Frugality

How To Earn 70,000 Air Miles For Only $90

Posted by 8 August, 2008 (1) Comment

This is from the Bestfares.com website. I want to state that I do not in any form or fashion encourage people to get a credit card. People that have a recent history of not paying off their credit cards every month should certainly not sign up for a credit card. However, if you happen to be in the market for a credit card, you can read before and find out how to earn 70,000 air miles for only $90. Very cool indeed.

Before we start, we must advise you that to earn 70,000 air miles on Delta you will need to sign up for three credit cards and also sign up for the frequent flyer programs of both Delta and Northwest.

All of this will take about an hour of your time, but if you have good credit and an extra $90 it can be well worth it.

As of today, Delta’s SkyMiles Awards permits you to fly two people to Hawaii, Central America and to cities in the northern part of South America.

For 60,000 air miles, you can fly two people to the Caribbean or Mexico.

For 50,000 air miles, you can earn two tickets for travel within the continental U.S., Alaska and Canada.

For 50,000 air miles, you can fly to Santiago (Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina) or one of over 40 European destinations.

To see Delta’s SkyMiles Award mileage chart, please click here.

To accumulate 70,000 air miles on Delta, you will need to sign up for three different credit cards using the special links we have listed below. The three cards are the Northwest WorldPerks Visa Signature card, the Delta Gold SkyMiles card and the American Express Gold Business card. Please note that you do not need to be a business owner or even a business traveler to qualify for the American Express Gold Business Card.

There is a $90 fee for the first year for the Northwest WorldPerks card. Both the Delta and American Express cards waive the annual fee for the first year if you qualify using the special links we are providing.

I guess we should get the Northwest credit card out of the way first. Many of you may be wondering why you need to sign up for a Northwest credit card when you want to accumulate Delta air miles. The answer is MERGER! Currently, Delta and Northwest are in the final stages of their merger which will one larger airline under the Delta name.

As with all mergers we have seen in the past, when one airline merges with another their frequent flyer miles are transferred to the new airline. So if you sign up for the Northwest Airlines WorldPerks Visa Signature card, you will receive 20,000 air miles when the two airlines merge at the end of the year. The 20,000 miles you have with Northwest will be transferred to your existing Delta SkyMiles account.

To sign up for the Northwest frequent flyer program, please click here.

To see the perks and air miles you will earn by applying for the Northwest Airlines WorldPerks Visa Signature, including the 20,000 bonus air miles, please click here.

The second credit card you will need to sign up for is the American Express Gold Business card. You do not have to be a business owner or business traveler to qualify for this card.

Once you qualify for this card you will receive 5,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after your first purchase. To receive 20,000 additional bonus points, you will need to charge $1,000 on this card by October 31, 2008. Now folks, when you can use this card to buy groceries, gasoline or even Christmas gifts, this is not a hard challenge. American Express is also waiving their annual fee for the first year.

American Express also has tie-ins with several airlines where you can transfer your American Express points mile for mile to one of their airline partners. Guess who is one of their airline partners? If you guessed Delta, you win the big cigar.

It’s also not uncommon for American Express and Delta to offer up to 40% bonus miles if you transer your American Express points to your Delta frequent flyer account.

To sign up for American Express Membership Rewards, please click here.

To see benefits of the American Express Gold Business card and to apply, please click here.

The third credit card is Delta Gold SkyMiles credit card. You will first need to sign up for a free Delta frequent flyer membership. This credit card offers you 20,000 bonus miles when you sign up. You receive 10,000 bonus miles immediately and another 10,000 bonus “thank you” miles after you make your first purchase. Plus, if you add two additional family members to your card for free you will earn an additional 2,500 bonus miles per card giving you a grand total of 25,000 Delta SkyMiles. Delta is also waiving their annual fee for this credit card for the first year.

To sign up for Delta’s frequent flyer program, please click here.

For more details on the benefits and how to sign up for this credit card, please click here.

Now in summary, if you qualify for these three different credit cards you are on your way to 70,000 air miles. Here is the breakdown:

Sign up for Northwest Airlines WorldPerks Visa Signature card and transfer miles to Delta SkyMiles after merger Award miles – 20,000 Annual fee – $90
Sign up for American Express Gold Business card, charge $1,000 to card before October 31, 2008 and transfer miles to Delta Award miles – 25,000 Annual fee waived first year
Sign up for Delta SkyMiles Gold card, add two additional family members to your account and receive 2,500 miles extra per person Award miles – 20,000 (plus 5,000 miles for two additional cardholders) Annual fee waived first year
Total amount of awards 70,000 miles Total fees first year – $90
Categories : Frugality,Travel Tags :

Don’t Like Your Bank? Now You Can Easily Switch Your Billpay

Posted by 7 August, 2008 (3) Comment

My wife and I bank primarily with Wells Fargo, and there have been quite a few instances when we have REALLY wanted to change banks. We started accounts with Wells Fargo because of convenience – there are quite a few branches in our area and we really enjoy the online bill pay service they provide. However, we dislike that we are sometimes charged for withdrawing our own money (“foreign” ATM fees).

There are a few things in this world that make me climb onto my soap box and this would be one of them. I find it borderline immoral that people should have to pay to withdraw their own hard-earned money, especially when it is a privilege for any bank to hold anyone’s money in the first place! And how, exactly, is charging useless fees tantamount to good customer service? Grrrr! *climbing down now*

So this begs the question, do you like your bank? Do you want to switch, but like us, dread the hassle? There are numerous banks are beginning to offer easy options for switching bill pay from one bank to another. One such service is Bank Switcher. I have not personally tried their service, but it is definitely worth a look. They have a 3 step process per their website. Bank Switcher analyzes the transaction history from your current checking account to identify all the automatic payments in step 1. Step 2 displays the transactions you can switch and allows you to choose which bills you would like to include in the switch. In Step 3, Bank Switcher states that in less than 10 minutes, you can print and save your Switching Checklist with the instructions and forms you’ll need to switch your bills. Again, I have not used the service. It’s free so that’s definitely a perk, but I suspect that they receive something from the bank you switch to.

