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How to Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points or More in Less Than 5 Months

by Jeff Rose @ Good Financial Cents

Raising your credit score 100 points is easier than many people might think, especially if you currently have bad credit. Step 1 – Know Where You Are Pull your credit score to determine where you are and how much damage control you need to do. There are dozens of websites that you can use, but... Continue Reading-->

The post How to Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points or More in Less Than 5 Months appeared first on Good Financial Cents.

Everyone Deserves a Second Chance, Even Those in Debt

by Iris @ Refinance Gold

There are times when some of us can really use a second chance—loan applications, included. After all, financial mistakes and debt are really not at all that uncommon. Perhaps you had an unlucky period in your life and you ended up having to file for bankruptcy. Or maybe you had a big emergency and you ended up […]

The post Everyone Deserves a Second Chance, Even Those in Debt appeared first on Refinance Gold.

Compare the Best Savings Accounts in Australia for February 2018* | finder.com.au

Compare the Best Savings Accounts in Australia for February 2018* | finder.com.au


finder.com.au

What's the best bank to have a savings account? Compare the best compounding interest savings accounts for saving money. Our top 10 here.

How to roll over a 529 plan, and why it may be a good idea

How to roll over a 529 plan, and why it may be a good idea

by Wes Moss @ clark.com

When my 10-year-old son was born, his grandmother generously put $1,000 into a Franklin Temple 529 plan for him. A 529 is a tax-advantaged savings plan for educational expenses. This IRA-like vehicle is a great way to help fund a …

The Top 6 Business Lending Solutions

by Meredith Wood @ Fundera Ledger

As an entrepreneur seeking first-time funding to expand your small business, it’s easy to become overwhelmed at the surprisingly wide […]

The post The Top 6 Business Lending Solutions appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

Tax Professional or DIY? Here’s How to Choose

by Gemma Hartley @ Chime Banking

The thought of filing taxes on your own can be daunting. At the same time, hiring a professional accountant comes at a price: around $273 of your potential refund. But, with the availability of low-cost online options – like TurboTax and TaxAct – you may still be wondering if hiring a tax professional makes the most sense […]

The post Tax Professional or DIY? Here’s How to Choose appeared first on Chime Banking.

What Canadian banks offer the best savings accounts?

What Canadian banks offer the best savings accounts?


Investopedia

Learn about different savings accounts in Canada. Explore different interest rates and fees as well as accounts that are protected by the CDIC.

Best Discount Broker

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

The best online broker offers low fees, great customer service, and smart research tools. Find the best discount brokerage to consider.

Discount brokers charge as little as $4.95 for online trades. Compare that to the $100+ that many full-service brokers charge. It seems like a no-brainer choice to choose the discount broker. But, you must know how to pick the right one.

Because trading online is a self-directed practice, you need the right broker backing you up. Read our in-depth guide on our choices for the top discount brokers today.

What Is a Discount Broker?

First, let's look at the definition of a discount broker.

As the name suggests, discount brokers cost much less than a full-service broker. But, their services are much more limited. Basically, they execute your orders to buy or sell your investments. They do not provide advice. In other words, you won't speak to a person when you execute your trades. The upside? You won't have someone trying to upsell you or get you to invest in things you don't want to invest in.

However, this does not mean you don't get support. Many discount brokers do offer in-person customer service for those times when you are better off talking to someone. Plus, many of them offer online resources and tools. Some even have tutorials or mock trading platforms to help you get the hang of investing.

The bottom line is a discount broker costs you much less money per trade. You won't have the steep commissions that full-service brokers charge. What this means is more cash in your pocket and the opportunity to make more trades.

Why Use a Discount Broker

So why would you choose a discount broker over a full-service broker? The main reason is the cost. But here we will break down who would do better with a full-service broker and who could get by with a discount broker.

Who Needs a Full-Service Broker?

If you answer "yes" to the following questions, you may be better off with a full-service broker:

  • Do you have a large number of large investments?
  • Do you not have time to manage your portfolio effectively?
  • Do you not have the desire nor the know-how to handle your portfolio?
  • Can you afford high commission fees?

If you answered "yes" to each of these questions, a full-service broker might be the best option. Expect to pay between $150 and $200 for each trade, though.

Watch out for annual fees and/or maintenance fees in addition to per trade fees. Full-service brokers often include these charges in their agreement.

Who Needs a Discount Broker?

Typically, the "average" investor does just fine with a discount broker. Answer the following questions to see if you qualify:

  • Do you want to save money on each trade made?
  • Do you like to be in control of your investments?
  • Do you not want to be bothered with upselling or pressure to take other investments?
  • Do you make frequent trades?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you may fare just fine with a discount broker.

What to Look for in a Discount Broker

Once you decide a discount broker is the way to go, you still have many decisions you must make. A quick search online will give you many options. Before you get overwhelmed, consider the most important factors:

  • Cost: This probably goes without saying. You want a broker that you can afford, but don't jump at the cheapest broker just yet. Consider all of the fees, not just the advertised ones. You might find a broker that advertises super low commissions, but doesn't readily advertise the other fees. Call them hidden fees or extra fees; the bottom line is that they cost you more than what's advertised. Ask about annual fees, maintenance fees, inactivity fees, and transfer fees.

  • Minimum deposit/balance: Some brokers require a minimum deposit to open the account. Others don't have a minimum. Yet others require a minimum average balance over the life of the account. Determine what you can afford to keep in the account if choosing accounts with a minimum requirement higher than $0.

  • Customer service: The level of customer service you want is a personal decision. Take a trial run on any broker's website that you are considering. Check out the support they have readily available on their website. But you should also email and call them with questions. See how long it takes to get an answer. This can help you decide which broker provides the level of support you need.

  • Tools: Online brokers offer a varying amount of tools. They include retirement calculators, market analysis, comparison charts, and research tools. Consider whether you need in-depth research tools or if you are a more basic investor. There are online brokers for both types of investors. Knowing what will help you be successful will help the decision.

Best Discount Broker

Here are the top discount brokers according to our research.

Best Discount Broker for Investors on a Budget

Ally Invest is one of the cheaper discount brokers, but they offer barebones services. It's best for beginning investors with an education in trading stocks and bonds. You won't receive a lot of guidance, but you also won't receive a lot of bells and whistles. This is why we recommend it for the new investor who understands the markets.

We love the fact that every trader gets access to the trading platform. On the dashboard, you'll have access to quotes in real-time and as much information as you want. You can filter your results to suit your needs. If you want full information on one security, you can get as many details as you want on it. Would you rather compare two or more securities on one page? You can do that too - you are in full control of what you see.

If you love research and advice, you'll get that and more with the community forums on Ally Invest. Do you want to rub noses with the industry experts or see what other traders are trading? You can do this and more with Ally Invest's forums. You can obtain feedback on your strategies, check out the 50 most active stocks at any given time, and chat with other investors.

Best Discount Broker for Research

TD Ameritrade may charge more than some of the cheaper alternatives, but they offer unparalleled research options. No matter how large your portfolio, you have access to the ThinkorSwim platform. What is normally a "premium platform" with other brokers is available to every investor with TD Ameritrade. The platform offers extensive research opportunities, instructional videos, real-time quotes, charts, and studies. You can even test out some of your strategies based on historical information to see how you would do.

Aside from the premium platforms, we love that there is no minimum deposit requirement to trade with TD Ameritrade. This means you can start trading as soon as you open an account. Other brokerages make you wait until your balance hits a specific threshold.

We also love the breadth of customer service available from TD Ameritrade. Investors have access to 24/7 customer service, both online and on the phone. You can email, chat online, or call customer service. You'll typically receive an immediate response for your questions or concerns.

Because of their more costly commission, TD Ameritrade is good for the beginning-to-moderate investor who won't make frequent trades. The higher cost gives you access to research and tools that don't hold a candle to the other brokerages. But, if you trade frequently, the higher commissions can eat into your profits.

Best Discount Broker for Frequent Traders

If you are a frequent trader, you need lower commissions. If not, those costs can really eat into your profits. E-Trade offers frequent traders a nice discount, which is why we chose it for frequent traders. While $6.95 per trade is equal to TD Ameritrade, traders save $2.00 per trade when they have more than 30 trades in a quarter.

E-Trade offers a variety of customer support tools, making it great for beginning and intermediate investors. The basic E-Trade platform works well for most investors, as it offers real-time quotes, charting, analysis and more. All investors also have access to the OptionsHouse platform. This is a slightly more advanced platform, but is still easy enough for the new investor to navigate. Frequent investors (making more than 30 trades per quarter) also have access to a third platform called E-Trade Pro. This platform is similar to ThinkorSwim. Investors have access to trading ideas and are able to test their ideas out on real investments.

