Best Student Checking Accounts in 2017

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We’ve complied a list of the best student checking accounts in 2017. Options include online and traditional banks that pay bonuses, high interest rates, or both.

best student checking accounts

As we head into a new year, thousands of young adults will be heading to college for the first time. It’s important to get started on the right financial foot. A free student checking account is a good tool, particularly when combined with a savings account. Obtaining a student checking account that’s convenient for both students and their parents should be one of the first steps after deciding which school to attend and before moving in. For those students living at home, finding a convenient student checking account may be even easier.

The best student checking accounts often have desirable features, like no monthly fees, free checks, and low or no minimum balances. Completely free student checking accounts are a little difficult to come by, but many can be made free with a little effort. I often wish I could still qualify for free student accounts. After graduation or otherwise leaving the world of academics behind, you often find that you’ll need to pay fees or maintain a balance to maintain the same level of service from your bank.

Banking Deal: Earn 1.30% APY on an FDIC-insured savings account at Synchrony Bank.

Here are some of the features of common student checking accounts. There may be differences depending on where you live. Why focus on the big banks first? Consumerism Commentary readers check in from all over the country–well, all over the world, really–and at least one of these banks will be in everyone’s backyard. Big banks aren’t the only games in town, though, so continue reading for more options, some of which might be more attractive.

If you’re in need for accounts specifically for adults, check out our best online checking accounts reviews.

Best Student Checking Accounts

Chase College Checking–Chase Bank is a large nationwide financial institution with many branches throughout the United States. Chase Total Checking is the basic checking product offered, and the student version of their checking account adds to these features and reduces the fees. Chase College Checking comes with a free debit card, online bill payment, mobile banking, and account alerts. You need only $25 to open a checking account at Chase. The monthly service fee is $6, but it will be waived for the first five years the account is opened. After that, it can be waived when you have a monthly direct deposit set up, OR maintain at least a $5,000 average daily balance.

For a limited time, Chase is offering students a $50 bonus to sign up for a Chase College Checking account. After your initial deposit is made, make 10 qualifying transactions in the first 60 days and the bonus is yours.

Chase also offers a version of this account for high school students, too. For high school students, there is no monthly fee when the account is linked to a parent’s account. It’s easy to convert the account from high school checking to college checking once the student is enrolled in an institute of higher learning.

Ally Interest Checking–While not specific for students, Ally Interest Checking is a fantastic option for students to consider. The best feature is that Ally has NO monthly maintenance fees. No rules to follow; just the peace of mind that you’ll never be charged a monthly fee for this product. They’ll also refund up to $10 per month from other bank’s ATM fees. They’re on the Allpoint ATM network so any of those ATM’s can be used fee free. Checks can be deposited remotely using your smartphone and money can be transferred person to person (fee free) using Popmoney.

Remember, this is Ally Interest Checking. All balances less than a $15,000 minimum daily balance (MDB) will receive a 0.10% APY and all balances greater than a $15,000 MDB will receive a 0.60% APY. While the higher interest rate may be attractive, I have two reasons why it’s really not. First, it’s rare for a student to have more than $15,000 in a checking account and second, if they do, that money should be placed in a high yield savings account or CD. Current interest rates are more than double that of 0.60% … no sense in leaving the money in checking.

Wells Fargo Teen Checking–If you’re a high school student, the Wells Fargo Teen Checking account might be for you. Created specifically for High School students between the ages of 13 and 17, this account gives parents oversight into a teen’s bank account. Students will get their own debit card and parents can set the limits on purchases and withdrawals. There is no monthly service fee so long as you agree to paperless statements and the initial deposit required is just $25.

Parents will receive daily alerts via text message, email or online every time there’s activity on their child’s debit card. You’ll also have the option to use Overdraft protection by linking a Wells Fargo savings account just in-case. All Wells Fargo Teen Checking accounts include their standard security features like zero liability protection and 24/7 fraud monitoring.

Santander Student Value Checking–The Santander Student Value Checking account is the most straightforward offer of any student checking account. It’s available to any student ages 16-25. There is no monthly fees associated with this account and the minimum deposit to open is a cool Hamilton ($10). While this account does not earn interest, there is also no minimum balance required to keep the account open.

If you own a Santander Student Value Checking account, you can choose to open either a savings or money market account with Santander, and that account too will not carry a monthly service charge. ATM withdrawals from non Santander ATM’s will cost you $2 (plus whatever the other bank charges) which can get expensive if you plan to make a lot of ATM transactions.

Key Student Checking–KeyBank offers a very terrific student checking option centralized around no fees. The minimum deposit to open the account is $50 and there is no minimum balance to maintain. The Key Student Checking account is available to any student age 16 or older who has a valid social security number. The nicest benefit comes if the form of ATM refunds. When other banks charge you a fee for withdrawals, KeyBank will reimburse you up to $6 of those fees per month.

There is a $5 monthly fee associated with the Key Student Checking account. That fee can be waived in one of two ways:

  1. Have deposits of at least $200 per month
  2. Make at least five account transactions per month

Bank of America Core Checking–Despite another large network of bank locations, Bank of America wants to direct its student-customers towards “eBanking.” These accounts are designed to encourage staying out of bank branches and banking completely with ATMs, online, and mobile. With the account, students will receive a free debit card, online and mobile banking, a savings account with “Keep the Change,” a feature that automatically rounds your spending up to the nearest dollar and places the remainder into a savings account for you.

The Bank of America Core Checking product is perfect for students. Any student under the age of 24 will get the monthly fee waived. If you’re older, then the $12 monthly fee can be waived in any of the following situations:

  • You have at least one direct deposit each month of $250 or more
  • You maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500
  • You enroll in the Preferred Rewards Program

Unfortunately, there is no refund on ATM fees. The minimum opening deposit on a Bank of America Core Checking account is just $25.

