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Servicing the van in 15 jobs – with video

Up to 14,000 bonus Qantas Points on offer for B2Bpay customers in September-October

B2Bpay, in partnership with Qantas Business Rewards, is a handy addition to the small but growing number of payment services in Australia that are usable for small businesses to increase their points-earning capability.

In short: B2Bpay accepts payment from SMEs (ABN holders) by Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club (with fees based on the exact card you use), and allows you to make or schedule a payment to another party by bank transfer or BPAY.

Disclaimer: This guide was produced in partnership with B2Bpay, a Point Hacks commercial partner.

Intro to B2Bpay

At its heart, B2Bpay acts as a secure online payment portal for ABN-holders (you must have an ABN to register) to pay your invoices using your existing credit and debit cards instead of your regular business bank account. Billers receive payments by EFT or BPAY.

B2Bpay is operated by Zenith Payments Pty Ltd, a 100% Australian-owned and -operated company based in Balmain in Sydney. Zenith also operates many other payment services such as gift and prepaid cards, plus Rental Rewards and PropertyPay. This seems like a natural extension to their existing line of services.

Current offers

Offer 1

Register with B2Bpay and earn 2,000 bonus Qantas Points on your first payment of $3,000 or more before 31 October. New customers only.

Offer 2

Earn 1,500 bonus Qantas Points for every new unique biller you make a payment of $3,000 or more to using B2Bpay before 31 October. The biller must be one that you have not yet made a payment of $3,000 or more to and you can earn 1,500 bonus Qantas Points on a maximum of eight new unique billers (for a total of 12,000 Qantas Points).

Other than the 2,000 bonus Qantas Points ‘first payment’ offer, this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other B2Bpay offer.

How you earn points by paying bills with B2Bpay

There are two points-earning opportunities offered by B2Bpay, outside of any bonus points on offer for new customers—there’s the points usually earned by your card spend, plus an additional serve of Qantas Points via their partnership with Qantas Business Rewards.

Firstly, by spending on your credit card, you’ll earn full points as usual, then, you can also earn Qantas Business Rewards when using B2Bpay.

Note that Qantas Business Rewards is open to any business entity with an ABN, from those who operate as a sole trader up to those with multiple employees. Larger ACN entities are not eligible.

When using B2Bpay it’s worth knowing that:

There are variable surcharges based on the card type: you’ll see the exact surcharge being charged for the payment, so you can weigh up whether the points and the other benefits earned from payment are worth the fee.

If using the service consistently, use cards appropriate for business transactions: Be aware that some personal credit cards expressly do not permit business transactions in their terms and conditions – for example, such as the Coles Rewards Mastercard or Bank Australia Platinum Visa. I wouldn’t suggest using a card like this with B2Bpay.

Qantas Business Rewards usually has a once-off off $89.50 fee to join but is free if you join via B2Bpay.

B2Bpay offers an additional 1 Qantas Point per $100 paid through the platform—so a $50,000 tax bill would earn you an extra 500 Qantas Points, in addition to earning full points from your credit card spend, unlike with most cards if you paid the ATO directly.

In addition, there are also a large range of B2Bpay bonus biller partners where you’ll earn up to ‘3 Qantas Points per $1.50’ in payments made to them. If paying a $5000 bill earning points at the highest bonus biller rate, you’d earn 10,000 Qantas Points plus the points from your credit card.

B2Bpay have a full list of bonus billers here. They are also integrated into their service so once you are registered you can search through the whole list, which is well stocked with many suppliers that you may already be working with.

The reason that bonus billers earn the payee more points? Well, the biller pays B2Bpay additional fees, and from there they can then appear in their bonus biller list and market themselves to B2Bpay’s customers.

As a supplier, if you’re interested in becoming a B2Bpay bonus biller, and/or accepting payments using B2Bpay, then you can email [email protected] or call 1300 404 163 to discuss.

B2Bpay’s fees to payers

There is no cost to join B2Bpay and no fees other than the (probably tax-deductible, but get your own advice!) card processing fee, which depends on the card you use.

B2Bpay provides you with a tax invoice for card processing fees, and the rates (excluding GST) are as follows:

  • Visa/Mastercard standard cards: 1.2% + GST (after company tax deduction: 0.84%)
  • Visa/Mastercard premium and corporate cards: 1.55% + GST (after tax deduction: 1.09%)
  • American Express and Diners Club cards: 2.4% + GST (after tax deduction: 1.68%)
  • International cards: 2.73% + GST (after tax deduction: 1.91%)

What’s a standard vs a premium Visa or Mastercard? It’s all defined by the card number but generally a Platinum Visa or Mastercard and above would qualify as premium card.

Let’s look at what this means in terms of the actual cost of points.

If you are a GST registered business with revenue to offset the GST cost against, then the + GST component of the expense doesn’t factor into the calculations.

Then, if you are confident that the benefits of using B2Bpay for your business make it a tax deductible expense – (such as cashflow, how you use the points, scheduled payments etc – see the full list later in the guide) – and your business operates in profit, then the net cost of using the service is lowered again.

