Search found 1152 matches

by centrifuge41
Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southwest...getting the miles by year end
Replies: 30
Views: 3229

Re: Southwest...getting the miles by year end

Possibly consider a mileage run. Monitor the FT forum for opportunities. Doesn't exactly work in the traditional sense, since with Southwest, you earn points per dollar spent. 6 points/dollar for Wanna Get Away, and up to 12 points/$ for Business Select. Do you have a copious amount of Starpoints/M...
by centrifuge41
Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Least expensive iPhone
Replies: 65
Views: 5999

Re: Least expensive iPhone

Least expensive? Probably a used iPhone 1 on eBay or something. Just kidding I don't recommend getting something older than a 5 or 5s, if you are going with the new route. Disregard the iPhone 6 unless you need the 4.7" screen. The iPhone SE is cheaper and has the speed of the 6s (and the scree...
by centrifuge41
Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 4950

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

Mileageplus Explorer and Sapphire Preferred are the only $95 cards I know of that have primary auto rental collision damage waiver. That's really good. Of course, so does the Sapphire Reserve, and effectively, it is only $55 more than either card above, and comes with way more benefits for that price.
by centrifuge41
Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 4950

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

Citi Double Cash
Amex Blue Cash Preferred for 6% groceries, but only up to 6k/year of spend
Sam's Club mastercard for 5% gas and 3% dining, but only up to 6k/year of spend
by centrifuge41
Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 4950

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

I closed my Sapphire Preferred ($95/yr) and replaced it with a Sapphire Reserve ($450/yr). I expect to get the full $300 travel credit every year, making that a $150/yr fee (and, because annual fee is based on sign-up date, and travel credit is on calendar year, I'll get an extra $300 credit in the...
by centrifuge41
Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k question
Replies: 3
Views: 357

Re: 401k question

If you make 100k a year, and you contribute 6k (or more a year), the company will contribute in an additional 1200 a year into your account.

If you make 100k a year, and you only contribute 3k, then the company contributes in an extra 600 a year. You'd be leaving the other 600/year on the table.
by centrifuge41
Sun Oct 02, 2016 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?
Replies: 55
Views: 4950

Re: Credit cards that have annual fee's, do you have any?

I have some that aren't keepers. Just part of last round of churn: e.g. business gold, Chase BA card, Amex SPG card. These, I will close when the AMF comes up again. I have some that are keepers and I pay the AMF loyally. Barclay Aviator Red: $89/year. I got the US Airways card early enough that eve...
by centrifuge41
Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?
Replies: 124
Views: 13521

Re: Replace car battery after X years or wait till it dies?

Advance auto often has 35 or 40% online coupons. Sometimes it comes in the form of 50 off 125. My battery died recently. I got a jump, drove right to Advance Auto, and used my phone to order a battery for in-store pickup. There was no installer at that late hour (7-9pm range), so I just installed it.
by centrifuge41
Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Daughter will study abroad in ireland need advice
Replies: 28
Views: 3951

Re: Daughter will study abroad in ireland need advice

Freedompop has a free global plan for 200 minutes talk, 500 text, and 200MB data a month. Ireland is covered. I am not sure what it costs to bump up the plan to a larger size. Bring some credit card/s with no foreign transaction fee as mentioned. Maybe a no foreign transaction fee ATM card/checking ...
by centrifuge41
Wed Sep 21, 2016 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations
Replies: 60
Views: 4919

Re: Chicago Food/Restaurant Recommendations

It's always a debate as to what is the best deep dish pizza: there are fans of Lou Malnati's, and Giordano's. Fewer fans of Gino's East. True, Uno's invented deep dish, but the inventors moved on to Lou Malnati's. Debate away!
by centrifuge41
Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii anniversary trip suggestions
Replies: 33
Views: 3543

Re: Hawaii anniversary trip suggestions

Maui is most popular with a lot of people, but it is also really expensive. The beaches by Kanaapali and Wailea/Makena are nice, but they are not very white! They are more of a golden brown. Hawaii (Big Island) is not known for its beaches, but the beaches at Puako (Hapuna Beach State park, or the M...
by centrifuge41
Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas Savings?
Replies: 23
Views: 3105

Re: Gas Savings?

If you have Amexes, sometimes there are good Amex Offers. E.g. 5 off 25 Bed Bath Beyond, 5 off 25 Dollar General, etc. I'll use those to go buy fuel gift cards (often Shell or BP). I also enjoyed using discounted eBay gift cards to buy fuel gift cards on eBay, but they've taken away that ability a f...
by centrifuge41
Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Credit Score] Should I be opening up more credit card accounts?
Replies: 8
Views: 910

Re: [Credit Score] Should I be opening up more credit card accounts?

