Categories
401k and Personal Finance Travel

Earn up to 75,000 AA miles for new Citi AAdvantage card holder

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(Update 02-10-2011) The previous link expired. Try this new link if interested. One difference is they requires one spend $4000 in first 6 months to get the full 75,000 miles. Good luck!

(Update 09-17-2010) I got the 75,000 AA miles.

(Update 8-19-2010) Received the Citi Platinum Select /AAdvantage Visa Signature card today, called and verified the “spending $1500 in first 6 months, receive 75,000 AA miles” is good.

(Original 8-16-2010) Got the offer from my AA membership letter. Choose one of the three cards:

Citi Platinum Select /AAdvantage Visa Signature card, Citi Select /AAdvantage American Express card, or CitiBusiness /AAdvantage Visa card.

Here is the link www.away5.citicards.com.

I applied the card before getting the mail, via another link. Today I received the letter says my card got approved. I hope the 75k miles offer applies to my application (and I got a free round trip ticket back to China 😀

Categories
401k and Personal Finance

Credit card series I: Amazon Visa Card

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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
Stocks

IPO and secondary offering: I

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I have written an article talking about why Chinese companies come to list in NYSE or Nasdaq a while ago. This is a topic warrants more than one article, amid the VISA filing for IPO and recent controversy of Chinese companies (Ping’an and Pu Fa) tried to do secondary in Shanghai. So let me talk about the reasons why companies go to capital market for money.

I remember Ken Fisher talked about the use of debt or stock for companies in terms of raising money, in his book “Only 3 questions that count“. To sum it up, a company will always look for a better way to finance its operation/growth, if the debt (borrow from banks) is available and cheap, they will do it. On the other hand, they will go with issusing stocks. He further explains why maturing companies (with low PE) finds borrowing is cheaper, and growth companies finds issuing stocks is cheaper.

China Ping an insurance IPO pic
(Picture above: CEO of China Ping’an insurance at IPO media event)

Categories
IPO

Visa IPO

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Yes, the long anticipated credit card giant is filing for the IPO. Here is its S1 prospectus. I have not read the S1, but from what I read (from MSNBC), they are going to raise up to $10 billion. That’s the largest IPO in US since 2000, and it’s the category of China ICBC’s IPO couple years ago (1398.HK).

My gut feeling of its IPO is two fold:
1) It will be priced (relative terms) higher than MasterCard IPO couple years ago, the reason goes as follows: MA went up from $40 to $200 in that period. Now people who missed the boat on MasterCard IPO will try hard to get on the Visa ship, thinking they can get the return like MA did.

2) current market condition is not friendly for IPO, because the big investment banks are in financial difficulty now. So, do they expect little guys (like us) to hold the bag?

Business wise, we all know the credit card transaction is booming. From developed countries to developing countries, everyone is addicted to the plastic, as shown by the following pic (from Visa prospectus).

Visa card pic

Visa is an Olympics sposor, so pack your visa card if you visit Beijing this August 🙂

(Update Feb 28) My friend LaoZhang (author of StrengthTrader.com) wrote a good piece about Visa IPO (in Chinese), here is the link.

Chinese translation
如题所述,VISA这个信用卡巨无霸要开始发行新股了。这里是它的S1 招股说明书,我还没来得及读,但是据MSNBC说,VISA准备至少募股100亿美元。这将是2000年以来美国最大的IPO,和几年前中国工商银行的IPO(1398.HK)有的一拼。

听到VISA 发行股票,我的直觉是:

1)相对而言,VISA股票的定价会比几年前MasterCard IPO高,原因是:从发行到现在,MasterCard股票由40美元涨到200美元,于是错过MasterCard IPO 那趟船的人现在会挤破头努力登上VISA IPO 这艘舰,满心以为可以得到象MasterCard那般的回报。

2)现在的市场条件并不利于发行股票,因为目前很多大型投资银行都缺钱。难道VISA期望我们这些散户一头扎进去,然后被套牢?

从商业角度而言,谁都知道信用卡交易正在急速发展。无论发达国家还是发展中国家,几乎每个人都对这小小的塑料卡片上了瘾,就如下图所展示的(图片来源:VISA招股说明书)