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Nicole’s Heart Foundation 1st Annual 5k Walk/Run

by 1stadmin @ 1st Constitution Bank

1st Constitution Bank was proud to be a sponsor at the Nicole’s Heart Foundation’s 1st Annual 5k Walk/Run. The Foundation provides subsidized and free heart screenings to high school athletes in Monmouth and Middlesex Counties. Special thanks to our very own Tina Hungrige who is one of the founding board members and Treasurer of Nicole’s Heart Foundation. Great job raising over $11,000! Nicole lost her life at 18 due to Sudden Cardiac Arrest due to an undetected congenital heart defect. The Foundation’s mission is to bring greater awareness, education, and stress the importance of cardiac screenings for high school athletes.

Banks Will Pay You Up to $400 Just for Opening a Checking Account

Banks Will Pay You Up to $400 Just for Opening a Checking Account


MONEY.com

But you'll have to jump though a lot of hoops to get the cash.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Referral

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Dylan Y) @ CreditDonkey Tips

You can earn up to 50,000 bonus points per year by referring Chase Sapphire Preferred to friends. Read on to learn how it works.

Chase Sapphire Preferred is known for having one of the most valuable sign-up bonuses among travel rewards cards. But earning a sign-up bonus isn’t the only way you can earn thousands of points with the Sapphire Preferred.

By taking advantage of the Chase Refer-A-Friend program, you can earn as many as 50,000 extra points per year.

How Chase Sapphire Preferred Works

Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great travel rewards card for frequent, midrange travelers. In addition to its Refer-A-Friend program, it offers a good sign-up bonus and some valuable redemption options. Here are the basics:

If that’s something that you—and your friends—could take advantage of, then you could stand to earn massive rewards with the Sapphire Preferred.

How to Earn Referral Bonuses

As an incentive to promote their credit cards, Chase offers bonus points to users who refer their friends to apply for Chase cards. For each person who uses your referral link to apply for the Preferred—and who is approved—you’ll be awarded 10,000 bonus points (up to 50,000 bonus points per year).

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for the Refer-A-Friend program: You’ll have to enter your last name, zip code, and the last 4 digits of your card in order to receive your referral link.

  • Send or share your referral link: You can refer anyone to apply for the Sapphire Preferred—friends, family, and spouses included. When you receive your link, you’ll be able to send it directly to one person, or share it over social media for a broader reach.

    Keep in mind that your referral link will direct applicants to the Preferred, and if they apply for a different Chase card, you won’t get a referral bonus.

  • Wait for your rewards: Your referral will have to be approved for the Preferred in order for you to earn bonus points. After that, your 10,000 bonus points should appear in your Ultimate Rewards account within 8 weeks.

  • Earn up to 50,000 bonus points per year: You can earn Refer-A-Friend bonuses of up to 50,000 points per year. That’s worth up to $625 toward travel booked through Ultimate Rewards.

Redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points

With the Preferred, you’ll have the option to redeem your points for gift cards or cash back at a value of 1 cent per point. But as a travel rewards card, the Preferred’s travel-oriented redemption options can be much more valuable. Depending on how you redeem them, your points could be worth at least 1.25 cents each toward travel:

Each 10,000-point referral bonus would be worth $125 toward travel through Ultimate Rewards. Or, you could transfer them to an airline or hotel partner—like United, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, or Marriott, to name a few - to stretch them even further.

Tip: Even as few as 10,000 points can be enough to book a one-way flight with some of Chase’s airline partners. For more info, check out our full review of Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners.

Common Questions

  • If I refer someone who isn’t approved for the card, does that count as one of my 5 referrals per year?
    In short: no. You’re not limited by a number of referrals, but by the number of referral points you earn. So, if someone you referred isn’t approved for the card, you won’t earn any bonus points or be any closer to reaching your annual limit.

  • Can I refer my own authorized user to apply for the Sapphire Preferred?
    Yes; even if an applicant is already listed as an authorized user on another Sapphire Preferred account, they can still apply for their own card and be eligible for its sign-up bonus.

  • How long should it take to receive my bonus?
    This depends, in part, on how long it takes for your referral to be approved. After that, Chase allows that it can take up to 8 weeks for your bonus points to appear in your Ultimate Rewards account.

The Bottom Line

This is a pretty straightforward program, and definitely worth taking advantage of if you have the opportunity. Throw in the bonus points new cardholders could earn, and it’s a win-win.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Referral appeared first on CreditDonkey

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on January 30, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

2017 Fall Fest – Jamesburg

by 1stadmin @ 1st Constitution Bank

On October 21, 2017 W. Railroad Ave in Jamesburg was filled with various vendors for the annual Fall Fest. From on site pet grooming to funnel cakes and home made specialty sauces this year’s crowd has plenty to choose from. Fall festivities at the 1st Constitution table offered kids big and small a game of Pumpkin Pong!

Chase Coupon Promo Codes: $200, $300, $350, $500 (Feb 2018)

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Chase Bank coupon codes, bonuses, and promotions for their Checking, Savings and Business accounts can all be found up-to-date here. Chase promotions are constantly updated throughout the year, so bookmark this page for updates. Many Chase coupon codes are periodically available. Current and past coupons include the following: $100, $150, $175, $200, $250, $300, $350, $400, $500, $600 and […]

Chase Ink Business Preferred Referral

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Dylan Y) @ CreditDonkey Tips

You can earn up to 100,000 bonus points per year by referring Chase Ink Business Preferred to business owners. Read on to learn how it works.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred offers an excellent sign-up bonus, reward structure, and redemption options. It’s one of the best credit cards for small business owners.

And if you take advantage of the card’s Refer-A-Friend program, you can earn some serious bonus points.

How Chase Ink Business Preferred Works

You can use the Business Preferred for straightforward cash back rewards, or you can use it to score award flights and hotel stays. Here’s how it works:

How to Earn Referral Bonuses

Chase has a Refer-A-Friend program. When you refer a new eligible Chase card to friends or family, you get a nice bonus. For Chase Ink Business Preferred, each referral earns you 20,000 bonus points (up to 100,000 bonus points per year).

Here’s how you can earn those points:

  • Sign up for the Refer-A-Friend program. You’ll have to enter your last name, zip code, and the last 4 digits of your card. You’ll then receive your unique referral link.

  • Send or share your referral link. You can refer anyone to apply for the card. You can send your referral link directly to one person or share it over Facebook and Twitter for a broader reach.

    You can only refer people for the Chase card that you carry. If you refer them to apply for the Ink Business Preferred and they apply for a different Chase card, you won’t get a bonus.

  • Wait for your rewards. Once your friend’s application is approved, you will receive 20,000 bonus points. They should post to your Ultimate Rewards account within 8 weeks. If the person you referred is not approved for the card, you won’t receive a bonus.

  • Earn up to 100,000 bonus points per year. You can earn the referral bonus for the first 5 people you refer. That’s up to 100,000 points per year. With the Ink Business Preferred, that’s worth $1,250 toward travel booked through Ultimate Rewards.

