The gig may be up! Premium reward credit cards are falling out of favor with banks. Popular with consumers, the points-rich cards are a “financial albatross” for financial institutions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Banks had reasoned that by offering lucrative rewards, they would encourage consumers to spend more and accumulate interest and fees, yet points-savvy consumers have “figured out how to game the system” — spending enough to earn sign-up bonuses and paying on time to avoid fees, per the Journal.
Reward credit cards are one of the most popular kinds of plastic we carry today, especially as the desire for balance transfer deals and the like continues to fade. Consumers used to focus on how they could save money by shifting credit card debt around, but now more and more they are looking to profit from their card use, or at least to benefit in some way from their everyday spending habits. This change of emphasis has led to a vast increase in the number of rewards and cashback cards on the market, but where do affinity cards fit into the picture?
At its simplest, an affinity card is one which identifies the cardholder with a particular company, organization, or field of interest. The card will generally have a visual design to reflect this link, and will also offer some benefit related to the affinity topic in question. A good example is a hotel chain affinity card. If a credit card account holder travels a lot on business or for pleasure, and has a favorite chain of hotels to stay in, then a credit card linked to these hotels can offer benefits such as discounts on room reservations, a points program which lets you build up credits for free meals or use of facilities, or even access to advanced concierge services to make your stay in a new city more enjoyable.
A hotel card such as this is an example of where affinity cards and rewards cards meet and overlap, but the affinity card will have a more tightly focused reward scheme than the general card.
Another kind of affinity card which has grown in popularity over recent years is a charity credit card. In many ways, these cards can be viewed as variations on cashback credit cards, where a small percentage of everything you spend using the card is refunded. The crucial difference with a charity card is that instead of the cashback being credited to your account or sent to you in the form of a check, it is instead donated to the charity or charities linked to the card. Animal charities are popular, as are health research charities, but the range is huge and you’re sure to be able to find a charity card supporting a non-profit that you’d like to support.
Closely related to charity cards are sports affinity cards. These operate in much the same way, but instead of donations being given to charitable organizations, they’re instead passed on to the card holder’s favorite sports team. By holding one of these cards, you can help support your team financially, while also declaring your support with your team’s logo or badge emblazoned on the card itself.
The final kind of affinity card could be loosely termed a lifestyle card, and rather than giving you direct rewards or supporting your favorite organization, they are simply run of the mill credit cards that visually reflect an interest or hobby – for example, your favorite TV show, or work of art. For obvious reasons, these cards are not overly popular these days, as cards offering more concrete benefits have overtaken them in usefulness.
So are affinity cards worth using? In general, they probably won’t offer such a great range of features as a market leading general credit card, but if you can find one that closely fits your lifestyle, then they can be very attractive and well worth applying for. They also will probably be around longer than other rewards cards since they allow consumers to shop at their favorite locations.
T-Mobile’s Dream of Telecommunications Domination Gets the OK + How to Create Mental Toughness While Pursuing Your Dreams
T-Mobile’s $26 billion takeover of Sprint finally got approved by a federal judge, a move that will leave most wireless consumers with three major operators to choose from, including Verizon and AT&T. More than a dozen attorneys general had sued to block the merger that had already been approved by the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission. The administration has required T-Mobile and Sprint to sell some units to pay-TV operator Dish Network as part of the deal.
Dream chasing isn’t for the faint at heart. It can take years before one sees the financial payoff of what was once an idea. T-Mobile is probably patient on the outside, but internal it is jumping for joy. It took them a few years to get to this point, but I’m sure they will be relieved at the fruits of their patients.
When building a business, your goal has to be more than money, or you will ultimately fail. Your drive has to be based on principle, change, and something greater than yourself. Here is how to stay mentally tough while pursuing your dreams.
Personal Development. The road to success is paved with character and growth. Personal development is one of the key drivers that sustain you on the path of your dreams. Trustworthiness, keeping your word, and dependability are imperative to any industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician or painter, lawyer or doctor, these traits and non-negotiable and forever transferable to success.
Take Breaks. To get there, you must rest one mile at a time. The grind is overrated. Reflecting on how far you’ve come energizes you for the road ahead. Burnout is a danger to your accomplishments and leads to a failure by default.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Steve Jobs popularized this quote from an ad in The Whole Earth Catalog. It read Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. We come to a point when we are happy with a level of progress and think we’ve learned everything. Accepting the truth that we never stop growing, and there is no limit to our success gives us the ability to keep going. To continue, you must never settle. You must always seek new ways of fixing things and solving problems. Discover new opportunities and be open to learning more.
