Capital One Quicksilver vs Discover IT vs American Express Blue Cash Everyday

GenerationYFinance

betterment.com/invite/kylerademacherPicFrame (2)

Why would anyone in todays society pay full price for anything? Why would anyone¬†sign up for a credit card with out a 1% cash back bonus? Why would anyone carry only one credit card in our world today? ¬†How many cards do you own? Why do you need to have more than one? The simple answer is REWARDS. Last night I decided I wanted to cash in my rewards for the first time in quite awhile. I logged into my Discover account and found that cashing out my cash back rewards was really simple. I simply logged in went to live chat support told them I wanted to withdraw and then the withdraw occurred and will arrive in my BOA account in 3 business days. Really easy and really satisfied with how easy it was. I then proceeded to log into my Capital One account and noticed I could transfer cash back rewards from one card to another card so I did that and put all my rewards onto my Quicksilver card. I then proceeded to find a way to cash out my rewards and saw that the only option I had to receive my money was through a check which will arrive in 2-3 weeks. I wasn’t really that impressed with what Capital One offered since I expected the money to arrive in my checking account just like Discover. After that I logged into my AMEX account and had a harder time finding a way to cash out. I could clearly see my reward dollars in front of me, but needed to connect to live online chat support. I shortly found out that Amex forces you to credit the rewards back to your account. Which is a bunch of bullshit. I was under the impression that I would at least receive a check in the mail. It is my money so I should be able to do what I want with the money instead of being forced to redeem it on their stupid store or for credit. So I lost a lot of respect for American Express.

My American Express Blue Cash Everyday card is easily one of the best cards on the market for someone not willing to pay an annual fee. American Express has done two things recently that need to be fixed though. While they may offer the best rewards card on the market they need to fix their online platform. They spend a lot of time revamping it all the time but they don’t show you your transactions for cash back earned and now they don’t even allow you to request a check for your own money apparently. This card is strictly used for groceries though because it offers me 3% cash back on groceries. 2% back at gas stations and department stores and 1% back on everything else. But you only use this card for groceries that is the only purpose of this card.

My Discover IT card is a solid card to have in your portfolio of credit cards because it offers 5% back on revolving categories. While I will admit most of the 5% categories can be a bit stupid and pointless the card shines during the holiday season which is right now while I am writing this. You receive 5% back on all online purchases and at department stores. Their online platform is beautiful and extremely crisp. Discover easily has the most proficient and user friendly platform. And I was able to actually have MY money put into my bank account instead of being forced to credit to my credit card.

Capital One Quicksilver card is a tank. Everyone knows that getting a Capital One card is extremely easy to do. I was transferred onto the new Quicksilver card when they cancelled my old card to phase in the Quicksilvers. This is easily my favorite card even though it doesn’t offer the same value as my AMEX. Whats great about this card is it offers you a 1.5% cash back bonus on EVERY purchase. That is pretty significant. 1.5% may not seem like a lot but it adds up fast if you use credit cards daily. The only card that competes with this card is the Citi Double Cash card which is brand new. Im holding off on applying for that card, but you will need a higher credit score to apply for this one if you have a low credit score. The Quicksilver should be instant approval for most people.

Credit Card companies are fighting for millennials to sign up with them because our generation is the least educated when it comes to credit and credit scores. We are basically free walking money for these banks to walk all over and gather interest on us. So you need to make sure you receive at least 1% cash back on all purchases and pay off your card in full every month to receive maximum value. A card without incentive in todays society is useless. It is smart to carry multiple cards around because every card holds a certain value for you. Whether it be for groceries, gas, online shopping, movies, or just a regular purchase it’s smart to have a weapon for every round.

The best all around rewards card I currently own is my Capital One Quicksilver card, followed by AMEX Blue Cash Everyday, and then Discover IT. This does not include the new Citi Bank Double Cash Card though. Which probably will replace the Quicksilver for best rewards card, but I don’t need another card right now.

Capital One Quicksilver……………………………. 9.5 out of 10

American Express Blue Cash Every Day…….8.0 out of 10

Discover IT……………………………………………..7.5 out of 10

My next objective is to deposit the money I earned into my Betterment Investment account and start putting the money to work.

