Just the Tip(s)

Category Archives for Just the Tip(s).

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!

Added My Brother as an Authorized User – His Score Went up 100+ Points in a Month!

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When my little brother (he’s 24) told me he wanted to get a place with his girlfriend – their own place – the first thing I asked was, “How’s your credit?” because I knew they’d check.

authorized user

Last month, his score was 586

He didn’t know. When we checked, his score was a dismal 586. It wasn’t because he had bad credit. But because he had no credit at all. Literally, zero accounts ever in his life.

I think I have 30 credit cards by now (?), a paid-off auto loan, and about to have two mortgages. With regard to my brother, hopefully I’ve helped create a path to his own points and miles journey.

But first things first.

Address matters when you add an authorized user

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Plastiq Rent Payments With US Bank Altitude Code as Travel but Do NOT Earn 3X

On May 1st, I got the US Bank Altitude Reserve card – the first day it was available.

I wrote how payments with Plastiq coded as travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card (lots of peeps on Reddit confirm this, too). So I was hoping that would be the case with the US Bank Altitude Reserve. Especially because the minimum spending requirement is $4,500 – that would’ve been a nice points haul at 3X.

us bank altitude

The merchant code gave me hope for 3X

And the charges did code as travel. But my statement just closed and I only got 1X point per $1.

This US Bank card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve are both Visa cards. So while it doesn’t work for the former, I’m hoping it will still earn 3X with the latter for a while longer.

Here’s what I found.

A charge that codes as travel but didn’t earn 3X

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Cool! Some Plastiq Payments Coding as 3X for Travel With Chase Sapphire Reserve

It looks like some payments with Plastiq are triggering 3X points per $1 with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Apparently, rent or mortgage payments are coding as “lodging/travel” and appear as “travel” – which is a 3X category.

I made a $30 payment toward one of my Airbnbs and didn’t change the category in Plastiq – I left it marked as a rent payment.

chase sapphire reserve plastiq 3X

I sent the payment as “rent, mortgage, and real estate”

And when I checked today, it had cleared and earned 90 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (3X).

SWEET

SWEET – 3X

If you have rent or mortgage payments, it would be worth it to use your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, even considering Plastiq’s 2.5% fee.

By the numbers

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Easy Win: Do the Dollar Shave Club Amex Offer and Get Some Free Stuff

So there’s a semi-complicated new Dollar Shave Club Amex Offer that you can approach in a couple of different ways.

Whichever way you wanna slice it, it’s extremely worthwhile because you end up with free stuff. If you have this Amex Offer in your account, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t get in on this.

Dollar Shave Club Amex Offer

Shave wit me

I’ll break it down and help you decide which route you should go, should you be a human who removes hair with a razor or bathes, and have this Amex Offer. Even if you don’t, read on.

Dollar Shave Club Amex Offer

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Get $25 With New Accounts at Giving Assistant, Ebates, and BeFrugal Shopping Portals

When you shop online, always always click through a shopping portal to earn extra points, miles, or cashback.

I personally use Cashback Monitor to find the best payouts before I shop anywhere.

shopping portal bonus

Da best

I usually like to earn Alaska miles or Chase Ultimate Rewards points for online shopping. But occasionally, cashback offers are simply too good to pass up.

And competition is fierce. So much that they’ll sometimes give you free money to sign up and use their portals.

BeFrugal is a new one for me

BeFrugal is a new one for me

I thought I’d round up 3 cashback portals where the initial bonus might be worthwhile for a little shopping. And tell you what’s required to get the bonus AKA the cash in your hot little hand.

Note: I get cashback when you sign up for these portals, too. Thank you for using my links!

Get a shopping portal bonus

These bonuses are for NEW sign ups. If you’re an old-timer to points and miles, you likely already have accounts with all of these portals. In that case, check out my backlog of Every Single Out and Out post! 😉

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Join Me at FinCon 2017 in Dallas with Limited-Time $249 Passes

I read a lot of personal finance blogs. Increasingly, they mention “travel hacking” AKA what we do on the daily as a way to travel cheap.

And it’s true – I see the parallels between the 2 niches. Especially if you’re using the money you save on traveling and put it in a retirement account. WHICH YOU ALREADY DO, RIGHT? 😉

So when I learned FinCon will be in Dallas this year, I couldn’t think of a single reason not to attend – expect for maybe the cost of the pass.

When I looked, I saw the basic passes were only $249 until February 14th, 2017. Then they’d go up to $469.

Be a Super Early Bird and Come to FinCon for $249

Be a Super Early Bird and Come to FinCon for $249

I whipped out my card faster than you can say “points and miles” and bought a pass without a second thought. And you should come, too!

Why attend FinCon?

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Confirmed: FoundersCard Gets You Total Rewards Diamond Status Through 2018

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I’ve written a lot about FoundersCard over the years.

One of their cornerstone benefits since 2014 has been free Caesars Total Rewards Diamond elite status.

Thankfully, it’s made a comeback every year. Including this one!

Total Rewards Diamond Status

Yes! FoundersCard’s best benefit returns for another year

You can get Total Rewards Diamond status through January 31st, 2018 – nearly a full year.

The bad news is FoundersCard currently costs $495, plus a one-time $95 fee, if you’re new.

as

Been better, been worse

However, if you have a trip to Vegas in the near future, it could be worth it anyway.

What you get with Total Rewards Diamond status

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