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Re: switching main credit card

A few comments on this issue. First, I make more than $75/hr - lucky me. But, that's only when I work, and I'm not working now. Second, don't you have to log into the Citi website every month anyhow, to pay your bill ? That's one of the things I'll miss if Penfed ceases to be my main card, the autom...
by RustyShackleford
Sat Dec 13, 2014 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

As for chase, if you've only done it once you might slip under the radar, but if they sense a pattern they are not shy in shutting down accounts. Ok, well then, I guess that answers my short-term question: should I cancel my new Southwest VISA as soon as I get my 50,000 bonus ? No. Those points are...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

A number of issuers have attempted to clawback miles if the card is closed within six months , but of course ymmv. In general I think the responsible churner would not want to draw attention to him/herself. When I call to cancel the cards I've had thus far (one Southwest VISA, at least three Delta ...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

Maybe a SallieMae too, but not sure worth it to have another card just to save 3% extra (over the Citi 2%) on the small amount I spend on gas and grocs (GF buys grocs in lieu of rent, and I don't drive to office these days). Perhaps your gf should consider getting the Sallie Mae :D Dude, she is NOT...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

woman's bathrobe gift

I hope this is reasonable for this forum. I'd like to get GF a new bathrobe and seeking recs. The only thing I've found thus far is: http://www.pajamagram.com/SellGroup/rubyvelourrobe.aspx Not sure it needs to be THAT sexy - almost anything will be an improvement over the one she has now :-( trust m...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: woman's bathrobe gift
Replies: 7
Views: 815

Re: switching main credit card

Maybe a SallieMae too, but not sure worth it to have another card just to save 3% extra (over the Citi 2%) on the small amount I spend on gas and grocs (GF buys grocs in lieu of rent, and I don't drive to office these days). Perhaps your gf should consider getting the Sallie Mae :D Dude, she is NOT...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

Thanks again, everyone - especially those who checked on my question about downloading transactions.
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

In summary, airline rewards cards are great when you get a 30-50k signup bonus and annual fee waived. Afterwards, you're best off with a ~2% cashback card. Well said ! I'm still working my way through signup bonuses, I am slightly bummed that I don't use my Sallie Mae card for gas because I need to...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

I can't find anything that verifies for me that the Citi Double Cash is actually a MasterCard. Reports on FlyerTalk is that it is a MasterCard. Even if it's not, it would be a Visa (same level of acceptance) Edit: I just checked my Barclaycard account and you can download in Excel, Quicken, and Qui...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

Wow, thanks so much for all the info and suggestions, folks ... On the Southwest, it looks like the 50K bonus is now gone. I don't think I qualify for the business card. I could the get the Plus, in addition to my current Premier, but it'd only be 25K; like someone said, maybe I should wait. The lin...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

So the question is, what is your primary goal? Cash back, which is what your PenFed card gives, or travel rewards? My goal is maximizing my monetary benefit. For the purposes of this decision, let's assume I[m going to fully utilize the frequent-flyer miles for air travel that I'd otherwise purchas...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

runner9 wrote:Is the Southwest card better than Fidelity AMEX, 2% back on everything?

Probably not, but since I don't have any accounts with Fidelity, I feel kind of like it' be the tail wagging the dog to open one just for that card.

Dunno about the BofA one, how does it work ?
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

midareff wrote:I have their Platinum Visa and they deduct the 5 percent for gas monthly. I only use it for gas. You might like BOFA's double cash card as a replacement.

You mean the direct-deduction version of the Penfed ? Yeah, I thought about retaining the Penfed for gasoline and maybe groceries.
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

The critical issue for getting the companion pass is all points earned have to be done in a calendar year. There are 2 personal cards (I believe one has a $69 annual fee, the other $99) and 2 business cards. If you get two of these cards (any combination) with the 50k bonus offer attached on each a...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: switching main credit card

when did you get the Southwest card and how much have you spent on it? It would have been better for you to get two southwest cards so that you could get a companion pass. It might not be too late, but you'd be cutting it very close on qualification. +1 Check the timing of your spending carefully. ...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

switching main credit card

I have been a loyal Penfed customer for years (starting with the awesome 6.25% APY CDs years ago). Their VISA has been my main credit card since then (1% cashback on everything, 2% on groceries, 5% on gasoline). But the card is gradually "eroding". For years, they just credited the cashbac...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: switching main credit card
Replies: 58
Views: 4249

Re: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?

