10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

Whether you plan to retire at the beach, near the mountains, or to some other dream destination, make sure you check out the local tax situation before packing your bags and hiring a moving van. If you don’t, you might be unpleasantly surprised by a hefty state and local tax bill in your new hometown.

State and local taxes can vary greatly from one place to another. The difference can easily exceed $10,000 or more per year for some people, which is enough to break the bank for a lot of retirees. So, to avoid this kind of bombshell, make sure you do some research before settling on a new location. You can start with Kiplinger’s State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Retirees. This tool maps out the tax landscape for each state and the District of Columbia, and allows you to do a side-by-side comparison for up to five states at a time.

We also identified the 10 states that impose the highest taxes on retirees, which are listed below (we saved the worst state for last). Our results are based on the estimated state and local tax burden in each state for two hypothetical retired couples with a mixture of income from wages, Social Security, 401(k) plans, traditional and Roth IRAs, private pensions, interest, dividends, and capital gains. One couple had $50,000 in total income and a $250,000 home, while the other had $100,000 of income and a $350,000 home. Take a look to see if your state—or the state you’ve been dreaming about for retirement—made our “least tax-friendly” list for retirees (we hope it didn’t).

See the final slide for a complete description of our ranking methodology and sources of information.

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10. Texas

picture of Texas flag in coinspicture of Texas flag in coins
  • State Income Tax Range: None
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 8.19%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $1,692 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: None

You might be surprised to see the Lone Star State on the list of least tax-friendly states for retirees. Afterall, isn’t Texas one of the handful of states with no income tax? Well, yes, it’s true that there are no income taxes in Texas…which means no taxes on Social Security benefits, pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs, or any other type of retirement income. But a lot of states don’t tax these types of retirement income anyway (or at least partially exempt them), so states without any income tax don’t necessarily have an advantage over other states when it comes to taxes on seniors.

Texas’ main problem is with its property taxes. The state’s median property tax rate is tied for the seventh-highest in the country (the tie is with New York). For our hypothetical retired couples, that means an estimated annual property tax bill of $4,230 for the couple with the $250,000 home and $5,922 for the couple with the $350,000 home. Seniors may be able to get a $10,000 property tax exemption, have their tax bill “frozen,” or delay payment of taxes.

Sales taxes are on the high end in Texas, too. The state imposes a 6.25% tax, but local governments can tack on up to 2% more. When combined, the average state and local sales tax rate in Texas is 8.19%, which is the 14th-highest combined rate in the country.

For more information, see the Texas State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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9. New York

picture of New York flag in coinspicture of New York flag in coins
  • State Income Tax Range: 4% (on taxable income up to $8,500 for single filers; up to $17,150 for joint filers) to 10.9% (on taxable income over $25 million)
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 8.52%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $1,692 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: Estate tax

Unfortunately, the Empire State’s heavy tax burden for middle-class families carries over into retirement—especially when it comes to property taxes. Based on New York’s statewide median tax rate, our first hypothetical retired couple would pay about $4,230 each year in property taxes on their $250,000 home in New York. For our second couple, the annual estimated tax bill is $5,922 for their $350,000 home. Those figures are tied (with Texas) for the seventh-highest amounts in the country for those home values. There are some property tax breaks for seniors, though. Local governments and public-school districts can reduce the assessed value of their home by 50%. Under another program, part of a senior’s home value can be exempt from school property taxes.

New York has high sales taxes, too. There’s a 4% state tax, and localities can add as much as 4.875% in additional taxes on purchases in the state. At 8.52%, New York’s average combined (state and local) sales tax rate is the 10th-highest in the nation.

When it comes to income taxes, New York’s tax bite is less severe for ordinary retirees when compared to other states. Social Security benefits, federal and New York government pensions, and military retirement pay are exempt. However, anything over $20,000 from a private retirement plan (including pensions, IRAs and 401(k) plans) or an out-of-state government plan is taxed. Also, for ultra-wealthy retirees, New York income tax rates were always steep, but they’re even higher now — starting in 2021, the highest rate jumps from 8.82% to 10.9%.

New York also has an estate tax—with an unusual “cliff tax” kicker. Generally, the tax is only imposed on that portion of an estate over the $5.93 million (for 2021) exemption. However, if the value of the estate is more than 105% of the exemption amount, the exemption won’t be available and the entire estate will be subject to New York estate tax. Ouch!

For more information, see the New York State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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8. Iowa

picture of Iowa flag in coinspicture of Iowa flag in coins
  • State Income Tax Range: 0.33% (on taxable income up to $1,676) to 8.53% (on taxable income over $75,420) [For 2022, 0.33% on taxable income up to $1,743 and 8.53% on taxable income over $78,435.]
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 6.94%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $1,529 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: Inheritance tax

The Hawkeye State’s spot on our list of the least tax-friendly states for retirees is primarily based on high property taxes. The statewide median property tax rate in Iowa is the 11th-highest in the U.S. Our imaginary couple with a $250,000 home in the state would fork out about $3,823 per year in real property taxes. The couple with a $350,000 home can expect to pay about $5,352 annually. A property tax credit of up to $1,000 is available to lower-income seniors. (Beginning in 2022, special rules will allow residents who are at least 70 years old with an annual household income of not more than 250% of the federal poverty level to offset increases in property taxes.)

On the income tax front, Social Security benefits are tax-free. There’s also a $6,000 exclusion ($12,000 for joint filers) for most types of federally-taxed retirement income. However, when compared to some ot the tax breaks for retirement income available in other states, the Iowa exclusion doesn’t look all that generous. As a result, income taxes for retirees in the state can be a little on the high end, especially for wealthier residents. (Beginning in 2023, the lowest Iowa personal income tax rate will be 4.4%, while the highest rate will be 6.5%.)

Sales taxes in Iowa are middle-of-the-road. The state rate is 6%, and localities can add as much as 1%. The average combined state and local rate is 6.94%. That puts Iowa in the middle of the pack when it comes to overall sales tax rates.

The Iowa inheritance tax is another thing retirees need to worry about –  at least for the time being. Beginning in 2021, Iowa is phasing out it’s inheritance tax over a five-year period by reducing the rate of tax by 20% each year (the base rates range from 5% to 15%). Therefore, for 2021, Iowa’s inheritance tax ranges from 4% to 12%, depending on the amount of the inheritance and the relationship of the recipient to the decedent. The tax will be completely repealed on January 1, 2025.

For more information, see the Iowa State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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7. Wisconsin

picture of Wisconsin flag in coinspicture of Wisconsin flag in coins
  • State Income Tax Range: 3.54% (on taxable income up to $12,120 for single filers; up to $16,160 for joint filers) to 7.65% (on taxable income over $266,930 for single filers; over $355,910 for joint filers)
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 5.43%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $1,684 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: None

The Badger State suffers from weak income tax breaks for retirement income and high property taxes. While Social Security benefits aren’t subject to Wisconsin’s income taxes, income from pensions and annuities, along with distributions from IRAs and 401(k) plans, are generally taxable. Seniors can subtract up to $5,000 of retirement income (including distributions from IRAs) from Wisconsin taxable income if their federal adjusted gross income is less than $15,000 ($30,000 for a married couple filing jointly). But that exclusion is comparatively small and is only available to retirees with a relatively low income.

