When airline credit cards came into being, the ability to earn rewards was novel enough that airlines could charge an annual fee. But now? You will be hard pressed to find a major credit card that does not earn rewards, often with no annual fee.
So does it make sense to hold onto that airline card, which charges more than $100 a year?
Depending on your circumstances, there may be a better strategy.
In defense of the airlines, frequent-flyer miles have the potential to be quite valuable. If you can score a roundtrip flight for 25,000 miles that would otherwise cost $500, you’re reaping 2 cents per mile. Even if your credit card only earned one mile per dollar, that’s like getting a 2 percent rebate. ( Continue… )
As your little ones will gladly remind you, it's all about the kids, all the time — or at least it is with this roundup of kids' shoe deals. We've got the whole playground covered, from PUMA Sneakerinas for girls to the way-funky Drainmaker water shoes by Columbia. So while your young whippersnappers dream of puddle jumping, why not start jumping on these deals?
Converse Kids' One Star Stretch Mid-Top Sneakers
Price: $13.98 with $4.99 s&h
Lowest By: $14
Is It Worth It?: Converse Chuck Taylors were prized by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to the Ramones, and the One Star line lets kids get into the Converse world with simple, clean lines and a price that won't break the bank (especially when it's $14 off list). They're available in Gray and in sizes from Kids 12 (fit for about age 6) to 6. They feature all-textile construction with a rubber-textile outsole.
The kids' deals don't stop there, as Target offers more discounts on select boys' and girls' clearance shoes. Other choice deals include the Circo Girls' Hydee Flip Flops in Black for $2.98, Girls' Butterfly Glitter Flip Flops in Black for $3.98, and Cherokee Boys' Graham Casual Boat Shoes in Tan or Navy for $11.48.
Columbia Kids' Drainmaker Water Shoes
Price: $13.73 with $5.99 s&h
Lowest By: $20
Is It Worth It?: With this Editors' Choice deal, you need to get moving before the bargain drains away. Sizes when we first posted this deal were 8 to 12; now they're limited to 10 and 11. These shoes feature polyester linings, EVA midsoles and heels, and lugged rubber outsoles. They're built to function like a sneaker/water shoe hybrid, though your boy cares mostly about how many puddles he can jump in with these babies. Tell him that the sky's the limit (or the puddle, if you prefer).
Ralph Lauren Girls' Cataleena Sandals
Store: Ralph Lauren
Price: $33.74 via coupon code "RLGIVE2013" with free shipping
Lowest By: $11
Expires: October 2
Is It Worth It?: Holy Editors' Choice! Does Ralph Lauren know how to throw a kid's party or what? These shoes, which retail for $60 and currently sell for $44.99, drop an additional $11 when you enter the coupon code. Features include a woven raffia sole, T-strap silhouette, and a textured rubber outsole. They're available in Tan, with accents of Red (pictured), Navy, or White, and in sizes Kids 13 to 3. ( Continue… )
Shopping for clothes online is one of the great luxuries of our time. You can get unbelievable bargains on all kinds of apparel in a nearly unlimited range of styles, sizes, and colors. It's pretty amazing stuff when you consider how hard it was to even find that trendy color of nail polish you were after in 1996. (Oh, the local Claire's didn't have it? Search over, mission failed.)
But despite the convenience of buying clothes online, many people still shy away from doing so, and for perfectly valid reasons. But dealnews is here to help you, so that you can take advantage of the glorious sartorial offerings (and savings!) of the internet. Whether you're fearful of fit, returns, or shoddy quality, read on to see how you can conquer your fears and take advantage of online savings.
Fear #1: What if I Buy Clothes Online and They Don't Fit?
The top reason most people hesitate to buy apparel online (based on data gathered via the highly scientific method of assumption) is fear that it won't fit. Amidst vanity sizing, this is surely a founded concern. But there are several steps you can take to better your chances of buying a garment that will make you like the way you look.
With technology that allows online shoppers to virtually try on potential wares already in place, it's no surprise that programs like GUESS's TrueFit are also taking off. This shopping aide requires some user input (i.e. age, height, weight, and answers to some questions about body shape and favorite articles of clothing), but can churn out size and style suggestions on each product page; for example, with TrueFit a user can know in advance that a particular pair of pants will be a little snug in the thighs and that a particular button-down shirt runs long. It's pretty handy information when you're trying to decide whether to splurge on those foiled jeans that look so fabbity fab on the model. ( Continue… )
New homes, regardless of their size and design, tend to look a bit naked until trees grow tall enough to frame the yard. But, planting trees shouldn't be haphazard. Landscapers and homeowners alike should consider the size, shape, and growing habits of regional tree types, as well as how trees can enhance the value of a home. In fact, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, a healthy, mature tree can add between $1,000 and $10,000 to the value of a home.
