Stress affects everyone. Although we cannot eliminate stress entirely from our lives, we can minimize it by choosing to live in the least toxic environments. American stress levels have been rising for many demographics since their low point in 2016. Common stressors include the future of America and money, along with uncertainty about health care. But not all demographics are affected in the same way. For example, women’s stress levels rose in the past year while men’s actually dropped.
But certain states have contributed more than others to elevating — or decreasing — stress levels in the U.S. WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 38 key indicators of stress to determine the places to avoid and achieve a more relaxing life. Our data set ranges from average hours worked per week to personal bankruptcy rate to share of adults getting adequate sleep. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and our full methodology.
Tax Day can be a painful reminder of how much we have to invest in federal, state and local governments, though many of us are unaware of exactly what they give us in return. As a result, this creates a disconnect in the minds of taxpayers between the amount of money we should fork over every April and how much we deserve in return.
Perhaps that’s why, according to WalletHub’s Taxpayer Survey, 55% of U.S. adults feel they pay too much in taxes and why 90% don’t think that the government uses tax revenue wisely. We do know, however, that taxpayer return on investment, or ROI, varies based where one lives. Federal income-tax rates are uniform across the nation, yet some states receive far more federal funding than others. But federal taxes and support are only part of the story.
The highest credit score you can have is 850. That’s the maximum credit score used by all of the most popular credit-scoring models today. While less than 1% of people have that highest possible credit score, according to score providers, far more of us can claim to have perfect credit.
USAA (a WalletHub partner) offers nearly 30 different credit cards to current and former members of the military, as well as their immediate family. That means determining whether you meet the organization’s membership requirements is only step one. After that, you’ll still need to identify the right credit card for your needs from the many available offers.
To help make the process as painless as possible, we compared all of USAA’s cards to find the best offers for the most common consumer needs. You can find our selections below, along with the best alternative from other issuers for each usage scenario. If you would like a personalized credit card recommendation or to check your latest credit score, just sign up for a free WalletHub account.
5% back on PlayStation Store purchases and PlayStation and Sony products from authorized retailers
3% back on mobile-phone bills (1% on everything else)
0% purchase APR until October 2018
No annual fee
Potential for a very high regular APR
Inconsistent redemption value
Note: Information listed on this page may no longer be accurate. Accurate as of March 29, 2018.
The Verdict: The PlayStation® Card from Capital One® won’t really help you save on everyday expenses like gas and groceries, which makes it ill-suited to be your primary spending vehicle. But it can save you a bundle on gaming and entertainment expenses, in addition to perhaps helping you avoid undue aggravation if you have a teenager in the house.
It takes 7-10 business days to get a new credit card after being approved for an account, in most cases. That means it usually takes 14-24 business days to get a credit card after submitting an application, though the timeframe will be a lot shorter if you’re approved instantly. And if you need a replacement card because your original was lost, stolen or damaged, it will take 3-7 business days, depending on the issuer. Most credit card companies offer free expedited shipping for replacement cards (often overnight), and a handful extend the benefit to new cards. You just have to ask. Others charge a fee for faster delivery, while some don’t offer the service at all.
President Donald Trump signed sweeping tax code changes into law in 2017, leaving Republicans excited and Democrats less than thrilled. Trump and his supporters see the new code as a win for both businesses and individuals. It lowers the corporate income tax from 35 to 21 percent, and is projected to increase overall after-tax income in every quintile of taxpayers.
Some people aren’t confident that the new rates will be beneficial for all, though. For example, according to WalletHub’s Tax Survey, 69 percent of consumers say that they believe the new tax reform will benefit corporations more than consumers, and 67 percent believe it will favor the rich over the middle class.
Complaining about taxes is about as American as apple pie. It’s in our DNA, having paved the way for independence before the United States was even a twinkle in the founding fathers’ eyes. So even though the circumstances have changed quite a bit over the years, we’re still arguing about who owes what to the government and how the money should be used.
Credit cards charge interest when you don’t pay off your full balance by the due date each month. When you carry, or revolve, a credit card balance from month to month, interest is charged on a daily basis, and it affects both your existing balance and any new purchases that post to your account. The interest you’re charged one day also becomes part of the balance accruing interest the next. In other words, credit card interest compounds daily. That, combined with the fact that credit cards are known for having high rates, is why credit card debt is so expensive.
The Verdict: Placing a deposit on the Citi® Secured Mastercard® Credit Card (Citi is a WalletHub partner) is neither an outright mistake nor an ideal decision. You see, it’s a solid credit-building tool with the potential to help you reach a higher credit tier without charging an annual fee, as long as you use it responsibly. But this isn’t the only option you have if you wish to avoid the burden of an annual fee.
So if a low-cost means of credit improvement is what you’re looking for, this middle-of-the-road offer might be for you. The only stipulation is that you can’t have gone through bankruptcy in the past two years. And you can learn everything else you need to know below.
Doctors are among the highest-paid and most educated professionals in the U.S. Just consider the fact that “physician” is the most popular profession within the top 1 percent of earners. And the high salary average makes sense, given the importance of their life-saving work and the struggles that come with life in the medical profession.
