Fantrotter is a new tool that allows travelling music fans to plan a vacation around a concert.
It’s nerdy, I know. But it’s something some of us do. I, once, for fall break my senior year of college, drove 13 hours to Toronto to see Portishead.
Fantrotter helps fans like me put a dollar-amount on that kind of trip. Included in their price aggregator is:
- The cost of the ticket.
- The cost of a flight to the given city (the app pinpoints the closest airport to you)>
- The cost of a hotel room for a 2-night stay.
- The cost of renting a car
- The total of all these costs
- A sidebar that compares those totals, for each tour date, so you can find the best deal
Alongside those estimates are links to some of the most-popular vacation-bookers, like Expedia and Hotel.com, so you can take care of all your vacation needs in one fell swoop.
Fantrotter’s a nifty tool then, although the user interface isn’t the cleanest. There are too many fonts and colors competing for your attention when a simpler picture would do. But it’s certainly functional. And for music fans who love to dream of seeing their favorite band, Fantrotter puts them one step closer.
Photo courtesy of GothEric
Q: What does same as cash financing mean? I always see it advertised by furniture and mattress stores but have no clue as to its definition. A: Watch out because this is one of the biggest traps out there. In addition to furniture, you will often see 90 days same as cash for auto repairs, [...]
credit card forum [the blog]
Say you are out having dinner with friends when the waiter brings back your debit card, shaking his head and asking if you have some other way to pay.
How embarrassing. What is it worth to avoid the inconvenience of having your transaction declined because your checking account is a bit light?
If you have overdraft protection from your bank you may already know the answer: It isn’t cheap. In a report released this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that people enrolled in overdraft protection pay an average of $ 225 a year in fees for the programs.
The important thing to remember is that there are big differences between banks when it comes to the fees they charge for letting you slide, the consumer watchdog agency discovered.
“What is marketed as overdraft protection can, in some instances, put consumers at greater risk of harm,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in remarks announcing the agency’s overdraft report.
At the toughest banks, people got charged nearly $ 300 in fees a year on average, and were frequently booted out of the checking account for having unpaid overdrafts. More lenient banks rarely closed accounts, and their typical fees were less than half the costs of the top tier.
How do you know which end of the spectrum your bank is on? Ask these four questions and you can tell if an overdraft program is designed as a convenience for you — or a money-making machine for your bank.
1. What’s the cap on fees charged per day?
The large banks surveyed charged a median $ 34 fee per overdraft, but their policies varied widely. Some banks capped the number of overdraft fees at two in a day, while others allowed up to 12.
2. How about a waiver for small overdrafts?
Most banks will cut you a break for small overdrafts; others slam you for going over by a penny. For banks that provided a waiver, the median threshold was $ 5, either per-day or per-transaction. About two-thirds of institutions studied by a research firm had a minimum threshold. Similarly, some banks have a grace period during which you can cover the overdraft to avoid a fee.
3. What is the policy for closing an overdrawn account?
Banks varied widely in how often they closed an account for unpaid overdrafts — those at the high end of the scale closed accounts 14 times more frequently than those at the bottom. The number of overdrafts and the length of time they go unpaid can both result in an account being closed, which will make it difficult to open another account elsewhere.
4. What are costs of linked account coverage?
Drawing on a linked account or a credit line may be cheaper than paying overdraft fees, but there are costs with this route as well. Transfer fees charged to cover an overdraft ranged from $ 3 to $ 20 per transaction, the CFPB found.
Beyond shopping around for fees, there’s the question of whether you should opt in for a protection program in the first place. Even with reasonable fees and waiver policies, the cost of overdrafts can be difficult to estimate because of the different ways that banks post transactions, the CFPB report said.
On one hand, coverage can help you avoid late fees and bounced check fees from merchants. Then again, so can keeping an accurate balance in your checkbook and deferring purchases that you lack the funds to pay for right now.
It’s your call. But it will certainly be cheaper to let one of your friends at dinner float you a small loan to pay your share of the check — and you won’t even have to go in the back and wash dishes the rest of the night.
Summer movie season is approaching! As you settle in to watch the man of steel save the world, see how monsters learned how to scare, or watch thick-necked men drive around in the millionth Fast and Furious movie, you might notice that these flicks are taking a heavy toll on your wallet, and they’re only getting more expensive. Regal Entertainment CEO David Ownby said that the price of 2-D movies will rise 3-4% this year, as it has over the past few years. 3-D effects can add up to $ 5 to overall ticket costs.
