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avatar You are viewing an archive of articles by Luke Landes. Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View 's Google Profile.

Luke Landes

We cover the best airline miles credit cards of 2018. You’ll find airline-specific cards and offers that can be used with any airline. Our top pick offers up to a $625 signup bonus.

best airline miles credit cards

The cost of flying is going up. Airlines continue to add a variety of fees to compensate for keeping fare prices low to compete with each other. Adding to the base cost of a flight are fees like fuel surcharges, checked baggage fees, and in-flight fees for food, drinks, headphones and pillows. Some airlines are now even charging for carry-on luggage. Some of the best airline miles credit cards allow customers to waive a few of these excessive fees. The are also accompanied by a quality rewards program. These features help customers save money on fees as well as apply discounts to fares.

These are the best airline miles credit cards available to consumers today. If you fly frequently on any of the below airlines, you could save thousands of dollars in airfare every year. Even less frequent travelers will still be able to save money. If you own a card not on this list, leave a comment and tell us why you love it.

Editor’s choice

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: New card holders for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card can qualify for 50,000 bonus points by spending $4,000 on purchases during the first three months of card ownership. These points can be redeemed for $625 in travel rewards when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This makes it the most valuable card for airline travel available today.

The card also includes a reward program, with 2X points for every dollar spent for travel expenses and dining at restaurants. As well as offering the standard 1X point for every dollar spent on all other purchases. The card has no foreign transaction fee plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.

There is a $95 annual fee, but it’s waived for all first year cardholders.

Other Top Airline Credit Card Offers

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardCapital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: With the Venture card you can earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. These bonus miles are worth $400 when redeemed for travel. You’ll also earn two miles for every $1 in purchases charged to the card. There is a $0 intro annual fee the first year, but $95 annual fee thereafter.

For a limited time, Capital One is offering a killer promotion when you book through hotels.com. Using the Hotels.com/Venture link, you’ll earn 10 miles for every dollar spent!

There are no foreign transaction fees associated with any Capital One product but there is also no intro APR to speak of.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: The Starwood Preferred American Express is ideal for those who frequently stay at Starwood properties. You’ll receive 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use the card to make $3,000 in purchases in the first three months. There are no foreign transaction fees, and get free nights at over 1,200 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries with no blackout dates.

Cardholders receive two Starpoints for every dollar spent at participating SPG and Marriott Rewards hotels and one Starpoint per dollar spent on all other purchases.  When you combine those points with the Triple Starpoints you earn when you become a Starwood rewards member, this card has the potential of earning you five points per dollar spent on Starwood and Marriott brands.

This card carries a $95 annual fee, waived for all first year members.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card: New cardholders of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card will earn 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. Two points per dollar spent are earning on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and card rental partner purchases and single points per dollar spent are earned elsewhere.

Every year you remain a Southwest cardholder, you’ll earn a 6,000 bonus points (credited on your anniversary date). There are no foreign transaction fees to worry about, no blackout dates or seat restrictions and as always on Southwest flights, bags fly free.

The annual fee is $99 (and it is NOT waived for the first year).

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: You earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first three months of card membership.

  • With the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, you earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta.
  • Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Take advantage of premium travel perks such as priority boarding when you book a flight with and fly Delta.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight–that’s a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.

This card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year. After that, the annual fee is $95. (Terms and conditions apply.)

  • Learn more about this card HERE

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card: This is the no annual fee version of the Venture card. In exchange for avoiding the annual fee, the benefits are bit lower. You can earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months. And for every $1 charged to the card, you earn 1.25 miles.

With the fees on some of the airline miles cards, becoming a member may not be worthwhile, unless you pay your bill in full every month and fly frequently for the points to be more worthwhile than a cash back card. Many cards have fees. So consider whether you will use the card enough to justify the amount of those annual fees. Using an airline miles card also ties you into using a specific airline. If you fly the same route frequently, you may already have that level of loyalty.

This card also includes the same Hotels.com promotion, where you can earn 10 points per dollar spent using the link Hotels.com/Venture

Important Note! The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that offers change frequently. Therefore, we can not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit or charge card prior to applying.

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The best online checking accounts offer competitive interest rates with low fees and easy access. Here’s our list of the best options for 2018.

best online checking accounts

Consumers have grown increasingly frustrated by the checking account options offered by traditional banks. Large banks are continuing to add fees and are not concerned with scaring the less profitable customers away. This is part of a larger plan to increase profitability.

