From family photos and wedding videos to our favorite songs and movies, we have a wealth of digital content on our computers. But while you may have invested in a high-quality external monitor, chances are you’re viewing images and video on a relatively small computer screen, and playing music and movies through your computer’s simple speakers. Imagine how great it would be view your digital files and the best of the web on your television screen or home theater projector – as you lean back on your comfortable sofa.
Among the frequent traveler community there is one credit card that has obtained almost mythical status, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner).
Let’s look at all the details of this card, and then you might understand why nearly all of the top collectors of frequent flyer miles use this card wherever it is accepted.
For every dollar spent on this American Express card, you will receive a single Starpoint in the Starwood Preferred Guest Program. These points can be redeemed for hotel stays (Starwood operates Westin, Sheraton, and other boutique hotel brands) or transferred to miles in one of many airlines’ frequent flyer programs. There is an annual fee of $65 that is waived your first year.
Two years ago, I looked at my cable television bill and I decided that I had had enough. I multiplied my bill by twelve and thought of all the things that I could have spent a year’s worth of cable TV on. My family wasn’t ready to cancel cable and stop watching TV altogether, but we wanted to stop throwing our money away on all of the lousy content that was on most of the channels.
When you hear that someone flies planes as a hobby, what’s the first thing you think about that person? That they’re extremely wealthy?
Until recently you’d probably be right, since earning a Private Pilot License costs more than $10,000 and can take months of time that average people simply can’t spare.
But now, nearly everyone with dreams of being a pilot can make them a reality with the new Sport Pilot rule. How so? Read on to learn more about the Sport Pilot License (SPL) and how it works.
The Sport Pilot License
When I first signed up for wireless service, my bill was under $30 a month for plenty of minutes and the short list of features I needed. Nowadays, carriers know that most people require a cell plan for their everyday routine, and they’re able to charge a lot more. Sure, phones are more powerful, but they also come with costs and fees for features I don’t need. My bill is nearly $90 a month, and it’s quickly becoming one of my family’s largest monthly expenses.
Other than your home, your car might be the most expensive purchase that you ever make. I love nice cars, but I also try to manage my finances responsibly. As a result, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that a new car is an unnecessary expense.
Sure, you can find overpriced used cars and bargain buys on brand-new vehicles, but it’s not just the sticker price that makes a new car a waste. The associated fees, subsequent costs, and losses in value (i.e. depreciation) add up to thousands of dollars over the first few years of new car ownership. This is especially bad news if you end up upside down on your car loan.
Lately, it seems as if most customer service representatives are either not empowered to help you, or that they have actually been instructed not to. It has gotten to the point where getting a company to give you the service you deserve is not just a challenge, but almost a sport. We all know how to lose our temper or ask for a supervisor, but what if you want to take your customer service game to the next level?
Due to the recent economic recession, people have become more and more displeased with their banks. High interest rates, credit card fees, and poor customer service have left them clamoring for change and better treatment. The recent Credit CARD Act of 2009 is a step in the right direction, but it’s not an all encompassing fix.
Luckily, there is minority of people who have found ways to outsmart their credit card issuers and make the system, flaws and all, work for them. As one of those knowledgeable few, allow me to share a few credit card tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Dealing with customer service is the bane of my existence. If I could pay someone to do it for me I probably would.
There are only so many ways to contact a company, and each one has severe drawbacks. When you try a telephone call, you risk spending valuable time navigating phone trees and waiting on hold, only to try explaining the problem to someone who may not understand your issue, may not know the finer points of English, or just may not be able to help. When you try email, you may have to wait days to receive a form letter that doesn’t even address your problem. Using the fax machine or sending a letter only increases the odds of an unsatisfactory or untimely response.
Like most people, I rely on the wonders of banking technology to receive my pay checks and pay my bills. Banks offer the near magical feature of having money just appear in your bank account (i.e. direct deposit) or having bills paid on a schedule while you worry about other things.
Modern technology is often so seamless and convenient that it’s easy to forget that both computers, and the people using them, are not perfect. It would be nice to think that our banking system is failsafe. However, that would be ignorant, and, in the case of finances, ignorance is far from bliss.