Here’s a list of products or services I’ve used personally and would recommend to my friends and family:
Porte Banking (open on your mobile device) – stash that Emergency Fund and earn 3% APY on up to $15K! Once you receive a direct deposit of at least $1,000, you’re eligible to open their savings account. Neither account has any monthly recurring fees to worry about. Earn a $50 bonus after receiving your first DD of at least $500. We’ll see how long their venture capital allows them to continue offering this outsized return – get it while you can!
SoFi Money – modern, simple banking with a comparatively high-yield APY checking account including zero fees and ATM rebates. Nice UX. They often have separate bonus offers for their stock and bitcoin investment accounts too. Note: I do not endorse investing in bitcoin, but won’t say no to free money! (you ‘invest’ in income producing assets; don’t gamble/speculate on currency valuations)
Ally Bank – no referral here, I just like them. Competitive interest rates, clean web and mobile interface, and serves as my ‘hub’, allowing me to connect up to 20 other bank accounts for transfers.
I prioritize cash back over travel, so recommend these cards accordingly.
Discover IT – earn 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, but ALSO, Discover will double all cash back after your first year, effectively 10% back on the quarterly categories! No annual fee to worry about either.
Fidelity Rewards Visa – no referral, but this is my everyday carry card for non-bonused spend that earns 2% cash back on every transaction. Sometimes there’s a signup bonus, check here.
UPDATE – while I still recommend this card for simple, unlimited 2% cash back, I’ve now moved to the BofA Premium Rewards ($95 AF) as my daily driver after gaining Platinum Honors status under their somewhat-confusing-similarly-named Preferred Rewards program, which then yields 2.62% unlimited cash back.
Chase Freedom Unlimited – an excellent downgrade option from a Sapphire Preferred or Reserve that has no Annual Fee, lets you hold on to any accrued Ultimate Rewards points, and earns 1.5 UR points for every dollar spent. Also worth looking at the original Chase Freedom cards for their 5% back categories that rotate quarterly.
Plastiq – let’s you pay many bills with a credit card for a flat 2.85% fee*. Although not a money-maker on a regular basis, this can be a easy way to meet a Minimum Spend Requirement (MSR) to unlock a new credit card’s signup bonus (SUB). They also run periodic promotions which can be money-makers.
*UPDATE – Plastiq sees PayPal Key as debit, yielding just a 1% fee!
Personal Capital – much better than Mint for managing multiple investment accounts (401k, IRA, HSA, brokerage, etc.) that gives you a complete picture of your investment performance, sector allocation, fees (expense ratios), and even tells you how you should adjust your portfolio based on your risk tolerance.
Mint – I use it, albeit reluctantly (strong sunk cost fallacy here), but don’t recommend it due to owner Intuit’s poor data privacy policies and how they lobby to make filing tax returns without their software more difficult for Americans. As an alternative to Mint (or PC above), I’ve heard good things about YNAB, but never used it.