This is a pretty simple program. You get the chance to earn valuable points with little work. Keep in mind that the Chase Ink Preferred is for small business owners.

Redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points

Ink Business Preferred offers great value when you redeem for travel.

Those travel redemption options can give you more value for your points than getting cash back or gift cards.

If you use your points to book travel through Ultimate Rewards, each 20,000-point referral bonus would be worth $250. Or, finding an award flight with one of Chase’s airline partners (including United, Southwest, British Airways, and more) could stretch your points even further.

Tip: 20,000 points might not sound like much in terms of frequent flyer programs. But it can be enough to book a round-trip domestic flight or even a one-way international flight with some carriers. For more info on maximizing your points toward travel, check out our full review of Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners.

Common Questions

  • If someone I refer isn’t approved for the card, does that count against my annual limit of 5 referrals?
    No. You’re not limited by how many referrals you make, but by how many referral points you earn. For the Ink Business Preferred, that limit is 100,000 points a year. So, if someone you refer isn’t approved, you won’t earn bonus points. You won’t be any closer to reaching your annual referral bonus limit.

  • Can I earn the sign-up bonus and referral bonuses in the same year?
    Yes. Your annual referral bonus limit doesn’t affect your sign-up bonus. In theory—although it’d be a challenge—you could earn the 80,000-point sign-up bonus and 100,000 points in referral bonuses in the same year.

  • Can I refer people to multiple Chase cards?
    Yes, but only if you carry more than one Chase card that participates in the Refer-A-Friend program.

    You will receive a separate referral link for each card you hold. You’ll only receive a bonus if your friends apply for the correct card through its corresponding referral link.

The Bottom Line

Small business owners stand to reap massive benefits from this program. The referral bonuses could help you could cut down on some major business expenses. And even if you don’t use those points to travel, each referral bonus could bring you $200 in cash back or gift cards.

If you’re a small business owner—and especially if you travel frequently—it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at the Ink Business Preferred and its referral program.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Referral appeared first on CreditDonkey

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on January 30, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

United MileagePlus Explorer Card 50,000 Bonus Miles + $100 Statement Credit + 5,000 Bonus Miles When You Add an Authorized User + 2X Miles on United Airlines

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

When you open a United MileagePlus Explorer Card, you will earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, as a travel benefit, you’ll receive 2 United Club passes each year for your cardmember anniversary – over a $100 value. To top it all off, you can get a... Read More →

The post United MileagePlus Explorer Card 50,000 Bonus Miles + $100 Statement Credit + 5,000 Bonus Miles When You Add an Authorized User + 2X Miles on United Airlines appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

Best Bank Account Bonuses and Offers February 2018 - NerdWallet

Best Bank Account Bonuses and Offers February 2018 - NerdWallet


NerdWallet

Excellent cash bonuses are available if you open checking or savings accounts with some banks. Here are the best offers this month: Checking account offers and savings promotions Top picks…

Huntington Bank Coupons: $150, $200, $300, $500, & $750 Deals, Offers, & Promotions

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Huntington Bank Coupons, Coupon Codes, Promo Codes, Bonuses, Deals, Offers, and Promotions for their Checking, Savings and Business accounts can all be found here. Huntington Bank Coupon & Bonus Promotions are constantly updated throughout the year, so bookmark this page or check back on our Huntington Bank Deals, Offers, Bonuses, and Promotions master post for updates. Check out... Read More →

The post Huntington Bank Coupons: $150, $200, $300, $500, & $750 Deals, Offers, & Promotions appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

Bank of America Balance Transfer Offers

Bank of America Balance Transfer Offers


CreditDonkey

Get latest Bank of America balance transfer offers with top promotions, signup bonuses, and credit card reviews on CreditDonkey

Fidelity Go Review: Robo-Advisor With Low Management Fees

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Brought to you by the well-known firm, Fidelity Investments, Fidelity Go is a robo-advisor that offers a clear pricing structure that is somewhat different to its rivals, giving you an all-inclusive fee that impressively covers all investment expenses too.  This is one of its most significant benefits as it gives you access to all of […]

Life Insurance Living Benefits Rider

by Ryan Guina @ Cash Money Life | Personal Finance, Investing, & Career

This article was originally published on Cash Money Life | Personal Finance, Investing, & Career at Life Insurance Living Benefits Rider.

Having life insurance in place can allow you the peace of mind in knowing that those who love and care about will not have to face financial hardship in the case of the unexpected. That is because, in addition to providing funds for replacement of income, the cash that life insurance offers can also be ... Read More about Life Insurance Living Benefits Rider

~$~

All content copyright Cash Money Life | Personal Finance, Investing, & Career; if you are reading this on another website it has been illegally reproduced in violation of copyright laws.

Blue Federal Credit Union Offers Are Quite The Gimmick

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Blue Federal Credit Union offers some impressive rates on their Checking and Savings accounts. Unfortunately, the highest rates available are a bit of a gimmick, so don’t get too excited. On the plus side, accounts are available for nationwide application. Established in 1951 and headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Blue Federal CU has nearly 15 locations […]

Chase Premier Plus Checking Coupon Code

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Need a checking designed to help you easily manage your everyday banking needs & earn internet? You can with the Chase Premier Plus CheckingSM Account. Need more than basic checking with online bill pay and mobile banking? Not only can this checking account earn you interest, but you’ll also save money on ATM fees and other select... Read More →

The post Chase Premier Plus Checking Coupon Code appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

Best Bank Bonuses in Florida

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Checking Savings

Editor’s Note: If this is not your state, you can click on the state(s) above to see the Best Bank Bonuses being offered in your selected state(s). As the Floridians say,”Visit Florida” for some of the Best Bank Bonuses in Florida! Before you head out to Walt Disney World, grab some awesome bank deals for some extra spending... Keep Reading↠

The post Best Bank Bonuses in Florida appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

14 Jos A Bank Coupons & Promo Codes Available - February 13, 2018

14 Jos A Bank Coupons & Promo Codes Available - February 13, 2018


Valpak

Jos A Bank Coupons and Deals including: Buy 1, Get 1 Free on Featured Items, Free Shipping on Orders over $50, $50 Off Orders over $500 with Bank Account Rewards

Best Savings Accounts And High Yield Rates February 2018

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Do you need to find out which bank has the best Savings Account rates? Or, how about which has the best Money Market interest rates? Maybe you need a quick overview of the differences between the two types of interest-earning accounts to begin with. We’ll go over all of these questions and help you find the best […]

How to Get Started with the Chase Mobile App

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Checking Savings

Chase Mobile is the mobile banking app for customers of JP Morgan Chase Bank, and it’s available for Android, iPhone, Windows, and Amazon Fire. The app offers a number of convenient features and can complete almost all of your personal banking tasks. Some of you guys out there may have trouble getting started with this app, so... Keep Reading↠

The post How to Get Started with the Chase Mobile App appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

Legacy Texas Bank Checking Review: $200 Bonus (Texas only) *Current Clients only*

by Howard Young @ Bank Checking Savings

Are you currently banking with Legacy Texas Bank? Legacy Texas Bank is currently offering existing clients a generous $200 bonus when you apply and qualify for a new Maximum Checking Account with a minimum opening deposit of $100 by March 31, 2018. Once you have signed up for a new account, all you have to have to... Keep Reading↠

The post Legacy Texas Bank Checking Review: $200 Bonus (Texas only) *Current Clients only* appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Referral

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Dylan Y) @ CreditDonkey Tips

You can earn up to 50,000 bonus points per year by referring Chase Sapphire Reserve to friends. Read on to learn how it works.

