August’s jobs report showed improvement for the employment market, as the economy added 1.4 million nonfarm payroll jobs. That’s less than the amount added in July (1.8 million), but it makes sense given the number of states that have paused reopening or added new restrictions due to upticks in COVID-19. Now, the U.S. unemployment rate sits at 8.4%, which is still high but is a decline from the nearly historic high of 14.7% in April. This drop can be attributed in part to the fact that a lot more businesses are open now than were a few months ago. In addition, most people who became unemployed during this crisis have only been temporarily laid off, and expect to be rehired by their former employers once companies reopen and start to make money again. However, it will take far more time for us to reduce the unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels than it did for the virus to reverse over a decade of job growth.
In order to identify the states whose unemployment rates are bouncing back most, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on four key metrics. We looked at the change in each state’s unemployment during the latest month for which we have data (August 2020) compared to August 2019 and January 2020. We also compared not seasonally adjusted continued claims in August 2020 to August 2019. Finally, we considered each state’s overall unemployment rate. This monthly report is a companion to our report on the States Whose Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest, which examines unemployment claims on a weekly basis. Read on for the results, additional commentary from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.
If you are active duty or a reserve in the U.S. military, it’s not just Uncle Sam who wants you – insurance companies do, too. Many insurers offer discounts and special services to military personnel, such as prorating premiums while your car is stored for deployment or discounting premiums when you are residing on base. Similar discounts exist for veterans and for drivers who belong to certain military associations.
To help you take advantage of these well-earned perks, we’ve compiled information about the military-specific deals offered by 11 of the most popular insurance companies, in addition to researching other specials available through private military associations. You can also check out savings opportunities available to any driver in our car insurance discounts guide.
3% back on purchases with Apple and partner brands
2% back when using Apple Pay
Bad for carrying a balance
Limited rewards appeal
Apple Card Review Verdict: The Apple Card is a rewarding option for people with good credit or better who regularly buy Apple products and services, as well as for iPhone, Mac and iWatch users who are comfortable making purchases using Apple Pay. Having the new Apple Credit Card from Goldman Sachs in your wallet doesn’t have to cost you a thing, considering the card’s $0 annual fee (and lack of other major fees). But it can help you save money with elite rewards rates of up to 2% - 3% on select purchases, as long as you pay the bill in full every month.
The Apple Credit Card has some financial appeal for new Apple purchases. Apart from that, the card is not a good choice for people who plan to carry a balance from month to month, thanks to an APR that could be anywhere from 10.99% to 21.99% (V), depending on an applicant’s creditworthiness. There are much better credit card rates available to people with the good-to-excellent credit needed to be eligible for Apple Card approval.
There are over 10 million motor vehicle accidents every year, according to Census Bureau estimates, so even if you’re a safe driver, it pays to plan ahead and be prepared. The most important rules: Keep your cool. If there is any chance of serious injuries, call 911.
The U.S. is still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, and different states have begun to reopen at different rates. Some states have paused their reopening plans or have even reversed course and issued new restrictions. Despite that, new unemployment claims decreased week-over-week on September 7, which shows that we’re making progress toward recovery.
There are currently 13.6 million Americans unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in total. Last week, there were 860,000 new unemployment claims nationwide, which is a lot fewer than the 6.9 million during the peak of the pandemic (an 87% reduction).
A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) — also called driving while intoxicated (DWI) — will make it harder and more expensive to get car insurance. The good news is that a DUI conviction is only one of several factors that insurers use to determine risk. Each insurer also handles these infractions a bit differently. The bad news is that insurance rates can increase 30% or more after a first DUI, according to our findings.
The amount of car insurance you need depends on multiple factors, like your financial situation, the value of your vehicle, your driving habits, and geographic location. Almost every state has minimum car insurance requirements, and drivers still have to pay for any damage they cause in the two states where liability insurance is not required: New Hampshire and Virginia.
Liability insurance covers the other driver’s property damage or injuries if you cause an accident. It is the only coverage required in 31 states. Another 17 states expect drivers to carry other types of car insurance in addition to liability coverage, such as uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection. In the remaining two states, you are required to either carry liability coverage or keep a certain amount of money in reserve with the state to drive legally. If you lease or finance your car, your lender can require that you carry collision and comprehensive insurance, too.
A serious accident or the theft of your car is very bad news. But it can be worse when your auto insurance plan doesn’t cover what you owe on the car.
If you owe more than your car is worth, then you are “upside down” in your auto loan. In the event of a catastrophic loss, a standard car insurance policy will cover up to the replacement cost of your vehicle, but they don’t cover any “negative equity” you owe your lender beyond that.
After a long flight you make your way to the luggage carousel and finally the rental car counter. At this point, the last things you want to face are difficult decisions and hard sales tactics. The agent at the rental counter attempts to talk you into buying a damage waiver to cover you in the case of an accident or other event that causes damage to your rental car. What should you do? Is it worth the extra cost that will be added to your rental?
In an unfamiliar car and city, maybe during a holiday, often using a GPS to navigate, it’s easy to see why rental car accidents are more likely. One survey found that 27% of men and 10% of women have experienced damage to rental cars. Although this may reflect years of rental car use for each individual, the numbers are still a little frightening.