If you're not getting a mortgage anytime soon, then you might as well as use your good credit to your advantage. Maybe some big signing bonuses would be in order. Example: getting a Citi AA card for 50k points with no 1st year fee. Once the fee for 2nd year hits, change card to Citi Double Cash, whi...
by centrifuge41
Mon Aug 15, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Think Oregon 529 is *clearly* better than Roth - what am I missing?
Replies: 13
Views: 1567

Re: Think Oregon 529 is *clearly* better than Roth - what am I missing?

Don't forget that money in a Roth IRA is immune to FAFSA EFC (if that affects you), while 529 money is not.
by centrifuge41
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why is Etrade so slow? Transactions take 3-5 days
Replies: 10
Views: 3830

Re: Why is Etrade so slow? Transactions take 3-5 days

Same experience. ESPP via E-trade at a fortune 100 company. I think it's deliberate that it takes ~5 days from the buy date to showing up in the account (ready for sale). Then it takes a few days from when the sale is fulfilled to sitting in E-trade as liquid money. Then another few days to move the...
by centrifuge41
Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Canary Islands for a Wedding
Replies: 5
Views: 658

Re: Canary Islands for a Wedding

From BWI? Considering that the only tatl flights are KEF on WowAir, Heathrow on BA, and Frankfurt on Condor (charter/seasonal), I'd say BWI-LHR on BA, and then Las Palmas/Mallorca/Tenerife on Iberia Express. You could (theoretically) do one stop through Frankfurt too, but that's farther and you migh...
by centrifuge41
Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Fresh Diet closing down, owes us thousands of dollars
Replies: 32
Views: 5755

Re: The Fresh Diet closing down, owes us thousands of dollars

Don't discourage the OP. We used SunRocket for VoIP services when they went under. We charged back for the amount of services not yet rendered. Chase refunded the entire year's worth of service to us, for some reason.
by centrifuge41
Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE bonds vs 5 yr CD's vs iBonds
Replies: 10
Views: 2288

Re: EE bonds vs 5 yr CD's vs iBonds

Buffetologist wrote:So basically, it's a 20 year bond, with limited down protection in the case of rising rates. A twenty year treasury would get trounced in a rapidly rising interest rate environment.
Yep, think of it as a 20 year CD, with a huuuuge early cash-out penalty!
by centrifuge41
Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to Buy New Tires
Replies: 10
Views: 1226

Re: When to Buy New Tires

Sam's club also repairs tires for free for members - you don't have to have bought your tires there.
by centrifuge41
Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Alternatives to Retirement accounts
Replies: 4
Views: 835

Re: Alternatives to Retirement accounts

Roth IRA's allow for full withdrawal of principal (anytime any reason), and an extra 10k, for the purchase of a first home. No penalty. Better to heavily fund these tax-advantaged accounts, and bail some $ out later, than to have underfunded them. BTW, you can start withdrawing from 401k at age 50 w...
by centrifuge41
Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to Denver (Job) or stay in NoVA ?
Replies: 53
Views: 5726

Re: Move to Denver (Job) or stay in NoVA ?

jupiter_man, I would not take the new job. Financially, it does not make any sense. You get 3 years (300%) worth of salary NOW Versus 40% more money per year with NO GUARANTEE of how long you will last? If you can get a job with the same pay in NoVA, you immediately get 300% more money in your pock...
by centrifuge41
Tue May 31, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to North Carolina from NYC
Replies: 66
Views: 7698

Re: Moving to North Carolina from NYC

Definitely Morrisville. Same. If the job is in RTP, I recommend Morrisville or Cary. Apex is great too, but a little bit farther. There are fans of Chapel Hill (the town), but it's a bit more expensive than Morrisville/Cary, and last I checked, the crime rate is higher. That's a bit misleading thou...
by centrifuge41
Fri May 27, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I want a house with a pool?
Replies: 96
Views: 8930

Re: Do I want a house with a pool?

Long time ago, we lived in a house with a pool. The pool was "free" when comparing the house to comparables. We hired a person to come and dump chemicals in the pool every ~2 weeks or so. It was about $70 a month. Not sure about liability/insurance impacts. With a young child, be aware tha...
by centrifuge41
Thu May 12, 2016 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell Plans
Replies: 22
Views: 2494

Re: Cell Plans

Do you have to be on the AT&T network? Is Sprint ok? Sprint plans are given away for free nowadays (e.g. Ringplus and Freedompop). There's currently a Ringplus plan that's 3750MB, 3750 text, 3750 minutes, and you only have to pay a first time fee.
by centrifuge41
Thu May 12, 2016 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need barest, skeleton, almost non-existent cell plan.
Replies: 22
Views: 2088

Re: Need barest, skeleton, almost non-existent cell plan.