Faith. Steve Jobs also mentioned faith throughout his journey. Believing so deeply in an idea that you make it come to life. Belief takes ideas and materializes them; and when you realize you can actually make something come to life, the sky becomes your launching pad, not the limit.
Amazon Plans to Add 15,000 Jobs + How to Prepare for the Job You Want
Amazon says it will hire 15,000 more people at its Bellevue, Washington, campus, as part of the company’s effort to allocate new workers after it abandoned its plans for New York City. The e-commerce giant had issues in New York trying to open a facility there, called Bellevue, where 2,000 employees are already located, a “business-friendly city.” It’s also close to the company’s Seattle headquarters. This is good news for those in the job market but if this isn’t what you are looking to do then how do you make yourself valuable in the job market?
Here are four ways to prepare for the job you want no matter your age:
1. Focus on Your Strengths, Not What You’re Lacking
Whether you are 20 years old or over 40 instead of focusing on your age, you need to focus on your strengths. Many young people with limited experience or older people who may not be up to date with the latest technologies focus on what they’re lacking, and this is a big mistake. Do you have the qualifications for the job? Can you bring value to this position? Whatever your strong suits are you should play that up in your resume, cover letter or communications with the recruiter. It’s easy to focus on why you can’t get the job, but the trick is not to let that get to you. Focus on your value!
2. Attack Your Job Search from All Angles
Networking, Answering ads and/or working with recruiters are the most effective ways to land a job. It is important that you just don’t focus on one method but all three. Networking obviously is the ideal way because it allows you to communicate your value directly, but the other methods have their benefits as well. Be proactive and use each method effectively.
3. Show/Explain Your Leadership Abilities and/or Innovation
Leadership and taking the initiative have nothing to do with age. Young leaders and old leaders can be more or equally effective as those who have the “ideal” age. Focus on your leadership abilities and be sure to display this to your current or potential employee. Also, make sure you are keeping up to date with current trends in your industry. This will allow you to show your innovation and add more value to your company.
4. Ask For What You are Worth
Lastly, ask for what you are worth. Don’t let being “too young” or “too old” deter you from asking for a salary you deserve. In fact, trying to downplay your worth may very well backfire on you. Also, if you have been with a company for a long time and your salary outpaces what the position is worth making sure you are adding to your skill set and not staying complacent.
Following these four tips can help you gain or retain employment. What are some other ways? Comment below>>>
New Survey Says that Young People Don’t Like Job Hopping + How to Get Paid What You’re Worth
Contrary to popular belief young people are not keen on job-hopping as most people think. According to a new survey, U.S. millennials and Gen Zers want to stay at their current companies for an average of 10 years and six years, respectively. Additionally, they say work is a major part of their lives, with 65% of people in Gen Z and 73% of millennials saying it’s part of their identities, according to a Zapier-sponsored poll. The age groups’ actions reflect the findings: Seven in 10 say they constantly check work messages outside the office. This is great for corporations but what does that mean for business owners?
If you are a freelancer or entrepreneur you know all too well the fight to get what you are worth. You will constantly be bombarded with offers to work for less or even for “exposure” as many like to call it now. But how do you gain the confidence and know how to charge and get what you’re worth? Here are 3 tips:
Build Your Resume. It’s said that if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life. Pursuing your passions and getting paid for it is the ultimate professional dream. You may have to start by working for free or at a discount rate to builds skill, ability, and your resume but once you have some stats under your belt its time to get that money… Keep in mind that if you are only in it for the money it will be difficult to experience long term financial gains so make sure you are pursuing your passion not only the paycheck.
Set a Standard. Pioneers have the ability to set standards. And even if you are providing services already in the market, no one can deliver them quite like you. Style and quality set you aside from others opening up a field of buyers seeking exactly what you offer.
Don’t Give In. A colorist (a person who literally adds color by hand or digitally in films and visual media; yes, there is a path for everyone) from Brooklyn, NYC once told me he had to be firm with pricing because he didn’t want to become that guy who works for free. After you have put in the work and set a standard you must not give in to fees below your ability. Yes, flexibility is key but don’t short change yourself. Getting paid your worth is ultimately the result of you believing in your ability and knowing there are people who will pay for it.