How Chase Sapphire Reserve Works

How to Earn Referral Bonuses

Chase offers bonus points to users who refer their friends to apply for eligible Chase cards. For each person who uses your referral link to apply for Chase Sapphire Reserve - and who is approved - you’ll be awarded 10,000 bonus points (up to 50,000 bonus points per year).

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for the Refer-A-Friend program: You’ll have to enter your last name, zip code, and the last 4 digits of your card in order to receive your referral link.

  • Send or share your referral link: You can refer anyone to apply for the Sapphire Reserve - friends, family, and spouses included. When you receive your link, you’ll be able to send it directly to one person, or share it over social media for a broader reach.

    Keep in mind that your referral link will direct applicants to the Reserve, and if they apply for a different Chase card, you won’t get a referral bonus.

  • Wait for your rewards: Your referral will have to be approved for the Reserve in order for you to earn bonus points. After that, your 10,000 bonus points should appear in your Ultimate Rewards account within 8 weeks.

  • Earn up to 50,000 bonus points per year: You can earn Refer-A-Friend bonuses of up to 50,000 points per year. That’s worth up to $750 toward travel booked through Ultimate Rewards.

Redeeming Ultimate Rewards Points

With the Reserve, you’ll have the option to redeem your points for gift cards or cash back at a value of 1 cent per point. But as a travel rewards card, the Reserve's travel-oriented redemption options can be much more valuable. Depending on how you redeem them, your points could be worth at least 1.5 cents each toward travel:

Each 10,000-point referral bonus would be worth $155 toward travel through Ultimate Rewards. Or, you could transfer them to an airline or hotel partner—like United, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, or Marriott, to name a few - to stretch them even further.

Tip: Even as few as 10,000 points can be enough to book a one-way flight with some of Chase’s airline partners. For more info, check out our full review of Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners.

Common Questions

  • If I refer someone who isn’t approved for the card, does that count as one of my 5 referrals per year?
    In short: no. You’re not limited by a number of referrals, but by the number of referral points you earn. So, if someone you referred isn’t approved for the card, you won’t earn any bonus points or be any closer to reaching your annual limit.

  • Can I refer my own authorized user to apply for the Sapphire Reserve?
    Yes; even if an applicant is already listed as an authorized user on another Sapphire Reserve account, they can still apply for their own card and be eligible for its sign-up bonus.

  • How long should it take to receive my bonus?
    This depends, in part, on how long it takes for your referral to be approved. After that, Chase allows that it can take up to 8 weeks for your bonus points to appear in your Ultimate Rewards account.

The Bottom Line

This is a pretty straightforward program, and definitely worth taking advantage of if you have the opportunity. Throw in the bonus points new cardholders could earn, and it’s a win-win.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Referral appeared first on CreditDonkey

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on January 30, 2018. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

Evolve Federal Credit Union Rewards Checking Account Review: 5.00% APY Up To $10,000

by John Catral @ Bank Checking Savings

Available for residents of Texas, Evolve Federal Credit Union is currently offering a generous 5.00% APY when you sign up and open a new ePriority Checking account. If you are currently interested, the bank is offering you the attractive APY rate on a balance up to $10,000. Not only are you able to bank with ease with... Keep Reading↠

The post Evolve Federal Credit Union Rewards Checking Account Review: 5.00% APY Up To $10,000 appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

Get More With Merrill Edge

Get More With Merrill Edge


Merrill Edge

Make the most of your Merrill Edge investing and Bank of America banking relationship and enjoy special offers, great discounts and everyday benefits.

SunTrust Bank Again Extends Three Checking Bonuses

SunTrust Bank Again Extends Three Checking Bonuses


Deposit Accounts

SunTrust Bank (AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV) has extended its checking bonuses ($100, $200, $300) through 7/3/17. Available online and...

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Review: 50,000 Bonus Miles + $100 Statement Credit

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Checking Savings

When you sign up for a United MileagePlus® Explorer Card you can earn yourself a attractive 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account activation. Also, you can earn $100 statement credit after you make your first purchase. In addition to that, get priority boarding and 2 redeemable United Club passes each year, so I... Keep Reading↠

The post Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Review: 50,000 Bonus Miles + $100 Statement Credit appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

Compare Checking-Account-Bonus Offers - Bankrate.com

Compare Checking-Account-Bonus Offers - Bankrate.com


Bankrate

We found you can earn up to $400 by opening a checking account. But beware of strings.

Chase Freedom Credit Card $150 Bonus + 5% Quarterly Cash Back + No Annual Fee

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Compare this card with other cash back cards here. With the Chase Freedom® Card, you can earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases during your first 3 months of opening an account! Additionally, you can enjoy a 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited... Read More →

The post Chase Freedom Credit Card $150 Bonus + 5% Quarterly Cash Back + No Annual Fee appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

British Airways Visa Signature Card 75,000 Avios Bonus + 3 Avios for Every $1 Spent on British Airways Purchases

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Compare this card with other travel related cards here. The British Airways Visa Signature® Card is offering a chance to earn up to 75,000 bonus Avios. Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 on purchases within your first year of account... Read More →

The post British Airways Visa Signature Card 75,000 Avios Bonus + 3 Avios for Every $1 Spent on British Airways Purchases appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

Chase United TravelBank Card $150 Bonus + No Foreign Transaction Fee + No Annual Fee

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Compare this card with other travel related cards here. With the United℠ TravelBank Card, you can $150 in TravelBank cash after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. In addition to the bonus incentive, you will earn 2% in TravelBank cash per $1 spent on tickets purchased from United and 1.5%... Read More →

The post Chase United TravelBank Card $150 Bonus + No Foreign Transaction Fee + No Annual Fee appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

Five Star Bank Checking Account Bonus: $250 Promotion (New York Only) *In-Branch*

by Howard Young @ Bank Checking Savings

Are you interested in making free money? Five Star Bank is currently offering qualified residents of New York a $250 bonus when you apply and qualify for a new Premier Checking Account by April 30, 2018. To get started, you must open a new account in-branch. For those who are not familiar with the current promotion, you... Keep Reading↠

The post Five Star Bank Checking Account Bonus: $250 Promotion (New York Only) *In-Branch* appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

