warranties http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8091/all en-US Why Millennials Should Embrace Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/why-millennials-should-embrace-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-millennials-should-embrace-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_credit_card_92044311.jpg" alt="Learning why millennials should embrace credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Millennials are avoiding credit cards more than any other generation. Perhaps this is because they have witnessed their own parents <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">struggling with debt</a>, or they are already feeling overwhelmed by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-refinance-your-student-loan?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">student loan repayments</a>. While debt is a good thing to avoid, especially if you don't want to live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of your life, credit cards aren&rsquo;t always the enemy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn&rsquo;t Know About</a>)</p> <p>In fact, credit cards can actually be beneficial toward your financial goals. Here are just a few reasons why you should embrace credit cards, after all.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">4 Surprising Reasons to Always Use Your Credit Card</a></p> <h2>Better Protection</h2> <p>If your credit card account information is stolen, and someone goes on a spending spree, you have some time to resolve it. Card charges you flag as fraudulent will be placed on hold while investigated, and you won&rsquo;t be responsible for their payment or even interest accrual. While fraudulent charges are a royal pain, the silver lining is that none of your actual money has been stolen from your bank account.</p> <p>This is not true if your debit card, PayPal, or Venmo account has been hacked, and funds are used without your permission. You would report the fraud to your bank, but those funds have already left your account. You&rsquo;d have to wait for the bank to resolve this. In the meantime, if you have bills to pay, you&rsquo;ll be left asking for an extension while your bank investigates.</p> <h2>Build Up Credit</h2> <p>Your credit score affects everything from your interest rate for a new vehicle, to whether or not you qualify to rent, and even your job, if your career requires a specific clearance. Even having zero credit can be very harmful for your finances. You will end up having to cosign your loan with somebody, or you could be hit with a high interest rate.</p> <p>You don&rsquo;t even have to use your credit card all the time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-credit-cards-to-improve-your-credit-score?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">build a healthy credit score</a>. Instead, start with one credit card, spend $100&ndash;$200 a month on it, and pay it off each month. Look for a card that comes with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">free credit score monitoring</a> so you can keep track of your score.</p> <h2>Get Free Money</h2> <p>Even if you aren&rsquo;t interested in the world of credit card rewards, it&rsquo;s simple to get cash back for your purchases. Some cards will offer a higher percentage of cash back for certain types of purchases, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">groceries</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">dining</a>, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">gas</a>. Others have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-flat-rate-rewards-for-all-spending?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">flat rate cash back percentage</a> on all purchases, so you don&rsquo;t have to worry about bonus categories. Either way, you&rsquo;re getting money back on purchases you&rsquo;re already planning on making. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Get Free Travel</h2> <p>Collecting credit card <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">rewards points for travel</a> doesn&rsquo;t have to be complicated. Get points or miles for the purchases you make on your card, redeem them for statement credits toward travel purchases, or use the points to purchase travel. The best part about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">travel rewards credit cards</a> is the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">sign up bonuses</a> that you can collect when you get a new card. My husband and I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">earned a free trip</a> just by switching our regular spending to a new card for a few months. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a>)</p> <p>Take advantage of these promotions and bonus points to travel your dream destinations more affordably. Once you get married and have kids, it is harder to see the world.</p> <h2>Purchase Protection</h2> <p>Credit cards have an amazing number of protections in place. Purchase protection protects against theft and damage. Price protection allows you to get a difference on an item&rsquo;s price if it goes down shortly after you&rsquo;ve bought it. Extended warranty automatically extends the warranty on your item up to an additional year. Some even have return protection, which allows you to get a refund even if you&rsquo;ve been denied a return from the vendor.