Search found 436 matches

by BeneIRA
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?
Replies: 65
Views: 3596

Re: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?

I am paranoid, so I always like to buy gas gift cards and use those at the pump so a thief who is skimming might steal $10-$15 from me or I go inside to pay. In any case, is this by chance a Citi card? They are legendary for their awful IT and quick trigger on fraud alerts. The solution there would ...
by BeneIRA
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accepted new job, immediately laid off at old one?
Replies: 37
Views: 5675

Re: Accepted new job, immediately laid off at old one?

hi guys - so i recently accepted another job a week and a half back that's a much better opportunity for myself. however, I just got laid off from my current job on friday (they cited a company wide restructuring as the reason, but I feel like they might have found out that I was leaving for anothe...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 26 years old. Roth ira with edward jones last 3.5 years.
Replies: 44
Views: 2526

Re: 26 years old. Roth ira with edward jones last 3.5 years.

Not to derail, but getting approved for a Sapphire Reserve on a $30,000 income I wouldn't count on. There was just a post on Churning about someone trying this and it failing. Since the starting limit is $10,000, that would be giving you 33% on one card. And with you double dipping, well, I don't kn...
by BeneIRA
Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amex in Europe
Replies: 18
Views: 996

Re: Amex in Europe

You need to be more specific on the countries you will be visiting. Austria, for instance, is very cash heavy. Italy is all Visa and Mastercard and they typically want something to cost at least 10 Euros before using a card and their terminals are “down” sometimes. United Kingdom? Accepts Amex and a...
by BeneIRA
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepaid cell phone plan vs Regular Contract Plan
Replies: 26
Views: 2085

Re: Prepaid cell phone plan vs Regular Contract Plan

$55 for one line with those stats on AT&T is like burglary. Verizon, a better network in my experience, has a prepaid plan for $40 with 3gb of data and unlimited talk and text along with rollover data each month. Have not had issues with Verizon prepaid. AT&T post paid makes me question how far we h...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Options after COBRA ends? Cal-COBRA or Guaranteed Issue or ?
Replies: 6
Views: 684

Re: Options after COBRA ends? Cal-COBRA or Guaranteed Issue or ?

Reach out to the carrier directly to determine if Cal-COBRA is even available. Typically it is only offered my fully insured plans such as Kaiser.
by BeneIRA
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy Trip Questions
Replies: 33
Views: 1977

Re: Italy Trip Questions

Regarding the OP's $2000 RT airfare, whenever you buy an airline ticket far in advance (i.e. for next year) you often pay top dollar. Wait until a couple months before the trip, unless you plan to travel during a peak holiday. Even last minute tickets are often lower price than tickets for the dist...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy Trip Questions
Replies: 33
Views: 1977

Re: Italy Trip Questions

It depends what you’re into. For me, that’s enough time. I found four days in Rome more than enough. It is very busy and I preferred Florence much more. Definitely go to Siena in Tuscany. I did a Google Flights search on just LHR, which is Heathrow, and you can find one ways around $100 next year to...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Your Walgreens doesn't have gift cards? Some 7-11 stores also code as gas stations, so you can grab gift cards from there, that's what I did during last year's gas station quarter. I don't churn to the point of buying gift cards unless I have a specific, targeted purchase in mind. Just one level mo...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Your Walgreens doesn't have gift cards? Some 7-11 stores also code as gas stations, so you can grab gift cards from there, that's what I did during last year's gas station quarter. I don't churn to the point of buying gift cards unless I have a specific, targeted purchase in mind. Just one level mo...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Got a targeted offer for the Chase United Explorer card - 60K miles when spending $3,000 in first three months (plus 5K additional for each authorized user added - after the AU places a charge on their card). This is better than the standard offer I see (40K miles) or even the typical upgraded offe...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 67
Views: 2923

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

Everyone is focusing so much on the taxes that we aren't focusing on the second part of the question. The housing cost differences will almost certainly make up the tax differences. Rhode Island has to be cheaper than both MA and CT and it probably isn't close. If you just care about minimizing expe...
by BeneIRA
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Renting vs Buying a Home
Replies: 24
Views: 1709

