Ground Beef Recall Over Salmonella Expands To 12 Million Pounds

The ground beef recall due to salmonella reported this fall now expands considerably, mounting to 12 million pounds, and people are wondering just how high the numbers will go in the near future.

You’re at the grocery store. It’s been a hectic period of time for you. You’re intent on making Salisbury steak for dinner with all the trimmings. You know … caramelized onions, a red wine gravy, mashed potatoes and even some sautéed peas with ham (for that extra protein kick). You peruse the aisles in the refrigerated section at Wal-Mart and the weirdest thing, but you can’t find any ground beef anywhere. You look and look, but all you can seem to find are chicken and pork products. What the heck is going on? Finally, you flag down an employee and ask him what the rub is, and he looks at you like you’re from Mars or something. The employee proceeds to tell you, and as nicely as possible, but still with a hint of condescension: “Ground beef has been recalled … it’s all over the news.”

Source: therecipe.com

Best Credit Cards For Travel Miles 2019 – $750 In Rewards

Finding the best credit cards for travel miles can help you can save money and earn travel miles for future trips. Applying for the best credit cards for miles can also be very lucrative upfront, especially with bonuses over $750 in rewards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred has. If you’re a frequent or casual traveler, consider adding one of the following best miles credit cards to your wallet even if you’re looking for one of the best airline credit cards. That’s because you can earn travel rewards that can be transferred to multiple airline miles with these top credit cards even if they aren’t co-branded with an airline.

Here are the best credit cards for travel miles:

  • Winner of Best Credit Card for Travel Miles: Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • 2x miles on all purchases: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • 4x points on dining: American Express Gold
  • Best for frequent travelers: Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Bank of America members: Bank of America Travel Rewards
  • Best airline miles credit card: American Express Platinum

Overall Best Credit Card for Travel Miles: Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card comes with a tremendous sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. The 60,000 points you earn are worth $750 in travel through Chase’s travel portal, or they can be worth even more if you transfer them out to loyalty partners like United, Southwest, or Hyatt. The Chase Sapphire Preferred has been my favorite credit card for travel miles for the last few years. Some of the best credit cards for travel rewards are ones who aren’t co-branded with an airline and give you the option to transfer your points out to multiple airlines like the Sapphire Preferred does.

You will also earn 2x points per $1 on travel and restaurants worldwide. There is a $95 annual fee.

Many online reviews of this card refer to it as the top travel rewards credit card out there. And it was just named “Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption” – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, June 2018. The Sapphire Preferred has been a card I’ve held in my wallet for some time.

Other Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits

  • There are no foreign transaction fees.
  • Account holders that book their travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards receive 25% more value. Travel expenditures include airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises.
  • 1:1 points transfer to participating frequent travel programs. Participating programs include British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and World of Hyatt.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the best credit cards for travel rewards miles simplicity above everything else. If you aren’t loyal to a particular airline or hotel chain, this may be the card for you. You can redeem your miles for any travel purchases, but don’t have the flexibility to transfer them out to travel partners (you didn’t until now). You also will earn 2x miles on all purchases regardless of the category.

Other Capital One Venture Benefits

  • New account holders will earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months. After that, account holders earn unlimited two miles per dollar spent on every purchase.
  • This card also offers the flexibility to book your own travel through any website or app, and benefits can go towards any airline, hotel, or rental car company.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.
  • No blackout dates for air travel.

To redeem your miles, you can book award travel. Or, you can also use their purchase eraser to redeem your miles for travel statement credits on recent travel purchases. The recent additions to the Capital One Venture card have made it more appealing for travelers.

Flexible Miles Card: American Express Gold Card

One particularly unique benefit offered by the American Express Gold Card is the $120 dining credit and 4x points per $1 at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets. This best travel credit card for miles is perfect for those travelers that want flexibility and spend on restaurant and supermarket purchases. You also receive a $100 annual airline incidental credit and 3x points per $1 on airline purchases directly from airlines. You can earn even more airlines miles on flight tickets with Amex PRG than many of the best airline credit cards.

