Or, consider other cards for 50,000 or more miles or points that transfer into United miles with additional flexibility for your everyday spending. A few months ago, I upgraded from Chase Freedom, my primary credit card for the last 2 years, to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. In order to understand my reasoning, it may be helpful to understand why I am so loyal to Chase. The next, and maybe most important, reason for being loyal to Chase is the ease of use of their online banking portal. Not only do I have two credit cards with Chase, I have my primary checking and savings accounts and my car loan.
One of the main reasons for utilizing Chase for my primary credit card is because I can pay off my credit card right in the portal, transferring money from checking account right to my bill very securely. To continue with the theme of commending Chase for their excellent online prowess, I also am loyal to Chase because of their Chase Ultimate Rewards program. I recommend the Chase Freedom card to any recent graduates who are entering the work force and will be taking complete or increased control of their personal finances. When I finished my undergrad and adventured into the “real world”, I, like most of my peers, was bombarded with advertisements and offers from almost every corner of the financial world. I was overwhelmed with all of the offers and was tempted to throw in the towel completely when it came to personal finance. So, I did some research, feeling like I could barely keep my head above water in the sea of all the credit card offers out there. Chase Freedom is great for recent grads because it is a no-fee card and gives you a good intro bonus for spending very little (in my case it was a $100 bonus after spending $500 – a very low spending requirement for any rewards program).
If you are an avid online shopper, Chase Ultimate Rewards also offers opportunities to earn more through their rewards shopping mall. Right now (Jan- March ’14), the categories where you earn 5% cash back are gas stations, movie theaters, and Starbucks. For me, the biggest draw for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is that there are no foreign transaction fees. If you’re going to Europe, you already know that everything is more expensive than it looks because of the exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro or pound. As a general rule of thumb, I find that if you’re going to be spending at least $5,000 in foreign currency in a year, it’s worth it to get a card with no foreign transaction fees, even if it means paying an annual fee on the card.
I can’t say enough about the Chase Sapphire Preferred customer service line that I’ve called. My credit limit on the Chase Sapphire Preferred is about 3 times that of my Chase Freedom card.
Note: If you don’t qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you may qualify for the Chase Sapphire, which has similar but not as spectacular rewards. The good news is Chase plans to launch Chip and PIN technology for the Sapphire Preferred soon, so you’ll be able to request an updated card and be able to use it at kiosks.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 2 times the points on dining and travel, extra discounts if you book travel through their rewards system, a 7% annual bonus on points earned in the previous year, and free transfer to a number of other rewards programs. Note: I recently discovered that you will also get a 10% bonus on annual points earned with Chase Freedom if you also maintain a Chase checking account. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is like the mature older brother of the Chase Freedom card. Side Note: Chase Banking also offers “BluePrint”, which you will love because it shows you an overview of your spending habits (how much per category), it helps you plan to most effectively pay off your credit card debt if you do so happen to get into it. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. You’ll see all your key RBC Royal Bank banking and investment information at a glance on your RBC Royal Bank Online Banking Accounts Summary page, for an instant snapshot of account balances, credit card balances, investments, loans and lines of credit, insurance and other accounts. Reduce clutter by selecting the eStatements option to receive and view your RBC Royal Bank account statements online. RBC Royal Bank Online Banking is the ultimate secure filing system: eStatements are available for you to view online for up to seven years. It’s easy to pay bills and transfer money to family and friends through RBC Royal Bank Online Banking. You can also create a budget to help keep track of your money, as well as set a financial calendar so you can see the days of the month when bills are due, when to transfer money, top up your savings and more.
Automatic payments may be made from your checking or savings account, depending upon your utility company or retail vendor, or your savings account. You will be asked to provide our ABA Routing Transit Number and your 10-digit account number. You will need to provide our ABA Routing Transit Number (231382241) and your account number. Call TeleBranch (Customer Service) at (800) 237-7288 or email Account and Transaction Inquiries. We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Living on my own, I’ve been putting the things I was taught growing up into practice.
