Thursday, July 17, 2014

You Can Still Apply for a US Airways Credit Card

Even though US Airways and American Airlines have merged, it is still possible to apply for a US Airways credit card. Following the merger, the US Airways brand will eventually be retired. Even so, there is still a limited opportunity to apply for The US Airways Premier World MasterCard® The card gives you 40,000 bonus miles after your first purchase, but it carries an $89 annual fee.

If you fly on either US Airways or American Airlines, this is still be a good deal because 40,000 miles is more than enough miles for a domestic a round-trip flight. The reason why there is some urgency for people wanting to take advantage of this offer is that the offer will certainly disappear when the US Airways brand disappears.

This US Airways credit card is issued by Barclaycard. The American Airlines version is issued by Citibank. To be honest, I had canceled both my US Airways and American credit cards a while ago. I had applied for them long before airlines started offering such generous sign on bonuses.

But if you don't fly on either US Airways or American, it is probably not a good idea to apply for this card. In that case, I suggest the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with no annual fee as it is my favorite travel card. Travel rewards can be used on any airline or actually for any type of travel. This one gives you 20,000 miles (approx. value $220) as a one-time bonus. They also offer the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World MasterCard which offers a 40,000 mile ($440) bonus, but has an $89 annual fee after the first year.

Let me know if you have US Airways MasterCard, or have other comments. Thanks.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Money Tips #6: Reduce Wasteful Spending

Over the years, PF Stock has collected numerous money and tax saving tips from readers. In this series of posts, I have compiled some of the best money tips that I've received, each categorized by topic. In addition, I am including other money tips from the internet and from my own experience. I hope that this will come in handy my readers. Today's topic:

Tips for Reducing Wasteful Spending
  • My best money saving tip is to reduce wasteful spending like cigarettes, liquor, eating out... and to coupon when you can... you will save money faster than one might think.
  • My best money saving tip is to reduce the amount of monthly bills you have to the smallest number possible. For example get rid of cable, you do not need it. You can get rid of all the monthly bills except electricity and phone.
  • I try to save my money because I am a college student.
  • My best money saving tip is to buy something even if you don't need it (except foodstuffs) when it's on sale, especially if you use it, because then you won't need to buy it when you need it.
  • A saving money tip I suggest is don't spend on unnecessary. Spend on needs, not wants!
  • One money saving tip is loose your cable company. With today's platform integration, who needs regular TV? There are so many free options with internet TV and YouTube. I say who needs it?
  • Stock up when commonly used items are on sale.
  • Money Saving Tip~ BUY GENERIC EVERYTHING. Generic is just as good as brand name!
  • Lots of good tips. I try to buy whatever I need when it's on sale and try to save every extra cent I can, which is hard to do today with the high price of rent, etc.
  • I grow a garden in the summer and try to put up as much as I can to have fresh veggies and fruits during the summer and preserved food the rest of the year.
  • I set aside a food budget. I do not use any other money outside of the food money. It helps us plan better and get what we really need.
  • Shopping around and comparing prices... never buy right away!
  • My best tip is wait one week before buying any large ticket (non-essential) item. It truly gives you the time to think about the item and stops you from an impulse buy. It seems so simple but I have really instituted this rule in my life for anything over $100.00 and I have saved a large amount of money doing this. The time also gives you an opportunity to shop around and decide if you really need it and maybe, yes maybe, you forget about the item. If you do, you have saved money and realized eventually that it wasn't that important (when you think about it again in the future).
  • In addition to using coupons and shopping around to get the best price you should work to keep the things that you have in good working order so that they don't need to be replaced and get as much use out of everything as you can - for example, you can use less than the recommended amount of laundry detergent and still have clean clothes; you can use half as much toothpaste and still get clean teeth, reuse disposable items (with care, you need to be sure that they CAN be reused without harmful effects) or don't use disposable at all.

Also See:
PF Stock Money Tips #1: Use Coupons
PF Stock Money Tips #2: Credit Cards
PF Stock Money Tips #3: Taxes
PF Stock Money Tips #4: Shopping
PF Stock Money Tips #5: Organize Your Purchases

Thanks again to all of my readers who contributed most of these tips. If you have more money saving tips, please share them in the comments below. Your tip may be featured in a future compilation.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Win an iPad

PFStock is doing it again! We are giving away another Apple iPad. This time there are two ways to enter: sign up for Personal Capital and/or Tweet about the giveaway.

Personal Capital is an account aggregation service like Yodlee or Mint. It is free to sign up. They will ask you for an Email address and telephone number. Someone with Personal Capital may try to contact you. If you are not OK with this, then don't sign up.

