$500 FROM CHASE: Via Doctor of Credit, Chase keeps upping the ante on savings and checking account bonuses. First they made the $400 bonus ($200 checking, $200 savings) open to all, and now it’s possible to get a $500 bonus ($300 for checking) with a coupon.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE ON TWITTER: In his round-up of who’s worth following on Twitter, Freequent Flyer had some kind words for the Saverocity crew:
@Saverocity, @PFDigest, @BigHabitatcom, @ChasingThePts. The Saverocity crew is a very lively and friendly bunch and a must-follow to stay in the loop and build relationships and friendships among serious travel hackers.
Thanks Freequent Flyer! I did pick up a few Twitter followers after your post, so I appreciate the recommendation.
More broadly speaking, I would encourage those of you who are not on Twitter to give it a try. FF’s post is a good place to start. I didn’t really get Twitter when I first started, but now that I’m used to it I enjoy it. It’s a good place to pick up on interesting things you might otherwise miss. It can also be a productivity black hole, so handle with care.
WOULD YOU PAY $1,000 TO GET FREE BEER FOR LIFE?: Over at Citylab, there’s an interesting article about an innovative financing method by a brewpub owner in Minnesota:
Amy Johnson and her two business partners needed to raise $220,000 to secure a bank loan and fulfill their dream of opening a restaurant that served beer brewed right there at the pub. They went to investors who offered to give heavily for a voting share in the restaurant. But since the potential investors had no experience in the restaurant industry, the owners backed away.
And then came the idea from some friends and family who wanted to help out. “They were, like, ‘I’ve got a few grand, but I don’t have too much money,’ ” Johnson recalls. “And people kept saying this over and over, and we latched onto the idea. Why not just take a couple grand from everybody and then we’d have all the money we’d need?”
So, that’s what they did. People who invested $1,000 receive free in-house beer for the rest of their lives, or as long as the place stays open. People could also receive 0.1 percent nonvoting equity in the company for every $1,000 invested. Or for $5,000, investors get 0.5 percent equity and free in-house beer for life. The brewpub, now a registered LLC, hit its goal of $220,000 through the 46 people who chose the first option, 42 who picked the second, and 30 who took the third, all finding out about the opportunity by word of mouth.
And the results?
Northbound has now been open for almost two years and is thriving. The investors didn’t drink them dry. The restaurant is giving away some 17 beers a day, and the cost is low, at just 40 cents a beer. Plus, investors aren’t just going to the brewpub for a beer by themselves—they order food, bring people, or maybe order a scotch after dinner. For the investors, it’s also about the sense of ownership. Or, as Johnson explains, “We have an army of over 100 people who are our cheerleaders.”
17 beers per day times 40 cents per beer times 365 days per year equals $2,482 per year. So the pub, in addition to giving up some ownership, is effectively paying 1% on the funds raised, though of course that doesn’t take into account the positive effect of a hundred patrons with a vested interest in the success of your bar.
And 17 free beers per day times 365 days per year divided by 118 free-for-life customers equals about 53 beers per backer per year, or about one per week. How much of a value that is depends on what the beer goes for, but at $2 per beer it’s a benefit of $100 per year, meaning you’d have to do one beer a week for ten years to recoup your investment (in nominal terms).
FIGHTING BACK AGAINST GREEN DOT AND BANCORP BANK: Over at Flyertalk, Marathon Man is asking for some support in fighting back against Bancorp and Green Dot, two companies notorious for closing accounts and holding funds without a good reason:
Many MSers do not do a great deal of volume so what this thread is about to bring up might not even matter to some, but it probably does matter to more people here than not.
Most MSers do not realize that almost all of the commonly known of and used prepaid cards (often called pp cards and not to be confused with paypal cards) are backed by two major entities that control nearly every aspect of MSing as we know it.
One is Green Dot, which is the large but less wide-spread backer of the two prepaid entities (and rarely if ever has any information on receipts or claims to track products properly)
The other is Bancorp (The Bancorp Bank), which is the huge behemoth that also has under its umbrella the entity known as Incomm, which, by the by, is who runs all Vanilla GCs you buy. Bancorp also backs the paypal cash cards you can buy in many drugstores.
Many have learned the hard way that when you get to around a max of $20k in use on any given pp card, it shuts you down one way or another. Whether you have 1 or 20 of them, and whether you go slow or go fast, and whether you try and weave in some small transactions to make it ‘look’ like ‘normal’ use, they WILL find a way to somehow hold and freeze your funds and make you spend so many hours and days on getting the money back, you almost begin to question whether it’s worth even doing things with pp cards!
If this aint happenin’ to you, you are either not doing any volume whatsoever, you work for Bancorp, you are very lucky, or you are lying.
I don’t do enough volume to deal with this stuff, but some of you might find the discussion interesting.