Keep in mind that if you want to try out E-Trade's numerous platforms, you'll need at least a $500 initial deposit. This sets E-Trade apart from many of the other discount brokers and is something to consider when choosing a discount broker. Frequent traders often have at least $500 to trade, and benefit from the lower pricing tier offered at E-Trade.

Best Discount Broker for Customer Service

Fidelity is known for their mutual funds, but they are a great discount broker too. If you value top-notch customer service, this is the brokerage firm for you. Fidelity has built up its reputation of providing prompt customer service. You can reach them by phone, email, or live chat online, all of which are available 24/7.

Fidelity is also very strong in the research department. They offer an array of third-party reports for each quote you pull. If you are an avid researcher, you'll love the speed at which you can have multiple reports at your fingertips. Sometimes time is money, of which Fidelity will save you plenty with this service.

Fidelity's platform gets good reviews regarding ease of use and services it provides. Beginning investors have access to plenty of research and screeners. This helps make it easy to get the information needed to make a trade. They also offer their platform as a mobile app, making it easy to make investment decisions on-the-go.

However, if you want more advanced trading options, you'll need to make at least 36 trades in a rolling 12-month period. The Active Trader Pro offers more filters; the ability to store trades for future use; and better customization.

Other Brokers to Consider

  • Merrill Edge: A great option for those with a lot of capital to invest and who relish great customer service.

  • Charles Schwab: Investors both new and experienced do well with this broker's user-friendly platforms for infrequent and active investors.

  • Interactive Brokers: Reserved for investors with advanced needs and active traders with at least $10,000 to invest.

  • Tradestation: Once a platform for pros, this broker is now useful for beginners and advanced traders that will keep their money put. They do have a $125 outgoing transfer charge, which is on the high side.

  • Capital One Investing: This platform is perfect for traders just starting out or those who want an automatic investment option. Capital One offers discounted commissions as low as $3.95 for automatic investments.

There Are Other Options Too

Discount brokers can save you a lot of money and put you in the driver's seat of your portfolio. But they aren't for everyone. Following are a couple of other choices you may want to consider:

  • Robo-Advisors: If you can handle a completely "hands-off" approach, robo-advisors can save you even more money. The automated system uses an algorithm to invest your money for you. After you input your risk thresholds and investment goals, the computer does the rest. The fees vary, but companies like Betterment charge one annual fee based on your account balance.

  • Peer Lending: If you want to stay away from stocks and bonds for now, consider peer-to-peer lending. You decide how much money you want to invest and what type of risk you want to take. The minimum investment is often as low as $25. You can break your investment up into as many loans as you want. This helps diversify your portfolio with companies like Lending Club or Prosper.

  • Full-Service Broker: If you have a lot of money to invest or need that in-person advice, a full-service stockbroker is an option. You'll find them at your larger brokerage houses, like Merrill Lynch, but keep in mind that their commissions are much higher than discount brokers. Expect to pay $100 - $200 per trade versus $4 - $7 per trade.

Common Questions

  • What is an account minimum deposit?
    Many discount brokers don't allow traders to start trading until their account reaches a specific threshold. For example, Charles Schwab requires a $1,000 minimum deposit to open a Schwab One account.

  • What are account maintenance fees?
    The account maintenance fee is separate from the per trade fee. It's important to read the fine print to see what brokers may charge. For example, some brokers charge a 0.5% annual maintenance fee. Others only charge the fee if your balance dips below their required threshold. Always read the fine print to make sure you know what the account will cost.

  • What is a margin account?
    If you meet the Federal minimum deposit requirements, you may be able to buy on margin. This means you put a percentage (usually 50%) down on the investment and borrow the other half. The broker charges you interest and holds your securities as collateral.

  • How do you withdraw funds from your brokerage account?
    You can request a withdrawal of your funds at any time. The request must be in writing. You usually have the option of a wire transfer, ACH electronic transfer, or a check mailed to you. If you do choose the wire transfer, most brokerages charge a wire fee of as much as $50 per transfer.

  • How do you open a discount brokerage account?
    If you are opening a cash account, you'll need to provide your personal identifying information (name, address, social security number, and driver's license number). You'll also need to provide your employment information, income, and net worth. You'll also need the funds to open up the account and start trading.

The Bottom Line

Using a discount broker is a great way to trade and keep your profits. Choose your broker wisely by paying attention to hidden fees and understanding account minimums. A discount broker is a great way for beginning and experienced investors alike to invest in their future.

Best Discount Broker appeared first on CreditDonkey

Best Checking and Savings Accounts For Couples - Couple Money

Best Checking and Savings Accounts For Couples - Couple Money


Couple Money

Looking to get the most out of your money? Learn how to find the best joint check and savings accounts to build your wealth! 

The Best Spin Bikes

by Philip Palermo @ Reviews.com

Report: Here are the cities with the most credit card debt

Report: Here are the cities with the most credit card debt

by Craig Johnson @ clark.com

Most people do all they can to pay their bills on time and be good stewards of their financial lives, but even with the best-made plans, setbacks sometimes occur. So it is with credit card debt, which, as we’ve written

The Healthiest (& Unhealthiest) States in America

by PolicyGenius @ Chime Banking

With the start of a new year, many of us have embarked on self-betterment resolutions. The vast majority of these are health-related: Eat healthier, get more exercise, sleep better, stay fit, lose weight. But what about financial health? Many of us are resolving to get our financial house in order, too. It turns out the two are […]

The post The Healthiest (& Unhealthiest) States in America appeared first on Chime Banking.

The 6 Best Small Business Checking Accounts for 2018

The 6 Best Small Business Checking Accounts for 2018


Fit Small Business

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the best small business checking account, including costs, terms, and physical locations. Take a look at how the best checking accounts compare for small businesses.

Compound Interest Money Market Calculator

by interestguru @ Top Online Savings Accounts & Money Market Rates 2017

>> Click here to compare today’s top savings and money market rates << Check out today’s top online savings and money market account rates. Finding out how much money you could make from an investment can help you find the best savings rates and choose an account that will yield the highest return. Using a money […]

An In-Depth Review of Ally Bank’s Rates

by Sarah Li Cain @ MagnifyMoney

Since it spun off from General Motors auto financing in , Ally Bank has proved to be one of the best online-only banks in the industry. Like most online-only banks, Ally charges minimal fees for deposit accounts and requires low or no minimum balances. Rates on Ally’s checking, savings, CD and money market accounts are … Continue reading An In-Depth Review of Ally Bank’s Rates

The post An In-Depth Review of Ally Bank’s Rates appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

10 dollar store ‘deals’ that are actually duds

10 dollar store ‘deals’ that are actually duds

by Theo Thimou @ clark.com

Have you looked at the unit price on food items and household necessities at Dollar Tree? Sometimes the price is far from a deal...

PenFed Credit Union CD Rates, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

by Lindsay VanSomeren @ MagnifyMoney

PenFed Credit Union—also known as Pentagon Federal Credit Union—got its start in 1935. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in the country, with over 1.6 million members and $24 billion in assets. While it does offer in-person branches, anyone can also access their accounts online. Like most credit … Continue reading PenFed Credit Union CD Rates, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

The post PenFed Credit Union CD Rates, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review: GS Bank Takes on Online Savings, CDs, and Personal Loans

by Lindsay VanSomeren @ MagnifyMoney

Most Americans probably think of fancy white-collar stock traders on Wall Street when they think of Goldman Sachs, a global investment firm that’s been around since the late 19th century. In recent years, Goldman made a major pivot, launching a new arm of the company called GS Bank, which would provide internet-only savings accounts to … Continue reading Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review: GS Bank Takes on Online Savings, CDs, and Personal Loans

The post Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review: GS Bank Takes on Online Savings, CDs, and Personal Loans appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Best Bank For Small Business? These 4 Top The List

Best Bank For Small Business? These 4 Top The List


Fundera Ledger

If you’re ready to get serious about your business, you’ll want to set up a business bank account. Use this guide to find the best bank for small business.

The 7 Best Cities in Europe to Live in Luxury on the Cheap

by Andrew Henderson @ Nomad Capitalist

(The 7 Best Cities in Europe to Live in Luxury on the Cheap appeared first on Nomad Capitalist)

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.

5 Money Books for Couples Looking to Become Financially Independent

by Elle Martinez @ Couple Money

Some of the best investments you can make with your marriage and money are books. A lot of couples hear about that. Maybe it’s retiring early maybe it’s just having […]

The post 5 Money Books for Couples Looking to Become Financially Independent appeared first on Couple Money.

Metromile Insurance Review: Is It Legit?

