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Enroll in Citi’s 60-Day Return Guarantee Program

I was trolling around on the Citi website today and decided to look through my Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Amex benefits. Lots of good things in there. I like this card because it’s an American Express card not issued by Amex and is no longer open for enrollment. I can use it for Amex Sync offers, Small Business Saturday, and possibly to load up my Serve account (haven’t gotten that far yet).

As I got to the “Shopping benefits” section, I noticed there was one for which I had to manually enroll in on the website.

The 60-Day Return Guarantee program

There it was, hanging out there in the corner like a creep.

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Citi 60-Day Return Guarantee program

Screenshot 2015-05-15 11.30.58-1

Enrollment screen – good for a year

I clicked on it, and there was a little button that said “Enroll.” If I enrolled, it would be good for a year. 

So I did it. Why not. Then I was told about the benefits:

Citi 60-Day Return Guarantee

How to use the Citi 60-Day Return Guarantee

The benefit is good for $250 per claim and up to $1,000 annually. Things returned must be new and unopened. Fair enough. Really not so shabby at all. But then I thought…

WHERE DO I SEND THE STUFF? 

Apparently to their office in Ohio lol. But whatever. Then I was like… uhhhh… do I pay for the shipping (I think so)?

And then I started to think if I’d ever wanted to return something after a merchant’s return period had run out. Or what if I bought something while traveling and can’t get it back to the shop? Or what if the store doesn’t allow returns?

It hasn’t happened a lot, but here and there… yeah, definitely. Maybe once or twice a year. As long as I put the entire amount of the purchase on this card, I could return it and get the money back. Nice.

This is old news

So I thought I’d stumbled upon something new and exciting but nope. This thing’s been around since 2012. Practically Stone Age for the points and miles crowd.

I wanted to mention it here because I’d never heard of it in all my excavations about terms and conditions. Maybe it’s been around so long that it’s not mentioned any more? In any regard, it lives!

Discover, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Chase Freedom all have similar programs. And the one for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, anyway, is up to $500 per item and you have 90 days to return it. A month more and double the protection that Citi offers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred return protection

However, I couldn’t find much online on the Chase website, so kudos to Citi for making it so easy to find and understand.

Also, apparently, you have to enroll manually for this benefit with Citi – it is not an automatic feature of Citi credit cards. So I wanted to toss it out there in case it might help someone and they’d like to enroll.

Bottom line

Citi has a program that I didn’t know about before today called the 60-Day Return Guarantee.

They’ve kinda hidden under the “Card Benefits” section of the their website, near the bottom. You have to find it and manually enroll to receive the benefit for 1 year for free.

Has anyone else, um, heard of this? Has anyone ever actually used this perk – or something similar offered by another credit card? How was your experience? 

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Smart Debt: Is carrying a balance ever a good idea?

Ahem: text-heavy post ahead!

The toolbox

The toolbox

Recently, I was talking to a friend about getting the Airbnbs up and going. We were weighing the pros and cons of charging the upfront costs (~$7,000) to a credit card and carrying the balance until the business became profitable – usually 1-2 months in this case.

He said, yes, of course it’s worth it. It’s “smart debt.” 

smart debt

Let me think about that…

It got me thinking about this hobby and all the points and miles we love to earn.

The points and miles cards we all hold earn us, obviously, point and miles. But, beyond that, they are important financial tools. Your credit is one of your most important assets, and I feel no one talks about the credit cards as an avenue for anything beyond earning points and miles – and that avenue is great – but by extending us credit, the banks open up other opportunities for us.

Now, in starting up my side hustle, there was no way I wasn’t going to run all the expenses through a points or miles card, but I’d never considered the idea of not paying it back at the end of the billing cycle. I’m of the mindset of never paying a dime of interest – but is it OK, in certain situations, to carry a balance?

Smart debt

Read More

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Woo hoo! Just got 1,500 free AAdvantage Miles!

Thanks to the Frequent Miler for posting this opportunity today.

Nice lil' haul

Nice lil’ haul

 

I’ve done this FAR (Free-After-Rebate) thing once before, and it worked like a charm. The Staples people say you’ll get the check within 4-6 weeks, but for me it was more like 8. I also had to do the live chat help thingy a couple of times to coddle them into moving the process along. That last check was for $60. This time I upped the stakes and spent $500 (not the full $800 as suggested in the post linked above.)