Why I Dont Drink Alcohol

GenerationYFinance

betterment.com/invite/kylerademacher

Drinking Alcohol is like pissing nickels and dimes down the drain with every single sip of what ever you are drinking. Especially if you are a millennial with little to anything to your name. I classify a millennial as a kid that was born between 1980 and 1995. A lot of people keep going until the early 2000’s but seriously when does the Z Generation actually start? Just today I received the first of my monthly dividend payments from five of the index funds I own shares in. I don’t expect much of anything from these payments right now because I don’t even have $1000 invested in the market yet. I wont see much of anything until I start getting a lot more in the market, but thats not the point. The point behind this is if Im going to piss away my loose change on something useless. Im going be putting my hard earned money in a washer and dryer if anything. Not a bartenders hand who doesn’t deserve any of the money I make because they already get over tipped. That is literally the only place I will put my loose change and I don’t even consider quarters loose change. A quarter is a lot of money. Even now none of my loose change gets dumped or wasted uselessly. Since I have Acorns linked to every single debit and credit card I own all of that loose change gets deposited into my Acorns portfolio instead of wasting time in my bank account doing literally nothing. Everyone does this when they have a few dollars in their wallet or when they wanna buy a drink or a small snack. They instantly round up and call it a loss. A bag of chips or a can of pop for $2.99. No one thinks its actually $3 it’s $4 and 80% of the time you are going to pull out a $5 bill and just place it in your head that you spent $5 and forget about that extra $1.50 you have. Well instead of forgetting about it do something productive with it since you already forgot you have it left and put it into a portfolio to get some dollar cost averaging going! I never pay face value for anything thats just stupid. I make sure I get some sort of cash back bonus on my credit card and I make sure I have extra incentive by investing the rest. I am more interested in the idea of trying to create something for myself at a young age so I can watch it grown and prosper while I am still in my 20s. I already know my next plan of attack, and the next plan of attack after that, and so on and so on. I have so many places I want to get my money in but all of these things take time and patience. But knowing these things at a young age is going to give me a huge advantage over people my age and even people in their late 30s and 40s. My money will grow faster than theirs. That is a given. Compounding interest is the most powerful tool someone can grab on to. It doesn’t matter how much you have, it matters how much you want it. And if you want it bad enough it will happen. And I want and have huge goals. But it all started with a $20 investment into Acorns. I really get sick of reading articles on how dumb millennials are, but truthfully we are a really uneducated generation when it comes to making money. We are the intrapreneur generation, which isn’t our fault, we just got stuck with watching and witnessing literally every bad thing that could happen…. happen. Im extremely optimistic about things. If their is one thing I take a lot of pride on its being optimistic about a situation, but I am a realist. I talk about money with a small group of friends right now but more about educating ourselves and trying to create better situations for us. All I am trying to do is help people that I see with lots of potential and need for more knowledge. I really don’t know that much about money, but what I do no I like to share with other people I talk to because they to deserve to know what I no. I don’t talk about winning the lottery. I don’t talk about all of the wonderful things I will have when I win the lottery, and I don’t talk about inheriting a shit ton of money. All of those things just piss me off because people that talk about winning the fucking lottery have literally know principle. Its a huge fucking pipe dream and a waste of time and talking. And the people that do win the lottery have no idea where to put any of the money they have. Its a huge joke and a scam. Thankfully I went through my spending phase at a pretty young age. But even my spending phase where I literally bought everything was just a small microcosm of what people in my generation spend. The difference being I already had a solid credit score so I did’t have to worry about getting hit with astronomical interest rates. And none of my payments were due instantly that month. My Citi Simplicity card I own is almost entirely paid off and will be paid off entirely on my next paycheck, but I still have a huge Chase Slate to tackle… But my Simplicity card isn’t due until August 5th 2015. It’s the only card on the market with an 18 month 0% APR. So what I had was TIME. Something I take full advantage of when given to me. All I try to do with myself is better myself. I have executed more sunken costs than I even want to. Im trying as hard as I can to put so many things off until early next year.

I talked a lot about Acorns in this article and wanted to point out that my Acorns portfolio is growing at a faster rate than my Betterment Portfolio, but Im pretty sure it’s only because my first month of Acorns I was depositing $6.25 every single day for 30 days into it so I was getting some hardcore micro dollar cost averaging put into play. With Betterment I only make 2 deposits a month in it. The plan is to get both of them to $1000 a piece somehow. Ill be pretty happy with even $500 in my Acorns profile but Ill be reaching that pretty soon. I really need to keep moving on with both though until I see which platform offers the better value for my time and money. In all seriousness though If you have a smartphone and are around my age you really need to open up an Acorns account and get your feet wet in the stock market. I wish I was getting paid by these companies to promote them because I am going to literally talk about these two platforms every single time Im writing. Acorns is just micro investing, you only need to deposit $5 a month and that it! You don’t have to put hundreds or thousands of dollars into it. It was designed specifically for millennials. And you will almost for certain see Acorns Commercials on Nationally Televised Television in the future. It literally took me 5 minutes to sign up for Acorns and Betterment. I am a huge advocate for futures and don’t believe anything that happens now plays a significant value on what will happen in the future.

