Money Tips

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:


Credit Card deals

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1. Credit Card Incentives:

How much you are worth to a credit card issuer? Usually 100$-$500. Most people open a new credit card account online or on the phone. We also keep getting lot of credit card offers in the mail. The fact is, ‘customer acquisition cost’ for a credit card company run into 100s. Issuing credit cards has become a profitable business from variety of things- the interest rates are high on credit card balances plus credit card issuers, VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX and DISCOVER, charge around 2% fees to merchants on every transaction. This sums up into lot of income for credit card issuers and also for credit card networks. If you don’t believe me, look at the stock prices of V (VISA) and MA (Mastercards)

I don’t want to tell you which is the ‘best credit card’. You make your own choice. Few things to consider are annual fees, rewards or cashbacks and APRs. If you intend to carry balance on your credit card, let me tell you that your every credit card issuer is going to love you. This means you have a higher value provided your credit score is good.

How to find credit card offers? Most offers are available online. Most aggressive credit card issues are Citicards, Sony, Airline companies, Chase, Bank of America etc. So look for their reward/cash back cards that offer you at least $100 upfront. It is not hard to find credit card they give you up to 25000 points or miles which translated into roughly $250.

Citibank, Chase are most aggressive. They always have some cash promotion for new credit card accounts with them. So it is best to Google ‘Citicard credit card promotions’ or ‘Chase credit card offers’. You can also do a general search for ‘Credit card offers’ or ‘credit card deals’. A 10 minutes spent on Google for credit cards can find you some great offers. So why open an account for free when you can get money for opening the same account?

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


2. Credit Card Rewards:

If you are still one of those unfortunate people who get only a credit card bill every month from credit card company, wake up. Besides monthly bills, you should be getting some cash back, points or miles to redeem for variety of things. Some credit card issuers do not pay anything upfront but pay you accelerated rewards- like up to 5% on gas purchases or grocery purchases for up to first 12 months. For an average US family that spends around 20,000 in purchases a year, the credit card rewards should bring in around $200 every year.I am planning to list below some good credit cards you should own from Sign-up bonus and Cashback rewards perspective.


The Chase Freedom Visa Credit Card offers 5% cash back on where you spend the most (15 categories). Categories include: Grocery Stores, Gas Stations, Fast Foot Restaurants, Cable/SAT TV/ISPs, and more. * Earn 5% Cash Back for every $1 spent in your top 3 categories * Earn 1% Cash Back for every $1 spent in purchases everywhere else * Save up $200 in rewards and redeem for $250 cash back * No Annual Fee * Get $50 Cash Back after your first purchase!

Do you keep balances on your credit cards? Here are some great 0% APR Cards.

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.

What is the value of an individual in to a business in USA?

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USA is a capitalist country and in such a society, most of the things have values. You also have a value. Let me help you discover your value.

Do you know how a typical consumer facing business works? Every business takes in resources and processes them to convert into something that they can sell at price higher than the sum of resources they have paid for. The difference is the profit. And profit is the goal for any business. There is no profit if there is no selling of the finished products. And there is no selling if you- consumers- do not buy what they produce. This puts you in the center of the business world. Your choices of products, your purchases form the core part of every marketing, production strategies of businesses. You are valuable and without you, there will be no profit. And without profit, there will be no business.

We are not aware but business are watching us closely. They are watches us to know what we like, what we buy, why we buy. The USA is the most competitive economy. And what is the competition for? It is to reach you. It is to make you happy. You may not be familiar but most business have customer acquisition costs (CAC). The CAC is more obvious in service sector but it exists in every business out there. To make it simple, divide the marketing expenses, bounties, and certain selling expenses of a company by the total number of customers it has, and that is the average customer acquisition cost. That is your value to that particular business.

Do you remember the dot com days? AOL was giving you a free computer (up to $400 rebate) if you sign-up for their dial up services for a specific period? That 400$ was not a generosity by AOL. It was the value they put on you.

So what is your value? It depends on the company you are dealing with.
How does this help you? Once you have an idea about your value for a company, you can try to get that benefit directly.

Opening Accounts with Daily Deal websites like Groupon, LivingSocial and get from $5 or more bonus

Credit Card Companies (Chase, Citi, VISA, AMEX, Mastercard etc.)

Banks (Chase, Citibank, American Express)

Stock Brokerage companies (eTrade, Ameritrade, Scott-trade)

Wireless Telephone Companies

ISP (Dial-up, DSL etc)

Cable- Satellite TV provider