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The one thing better than an Amazon gift card is a free Amazon gift card. Here are eight ways to score free Amazon gift cards.

free amazon gift cards

If you’re anything like me, you’re used to seeing “Amazon” on your bank statement. Those boxes with blue tape are a mainstay on my front porch, delivering everything from vitamins and electronics to my son’s last pair of soccer cleats.

Now, you can even order groceries through Amazon Pantry. And you can get on-demand items within hours with Amazon Now. The ability to order milk and eggs to my front door has made Amazon even more valuable in my home, which is why I’m always looking for ways to snag free gift cards to the site.

You can find free Amazon gift cards in a number of places online. Here are a few we’ve come across and what you have to do to earn those gift cards:

1. Go to the Sourceamazon.JPG

The best place to get free Amazon gift cards is, interestingly enough, straight from Amazon itself.

The site regularly sends targeted offers to current- and potential-Prime subscribers. Earlier this month, for example, they offered a free $10 gift card if you sent someone a $50 gift card via text. (Just send it to your spouse if you’re not feeling generous!)

They also offer promotions like “spend $25, get $10” and the like. These are most often found in their grocery and personal care/health sections of the site. I’ve also taken advantage of reload offers, where I can load my Amazon account with a gift card and receive a bonus (usually $5) in the process. Check their gift card section online to see if any current offers are listed. Be sure to check back regularly.

2. MyPoints

If you shop online, print coupons, read emails, take surveys, or play games, you can earn free Amazon gift cards through MyPoints.

The site is incredibly easy to use. You simply have to sign up and the choose how you want to earn points. This can be through taking advantage of special shopping offers, watching featured videos on the home page, or using apps like Coupons.com to save on your grocery bill.

 

Right now, they’re even offering 100 points a day for using Coupons.com. That’s an easy way to earn 3,000+ points in a single month, just on one money-saving task alone!

When you complete any of these tasks, you’ll earn a set number of points. Once your account reaches a certain point, you can redeem these points for gift card rewards. Options range from restaurant and apparel shops to… you guessed it, Amazon.

Simply earn 480 points to redeem your first gift card. The more you save up, the further your points will go towards bigger rewards.

3. Credit Card Rewards

If you use a credit card that offers cash back (why wouldn’t you, after all? It’s free money!), you might be able to snag Amazon gift card offers with your earned rewards. Sometimes, you can even get bonus redemptions with certain partner companies–on occasion, Amazon is one of them.

Check out your credit card company’s rewards portal to see where you can redeem your points. If they offer a bonus ($25 gift card for $20 in rewards, for instance), this is an excellent way to make your free money go even further.

4. Online Surveys

Depending on how quickly you can fly through online surveys, it’s possible to make a decent return on your time. Sometimes, the return comes in the form of Amazon gift cards.

Companies like MintVine, Crowdology, and Univox will pay you for your time and effort, offering you daily survey opportunities and various reimbursement options. You can pick and choose the surveys that most apply to you and your family, and also sort them according to length and earnings.

 

Check out this page if you want to see a list of survey companies that offer Amazon cards as a payment option.

5. Get an Amazon Credit Card

prime.JPG

This is in the same area as number three above, but getting an Amazon credit card is another good way to earn Amazon-specific rewards.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa® is a great cash back card, especially if you spend a fair amount on Amazon.com. It offers a $70 Amazon gift card bonus right off the bat, as well as 5% back for every dollar you spend on the site. There is no annual fee, and you’ll also earn 2% cash back at drug stores, restaurants, and gas stations, and 1% back everywhere else.

There’s no minimum redemption amount, so you can start using earned rewards whenever you’d like. And, of course, you can use rewards on Amazon.com, just like you’d use a gift card.

6. Ibotta and Shopkick

If you aren’t using apps like Ibotta and Shopkick to earn free money when you shop, you really should start. Last year alone, I earned almost $200 from Ibotta on the things I was already buying. And I got a $20 gift card from Shopkick just from checking into stores I was already visiting. It’s easy. It’s free. And you can earn yourself some money for Amazon (or anywhere else).

