Wednesday, January 28, 2015

RedBird - $2,500 Load in One Transaction

Update 2/8/2015 - Unfornately, a few days after this post, Target changed their registers to not allow multiple loads in one swipe.  See Frequent Miler and the comment left on the post for more information.  

RedBird has become my favorite way to manufacture spend.  You can spend up to $5,000 every month on any credit card at any Target register, including American Express gift cards, without any fees.   The money then goes backs back into your checking account or is used to pay the credit card bill.  You are left with just the points.

The only thing that's annoying is that there is a limit of $1,000 per transaction and $2,500 per day. That means that you have to load $1,000, then another 1k and then $500 to not violate the per transaction limit.  This takes extra time and can lead to your credit card stopping the transaction due to possible fraud.

Yesterday, I went to Target and the gentlemen (big difference between a Target employee and Walmart employee) at the register asked me how much I want to load.  I said $2,500, but $1,000 first and then $1,000 and then $500.  He said, "You don't want to just do $2,500 at one time?"  I asked him if he had done that before and he said yes so I said let's try it.  I'm not sure exactly what he did, but he added a $1,000 purchase, $1,000 purchase and then another $500 purchase before I swiped anything.  I swiped one time and it all loaded correctly.

I am sure not every employee will know how to do it, but it's worth a shot to ask.

I then checked Flyertalk and there is a report of this working as well.

So, that makes life a little easier.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Own a Keurig? Register it Online - Buy 2 packs of K-Cups Get 2 Free

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Top Cashback

If you own a Keurig Machine, you can register it online.  Once you do, you will get a coupon in your email that allows you to buy 2 Packs of K-Cups and get 2 Packs free.

I bought my machine at least 6 months ago and it still worked so try it even if it has been a while since you bought it.

I then used Top Cashback to get an additional 3% cashback off your purchase


American Express Gift Cards 2.2% Cashback - Be Frugal

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Be Frugal

Update 1/28/2015 - Back down to 1.5%

Be Frugal is offering 2.2% cashback for buying American Express Gift Cards. This is a very good sign considering there was a time when American Express Gift Cards disappeared from all the shopping portals.

American Express Gift Cards have long been one of my best buds in the manufactured spending world. Unfortunately, with the demise of Amazon Payments, they are far less useful, but they still can have their uses, especially loading RedBird cards.

What Can I Do With This Deal?

The maximum you can buy per person is $10,000 per 15 business days (this is new). If you purchase more than $5,000, your shipment will require a signature upon arrival. If you bought $10,000 last week, you are out of luck for this week. 2.2% is $200 cashback from Be Frugal. Purchase fees and shipping fees come out to $24.75.

Before I get into any heavy math, I will give you a preview of what you will get:

  1. 4% cashback everywhere or $110.50 with a Fidelity American Express.
  2. Meet a spending threshold and make $35 on a 1% cashback card
  3. "Buy" your favorite miles for under a penny per point.

1) Fidelity American Express

  • 2% cashback everywhere. For a $10,024.75 order, this comes out to $200.50 from Fidelity and $200 from Be Frugal. After fees, this comes out to about $400.50, which is 4% cashback to spend anywhere. Not too shabby!

2) Meet a Spending Threshold

  • Recently signed up for a credit card and need to spend money to get the bonus? Me too! You can buy these gift cards to put money on your credit card now and use these gift cards over time.
    • Assuming your credit card gets 1% cashback on every purchase, you will get $100 cashback from your credit card and $200 from Top Cashback for a total of $300 after fees or 3% cashback while meeting a spending threshold at the same time.
3) Buy Miles Cheaply
  • You can take this as an opportunity to buy 10,000 miles on your favorite credit card for a very cheap price. You would want to cash out the gift cards to make it worthwhile. That comes next.

Using American Express Gift Cards

What should you do with these gift cards once you buy them?

  1. Spend them like an American Express credit card. You can buy three $3,000 gift cards and one $1,000 card. I recommend not using them on any purchase that you might want to return so that you don't have to keep track of them later.
  2. Cash out at Target with RedBird.  You would not be using your regular credit card to load.
  3. Cash out elsewhere.  I don't know of any way to do this cheaply. You can use Google Wallet to send money to a friend (read: my wife) who can then withdraw to a bank account. This costs a whopping 2.9% or $290. You will keep about $9,710 of the $10,000.
  • With Fidelity American Express you will end up keeping about $110.50 for about half an hour of work.
  • If you are meeting a spending threshold on a 1% card, you will be $10 ahead and still be $10,000 closer to your target
  • If you are buying miles, you will be getting 10,000 miles at a fee of $0.009 per mile.
    • You are "buying" 10,000 miles for $90 after fees

No promo codes! Your cashback will be invalidated.

HT - Quickdeals from Frequent Miler

Monday, January 19, 2015

Free Entrance to National Parks Today and other Dates in 2015

All national parks are free today in honor of Martin Luther King Day.

Most national parks don't charge any fees, but the ones that do tend to be spectacular.  Enjoy!

The following dates have free entrance to all parks as well.

  • January 19
    Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 14-16
    Presidents Day weekend
  • April 18-19
    opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25
    National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26
    National Public Lands Day
  • November 11
    Veterans Day

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just Bought Something From Amazon? Add it Back into Your Shopping Cart

This may sound counter-intuitive, but after you buy something from Amazon, the first thing you should do is put that same item back into your shopping cart.

Why? If the price drops on an item you bought within the last 7 days, Amazon will match that price.  If you put the item in your shopping cart, you can be alerted of price changes.  This means that if the price goes down, you will know and you can contact Amazon to match the lower price.

You can chat with Amazon through this link

Here is an example of a price match I got back in December

You are now connected to Mike from
Mike:Hello, my name is Mike. I hope you're doing well. How can I help you?
Me:Hi, I'm doing well
I bought an Amazon Kindle on December 9th for $55
You are selling it today for $49
Can I please get a $6 credit for the change in price in such a short time period?
Mike:Sure you can Oren, can I please have the order number?>
Me:one second

Mike:Thank you, just a moment please
Refund is completed, and I emailed you the details on it. Thank you for your time and understanding. Is there anything else I can do for you today?
Me:Thank you
Mike:No problem at all, thank you for everything. It's been a pleasure assisting you today. Have a wonderful evening!
Me:You too!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Free Movie Rental from Target Ticket

Update: 1/19/2015 - Dead!

Sorry for the long break, but it is has been extremely busy at work and I don't forsee much of a change in the next couple of weeks.  In the meantime, here is something small for free.

Free movie rental from Target Ticket.

Use Coupon code XBOXRENTAL.  Promo code works on any rental, regardless of price.

Sign Up here for Target Ticket for free

Expires January 31st or the first 20,000 redemptions.

HT - Slickdeals

Thursday, January 1, 2015

My Ideal Wallet - Q1 2015

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Credit Sesame

These are the Credit and Debit cards that will either be in my wallet from January 1st until the end of March 2015

Make sure to sign up for Credit Sesame and/or Credit Karma to monitor any changes in your credit history for free (I have both).

  • Citi Dividend - 5% cashback on Macy's and other Home Furnishing stores.
    • Up to $6,000 of purchases a year instead of $1,500 a quarter (up to $300 cashback for the year).
    • Unfortunately, unlike last year, pharmacies are not a category at any point.  I likely won't use this card much until July when Airlines are one of the categories.

  • Chase Ink Classic (Business Card) - 5% cashback at Office Supply Stores, Cable, Phone (Landline or cell) and Internet bills.
    • 20,000 Ultimate Rewards for spending $3,000 in 3 months.
    • No annual Fee