Search found 4275 matches

by madbrain
Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

So, I'm not quite valuing the UR points at 1.5 cpp - for me, on average, it is closer to 1.35 cpp, but that's still better than doing the transfers and redemptions in most cases. Really? I disagree on this. I have averaged well over 1.5 cpp on transfers.[/quote] Maybe for the destinations you fly, ...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I am finding that often purchasing tickets through their online portal with points is a great deal (1.5 UR pts/S with no restrictions or added surcharges) compared with buying tickets with airline miles. I have found the same, but this is not true for all flights. In many cases, Chase travel seems ...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Appreciate if one or both of you could clarify: do you often prefer to book flights on the Chase portal because a) the Chase portal has a lower price (including taxes, surcharges, etc.) than you find in the "cash market"? or b) even for the same dollar price offered in the cash market, yo...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I am finding that often purchasing tickets through their online portal with points is a great deal (1.5 UR pts/S with no restrictions or added surcharges) compared with buying tickets with airline miles. I have found the same, but this is not true for all flights. In many cases, Chase travel seems ...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

y. The problem is using a third-party travel site such as Expedia or Travelocity. Those sites do not always make it clear when you are getting quoted a Basic Economy price. So some people who don't read the fine print before booking are getting burned by these third-party services. Similarly, you h...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

It could not have been Basic Economy. United has implemented BE in the U.S. very recently and is planning to extend it to the Central and South America. But there is no BE category for trans-Pacific flights (yet). Also, international flights include a free checked in bag, and thus United does not g...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Chase not only has a 5/24 rule, Chase also looks at your application history for all their other cards. They can turn you down for: Too many new cards from Chase. Don't try for more than 2 in 30 days, 3 in 6 months, or more than 4 a year. This is not a hard rule like 5/24, but many have being turne...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 426
Views: 54827

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

Yes, I'm looking for another place to move the money, but beyond not getting the bonus, there was also an opportunity cost to do this transfer - I had to convert my admiral shares to investor to do the transfer to Fidelity, so this has actually cost me some money. You could have converted to ETFs, ...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 426
Views: 54827

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

FYI, I had a bad experience with Fidelity. I transferred $100k in January to get a 50,000 Delta Skymiles bonus. So far, so good. Then, I transferred another $100k to a new account in April to get $30 in cash bonus. Transfer was done - bonus never came. I inquired. Fidelity says only one bonus is al...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

<snip> 3. *I think* CSR provides a better travel insurance than CSP. Victoria *I think* the travel insurance for CSR and CSP is identical. All I know is when I inquired months ago that is what Chase told me (or maybe it was the insurance rep Chase referred me to). I no longer recall the specifics o...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I have a burning question : I have been reading that United now does not allow those with Basic Economy tickets to bring full-sized bags aboard. To be clear, I am specifically inquiring about bags that comply with the airline carry-on size requirements, not the behemoths some people try to sneak in...
by madbrain
Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking towards a million and retiring at 55.
Replies: 38
Views: 5287

Re: Tracking towards a million and retiring at 55.

Saving 36k out of 186k is a very low savings rate, especially with the monthly numbers you have and no wife or kids. Save much more. Like double to triple. Enjoy watching your balance grow and imagine how you'll spend all that free time once you retire. Only on Bogleheads is it a low savings rate !...
by madbrain
Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
Replies: 426
Views: 54827

Re: The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses

FYI, I had a bad experience with Fidelity. I transferred $100k in January to get a 50,000 Delta Skymiles bonus. So far, so good. Then, I transferred another $100k to a new account in April to get $30 in cash bonus. Transfer was done - bonus never came. I inquired. Fidelity says only one bonus is all...
by madbrain
Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: American Expat: Opt to pay 5,500 of tax to qualify for IRA?
Replies: 6
Views: 597

Re: American Expat: Opt to pay 5,500 of tax to qualify for IRA?

It's not $5,500 of tax that you want, but $5,500 of taxable income.
by madbrain
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 249
Views: 22664

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

We have 6 kW charging at work and it's painful I need significant miles for a trip coming up. Thankfully, I get faster charging at home and can hit a Supercharger if necessary. But still, my entire shift at work wouldn't completely filly up my car (though I don't complain to work since we offer cha...
by madbrain
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beware Citibank Bonus Promotion
Replies: 38
Views: 5700

Re: Beware Citibank Bonus Promotion

I'll pay ya $500 to endure aggravation for 6 months. Not worth it! ha ha - not aggravation for ONE month (the last one)! Just wait until you get your 1099 from Citi next year, that's when the real fun will begin ! My husband and myself got our checking bonus of $400 and $600 respectively. The 2016 ...
by madbrain
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need WIFI repeater or second router Advice
Replies: 45
Views: 2430

Re: Need WIFI repeater or second router Advice

I would replace their router with a better one. +1, try an R7000. Affordable and excellent. I have an R7000 - bought several years ago. I still had plenty of dead spots in my 4700 sq ft home. I recently switched it to wired only, and added a Netgear Orbi system, with 3 units. This has solved all th...
by madbrain
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 249
Views: 22664