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

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

Blooom: Finally, a Robo-Advisor to Help You Manage Your 401K

by Ashley Chorpenning @ PT Money

When you started your first job, were you offered a 401(k) account? And if you were, did you even know what that meant? PT's note: When I started my first big career job (nine months with KPMG out of Shreveport, LA) I never invested with the 401K! I didn't even get the match! It wasn't […]

The post Blooom: Finally, a Robo-Advisor to Help You Manage Your 401K appeared first on PT Money.

13 Creative Ways Presidents Day Can Pay Off for Small Businesses

by Rieva Lesonsky @ Fundera Ledger

Generally exhausted from the big holidays like Black Friday and Christmas, small business owners sometimes let smaller federal holidays slip […]

The post 13 Creative Ways Presidents Day Can Pay Off for Small Businesses appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

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 […]

Newtown Savings Bank $100 Checking Bonus [CT Residents]

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Find updated Newtown Savings Bank promotions and bonuses at this page. Typical bonuses have been for $100, $150 and $200. Established in 1855 and headquartered in Newtown, Connecticut, Newtown Savings Bank has nearly 20 locations throughout the state. If you’re not a CT resident, head on over to our Bank Bonuses page for more suitable […]

Vets warn dog owners about threat of potentially deadly bacteria found in water

Vets warn dog owners about threat of potentially deadly bacteria found in water

by Jared Leone | Cox Media Group National Content Desk @ clark.com

Cases of a potentially deadly bacteria being reported throughout the country are prompting warnings from vets to pet owners.

Leptospirosis is a bacteria found in water that can cause serious damage to the liver and kidneys of dogs. It can …

RAPIDS Appointment Scheduler User Guide – Schedule Your Military ID Card Appointment Online

by Ryan Guina @ The Military Wallet

Getting a new military ID card can be a simple process if you’re on active duty. You can usually just go to your base personnel office or Pass & ID center during office hours, sign up on the waiting list, and get a new card issued within the hour. But you may need to schedule [...]

5 Types of Commercial Loans to Consider for Your Business

by Meredith Wood @ Fundera Ledger

If you have a small business and need funding to grow into a new space, purchase a new piece of […]

The post 5 Types of Commercial Loans to Consider for Your Business appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

Best Places to Travel in 2018

by Iris @ Refinance Gold

There is a good chance that you’ve probably had enough of winter at this point. Unfortunately, with still a couple of months to go until we can all enjoy a reprieve from the punishing and unforgiving cold, the days spent in the warm embrace of sunshine are nothing more than whimsical ideas. But that doesn’t […]

The post Best Places to Travel in 2018 appeared first on Refinance Gold.

Celebrities Who Created Their Own Foundations

by Harish @ Top Bank Accounts – Refinance Gold

Quite a few celebrities are not resting on the accolades and awards they receive but are also involved in giving back something to the world. They have set up foundations to assist a number of issues which are dear to them. Some are helping survivors of sexual assaults while some are interested in climate change. […]

The post Celebrities Who Created Their Own Foundations appeared first on Refinance Gold.

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. […]

Discover Bank Review: CD Rates and Savings

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

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.

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LifeLock Review: Is It Worth It?

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

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

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The post 5 Highest Paid TV Stars In 2017 appeared first on Refinance Gold.

Protected: This Week’s High Yield CD, Savings & Checking Deals

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Citi ThankYou Points: Rewards Review

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

Learn what is ThankYou Points and how much a point is worth. Read this review to find the best ways to earn points fast and how to redeem for best value (including the top Citi transfer partners).

Citi ThankYou Points

If you're considering signing up for a ThankYou Rewards card, you're probably wondering how much its rewards will be worth. Between Citi's roster of rewards cards and redemption options, finding the answer can be a little overwhelming.

So, to simplify your search, we're breaking down the value of Citi ThankYou Points and the cards that earn them. Read on for a full review of the Citi ThankYou Rewards program.

How Much Are Citi ThankYou Points Worth?

In terms of redemption options, here's how much your points will be worth:

  • Book travel through Citi: 1.25 cents per point with the Premier and Prestige (or 1 cent per point with the Preferred)
  • Gift cards: 1 cent per point (or less)
  • Shopping: 1 cent per point (or less)
  • Shop through Amazon: .8 cents per point
  • Statement credit: .5 cents per point
  • Cash back: .5 cents per point
  • Transfer to an airline or hotel partner: 1:1 ratio or less

Note: The points and redemption values are based on November 2017 data. Redemption options and value can change at any time.

Beyond redeeming points, each ThankYou Rewards card earns points differently, so the value of your ThankYou points will depend, in part, on how you earn them.

Citi ThankYou Rewards Cards

Citi's ThankYou rewards cards vary in terms of annual fees, bonus spending categories, redemption options, and perks.

  • Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards: The Citi ThankYou Preferred is a no-frills, straightforward card for people who want to earn rewards without the hassle of activating rotating bonus categories. It doesn't come with the valuable redemption options of the Premier or Prestige, but it also doesn't come with an annual fee.

  • Citi ThankYou Premier: The Citi ThankYou Premier might be better suited to you if you travel, dine out, or go to live events often. It's a mid-range rewards card with a nice array of travel perks and protections.

  • Citi ThankYou Prestige: The ThankYou Prestige is a high-end option geared towards people who like to travel on points. It comes with a sizeable annual fee and a long list of valuable travel benefits, perks, and protections.

Best Way to Earn Citi ThankYou Points

  • Earn a sign-up bonus. If you're looking to apply for a new card, your best bet to rack points up quickly is to meet your new card's spending minimum and qualify for its sign-up bonus.

    If you're considering signing up for a new credit card, it might be worth waiting until a big promotion comes along. Without those extra points, the Citi cards are significantly less competitive compared to other travel credit cards.

Tip: You can also earn extra points by taking advantage of your card's bonus spending categories or by linking a Citibank checking account and completing qualifying activities.

Best Way to Redeem Citi ThankYou Points

Most redemption options will give you a value of 1 cent per point, including redeeming points for online shopping, statement credit or cash back, and donations. A more valuable option: using your points for travel.

  • Redeem points to book travel
    When you use your points to book travel through Citi - including airline tickets, hotel accommodations, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages - you'll get the standard 1 cent per point redemption value. But you'll get a better redemption rate with the Premier and Prestige: the Premier's points will redeem for 1.25 cents each, and the Prestige's points for 1.33 cents each.

    You can make your reservations through the ThankYou Service Center or thankyou.com, with no blackout dates, minimum stay requirements, or seat restrictions. As a bonus, you'll still earn points on award flights bookings.

  • Transfer your points.
    You won't always get the best deal on travel through the ThankYou Travel Center, but you can also use the Premier or Prestige to transfer your points to Citi's airline, hotel, and retail partners.

    With Citi, you can transfer your points to Hilton Honors at a 1:1.5 ratio, or to most airline partners at a 1:1 ratio. That might make Hilton sound like a better deal, but their high rates for award rooms means that transferring to an airline partner might actually give you better value.

Tip: You can combine your points with any other ThankYou rewards account - even ones that aren't in your name - but remember that shared points will expire 90 days after the transfer date.

Citi ThankYou Transfer Partners

If you carry the ThankYou Preferred, you'll be able to transfer your points to jetBlue TrueBlue at a 1,000:500 ratio. Otherwise, you can use your Premier or Prestige card to transfer your points to any of Citi's airline and hotel partners, although you won't get a 1:1 ratio with all of them.

Citi's travel transfer partners include:

  • Asia Miles
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer
  • JetPrivilege
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Airways Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
  • Hilton Honors

Search around for a transfer partner that offers a valuable award flight for your trip, and you'll likely be able to get more value out of your points than you would by booking travel directly through Citi.

The Bottom Line

The value of your ThankYou points will depend largely on which card you use, how you use it, and how you redeem your points.

If you're looking for straightforward rewards with no hassle - and no annual fee - then the Citi ThankYou Preferred might be for you.

But, if you don't mind paying an annual fee in exchange for better rewards and perks, then the Citi ThankYou Premier or Citi ThankYou Prestige is probably a better fit. Either will come with a higher rewards rate, better perks, and more transfer partners.

Citi ThankYou Points: Rewards Review appeared first on CreditDonkey

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Citi. 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 Citi.

Disclaimer: The information for the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card, Citi Prestige® Card, and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Clark Howard 2.12.18

by @ clark.com

Topics: Financial planning advice for young people; When should you give your Social Security number?; Exactly how much more it costs to shop on Amazon

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Health insurance may cost 20% of your income in the future

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The average family policy costs currently $392 per month but could skyrocket to $2,354 by 2051.

