November 30, 2007
November 29, 2007
We all know that IRCTC the online ticket booking portal for Indian Railways is said to be one of the top e-commerce site which has tasted huge success in India for booking train tickets through their easy and no fuss mode of business model. It eased up the way we book train tickets in India. Previously, we need to wait in very long queues at the booking counters of Indian Railways for hours and we always will find that the queue next to us move faster than ours and this will increase the anxiety for some too. Then came IRCTC and made things easier for most of us by not only booking tickets online and delivering it to our homes too for a nominal fee.
We all tend to overlook an offer offered by IRCTC on booking tickets through their website. I will explain this offer and how you can avail it without any hassles and extra charges or hidden fees.
Now, if you are planning to book a ticket at IRCTC, don't forget to use up the special offer that IRCTC in collaboration with TATA AIG Insurance has come up with. And that is that you will be getting a personal accident insurance worth Rs. 1 Lakh absolutely free, no hidden conditions at all. To avail this offer, you should have purchased the ticket through IRCTC using your credit card. This offer can be availed only by the person who is the registered member of the IRCTC and who books the ticket and is valid for one person only. This policy is valid for one month from the date of departure of the train that you booked the ticket.
This personal accident policy will be issued by TATA AIG Insurance. You can have the policy immediately online through email rather than physical. You need to give your details in the form at IRCTC and you will be getting the password to access your policy and you can print it and keep it safe. In case of unfortunate accidental death the dependents will be paid the sum assured.
The other special feature about this offer is that even if you cancel the ticket you can actually avail this offer. This offer is valid only for those between the ages of 18 and 64.
Besides this IRCTC is also running a promotion where the users who book tickets will be getting the tickets booked by them free and amount will be refunded by IRCTC and others can also win great prizes like ITZ Card, etc, just for booking tickets online through IRCTC. The winners are selected randomly using a draw.
In collaboration with ezeego1.com ICICI Bank has introduced up to 50% cash back offer on tickets booked through their site using ICICI Bank Credit Cards. This is the maximum any travel site has offered a discount for booking air tickets in India, as far as I know and heard till now.
The online travel sites which have come up in huge numbers in India of late has been fighting to wooing the customers with amazing offers and discounts but the above one is what attracted me and urged me to write a review on this offer. Ezeego1 and ICICI Bank has been advertising this offer as flat 50% for the ICICI Credit Card users, but I have mentioned it as up to 50% on purpose. The reason is that, as usual, there are hidden conditions apply has been applied here as on every offers being offered by various co's.
The flat 50% cash back is applicable only for the Signature, Platinum, and Titanium card holders of ICICI Bank. While the gold card holders will be getting flat 25% cash back. The silver and other card holders will be getting flat 15% cash back. This offer is also applicable only on tickets booked on Indigo, Jet, Indian, and Jetlite (Air Sahara after acquisition by Jet). This offer is valid till December 31st. The cash back will also not be given back immediately (there is a marketing technique hidden here) but only will be credited back on your next statement. This offers is also applicable only on the basic air fare and the rest of the charges like government service tax and other taxes and charges will not come into this offer and will need to be paid seperately.
November 28, 2007
Okay, coming back to the point about petro card by BP. I have been using it for quite some time and had even got redeemed the points I got from purchasing petrol, engine oils, and from their store, In & Out.
The main advantage of using petrocard would be that you need not carry cash every time you wanted to fill petrol from the Bharat Petroleum petrol pumps. The other advantage is that you can load your petro card using your credit card with cash and for amounts greater that Rs. 500/- using your credit card will not attract any surcharge that normally most credit cards levy for transactions lesser than Rs. 500/-, so here it is cancelled, as you are going to load up your petro card with amounts more than Rs. 500/- or more at least. This will be applicable for all those who use their credit card to fill up the petrol and will end up paying surcharges for the same.
I will now explain how petrocard works for you step by step. After getting the Petrobonus Petrocard, you need to load it with cash for a specified amount you wish, the minimum is Rs. 500/- that you can load into it. Yes, it actually works like a prepaid debit card but the difference is you can only buy petrol and some times groceries too from their In & Out outlets on selected petrol stations. After loading it with the desired amount you can walk in or should I say drive into any of the Bharat Petroleum petrol stations which accepts petro card (nowadays almost all petrol pumps accept them) and fill in the desired quantity of petrol and just give your petrocard to the attendant and he will fill in the desired details and will ask for you to enter the pin number to validate the transaction and once you enter it, the amount will be deducted from your card and he will return the card and the charge slip to you, that's all. The similar process will be made when you use your at In & Out outlets or use it to buy engine oils, etc from Bharat Petroleum outlets.
- Petrol - 15 points
- Speed - 25 points
- Diesel - 15 points
- Lubricants - 250 points
- In&Out - 100 points
The points are mentioned as Petromiles. Bharat Petroleum is encouraging us to use our petro cards more for lubricants and at their In&Out stores to gain more points. So, when you keep on using your petro card at BP Outlets, you will be earning points and will be accruing it and if you have any plan on getting a particular gifts listed in their website here. You can accumulate points till that point and as soon as you reach it, you can go to the nearest BP petrol station and redeem it for the gift of your choice. I am discussing more about the gifts that they are offering below. After you have redeemed your points for gifts, those points will be deducted from your account and you need to again start from where the points are left over.
Now, coming to the important part about knowing the gifts you will be getting on using your petro card. The gift range starts from PetroBonus cap to Canon printer. There are other rewards such as Canon digital camera, Canon fax machine, Onida washing machines, air conditioner, TV, and refrigerator, microwave ovens, Zenith PC voucher, watches, leather bags, cordless phones, gift vouchers, etc. There are even smaller and lesser valued gifts like caps, gloves, pens, In&Out Vouchers, leather wallet, alarm clock, windcheaters. There are two types of rewards, one is the quick rewards which you can get it from the petrol pump itself and of lesser value. The other one is the cherished rewards which are of higher valued gifts which will be sent to your residential address upon redeeming it.