Movie prices vary widely based on location. NerdWallet has listed the most expensive and cheapest cities to watch your favorite summer flicks. The prices listed are for first-run new releases shown 6-10 pm on Saturdays at indoor theaters.
The Least Expensive Cities for Moviegoers
|1||Paris TX||$ 4.92|
|2||Marion-McDowell County NC||$ 5.00|
|3||Camden SC||$ 5.00|
|4||Indianapolis-Morgan County IN||$ 5.34|
|5||Athens-Henderson County TX||$ 5.50|
|6||Kodiak AK||$ 5.67|
|7||Corpus Christi TX||$ 5.96|
|8||Thomasville-Lexington NC||$ 6.00|
|9||Hastings NE||$ 6.25|
|10||Carlsbad NM||$ 6.33|
The Worst Cities for Moviegoers
|1||New York (Manhattan) NY||$ 13.33|
|2||Miami-Dade County FL||$ 12.54|
|3||Los Angeles-Long Beach CA||$ 12.53|
|4||New York (Queens) NY||$ 12.48|
|5||New York (Brooklyn) NY||$ 12.25|
|6||Orange County CA||$ 11.92|
|7||Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA||$ 11.54|
|8||Fort Lauderdale FL||$ 11.50|
|9||San Diego CA||$ 11.50|
|10||Wilmington DE||$ 11.50|
Data is from the ACCRA cost of living index
By the looks of their website and marketing, you might assume that Working Assets is a charity. Truth be told, CREDO is a for-profit corporation who uses a philanthropic guise. Now there’s nothing wrong with businesses donating money to charities – in fact it’s a good thing if the charities are honorable. But in the [...]
credit card forum [the blog]
**Today’s guest post is contributed by Jim.**
One of the great things about the summer is that there is a lot of time. Of course, if you waste that time, it doesn’t do you much good! And if the kids don’t have something to keep them busy, you start hearing about how “boring” things are.
Instead of trying to find ways to amuse your children all summer, encourage them to get summer jobs. Not only will they have something interesting to do, but they will also learn valuable lessons about making and managing money, responsibility, and how hard work can pay off.
It’s important to remember that the goal for a summer job is usually not the money. Your children’s ability to earn income will be extremely limited. At this age, it’s important for them to learn the other lessons that come from having a job.
Elementary School Children
It can be tough for elementary school children to earn some money through the summer; they’re not old enough to get a conventional job, and they don’t have some of the same abilities to accomplish some of the tasks that pre-teens generally get paid for. However, there are some things that elementary school kids can try (all will require your supervision):
- Lemonade Stand: This perennial classic is a standard summertime job for kids aged 5 to 11 everywhere.
- 4-H/FHA: Let your child earn ribbon money. My son works on 4-H projects all summer. He learns new things, and, if he does well, he gets money. The better the ribbon (and if he goes to the state fair), the more he receives. If you don’t mind having your child raise livestock, he or she can make a great deal at the sale/auction at the end of the summer.
- Gather and sell golf balls: If you live near a golf course, your child can gather stray balls, and then sell them in bags of a dozen. If you happen to live on a golf course, you can just have them set up shop along the cart path!
Middle School Children
As kids get older, their opportunities increase as you can place more trust in them and give them more responsibility. Middle school children have the ability to do a little more and so some of their available jobs may be more interesting:
- Dog Walking: Your child can walk others’ dogs for cash.
- Pet Care: If the neighbors go out of town, your child can be paid to take care of pets. Making sure there is food and water, as well as playing with the pets, can be a great gig.
- Babysitting: Depending on the laws in your state, it’s possible for your child to babysit. When I was younger, I often babysat for my neighbors. If your middle school child is responsible enough, this can be a good job.
- Lawncare: Older middle school children might be able to handle mowing lawns and trimming edges.
With a little careful thought, and a look around the neighborhood, it’s possible for middle school children to find some jobs to do over the summer.
High School Students
Many high school students are old enough to get “real” summer jobs. Depending on the laws of your state, you may need to fill out a few forms before employers will give them a job. In New York, where I grew up, I remember having to go get a little green card from my county government that gave me permission to work (child labor laws!). Once I got that card, I could get almost any job, outside of a factory, I wanted.
Getting a job where you need to report to can be a great learning experience for your child. Babysitting, yardwork, and more casual jobs are great for some extra spending money but there’s nothing like reporting for work and having to be there a set number of hours. That will, hopefully, teach discipline and the value of hard work.
