Nationwide Online Checking Account – $200 Bonus

Nationwide Checking $200 Bonus

Nationwide isn’t just an insurance company. It’s also an online bank. And its E-Checking account is currently offering a $200 bonus. The minimum opening balance is just $50. On top of the bonus, they also pay 0.60% APY (subject to change) on balances of $10,000 or more. That’s more than many savings accounts pay.

$200 Bonus Details

Here’s how you get the bonus.  From Nationwide’s website:

To get your $200, open a new E-Checking account by 6/30/2015 with a $50 minimum balance using the offer code 03110473, then set up an automatic monthly direct deposit of at least $200 into your E-Checking account. Your monthly direct deposit of $200 must be received within 60 days of opening the account. Direct deposits must be ACH credits made by an employer or outside agency (such as pension or government benefit payments). Online transfers or other types of deposits are not considered direct deposits. The account must remain open for at least 90 days to receive the $200 bonus. The $200 bonus will be deposited into your new account within 2 weeks following the 90 day minimum requirement. This $200 bonus offer is limited to one per household and is not available to existing checking customers. Nationwide Bank reserves the right to withdraw any offer at anytime.

 Nationwide Online Checking Details

  • Fees: $8 monthly fee. To avoid the fee, “you will need to sign up for at least one direct deposit of $25 per month AND make at least 8 debit card transactions per statement period OR maintain a combined average daily balance among your Nationwide Bank deposit accounts of at least $10,000 (excludes CD account balances).”
  • Credit Pull: Soft Pull from ChexSystems
  • Minimum Deposit Requirement: $50 minimum deposit to open an account.
  • Availability: All 50 states
  • ATM Network: 76,000 surcharge-free ATMs
  • Routing (ABA) number: 044072324
  • Established: 1998
  • FDIC certificate34710
  • Phone Number: 1-855-255-1176

Ebates Cash Back Shopping – $10 Signup Bonus

Ebates, one of the largest cash back shopping sites, is currently offering a free $10 gift card. Joining is free, and new members can pick the gift card they want from several major stores, including Macy’s, Walmart, and Kohl’s.

Ebates Signup Bonus

Once a member, Ebates is more than just a way to earn cash back with online purchases. Yes, the cash back rewards are a huge benefit, including Ebates famous double-cash back rewards from select retailers. Members can also earn cash by referring new members to Ebates.

Ebates Overview

With Ebates you can earn cash back on just about all online shopping. The cash back varies from store to store. For example, with Walmart you can earn up to 4%.  At Ebay you can earn up to 5%. These cash back bonuses do change. Ebates will run specials that pay double cash back from time to time.

You can also get the Ebate button that works in Firefox, Chrome, Explorer or Safari. As you shop online at your favorite stores, the Ebates button will alert you to available cash back offers.

Ebates Referral Program

For each new member you refer, Ebates will pay you a $5 referral fee. More importantly, you can also earn bonuses. Refer to just two friends, and Ebates pays you a $40 bonus, for a total Refer-a-Friend payment of $50. Refer 10 friends and the bonus jumps to $100.

Ebates Refer a Friend

Earning referral bonuses is simple. First, join Ebates. Once you join, go to the Tell-A-Friend section of the site (you’ll see a link in the navigation menu). Here you’ll find several ways to share Ebates with friends and family. You can email them through Ebates or send them a special referral link.