If you opt for email statements instead of physical statement, they will reward you with 2500 points and similarly if you opt for online version of your points statement, they will offer you around 2500 points as a special reward.
Apart from this you can also earn reward points from their monthly quiz that they conduct every month, where you will be earning 250 points every month if you answer their three simple questions. This is applicable only for the first 250 users who answer it correctly. You can find the quiz in their website. But remember to finish up the quiz every month on the 1st of every month, else you will not be able to win the quiz, as the demand is very high every month as the first 250 persons will try to answer it on the first day itself. They will also come up with a know-the-customer survey which they will send to your email id, where you will be rewarded with rewards points for filling it out. They also conduct some special contests especially for the PetroBonus customers where you will be eligible to enter the contests just for filling petrol or using your petro card at their outlets.
Apart from these, Bharat Petroleum comes up with the offers every now and then where you will be getting double the rewards points like on your birth day week if you use your petro card you will earn double the rewards points. There are some special Sunday offer wherein on those Sundays if you use it you will get double rewards points. They also come up with some new offers like the one which they have come up recently with Fame Cinema, where you can use your petro card to accrue points if you purchase tickets at Fame Cinema. You can also redeem your petromiles for the tickets at Fame.
Posted by Shiva at 8:22 AM
November 27, 2007
Currently, Colgate, the one of the top brand in toothpaste in India, is offering free trial for the users to try out for the two new brands, namely Colgate Total & Colgate Maxfresh. Both are entirely different brands while the former (Total) is targeted for middle aged class with its traditional white colored tooth paste and taste, etc. and it is claimed to be fighting germs for 12 hours (which I anyways doubt is true or not). While the latter (Maxfresh) is targeted at the today's youth for its yep feel and cool colors and taste and fresh breath. Maxfresh has introduced a new flavor namely Peppermint Ice (ooh, mint and ice, awesome combination). To promote those two products, they are giving aways free samples which Colgate will send it to your home address provided you fill in all your details correctly in the form given in their website.
Again, http://www.maxfreshclub.com is the latest in addition to the growing number of microsites discussed here, which nowadays many brands have come up with targetting the youths especially and many of them even have taken over their respective brands and have become the brands themselves, for example Sunsilk Gang of Girls have become a brand on its own from its parent product of Sunsilk Shampoo.
Colgate Maxfresh Club is also offering an unimaginable contest whereas you need to find out the number of crystals in their 150 g tube and the nearest 100 of the real number from the correct answer will win a Switzerland trip. This contest ends on December 30, 2007.
You can ask for the free sample of Colgate Total here at colgatepromotions.co.in
The Colgate Maxfresh Peppermint Ice can be requested from here at maxfreshclub.com.
My aim was to bring you good offers and "freebies" which I find worth sharing through this blog and if you find such offer to be too frugal, kindly excuse. And said in my disclaimer, I don't endorse or promote any products discussed here but only share everything I find it worthwhile for the readers here.
Posted by Shiva at 8:14 AM
November 26, 2007
Apart from Picsquare there are two more startup online photo printing services, namely Itasveer and Snapfish (which is an HP Company). They both are luring new customers to register in their site and hence offering free prints when you register and order prints through them.
First, Itasveer, is giving away 10 free prints initially to those who register for free and order prints for the first time. These free prints are applicable only for 4" x 6 " prints. You only need to pay the shipping costs of Rs. 30/- for up to 50 prints, which I felt was a reasonable amount for shipping charges. Consider that you are planning to avail only 10 prints initially to order. You will be paying Rs. 30/- only as shipping charges. And hence you are saving Rs. 30/- per 10 prints if you order it through your local printing studio, which charge around Rs. 6 for each print. Hence this offer can be termed as 50% off on your printing charges, if you plan to print only 10 prints and not entirely free. Itasveer is also currently running another promo where you need not pay any shipping charge if you order for more than Rs. 50/-, but this cannot be clubbed with the free prints offer. I have tried Itasveer once before some time back and fount their print quality as not so good as Picsquare.
Secondly, Snapfish is which is the Indian version of their popular international version, Snapfish.com. It is from the printing giants HP. They are currently giving away 20 free prints and free photo album for your first order if you register now. This I feel is the king of offer among the startup online printing companies. This does not, as always, does not include the shipping charges which only the user need to pay. But I felt their shipping charge for up to 60 prints of Rs. 44/- to be a bit high when compared to Itasveer and Picsquare. But considering you are getting 20 free prints initially and a photo album, I would give it a try since you are getting 20 prints for Rs. 44/- which means you are getting it for Rs. 2.20 for each print, which is way below the normal rate or Rs. 6/-. I have not given it a try yet, hence I could not comment on its printing quality.
Eventually, I personally feel that getting your photos printed from online photo printing services is here to stay in the long run, but still I would prefer to give my normal prints (4 x 6) printed at my local studio considering you need to pay extra charges for shipping, except in cases like Snapfish India offering each prints for just Rs. 2.95, which would nullify the extra shipping charges that we need to pay for getting it printed and delivered without having to move from your home or even to your nearest photo studio. And getting your photos printed on things like T-shirt, coffee mugs, mouse pads, and calenders is where these sites would come in handy for me, which I don't think I can get it done from the local photo printing shops in India.
