Potentially High Regular APR Makes It Costly To Carry A Balance
The Verdict: Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is the best travel rewards credit card on the market, largely because cardholders accrue maximum earnings on all purchases and have the freedom to redeem miles for any travel-related expense. It’s everything a 21st Century traveler needs in a credit card: straightforward, unmatched earnings with a no-strings-attached redemption policy that actually adds flexibility. So you should make sure to check it out if you haven’t already started packing your bags.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® offers more value per dollar than any other travel rewards card on the market (excluding co-branded offers, which lack flexibility yet may provide greater earning potential for certain brand-loyal consumers). Highly profitable, relatively unrestrictive travel rewards are thus the Arrival Plus Card’s bread and butter. And while it does ostensibly have some financing value, there are a few potentially costly qualifications to consider in this regard (explained in the next section).
The Verdict: If you’re a relatively light spender with excellent credit, you don’t want to blow cash on a card that charges fixed fees. With no annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (American Express is a WalletHub partner) helps you avoid such costs and save even more money, as it offers both the rewards and financing benefits required to satisfy your most pressing daily needs. You will earn a $150 initial bonus for spending $1,000 in the first three months your account is open, as well as 3% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend at U.S. supermarkets each year (1% thereafter); 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; and 1% cash back on everything else. You will also avoid interest for the first 15 months, thanks to 0% introductory rates applicable to both new purchases and balance transfers.
Blue Cash Everyday® isn’t all helpful, however, as it complicates the balance-transfer math with a 3% transfer fee and a regular APR that ranges from 13.99% to 24.99% (V) (both above the market averages for excellent and fair credit, respectively). All financing efforts undertaken with this card should therefore be done in close consultation with a credit card calculator. It’s also important to make sure that supermarkets, gas stations and department stores account for a significant amount of your everyday spending, as the 1% earning rate on “all other purchases” is merely the market average for a rewards card.
The Verdict: One of the market’s elite everyday offers, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (American Express is a WalletHub partner) provides an impressive rewards package aimed at some of the most common consumer-spending categories. In addition to a $200 initial bonus for spending at least $1,000 during the first three months your account is open, you will earn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarket purchases that you make each year (1% thereafter), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on everything else.
This steep fixed cost means that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card is ill-suited to someone who infrequently pays with plastic, as it would be difficult to earn enough rewards to cover the annual fee. But if you’re prepared to make it your primary spending vehicle, and groceries and gas are among your biggest expenses, then Blue Cash Preferred®certainly warrants a closer look. And though it’s not necessarily an offer to seek out for financing purposes, it’s far from a liability and actually lends itself quite well to helping you both earn rewards and avoid interest on a big-ticket purchase that will take more than a few months to pay off.
Colorado is known for recreation: hiking, skiing and camping, to name a few. But as any native of the Centennial State will tell you, Colorado is much more diverse than it seems. And it’s all that diversity that makes Colorado an ideal place to raise children.
Filled with mountains, plains, valleys and deserts, Colorado boasts a much wider array of outdoor activities than most states. This abundance of natural beauty and fun has led to healthy living in the state: Coloradans are the least obese and most active people in the U.S., and their kids have access to some of the best health care, too.
The American narrative is a story of diversity. Our history tells of many different peoples coming together from every walk of life to form what is today a complex tapestry of backgrounds.
And our story will continue to advance that narrative in the decades to come. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that by 2044 the U.S. will no longer have a single ethnic majority, currently non-Hispanic whites, and will grow increasingly “majority-minority” in the years to follow.
Everyone likes to have fun. But we all prefer our personal brand of a good time. Some of us like going to bars and clubs, trying new restaurants, watching movies or playing outdoor sports. Others enjoy riding roller coasters, gambling, or catching and training Pokémon.
With such different preferences, what, then, makes a fun city? At WalletHub, we define such a place as one that packs a little bit of everything for everyone — except maybe Johnny Knoxville and his extreme-thrill-seeking posse. In a city with enough variety, you won’t have to compromise with your amigos, your family or even yourself about the next fun activity to do alone or together.
It generally takes at least a year to rebuild bad credit, which is usually defined as a credit score below 620. But how long it takes to repair credit score damage really depends on how bad it is and where you expect your score to be once fully rebuilt. Below, we’ll give you an idea of how long you can expect to wait in various situations, as well as what you can do to speed things up.
