Friday, February 16, 2018

Credit Card Features You Ought To Look Out For

Credit Card Features
This article is contributed by Syed Faraz from

While we are overwhelmed with reward programmes and bills that come with credit card usage, there are extremely useful features that you might want to take a look at since they often help people to save and protect themselves against unprecedented events.

Credit Card Insurance: This is a much sorted feature which people often do not notice. Credit card providers often have special insurances free- of charge with the usage of the card. This may be personal accidental insurance, travel insurance and sometimes a life cover. Now, we are aware that people already have travel insurance when they are booking a flight. But one can always take advantage of a backup option. Whether it is a delayed flight or loss of baggage, it always is essential that you have some excess or buffer amount. Also, when it comes to personal accident insurance, we often do not invest in this product thinking that the car insurance is sufficient. But it is not, since your life and health is important and personal accidental insurance offered by some cards helps to take care of yourself.

Purchase Protection Plans: This is basically for people who are making purchases for expensive products, such as electronics, furniture or home appliances. It often happens that when you buy a product you pay an amount, and within a few days you see that someone else is offering the same product at a lower price. In such a case the credit card company or bank will pay the difference so that you always are able to make intelligent purchases. This not helps to always ensure that you are never fooled by retailers and dealers but you make a saving in a way since you make a purchase that is lower than your budget for that product. A lot of credit cards offer this option and it is absolutely worth it, if your card offers it. This feature tends to be present in shopping or high-end international cards.

0% Balance Transfer: This is a comparatively new concept where you can transfer your credit card bill from one credit card to another. Some banks offer you low interest rates in such cases. But a handful of banks in Malaysia offer your 0% interest rate to help you get rid of your credit card debt conveniently. Now, it is essential to check for the processing fee since it is often high and might have a negative effect. However, knowing that most card interest rates are as high as 18% even a lower interest rate of 7% without processing fees might just ease out the pressure you are having to deal with. This feature is so vital and useful for people that people often choose a card based on this option.

Airport lounge Access: We are well aware of this feature by now but the main thing is to check how many accesses are available and whether the food and beverage offered at the lounge along with other services such as wi-fi is completely free of charge or not. Lot of cards simply offer discounts instead of free lounge accesses. Also some airports may not give this access based on your card. The most prevalent lounge franchisee at an airport is Plaza lounges. Almost all major airports in the world have these lounges. Meals may not be offered all the time, but there are always beverages available along with cereals and milk.

There are new perks and features always available to people to make the customer experience for a credit card more satisfactory. Make the most of these features.

Friday, May 20, 2016

What are Paid Online Surveys

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Companies doing business want to know what the public thinks of their products. They engage marketing and research companies to seek opinion from them. They are also interested to know the impact of their new products before launching. By offering your opinion about their products and services, you are paid in cash (it is credited into your PayPal account and then you can transfer the amount to your personal banking account) or vouchers (KFC, Pizza Hut, Zalora, Parkson, Giant, Starbucks and many more)     

According to Wikipedia surveys where the respondent must pay or purchase products to join a panel are generally scams, as are sites that disappear before paying the participants. Legitimate surveys do not need credit card information from respondents. When a research company needs respondents from a demographic they cannot reach they can easily reach out to a worldwide or specialty panel. By offering a cash incentive to respondents in return for feedback these companies are able to quickly fill quotas and collect the information being sought by the client.

When you join a paid survey site, you are required to provide your personal and demographic information. It is used to select participants for surveys on specific products and services. When you are selected as a panel member, there is a short screening survey to determine if you fit the profile for that particular survey. If you qualify, you will proceed to complete the survey.

Online marketing and survey research companies will usually notify you by email when there is a survey to be responded. Check your email regularly because notification of new surveys can reach you anytime of the day   I usually answer questions using my PC or iPad because it is easier to get work done on a big screen. You take only a few minutes to answer a survey. It is a fun thing do and you also earn some pocket money at the same time

Here are Top 10 Paid Survey Sites in Malaysia that I have joined for free and received payments regularly. I can collect about RM100 per month in cash and vouchers doing daily surveys. To get the most out of paid surveys check out these 10 Top Smart Tips. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Paid Surveys - Top 10 Smart Tips

 Paid Surveys - Top 10 Smart Tips

I have been a panel member of the top ten survey sites in Malaysia since June 2015. I would like to share with you what I have learnt from taking online paid surveys:

 1. Never pay to join a survey site:All   the top 10 survey sites in Malaysia are free to join. I did not pay a single cent. Don’t ever pay a fee to join a survey site or pay to get a list of survey sites. Do not be conned by attractive online ads that promise you heaven and earth. 