Best Premium Credit Card for Travel Miles: Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is hands down one of the best rewards credit cards available for anyone that travels more than once or twice per year, especially for airline miles lovers. It offers a 50,000 Ultimate Reward point sign-up bonus (worth at least $750, but easily quite a bit more) and offers 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases. This Sapphire Preferred credit card also comes with a $300 per year annual travel credit, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit, Priority Pass Lounge access, travel insurance, and more. All of these benefits go a long way to offsetting the card’s $450 annual fee, but the Sapphire Reserve card may not be worth it for infrequent travelers.

Like the Sapphire Preferred you can transfer your points to several airlines making it a great credit card for airline miles even though it’s technically not an airline credit card.

Again, here’s a break down of the travel benefits:

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass airport lounge membership
  • 50% point redemption bonus for air travel
  • 1:1 transfers to airline and hotel partners
  • Special benefits with the Luxury Hotel & Resorts Collection
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on all travel and dining purchases

You also have the chance to earn 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points as a signup bonus. These points are worth up to $750 in award travel.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card is a basic credit card for travelers looking for no foreign transaction fees and an EMV chip for no annual fee. This no annual fee credit card doesn’t compare with the rewards on the new premium Bank of America travel credit card.

Consumers with an existing bank account with Bank of America can see higher rewards rates depending upon their existing balance. Those holding $50,000 or more in their account will receive a points bonus that puts their rewards rates up to 2.25% – 2.63%. In general, existing account holders get an additional 10% customer points on average, which increases to a 25% – 75% bonus for Preferred Rewards clients.

Benefits

  • 2o,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. This translates to a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • No website and blackout date restrictions.
  • Unlimited 1.5% points per $1 on all purchases and points don’t expire.
  • No annual fee for everyday spending.
  • No foreign transaction fees and EMV trip for security when traveling abroad.
  • Higher than average rewards for existing Bank of America account holders.
  • Required credit score and initial spending threshold are lower than average.

Drawbacks

  • Sub-par benefits (1.5% rewards rate) unless you are an existing Bank of America account holder. For non-Bank of America account holders that are bigger spenders and have excellent credit, other cards would offer better rewards.

Best Airline Credit Cards

Choosing the best airline miles credit cards can help you maximize your airline travel.

Best Airline Credit Card Perks: Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

There are actually four Delta credit cards, but the Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card is an excellent option for casual travelers that want to earn SkyMiles, free checked bags, and priority boarding.

You will get 2 SkyMiles for every Delta purchase and 20% in-flight discount. All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent. Another valuable Delta travel benefit is that you and eight travel companions get your first checked bag free.

As a new cardholder, you can also earn 35,000 bonus SkyMiles and a $50 statement credit as a signup bonus. And, American Express waives the $95 annual fee for the first year too.

Best Miles Credit Card for Airline Purchases: Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express is probably the best premium travel rewards card for airline purchases. There are two reasons why the Amex Platinum is the best airline miles credit card:

  • Earn 5x points on airfare purchased directly from the airline or AmexTravel.com
  • Transfer your points on a 1:1 basis to multiple frequent flyer programs

Some of the American Express Membership Rewards travel partners include Delta, Emirates, Etihad, and JetBlue. You can also enjoy the following premium air travel benefits:

  • $200 air travel credit for checked bags and in-flight purchases
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement
  • Complimentary access to airport lounge networks include Priority Pass, Delta Sky Club, and The Centurion
  • Unlimited Boingo wifi hotspot access
  • $200 in annual Uber credits
  • Exclusive benefits at FINE hotels and resorts
  • 1:1 point transfers to Membership Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners

As a new cardholder, you can earn 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards points worth $600 in award travel.

