Web Exclusive: Why dollar bills only last 18 months

Web Exclusive: Why dollar bills only last 18 months

(CBS/CNN) - It turns out we love to spend 'dirty' money.  According to an article in the Journal of Consumer Research, a dollar bill is taken out of circulation after about 18 months, not because it's worn out, but because the bacteria content is too high.  A 100 dollar bill gets used less and lasts about 9 years.

More people are paying their credit card bills on time.  An American Bankers Association report released today finds about 2.5% of "bank-issued credit card accounts" were delinquent in the fourth quarter of last year.  That's the lowest level since 1994.  Compare that to the record high of just over five percent in 2009, when twice as many card holders had payments at least 30 days overdue.  Analysts say it's a sign more people are trying to pay down their debt.  Late payments also fell in home equity loans, home improvement loans and third-party auto loans.

American Airlines has settled a lawsuit with Orbitz over the online travel agency's display of information about American flights and fares.  The companies did not disclose terms in announcing the settlement.  American has been fighting with Orbitz and other companies, saying it can better serve customers, if it provides flight and price information directly to travel agents.

Booming sales for the trilogy "Fifty Shades of Grey" helped push profits to a record last year for book publisher Random House.  E.L. James' Fifty Shades series sold more than 70 million copies last year.  That accounts for one in every 10 books sold by Random House.


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