2. Join as many sites as possible: If you want to earn more and do surveys daily you need to join as many sites as possible. Like me I participate in all the top 10 survey sites in Malaysia and I used to get daily emails to take part in one or the other survey from among the various companies. 

3. Response Quickly: When you get an email to do a survey, do so quickly because there is a quota for each survey. When they get enough respondents, the survey will be closed. 

 4. Open a PayPal account: When you are paid in MYR or USD the money will be credited into your PayPal account. From your PayPal account you can transfer the fund into your own banking account.  

5. Complete personal profile: Your complete personal profile is to ensure you are invited to participate in relevant surveys. 

Related:What are Paid Online Surveys?

6. Keep a record: I keep a spreadsheet of the links to all my survey sites. I record the points that I have accumulated. When I make a claim or redemption I record it as a pending item to monitor the receipt of the amount in my PayPal account or the vouchers. 

 7. Cash out or redeem: Make a claim as soon as possible when you have enough points to do so. You never know when one of these online companies might fold up anytime and you would waste all your efforts. 

8. Check emails daily: This is to make sure that you do not miss invited online surveys. You also need to visit survey sites daily to look for new surveys. 

 9. You will not be rich by taking surveys: You only spend a few minutes to complete a survey. Do not expect to get paid a huge amount. I am getting RM105 this month (March 2016) and I expect to earn more because as an active member I will be getting more survey invitations in future. 

 10. Productive use of time: When you are free at home, just spend a few minutes to complete a survey and you will be able to earn some money to defray your household expenses. It is legit, fun and interesting. 

Doing online surveys is one great way to work at home and earn extra money. Time is bad and every cent counts.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top 10 Survey Sites in Malaysia

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Do you want to earn some pocket money working at home or where there is internet connection? Taking surveys, voicing your opinions and answering questions for a few minutes each time are such easy ways to make some extra money.

Here are the ten top sites that I have joined and made some money and obtained some vouchers. What you can earn in MYR or US$ is credited into you PayPal account. You can also redeem for vouchers from some sites that you have earned sufficient points. These vouchers can be used at such outlets like Giant, Jusco, Parkson, KFC, Pizza and many more.

1.Ipanelonline: When you take part in their surveys, every 1000 points earned you will get RM10/=. The amount is credited into your PayPal account. According to their Home Page iPanel is a professional online sample collecting company for market survey iPanel lets you share your opinions and suggestions fast, conveniently and intelligently. Any survey you participate in will give you 1-2000 points. We are a reputational Asian online survey company ranked within the top 10 of the sample companies throughout the world by authorities through consecutive years.

2.GlobalTestMarket: When you have earned enough points you can redeem for paper vouchers issued by AEON, Cold Storage, Din Tai Fung, Isetan, Metrojaya, Parkson and Starbucks. You can also credit USD10 into your PayPal account for every 1044 points earned. This company is designed to give you the opportunity to get paid for directly influencing global market research.

3.Viewfruit: For every 500 points earned you will get USD1.00. USD3.00 is credited into your PayPal account when you have accumulated 1500 points.

4.Toluna: For every 16000 points earned you will get a RM20 voucher issued by Isetan, Giant or AEON or you can also credit RM20 into your PayPal account. According to Toluna, surveys are created by their partners who are mostly research companies. Most of the time their surveys and questionnaires will last between 15 and 20 minutes, and your participation will be rewarded on the duration of the survey.

5.Mobrog: You are paid USD0.5 to USD0.25 per survey. When you have accumulated US$6.25, the amount will be credited into your PayPal account

Related: Paid Surveys- Top 10 Smart Tips 
                      What are Paid Online Surveys? 

