Archive for October, 2012

5 tips to get the most out of loyalty programs

How many loyalty/ reward cards are taking up space in your wallet right now?

I have 11 and that’s after I cut up the ones that I almost never use. If you’re like the average American household, you belong to 18 of these programs and you only actively participate in about half.

It’s time to get out from under all that extra plastic and make sure you are taking advantage of the programs you are actively using. These tips can help.

Clean house. First decide based on your lifestyle which cards you really need and get rid of the rest. Keep the cards you use on a daily basis, hold on to a few for travel unless you travel extensively for work and get rid of the ones you haven’t used in 6 – 12 months. Check first to see if you have redeemable rewards or if you can transfer existing rewards to another program.

Get organized. Loyalty cards only pay if you use them so keep them in one place. Put them in your wallet or if you’re the couponing type you might keep them in a pouch with your …

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B98.5 Radio deals: Half-off sugaring, One. Midtown Kitchen and W Buckhead Halloween

These select deals were shared on B98.5. For more great offers, pick up a copy of  the DealSpotter section, every Thursday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Sweet Peach Wax & Sugaring Studio: This centuries-old hair removal technique is natural and less painful than waxing. Receive 50 percent off your sugaring service (starting at $10) when you book an appointment by Nov. 2. Call 404-771-7154 to book and give the code “AJCDealSpotter.” Sweet Peach Wax & Sugaring Studio, 776 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. Visit www.sweetpeachwax.com for a list of sugaring services and prices.

One. Midtown Kitchen: In celebration of their seasonal menu, One. Midtown Kitchen is offering a Cool Change deal. Every Sunday – Thursday until Nov. 8, get half-off your meal (up to $20) when you dine-in and mention ‘cool change’. One. Midtown Kitchen is located at 559 Dutch Valley Road, Atlanta.

Haunted W Rooftop Halloween Party at Whiskey Blue: This Saturday at Whiskey Blue in the W Atlanta Hotel …

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Clark Howard: Tailor rewards credit card to your spending

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Listen to Clark's live radio show 8-10 p.m. weekdays on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

A new tally from Consumer Reports has named the nation’s top three cash-back credit cards.

The November 2012 issue of Consumer Reports lists Fidelity Rewards American Express as just about the best card out there. There’s no annual fee and you get 2 percent cash back when you link it with a Fidelity account.

This could be a good place to look if you’re a refugee from the defunct 2-percent-cash-back Charles Schwab credit card. The money can either go into a 529 plan, a Roth IRA or the Fidelity equivalent of a checking account and it’s your money to spend.

Next on the Consumer Reports list is American Express Blue Cash Preferred. This card has an annual fee of $75, and it’s skewed to favor those who spend heavily on groceries and …

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$5 sale at American Apparel, 5 p.m. sale at the Limited

The fashion gods are smiling on you today. Check out these sales, but be warned: stock is limited!

American Apparel – Pay $5 for a range of overstock and out-0f-season items during this online sale from the retailer known for its American made clothing. Mostly tanks and tees are among the offerings and if you wear an extra small you have more to choose from. The shirt below is only $2!

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The Limited – Tonight only from 5 p.m. to close in-store and 5 p.m. to midnight online, buy one item at regular price and get one item free (equal or lesser value). Use promotion code FRENZY at online checkout. Remember this starts at 5 p.m! If you must shop before 5 p.m., you can buy one get one 50 percent off on sweaters and jewelry.

Neiman Marcus Last Call – Get an extra 30 percent off already reduced items across the entire site including clearance items.

Any other sales happening today?

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– Nedra Rhone, for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter …

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Jessica Shops: Custom shoes, outlet savings and golf getaway

Just your style

Chromatic: Chromatic is an online shoe boutique with lots of color options to pair with your choice of material and heel height for your own custom pair of shoes, all for $88 each. I love my new orange suede heels — they are the perfect pop of color for fall. Save 10 percent with code “JessicaShops” or “JessicaShops10″ Shop online at chromaticgallerie .com.

Support and save

North Georgia Premium Outlets: Shop the outlets for the last week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and get a special discount. Donate $10 toward Komen Greater Atlanta at the information center through Wednesday and you’ll receive 25 percent off one item from select stores, such as Alternative Apparel, DKNY or Kate Spade. Donations will be accepted on-site only via cash or credit. North Georgia Premium Outlets, 800 Ga. 400, Dawsonville.

