Tuesday, March 31, 2015

American Express Gift Cards Now 1.57% from Top Cashback - Slight Increase from 1.5%

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

Top Cashback has increased payouts on American Express Gift Cards to 1.57%, up from 1.5%.

If you are buying $10,000 of gift cards anyways, this will be an extra $7.  I wouldn't make the order because of this, but if you are already doing it, you might as well take advantage.

Check out this post to see what you can do with American Express Gift Cards and Redbird - Enjoy!

British Airways Avios Program Hacked, Miles Gone and Now Restored

The last week has been interesting one for the British Airways Avios program.

Without warning, earlier this week many people (incluidng myself) lost access to their account.  BA website showed that your avios number and/or username was not recognized.  When access was regained for many people (including myself) your Avios balance was reset to 0. That's right, 0!  Most redemptions require some points so 0 is not a good number to have.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I'm Switching Back from RedBird to Serve - My Local Target RedBird Fail

For all those who are unfamiliar, RedBird is the nickname for the Target REDCard put out by American Express which allows you to put $5,000 worth of credit card spending every month onto the prepaid card for free.  The money can be withdrawn or used to pay the credit card bill.  In the end, you have lost no money and gained 5,000 points.  It's pretty awesome.  That being said, I will now be switching back to Serve from my RedBird.

I want to stress that this is an issue with my local Target stores.  If you have a RedBird, there is no need to panic, unless you live near me.

1 Card, $1,000 a Day

I walked into my local Target (Main street in Hackensack NJ) and asked to load my REDcard.  I was told, "Sure, but I can only let you do 1 card now and only $1,000."  I was surprised, but I find that the best thing to do in these situations is to say OK, load your $1,000 and hope it is a one time issue.  Don't try to fight with them, it's not the cashier's personal policy and you will only bring more scrutiny on yourself.

I came back 3 times in the same week at different times and got the same response.  It seems to be a storewide policy.

Any deal is always subject to managers and clerks allowing it to go through.  This should not affect other Targets.  Though the other Target near me (off route 4) does not allow for credit card loads at all.  

Switching Back to Serve

Unfortunately, this means I will be switching back to Serve (you can't have both accounts) for all the cards I control except one.  It would require 5 different trips per card to maximize the $5,000 in loading instead of 2 trips totals.  That's just too time consuming.

I can still get $20 a month for free with Serve and Fidelity American Express, though I can no longer get SoftServe, which is unfortunate.  I do enjoy that I don't need to get off my bum to do it.

Hopefully, I will be targeted for an extra 1% cashback or 10 cents per transaction from Serve until the end of April.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Refer Friends and Family for Super Cheap Gas at Shell!

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Fuel Rewards Network

I just went to Shell and saved $1.85 per gallon as my receipt shows.  I paid $5.24 for 15 gallon of gas! That's a pretty amazing price.

How did I do it?  I referred family and friends to Fuel Rewards Network.

If you sign up with my link, you will get $0.25 a gallon off your second purchase of gasoline at Shell with the card.  You first purchase must be 8 gallons or more.

When you refer friends, they will get $0.25 a gallon off and you will get $0.25 a gallon too.

The best part is that the $0.25 for the referral posts to your account even if your referral person never goes to Shell!

You can sign up for multiple accounts in your household (or for anyone else who let you).  It seems that multiple people in the same household can have the same name :)   I signed up family members with my link.  I got free gas and they got free gas.  It is a win for everyone.

All you need is a name, phone number, email address and postal address.  Sign up your whole family and your gas can be super cheap too!

You can also have super cheap gas by buying Visa Gift Cards at Stop & Shop tonight!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chase United Business 50K Miles Sign up Bonus

Chase has upped the sign up bonus for the United Explorer Business card. You will get 50,000 miles for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, instead of the usual 30,000 miles.  The United personal card is only offering 30,000 miles right now, but you may be able to get a 50,000 mile offer from this link or at the airport.  (HT Mile Nerd for the possible personal 50k offer).

As always with this card, you will get a bonus of 10,000 miles for spending $25,000 in any calendar year.

No annual fee the first year, $95 the second year. 

2 free passes to the United Lounges

What does 50,000 miles get you? A round trip ticket for NY to Tel Aviv is 85,000 miles so you are getting almost 60% of the way there with just one card.   You can also get 2 round trip tickets from New York to Los Angelos.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Visa Gift Cards at Stop & Shop and Giant- 2x Fuel Points

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site: Fuel Rewards Network

Via Doctor of Credit

Stop & Shop and Giant supermarkets are offering 2x fuel points for buying Visa Gift Cards until 3/26/2015.  Normally, Visa Gift Cards do not qualify for any fuel points.

