Search found 470 matches

by BeneIRA
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2815
Views: 561245

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Capital One Venture for every day purchases (2% miles on all purchases). AA Aviator and Delta Amex to get one-time miles and get perks like preferred boarding and one bag free. We had AA Citi to get the miles bonus, which we cancelled once we got the miles and now we have the Aviator cards. Will pr...
by BeneIRA
Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2815
Views: 561245

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Capital One Venture for every day purchases (2% miles on all purchases). AA Aviator and Delta Amex to get one-time miles and get perks like preferred boarding and one bag free. We had AA Citi to get the miles bonus, which we cancelled once we got the miles and now we have the Aviator cards. Will pr...
by BeneIRA
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews
Replies: 64
Views: 6684

Re: Don't trust Tripadvisor reviews

There are fake reviews everywhere, it's a fact of life. TripAdvisor is now on the razor's edge because they would love you to book a hotel from clicking one of their links to get a commission. A lot of the fake reviews are five stars where it is beyond obviously glowing. On the other hand, I have fo...
by BeneIRA
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy
Replies: 9
Views: 618

Re: PPO to HSA switch - Planned Pregnancy

You left out how much each plan costs for contributions from your paycheck. I know you won’t know 2019 for the next few weeks, but 2018 is a good guide. On its face, the HSA plan looks better without knowing the cost.
by BeneIRA
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mom died, financial guidance welcome.
Replies: 17
Views: 2715

Re: Mom died, financial guidance welcome.

I'm just digging into this topic so any guidance is welcome. I don't know what I don't know, so feel free to answer questions I don't even know to ask. I believe the following may represent the entire picture: 1. Small amount in an IRA (my sister was the beneficiary). 2. Life insurance policy from ...
by BeneIRA
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laid Off, Considering Multiple Options - Which Would You Recommend?
Replies: 39
Views: 5353

Re: Laid Off, Considering Multiple Options - Which Would You Recommend?

OP, from the HR side of it, your company is leaving you in a good situation. Most mega corps are far less generous. While someone in HR will never tell you there is a blacklist for employees on a lay off list, well, let's just say it is extremely difficult to find a position within the same company ...
by BeneIRA
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To Be or Not to Be...Married
Replies: 135
Views: 4655

Re: To Be or Not to Be...Married

If your Domestic Partner is on your health insurance, then the deductions are coming out as after tax, not pretax, so that is a lost benefit. You are also probably getting smacked with imputed income for having your DP on coverage, too, so that would be one small benefit of marriage.
by BeneIRA
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 no beneficiary option
Replies: 33
Views: 5985

Re: Capital One 360 no beneficiary option

Not being able to designate a beneficiary online, but requiring mailing or faxing a notarized form would have been impressive in the 90's, but in 2018, it is pretty ridiculous. I agree, but having recently been through account registration changes with Fidelity, Vanguard, Capital One 360, I can ass...
by BeneIRA
Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mega Downsize....
Replies: 91
Views: 8334

Re: Mega Downsize....

When in doubt, throw it out. It has served me well. Only a small handful of times over the years have I tossed something out and regretted it and I couldn't even tell you what those are now, so they must not have been important. Move to a smaller space. Ask yourself if you "need" an item. If it's on...
by BeneIRA
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars... just another tool unless your a tool.
Replies: 28
Views: 2606

Re: Cars... just another tool unless your a tool.

Even more nuts... insuring something that's worth over 35k! You're literally spending money to spend money. If it inevitably gets scratched in a parking lot or you run over a piece of metal, wood, etc or other scrap on the road most people will happily spend more money to keep their car looking lik...
by BeneIRA
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Odd credit issue? (took out loan for ring and credit drops 90 pts?)
Replies: 15
Views: 1026

Re: Odd credit issue? (took out loan for ring and credit drops 90 pts?)

There have been three to four posts in the past week about a credit score "mysteriously" dropping. What do almost all have in common? Credit Karma. Credit Karma is not a FICO score. It is a Vantage 3.0 score. Virtually no one uses that score for anything of any value, they use FICO. If you have acce...
by BeneIRA
Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions and experiences with Verizon Prepaid?
Replies: 14
Views: 1052

Re: Opinions and experiences with Verizon Prepaid?

