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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 […]

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.

Understanding Implied Volatility

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

Wouldn't it be nice if someone could tell you which options to trade? If you had a crystal ball that showed you how an option would perform?

That might not be reality. But there is a way to have an idea of how a stock might perform. It's called the implied volatility. It's the market's opinion on how a stock will react in the next 12 months. The IV may predict how much a stock may move, but it doesn't predict the direction.

Knowing this opinion can help you decide which option, if any, is right for you.

A Closer Look at Implied Volatility

In more technical terms, implied volatility is a percentage of the stock price. For example, ABC stock has a 20% IV. This means the market predicts the stock will increase or decrease 20% in the next year. The IV is based on one standard deviation.

A standard deviation is a statistical term. In statistics, it means that there is a 68% chance of the IV prediction coming true. In the above example, there is a 68% chance that the stock will move 20%. It could be 20% higher or lower than its current price in 1 year.

Looking at it in simpler terms, it's a type of boundary set up for the stock's price. Knowing a stock's potential range can help you choose the right investment. You can measure the IV against your thoughts on the stock's movement. Then you can decide if and when you should buy and sell options.

Keep in mind, though, that there's still a 32% chance that the prediction won't come true. There's a 16% chance the stock could fall lower than the designated range. There's also a 16% chance it could increase even more.

Here's an example:

ABC stock currently trades at $40/share. The implied volatility of the option contract is 30%. This means within the next year, the market predicts the stock will move up or down 30%. In other words:

$40 x .30 = $12

The stock could end up:

$40 + $12 = $52

or

$40 - 12 = $28

Again, this is just a prediction and it's over the course of a year. However, you could use $28 and $52 as the "boundaries" for the stock's price for investment strategy purposes.

How Implied Volatility Affects an Option's Price

Implied volatility and option prices have a direct relationship. If implied volatility increases, the option's premium increases. If the implied volatility decreases, the option's premium decreases. In other words, rising implied volatility can be bad for buyers. The option's premiums will continue to increase. This could make the option more expensive. This also increases the buyer's break-even point.

However, a rising IV can be good for sellers. They may make an inflated premium. This can help their position. It helps lower their break-even point in an uncertain market.

There is a flip side, though. If you already own options and want to close the position, you'll feel differently. Closing the position means:

  • If you bought an option, you want to sell it back to the market to close the position.
  • If you sold an option, you want to buy it back from the market to close the position.

In this case, a rising IV is good for the buyer. Since he originally bought the option, he is trying to make money back. A rising IV could mean he collects a higher premium.

The seller, on the other hand, will regret a higher IV. The higher premium means it'll cost the investor more to buy the option back. It could result in a loss depending on how much he initially paid for the option.

Figuring Out the Option's Standard Deviation for Expiration

The implied volatility shows how the price might change over a year. But the most common options contracts expire in 1 to 3 months. Knowing what it might do in a year doesn't help much.

You can use this calculation to figure out the percentage change based on the yearly IV:

Stock price x Implied volatility x v(Days to expiration/365)

Take for example, a stock price of $50 with an implied volatility of 20% and 30-day expiration. It would have a standard deviation of:

$50 x .20 x √(30/365) = $2.80

In the next 30 days, the stock is predicted to move up or down $2.80.

In the next 12 months, however, the stock is expected to move a total of $10 either way.

Which Options Does IV Affect the Most?

As a general rule, implied volatility has the most effect on an at-the-money option. This option has a strike price equal to the market price. Here's an example:

ABC stock is currently trading for $50. You have a 3-month call for ABC stock with a $50 strike price. You wouldn't exercise the call right now. You could buy the stock from the open market at the same price. If the option has a 20% IV, it means the stock is predicted to increase or decrease 20% over the next year.

This means over the next 3 months:

ABC stock could trade for $45 or $55.

$50 x .20 x √(90/365) = $5

If it falls to $45, your call expires worthless. You wouldn't exercise your right to buy a stock at $50/share when it's trading for $45.

But, if the stock price rose to $55, you would exercise your call. You could then buy 100 shares at $50 and then sell them for $55/share. You'd realize capital gains of $500 minus the premium you paid for the option.

Any change in the stock's price can affect your option's position.

On the other hand, deep out-of-the-money or in-the-money options aren't as affected. Even a 20% predicted change won't affect your position as much.

For example:

ABC stock currently trades for $50. You have a 3-month call with a $30 strike price that you haven't exercised yet. Right now you are in-the-money. You have $20 intrinsic value on the stock.

Intrinsic value: The equity you have in a stock or the difference between the stock's price and the option's strike price.

Again, the 20% implied volatility means that in the next 3 months, the stock might change $5. You are already deep in the money with a $30 call. That $5 change won't affect your position.

If the stock increases $5, it would be $55. You exercise your option at either price. If the stock falls $5, you could still exercise your option as it would trade at $45.

Using Implied Volatility in Your Strategy

As a general rule, you want to buy when the implied volatility is low and sell when it's high. This way, you buy for a lower premium and have a lower break-even point. The longer your expiration date in this case, the better, though. It gives your stock more time to change in the direction you need.

If you sell when implied volatility is high, you increase the premiums you make on the option. Of course, high volatility means higher risk that the stock could move in the wrong direction.

The Final Word

Implied volatility shouldn't be the only thing you consider. You can, however, use it as a factor. Knowing what a stock might do in the future can help you strategize. That's what buying and selling options is all about.

Understanding Implied Volatility appeared first on CreditDonkey

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…

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.

Northern Paper Mills CU $100 Checking Account Cash Bonus – Wisconsin

by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

If you live or work in Brown County, Wisconsin, or work for Georgia Pacific Corporation in Green Bay, Wisconsin, you can earn a $100 bonus for opening a new personal checking account with Northern Paper Mills Credit Union. [Read More] Northern Paper Mills CU $100 Checking Account Cash Bonus – Wisconsin

The post Northern Paper Mills CU $100 Checking Account Cash Bonus – Wisconsin appeared first on Maximizing Money.

The 10 Best Vanguard Funds

by Jim Wang @ Wallet Hacks

I love Vanguard. The bulk of my investments are there, minus a few dividend growth stocks I hold in an Ally Invest account (formerly TradeKing). I'm not the only one. Of the top 25 largest mutual funds by assets, sixteen are from Vanguard (source). A clarification – many of the funds on the Marketwatch list […]

The post The 10 Best Vanguard Funds appeared first on Wallet Hacks.

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.

New Bank Account Offers

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

You may have received the offers in the mail or heard about it online: banks are handling out cash bonuses to new customers that open a savings or checking account. These offers can range from $25 on up to $300. … Continued

10 Brokers That Pay You To Open An Account

10 Brokers That Pay You To Open An Account


Investopedia

Open an account with one of these brokers and you will get a bonus. Just be sure it's the right account for your needs.

Heartland Financial USA – $200 Consumer Checking Account Bonus – AZ, CA, CO, IA, IL, KS, MO, MT, NM and WI

by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

Earn up to $200 in bonus cash with a consumer checking account when you enroll in eStatements and have at least 1 $500 direct deposit, available at various community banks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. [Read More] Heartland Financial USA – $200 Consumer Checking Account Bonus – AZ, CA, CO, IA, IL, KS, MO, MT, NM and WI

The post Heartland Financial USA – $200 Consumer Checking Account Bonus – AZ, CA, CO, IA, IL, KS, MO, MT, NM and WI appeared first on Maximizing Money.

Wescom $200 | Wescom Credit Union

Wescom $200 | Wescom Credit Union


Wescom Credit Union

Open a Wescom Checking Account and Get Up to $200

How Much Money Can You Deposit Before the Bank Reports It?

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

To the average person, it would seem like making deposits into their savings or checking accounts would be viewed as a good thing.  After all, doesn’t a regular savings plan mean an individual handles their money responsibly and they have … Continued

Quorum Federal Credit Union CD Account Review: 2.00% APY 11-Month, 2.25% APY 25-Month CD Rates Increased (Nationwide)

by Howard Young @ Bank Checking Savings

Now is the best time of the year to start a new account experience. With that said, Quorum Federal Credit Union is offering residents nationwide a wide selection of rates to fit all your banking needs. Whether you are looking for a short term or long term solution, there is definitely an account to fit... Keep Reading↠

The post Quorum Federal Credit Union CD Account Review: 2.00% APY 11-Month, 2.25% APY 25-Month CD Rates Increased (Nationwide) appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

Chase Business Checking Account $200 Banking Bonus

by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

There is a brand-new offer for a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Total Business Checking account (or any Chase business checking account), deposit $1,000 within 10 business days of account opening, maintain that $1,000 balance for 60 days, and complete 5 qualifying transactions within 60 days, including debit card purchases, Chase QuickDeposit, ACH (credits), and wires (credits and debits). [Read More] Chase Business Checking Account $200 Banking Bonus

The post Chase Business Checking Account $200 Banking Bonus appeared first on Maximizing Money.

