Money Transfer to India? Try and get $25 free!

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Xoom: I LOVE IT! Earn a $25 gift card when you send money internationally.

Use the link below to signup and transfer your money! You will get $25 free.

Newspaper subscription deals- LA times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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Believe it not, newspaper deals were available at such a great rate few years ago, you will get a heart attack if you are market for print edition subscription for newspapers or magazine. Some magazine deals can be still found. Try to find a website that has affiliation with Once you make a purchase, the BizRate will pop up and ask you to fill up a quick survey. Do that. Once you fill up the survey, it will offer great magazine subscription deals like Time magazine for a full year for $2!! You can get many magazines like Sports Illustrated, Travel, Bloomberg, Money, Businessweek etc just for $2 per year. The catch is they auto renew so if you don’t want them to renew, you call and cancel. Or while signing up, use some Visa/Amex gift card so they can’t automatically bill on it later.

Newspaper subscription deals for LA times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post can be found at: has best current conversion rates and fast service to transfer money to India.

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(Source: Like PayPal, you can fund your transfer with any Credit or Debit card, or from a bank account transfer. For Credit card funded payments, they will charge a higher fee but it is still very low compared to Plus, your credit card issuer may charge such transaction as money advance and you may end up paying some fees to it. So use a debit card or a bank account to lower your transaction fees. However, at the time of transfer, enter the coupon code COMEBACK2014 and your transfer will be free.

The benefits: Your counterpart in India will get money within hours!! Plus their USD-INR rates are very good. Nice website. I loved their service when I tried it yesterday. You can access them and look at current promotions by clicking here.

Also, for a limited time, offers $50 Amazon gift card when you transfer $150 or more.

Stock Brokerage accounts

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Best stock trading account offers or new stock account promotions- Around 100$ incentive

How much you are worth to a stock broker company? Usually 100$ plus free trades.

Most people go directly to websites of TDAmeritrade, E-trade, Fidelity, Scottrade or Choicetrade and open their account online. Instead of going directly, go to Google or Yahoo and search for current promotions. I am not going to say which is the best online broker. I will leave it to you. I have accounts withTDAmeritrade (use this link and you can get up to $600 additional bonus!), FidelityETrade and Choicetrade (and now with Zecco too. Zecco sucks though. Click here for “Zecco IRA” account review.). For most of the accounts, I am paid 100$ or so. I do most of the trading with TDAmeritrade and ETrade but if you are looking for minimum research and use no tools as such, I would advise to minimize commissions and recommend to explore ChoiceTrade.

Anyway, this page is not to recommend any brokerage firm as such. We do not know who is the best online broker. You do your search. There are many websites that compare brokers. Just make sure the broker you select is SIPC member. SIPC is like FDIC for banks. SIPC insures your account up to million dollars so if I always make sure the broker is member of SIPC (most of the online brokers are insured with SIPC though.

Some notes based on experience:
Zecco :It is a shame on the industry.
1) It is frustrating to deal with their customer service and their trading policies (As always, there is no free lunch in financial markets LOL).
2) They charge $30 annually for an IRA account.
3) To close out an IRA account you need to pay at least $80. $50 for Account Transfer- which is compulasy. They just do not issue you a check for depositing into another IRA account. Plus they will charge $30 in account closing fees.
 If you have a cash brokerage account instead of margin, you can NOT sell one stock and buy another same day! You have to wait 3 days before you can buy stock or use the fund of your sell trade!!!

(If you like to follow stock market, here is a blog that lists Best Stock Market related news/articles on the web)


If you like a specific broker, search for offers from that specific broker. It is best to Google for new account offers. Try searching for ‘TDAmeritrade new account offers’, ‘etrade promotions’ or ‘scottrade deals’. A 10 minutes spent on Google can find you some great offers. So why open an account for free when you can get money for opening the same account?

