Search found 819 matches

by 2stepsbehind
Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Some thoughts / Help with Credit Cards
Replies: 9
Views: 1029

Re: Some thoughts / Help with Credit Cards

So I will not go into detail - but if you read my previous thread - the issue is starting to come to an end soon hopefully. However - my credit is wrecked as it went from an 800+ to now a 600. I'm hoping to immediately get it fixed as soon as everything is resolved (NOTE: PM me if you want to know ...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Yes. Do a google search for different award programs rules on stopovers. ETA: For example, on United an itinerary that is Newark to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Tokyo, Tokyo back to Newark would be charged the same miles as a Newark to Tokyo roundtrip (taxes are a different story). A number of bloggers ...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

For all the award fares I have looked, there is no discount for having multiple flight segments on one booking. Ie. if flight A costs X miles + X' taxes, and flight B costs Y miles + Y' taxes, booking C with both flights A and B on it will costs Z miles = X+Y, and Z' = X' + Y' in taxes. That rule s...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

In any case, it's simply not possible to book more than one of these award flights on one ticket. On Flygingblue, if I try to book a multi-destination award flight, and try with SFO-CDG, it won't let me select CDG-SGN as the second leg. It forces SFO as the return city for that leg. Ie. I can only ...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

It was ~22,000 miles. Thanks - that would indeed probably be lower, considering most of the taxes on United awards are usually paid with miles rather than separately. Edit: not sure if this was the promotion you were referring to. But this one applied only to round-trips, not one way. https://www.u...
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

That's because of the promo on AF and you missed the promo United had on trips to Europe. Yes, I didn't see any promo on United. Do you know how many miles they were for 1-way SFO-CDG ? As you've seen for each itinerary you have to compare the cash vs. miles option. The beauty of using miles as opp...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Why wouldn't you look at United? Good question. I was just looking for the least expensive cash fares first, and using the baseline of 1.5cpp with Chase to book for these flights as cash fares, not award flights. Then, I tried to price the awards for those flights to see if I could get a better poi...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

[ Most of my FF accounts have close to 0 miles as they tend to expire every 12 months. In recent years, I have gotten wiser and been ordering magazines with miles to keep the mileage accounts active. This is not possible for every program though, but it is for at least Delta and United. Delta miles...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 898
Views: 102807

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Just booked a flight to CA on United for Jul 2017 for the week of the 4th for the wife and I. 2.204 cpp. Optimal times for us to leave/arrive, and nonstop flights. 8-) 8-) 8-) Can you give more specifics ? Was it economy or business//first class ? And what cities ? DTW to SFO. Economy class. Flight...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone accidentally tell a friend about your inheritance?
Replies: 83
Views: 9606

Re: Anyone accidentally tell a friend about your inheritance?

HT, Please don't take this the wrong way, but... Ok, what kind of a friend is this? "I'll scale back on my activities since you can't afford them, but now that you can, here's what we can do." If "friend" has plenty of money, really, how does that compare to OP's inheritance? Th...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How I circumvented Chase's 5/24 rule
Replies: 38
Views: 5681

Re: How I circumvented Chase's 5/24 rule

I have a random free business checking account with chase which I opened some years ago. I walked into a branch and asked whether I was pre-approved and I was. I am way above 5/24 and have many chase credit card accounts. Thanks Chase for keeping me traveling for cheap!
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to take first international trip
Replies: 43
Views: 2091

Re: Looking to take first international trip

How old are you and when is the next time you'd be likely to get back to Europe? We are both 31. I could see us going every 2-3 years, but most likely every 3rd would be a good guess. We like to take two annual trips each year, one to Steamboat Springs, Colorado and one to St. John. The past couple...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Jul 31, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to take first international trip
Replies: 43
Views: 2091

Re: Looking to take first international trip

How old are you and when is the next time you'd be likely to get back to Europe?
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I spend 5k annually on travel?
Replies: 59
Views: 4842

Re: Should I spend 5k annually on travel?

