Friday, August 30, 2013

Wells Fargo Credit Card - 5% cashback for 6 months at Drug Stores, Gas and Groceries

Wells Fargo Cash Back Credit Card

Wells Fargo is now offering a credit card that is almost too good to be true.  The credit card is called The Wells Fargo Cash Back Card.  Very clever name.

For 6 months, you get 5% cashback on any purchases at Drug Stores, Gas Stations and Groceries.  There is no annual fee to boot!  The 5% cashback can be used as a statement credit to pay your credit card bill.

I don't have this card yet and I won't be getting one until I'm ready for my next App-O-Rama, but I am super excited for the possibilities.

Why You Should Care

CVS is obviously considered a drug store and if your local CVS store is carrying plentiful Vanilla Reload cards, this is a great card for you.

In addition, some grocery stores carry $500 Visa Gift Cards, which will allow you to either get 4% cashback everywhere (1% fees associated with gift cards) or it can be put on Bluebird in order to rinse and repeat.

The Catch

  1. 5% is only for 6 months, but who cares.  By that point, there will be 6 other ways to generate easy money that will have come and go.  This probably will not last very long itself because of people who will abuse it.
  2. You need to be a Wells Fargo customer, unlike myself, to apply online.  Otherwise, you have to go into a physical branch to apply.

Are there limits?

In the first six months, theoretically, there are no limits to how much money you can get 5% cashback on. That being said, "Don't be an idiot."  This is the most important statement I ever make and I make it often.

If you spend $20,000 every month at CVS, which would net you about $800 on Bluebird (if you are able to liquidate that much), you will get shut down.  Their terms and conditions allow them to modify the offer at any point and confiscate any points for "abuse of program privileges".  They can only confiscate unused rewards so make sure to redeem every month.

How much is safe?  Anybody's guess.  I tend to stick to about $1,000-$2,000 a month on any one card for manufactured spend. There are lots of cards out there that can make you some extra money on the side so don't get too caught up on any one card.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Don't Give Up!

During my App-O-Rama, I applied for the Chase United Credit Card, among others.  I had previously gotten the sign up bonus for that card a couple years ago, but based on reports I had read on the internet I should not have trouble getting the bonus again.

I signed up for a 30,000 mile bonus.

Over the phone I confirmed with a rep that I would be getting the bonus.  Then I asked the rep about getting qualified for a 50,000 mile bonus with a $50 statement credit which I had already successfully gotten for my wife.

She said it wasn't her department, but Chase will contact me in 10 business days.

10 days later I got letter in the mail saying that I won't be getting any miles because I had previously gotten this bonus!  I was quite perturbed to say the least.

So, I sent a secure message to Chase without alluding to the letter I received.  Here is the message:

After I signed up for the United 30,000 mile sign up bonus 
I noticed that there was a 50,000 mile sign up bonus with  
a $50 statement credit. Can I please be matched to that  
offer? Thank you very much.

In a couple of days, I got the following message back from Chase:

Dear Oren, 
Thank you for contacting Chase regarding your United MileagePlus® credit card account. 

We are pleased to inform you that we have honored your request and issued a $50.00 statement credit and 20,000 additional miles. The credit and miles will be reflected on your next billing statement. 
If you have any further questions, please reply using the Secure Message Center. 
Thank you, 

Later that month, my $50 statement credit and miles posted to my United account and all was good in the world again.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunday - Free National Parks Day!

Pyrex 4 Pack 2.5 Qt Mixing Bowl - $5 at Walmart

Disclaimer - The Discover offers are no longer valid.

$5 for 4 Pyrex Mixing Bowls at Walmart.

Compare to $15 on Amazon for Pyrex Prepware 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set, Clear

Free site to store shipping

Start your purchase from The Shop Discover Mall on your Discover It™ card and get 5% back as well as the regular 1% for every purchase!  

Don't have Discover it?  Apply Here

I don't use my Discover it much, but it is often for online shopping like this and their 5% rotating categories.  This picture is from my last statement which I got through buying gift cards at 7-11 (Gas Station).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Extreme Savings on Hospital Costs!

If you want tremendous savings on your Hospital or any medical bills, here is the secret:  Health Insurance.

Just kidding!

I want to welcome the newest member of the Money Saver Family:  Baby Boy Money Saver (Hopefully he'll learn some tricks over the years from his old Pa).