Re: Renting vs Buying a Home

Hi everyone, I know this is a very complicated question that has a ton of facets...but I want to try and broach the topic of whether I should look into buying a home vs. continuing to rent (because of the 'why not pay towards equity rather than paying someone else's mortgage' thought). My situation...
by BeneIRA
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA Experts Needed: Newborn Coverage
Replies: 11
Views: 983

Re: COBRA Experts Needed: Newborn Coverage

I will be leaving my current job at the end of the month. Health insurance at my new employer begins on the 31st day of employment. We’re expecting a baby in mid-July. Spouse and children are and will be covered under my health insurance policy. What I think I know: Coverage under COBRA can be elec...
by BeneIRA
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I am about to embark on a 4 month trip at my own expense. The area I will be traveling in is mostly populated by the large hotel chains, not many independent options. I have the Marriott, IHG, Hilton, Choice and Hyatt cards. I am wondering if there is any way to hack this - i.e. which program is mo...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Another thing to consider is the money value of simplicity. Thinking, planning, etc costs time and time is money. Thank you, protagonist. You have expressed it exactly right. There are many life priorities that are far greater than optimizing CC rewards, and focusing on low hanging fruits is probab...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

It looks like Chase has put new restrictions on UR point transfers between cards. I was not able to transfer between Freedom and Sapphire Reserve today - something I have done numerous times in the past. The blogs carried a rumor to this effect a couple of months ago - just took Chase a while to im...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Explanation of free credit scores
Replies: 16
Views: 1758

Re: Explanation of free credit scores

As many others, I have been using some of the credit score reporting tools offered by credit cards, banks, Credit Karma, etc. While I appreciate using the tools I don't understand the fluctuations I see in the reports. I am retired with frozen credit and consistent spending habits but the scores se...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I want to get CSR . - I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago. - I am under 5/24. - I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs. Question-1 : After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses? - One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic...
by BeneIRA
Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Want to see what you guys think: Currently have the following cards: CSP, CFU, USAA (2.5%), Amex BCP. I want to simplify down to two cards. Would you stick with CSP/CFU or go with USAA/Amex? We typically buy flights on Southwest as we fly on AA for free (family member is corporate exec). Really jus...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 28, 2018 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using Air Miles and Paying Fees and Taxes
Replies: 29
Views: 1870

Re: Using Air Miles and Paying Fees and Taxes

BA tries to seduce you with direct routes, but they are almost always a very poor use of miles. Route through PHL or JFK to stick on just AA metal and the surcharges will plummet. To me, the savings are worth it. I have an upcoming trip using AA miles and if I had gone with BA on any segment, my tax...
by BeneIRA
Tue May 22, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Difficulty with Parents-In-Law
Replies: 25
Views: 1535

Re: Difficulty with Parents-In-Law

Definitely agree it is best to not get involved. Speaking from experience, the only topic that is of relevance to you is what happens when they pass and what the plan is since that will almost definitely involve you and your spouse. Their investments could be next to nothing and they may have no lif...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 21, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I want to get CSR . - I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago. - I am under 5/24. - I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs. Question-1 : After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses? - One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 21, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

An FYI for those responding in comments on the IHG card changes.... My research appears to show that those of us with the existing IHG card will be grandfathered in with the annual fee at $49 and it won't go up. The only change we have is that going forward, the free night is limited to hotels at 4...
by BeneIRA
Sun May 20, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

An FYI for those responding in comments on the IHG card changes.... My research appears to show that those of us with the existing IHG card will be grandfathered in with the annual fee at $49 and it won't go up. The only change we have is that going forward, the free night is limited to hotels at 4...
by BeneIRA
Sat May 19, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

So if I get 120,000 points (100k with bonus and 20k through spending) it will be only worth 2 x (20,000 + 5,000) = 50,000 miles ? Doesn't sound very good. Chase Ink still offers 80k just with the bonus and its transferable 1:1 to lots of airlines. I think I'm going to pass on the Marriott card just...
by BeneIRA
Sat May 19, 2018 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Priceline hotels?
Replies: 16
Views: 2171

Re: Priceline hotels?

