Thursday, March 14, 2019

Best Credit Card Hacks

Credit Card Hacks

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This is a guest post by Syed Faraz

A credit card is a form of plastic money which is issued by almost all banks to their customers to pay for various services and products. With a credit card, you will have a credit limit per month and at the end of every month, the total amount must be paid back to the bank with interest. A credit card has several advantages which most people do not understand or do not use. Most credit cards offer a wide range of offers on food, travel, dining and as well as reward points on every transaction you make. You, as a credit cardholder, will also be entitled to cashback rewards, gift cards, travel discounts, etc.
To understand how the offers and rewards of the credit card work, you must know the types of credit cards available and offers by the banks. Along with this, you must also know the terms and conditions which comes with every credit card. Using a credit card requires a number of hacks which you must be aware of in order to get the best offers and make use of all the benefits.

Here are some of the best credit card hacks:

Always check for Discounts and Rewards

When you own a credit card, there are several benefits and rewards you are entitled to when you make any kind of a transaction with the card. It is important to keep a check on those rewards and benefits and make use of them whenever possible. It is also important to know what type of credit card you hold or have applied for in order to receive specific rewards and benefits.
It is not advisable to use to one credit card for all kinds of purchases you make in a month. For example, there are specific credit cards which offer benefits and rewards on your travel purchases and hotel bookings or a credit card which solely offers benefits for every transaction made for fuel purchases. If you use only one credit card for all types of purchases, you will lose out on the various benefits and points you were eligible to receive.

Keep a track of offer period

Many offers on your credit cards are not always on a permanent basis. Some of the offers might be for a limited period only. It is advisable to keep a check on the offers which are available to you on your credit card. By doing so, you will know when offers are expiring and you can make the most of it during its validity.

Online Shopping Portals

Most credit cards offered by major banks in the country have dedicated offers and benefits when it comes to shopping online. Ranging from low-interest EMIs available for certain products as well as longer tenure options, the credit cards enable you to buy the product you wish to while offering a wide range of options when it comes to repayment.
Major e-commerce websites such as Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, etc. offer a wide range of discounts on credit cards for a limited period of time at regular intervals. It is advised to keep a regular check on the bank’s website for the offers available on the credit card you own and avail it. It might not always feature on the shopping websites. You get to save a lot and shop more with the credit card.

Keeping Track of your Due Date

Owning a credit card also means keeping a regular track on the due date. It is important to keep the due date of each credit card you own and manage your finances for the month appropriately. Most credit card bills are generated within the last week of the month and the bill is to be paid by the first week of the upcoming month.
In order to save yourself from a more expensive credit card bill, it is advised to limit purchasing items which are of higher value. For example, if you wish to buy a phone on the last week of the month, it is better to delay it and purchase it after the credit card bill for the month is sent to you. In that way, the bill amount is not high, and you will not be required to pay the purchase amount of the phone in full immediately. If you buy it after the due date, the credit purchase will be added to your next month’s bill amount and you will have one month’s time to pay it back.

Check Annual Fee of Credit Card

Most credit cards charge annual fees, especially the ones which offer more reward points and benefits. However, just because the annual fees are high, doesn’t mean that you don’t take the card. Many times, for a nominal annual fee, the benefits and reward points which you are eligible to get is much higher, in that case, opting for a credit card which has an annual fee is a good option.

Purchase Gift Cards

Another credit card hack which is useful to many people is the purchase of gift cards. During various occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc. A gift needs to be given. You can redeem the points which you have earned on your credit card to purchase a gift card from various e-commerce websites such as Amazon or even purchase them from the retail stores of popular brands. You can save money by doing this and in some instances, earn cashback as well. It is one of the popular ways by which most people are able to save money by getting gift cards against earned points as well as earning discounts on them with the cashback offers.

