Best Time To Transfer Credit Card Balances Is Before The Holidays

If you have run up a few credit cards and desire to consolidate the monthly payments into one monthly bill, these credit card offers I have selected are just what you are looking for. Not only can you consolidate your payments into one payment, you will also enjoy a 0% intro period on any balance transfer. If you expect it will take you quite awhile to pay off your balance, pick an offer with the longest 0% intro period as possible.

We reached out to Steven Moore, who is the head editor with the BCC Network a leading group of consumer websites that helps consumers navigate credit card offers to identify five top promotions to take advantage of still in 2014. The top five balance transfer credit cards he shared appeal to borrowers with a wide range of goals and credit histories. We have kept this list with only card offers that charge 3% or less balance transfer fee and omitted the card offers that carry a 5% balance transfer fee.

Chase Slate
This card makes it to the top of our list due to not having a balance transfer fee. For most consumers, this is the top 0% balance transfer offer due to no balance transfer fees. Forbes Online listed this as the best 0% offer in 2013. You also get 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months, making this card ideal for a balance transfer if you can pay off the debt with in 15 months. The 0% balance transfer fee is only available for transfers that are made during the first 60 days of opening the account, so be sure to make all your balance transfers in that time, or you will face a 3% balance transfer fee there after. This card has no rewards, but it also has no annual fee. The interest rate ranges from 12.99% to 22.99% depending on credit worthiness, but any interest can be avoid by paying the entire balance off in full during the 15 month 0% APR intro period.

Citi Simplicity® Card
This card offers an amazing 18 month 0% intro APR not only on balance transfers, but also purchases. The balance transfer fee is only 3% of the total balance transferred, and the interest rate ranges from 12.99% to 21.99% depending on your credit rating. This card is perfect for those trying to catch up on debts, it has no late fee’s for late payments and no interest penalty rates ever. No annual fee either. Customer service is U.S based and available 24 hours a day. The only drawback to this card is the lack of any rewards program with this card.

Discover it®

Another 18 month 0% APR on balance transfers intro card, it also includes 0% intro APR for purchases. There is a 3% transfer fee on the balance transferred, but with 18 months of no interest you can pay off the balance in full over the course of a year and a half. The interest ranges from 10.99% – 22.99% depending on your credit score. This card is the first balance transfer card on your list with a rewards program, the reward program has bonus cash back categories. Other perks include no annual fee, No foreign transaction fee, U.S.- based customer service, and your FICO score free on every credit card statement and online.

Citi® Double Cash Card
This card offers a 1% cash back on all purchases, as well as another 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases on your balance, and it also offers a generous 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months. This card unlike many other cards has no category restrictions and no caps towards cash back earned. This option is ideal for people who will make some purchases while making use of the balance transfer feature. This is the top cash back rewards program available, and the APR is quite fair at 12.99%-22.99% depending on your credit worthiness. This however is not a good card if you ever expect to be late with a payment, as they assess a penalty APR up to 29.99% when it comes to missing a payment even by 1 day. This card like the rest on list features no annual fee.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

This card also features a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. The interest or APR ranges from 11.99%-21.99% based upon your credit score. Like most of the cards on this list there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the balance transferred, whichever is greater. This card also has a nice rewards program called Citi® Easy Deals which awards you points for all your purchases, and the points can be redeemed for online deals on name-brand merchandise, gift cards and local deals such as restaurant certificates. This cards concierge service can even help you find deals for and book hotels, airfare and more. This card has no annual fee, but this card does require excellent credit.

UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card – The Comeback Card
For those with bad credit there is still an option to consolidate your debt. This secured credit card has no 0% intro APR however, the APR intro is 9.95% on balance transfers for 6 months, and there after the APR goes to a fixed rate 17.99% interest. Still a good deal for those wishing to consolidate a bunch of small debts onto one card and save a little but of money while doing so. This card has no rewards and does have an annual fee involved.

Ebola Fears Grow Placing New Emphasis On Critical Cleanup

As fear of the Ebola virus comes to the United States, so does the worrisome job of cleaning up after this virus. Four days after the first patient in the United States to contract Ebola passed away; his home in Dallas was exactly how he left it. There were dirty sheets and other materials that he had used while sick. Cleaning contractors were apparently too scared to do the job.