The most popular credit scores all use a range of 300 to 850. So a credit score of 900 isn’t possible with those models, which include VantageScore 3.0 and 4.0 as well as FICO 8 and 9. But some older models, as well as some alternative scores, do go up to 900 (or even beyond). It’s good to be familiar with these ratings, but you probably won’t encounter them often.
Anyone can go from no credit to good credit in a matter of months, or even weeks. But scores based on little information can fluctuate a lot, depending on your initial performance as a borrower. And building a consistently good credit score usually takes a few years of responsible money management. Above all else, that means paying your bills on time.
Having health insurance is vital to the well-being of your family and your wallet. It not only ensures that you have access to the care you need, but it also can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket medical expenses, the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S.
Much to the credit of the Affordable Care Act — dubbed “Obamacare” — the uninsured rate for all Americans dipped to a historic low of 8.6 percent in the first three months of 2016, according to the National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the uninsured rate is back on the rise in 2017 and continues to vary dramatically across states.
The national uninsured rate is on an upward trend this year, following a record low of 8.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But how widely do the rates differ from city to city?
With U.S. health-care reform still in limbo, WalletHub’s analysts measured the uninsured rates for 547 U.S. cities and broke them down even further by age, income level and race. In addition, we conducted the same analysis at the state level. Read on for the complete ranking, a ranking by city size and a full description of our methodology.
For many Americans, the prospect of retiring in the Golden State is nothing more than a pipe dream. California boasts an unbeatable quality of life, but it’s also one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. With the third highest cost of living and the tenth highest tax burden in the nation, the state appropriately ranked No. 42 in affordability on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst States to Retire” study.
It’s easy to see why California might seem out of reach to retirees living on a fixed monthly income. But a closer look at individual cities in the Golden State proves there are exceptions.
Most major credit card companies allow you to prequalify for at least some of their credit card offers (some cards are from WalletHub partners). This is a convenience that lets people gauge their approval odds without triggering a hard inquiry, which could lead to credit score damage. In many cases, they will take the first move by mailing you an invitation to apply, telling you that you’ve been preapproved and providing a special code or website to use when submitting your application. Other times, issuers will let you check which of their cards you pre-qualify for directly from their website.
Americans have much to thank the Germans for: BMW, bratwursts and hard syllables for writing good poetry or letting off steam, for instance. But perhaps one of the Germans’ most valuable contributions to our society is their gift for long-term merriment.
Oktoberfest is the time-honored tradition of debauchery often lasting from mid-September to the first Sunday in October. Originating from early 19th century Munich, the weeks-long event has evolved into the world’s biggest Volksfest, or “people’s festival,” attracting more than six million people from around the globe to guzzle nearly 2 million gallons of beer every year.
People determine their own happiness. But how content we are with life is not only and always a matter of perspective. And it’s certainly not about beauty, power or wealth — at least, not beyond an annual income of $75,000. Where we choose to live can also influence our level of happiness.
In this study, WalletHub’s analysts drew upon the findings of “happiness” research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.
Credit card debt statistics speak to the financial health of American households. They can also foreshadow over-borrowing bubbles, changes to lending standards, and other trends with the potential to impact our wallets.
Following the worst year for credit card debt since the Great Recession, we started 2017 with a $30.5 billion first-quarter paydown. But we borrowed it back and then some during Q2, racking up $33 billion in new debt. So it’s not a question of whether consumers are weakening financially, but rather how long this trend toward pre-recession habits will last and just how bad it will get.
Sending a credit dispute letter is one way to contest inaccurate information on a credit report. Such a letter basically outlines the problem, explains why the info in question is inaccurate and requests a correction. And it can be sent to a credit bureau or the company that provided the bureau the flawed info.
Beacon Scores are a perfect example of how confusing credit scores can be and just how many of them we have. Introduced in 1989, “Beacon” is the brand name for certain types of FICO scores based on Equifax credit reports. And there are at least seven versions:
A soft credit check is the type of credit inquiry, or credit pull, that does not hurt your credit score. Soft credit checks happen when you check your own credit report, for example, as well as when credit card companies pre-screen you for offers. In contrast, hard credit checks can lead to credit score damage, especially when you have many in a short period of time. Hard inquiries happen whenever you apply for a new loan or line of credit.
The terms “credit report” and “credit score” are often mentioned together, and for good reason. But they’re not quite the same thing. A credit report is a summary of your track record as a borrower. It lists the loans and lines of credit that you’ve used, any collections accounts or tax liens in your name, personally identifying information, and other key info. A credit score is basically a credit report’s contents expressed as a number. In other words, it’s shorthand for what your credit history says about how risky it would be lend money to you.