Search found 213 matches

by essbeer
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card any good?
Replies: 61
Views: 4820

Re: Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card any good?

About the only thing I'd still charge on the CSP is parking garages, and even then I usually have better options. Bonus was nice but I will definitely downgrade when the time comes. I've got 4% (or better) options for dining, hotel, travel, entertainment, gas and groceries -- all no FTF. And once yo...
by essbeer
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody use Vanguard Advantage do you need 1 million to avoid fees?
Replies: 23
Views: 3518

Re: Anybody use Vanguard Advantage do you need 1 million to avoid fees?

Are they charging you for the Electronic bill payment? Haven't done anything with it expect for ACH push in and ACH pull out. My impression is that there are almost no Voyager Select clients who have this and my Voyager Select rep had never even heard of it. So it wouldn't surprise me if they didn'...
by essbeer
Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody use Vanguard Advantage do you need 1 million to avoid fees?
Replies: 23
Views: 3518

Re: Anybody use Vanguard Advantage do you need 1 million to avoid fees?

I've got VanguardAdvantage and, even though I'm only Voyager Select, they've never charged me the $30. Maybe someday they will, but I get the impression nobody is watching the store over there. Good for holding settlement funds for CC bills, but I'm never sure whether they will let me deposit checks...
by essbeer
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 85
Views: 12746

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

First I'm hearing about this card. I'm trying to figure out the catch. What am I missing? The points don't look attractive at all but the perks look like free money. This can't last, can it? The catch is you have to be able to qualify for it (high income or assets) and you are basically giving them...
by essbeer
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 85
Views: 12746

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

It's up to the banker, but plenty of people report being able to get the card even though they live out of the branch states. Some have even managed to get the card over the phone, but I think the bank put an end to that at some point.
by essbeer
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: $5500 purchase - which card to maximize on?
Replies: 13
Views: 1397

Re: $5500 purchase - which card to maximize on?

If you are planning on pursuing the bonus hobby, you might want to add a couple "keeper" cards to help your average age of accounts. You could hit the Wells Fargo no-fee Propel for $300 and still have enough spend to be in easy reach of the Savor for $500 as well.
by essbeer
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 85
Views: 12746

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Which one do you have in mind? If you are in a location with City National bank then it's Crystal card is considered the most valuable card -- $400 but with $250 in airline credits per AU, up to $1000. Otherwise it's the UBS card or the SunTrust card (Ritz-Carlton no longer accepts applicants) whic...
by essbeer
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Replies: 85
Views: 12746

Re: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Right, the Reserve is 4.5% through Chase portal (for travel). The annual fee is $150 net of the travel credit. The Priority Pass through CSR is the best in the business. At least 2 guests, plus primary, but usually we take the whole immediate family (4 total) for no charge. Our home airport has 3 &...
by essbeer
Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Tax Credit and H&R Block Software 2018
Replies: 9
Views: 860

Re: Child Tax Credit and H&R Block Software 2018

It's rendering 8812, but the whole sheet is blank for me.
by essbeer
Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Tax Credit and H&R Block Software 2018
Replies: 9
Views: 860

Re: Child Tax Credit and H&R Block Software 2018

Mine are elementary age. I assume this will get corrected on Jan. 3, but that could be too late if I need to realize extra income before the end of the year.
by essbeer
Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Tax Credit and H&R Block Software 2018
Replies: 9
Views: 860

Child Tax Credit and H&R Block Software 2018

Estimating my 2018 taxes and I seem to be running into some sort of error with the H&R Block software. The refund reveal is saying I'm not eligible for the Child Tax Credit, despite owing more than 4K and having two children under 18. When I look at the CTC worksheet it seems like I am eligible ...
by essbeer
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4958
Views: 949398

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Is that different from opening CSR right away getting the benefits and then downgrading to a Freedom card? No need to wait for a year with CSP to become eligible for an upgrade. You have to wait a year when upgrading to a more expensive card, at least that is what I'm told. The CSR will be a more e...
by essbeer
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4958
Views: 949398

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

What I'm thinking is maybe apply for the CSP and use that for the first year, then *maybe* product change it into a CSR the second year. Reasons: First year annual fee is waived on the CSP ($0 vs. $450), the sign-up bonus is the same (50K UR) and as I mentioned earlier, my "Player 2" alre...
by essbeer
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?
Replies: 43
Views: 3157

Re: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?