I switched a month ago to the $40 plan and so far, so good. My main reason for switching was to get a plan I could use while traveling internationally. It is $10/day for each day you use it so to me not cheap but worth a try. A friend who just returned from the UK, however, said data was super slow...
by BeneIRA
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: UPDATE: Credit Card Fraud - $30K
Replies: 57
Views: 6620

Re: Credit Card Fraud - $30K

OP, Credit Karma's credit score isn't a real FICO score, it is Vantage 3.0, which virtually no one actually uses. I am sure your FICO score decreased as well, but not over 100 points. Best of luck getting this resolved.
by BeneIRA
Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opinions and experiences with Verizon Prepaid?
Replies: 14
Views: 1052

Re: Opinions and experiences with Verizon Prepaid?

Bogleheads seems like a good place for this. The spouse recently switched to Verizon Prepaid and I will be joining shortly. We have been bouncing around a couple MVNOs but getting tired of poor coverage of ATT and Sprint/Tmobile combined with "we don't work nights by Eastern time or weekends any ti...
by BeneIRA
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Braces: Keeping cost down and insurance questions.
Replies: 27
Views: 2409

Re: Braces: Keeping cost down and insurance questions.

Ortho is written in dental plans as a separate lifetime maximum, so to make it simple, you could start orthodontist services late in the year, say November, and make sure your child is covered on one insurance plan. Submit the full amount, I am sure the ortho will be more than happy to bill it, meet...
by BeneIRA
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score mysteriously dropped
Replies: 10
Views: 1132

Re: Credit Score mysteriously dropped

I received a notification that my credit score dropped 40 points! I am mystified. It's been in the 800s. I did have time open two trust accounts in the last two weeks, but they are at a bank where I have other established accounts. Do I call and ask? The last hard pull was 6 months ago What service...
by BeneIRA
Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?
Replies: 39
Views: 2694

Re: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?

Mad at the airline because of bad weather? Seems fair. I am not mad at the airline or anyone else. I consider delays as opportunities for adventures and antifragility enhancements. This trip was particularly rich in antifragile experiences: 1. On my way to BWI there was fire in my metro car. The tr...
by BeneIRA
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying car - help with closing the deal
Replies: 22
Views: 2468

Re: Buying car - help with closing the deal

Thanks to everyone that shared their inputs to my request on buying used cars. After internalizing the points, i shortlisted my wide range to just corolla, civic and just in case, prius/prius-c At this time found a 2016 corolla with about 45000 miles for about $13,000 (16) and a 2017 corolla with a...
by BeneIRA
Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Housing affordability - what is your take?
Replies: 74
Views: 7558

Re: Housing affordability - what is your take?

I am in a High Cost of Living Area as well, and unless house prices drop a fair amount, which seems to be inevitable at some point, I know I won't be able to buy a house. I read a rule on here to target a house that is three times your pre-tax income and that sounds about right. So if you make $120,...
by BeneIRA
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aqua Shoes for Beach
Replies: 16
Views: 1556

Re: Aqua Shoes for Beach

Looking for suggestions on a decent pair of water shoes to wear while at the beach. We have went through plenty of the cheap, under $10 versions, but they aren't very comfortable and don't last long. Would mostly wear them to protect the feet while in the ocean, but would prefer them to be comfy en...
by BeneIRA
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SPG rewards....sucks?
Replies: 24
Views: 2833

Re: SPG rewards....sucks?

The love affair with SPG points always baffled me, too. The actual redemptions at SPG hotels never seemed worth it and I always ended up transferring them to airline programs. I still have some that have been sitting around for a while and I will probably end up using them at a Marriott at some poin...
by BeneIRA
Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I pay off last student loan?
Replies: 8
Views: 762

Re: Should I pay off last student loan?

Dear Bogleheads, I have almost paid down more than $400k of student loans. I have $29k left at 2.96 percent. I have just enough extra cash for the first time where I can pay off the rest of the balance. I am already maxing our tax deferred but not much in taxable. The loans have been a HUGE burden ...
by BeneIRA
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Airlines measure checked baggages?
Replies: 33
Views: 2231

Re: Do Airlines measure checked baggages?