</p> <h2>Interest Free Financing</h2> <p>Many cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">0% intro APR on purchases for 6-18 months</a>. This means that you can pay off a large purchase over a year and half, with no interest. The important thing to remember though, is that you have to be committed to paying it off during that time. It&rsquo;s never wise to accrue credit card debt, pay interest, and live beyond your means. But getting an interest-free loan for 18 months if you are certain you can pay it off, is a great deal.</p> <h2>Car Rental</h2> <p>Most car rental vendors will require a credit card. Even better is that many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit cards also come with rental car insurance</a>, which will save you money on your rental.</p> <h2>Avoid Fees While Traveling</h2> <p>Instead of paying an exchange rate for cash when traveling abroad, use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">credit card with no foreign transaction fees</a>. It has the benefit of being safer than carrying cash, and has built in fraud and purchase protections.</p> <h2>Benefiting From Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt</h2> <p>Even with all of the benefits a credit card can bring, &ldquo;25% of Millennials describe credit cards as something that worsens their financial standing,&rdquo; according to one study. It is true that credit cards can dig you deep into debt and financial problems if you aren&rsquo;t careful. Here are three ways to reap the benefits without falling into debt.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Balance Credit Cards Like Checkbooks: </strong>Past generations used to balance their checkbooks by writing down every expense, making sure they knew how much was in their checking account at all times. Modern technology has made this practice archaic, but it still can be useful. Every time you spend money on your credit card, subtract it from your checking account either with the help of an app or pen and paper.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Use Credit Cards to Pay for Usual Bills: </strong>You can earn points without spending more than you already do each month. Pay your bills online through a credit card or use one solely for gas or groceries. Take advantage of cards that offer extra points for spending in a certain category.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Don&rsquo;t Let Credit Cards Change Your Spending Mentality: </strong>Credit cards can give us the false illusion that we have more money than we actually have to spend. Don&rsquo;t fall victim to this. Still stick to a strict budget and only splurge what you have set aside specifically for spending.</li> </ul> <p>It is great that Millennials are trying to avoid debt more than the other generations. However, avoiding debt does not mean you have to avoid credit cards. Use credit cards to your advantage to make your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">everyday spending go a little further</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Save an Extra $1,000 a Year</a>)</p> <p><em>What is your favorite credit card to use? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-millennials-should-embrace-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-save-on-7-everyday-buys">Easy Ways to Save on 7 Everyday Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score">10 Surprising Ways to Negatively Affect Your Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pre-approved-for-credit-card-offers-are-you-pre-qualified">Pre-Approved for Credit Card Offers: Are You Pre-Qualified?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">Top Seven Reasons Why I Use My Credit Card for Everything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-ratio-is-the-key-to-a-good-credit-score">This One Ratio Is the Key to a Good Credit Score</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards car rentals credit cards credit scores financing fraud protection millennials travel warranties Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1753340 at http://www.wisebread.com Help, I Bought a Lemon — Now What Do I Do? http://www.wisebread.com/help-i-bought-a-lemon-now-what-do-i-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/help-i-bought-a-lemon-now-what-do-i-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_broken_car_000038514306.jpg" alt="Woman bought a lemon and doesn&#039;t know what to do" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That shiny new (or new-to-you) car you just bought turned out to be a piece of junk. What recourse do you have?</p> <p>When you buy a car, you expect to be able to depend on that car. Most vehicles will break down or need repairs occasionally, but your car being out of service should be a rare event. Even used cars can be very reliable for 200,000 miles or more these days.</p> <p>However, some cars are not very reliable at all. There is even a name for them &mdash; lemons.</p> <h2>How to Avoid Buying a Lemon</h2> <p>It is not always possible to avoid ending up with a lemon, but sometimes you can spot warning signs and avoid buying a car that is likely to give you trouble.</p> <h3>Research Reliability</h3> <p>Check vehicle reliability reports and avoid models that have low reliability scores. Even new cars can have serious reliability issues due to faulty components or manufacturing issues. The first production year of a new model or major model update is often the least reliable.</p> <h3>Avoid Salvage Titles</h3> <p>If you are shopping for a used car, be wary buying a car with a salvage title. Cars that have had serious damage are issued a salvage title. Although it is possible that a car with a salvage title has been properly repaired, sometimes wrecked cars are bent back in shape and sold without properly replacing all of the damaged parts. The result can be a vehicle that is unsafe and will require lots of future repairs.