As you would expect, there are terms and conditions with this offer. From the Ebates website:

A “qualified referral” is a new member of Ebates referred by you that signs up at Ebates.com during the referral period starting January 1, 2015 and ending March 31, 2015 and that complies with the rules set forth below. If a qualified referral makes purchases totaling $25 or more that earn cash back within one year following signing up, Ebates will pay you a $5 “Base Bonus” for each such qualified referral and you will be eligible for an additional one-time “Tier Bonus” for the referral period based on the total number of such qualified referrals you generate and the Tier Bonus table then in effect. You will receive the highest Tier Bonus for which you qualify in the table above. Your Tier Bonus will be added to your Ebates account at the conclusion of this promotion. A qualified referral must be generated using (i) your custom referral link, (ii) the invitation forms on this page or (iii) other methods supplied by Ebates that allow for proper tracking of referrals. The following is a non-exhaustive list of activities that are not permitted and that will disqualify you from earning Bonuses: (i) self-referral, (ii) posting your referral link on any Ebates merchant’s Facebook or forum page, (iii) keyword bidding for the purpose of generating traffic to pages containing your referral link, and (iv) any similar activity determined by Ebates in its sole discretion to be inconsistent with the purpose of the Ebates Tell-A-Friend Program. Ebates decisions are final. You are responsible for any applicable taxes. This referral bonus promotion is open only to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia or Puerto Rico and are at least eighteen (18) years of age.

Note that the bonus is based on quarterly referrals. At the end of each calendar quarter Ebates calculates your bonus based on referrals, and then a new quarter begins.


Webster Bank Rewards Visa – $25 Bonus + 1.25% Rewards

Webster Bank Rewards Visa

Webster Bank Rewards Visa Credit Card offers an introductory rate on balance transfers in combination with some attractive rewards. While the bank isn’t a household name among credit card issuing banks, this offer is compelling, particularly if you haven’t been able to qualify for a card with a zero interest offer with a longer-term.

The Introductory Offer from Webster Bank Rewards Visa

The rewards package is a winner from the start. You will earn a $25 cash-back bonus after your first purchase (though it will take 6 to 8 weeks after the purchase). That will certainly make you feel good about participating in this offer very early in the process. Many credit cards are offering similar arrangements, but you generally have to spend several hundred (or even several thousand) dollars before you will receive a bonus of any kind.

After that, you will earn one point for every dollar that you spend. But that’s not all.

You will get a bonus of 25% added to the points that you earn each month as a result of your purchase activity. So if you earn 100 points, Webster Bank will bump that up to 125 points as a bonus. This is another area where the Webster Bank offer exceeds what is commonly being offered on rewards points by other banks.

In addition to the rewards points, the card has a 0% introductory rate for the first six billing cycles. And that applies to both balance transfers and purchases (but not to cash advances). Once the introductory rate period expires, an APR of between 9.99% and 20.99%, depending upon your credit worthiness, will apply on your outstanding balance going forward.

What Makes Webster Bank Rewards Visa Worth Having

We’ve already discussed the $25 cash-back bonus that you get with your first purchase, as well as the 25% reward points bonus. We’ve also discussed that the reward point program in general is more generous than it is with most other cards in that it doesn’t require you to reach certain purchase targets. But  Webster Bank Rewards Visa offers other advantages as well.

There is no limit on the reward and bonus points you can earn. Many credit card rewards programs put a limit on how many points you can earn, or on the timeframe in which you can earn them. There are no such limits with Webster Bank Rewards Visa.

Bonus points can be redeemed as cash. This benefit is huge. Many, probably most, credit cards that offer bonus points allow them only for the purchase of the issuer’s own products or services, or require that they are redeemable for certain gifts that you may have no interest in whatsoever. Webster Bank Rewards Visa will allow you to redeem your bonus points as cash, which can be deposited into your checking or savings account.

You also have the option to use your bonus points to:

  • Apply them as a statement credit on your card account.
  • Redeem them as gift cards.
  • Purchase select merchandise.
  • Use for travel, including hotels, car rentals and air travel with no blackout dates.

That’s a lot of nice redemption options that you won’t get with most other cards.

There is no annual fee. There’s nothing worse than signing up for a credit card rewards program where you have to give back all or a large percentage of the rewards through an annual fee. That won’t happen with Webster Bank Rewards Visa.

Auto rental collision damage waiver. There was a time when this protection was practically standard issue with credit cards, but many card issuers have gotten away from it. But the protection is there with the Webster Bank Rewards Visa, and it will dramatically lower the cost of paying for a car rental, given the cost that the collision damage waiver is sometimes even more costly than the base car rental rate.