Easy Ways For You To Save Money

by interestguru @ Top Online Savings Accounts & Money Market Rates 2017

Saving money is one of the best financial decisions you can make. You want to save money for your retirement but also to save money for emergencies and short-term goals like buying a car. If you find that it can be difficult for you to save money, it helps to know what type of options […]

Hollywood Rich Kids: Stars Who Were Born Wealthy

by Darlene @ Top Bank Accounts – Refinance Gold

When people think of celebrities, they would immediately get the idea of being rich and famous. Probably because celebrities do get paid for being popular, they would either act for television or the big screen, or use their talents like singing to sell records and perform in stadiums all over the world. They of course […]

The post Hollywood Rich Kids: Stars Who Were Born Wealthy appeared first on Refinance Gold.

Are High Deductible Insurance Really a Good Deal and Other Marriage and Money Questions

Are High Deductible Insurance Really a Good Deal and Other Marriage and Money Questions

by Elle Martinez @ Couple Money

Today we’re answering your big marriage and money questions. We’ll discuss if those high deductible health plans really good deal, whether you should lend money to family, and how to save […]

The post Are High Deductible Insurance Really a Good Deal and Other Marriage and Money Questions appeared first on Couple Money.

Home Chef Review: Is It Worth It?

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

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

Online Banking Solution: Top Bank Accounts For Digital Nomads - DigitalNomadSoul

Online Banking Solution: Top Bank Accounts For Digital Nomads - DigitalNomadSoul


DigitalNomadSoul

If you are a tourist, long-term traveler or digital nomad: Check out the different online banking solution you have and save a lot of fees and money.

Best Military Money Books – Recommended Books to Help You Achieve Financial Independence

by Ryan Guina @ The Military Wallet

Military members, veterans, and their family members face an assortment of financial challenges that are unique to our community. As military members and veterans, we may find ourselves frequently traveling, being exposed to deployments and special duty assignments, dealing with unique pay and benefits programs, and working through other financial challenges. We also have a [...]

Who Has The Best Car Insurance for Young Adults in 2018?

by Jeff Rose @ Good Financial Cents

When you’re a teenager or young adult, buying car insurance isn’t the most pleasant of experiences. On the one hand, auto insurance coverage is required for all drivers in every state in the US (except New Hampshire). On the other, teenagers and young adults pay the highest premiums for coverage. We’re going to try and... Continue Reading-->

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5 Checking Accounts the Ultra Rich Use

by Vanessa @ Top Bank Accounts – Refinance Gold

Wealthy people do a lot of things that regular people do not. Most of the time, their knowledge in banking and investments is superior compared to the average person. They put their money in places that we do not know of. One place could be a checking account that lets them manage their wealth well. […]

The post 5 Checking Accounts the Ultra Rich Use appeared first on Refinance Gold.

The Best Internet Service Providers

by Amanda Cole @ Reviews.com

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

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

This article was originally published on Cash Money Life | Personal Finance, Investing, & Career at Accelerated Death Benefit Rider.

Having life insurance means that those you love and care about may not have to suffer financial hardship at an already difficult time in their lives. That is because the proceeds from a life insurance policy can be used for a wide variety of different needs, such as the payoff of debt, the continuation of ... Read More about Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

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The Most Influential and Richest Pets in Instagram

by Iris @ Top Bank Accounts – Refinance Gold

Thanks to the massive success of social media platforms, particularly Instagram, there is now an “influencer” in just about any category for any demographic imaginable. These days, among the most lucrative and heavily followed influencers are often furry, usually four-legged, and likely to poop up a storm. These are the handful of pets on Instagram […]

The post The Most Influential and Richest Pets in Instagram appeared first on Refinance Gold.

How to Keep a Side Hustle and a Day Job Simultaneously

by Due.com @ Chime Banking

While it seems as if everyone is turning a side hustle into a full-time gig, the reality is not everyone wants to do that. Heck, not everyone even should do that! Contrary to how you may be feeling, it doesn’t make you any less of a business owner to keep your day job. That being said, you […]

The post How to Keep a Side Hustle and a Day Job Simultaneously appeared first on Chime Banking.

Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for February 6, 2018

Best Bank Account Interest Rates - Summary for February 6, 2018


Deposit Accounts

These are the days when deposit accounts can be very appealing. When stock markets are tanking, it’s nice to know that nothing is dropping in your savings...

Best Savings Account for 2018 - The Simple Dollar

Best Savings Account for 2018 - The Simple Dollar


The Simple Dollar

Looking for places to grow your money without much risk is difficult these days, but finding the best savings account might be a good place to start. Altho

Opinion: Afterpay – Buy now, pain later?

by Gerard Brody @ Savings Accounts – Canstar

Opinion – Gerard Brody, CEO Consumer Action Law Centre Image: iStock (funky-data)  Savvy online marketing towards millennials and ‘instant’ approvals have made ‘buy now pay later’ an enticing option for Christmas shoppers. Recent reports suggest that 5% of all online retail sales and 20% of online fashion sales are now processed using Afterpay, which is Australia’s … Continued

The post Opinion: Afterpay – Buy now, pain later? appeared first on Canstar.

The 10 Best Checking and Savings Accounts for Your Money | Student Loan Hero

The 10 Best Checking and Savings Accounts for Your Money | Student Loan Hero


Student Loan Hero

Are you looking to open a bank account? Here is your guide to some of the best checking and savings accounts available today.

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.

Must Love Dogs: Where Pets Of The Super Rich Sleep

by Vanessa @ Top Bank Accounts – Refinance Gold

Pets live lives that are more luxurious than most people will ever live when they belong to wealthy people. They have top class food, spa treatments, designer clothes, and even sleep in accommodations that cost a fortune. Here are some celebrity pets living the good and awesome life. A $25,000 Castle for a Dog Dogs […]

The post Must Love Dogs: Where Pets Of The Super Rich Sleep appeared first on Refinance Gold.

Offshore Banking in 2017 – Where, How & Why | Sovereign Man

Offshore Banking in 2017 – Where, How & Why | Sovereign Man


Sovereign Man

Learn about Four Excellent Offshore Banking Options that are available to foreigners (Even Americans) & much more in this in-depth guide.

The Best Online Savings Accounts in February 2018

by LaTisha Styles @ MagnifyMoney

Updated February 9, 2018 After years of low interest rates, there is a pricing war happening for online savings accounts. Long gone are the days of 0.01% APY. If you are willing to open an online savings account (which is FDIC insured), you can now easily get a 1.50% APY or higher. Interest rates are … Continue reading The Best Online Savings Accounts in February 2018

The post The Best Online Savings Accounts in February 2018 appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

The Largest Value Banknotes in the World

by Andrew Henderson @ Nomad Capitalist

(The Largest Value Banknotes in the World appeared first on Nomad Capitalist)

First Tech Federal Credit Union Review

by Jeff Rose @ Good Financial Cents

There are plenty of different banks and credit unions for you to use all across the country. Each of them has different products, perks, and disadvantages you'll need to consider when you're shopping around for the perfect bank. What separates one from another? Today we're going to look at First Tech Federal Credit Union. We'll... Continue Reading-->

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Survey: 44% of Parents Feel Guilty About Not Saving Enough for College

by Andrew Pentis @ Student Loan Hero

If you paid your own way through college, you might want to give your kids the headstart you never had. In fact, 43% of parents currently saving for their child’s college education didn’t receive the same assistance from their parents, according to our survey. Yet, nearly 40% of the parents we surveyed still have student […]

The post Survey: 44% of Parents Feel Guilty About Not Saving Enough for College appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

How to Work in the Gig Economy and Still Reach Your Money Goals

by Colin Ashby @ Chime Banking

Working in the gig economy offers some great perks. For starters, you get the flexibility of setting your own hours. Plus, you can often find gigs instantly using an app rather than prospecting new work yourself. Nearly one in four Americans have earned money in the gig or “platform economy” over the last year, according to Pew […]

The post How to Work in the Gig Economy and Still Reach Your Money Goals appeared first on Chime Banking.

How Giving Up Social Media Can Let You Live Your Best Life

by Iris @ Refinance Gold

These days, it is not uncommon for people to have their faces practically glued to their phones for hours on end, repeatedly and aimlessly switching between a handful of social media apps for no particular reason. It is no wonder, therefore, that people are feeling more and more disconnected from their friends and loved ones, […]

The post How Giving Up Social Media Can Let You Live Your Best Life appeared first on Refinance Gold.

The Most Influential and Richest Pets in Instagram

by Iris @ Refinance Gold

Thanks to the massive success of social media platforms, particularly Instagram, there is now an “influencer” in just about any category for any demographic imaginable. These days, among the most lucrative and heavily followed influencers are often furry, usually four-legged, and likely to poop up a storm. These are the handful of pets on Instagram […]

The post The Most Influential and Richest Pets in Instagram appeared first on Refinance Gold.

