Apple Card $50 Signup Bonus When You Spend $50 At ExxonMobil

The Offer

Direct Link to offer

  • Apple is offering a $50 bonus when signing up for Apple Card and spend $50 at Exxon Mobil via Apple Pay. Valid until 1/31/21.

 

Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No cash advance fees
  • No late payment fees (late or missed payments will result in additional interest accumulating toward your balance)
  • No over-the-limit fees, no balance transfer fees, no expedited card delivery fee
  • Card earns the following rewards:
    • 3% cash back on Apple purchases and services (including the app store, Apple Music payments, etc.)
    • 3% cash back on ExxonMobil, Panera Bread, Walgreen’s, Duane Reade, Uber, UberEATS, T-Mobile store purchases, and Nike when using Apple Pay 
    • 2% cash back on all Apple Pay purchases
    • 1% cash back when using the physical card

Our Verdict

We’ve seen the same deal for various other merchants. There was a $75 offer for Nike, but I think a lot of people will prefer $50 at the gas station.

Hat tip to Milestomemories

Source: doctorofcredit.com

A Parent’s Guide to Setting a Successful Budget for a College Student

The post A Parent’s Guide to Setting a Successful Budget for a College Student appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.

 You are getting ready to send your child off to college. Before you start helping them pack their belongings, there is one thing you need to do.

You need to help them create a budget. You need to teach them how to manage their money so they can learn the tools they’ll use long after they graduate.

WHY DO COLLEGE STUDENTS NEED A BUDGET?

The truth is everyone needs a budget. It does not matter your age. If you are dealing with money, a budget is necessary.

  1. Allows you to control your money. Rather than your money telling you what it wants to do, you get to tell your money where it needs to go. You are always in control when you have a budget.
  2. It teaches financial skills. A budget helps ensure that expenses such as rent, tuition, food, insurance, transportation, and housing are paid – before spending money on the fun stuff. (It also helps to make sure you don’t spend more than you make.)
  3. Makes you aware of where your money goes. When you use a budget, you see how you spend. It is very simple to see if too much is going toward dining out when you should be building your savings.
  4. Helps you track your goals. You need to cover expenses but you should also work on building savings at the same time. Your budget allows you to not only see those goals but track them in real time.

DOESN’T A BUDGET MEAN YOU CAN’T HAVE FUN?

Not at all! If anything, your budget will allow you to have guilt-free fun.

For example, the budget may allow you to spend $50 a week dining out. That means you can go to dinner with friends once (possibly twice) a week and enjoy yourself. You won’t be left wondering how you are now going to make rent.

WHAT TYPE OF BUDGET SHOULD YOUR STUDENT USE?

There are various methods of budgeting such as the 50/30/20 and the zero-based budget. For most college students, the zero-based is the simplest and easiest to follow.

The reason is that you track everything. You give every penny a job. That means if you earn $1,500 for the month that you “spend” the entire $1,500.

You will first cover the needs (food, shelter, transportation) and then your wants. If there is money “leftover” after this is done, it can be added to your savings.

You can use other types but if you have never budgeted before, using this method is the simplest.

WHAT SHOULD A COLLEGE STUDENT INCLUDE IN A BUDGET?

The budget will vary for each person, as the income and expense will be different. However, these are the most common categories that need to be included in a budget:

  • Rent
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Car payment
  • Car insurance (also saving for annual renewal fees)
  • Food
  • Clothes
  • Utilities (phone, electricity, gas, water, etc.)
  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • Entertainment (movies, games, concerts)
  • Dining out
  • Emergency fund savings

Again, you may have items that are not included above or see some that you do not need.

However, the most important thing of all is that every penny is given a job. Account for everything you will spend each month so you never have too much month and not enough money.

HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF YOUR BUDGET?

For most college students, apps or digital trackers are the best options.  But, before you rush and sign up, keep the following in mind.

  1. Cost. Many apps are free and they will work perfectly fine. Other apps have a monthly fee attached to them. If you plan to use one of them, make sure you include that as one of your regular expenses. However, do not let the cost alone be a single factor when it comes to clicking the sign-up button.
  2. Security. Your security trumps all else. You need to make sure the app uses encryption as well as two-factor authorization.

Some of the best apps include:

  • Mint
  • You Need a Budget (YNAB)
  • PocketGuard
  • Mvelopes

However, your student may also like the traditional paper and pencil method – and that is OK as well.

Find the right one that works best for your student. That is all that matters.

TEACHING THEM TO BUDGET

Knowing you need a budget and where to track it is just the beginning. You need to teach your child how to budget.