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Planting a Tree Can Save You Money
Did you know that a good "shade tree" can dramatically impact a home's air conditioning requirements by blocking direct sunlight in the summer? The American Power Association estimates that effective landscaping can reduce a home cooling bill by up to 50%. Likewise, in winter, well-positioned trees (especially Evergreens) can help block the wind, cutting heating costs by 20% to 50%. Other benefits of a tree-lined property include keeping erosion in check by virtue of trees' extensive roots, although you're unlikely to appreciate the value of this service like you might from the energy savings. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide, converting it to oxygen: mature trees alone put out more oxygen than one adult human consumes. ( Continue… )
As deal hunters, it typically pays to buy slightly older devices in favor of tempting deals on newly released tech. But, of the aged and dated items we've spent money on, there are some electronics that are now approaching outright extinction and would make for silly purchases. Some consumers may need the complete functionality of a point-and-shoot camera, for example, but for the majority of us, a smartphone already accomplishes everything we need.
So before you consider buying any of these items below, think long and hard about whether such a device is actually a redundant purchase and, thus, a big waste of your money.
When Google released Google Maps Navigation for Android it knocked 20% off the value of big turn-by-turn navigation players TomTom and Garmin in a single day. Since then, Google Maps has spread to other mobile platforms like iOS, and its accuracy and usability has improved.
So we ask, why would someone pay hundreds of dollars for something we all can get for free? Sure, there are weaknesses with Google Maps, such as the need for cellular service, but it is now possible to load up a map and directions before a journey. Standalone GPS devices simply don't offer enough extras to make them a worthwhile buy anymore.
Blu-rays Discs, DVDs, and Their Players
Where did you last see your VHS player? The garage? Or at a garage sale? Really, who wants to clutter their house up with more junk that will end up in the garage in a few years? Instead, with a media player, a decent Internet connection, and a subscription to some streaming movie and TV show services like Netflix, you can dispense with the need for a DVD or Blu-ray library. Collections are nice, but how many of your DVDs or Blu-rays do you honestly watch more than once? ( Continue… )
Apple just announced its newest flagship device, the iPhone 5s, on September 10 and we've already caught wind of a discount! On September 12 — a mere two days after the phone was unveiled — Walmart announced that it will slash the price of the 16GB iPhone 5s to $189 once it's available on September 20*. While you'll have to go into an actual retail store to get this price, that's still a $10 savings and a promising start. In fact, if history repeats itself, it may foretell fairly substantial iPhone 5s discounts in the coming months.
Update: As is sometimes the case, a deal has come along that surprised even us; Sprint announced yesterday that it will knock the 16GB iPhone 5s to an astonishingly low $99.99. That is, obviously, the lowest price we've seen and by far the best deal you can expect at this point in time. However, this offer is only for new customers who port their number from another carrier. Our predictions below still apply to customers who are looking to extend their contract with a current carrier.
The iPhone 5s Could Drop to $126 in December
Last year around this time, Walmart pulled a similar stunt two days after the iPhone 5 was announced, dropping the device to $189.97 with in-store pickup. Since Walmart has offered almost exactly the same deal this year, it seems reasonable to expect the iPhone 5s to have a similar discount schedule to that of the iPhone 5.
Being on a similar schedule is both good and bad. It's good because the iPhone 5 was the most discounted iPhone we'd ever seen — racking up seven deals in the first four months of its existence. Up to that point, such deep and numerous discounts on the iPhone were unheard of. Compared to the previous year's hot model, the iPhone 4S (which saw only two deals in the same time frame), the iPhone 5 was discounted 350% more! Being on the same discount schedule is bad, however, because it means that we might not see another contract-extension deal until December. ( Continue… )
Did you know that you can save between 20% and 50% on a suit when you buy it online? Michael Lubarsky, contributing fashion writer for AskMen.com, knows that such a discount may be tempting enough to most shoppers, but before you opt into a BOGO suit sale, there are some things you need to know about buying suits online.
Know Your Measurements
Before you buy a suit off the digital racks, you'll need to know your size. To find the perfect jacket fit, measure your chest across the pecks. (This is easier said than done; it's best to have someone else do it, like your local tailor.) It's also important to remember that your jacket sleeve should reveal a half-inch of your shirt cuff. Anything shorter or longer will look disproportionate. Likewise, you can't assume your jeans size will translate perfectly to suit pants. "If you're bursting at the seams of your jeans, you need to go up one size," Lubarsky says. Skin-tight, skinny suit pants are not in, and neither are loose or otherwise ill-fitting garments.
Rely on Your Local Tailor
When buying a suit online, you may have to spend an additional $10 to $15 to hem unfinished pants or correct their length, Lubarsky says. While reasonable, he instead recommends spending a little bit more to get a precise fit from a local tailor.
Tyler Thoreson, head of men's creative and editorial at Gilt MANual, says to take advantage of alterations if they're included with your purchase, but he also recommends a trustworthy tailor. A great-fitting suit is an essential piece in any man's wardrobe, so it's important that you not cut corners on quality nor style.
