About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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Dog Owners! Get Acorns & Earn Automatic Cashback to Invest With Rover & BarkBox Purchases – Just Link Your Card

It’s always nice to earn unexpected rewards for expected spending. That’s exactly what happened to me this week.

After I dropped my pup off at his sitter’s house (who I booked on Rover), I got an email saying I just got a $25 bonus from Acorns.  And when I checked my account, I saw another 5% back from his monthly BarkBox!

This is free, easy money if you use either service with regularity. All you have to do is link your card within your Acorns account. Nothing to activate!

But of course me being me, I had to go and stack it to the Nth degree. 😬

acorns rover barkbox

I love spoiling my critter. And getting free money for spending on him is even better!

I’ll share deals going on with both these popular merchants!

Get Acorns, Save With Rover and Barkbox

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Dealing With Travel Setbacks: Faceplanting & Montezuma’s Revenge in Mexico City

Visiting Mexico City for the first time was a dream come true. What happened in Mexico City… was not. To put it mildly.

I’ve traveled near and far and surely gotten colds or allergy attacks. Or tripped in the street or something. All par for the course.

But as I laid in bed the last full day of my 4-day trip, I couldn’t help but think… this isn’t how I thought it would be.

Even still, it’s been one of my favorite destinations so far.

travel setbacks

Got banged up Mexico City, dang

Also, falling in front of hundreds of people really sucks.

And, he’s down

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Targeted: 20% Off (up to $100) at Amazon When You Use 1 Amex Point – Easy Savings!

Too good not to share. When you shop at Amazon, you can get 20% off items sold and shipped by Amazon when you use 1 Amex Membership Rewards point as part of your payment method – if you’re targeted.

The discount is good for up to $500 in purchases, which means you can save a maximum of $100.  But you can only use the discount once, and it’s good through December 23, 2018 – so use it for a big purchase this holiday season! Although Amazon could pull it way before that date.

20% off at amazon

Click the page and “Click to activate” 20% off at Amazon

Easy win if you shop at Amazon!

Save up to $100 (20% off) at Amazon with this promotion

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Before You Buy! Use a Shopping Portal & Get FREE Money When You Shop Online (Quick Recap of Current Bonuses)

Black Friday slash Cyber Monday is coming fast. Not only can you earn free cash, points, or miles, but use a shopping portal to get extra bonus money just for signing up and clicking a link before you shop.

Here’s a recap of current portal bonuses if you’re a new member, and a few apps that will give you free money when you shop.

If you’re going to buy stuff anyway, always get something back from it. Even if it’s a few bucks here and there, it all adds up!

use a shopping portal

Don’t miss out on bonus points for your troll doll purchases

Here’s a list of current bonuses!

Try a New Shopping Portal and Earn Free Cash

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10 Must-Haves of Travel: The Ultimate List to Stay Healthy & Confident Anywhere in the World

Once upon a time, I had a series called “Must-Haves of Travel” where I shared items I always throw in my carry-on. They’re small, awesome, versatile, and duh, you should take them everywhere. These products are geared for when you’re on the go.

I thought it’d be fun to compile them into one definitive list, with a couple of extras added as a bonus. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll see a few things I can’t stop blabbing about. 🗣

must haves of travel

This Bluffworks blazer is one must-have! ✔️

Here’s the full list!

10 Must-Haves of Travel – The Full List

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40+ Easy Ways to Meet Credit Card Spending Requirements

Credit card spending requirements are getting higher all the time. Not only that, but banks also want you to use your cards for ongoing spending to meet spending thresholds to earn elite status, bonus miles, and other rewards.

Top of wallet” is a term we hear a lot in this industry because every issuer wants their card to be, literally, at the top of your wallet. So they incentivize spending with category bonuses, special offers, and promotions.

To meet credit card spending requirements, use your card for:

  • Everyday expenses like utilities, groceries, eating out, cell phone service, oil changes, and subscription services
  • Semi-regular expenses including dental cleanings, home warranties, memberships, and club dues
  • Gifts for birthdays, graduation, weddings, and holidays
  • Charitable contributions
  • Business expenses if your employer will reimburse them
  • Nearly any bill or service from a company or individual via Plastiq
  • Annual and quarterly tax payments
Meet Credit Card Spending Requirements

Meeting minimum spending requirements is top of mind for lots of peeps – and top of wallet for credit card companies

I’ll expand on these categories and give you 40+ ideas to meet your spending in a flash!

The sooner you get your spending done, the faster you’ll get your rewards

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$3,000 or 225,000 Airline Miles From ONE Sign-Up Bonus – But They’re Not for Everyone

Capital One shook things up this week when they announced mondo 200,000-mile sign-up offers on their Spark Miles and Spark Cash cards. And on the Spark Miles card, those rewards will become transferable to 12 airlines starting December 2018, which is stellar. It’s always good to have more options – especially with flexible rewards programs.

