Life Hacks we all have them, but we thought ours needed to be shared! If you haven't yet listened to this episode please go back and tune in now. If you have here's a summary from the episode:
Do you guys love Sephora? We do too! Two great tips we’d like to share about this is as follows:
1. They have the best return policy! If you don’t like something even after opening the product, guess what? You can return it!
2. If you buy multiple items the key is to turn them into separate orders this way you can get extra samples and if you spend at least $25 or $35 on your purchase there are weekly rewards you can apply to each order separately. Isn’t that amazing? Means more trial size items for you to try!
Now let’s move into something more serious: Credit Cards. We all have them but do we really know about them? Yeah, we didn’t either. Here are our favorites and a brief summary of each:
1. The Platinum Card from American Express
- Annual Fee $550. We know it’s hefty but keep reading… It’s a charge card so you pay this card every month in full, but there are pay later options with an interest fee applied.
- Looking to relax at the airport?
You get amazing lounge access at all airports across the United States and those in other countries that have them. The lounge access includes free food, drinks and sometimes a spa. You can use either the ones that are a part of the priority pass membership, centurion (which is only for American Express Platinum members), and with the airline you’re flying with (i.e.: if you fly delta you have access to the delta sky club). Note: that at the centurion lounge you can bring up to 2 guests with you for free! For the other ones, they charge a fee of $29 per person which is still amazing considering the amount you spend on food and drinks before as well as, during your flight anyway.
- Trying to stay at a hotel?
This card offers Hilton and Starwood hotel rewards (also has a relationship with the Marriot Bonvoy)! Meaning every time you stay at one of these you get room upgrades, perks, and hotel fee credits depending on the hotel and their contract with American Express. Think of American Express travel as its own travel agency so if you book through the fine hotels and resorts or the hotel collection you can also join in on many of these perks.
- If that’s not enough.. we have more! Do you need to go to an event or want to buy the best seats to that Jay Z concert? You’re in luck.
If you haven’t noticed already most Platinum card holders get pre-sale access to concerts and events. These events can also be purchased as part of a package deal. Let’s say you wanted to go to the US Open or to Monaco for the Grand Prix you can get a package that includes VIP tickets and hotel.
- Our favorite thing: Reservations to the best restaurants! You have access to this amazing service known as, the American Express concierge. And since they recently acquired Resy, they will be able to not only phone in reservations for you but you know that restaurant you need to book months in advance? Yeah us too, they can book that for you through your resy account. (This way you don't have to wake up at 8am a month before to book that reservation to a spot no one can get a reso to)
This card has so many other features that you will find with the other credit cards we talk about such as travel or car insurance, road side assistance, rental car options, etc. They have membership rewards which you can use towards flights, food or to buy certain items. Make sure you look what gives you the most points, reward options, and other promotions!
Oh, and before we forget you get a $200 airline fee credit with whichever airline you choose to spend on airline related items (i.e.: baggage) and $15 of Uber credits each month with a $20 credit in the month of December.
2. Gold Delta SkyMiles by American Express
- This card is also perfect for a traveler and just like the AmEx Platinum has no foreign transaction fees. Annual Fee? Yes, it’s $95 but not for the first year! Receive 30,000 bonus miles after your $1000 purchase and a $50 statement credit when you use your card in the first 3 months.
- This is the perfect travel card and of course if you're flying with Delta. So what does it do for your travels you might ask? You get a free checked bag which applies to up to 9 people that are flying under the same reservation, priority boarding (always), discounted Delta sky club access at $29 per person and inflight savings!
- When you fly with Delta you earn 2x the points by using this card so you can earn 2 miles per dollar spent when you use your card for purchases that you make directly with Delta or you earn 1 mile per dollar for purchases you make with your card on everyday things like gas or groceries
- There are upgrades that go beyond the gold card for example, if you can fit the annual fee and you want elite status you have to go for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles. Annual fee $195.
- Thinking about the Delta Reserve? The perks? INSANE. You earn 10,000 MQMs and 40,000 bonus miles after you make a $3,000 purchase within the first 3 months. Annual fee $450. But we will get into details regarding this card for you another time.
3. Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Annual fee $95. Receive a 50,000 signup bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
4. Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Annual fee $450. Receive a 60,000 signup bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. $300 of the annual fee goes towards your travel expenses as a travel credit which really means that the annual fee is only $150 given that you travel enough to spend the other $300 and have money to pay for the card upfront.
- Priority pass option is a feature with the reserve card.
- Rental car insurance, road side assistance is provided by both of these cards. Furthermore, you have great trip coverage for both cards! So it covers trip cancellation, trip delay, purchase protection. Side note you do receive more coverage with the reserve card.
When researching about these two cards we learned that you cannot have both of these cards, so if you want to have the signup bonus you have to wait 48 months before you can get the other card.
Either card is great just depends on your travel plans!
5. Secret Travel Tips
- Use one airline. Please pick an airline and fly with that airline for example, we love to fly Delta! Why? In the long run you will be saving and you may be eligible for upgrades especially if you have that airlines credit card.
- Add your frequent flyer number so you can get miles and use them towards your next flight (for example, you can collect points on both Delta and American Express)
- Add all your frequent flyer numbers for all the airlines to your credit card, so this way when you book your flight through your credit card travel agency your frequent flyer number will automatically populate (you guys know how much we love to save time!)