Ringplus Truly Free maybe? https://ringplus.net/

Anyway, Ringplus gives away free plans as large as 3750MB data, 3750 minutes, 3750 text. You just have to pay an initial load fee, and let them top you up if you hit 0 again. The difference with Truly Free is that you don't have to give them a credit card.
by centrifuge41
Tue May 10, 2016 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anxious About First Home Purchase
Replies: 12
Views: 1759

Re: Anxious About First Home Purchase

Ah, from seeing that both of you are federal gov't employees, I had assumed you were in NoVA or MD. But seeing the tax parity 529 state part rules that out! I'm not a personal fan of home ownership. Renting an apt has been super easy. If there's an issue, I go online and file a ticket. The next day,...
by centrifuge41
Mon May 09, 2016 1:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable Value Fund vs. Total Bond
Replies: 14
Views: 1857

Re: Stable Value Fund vs. Total Bond

1.23% is far too low. SEC yield on Vanguard's total bond market index (investor shares) is 1.96%. Go with the total bond fund.
by centrifuge41
Thu May 05, 2016 8:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is participation in this ESPP worth it? [Employee Stock Purchase Plan]
Replies: 13
Views: 1397

Re: Is participation in this ESPP worth it? [Employee Stock Purchase Plan]

It's definitely worth it. Once you establish a pipeline, it's not nearly as risky as you think. E.g. if you're there for 5 years: month 1 through 12: contribute, but not sell Month 13: you're buying at 15% discount off market price, while selling month 1's allocation at the market price. Month 14: y...
by centrifuge41
Wed May 04, 2016 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Things to do in Cincinnati
Replies: 13
Views: 1334

Re: Things to do in Cincinnati

Eat Skyline Chili, Graeter's ice cream, and Dewey's pizza. Go scope out the Mt. Adams neighborhood, and see the art museum!
by centrifuge41
Wed May 04, 2016 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short visit to Toronto
Replies: 33
Views: 2494

Re: Short visit to Toronto

Casa Loma, Ontario Place, Hockey hall of fame, Chinatown. Just some ideas. Not saying these are must-do's, and are more worth your attention than CN Tower, Royal Ontario Museum, etc.
by centrifuge41
Tue May 03, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4 Days in Iceland - May 2016
Replies: 44
Views: 5214

Re: 4 Days in Iceland - May 2016

No and no. During the course of a week, there was only a single occasion that we needed cash, for a small donation at a church. The only other time that we potentially would have needed cash is if we had decided to take a local city bus without buying a fare card in advance. If you pull too many Kr...
by centrifuge41
Mon May 02, 2016 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads TRAVEL?
Replies: 81
Views: 10314

Re: How to Bogleheads TRAVEL?

This is coming from a travel hacker, so take everything with a grain of salt > How do you book travel: all-inclusive packages or piecemeal? Almost always piecemeal > How do you book flights: cheapest available on kayak or with specific airlines based on loyalty/credit card programs? I have a valuati...
by centrifuge41
Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comparing MVNOs [Mobile Virtual Network Operator]
Replies: 2
Views: 402

Re: Comparing MVNOs

https://bestmvno.com/. Pretty good site that lists out various providers/plans, and lets you know which network each MVNO really rides on.
by centrifuge41
Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mosquito control for home
Replies: 29
Views: 2871

Re: Mosquito control for home

One of my friends looked into running one of these mosquito control operations (as a franchisee of the corporate). He stated that the company engineers the solution/spray, and that a similar spray isn't available from Lowe's/Home Depot.
by centrifuge41
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Aldi now accepts credit cards!!!
Replies: 65
Views: 8695

Re: Aldi now accepts credit cards!!!

Milk is about $1 cheaper per gallon than most places, but doesn't last as long. Even thoug I hate Walmart, sams club offers it for the same price and it usually lasts longer. I love Aldi, but I hand my milk purchases to Kroger, where I can get 1/2 gallon skim for 1.05. Aldi is a bit more, as is Wal...
by centrifuge41
Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Law School Advice
Replies: 89
Views: 10053

Re: Law School Advice

Ellie wrote:
pgi wrote:She likes contracts and sports law.
I went to a top 15 school

UT law? :D

Anyway, the posters here are giving great advice. It's a good idea to be cognizant/aware of what opportunities are out there, and who funnel into those opportunities.
by centrifuge41
Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are your thoughts on the "Golden Butterfly" portfolio?
Replies: 115
Views: 19352

Re: What are your thoughts on the "Golden Butterfly" portfolio?

