Bessed: Human-Guided Search

Search engines are often great, but sometimes they frustrate you. You type in some words and get a bunch of links back, but you can’t figure out which of the links will answer your question or solve your problem. Sometimes it would be nice to have a person recommend the best links for your need, or at least make sense of the many sites that claim to solve your problem. That’s the goal of Bessed (pronounced “Best”).

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Kohl’s Credit Application Status

If you applied for a Kohl’s Charge credit card and did not receive instant approval, Kohl’s promises to send you a response by mail within 30 days, either with a new card if you are approved, or with a letter declining your application.

Kohl’s does NOT provide any sort of online application status tool for you to check the current status. The only way to check is to call Kohl’s Charge customer service at 855-564-5748.
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Bank of America Credit Card Login

bofa-ccQ. Where do I go to log in to my Bank of America credit card account?

A. Below are two different links that take you to the Bank of America credit card login area, plus a handful of other links you may find useful if you are having trouble logging in:

  • Bank of America Credit Card Login – Go here to sign in to your Bank of America credit card account as well as any other online banking accounts you may have with Bank of America. (www.bankofamerica.com)
  • Log In from Bank of America Home Page – You can sign in to your Bank of America credit card account and all other online banking accounts straight from the Bank of America home page. Just click through and look for the “Secure Sign-In” message in the box at the upper left (under the Bank of America logo). (www.bankofamerica.com)

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Semi Trucks Blue Book

Q. Where can I find blue book values for a semi truck?

A. You probably already know it’s not as easy as seeing the value of a passenger car or light truck. And it’s not as free, either. The official Kelley Blue Book does not offer values for semi trucks, and the handful of companies that do offer commercial truck values charge you for the service. Below is a list of blue book style services for getting semi truck values, along with a couple of other links that might give you an idea of your truck’s value.

  • The Truck Blue Book – You can get semi truck values going back to the 1993 model year here. Use the $29.95 Single Vehicle Lookup to get the value of a single semi that you may be buying or selling, or choose to buy the printed book or online subscription at a higher price if you want more blue book style valuations. (www.truckbluebook.com)
  • NADA Blue Book Commercial Truck Guides – This well-known company in the vehicle valuation business offers a number of products that can help you get your semi truck value — but only if the semi in question is from the 2000 model year or newer. You can get a one-time value estimate using the $40 Commercial Truck Guide Online Mini Pack, or you can pay for the complete Commercial Truck Guide for $140. (www.nada.com)

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Ally Demand Notes (GMAC)

Q. What can you tell me about Ally Financial Demand Notes?

A. Ally Financial Demand Notes (which were previously named GMAC Demand Notes) are an investment product in which you are basically investing to fund the debt of Ally Financial as it makes its various loans. Demand Notes can only be purchased by employees or immediate family of the Ally Financial group of companies. Ally Demand Notes generally pay a higher rate than other short term investments, but are not FDIC-insured and are thus seen as more risky by many people than products such as CDs or money market funds — but that of course is for you to decide.

See below for information on investing in Ally Financial Demand Notes as well as a few opinions about the wisdom of such an investment:

1. Ally Financial Demand Notes – Overview from the official Ally site on this financial product available only to Ally Financial employees and their immediate families, as well as auto dealers that have an Ally financing relationship. Get a description of exactly what Demand Notes are, then get a prospectus, information on risk and safety (they are not FDIC insured), fees (there are none), how to invest, more. (www.ally.com)

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Cars For Sale Under $1000

Q. I’m looking for used cars for sale priced under $1,000. Where can I see them?

A. A number of auto classifieds sites allow you to set your criteria to see only vehicles priced at $1,000 or less. Use the links below to see them — some of these have already been set to show you cars under 1,000 bucks, some require you to do a tiny bit more searching, but instructions are provided:

1. eBay Motors – Browse a list of over 3,000 used cars, trucks and SUVs for sale under $1,000 or with current auction bids under a thousand dollars. As you might expect, most of these are high-mileage vehicles, usually with 100,000 miles or more on them. You can narrow the large selection here to find cheap cars near your zip code, or to find certain makes or models. (www.ebay.com)

2. Cars.com – Over 1,000 cars are listed here from dealers and private owners at an asking price of $1,000 or less. The list is nationwide, so you’ll probably want to narrow it by zip code or other criteria such as make, model, mileage, etc. (www.cars.com)

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Target Red Card Log In

Q. Where do I go to log in to my Target credit card account?

A. Use the first link below to log in online to your Target Red Card account and pay your bill, etc. You may also find the links further down the page relevant to what you want to accomplish.