</p> <h3>Skip High Mileage &quot;New&quot; Cars</h3> <p>Watch out for a &quot;new&quot; car for sale that has a lot of miles on it. A car sold as a new car that has thousands of miles on it may have been used as an errand car by the staff at the dealership or has been taken for lots of test drives. Either way, it has more wear and tear &mdash; and less warranty remaining &mdash; than a truly new car</p> <h2>What to Do With a Lemon?</h2> <p>So what can you do if you are struggling with a car that is not reliable?</p> <h3>Start With the Warranty</h3> <p>See if your car has a vehicle warranty that covers your issues. Getting your vehicle repaired under warranty will not cost you anything except your time. Most new cars come with several years of coverage for major systems including the engine and transmission. Some used cars come with a warranty of 30 days or more that cover major mechanical problems.</p> <p>Vehicle warranties expire after a certain amount of mileage or time, so you need to take your car in for warranty repair service before the warranty expires. After the warranty expires, you will need to pay for repairs out of your own pocket.</p> <h3>Get a Refund Under the Lemon Law</h3> <p>In some cases, reasonable attempts to repair your car do not get it running reliably. Some cars keep breaking down for the same reason, even after repairs are completed. This is where the legal definition of &quot;lemon&quot; comes into play.</p> <p>The federal lemon law was established in 1975 to assist vehicle owners in dealing with defective vehicles and other goods. The basic idea of the lemon law is that if a faulty vehicle cannot be repaired, the manufacturer must replace it or provide a refund. Since state law applies to many aspects of warranty coverage, the specific details of what constitutes a lemon varies from state to state.</p> <p>As an example, in my state of Iowa, if you have owned a vehicle for less than two years and driven it less than 24,000 miles, it is considered a lemon if:</p> <ul> <li>Your vehicle has been in the shop for repairs at least three times for the same problem with no success;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your vehicle's malfunction could cause serious injury or death, and the problem has not been fixed;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your vehicle has been out of service for at least 20 days total and it still doesn't work properly.</li> </ul> <p>You can check your state's lemon laws at your state's attorney general office or consumer protection agency.</p> <p>The key to getting your vehicle replaced or refunded under the lemon law depends on proper documentation of the issues with your vehicle. You will need to document your repair attempts and how much time your vehicle has been out of service in order to meet the legal definition of a lemon in your state.</p> <p>In order to claim a refund under the lemon law, you need to notify the manufacturer of the issues with your vehicle. If the issues cannot be resolved within 10 days, you can request that the vehicle be replaced or the purchase price be refunded.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been stuck with a lemon? How'd you get rid of it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/help-i-bought-a-lemon-now-what-do-i-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know">Buying a Rental Car? Here&#039;s What You Need to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-used-car-without-getting-ripped-off">How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cars-you-can-drive-almost-forever">6 Cars You Can Drive (Almost) Forever</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation buying new car high mileage lemon law lemons vehicles warranties Fri, 01 Apr 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1681753 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Kinds of Insurance That Aren't Worth It -- And What to Do Instead http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_000019761193.jpg" alt="Woman driving car with insurance plan that isn&#039;t worth it " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Forewarned is forearmed, an old adage goes.</p> <p>Being prepared for the unforeseen is always wise, but some insurance companies may actually be cashing in on our fears of unpredictable events. Don't waste money on insurance you don't need &mdash; or by doubling up on coverage you already have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso">14 Things Insurance Agents Don't Want You to Know</a>).</p> <p>Here are six kinds of insurance that aren't worth their cost (and a few coverage alternatives, just in case).</p> <h2>1. Rental Car Insurance</h2> <p>You shouldn't pay twice for the same thing. Depending on your car insurance policy and your credit card, you may already be covered for rental car insurance.</p> <p>First, most primary auto insurance policies extend to rental vehicles up to your policy limits. For example, your liability insurance would pay for damages caused to other cars or properties. Review your insurance policy to get a clear picture of your coverages and policy limits. In case of questions, talk with your insurance agent or contact your primary auto insurance's customer service line.</p> <p>Second, many credit cards offer secondary coverage for theft or damage to the rental vehicle. Secondary coverage means that after filing a claim with your primary insurance, the secondary insurance picks up fees, such as deductibles, loss-of-use charges, and towing costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>To skip rental car insurance, stick to cars that meet the coverage limits and requirements of your primary car insurance and credit card. For example, some cards won't cover rental cars over $50,000 in value or with rental periods of over 30 days.