Anti Alcohol

 

 

Check.me Review ( Formerly Pageonce )

Around 4 years ago when I was still carrying my brick iPhone 3Gs I came across an app called Pageonce. I was still going through the phase of installing literally every single app possible onto my super speedy 3Gs. I was also looking for a program to help me keep track of my credit cards. I was still brand new to handling credit cards and really didn’t want to make any mistakes. I didn’t truly understand what was good or what was bad with a credit card all I new was I had to make all my payments on time and that was that. I was never really bad with money I always had an understanding about how to use it properly but I had never dealt with a piece of plastic that at the time had a whopping $500 credit limit on it. Which I thought was the coolest thing ever. In fact 2 weeks later I decided I wanted another one so I applied for another credit card. I was granted a $500 limit on that one also. Both of these cards were Capital One Cards because It was the only credit card company that came to my head at the time because of all their commercials with the Vikings in it. Im not sure if I even realized at the time what credit card utilization was. I cant remember if I was 20 or 21 either. But I did know that since I was trying to start a life in San Francisco I needed to have a credit score. I used one credit card for my gym membership and my other credit card for my phone bill.

Getting back to Pageonce I was apparently able to link all of my financial accounts to this one single app and see everything all in one place. I thought that was pretty convenient and linked my checking, savings, debit card, and 2 credit cards to it. I was even able to link my Virgin America airline points to it. What is so great about this nifty app is it tells you when your bills are due 3 weeks ahead of time. So If I owed $50 on my Capital One Card it would alert me on my smart phone and tell me your min. payment of $20 is due on so and so and you have 3 weeks to pay it off before its due. So what I could do then was click on the credit card listed in the App and click make payment. My payment would process directly through PageOnce.

As I started getting more financially savy with credit cards I started applying for more as I got older and older and watched my credit score rise. But I was comfortable with applying for credit because I new I would essentially never miss a payment unless I somehow lost my phone or if the App was taken down from the App store and discontinued. Pageonce eventually rebranded and changed their name to Check. While the original app was called Pageonce because the objective behind the platform was to look once and just pay your bill directly. The name change to Check was brought forth because as their user base grew so did the platform and everyone was literally using the app to write checks for essentially everything, its basically a checkbook, condensing everything into one nice crisp platform. I use Check religiously.

One of greatest features behind the app is it tells you what your Credit Cards APR is, it is listed directly below the cards balance in the app so you can clearly see what your APR is. I think that is a great feature because the Y Generation isn’t exactly the brightest bunch when it comes to credit cards and interest rates. I currently have my investment accounts linked to the app also. Another nice little feature that keeps track of my daily roller coaster on the market. I was surprised to see that I could link my Betterment account to the platform. Im really hoping I can link Acorns to it in the near future. I have my sharebuilder linked to it also but don’t really pay attention to the individual stocks I own. Three of the companies I own are penny stocks im just praying hit. I only buy something if I think its interesting. Ive found that with penny stocks you cant really look at the finances the company is offering, but more so at the deep future that could be created if their product does go viral. Could they become a power in the future NASDAQ or S&P500. Ehh most of them are just really risky investments though I have small expectations.

Since singing up for Check I can happily say I have never missed a payment on any of my credit cards. If you are looking for a way to keep track of all your bills this is the platform you need. It has 5 stars on iTunes App Store for a reason. People always ask me how Im able to juggle so many credit cards and so many bills at one time. Well Check is that very reason I am able to juggle all of my bills. Never take on more debt than you can handle though. The reason I opened up so many lines of credit was to build my credit score faster. Take the damage now with my credit score and be rewarded for having 10 year old cards in 10 years with a 10 year history of paying them off. But Ill write more about credit scores in another article.