6.AIP Online Surveys: You can redeem for RM20 vouchers issued by KFC, McDonald, Giant and many more at 2000 points per voucher.

7. Surveyon: You can get up to 20,000 maximum points per survey. When you have accumulated 30,000 points you will get USD3 credited into your PayPal account.

8.Valued Opinions: You can get RM30 vouchers from KFC, Pizza Hut, AEON and Zalora by participating in their surveys. You will get RM3 to RM5 for each survey.

9. Opini: It is an online research panel. Members are paid for their time. Opini pays its members for their views, but many people join the online community because they enjoy being part of a public platform which can have a real impact on how products, services and well known brands are offered to consumers in Asia. Your earnings in US$ will be credited into your PayPal account.

10. YourVoice: You can get E Vouchers, physical vouchers by taking part in their surveys.

I started taking surveys in June 2015. I have so far collected more than RM350 in my PayPal account and various vouchers. These survey companies are legitimate

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Best Investment Plan Is Part Science, Part Emotion


Research says to pick an investing strategy and stick to it. That's a lot easier to do when it's a plan you believe in.

What’s the right way to invest?
Most people I talk to about money end up asking me some version of that question. Heck, I continue to ask it myself as I try to ensure that I’m always giving my clients the best advice possible.
The question comes from a good place. You work hard for your money and you want to make sure that your money is working hard for you. You have important goals to reach and your investment plan has to help you do it.
But there’s an assumption inherent in this question that can get you into trouble.
Because the truth is that there is no right way to invest. And the search for the right way to invest can actually lead to more problems than solutions if it causes you to continually change your investment plan in pursuit of the newest best idea.
Instead, I would encourage you to accept that the best investment plans are a mix of science and emotion, and incorporating both gives you the best chance at success.

The Science

The science of investing comes from decades of research and it can teach you some best practices.
It explains how different types of investments work, shows you some simple strategies that will improve your odds of success, and helps you create a “good enough” investment plan to help you reach your goals.
For example, here are a few things we believe to be true based on the best scientific research on investing we have to date:
  • Stocks offer the greatest opportunity for big returns, but also the biggest risk that you won’t actually get those returns.
  • Bonds provide a smaller return, but with more certainty that you will actually get it.
  • The longer you stay invested in the stock market, the more likely it is that you’ll get a positive return.
  • Regularly changing investment strategies or trying to move in and out of the stock market with the ups and downs is likely to lead to poor results.
  • Factors like how much money you need and when you need it should influence your investment strategy.
  • The less money you need, the more conservative (and therefore certain) you can be with your investment strategy.
  • The longer you have until you need the money, the more aggressive you can afford to be (because you’ll have longer to ride out the down periods).
  • If you’re investing for the long term (10+ years), some significant investment in the stock market is likely a good idea.
  • Costs matter. A lot. The less you pay for your investments, the greater your chance of success.
None of these things are absolute. Nothing in the world of investing is. But these are best practices we’ve learned from the best scientific research we’ve been able to do. And they should serve as important guidelines as you create your investment plan.

The Emotion

All of that science is great, but it’s inexact. It gives you a range of possible strategies that could work, but it doesn’t provide one right answer.
And here’s the other thing: We know from decades of experience that one of the best things you can do is simply pick a plan and stick with it through thick and thin.
That consistency, almost more than anything else, is what really leads to success.  And that’s where your emotions come in.
See, we aren’t robots. We can’t just input “optimal investment plan A” and expect to stick with it forever.
We are humans, and humans have emotions. And those emotions affect our decisions whether we like it or not.
For example, you may hear that you’re supposed to be heavily invested in stocks because you’re relatively young and have a long time before retirement. That’s the conventional wisdom and there are good reasons behind it.
But there’s also the fact that being heavily invested in the stock market means that your account balance will rise and fall dramatically with the ups and downs of the market.
Some people are comfortable with that. Some aren’t.
If you aren’t, it’s much better to acknowledge that ahead of time and choose to be a little more conservative.
That will increase your comfort level, which will increase the chance that you’ll actually stick to your plan, which will increase the chance that you’ll actually reach your goals.
And that’s just one example. As you do your research you’ll come across many other right ways to invest. And while some of them can absolutely serve as helpful guidelines, understand that they usually aren’t hard and fast rules.
So take stock of your emotions and include them in your decisions as well.

