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 Credit, Free 
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Turn 0% on Purchases into 0% on Balance Transfers

If you’ve been in the market for cards that offer 0% on balance transfers, you’ll probably see that a lot of cards now have decided to instead only offer 0% on purchases instead (such as this 0% on purchases for 15 months offer by Blue from American Express). Now, I don’t know what has led to this increase other than the cards wanting to end the whole 0% balance transfer arbitrage game but here’s a little way to turn your offer of 0% APR on purchases into a 0% balance transfer offer.

  • Sign up for Google Checkout as a vendor. You will need a website with a privacy policy, you can just start a site with Blogspot.
  • Send an invoice to yourself.
  • Pay the invoice with your 0% on purchases card.
  • Laugh at the card company’s feeble attempts to stop 0% balance transfer arbitrage gaming.

This will only work until February 2008 because Google Checkout has waived all the processing fees until then. If you’re concerned about reporting this an income, Google doesn’t track payments from the perspective of reconciling income (just like eBay doesn’t care how much you sell), and since in theory you’re paying yourself, it’s not really income. If you’re concerned about the tax and legal ramifications, I recommend you contacting a tax attorney on that.

Here are some good no annual fee, 12+ month 0% on purchases offers (if you’ve exhausted all the 0% balance transfers, which is pretty hard to imagine):

 Free, Personal Finance 
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Health Care Free Book Giveaway Ends Tonight!

The giveaway of two copies of Health Care on Less Than You Think ends at midnight tonight, so leave a comment on that post and win a book!

With only 19 entries, that’s better than a 10% chance you’ll win a copy of Health Care on Less Than You Think! (read the review)

 Cars, Credit, Free 
5
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$100 Gas Certificate for Credit Protector Still Available

The Credit Protector promotion of a $100 gas certificate for enrolling in their program is still alive and kicking, I just saw a banner for it when I logged into my account – here the link. I have yet to get either one of the $100 checks from when my fiancée and I last did the promotion in December but once they come in I’ll try to sign me up again with a different card and see if it’ll give us another $100 in gasoline!

If that link doesn’t seem to work, as some links haven’t in the past, try this one. Incidentally, I was looking at my Citi Professional card’s account summary when the offer appeared but, like last time, it’s available for all Citi cards I believe.

 Free 
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Free International Calls!

This may soon not work since AT&T has filed papers to close the loophole that makes this possible.

I still have a lot of family back in Taiwan and while I don’t necessarily call them, my parents sure do, so this new service, AllFreeCalls.net, is certainly going to come in very very handy.

Instructions:

  • Call 712-858-8094 (a phone number in Iowa).
  • Listen to the instructions, in Mandarin Chinese, in Spanish, then English.
  • At the prompt, enter 011, the country code (Country Codes list) you are calling and the number you wish to call.
  • Talk. Talk a lot.

Thanks Consumerist! (go there if you want to know why it works)

 Free, Taxes 
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IRS Free File Program Details

Basically, if your adjusted gross income is under $52,000, you are eligible to participate in the IRS’ Free File program:

The Free File program is a free federal tax preparation and electronic filing program for eligible taxpayers developed through a partnership between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Free File Alliance LLC, a group of private sector tax software companies. … Free File allows taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $52,000 or less in 2006 to e-file their federal tax returns for free. That means 70 percent of all taxpayers – 95 million taxpayers – can take advantage of the Free File program.

So, if you’re eligible, don’t waste money buying tax preparation software or services because you’re eligible to get it for free, just keep an eye out for upselling tactics (where they try to get you to buy other services, that’s why they’re offering federal absolutely free). Check the Free File site after the 16th of January for further details!

 Free, Taxes 
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State Farm Customers: Free Online Tax Filing with TurboTax

While I don’t have a State Farm account or policy, there have been confirmed reports that anyone with an account at State Farm will soon be eligible to file their taxes via TurboTax absolutely free (they offered this in previous years). The offer includes Federal, State, and ItsDeductible. If you log in, there’s a link to the offer on your Account Summary page.

File Your 2006 Income Tax for Free

Coming soon for State Farm customers who are registered online and have at least one policy or account viewable online…

Once again, Intuit, the creators of TurboTax, have agreed to provide you the ability to file your 2006 income tax online free of charge. Please check back after the first of the year to take advantage of this service.

If you want an account, you can open a credit card or open a bank account with State Farm but I don’t think either are worth it financially or time-wise just to get free tax filing (plus, if your adjusted gross income is under 52k, you can file for free via the IRS Free File Program anyway).

Reported in a thread on Fatwallet.

 Free 
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Small Idea, Big Change Challenge at Money Smart Life

Money Smart Life is running a contest called the Small Idea, Big Change Challenge where entrants just write about a small financial idea they may have read that led to a big change in their lives. If you’re a blogger, just post on your site; if you’re merely a reader, send your post to MSL. Then, read the entry posts and comment on the ones you like, the one with the most comments wins a one hour consultation with Kristine McKinley, a CFP and CPA from Beacon Financial Advisors.

Good luck!

 Free, Personal Finance 
26
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Win Health Care on Less Than You Think

Let’s start off the new year right… with a giveaway! In mid-December I reviewed Health Care on less Than You Think by Fred Brock and the publicity group behind the book sent me some extra copies to give away. So, leave a comment before January 12th and you’ll be entered into the giveaway and I’ll select two commenter’s at random to send the book to.

This contest has ended and the winners have been notified, if they don’t respond within a week or so, I’ll draw a replacement name and contact them. Thanks for entering!

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