Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The pros and cons of airline credit cards. Also in the news: How to maximize your points and miles this holiday season, your car crash checklist, and how to maximize the tax benefits that come with medical expenses.

Are Airline Credit Cards Worth It?
The pros and cons.

How to Maximize Your Points and Miles This Holiday Season
Giving yourself a gift.

Your Car Crash Checklist: 6 Life- and Money-Saving Tips
What to do before and after.

Medical expenses come with tax benefits. Here’s how to maximize yours this year
The average American spends $17K on healthcare per year.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should you use miles to book holiday travel? Also in the news: How one woman paid off $51K of debt, 4 times it actually makes sense to buy miles, and what to do first when you get a raise.

Should You Use Miles to Book Holiday Travel?
Good idea? Or waste of rewards?

How I Ditched Debt: From ‘Extravagantly Broke’ to Comfortably Frugal
How one woman paid off $51K of debt in less than three years.

4 Times It Actually Makes Sense to Buy Miles
A few compelling reasons.

What to Do First When You Get a Raise
Don’t leave it to chance.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to buy a house without help from your family. Also in the news: What Walmart’s upgraded cards have in store for shoppers, the cheapest ways to fly to Disney World using points and miles, and how to boost your savings post-Fed interest rates cuts.

How to Buy a House Without Help From Your Family
Doing it on your own.

What Walmart’s Upgraded Cards Have In Store for Shoppers
Better perks are coming.

Cheapest Ways to Fly to Disney World Using Points and Miles
How to play the rewards game.

The Fed just cut interest rates. Here’s how to boost your savings
Time to shop around.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Baffled by points and miles? Let the 80/20 rule guide you. Also in the news: How to turn around car payment trouble, 7 ways to make your money last in retirement, and 8 ways to save on wedding gifts.

Baffled by Points and Miles? Let the 80/20 Rule Guide You
The Pareto principle.

Car Payment Trouble? How to Turn It Around
Taking back control.

7 Ways to Make Your Money Last in Retirement
Budgeting for the future.

8 Ways to Save on Wedding Gifts
Great presents that won’t break the bank.

5 travel rewards myths that could cost you

Twenty-four years ago, I knew so little about travel rewards that I took an around-the-world trip without signing up for a single frequent traveler program. Those lost points and miles still haunt me.

Fast forward to last summer, when our family stayed two nights at a luxury hotel in Venice, Italy. Our room would have cost an eye-popping €1,500, or about $1,700, per night. Thanks to the points I’d accumulated using a travel rewards credit card, this over-the-top stay was free.

There’s definitely a learning curve involved when it comes to travel rewards, but delaying your education can be costly if you love to travel. In my latest for the Associated Press, 5 travel reward myths to avoid.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Travel rewards can take you far – but only if you pay attention. Also in the news: How blind loyalty can cost you in the points and miles game, the states where tax bills have shrunk the most, and what to do if your credit card application was rejected.

Travel Rewards Can Take You Far – but Only If You Pay Attention
Don’t overestimate their value.

In the Points and Miles Game, Blind Loyalty Can Cost You
Keeping your rewards as rewarding as possible.

These are the states where tax bills have shrunk the most
Is yours one of them?

What to Do If Your Credit Card Application Was Rejected
Make sure your credit report is correct.