So, using the “after tax deduction” effective % surcharges shown above, this results in the following examples. With a…

  • 2 frequent flyer point per $ earning American Express, such as the Amex Business Accelerator: cost per point = 0.84c
  • 1.5 frequent flyer point per $ earning American Express, such as the Qantas Ultimate or Amex Explorer: cost per point = 1.12c
  • 1 frequent flyer point per $ earning premium Visa or Mastercard (there are still a few around but mostly with low monthly points caps): cost per point = 1.09c
  • 0.75 frequent flyer point per $ earning standard Visa or Mastercard: cost per point = 1.12c

And in addition, you’ll also earn the Qantas Points mentioned above.

Credit cards that could work best with B2Bpay

When it comes to which cards to use, there are going to be many variables which play into card choice – not just whether you can use them for payments like this. We mentioned a few of them above, but here’s a little more about each one…


The following examples are some of the business-specific Visa or Mastercard options. B2Bpay does accept personal Visa/Mastercard options too.

The NAB Rewards Business Signature offers 1.25 Rewards point per $ or the equivalent of 0.625 Velocity Point per $, uncapped.

The ANZ Business Black Visa offers the equivalent of 0.75 frequent flyer point per $ up to $10,000, then 0.5 thereafter uncapped.

The Westpac BusinessChoice Visa offers 0.67 Qantas Point per $, uncapped

The Westpac Altitude Business Platinum offers the equivalent of 0.5 Qantas or Velocity Point and 0.4 Asia Miles or KrisFlyer miles per $, uncapped.

The Commonwealth Business Platinum Awards offers 1 award point per $ with the Mastercard, up to 300,000 award points per year. This is equivalent to 0.5 Velocity point per $ up to 150,000 points per year or 0.4 Qantas Point up to 120,000 points per year.

American Express

The American Express Business Accelerator offers 2 points per $ on all spend up to $50,000 per year.

American Express Explorer offers the equivalent of 1.5 frequent flyer points per $, uncapped. The Business Explorer does the same with an additional points bonus if you spend over $100,000 annually.

The Qantas Ultimate American Express offers 1.5 Qantas Points per $, uncapped.

The American Express Velocity Platinum offer 1.5 Velocity Points per $, uncapped.

Using B2Bpay: eligible payments and accounting

B2Bpay allows you to earn credit card and Qantas Points when you pay for bills which you would otherwise have made from your bank account via BPAY or EFT. It’s that simple. However, you will find that there a number of payees that aren’t in the system.

For example, search for BPAY biller ‘5082’ and nothing comes up – this is for American Express, so you can’t pay your credit card bill with your credit card!

Search for BPAY biller ‘75556’ though and you’re in luck – the ATO is listed as a B2Bpay biller.

You can also add and pay any biller you can’t find in B2Bpay’s list of known billers.

Once you’ve made a payment, you’ll see a single charge on your credit card bill for the amount paid including the fee. You’ll also receive a tax invoice for the fee separately. Combine your supplier’s invoice plus the B2Bpay invoice in your accounting system and you’ll be able to account for the total amount charged to your card.

The full list of B2Bpay features

Product FeaturesB2BpayCashChequeEFTOther direct
credit, online
bill pay
Convenience features for payer
Simple biller implementation
Payment scheduling for payer
Automatic bill reminders to payers
via SMS/email (and reply to pay)
Centralised expense management for payer
Save biller details for recurring bills
Payee and biller simple record keeping
Payee and biller reconciliation data
via transaction reference
Biller business data stored in the cloud
Acceptance variety
Wide B2B payment acceptance
Business tolls for billers
Automatic bill reminders to payers
via SMS/email (and reply to pay)
Alerts through SMS and email to payers
Automatic payments by biller or solution
Send payer confirmation by email, SMS or print
Auto-retry for failed payments
Data encryption
Download transactions in a compatible format
to import into MYOB, Xero, etc.
Qantas Points
Earn Qantas Points for business,
simply join Qantas Business Rewards for free
(saving $89.50)

Source: B2Bpay

Summing up: B2Bpay

B2Bpay is a great addition to the world of services offering points for SMEs—alongside existing payment services like RewardPay, but also other services like Live Eftpos Black.

The B2Bpay platform is a very useful platform for SMEs managing multiple billers who are looking to use a variety of cards for their business spend, with many features on offer to try and make their service useful to customers.

The Qantas Business Rewards offering and the ability to use Visa and Mastercard in addition to American Express gives it some valuable extra benefits.

Whether you should pay the fees for a service like this is totally down to how much you value points and whether you think the fees. I feel the fees are at least competitive for a service like this, plus there are the cashflow benefits of putting business transactions on your credit card to consider as well.

Some of the other features offered by the B2Bpay platform become useful to justify some of the fee too—for example, storing multiple cards and choosing which card to use for specific bills, scheduled billing, and the bonus billers service.

In talking to the B2Bpay team personally, they have plans to continue to invest in and improve the product quite quickly, so it will be interesting to see where they develop the platform and how they can keep making it more useful.

Up to 14,000 bonus Qantas Points on offer for B2Bpay customers in September-October was last modified: September 7th, 2018 by Keith


Qantas – $816: Newark – Sydney, Australia. Roundtrip, including all Taxes

This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.

