Getting a driver’s license is considered a rite of passage in American culture. But this exciting coming-of-age has instead become a death sentence for thousands of teens each year. Motor-vehicle accidents continue to be the leading cause of death among the population aged 16 to 19, which also happens to be the age group with the highest risk of crashes.
And the financial implications are staggering. Although 15- to 19-year-olds made up only 6.5% percent of the population in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they racked up 8.4% percent of all costs resulting from motor-vehicle injuries. That’s not counting the costs of auto maintenance, insurance premiums, possible traffic citations and other vehicular incidents — expenses that can pile up over time.
Trips get delayed, cancelled and cut short all the time, for all sorts of reasons. Luggage also gets delayed, and even lost, on a regular basis. Yet travel insurance packages typically inflate the cost of a trip by 4% to 10%. So it’s no surprise that most people are content rolling the dice. Fortunately, though, the solution might already be in your wallet.
Credit card travel insurance can reimburse cardholders in the event of cancelled trips, missed connections, lost or delayed luggage, or even death. But coverage amounts and restrictions vary widely based on the type of card you have, the company that issues it and the card network it’s affiliated with. So you don’t want to exclusively rely on plastic before looking into the details of your policy.
Credit card rental car insurance can save you a truckload of money. You won’t have to buy supplemental insurance from the rental company, for one thing. And even more importantly, it covers you in the event of damage to or theft of a rental car. Coverage up to the cash value of your rental vehicle is typical. But the best credit card rental car insurance policies give you up to $75,000.
The problem is that just 47% of people even know about credit card car rental insurance, and nearly as many people say they don’t trust it. That’s an issue because you must decline a rental company’s supplemental insurance for your credit card’s coverage to work. And you can’t know to do that unless you’re familiar with how your card’s policy works.
Available to people with bad credit, even a previous bankruptcy
Relatively low APR for the segment
$35-$99 Annual fee
The Verdict: The problems that destroyed your credit standing and are now fueling your search for an unsecured credit card likely don’t represent milestones that you’d care to remember for too long. But the Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered (issued by a WalletHub partner) is a bit different, as opening it could prove to be an important turning point in your credit comeback.
Bear in mind that this card is far from perfect. It charges an annual fee, and its regular APR certainly isn’t cheap. But when you compare those terms to other unsecured cards targeted to people with bad credit, that’s where things get interesting. Such cards often charge expensive “application processing” and monthly fees in addition to annual fees and boast APRs north of 30% to boot.
There’s nothing more American than going all out on Fourth of July. We grill, we drink and we blow stuff up — all in the name of freedom. But freedom is not free. Everything from hotdogs to travel to hospital bills following fireworks accidents costs major scratch. In fact, the National Retail Federation projects that American households this year will spend a collective $6.8 billion — down from last year’s $6.9 billion — on Fourth of July food alone.
So in order to help Americans find the best and cheapest places to celebrate this star-spangled occasion, WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities based on how well they balance holiday cost and fun. Our data set of 20 key metrics ranges from average beer and wine prices to duration of fireworks shows to Fourth of July weather forecast. Read on for the complete ranking, followed by expert money-saving tips and our full methodology.
With over 27 million registered drivers and 15,000 miles of highway, no other state underscores America’s love affair with cars more than California. All that driving produces plenty of accidents too. According to the California Highway Patrol, there were 490,168 traffic collisions resulting in injury or fatality in 2016, with 80% of them involving “some form of driver inattention.” These sobering numbers call attention to the need for car insurance.
In this report we analyze the California car insurance landscape, using data collected from seven of the largest providers in the state. Our analysis reveals that insurance costs vary based on a number of factors, ranging from the expected – driving experience and traffic violations – to the somewhat surprising – where you live and the characteristics of your region.
Expressions of American patriotism come in many forms — from setting off fireworks during Fourth of July and buying American-made goods to paying taxes and serving in the armed forces. But some states are better than others at showing their national pride.
So in order to determine where Americans bleed the most red, white and blue, WalletHub compared the states across 13 key indicators of patriotism. Our data set ranges from share of enlisted military population to share of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita. Read on for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.
