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Joe Taylor's Contribution on CardRatings.com

Joe Taylor

Joe Taylor

Contributor

Joe Taylor Jr. has covered personal finance and business for over two decades, and has written and researched for CardRatings.com for over three years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, Fox Business, and ABC News. Previously, Joe worked as a marketing and customer service training advisor for three of the country's leading consumer lenders. He recently completed a personal finance book entitled The Rogue Guide to Credit Cards; (Rogue Guide Books, 2012). When not writing about business, Joe serves as a corporate communications advisor for a Fortune 500 company.

Recent Contributions by Joe Taylor

5 best low-interest credit cards

Even though many zero-percent-APR introductory offers have been getting longer lately, a low-interest credit card can help you prepare for an emergency expense or for a moment when you might not qualify to surf your balance interest-free. PenFed Promise Visa Card Although credit unions don't have to ramp up interest rates to

Best credit cards for cash-back rewards

Cash-back credit cards are a valuable financial tool because they provide rebates on typical everyday purchases. The market's best cash-back cards offer higher-than-average rebate rates, relatively low annual fees, and easy redemption options. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Although this card's 1.5 percent cash back isn't the biggest of the

Best credit cards for college students

Although we celebrate college life as a relatively safe place to survive poor decisions, a blemish on your credit history can actually cause more damage than a drunken, late night tattoo. That's because the relationship you build with banks during the first few years of your adult life directly impact the

Best credit cards for summer vacation

Although credit card companies jockey for position in the wallets of business travelers, summer vacation offers banks a chance to build new relationships with mainstream consumers. According to research from the U.S. Travel Association, more than three out of four domestic trips are taken for leisure purposes. In fact, the

Best credit cards for the annual fee

Even though it sometimes sounds absurd to pay money for the privilege of borrowing money, a handful of major credit cards add enough value for cardholders to justify the cost of their annual membership fees. $: Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express In exchange for this card's modest annual fee,

Best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

When credit cards emerged as a viable replacement for cash in the middle of the 20th century, travelers had already developed an elaborate ritual for overseas visits. If you planned ahead, you could order foreign notes from your bank. Otherwise, companies like American Express could issue travelers' checks in foreign

Deal of the Month: Cash boost and sign-up bonus from Chase Freedom

The typical American plans to spend more than $800 on holiday shopping this year, according to data collected by the National Retail Federation. More than half that amount will go toward gifts, NRF researchers say, and about half of that gift-buying budget will get spent online. That's a big reason

Does 'platinum' really reflect a dollar amount or superb credit anymore?

Not so much, unless you carry the original. American Express "invented" the Platinum Card in 1984 as an attempt to fight off competition against its premium Gold Card. Instead of letting other companies poach their most valuable customers, executives at AmEx loaded up their invitation-only card with some of the industry's

How long should I wait before applying for another credit card?

The answer can vary, depending on a variety of life events you can expect to happen over the next few months or years. Home or car purchase on the horizon? Wait until you lock in your loan. Your credit score plays the biggest role in your financial future when you're about to

How much does your credit score go down when your credit is checked?

That really depends on how you're managing your current credit and who's checking your report. According to our contacts at FICO, the company that helped originate the credit scoring process, inquiries on your credit report fall into two broad categories: A "soft pull" happens when a company you're already dealing with wants

I am looking to establish good credit so I can buy a home for my family. What kind of credit card should I start out with?

Building a solid credit history now can help you qualify for a pre-approved mortgage at some of today's lowest rates. In our current, bizarre real estate market, having your financing squared away before you make an offer is pretty much essential. However, with a thin credit file, lenders may require

I keep being denied a credit card so what do I do? I'm full-time college student and work one full-time job so I have income, but I need a credit card to build up my credit so I can buy a car.

Years ago, you wouldn't have been shocked to see first-year college students get starter credit cards just for setting foot in the nearest dining hall. Banks assigned lower-risk categories to students, assuming they'd earn higher-than-average incomes after graduation. But, the realities of a post-recession economy and pressure from consumer advocates

I used my credit card at Target during the holidays and am worried the hackers got my card information. What can I do to protect myself?

Like me and millions of other consumers, it sounds like you used a credit card at Target sometime between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. During that time, one or more fraudsters gained access to Target's point-of-sale database and collected payment card details from as many as 40 million customers.

I'm a 22-year-old female who makes about $1,000 a month. I have a credit union credit card with credit line of $500. I recently applied for a Lowe's credit card and was denied. I'm always on time with my credit card payments. What would be the reason?

In this era of instant-approval credit card offers, it's easy to overlook the rule that a bank must supply you with a specific reason for declining your application in writing. You'll probably receive a letter from them in a plain envelope that most people might mistake for junk mail. However,

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

If I just filed for bankruptcy at the beginning of the year, when can I get another credit card to start building back my credit?

Nearly two out of three bankruptcies in the United States happen because of medical bills, unexpected job losses or other reasons outside consumers' control. If you managed credit cards effectively before you were forced to declare bankruptcy, you don't have to give up their security or convenience for long. A

If I stop paying my credit card, will the credit card company write off my balance?

Maybe, but there's no hard and fast rule about when or why a bank might "charge off" your credit card balance. Under typical conditions, most banks classify an unpaid balance as bad debt after a borrower misses four or five consecutive monthly payments. Some lenders will also shut down an account

If my debt has passed the statute of limitations in my state, how do I get the debt off my credit report?

Ever since the recession caught consumers at all income levels by surprise, state officials have taken stronger stances to ensure their residents don't get crushed under the burden of old debt. However, just because a lender can no longer pursue a "time-barred debt," that doesn't mean it can't haunt your

My credit score is 743. Every time I apply for a credit card I'm denied. I'm told I have too many balances on cards. I have two credit cards only totaling less than $2,000. I'm not sure what the problem is. I own a home, I make $85,000 on my own and I also have income coming in from my husband. What am I to do? Good credit, almost no credit cards, and I'm never late with anything. Any suggestions?

Welcome to the credit card marketplace's new normal. Before 2008, a credit score of 720 or higher would have guaranteed you access to most of the best credit cards on the market. Today, you'll need more than 800 points on most credit-scoring systems to get your pick of the best deals.

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