We don’t have to tell you that Thanksgiving looks and feels a lot different this year. This may be the first you you are cooking the big meal yourself. While we wish we could be there to help, the next best thing is to share with you our favorite tools for prepping a Thanksgiving feast. And once you’ve got all the tools ordered, be sure to check out our Pinterest boards, for all of our favorite recipes both for Thanksgiving dinner and for the accompanying drinks.
fat separator–ALL THE GRAVY-NONE OF THE GREASE
BRINING=ACING THE TURKEY GAME
SAVE STOVETOP SPACE -SLOW COOK YOUR MASHED POTATOES
BECAUSE YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT EATING THAT WHOLE PIE IN ONE SITTING…BUT WE WON’T JUDGE IF YOU DO
GET THE RIGHT TEMP
BASTE LIKE A PRO
BECAUSE MANHANDLING A HOT TURKEY IS NOT A GOOD LOOK
Stainless Steel Trash & Recycling Center
Read Must Have Tools for Thanksgiving Dinner Prep This Year on Apartminty.
It would be easy to fill up a wallet with just credit cards. A card to maximize airline miles. A card targeted at your favorite hotel chain. A card that gives you cash back on groceries. Even a card that earns you points when you spend at NFL games. So, where to begin? And where to end?
How many credit cards should I have?
The short answer: you should have at least two – ideally each from a different network (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, etc.) and each offering you different kind of rewards (cash back, miles, rewards points, etc.). How many credit cards is too many? That depends on the individual – you should never have more than you can handle.
Experts say the number of cards one should have varies according to individual and circumstance. “Generally speaking, there is no one perfect number,” said Ethan Dornhelm, a vice president at FICO.
While the number varies by generation, credit score and other factors, the average American has three credit cards and 2.4 retail store cards, according to a 2020 survey by the credit reporting agency Experian.
To ensure a mix of credit cards and keep your credit score climbing, credit expert John Ulzheimer suggests asking yourself two questions about the cards in your wallet:
- Do you have cards across more than one network? If you have three cards, but all of them are Mastercards, this could be a problem if you run into a merchant who only takes Visa. An example? Costco only accepts Visa now, though you can use your Mastercard on the wholesaler’s website.
- Do you have a low credit card utilization ratio? Your average balances across all your cards for the past 24 months “should represent no more than 10% of your overall credit limit,” Ulzheimer says.
Credit utilization – how much credit you’re using each month, on average, of all the credit available to you from all your cards combined – accounts for 30% of your credit score under FICO’s traditional model.
If you can add another credit card while keeping your overall spending the same, you’ll lower this ratio – and boost your score.
See related: What is a good credit utilization ratio?
Two? Twenty? The answer is personal
That former number sounds about right to John Corcoran, a hotel industry executive in Aspen, Colorado.
He’s got two for personal use – both airline mileage cards – and a third for work. He added the second mileage card solely for the points bonus, and is thinking about dropping it before the $90 annual fee comes due. “I don’t like credit cards,” he said. “I don’t like debt.”
On the other end of the spectrum is Naomi Sachs, an international business executive in San Rafael, California. Sachs estimates she has 20 or 30 cards “sitting in a sock drawer, unused” – generally retail cards she signed up for to lower the cost of a purchase at that store or credit cards she acquired for the points boost.
Sachs is carrying around in her wallet about 10 more cards, of which she uses two or three with regularity. As for cash? Maybe there’s a $20 bill in there somewhere. Debit? “I don’t put anything on debit, ever, ever,” she said.
Instead, she charges strategically, and checks her card balances a few times a week to stay on top of her finances. “I aggressively try to maximize my spend, for almost every single dollar, every single time,” she said.
Credit expert John Ulzheimer suggests two things that can help you determine the number of cards that is right for you. Always keep your overall credit card utilization low, and secure access to more than one credit card network.
While merchants in the U.S. accept the big four card networks – especially Mastercard and Visa, and, to a lesser extent, American Express and Discover – you can still find places where some of them are not accepted. Costco is one example. The warehouse club switched in 2016 from American Express as its card partner to Citi, so now the only card Costco accepts in-store is Visa.
And if you travel abroad, you should pack credit cards from a variety of card networks. While Visa and Mastercard are most universally accepted, and American Express signs are increasingly common in store windows across the globe, you will inevitably wind up in a place that doesn’t accept the type of credit card you have with you.
Beyond those two key elements, Ulzheimer explains, many approaches are valid, so long as they work for you.