American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card Review: 5,000 MQM + 35,000 Delta Skymiles + $100 Statement Credit

by Anthony Nguyen @ Bank Checking Savings

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card is currently offering 35,000 Delta Skymiles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs)  when you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Additionally, you can get a $100 Statement Credit when you make a Delta purchase within the first 3 months. For every 5,000 bonus miles redeemed, that’s $50 off... Keep Reading↠

The post American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card Review: 5,000 MQM + 35,000 Delta Skymiles + $100 Statement Credit appeared first on Bank Checking Savings.

Navy Federal Credit Union $25 New Membership Promotion

by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

Navy Federal Credit Union is offering a $25 new membership promotion for simply starting a new membership and opening a new membership savings account with a $5 minimum balance. [Read More] Navy Federal Credit Union $25 New Membership Promotion

The post Navy Federal Credit Union $25 New Membership Promotion appeared first on Maximizing Money.

How Much Interest Would You Earn on a Million Dollars?

by Jeff Gitlen @ LendEDU

“If only I had a million dollars in the bank.” Who hasn’t pondered that at one time or another? But have you ever wondered how much interest one million dollars earns per year? Interest rates on savings vehicles are currently still pretty low – ranging from a paltry 0.01 percent in a bank savings account […]

The post How Much Interest Would You Earn on a Million Dollars? appeared first on LendEDU.

Tempted by a new bank account sign-up bonus? Read the fine print.

Tempted by a new bank account sign-up bonus? Read the fine print.


The Christian Science Monitor

New account incentives appear to offer easy money, especially if you're already looking for a new bank. However, proceed carefully: The rules behind these giveaways can cut into payouts, and there may be negative consequences for your reputation as a banking customer.

Average Cost of Insurance

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

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

5 Tips When Choosing an Online Savings Account

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

There are more and more online savings accounts popping up. These accounts are generally limited solely to the internet, which means that there are no brick and mortar locations for you to visit. They can provide a variety of benefits, … Continued

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.

Bank of America $100 Checking Account Cash Bonuses

by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

Bank of America has a new $100 bonus offer available for opening a Core Checking or Interest Checking account by February 28, 2018, and receiving 2 qualifying direct deposits of $250 or more each within 90 days from account opening. [Read More] Bank of America $100 Checking Account Cash Bonuses

The post Bank of America $100 Checking Account Cash Bonuses appeared first on Maximizing Money.

Iron Condor: How It Works

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

What if you could limit your losses while predicting your profits? It sounds too good to be true. It's possible with the iron condor, though.

This trade isn’t for beginners. You’ll want to get the hang of buying puts and calls first. You should also get a little experience writing puts and calls as well. Once you understand both sides, you can try your luck at the iron condor. This trade gives you protection on both sides of the equation.

What Is an Iron Condor?

The iron condor is a trade for the experienced trader who wants limited risk. You do best with the trade when the underlying stock has low volatility.

The iron condor has 4-legs:

  • Buy a put
  • Write a put
  • Buy a call
  • Write a call

Each option has the same expiration for this trade.

How you structure the strike prices determines your profit/loss.

You’ll buy an out-of-the money call with a higher strike price than the out-of-the-money call you sell. You’ll also buy an out-of-the-money put with a lower strike price than the out-of-the-money put you sell. The combination of trades leaves you with a net credit or profit.

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say XYZ stock currently trades for $40 and you want to trade an iron condor. You’d do the following:

  • Sell a call with a strike price of $45 ($1.00 premium)
  • Buy a call with a strike price of $50 ($0.50 premium)
  • Sell a put with a strike price of $35 ($1.00 premium)
  • Buy a put with a strike price of $30 ($0.50 premium)

You’d spend $100 on the call and put. Each option is worth 100 shares. The premium is $0.50 per share x 100 shares = $50. You buy a put and a call option, costing you $100.

You’d make $200 on the call and put you wrote. The premium is $1.00 per share x 100 shares = $100. You wrote a call and a put, making you $200.

Your net premium made is then $100 ($200 - $100).

Maximum Profit Potential

The maximum profit you make on an iron condor is the net premium made. In the above example, this means $100. If the market price of the underlying stock lands between $35 and $45, all options expire worthless. You walk away with the net premium.

If the stock’s price lands outside of the narrow $35-$45 range, you’ll experience a loss. But your net premium helps to offset the loss.

Maximum Loss Risked

Although you cap your profit with this trade, you also cap your losses. Your maximum loss occurs when the stock’s market price is outside of the outer legs of the iron condor. In our example, the outer legs are $30 and $50.

You can figure your max loss with the following equation:

Max loss = Strike price of the long call – Strike price of the short call – Net premium received

Using our above example, your max loss = $50 - $45 - $1 = $4, or $400.

Here’s an example:

The market price of XYZ stock ends at $30 at expiration. All options would expire worthless except the $35 written put. The buyer of the put would exercise the right to sell to you at $35. You’d have to pay $3,500. If you turned around and sold the stock in the open market, you’d get $30/share, or $3,000. This is a loss of $500. But you have a net premium of $100; this offsets the loss, making it $400.

Even if the stock dipped below the outer leg of the iron condor, you’d still cap your loss at $400. Let’s say the price fell to $28. The two left-sided options would be exercised. You’d exercise your bought put. This allows you to sell your stock for $30 per share. You’d buy 100 shares for $28 and sell them for $30. That gives you a $200 profit.

Your buyer would also exercise their put, forcing you to buy their shares at $35/share. You’d then sell them on the open market for $28. You’d suffer a loss of $700.

This loss is offset by your $200 profit on the bought put and the $100 net credit received. You walk away with a maximum $400 loss.

The same scenario occurs on the right side options of the condor. If the price exceeds the long call’s strike price of $50, your maximum loss is still $400.

Figuring Out Your Break-Even Point

It’s always important to determine your break-even point before entering a trade. In this case, there are two break-even points:

  • Upper break-even point = Strike price of the short call + Net premium paid
  • Lower break-even point = Strike price of the short put – Net premium paid

Using our above example, it would look like this:

  • Upper break-even point = $45 + $1 = $46

If the stock landed at $46 at expiration, the only option that would be exercised is the short call. The buyer of the call would want to buy the stock from you for the strike price of $45. You would have to buy the stock in the open market for $46. This is a loss of $100. But that loss is offset by the $100 net premium received. You walk away without a gain or a loss.

Your lower break-even point looks like this:

  • Lower break-even point = $35 - $1 = $34

If the stock landed at $34 at expiration, the only option that gets exercised is the short put. This option has a strike price of $35. You’d have to buy the stock at the strike price of $35. You could then sell it in the open market for $34. That’s a loss of $100, but again, you offset the loss with the net premium received of $100.

The Bottom Line

The iron condor is a good neutral strategy. You don’t think the stock will move wildly one way or the other. You limit your profits while maximizing your losses. It’s a way to make a little bit of quick money while trading options. You don’t have a large capital outlay and you don’t put your entire portfolio at risk.

Iron Condor: How It Works appeared first on CreditDonkey

How to Balance a Checkbook in 2018

by Jeff Gitlen @ LendEDU

After we entered the digital age of banking, many people felt comfortable giving up check registers and balancing checkbooks because they can monitor their checking account online. However, being able to balance a checkbook is still a useful skill to have in personal finance. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, then you might benefit […]

The post How to Balance a Checkbook in 2018 appeared first on LendEDU.

Pros and Cons of Online Checking Accounts

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

The internet has changed the way we operate as a culture on many levels, specifically the way we communicate and interact with others.  Community is now a global term, and while we may be able to transfer information more easily, … Continued

How to Trade Bitcoin Futures in 2018

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

Probably the biggest news lately in the world of investments is the announcement that financial exchanges have decided to offer bitcoin futures.  Since the beginning of 2017, bitcoin prices have soared 1,500%, which has garnered significant interest from those who … Continued

What to Know About Bank Account Opening Bonuses | LendEDU

What to Know About Bank Account Opening Bonuses | LendEDU


LendEDU

You might have noticed recently that banks seem to be in an arms race to see who can offer the biggest bonus for opening a new account. Whether they're offering iPads or cash bonuses of anywhere from $50, to $500, you might have considered opening a new account to take advantage of one juicy bank bonus.But …

Cashback Checking | Online Checking Account | Discover

Cashback Checking | Online Checking Account | Discover


Discover Bank

Online checking accounts from Discover Bank, Member FDIC offer no monthly fees or balance requirements. Open a Discover Cashback Checking� account today.