 

It actually was pretty easy. Thanks, Staples.

It actually was pretty easy. Thanks, Staples.

 

This accomplishes many things. It will help me meet the minimum spend on my brand new Citi Amex card, which is $3,000 within four months.

I’ll get 500 AAdvantage miles for putting this on the Citi Amex. I clicked through the AAdvantage Shopping Portal to get an additional 2 miles/dollar. Total haul of 1,500 FREE AAdvantage miles. The redemption value for me is .02 cents per mile, so I value this at $30. But more importantly, it brings me closer to getting 50,000 more miles when I reach the $3,000 mark with the new card.

The software is for Windows computers, and I have a Mac, so it’s pretty much useless to me. I’m thinking I could sell it online or perhaps donate it to a local non-profit and write it off on my taxes next year, either of which would help me to turn a further profit on clicking a few links and floating $500 for a month or two. Not bad. Not bad at all.

The only thing that bugs me is that status that says “Researching.” Researching what? Hmmmz.

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My First App-O-Rama 2.22.13

On the evening of February 22, 2013, I had a little too much tequila and decided to do an app-o-rama. Not the best idea ever, as I caused myself to miss out on yet ANOTHER Amex bonus by not paying close enough attention to the T&C. I think I was little nervous about applying for three cards in one night.

I would’ve applied for four, but I’m sorta between jobs/projects right now and didn’t want to push it with the minimum spend requirements. Here’s what I ended up getting:

british-airways-visa

Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card

  • 50,000 Avios after spending $1,000 within three months
  • 25,000 more Avios after spending $10,000 in the first year
  • 25,000 MORE Avios after spending $20,000 in the first year

Why I got it:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Smart Chip Technology
  • Great earning structure: 2.5 Avios/dollar on BA and 1.25 on everything else. Pretty fantastic.
  • Avios are GREAT for short-haul trips under 650 miles – only 4,500 Avios each way in economy. But for short flights of ~2 hours, I couldn’t care less about class of service. This is great for visiting Montreal, Toronto, Boston, and other cities in the near-Northeast region. And it’s only 7,5000 Avios to Chicago (I love Chicago).  They’re also great for repositioning for mileage runs (I haven’t done one… yet.) This post from Extra Pack of Peanuts has a lot of great info about the Avios program.

AAdvantage Citi card

Citi Select® / AAdvantage® American Express® card

  • 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within four months
  • 2 Admirals Club lounge passes
  • $150 Statement Credit on American Airlines

Why I got it: 

  • To build up my AAdvantage balance
  • I am thinking of switching the bulk of my flying from Delta to American
  • 1 free checked bag, priority boarding, and get 10% of miles redeemed back (up to 10,000 miles per year)
  • $85 annual fee is waived for the first year (so why not)

premier-rewards-gold amex

And the sore spot. The American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card

I got in didn’t get in on this offer:

50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within three months

Why I wanted it:

To build up my Membership Rewards balance

It has the best earning structure of all the MR cards (three points/dollar on airfare (four if booked thru Amex Travel), two at gas stations (moot point for NYC) and grocery stores (which could encourage me to not spend so much eating out!), and one point everywhere else.

I went ahead and put $1,000 of spend on it the first day JUST TO SEE if it would trigger the bonus or not. I’m not eligible for it because I already have the Platinum Card, but whatever. Anyone know how good Amex is about blocking bonuses for this reason? It’s entirely my fault – I should’ve read the T&C more closely. I blame first app-o-rama jitters and too much tequila.

I also really wanted to pick up the Ink Plus card from Chase while I was at it, but alas. The $5,000 spend within three months was a little bit much. Plus, I’ve got a lot of spending to put on the new British Airways card to unlock the full 100,000 Avios.

So that’s it. My first app-o-rama. I was instantly approved online for all three with nice credit lines on each, which made me feel really confident about my credit health. My travel goals for this round of apps are Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Dublin, Seattle, Alaska, and eventually, Australia. I’d also LOVE to fit in Vienna/Prague sometime this summer. 🙂

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