1st Constitution Bancorp to Acquire New Jersey Community Bank

by 1stadmin @ 1st Constitution Bank

CRANBURY, N.J., November 6, 2017 – 1st Constitution Bancorp (Nasdaq: FCCY), the holding company for 1st Constitution Bank, and New Jersey Community Bank (OTC PINK: NJCB) jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger pursuant to which 1st Constitution Bancorp will acquire New Jersey Community Bank in a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $4.00 per share, or approximately $7.6 million in total consideration. Upon the closing of the transaction, New Jersey Community Bank will merge with and into 1st Constitution Bank. The merger has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both institutions, and is anticipated to be completed at the end of the first quarter of 2018. The transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of New Jersey Community Bank, as well as regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions. Under the terms of the merger agreement, New Jersey Community Bank shareholders will receive $1.60 in cash and 0.1333 shares of 1st Constitution Bancorp common stock, subject to adjustment as set forth in the merger agreement, for each share of New Jersey Community Bank common stock that they own. 1st Constitution Bancorp expects to issue approximately 254,392 […]

New Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions February 2018: Checking & Savings Accounts

New Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions February 2018: Checking & Savings Accounts


Bank Deal Guy

Best bank deals, promotions and sign-up bonus offers. Bank deals, offers for Checking, Savings account promotions. Best Business account offers.

Bank Of The West Review: $150 Checking Account Bonus

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Get the latest Bank of the West bonuses and promotions here. There are branches in the following states: AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, NM, NV, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI, WY. Typical promotions for Checking accounts have been for $150, $200 and $300. They also oftentimes have promotions for their investment services […]

Huntington Bank $300 Business Checking Bonus [IN, KY, MI, OH, PA, WV, IL, WI]

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

If you’re interested in banking at Huntington, you can earn a Huntington Bank $300 Business Checking Bonus when you open their Fast Track Business Checking Account currently available in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Get the right business checking account, whether you’re starting out or starting to expand. Huntington has checking options to meet your needs,... Read More →

The post Huntington Bank $300 Business Checking Bonus [IN, KY, MI, OH, PA, WV, IL, WI] appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

BBVA Compass Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions: $50, $100, & $200 Checking & Savings Offers

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Find the latest BBVA Compass Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions here at BankDealGuy! BBVA Compass Bank is available physically in a few states but available for residents in 48 contiguous states! Check out excellent checking, money market, savings, certificate of deposit accounts, and more! See below for our list of BBVA Compass Bank Deals. BBVA Compass Bank has numerous... Read More →

The post BBVA Compass Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions: $50, $100, & $200 Checking & Savings Offers appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

Do you take advantage of banks new account promotion?

Do you take advantage of banks new account promotion?


Retire by 40

Is it a good idea to take advantage of new account bonus?

Asbury Park Angel Tree Program

by 1stadmin @ 1st Constitution Bank

For the third year, the Asbury Park Team of 1st Constitution Bank along with their generous customers participated in the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. The Angel tags have a child’s name, age, and wish list on them and they are hung on our Christmas tree in the lobby. When a tag is pulled off the tree and a gift is returned, the holidays become brighter for a child in need. Thank you to everyone who participated. Once again, your generosity was overwhelming!!

Premier America Credit Union Promotions: $50 + $50 Bonus [CA, TX Residents]

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Premier America Credit Union promotions and sign-up bonus offers will be updated at this page. Typical offers in the past have been for $100 to $200 in bonus cash. Headquartered in Chatsworth, California and established in 1957, Premier America Credit Union has around 20 locations in California and Texas. If you’re not a resident of either […]

BBVA Compass Bank 12-Month Certificate of Deposit Account: Earn 1.50% APY [Nationwide]

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Available nationwide, you can earn 1.50% APY when you open up a new 12-Month CD Account with BBVA Compass Bank! Below is all the information and details you need to open your BBVA Compass Bank 12-Month Certificate of Deposit Account to earn 1.50% APY! Editor’s Note: See our full list of BBVA Compass Bank Deals, Bonuses, Rates, and Promotions. BBVA Compass Bank... Read More →

The post BBVA Compass Bank 12-Month Certificate of Deposit Account: Earn 1.50% APY [Nationwide] appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

First Bank Financial Centre Business Checking Bonus: $300 Promotion (Wisconsin only)

by John Catral @ Bank Checking Savings

Available for business owners of Wisconsin, First Bank Financial Centre is currently offering residents of Wisconsin a generous $300 bonus when you sign up and open any new Business Checking Account. All you have to do to get started is open any new business account at your nearest branch or online, and then have at least 50... Keep Reading↠

The post First Bank Financial Centre Business Checking Bonus: $300 Promotion (Wisconsin only) appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

Chase Bank $200 Checking Bonus [Many States]

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Ranking as one of the top banks in America, you are making the right choice banking with Chase! Opening a new Chase Total Checking® Account offers you the potential to earn a $200 Checking Bonus by applying in-branch ! With over 5,100 branches in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA,... Read More →

The post Chase Bank $200 Checking Bonus [Many States] appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

Alliant Credit Union Checking, Savings, CD Promotions & Offers

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Find the latest promotions, offers, and updated rate information for Alliant Credit Union here. Alliant Credit Union is based in Illinois and offers personal banking products and loans to hundreds of thousands of members. Unlike many credit unions, Alliant allows anyone nationwide to join with just a $10 charitable donation to Foster Care to Success. […]

Ally Bank Online Checking, Savings, CD, Investing Promotions

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Ally Bank is another great online-only bank, and offers nationwide online Checking, Savings, Money Market, CD and IRA accounts that earn market leading rates. Ally Bank is an internet-only bank based in Utah and offers a wide variety of deposit accounts, as well as auto financing services. Their online banking platform features Ally eCheck Deposit, which offers […]

Chase Total Checking Coupon Code

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

The Chase Total Checking® account is Chase Bank’s most popular checking account, and one of the best checking accounts among all major banks. It’s also the most simple checking account offered by Chase and it’s very easy to use! Some great features that you can expect are online banking, bill pay, mobile banking services, plus... Read More →

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M&T Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions: $150, $160, $200, & $250 Checking Offers

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Check out our listing of M&T Bank Deals of $150, $160, $200, & $250 promotions. Let M&T Bank reach your financial goals with their full suite of bank accounts and lending solutions, including savings accounts, checking accounts, auto and home loans, and more! M&T Bank has branches in the following states: CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, NJ,... Read More →

The post M&T Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions: $150, $160, $200, & $250 Checking Offers appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

HSBC Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions: $100, $200, $350, $600, $750 Checking Offers

by Hilary Tran @ Bank Deal Guy

Check out our listing of HSBC Bank Deals of $100, $200, $350, $600, & $700 promotions. At HSBC they seek to build trust-based and lasting relationships with their many stakeholders to generate value in society and deliver long-term shareholder returns. HSBC Bank is available nationwide but has physical branches in the following states: CA, CT, DC,... Read More →

The post HSBC Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions: $100, $200, $350, $600, $750 Checking Offers appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

Chase Total Checking Account Bonus

by Liz Pham @ Bank Deal Guy

Right now, Chase Bank is offering a sign-up bonus when you open their Chase Total Checking® Account. This account is very easy to use and you’ll have access to many features such as online banking, bill pay, mobile banking services like Chase DepositFriendlySM ATMs nationwide, and more! With over 16,000 ATMs and 5,100 branches, convenience is definitely... Read More →

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BBVA Compass Bank Checking, Savings, CD Account Promotions

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Find the latest BBVA Compass bank promotions, bonuses and offers here for Checking and Savings accounts. Typical bonus amounts are $25, $50, $100, $125, $250, etc. Sometimes there will also gift bonuses, such as tablets and other electronics. BBVA Compass was established in 1964 and is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama. They have over 650 branches […]

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PNC

We can help you gain the confidence you need to make important financial decisions for you, your family or your business.