Comprehensive and collision insurance are complementary forms of coverage that together protect your car against most forms of damage, with each covering distinct types of losses. Here’s a quick description of each:
Comprehensive Insurance: This coverage applies when your car does not actually collide with another vehicle or object – for example, for damage caused by a fire, natural disaster, animals, falling objects, theft, vandalism, or claims limited to glass damage (such as a cracked windshield).
Laws in nearly every state require motorists to carry car insurance, but many people take their chances and drive without coverage. How many? According to an Insurance Research Council study, an estimated one in eight motorists in 2012 was driving without insurance. That’s a national average, and in some states as many as one in four are uninsured.
If you’re involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, you could be left holding the bag. Even if the other driver carries insurance, he or she may be underinsured, with coverage limits not high enough to pay for all the costs of a serious accident. Look at the minimum level of liability coverage required in your state, it may be a lot less than you think.
There are many reasons why you might not recognize an inquiry on your credit report. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your identity has been compromised, but it’s nevertheless important to make sure. An unauthorized inquiry could be the first sign of a fraudster seeking to take out credit in your name, and getting to the bottom of things as quickly as possible will save you a lot of time, hassle and potential credit score damage in the future.
Immediate Steps To Take
Contact The Creditor In Question: The first step in investigating an unrecognized credit inquiry should always be to call the creditor that has been poking around your reports. Speaking with them may help you realize that you actually did authorize the inquiry or get clues about how this fraud is being perpetrated. Make sure to take detailed notes during this call, including the name, ID number (if any) and direct phone number of the customer service representative or fraud specialist that you talk to.
You only drive your car on weekends, and you’re a cautious, defensive driver. Yet you’re paying just as much for car insurance as other people who commute daily, some of whom boil over with road rage. Now you have a way to prove to your insurer how few miles you drive and how gently you drive them.
For many Americans, the prospect of retiring in the Golden State is nothing more than a pipe dream. California boasts beautiful nature, bustling cities and a rich history, but it’s also one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. With the fourth highest cost of living and the thirteenth highest tax burden in the nation, the state appropriately ranked No. 38 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. It’s not all about the money, though. Seniors in California will want to live somewhere that’s safe and provides good quality healthcare, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, where California is one of the states hit hardest. The best locations will also have fulfilling activities to do during retirement.
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) is worth it if you’re buying a new car, as large non-collision repairs on new vehicles can be very costly and are usually covered only by extended warranties or MBI, not standard insurance policies. Mechanical breakdown insurance covers failure of major vehicular systems, like your engine and transmission. It’s similar to an extended warranty from a car manufacturer, but it provides coverage for more systems.
Standard insurance policies, on the other hand, provide coverage for damage that occurs due to collisions, vandalism or unforeseen hazards, such as hail storms or floods. So, if you’re looking for insurance that will cover any major breakdown repairs your car might need, you will have to choose between purchasing MBI and an extended warranty.
Bottom-line Review:Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a great credit card for people with good credit or better who want solid rewards and the opportunity to save on interest, without paying an annual fee. The Freedom Unlimited Card offers above-average rewards, giving 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 3% back on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases and 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The first $12,000 spent on groceries the first year yields 5% cash back. And the card also gives an initial bonus of $200 for spending $500 within 3 months of opening an account. On top of all that, the annual fee is $0 and new cardholders get 0% for 15 months as an introductory APR on new purchases.
Below, we’ll explore the best and worst parts of this offer in greater detail to help you decide whether or not to apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.
All states have at least partially reopened after keeping non-essential businesses closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the U.S. is still far from a full reopening. Many states have put a hold on moving to the next stage of reopening, or have even reversed course and closed certain businesses again due to surges in the disease. In order to determine the states with the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 17 key metrics. Our data set ranges from whether restaurants have reopened to whether the state has required face masks in public and workplace temperature screenings. Read on for the state ranking, additional insight from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.
The Verdict: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best rewards credit cards on the market. With Sapphire Preferred, the average person would earn roughly $1,675 in net rewards value over the course of two year’s use. And that’s with the card’s $95 annual fee factored in, too. The core of this offer is a $800 to $1,000 initial rewards bonus, which can cover the cost of the card’s membership fees for over eight years.
Sapphire Preferred continues to pay for itself by providing two points per dollar spent on travel and dining as well as one point per dollar spent on everything else. When redeemed for cash back, these points are worth a penny each but jump to 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is a pretty good airline credit card for applicants with a 750+ credit score who want a low annual fee. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select has a $0 annual fee the first year ($99 per year after that), making it one of the more affordable American Airlines credit card offers available right now. There are some noteworthy perks, too.
The Platinum Select Mastercard’s benefits include an initial bonus of 50,000 miles for spending $2,500 within 3 months of opening an account, free checked bags, priority boarding and discounts on in-flight refreshments. The card also provides ongoing rewards rates of 1 - 2 miles per $1, with gas station, restaurants and American Airlines purchases yielding the highest return.
Rental reimbursement coverage is a car insurance coverage option that helps pay for the cost of a rental car while your car is being repaired after an accident. Rental reimbursement coverage costs $2-$15 a month and can also cover other transportation costs like cab fares, depending on the insurer. Rental reimbursement coverage only helps cover the cost of a rental car after an accident, not routine maintenance or the use of a rental car while on vacation.
Rental reimbursement is optional coverage, which means you’ll pay more in premiums to get the added protection. Is it a good value? Keep reading the full guide to learn how it works and determine whether rental reimbursement is right for you.