For those in Perth always looking for a better, faster, cheaper way

Friday, December 23, 2016

AMEX Edge flights replaced with $200 Travel Credit - Where to now?

Many AMEX Platinum Edge card holders would have received the news in the mail this week that they are cancelling the free flight redemptions for our cards and replacing it with a $200 travel credit. For those in Perth, boy are we angry! This is a big blow because our flights to Melbourne / Sydney were usually worth over $700 each during peak season. We are all considering cancelling our cards and looking for alternatives, so what is the lay of the land?

ANZ Travel Adventures - If you are chasing free flights, this is the only card that costs $225 with a free flight redemption and also two free passes into Virgin lounge every year. The flight redemption needs to be done 60 days or more out, and has to be in your name (you can't book a flight for someone else unless you want to risk being arrested like Junaid Thorne). Not sure how long this is going to last given the changes to the platinum edge card. The other advantage of this card is that foreign transaction fees are waived which is a saving of 3% on overseas purchases.

ANZ Frequent Flyer Black - If you want points, this card comes with 75000 points and the $425 annual fee is waived for the first year. That's $500 worth of points for nothing! Oh and you get the two Qantas lounge entries when you fly with Qantas.

Keeping your card  Let's not forget that one option is to keep your Edge card. $200 can be spent in various ways booking a flight anywhere via AMEX and you still get 3x points for supermarket purchases (or even Woolies gift cards). Also there are many AMEX-issued offers that you will miss if you go with a bank isssued AMEX.

There are many other cards but I'd like to kick it back out to our readers to give your best shot in response to these changes to the AMEX Edge card.

Know someone who doesn't have an AMEX Edge? Save $195 and get 15,000 points If AMEX platinum edge appeals to you, you can use the following link to have the first year's annual fee waived (saving you $195) and get 15,000 points, plus for the first year you will still receive $200 travel credit when you sign up for the Platinum Edge card here

Monday, October 17, 2016

What to do when your Qantas / Virgin points expire?

Recently, we knew of someone who logged into their Qantas account and found that their 100,000+ Qantas frequent flyer points was now 0! They had not earnt or spent any points in 18 months because of illness. In fact, the points had expired for a few months already. As the devastation settled in, the bitterness towards Qantas set in. Then the obvious question came to mind, surely they were notified that the points were about to expire? The truth is, they were. It was in the monthly emails with the subject line "Your Qantas points are about to expire" no... this one -

Your February Qantas Points balance plus great offers

Yep.. we warned you. Where? There.. just below the mailing address and just before the other large advertisement graphics and the points earned.

There is the warning. Would you have missed it? Anyway, they called up Qantas and after a lengthy conversation with various people, the person was issued with a points challenge. Earn 2500 points from two separate sources (eg credit card, woolworths rewards, qantas flight etc) within six months and the points will be credited back. We're not sure whether a similar "challenge" is offered by other airlines (so please leave a comment if you know). The good news is that the person did complete the points challenge and the points were automatically credited back.

The bad news is that there are probably a lot of people out there secretly hating Qantas for robbing them of their hard earned points - with no idea that they could have had the points reinstated by a points challenge. Do you know someone who may lose their points or has already lost their points? Maybe pass this post on to those around you unless you fall in the camp of those waving their fists saying "serves them right".

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Those Rare Properties in 2016 Maccas Monopoly

If you are one of those who can't resist the McDonalds Monopoly game, here are the rare properties you need to keep an eye out for.

  • Piccadilly ($20,000 Flight Centre gift card)
  • Park Lane (LED-LCD Samsung TV) 
  • Fleet Street (Suzuki Vitara)
  • Marlborough Street (Samsung Galaxy Tablet)
  • Regent St (Samsung home theatre)
  • Euston Rd ($100 BP gift card) 
  • Whitehall ($500 ichoose gift card)
  • Fenchurch St Station (Flight Centre $100 voucher)
  • Old Kent Rd ($1000 ichoose gift card) 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Where to get the cheapest REVScheck on a car? Not CarHistory

Thanks to the TV show The Checkout on ABC Thursday nights, they had this big tip last week which we believe needs to be embedded on the internet and shared to everyone you know. It is regarding the REVS check which is now not even called that. There are companies such as Car History that repackage the PPSR government report and sell them at ten times the price to you! Sure they add to the report a few interesting things you can find out online for free about the model of your car (eg average odometer reading etc). One thing that CarHistory supposedly offered was a report on insurance claims. Interestingly, when we bought a report, it did not show the insurance claims we made on the car.. not sure why?