Try the Bank Down the Street

Your local community bank, regional bank, or credit union. These banks are some of the largest banks in the United States in terms of assets. It’s likely one or more of the four banks above will be convenient to both students and their parents or guardians. These aren’t the only choices, however. As long as each major national bank feels they only need to compete with the other three major national banks, there won’t be much incentive for the big companies to offer the best products. Smaller banks don’t have the resources to mount strong marketing campaigns that can compete for your attention. Credit unions hardly advertise at all.

It may take a phone call, but you might find that smaller banks offer better deals for students than what the large banks offer. As long as your checking account is protected by FDIC or NCUA insurance, you shouldn’t feel that smaller banks are riskier than larger banks.

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The Correct Way to Pay Off Personal Debt: The Debt Avalanche

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The debt avalanche is the fastest and cheapest way to pay off you debts. But is it always the best way? Sometimes the debt snowball may be better.

debt avalanche

When it comes to math, things are pretty straightforward. No matter what language you speak, one and one always equals two. And, in theory, finances should work this way, too. After all, money is based on math.

Ah, but here is where we run into a problem. Because money isn’t just about math. It’s also about a host of human factors, including our emotions, unexpected circumstances, and even physical state. Have you ever tried to spend less at the grocery store when you’re hungry? You know what I mean!

This is why experts argue about the best way to pay off credit card and other debts. There is actually a mathematically correct way to pay off debt. It’s known, typically, as the debt avalanche. If you stick to it, the debt avalanche is definitely more efficient and fast than the debt snowball popularized by Dave Ramsey.

But following the debt avalanche, even though it’s the “correct” way to pay off debts, isn’t always the best option. First, let’s talk about what the debt avalanche actually is. Then, we’ll talk about when it might not be the best option.

What is a Debt Avalanche?

You probably have already heard about the debt snowball if you’ve read anything in the personal finance space. It’s the idea that when paying off your debts, you should start with the smallest balance debt first. Once you pay off that debt, you put extra money plus that debt’s monthly minimum payment towards your next smallest debt, and so on.

The idea here is that you get a quick win up front by paying off one or two of your smaller debts quickly. This approach doesn’t account for interest rates at all.

The debt avalanche, on the other hand, is all about interest rates. Here’s how to do it:

1. Order your debts from highest to lowest interest rate. Often times, your credit cards will be at the top of the list with their exorbitant interest rates. But you’re not worried about provider or loan servicer. Only the interest rate you’re currently paying counts.

What should you do about introductory rates? It depends. But you might decide to back burner these debts until the interest rate hikes.

For instance, say you’re currently paying 0% interest on a credit card. In 15 months, the interest rate will jump to 17.99%. Right now, just leave the card at the bottom of your to-be-paid list. That’s where it belongs with that introductory interest rate. Just pay attention to when the interest rate rises. Then, you may need to reorder your debt payoff plan to account for the card’s increased interest rate.

Resource: List of 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards

2. Pay the minimums on all of your debts each month. This is essential. If you can’t pay more than the minimums, at least pay that.

3. Put any extra money towards highest interest debt first. Don’t think you can find any extra money? Check out this list of ways to start paying off debt today. Whatever extra you can scrape together or pull out of your budget goes towards this debt, even if it’s the largest balance debt on your list.

4. Repeat every month. Eventually, you’ll pay off that first debt. Once you do, move towards putting extra money–plus that first debt’s minimum payment–towards the second highest interest rate debt on your list.

It’s really pretty straightforward. The only thing that makes it different from the debt snowball is the order in which you pay off your debts.  So what’s the difference, mathematically, and why is the debt avalanche not always the best method to use, even though it’s the most efficient? First, the math.

How Does the Math Play Out?

If you know anything at all about basic math and interest rates, it’s not hard to surmise that the debt avalanche will be the more efficient option for paying off debts. When you pay down the principal on your highest-interest debts first, you pay less interest overall. And since you’re paying less overall interest, you’ll pay off your debts faster. Sometimes, the difference is significant, but sometimes it’s not.

To run the numbers, we’ll use this calculator.

Let’s say you have the following debts:

  • Credit Card one: $2,500 balance; $70 minimum payment; 18.99% interest rate
  • Credit Card two: $1,000 balance; $25 minimum payment; 10.00% interest rate
  • Student Loan: $15,000 balance; $150 minimum payment; 8.99% interest rate
  • Car Loan: $8,000 balance: $250 minimum payment; 10.00% interest rate

With a debt snowball, you’d pay off your debts in this order: Credit Card two, Credit Card one, Car Loan, Student Loan. With a debt avalanche, you’d paid them in this order: Credit Card 1, Credit Card 2/Car Loan (your choice!), Student Loan.

Since there’s not much difference in order, there’s also not much difference in outcome. It you pay $1,000 per month total towards your debts, you’ll pay them off in 30 months either way. You’ll pay $3,347 in interest with the debt snowball and $3,309 with the avalanche.

So the debt avalanche saves you money, but not a ton. This is generally going to be the case if the method you choose won’t dramatically alter the order in which you pay off your debts.

But what if the method did make a big difference? Let’s look at another scenario.

  • Credit Card one: $7,500 balance; $150 minimum payment; 18.99% interest rate
  • Credit Card two: $500 balance; $25 minimum payment; 9.99% interest rate
  • Student Loan: $15,000 balance; $150 minimum payment; 10.00% interest rate
  • Car Loan: $8,000 balance; $250 minimum payment; 12.o0% interest rate

So under a debt snowball, you’d pay them in this order: Credit Card two, Credit Card one, Car Loan, Student Loan. Under a debt avalanche, you use this order: Credit Card one, Car Loan, Credit Card two, Student Loan.

Let’s also say that money is tight, and you can only put $600 a month towards your debts. In this case, it would still take you the same amount of time to pay them off–74 months. But you’d pay $13,367 in interest with the debt snowball and just $13,143 in interest with the avalanche.