One of the best books I read right out of college was Smart Women Finish Rich; there are a lot of great tips, worksheets and follow up materials that the author provides. The major reason why saving a little bit in January and more in December works is that it allows people to get used to the idea of saving money.

In terms of not thinking about saving, I think that works for people who are used to and already understand the importance of saving. In addition to this reverse method, I also have friends who have done $1 one week, followed by $52 the next, then $2 and $51, so you're basically saving the same amount each month. I graduated college this past summer and started working full-time at a "real" job this August and I agree with you about the importance of saving! I love this as a way to save for Christmas presents (or I guess eventually gifts over the year in general as it builds up) so that it isn't a big hit all at once! If you're using a savings account, it makes more sense to put more money away at the beginning of the year, so you receive interest each month.
I think a fun way to do this might be to choose one of the amounts on the list each week depending on your current financial situation then cross it off the list.
Love this and was planning on implementing it for my husband and I as well…so that way we'll double it!! I have been needing to and meaning to get an emergency savings account set up and it hasn't come to fruition.
I've been doing this since half way through 2013, every Monday I transfer the amount from my checking to my savings.
Free anniversary night (no points needed) good at any IHG hotel (Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, more). As a long-time Chase client, I am very happy with my decision to upgrade and I’d like to tell you why.
As an avid user of the internet, I understand that sometimes there are malfunctions for a company’s online interfaces and I tolerate these to varying degrees depending on my affinity for said company.
I manage all of these within one portal that is so self-explanatory that I am convinced even a baby could do it… or a grandparent.
Although I do not think their rewards mall is better or worse than comparable programs, it is incredibly easy to use and understand. Anyone in marketing will tell you that they want to snatch up your loyalty early because they know the lifetime value of these young professionals. However, I knew I had to get a credit card and a bank account beyond the student checking account I’d shared with my parents since high school.
I did end up throwing in the towel because of the overly complicated nature of most offers that were presented (Remember, this was 2011).
Simply use the direct link to the Ultimate Rewards page through your Chase interface and you can click to the Rewards Mall to see which stores are offering extra points per dollar spent.
This is a good idea because those need to be monitored carefully (I recently had a problem with Best Buy charging me once from Best Buy and once from Geek Squad for the same automatic insurance charge).
Around Christmas, they’ll sometimes throw some extras in or a special deal like 15% cash back on Kohls. When I applied for this card, I knew I would be traveling abroad for extended periods over the next year. Whenever you’re buying something you try to do some quick mental math to figure out how much that is in USD. Though there are many no annual fee cards with no foreign transaction fees, and you can see a list here. We called Chase and challenged them on it and they assured us that it is and told us not to put it in a shredder because we would break the shredder. However, I was surprised and impressed to find that when I was connected to the second person, the first person came on the line and reiterated my issue (so I wouldn’t have to detail it again) to the second person and then asked for my PERMISSION to disconnect. They have express mailed me replacement cards in the past even when the original delivery failure wasn’t their fault at all.
This might also be a good place to note that using the Chase Freedom card will help you build your credit so that you do eventually qualify for a card like Chase Sapphire Preferred. Whereas, I previously purchased high ticket items with a check, I now put them on my Chase Sapphire Preferred (and can pay them off almost immediately if I so choose). You can also use the Chase Sapphire Preferred Rewards mall to gain extra points for your online shopping. If you are already banking with Chase, they are easy and convenient to pay off, and complement each other well.
They appear monthly, look just like your paper statements (view an electronic statement example) and eStatements act as official bank documents. You can even have a notice them delivered to your email address that a statement is ready– so you will never miss seeing a statement. Any companies or vendors you have paid bills to in the past will already be included in your list of payees. This is a convenient form of bill paying commonly used with utility and retail vendors such as your cell phone provider. Many times you can enroll in automatic payments directly from their specific web sites or you may have to complete a paper form. I definitely grew up in a household where the value of a dollar was greatly reinforced.
I think this is the perfect method for people who generally struggle to save or saving queens who maybe wants to save up for something special. Don't get me wrong, I totally recognize the importance of setting savings goals and sticking to them.
