Delta Skymiles – Your Credit Report for Free

I was reading my latest copy of Bottom Line Secrets and came across this gem that wanted to share with the millions and millions of AmEx Delta Sky Miles Members:

  • Until April 30th 2009, you can get your current credit score for free by just asking for it.

Keep in mind this is for Delta Sky Miles Members.

I checked mine out and was pleasently surprised.  Remember in this tight credit market, in order to get any credit,  you should know your numerical Credit score (330 – 830) as well as your FICO score (a combined score from the 3 credit reporting companies.

Of course, as any company does, they try to sell you an ongoing “credit monitoring” service which you can purchase (approx $12/mo).  I of course declined at this time.

Of course if you don’t have the Delta Skymiles card you can get your free annual  credit report for free from each of the credit reporting companies (Experian, Equifax, Transunion):

If you don’t do anything in 2009, make sure you know what your credit score is. Good Luck!

AFTER you know what your credit score is, you have the advantage when you negotiate (yes you can, if you try), with your credit card company revised rates. Credit card companies “rank” you based on your credit score, so if you know your score, you can get the best rates.

I’ve mentioned Suze Orman in the past, but I recommend to everyone to look at her site on how you can take charge of your credit!


Today with the way technology is proceeding at a breakneck speed, we are all inundated with offers either via email, telephone or by on-line malware. This post talks about some tips to avoid being scammed. In today’s of technology overload, you are your own last line of defense against spam, phishing, malware, virus’s, and any web born aggrevation.

Hmm, do I sound like someone who has gone down this path?

To battle the scourge of being scammed or having your identity stolen, here are a couple of really good sites which help you follow up on this ageless motto:

“If it sounds too good to be true, it absolutely is”.

  1. Scambusters – Check out questionable offers
  2. Scam – On-line community forums

Some tips to avoid being scammed or having your identity stolen (my list of on-line NO-NO’s):

  • Don’t open ANY emails that look suspicious (No you have not won $5M in the European Union’s lottery that you never entered)
  • Don’t confirm any personal information via email – NO valid financial institution will ask you for your pin code to “confirm” your identity.
  • Never ever give your credit card number to anyone on the phone, if you have any doubt of  who the caller is. I encountered this when I kept on getting “restricted” calls from the Policemen’s fund raiser on my home phone. As soon as you ask for proof of identity or email confirmation, the phone line mysteriously goes dead….
  • Make sure your Antivirus, hardware/software firewall, spyware blocker, anti-phishing (browser) addons for Firefox or IE are updated. If this sounds like I’m over-protected, I’m not. Even with all of the above, I’ve seen many of these villans attack my machines at home. So in order to protect yourself, you need to have a combinations. I’ve used both McAfee and Norton. These days I lean towards McAfee, only because, it’s provided free by most web providers (Comcast, Optimum, etc…). I’v also stopped using IE all together and only use Firefox on all my machines.
  • Make sure you disable Pop-Ups (this is how how I caught the dreaded “Your machine has a virus, you need to purchase ….”  virus). You can always enable or override with simple keystrokes.
  • Do not accept any invitation/messages  from anyone that you do not know on social networking sites.  Yes that means me, a noted Facebook and LinkedIn fanatic.
  • Do not accept an invitation : When you get an invite from someone that you have no clue to be your “friend” on your instant messager client (cindyfunxx38  is not your friend)

Overall, I can safely say: “If you encounter stangers bearing gifts, you can almost be assured that you will be given a gift that will last for a lifetime”.

If you know of any additional scambuster sites, leave me a comment.

Investing, Idently Theft, Insurance, Gardening and Baseball!

Was out of town for the past week so didn’t have a chance to add sites, but I’m back now.

Lesson of the week. When you cruise, never pay for internet access! Instead of paying the outrageous fees for internet access on Ship, wait till you get to your next port of call and go to an internet cafe at the port.

I paid over $100 for Internet access for just a little less than 3 hours of access. That’s just about 2 Months of access (example used is comcast)

Back to our sites of the day courtesy of Bottom Line which I read cover to cover:

  • I know I get overwhelmed with the number of investing sites out there, so here’s a cornucopia of Investor sites. There are over 20,000 sites. Includes mutual fund comparisons, stock screening tools, annual reports, bond yield calculations, etc… I personally prefer the Motley Fool and Yahoo Finance as my starting spots for investing ideas.

  • Develop your insurance smarts by reading vaious articles related to all kinds of insurance including home, denial of insurance, travel, long-term care and other types of insurance.