Did I mention I like memes?
I’ve been wanting to follow-up on the “Another darn ‘Blogs I Like’” post I did recently, except I just checked and I wrote that thing back in December, so it’s not as recent as I thought. Better late than never, yes?
Keep in mind I’m not trying to make any objective list of good blogs, these are just ones I happen to follow most closely because of my own interests and idiosyncrasies. The blogs I listed back then were:
- TravelBloggerBuzz because I stole the “blogs I like” idea from him and didn’t pay him anything. Though I’ll point out that I did order a bunch of stuff via his Amazon link in the wake of a certain Best Buy promotion, so I consider us even.
- The Big Picture because I thought I should have something not related to points or miles to make me look well-rounded.
- Big Habitat and Chasing The Points because apparently I had access to a time machine and discovered that they would be joining Saverocity.
- MilesAbound for turning me on to the GE credit card scene.
- Frequent Miler because he’s Frequent Freakin’ Miler.
- TravelIsFree for publishing really cool travel-hacking stuff.
- DansDeals for generally having lots of good information.
I invited readers to suggest other blogs that ought to be on the list, and the first one mentioned was View From The Wing. In retrospect, I should have had this one on there the first time around, but it slipped my mind. Our baby was barely a month old at the time, which may or may not have had something to do with that. It could also be an alien abduction that is causing issues, but either way there are gaps in my memory.
Anyway: after I wrote the post and somebody mentioned Gary’s blog, I immediately started noticing how frequently I end up reading Gary’s blog, which is at least twice a day. Many biotechnology experts believe that Gary has actually cloned himself, therefore allowing him to write as many as 50 high-quality posts per day.
I would also add the Free-quent Flyer, a blog I’ve recently had the pleasure of discovering. High quality content, and worth your time if you’re into this stuff.
Another commenter mentioned Milenomics, which I wasn’t too familiar with at the time. I would concur: Milenomics is pretty good, and in fact I’ll recommend you read the Reloadit Safe post he just put up.
One commenter mentioned three blogs: Political Calculations and Monevator, which seem like pretty good stuff but just aren’t my cup of tea; and Budgets Are Sexy, which is actually in my RSS feed but rarely linked to here. The one thing I do like about BAS is the Side Hustle series, wherein somebody with a job for extra money spills the beans on what they’re doing. If you’re looking to make a little extra income (you know, aside from credit cards), it’s good reading.
Finally, someone mentioned Milenerd. It’s also pretty good, but it’s more purely travel-focused, and since I am, alas, not traveling too much these days, a good amount of his content just isn’t on my radar.
That’s all I have. If you’d like to spread the word about a good blog (only somebody else’s blog, no self-promotion here), even if it’s not necessarily relevant to the usual points-n-miles discussions, then by all means comment below. Salacious gossip is always welcome too.
Freequent Flyer brings up an interesting point in his most recent post when he asks whether Amex’s new Everyday cards will cannibalize Amex’s other cards, such as the Hilton and Delta cards.
I find this interesting because different product groups within a company sometimes find themselves competing against each other. If the Everyday card were to take market share from other Amex cards, we could see some pretty good sign-up bonuses from the other Amex cards coming later this year. [click to continue…]
PNC STRIKES AGAIN: It’s not 2%, but did you know there’s a no-fee card that lets you earn 1.75% cash back? The PNC Cashbuilder pays you a base rate of 1.25%, but you can increase that to 1.75% via your spending levels and your balances with other PNC products.
There are changes to the program coming on March 22. And since this is PNC–home of the nation’s second-most needlessly complicated banking rewards program (Key Bank, as it happens, is first)–I can’t easily tell you how you’ll be able to get 1.75%. Here’s how PNC puts it:
Your First Billing Cycle: You will earn Rewards of 1.75% of the amount of Net Purchases you make during the first Billing Cycle after your CashBuilder Account is opened. In subsequent Billing Cycles, you will earn Rewards as follows:
Tier 1: If you make $1,999.99 or less in Adjusted Purchases on your CashBuilderAccount in a Billing Cycle, you will earn Rewards of 1.25% of the amount of Net Purchases you make in your next Billing Cycle.
