Hong Kong’s pride parade downgraded to ‘public meeting’ as protests swirl

Police have downgraded Hong Kong’s annual gay pride parade to a stationary rally, organisers said Thursday, after police banned the traditionally boisterous and colourful march through the territory as pro-democracy protests engulf the city.

Police allowed the Saturday afternoon event on condition it takes the “form of a public meeting” and not a march, Hong Kong Pride Parade said in a statement on Facebook.

The event will be held across the afternoon at a public square on Hong Kong island.

The move comes with violence spiking as protests enter a sixth month, with protesters bringing much of Hong Kong to a standstill since Monday.

Prominent LGBT lawmaker Ray Chan decried the ban on the parade through the city’s commercial heart — the key element to a global tradition celebrating equality.

“The pride parade has always been orderly, peaceful and well-disciplined,” he said.

“There is no reason for the police to reject the pride parade application… It has nothing to do with the recent protests.”

The event has previously been held in a carnival-like atmosphere with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and supporters parading through the city centre.

Foreign embassy officials, tourists and city’s lawmakers have participated in parades in recent years in an Asian city renowned for its relatively progressive values.

The parade is the latest casualty in a growing list of banned, cancelled or postponed events in Hong Kong’s normally packed social calendar.

The WTA Hong Kong Open, Oxfam’s annual trail run fundraiser as well as concerts by acclaimed K-Pop acts and comedians have been pulled as the city reels from the protests.

Organisers of others such as music festival Clockenflap, which starts next Friday, have vowed to press ahead despite the political crisis.

– AFP

The post Hong Kong’s pride parade downgraded to ‘public meeting’ as protests swirl appeared first on The Online Citizen.

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British Airways Visa Signature Card 100,000 Avios Bonus ($1,500 Value)

Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card BonusFor a credit card that rewards you for big purchases, definitely consider signing up for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card by Chase. It offer bonuses that you will surely love! This card offers a limited time sign up bonus of up to 100,000 Avios, worth approximately $1,500.

You will begin earning 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways and 1 Avios for all other purchases. If you’re interested in what travel perks that the Chase British Airways Visa Signature Cards has to offer, see below!

Be sure to check out more credit card bonuses from issuers such as American Express, Chase, Wells Fargo, Barclays, Capital One, PenFed, Discover, & HSBC. These cards have slightly different perks, so here are the cards and their respective regions:


Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card 


British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Learn More About This Card Here

Bonus Available Earn 50,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.
*Bonus Value $1,500
Ongoing Rewards/Benefits Earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level.

Earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations, plus 1 Avios per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Get 10% off British Airways flights starting in the US when you book by March 31, 2020.

Earn a Travel Together Ticket when you spend $30,000 in one calendar year.

Foreign Transaction Fees 0%
Annual Fee $95
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by HustlerMoneyBlog and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Recommended Free Credit Score (Get Free Score)

690 – 850 (Good – Excellent)

Pros

  • Welcome bonus rate
  • Companion fare
  • Partner airlines
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Annual fee
  • Good-Excellent credit score necessary to qualify
  • High reward surcharges

Editor’s Alternate Pick


Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®!

You’ll earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. And when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get 25% more value!

Learn More About This Card


British Airways Card – Earn Up To 100,000 Avios


With the British Airways Card, you can earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Also, you can earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.

The 100,000 Avios are worth around $1,500 according to our valuations. Although this credit card bonus seems high, you must spend a lot to get the full value.