For business travelers, you might consider the American Express Business Platinum instead. You get a 50% bonus on purchases larger than $5,000. Plus, you still enjoy free airport lounge access and the $200 airline fee credit too.

The Amex Platinum has an annual fee of $550, so make sure you will use the benefits to offset the fee.

Co-Branded Airlines Credit Card: Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select

After a few benefit upgrades, the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select is a competitive offering if you fly American Airlines. Some of the American Airlines credit card benefits include:

  • 2x miles on American Airlines, dining, and gas station purchases
  • 10% point redemption bonus (up to 10,000 points annually)
  • $100 American Airlines credit after spending $20,000 in a card membership year
  • 25% in-flight purchase discount
  • Free checked bag for you and up to four travel companions

Select award flights start at 7,500 American Airlines miles which makes American one of the most affordable ways to fly across the United States.

Simple Miles Credit Card: Barclaycard Arrival Plus

If you’re looking for an even simpler card, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus is a great choice. It offers a sign-up bonus of Arrival Miles and 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. Arrival Miles won’t give you the same ability to maximize value that Ultimate Rewards and other types of points will, but they do offer extreme simplicity! Simply redeem your miles for a statement credit against any travel booking you have made with the card.

You can review the best credit cards for travel miles of 2019 here:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Overall Best Credit Card for Travel Miles
  • 2x miles on all purchases: Capital One Venture
  • 3x points on flights: American Express Gold
  • Best for frequent travelers: Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Ideal for Bank of America members: Bank of America Travel Rewards

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE EVER

This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever! No funny ingredients, no chilling time, etc. Just a simple, straightforward, amazingly delicious, doughy yet still fully cooked, chocolate chip cookie that turns out perfectly every single time! 

Source: joyfoodsunshine.com

Understanding Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If you’ve recently gotten a low-rate balance transfer offer from a credit card company, you may be asking yourself, “Is a balance transfer something that will benefit me?”

A credit card balance transfer can be a great way to save money on higher interest rate debt. There are also other benefits that can come with consolidating your debts into just one payment.

If you have a high balance on a store credit card with a 21% APR, for instance, you may be able to transfer that debt to a credit card with a lower rate during the introductory period, saving you money on interest—and possibly helping you pay down your debt faster.

What exactly is a balance transfer?

A balance transfer is when you pay off the balances on existing credit cards or loans by transferring them to another credit card account. (In some cases, you may be charged a fee to complete the balance transfer—typically a percentage of the transfer balance. More about that later.)

You can only transfer an amount up to your credit limit on the new card. So if your credit limit is $5,000 on the new card and you want to transfer a balance of $6,000, you will only be able to transfer up to $5,000 (including any balance transfer fee) of that existing balance.

How do I complete a balance transfer ?

• When you respond to a balance transfer offer, you’ll indicate who you want to pay, the account numbers, and how much you want to transfer.

• Once you’re approved for the balance transfer, the credit card company contacts your creditors or billers on your behalf and pays them the amount you indicated. It can take up to two weeks for this process.

• If you have any payments due before that time, you’ll want to go ahead and make those payments by their due dates to avoid late fees.

Tell me more about balance transfer fees.

Credit card balance transfers may charge a balance transfer fee—usually 3% to 5% of transferred debt.

What are the benefits of a balance transfer?

• A low balance transfer APR can help you catch up on your existing debt. That’s because you can get a low promo or introductory APR to pay down that balance for a defined time frame, like 12 months.

• A low promo or introductory APR may also help cut the time it takes to reduce your debt. When you pay high APRs, a lot of your payment goes to the interest rather than paying down the principal balance itself.

• Finally, instead of paying multiple creditors on multiple due dates, consolidating all of your balances onto one card with a low or 0% promo or introductory balance transfer APR means you only have to keep track of one payment a month—and not multiple cards with multiple due dates.

What types of existing balances can I transfer?