Tier 2: If you make $2,000.00 through $3,999.99 in Adjusted Purchases on your CashBuilder Account in a Billing Cycle, you will earn Rewards of 1.50% of the amount of Net Purchases you make in your next Billing Cycle.
Tier 3: If you make $4,000.00 or more in Adjusted Purchases on your CashBuilder Account in a Billing Cycle, you will earn Rewards of 1.75% of the amount of Net Purchases you make in your next Billing Cycle.
Tier 4: If, as of the last day of a Billing Cycle, you have a Qualifying Performance Deposit Account, you will earn Rewards of 1.50% of the Net Purchases you make in your next Billing Cycle.
Tier 5: If, as of the last day of a Billing Cycle, you have a Qualifying Performance Select Deposit Account, you will earn Rewards of 1.75% of the Net Purchases you make in your next Billing Cycle.
Each Billing Cycle you will earn Rewards at the highest Reward tier for which you qualify. If the PNC CashBuilder Visa account is in the name of more than one individual, all such individuals must be owners of the checking account in order to earn Rewards at Tier 4 or Tier 5.
Got that? There are also several more paragraphs defining what counts as a ‘qualifying performance select deposit account’
Question: is PNC’s marketing department deliberately trying to befuddle customers, or is it merely incompetent? This is why you have to respect something like what Amex has done with its new Everyday card, which boasts a clear, compelling (for some, anyway) value proposition. This monstrosity from PNC is what you get from people who don’t know what they’re doing. It’s the rewards card by and for contract lawyers.
Nonetheless, 1.75% is still pretty good if you’ve been blacklisted by the Fidelity Amex for some reason. An even more obscure option for a decent cashback card: the NASA Platinum Cash Rewards card offers 2% back on purchases above $2,000 each month. And it would be kind of cool to have a NASA card in your wallet:
MONEY SALE AT OFFICEMAX: In case you haven’t heard, OfficeMax is offering $15 when you buy $250 worth of Visa gift cards. The official limit is 2 offers per customer (i.e. $30 back for $500), but keep in mind the offer limit is at the discretion of whoever’s ringing you up. Some stores are stricter than others. There was a snafu on Sunday and part of Monday where the deal wasn’t working, but OfficeMax corporate solved it around lunchtime Monday, so the deal’s on.
On a related note, Mrs. PFD and I had a lunch date at OfficeMax yesterday. Since it’s two offers per customer, it’s good to take along a date for this sale, especially if the date also has an Ink Bold.
THANKS RAPID TRAVEL CHAI: I just wanted to single out Rapid Travel Chai for a couple of interesting posts about off-the-beaten-path locales: Abkhazia and Transnistria. Neither one is located in or near the Maldives, and there are few, if any, pictures of luxurious accommodations or first-class food… but both posts are still worth a look.
REAL ESTATE: A man living in a rent-stabilized apartment was offered $17 million to move out:
Rent-stabilized tenants in the outer boroughs are increasingly facing malign neglect from greedy landlords who try to pressure them to leave through tactics such as setting the freaking building on fire. But sometimes a developer has no choice but to use legal means to persuade long-time rent-stabilized residents to move along. This usually involves writing a fat check, and in particularly desirable districts, the checks can be fantastically fat—the record appears to have been set by one reclusive Central Park West resident who shook down a pair of developers for $17 million.
Suitably, the site is now home to the city’s most expensive apartment, an $88 million dwelling now owned by a Russian robber-baron.
My favorite moment of this weekend’s app-o-rama came with this message, received upon approval for Comenity Bank’s Fuel Rewards MasterCard:
While you rubes were doing whatever the heck it is you do on the weekends, my wife was APPROVED with OF BUYING POWER! She was SELECTED FOR APR!
Sure, it looks amateurish, but that doesn’t bother me. The bank that screws up the nuts and bolts of credit card operations may also be the bank that screws up and offers you unlimited 5% credit card rewards. Or maybe they just plain stink, who knows.
By the way, are kids these days even familiar with the “All your base are belong to us” meme? It was a meme before anybody even knew what a meme was.