Acorns/Betterment Journey Part 3

betterment.com/invite/kylerademacher

I love Mondays, not because I don’t have to go to work but because the Market opens back up. The past week was pretty insane on the Market. I posted a +3.50% on Acorns and a +3% profit on Betterment last Friday (Halloween). Im pretty excited to get things rolling this month on the Market again. Obviously I like seeing myself being able to make a few dollars on the Market, but im more so fascinated with how the market fluctuates. I was excited as hell when the market dumped 10% 2 weeks ago. Im pretty sure it closed at 9% but peaked at 10%. It was pretty solid timing for me to be able to purchase a bit more in the Market. The following Monday though it just slingshotted instantly into the Green and it was as if the crash (Correction) never even occurred. Pretty much all of my purchases have been on the dip though. So Im getting full value out of what I put into the market right now. November is historically a huge month in the stock Market. The market closed slightly down today. The S&P 500 ended down only .01% today but the VOO ended up .06% VOO is the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF, which is what I track as my benchmark because most of my portfolio is composed of all Vanguard Funds. I still took a small loss of only .04% today nothing dramatic though. One of my Monthly deposits of $100 will process tomorrow into my Betterment account tomorrow morning. Which is good timing again because the Market ended down today so Im buying on the Dip again. That is my sole objective when I purchase shares. Buy on the low somehow. Historically the Market responds extremely well to Midterms and tomorrow is Midterms. Apparently 86% of the time the Market goes green the following 6 months. With an average return of 7% the first 3 months and an average of 16% the entire 6 months during that period in the S&P 500. If this is true I could close out 2014 with at least a 10% profit in only 4.5 months! I only make .90% in my ALLY Savings account which doesnt really house that much money in it. Sad part is ALLY offers the highest interest rate out of every single bank in the country. I discovered this 3 years ago and started banking with them instead of a big bank only returning .10%. Im still young and figuring out the Market as smoothly as I can but am being greedy as hell right now also at the same time trying to capitalize on all possible gains possible. I will be extremely happy with myself if somehow I do close the year up 10%. That is a blessing in itself, but my expectations are still pretty mutual right now.

betterment.com/invite/kylerademacher

Acorns and Betterment Update and why the Market was down today.

After fiddling with Acorns for over a month I recently decided that I didn’t need to deposit as much money into Acorns as I was during my first phase with the software experimenting with it. I decided it would be better to allocate more funds to other funds and bills for the time being. So I changed the platform to only deposit $8 once a week and also all round ups. I estimated that it could be between $50 and $60 a month now going into Acorns instead of the $150-$200 I did my first month fiddling with Acorns. I am still pro Acorns and think its a valuable asset to my young life. Acorns recently just posted on their Facebook page that they were rewarding early investors in the program by bypassing all monthly fees and asset fees until 2015. It really isn’t that big of a deal but thats $1 in monthly fees and around $.12-.$14 in asset fees. But it helps when you are starting off small so I do appreciate that.

Alas I finally had my first profitable week with Acorns and Betterment. I waited at least 36 days to finally turn a small profit, but the week of the 19th-25th was extremely bullish. I peaked at Acorns at +.60% and on Betterment I peaked at .50%. So nothing fascinating more so interesting. Terrific that I am in the green on both accounts currently but noticed that Betterment gained ground on Acorns during this week. Acorns had .3% of an end on Betterment because I opened my Acorns a few days ahead of Betterment but I was suspecting Betterment to gain ground on Acorns and it did. So that is another reason more focus is going into Betterment as it seems to be a bit more concentrated on stocks analytically versus Acorns stocks.

Yet today was a sell off day due to the fact that 140 companies are reporting earnings this week and apparently oil prices are dumping really low. While the price of gas goes down for consumers the flow of money in the energy sector drops creating less income for people with holdings in the energy sector. The S&P 500 only ended down .15% today so I still managed to hold on to a .2% in my Betterment Portfolio. I track all of the index funds I currently hold a piece of and the one Im most excited about is the VNQ fund ( Vanguard REIT ETF ). With the economy rising up slowly this bodes well for millennials who do own a piece of the fund. Acorns have holdings in the fund which is nice because it offers a solid 3.61% Dividend/Yield. Unfortunately Betterment doesn’t have a piece of the VNQ.

