Set up a automatic monthly transfer from ING (and make $25 along the way), or other online bank accounts.
      2. Make 5 purchases with the card. Doing this every month is another way to keep the account free. I think the first way is much simpler.

    Either apply online, or print out the coupon and apply in a branch. Either way, you have to deposit at least $100. If you apply online, make sure to enter your coupon code. You can fund up to $1,000 with a credit card ($500 for checking and $500 for savings) and have it treated as a purchase. Back when I applied, for some reason it wouldn't let me sign up online, so I printed the coupon and applied in a branch.
  • Cash
    You can find codes online and in the post office for $125 signup bonus. The 25,000 miles is more worth it. Unless you never travel.
    Update: Here is a one time use $125 code: 3761118930870854

Business Checking Accounts
  • 25,000 Continental Miles
    Coupon Link
    You need to deposit $500. You must sign up for the debit card with a $65 annual fee. Make 5 purchases a month on the card to keep it free.
    Once again, I tried opening the account online and it didn't work for me. I printed the coupon and went in to the branch.

  • $200
    Coupon Link
    You need to deposit $5,000. Choose the free debit card.
    There used to be an offer for $200 with depositing just $500. Now they raised the deposit requirement to $5,000.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chocolate on Sale

Amazon has Koppers Chocolate 5 pound bags starting at $7 - Won't last long!
Regular price should be around $5 a pound.
Most of their dark chocolate should be Pareve. See kosher status here.
If you like chocolate, check out Slickdeals for more great deals.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How to Spend Without Spending

The most generous credit card offers often require spending large sums of money in order to earn the bonuses. For example, Amex Premier Rewards - 25,000 Points - Limited Time Offer; Maybe Another 10,000 BA Miles For Spending $3,000; 15,000 bonus points with the Amex Starwood for spending $15,000 during your first six months.

Q. What can you do if you don't spend that kind of money on a regular basis? Especially if you got a few cards for people in your family. As a side note, I like to keep all my regular spending on the same couple of cards, it's easier to keep track that way.
A. Spend without spending. In other words, reach the spending threshold your card requires, without actually buying anything. Here are some options. Read each one and decide for yourself which one works for you.
  1. Coins from the Mint
    Link
    It's pretty straightforward: You are using your credit card to purchase cash. The only question is what to do with all those $1 coins. You are not really meant to be depositing all the coins straight into the bank, and bringing a large quantity of coins to the bank can be quite heavy.
    If all you need to spend is a few thousand dollars, this can be a great option. If you want to assuage your conscience, take out a roll or two before depositing the coins in the bank.
    See this post for more info.

  2. Amex Gift Card
    Purchase a gift card and use it like a credit card when you shop. So, in a sense, you are using your credit card to buy another credit card. This allows you to quickly reach the spending requirements, but only make purchases when you need to. Bear in mind that when you pay for something with a gift card, you forgo the protection offered by the credit card.

    When you buy an Amex gift card, they tack on a purchase fee and a shipping fee. Here's how to knock both fees off:
    The purchase fee comes off with code GEN235.
    The
    shipping fee comes off through signing up for a free three month trial for their Premium Shipping Plan. You have to sign in to your Amex account first. If you don't cancel within three months, the annual fee is $99.

    The total charge for a $1,000 gift card should be $1,000. No more.

    If you click through a cashback site (MrRebates or eBates) before purchasing the Amex gift cards, you can even earn 1% on the deal. So on a $1,000 gift card, you'll get back $10. Then, if you click through a cashback site before using the gift cards, you will earn cashback again!

  3. Store Gift Card
    Purchase gift cards from specific stores, like Amazon or Macy's. This allows you to spend the money on the card now and purchase items later. The problem with this method is that your money is locked into the store where you have the gift card and you won't have the protection your credit card offers. If you choose a store known for good customer service, like Amazon or Lands End, it's not necessary to have the credit card protection.

    Note: You can often find store gift cards for 10-20 percent off on eBay. See this post for more.

  4. Fully Refundable Ticket
    Flight, train etc.
    They can cost up to thousands of dollars, and can be refunded weeks or months later, which can be really useful...

  5. Statefarm Gift Card
    Buy a Statefarm gift card and deposit the money into a bank account.
    See this post for more info.
    They might block you from buying gift cards if you buy too many.