Get Paid to Live on Bahamas and Care for Flamingos

Get Paid to Live on Bahamas and Care for Flamingos

by Jeffrey Preis @ The Points Guy

Baha Mar, a massive resort that recently opened on Nassau, Bahamas, after more than 10 years of construction, sits on 1,000 acres and a half-mile stretch of beachside property and cost over $4 billion to build. The resort includes three hotel properties (totaling 2,300 rooms), 42 restaurants and lounges, an 18-hole golf course, a casino and the resort’s …

Metromile Insurance Review: Is It Legit?

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Kim P) @ CreditDonkey

Low-mileage drivers have a pay-as-you-go insurance option with Metromile. Available in 7 states, your premium is based on miles driven plus a base rate.

Metromile puts traditional car insurance to the test for low-mileage drivers. The company recognizes that low-mileage drivers overpay for car insurance. Their solution is a usage-based insurance. They quote drivers a base rate that they determine based on their driving record, type of car driven, and age of the car. This is similar to how other car insurance companies calculate your rate.

The base rate is the only fixed rate. You then pay a premium based on the miles driven. Metromile tracks the miles with their Pulse device, which you place in your car. Each month, Metromile reads the device and bills you for the miles driven.

Who Is Metromile Best For?

  • Occasional drivers: Driving fewer than 10,000 miles per year can provide substantial savings on this pay-as-you-go insurance. If you drive more than 10,000 miles, though, the per mile rate can add up.

  • Tech savvy drivers: Keeping track of your miles driven, gas mileage, or time spent driving is easy with this program. If you keep the GPS activated on the device, you can track your car (ever lost a parked car?) and even get alerts when something is wrong with your vehicle.

  • Drivers who can handle varying insurance bills: Your insurance bill will likely fluctuate from month to month. This means you have to be adaptable. If varying bills drive you crazy or if you are bad at budgeting, it could be hard to keep up with the constantly changing bills.

Why We Like Metromile

  • Rates not based on driving habits: Your rates are not based on how fast you drive or how hard you brake. You know your base rate and your per mile rate upfront. You can even keep track of your miles driven on the app, so you always know where you stand. You can minimize the unpleasant surprises monthly bills sometimes contain.

  • No penalty for occasionally driving more than 250 miles in a day: Driving more than 250 miles in a day won't result in any penalties or large bills. This benefits you if you hit that many miles sporadically, but if it's a regular habit, though, this might not be the right insurance for you.

  • Tech-savvy applications: Savings isn't the only thing Metromile offers. With the Pulse device, drivers can see their speed on trips, how much gas for the trip cost, and even where they parked their car.

  • Get alerts regarding your car's check engine light: The Metromile app helps you decode your check engine light. It also helps you find a mechanic to fix the problem.

  • Full coverage available: You can get as much coverage as you want or as little as your state requires. Metromile offers bodily injury, property damage, uninsured/underinsured motorist, personal injury protection, comprehensive, and collision coverage.

  • Roadside assistance available: If you are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire or broken down car, Metromile offers roadside assistance, such as towing, flat tire help, and lockout assistance. Each policy differs - you must inquire about the services that may pertain to you.

  • Pet protection available: Driving with pets can put them at risk for injury if you are in accident. You can add pet protection onto your insurance, giving you up to $1,000 coverage if your pet suffers injuries in the accident.

  • Privacy control: If privacy is a concern for you, it's possible to turn the GPS locator off the Pulse device. It won't provide you with any of the perks above, such as finding your parked car, but it will still give you the mileage tracker that helps you save on your car insurance.

Why You Might Look Elsewhere

  • Claims take a while to process: If there's one common theme about Metromile complaints, it's the speed at which they handle claims. You submit your claim online. Then you are at the mercy of the adjustor or customer service agent to call you when they get to your claim. This could mean waiting days or even weeks for a call back.

  • You drive more than 10,000 miles per year: You don't get to take advantage of the low mileage discount if you drive more than 10,000 miles per year. It might even cost you more to use Metromile if you are not well under the 10,000-mile average.

  • You are on a fixed income budget: Unless you drive the same number of miles every single month, which is unlikely, you'll have varying insurance bills. If you prefer fixed bills that you can predict each month, the pay-for-what-you-drive plan may not be a good fit.

Customer Service

Being just a few years old, Metromile is still trying to figure out the perfect way to handle customer service.

They do offer 24/7 claims service. But this basically means you can file your claim 24/7. You may not hear back from an agent for a while. When they do help you, though, Metromile provides you with a dedicated claims professional who will help you through the claim process. They also help you find repair shops near you to speed up the process.

Recently, Metromile introduced automated claims processing. Not only can you file your claim online, but you can also upload the data from your Pulse device to help process the claim. Metromile states that some claims can even be handled automatically, getting you payment right away. We tend to think this is reserved for very minor claims, but it's a nice feature nonetheless.

Customer Service Phone Number: 1-888-242-5204

Dashboard

Drivers can access information about their driving habits, including miles driven, the cost of routes taken, and gas mileage online. All you need is your ID and password to gain access to this information. Basically, the dashboard provides you with ways to save money. It does not, however, give you any feedback on your driving habits. If money is your main concern, the dashboard serves its purpose. If you want to lower your insurance rates based on your driving habits, you'll need to look elsewhere.

App

The Metromile app does many of the same things as the dashboard. The difference is you have access to the information on-the-go. The app takes things a step further though. It will tell you:

  • Your car's health status
  • Decode any check engine light warnings
  • Send alerts when street sweepers are cleaning the street you are parked on (certain cities only)

How It Compares

Low-cost insurance is something many drivers want. Perhaps Metromile's largest competitor in that arena is Geico. Known for its rock-bottom prices for standard insurance, Geico is a fierce competitor. It's not a pay-as-you-go policy, though. You pay the same premium every month based on your individual factors. But those rates are among the lowest in the industry.

Unlike Metromile, Geico offers discounts for various things aside from the multi-vehicle discount, such as:

  • Safety features on your vehicle
  • Good driving habits
  • Defensive driving classes
  • Customer loyalty

Geico is also available in all 50 states, whereas Metromile is still only available in 7 states. Metromile does have a "waiting list" on their website that you can sign up for. You will then be alerted when the insurance is available in your area.

Geico has been around for 80 years and Metromile is still in its infancy, barely hitting 5 years on the market.

If saving money is your main concern, Geico takes the cake for high-mileage drivers and Metromile has a slight edge for low-mileage drivers, assuming you aren't eligible for many other discounts.

Bottom Line

In our opinion, if you don't drive often, Metromile may save you money every month. City dwellers who drive only a few miles at a time see the greatest results. Metromile makes it very convenient to use their insurance and service with one simple device to plug into your car.

We suggest determining how many miles you drive on average per year and compare your cost with standard insurance policies. If you are close to the 10,000-mile threshold, you may want to consider other options. If you are on the other spectrum, though, paying only for what you use could come in handy.

Metromile Insurance Review: Is It Legit? appeared first on CreditDonkey

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.

How to Save $1,000 in Less Than a Year

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

How would you like to save $1,000 by setting aside less than $50 a week? As a bonus, it doesn’t even take a year, just 44 weeks. You can start on any week, at any time. All you need is … Continued

Switching Banks: A Strategic Move for Your Money?

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

Everyone is probably familiar with the unpleasant narratives of those who are lackadaisical about keeping track of their money.  For the apathetic who do finally risk evaluating their checking and savings accounts, discovering the fees charged to their account and … Continued

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 →

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Bank Business Savings Account $200 Cash Promotion

by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

Get a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Business Savings Account in-branch and deposit a minimum of $15,000 for at least 90 days. [Read More] Chase Bank Business Savings Account $200 Cash Promotion

The post Chase Bank Business Savings Account $200 Cash Promotion appeared first on Maximizing Money.

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.

Chase Bank Holidays for 2017 & 2018

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

This article has been updated for 2018. Need to know if your local Chase branch is open on a specific holiday? All branches are closed on the below dates in 2018 and 2017. If a holiday is not listed below, … Continued

Goldman Sachs Eyes Buying Personal Finance Startup Clarity

by Mike Brown @ LendEDU

Goldman Sachs, whose building (left) highlights the Jersey City skyline, is in talks to buy personal finance startup Clarity Money. Insiders say Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is eyeing the possibility of buying Clarity Money, a personal finance startup. Those unidentified sources said Goldman Sachs intends to mesh it with Marcus, its online personal loan lender.Although a […]

The post Goldman Sachs Eyes Buying Personal Finance Startup Clarity appeared first on LendEDU.