Barclays is supposed to have an option for overnight shipping on a new card for something like $15. The Uber card has no FTF, plus bonuses on restaurants and hotels so it's a great travel card. Worth at least looking into that.
by essbeer
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?
Replies: 60
Views: 10169

Re: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?

FYI, for everyone who wants a restaurant card and is more interested in churning (high signup bonus) rather than long-term use, Cap One has revised their Savor card to offer a $500 sign up bonus. Also now offers 4% on dining. Free for first year, $95 a year after that. https://www.capitalone.com/cr...
by essbeer
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?
Replies: 60
Views: 10169

Re: Credit card question - get Uber's new 4%er?

For some reason people tend to forget that the Uber card has an extra $50 credit after spending $5000. So on the first $5000 you actually get 5% back on restaurants and 4% back on hotels and airfare, provided you can spend that amount.
by essbeer
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Review
Replies: 15
Views: 1538

Re: Credit Card Review

The AA card has no bonus on groceries, so I assume you meant restaurants. How much do you value AA miles at? Uber card gets you 4% on restaurants (5% at exactly $5000) so it's better if you value AA miles less than 2 cents per point. If you value AA miles less than 1.5 cents then the AA card isn't m...
by essbeer
Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1540

Re: Credit card advice

I think generally, if the age of this account is younger than your average age of accounts it will be a drag on your score until it falls off your credit report. If it's not it won't. If closing this account substantially increases your credit utilization you will get dinged for sure. But closing th...
by essbeer
Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Medallion Signature guarantee?
Replies: 46
Views: 6363

Re: Medallion Signature guarantee?

I've done it at my local Wells Fargo before. Took a while to find somebody at the branch who knew what I was talking about.
by essbeer
Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I think my father has a gambling problem
Replies: 78
Views: 7493

Re: I think my father has a gambling problem

The troubling part to me is that, after a year away, you came to visit for 4 days and your father left for half of that to be at a casino. I kind of feel like whether or not he was gambling responsibly is beside the point, he chose visiting the casino (a place he could visit any day) over a rare opp...
by essbeer
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score [What changes your credit score?]
Replies: 42
Views: 3880

Re: Credit Score

It makes sense to me, that when you get moved into a new group you will probably get dinged because there is greater uncertainty about how you will behave in your new group. For instance, when you are in the group of high credit utilizers you probably start at the bottom, but over the years with goo...
by essbeer
Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Credit Interest Rate Should I Expect?
Replies: 2
Views: 215

Re: What Credit Interest Rate Should I Expect?

Thanks. We've got a million in reserve, but the project bids came back at around 4 million and took everybody by surprise because there were some building code problems nobody anticipated.
by essbeer
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Credit Interest Rate Should I Expect?
Replies: 2
Views: 215

What Credit Interest Rate Should I Expect?

My HOA has a critical infrastructure need, and we are being asked to vote on whether to take out a loan as an association which the board said would be at around 6% for a 3 year loan or to kick the cost back to the owners as a special assessment. My open line of credit at one of my banks also curren...
by essbeer
Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit report question - expunging invalid derogatory marks
Replies: 10
Views: 1091

Re: Credit report question - expunging invalid derogatory marks

I've got derogatory marks on my credit report because a family member died and then she didn't pay her bill on time. I was merely an authorized user, so there doesn't seem to be a requirement that you are legally responsible for the unpaid bill. But this doesn't really seem to effect my ability to g...
by essbeer
Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: One more reason for Fidelity Visa
Replies: 15
Views: 3758

