South Carolina, also known as the Palmetto State, is one of 14 states that border the Atlantic Ocean. It has a rich history as one of the original 13 colonies and a site of important battles during the Civil War.
South Carolina isn’t one of the biggest states economy-wise. It ranks 26th out of the 50 states by GDP. But it is doing fairly well, as its unemployment rate of 4% is right in line with the national average. The housing market is healthy, too. Home values have increased 7.2% in the past year and are projected to rise another 6% in the next year.
The Verdict: The Capital One® SavorOne℠ 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). SavorOne gives you 3% cash back on entertainment and 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 $139.
The Capital One SavorOne 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 SavorOne card. And you get 0% introductory APRs for new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months your account is open.
After putting in decades of hard work, we naturally expect to have financial security in our golden years. But not all Americans can look forward to a relaxing retirement. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey, two in three workers reported feeling at least somewhat confident that they will have enough money to retire comfortably, but only 17 percent said they were “very confident.”
If so many American workers are worried about their financial future, what other options provide a pathway to a comfortable retirement? For some, the only solution is to keep working. According to Gallup polling, workers in 2018 plan to retire at age 66 on average, compared to age 60 in 1995. The alternative? Relocate to an area where you can stretch your dollar without sacrificing your lifestyle.
Everyone knows you need auto insurance to drive. It’s the law, everywhere but New Hampshire. We also know that our credit scores dictate what types of credit cards and loans we can get. But most of us are in the dark about to the connection between credit scores and car insurance.
So WalletHub set out to see just how much credit data affects the cost of insurance policies in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
What should you expect when you’re expecting? Besides possibly the greatest joy of your life, you can expect a lot of extra expenses. Between one-time costs such as a crib and stroller and ongoing ones including diapers and formula, it’s easy to go over budget.
One of the biggest expenses to keep in mind is medical bills. According to The Economist, the average conventional delivery in the U.S. costs over $10,000, more expensive than the birth of Britain’s latest royal baby. Whether or not you have insurance naturally plays a big role as well.
There are four ways to increase your credit limit on a credit card: 1) Request a higher limit from your credit card’s issuer; 2) Wait for your credit card company to automatically raise your credit limit; 3) Add to a secured credit card’s security deposit; and 4) Apply for a new credit card account. Which you choose depends on what type of credit card you have and whether you’re looking for more spending power or a higher limit for credit-improvement purposes.
The Visa Infinite benefits include everything you’ll get with regular Visa or Visa Signature cards, plus a lot more. Most notably, only Visa Infinite cards have travel insurance, purchase protection and return protection. All Visa Infinite cards are eligible for these benefits, although the card’s issuer can choose whether or not to include them. You should take advantage of as many of the perks as possible, since they come free with your card.
Below you’ll see how Visa Infinite benefits compare to other tiers and learn about these benefits and what they can provide for you.
World Elite is Mastercard’s highest benefits level. World Elite Mastercard benefits include everything you’d get with a regular or World Mastercard, plus hundreds of thousands of dollars more in travel insurance, exclusive discounts on many travel services and special nightclub access. The best World Elite Mastercard benefits include: purchase protection, price protection, extended warranties, travel accident insurance and multiple discount programs. Other good perks include a ShopRunner membership and exclusive PGA Tour golf experiences.
World Mastercard is the middle tier for Mastercard perks. World Mastercard benefits are better than what you’d get from a regular Mastercard but not as good as World Elite Mastercard perks. All such benefits are provided directly by the Mastercard network rather than by the banks and credit unions that issue the cards. However, issuers can choose whether or not to include a particular benefit in each credit card offer, so some World Mastercards may be better than others.
When you compare Visa vs. Visa Signature, the biggest difference is that Visa Signature cards have more benefits. All Visa credit cards come with benefits such as rental car insurance, roadside dispatch and emergency card replacement. On top of those “Visa Traditional” perks, Visa Signature credit cards give you extended warranties, a detailed year-end summary and travel assistance services.
Credit card miles work by rewarding you for making purchases using your card and then allowing you to use your stockpiled miles for travel, gift cards, cash back or other options. Credit card miles are one of the three major types of credit card rewards, the other two being cash back and points. Points and miles basically function the same way, but miles are more closely tied to travel, especially air travel.
3 points per $1 spent on Expedia purchases (1 point/$1 on everything else)
Complimentary Expedia+ Silver status
No annual fee
3% foreign transaction fee
No 0% Intro APRs
Above-average regular APR
Points expire due to inactivity
This offer is no longer available through WalletHub.com but is available on the Citi website.
