This week’s money news

This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on end of credit card rewards, and luxury credit cards. In other news: December mortgage rates, how high-interest ‘rent-a-bank’ loans sidestep state rate caps, and lifetime income.

Smart Money Podcast: The End of Credit Card Rewards, and When to Cancel Luxury Credit Cards
This week’s episode starts with a discussion about the potential end of credit card rewards.

December Mortgage Rates May Seek Calm After Turbulent Year
Interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages could stabilize or even drift lower in December.

How High-Interest ‘Rent-a-Bank’ Loans Sidestep State Rate Caps
Rent-a-bank loans are online loans that may charge triple-digit APRs in states that cap interest rates on small loans.

Save for ‘Retirement’? Generate Lifetime Income Instead
Money News & Moves: Also, Google pays for tracking us, and crypto isn’t broken.

This week’s money news

This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on  In other news: 5 ways to save money on holiday shopping this season, 6 ways to boost your credit card rewards this holiday season, and why booking travel on your phone is a bad idea.

5 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Shopping This Season
Consumers face a lot of pressure this year, but there are strategic ways to cut costs.

6 Ways to Boost Your Credit Card Rewards This Holiday Season
The holidays are synonymous with spending. With a little planning, savvy consumers can earn bonus miles, points or cash back this holiday season.

Why Booking Travel on Your Phone Is a Bad Idea
Comparing booking options is key when it comes to finding the best travel deals. That’s harder to do on your phone.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should you get travel insurance for your spring break trip? Also in the news: Credit cards charge ahead with rewards for driving electric, what you need to know about multicurrency accounts, and 4 ways to save on bachelor and bachelorette parties.

Should You Get Travel Insurance for Your Spring Break Trip?
Check what coverage you might already have before deciding to purchase additional insurance.

Credit Cards Charge Ahead With Rewards for Driving Electric
Automakers see a future with a lot more electric vehicles, and credit cards are starting to plug incentives for drivers who make the switch.

Multicurrency Account: What Is It and How Does It Work?
A multicurrency account lets you spend and hold different currencies to make managing life or work abroad easier.

4 Ways to Save Money on Bachelor or Bachelorette Parties
They’re not getting any cheaper.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Cash back, miles, or…wine? Credit card rewards are evolving. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on why you should question your bills and how to make the most of a raise, Medicare’s telehealth experiment could be here to stay, and the best way to ask for a cost-of-living increase.

Cash Back, Miles or … Wine? Credit Card Rewards Are Evolving
If cash back and travel feel blah, a new crop of credit cards will reward you in different ways.

Smart Money Podcast: Why to Question Your Bills, and Making the Most of a Raise

Medicare’s Telehealth Experiment Could Be Here to Stay
An astronomical increase in telehealth visits by Medicare beneficiaries in 2020 could prompt a reshaping of post-pandemic rules.

The Best Way to Ask for a Cost-of-Living Raise
Inflation rates are the highest they’ve been in 30 years.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Ready player two? How couples maximize their credit card rewards. Also in the news: The new stimulus package helps ore college students, common tools that can save you time and money on taxes, and how to qualify for 100% subsidized COBRA payments.

Ready Player Two? How Couples Maximize Their Credit Card Rewards
These couples work together to double their rewards by engaging a “two-player” credit card strategy.

This Time, the Stimulus Package Helps More College Students
Things are different for the third round of payments.

Common Tools Can Save You Time, Money on Taxes
Some of these tools are already on your phone.

How to Qualify for 100% Subsidized COBRA Premiums
Find out what you need to qualify.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to get the most home insurance help after a winter storm. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on filing your taxes early and tapping into your home equity, 8 ways to take your credit card rewards to the next level in 2021, and how to get relief with your federally backed mortgages.

How to Get the Most Home Insurance Help After a Winter Storm
Talking to your insurer and documenting everything will help you manage and recover from serious storm damage.

Smart Money Podcast: Filing Taxes Early and Tapping Home Equity
Why you probably want to file your taxes sooner rather than later.

8 Ways to Take Your Credit Card Rewards to the Next Level in 2021
With some extra steps — like an inventory of your wallet, a chat with your issuer, and a willingness to track and stack — you can squeeze more value from points and miles.

How to Get Relief With Your Federally Backed Mortgages
There’s a new extension.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to turn unused credit card rewards into holiday gifts. Also in the news: Can college students booted for breaking COVID-19 rules get refunds, when to book your holiday travel, and how to get help from a food pantry.

How to Turn Unused Credit Card Rewards Into Holiday Gifts
You may be able to use rewards or credits to cover food, charitable donations, streaming services, exercise programs and more.

Can College Students Booted for Breaking COVID-19 Rules Get Refunds?
Be prepared for consequences, like suspension and lost financial aid, if you break your school’s COVID-19 rules.

Should You Book Holiday Travel Now or Later?
Booking your holiday travel early comes with more flexibility now than in past years.

How to Get Help From a Food Pantry
There’s no shame in needing help, especially right now.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Your 401(k) match may be in jeopardy. Here’s what you should do. Also in the news: What happens to your travel rewards if your airline goes bankrupt, how to upgrade your old car with new tech, and why your student loan Coronavirus forbearance is messing up your credit report.

Your 401(k) match may be in jeopardy. Here’s what you should do
Steps to take right now.

Airlines are on the brink of bankruptcy — what happens to your voucher, travel miles and airline credit card if they go belly up?
No guarantee of a refund,

Upgrade Your Old Car With New-Car Tech
You can get rid of those 8-track tapes.

Why Your Student Loan Coronavirus Forbearance Is Messing Up Your Credit Report
Scores are dropping as much as 50 points.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Credit cards that earn 2% cash back or more on purchases. Also in the news: Most Americans go mobile with payment apps, why you shouldn’t let your credit score define you, and the best tax preparation software of 2020.

Credit Cards That Earn 2% Cash Back or More on Purchases
Reward simplicity.

Most Americans Go Mobile With Payment Apps — Here’s How They Roll
Nearly 80% of Americans are using these apps.

Keeping (Credit) Score: Don’t Let a 3-Digit Number Define You
You are more than your credit score.

The best tax preparation software of 2020
NerdWallet ranks the options.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do when your first student loan payment is due. Also in the news: Van life reality check – 7 questions to shape your travels, why you should stop hoarding your credit card points and travel rewards, and how to spend less when you’re moving on short notice.

What to Do When Your First Student Loan Payment Is Due
Take a deep breath.

Van Life Reality Check: 7 Questions to Shape Your Travels
Do you really want to spend a week in the back of a van?

Why you should stop hoarding your credit card points and travel rewards
They depreciate in value.

How to Spend Less When You’re Moving on Short Notice
Asking for help is key.