Property taxes are the eighth-highest in the U.S. For our hypothetical couple with a $250,000 home in Wisconsin, estimated property taxes would be about $4,210 per year. The make-believe couple with a $350,000 home would have to cough up about $5,894 each year for taxes. Plus, there are limited property tax breaks for retirees. For instance, unlike younger taxpayers, residents age 62 or older don’t need earned income to claim an income tax credit for property taxes paid. Property tax deferral loans are also available for seniors with incomes under $20,000.

There are some bright spots for retirees, though. For example, sales taxes are actually low in Wisconsin. It has the ninth-lowest combined average state and local tax rate in the nation. There are no estate or inheritance taxes, either.

For more information, see the Wisconsin State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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6. Vermont

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  • State Income Tax Range: 3.35% (on taxable income up to $40,350 for single filers; up to $67,450 for joint filers) to 8.75% (on taxable income over $204,000 for single filers; over $248,350 for joint filers)
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 6.24%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $1,861 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: Estate tax

The Green Mountain State offers cold comfort on the tax front to retirees. It has a steep top income tax rate, and most retirement income is taxed. Vermont also taxes all or part of Social Security benefits for single residents with federal adjusted gross income over $45,000 (over $60,000 for married couples filing a joint return).

Vermonters also pay a lot in property taxes. If our first made-up couple owned a $250,000 home in Vermont, they’d pay about $4,653 in property taxes each year. Our second couple, with a $350,000 home, would pay around $6,514 annually. These property tax amounts are the fifth-highest in the U.S. for those home values. Homeowners age 65 and older may qualify for a tax credit worth up to $8,000 if their household income does not exceed a certain level.

Vermont also taxes estates that exceed $5 million in value (for 2021). The tax is imposed at a flat 16% rate.

Sales taxes aren’t too bad in Vermont, though. Local jurisdictions can add 1% to the state’s 6% sales tax, which results in an average combined state and local sales tax rate of 6.24%. That’s below the national average.

For more information, see the Vermont State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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5. Nebraska

picture of Nebraska flag in coinspicture of Nebraska flag in coins
  • State Income Tax Range: 2.46% (on taxable income up to $3,290 for single filers; up to $6,570 for joint filers) to 6.84% (on taxable income over $31,750 for single filers; over $63,500 for joint filers)
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 6.94%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $1,614 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: Inheritance tax

Nebraska is one of the least tax-friendly state in the nation for retirees primarily because of steep income and property taxes. With regard to the state’s income tax system, the Cornhusker State taxes some Social Security benefits and most other retirement income, including IRA withdrawals, 401(k) funds, and public and private pensions. Plus, the top income tax rate kicks in pretty quickly: It applies to taxable income above $31,750 for single filers and $63,500 for married couples filing jointly. (Note that the state is reducing taxes on Social Security benefits starting in 2021 and eliminating taxes on military retirement pay beginning in 2022.)

Nebraska’s inheritance tax ranges from 1% to 18%. The tax on heirs who are immediate relatives is only 1% and does not apply to property that is worth less than $40,000. For remote relatives, the tax rate is 13% and the exemption amount is $15,000. For all other heirs, the tax is imposed at an 18% rate on property worth $10,000 or more.

The median property tax rate in Nebraska is pretty high. For a $250,000 home, the statewide average tax in the state is $4,035 per year. It’s $5,649 for a $350,000 residence. Those totals are the ninth-highest property tax amounts in country for homes at those price points. People over age 65 with income less than a certain amount may qualify for a homestead exemption that exempts all or a portion of their property’s value from taxation.

The state sales tax rate is 5.5%, but local jurisdictions can add an additional 2.5% to the state rate. The average combined state and local sales tax rate is 6.94%, which is in the middle of the pack when compared to other states.

For more information, see the Nebraska State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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4. Kansas

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  • State Income Tax Range: 3.1% (on taxable income from $2,501 to $15,000 for single filers; from $5,001 to $30,000 for joint filers) to 5.7% (on taxable income over $30,000 for single filers; over $60,000 for joint filers)
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 8.7%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $1,369 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: None

While there’s no place like home, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Dorothy (and ToTo, too) fled Kansas when she retired to avoid the state’s high taxes. Looking at the state’s income tax system, distributions from private retirement plans (including IRAs and 401(k) plans) and out-of-state public pensions are fully taxed. Kansas also taxes Social Security benefits received by residents with a federal adjusted gross income of $75,000 or more. Military, federal government and in-state public pensions are exempt from state income taxes, though.

Shopping in Kansas can be expensive, too. The Sunflower State’s average combined state and local sales tax rate is the ninth-highest in the U.S. at 8.7%. Groceries, clothing, and even prescription drugs are subject to state and local sales taxes in Kansas, too.

Property taxes are above the national average as well. The statewide average property tax bill for our first hypothetical retired couple with a $250,000 home in Kansas comes to about $3,423. The bill for our second imaginary couple, with a $350,000 home, is estimated to be $4,792. Those amounts are the 15th-highest in the U.S. Homeowners who satisfy certain age and income requirements may qualify for a property tax refund, though.

The good news is that Kansas does not impose estate or inheritance taxes.

For more information, see the Kansas State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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3. Connecticut

picture of Connecticut flag in coinspicture of Connecticut flag in coins
  • State Income Tax Range: 3% (on taxable income up to $10,000 for single filers; up to $20,000 for joint filers) to 6.99% (on taxable income over $500,000 for single filers; over $1 million for joint filers)
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 6.35%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $2,139 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: Estate tax

The Constitution State is a tax nightmare for many retirees…but at least things are improving on the income tax front. For residents with federal adjusted gross income over $75,000 ($100,000 for joint filers), 25% of Social Security benefits taxed at the federal level are taxed by Connecticut. (Social Security payments are exempt for taxpayers below those income levels.) Plus, for 2020, only 28% of income from a pension or annuity is exempt for taxpayers with less than $75,000 of federal AGI (less than $100,000 for joint filers). But the exemption percentage will increase by 14% each year until it reaches 100% for the 2025 tax year. Military pensions are also excluded from state taxes.

Connecticut has the third-highest property taxes in the U.S., so the $10,000 cap on the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes stings a bit more here. For our two make-believe retired couples, the statewide estimated property tax for a $250,000 home in Connecticut is $5,348 per year, and the estimated annual tax for a $350,000 home in the state is $7,487. The state des offers property tax credits to homeowners who are at least 65 years old and meet income restrictions. Income ceilings are $45,100 for married couples (with a maximum benefit of $1,250) and $37,000 for singles (with a maximum benefit of $1,000).

