The Penny Hoarder’s 2021 Survey on Child Care Costs

“Working families across the country pay a significant percentage of their annual earnings to cover the price of child care,” said Mario Cardona, Chief of Policy and Practice for Child Care Aware of America, a national child care advocacy organization.
About 35% say they’ve had to choose between paying for child care or paying a credit card bill on time.
“We’ve used this benchmark to say that no family should pay more than 7% of income towards child care, whether they receive child care subsidies or not,” he said.
Half the parents we surveyed reported spending at least 25% of their income on child care. That’s a significant increase from when The Penny Hoarder surveyed parents about the cost of child care in 2018. Back then, the median percentage of income parents said they spent on child care was 15%.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Chris Zuppa, The Penny Hoarder’s multimedia content creator, contributed to this report.

The Financial Toll of Child Care

This graphic breaks down how many parents feel overwhelmed by the cost of childcare.

This financial assistance, however, is temporary. About 1 in 5 parents receiving child tax credits reported that once the monthly payments end in December, they don’t believe they’ll be able to continue paying for care.
For working parents, child care is a necessity. Yet, it’s often challenging to secure and afford quality care.
Following these guidelines, a family earning ,000 a month should be paying no more than 0 a month for child care. Having to pay a child care provider makes it tough to meet other financial responsibilities. Almost 28% of parents say they’ve had to choose between paying for child care or paying their rent or mortgage on time.
Not paying a bill on time often results in late fees, but for some families, an extra fee is better than losing a coveted spot at a child care center and facing the challenge of finding other arrangements.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com
When you have a baby, you understand your life is going to change significantly.

The Sacrifices Parents Make

Privacy Policy
63 percent of people consider childcare costs in whether or not they'll have another child. You’re responsible for another human being. You’ll lose tons of sleep. And, of course, you’ll have a bunch of new expenses.
Diapers. Formula. Clothing. Toys. But one of the biggest expenses that hit parents is child care.
The Penny Hoarder’s survey on child care costs survey found that financial support during the pandemic has helped parents pay for child care.
Four out of 10 parents say they’ve gone into debt due to the cost of child care. Over a quarter of parents have had to move to a different home to afford child care. Almost 38% of parents have had to take on a second job or side hustle.
Ready to stop worrying about money?
Leaving the workforce has ripple effects beyond a loss of income. Many stay-at-home parents find it difficult to return to work due to gaps in their employment history. They lose out on opportunities for career advancement. Not having access to an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan means stay-at-home parents miss out on the ability to grow their retirement savings.

Help Needed

Child Care Aware of America uses an affordability benchmark from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which states that families who are receiving child care subsidies should not pay more than 7% of their income toward co-payments.
For many parents, it costs more to send their kids to day care than to put a roof over their heads.
Other parents figure that it makes more sense to leave the workforce than to spend so much of their income paying for child care. Nearly 1 out of 5 parents say they’ve had to quit a job due to the costs of child care. Seventy percent of parents said stimulus check money helped with the cost of child care during the pandemic. Over 83% of those receiving monthly child tax credit payments said that money has helped with child care expenses this year.
Methodology: The Penny Hoarder used Pollfish to conduct a national survey about the cost of child care with 2,000 people completing the survey Sept. 8-10, 2021. Survey responses are weighted so that each response is representative of the U.S. population. <!–

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Savvy Saturday: This trick makes the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit even less valuable – The Points Guy


A library card makes the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit less valuable – The Points Guy


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Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com

Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Credit Card Review

At a glance

Wyndham Rewards Credit Card

Our rating

Wyndham Rewards Visa Card (Annual Fee)

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points (good for up to 8 free nights) after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. Earn an additional 30,000 bonus points (worth up to 4 free nights) after you spend at least $2,000 total within six months of account opening.
  • Rewards: Unlimited 6 points per $1 spent at eligible Wyndham hotel and resort properties and on eligible gas purchases; Unlimited 4 points per $1 spent on dining and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart); Unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases
  • Benefits: 7,500 bonus points each year on your cardmember anniversary
  • Intro APR: 0% APR for six months on all Wyndham timeshare purchases; 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual Fee: $75
  • Credit Needed: Good to excellent

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Dig Deeper

Additional Resources

The Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card is a hotel rewards credit card with a $75 annual fee. It has a relatively simple rewards program that favors cardholders who frequently stay at Wyndham hotel and resort properties. 

Although it’s not necessarily as well known as competitors such as Hilton and Marriott, Wyndham is a huge hospitality company with more than a dozen brands represented across thousands of hotel and resort properties. Popular Wyndham names include Microtel, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Super 8, Wyndham Grand, TRYP, and Dolce.