Zero fraud liability for unauthorized transactions. As long as you report a fraudulent transaction soon after it occurs, you won’t be held liable to pay for it.

Some Things to Be Aware of with the Webster Bank Rewards Visa Card

There is probably no such thing as a perfect rewards credit card, and that’s true of the Webster Bank Rewards Visa. I’m highlighting some of the conditions with the card that you may want to consider, though some of them are hardly deal breakers.

Balance transfer fees. Webster Bank charges a fee of 3% of the amount of the balance transfer, subject to a $5 minimum.

Short 0% period. The interest-free period on the card is six months. On many other cards with 0% offers, the interest-free period runs to 12 months, and a few will go as long as 18. (Though such card issuers will usually recover the more generous intro period with higher interest rates later on.)

The points expire after five years. The clock starts running on your points from the end of the quarter in which the points were earned. If you’re in the habit of redeeming your rewards points quickly, this is a complete non-issue. But if you like to save up the points for a major purchase – that will require saving points for more than five years – this may not be the best card offer for you.

Despite these limitations – and recognizing that all rewards cards offers also impose limitations – Webster Bank Rewards Visa has a solid package to offer. The combination of 25% bonus points, no annual fee, unlimited rewards points, and wide open redemption options on those points – as well as the auto rental collision damage waiver and zero fraud liability features – make this an offer well worth looking into.

If you like what you’ve read here, check out the Webster Bank Rewards Visa and give it a try.

 


Capital One 360 Checking Account Review

Capital One 360 checkingCapital One 360, formerly ING Direct, offers a no fee checking account with a competitive interest rate. The account is free to open, has no monthly maintenance fees, and offers interest on the checking account balance. It also offers more than 38,000 free ATMs.

Capital One 360 also has an excellent smartphone app that is easy to use. You can make a deposit by snapping a picture of a check, check balances, or transfer funds from one 360 account to another. I’ve used the smartphone app extensively and found it extremely easy to use.

Capital One 360 Checking Highlights

  • Fees: No hidden fees or minimums as you earn interest on your everyday money
  • ATMs:  38,000 fee-free Allpoint® ATMAutomatic Teller Machines and 2,000 Capital One® ATMs
  • Debit Card:  Free MasterCard® Debit Card for all purchases
  • Credit Pull: According to Capital One 360, they do a “soft” pull (won’t affect your credit score) when you apply for a checking account. However, they do a “hard” pull (may affect your credit score) if you apply for overdraft line of credit.
  • Direct Deposit: Yes
  • Minimum Deposit Requirement: There are no minimum balance requirements
  • Availability: All 50 states

Refer-a-Friend

Capital One 360 pays you when you refer a friend or family member. The current payout is $20 per referral, up to a total of $1,000. In addition, the friend you refer can get up to $50 in bonuses from CapOne360.

While they last, you can take advantage of the following refer-a-friend links to qualify for bonuses when you open an account with Capital One 360:

Capital One 360 Checking: Use this refer-a-friend link to get a $50 bonus on a new checking account, a $25 bonus on a new savings account, a $25 bonus on a kid’s savings account, or a $25 bonus on the Capital One 360 Money account.


A Review of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Credit Card

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card could be an excellent option if you’re looking for an everyday use cash back card. It’s especially great if your spending doesn’t necessarily fit the traditional cash back categories. With this card, you can actually set your own bonus categories every quarter! Here’s what you need to know:

  • Earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 of purchases in a quarter in two categories of your choice
  • Earn 2% cash back on one everyday spending category of your choice
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else
  • Get a $25 Cash+ Bonus when you redeem $100 or more in a single redemption, up to once per year
  • No limit on total cash back earned
  • No minimum redemption for cash back
  • Zero fraud liability for unauthorized purchases
  • Automatic bill pay that lets you earn rewards faster
  • Travel accident insurance of at least $1,000,000 when you purchase tickets with your U.S. Bank Cash+ Card
  • Free Experian credit score for online banking customers
  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR for 6 months on balance transfers

Choosing Your Bonus Categories

The main pull of the U.S. Bank Cash+ card is that you get to choose your bonus categories – within certain limits. Other cash back cards tend to rotate their cash back categories based on seasonal norms. So, for instance, you might get a bonus in the spring at hardware and home decoration stores. But you don’t get to choose those categories.