1. Target REDcard Sign In – Click through to log in and pay your Target RedCard credit card bill, view your account balance, etc. (rcam.target.com)

2. Enroll Your Target Red Card – If you’re accessing your Target credit card information online for the first time, you’ll need to go here to enroll your card and get a login username and password. (rcam.target.com)

3. Target RedCard – Contact Us – If you are having trouble logging in, or otherwise need help from a real Target customer service representative, this page gives you the phone number to reach them. You’ll also find the Target credit card payment mailing address if you decide to send in your payment. (www.target.com)
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Comenity Bank Credit Cards (formerly WFNNB)

Q. What is up with Comenity Bank? Who are they and how do I reach them if I have a problem?

A. Comenity Bank is a bank that issues many credit cards in partnership with retail stores or other businesses. It was formerly know as World Financial Network Bank (or WFNNB), and is a subsidiary of Alliance Data, a company that provides a variety of “private label” financial services for retailers and other clients.

If you are trying to reach Comenity Bank / WFNNB by phone or otherwise, you can find the correct number via the Comenity website linked below. The other links provide further info about Comenity Bank, as well as a partial list of the credit cards issued by the bank.

  • Comenity – Go here for the home page of Comenity Bank’s parent company, where you can learn more about the company and also find customer service phone numbers for credit cards issued by Comenity Bank. (about.comenity.net)

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Synchrony Car Care (formerly Car Care One)

Q. What is the Synchrony Care Care credit card? How do I apply for one, make payments, etc?

A. Synchrony Care Care (formerly known as Car Care One) is a credit card financing program created by card issuer Synchrony Bank especially for automotive repair and automotive products businesses, allowing these auto shops to offer credit to their customers. In most cases, you will get a branded Synchrony Car Care card directly from an automotive retailer, but you can also apply online for a Synchrony Car Care card that is good at all Synchrony Car Care partner shops. You can also pay your Synchrony Care Care monthly bill online. See the links below for more information:

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AARP Life Insurance Payment

Q. How do I make my AARP life insurance payment?

A. AARP life insurance is actually offered by New York Life insurance company, so you will be going to the New York Life site if you want to pay online, and any mailed payments will also go to New York Life. Check the links below and you should have no problem making your payment.

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eBay Mastercard Login

Q. Where do I go to log in to my eBay MasterCard account?

A. Your eBay MasterCard is actually integrated with your PayPal account (or you may now have a PayPal account after getting the eBay credit card), so you will actually log in to your PayPal account in order to access information about your eBay MasterCard, pay your bill, etc. See the links below for more information on how to log in to your eBay credit card account and get customer service help if needed:

1. PayPal Login / eBay MasterCard Login – As mentioned above, you will actually sign in to your eBay MasterCard account through PayPal, so this link takes you to the PayPal home page, where you can log in to your account and see eBay MasterCard activity as well as any other activity you may have done with your PayPal account. (www.paypal.com)
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Towing Capacity Chart

towing-capacityThe chart below ranks 40+ trucks and SUVs based on maximum towing capacity, with the best, highest capacity vehicles listed first. Only vehicles with a maximum capacity of at least 5,000 lbs. are on this list:

  • Ford Super Duty Trucks – Ford’s Super Duty trucks encompass F-250, F-350, and F-450 models, with the F-450 having a maximum gooseneck towing capacity of 34,000 lbs and a max 21,000 capacity with conventional trailer towing.
  • Dodge Ram 2500 & 3500 – The specs on this are a little confusing, but the largest Dodge dually pickup seems to offer a max towing capacity of 31,210 lbs.

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Synchrony Bank Payment (formerly GE Capital Retail Bank)

Q. How can I make my Synchrony Bank payment?

A. Synchrony Bank (formerly known as GE Capital Retail Bank) is the company behind many retail credit cards and other financing products, so we can’t say for sure how to pay every bill associated with Synchrony Bank, BUT most Synchrony Bank payments can be made online through the Synchrony site or by phone or mail at the central Synchrony Bank customer service locations. Use the links below and you should be able to get your payment taken care of:

  • Synchrony Bank Customer Login and Bill Payment – Use this page to log in immediately to your Synchrony Bank account to make a payment. You can also register for online access if you haven’t already. (www.mysynchrony.com)
  • Synchrony Bank Customer Service Phone Numbers – If you are having payment problems and need to contact Synchrony Bank / GE Capital Retail Bank, this page shows you where to find a contact phone number on your credit card or credit card bill, and also provides a customer service number (1-866-419-4096) if you can’t find one otherwise. (www.synchronyfinancial.com)

