Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard and Hawaii Airlines

For the record, I am not a fan of credit cards that earn miles.  I’ve witnesses first-hand what my parents when through over the years with their American Airlines credit card with the limited number of seats allowed on any flight and the absurd things they needed to do to get the flights they wanted to Aruba over the Thanksgiving holidays year after year.


When my husband and I were returning from a trip to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines last year we heard about this great deal from Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard and decided to give it a try.  I thought the benefits would help me change the  negative perspective I’ve been harboring all these years from the American Airline’s credit cards.  I can tell you in a nut shell – it did not.


For the past year I was a member of Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard I did receive 35,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days and a special promotional 15,000 miles on top of that which got us 50,000 in total miles allowing us to save about $500 on or next trip from California to The Big Island.  We also were eligible for a one time 50% off discount towards a published round-trip coach fare for a companion ticket.  This was a one-time 50% off discount and was valid for 13 months from the date I opened my account.


I also received my first bag checked for free however, Hawaiian Airlines does not check you through for your full flight if you go from Oakland to Kona (The Big Island).  They count it as two flights (Oakland to Honolulu and then Honolulu to Kona) so I had the bag on my initial flight paid for ($25), but the bag on my second flight I had to pay $15 for, so the card does not save you from Hawaiian Airlines stupidity.


Unfortunately, after one year the perks on the Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard  virtually stop and then you have to pay $89 a year to keep the card which makes no sense to me from an economical point of view.


After one year, you do not receive any additional miles unless the primary card member spends at least $10,000 in Net Purchases within each anniversary year.  Once that amount has been spent, 5,000 bonus miles will be credited to your Hawaiian Miles account upon the card holder’s credit card account anniversary.  That is a far cry from the 50,000 you get the first year as a perk.


If you are looking to go to Hawaii, I highly recommend it.  You will love the island; any island you go to.  The sights are breathtaking.  If you are looking to use the Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard, I recommend to use it for one year for their first year perks and then cancel it as I did.


As a side note, I also do not recommend traveling on Hawaiian Airlines.  Their customer service, in my opinion, is probably the worst in the industry that I have ever come across.  This is not just my opinion.  I have spoken to many people who have flown with them and also looked on their Facebook page.  Their former customers feel similarly.  The flight attendants need customer service training or really need to be fired quite honestly.  I have made complaints from my last flight all the way up the line and the company doesn’t really care.  The airline will cancel flights and be very, very slow to credit your money back for those flights.  I am currently waiting on a credit for a flight they cancelled that is due to me from December 7, 2016 they have not credited me as of yet.


I won’t let how I feel about my flights on Hawaiian Airlines taint how I feel about Hawaii – it is a beautiful place to visit.  I just do not ever recommend flying Hawaiian Airlines.  If you do, you will be extremely disappointed.


When I closed my Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard  account last week there were no questions asked – I guess because so many people have been closing them they are used to it.  The people on the phone were very nice about it which was helpful.

CreditUpdates.com Partnering Up?

CreditUpdates.com, an online credit report service, has become partners with ScoreApprove to create a service for real estate agents and their potential customers. This seems like the right move considering both companies’ dedication to serving their consumers and sterling track record. It seems that the goal of the partnership is in developing a new set of tools to help both ends of the real estate sales spectrum. This in addition to their other services, which come free as part of the new offer, will be a worthwhile boon to any potential home buyers and agents alike.

Home Mortgage Lending on the Rise and Credit Requirements Eased

BoldLeads HousepaymentIn yet another sign of the overall health of the real estate marketplace, the Federal Reserve reported that home mortgage lending was on the rise among residential properties. The demand for home mortgage loans also increased, according to the report, which has a number of implications for real estate agents as well as for the buyers and sellers of homes. These factors led to banks easing the credit requirements for potential homebuyers, a positive development for those who may have been otherwise boxed out from the market by more stringent credit demands.

Given the increasing demand for residential mortgage lending, it is not at all surprising that a company such asBoldLeads would also experience increased demand from real estate agents for its lead generation services. Agents seeking to capitalize on the residential market’s growing strength are certainly wise to focus on efficient practices in all of their professional responsibilities, and lead generation conducted through BoldLeads certainly qualifies in terms of added efficiency.While the Federal Reserve reported positive developments in residential home lending, the same was not true for the commercial sector. In fact, commercial real estate loans saw a significant tightening of credit requirements, which may be the result of the need to mitigate risk and guard against the potential for loss in the bank’s lending practices. Even though the news regarding the commercial side of real estate is not nearly as encouraging, the increasingly stringent credit standards may only be an outlier or a temporary measure for risk mitigation.

Luke Weil Advocates for More Extensive Financial Education Programs

Luke Weil financial educationA recent report out of Costa Rica demonstrated the breadth of the economic impact stemming from a lack of adequate education regarding the use — or, perhaps more accurately, misuse — of credit cards, with the debt of Costa Ricans being equivalent to 3.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The country’s deputy minister of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), suggested that a lack of financial education focusing specifically on the use of credit cards may be part of the reason why Costa Ricans have taken on so much credit card debt in such a short period of time.