In order to enter the drawing, you must sign up for Personal Capital AND link at least one financial account to your portfolio (10 entries). I will also allow one entry for tweeting about the contest.

Sign up for Personal Capital by using the link, or by clicking the banner ad.

A winner will be selected approximately 3 weeks after the close of the contest. This is to allow time to verify valid entries with the sponsor. The winner will receive a new Apple iPad mini (16GB, WiFi version). The winner also has the option to select a $300 Amazon gift card in place of the iPad.

Update: The iPad giveaway is now over. Thanks everyone for entering. The winner will be drawn after all entries have been validated. Thanks everyone for entering.

If you have any questions, please Email me. Good luck to everyone!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Create a Budget in Less Than an Hour

If you’re looking to become financially secure, the first thing you need to do is get a good understanding of your current finances. In order to do this you’ll need to work out a budget. It’s actually pretty simple to create one.

By following just a few simple tips you could have a detailed budget ready within one hour.

Working out your incomings and outgoings
The first step to creating a budget is to write a list of all of your outgoings and your incomings. That way you’ll soon see whether you’re spending more than you’re earning.

It’s important to write absolutely everything down. Include not only your bills, but your daily spending too. How much do you spend on food and entertainment? Do you allow yourself small treats on a daily basis? It can help to keep a diary for a week and see exactly how much you’re spending.

The Money Advice Service offers free useful calculators to help you work out where your money is going. Using online calculators is a great idea as it saves you a lot of time and effort. It will automatically calculate the total and show you exactly how much money you have left over.

Making adequate savings
Once you know exactly what’s coming in and going out, you can then work out where you could potentially save money. For example, could you save on those daily expenses? Instead of driving to work every day, could you share a car some days to save money? There are many ways you can cut back on your budget; you sometimes just have to think outside of the box.

As well as cutting back, you may also be able to figure out ways to earn a little extra money. If you have a creative talent, you could use it online to bring in a little extra income each month. Web designing, photography, wedding planning and writing are all talents that can be used to bring in a little extra.

Dealing with unexpected outgoings
Your budget isn't going to be the same every month. Every now and again you’ll come across unexpected emergency bills that need to be paid. If there isn't enough money in your budget to accommodate them, you may want to think about taking out a payday loan.

Designed for short term cash flow problems, payday loans can give you the money you need the same day you are accepted. It takes just a few minutes to apply for a loan from lenders like From lenders like However this would only be advisable in an emergency, the more prudent course is of course to try your best to budget for these unexpected events. This is best dealt with by budgeting a percentage of your earnings towards the clich├ęd ‘rainy day’ - this is money that you put away for these kind of emergency payments, the priority is that the cash must be in an account that is easy for you to access as soon as you need it, which means you’ll be omitting this cash from investments and high interest savings accounts (which will penalise you if you make a bulk withdrawal more often than not.)

Often you don’t realise just how much you’re spending until you start adding it up. A budget is a great way to stay on top of your finances and make necessary improvements. Writing down a list of your outgoings and incomings is the easiest way to work out how much available cash you have left over each month.

If possible, it’s recommended you save a portion of the leftover funds for times of emergency. This isn't always possible, but once you've made cutbacks to your overall spending, the money you save could easily build up over time.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Money Tips #5: Organize Your Purchases

Over the years, PF Stock has collected numerous money and tax saving tips from readers. In this series of posts, I have compiled some of the best money tips that I've received, each categorized by topic. In addition, I am including other money tips from the internet and from my own experience. I hope that this will come in handy my readers. Today's topic:

Tips for Organizing Your Purchases
  • Coupon, and organize with a list - the time invested will be worth it.
  • Always make a list and never ever buy on the spot for big purchases.
  • Always use your grocery store's discount card and always look for coupons before you go shopping.
  • Carry your store affinity cards in a coin purse, separate from your wallet. This way, all of your store cards are all in one place and easy to find.
  • Make a list before shopping and stick to it. Resist those impulse buys.
  • My best money saving idea is to take a list when you go shopping and stick to it.
  • Stay out of stores! Only grocery shop with a list - and stick to it.
  • I sign up for loyalty rewards from my favorite stores. Besides that I earn points whenever I use it, I also get special discounts.

Also See:
PF Stock Money Tips #1: Use Coupons
PF Stock Money Tips #2: Credit Cards
PF Stock Money Tips #3: Taxes
PF Stock Money Tips #4: Shopping

Thanks again to all of my readers who contributed most of these tips. If you have more money saving tips, please share them in the comments below. Your tip may be featured in a future compilation.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How Could You Save by Refinancing Your Home Mortgage?

