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Jason Steele
Jason has been writing about personal finance, travel, and other topics on blogs across the Internet. When he is not writing, he has a career in information technology and is also a commercially rated pilot. Jason lives in Colorado with his wife and young daughter where he enjoys parenting, cycling, and other extreme sports.

Way2Save Review – Savings Account from Wachovia & Wells Fargo

By Jason Steele

wells fargo wachovia way2saveThere is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a savings account, yet extremely low interest rates make them very unattractive. With rates hovering at around 1%, any money  you put into a savings account will be only be growing at the most glacial rate.

The other problem with savings accounts is that they are usually dependent on your own resolve when it comes to actually putting money away. The Way2Save program from Wachovia/Wells Fargo is an attempt to address these two weakness that affect traditional savings accounts.

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Payoff.com Review – A Financial Tool to Help Fund Your Dreams

By Jason Steele

payoff logoOur financial lives comprise a patchwork of bank accounts, credit cards, and loans that are administered from a variety of institutions. Juggling all of this information is merely a challenge for those lucky few who are content with their finances, but gaining a clear picture is essential for those who are working towards long-term financial goals such as retiring their debt.

Several companies have stepped in to fill this void by harnessing the power of the Internet to aggregate users’ data in one place. Payoff.com is one of the latest to enter this market. It hopes to distinguish itself from its competitors by offering users social and financial incentives to meet their goals.

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Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Credit Card Review

By Jason Steele

citi executive aadvantage cardIn the battle to offer high-end credit cards to airline passengers, American and Citi have fallen behind. Their standard Citi Platinum AAdvantage card worked well for some travelers, but it lacked many of the perks featured by the Delta Reserve and the Continental Presidential Plus cards.

In response, Citi offers their Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard. The card offers many of the same benefits of competitors’ rewards credit cards, and includes a few novel features as well.

Key Features

The Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard differentiates itself from other cards with amenities for travelers, and new technology that helps ensure cardholders’ safety. The key features of the Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard include:

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How to Get Free Flights and Travel for Free

By Jason Steele

woman airplane ticketThe prospect of free travel is so alluring that an entire industry has sprung up around collecting frequent flyer miles. Hotels, rental car agencies, and of course credit cards all offer enticing programs.

While many people enjoy exploiting these programs to their fullest potential, plenty of people become disaffected with mileage programs due to their complexity and constant devaluation.

If you’re one of these disillusioned people, get ready to turn your perspective around. You can learn to earn free travel both with and without using points and miles.

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Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN – Review

By Jason Steele

This offer is not currently available.

The top of the line Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN has no equal among its competitors. Individuals may shy away from paying the $450 annual fee, but many businesspeople think the card’s exceptional range of amenities justify the high cost of the annual fee.

American Express offers its Business Platinum Card for firms that want every available perk, and don’t mind paying for the privilege of this platinum card.

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Key Features

  • Sign-up Bonus. Get 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of owning the card.

How to Build a Home Movie Theater Room on a Budget

By Jason Steele

movie room basementBack when I lived in a high-rise condominium, I had a simple television and a decent sound system – nothing special. After I got married, my wife and I moved to a single-family home and wanted to take the opportunity to create a truly remarkable media room in our basement.

We ended up spending plenty of money renovating our seventy-year-old house, so we had very little left over for a state-of-the-art movie room. Despite the tight budget, we built an incredible entertainment center.

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Carbonite Review & Offer Code – Online Computer Backup Worth It?

By Jason Steele

This post brought to you by Carbonite. All opinions are 100% mine.

carboniteAny Star Wars fan can vividly remember the scene in The Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo is “frozen in carbonite” for his delivery to Jabba the Hutt.

The mythical substance is also the namesake of an innovative online backup service that stores the important contents of your computer in the event that it is lost, stolen, or damaged.

How Carbonite Works

Users start by downloading an application that scans the irreplaceable files on your computer. Those files are then sent over the Internet to the servers hosted by Carbonite. As you continue to create, receive, and modify files, Carbonite will continuously update them in the background.

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Sprint Total Equipment Protection Review – Phone Insurance App

By Jason Steele

This post brought to you by Sprint. All opinions are 100% mine.

sprint total equipment protectionWhile it is thrilling to whip out your new smartphone and gain access to a world of information, that exhilaration can be replaced with a terrible, sinking feeling when your phone is damaged or lost. Mobile service providers sell insurance plans to allow their customers to receive a new phone in the event of loss, damage, or theft.

