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Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

Thanks for the pointers, but I already have enough to do with my hobbies and interests and don't care to spend time trying to manage credit card miles on three alliances. That's fine, but just like some people prefer not to manage their own investments, there will be a cost associated with that dec...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 2733

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

Hotels can be a great value as well. Spending on my SPG card is essentially getting me 8.3% back on every purchase since the rooms I'll be booking in NYC early 2016 are $999/night or 12,000 points. I'm getting back 2.9% on my Hyatt card for the rooms I'm booking in Hawaii this fall (5.8% at restaur...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 2733

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

The last time I used AA miles (last May) I couldn't get seats from Miami to Atlanta for a trip to the Smoky Mountains. To use the miles we had to fly to Charlotte with a three hour layover and then fly to Asheville. Took almost nine hours to get to the Inn (checking bags would have delayed getting ...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 2733

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

Interesting exercise.... it seems to me that unless a card pays cash back rewards on your purchases there isn't much reason to have or use it. Well here is a fairly common example: the Citi AAvantage Platinum Visa-- when signing up the first year you get 50,000 AA miles for $3,000 worth of spend; t...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 2733

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

IMHO if you're misplacing "a few" cards you have too many. I wonder how well someone who misplaces the physical cards will regularly monitor all the accounts. I might even wonder if (s)he even knows all the accounts (s)he has. But maybe that's just me. :shock: If you collect miles/points ...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 2733

Re: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts

... 1a) Locate the physical card ... This one causes me a bit of consternation. Are you implying you don't know where all the cards are? Hopefully that's not the case. But if it is it's questionable if you should have any credit cards. Meh if you have enough cards it is not uncommon to misplace a f...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganizing credit cards and accounts
Replies: 33
Views: 2733

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Lots of places to buy Redbirds online safely. Well yeah for $30 mostly. Not worth it for me. Anyway, seems like they'll be limited to being loaded with an AMEX soon. Thankfully I didn't invest $30 in that. Well your mileage may vary. If one does the 5k max per month even just using a 2% card you'd ...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Now we're engaging in the absurd. I strongly disagree that you have to be generating 100k of spend per month to be "manufactured spending." I think if you did a poll on flyertalk you'd see that most people are in the 5-25k range.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 48
Views: 4021

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

You have quoted the wrong post, JeffroZ. I clearly agree with you. See my posts.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 48
Views: 4021

Re: College funding

They reside in Indiana and while I am not privy to their financial situation, they both have very good paying jobs, my guess is they will be on track in 18 years for their daughter not to be eligible for financial aid. Ed Indiana has a great tax credit offered (20% of contributions to a CollegeChoi...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:39 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: College funding
Replies: 10
Views: 1035

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Interesting. I have cards from BOA and Discover and have never received a 1099.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 48
Views: 4021

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Some sign up bonuses will 1099 you. It's hit or miss who does it but check other forums. As far as I know no credit card issuers have issued a 1099 for credit card sign on bonuses; the bonuses are considered a rebate on purchases. Bottomline OP, if you have to ask/aren't comfortable with what you'v...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 48
Views: 4021

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Let me look on my end. What dates? I saw it for 19-23 August. Victoria Yeah I see it on my end, odd. United is known for their phantom availability, but I see it on Aeroplan as well. It could just be the csr. For fun, you may just want to call again and see if someone else can find it. :twisted:
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Let me look on my end. What dates?
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Congratulations, Victoria. I'll just add that you've learned another big rule in the frequent flyer community--when a csr doesn't see what you see, you HUCA--hang up (politely of course, also recheck your work) and call again. ETA: Surprises me that the second csr found flights you were not able to ...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?

Most people manufacture spend to qualify for a sign on bonus and/or generate miles that they then plan to redeem for business/first class flights or luxury hotels where the value would top 2%
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Manufactured Spending - Good Idea / Bad Idea?
Replies: 48
Views: 4021

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I'm going to repeat myself and suggest that if people are really interested in manufactured spending they follow the relevant forum/threads on flyertalk or the blog frequentmiler as opposed to here where there are fewer people engaged in this hobby and therefore more likely that incorrect informatio...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Great points, 2stepsbehind! Your United guide is great, and I have to revisit it several times for it all to sink in. I am chuckling at your categorical response that Option-2 should not even be on the table. Over night, I started contemplating Option-3: a round trip to Seoul and foregoing the Euro...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

Thank you, madbrain, I have a few questions for you and others who may know: 1. Did you try to call airlines and book these trips through customer service representatives? 2. Did you end up paying (using miles) for each leg separately? 3. Do you think you would have had a better outcome if you book...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I am trying to make a rewards-based reservation on United Airlines as follows: 1) IAD-FRA 2) FRA-NRT 3) ICN-DCA From what I've read, I can treat it as a round trip Washington ( IAD/DCA ) to Tokyo ( NRT ) with: a) stop over in Frankfurt ( FRA ) and b) open jaw at the destination, i.e., arrive to Tok...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: Really confused about Roths