  6. Buy and Sell
    Buy something for a friend. Or, buy something, like an ipad, and sell it.
Making Small Purchases
There are times when you need to make small purchases on your card, like those promotions that require you to make 5 purchases a month. Some ways to make those small purchases: Fill up a dollar's worth of gas at a time, pay a small amount of your cell phone bill, sending money through PayPal, or consider donating to the US Government.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

10% Off AA Flights

Originally posted on 03/16

10% off any American Airlines flight originating in the US.
Go to centuryinthemaking.com, log in and vote, and get a 10% off code.

There are four voting periods and four redemption periods. You can vote one time in each of the four periods and receive a 10% off code each time.
  1. Vote: Mar 1 - Apr 18
    Book & Travel: Mar 1 - May 31
  2. Vote: Apr 19 - Jun 6
    Book & Travel: Apr 19 - Jul 19
  3. Vote: Jun 7 - Jul 25
    Book & Travel: TBA
  4. Vote: Jul 26 - Sep 12
    Book & Travel: TBA
For more details, and to see which dates you can't use the 10% off, see this Flyertalk thread

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Up to 35,000 Miles Signup Bonus For Citi American Airlines Credit Cards - Or Retention Bonuses

Citi is now offering 30,000 miles as a signup bonus (after spending $750), plus another 5,000 miles for spending $5,000 during the first year. The first year is free.

There are three cards to choose from: Personal Visa, Personal Amex and Business Visa. If you haven't gotten any of them yet, why not get all three. If you've had one of the cards, try for the other two. These days the chances aren't too great for getting accepted for a card if you've had the same exact card in the past. If you've had one of the cards, and closed it a while back, then it might be worth it to try again.

If you're new to American Airline miles, sign up using promotion code HIS10 to maybe get 1,000 miles.

Or Retention Bonuses...
If you already opened all these Citi AA cards, here's a way to get some easy extra miles out of them. Almost every time I call Citi to close one of my Citi AA cards, I get offered some sort of bonus to keep the card open. I accept the bonus. When I call back a month later to close the same card, I often get a second bonus for keeping the card open, again. By the third time, they'll usually get the hint, and just close the card.

When I called to close my personal Amex, after looking in to my account and telling me all the bonuses I already got on this specific card, the guy offered me 3,000 miles to keep it open "for at least another few weeks" and "you can call back then to close it"...

I didn't close my personal MasterCard yet, as that's where I have the main chunk credit with Citi. Citi doesn't seem to want to consolidate cards anymore (moving the credit line from one card to another). I will probably wait until the first free year is over before closing that card. We'll see. I am now down to two Citi AA cards: one personal Mastercard, and one Personal Amex.

If you have extra Citi AA cards that you're not using, why not call to cancel. Either they will offer you some miles to keep them open, or they will close it. Either way is good. Call for each card separately.

These are some of the retention bonuses I was offered in the past: 5,000 miles; 3,000 miles; 2,500 miles; $85 statement credit; $50 statement credit and 2,500 miles; Triple miles on next $5,000 spent (totaling 15,000 miles); Double miles on next $5,000 (totaling 10,000 miles); Spend $500 in the next three months and get 3000 miles; 5 miles per dollar on gas, drugstores and supermarkets for the next 12 months.

Notes:
1) In New York, Citi is doing the credit check at Equifax
2) For more on closing credit cards, see this post: Closing Credit Cards – Is It A Good Idea?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Free Wifi in NY For Cable Customers

A friend pointed out this tip. It has been around for a while, and it just got better.

Cablevision has wireless hotspots all around the NY area. If you have Optimum Online internet, you can connect to any of their many hotspots free of charge. If you are in a hotspot, and search for wireless networks, you should see a connection called 'optimumwifi'.

You can connect up to four devices. Say you have cable internet at work, this can be a way to get free internet at home. You can even make different user names for each device. Cablevision doesn't want you giving out free internet to people... so use discretion.

It just got better
A new agreement between the three tri-state cable companies: If you are a Cablevision, Time Warner, or Comcast customer, you can get free Wi-Fi access at all the thousands of locations around NY from all three cable companies.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maybe Another 10,000 BA Miles For Spending $3,000

Chase seems to be have lots of British Airways miles to give out. First the 100,000 signup bonus, then the 5,000 bonus, and now another 10,000.

This is the offer: Spend $1,000 a month during April, May and June, and get a 10,000 mile bonus. So for spending $3,000 you will get 13,750 miles. Not the most amazing offer out there, but if you can easily spend the $3,000, why not.