Opt for Travel Credit Cards

If you are a frequent traveller, it is advisable to opt for a travel credit card as the travelling benefits and reward points offered are more when compared to other types of credit cards. Along with that, with a travel credit card, you will also be offered a wide range of benefits and reward points on hotel reservations and access to various airport lounges all over the country and the world. However, most importantly, any kind of flight bookings done with a travel credit card will get you flight miles which can be accumulated and redeemed for flight tickets as well.
Here are some of the credit card hacks which can prove to be useful if you have a credit card. However, you can call the customer care number or visit the website of the bank of your credit card in order to know more in detail about the reward points and benefits of the card you have taken.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Credit Card Features You Ought To Look Out For

Credit Card Features
This article is contributed by Syed Faraz from

While we are overwhelmed with reward programmes and bills that come with credit card usage, there are extremely useful features that you might want to take a look at since they often help people to save and protect themselves against unprecedented events.

Credit Card Insurance: This is a much-sorted feature which people often do not notice. Credit card providers often have special insurances free- of charge with the usage of the card. This may be personal accidental insurance, travel insurance and sometimes a life cover. Now, we are aware that people already have travel insurance when they are booking a flight. But one can always take advantage of a backup option. Whether it is a delayed flight or loss of baggage, it always is essential that you have some excess or buffer amount. Also, when it comes to personal accident insurance, we often do not invest in this product thinking that car insurance is sufficient. But it is not, since your life and health is important and personal accidental insurance offered by some cards helps to take care of yourself.

Purchase Protection Plans: This is basically for people who are making purchases for expensive products, such as electronics, furniture or home appliances. It often happens that when you buy a product you pay an amount, and within a few days, you see that someone else is offering the same product at a lower price. In such a case the credit card company or bank will pay the difference so that you always are able to make intelligent purchases. This not helps to always ensure that you are never fooled by retailers and dealers but you make a saving in a way since you make a purchase that is lower than your budget for that product. A lot of credit cards offer this option and it is absolutely worth it if your card offers it. This feature tends to be present in shopping or high-end international cards.

0% Balance Transfer: This is a comparatively new concept where you can transfer your credit card bill from one credit card to another. Some banks offer you low-interest rates in such cases. But a handful of banks in Malaysia offer your 0% interest rate to help you get rid of your credit card debt conveniently. Now, it is essential to check for the processing fee since it is often high and might have a negative effect. However, knowing that most card interest rates are as high as 18% even a lower interest rate of 7% without processing fees might just ease out the pressure you are having to deal with. This feature is so vital and useful for people that people often choose a card based on this option.

Airport Lounge Access: We are well aware of this feature by now but the main thing is to check how many accesses are available and whether the food and beverage offered at the lounge along with other services such as wi-fi are completely free of charge or not. A lot of cards simply offer discounts instead of free lounge accesses. Also, some airports may not give this access based on your card. The most prevalent lounge franchisee at an airport is Plaza lounges. Almost all major airports in the world have these lounges. Meals may not be offered all the time, but there are always beverages available along with cereals and milk.

There are new perks and features always available to people to make the customer experience for a credit card more satisfactory. Make the most of these features.

Friday, May 20, 2016

What are Paid Online Surveys

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Companies doing business want to know what the public thinks of their products. They engage marketing and research companies to seek an opinion from them. They are also interested to know the impact of their new products before launching. By offering your opinion about their products and services, you are paid in cash (it is credited into your PayPal account and then you can transfer the amount to your personal banking account) or vouchers (KFC, Pizza Hut, Zalora, Parkson, Giant, Starbucks and many more)     

According to Wikipedia surveys where the respondent must pay or purchase products to join a panel are generally scams, as are sites that disappear before paying the participants. Legitimate surveys do not need credit card information from respondents. When a research company needs respondents from a demographic they cannot reach they can easily reach out to a worldwide or speciality panel. By offering a cash incentive to respondents in return for feedback these companies are able to quickly fill quotas and collect the information being sought by the client.

When you join a paid survey site, you are required to provide your personal and demographic information. It is used to select participants for surveys on specific products and services. When you are selected as a panel member, there is a short screening survey to determine if you fit the profile for that particular survey. If you qualify, you will proceed to complete the survey.