Connecticut imposes an estate tax on estates valued at $7.1 million or more (for 2021) at progressive rates ranging from 10.8% to 12%. Connecticut is also the only state with a gift tax, which applies to real and tangible personal property in Connecticut and intangible personal property anywhere for permanent residents. Only the amount given since 2005 and over $7.1 million is taxed. Gift tax rates start at 10.8% and go up to 12%.

There are no local sales taxes in Connecticut, so you’ll pay only the statewide sales tax rate of 6.35% on your purchases (slightly below average). Clothing, footwear and accessories priced at more than $1,000; jewelry worth more than $5,000; and most motor vehicles costing $50,000 or more are taxed at 7.75%.

For more information, see the Connecticut State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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2. Illinois

picture of Illinois flag in coinspicture of Illinois flag in coins
  • State Income Tax Range:4.95% (flat rate)
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 8.83%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $2,165 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: Estate tax

There’s a bit of good tax news for retirees in Illinois: Social Security benefits and income from most retirement plans are exempt. Plus, the state’s 4.95% flat income tax rate is relatively low.

Now for the bad news: Property taxes hit retirees hard in Illinois. The statewide median property tax rate in Illinois is the second-highest in the nation—a staggering $5,413 per year on a $250,000 home and a whopping $7,578 on a $350,000 home. Fortunately, there is some relief for qualifying seniors in the form of a homestead exemption of up to $5,000 ($8,000 in Cook County), the ability to “freeze” a home’s assessed value, and a tax deferral program.

Sales tax rates are high in Illinois, too. The state has the seventh-highest average combined state and local sales tax rate at 8.83%. In some locations, the rate can be as high as 11%! And groceries (1% state rate; additional local taxes may apply) and clothing are taxable.

Illinois also has an estate tax that applies to estates worth $4 million or more. That can be bad news for your heirs.

For more information, see the Illinois State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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1. New Jersey

picture of New Jersey flag in coinspicture of New Jersey flag in coins
  • State Income Tax Range: 1.4% (on taxable income up to $20,000) to 10.75% (on taxable income over $1 million)
  • Average Combined State and Local Sales Tax Rate: 6.6%
  • Median Property Tax Rate: $2,417 per $100,000 of assessed home value
  • Estate Tax or Inheritance Tax: Inheritance tax

Sorry, New Jersey, but you’re the least tax-friendly state in the country for retirees. And, once again, it’s the property taxes that are crushing retirees. The Garden State has the highest median property tax rate in the country. If our first make-believe couple bought a $250,000 home in the state, they would pay an eye-popping $6,043 in property taxes each year based on our estimates. Our second couple would pay a sky-high $8,460 on their $350,000 New Jersey home. The state does offer some property tax relief for seniors, though. Homeowners age 65 or older may qualify for a property tax credit of up to $1,000. There’s also a program (the “senior freeze”) that reimburses eligible seniors for property tax increases. And a $250 property tax deduction is available for senior citizens with an annual household income of $10,000 or less.

Income taxes are comparatively low for retirees in New Jersey, thanks in large part to a generous exemption for retirement income. For example, married seniors filing a joint return can exclude up to $100,000 of income from a pension, annuity, IRA, or other retirement plan if their New Jersey income is $100,000 or less. Single taxpayers and married taxpayers filing a separate return can exclude up to $75,000 and $50,000, respectively. We should also point out that Social Security benefits are not taxed in New Jersey, either.

Sales taxes are reasonable in New Jersey, too. The state sales tax rate is 6.625%, but because some areas charge only half the state rate on certain sales, New Jersey’s average state and local combined sales tax rate is only 6.6%, which is a little below average.

Although New Jersey recently eliminated its estate tax, the state still imposes an inheritance tax. The tax rates range from 11% to 16% on inherited property with a value of $500 or more. The amount of tax due is based on who specifically receives the property and how much the property is worth.

For more information, see the New Jersey State Tax Guide for Retirees.

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About Our Methodology

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Our tax maps and related tax content include data from a wide range of sources. To generate our rankings, we created a metric to compare the tax burden in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Data Sources:

Income tax – Our income tax information comes from each state’s tax agency. Income tax forms and instructions were also used. See more about how we calculated the income tax for our hypothetical retired couples below under “Ranking method.”

Property tax – The median property tax rate is based on the median property taxes paid and the median home value in each state for 2019 (the most recent year available). The data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sales tax – State sales tax rates are from each state’s tax agency. We also cite the Tax Foundation’s figure for average combined sales tax, which is a population-weighted average of state and local sales taxes. In states that let local governments add sales taxes, this gives an estimate of what most people in a given state actually pay, as those rates can vary widely.

Ranking Method:

The “tax-friendliness” of a state depends on the sum of income, sales and property tax paid by our two hypothetical retired couples.

To determine income taxes due, we prepared returns for both couples. The first couple had $15,000 of earned income (wages), $20,500 of Social Security benefits, $4,500 of 401(k) plan distributions, $4,000 of traditional IRA withdrawals, $3,000 of Roth IRA withdrawals, $200 of taxable interest, $1,000 of dividend income, and $1,800 of long-term capital gains for a total income of $50,000 for the year. They also had $10,000 of medical expenses, paid $2,500 in real estate taxes, paid $1,200 in mortgage interest, and donated $1,900 (cash and property) to charity.

The second couple had $37,500 of Social Security benefits, $26,100 of 401(k) plan distributions, $18,200 of private pension money, $4,000 of traditional IRA withdrawals, $2,000 of Roth IRA withdrawals, $2,000 of tax-exempt municipal bond interest (from the state of residence), $2,000 of taxable interest, $4,000 of dividend income, and $4,200 of long-term capital gains for a total income of $100,000 for the year. They also had $10,000 of medical expenses, paid $3,200 in real estate taxes, paid $1,500 in mortgage interest, and donated $4,300 (cash and property) to charity.

Since some states have local income taxes, we domiciled both our couples in each state’s capital, from Juneau to Cheyenne. We calculated their 2019 income tax returns using software from eFile.com.

How much they paid in sales taxes was calculated using the IRS’ Sales Tax Calculator, which is localized to zip code. To determine those, we used Zillow to determine zip codes with housing inventory close to our sample assessed value.

How much each hypothetical family paid (and deducted on their income tax return, if allowed) in property taxes was calculated by assuming a residence with a $250,000 assessed value for the first couple and a $350,000 assessed value for the second couple. We then applied each state’s median property tax rate to that appropriate amount.

Source: kiplinger.com

How to Sell a Car You Still Have a Loan On

When someone wants or needs to sell a vehicle, but they still owe money on it, the process can be different from selling one without a loan balance — in other words, with a vehicle that’s been paid off in full. This post will guide you through how to sell a car with a loan under a few different scenarios and then will offer tips on buying the next vehicle.

