Ally’s Holiday Rate: 2.00% APR on a 12-Month CD

For those who like good rates but not too crazy about rate chasing or long term commitment this one’s for you. Ally Bank just announced a special rate for the holidays. From today till Jan 2, 2018, you can open a 12-Month CD with a 2.00% APR with no minimum deposit required. This is one of the best rates (if not the highest) on the market right now. There is an early withdrawal penalty though, but at least it’s a short term commitment.  If you already bank with Ally, this would literally take you less than 5 mins to open. For more details, you can visit here.

Personal Experience: Another Credit Card Fraud!

Ah, looking back it was only a little over a year ago that this happened. And credit card fraud strikes at me again! I can’t emphasize enough for you to check your credit card statements often. This time luckily my credit card company caught it and alerted me in time. Otherwise those people would have succeeded again!

And once again, it was because I made a purchase online at a new store that I never shopped from before. This time from Proenza Schouler, an luxury designer’s online store. You would think they have more money for more secured online transactions. I’ve alerted their customer service, but not sure how much that helps.

Maybe it’s really time to look into making online purchases in other ways. Continue reading

T-Mobile Tuesdays – Freebies for Customers #GetThanked

tmobiletuesdayT-Mobile Tuesday have been going on for a few weeks now. If you’re a T-Mobile customer and don’t know what this is, you’ve been missing out! (If you already know about this, let this be your reminder.)  T-Mobile Tuesday is an app and campaign that T-Mobile has been running for a few weeks now. Every Tuesday, existing customers can claim offers for freebies and unique experiences and free trips.  From free movie tickets to pizza to ice cream and Lyft rides. And if you’re as obsessed about Pokemon Go as I am, you would be happy to know that T-Mobile now offer unlimited 4G LTE data use with the game.

Not exactly sure how long this would go for, but as long as you have an Apple or Android phone, you’ll want to download the T-Mobile Tuesday app. More details from T-Mobile here.

Santander’s extra20 Checking Account Gone for Good & New Signup Bonus


sov-san-daul-logoSantander’s extra20 checking/savings combo was just too good to last. I started mine a little over 2 years ago and some time last year, Santander no longer promoted the extra20 checking accounts. Starting July 1st, if you have a Santander extra20 account, you will no longer be receiving the extra $20 perks every month.

As an interim bonus, you can refer a friend to open a new Santander checking account and you will BOTH receive a $50 Visa Gift Card.  Your referral will need to open a new Santander Checking account, have 1 direct deposit over $250, and 5 debit card transactions within the first 60 days of account opening. More details here.

And for those who need a referral – my referral link here.

In search of a new savings combo! What are you using right now?

The Mystery Behind the Penny Check

Maybe someone reading this blog post can help me understand the theory behind a penny check.  The other day I received a check for a $0.01. It came from GAP when I accidentally overpaid $0.01 on my Gap credit card balance a few months back. The penny check came in the mail with a $0.41 postage paid stamp.

Now maybe someone can explain to me why they need to mail me a penny check? Why couldn’t it stay as a credit on my account for when I need to use for the next bill? It doesn’t seem very cost effective for them to mail me a penny check after paying 41 cents postage. I remember once receiving a nickel taped to a paper from a certain charity reaching out for donations but this is even more ridiculous.

On the contrary, I have a credit balance of over $300 at Nordstrom for over 2 months. But they aren’t actively clearing my balance and sending me a credit check.  In fact, they are making it more difficult by forcing me to pick up a phone and call their customer service during their service hours.  This at least I understand. Of course they want to keep my money. =)  I just need to stop being lazy and request a check.

Hmm, I’m not even sure if I can even deposit that GAP check. I wonder if Ally’s mobile e-deposit would complain an e-check deposit for one penny. =)  I feel like the computer would complain that it’s bank error. Anybody else tried?

Noll vs eBay Class Action Settlement

ebaylogo Here’s a new class action settlement that showed up in my inbox yesterday. This one is in place for those who have paid listing fees on Good ‘Til Canceled listings on eBay from September 2008 till June 2012. The amount would be calculated and added to your account automatically for you. Click here for more details.

Personally, I also fell victim to the confusing rules behind the “Good ‘Til Canceled”. Did you know that Good ‘Til Canceled are just 30 day listings that automatically get relisted on your behalf? So essentially if you leave you listing alone for 6 months, you will be charged 6 times the 30 day listing fee.  I can see why Noll won, it is very confusing, and I only found out the hard way after seeing extra listing fee charges on my monthly statement.  I’m glad somebody set that one straight with eBay.

Anybody else that fell victim to the GTC fees?


New Santander Checking Account Opening Bonus

santanderOctpromoThere’s a new checking account opening bonus at Santander Bank. If you open a checking account and set up a direct deposit of $500 or more within the first 3 months, you will get a $150 added to your account within the 4th month of your account opening. Unfortunately this does NOT work if you open their extra20 checking (which we reviewed here).

More details on the offer here. You can open online or at a local branch.

I’m always thinking when they’ll end their extra20 promotion, though it’s been more than a year since I’ve opened my account and it sounds like they’re going strong, they can still end it any time. This sign up bonus might be a safer bet.

NYC Restaurant Week Is Back with $5 Amex Offer



It’s back! NYC Restaurant for summer 2015 will be running from July 20 to August 14. As seen in the past few times, Amex is offering $5 credit back for every $25 charged at any of the participating restaurants (up to 4 times).  It seems the prices go up every time so this would be a little bit of help. Check here for a list of participating restaurants. And don’t forget to reserve with OpenTable just to get some extra credits.

Let us know if you’ve checked out any good restaurants. I seem to go to the same ones all the time. My favorite restaurants are always Hatsuhana and Cherry!

Personal Experience: Credit Card Fraud After New Purchases

Yup, I’ve become a victim of credit card fraud.

I keep track and check my purchases on my credit cards almost on a weekly basis. It helps me with my YNAB budgeting if I do it weekly so I won’t lose any transactions. This past week, I realize there were 2 Starbucks card reloads on my credit card a week earlier (I don’t drink Starbucks. And there’s already news about hackers using Starbucks as a medium. )

Continue reading

Discover it Credit Card $50 Sign Up Bonus

Discover it

(Updated Oct 3, this is still on valid.) Right now Discover has a referral program where you can refer a friend to sign up for the Discover it credit card and both you and the new cardholder will get $50 cashback after they make their first purchase within 3 months.

Here is my referral link if you’re interested.

Discover it is a fairly simple card, with 5% rotating categories and their shopping referral program always give great cashback. Here is my last review of the card if you want more details.