How often do you go to the dentist or eye doctor? If you’re like me, probably not often enough. Sometimes, though, whether you simply need a routine checkup or a more serious issue demands treatment, you’ve got to get your teeth and eyes examined by a professional.
For nearly a century, USAA (full name: United Services Automobile Association) has offered an ever-growing suite of financial products to active-duty and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their family members. According to its website, the San Antonio-based private organization was started, back in 1922, by 25 military officers who couldn’t find an insurance company willing to cover their vehicles.
Today, USAA hawks everything from brokerage and retirement accounts to flood insurance, through about a dozen subsidiaries. USAA itself – the parent company of these subsidiaries – is member-owned, structured under Texas law as an inter-insurance exchange. This is a cooperative model, as opposed to a traditional corporation. All members can purchase insurance through this structure. As a member who owns a slice of the company, you’re eligible to receive a share of USAA’s annual profits.
Blue from American Express® (a Money Crashers partner) is Amex’s general travel rewards credit card. It’s standard and straightforward, and it may not necessarily offer the extra travel perks and benefits of many airline-specific credit cards.
However, it could still be a useful option for your wallet, especially if you’re looking for a no-annual-fee card that awards points on general travel purchases.
- Sign-up Bonus. You earn a bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of opening your account. These points can be redeemed for $100 in gift cards.
Of the three Delta business credit cards offered by American Express, the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card (a Money Crashers partner) is considered the most elite. It rewards purchases with Delta SkyMiles and provides opportunities to earn elite statuses that feature attractive travel bonuses. The Delta Reserve for Business is an appealing option because of its lack of a foreign transaction fee, its annual and spending-based bonuses, and the fact that it gives business owners a chance to earn more Delta flight benefits than the Gold or Platinum versions of the card – but does it offer enough to justify a higher annual fee?
There are plenty of business credit cards out there that reward office supply purchases and business-related purchases, but those that reward grocery store purchases are rare – and they usually exclude superstores and warehouse clubs, such as Costco and Sam’s Club. The TrueEarnings® Business Card from Costco and American Express (a Money Crashers partner) attempts to fill that gap and provide small business owners with an opportunity to earn rewards on both gas purchases and purchases made from Costco.
The American Express Blue Sky cards are favorites chosen by travelers who want to earn rewards on travel purchases without committing to a specific airline or travel brand. Plus, the card offers the convenience of redeeming rewards as statement credits against a range of travel purchases.
The Blue Sky Preferred® Card from American Express (a Money Crashers partner) is different from its partner – the standard Blue Sky card – in that it offers more rewards on purchases in exchange for an annual fee.
- Sign-up Bonus. There is currently no sign-up bonus for this card.
Many travel rewards credit cards are specific to a certain airline or hotel, which may limit your use of the card and the rewards that you receive. The Blue Sky from American Express® (a Money Crashers partner) is one of the few credit cards that provides rewards for generalized travel purchases, including hotels and airfare with virtually every provider. However, whether this is a better option than more targeted travel cards is likely to hinge on how often you travel and how much you value flexibility.
From Ally Bank to Capital One 360, online banks have made FDIC-insured banking more accessible to regular consumers and business owners. Offering savings accounts and CDs – but not offering loans – GE Capital Bank is one such online bank. It’s worth noting that GE Capital Bank is distinct from GE Capital Retail Bank, which offers its own suite of products, including loans.
GE Capital Bank, which is headquartered in the Salt Lake City area, provides FDIC insurance – up to a maximum of $250,000 per individual – on its clients’ deposit accounts. It lacks physical bank branches, but enables its customers to bank online or over the phone.
Even college graduates who find great jobs can struggle with debt for years after leaving school, especially if they have expensive private student loans. And, for borrowers who can’t make ends meet, it’s nearly impossible to discharge student debts in bankruptcy. The result is an unending cascade, possibly decades long, of financial repercussions.
Social Finance, Inc., known as SoFi, looks to change this glum reality. Using peer-to-peer lending between members of the public and qualified student borrowers, it provides student loan refinancing for graduates of more than 2,000 U.S universities. Recently, SoFi has also delved into peer-to-peer personal loans, mortgages, and primary student loan markets.
If you work as a freelancer or run your own small business, you probably can’t afford a full-time accountant – but you also can’t trust your finances to manage themselves. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. With about five million global users, FreshBooks is one of the most popular cloud-based accounting programs available. It provides intuitive, non-technical tools to help with invoicing, expense tracking, timekeeping, and basic project management.
FreshBooks has many competitors in the crowded online accounting space, including Kashoo, Zoho Books, Xero, and Wave. With versatile payment options and automated accounting functions, unlike some of its cheaper competitors, it’s especially useful for busy entrepreneurs who can’t afford to devote time to manual accounting activities.