Archive for Credit Card

Is a Honeywell Bid for JDA Software Imminent?

Rumors that Honeywell (NYSE: HON) was discussing the acquisition of supply-chain software firm JDA Software first surfaced on Aug. 8, according to “people familiar with the matter.” Word had it the price being considered was about $3 billion, including JDA Software’s $2 billion plus in debt.

Neither Honeywell, JDA Software, nor its largest shareholder, New Mountain Capital, are commenting. However, the latest murmurings suggest an announcement confirming the deal could come as early as Monday. Though Honeywell is widely known as an industrial conglomerate, bringing JDA Software into the fold would be in line with CEO David Cote’s expressed plans to expand his company’s suite of software-driven manufacturing and supply chain solutions.

Just last month, Honeywell announced a $1.5 billion deal to buy supply-chain and warehouse-automation software provider Intelligrated. And according to Cote, half of Honeywell’s 23,000 engineers are already focused on developing software. Though JDA Software, with its significant debt load, may not seem the most attractive of acquisitions — it was recently downgraded by Moody’s due to “risk of impairment” unless it reduced debt or found a capital infusion — there’s no faulting Cote’s decision to enhance Honeywell’s manufacturing-related technologies.

The manufacturing industry has been one of the earliest adopters of Internet of Things solutions, and is expected to lead the charge as the world becomes increasingly connected. Of the four industries expected to generate over half the estimated $14.4 trillion in annual sales IoT will account for by 2022, manufacturing’s 27% share is head-and-shoulders above the 11% retail will garner, and three times that of information services and the finance and insurance industry’s projected 9% shares. …read more

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Category: HON

Pick the best travel credit card like a pro

 

Travel rewards have become about much more than just earning airline miles, and if you’ve been carrying the same card for years, you might be missing out on better rewards for the same or lower fee as banks and airlines fight for your business.

If you don’t want to think much, and just want one card with a good offer, a comparison site like MileCards.com will let you enter your spending habits and tell you which cards earn you the most miles, or you can browse a list of the best travel credit cards.

But travel pros who have racked up millions of miles diversify their loyalty to reap the most rewards.

Gary Leff, an air travel expert who writes the View From the Wing blog, suggests three reasons to get a card. The first reason is the sign on bonus, which can offer significant value. The second is to take advantage of perks offered by the card, including free bags and priority boarding. And third, you should use a card that lets you rack up miles most quickly based on your spending pattern.

Very few cards offer do all three of these things well, so experts often hold more than one credit card to get the most out of things.

For example, many of the airline branded cards offer a first free checked bag. If you tend to use the same airline a couple times a year and check a bag, you can save the annual fee in bag fees, plus get perks like priority boarding. But these cards rarely offer you the most miles for every dollar you spend.

Instead, consider putting your spending on a card that earns transferable points, while keeping the airline card for the perks.

Transferable points are a favorite of Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy blog. They let you book travel two ways. First, you can transfer them into real airline miles with several airlines. Second, you can choose to use them like cash to book flights on any airline.

That makes them really flexible – you can add to the miles you’ve earned by flying, or you can use them like cash if you don’t want to deal with the rules of airline miles for a trip. Chase, American Express, and Citibank each have cards that offer transferable points. Many offer special bonuses on spending categories like dining and gas, so they can earn points more quickly than a single airline card.

Regardless of what card you choose – get to know the benefits. Many travel credit cards offer coverage that’s similar to the travel insurance airlines and travel agencies will try to sell you. You could be reimbursed if you need to cancel a trip because you get very ill, or get covered for a hotel if your flight gets delayed. There’s no extra charge – just book your flight with the card to activate the coverage. These benefits aren’t …read more

Read more here: Pick the best travel credit card like a pro

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5 ways to skip long airport lines

If TSA lines aren’t enough, there’s another summer travel delay to worry about. According to a recent study of Federal data, June and July are the worst months of the year for passport checkpoint waits returning to the U.S.

Some airports have average wait times of over 30 minutes, and maximum wait times often top out at around an hour or more.

But there are new ways around this and other airport delays that can save you aggravation.

Get Mobile Passport Control. This is an app officially authorized by the Department of Customs and Border Protection, which lets you use special passport checkpoint lanes with no paperwork involved. This is the simplest, and sometimes most effective way to cut down on passport checkpoint waits. It’s free, there’s no advance registration needed, and everyone in your family can use it. Download it and you’ll be able to skip the congested passport and customs lines at some of the busiest airports.

If you fly a lot, consider Global Entry. Global Entry, a trusted traveler program, is more involved than Mobile Passport Control because it requires an in-person interview and a $100 application fee. The benefit is it gets you both priority at passport checkpoints and regular domestic security lines via TSA Pre Check. It’s also available at more airports than Mobile Passport Control.