Posted by Shiva at 11:07 AM
November 24, 2007
Standard Chartered Bank Credit Cards and Manhattan Credit Cards has introduced yet another offer for Indian credit card users. They have tied up with Indiaplaza.in and has come up with an of offer or 70% discount on selected products listed in their site, Indiaplaza.in. The offer is applicable only for the products listed on the above link and not for all products at Indiaplaza. The products include mobile phones, digital cameras, handycam, ipod, and a good range of perfumes. The offer is valid from October 1st to November 30th 2007 only.
In the mobiles section, I saw only a few models displayed for discount and the offer is only for these models. There are some freebies too displayed here like a watch with HTC Touch and bluetooth headset with Motoslvr L9, and memory cards with Nokia 5200, Nokia N70 and Motorola ROKR, etc. The other models displayed were Samsung and i-Mate. Some mobiles were offered at around 40-45% discount here. I saw only high-end mobile phones here.
In digital cameras only four were displayed Canon Powershot A720IS, Canon Powershot A570IS, Sony Cybershot S700, and Nikon CoolPix S500 with a good 36-50% discount on each models.
In the handycam section, only one was available and that was Sony MiniDV Handycam - DCR-HC28 and it comes with a free carrybag. It comes with a 29% discount.
Ipod listed were Ipod Nano 4 GB and 8GB which were offered a 25% discount.
The perfumes is what they had a huge collection and it came with 10% to 70% discount. They were selling top brands like Hugo, Hummer, Lanvin, Fcuk, etc. I am not a great fan of using perfumes, I am not too keen in this section but will try out other offers out there.
The Manhattan Credit Cards were asking whether it was a good deal or great deal in their product brochure and were asking us to decide. I would say that it was neither good deal or great deal but an average deal considering the limited number of products at Indiaplaza exclusively for this offer.
Posted by Shiva at 3:52 PM
To add to my yesterday's post if you redeem the giftmate's voucher at future bazaar you will will be getting a 512 MB Pendrive free, no matter how much you use from your gift voucher, you will be getting a free pendrive from future bazaar. This offer is valid only till November 25th, i.e. for three days only November 23rd to 25th, so hurry and redeem your giftmate's voucher at future bazaar and get a bonus pendrive free. To know more about giftmate's offer, you read the full details here at my yesterday's post.
Paymate also is currently running a promo where if you shop from any of the member sites of paymate for a minimum of Rs. 250/- you will be getting a free Don movie VCD. It is also valid only for corporation bank customers. It is valid till November 30th.
Posted by Shiva at 12:34 AM
November 23, 2007
Giftmate, which is part of the Paymate group is giving away free gift vouchers worth Rs. 250/-. Just you need to answer a short survey about payments and shopping preferences and give your name, mobile number, and email id, you will be getting it.
To introduce giftmate to you, as said it is part of Paymate , which is India's first mobile payment service. With Paymate you can use it as a payment option if you register for it and use it at various shopping portals, like indiaplaza, futurebazaar and even some offline shops too. The list of Paymate looks really impressive and it has categories on Apparel, astrology, pharmacy, books and periodicals, education, matrimonial, florists, gifts, electronics, jobsites, restaurants, ING Vysya Insurance and so on.
Giftmate is claiming to be India's first mobile gift voucher where you can use your mobile to send gift vouchers to your friends and relatives, employees, etc. Giftmate is accepted widely across all genres of shopping sites and shops, like in the categories as mentioned above just like Paymate.
The details on how to use your gift voucher is given here at Giftmate. Read these instructions very carefully as I got very much confused on how to redeem that gift voucher, as I did not receive any voucher number at all, but later found out that they will not send any voucher number, instead they will send you only the pin number and they will allot the specified amount that has been gifted to the mobile number (in this case free gift voucher from giftmate) and when you need to use it the merchant sites or shops appropriately.
I will explain on how I redeemed my free gift voucher. At first I requested for the gift voucher by submitting the short survey and my details. Then immediately, I received my pin number in my mobile number as an SMS and as well as to my email id. Here is where I got confused, I was searching the SMS as well as my mail for any voucher number but I could not find, all I could find was just a PIN number. I even sent them a mail to explain on how to redeem the voucher as I did not receive the number at all. But before they replied, when I was researching on how to redeem it I read over this page where it was mentioned about how to redeem it and that there will not be any voucher number instead when someone gifts or sends me a giftmate voucher to my mobile number, my mobile number will be activated with that specified amount and they will send me a pin number (yes, another number to remember from the already exhaustive list) to redeem it at the time of redemption at merchant establishments.
I opted to use this gift mate gift voucher at futurebazaar. And chose the product and followed the normal procedure for check out until I stumbled upon the payment option, here I chose the option as Paymate and followed the procedure to check out and pay using Paymate and at Paymate there are some sub options and I chose the option Giftmate and after choosing it, I entered my mobile number and immediately (yes, I should say immediately within seconds) I got the SMS with a alpha code and the details of the transaction at future bazaar.
So, here's how I paid using my mobile phone for the very first time in my life to purchase a product, (oooh, I am getting goosebumps). As soon as I received the request from Futurebazaar, I replied with the following format to them. PAY (Alpha Code) (My PIN) eg: PAY ABC 1234 to 57333. All these time, maybe seconds, my browser was waiting for my confirmation to arrive to their server and within seconds I sent my payment, it processed immediately and got the confirmation on the browser that the payment has been made and I also got the confirmation about the transaction as an SMS in my mobile.
At first, I was really sceptic about this process of paying through mobile and thought about how it is going to work and I thought that there is going to be some disturbance or interruptions during the payment process and thought ultimately that my purchase won't happen at all, but to my surprise, there was not a single disturbance or hindrance during the entire process, but not sure about future transactions.
