Categories
401k and Personal Finance

Credit card series I: Amazon Visa Card

Reading Time: < 1 minute

link here. This is the new card I got this year. I got the $40 first statement credit, and am very pleased to get the extra points for my Amazon purchase (quite a bit after our new baby born).

With your Amazon.com Rewards Credit Card, you will earn points for every dollar you spend on the card.

Earn 3 points on eligible Amazon.com purchases
Earn 2 points on eligible gas, dining, and drugstore purchases
Earn 1 point on purchases everywhere else

This is probably the most straightforward reward card.

Sample rewards
2,500 points can get you $25.00 Amazon gift card;
5,000 points can get you $50 check;
……
90,000 points can get you an air ticket to any where in the world (disclaimer: worth about $1,600).

One point is roughly 1 cent ($0.01).

Categories
401k and Personal Finance

Enroll in Ohio College Advantage 529 Plan and receive $50 bonus

Reading Time: 4 minutes

(Update 08-01-2010) It seems the referral still works. Feel free to use my referral code 2568778, and email me after you enroll. I will send you the $25 Amazon gift card as soon as I receive the referral bonus from Ohio 529 plan.

(Update 06-29-2010) My mistake, there is not limit in terms of the number of referral. But the deadline (to get referral bonus) is still valid, June 30, 2010.

(Update 06-22-2010) 10 Referral used. 2 more remaining. Note the offer expires on June 30, 2010. Send me a note after you enroll, if you like the Amazon gift card 😀

(Update 04-27-2010) First referral bonus received and the $25 Amazon gift card sent. Please note this offer is limit to first 12 accounts opened using my referral code.

CollegeAdvantageReferralBonus2010-04-27 AmazonThankYou2010-04-27

Why should I worry about my kid’s college now? She/he is just 3 years old, it’s 15 years away.
I know I know I know. I am a procrastinator too. A little more than a month ago, my daughter was born. I joked I would worry about her college tuition because I will be near retirement age when she goes to college.

But seriously, from my own 10 years 401K savings experience, “start early, and invest in high quality investments regularly” is the right thing to do. The other day, I found Nightly Business Report (NBR) folks at PBS did a nice job on this topic. They have a series of planning 101: paying for college covers the rising college costs, and how the parents can prepare well before kids going to college, very impressive reports. The only thing left for us, the parents (new or old), is action.

What is 529 Plan?
Obviously you can google and find the answer. Here is some explanation from SavingForCollege.com: A 529 Plan is an education savings plan operated by a state or educational institution designed to help families set aside funds for future college costs. It is named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code which created these types of savings plans in 1996. According to the 529 plan interview at NBR (PBS), the tuition does not have to be college, it can be graduate school or re-training. I think the tax treatment of expenses other than higher education might be different (read more from Wiki and other material if you are interested).

What are the factors when we consider the plans (in-state vs. out of state; can we transfer the money later)?

Categories
Saint Louis

$75 bonus cash for new checking account at US bank

Reading Time: < 1 minute

The promotion ends Monday March 30, for new customer only. $25 will appear in acct shortly after opening. Need to use the Check Card once to get the remaining $50. As I understand US bank does business mostly in Midwest and Northwest. Check out bank branch locations from their web site.

No additional conditions such as direct deposit etc.

Disclosure: I just opened one this morning; I also hold a few shares of US bank stock (NYSE: USB) at this time.

US bank pic