You can transfer the existing balances off of your store credit cards, gas cards and other cards. Just remember, when you are approved for a credit card, you will be given a certain limit and you can only transfer up to that amount – be sure to account for any balance transfer fees. The typical balance transfer fee in 2017 was 3%. 1

What are the different kinds of balance transfer rates available?

Credit card companies offer incentives—like a low interest rate on purchases and balance transfers—to encourage you to transfer your business to them, and hopefully establish a long-lasting relationship.

The best balance transfer rates could be offered by credit card companies to new cardmembers, and usually are 0% or low APR offers for an introductory time period.

When transferring your credit card balance, it is important to remember that this intro rate is temporary. The duration usually varies from 6 to 18 months and will be specified in the offer.

Balance transfer offers are sometimes available on existing credit card account(s) with promotional APRs, which also apply for a defined time period. Contact your credit card company for more details.

When will I pay the standard balance transfer rate?

You’ll pay a regular rate, or a standard purchase APR, on balance transfers when:

• Your introductory or promotional time period expires. After this period, the remaining transferred balance is generally subject to the standard purchase APR for the card.

• If you want to make a balance transfer to an existing card and don’t have a promotional balance transfer offer, you may be able to pay the standard APR for balance transfers as disclosed in your Cardmember Agreement.

Banana Bread

Moist and delicious banana bread recipe. Easy to make, no need for a mixer! Ripe bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and flour.

This banana bread has been the most popular recipe on Simply Recipes for over 10 years. Thousands of people make it every day. Why?

Because it really is the best banana bread recipe, period. You can mix everything in one bowl, you can vary the amount of sugar or bananas. And the secret to its great flavor? Melted butter.

Source: simplyrecipes.com

Charles Schwab 2% Cashback Credit Card

“My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of selected credit card products. My Money Blog and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and the content has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for supporting this independent site.”

Schwab brokerage is offering a new credit card that gives you 2% cash back on all purchases. The only catch is that the rewards can only be redeemed into a SchwabOnebrokerage account. When linked to the Schwab card, the SchwabOne account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service charges.

With no annual fee and no cashback limit, this is a very competitive card. I just hope it sticks around – many, many 2% cashback on everything cards have come and gone, from Farm Bureau to Countrywide, as that level of rewards make the issuer’s cut very slim. I’m sure they are counting on fees from the SchwabOne brokerage account to make up for the difference. Fidelity has a similar 2% back American Express card.

THE BEST FLUFFY BUTTERMILK PANCAKES

The BEST Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes you’ll ever try – promise! This easy to follow pancake recipe yields super delicious and totally amazing pancakes every time! So much better than a box mix! All you need is to top them with maple syrup and you’re good to go.

Source: momontimeout.com

Chargeback on Credit Card?

What is a Chargeback on a Credit Card? Is There a Reason Why We Say “Don’t File Chargebacks”?

There’s never been a better time to be a consumer. Thanks to the internet, nearly anything you could want is as close as your phone or laptop. Merchants around the globe are fighting for your attention. You, the buyer, have great power and influence over the eCommerce environment. But there’s one aspect of credit card ownership that you may not fully understand—and that lack of understanding is crippling businesses of all sizes.

You see, businesses get hit every time a buyer like you files a chargeback on credit card purchases. The effects ripple out, and merchants are desperate for you to recognize how your actions impact the economy in a big way.

What is a Chargeback?

A chargeback is a bank-initiated refund for a credit card purchase. Rather than request a refund from the merchant who facilitated the purchase, cardholders can dispute a particular transaction by contacting their bank and requesting a chargeback.

Chargebacks are not inherently bad. In fact, when credit cards first started gaining popularity, government officials decided that consumers needed a fallback option. There had to be a way for cardholders to retrieve money lost to fraudsters, identity thieves, and other unauthorized purchasers. As a bonus, the threat of chargebacks also incentivized merchants to stick to fair, above-board practices.