Enter online banks. Banking customers are seeking out the best online checking accounts for better interest rates, service, and lower fees. The key is to is find the best checking account that meets your needs at that particular time.

Here are my picks for stable, convenient online checking accounts.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank (formerly GMAC Bank): Ally offers a checking account with no monthly fees and no minimum balance. The no-fee, no-minimum accounts are becoming increasingly rare. Very few banks offer interest on a checking account, as Ally Bank does.

While they offer free free checking, customers will suffer with a low APY.  For accounts with less than $15,000, the APY is 0.10% and for balances greater than $15,000, the APY is 0.60%.  Perhaps the biggest benefit is that Ally reimburses up to $10 in ATM fees each statement cycle.  That can go a long way in saving money when you need to withdraw funds from non-Allpoint ATM’s.

  • $10 per cycle ATM fee reimbursement
  • NO monthly fees

EverBank

EverBank: EverBank comes with the unique promise that the account will always offer a rate within the top 5 percent of comparable accounts. Other perks include no monthly fees, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements as long as the minimum balance is met, and mobile check deposits. The minimum to open this account is $5,000 and be reimbursed for ALL ATM fees is the same $5,000.

EverBank also shines in the 1st year interest rate they offer consumers with large balances.  Everyone earns a 1.21% APY (for the first $250,000) on the first year they’re on board with EverBank. Then it’s a tiered rate based on deposit size.  0.25% for balances under $10,000 all the way up to a 0.71% APY for balances of $100,000 – $10MM.  In order to receive the promotional 1.21% APY for the first year, you must open a new account, not transfer old funds to a new account.

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursement w/ $5,000 minimum balance
  • NO monthly fees

BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass: BBVA Compas offers the Compass ClearChoice Free Checking Account. As the name suggests, there is no monthly maintenance fee. BBVA offers free online and mobile banking as well as unlimited free check writing (but not free checks). You also get free mobile and online bill pay. And there are no fees at any of BBVA’s ATMs.

But that doesn’t mean there are no ATM fees.  If you use an ATM outside of the BBVA network, you are charged their fee; and while BBVA will not reimburse you for that fee, they do offer a unique ATM fee rebate program.  If you agree to a $5 monthly charge, you can be reimbursed for up to 4 ATM fees per month.  A typical ATM fee is about $3, but if you’ve ever withdrawn money from an airport or casino, you know that fee is bigger.  The $5 monthly charge will save you money if you’re a habitual ATM user, but if not, you should pass.

The biggest drawback to the ClearChoice Free Checking Account is that it is not accompanied by an interest rate.  The minimum to open an account is just $25.

  • NO ATM fee reimbursement (unless you pay a $5 monthly charge)
  • NO monthly fees

FNBO Direct

FNBO Direct: FNBO Direct offers an online savings account with a competitive interest rate, and the Online BillPay Account is a competitive offer as well. FNBO offers a competitive interest rate on their BillPay Account and integrates PopMoney, a system that allows you to easily transfer money to and from your friends (or anyone else who uses PopMoney).

Opening an FNBO Direct BillPay account requires only $1, and the current interest rate is a 0.65% APY across all account balances.  As far as ATM fees go, FNBO touts that there are no foreign ATM fees, however that’s somewhat misleading.  FNBO will not charge you a fee, however if you use a non FNBO ATM, you can be charged a fee by the other bank.  There is currently no plan available to receive ATM fee reimbursements.

I’ve had an FNBO Direct savings account for quite a long time, and have always been a satisfied customer.

  • NO ATM fee reimbursement
  • NO monthly fees

Capital One 360

Cap One 360: Capital One 360 combines every good checking account feature into one package.  This is a no fee account with a top rated mobile app platform that allows you to transfer money, deposit checks and manage your account free of charge.  It also offers mobile check deposits and the security of SureSwipe to see all transaction details.

Cap One currently provides a tiered APY structure.  For balances less than $50,000, the APY is 0.20%, balances between $50,000 and $100,000 the APY is 0.75% and for balances greater than $100,000 the APY is 0.90%.  Their ATM fee structure is very straightforward; charging nothing for using a Capital One ATM (on the AllPoint network) and reimbursing up to $15 in ATM fees per month from other banks.  From their website:

For certain banking products we offer, fees assessed at any ATM within the United States and at some ATMs located outside the United States will be reimbursed within 5 business days, up to $15 per statement period.