I personally feel that they should explain the process of redeeming the voucher even more clearly in their site, as this is an entirely new process for any one here in India and most of those who use it will get confused, like myself, as they are not receiving any voucher number but there was a mention about gift voucher, and should explain clearly that one's own mobile number itself acts as a gift voucher here and the pin acts as a password to pay the amount that was sent to that mobile number.
If you ask whether I will use it again or not, I would say yes and a no. Yes, because I felt it as more secure way to purchase online where I am not giving my credit/debit card numbers and no because its difficult to understand (maybe initially) and also they are using a premium SMS number to access information, where I need to pay again a premium rates for the SMS to access information, I would prefer that they use the regular mobile number.
Okay, coming back to the free gift voucher from Giftmate, you can get it from their site here. You can post your views on how felt about this new way of buying stuffs on the comments, eagerly wanted to know how you fared when compared to myself on this new feature I stumbled upon.
If you wish to receive such offers regularly in your email, you can subscribe to this blog.
p.s.: This offer is over now. You can try similar offer from giftmate and Indiaplaza, here.
November 21, 2007
I personally feel opening an account for children would be a great idea and this will make them to know about the value of money and let them introduced to banking in young age itself. They will be independent on money matters rather than dependent on us every time they need money but the drawback is that they could misuse it. But the order of the day should be that we should keep a tab on their account usage.
You can know more about this offer and kid's advantage account from here.
Posted by Shiva at 10:28 PM
Here are some of the random offres I found in the prime shopping sites futurebazaar and indiaplaza.in in India.
Kingston Data Traveller & Card Reader 1GB, this comes with a free 512 MB free pendrive from kingston. It is priced at Rs. 1099, the regular price as they mentioned is Rs. 1999/-, so you are saving Rs. 900/- plus you are getting a free 1 GB Pendrive. You can find the offer here.
Seagate HDD 250GB USB 2.0 (3.5") Drive. The external storage device with an amazing 250 GB capcity. The price is Rs. 4350/- and the regular price is Rs. 10,500/-, so you are saving a whopping Rs. 6150/- plus you will be getting 10 blank CDs too. You have the option of paying it in 3, 6, and 9 monthly EMIs too.
Kingston Data Traveller Mini Fun 512MB Pendrive for just Rs. 299. I brought another brand of 512 MB Pendrive for just Rs. 99/- some time back and it was sold out the next day itself at that time and they have not re-introduced that offer again.
Indiaplaza is currently running a promotion when if you are buying an air ticket through them you can get a best seller book from their site for free. Indiaplaza is also currently selling John Grisham's "The Innocent Man" for Rs. 125/- at 5o% discount.
They are also having a special discount of 33% on all the best seller DVDs of English movies like Phone Booth (My Favorite), Signs, Casino Royale, A Bridge too Far, Platoon, etc and all categories of movies.
Posted by Shiva at 8:13 PM
From today, I am starting a new series in this blog where I will be reviewing some of the stores and retail establishments I visit every now and then for purchases or just window shopping and will be sharing my experiences and any offers I find and how they fare in this retail jungle. To start with I am planning to review the store More which is the latest entrant in the booming Indian retail segment. More is from the stable of Aditya Birla Group and they are the latest entrant in this ever increasing retail bandwagon in India which was already having bigger names like Reliance, Subiksha, RPG's Spencer's, and Big Bazaar and soon Wal-Mart with Bharti Group. After taking over Trinethra, Aditya Birla has started this store named as More which is just like Trinethra with selling groceries, house hold items, and fruits and vegetables. I have no idea whether they are going to rename all the existing Trinethra stores into More or is this going to be a separate entity, may be the readers can shed light on this, but I saw significant number of Trinethra products at More.
I visited the More at their new branch at Velachery which is the most happening and fast growing place in Chennai. Every retail establishment is fighting it hard to get a piece of land here, which is hardly available though. They have opened at Velachery Main Road, just diagonally opposite to the exisitng Reliance Fresh Store. There were already other stores like Fresh @ and Spencer's Daily nearby and to add to it More has opened its shop.
I saw the board as More For You and thought that that was the name of the store but eventually found out that "For You" in More For You is just a tag line and not the name of the store. First of all there was not enough parking space, the frontage was sufficient only park four to five bikes, that's all and if you come here by car, you will not find a space here and have to park it on the road which is not possible on this road especially. May be since they have planned it only for the residential area nearby who can walk in and make their purchases.
I went in on a Saturday evening, and I was expecting a very huge crowd just like I used to see in Reliance and Big Bazaar but surprise, surprise, there aren't hardly any customers inside. First thing I noticed and liked about this store is that it is spacious unlike some Reliance Fresh store and Fresh @ Store which were really congested and there is hardly any moving space available. They have planned and placed the shopping racks in such a way that there are sufficient moving space for the customers. From the outside, I thought this store would be small, but to my surprise, it is quite big inside.
I was expecting the customer service here to be just like when Reliance Fresh opened, like greeting on entry and after billing with "Vanakkam," which is a greeting in Tamil. But another surprise awaited me and no such polishing of customers happened unlike Reliance such gestures existed only for a few days and eventually no one bothered to even help the customers, that's a seperate story.
There was no air conditioner at all on that day and when inquired I found out that they have opened it up the store only this week but have not installed a/c but will be fixed up by Monday which is rather an amusing and surprising with such big co's like Aditya Birla, because if they have not fixed up the a/c and not ready to be opened really and will be ready only by Monday, then they should have opened it only on Monday rather than opening it in a hurry and let customers suffer inside the store, it was really stuffy when inside the store at that time.
I saw all the products displayed in a well arranged manner, really, and the fruits and vegetables despite not having air conditioner looked fresh too.
Since I was suffocating inside without the air conditioner, I did not bother to browse through all sections, but did visit all the sections in a hurry and found it as just another Departmental Store and found nothing unique, except finding all the household needs that all stores stock out there and found both Trinethra and More Branded products and the pricing also seems just like other stores and I did not find anything cheaper than other stores.
