Marriott Hotel Rewards Program – Make Your Stays Worth More – A Review

In addition to credit cards that offer hotel rewards, there are a number of hotel chains that offer their own reward programs.

One of them that offers the flexibility to earn either hotel points or air mile points is Marriott Rewards.

Marriott Rewards are accrued at 10 points per dollar spent (or 2 air mile points per dollar) at Marriott and JW Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, Edition, Autograph Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, and Marriott Vacation Club International.  Other hotels that earn 5 points per dollar spent or 1 air mile point include Residence Inn, and TownePlace Suites, among others.  Qualifying hotels are found in 68 countries.

Signing up for Marriott Rewards is quite simple; you are required to give basic information such as your name, address, and e-mail address.  When you sign up, you can choose if you would like to accrue your points to earn free hotel stays or as air mile rewards.Continue Reading

Kids & Money – The Financial Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

Changes you can do to teach financial literacy to kids

For those of us with kids, we hope to pass down certain traits—good looks, agility, perfect vision, smarts, business savvy. But what of our money management skills?  Financial finesse rarely makes it onto our list of personal strengths, yet it’s a crucial life skill everyone needs to acquire.  A Charles Schwab 2010 Families and Money survey found that “not saving early enough for retirement (43%), not saving money for emergencies (42%) and carrying credit card debt from month to month (30%) [were] cited as the top three financial mistakes [parents] fear their kids will repeat.”  Don’t let your kids make your same mistakes or fall into that ever-growing percentage of 18-24 year-olds who file for bankruptcy.

Here are 4 simple things to do differently (or start doing) as a parent, to ensure your kids gain financial awareness from an early age and build responsible habits.

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5 Things You Should Know About Filing a Tax Extension

Tax Day seems to be suddenly staring you in the face.

You’ve known for a while that it’s been coming, but it still takes you by surprise.

If you can’t seem to track down the documentation that you need, or if you are uncertain that you will be able to file by Tax Day (April 17 in 2012), you may want to file for an extension.

Just about anyone can file for an extension using Form 4868.  You can even file this form electronically.  It’s convenient, and you get an extra six months to prepare your tax return.

However, it is important to note that it’s not as simple as filing some paperwork.

Here are some things you should know about filing a tax extension:
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Bankruptcy – What it is, When it’s Used, and How it Works – Adapted from Debt Free for Life

Debt Free for Life

I had the pleasure of receiving a publisher’s copy if David Bach’s latest book Debt Free for Life – The Finish Rich Plan for Financial Freedom. Rather than give a general overview of the book, I’m going to talk about chapter 14 – How Bankruptcy Works, When to Use it, How Long it Will Take to you to Recover.

Bankruptcy is pretty much a last ditch effort to help save your financial situation (and perhaps your overall health and life).  The hope is that no one will ever need to know about bankruptcy but the truth is over a million and a half people in 2010 will file for personal bankruptcy.
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Brokers Should be Legally Liable to Act in the Best Interest of Their Customers

A little while back the S.E.C. recommended that stock brokers be required to act as fiduciaries. This would mean they would have to act in the best interest of their customers.  The New York Times reviewed the salient issues on their Bucks Blog.

We think this is a no-brainer: OF COURSE brokers should act in the best interest of their customers – and they should be legally liable if they do not.
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Planning on Buying a House? Put in the Legwork First!

buying a house

So you want to buy a house?  That’s awesome!  Congratulations.  But are you ready to buy a house? Have you done your research and legwork to find out the best house in the best neighborhood for you?  I’m talking about all the other little things that influence your buying decision and the neighborhood you pick.  Read on to see what I’m talking about.

Here are steps you need to take to put in the legwork of buying a house (in no particular order):

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Choice Privileges Hotel Reward Program – A Review

We are all familiar with travel rewards credit cards, but there are also reward programs offered by hotels themselves. If you are going to have to stay in a hotel, why not earn rewards for doing so?  Recently I joined Choice Privileges.

Where Points Are Earned

Choice Privileges rewards are accrued at 10 points per dollar spent at Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Ascend Collection and Cambria Suites hotel.  Choice Privileges are accrued at 5 points per dollar spent at MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn hotels.

Qualifying hotels are found in the U.S. including Hawaii, Canada, Caribbean/Mexico, Central/South America, Europe, Asia & Pacific.

Signing up for Choice Privileges can be done in less than five minutes.  You are required to give basic information such as your name, address, and e-mail address.  You can optionally give more information such as your birthday, phone number and credit card information.
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