Connect with us

News

Ask Amy: Credit card accounts churn up concern

Published

on

Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Dear Amy: I need some advice. For the last five years, my husband has been churning credit cards (opening up credit card accounts solely for the opening bonus, then closing them after the bonus is received). He opens cards in both his name and mine.

This is legal, as far as I know.

He’s very organized, and we’ve never accumulated any interest or any fees.

I’ve recently started to feel uneasy about this and want him to stop doing this using my name.

When he started doing this, I was young and thought he knew best, so I didn’t question him.

I’m worried that he will get annoyed with me for suddenly not feeling good about this. I’m worried that he will be upset for my sudden interest in financial matters and the fact that he will lose out on half of the bonus money he receives from opening these accounts.

Thanks!

— Churning concerns

Dear Churning: Credit card “churning” is the practice of opening a new card that offers a bonus (for instance: “Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.”)

Churners open the card, spend the $500 on expenses they would have paid, anyway, collect the bonus in the form of cash back or reward points, and then stop using the card (or close it) once the bonus has been received and spent.

This is not illegal, although it is frowned upon (by card issuers) and can negatively affect your credit score if you miss a payment or hold too many cards.

google news

News

Lydia Edwards talks Methadone Mile and free MBTA with sights set on State House

Published

on

Lydia Edwards talks Methadone Mile and free MBTA with sights set on State House

City Councilor Lydia Edwards is looking to shed City Hall for Beacon Hill, where she would be a big progressive ally to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu in the quest for a free MBTA, but says the two are at odds on other issues.

“On some issues we’ve disagreed,” Edwards said during a Sunday appearance on WCVB’s “On the Record,” pointing to the 2020 police budget, in which she backed then-Mayor Marty Walsh’s plan slashing $12 million in overtime funding from the Boston Police. Wu voted against the budget.

Edwards has been endorsed by progressive allies of Wu including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, but in Sunday’s interview attempted to distance herself from lockstep politics.

“When it comes to the police budget, I have been very clear. I believe in fiscal responsibility. One of the biggest reforms we’re pushing for is overtime reform,” Edwards said.

The city councilor from East Boston said she wants to “bring to scale” programs that already exist, like street outreach teams to reduce the reliance on public safety in all situations.

Specifically, she pointed to the addiction crisis at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard as a place where alternative resources are needed.

The area disparagingly referred to as “Methadone Mile” has become a hotbed of drug addiction and homelessness in recent years and reached crisis proportions amid the pandemic as a major tent encampment popped up.

“This needs a regional response, not pass the buck,” Edwards said, emphasizing that communities around Greater Boston need to work together to solve the issues there.

“We don’t have a choice but to come together and come up with resources that we all share,” Edwards said.

If she makes the step from City Hall to the State House, Edwards said she would continue to fight for a free MBTA — carrying the Wu campaign issue. Democratic opponent Anthony D’Ambrosio has bucked the idea.

“The best thing we can do is make sure that public transportation is free,” Edwards said. “That is going to make sure that people have access to jobs, access to homes and that there’s a sustainable model that we can look to.”

D’Ambrosio, a Revere School Committee member, faces off against her in the special primary election on Dec. 14.

The general election takes place on Jan. 11, next year. No Republican candidates are running.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Senator says businesses bearing burden of unemployment fraud

Published

on

Senator says businesses bearing burden of unemployment fraud

Candidate for state auditor, state Sen. Diana DiZoglio is calling for “sorely needed clarity” in the effort to replenish the unemployment trust — drained during the pandemic — with businesses apparently on the hook to pay back an eye-popping $7 billion — including nearly $2 billion in fraud.

“It is important that we know precisely how much of this deficit is due to fraud and overpayment issues which, we should add, should not be up to employers to pay for,” DiZoglio, D-Methuen, wrote in a Dec. 3 letter to Gov. Charlie Baker, signed by a group of bipartisan lawmakers.

The unemployment insurance fund — which is funded through a tax on employers — may have wracked up $7 billion in debt amid an unprecedented number of claims during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Unemployment Assistance has said.

As much as $1.6 billion in Massachusetts unemployment benefits payouts made amid the pandemic could be fraudulent, according to the the National Conference of State Legislatures and the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Mom and pop shops are left shouldering the burden of fraudulent claims,” DiZoglio told the Herald in an interview. She is calling for a full accounting and vowed to audit the Unemployment Insurance Fund and others cashing in on pandemic relief dollars should she win the auditor’s seat.

Lawmakers have authorized bonding the Unemployment Insurance debt so that it can be spread out over 20 years and paid for through  increased fees to businesses.

But the Baker administration said last week it still doesn’t actually know how much money it will ultimately borrow to cover the cost of the unprecedented number of pandemic-era claims. The Department of Unemployment Assistance recently reported to the Treasury a $2.9 billion positive balance, “creating tremendous uncertainty” amid a continued lack of transparency, DiZoglio said.

google news
Continue Reading

News

Ravens starting RT Patrick Mekari leaves game vs. Steelers with hand injury, could be out a few weeks

Published

on

Ravens starting RT Patrick Mekari leaves game vs. Steelers with hand injury, could be out a few weeks

Ravens starting right tackle Patrick Mekari left in the third quarter of Sunday’s 20-19 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and did not return.

After the game, coach John Harbaugh said the offensive lineman could be out a few weeks.

Mekari limped off the field in the second quarter, favoring his ankle. He was replaced by Tyre Phillips, but then returned the next series.

But Phillips took over at right tackle later in the third quarter, and the team said Mekari was doubtful to return with a hand injury.

Mekari injured his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals on Oct. 24 and missed nearly a month, including two games. He returned on Nov. 21 against the Bears in Chicago and played every snap last week against the Cleveland Browns.

google news
Continue Reading

Trending