Current TDAmeritrade Stock Trading new account offers

Etrade Account opening bonus offers

Scotttrade new account bonus

Are you ready to get your $100-$200? Search Google from right here:


Time Warner / Comcast Cable Internet rip-off

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Do you have cable internet? Do you own your cable modem or do you lease it from Time Warner or Comcast?
I never paid much attention to this item on my Time Warner Cable Internet but I was shocked when I found out something few days ago!

While shopping at Costco, I saw a new Motorola cable modem SB6141 for around $75! I bought that one and then I checked online on Time Warner website that this modem works with their service. I was happy that in one year, I would cover the cost of the modem. Every month, I have been paying $6 for the modem lease. Not a bad deal, right?

MotoralModemArris 502g

However when I was returning my old Cable modem to Time Warner, I realized how big of a fool I was! Not that $6 matters that much in my life but it didn’t go well with my engineering background and finance profession once I tried to find out the value of the modem that I had leased from Time Warner for the last 5 years! The modem that I was returning was Arris and the model was TM502G! When I checked online, the cost for a brand new modem was around $25 and there were plenty of sellers of used modem of this exact model number for $15-$18!!!

So this was like I was paying 40% of the current price of the modem every month!!! What a fool of me!!! If you are also leasing your modem from Time Warner cable internet or from Comcast, click on this link and buy your own modem. Stop paying every month for your modem.

Share Ooma to ea rn up to $100 — now available in Canada!

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Share Ooma and earn up to $100 — now available in Canada!
Introduce your friends and family to Ooma and receive up to $100 in rewards.There’s never been a better time to switch to Ooma! Invite your friends and family to purchase an award-winning Ooma Telo™ through our Refer a Friend program and they can get a brand new device for just $99.99 — plus it ships FREE! That’s a total savings of almost $60!
What’s in it for you? You’ll earn $20 in rewards for every Ooma Telo purchased using your referral code. Earn up to five rewards for a total of $100!Not only that, you can now pick how your rewards are delivered. Choose from or Best Buy gift cards, or simply have your rewards posted directly to your credit card!
Earning rewards couldn’t be easier. Just post, tweet or email your referral code to your friends and family and tell them how much you’re saving with the #1 ranked home phone service in America!Don’t wait to take advantage of this sweet deal. This special price and your chance to rack up $100 in rewards ends on 10/30.

Click here to start earning rewards today!

Referral CodeLAK2591
Share on:
This referral program expires on 10/30/2013. Referral codes must be used by this date to qualify for the referral reward. Purchases must be made using the referral code and the link provided in order to be eligible for promotional offer and referral reward. Units returned within 30 days of purchase will not qualify for the referral reward. Please allow 6-8 weeks from the end of the program for delivery of gift cards. Gift cards will be e-mailed to the e-mail address on your Ooma account and must be claimed within one year of being sent. Ooma will not be held responsible for any lost or stolen gift cards or gift cards sent to the wrong email address. This offer cannot be combined with any other rebate or program. Ooma reserves the right to cancel or modify the terms of this program at any time. #1 ranking based on an online survey of subscribers published May 2011, June 2012 and May 2013 by a leading consumer research magazine. Based on overall user satisfaction, not necessarily representative of general population.* is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Gift Cards (“GCs”) cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods on or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. ©,®,TM Inc. and/or its affiliates, 2013. No expiration date or service fees.
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Pentax K-01 16MP APS-C CMOS Compact System Camera Kit with DA 40mm Lens