That said, summer is also about having fun and being a kid. At this age, you could turn towards your child’s talents for inspiration on a job. If they’re academic powerhouses, consider tutoring over the summer. Tutoring can help keep your child’s mind sharp while earning extra money and teaching them the value of a good education. If they’re strong in a musical instrument, they could give lessons. The options are endless.
What summer jobs do you think are good for kids to do?
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Over the next few months, countless Americans will take to the road or the sky for summer vacations. For most, the cost of a flight or hotel is of primary concern, but there other important travel costs that travelers may not take into consideration: bank fees. Making a withdrawal at an out of network ATM (one that’s not owned by the bank) often results in a fee, on top of whatever the machine itself might charge. For globetrotting Americans, the fee can be even higher at international ATMs. Even swiping a card to make a purchase in a foreign country typically results in a debit card foreign transaction fee up to 3% of the amount.
Not all checking accounts are equally fee-laden. To help consumers determine which banks might charge the most on their trip, NerdWallet compiled data on 4 different factors for personal checking accounts at 20 of the largest U.S. banks. These factors include:
- Fees: NerdWallet analyzed out of network ATM fees, international ATM fees, and foreign transaction fees at each bank
- Access: NerdWallet analyzed the number of branches that each bank operates in the top 10 U.S. states by domestic travel expenditures (CA, FL, TX, NY, IL, NV, PA, VA, GA, NJ)
Which banks have the highest fees for summer travelers?
While these banks are not necessarily poor options in general, some of their fees and branch availability may make it difficult for travelers to avoid extra costs.
1. M&T Bank
As a Buffalo, NY headquartered bank, M&T primarily serves customers across New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and other east coast states. The bank’s out of network ATM fee is the highest NerdWallet measured, at $ 3.00 (which rises to $ 5.00 for international ATMs). M&T also charges a 3% foreign exchange fee. Finally, vacationers might find it difficult to find a branch at their destination, since there are a total of just 514 branches across the most traveled states. M&T does offer a checking account “add-on” that waives out of network ATM fees, but it will cost you an extra $ 4.95 per month.
2. Regions Bank
Regions is headquartered in Birmingham, AL and operates branches throughout the southeastern United States. The bank’s out of network ATM fee is above average for both domestic ($ 2.50) and international ($ 5.00) withdrawals. Like many of the other banks studied, they also levy a 3% foreign exchange fee on international travelers. Finally, with just 670 branches across top U.S. destinations, a Regions Bank location could be difficult to track down while on the road.
3. Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank, owned by British bank the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), is headquartered in Providence, RI and operates throughout most northeastern states as well as the Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland metro areas. Like M&T Bank, Citizens charges the most among the banks we measured for domestic out of network withdrawals ($ 3.00), but does not increase that fee for international withdrawals. They also charge the nearly ubiquitous 3% foreign transaction fee for transactions in a foreign currency. Finally, the bank had one of the lowest numbers of branches available in popular travel destination states, with just 230.
BB&T serves customers in many parts of the southeastern United States and is headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC. Their $ 2.50 fee for using another bank’s ATM rises to $ 5.00 when outside the country, in which case travelers also face a 3% foreign exchange fee. Though BB&T’s branch network is slightly stronger in popular travel destinations (Florida, for example), their 930 locations still places below average among the 20 banks measured.
5. PNC Bank
PNC is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA and operates branches across much of the eastern United States. The bank charges $ 2.50 for domestic out of network ATM withdrawals, $ 5.00 for those in international locations and a 3% foreign transaction fee, all of which are above average. However, PNC does best the other banks highlighted here by offering over 1,400 branches across popular travel destination states, which was the 4th highest among the 20 banks studied.
How can consumers eliminate or reduce bank fees while traveling?
Just as some banks charge extra for services used often by travelers, other financial institutions are more lenient when it comes to fees. Some online checking accounts at banks like Charles Schwab and Capital One 360 don’t charge out of network ATM fees or foreign exchange fees.
Local institutions like credit unions and community banks may also be a good option, despite their limited geographic range. This is because many are part of surcharge-free ATM and branch networks like CO-OP, which offers thousands of free ATMs nationwide. Plus, when local banks and credit unions do charge an ATM or foreign exchange fee, they are typically lower than at the big banks.