I have not read the whole thread ... but to answer the original question, I would answer with a resounding "yes". I have gotten enough Delta frequent-flyer miles over the last couple of years (by signing up for AMEX cards with 20K-30K bonuses, cancelling them before any annual fee is due, ...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card sign-on bonuses -- worth the trouble?
Replies: 83
Views: 5915

Re: bath tub [replacement]

I have decided to get this kind of "bow front" tub, so it can fit in an alcove that's only deep enough for a 32" rectangular tub, but is more spacious: http://www.us.kohler.com/us/catalog/productDetails.jsp?productNumber=1100-RA But how will that work with glass door? Or will you jus...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bath tub [replacement]
Replies: 14
Views: 1817

Re: bath tub [replacement]

I have decided to get this kind of "bow front" tub, so it can fit in an alcove that's only deep enough for a 32" rectangular tub, but is more spacious:

http://www.us.kohler.com/us/catalog/pro ... er=1100-RA
by RustyShackleford
Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bath tub [replacement]
Replies: 14
Views: 1817

Puerto Rico

We wanted to go someplace warm in December, so are going to Puerto Rico. I solicit advice on travel there. Places to go and to avoid, etc. We are "outdoorsy" types. Thanks !
by RustyShackleford
Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Puerto Rico
Replies: 16
Views: 1790

Re: Treadmills [vs. Ellipticals]

I ended up buying a used Sole E55 off craiglist. At $600, it was less than half of new price, and seems in really good shape so far.
by RustyShackleford
Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Treadmills [vs. Ellipticals]
Replies: 55
Views: 4034

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

Rusty, just curious if you had plugged in a humidifier yet or done any other changes to the crawlspace? Sorry, hadn't looked at this thread in awhile and don't get auto-notifications. Yes, I plugged in a free-standing room dehumidifer and it has dropped the humidity to 50% or so. I think it's using...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: bath tub [replacement]

Mingus wrote:What kind of sharp heavy objects does your girlfriend take into the shower and tub with her she is worried she is going to drop and chip the enamel surface

That's a damn good question.
by RustyShackleford
Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bath tub [replacement]
Replies: 14
Views: 1817

Re: bath tub [replacement]

Mingus wrote:Kohler cast iron tub.

GF worries you drop something on it and it chips and is difficult to repair.
by RustyShackleford
Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bath tub [replacement]
Replies: 14
Views: 1817

Re: bath tub [replacement]

Our house has two bathrooms. The other has a nice tiled two-person walk-in shower. So definitely want this bathroom (the one that's being remodeled) to have a tub. Can definitely handle a tub without ledges, because the custom-tiled surround can have recessed shelfs for soap etc. So that's what I me...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bath tub [replacement]
Replies: 14
Views: 1817

bath tub [replacement]

I'd like to replace the scuzzy one piece bathtub/shower unit in one of my bathrooms with a nicer tub and a tile surround. Not a jacuzzi tub - having heard that sub-$1000 ones are junk and if spending more, maybe just do an outside hot tub. Anyhow, I'm trying to pick out a bathtub. I gather that acry...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bath tub [replacement]
Replies: 14
Views: 1817

Re: What happened to the audiophile?

I think it's part of a general trend, in America at least, of people more and more prioritizing cost and convenience over quality. You see it everywhere, perhaps most disturbingly when it comes to civic infrastructure. There are plenty of audiophiles left though.
by RustyShackleford
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happened to the audiophile?[High quality music sources]
Replies: 71
Views: 4090

Re: PhD in Computer Engineering?

It looks like in computer science related fields, higher degrees are negatively related to the amount of money you can earn. My experience, working in a major university computer-science department, was that there was a negative correlation between intelligence/ability and degree earned. IOW, the g...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PhD in Computer Engineering?
Replies: 33
Views: 3430

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

Santa Fe also makes high efficiency dehumidifiers ... My parents got one to dry out their house in New Orleans after Katrina and it worked well. Thanks, I'll check those out too. The NOLO reference is certainly a testimonial ! I've been told all along that I need to supplement the crawlspace encaps...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

I'm wondering why the humidity is high (at 70%) but the wood moisture is relatively low (13%). I don't have any facts to back it up, but that just seems out of whack to me. Misunderstanding ... The link I gave shows that wood is equilibrium with 70/70 air will be at 13%; a numerical fact, apparentl...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

rusty, I may have missed it if you answered, but does your crawlspace have air conditioner or dehumidifier in it? There is a small outlet from the main HVAC supply plenum, as per code. I do have a stand-alone dehumidifier that I could try putting down there. As humidity is only 70%, and a good bit ...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

I live in hot, humid south and have a crawl space. Moisture is a big problem in the summer but rest of year conditions for the crawl space are fine. This year I got a quote for encapsulation ranging from $10 to $14k depending on how it was done. I paid about $4000, and got another very similar quot...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

There is a small outlet from the main HVAC supply plenum, as per code. Is there also an air intake? was the crawlspace insulated as well? (at that point it's basically a 'basement') :) No air intake. I think the point of having a small outlet from the HVAC supply plenum, but no return, is to create...
by RustyShackleford
Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

rusty, I may have missed it if you answered, but does your crawlspace have air conditioner or dehumidifier in it? There is a small outlet from the main HVAC supply plenum, as per code. I do have a stand-alone dehumidifier that I could try putting down there. As humidity is only 70%, and a good bit ...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