  • $15 per cycle ATM fee reimbursement
  • NO monthly fees

USAA

USAA: USAA is taking advantage of banks charging $5 debit card fees, heavily advertising that their debit card is free to use. The USAA Classic Checking account is certainly a favorite among experts, earning its place as a finalist at the 2nd Annual Plutus Awards. USAA was also named one of CNN Money’s least evil banks and it’s a bank that my brother uses for all of his financial needs (member of the National Guard).

This is a no fee checking account that requires a $25 opening deposit and no ongoing minimum balance requirement.  Similar to the Capital One policy above, USAA offers fee free ATM withdrawals at over 60,000 locations.  They’ll kindly reimburse you for up to $15 in ATM fees each month, should you use an ATM not in their network.  USAA has a terrific mobile app that allows for sending money, checking balances, paying bills and a handful of other necessary banking features.

Unfortunately, the negative is that it’s current interest rate on a balance of $1,000 or more is just 0.01% APY.  Virtually nothing.

  • $15 per cycle ATM fee reimbursement
  • NO monthly fees

The bank serves primarily members of the military, but membership is open to the public. The checking account has no fees and does not charge for up to the first 10 AM withdrawals each month. USAA also reimburses customers for up to $15 in ATM transactions each month, making any convenient location an “in-network” ATM. USAA also offers remote deposit, a convenient way to deposit checks into the account by scanning or taking a photograph of both sides of the check.

Aspiration Bank

Aspiration Checking: Aspiration is not like the other names on our list.  It’s a name you likely have not heard of; as they do little advertising and don’t have the presence that the other big name banks on this list have.  That said, it’s the best online checking account you’ve never heard of.

Aspiration offers fee free checking.  No monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balance required to maintain an account and opening an account can be done for as little as $10.  Account balances of greater than $2,500 will receive a terrific interest rate of 1.00% APY and balances with less than $2,500 will receive an interest rate of 0.25%.

The best feature of the Aspiration checking account is that there are NEVER ATM fees.  If you use an ATM inside of their network, it’s free and if you use an ATM outside of their network, they’re reimburse you the expense.  Without exception, all ATM transactions are free with no caps.  Truly a unique service in today’s checking market.

  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursement
  • NO monthly fees

Discover Bank

Discover Bank Checking: Discover is best known for their credit card products, but they put together a strong checking offer as well.  They have a Cashback Checking account that includes the unique feature of 1% cash back for the first $3,000 in debit card transactions per month.  Those transactions do not include things like withdrawals and money transfers but do include things like purchases at the pump, retail outlets or at the grocery store.

The Discover Cashback Checking account charges no monthly fee and has no balance requirement to remain open.  Some of the nicer features include free checks (including reordering checks) free online bill pay and free official bank checks, should you require them.  Their ATM policy is straightforward; if you use one of their 60,000+ ATM’s there is no fee; however if you wander outside their network, they will not reimburse you for other banks ATM fees.

To assist in finding a fee free ATM, they have an ATM finder online and on their mobile app.

  • NOATM fee reimbursement
  • NO monthly fees

With the largest banks finding ways to eliminate the least profitable customers through the addition of fees, as of today, there are still plenty of options available for people who are interested in sticking with an institution that generates revenue in another manner. If the above options don’t work for you, there are credit unions that would be happy for an influx of customers. Every financial institution is a business, however, and if new customers end up being unprofitable in the future, free checking will become extinct.

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Picking the right bank is not as simply as it once was. To help, we show you how to choose the best savings account based on rates, fees and customer service.

Choose the Best Savings Account

In a world with literally thousands of options at your fingertips, choosing a savings account can be tough. These days, you won’t get extraordinary interest rates anywhere. But many online and even brick-and-mortar banks offer a variety of other benefits to turn heads. You might get a sign-on bonus, like you would with a credit card. Or maybe you get a slick online system to track your savings.

Whatever your goal, there’s a savings account out there to help you meet it. You just have to choose the account that works best for your needs.

Why Do You Need to Save?