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Pull Up Christmas Trees

Q. Where can I find those artificial Christmas trees that pull up into a fully decorated tree?

A. Below are 5 good online sources for pull up & pop up Christmas trees.

  • The Bradford Exchange – A few pull up / pop up Christmas trees for sale here, including traditional styles from Thomas Kinkade as well as a Disney-themed pre-lit pull up tree. (www.bradfordexchange.com)
  • eBay – About 40 new and used pull up Christmas trees up for auction or immediate sale on our last visit here, including pre-lit and/or pre-decorated pull up trees, Thomas Kinkade brand trees, more. (www.ebay.com)

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Ally Auto Loan Payoff (formerly GMAC)

Q. How do I get a payoff amount for my Ally / GMAC auto loan?

A. You can get your Ally Auto loan payoff balance online at Ally.com. See the links below to learn how to do that:

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Military Surplus Vehicles For Sale

Q. Where can I find military surplus vehicles for sale online?

A. Below are 20+ sites that sell military surplus vehicles, either online or at their places of business.

  • GovLiquidation.com – Buy U.S. government Army surplus vehicles at this online community marketplace offering surplus and scrap assets from the United States Department of Defense. Products include a wide range of trucks, trailers, tractors, combat and tactical vehicles, cranes and passenger vehicles. Shows tons of parts and components in addition to complete vehicles, but you can narrow your search further to see just the types of vehicles you’re interested in. (www.govliquidation.com)
  • eBay Motors – Almost 100 surplus military vehicles up for auction on our last visit here, including vintage military trucks and Jeeps, as well as motorcycles, trailers and other non-traditional vehicles. (www.ebay.com)

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Kay Jewelers Credit Card

The Kay Jewelers credit card allows you to charge purchases at Kay Jewelers (and Kay Jewelers only; it is not accepted anywhere else). In particular, the Kay Jewelers credit card offers 0% financing on larger purchases — at last check, you could finance purchases of $500 or more for 12 months at a 0% rate. A 20% down payment on the total purchase is still necessary in order to get the 0% offer.

The 0% financing offer is a “deferred interest” offer. This means that you must pay ALL of your balance within the 12-month promotional period to get the 0% offer. If you don’t pay it all off, or if you make a late payment during that period, you will get charged all of the interest that would’ve collected since the day you made the purchase, as if the 0% interest rate had never happened. If that happens, your interest rate will instead be 26.99%, which is the standard interest rate for the Kay card on regular purchases.
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Nightmare Before Christmas Pumpkin Carving Stencils

nightmare-jackBelow are just under a dozen sites where you can find Nightmare Before Christmas pumpkin carving patterns. Most are of Jack Skellington, but the first site below offers some other characters, too.

  • Zombie Pumpkins – While these patterns do have a slight cost (you can buy 2 stencils for just $2), they are probably the best Nightmare Before Christmas stencils you’re going to find online. Multiple Jack Skellington stencils, Pumpkin King, Sally, Oogie Boogie, Zero, Lock Shock & Barrel, more. (www.zombiepumpkins.com)
  • Jack Skellington Template from Disney Family – Free printable pumpkin stencil of Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas, from this official Disney site. (family.disney.com)

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GEICO Bill Pay

Q. What are my options for making a payment on my GEICO insurance?

A. You can make a payment to GEICO online, by mail, or over the phone. Use the links below to get your payment made easily:

  • Geico Auto & Motorcycle Insurance – Login and Online Bill Pay – Click through to log in and pay your Geico auto or motorcycle insurance bill. If you don’t yet have a login ID and password, there’s a link to sign up here, too. (www.geico.com)
  • GEICO Express Payment – Make a GEICO payment without having to create an online account with this interface that allows you to be identified by your phone number, Social Security number, or policy number. (ecams.geico.com)

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Marshalls Credit Card

Q. Where do I get a Marshalls credit card? How do I pay my bill?

A. The Marshalls credit card is confusing, because the card is actually called the TJX credit card (TJX is the parent company of Marshalls), and it can be used at Marshalls as well as at TJ Maxx and other TJX stores. The links below should give you everything you need, whether you are applying for a new Marshalls credit card or want to pay your bill online:

  • TJX / Marshalls Credit Cards – The name of the card doesn’t say Marshalls, but the TJX Rewards Card and TJX MasterCard are actually Marshalls credit cards (as well as the credit cards of TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Sierra Trading Post). The TJX Rewards Card is for store-only use, while the TJX Rewards MasterCard can be used at Marshalls and its sister stores as well as anywhere else MasterCard is accepted. Both cards earn rewards points good toward future $10 TJX Rewards certificates. You can apply for either Marshalls credit card online here. (www.tjxrewards.com)

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