Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday online shopping

It’s that time of the year again; the time where you’ll be spending too much money on yourself and on others.  It’s the season for getting a Christmas bonus, extra gift money from the grandparents or maybe getting paid extra for working holiday hours.

It’s that time for big sales, long lines, crowded parking lots, and frustrated people. 

It’s also the best time to consider doing all of your shopping online.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chase and Disney Visa Debit Card

I made a special trip to the Chase bank branch today and noticed that they were promoting a new Disney debit card.  Turns out, Chase and Disney have teamed up to introduce this new Disney Visa debit card, a special version of the Chase checking debit card that provides perks at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney stores, and Disney Cruises.

This card was introduced in July 2012 and carries no annual fee.  No credit check is required to convert your Chase debit card into this Disney debit card.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

American Express Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 24th, 2012 is American Express Small Business Saturday, a day where you can get a $25 statement credit from American Express for making a local small business purchase of $25 or more.  This only happens once a year, and is an incredible deal.

This is essentially free $25.  You must register for this promotion to be eligible for the $25 statement credit.  Enrollment is limited so you must go register all of your eligible American Express cards before enrollments run out.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Roth IRA and 401K contribution limit changes for 2013

If you're young and retirement is years away, now is a great time to invest.

If you follow the stock market daily like I do, you can see that it is in poor shape right now: unemployment, housing data, Europe's recession, the fiscal cliff, earnings disappointments, US debt levels, etc etc etc.

This has caused many bear investors to run and pull their money out of the stock market due to economic uncertainty.  Should you follow the herd?


This is actually the time to consider buying more investments. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Downgrade your credit card to avoid the annual fee

Many credit cards that offer large sign up bonuses may charge an annual fee for the second year of card ownership.  One example is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
The card currently offers a 40,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus when you apply and get approved for the offer.  Go to www.chase.com for more information or to apply.  One year ago, I got this card with a 50,000 point bonus after first purchase.  This card also has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

I’ve applied for several credit cards this year, as the bonus rewards were too good to resist.  This hasn’t affected my credit in a permanently adverse way at all.  The hard inquiries to your credit lower your score temporarily, and then your credit score improves again (due to increased credit limits and decreased credit utilization).  I just checked Credit Sesame and my simulated Experian credit score has never been higher!
Now that I’ve owned the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for more than 1 year, I wasn’t surprised when this new $95 charge turned up on my bill:  

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Negotiate your fee increases

I’m all about negotiating fee removals.  Let me share my most recent example of a fee removal.  When I checked my most recent Time Warner Cable Internet bill, I saw a small surprise.
My bill is always set to auto pay by an amount of $44.99.  Suddenly this month’s bill came out to be $48.94, a $3.95 rate increase.  I had to dig through the confusing bill to find out that this $3.95 fee was due to a new “modem lease fee” that I never was charged before.
I knew I had to take action. 
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