Friday, May 17, 2013

What is the difference between Term and Whole Life Insurance?

                                                       Term Life Insurance                     Whole Life Insurance


  • Term life insurance gives you protection for a specified period of time only and at an affordable cost.
  • Whole life insurance gives you protection for your entire life and also will accumulate a cash value that the policy owner can borrow against.
This option is right for you if you.....
  • Want reassurance that your family will have the needed cash in the event of your death.
  • Want to supplement your current coverage.
  • Want a lifetime policy.
  • Want an investment as well as life insurance.
What are the benefits to consider?
  • More affordable
  • No extensive medical checks.
  • Premiums do not increase over time.
  • Able to borrow against.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Cash Allowance

 Are you looking for ways to reduce your debt? Here are some simple ways to get started.

1. Make a budget.

2. Figure out what expenses you can live without or reduce.

3. Give yourself a cash allowance each week and learn to stop spending when it is gone. 

4. Figure out how much you can afford.

Top 5 Easy Credit Card Mistakes

1. Closing Credit Card Accounts

Although it seems logical to close the accounts once they have been paid off, you should never cancel an account unless it is absolutely necessary. 

Note that, 30% of your credit score is calculated by how well you manage your debt and use your available balance. You should try to use no more than 30% of the credit limit on your credit cards, for example, if you have a card with a $1,000 limit, your balance should never exceed $300.
 The average length of your accounts is 15% of your credit score.  Closing an account will decrease your score under this 15% calculation.  It will take a lot of time to recover the lost points to your credit score.
Having a wide range of credit will also help you credit score.
Although it’s a great way of stop the temptation to use your credit cards, it will destroy your credit score.

2. Running Up Too High of a Balance

This is another very easy thing to do.  It is so easy to spend, but, not so easy to pay back.  This can make your credit cards very expensive forms of payment.  If possible. always try to pay off the credit card at the end of the billing cycle.  Never leave more than 30% of the available credit, if you are looking to increase your credit score. 

3. Not Using the Credit Card

You don't need to use the credit card more than twice a year, but, it is important to keep using them.  This will ensure that the credit card company doesn't cancel your account and will continue sending positive credit information.

4. Not Checking Your Credit Report Frequently

This can get you into a lot of trouble.  You should check your credit score at least once a year.  Look for false or suspicious information. 

5. Applying for Too Many

Every time you open a new account it lowers your average length of accounts percentage and is a hard inquiry on your credit report.  So, don't fall for a cashier's spiel about saving by signing up for a store credit card.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Scam Alert

by Tara Lynn

A new scam is becoming increasingly popular through the USA and Canada.  The scam is done mostly over the phone, but, has also been reported to come right to the front door. 

The caller will claim that they are calling from a utility company (water, electric, gas).  They will inform you that you are behind on payment and that if you don't pay soon, they will cut off your service.  The person on the phone will try to convince you that you need to pay with a prepaid debit card.  To a scammers a prepaid debit card is like handing them cash.  It requires no verification or ID check to use.

If someone comes to your door claiming that they are from a utility company, ask for identification.  You may even want to call the utility company and ask if they have sent someone out to your house, before letting them in or giving them any information.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Refinancing to Avoid Interest

A couple years out of college, I had accumulated more credit card debt than I was able to pay off.  If you are in the same situation I strongly suggest trying to refinance either your car or your home and roll the debt or part of the debt into the loan.  Often times the interest rate will be lower and setting a monthly amount that has a nearby ending date also helps.  Once, you have successfully refinanced NEVER DO IT AGAIN

It is so easy to fall in to the same song and dance.  If you don't start to manage your finances better, you will find yourself with the same debt problems in the following years.  Going right back to where you started.

You may want to talk with an accountant or watch a money guru talk show.  The most important thing to learn is how to take control of your bad habits and learn how to not spend more than you make.  Emergencies are one thing, but, it is the first time that you use the "emergency" credit card for a non-emergency that can start you straight down the wrong path.

I know that habits are hard to break, but, this one needs to be stopped before it takes over your life.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why should you consider Discover?

 The biggest issue I have with credit card companies these days is the customer service.  Well, this goes for most of the businesses I have come in contact with over the last 5 years.  It seems that the customer service department is non-existent for most companies.  However, when it comes to credit cards Discover cards do have one of the best customer services.  Well, at least it is in the United States.  

I remember back when I was in college, I wanted to find a credit card that would have rewards that I could earn from purchasing gas.  One day I received a credit card flyer offer in the mail.  It had wonderful rewards, no annual fee, and 0% APR for 12 months.  Well I had a couple questions that didn't seem to be presented on the flyer, and so I called them. This is about how the conversation went:

Representative: Heayoh, mah nam iz Rahymon, how may I healp oo tooday? 

Me: Hi, I was wondering if I could get more details about the credit card offer that you sent me in the mail.

Representative: Ahh berry gud, what are yoias fkdjid fifosua fldkj (Basically I have no idea what he said)

Me:  I'm sorry can you repeat that?

Representative:  what are yoias fkdjid fifosua fldkj

So I hung up and tried again in hopes that I would find somebody that I could at least understand.  Again, I got a person on the line that I could understand for about the first 3 sentences and then I had no clue what they were saying.  I thought to myself, thank goodness I had questions, I cannot image having a credit card issue and getting Rahymon on the phone.  I am pretty sure that I would only become more frustrated.