How to Get Your Housing Loan Approved

by Harish @ Top Bank Accounts – Refinance Gold

Many people are not aware of the basic requirements when they try to get a housing loan. They usually jump at the prospect of homeownership after hearing reports of dropping interest rates and property prices without realizing that the despite getting a housing loan approved is pretty tedious. Things would be a lot better if […]

The post How to Get Your Housing Loan Approved appeared first on Refinance Gold.

How to Break Up with Somebody in Your Carpool

by Iris @ Refinance Gold

A carpool is a great way to get around, especially in a metropolitan city. Mostly, when you carpool, you will be sharing a ride with other people heading in the same general direction at around the same time, which, in turn, means that you will be sharing expenses like fuel. So not only is carpooling a […]

The post How to Break Up with Somebody in Your Carpool appeared first on Refinance Gold.

2018 VA Service-Connected Disability Compensation Rates

by Ryan Guina @ The Military Wallet

The 2018 Cost of Living Adjustment for VA disability compensation of 2.0% was the largest COLA increase in six years. This rate increase followed rate increase of 0.3% in 2017, and no rate increase in 2016. The following article explains VA Service Connected Disability Ratings, how VA disability compensation works, and shows the 2018 VA Disability [...]

Study: Nearly 60% of millennials say social media influences their purchases

Study: Nearly 60% of millennials say social media influences their purchases

by Craig Johnson @ clark.com

Social media has shaped our lives in major ways for most of the past decade, affecting everything from what we watch on TV to how we consume news to even what we wear. Its influence on our lives has not …

How to Close a Bank Account at the Top 5 Big Banks

How to Close a Bank Account at the Top 5 Big Banks


Chime Banking

You had a good start and all was going well. Then came fees, scandals, and shady practices. Here's how to close a bank account for a better banking option.

Best Savings Accounts of 2018 | High Yield Savings - Money-Rates.com

Best Savings Accounts of 2018 | High Yield Savings - Money-Rates.com


money-rates.com

Compare savings accounts and interest rates from hundreds of banks to help maximize your earnings.

Life Insurance Living Benefits Rider

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

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

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

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The Best Personal Finance Software for Taming Your Budget (In 2018)

by Emily Guy Birken @ PT Money

Pluto LogoManaging your money is a complex skill, especially now that you no longer have to leave the house or even pull out your wallet in order to spend money. That’s why it is more important than ever for you to track spending and stick to a budget. But the old school methods of budgeting […]

The post The Best Personal Finance Software for Taming Your Budget (In 2018) appeared first on PT Money.

Looking for Credit Union Student Loans? Here’s How to Find and Apply for Them

by Christy Rakoczy @ Student Loan Hero

Do you need private student loans to cover the cost of your education? Though many prospective borrowers head straight to a big bank or online lender for a student loan, these aren’t your only options. Consider student loans from credit unions, too. Like banks and online lenders, credit unions are financial institutions that lend money. […]

The post Looking for Credit Union Student Loans? Here’s How to Find and Apply for Them appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

Top Online Savings Accounts of 2018

Top Online Savings Accounts of 2018


MyBankTracker

Our list of Best Online Savings Accounts for 2018 will help you narrow down your options based on your goals to find the ideal online savings account.

Amazon warning: Beware of deliveries you didn’t order

Amazon warning: Beware of deliveries you didn’t order

by Theo Thimou @ clark.com

It all started innocently enough for a Massachusetts couple when a phone charging hand warmer showed up unannounced on their doorstep about five months ago. Then the unwanted deliveries didn't stop!

7 Best Online Checking Accounts in 2018 | MagnifyMoney

7 Best Online Checking Accounts in 2018 | MagnifyMoney


MagnifyMoney

You don't have the bank the old way with fees and taking trips to a local branch. These 5 best online checking accounts can change the way you handle money.

25+ Restaurant Apps That Give Free Food for Downloading

by Jim Wang @ Wallet Hacks

Do you like free food? And it's nowhere near your birthday? If you have a smartphone and are willing to download some apps, you can still score some free food. Fast food is a guilty pleasure for many of us, especially when life is crazy, and you need food fast or when you need a […]

The post 25+ Restaurant Apps That Give Free Food for Downloading appeared first on Wallet Hacks.

6 Real-Life Money Lessons You Can Learn From Monopoly

by Kim Galeta @ Chime Banking

When I was growing up, my favorite board game was Monopoly. Recently, I decided to re-explore the game with my nieces and nephews. And, wow! I realize now just how many life lessons can be learned from this classic game. For starters, Monopoly is a game of strategy that offers ways to manage your money […]

The post 6 Real-Life Money Lessons You Can Learn From Monopoly appeared first on Chime Banking.

Savings and Transactions Trends: What Makes a 5-Star Account?

by Shay Waraker @ Savings Accounts – Canstar

Canstar looks at the industry trends to determine the most value-driven savings and transaction accounts.

The post Savings and Transactions Trends: What Makes a 5-Star Account? appeared first on Canstar.

Why Big Banks Charge Fees

by Lindsay VanSomeren @ Chime Banking

Raise your hand if you’re fed up with big bank fees. These pesky fees can put a damper on your day and a drain on your finances. According to a 2016 survey by the Pew Charitable Trust, a full quarter of people who use bank overdraft services regularly end up paying out at least one week’s […]

The post Why Big Banks Charge Fees appeared first on Chime Banking.

What Is Bitcoin And How Can You Invest?

by Harish @ Top Bank Accounts – Refinance Gold

A digital payment system without intermediaries or banks that was invented as an open source software and released in 2009 is Bitcoin. The U.S. Treasury has classified Bitcoin as a decentralized virtual currency though many believe that it is better described as a cryptocurrency. It has also been called a digital currency for which encryption […]

The post What Is Bitcoin And How Can You Invest? appeared first on Refinance Gold.

How to Get Out of Debt, Fast! A Step-by-Step Guide

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

This article was originally published on Cash Money Life | Personal Finance, Investing, & Career at How to Get Out of Debt, Fast! A Step-by-Step Guide.

If you know the basics of personal finance, you may already know the most powerful force in the financial universe is compound interest. With compound interest, it’s easier to grow wealthier over time as the interest you earn compounds on itself over and over again. Unfortunately, compound interest can just as easily work against you as ... Read More about How to Get Out of Debt, Fast! A Step-by-Step Guide

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2% of all cryptocurrencies own 90% of the total market cap

by Chris Stead @ finder.com.au

Despite the boom in the number of cryptocurrencies available for trade, the vast majority of total market cap is held in the top 2% of coins.

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.

Waiver of Premium Rider

by Paul Moyer @ Cash Money Life | Personal Finance, Investing, & Career

This article was originally published on Cash Money Life | Personal Finance, Investing, & Career at Waiver of Premium Rider.

Life insurance can provide peace of mind in knowing that loved ones and survivors will have the funds that they need in case of the unexpected. But, not all life insurance policies are exactly alike, so in many cases, adding various riders can help to better “customize” the coverage to fit specific anticipated needs. A ... Read More about Waiver of Premium Rider

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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 […]

What Is a Savings Account — and Should You Open One?

by Andrew Pentis @ Student Loan Hero

Maybe your piggy bank is overflowing, or the space beneath your mattress is filling up. Wherever you’ve been putting your money, you’re now interested in storing it more safely. But if you’re new to saving with a brick-and-mortar or online bank, you could be stuck on a basic question: What is a savings account? What […]

The post What Is a Savings Account — and Should You Open One? appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

These are the World’s Richest Tech Billionaires—And None of Them are Over 40!

by Iris @ Refinance Gold

There really is no sense in denying it—technology is here to stay. It is evident in our ubiquitous gadgets loaded with apps that make our lives easier, more convenient, and, at the very least, more entertaining. It is also manifest in our inability to get any work done these days without the aid of laptops, […]

The post These are the World’s Richest Tech Billionaires—And None of Them are Over 40! appeared first on Refinance Gold.

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.

Saving Money On Investment Fees

by interestguru @ Top Online Savings Accounts & Money Market Rates 2017

We all want to invest wisely to have plenty of money set aside for retirement. If you are planning to invest your money for retirement, it is important that you know where to put the money and to ensure that you are investing a good amount so that you can get the best returns. There […]

The Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies in the U.S. in 2018

by Jeff Rose @ Good Financial Cents

Sorting through life insurance policies can be frustrating and time-consuming. We've done the research for you and come up with a list of the top 10 best life insurance companies - so you can get back to enjoying life knowing your loved ones will be taken care of.

The post The Top 10 Best Life Insurance Companies in the U.S. in 2018 appeared first on Good Financial Cents.

