Several major U.S. banks are beta-testing a new way to give you access to your mobile banking account, which could mark the beginning of the end for your password headaches, according to Toby Rush, CEO of EyeVerify, a Kansas City, Kan., technology firm.
Headed into the Memorial Day holiday, stocks, as measured by the Standard & Poor's 500 index, have returned more than 17 percent to investors in 2013. And consumer confidence is finally ticking upward as well. The Consumer Reports Index is sharply higher this month, and is now at a level not seen since 2008. Other confidence indexes show an increase as well, but far from the giddy levels of 1999 and 2000.
Lots of websites sell eyeglasses these days. Many offer substantial discounts compared with the likes of eyewear chains (LensCrafters, Pearl Vision) and doctor offices and independent shops, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars off a complete pair of glasses.
If you're a homeowner, don't be bamboozled into paying big bucks for a copy of your property deed. Scammers have been sending solicitations from companies using official-sounding names, such as "Record Retrieval Department" and "National Deed Service," asking in some cases for more than $100 to provide homeowners with copies of their deed, attorneys general in several states have warned.
If you ever failed to pay a bill that was subsequently sent to a collection agency, it can still hurt you even if you pay it off. That's because any blemish can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
It's one thing to blow the bank on a gourmet dinner at a Paris restaurant, quite another to pay more than you need to for it because of fees or a bad exchange rate. So it will come as good news to summer travelers abroad that the dollar buys more of the major currencies (the Euro, British Pound, and Japanese Yen) than it did at the beginning of 2013. What's more, you don't have to give back the gain in foreign transaction or conversion fees when you pay using a credit card.
After you've racked up all those frequent-flyer miles, the last thing you want to do is lose them. But that's what will happen with most frequent-flyer plans when you don't use the miles within 12 to 36 months. One miles-saving option is to get a cobranded airline credit card with American Express, MasterCard, or Visa. With summer-travel season approaching, it's certainly worth considering.
When the Consumer Reports Index reported recently that Americans are feeling significantly better about their personal finances, I could definitely agree. My husband recently found a new job after an uncomfortable stretch of underemployment.
I recently gave our house a top-to-bottom spring cleaning. My takeaway, besides sore muscles, was the realization that we have a lot of stuff we no longer use or want to clean. Among our collection are a dated Sony Trinitron TV and a tired iMac G3 computer, inherited collectibles that just aren't our style, unneeded furniture in the basement, clothing that no longer fits . . . you get the idea. We haven't yet figured out to do with all those things.
Americans are feeling significantly better about their personal finances, according to the monthly Consumer Reports Index. Consumer sentiment rose 8.8 percent to 54.5, the highest level in more than five years. The broad-based increase crossed all income and education groups; the greatest gain was among consumers in households earning less than $50,000.
This spring's floods in the Midwest, against the backdrop of Hurricane Sandy's six-month anniversary, underline why a purchasing a national flood insurance policy can be so crucial regardless of where you live.
I was surprised to learn while editing a recent beauty article for our sister publication, ShopSmart, that the label "cruelty-free" on cosmetics doesn't necessarily guarantee that the product wasn't tested on animals. The same goes for "no animal testing" (how's that for incongruous?). While the terms sound good, it turns out that neither of them is legally defined nor backed by any certifying organization.
Recently we asked debt-management experts for their best tips on handling debt. Several are certified credit counselors in agencies connected with the nonprofit National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), a group that offers free or low-cost help. Our tips will help you pare down what you owe.
Over the last 30 years, the 401(k) plan has replaced the company pension as the primary method of financing a retirement in the U.S. In theory, 401(k) plans should have been a sufficient replacement for traditional, defined benefit pensions. In practice—and this has been especially apparent over the last decade—most retirement plans based on 401(k)s aren't up to the task.
Q: Once again, in a recent issue of Consumer Reports, cell-phone service Ratings for AT&T were at the bottom. Why is that so? I've used AT&T for 15 years and have never had a problem with dropped calls or voice quality. —C.K., Coldwater, Miss.
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