How to Sell a Car You Still Owe Money On

At a high level, selling a vehicle with a loan has three main steps:

1.    Gather important info.

2.    Determine if you have positive or negative equity.

3.    Pick a selling option.

We’ll explore each of these steps in more depth next.

Gather Important Info

First, get a sense of what the car is worth. This will depend upon its condition, so objectively look at your vehicle. How clean is it? How well has it been maintained? What does the body and interior look like? Examine other used cars like yours for sale and see how they’re priced.

Look at used car valuation guides, as well. They will have different values for trade-ins (when working with a dealership) than for private-party sales (when selling to an individual), and will also list retail values. Look at the one that will fit the situation.

Also, verify the payoff amount on the vehicle’s loan. This will include the principal balance plus any accrued interest and is often available online or can be obtained by calling the lender. During the conversation about selling a vehicle with a loan, you can also find out how to send the payoff amount to the lender and when the lender wants to receive it (before or after the sale of the car).

Recommended: 31 Ways to Save Money on Car Maintenance

Determine If You Have Positive or Negative Equity

The vehicle’s equity is the difference between the resale value and the amount owed on it, and this number can be positive or negative.

Let’s say that a vehicle is valued at $20,000 with a loan amount of $10,000; that car has a positive equity amount of $10,000. If, though, the vehicle is valued at $20,000 and the outstanding loan amount is $25,000, then it has negative equity of $5,000. Loans on cars with negative equity are referred to as “upside-down” or “underwater.”

So, when figuring out how to sell a car with a loan, the processes will differ based on whether the vehicle has positive or negative equity as well as the selling option you select.

Pick a Selling Option

If you have a car with an outstanding loan balance — and it isn’t practical or even possible to pay it off — then selling a car with a loan can typically be handled in one of three ways:

•   Selling it to a used car dealership.

•   Selling it privately to another person.

•   Trading it in.

Selling a Car to a Used Car Dealership

If a car dealership will buy used cars without requiring that you buy one from them during the transaction, then the process will probably be pretty straightforward. The dealer will offer you a certain dollar amount and, if you agree, they will pay off the lender in exchange for getting the vehicle’s title.

If there is positive equity on the vehicle, then you’ll get the money that remains after the loan balance is paid off. If it’s a negative equity situation, then you’d need to pay the difference between what the used car dealer is willing to pay and what it takes to pay off the loan.

For example, If a dealer offers $15,000 on a vehicle that has a $10,000 loan, then the dealer would take care of the loan payoff and provide the person selling the car the remaining money (minus any fees involved). In a negative equity situation, for example, if the vehicle’s value is $10,000 and the outstanding loan is $13,000, then the seller would need to chip in the difference (in this case, $3,000 plus any fees) to complete the sale and transfer the title to the buyer.

Recommended: Smarter Ways to Get a Car Loan

Selling a Car Privately

With a private sale, you might get more money than you would from a used car dealer (who needs to re-sell the vehicle at a profit), but you’d also need to take on more responsibility for managing the sale. This includes the transfer of title and payment of fees among other duties.

Steps to take include the following:

•   Get the current loan payoff from the lender (there will likely be interest owed beyond the principal amount).

•   Find out what paperwork they’ll need and how they want the process to work.

•   Have the buyer follow the lender’s procedures when paying for the car.

From the lender’s perspective, they want to ensure that they get paid. So, as just one possibility, they may have a buyer pay them the agreed-upon price for the vehicle. If it’s more than what’s owed, then the lender could give you the overage. If it’s less than what’s owed, you could give the bank the difference between the price and loan amount.

When selling a car with a loan privately, you’ll also need to handle any fees and forms with the motor vehicle department of your state.

Trading In a Car You Still Owe Money On

As a third possibility, you could trade in the car with a loan balance to a dealer as part of purchasing either a new or used car. The dealer will offer a certain amount of credit for the trade-in vehicle and if its value is more than the loan amount, that difference would go towards the purchase of the replacement vehicle.

If the loan amount is higher than the value, then the dealer may agree to combine the vehicle’s negative equity with the loan for the replacement vehicle. If this is the chosen route, the term may need to be extended to create affordable payments and this will potentially lead to more interest being paid on the new loan.

Recommended: Leasing vs. Buying a Car: What’s Right for You?

The Takeaway

Selling a car with a loan is a little different from selling one that’s paid in full. When thinking about how to sell a financed car, it’s easier to do so if you have positive equity in your car but still can be doable with negative equity. Some options include selling to a dealer or to an individual or trading in the vehicle towards another one.

Setting up a SoFi Money® Vault as a car fund can be a good option for saving towards a new car if you’re considering selling your current vehicle. Account-holders earn interest on their deposits and pay zero fees, so more of your hard-earned money can be put toward your financial goals.

Learn how you can save, spend, and earn all in one place with SoFi Money.

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The SoFi Money® Annual Percentage Yield as of 03/15/2020 is 0.20% (0.20% interest rate). Interest rates are variable subject to change at our discretion, at any time. No minimum balance required. SoFi doesn’t charge any ATM fees and will reimburse ATM fees charged by other institutions when a SoFi Money™ Mastercard® Debit Card is used at any ATM displaying the Mastercard®, Plus®, or NYCE® logo. SoFi reserves the right to limit or revoke ATM reimbursements at any time without notice.

Source: sofi.com

You Just Might Survive “Squid Game” If You Have These Things in Your Apartment


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ve probably heard something about Netflix’s new survival show “Squid Game.”

The Korean hit was released in September 2021, and as of this article’s publication, has surpassed 110 million viewers worldwide. To put that into perspective, “Game of Thrones” averaged about 45 million viewers per episode across all platforms. However, that number has surely climbed since GoT ended in 2019.

What is “Squid Game”?

“Squid Game” focuses on a group of indebted participants who agree to play a series of games to win a massive cash prize. The games get progressively more challenging — both physically and psychologically — as the players try to be the last man or woman standing.

It’s basically a more violent version of the “Hunger Games.” If you’re out, then you’re dead.

As players progress, they quickly learn that different strategies and experiences that they had in the past can either help or hurt them in the various challenges. So, that got us wondering, if the “Squid Game” was real (and thank goodness it’s not), what apartment possessions would help renters most as they advance through the competition?

Common items in your apartment that would give you a “Squid Game” advantage

We thought about things that are frequently found in apartments — and a few things that are less common. Obviously, you aren’t allowed to bring any of these items with you, but rather using them in the past would give you the unique experience and skills necessary to solve the majority of the games.

Here’s our list of 11 apartment items that would help you survive “Squid Game.”


1. Working sewing machine

sewing machine

sewing machine

This one might be the most obvious of the bunch. The second game on the show involves players trying to remove a shape from the honeycomb — without breaking that shape. Players are given a sewing needle and 10 minutes to accomplish the task.