Since then, biohazard cleanup crews have decontaminated the space and have responded quickly to the two other cases in Dallas, where two healthcare workers have contracted the virus. Contractors who are normally hired to mop up crime scenes or dispose of bio-hazardous waste have the skills needed to carry out the Ebola cleanups, as well as health care workers.

There is no magical solution that can rid an area of a deadly disease, as the solutions that will be used to clean the area are dependent on the type of pathogen that is present at the time. What kind of cell wall the pathogen has will quickly determine what kind of cleaning solution must be used to eliminate it completely. Now, Ebola is spread through contact with bodily fluids, and it can remain infectious for several hours on doorknobs or countertops or for several days in expelled fluids that are kept at room temperature. But, the good news is that this specific virus is very vulnerable to many forms of chemicals. This means that the virus is very easy to get rid of.
The microbes in Ebola can be killed by UV rays from the sun, or if they’re in fluid, but a simple soap and water solution. There are no cleaning solutions that were made specifically for the cleanup of Ebola, so professionals can use any hospital-grade disinfectant designed for killing viruses such as polio, norovirus, or adenovirus.

To clean an area that an Ebola patient has been staying in, a biohazard worker will need a PPE (the hazmat full-body safety suit) and the right chemicals. The first step is to eliminate any bodily fluids. In the future, people may be spared from almost all contact with cleanup sites, as experts are working on no-touch technologies for sterilizing a hospital room or home. But until then, we will have to continue scrubbing away.

All of this can be very pricy though. As an example, the labor rate for this type of professional cleanup can range anywhere from $50 to $75 an hour per person, often with a minimum of 10 hours per project. The safety equipment alone, which includes gloves, masks, goggles, and disposable suits, may run upward of $100 per usage. And that is without even thinking about the price of the chemicals and the cleaning solutions, which can run from $40 to $60 dollars a case.

But who pays for all of this? In the case of the CDC and other government agencies, that is quite easy to answer: the taxpayers pay for this. The Ebola fight in West Africa could easily cost the United States up to $750 million over the next six months. In the case of businesses, costs will likely be incurred by building owners and tenants.

But, the true cost must take into account indirect costs and the behavior of the consumer. What this means is that businesses will take a hit if someone with Ebola has passed through there. Would you want to go to a hospital where they were currently treating an Ebola patient? Would you want to eat at a restaurant where an infected person may have eaten recently? The choice is entirely the consumer’s and anxiety and fear can definitely define those choices. This can be deadly to small businesses and large corporations as well.

Severe Weather Marches East Heading Into Weekend

Chilly air is in the forecast for the Midwest and northern Plains late this week and the Central States to the East and South will definitely get a nice taste of autumn for the rest of this week, going into next week. This nice temperature change will follow a band of overpowering rain and severe conditions in some regions.

The temperature change will be a dramatic one over parts of the Midwest on Friday. When comparing the temperatures to come to the temperatures that the Midwest has experienced this week, the early morning temps may be 30 to 50 degrees lower. The temperatures will surely plummet due to the gusty winds as well.

The temperatures will feel as though they’ve dipped into the teens throughout the northern Plains and Upper Midwest due to the combination of wind, rain, and low temperatures. It is expected that the temperatures will feel as though they are in the 20s in the Upper Midwest, and the 30s farther South in the Midwest and lower Great Lakes on Friday and Saturday nights.

Very chaotic weather conditions will be created due to the fact that chilly air will be passing over the warm waters of the Great Lakes this weekend. This excessive chill will be accompanied by high winds, ominous looking clouds, and heavy showers in some areas, especially around the Great Lakes region.

There will also be a high chance for some wet snow to appear with the rain showers in the system from Minnesota to Wisconsin, even to Michigan on Friday night and Saturday night. There may actually be a chance that waterspouts could be produced over the lower Great Lakes on Friday and Saturday.