Now, it is a targeted offer, and you need a unique code to register, but lots of people are having success by asking Chase for the code. Why not give it a try. Worse comes to worse, they will say No. Log on to Chase.com and send a secure message asking them if your eligible for the promotion. I tried it, and Chase responded that I qualify.

Here's what I wrote to them:
"I would like to know if I qualify and can enroll in the 10,000 Mile promotion for spending $1,000 in April, May and June . If yes, can you please send me the enrollment code? Thank you."

Here's the response I got:
"I am pleased to confirm that you are eligible to participate in the promotion offering 10,000 bonus miles if you spend $1,000.00 during each of the calendar months of April, May and June. If the spending threshold is exceeded for each of these months the bonus miles will be posted within six to eight weeks of the promotion end date.

To participate in this promotion, please enroll with enrollment code xxxxxxxxxx at www.mychasebonus.com/ba2 or by calling 800-603-7264"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Amex Premier Rewards - 25,000 Points - Limited Time Offer

I am in the middle of putting together a list of credit cards with nice signup bonuses, but this one is a limited time offer. It's officially available from April 13th - April 26th.

Amex Premier Rewards - 25,000 Points

25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000. First year is free. After that it's $175/yr. If you spend $30,000 during a calendar year, you get an additional 15,000 points.

If you only see the old offers of 10,000 or 15,000, try using a different browser or deleting your cookies. Don't sign in to your Amex account either, as doing so might lower the reward as well.

This offer isn't as generous as some of the other credit card signup bonuses that were around lately (100,000 and 50,000...), but there's no reason you can't get this one in addition to getting those.

Membership Rewards is a great program. If you don't want the points for flights, you can always redeem the 25,000 for $250 in gift cards.

Update: If spending the $1,000 is a problem, try this link, where you get the 25,000 after first purchase instead.

Notes:

1) In New York Amex is doing the credit check at Experian.
2) If you are going to transfer the points to Delta (usually not recommended), then consider the Delta SkyMiles card with 35,000 Miles signup bonus, or try this link for maybe more.
3) For a Amex card to use for everyday spending, I would generally recommend the Starwood over this one because: Lower annual fee, 25% miles bonus and it reports the credit limit to the credit bureaus. If you have a low credit line with the Starwood, and you need to spend a lot of money, then the Premier card might be better for you, as it comes with no preset spending limit.
4) Click through Fatwallet for $20 cashback.
5) Keep an eye on you mail, as Amex sometimes sends out some targeted offers for 50,000 points.

Monday, April 12, 2010

5,000 Bonus BA Miles For Adding Authorized User to Chase Card

Here's a way to add on an additional 5,000 Miles on to the amazing 100,000 miles signup bonus (that offer isn't available anymore. I'll post if I see it available again).

Lots of people (including myself) have gotten a mailer form British Airways saying that if you add an authorized user to your British Airways Visa Card, between April 1st and May 15th, you will get 5,000 BA miles.

If you didn't get the mailing and want to be sure you will get the 5,000 miles, call Chase at 1 800 577 0633 and confirm with them. It shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes on the phone to add the authorized user.

Notes:
1) No social is needed for the additional user, so it can really be anyone...
2) Miles will post within 6-8 weeks after end of promotion

Sunday, April 11, 2010

500 Free American Airlines Miles - AAdvantageeShopping.com

Click here to register with American Airline's cashback site (aadvantageeshopping.com) before April 30th May 31st, and get 500 free AAdvantage miles.

These few hundred free miles promotions are great for topping up a mileage account, and for extending the expiration date on the miles. Do it for you entire family. You don't need to register your credit card to get the bonus. Registering your card is only if you want to earn miles at these retail stores.

Notes:
1) AwardWallet is a great tool. You can keep mileage account information for everyone in your family in one place.
2) Using the AA shopping site also helps extend your mileage life, as even earning just one mile through clicking from their site, will extend all your AA miles by 18 months.
3) The 500 miles should post to your account within 8-10 weeks.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Free Virgin Atlantic Gold Status

Update: Game's over

Link. Either sign up for a new account, or upgrade your current account to Gold.

If you want to take advantage of this, hurry! Hopefully they won't take away the status once you get it.

"Benefits of Gold, Virgin Atlantic’s top tier, are detailed here. Basically benefits apply primarily when actually flying Virgin — bonus miles, lounge access and priority checkin even when flying economy, extra baggage, and Heathrow fast track. You can also nominate a Silver. And there are reciprocal benefits with Virgin Blue, VAustralia, ANA, and Singapore."