Ally Bank Online Savings Account: Earn 1.45% APY Rate [Nationwide]

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Available nationwide, Ally Bank is offering you a 1.45% APY on your funds for opening a new Ally Bank Online Savings Account. Below is all the information you need to earn 1.45% APY Rate on your funds when you open an Ally Bank Online Savings Account. Ally Bank Online Savings Account Summary Here is your opportunity to earn a an interest... Read More →

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Average Cost of Insurance

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Kim Pinnelli) @ CreditDonkey Tips

The average person pays around $4,200 per year for insurance, including car, health, dental, life, and homeowners insurance. That's before any adjustments.

Keep reading to learn the startling facts about the average cost of insurance and what you can expect.

The Average Cost of Car Insurance

Drivers spend around $982 every year on car insurance. Today, we pay an average of 8% more than we did 5 years ago. These figures may vary depending on the type of coverage chosen, though. Each state requires different types of minimum coverage that you must comply with.

  • How much does the average car insurance increase when adding a new teen driver?
    On average, a new teen driver increases a family's car insurance policy to $2,474 from $982. This is a 152% increase. Keep in mind that this only takes into consideration adding a teen driver. If you were to secure your teen his own policy, it would could as much as 2 times the cost of adding him/her to your policy.

  • How much on average does car insurance decrease as teens age?
    As teens gain experience, they get to take advantage of lower car insurance rates. Again, keeping a teen on a parent's policy saves the most money. 17-year-olds save an average of $467 per year on their own policy. An 18-year-old saves an average of $374 per year and a 19-year-old saves around $970 per year.

    19 years old is the "magic" age when teens have around 3 years of experience under their belt. This decreases the risk of car accidents and lowers an insurance company's risk.

  • How does the average cost of insurance premiums change as you enter adulthood?
    Young adults leaving the teen years behind pay an average of $1,945 for car insurance at the age of 20. The exact amount depends on the amount of the chosen deductible and the type of coverage chosen. As they enter young adulthood, they lose some discounts, such as the "good student discount" and "student away" discount. But there are other discounts they can soon take advantage of, including the multiple policy discount.

    Tip: Many insurance companies give a good student discount for high school and college students maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

    The student away discount lowers a teen's insurance premium if they go away to college and do not bring a car.

  • How much more does it cost men on average for car insurance than women?
    Men pay an average of $60 per year more than women for car insurance. This might not seem significant, but over a 10-year period, that's $600 more than women pay for the same insurance.

  • What is the average difference in insurance premiums between married and single drivers?
    One of the benefits of being married is saving money on your car insurance. Married drivers save an average of $9 per month on their insurance. This means $108 per year and more than $1,000 over 10 years.

Average Cost of Health Insurance

Looking at both group and marketplace insurance, individuals pay an average of $464 per month and families pay an average of $1,266 per month. Deductibles average $2,903 for an individual and $5,739 for a family.

  • What is the average cost of an HMO policy versus a PPO policy?
    PPO policies tend to cost individuals 3.4% more than HMO policies. Families pay an average of $5.7% more for the PPO.

    On average, individuals pay $548 per month for an HMO and $567 per month for a PPO. Families pay an average of $1,498 for an HMO policy and $1,584 for a PPO plan.

  • How does the average cost of health insurance differ for singles and married couples?
    The average single male pays $310 per month for health insurance on the exchange market, but the average woman spends around $332 per month. Married couples follow the same path, as they pay an average of $717 per month on the exchange market.

  • What is the average cost of insurance on the exchange versus employer-sponsored insurance?
    The average individual on employer-sponsored health insurance pays $536 per month for insurance. In comparison, on the exchange, individuals pay around $393 per month.

    On average, employer-sponsored insurance costs families 48% more than exchange policies. Families pay $1,512 for an employer-sponsored plan and $1,021 for a policy on the exchange.

    Determining which policy is the most affordable depends on the deductible and type of coverage. A lower premium doesn't always mean a more affordable policy.

Average Cost of Dental Insurance

Dental insurance costs the average person just around $30 per month and the average family around $56 per month for group coverage. Individual policies are a little more expensive, though. Individuals pay around $45 per month and families pay an average of $71 per month for individual dental insurance.

  • How much does the average dental policy cover per year?
    Dental policies often don't cover 100% of the cost of necessary dental work. The average PPO dental plan covers a maximum of $1,500 per year. However, less than 1 in 10 people hit the annual maximum for the dental insurance.

  • What is the average out-of-pocket expense for dental work?
    The average dental policy covers 80% of basic dental work and 50% of major work. This excludes preventative dental work, such as cleanings, which is often covered 100%.

    A simple tooth extraction is considered "basic" dental work. The average total cost is $293. At 80% coverage, the average person pays $59. A root canal may also be considered "basic" work. The aveage cost is $300, leaving the average person with $60 to pay out of pocket.

    Major dental work, such as a dental crown, costs around $1,675. At 50% coverage, this means the average person pays $837.50.

  • How does the cost of dental work affect the average person's dental care?
    Just over half of Americans see the dentist regularly. More than 20% of the population hasn't seen the dentist for a few years. Of those who don't visit the dentist, at least 60% of them skip it because of the high cost of dental care.

Average Cost of Life Insurance

Non-smokers with a $500,000 term life insurance policy pay an average of $2,037 annually for life insurance. Smokers with the same policy pay an average of $7,313 per year.

  • How does the average cost of life insurance change as you age?
    It pays to obtain life insurance early. People who secure life insurance at the age of 35 pay an average of $159 per year for a 20-year term life insurance policy worth $250,000. A 50-year-old pays an average of 65% more for the same policy, just because of the older age. A person who waits until they are 60 years old pays as much as 86% more for the same policy.

  • How much does the cost of life insurance increase for smokers?
    Smokers pay an average of 250% more for life insurance than non-smokers. Insurance companies do not consider a person a non-smoker until they have not smoked for at least 12 months.