You need to join the loyalty program of Stop & Shop or Giant.

Use the American Express Blue Preferred to get 6% cashback (about $24 after fees for a $500 Visa Gift card) or Chase Freedom to finish off your 5% cashback for this quarter (max of $1,500 in spending for 5% cashback)

Every $100 you spend earns 100 points which is 10 cents a gallon.  $1,000 of spending is $1 off per gallon.  You are earning double points so every $500 Visa Gift Card will you give you $1.00 a gallon off your next purchase of gas at Shell stations near your Stop & Shop.  

$1,000 of Visa Gift Cards will give you $2.00 a gallon off your next purchase of gas at Shell.

Fuel points must be redeemed within 30 days of purchase so only buy what you will use now.

Teaneck, NJ

In my area (Teaneck, NJ), there is a Stop and Shop that is loaded with plenty of $500 Visa Gift Cards and they let you use a credit card.  The maximum savings you can get off one fillup is $2.20 a gallon in my area.  That means you are basically getting a free tank of gas.

You need to hand your Stop & Shop card to the attendant before your gas is pumped to make sure you get the discount.  I have never personally redeemed fuel rewards but according to the Store Locator function, the Shell station on Cedar Lane should allow for redemptions.  That being said, I know that they do not allow for Fuel Rewards Network redemptions so you may have to go to a Shell Station on Route 4 or in Hackensack.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Chase Refer a Friend - Freedom and Sapphire Preferred - 5,000 Points Per Referral

Chase is offering 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points for every referral you make to the Chase Freedom or Sapphire Preferred.  Your referral will get the same offer as is available publicly.

Here is the link - you may be able to refer to one, both or neither.

- Referral must be done by May 31, 2015
- Max of 10 referrals for total of 50,000 bonus points

This is a great way to get valuable extra Chase points.

If you are applying for either of these cards and don't have someone you know who can refer you, please consider emailing me so that I can refer you as a way of saying thank you for the blog.

HT - Doctor of Credit

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My Ideal Wallet 2015 Q2

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 April 1st until the end of June 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 Hilton Hotels and Airlines.
    • Up to $6,000 of purchases a year instead of $1,500 a quarter (up to $300 cashback for the year).
    • I might use this for airlines, but I am sure many of you can use this.
    • You can't sign up for this card, but many people have reported that you can product change from a different Citi card to the Dividend.

  • 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

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Free $15 Fandango Gift Card from Top Cashback or $11.25 Free - New Members Only

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

Top Cashback has a decent offer available for a Fandango Gift Card.  Buy a $15 Fandango gift card and Top Cashback will give you $15 within 7 days.

That's either a free $15 Fandango Gift Card or you can resell the gift card online.   According to Gift Card Granny, you can resell Fandango Gift Cards for 75% of their value at Cardpool.  Top Cashback will also give you 4% cashback on the value of the gift card if you go to their site before Cardpool.

The offer is only available to people have never made a transaction through Top Cashback before.  The offer is available until March 26th.

Terms and conditions

IMPORTANT: Transactions must only contain one $15 gift card to ensure $15 cashback is credited to TopCashback accounts. If another item or value is purchased or additional items are purchased at the same time, the cashback amount awarded will be 2% or less or $2 (depending on the item(s) purchased) instead of $15. Cashback might initially post in TopCashback accounts as $2 but it will be corrected to $15 within a few days. 

This TopCashback Fandango offer is available:

for purchases made until 23:59:59 PT on Thursday, March 26, 2015; or supplies/availability run(s) out 
to new TopCashback members only. This is defined as someone who hasn't ever made a transaction through TopCashback.com, regardless of whether they have already created a TopCashback account or not. If an existing member is found to have created more than one account, TopCashback reserves the right to terminate their accounts and withhold all cashback earnings
- to new, current or past Fandango customers
- for online sales only, for purchases made directly after clicking through TopCashback.com

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Free $20 from Top Cashback and Raise - Today Only

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

For the rest of today, Top Cashback will give you $20 if you are a new member and spend $1 or more at Raise which is a gift card reseller.  They have gift cards to tons of merchants so you are sure to find something you want.

Sign up for Top Cashback from my link and I will receive $10 as well.  Enjoy!

HT - Doctor of Credit

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Register Your Visa Gift Cards with Go Wallet - My Phew Moment

I buy a lot of Visa Gift Cards for various reasons.  Some are for every day spending and some are for Manufactured Spending purposes.

