Just the Tip(s)

Category Archives for Just the Tip(s).

Lower Plastiq Fees With Drop + 5,000 Drop Points for Out and Out Readers! 💸

Spencer from Straight to the Points is back to talk about a new Plastiq promotion… and an exclusive offer for Out and Out readers to earn 5,000 points with Drop! 

Save on Plastiq Fees (Plus a Special Offer from Drop for Out and Out Readers)

A few months ago, Drop launched in the US to much fanfare in the miles and points world as the hot new shopping portal. You just needed to attach your credit or debit card (or cards) and shop as usual.

drop plastiq promotion

You can easily earn and redeem Drop points at lots of merchants

Redeem the points you earn for merchant gift cards like Hotels.com, Amazon, American Airlines, and Starbucks to help offset future expenses.

The launch was rough.  But Drop is starting to get a handle on the US market. Shortly after launching, they limited the number of points you could earn with their ongoing offers to 5,000 points per week. That definitely put the brakes on some people, but there are still one-time offers to help boost your rebates!

That brings us to today.

A New Drop Plastiq Promotion!

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Free Food for Atlanta / Dallas / SoCal: $20 Off $35+ in Groceries at Aldi (And $5 Off Booze Delivery for Everyone Else)

Saw a deal I couldn’t pass up – had to share!

If you’re in Atlanta, Dallas, or Southern California, see if these Instacart deals will work for you. You can get $20 off an order of $35+ with promotion code “ALDIDELIVERY” – that’s over half off your groceries!

instacart drizly

Irresistible! Even with the 10% service fee, I still saved over 50% on groceries

Instacart does add a service fee. But even with that considered, I still saved a heap on groceries. Can’t beat free food!

Plus, your first delivery is free!

Instacart $20 off details

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MoviePass + Theater Rewards Program = Heaven for Movie Lovers 🎬

My sordid MoviePass history

I had a MoviePass back when it first came out in… 2012? I was in New York at the time. And IIRC, it cost $30ish a month. But in New York, that was still a great deal… when it worked.

The service was glitchy AF. For one, you had to be within 100 yards of the theater to activate the card. That’s fine, except the GPS back then couldn’t locate me properly. Other times, I’d check in via the app but the card would be declined and I’d end up paying for the movie myself.

moviepass

It’s baaaack

If you have an issue, they say to “chat” them through the app – which simply is NOT practical when you’re standing in a line with a movie about to begin. Worse, if you call, they say to leave a voicemail. 🙄

A couple of times, I just went ahead and bought my ticket and asked for reimbursement later. But that was a days-long process that was tedious for something as small as a movie ticket.

The final straw was when – I remember it – I wanted to see Lincoln in Brooklyn. It was a cold winter day… Seriously, it was freezing. I got the GPS to work but had to go outside the theater in the gross snow.  Then the ticket machine inside kept declining the MoviePass card. So, on my phone, I brought up the theater’s mobile site and bought the ticket online. Somehow, the MoviePass worked.

But they knew. Like clockwork, the next morning, they told me my account was canceled. By that point I was so frustrated with the whole thing that…

…I said eff it!

And the whole thing left me feeling bitter.

A new MoviePass deal

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A Ray of Hope for Plastiq 3X With Citi AT&T Access More Card?

I just made my last round of rent, mortgage, and HOA payments through Plastiq with my Citi AT&T Access More card because Citi is removing those transactions from earning 3X starting next week.

But as I reviewed the transactions, I noticed they weren’t coding as rent like they had before. Instead, they’re coding as “Misc Government Services.” That gave me pause because of the language in Citi’s T&Cs:

Plastiq 3X With Citi AT&T Access More Card

Quoth Citi

But upon further review, I earned 3X in this very same category as early as this month. Which makes me wonder… will 3X live on for rent and mortgage payments with the Citi AT&T Access More card?

A history of Plastiq 3X With Citi AT&T Access More Card

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So You Wanna Be an Airbnb Host? Part 5: Taxes, Expenses, and Making It All Work

You got an Airbnb so you could make extra money, yeah? Well, congrats, you’re officially a small business owner. You can get business credit cards based on your yearly income. Those cleaning supplies I mentioned in Part 4 are now expenses. And, you might be on the hook to pay taxes.

airbnb hosting

Evernote is key to keeping track of receipts and expenses

I personally use Evernote to save every single receipt. And tag them with the tax year and “expenses” for easy work at tax time. After a while, you definitely find your rhythm with this Airbnb stuff. You might even want to get another.

Airbnb Hosting Index:

This series is meant for peeps who want to list an entire home separate from their primary residence on Airbnb.

Do you have to pay taxes?

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So You Wanna Be an Airbnb Host? Part 4: Ongoing Maintenance

After you get a few reviews and bookings, you’ll need to figure out how to keep the gravy train rolling. But, good news – the hard parts are over!

If you found a place, set it up, and listed it on Airbnb’s site, that is easily 90% of your whole Airbnb journey. The rest is just pruning and perfecting.

airbnb hosting

Your Airbnb calendar will be your lifeline

This is the part where you can be hands-off, travel, drop things off here and there. Basically, the whole reason you started this whole crazy thing: to have mostly passive income roll in.

Airbnb Hosting Index:

This series is meant for peeps who want to list an entire home separate from their primary residence on Airbnb.

