As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

June 2009

Savings and Checking Account Interest Rate Updates

by Luke Landes

A few banks have lowered interest rates offered for savings and checking accounts in the past few days. Here are a few of the new updates. Ally Bank Savings Account is offering 0.89 percent APY as of November 4, 2011 Ally Bank Money Market is offering 0.89 percent APY as of November 4, 2011 OneUnited UNITY Gold ... Continue reading this article…

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Who Are These Strangers on Twitter?

by Smithee

In my non-Smithee life, I spend a lot of time on Twitter, although it’d be more accurate to say I spend a lot of time through Twitter. I’ve made some solid connections and had interesting conversations, seen a lot of funny videos and kept up with the news I care about. Because my updates are ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Allowed to Deduct Fees From Social Security Benefits

by Luke Landes

Bank of America 1, Retirees 0. In 2004, Bank of America was ordered to pay $284 million to 1 million customers in a settlement. The bank was charged with using funds from social security or other government benefits in customers’ accounts to cover bounced check fees. The California Supreme Court overturned this ruling yesterday. Federal ... Continue reading this article…

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Would You Buy a Car From Wal-Mart?

by Luke Landes

After General Motors’ bankruptcy, there is no question that the automobile industry will change significantly. With less competition and higher costs of production, prices will increase. It will be more difficult and more expensive to find parts and service for some vehicles. The selection of vehicles will be more limited. Perhaps more brands will opt ... Continue reading this article…

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Savings Mistakes That Cost More in the Long Run

by Luke Landes

The economy is not out of the woods yet. Companies are still laying off employees; the automotive industry is just getting started. For many families, the pressure is on to find ways and make decisions to save more money in order to prevent going into or going deeper into debt. The situation presents a good ... Continue reading this article…

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Pros and Cons of Interest-Only Mortgage Payments

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Consumerism Commentary reader Ryan suggested I write about interest-only mortgages. There is no such thing as an “interest-only mortgage.” Wouldn’t that be nice, though, to have a mortgage that did not require you to pay any principal back to the lender? Unfortunately, when you become a borrower, your lender will insist upon receiving interest ... Continue reading this article…

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Comparing the Visa Black Card with American Express Platinum and Centurion Cards

by Luke Landes

American Express created a frenzy among the wealthy when it decided to take advantage of rumors of an exclusive black-colored charge card, used by movie stars and music celebrities for purchasing jets and other items beyond the financial reach of us mere mortals. In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Card, a black charge card ... Continue reading this article…

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Thinking is Not Enough

by Frank Curmudgeon

This is a guest article by Frank Curmudgeon, author of the Bad Money Advice blog. For updates from Frank, subscribe to the Bad Money Advice RSS feed. We often see the struggle to get control of our spending as being the conflict between our emotional and logical selves. Emotion wants to go out to that ... Continue reading this article…

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Best of Consumerism Commentary, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary Podcast At the end of April, I began working with Tom Dziubek to create the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. During the month of May, we produced five episodes of the podcast, including interviews with Dr. Bonnie Eaker-Weil, Liz Pulliam Weston, Matt Wallaert, J.D. Roth, Kerry Taylor, and several others. The Consumerism Commentary Podcast is ... Continue reading this article…

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What General Motors’ Bankruptcy Means For You

by Luke Landes

According to early news reports, General Motors will file for bankruptcy one hour from now, at 8:00 am Eastern Time this morning. GM was officially born as a company on September 16, 1908. Its long history is a reminder that no company will survive forever regardless of its performance; like humans, corporations are mortal and ... Continue reading this article…

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