Online marketing and survey research companies will usually notify you by email when there is a survey to be responded. Check your email regularly because notification of new surveys can reach you any time of the day   I usually answer questions using my PC or iPad because it is easier to get work done on a big screen. You take only a few minutes to answer a survey. It is a fun thing to do and you also earn some pocket money at the same time

Here are Top 10 Paid Survey Sites in Malaysia that I have joined for free and received payments regularly. I can collect about RM100 per month in cash and vouchers doing daily surveys. To get the most out of paid surveys check out these 10 Top Smart Tips. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Paid Surveys - Top 10 Smart Tips

 Paid Surveys - Top 10 Smart Tips

I have been a panel member of the top ten survey sites in Malaysia since June 2015. I would like to share with you what I have learnt from taking online paid surveys:

 1. Never pay to join a survey site: All the top 10 survey sites in Malaysia are free to join. I did not pay a single cent. Don’t ever pay a fee to join a survey site or pay to get a list of survey sites. Do not be conned by attractive online ads that promise you heaven and earth. 

2. Join as many sites as possible: If you want to earn more and do surveys daily you need to join as many sites as possible. Like me, I participate in all the top 10 survey sites in Malaysia and I used to get daily emails to take part in one or the other survey from among the various companies. 

3. Response Quickly: When you get an email to do a survey, do so quickly because there is a quota for each survey. When they get enough respondents, the survey will be closed. 

 4. Open a PayPal account: When you are paid in MYR or USD the money will be credited into your PayPal account. From your PayPal account, you can transfer the fund into your own banking account.  

5. Complete personal profile: Your complete personal profile is to ensure you are invited to participate in relevant surveys. 

Related: What are Paid Online Surveys?

6. Keep a record: I keep a spreadsheet of the links to all my survey sites. I record the points that I have accumulated. When I make a claim or redemption I record it as a pending item to monitor the receipt of the amount in my PayPal account or the vouchers. 

 7. Cash out or redeem: Make a claim as soon as possible when you have enough points to do so. You never know when one of these online companies might fold up anytime and you would waste all your efforts. 

8. Check emails daily: This is to make sure that you do not miss invited online surveys. You also need to visit survey sites daily to look for new surveys. 

 9. You will not be rich by taking surveys: You only spend a few minutes to complete a survey. Do not expect to get paid a huge amount. I am getting RM105 this month (March 2016) and I expect to earn more because as an active member I will be getting more survey invitations in future. 

 10. Productive use of time: When you are free at home, just spend a few minutes to complete a survey and you will be able to earn some money to defray your household expenses. It is legit, fun and interesting. 

Doing online surveys is one great way to work at home and earn extra money. Time is bad and every cent counts.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top 10 Survey Sites in Malaysia

Image result for survey images
Do you want to earn some pocket money working at home or where there is an internet connection? Taking surveys, voicing your opinions and answering questions for a few minutes each time are such easy ways to make some extra money.

Here are the ten top sites that I have joined and made some money and obtained some vouchers. What you can earn in MYR or US$ is credited into your PayPal account. You can also redeem for vouchers from some sites that you have earned sufficient points. These vouchers can be used at such outlets like Giant, Jusco, Parkson, KFC, Pizza and many more.

1.Ipanelonline: When you take part in their surveys, every 1000 points earned you will get RM10/=. The amount is credited into your PayPal account. According to their Home Page, iPanel is a professional online sample collecting company for market survey iPanel lets you share your opinions and suggestions fast, conveniently and intelligently. Any survey you participate in will give you 1-2000 points. We are a reputational Asian online survey company ranked within the top 10 of the sample companies throughout the world by authorities through consecutive years.

2.GlobalTestMarket: When you have earned enough points you can redeem for paper vouchers issued by AEON, Cold Storage, Din Tai Fung, Isetan, Metrojaya, Parkson and Starbucks. You can also credit USD10 into your PayPal account for every 1044 points earned. This company is designed to give you the opportunity to get paid for directly influencing global market research.

3.Viewfruit: For every 500 points earned you will get USD1.00. USD3.00 is credited into your PayPal account when you have accumulated 1500 points.