The bottom line here is that these differences will amplify with a bigger spread in interest rates, a larger overall balance, or a longer time taken to pay off your debts. But unless you have huge amounts of debt, the difference may not add up to more than a few hundred bucks in interest.

So is It Really Best?

Here’s the bottom line. The math will always come out in favor of the debt avalanche method. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best method for paying off your debts. In fact, research shows that for most people, the debt snowball method is more motivating and more effective. There’s a reason, after all, Dave Ramsey’s program has been so successful over the years!

With that said, there are some other important factors to consider when making this decision, including:

Whether or not you can refinance your debts. If you have a decent credit score, you may be able to move some of your debts around to much lower interest rates. This is a good move, as long as you don’t use those freed-up credit card limits to rack up even more debt. Refinancing through 0% introductory APR credit cards or personal loans can help even out the math with super high interest debt.

How you drive your financial decision making. If you’re like most people, your money decisions are driven more by emotions than you’d like to admit. Even if you consider yourself a logic-driven person, it’s hard to remove emotion completely from your spending and saving choices. So take this into account, and be honest with yourself. If small wins up front will keep you motivated to pay off your debts, use the debt snowball. If you can stay the course regardless, try the debt avalanche.

Your actual interest rate situation. If you have one debt that has an incredibly high interest rate, while the rest are more average, it’s probably best to pay off that debt first. If you can’t refinance it, just push through and pay it off–even if its balance isn’t as low as some of your other debts. This will free up more money to keep pushing on with getting out of debt, too

So remember, the debt avalanche is the mathematically correct way to pay off your debts. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only answer. The important thing is really that you continue making payments on your debts so that you work towards becoming debt free.

Christmas Wreaths and Garlands – a tradition with a personal touch

Do you usually decorate your front door for Christmas? Our Marketing Director Nicola Jordan is an old hand at creating wonderful wreaths for her cottage front door, whereas some of the rest of us would best be termed “enthusiastic amateurs!”. We caught up with the brilliant Renée Canter who’s developed her own style of beautiful wreaths, having completed a self set challenge to have a decoration on her door for the entire year! This is the latest in our series of Guest Blogs:

Wreaths are one of our most loved Christmas decorations that are traditionally hung on our front doors over the festive period.  The evergreen rings are made of branches, leaves, berries and cones but can be decorated with almost anything.

The word wreath comes from the old English word writha which means something coiled, twisted or wound.

The history of wreaths though is vague. One theory claims that the wreath dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where wreaths using leaves, twigs, fruits and flowers were worn as headdresses or hung on doors to represent rank and status.  Another theory on the wreath’s history claims the origin can actually be found about 1,000 B.C. Those celebrating the solstice made evergreen wreaths as a sign of perseverance through harsh winters and hope in a coming spring. The wreaths included four candles representing the elements of earth, wind, fire and water, and were typically used in rituals that would ensure the continuance of the circle of life.  By the 16th century, German Christians had adopted these pagan symbols to celebrate Advent.  A traditional Advent wreath consisted of four candles in a circle of evergreens with a fifth candle in the middle that was lit on Christmas Eve.

My wreath tradition started when I bought my 1st house and I bought an artificial wreath that I decorated with fake berries and decorations every year.

3 years ago I was gardening in November and pruning a yew tree that was very overgrown.  The clippings were not only beautiful but smelt amazing and I thought it was a shame to throw it all away so I decided to make my own wreath.  I took it home and gathered some other evergreen foliage (Conifer, Sweet Box) from my garden and some Eucalyptus from a bunch of flowers I had indoors to make my very 1st evergreen wreath.  It lasted well into January and although all green had a variety of textures, colours and scents.

The next year I decided to create another wreath and this time I went a bit more colourful.  I’m not a trained florist but using a round ring oasis I again looked around my garden and local hedgerows to find anything I liked the look of.  I found Holly, Ivy, Bottlebrush and Star Jasmine for the greenery.  I then found seedheads from Ivy and Japanese Anemones and creamy flowers from Honeysuckle.  It resulted in a completely different wreath, much more whimsical than the previous year and definitely less traditional.

I also at this point decided that for me the word wreath had funereal connotations and was not the joyful word I wanted to describe something I had created that made me smile.  I just so happen to live in a road with a pub called The Garland at the end!  So I decided to call my wreaths Garlands!!

Making Your Own Garland

Most garlands are made on a twisted willow frame or on an oasis.  Personally I find an oasis easier to handle.  Choose greenery you like from your garden or forage sensibly for wild plants.

Most traditional garlands will have pine or conifer as the base and start with the greenery first adding layer and layer of foliage to cover the base.  Then have fun with adding your own decorations.  Natural choices could be Holly berries or Ivy seedheads or pinecones but it could also be dried flowers, feathers, herbs, fresh or dried fruit or brussell sprouts!  You could decide to bling your wreath up with cinnamon sticks, ribbons, baubles or even fairy lights!  It really could be anything but it will definitely be unique.

Whatever you choose hang your garland on your front door, enjoy the joy it brings you when you arrive home and accept the compliments from your guests with a smile.

Thanks Renée!

Renée is also known as The Girl who Gardens.  She provides planting and garden design advice and aims to make dream gardens a reality for families in Surrey and the surrounding areas.  This December she is delivering Garland Workshops and is for the first time selling her unique Garlands at The Crafters Market in Reigate on 3rd December. You can get more information on her website or follow her on social media. Facebook:  thegirlwhogardens Instagram: the_girl_who_gardens

 

If you’re thinking of moving, give the team a call on 0330 223 1000, or fill in the valuation form. 