Science + Emotion = Best Chance of Success

The best investors use the science to understand best practices and determine the range of “good enough” investment strategies.
Then they use emotion to choose a strategy that not only fits within that range, but that they understand and feel comfortable with.
It’s the best of both worlds, and it’s the key to long-term success.

Monday, December 21, 2015

What to Do (and Not to Do) With Your Year-End Bonus

Save money and money will save you. Jamaica Proverb
78 percent of workers can hope for some kind of year-end bonus from their employers. Few will get anything like the average $172,860 Wall Street bankers can expect in their stockings. But a holiday bonus is still an opportunity to reduce debt, pad savings and otherwise do the right financial thing.

Alternatively, you could do the wrong thing.

Making a mistake with a year-end bonus is just as easy as making a smart move, warns Joe Roseman, a financial planner in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first thing you shouldn't do with your bonuses is spend it all. "Don't blow it on Christmas," Roseman says.

The second thing you shouldn't do is use it for a down payment on a new car. "You're still going to have the payments next year," Roseman points out.

"Don't pay extra on your mortgage," he adds. "You are taking away your tax deduction." While paying down a mortgage will save future interest, at today's low mortgage interest rates that savings is modest, and the benefit is further reduced by the tax deduction.

Finally, Roseman adds, "You shouldn't count on a bonus every year." By that, he means don't spend next year's year-end bonus on next year's summer vacation. Many employers pay bonuses when times are good and then cut back or eliminate them if business contracts. If you charge a vacation to a credit card thinking you'll pay it off with your bonus, you could find yourself in a high-interest hole next New Year's.

So what should you do with it? A really smart move is to sink at least some of it into a retirement savings account, suggests Scott A. Stratton, a financial planner in Dallas. "If someone 25 years old took $5,000 of their bonus and invested it until they were 65 and earned 8 percent, they'd end up with $108,622," Stratton notes.

The younger you are, the smarter it is. For instance, if a 35-year-old socked away the same $5,000 bonus until age 65, also earning 8 percent, the ending balance would total just $50,313, according to the Security Exchange Commission's calculator at "You'd end up with half as much just by waiting 10 years," Stratton says.

While getting started on retirement saving is important, it isn't only important financial use for a year-end bonus. Because the compounding effect of interest you are paying is just as powerful as interest you are earning, consider paying off all or part of any debts that charge steep interest rates.

"If you're carrying a balance on any credit cards, that's got to be a high priority," Stratton says. "And a lot of people want to look at paying down their student loans, especially those that are higher interest."

Next after that is an emergency fund. "You need six to nine months of living expenses set aside," Stratton specifies. If you have trouble getting traction on an emergency fund, a year-end bonus can help get you started.

The final thing you should consider doing with your year-end bonus is spending part -- not all -- of it on something that isn't necessarily financially whip-smart. Say, a nice vacation, or a piece of jewelry. How much? Roseman suggests 25 percent, but it depends on the size of the bonus.

But whatever you do or don't do with your year-end bonus, remember to treat yourself to a little extravagance. "Everybody, when they get a pile of money, deserves to spend it on something they've always wanted," Roseman says.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

