Has Chime Closed Your Account? Here’s What To Do

Bank account issues are never fun, especially when you count on the money stored inside of them. 

For a small percentage of Chime account holders, a recent issue affected access. This has caused some serious frustration from formerly satisfied customers!

Luckily, if you’re one of those account holders, there’s a quick way to resolve the problem.

Keep reading to find out what you can do if you can’t log into your Chime account.

What’s Ahead:

Whose accounts were closed?

Has Chime Canceled Your Account? Here’s What To Do - Who's accounts were closed?

The recent round of account closures affected only a small percentage of accounts. So, if you have money with Chime, chances are, everything is fine.

Account holders whose accounts were to be affected were notified by email prior to the closure, but you could have missed that message.

If it’s an account you don’t check often, like a savings account, you might want to give logging in a try to make sure that your account is in good standing.

Why did Chime close accounts?

Whether your account was affected or not, you may wonder why accounts were closed in the first place.

Many of the closures were due to suspected fraudulent activity. When this happens, it is the standard operating procedure for most lenders to cancel accounts, but due to government relief payments, it has happened in larger numbers recently.

“The past year has seen an extraordinary surge in activity by those seeking to illicitly obtain pandemic-related government funds and defraud US taxpayers,” Chime said in an official statement. “By some credible estimates, $400 billion worth of unemployment fraud alone may have transpired. We are proud of Chime’s robust anti-fraud efforts, which have returned hundreds of millions of dollars to state and federal agencies during the pandemic. While it’s important for us to fight fraud, our top focus will always be to take care of our members.”

That said, Chime admits in their official statement that some closures happened in error; they have apologized and “made efforts to make things right with these members.” 

How Chime’s fraud protection works

When a neobank like Chime detects fraud, it’s required to report the activity to federal authorities. 

This is only one in a series of steps Chime takes, which includes:

  • Searching for evidence of fraud once suspicious activity is detected.
  • If fraud is found, Chime closes the account and the fraudulently deposited funds are returned to the government.
  • If no conclusive evidence can be found, the account may still be terminated, but the funds in the account will go back to the account holder.
  • If the investigation finds that the account activity was legitimate, the account will be unfrozen.

Chances are, your account still may fall in the final two of those four scenarios. But, as you can see, the investigation could take a little time, which explains any delay you might be experiencing.

How to handle a closed account

If you’ve established you can’t access your Chime account, reach out to Chime’s customer support team.

Before you do, make sure you have information on any recent transactions that you have made, including ones that may look suspicious.

Chime representatives may also ask you to prove your residency by scanning a utility bill or other verifying document.

To get in touch with Chime support, use one of the following methods of contact:

Chime’s member services department is open Monday through Sunday, from 3 am to 11 pm CST.

Getting your funds

If your account was closed, you might not have access to your funds right away. This is merely a security measure while they review everything and make sure the account is completely clear of fraudulent activity.

What should you do in the meantime?

In the meantime, you’ll want to contact creditors and make other arrangements to pay your bills.

Ideally, one phone call or message will straighten things out, but as with any banking solution, if Chime needs some time to look into matters, there might be a delay in getting access to your money.

Preventing future Chime account closures

Has Chime Canceled Your Account? Here’s What To Do - How to prevent future Chime account closures

No matter where you bank, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of future closures. Here are some tips that can help.

1. Respond to notices immediately

If you ever receive an email stating that your account will soon be closed, take action immediately.

Whether it’s a traditional lender or a neobank, it can save everyone time if you straighten things out before official action has been taken.

2. Set up notifications

Second, it’s important to keep a close watch on your account. If you see suspicious activity, get in touch with Chime immediately.

Go to “Settings” and then “Notifications” to make sure you’re set up to get alerts whenever there’s a transaction on your debit card.

3. Keep your business separate

Chime is pretty clear that it’s designed solely for personal use. In fact, in the Deposit Account Agreement, Chime specifically states:

“The Spending Account is not designed for business use, and we may close the Spending Account if we determine it is being used for business purposes.”

