Thursday, November 28, 2013

Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard Review, and free FICO score

I just found out that earlier this month, Barclaycard announced that it will offer some of its card members complimentary FICO scores. This applies to several cards including: the Barclaycard Ring, Barclaycard Arrival, Barclaycard Rewards, NFL, Juniper, Frontier and Carnival cards. You can check your free FICO score from Barclaycard here

One way to get a free FICO credit score (Equifax) is to go to myFICO and sign up for a free 10 day trial. Be careful because if you don't cancel within 10 days, you will automatically be subscribed to their service for $14.95 per month for a minimum of 3 months!  And if you obtain your FICO score through myFICO and try to cancel, be prepared to have a difficult time trying to your account cancelled when you call in. The reps will do anything possible to get you to keep the service. You can request similar free trial FICO scores through Experian and Transunion. 

When it comes to checking on my credit score, I still prefer using the following methods of obtaining my simulated credit score for free: credit karma, credit sesame, quizzle, and

When you apply for credit (whether with a new credit card, auto loan, mortgage, or personal loan), the company you are seeking credit from checks your credit report and credit score. The credit report chosen is one generated by Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Many companies use their own propriety method of calculating your credit score, however, it is estimated that the score used 90% of the time is your FICO score. The FICO score is the global standard for measuring credit risk. To learn more about your credit score, read this pdf on consumer credit education produced by FICO.

Since I already have a Barclayscard (NFL card I sign up for the $400 bonus), I decided to check my own FICO score:
808. Nice! This just goes to show that applying for credit cards and responsibly using your credit to travel for free will not lower your credit score.

Of the Barclayscards that allow you to view your FICO score, there is currently only one card that I would recommend: The Barclaycard Arrival Plus(TM) World EliteMastercard®.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Chase credit card bonuses

Edit: this deal is now expired

I did not have much time to monitor for new credit card deals while on vacation. While this may be old news to many, I figured it was still worth sharing.

Earn 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.

This is a hot deal because for the longest time, the Chase Sapphire Preferred sign up bonus was 40,000 points.

Without a doubt, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is one of my favorite cards. You can earn 2x points on travel and dining at restaurants. There is also a 7% annual points dividend on all new points earned on purchases throughout the year. There are no foreign transaction fees. 

This deal gets even better because you can earn an additional 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Our trip to Asia

As you may have noticed, I haven't been able to post lately.  I have previously written about our free* trip to Asia here:
We just finished our 5 day stay in Seoul, South Korea and are now spending our time in Taipei, Taiwan. In a few days, we will travel to Hong Kong.

I will return in a few weeks to return to regular blog postings. I will also update this post with some pictures.  Here are some pictures:

Hong Kong

*Free flights usually have some taxes and fuel surcharges attached, a small fraction compared to the cash value of a booked flight.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Eating IN for lunch

I've noticed an interesting trend over my last few years of working.  It seems like those who often complain about money seem to consistently eat out the most.  It is ironic that these are the same people who are always waiting for their next paycheck so that they can "pay their bills.”  They are always complaining that "they can never get ahead.” 
To make matters worse, they often eat lunch at the most unhealthiest of locations: McDonald’s, Tommy’s burgers, and Panda Express.  It’s also common to see these same individuals come into the office with Starbucks coffee in hand or McDonald’s Egg McMuffins and Hash Browns in the morning.

I’d estimate most people who eat out are spending $7 to $10 per day on food, drinks, taxes, and vehicle expenses.  When it comes to some office workers, they are essentially spending the first hour of each workday to pay for lunch.  These people truly believe that the only way to get rich is to win the lottery, marry rich, or get an inheritance.  

Maybe you’ve noticed this trend at your office?  Are you are part of the trend?
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