Whenever you swipe your Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card, you earn Wyndham Rewards points, Wyndham’s loyalty currency. You generally need at least 7,500 points to redeem for a completely free night at the most budget-friendly Wyndham properties. However, if you’re willing to fork over some cash to make up the difference, you cash redeem for discounted stays with just 1,000 Wyndham Rewards points. 

Wyndham offers other redemption options, including airfare and merchandise, but at lower point values than redemptions at Wyndham properties. And, like many travel rewards cards, Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus has a fairly generous sign-up bonus worth up to four free nights.

Key Features

These are the key features of the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus card.

Sign-Up Bonus

This card’s two-part sign-up bonus offers up to 90,000 bonus Wyndham Rewards points. That’s good for up to 12 free nights at participating Wyndham properties.

Here’s how it works:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 30,000 additional bonus points after spending a total of $2,000 on purchases in the first six months.

Earning Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus earns unlimited 6 Wyndham Rewards points for every $1 spent at Wyndham hotel and resort properties, and on qualifying gas purchases as well.

Eligible dining and grocery store purchases earn unlimited 4 points per $1 spent. Purchases made at Target and Walmart aren’t included in this category. 

All other eligible purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent, excluding Wyndham Timeshare resort down payments.

Redeeming Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham Rewards points can be redeemed for free nights (Go Free awards) at any participating Wyndham property — virtually every property in the portfolio, save for a handful of extremely high-end resort properties. 

Wyndham has three redemption tiers for full award night redemptions: 7,500 points, 15,000 points, and 30,000 points to earn a free room night. Higher-quality properties generally occupy the two higher rungs of the redemption ladder.

Importantly, Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus cardholders always qualify for a 10% redemption credit on Go Free award nights. That means a 15,000-point redemption requires just 13,500 net points.

To redeem points even faster, you can combine 1,000 points and a variable amount of cash (Go Fast awards) for a free night at participating Wyndham properties. Low-end properties such as Days Inn and Super 8 require less cash, while high-end properties such as Wyndham Grand and the company’s all-inclusive resorts require upwards of $150 per night. 

Non-Wyndham Redemption Options

Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus cardholders can also take advantage of some non-Wyndham redemption options. These include general merchandise, airfare, gift cards, magazines, and rental cars. Redemption minimums vary widely by redemption type and may not be available at all times.

Automatic Wyndham Rewards Platinum Membership

Cardholders in good standing automatically qualify for Wyndham Rewards Platinum Membership, whose benefits include a higher point-earning rate on paid stays, early check-in, late checkout, preferred room selection where available, and upgrades on Avis and Budget car rentals.

Anniversary Bonus

As long as your account remains open and in good standing, you receive 7,500 Wyndham Rewards points after your cardmember anniversary. That’s enough for one free night at participating Wyndham properties.

Introductory APR

Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus cardholders enjoy 0% APR on Wyndham timeshare purchases made within six months of account opening. However, there is no intro APR on regular purchases.

Additionally, cardholders who complete balance transfers within 45 days of account opening pay no interest for 15 months from account opening.

Additional Travel Benefits

Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus has some additional travel benefits, including complimentary rental car insurance, travel emergency assistance for travelers stranded far from home, and the best available rate on bookings with participating Wyndham properties.

General Benefits

This card has some useful nontravel benefits. These include:

  • Purchase protection, which provides cardholders with redress — usually replacement or reimbursement — for lost, stolen, and damaged purchases
  • Return protection, which compensates cardholders when merchants refuse to accept returned items

Important Fees

This card has a $75 annual fee. There is no foreign transaction fee.

Credit Required

This card requires good to excellent credit.


Advantages

These are the top advantages of the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus card.