Start by looking at each category that they need on their budget. You may already know the cost for each category but if not, you may need to make phone calls or do research to know.

For example, you know the rent for the apartment is $850 a month but how much are the average utilities? Ask the manager for these costs so you can include them in the budget.

Next, decide how much they want to allow themselves to spend on food. Show them how much a meal costs for a single person at each restaurant you eat at so they can create an average.

You will then have them decide how much “fun money” they want to include as well. You can base this on them wanting to go to the movies two times a month, one concert a month, or attending three events.

Now you can see the expenses for your student. Add their income to the budget and deduct the expenses. They will see if they are operating in the black (money left over) or in the red (spending more than they make).

Show them how to adjust the numbers by increasing their savings or lowering the amount they can spend on clothes – until the budget equals zero. Zero meaning they are spending every penny they earn.

And making them keep track now will help ensure they stay on track well into the future.

 

 

 

The post A Parent’s Guide to Setting a Successful Budget for a College Student appeared first on Penny Pinchin' Mom.

Source: pennypinchinmom.com

Get Two Months Free on This Adams Morgan Studio

The Best Apartment Deals In DC Right Now | Cheap DC Apartments

We’re all about scoring a good deal here at Apartminty.  While we love perusing the top-of-the-line luxury apartments in DC, we also understand, sometimes an affordable rent is the better option. Either way, instead of you searching for Washington, DC apartments on Craigslist and property management company listing sites, we are delivering our choice of the best apartments to rent in DC right now.  Here’s our pick for the best Washington, DC apartment for rent today. Want more information on moving to DC? Check out Apartminty’s  Ultimate Guide to Moving to Washington, DC.

Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights

THE SHAWMUT

1768 Columbia Road NW

Washington, DC 20009

Studio Apartment
$1325/month
Unit #: 308
330 Sq Ft
Available Now

Why it’s a great deal:
The Shawmut is in the intersection of Adams Morgan and Kalorama and just a quick walk to Dupont Circle.  This apartment building is one of the most pet friendly buildings in D.C. They allow cats and dogs, but do not charge pet rent or a pet fee.  The customer service and maintenance team are incredible.   

The price on this studio apartment is not something you will see often! PLUS The Shawmut is offering two months free if you lease before the end of December!  You are only responsible for electric and cooking gas.   If you’re interested, reach out today! Looking for something a little different? Check out Apartminty’s guide How to Find an Apartment in DC.   *Pictures may not be of exact unit.*

SCHEDULE A TOUR

Read Get Two Months Free on This Adams Morgan Studio on Apartminty.

Source: blog.apartminty.com

3 Ways to Change Your Relationship with Money

Most people have a love-hate relationship with money. When you’ve got cash to spend, you feel fantastic. You can do whatever you want, go wherever you like, and there’s no worries in your mind. However, when your cash flow starts to dwindle, your entire outlook suddenly goes sour. The high of having cash can mean that you even end up spending it too quickly, so you end up putting yourself in a more difficult situation long-term. Changing your relationship with cash can be one of the first steps to ensuring that you have more of it in your future. If you can take a more positive approach to the way you handle your finances, you’ll be less likely to end up in debt. So, how can you change your relationship with money?

Do Your Research

Most people struggle with their financial freedom because they don’t actively pay attention to the way that they’re spending money. You sign up for essential things like gas and electric and continue paying the same bill for months without checking whether you could be getting a better deal elsewhere. Actually doing your research and making sure that you’re not missing out on opportunities to save will ensure that you can discover some quick wins for your cash flow. You could even find that you can get out of debt a lot faster and make a huge difference to your savings account by refinancing your existing student loans and similar debts into a loan with a private lender. One small change can make a big difference. 

Automate Your Savings

Do you find it hard to stop yourself from spending every penny you earn each month? You’re not alone. A lot of people who have a difficult relationship with money discover that it’s difficult for them to just have cash sitting in their bank accounts. That’s why it’s so important to find an easier way to convince yourself to save. One good option is to open a separate savings account where you can transfer a portion of your earnings every month. You can automate this process by setting up a direct debit to ensure that the cash leaves your account at the same time that you get your wages each month. This means that the next time you check your bank balance, you won’t be tempted to save the cash that should be going to savings. 

Educate Yourself

Finally, stop avoiding the opportunity to learn more about money and how it works. Most of us feel so uncomfortable talking about cash that we barely even look at our bank statements. However, only by examining your spending habits can you determine where the best options are for you to make some significant changes. Be willing to develop a better knowledge of how money works, and how you’re using it. It’s also helpful to learn everything you can about things that can make you more money long-term, like investing in stocks and shares, or setting up savings accounts with extra interest.