4.Toluna: For every 16000 points earned you will get an RM20 voucher issued by Isetan, Giant or AEON or you can also credit RM20 into your PayPal account. According to Toluna, surveys are created by their partners who are mostly research companies. Most of the time their surveys and questionnaires will last between 15 and 20 minutes, and your participation will be rewarded on the duration of the survey.

5.Mobrog: You are paid USD0.5 to USD0.25 per survey. When you have accumulated US$6.25, the amount will be credited into your PayPal account

Related: Paid Surveys- Top 10 Smart Tips 
                      What are Paid Online Surveys? 

6.AIP Online Surveys: You can redeem for RM20 vouchers issued by KFC, McDonald, Giant and many more at 2000 points per voucher.

7. Surveyon: You can get up to 20,000 maximum points per survey. When you have accumulated 30,000 points you will get USD3 credited into your PayPal account.

8.Valued Opinions: You can get RM30 vouchers from KFC, Pizza Hut, AEON and Zalora by participating in their surveys. You will get RM3 to RM5 for each survey.

9. Opini: It is an online research panel. Members are paid for their time. Opini pays its members for their views, but many people join the online community because they enjoy being part of a public platform which can have a real impact on how products, services and well-known brands are offered to consumers in Asia. Your earnings in US$ will be credited into your PayPal account.

10. YourVoice: You can get E-Vouchers, physical vouchers by taking part in their surveys.

I started taking surveys in June 2015. I have so far collected more than RM350 in my PayPal account and various vouchers. These survey companies are legitimate

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Best Investment Plan Is Part Science, Part Emotion


Research says to pick an investing strategy and stick to it. That's a lot easier to do when it's a plan you believe in.

What’s the right way to invest?
Most people I talk to about money end up asking me some version of that question. Heck, I continue to ask it myself as I try to ensure that I’m always giving my clients the best advice possible.
The question comes from a good place. You work hard for your money and you want to make sure that your money is working hard for you. You have important goals to reach and your investment plan has to help you do it.
But there’s an assumption inherent in this question that can get you into trouble.
Because the truth is that there is no right way to invest. And the search for the right way to invest can actually lead to more problems than solutions if it causes you to continually change your investment plan in pursuit of the newest best idea.
Instead, I would encourage you to accept that the best investment plans are a mix of science and emotion, and incorporating both gives you the best chance at success.

The Science

The science of investing comes from decades of research and it can teach you some best practices.
It explains how different types of investments work, shows you some simple strategies that will improve your odds of success and helps you create a “good enough” investment plan to help you reach your goals.
For example, here are a few things we believe to be true based on the best scientific research on investing we have to date:
  • Stocks offer the greatest opportunity for big returns, but also the biggest risk that you won’t actually get those returns.
  • Bonds provide a smaller return, but with more certainty that you will actually get it.
  • The longer you stay invested in the stock market, the more likely it is that you’ll get a positive return.
  • Regularly changing investment strategies or trying to move in and out of the stock market with the ups and downs is likely to lead to poor results.
  • Factors like how much money you need and when you need it should influence your investment strategy.
  • The less money you need, the more conservative (and therefore certain) you can be with your investment strategy.
  • The longer you have until you need the money, the more aggressive you can afford to be (because you’ll have longer to ride out the down periods).
  • If you’re investing for the long term (10+ years), some significant investment in the stock market is likely a good idea.
  • Costs matter. A lot. The less you pay for your investments, the greater your chance of success.
None of these things is absolute. Nothing in the world of investing is. But these are the best practices we’ve learned from the best scientific research we’ve been able to do. And they should serve as important guidelines as you create your investment plan.