9 Bad Financial Habits You Need to Break Right Now

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Habit #1: Stop doing the same things over and over again.
Human beings are habit-creating machines. Research shows we crave any mental or physical shortcut that frees time and energy for our minds to focus on higher-level thoughts, such as wondering what to have for lunch or speculating about the true parentage of Jon Snow on Game of Thrones.
A “habit loop” is created in three steps: a cue or trigger, the behavior itself, and a reward for that behavior, according to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit. Bad money habits are more difficult to steer out of than automated behaviors like driving a car. Why? Financial peace of mind is a much more subtle reward than the satisfaction of navigating a half-ton piece of metal through city streets without death or injury.
Still, every person who’s good at money learned these habits, which means you can, too. “What we know from lab studies is that it’s never too late to break a habit. Habits are malleable throughout your entire life,” Duhigg told NPR.
Habit #2: Stop spending more than you earn.
Who do you think you are, the U.S. government? Even America’s once-ballyhooed fiscal deficit is shrinking–it’s now $492 billion, or 2.8% of the economy, down from $1.4 trillion (9.8% of the nation’s GDP) in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
How is your own personal deficit doing? About one in five Americans spend more than they earn, and 36% break even, research from the National Financial Capability Study shows. Your goal must be to join the 41% of Americans who spend less than they earn.
Habit #3: Stop ignoring your bills.
A 21-year-old woman with medical bills looming recently told this NerdWallet writer that her pattern for prioritizing what bills to pay is this: When a collection agency calls, she pays the bill. This kind of financial firefighting guarantees she will veer from crisis to crisis as her credit score burns.
Payment history carries huge weight on your financial future; more than one-third of your credit score is judged by your ability to pay your power, car insurance, and credit cards on time. If you can’t, work out a payment plan with your provider before it goes to collections.
Habit #4: Stop using your credit cards like free money.
Credit cards are a weapon in your financial arsenal. Like all armaments, they can be used in strategic defense or to shoot yourself in the foot. Too often, it’s the latter–the average U.S. household carries $15,480 on credit cards.
That plastic in your pocketbook is the greatest enabler of bad money habits, allowing you to spend on a whim and forsake all budget plans. Sticking to a budget should be your most faithful money habit.
Habit #5: Stop thinking you’re not smart enough.
Money matters can quickly confuse. In the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, many consumers struggled to understand basic health insurance terms such as “deductible,” a survey last month by the Kaiser Foundation found.
We live in an age where consumers are forced to take control of their own financial lives, whether it’s being smart with health insurance or guiding their own 401(k) plans to invest for retirement. Learn the lexicon of finance. “I used to catch myself saying, ‘Investing is hard. I just don’t understand it.’ This gave me permission to avoid learning how to invest,” writes Ann Marie Houghtailing, author of How I Created a Dollar Out of Thin Air. “Now I say: ‘Investing is a skill. You just have to start small.’”
Habit #6: Stop making it hard on yourself to save.
Old habits die hard, and one of the oldest habits is using checks to pay bills or make savings deposits. “Personal finance habits take longer to change than the way you might switch from one smartphone to another. That’s because money is so important to us,” Fred Davis, a professor of Information Systems at the University of Arkansas, told Marketplace.
Set up automatic transfers for bill payments. Also automatically have 10% or more of your paycheck sent directly to your savings account. These two steps will go a long way toward building good money habits and credit scores with the least amount of effort.
Habit #7: Stop complaining about your paycheck.
Whatever energy you’re spending complaining about the size of your paycheck takes energy away from finding ways to improve your bottom line. Think you’re being underpaid? Negotiate a raise or at least have a chat with your employer to understand what’s needed to see a bump in pay. If you’re valued, your boss will see the implicit threat that you may leave for a higher-paying job (which, of course, you should be looking for).
Investigate ways to build other streams of income. Look at ways to improve your skill set. Just stop whining and do something about it.
Habit #8: Stop your Starbucks dependency.
If you’re like a lot of people, many of the receipts in your pocket are for caffeine pick-me-ups. That drip-feed coffee habit costs half of American workers nearly $1,000 per year, according to a 2012 survey by Accounting Principals. The survey shows that two-thirds of American workers buy their lunch rather than bringing one from home, costing an average of nearly $2,000 a year. Worse, Americans throw away 40% of the food they purchase each year, about $165 billion worth, which works out to $2,275 in the bin for the average family of four, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Planning meals should be lockstep with planning your budget. Eating out costs you much more than you think.
Habit #9: Stop thinking more cash brings happiness.
OK, money does bring happiness, but only to a point. A 2010 study by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton found that emotional satisfaction in life rises with wealth until income hits $75,000 per year. Purchasing experiences and giving to charity have a much longer shelf life for our well-being, research suggests.
Still, the serenity of being free from debt brings its own kind of glee. Look how much fun these people are having…

Visit All About Living With Life for more articles on living a happy life .