Mazal Tov and, thanks G-d, everyone is happy and healthy!

Posts should be light in the near future

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wahl Haircutting Kit - $10 from Walmart

Disclaimer - The Discover offers are no longer valid.

I haven't paid for a haircut in 4 years because my wife has been giving me a haircut with a similar device.  It saves a lot of money, but after a little practice it also saves a lot of time.

This WAHL haircutting kit is $11.

Start your purchase from The Shop Discover Mall on your Discover It™ card and get 5% back as well as the regular 1% for every purchase!  

Don't have Discover it?  Apply Here

I don't use my Discover it much, but it is often for online shopping like this and their 5% rotating categories.  This picture is from my last statement which I got through buying gift cards at 7-11 (Gas Station).

Monday, August 19, 2013

128GB USB Flashdrive $55 - Best Buy

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s):  Top Cashback

Update: Price went back up to $150!

My general price target for a USB flash drive is $.50 or less per GB.  For example, you would want to pay $16 or less for 32GB of storage..  Also, as you get more storage, it is more difficult to find that price target. 

This USB fits the model.  128Gb for $55 is slightly less than $0.50 cents per GB and 128GB is very large for a USB flash drive.  

Sign up for Best Buy Rewards Zone and you will get a $5 Best Buy Gift Card for every $250 you spend at Best Buy (2%) in addition to all your other savings.  Reward zone gift cards can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards, which I consider the same as cash.

Start your purchase from Top Cashback and get 4% back as well!

Don't have Top Cashback?  Sign up here for free.   They usually have the best cashback percentages although it take a little longer to get your money.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bank of America Privileges Credit Card - 4.5% Cashback at Gas Stations

There are two possible credit cards that I knew about that give good rewards for gas purchases (not including rotating 5% categories) and cary no annual fee:

A reader, JF, pointed me to a credit card which I didn't know about that is even better for some people.

Introducing the Bank of America Privileges Card.  It is the same 3% back at gas stations, but instead of a 10% bonus into a Bank of America checking account, you will get a 50% bonus!  That is effectively getting 4.5% cashback on gas purchases!

A few things to note:

  • Annual Fee 
    • The card is open to all, but unless you have $50,000 with Bank of America or its Affiliates (includes Merrill Lynch), there is a $75 annual fee the second year.  The annual fee is waived every year if you have $50,000 with them.
    • I would not get the card unless you already have $50,000 with Bank of America that you aren't planning on moving.  The extra 1.5% is not worth the $75 annual fee.
  • Your base rate of 3% doesn't change, all the changes is your bonus.  Therefore, any rewards you have built up before you switch to the privileges card should be redeemed at the higher 4.5% rate.
  • If you already have a Bank of America Cash Rewards card you can call up and have your card automatically switched into a Bank of America Privileges card.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

$5 off $25 Amazon Promo - Facebook Needed

Save $5 off a $25 purchase from Amazon.  Save $5 off a $25 purchase From Amazon

Share your answer to a question on Facebook and you will get a promo code from Amazon that will save you $5 off a $25 purchase.

Purchase must be made by Thursday, August 22th.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

United Bonus Miles or Free Upgrades - Targeted

United is offering a targeted promotion.  You can either get extra United miles or free upgrades.

You need to enter your United MileagePlus account number here.

I did not qualify on my account or my wife's account, but maybe you will.

If you qualify, your bonus is dependent on how many times you fly between now and November 15th.

1 Qualifying flight = 5,000 bonus miles or one upgrade
2 Qualifying flights = 10,000 bonus miles or two upgrades
4 Qualifying flights = 25,000 bonus miles or 3 upgrades

Hat Tip - Mommy Points

Not every ticket class qualifies for bonus miles so read the terms carefully if you are hoping to get the bonus miles.