Ibotta sends you cash rebates for things you buy at certain stores. You can also go through the site to buy on Amazon.com and earn credit that way. Once you’ve accumulated enough earnings, you can cash them out through Paypal or opt for free gift cards (like those for Amazon.com).

Shopkick rewards you for visiting, checking in, scanning items, and buying from certain stores. Points earned vary by store and by “task,” but it’s easy to earn points without spending a penny. When you’ve earned enough, cash them out for partner gift cards at stores like Target or, of course, Amazon.

7. Check Your Health Insurance

When is the last time you actually visited your health insurance company’s online portal? Of course, you can view your recent claims, deductible information, and order new cards. But often times, you can also find valuable offers.

For example, I logged in last month to my portal through Innovation Health. In their customer info section, I saw an offer for a free $50 Amazon gift card if I would just watch a 10-minute video. The video was on making healthy choices (food, exercise, etc.), which benefits my insurer. But in the end, I scored an e-gift card to Amazon.com.

Not all providers will offer promotions like this, but it’s definitely worth checking!

8. Trade It In

Looking to de-clutter the house and make some money in the process? The Amazon Trade-In Program might be the perfect answer.

You can go to the Trade-In Store to search for items that may be eligible for trading, whether you purchased them from Amazon or somewhere else. If you find a suitable offer, accept it, follow the directions for shipping, and wait. You’re on your way to earning an Amazon gift card for those items you may not even use anymore.

 

Amazon has quickly become a household name, known for delivering the things we need most at competitive prices (and lightning-fast!). This means that finding ways to earn free Amazon gift cards is not only fun, but budget-friendly.

Have you snagged a free gift card, to Amazon or elsewhere, using another method? Share it below!

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Find the best prepaid debit cards of 2017, including low fee cards and those you can use for free. We compare features, fees, and bonuses.

best prepaid debit cards

Prepaid debit cards have always been a controversial topic. Some cards carry insanely high fees just for making everyday purchases. Suze Orman’s entry into the prepaid card business, the Approved Card, prompted heated debate about whether it represented a conflict of interest, given Orman’s following.

In 2010, the Kardashians announced their branded prepaid card. They received bad press due to the card’s predatory fees and lack of customer benefits. They canceled the card soon after it was announced.

Not all prepaid cards are as bad, but fees are common. You need to evaluate each offer to determine whether a prepaid card is right for you. Prepaid debit cards are the preferred tool for many parents. They can monitor their children’s spending while teaching their children how to responsibly handle money management.

The best prepaid debit cards are cards without fees, offering rewards for everyday purchases. While credit is almost everywhere in this country, many Americans do not have a credit card or bank account. They use cash for their needs. While this might be a cheaper method of paying for products and services, it isn’t always safe to carry around cash for purchases. Rather than resort to prepaid cards with high fees consider looking at some of these best prepaid debit cards available for consumers today.

The Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2017

American Express Serve

If you’re looking to avoid fees with your prepaid debit card, this choice from American Express might be the best option. You can load the card from a bank account online or by phone, or you can place your deposit in the form of cash at over 50,000 retail locations including Walmart, CVS, 7-Eleven, and Family Dollar. There is a service fee of up to $3.95 that will be added to your purchase for depositing cash.

American Express does not charge reload fees made through bank accounts and direct deposit linked to the card (in network). Cash reloads and other reload methods may carry a third party purchase or service fee. This is not a credit card, however, the card comes with many of the major benefits that all American Express cardholders receive, like roadside assistance, purchase protection, and entertainment access.

There is a $1 monthly fee but that can be waived when you have a direct deposit each month of $500 or more. No ATM withdrawal fees when you use a MoneyPass location and no online billpay fees either.

Netspend Visa Prepaid MasterCard

Netspend is one of the leaders in the prepaid card industry. Their strongest offering comes in the form of the Netspend Visa Prepaid MasterCard. If you’re savvy enough to know how to transfer money to and from your card without the help of a Customer Service agent, the transfers are always free, If you need help, it’s $0.50 per transfer. There is no direct deposit fee and no initial fee for getting the card.