  • What common medical conditions affect life insurance premiums?
    Life insurance companies base the premiums on the health of the person or the likelihood of them dying within the term of the policy. People with high cholesterol or blood pressure are a higher risk. Life insurance usually costs people with these health issues 50% more in premiums.

Average Cost of Homeowners insurance

The average person pays $3.50 per $1,000 of a home's value. A $500,000 home costs an average of $1,750 in homeowners insurance each year.

  • How much does an average claim increase your homeowners insurance premium?
    The average insurance company raises a person's premiums 9% after one claim. How much you pay depends on your location. Residents of Wyoming pay as much as 32% more in premiums after a claim. However, residents of Texas rarely see an increase after just one claim.

  • Which state has the highest and lowest homeowners insurance premiums?
    Florida residents have the unfortunate luck of paying the highest homeowners insurance premiums. However, they are also the state that boasts 13% of the nation's largest losses.

    Oregon residents luck out with the lowest homeowners insurance premiums. Their premiums are as much as 71% less than Florida's premiums.

  • What are the top ways to decrease your homeowners insurance premiums?
    The best way to decrease your homeowners insurance premiums is loyalty. Stay as long as five years with the same company and you'll receive an average 5% discount. Stay even longer and you could save an average of 10%.

    Loyalty isn't the only way to get a discount, though. Buying all of your insurance policies from one company can save you an average of 16% on your premiums. Auto insurance and homeowners insurance from the same company offer the largest savings of 16%.

    Lastly, beefing up your home's security can decrease your insurance premiums as much as 20%. The more frequently your system is monitored, the higher your discount.

  • What is the average cost of flood insurance added to a homeowners policy?
    Flood insurance is a separate policy from your homeowners insurance. Residents in a flood zone pay an average of $700 per year for the policy. Not everyone must buy this insurance, though. Just about 12% of homeowners in the U.S. have it. The premiums range from the highest premium in Rhode Island with $1,200 per year premiums and Maryland with $129 per year premiums.

Average Cost of Renters Insurance

Renters insurance isn't required, but it can be helpful. At just $190 per year, it can give you the peace of mind you need in the face of disaster.

You pay a premium based on the contents you have inside your home or apartment. The more belongings you have, the higher your premium. The size of the rental space also plays a role, as a larger space gives way to more injuries and potential liabilities.

  • Which states have the highest and lowest average renters insurance premiums?
    The highest renters insurance premiums are found in Mississippi. Even though we say the "highest," it's still just $262 per year. This is $1,488 less per year than homeowners insurance.

    You'll find the lowest renters insurance premiums in North Dakota. There, residents pay an average of $114 per year.

  • Does owning a pet increase renters insurance?
    Renters insurance often doesn't cover damages caused by a pet. The breed and your state of residence determine if you need a separate rider, which will increase your premium. Talk to your agent about the specifics of your state and the type of dog you have to make sure you are covered.

  • Is there a limit for personal loss on a renters policy?
    Don't make the mistake of assuming all of your personal belongings are covered on your renters insurance. If you have valuables, make sure you let the agent know. You may need a separate rider on those items to make sure you receive enough coverage should you need it.

Bottom Line

No matter the type of insurance you need, make sure you shop around. The averages can give you a guide, but your individual situation determines your actual premium.

Sources and References:

Average Cost of Insurance appeared first on CreditDonkey

Bank Deals, Bonuses, Promotions, & Offers - February 2018

Bank Deals, Bonuses, Promotions, & Offers - February 2018


Bank Checking Savings

Here are the best national bank deals, bonuses, promotions, and offers. You'll find the best banking perks with no fees, free checking, big cash offers. You'll find the best national bank promotions from both big and small banks both checking and savings accounts such as Chase Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, PNC Bank, Santander Bank, HSBC, Capital One, U.S Bank, Wells Fargo, and many more.

Jos. A. Bank 4.0% Cash Back + Coupons

Jos. A. Bank 4.0% Cash Back + Coupons


Ebates

Shop smarter at Jos. A. Bank! $10 Welcome Bonus when you join Ebates today.

The 8 Best Bank Promotions (Checking and Savings) in 2018

The 8 Best Bank Promotions (Checking and Savings) in 2018


The Dough Roller

Looking for the best checking accounts or savings accounts? These bank promotions can get you cash back when you open a new account and a top APR.

How to Enroll in Chase Online Bill Pay

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Checking Savings

Got a busy schedule and need to pay your bills on time? Chase Online Bill Pay allows you to bank on your own schedule. Save time and money by taking care of any recurring bills without the hassle of writing or check or paying for postage. Essentially, this Chase feature allows you to automatically set... Keep Reading↠

The post How to Enroll in Chase Online Bill Pay appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

Is Online Banking Safe? How to Boost Your Banking Security

by Margarette Burnette @ NerdWallet

When you bank online, you trust that your account is safe from hackers. Even so, online accounts can seem to consumers like easy targets: Instead of robbing a bank, a…

How to Start Investing

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Rachael O) @ CreditDonkey Tips

Thinking about investing? Learn how to make your money grow. This beginner's guide offers 7 smart steps to start investing.

1. Start Saving

To get started investing, first you need to get into the habit of saving. Make sure you're spending less money than you make. Then start "paying yourself first" by auto-depositing your savings into an online savings account. That way, you don't see the extra money in your checking account, so you're less likely to spend it.

One great place to put your savings is in an online savings account. These can offer higher rates than traditional bank accounts. Check out the best online savings accounts for some options. You might also want to put your money into a CD account.

Feel like you're only able to save small amounts at a time? That's ok. Everyone starts somewhere. Two strategies you can adopt are:

  • Establish an emergency fund, which can be held in your online savings account or CD account.

    Emergency funds cover, well, emergencies and allow you to quickly withdraw cash for unexpected expenses. Financial advisors tend to recommend having 6-12 months of living expenses, but first, start with $500. This means you won't have to sell any of your possessions or investments when an unexpected expense comes up.

  • Set up an auto-savings tool like Acorns. Acorns takes your spare change and automatically invests it in a portfolio. If you make a purchase of $4.69 at 7-Eleven, Acorns rounds your purchase up to $5 and puts the extra 31 cents into a low-cost portfolio. You'll hardly notice the difference, and it's a great way to establish an account.

2. Start or Improve Your 401(k)

Does your employer offer a 401(k) plan as a benefit? If so, do they "match" any of your investments? You might be able to find this on the company's internal website, or just ask Human Resources about it.

If your employer does offer a 401(k) with a match, you should take advantage by "maximizing your match". Here's how it works:

  • You contribute a certain percentage of every paycheck to your employer's 401(k) plan; and
  • Your employer "matches" some portion of every $1 you contribute to your 401(k).
  • This means you're contributing your own $$ to your future, and your employer is giving you extra free money too.

Typical match rates are around 3-6% of employee paychecks. This is like getting a 3-6% raise.