See related: How to use your credit card wisely
How many cards should you have if…
Want to get more specific? Here’s a list of some particular situations you may find yourself in, and some experts’ thoughts on how that might affect what kinds of cards, and how many, you may want to carry in your wallet:
You’re new to credit cards, or just recovering from a bankruptcy or other bad credit incident
Start with one card, a secured card if necessary, then add a second card when you can prove to yourself that you are making your payments on time and paying your bill off in full each month, says Netiva Heard, a credit counselor in Chicago.
“It’s a learning period,” she said. “That’s why you start with just one card first, to get adjusted to those good habits.”
You want to take advantage of rewards programs
Cards that don’t offer rewards “are a complete waste of your time,” Heard says. She recommends thinking about what rewards would benefit you the most, and whether you want to pay an annual fee to get them.
Cards that don’t charge an annual fee generally come with lower introductory bonuses than cards that do and may not be as generous with rewards points on day-to-day spending. But be careful that you don’t sign up for more rewards cards than you can manage to juggle.
Heard advises most people to keep no more than three to five credit cards total in their wallets. Ulzheimer said two rewards cards seems like more than enough – one for airline points and one for cash back.
You plan to buy a new house or car soon
You should stick to the number of cards you already have, at least temporarily. Don’t open even one new credit card within at least six months of applying for a so-called installment loan. Opening a new card will lower your score by a few points due to the hard inquiry on your credit, “and you want it to be in the best shape possible when you go out to get that expensive loan,” Ulzheimer said.
That said, he added, installment lenders will pay the most attention to whether you’ve had a mortgage or auto loan before, if you paid it off on time and whether you tend to pay off your bills in general on time.
You want to improve your credit score
This is not a reason to get a new credit card, Ulzheimer said. “Opening a new card can actually backfire,” he said, because it will, at least initially, lower your score.
When you apply for a credit card, the issuer pulls your credit report, which triggers a hard inquiry. A hard inquiry can lower your score by five points, but it only affects your credit score for one year. After two years, the inquiry falls off your credit report. Note that applying for multiple credit cards at once can exacerbate the negative credit score impact of inquiries, at least in the short term.
A new credit card can also reduce your length of credit history, a key credit scoring factor that considers the average age of all your credit accounts. While length of credit history only counts for 15% of your FICO score, the effect can be significant if you only have one or two existing credit accounts.
On the other hand, if your new credit card has a high credit limit and you keep your balance low, the card can eventually boost your credit score by increasing your overall available credit.
If you need to close your credit cards to avoid using them, then do it, but know that every time you close a credit card, it can lower your score, he said – because it may reduce your available credit, thus increasing your aforementioned credit utilization ratio.
Divorce hits women harder financially: Here’s how to survive it
So, whether you have two or 20 cards doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that your cards give you access to more than one network and offer you the rewards that best meet your needs (which can change over your lifetime).
And, of course, you need to be sure you’re not juggling so many cards that you can’t keep track of all the payment due dates The whole point of having two to 20 or more credit cards is earning points or cash back on your everyday spending that you pay off every month. All the while, keep your credit utilization low so that your credit score climbs.
Things To Do While Stuck In Your Apartment During the Coronavirus Pandemic
By now, almost everyone in the country is under some kind of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders from government agencies due to the coronavirus pandemic. Authorities stress that this is the main way to try to flatten the curve of new infections.
OK, so what can you do while cooped up in your apartment.Â The options arenât quite unlimited, but they are numerous. Take advantage of the space you have and undertake any activity that will be good for your mental or physical well-being. Hereâs a look at some of the most popular:
1. Do a jigsaw puzzle
This has become quite popular around the country, with people finishing a jigsaw puzzle and then posting a picture of it on social media. The more pieces, the better, say, 1,000 or more. How long youâll be able to do this to remain occupied depends on how many puzzles you have on hand, or how many times youâre willing to do the same puzzle over again.
If you donât have jigsaw puzzles, maybe you have a Rubikâs Cube or a book of crossword puzzles. You can also find crossword puzzles online and in your daily newspaper, if you still subscribe.
If you have a set of weights in your apartment, use them. Or maybe youâre a packrat and still have exercise routines on VHS tapes or DVDs. If not, there are plenty of routines you can find for free online.Â
If you can leave your apartment, go for a walk or a jog, as long as you observe the social distancing rules that are now the new normal. If you donât want to go outside, walk up and down a stairwell or walk up and down your hallway. Again, give others their personal space.