A good sale to Sydney

ITA will price this at about $888 using those dates on Priceline should reprice to $816

Sample Travel Date:

  • February 27th – March 7th, 2019
  • This is just ONE SAMPLE travel date, for more availability, please follow the “Fare Availability” and “How to Search for Availability” instructions below

Fare Availability:

  • Valid for travel from late February 2019 – early May 2019 for Monday through Thursday departures and returns. A 5 day minimum stay is required. Must purchase at least 7 days in advance of departure
  • Please note that while this fare is valid at time of posting, if this post is more than two days old, the fare is likely gone.

How to Search for Availability:

  • This is just to search for availability. To buy your tickets, scroll down to “How to Buy” section of this post
  • The ITA search page should be like below when all values are inputted

  • You cannot buy tickets using ITA. To buy, follow our instructions in the “How to Buy” section below.

Fare Class:


  • EWR  – LAX (Los Angeles)  – SYD (Sydney) – LAX – EWR. Flights within the United States can be operated by Alaska Air, American or United.



Qantas is an Alaska Air partner. Mileage earning with Alaska Air is as follows:

  • Miles Flown: 19,876 miles or 4.6 cents per mile
  • Elite Qualifying Miles: 19,876 miles
  • Redeemable Miles: 19,876 miles

Qantas is also an American partner. This fare will earn 50% elite qualifying miles and 25% redeemable miles.

How to Buy:

  • Support us by using our Priceline link to book with dates found on ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search.


  • HotelsCombined - One of the leading hotel meta-search engines. Search all the hotel and online travel agencies with one search.

Car Rentals

  • Rental Cars - One of the world’s leading car rental agencies. Includes all the major brands like Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise etc.

Activities and Tours

  • Viator – The world's largest marketplace for destination activities and tours

Background Information:

  • Visa: US Citizens – Required prior to arrival. Other nationals, check the TIMATIC Visa Database
  • Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD). $1USD = 1.39 AUD

Tips for saving when using credit cards at international destinations:

For more of the latest cheap New York Flight Deals:

* The Flight Deal will receive a commission if you use the Priceline, accommodation, car rental, activities, or travel insurance affiliate links to make a booking or apply and is approved for a credit card using our link above. Thank you for your continuing support.


To make sure you receive our latest deals, LIKE our The Flight Deal Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter @TheFlightDeal, or subscribe to The Flight Deal RSS Feed or Subscribe via Email (Once a Day)

The Flight Deal does not sell travel products or services. We provide you with information about third-party travel suppliers’ offers, and link you to their sites. The information posted by The Flight Deal is valid at the time of publication. However, we have no control over the suppliers, and we therefore do not warrant or guarantee that their offers will not change or become unavailable. Nor are we responsible for their products, services or site content. Please see their sites for their most up-to-date offer information and all applicable terms and conditions.

Stay Informed on the Latest Deals

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Cunard Offers Three For All Promotion

Cunard will offer a Three for All promotion, available on select cruise itineraries on its three world-famous Queens – Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth in Sydney harbor. Photo courtesy of Cunard

Cunard’s Three for All promotion applies to select voyages from May through December 2019 and can be booked until November 19, 2018. The special offer highlights the brand’s Transatlantic Crossings, Caribbean, New England & Canada voyages on Queen Mary 2 and a variety of European voyages on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.

This is an ideal opportunity for guests to experience Cunard’s 2019 extended New England & Canada voyages on flagship ocean liner, Queen Mary 2. These sailings feature the ports including Halifax, Saguenay, Sept Iles, Sydney, and Québec City.

The offer features:

  • Free Upgrade to from Oceanview to Balcony Staterooms
  • Free Upgrade to and within the Grill Suites
  • Free gratuities on all categories
  • US$150 reduced deposit on all categories
  • Free drinks for all Grill Suite bookings

This offer gives passengers an opportunity to experience the Princess and Queens Grill Suites. The Grills Lounge and Grills Terrace, a private concierge, and single-seating dining in the Princess or Queens Grill restaurants are only some of the amenities that are enjoyed by guests in Grill Suites.

Three for All applies to new bookings on select voyages, including: 

  • Queen Mary 2’s Special Event Crossings including Transatlantic Fashion Week (July 28-August 4, 2019) and Anthony Inglis and The National Symphony Orchestra (September 15-22, 2019) from US$1,299
  • New England & Canada Voyages such as one that will sail from Québec to New York (September 8 to September 15, 2019) from US$1,199
  • Queen Elizabeth’s 12-night Norwegian Explorer Voyage (sailing roundtrip from London on August 25, 2019) with a maiden call in the Lofoten Islands, Norway from US$2,699
  • Queen Victoria’s 12-night North Cape Voyage (November 16-28, 2019) with port calls in Alesund, Tromsø, Narvik, and Stavanger, Norway from US$2,019


Experimenting with the future of business travel: three hypotheses

There are three clear hypotheses that the business travel industry should be experimenting with to be truly customer-centric in the future.

With machine learning algorithms, in the future companies will be able to immediately see what business trips are “high-risk” and need approval versus those that should sail through easily.