Here are some ideas to increase your monthly spending:

Meeting Credit Card Bonus Spending Requirements
Plastiq – Using Plastiq allows you to pay for your personal expenses such as rent, tuition, mortgage, auto lease etc. Although they charge a 2.5% processing fee for using your credit card, this will contribute to the card bonus that you will receive. There is also a referral program that allows you to earn “Free-Free Dollars” that goes towards processing fees as well.
Funding Checking Accounts – When it comes to funding a checking account, opening your initial deposit with a credit card is the usual way to go about it. However, if you want to have more opportunities, you should open a checking account that offers a sign-up bonus. This allows you to work towards bonuses from not one but two different sources instead. Banks like Chase, Huntington Bank, TD Bank and BBVA offers credit card funding, and for your opening deposit, you can often fund anywhere from $50-$1000 with a credit card, depending on the bank.
Gift Card Purchases With Using a Credit Card – Another way to acquire the bonus is using your credit card to purchase gift cards. Buying a a gift card or an individual merchant card typically do not require a purchase fee and are used towards leisure, so gift cards are ideal. However, gift cards such as a Visa or American Express do incur purchase fees because they can be spent anywhere, but gift cards that are specifically for a certain online shopping site such as Amazon or eBay don’t.
As for a Citi Credit Card, you should call customer service and ask them to lower your Cash Advance limit to $0 before making any purchases because Citi tends to read gift card purchases as a Cash Advance.

Ideally, you should do this with any card just to be safe. Lastly, there is such thing as a discounted gift card which can be purchased on Raise or eBay. If you use a credit card often for everyday purchases, it can build your credit score that will contribute towards paying for things such as bills and taxes.

Alternative Ways to Meet Spending Requirements


What Are British Airways Avios Worth?

Like many other airline-branded credit cards, the value of your Avios depends on how you use them. On average, each Avios is worth around $0.015. Using this figure, 100k Avios have an approximate $1,500 value.

You can redeem your Avios for:

  • Flights
  • Hotel stays
  • Car rentals
  • Experiences
  • Seat reservations & upgrades

Although you have the option of using your avios towards any of the things listed above, you will maximize your value by redeeming your Avios for flights. All other options will devalue your Avios.

Just like with the other Avios earning cards, be careful with redeeming for transatlantic flights. Surcharges are known to be outrageous. Even the offer terms have the following example:

“At time of this publication all reward flights and travel together tickets are subject to taxes, fees and carrier charges of approximately $682 – $1,250 per adult in economy or $1,250 in business class based on travel from Seattle to London.”

It’s best to redeem for domestic flights with Iberia, Aer Lingus, British Airways and the other Oneworld alliance member airlines (see below).

Keep in mind, your Avios will expire if you don’t collect, spend, share or purchase any for 36 consecutive months.


Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card Benefits


PARTNER AIRLINESCOMPANION FARENO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES

British Airways is a part of the Oneworld airline alliance which means you can use Avios points to book flights with partner airlines.

Some member airlines include Alaska Airlines, Aer Lingus, Iberia, American Airlines and more, which also use Avios as rewards points.

Oneworld Alliance Airlines

American Airlines British Airways Cathay Pacific
Finnair Iberia Japan Airlines
Latam Malaysia Airlines Qantas
Qatar Royal Jordanian S7 Airlines
SriLankan Airlines Fiji Airways (oneworld connect) Royal Air Maroc (future member)

Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa Signature card, you will earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years.

Redeem your Avios for one reward seat for yourself and use your Travel Together Ticket to bring a companion in the same cabin even first class

Make purchases abroad without worrying about foreign transaction fees with the British Airways Visa Signature Card.


Bottom Line


The British Airways Visa Signature Card by Chase might be perfect for you if you love being rewarded for big purchases. Unfortunately there are some limitation to this card such as the high surcharges and limited domestic flights.

This is a card that you don’t want to miss out on. Maximize your savings and spending on travel with this simple card. For more credit cards, see our latest list of the best credit card bonuses!

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Learn More About This Card Here


What’s The Competition?


American Express Gold Card Bonus Promotion Amex Gold

The American Express® Gold Card offers 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.

You’ll have the opportunity to earn 4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide & at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X); 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

This card has an annual fee of $250 with no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees). Some benefits including earning up to a total of $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations. This can be an annual savings of up to $120. In addition, a $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.

Capital One Venture card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening (equal to $500 in travel). Named ‘The Best Travel Card’ by CNBC, 2018.

You’re able to earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture.

This card does come with a $95 annual fee, however, there is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year. Enjoy no foreign transaction fees and receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre?®.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®!

