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® Gold Mastercard® Credit Card 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 23.90% 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.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is the 5th best credit card rewards program, according to WalletHub’s comparison of the top nine issuers’ cards, rules, limitations and assorted perks. Once known as Chase “Flexible Rewards,” the Ultimate Rewards program features some of the most popular credit cards on the market, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.
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.
Gift cards are supposed to make gift-giving simpler, reducing the need to worry about the recipient’s tastes and what specific items he or she might already have. But not all gift cards are created equal, which might help explain why nearly $1 billion in value went unused in 2015, despite gift cards being the most popular type of present for the 11th consecutive year.
So in the interest of helping you find the best gift cards for any occasion – whether a birthday, holiday, graduation, etc. – we compared the 50 most popular options across five major categories: 1) how popular the cards are; 2) how much of a discount you can buy them for; 3) how much you can sell them for; 4) how much people like the retailer; and 5) shipping fees. Below, you can check out the resulting top picks, which are sure to satisfy the 41% of Americans who say they want a gift card this holiday season.
“Fat” is becoming the new normal in America. According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than seven in 10 U.S. adults aged 20 and older are either overweight or obese. Rates are lower for children and adolescents but have risen steadily almost every year. So prevalent has America’s obesity problem grown that the weight-loss industry continues to expand. This year, Americans are expected to spend more than $68 billion just on programs designed to help them shed the extra pounds. The U.S. spends in total nearly $200 billion in annual health care costs related to obesity.
New findings by the Physical Activity Council suggest a need for more aggressive efforts to combat the issue. According to the report, nearly 81.5 million Americans aged 6 and older were completely inactive in 2016. Lack of physical activity is a leading cause of obesity, in addition to genetics, emotional instability and sleeplessness.
Veterans often face a host of challenges when re-entering civilian life. Despite Uncle Sam’s promises to provide health care as well as housing, employment and educational assistance upon their return from service, many are denied disability benefits while others cannot secure jobs or shelter.
Where veterans live can contribute to the problem. Although unemployment and homelessness have declined nationally for this group, such issues are simply worse in certain parts of America. In addition, veterans in many cities continue to suffer from long delays in mental-health treatment despite a $10 billion effort to expand veterans’ access to such care. In Phoenix, for instance, a veteran traumatized by the horrors of war must wait an average of 115 days before seeing a mental-health professional. Thousands lost their GI Bill education benefits in 2016 as a result of for-profit school closures.
Getting the right credit card doesn’t have to be a struggle or a guessing game. Sure, shopping for plastic might seem like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are hundreds of offers with similar-sounding names to choose from. There’s lots of terminology to learn. And who has either the time or the eyesight to pour through all the fine print?
But finding and ultimately getting approved for the best possible credit card is fairly easy when you know where to look. For starters, you can use WalletHub’s anonymous CardAdvisor tool to get a recommendation based on your answers to a few simple questions. You can get more-personalized picks by signing up for a free WalletHub account. Or you can simply head straight for the top card in your category of choice, as selected by WalletHub’s editors from 1,000+ offers (some offers are from our partners).
A secured credit card is a type of credit card for people with limited or damaged credit that requires the user to place a refundable security deposit, which the card’s issuer holds as collateral until the account is closed. This deposit makes it less risky for banks and credit unions to issue credit cards to inexperienced applicants and people with a history of payment problems. If something goes wrong, the issuer can just keep the money. As a result, secured credit cards offer the highest approval odds of any type of credit card. And they don’t need to charge the same high fees as unsecured credit cards for bad credit.
Store cards occupy a very interesting niche within the broader credit card market. For one thing, they tend to have more lenient approval requirements than general-use cards with comparable terms. That’s largely because they can only be used to make purchases with the retailers they represent, which limits the risk for the issuer. As a result, store credit cards represent a great way to build credit at a low cost.
But store cards aren’t only for the limited-and-fair credit crowd. Their sign-up bonuses and ongoing rewards provide savings at affiliated stores that even the market’s best overall rewards cards can’t match. So they’re especially attractive to people with good and excellent credit who employ the Island Approach, which involves using multiple cards for various specific purposes.
With the expensive holiday shopping season fast approaching and credit card debt again reaching historical levels, financing offers figure to be especially tempting in weeks to come. And that makes “deferred interest,” a feature commonly found in the fine print of retailer payment plans, particularly dangerous.
Deferred-interest financing is like a wolf in a sheep’s clothing, pairing an enticing offer – something like “no interest if paid in full” or “special financing” – with a clause that allows the deal to turn ugly if you make the slightest mistake. Paying your bill a day late or owing even $1 when the promotional period ends would enable the issuer to retroactively apply finance charges to your entire original purchase amount, as if the intro rate never existed.
Concerns over the proper role of taxation lie at the very foundation of American history. They haven’t gone away, either. In fact, overhauling the tax code is a top priority for the Trump administration, fueling partisan discussions of economic patriotism and debates over whether Main Street or top earners should foot more or less of the bill.