</p> <h2>2. Extended Warranty</h2> <p>When you drop a couple grand on that brand new laptop, you don't even hesitate to accept that extended warranty insurance. But if you'd read the fine print on your credit card terms, you would have found out that you were already covered. Most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">credit cards offer extended warranties</a> for an extra year.</p> <p>Consumer Reports indicates that when breakdowns occur during <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/02/nine-more-reasons-to-skip-the-extended-warranty/index.htm">extended warranty periods</a>, the average repair cost for appliances is about the same as the average price for that warranty. This means that you're better off sticking with the free extended warranty from your credit card.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Just remember that to qualify for the extended warranty from your credit card company, you need to put the entire purchase amount on the card.</p> <h2>3. Collision Coverage for Old Cars</h2> <p>Talking about car insurance, here is another one that may be unnecessary.</p> <p>Let's imagine that you own a car with a Kelley Blue Book value of $2,500 and that your collision coverage is $500 per year.That's 20% of your vehicle's value for one year of coverage! If you were to wreck your car and receive a total loss settlement, the most that you would receive is $2,000 (assuming a $500 deductible). Is this worth it?</p> <p>This is a bad deal no matter how you see it. It gets even worse as the collision deductible gets higher, or the vehicle's cash value gets lower. Depending on your financial situation, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">dropping collision coverage</a> for your old car may be a good idea. On the other hand, never drop your auto liability insurance.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Take what you would use on collision coverage and put it in a savings fund for your next car purchase.</p> <h2>4. Specified Disease Insurance</h2> <p>If you have a family history of a particular genetic disorder or are at risk for a terminal disease, you may lose sleep over the potential financial blow that might be coming someday. Most specified disease insurance writers claim that this kind of policy is worth it because it will cover expenses not reimbursed by your primary health insurer, such as out-of-pocket medical costs, child and household help charges, and experimental treatment expenses.</p> <p>The reality is that you may be already covered. The Affordable Healthcare Act ensures that most insurance plans cover the health care that <a href="http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002562-pdf.pdf">cancer patients and survivors</a> might need. Current legislation requires that all plans sold in health care marketplaces must cover essential health benefits, including screenings, treatments, and follow-up care of cancer and other types of diseases. If you're concerned about a specific disease, find out your available options for coverage through your <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov">state's health care marketplace</a>.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Get peace of mind through a comprehensive plan that covers your illness and skip the specified disease insurance.</p> <h2>5. Life Insurance for Children</h2> <p>This is a very sensitive topic. As a father of two handsome and smart boys, I will do everything in my power to provide them health, stability, and wellbeing. Buying life insurance for children doesn't make sense because they are not the main breadwinners in the family. In most scenarios, your children are your dependents, not the other way around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-and-why-to-buy-life-insurance">How and Why to Buy Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>Life insurance for children would only make sense if you're dependent on your young children for income. Even under these circumstances, some parents may feel uncomfortable signing up their children for life insurance.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>If you're concerned that you wouldn't be able to cover the potential funeral expenses of your children, then create an emergency fund savings or investment account to cover those expenses. That way, you're covered in case of need and you have a head start for a potential college savings fund for your children. Consult your financial advisor to determine which is the right choice.</p> <h2>6. Private Mortgage Insurance</h2> <p>Private mortgage insurance, better known as PMI, is meant to cover any money owed to your lender in case you default on your mortgage. This insurance is not meant to cover you at all. PMI is required by law for homebuyers with down payments less than 20% of the sale price of the property. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-don-t-need-mortgage-life-insurance?ref=seealso">Why You Don't Need Mortgage Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>There are three reasons why PMI isn't worth it:</p> <ul> <li>The average PMI payment ranges from 0.5% to 1% of the total loan value. The small percentage can be deceiving. In 2014, the <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/">average U.S. mortgage debt</a> was $155,192. Assuming a 1% PMI, the <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/avoid_pmi.asp">average PMI payment</a> in 2014 was about $1,551. That money would be better used as a contribution to your retirement account or payment to credit card debt.