This is just one example where an algorithmic approach can help. Others include identifying the most logical low-fare option and setting daily hotel rate caps by seasonality and market.


Vlog#60 Jak wygrać w LAS VEGAS?

Karol Lewandowski Ola Slusarczyk

Cześć i czołem! :)

Nazywamy się Karol i Ola Lewandowscy, mamy 29 lat i jesteśmy podróżującą parą. Podróżujemy po świecie naszym starym kolorowym busikiem i zawsze staramy się robić to jak najtaniej.

Prawie nigdy nie podróżujemy sami - nasz bus jest 9-osobowy więc zabieramy ze sobą przyjaciół, czytelników naszego bloga i przypadkowo poznanych ludzi - dzięki temu jest taniej i weselej. W sumie podróżowało z nami już ponad 100 osób.

W 7 lat odwiedziliśmy ponad 50 państw na 5 kontynentach i przejechaliśmy ponad 200 tysięcy kilometrów. Nasz blog, na którym właśnie jesteś otrzymał nagrodę najlepszego Bloga Roku w kategorii Podróże od samej Martyny Wojciechowskiej a rok później nasz kanał na youtube został nagrodzony tytułem Twórca Wideo Roku w kategorii Poradnikowe. Przeczytasz tutaj o naszych przygodach i obejrzysz filmy z wypraw. Na blogu dzielimy się swoją wiedzą o tym jak podróżować tanio, skąd brać pieniądze na podróże i co warto zobaczyć.

Na codzień prowadzimy też wykłady i szkolenia na temat podróży i marketingu internetowego, realizujemy kampanie marketingowe w egzotycznych sceneriach oraz zajmujemy się organizacją podróży przygodowych dla firm.

Więcej o nas, naszych podróżach i historii naszego bloga przeczytasz w zakładce "O nas" >>




















































































ポイント交換先 ノジマスーパーポイント
交換可能単位 500ポイント~(500ポイント単位)
交換レート 1ポイント = 1.5ノジマスーパーポイント
交換回数上限 ギフトコード・他社ポイント交換のいずれか1種類を1日1回まで
交換ポイント数上限 1日50,000ポイントまで
交換手数料 無料
発行予定日 交換申込日から2週間程度

































The Fast Lane: how newspaper delivery has missed a trick

Next week newspaper publishers, magazine retailers and distribution companies will descend on Lisbon for the world’s biggest jamboree devoted to getting daily, weekly and monthly publications into the hands of hungry readers from Oslo to Auckland, Beirut to Boston.

Over the past few years it’s hardly been the most joyous occasion. With advertising revenues falling for many (but not all) print titles, it’s tough being a women’s glossy, a gossip rag or a regional daily. At the same time, flagging print sales mean declining margins if your business is charged with getting copies of Bunte from Offenburg to Basel, or you’re running a kiosk in Singapore. High above the scramble on the streets, the heads of mega media companies stare from their boardroom windows, hoping that their digital bulk carrier will come in and replenish company coffers with bitcoins, Egyptian pounds or Mexican pesos. In short, the industry has yet to figure how to reinvent itself.

It could have all been so different with a little more commercial nous, less arrogance and (as we’re talking about press barons of yore) balls.

In the early 1980s I had several short stints of delivering the Winnipeg Free Press door-to-door every evening, and then on a weekly basis collecting subscription fees on a Thursday night. Walking down all those long driveways carrying a sack of newspapers was tough work. You had to ensure that the paper sat neatly between the front and storm door at most houses and be on the lookout for guard dogs that might not recognise you. Thankfully there were always friends of the family and sweet old dears who recognised the hard work and were generous with the tips, as well as throwing extra work my way — shovelling snow, babysitting, checking on the post and so on.

At the time I saw myself as the last cog in the news chain — unbundling the newspapers, loading them into bags and getting them to subscribers in a timely manner. Today I reflect on how press barons across Europe, North America and Australia missed an opportunity to become local, regional, national and even global logistics players long before Jeff Bezos of Amazon was even out of his playpen. Many media companies still maintain a direct relationship with readers — but few, if any, still have access to foyers and living rooms like I did. Once their logistics operations were spun off to third parties or home delivery was suspended, media companies lost the golden opportunity to offer additional services. Where grocery delivery companies now bring newspapers with your box of avocados and muesli, this could have easily been reversed, with newspaper companies offering all kinds of products to their customers — they had the sales force, the trucks, the postcodes and the relationships.

Many media companies with large print portfolios focus their fire on all things digital and are only too happy to throw money at apps and platforms that may never make a penny, while starving print products that still have loyal readers. (The FTWeekend has bucked this trend, dear readers, I should add, with a jazzy global marketing campaign this year.) Recently the president of one of the world’s biggest privately owned media companies told me they had investments in a lot of digital companies that lose money. “We have even more investments in digital companies that lose a ton of money.” When I asked when the appetite might change, he said: “At some point this is all going to come good, it has to.”

As we’re over a decade into print media’s second digital revolution, it is time to stop thinking reading habits and news appetites are all going to swing exclusively to screens. It’s not happening, particularly in the premium market. Too many media companies say logistics are too complex and costly, that it’s not worth getting those five copies of the paper those extra 25 kilometres up the hill. Nonsense. First, ask the consumers at the top of the hill if they’d pay a little more to get their magazines and newspapers. Second, ask your logistics partners why it’s more expensive when there are more goods travelling those last 25 kilometres than ever before.