Long term, probably swap it out for a smaller bag, but you should be fine. I have seen quite a few airlines weigh bags, but not measure checked ones. Carry ons get put into the sizer.
by BeneIRA
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Budapest?
Replies: 22
Views: 1546

Re: A week in Budapest?

GAAP wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:37 am
The Hospital in the Rock is fascinating -- English speaking tour guides readily available.
Can’t believe I forgot Hospital in the Rock. I highly recommend it, too.
by BeneIRA
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A week in Budapest?
Replies: 22
Views: 1546

Re: A week in Budapest?

Budapest is a great place to visit. Cheaper than it probably should be. Definitely head to at least two of the baths, Széchenyi and Gellert, at least. The former is better and the latter is more touristy luxurious. Take a Danube River cruise and see Margaret Island. Definitely check out the Shoes on...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k matching
Replies: 33
Views: 2353

Re: 401k matching

401k matching is pretty straight forward. Usually it is something such as: 100% match up to a percentage. For instance. 100% match on the first 5% the employee contributes. You contribute 5%, they will contribute 5%. 50% match up to a percentage. For instance, 50% match on the first 6% the employee ...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare supplemental, etc.
Replies: 24
Views: 1569

Re: Medicare supplemental, etc.

I am surprised no one has asked, maybe I missed it, but are either you or your spouse actively working and have medical insurance through an employer (retiree coverage doesn't count)? If so, you can push off the decision for a bit since that coverage remains primary.
by BeneIRA
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Start CC Churning
Replies: 33
Views: 3941

Re: How to Start CC Churning

Jags is spot-on. If you don't know what you want, it is hard to know what cards you should get. If you are getting next to nothing in the way of rewards now, I wouldn't be opposed to opening a Chase Sapphire Preferred as long as you can easily meet the minimum spend and just start racking up Ultimat...
by BeneIRA
Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Pay Down Question
Replies: 37
Views: 2122

Re: Credit Card Pay Down Question

OP, you are spot on that he should just pay it off and not take it from the Roth. I will take the contrarian view and agree with Jags that a 0% interest credit card wouldn't be bad at all. If it can save the OP's friend $600-$800, well, that is more than most churners get with opening one credit car...
by BeneIRA
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time
Replies: 207
Views: 9979

Re: Toughest Purchase of my Life. Engagement Ring time

Get the ring. Check James Allen, which is better than Blue Nile. Search. The Truth About Diamonds who will show you what you don’t need to spend any money on and what you should focus on.
by BeneIRA
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turned down for credit card
Replies: 35
Views: 2881

Re: Turned down for credit card

American Express or Discover are your best bets. Amex, in particular, gives cards out like candy.
by BeneIRA
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 no beneficiary option
Replies: 33
Views: 5985

Re: Capital One 360 no beneficiary option

Not being able to designate a beneficiary online, but requiring mailing or faxing a notarized form would have been impressive in the 90's, but in 2018, it is pretty ridiculous.
by BeneIRA
Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card - Keep Getting Denied
Replies: 27
Views: 2189

Re: Credit Card - Keep Getting Denied

I have a friend who has been using an Amex charge card for a year not knowing his history isn’t reported to the credit bureaus. He pays this off every month. His credit score is ~640 and he has no debt outside of mortgage and vehicle. Called Amex to convert his charge card to a credit card and was ...
by BeneIRA
Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I ran out of credit card signups bonus...
Replies: 106
Views: 16099

Re: I ran out of credit card signups bonus...

JBTX wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:54 am
For those of you who do this a lot, do you typically go back for round 2 of the same cards?
For sure. And sometimes round 3, 4, etc. I would keep going with the Citi AA but they stopped sending me mailers, which makes me very sad.
by BeneIRA
Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are Credit Cards Actually Convenient?
Replies: 91
Views: 7150

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: 6170

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: 2733

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: 1130

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: 29
Views: 2686

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: 724

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: 2113

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: 2113

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: 2815
Views: 561245

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: 2815
Views: 561245

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: 2815
Views: 561245

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: 3219

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: 1866

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: 1072

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: 2815
Views: 561245

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: 2815
Views: 561245

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...