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Miscellaneous

My ex-wife took her maiden name back. She has opened new credit cards with my last name and address on them but hasn't lived at my address for three years. What can I do?

Getting new credit cards after a divorce can be tremendously difficult, especially if your wife didn't maintain any lines of credit under her maiden name. Not knowing the details of your breakup, I'll can only assume positive intent here. Like many other women in the same situation, your ex-wife may have discovered that an instant [...]

If I buy jewelry online with a credit card, is the purchase insured if the jewelry does not arrive?

There's an important distinction between the "insurance" you can purchase from a shipping carrier and the purchase protection you get automatically from your credit card. Shipping insurance provides a cash payout if your order arrives damaged, and it's especially useful if you're purchasing one-of-a-kind items on auction sites or from custom manufacturers. However, it's far more [...]

What happens when someone dies with credit card in their name and an authorized user continues to use credit card?

That's not good. Are you doing that? Please stop. If someone in your life is doing that, please tell them to stop. The consequences could be dire. In most cases, the credit card debt of a deceased American becomes an issue for their estate. If that debtor lives in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, [...]

If you purchase a cell phone with a credit card, does any credit card have cell phone insurance included?

If you own an iPhone or an Android smartphone, you're probably concerned about three things: loss, damage, or theft. Fortunately, your credit card or debit card may already cover the most common wireless repair and replacement situations. American Express extends two powerful benefits to cardmembers: purchase protection and warranty extension. Purchase your new phone with an [...]

I'm in the military. Are there any credit cards that give military personnel benefits?

Yes. Because of your service to our country, you're entitled to special service, great rates, amnesty from some penalties, and other exclusive perks from specialized credit card issuers. Your active duty status qualifies you for some compelling credit card deals. Some of these offers come from lenders who specialize in working with military families. Meanwhile, other [...]

What factors determine the credit limit you get on a credit card?

Credit card issuers have spent the past few decades developing a complex "matrix" system to match your credit profile with the "right" credit limit. Picture your credit score running down the left-hand column of that matrix, and your income running across the top row. An underwriter then sets optimal credit limits based on which block [...]

Should I lend my sister my credit card? Does she sign her own name on the bills?

Q: May I lend my reliable sister my credit card? Hers was terminated because someone else was putting charges on it. Does she sign her own name on the bills? Thanks! A: Whoa! Despite all good intentions, you both could get into some sticky situations if you decide to go that route. Here's a fact you probably [...]

I was sent a credit card without my authorization. What do I do?

Q: I was sent a credit card without my authorization. What do I do? My credit report was obviously dinged to obtain one. Will it be dinged again if I cancel? A: "Dear Lord, the gods have been good to me. As an offering, I present these milk and cookies. If you wish me to eat [...]

Is it worth getting the credit card company's payment insurance protection plan?

Nearly every credit card issuer offers some kind of "protection plan" that promises to cover your monthly payments or wind back your finance charges if you can't work. Yet, under most circumstances, these plans do little more than stack up extra fees without ever adding real value to your account. Most times, you'll find credit protection [...]

Is there anything tricky about credit cards, besides making the payment on time so no interest is charged?

Credit cards have become essential for modern life, especially for anyone who likes to fly on commercial aircraft, rent cars, or stay in hotels. But if you're not on the ball, it's easy for even a simple credit card to turn into a financial sinkhole. You've already voiced the best possible use for credit cards, to [...]

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