7 Things You Can Use College Loans For — Besides Tuition

by Elyssa Kirkham @ Student Loan Hero

As a student, figuring out the wisest way to use college loans is tricky. You want to borrow enough to pay for college and focus on your studies, but it can be hard to know where to draw the line. Can you borrow to pay for a new computer? What about your internet bill? Some […]

The post 7 Things You Can Use College Loans For — Besides Tuition appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

PNC Bank Holidays for 2017 and 2018

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

Need to know if your local PNC Bank branch is open on a specific holiday? All branches are closed on the below dates. If a holiday is not listed below, such as Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Halloween, or St. … Continued

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.

New Sound Checking Account. Free Money. Free Rewards. | Sound Credit Union

New Sound Checking Account. Free Money. Free Rewards. | Sound Credit Union


Sound Credit Union

Open a new Sound Checking account and get $100 free, plus free Sound Rewards. First, you get a great new Sound Checking account. Then you get $100 free, after 25 debit card transactions. Plus, you get free Sound Rewards you can parlay into trips, gift cards or cash Get Started Requires Sound membership and savings account with minimum $25 balance. … Continue reading →

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.

Bank accounts: �200 switch bonus or 5% interest current account

Bank accounts: �200 switch bonus or 5% interest current account


MoneySavingExpert.com

Martin Lewis reveals how to compare and switch to the best bank accounts that can save you �100s a year.

20+ Best Bank Promotions & Bonus Offers ($100 Minimum!)

20+ Best Bank Promotions & Bonus Offers ($100 Minimum!)


Wallet Hacks

See the best nationally available bank promotions and signup bonuses available ($100 minimum!) - we keep this list of 20+ bank offers updated weekly. No expired promotions or tiny banks listed, just nationally available, easy to get promos.

M&T Bank $200 Checking Bonus [AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, NJ, NY, OR, PA, VA, WA, WV] (YMMV)

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

If you are a resident in one of the following states: AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, NJ, NY, OR, PA, VA, WA, or WV, M&T Bank is offering you a $200 bonus when you open a new personal Checking Account with promo code TE and completing certain requirements! Below is all the information and details you need to... Read More →

The post M&T Bank $200 Checking Bonus [AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, NJ, NY, OR, PA, VA, WA, WV] (YMMV) appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

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.

Is a Reading Retreat the Next Yoga Retreat?

Is a Reading Retreat the Next Yoga Retreat?

by Jeffrey Preis @ The Points Guy

In the past couple years, a new kind of retreat has been popping up and it doesn’t feature a spa or yoga, nor is it a creative writing getaway. Nope, it’s a reading retreat and there’s only one rule here: The reading room must be silent at all times. You don’t even have to BYOB (bring …

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.

Overview of High Yield Online Savings Account Options for 2016

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

Savings accounts: everyone should have at least one, but when your local bank is offering to pay you interest at dismal rates as low as 0.01%, saving can be downright discouraging. Thankfully, in the internet age we live in, savers … Continued

Best Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions In Iowa

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Editor’s Note: Not your state? No worries, you can click on the state(s) above to see the Best Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions being offered in your state. New to bank bonuses? No worries! See our Beginners Guide To Bank Bonuses. Amongst the sea of corn fields you can find some pretty nice bank bonuses. Here is a... Read More →

The post Best Bank Deals, Bonuses, & Promotions In Iowa appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

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…

Which Southwest Credit Card is Right for You?

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Anna G) @ CreditDonkey

Fly Southwest? You may want to consider a Southwest credit card from Chase. But which one is right for you? We break it down.

Southwest offers a couple of the best airline cards for domestic travelers.

If you fly Southwest at least a couple of times a year, consider one of the two co-branded credit cards offered by Chase: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus and Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier.

Both cards offer a high sign-up bonus and good reward potential. The Plus has a lower annual fee but is not ideal for international travel. The Premier is the more upscale version with slightly better rewards.

Which makes more sense?

We'll do a full run-down comparing the two cards, so you can make your own choice.

Overview: Southwest Plus and Southwest Premier

Before we start comparing, let's go over how the two cards work in a nutshell. Both cards give you the same sign-up bonus and reward points. There are a couple of major differences:

  • The Southwest Plus card has a $69 annual fee. You get 3,000 bonus points each anniversary year. There is a foreign transaction fee.

  • The Southwest Premier card has a $99 annual fee. You get 6,000 bonus points each anniversary year and earn points toward elite tiers. There is no foreign transaction fee.

Now, with these major differences in mind, let's go over why you may prefer one over the other.

Note: Chase has a 5/24 rule, which means that if you've opened 5 credit card accounts in the past 24 months (from any bank), you will not be approved for a new card. The Southwest cards fall under this rule.

Why Either Card Is a Good Choice

Both cards are designed to earn Rapid Reward points, which can then be redeemed for Southwest award flights (more detail in the next section). With both Southwest cards, you get:

  • Sign-up bonus. You can earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

  • 2x on Southwest purchases. You get 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases, including participating Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. You get 1x per dollar on all other purchases.

  • Points for balance transfers. You get 1 point for each $1 in balance transfers made within the first 90 days of account opening (up to $10,000 for the Plus, and $15,000 for the Premier). Most credit cards don't let you earn points for balance transfers.

  • Earn points toward Unlimited Companion Pass. If you earn 110,000 Rapid Reward points in one calendar year, you can name one companion to fly free with you on unlimited Southwest flights until the end of the following year. This is one of the best companion deals out there. With the sign-up bonus alone, you're more than a third of the way to the Companion Pass.

    Note: Only points earned with the Southwest credit cards qualify towards a Companion Pass. So, for example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and transfer points to Southwest, they won't qualify.

  • Bags fly free. Your first and second checked bags are free.

  • No blackout dates, seat restrictions, or change fees. You can use your miles to book any seat on any flight. And if you need to change the date of a flight, there's no change fee (though you will still need to pay the fare difference).

  • Rewards never expire. Your miles never expire as long as your card account remains open.

Who the Southwest Plus Card Is Good For

If you're an occasional domestic flyer (you fly Southwest just a few times a year), then this card is probably good enough for you. Since both cards have the same sign-up bonus and reward earnings, the Plus will save you money with a smaller annual fee.

Remember, it also gives you 3,000 points every anniversary year. This doesn't fully cover the annual fee, but it makes it easier to swallow.

Why the Southwest Rapid Reward Premier Card Is Superior

If you fly Southwest more often, the Premier card may be better for you. Here are some other perks that come with the Southwest Premier:

  • Tier qualifying points (TQPs): For every $10,000 spent on the card (on eligible purchases), you earn 1,500 TQPs. You can earn up to 15,000 TQPS per year. TQPs can be used for Rapid Rewards elite status.

    • If you achieve A-List status (35,000 TPQ per year), you get: priority check in, security, and boarding; dedicated phone line; free same-day standby; and 25% earnings bonus on Southwest flights.

    • If you achieve A-List Preferred status (70,000 TPQ per year), you get the above plus: free in-flight Wi-Fi and 100% earnings bonus on Southwest flights.

  • 6,000-point anniversary bonus: You get a bonus 6,000 points every year on your account anniversary. 6,000 points could be worth a flight around $100, so this already justifies the higher $99 annual fee.

  • No foreign transaction fee: The Premier card has no foreign transaction fee for purchases made abroad.

Do you own a business? There is also a business version of the Premier card – the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card.

Both Do Have Downsides

Keep in mind some of these downsides for both cards:

  • No priority boarding. Unlike other co-branded airline cards that give you priority boarding just for owning the card, the Southwest cards don't include this perk. The only way to get this perk is to earn enough TPQs in a year to qualify for elite status.

  • High APR. Neither card has an introductory APR offer for purchases or balance transfers. The regular APR is quite high, so make sure you are able to pay off the balance each month.

  • You only get bonus points for Southwest flights, and hotel and car rental partners. Unless you fly Southwest a lot and use their hotel and car rental partners, it may be hard to rack up points. If your goal is to earn points faster, then consider whether the Chase Sapphire Preferred may be a better fit. It gives you 2x points on travel and dining purchases. Then you can transfer the points 1:1 to Southwest (but they won't qualify for the Companion Pass).

  • You can only redeem on Southwest flights. This isn't much of a problem if you take a lot of Southwest flights. But if you want more flexibility or want to travel to places Southwest doesn't go, then think about whether it's better to get a general travel rewards card that lets you use any airline.

  • The Plus card has a foreign transaction fee. The Plus card charges a foreign transaction fee on purchases made out of the country (3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars on purchases). However, the Premier card has no foreign transaction fee, so it is better if you travel internationally.

How to Use Southwest Rapid Reward Points

Both cards earn Rapid Reward Points, which you can redeem towards any Southwest flight, with no blackout dates and no seat restrictions.