Make sure you test the waters of the customer service department prior to jumping feet first into the deep end.  I have still fallen into traps were the customer service was almost non-existent but at least it was not a credit card "relationship".

And that is why I like Discover Credit Cards.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Things you should know about credit cards before you choose one.

There is a lot of things to consider before starting a "relationship" with a credit card company.  I say "relationship" because it is a long term commitment.  Whether you use the credit card or not most likely you will have the account for a very long time.

The reason for this is mainly because of one simply reason.  If you decide to end the "relationship" it is going to look bad on your credit score.  Therefore it is always best to keep the account open with no balance verses closing the account completely.  The reason it looks bad on your credit report is that the report doesn't consider the reason behind the termination.  It will assume that the credit card company was the ones that terminated the account due to late payments or other misuse of the card.

This is the reason that it is very important to look at several factors before choosing the perfect card for you.

1.  Make sure you understand the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) and all other fees that the card may accumulate over time.

2.  Retail Credit Cards usually have a nice discount for purchased made in a specific store, but, generally will charge a much higher APR than other general credit cards.

3.  Look into at least 20 different credit cards before choosing the one that is right for your situations.

4.  Don't spend more than you can pay back.  (Easy to say hard to do)

5.  Rewards cards can look "pretty" but be very careful.  These are really only good for those that are able to follow step number 4.  Which means that the rewards are generally not worth the amount of fees and interest that you will generate over time. Make sure not to choose a card just because the rewards look nice.

6.  Never base your decision based on what the card looks like. (I even drew you a photo to make sure that this rule sticks)

Blogger Notes:  I own all of the copyright to all photos and writing presented on this blog posting.  I hope that you find these tips handy.

Top 5 Credit Card Reward Programs for 2013

     1. Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card  (Click here to apply)    

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card  
Key Points as to why this is Number 1:  
This card is great for EVERYONE the spends money
  • Earn 15,000 bonus "Thank You" Points after $1000 in card purchases must meet the $1000 within the first 3 months of opening an account.
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 12 months.
  • Earn 1 Thank You Point for every $1 you spend on ALL purchases (that's awesome)
  • No expiration and no limit on the points you can earn
  • Travel Rewards
  • No annual fees    
Easy to get rewards, easy to spend rewards and NO ANNUAL FEE what more could you ask for.  For every dollar you spend you get reward points towards things like gift cards, merchandise and even cash!!  This is the best card for those that want rewards for just using a credit card but don't want to pay annual fees just for having a rewards card. 

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Key Points as to why this is Number 2: 
This card is for the travel enthusiast 
  • 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase
  • Bonus of 10,000 miles once you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
  • 10,000 miles equals $100 in travel rewards
  • Redeem miles for airline tickets, hotel rooms, and car rentals.
  • No limit on the miles 
  • No expiration on miles earned
  • Use any airline, any time, NO blackout dates
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for a limited time
  • NO annual fee
This card is best for those that want to earn points, rewards, and money towards traveling expenses.  You really can't get anything else out of this card.  Still NO ANNUAL FEE which is my favorite credit card rule.  If you have trouble saving up for vacations and this is something that you want more of in your future (who wouldn't want more vacations in their future) I personally LOVE vacations.  This is the right card for those that LOVE to travel and see the world!!  Helps pay for hotels, airline tickets, car rentals and other vacation related experiences. 

3. Capital One® Cash Rewards
Capital One® Cash Rewards  
Key Points as to why this is Number 4: 
Great card for beginners and college students wanting to get good credit
  • $100 bonus when you spend $500 within the first 3 months
  • 1% cash back on ALL purchases made with this card
  • No annual fee (awesome)
  • No expiration on cash back rewards
  • Use your cash back anytime for any amount, even for automatic redemption
  • Design your own card
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for a limited time
Easy to use, easy to apply for and not many limitations.  The reward is only 1% but you can use the money towards pretty much anything, just like cash.  This is a very user friendly card with easy to use rewards.  This card would be great for newbies or college students that would like to start working on getting good credit. 

4. Citi ThankYou® Card

Citi ThankYou® Card 
Key Points as to why this is Number 5: 
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months!
  • 1 Thank You Point every time you spend $1.00 
  • No limit on the number of Thank You Ponits you can earn
  • Thank You Points can be used on merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, and even cash
  • No annual fee
Easy card to apply for.  If possible try to get the Citi Preferred credit card (#1 on my list) but if you don't qualify for that one this is a great credit card as well.  Easy to use and rewards that can be used on many things that you may need for your day to day life.  

   5. Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® Visa Signature® Card

Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® Visa Signature® Card

 Key Points as to why this is Number 5: 
This card is for those that love flying with American Airlines
  • Earn 30,000 miles (Can only use with American Airlines) after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account activation
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every card membership year with qualifying purchases and card membership renewal

This card has a lot of limitations, but, in the end you do get a significant discounts and rewards towards flights with American Airlines.  This card is hard to get the max out of the rewards. If you love to fly with American Airlines and would like a nice discount and special traveling discounts this would be a great card to use.

Note from blogger:
Please note that the credit card companies may change rewards and activation rules and regulations at any time.  Since, this site was not created by any credit company, none of these credit card companies are responsible for the information found on this site.  I wanted to create a site for those that want more information on the different credit card rewards out there.  I for one love to get free stuff just for using a credit card.  I hope that you find this information helpful.  This post was created on April 12, 2013 and the information provided is the most updated information that I was able to obtain at that date. 

I do not own any of the images from this site.  These images were taken directly from the credit card companies websites.