Sunday, May 21, 2006

Save 5% on Gasoline

Everybody's talking about the high cost of gasoline, but what can you do about it? I'll have a lot more to say on this topic in later posts, but here is today's tip.

If you have a Discover Card, or you ever thought of getting one, listen up. You probably already know that the card gives you a rebate (called a Cashback Bonus) on all purchases. The rebate varies according to how much you've bought since your last card anniversary date, and (ordinarily) maxes out at 1%.

But for the last year or two, they've been running special promotions. Every three months they have a different category of purchases on which you can get a 5% rebate. That's pretty good. Right now, through June 30, 2006, the 5% rebate is on purchases of gasoline. (Also some other automotive expenses are included in the offer.)

Think of it this way: With gasoline at $3.00 a gallon, this rebate gives you a discount of 15 cents a gallon! And you don't even have to drive farther.

It requires a signup, but it's free, quick, and easy -- either log in to your account area on their site, or call them at 1-800-DISCOVER (800-347-2683).

Some other credit cards offer good rebates also, notably the Citibank Dividend Platinum Select cards with 5% rebates on anything bought in supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations. (The rebate on everything else is 1%.) There is a $300 yearly overall limit on rebates. Go to their site, then click "Rewards Credit Cards" to see all the options.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Medicare Prescription Coverage - Beat The Deadline

The Medicare deadline for prescription drug coverage is May 15. If you are eligible for Medicare, and you don't already have a plan that's at least as good as good as the Medicare prescription plan then you need to sign up.

If you don't know which variation to get, go sign up for something. You can always change or upgrade coverage later, but if you don't get in by the deadline, there is a surcharge you'll pay for every month you delay -- and you'll have to keep paying that surcharge for as long as you live!

For more details and step-by-step instructions on how to get started, see this article.

Note they are selling a guidebook also -- you can get it if you like; I have no recommendation on it. But the article will explain more of what you need to know right now. So get going fast, if either you or a family member doesn't yet have the right kind of Medicare prescription coverage. Call your mom, call your dad, call your grandparents, and make sure they are signed up.