In fact, peeps looking for a single-card solution to most points dilemmas finally found their match. You can redeem the points for 1 cent each, and with the Spark miles card, transfer them at a 2:1.5 ratio to useful airlines like Air Canada, Etihad, and Qantas.

They’re excellent deals if you want a rewarding small business card without hassle.  You’ll end up with $3,000 or 225,000 airline miles after the minimum spending is complete.

capital one spark miles

The required spending and opportunity cost are high with this one

But they’re NOT for everyone. I’ll explain why.

$3,000 or 225,000 Airline Miles After a Boatload of Spending

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’Tis the Season for New Credit Cards – and Price Protection!

November is here, and in a couple of short weeks, it’ll be Black Friday. Peeps tend to naturally spend more during the holiday season for presents, travel, and organizing parties.

While there’s a moment of calm, consider you can turn all your holiday spending into 1,000s of points & miles by opening a new credit card and using it to meet minimum spending requirements over the next month or so. If you apply now, it’ll arrive in time for the biggest shopping season of the year.

Plus, with all the sales and deals going on, consider a card with 60- or 90-day price protection – and automate it – to save even more money.

Credit Card Price Protection

Turn those Amazon purchases into award travel! Now’s the time to jump on a new card offer

Here are a few worthwhile sign-up offers, and how to set alerts for price drops.

Holiday time now = an award trip in 2019

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STOP Leaving Your Money in Checking Accounts! Make It Earn FREE Interest Instead!

When I pull cash out of an ATM, the receipt always says I have something like $100 in my account. Yeah, in my checking account.

The truth is I keep my checking account balance low on purpose. Because money in a checking account ain’t doing nothing but sittin’ like a bump on a pickle (#SouthernSayins).

I want my money to work for me. Every day, for years. Compound interest is a wonderful tool that can work for you – or against you. So make it work FOR you!

At the very least, keep your money in an interest-bearing savings account. Pay your bills from checking, then transfer the excess to a high-interest savings or investment account.

earn free interest

Compound interest is one of the most powerful forces in the universe

Whatever you do, stop using checking accounts to park your money!

Get an interest savings account and/or an investment account to earn free interest

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The Best Offer With the Most Miles for Those Over 5/24 (70,000 AA Miles, Small Biz Card)

Lord help me, I just got another new credit card. This one’s too good to pass up if you’re over 5/24 and have small business income.

You can earn 70,000 American Airlines miles with the CitiBusiness American Airlines Platinum Select card after meeting reasonable minimum spending requirements. I just signed up and got instant approval!

70,000 American Airlines miles is enough to visit:

  • 4 countries in Asia (China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea)
  • Northern South America
  • Literally anywhere in Europe
  • The Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America

And it’s nearly enough for 2 round-trip coach award flights to Hawaii!

citi aa 70k

That fateful moment when you open yet another new credit card

I was running low on AA miles. But now that you can book Air Tahiti Nui and Qatar flights on the AA website (along with other partners), it’s easier than ever to use your miles. You do NOT have to fly on American Airlines – use your miles for partner flights instead!

I’m so close to an around-the-world trip on Cathay Pacific with Alaska miles, and Qatar with American Airlines miles, that I can taste it.

Plus, you can make mortgage payments via Plastiq with this card because it’s a MasterCard, so it’s easy to meet the minimum spending in no time! (That’s how I plan to complete the spending requirements.)

Citi AA 70K miles with the CitiBusiness American Airlines Platinum Select card

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Just for Fun: This Cool App Tracks Your Flights & Shows Miles Flown, Countries Visited, & Hours Spent on Planes!

Thought I’d share a cool app. App in the Air tracks your flights, stores boarding passes, and keeps track of loyalty account balances. A couple are paid features, but I don’t pay for the app because the free features are fun on their own.

The paid features are useful for some, but I like TripIt Pro for flight updates, and use AwardWallet to track my program balances. And for free, you can see interesting facts about your personal travels.

app in the air

Oh, the places you’ll go! Check out App in the Air if you like stats and maps

Here’s what the app can do!

App in the Air for fun travel stats

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Check Your Business Credit Score for Free – Here’s How, & Why You Want It

If you’ve opened small business credit cards, chances are you have a business credit score – one you might not even know about.

Business cards are totally different animals from personal cards, in their protections and how they’re treated by law. In general, consumer (personal) credit cards give you more protection against unwanted activity, and with extended warranties.

But a small business card can be an excellent way to separate your business expenses and earn bonus points in categories lots of personal cards simply don’t have, like office supplies, cell and cable bills, advertising, and shipping – to name a few.

business credit score

If you want to open small business cards, it’s good to know where you stand

Here’s more about your business credit score – and how to check it for free.

What’s a business credit score anyway?

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