Your first question is why are you saving? There are, of course, a few basic answers to this question. Everyone should have some short-term and longer-term savings goals, and everyone should save for emergencies. But beyond that, you might have particular goals in mind for your savings account. But here are some angles to consider when deciding on a savings account for your needs:

Saving is not the same as investing. All too often, we get the idea of saving and investing confused. Sure, we hear a lot about “saving for retirement.” But, really, we’re investing for retirement. Investing comes with higher risks but should also, over time, net you better returns. Saving in a savings account, on the other hand, won’t get you much by way of interest. But that’s not the point. The point is to keep that money–money you might need in the short-term or in an emergency–safe and secure.

You may have different accounts for different purposes. The proliferation of free online savings account options has made this approach easier than ever. You might have several savings accounts, each with its own purpose. This can make it easier to maintain different goals for your savings. Maybe one account is for your annual vacation, another is for emergencies, and a third is for a down payment on a new home. Just be sure you’re not paying fees for all of these accounts, which can incrementally wear down your savings rate.

Savings doesn’t need to be easily accessible. Too often consumers default to keeping their savings accounts with whatever bank has their checking account. This isn’t a terrible strategy, as long as the product is a good fit otherwise. But remember that your savings account doesn’t necessarily need to be easily accessible from your checking account. In fact, sometimes separating them is a better strategy for avoiding spending that set-aside money.

So with these things in mind, let’s talk about what to look for when you’re choosing a savings account.

What to Look for in a Savings Account

There are so many savings account bells and whistles. And some of them are great. It can be nice to be able to automatically roll “spare change” from your checking to your savings account, for instance. And having tools to automatically track your savings account balance on your phone is also great. But these are really extras. At the core, here are the five things you need to consider when looking at a savings account:

  1. Stability
  2. Fees
  3. Accessibility
  4. Interest Income
  5. Service

Let’s tackle these issues one by one here.

Stability: Look for FDIC Insurance

The first thing to look for in a savings account is FDIC protection. This ensures that your money will be available to you, even if the bank you choose fails. As we saw in the early 2000’s, even the banks with the best reputations can fail. So always be sure that your money is FDIC insured. Or if you choose a credit union, look for National Credit Union Administration insurance, which is similar to the insurance offered by the FDIC.

Fees: How Low Can You Go?

These days, there are so many fee-free options available that you really shouldn’t be paying for a savings account at all. But if you do choose one with conditional fees, see if you can meet the requirements for having those fees waived. Even fees as small as a few bucks a month will wear away at your savings over time. And, again, with so many fee-free options on the market, there’s just no sense in paying fees for your savings account. And if you plan to maintain a relatively large balance, you’ll have even more fee-free options available!

Accessibility: Get Your Money When You Need It

Sure, you might find a bank that offers outstanding interest and no fees. But if it’ll take you a week to transfer money from that bank to your checking account, it’s not a good place to store your emergency fund. Generally, the more likely you are to need the money at a moment’s notice, the more easily you should be able to access the money. But as we noted above, you may not want to have all your savings linked to your checking account, as that can cause unnecessary temptation to overspend.

The bottom line here is that you might need different levels of accessibility for different accounts. Maybe half your emergency fund is at a bank in town so that you can withdraw cash without ATM fees whenever you need it. Store the rest of it at an online bank with a good interest rate. It’ll take a couple of days to get your money, but not usually more than that. And then you can store savings for particular things like your next car somewhere that you can access the money within three to five days.

Interest Income: Higher Isn’t Always Better

Remember, this type of savings account is not for investing. And in today’s environment, you shouldn’t expect to find an account with stellar interest rates. The differences between banks are pretty small too, so don’t choose based on this factor alone. With that said, earning a bit of interest can offset some of what you’d otherwise lose to inflation. So do look at interest rates, especially when choosing a bank for longer-term, higher-balance savings that will earn more over time. But, of course, be sure to balance any increases in interest against potential increases in fees, which can quickly erode that extra interest income.

Service and Tools: Look at Reviews

Good customer service is essential for a bank. If you have trouble logging in online and need your money, you need to be able to get someone on the phone to fix the problem. So check around for customer service reviews for the banks you’re considering. Then, be sure to take a look at additional tools that you might find helpful. These days many banks have apps for managing your money, take check deposits from your phone, or have financial advice available for free. These aren’t make-or-break features for most customers. But they can be the icing on the cake.