Yes, even if you’re a freelancer, those business transactions can cause your account to be shut down.

4. Check your contact information

Most banks will get in touch with consumers about account issues and they’ll use the contact information you’ve provided. If your email address or phone number changes, make sure you update your account profile.

Also, make a point to check your email and spam folders on a regular basis.

5. Have a backup

No matter where you park your money, it’s important to have a backup option. Whether it’s a credit card or a secondary bank account, at least you’ll be able to continue to pay bills and make purchases if you ever have a banking issue that needs to be straightened out.

There are plenty of fee-free online checking options to consider as a second account.

Neobanks and fraud risk

Chime is one of many platforms known as a neobank. The platform itself is not a bank. In fact, Chime partners with Stride Bank, N.A. and The Bancorp Bank, both of which are FDIC insured.

Unlike local banks, neobanks operate solely online, which means there’s never the in-person element that brick-and-mortar branches have.

As such, neobanks can be prime targets for fraudsters. Blocking access to accounts is Chime’s way of protecting both you and its banking partners against someone coming in and wiping out your account.

If you do all your banking online, make sure you know how to contact customer service if there’s an issue. And keep a copy of your account number in case you ever have issues and can’t get in through the app or website.

Summary

The Chime account closures have mostly been a security measure affecting a small percentage of customers. Those who were affected should reach out to customer service immediately to straighten things out.

Even if there’s a delay in getting funds, you’ll once again have access once your account is reinstated.

Read more:

Source: moneyunder30.com

VLXVX: Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund – Reviews

May 23, 2021 Posted By: growth-rapidly Tag: 401k

VLXVX refers to the Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund. The VLXVX is one of the best Vanguard retirement funds. It is designed for investors who plan to retire or leave the workforce in 2065, which is the target year. Also, the fund invests more aggressively in the beginning. As it approaches the target date, i.e. 2065, it becomes more conservative. That is, it allocates its assets in more bonds and other low risk securities as opposed to stocks. The fund provides investors exposure to low-cost, broadly diversified mutual and index funds.

If you’re planning to retire in or within a few years of 2065, then you should consider the Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund (VLXVX).

VLXVX: an overview

The Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund (VLXVX) is designed for those investors who plan on retiring in the year of 2065. The fund invests in other Vanguard mutual funds (see below) and provides a broad diversification. Its asset allocation is more aggressive in the beginning and becomes more conservative over time. That means as the fund approaches 2065, the percentage of assets allocated to bonds and other less risky securities will increase while the percentage of assets allocated to stocks will decrease.

VLXVX: Asset Allocation

The Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund is composed (as of 4/30/2021) of the following Vanguard funds: the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor shares (54.60%); Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Investor Shares (35.70%); Vanguard Total Bond Market II Index Fund Investor Shares (7.10%); the Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund Investor Shares (2.40%); and the Vanguard Total International Bond II Index Fund (0.20%).

Moreover, the VLXVX invests in domestic stocks (54.19%); foreign stocks (35.84%); and preferred stocks (0.01%). Moreover, the fund invests in domestic bonds (6.60%); convertibles (0.08%); foreign bond (2.98%); cash (0.27%) and others (0.03%).

VLXVX: Sector Composition

The VLXVX invests in technology (18.6%), financial services (15.60%), consumer cyclical (12.18%), healthcare (11.83%), industrials (11.10%), communication services (9.12%), consumer defense (6.73%), basic materials (4.81%), real estate (3.57%), energy (3.34%) and utilities (2.75%).

VLXVX: Fees, Minimums, Price & Performance

The VLXVX has a reasonable expense ratio of 0.15% and an initial minimum investment of $1,000, making it one of the best Vanguard retirement funds. A $10,000 invested in this fund has a $267 fees over 10 years. In addition to that fee, Vanguard charges a $20 annual account service fee if you have a balance of less than $10,000 in the account. As for performance, this fund has returned 51.66% over the past year and 12.02% percent over the past three years. The price for one share is $29.87 as of May 21, 2021.