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>PMI payments may not be tax deductible. Families with over <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000296058">$109,000 adjusted gross income</a> ($54,500 if married filing separately) per year can't deduct PMI payments on their tax declarations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>PMI may be cancelled. Under the <a href="https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/compliance/manual/pdf/V-5.1.pdf">Homeowner's Protection Act</a>, you can request your lender terminate your PMI when your loan value reaches 78% of the original market value of the secured property. Keep in mind that there are several requirements, such as no junior liens and no dramatic market value swings. Plan ahead, work on improving your credit history, and make mortgage payments on time within the last two years, so that your lender doesn't come up with any &quot;buts&quot; to your request.</li> </ul> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Save up for a 20% down payment on your property and skip private mortgage insurance altogether.</p> <p>For those with a high credit score, another option for avoiding PMI may be available: an 80-10-10 piggyback loan. Under this type of loan, a bank offers you a mortgage for 80% of the home value, and a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) for 10% of the home value. This way you're able to come up with a 20% down payment but only with 10% out of pocket. Consult your local bank to determine your eligibility for a piggyback loan, find out terms (e.g. some banks may offer 80-5-15 or 80-15-5 piggyback loans), and figure out if a piggyback loan is right for you.</p> <p><em>What are some insurances that you wished you had never signed up for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-single-people-get-life-insurance">When Should Single People Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn&#039;t Just for Old People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-times-its-okay-to-borrow-from-your-life-insurance-policy">4 Times It&#039;s Okay to Borrow From Your Life Insurance Policy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance car insurance health costs life insurance pmi warranties Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1370391 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Warranties That Aren't Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000019329937.jpg" alt="Woman shopping and learning which warranties aren&#039;t worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us believe that it's better to be safe than sorry.</p> <p>However, when it comes to buying warranties, you may be acting on emotion. It's time to step back and take a closer look at those extended warranties &mdash; your extra peace of mind may be coming with a hidden high cost. Here are four warranties that aren't worth it.</p> <h2>1. Warranties That Are Too Expensive</h2> <p>According to the Service Contract Industry Council, most <a href="http://www.bbb.org/phoenix/news-events/consumer-tips/2014/12/be-in-the-know-before-buying-extended-warranties/">extended warranty costs</a> are 10% to 20% of the sales price. Anything above that 20% benchmark may be too much, particularly for small ticket items. For example, a $20 extended warranty on a $55 panini press is a waste of money.</p> <p>On the other hand, buying a $150 warranty on a $2,000 computer is a more sensible purchase. Not only is that warranty just 7.5% of the total price, but it'd also cover the high cost of replacing parts.</p> <h2>2. Warranties Shorter Than Those From Your Credit Card</h2> <p>There is no need to pay twice for coverage that you may already have. As long as you complete the entire purchase on a single credit card, most major credit card companies will extend the original manufacturer's warranty up to one additional year.</p> <p>Review the fine print on your credit card's extended warranty for other applicable limits, such as the maximum purchase price and maximum dollar value of claims within the same year. As long as you're aware of applicable exclusions and requirements, having a credit card with an excellent extended warranty can be a lifesaver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer?ref=seealso">How to Take Advantage of the Free Extended Warranty From Your Credit Card Issuer</a>)</p> <h2>3. Warranties for Products With Low Repair Rates</h2> <p>Some people claim that things aren't built to last anymore. However, surveys from Consumer Reports seem to indicate that it may all just be in our heads. The <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/repair-or-replace/index.htm">repair rates</a> for several items are going down.</p> <ul> <li>Laptops had a repair rate of 36% in 2010, and 24% in 2013.</li> <li>LCD TVs had a repair rate of 15% in 2010, and 7% in 2013.</li> <li>Dishwashers already had a <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/warranties.asp">low repair rate</a> of 13% back in 2004.</li> </ul> <p>Consumer Reports found that appliances usually don't break during the extended warranty period. Even when breakdowns occur, the median cost of a repair ($152) isn't that much more than the median price of a warranty ($136).</p> <p>A great alternative to extended warranties for products with low repair rates is to put the money you would have spent on the warranty in a savings account, instead. By &quot;self-insuring,&quot; you're keeping the money and gaining interest on your rainy day fund.