Our homes are generally our biggest assets and they may come to our aid in many occasions. Owning a home increases your statue and it would be even nicer if you owned your home outright. However, you achieve this goal faster if you manage to save money today. Most of the time, it would be cheaper to borrow on your home equity than any other loans because of the underlying security.

A home loan is a long term commitment but that doesn’t mean you cannot replace it with a better one. This could make sense if you are still saving money after all the costs of switching taken into account. Even small savings can add up over time considering you would be paying interest for years. Here are some of the ways how refinancing a home mortgage can save you money.

Putting a Cap on Your Monthly Payments
There are many mortgages in place with adjustable interest rates that fluctuate from month to month. Low interest rates offer a great opportunity to fix your rates so that you know exactly how much you will pay each month. You will stand to lose if the rates go down even further but you will be well protected if they go up.

The main problem is that fixed rates could be slightly higher than current flexible rates. This is the price to pay for peace of mind of keeping the same monthly payments. Another option is to get a flexible mortgage with caps on rates in that rates can go up and down along the lines of underlying interest but it cannot go up more than pre-fixed ceiling rate.

Taking Advantage of Low Interest Deals
Many lenders offer special incentives for several years when you take a new home loan. Many people are attracted to those initial low monthly payments. So, it comes as a big surprise when the interest rates and monthly payments suddenly shoot up. This would be a good time to look around and see if you could find savings. A new provider is likely to offer similar incentives as well that can be used to offset the refinancing costs.

This time you should have a longer view and check carefully as to what will happen after the discounted rates end. If you are not going to go for fixed rates you should find out how wildly your rates can fluctuate. There are mortgages that are set as base rates + a certain margin of interest. For example if the base rates are 1% and the margin is 2% you pay 3% interest and this changes to 4% if the base rate goes up to 2% and vice versa.

There are many reasons why people would end up with a bad mortgage deal in the first place. One of the reasons is that you get all excited about owning a home and you overlook a few points. Another one is to have a poorer credit score at the time and can only get mortgage from certain companies. This wouldn’t be a problem if you managed to keep your payments and improved your credit score. As soon as you see a good deal you can rearrange your home loan for the better and save money

Paying Off Home Mortgage Earlier
There are many ways of saving money. Paying more towards paying off debt earlier is like putting money in the bank because you will have larger and larger equity at your home each month. Early payments can be achieved in two ways. You can either make lump sum payments as and when you have money. However, we tend to spend money before we even know it. So, if you are not confident about achieving your saving goals this way, it may be better to reduce the term of the loan by paying a bit more each month.

You don’t really need to refinance to reduce your mortgage term with some lenders. It is possible to talk to your provider and switch for a better product and reduce the term of the mortgage in the same time. While talking to other lenders don’t forget to talk to your own lender. Initially, they may not give way, but they may change their mind when they realize you are going to leave them. If they don’t you could still go with the best option for you but with another company.

How Else You Could Save Money?
The next money saving opportunity could be looking at your insurance arrangement. People achieve large savings on their home and automobile insurance every day especially when they buy both policies from the same provider. When you are getting your home loan make sure that you are not tied down for your home insurance. Both your lender and financial advisor may try to steer you toward the products they are affiliated with. Check your options carefully before making your mind.

When you can control your main outgoings you can budget better for the future. Many people go to considerable trouble to save a little money. They cut coupons, give up eating out and even leave home with a mug of coffee instead of picking their coffee on the way from their favorite vendor. However, they do nothing about possible large savings they can get with refinancing, switching home and car insurance providers.

About The Guest Author
This article is written by Joe Moore who comes from financial services background. He currently helps building an auto insurance forum called Talk Car Insurance.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Citi Dividend Card Q2 2014 Categories

I had written before that I have a Citibank Dividend MasterCard. One of the benefits of this card is that it offers 5% cash back on rotating categories of merchants. The main problem I have with this arrangement is that I always forget which categories are currently offering 5% cash back when I am at the store. As a result, I often miss out on the bonus dividend dollars. In order to help me remember, I have decided to post the categories which change every three months here.

For Q2 2014, you will earn 5% for purchases from:
  • The Home Depot
  • Home Furnishing Stores
  • Home & Garden Stores

Note that "Q2 2014" means from April 1 - June 30, 2014. Also note that even if you have a Citi Dividend Card, the enrollment is not automatic. You have to login and sign up for this offer at the Citibank website.

See also Discover Card Q1 2014 Cash Back Bonus Categories.

PF Stock