My take is that it’s a service to look into, but if you are worried about inputting your current banking user name and password into a foreign website, then you have other options. I’m willing to bet that a lot of banks are more than happy to have customer service help you switch your bill pay. Recently I visited a local Capital One branch, and they offer a Switch Kit system which can be found on their website. Before making the switch I would look over the steps to switching banks and decide whether it is worth your time. These switching kits and systems appear seamless, but my guess would be that it’s not as easy as stated. I would review Bankrate’s steps to changing banks below, and then make a decision (From Bankrate.com):

Steps to switching banks:

Analyze your reasons for switching banks, then contact your current bank. It may be able to accommodate your requests so you won’t have to move on.
Open an account at your new bank before closing your old account(s). This enables you to write checks, use the ATM and make deposits and withdrawals during the transition.
Keep open your old direct deposit and auto bill-paying account(s) until those recurring transactions have been successfully redirected and appear on your new account statement.
Be sure to leave sufficient funds in your old account to cover automatic payments in case the changeover takes more than one billing cycle.
Don’t close your checking account until all outstanding checks have cleared.
Be prepared to provide account and bank routing numbers for your old and new accounts when canceling, establishing or redirecting direct deposits and auto payments.
Have your old bank verify in writing that all accounts, including debit and credit cards if applicable, have been closed at your request with no balance outstanding.
Keep all closing statements for your records.
Don’t forget to empty your safe-deposit box, turn in the key and collect your deposit, if any.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out the other articles on this week’s edition of Carnival of Personal Finance!

Categories : Frugality,Personal Finance Tags :

Fly Roundtrip For $139 To Europe, Hawaii, Mexico Or The Caribbean

Posted by 22 July, 2008 (1) Comment

I thought this was one of these too good to be true advertisements. I read through it and it seems legit. Now, I may have to put it to the test for myself. Let me speak with my wife first though.

So here’s the scoop. Here’s what you see when you click on the link to the e-mail I received from Best Fares.com:

You can either read below or click here to go to the Best Fare’s site.

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(from Bestfares.com)

With the cost of air travel climbing due to the high cost of fuel, you may have to think outside the box on how to travel for less.

We have found a super big loophole that can save you major big travel bucks, especially if you want to travel to Europe, Hawaii, Mexico or the Caribbean for $139 roundtrip.

You can fly roundtrip on US Airways to any of their destinations to Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada or between 100 U.S. cities for $139 roundtrip or less.

Now before we get into the details on this one, we thought you should know how this all comes about.

During 2005, America West and US Airways merged. At the time, each airline had their own preferred credit card companies that offered their members a way to earn extra frequent flyer miles by making purchases with their preferred airline.

Until the end of this year, they still have two different credit card companies offering bonus miles for signing up for their preferred US Airways card. By being approved by both companies, you could earn 35,000 to 40,000 air miles for a $139 investment. Remember, you must also sign up for a free US Airways frequent flyer program account BEFORE you apply for the two credit cards. That’s enough air miles for a free roundtrip ticket (minus any processing fees) to any US Airways destination within the USA, to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean.

And from January 15, 2009 to February 28, 2009, US Airways will reduce the amount of air miles needed to fly to Europe from 50,000 to just 35,000 air miles.

Please click here to see mileage awards charts showing where you can fly and the special winter promotion to Europe.

If you only sign up for the US Airways Visa Signature card for $90 a year, you will receive 25,000 air miles which is enough for a frequent flyer ticket for travel within the continental USA (including Alaska) and Canada.

Between September 1 and 30, 2008, you can fly to the Caribbean for only 25,000 air miles. Please click here to see the mileage awards chart and info on the Caribbean promotion.

Credit Card Mileage Program

One US Airways credit card is their Visa Signature card issued by Bank of America. The annual fee for this card is $90. You will receive a sign-up bonus of 25,000 air miles plus other goodies. Please click here to see the additional benefits you get with this card, including a $99 companion certificate and a free one-day US Airways club lounge pass (valued at $40).

The second credit card is the US Airways World MasterCard issued by Barclays Delaware. For $49 a year, you can receive a sign-up bonus of 10,000 air miles. Sign up for their Premier World MasterCard (we recommend this one) and for a $79 annual fee you will receive a sign-up bonus of 15,000 air miles plus extra goodies including a $99 companion certificate and a one-day US Airways club lounge pass. Please click here to see all the perks you get for signing up for this card.

In summary, for only a $139 investment you could be on your way to almost any destination in the world served by US Airways, including Europe and Hawaii.

Remember, you must sign up for a free US Airways frequent flyer membership BEFORE you apply for the credit cards. Please click here to apply for US Airways Dividend Miles program and for more information.

Please click here to view the mileage awards charts and special promotional bonus mileage charts showing how you can get to the Caribbean for only 25,000 frequen flyer miles and to Europe for only 35,000 frequent flyer miles.

Please click here for full details on the US Airways Visa Signature credit card issued by Bank of America where you can earn up to 25,000 bonus air miles.

Please click here for full details on the US Airways World MasterCard credit cards issued by Barclays Delaware where you can receive 10,000 to 15,000 bonus air miles.

To see a side-by-side comparison of the US Airways Visa and MasterCard credit cards, please click here.

Categories : Cool Links,Frugality Tags :