Once you’ve gotten through all of these steps, you should be able to find a savings account–or two or three!–that meets your particular needs. You can check out our reviews of particular accounts, such as the Capital One 360 Savings account and the Barclay’s Online Savings option. You’re sure to find a savings account that will perfectly suit your needs.

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What happens if your bank account is hacked? Are you liable or is your bank? We have the answer, along with some tips how to keep your money safe online.

bank account is hacked

As society’s reliance on technology grows, especially for things like banking, we will continue to see more and more issues with account hacking. Whether on a large scale–such as the recent $10M theft from banks in the U.S. and Russia–or small, data breaches are becoming increasingly prevalent. So, what happens if your bank account is hacked?

How Big is the Problem?

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, hacking was responsible for a whopping 59.3% percent of the total data breaches in 2017. This number has grown significantly each year (up from 14% in 2007 and 27% in 2012, for instance). It shows no signs of slowing.

It’s concerning enough to think about our email accounts being breached or our personal data being compromised through physical theft of personal documents. However, when we consider the impact of our checking or savings accounts being hacked–and even emptied–the fear increases exponentially.

This may even lead some to think about pulling their money out of financial institutions, opting instead a more personal, less-likely-to-be-targeted solution. However, that might not be the best option.

While there are many reasons to reconsider doing business with large financial institutions, the threat of a cyber attack shouldn’t be one. Those who see the potential for this kind of data breach as a reason for not doing their financial business over the internet are over-reacting. Of course, that’s little comfort in the face of fear.

Let’s take a look at exactly what happens after your bank account is hacked, and why you shouldn’t be scared to bank with an online institution.

Banking Deal: Earn 1.75% APY on an FDIC-insured money market account at CIT Bank.

You Probably Won’t Lose Your Money

You may not know this, but the banks are actually liable for any stolen funds as a result of cyber crime. Non-business Customers should not lose money, as long as they notify their banking institution of the fraudulent transaction(s) within a reasonable period of time and took steps to safeguard their account information.

This is all thanks to Regulation E, a guideline established by the Federal Reserve to protect electronic funds transfers (ETFs). According to Reg E, banking customers are only liable for up to $50 in losses if they notify their bank right away (typically, within 2 days of receiving the statement with the fraudulent charge). If they wait up to 60 days, their lost funds are still limited–losses are capped at $500–and the bank carries most of the liability.

However, if customers wait beyond 60 days to notify their bank of any fraudulent charges, they may be liable for the full amount stolen.

The takeaway here? You’re still protected as a personal banking customer, even against cyber threats, as long as you stay on top of your account activity. Of course, you should be doing this anyway, but thanks to the Federal Reserve, your losses are largely capped even if you’re the unfortunate victim of bank account hacking.

Banks Are More Prepared than Ever

Banks are hit by cyber attacks every single day. As a result, they are becoming more adept at preventing breaches of security, and are implementing cutting-edge protocols and software to prevent such attacks from being successful.

It’s important to remember that only the big attacks hit the news. Banks are bombarded by security threats all day every day, and their systems are improving exponentially for detecting and dealing with these problems.

You Can Help Protect Yourself

While some breaches happen on a much larger scale, many of them originate by an individual having his or her personal data compromised. In today’s world of WiFi hotspots and coffee shop internet, it’s even easier for hackers to gain access to our accounts.

Luckily, it’s fairly simple to ensure your account is not vulnerable to this particular attack. When using a public internet connection – whether at the airport, in a coffee shop, or even at your kids’ after school gymnastics practice – avoid logging in to important personal accounts. Browsing the web is fine, but don’t enter personal information like your bank account login or even email password while on a publicly-accessed connection.

Also, when logging into your bank account online, most banks allow you to “remember your computer.” This allows you to bypass a few added security questions the next time you log in, but makes it easier for cyber threats. Hackers can spoof your IPv4 address or even use malware to hijack your computer, so you don’t even know it’s accessing your bank account.

It’s a good idea to always disable the “remember your computer” feature. While it makes logging in a bit more of a pain, it’s much more secure in the end.

Keep an Eye Out for Spoofs

Even the most technology-savvy folks can be fooled by today’s advanced social engineering. Keep a close eye on everything you open and click on, to ensure that you’re not their next victim.

