Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What Perks Does Your Favorite Credit Card Offer?

Last week, the Federal Reserve pledged to leave the Fed Funds Rate near 0.000 percent until at least mid-2013. For credit card holders in Pennsylvania who carry a monthly balance, this is good news. Because of the Fed's call, credit card rates are unlikely to rise before mid-2013.
But cardholders can save on more than just interest costs, as you'll learn from this two-and-a-half minute piece with NBC's The Today Show. In the interview, you'll hear about "built-in" perks offered by most credit cards and ways by which you can save on everyday goods and services.
For example, did you know your everyday credit card might offer:

  • Travel perks : Automatic trip cancellation protection and car rental insurance.
  • Shopping perks : Discount admission to concerts and museums; free shipping from overseas.
  • Consumer perks : Price protection against a drop in price; insurance against theft; extended warranties.
And it's not just "high end" cards that offer these options, either. Credit cards of all types do what they can to improve consumer loyalty. Offering free perks is just one way in which they try.
Most credit cards offer websites detailing cardmember perks and benefits. Visit the site of your favorite card and see where you might save on everyday items.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Make Better-Tasting Food On Your Grill

How to keep a clean grillLabor Day is nearing; the unofficial end of summer across New Jersey. If you're among the many Americans planning an end-of-season barbecue, you'll want to make sure your grill is clean.
A clean grill makes better tasting food.
There are several ways to clean a grill but, for owners of gas grills, the first step always is to disconnect the gas source.
Next, open your grill and remove its metal pieces. This includes grates, trays and flame guards. Take these pieces to your kitchen. If the oven has a self-cleaning mechanism, place the items in your oven and let it "self-clean". As the temperature reaches 900 degrees or more, residue will literally fall off your grill parts.
Be sure to wipe clean your oven once the cycle completes.
If your oven is not self-cleaning, wash the grill parts in your sink using hot water and detergent. You'll want to soak the parts in soapy water if they're especially dirty. Once clean, allow the parts to air dry.
Then, return to your grill and using a wire brush, scrape the residue from the sides, top and bottom of the appliance. Again, using a soapy hot water mixture, wash and wipe down the inside of the grill. Rinse it clean once the residue is removed.
Re-assemble your grill.
Lastly, reconnect the gas source (if applicable) and allow the grill to burn for 5 minutes. This will burn off any lingering residue from the cleaning process, including soap and detergent.
And that's it!
Plan on cleaning your grill at least twice annually with heavy use.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Ranking The Best Places To Live In The U.S. (2011 Edition)

Top Places To Live 2011CNNMoney recently released its Best Places To Live 2011 list.
The annual survey is based on data from Onboard Informatics. Using Quality of Life factors such as education, crime and "town spirit", and focusing on towns with between 8,500 and 50,000 residents, the CNNMoney survey ranks the country's best "small towns".
To be eligible, towns must be have a median household income greater than 85 percent, and less than 200 percent of the state median income; must not be a categorized as a "retirement community"; and must be racially-diverse.
From a list of 3,570 eligible towns nationwide, Louisville, Colorado was ranked #1.
The complete Top 10 Best Places to Live as cited by CNNMoney, and their respective average home listing prices :

  1. Louisville, Colorado ($383,569)
  2. Milton, Massachusetts ($577,008)
  3. Solon, Ohio ($291,162)
  4. Leesburg, Virginia ($486,018)
  5. Papillion, Nebraska ($218,520)
  6. Hanover, New Hampshire ($643,500)
  7. Liberty, Missouri ($177,678)
  8. Middleton, Wisconsin ($347,770)
  9. Mukilteo, Washington ($345,487)
  10. Chanhassen, Minnesota ($418,607)
Rankings like these can be helpful to home buyers nationwide, but it's important to remember that the Best Place To Live survey is subjective. You may find none of the above towns to be to your liking.
You may also find the lowest-ranked city to be your favorite.
In other words, before making a decision to buy, connect with a real estate agent who has local market knowledge. That's the best, most reliable way to make sure you get the housing data that matters to you.
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Beatles Tribute Band at Florida REALTORS Convention