Re: One more reason for Fidelity Visa

My Visa Infinite card says it covers "valid and substantiated" loss of use charges by the auto rental company. I assume the only recourse the rental company would have would be to charge my credit card, and any charges that aren't valid or substantiated should be easily removed. My Barclay...
by essbeer
Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (most practical, low cost) Luggage for Airline Travel
Replies: 56
Views: 4729

Re: Best (most practical, low cost) Luggage for Airline Travel

Very few tourist attractions in Europe will check a bag anymore. If I take a suitcase of any kind I pretty much have to go straight to the hotel from the train/plane, which is almost never the best use of my time. I prefer the smallest, lightest backpack I can get away with. I can pack four changes ...
by essbeer
Sat May 05, 2018 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Score Question
Replies: 25
Views: 2763

Re: Credit Score Question

If your bank is Wells Fargo, they did change both the type of FICO score and the agency this month. At least they did for me. My score went down about 20 points or so.
by essbeer
Sat May 05, 2018 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to a Condo -- Educate me on Insurance
Replies: 10
Views: 1568

Re: Moving to a Condo -- Educate me on Insurance

Should be cheaper. Your condo owner's association will probably have rules about minimum coverage. You are probably required to keep liability insurance to cover building employees working in your unit. You are likely only responsible for damage to the interior, but check your condo docs to make sur...
by essbeer
Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 8478

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

This is outrageous! Is it? I was surprised that it happened in public schools, but it's the normal way every public institution in Houston is funded. Donors get perks, special access, and recognition. The district calls it's program for active parents the VIPS program, not very subtle. I'm absolute...
by essbeer
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 8478

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Probably about $2000/year. And we are borderline slackers, lots of parents contribute $10k+ per year. I honestly have no idea where the money goes, but there is a lot of peer pressure from the other parents to contribute. I once mentioned that I found $400 per person for a public school fundraiser ...
by essbeer
Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 8478

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Probably about $2000/year. And we are borderline slackers, lots of parents contribute $10k+ per year. I honestly have no idea where the money goes, but there is a lot of peer pressure from the other parents to contribute. I once mentioned that I found $400 per person for a public school fundraiser p...
by essbeer
Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: dad insists on gifting me all his money- help!
Replies: 23
Views: 4916

Re: dad insists on gifting me all his money- help!

I think you need to get an elder-law lawyer. There are certain types of annuities you can buy to help qualify for Medicaid, but you really shouldn't be trying to do this yourself.
by essbeer
Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealership oil change worth it?
Replies: 69
Views: 8951

Re: Dealership oil change worth it?

I've got an RX-8 and nobody but a Mazda dealership has a clue how to work on the thing, and even they are starting to get a little rusty. It's always worth checking the coupon page before you take the car into the dealership and it never hurts to ask for a discount on the quoted service, you will us...
by essbeer
Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?
Replies: 103
Views: 17669

Re: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?

The key word in "What isn't covered" is likely "Taxable" - as opposed to "tax-advantaged" plans such as traditional or Roth 401k and IRA plans, and HSAs. Nowhere in Federal Register :: Definition of the Term “Fiduciary”; Conflict of Interest Rule-Retirement Investment ...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?
Replies: 103
Views: 17669

Re: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?

I'm naturally very cynical. Traditional IRAs fall under the DOL Fiduciary rule and Roth IRAs don't. Hmm. What leads you to believe that? Traditional IRAs fall under the DOL Fiduciary rule and Roth IRAs don't. Hadn't heard that. Couldn't find it in Federal Register :: Investment Advice Fiduciaries a...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?
Replies: 103
Views: 17669

Re: Dave Ramsey over simplifying Roth vs. Traditional IRA?