VLXVX: Risks

This Vanguard retirement fund invests in stocks, bonds and other securities domestically and internationally. Therefore, they are subject to risk that comes with investing in high yield, small cap and other US and foreign securities. So, you should be able to stomach the risks that come from the volatility of the market. However, the risk associated with the Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund is Average comparing to other Vanguard funds. You should consider investing in this Vanguard retirement fund if you’re planning to retire between 2063 to 2067.

In conclusion, the VLXVX is open to new investors. It has a YTD return of 8.5%, a 3-year annualized return of 13.3%. Its net asset is $1.33 billions. The target date is 2065. The expense ratio is 0.15% and the minimum investment is a reasonable $1000, making it one of the best Vanguard retirement funds out there. Moreover, the Vanguard Target Retirement 2065 Fund invests in stocks, bonds, cash, convertible bonds, preferred stocks and other investments. If you are a long term investor, meaning that you don’t plan to retire soon, you should fare well in the VLXVX fund.

Returns

1 Month +3.86% VLXVX
3 Months +8.9% VLXVX
Year to Date +8.58% VLXVX
1 Year +42.97% VLXVX
3 Year +13.27% VLXVX
Returns as of May 21, 2021

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals. Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

Source: growthrapidly.com

One-Tap Online Shopping Savings Compared: Capital One Shopping Vs. Honey

There’s no sense in paying full price when shopping online — not when there are two truly legit discount apps that will save you money: Capital One Shopping and Honey.

The question is, which one to go with? Since I do at least 75% of my shopping exclusively online, I decided to run some tests to find out which coupon app was going to come out on top.

If you’re ready to save some serious cash on your next shopping trip, read on.

What’s Ahead:

Capital One Shopping vs. Honey summary

Features Capital One Shopping Honey
Format App
Browser extension
Website
App
Browser extension
Website
Partners Not specified, but most major name brands, plus Amazon 30,000 participating merchants including Amazon and
Watchlist Yes Yes (called Droplist)
Automatic coupon codes Yes Yes
Lowest Amazon price No Yes
Membership required No, except for credits No, except for Gold program
Local offers Yes No

About Capital One Shopping

One-Tap Online Shopping Savings Compared: Capital One Shopping Vs. Honey - Capital One Shopping

One-Tap Online Shopping Savings Compared: Capital One Shopping Vs. Honey - Capital One ShoppingCapital One Shopping is a discount and savings app owned by Capital One. It bills itself as the best option for discounts, loyalty perks, and deals.

To use Capital One Shopping, simply download the app, install the browser extension, or just visit the web site. Using Capital One Shopping gets you better prices on your online shopping, automatic discount codes at checkout, and tracks your must-have items to find the best price.

About Honey

One-tap Savings Compared: Wikibuy Vs. Honey - Honey

One-tap Savings Compared: Wikibuy Vs. Honey - HoneyHoney is an app dedicated to finding you the best deals and promos on all your online shopping. Installing the browser extension or downloading the app gets you great discounts and automatic coupon codes when you’re shopping online.

You don’t even have to lift a finger, Honey will add the best coupon they find right to your cart, or they’ll let you know that you have the best deal. 

Capital One Shopping vs. Honey savings

As major players in the discount code space, it may be tough to tell what sets Capital One Shopping and Honey apart. They’re both extremely effective at finding deals and applying codes. So let’s compare them in terms of savings. 

Capital One Shopping savings

Capital One Shopping helps you save in two main ways. First, it runs a comparison for the item you’re looking at, showing you if there’s a better price somewhere else. So, if you’re browsing Walmart.com for a particular camera, Capital One Shopping checks Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video, and other stores to see if you’re really getting the best possible deal.

Capital One Shopping shows you who has the lowest price, so that you can make the best choice for your wallet. They even spell out how long to expect for shipping at each alternative store and how much it costs to ship — so you get the true total price.