  1. Good Intro Deal for Balance Transfers. The Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus card has an unusually generous 0% APR balance transfer promotion. It’s good for 15 months from account opening. That’s longer than virtually any other travel card’s balance transfer promotion. In fact, most travel rewards cards lack balance transfer promotions altogether. If you’re in the market for a card that gets you closer to free hotel stays and helps with existing high-interest credit card balances, this is one to watch.
  2. Solid Sign-Up Bonus. Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus’ sign-up bonus totals 90,000 points, enough for up to 12 Go Free award nights. It’s also super attainable, with just $2,000 in total spending required during the first six months. 
  3. Straightforward Rewards Program. Compared to many hotel rewards programs, which can have confusing tiers and restrictions, Wyndham Rewards is pretty easy to grasp. You always need at least 7,500 points for a totally free night, no matter where you’re redeeming. This makes it a lot easier to plan free and paid travel ahead of time.
  4. Automatic Wyndham Rewards Platinum Membership. Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus cardholders automatically qualify for Platinum status, whose benefits include a higher point-earning rate on paid stays, early check-in, late checkout, preferred room selection where available, and upgrades on Avis and Budget car rentals.
  5. Excellent Value on High-End Hotel Redemptions. Wyndham Rewards offers excellent redemption values at higher-end and all-inclusive properties, whose nightly rates can easily exceed $300 and often range much higher. By contrast, most other hotel credit cards require vastly more points for high-end room redemptions — sometimes 10 or 20 times as many — relative to their cheapest options. That can severely impact their points’ redemption value. With a little foresight, you can increase the value of your Wyndham Rewards — and offset this card’s annual fee — by earning points at low-end properties and redeeming at pricier hotels and resorts.
  6. Wyndham Has Tons of Participating Properties. Wyndham’s portfolio has nearly 8,000 properties. That’s more than some competitors with superior name recognition, such as Marriott. With so many properties in the Wyndham arsenal, you’re likely to find plenty of choices — and plenty of earning and redemption options — wherever you go.
  7. Anniversary Bonus Offers a Nice Boost Each Year. This card’s 7,500-point anniversary bonus is enough to cover the entire cost (in points) of a free night award at the lowest-tier Wyndham properties. Many competing cards don’t bother with anniversary bonuses at all.
  8. Wyndham Rewards Points Don’t Expire Under Normal Circumstances. As long as you earn or redeem points within an 18-month period, your points remain active indefinitely.
  9. No Penalty APR. Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus never charges penalty interest. If you sometimes miss payments due to liquidity issues, this is a big relief. Most penalty APRs remain in effect indefinitely. Note that missing payments may still hurt your credit score.

Disadvantages

These are the most noteworthy drawbacks of the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus card.

  1. Annual Fee. This card has a $75 annual fee. For frugal and infrequent travelers, that’s a big drawback relative to the no-annual-fee version of this card — which offers similar but less generous benefits — as well as to fee-free travel rewards cards such as the Expedia+ Card from Citi.
  2. Non-Wyndham Redemptions Have Poor Value. There’s little reason to redeem your Wyndham Rewards points for anything other than free or reduced nights at Wyndham properties, unless you’ve accumulated more points than you can realistically use. However, if that’s the case, this might not be the best card for you anyway. Non-Wyndham redemptions generally value points at less than $0.005 apiece, far lower than typical Wyndham redemption values. What’s more, many competing cards, including Chase Sapphire Preferred, let you transfer your accumulated points to other travel loyalty programs at 1-to-1 ratios. That lets you shop around for points and redemption options that maximize the value of your travel spending.

Final Word

The Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card is a reasonably priced travel rewards card made for people who regularly stay at hotels and resorts in the Wyndham family. 

If you can earn enough points to offset the $75 annual fee and travel frequently enough to at least redeem your 7,500-point anniversary bonus each year, you’ll find this card a solid addition to your travel spending repertoire. 

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The Verdict

Wyndham Rewards Credit Card

Our rating

Wyndham Rewards Visa Card (Annual Fee)

The Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card is a great card for frequent Wyndham guests who earn rewards quickly enough to offset the annual fee and can redeem their accumulated points at higher-end Wyndham properties. It’s among the best travel rewards cards for balance transfer candidates, not to mention people who can’t be bothered with trying to “hack” complex travel rewards programs.

On the other hand, this isn’t a great card for cardholders seeking luxurious and convenient hotel or travel perks, nor those interested in a wide range of competitively valued redemption options outside the Wyndham portfolio.

Editorial Note:
The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: moneycrashers.com

How this perk works: The Chase Sapphire Preferred 10% anniversary points bonus – The Points Guy


How the new 10% anniversary points bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred works – The Points Guy


Advertiser Disclosure


Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which ThePointsGuy.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Please view our advertising policy page for more information.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Source: thepointsguy.com

Barclays Wyndham Cards: Up To 90,000 Points [Last Day]

When logged in it states ‘Limited-time offer ends 10/14/21’, unsure if it will actually end then. I’d recommend applying before then if interested in this card. Hat tip to Chris B

The Offer

Direct link to offer

  • Barclays is offering increased bonuses on the Wyndham cards of up to 90,000 points. The offers are as follows:
    • Earner Rewards: 45,000 points after you $1,000 in spend within 90 days and an additional 15,000 points after you spend a total of $2,000 within the six months
    • Earner+ Rewards: 60,000 points after you $1,000 in spend within 90 days and an additional 30,000 points after you spend a total of $2,000 within the six months
    • Earner Business: 60,000 points after you $1,000 in spend within 90 days and an additional 30,000 points after you spend a total of $2,000 within the six months