I’m looking forward to Lisbon. High time to shake things up.

Tyler Brûlé is editor-in-chief of Monocle magazine;


Personal Capital Review 2018: Powerful Tools for Tracking Your Finances

Greg Johnson
Reviewed by:


We've used Personal Capital to track our finances for years. In this review, learn how these free tools can help you manage your money more effectively.

Personal Capital is a wealth management company that offers a powerful suite of financial tools you can use to track your money. Thankfully, these tools aren’t just for clients; Personal Capital’s financial tools are available for anybody to use, allowing you to see a complete picture of your financial situation all in one place.

Here’s the best part: They are completely free!

Pretty cool, right?

We’ve been using these tools for years and wanted to share our experience with you in this Personal Capital review.

In our opinion, Personal Capital provides the best free money tools you’ll find. There are no gimmicks or fine print to worry about, which makes them our favorite alternative to Quicken and other “pay to play” tools. Signing up for an account is easy, and you are under no obligation to purchase anything from the company. Use of the tools is always free.

Want to know how they can help you? You’re in the right place. The following Personal Capital review – which has been completely updated for 2018 – provides a detailed explanation of each tool, describes how we use them, and offers tips for how you can make the most of the free tools that are available.

Let’s get started, shall we?!?

Personal Capital at a Glance

  • Founded in 2009
  • 6 million registered users
  • $500 billion in tracked accounts
  • $6.5 billion in assets under management

Personal Capital Top Features

  • Net Worth Tracker
  • Cash Flow Tool
  • Investment Checkup Tool
  • Retirement Planner
  • 401(k) Fee Analyzer
  • AES-256 Bank Level Encryption

What Is Personal Capital?Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

While reading this Personal Capital review, it helps to think of the company as two separate units – free financial tools on one side and wealth management services on the other.

Personal Capital offers a robust suite of free financial tools to anybody who registers with a free account. The tools provide various insights into your investments and overall financial standing. We’ll cover each of these tools in more depth below.

Additionally, Personal Capital offers fee-based wealth management services to investors. You are under no obligation to sign up for these services, even if you use their free tools.

The company was founded in 2009 and now claims $6.5 billion in assets under management. More than 1.6 million users have registered with Personal Capital, tracking over $500 billion across those accounts. They also use AES-256 encryption and require you to register each device you plan to use with your account.

Personal Capital’s Free Financial Tools

If you haven’t started using Personal Capital’s free money tools, I think you’re missing out. This free financial software helps you track your spending, analyze your retirement portfolio, track your net worth, and more.

Frankly, these are the best free financial tools around. Best of all, there’s no obligation for you to buy anything. Simply link your information and track all your accounts in one place.

We have used Personal Capital for years. We love it and we think you will too. Before we explain each of the tools in-depth, take a minute to check out the informational video below.

The Dashboard

Personal Capital has a super sweet dashboard which provides a snapshot of your complete financial picture. Whether you’re a newbie or an old pro, the dashboard is easy to use, allowing you to view all your accounts in one place.

On the Personal Capital dashboard, you’ll find balances for all of your linked bank accounts, a list of your current investments and their balances, as well as a snapshot of your monthly cash flow. You can also check out your current net worth on an easy to read graph.

Here’s a quick peek at the dashboard:

Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

How We Use It: Of course, the dashboard is the first thing we see each time we log into our account. It allows us to quickly see if there’s been any major changes to our financial standing. We simply check out what’s been happening on the dashboard, then move on to the other tools for more in-depth info.

Net Worth Tracker

Your net worth measures the worth of your assets versus the amount of debt you owe at any given time. Tracking and comparing your net worth over time is the best way to know whether your financial situation is moving in the right direction. It’s also the best metric for measuring whether you’re winning with money, and it’s a number that everybody who is serious about their finances should know.

The free financial tools at Personal Capital makes tracking your net worth a breeze. Just link all of your asset accounts (banks, investments, etc.) with your liabilities (mortgage, student loans, car loans, credit card debt, etc.) and – voila! – Personal Capital does the math for you. You can even see your number directly from the dashboard.

By using the software, you can easily track your financial progress from month to month. Once you link your accounts, transactions are recorded on your Personal Capital account almost instantaneously. So, you can even track your numbers daily, if you’d like.

Here’s a screenshot of what this looks like:

Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

How We Use It: Personally, we’d drive ourselves crazy if we checked our net worth every day. Since our investments and retirement accounts are part of the equation, net worth can vary greatly from day to day. Instead of riding the emotional highs and lows of the market, we look at our net worth about once a month or so, just to make sure we are staying on track. For us, building wealth is a marathon, not a sprint.

Seize Control of Your Money – Track your most important financial information all in one place. Get started with Personal Capital’s free financial tools here!

Investment Checkup Tool

The Investment Checkup Tool is another powerful addition to the Personal Capital lineup. After linking your accounts, this tool performs an analysis on the success of your investments. Then, it generates ideas for how they could do even better. You’ll even get a customized investment plan based on your current portfolio holdings and stated goals.