- Sometimes you can and should go through a third party like Expedia, Booking or Orbitz (Really depends on the deal and how much you are trying to save!)
6. TSA Precheck, CLEAR and Global Entry
- TSA is for domestic flights, get access to a shorter line, keep your shoes on and your computer stowed away! $85 through American Express for 5 years.
- CLEAR: $179/year but look for promos because there's always a discount to find! For example, if you're a Delta Diamond Member it's free and if you have the Platinum or Gold or Silver Delta card it will be $109/year, General SkyMiles members $119/year. Perks of CLEAR? Guaranteed access unlike TSA, although we've never experienced a delay in the TSA line thus far. It's also present at certain big stadiums which is a cool feature the other two options don't offer. Basically you can leave your tickets at home next time you're going to the Dodgers game.
- Global Entry: Through American Express is $100 for 5 years and includes TSA precheck. Perk of Global Entry? When you're coming back from an international flight you go to your own Global Entry line and get through customs way quicker. Have to sign up in person at your local airport for this one but it takes 10 minutes or less for the whole process to be completed!
Let us move on to online shopping. Don't we all love to save money when it comes to shopping?
- What is it? If you haven't heard of it before it is a free browser extension you add to your Safari, Firefox, Google chrome, etc.
- How it works? Whenever you go on a shopping website with this added extension an orange H will pop up to inform you when there is some sort of discount happening (i.e.: coupon code or cash back) on your purchase. It saves you the hassle of searching for a coupon or promo code (which no longer work as well as they used to, trust us!). It automatically picks out the best coupon code for you to save you the most money
- Another cool feature we want you guys to know about is Droplist. It watches any items you want to keep an eye on for any discounts. Perfect for Amazon! Just select the item and it will send you an email notification for any price drops. This can be set till a specific date you are willing to wait for the drop in price.
- Other perks include:
HoneyGold which is a rewards program that helps you collect points that you can then use to get a giftcard from Amazon, Starbucks, Sephora, etc.
HoneyTravel which compares all the prices from Expedia or Booking and will let you know the best deals around so this takes away from you having to go on every site looking for travel deals (what a time and money saver). Furthermore, as a honey member you collect Honey keys which you can use as a coupon code to book hotels!
8. Ebates aka Rakuten
- How it works? Go on the Ebates website and see the list of all the different partnerships they have that offer cash-back. When you click the website for example, for Barneys.com confirm that it is going from the Ebates site to the Barneys website. Once you purchase your item you will receive an email within a few days letting you know how much cash back you've received.
- How to get the cashback? You need to have something known as the big fat check in which it will deposit money back into your account in increments. For this you will also require a Paypal account.
- What's the catch? The cashback occurs only 4 times a year. On the 15th of May, August, November and February is when you will get your cash back not automatically after your purchase.
- Free Stock Market App. No minimum investment and the stock trades are all free! All accounts are taxable, obviously. Perfect for beginners, easy to use. And everyone loves an app, right?
- If you sign up through a referral from a friend they get a free stock and so do you. So if you plan on signing up you can ask us for our code or one of your friends who already use the app and send your code to your friends so you can collect as many free stocks as possible. What's the catch? You can't choose the exact stock however you do have a random pile to pick from. With that said, a free stock is a free stock and who knows what you will end up with, hopefully it will be Apple!
- Investment features include being able to invest in stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies
- Cool features? You can schedule deposits! Which means that you set the price for what you think the IPO will open at or the most you are willing to pay for a stock and if it opens at that price point or lower you get to buy into the stock for the original IPO price. So for some of us who live in California and the stock market opens at 6:30 am Eastern time, you can hit the snooze button by setting this up in advance.
- Another option is Robinhood Instant which gives you instant access to deposits that are under $1,000 with immediate access to your funds while you wait for your bank transfer to process into your account (which we know can sometimes take days).
- This app also offers a way to look at different stocks, save them to your watchlist, see trends of various stocks, read up to date articles in relation to your watchlist, etc.
- This is a Mutual Funds App. Don't know what that is? Basically investing money into different companies for you instead of you choosing each stock on your own. How it works? It picks a profile for you based on age, salary and goals which gives you recommendations of how much money is suggested to be allotted to these mutual funds. You can also check out your hypothetical potential years later on the app based on how much money you put in and the current or estimated market values.
- Ask us for a link or find a friend who uses the app so all of us receive $5 when you create your account!
- There is a monthly fee between $1-$3 depending on what feature you use. The service is free for college students and we would so get in on this if we were still in college! The automated investing account is $1 a month and the Acorns Later Retirement account is a Roth IRA that charges $2 a month.
- Options: weekly payments from $5 and up, depending on how much you are willing to set aside and also can be changed as you move along.
- Cool features? One of our favorites is the round ups. When you link your debit or credit card or both and you go make a purchase for let's say $7.83 the app will automatically see that purchase and round it up to the nearest dollar. By doing so it will take that spare change, in this example it would be 17 cents and place it into your Acorn account as an investment. Another thing you can do is earn found money by buying something through one of the partnered apps that will invest in you due to your purchase. For example, Nike will invest 5% into your account if you make a purchase within the same session. That means that just like with Ebates you need to be opening the partnered app or website through the Acorn App.
That's all for this week! We hope this brought you a lot of interesting information and we hope that you enjoyed it. Please let us know your life hacks so we can all share the wealth, save some money, and enjoy the finer things in life! Don't forget to rate, review and subscribe.