At the billing counter I was really satisfied to know that I can purchase using my credit/debit card for any amount and there is no minimum price barrier, as I like to do my purchases only through either one of them most of the time, I liked it. Whereas in Spencer's Daily, you need to purchase for a minimum or Rs. 250/- to use your card. The counter guy really found it hard to handle me and my very small purchase, it seems he could be new, and was asking for help for everything from printing to swiping the card. I felt they should have trained him more efficiently before asking him to hit the floor. I also felt that they have opened up this store in a hurry, I don't know why.
Just another departmental store.
I would rate 2 out 5, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent, for More "For You" from Aditya Birla Group.
Posted by Shiva at 8:30 AM
Yes, you heard it right, just buy HP ink cartridges before January 31, 2008 and you will be getting free one litre petrol with every cartridges you buy. This unique freebie made me to write about this offer. This offer is named as HP Cartridge Mileage Program. In India there has been a very big surge in getting their cartridges refilled with the local shops which are far cheaper than buying original ones from the sellers like HP. Hence HP has been coming up with such offers every now and then. Even before HP used to give away stuffs like silver coins, etc for buying cartridges and at this time it is petrol.
You can find the details of this offer here. To participate in this offer, all you need to do is just buy their cartridges from the link mentioned above and/or call their toll-free number 1800 4254 999 and order the same and if you do so you will be entered into this program namely HP Cartridge Mileage Program. Once you buy the cartridges for three months till January 2008, you will be automatically added this program and can get free one litre of petrol every month for subsequent purchase of cartridges till July 31, 2008.
It was mentioned there that the free petrol will be given through IDBI Petro Card, but I have not heard of such card is existing at all. I looked at the FAQs and found that it is some sort of a debit card whereas you can use it for petrol purchase in any pumps, which is new, and hearing it for the first time. I guess it could be similar to the BP Petro Card which is a loyalty program of Bharat Petroleum.
They are also having a monthly lucky draw for those who are participating in this offer and one of them will be winning a LCD 32 inches TV every month.
November 20, 2007
As I was reading through The Hindu paper edition, one ad caught my attention very much and that is that a well established company is planning to start a star hotel in India and it seems they are having difficulty in finding the name of it and were asking the readers to suggest the name for their going-to-be build high class Star Hotel. If they indeed select the name that was suggested by the readers, they will reward them with Rs. 10,000/- I thought that that was indeed really an unique way to find a cool name for their hotel. I feel that they are going to get a very big response with that ad.
I have been thinking hard (yes, believe me) to find a name and trying it hard to suggest an unique name but have come up two to three names and have sent it to them. I just wanted to share this info with you. So if you have some names to suggest to them, just send those to kkbuilders11(at)yahoo.co.in You can also suggest any unique and cool names here in the comment that you have sent, if you wish to share. I guess this offer is only for those in India. And if any of you guys have indeed won it, I would like you to mention it here, I would be glad that I could help you win it and I would accept any share of your prize money from you too.....;-)
Nokia India has come up with a new offer where you can win the cool their latest Nokia N95 and N81 by participating in a contest here. You need give in your personal details and your favorite way of communication and which is your favorite gadget and why in 150 letters, etc and you could stand to win those to cool Nokia N95 and N81 series mobile for free. The last date for this contest is November 30, 2007.
I have been a very big fan of such contests which come up every now and then in many sites and have participated in many and have in fact got some cool prizes before. I have participated in the above and wanted to share it all here, you too can join the fun and win those Nokia NSeries mobiles. You are not going to lose anything anyway, just try it out and have fun.
Via Watblog and Fone Arena
Posted by Shiva at 8:10 AM
November 19, 2007
I have been using credit cards for quite sometime now and would like to share some tips I came to know of using it wisely, I learnt it from the usage of the same from it. Many would say that credit cards are evil and should not be used at all. But I differ from their views. If you know how to use your credit cards wisely, I say that credit cards are boon especially in circumstances like unlikely emergencies that might ensue without your knowing and you could not get cash immediately. I have had some such instances where credit cards have come in handy during emergencies.
- The first and foremost tip I would give is that never carry your credit cards when you are going for shopping, yes, you are right and you heard it right that never ever carry your credit card for shopping. This will get you into compulsive buying of products that you don't need but wanted to buy it. Always carry cash and/or debit card and this will have an impact on your mind that you are indeed spending your own money, while with credit card, in my own experience, I have found as if I am not spending my own money any expensive products are cheap. Try this tip, you will benefit from it, from my experience.
- The next important tip is about the financial charges that banks charge you every now and then for various reasons like annual fees, joining fees, late payment fees, and cheque bouce fees. Coming to joining fees, nowadays most banks are not charging you any joining fees instead they are giving you back by way of cash backs. Hence this option you can ignore unless some banks charge it. All such additional charges mentioned here can be reversible by the bank if you request for the same, yes it is true that they do indeed reverse the above mentioned fees if you have been charged. Just call the bank's call center number and request for the same, they will immediately oblige it without fail, this is from my own experience too. The annual fees is one aspect, although some banks offer life time free cards, most of us will ignore and will be paying it every year, whereas we have the option of waiving it completely. The late payment fees and/or cheque bouncing fees are another fees where if you forget to pay your bill on time or if your cheque got bounced, they will charge. If you request your bank to reverse it, they will reverse it for sure. Don't ever and never pay annual fees for your credit cards anymore, it is just not worth it. Just try.