But if you are just wanting to find out if your car has been written off, stolen, encumbered with any finance company, you don't need to pay $36. But why wouldn't you trust a website like CarHistory? After all, RAC, the "consumer advocate", and your friendly insurance company, sells Car History reports on their online shop. They even give you $10 off. Unfortunately, as we also learnt, you can actually get the PPSR report for only $3.40 by buying the report directly from the Government website (not, another company reselling these at a premium!). Yeah, $3.40 - less than the coffee you got this morning in Perth. This is worth letting your friends know, we reckon.

Here's the segment from The Checkout - skip to 1:15.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cheapest University and School Text Books in Perth

Book stores have been closing down around Perth so there is no surprise that the cheapest place to get your text books is online. If you want to compare the price of your text books from Perth book stores to that of an online store which offers free delivery, click here and let us know what the price difference was for you or just head directly to Book Depository.

How Long Do Bank Transfers Take?

Many people don't know how long it takes to send money from one account to another. Technologically, it is possible for bank transfers to be completed instantly, however, many banks would rather hold your money "in transit" for a little longer to earn daily interest.

The answer to how long it takes really depends on the bank. ING Direct has become our preferred bank account for everyday transactions because it offers instant transfers between your own accounts as well as transfers to other ING Direct customers. Commonwealth Bank also offers this. The mystery about how long each bank takes for the money to reach the recipient has sometimes been revealed. For example, on the Bankwest website, they have provided a table below showing the delays.

Payment scenario Payment types Cut-off time  Funds available in recipient's account
Transfer money between your Bankwest accounts Internal Transfer, Linked Account transfer 8:00pm Immediately
Make a credit card or loan repayment between your Bankwest accounts Internal Transfer, Linked Account transfer 8:00pm Immediately
Send money to another Bankwest account Pay AnyBody 8:00pm Same business day
Transfer money between your linked account at another bank Linked Account Transfer 3:00pm Within 3 business days
Send money to an account at another Australian bank Pay AnyBody 3:00pm Within 3 business days
Pay your bills via BPAY® BPAY 4:00pm^ Within 3 business days
Send money overseas International Transfer 5:00pm 3 – 5 business days

How good is your bank with unnecessary delays when it comes to bank transfers? If you want to sign up to the free ING Direct Orange account, get $100 cash by using this link.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

ING Orange Everyday and get $75

Transperth was the first company to introduce Perth people to the concept of tap-and-go with the SmartRiders. Now, that technology is available in most debit and credit cards. 
  • The account costs nothing to run or open
  • Withdrawals from this account from any ATM over $200, ING will credit you $0.50. 
  • Free ATM withdrawals - When you get charged an ATM fee (around $2.50) you will get it credited back to your account if you deposited $1000 or more to your account last month.

Some places that are getting or have already installed PayWave include
  • IGA, Coles, Woolworths, BWS
  • McDonald'sRed Rooster, Sumo Salad, Grilld, Pastacup, 
  • Bunnings Warehouse
  • Caltex/Woolworths 
  • Typo, The Body Shop, Cotton On
  • JB Hi-Fi
  • Dan Murphy's
  • Cabcharge
  • Event Cinemas

By now you will also know that paypass is used everywhere, some of which are called paypass, others called paywave. Paypass locations can be found here. If you got the ING Orange card, let us know your favourite stores that have Paywave/Paypass in the comments below, especially those little Perth favourites. 

Also, once you open an Orange Everyday account, you can also activate a Savings Maximiser account with little fuss. This gives you 3.0% interest which, if you are saving for a home loan, can give you much more than you're probably getting with other banks. If you are saving $150,000, 3% is equal to $4,500 every year!

