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

January 2011

Open a Yuan Bank Account in New York or Los Angeles

by Luke Landes

If you visit the Bank of China’s branches in New York or Los Angeles and bring two forms of identification and your cash, you have the opportunity to open a savings or money market account denominated in yuan (renminbi), the currency of China. The interest rate you’ll earn is low, but that would not be […]

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Discover® More Card: No Balance Transfer Fee, 0% APR

by Luke Landes

When you take a look at our list of the best 0 percent balance transfer credit cards, you’ll notice that all offers are featuring balance transfer fees these days. Whether it’s 3 percent, 4 percent or 5 percent, every time a consumer takes advantage of a 0 percent balance transfer offer, the credit card issuers still make money by charging […]

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Zions Bank Online Savings Account Review

by Luke Landes

As of today, Zions Bank offers one of the highest interest rates among high-interest savings accounts. Is it worthwhile to move your money there to take advantage of this interest rate? Today’s interest rate environment is not the best for moving money from bank to bank in search of the highest rate, so the more […]

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Study: College Students Aren’t Learning Basic Skills

by Luke Landes
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A new study following thousands of college students from 2005 through 2009 concludes that students are not learning the basic cognitive skills required for functioning properly in life, namely critical thinking, complex reasoning, and communication skills. The primary assumption that the goal of earning a college degree is obtaining these particular skills is where this […]

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Tax-Free Distributions From Your IRA: Charitable Rollover

by Luke Landes
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First enacted in 2006, the charitable IRA rollover is a way to let certain taxpayers reduce their tax liability. Individuals who own an IRA must begin taking minimum distributions at age 70½, and those distributions could increase the tax bill at a time when there may not be much income. While the tax bill will […]

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Contest: Win $1,000 for Shredding Your Credit Card

by Luke Landes

If you’re ready to get out of debt and willing to create a video about it, you could win $1,000 or other prizes from the folks at LendingClub and PerkStreet Financial. Submit a video of you shredding your credit card to qualify for the chance of winning a $1,000 grand prize in the form of […]

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Credit Card Rewards Hurt Your Bottom Line

by Luke Landes
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I’ve been a proponent of cash-back rewards credit cards for a while. My theory, or perhaps my excuse, is that if I plan on spending money and can do so with either cash or a credit card that offers rewards, I might as well use the rewards credit card to damage my bottom line less […]

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Podcast 91: Mint and Scholastic Financial Literacy Lesson Plans

by Luke Landes

Today’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Aaron Patzer, Vice President and General Manager of the Personal Finance Group at Intuit, and founder of Mint.com. Aaron and Flexo discuss financial literacy and Intuit’s partnership with educational publisher Scholastic, bringing lesson plans and resources to middle school students, their teachers, and their parents. You can […]

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OptionsXpress Review and $100 Cash Bonus

by Luke Landes

Although OptionsXpress is a discount broker that focuses on trading options and other derivatives, this discount broker is also worth a look for the more traditional trading of stocks and ETFs as well as investing in an IRA for little or no fees. Right now, the discount broker is working to attract new customers. For […]

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Verizon Wireless Kills “New Every Two” Discount

by Luke Landes
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The year 2000 was not an easy one for me. I had hardly any money thanks to a low-paying non-profit job and student loan debt. Even when not spending much beyond the necessities, I wasn’t improving my financial condition. I was moving around from apartment to apartment; by 2004 I would had lived in seven […]

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