My wife just applied for the Discover More card

My wife needed a new credit card that came with a good 0% APR balance transfer offer. She applied for the Discover More card primarily because of the 12 month introductory balance transfer offer, but also for the 5% Cashback Bonus® in categories such as travel, gas, restaurants, movies, and more. We use a flight rewards credit card from another bank for most of our purchases, but the Discover rewards are really good for money that we spend in restaurants and movie theaters. We want to save up enough points for an Outback Steakhouse $50 gift card.

Our revolving credit card balance is shrinking almost by the day. I am fairly confident that we will pay all of it off by the time this 0% APR introductory expires in April of 2011. The card comes with no annual fee, but there is a balance transfer fee. 4% of the balance for transfers initiated during the application process and 5% for balance transfers initiated after the application. My wife was approved for the card in 60 seconds, but we are still waiting to see if her credit limit will cover the amount of money that she needs.

If you are interested in finding more about the Discover® More® Card read more here:

Milton Friedman – The Great Depression Myth

Long video, amazing truth.

Milton Friedman was right and still is right, but once again, our descent into socialism is not about helping people, it is about collecting more power for the federal government.

Healthcare IS about government control

Representative John Dingell from Michigan let the cat out of the bag. We here at Rocket Finance knew all along that government programs are about control. Maybe a few more of the “frogs being slowly boiled” will wake up:

Probably not, but it was worth a try.

Top 10 Smarmy Financial Products on TV

If you ever watch late night (or early morning) television, you see all kinds of weird products being advertised. When a certain type of ads come on the tube, you know that you are watching a really old movie or a sitcom that has been in reruns for 20 years. Like those ads for the about animal cruelty. Animal cruelty is not funny, but if an ad for the ASPCA comes on, you know you are watching television that no one else is watching. The other kinds of ads that tip you off that you have stumbled away from the beaten path is when washed-up celebrities start to pitch fishy financial products. When a formerly big name actor comes on the screen to talk to you about reverse mortgages, you can be sure of two things: a) this is someone who is broke after making more money in a year than I will make in my lifetime and b) no one should take financial advice from this person.

All of that got me wondering: What are the worst financial products that show up in television advertisements? Here is the list of my Top 10 Smarmy Financial Products as seen on TV:

#10: Buying Gold

Gold is not the worst investment in the world. Enron employees and Madoff clients have stock that they would gladly trade for gold coins or bullion, however, gold is not a practical investment for the average person for many reasons: high fees, high price, low intrinsic value, and the list goes on. Gold is often pitched as a hedge against the coming financial Armageddon, but unless you can eat gold, plant gold, use it to heat your house or fuel your car, your gold bars will be worthless if the worst should happen.

#9: Cash for gold

My children are always telling me to “get some cash for our gold”. What they do not realize is that we do not really have any scrap gold and if I did, the last thing I would do is put it in an envelope and send it to an appraiser who works for the same company that is offering to buy the stuff in the first place. If you want to sell your jewelry, fine, but I suspect you might get a better deal from the pawn shop a couple of blocks from your house.

#8: Whole Life Insurance

I fell for the Whole Life insurance pitch a few years back – biggest waste of $300 ever. You are much better off purchasing a term policy and investing or saving the difference between the term premium and the whole life premium. Whole Life is a great deal for life insurance companies.

#7: Auction Buying

I signed up for this one too several years ago. These are the advertisements that talk about the great deals you can get by buying houses, cars and other kinds of valuables through government auctions, foreclosures, law enforcement seizures, etc. The catch is that the only way you can find out about the auctions is usually by paying a monthly fee, but even after you pay the monthly fee, it is difficult to figure out where the sales are being held and even if all of that falls into place for you, you will never outbid the professional buyers. Buy at auction type memberships are not a scam, but you pretty much have to work full-time to make it profitable. You are better off keeping your day job.

#6: Liability Lawyers

There are times when real injuries occur because of real negligence, but many times these ambulance chasers are out to manufacture a scenario where a company has to pay up. Remember these trial lawyers are not really working for you and if your case does not pan out, you will never see them again. It is true that some folks win major legitimate settlements, but frivolous lawsuits just drive up prices for the rest of us. Just remember that the coffee you are purchasing from McDonalds is hot, very hot. That is the point of coffee.

#5: Bad Credit Car Loans

If you hear, “Your tax refund is your down payment!” or “Bad credit history? No problem!”, then you are probably watching an ad for a used car dealership that specializes in transportation for people who cannot qualify for a traditional car loan. I walked into one of these places not too long ago and they were dealing in loan interest rates of 19 to 28%! Not a good idea. You have to have other transportation options – mass transit, bicycle, walk, carpool, buy a junker for $500, skateboard, scooter and more. Not too many people need a car so badly that they have to pay 25% interest.

#4: Leveraging home mortgages

This is a get rich quick scheme aimed at home owners. Typically we are shown scenes of luxury and people “making $10,000 a week by working 20 minutes a day!” There are a lot of different permutations, but most require you to liquidize some of the equity in your home in order to purchase other property and eventually build an effortless stream of income. This was a really bad idea in 2007 and nowadays, the scheme has not improved much.

#3: Debt consolidation

Debt consolidation is a sneaky one. Combining all of your little debts into one great big loan might seem like a good idea. Who doesn’t want to lower monthly payments? The problem is that you almost always pay more interest over the long run and most people simply spend the surplus money in their budget and end up in larger debt than before. Just pay off the loans that you already have.

#2: Reverse Mortgage

Do I really have to explain what a bad idea a reverse mortgage is? If you have paid off your home and you need cash, sell the home and live off the proceeds. Don not dig another hole of debt. A reverse mortgage is just about always a bad idea, no matter what Robert Wagner has to say about it. If he was so good with his money, why is he pitching shady financial products on late night television?

#1. Payday Loans

Everyone knows that a payday loan is the financial equivalent of sticking your head in a plastic bag, yet payday loan stores are still popping up everywhere, even in neighborhoods that used to seem upscale – and commercials are all over television. I once lived in a town where the aldermen forced such stores to display the average annual percentage rate that customers were paying in the front window. That sign almost dried up payday loan business overnight.

What are your top ten smarmy financial products? The only good thing about these commercials is that they allow me to watch television shows from the ’70’s and ’80’s in 2010!

Photo by D.C.Atty

$125 Chase Bonuses are Back

It had been almost twelve months since I last saw a $125 Chase Checking bonus, then last week I received a $100 coupon in the mail and then yesterday, HustlerMoneyBlog posted a link that will generate a $125 coupon.

You can go through his site to get the coupon or try my link posted below. Here are the steps:

  1. Hold CTRL and click on this link so a new window opens.
  2. Log into your Chase account. I do not think you can generate the coupon without an active Chase account.
  3. Stay in the browser and leave the two windows open.
  4. Come back to the Rocket Finance page, hold CTRL and click the link up in point #1 again.
  5. A third window should open and give you a $125 coupon, print it or write down the coupon code immediately.

Take the coupon to your nearest Chase branch and open a new checking account. In order to qualify for the bonus, you must open with at least $100 and set up direct deposit within 60 days. I have had success in qualifying for the bonus using both my work payroll direct deposit and ING Direct.

Remember that the account must stay open for at least six months and the $125 will count as interest income on IRS Form 1099-INT.

I printed off six extra coupons – contact me if you want one. They go really fast!