Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Need a passport for a trip? Give yourself a big time cushion. Also in the news: How to avoid getting sick on a plane, what to buy (and skip) in September, and how to minimize credit damage from medical bills.

Need a Passport for a Trip? Give Yourself a Big Time Cushion
If you don’t pay fees for expedited service, you can expect to wait 18 weeks or more for a new or renewed passport.

How to Avoid Getting Sick on a Plane
Traveling can increase your risk of getting sick, but there are steps you can take to mitigate exposure.

What to Buy (and Skip) in September 2021
Plan accordingly.

How to Minimize Credit Damage From Medical Bills
Keeping what you owe out of the hands of debt collectors.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should you pack your COVID-19 vaccine card for your next trip? Also in the news: A Travel Nerd on Basic Economy, 4 cash-raising pitfalls, and what to do if you haven’t received your child tax credit.

Should You Pack Your COVID-19 Vaccine Card for Your Next Trip?
Travelers likely won’t need to prove their vaccination status for most trips, but there are some exceptions.

Ask a Travel Nerd: What’s the Deal With Basic Economy?
Every airline has different rules, but you usually can’t change or cancel basic economy fares.

4 Cash-Raising Pitfalls (and Better Options)
When you need cash fast, stop briefly to understand which options can hurt you more in the long term.

What to Do If You Haven’t Received Your Child Tax Credit
Don’t panic just yet.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Crypto-earning credit cards are all the rage – but should you buy in? Also in the news: As travel rebounds, credit cards can unlock perks from a bygone golden age, the pros and cons of becoming your own boss, and all the states offering vaccine rewards.

Crypto-Earning Credit Cards Are All the Rage — But Should You Buy In?
The crypto curious might benefit, but most people will likely do better with a traditional rewards credit card.

As Travel Rebounds, Credit Cards Can Unlock Perks From Bygone Golden Age
A flood of pent-up demand is about to hit airports and hotels. The right credit card can help you hark back to travel’s heyday by dodging some of the lines, the noise and the fees.

Should You Become Your Own Boss?
The pros and cons.

All the States Offering Vaccine Rewards (Including Cash)
See what your state is offering.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to create financial stability in shaky times. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on picking the best investing platform and reducing taxes, the Points Nerd on how travel could change after the pandemic, and good money habits that can hurt your credit.

How to Create Financial Stability in Shaky Times
It’s not just about cash flow.

Smart Money Podcast: Reducing Taxes, and Picking the Best Investing Platform
Finding the best platform to suit your needs.

Ask a Points Nerd: How Could Travel Change After the Pandemic?
Here are some predictions for travel trends that could become permanent post-pandemic.

Good Money Habits That Can Hurt Your Credit
Sometimes having a balance is a good thing.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Are cash management accounts safe? Also in the news: 6 items to add to your packing list for COVID-era travel, 5 myths about high-yield savings accounts during COVID-19, and how to talk about debt as newlyweds.

Are Cash Management Accounts Safe? How CMAs Protect Your Money
What to know about FDIC insurance.

6 Items to Add to Your Packing List for COVID-Era Travel
You don’t want to leave home without some of these less obvious items for travel.

5 Myths About High-Yield Savings Accounts During COVID-19
Mythbusting.

How to Talk About Debt as Newlyweds
Starting with a clean slate.

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.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: New ways to get more for your old car. Also in the news: How the pros ride market volatility – and why you shouldn’t, if your travel plans are up in the air should you cancel your rewards card, and how the new eviction ban may impact you.

New Ways to Get More for Your Old Car
Online buyers make offers in minutes — a safety net for car shoppers wondering what their trade-in is really worth.

How the Pros Ride Market Volatility — and Why You Shouldn’t
Professionals try to harness the spikes and slumps, but most investors should stick with diversification.

If your travel plans are up in the air should you cancel your rewards card?
Not so fast.

How the new eviction ban may impact you
A new reprieve.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How hotel prices changed in 2020 vs. 2019. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney Podcast on emergency loans and the perks of buying local, what to know about EFTs and adding them to your portfolio, and what to do if you receive an unpaid notice from the IRS.

Analysis: How Have Hotel Prices Changed in 2020 vs. 2019?
Hotel prices have dipped significantly.

Smart Money Podcast: Buying Local, and Emergency Loans
How to help local businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

What are ETFs and why you should consider them for your portfolio
Many investments wrapped in a single package.

What to Do if You Receive an Unpaid Notice From the IRS
Don’t panic.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why taking Social Security early costs too much. Also in the news: Student loans still cover living costs with classes online, why you should renew your passport right now, and how millennials and Gen Z are using TikTok to learn about personal finance.

Why Taking Social Security Early Costs Too Much
Longer lifetimes make the penalty for taking Social Security early, and the reward for delaying, too high.

College Going Online? Student Loans Still Cover Living Costs
Your cost of attendance might be different if you’re learning remotely due to COVID-19.

Why you should renew your passport right now
Try to beat the long lines.

How millennials and Gen Z are using TikTok to learn about personal finance
Sharing tips they didn’t learn in school.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do when your $600 weekly unemployment check expires. Also in the news: Which hotels have handled COVID-19 the best, how COVID-19 is changing the way families save for college costs, and the U.S. Mint asks for help getting coins back in circulation.

What to Do When Your $600 Weekly Unemployment Check Expires
The $600 pandemic assistance ends this week.

Which Hotels Have Handled COVID-19 the Best?
Grading hotel brands on their health and social distancing policies, along with their flexibility on bookings.

How COVID-19 Is Changing the Way Families Save for College Costs
Shifting priorities.

U.S. Mint asks for help getting coins back in circulation
The Mint wants your couch change.