Using your points is very easy. Simply sign in to your Rapid Rewards account (create it for free) to book travel, and select the option “Points.”

You will then see the flight options listed in points. You can also toggle back and forth between dollars and points to compare the points value.

Southwest has three types of fares. Wanna Get Away is the cheapest fare. It's nonrefundable, but can be cancelled for credit good up to 1 year from purchase date. Business Select and Anytime fares are fully refundable.

So what are Rapid Reward points worth?
Southwest points have pretty good value, especially for the Wanna Get Away fights. We find that, generally, each Rapid Reward point is worth between 1.6 and 2.0 cents. This means that 10,000 points could be redeemed for a flight that costs around $160 - $200.

For example, in the sample flight above from Los Angeles to Seattle in March 2018, the highlighted flight costs 4,248 points. If you were to buy it with cash, it costs $86. That means the point value of the flight is 2.02 cents.

You don't pay any taxes or surcharges for domestic flights, except for the $5.60 Security Fee in each direction.

Do You Fly Other Airlines?

Not a frequent Southwest flyer? If there's another airline you prefer instead, consider these cards:

Bottom Line

So, which Southwest card is right for you? Since both cards give the same sign-up bonus and have the same reward structure, which is better?

If you fly Southwest just a few times a year domestically, the Plus card will do the job just fine. If you travel to any of Southwest's international offerings, you'll want the Premier card as it has no foreign transaction fee. It also has a larger anniversary bonus each year, which helps justify the $99 annual fee.

Which Southwest Credit Card is Right for You? appeared first on CreditDonkey

Editorial Note: 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 any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, United MileagePlus Explorer Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, and Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Trump Budget Proposal Takes Aim at IDR, PSLF, and Billions in Grants

by Miranda Marquit @ Student Loan Hero

With the latest Congressional budget battle just ended, President Donald Trump just submitted his budget proposal for fiscal year 2019. The $4.4 trillion budget boosts spending on the military and infrastructure while cutting funding a number of programs, including Medicare. Among the Trump budget cuts are those to education spending. The budget calls for huge […]

The post Trump Budget Proposal Takes Aim at IDR, PSLF, and Billions in Grants appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

Bank of America Holidays for 2018 and 2017

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

* Updated for 2018 * Need to know if your local Bank of America branch is open on a specific holiday? All BofA branches are closed on the below dates in 2017 and 2018. If a holiday such as Christmas Eve, … Continued

PNC

PNC


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

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.

SunTrust Bank Business Checking Account $200 Bonus Offer

by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

SunTrust Bank will give you $200 in bonus cash when you open a new SunTrust Business Checking account and make $1,500 in qualifying deposits within 30 days, available for businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia. [Read More] SunTrust Bank Business Checking Account $200 Bonus Offer

The post SunTrust Bank Business Checking Account $200 Bonus Offer appeared first on Maximizing Money.

Compare Online Savings Accounts

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

A savings account is essential to any successful budget and will help you afford larger purchases in the future. Choosing the perfect savings account is critical, and will depend on a number of factors that include your monthly budget and … Continued

This Is The Tallest Hotel In The World

This Is The Tallest Hotel In The World

by Katherine Fan @ The Points Guy

In Dubai, a city synonymous with superlatives, the Guinness Book of World Records just confirmed newcomer Gevora Hotel to be the world’s tallest at just over 356 meters high (1,168 feet). Neighbor and previous record-holder the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai stands just one meter shorter at 355 meters (1,165 feet). The Gevora Hotel has four restaurants, …

SunTrust Bank Holidays for 2017 and 2018

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

Wondering if your local SunTrust bank is open for a specific holiday? Check out the list of 2017 and 2018 dates below that all SunTrust branches are closed on. If a holiday is not listed below, such as Christmas Eve, New Year’s … Continued

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 […]

Special Offer for Opening a New Merrill Edge Account

Special Offer for Opening a New Merrill Edge Account


Merrill Edge

Get up to $600 when you enroll in the offer and open and fund a new Merrill Edge investment account.

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 […]

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 →

The post Chase Total Checking Account Bonus appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

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 →

The post Ally Bank Online Savings Account: Earn 1.45% APY Rate [Nationwide] appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

3 Times It’s Worth Chasing That Checking Account Bonus | Student Loan Hero

3 Times It’s Worth Chasing That Checking Account Bonus | Student Loan Hero


Student Loan Hero

Some banks offer sign-up bonuses to new customers. But are they worth the effort? Here are three times it's worth signing up for a checking account bonus.

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.

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.

As an Authorized User, Can I Open My Own Account for the Same Card?

As an Authorized User, Can I Open My Own Account for the Same Card?

by Brendan Dorsey @ The Points Guy

“Reader Questions” are now answered twice a week — Tuesdays and Thursdays — by TPG Assistant Editor Brendan Dorsey. Brendan has been with TPG for a year and a half and hails from Northern California. After being an authorized user on someone’s credit card account, you may be considering an account of your own. Maybe …

American Express Personal Savings Account Review

by Jim Wang @ Wallet Hacks

American Express (AMEX) is best known for their credit cards but they do much much more. Credit cards is where they started, many years ago, but now they offer bank accounts too. We know they have great perks on their credit cards, but what about their bank products? Their high yield savings account is called […]

The post American Express Personal Savings Account Review appeared first on Wallet Hacks.

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.

New Bank Account Offers

New Bank Account Offers


Banks.org

You may have received the offers in the mail or heard about it online: banks are handling out cash bonuses to new customers that open a savings or checking account. These offers can range from

Best Bank Account Bonuses For February 2018 | Bankrate.com

Best Bank Account Bonuses For February 2018 | Bankrate.com


Bankrate

Walk away with sacks of cash just for opening a checking or savings account.

Bank of the West $150 New Checking Account Bonus

by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

Bank of the West is offering $150 in bonus cash when you open a new personal checking account online or in-branch, set up a direct deposit of at least $250, and make 10 debit card purchases per month for 2 months.

This Bank of the West promotion is available to residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming[Read More] Bank of the West $150 New Checking Account Bonus

The post Bank of the West $150 New Checking Account Bonus appeared first on Maximizing Money.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Online Savings Account

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

It is important for everyone to have some sort of savings. Depending on your age and how much money you have to put into savings, there are many different options available. For some people, a traditional in bank savings account … Continued

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 […]

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 […]

LifeLock Review: Is It Worth It?

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Kim P) @ CreditDonkey

Protecting yourself against identity theft seems like it's worth its weight in gold. Do you really get as much protection as you think with services like LifeLock? Find out below.

Last year more than 143 million people had their personal information exposed during the Equifax hack. This demonstrates just one of the thousands of security breaches that happen each year. LifeLock claims to protect your identity from these types of incidents beyond what a basic credit freeze offers.

LifeLock claims to monitor more than just your credit. They monitor the dark web, unauthorized address changes, online scams, and public records. The depth of the monitoring you get depends on the chosen plan. LifeLock also offers identity theft restoration services and 24-hour customer service.

With a LifeLock membership, you can monitor one driver's license number and Social Security number. But you can monitor up to 10 credit cards and/or bank accounts. You may also enter up to five home addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Who Is LifeLock Best For?

  • If you are at high risk for identity theft: Consumers who aren't proactive in their attempts to protect identity theft may benefit from the service. While LifeLock can't prevent identity theft, it can alert members of a breach. Think of it like an alarm system. The crime has been committed, but now you can attempt to minimize the damages.

  • If you don't know how to recover from identity theft: Identity theft is overwhelming. Victims must take several steps to stop the perpetrator from doing more damage. There could also be damages that must be undone, such as unauthorized accounts opened in their name or fraudulent use of medical insurance/benefits. LifeLock's bread and butter is their restoration services, helping victims put their lives back together.

  • If you don't regularly check your credit and/or financial accounts: Checking your credit reports, monitoring bank statements, and watching your credit card accounts is time-consuming. If you aren't vigilant about watching these accounts, LifeLock may give you a little peace of mind knowing you may receive an alert if something is amiss.

Why We Like LifeLock

  • Learn of a breach early: There's no foolproof way to prevent identity theft or fraud. What LifeLock offers, though, is quick notification of certain adverse actions on your accounts. This gives you the chance to try to minimize the damages before they get out of hand.

  • Restoration services help repair the damage: After you experience identity theft or fraudulent account activity, LifeLock's agents offer their services in fixing the problem. They may not be able to fix everything, but having their expertise on your side may help.

  • Reimbursement for loss funds: Each of LifeLock's plans offer coverage, similar to an insurance policy for lost or stolen funds. However, their reimbursement is subject to many restrictions, especially if another insurance policy or financial institution will cover the loss.