U.S. Bank Cash Visa

With the Cash+, though, U.S. Bank gives you several categories to choose from each quarter, and you can choose two of them. You have to sign up for the card to get the full list of categories, but they include options like department stores, home improvement stores, hotels, airlines, charitable contributions, bill payments, restaurants, movie theaters, and more.

The Cash+ makes it easy for you to tailor your card’s best cash back bonuses to categories where you’re really going to spend that quarter. Of course, there are still limits, based on what each quarters possibilities are. But this is a good card to go with if other cash back cards’ rotating categories just don’t do it for you.

The Cons

Perhaps the biggest con with this card is that it requires excellent credit to get. It’s not the best cash back card to apply for if you don’t have a really great score. According to Credit Karma, only 18% of cardholders had a credit score of 651-700 when they applied. And a full 37% had a score of over 750 when they applied.

Also, keep in mind that the 5% cash back category is limited to $2,000 of spending on both your categories combined within that quarter. So if you choose home improvement stores and gas stations, for instance, and spend $1,500 at the first and $500 on the second in two months, you don’t get any more 5% bonuses that quarter – even if you keep swiping that card for gas and home improvement store purchases.

The Bottom Line

If you’re not a huge spender or the categories for other rotating-category cash back cards don’t fit you, the Cash+ is a great card to consider. An alternative to check out, though, would be the Chase Freedom®, which has an account opening bonus and a better 0% introductory APR offer.


Choosing YOUR Best Travel Rewards Credit Card

If your goal for your credit card rewards is to earn free travel, you may be wondering where to start. With so many excellent-looking travel rewards credit cards out there, which one is best?

Some cards definitely are better than others. They may offer more bonus rewards, or make it easy for you to cash in your rewards for airline tickets. But which card is best for you depends on factors like current sign-up bonuses, your spending patterns, and if you prefer a certain airline.

So when it comes to choosing a credit card for earning airline miles, do your research. Take a look at the top-rated airline miles credit cards out there, and then decide which card will work best for you. The internet is chock full of tools that can help you make this decision.

Online Calculators Make it Easy

The key to successful credit card use is to not rack up huge balances in order to get rewards. This will just land you with excessive interest charges, which will far outweigh any rewards you’ll gain. So instead of overspending to earn extra rewards, start with a credit card that suits your current spending patterns.

Credit Card Tune Up Find the best credit cards rewards for you 2014

For instance, if you spend next to nothing on office supplies, don’t choose a credit card with major bonuses in that category. If you spend an arm and a leg every month to feed your family of five, choose a card with great grocery rewards.

Luckily, credit card companies make it easy to find out exactly what spending habits they reward most. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, for instance, offers 2 points per $1 spent on travel-related purchases. And the US Airways Premier World MasterCard offers 2 points per $1 spent with US Airlines. It’s great if you travel with US frequently.

But you don’t need to go research every single travel rewards credit card to choose one that will work for you. Instead, use an online calculator to help you decide. Calculators like Credit Card Tune-Up and MileCards stay up-to-date on the latest credit card rewards offerings. You just put in your typical monthly spending in various categories, and the calculator will tell you which credit cards fit your lifestyle.

Bonuses Aren’t the End-All, Be-All

When you’re choosing the best mileage credit card for your needs, the everyday, long-term rewards you’ll get from a card should usually outweigh the up-front bonus. Some of those 40,000 mile bonuses are really tempting! And they’re great – if they’re for a credit card that will work well for you on a daily basis.

