Connect with us


10 ways you didn’t know your bank could save you money



More than just safe places to store your cash, banks are businesses — which means they offer customers products, services, and other perks you might not be aware of.

Depending on where you bank — and how long you’ve been banking there — you may be missing out on some great opportunities to save (or, in some cases, earn) money.

Curious about how you can take better advantage of all your bank has to offer? Here are a few things you may not know your bank can do for you.

Forgive overdraft fees

If you’ve ever overdrafted your checking account, then you know overdraft fees can be a source of major frustration. The good news is, most banks will waive fees like this if you ask.

“In cases where you have an overdraft or other unexpected fee on your account, always make sure to call your bank and discuss it,” suggests Lou Haverty, a certified financial advisor. “Explain that you weren’t expecting the fee, and let them know you were otherwise happy with the service you received. Many banks will give you a one-time fee waiver as a courtesy.”

Text banking

You probably already know that mobile banking makes a quick transfer or debit card balance check convenient — but text banking offers a whole separate level of ease that doesn’t require you to sign into an app.

Some banks offer the option of accessing account information, checking balances due on credit cards, and even transferring money between your accounts at that bank via secure text message.

If you have text banking, you may also be able to receive fraud alerts directly to your phone.

Help you pay off high-interest debts

There’s nothing worse than throwing money out the window on credit cards with excessive interest. If you’re drowning in high-interest debt, your bank may be able to help by offering you a personal loan at a lower rate.

Not only does consolidating credit card payments make paying off debt more convenient, you could also save a considerable amount of money on interest in the long run.

Match interest rates

Your local hardware store isn’t the only place that will match prices to keep you coming back. To retain customers, banks will often match or exceed a rate you receive elsewhere.

Haverty recommends getting at least two quotes whenever you plan to use a bank product, like a loan or credit card. Just go into the higher-priced bank and let your banker know you received a better option elsewhere.

Automate your savings

Automating savings is a great way to make a habit of investing. Whether you want to set up a $1 deposit into your savings every time you swipe your debit card or automatically transfer money from one account to another on a monthly basis, the majority of banks will accommodate your request for an automatic transfer, according to Kevin Panitch, founder of Just Start Investing.

Waive early withdrawal fees

If you have to withdraw early from a CD or pay a loan off early, most banks charge a penalty fee. But Rob Stephens, founder of CFO Perspective, says if a bank knows you can get a better CD or loan rate somewhere else, they’ll often be willing to waive fees to keep your business.

“Most bank staff really do want to provide you with the best rates and lowest fees. It pays to treat them respectfully and allow them to work with you to identify the best products and pricing for you,” Stephens says.

Lower your monthly payments

There’s no reason you should be penalized for going through a difficult time with your finances, and in many cases, your bank can help you set up a loan or credit card payment plan that works for you.

On top of waiving fees and forgiving penalties, finance coach Carlos Then says your bank can lower your monthly payments so they’re a bit more manageable. Some banks will also connect you with a credit counselor to talk through your credit card debt and options for repaying it.

Give you perks when you open an account

Looking for incentives when you open up an account? “Most banks offer extra perks and incentives if their employer has a pre-existing relationship with the bank,” says personal finance blogger Nermeen Ghneim. “This is known as WorkPlace Banking and can result in an additional $150 or more in your pocket.” Ask your banker if WorkPlace Banking is an option for you.

Allow you to freeze your debit card

While not as common, Ghneim says a few banks can offer you the ability to freeze your debit card and put limits on spending categories.

“This is an excellent feature for parents who want to get their children prepped for using credit cards but still enforce financial boundaries,” he says.

Provide free access to cultural attractions

Who knew you didn’t have to pay full price for museums, zoos, and aquariums? Some banks offer account holders free general admission to attractions on specific days of the month.

To learn more about admission perks (and all the other services your bank might have to offer), ask a banker at your local branch or call the bank’s customer service line.

Source link

Continue Reading


NMPA doubles damages sought against Peloton for stealing songs



Buzzy exercise bike startup Peloton has been accused of stealing many more songs than previously alleged in a lawsuit by a music publishers group.

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) originally filed a suit against Peloton in March, claiming Peloton had used over 1,000 songs in its virtual exercise classes without paying any license. Some of the songs mentioned in the lawsuit subsequently vanished, to the dismay of users.

Now the NMPA has filed an amended suit after claiming it found a further 1,200 infringing songs — upping the damages sought to $300 million, double the original figure of $150 million. Songs by Taylor Swift and Adele were among those added to the list, Forbes reported.

The NMPA told the Verge these songs were uncovered through legal discovery, and in a statement focused on classics by Ray Charles and The Beatles: “Newly discovered works include some of the most famous and popular songs ever recorded, such as “Georgia On My Mind,” “I Can See For Miles” and “I Saw Her Standing There,” a spokesman said.

Read more: Peloton, the fitness startup with a cultlike following, could go public at an $8 billion valuation. Insiders reveal why its business seems set to explode.

The amended lawsuit comes just ahead of Peloton’s planned IPO. After the initial suit was filed Peloton launched a countersuit accusing the NMPA of anticompetitive behavior, instigating a “coordinated effort” among its members to “fix prices and to engage in a concerted refusal to deal with Peloton.”