(1) Move tIRA into TSP. (2) Husband contributes max (18k) to t401(k); I contribute max to tTSP. (3) Continue saving for college ($500/month into 529). (4) Meet down payment savings goal (note: we already have a six-month EF). (5) Use "extra" savings, likely from husband's year-end bonus, ...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Really confused about Roths
Replies: 16
Views: 2488

Re: Large Loan Debt, Need some advice

That being said, I personally (barring any major capital gains) would use my taxable account to pay off some off some of the debt and make an effort to get that debt gone. No way should the OP be doing this before getting married. And get a prenup. And what would you suggest the prenup say if he's ...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Large Loan Debt, Need some advice
Replies: 24
Views: 1797

Re: Help! Career Advice needed!

I cosign all the posters questioning the OP's machinations/the status of a relationship where one person feels the need to nag/cajole and attempt to direct the other's career. That said, I'm going to go back to teaching which appears to be HER interest. Has she (or you I guess for that matter) looke...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 19, 2015 7:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help! Career Advice needed!
Replies: 20
Views: 1962

Re: Wealthy cardholders prefer cash-back rewards

It's not unusual to have a signup bonus for 50k miles, and not unusual for the only FF tickets available (at least for non-elite customers) to be 50k miles, often first class. Admittedly that fare would be more than $400, but the fact is that I wouldn't pay dollars for first class, so really the on...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wealthy cardholders prefer cash-back rewards
Replies: 33
Views: 4208

Re: Capital One seemed happy to lose me as a customer?

I have gotten Capital One to credit me the $59 for the last couple of years. Rather than give them a song and dance about switching to a new card and expecting them to beg me to stay, I simply asked whether I could get a fee waiver or statement credit and they obliged. I am not a heavy user of the c...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Capital One seemed happy to lose me as a customer?
Replies: 24
Views: 3967

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Actually Use?

Anybody still have the Amex Blue Cash with the $6500 hurdle to get to 5%? In the past I usually get to 6500 in two months. Now with 2% back from capital one i'm using that more and don't want to waste 6500 at .25% versus 2% I'm actually considering a move to the new Blue Cash. Not sure I want to gi...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Many Credit Cards Do You Actually Use?
Replies: 67
Views: 4506

Re: Ideal next job knocked too soon

Philliefan33 wrote:DOJ. Sounds like maybe the FBI? I know they recently started filling new classes.



Not the FBI.

Thanks all for the advice and well wishes. I'll try to update the thread as appropriate.
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideal next job knocked too soon
Replies: 20
Views: 1661

Re: Ideal next job knocked too soon

How much was the signing bonus? How much to buy out your lease? How much moving costs? How much pay increase comes with new job? All these are considerations in making a decision, but not necessarily deal breakers since the ideal job doesn't come along every day. Remember the old proverb... "O...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideal next job knocked too soon
Replies: 20
Views: 1661

Re: Ideal next job knocked too soon

I would do it. See if you could negotiate your start date, and look into whether or not moving compensation is offered. The one downside to government work (I work for the state) is negotiation is usually pretty limited. But if the pay is higher (or even the same) I wouldn't worry too much about br...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideal next job knocked too soon
Replies: 20
Views: 1661

Re: Ideal next job knocked too soon

Can you share more about the job you were offered, or perhaps which Department of the Federal Government? Some agencies (though I acknowledge probably not most) have flexibility in hiring dates, offering deferments/postponements in certain cases. To be clear, I have not been offered the position, o...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideal next job knocked too soon
Replies: 20
Views: 1661

Ideal next job knocked too soon

Recently I was invited to interview for what would be my ideal next job--the only problem: I just started my current job five months ago! The position would be with the federal government and given it took them nine months to schedule interviews who knows how long the timeline would be going forward...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ideal next job knocked too soon
Replies: 20
Views: 1661

Re: Wife tired of saving...

My question is, is what she is going thru the norm? What advice can be given to her? I really dont mind the bmw thingy, but the larger home I am dead against, mainly because of the property tax. Help? Yes, it is normal for people to rethink their values/for tastes to change as circumstances change ...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife tired of saving...
Replies: 203
Views: 19247

Re: Credit Cards and Travel Questions

In all the points game there is no doubt the SW companion pass is the best deal out there. :sharebeer ONLY if you frequently travel with another person, you travel to the areas southwest serves, and you don't mind flying into smaller airports/making connecting flights if you aren't at a southwest h...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Cards and Travel Questions
Replies: 22
Views: 1763

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

VesperLynd, I think there's a misconception that one needs to find creative ways to unload a Redcard. You don't. There are 2 incredibly easy to ways to unload your Redcard. One is what Victoria said: just use the Redcard to pay off the credit card you loaded the Redcard from. The other is to link y...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: Wimbledon 2016

Wimbledon may be different as I understand a lot of players stay in the village, but if there is an official players' hotel, I'd highly recommend staying there. Although you shouldn't bother the players, it is nice just casually walking by/overhearing player convos. If your wife has favorite players...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wimbledon 2016
Replies: 5
Views: 732

Re: Paris France help/suggestions for women

What would your wife/daughter wear if she was walking around NYC? That's what she should wear in Paris. I find it odd that people buy special packs when traveling--a big fanny pack just screams "rob me; I'm a tourist." Tell them to wear black, a cute pashmina, and walk with purpose and the...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris France help/suggestions for women
Replies: 22
Views: 1635

Re: Foreign film night recommendations.