Some credit cards will reimburse you the cost of TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees. You probably don’t want to get a card just to offset the fee, because most of the cards that offer the benefit have annual fees of their own. Better to pick a travel credit card based on your spending habits.

Pay up for priority once. Some airlines let you pay a fee to get access to priority security and boarding lanes. And you can buy it right up until check-in via mobile apps, kiosks, or online checkin. So if you get to the airport, and lines look hopeless, the fee might help you make your flight.

Become a SkyMiles member. Delta SkyMiles members get discounted membership to CLEAR, which is a private service that offers expedited biometric security clearance at several airports. Instead of paying $179 a year, SkyMiles members pay $99, and anyone can become a SkyMiles member for free.

Try a different terminal. If lines are really bad at one terminal, consider another in the same airport. Many big airports let you clear security in a different terminal than the one you’re departing. Some terminals are connected behind security, while others have shuttles running in between, If you’re facing an hour plus wait at your terminal, it may be worth the walk to a terminal with little or no wait.

RELATED: 9 of the best airports to kill time in

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Category: bonds, cloud, computers, data, dell, earnings, earnings season, healthcare, nasdaq, nyse, oil prices, stock market, stocks, utilities, wall street, csx, nj, jnj, tast, intc, jpm, fast, gs, bac, ge, lly, wfc, c, unh, emc, tri

3 steps to an excellent credit score

 

An excellent credit score can unlock low interest rates on mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. In many states, a good score is also the key to lower auto insurance premiums. Although there are hundreds of credit scores out there, FICO remains the industry standard and isn’t shy about telling people how to improve their scores. If you want to have an excellent score, you should follow these three steps.

Always Pay On Time

The single most important part of your credit score is making payments on time. Even a single missed payment that becomes thirty days late could take 90 points or more from your credit score. Banks use credit scores to predict whether or not you will make payments on time in the future. It should not be surprising that the most important part of a score is how often you have made payments on time in the past.

To make sure you never run the risk of missing a payment, sign up for automatic payments with your creditors. By automating your monthly payments, you can ensure that you avoid a big, unexpected hit to your score.

In addition, be particularly careful with your medical bills. If you don’t pay your doctor or hospital bill on time, it could quickly end up with a collection agency and on your credit report. Even a small medical bill can have a big negative impact on your score.

Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low

The second most important part of your credit score is the total amount of debt that you have. FICO tends to treat some debt as good debt, and other debt as bad debt. Mortgages, auto loans and student loans are considered good debt. Credit card debt is considered bad debt. In particular, you can lose a ton of points if you max out your credit cards.

FICO uses a measure called “utilization” to determine how risky you are. You calculate utilization by dividing your current statement balances on all of your credit cards by your credit limits. If you have $10,000 of credit limits and a $1,000 balance, your utilization would be 10%.

In general, people with the best credit scores have a utilization ratio of 10% of lower. To keep your utilization low, you should pay down credit card balances and avoid closing old credit card accounts. If you close an unused credit card, you will be reducing your credit limit and increasing your utilization.

Feed Your Score With “Good” Activity Every Month

Do you remember your days in elementary school, when you would get a “gold star” for a job well done? Your goal with your credit score is to accumulate as many “gold stars” as possible. And that means using a credit card each month responsibly. Ideally, you will use less than 10% of your available credit with transactions each month. You will then pay your statement balance on time and in full every month. By doing that, you are showing that you …read more

Read more here: 3 steps to an excellent credit score

Category: bonds, cloud, computers, data, dell, earnings, earnings season, healthcare, nasdaq, nyse, oil prices, stock market, stocks, utilities, wall street, csx, nj, jnj, tast, intc, jpm, fast, gs, bac, ge, lly, wfc, c, unh, emc, tri

How Credit Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

By Wise Bread

Have you noticed inquiries on your credit report? Not sure what they mean? Soft and hard inquiries are the result of potential creditors assessing your credit report after you’ve applied for things such as a credit card, mortgage, or car loan. Hard and soft inquiries each affect your credit differently. Read on to learn more:

What Are Soft Inquiries?

Soft inquiries typically occur when your credit report is pulled for a background check. This can occur when you are applying for a new job, getting pre-approved for lending offers, and even when you check your own credit score.

While they will usually show up on your credit report, this isn’t always the case. Plus, they won’t affect your credit score, so you don’t need to be concerned about them.

What Are Hard Inquiries?

Hard inquiries occur when a lender pulls your credit report to make a lending decision. This takes place most commonly when you apply for a loan, credit card, or mortgage. However, there are other reasons that your credit may reflect a hard inquiry, such as when you request a credit limit increase. They can, in some cases, lower your FICO score by one to five points and can remain on your credit report for up to two years. Typically, the more hard inquiries on your credit report, the likelier it is to affect your score.