We figure most people have some form of a sewing kit in their apartments to fix broken buttons and small holes, but that doesn’t make you a master of the needle. But, if you have a working sewing machine that’s not just a vintage décor item, chances are you’re a pretty good seamstress or seamster. With a practiced hand (and maybe Gi-hun’s saliva trick), you should be able to knock out that umbrella in a cinch.

2. Yoga mat

The first game that players see is a not-so-simple version of Red Light, Green Light. While you may think this is a game of speed, it’s really more about agility. You need to be able to stop and start on a dime and hold a pose in some pretty uncomfortable positions to survive this first “Squid Game” challenge.

What else do people use to practice holding poses in uncomfortable positions for an extended period of time? Yogis for the win here.

3. Glass coffee table

OK, this is another obvious one.

If you have a glass coffee table in your apartment, you’ve had at least one moment when you’ve dropped something (likely your cell phone or car keys), held your breath and prayed as it tumbled toward the glass. When that item just harmlessly clinked off the surface instead of shattering it, you got the noise you need to tell what tempered glass sounds like when something is bounced off of it.

4. Lots of stairs and no elevator

If you live in a fifth-floor walk-up, the struggle is real. But think of the silver lining here that could save your life in “Squid Game.”

Chances are you’re not going to make multiple trips up and down several flights of stairs with your grocery bags. So, you’re doing it all in one trip, weighing down your body with cans of La Croix and frozen pierogies. This becomes a pretty good leg workout, especially after a few months.

Think how prepared you now are to just plant your feet and let your opponents tire themselves out during tug of war.

5. Neighbor’s spare key

spare keys

spare keys

A pivotal moment in “Squid Game” came in the third episode when players started forming teams to look out for one another during the games and for protection after the games ended. This involved building trust and forming relationships with complete strangers. However, there’s still a feeling of skepticism for many people — after all, only one person can win.

If you have a neighbor’s key, you’ve unknowingly begun forming your own social teams in your apartment community. While you trust your neighbors to grab your packages or hold your keys in case you get locked out, you don’t want them to know all of your business. But if they need you, you’re there with a tablespoon of sugar.

Just don’t play marbles with them…

6. Book of sudoku puzzles

Speaking of marbles, one of the most psychologically challenging games in the show came in the sixth episode when players partnered up and then learned they had to play a game of marbles against each other. Players on the verge of losing (we’re looking at you, Sang-woo) showed their wits by tricking their opponents into handing over all of the marbles.

In a scenario like this, you want to be quick-witted, a good problem solver and great with numbers. Check, check and check for all you sudoku fans who now have better odds of surviving “Squid Game.”

7. TV in your bedroom

Sleeping after lights out in “Squid Game” can be just as deadly as the games themselves. After the first night of riots, players built bunkers to protect themselves from other gangs.

You’ll have no trouble taking the first or even second watch if you’re already used to staying up late to binge your favorite sitcoms from the ’90s. And if you’re one of the lucky people who can fall asleep with the TV on, you still likely have the uncanny ability to immediately wake up at the slightest disturbance, like when Ross accidentally said Rachel when marrying Emily on “Friends.”

8. Set of tools

There’s no direct correlation here between any of your tools and any specific moment in the show, rather it just makes you think outside the (tool)box a little bit.

If you’re able to MacGyver something in your apartment just using a Phillips head screwdriver and duct tape, you’ll have a better chance of using what’s around to survive the “Squid Game.” Just look at what Mi-nyeo did with the smuggled lighter.

Also, if you don’t have a toolbox, here are a few essential tools you really should have for your apartment.

9. Pogs



Trends from the ’90s are “cool” again, so it’s likely there are a few very hipster-minded renters out there who have stumbled upon a collection of Pogs from a used toy store. Probably in Portland. And while many of us may shake our heads at the strange decisions of our youth, those Pogs may actually keep you out of the “Squid Game” in the first place.

Remember way back at the beginning of the show, Gi-hun was approached on a subway platform to play ddakji, a Korean version of milk caps — from which Pogs originated. Things didn’t go too well for Gi-hun. By the time he was able to flip his opponent’s card, he was happy to take the money.

If you’re a Pog champion, you’re likely not losing as many of those first rounds. Do you really think the Front Man would eagerly recruit someone who was able to win that easily? We doubt it.

10. A Philadelphia Eagles jersey


Attending a football game in Philadelphia is basically like participating in a low-key “Squid Game.” This is especially true if you have the audacity to wear opposing colors. You’ve witnessed all the dirty tricks and have seen what’s needed for survival. In fact, chances are that you’d be leading one of the gangs during the night riots while everyone is trying to rest, making enemies with all the other players.

We’re pretty sure Deok-su was an Eagles fan.

11. Cats

Let’s be honest here. Who really knows what cats are thinking? They wander around the apartment all night, making all sorts of noise and may or may not already be trying to kill you while you sleep.

If you’ve survived this long, you’re probably in good shape for the “Squid Game.”

This article is for entertainment purposes only and should be viewed as such.

Source: rent.com

Stock Market Today: Inflation Data, Fed Minutes Fail to Budge Dow Much

Investors bored by a drought of news earlier this week had their prayers answered Wednesday with a mess of headlines – yet none of it really gave the market much impetus.

Today’s early headline was September’s CPI reading, which showed a 5.4% year-over-year in consumer prices that was slightly hotter than the 5.3% expected. 

“Some of the transitory components are already moderating, such as airlines, apparels, and used autos. Disruptions due to supply chains not being able to keep up with the spike in demand may take longer but will eventually be fixed,” says Anu Gaggar, Global Investment Strategist for Commonwealth Financial Network. “However, higher rents and wages could prove to be stickier and eat into corporate margins.”

BofA Global Research similarly warns about non-transitory risks. “While one month does not make a trend, this is an early signal of stronger persistent inflation pressures materializing, ultimately supporting continued above-target inflation over the medium term,” a team of BofA economists says.

Later Wednesday, minutes of the Sept. 21-22 Federal Reserve meeting showed that it could begin a “gradual tapering process” starting as early as mid-November and ending by mid-2022.

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“In our view, the bar to get moving on asset purchase tapering is very low for the Fed, and in terms of the likely composition of tapering, there appears to be considerable agreement,” says Bob Miller, BlackRock’s head of Americas Fundamental Fixed Income. “Indeed, we already had the impression in July that the reduction in Treasury securities and MBS would occur at the same time, and assuming a November to June 2022 tapering timeline, this would imply a $15 billion reduction in the purchase pace per month, or a faster meeting-by-meeting adjustment schedule.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a marginal loss to 34,377. The S&P 500 fared a bit better, up 0.3% to 4,363, while the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.7% higher to 14,571.