Yesterday he told every single person to save for retirement in a roth. Even people with almost NO 401k savings at age 52. This is completely wrong based on effective tax rate at retirement. Possibly wrong based on marginal tax rate for some of those folks. Has anyone ever thought to call in to Dav...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defining "House Poor"
Replies: 299
Views: 23231

Re: Defining "House Poor"

If you have to live somewhere and pay rent or a mortgage (housing is a consumption), what makes housing any different than any other consumption? Why is no one vacation poor? Eating out poor? Car poor? Private school poor? Car poor is real, common even. There are plenty of brand new pickups parked ...
by essbeer
Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Defining "House Poor"
Replies: 299
Views: 23231

Re: Defining "House Poor"

Someone who is considerably poorer than their house would make them appear. Technically I think I'd be house poor under that definition, I'm fine with that.
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why open a taxable account?
Replies: 27
Views: 7560

Re: Why open a taxable account?

So I mean I could add myself online in a heartbeat but I just want to understand that after contributing a high amount to both of our 401Ks (hopefully maxing them out on our first full year of full time employment), maxing out both Roth, what is left to do on the brokerage account? Or conversely, w...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the impact of no more Roth recharacterization?
Replies: 37
Views: 5173

Re: What's the impact of no more Roth recharacterization?

We are dismayed with this change. Our business income has been too volatile to correctly predict taxable income until after the close of the tax year. So, to thread between ACA maximum and maximum conversion to Roth, we converted early in the year (best odds for the market rising since conversion) ...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's the impact of no more Roth recharacterization?
Replies: 37
Views: 5173

Re: What's the impact of no more Roth recharacterization?

The change has definitely made it more difficult to stay within a specific marginal tax bracket. For example, under old tax law the transition from 15% to 25% was expensive if you missed it, since additional dollars of ordinary income bumped from being taxes at 15 to 25% for federal PLUS an equal d...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?
Replies: 44
Views: 19842

Re: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?

But how the tickets prices are compared to other travel sites (Expedia..etc)? On the UBS site international travel is the exact same price, basically if you can find it on Expedia it's on the site. Domestic doesn't have Spirit airlines, which are usually the cheapest flights for me, but will have a...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?
Replies: 44
Views: 19842

Re: Should I consider a travel Credit Card?

The UBS Infinite still has a 100k points bonus for another month. It only cost 35000 points and has free authorize users, which makes it the cheapest Visa Infinite that I am aware of. Otherwise it's similar to AMEX and Chase Sapphire Reserve -- lots of the same travel perks. It offers 3x on air trav...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does it make sense to buy a condo/house in Texas?
Replies: 97
Views: 13747

Re: Should I buy a house, duplex/multiplex, or condo in Houston, TX? Any advice?

I'm with the rest of the "you should rent" chorus. After living in Houston the past couple years, I'd be a little skeptical of the safety of any condo you could scoop up for $60k. You could, potentially, get a nice condo for $60k in an historic building with a sky high HOA fee. The OP mig...
by essbeer
Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 4151

Re: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance

As always, a lot of very interesting, insightful responses. My biggest surprise was the comments about different rates for different military pay grades. I'm an honorably discharged E-5 that served 50 years ago and my lot in life has certainly changed considerable since then. I'm a bit surprised th...
by essbeer
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance
Replies: 156
Views: 14657

Re: I'm Cancelling My Home Insurance

I though homeowners insurance was usually required for umbrella insurance, car insurance too.
by essbeer
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance
Replies: 43
Views: 4151

Re: USAA 41% More For Car Insurance

I'm a veteran and I find the USAA veteran family's only gimmick more annoying than enticing. If I want a quote from them they want me to dig out my DD214 from 25 years ago. Like I'm applying for an actual veteran's benefit. Only then will I be allowed to purchase the super special USAA mutual fund w...
by essbeer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft
Replies: 23
Views: 3720

Re: cybertheft from brokerage and retirement accounts after Equifax identity theft

At UBS I can't do any kind of trades without personally speaking to my FA first and he has to make the transaction and I can't electronically transfer funds to any outside account unless I sign a big form and MAIL it in with a voided check for the outside institution. That's horse-and-buggy era tech...