This is a roundup of news and other interesting pieces that I’ve come across over the last few days. Read about a possible new Amex Business Checking Account that earns rewards, Avelo adding two new routes from Hollywood Burbank, buying a Caribbean island to start a country, Google parking feature, and unpaid medical bills now make up 58% of debt in collections.
American Express recently revealed a new digital checking account that earns Membership Rewards. Now Amex is surveying new business checking account that’s potentially more lucrative. It could come with a bonus of 20,000 points if you keep $5000 on deposit for 60 days and complete 10 transactions with the account within 60 days. Plus you could earn 1 point per $2 spent.
Avelo Airlines is continuing to expand its West Coast network with the addition of new nonstop service from Los Angeles to Boise, Idaho and Spokane, Washington. Introductory low fares starting at $59 to Boise and $69 to Spokane are available at AveloAir.com. Avelo’s twice-weekly direct service from LA’s best airport – Hollywood Burbank Airport – to Boise Airport (BOI) and Spokane International Airport (GEG) will be operated by Boeing Next Generation 737-800 aircraft.
Mayer is co-founder of Let’s Buy an Island, an ambitious project that in 2018 set out to crowdfund the purchase of an island. By December 2019, the group’s aspirations became reality, raising over $250,000 to complete the purchase of Coffee Caye, a 1.2-acre, uninhabited island off the coast of Belize.
The investors weren’t just buying into a share of Belizean property. They were also investing in an unusual nation-building project, because “Principality of Islandia,” complete with its own national flag, anthem and government, is also the world’s newest “micronation”– an entity that claims independence but isn’t recognized as such by the international community.
Google announced Thursday a slew of new features that rolled out through its latest software update, including the ability for users to pay for parking using their voice through a partnership with ParkMobile. The goal is to help drivers eliminate the pain points of paying at the meter when it’s too cold, a meeting runs longer than expected or the cup holder doesn’t have enough quarters.
The majority (58%) of debt in collections stems from medical bills, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Roughly 43 million Americans have medical bills on their credit report, with a total outstanding medical debt of $88 billion.
The CFPB is working with government agencies and the medical community to determine whether it’s appropriate for unpaid medical bills to be included on credit reports. Debt collectors often use “coercive credit reporting” and the threat of negative credit impacts to strong-arm patients into paying their medical debt.