It’s Time For Small Businesses To Explore Alternative Funding Like Crowdsourcing and Debtor Finance

by Iris @ Refinance Gold

The World Bank revealed in 2010 that Australia is the second easiest country in which to start a business. Second only to New Zealand at that time, it was shown that it was possible to start a business in Australia within two days. Furthermore, Doing Business, an annual report from the World Bank showed that Australia […]

The post It’s Time For Small Businesses To Explore Alternative Funding Like Crowdsourcing and Debtor Finance appeared first on Refinance Gold.

The Best Whole Life Insurance Company

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Report: Amazon removes sale of hair dryer shown on video shooting flames

Report: Amazon removes sale of hair dryer shown on video shooting flames

by Craig Johnson @ clark.com

A hair dryer manufactured in China has reportedly been pulled from Amazon after a viral video showed it shooting flames. A South Carolina woman posted the video on Facebook last month after she said she purchased the dryer online for …

Top Three Online Savings Accounts for Kids

Top Three Online Savings Accounts for Kids


The Dough Roller

Want to teach your child to save money from an early age? Check out these three online savings accounts for kids, which are all great options.

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Congratulations on your win. How important is this achievement for UBank and to what do you credit your continued success? The UBank team is thrilled to be the recipient of the Canstar 2017 Savings Award. It’s a huge honour to be recognised for delivering a great product to our customers because that is always our … Continued

The post UBank Wins Savings Award For Third Year In A Row appeared first on Canstar.

What is a Monthly Maintenance Fee, and How Do I Avoid Them?

by Melanie Lockert @ Chime Banking

What if you asked a friend to watch over your precious jewels and she said, “Yeah, no problem.” But later on, she hit you up for a monthly fee for babysitting your jewelry. How would you feel, especially as she didn’t tell you upfront about this so-called fee? Probably a little peeved, right? Unfortunately, this […]

The post What is a Monthly Maintenance Fee, and How Do I Avoid Them? appeared first on Chime Banking.

Top 11 Best Online Savings Account Banks - Start Making Interest Today!

Top 11 Best Online Savings Account Banks - Start Making Interest Today!


Good Financial Cents

The industry's low interest rates don't have many excited about online savings accounts, but liquid and safe saving should still be part of your financial strategy. We outline the best accounts so that you can start earning interest today.

Cincinnati Federal Review: $250 Checking Account Bonus [OH Residents]

by Tony Phan @ MoneysMyLife

Find the latest promotions and bonuses from Cincinnati Federal updated here. Offers have typically ranged from $150 to $250 in the past. Established in 1922 and headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Federal has 4 locations in the state. If you’re not an Ohio resident, use our Bank Bonuses page for other offers, including those from […]

A Beginner’s Guide to Monetizing a Hobby

by Shen Lu @ MagnifyMoney

Making extra money from a side hustle can be extremely gratifying, especially if it’s something you love doing. And it seems like it’s never been easier to pick up side gigs or monetize your hobbies. There are 57.3 million freelancers in the U.S., according to a 2017 survey commissioned by the Freelancers Union and Upwork, … Continue reading A Beginner’s Guide to Monetizing a Hobby

The post A Beginner’s Guide to Monetizing a Hobby appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

Who Are The Keen Savers In Australia?

by William Jolly @ Savings Accounts – Canstar

Canstar gives an insight into the groups of Australians interested in building their savings in the current climate through sharing a snapshot of its website visitors.

The post Who Are The Keen Savers In Australia? appeared first on Canstar.

How To Make Your Savings Account Work Harder For You

by William Jolly @ Savings Accounts – Canstar

Are you unhappy with the rate on your savings account? Canstar has crunched the numbers to work out which savings accounts on the market have the best interest rates right now.

The post How To Make Your Savings Account Work Harder For You appeared first on Canstar.

The Problem with Overdraft Fees

by Paul Sisolak @ Chime Banking

“Overdraft” is not a word we like to hear. Why? It generally means you’ll be dinged with a fee you don’t want to pay. To clarify, an overdraft fee occurs when you don’t have enough money in your bank account to pay for a purchase. When this happens, your bank will pay for the transaction […]

The post The Problem with Overdraft Fees appeared first on Chime Banking.

Best Savings Account Reviews of 2018 | Reviews.com

Best Savings Account Reviews of 2018 | Reviews.com


Reviews.com

The best savings account will be financially stable, with competitive interest rates and no hidden fees.

Offshore Banking: How to legally open an offshore bank account | Nomad Capitalist

Offshore Banking: How to legally open an offshore bank account | Nomad Capitalist


Nomad Capitalist

How to get an offshore bank account and why you need one. Learn how to diversify your assets through offshore banking and avoid wealth confiscation.

The Best Savings Accounts of 2018 | MyFinance

The Best Savings Accounts of 2018 | MyFinance


MyFinance.com | Personal Finance Doesn't Have to be Complicated

The best savings accounts pay up to 10x more than the average. But how do they compare to each other? Compare rates, banks, monthly minimums and more...

Canstar’s 2017 Savings Award Winners

by Shay Waraker @ Savings Accounts – Canstar

With the cash rate remaining historically low at 1.5% and the average base rate for online savers (1.35%) currently below the Reserve Bank’s June Quarter inflation figure of 1.9%, Australian consumers should be more vigilant than ever about comparing savings options to get the most bang for their buck. Canstar’s Savings Award gives recognition to … Continued

The post Canstar’s 2017 Savings Award Winners appeared first on Canstar.

Travel deal alert: The best cheap Spring Break destinations for 2018

Travel deal alert: The best cheap Spring Break destinations for 2018

by Mike Timmermann @ clark.com

Booking.com reports that some of the most popular Spring Break destinations will actually be more affordable this year! Here's the list.

Australian Government’s “biggest reform to consumer law in a generation”

by James Hurwood @ Savings Accounts – Canstar

The Government has announced it will legislate a Consumer Data Right, to help consumers compare and switch to new, cheaper products.

The post Australian Government’s “biggest reform to consumer law in a generation” appeared first on Canstar.

Return of Premium Rider

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

This article was originally published on Cash Money Life | Personal Finance, Investing, & Career at Return of Premium Rider.

If you have people in your life that you care about, then you are likely a good candidate for life insurance coverage. That is because the funds that are received from a life insurance policy can be used by the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) to pay off debt, continue paying ongoing bills, and even to make ... Read More about Return of Premium Rider

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

4 Ways This Calculator Will Help You Choose the Right Home Improvement Loan

by Rebecca Safier @ Student Loan Hero

From installing a new roof to remodeling a bathroom, home improvement projects are bound to come up when you’re a homeowner. According to HomeAdvisor’s 2017 True Cost Survey, the average homeowner spent $5,157 on renovation projects in the past 12 months. If you don’t have home improvement money set aside in savings, you might take […]

The post 4 Ways This Calculator Will Help You Choose the Right Home Improvement Loan appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

Self Lender Review: Is It Good?

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

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

Capital One Credit Card Offers

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

Capital One is offering lucrative promotions for new credit card applicants. Which deal is right for you? Read this in-depth guide.

Capital One credit cards don't seem to get as much attention as other cards. But there are some excellent promotional bonus offers. And Capital One has an option for almost everyone, no matter what your credit is.

Capital One Promotions

Read on for the list of current card promotions for new applicants. Apply for a new Capital One credit card from this list and make the qualifying purchases within the specified timeframe to get the bonus promotion.

Tip: Have an existing balance to transfer? Read this Capital One balance transfer guide before you apply.

Cash Rewards Cards

Travel Reward Cards

Fair/Limited Credit

Bad/Limited Credit

Student Credit Card

In-Depth Guide to Capital One Credit Cards

Which Capital One Deal Is Right for You?

To pick the right card for you, consider the following factors:

  • Your credit score: The good thing about Capital One is that they offer credit cards for a range of credit scores. Your credit score will largely determine what card you're able to quality for. Below, we tell you the credit qualification for each card.

  • Annual fee: How often will you use your new Capital One card? Cards with annual fees usually offer more rewards or benefits. But before you apply for the credit card, think: will you realistically earn enough in rewards to make up for the expense?

  • Cash back vs travel miles: Cash back will allow you to use the rewards however you like. But if you like to travel, Capital One's travel reward cards allow you to earn miles for travel purchases and offer great travel benefits.

Tip: One thing we really applaud Capital One for is that they NEVER charge a foreign transaction fee. Many other banks charge a 3% fee for purchases made outside of the US. Capital One does not do this, so you can travel abroad with any of their cards.

Capital One Credit Card Offers for New Applicants

New Application: Before you apply for a new Capital One card, here are some things you need to know.

  • You can see which cards you're pre-approved for on Capital One's website.
  • You can only have 2 personal Capital One cards at a time.
  • You will not be matched to a higher bonus if a better offer comes along after your application. Make sure you're applying when the bonus is the biggest.
  • Capital One business cards do show up on your personal credit report as well.
  • Capital One does a hard pull from all 3 credit bureaus when reviewing your application.

