Tag Archive for 'i-bonds'

News that caught my eye, stuff that matters

I-Bond fixed rate goes to zero

This is sort of significant news in financial world. US Treasury has just announced new rate for the fixed portion of I-Bond treasury bond, something they do every 6 months. For the first time in the life of the program (since 1998) the rate went down to zero which to me signifies how terrible the state of our economy is and how desperate the Fed is in encouraging people to spend more.

I Savings Bonds Rates & Terms at Treasury Direct

Hidden airline fees

I was surprised to see many of these. I guess the airline industry does a great job keeping them under hood.

  1. Getting a seat assignment. Fee: $5-$11 (each way)
  2. Paying for lap children. Fee: $10 to 10 percent of the adult fare
  3. Flying standby on the same day of travel. Fee: $0-50
  4. Getting a refund when a fare goes down. Fee: $25 to $200 or more.
  5. Checking luggage. Fee: $3-10 (each way)
  6. Re-banking frequent flyer miles. Fee: $50-100
  7. Bringing a pet onboard in the cabin/ Fee: $50-85 (each way)
  8. Cashing in frequent flyer miles without “sufficient” advance notice. Fee: $0-100.
  9. Making a reservation on the phone or in person. Fee: $5-$20

Top 10 Most Obnoxious Hidden Airline Fees (via Consumerist)

Refill disposable Brita water pitcher filters

The instructions involve drilling a hole in a used filter and replacing the content with fresh activated carbon. If you buy the activated carbon bulk, each refill will only cost you a few cents as opposite to $2-3 per filter which is the lowest price I have seen (when buying them in 10-packs at Costco). The question is, will the new filter work just as good as the original?

Read the complete guide at Instructables

Convert your Prius into plug-in hybrid online

Based on my earlier research, even at $4 per gallon, the plug-in convertible will still cost you extra. If savings is not what you are after, A123 Systems has created a web site where Toyota Prius owners who don’t want to wait till 2010 can pre-order a battery to convert their cars to plug-in hybrids now, or at least very soon. The parts and installation will cost you $9,995 plus $400 in other fees and taxes.

Hymotion (via Cnet News)

USPS to raise postal rates

On May 12th, 2008 the United States Postal Office will be raising the following postal rates:

  • First class mail one ounce or less: Up one cent to 42 cents
  • Post card: Up one cent to 27 cents
  • Large envelope, 2 ounces: Up 3 cents to $1.
  • Certified mail: Up 5 cents to $2.70
  • First-class international letter to Canada or Mexico: Up 3 cents to 72 cents
  • First-class international letter to other countries: Up 4 cents to 94 cents

New Postal Rates Are Coming, Should You Stockpile the Forever Stamp? at WiseBread

News that caught my eye, the important stuff

Next I Bond inflation component is 4.83%

The Labor Department released the March CPI numbers last week which allows us to compute the next I Bond inflation component which is added on to the I Bond fixed rate to derive the composite (or total) rate. Thanks to the high inflation, the number tuns out rather high. In fact the only time it has been higher was in November 2005, right after the Katrina-induced energy price spike.

I am not a big fun of I Bonds but if you do invest into these, Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog has done some detailed analysis on what this new inflation rate means to you as an investor

Blockbuster offers to buy Circuit City

The news broke out earlier this week and pretty much puzzled everyone. A company A in dare financial straights and in a somewhat different market offers to buy a company B which has larger capitalization and even worse financial state. What do you get when A adds to B?

I hope Carl Icahn who owns about 16 percent of Blockbuster’s stock and backs the move knows what he is doing. He seem to be pretty successful taking Motorola apart.

Convert your stimulus check into Sears gift card + 10% bonus

Sears is luring customers into their stores by offering to convert their financial stimulus check into a no-expiration Sears gift card plus 10% bonus on top. The cards can be redeemed at any Sears, Kmart or Lands’ End retail stores, as well as and

This might be a good deal if you plan some significant expenses for the upcoming season. Otherwise I would hold on to that cash and hunt for occasional Sears promotions instead since it sounds like you can’t convert just a portion of your check.

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