Netspend offers three different plans to manage your prepaid card. They are as follows:

  • Pay as you go – No monthly fee but a $1 charge per signature transaction and a $2 charge per pin transaction. This plan is ideal for people who plan to use their card very very little.
  • FeeAdvantage Plan – $9.95 per month, all transactions included at no additional cost.
  • Premier FeeAdvantage Plan – $5.00 per month if you have at least one qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more every month. The best value in terms of monthly cost if you have the direct deposit available.

Also, be careful at the ATM with this card. There is a withdrawal fee of $2.50 and a decline fee of $1 if you don’t have funds readily available.

Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® with Cash-Back Rewards

The Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® offers the best rewards program of any card on our list. For all Walmart shoppers, you stand to earn 3% cash back on every Walmart.com online purchase. 2% cash back is earned at Murphy USA and on Walmart fuel purchases and 1% cash back is earned at Walmart stores. The maximum amount of cashback you can earn is $75 each year. If you find yourself getting cut off from cash back rewards because you’ve already capped out $75 in a year … perhaps you should review your finances!

The fee structure for the Walmart MoneyCard® Visa® is fairly straightforward. There’s a $5 monthly charge and it can be waived when you load more than $1,000 on your card in the previous month. A $2.50 ATM withdrawal applies on every transaction and to get cash from your card at a Walmart location is free of charge. There is no charge to receive the initial card, no charge to make daily purchases and a $3 fee if you require a replacement card.

American Express Serve® Cash Back

If cash back is your game, the American Express Serve Cash Back provides a great opportunity. Every time you shop at a store or online, you’ll earn 1% cash back. Cash back is added immediately after you make your payment and available for redemption on your next purchase, at anytime. There is no annual cap on the amount of cash back you can earn and it never expires, so long as your account remains open and in good standing.

Now let’s talk fees. The initial card price is up to $3.95 if buying at a retail location. There is a $5.95 monthly fee unless you live in TX, VT or NY (no fee in those states). No direct deposit fee, no fee to add money from a bank account but up to a $3.95 fee to add cash at a retailer. Depending on the ATM you use, there could be up to a $2.50 ATM fee. No ATM fees when using a MoneyPass location. Last but not least, if you’re looking to take cash out of your American Express Serve Cash Back, up to a $9.49 fee applies.

Green Dot® Prepaid MasterCard®

This is a card with a simple fee plan. Cardholders will not have to pay a monthly fee as long as they deposit at least $1,000 onto the card monthly or make 30 qualifying purchases posted to your account monthly. If these conditions are not met, the monthly fee is $7.95. There are fees for initial purchase, which varies by retailer, of up to $4.95. Reload fees also vary by retailer and is currently up to $4.95.

Green Dot is an extremely convenient but expensive prepaid option. In addition to using the card for everyday purchases, you have the ability to write checks using your account. The limit per check is $3,000 and it’s only good for 90 days. In addition, The Green Dot® Prepaid MasterCard® offers free online mobile bill pay and NO fee for an ACH transfer. As always, direct deposit is FREE.

Try a Checking / Savings Account Instead

Chime Visa® Debit Card

Prepaid cards can certainly make life easier, but they can also make life more expensive. If you’re in the market for a prepaid card, you may want to consider opening a savings account with Chime. The Chime Visa Debit Card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. There’s no monthly fee to worry about, no card fee, and no fees for making day to day purchases. ATM’s in the Money Pass network are also free to use (there are over 24,000 of them nationwide)

On the savings account side, every time you use your Chime card to make a purchase, they round up the dollar amount and deposit the change into your Chime Savings Account. Setting up direct deposit is easy and there are no fees to transfer money in and out of your account. Coolest of all, Chime is willing to start you off with a free $5 after you first direct deposit.

You can also have a look at our best savings and checking account promos. All of the checking accounts listed can also provide you a debit card to make purchases, but be aware of each bank’s monthly fees and/or requirements for waiving the fee.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the prepaid debit card industry is mired in fees. If you believe a prepaid debit card is right for you, tread carefully. Read the terms and conditions and know the fees. Even the best prepaid debit card can end up costing more money than you are prepared to spend. There are many other debit cards I’m not including in this list at all because they are best avoided. Using a prepaid debit card can help a responsible person who does not qualify for a credit card handle their expenses, but it can also be a recipe for disaster.

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You can get your credit score for free if you know where to look. Here are eight ways to check your FICO score without paying a dime.