Citi Easy Deals is a free discount program open to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card cardholders that offers savings on gift cards, magazines, merchandise and travel. It also provides discounts on purchases from participating local merchants. Easy Deals is a tiered system, which means discounts are based on the amount of money the cardholder spends in a year. There is no spending requirement for the base tier of Citi Easy Deals, however. It provides local offers, such as discounts at nearby restaurants.
To take advantage of Citi Easy deals, Citi customers need to register an eligible card online, using their first and last name, last 4 Citi card digits and zip code. According to Citi customer service, the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever and the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card are the only two credit cards currently eligible for the Citi Easy Deals program.
When looking for a place to call home, many families look for quality education, natural beauty and a thriving economy with diverse opportunities. North Carolina hits all those marks and more, increasingly becoming a great state for raising children.
North Carolina has gone through enormous changes in the past 50 years. Once a primarily agrarian state, North Carolina has grown into a hub for technology, finance, universities and college-educated young adults. Some of North Carolina’s key industries now include aerospace and defense, information technology and biotechnology. But the massive demographic shifts in recent decades are also affecting the election in a big way — turning North Carolina into a swing state in 2016 — and helping North Carolina’s GDP balloon into the twelfth largest in the nation.
The Verdict: The Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever is a very good 0% credit card for people with good credit. Citi Simplicity offers 0% for 21 months* on balance transfers, 0% for 12 months* on new purchases and has a $0* annual fee. The interest-free period that the Simplicity Card provides for balance transfers is nine months longer than average (Citi is a WalletHub partner). That gives you plenty of time to pay off credit card debt without it getting more and more expensive along the way.
The downside is that Citi Simplicity charges a balance transfer fee of 5% (min $5). Plus, its regular APR is pretty high, at 16.99% to 26.99%* (V), depending on your creditworthiness. Simplicity might still be the best balance transfer credit card for you. It all depends on how big your balance is and how much you can afford to pay per month.
Americans value independence. We fought hard for it during the American Revolutionary War. Today, however, we celebrate not only our freedom from the British crown but also our strong ability to rely upon ourselves as individuals. It’s a virtue we bring up in our children, employees and organizations.
But what does it mean for whole populations to be “independent” in the modern sense of the word?
Living by the beach is the ultimate dream for many Americans. After all, beachside communities often represent a relaxed and luxurious way of life. But few realize their dream of living by the water, precisely because of the misconception that beach towns are relatively more expensive and generally less livable than landlocked cities.
Contrary to popular belief, however, many beach towns are suitable to everyday life — and easy on the wallet. So in order to determine the beach communities that are ideal for making one’s permanent home, WalletHub compared 192 cities across 62 key indicators of livability. We split our comparison into two categories, towns located by the ocean and by lakes. Our data set ranges from housing costs to share of for-sale waterfront homes to quality of beach water.
After a string of nine interest-rate increases that took the Federal Reserve’s target rate from near zero in December 2015 up to a range of 2.25% - 2.5%, the Fed is poised to reduce rates for the first time since the Great Recession. Exactly what impact such a move will have on consumers’ wallets and the economy more broadly remains to be seen. But the hope is that lower rates will prolong what is already the longest economic expansion on record. At the very least, we can expect people with credit card debt to save hundreds of millions of dollars on interest.
To help shed some light on what we can expect from interest rates in the near future and how Americans feel about the prospect of a Fed rate cut, WalletHub conducted a nationally representative survey and assembled some relevant research. You can find the survey results below.
Summer is the perfect time to hit the open road: School’s out, the weather’s warm, and the possibilities are endless. The only dilemmas? Deciding on a destination and somehow affording everything you want to pack into your itinerary.
Gas prices might be one thing to worry about. They’ve been growing this year, with the national average rising 67 cents between January 1 and May 4. On top of that, you’ll need to consider accommodations, activities and dining. All of these certainly contribute to the more than $761 billion we spend on leisure travel each year.
2 points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment (1 point per $1 on everything else)
No foreign-transaction fees
$95 annual fee
No 0% intro rates
Above-average regular APR
The Verdict: Whether it’s truly a premier option is a matter for debate, but the Citi Premier℠ Card certainly represents a solid way to subsidize your travel expenses, assuming you have excellent credit.