  • User-friendly platform and app: Members can access the LifeLock member portal on their PC, laptop, or mobile device. In the platform, members have access to their account information as well as all alerts, whether critical or non-critical. Members can view the alerts at their leisure and determine what/if anything they must do.

  • Multiple alert options: LifeLock offers several alert options to make sure you are aware of a potential situation. They offer alerts via phone, email, and text. You can also customize the alerts you receive, changing thresholds for various accounts based on your needs.

  • 24/7 customer service 365 days a year: LifeLock representatives are available for questions and concerns 24/7 every day of the year. However, any restoration services are only available during business hours.

  • Lost Wallet Protection: Losing your purse or wallet may put you at risk for identity theft and/or credit card fraud. LifeLock offers assistance in handling the tasks necessary to stop anyone from using the lost information. They include this service in all 3 plans.

  • Scans a trillion data points regularly: LifeLock claims to scan a trillion data points daily. The exact data points they scan will determine how well it protects you. However, it's likely more than you would scan yourself, and even a small bit of protection may help.

  • Monitors accounts rather than freezes them: A credit freeze prevents thieves from accessing your credit information moving forward. If you were already hacked, though, the criminals have what they need. Monitoring may help alert you of any new activity even after you freeze your credit.

Why You Might Look Elsewhere

  • Only one credit bureau monitored with the first two plans: You have to pony up and pay for the most expensive plan to get monitoring of all three credit bureaus. Since not all companies report to all three bureaus, you may not have the protection you need.

  • Limited coverage guarantee: Despite their million dollar coverage guarantee, there are many limitations. If your identity is stolen or accounts hacked into, it must be due to some failure or defect on LifeLock's behalf for the guarantee to take effect. If LifeLock did what they promised and you still got hacked, the guarantee may not apply.

  • No family plan: If you want to protect more than one family member, such as a spouse or child, you have to pay for separate plans. This could get costly depending on how many family members you want to protect.

Plans

All plans include the following:

  • Dark web monitoring
  • LifeLock Privacy Monitor
  • Notification of unauthorized address changes
  • Lost Wallet Protection
  • Alerts for Social Security number breaches

In addition to the basic features, LifeLock has three tiers to choose from:

  • LifeLock Standard: As the cheapest plan available, this plan monitors one credit bureau and provides up to $25,000 reimbursement for stolen funds.

  • LifeLock Advantage: The mid-plan still only monitors one credit bureau, but they also provide the credit score from that bureau. It also offers bank account and credit card monitoring and notifications of data breaches. LifeLock will also provide crime reports for your area and report on any fictitious identity issues.

  • LifeLock Ultimate Plus: The largest plan offered provides all of the above benefits, plus monitoring of all three credit bureaus with credit scores. You may also request monthly credit scores from one credit bureau; however, it is the Vantage 3.0 score, not FICO. You can also opt to have certain investment accounts monitored and receive alerts of bank account takeovers. LifeLock also provides priority customer service for Ultimate Plus members.

Keep in mind: LifeLock does not do business with all banks, credit card companies, or financial institutions. Their scans may miss issues with specific companies if they are not within the LifeLock network.

Customer Service

LifeLock's customer service seems to be where they shine. With accessibility around-the-clock, either on the phone or online chat, customers can ask questions and address concerns any time of day or night. If you experienced identity theft of credit card fraud, you'll need to wait until business hours to secure any restoration services, though. Chances are this is due to the representative's need for access to the bank and credit card companies that operate during business hours.

LifeLock also offers a breadth of customer service options online. Their member portal is user friendly and provides all up-to-date information about your account statuses. Their website also offers a multitude of resources that may either answer your question or help you figure out what to do next.

Customer Service Phone Number: 1-800-416-0599

How to cancel: If you obtained your LifeLock service directly from LifeLock, call 1-800-LIFELOCK (543-3562). You can also cancel via your member portal. If you obtained the service through a third-party, you must contact the third-party to cancel.

How It Compares

  • Identity Guard: With Identity Guard, you get basic identity protection with the exception of driver's license number monitoring. They offer a breadth of services that monitor what happens on your accounts, but they lack the restoration services needed to pick up the pieces. Their customer service is more of an "advice line" than professionals fixing the problem.

  • ID Shield: With ID Shield, you get a $5 million guarantee if your identity is stolen, and you can monitor up to 2 adults and 8 children on one plan. However, they only monitor one credit bureau (TransUnion), no matter which plan you choose. In the event that your identity is stolen; however, you have access to private investigators who also help you restore your identity and/or accounts.

  • IdentityForce: With IdentityForce, you get more than financial protection. They monitor social media sites, blogs, and court records too. Their most basic plan includes most everything LifeLock's most expensive plan offers. However, they do not offer a family plan.

Bottom Line

So is LifeLock worth it?

If you are willing to pay for credit monitoring because you won't do it yourself, it may give you a little more protection against identity theft. Keep in mind that there's no way to completely prevent someone from stealing all or part of your identity. If you are not proactive in keeping your passwords secure and monitoring your accounts on a regular basis, it might be worth the peace of mind to know when something is amiss.

LifeLock Review: Is It Worth It? appeared first on CreditDonkey

Online Money Market Accounts

by banksadmin @ Banks.org

As the financial industry moves into the internet age, more and more options are becoming available for consumers. In the old days, banking required you to go to branch and speak with a teller or a manager to get anything … Continued

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. […]

Legacy Texas $200 Checking Bonus [TX] (Current Clients Only)

by Danny Nguyen @ Bank Deal Guy

Existing LegacyTexas clients now have the opportunity to earn a $200 checking bonus when you open a new Maximum Checking Account and meeting certain requirements. Below is all the information and details you need to earn your Legacy Texas $200 Checking Bonus! Legacy Texas $200 Checking Bonus Summary To earn your Legacy Texas $200 Checking Bonus, simply open... Read More →

The post Legacy Texas $200 Checking Bonus [TX] (Current Clients Only) appeared first on Bank Deal Guy.

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.

Self Lender Review: Is It Good?

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Kim P) @ CreditDonkey

Self Lender promises to help you build credit. But is it legit? Read this review to learn how it works.

If you don't have a credit history, creditors probably won't give you a chance. How can you build credit without someone giving you a break?

Enter Self Lender - a credit monitoring and credit building system that helps people with low or damaged credit increase their credit score.

Read on to see if Self Lender might be the right service for you.

What Is Self Lender?

Self Lender is a free credit monitoring system. But they also offer credit building loans. This is where they make their money.

Self Lender's credit monitoring service gives you on-demand access to your credit score. It gives you access to your credit history at all times. Self Lender also offers suggestions on how to improve your credit. They provide all of this free of cost.

However, the credit building loan is the real meat and potatoes of Self Lender. They provide loans regardless of your credit score. The main purpose of the loan is to build or improve a low credit score. In other words, they give you a chance no matter how many other lenders turned you down.

How Self Lender Works

The Self Lender loan isn't your typical loan. Think of it like a loan in reverse. You don't receive the proceeds from the loan upfront. Instead, it's placed in a Certificate of Deposit for you. The maturity date equals the term of the loan.

You then make payments over the course of the term of the loan (12 to 24 months). Your payments are both principal and interest. At the end of the term, the CD matures. You receive the principal, plus the small amount of interest it gained during that time.

As you make payments, Self Lender reports them to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If you make your payments on time, this will help build up your credit score.

Some people think of it like a forced savings program. In order to receive the savings, you have to make timely loan payments. At the end of the term, you will receive the principal amount paid for the loan.

Who Benefits from Self Lender?

Self Lender is ideal for people who have little to no credit. If you've ever tried to apply for credit only to be turned down because you don't have any credit, you are a good candidate. How are you supposed to prove you are credit worthy if no one will extend credit?

This is where Self Lender helps the most. They don't pull your credit to determine eligibility.

It can also be a good option for those with damaged credit. With a poor credit history, many creditors will turn you down for new credit. Without new credit, it's nearly impossible to rectify your score. Self Lender can help by providing you with the credit building loan.

Before you jump on board though, make sure you meet the following requirements:

  • You are at least 18-years old
  • You have a valid bank account
  • You can afford the monthly payments that vary between $25 - $194 per month
  • You could benefit from a forced-savings account

Opening an Account and What It Costs

Opening a Self Lender account takes about five minutes. They need the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Amount of income

Once you provide this information, Self Lender runs a check on ChexSystems. Similar to running your credit, this system checks your bank account history. This keeps an eye on how you treat your bank accounts. They look for overdrafts and bad checks. However, unless you let your overdrafts sit unpaid, you should be in good shape.

