P24: $25 credit from American Express for spending $75 on Amazon [Free Money, Freebies, Credit Cards]

Amex Sync has offered some great deals in the past and this is no exception – by following this link you can sign up any American Express credit card, spend $75 on Amazon (I just bought a $75 gift card), and American Express will post a statement credit in a few days to your account. This is a pretty awesome deal so sign up while the offer is still live!

$25 credit from American Express for spending $75 on Amazon

American Express Amex $25 credit for $75 spend on Amazon

P20: Truly free $5 offer from American Express Sync for 1 TripAdvisor feedback [Freebies, Free Money]

There have been many American Express “Sync” offers floating around in the past 2-3 months, which promises $5-$20 cash back BUT only after you spend a much higher amount at participating retailers such as Whole Foods and Best Buy. However, there is now a true, free $5 offer from TripAdvisor!

All you have to do is follow this link and sign in to both your American Express account (with a credit or charge card) and your TripAdvisor account (or set up a new one). After that, leave a single feedback for a restaurant, city, attraction, or tour company you used while traveling domestically or abroad, wait for an approval in 24-48 hours, and a $5 statement credit will be applied to your credit card!

I am a big travel junkie and had no problem coming up with a review for a recent good (or bad) experience. This is a great way to add content to your TripAdvisor profile while getting rewarded for it!

American Express/TripAdvisor Sync $5 Statement Credit for Leaving 1 Review


Hello world! Let’s make some money – P1: “workhorse” credit cards [Credit Cards]

Well hi there – this post will probably not be read for a long time, but I am still going to try to lay the foundation for something bigger and better for the future!

Goal of this site

We all want to become wealthy and we all work hard to get there – but only in the past year or so have I learned how important it is to save as you earn. Even among people I know who are on a relatively high-income career track, I have noticed those who pay attention to their personal finances and make small behavioral changes tend to accumulate wealth at a much faster rate than others. What is their secret sauce?

I believe to get rich and stay rich, you have to carefully track your finances. The goal of this site is to share what I have learned from the “masters” of the game – tricks to help you stay on your money goals, save up, invest wisely, and move closer each day towards financial freedom. I thank you for being here and hope you find what I have to share to be valuable towards your own life and success!

First post – the “workhorse” credit card portfolio

The easiest way to save money is to spend less of it and it’s all the easier when this becomes a easy, repeatable habit.

The key to doing this in today’s world is to take advantage of the best credit card offers available. Virtually 100% of my purchases these days are done via credit cards and there are simply some that are much more rewarding than others. Below are the staples in my wallet:

Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex – 2% Cash Back on Everything

This is the best rewards credit card to me, period, earning pretty much double what the average card earns on non-reward categories. The drawback is (1) you need a Fidelity brokerage account (get investing!), and (2) it’s an Amex so not universally accepted. Still, in the continental US it is pretty ubiquitous and I love getting the “dividend” cash added right into my brokerage account every month or so.

If you do not have a Fidelity brokerage I recommend the Priceline Visa which earns 2% everywhere redeemable as statement credit; I personally prefer the Fidelity because it automatically drives me to put my savings towards investments.

A Fidelity Investments' American Express card

Citi Forward Visa – 5% ThankYou points (4% Amazon credit) at Restaurants (including Seamless), Entertainment, and Amazon.com

This one here is my “category” earner – basically I use it to get lunch, pay for dinner/drinks, and shop on Amazon; this accounts for the bulk of my recurring spending on a daily basis.

The issue is it seems like Citi stopped offering new cardmembers the regular Forward and is only offering the college student version, which does not earn 5% back at Amazon; however, if you have an old Citi credit card you are not actively using, you can try calling in and converting it into a Forward and request for the same benefits as older cardmembers (fortunately my 5% earnings rebate at Amazon has been preserved).

ThankYou has a broad network of gift cards you can shop for at 1 cent-per-point conversion rates; however, I simply chose to link my Forward card to my Amazon account and pay for purchases at a 4 cents-per-5 points conversion rate, still equating to a 4% rebate!


“Churn” credit cards

There are always a number of rotating credit card offers with HUGE sign-up bonuses (cash value of $500 for the best offers, but some of these are worth up to $1,000 in flight and hotel credits). Hustler Money Blog has a great list of updated current offers.

My rule of thumb to Churning is to do no more than 1-2 cards per 90-day period. The reason is because you will receive a hard credit inquiry, and a build-up beyond 2 of them in a 90-day period tends to adversely affect your credit. For a lot of the high-rebate cards you will need to have excellent FICO scores to qualify, so don’t get too greedy applying for every offer out there. Also, these cards tend to have $3,000-$5,000 spending “minimums” in a 3-month period to qualify for the bonus; you can always buy gift cards in bulk if you are not on track to meet the spending goal.

The ones I am currently “churning” is the Chase Ink Bold which is on-track to earn me 50,000 UR points!


“Rotate” credit cards

This category includes solid candidates like the Chase Freedom, Citi Dividend, and Discover It. You can find rotating categories paying 5% (BUT only up to a certain limit per quarter, ex. $1,500 for the Chase Freedom) on a quarterly basis. They tend to be the most useful when stores like restaurants, Amazon, and Starbucks are in-rotation; I have found limited use for home improvement and other less-relevant urban categories. I would recommend getting all 3, max out the earnings threshold (Chase Ultimate Reward points are more valuable than Citi ThankYou points), then defaulting back to the “workhorse” cards.

Dividend Freedom It

Think-free earning

I hope this post gives you a good introduction to saving money – the key with these credit cards is it really does not take much work to save 2-5% of what you spend, you just have to keep your swiping habits on the back of your mind and it will soon become second-nature. Before you know it, you are well on your way to growing wealth and becoming more financially independent!