While Acorns and Betterment are solid platforms they are just building blocks for people to build on. Later on in the future the next idea is to move on to Lending Club and individual Vanguard Funds, specifically to reach Admiral status with as many of their funds as possible. Thats still at least 3 years down the road unless I take focus off of Betterment and Acorns.

betterment.com/invite/kylerademacher

Betterment/Acorns Experiment

Every once and awhile you run into something fascinating. Something that just completely blows your mind when you come across it and see the potential and opportunity you can garnish from what you are all of a sudden absorbing. A little over a month ago I was sitting on facebook just scrolling through the news page. I follow a page called TechCrunch, a page that posts info on the worlds’ up and coming and new start up technology. TechCrunch had recently done a review on a new website called Acorns. I was interested in seeing what this Acorns was all about since it was titled as a new way of investing into the market for millennials. I took a look at the article and was mind blown with what they were presenting to me. Lets explain it here.

Acorns is a new financial platform designed for new people trying to get into the stock market. The main target is millennials in particular that don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in the market. With Acorns you can take your spare change from purchases on your debit card or credit card and the app automatically rounds up your purchase to the dollar! So lets say you decide to go to Target and buy some pop and salsa. Your total comes out to $4.69, great now your going to invest $.31 because it is rounding up to the nearest dollar! How great is that? The deposits are scooped up out of your bank account every time you reach $5 in roundups. The program it’s self currently is only a mobile platform for smart phones and not available on desktop yet. When you are signing up for the App it asks you how aggressive you would like to create your first investment portfolio with them. Im only 24 so I obviously set mine to Aggressive which is the riskiest feature on the platform, but because I am young I’m willing to own more stock than bonds. After doing this you link your checking account to the app and what ever credit cards you want also to the app. Every round up takes money out of your checking account including your purchases on credit cards. Once I signed up I deposited $20 into my account instantly just as a starter to see what would happen when the first process went through. The money appeared in my account the next day and I was on my way. I decided I wanted to go a bit harder at the app though and set my platform to deposit $5 a day instead of waiting for my round ups to reach $5. On average I deposit $6.25-$6.75 a day including round ups into my account Acorns account. You can choose to have all your purchases round up or manually select what you want rounded up into your account, but since the whole idea behind the app is to help you save I think its better to just deposit all round ups. As of today I have deposited $291.79 with a -1.10% return which is the lowest Ive had my losses at in 34 days. -$3.27 over 1 month of depositing every single day. I also forgot to mention the monthly fee is $1 a month so $12 a year.

https://www.acorns.com/

When I first came across Acorns, TechCrunch also posted a link to a podcast called Listenmoneymatters, who had also done a review and episode on the app, before I start talking about Listenmoneymatters im just going to fast forward for now and start talking about another investing platform called Betterment. I found Betterment through the financial podcast called Listenmoneymatters. I will talk a lot about listenmoneymatters also but for now am just going to provide the link the their boss show.

http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/

So this is all great this is all happening extremely quickly in my mind and I cant believe that low and behold their might be a program even cooler and swifter than Acorns. I googled Betterment after the podcast ended and went directly to the website. Betterment is the big brother to Acorns in the investing world for millennials. If you are friends with me I will bug and pester you to join at least one of the platforms. They are both extremely crisp platforms for people brand new to investing. Betterment has been around for awhile and is known as a Robo adviser. Meaning human configuration is not involved when creating an investment portfolio for your needs, so no emotions are involved. I decided to sign up right away and looked over the platform and its fees.

https://www.betterment.com/invite/kylerademacher/

The principle behind betterment is the same as acorns but it has a more detailed and analytical platform than Acorns does. Betterment goes into detail about the funds you are allocating your funds to and where you funds will succeed if you wait X-Amount of years. You create a financial goal when you sign up, mine was to build wealth, specifically $25k over 41 years. Obviously that is a long time and according to Betterment I could probably achieve my goal in 13 or 14 years, but for now since I am only 1 month I am just going to keep it set at 41 years until I get a better grasp on the program. Like Acorns I set my portfolio to 90% stocks and 10% bonds. I currently have deposited $515 into my portfolio with a -1.5% return so far. I signed up for Betterment a couple days after Acorns where Im negative -1.1%, amazing what a few days difference does. My goal is to reach $1k in both accounts by the end of December. That is a lot of money for my situation though. I plan on just placing a large sum into my Acorns account and stopping at $1000 and just putting the automatic daily deposits on so I can focus more on spending time with Betterment. The only catch with Betterment is you have to deposit at least $100 a month if you want to avoid paying $3 a month instead of .35% of your portfolio. So right now I owe about $.14 a month instead of $3 a month. I will go way more into detail about Acorns and Betterment as I continue to blog my journey.