But unless you’re planning to really pay attention and get good at the credit card churning game, you’ll benefit most from a card’s long-term benefits.

Some Cards to Check Out

Now that you know how to choose a good airline rewards credit card, here are a few options you might consider:

Chase Sapphire PreferredThis popular credit card offers up to 45,000 bonus points (which can be redeemed for miles), plus an automatic 7% Annual Points Dividend on all new points you earned that year – even if you redeemed them. The card offers 2 points per $1 spent on travel and restaurant dining, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases, making it a flexible way to earn everyday rewards.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®If you have excellent credit and you’re looking for great overall rewards, this card is a good option. It offers 2 points per $1 spent on all purchases. It also offers a unique 5% miles back when you redeem your miles for travel, which makes each mile redeemed more valuable.

Priceline Rewards Visa: If you already travel a lot and use Priceline, this is a good travel card to have. It gives you 5 points per $1 spent on all Priceline purchases. It also offers 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.


New Uber Category Bonus for AmEx Members

Uber is a fast-growing company that lets you get a ride through a mobile app. It’s kind of like a taxi service, except more personal and modernized. And it’s really been catching on recently.

In fact, Uber has gotten so big that they’ve launched a brand new partnership with American Express. Originally, this partnership simply allowed AmEx cardholders to use their points to pay for Uber rides. Under this deal, one point equals one cent towards your Uber ride, and you can transfer your points for your ride right through your Smartphone.

Uber Blog – Rewards for Rides

More recently, AmEx and Uber announced that the deal is going the other way around, too. Now, all AmEx cardholders (current and future) get a brand new category for bonus points. When you pay for Uber rides using your AmEx card, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Uber.

Membership Rewards Lincoln

Interestingly enough, these points can stack with other AmEx points, depending on your card. For instance, the American Express Everyday Preferred Card gives you a 50% bonus on points as long as you make 30 transactions on it in a month. And the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns double points on travel – which includes Uber purchases.

Bottom Line: If you find yourself in need of a ride often, check out Uber. It might be cheaper and faster than a local taxi service. And if you use Uber often, consider carrying an AmEx card – especially one that will give you even more points on top of the 2X points you’ll automatically get on Uber purchases.


Earn 3,000 Bonus Points with Rocketmiles

Rocketmiles is a hotel booking service you can use to rack up airline miles. It’s been around for a while, and it’s now starting to offer some great bonus promotions through various affiliate partners.

We recently found a link for up to 3,000 bonus miles through MaltaPoints on BoardingArea.com. To take advantage of the points, you’ll need to book through the affiliate link before July 4th. The page also includes an indefinitely valid affiliate link for 1,000 bonus points.

So what is Rocketmiles, and is it worth your time?

Rocketmiles is basically a hotel booking service. It doesn’t give you deep hotel discounts, but it does let you earn miles when you book a room in top-quality hotels. Those miles can then be transferred on a 1-to-1 basis to popular airline rewards programs, like these:

Rocketmiles   Book Hotels Earn Thousands of Frequent Flyer Miles1

As we noted earlier, Rocketmiles isn’t a hotel discount site like Hotwire or Orbitz. The lowest you can set your per-night price on their advanced search is $100. You can get some refundable hotel deals there, but it’s going to give you mostly access to very high-end (read: expensive) hotels. And according to some internet sources, sometimes Rocketmiles charges a bit more in daily rates than you’d get from the hotel itself.

Rocketmiles   Book Hotels Earn Thousands of Frequent Flyer Miles

Still, though, if you already plan to book a high-end hotel, it may be worth paying a small premium for the up to 5,000 miles per night that you’ll earn through Rocketmiles. Plus, you could double dip on your rewards if you book a hotel using a credit card that offers rewards for any hotel booking – or for any purchases at all.

