October 23, 2016

Patience Wins the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

I was previously denied an application for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card.    I was humiliated and ashamed.  (not really)     But at the time I found out about Chases 5/24 rule for credit cards.   They deny you if you've applied for 5 cards in the past 24 months.     So I simply waited until I was past that and applied again.   My second application was approved.  

The card gives you 50,000 points bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.    Thats a pretty hefty amount of money to spend in 3 months on one card, but we had a summer trip that helped get me to the total among other things.   I also tried to maximize my rewards by using other cards for 5% bonuses so I didn't put all our spending on this card.    I think I also got 5,000 points for adding my wife as an authorized user.   The spending on the card also tallies up points.

In total I ended up with 60,820 points which is good for $608.20 credit to my account.

I could also use the points to get 1.25 worth of travel or $760.25.    I plan to hold on to the points for as long as possible so I can get that 25% bonus on any travel expenses we might have.

On top of that I can also transfer the points over to airline programs on a 1-1 basis if I want to.  Southwest Rapid Rewards are one of the options.    If I needed to fly to Vegas I could book a flight for abut 7,500 rewards points plus $11 taxes.   Paying for the flight would be about $135.   That would be more like 1.67 cents per point.  

Unfortunately the card has a hefty annual fee so I'll cancel it before the year is up.

$608-$760 is a pretty great haul from one card.  


October 21, 2016

Best of Blogs for Week of October 21st

Every Friday afternoon I share some of the more interesting or notable posts that I have seen in the personal finance blogs and other sources for the past week

MyMoneyBlog discusses an interesting business idea with BuffetGo: Reduce Food Waste and Buy a Big Box of Leftovers for $3    however note its only at a few cities now.


October 20, 2016

FREE Finding Dory DVD at Walmart for New TopCashBack members

TopCashBack is offering a special cash back bonus for new members who buy Finding Dory DVD.

Follow this link for the deal 

Detail from TopCashBack:
"Visit Walmart through TopCashback, pre-order one Finding Dory DVD while it's priced at $19.96 and within seven days $21.95 cashback will post as pending in your TopCashback account. 

In-store pick-up, at one of Walmart's many stores, is free. Free shipping on the purchase is also an option! You choose! The movie will begin swimming its way through the mail from when its officially released: on Thursday, November 15, 2016. The $21.95 will cover the cost of the DVD and cover any sales tax you may possibly incur, effectively this popular under the sea adventure an amazing freebie. 

Join Dory, Nemo, and friends as they search the ocean blue for Dory's family in an adorable film that's perfect for the whole family! And with the holidays right around the corner, this is a great start to the holiday shopping. "

The deal is:
- open until 11:59pm PT on October 21, 2016 or supplies run out; whichever happens first
- available for pre-order while it's priced at $19.96; if the price changes, the deal's over
- subject to supplies, shipping, and pick-up availability
- applicable for purchases made directly after clicking through TopCashback
Only one:- Pre-ordered Finding Dory DVD is eligible for $21.95 cashback per TopCashback account  TopCashback account is permitted per member

Keep in mind this is only for new TopCashBack members.

I do get a referral commission if you use my link, thanks.

--This article may contain referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

October 19, 2016

Using Zillow to Measure Rental Demand

Our local rental market is pretty hot right now.   But I wouldn't necessarily realize that if I didn't list a property for rent and then get a flood of applicants.    I've found one way you can get a measure of the kind of rental demand you might see for a property using a figure Zillow estimates.   The figure is called the 'rental views' and is their estimate of the number of people who will view a rental ad for the property in question.   Here is how to find their 'rental views':

1. Log into Zillow.  If you don't have an account you'll need to make one.
2. Find your property and claim it as yours if you haven't already.
3. Then when you open the property you'll get the 'Owners view' initially by default rather than the standard 'Public view'
5. If you scroll down on the owners view there is a bit with some info on selling your home.   There you will find forecasts on the number of views of the home that Zillow expects you'd get if you listed it for sale or put it up for rent.    It looks like this :

That number in the middle there 220 is the number we're looking for.

Not all properties have this number and I'm not entirely sure why some do and some don't.    I have another property that has a 'rental views' estimate over 1000.    Thats the hottest market I've got a rental in and when I list that property for rent I have to screen dozens and dozens of people.      The rental with 220 is still pretty good demand market but not nearly as hot.


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