I use Express Deals somewhat regularly. Make sure you stick with 8+ guest rating, for sure. Some great deals to be had, especially in expensive cities.
by BeneIRA
Fri May 18, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I want to get CSR . - I have CSP for which I have received a bonus more than 2 years ago. - I am under 5/24. - I have other Chase cards that can keep my URs. Question-1 : After I cancel CSP, how soon will I be able to get CSR with bonuses? - One of the bloggers had a recent discussion on this topic...
by BeneIRA
Fri May 18, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Any thoughts on IHG devaluing the free night to just those under 30,000 points and I think the annual fee is going up to $89 from $49? Also, thoughts on changes with SPG starting 8/1? should you convert your spg miles before then? I'm okay with the IHG devaluation. 30k points is still a good deal i...
by BeneIRA
Tue May 15, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card with no credit history
Replies: 15
Views: 953

Re: Credit card with no credit history

Discover IT is a good place to start since the rewards are competitive and Discover is not too strict about approving people with little credit history. American Express is also very loose with their standards for approving someone, so you also may want to start there. Capital One is another one tha...
by BeneIRA
Thu May 10, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B sticker shock - should I appeal
Replies: 7
Views: 1405

Re: Medicare Part B sticker shock - should I appeal

Have you looked into dropping your and spouse's coverage with the former employer, since your portion will be effectively useless and you are only keeping the coverage for her, then using a qualified life event, since your spouse is losing group health coverage under that scenario, to hop onto ACA f...
by BeneIRA
Thu May 10, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?
Replies: 48
Views: 4964

Re: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?

I would probably take London since it has quite a few low cost carriers which would make plane travel easy, but you would probably want more than a day wherever you go from there. Rome would be great as far as things to do and some day trips are possible from there. In Italy, I would take Florence ...
by BeneIRA
Tue May 08, 2018 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?
Replies: 48
Views: 4964

Re: Which City to spend 4-6 weeks?

I would probably take London since it has quite a few low cost carriers which would make plane travel easy, but you would probably want more than a day wherever you go from there. Rome would be great as far as things to do and some day trips are possible from there. In Italy, I would take Florence o...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 07, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: COBRA: Anyone know if you qualify if you resign?
Replies: 13
Views: 1273

Re: COBRA: Anyone know if you qualify if you resign?

If your company offers COBRA, yes, you will be eligible if you resign. The only exception is “gross misconduct.” In all my years, I have seen that used one time. Let’s just say that person earned the designation through more than one illegal action. If that is not you, you will be offered COBRA as l...
by BeneIRA
Mon May 07, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can COBRA coverage be extended indefinitely?
Replies: 13
Views: 1381

Re: Can COBRA coverage be extended indefinitely?

It’s not COBRA, it is retirement coverage. COBRA is for 18 months, possibly 29 months, and sometimes 36 months.
by BeneIRA
Sun May 06, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best cash-back credit card right now?
Replies: 42
Views: 4872

Re: Best cash-back credit card right now?

I don't really want to travel anymore than I currently do, so I don't want airline points. I believe that mostly just leaves me with cash-back credit cards as a second best option right? So, for cash-back cards, and a person who has an annual CC spending of about $15,000, what gets you the most cas...
by BeneIRA
Thu May 03, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find out the beneficiaries, if any, of a 401K
Replies: 12
Views: 1525

Re: How to find out the beneficiaries, if any, of a 401K

Thanks to all; there were a number of good suggestions. We did check with my brother-in-law’s company, but seems they didn’t have any record of beneficiaries being assigned to his 401K, but there was the possibility that he had assigned them directly with Fidelity. He had designated beneficiaries o...
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score and Credit Cards
Replies: 20
Views: 1656

Re: Credit Score and Credit Cards

Credit Karma’s score is pretty worthless. If you want get approved, I would recommend Discover IT or any American Express card. They approve mostly everyone. Amex is actually accepted most places. Open an incognito window on the site and maybe apply for the no fee Blue Cash Everyday.
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees
Replies: 168
Views: 10904

Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

OP, I had a destination wedding. I knew what the downsides were, but my now spouse and I liked that much better than the alternative. We knew people wouldn’t be able to come and we were fine with that. We also had it on a weekday to further cut the cost. It ended up being, all/in, around $5,000 . I...
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees
Replies: 168
Views: 10904

Re: Wedding - financial burden on couple and attendees

OP, I had a destination wedding. I knew what the downsides were, but my now spouse and I liked that much better than the alternative. We knew people wouldn’t be able to come and we were fine with that. We also had it on a weekday to further cut the cost. It ended up being, all/in, around $5,000. If ...
by BeneIRA
Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA
Replies: 19
Views: 2189

Re: Retiring soon - health insurance planning Cal-COBRA

It will be hard to have this discussion without going off into politics. Please keep in mind forum rules prohibiting political discussion and proposed legislation. I am looking to retire in the next few months. My megacorp is one that does nothing for retirees beyond a minimal 401K match, so we wil...
by BeneIRA
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charles Schwab international ATM (worth the hard credit pull)
Replies: 25
Views: 1950

Re: Charles Schwab international ATM (worth the hard credit pull)

Lol... Dude... A hard pull affects scores a few points temporarily at most... Trust me on this one. I pull & review credit reports for a living Thanks. Wasn't sure how it might interact with frequent churning and number of open cards. Transunion doesn't seem affected but equifax seems to not like t...
by BeneIRA
Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best CashBack creditCard with no foreign transaction fee.
Replies: 23
Views: 2591

Re: Best CashBack creditCard with no foreign transaction fee.

If you want cash back and no foreign transaction fees, then pretty much you're down to the Capital One Quicksilver. I am assuming your foreign bill payments would earn 1% on any card, so may as well make 1.5%. The Freedom Unlimited makes no sense because of the foreign transaction fees of 3% complet...
by BeneIRA
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Next month, I will finally be under 5/24. I plan to apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. That will put me back at 5/24 again. I am wondering about any great cards in the past 24 months I have missed out on that I should be looking at now? Perhaps cards that count toward 5/24, but are still approve...
by BeneIRA
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much salary did you negotiate?
Replies: 20
Views: 2773

Re: How much salary did you negotiate?

In a standard salary negotiation, it isn't unreasonable to try and move up 10%, especially if you are worth that much. If the minimum salary you are willing to work for is higher than that, I would just throw it out there and be straight with the hiring manager/recruiter. If they say they can't do i...
by BeneIRA
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2713
Views: 531175

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

The Barclay Arrival Premier looks awful. I fully expect to cancel my Arrival+ when the annual fee comes due. Barclay perfectly created a card that is worth it to abuse in the first year and utterly worthless in year 2 and beyond. 2 Miles back that are hard to redeem versus a Citi Doublecash? Now it...
by BeneIRA
Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Investing
Replies: 24
Views: 2111

Re: Emergency Fund Investing

The wiki is a good resource for emergency fund information. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Emergency_fund
by BeneIRA
Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Rewards/Prague/Budapest
Replies: 14
Views: 894

Re: Travel Rewards/Prague/Budapest

In Budapest, the Gellert Baths are the more touristy, fancy for the sake of being fancy, baths. My wife and I very much preferred the Sizechenyi baths. They were one of our best experiences in Budapest, I could not recommend doing a bath enough. For dinner, Hungarikum Bistro on the Buda side is very...
by BeneIRA
Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it very hard to learn Spanish?
Replies: 65
Views: 4615

Re: Is it very hard to learn Spanish?

Spanish is the easiest. I tried learning French and it was quite a bit more difficult. I haven't become fluent because I have refocused on improving my Spanish. I highly recommend the Duolingo app for some more fun, at least to me, learning of languages to mix in with anything you're doing.
by BeneIRA
Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: U.S. stocks in freefall
Replies: 6683
Views: 1449615

Re: U.S. stocks in freefall

700 point DOW drop over time: January 20, 1995: 3,863. 700 point drop would be an 18% drop. January 14, 2000: 11,722. 700 point drop would be approximately a 6% decline. January 28, 2005: 10,427. 700 point drop would be a 6.7% decline. January 29, 2010: 10,067: 700 point drop would be a 6.9% decline...