Peloton reiterated this position following this amended suit in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter: “NMPA has again revealed its anti-competitive objective in this matter. In March, NMPA requested an expedited trial schedule, to which Peloton readily agreed. On the eve of court-ordered mediation, NMPA sought to alter the optics around its lawsuit by filing exaggerated new claims prior to the mediation while also transparently timing its filing to capitalize on Peloton’s inability to publicly respond in detail during our quiet period.”

Peloton was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Business Insider. Business Insider was not immediately able to contact the NMPA.

You can read the NMPA’s updated complaint here:

Source link

Continue Reading


Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong to urge US to stop exporting tear gas



A Hong Kong activist who has become the face of the city’s pro-democracy movement is traveling to Washington, DC, to urge lawmakers to stop exporting Pennsylvania-made tear gas to Hong Kong police.

“It’s a must for the US government to stop the export of riot weapons to Hong Kong’s police force — especially tear gas and rubber bullets. All are used by Hong Kong’s police force and purchased in Pennsylvania,” Joshua Wong told Business Insider in an interview in New York City.

Hong Kong authorities have made international headlines in recent months following violent clashes with protesters. Police forces have often used non-lethal weapons such as rubber bullets, water cannons, and volleys of tear gas to disperse the immense crowds of protesters that have taken to the streets in recent months.

Images of the tear gas canisters have circulated on social media, showing labels revealing that the weapons were manufactured in Homer City, Pennsylvania, by the company Nonlethal Technologies.

Some US lawmakers have expressed outrage over the developments and announced a bill last week that would ban sales of riot-control equipment to Hong Kong authorities.

“In the last several weeks of protests, Hong Kong police have used tear gas extensively to disperse protesters. They have also used rubber bullets (including allegedly at close range) and beat protesters with batons, inconsistent with acceptable norms of treatment of civilians by law enforcement,” a bipartisan group of senators wrote in a September 10 letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The letter continued: “The United Kingdom has suspended licenses for export of such equipment to Hong Kong, and we believe similar steps by the United States are warranted.”

Activists have reported police brutality, beatings, and mass arrests — even of a child as young as 12

Anti-government protester throws back a tear gas canister fired by the police during a demonstration near Central Government Complex in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.
Associated Press/Kin Cheung

Protests in Hong Kong have raged throughout the summer, sparked by a proposed debate by the city’s Legislative Council over a controversial extradition bill that would have allowed authorities in mainland China to extradite residents for criminal trials.

Read more: The Hong Kong activist who became the face of the 2014 Umbrella Movement has been arrested in a new crackdown on protest leaders

Earlier this month, Hong Kong’s government withdrew the incendiary bill after months of protests. Still, activists, including Wong, said the move was ” too little, too late” and would press on with their demands that Hong Kong investigates incidents of police brutality against protesters, releases imprisoned activists, and holds fully democratic elections.

Wong, who was arrested by Hong Kong police two weeks ago, told Business Insider he has been treated relatively well in police custody compared to his fellow activists, some of whom have been jailed for lengthy terms or reported being beaten or brutalized in police custody.

A riot police officer fires tear gas during an anti-government demonstration near the Central Government Complex in Hong Kong, China, September 15, 2019.
Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

“No one loves to be jailed or hopes to be jailed, but the price I pay is really small compared to those spending six years in prison,” he said. “Because of [my] prominent status, they [have to] be more aware, be careful to deal with me.”

Read more: Hong Kong protesters have developed a sophisticated sign language to help in their months-long battle with police

Hong Kong police have arrested over 1,300 people on protest-related charges, according to Bloomberg— one of them as young as 12 years old.

The city’s authorities have defended their actions by accusing the protesters, in turn, of using violent tactics and weapons such as bricks, sticks, and gas bombs.

Source link

Continue Reading


US official: Saudi Arabia oil attack evidence points to Iran not Yemen



The attack on two major Saudi oil facilities that knocked out half of the country’s oil production appear to have come from Iran, a senior US official said, according to Reuters.

The Trump administration blamed Iran for the strikes that appeared to have been executed with cruise missiles, casting doubt on claims made by the Yemeni Houthi group that drones were used. Authorities in Tehran denied the accusation.

The Houthis previously claimed responsibility for the attack which left two refineries owned by state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco in flames.

The senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities. The damage signaled the attack came from the west-northwest direction of Iraq and Iran and not south from Yemen.

Saudi officials indicated that evidence suggested cruise missiles were used in the attack, the official said.

“There’s no doubt that Iran is responsible for this. No matter how you slice it, there’s no escaping it. There’s no other candidate,” the official told reporters, according to Reuters.

Read more: The world’s largest oil plant in Saudi Arabia was attacked ahead Aramco’s plans for the biggest IPO ever

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran shortly after the attacks were reported, saying on Twitter that it was “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” He also called on other nations to publicly condemn Iran for the attacks, as the US will work to make sure “Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”

The kingdom produces 9.8 million barrels of crude oil a day. The Khurais oilfield, the area that was identified in the strike, produces about 1% of the world’s oil and Abqaiq is the company’s largest facility that can process 7% of the global supply, according to the BBC business correspondent Katie Prescott.

The strike was expected to send oil prices from $5 to $10 per barrel on Monday.

The latest incident comes after a brief lull in US-Iran tensions after a summer during which a string of troubling incidents nearly triggered armed conflict between the two countries. Iran was previously blamed by Saudi Arabia and the US for attacks on two oil tankers in June and July, which authorities in Tehran denied.

Source link

Continue Reading