Get Your Credit Score for Free

Many consumers know that they can get a free annual credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. But this report only shows your credit report, not your actual credit score.

When you go to get your free annual credit report, the credit bureau will likely ask if you want your numerical credit score. There will almost always be a fee involved with providing this to you.

It is useful to know this number, especially if you’re trying to increase it or plan to apply for credit. But did you know that you don’t actually have to pay for your credit score? More and more websites these days are offering them for free.

Before we dive into the details, let’s talk about one quick thing: you have more than one credit score. It’s confusing but true!

There are several different credit scoring algorithms, created by companies like the Fair Isaacs Corporation (FICO). These models each have a slightly different emphasis. They’re meant to give lenders the most relevant score for the type of loan you’re trying to obtain. And each of these models can be applied to each of your three credit reports, which typically contain slightly different information.

So if you look at your score through more than one of these free options, you’ll likely see slightly different numbers. That’s normal. You’re just getting an idea of what lenders will likely see when they pull your credit report and score.

Here are our eight favorites:

1. Credit Karma

This website specializes in providing consumers with a free credit score, updated monthly. Credit Karma is one of the more valuable options on this list. Most free credit score options are based on a credit file from just one of the three major reporting bureaus. Credit Karma offers scores based on both your TransUnion and your Equifax reports.

The free dashboard will tell you if your scores have changed recently. It will also cover the factors that influence your credit score, including your payment history, credit card utilization, and more.

Unlike many of the free credit scores named here, Credit Karma’s will give you access to your credit report details, including current credit card balances, derogatory information, and more.

Credit Karma is also helpful if you’re shopping for a credit card, as it will recommend cards based on your current credit score.

Try Credit Karma

2. Credit Sesame

Answer a few basic questions, and Credit Sesame will give you access to your TransUnion credit score for free. If you’d like to have all three credit bureau scores, you can pay $15.95 per month. You can also opt to pay $19.95 per month for access to all three bureau scores, along with credit monitoring and ID protection.

One interesting feature of Credit Sesame is its borrowing power estimate. It tells you how to apply for different credit cards that it recommends, as well as loans to borrow funds you may need.

Credit Sesame grades you on each aspect of your credit score, including payment history, credit usage, and account mix. It’ll give you details on problems in each of these areas, as well as ideas for how to improve your credit score. Quizzle also rates your debt-to-income ratio, based on self-reported income information. This isn’t included in your credit report, but is useful to know if you’re planning to apply for a major loan, like a mortgage.

Try Credit Karma

3. Quizzle

Quizzle’s score is based on the VantageScore model, which may look different from models based on the FICO scoring model. It’s still an accurate representation of your creditworthiness, though it may not be exactly what your lenders see if they prefer to pull a FICO score.

Quizzle DashboardLike the other options here, Quizzle’s score offers a variety of tools. It includes a credit summary that shows all of your different accounts and their balances. It also offers a complete overview, including credit utilization, available credit, length of credit history, and average age of accounts.

Quizzle’s “trending” feature allows you to track your progress in a variety of areas related to your credit score, including your actual score, available credit, balances, and more. This can help you see how you’re progressing with raising your credit score month over month.

4. Discover Scorecard

Even if you’re not a Discover customer, you can sign up for a free Scorecard account. This option will provide you with your Experian FICO score. You’ll get your actual numerical score, as well as a grade that compares your score to the rest of the U.S.

Discover Scorecard

Discover’s Scorecard will give you access to the various aspects of your score, including your open accounts, length of credit history, credit utilization, and missed payments. It’ll tell you what’s helping and what, if anything, is hurting your score. Discover offers several financial products, including personal loans. The scorecard will tell you if you might qualify for a lower-interest personal loan, which you could use to refinance higher-interest debt.

5. LendingTree

Sign up for an account with LendingTree, and you’ll get access to your free credit score from TransUnion. Similar to the other services, LendingTree will track your score over time, and will grade each aspect of your score. This includes negative marks on the report and your available credit. It’ll also give you specific ways to improve your credit.

