CHASE SOUTHWEST 50,000 OFFER ENDING NEXT WEEK: The Points Guy reports that the Chase Southwest 50,000-point sign-up bonus, one of the better deals currently out there, will go away August 6. This offer has been coming and going for a while, but as TPG points out you never know if or when it will come back. How good is this deal? Mommy Points rates it as her pick for the best deal in family travel.
HOW LAZY PEOPLE CAN CUT EXPENSES: Here’s an interesting business model: there’s a company called BillCutterz that will make phone calls on your behalf to cut your costs–in exchange for a cut of the savings. So if you’re too lazy or too clueless to call the cable company to ask for a lower rate, they’ll do it for you.
I’m not using terms like lazy and clueless in the pejorative sense–plenty of perfectly decent people simply are that way–I’m sure all of you have friends like that–and if a company like BillCutterz can save them money they otherwise wouldn’t save, then good for them. (Via MaximizingMoney)
$10 TOYS R US GIFT CARD FROM COINSTAR: We’re only a few months away from Christmas shopping season, so you may be interested to know that Coinstar will give you an extra $10 on your Toys R Us gift card when you exchange $40 or more at a kiosk at Kroger, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, Dillons, City Market, Smith’s, Baker’s, Ralphs, QFC, and Gerbes. (And I’m sure those of you with kids know that Toys R Us gift cards are also valid at Babies R Us.)
Note that there is no fee if you exchange your coins for a gift card instead of for cash. So this actually seems to be a way to get $50 worth of Toys R Us credit for $40, which is better than you can get buying from resellers. In fact, 80 cents on the dollar is actually lower than what most places will give you if you’re selling, though I have no idea how fungible the Coinstar gift cards are. (Via HustlerMoneyBlog)
THE OBAMACARE SUBSIDY CLIFF: There’s a study at a site called ValuePenguin detailing some of the incentives put into place by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. There’s a summary of the study at CNBC as well. Long story short, some folks may face the incentive to earn less money lest they lose their health care subsidy, though it’s hard to say for certain because nobody’s been able to thoroughly work out all the details yet.
Has anybody read the Wikipedia entry on the ACA? It is not an easy read.
WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU DEAD DONKEYS: For all you enterprising capitalists out there, here’s a good joke from Quorum:
A city boy, Raju, moved to the country and bought a donkey from an old farmer for Rs 100.00. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.
The next day the farmer drove up and said, “Sorry son, but I have some bad news, the donkey died last night.”
Raju replied: “Well then, just give me my money back.”
The farmer said: “Can’t do that. I went and spent it already.”
Raju said: “OK then, just unload the donkey..”
The farmer asked: “What ya gonna do with him?”
Raju: “I’m going to raffle him off.”
Farmer: “You can’t raffle off a dead donkey!”
Raju: “Sure I can. Watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead.”
A month later the farmer met up with Raju and asked, “What happened with that dead donkey?” Raju: “I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at two rupees a piece and made a profit of Rs. 898.00.”
Farmer: “Didn’t anyone complain?”
Raju: “Just the guy who won. So I gave him back his two rupees.”