OFFER: Follow this link and send this link to friends to get $75 cashback

Monday, April 18, 2016

Why you should compare SGIO v RAC

I received a letter in the mail today which suggested that SGIO offers the cheaper insurance compared to their competitors. They offered a $50 gift card if they are not cheaper. Many people will take this as a suggestion that they can't be beaten but a quick comparison with RAC of car insurance for my car resulted in proof that should get me a $50 gift card. Check out for details. The only condition is that you have a renewal notice from a competitor showing a cheaper renewal than with SGIO - take a photo and send it in to 

One thing we've come to realise over the years is that it doesn't pay to be loyal to an insurance company but SGIO is very good at suggesting to their loyal customers that they are being rewarded for their 15 years of loyalty. Our suggestion would be that you should always check with a competitor even if you have been a "loyal" customer for years. Recently, someone we know switched from SGIO and saved hundreds by switching their home and contents as well as comprehensive car insurance to RAC. Let us know how your comparisons go and perhaps you can get yourself a $50 gift card.

Edit: The offer is no longer available

Monday, April 11, 2016

ANZ Black Qantas Card free first year

Normally $425, you can get the ANZ AMEX Black card now for free. This card has two passes to the Qantas club when you are flying with Qantas. It also comes with a sign up bonus of 75,000 points if you spend $2,500 in the first three months. As many would know, Qantas points are getting hard to earn with many cards offering poor returns. This card gets 1.5 Qantas points per dollar spent on the AMEX card, and 0.75 points when using the Visa option.

Friday, April 8, 2016

$195 AMEX Edge gets 15,000 points + free flight

As far as we know, the AMEX Platinum Edge card is the most generous card when it comes to perks particularly for us who live in Perth. Now, they are waiving their annual fee for the first year and you still get to redeem a free flight from day 1.

The free return flight is to practically any city in Australia and includes 23 kg of baggage, flying Singapore Airlines' partner Virgin Australia which includes a hot meal as well. And the best thing? Booking a flight each year is easy, even during peak periods where your return flight to Sydney could cost upwards of $750 - it will be free. Also if you can't use the free flight, you can call up and book for someone else. Some even sell the free flight online to strangers to make a quick couple of hundred dollars.

They are also offering 15,000 bonus points (worth $100 in gift cards) to go with your free flight from Perth to practically anywhere in Australia.

I've had this card and even paying $195 per year, it is a very worthwhile card to have even just for the free flight. While the offer is still available, you can sign up here

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What does $30 get you on Australian Pre-Paid Telstra Vodafone and Optus

UPDATED Sept 2018 - Belong mobile uses the Telstra network and has probably the cheapest month to month offer. $10/month gets you unlimited calls and unlimited SMS with 1GB of data. This will be sufficient for pensioners or elderly that need a mobile but don't need the data. You can get the first 2 months free with $20 credit here.

Six months ago, we thought the prepaid market was heating up but now it's red hot! We can categorically say that it is not worth getting a phone with a plan any more. Have a look at the offers around now. Edit March 2016 - Now the plans have changed... see below

Vodafone $30 pre-paid - PROS: Unlimited calls and text, 3GB data 

Vodafone's new offer out now includes unlimited calls and unlimited SMS/MMS with 1.5GB of data for $30. However, there are some things you need to realise about some pre-paid services like the one I've just mentioned. For Vodafone, you are not able to select an automatic recharge at the end of your month. You need to manually log in or call up to recharge each month. Now they are offering an extra 1.5GB for the first month.

Also, if you recharge, say, one week before your credit expires, you are double paying for that last week because the expiry date starts from the day of recharge, not from the last day of your last recharge (if you still follow). Also, when we are talking about a MONTH, it's only 28 days for Vodafone. This means that over the course of one year, you will end up paying for an extra month.

Optus $30 pre-paid - PROS: 3GB data, unlimited calls and text, data rollover up to 15GB

Optus calls a month, 30 days which is better than what Vodafone does. Their pre-paid plan includes unlimited mobile phone calls and SMS/MMS and 3GB (was 1.5GB). The big difference is that any unused data gets rolled over to the next month if you recharge before your expiry date. There is a maximum of 15GB (was 10GB) that you can roll over to the next month.

