Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should I pay for my hotel using cash, points or both? Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on fake reviews and saving too much, 5 travel writers draft their favorite airlines, and where to get relief if there isn’t a second stimulus check.

Should I Pay for My Hotel Using Cash, Points or Both?
Here’s how you can figure out which booking option offers the best value.

Smart Money Podcast: Fake Reviews and Saving ‘Too Much’
How to tell if that review is sincere.

5 Travel Writers ‘Draft’ Their Favorite Airlines
In the spirit of the popular sports-related pastime, we’ve created our own fantasy airline draft.

Where to Get Relief if There Isn’t a Second Stimulus Check
Look for aid locally.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Credit score drop? How to diagnose why and what to do next. Also in the news: Put off debt payments to start saving now, going contactless as a way to pay safer, and many unemployed people aren’t aware of all the relief they may qualify for during the pandemic.

Credit Score Drop? How to Diagnose Why, and What to Do Next
If you got a payment modification and saw a score drop, it’s tempting to think they’re related. They may not be.

Put Off Debt Payments to Start Saving Now
In uncertain times, it makes sense to prioritize building a cash reserve over paying down debt balances.

Looking for Safer Ways to Pay? Go Contactless
Contactless payments like mobile wallets, P2P apps and tap-to-pay cards are easy to use and help lessen risk of contagion.

Many unemployed people aren’t aware of all the relief they may qualify for during the pandemic
Take a look at what’s available.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to make a student loan complaint that gets results. Also in the news: How to keep your spirits up in the long game of saving, how ex-offenders can rebuild with a bank account, and these airlines will let you change your flight for free because of Coronavirus.

How to Make a Student Loan Complaint That Gets Results
Effective complaints.

How to Keep Your Spirits Up in the Long Game of Saving
Sticking it out.

How Ex-Offenders Can Rebuild With a Bank Account
How to start over.

These Airlines Will Let You Change Your Flight for Free Because of Coronavirus
Don’t forget to wash your hands.

Should you shift to a cash management account?

High-yield cash management accounts are popping up at brokerages nationwide, promising customers much better returns and higher insurance limits than they can get from traditional banks.

The accounts are a twist on the sweep accounts brokerages have long offered their customers, where idle cash is swept into a money market account or affiliated bank account so it can earn interest while waiting to be reinvested.

In my latest for the Associated Press, more on high-yield cash management accounts and how to decide if one is right for you.

How employers help workers save for rainy days

Everyone needs a rainy-day fund — your financial health depends on it. Your employer could help you build one.

Many companies offer 401(k)s and other retirement plans, but until recently few had programs to promote short-term savings. That’s starting to change, as employers experiment with matching funds, payroll deductions and other methods to encourage workers to build emergency funds.

In my latest for the Associated Press, see why employer-sponsored emergency savings accounts are beginning to gain traction.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What is a wealth tax and how does it work? Also in the news: Capital One rewards will soon be redeemable on Amazon.com, are TV’s really a good deal on Black Friday, and ways to avoid taking this season’s holiday debt into the next.

What Is a Wealth Tax and How Does It Work?
Looking at the difference between a person’s assets and liabilities.

Capital One Rewards Will Soon Be Redeemable Via Amazon.com
Just in time for the holidays.

Are TVs really a good deal on Black Friday?
Go big or stay home.

Ways To Avoid Taking This Season’s Holiday Debt Into The New Year
A few ways to save.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to rack up points and miles with everyday spending. Also in the news: What to buy and skip in October, how to catch up on your savings, and why consumer instant gratification can prove risky.

How to Rack Up Points and Miles With Everyday Spending
Piling up miles wherever you go.

October is the Month to Buy Jeans, Grills and More

Behind on Your Savings? You’re Not Alone
There’s time to catch up.

Consumer instant gratification can prove risky
Staying within your means.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Save more money for your next vacation with this simple trick. Also in the news: How LexisNexis identity mix-ups could be scrambling your finances, how to review your LexisNexis report and fix errors, and all the ways your credit card use reveals personal info.

Save More Money for Your Next Vacation With This Simple Trick
You won’t even miss the money.

LexisNexis Identity Mix-Ups Could Be Scrambling Your Finances
Your Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange could contain errors.

Check Yourself: How to Review Your LexisNexis Report and Fix Errors
Getting your information straight.

All The Ways Your Credit Card Use Reveals Personal Info
Privacy is a myth.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Green Dot launches 3% cash back and savings account. Also in the news: Apps that could prompt impromptu spending, how to avoid lifestyle creep, and how to financially plan for having kids.

Green Dot Launches 3% Cash Back and Savings Account
A new offering from Green Dot.

These Types of Apps Could Prompt Impromptu Spending
You don’t need any help spending money.

Don’t Let Lifestyle Creep Sneak Up on You
Staying in your lifestyle lane.

How to Financially Plan for Having Kids
They’re both cute and costly.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t let lifestyle creep sneak up on you. Also in the news: 7 steps to buying a house, do you need a tax ID number, and how to make sure you don’t lose your credit card rewards when closing the card.

Don’t Let Lifestyle Creep Sneak Up on You
Living within your means.

What Is a Tax ID Number, and Do I Need One?
Going beyond your Social Security number.

Home Buying Checklist: 7 Steps to Buying a House
Making an important list.

How to Make Sure You Don’t Lose Your Credit Card Rewards When You Close the Card
Reading the fine print.