No Swiss Francs? What kind of well-diversified portfolio is this! :D
by centrifuge41
Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?
Replies: 53
Views: 4229

Re: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?

The CVS/Walgreens etc white screen photos are quite amateur. Whichever customer service agent on hand takes your picture for you using the screen, and the camera, which has a box to meet proportions. Actually, I took one of those once for a visa for another country, and it was rejected due to too mu...
by centrifuge41
Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: University of Virginia vs University of Miami
Replies: 148
Views: 13800

Re: University of Virginia vs University of Miami

OK view from a non American (UK) who spent a week on a course once at UVA. This is a *fantastic* public university. The sense of history. The school spirit (especially around basketball I think). The alumni network in the mid Atlantic (that was all my course classmates). The undergrad business scho...
by centrifuge41
Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fund a 529 education account with pre-tax dollars?
Replies: 1
Views: 418

Re: Fund a 529 education account with pre-tax dollars?

Always post-tax for federal. Some states give state income tax deductions if you use their plan. Others give state income tax deductions if you use any plan.

WA has no state income tax. There would be no deduction for you for using any 529 plan.
by centrifuge41
Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?
Replies: 53
Views: 4229

Re: Passport photo DIY - anyone done it easily?

Agree, lighting is the hard part. If you have the right lighting/background, using epassportphoto is easy and free to create a jpg 4"x6". You can even manipulate that file to get 6 2x2 photos, if you prefer, before printing it at your favorite drugstore/club for dimes.
by centrifuge41
Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?
Replies: 87
Views: 8838

Re: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?

If OP is looking to live near Loudoun to be close to Dulles, bear in mind that Dulles is having difficulty and is shrinking. You can google it but here is one piece . IAD is by far best for long-haul international operations, of course. It's a UA hub, but sometimes, UA struggles with how much intern...
by centrifuge41
Sun Apr 10, 2016 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?
Replies: 87
Views: 8838

Re: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?

This will turn into a holy war between VA and MD residents. MD - more socialist government, no second amendment rights, higher crime, higher taxes. VA - personal property tax which can hurt if you own expensive vehicles, boats, motorcycles, RVs, etc. More comparable legally to TX than MD. 7 VA stat...
by centrifuge41
Sat Apr 09, 2016 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?
Replies: 87
Views: 8838

Re: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?

Annandale has some less dense parts that aren't on traffic corridors. Maybe that's why prices are more modest. Rockville is definitely outside the beltway But there are a couple of metro stations. Annandale is where you find the best (or at least, most abundant selection of) Korean restaurants in gr...
by centrifuge41
Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?
Replies: 87
Views: 8838

Re: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?

Mosaic district (Gallows and Lee Hwy) is really expensive. So are the condos/apt's that are just SW of Dunn Loring/Merrifield by the soon-to-be Harris Teeter. One of the buildings is called The Lanes, and it even has a bowling alley inside. Rents are 2400+ even for small ~850 sqft 2br apartments. Th...
by centrifuge41
Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?
Replies: 87
Views: 8838

Re: Dallas suburbs or Northern Virginia for me?

You're single but considering the suburbs? Why not consider uptown if choosing the metroplex, and Arlington (maybe somewhere between Ballston and Rosslyn) if considering NOVA? Arlington is nice, but probably too expensive for you. Dunn Loring is starting to get built up, and housing is much cheaper....
by centrifuge41
Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are personal mortgages inherently risky (rent vs own)
Replies: 16
Views: 1848

Re: Are personal mortgages inherently risky (rent vs own)

jjface, yes you are right. Of course, there's many layers of cost of home ownership. E.g. maintenance, HOA/condo fees, property tax, property insurance, etc. And a detailed analysis requires factoring these in alongside with just the mortgage (and what part is interest, deductible/not, vs. principal...
by centrifuge41
Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are personal mortgages inherently risky (rent vs own)
Replies: 16
Views: 1848

Are personal mortgages inherently risky (rent vs own)

Let's say that you are looking for a place to live. You can choose from a $400,000 unit, or you can rent the equivalent unit for $2500. If you purchase the $400k unit with 80k down, you need a 320k mortgage. By having the mortgage, you are taking on leverage. Leverage means inherent risk. Say, in 3 ...
by centrifuge41
Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Maximizing Credit Card Rewards
Replies: 39
Views: 4202

Re: Maximizing Credit Card Rewards

I've read it's better to transfer these points to Singapore Airlines or Korean Airlines because you can book rewards flights for ~10k less miles than transferring them to United. So how does that work? Do I just call Singapore or Korean Air and tell a booking agent that I want to use Krisflyer or S...