Even big bank customers have some options to avoid or reduce bank fees while traveling. Bank of America participates in the Global ATM Alliance, which allows customers to withdraw from ATMs at partnering foreign banks such as Barclays and Deutshe Bank without incurring additional fees (though a 1% foreign exchange fee will still apply). Some other banks, such as M&T Bank and Union Bank offer monthly “add-ons” for their checking accounts, which will waive some or all out of network fees for a flat monthly rate of around $ 3-$ 5. Finally, TD bank is the only one of the 20 banks analyzed that charges no foreign transaction fee.
Finally, college students and seniors may be able to take advantage of reduced or waived ATM fees when they sign up for a particular checking account. For example, BB&T’s Student Checking account allows 4 free non-BB&T ATM transactions per month.
Full data table
|Bank||Out of Network ATM Fee (Domestic)||Out of Network ATM Fee (Intl)||Foreign Transaction Fee||Branches in Top Travel Destinations||Overall Score|
|M&T Bank||$ 3.00||$ 5.00*||3%||514||2|
|Regions Bank||$ 2.50||$ 5.00||3%||670||16|
|Citizens Bank||$ 3.00||$ 3.00||3%||267||17|
|BB&T||$ 2.50||$ 5.00||3%||930||17|
|PNC Bank||$ 2.50||$ 5.00||3%||1,429||21|
|Comerica Bank||$ 2.00||$ 5.00||3%||253||25|
|Fifth Third Bank||$ 2.00||$ 5.00||3%||387||26|
|SunTrust Bank||$ 2.00||$ 5.00||3%||1,078||31|
|HSBC Bank USA||$ 2.50||$ 2.50||3%||286||34|
|Union Bank||$ 2.00||$ 5.00||2%||396||34|
|Wells Fargo||$ 2.50||$ 5.00||3%||3,825||38|
|U.S. Bank||$ 2.50||$ 2.50||3%||936||38|
|Bank of America||$ 2.00||$ 5.00||3%||3,460||47|
|Chase Bank||$ 2.00||$ 5.00||3%||3,616||49|
|KeyBank||$ 2.50||$ 2.50||1%||230||50|
|BMO Harris Bank||$ 2.00||$ 2.00||3%||256||50|
|BBVA Compass||$ 2.00**||$ 2.00**||3%***||484||52|
|Capital One****||$ 2.00||$ 2.00||3%||596||53|
|Citibank||$ 2.00||$ 2.00||3%||963||55|
|TD Bank||$ 2.50||$ 2.50||N/A||791||62|
*Greater of $ 5 or 3% of amount
**Fee is $ 1.75 in California
***Fee is 1% for ATM transactions, 3% for point-of-sale purchases
****Data is for Capital One’s traditional bank accounts, rather than their online brand Capital One 360
The overall score for each bank was derived from the following measures:
- Out of Network ATM Fee (Domestic): information available through each bank
- Out of Network ATM Fee (International): information available through each bank
- Foreign Exchange Fee): information available through each bank
- Branches in Top Travel Destinations: Branch locations via the FDIC, and domestic travel expenditures by state for 2009 via the Census Bureau
In celebration of National Small Business Week, Chase is boosting the signup bonuses on its small business credit cards when you apply between June 16 and June 22, 2013. During this time, the Ink Bold® Business Card and the Ink Plus® Business Card will each earn 60,000 bonus points (worth $ 750 in travel) after you spend $ 5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. That compares to the 50,000 bonus points that is normally offered for these cards.
In addition, the Ink Cash® Business Card will earn $ 250 bonus cash back and the Ink® Classic Business Card will earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $ 3,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account.
For more info or to apply for these offers, see this link.
Note: If you recently applied for any of these offers with a smaller bonus, Chase is usually quite good about matching current offers. You can log into your account and send a secure message, telling them that you saw this current small business week offer and ask if it can be matched. Usually if you have applied for the same card within the past 90 days, Chase will credit you the difference.
This post is from Credit Card Watcher, where you’ll always find the best credit card deals.
Limited-Time Chase Small Business Credit Card Offers
So it should come as to no surprise that today’s infographic is a good ‘ole fashioned battle of the sexes. Scroll down to see who came out on top!
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!
Amy Leone is the Public Relations Coordinator at Credit Karma. Before joining the team in June 2012 she spent most of her career as a TV news producer. When she’s not helping promote Credit Karma on a variety of media outlets, she’s probably out running or exploring her new state of California.
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