If your ChexSystems report comes back clean, Self Lender will ask you which loan amount you want from a predetermined list of options:

  • $525 ($25 paid over 24 months)
  • $545 ($48 paid over 12 months)
  • $1,000 ($89 monthly payment over 12 months)
  • $2,200 ($194 monthly payment over 12 months)

You then enter your payment information. You can use a checking account or debit card. However, using a debit card will cost you an additional 2.99% plus $0.30 as a convenience fee. Using your checking account is best.

Self Lender also charges a small administrative fee based on your loan amount. It varies between $9 and $15. The fee is non-refundable, but is a one-time fee.

How the Credit Builder Loan Helps

The moment you take out the Credit Builder Loan, you have a FDIC-insured Certificate of Deposit opened in your name. Like any other CD, you cannot touch the money until it reaches maturity. In this case, it's 12 or 24 months.

The bank deposits the full amount in the CD, allowing it to earn 0.10% interest over the next 12-24 months. While the interest is really peanuts, the real benefit lies in the payments you make towards the loan.

As long as you make each loan payment on time, Self Lender reports the timely payments to the credit bureaus. According to Self Lender, on average clients with the standard $1,100 loan and timely payments see their credit score increase as much as 45 points in just 6 months.

This only works, however, if all aspects of your credit are in line. For example, if you have a credit card with another company that you let default, your credit score will fall. This is independent of what the Credit Builder loan can do for you. It's up to you how you handle all aspects of your credit profile.

Tip: It's best if you do not pay the Credit Builder Loan early. The main benefit is the timely payments reported to the credit bureau. If you pay it off early, you negate the benefits of the loan. Plus, you cannot touch the CD until maturity or you risk paying a penalty.

Pros and Cons of Self Lender

As with any financial product, there are pros and cons of Self Lender.

Pros

  • All payments are reported to the credit bureau to help you build a credit profile.
  • You have a "forced" savings account.
  • You don't need a credit check to get approved.
  • The upfront administrative fee is affordable.
  • The interest rate is often less than that of a credit card.
  • An installment loan may diversify your credit mix, which further helps your credit score.

Cons

  • If you have a negative history with bank accounts, you may not qualify.
  • Late payments are reported to the credit bureaus and could damage your credit.
  • It costs you 5% per monthly payment if you miss the grace period of 15 days.
  • The interest earned on the CD is next to nothing.
  • You have to pay to take out the loan versus other free ways to build credit.

How It Compares to Other Options to Build Credit

Self Lender isn't the only way consumers with thin or damaged credit can build credit.

  • Secured credit card: This option isn't free upfront, but it can be if handled correctly. Your credit line equals your deposit. You can find secured credit cards that require as little as $200 deposited. If you pay the balance off each month, you don't pay any interest. You can also get your deposit back if you upgrade or close your account.

  • Co-signer on a loan: If you have a willing co-signer for a loan, you may be able to get approved for a standard credit card or installment loan.

  • Authorized user: Ask to become an authorized user on a parent, sibling, or other close relative's credit card. Make sure you ask the credit card company beforehand if they report payment history for authorized users, though.

Bottom Line

If you've exhausted all other "free" options to build credit, Self Lender can be helpful. If you don't have anyone who can co-sign a loan or make you an authorized user, you have two options: a secured credit card or Self Lender. If you don't have the money to open a secured credit card, Self Lender may offer the lower cost way to build your credit.

Make sure before you take this option that you can afford the monthly payments. Paying for a loan that you will only pay late will damage your credit score and cost you money. When taken responsibly, though, the service can help you improve your score in a short amount of time.

Self Lender Review: Is It Good? appeared first on CreditDonkey

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 […]

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.

Home Chef Review: Is It Worth It?

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Kim P) @ CreditDonkey

Almost half of Americans claim to hate to cook. For many, it's due to a lack of time to put together a half decent meal. Perhaps because of this phenomenon, meal delivery services have taken over the radar.

One name you probably hear quite often is Home Chef. Founded in 2013, Home Chef delivers more than 1.5 million meals to doorsteps each month. The perfectly portioned ingredients and colorful recipe cards have wanna-be chefs trying new things.

Is it the right service for you?

What Is Home Chef?

Busy families often resort to frozen food or takeout. While it's convenient, it could be unhealthy and costly. Enter Home Chef, the answer to the desire for a home cooked meal in under 30 minutes. This home meal delivery service promises fresh ingredients delivered to your doorstep with delicious recipes even the novice can prepare.

Home Chef delivers all of the ingredients necessary to create your chosen meals. However, they don't provide common staples, such as cooking oil, salt, and pepper. You can skip meal planning, grocery shopping, and recipe hunting. Home Chef works with high-quality food suppliers and professional chefs to deliver the best ingredients and tastiest recipes.

How Home Chef Works

You can sign up for Home Chef in a few simple steps. You'll provide your email address, food preferences, shipping, and payment information. Based on your preferences, Home Chef then suggests meals for you. But you can choose from the more than 11 options each week based on your family's desires. This offers a great opportunity to try something new. Many families try meals they would otherwise never eat.

You can choose your menu on a weekly basis as long as it's by the deadline. But Home Chef also sets their menus 5 weeks in advance. If you like to plan, you can know what you'll be eating for the next month or so. Their site has a countdown to let you know how many days are left to order from a specific week's menu. Once the deadline hits, the menu is no longer available. However, you can still access their recipes for a few months.

You can also choose to add on smoothie ingredients and/or fresh fruit baskets. You choose the number of servings and the items are added to your order.

Once you choose your meals, Home Chef ships the fresh ingredients and recipe cards right to your doorstep. You get to choose the delivery date so you know when it will arrive.

Once you receive your order, you simply unbox the desired meal and follow the recipe steps. Take note: you'll find a list of "extra" items you need, such as olive oil, salt, and pepper, at the top of the card. You'll also see any special notes titled "Before You Cook." This alerts you of any steps you must take before you start cooking.

Each step in the cooking process is broken down into simple instructions and includes pictures. They even offer a "proper plating" picture so you can replicate the look of the meal as you would see it in a restaurant.

Who Benefits the Most from Home Chef?

Home Chef isn't for everyone, but many people do benefit. If you are too busy to cook anything but frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets or you are sick of takeout, it could be worth a try.

However, if you are the type who follows a strict budget or uses coupons religiously, you might find the price a little much to handle. Home Chef charges customers by the number of servings ordered. However, the smallest quantity you can order is 2 servings. Because they charge per serving, you don't get a price break with the more people you feed.

If you were to shop for the ingredients yourself, the price per serving may decrease with the more mouths you feed. You can either buy in bulk or purchase items on sale. At Home Chef, it could cost as much as $60 for one meal to feed a family of six.

But, for some, the price is worth it. Even though you might spend as much as you would on takeout, you get much higher quality food and the satisfaction of preparing it yourself.

If you have a little time to spend in the kitchen, but less time to meal plan and grocery shop, this service may work well. Keep in mind that while you receive fresh produce and meat, you still have to do a little preparing. Many recipes require you to slice vegetables, chop nuts, and season the meat. Typically, it's nothing too time consuming, but something you should keep in mind.

What Are Your Choices?

Home Chef offers a large variety of options even for those on a strict diet. When you sign up, you can specify any allergies or preferences you have.

After entering your email address, Home Chef asks you a variety of questions:

  • How many meals would you like sent to you each week? (Choose 2-6)
  • How many people will you cook for? (2, 4, or 6)
  • Do you prefer meat, seafood, vegetables? You can choose one, two, or all three options.
  • Do you need a low-calorie or low-carb meal plan?

You can then choose to omit any of the following:

  • Pork
  • Soy
  • Red meat
  • Nuts
  • Wheat
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Shellfish

Based on your preferences, Home Chef offers a variety of menu options. A few examples of past meals offered include:

  • BBQ-Rubbed Chicken and Cheddar Mac
  • Greek Panko-Crusted Cod with vegetables
  • Sirloin Steak with Balsamic Sauce and Potatoes
  • Spaghetti and Ricotta Meatballs

The Pros and Cons of Home Chef

Having fresh ingredients delivered to your doorstep with step-by-step instructions may seem like a dream come true and for some, it is. However, you should know the cons before deciding too.

Pros

  • The recipes are very easy to follow, even if you are not a self-proclaimed chef.
  • You can personalize the options to meet your dietary needs.
  • You can pick and choose the number of meals each week or even skip several weeks at a time.
  • Possibly waste less food, as only the necessary amount of fresh ingredients come in the box.
  • Recipes are categorized by difficulty.

Cons

  • You should be home when the food is delivered, as it's chilled only with standard ice packs.
  • The dietary restriction options don't include vegan or heart-healthy diet options.
  • Single-member households must pay for 2 servings of any meals they order.