Financials (-0.6%) were Wednesday’s worst sector. The Dow’s performance was hampered by declines in components American Express (AXP, -3.5%), Visa (V, -0.7%) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM, -2.6%) – the latter of which fell despite announcing Street-beating revenues and profits to kick off the Q3 earnings season.

“JPM’s pullback today in the face of a fairly positive earnings report does not suggest optimism for banks reporting through the remainder of this week,” says David Keller, chief market strategist at StockCharts.com. 

Speaking to the charts, Keller adds, “After peaking just above $170, the stock has now rotated below $165 yet again, completing a ‘failed breakout’ pattern that implies a lack of investor confidence. I would expect further backing and filling for stocks like JPM before any further upside is likely.”

Stock chart of JPMorgan Chase (JPM)Stock chart of JPMorgan Chase (JPM)

Other news in the stock market today:

  • The small-cap Russell 2000 climbed 0.3% to 2,241.
  • BlackRock (BLK, +3.8%) shares enjoyed a post-earnings lift today. In the third quarter, the world’s largest asset manager – with $9.46 trillion in assets under management – reported earnings of $10.95 per share on $5 billion in revenues. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings per share of $9.35 on $4.9 billion in revenues. CFRA analyst Catherine Seifert kept her Strong Buy rating on BlackRock: “Despite some tough year-to-year comparisons, we view BLK as a best-in-class asset manager with above-peer growth and profitability metrics set to support the shares’ above-peer valuation,” she says.
  • Delta Air Lines (DAL, -5.8%) was also in focus after earnings. While the airline reported higher-than-expected adjusted profits of 30 cents per share on $9.15 billion in revenues, its results were still below 2019 levels. DAL also warned that higher fuel costs could weigh on its bottom line in the current quarter. Nevertheless, CFRA analyst Colin Scarola maintained his Strong Buy rating on Delta. “The current stock sell-off is hyperfocused on today’s challenges (high oil prices and limited business and international travel), but investors will be better served to think about a year from now, by which time we expect lower fuel prices and a near full recovery for business/international,” he wrote in a note.
  • U.S. crude futures shed 0.2% to end at $80.44 per barrel, snapping a five-day winning streak.
  • Gold futures gained 2% to settle at $1,794.70 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) declined 6.8% to 18.50.
  • Bitcoin prices firmed up by 3.6% to $57,272.90. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
stock chart for 101321stock chart for 101321

What’s in Your 401(k)?

If you’re like many workplace savers, you might have checked what funds you were holding once, and only once – when you started contributing to your 401(k) and set your initial allocations.

If that sounds like you, consider taking a fresh look, for any number of reasons. Your investment goals might have changed. You might be due for a rebalancing. Or you simply might understand your investment options better now. Importantly, you don’t have to go it alone.

Kiplinger has begun its annual look at the market’s most popular 401(k) funds – a list of 100 products that are commonly found in company 401(k) plans nationwide. And naturally, we’ve started this year’s exploration with one of the most popular names among thrifty investors: Vanguard.

Vanguard funds account for a whopping one-third of the 401(k) world’s top products, so chances are your plan offers up at least a couple of its funds. We look at each of the fund provider’s actively managed and target-date products that rank in the 100 most popular 401(k) funds, rating them Buy, Hold or Sell – and explaining what you get out of each one.

Source: kiplinger.com

What is a High-Rise Apartment: Everything You Need to Know

When shopping for an apartment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many types and styles of available apartments. This also applies when shopping for an apartment building. There are low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise apartment buildings. Each has different characteristics and amenities. Knowing what a high-rise apartment is goes a long way in helping you decide if this type of apartment is right for you.

What is a high-rise apartment?

The National Fire Protection Association defines high-rise apartments as being taller than 75 feet or seven stories high. These buildings can range upwards of 40 or 50 floors, with some in New York City reaching more than 70 floors.

These apartment buildings also share other characteristics beyond height. Many also often come standard with elevators, a doorman and/or security guard, a lobby and a laundry room. Other amenities may include a fitness center, swimming pool, business center, meeting rooms and even guest suites.

How safe are high-rise apartments?

High-rise apartment buildings are built to withstand strong winds and earthquakes. They are constructed to sway a bit with high winds so the building elements don’t break. In most cases, residents don’t actually feel the building move.

Improved technology in building materials also has improved the likelihood of high-rise buildings sustaining little or no serious damage from an earthquake. Updates to building codes also help to improve the chances of structures sustaining seismic damage. These are maintained by the International Code Council (ICC).

Fire safety is another concern for residents living in high-rise buildings. It’s important to talk with the landlord or building manager to confirm all safety measures in place. This includes a working sprinkler system, smoke detectors and clearly marked exit stairwells. It’s also important to discuss the emergency route from your apartment to the building exit in the event of a fire. If fire safety features are missing or not working, then you may need to look elsewhere for an apartment.

high rise building at night

high rise building at night

How do I know which floor offers the best location?

Finding the right apartment in a high-rise building depends on your individual wants and needs. A lower-floor apartment allows for quicker access to the outdoors without the need for an elevator and makes it easier to move in furniture. Plus, apartments close to the ground floor tend to be the most affordable option. On the flip side, you may hear street noise more easily.

Renting an apartment on a high floor could result in gorgeous, scenic views and no street noise. However, you also may feel the building sway more than other residents, which could be a problem if you’re afraid of heights or experience vertigo. Depending on the floor, you also may not have any outdoor space or even windows you can open. Plus, you may find yourself waiting for an elevator. This could be a real hindrance if you’re running late for work or have a dog that needs to go outside. In addition, apartments located on the top floors of a high-rise building often cost more because of the views.

Choosing an apartment in the middle of a high-rise apartment building could be a great compromise. You have a good view, you don’t have to wait long for the elevator and the rent works for your budget. The tradeoff may be noisy neighbors. You’ll have neighbors above and below you, as well as on each side unless you have an end unit. Before choosing a mid-level apartment, ask the landlord to let you visit the property in the early evening or on a weekend when the neighbors are home.

Is it better to rent a high-rise apartment or a low-rise apartment?

While high-rise apartment buildings are defined as those seven or more stories, low-rise apartments usually don’t have more than four floors. They may not have elevators, which could be a deciding factor if mobility is an issue for you or your family. Also, low-rise apartments typically are located outside the city center. They often boast additional amenities like a clubhouse, tennis courts, walking trails and picnic and grilling areas.

Rent for low-rise apartments may be more affordable than high-rise buildings. But the commute could be longer with fewer public transportation options. And they may not offer as many dining and entertainment options near your home as a more urban spot would.

Should I consider a mid-rise apartment?

As the name implies, a mid-rise apartment is generally defined as apartment buildings between five and 40 stories. These combine some of the best features of both high-rise apartments and low-rise apartment buildings. Think scenic views from the top floors, convenience to dining and entertainment and amenities such as a swimming pool and doorman. Mid-rise apartment buildings also may be found in both city centers and the suburbs, so you can find one in the area of town you want to live in.

