credit & debt

Best of Everything 2010: Best Credit and Savings Deals

Earn 1.4% on a high-yield savings account with Sallie Mae Bank.

Best online savings account

No monthly fees and a respectable rate. Earn 1.4% on a high-yield savings account with Sallie Mae Bank. Open an account -- there is no minimum-balance requirement and no monthly fee -- with as little as $1. You can transfer money electronically to a linked account, but you’re allowed only six withdrawals a month.

Best credit cards if you...

Want cash back on purchasesAmerican Express Blue Cashwww.americanexpress.com Spend $6,500 with this no-fee card and you start getting 5% cash back on drugstore items, gas and groceries, and 1.25% back on the rest of your spending. Up to that threshold, you receive 1% back on basics, such as gas, groceries and drugstore purchases, and 0.5% on everything else.

Like to travelPenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Expresswww.penfed.org You earn five points per dollar spent on airfare, three on dining and hotels, and one on everything else. Spend $650 in the first three months and receive 20,000 bonus points. You can fly cross-country for 25,900 points. The $50 annual fee is waived for the first year.

Need a low interest rateZions Bank Low Rate Visa Platinum Cardwww.zionsbank.com This no-fee card has a 7% variable interest rate. Shop at participating merchants at www.zionscashrewards.com and receive up to 20% cash back on your purchases and 5% cash back when you book travel on the Web site.

Want your college kid to have oneCiti Forward Visa for College Studentswww.citibank.com Spend less than your credit limit and pay on time for three months and your rate (which starts at 13%) drops by 0.25 percentage point. You can do that eight times for a maximum cut of two percentage points. Earn bonus points for dollars spent and redeem them for cash, travel or merchandise.

Best 529 savings plans

Find one to suit your investing preference.

Tax savings This is probably your state’s plan if it offers a tax break. Get the break no matter where you invest if you live in Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Missouri or Pennsylvania.

Low fees We recommend the Vanguard index-fund portfolios available in the direct-sold version of the Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program.

Adviser plans The Virginia CollegeAmerica plan isn’t cheap, but your adviser can craft a top-notch portfolio from American Funds.

Best accounts for kids

Open a low-cost bank account or a Roth IRA.Young Americans Bank, in Denver, is the only kids-only bank in the U.S. It offers savings and checking accounts, credit cards, and loans. It takes just $10 to open a savings account (an adult must cosign) that earns 0.1%. An ATM card costs $5 annually, and you can make two free withdrawals a month. If your teen earns money from a part-time job, consider opening a custodial Roth IRA at Charles Schwab. The account offers a variety of mutual funds.

Most Popular

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your second stimulus check.
January 18, 2021
When Could We Get a Third Stimulus Check?
Coronavirus and Your Money

When Could We Get a Third Stimulus Check?

President Biden and others in Congress are pushing for a third-round of stimulus checks, but it might be a while before we get them.
January 20, 2021
6 Reasons Why Your Second Stimulus Check Might Be Delayed
Coronavirus and Your Money

6 Reasons Why Your Second Stimulus Check Might Be Delayed

The IRS started delivering second-round payments in December. If you're still waiting for your money, here's why your second stimulus check could be l…
January 18, 2021

Recommended

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Second Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Second Stimulus Check

If you don't have to use your second stimulus check for basic necessities, consider putting the money to work for you. You'll thank yourself later.
December 28, 2020
Kids and Money: Boost Your Child's Future Credit Score
Raising Money-Smart Kids

Kids and Money: Boost Your Child's Future Credit Score

Naming your child as an authorized user on your credit card can be a great way to set them up with a healthy credit report.
December 26, 2020
Getting Married or Moving In Together? Time to Talk About Money
Starting a Family

Getting Married or Moving In Together? Time to Talk About Money

Sharing a life means it’s time to talk finances.
December 22, 2020
11 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class
Tax Breaks

11 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class

Tax breaks aren't just for the rich. There are plenty of them that are only available to middle- and low-income Americans.
December 17, 2020