Multiple hard inquiries in a short period of time can cause significant damage to your credit. When multiple hard inquiries come through at once, the credit bureaus assume you are desperate for credit or can’t qualify for the credit you need. Any future creditors may also take this information and assume that you are a high risk borrower, which will reduce your chances of getting the credit you need. In fact, according to myFICO, people with six hard inquiries or more on their credit are up to eight times as likely to file for bankruptcy, compared to people with no inquiries – meaning that more inquiries usually means greater risk.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are certain instances that are gray areas, which may result in a soft or hard inquiry depending on the situation (such as when you rent a car or sign up for new cable or Internet service). If you aren’t sure about whether your actions will result in a soft or hard inquiry, you can simply ask the financial institution you are requesting financing from.

Another exception is when you are rate shopping. Generally, your FICO score will only record one single inquiry within a 14-45 day period if you are shopping for the best mortgage, auto loan, or student loan rates. By doing all of your shopping for the same type of loan within a two-week span, you can reduce the effect on your credit.

Disputing an Unauthorized Inquiry

If a hard inquiry occurred without your permission, you may be able to dispute it. This can be done by calling or writing the creditor and asking them to remove the unauthorized hard inquiry from your credit …read more

Read more here: How Credit Inquiries Affect Your Credit Score

Category: credit score, economy, hard inquiry, soft inquiry

11 Overlooked Credit-Card Perks

By Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner…

Rewards points and cash back are only some of the benefits of paying with plastic. Here are 11 little-known benefits that cardholders can take advantage of — from extended warranties on items you purchase with your cards to free admission to museums. See what your card can do for you.

Extended Warranties

Before you pay extra to extend the warranty of a product you buy, check to see whether your credit card offers additional coverage free. The four major credit card networks — Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express — provide up to a year of extended warranty protection for some cardholders. To be covered, an item must be purchased with your credit card and must have an existing manufacturer’s warranty. Coverage typically is limited to $10,000 per item.

Price Matching

If you use a credit card to buy an item that later goes on sale, your credit card might pay you back the difference. For example, Citi cardholders who register purchases they make with their cards will receive the difference in price if Citi finds the same item for less within 60 days of purchase. Discover will refund the difference up to $500 if you find a lower price within 90 days; MasterCard will reimburse cardholders who find a lower price on an item within 60 days of purchase.

Coverage for Damaged or Stolen Products

Several card issuers will repair or replace items you charge to your card that are damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of credit card comparison site LowCards.com. And if a retailer will not accept a return within 90 days of purchase, some cards, such as Chase Sapphire and all Discover cards, will reimburse you for the cost of the item purchased with your card.

Rental-Car Insurance

Most major credit cards offer secondary rental car insurance, picking up costs that aren’t covered by your personal auto insurance policy if your rental is wrecked or stolen. Declining the damage waivers offered at the rental car counter could save you $15 to $25 a day.

Because coverage varies, even among cards within the same network, call your credit card issuer before you rent the car. In general, you must use the credit card to book the rental, and you must decline the collision damage waiver when you rent the car. Ask the issuer whether it will cover “loss of use” — the cost the rental car company incurs while the vehicle you rented is being repaired (or, in the case of theft, relocated). Be aware, too, that your credit card may not provide coverage in some overseas countries. For example, American Express excludes cars rented in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand.

Cell Phone Replacement

Replacing a damaged or stolen cell phone could cost you hundreds of dollars. Some credit card issuers will cover the cost of purchasing a new phone, as long as you use the card to pay your cell phone bills. First Citizens …read more

Read more here: 11 Overlooked Credit-Card Perks

Category: credit cards, economy, money, personal finance, rewards, spending

7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have

By Tim Lemke …

You’re in your 30s now. If you’re finally looking to get settled in your financial life, you may want to consider ways to build wealth over the long term. But that checking account alone isn’t gonna cut it. It’s time to examine the options out there for someone in their 30s who finally has a little bit of money to invest.

Here are seven essential investment accounts all 30-somethings should have.

1. 401K, If Available to You

If you’re employed full-time, your company may offer a retirement plan that gives you access to a number of mutual funds and other investments, plus the great tax advantages that come with it. Under a 401K, 403B, or similar plan, contributions are deducted from your pre-tax income, and most employers will match a certain percentage of what you put in. Now that fewer employers are offering pensions, the 401K has become the primary vehicle for saving for retirement. Pumping cash into this account while you’re still relatively young gives your investments plenty of time to rise in value and give you a sizable nest egg. Even better, your investment is tax-deferred until you begin making withdrawals.

2. Traditional IRA

You don’t necessarily need a traditional Individual Retirement Account if you have a 401K with an employer match. But if you have 401K from an old employer, it might make sense to roll it into an IRA, because you have a much broader choice of investments to choose from – many with lower fees. With an IRA, you can invest in practically anything, including individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and even commodities. Traditional IRAs are also great for people who are self-employed or otherwise don’t have access to a 401K. Like a 401K, your contributions are deducted from your taxable income. You can open an IRA at most discount brokers such as Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, and E*TRADE.