We'll make your decision simpler with side-by-side Capital One offers comparisons below.

Earn Cash Back: Capital One Quicksilver Cards

If you'd prefer cash back, Capital One has two options: Quicksilver and Quicksilver One.

Both cards offer 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The difference is that they cater to people with different credit ranges.

  • Capital One Quicksilver (read review) is for those with excellent credit. It has a sign-up bonus of $150 if you spend $500 within three months of account opening. It also has a 9-month, 0% intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers (after that, variable APR is 14.24% to 24.24%).

  • In comparison, Capital One QuicksilverOne is for those with fair/average credit. It has no sign-up bonus and no intro APR. There is an annual fee of $39. But it's rare to find a reward card for those with fair credit. You can also get a higher credit line after making 5 monthly payments on time.

    To make up for the $39 annual fee, you would have to spend at least $2,600 in a year ($217/month) on your card. With 1.5% cash back on every purchase, that would equal $39, breaking even.

Travel Rewards Promotions: Venture Cards

If you like to travel, consider one of Capital One's travel reward cards. You earn "miles" that you can use towards any travel purchase on your statement.

Capital One offers two travel reward cards: Venture and VentureOne. Both give you travel miles, but one has more rewards and an annual fee.

  • Capital One Venture (read review) offers 2x miles on all purchases. You get 50,000 bonus miles (equals $500) if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. There is a $95 annual fee.

  • Capital One VentureOne has no annual fee, but offers less rewards. You get 1.25x miles on all purchases. You get 20,000 bonus miles (equals $200) if you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. Another advantage is that it has an intro APR on purchases.

You generally need excellent credit for these travel reward cards.

Tip: Even though the Venture has a $95 annual fee, the much higher bonus and earning power will make it more valuable if you travel often. You will earn more rewards if you spend at least $12,667 a year ($1,056/month) on your card.

If you don't travel often, then consider whether a cash back card (like the Quicksilver) is better since it has no annual fee and gives you 1.5% back (instead of just 1.25x for the VentureOne).

Capital One for Students

Capital One offers the Journey Student Rewards credit card for college students. Having a card in college is great for building credit and covering necessities and emergencies.

It offers 1% cash back on all purchases. And if you pay on time, you can get a total of 1.25% back for the month. This teaches college students to be financially responsible early on.

It has no annual fee. You don't need to have prior credit history, but you may need a cosigner.

Capital One for Limited Credit

If your credit score is less than stellar, there are a couple of options for you too.

  • Capital One Platinum is for those with fair or limited credit. It's usually hard to get a credit card with no annual fee when you have lower credit. So it's great that Capital One provides this option. There are no rewards, though. You can get a higher credit limit if you make 5 monthly payments on time.

  • Capital One Secured may be your only option if you have bad or no credit at all. You need to put down a cash deposit, which becomes the "security." The good thing about Capital One's Secured card is that you may qualify for a higher credit line than your deposit. Depending on your credit history, you may only need to put down a $49 deposit to receive a $200 credit line.

    If you make 5 monthly payments on time, you can get a higher credit line with no additional deposit. There is no annual fee.

Capital One for Small Business

You don't have to be a large corporation to get a business credit card from Capital One. Are you a freelancer? Do you have a side gig?

You spend a lot of money running your business. Why not take advantage of that spend?

Capital One offers several small business cards for cash back and travel miles. Read on for the latest Capital One business credit card promotions.

Business Credit Cards with Cash Back

The Spark Cash has a lot larger bonus and you get more back for each dollar you spend. It's the better choice if your business spends more than $19,000 a year ($1,584/month). You will earn more net cash back even after the $95 annual fee.

If your business is new, you may like the no-annual-fee Spark Cash Select. It has a 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months (after that, variable APR is 14.24% to 22.24%), which is great if you don't yet have steady cash flow.

Do you have average credit? Capital One also has the Spark Classic for business owners with lower credit scores. You get 1% cash back on all purchases and there is no annual fee.

Business Travel Rewards

If your business has travel needs, consider one of these travel reward cards instead. Remember, you don't exactly get "miles" to use with airlines. They're more like general travel points that you can apply toward any travel purchase on your statement (flights, hotels, car rentals, taxis, etc.).

Just like their cashback cousins, the Spark Miles is better if your business has higher expenses, while the Miles Select is better for new businesses.

Sign-up Bonus: Making Your Choice

Hopefully, certain bonuses stuck out for you as you looked down this list. Which card is the best fit for you depends on your spending patterns and what you hope to get out of your credit card. As with any credit decision, research is important to make sure you pick the card that's best for your specific financial situation.

Remember: as with all credit card and bank offers, terms and limitations apply.

Capital One Credit Card Offers appeared first on CreditDonkey

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Capital One. 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 Capital One.

Disclaimer: The information for the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business, Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business, Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, and Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Is AARP Worth It? We Asked a 35 Year Old Who Joined

by Jim Wang @ Wallet Hacks

There's a running joke in our household that my wife gets AARP solicitations because of her name. It's a little old-fashioned, like Thelma or Gladys (but not those), and unlikely to make a comeback (sorry honey!). We get the mailings because AARP uses the postal service's geographic mailing service, it's literally spam by mail without […]

The post Is AARP Worth It? We Asked a 35 Year Old Who Joined appeared first on Wallet Hacks.

Afterpay responds – “how we’re helping consumers budget this Christmas”

by Anthony Eisen @ Savings Accounts – Canstar

Opinion – Anthony Eisen, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Afterpay Holdings Limited  Encouraging debit Afterpay was created to help Australians budget for life’s little extras without needing to enter into a traditional loan or credit product. In its simplest form, Afterpay is a ‘buy now, pay it in four’ service and budgeting tool. Customers purchase … Continued

The post Afterpay responds – “how we’re helping consumers budget this Christmas” appeared first on Canstar.

CIT Bank Review: Savings and CD

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

CIT Bank 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.

If you want to earn a more impactful return on your savings, you may want to look beyond traditional savings accounts that pay very little interest. There are other savings options that offer higher returns. In this article, we will look at how you can use CIT Bank's Premier High Yield Savings Accounts and CDs to help grow your savings account balance.

How It Works

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

  • CIT Bank's High Yield Investor Savings Accounts can earn up to a 1.55% annual percentage yield (APY). They work much like typical savings accounts, except that CIT Bank does not have physical branch locations or an ATM network.

  • CIT Bank's CDs require you to deposit your savings for a set period of time. Withdrawing funds from a CD before the term has ends 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.

High Yield Investor Savings

CIT is an online bank, so they don't have the overhead cost that brick-and-mortar banks do. This allows CIT Bank to offer a low minimum deposit and a high APY on its Premier High Yield Investor Savings Account. Here is some addition detail:

  • 1.55% APY on balances under $250,000
  • 1.55% APY on balances over $250,000
  • Minimum deposit of $100 to open
  • No account opening fees
  • No maintenance fees
  • Daily compounding interest
  • Free online and mobile banking with Bill Pay
  • FDIC insured

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

If you need to withdraw money from your CIT savings account, you have a few options: external transfers, wire transfers, and mailed checks. It's important to note that CIT Bank doesn't have an ATM network, so you won't be able to withdraw cash directly from your savings.

Is CIT Bank Safe?: CIT's Premier High Yield Savings Accounts are FDIC insured. This means that if CIT Bank defaults, the federal government guarantees the balance in your savings account, up to $250,000.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

There are a few key factors to consider when deciding on a CD: the term length, the minimum deposit, the annual percentage yield (APY), and how its interest compounds. (Of course, the reputation of the institution is another factor, but we know that all of CIT Bank's savings accounts and CDs are FDIC insured.)

Here are your options:

  • Term CDs: CIT's basic CDs are available in 6 month, 13 month, or 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 year terms. They require a minimum deposit of $1,000, and interest rates range from .72% to 1.70%.

  • RampUp™ CDs: These CDs allow you to adjust your interest rate once during the term of the CD. This product is offered in 3 or 4 year terms and requires a deposit of at least $25,000 or $50,000, respectively.

  • RampUp™ Plus CDs: With these CDs, you trade some of your return in the form of a slightly lower interest rate for flexibility. RampUp Plus CDs allows you to add to your deposit once after opening the account and change your rate once if CIT Bank's rates increase. This product requires a high minimum deposit of $25,000.

  • No-Penalty CDs: This 11-month CD will allow you to withdraw your funds in-full, penalty-free (including interest earned) beginning 7 days after your funds have been deposited. There is a $1,000 minimum deposit, and the product carries 1.55% APY.