Lending Tree Dashboard

Besides giving you recommendations for credit cards that fit your score, LendingTree will give you offers for personal loans and refinancing options. One of the interesting things about LendingTree is that it’ll give you specific ways to save, based on your current situation. For instance, it may tell you that you can refinance a specific personal loan to a lower payment. It’s a useful tool if you’re hoping to refinance your debts to pay them off faster.

6. Credit.com

This service is interesting because credit.com will show you both your FICO score and your VantageScore 3.0. This way, you can get some perspective on how they’re different. It’ll give you grades on the various areas of your credit score, including how you stack up to the average American.

Credit.ocm Dashboard

Credit.com will also create a customized plan for you to reach a higher credit score, and it’ll estimate how high your score could go if you followed the plan. For instance, your plan might tell you to have no late payments for a certain number of months and pay off an extra $X in debt each month. Then, it’ll tell you approximately how high your credit score should be at the end of that period.

7. Your Credit Card Company

More credit card companies are now jumping on the free credit score bandwagon. Your statement or online account may come with access to a free credit score. Some card companies, like Capital One, even offer a credit simulator tool, where you can “try out” different credit decisions to see how they could impact your score.

Credit card companies currently offering their customers free credit scores include Discover, Citi, Chase, Bank of America, Barclaycard, Commerce Bank, American Express, Capital One, First Bankcard, USAA Bank, US Bank, and the Walmart Credit Card.

8. Apply for Credit

As of 2011, lenders are required to provide customers or potential customers with a copy of the credit score the lender used, even if the customer is rejected for the loan or line of credit.

Applying for credit can ding your score. If you’re going to do it anyway, be sure the lender provides you with a copy of the score used.

Keeping track of your own credit score through your credit card company or these free methods will not harm your score, and may even help you bring it up more quickly. The only option listed here that will impact your score is applying for credit. So before you do that, use a free option to pull your credit score. That way, you’re more likely to apply only for credit for which you’re likely to be approved.

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A Health Spending Account is a great way to pay for healthcare or save for retirement. To help, we’ve surveyed the very best HSA accounts available today.

best hsa accounts

It used to be that consumers didn’t have much choice when it came to HSAs. Many of these accounts were little more than dedicated-use high-interest savings accounts.

Now more options are on the market. And this means more investing options for your health savings account.

This makes choosing an HSA a bit more work. But that work can pay off in the end.

Just think of your HSA as a way to invest an additional few thousand bucks a year. If you’re healthy and don’t generally have high medical costs, that money can roll over from year to year. Invested wisely, it can grow tax-free. And as long as you use withdrawals for qualified medical expenses, those will be tax-free, as well.

This can make a big difference in retirement, when your medical expenses will rise naturally. (Old age eventually catches up with the healthiest of us!)

So you’ll want to put some work into choosing an HSA. Even if you have a convenient employer-sponsored option available, you can still go off-route with an HSA of your own. You’ll just contribute post-tax income, and then take the contributions as a write-off when you file your taxes.

Here, we’ll talk about what to look for in an HSA and outline some of the best options available on the market today.

What to Look for in an HSA: Two Options

Looking at an HSA is similar to looking at an IRA. You want to look at a couple of factors, including:

  • Fees: This is how much the account will cost you on a monthly basis, including any expense ratios. But you should also look at fees attached to trading or making new investment decisions within your account.
  • Investment Options: You’ll also need to consider what investment options are available. This used to be a big weakness with HSAs, but things are getting better. Several of the accounts we’ll highlight here offer IRA-like investing options, including mutual funds.

While both of these factors are important, they shouldn’t carry equal weight. Depending on your circumstances, you’ll need to look at one factor more than the other.

If you’re planning to spend down much of your HSA, look more closely at the fees–especially any potential per-transaction fees. If the money isn’t going to sit in your account for long, you don’t need to worry much about your investment options.

This would be the case if you have a sick individual in your family, or if you have young kids with constant doctor’s appointments. This would also be the case if you can’t afford to max out your account annually. Maybe you can only put in $500 or $1,000. That’s fine. But in this case, you should be more concerned with fees eating away at your account balance each month than with investing options.

If you’re planning to invest your HSA for the long run, be concerned about investing options. You should also be concerned about investing fees. After all, fees can quickly eat up your earnings within your account.

