25% BACK IN STAPLES REWARDS: Here’s a coupon. It expires today, September 4. Exclusions apply, of course.
AMEX JET BLUE CARD BONUS UP TO 20,000 POINTS: Thanks to Frugal Travel Guy for bringing to my attention the fact that the Amex Jet Blue card signing bonus is now at 20,000 points. It’s not worth going out of your way for, but if you’re in a Jet Blue area it might be worth a look. According to FTG you can, for example, get two round-trip tickets from Oakland to Long Beach with those 20,000 points.
6 MONEY-SAVING TELEPHONE SCRIPTS: For any of you who occasionally find yourselves at a loss for words, Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich has a free guide with 6 scripts you can use to negotiate lower bills for yourself. What was most interesting to me is his claim that most big banks will waive their monthly checking account fees if you ask. I’ve never had fee-based checking accounts before, so it’s never come up for me, but it’s interesting to hear that.
SPEAKING OF TELEPHONES: Some guy in the UK figured out how to make money from telemarketers. His idea: sign up for a pay number so that if they want to talk to you, they have to pay:
In November 2011 Lee Beaumont paid £10 plus VAT to set up his personal 0871 line – so to call him now costs 10p, from which he receives 7p.
The Leeds businessman told BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme that the line had so far made £300.
Phone Pay Plus, which regulates premium numbers, said it strongly discouraged people from adopting the idea.
Of course they do. I would assume that most companies here in the U.S. have exclusions in place to keep themselves from calling pay numbers… but I wouldn’t assume all of them do. Hmmm….
I BLAME THE FEDERAL RESERVE: My oldest son lost his first tooth today, which got me wondering what the Tooth Fairy leaves these days. I was appalled at what I found:
Kids this year are getting an average of $3.70 per lost tooth, a 23 percent jump over last year’s rate of $3. And that’s a 42 percent spike from the $2.60 per tooth that the Tooth Fairy gave in 2011, according to a new survey by payment processor Visa Inc., released Friday with an update of the company’s Tooth Fairy personal finance app.
PFD Jr. is getting a dollar, and he’s going to like it. (Mostly because he’s still too young to know any better.)
HIPSTERS IN UNUSUAL LIVING SPACES FOLLOW-UP: Following up on yesterday’s story about RV-dwellers: an architect named Hank bought a school bus for $3,000, added $6,000 of improvements, and turned it into a pretty sweet home.