So there are legitimate reasons for requesting a chargeback. When used correctly, chargebacks are a critical layer of protection between consumers and threats like identity theft. Unfortunately, many consumers don’t use the process correctly. In fact, there are numerous occasions where cardholders may not be aware they are filing a chargeback at all.

What cardholders don’t often understand is that filing an illegitimate or unwarranted chargeback is basically the equivalent of cyber-shoplifting.

So as a public service, Chargebacks911® presents this insight into what chargebacks are…and what they’re not. While we have consumers in mind for the following simplified view of chargeback usage, merchants might also want to share this info with employees and customers.

Chargebacks On Credit Card Purchases: Dos and Don’ts

If you’re thinking of contacting your bank to force a refund, be sure you understand the “dos” and “don’ts” before making the call.

Correct Use of Chargebacks

First, you can request a chargeback if you legitimately suffered at the hands of an unscrupulous merchant, or one with bad business practices. For example, say a business makes it impossible to request a traditional refund by not displaying contact information or failing to acknowledge your requests. This could be a deliberate move on the part of the merchant, or it may simply be bad customer service. In either case, however, a chargeback might be the only option available.

The other case in which a chargeback is valid is in provable cases of criminal fraud. If a hacker gained access to your personal information and uses it to make purchases in your name, you could be entitled to a chargeback.

Having said that, these are not situations where you should automatically call the bank. In both scenarios, there are advantages to not filing a chargeback, even if it’s warranted. In the case of a security breach, for example, the bank will almost always take care of matters, without you needing to life a finger.

It’s also good to understand that the chargeback cycle can be very time-consuming. A chargeback could take several months for the case to be settled, as the merchant has the right to contest your accusation. If things move on to arbitration, it could drag-on even longer (more on that in a bit).

Ultimately, chargebacks are troublesome for everyone involved. That’s why filing a chargeback should always be your absolute last resort. Only contact the bank if you have no other options available.

Improper Use of Chargebacks

Because the system was not designed around eCommerce and today’s consumers, there are loopholes that allow chargebacks to be deliberately used for illegitimate reasons. Examples of this include:

  • Contacting the bank seems easier: Few people relish the idea of dealing with a business’s customer service department. If filing a chargeback seems quicker and easier, it might be tempting to try it out. In reality, though, merchants will typically want to retain your business and loyalty by doing all they can to resolve the issue quickly and to your satisfaction.
  • Buyer’s remorse sets in: This occurs when you regret making a purchase, but don’t want to return the merchandise or cancel the service. If you keep the merchandise and get a refund, that’s not a refund: it’s theft.
  • A family member used your card: Even if you didn’t know about the purchase, if a member of your household consented to a transaction using your card. Therefore, you shouldn’t call the bank and say it was an unauthorized purchase.
  • You’re confused about refund options: Some illegitimate chargebacks are just a result of a misunderstanding. You may call the bank for an explanation, but if they think you’re asking for your money back, they may initiate a chargeback. It’s one more reason you should always contact the merchant first.
  • You don’t remember making the purchase: It’s easy to forget one particular transaction, especially if you make a lot of purchases in a short period of time. Again, however, if there is doubt about a transaction, it’s important to contact the merchant directly. A phone number or email address should be listed on your credit card statement. A quick inquiry tells you everything you need to know.

What Happens When Chargebacks are Issued?

Both consumers and merchants ultimately pay the price for chargebacks. The potential negative impacts of each chargeback include:

  • The merchant must pay expensive, non-refundable fees for each chargeback issued. Even if you later realize the chargeback was filed in error, the damage has already been done.
  • If a business receives too many chargebacks, the bank will revoke the merchant’s ability to process credit card payments. Once that happens, most online businesses would be forced to close. Your actions could be directly responsible for the destruction of a business.
  • Some businesses play hard ball against chargebacks. Take Sony, for example. If a PlayStation® user files a chargeback, the company terminates the account and permanently bans the user.
  • Chargebacks bring increased costs. Merchants are forced to raise their prices, meaning you pay more for goods.
  • As we implied earlier, merchants have the right to dispute chargebacks, so there’s a chance the chargeback will be overturned. You’ll be charged for the original transaction a second time, and the bank may even slap you with an administrative fee or other consequences.
  • If the bank suspects you’re filling illegitimate chargebacks as a means of cyber-shoplifting, the could choose to close your account. Your credit score can also drop, making it harder to get additional credit.