I say no. Learn to play the credit card rewards game and you should be able to dramatically reduce your out of pocket expenditures.
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Skilled at Redeeming Credit Card Travel Points?
Replies: 25
Views: 2113

Re: Anyone Skilled at Redeeming Credit Card Travel Points?

I am very skilled at redeeming credit card travel points, but as others have suggested: (1) you haven't given people a great deal of information; (2) even assuming you provided more guidance as to what you are hoping to achieve, it takes time to construct a good award redemption; and (3) you only ha...
by 2stepsbehind
Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice please: Late 30s, best use of inheritance for paying debt / investing
Replies: 10
Views: 1079

Re: Advice please: Late 30s, best use of inheritance for paying debt / investing

To whom does the student loan debt belong? This may be an unpopular opinion on bogleheads, but my personal opinion is that inheritances (assuming that it is left to an individual and not the couple as a whole) should largely be treated as the separate property of the person to whom the funds were le...
by 2stepsbehind
Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ad hoc travel to Antarctica
Replies: 54
Views: 4381

Re: Ad hoc travel to Antarctica

Whatever happened to this trip idea?
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you pay 6x face value to see Hamilton on Broadway?
Replies: 139
Views: 9684

Re: Would you pay 6x face value to see Hamilton on Broadway?

Flip side of the coin, if you had a ticket for one of Miranda's last performance, would you sell it or attend?
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in Africa
Replies: 11
Views: 957

Re: Investing in Africa

Africa is a continent made up of many (diverse) countries. Be more specific.
by 2stepsbehind
Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't have anyone else to brag about this to [debt free]
Replies: 77
Views: 8750

Re: I don't have anyone else to brag about this to [debt free]

Congrats!!! I think I know one of your secrets - the "no kids" part :) It helps, although the amount we spent earlier on fertility treatments would have gone a long way to paying kids expenses if we had saved it instead. That is actually one of the secrets that I would prefer it was one w...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Review our retirement plans - 28/24 yr olds in a relationship
Replies: 25
Views: 2935

Re: Review our retirement plans - 28/24 yr olds in a relationship

I am concerned that you are taking on all the responsibility on her choices. It is wonderful to give advice and do some research, but it would benefit her (either as SO or spouse) to learn and make decisions herself. +1000. Frankly, I would say it would benefit her in her capacity as an intelligent...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in/near New Haven CT
Replies: 21
Views: 1857

Re: Living in/near New Haven CT

Dimitri wrote: people aren't willing to risk their lives to shop in New Haven (ref. murder of Penny Serra in the Temple Street parking garage circa 1973 which perhaps marked the beginning of the end for New Haven commerce).


That's why Apple recently opened a store near the nefarious J. Crew...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living in/near New Haven CT
Replies: 21
Views: 1857

Re: Living in/near New Haven CT

I question how much time many of the posters in this thread have spent in New Haven. While New Haven certainly has its share of crime (most of which takes place away from the areas that most students/faculty tend to live), it is also has great restaurants, an impressive theater scene, museums, cute ...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Daughter wants help with investment choices
Replies: 17
Views: 1761

Re: Daughter wants help with investment choices

I'm always amazed at people afraid to recommend discussing 401(k)'s with an employer. My personal experience was they were happy for the feedback, especially if it differed from the plan's sales pitch. Here's the reason to try: "It is nice to know that my company is listening to me and we were...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newly widowed -- Do I have enough?
Replies: 8
Views: 1734

Re: Newly widowed -- Do I have enough?

I'm so sorry for your loss. Right now you are probably overwhelmed with grief so give yourself some time before making any decisions. I'll let someone more knowledgeable speak about social security claiming strategies. Did your husband have life insurance (either individually purchased or through hi...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Daughter wants help with investment choices
Replies: 17
Views: 1761

Re: Daughter wants help with investment choices

More reading for your daughter: How to campaign for a better 401(k) plan . It took several years for Vanguard funds (or any index funds) to appear in my 401(k), but she can start advocating for it with her employer now. The employer's business manager is probably the 401(k) plan's most important cu...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?
Replies: 30
Views: 2978

Re: Opening multiple credit cards for bonuses?

