The bad news from the Target payment card data breach keeps coming. The retailer says that sensitive debit card information is among the data that was stolen during the busiest weeks of the holiday shopping season.
- The beginning of the new year means that you can start contribution to your IRAs for the 2014 tax year. The maximum contribution for 2014 is $5,500. However, those who have contributed for the 2013 tax year still have until April 15, 2014 to make their contribution. However, for those with 401(k) plans, the deadline to contribute for 2013 is Dec. 31, 2013.
- Consumers with certain cash back credit cards will start earning bonus cash back on new purchase categories when the next quarter starts on Jan. 1, 2014. Chase Freedom, Citi Dividend, Discover It and U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature cardmembers will earn 5% cash on select purchases after you sign up. Savvy consumers can maximize their cash back by planning their purchases to earn the most cash back possible.
- Over the weekend, unemployment benefits ran out for 1.3 million Americans. The benefits were part of a program — created during the recession — to assist the jobless who exhausted state benefits. Congress did not opt to extend the program. In November, the unemployment rate was 7.0 percent, the lowest level since the recession.
- There is another development from the Target card-data breach. The retailer said that encrypted debit card PINs were among the data that was compromised by hackers. The PINs allow consumers to use their debit cards to withdraw cash from ATMs and make purchases when swiping at payment terminals. If decrypted, it is possible that debit cards could be replicated to access ATMs. Target says the PINs require a decryption key to decipher, so it would be difficult for hackers to actually know the PINs.
- Starting Jan. 1, minimum wage workers in 13 states will see a bump in their paychecks. The wage increases will be seen in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The wage bumps vary by state.