Consumer research and ratings firm J.D. Power has released its January auto sales forecast, and the trends aren’t looking the best for the industry. New-vehicle retail sales are projected to have a 2.4% decrease compared to January 2018. This is the third consecutive year in which retail sales have declined at the beginning of the year. But even though sales are down, individual transaction prices are increasing, which is helping manufacturers to maintain their profits.
At the moment, the market appears to be tilting in favor of the consumer. But there are more questions than just whether or not to buy. Should buyers apply for financing from banks, credit unions or manufacturers? Which manufacturers offer the best financing and leasing terms? How do interest rates compare for new versus used vehicles?
The Verdict: The Total VISA® Credit Card (issued by a WalletHub partner) is the exact opposite of the complete package, charging you an arm and a leg for a very modest unsecured credit line.
You have to pay an $89 program fee just to get the Total VISA®. And once your account is open, you will be responsible for a $75 first-year fee, which jumps to a total of $123 in subsequent years between annual and monthly fees. Furthermore, if you carry a balance from month to month — ostensibly what this type of card is intended for — interest will accrue at a ridiculously high 34.99% APR, one of the highest rates on the market.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
4.3 / 5
Annual fee waived for the first year
6 points per $1 spent at SPG and Marriott hotels
$95 annual fee starting year two
Ill-suited for financing
Note: The card is no longer open for new applications, information listed here is accurate as of Feb. 12, 2019.
The Verdict: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (American Express is a WalletHub partner) is the perfect travel companion for fans of hotel brands such as Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis and the seven other members of Starwood’s luxury lodging portfolio and, more recently, Marriott.
But with immigration reform still a hot-button issue, the U.S. ethnic landscape may change again in the near future. In the meantime, WalletHub took a snapshot of America’s current cultural profile, comparing more than 500 of the largest U.S. cities across three key indicators of ethnic diversity. We examined each city based on ethnicity and race, language and birthplace. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology.
Location matters when it comes to health. Some places promote wellness by expanding access to nutritious food and recreational facilities. Others strive to keep healthcare costs affordable for everyone or keep parks clean and well-maintained.
As the saying goes, “money can’t buy love.” But it certainly can express it. This year, Americans collectively will spend $20.7 billion on Valentine’s day gifts — from greeting cards to jewelry to a special night out — with the average lovebird shelling out $161.96.
But you don’t need to empty your wallet just to show your romantic side. Depending on where you go and what you do, a sweet evening can be inexpensive and still have the same quality. You just need to be in the right place with the right budget.
Besides your looks, personality, interests and employment status, your location can influence your odds of finding a romantic partner. Everyone has different priorities when searching for love, but certain places simply make dating easier than others.
In states with low cost of living, for instance, your income might stretch a lot further, which means cheaper or more frequent dates. If you’re more financially stable, though, you might appreciate a state with more attractions to find new experiences for both you and your potential other half. But dating is also a numbers game, so a state with a higher proportion of single adults automatically improves your prospects.
Many people dislike visiting their dentist, especially if they haven’t kept up with their brushing and flossing. Some even have dental anxiety and phobia. But there are other people who wish they could go yet can’t afford it. According to the CDC, 36% of adults have gone over a year without seeing a dentist. The costs of frequent dental checks are worth it, though. A checkup costs $90-$137 on average while a filling can go for $230-$313 and a crown typically sets you back over $1,200. Prevention is cheaper than treatment.
But brushing, flossing and getting an annual checkup aren’t the only things that impact dental health. Where you live can have an effect, too. For example, certain areas of the U.S. have a higher density of dental professionals. And one of the biggest locational factors is the presence of fluoridated water, which can help prevent tooth decay. It’s so important, in fact, that the CDC projects that by 2020 nearly 80% of public water will have this benefit.
Anyone who’s ever organized a wedding knows all too well how difficult and time-consuming the process can be. It’s the reason many couples hire professional event planners to do the heavy lifting. And the cost only adds more stress, with the average couple shelling out over $33,000 for their big day.
Between sending invitations, securing reservations, planning a menu and obsessing over final touches on the cake, it’s no wonder weddings are arranged months, even years, in advance. Tying the knot is a huge commitment, and the $81 billion wedding industry is growing by the year.
The Verdict: The Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students is a solid choice for anyone who’s currently enrolled in a U.S. college or university, particularly international students and fans of Amazon.com. Deserve Edu doesn’t charge an annual fee, as is the norm with student credit cards, and it offers rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases. That’s roughly average among all rewards credit cards, not just those for students. Deserve also gives you a year’s membership in Amazon Prime Student, which offers savings on everything from textbooks and electronics to music and movies. And while many student credit cards require you to have a Social Security number (SSN), Deserve Edu is available to students who were born abroad. International students simply need a passport, U.S. bank account and Student Visa.
Whether you’re a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or international student, you don’t need any prior credit experience to get the Deserve Student Credit Card. Just be prepared to pay your balance in full every month. There’s no 0% introductory APR. The regular rate is above average for a student credit card, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. And balance transfers aren’t even allowed.
Immigration, and how to handle it, continues to be a contentious topic in the United States in 2019. Currently, much of the debate revolves around border security and President Trump’s proposed wall. A partisan disagreement over funding for said wall is a big factor in the partial government shutdown that lasted from the end of 2018 into 2019 – the longest in history. But political differences aside, there’s no question that immigration as a whole affects the economy.
In light of recent developments in U.S. immigration policy, WalletHub compared the economic impact of foreign-born populations on the 50 states and the District of Columbia. We determined which states benefit the most — and least — from immigration using 20 key indicators. Our data set ranges from median household income of foreign-born population to jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses as a share of total jobs. Read on for our findings, additional commentary from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.
For many people, football is far more than just a game: it’s a sacred American tradition. These fans aren’t just spectators but are also participants. They do more than just proudly wear a team’s jersey, perfect game-day chili or tailgate with fellow fans. They show their passion by roaring in approval when their team scores a touchdown or crying out in disappointment when they fumble their way to failure. Football is by far Americans’ favorite sport to watch, with more popularity than basketball, baseball and soccer combined.
But to show your passion for the sport, you need the best seats in the house. With Super Bowl LIII upon us, WalletHub compared more than 240 U.S. cities with at least one college or professional football team across 21 key metrics. Our data set ranges from number of NFL and college football teams to average ticket price for an NFL game to fan friendliness. Read on for the winners, additional insight from our panel of experts and a full description of how we ranked the cities.
They say that “Virginia is for Lovers“ — of life, that is — which makes it the perfect place for all ages. With a breathtaking natural landscape, vast cultural diversity, temperate climate and more, it’s no wonder the first of the 13 original colonies continues to attract new settlers, many of whom end up raising their children there.
Perhaps most appealing to parents and their kids, however, is the right combination of family-friendly qualities this Mid-Atlantic state checks off. For starters, there’s no shortage of fun things to do, from amusement parks to beaches. As for other important items on the list, Virginia offers significant opportunity for economic growth, with the 12th highest nominal GDP and the 12th highest per-capita personal income in the nation. Seeking top-notch education? Virginia’s public schools outrank those in 44 states and the District of Columbia.
Everyone hates being stuck in traffic. It makes you late, and causes many people’s tempers to flare up. But it’s also quite bad for your wallet – in fact, congestion costs the average driver over $1,400 per year in the U.S., which has 10 out of the world’s 25 worst cities for traffic.
Congestion isn’t the only concern on the road, though. People want to know that they will be driving on safe, well-maintained roads before heading out. The U.S. has a fairly good track record in these regards, but certainly doesn’t top the list. For example, the World Economics Forum only places the U.S. at rank 10 of 137 when it comes to road quality.
For a growing number of Americans, a good education is the ticket to a better future. College opens doors to more career opportunities, higher earnings and new social connections, among other benefits. But how much schooling one receives also matters to some extent. Generally, the higher the level of education one completes, the higher their income potential and the lower their chances of unemployment become.
In this study, WalletHub examined the key factors of a well-educated population: educational attainment, school quality and achievement gaps between genders and races. We compared all 50 states across 20 total metrics grouped into two categories. The data set ranges from share of adults aged 25 and older with at least a high school diploma to average university quality to gender gap in educational attainment.
Balance transfer credit cards reduce the cost of existing credit card debt by allowing consumers to transfer part of their balance to a new card with a lower interest rate. The average balance transfer credit card has a 0% APR for 12 months, with a 3% balance transfer fee and a $0 annual fee. The purpose of a balance transfer is to save money while getting out of debt sooner. And there plenty of balance transfer credit card deals up to the challenge (some cards are from WalletHub partners).
A secured credit card is a credit card that requires you to place a refundable security deposit, the amount of which becomes your credit limit, preventing you from spending more than you can afford to repay. Secured cards are great for people with bad credit or limited credit because they offer nearly guaranteed approval (some cards are from WalletHub’s partners). Secured credit cards also report information to the major credit bureaus every month, just like unsecured cards. And they’re much cheaper than unsecured credit cards for bad credit. Check out WalletHub’s top picks to see how the right secured credit card can help you.
If you’re using a small business credit card to finance companies purchases, make sure it’s a 0% business credit card. But the best tool for the job is probably a general-consumer 0% credit card. Credit cards with 0% intro APRs are preferable because most cards charge high regular rates. And consumer cards are better suited to financing because they have extra user protections. Credit card companies can raise the interest rate applicable to a business credit card balance at any time. That’s not the case with general-consumer cards. Either way, your goal should be to find the longest possible 0% intro term and then repay what you owe before regular rates take effect. WalletHub’s payoff calculator will help with that. And you can compare the available offers below (some of which are issued by WalletHub partners) to find the right terms for your needs. Please note that if you have existing credit card debt, 0% balance transfer business credit cards are listed separately.
Capital One credit cards are available to people of all credit levels, from bad to excellent. That’s one reason why Capital One (a WalletHub sponsor) is among the market’s most popular credit card companies. And it helps to explain why Capital One's customers are some of the most satisfied. The fact that the best Capital One cards tend to be among the best offers from any issuer doesn’t hurt, either. Neither do the company’s star-studded advertisements or its history helping to pioneer the mass marketing of credit cards in the early '90s.