Archive for Deals

FREE (almost) weekend rental from Avis

Posted in Avis, Car Rental, Deals with tags , , on March 26, 2013 by getgowing

Good through June 30, 2013, you can get a free 2-day weekend rental from Avis by inputting the following code in the Coupon field:

TUEA002

It requires at least a Friday night.  Many locations are showing as unavailable so get on it fast.  There is almost no risk since you can cancel your reservation later.  I don’t really have a need for a weekend rental between now and then, but I did pick up a rental just for fun this weekend.  Full size Impala or similar for $7.60 for 2 days!  If you rent from a non-airport facility it will be even cheaper.  Have fun!

Gas money savings results, and free Delta ticket giveaway

Posted in Credit Cards, Deals with tags , , on September 8, 2012 by getgowing

In January I wrote about the possibility of saving up to 8% on gas for life. Here are the results from what I did:

  • I purchased $1,200 in BP gas cards.
  • Those gift cards in return got me 348.981 gallons.

Again, using those gas cards let me pay the cash price instead of the credit price. At every fill-up, the cash price was $0.10 less than the credit price. Had I filled up using a regular credit card paying credit prices, I would have spent $1,234.90. (I kept a spreadsheet of every fill up noting what the cash price, credit price, number of gallons, and total sale of fuel was.)

I saved $34.90 or 2.83%.

But at the time American Express was offering a 5% statement credit on all BP purchases, so I effectively only spent $1,140 (a 5% rebate of $1,200 is $60). That translates to a savings of $94.90.

I actually saved $94.90 or 7.68%.

These savings can be reproduced indefinitely if a few conditions are met:

  • You usually pay with a credit card (to earn miles/points of course) and there is a discount for paying cash
  • Using the company gas card is like paying with cash
  • Your credit card offers at least a 5% return for gas purchases

There are several cards that currently offer 5% cash back for gas purchases. Discover, Chase Freedom, and the PenFed Platinum. The Discover and Chase Freedom offer 5% only during the 1st and 3rd quarters of the year, and is capped at $1,500 for each of those quarters. $3,000 a year total for those two cards. The PenFed Platinum Gas cards have no limit, so if you purchase more than $3,000 a year in gas, you may want to consider that credit card.

On this particular deal, I did a little better than $94.90 in savings since I also earned 2,400 Membership Reward points.

Free Delta Ticket Giveaway

From my post yesterday, I have an unused companion certificate that is going to expire at the end of the month. Along with the free companion certificate, I am also including two “Have One on Us” certificates good for one alcoholic drink or non-perishable food item. For more information and how to claim this free companion ticket, read my post “Free airline ticket giveaway!

Save as much as 8% on gas for life

Posted in American Express, Credit Cards, Deals, Promotion with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by getgowing
 
Let me preface this post by saying,I LOVE AMERICAN EXPRESS!

My relationship with Amex has brought me tons of benefits, and this one is just more icing on the cake.  Through 1/31/2012, American Express is offering 5% reimbursement on all purchases from BP (and also assuming Arco, though I personally haven’t tested it).  Only 3 days left, get in on it soon; register your Amex card here.

Now to lock in this savings for as long as you can afford to, up front, go to a BP gas station and ask to buy prepaid gas cards.  If you try to buy the gift cards online, you may not get the 5% reimbursed as it seems BP’s gift card purchases online are handled by a third party, and your purchase may not show up on your statement as a BP purchase.  The great part about these BP gift cards is that if you live in an area where they charge a different gas price for cash purchases and credit card purchases, these gift cards allow you to pay the cash price.  If you always purchase gas with a credit card (as I do, gotta rack up them points & miles), then this is a way to save up to 8% on your gas purchases, AND get the points for them too.

Double MR points if you are buying them with the Amex Premier Rewards Gold card.  If you don’t have one and want to get one, leave a comment below with an email to contact you (or email me at getgowing@gmail.com and I can give you a referral link that is better than the current public offer.  It is first $175 annual fee waived, and 25k MR points after only $2,000 spend in 3 months.

If you’re in a full service state, make sure your attendant charges you the cash price before they start pumping.  So if you’re willing to invest and pay in advance your gas for the rest of the month, year, or many years, this is a way to keep your gas prices a little lower.

For the math proof continue reading.  Otherwise, feel free to tell your friends about this post and save them money too!

Last week, a local BP station was charging $3.15 for cash, $3.25 for credit.  If I buy $1000 in gift cards, I will get a statement credit of $50 reimbursed from Amex.

$1,000 in gas at $3.259/gallon = 307.692 gallons

$1,000 in gas at $3.159/gallon = 317.460 gallons

But since I effectively only paid $950 for the 317.460 gallons, I paid $2.992/gallon.

($950/317.460 gallons = $2.992/gallon)

Since I usually pay the credit price, I just saved 26.7¢ per gallon.

($3.259 – $2.992 = $0.0267)

Saving 26.7¢ is approximately saving 8.2% per gallon off of the regular price of $3.259 per gallon.  Of course gas prices fluctuate, so the savings will vary as well.  But its still a significant enough of a savings that I’m definitely going in as much as I can to maximize this deal.