3. Roth IRA

This account is a little bit like a 401K in reverse. The tax advantage is on the back end, when you can withdraw money upon retirement without paying tax on the earnings. That’s because contributions to a Roth IRA come from earnings after tax, unlike 401Ks, which draw on pre-tax income. Under a Roth IRA, you can contribute up to $5,500 annually, and you can withdraw contributions (but not your gains) before retirement age without paying a penalty.

4. Taxable Brokerage Account

While your main focus should be investing in tax-advantaged accounts that are designed for retirement, it’s good to have some investments available in this type of account due to the flexibility. You don’t need to wait until retirement age to access funds in this account, for one thing. That means you can use it to boost your income now, through the sale of stock or the gain of dividends. If you hold on to investments in a taxable account for a long time (generally over a year), you’ll pay only the long-term capital gains tax (mostly likely 15%) …read more

Read more here: 7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have

Category: 30s, 401ks, budgeting, economy, investments, IRAs, personal finance, savings

Mortgage Rates Higher After Jobs Report

Mortgage rates moved only moderately higher today after the Employment Situation report came out much stronger than expected. The all-important jobs data showed payroll growth of 242k in February compared to a median forecast of 190k. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent despite more people joining or re-entering the labor force. Economic data is one of the most important cues for the bond markets that underlie mortgage rates. Stronger data tends to put upward pressure on rates and today’s was no exception. That said, today’s movement wasn’t especially bigger than any other day spent moving higher over the past week. Indeed, rates were likely able to avoid a sharper move for precisely that reason: they’ve been consistently moving higher. The most prevalent conventional 30yr fixed …read more

Read more here: Mortgage Rates Higher After Jobs Report

Category: currency, dollar, economy, federal reserve, gas prices, inflation, interest rates, janet yellen, job market, jobs, monetary policy, oil prices

3 Specialty Retailers in New Uptrends (ANF, KORS)

By Alan Farley
These retailers have risen to the top of the heap, assuming leadership roles in a challenging environment.

Let’s look at three top-performing specialty retailers that should add to recent gains in coming months. It’s best to focus on the strongest plays when buying this group, given volatile crosswinds impacting industry sentiment and sales growth. Many of these storefronts have failed in their efforts to expand brick and mortar operations into e-commerce and digital sales, giving up market share to more tech-savvy rivals. Those declines are likely to accelerate in coming years, given the millennial generation’s adaptation to all things Internet.

However, these adults and their adolescent siblings have fickle tastes as well, supporting one clothing and accessory style for years and then abandoning it for another style. Fortunately, the sector’s leadership reflects these transitions as well, allowing market players to identify the most profitable opportunities without understanding the aesthetics of modern fashion trends.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) entered a steep downtrend in 2011 after failing to break out above the 2007 all-time high in the lower 80s. The decline unfolded in multiple trend waves over a four-year period, dropping the stock to a six-year low at 16.36 in August 2015. A strong bounce off that level has gained momentum in the last few months, lifting price above the 50- and 200-day EMAs in a new uptrend.

 

…read more

Read more here: 3 Specialty Retailers in New Uptrends (ANF, KORS)

Category: ANF, KORS, PLCE

Boeing May Have Entered a Bear Market (BA)

Boeing price action since 2014 raises odds the multi-year uptrend has come to an end.

Boeing Co. (BA) is currently the third-weakest component in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after a severe decline dropped the aerospace manufacturer nearly 50% in less than three months. Worries about lower demand for new aircraft drove the majority of the decline, while pricing pressures and a slowing rate of older aircraft retirement added to the downside.

Can Seattle’s biggest employer shake off months of selling pressure and resume its upward trajectory or has the long uptrend finally ended, raising the odds for significantly lower prices in coming years? For bulls, what price levels will sound the “all-clear” for long positions and, for bears, where are the most profitable short sale entry points?

The long-term pattern shows a four-year advance that peaked at 108 in July 2007, giving way to a steep decline that bottomed out in the upper 20s in March 2009. The subsequent uptrend carved two multi-year rally waves, with the first buying impulse ending in 2010 in the mid-70s. It then entered a trading range with support in the upper 50s, remaining within those narrow boundaries into a powerful 2013 breakout.

The stock returned to the 2007 high in July 2013 and broke out two months later, lifting quickly to 145, where it dropped into another trading range. This consolidation lasted until February 2015, giving way to a final buying spike above 150 that may have ended the multiyear uptrend. It’s taken two steps down since that time, in vertical impulses that have broken intermediate support levels…read more

Read more here: Boeing May Have Entered a Bear Market (BA)

Category: BA

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