Luke Weil, an expert in economics, has been a longtime advocate for more extensive financial education programs across all ages and at all levels of schooling. It’s not difficult to understand why those who have not had the benefit of previous experience or education on matters of finance would not immediately recognize the adverse impact generated when one allows credit card debt to quickly accumulate, which is why so many finance experts have called for the expansion of education programs wherever possible.

It’s clear that educational programs concerning basic financial issues are needed both at home and abroad, and most experts agree that these programs would be beneficial regardless of geography or demography. In Costa Rica and the United States alike, the widespread availability of educational programs would promote more responsible spending and saving while generating an endlessly positive overall economic impact.

Randi Glazer Evaluates Day Trading Through Investors Underground


In recent months, there has been an increasing amount of discussion on the subject of day trading and the manner in which it is used by experienced investors to earn a comfortable living. Randi Glazer, a professional with a tremendous amount of insight and expertise that extends to a broad range of subjects, expressed a clear interest in learning more about day trading and the prospect of succeeding despite possessing only a relatively minimal amount of specific experience in this kind of investment strategy.

Through a membership with Investors Underground, Glazer was able to expand her knowledge base on the subject of day trading in relatively short order by taking full advantage of the many educational opportunities made available through the day trading community. She also learned quite quickly that she was hardly alone among those who joined Investors Underground and experienced such immediate success with nothing more than a working knowledge of day trading investment strategies.

Utilizing the daily scan sheets and following the strategic advice provided through the community forums, Randi Glazer was able to benefit in an immediate sense while continuing to broaden her knowledge base through the use of the training courses and webinars also provided by Investors Underground. In assessing her overall experience, Glazer indicated that while she felt it was advantageous to have some level of prior experience in day trading, it was not at all necessary given the manner in which Investors Underground supports its members through education.


Banks Raising Credit Card Limits for Some Customers

Bank credit card

Money may be more available to the average citizen as banks raise their caps on loans, borrowing limits, and financial packages for all clients. Recently, and for the first time in a few years, people have more money in their pockets and in their bank accounts. Banks are responding by taking slightly bigger risks, which is good news to those who have faced trouble with damaged credit, late payoffs and similar financial tarnish.

But not everyone is pleased by the news. Some worry that the move is a potentially insensitive attempt, as part of a pattern, to create new leads for business—a move that will leave most carriers with debts they cannot pay off. Interest rates are low (although “poised to rise”), and the labor market is healthy, making it easy for banks to take a more daring stance.

Some speculate that engorging the market with loan money will lead to banks making demands that simply cannot be met. In February, credit card companies reportedly accepted more than three-fourths of the appeals for loans, putting a lot of money in the hands of eager clients that show promise of paying off debts.

Those considered prime-quality candidates for loans at a mid-range credit level are now seeing a 90% approval rating for loans while subprime clients still suffer to get the loans they need. Banks maintain high interest rates for lower-level candidates, and many who have taken out loans are already struggling to juggle the many accounts and payments on their plate.

As a result, subprime clients are increasing demands for temporary checks to help pay off standing bills. In recent surveys, subprime clients were shown to have taken on the most loan-related debt. For this, banks remain somewhat inflexible with borrowing policies and customers who miss credit card payments or take years to pay off debt in minimal increments certainly do not entice banks to loosen their standards.

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Tax Returns Made Easy


TaxDueThe holidays are over, and as people are beginning to recover from end of the year spending many are looking forward to tax season. Yes, from middle of January until April collecting tax credits is at full force. Below are a few ways you can use these earnings to improve your personal finances, and bring yourself one step closer to financial security.

  1. Pay Your Debt

There aren’t too many people out there who are completely free of debt. Whether it’s your mortgage, credit card payments, and even loans for the younger generations, we all have some sort of payment that is due in the near future. Depending on the interest rate, paying off these balances will greatly benefit you in the future and eliminate extra charges, and credit card fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars at the end of the year.

  1. Replenish Your Savings Account

If immediate debt is not a part of your finances, one way to put your tax returns to good use would be by replenishing your savings account. End of the year spending can be a burden on most families, which means taking out more than expected from you SA. By adding this money, you are proving an emergency stash that can cover unexpected occurrences such as being laid off, medical expenses, and possible penalties that can truly set you back financially.

  1. Invest

This suggestion is mostly directed towards people who are already financially stable and can afford to invest a large sum into real estate, as well as are able to acquire additional expenses. One area one can invest would be real estate. Taking advantage of decreasing prices and low-interest loans could be a great way for anyone to purchase their own home. This is a great goal that can truly pay off in the future.