In fact, they may come to realize that they can actually be saving MORE when the year is up… imagine what their 2015 savings plan might look like then!!

Acknowledging and being aware of the saving (and increasing account as the year goes on) is absolutely part of the learning curve. I can definitely see how building some momentum might help someone get excited about saving once they see their money start to grow. It's hard to believe that just putting away a small amount each week can really make a big impact!
It's been so fun getting a paycheck for working so hard as opposed to writing tuition checks and still working hard. Regardless of how you tweak it to suit your needs being educated about budgeting and savings is super important. In all of these locations, there has been an abundance of conveniently located Chase banks and Chase ATMs. However, when it comes to Chase, I have had to tolerate e-inconveniences exactly one time in 3 years. This helps me feel confident and in control of my rewards and doesn’t give me the uneasy feeling that I might be missing out on unrealized points potential. That’s all you REALLY need to know if you’re too overwhelmed to really dig into any program. If you do decide to switch over to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, like I did, it is worth it to keep your Chase Freedom card. Well, our office had to buy a new shredder because we just couldn’t help ourselves (see the picture below).
If you have had the same nightmarish experiences that I’ve had with customer service in the past, then you will be in as much disbelief as I was over this great and technique. They have all had chip technology for several years and it’s a great joke amongst them that Americans are not up to speed. However, if you’re trying to make a purchase somewhere such as a train kiosk, you will still not be able to. I use both cards and the points from each can be combined into my Ultimate Rewards account, which lets me get the best of both worlds.
Because of the $95 annual fee, I think you are treated with a higher priority by customer service and at Chase in general, though your own experience may be different.
Compensation from our advertising partners impacts where ads are placed, but does not impact the order in which products appear on the site. Funds are electronically transferred from your account through the Automated Clearing House (ACH). I spent an hour or so budgeting money for Christmas presents for my friends and family (here’s a gift guide to get you started!) and I wish that I had a magic wallet where the money for presents just existed, you know?
I'm a bit of a money nerd so I actually enjoy sitting down to plan out how I can hit goals like topping up my emergency fund, squeezing a bit more into my retirement accounts, or saving for fun trips (fun goals add some instant gratification to the mix and make the whole thing less daunting). Probably in the future it could be automatic, but I think there's absolutely something to say about the importance of making the effort every week to reach the goal. At the end of the day, it's all about tradeoffs, so something that forces savings to stay top of mind could help someone make smart choice when it comes to dinner out with friends versus hitting your goal for the month.
It also has your name and number on the back of the card only, which gives me a sense of security.
This method is the PERFECT way to make sure you have cash to spend at the end of the year for gifts plus plenty left over for actual savings.
So I tried doing that, but after a while, I became stressed because that was just TOO much. From a cash flow perspective, this particular strategy doesn't make a ton of sense to me. If you use the chip at the chip machines (such as at restaurants), it will automatically ask for a signature.
You can either put cash in a jar (save up loose change and bills throughout the week) or set up a special savings account online and transfer the money from checking to savings every week. Sure, it would be easy to find an extra $10 to squirrel away in January, but an extra $202 in December would be challenging for most people.
It's eye-opening to see where your money is going each month and easier to see how much you can save! If you do thing you are guaranteeing that you won't cheat and spend your money early, as you can never get it out of the bottle! You could save all through your twenties and not save a dime more after age 30, and still have more in the bank then someone who didn't start saving for retirement until their 30s.
This helps you fit in at least a little because if you have a card that only swipes, you will stick out like a sore thumb.
Or… well, I think you can find a way to make it work in the best way for you and your needs and wants.
Why not just roll a little extra spending money into your annual savings goals and spread the pain evenly across the year? Some weeks will be easier than others, so I'd recommend allowing for some flexibility and using some light spending weeks to get ahead in case you do have a more expensive week coming up. Setting up automatic savings transfers or having part of your paycheck go straight to a savings account makes it seem like the money never existed.

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