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!
I’m always on the lookout for attractive credit card sign-up offers – however these days offers tend to involve (1) non-monetary rewards such as Citi points or miles, and (2) high spending limits in the $3,000-$5,000 range. A lot of offerings are also targeted at business customers.
However, the Discover It is giving a very good cash-back opportunity: you can receive $150 back after spending $750 – that’s like getting 20% off on whatever you buy with your next $750! The trick is to go to this creditcards.com page and click on the $150 offer from Discover It (should be the 6th card down the list). This is a fairly basic card so most people should not have trouble getting approved. Once you put $750 on it, you receive $150 cash back!
But wait – there’s a shortcut: you don’t even have to make $750 in purchases. Amazon Payments allows you to send up to $1,000 to another account holder (get a significant other or friend) each month via credit card without a fee. This means you can instantly grab your $750 cash back by putting payment through Amazon and requesting the same amount back from your partner!
This appears to be a limited time offer and is the best cashback ratio Discover has offered thus far; don’t wait to sign up now!
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!
Attention Scavengers! Chase has increased what I believe is already the best credit card sign-up offer out there by 20% – to celebrate National Small Business Week, they are offering 60,000 Ultimate Reward points (good for $600 in cash deposited to your account, but also transferable to airline/hotel points) from June 16-22. You can see in my previous post on the Chase Ink Bold why this is a card well worth the $95 annual fee (waived in year 1) and how it pays for itself in your everyday mobility/internet expenses – I strongly recommend you to apply and receive this great sign-up offer!
If you would like to apply for the no-fee versions Ink Cash and Classic, you will still receive an increased $250 sign-up offer, vs. $200 previously. This I believe is also the best no-fee credit card sign up offer available right now!
You can get a more detailed review and how to apply for a business credit card as an individual in my previous post on the Chase Ink Bold.
I received my Chase Ink Bold card today in the mail and activated as soon as I can to get started towards my $500 sign-up bonus (which I intend to convert into 50,000 United points). There are many great reviews on the web already on this card which I believe is the best credit card sign-up bonus available right now; I defer readers to The Points Guy for his great review of the card. I will try to accomplish 2 things in this post: (1) show you what the actual card/sign-up package looks like (an unboxing, if you will, for credit card nerds) and (2) tell you about how I acquired it even though it is a business credit card.
Rewards and benefits
The Ink Bold is a MasterCard World Elite, which is the top-echelon offering from MasterCard and offers several benefits like 24/7 concierge and travel adviser. I’m more of a do-it-yourself kind of person, but it’s nice to know that there is help when you need it.
The benefits of the card are numerous – the biggest perk is to put your phone, mobile, cable, and internet bills on this card; my monthly expenditures run about $200 on these services which is $2,400 a year, and at a 5% rebate that translates to $120 in savings that more than covers the annual $95 fee (waived 1st year).
- 50,000 Ultimate Reward points after spending $5,000 in the first month. You can meet this beyond daily expenditures by stocking up on gift cards at Staples (you can usually find Amazon gift cards in-store and buy them at a 5% discount, then store for later use)
- These points can be converted to 50,000 United Miles, $500 cash deposit into your Chase account, or $625 credit when booking travel through Chase. I find the United 1:1 transfer to be the best option at $800-$2,000 of realizable value, but it’s really up to you how you want to spend the reward.
- 5x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cell phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
- 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and hotels (when purchased directly with hotel)
- 1x points on all other purchases
- 1:1 transfer of pts to participating frequent travel programs
Benefits and Perks
- No foreign transaction costs. No need to elaborate further here; this is a big cost saver if you travel abroad frequently.
- 2 free passes to Lounge Club. Enter the code “CHASEINK” at the Lounge Club website and fill your information to continue. The club does not have great presence domestically in the US but are popular in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa; here is a list of participating airports. Since I do not currently have a card like the Amex Platinum that grants airport lounge access, this is a nice little freebie to have.
The card arrives in an unmarked envelope and includes 2 pamphlets in addition to boring black-and-white documents, which walk you through benefits of the card, limitations (it’s a charge card so you will need to pay off in full each month), and a business card agreement which is all very standard.
The Ink Bold itself is beautiful. It would have been great if they made it metallic like the Sapphire Preferred, but it’s got the same shiny metallic blue look I love.
Chase Ink Bold card front view
Chase Ink Bold card back view
Chase Ink Bold card welcome package
How to get one
Just because the Bold is a business card does not mean you cannot apply – if you sell items on eBay, manage an investment portfolio, or generate almost any kind of income outside of your primary job, you qualify as a Sole Proprietor.
(1) On the application page, fill in the information required, using your SSN# as your tax ID and your own name as your business name. Fill out questions like annual business revenues to your best estimate – BE HONEST as they will most likely defer back to your personal credit evaluation anyways when considering approval.
(2) Submit the application. You will most likely get a message that your application “needs more time for consideration” and you will be notified within 30 days.
(3) Call the Chase reconsideration line at (800) 432-3117. I recommend doing this right after you submit the application.
(4) An agent will come on – tell him/her the card you applied for and relevant info like your SSN to retrieve your records. You will be asked questions pertaining to the nature of your business; again, answer truthfully.
(5) Ask for a low credit limit (say $5,000 if your typical credit line is $8,000-$10,000) which will improve your chances of being approved.
(6) Be polite and courteous – the Chase reconsideration agents are generally very nice and are helpful, and want your application to be approved.
(7) After holding for 3-5 minutes once our twice when they run your credit information, the agent will most likely get back to you and tell you you are approved. Your card should arrive in the mail within 1 week. Start enjoying the benefits and racking up the reward points!
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.
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.
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!