Here are the full Terms and Conditions

MileagePlus Terms & Conditions:
  1. Only original recipients of email invitation to the offer can register and participate in the promotion.
  2. To qualify for this offer, eligible members must register, purchase and complete a paid, qualifying roundtrip to any destination worldwide on flights operated by United and United Express® within the qualifying ticketing and travel periods.
  3. Ticketing dates: August 15, 2013 through November 15, 2013
  4. Travel dates: August 15, 2013 through November 15, 2013
  5. Offer is valid on H, U, E, M, B, Y, Z, P, J, C, D, A and F fare classes. At least one segment of the qualifying roundtrip should be booked in the eligible fare class to qualify for this offer.
  6. For this offer, a roundtrip is defined as travel from an origin city to a destination city with return travel beginning in the outbound destination city back to the first origin city with all segments on flights operated by United and United Express. A segment is defined as one takeoff and one landing. One-way, circle trips, multi-city itineraries and itineraries with stopovers do not qualify for this offer.
  7. The offer is not valid on United-marketed codeshare flights operated by other carriers.
  8. The offer is not valid on government fares.
  9. Passenger must be a member of United's MileagePlus program for travel to qualify for this offer. Qualifying flight activities must be credited to the MileagePlus account by November 25, 2013 in order to qualify for this offer.
  10. You must register and select the bonus award miles or Regional Premier Upgrades through promotion registration page by November 1, 2013 in order to qualify for the promotion.
  11. This offer is not combinable with other non-combinable offers.
  12. Each Regional Premier Upgrade is valid for a single one-way, one-cabin upgrade and will expire on December 31, 2014. Standard Regional Premier Upgrade terms apply. You can review the terms at
  13. Bonus award miles or Regional Premier Upgrades will post to your account 6-8 weeks after the offer end date of November 15, 2013.
  14. E-Ticket ® purchase required. Service charges for ticketing with a United representative in the United States and Canada are $25 by phone, $30 at a City Ticket Office and $35 in person at the airport. Ticketing charges may vary outside of the U.S. and Canada and based on MileagePlus status level. The ticketing service charge does not apply for tickets purchased on Service charges are subject to change.
  15. Offer subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.
  16. Miles accrued, awards, and benefits issued are subject to change and are subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program, including without limitation the Premier® program (the "MileagePlus Program"), which are expressly incorporated herein. United may change the MileagePlus Program including, but not limited to, rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers or terminate the MileagePlus Program at any time and without notice. United and its subsidiaries, affiliates and agents are not responsible for any products or services of other participating companies and partners. Taxes and fees related to award travel are the responsibility of the member. Bonus award miles, award miles and any other miles earned through non-flight activity do not count toward qualification for Premier status unless expressly stated otherwise. The accumulation of mileage or Premier status or any other status does not entitle members to any vested rights with respect to the MileagePlus Program. All calculations made in connection with the MileagePlus Program, including without limitation with respect to the accumulation of mileage and the satisfaction of the qualification requirements for Premier status, will be made by United Airlines and MileagePlus in their discretion and such calculations will be considered final. Information in this communication that relates to the MileagePlus Program does not purport to be complete or comprehensive and may not include all of the information that a member may believe is important, and is qualified in its entirety by reference to all of the information on the website and the MileagePlus Program rules. United and MileagePlus are registered service marks. For complete details about the MileagePlus Program, go to

2 Pocket Folders for $0.01 Each - Office Depot

Office Depot is having a back to school sale and 2-Pocket Folders are $0.01 Each.

In store only and a limit of 10 purchases per person.

Valid until 8/17

Thank you RL for the tip.

Monday, August 12, 2013

7-11 Vanilla Reload Fail!

Disclaimer - The Discover offers are no longer valid.

Recently, I posted that Chase considers 7-11 a gas station and American Express considers 7-11 a supermarket, which is great to know for using the right credit card.  In addition, 7-11 became another merchant that was selling Vanilla Reload cards.  It was the perfect store.

In order to maximize 5% categories, I spent $1,500 on Vanilla Reloads on my Chase Freedom and I had spent another $500 on DISCOVER IT™, hoping to spend another $1,000 on my last trip to 7-11.

I brought two Vanilla Reloads to the clerk and asked to pay with credit card.  I swiped my Discover, and "declined."   I assumed it was a fraud alert that declined the card so I tried a different card and "declined."  I tried four different cards (I was trying for sign up bonuses anyway so I needed to spend money) and they were all declined.

I wasn't sure what was going on so I waited until the beginning of August to see if maybe 7-11 was imposing a monthly limit, but I was declined again.

It seems as though Vanilla Reloads can no longer be bought at 7-11 with a credit card.  It was fun while it lasted.

Since I drafted this post, Frequent Miler is also reporting that 7-11 will not accept credit cards for vanilla reloads.