Your earnings will always be worth 25% more when redeemed for airfare. That’s important to remember as you consider the 3 points per $1 spent on travel (including gas) that you’ll earn, in addition to 2 points per $1 on dining and entertainment, and 1 point per $1 on everything else. In other words, the card’s regular earning rates range from the points equivalent of 1% cash back up to 3.75% cash back, depending on where you make purchases and how you approach redemption. However you decide to use this card, carrying a balance from month to month should definitely be avoided. Citi Premier does not offer 0% introductory rates.
Fatherhood is a responsibility which changes over time. Back in 1960, 75% of American families relied on a single income, that of the dad, who spent much of his week at work while mom stayed home with the kids. Today, two-thirds of family households depend on two incomes. And the contemporary dad no longer fits neatly into the standard of the married breadwinner and disciplinarian.
Regardless of the changing identity and priorities of the modern dad, fatherhood remains an undisputedly tough job. And a father’s ability to provide for his family is central to his role. In fact, nearly 93 percent of dads with kids younger than 18 are employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But some working dads, those who live in states with greater economic opportunity and quality of life, have it better than others.
Below-average customer service and claims satisfaction.
No online claims filing.
Limited coverage options and discounts.
Must purchase a policy through an agent.
Only available in 11 states.
Mercury Insurance Review Summary: Mercury car insurance is hard to beat when it comes to pricing, landing in 7th place out of 46 auto insurers in WalletHub’s cost comparison. But Mercury does not stray far from the basics when it comes to coverage options, discounts, and specialty auto insurance. As a result, Mercury is best for low-maintenance drivers looking for standard coverage options at an affordable price and nothing more.
People who require attentive customer care and quality claims processing are better off shopping for car insurance elsewhere. Mercury has received below-average ratings for both. One big reason why: Drivers do not have the option of purchasing a policy or filing claims online.
Convenient self-service mobile app and online claims filing.
Higher than average number of customer complaints.
No accident forgiveness.
Rideshare policy only available in California.
No availability of local insurance agents.
Esurance Review Summary: Esurance car insurance is designed for drivers who are not intimidated by the idea of shopping for, buying, and managing their auto policies completely online. With Esurance, the process of getting your insurance directly online is surprisingly painless thanks to the company’s straightforward, easy-to-use website.
Esurance has competitive rates, essential coverage options, and generous discounts. What more can you ask for? Some policyholders would say better customer service. But don’t let Esurance’s average customer service rating be a deal-breaker, as they make up for it with a highly-rated claims service process. Still, drivers who want a longer list of coverage options and a more personalized shopping experience might want to look elsewhere. Esurance is best for the self-sufficient, tech-savvy driver looking for a wallet-friendly rate.
Highly-rated claims service with online filing option.
Extensive coverage options.
Discount for hybrid cars.
Complaints about high premiums.
Average customer service.
Farmers Review Summary: Farmers auto insurance is a winner when it comes to coverage options and quality claims support. It receives especially high marks from customers in the areas of repairs and rental experience. Farmers is generous with discounts, too, offering savings for homeowners and for individuals who drive alternative fuel vehicles, among others. In terms of pricing, however, Farmers is pretty middle of the road, landing in 25th place (out of 46 insurers) in WalletHub’s ranking.
In the sections below, learn more about Farmers Insurance’s extensive coverage options, discounts, and how they compare against competitors like State Farm, GEICO, and Allstate.
Affordable option for high-risk drivers who struggle to buy coverage elsewhere.
Online claims filing by mobile app.
Limited coverage options and discounts.
Complaints about customer service, confusing website, and claims service.
No reward for safe driving.
The General Review Summary: The General is one of the few companies in the auto insurance industry that sells policies to drivers with a history of traffic violations and accidents. Not only that, but The General offers traditional auto coverage options at affordable prices, throwing a lifeline to drivers who might be struggling to purchase coverage elsewhere.
Although The General has competitive rates, it doesn’t have as many coverage options and discounts as its better-known competitors. Interestingly, given the high-risk drivers it insures, The General does not provide any incentives to promote safe driving habits. The General’s lackluster website also makes it hard to nail down coverage and discount details. Prospective customers must request a quote in order to learn more about their options.