The Role of the Responsible Cardholder

As a cardholder, it’s your responsibility to ensure your account is being used ethically and honestly.

  • If you don’t recognize a charge on your account, don’t automatically assume it’s fraud. First, consult household members who may have access to the card and see if they authorized it without your knowledge. You should also contact the merchant in question to verify the purchase. It’s possible that you simply don’t recognize the business name or have forgotten a purchase.
  • Read the terms and conditions carefully before buying anything. Don’t click “accept” if you don’t actually agree to the policies. Before requesting a chargeback, double check what you originally agreed to.
  • Cancel subscription services long before the next billing cycle hits. Give the merchant plenty of time to terminate your agreement. The process could take a while, so don’t expect to avoid a charge by reaching out the day before.
  • Give the merchant a sufficient amount of time to initiate a refund before assuming fraud is responsible.
  • Decrease your fraud risk by adhering to credit card ownership best practices. Don’t let anyone borrow your card, keep personal information safe, and shop on HTTPS sites with a secure WIFI connection. We also strongly recommend that consumers sign up for services like Mastercard SecureCode and Verified by Visa.

We have a simple request on behalf of all eCommerce merchants everywhere: please don’t abuse the chargeback process! Filing a credit card chargeback should be used only in legitimate situations, and only as a last resort, after all other options have been exhausted. Remember, your actions have severe consequences for everyone involved…including you!

EASY MUSHROOM RISOTTO

This Easy Mushroom Risotto is a quick and simple way to make restaurant-style risotto at home in minutes and in only one pan! Skip the fancy restaurant and enjoy it at home as a vegetarian main dish or side dish!

Source: thebusybaker.ca

3 Bureau Online Credit Report

First, by checking your credit online, you avoid ?dings,? which lower your score. Many consumers are afraid to investigate their credit because they think their score might drop, putting them in even worse shape. This isn’t true with online credit reports. Thus, without dinging your credit, online sources allow you to check out your score, for better or worse.

Alternately, if you have been denied credit within the last 30 days, you can ask the credit bureau for a free report that won’t ding your credit. You do have to use a local reporting agency, which can take more time than using an online source. Most people go in person to the agency to request the report and then pick it up. Both of these steps seem quite tedious when compared to online credit checks.

Another benefit of online credit reports is the ability to see both good and bad credit you have on your report from the privacy of your own personal computer. No nosy bankers trying to get your a credit card or auto loan. Without sales pressure, you are less likely to get into more debt and lower your credit score.

Lastly, you can verify the accuracy of your credit. The online report will be taken from each of the three national credit bureaus. Occasionally you will see accounts that you dispute, which gives you the opportunity to contact the bureau. To do this, you must write a letter explaining exactly what is incorrect or disputed. The agency must investigate. When they contact the creditor, he has 14 days to respond or the item is deleted off your credit. A little known secret is that if the item is less than $500 or older than one year, most creditors won’t bother responding, whether your dispute is accurate or not. Disputing bad credit is the most direct way you can improve your credit. When your bad credit is reversed your credit score will increase. Most importantly, after your score goes up you have the right to demand that your updated credit report be sent to all those who have denied you credit in the last six months. Good news!

So, if you wonder how good, or bad, your credit score is, don’t be afraid to check it out online. The report is excellent information that arms you with power to change and improve your credit. Most people with bad credit don’t know much about how it gets that way or how to fix it. Your knowing both is a good start to improving your credit.