However, you’ll also want to look closely at the investing options. It can be worth paying some small fees for access to investing options that can far out-earn those fees. If your goal is to get a good return on your money, be sure your account gives you options that can do that.

If you’re closing in on retirement, you may also want to look at accounts with a wide variety of investing options. As you get closer to retirement, you may want to pull your investments from high-risk, high-reward investments to low-risk but stable investments. This is just like you’d manage your 401(k) or IRA.

How We’re Assessing HSAs

There are plenty of HSA options on the market. So there’s a chance that we missed a good one. If so, let us know in the comments.

We looked at data from a Morningstar study called The 2017 Health Savings Account Landscape. The study did a deep dive into HSA investing options and fees. We dug through this data–as well as data from a couple of other reputable roundups–to find the lowest-fee and best-investment HSAs.

First, we’ll talk about the low-fee options. Then we’ll dive into those with the best investing possibilities. Finally, we’ll highlight the account we think balances both the best.

Best HSA for Low Fees

So you’re one of those people who will likely use your whole HSA balance this year? In that case, you need to search for an HSA that has the lowest possible fees. Otherwise, your balance will slowly get worn away by expenses that are not medical expenses.

Saturna Capital

This administrator specifically focuses on HSA options for individuals. It has two account options–one that allows you to invest only in Saturna’s affiliated mutual funds and another that’s a self-directed brokerage HSA.

As you might guess, the first account type comes with lower fees. Saturna doesn’t charge any fees for account opening, account maintenance, statements, low balances, or closing your account. It also charges no fees for contributions, trades or exchanges, or account transfers.

In fact, the only fees Saturna charges are for wire transfers and overnight delivery of reimbursement checks. These rates vary, depending on the industry rate.

Saturna offers conveniences like the ability to invest directly from your bank account, redemption requests by phone or in writing any business day, and reimbursements into your bank account at no charge.

The one thing that Saturna is missing is a debit card or checkbook attached to your account. This is one of the reasons it’s able to charge such low fees. This can be problematic if you’re on a tight budget, as you’ll have to first fund the account, then pay medical expenses out of pocket, and then wait for a reimbursement. It sounds like reimbursements come quickly, but for a few days, maximum, you’ll basically have paid those medical expenses twice.

Still, even with this limitation, Saturna looks like an excellent option for consumers who want to spend down their HSA balances frequently. We’ll talk more about their self-directed account option in the section on investing.

Credit Unions

I actually came across loads of local credit unions in my search that offer very low–or even no–monthly maintenance fees on HSAs. They often specialize in FDIC-insured accounts earning a bit of interest based on average daily balance.

However, I’ve chosen not to list all the credit unions here because many have very specific eligibility requirements for members. But the bottom line here is that if you’re looking for a low-fee, no-frills HSA that you don’t particularly want to invest, check your local credit unions first.

Best HSAs for Investing Options

Of course, all good investors also care about fees. But if you want to invest your HSA funds for the long-term, it’s important to have investing options. Here are the accounts we think have the best ones.

One thing to note is that the individual investments you choose with your HSA funds may have fees of their own. Read this article to learn more about these types of fees, and be sure to pay attention to these as you choose invest.

Health Savings Administrators

This administrator offers first-dollar investing. So even if you start out contributing a few bucks a month, you can invest it. They don’t charge investment transaction fees, either, which can keep more of your money around for investing.

These accounts let you choose from over 100 investment options, including options from Vanguard, Dimensional, and Franklin Templeton, among others. The account investors should choose is the InvestorSelect option. It has a $45 per year administrative fee plus a 6.25 basis points per quarter custodial fee.

Health Savings Administrators’ transactional fees look pretty hefty, but you can avoid most of these fees.

Optum Bank

Optum Bank has relatively low fees, though its monthly fees are variable and difficult to suss out. But they do have a good variety of investing options, including access to the Charles Schwab target date funds.

It offers access to a variety of mutual funds, which you’ll find here. Optum does not charge trading fees, and all the funds are available without paying any fees. Again, you’ll have to check the fees for the individual funds you choose, though, as they will carry fees.