Then, at checkout, Capital One Shopping will scan all available coupon codes for you — automatically. No more Google searches or saving endless store emails; just have Capital One Shopping work its magic and you get the savings.

A word of warning, though: sometimes the savings you get are just cash back credits, and you can’t cash those out immediately. They may need to be verified and then can be redeemed for gift cards at some of your favorite retailers. 

Honey savings

Honey also automatically scans and applies coupon codes for you when you shop online. You don’t have to waste time with coupons that don’t work, because Honey only applies valid promo codes. 

Honey also saves you money by notifying you when items in your Droplist have changed price. The Droplist is Honey’s version of a watchlist; it’s where you save items you’re interested in. Not only will the Droplist notify you when prices drop, but you can see the price history, too.

Like Capital One Shopping, Honey also offers a cash back program, called Honey Gold, which requires a sign-up. Similar to Capital One Shopping, you have to save up a certain dollar amount (in this case, $10 of “gold”) before you can cash out in the form of a gift card. 

Capital One Shopping vs. Honey savings summary

Both Capital One Shopping and Honey will show you deals and automatically apply promo codes. The real difference comes down to the way you shop. Are you mostly an Amazon shopper? Then Honey is going to help you out. Do you want to take a moment to compare prices across a bunch of different retailers and go with the lowest cost? Then Capital One Shopping is for you. 

Here’s an example: I am in the market for a new pressure cooker. I found one I liked on Amazon. The Honey extension notified me that I found the lowest price of all the sellers on Amazon. I could check out with confidence. But the Capital One Shopping extension showed me that I could actually save $5.99 by taking advantage of a 7% cash back deal at Macy’s. I never would have known about that offer otherwise. 

However, while I may technically be saving $5.99 by purchasing my pressure cooker at that particular department store, I do not actually see those savings immediately; I have to save up the credits and apply them to a gift card, choosing from 32 different stores. Sometimes, you’d just rather have the cash.

Capital One Shopping vs. Honey pros

Capital One Shopping pros:

  • Detailed price history and insights – You’ll get insights into each product you shop for.
  • Compare prices at multiple stores – You can find the best deal at a large number of big-box retailers. 
  • Shipping included in price comparison – Easily see how much you’ll pay for everything, including shipping. 

Honey pros:

  • Finds the lowest offers on Amazon – There are thousands of shops on Amazon, so knowing which has the lowest price can be a huge help.
  • The website is more pleasant and transparent to use – Honey is as simple as downloading a Google Chrome extension.
  • Honey Gold program rewards you with gift cards – After earning a set amount of gold, you can cash out for gift cards. 

Capital One Shopping vs. Honey cons

Capital One Shopping cons:

  • Discounts are sometimes in the form of cash back, not lower prices – Not everyone wants to deal with cash back, some folks would prefer straight cash. 
  • Local deals require linking a credit card – If you want local deals, you’ll need to link your credit card, which could be a problem for those worried about privacy issues. 

Honey cons:

  • “Cash back” is in the form of gift cards at select retailers – Just like Capital One Shopping, cash back comes in the form of gift cards, rather than just cash. 
  • Doesn’t always find a valid code to apply – Honey isn’t perfect, and sometimes they miss coupon codes. 

Why choose Capital One Shopping?

Multiple store comparisons

Since both Capital One Shopping and Honey automatically apply coupon codes, one of the biggest differences might be that Capital One Shopping compares prices across multiple stores. You can also use the Mobile Price Comparison tool if you’re on mobile; text an Amazon link to PRICE1 and Capital One Shopping will text you back if there are lower-priced options available.  

Effective discounts

Capital One Shopping frequently finds a way to save on shopping trips, whether it’s a promo code, cash back offers, or lower shipping. Based on my usage, it seemed to deliver lower prices in some format more often than Honey.

