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Credit Out My Ears!

December 9th, 2013 at 06:58 pm

I was surprised to see that I already got two $25 credits from AmEx last Friday. (Fine print said it would take 90 days or something - why do they always say that? - it always seems to take a few days).

I was extra surprised because this particular credit card is the slowest one I have ever had as far as rewards. Except in this case!

We did remember to use the right cards. Dh spent about $50 on Christmas stuff and bought a $25 Amazon gift card. I bought a $50 Kohls card and a $25 Amazon gift card - both of which - Amazon cards - I consider "free" with the credits. (I could use some new pants for work - so got the Kohls gift card with that in mind).

I left our regular/usual credit card for last so we would not have to remember to use the correct card. Was just waiting to see if dh needed to buy some gift cards for his family. Well, it turns out his Grandma wanted him to order her gifts for the kids - about $50. So he will just pick up a third $25 amazon gift card for free. (I wasn't 100% sure if we would use that last one - so it was nice to use it for someone else's purchase - she will give dh back $50 later - and hopefully I get the last $25 credit in a few days).

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And... Happy Day! I got my first referral from Ting!! Thank you thank you thank you!! I told so many people about it, but since none of my in-real-life friends mentioned it I presume it was a referral from this blog. Someone anonymous in internet land??

Yay!!

From here on out all my referrals will be $25. I was super excited because only the first one is $50. See my last post for details about Ting and our experience so far. (You get a $25 credit too if you use my link).

As it stands, we have a $200 credit on our account, so definitely will not even get a bill for the first three months. Our early termination refund hit today - Ting paid 25% of it for us. I just submitted the receipt for that yesterday. Woot! & then I got that $50 today too. We already had $50 in Black Friday and referral credits from using someone else's referral.

I didn't lay this out in my last post: If we save $100 month x 5 months with early termination (our half of the family plan) that will pay off dh's new phone in NO TIME. As noted, we won't even pay anything to Ting for the first 3-4 months. & who knows, maybe we will generate a few more referrals by then.

{I wasn't sweating it because I got a credit card bonus to pay for the new phone, but looks like maybe I can use the bonus for something else instead? If the phone pays for itself very quickly?}.

One of those examples where it pays to terminate early. It's a racket - but it would have cost us a larger fortune to wait out the contract.

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Okay, so I FINALLY got my new Chase card.

Old game plan:

Was thinking of charging a property tax installment, fees and all, to get this card charged up. {Even though I cringed at the thought of the fees!} But I also expected to have received it a long time ago. This took forever!

In the end, I already ran my tax return and things were surprisingly breakeven. By some miracle we don't owe any taxes, even without paying December mortgage yet. So, phew! So, I decided NOT to prepay property taxes this year. I still think it will be simpler in the long run, but this year is just not the year. (Surprising because we couldn't deduct as much medical and had way less mortgage interest this year. I had also adjusted my withholdings - paid in more taxes which apparently was enough for this year - phew).

Okay, so property taxes were due before I even got the card and scratch the second installment getting paid before next year. I was relieved because I didn't want to waste $50 or so on fees - though would have been worth it for the large reward.

New game plan:

I am hoping to get this new card charged up by around February 1.

What I have come up with so far:

$400 to Sprint for final bill (50% is being reimbursed by my parents, so this is an awesome hit for the card).

$200 Insurance due

$300 Auto insurance due in January

$250 Christmas Donations. The theme this year is animal shelter. Since our family lost two pets and adopted two pets. My kids won't hear of anything else. I like how we usually spread out our donations among many charities - each choosing one. In this case I was donating as a gift to my mom as well - in lieu of any other gifts - and then the kids both picked the shelter - so it will be one large amount divided amongst two shelters - one in each of our cities.

My choice was definitely the shelter since we had only paid $5 to adopt our cat. At the time it was a stray, we had no idea what we were getting into and just came off a pile of vet bills. But I figured we'd give them $100-ish if the year went well. I am happy to say that he is as healthy as a horse! The year hasn't gone well, but at least we didn't need a pile of money for the new cat.

Other than that - will just put January and February health insurance on that card.

Oh, and another $50 bonus if dh makes one purchase as an "authorized user". He told me he was shopping Scholastic this week, which is PERFECT. He sometimes charges up $0.25-ish there (since he uses his earned credit and tries to pay as little as possible out of pocket). I asked him if he had any small purchases in mind, and I think that is about as small as it gets.

My general strategy is to charge up these cards as fast as possible, but kind of a tall order with having to spend $6,000 on two cards. But, I may just prepay February health insurance and be done with it. Could have that one done by January 1 if I do it that way. Depends when the card closes for the month...

Dh's card already has $3,000 in charges - it was all insurance. Insurance insurance insurance... I should be able to redeem his $430 bonus around December 31.

4 Responses to “Credit Out My Ears!”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Apparently, I did add the Amazon offer to my Amex Blue card. I used it tonight to make a purchase that was just over $75. I love that the credits come so quickly! Sounds like you have a good plan for racking up the rewards.

  2. beawealthywarrior Says:

    I'm using my card to pay school tuition so that's a big chunk. I was also pleasantly surprised how fast AMEX posted the rewards. I used the last one today at ToysRUS by buying a $25 gift card and I will get $5 back.

  3. PNW Mom Says:

    We are also donating to the animal shelter as we lost our cat of 15 years 8 weeks ago.

  4. looking forward Says:

    My referrals have all come from "internet land"and I am so thankful!!

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