Amaysim - Pros - Unlimited calls and text, 3GB data

Amaysim resells Optus 4G with their  $30 prepaid service getting you unlimited calls and unlimited text with 3GB of data. Now each month lasts for 28 days from 31 March 2016. Get $10 extra credit signing up through here.

Telstra $30 pre-paid - PROS: Credit rollover CONS: everyone else offering unlimited calls

Then there is Telstra, offering their $30 pre-paid service, also calling their month 28 days (30 days if you choose direct debit on credit card). They give $700 worth of calls, unlimited text, unlimited calls to Telstra mobiles and 1.5GB data . There are other options but in order to compare relatively like for like, this is the closest pre-paid service that Telstra offers which is comparable to the other two. Their $30 plan also comes with an extra 1.5GB which can only be used from 8pm - 8am.

An interesting thing about Telstra credit is that you can use it for purchasing items in the Google apps store or iTunes. Head over to this link to find out more about the various other things you can do with a Telstra prepaid sim, such as using Mobile Foxtel for the first month for free.

Optus $1 per day pre-paid

If you are not into the smartphone thing and you're happy to turn down your data usage to an absolute minimum, Optus has a $1 per active day plan. This gives you 30 minutes of calls each day (and if you go over this, they will just charge you another 50c for that day for unlimited calls). You also get unlimited SMS but only 40MB of data to use each day. If you don't call, text or use data for any given day, you don't get charged for that day. This is great if you mainly use your phone to receive calls and make the occasional call.

TPG also has a $30 prepaid service which comes with unlimited calls and text and now 2GB of data. Edit: TPG has added $10/month plan which has $550 worth of calls and 1.5GB data for the first six months.

I would say the most generous plan would be Optus with their rollover of unused data a standout feature and unlimited calls and text with effectively 1 extra month of service over the course of a year compared to Vodafone and Telstra's plans.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Soul Pattinson v Chemist Warehouse

You would think that generally pharmacies would be selling their medicines at least roughly the same price. That couldn't be further from the truth. One case in point was the price of Nurofen for Children.

Soul Pattinson charges $27 for 200ml Nurofen for Children.
Chemist Warehouse $13 for the same thing.

I am sure that many of us would just go to the nearest chemist and not think twice about how much we are charged which is why they can charge whatever they want. Sure, when you are sick, you are not thinking about saving $14 but it is something to consider, that some pharmacies will be gouging you for 108% more than you need to pay. Have you got other comparisons to share? Leave a comment below.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Perth Crime - How to stop burglaries at your place

We're not living in OLD Perth any more where many of us used to leave the back sliding door open at night because it was hot. Now, burglaries are commonplace in Perth and it's a reality that we all need to face up to. One of the greatest deterrents against burglaries has been found to be having a guard dog or an alarm system installed. However, if price is prohibitive, there are cheap ways you can protect your house.

  1. Security lights (you don't even need to get an electrician to install some - you can can get solar powered ones and very bright LED lights) 
  2. Web cameras (Get them online at around $40 each - would you break into a house with one of these looking out at you?)
  3. Get to know your neighbours 
  4. Keep external lights on outside at night (or screw in LED lights which are way cheaper and brighter)
  5. Lock your doors and windows
  6. Draw your curtains so that people can't see where you keep your car keys etc
  7. Use an old smartphone as an IP camera (install this in an Android device - and monitor the camera using another phone with this ) 

Here is a list of tips that the police recently posted to residents in Perth.

• Never disclose private information when social networking.
• Talk to your children about social media safety. It is important to be safe while sharing information online.
• Set your privacy settings and check regularly that they remain private.
• Do not post your holiday dates or family photos while you are away.
• Let your trusted friends or neighbours know when you will be away and ask them to collect your mail.
• Lock all doors and windows securely.
• Ensure vehicles left at home are secured and no valuables are left inside.
• Lock up garden tools, ladders and other items which could be used to gain entry into your home.