You’ll earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide; 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. And when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll get 25% more value!

Learn More About This Card

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Hustlermoneyblog has partnered with CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Hustlermoneyblog and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers.

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

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The post British Airways Visa Signature Card 100,000 Avios Bonus ($1,500 Value) appeared first on Hustler Money Blog.

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Forget Buying a Home: Here’s a Much Better Option for Your Savings

A close up image of Canadian $20 Dollar bills

Real estate is often viewed as a safe investment option for investors. With prices generally rising over the users, it can sometimes appear to be a no-brainer for people to invest in real estate.

That said, as someone who lost over $30,000 this year on a home thanks to a dreadful Alberta market, I cringe when it’s suggested that real estate is a sure thing.

Take the Greater Vancouver market as an example. The once-scorching market has made it easy to find homes in the suburbs priced at over $1,000,000 and there are concerns that vales may have peaked.

In September, Royal LePage reported for the first time in more than five years that the property values in the area had dropped. During July, August, and September, home prices had fallen by 5.2%.

Toronto, meanwhile, has seen its prices rise.  The difference in markets can have a big impact on whether someone is able to record gains on their property or losses. It’s no different from investing in an industry such as oil and gas, where challenging conditions could make it a risky sector of the market in which to invest.

When you buy a home in a city with rising property values, you have to consider whether values have become too rich; it’s similar to buying shares that are near their 52-week highs.

Why stocks are a better option

In addition to prices being very high, there are a couple of very important reasons as to why investors may be better off investing in stocks instead.

The first is that it prevents you from tying up your savings into one investment. If you invest tens of thousands of dollars into a down payment for a home, that’s money that’s not very liquid, so if a family emergency or a better investment comes up, you wouldn’t be able to easily pull those funds out.

The second issue is a lack of diversification. With stocks, you could invest in a variety of different options to put your money into. With the purchase of a home, however, you’re effectively putting a significant amount of money into just one type of investment — and that’s very risky given the headwinds that the real estate markets are facing today.

A safe option

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:REI.UN) can be a much more appealing investment for prospective home buyers. RioCan has many properties under its belt across Canada and it allows investors to take advantage of investing in a series of real estate markets without putting down a large investment.

As real estate properties rise in value, RioCan will be able to benefit through rising asset values on its balance sheet. And that could help its valuation improve as well.

Not only that, but investors of RioCan will also benefit from its strong dividend. With a yield of 5.4% per year, RioCan shareholders can earn some solid dividend income even if the markets aren’t doing so well. Year to date, the stock has climbed by more than 10%.

Overall, the real estate investment trust gives investors a great way to invest in real estate and diversify their investment in the process — and you could also decide to invest some of that money into other growth stocks.

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Fool contributor David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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China denies World Bank cuts related to Uighur rights concerns

China said Tuesday that a World Bank decision to scale back a vocational education project was unrelated to allegations of mistreatment of minority Muslim Uighurs in the northwestern Xinjiang region.

The World Bank launched a review in August of the programme after Foreign Policy magazine reported that a school which benefited from a tranche of the $50 million loan to China bought “barbed wire, gas launchers, and body armour”.

Rights groups and experts say more than one million mostly Muslim ethnic minorities have been interned in re-education camps in Xinjiang, where they are being tortured and forced to renounce their religion.

The World Bank said on Monday that its review “did not substantiate the allegations” but that it would cut funding to the scheme’s “partner schools” as a precautionary measure, because the schools were dispersed and difficult to monitor.

But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday that the World Bank’s review of the programme “clarifies the truth while strongly rejecting the relevant accusations.”

The “adjustments” announced by the World Bank are instead based on “based on the programmes’s actual needs,” said Geng at a regular press briefing.

Geng said that the inspection showed that the project did not suffer from the problems “hyped up by foreign media.”

The World Bank statement said Monday that the “scope and footprint of the project (with the partner schools) is being reduced.”

“Specifically, the project component that involves the partner schools in Xinjiang is being closed,” it said.

