How to Call Toll-Free in US Numbers for Free?

How to Call Toll-Free in US Numbers for Free (from Outside US)?

Maybe you forgot to tell the bank you were going on vacation, and now you can’t use your credit card in a foreign country. Whoops. (Hmm, might be a good idea to alert your bank before you leave.) Fortunately, Skype can do more than connect you to the missus: it offers free phone calls to toll-free numbers in certain countries.

How to Call Toll Free in US Numbers for Free How to Call Toll Free in US Numbers for Free?

 

Even if you have no SkypeOut credit, it’s a lifesaver if for some reason you need to reach your cell phone or utility company while on vacation. (Google Voice offers some capabilities, but mainly only back to the U.S.) The feature has actually been around since 2005, but it’s a nifty little trick that often falls by the wayside. Skype includes some of the other countries below:

 

 

France: +33 800, +33 805, +33 809

Poland: +48 800

UK: +44 500, +44 800, +44 808

USA: +1 800, +1 866, +1 877, +1 888

At least hopefully, you won’t be sitting up until 2 am to get the first groggy representative on the line. Time to convince them that you’re not a Nigerian scammer, eh? And for your sake, let’s hope you’re not actually in Nigeria icon wink How to Call Toll Free in US Numbers for Free?

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Dangers of Credit Cards

We’re really lucky to be in the US where large Sign-Up bonuses on credit cards are very common. One or two well chosen credit cards can get you flights around the US or abroad for a fraction of the cost.

Applying for credit cards is a quicker and easier way to earn miles and points than actually flying in a plane!

But applying for credit cards without knowing what you’re getting into is a recipe for Disaster. Banks don’t exist to dole out miles and points. They exist to make money. Lots of money. And at your expense.

Dangers of Credit Cards 300x200 Dangers of Credit Cards

Below are some of the Risks associated with applying for Credit Cards:

1. APPLYING FOR LOTS OF CARDS

It is tempting to think of flying to exotic places and staying in hotel rooms costing hundreds of dollars. So you apply for 6 or more cards at a time to get there.

If you are new to miles and points, you almost always should NEVER start off with lots of cards. A lot of success in this game comes from being detail-oriented and being able to track minimum spending deadlines, payment due dates, and how to interpret complex terms and conditions.

It is much, much better to start slow with perhaps just 1 or 2 cards and see the impact to your credit score for YOURSELF. There is no harm in applying for just 1 or 2 cards at a time.

I’ve been using credit cards for years and I financed my first car – a beat-up Ford Escort using a 0% credit card offer. But I started slow, gauged the impact for myself and then decided to apply for more cards at a time.

Are you able to meet the minimum spending comfortably? Do you avoid the temptation to spend more than you normally would, just to get a sign-on bonus? Do you pay your balance in FULL and on-time?

If the answer to these questions is “no,” you should NOT apply for miles and points credit cards. You’ll save more by going without them.
2. NOT PAYING YOUR BALANCE IN FULL

Miles and points cards charge higher rates of interest than other cards. This game is NOT for you if you can’t pay your credit card balance in full each month. Don’t apply for miles and points cards if you only pay the minimum amount or less than the full balance due.

You will never get ahead in life by constantly paying high rates of interest on credit card debt.

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3. SPENDING MORE

It is tempting to spend more than what you normally would just to meet the minimum spending needed for a credit card sign-up bonus. But the miles and points you earn will have a high cost.

Keep a budget and stick to it. Plan out the minimum spending requirements BEFORE you apply for credit cards cards. For example, calculate how much you normally spend in a month and then calculate the minimum spending requirements. Not everyone is comfortable using Amazon Payments or Bluebird, so make sure you can meet the minimum spending requirements comfortably.

If you’re short of the amount needed to meet the minimum spending, it is much better to pay a small fee to pay your rent or loans rather than buy a $200 gadget you don’t need and can’t afford.
4. YOUR CREDIT SCORE MATTERS

A high credit score will save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest fees over your life. A low credit score will cost you.

You shouldn’t be playing this game if you have a credit score of ~690 or lower on the FICO scale. Improve your credit score and the offers will still be there for you.

A score of 650 is better than a score of 550, and a score of 750 will get you access to lower interest rates than a score of 650.

But after a score of ~760, you don’t necessarily get a lower interest rate for having a higher credit score. So there is no real need, besides bragging rights, for having an absolutely high score.

