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U.S. public health officials say people here have no reason to worry about radiation from Japan's damaged nuclear plants.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 17, 2011 9:05AM

This post comes from Truman Lewis at partner site ConsumerAffairs.com.

 

Californians are fearful that damage to Japanese nuclear power plants will leave them dusted with harmful amounts of radiation. That's creating a land rush business for the few U.S. manufacturers of potassium iodide.

 

Writing 'Check ID' on the back won't help. Nor will buying credit card fraud insurance.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 16, 2011 5:47PM

This post comes from Barbara Marquand at partner site IndexCreditCards.

 

Credit card fraud costs businesses billions of dollars and wreaks havoc in the lives of its victims, and the crime is on the rise. Ten million victims fell prey to identity thieves in 2008, up 22% from 2007, according to the most recent estimates available from Javelin Strategy & Research, a financial-services consulting firm.

 

Despite its rise, the crime and how to combat it are often misunderstood. Here are five credit card fraud myths:

 

In case of a disaster, a federal law in place for more than 50 years offers homeowners protection.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 16, 2011 5:10PM

This post comes from Michele Lerner at partner site Insurance.com.

 

Insurance.com on MSN MoneyAn anxious world continues to wait and worry as Japan tries to fend off meltdowns at nuclear power plants that failed in the wake of a massive earthquake and tsunami.

 

If a similar disaster were to strike the United States and your home became uninhabitable for a brief time -- or forever -- due to radiation, would your home insurance cover the claim?

 

Progressive is the latest auto insurer to ask customers to put monitoring devices in their vehicles. Privacy advocates are yelping. This driver thinks the idea should be taken even further.

By doubleace Mar 16, 2011 4:15PM

This post comes from Lynn Mucken at MSN Money.

 

The folks at auto insurance giant Progressive have rolled out a nationwide advertising campaign for their Snapshot program, which monitors how their customers brake and how far and when they drive.

 

Tailgating them are privacy guardians, who can't find anything wrong with the voluntary program but worry aloud that, like candy cigarettes, this could be a threshold product that leads to future abuses. 

 

Credit and charge cards that have no preset spending limit aren't really a license to charge as much as you'd like, and they can damage your credit score.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 16, 2011 2:10PM

This post comes from Odysseas Papadimitriou of CardHub.com.

To some people, the idea of a credit card that allows unlimited spending might sound too good to be true. To many others, it sounds too good to pass up. And to credit card companies, the illusion of a limitless spending vehicle is an extremely lucrative one. 

 

It is therefore obvious why consumers are generally confused about the existence of such a credit card and why issuers are making no move to clear up this uncertainty. 

 

Some big banks are considering restricting the size of debit card purchases. It's part of their response to proposed federal regulations.

By Karen Datko Mar 16, 2011 12:17PM

What if your debit card no longer worked for purchases exceeding $50 or $100?

 

That's one of the ideas big banks are floating as they battle a proposed limit on how much they can charge merchants each time you swipe your card.

 

This idea isn't going over well in all quarters. Wrote The Budgeting Babe:

Talk about alienating your customers! I use my debit card for everything -- including monthly automatic bill pay for a few accounts that definitely charge more than $100 per month. And now the banks want us to use credit for that. Credit?! Just when America was learning to wean ourselves off our credit cards!
 

A $35 purchase can net you $225 in savings in the first year.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 16, 2011 8:57AM

This post comes from G.E. Miller at partner blog Wise Bread.

 

Bold statement alert: The best money-saving device that you may ever purchase in terms of return on investment is a low-flow shower head.

 

Why use a low-flow shower head? One 10-minute shower with an inefficient shower head uses 55 gallons of water (5.5 gallons per minute, or gpm) on average, while an Energy Star model uses less than half that at 2.5 gpm. Most shower heads made before 1992 have a 5.5 gpm flow.

 

Employers might as well embrace the tournament as a way to build company morale and workplace camaraderie.

By MSN Money Partner Mar 15, 2011 2:38PM

This post comes from Jeanine Skowronski at partner site MainStreet.

 

Employers may not be looking forward to March Madness.

 

According to a report from outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., an estimated 8.4 million work hours will be lost to the annual three-week-long tournament set to begin today (March 15).

 

Challenger says if you multiply that figure by $22.87, the average hourly earnings among private-sector workers, the financial impact would exceed $192 million.

 

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