Pdxnative wrote:Op, you might also want to keep an eye on bank account bonuses if you are looking for bonuses that don't affect credit.

http://www.doctorofcredit.com/best-bank ... t-bonuses/


But note that unlike credit card rewards the bank account bonuses are taxable.
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe Trip in August
Replies: 99
Views: 6533

Re: Europe Trip in August

I was in Italy last September traveling solo. I felt far safer walking the streets of Rome than I would doing the same in any American city. I do not think traveling anywhere in Europe is risky enough to cause cancelations of your vacation. Go, enjoy and be smart in your travels. Now that's a senti...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nonrefundable Airline Ticket Question, Part 2
Replies: 5
Views: 521

Re: Nonrefundable Airline Ticket Question, Part 2

I just received an email notice from the airline that they are changing the flight to depart a half hour earlier. The email contains a button for me to click that takes me to another website where I acknowledge and accept the change. I would prefer not to accept the change and just either reschedul...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Next credit card for a bonus?
Replies: 109
Views: 13295

Re: Next credit card for a bonus?

^Victoria is right re:Amex SPG No guarantee Marriott doesn't slash the program late next year. Amex only does the 30k once a year. No guarantee we will ever see it again since it was offered last August. Also who knows what transfer ratio Marriott will offer SPG points. There is no guarantee that t...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airline Ticket Quandary, advice appreciated
Replies: 9
Views: 1922

Re: Airline Ticket Quandary, advice appreciated

Unfortunately you don't have many options here (the price of a nonrefundable ticket). If there is a schedule change, you should be able to get a refund (just call and say the new times/itinerary doesn't work for you). You can also hope that there is crazy weather that day which would also allow a re...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding out about a kid 17 years after the fact
Replies: 59
Views: 10672

Re: Finding out about a kid 17 years after the fact

I'm not sure what docs you are referring to-- If the person referenced in the OP was born in the U.S., his passport is sufficient to show nationality (if he was naturalized, he should have that info anyway). The person referenced is over 50 and so presumably should have (or be able to print out) a s...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Identify theft issue: Mother-in-law gave out SS# to scammers
Replies: 6
Views: 1069

Re: Identify theft issue: Mother-in-law gave out SS# to scammers

Contact the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) and have her credit reports frozen
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding out about a kid 17 years after the fact
Replies: 59
Views: 10672

Re: Finding out about a kid 17 years after the fact

Some additional facts that I left out of equation: - The child is close to age 18 (few months away) and as such there would not be enough time to apply for citizenship Are you/is he sure about this? I am not an immigration lawyer (and obviously not your/his lawyer), but I thought all that has to ha...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Planning for financial future of special needs son
Replies: 20
Views: 2085

Re: Planning for financial future of special needs son

First of all, if it was not for our special needs son we wouldn't worry too much about leaving an inheritance . Our other children, now adults, are self supporting and competent. But I can hardly sleep at night because I worry about the future of our special needs son..after we are gone. We have ma...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Engagement Ring Saving
Replies: 68
Views: 5580

Re: Engagement Ring Saving

I am getting the impression that most of the answers to this question are written by men. First, to address the OP, this is a very short term goal with a relatively small amount of money involved, I really would just stash the cash. The engagement ring is something that may be used/worn 24/7 for ho...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flyer miles worth it?
Replies: 40
Views: 3488

Re: Flyer miles worth it?

I would add http://insideflyer.com as a good place to go if flyertalk is overwhelming as the posts are much more patient with new users. I wasn't familiar with that site. It is a fair comment that flyertalk can get a bit snarky as some posters are know-it-alls that think airlines can do no wrong an...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 20, 2016 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flyer miles worth it?
Replies: 40
Views: 3488

Re: Flyer miles worth it?

Why do these threads keep popping up? This has been answered time and time again. We need to start directing people to flyertalk. Its getting out of hand. Absolutely right. When there is a forum dedicated to all aspects of this the OP will benefit far more from going there than reading here. http:/...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flyer miles worth it?
Replies: 40
Views: 3488

Re: Flyer miles worth it?