3 Ways to Change Your Relationship with Money is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

Citi Sears Credit Card – What You Need To Know

The Citi Sears card is our number #1 ranked store credit card. Readers often have a lot of questions regarding this card so I decided it was time for a dedicated post (you can read our basic review of the card here). The main reason this card is so popular is because of the frequent spending bonuses Citi sends out on this card, for example the current promotion is 10-20% back at gas, grocery & restaurants.

Citi Sears Card Versions

There are three versions or flavors of this card and the only real difference is the points currency they earn. The three are:

  • Shop Your Way Rewards (SYWR). This is the only version of the card you can sign up for directly currently. This is Sears points currency and can be used for items at Sears, although there is a new gift card option as well.
  • Citi ThankYou Points (TYP). This is Citi’s flexible point currency.
  • Statement Credit. This is cash back in the form of statement credit

Can You Product Change Between Cards?

It used to be possible to sign up for the SYWR version of this card and then product change to either the Citi TYP or statement credit version of this card. The rules then seemingly changed so that the original card needed to be open for a period of 12 months before the product change could be processed. In recent times people have reported being unable to product change, although there have been some reports of it still being possible.

Getting Targeted Spend Offers

When people first sign up for the card they often report not receiving any targeted spending offers. There are two theories:

  1. It takes a set amount of time before any offers will appear.
  2. You need spend on the card to be eligible for these offers.

I think it’s probably a combination of the two in that no matter how much spend you put on the card in the first few months you still might miss out on the first few offers. Once you start receiving an offers you’ll usually have a lot of spend on the card anyway as the offers are so good.

Final Thoughts

This article is a work in progress, I’ll add any other relevant information and answer any questions people have.

F.A.Q’s

Do the spend offers stack?

Yes, the offers do stack. For example if you have the following two offers:

  • Get 10% back at gas/grocery/restaurants from 1/1/21 until 3/3/21
  • Spend $2,000 or more with your Citi Sears Card from 2/1/21 until 4/1/21 and earn a $90 statement credit

Then you could spend $2,000 at a gas station and earn $200 from the first promotion and an additional $90 from the second promotion. The dates and offers are just an example.

What’s the best sign up bonus offer on this card?

Most people get this card for the spending bonuses rather than the sign up bonus. I believe the highest bonus we’ve seen is $200 as a sign up bonus, but again the real deal is in the spending offers.

 

Source: doctorofcredit.com

Best credit cards for Lyft

Only a decade ago, people called a taxi company when they needed a ride. The same act is now as simple as hitting a few buttons on your smartphone.

Ride-share companies like Lyft make getting a ride to almost anywhere a breeze, and the service may cost a lot less than you think.

If you charge your Lyft rides to a credit card that doles out points or miles, that’s even better. In this guide, we’ll go over the absolute best credit cards to use when you ride with Lyft as well as other ways to maximize your ride-share dollars.

See related: Everything you need to know about maximizing rewards on ride-shares

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for Lyft discounts

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for extra value at a lower fee
  • American Express® Green Card: Best for budget-minded travelers
  • Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best no annual fee card for ride shares
  • Best credit cards to earn rewards with Lyft

    There are a handful of credit cards that can help you earn rewards each time you ride with Lyft. Here are your best options:

    See related: Best cards for Uber, UberEATS

    Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for Lyft discounts

    In January 2020, the Chase Sapphire Reserve began to offer a one-year complimentary Lyft Pink membership. For a $19.99 monthly fee, Lyft Pink offers passengers 15% off all car rides, in addition to priority airport pickups, special discounts and more flexibility in cancellations, among other benefits. The Reserve is also offering 10 points per dollar on Lyft purchases through March 2022.

    Besides these perks, the card comes with a 3-point-per-dollar rate on restaurants and travel, including Lyft, after the $300 annual travel credit. Speaking of the credit, it applies to most travel purchases, including rides with Lyft.

    The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is one of the best travel credit cards on the market, but it also comes with a rather high price – the card charges an annual fee of $550. If you don’t travel often enough to justify the fee, you might want to look into cards that have a lower annual fee or none at all.

    Here are more details:

    • One-year complimentary Lyft Pink membership (a $199 value)
    • 10 points per dollar on Lyft purchases through March 2022
    • 3 points per dollar spent on restaurants and travel,
    • $300 annual credit travel that applies to most travel purchases, including rides with Lyft
    • 50,000-point sign-up bonus if you spend $4,000 in first three months
    • Redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and get 50% more travel for free
    • Transfer points to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio
    • Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit every four years
    • Priority Pass Select membership
    • $550 annual fee

    exciting new benefits for its World and World Elite credit card members. This includes a $10 Lyft credit for World Elite cardholders, which will be automatically applied to your next ride after you take five Lyft rides within a calendar month. The most popular World Elite Mastercards include the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card*, the Citi Prestige® Card and the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.