Opt for Suits with Modern Cuts
If you're looking for a modern-style suit, like Italian or European cuts, you should definitely look online according to Lubarsky. These fitted styles feature a blocky and tailored-at-the-waist jacket. However, such cuts styles typically lack a vent in the back, making them a bit more restrictive than a traditional suit jacket. If you're not in shape or don't like fitted jackets, look for a sport coat or suit jacket with side vents or a central vent, which allow for more movement. The Jos. A. Bank Men's Executive 2-Button Wool Suit with Center Vent and Pleated Front Trousers ($127 with free shipping, a low by $523) is one such example. ( Continue… )
In previous years, when a new iPhone debuted it occupied the top spot in Apple's lineup and knocked older generations down a single rung on the food chain. However, this time around, Apple opted to replace the devices holding the top two spots, dropping the iPhone 4S all the way down to a $0 price point, and discontinuing the 5 all together. As a result, Apple has a new phone at both the $199 and $99 price tiers, the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C, respectively. (All prices are with a 2-year wireless contract.)
Naturally, one might assume that, with Apple ghosting the iPhone 5, the handset will see great discounts from resellers. Yet this is not the tactic that the kindly folks at Best Buy and AT&T have taken. These two merchants have chosen to continue to offer the iPhone 5 for its full, pre-death price of $199.99, despite the fact that the newer 5S has already been announced at that price point. (Update: AT&T has since dropped the price to $99.99.) It's possible that this price retention is related to the fact that the iPhone 5S will not be available for preorder; perhaps these stores figure that they can squeeze a couple more bucks out of those who just don't follow tech news.
However, not only is the 5S technically a better value at $199, but also consider that the newly-announced iPhone 5C is a slight upgrade in hardware specs to the iPhone 5 as well — albeit with a candy-colored, plastic back rather than a slick metal-and-glass design — yet Apple only charges $99 for it. How can Best Buy and AT&T charge more for the iPhone 5, which is arguably an inferior device? ( Continue… )
Open your wallet and clean out the receipts and crumpled bills. Now, count how many retailer loyalty cards are wedged in amongst the credit cards and the like. Quite a few, right? (Now look at your keychain. Are there more there? Thought so!) Of the handful of these cards, we bet you only actually use two or three of them. And this behavior (or lack thereof) has retailers investing in creative, new ways to get customers to re-engage with loyalty programs — for better and worse.
According to LoyaltyOne's research group, Colloquy, there were a staggering 1,035,114,000 retail loyalty memberships in 2012. However, Colloquy also found that out of all rewards programs (including travel and financial products), only 44% of memberships were active. So if a shopper subscribes to 12 loyalty programs, he might only actively use five of them, thus creating a bit of a quandary for retailers; merchants don't care if we're using every last one of our loyalty cards, but each retailer would prefer if customers use theirs.
Incentive Programs Boost Loyalty Program Memberships
Enter incentive programs. Tiered options, in particular, have been making waves as they become more common. Tiered memberships differ from standard retail membership in that not all shoppers earn the same points towards the same rewards. Tiered loyalty programs offer different rewards based on a shopper's status, which is most often determined by how much he or she shops throughout the year. For example, with Best Buy's Reward Zone program, shoppers earn one point for every $1 they spend. After earning 250 points, they earn a $5 gift certificate. But if shoppers spend $2,500 in a calendar year, they're bumped up to Premier Silver status which awards 25% more points for purchases, plus other perks like access to special sales and free delivery. ( Continue… )
Last week, Amazon announced an update to its Kindle Paperwhite eBook Reader. The latest model purportedly features a whiter screen, darker text, and 25% faster page-turning. ars technica also points out that users can now "flip through a book or document without losing their place, add in-line footnotes, and share their books on Goodreads." The new Paperwhite starts at $119 if you opt for special offers, or $139 without. This is the same pricing that we saw for the previous generation, which Amazon apparently no longer offers on its site.
However, numerous resellers like Best Buy, Office Depot, JR.com, and even Quill still feature the original Paperwhite in their stores, and presumably they have at least some stock left over in their inventory. (Interestingly, Staples has removed it.) If these stores do indeed still have stock left, then this situation puts them in that familiar dilemma that retailers regularly face with product cycles; because there's an improved version available at the same starting price, resellers must discount the older generation at a lower cost, in order to clear it out.
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Of course, this practice of discounting the older generation upon the new generation's release is nothing groundbreaking. In this instance however, if it comes to pass, it will be noteworthy simply because we have never seen a deal on the Paperwhite, despite being on the shelves of both Amazon and resellers for nearly a full year. The eBook reader has proven to be very popular with consumers and tech reviewers, so the device has been explicitly excluded from discounts and coupons. But with the second generation due to ship in a few weeks, shoppers might finally see price cuts from resellers. (Amazon itself might even offer a 1-day only sale at some point through a Goldbox-type deal, since it's quite keen on these limited-time "fire sale" deals.) ( Continue… )