When I get home from the store, the first thing I do is register the card on Go Wallet.  Well, sometimes it isn't the first thing I do ;)

Go Wallet is free software that tracks all of your Visa Gift Cards and automatically updates their balances, at least the ones issued by Metabank (think Gift Card Mall) and Sunrise Banks.  You can also save your name and address in your profile and register a card to add your name and address for online purchases.

Thankfully I Registered My Cards!

A couple of weeks ago I logged in to my account and I saw that I had two old Visa Gift Cards with $500 on each card.  It shows the last four digits and I started searching through my box of old gift cards to see if I could find them, but they were missing!  Manufactured spending has big time allotments with razor thin margins.  If you lose $1,000 that can really set your profits back a few months.

I called up Gift Card Mall (888-524-1283) and told them I lost two cards.  Within 5 minutes they were able to look up the gift cards through my name ("You have a lot of gift cards with us!").  The cards were "retired" and new ones were sent out to me within a week.  Phew!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Time to Start Paying Cash for Gas?

Image result for cash vs credit price for gas

I don't like it when gas stations have a different price for cash and credit, especially when it is hard to tell the price until you get in the station.  I usually go to stations that have the same price because I have the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card that gives 3-5.25% cashback on gas depending on how much money you have with Bank of America.

Every once in a while I go to a gas station with a different cash and credit price and I still pay credit. The difference is usually 8-10 cents a gallon.  When gas is $3.00 a gallon, it is still a better deal to pay by credit card and it is much easier.

I live in New Jersey and gas prices are approaching $2.00 in some areas.  The difference between the cash and credit price is the same 8-10 cents a gallon.  That changes the entire equation.  If you are getting 3% cashback on your gas purchase, that's 6 cents a gallon.  If you pay 10 cents a gallon for the privilege of using a credit card it's actually more expensive.

Every person's situation is unique to their credit card and the price of gas in their area.  The moral of the story: As gas prices decrease and the difference between cash and credit does not change, there comes a time when it is no longer cheaper to pay with credit card.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Serve and Fidelity Becoming Best Buds - Buy a RedBird on Ebay!

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

As reported in many Blogs over the weekend, starting April 16th you can no longer load funds to Serve via Visa, Mastercard or Discover cards.  American Express cards still work, but most do not earn any rewards for loading, though they may count towards minimum spending for sign up bonuses.

The one exception is the Fidelity American Express which is my favorite everyday expenses credit card.  If you still want Serve, you should get a Fidelity American Express.

Put Serve Aside and Get RedBird

In case you live near a Target, but not in a state that sell RedBird cards, you are in luck.  An entire business has sprung up on the internet of people buying temporary cards with $1 loading on them selling them on Ebay for $30-$50.

You will even get Ebay bucks for the purchase and 1.5% cashback from Top Cashback if you go there first.  I bought three myself for various family members.  It was quick and easy.  You will usually get a picture of the card the same day and that's all you need!  Here is one example for $37 until it is sold.  Update: Reader Coptermedic points out that Reddit User HonestlyTho has a very good reputation on Reddit and sells RedBirds on his site for $25.

If you have no other way of getting one, it's worth it.  1 month of loading RedBird with a Fidelity American Express will net you $100, $160 if you load via American Express Gift Cards at the current rate.

HT - Doctor of Credit, Miles to Memories, Frequent Miler, Travel with Grant, Running with Miles

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Bank Of America Museums On Us - This Saturday and Sunday

Bank of America Museums on Us program gives Bank of America card holders free access to select museums on the first Saturday and Sunday of the month.  March 7th and 8th are the dates for this month so that means this Saturday and Sunday are the free days this month.

You need to have a credit or debit card in the name of each person so you still have to pay for kids, unless you get a credit card for you child, like I did.

Sign up for email or text alerts to remind yourself of the dates here.

Here is a list of the museums in the New York/New Jersey area:
  • NJ
    • Liberty Science Center (Jersey City)
    • 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

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Today Only! - Save $0.40 a Gallon off Shell Gasoline with Fuel Rewards Network

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site:  Fuel Rewards Network

Fuel Rewards Network Sign-Up Bonus

Update: The offer has gone down to $0.25 off a gallon for your second fillup, not terrible.

Sorry for the late notice, but I only read about this yesterday on Frugal Hack.

Sign up for Fuel Rewards Network today (3/1/2015) and you can get up to $0.40 (and possibly more) off your 2nd purchase of Gasoline at Shell.

Please feel free to use Frugal Hack's referral link instead.

Here is how it works: