The Verdict: We gave the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card (Capital Bank is a WalletHub partner) an above-average rating not because of its fee structure or other account terms, which aren’t particularly impressive, but rather because it’s characterized by a very unique feature: no credit check. That means you can get it and thus begin the credit-improvement process no matter what storm clouds may be hanging over your finances. And in that sense, the OpenSky® Credit Card truly lives up to its name. In return for a chance at finding clearer financial skies, you’ll have to pay a $35 annual fee and place a security deposit of at least $200 — both reasonable but not exceptional price points.
A number of cheaper options are available, including a few with no annual fee, which means opening the OpenSky® Visa would require you to open your wallet a bit wider than necessary. With that being said, annual fees aren’t the only thing that you should take into account when comparing secured credit cards, so you’d be wise to check out the rest of this in-depth review, including how OpenSky® stacks up to its competition, below.
Credit scores have many enemies — from late payments and collections accounts to tax liens and court judgments. Each takes a toll on your credit standing to varying degrees. And the damage unfortunately comes far faster than any resulting recovery.
The 50 largest U.S.-based hedge funds on the Barron's Penta Top 100 Hedge Funds boast more than $6 trillion in assets. For comparison, that’s more than the GDP of the 36 smallest U.S. states combined. Furthermore, the median yearly earning for a hedge fund manager is now just under $350,000, but there are many who are billionaires.
So it makes sense that people pay attention to what they’re buying, selling and holding. We want to replicate their success. Hedge funds’ quarterly public disclosures, mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, give us a window into their recent activity.
Maryland, known as the “Bay State” for its position on the Chesapeake, has a long and rich history as one of the thirteen original colonies. Its largest city, Baltimore, is the 30th most populated city in the U.S., boasting over 614,000 residents.
Baltimore has no lack of attractions. For the nautical types, there’s plenty of sailing and fishing to do on the Chesapeake Bay. Other outdoor activities include skiing at Wisp Resort. For people into history, Maryland holds Fort McHenry, the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, the Antietam battleground and the NASA Goddard Visitor Center. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is a key hub for shopping.
There is a big difference between simply getting a rewards credit card and finding the best offer for your needs. Finding any old rewards card is easy. Hundreds of offers are available, and even people with bad credit can qualify for some of them. But with numerous rewards currencies to choose from and various restrictions to watch out for, the best rewards card isn’t always so obvious.
Given that the right rewards credit card is worth more than its weight in gold, WalletHub analyzed the market to help people make truly informed choices. We compared every non-cobranded rewards credit card from the 20 largest issuers (61 total offers). And we evaluated each card’s eligibility requirements, rewards earning and redemption policies, and expected rewards value.
The Verdict: The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is the best option for saving money on what you eat, provided you have the good or excellent credit needed for approval (Capital One is a WalletHub partner). Savor gives you 3% cash back at restaurants of all types, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on everything else, in addition to a $150 bonus for spending $500 within three months of account opening. It doesn’t charge an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee, either. In contrast, the average cash rewards card offers just over 1% back on all purchases, plus an initial bonus of about $129.
The Capital One Savor Card also provides several other perks, which are somewhat less impressive yet still important. For example, you can simply “tap to pay” at millions of merchant locations, thanks to an RFID chip embedded in the Savor Card. And you get 0% introductory APRs for new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months your account is open.
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (Capital One is a WalletHub partner) offers terms befitting excellent credit despite good credit being all that’s needed for approval. In addition to its solid suite of rewards – buoyed by a base earning rate that’s 50% higher than average and supplemented by a more modest $150 initial bonus – Quicksilver won’t hit you with annual fees and tends to offer regular financing promotions. For example, new applicants currently get 0% introductory interest rates on both purchases and balance transfers for up to 15 months (14.49% - 24.49% (V) APR thereafter).
The Verdict: If you’re planning a big balance transfer and have good or excellent credit, you should definitely consider the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer (Citi is a WalletHub partner). Diamond Preferred doesn’t charge an annual fee and offers 0% on balance transfers for the first 21 months your account is open, as long as you complete the transfer within the first four months. That’s just about the longest 0% term on the market, giving you ample time to get out from under your forthcoming debt before a regular APR takes effect. The bad news is you have to pay a 5% (min $5) balance transfer fee for the pleasure of avoiding interest for 21 months.
Citi Diamond Preferred also offers 0% on new purchases for the first 12 months your account is open. That’s a bit longer than the average 0% card gives you but still nothing special.
Summer isn’t just a season of daily walks on the beach or picnics at the park. For some people, especially young adults, the warmer months are a time to gain extra spending power or work experience.
But whether you need or want a summer job, where you look for one will matter almost as much as what you do. Obviously, opportunities will be more widely available in some places than in others. And while a job may pay well in one city, the same position may not pay as much in another. Minimum-wage laws and local costs, for instance, will determine how much you earn and consequently what you’ll be able to afford in terms of housing, transportation and social activities. More importantly, if you’re supporting yourself, location will dictate how much of your income you’ll be able to save if that’s your goal.