Stacking deals to increase your miles / cash-back bonus

Posted in American Express, Big Crumbs, Credit Cards, Deals, Evrewards, Miles, Promotion, Travel Tips, Websites with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2011 by getgowing

In 13 days, I will be arriving in Tokyo for my trip to Japan.  And after Japan, I’ll be heading to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands.  Since there will be a decent amount of non-flying travel involved here, I want to use this trip to try out backpacking through these areas instead of lugging a suitcase around everywhere.  Last time I went to Japan, I was lugging two suitcases through the Tokyo subway during rush hour.  First and LAST time I ever do that again.  So I did my comparing, shopping, test-fitting, and was ready to purchase, what I think, is the perfect backpack for me.

Whenever I buy anything online, I’m not trying to just find the best price….I’m also looking to maximize my mileage earning potential (or cash-back bonus potential) while paying the best price I can find.

I first use Google, Yahoo, or Amazon to find what site has the best price.  In this case, Campmor.com was the cheapest, by about $39.  Next I take note of the other sites that were more expensive.  Many businesses will match, or even beat, a price a competitor offers for the same item.  Even if a business doesn’t advertise price matching, many times if you call them, they will do it for you anyway for the possibility of repeat business from you.

Now I have a pool of a few sites where I can buy my item for around the same cheaper price.  I next check to see if my credit cards have them as a vendor in their online shopping malls (like: ShopDiscover or Membership Rewards Shopping) where I can get extra points/cashback/miles just for shopping through their online mall.  Also I will check if any hotel or airline programs offer deals like 4 points/$ or 3 miles/$ for spending through their link of a site.  A GREAT site to compare all of these at once is evreward.com!  It’s still in beta, but it compares all these deals so you can see how much bonus you can earn on your purchase, and handpick what you want to use.

Evreward.com search for eBags

Lets say in this exercise, you are trying to maximize your mileage earning (instead of cash back).  Recapping:

  • Negotiated a cheaper price through price matching
  • Earning miles by making a standard purchase on your mileage earning credit card
  • Earn BONUS miles by making the same purchase through the airline’s website

So instead of buying in a brick-and-mortar store, you buy online, hopefully save yourself from paying sales tax, probably get free shipping, and earn a handful more miles doing so.

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BUT WAIT, there’s more!

If you know in advance you will be making a big purchase, or if you don’t but are a habitual shopper, you should go through another site to reap some cashback rewards from a certain site, as well as all the bonuses from above.  That sentence was a little vague, sorry.  Big Crumbs (link is one paragraph later), offers cash back on purchases made through vendors on its site, even on purchases on eBay, and signup is FREE!  But where you can get a triple dip from this site is that they offer cash back on gift cards!  SO….

  • Using your mileage earning credit card, buy an American Express gift card from Big Crumbs(1.6% cashback)
  • Negotiate that price match to a cheaper price
  • Shop through your airline’s online shopping mall to earn bonus miles
  • Use the gift card to purchase the item
If you like what you have been reading on this blog, or even if you don’t, please help me out and use my referral link to sign up for Big Crumbs.  Just use my link or click on the banner below.  Besides gift cards, they have some crazy awesome rates for other vendors, like 36% return on fees from eBay, or other stores/services that give upwards of 40% back!  And as your cash back builds up, payouts occur monthly.  (Original post continues beyond the banner)

Lets make some assumptions to give you real world numbers.  Be forewarned – math intensive from here to the end.
You are buying a $1,100 TV.  You are able to price match it on a competitor’s website for $1,000.  Your mileage earning card earns 1 mile/dollar.  Your airline’s online shopping portal gives 5 miles/dollar for shopping through them.

Scenario 1 (buying with no regard to what I have talked about here):

  • Investment:  Spend $1,100
  • Return:  Gain 1,100 miles for using your mileage earning credit card
Scenario 2 (using these techniques to maximize return):
  • Investment:  Spend $1,000 + an hour of time for research
  • Return:  Gain 1,000 miles for buying a gift card on Big Crumbs.  Gain $16 (1.6% cashback) on  your $1000 gift card from Big Crumbs.  Gain 5,000 miles for buying through your airline’s online shopping mall.  In total = (1,000mi + 5,000mi) + $16 cashback = 6,000mi + $16 !!!
Scenario 1 vs. Scenario 2:
Scenario 1 you gain one hour of work.  Scenario 2 you lose one hour of work.  But you gain $116 and 4,900 extra miles.  Is an hour worth $116 and 4,900 miles to you?  I’d take a job that pays ~$116/hour in a heartbeat.