Email programs have become very adept at filtering out spam most of the time. However, they’re not foolproof. You may still see emails that look very much like they are official, coming from your bank or even Paypal, asking you to visit the website and confirm some piece of financial information.

In reality, the “bank’s website” is actually a hacker’s website, designed to look identical to the official site. Never enter your password or any other identifying information on a website that you’re accessing over an insecure connection.

Internet browsers now even identify the security certificate. So when you’re visiting a secure website that’s supposed to be operated by Chase, you can verify you’re safe. Click the security icon in your browser’s address bar for more information. Here is a screenshot of what that looks like with Chrome.

When dealing with suspicious emails, you can even nip spoofs in the bud. Simply click on the sender’s email address if you receive a message requesting information, to see if it truly came from your financial institution. If you have any doubts, forward the message directly to your bank’s customer service department and get their confirmation.

You can make your passwords as long and as random as you like, but the complexity of a password is irrelevant if you hand it to a criminal willfully.

Safer Alternatives Don’t Exist

I’m sorry to break the news to your sweet grandma, but stashing money under your mattress is much less safe than giving it to the bank.

When you don’t like dealing with banks because you already believe that these corporations are evil, fear-inducing stories about recent hacks or cyber theft prevalence are particularly resonant. News of major security threats seem to confirm the skeptic’s opinion that money is only safe when it’s cold, hard cash… not bits in a bank’s computer.

However, the threat of your money being physically stolen is much more serious than it being digitally stolen. Your house being robbed and criminals being able to find your hidden bills or walk away with your safe is much more likely than losing money due to cyber crime.

Plus, as we mentioned before, you have methods of recourse if your bank account is compromised. Thanks to Regulation E, your stolen personal funds are protected by-and-large, as long as you notice the theft and alert your bank in a timely fashion. If someone walks out of your house with a coffee can full of bills, you’re simply out of luck.

Should You Worry?

While news of past attacks and the threat of future ones is scary, the truth is that the banks will know before you do. Often times, these institutions (and their advanced cyber security teams) solve the problem before the media even mentions the threat.

Federal law requires that banks are liable in the event of a security breach. There is no bank that wants to be liable for a potentially large amount, so the companies have a very strong incentive to be very proactive and protect their customers.

Banks are easy to criticize, for a number of other reasons. However, security is one area where the needs of the customers, shareholders, employees, and executives are completely aligned.

Does news of cyber attacks change the way you feel about banking online?

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Capital One 360 Savings Account Review

by Luke Landes

Capital One 360 is one of the oldest online banks. In this review, we look at the savings products it offers, the interest rates, and the fees. When Capital One purchased ING Direct to create Capital One 360, it made a splash in the online savings account market. Now, Capital One 360 offers a whole […]

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Barclays Online Savings Review

by Luke Landes

Barclays online savings account offers one of the highest interest rates and lowest fees available today. In this review, we cover the details to help you determine if Barclays Bank is right for you. Barclays Bank is a relative newcomer to the U.S. online savings market. It’s been around as a bank, though, since 1690. […]

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How to Automate Your Savings

by Luke Landes

A simply way to save more is to automate your savings. In this step-by-step guide, we show you how to put saving money on auto-pilot. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the power of habits. Books like The Power of Habit and Making Habits, Breaking Habits have given me insight into how habits work. They’ve […]

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10 Tips for Avoiding Overdraft Fees

by Luke Landes

What’s a quick way to empty your pockets? Paying for overdraft fees. Here are ten tips to help you avoid those bank penalties. Consumers overdraft their bank accounts . . . a lot. According to data compiled by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, these fees totaled more than $11 billion in 2015. More recent data […]

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Discover Bank Online Savings Account Review

by Luke Landes

Discover Bank is an online only bank that offers excellent rates for savers with low fees. In this review, we cover its products, rates and fees. Interested in opening a savings account at Discover® Bank? Read this article first. Most every consumer knows the Discover brand, but for it’s extensive line of credit card products. […]

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2018 IRS Standard Deductions and Exemptions

by Luke Landes

There are some big changes in the standard deduction and exemptions for 2018. We have all the numbers here and how the change will affect tax payers. Most taxpayers can choose between itemizing tax deductions and taking the standard deduction. Itemizing, which requires accurate record-keeping, allows you to take deductions for specific expenditures from the […]

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