Specifically, the tool creates a target portfolio allocation that’s ideal for your financial situation. It then compares that target allocation to your current portfolio and makes general suggestions regarding your level of risk and potential for returns.

Now, if you’re a beginner or have recently learned how to start investing on your own, this isn’t as overwhelming as it might sound. Essentially, the Investment Checkup Tool helps ensure that you have the proper amount of exposure and diversification in your investments. Here’s a quick look at what you might see:

Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

How We Use It: This is another valuable tool that we use on a semi-regular basis. As DIY investors, the suggestions offered about our ideal asset allocation mix are extremely helpful. Before making any changes, we always compare Personal Capital’s suggestions with those provided by our brokerage account. When they are both telling us to rebalance our holdings in a certain manner (which is almost always the case), we go ahead and make the change.

401(k) Fee Analyzer

While you’re going to incur costs with any investment, one of the keys to long-term growth is keeping those costs down. If you want to learn if you’re making any mistakes with your 401(k) or how much your current retirement accounts are costing you, this is the tool for you.

Personal Capital’s Fee Analyzer searches for hidden fees and shows you how much they’re costing you over time. It clearly exposes how much each investment is costing you and explains how those fees affect your retirement savings.

Here’s what the Fee Analyzer looks like:

Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

How We Use It: This tool is super valuable if you have a work-sponsored retirement account or you use a financial advisor. Rather than blindly shoving money into your retirement accounts, the tool plainly lays out what those investments are costing you. You can use that information to adjust your retirement savings strategy as needed.

Retirement Planner

Personal Capital also offers a fantastic retirement planning calculator. With this tool, you simply set your retirement goals and measure whether your financial plan is on track to meet them. It’s a pretty cool feature, and – again – it is completely free!

The Retirement Planner isn’t just a simple calculator, though. It also helps you plan for big expenses (like college, weddings, etc.), income events (like raises and social security payments), and it helps analyze your spending and savings habits. So yeah, it’s pretty powerful.

Here’s a sneak peek at how it looks:

Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

How We Use It: The Retirement Planner is another tool we use on a regular basis. It’s a great “big picture” tool that is perfect for comparing your current level of savings with your stated goals. As I mentioned, you can also use this to ensure your savings is on track for other big expenses, as well.

Cash Flow Tool

Last, but not least, is Personal Capital’s Cash Flow Tool.

To get ahead (and stay ahead) with money, it’s important to know how much you have coming and going. Unfortunately, tracking this stuff can be a total PIA, especially if you’re doing it manually. That’s where Personal Capital can give you an advantage.

The Cash Flow Tool makes it easy to see where you stand by automatically tracking your deposits and spending. Once you link all your accounts, every transaction is recorded in real time. Personal Capital even tracks and categorizes each transaction for you. You can view each transaction by category, merchant, or date, making it super simple to see exactly where your money is going.

Frankly, the Cash Flow Tool is a huge time saver. Keep in mind, though, that the tool has limitations and shouldn’t be used as your sole budgeting or expense tracking tool. Instead, it’s best to use Personal Capital with another budget specific program. Or, you can learn how to create a budget here.

Anyway, here’s an idea of what the Cash Flow overview looks like:

Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

How We Use It: Since we rarely use cash, this tool provides a good way for us to double-check how much we’re spending. After creating our budget, we look at the cash flow tool a few times a month. Then, we compare our budget and our own expense tracking numbers with the Cash Flow Tool. This helps ensure that we haven’t missed any random expenses while tracking our spending for the month.

Try Personal Capital for FREE – Want to get your hands on the best free financial tools around? Get started with Personal Capital here!

Personal Capital Wealth Management

With all of these great free tools, how does Personal Capital actually make money?

Simple. They provide wealth management services.

Personal Capital offers 3 different levels of investment services based on the amount of money you have to invest. You must link at least $25,000 in portable assets to be eligible for these services.

Personal Capital offers a suite of free financial tools that are perfect for tracking your financial progress and goals. With budgeting solutions, investment analysis, and retirement planning calculators, this Personal Capital review explores how these powerful tools can help you reach your financial goals.

Investors with $200,000 to $1 million in investable assets qualify to have two dedicated financial advisors working on their account. Those with more than $1 million in investable assets are eligible for Personal Capital’s “Private Client” program. At each level, fees are based on a percentage of the total amount of money you have managed.

Again, it’s completely your choice whether you join Personal Capital’s wealth management program. You make the call. Even if you don’t join, you can still use the tools for free, no questions asked.

Personal Capital Wealth Management Fees

If you participate in the Personal Capital wealth management program, you’ll be charged a fee based on a percentage of the total balance you have invested through them. As of September 2018, the fees are as follows:

  • Up to $1 Million Invested: 0.89% annually
  • $1M to $3M Invested: 0.79% annually
  • $3M to $5M Invested: 0.69% annually
  • $5M to $10M Invested: 0.59% annually
  • Over $10M Invested: 0.49% annually

Once again, this is an optional service. Using their financial tools is completely free, regardless of whether you choose to invest with them.