  • Jumbo CDs: These are for large deposits of at least $100,000 at 2, 3, 4, or 5 year terms. They can earn as much as 1.75% APY.

Why We Like CIT Bank

Here are a few things that we like about CIT Bank's high yield savings accounts and CDs:

  • Low minimum deposits: If you have just started saving or want to set aside a small balance, CIT can be a great choice. Their minimum deposits for Premier High Yield Savings, term CDs, and no-penalty CDs are some of the lowest in the industry.

  • High rates: CIT's Premier High Yield Savings offers such a high APY that it outperforms some of their 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 1.75% APY on a CD.

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

Reasons You Might Skip CIT Savings

For all of CIT's advantages, the bank's savings product offerings do have some characteristics that need to be considered:

  • No checking accounts: This isn't a huge setback for those who are familiar with transferring money between financial institutions. If you like to keep all of your accounts in one place, this could be a downside.

  • No branch locations: In exchange for the high interest rate on your Premium savings account, you are required to do your CIT banking online and over the phone. And because CIT has no ATM network, you won't be able to deposit or withdraw cash directly to/from your account. Solution: link up to a checking account with a brick-and-mortar bank.

  • No IRAs: CIT personal banking products are limited to savings accounts, CDs, and custodial accounts. These CDs do not qualify for use in a retirement or trust account.

  • No Relationship Rewards: Some retail banks in the US 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 CIT from your retail bank, you may miss out on some of these 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. It is always best to contact your financial professional.

    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 allows you to more flexibility to withdraw your savings when needed.

  • How can I deposit funds with CIT Bank?
    For both savings accounts and CDs, there are three ways to deposit funds: transfer funds electronically, mail a check, or wire funds to your new account.

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

    • Terms up to 1 year: 3 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
    • Terms from 1-3 years: 6 months' interest on the amount withdrawn
    • Terms over 3 years: 12 months' interest on the amount withdrawn

Bottom Line

If you're ready to start building your savings, then you should consider if CIT's high yield savings accounts or CDs are right for you.

Even if you only have $100 in savings, you can start earning interest in a high yield savings account. Or, if you have at least $1,000 set aside and aren't concerned about liquidity, you can earn an even greater return with a CD.

CIT'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 CIT is an investment option worth considering.

CIT Bank Review: Savings and CD 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.

Pittsburgh banks offer bounty of free checking accounts

Pittsburgh banks offer bounty of free checking accounts


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

On the prowl for the right bank? Like a good hunter, it pays to know your surroundings. Over the past two years, the choices for Pittsburghers looking for ...

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.

The 5 Best Business Bank Accounts for Entrepreneurs

The 5 Best Business Bank Accounts for Entrepreneurs


Startup Savant

Swiftly learn a bit about the 5 best business bank accounts for entrepreneurs and get quick access to our more thorough reviews as well.

400+ High Interest Savings Accounts & Rates Compared | Canstar

400+ High Interest Savings Accounts & Rates Compared | Canstar


Canstar

Compare 400+ high interest savings accounts from 70+ institutions. Find a savings account by comparing interest rates, fees, junior savers & more.

The 6 Best Credit Cards for Business Expenses, No Matter What You Spend On

by Brayden McCarthy @ Fundera Ledger

Very few things are certain in small business finance, except that no two businesses’ balance sheets are identical. And since […]

The post The 6 Best Credit Cards for Business Expenses, No Matter What You Spend On appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

The Best Wedding Insurance

by Philip Palermo @ Reviews.com

Why Zipcar Might Just Be the Best Subscription Service Ever

by feedback@creditdonkey.com (Jake Mitchell) @ CreditDonkey Reviews

As a resident of Los Angeles, I am intimately familiar with all of the worst parts of owning a car: the cost of repairs and insurance, the late-night hunts for the cheapest gas at out-of-the-way filling stations, and the constant battle to find parking within a one-mile radius of your destination.

The expense and frustration often hardly seems worth it, especially in a world where you can tap an icon on your phone screen and have a car pick you up within two minutes.

But those rides are pricey, so I'm always on the lookout for cheaper, more convenient transportation options.

A Better Option

If you're lucky enough to live in a city that's walkable or has an extensive public transit system, you might not need to own a car to get to work or the grocery store. But what happens when you want to go further than usual?

Like me, you might go looking for better, more flexible transportation options. I'm here to point you in the direction of a great option that combines the flexibility and independence of renting a car with the ease of use of a ridesharing service: Zipcar.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Zipcar is a car service that allows you to drive cars and pay either by the hour or by the day, depending on the kind of trip you want to take.

You'll find Zipcars in major cities all over the globe, usually parked in reserved spaces in public parking lots. Under the right circumstances, a Zipcar membership can save you hundreds of dollars over car ownership or rideshare services, provided you know its limitations and how to work within them.

Here's how it works:

  • You start by applying for a membership online.
  • Once you're approved, which will depend on your driving history, they'll send you a “Zipcard.”

The Zipcard acts like your key to the cars you reserve: just walk up to your chosen vehicle in the lot, scan your card across the sensor near the windshield, and the car will unlock.

You'll find the keys waiting for you inside. You can take your car for as little as one hour or as long as seven days, and when you're done, all you have to do is leave it in a designated Zipcar parking space for the next user.

Zipcar Membership

Now, all of this convenience isn't free. But with flexible membership plans, you can save quite a bit of money if you know exactly how you plan to use this service.

Memberships come in two flavors: a one-year membership and a month-to-month one.

This membership fee helps Zipcar provide insurance and gas for every vehicle so you don't have to worry about either of those things every time you hop behind the wheel. For the rental itself, you can pay by the hour or by the day, and Zipcar won't charge for mileage up to 180 miles. After that, though, you will incur a mileage fee.

Tip: Zipcar also has an app that you use to reserve your vehicle, which can be done up to a year in advance. That means it can require a bit of planning if you want to make sure a car will be available for you, but as long as you remember to make a reservation, the rest of the experience is a breeze.

HOW IT BEATS THE COMPETITION

Zipcar has its limitations, but the overall experience is a lot less frustrating and a lot more empowering than many of the alternatives. For example, renting a car through a traditional rental agency often involves a long wait to speak to an agent even after you've made your reservation, whereas Zipcar allows you to simply walk up to your car, scan your card, and hop in.

Ridesharing apps, meanwhile, might be convenient, but they don't offer the freedom of jumping into a car yourself and heading to any destination you choose. If you're taking multiple short trips, those ridesharing apps will get pricey fast, too, whereas Zipcar lets you get in and out almost wherever you choose without incurring additional costs.

If you live in a place that doesn't require you to drive your own car every day, but you still own one, you're paying for insurance and a parking spot that you might not even be using.

A Zipcar membership could end up being significantly less expensive than all of those costs if you only use your car once a week or so, and otherwise take public transit or walk. Low-usage car owners might want to consider cashing in their car and getting a membership instead.

THE FINE PRINT

Zipcar is not a one-size-fits-all transportation solution.

Given its reservation system, it does require some planning ahead.

If you overshoot your reservation and end up dropping your car off late, Zipcar may also charge you a fee for that. These fees can get hefty if you're extremely late, and can even eclipse the cost of one day's rental. You can also incur fees for passing through toll zones, returning the car with a low tank, or getting a traffic ticket. If you're not a fan of planning ahead or have trouble sticking to a schedule, Zipcar might not be the ideal solution for you.

The drawback to Zipcar is its number of locations in comparison to leading traditional car rental services.

While a city like San Francisco has Zipcar spots available in a large number of places, other cities and towns aren't so lucky. You may find that the nearest drop-off point is quite a hike from your actual destination. You also can't drop your car off in any old parking place; if you close your rental and leave the car anywhere but in a designated Zipcar parking spot, you'll incur a penalty on your bill. This means a little more planning to know where you'll have to park your Zipcar, and how you'll get from that location to your final destination.

THE BEST USES OF ZIPCAR

All that said, this is the perfect solution for a number of different transportation challenges.

  • Tourists and visitors to cities where Zipcar is active can use it to explore at their leisure without the hassle of dealing with rental car agencies.

  • Anyone who doesn't already own a car can easily grab one from their local Zipcar location and take a Saturday day trip out of town.

  • It's also an affordable option for those whose cars are in the shop or otherwise not always available; you'll always have a backup car ready and waiting for you.

It's not a replacement for public transit, but it is a fantastic, convenient, and very easy way to supplement your other modes of transportation. Knowing that you have the ability to grab a car should you need one adds a flexibility to life that can't be measured. It's not for everyone or every situation, but when used right, Zipcar can be one of the best, most convenient subscription services out there.

Why Zipcar Might Just Be the Best Subscription Service Ever appeared first on CreditDonkey

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