Did you see the little videos at the bottom of one of the links? Apparently, this odor problem is not unheard of at all. Just watched 'em; them seem to imply "soil gas" is the main culprit. But a response, earlier in this thread, suggested dying/drying-out mold could also be the problem.
by RustyShackleford
Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

Wow, those are some interesting links. Sounds like this dying-mold ammonia smell, or perhaps soil gas, are the most likely culprits. For the former, adding a fungicide seems reasonably simple (no, I did not have this done prior to encapsulation), but the soil gas requires a radon mitigation system, ...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

... vented crawl spaces have been a proven and effective system for over 65 years. Ventilation allows for effective moisture control when designed properly. Your "opinions" also don't make it "right". The above statements are simply contrary to my direct observations, not my opi...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

I hope rusty can respond, since his encapsulation is already a fait accompli, and let us know how it goes. I still think it was the right thing to do, in MY climate (the hot-humid southeast); before, like folks said, hot humid air flowing under house and condensing there. In fact, I think the first...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

house odor after crawlspace encapsulation

My house has developed a strange smell. I think it has to do with the encapsulation of the crawlspace, which I had done about a year ago, because I first noticed the odor IN the crawlspace, and assumed it was just a residual odor from the materials they used (rigid foam insulation board, spray foam ...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house odor after crawlspace encapsulation
Replies: 48
Views: 3881

Re: Gas Water Heater Upgrade worth the $$$

tomd37 wrote:Are you talking natural gas already in the area or propane that has to be tanked in?

If the answer is propane, forget it. Electric is almost certainly less expensive to operate (as well as to purchase and install).
by RustyShackleford
Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Water Heater Upgrade worth the $$$
Replies: 31
Views: 2047

Re: Treadmills

Lots of recs for the Sole treadmills, but what about the elliptical ? What are pros and cons of the various elliptical models ? I'm not a fan of ellipticals. I know they are supposed to be easier on the joints but they hurt my knees. I would definitely go with a treadmill over an elliptical. If you...
by RustyShackleford
Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Treadmills [vs. Ellipticals]
Replies: 55
Views: 4034

Re: Treadmills

Lots of recs for the Sole treadmills, but what about the elliptical ? What are pros and cons of the various elliptical models ?
by RustyShackleford
Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Treadmills [vs. Ellipticals]
Replies: 55
Views: 4034

Re: Rewards credit card advice

Not sure if you shop at Lowes much, but I recently bought a house and use the Lowes credit card when I shop at the store (which is fairly often unfortunately given the stately condition of my house :happy ). The card give me a 5% discount. Perhaps more helpfully, it gives me a flat fee of $20 for d...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rewards credit card advice
Replies: 66
Views: 88941

Re: Determining who makes it past age 90?

Guess I'll follow Woody Allen's lead and take up smoking because it will soon be good for you. Sherlock Holmes smoked opium and was one of the smartest men ever. Anyone, to whom this is a surprise, needs to look into the "myth of the addict". It's undoubtably true that smoking tobacco is ...
by RustyShackleford
Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Determining who makes it past age 90?
Replies: 32
Views: 2043

Re: LED recessed lighting question

Haven't read the whole thread, so please forgive redundancy ... I replaced all the trims in my 6" Halo cans with ones that were both airtight and included a reflector. So I can just use ordinary (much cheaper) bulbs, be they incandescent, CFL, or LED. Halo part numbers were 30CAT and 30PAT, and...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED recessed lighting question
Replies: 13
Views: 1294

Re: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table

Yep, I have a similar spreadsheet; I take my taxable income, or rather the part of it taxed at the ordinary rate (excluding QDI and LTCG), lets say it's in cell D46, and apply the function FLOOR(D46,50)+25. The formula in my spreadsheet is similar to yours. It is @ROUND((AM47+25)/50,0)*50-25. It fi...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table
Replies: 36
Views: 2546

Re: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table

I have a homemade spreadsheet which mimics a tax form including the income taxed which come from the tax table. I am able to convert the income amount to the midpoint of the $50 range then calculate the taxes due based on that adjusted income amount. That amount matches the tax shown in the tax tab...
by RustyShackleford
Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to understand the 1040 Tax Table
Replies: 36
Views: 2546

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

gd wrote:I think you'll get consensus only that the LTCGT for lower brackets won't go down. I'd hope unanimous, but one never knows.

I feel pretty certain that the LTCG tax will never be negative :-)
by RustyShackleford
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 4774

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

In my opinion LTCG harvesting is a fine idea, I've been doing it for a few years, but because it fits my other circumstances. I also do it to clean up my record-keeping, by the way, trimming FIFO-basis funds with regular reinvestments going back 25 years. That's probably worth quite a bit to my fut...
by RustyShackleford
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 4774

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

Rusty wrote: Yeah, no one gets excited when I describe my two-class strategy either. Reckon it's too much trouble I guess. I'm starting to think that too, as I invariably keep the equity conversion. Of course, I've only employed the strategy since 2010, and one of these days the equity will under-p...
by RustyShackleford
Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 4774
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