Your priority should be to maximize this match. For example, say your employer will match 50 cents of every dollar you contribute, up to 12% of your paycheck. This means the maximum they'll contribute is 6%. BUT you have to actually contribute the full 12% to "maximize your match." If you only contribute 5% of your paycheck, you'll only get 2.5% from your employer. Don't short-change yourself like that.

Keep in mind that there are maximums to how much you can contribute to a 401(k) plan each year (the IRS limits how much you can contribute annually). As of 2018, you can contribute up to $18,500 per year (in addition to anything your employer contributes). For people over age 50, you can add an extra $6,000 per year to that limit.

Every employer is different, and not all of them offer 401(k) plans. This is why you should make friends with your HR/Benefits department, because they can help you take advantage of your benefits. Most 401(k) plans offer free retirement advice to employees, so you should use it if you can.

If you don't work for a company that offers a 401(k) plan, don't fret. Read about other types of retirement accounts here.

3. Consider Hiring a Robo-Advisor

One great service for both beginners and experienced investors is robo-advisement. A robo-advisor (such as Betterment) is a computer algorithm that selects and manages your investments for you. When you set up an account, they'll ask you a few basic questions about your level of comfort with risk. Then they do the investing for you. Robo-advisors pick your initial investments and manage your portfolio as a whole, too.

This is a super-easy way to get started investing, since you can make your money work for you before you've had time to learn about investments.

4. Avoid High Fees

One of the biggest mistakes an investor can make is to overpay for fees. Yes, financial services cost money, but they can really eat into your returns. Index funds, or baskets of investments that simply track an index, are a great way to keep your expenses low. This is because you don't need to pay a portfolio manager to pick investments.

Let's take an example:

  • Assume Emily invests $10,000 in a low-cost index fund. She searches for the cheapest one, as measured by the expense ratio. This is the percentage of your assets that mutual funds and ETFs charge you each year. Emily's fund tracks an index, so it doesn't cost her as much. Her fund's expense ratio is only 0.10%, or one-tenth of one percent.

  • Bill invests $10,000 in an actively-managed fund that invests in the same types of investments as Emily's index fund. But he thinks his portfolio manager can outperform the market by picking the right investments, better than what Emily's index fund does automatically. He is willing to pay 1% of his own assets every year for this service.

After 10 years, who comes out ahead? Well, history shows that about 75% of the time, Emily does. Why? Because even if both funds made the same returns, Emily's fund charged her 1/10th the amount in fees as Bill's fund did. Emily pocketed an extra 0.9% per year. Over 10 years, that amounts to an extra $1,733, or over 17% of the amount they both invested.

See how powerful it can be to keep your fees low? Even renowned investor Warren Buffett cares about the topic. He made a famous bet that over the course of 10 years, a simple, cheap index fund would outperform a group of the most prestigious hedge funds. He didn't just win, his simple index fund crushed the hedge funds. A big reason is because hedge funds are so expensive relative to simple, cheap mutual funds.

The moral of this story? Pay attention to expense ratios, which all funds are required to show.

5. Open a Low-Minimum Brokerage Account

It's a myth that you need lots of money to open an account. It's also a myth that you have to know everything about the stock market in order to get started investing.

Lots of low-cost, low-minimum brokerage accounts exist these days, some of which offer robo-advisement too. We've reviewed several in depth below, and all of them have low or even $0 minimums to open accounts:

  • Ally Invest: No account minimum
  • TD Ameritrade: No account minimum; over 4,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds
  • ETRADE: $500 account minimum; over 2,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds

6. Allocate Your Investments

Asset allocation is a way to diversify your investments so that you're not too "exposed" to any one risk. For example, someone who invested everything in the U.S. stock market in 2008 probably did very poorly.

Asset allocation also helps you over time as your needs change. When you are very young, you have a lot of time to recover from any market downturns, like what occurred in 2008. But as you approach retirement, you'll start to need your investments, and you won't be have as much time to make up for it. Asset allocation helps you allocate risk over time.

This can be a very complex topic, so we recommend that beginners use robo-advisors to help them get started.

7. Maintain Your Portfolio

The last step is an easy one: Just set a calendar reminder to review your portfolio every 6 months. That's it.

Seriously though, lots of people get very upset when they see their portfolio value change every day. So don't watch it that much. It's that simple. Unless you want to become an investment professional, you shouldn't try to chase returns. (And Step 4 illustrates that even hedge fund managers don't always know what they're doing any better than indexes.)

When your 6-month calendar reminder goes off, log into your account(s) and call the 1-800 numbers for advice. Or, just do it yourself by learning more about investing here.

Read More:

Bottom Line

If you followed the 7 simple steps in this guide, you probably invested only a total of 1-2 hours of your time for major returns in your future.

There's a lot more you can learn, but you're done with the very hardest part: Getting started.

Read More:

Before You Invest

  1. Make a Budget
    You might be tired of hearing it, but it's true: You need a budget. This is because even if you have a lump sum to invest right now, your focus should be on investing now and regularly in the future. And how can you invest regularly if you don't know how much your regular expenses are?

    There are lots of budgeting tools to help you, so it doesn't have to be hard. The best place to start is by reviewing the last 3-6 months of your spending habits by downloading your credit card and checking account activity. You can do this on each of your bank websites, or you can sign up for an online tool like Mint.com and they can do it for you.

    Use your previous spending activity to build your budget. Categorize your purchases and determine the monthly average amount you spend on each category (for example, utilities or restaurants).

    That's it. Now you have a monthly budget. It might not be the ideal monthly budget, though, which is why you should...

  2. Trim the Fat (off your budget)
    In the process of making your budget, you probably noticed some areas to improve. That's great. Pat yourself on the back for noticing where you can trim the fat. And then do it. Set goals for how you'll reduce your spending, and remind yourself why you're doing this. You're investing because it'll help you retire earlier or save for your children's education or something else important to you, right? It can be hard to visualize those goals because they seem so far in the future, so I'll give an example here:

    Say you notice that you spend $500/month going out to eat with your spouse or friends, and you'd like to reduce that amount to $300/month. That's a savings of $200/month, and it still leaves you with the ability to regularly enjoy going out to dinner.

    If you invest that $200/month in a low-cost index fund tracking the stock market*, you can expect it to be worth $34,768 in just ten years.

    *Assuming a long-term rate of return of 8%.

    Doesn't that example make you want to trim the fat off your budget? See 10 Smart Ways to Save $1,000 a Month for more ideas.

How to Start Investing appeared first on CreditDonkey

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Selling Diamonds: What You Need to Know

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Jennifer F) @ CreditDonkey Tips

Want to sell a diamond? It's not so simple. Read on for the different ways to sell your diamond, and their pros and cons.

The first thing to know is that you will not earn back what you paid. Not even close.

What a sentimental diamond ring is to you, is just... a used ring... to others. And people want a deal on a "used" ring.

If you get that, but still want to sell your diamond, then read on.

There are many ways you can sell your diamond ring. Some ways may get you more back than others. This article will explain which options best suit your needs.