Benefits of Using Personal Capital

  • Free Financial Software – As we’ve outlined above, the financial tools at Personal Capital are as powerful as any tools you’ll find. Best of all, they are completely free.
  • Complete Financial Picture – With the Personal Capital dashboard, you can see all of your most important financial information in one place – which is great for tracking your overall financial health. For a more detailed analysis, simply click on the individual tools.
  • Automatic Tracking – By linking your accounts, Personal Capital automatically tracks the most important aspects of your financial life. In addition to being convenient and saving you time, it also improves the accuracy of your tracking.
  • Simple to Use – Linking your accounts couldn’t be easier, and you can get started in minutes. Additionally, the graphs and charts within each tool are exceptionally easy to read and understand, even for novice investors.
  • Variety of Apps Available – In addition to its desktop programs, Personal Capital is also available on a variety apps which can be found for iPhones, iPads, Androids, and Apple Watches.
  • Socially Responsible Investing (new) – For those utilizing Personal Capital’s investment services, the company recently released their new “Socially Responsible Personal Strategy.” This service is designed to help those clients who want to invest in companies that are deemed to be “socially responsible.”

Disadvantages of Personal Capital

To be perfectly honest, there isn’t a lot about Personal Capital that I dislike. When it comes to the free tools, I’ve really got no complaints. The tools really are free, and you’re under no obligation to purchase anything.

With that said, you may be contacted about investing your money through the company. I’ve never found the calls to be overbearing, and a simple no is all it takes if you’re not interested.

When it comes to the investment services side of the equation, Personal Capital’s fees are higher than you’ll find with a true robo-advisor but on par with other fee-based advisors. They are also all-inclusive, so you don’t have to worry about any hidden fees.

In my opinion, those with less than $200,000 in investments may be better off with a robo-advisor like Betterment. However, if you have more than $200K in investments and want more personal interaction, getting 2 dedicated financial advisors for a relatively low fee is pretty darn good.

Personal Capital Review: The Verdict

Here’s a shocker: We absolutely love Personal Capital’s free financial software.

I’m not kidding when I say that Personal Capital has the best free money tools around. They do. The tools are simple to use, easy to understand, and they are completely free! While I wouldn’t use them as my sole budgeting system, they work extremely well in conjunction with other budgeting programs or a personal budget you’ve created on Excel.

Since you’re under no obligation to use their wealth management services, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t open a free account right away.

We use them. We love them. We think you will too.

Get Started with Personal Capital – Like what you see? So did we. Follow the link to get started with Personal Capital’s free financial tools!


A beer made from ancient cave walls

Oweynagat cave is a place of both birth and death. An unimposing gash in the ancient misty hills of north-western Ireland, it is said to be the entrance to the underworld where fairies and demons lure mortals to their doom, and the sacred birthplace of a warrior queen. For thousands of years, the Irish have regarded Oweynagat as a site of awe-inspiring magic, weaving a rich tapestry of mythology around it.

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The story of the celebrated warrior Queen Medb is integral to said mythology. A beautiful, strong-willed woman known for her heroic role in the Cattle Raid of Cooley, Queen Medb was born in Oweynagat.

In ancient Ireland, Celtic men and women had equal rights, and whoever brought more wealth and property to a marriage was seen as the ruler of the household, regardless of sex. As the Queen of Connacht, Medb had to power to make kings of the men who married her, a power that was later mythologised when she became known as the ‘sovereignty goddess’. Medb’s name is the old Celtic word for ‘mead’, a fermented honey beverage that was an integral part of a king’s coronation ceremony in ancient and medieval Ireland. Queen Medb came to embody the symbolic offering of the beverage to the rising monarch.

But Medb’s name has another meaning – ‘she who intoxicates’ – and intoxicating, she certainly was. Celtic women, unlike their counterparts in other ancient European nations, were not bound by the rules of monogamy and were free to take lovers. Medb had many paramours, most of whom were high-ranking officials in her army. Their selection as the Queen’s lovers was based at once both in passion and in strategy. Having sexual relations with her soldiers ensured loyalty, and the promise of her love made them fight that much harder in battle.

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For millennia, Queen Medb has remained the most intoxicating thing to come out of the cave. However, just this year that changed with the creation of a beer made from wild yeast cultivated from the walls of Oweynagat. Called Underworld Savage Ale for the mythic place that it was conceived, this beer is the first of its kind, with a backstory strange enough to fit within the cave’s fantastic mythology.

Underworld Savage Ale by Black Donkey Brewery was born of the love for a good story. Last October, Black Donkey brewmaster Richard Siberry and a crew of microbiologists went on what they dubbed ‘a wild yeast chase’ in the cave, swabbing its walls and coming out with not one, but three distinct varieties of yeast.

One thing I knew for sure was I wasn’t going to be enjoying good beer

Siberry and his wife Michaela Dillon founded the brewery in 2014. After years living in New York, the two Ireland natives grew homesick and decided to move to County Roscommon, not far from where Dillon grew up. “I didn’t know what I was going to do when I got back to Ireland, but one thing I knew for sure was I wasn’t going to be enjoying good beer,” said Siberry, explaining that in spite of its beer-heavy reputation, most pubs in the Emerald Isle often only carry three beers on tap: Guinness, Smithwick’s and Heineken.