 

source http://www.moverevolution.com/blog/christmas-wreaths-garlands-tradition-personal-touch/

How to Save Money Without Worrying About Coupons

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Clipping coupons can save you money. It’s also a pain. Here’s how you can save money without coupons or the hassle that comes with them.

save money without coupons

The retail industry has everyone fooled. Millions of people spend their time scouring for deals, clipping coupons from the newspaper, plugging into the latest mobile deal applications, and sharing their finds on Facebook to recruit friends for group deals. Meanwhile, the companies on the other side of the transaction are generating higher profits.

Can anyone really complain? Consumers are saving more money than ever and yet retailers are raking in more revenue. Even as we’re still trying to recover from the employment effects of the recession and economists say the middle class doesn’t have enough to spend to stimulate the economy on their own, the industry is thriving.

The National Retail Federation won’t release its annual holiday predictions for a couple more weeks. But I bet when it does, they’ll expect plenty of growth over last year. The NRF tends to be very optimistic heading into the holiday season. But they haven’t yet misplaced their trust in consumers’ capacity to spend.

It seems like this should be impossible. How can consumers be saving more while retailers are bringing in more revenue? Well, there are two important assumptions to overcome.

1. Saving more is not the same thing as spending less.

Retailers will continue offering sales, deals, and coupons because these tricks simply encourage consumers to spend more. A perceived deal can help convince a spender to open his wallet or swipe her credit card when they might not have otherwise. This isn’t the result only on the large scale. It’s proven behavioral finance that holds true on an individual basis.

A recent study found that heavy digital coupon users spend more than twice as much per year as non-coupon users. If you use coupons, you spend more, not less. You are not saving money. It’s true you’re getting more for the money you are spending. But research clearly shows you wouldn’t be spending that money in the first place without the coupons.

The only way to save money is to spend less. And most of the time using coupons doesn’t actually help you reach that goal.

2. It’s a zero-sum game.

Economists talk about the growth of wealth not being zero-sum. That is, when some individuals become more wealthy, another group doesn’t necessarily have to become less wealthy. The economy can grow and, in theory, lift everyone who plays a part in it.

Another way of illustrating the lack of the zero-sum game in the economy is by talking about wealth re-distribution upwards. Consumerism is how money from the middle class and lower goes through a process that benefits the corporate class–the executives in large corporations, private equity firms, and preferred shareholders. If the transaction is reduced to its basic components, it looks like money is simply moving from consumers to producers, building more wealth for one group of society while keeping a larger group financially dependent.

Economists agree the process is more complex than this. And as producers show their relevance to society, they create enough economic substance, adding to the full “pie” to match or exceed the wealth that flows in their direction.

But on an individual level, the macroeconomic reality isn’t relevant. The bottom line is that when you spend money, you have less money. What you spend as a consumer doesn’t come back to you in the form of greater potential for building wealth. Every purchase eats into your wealth. The more you spend on movies and concerts, the less you’ll have available for food, rent, and long-term savings.

When you understand the above factors, you’re better able to make choices that actually help you spend less money, rather than just “saving money.”

How to Actually Save Money

So what kinds of decisions should you make instead of using coupons? Try these:

1. Shop less often.

I could buy some new items every time I go shopping for clothes. A few weeks ago, I found myself at an outlet center near the New Jersey shore. It’s hard to resist some of the nice clothes I can find on sale. I’m tempted to buy something every time I’m shopping, which is completely unnecessary. If I just don’t go, I wouldn’t buy anything.

This counts for necessities, too. How often do you buy a few extras at the grocery store? Cutting back to two or three trips a month can help you avoid this.

2. Conserve what you have.

A corollary to the above is that you can make what you already own last longer. In terms of clothing, I still had a lot of my clothing from college–and even some tee-shirts from high school. I was probably thirty-five years old when I finally went through and eliminated some of the stuff I didn’t want to or could no longer wear.

But because for many years I had no extra money to spend, I simply made do with what I had. It wasn’t until I had some extra income that I decided it was time to upgrade my wardrobe — although it helped that I wasn’t going into an office every day.

Again, this can also apply to food. Clean out the fridge and pantry and eat up the leftovers before you grocery shop!

3. Buy in bulk.

From a behavioral finance perspective, there is one trick that does work to spend less money over the long term: buying in bulk. But there’s a trade-off. You need to store what you buy. Having more stuff takes up extra space, requiring a larger living space than you might otherwise need.

And there’s an up-front cost. You’re spending more money today than you normally would. It reduces your cost in the future. But a lot of people living paycheck-to-paycheck can’t necessarily handle larger up-front expenses.

However, there are some great bulk buying options on the market today, including websites like Boxed. These can let you get just a few things in bulk at a time. And they don’t necessarily have an annual membership fee. So if you can buy toilet paper in bulk this month and paper towel next, over time you can build a stockpile. And this can save you some serious cash.

4. Reconsider your needs and wants.

Many times we’re spending more than we need to spend because we haven’t given a lot of thought to whether a purchase is necessary. Sure, it’s sometimes fine to spend unnecessary money for something you don’t really need. This is especially true as you get closer to the goal of becoming financially independent!

But you shouldn’t be in the habit of automatically gratifying your every whim. Take some time. Add a delay into the process. Wait twenty-four hours if you find yourself with the urge to make an impulsive decision. This provides an opportunity to consider your other options or how that money could be otherwise utilized.

And, of course, it’s always a good idea to shop around. Sometimes a quick online search can net you serious savings on something you’re planning to purchase.

5. Use coupons and loyalty programs wisely.

I know. I just said that you shouldn’t use coupons. But that’s not the case 100 percent of the time.

One smart option is to look for coupons after you’ve decided to purchase something. This is easier with apps like Honey. It searches for coupon codes while you’re in the checkout process online. So you can shop as if you were not going to use coupons. But then if you get them, you can go on your merry way, having saved some money.