Card Details

  • Earner Rewards
    • Card earns
      • 5x points at Wyndham properties and on qualifying gas purchases
      • 2x points on eligible dining and grocery purchases
      • 1x points on all other purchases
    • No annual fee
    • Automatic Wyndham gold status
    • 10% discount on go free awards
    • Anniversary bonus of 7,500 points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases
  • Earner+ Rewards
    • Card earns
      • 6x points at Wyndham properties and on qualifying gas purchases
      • 4x points on eligible dining and grocery purchases
      • 1x points on all other purchases
    • Annual fee of $75, not waived first year
    • Automatic Wyndham platinum status
    • 10% discount on go free awards
    • Anniversary bonus of 7,500 points
  • Earner Business
    • Card earns
      • 8x points at Wyndham properties and on qualifying gas purchases
      • 5x points on marketing, advertising and utilities
      • 1x points on all other purchases
    • Annual fee of $95, not waived first year
    • Automatic Wyndham Diamond status
    • 10% discount on go free awards
    • Anniversary bonus of 15,00 points

Our Verdict

Previously the best bonuses were 45,000 points with the annual fee waived first year. These new offers are significantly better. All Wyndham properties used to cost 15,000 points per night, but there are now three tiers (7,500, 15,000 or 30,000) even at the most expensive properties this will give you three free nights. Always a good idea to do some searches to make sure you’ll actually be able to use the points before signing up, but this is a really good offer in my opinion. We will add these to the list of the best credit card bonuses.

Hat tip to @nick_roosevelt

Source: doctorofcredit.com

​18 Deal Sites and Tools for Finding Online Shopping Bargains

Those deep discounts you’re seeking while shopping online could be eluding you if you’re not comparison shopping. But racing around the internet looking for the lowest price could be a dive down a rabbit hole, a time suck, especially when time isn’t on your side. You need that bargain right now.

We surveyed smart shopping experts and evaluated a variety of deal sites and online shopping tools ourselves to identify these 18 sure-fire ways to save money every time you shop online.

If shopping for discounts is as exciting to you as shopping for clothes or gadgets themselves, consider visiting some of our favorite deal sites to search for special offers yourself.

Or let a browser extension do the work for you. They can speed through the web hunting for deals on laptops, clothing, household items, jewelry and more in a matter of seconds. (All the recommended browser extensions here are free and available on Chrome, Firefox and Safari.)

Take a look.

Best Site to Find Free Shipping Deals

When shopping online, finding a great deal gets even sweeter when you can score free shipping, too, a perk Amazon Prime forged into a mainstay of internet shopping. But trying to track down promo codes that actually work, as well as retailers that offer the perk, can be frustrating if you don’t know where to look. Skip hopping from site to site and check out FreeShipping org. It’s a web site that aggregates all of the retailers — big and small — that offer free shipping and other discounts to customers. The site includes the terms and conditions of the free shipping deal and the promo code, where applicable. For example, a recent promotion we found on the site for Lands’ End included 40% off full-price styles plus free shipping when using the discount code BRIGHT.

Best Sites and Browser Extensions for Price Comparisons

Save yourself the hassle of digging into multiple websites to find the best price on items you’re buying online. Consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch recommends the browser extension Popcart, which sends a pop-up notification any time a product you’re looking at is cheaper on a competitor site. In addition to retail price comparisons, the browser extension also compares unit prices on items (check out this video to see how).

Woroch also digs deal aggregator site CouponFollow.com. It organize coupons by store name to help shoppers pinpoint the best deal quickly. 

You probably already buy a lot at Amazon.com. Should it be even more? Install the Amazon Assistant browser extension, says smart shopping expert Trae Bodge of TrueTrae.com, to see how Amazon’s prices stack up as you shop products on competing sites. See how it works here.

Best Deal Sites and Browser Extensions for Coupons and Promo Codes

Our sources recommend CouponCabin.com for its vast collection of online promo codes and printable coupons that can be used in-store. Consumers can find deals from online and brick-and-mortar retailers such as Nike, Overstock.com and Target. The site also maintains a list of retailers’ active cashback offers. Savvy shoppers might even be able to combine coupon codes and cashback offers to maximize savings, says TrueTrae.com’s Trae Bodge.