Best Balance of Both Worlds

What if you want a bit of both? You’ll spend some of your HSA each year, but you also want to invest it? These are the two accounts I think win out in that arena:

HealthEquity

I actually stumbled on HealthEquity when looking for Alliant Credit Union. Alliant’s HSAs were the highest-scored option in the Morningstar spending account category. But they’re actually transitioning over to HealthEquity accounts in 2018.

According to their list of fees, there’s an account setup and monthly administration fees are typically paid by the plan sponsor. However, if you use one of these accounts independently, HealthEquity will charge up to $3.95 per month in maintenance fees.

You can use a debit card to pay your qualified healthcare expenses for free. Or you can order reimbursement checks, but those cost $2 each.

The interesting thing about HealthEquity is the variety of account types they offer. You can choose to keep your funds in an FDIC-insured account that earns a basic–pretty low–interest rate. Or you can invest in one of three account types:

  • Auto-Pilot: This account offers full service advice, automatic implementation and rebalancing, and portfolio alerts. It charges monthly service fees of .08% and monthly investing administration fees of .033%.
  • GPS: This account option splits the difference between full-service and self-directed. You can get some investing guidance from HealthEquity, but you’ll be primarily responsible for doing your own investing. You can, however, get portfolio alerts. The fees are slightly lower: .05% monthly service fees plus .033% investing administration fees.
  • Self-Driven: With this type of account, you’re totally on your own. You’ll have plenty of investing options, but you’ll be totally responsible for checking out your account and making choices. There are no monthly service fees, but the account still carries the monthly investing administration fees of .033%.

Saturna Capital

If you want to take complete control over your HSA investing and have lower fees, Saturna is, again, a great option. Again, it lacks some of the conveniences of other HSAs. But if your primary goal is long-term investment, that’s not a big deal. You could always invest for the long term with Saturna, then move your account to a spending-oriented, FDIC-insured account with a debit card when it’s time to spend down the money.

Saturna’s self-directed Saturna Brokerage HSA has very low fees. The only monthly fee is a potential inactive account fee if you have had no trades for the entire year. Other investing-related fees are charged according to this commission schedule. In general, trading online by yourself will be cheaper than broker-assisted trading.

Saturna offers a wide range of investing options. It’s a good choice if you’re planning to do very little shifting of your investments over the year, but want to invest for the long term.

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50 Tips to Help Establish Your Emergency Fund

by Luke Landes

50 Ways to build an emergency fund. Tips, tricks and strategies on saving more for emergencies and where to keep your rainy day money. There’s a reason Dave Ramsey’s famous Baby Step #1 is to build an emergency fund. It helps people get on track for becoming financially independent. I don’t agree with everything Ramsey […]

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Which Credit Card Should Be Your First?

by Aliyyah Camp

Getting a credit card as a young adult is a big step. To help, we’ve researched the best first credit card options and how to make this important choice. Getting your first credit card is a significant financial milestone. Maybe you’re a college student jumping into personal finance for the first time. Or maybe you’ve […]

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How Many Savings Accounts Do You Need?

by Abby Hayes

Back in the day, we had just one savings account. Mine came with a passbook. Now we ask–how many savings accounts do you need? We have the answer. These days, more banks are offering low- or no-fee savings accounts. This can make it tempting to open a lot of different accounts. And, in some cases, […]

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E*Trade Review and Current Promotions

by Kevin Mercadante

E*TRADE set the bar as one of the first online discount brokers. But is it the broker you should be using? We help you answer that question in our E*TRADE review. It’s curious that the editorial team here at Consumerism Commentary has never reviewed E*TRADE before today. I say that because we have written about […]

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Pros and Cons of Interest-Only Mortgage Payments

by Luke Landes

Interest only mortgage payments appeal to many because of the low monthly payment. But are they a good way to go? We list the pros and cons. A while back, a Consumerism Commentary reader named Ryan suggested I write about interest-only mortgages. I thought this was an interesting request. So I definitely wanted to address […]

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CIT Bank Review and Bonuses

by Stephanie Colestock

CIT Bank bonus offers can be very rewarding. We track these bonuses and CIT rates, which currently are the best you’ll find for an online savings account. Everybody needs a safe place to tuck away their emergency fund or vacation savings. A high yield savings account is a great option. Considering that the average savings […]

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