Taken from ViewFromTheWing

Thursday, April 8, 2010

250 Free Delta SkyMiles

Detla 250 Miles
Fill out a short survey and maybe get 250 miles. The maybe is because it's an old survey so the miles might not post. If you answer '0' for the first questions. it will be a 3 question, 30 second survey.

Copy and paste this address and change the XXXXXXXXXX to your Delta Miles number:
http://www.globaltestmarket.com/survey/s.phtml?sn=163912&sm=XXXXXXXXXX&lang=E&secid=52e857

Detla 1,000 Miles
If you didn't get the 1,000 mile bonus from Shutterfly yet, it seems that you can get the miles totally for free. Just upload one picture and have it printed at your local Target. Total cost should be $0.20, and even that, you only have to pay if and when you decide to pick up the picture. You don't even need to enter a credit card number. You should earn the 1,000 miles regardless of whether or not you pick up the picture.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

50,000 Miles Signup Bonus - Chase United Visa

Update: Entering the wrong zip code when you call, might help you get the card offer.

Chase is offering a 50,000 miles signup bonus for the Chase United credit card. This is a great offer, their highest bonus is usually 30,000.

Annual fee is $60, but first year is free. The phone reps say that you will get the bonus after first purchase. But being that the offer online says that you need to spend $250, I would spend $250 just in case. Also, if the annual fee does show up on the card, it should be real easy to get it taken off.

The application isn't available online. You need to call Mileage Plus Customer Service (1-800-421-4655 for non-elites) to apply.

1. Choose "manage my account"
2. Tell them your mileage number and zip code
3. Say "more options"
4. Say "apply for a United mileage plus card".
5. Tell them you are a Mileage Plus member and are trying to apply for the 50,000 signup bonus.

Notes:
1) In New York Chase is doing the credit check at Experian.
2) People are getting approved even after applying for the BA card back in November.

See more on ViewFromTheWing and this Flyertalk thread.

10% Off United Miles
Once we're talking about United, they have a promotion running till April 12th, for travel through May 26th: 10% off awards in the US and between US and Canada.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Free BMI Silver Status For a Year Plus 2,000 Miles

Update: Offer is gone.

BMI is offering free silver status, and 2,000 miles to new members. This makes you Star Alliance Silver as well. This gives you nice benefits, including lounge access with BMI and extra luggage on BMI, United, US Airways and Continental.

It says that the promotion is for new members of JC WIZO.net, so they might reject you. Definitely worth a try.


Related post: Free BMI Silver status

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Continental Mileathon - Earn Extra Miles

Continental is running a Mile-a-thon, where you earn bonus miles for different things. Click here for the details and to register. You must register before earning!

The bonuses for flights seem to be only for the expensive flights. Here are some other nice bonuses:
  • Chase Continental credit card: 20 points
  • Chase Continental Preferred Debit card: 15 points
    This card cost $65. In order to get the 25,000 miles from the bank account promotion you only need the $25 card. You will have to decide if the extra $40 is worth it.
  • Keybank Continental Debit card: 15 points
  • Sign up for Continental Miles account: 3 points
  • Sign up for their emails: 2 points
  • Rent a car through Continental.com: 3 points
  • See link for more offers.
At the end of the promotion, June 30th, the points will transfer into miles at the following rate:
  • 5 points = 500 bonus miles
  • 10 points = 1,000 bonus miles
  • 20 points = 2,500 bonus miles
  • 30 points = 5,000 bonus miles
  • 45 points = 10,000 bonus miles
  • 65 points = 15,000 bonus miles
  • See link for full details.

250 Free Continental and Air Canada Miles

250 Continental Miles - Will probably only work if you have a Continental debit or credit card.
250 Air Canada Miles

And if you tried for the 1,000 miles from Shutterfly, if you didn't order anything else besides for the free prints, you might want to order something just to be on the safe side.
Update: The miles are posting even with just the free prints.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Red Roof Inn Rooms For $0.01

Probably not too easy to actually get, as there will only be one room per participating hotel per day. And their hotels aren't the best. Here's the link.

"Rooms will be available for online booking 48 hours in advance. For example, on April 1, rooms for 4/2 and 4/3 will become available.
Rooms become available online from 3/31 to 4/13 every day at noon EDT."