Credit Card Rewards

What is credit card churning?

Frequent fliers aren't talking about butter or cream when they post about "churning" credit cards on personal finance bulletin boards. Churning is shorthand for the process of opening new rewards credit cards with the intention of cashing in on big signup bonuses, then moving on to other cards after a few months. For instance, imagine that [...]

Do credit unions offer sign up bonuses and terms as good as large banks?

Yes, though you've got to know where to look. For most of us, the neighborhood credit union is a place we can rely on for affordable car loans and mortgages, along with traditional savings accounts. However, a handful of regional and national credit unions have stepped up their promotions and marketing efforts to rival those [...]

Why should I have a credit card at all? What if I never want to use one?

Great question. Now that prepaid debit cards give you many of the same features and benefits as credit cards, but without the threat of finance charges, you can make the case for living without credit cards at all. However, I can think of a few reasons why you might want to keep a rewards credit [...]

Is it possible to choose the beneficiary receiver of a credit card reward, and to fix the percentage for donation?

Credit card issuers understand that cash back rewards motivate lots of our purchasing and loyalty decisions. Yet, according to research from Mintel Comperemedia, not everybody prefers to convert their credit card rewards into statement credits. Racking up rewards points is an easy way to stash savings for a person-to-person gift or for a charitable donation. [...]

I currently purchase all of my food online at Stop & Shop. It totals about $500 a month. I want to start paying with a credit card that will give me some type of rewards for doing this. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Grocery stores have become a battleground between merchants and credit card issuers. They're one of the few places you still see shoppers forking over hundreds of dollars in cash each week. Credit card companies would love to get a cut of that action, so they're issuing some great cash back rewards credit cards with supermarket [...]

What's typically better, cash back or rewards points?

Getting a better deal from a cash back credit card or a rewards credit card depends on your spending patterns and on how you like to treat yourself. You might be surprised to see some "cheesy" looking rewards points programs doling out five to six times the value of a typical cash back rebate. First, it [...]

I have a credit score of 650 and need to re-establish my good credit. I won't carry a balance. Please advise regarding the credit card I can qualify for.

I'm glad to hear that you won't carry a balance, and even happier to hear that you're planning to re-establish your good credit. It's all too easy to get discouraged and figure, "Why bother?" And two good reasons to bother are that first, credit scores tend to go up if you're demonstrating good financial habits, and [...]

I am about to get a job soon, paying at least $33,000 annually. Right now, I make $11,000 a year. Should I wait to apply?

Q: I am about to get a job soon, paying at least $33,000 annually. Right now, I make $11,000 a year. Should I wait to apply? A: Yes. Si. Oui. Da. And, boy, I'm not much of a linguist. But, yes, absolutely wait. In theory, if you're making $11,000 a year, and you've kept your nose clean [...]

We need a credit card to build credit history so we can receive a home loan in the future. Which card should we apply for?

Q: We do not want a credit card, but realize we need a credit score to receive a loan for a home in the future. My husband and I both had a credit card with good scores but cancelled them almost a year ago. Now we need to apply for another card. Which should we [...]

Is the Chase Ultimate Rewards program any good? Any issues or gotchas with it?

Question: Is the Chase Ultimate Rewards program any good? Any issues or gotchas with it? Answer: As a completely impartial observer--I don't have any Chase credit cards, my wife doesn't work at Chase, I don't get paid more if I talk up or trash a credit card in these Q&A's, etc.--it looks very good to me. Plus, [...]

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