Discover it® chrome Credit Card Review – 2% Cash Back on Gas & Groceries

discover it chromeDiscover it® chrome is the newest addition to the Discover card family, providing an alternative to its current rewards card opportunities.

Chrome includes many of the benefits that Discover cards are known for, such as low fees and a slightly different reward structure than is standard for cash back on gasoline and grocery store purchases.

Key Features

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  • 2% Rewards on Gas & Groceries. The Discover it chrome credit card awards 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in gasoline and grocery store purchases every quarter. Quarters begin on the first day of January, April, July, and October. All other purchases (and purchases made after the $1,000 cap) earn an unlimited 1% cash back. Cash back rewards do not expire.

Discover it® Credit Card Review – 5% Cash Back Rewards

discover itDespite being popular among college students and consumers interested in cash back benefits, the now discontinued Discover More card did have a couple of minor downfalls, including the fact that you could only earn 0.25% cash back on the first $3,000 spent outside of bonus categories. The Discover it® Card just may provide solutions to these issues while still hanging onto one of the greatest benefits of the Discover More card: 5% cash back rewards.

At first glance, the “it” card may seem to have addressed all the disadvantages of its predecessor – but is it in fact the ideal cash back card, or are we looking at yet another credit card that has its own unique set of flaws?

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Discover it® Card for Students – Review

discover itStudent credit cards are designed to assist college students with little or no credit history in getting somewhat of a jump on building their own credit. However, in order to avoid establishing bad spending habits and lifetimes of debt, these cards need to be low-fee, low-interest rate credit cards – which is not always possible with cards that also provide rewards programs. The Discover it® for Students succeeds in addressing these needs.

Key Features

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Discover it® chrome Credit Card for Students – Review

discover it chromeDiscover Card has included two new credit cards: the Discover it chrome and Discover it chrome for Students. The Discover it® chrome for Students includes features commonly found with Discover cards, such as the benefit of low fees and a rewards program for earning cash back on purchases.

However, the biggest difference between the Discover it for Students and the chrome version is that chrome offers a different and possibly better rewards program.

Key Features

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  • Fees. There is no annual fee for the Discover it chrome for Students card. The balance transfer fee is 3%. There is no foreign transaction fee.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN – Review

american express business gold rewardsPlenty of credit cards and charge cards are designed to help small business owners earn rewards for their purchases. However, the value of the card you choose depends on the specific needs of your operation.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN (a Money Crashers partner) rewards both travel and business-related purchases. And, because it’s a charge card, no preset spending limits or interest charges are imposed as long as you pay your balance in full each month.

Key Features

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  • Sign-up Bonus. If you spend $5,000 within your first three months, you are awarded a bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points – redeemable for $250 in gift cards.

Prosper Review – Online Loan Marketplace for Peer-to-Peer Lending

prosper logoProsper, a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) lending network that offers unsecured personal loans with terms of 36 or 60 months, has embraced the sharing economy with gusto. By matching individual borrowers with individual or institutional investors willing to lend funds at competitive interest rates, Prosper cuts out the middle man (traditional banks or credit unions). Relative to those institutions, Prosper has more relaxed approval standards and faster funding times for borrowers.

The platform earns money through origination and servicing fees. Its top competitors include other P2P lenders, such as Lending Club and Peerform, and low-cost personal credit providers such as Avant, which doesn’t use the P2P model and thus isn’t available to prospective lenders.

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Lending Club Review – Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Financial Lending

Lending Club bills itself as the world’s most popular peer-to-peer (P2P) lending network. As a classic example of the emerging sharing economy, the platform connects thousands of individual and business borrowers with regular people willing to fund their loans. In doing so, it eliminates the need for borrowers to approach traditional banks and credit unions – whose lending standards may be much more stringent than Lending Club’s – to obtain financing.

For investors, Lending Club offers the opportunity to create diversified portfolios that aren’t directly tied to bond markets. Its investments offer better yields than CDs, money market accounts, and savings accounts, though it’s critical to note that the investments are not FDIC-insured.

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What’s the Best Online Tax Preparation Software? TaxACT vs TurboTax vs H&R Block

filing taxes onlineEven if you’re expecting a sizable refund or have a simple tax situation that doesn’t require you to fill out a ton of forms, you probably don’t love filling out your taxes. There are plenty of more enjoyable ways to spend your time: playing with your kids, going on a hike, even shopping online in anticipation of your tax refund.

This year, it took me a lot longer than I would have liked to complete my tax return. But, to be fair, that’s because I sampled several different online tax preparation options and evaluated each on its merits. My tax prep marathon covered three of the most popular programs: TurboTax, TaxACT, and H&R Block. Here’s how my experience went with each.

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FreeTaxUSA Review – Free Tax Filing & Online Return Preparation

freetaxusa logoNearly every online tax preparation software program advertises a free federal plan that allows users to prepare their federal tax return at no cost. But as legions of frustrated filers can attest, some programs’ supposedly free plans come with severe limitations (such as unsupported forms and schedules) that force users with more complex tax situations to upgrade to a paid plan.

FreeTaxUSA is not one of those programs. Its Free Edition supports the vast majority of IRS forms and schedules, making it usable for filers with tax situations of any complexity. That includes the self-employed, small business owners, landlords, and investors who must report capital gains or losses. There’s no cost to prepare your federal return with the Free Edition, and each state return costs just $12.95.

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H&R Block Review – Online Tax Filing & Preparation

h&r block logoH&R Block has one of the most recognizable brands of any American business. Its distinctive green square beckons from TV screens, strip malls, and corner storefronts. Even many small towns have a standalone H&R Block office, and you certainly don’t have to go far to find one in a bigger city. For many Americans, H&R Block is synonymous with in-person tax preparation.

But H&R Block also makes one of the most popular online tax preparation programs: H&R Block at Home, often shortened simply to “H&R Block.” It’s ideal for a wide range of tax situations, though people with very complicated taxes may feel more comfortable walking into a physical H&R Block office and shouldering the additional cost.

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