How do I find the right apartment for me?

To find the best apartment for you, whether high-rise or not, make a list of all the amenities and safety features you want. Include what you want from your community, such as a quick commute to work, lots of dining and shopping options and near family and friends. These lists will go a long way in determining what type of apartment you want and where you want to live.



Source: apartmentguide.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

11 Best Browser Extensions to Save Money While Shopping Online

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Dig Deeper

Additional Resources

Americans are shopping online more than ever before. According to the United States Census Bureau, online retailers in the U.S. took in about $759 billion in 2020. That’s more than 13% of all retail sales in the country.

As we spend more online, we’ve become more interested in finding ways to save online. We use sites to compare prices across multiple sites and search for coupon codes that provide deals like discounts or free shipping. Tricks like that can save you money, but they take extra time — sometimes more than it’s worth to save a dollar or two.

Fortunately, there’s an easier way to save when you shop online. All you have to do is install a browser extension, a plug-in that extends the capabilities of a Web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. But to leverage the online savings, you need to choose the best browser extension for your shopping needs. 

Several money-saving browser extensions can do the work of online bargain-hunting for you. Some compare prices, some find and apply coupon codes, and some help you cash in on cash-back deals. And the best of the bunch can do all three.

1. Capital One Shopping

The Capital One Shopping add-on is an online shopping assistant that uses real-time data from its millions of users to find you better deals. As more people use Capital One Shopping, it gets better at finding low prices and coupon codes that work.

Capital One Shopping combines several of the features of other browser add-ons in one. These include:

  • Price Checking. When you search for a product online or scan a bar code in a store, Capital One Shopping searches for better prices elsewhere. It displays all the prices it finds from Amazon sellers and other top retailers on a single page. 
  • Coupon Checking. When you add something to your online shopping cart, Capital One Shopping goes into coupon-checking mode. It checks multiple coupon codes to see which ones have worked for other Capital One Shopping users and automatically applies the one that gives you the bigger discount. 
  • Price Tracking. If you decide not to make a purchase, Capital One Shopping continues to track prices for the product. If it goes on sale, the app notifies you so you can jump on the bargain.
  • Shopping Rewards. Capital One Shopping also functions as a rewards app. When you shop through the extension, you earn rewards credits at its partner stores, including eBay and Walmart. You can cash in your credits for gift cards at these same stores at Capital One Shopping’s website.

Capital One Shopping is available for Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. There’s also a Capital One Shopping mobile app for iOS and Android.

Read our Capital One Shopping review for more information.

Add Capital One Shopping Extention

Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up for Capital One Shopping using the links we provided.

2. Honey

Of all the money-saving extensions you can add to your browser, none get more rave reviews than Honey by PayPal. This free add-on saves you money in various ways:

  • Coupon Codes. Honey automatically seeks out promo codes for over 30,000 online retailers, including Amazon, Macy’s, Target, and even eateries such as Pizza Hut. The extension compares all the available codes for the site you’re shopping and automatically applies the one that gives you the biggest discount.
  • Amazon Price Comparison. When you shop on Amazon, Honey tells you which of the site’s many sellers offers the best final price on a product, including sales tax and shipping. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, Honey factors that in when calculating shipping costs.
  • Price History. Honey also tracks price changes on Amazon. It can show you how a product’s price has changed over the last 30, 60, 90, or 120 days. If you don’t like the current price, you can add the product to your Droplist and have Honey notify you when the price drops.
  • Cash Back. Shopping with Honey earns you cash back, or Honey Gold, at over 4,500 participating sites, including Macy’s, Groupon, and Walmart. Just click a browser button to activate your rewards, and Honey applies them while searching for coupons at checkout. You can cash in Honey Gold for gift cards from participating stores.
  • Referral Bonuses. You can also earn bonuses for referring your friends to Honey. You send them a link, and when they sign up and make their first purchase, you earn 500 Honey Gold — the equivalent of $5.

Honey works with Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari browsers.

Honey also offers a rewards app for iOS versions 13 and up called the Honey Smart Shopping Assistant. Like the browser add-on, it can automatically find and apply coupon codes and deals, but it has an extra perk: You can access all your favorite stores at once through the app. That allows you to find the best deal and cash in without having to visit multiple sites.

Read our Honey review for more information.

Add Honey Extension

3. Rakuten Cash Back Button

The rewards site Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) offers a browser extension called the Cash Back Button. It gives you access to both cash back and coupon codes at over 2,500 stores. 

The extension displays a pop-up message to tell you when there’s cash back available at a store you’re shopping. If there is, you can just click to activate it. Rakuten can even show you which sites have cash-back offers directly in your search results on Google, Yahoo, or Bing. You can compare cash-back offers across multiple stores and choose the best deal. 

The money you earn goes into your Rakuten account, and you can cash it in once per quarter for a check or PayPal credit. You can also choose to use the Cash Back for Change feature to donate some of your credit to charity. Rakuten rounds your check or credit down to the nearest dollar and divides the change among three worthy charities.

The Cash Back Button also seeks out coupon codes when you shop. Just click “Apply Coupon” at checkout, and the extension automatically applies the coupon or promo code that gives you the best discount. It can even let you know when there’s a Groupon offer available at a local business you search for on Yelp or Google Maps.

The Rakuten Cash Back Button is free to install. It’s available for Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Read our Rakuten review for more information.

Add Rakuten Extension

4. CouponCabin Sidekick

CouponCabin Sidekick is a free browser extension from the rewards site CouponCabin. It has two primary features: coupon codes and cash-back offers.

To get cash back from CouponCabin Sidekick, you must log in to your CouponCabin account before shopping (you can’t receive cash back if you added a product to your cart before logging in). Click through from your account to one of CouponCabin’s 3,500 partner stores to see how much cash back you can earn there. 

There are a few limitations when shopping with Sidekick. You can’t earn cash back on orders through a store’s mobile app or those placed online and picked up in-store. You can’t use the extension with a firewall or ad-blocking software. And you can’t combine cash-back offers from Sidekick with any coupon that’s not from CouponCabin, even one from the store itself.

On the plus side, CouponCabin Sidekick lists the available offers both when you shop and when you search on Google. For instance, let’s say you’re searching for a DVD set. Right in your search results above the name of each store that offers the DVD set, the extension displays a little cabin icon showing what discounts and cash-back offers are available at that particular store.

CouponCabin Sidekick is available for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.

Add CouponCabin Sidekick Extension

5. Ibotta

Ibotta, a popular mobile coupon app, is also now available as a Firefox or Chrome extension. To use the Ibotta extension, you must first set up an Ibotta account if you don’t already have one. The Ibotta extension requires you to log in to your account before shopping to earn rewards. 

It works with over 1,000 online retailers, including Overstock, Petco, and Bed Bath & Beyond. When you purchase through one of these sites, the app displays a button showing how much cash back you can earn. Click it to activate rewards, then shop and pay as usual.