There’s something similar to be said for rewards programs. For instance, I get loyalty rewards offers from Van Heusen, one of my favorite clothing brands. But typically, I have to spend those rewards within a certain amount of time. Sure, that $20 towards my next purchase could buy a new shirt. But if I start shopping, I’ll likely spend a lot more than that. And that’s money I hadn’t planned on spending originally.

However, sometimes these types of “spend it before it’s gone” deals can be worth signing up for. For instance, kids’ clothing stores often have these programs in place. And since kids go through clothes so quickly, these rewards can add up quickly. Just use them wisely. Buy your kids’ clothing in small batches, rather than large shopping sprees. And buy sizes ahead if you get good discounts that expire within a certain time frame.

And, of course, you should always be on the lookout for similar brands that offer the same stuff at a cheaper price. Loyalty programs can trap you by keeping you from shopping around. So don’t feel tied down to a certain retailer because of their loyalty program.

6. Use a budget.

There are as many different ways to budget as there are people. But the bottom line is that a budget is a spending plan. When you take time to plan out your spending for the month (or week or even year), you’ll have some goals in mind. And you’ll know–if you’re tracking your spending–when you’re spending outside of the budget.

This can be a powerful tool to curb unnecessary spending. And it plays into tip four above. When you have to plan out each month’s spending, you won’t let yourself jump on “deals” this month just because they exist. So that sale makes you feel like you need a new pair of jeans and a sweater? Great! Put that in next month’s budget, and buy it then!

It’s tempting for any particular person to believe that they are better than the average: Overall, people who use coupons end up spending more money, but I’m the exception. Well, that’s always a possibility, just as it’s possible that you’re an above-average driver. But it’s not likely, just as studies show that more than half of the population believes they’re better drivers than average. This is the illusory superiority cognitive bias.

Ditch the coupons, and stop wasting your time on efforts that don’t actually save money. Consider your choices, and make decisions about your shopping behavior while keeping in mind the tools and techniques that do improve your financial situation over the long term.

6 Ways to Get Free Redbox Codes

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Redbox is a great way to watch moves. And while it’s cheap, you can do even better. Here are six ways to get free Redbox codes.

free redbox codes

I’ll be honest: I can’t even remember the last time I paid just to watch a movie. Between streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and my Amazon Fire Stick, I can always find something good I haven’t seen. Sometimes, though, I want to watch a newer move. That’s when I turn to Redbox. But why pay for even Redbox movies when free rental codes abound?

You have to look a little harder to find free Redbox codes these days, but there are plenty of them out there. Here are a few of my favorite places to snag these codes and watch some of the newest movies out on release totally free.

Free Redbox Codes

1. Opt In for Texts

This is the easiest way I’ve found to get free Redbox codes without even trying. You simply text REDBOX to 727272 to start receiving special offers straight to your phone.

These offers come in randomly, and may even be on weeknights. Usually, they are good for that same day or must be used within two or three days, so there’s not a whole lot of flexibility with the offers. However, it’s a great way to regularly pick up a free DVD on your way home and unwind before bed.

You’ll also get discount codes, BOGO offers, and even free game rentals. All of these are in the form of a code that you’ll enter at the kiosk when renting your movie. All you have to do is enter the code from the text, too–no further action, adding the offer to your account, etc. is required.

Also, Redbox may have changed this, but when I initially signed up to receive texts, I got the first free offer sent to my phone within 24 hours.

2. Download the App

Have a smartphone? Download the Redbox app to get a free rental code applied to your account within hours.

redbox.JPG

The app allows you to search for movies and games in your area to determine which kiosk has what you want. You can also reserve specific titles so you know that they’ll be there when you’re ready and available to pick them up.

The app is free, too. After you download it and turn on push notifications, you’ll get your first free code soon after.

3. Sign Up for Emails

Have you noticed the trend yet? Yes, the best place to get your free Redbox codes is from Redbox directly (don’t worry, though–there are other great places, which we’ll cover in a moment). If you sign up to receive their emails, you can snag even more.

 

Simply enter your email address on their sign-up page, confirm your email address, and you’ll receive yet another one-day free rental code, sent straight to your inbox. You can use multiple email addresses that you may have. Just keep in mind that you have to link a card to the account. It’s an easy way to get even more freebies.redbox playpass.JPG

4. Join PlayPass

If you join Redbox’s free rewards program, called PlayPass, you’ll have the chance to earn plenty of rental codes, immediately and over time. When you first sign up, you’ll be sent a free code, which you can use any time within 60 days.

Then, you’ll also earn 10 Play Pass points every time you rent a disc (movie or game). Once you reach 100 points, you’ll get another free rental. You’ll also get a free rental code each year for your birthday.

5. Find Existing Free Codes

Some websites will find and update existing codes that are floating around, and publish them for you to find. These are great for on-the-spot rentals, if you don’t want to wait for that sign-up email code to come through.

Places like RetailMeNot and The Balance have pages dedicated to free Redbox codes, and they update them regularly. Just know that some of the codes may not work, either because they’re expired or they won’t work for your specific account.

Also, Redbox uses your credit or debit card to track code usage. This means that if you find a code that works, you can probably use it again on a second account with a second credit/debit card.

Here’s a link to RetailMeNot’s Redbox code page, and a link to the one provided by The Balance. Sites like InsiderBox also allow you to get feedback from others who have tried the code recently, so you know where to hone your sights. Here’s a link to their Redbox page.

6. Follow Them

If you “Like” Redbox’s Facebook page, you’ll be one of the first to know about special, short-term codes, and promotions. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear about store-specific codes (such as those only offered at kiosks at Walgreen’s locations, for example). This can be a great way to get codes directly from the source, without having to sign up for texts or emails.

The great thing about Redbox rentals is they are incredibly affordable. If you’re like me, though, you still love a freebie. Luckily, there are plenty of places for you to snag a free Redbox rental code, so you can watch your favorite new movies tonight, for free.