    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for extra value at a lower annual fee

    Similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred rewards cardholders for eating out (or ordering takeout) and traveling and offers 5 points per dollar on Lyft through March 2022. The base rewards rate is lower at 2 points per dollar on dining and travel and 1 point per dollar on other purchases, but the annual fee is also lower at $95.

    If you’re not ready to shell out $550 per year that the Reserve charges, the Preferred can be a better alternative. Plus, it offers a higher sign-up bonus than the Reserve – you’ll get 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months (compare with a 50,000-point sign-up bonus if you spend $4,000 in first three months on the Reserve).

    Take a look at the card details:

    • 5 points per dollar on Lyft through March 2022
    • 2 points per dollar spent on dining and travel
    • 60,000-point sign-up bonus if you spend $4,000 in first three months
    • Redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and get 25% more travel for free
    • Transfer points to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio
    • $95 annual fee

    American Express® Green Card: Best for budget-minded travelers

    Another credit card that offers rewards for travel and transit (including ride-shares such as Lyft) is the American Express Green Card. While it doesn’t offer the luxury travel perks other Amex cards are known for, it can be a good choice for budget-minded travelers. With this card, you can get 3 points per dollar on dining, travel and transit, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. The Amex Green also comes with perks such as up to $100 in annual statement credits for LoungeBuddy purchases and up to $100 per year for CLEAR membership.

    complimentary Uber Eats Pass membership for up to 12 months if you enroll by Dec. 31, 2021.

    Here’s what the card offers at a glance:

    • 3 points per dollar spent on travel and transit, including rideshares
    • 3 points per dollar spent on dining
    • 30,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in the first three months
    • Up to $100 per year in statement credits for LoungeBuddy purchases
    • Up to $100 per year in statement credits for CLEAR membership
    • $150 annual fee

    Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best no annual fee card for ride shares

    If you’re looking for a credit card that would earn you rewards on Lyft rides and not charge an annual fee, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express is definitely an option worth looking into.

    The card earns 3 points per dollar in numerous categories, including dining out, gas stations, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals and select streaming services – and ride-shares. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. You can choose to redeem your rewards for flights through Go Far Rewards or statement credits.

    Here’s a closer look:

    • Earn 3 points per dollar on dining out, gas stations, ride-shares including Lyft, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals and select streaming services
    • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening
    • Redeem for flights through Go Far Rewards
    • Cash in your points for statement credits
    • No annual fee

    More ways to maximize rewards (and save money) when you pay for ride-sharing services

    While using the right credit card can help you score more rewards each time you ride with Lyft, there are other ways to make the most of your ride-share spending. Here are some tips that can help you maximize each dollar you spend, save money and even earn airline miles:

    • Connect your Lyft account with your Delta SkyMiles account. Regardless of which credit card you use to pay for your Lyft rides, you can earn Delta SkyMiles for each dollar you spend. All you are required to do is connect your Delta and Lyft accounts online. From there, you’ll earn 1 Delta mile for each dollar you spend on regular rides and 2 miles per dollar for rides to or from an airport.
    • Price shop with both ride-sharing companies. The best way to spend less on ride-sharing is to make the two main companies – Uber and Lyft – compete. Download both apps on your phone and check pricing with each before you request a ride. If one ride-sharing company is significantly cheaper, they should be your obvious choice.
    • Avoid surge pricing when you can. Both Uber and Lyft enact “surge pricing” in situations where demand is especially high. If you can avoid paying for a ride during a surge, you will save money over time. This is yet another reason to compare pricing on both apps before you book a ride; both ride-sharing companies may not have surge pricing at the same time.
    • Refer friends and watch out for coupons. If you’re just now signing up for Lyft, make sure someone who already has the app sends you a referral code that makes your first ride free. Also note that, once you have your own Lyft account, you’ll get a free or discounted ride for each new person you refer who signs up and takes a ride. Finally, keep your eye out for special promotions and coupons you can add to your account.

    Bottom line

    To find the best cards for Lyft to share with you, we’ve compared all cards that offer benefits and perks related to ride-sharing and Lyft specifically. These cards can help you maximize your potential earnings and savings on Lyft rides, and if you use Lyft frequently, one of these products can be a great addition to your wallet.

    *All information about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. Capital One Savor Credit Card is no longer available through CreditCards.com.

