How to Use Multiple Credit Cards for a Single Amazon Purchase

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Amazon doesn’t let you apply multiple credit cards to one purchase. This can be a problem when buying a high ticket item whose cost exceeds your available limit on one card. Probably not a good idea in general, but this happened to me recently when I wanted to use an American Express gift card. However Amazon does let you buy Amazon gift certificates with as many cards as you like in any denomination you like from $5 to $5000.
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Chase Incompetence

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I think it’s time to look for a new local bank. WAMU was marginally competent at best. Chase isn’t even that. I login to my account this morning and here’s what I see:

Choose a new User Name to get started. Your online security is always a top priority with us. 
			That’s why we are taking steps to increase the security of your account. 
			With that in mind, we need you to change your User Name. Please create your new User Name by using the criteria we’ve detailed below. 
				(Note: There’s no need to change your Password.) 
					Must be 8 to 32 characters in length. Must include at least one letter and one number. Cannot include special characters (@, &, %, *, etc) Cannot be the same as your Passwor

They say they want this for security, but I call bullshit on that. The real problem is that Chase’s system doesn’t allow the e-mail addresses that WAMU used for its usernames. Rather than upgrade their systems, they decided to inconvenience millions of customers.

And on top of that, the form doesn’t actually work. As I type this, it’s been “Transferring data from online.wamu.com….” for many minutes. And the final result?
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Looking for a Bank (Again)

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Looks like I may need a new bank in Irvine, preferably one that also has branches in New York. Maybe Wachovia or will they be next to go? I’d use Bank of America, except my wife already uses them and I’d rather not put more than one egg in each basket these days. Update: Looks like it may just turn into another Chase branch, and not actually close. I got away from Chase years ago, but for now that would work.

Fortunately, WAMU is not my main account (that’s still in New York at Amalgamated.) so this is just a minor inconvenience. I am glad I didn’t deposit the check for my last article yet. Fortuitously, I’d accidentally written a bunch of checks on my WAMU account instead of my New York account recently. I narrowly avoided bouncing the rent, but it does mean I had relatively little money (less than a $1000 I think) in the account at the moment.

WAMU: $25 Checks for Life

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Just a quick note that Washington Mutual’s advertised “free checks for life” is a lie. After opening an account with them, they did indeed send me some free checks. However the checks they sent were incorrect and not what I ordered. When I attempted to replace them, they wanted to charge me $25 (more than I would pay through a 3rd party printer) and flatly refused to honor their promise of free checks for life.

If they lie about something this trivial, what else are they lying about? If they can’t even get a basic check order right, do I really want to trust them with my money?

On top of that, WAMU doesn’t support Quicken for the Mac (again, despite telling me they did). Time to look for a new bank.

Dumping Ameritrade

Friday, July 6th, 2007

Yesterday I finally got around to filing the paperwork to officially transfer my account from the TD Ameritrade spammers to Scotttrade. I should have done this months ago when I first realized the problem, but I’m not an active trader and it always seems like there’s more interesting things to do than filling out forms.

I had considered various online brokers, but there weren’t as many choices as I expected. Scotttrade seemed to have the best combination of low fees and decent user interface. Internet gossip about them was relatively positive compared to what was said about other online brokerages. The kicker was the local offices where I could drop off paperwork and get immediate feedback instead of having to mail forms back and forth for a few weeks. USAA was a close second. If Scotttrade doesn’t work out, I may switch to them.

The transfer itself is supposed to take 7-10 business days. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ll need to make a test trade to make sure it all works once the money and equities are shifted over. There’s nothing in my portfolio I want to sell right now. I guess I’ll have to buy something. Anyone have a hot tip?

Quicken Blows at Tax Time (Again)

Monday, March 26th, 2007

So I spend a few hours struggling with Quicken, trying to make it download my mutual fund info. Eventually I fire off an e-mail to tech support and wait. Then when scanning my Inbox tonight to see if they’ve replied yet, I notice that I had the same damn problem last year. It’s Quicken’s fault, and they still haven’t fixed it. Quicken cannot download transactions for single mutual funds. Doesn’t matter what brokerage you use or what the user name and password are or what options you set. Quicken simply cannot download transactions for a single mutual fund account. Full stop.

So here I am manually entering all my mutual fund statements one more time. Word of warning: if you have more than a couple of mutual funds held outside of brokerage accounts, Quicken is not for you. I wonder if Microsoft Money can do this? or GnuCash?