Prepare for Loss in Value

What I am telling you may sting a bit, but it is important to know that unless you own a highly unusual or remarkable piece, the resale market is not strong. A diamond ring falls into the category of an emotional purchase and is not a savvy investment product.

You may be thinking: I just bought this, it's perfect and there are no faults that I can see. Why wouldn't I be able to get back every penny I paid?

The truth is, even brand new rings with low risk to sell (i.e., no flaws and a quality piece) present a steep drop in value from the original purchase price.

As a veteran re-seller of estate jewelry, I have experienced the decrease in value first-hand. Here's a run through of one of the pieces I sold:

I was commissioned to sell a diamond engagement ring on eBay with the following attributes:

  • Clarity: SI1 (slightly included, still good quality)
  • Cut: round solitaire (approximately ¼ carat)
  • Color: I (mostly clear, some warmth)
  • 14kt yellow gold prong setting/band

As you can see, this is a middle-of-the-road example. Not a complete knock-out, but certainly still in the game of being a beautiful ring. To make sure I had the information correct, I had the local jeweler do a professional appraisal, which came out to $595.00.

The ring (and others like it) sold on eBay for a mere $100.00! That's a decrease in value of just under 17% of the appraised worth.

How can this be?

Why You Will Not Sell a Diamond at Retail Value

People either need to make a profit or want a good deal. Here is why you will never be able to sell a diamond close to what you paid.

  • Retailers need to make a profit. Why would a retailer buy from you when they can buy diamonds at wholesale prices? A retail jeweler can only offer you enough so that they can make their usual profit margin (plus they have a storefront and employees to pay for). And that's the best case scenario. But in that case, they'd buy from wholesalers they already have relationships with.

  • Consumers want a bargain. A member of the public wouldn't buy a secondhand diamond at retail value when they can buy new at the same price. Plus, new options often have warranty protection, return window, and upgrade options. They'd only buy a "used diamond" if they're getting a great deal.

Most likely, you will lose 30% of what you paid if you successfully sell your diamond. And that's being optimistic. If you're selling to a jeweler, you may only get 50% of the value back.

If you understand that you're not going to get back anything near what you paid, but you still want to sell, keep reading.

How Do You Find a Buyer?

Since we know diamond rings lose a large piece of their value upon purchase, finding the right buyer to match up to your need may be tricky. Depending on the avenue you choose to sell through, you may be able to recoup some of that loss.

Selling to a retailer

If the ring was purchased through a reputable jewelry company, selling back to it may be your best bet. You also have the knowledge of the sales rep, who regularly deals with this and can guide the process.

You may have these options:

  • Buy back: Some retailers have a buy back policy where they'd buy the diamond back at a certain percentage of what you paid.

    Tip: Blue Nile is paired with Mondiamo, which offers you a cash price for your diamond based on the current selling price of a similar diamond on the site. You don't have to own a Blue Nile diamond to sell back to them. Mondiamo takes 15% of the wholesale value.

  • Trade up: Some retailers will only let you trade up. You can put 100% of the value of your diamond towards a new, bigger one. The downside of this is that you're not actually getting cash.

  • Fast sell: A jeweler may offer you a cash price to buy the diamond, but it won't be very high. Remember, they need to make a profit.

Be prepared with original documents, including return details, terms, etc. In this case, the salesperson will determine the price.

Did you know: Online jewelers usually have the most generous policies. A lot of online jewelers will even buy back a diamond that wasn't theirs.

Consigning with a local jeweler

Another option is to consign your ring with a local jeweler. This means that the jeweler will display your ring in their store and try to sell it for you. If it successfully sells, the jeweler will take a commission from the sell price (usually 25-40%).

This option saves you the stress of listing your diamond, but you may have to wait for a long time for it to sell. Pick a store that gets a lot of traffic and a jeweler you feel comfortable working with.

Online marketplaces

You can sell directly to consumers on an online platform, like eBay or Craigslist. Research what similar quality diamonds are selling for. But know that people buying from these kinds of sites are looking for good bargains, so you can't expect to sell your preowned diamond at a high price.

Work with only serious, trustworthy buyers. Also, be careful when you're meeting to exchange the cash/ring. It's a good idea to meet at a local appraiser's office. It's a safe place, and the appraiser can verify the ring.

Finding the value of what a similar diamond ring sold for on eBay is easy! Here are the steps:

  • Enter the text matching what you are looking for into the search field
  • Click the button that says "advanced" next to the search button
  • Find the section labeled "search including"'
  • Check the box marked "sold listings" and hit search

Preowned diamond marketplace

I Do, Now I Don't (IDNID) is an online marketplace that lets you list your preowned diamond and/or ring. It allows buyers and sellers to work through a secure platform. Here's how it works:

If someone buys your item, you have 7 days to send it into IDNID. The payment is held in escrow while their gemologists verify that the diamond is genuine and that the quality is as listed. If all checks out, they ship the item to the buyer and you get your payment.

It's free to list your item. However, if sold, IDNID takes a 15% commission.

A Pawn Shop

If you're in a big hurry, a pawn shop will usually give you cash for your diamond, but expect the biggest drop in price. Pawn shops are already expected to have low prices, plus, they need to make a profit. And usually, pawn shop owners aren't very knowledgeable about diamonds, so the offer may be even lower.

Auction

If you have a more valuable or unique piece, you can consider auctioning it off. Big name auction houses like Sotheby's usually only consider fancy-colored or large diamonds.

Online auctions, such as Worthy, have gotten popular too. Worthy picks up and grades your diamond and places it on their site. Then they invite thousands of professional jewelers to bid on your item. If the final bid is above your set minimum price, you'll receive the payment (minus commission).

The downside to auctions is that you don't really have control over the final price. But the advantage is that if your ring is special, it'll be seen by the right people who know the value.

How to Help Your Diamond Sell

Here are some final tips for a more successful sale:

  • Know your diamond's value. The first thing you need is to know what your diamond is worth on the current market. You can take it to a couple of local appraisers to determine the value. This will help you better evaluate the deals you're offered.

  • Get your diamond certified. Jewelers and buyers are more likely to purchase a properly certified diamond. A certification basically proves that your diamond is a genuine gem and that it's the quality you say it is. If you don't have your diamond's certification, you can send in your diamond to GIA to get an accurate report.

  • It may be easier to sell the diamond and ring separately. You may able to sell faster by just selling the loose diamond to a jeweler. Other people may not love your setting like you do, unless you have a truly exquisite or unique vintage setting.

    As for the ring itself, it's relatively easy to take it to a gold shop and sell it for scrap metal to be melted down. They can give you a price closer to the current market value of the precious metal.

Remember: The Resale Market Is Weak

Upgrading your original purchase by trading for another ring online is going to be your most financially lucrative option. Much like a new automobile, a diamond ring does not hold its value when you buy it. However, with a little bit of research, you can steer yourself in the right direction to make a sale. Good luck.

Selling Diamonds: What You Need to Know appeared first on CreditDonkey

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