If you do not have FF miles per your business trips not paid for by you and you are flying business and first class even once a year you are probably spending too much money anyway in order to get those miles. The previous post of getting FF miles in business/first class a couple times a year means...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discover Bank Not Paying Promised Bonus
Replies: 49
Views: 6834

Re: Discover Bank Not Paying Promised Bonus

Consider filing a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone travel without hacking?
Replies: 103
Views: 13368

Re: Anyone travel without hacking?

I will say that I do a fair amount of travel hacking which as noted above is much more than MS though I do that as well. For the folks who are asking about MS (and awards travel in general). It is a very complex subject and you'd be well advised if interested to read up at FT, the blogs, Reddit, Sa...
by 2stepsbehind
Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sibling's destination wedding?
Replies: 137
Views: 11498

Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

My sibling's wedding was a destination wedding for me. At the time I didn't have much money as a I had just graduate college but I'm glad I made the effort to attend, despite the expense. If I were in your shoes, I would make an effort to attend with the family. It would be a different story if it ...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I just paid off $145,000 in student loans in 2.5 years
Replies: 20
Views: 1995

Re: I just paid off $145,000 in student loans in 2.5 years

Congrats! Might help if you fill in some additional information for others who might be in a similar position i.e. how much did you make following business school, how much does your wife make, how did you secure new employment following being fired and at what salary, and what did you do about the ...
by 2stepsbehind
Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandparents gifting $14k, grandparent 529 alternative due to their age?
Replies: 19
Views: 1753

Re: Grandparents gifting $14k, grandparent 529 alternative due to their age?

Bob's not my name wrote:Is $14k a random number or are the grandparents unaware that they can gift $28k ($14k each) to one recipient without reporting the gift?


Wow, a bit greedy. Or 14k represents the amount that they feel comfortable giving given the current state of their finances.
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help understanding a credit card issue
Replies: 26
Views: 1341

Re: Help understanding a credit card issue

Particularly if your income is modest as compared to your credit lines, they may be disinclined to give you credit. Income is not the problem here! To be clear, what I mean is if you have stated income of lets say 250k, but you already have 400k of credit (given 43 cards that doesn't seem unreasona...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help understanding a credit card issue
Replies: 26
Views: 1341

Re: Help understanding a credit card issue

Cap 1 has always been stingy. I have had the same account with them for 16 years and they refuse to raise my credit limit beyond the initial $10,000 limit. I'm not a churner by any stretch, our scores are over 800 and our income is not a problem. There should be no reason why they can't at least ma...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help understanding a credit card issue
Replies: 26
Views: 1341

Re: Help understanding a credit card issue

Cap1 is known for turning down hardcore churners. They check all three Bureaus and consequently have a pretty clear picture of inquiries. See, e.g., http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2011/03/denied-by-capital-one-and-free-bags-on.html Particularly if your income is modest as compared to your credit lin...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Yet another topic about finances and marriage - premarital assets
Replies: 20
Views: 1297

Re: Yet another topic about finances and marriage - premarital assets

As others have mentioned, knowing the state would be helpful. In any event, I think it would be cleaner for you to open a new IRA at a different institution so that you can better keep track of premarital assets. More generally you may want to simplify your premarital assets--i.e. if you have 4 diff...
by 2stepsbehind
Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: profitable hobby?
Replies: 119
Views: 13080

Re: profitable hobby?

Earning and redeeming airline miles and hotel points. It has been my hobby for almost 12 years now. I am more the aspirational type so I primarily utilize it as leverage to increase the return of my travel budget. (First class tickets that I would never pay cash for, fancy hotel suites, that sort o...
by 2stepsbehind
Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What happens to credit card rewards when you die?
Replies: 9
Views: 1137

Re: What happens to credit card rewards when you die?

Most programs call for points to expire at death. A few will allow a spouse to claim them. However, if you make your password available to your executor or desired beneficiary, s/he can try to redeem or transfer them as appropriate.

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