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

There are a lot of good reasons to only charge your EV to 80-90% full, and these are two. But the current EPA regs say that if a car has such a charging mode as an option, which is intended to be used frequently, the stated range on the sticker needs to be discounted by that amount! Nissan had such...
by madbrain
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 249
Views: 22664

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

My husband has had his Bolt for about the same amount of time, and concurs almost entirely with you. He's 5'11" too, and we've actually had 5 people in the car for a short drive - no issues about legroom or comfort. He installed his own fast charger, and is very pleased with it as well. I'd be...
by madbrain
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 249
Views: 22664

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

I charge to the max at superchargers prior to or on a long trip. Otherwise, I may go several days without plugging in if my charge is between 50-90% and then do a full charge to 90% twice a week. Mine is new with about 1000 miles so far and I am hoping this is okay. I got to 20% on a recent trip 2 ...
by madbrain
Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 249
Views: 22664

Re: Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt?

I must admit, I will not likely get either for a while.. have about 6 years before the wheels fall off of the car I have. But, having said that, I was in Detroit last week and saw a Chevy Bolt at no other than a BP gas station. What was it doing there? Charging!!! The BP station had chargers and th...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rewards Credit Cards for Large Purchases
Replies: 19
Views: 1600

Re: Rewards Credit Cards for Large Purchases

It really depends on what you are purchasing, but FYI, I'm putting most of my large purchases on my Citi Costco credit card . That is because all Citi cards add 24 months of extended warranty coverage - vs only 12 months extra for most credit card. I recently bought a hot tub for about $5000, which ...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Increasing iPad storage capacity
Replies: 14
Views: 1107

Re: Increasing iPad storage capacity

Next time, buy a tablet with a microSD slot. Ie. not an Apple device.
by madbrain
Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooktop died, not repairable, need recommendations
Replies: 36
Views: 1815

Re: Cooktop died, not repairable, need recommendations

Thanks for the info. The 36" model, the size you have, has excellent reviews. The 30 inch, for some reason, does not. Our opening is made for a 30" cooktop and expanding the opening, if even possible, wouldn't align with the placement of drawers beneath the counter. You may want to update...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?
Replies: 13
Views: 927

Re: Shared equity loan -- how to analyze/think about?

My wife and I just bought a house! Because she is a professor, the university provides a package of various special loan programs. One is a "shared equity" loan that works like the following. The university provides a loan for 10% of the value of the house. There are no payments on the lo...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solar Tax Trick or Scam
Replies: 9
Views: 1361

Re: Solar Tax Trick or Scam

Scam.
by madbrain
Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Cash Management Account--any real life experience you can share?
Replies: 31
Views: 4839

Re: Fidelity Cash Management Account--any real life experience you can share?

Quicken downloads are a huge pain if you use this as your main bank account like I have for many years. I'm keeping the CMA but switching to a credit union for most of my needs. Only keeping a small cash balance in the CMA for ATM/cash access. Quicken is a pain with CMA how? Works and downloads fin...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

VictoriaF wrote:"Any way to MS Restaurants?"
"Yes, over eat and forget the beach body. This is how I max it out each time around."


LOL . You could buy prepaid gift cards for your favorite restaurant / restaurant chain. There is a risk if they go out of business, though.
by madbrain
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Cheap Champagne
Replies: 60
Views: 3679

Re: Best Cheap Champagne

Before our periodic trips to Costco I consult the independent Costco Wine Blog , which is quite good. Here's a search on that site for champagne available at Costco: http://costcowineblog.com/?s=Champagne Thanks for that link! Note that many of the wines under that link aren't actually Champagne.
by madbrain
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooktop died, not repairable, need recommendations
Replies: 36
Views: 1815

Re: Cooktop died, not repairable, need recommendations

+1 for induction . I have been cooking with induction for 12 years. First with a 30 inch Kenmore at my townhome, and now with a 36 inch Kenmore in my current place. Never any problem. If you have a significant number of pots and pans that are not induction compatible, there are some units that have...
by madbrain
Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Cheap Champagne
Replies: 60
Views: 3679

Re: Best Cheap Champagne

If by "cheap" you mean in the $10 neighborhood, you might try Korbel. It's not strictly speaking "Champagne" since it's bottled in California (the word "champagne" is limited to product from the Champagne region of France, just outside Paris) but it is " methode C...
by madbrain
Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cooktop died, not repairable, need recommendations
Replies: 36
Views: 1815

Re: Cooktop died, not repairable, need recommendations

+1 for induction . I have been cooking with induction for 12 years. First with a 30 inch Kenmore at my townhome, and now with a 36 inch Kenmore in my current place. Never any problem. If you have a significant number of pots and pans that are not induction compatible, there are some units that have ...
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multi-page scanner?
Replies: 24
Views: 1065

Re: Multi-page scanner?

iPhone and Scanner Pro (by Readdle) app; more versitle with qualtity just as good as my MFP scanner which I rarely use anymore. Are your page scans straight ? And what about shadows ? Even for check scans, I find using a smartphone very tedious. I prefer to use my scanner for those too. My credit u...
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair or replace dryer?
Replies: 19
Views: 1103

Re: Repair or replace dryer?