This browser add-on also works with online grocery delivery services like Instacart. When you shop through these services, the extension highlights cash-back offers with a pink box around the cash-back-eligible product. Click to buy, and the cash shows up in your Ibotta account within 24 hours. 

As soon as you have at least $20 in your account, you can log into the Ibotta app on your mobile device to cash in your earnings. You can opt for a bank transfer, PayPal deposit, or gift card.

Reach out Ibotta review for more information.

Add Ibotta Extension

6. Earny

If you like lotteries and sweepstakes, Earny is for you. This Chrome extension earns you cash back on your online purchases and enters you into a prize drawing with every action you take on the app. The more tickets you earn, the higher your chances of winning prizes such as cash, prepaid Visa cards, and free Amazon gift cards.

Other features of Earny include:

  • Cash back on up to 5,000 brands
  • Extra cash back when you share links with friends
  • Price tracking and price drop alerts for goods on your Amazon wish lists
  • Up to 90 days of price protection on purchases at more than 15 major retailers
  • Notifications when an Amazon package arrives late so you can request compensation

Add Earny Extension

7. The Camelizer

Frequent Amazon shoppers already know about the website CamelCamelCamel, which tracks the prices of millions of Amazon products over time. Since prices on Amazon change daily (sometimes even minute by minute), being able to see a product’s price history helps you figure out whether the current price is a good deal or not. 

CamelCamelCamel also offers a free browser extension called The Camelizer for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. This add-on lets you see a product’s price history directly from Amazon without having to visit a separate page. And like the website, it can also import your Amazon wish list and alert you when the price of any product on it drops.

Currently, The Camelizer only tracks Amazon prices. But it has covered a couple of other retailers in the past and could do so again in the future.

Add The Camelizer Extension

The free PriceBlink extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari helps you find the best price for a product. But instead of tracking prices over time on just one site like The Camelizer does, PriceBlink compares prices across thousands of sites and lets you know when there’s a better deal elsewhere.

For instance, let’s say you’re looking at a pair of boots Amazon sells for $100. PriceBlink recognizes the brand and style and instantly searches more than 4,000 other sites to see if any other retailer carries the same boots for less. If it finds one, the lower price pops up on the PriceBlink toolbar, and you can simply click to view the listing.

PriceBlink can also help you find coupon codes. When you visit a retail site, the PriceBlink toolbar shows you a list of the best coupons available on that site. Click on an offer to copy the coupon code to your clipboard. Then, paste it into the appropriate field at checkout. 

If you’re not sure what product you want to buy, PriceBlink can help you there too. When looking at a product on a retail site, you can click “Ratings” in the PriceBlink toolbar to see how users rated the product on other sites. That gives you a better overall picture of users’ opinions than the ratings on just one site.

If that sounds like a lot of information to have cluttering up your screen, don’t worry. The PriceBlink toolbar stays hidden most of the time and only pops up when it finds you a deal on a particular product you’re viewing.

Add PriceBlink Extension

9. Fakespot

Comparing online product reviews through PriceBlink is handy, but there’s one problem: You can’t be sure those reviews are authentic. Sometimes, sellers on Amazon and other sites hire people to post good reviews for their products. You can’t always tell if a product has a 5-star overall rating because it’s a fantastic product or because the company paid lots of people to say it is.

That’s where Fakespot comes in. This free plug-in for Firefox or Chrome (also available as an iOS or Android app) analyzes reviews on Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, TripAdvisor, Sephora, Steam, or Yelp. It looks for suspicious patterns that suggest the reviews are fake. It then gives the product a grade from A to F to indicate how trustworthy the reviews are. 

If you want, you can click on this grade to see a more detailed analysis showing which phrases reviewers are using most often and what percentage of the reviews appear to be legit. It also highlights the most important points made in the legitimate reviews. 

Fakespot also checks ratings for eBay and third-party sellers on Amazon. If the reviews suggest a seller is unreliable, the extension recommends an alternative seller for the same product. 

Fakespot has several options to make it easier to use. For example, it can show Fakespot grades on Amazon product pages and listing pages so you can simply skip over products with a bunch of bogus reviews. It can also sort and filter Google search results based on Fakespot grades. But you can turn these features off if you don’t want to use them.

To use Fakespot, you must either have a Google account or create a Fakespot account. If you choose the latter option, Fakespot tracks your product searches and sends you product updates and offers from its partners.

Add PriceBlink Extension

10. InvisibleHand

InvisibleHand compares prices when you shop and links to the lowest price on a product you’re viewing. But InvisibleHand works with fewer retailers than PriceBlink: Sears, Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Newegg.

The primary use of InvisibleHand is for finding travel deals. When you search for flights on an airline’s website, InvisibleHand lets you know if there’s a cheaper flight available to the same destination and gives you a link directly to the lowest price. It can also find deals on hotels and rental cars.

Another unique feature of InvisibleHand is that it can find hidden prices on retail sites. Some retailers don’t reveal the price of merchandise until you put it in your shopping cart. Typically, they do that because they’re not allowed to advertise the product for less than a certain minimum price. InvisibleHand gets around that limitation, ferreting out and showing you the real price of the product.

InvisibleHand is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Add InvisibleHand Extension

11. Piggy

The Piggy extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari is primarily a coupon finder. It works with thousands of online stores, including major retailers like Macy’s and Walmart, hotel chains like Hilton, car rental services like Hertz, and deal sites like Groupon. When you shop on these sites, Piggy seeks out and tests every coupon code available for that site and applies the one that gives you the most savings.

However, Piggy has a perk other coupon apps don’t have: It can find you special deals at hotels, including rates hotels haven’t officially published online. That makes Piggy an excellent choice for frequent travelers.

Piggy also has a cash-back feature. In addition to looking for coupons when you check out, it lets you earn cash back at more than 6,000 stores. When the earnings in your Piggy account reach $25, it automatically sends you a check.

Add Piggy Extension

Final Word

Each of these browser extensions can save you money on its own. However, there’s no need to limit yourself to just one. 

For instance, if you’re shopping on Amazon, you can use Fakespot to see if the reviews are legit. If it looks good, you can consult The Camelizer to see how Amazon’s price for the product looks today and whether you should wait for a better deal. And finally, you can check PriceBlink to see if there’s a better price available on another site.

Even when two different add-ons have similar benefits — for instance, finding coupon codes and cash-back offers — it can’t hurt to have both installed. The list of retail sites that work with Honey isn’t necessarily identical to the list for Rakuten or CouponCabin Sidekick, so installing all three increases your chances of finding a deal. 

You can’t earn cash back from more than one extension for the same purchase. However, you can sometimes use a coupon code from one and earn cash back from another. By having an assortment of browser add-ons to choose from, you can ensure you always get the best possible combination of deals.

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Source: moneycrashers.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