</p> <h2>4. Unsolicited Car Warranties</h2> <p>There are warranties that aren't worth the money, and then there are warranty scams.</p> <p>For several decades, the FCC has been warning consumers about <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/guides/auto-warranty-scams">auto warranty scams</a>. Malicious companies prey on consumers whose auto warranties are about to expire &mdash; or in some cases, they may not even be close to expiration. Back in 2008, the Better Business Bureau received more than <a href="http://www.bbb.org/central-illinois/migration/other-news/2009/02/bbb-warns-deceptive-auto-warranty-solicitations-plague-consumers-nationwide/">140,000 consumer calls</a> to confirm the legitimacy of companies claiming to sell auto warranties.</p> <p>For example, in the year that the basic warranty of my 2012 Volkswagen Passat was set to expire, I started receiving unsolicited mail with warnings in big, bold letters; &quot;Final Notice: Expiring Auto Warranty.&quot; After ignoring a couple of these mailers, additional ones started pouring in with labels such as &quot;<a href="http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/28440855-e863-431f-9e60-c46e13226298/Warranty-mailer.aspx">2nd Attempt</a>,&quot; &quot;Time Sensitive,&quot; or &quot;<a href="http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/9c4deb4f-8f10-4206-bd5b-2ab75bf70bcc/Warranty-Mailer-2.aspx">Vehicle Alert Notice</a>.&quot; Then, the calls started coming in every single week. It was all from unscrupulous car warranty salespeople.</p> <p>Don't cave in to the pressure and protect yourself against potential car warranty fraud:</p> <ul> <li>Don't provide any personal or financial information over the phone to unsolicited telemarketers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Resist high-pressure pitches from salespeople or mailers that urge you to act now. Those &quot;final deadlines&quot; extend for several months over and over.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>These car warranties rarely pay claims. The BBB reports that <a href="http://stlouis.bbb.org/storage/142/documents/vehicleservicecontractstudy2011.pdf">93% of vehicle service claims</a> are denied under these warranties.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Never agree to any contract without having a physical copy of the contract and an appropriate timeframe to review the fine print.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A major red flag is the requirement of a down payment to view a contract. Don't agree to pay over the phone.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Search online for the name of the company offering the auto warranty (such as <a href="http://www.ncdoj.com/getdoc/221259f6-b0a2-40aa-801c-f76835f31be2/AG-Cooper-gives-auto-warranty-sellers-the-boot.aspx">U.S. Fidelis</a>), since some of those companies are often in trouble with the law. Or, check the company with your <a href="http://www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/">state and local consumer agencies</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>File a complaint with the FCC by visiting <a href="http://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov">consumercomplaints.fcc.gov</a>, calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322), or writing to Federal Communications Commission, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Place your phone number on the <a href="http://www.donotcall.gov">National Do Not Call Registry</a>.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are some warranties that you wished you never paid for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-used-car-salesman-reveals-dirty-tricks-and-how-to-beat-them">A Used Car Salesman Reveals Dirty Tricks (and How to Beat Them)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-purchases-with-financing-options-that-depreciate-fast">4 Purchases With Financing Options That Depreciate Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gift-card-scam-of-2011-don-t-be-a-victim">The Gift Card Scam of 2011: Don’t Be a Victim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-something-breaks-should-you-repair-or-replace">When Something Breaks, Should You Repair or Replace?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping appliances Cars electronics repairs scams warranties Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:00:11 +0000 Damian Davila 1360904 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Personal Finance Tips You Don't Always Hear About http://www.wisebread.com/5-personal-finance-tips-you-dont-always-hear-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-personal-finance-tips-you-dont-always-hear-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_money_tips_up_to_you.jpg" alt="Sign Says: It&#039;s up to you - Do Something!" title="Sign Says: It&#039;s up to you - Do Something!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="260" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p> <meta http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /><br /> <title></title><br /> <meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 3.0 (Win32)" /></p> <style type="text/css"> <!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --><!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">We have all read about the usual personal finance tips being offered by the writers of the personal finance blogs around the internet and from the experts on television. They usually end up meshing somewhere along the line with information that includes the importance of setting a budget, tracking your spending, and establishing an emergency fund. While that advice is all valuable and true, there are some other things you should be doing that will keep you financially strong.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Here are some of those tips that may be just as important to your financial health as the basics. Even if you've heard them before, there is nothing wrong with a refresher course:</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em><strong>1. Save For Your Child's Education Now</strong></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">The cost of a college education certainly is not going down any time soon so in order to prevent future stress on family finances or subject your children to a potentially harder road during the college years, invest money into a tax-free 529 college savings account. The earlier you start, the more chances you have to save.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em><strong>2. Get Your Own Education</strong></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Sure, it is likely we will struggle with paying for an education but it is essential to earning extra money when compared to those with only a high school diploma. If you can find a way to go back to college for the degree you never got or to obtain a degree you have wanted, it is never too late. Furthering your education doesn't necessarily mean going back to college. There are a lot of alternative options for furthering your knowledge and learning new skills. Many communities offer classes to improve your computer skills, your crafting skills, and can even introduce you to new talents you didn't know you had. Take a course in photography or creative writing. You can always use these skills to supplement your existing income and explore what financial freedom your natural talents and hobbies can bring to you.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em><strong>3. Skip the Extended Warranties</strong></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Any merchandise you buy will already come with a warranty. Some will be 90 days and some can range up to a year or more. If something is going to break, it will likely break during that time. The only one that profits from your purchase of an extended warranty is the company that sells them. Be choosy in what you are spending your money on and research items before you buy them. Armed with this information before you hit the store should make you less susceptible to spending cash on useless warranties.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em><strong>4. Question Your Loyalty</strong></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Chances are good that over the last few years, you have selected and stayed loyal with many technological services from day one. You are barraged day in and out with promotional offers for the latest plans for cell phones, cable services, internet providers and the like. While it may be annoying to have to sift through the deals that are out there, your wallet may appreciate your efforts. Most companies will not be the first to tell you that you can get a better deal if you just pay attention to what is going on. They are happy to keep letting you pay more for less services than other customers are getting. Stay on top of what you are paying for and you'll find savings.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><em><strong>5. Prioritize Your Health</strong></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;">Face it, if your health goes in the toilet and you don't have the appropriate health insurance coverage available, you can very quickly lose everything you have saved when medical bills start taking over your life. If you an your spouse have employer-sponsored health plans, make the most of whichever plan covers your needs. If you are self-employed and have to find insurance on your own, work hard to find the plan that fits your financial needs and your health concerns. You should not always go for the cheapest policy but the one that will cover your basic medical care costs as well as the costs of the unexpected expenses that can arise with health issues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-personal-finance-tips-you-dont-always-hear-about">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-100-laptop-for-sale-to-the-public">The $100 laptop...for sale to the public?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quickly-removing-scratches-from-cds-and-dvds">Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-millennials-should-embrace-credit-cards">Why Millennials Should Embrace Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips education health insurance technology warranties Mon, 26 Jan 2009 19:30:06 +0000 Tisha Tolar 2777 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Spending a Little More on a Brand Name can Pay Off http://www.wisebread.com/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/warranty.JPG" alt="waranty" title="warranty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">I have always been a fan of buying the less expensive generic version of whatever it is I am in the market for. Running shoes, clothing, electronics, prescription drugs, you name it. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And in many cases, the generic version is just as good and saves a ton of money. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">There are a few cases that I have discovered, though, in which it pays to spend a little more at the outset. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I owned a pair of brand name running shoes that had a great little feature which was an alternative to laces, and I was loved them. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">However after a few months, the lace-alternative mechanism stopped working, and the shoes were rendered all but useless. Since the shoes were well used by that point though, I didn&#39;t even consider the fact that it could be covered under warranty. A friend who was visiting and worked in an athletic shop asked me how I liked the shoes. Needless to say I gave him a piece of mind about the company and their crappy shoes!</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;Well, just return them,&quot; he said. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;I&#39;ve moved all over the country. I&#39;m thousands of miles away from the store I went to, and I don&#39;t have a receipt anyway,&quot; I replied hopelessly. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;That&#39;s okay,&quot; he said. &quot;Just take them into our store. We carry that brand, so we can ship the shoes back to the carrier for you, and they&#39;ll replace them for free. You&#39;ll just have to pay for the shipping since you didn&#39;t buy them at my store originally.&quot; </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Done! A month later, I was wearing the brand new, next-generation of the shoe for the paltry $12 in shipping. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I&#39;m pretty sure the generic brand version of those shoes wouldn&#39;t have held to that level of service. In fact, I might have gone through two to three pairs of the same shoes in the time it took me to wear in the brand name shoes I still own. And when I calculate the cost at the end of the day, I actually saved money with the brand name shoes. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">That experience opened the doors for me to a world of brand name warranties. You don&#39;t always need to fill out a silly card or register by internet a lot of the time; you simply need to own the product. If it fails, you take it to a store that carries it and politely explain your problem and ask if there is a way they can help you. Alternately, circumvent the store entirely and go straight to the manufacturer. Again for the cost of shipping, you&#39;re likely to end up with a brand new replacement. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Most warranties specify that they will only cover manufacturer&#39;s defects, which is reasonable. But if you look hard you can even find a few items the manufacturer claims are indestructible, for which even wear &amp; tear is covered. And even if the warranty policy states manufacturer defects only, I would challenge you to spend the small amount of time required to see if you can get a replacement anyway. If it can save you the cost of replacing that item, it`s worth at least asking. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Here are just a few brand names I&#39;ve had experience with that will honour returns and replace damaged (and even just plain worn) goods: </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.rmwilliams.com.au/home.asp?pageid=2E6B299F55B297E8" target="_blank">R.M. Williams</a> - The Australian boot company. If any part of the boot wears for any reason, they will repair or replace the item.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://oakley.com/" target="_blank">Oakley</a> - For sunglasses. Friends of mine have had luck with getting broken frames replaced without question. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.tilley.com/guarantee.asp" target="_blank">Tilley</a> - Specializes in upscale travel wear, and their real specialty is the Tilley Hat - indestructible. So if any of their items wear, just return them. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.thenorthface.com/na/contact-us.html#warranty" target="_blank">North Face</a> - This is the company that replaced my running shoes. Not only that, but a friend of mine had a North Face jacket with a lifetime warranty, and I`ve read stories about others who have received brand new next-generation jackets (to the tune of $500 or more) for the cost of shipping. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.arcteryx.com/iframe/warranty.aspx" target="_blank">Arcteryx</a> - Another outdoor gear outfitter, with extremely high quality (and high cost) items. I don`t personally have any Arcteryx swag, but others who own it say the warranty is honourable. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And for Canadians, items purchased at <a href="http://www.mec.ca/splash.jsp" target="_blank">Mountain Equipment Co-op</a> (they ship internationally by the way) are almost always returnable. I have returned punctured water bladders, ripped pants, and defective watches without as much as a blink of an eye from customer service. I don&#39;t even need a receipt, since they have my purchasing history in their computer.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">All this is not to say I am a brand name junkie. I couldn&#39;t care less about designer labels, and you&#39;ll never catch me carrying a $500 (or even $100) designer purse. I choose my brands carefully, based on functionality, price, and customer service.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So if you are debating whether or not that brand name item will truly last longer than the generic alternative, consider the warranties available. You may get a lifetime of use out of the initially more expensive item if you play your cards right. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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