Below, you can learn more about what having good credit really means, why it matters, how much money it saves you and more. Just remember that individual lenders have the final say on whether a credit score is good, or at least good enough for approval. So there isn’t one standard definition.
0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
No annual fee
Potential for a very high regular APR
3% foreign-transaction fee
The Verdict: The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card is an attractive everyday spending vehicle for people with excellent credit. Things begin on a positive note, with no annual fee to worry about and the ability to earn a $150 initial bonus for spending just $500 in the first 90 days after account opening. Plus, you’ll have access to 0% financing on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card even supplements its base 1% cash-back earning rate with 2% back on groceries and wholesale clubs and 3% back on gas. But there’s a catch. Those bonus earning rates apply to only the first $2,500 in combined grocery, wholesale clubs and gas purchases each quarter. So if you spend more than $833 a month on such everyday necessities, you will wind up hitting that limit and earning only 1% back — slightly less than the market average of 1.04% — on all your purchases for the rest of the quarter.
Retirement is typically viewed as the end of the line — a time for rest, relaxation and the pursuit of interests long ago put on the back burner. But the story is far different for military retirees who must deal with the trials of reassimilation into civilian life. For starters, the average officer is only 45 years old — 42 for nondisability enlisted personnel — upon retirement from service. Many of those who reenter the job market face tough challenges during the transition while others struggle with more difficult problems, such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, disability and homelessness.
As such, military retirement can be a far more complicated issue than one might assume, given the extent to which state tax policies on military benefits vary, the relative friendliness of different job markets toward veterans, and other socioeconomic factors. This year, the military’s retirement system is also changing for new recruits and current personnel who opt in, going from a “defined benefit” to a “Blended Retirement System” that awards funds not just based on years served but also matches contributions to a “Thrift Savings Plan.”
Bad credit is not a life sentence, which is good news for the roughly one-third of people with credit scores below 620. So if your credit is damaged, there are indeed steps that you can take to rebuild. After all, rebuilding credit is a process that takes time and requires focus on the fundamentals. And we’ll explain exactly what you need to do below.
What you don’t want to do, however, is pay for credit repair. Anyone who claims the ability to “fix” or “clean up” your credit for a fee is scamming you. There is nothing any purported credit “repair” service can do that you cannot do yourself for free.
Credit inquiries, which are also known as credit “checks” or ”pulls,” are basically records of someone checking your credit report. But not all credit inquiries are the same. There are two different types: hard inquiries and soft inquiries.
Building credit from scratch doesn’t have to be difficult. The best way to build credit is to open a credit card, preferably one with no annual fee, and use it responsibly. That means paying your bill on time every month or simply locking it in a drawer. Just having an open line of credit that is in good standing will help you build credit.
A “credit reference” is a document that attests to the creditworthiness of a prospective borrower or rental applicant. The most common type of credit reference is a credit report, as it chronicles an individual’s or business’s credit history. And the most notable credit reports are those from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You can check your TransUnion credit report for free on WalletHub.
Converting U.S. dollars into a foreign currency is necessary for most trips abroad. And we generally have two options for doing so: 1) automatically with a credit card and 2) by converting hard currency at a bank or airport kiosk. But which is the better deal?
You may not think this is worth worrying about, but there are actually hundreds of dollars at stake for most international travelers. So a strategic approach to currency exchange could be the difference between flying first class or coach, for example.
School’s out, the mercury’s rising, and some people have yet to spend their tax refunds. In short, it’s time to plan the perfect summer getaway. The only question is: Where should you go? You might have a few destinations already in mind, but your travel budget might not agree. Regardless, it’s ideal to have fun while keeping your spending in check.
So which places offer the most bang for the buck? To find out, WalletHub developed a ranking of the cheapest U.S. destinations that are also the easiest to reach. In total, we analyzed 100 of the largest metro areas across 40 key indicators. Our data set ranges from cost of the cheapest flight to number of attractions to weather. Read on for the full ranking, money-saving travel advice and our methodology.
The Verdict: The Truly Simple® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank is a good option for making big-ticket purchases that might take more than a year to repay. Truly Simple’s top perks are its 0% introductory APR, which lasts for the first 15 months your account is open, and its lack of an annual fee. Both features compare favorably to most other offers. For example, the average credit card has a $15.55 annual fee, according to WalletHub’s Credit Card Landscape Report, and the average 0% period lasts for about 10 months.
The Verdict: The USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card offers elite terms on up to $6,000 in purchases per year but is fairly average otherwise. The gems of the offer are a pair of bonus cash back earning rates: 5% back on a total of $3,000 in gas and military purchases each year, plus 2% back on $3,000 in supermarket spending annually. When you consider that the average cash rewards card offers just over 1% back on purchases, it's clear just how generous Cashback Rewards Plus can be - at least while its bonus rates last.
This card isn’t much of a taker, either, as far as fees are concerned. Cashback Rewards Plus doesn’t charge either an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee.