What the experts say
Credit card perks disappear
Credit card account holders are accustomed to being showered with “an ever-expanding menu of perks,” said Herb Weisbaum in NBCNews.com. But card companies have begun reeling back “the buffet of free benefits,” owing to what they describe as the “low usage” of the perks. Discover, for example, began trimming its perks in February, getting rid of return guarantees, purchase protections, extended warranty protection, auto rental insurance, and flight accident insurance. This month, Chase will also remove price and return protection from its cards, along with a handful of travel-related perks on selected cards. Citi is also pruning its travel-related perks on some cards as well as its return-protection scheme. Visit your card company’s website to check whether your individual card is affected.
Employers help with money problems
“Money stress can be as bad for workplace productivity as back pain,” said Beth Pinkser in Reuters.com. It’s for this reason that many companies have begun defining financial health as “the next frontier in workplace wellness.” In a recent survey by PwC, a quarter of U.S. workers said financial anxiety has led to personal health issues, 40 percent claimed finances have “distracted them” at work, and 15 percent cited money worries as a cause for work absences. In response, some organizations are providing a “robust menu of voluntary financial wellness benefits,” including debt management and budgeting as well as stress-management training. Others are offering cash relief of around $100 per month on student loan debts, and “discounted services for everything from car buying to pet insurance.”
How to get affordable legal help
“Sometimes it takes a lawyer,” said Anna Bahney in CNN.com. Financing a car purchase, signing your first apartment lease, reviewing an employment contract, or navigating the aftermath of an auto accident—these are moments when engaging a lawyer could be very helpful. For those intimidated by the potential cost of legal assistance, the website Avvo Advisor offers a 15-minute phone-call service that connects you to a lawyer to answer any of your legal queries for $39. The site Legal Zoom is another option, acting as a broker to provide you with a range of legal services for a flat fee. And at the website UpCounsel, visitors write a description of the legal help they need, and lawyers can then respond with their credentials and an estimated fee.