Short of that, you can go old-school and do crunches, sit-ups and push-ups on your floor. You can also do isometric exercises using a rolled-up bath towel. For a refresher on the techniques, check out these workouts you can do in your apartment and then get to work.Â
Whatever you chose, mix it up and keep it fresh as you stay in shape.Â
OK, the first two suggestions will put your mind and body to work. At some point youâll feel like being a couch potato, so why not catch up on a series youâve been meaning to watch on Netflix, Disney Plus or one of the many streaming services available? Youâve never had a better excuse than now.Â
âTiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madnessâ has become all the rage on Netflix. It was released in mid-March and has given people something to do in the age of coronavirus. It is a true-crime documentary television series about the life of former zoo operator Joseph Maldonado-Passage.
If thatâs not your thing, there are favorites such as âNarcos: Mexicoâ and âStranger Thingsâ on Netflix. If youâve already seen them, whatâs the harm in starting over? On Disney Plus you can watch âThe Mandalorian,â âStar Wars: The Clone Warsâ and âThe Simpsons.â
4. Spring cleaning
Itâs spring, and you have a lot of unexpected time on your hands. Nowâs a great time to get in some spring cleaning of your apartment. Cut through the clutter and organize your closet and dresser. Most importantly, regularly clean and disinfect important areas such as kitchen surfaces and appliances that are used often. You should also keep your bathroom clean.Â
5. Other stuff
There are plenty of other things you can be doing, such as catching up on your reading, playing a musical instrument, writing emails to friends and family and getting plenty of rest.
Read Things To Do While You’re Stuck In Your Apartment on Apartminty.
The interest rate on your credit card is too high. And because you carry a balance each month, that rate is costing you serious dollars.
If you’re considering making a balance transfer to a Chase credit card, here’s everything you need to know before applying – including card options, restrictions, balance transfer fees, chances of approval and even potential pitfalls.
See related: Best balance transfer credit cards
Chase balance transfer guide
- Chase balance transfer offers.
- What you should know before applying.
- How to improve your chances of approval.How to initiate a balance transfer.
- How to make a balance transfer work.
Chase balance transfer offers
Chase currently doesn’t offer any introductory APR options for consumers who want to transfer an existing balance (unless you are individually targeted). It does, however, offer a few intro APR promotions on new purchases, including:
Chase Freedom Unlimited
- 0% promotional period: First 15 months on new purchases after you open your account – but not on balance transfers.
- Regular APR: 14.99% to 23.74% (variable).
- Worth noting: 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases, 1.5% cash back on all purchases; no annual fee; $200-sign-up bonus if you spend $500 in first three months.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
- 0% promotional period: 15 months on new purchases, but not on balance transfers.
- Regular APR: 14.99% to 23.74% (variable).
- Worth noting: 5% cash back on rotating categories that you must activate each quarter (up to $1,500 per quarter); 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022); 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% cash back on dining; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases; 1% cash back on general purchases; no annual fee; $200-sign-up bonus if Best no annual fee credit cards
What you should know about Chase balance transfers before applying
There are limits to balance transfers with Chase credit cards, according to the company.
- Customers can’t transfer more than $15,000 in credit card debt within any 30-day period.
- You can’t transfer your balance from an existing Chase card to another card issued by Chase.
- Balance transfer requests take time. While Chase says that your debt will be transferred to your new card within a week, it can take up to 21 days.
- You need to continue making payments on your existing card until you are certain that the balance transfer has closed.
- Balance transfers won’t earn you rewards points or cash back, if the card you are transferring a balance to offers them.
- There is no guarantee Chase will approve your balance transfer request. It might turn you down if you are past due on your existing card or if it believes you won’t be able to repayFICO credit score.
Revolving payments such as your mortgage loan, credit card bills, student loans and auto loan areZero to 750: What’s the fastest way to raise your credit score?
How to initiate a balance transfer to a Chase credit card
If you already own a Chase credit card:
- Log into your account and select the “transfer a balance” option. This will bring up the offers available to you.
- To start the process, provide some basic information about the card from which you want to transfer a balance.
If you are applying for a new Chase credit card:
- Start a credit card application for a Chase balance transfer card.
- make a plan to pay it off before any 0% offer expires.
Steps you can take to ensure you will able to pay off your debt include creating a budget, choosing a payoff strategy and stashing your card to avoid making any extra charges.
“Zero percent offers are an amazing deal if you plan to pay it off by the end of a promotional period,” said Aris Jerahian, AVP of card services at Anaheim, California-based Orange County’s Credit Union. “Unfortunately, most consumers focus on short-term goals, taking advantage of such deals while never paying off their balance in time.”