Have you found Redbox rental codes elsewhere? Share your sources below!

The Ultimate Christmas Wish List for Girls 

We all look at the ‘wish lists’ in magazines that appear around Christmas time… but do you think ‘those are just too expensive’ or ‘that’s just not very different’?  This sparked a thought about creating the very Ultimate Girls’ Christmas Wish List using all the local knowledge from the girls (and guys) in our Move Revolution offices throughout Surrey, Sussex and Kent!

We decided that everything on our list needed to be local. Either produced by someone local, or stocked by someone local.  So that we could get all the benefits of a ‘quick shop’ and still support an amazing local business.  We love the idea that it would be from an independent shop… being an independent business ourselves we know all the hard work that local independent business invest in their services and products.  Having started with one office in Nutfield, Surrey which covers the Reigate, Redhill, Horley and Oxted area we now have 7 offices… it has been hard work… loads of dedication and most importantly a real love for what we do. We decided local and independent were the most important.

This is our 2017 gorgeous sparkly list – get ready to buy all the things for yourself (or share this with your partner with a big hint!!)  

Move Revolution’s Girls Shopping List 2017 – 10 Amazing Gifts!

(To read full details on each of the item, and why we love it, see below!)

1.  All about Eve at Home (Reigate)- Black Pomegranate Candle

2. Willow & Boo (Tunbridge Wells) – Cocktails & Dreams Lollipop Box

3. Bradshaw & Sons (Sevenoaks) – Sevenoaks Satchel

4. The Gin Kitchen (Dorking) – Artisan Dancing Dragontail or Gutsy Monkey Gin

5. Ivy Florence (Lingfield) – A Christmas Bouquet

6. Squerry’s (Westerham) – Sparkling Wine

7. Monty Bojangles (Head office – Kenley, Truffle Bar – Reigate) –  Truffle Lovers Gift Hamper

8. Alexander House Hotel (Turners Hill) – Spa Day

9. Time Hair & Beauty (Caterham) – ‘Going Out Hair & Beauty’ Gift Voucher

10. The Artist Residence (Brighton) –  Boutique Hotel weekend away in Brighton!

Find out a little bit more about the gorgeous items on our ultimate shopping list!

 (1) The perfect Candle  – All about Eve at Home Black Pomegranate

We love All About Eve at Home in Reigate.

Although we have recommended the Black Pomegranate Candle at £22.95 plus postage, all the hand poured candles from All about Eve at Home are gorgeous! If you have a moment to pop to the beautiful shop in Reigate high street you won’t be disappointed – it is packed with sparkly goodies!

All about Eve at Home Black Pomegranate Candle

(2) The perfect handmade gift – Cocktail Lollipops!

Our Tunbridge Wells team recently discovered the amazing Willow & Boo – we have fallen in love with their gorgeous Christmas Cocktail Lollipop Gift Boxes… they also stock the most wonderful lollies with sprinkles – perfect for a Christmas Stocking! If you click on the link and have a look around their website we have also love the Cocktails and Dreams box.

Cocktails and Dreams Lollipop Box

Each box contains- Mojito, Pina Colada, Pornstar Martini, Cosmopolitan, Margherita, Espresso Martini, and Strawberry Daiquiri … made with real alcohol (only for adults!)

This is another Lollipop gift box  we think is truly scrumptious!

Alice in Wonderland Lollipop Box £10

 

 (3) Limited Edition Sevenoaks satchel – Every girl likes to feel unique!

Limited to just 50 bags (27 are left at the time of writing!)… snap up your Artistan Handbag by Bradshaw and Sons, Sevenoaks.  This stunning satchel has only just been launched and is hot off the press.  Each is hand numbered and comes with a unique certificate of authentication. Available only in black, this limited edition is a unique bag that you will love forever! Sevenoaks satchel £195.00

  

(4) GIN GIN  GIN ! (Need we say more!)

We absolutely love The Gin Kitchen, especially the Dancing Dragontail Summer Gin; we’ve fallen in love with the bottle! But in line with this seasonal list, the Gutsy Monkey makes a mean warm cocktail. We love the idea of the Woodcock Hot Punch in front of a cosy fire. http://gin.kitchen

 

 

(5) The gift of flowers – discover Ivy Florence!

We always need flowers….it is very hard to find a gorgeous (and unusual) bouquet or Christmas arrangement.  The wonderful Ivy Florence in Lingfield is the answer!  Her stunning artisan bouquets are well priced and guaranteed to deliver a smile from any girl!

Wonderful flower gifts 

(6) Pop the cork! Who can resist a glass of bubbles!

We have all been addicted to Prosecco – just take a look at this Sparkling Wine, it gets the most incredible reviews 

 “My first ever tasting note for this wine simply said, ‘stunning’.  Made from 45% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier, this is a superbly stylish wine which will impress even the most ardent of Champagne stuck-in-the-muds”

Matthew Jukes (regarded as one of the world’s leading wine experts)

This sparkling wine is highly regarded….

“Without doubt, our sparkling wine does have similarities to that produced in the Champagne region.  We use the same grape varieties, vine clones and complex bottle fermentation process, so a likeness is perhaps inevitable.

However, take a minute, and you start to notice the differences: the balance of fruit and yeasty characteristics on the nose; the complexity and depth on the palate; and the long straight finish all combine to give a distinct flavour that is very much unique to Squerryes”

Wonderful bubbles

7)  There has to be chocolates on our ultimate gift list!

Monty Bojangles is a huge favourite of Louise Simpson’s, who adores the Milky Mischief and Popcorn Carousel truffles. She also recommends the Truffle Hamper for Truffle Lovers which sounds amazing! The Reigate Truffle Bar is a great place to stop off and trial a few different flavours before buying a box or two…or three!