Stock it up

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So You Wanna Be an Airbnb Host? Part 3: Attracting Guests

Now that you’ve found a place and set it up, you’ll want to get it listed as quickly as possible so guests can book it. And by far the best way to attract bookings is so have a ton of photos.

airbnb hosting

You’ll want to have lots of crisp, clear photos to show your listing to guests

You’ll also want to hit a good mark with your pricing. But at first, I drop my prices as low as possible to get a few bookings.  And therefore a few positive reviews – they’re another huge opportunity to get more bookings.

Airbnb Hosting Index:

This series is meant for peeps who want to list an entire home separate from their primary residence on Airbnb.

The price is right

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So You Wanna Be an Airbnb Host? Part 2: Setting It Up

Next comes the most expensive – and most fun – part of listing a home on Airbnb: setting it up!

You’re probably going to be in shock at how much it costs to get set up. But in my experience, you recoup all of the costs and get to pure profit in 8 to 10 weeks. I know of very few investments that provide a 100% return in such a short span of time.

airbnb hosting

It’s crazy how much “STUFF” people need

At the beginning, you’ll have seemingly innumerable things to set up and buy. But if you plan it right, you can have it ready in 3 to 4 days.

Airbnb Hosting Index:

This series is meant for peeps who want to list an entire home separate from their primary residence on Airbnb.

For best results, start with a theme

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So You Wanna Be an Airbnb Host? Part 1: Finding the Right Place

I’ve had Airbnb listings since 2014. In New York, I had 4 listings. And now that I’m in Dallas, I have 2 here.

I get asked a lot about how it all works. Peeps are interested because it’s a fairly low-maintenance source of extra income. I recently wrote I make an extra ~$18,000 a year from my Dallas listings.

While that doesn’t replace the income from full-time work, it sure is a nice boost as it rolls in throughout the year!

airbnb hosting

Finding an in-demand location is step numero uno

The first step is to find an attractive place in the right location: somewhere tourists want to stay. And as always with me, it comes down to the numbers.

Airbnb Hosting Index:

This series is meant for peeps who want to list an entire home separate from their primary residence on Airbnb.

Can you even do it?

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Must-Haves of Travel: Sesame Oil

Also see: 

When I was in Chicago in March, I wasn’t prepared for how cold it got. And, I’d forgotten my ultra-moisturizing coconut oil. (I also didn’t pack nearly enough layers, but that’s another story.)

In my quest for moisture, I headed to a drugstore for chap stick and… something. I didn’t want to get a huge container because my trip was only 5 days. I thought maybe they’d have a travel pack of coconut oil since it’s gotten so popular recently. No luck there, but they did have… sesame body oil

sesame oil

Curious little container

Once I got it back to The Drake, I popped open the little container and took a whiff. This stuff smells amazing. And I quickly learned a dab’ll do ya.

A quarter-sized amount in the palm is all you’ll need to cover yourself in the softest, sheerest moisture. Since that trip, I’ve added it to my arsenal as a supplement for coconut oil when I don’t want as much moisture.

Why pack sesame oil?

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Still Available: Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card, $0 the 1st Year and 1.25 Points per $20K Spent

Also see: 

I wrote back in November how you can get an Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card with a $0 annual fee the first year. The fee on all personal Amex Platinum Cards has since gone up to $550 – but this deal is surprisingly still kicking.

Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card

$0 the first year and 1.25 points on purchases

Even better, you get 5,000 bonus Amex Membership Rewards points for every $20,000 you spend on the card. You can earn 30,000 extra points this way – so it’s good for up to $120,000 in spending each calendar year. You also still get 5X points on airfare and travel booked through Amex.

Get the Ameriprise Amex Platinum Card while you can

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Don’t Miss Out: Free Museums, One Month for 5X, Hilton Surpass 100K

Happy Wednesday!

Here are some deals still on the go – snag ’em while you can!

Through May 31st (today!)

Hilton Surpass Amex 100K offer

Last call to earn 100,000 Hilton points with the Amex Hilton Surpass. Here’s why I took the bait with this truly best-ever offer. Not into Hilton points? Think again. I estimate this bonus is worth at least $1,000 if you plan carefully.

June 3rd and 4th

Free museums

Free museums if you have a Bank of America debit or credit card. Only good for the cardholder and doesn’t include special exhibits. That said, there’s a participating museum in nearly every state, so check it out if you want some free culture this weekend.

limited time deals

Check out the Denver Zoo this weekend for F-R-E-E

Through June 30th

Get your 5X!

If you have Chase Freedom, get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points and drugstores and supermarkets on up to $1,500 in spend. Can activate retroactively and still get bonus points. Easy categories here.

Activate your 5X – you have a month to max it out

With Discover It, get 5% back at home improvement stores and wholesale clubs on up to $1,500 in spend. Must activate BEFORE you shop. New cardmembers get their cashback matched after the 12th billing cycle, so it’s like getting 10% back. Discover is not accepted at Costco, but you can purchase cash cards online and use them in-store for a nice discount. Boom.

The Boxed deal is back

The Boxed deal might be in your Amex account

I wrote about how to save 50% on merchandise at Boxed with an Amex Offer. Instead of $15 back on $50+, it’s now $25 back on $65+. Still a dang good deal. Even better, you can tweet #AmexBoxed to add it to your synced card even if you weren’t targeted.

2X SPG points

Doctor of Credit has the details. You get 10,000 bonus SPG points for spending $10,000 on your Starwood business Amex through the end of June. So, 20,000 SPG points on $10,000 in spend = 2 SPG points per $1 spent. Great deal if you’re targeted – worth checking.

Bottom line

Get ’em while they’re around. Any other good ones to share? Let me know and I’ll add ’em!