But doctors don’t always start out wealthy. The average medical-school graduate left campus with more than $190,000 of debt in 2017. The medical profession has also been undergoing intense transformation in recent years. Health-care reform, the rise of branded hospital networks and the retirement of Baby Boomers are all complicating the lives of doctors.
The Myth: Many people assume we each have three, and only three, credit scores, one from each major credit bureau: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. After all, anyone with a Social Security number who’s ever possessed either a credit card or a loan also has a credit report from each of these bureaus. So it would seem only logical for there to be three corresponding credit scores. But that, as it turns out, isn’t true.
You know it’s Easter when grocery stores have special aisles just for chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps while their dairy sections keep running out of eggs. Beside Valentine’s Day, it’s the other big “consumer” holiday that’s expected to rake in billions and give every American a toothache. But candy and big meals are just one part of the celebration. Most people dye their eggs in bright colors, and hide plastic ones around the home for the kids to hunt on Easter Sunday. At least that’s the Easter tradition that’s familiar to the roughly 80 percent of Americans who celebrate the occasion in some way.
For Christians, however, Easter is less of a commercial event than a holy experience. It not only marks the end of Lent — a 40-day period of fasting, reflection, prayer and repentance followed directly by Easter Sunday — but it also celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and represents the “new covenant” between God and humanity. In observance of the holiday, many families will attend services, feast and continue to share the messages of Christ.
Chip and PIN credit cards use the latest fraud prevention technology (some cards are from WalletHub partners). Each chip and PIN credit card contains an embedded computer chip that corresponds to a personal identification number, which you must key into a payment terminal or ATM to use the card. The payment terminal then confirms the PIN matches the computer chip to approve the transaction. This, in theory, makes transactions more secure and a card harder for fraudsters to copy.
Hotel credit cards aren’t quite as popular as their airline-affiliated counterparts, perhaps because airfare tends to be more expensive than lodging. Nevertheless, the right hotel rewards card can make the perfect complement to the wallet of a brand-loyal frequent traveler.
One of the main impediments to profiting from hotel credit card points — aside from infrequent patronage — is that all of the chain-specific offers that are currently available require good or excellent credit for approval. Those who do not qualify should focus on cost-effective credit building – in other words, prioritize approval and a lack of fees over rewards – in order to save as much money as possible until truly rewarding offers are in the cards.
There are two types of premium credit cards: those that merely market themselves as elite and luxurious, and those that actually are. Just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t jump to conclusions about a credit card based on its name alone. There are over 300 credit cards with “Premium,” “Elite,” “Gold” or “Platinum in their name. And they can’t all be the best.
To help you find a truly premium credit card, WalletHub’s editors compared 1,000+ offers based on their rewards, rates, fees and assorted amenities, ranging from airport lounge access to travel insurance. You can see which cards we think are truly elite below (some cards are issued by our partners).
Ghouls, goblins, vampires and…credit cards? That’s right; having the wrong plastic in your wallet this Halloween could be even scarier than the best haunted house on the block. The reasons why are simple. For one thing, the best credit card offers are about as attractive as they’ve ever been. Cash-based initial rewards bonuses have more than quadrupled in value since 2010, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report. And 0% introductory financing terms have increased in length by 33%. Furthermore, we’re once again racking up balances by the billion.
The way things are looking, we’ll end 2017 with roughly $138 billion more debt than we had at the beginning of 2016. That would bring the average indebted household’s balance to a perilous $8,490. In short, the stakes are high and picking the wrong card would be like skipping the house that gives out King Size candy bars on All Hallows’ Eve.
Travel is expensive. But the best travel credit cards are up to the task (some offers are from WalletHub partners). Between initial bonuses worth $400+ and lucrative ongoing rewards, the best travel cards can easily save the average person more than $1,000 over the first two years of use. And while you need good or excellent credit to get the very best offers, people with lower scores can still cash in if they know where to look.
To help you find the right deal, WalletHub’s editors compared 1,000+ offers in search of the best travel rewards credit cards for people in each credit category. You can find their favorites listed below.
The Verdict: The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card (HSBC is a WalletHub partner) is a great option for people with good or excellent credit who want to pay for big-ticket purchases over time, offering an 18-month interest-free introductory period that puts it firmly within the top tier of 0% credit cards on the market right now. It doesn’t have an annual fee, either. In contrast, the average card charges $15.75 per year. And the average 0% purchase period lasts for slightly less than 10 months.
The HSBC Gold card gives you 0% on balance transfers for the first 18 months, too. But that’s not quite as good of a deal, largely because HSBC Gold charges a fee equal to 4% of the amount transferred, or $10 if you transfer $250 or less. But it’s still very good compared to most of the competition. The average 0% balance transfer card gives you an 11-month break from interest and charges a transfer fee of less than 3%.
The Verdict: If you’re a loyal United Airlines flyer with excellent credit who likes to splurge on in-flight refreshments, the new United℠ TravelBank Card from Chase could save you a lot of money. The card is most rewarding on United purchases, as you might expect. Airfare, seat upgrades and baggage fees yield the equivalent of 2% cash back, while in-flight drinks and snacks score you a whopping 25% back. But the TravelBank Card’s base earning rate isn’t too shabby, either: 1.5% back on all other purchases.
Plus, there are no annual or foreign-transaction fees to worry about. And spending $1,000+ within three months of account opening will earn you a $150 bonus.