The best part of Rocketmiles may be that its miles are transferrable to so many programs. So if you’re planning a swanky vacation, booking a good hotel room for a business trip, or paying for someone else’s hotel stay (for a wedding or graduation gift this summer), Rocketmiles could make it more worth your while.


4 Credit Card Companies That Offer FREE Credit Monitoring

Monitoring your credit report is one of the best ways to catch identity thieves in their tracks. And staying on top of your actual score helps you be prepared to apply for loans and credit cards as you need them.

Keeping track of your credit can get expensive, though. Sure, plenty of websites and identity theft protection companies offer monthly monitoring. But these services can cost upwards of $20 a month, and those costs add up.

But now consumers have more access than ever to free credit score information. Websites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame offer free (and fairly accurate!) credit monitoring for consumers. But if you want to see the actual credit score potential lenders see, you may want to check your credit card statement.

More and more credit card issuers are helping consumers stay on top of their credit by offering free credit monitoring. With many of these issuers, you just log into your online credit card account to check your updated credit score for that month. Here are just X credit cards that are currently providing this service:

BarclayCard offers basic FICO scores to its customers, as well as a month-by-month tracker that shows you how your credit score is rising or falling. Right now, the service is only available if you log in online, but the company may provide credit score information on paper statements in the future.

Barclaycard FICO

 

Discover also offers a free credit score tracking program with certain cards, including the Discover More, Discover Open Road, Discover Motiva, Miles by Discover, and Escape by Discover cards. For these cards, the free scores can be accessed online or on paper statements, and they’re based on a customer’s latest TransUnion score.

Capital One offers a great Credit Tracker program, which shows not only your current credit score, but also information on how you can bring it up. It could be a helpful program if you’re trying to build your credit score – or rebound from some credit dings – especially.

Capital One   Credit Tracker

Capital One   Credit Tracker1

Target recently started offering credit score monitoring to its credit card users, mostly as a response to the well-published security breach a few months ago.

Don’t Get Too Comfortable

All these free credit monitoring services are great, especially if you’re working to improve your credit score. But beware of using only these free credit monitoring services.

For the most part, free credit monitoring services like these only track your credit file with one of the three main credit bureaus. Discover and Capital One, for instance, use just your TransUnion file. And Target only uses Experian.

In reality, your credit file and resulting credit score from each agency can be very different. So you’ll still want to track the other agencies a few times a year, just to be on the safe side. But, still, if you want a monthly credit score tracking service, the offers from these credit cards could be worth checking out.


A Review of the Sallie Mae MasterCard for College Students

If you’re a college student signing up for your first credit card, be smart about what you choose. With all the rewards cards out there, your options are endless – even if you’re just starting to build credit. One option among the many is the Sallie Mae MasterCard, which could help you pay down your student loans using your credit card rewards!

Here are the details:

  • Get 2,500 bonus points ($25 statement credit) when you use your card within 90 days of opening
  • Get 5% cash back on the first $250 you spend each month on eligible gas and grocery purchases
  • Get 5% cash back on the first $750 each month you spend on eligible book purchases
  • Get 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Use your rewards to pay down eligible Sallie Mae student loans
  • Rewards don’t expire

This could be a great credit card for you if you plan to pay down the balance each month. If you use the card to spend only what you can afford that month, you can use your rewards to make extra payments on your student loans. Like so:

Let’s say you spend $350 on groceries and gas in the first month of school. You also need to pick up your books, which cost $500. Then, you splurge on an outing with friends that costs $50. You have the money for all of these things in your checking account, but you charge them to your Sallie Mae card to earn rewards.

At the end of the month, you’ll have earned approximately  $39 in cash back rewards. It’s not a ton, but it could make the interest payment on your Sallie Mae student loan. And if you pay off the card in full when you get the statement, you don’t lose any of that reward to interest charges.

Bottom line: The Sallie Mae Rewards MasterCard could be a good option if you’re a student (or recent graduate) with Sallie Mae student loans, and if you plan to pay down your card in full each month.