Don't forget foreign TV. A killer French cop series called Engrenages, with a strong female protagonist. it presents a gritty side of Paris you don't see in the tourist guides, i.e. the Muslim ghettoes that we're now seeing on the news a lot. All the seasons used to be on Netflix, but maybe not all...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foreign film night recommendations.
Replies: 124
Views: 6261

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

On flyertalk there are many reports of successful loads within the last 30mins.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I think it is too early to tell if the sky is ending on this. Amex has had lots of problems in the initial roll-out so it isn't immune to these technological glitches and it appears that the system isn't accepting any form of load not just credit card payments. It is unfortunate that this comes towa...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)

Considering that 2stepsbehind flies First Class and I fly Economy, I am 2cabinsbehind {laughing}, Victoria Ha! I'd say for me flying in first is a rare occasion. I'd rather fit in more trips than indulge in copious caviar and champagne. That said, with a stockpile of miles and somewhat limited vaca...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)
Replies: 65
Views: 4310

Re: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)

I have a question regarding Serve, RedCard, etc. Has anyone been charged cash advance fee if loading via a credit card and can a Visa or MC be used to load Serve? None of the employees at the Walgreen's I use has a clue and the Serve website seems silent to this. I am about done with the points cha...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)
Replies: 65
Views: 4310

Re: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)

I agree. I did a cost benefit analysis. Once the miles hit your frequent flyer account, they cannot be clawed back. That is incorrect. There are a number of stories in the past of Citibank initiating claw back actions. That they haven't done it recently does not mean they cannot do so. Maybe the re...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)
Replies: 65
Views: 4310

Re: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)

I agree. I did a cost benefit analysis. Once the miles hit your frequent flyer account, they cannot be clawed back. That is incorrect. There are a number of stories in the past of Citibank initiating claw back actions. That they haven't done it recently does not mean they cannot do so. The two Citi...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)
Replies: 65
Views: 4310

Re: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)

Back in the day you were able to book a round the world flight up to 25,000 miles in biz for 150,000 aa miles, and last year they were giving out 100k per sign up.(citi allows two every 65 days). I recently got two Citi AA cards, Personal and Business, with 50k bonuses for each. Are you saying that...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)
Replies: 65
Views: 4310

Re: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)

Back in the day you were able to book a round the world flight up to 25,000 miles in biz for 150,000 aa miles, and last year they were giving out 100k per sign up.(citi allows two every 65 days). I recently got two Citi AA cards, Personal and Business, with 50k bonuses for each. Are you saying that...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)
Replies: 65
Views: 4310

Re: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)

Some cards like AmEx only offer the bonus once in a lifetime and will only give you the difference if you signup again for a larger bonus. Does this limit apply only to the cards received directly from American Express? If I get an SPG card from AmEx, would it preclude me from getting other AmEx ca...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Rewards (Travel)
Replies: 65
Views: 4310

Re: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?

Event and achievement based: - determine events that merit gifting: - - enrolled in a magnet school, college, or grad school, graduated, passed a certification in a profession, - - marriage, birth of a child, - - purchase of a house, - - family reunions, - determine reasonable amounts to be gifted ...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: How Would You Want Your Estate Divided?
Replies: 43
Views: 3595

Re: Help! I can't afford to eat on my South Beach vacation

I don't understand, OP. Were there no prices on the menu? Was someone in your party ordering copious alcoholic beverages and you didn't suggest they be put on a separate tab? It would seem to me that once you saw that the prices were more than you expected/were comfortable with, you buy an appetizer...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! I can't afford to eat on my South Beach vacation
Replies: 60
Views: 5155

Re: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards

I thought I'd spend my first bunch of points (50K) on a domestic flight (DC/Nashville round trip). US Airways website tells me that that 50K in points will get me there, but not back home. Need to spend about 90K in points for this domestic trip. Yikes, at this rate, will take a lot of bonus signs ...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TradingPlaces' advice on travel awards
Replies: 193
Views: 18398

Re: Should older workers omit graduation dates on resume?

Should you include a photo, in case the employer discriminates against African-Americans? Hold on. Nowadays, the discrimination we all face - in one way or another - is covert. And not getting a call-back would only be because there was a more qualified candidate, they decided to not fill the posit...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should older workers omit graduation dates on resume?
Replies: 34
Views: 3331
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