- Never ever hold your payment in your credit card, pay your full amount due instead of using partial and/or only paying the 5% revolving credit, this is the major factor in which many of us fall into and get into debt trap. So pay your full amount due unless you have emergency and could not pay the full amount this month but just remember and pay the full amount at least next month. Or else you could use the balance transfer option that many banks are offering these days, some are even offering 0% interest but with a minimal fee.
- The other important aspect in getting maximum benefit from your credit card is that you should know your dates. Especially, you should be knowing your credit card's statement generating date and the payment due date without fail. Try using your card especially the next few days after your statement has been generated instead of within the period. Suppose if your statement is being generated on 15th of every month, try to use your card after 15th of every month, this will let you enjoy the whole credit period the credit card companies are offering. This will be usefull especially if you have more than one card, try to rotate your cards to get maximum benefit from it.
- Don't ever try to withdraw cash using your credit cards, as they attract even more interest than your normal purchases.
- Another important tip would be that don't have more than two credit cards. As this is a bad practice and would often lead to debts accumulating.
- Try to utilize some really very useful offers that the credit card companies come every now and then as well as their and their rewards points.
- If you have a big amount left to be paid in your credit card account and you have been paying only partial payments for quite some time, try to negotiate with that card company on reducing the amount to be paid to a bare minimum that they can afford. Due to accumulation of huge interest rates, most of the banks would accept your offer and would come to a lesser amount and would suggest you the same that you can pay. If you still could not afford to pay, try getting a personal loan and repay it, as personal loans are much cheaper when compared to credit card interests.
- When contacting credit card companies always try to use their toll-free numbers and not the normal toll numbers (most banks will have both). And also try to use their online contact forms if possible (some banks have safe online contact forms). As you know that how long it will take for some banks to get to the "so-called" customer service persons of the respective banks, this will save you time and some extra money on your phone or mobile bills.
These are some of the tips I could remember now but will update more tips every now and then.
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November 17, 2007
Picsquare.com also has an offer for diwali where there is a special discount of 20% for phot gifts and this offer is with free home delivery. Both the above offers are available only till November 25th.
Picsquare.com also has an offer where if you signup for a free account, you will be able to get 10 prints for free delivered to your place. You need to pay delivery charges for this offer too. Only the 4 x 6" prints can be availed from this offer.
They also have a referral program in which if you refer your friends to this site to signup and if they signup, you will be getting free 10 prints added to your account with the same conditions as above.
I have in fact used Picsquare.com and found their print quality to be exceedingly good. I gave it a try on their free 10 prints on registering. The delivery time is also good and the pictures were delivered in safe and covered envelopes without damaging the pictures inside. The only drawback I found when using this service would be that the delivery charges which if I opt for regular brick and mortar studio nearby I don't have to pay.
Posted by Shiva at 10:48 PM
Buy one movie ticket and get one movie ticket free at www.bookmyshow.com This offer is exclusively brought in association with ICICI Bank credit cards and valid only for those who purchase using ICICI Bank credit cards. The Offer is Valid from Nov 1st 2007 - Jan 31st 2008. Unlike my previous post on the offer on manhattan with INOX, where it was available only on thursdays and can only BE brought from INOX directly, this offer is applicable all days till the deadline of this offer through their website only and not through any other means. You need to buy at least two tickets to avail this offer it seems, that's what really confusing me here. I have tried to read the terms and conditions available at their website .
I searched for Chennai and found out that only tickets for INOX can be booked through their site. I will try this out before this offer ends and will add up here my experience about this offer.
Bookymyshow.com also seem to have a good option whereas you leave your phone number at their site and they will call you to book the ticket, but this is available only at Delhi and Mumbai and will be available only between 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Posted by Shiva at 10:17 PM
November 16, 2007
To add to my post, I have found out that even ICICI has the same offer where they will preload your credit card with Rs. 250/- cash back and the same will be credited when you use your card within 30 days of getting your card. While the HSBC offer is applicable only for Gold Card, but ICICI offer can be availed for any type of cards namely, Classic, Gold, and Amex Gold. Even if you are not interested in getting yourself a card right now, you can get it and later you cancel it, at least you will get Rs. 250/- as profit from it. ;-)
I have been using ICICI for quite some time and found their service to be worth mentioning. They do listen to customers unlike some banks like ABN AMRO, with whom I have had a very bad experience with.
Posted by Shiva at 10:03 PM
November 15, 2007
Do you know that you can save some easy money if you do things differently rather than the orthodox way. I am planning to share my way of saving some bucks here. Although the amount saved here may not be much but still there is an easy way to do it and save some money too.
We all pay bills of various service providers like landline, mobile phones, insurance, electricity bills, etc. We have to spend our valuable time and energy to pay bills for such essential products. And queues and crowd and India and inseperable in almost any place you go, especially with paying bills for the above mentioned providers. Especially our own government owned BSNL and MTNL who are the major telecommunication providers for the whole of India. I have had horrible experiences in paying bills for BSNL in Chennai and had to go through a queue which is always faster and smaller in the queue next to you. I had to at least spend nearly 1 hour sometimes, including travel and waiting time in queue, etc and never mind about traffic.
Do you know that BSNL indeed has an online billing portal exclusively for paying all bills including landline, broadband, and mobile phones, yes that is true and you can pay it online through your credit card.
Ever since BSNL introduced this facility I have been using it to pay my bills through it and found it amazingly easy and without any issues I am able to pay. At first, since I was a bit skeptic with its functioning since it is run by government and like all other government co's I thought there will be issues with it, like non-payment issue. But amazingly, till now I have not got any issue with them so far by paying through it. It is actually located here for those in Chennai. For other cities, you can refer the BSNL website for the same. What more you will also get a 1% discount on all your bills paid through it. You can also view the status of your calls made in the middle of the month and can actually control your usage, hence. The service is run through ccavenue, hence you can be rest assured that it is safe.