I would replace. FYI, I bought a Whirlpool gas dryer from Lowe's in 2010, and haven't had a single problem with it.
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multi-page scanner?
Replies: 24
Views: 1065

Re: Multi-page scanner?

I use a Brother MFC-L 8850CDW all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax. All components are very good. The auto document feeder part of the scanner is duplex, meaning it scans both sides of the page, and it does so in a single pass (no pulling paper back and forth). It's very fast. Highly recommend it. ...
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off more of mortgage or wait?
Replies: 23
Views: 2516

Re: Pay off more of mortgage or wait?

I have the same exact rate terms as you do - 3.375% 30 yr fixed. The loan balance to value at this point is under 20%. I'm still doing monthly prepayments. I hope this is our forever home, though, but can't be sure if we'll be able to afford it long term if early retiring.
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Digital Tire Gauge
Replies: 21
Views: 1339

Re: Good Digital Tire Gauge

I have a 15 year old Radio Shack digital tire gauge. Bought it with my first car. Replaced the battery once recently. It's been fairly accurate, close to the value from my current cars TPMS sensors. Especially useful with an EV since I never go to the gas station to get gas, and thus would need to p...
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Another one of those "We are at the peak, crash is coming, how do I invest?" posts!
Replies: 75
Views: 5277

Re: Another one of those "We are at the peak, crash is coming, how do I invest?" posts!

I do think it's a serious question. My mother, who just turned 70, and has never invested in stocks, has asked me for advice on investing. I told her for over 5 years that she should go with a 60/40 allocation. She never listened. At this point she is finally ready to invest, but I'm much less optim...
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House softener system
Replies: 36
Views: 1958

Re: House softener system

Hopefully, it's the water you want to soften, and not the house.
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many tech devices do you have?
Replies: 74
Views: 2976

Re: How many tech devices do you have?

35 IP networked devices at home. Probably 300+ tech devices still in use overall.
And a couple hundred more in drawers.
by madbrain
Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 7325

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

Leif wrote:
madbrain wrote:The dealer just sent me a free oil change coupon for my 100% electric Chevrolet Bolt.


Lucky you. Tesla has never sent me a free oil change coupon!


You should complain !

Nissan sent me free oil change coupons for my 100% electric 2012 Nissan Leaf in the past, too.
by madbrain
Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?
Replies: 129
Views: 7325

Re: What Do You Pay for an Oil Change?

The dealer just sent me a free oil change coupon for my 100% electric Chevrolet Bolt.
by madbrain
Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Do you think it was a "too much too fast" type of thing that caused the shutdown? I'm guessing that's the case with a lot of these techniques...doing too much or too fast gets things flagged. Yes. And I was trying various types of gift cards as well from different sources to see which one...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity Cash Management Account--any real life experience you can share?
Replies: 31
Views: 4839

Re: Fidelity Cash Management Account--any real life experience you can share?

Can't withdraw more than 2 million VND ($88) in a single transaction in Vietnam. Have to do several in a row. It's an inconvenience. But Fidelity reimburses all the fees even if I do multiple withdrawals. Fidelity won't do cashier checks if you need one, even at their branches. They also won't raise...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I don't think MS is morally wrong or anything like that. I couldn't care less. If banks don't want people taking advantage of loopholes to rack up points, then close them. Remember your words next time you feel the banks have treated you unfairly or taken advantage of you. You should have closed th...
by madbrain
Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

In order to be able to effectively enforce this policy, I think card issuers would have to require stores to not allow gift cards to be purchased with credit cards. And they certainly have the option to do that, through the card merchant agreements, though this would have to be done at the whole ne...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

You will earn Blue Cash® Reward Dollars (reward dollars) for eligible purchases on your Blue Cash Preferred® Card Account. All that you quoted is saying is that they won't pay rewards on certain types of purchases. This is not the same as not allowing the purchase in the first place. And of course,...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

First of all, buying gift cards and then spending them is not MS. It's buying gift cards and then spending them. There is nothing wrong with this legally or morally. You're not manufacturing anything or cheating anyone. I don't get this sentiment at all. MS is different...it involves making purchas...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have GEICO auto, asked for quote online, $150 less
Replies: 30
Views: 3588

Re: Have GEICO auto, asked for quote online, $150 less

If you drive cheap cars, but have an expensive home, this is a problem. Whatever you save on the auto policy will easily be offset by the lack of multi-policy discount on the home. Lastly, going with GEICO for auto and another insurer for home will make it more difficult, or more expensive, to obta...
by madbrain
Thu Jun 08, 2017 4:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 1858
Views: 292790

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

[ It is not illegal. It is almost always in violation of your agreement with the credit card company. When this sort of thing is detected it can result in your card being closed and any points earned taken back. It may result in all your cards with that company being closed and you being blackliste...

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