The Emotion

All of that science is great, but it’s inexact. It gives you a range of possible strategies that could work, but it doesn’t provide one right answer.
And here’s the other thing: We know from decades of experience that one of the best things you can do is simply pick a plan and stick with it through thick and thin.
That consistency, almost more than anything else, is what really leads to success.  And that’s where your emotions come in.
See, we aren’t robots. We can’t just input “optimal investment plan A” and expect to stick with it forever.
We are humans, and humans have emotions. And those emotions affect our decisions whether we like it or not.
For example, you may hear that you’re supposed to be heavily invested in stocks because you’re relatively young and have a long time before retirement. That’s the conventional wisdom and there are good reasons behind it.
But there’s also the fact that being heavily invested in the stock market means that your account balance will rise and fall dramatically with the ups and downs of the market.
Some people are comfortable with that. Some aren’t.
If you aren’t, it’s much better to acknowledge that ahead of time and choose to be a little more conservative.
That will increase your comfort level, which will increase the chance that you’ll actually stick to your plan, which will increase the chance that you’ll actually reach your goals.
And that’s just one example. As you do your research you’ll come across many other right ways to invest. And while some of them can absolutely serve as helpful guidelines, understand that they usually aren’t hard and fast rules.
So take stock of your emotions and include them in your decisions as well.

Science + Emotion = Best Chance of Success

The best investors use science to understand best practices and determine the range of “good enough” investment strategies.
Then they use emotion to choose a strategy that not only fits within that range but that they understand and feel comfortable with.
It’s the best of both worlds, and it’s the key to long-term success.

Monday, December 21, 2015

What to Do (and Not to Do) With Your Year-End Bonus

Save money and money will save you. Jamaica Proverb
78 percent of workers can hope for some kind of year-end bonus from their employers. Few will get anything like the average $172,860 Wall Street bankers can expect in their stockings. But a holiday bonus is still an opportunity to reduce debt, pad savings and otherwise do the right financial thing.

Alternatively, you could do the wrong thing.

Making a mistake with a year-end bonus is just as easy as making a smart move, warns Joe Roseman, a financial planner in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first thing you shouldn't do with your bonuses is spending it all. "Don't blow it on Christmas," Roseman says.

The second thing you shouldn't do is use it for a down payment on a new car. "You're still going to have the payments next year," Roseman points out.

"Don't pay extra on your mortgage," he adds. "You are taking away your tax deduction." While paying down a mortgage will save future interest, at today's low mortgage interest rates that savings are modest, and the benefit is further reduced by the tax deduction.

Finally, Roseman adds, "You shouldn't count on a bonus every year." By that, he means don't spend next year's year-end bonus on next year's summer vacation. Many employers pay bonuses when times are good and then cut back or eliminate them if business contracts. If you charge a vacation to a credit card thinking you'll pay it off with your bonus, you could find yourself in a high-interest hole next New Year's.

So what should you do with it? A really smart move is to sink at least some of it into a retirement savings account, suggests Scott A. Stratton, a financial planner in Dallas. "If someone 25 years old took $5,000 of their bonus and invested it until they were 65 and earned 8 percent, they'd end up with $108,622," Stratton notes.

The younger you are, the smarter it is. For instance, if a 35-year-old socked away the same $5,000 bonus until age 65, also earning 8 percent, the ending balance would total just $50,313, according to the Security Exchange Commission's calculator at "You'd end up with half as much just by waiting 10 years," Stratton says.

While getting started on retirement saving is important, it isn't only important financial use for a year-end bonus. Because the compounding effect of interest you are paying is just as powerful as interest you are earning, consider paying off all or part of any debts that charge steep interest rates.

"If you're carrying a balance on any credit cards, that's got to be a high priority," Stratton says. "And a lot of people want to look at paying down their student loans, especially those that are higher interest."

Next after that is an emergency fund. "You need six to nine months of living expenses set aside," Stratton specifies. If you have trouble getting traction on an emergency fund, a year-end bonus can help get you started.

The final thing you should consider doing with your year-end bonus is spending part -- not all -- of it on something that isn't necessarily financially whip-smart. Say, a nice vacation, or a piece of jewelry. How much? Roseman suggests 25 percent, but it depends on the size of the bonus.

But whatever you do or don't do with your year-end bonus, remember to treat yourself to a little extravagance. "Everybody, when they get a pile of money, deserves to spend it on something they've always wanted," Roseman says.

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