For example, if a retired person with a credit score of 830 applies for credit cards and finds her score has dropped to 790, she is no worse off because her credit score still gets access to the lowest interest interest rates. Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to be Rich has a similar chart in his post on the importance of a good credit score.

 

5. BUYING A HOUSE

Buying a home is likely the single largest purchase in your life. And it will bring you far more happiness than applying for a few credit cards. Credit inquiries stay on your credit report for 2 years and lenders will review your credit report when you apply for a house loan.

The forums and blogs are filled with comments from folks who’ve managed to get house loans despite applying for lots of credit cards. Good for them. But I prefer to be more cautious.

I don’t want to risk anything that would either cost me more in interest or not get me approved for a loan. I worry about unpredictable external events which could disrupt credit markets and cause lenders to be extremely selective. So I’d severely limit the number of credit card application in the run-up to a loan.

I can’t tell you a magic number, but it could be reasonable to apply for, say, 2 or 3 cards over the 2 years prior to a loan (though avoid them 1 year before). It probably isn’t reasonable if you have 30 new cards in the 2 years prior!

Bottom Line
Credit card sign-up bonuses are among the easiest ways to earn lots of miles and points, but you HAVE to be careful.

Start Slow - Do NOT apply for credit cards if you can’t pay off the entire balance monthly. You’ll likely be paying more in interest than the value of the miles and points.

Don’t spend more than you otherwise would. And don’t apply for credit cards if you will be applying for a big loan in the next 1 to 2 years.

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5000 FREE miles with Etihad Airways

Grab 5000 FREE miles with Etihad Airways.  Sign up with BusinessConnect, Etihad loyalthy programme and your account will receive 5,000 bonus miles just for registering.  SIGN UP HERE for free!

NOTE: Your company can redeem the miles for free flights, upgrades, thousands of items from Etihad rewards shop or even convert them into cash via PointsPay.

Check out where Etihad Airways flies.  Don’t worry it’s not just the Middle East.  They also fly many routes in Europe, Asia, India, Africa, Australia, and America.

Also, another important piece of information to know is that Etihad Airways allows Family membership and pooling of miles together in a family account.  You can nominate a head family member and add 8 family members.  Details and registration here.

I’m not sure if these bonus miles will go under your personal Etihad Guest Number or stay in a business account.  If they did get credited to your personal Etihad Guest Number, you could enroll other family members and pool the miles together.

One last detail; this offer requires you to upload your EIN number (Employer Identification Number) during the registration.  This is the first time I’ve ever come across a business loyalty program asking for this info.  Very interesting!  So if you don’t have a EIN, I don’t know that you would be able to enroll, or maybe you can just upload a copy of your SS#.  Not sure you’d want to do that.  Anyway, just wanted to make you aware about this strange requirement.  I registered and submitted my application with my social security number and did not upload a pdf image.  Just to test the system to see if those without a EIN can register for this promotion.  I do have a EIN number myself for Miles Momma but wanted to be able to report back to you all on this promotion.  I received a confirmation email telling me I would be receiving an email shortly regarding my registration status.  So watch for an update here soon from me.

ENJOY YOUR FREE MILES!

etihad airways 5000 FREE miles with Etihad Airways

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Google Wallet now offering Free credit card processing

Google is in the process of rolling out new features to Google Wallet that will bring them in direct competition with PayPal, Amazon Payments and others.  With the new version of Google Wallet, you can pay friends and relatives electronically, and you can even initiate payments directly from within Gmail. And now Google Wallet is also offering Free credit card processing.  For a very brief period this service had fees but now is not charging anything.  A good tool to know about.

gw1 Google Wallet now offering Free credit card processing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payments sent from a linked bank account or from your Google Wallet balance are free.  And, for a yet to be defined “promotional period” credit and debit card payments are also free.  Eventually Google Wallet will charge a 2.9% service fee for those transactions (with a minimum fee of 30 cents).

Getting the new Google Wallet

Its free to sign up for Google Wallet, so you might as well do so if you haven’t already.  At this point, though, the ability to send money to friends is being rolled out slowly.  Your choices are to wait for Google to roll it out to you or ask a friend (who already has the new features) to send you a penny.  Anyone who receives money from Google Wallet automatically gets the new features.

 

Fees

Here are the details from the Google Wallet Help pages:

gw2 Google Wallet now offering Free credit card processing

 

 

 

As you can see, Google describes a 2.9% fee for sending money using a credit or debit card.  In practice, though, Google is not currently charging fees:

gw3 Google Wallet now offering Free credit card processing

 

 

 

Notice above how the fee is crossed out?  And, if you press the little question mark button, you get the following:

gw4 Google Wallet now offering Free credit card processing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, for some undisclosed amount of time, Google Wallet is entirely fee free.