If you know of friends who are a little naive or would appreciate a few tips about securing their home, pass on this list to them. Or if you have some more ideas, leave a comment below.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Woolworths EGift Cards for 15% off

American Express users can activate an offer which allows them to buy $100 egiftcards from Dan Murphy's online website and get $15 cashback to your card. These cards can then be used at any Caltex Woolworths, Woolworths or other Woolworths affiliated stores like BigW that accept egift cards. Log in to your AMEX website and under My Offers, click on the activation button.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

7 Tips About Visiting Fiona Stanley Hospital

Many of us have the blessing of not having to visit hospitals much, however sometimes you just have to go, whether it be to visit family and friends or to be admitted yourself. Here are some tips for visiting Perth's newest and biggest hospital.

Dawn @ ICU in Fiona Stanley Hospital

For visitors - 

Free Parking - The only time you can get free parking is after 6pm on any day. Otherwise, there is ten minute parking at the Emergency area which is monitored by patrol staff. Streetside parking is $2 / hr monitored by the City of Melville and multi-storey parking is $3 / hr.

Visiting hours are to 8pm except Emergency which is at any time.

Food outlets - Subway, Jamaica Blue and Aroma have outlets there, as well as a couple of other stores. For coffee, Jamaica Blue is pretty decent and there is another takeaway coffee outlet on the other side of the hospital entrance.

Water - There are water dispensers opposite the food outlets so there's no need to pay $4 for a bottle of water. Waiting areas such as in the ICU section have filtered water on the taps.

View from Level 5 looking towards Murdoch Train Station

For patients - 

TV/Radio and Phones - Each ward has a TV and radio. TV is free for long stay patients but others will need to pay. Radio is free and each bed has a local phone number that you can call. Meals are ordered via the TV screen and in case you were wondering, do robots deliver food to patients? No, though food is automatically delivered to the level and then porters deliver the food.

Finally, is Fiona Stanley Hospital all that bad? It's a very clean, modern hospital with staff doing their best to look after our friends and family and they're doing pretty well. Next to Joondalup Health Campus, FSH is bearing the brunt of Perth's hospital needs.

Check before going into Emergency 

And if you are planning to go to an emergency department in Perth, check out this website first which tells you how long you will be waiting in all the public hospitals including how many Emergency patients are waiting for admission. Or call HealthDirect on 1800 022 222 if you are not sure whether you should go in, it may save you 3 hours wait.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Egiftcards - What are they and why use them?

So you may have heard of the term and wonder what they are and how they work? More importantly, why would someone want an egiftcard rather than a WISH gift card for example? I'll talk about Woolworths branded egiftcards because we buy these for our own use to save 5% which you can't do with Coles.

Egiftcards are giftcards that are emailed to you rather than sent via traditional post. When paying for your petrol or groceries etc, tell the shop assistant that you are paying via egift or egiftcard. They will then allow you to enter the 10 digit code and the 4 digit pin and the amount will be deducted from your invisible egiftcard.

  • When you buy them via RAC website or the Entertainment book, you get 5% off 
  • You receive them faster than you do if you were to order a traditional gift card
  • You don't need to worry about losing your egiftcard
  • You can go shopping without your wallet. Just remember or write down your 10 digit egift code and your 4 digit PIN. 
  • You can check your Woolworths WISH and Everyday egiftcard balance here (for egiftcards currently, add 628000555 in front of your 10 digit code if you are going to use this site).

  • They are not really gift cards, because you are unlikely to give someone a sheet of paper and say "Happy Birthday". 
  • Like with traditional gift cards, you need to keep track of how much is on your egiftcard yourself. The remaining balance is not printed on the receipt for Woolworths/Caltex stores so you need to enter it in your phone or something
  • If you buy too many of these, you can lose track of how much you have on each gift card. It is good to keep track using your email, your phone or something. 
  • As with all gift cards, you are limited 
  • Sometimes mail services have problems opening up the pdf - "This file cannot be previewed because it has been corrupted" or "There was an error opening this document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired". If this happens, contact Woolworths here - and they will fix the issue or send you a replacement.
Since this is relatively new technology, if a thief were to find in your wallet with a ten digit code and 4 digit pin, they might not know what to do with it. So now you know how these egiftcards work, pass this on to someone who doesn't.