Detailed product pages

The product pages showed a great deal of detail. In addition to the price, you’ll also be able to see a detailed price history, 180-day price insights, price volatility ratio, YouTube reviews, related products, and top alternatives.

Why choose Honey?

Get the lowest Amazon price

Having to sort through all the different prices offered by different Amazon sellers on the same product can be a pain in the neck. Honey does a great job of reducing that workload for you, simply showing the lowest-priced Amazon seller for what you’re looking for. So if you do most of your online shopping with your Amazon Prime subscription, the Honey browser extension will be a big boon.

Or avoid Amazon altogether

If you’re more of a mobile shopper and you tend not to shop on Amazon, the Honey mobile app (as opposed to the desktop browser extension) is a way to find thousands of great deals when you’re on your phone — no Amazon required. In fact, the mobile app doesn’t show Amazon products at all, which could be a good fit for you if you’re not a fan of the behemoth site.

Summary

Overall, choosing either Capital One Shopping or Honey is better than shopping online without them. Each will scour the internet for valid coupon codes, which can save you lots of money. You don’t need a membership with either one unless you want to start earning credits (or “gold”) to be redeemed for cash back. Not to mention, signing up for cash back offers could be worth your while, especially if you don’t mind turning over some of your privacy and letting these extensions track where you shop in exchange for saving a little bit of dough.

However, all that being said, Capital One Shopping does edge out the competition by a nose if you’re looking for the overall lowest price. If you’re primarily interested in coupon codes and Amazon deals, Honey is your better bet.

Read more:

Source: moneyunder30.com

Everything You Need for Your Kitchen & Nothing More

Kitchens. They’re amazing spaces. They can be visually stunning. They must be total workhorses. They’re quite often the heart of the home. But they can also accumulate a lot of CRAP.

As I work to not only design but also fully outfit the kitchen for the Hood Canal Cottage, I’m starting completely from scratch. No hand-me-down casserole dishes, no knives I’ve carted around since college, no random herb scissors that I’ve never ever used. For once, I get to hand-select every tool and every object that comes into the space.

With that total blank slate, I find myself often thinking (ok, obsessing) about what I want this kitchen to have. As an avid cook, as we probably all are coming through Covid, I want kitchen tools that are really pretty, but also highly functional. And nothing else.

This kitchen, designed by Our Food Stories out of a refurbished old schoolhouse in the middle of the German countryside, is a total mood. Featuring deVol kitchen cupboards, tiles, shelves, light fixtures, hardware and more. This kitchen is certainly a showcase for the many of the pieces on my list of must-have kitchen tools – and of course, it does so beautifully.

This space immediately transports you to an idyllic rural retreat. I imagine walking through overgrown gardens, picking fresh roses and making multi-course Sunday lunches here.

I love how this kitchen keeps so many key kitchen tools close at hand. While I might not be doing quite as many open shelves at Hood Canal, there is a lot to be said for having key tools within arms reach.

There’s nothing that drives me crazier than a poorly outfitted kitchen. But an overcrowded kitchen can be equally crazy-making. You have to strike that balance.

For me, the key kitchen tools I turn to time and again include one good set of pots and pans, a cast iron skillet, a good set of wooden spoons and spatulas, a top notch cutting board (or several) and then all those little tools that you need when you’re in the middle of pulling together a recipe – measuring cups, knives, peelers, strainers, graters, zesters – all the speciality things that let you add the finer components of a dish.

Those speciality tools are the kinds of things that far too many kitchens lack. Or they’re the big bulky OXOX ones you get at a grocery store that feel chunky in my hand and will just clog up my limited drawer space in the new kitchen. She gonna be cute, but she’s not going to be big.

As the weeks have progressed, I’ve been slowly but surely amassing my ultimate kitchen wish-list. Each kitchen tool, appliance, or serving piece needs to have a very critical purpose and look damn good while doing it.