With President Donald Trump’s tax plan calling to slash the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 20 percent, WalletHub analyzed annual reports for the S&P 100 — the largest and most established companies on the stock market — in order to determine the federal, state and international tax rates they paid in 2016. You can find the results, our detailed methodology and additional expert commentary below.
When the mercury drops, some Americans welcome the chill while others follow the sun. But fewer travel options may be available to warm-weather fans this winter season — at least domestically — considering forecasts of lower temperatures, more rain throughout the U.S. and extra snow in some regions compared with the previous winter.
To help Americans plan their travels over the colder months, WalletHub’s analysts developed a ranking of the cheapest U.S. destinations that are also the easiest to reach. In total we analyzed more than 60 of the largest metro areas — grouped as “warm” or “cold” — based on 32 key metrics, including two weeks of flight data, safety indicators and weather predictions.
Roughly 77% of Americans plan to make a charitable donation by the end of 2017. That’s up from 74% in 2016, when the average household doled out nearly $3,000 for a total of $390 billion in U.S. giving, according to Charity Navigator. And since a significant portion of all charitable donations are made in the month of December, this holiday season looks particularly promising for the countless noble causes in need of support.
’Tis the season for generosity, indeed. But no one wants their money to go to waste. So it’s fair to wonder which charity will make the best use of your donation.
We’re each projected to spend about $936 on presents this holiday season. And by year’s end, the average household with credit card debt is expected to owe a record $8,557. In other words, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on your wallet during such an expensive time of year.
So in the interest of helping you give more, spend less and worry about money as little as possible, we prepared the following six holiday shopping tips.
The holiday season has become a commercial bonanza in which billions of dollars are spent on gifts and billions are added to our credit card debt tab. But that’s not what it’s really all about, and there’s no reason to feel pressured into spending more than you can afford. Because if your holiday budget isn’t as big as you’d like, there are plenty of presents you can give that cost absolutely nothing or close to it.
Below, you can find 16 low-cost or free holiday gift ideas that are sure to spread cheer without giving your wallet anything to fear. Happy holidays!
Urbanization might be the trend for much of the population, but not everyone craves the bright lights and crowded spaces of the big metropolis. For those who appreciate more wiggle room, fewer degrees of separation and shorter commutes, small-city life can be tough to beat. And those are just a few of its advantages. Granted, these little urban areas demand some tradeoffs, too, such as fewer restaurant options or shorter business hours.
But one of the best perks of living in a city with a relatively smaller population? Affordability. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the cost of living for a two-parent, two-child family in Hanford, California, for instance, would be nearly 1 percent less than the median U.S. household budget of $5,312, compared with 44 percent more for the same family in San Francisco. Even with a lighter wallet, anyone can enjoy a comparable, or even better, quality of life for much less in a cozy place like Hanford.
What does it take to be a true baseball fan? Mostly a lot of patience and sometimes a lot of dough, depending on how closely you want to follow the sport. In this slow-paced ballgame, hits and home runs are less frequent than strikes and misses. Yet more than 52 million U.S. adults are willing to put in the time to watch the drama unfold.
Fans are willing to pay top dollar to see a game, too, especially during the highly anticipated World Series that kicks off every October. Of course, tickets are kinder to the wallet during the regular season. But to see Game 1 of the 113th World Series on Oct. 24, for instance, the cheapest seat at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles would cost $1,060, according to TicketIQ. For Game 7 on Nov. 1 at the same stadium, the damage would range from a starting price of $1,328 all the way to a whopping $139,667, as of Oct. 20. That doesn’t leave much room for peanuts and cracker jacks. And that’s not mentioning the hundreds of millions of dollars wagered by the betting market every year.
There’s a lot to love about Halloween: candy, costumes, horror films, haunted houses, parties and more. Plus, you get a legitimate excuse to scare the daylights out of people. So if you love Halloween, then you’ll want to make sure you’re in the most spook-tacular part of America on Oct. 31.
But just how hauntingly fun you want this time of year to be depends on your plans and budget. This year, the average U.S. household is expected to spend $86.13 on Halloween expenses, from decorations to treats to costumes. In some cities you’ll spend less, in others more. And if you’re counting on getting more free treats in return for your investment, you’ll definitely want to be in a place with the most trick-or-treat stops.
The Verdict: The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is both the best card that Wells Fargo (a WalletHub partner) has to offer and one of the best cash back credit cards from any issuer. But a limited-time offer has a lot to do with that. New applicants can now earn a $200 cash bonus for spending just $1,000 within three months of account opening. That’s tied for the second-biggest cash bonus among consumer credit cards, according to WalletHub’s database of 1,000+ offers.
Without its initial bonus, the Cash Wise Card is still very good, just not elite. It doesn’t charge an annual fee, which makes it $15.82 per year cheaper than the average credit card offer. It gives you at least 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which is roughly 50% higher than the average cash rewards card’s base earning rate. And you even get a bit more (1.8% back) on mobile-wallet purchases for the first 12 months.