However, this is not what I did when I bought my backpack.  I chose a slightly different route.  Because of the recent British Airways Chase Visa credit card signup bonus I wrote about, I now have 100,000 miles with British Airways.  And I also have a plethora of miles with Delta.  Now, one of my new adventures that I want to take is a true long-haul First Class experience.  Delta doesn’t have any real first class in their fleet, and therefore doesn’t allow any first class redemptions on any partner airlines either.  That is not the case with my British Airways miles, however.  I plan on flying First Class on Cathay Pacific to Asia, which will cost me 150,000 British Airways miles.  That is in addition to the backpacking trip through South America that I want to take in Business Class on LAN Airlines which will cost 80,000 British Airways miles.  So I need to get to 230,000 miles on British Airways somehow.  (Let’s not forget the extra 50,000 Membership Reward Points I was given just for making a phone call!)  My options are:

  1. Spend on my British Airways Chase Visa credit card which earns 1.25mi/dollar
  2. Spend on my American Express Platinum card which earns 1 Membership Reward point/dollar
I can transfer my AmEx points to British Airways, 1 point = 1 dollar.  This would be a no brainer, since with my Amex I’m essentially only getting 1 mi/dollar vs. BA Chase getting 1.25 mi/dollar.  BUT American Express is running a promotion, now through July 31, 2011, where you will get a 50% bonus on any transfers to British Airways.  Now the AmEx gets 1.5 mi/dollar if I transfer before July 31.  So I’m going to be using my AmEx to buy my backpack.

The backpack costs $279 full retail.  And I found that most stores are charging that much.  I did find one store Campmor.com, that sells it for $239.98.  Sweet.  Now I have a significant price difference to get it matched to.  After contacting several stores, the best price I could work out is either from Eastern Mountain Sports, or eBags.  Both offer free shipping.  EMS has physical stores in my state and all the nearby surrounding states, so I’d have to pay sales tax on my bag.  eBags is online only, so free shipping and no sales tax.  I was able to negotiate EMS’s price match lower, so that after sales tax, I would be paying the same, about $239.  I went with eBags because you get a 5% rebate on all purchases which you can redeem on a later purchase with them.  Not sure if I will ever use them again, but at least its something more than EMS offers.

At this point, I have all I need to come out ahead of the curve with this purchase.  BUT, if I shop through American Express’s Membership Rewards shopping mall (but also requires the use of my card attached to my account, not a gift card) I can earn 4x bonus Membership Reward points!

So I could earn 4 MR points/dollar, with a transfer bonus of 1.5 mi/point, comes to a whopping 6 MILES / DOLLAR!  I already feel like a million bucks.  BUT…..I actually will get even more points than that.

The price match guarantee policy for eBags is that you buy your item first, then if you find the same exact item in stock from another site within 10 days of purchase, they will reimburse your credit card the difference.  So I will still get the 6 mi/dollar for the original purchase, then get back $39.02 for the price difference.  Here’s the math:
Investment = $279.00-$39.02 = $239.98
Return = ($279.00 x 4 MR shopping mall bonus) x 1.5 AmEx/British Airways transfer promo = 1,674 British Airways Miles
Overall miles per dollar = (1,674 / $239.98) = 6.975 Miles / Dollar

I think I did pretty well compared to just using the British Airways Chase card at only 1.25 Miles / Dollar.  Now in actuality, American Express will probably take away 39 Membership Reward Points ($39.02 rounded down) because it thinks that the $39.02 reimbursement is a return.  In that case, I will only earn:

($279 x 4) – 39 = 1,077 points
(1,077 x 1.5) = 1,615.5 miles = ~1,616 miles
which would bring my overall to 6.73 miles / dollar.  Still a good deal.

Chicago-LA, Chicago-San Francisco $75 off

Posted in Airlines, Deals, Virgin America with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2011 by getgowing

Groupon has a deal on Virgin America where you buy $100 in airfare credit for $25.  Basically $75 off!

Here’s the Groupon

The Fine Print:

  • Expires Jun 30, 2011
  • Limit 1 per person. Limit 1 per visit.Terms and conditions apply. Must book travel by 6/30. Valid only for travel between 6/1-6/15 and 9/6-10/27.
Get in before it runs out!

Last day to apply for 100,000 mile British Airways Chase Visa card

Posted in Airlines, British Airways Chase Visa, Credit Cards, Deals, Miles with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2011 by getgowing

If you’ve been on the fence about signing up for the card, jump off and sign up!  The deal ends tonight at 11:59pm.  Again, even though the miles are on British Airways, you could redeem them on American Airlines good for FOUR domestic roundtrips in economy.  Or even TWO roundtrips to Asia on Cathay Pacific in economy.  Or a roundtrip to Asia with a stop in Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific in Business class.  That ticket alone costs upwards of $8,000.  Well worth it to me for the $95 annual fee.  Get it before its gone HERE.

Newark/Boston for $39 Roundtrip after tax!

Posted in Airlines, Deals with tags , , , on April 28, 2011 by getgowing

There are JetBlue flights available, seems mostly midweek, but $9 each way, plus $21 in taxes.  Starting from either city.  Seems to be between May 4-June 16.  Get ’em while they’re hot!!!  If you frequent Mega Bus, Bolt Bus, Greyhound, can be a quicker alternative!

$39 Roundtrip!

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