China’s treatment of the Uighurs — a mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking minority concentrated in tightly-controlled Xinjiang — has come under growing scrutiny.

Beijing initially denied the existence of the camps before admitting to running what it called “vocational education centres,” which it presented as necessary to combat religious extremism and boost employment.

– AFP

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This Canadian Tech ETF Has Beaten the S&P 500 by a Huge Margin

Shopping card with boxes labelled REITs, ETFs, Bonds, Stocks

Technology stocks have always been one for the masses. Due to their high-growth metrics, tech companies have been an investor favourite. Further, the everyday use of these products brings a sense of familiarity for retail investors.

However, tech stocks tend to be very volatile. Due to the ever-changing landscape in tech and continuous disruption, what might seem like a major win today could very well be obsolete tomorrow. So, how do investors take advantage of tech stocks?

Well, retail investors can look to invest in technology-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs). As we know, ETFs provide diversification, as they hold a basket of stocks. One such ETF is iShares S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology Index ETF (TSX:XIT).

According to a BlackRock report, “The iShares S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology Index ETF seeks to provide long-term capital growth by replicating, to the extent possible, the performance of the S&P/TSX Capped Information Technology Index, net of expenses. The index is comprised of constituents of the S&P/ TSX Composite Index in GICS Sector 45 — Information Technology.”

The XIT has easily outperformed the S&P 500 since March 2006. This ETF has risen from $6.51 in March 2006 to its current price of $26.44, indicating stellar growth of 11% annually. Comparatively, the S&P 500 has risen under 7% annually in the same period. So, what drove this ETF higher?

The top two holdings of XIT include CGI (TSX:GIB.A)(NYSE:GIB) and Constellation Software (TSX:CSU); they account for almost 50% of this ETF. These stocks have been key drivers for XIT.

CGI

Shares of CGI have been winners all the way. The stock went public in September 1996. It has seen two major recessions in the last two decades and created significant investor wealth. CGI stock rose from $0.38 in September 1996 to $30.88 in December 1999.

It then fell to $7.75 in March 2006. The stock has since gained an impressive 1,250% since then to trade currently at $106. CGI stock is valued at $28.6 billion. It provides services primarily in IT consulting and systems integration.

While CGI stock has gained exponentially in the past, does it have enough upside potential to excite investors? Analysts expect CGI to increase sales by 5.3% to $12.75 billion in fiscal 2020 (ending in September) and by 3.6% to $13.21 billion in 2021.

CGI stock is trading at a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 19 times. Comparatively, analysts expect earnings to rise by 10.2% in 2020, 7.9% in 2021, and at an annual rate of 10.6% over the next five years.

CGI stock seems overvalued at the current price looking at these metrics and might move lower in a sell-off. Analysts have a 12-month average target price of $110.5 for CGI, which is 3.8% above the current price.

Constellation Software

CSU is another Canada-based tech heavyweight. The stock has gained a staggering 5,200% since its IPO back in October 2007. However, these returns have meant that CSU stock is also trading at an expensive multiple.

Analysts expect CSU to increase sales by 13.8% to $3.48 billion in 2019 and by 16.4% to $4.06 billion in 2020. CSU stock is trading at a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 35.7 times. Comparatively, analysts expect earnings to rise by 3.2% in 2019, 24.4% in 2020, and at an annual rate of 15% over the next five years.

Analysts have a 12-month average target price of $1,112.58, which is 14% below the current price. I had identified CSU as an overvalued stock last month, and it has fallen close to 5% since then.

While the two Canadian tech giants remain solid long-term picks, their current valuation makes little sense.

Do you bet on XIT going forward?

While XIT has been one of the most successful tech ETFs in terms of absolute returns over the last decade, it is primarily banking on two stocks, both of which are vulnerable in a downturn.

So, how do investors play this ETF? Well, they need to buy XIT at major dips and invest over the long term.

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The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Constellation Software. The Motley Fool recommends CGI GROUP INC CL A SV. Fool contributor Aditya Raghunath has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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