You can also pay such bills in credit cards of SBI Card wherein you will get a discount of 2% every month, if you opt for ECS through them various providers.
HSBC now has come up with an offer where you will be given a cash back of Rs. 50/- for every bill paid through ECS through their credit card online.
I am sound frugal but I don't mind it, but if you opt for ECS you not only save some bucks but also the most important and less available commodity these days namely "TIME," no I am not talking about the one that we read every week, but am talking about the one we always try hard to have.
Posted by Shiva at 10:58 PM
November 14, 2007
This festive season, almost all the shopping sites in India are fighting in their own way to lure Indian customers in getting them to shop in their sites. Indiaplaza (formerly Fabmall) has come up with an unique offer this season.
All you need to do is buy anything from their site for Rs. 5000/- (spread from 20th October 2007 to 31st December 2007). And if you do so you will get an E-scratch Card from them and if you scratch it you will get any one of the following gifts from them for free:
- Rs. 5000/- Cash
- Jewellery Gift Voucher worth Rs. 5000/-
- 2 Domestic Return airticket
- 3 day 2 night holiday package for two.
Posted by Shiva at 10:36 PM
November 13, 2007
It is children's day today. If you are looking for gift for your kids this children's day and if you have still not brought or read The Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows, try Indiatimes Shopping. They are having a good offer especially for the children's day wherein if you buy a Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows book for Rs. 682, normal price is Rs. 975, you save Rs. 293, and what more you will be getting is a Reebok Bag worth Rs. 875 for free too. I feel this is a decent offer. You can also think of it as buying a Reebok Bag for just Rs. 682 and getting a Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows for free, either way you are benefitted from this offer. You can get it here at Indiatimes Shopping.
You can find more children's day special shopping deals in some more Indian shopping sites like Sify, Future Bazaar.
And yes, A Very Happy Children's Day for all the kids and adults (who still thinks themselves as kids, LOL) out there.
Posted by Shiva at 10:21 PM
November 12, 2007
If you actually have some money balance to pay in any credit cards other than HSBC and can actually pay that amount easily, wait don't pay it immediately, just balance transfer it to the HSBC Credit Card. If you do so, you don't have to pay interest for 3 months. In 3 months option, your interest rate will be 0% (which is really amazing) and for 6 months the interest rate is 1.5% (normal rate is 2.95% or more these days).
Here I am going to talk about the three months option and that is with 0% interest. Which considering the zooming interest rates for various loans and mortgages, is really an amazing offer. There is a service charge for each of these transfers. For three months, the service charge is Rs. 249/- Hence that Rs. 250/- cash back will be nullified with this and eventually you will end up with your amount transferred for three months with 0% interest.
Here is an evil or easy way to earn some extra bucks. For the amount you have transferred, consider it as Rs. 10,000/- (it can be even more too). You can actually invest the equivalent amount in mutual funds for three months and try earn interest from it, and yes there will be some 2.5% entry or exit load, but with the markets booming these days, you may get some return at the end of the three months and you can withdraw the whole amount from the fund and pay back the amount you had in the balance transferred card. You can earn at least Rs. 300/- for these three months for Rs. 10,000, from my calculations, and the rest you can calculate yourself for higher amounts if you are transferring. This is not a big amount but still an easy way to earn or should I say save from your credit card?
Here's a very important thing that you need to remember and that is you should know your date in which you balance transferred and should also calculate the exact three months of it and know the date and remember it and note it down. And you should pay it exactly before that date, else you will be charged the normal interest rate as applicable. So go ahead and save some money on your credit card, which were used to be termed as evil, but you can turn it into good.
Posted by Shiva at 11:44 PM
Those who have their account with Bank of America can avail themselves a free Google Adwords $50 to promote your websites/blogs. This is an exclusive offer for them and only for those who are the first time users of Google Adwords. I know that Bank of America does not have that much branches in India, except in selected cities like Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkatta, and Chennai. Anyhow those who have it can avail it, since you don't get such offers often from Google.
I have once tried such offer long back from Google Adwords when advertised exclusively about Google Adwords in NDTV about it. I used it and found it really helpful in getting some free traffic for my blog (I had) at that time. You need to have a credit card to have an account at Google Adwords. You can actually close your account and/or pause your ad campaigns as soon as you finish up your credit of $50 or can continue with your account for more ads for your website/blog promotion.
Posted by Shiva at 9:45 PM
November 11, 2007
At least this is what the SBI Card is claiming about this offer, which is for the watch named Giordano, which they claim is a premium branded watch. The original price of this watch is claimed to have been Rs. 3090/- but only for SBI Card holders they are offering it for just Rs. 399/- which is inclusive of delivery charges and hence they are offering it at nearly 90% discount. This is a limited period offer from them. You can order up to four watches if you want to gift it to your friends and relatives, which they themselves will ship to their respective addresses. But remember that you need to indeed have a SBI Card to order this watch.
I researched to find whether Giordano is indeed a premium branded watch or not and found some sites like Amazon and other shopping sites to indeed selling this brand, but other than that, I could not find any firm proof about its brand. If someone know more about this brand, can share it with us in the comments and about its credibility.
But again, found this offer to be shared since it is claimed to be given at a whopping 90% discount, at least that is what they claim, hence I am sharing it here. You can find the offer here.
Posted by Shiva at 7:30 AM
November 10, 2007
Sify one of the accredited registrars of the .in domain name has come up with a special festival offer in which they are offering the .in domain names for just Rs. 199/- (regular charge is around Rs. 800/- as far as I know) for the first year. Next year onwards, they will charge around Rs. 800/-.
As it has become a fad these days to have a .in domain names as many startups in india have been starting their venture with .in domain names. These days it has become difficult to get a domain name of your choice even in the .in domain names and hence I would suggest you to give it a try if you are anyway planning to have your own domain names for your blog or site. You can save around Rs. 600/-.