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Chase Ink Bold 60000 Point Bonus Offer

Last night the bonus for Chase Ink Bold and Plus card increased to 60K after $5K spend in 3 months. The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year. This will only last for a few days.

This Chase Ink Bold 60000 Point Bonus Offer is a fantastic deal, and it’s probably not going to get any better than this. If you have a churn/app-o-rama planned soon, it might be worth moving up the schedule to this week in order to get in on this deal.

As a reminder, this is a business card. If you sell items on eBay, Amazon, or other re-sale sites…then you’re a sole proprietor and can use your Social Security number to apply. Remember – credit card companies, especially Chase, really want you to have the card. They’ll ask you questions about what types of products you buy, how much you spend, and a couple of other questions. When answering questions, treat it like an interview/resume – a little embellishment is probably fine, but don’t lie. You should get approved relatively easily as long as there aren’t any oddities on your credit report.

If you already have the Ink Bold/Plus cards and don’t feel like getting more for a second business, then you can also get an increased bonus for the Ink Cash and Classic cards, whose bonuses are now 25K.  These have NO annual fee.

Also, if you recently applied for the Ink Bold card, ask Chase representative for the extra points! They will likely give it to you if it was not too long ago.

Good luck!

Chase Ink Bold 60000 Point Bonus Offer 300x219 Chase Ink Bold 60000 Point Bonus Offer

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Go Forth With Your Dreams

This is a Sponsored Guest Post by Marie Abrahms

Go Forth With Your Dreams Go Forth With Your Dreams

Dreams are important, like carrots dangling in front of you in that proverbial way.  It’s important to find a dream and then going for it.  I dream about waking up on the weekend and pouring a cup of coffee that was earned from money I made myself, with my own two hands, starting from the ground up.  I have this dream and had it for some time and I decided to do something about it once and for all.  Now you may be wondering what the dream was specifically.  I’m happy to tell you that I wanted to start my own coffee shop and really get to know the coffee process from bean to cup first hand, and that’s just been an idea that has stuck with me for so long that I needed to finally do something about it.  I knew I had to go to business school first, though, because I didn’t want to reinvent the proverbial wheel, to me that didn’t make a lot of sense.  People have opened coffee shops before of course, I wasn’t going to be the first one doing that.  But I wanted to make my shop unique, and in doing so, I wanted to focus my attention on the things that would make it be its own special place, and not have to worry about learning the books.  I sought out some help online at www.amerasiaconsulting.com - Just like I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel when it came to opening the shop, I also didn’t see the need in doing the admissions process all by myself when I know there are valuable resources like amerasiaconsulting.com out there for people like me.  And I was certainly right, they have the Best MBA admissions consultant who helped me get my own profile and get all the help I needed in getting a great start on getting into a top tier school.

amerasia 300x56 Go Forth With Your Dreams

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Bronx Zoo Free Admission Every Wednesday

Visit Bronx Zoo on any Wednesday and pay what you want for admission. Suggested donation is $16 and they hope that you pay what you honestly can, it’s for the animals after all! You may wish to pay Nothing if you like – translation: Completely FREE. So Wednesday is the obvious day for a jaunt up to the Bronx Zoo Right? Wrong!

While you may choose to pay nothing at the door, or be able to purchase the “total experience” (i.e. to see the stuff you go to zoos to see) for $12.95 instead of $30, there’s the hidden cost of enduring the raging sea of humanity. The walking paths throughout the zoo were infested with people. Young, lackadaisical parents  amble about as their storm of spawn swirl around them Lord of the Flies style. When these parents grew bored of apathy, they incited a stroller aggression that 7th ave in park slope merely hints at.

The alarming info-signs scattered throughout the zoo that warn of the ravages of human population growth and deforestation were particularly grim given the context. My misanthropy was duly tested.

When I could get a glimpse of any of the exhibits from behind mobs of jackasses jockeying for optimum phone cam angles and/or squealing kids banging on shit to get the animals’ attention, the zoo was impressive in both scale and curation. The gorilla area is one of the most extensive I’ve seen at a zoo. The Asian rainforest exhibit is well executed. There are also a bunch of very rare and fun South American primates that were immune to crowds. I didn’t ride the monorail (re: end of 2nd paragraph).

My advice: Pony up the $30 for the total experience on a random Monday morning in the spring or fall.

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