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Digital Products Are Changing The Landscape of Finance

digital finance

Finance, both personal and otherwise, has long been an esoteric field, its intricacies walled off from those on the outside. But the way people consume financial services is changing, with ever-expanding digital capabilities more and more accessible. Writing for TechCrunch, Pierre Brais, argues that the stranglehold that the old world of large financial institutions has on these services is rapidly eroding.

Brais, a venture capitalist and founder of Olocode, a digital business card sharing platform, sees the disruptive forces of the internet radically reshaping the way we purchase and consume financial products. This democratization, in Brais’s view, will lead to continued innovation and lower costs.

Consumer Trust

Prior to the financial crisis, consumers and regulators alike were wary of trusting new entrants into the financial sector. But since that time, trust has shifted away from the big banks. Brais points to the JOBS Act and the FSA restructuring the U.K. as just a few of the ways that the landscape has become easier for startups offering financial services. Ironically, many of those entrepreneurs who are putting these products to market are former employees of the big banks, who understand the limitations of the large corporations.

Money Going Digital

Mobile payments served as the first wave of digital financial products on platforms like Square or Braintree, but companies like Dwolla and TransferWise are pushing towards money transferring and foreign exchange. And with digital cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin gaining traction, consumers are showing clear signs that they are becoming more comfortable with keeping their money within the digital realm. Large banks can be slow to respond to this rapid level of evolution that we are seeing in the digital finance realm.

Digital Currency Can Obviate Big Banking

Some predict that the third wave of digital finance, digital currency, can make the big banks obsolete. While such a bold prediction still lies entirely within the realm of speculation at this point, what is clear is that digital banking and digital finance has a way of eroding the need for an intermediary between savers and lenders, the primary function of the banking system. Brais predicts that more and more customers will be empowered by the nimbleness and freedom afforded by digital financial products, making it harder and harder for big banks to maintain control over finance.

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Trend Fluctuations Among Credit Card Consumers

Fat Stacks

In a recent report, creditcards.com found that interest rates on new credit cards offers are the lowest they have been in the past 5 months. The current 15 percent interest rate has fallen from its  two-week streak of 15.09 percent. Credit card companies have also shown more leniency towards borrowers by giving them a second chance to receiving larger credit limits, despite their credit pasts.  

Late payments on credit cards have also decreased in recent years. This particular consumer trend is due to a widespread knowledge of understanding the consequences bad credit can have on your future, as well as stricter regulations on who is able to apply for a credit card. In addition to these changes, credit card companies have also developed scoring methods that can indicate which customers will have delayed payments, and which ones will pay on time.

The improvement of our economy is another factor of why consumers are now applying for more credit cards and consciously trying to improve their credit. Despite the willingness to purchase more big ticket items, the fear of acquiring additional debt is still present among Americans. As of late September 2014, total debt went up to 1.30 trillion dollars, including car loans, mortgage, and student loans. These statistics show that debt is present among diverse collective of age groups and communities.

The increase in debt has a positive correlation with the amount of credit cards that were opened this year. Since January 1st, the Federal Reserve’s reported a $ 22 billion increase in credit card balances across the board. The future of credit  cards depends on a few factors, starting from fluctuations in our economy, the uncertainty of the job market as well as constantly increasing college tuitions. In turn, this will prompt credit card companies to respond accordingly by changing interest rates and raining credit card limits.

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Avoiding Credit Card Debt As a Recent Graduate

credit card

A recent article in the New York Times delves into the changing trends among the younger generations and their dissociation with credit cards and the crippling debt that follows. FICO,  one of the largest analytic software companies in the US, conducted a study aimed at understanding the decline of credit card usage among the ages of 18-29. They found that from 2005-2099 there was a 7% decrease in credit card purchases.  The study also recognized that older generations are relying less on credit cards, but not with such drastic numbers.

These changes in consumerism have contributed to reductions of the average credit card payments, which dropped from $3,073 to $2,087 in late October of 2013. Despite these changes in credit card debt, this generation is experiencing a devastating increase in loans, which have almost doubled in the past decade. Another reason this age group prefers to use debit cards which make it easier to face for them to face their debts and live comfortably.

There are a few reasons behind the declining trends of credit card usage. In 2009,  the introduction of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act was introduced to the public, and it added amendments requiring applicants to have a stable income stream, which in turn made it more difficult for younger people to become approved for credit cards.

Spending habits among younger generations have also changed due to the Great Recession, and their inability to work full time after finishing school. Financial burdens, such as loans and increasing living standards across the US have made young consumers become aware of the overall economy struggles and their personal financial shortcomings.

Many financial analysts believe that without credit cards this age group will have a difficult time building credit and purchasing future big ticket items such as, a car or a home. However, for those who still cannot afford credit cards, there are other ways to acquire credit. For example, making your regular loan payments on time, and signing up for bills in your own name can help you slowly create a solid credit history. These simple exercises can place students and recent graduates in a good place with their future finances, without rushing into unnecessary credit card debt.

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