 

8) A Spa Day ….every girls idea of a wonderful present

We chatted about this at length (!) and all the Move Revolution girls agreed that The Alexander House Hotel in Turners Hill was the most wonderful place to spend a spa day. Marie Claire (the magazine) reviewed the hotel and their Utopia Spa earlier in the year with a glowing recommendation….

“The food is exceptional but the unique spa menu and facilities will be what you’ll write home about. The Utopia Spa is like an underground cocoon of calm, part mock-Grecian marble columns, part sleek, blue-black tiling. There’s a hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam as well as swimming pool. If you’re brave enough in winter, there’s also a Scandi-style outdoor hot tub in the Zen garden”  To read more click here…

 

9)  The Ultimate ‘Going Out Out Package’ with Time Hair & Beauty 

Pampering is a big ‘must’ for your girl at Christmas with so much going on … a pampering gift voucher is such a treat to be used in the New Year.  TIME Hair and Beauty is the creation of Katherine Casey-Farmer (Kat) who trained and worked in Covent Garden, Camden, Croydon and Reigate. She feels passionate about great customer experiences, and often puts together packages of treatments which would be perfect as a gift. A wonderful Christmas gift could be either a pamper session for a Christmas/New Year party including a blow dry, professional makeup and manicure or a after Christmas relaxation treatment including a luxury hair treatment, facial and massage. 

If you are not sure what to choose… Kat has created a ‘Going Out Out Package’ £100 – what a wonderful treat for any girl!

  • Going ‘out out’ Blowdry
  • Going ‘out out’ Make-up
  • Going ‘out out’ Gel Manicure

 

 10)  A weekend away in a Boutique Brighton Hotel… 

 Our Brighton office recommended this gorgeous boutique hotel ‘The Artist Residence’ .. that gets rave reviews. Each of it’s bedrooms has been individually designed, if you want to give a big surprise this is the present for you.  A relaxing weekend walking on the seafront, meandering in the lanes and enjoying a cocktail in the hotel bar – what a treat!

 

 If you’re thinking of moving, call the team on 0330 223 1000 or fill in the valuation form. 

 

 

source http://www.moverevolution.com/blog/the-ultimate-girl-christmas-wish-list/

Discover it® – Cashback Match™ Review

read up on transfs site for more tips on financial matters 

Learn More

The Discover it® – Cashback Match™ makes a habit of saying no. No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment, and no APR hike for paying late. Discover®’s latest incarnation of cash back cards aims to simplify the relationship between cardholder and card issuer into one of easy cooperation.

The Discover it® – Cashback Match™ maintains 5 percent cash back on featured categories that change each quarter, subject to spend cap and provided you remember to sign up at the start of each promotional period. However, your other purchases earn a consistent 1 percent cash back with no required spending threshold. Real rebate hackers may find better percentages with some of Discover it®’s competitors, but the consistency makes tracking rewards very easy.

An initial experience informed by high-tech unboxing

Speaking about the new Discover it® – Cashback Match™ with company spokeswoman Laura Gingiss, I learned that the team behind this new account wanted to bring back some of the glamour and excitement around getting a new credit card. That’s why the Discover it® – Cashback Match™ arrives at your home with some of the trappings usually reserved for a bank’s most elite cardholders.

Your card arrives inside a rectangular box, decked out in faux brushed metal. Inside, you’ll find a red card of significantly better build quality than the typical bank card. If it feels like what happens when you open a product from Apple or Bose, that’s by design. Discover® wants you to feel good about using this card, and that emotional connection starts with this premium experience.

Service and support from real, live people

Discover® emphasizes that you’ll have access to a live human being inside the United States when you call for support. It’s a standout feature in an environment when many other banks have resorted to offshore service centers and automated attendants. It’s an expensive move, but immediate assistance from Discover®’s award-winning service and fraud resolution teams can win your loyalty for life.

Their Freeze It℠ on/off switch prevents new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers in seconds. You’re never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card, and they give you your FICO® credit score for free on your statements and online.

Building brand loyalists, one silver box at a time

Having expanded into student loans and personal mortgages, Discover hopes that your positive perception of their brand will translate into more business. Even the act of making a credit card you want to use can inspire you to ask more retailers to accept your Discover it® – Cashback Match™. The Discover® team has produced an account that restores the dignity — and a lot of fun — to carrying a credit card.

Discover® also offers other variations of this card that may better suit your needs. Be sure to read these additional reviews:

Discover it® 18-Month Balance Transfer Offer

The Discover it®’s card arrived on the market with heavy fanfare, including lots of television ads and billboards touting personal service and a new rebate structure that frees customers from most cash-back traps. Discover®’s 18-month introductory balance transfer hits a sweet spot if you’re among the millions of Americans trying to shed an “average” credit card balance. Plus, you get your FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement for free.

Discover it® for Students

Discover it StudentsDiscover® has made strong inroads into student borrowing over the past few years. Discover it® for Students represents the bank’s latest foray onto college campuses, with pricing and features that resemble full-featured credit cards more than the typical, watered-down student accounts on the market.

First Time Buyers – ‘Stamptastic’ News!

source http://www.moverevolution.com/blog/first-time-buyers-stamptastic-news/

Move Revolution loves….Stylish Christmas at home

We’ve been having a look at some ideas for wonderful Christmas interiors and getting really excited about the coming season! We’re loving cosy fireplaces and twinkly lights… We’ve even seen some beautiful lights as we’ve been driving around lately, are you all set with your Christmas theme?

It’s definitely the right time to put some plans in place we think. Take a look at our Pinterest board… We’ve fallen in love with the Mistletoe, Hydrangea and Ivy wreath! We’d love to hear (and see!) what your Christmas at home looks like…

If you’re thinking of moving, the team would love to help. Just give them a call on 0330 223 1000, or fill in the valuation form.