Sprint now offers the Sprint Total Equipment Protection App to Sprint and Nextel customers. The plan goes beyond a simple replacement policy, by developing a useful application that can assist you if something happens to your phone. The coverage is optional and can be canceled at any time.

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Cardpool Review – Exchange Gift Cards Online

By Jason Steele

cardpool gift cardGift cards have become a second currency in the United States. From local stores to large international corporations, nearly every merchant offers gift cards.

Many stores offer customers gift cards for refunds in lieu of cash. Most gift cards can only be used at specific merchants, so a thriving market exists for the sale and trade of unwanted gift cards.

Cardpool buys and sells gift cards, helping consumers to maximize utilization of the cards.

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How Cardpool Works

  • Cardpool Is Both Buyer & Seller. As a broker, Cardpool essentially serves as both the buyer and seller of your gift cards.

Comcast Xfinity vs. Verizon FiOS Review

By Jason Steele

tv and internet mediaAs a residential customer, you used to be lucky just to have access to broadband Internet access from any one provider. Now, many households can choose from a few different companies.

Two of the largest providers are Comcast, which now brands its services as Xfinity, and Verizon, which uses a product called FiOS. Both companies offer bundles that provide television programming, Internet access, and residential telephone services – the more services you purchase, the more of a discount they’ll give.

At first glance, both services may seem pretty much the same, even though each company touts its advantages as significantly better than the other’s. So which company truly offers the better deal for cable customers?

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10 Best Gift Ideas for Men for Under $100

By Jason Steele

gifts for menEspecially if you’re on a tight budget, it’s tough to shop for gifts for men. Since you’ll be looking for a low-price gift, chances are that if he wants it, he already bought it. The trick? Find something he wouldn’t have gotten on his own.

Here are some one-of-a-kind experiences or high-priced items that you can get for a surprisingly low cost. By focusing on luxury items that you can find for a reasonable price, you can delight someone with an item he normally wouldn’t have even dreamed of purchasing.

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Aurora Bank Review – An Online Bank with Competitive Interest Rates

By Jason Steele

aurora bank logoWhen the age of the commercial Internet dawned in the mid 1990′s, banks were quick to seize on the potential of this new development. Until that time, retail banks required expensive branch offices in each community they hoped to serve. However, an online bank could broaden its customer base by marketing services to all United States residents.

So it happened that consumers benefited from increased competition for their business while banks cut their costs by reducing or eliminating the need for branch locations and staff. Aurora Bank is one such Delaware-based institution that offers certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts in addition to checking and savings accounts and home mortgages.

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Why Most Americans Should Not Use Credit Cards

By Jason Steele

cut credit cardWhen people fall on hard times, they react to their new reality by taking a far more cautious approach to their personal finances, which includes turning towards other methods of payment for their daily spending. Although many people rely on credit cards, research points to decreased credit card use. The reasons why someone might discontinue using credit cards varies, but prolonged debt, and surplus of information about credit card interest rates can contribute to the decline in credit card usage.

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Does Closing a Credit Card Account Hurt Your Credit Score?

By Jason Steele

woman cut credit cardWhen I was younger, I tried to close my unused credit card accounts to boost my credit score. I never carried a balance, but I thought if I had too many credit cards, I wouldn’t be eligible for new lines of credit. Years later, I discovered this belief was misguided, and that the truth was far more complicated.

To understand how closing a credit card account can hurt your credit score, it helps to know how the score is calculated. Companies used to review your credit history to determine your creditworthiness, and then decide whether or not to grant you a line of credit. Today, the credit bureaus have boiled your credit history down to a single number, the credit score.

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How to Sell or Trade In Your Old iPhone for a New One

By Jason Steele

iphone handAs technology continues to improve at increasingly rapid speeds, new phones hit the market on a seemingly daily basis. Smartphones, iPhones in particular, have been dominating the market so strongly, and new releases come out so quickly, that one starts to think about what to do with an “old” iPhone after just three months.

When the new and improved version comes out, do you set it aside in a junk drawer? Give it away? Especially if you still have a relatively new device, selling or trading in your old phone is likely your most appealing option.

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The content on Money Crashers is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers.
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