I thought I’d share my wishlist with you. It’s certainly not comprehensive. As I cook every evening some other thing in my San Francisco kitchen makes me think oh yes, I have to find the beautiful version of this for Hood Canal. But all the extraneous stuff I have in my SF kitchen also makes me want to pull my hair out. I’m constantly digging for my one favorite knife or pan or bowl.

I hope you find something below you’ve been searching for. If you spot a key kitchen tool that I’m still missing, please tell me in comments! I consider my ultimate quest to outfit the ideal kitchen.

I’m also regularly adding favorites for the kitchen in the Apartment 34 SHOP so be sure to check it out too!

all images by Our Food Stories

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Source: apartment34.com

Credit Card Rewards – Are They Really Worth It?

These last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about our credit cards, and whether or not we should just close the rest of our credit accounts. My philosophy is becoming more and more anti-debt, and the idea of going credit card free is appealing, albeit a bit scary. It’s becoming less scary as we get closer to having a fully funded emergency fund.

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Other rewards cards may have good terms, but charge an annual fee. This makes it unlikely that the consumer will come out ahead if they don’t spend a large amount of money on their card.

Still other rewards cards may be generous with their rewards, but they have an annual cap or limit which means you can’t fully realize the benefit of having the card.

Another problem is that a good percentage of people who have rewards credit cards don’t even bother to use their rewards that they’ve earned. From CNNMoney:

More than 41 percent of reward cardholders either rarely or never even bother to use their rewards, said a 2006 survey by GMAC Mortgage and Harris Interactive.

That seems like an awfully large number of people who sign up to get rewards, but then never even bother to use them. What a waste! Could it be just another indicator that our culture just doesn’t value saving as much as it does spending?

Avoid The Pitfalls Of Rewards Cards

To avoid the pitfalls and get the most back from your card, Consumer Reports offers these tips:

  • Consider where you shop. Get rewards cards that fit your lifestyle and shopping patterns. In other words, if you don’t travel very often, don’t sign up for a travel rewards card. You might be better off using one that gives you cash back for gas, groceries and home purchases.
  • Project your spending. Figure out how much you think you’ll spend in a given year, and then find out how much you’ll gain for every dollar you spend. Subtract any annual fees or penalties and find out if the card is worth your time. If not, move on and find another one.
  • Favor cash back. Points vs. Cash back. Consumer reports found that cash back cards tend to offer better rewards. On top of that the cards that give points, often the points end up going un-used. Get a cash-back card to optimize your returns.
  • Skip credit if you carry a balance. If you don’t pay your bills of in full, you may want to pass on the rewards cards altogether. Because rewards cards often have higher interest rates, you may end up paying much more in interest than you reap in rewards. I know my wife and I only use the credit card when we know we can pay it off within a week or two.
  • Do the math on do-good programs. Some people are tempted to get a rewards card so that they can have the rewards sent directly to a charity of their choice. When doing this make sure you look into how much is being given because you’ll often find you can give more to the charity if you just get a cash back card and send the money to the charity yourself.
  • Use airline miles fast. If you use an airline miles card, make sure to use your points as soon as you can. Airlines will often change redemption rules, and sometimes you’ll even lose your points if you haven’t used them in time.
  • Avoid temptation. Don’t justify spending on your credit card just because you want to get that “reward” of a new Ipod or digital camera. You’ll usually find that you end up spending more than you would have in the first place – enough that you could have just gone out and bought your own reward.

Conclusion – Be Careful

When it comes down to it I think it is clear – if you already have credit card debt and you’re trying to find your way out, DON’T use your credit card. Period. Lock it up and throw away the key.

But if you are debt free and are able to pay off your card every month without any problem, go ahead and take advantage of the rewards programs. But be careful which one you choose. Find one that fits your needs and spending patterns. Also, be careful that you’re not getting caught in the “spend to earn” trap. Studies have shown that people will often spend more just because they’re getting rewards. Don’t be a sucker, buy only what you need and what you would have bought anyway.

Do you have a rewards card? Do YOU think it’s worth it? Let us know in the comments.

Source: biblemoneymatters.com