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We want to fly away. Or stay and watch TV, according to retail purchase survey

Alaska Airlines was recently noted in a review of airlines’ elite status programs, which may interest those planning to fly later this year.
Alaska Airlines was recently noted in a review of airlines’ elite status programs, which may interest those planning to fly later this year. Associated Press file, 2016

With a little more than three months left in the year, the personal finance site Bankrate.com is looking at what people plan to buy before ringing in the New Year.

The site estimates that 49 percent of Americans are likely to make a “considerable” purchase (furniture, TV, smartphone, computer, airline ticket or large home appliance) before Dec. 31.

Only 17 percent of the people surveyed told Bankrate they don’t plan to buy any of those things.

Air travel seems to be the winner.

An airline ticket was the top selection among the six categories, Bankrate said in its news release.

(On that note, Alaska Airlines would like you to know that it just topped ThePointsGuy.com’s list of elite status programs. They include in-flight perks, fee waivers, bonuses, airport perks, flexible perks, non-flying perks, partner perks and reservation perks. Alaska came out on top overall and in three of four categories, all but the highest tier.)

In addition to flying, other big-ticket items on people’s wish lists, ranked by Bankrate survey:

“One-third of Americans indicate they are somewhat or very likely to purchase furniture during the remainder of 2017, the second most popular choice. Computers (28 percent), smartphones (25 percent), home appliances (25 percent) and televisions (23 percent) do not see quite the same level of interest, but tens of millions are still somewhat or very likely to purchase these items this year, nonetheless.”

New TVs, apparently, are more on the minds of one segment of the population than others.

According to Bankrate:

“The lowest income households (under $30,000 per year) are almost twice as likely to indicate a somewhat or high probability of purchasing a television before the end of the year than peak earners (31 percent vs. 16 percent).

“65 percent of those earning $75,000+ per year indicate they’re somewhat or very likely to purchase an airline ticket, compared to 31 percent of those making less than $30,000 annually.”

Another review, this one from consumer research company ValuePenguin.com, warns to be careful with a credit-card spree.

Beyond just the added expense, if something happens, such as you losing a card or being entangled in the recent Equifax data breach, then you should note that Washington is the second highest state in the country when it comes to fees for a credit record freeze.

Fees in Washington state total $30.95 (after Nov. 21), second only to Puerto Rico at $31.15 (also after Nov. 21).

Fees are waived for those who file a police report for ID theft.

It costs nothing to freeze or unfreeze credit in seven states — Colorado, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell

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