Monday, May 6, 2013

2013 Free Money Roundup

Disclaimer: I do not receive a referral fee for any of the links below with the following exceptions: Top Cashback and Betterment

The first 4 months of 2013 have been a decently lucrative start for me and my wife for Free Money (though she would rather not know how I accomplished it for plausible deniability - kidding of course).  The opportunities have been in great abundance and also very lucrative this year!

I am aware that this is not actually free money.  Time and work are involved and everyone has to make their own calculation whether a deal is worth it to them

I don't write this to gloat, rather to show everyone what I've done so that you can try and replicate the same thing yourself in the future.  Obviously, you can pick and choose which ones you think are worth it and which ones are not.  Some you can still do now and some are dead deals, but new ones are always popping up, but you usually need to jump on them to get full value.

Instructions in how to leverage each deal are found at the provided links.

Vanilla Reloads and Blue Bird

  • Total of $315.75 - Unfortunately, these deals ended at the end of March.
  • Chase Freedom - $63.15 - Chase Freedom was offering 5% back at drugstores, including CVS with Vanilla Reloads up to $1,500 of purchases.
    • 7,500 ultimate rewards points, which I value at more than 1 cent per point, but they can be redeemed for cold, hard cash at 1 cent per point so we'll call that $75.  $11.85 in fees for a total of $63.15
    • This is from January (I also paid part of my tuition on this card during this bill)

Chase Gift cards and Blue Bird

  • Chase Freedom - $20 a month (only $20 so far)

Top Cashback and Blue Bird

New Credit Card Sign up Bonuses

    • $1,000 on Vanilla reload in the first month
    • Already received $150 statement credit
    • I already have this card.  I got it for my wife because there is a $6,000 yearly limit on the great rewards.  In addition, I will close my card so that I can be eligible for a new bonus.
    • There is an annual fee of $75, which is not waived the first year.

  • Citibank AAdvantage - 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in first 3 months.  I value AA miles at least at 1 cent a mile, so it is a minimum of $300 towards AA flights.  I won' t count this because I cannot redeem the miles towards cold, hard cash.
    • $1,000 on vanilla reloads in the first month
    • Still waiting for the bill to settle to get my miles
    • Annual fee is waived the first year

Better Balance Rewards Credit Card

New Checking Account Bonus


  • $25 - Still active - Add $250 to your Betterment account and you will get $25.  Betterment invests your money automatically.  You allocate percentages of bonds and stocks.  Your principle may appreciate or depreciate.
    • To get the bonus, you need to add $250 within 90 days and keep it there for 90 days.  At that point you are free to take your $275, or so, out.

Grand Total = $862

$315 in 5% categories, $20 from Chase gift cards, $167 from topcashback, $150 from sign up bonuses, an assumed $60 from Better Balance card, $125 from checkout account, $25 from Betterment = $852 for 4 months or $213 a month.  Not bad when you don't have a job!


Adam said...

I'm embarrassed and in awe at the same time

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