All Articles Tagged "consumer advice"
(Time) — The only thing better than a relaxing getaway is a relaxing getaway you don’t have to pay for. But sometimes chasing those freebies can cost you more than if you just ponied up in the first place. Recently, we took a look at the best travel reward credit cards on the market. Here’s how to get the most, uh, mileage out of those rewards and avoid some common mistakes that can shrink their value.
Get a card for the life you have, not the life you want. The biggest mistake is picking the wrong card for your needs. Don’t get a travel credit card thinking it’s going to motivate you to take more vacations, says Doug Miller, senior analyst for banking and cards at financial research company Corporate Insight. “One thing people should remember is the real benefit comes from earning points for something you already do. If you don’t fly a lot and you think an airline card will help you fly more, you’re probably not going to get full value out of it. People have a tendency to overestimate how much getting the card will change their previously existing patterns.”
(Daily Finance) — Where do you fall on the tipping spectrum? Do you hand the pizza delivery guy a $20 for your $14 pizza and declare with a grin, “Keep the change,” or are you the type who slips the bartender a folded-up $1 bill and hopes he won’t notice until after you’ve downed your $16 martini and skedaddled? In honor ofLarry Fox, the New York City deli delivery guy who outs bad tippers on his website,15percent.tumblr.com, (and got fired for it),DailyFinanceoffers a guide to avoid winding up among Larry’s gaggle of gratuity grinches. We turned to Jacqueline Whitmore, the founder ofetiquetteexpert.com, for advice on how much to tip.
Food server:”I know it’s hard to believe, but 18% is the new norm — 15% is the absolute lowest,” she said. “These people work very hard. They’re even bussing tables now. This is their livelihood.”
(Bankrate) — Have cash-back credit card offers improved or worsened since last year? Bankrate.com aimed to find out in its annual cash-back credit card rewards survey. In February, Bankrate surveyed all of the cards from the 2010 study, except for the replacement of two cards that were no longer available, and the addition of three cards. Cards surveyed came from the 10 largest credit card issuers, as well as three investment cards from Fidelity that were included in the 2010 study, for a total of 32 cards. For each card, we gathered information on the annual fee, introductory bonus, reward rate and expiration period, and compared the data to the previous year. In a summary chart, we listed rebate information for each card under a “reward formula” column, which details the reward offering and break points for any higher payouts, and a “cash-back ratio” column, which lists the rate or rates of returns for easy comparison. Did credit card issuers react to recent regulations such as the Credit CARD Act by making cash-back credit offers less attractive? Fortunately, according to the study results, cash-back credit card offers remain largely unchanged from the previous year.