The Verdict: The Expedia®+ Card from Citi (Citi is a WalletHub partner) is a decent, if complicated, option for people with excellent credit who travel often and tend to book their accommodations on third-party comparison websites — particularly Expedia.com. It’s flexible in the sense that you won’t have to commit to a particular travel provider, but it’s also restrictive in that getting the most bang for your buck necessitates not only booking all of your travel through Expedia, but also limiting your accommodation and redemption options to certain deals offered on the site.
In an ideal world, all children would live worry-free and have access to their basic needs: nutritious food, a good education, quality health care and a secure home. Emotionally, they all would feel safe and be loved and supported by caring adults. When all such needs are met, children have a better chance of a stable and happy adult life. But in reality, not every child is so privileged — even in the richest and most powerful nation in the world.
The U.S., in fact, has the seventh highest rate of child poverty — over 29 percent — among economically developed countries. And according to the Children’s Defense Fund, more than 694,000 American children are abused or neglected every year. That’s one for every 45 seconds in a year.
To many of us, pets are family — even if they’re covered in fur, feathers or scales. Naturally, the nearly 85 million households in the U.S. that own pets want to live places where their beloved companions can enjoy long, healthy lives without breaking the bank. The American Pet Products Association projects that in 2018, pet ownership will cost Americans over $72 billion.
Years ago, pet owners had access to only a handful of businesses offering animal services and supplies. Petco and PetSmart were among the biggest names. But the market for pet businesses is growing to fill increasing consumer demand. For example, in 2017, the pet food industry grew three times as fast as the packaged food industry. And there are new ways to buy goods for your animal, such as monthly subscription boxes.
The Verdict: The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit (Credit One Bank is a WalletHub partner) is one of the most popular credit cards for people with bad credit, thanks largely to its position as one of the few unsecured cards that will even approve applicants who are working their way back from damaged standing. In addition to a $300 minimum credit line, Credit One’s Platinum Visa offers rewards and regular credit-limit increases, or at least the potential for both. You’ll earn 1% cash back on gas and groceries as long as your account is not delinquent, and though you will be regularly considered for a higher credit limit, you are by no means guaranteed of actually receiving one. It all depends on how responsibly you use the card and how generous Credit One Bank (a WalletHub partner) is feeling.
Unfortunately, for all that the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit gives you, it also takes an awful lot in return. It charges an annual fee that can be anywhere from $0 to $75 the first year (up to $99 thereafter), depending on creditworthiness, thus reducing your initial credit line to as little as $225. It also has an APR of 19.74% - 25.74% (V), based on your credit standing.
According to the CDC, 88.1 percent of the population has a regular place to go for medical care. But the cost and service quality of that care can vary widely from state to state. The overall health of the population, more advanced medical equipment and a general lack of awareness regarding the best types of treatment, for instance, can all affect costs. Today, the average American spends more than $10,000 per year on personal health care, according to the most recent estimates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That’s about 17.9 percent of the U.S. GDP.
But higher costs don’t necessarily translate to better results. According to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the U.S. lags behind several other wealthy nations on several measures, such as health coverage, life expectancy and disease burden, which measures longevity and quality of life. However, the U.S. has improved in giving more healthcare access for people in worse health, and healthcare cost growth has slowed somewhat.
You can check your credit score for free in less than two minutes on WalletHub, the only site with free daily updates. Just quickly confirm your identity, and you’ll get access to your latest VantageScore 3.0 credit score, based on your TransUnion credit report.
2 points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment (1 point per $1 on everything else)
No foreign-transaction fees
$95 annual fee starting year two
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 ThankYou® Premier Card (Citi is a WalletHub partner) certainly represents a solid way to subsidize your travel expenses, assuming you have excellent credit.
The $95 annual fee doesn’t kick in until year two and your earnings will always be worth 25% more when redeemed for airfare.
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.
All things considered, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express could yield the average person around $1,800 in value over the first two years — according to our calculations — even considering the $95 annual fee that kicks in during year two. However, that assumes use of the card for all purchases, not just for hotel reservations. The card can still be valuable when used more selectively.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) is the brand name used for the Starwood Hotels & Resorts loyalty rewards program. Starwood is among the largest hotel chains in the world, featuring 1,200 properties in roughly 100 countries across its 10 individual brands, which include luxury names such as Westin, Sheraton and W Hotels.