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Archive for May 2008


I Purposely Drive In Heavy Rain To Get A Free Car Wash

Published 5/31/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Today I was relaxing at home on a lazy Saturday afternoon, tinkering on the computer and watching my weekend mixed martial art fighting shows on TV when suddenly there was a tremendous flash of light from the window, followed by the wallop of a floor vibrating thunder crack. Since I was on the computer, I quickly checked the weather page and confirmed that there was definitely a major thunderstorm heading my way. Weather reports predicted a heavy storm system to move through my neighborhood during the early to late afternoon period with the potential to bring forth severe isolated thunderstorms and heavy rainfall mixed with strong winds, with torrential downpours heavy at times. There was even an online warning issued for frequent lightening and even a small tornado watch. The mere prospect of tornadoes has always baffled me. I live in the Maryland suburban area of Washington D.C. and have never encountered a tornado before during my entire lifetime in this area. There have been limited reports of one or two tiny tornadoes touching down in years past, but their appearances are rare and usually sighted in the less populated outskirts of the central city. The metro D.C. area is simply too urbanized and populated with tall buildings and infrastructure for a substantial twister to develop. However, we do get pretty powerful thunderstorms and heavy rain showers at times - and that's where my dirty, dust covered car comes in.

Thunderstorms and Rain Showers Signal The Tantalizing Opportunity For Me To Get A Free Instant Car

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How To Maximize Your Free Citi ThankYou Network Credit Card Rewards

Published 5/29/08  (Modified 1/14/14)

By MoneyBlueBook

Updated List Of Citi Thank You Codes For Free ThankYou Network Points Below

Back in the day, cash back credit cards were all the rage as their rebate offers provided the highest purchase incentives for cardholders. But as the U.S. economy has soured in recent years and the mortgage backed credit crisis has worsened, credit card companies have joined the legions of credit-related industries hurt by the downturn. Despite the need to make changes in the new economical climate, credit card issuers still continue to offer lucrative incentive rewards and rebates to attract new customers and encourage continuous credit activity. However, such riskier times have compelled them to modify and scale back their credit card purchase incentives to greatly favor point reward programs over straight cash back. By offering purchase reward points redeemable for free merchandise, free airline tickets, or free gift cards, credit card companies are at least able to lessen their promotional losses by plowing some rebate money back to merchants that they have special partnership agreements with instead of just giving money back to the customer. This shift towards promoting reward points instead of cash back has lead to a rise in rebate earning percentages for reward programs offering points, and a gradual decrease in earning percentages for credit card programs offering cash back.

However, over the years, Citibank has consistently remained one of my better credit card reward issuers. When they came out and started promoting the Thank You Points Network for their banks and credit cards, I did my research and

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Find Great Bargains With eBay Auction Typos and Spelling Mistakes

Published 5/27/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

I love using eBay. I've been a busy eBayer since the online auction service opened for business in the late 1990's, and over the years I've gotten my bargain grubby hands on quite a few deal finds. However, back in the beginning there was less competition among buyers and sellers vying for a piece of the lucrative eBay pie. With less auction and savvy awareness on the part of the general public during eBay's infancy, deals were easier to be had.

Back in the good old eBay days, one of my best past success stories was bidding and winning online auction sales for D.C. Metro SmarTrip cards. People in the Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia metro area use prepaid magnetic debit cards to ride the subway train to work in our nation's capital. When the SmarTrip cards were first implemented on the subway system in 2004, I think I was one of the early few to immediately turn to eBay to buy subway cards in bulk denomination for maximum arbitrage savings. At the time, the whole concept of buying subway cards was still in its infancy so there was less competition for them online. Most of the SmarTrip sellers were federal government workers looking to unload their government issued cards to eBay buyers and make some money in the process (they probably weren't authorized or permitted to do that of course). But regardless of the legality or morality on their part, I was happy to buy them. Since I worked in D.C. at the time

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Memorial Day 2008 - Support Our Military Troops and Veterans

Published 5/26/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Well it's the long Memorial Day weekend again. Not only is this annual occasion significant to me because it always occurs around the same time as my birthday, it's also one of the important federal holidays set aside by our United States government to honor those men and women of past and present who laid down their lives during the course of their great service to our country. As the grand puba of all knowledge, the great Wikipedia notes that Memorial Day was originally enacted to honor the northern Union soldiers after the American Civil War but has been enlarged to cover all American military casualties of any war or military action.

This post today is not meant to be a political statement. In fact, I hold rather neutral opinions about the U.S. government's positions and the U.S. military's actions in the ongoing war in the Middle East. I'm neither supportive, nor am I really against it. I'm not a military strategist, nor am I a foreign policy buff. While I watch and follow CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, and have developed my own viewpoints like any other guy, I don't claim to know the answers. So I leave the big foreign policy and homeland defense decisions to the elected bigwigs in Washington D.C. While my foreign policy views are both non committal and neutral, when it comes to supporting our patriotic troops, I'm in it 100%. I think they deserve our full support and admiration, and that includes past veterans, present troops coming back home,

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How Long Does Bankruptcy Stay On Your Credit Report?

Published 5/24/08  (Modified 6/17/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a consumer reporting company is officially permitted to list accurate negative information on a consumer's credit report history for seven years (7) and bankruptcy information for ten (10) years.

Information regarding a lawsuit or judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitation expires, which ­ever is longer. There is no time limit on reporting information about crimi­nal convictions, information that is reported in regards to a job application for a salary of more than $75,000 a year, nor is there a time limit on information reported because of an application for $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance. Thus, unless the reported information is otherwise determined and proven to be inaccurate, incorrect or downright fraudulent, negative information on your credit report can only be removed or marginalized through the passage of time.

It's the job and duty of the credit reporting agencies to store and maintain accurate information about consumers by collecting data from credit granters and public records, including bankruptcies, judgments, and liens. Potentially negative information or remarks, such as missed payments and most public recordations, generally remain on a personal credit report for 7 years, with the exception of Chapters 7, 11 and 12 bankruptcy filings, which remain for 10 years. Unpaid tax liens remain for 15 years while paid tax liens remain for 7 years. Positive information may remain on a report indefinitely, and paid-for closed accounts generally display for 10 years. Requests

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The Capital One Card Lab - Make And Customize Your Own Credit Card

Published 5/21/08  (Modified 8/7/14)

By MoneyBlueBook

Have you tried out the Capital One Card Lab program from Capital One credit cards yet? It allows you to build your own custom credit card using a pretty nifty online gadget. This novel web based feature from Capital One represents a promising shift and emerging trend in the credit card business towards providing customers more control and choice over the credit card selection process - by allowing them to create and set the terms and conditions of their credit card rewards and promotional offers. This is a growing movement that I hope is ultimately picked up by the other top credit card companies like Citibank, Chase, American Express, and Discover as well.

While credit cards and financial services in general have a history and reputation of being dry, complex, and frequently confusing, Capital One's new Card Lab online tool tries to make the application and selection process more entertaining and engaging, while still staying informatively functional at its core. The company's improved workshop tool gives customers a glimpse at the future of credit card creation, personalization, and customization. Through its convenient Card Lab website, users and prospective customers are given full informational control of the online application cycle, as the site offers interactive tools that permit them to select from a menu of credit card interest rate terms and rebate rewards to build their own unique credit card program to meet their needs. By providing consumers greater control and manipulative access to all card variations and reward terms in a way that is accessible

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