Tee time

Sloane Vacations: Play select courses and stay on the fairway with the “Pro’s Choice Fall Special” for $340 per person. The all-inclusive, …

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Bargains on burgers and Botox

Okay, seriously…these two things are sooooo unrelated but both events are happening tomorrow, Wed., Oct. 24 and I want to be sure to give you an early heads up…

krystal-burger

25 cent burgers: From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. get Krystal Hamburgers for 25 cents in celebration of the company’s 80th anniversary. All Atlanta area Krystal locations are participating. Each customer is limited to six burgers.

In addition, company CEO Doug Pendergast will be cooking burgers and greeting guests at the location on 3037 Piedmont Road location (at Pharr Rd.) in Buckhead. Visit a location near you and show your support since Krystal will soon join the roster of local companies. Early next year, the company is moving its corporate headquarters to Atlanta!

$12 per unit Botox: For one day only from 8:30 a.m. – 4: 30 p.m.,  Board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Randy Rudderman is offering 20 percent off 20 units of Botox. At $12 per unit with a 20 unit minimum  customers will pay $240 instead of $300. Depending on …

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5 websites to help you save on health care

Since we’re already talking about getting health care in non-traditional places like the MetLife/Walmart life insurance partnership, here are a few other resources around the web that can help the nearly 50 million Americans who don’t have health insurance — and even those who do — manage their health care costs.

GoodRx – This free site makes it easy to comparison shop for prescription drugs. You enter your ZIP Code and the drug you’re seeking, and GoodRx comes up with a list of nearby pharmacies and the prices they’re selling the medication for.

DentalPlans.com – There are more than 100,000 dentists across the country participating in discount dental plans—a lesser-known alternative to dental insurance. You can find all of these dentists by plugging in your ZIP code. The site also gives a selection of more than 30 plans that offer 10 to 60 percent off most procedures.

EyeBenefits.com – Members pay a small fee to search this site for discounts on vision care — from routine eye …

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Life insurance made easy…at Walmart

Next time you’re bargain hunting at your local Walmart store, pick up a box of life insurance with your carton of milk.

walmartmetlifeinsurance

MetLife, the New York-based insurer, has partnered with the big-box retailer to offer shoppers prepaid life insurance policies at 200 stores in a pilot program across Georgia and South Carolina.

“We believe more people want to buy insurance and be on sound financial footing but they run into so many barriers,” said Manish Bhatt, senior vice-president of consumer direct business at MetLife. “Some don’t want to talk to agents. Some find it confusing. By simplifying it and putting it in Walmart, it will make it easy for people to get started.”

The program is part of a growing trend in which health care related products and services are popping up in non-traditional venues. Costco partnered with Aetna in April to offer health insurance to its members in nine states, including Georgia. And health care deals ranging from medical checkups to dental cleanings have …

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Halloween discounts: costumes, candy & more

With many stores breathlessly counting down the days ’til Halloween (8 days, 12 hours, 10 mins and 27, 26, 25 secs…according to Kmart.com) the deals on these seasonal items have begun.

COSTUMES: These are some of the best deals and it’s a good idea to buy now while the selection is still pretty good. Many stores have clearance costumes at even deeper discounts.

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riding hood kmart $10

Target - Up to 50 percent off costumes for adults and children.  A bonus is seasonal shipping if you prefer to order online. Order by 10/27 and get it by 10/30. A witch costume for girls (pictured at left) is only $5. (Limited in-store availability).

Kmart - A large selection of costumes at 50 percent off for adults and children. This Red Riding Hood costume for women (pictured below)  is only $10. Options for men include a can of Coke for $25. Lots of choices for kids as well.

Babies R Us – Costumes for infants and toddlers priced at up to 60 percent off.

Wal-Mart – Affordable costumes for the entire family including …

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Wes Moss: How you can avoid a retirement nightmare

Certified financial planner Wes Moss provides personal finance advice and accessible investment strategies. His guest post appears here weekly.

Wes Moss hosts 'Money Matters' Sunday mornings on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

Wes Moss hosts 'Money Matters' Sunday mornings on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB.

The greatest dangers in life aren’t always the most obvious or dramatic. What do you suppose causes the most car accidents? Drunken driving? Texting while driving?

Neither. Under-inflated tires — the result of not tending to a slow leak — are the biggest culprit.

Americans face a similarly insidious danger on the road to financial security. Our retirements are terribly under-funded. And that’s going to come back to haunt both individuals and the nation if we don’t do something about it.

The savings rate in America was nearly flat for much of the 2000s. Americans failed to save for retirement and took on a level of debt that will take years to pay off. The result: 30 percent of workers surveyed in a study this year said they had less than $1,000 saved …

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