You might ask why not me, as this is just a start for me, I would stick with the free blogspot acocunt at least for now and might switch to my own domain name soon depending upon the success of this blog. ;-)
Posted by Shiva at 7:44 PM
If you are in need of money urgently this festive season to celebrate the festivals or any other emergencies, SBI card holders, has come up with an offer that is 0% cash withdrawal offer wherein you can withdraw cash of till your cash credit limit in your SBI Card. There is only one time fees of Rs. 99/- per withdrawal and no interest for 30 days. It is valid till November 25th.
You can withdraw cash and remember the date you took the cash and don't forget to pay before the same date the next month, else you might be charged with regular interest rate for cash withdrawal on credit cards on a daily basis. This is very important to repay before the 30 days.
I am not a fan of withdrawing cash using the credit card because the interest rate for withdrawal using credit cards is really very high in almost all the cards. There is a one time charge per withdrawal of around Rs. 250/- and around depending on which card you hold and other than that you will be charged interest rate calculated daily (rather than monthly), hence one should try to avoid cash withdrawal on credit cards.
But the above offer is a better one if someone needs cash urgently and can pay it within 30 days. This could be very useful for higher amounts plus Rs. 10,000/- and the interest rate for one is only Rs. 99/- which is reasonable considering the personal loans and other modes of credits charge higher interest rate. Although they claim it as 0%, actually it is not since they charge this service charge.
Posted by Shiva at 7:15 PM
November 9, 2007
If you are an HSBC account holder, you can register yourself for free mobile alerts for your account, where you will get alerts through SMS on your various transactions done on your account like, credits, debits, due date reminders for the EMI payments on HSBC loans, remainders for maturity of your fixed deposit, and even mini statements every month for free.
If you register for it between November 5, 2007 to December 31, 2007, you will get a free Domino's Pizza gift voucher worth Rs. 100/- for free. I feel that you don't lose anything here, just register for it online through your Internet Banking login and get that free Rs. 100/- gift voucher which can be redeemed at any of its outlets across India. You can find a demo and know on how mobile alert works here. You can login and register for the mobile alerts here.
This is an initiative brought up by HSBC to help environment by using lesser paper and encouraging the customers to use online and other means than paper more often. HSBC has a website especially for this noble cause, you can find the same here . They are also encouraging customers like us to opt for email statements rather than paper statement to use less paper and hence less trees cut. I feel that this is a very noble cause on the part of banks like HSBC. There is some selfishness (sorry to use this word) on part of HSBC and that is these type of initiatives will make the customers to not to come to the branch or ATM for each of these and any other transactions. This will reduce the work force and energy of their employee, I personally feel this way!
Posted by Shiva at 10:49 PM
November 8, 2007
Manhattan credit card another wing of Standard Chartered Bank has an offer exclusively for movie buffs. This offer is applicable only at INOX, hence this is applicable for those in the cities who have INOX. Actually Manhattan is offering a free ticket for every ticket purchased through Manhattan Card at INOX and that too only on Thursdays, and thus the name Manhattan Thursdays! They did not mention about any restriction about the price of the tickets and hence I assume would be applicable for all tickets purchased at INOX using credit card. This offer is applicable for only those buying the tickets at the counter and not for online bookings.
Posted by Shiva at 12:27 PM
November 7, 2007
SBI Card is soon catching up with its other foreign and Indian counterparts in credit card with its own offers of which some are really, really good. Like this 100% cash back offer from Indiaplaza.com wherein if you purchase anything and everything from Indiaplaza with your SBI Card, you will get the same amount of gift voucher from them free, which can be redeemed from their site for any future purchases. This way they are saying it is 100% cash back offer. This offer is valid from November 1st to December 31st 2007. Even though this looks innovative, but will need to find out how good this offer is in fact. The maximum value of the Gift Voucher can be Rs. 5000. It can be redeemed within 30 days of receipt of the electronic Gift voucher.
I have not tried this offer but with my previous experience in Indiaplaza, whenever they offer a gift voucher for free, they will have some pre-conditions in it like, if you want to redeem any gift voucher, you will need to purchase for a specific amount which will be a hefty higher when you compare it with the gift voucher you get.
When I looked at the terms and conditions of the offer I found out this "The purchase has to be twice the amount of the Gift Voucher to redeem the value of the Gift Voucher." which actually means you are getting 50% cash back practically.
Posted by Shiva at 11:24 PM
This festive season almost all credit card companies are luring customers with really cool offers. Among them HSBC has the really cool offer of the season. They are actually offering 10% cashback for all purchases in the categories of Apparel, Jewellery, Watches, Electronics, Leather Goods, Music, Furnishings, Books, Groceries, Consumer Durables and Departmental Stores will get an assured cash back of 10% if the purchase amount is above Rs. 2000/-
In order you to avail this offer you need register with them before either through online here or call their call centre numbers applicable in your city. You can also register for the same through SMSing "HSBCFEST" followed by your birthdate in ddmmyy format followed by the last eight digits of your credit card no. to 56161. The offer is open only from October 1st to November 30th 2007. And it is also applicable only for the first 60,000 who register with them. So, if you have any ideas of registering, go ahead and register immediately before the places fill in. The Maximum total Cash Back they will give is Rs.750 per card.
I have actually registered with my two HSBC cards for this offer and even made some purchases. In my experience with them before and now, I feel this is the offer of the season definitely. No hidden conditions or terms, just they will refund your 10% of the purchase amount in your next statement, no questions asked at all.
HSBC has also come up with other cool offers for this season, which I will share with you soon.
Posted by Shiva at 11:09 PM