The Silver Lining

I was still able to buy $500 One Vanilla cards at 7-11 and load them at Walmart to my Bluebird so all is not lost.  5% at groceries is still alive, but less convenient.

The pin on One Vanilla cards is the 4 digits you choose at your first purchase.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Best Rewards Credit Card By Far!

Not satisfied with the offer the credit card company has sent?  Just write in your own terms!

A Russian man did just that and has gotten away with it, so far.

The man amended the contract so that it says that he has unlimited credit, does not have to pay any fees and that the bank has to be pay major fees for making any changes to the agreement or canceling the card.

Here is a link to the article.

A court has held up his claims so far and he hasn't had to pay the $700,000 in fees he racked up.

Somehow, the court was not amused by the bank's assertion that he should have to pay all the fees because the bank didn't read the contract they signed.

Obviously, this post is a joke, don't try this at home.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Avoiding Annual Fees - App-O-Rama Part 4

Related Posts

Part 5 - Affect on your credit score

Avoiding Annual Fees

App-O-Ramas create quite a dilemma.  The best sign up bonuses, in general, are for cards that have annual fees, which can really negate any savings you get if you pay them.  I have almost no credit cards with annual fees that I think are worth keeping the card despite the annual fee.

So, how can one get the bonus without paying the annual fee?  If there is an annual fee the first year of the card there is no way to avoid it.  Fortunately, most cards waive the annual fee the first year to entice you so our discussion will be limited to the annual fee of year 2.

Option 1 - Cancel Your Credit Card

The simplest, and least desirable, way of avoiding the annual fee is simply to cancel the card before the annual fee kicks in.

  1. Canceling credit cards negatively affects your credit score because the average age of your credit cards is shorter if the card has been a long standing card and because your credit utilization will go up.  I hope to explain this in part 5 of the series.
  2. You are also lowering your available credit if you every need it and you are losing leverage for the future, as I will explain in the second option.


  1. You can sign up again for the same card to get the bonus a second time.  Each credit card company has different rules regarding how long you have to wait between cards to get the new bonus so be aware of the fine print.

Option 3 - Consolidating Credit lines

I haven't tried it with other companies yet, but with Chase you can consolidate 2 credit lines into one.

For example, let's say you have a Chase Freedom with a $1,000 credit limit and a Chase United card with a $1,000 limit.  You can ask Chase, via secure message or telephone, to consolidate the credit line of your United card onto your Freedom card.  You will end up with a Chase Freedom that has a $2,000 credit limit and no United card.


  1. You get no extra miles or points as compared to option four.  
  2. You also lose any benefits of that particular card because it's closed.
  3. The more credit you have with one company the more risk the companies takes on.  If you have way more than you will every use (a different number for each person) consider asking the company to lower your credit limit after consolidation.


    • Using credit lines in the future as leverage
      • If you have a Chase Freedom with a $10,000 limit and you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred and are rejected, you can usually call and ask to allocate credit from an existing credit line to get the new credit card approved.  In this example, you can ask for $5,000 to be transferred to Sapphire Preferred and you now have two credit cards with credit limits of $5,000.
    • Your credit score is not affected
      • You aren't really closing your credit history of this card, just transferring to a new card. Also, your utilization ratio stays the same. 

    Option 3 - Downgrade to a card without an Annual fee

    Some credit card companies will allow you to downgrade you current card to a different card that doesn't have an annual fee.  One example is downgrading a Chase Sapphire Preferred into a Chase Freedom.

    1. You also lose any benefits of that particular card because it is closed out.
    2. If you don't already have the card with the annual fee, you may be losing an opportunity to get the sign up bonus for that card.


      • Using credit lines in the future as leverage
        • Same as before
      • Your credit score is not affected
        • Same as before
      Option 4 - Retention Bonus

      This is my preferred option for a number of reasons.  You can call up the credit card company and say something like this, "I really like you card and your miles, but I am thinking about closing it becauseI don't want an annual fee and I don't feel like I'm earning enough miles."

      Usually, but not always, they will then offer to waive the annual fee for a year or give you extra miles to stay on or offer a spending target (ie - 10,000 miles for spending $1,000 this month) to earn extra miles.

      If they don't offer anything, you can ask for it.  "Can you please offer me a spending target to get extra miles?"