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Want to buy a camera that takes great photos indoor and in low lights for around $330? Consider Pentax K-01 on
If you can stand with two drawbacks- lack of optical viewfinder and the orthodox style of Pentax k-01, this is probably one of the best dslr cameras for 2012.
* The image quality is excellent.
* With included 40mm lens, you can take impressive portraits and low light photos. If you like to take photos of people, this lens works out very well. (At the current price of $330 for Pentax K-01, the lens itself is worth $200!!! If you don’t want the lens, you can probably sell it and make the camera cost you around $150!!!)
* If you like to take landscapes, the HDR mode does wonders. Easy to use and brings in details in shadows and highlight does not get clipped either.
* With same K mount, in body Image Stabilization, and now Focus Peaking, using my Super Takumar 50mm 1.4 lens is easy and it helps get accurate focusing. K-01 body and Super Takumar lens (with combined cost of less than $400) help me take portrait photos that can compare very well with full frame $2000 plus DSLRs.
* This camera is compact and its odd look lets you take candid photos of people. Bulky SLRs many times make people too serious while being photographed but with box type camera, your subjects are less likely to take you seriously but when you show them the photos, they will be amazed.

I was going to buy K-05 but I really didn’t need weatherproofness or optical view finder so I went with K-01 and I am very glad I did. Having Canon T3i and Mirrorless micro four third Olympus PEN camera too, I can say that K-01 is a better camera and at this price point of less than $350, it is really a steal. Of course, I am assuming you are fine with its yellow color and boxy style.
Pentax k-01


Passport Photo prices comparison

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(You may also like our another review of “Passport photo services on the Internet“)

How much do passport photos cost at various places? The price depends on the store or website you order with. It can be $10 for 2 passport photos at Walgreens, CVS or RiteAid stores. In membership stores like Costco, you will pay $5 for two photos. If you are at the US post office, you can be expected to pay from $15 to $20. These are the prices for 2×2 inch US Passport photos. If you need to order passport photos for some other country or in some other size, most of the above stores will not be able to help you.

These days, you can get 6 or even 8 passport photos, not only for USA but for any country and in any size, for only $6-8! Take a front pose photo with your digital camera in good light, or with Flash, and upload it on or email it to passportphotos at They will fix your photo for exposure, shadows etc and then convert it into accurate passport or visa photos for your country. You will be able to pick printed photos at your local Walgreens, CVS, Target, RiteAid or Walmart store within few hours!! Digital camera revolution and Internet access in every household has made getting passport photos so easy and convenient.

Passport photo provider Prices
# of Photos
Price per photo

US Post Office Passport Photos



Most Target stores do not provide Passport Photo service (at least in California)

Costco Photos





CVS Pharmacy
UPS stores Varies 2 $5-$10

Kinko’s (Fedex Office)


*Rates are as of May 10, 2012 based on quick search on the Internet. They are produced here only for comparison purposes. For current rate at a specific provider, please contact them directly.

How good are the FREE PASSPORT PHOTO websites?

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Comparison of FREE and Pay Passport Photos Websites on the Internet
Review of Passport Photos services on the Internet
Normally passport photos are taken in Brick and Mortar stores.  Most local stores offer Passport photo services. However they have become expensive over time. Most stores like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, Rite-Aid  etc charge around $10 for 2 passport photos. Plus most such stores offer only 2×2 inch USA passport photos.  Because of these two reasons, now there is another alternative  and that is to get passport photos online.

How does passport photo service on the Internet work?
With most families having digital cameras and access to Internet, it is much easier to get passport photos online. Here also, there are two types of services. DIY or pay some money.

There are excellent businesses like which for a reasonable will will provide 6 or 8 passport photos for around $6 to $8 which is very economical compared to paying $10 or so for only 2 photos.  So if you need photos for whole family or need 10 or so photos per person, getting them done on the Internet can save you lot of money.  Besies the economic side, it is also easier to get passport photos for any country and in any size. Plus the biggest advantage in our opinion is fixing of customer photos. Full service passport photo websites on the Interet will fix flaws in your photos- like, correcting exposure, fixing background, removed harsh shadows behind the the head. This way, the photos you get are much likely to be accepted and this can save you some precious time with passport application.