The Honey browser extension helps save shoppers time and money by doing all the work, says Kyle James, founder of Rather-Be-Shopping.com. After registering for the site and downloading the extension, you’ll see a Honey widget appear when you check out at any participating retailer. The widget searches the web for all relevant promo codes and applies the one with the biggest savings to your order. A note to Amazon loyalists: If you’re searching for a specific product, this browser extension will track down the lowest price among Amazon sellers offering the same item and notify you. It even factors in shipping costs before selecting the best seller. Watch this YouTube clip for a tutorial on how to install and use Honey.

Next time you go on an online spending spree, consider using Cently, recommends consumer savings expert Woroch. It’s a browser extension that automatically searches for coupon codes while you shop, tests them and applies the one with the biggest savings to your order. You can even score cashback on your purchases when using Cently. Unlike similar extensions, you don’t have to divulge your personal information by becoming a registered user. Watch this video to see how it works.

Best Site for Daily Deals

DealNews.com is a go-to resource for the retail experts here at Kiplinger. The site offers a curated selection of product deals — ranging from electronics to home goods — that gets updated daily. Bargain hunters can also find smart shopping tips on the site’s blog. Some recent topics include a list of the retailers with the best customer rewards programs, as well as determining when is the best time of year to buy a smart phone. Also, we often call on DealNews experts during the holiday shopping season for advice on where to find the best Black Friday sales.

Best Sites for Deals on Travel

If you’re planning to travel during the pandemic, you can still take advantage of historically low prices on airfare and hotel packages. To find the best travel deals, we often recommend these three sites to help get the most value for your money:

Best Sites for Deals on Gift Cards

No matter if you’re buying a gift card as a present or purchasing one for yourself (to prevent overspending), you can always find them at a lower price through an online gift card exchange site compared to buying direct from the retailer or at retail displays of gift cards in supermarkets. Try these two:

  • GiftDeals (formerly CardPool) offers discounted gift cards from the likes of Best Buy, Nordstrom and Patagonia for up to 35% off face-value. For example, we spotted a $25 Fandango gift card selling for $18.76 — that’s 25% off. The cards available on GiftDeals have no expiration date, no fees and come with a 60-day purchase guarantee of validity. The site says it does this to encourage buyers to use the cards sooner rather than later.
  • GiftCardGranny is another gift card exchange site worth a look thanks to its vast selection and cashback rewards, says TrueTrae.com’s Bodge. You can earn cashback by purchasing select gift cards (think: Lowe’s, Uber Eats and Apple’s App Store) and then redeem the rewards for a direct payout or free gift cards once you’ve earned at least $5 in rewards. In addition to big name retailers, you can also find gift cards for local businesses based on the zip code you enter into the search field.

Also, if you’re a warehouse club member (think Costco), you may be able to pick up gift cards at a discount price in-store or online.

Best Apps and Browser Extensions for Cash-Back Rebates

We’ve previously written about browser extension Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) and why you should take advantage of its rebate offers while shopping online. Once you’ve downloaded the browser extension, sign up for a Rakuten account. After you’ve registered, you’ll gain access to 2,500 online retailers where you can earn up to 40% in cashback rewards. Participating stores include Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Best Buy. You can also find travel and vacation deals from Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz and VRBO where you can earn as much as 5% cashback after booking your travel arrangements. Rakuten even has a blog with helpful tips on how to get the most bang for your buck (and maximize cashback rewards) when shopping on partner sites. 

If you frequently shop using a smart phone, consider downloading a mobile app such as Ibotta that lets you earn cashback on everyday purchases, suggests Rather-Be-Shopping.com’s James. You can score money back on everything from grocery items to pet supplies purchased through the app, which requires linking a credit or debit card to your Ibotta account.

“You can even supercharge your cash back earnings by using your cash back card with a cash back payment app — you will earn 4% cash back every time you pay using the Slide with one of their partner stores,” says Woroch. “Since payments are ultimately processed through a linked credit card, you will get double the rewards just like that.”

Best Sites for Deals on Insurance

Don’t limit your comparison-shopping to traditional retail purchases such as clothes, electronics and household goods. You can even use online sites and tools to help score the best rates on insurance policies. One such site we recommend at Kiplinger is Policygenius.com (listen to our Your Money’s Worth podcast episode with the company’s co-founder and CEO), where you can get price quotes for a range of policies including life, homeowners, auto and renters insurance.

If you need life or long-term care insurance, consider using AccuQuote.com. You’ll have to cough up your contact information so an agent can follow-up with you directly at a later date, but you’ll immediately receive a list of insurers that match your profile and estimated monthly premiums for each plan. For help on selecting the right life insurance plan, see our story How to Shop for Life Insurance.

Source: kiplinger.com