 

source http://www.moverevolution.com/blog/move-revolution-loves-stylish-christmas-home/

8 Ways to Get Free Amazon Gift Cards

go look at TransFS website for a great deal more info on financial matters 

The one thing better than an Amazon gift card is a free Amazon gift card. Here are eight ways to score free Amazon gift cards.

free amazon gift cards

If you’re anything like me, you’re used to seeing “Amazon” on your bank statement. Those boxes with blue tape are a mainstay on my front porch, delivering everything from vitamins and electronics to my son’s last pair of soccer cleats.

Now, you can even order groceries through Amazon Pantry. And you can get on-demand items within hours with Amazon Now. The ability to order milk and eggs to my front door has made Amazon even more valuable in my home, which is why I’m always looking for ways to snag free gift cards to the site.

You can find free Amazon gift cards in a number of places online. Here are a few we’ve come across and what you have to do to earn those gift cards:

1. Go to the Sourceamazon.JPG

The best place to get free Amazon gift cards is, interestingly enough, straight from Amazon itself.

The site regularly sends targeted offers to current- and potential-Prime subscribers. Earlier this month, for example, they offered a free $10 gift card if you sent someone a $50 gift card via text. (Just send it to your spouse if you’re not feeling generous!)

They also offer promotions like “spend $25, get $10” and the like. These are most often found in their grocery and personal care/health sections of the site. I’ve also taken advantage of reload offers, where I can load my Amazon account with a gift card and receive a bonus (usually $5) in the process. Check their gift card section online to see if any current offers are listed. Be sure to check back regularly.

2. MyPoints

If you shop online, print coupons, read emails, take surveys, or play games, you can earn free Amazon gift cards through MyPoints.

The site is incredibly easy to use. You simply have to sign up and the choose how you want to earn points. This can be through taking advantage of special shopping offers, watching featured videos on the home page, or using apps like Coupons.com to save on your grocery bill.

 

Right now, they’re even offering 100 points a day for using Coupons.com. That’s an easy way to earn 3,000+ points in a single month, just on one money-saving task alone!

When you complete any of these tasks, you’ll earn a set number of points. Once your account reaches a certain point, you can redeem these points for gift card rewards. Options range from restaurant and apparel shops to… you guessed it, Amazon.

Simply earn 480 points to redeem your first gift card. The more you save up, the further your points will go towards bigger rewards.

3. Credit Card Rewards

If you use a credit card that offers cash back (why wouldn’t you, after all? It’s free money!), you might be able to snag Amazon gift card offers with your earned rewards. Sometimes, you can even get bonus redemptions with certain partner companies–on occasion, Amazon is one of them.

Check out your credit card company’s rewards portal to see where you can redeem your points. If they offer a bonus ($25 gift card for $20 in rewards, for instance), this is an excellent way to make your free money go even further.

4. Online Surveys

Depending on how quickly you can fly through online surveys, it’s possible to make a decent return on your time. Sometimes, the return comes in the form of Amazon gift cards.

Companies like MintVine, Crowdology, and Univox will pay you for your time and effort, offering you daily survey opportunities and various reimbursement options. You can pick and choose the surveys that most apply to you and your family, and also sort them according to length and earnings.

 

Check out this page if you want to see a list of survey companies that offer Amazon cards as a payment option.

5. Get an Amazon Credit Card

prime.JPG

This is in the same area as number three above, but getting an Amazon credit card is another good way to earn Amazon-specific rewards.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa® is a great cash back card, especially if you spend a fair amount on Amazon.com. It offers a $70 Amazon gift card bonus right off the bat, as well as 5% back for every dollar you spend on the site. There is no annual fee, and you’ll also earn 2% cash back at drug stores, restaurants, and gas stations, and 1% back everywhere else.

There’s no minimum redemption amount, so you can start using earned rewards whenever you’d like. And, of course, you can use rewards on Amazon.com, just like you’d use a gift card.

6. Ibotta and Shopkick

If you aren’t using apps like Ibotta and Shopkick to earn free money when you shop, you really should start. Last year alone, I earned almost $200 from Ibotta on the things I was already buying. And I got a $20 gift card from Shopkick just from checking into stores I was already visiting. It’s easy. It’s free. And you can earn yourself some money for Amazon (or anywhere else).

Ibotta sends you cash rebates for things you buy at certain stores. You can also go through the site to buy on Amazon.com and earn credit that way. Once you’ve accumulated enough earnings, you can cash them out through Paypal or opt for free gift cards (like those for Amazon.com).

Shopkick rewards you for visiting, checking in, scanning items, and buying from certain stores. Points earned vary by store and by “task,” but it’s easy to earn points without spending a penny. When you’ve earned enough, cash them out for partner gift cards at stores like Target or, of course, Amazon.

7. Check Your Health Insurance

When is the last time you actually visited your health insurance company’s online portal? Of course, you can view your recent claims, deductible information, and order new cards. But often times, you can also find valuable offers.

For example, I logged in last month to my portal through Innovation Health. In their customer info section, I saw an offer for a free $50 Amazon gift card if I would just watch a 10-minute video. The video was on making healthy choices (food, exercise, etc.), which benefits my insurer. But in the end, I scored an e-gift card to Amazon.com.

Not all providers will offer promotions like this, but it’s definitely worth checking!

8. Trade It In

Looking to de-clutter the house and make some money in the process? The Amazon Trade-In Program might be the perfect answer.

You can go to the Trade-In Store to search for items that may be eligible for trading, whether you purchased them from Amazon or somewhere else. If you find a suitable offer, accept it, follow the directions for shipping, and wait. You’re on your way to earning an Amazon gift card for those items you may not even use anymore.

 

Amazon has quickly become a household name, known for delivering the things we need most at competitive prices (and lightning-fast!). This means that finding ways to earn free Amazon gift cards is not only fun, but budget-friendly.

Have you snagged a free gift card, to Amazon or elsewhere, using another method? Share it below!