Do credit cards offer good currency exchange rates?
Yes, especially when you're using a card that waives foreign transaction fees.
When traveling outside the United States, you'll almost always get the best possible exchange rate by using a major credit card with a hotel, airline or vendor. In addition, you're avoiding ATM surcharges, cash advance fees, and the infamous surcharges at most exchange desks.
Are there any credit cards available with a fixed rate?
Strict disclosure rules and a fear of rising interest rates have radically reduced the number of fixed rate credit cards on the market. A scan of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card agreement database shows that only about 17 percent of active offers include the phrase "fixed rate." Many of those agreements refer to [...]
Can you explain what the prime interest rate is and how it affects my credit cards?
When you hear journalists or credit card companies talk about the "prime rate," they're talking about the annual percentage rate that banks charge their very best customers when they need to borrow money. Those banks' very best customers aren't consumers like you or me, though. They're other banks.
Don't worry, though. Your bank's not trying to [...]
If I use my credit card, can I get cash back when I buy something? Will I be charged a fee?
Debit cards have become so familiar, we're totally accustomed to punching in our PINs and asking for cash back at the grocery store. Credit cards don't offer quite the same amount of flexibility. For example, you can't request cash back on a credit card purchase at the grocery store or the pharmacy. However, you can [...]
Do all credit cards have variable rates? Can I get a fixed rate? Do I want a fixed rate?
Ever since the credit crunch of 2008, the fixed-rate credit card has been on the endangered species list. Although variable-rate credit cards had already grown popular among lenders, fixed-rate credit cards offered consumers a great incentive to switch banks. If a lender got in over its head, or if a customer fell behind on their [...]
What does variable APR mean?
Variable APR means that the annual percentage rate on your credit card can change over time. Don't worry, though. Banks can't just adjust your rates without notice or beyond reason. A complex set of rules governs how much you'll pay in finance charges on your outstanding balance.
Banks base your APR on a prime lending rate, [...]
I paid my balance in full and I received another bill for interest. Am I obligated to pay this?
First, congratulations for paying down your credit card balance. In this economy, most of us find that a tough achievement. However, you've already noticed a quirk of modern accounting: a final finance charge representing interest on your balance during your previous statement cycle. So, yes, you do have to pay the amount. In fact, losing [...]
What specific credit cards are offered by U.S. banks and credit unions that duplicate the European EMV chip-and-PIN design and do not include foreign transaction fees?
Q: What specific credit cards are offered by U.S. banks and credit unions that duplicate the European EMV "chip and PIN" design and do not include foreign transaction fees?
A: According to officials at Visa Inc., a handful of American banks and credit unions have issued a total of over a million chip-and-PIN credit cards to [...]
I travel a lot, and it is very convenient when overseas to use my credit card. I know from my foreign colleagues that their credit cards are not subject to foreign transaction fees. What's the cheapest option in this situation?
Q: I travel a lot, and it is very convenient when overseas to use my credit card. However, I am charged a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent. The only cards that do not have a foreign transaction fee have an annual fee. I know from my foreign colleagues that their credit cards are not [...]
What credit card is best to use in Europe to avoid transaction fees and exchange fees?
A handful of travel credit cards and charge cards do not charge foreign transaction and currency conversion fees, saving you as much as 5 percent compared to standard credit cards. Finding the right card for you depends on your itinerary and your personal style.
The first time I traveled to Europe, back in the early 1990s, [...]