The less humid and cooler air will bring along with it high winds from the central and southern Plains states to the Appalachians. From Friday night to Saturday night the temperatures will feel quite cold and it will be very blustery over the Appalachians. Even though this cold air will become milder before hitting the East Coast, autumn air will still be present east of the Appalachians this weekend.

The highs for this weekend will not exceed the 60’s in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C throughout Sunday. The feel of the temperatures may dip into the 50’s at times during the daylight hours, and this will be felt along the Interstate-95 corridor in the Northeast.

Down to the south, Florida will feel some cooler but drier air this weekend, which is a nice change of pace for them because they have been soaked with rain much of September. Around Atlanta, high temperatures will be in the 60s both days of the weekend. It will be breezy and bright with sunshine and a bright blue sky to match.
While this chill that has been projected to hang around the Great Lakes moving throughout next week, the temperatures will trend upward into the East and South. The brunt of this chilly air with the outbreak late into this week will cause another chilly blast that will occur between October 10th and 13th. This will occur over the

Midwest and the northern Plains, rather than the Atlantic Coast.

As for the severe weather yesterday, one of the powerful cold front produced severe thunderstorms and torrential rain from the Deep South into the Ohio Valley, as well as the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Upper Midwest throughout the night into Friday morning. At one point, a squall line extended all the way from Michigan to Texas.
These extremely gusty winds uprooted trees, downed power lines, and caused extensive building damage to homes and businesses alike. Tornadoes also spun up in Arkansas and Missouri, but thankfully there have been no reports of injuries.

About 1 million residents were left without power in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. The local power crews worked feverishly and quite early to restore electricity from Texas all the way to Kentucky. Because of this power outage, schools and universities alike were closed for the day.

Japan Braces For Potential Impact From Typhoon Phanfone

A typhoon that was projected to intensify rapidly has done just that, and is now a looming threat to people who live in Japan this weekend. Typhoon Phanfone strengthened from a Category 1 equivalent typhoon to a Category 4 equivalent on Thursday evening and this system jumped about 55 mph in only 24 hours. When referring to typhoon, it is the same thing as a hurricane. A typhoon, hurricane, cyclone, etc. are all the same anomaly but different names are used in different parts of the world.

This system will stay in a environment that is favorable for more development, which includes a low wind shear and high sea-surface temperatures. The Japan Meteorological Agency shows that Phanfone will curve northwestward and northward over the next couple of days. What will this mean for Japanese residents? It means that this system would hit the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, the two main north-south chains of small islands that is south of the mainland.
Typhoon Phanfone may soon reach the western edge of an area of higher pressure, which in layman’s terms just means that this system will become post-tropical throughout the process. The question now is exactly how, and when, this system will take a sharp turn.

If this area of high pressure stays where it’s at for a little bit longer, Phanfone may not curve north and northeast so quickly. If this area of high pressure does not stay where it is currently located, it could mean that the system will take a more southward dip and will cause a sharper, and sooner re-curvature of Phanfone. It is usually the tendency for tropical cyclones to complicate their line of tracking, and this system may end up tracking a bit farther south and west than some of the models are forecasting. Here are some of the scenarios that could result from these complications:

First, the typhoon could curve sharply which will mean that it will pass the mainland and just barely provide the country with high waves and a small amount of rain.

Next, if Phanfone curves north a little later, which means that it is too late to miss Japan, it will slam into the heavily populated areas of central and eastern Japan. This will include Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kobe. All together, these regions combined reach a population of 85 million people.

The last possibility is that the system waits too long to recurve, which means that it will take it more towards Okinawa before hitting the mainland. It would start with the island of Kyushu and western parts of Honshu before dumping torrential rains across Japan’s major cities.

Even if the center of this typhoon does in fact pass over the south and misses the mainland, there is still a rising threat of heavy rainfall accompanying this system.

Some of the areas that are in Phanfone’s current path have already seen historic rainfall amounts from the Tropical Storm Nakri and Typhoon Halong in August. The city of Kochi had recorded over 61 inches of rain in August alone, and it is one of the wettest months on record since they began in 1886. Another rural area named Shigeto in the mountainous region of Kochi picked up 94.41 inches of rain, which boldly crushes the previous all time record for any calendar month by nearly 40 inches.