    Source: creditcards.com

    National Get Smart About Credit Day

    Depending on the time period in which you were raised, many young children and adolescents had differing opinions (and ideals) about what credit was and how it should or shouldn’t be utilized. While some were privileged enough to understand the complexities and importance of credit, others had to learn at the expense of their own mistakes along the way. No matter where you were or where you are currently, luckily there are always actionable steps that can be taken to clean up, improve, and get smart about your credit – let’s explore. 

    Become familiar with what can impact your credit 

    There are five key components that are factored into your credit score. 

    Payment history 

    Your ability to make timely payments plays a huge role in your credit score. Lenders want to have the confidence that you as the borrower are capable of paying back any debts on time. If there is ever a situation that can impact your payment history, it’s best to notify your lender as soon as possible to avoid any negative remarks on your credit report.  

    Credit utilization 

    In order to determine your credit utilization rate, divide the amount of credit currently in use by the amount of credit you have available. For the best possible scores, keep this percentage under 30%. This shows creditors you have the ability to manage debt wisely. To optimize and improve your score, make it a goal to utilize less than 10% if possible.   

    Length of credit history  

    Lenders will take an account of all creditors and the length of time each account has been open. In order to improve this average, try your best not to close any accounts as this can have the potential to decrease your overall credit score.  

    Credit mix  

    Car, student loan debt, mortgage, and credit cards are all varying types of revolving and installment loans. Lenders view this as favorable when you’re able to manage different types of credit. A good rule of thumb for using a credit card is charging a small amount each month and paying it off in full to avoid any interest payments. Not only does this impact your score positively, but it also creates good habits that don’t require you to solely rely on credit cards for purchases.  

    New credit 

    Any time you apply for credit, you’re giving lenders the right to obtain copies of your credit report from a credit bureau. Soft inquiries do not have an impact on your score, such as pulling your own credit report or a potential employer pulling your report as a part of the screening process. Applying for a new credit card, requesting a credit limit increase, financing a car, or purchasing a home are all examples of hard inquiries. For processes such as auto purchases, student loans, or mortgages these are typically treated as a single inquiry if done within a short scope of time such as thirty days. Be mindful of the number of inquiries outside of these scenarios – this mainly relates to retail store credit cards. Inquiries have a greater impact if you have a short credit history or a limited amount of active credit accounts.   

    Review your credit reports and dispute errors if necessary 

    Carve out some time to obtain a free credit report from one of the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion or Equifax) to review. Familiarize yourself with everything that is listed. In the instance something doesn’t appear correct, follow the proper protocols to dispute errors. Completing this exercise at least once a year after initially cleaning up any errors can help correct any mistakes, but also ensures accuracy. The credit reporting agency and the lender must be contacted in order to jumpstart the process of resolution. Even in the instance, there are no issues found, you’ll have peace of mind knowing the due diligence has been done.  

    Communicate and be honest with all creditors 

    If you are experiencing any type of financial hardships due to unforeseen circumstances, make it a priority to communicate upfront with all creditors. Explaining your personal situation while proposing reasonable solutions may work in your favor. Refrain from avoiding creditors due to emotional reasons or negative thoughts; your pride cannot overshadow your personal needs. When discussing finances, most of us don’t want to disclose any personal information – however, if this can result in bettering your personal finance journey and credit score simultaneously; there’s no way to lose. Make your requests known and be proactive so the best solutions can be provided.  

    Create a plan and remain completely committed 

    Commit to at least three goals that relate to improving your credit. This could simply start with paying all of your bills on time and regularly checking in with creditors to ensure good standing. If credit card spending is a challenge for you, commit to limiting your credit card usage while paying more than the minimum balance. Rally the assistance of your family and friends to serve as your accountability partners to make sure you achieve your goals. No matter the personal goals you decide to set, commit to staying the course. Often times our personal lack of patience leads us to believe that the hard work that’s being put forth is in vain. If nothing else, commit to improving your credit for you and your families’ wellbeing.  

    Protect your hard work (and your credit) 

    Once your new credit score emerges and is here to stay, the first order of business is to celebrate – congratulations! Your hard work and dedication have indeed paid off. In order to make sure your credit score stays in tip-top shape, don’t be too quick to take your foot off of the gas just yet! Be sure to stay informed about any tactics or strategies to keep your credit score in the best shape possible. We’re all on our phones throughout the day, so make it a regular occurrence to do a quick internet search on ways to improve your credit score. Continually staying educated about various credit improvement opportunities  

    The post National Get Smart About Credit Day appeared first on MintLife Blog.

    Source: mint.intuit.com