So Siberry took matters into his own hands, deciding to brew the beer he wanted to drink himself. Having been a hobbyist brewer during his stint in New York, he saw an opportunity in the relative dearth of microbreweries in Ireland, divining that the US craft beer craze would soon make its way across the Atlantic. Siberry did not want to mimic the style of American microbrews, however, deciding to break from popular IPAs and pale ales and focus on creating a singularly Irish beer.

To do that, Siberry turned his sights to the Rathcroghan complex, a breath-taking archaeological site located just 30 minutes from the brewery. Containing 60 monuments spanning from the Neolithic Age (4000 to 2500BC) to the Iron Age (500BC to 400AD), the complex has been identified as Cruachan, the ancient capital of Connachta and seat of West Ireland royalty for two millennia. Here was where druidic priests walked in contemplation, and where Gaelic kings fought in bloody battles to protect their sovereignty.

But for all its illustrious history, Rathcroghan is best known for the Oweynagat cave, where the celebrated warrior Queen Medb was born and whose diminutive limestone mouth sits near the centre of the complex. A disproportionate amount of funerary and ceremonial monuments found at Oweynagat suggest that the cave was one of the most sacred sites within the complex.

During a meeting with Rathcroghan tourism officials, Siberry asked if it would be possible to age several barrels of ale inside the cave to see how the microbes within it might influence the recipe. Unfortunately this was logistically impossible as the cave’s opening is simply too small for a beer barrel to pass through. So Siberry decided to bring the cave to the beer by attempting to collect a wild yeast sample from within it. Equipped with sterile sampling supplies borrowed from a nearby university and, in Siberry’s words, “the love of a good story”, he and his team went into Oweynagat on Halloween of last year.

His choice of date was both brave and foolish if you believe the mythology behind Oweynagat, which in true Celtic tradition is dizzyingly complex – as frightening and unknowable as the underworld and celestial beings it describes.

These stories are the same as those told in the Rathcroghan complex thousands of years ago, before Christianity reached Ireland and when Halloween was still called by its original name: Samhain. According to Celtic mythology, Samhain is a time when the veil between our world and the spirit world is the thinnest, allowing preternatural beings to pass through certain portals and prey on mortals. In addition to being the birthplace of Queen Medb, Oweynagat was considered to be a passageway from which demonic pigs, fiery destroyer birds, a three-headed monster and even the Morrigan, the Celtic goddess of destruction, have been said to emerge.

In the tale of Fled Bricrenn, a story from the Ulster cycle, a collection of heroic sagas and legends taking place around the 1st Century BC, three enormous cats appeared from the cave to attack the hero and his men. It was from this story that Oweynagat got its name, which is Irish Gaelic for ‘the cave of cats’.

Though these myths are distinctive to Oweynagat, its label as an entrance to the underworld is not. There are three caves in Ireland, one of which being the famous St Patrick’s Purgatory in Donegal, that are said to be portals to the Celtic fairy realm or Christian hell. Tales surrounding these three mystical formations in Ireland spread across Europe during the medieval period, attracting pilgrims from the mainland, who, once arrived, would enter the ‘portals’ and spend several nights deprived of food, water and sunlight in hopes of proving their loyalty to God in the devil’s realm. Dante Alighieri, author of the 14th-Century literary masterpiece The Divine Comedy, was said to be inspired by these pilgrims’ accounts when writing Inferno, the most famous section of the epic poem.

Undeterred, Siberry and crew followed in the footsteps of so many County Roscommon children who enter Oweynagat each Halloween on dares, crawling on their bellies through its narrow limestone mouth. Once inside they swabbed the walls and even took clippings of the flora within. When the cultures came back with the three yeast strains, Siberry sent them off to MiCRA Biodiagnostics, a research and development facility located at the Institute of Technology Tallaght, for testing. The microbiologists there verified that all three were safe for human consumption, but one person added after observation that they’d “never seen anything that grows quite like this before – it’s very exciting, and a little scary, too.”

After a trial period, the Black Donkey crew settled on one of the three strains, naming it ‘Morrigan no. 1’ after one of the cave’s most famous residents. The wild yeast, which, according to Siberry, is not used in any other beer on the planet, is central to Underworld Savage Ale’s unique taste.

“It’s a traditional kind of farmhouse recipe,” Siberry explained. “But what really stands out in it is the yeast and the flavours it creates.” The heart of Underworld’s palate, according to Siberry, is composed of fruits of the forest with a distinct streak of citrus cutting through earthy notes of blackberry, currant and rosehip.

Underworld Savage Ale’s initial release was met with great success, but Siberry is not finished in his quest to create a wholly Irish beer. “We don’t produce any commercial hops in Ireland, but [Black Donkey Brewing] will probably research what Irish people used as a bittering agent in ancient times,” he said with enthusiasm.

Siberry reiterated that part of his quest for the wild yeast was “for the love of a good story”. It is also this aspect of Underworld Savage Ale that makes it so distinctly Irish. Conceived on the night when the veil between the spirit world and ours is thinnest, it is now a part of the rich history of Oweynagat cave.

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