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

September 2011

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card Review

by Luke Landes

Credit card companies tend to have some of the most pervasive marketing messages. Through frequent commercials, credit cards get their branding goals across with immediately identifiable taglines. Discover has “It pays to Discover.” Citibank has been using “Citi never sleeps” recently. One of the most effective marketing hooks comes from Capital One®, with the indelible […]

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Poverty Rates Up: How to Avoid Poverty

by Luke Landes

According to the 2010 Census data, the poverty rate for Americans is up to 15.1 percent, matching the rate from 1993. 46.2 million people are living below the poverty line, a level delineated by earning less than $22,314 a year for a family of four or $11,139 a year for an individual. 22 percent of […]

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Schwab Invest First 2% Cash Back Card Officially Dead

by Luke Landes

Now that the Schwab Invest First 2 percent Cash Back credit card is officially closed, consider one of the alternatives below. Owners of the very popular Schwab Invest First Visa credit card, which offered 2 percent cash back on purchases deposited directly into a Schwab account, have started receiving word that their favorite card will be converted […]

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Start a Salary Negotiation With a Ridiculous Request

by Luke Landes

There’s some evidence that the first number mentioned in salary negotiations serves as an anchor. As an employee, you can influence the employer’s final salary by asking for a high number up front. That high number, you may know, is out of the employer’s range, but by asking for a somewhat reasonable high number, you’re […]

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2011 Stimulus Package: American Jobs Act

by Luke Landes
Dollar - 2011 Stimulus Package

Update: The Buffett Rule, if implemented, could help pay for the American Jobs Act. As long as the public holds the general impression that economy isn’t favorable, and that’s certainly the case, for example, when unemployment is high or after a stock market crash, political leaders will propose stimulus plans to help move the country […]

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Bank of America Cutting More Jobs

by Luke Landes
Bank of America

After Bank of America investors have endured a year of suffering, Bank of America employees will start to feel the company’s troubles. Although the bank already announced significant layoffs this year, hot on the heels of a $5 billion boost from Warren Buffett, an overdraft fee lawsuit settlement, and a settlement for a lawsuit pertaining […]

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Earn More Money: Teaching and Tutoring

by Luke Landes

This is the third article in a series about methods of supplementing income with spare-time projects. I typically focus on the big changes people can make that result in earning significantly more money, but this series focuses on incremental income. The first article was about becoming a secret shopper and the second was about selling […]

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Podcast 125: Underwater Mortgages

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast Tom Dziubek speaks with Gerri Detweiler, personal finance expert at, about her series of articles dealing with underwater mortgages. Gerri goes into detail about each of the six options including home loan refinances & modifications, doing a short sale and declaring bankruptcy. Consumerism Commentary Podcast #125 Underwater Mortgages: […]

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BankAmericard Cash Rewards Review

by Luke Landes

You may have seen a lot of commercials for a credit card offered by Bank of America called the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card. Although this card offers a solid rewards program with a good interest rate and no annual fee, it’s nothing new and it’s certainly not improved. In fact, there are other credit […]

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Smithee Update: Six Months in San Diego

by Smithee

This article is by Consumerism Commentary staff writer Smithee, who is juggling about a dozen clients and creative projects as a freelancer. It’s been a year since I was laid off and decided to become a full-time freelancer, and it’s been six months since my wife and I made a risky decision to move the […]

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