Now there are some DIY free websites which revolutionized the printing of passport
photos. comes on the top followed by  However, there are some problems with using FREE Passport Photo services:

  • Your digital photos may not be as good for making passport photos.
    We estimate that barely 10% to 20% of the photos taken by individuals with their digital camera have accurate exposure, background, contrast needed to make valid and nice passport photos. There is no statistics available but there must be a significant rejection rate for photos created on free websites.
  • Shadows by flash. Most cameras fire flash when photos are taken inside and that roughly 95% of the photos would have undesired shadows behind the head in photos. Most passport photo requirements specifically ask you to submit photos without such shadows. (Our tip: Use full service online passport photo services like
    who digitally remove the shadows from the photos or will advise you how to avoid shadows while taking photos. This will eliminate chances of rejections for your passport or visa application and will save you considerable time.)
  • Foreign passport/visa photos: Most countries have their own passport/visa
    photo requirements. If that is not enough, different consulates of the same country have sometimes very different requirements for passport photos. As an example, the OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) application if submitted at San Francisco Consulate of India or New York Consulate of India will ask you to submit 2×2 inch photos but if you are submitting your application to Houston Consulate of India or Chicago Consulate of India, you will be asked to submit 35mm x35mm photos (which is like
    1.3x 1.3 inch)! If the size issue wasn’t enough, some consulates ask for Colored background and some require White or White-like background only even if the photos are to be used for the passport/visa application for the same country!!With FREE Passport photo websites like
    and, you will miss out these fine details but using full service, you will leave such worries behind as they take care of such details for you.
  • Most free passport photos sites like and
    require you to upload a file within only acceptable file sizes. If your photo file is too big or too small, the sites will reject your photos outright.

What is good about the free DIY Passport photo websites?

  • The biggest benefit is that and help you convert your digital photos in to passport photos for free. You upload your digital photos and they give you back a 4×6 print format
    with multiple photos on it.
  • This is a very quick process. Probably 3 clicks and you are done.
  • The best part is- it is free! If you are a good photographer and your photos have right exposure and no shadows behind head, you are good with such free websites.  You don’t have to pay anything compared to $10 that most stores charge for 2 passport photos.
  • You can create passport or visa photos for any country, in any size.

Best WSJ ‘Wall Street Journal’ subscription deals

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Best WSJ ‘Wall Street Journal’ subscription deals
The ‘Wall Street Journal’ is considered a premier business newspaper. That is very expensive too and they hardly ever undersell their subscriptions. It is very difficult to get good deal for WSJ! Bookmark this page as this page outlines the cheapest ‘Wall Street Journal’ subscription in the USA.

This deal is available to people who have airline miles- frequent Flier account- with an airline. As of the moment, we know this works with United Miles. Go to United Reward Website or talk to the customer service agent on the phone and tell them that you are looking to redeem your miles for Newspaper/magazine subscriptions. Most of the time, they have Wall Street journal subscription available. Or, read below….

As of this writing, you can subscribe to 39 weeks of Wall Street Journal home delivery (which also includes free online access to WSJ Web Site) for 3300 United Airline miles!

Don’t have United Miles?
No worries. You can apply for United Mileage Plus VISA card and get up to 21,000 free miles! Click here for details about this UNITED MILEAGE PLUS VISA card offer.

Like live agents than to click on a link? Call United Mileage agent at 877-273-7138 and tell that you are referred by Mileage account# 03166200660 under “Help a friend earn up to 20,000 miles”.

This will last for almost a lifetime of free Wall Street Journals subscription!*

*subject to continuation of this promotion of course and expiration of miles…

(Do you know the math for Airliner Frequent Fliers miles? Every mile is usually worth 1 Cent! So 3300 miles is worth $33. This is the best value for the miles you have in your frequent flier program.)

How to get this deal? Click here to go the webpage with images:

Click on this link to visit

Check the Redeem Miles box and enter your Zip Code and Click Go.

You will see your local newspaper as well as Wall Street Journal offer. Click on the SELECT button next to the offer you like and you are good to go.