How It Compares

Home meal delivery services are quickly on the rise. While Home Chef has been around for almost 5 years, others are popping up all over the internet. They all offer the same idea - fresh ingredients to make restaurant-quality meals in your own kitchen. A few of the options outside of Home Chef include:

Blue Apron
Blue Apron offers a subscription service. You get a box each week unless you cancel your subscription. You choose from the "2-Person Plan" or the "Family" plan. The 2-Person Plan allows you to choose 2 or 3 recipes per week. The Family Plan allows you to choose 2, 3, or 4 recipes per week. They do offer vegetarian plans, but only for the 2-Person Plan. They specialize in unique recipes with new cooking techniques to keep even the most experienced cook learning new things. However, Blue Apron meals tend to take longer to prepare - some even take up to 90 minutes.

Plated
Plated works much the same as Home Chef. You choose your meals from week to week. You can skip weeks, stop delivery altogether, or order as often as you want. They have more than 20 recipes to choose from at a time. They also offer dessert recipe options. You receive most of the necessary ingredients outside of the standard staples you probably have at home. Plated allows you to mix and match the number of servings you get for each meal. This allows some flexibility for entertaining or nights when not everyone will be home for dinner. The food from Plated is often very unique or gourmet, and the recipes can be complicated or time consuming.

Hello Fresh
Hello Fresh provides farm-fresh foods with the option to choose a meat/seafood or vegetarian plan. They also provide a weekly subscription, but you must choose between a plan for 2 or 4 people and 3 or 4 recipes per week. Based on your preferences, Hello Fresh provides you with 15 new recipes to choose from each week. By default, they choose your meals for you, but you have the flexibility to change them if desired. Hello Fresh is a good choice for those who prefer "standard" recipes rather than the more "gourmet" options from other subscription services.

Bottom Line

Home Chef is among the many meal delivery service companies vying for your grocery dollar. They are among the easier meals to prepare, yet they don't lack in sophistication. They are among the services that offer the most options for those on a restricted diet. If you're looking for an alternative to convenience food, this is a great option. You'll create a warm, home-cooked meal for your family with fresh ingredients that will not go to waste.

Home Chef Review: Is It Worth It? appeared first on CreditDonkey

Press Release: 44% of Parents Feel Guilty They Haven’t Saved More for Kids’ College

by SLH Staff @ Student Loan Hero

“A new survey by Student Loan Hero finds more than 57% of parents have saved less than $10,000” Austin, Texas, Feb. 13, 2018 — 44% of parents who are currently saving for family college costs reported feeling guilty that they haven’t stashed away more to date, according to a new survey from Student Loan Hero. […]

The post Press Release: 44% of Parents Feel Guilty They Haven’t Saved More for Kids’ College appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

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Chase Premier Plus Checking Coupon Code

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by MM Team @ Banking Bonuses – Maximizing Money

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Discover Bank Review: CD Rates and Savings

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Lee M) @ CreditDonkey

Discover offers high interest rates on its online savings and CD accounts. But there are some downsides. Here's what you need to know before you open an account.

Traditional savings accounts pay very little interest. If you want to earn a more impactful return on your savings, online banks often offer higher rates.

In this article, we will look at how you can use Discover's Online Savings Accounts and CDs to help grow your savings.

How It Works

Discover offers high yield savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit (CDs). Both earn a higher interest rate than a typical savings account. However, the two products work in fundamentally different ways.

  • Discovers Online Savings Accounts can earn up to a 1.40% annual percentage yield (APY). They work much like typical savings accounts, except that Discover does not have any physical branch locations.

  • Discover's CDs require you to deposit your savings for a set period of time. Withdrawing funds from a CD before the term has ended will incur a penalty. Also, CDs often have a higher minimum deposit than savings accounts. Due to these requirements, some CDs earn a higher APY than savings accounts.

Now that we've covered the basics, let's get into the specifics.

Discover Bank Promotions: February 2018

Online Investor Savings

Discover is an online bank, so they don't have many of the overhead costs that brick-and-mortar banks do. This allows Discover to offer no minimum deposit and a high APY on its Online Savings Account. Here are some additional details:

  • 1.40% APY
  • No minimum deposit
  • No account opening fees
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Daily compounding interest
  • Free online and mobile banking
  • FDIC insured

As with any savings account, you'll be limited to 6 withdrawals per month. This is a federally-imposed limitation.

If you need to withdraw money from your Discover savings account, you have a few options: internal Discover transfers, external transfers to another bank, wire transfers, and mailed checks.

Is Discover Safe?: Discover is FDIC insured. This means that if Discover defaults, the federal government guarantees the balance in your savings account, up to $250,000.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

For CDs, you must deposit a fixed amount of money for a fixed amount of time.

There are a few key factors to consider when deciding on a CD: the term length, the minimum deposit, and the APY. Discover also offers some retirement account qualified CDs, which can be a good option to supplement your retirement savings. Contact your financial professional to see if these retirement options are right for you.

Here are your options:

  • Term CDs: Discover's basic CDs are available in 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 30 months, and 3-, 4-, 5, 7- or 10-year terms. They require a minimum deposit of $2,500, and their APY range from .35% to 2.45%.

  • IRA CDs: Discover offers a retirement account qualified CD option as well, if you qualify. Both Roth (post-tax) and Traditional (pre-tax) options are offered. Terms and APY of these products are similar to that of Discover’s term CDs.

Why We Like Discover

Here are a few things that we like about Discover's online savings accounts and CDs:

  • Low minimum deposits: If you have just started saving or want to set aside a small balance, Discover can be a great choice. Their Online Savings have no minimum balance requirements at all. Their deposits for term CDs and IRA CDs are some of the lowest in the industry.

  • High rates: Discover's Online Savings offers such a high APY that it outperforms some of their short-term CDs. This is great news for anyone looking to save, but especially for those who can't pay the high minimum deposits that some other banks require. And if you meet a higher minimum deposit, you can earn as much as 2.45% APY on a CD, depending on term length.

  • Minimal fees: Discover cuts out many fees that other banks profit from. For example, you will not be charged any account opening or maintenance fees.

  • Retirement options: Discover offers IRA CDs, which can be utilized in a retirement planning strategy.

Reasons You Might Skip Discover Savings

For all of Discover's advantages, there are some downsides that need to be considered:

  • No branch locations: In exchange for the high interest rate on your online savings account, you are required to do your Discover banking online or over the phone.

  • No ATM card: Discover Savings does not provide an ATM card for easy withdrawals. This could be a good thing so you’re not tempted to spend your money. But if you like that convenience, look into their Money Market account instead. Or there are some other online savings accounts that come with an ATM card.

  • No Relationship Rewards: Some retail banks in the U.S. are now offering relationship bonuses to incentivize their customers to keep all of their business in one place. If you move your savings balance to Discover from your retail bank, you may miss out on some of these relationship bonuses. Contact your bank for more details.

Common Questions

If you're still interested, you probably have some questions. We'll clear up some of the basics here:

  • Should I open a CD or savings account?
    This is a really broad question and everyone has different investment goals. The decision comes down to how much you're looking to set aside, how much risk you are willing to take, and how much you'll need to access your savings.

    If you can commit to not touching your savings for at least 1 year and can meet the minimum deposit, you may be able to earn a higher interest rate with a CD versus a savings account. If you need liquidity, a savings account gives you more flexibility to withdraw your savings when needed.

  • How can I deposit funds with Discover Bank?
    For savings accounts, there are a few ways to deposit funds: deposit checks with your mobile device, transfer from Discover checking, transfer from an external account, mail a check, or set up a direct deposit to your new account. For term CDs, you can transfer from Discover checking, transfer from an external account, transfer by phone, or mail a check. For IRA CDs, contact Discover for instructions on how to fund a Discover IRA account.

  • What is the penalty for early withdrawals from Term CDs?
    It depends on the term of your CD. Here's how it breaks down:

    • Terms less than 1 year: 3 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
    • Terms from 1 year to <4 years: 6 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
    • Terms over 4 years to <5 years: 9 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
    • Terms over 5 years to <7 years: 18 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
    • Terms over 7 years and greater: 24 months' interest on the amount withdrawn

Bottom Line

If you're ready to start building your savings, then you should consider if Discover's Online Savings Accounts or CDs are right for you.

Even if you only have $1 in savings, you can start earning interest in a high yield savings account. Or, if you have at least $2,500 set aside and aren't concerned about liquidity, you can earn an even greater return with a CD.

Discover's savings offerings might not be the right savings product for you, but if you're looking to earn interest above that of a standard savings account, opening a savings accounts or CD from Discover is an investment option worth considering.

Discover Bank Review: CD Rates and Savings 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.

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 →

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