      If they offer something, always ask if they can offer more.  They won't rescind the previous offer and you may be able to get a better offer.

      Check out this post from The Points Traveler who is a former representative for Citibank, I found it very helpful in my own retention bonus calls. He suggests asking, "What are the most number of miles you can offer me to keep my business?"   They will have to tell you the highest offer.


      • You may have to call a few times to get the offer you want.
      • You keep all the advantages of your card because it is still open and often without an annual fee
      • You get extra miles for free
      • You can do it every year, theoretically.
      • You can still do all the other options the next time if this doesn't work out.

      Tuesday, August 6, 2013

      7-11 is a Grocery Store - American Express!

      A few weeks ago I wrote that 7-11 is a Gas Station according to Visa and Discover therefore you get 5x rewards until the end of September, which includes Vanilla Reload cards.

      After that post, I got an email from a reader saying that American Express considers 7-11 a grocery store and he gets 6% cashback on his American Express Blue Preferred when shopping at 7-11.

      He sent me this bill to prove it:

      Therefore, 7-11 is another place to get 6% cashback.  Alternatively, you can try to find $500 gift cards at grocery stores.  Either way, the world of cashback is continually improving so long as Bluebird stays aloft.

      Remember that whenever you do something like this, try it out in small amounts to make sure it works for your particular store.

      Thank you to DC for the tip!

      Monday, August 5, 2013

      Bank of America Museum's On Us and Liberty Science Center

      Edit: The free Sunday in September is on the 8th, not the 1st.

      In the endless quest for inexpensive activities around the Teaneck area, I remembered today about Bank of America's program.  My family of 3 went to The Liberty Science Center today in Jersey City for a total of $15.

      Tickets are normally $20 for adults and $15 for children 2-12 yrs old for a total of $55 for a family of 3.

      Bank of America Museums on Us program gives Bank of American credit card holders free access to some museums on the first Saturday and Sunday of the month.

      Armed with credit cards and IDs, my wife and I were able to get free tickets for ourselves for savings of $40.  We still had to pay the $15 for our son (if anyone can figure out how to get a 2 yr old a credit card, please let me know), but $15 for the 3 of us isn't too bad.

      Obviously, the more children you have over 2, the more expensive it will be and if you don't have any children over 2, it will completely free

      Other Museums in the NY and NJ metropolitan area

      • NJ
        • Montclair Art Museum (Montclair)
        • Morris Museum (Morristown)
        • Newark Museum (Newark)
      • NY
        • Suffolk county Vanderbilt Museum (Centerport)
        • Long Island Children's Museum (Garden City)
        • Metropolitan Museum of Art (Manhattan)
        • Staten Island Children's Museum (Staten Island)
        • New York Historical Society (NYC)
        • Whitney Museum of American Art (Manhattan)
        • Brooklyn's Children Museum (Brooklyn)
        • Queen's Museum of Art (Queens)
        • Guggenheim Museum (Manhattan)
        • Old Westbury Gardens (Old Westbury)
        • Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carraiges

      Thursday, August 1, 2013

      Buy a $100 Visa Gift Card for $90.38! Twitter and American Express

      Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s): Top Cashback

      If you spend $75 or more at on your American Express card, American Express will give you a $15 statement credit.  This works on $100 Visa gift cards which cost $105.38 with free shipping.  After the $15 discount the final price will be $90.38!

      You will still get your regular cashback from your American Express card in addition to the credit.

      Here's how to do it:

      • Sync your Twitter Account with your American Express credit card
      • Tweet #AmexWalmart
      • Click @connect to confirm you have been enrolled
      • Buy a $100 Visa Gift Card - My email confirmation for the credit came in minutes
        • These are Vanilla Visa gift cards so you will be able to load them onto your Bluebird to pay your credit card bills.  The pin doesn't need to be set ahead of time.  The 4 digits that you choose the first time you use it is the pin. 

      You can have Twitter accounts under multiple names (pseudonames are allowed in Twitter) and you can connect a different card to each account.

      You can keep records of which card is linked to which account to make it easier. I send myself an email.

      You can try to go to Top Cashback first to see if you will get any extra money but their terms and conditions specifically exclude getting cashback from Walmart for buying gift cards.  I did it myself yesterday and I have not received any emails from Top Cashback saying that I will get any money.