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.
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
As the nation headed toward its own brush with its federal debt ceiling, relatively few Americans faced default on their personal credit cards. According to data released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian, national credit card default rates rose only slightly during September. 3.14 percent of bank card balances
CardRatings.com reviewed balance transfer offers from a selection of prominent lenders, reflecting the options a typical American consumer might find when shopping for the best credit card deal online. Of the 17 credit cards we surveyed, 15 offer a promotional APR of zero percent on balance transfers, a slight improvement
Barclaycard continues its North American expansion this fall with the announcement of an expansion to its operations center in Wilton, Maine. "This is another step in our journey to enhance our customer experience," Patrick Wright, Barclaycard US chief operating officer, said in a written statement. After years of proving white-label support for
According to data collected by the Federal Reserve, many American households carry between $7,000 and $15,000 in credit card debt. Finance charges on that kind of balance can sap some serious cash from your household budget every year. Fortunately, stronger competition among credit card issuers has led to a resurgence
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
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
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
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,
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
For most of the past few years, I would have had to tell you "no." After the credit crunch of 2008 inspired a tighter set of federal banking regulations, lawmakers forced banks to get strict about offering new credit only on the basis of a customer's ability to repay a
American consumers pay about 2 percentage points less on credit card finance charges than before the enactment of the Credit CARD Act, according to a report issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In a statement to reporters, CFPB officials expressed continued concern about bank disclosures, "fee harvester" credit cards
Families visiting this fall's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will enjoy extra benefits when they carry a Chase debit or credit card. Between visits to more than 25 marketplaces, Chase cardholders can treat their parties to a pit stop at an exclusive lounge in the American Adventure Pavilion. There,
The United MileagePlus® Explorer Card is currently offering 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months your account is open. That's enough to put quite a dent the price tag of your next trip. The bonus miles don't stop at sign up, however. You'll earn
Discover recently earned kudos for acting on customer concerns, both at its call centers and on social media. For the fourth year in a row, the International Quality & Productivity Center gave Discover a Call Center Excellence Award for Best Performance Acting on the Voice of the Customer and Voice
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
Yes. Credit scoring algorithms like FICO or VantageScore rate your ability to manage different types of credit, but not necessarily where you get your credit cards from. Therefore, on a typical personal credit report, a secured credit card from a credit union looks just like an unsecured credit card from
Victims of a fraudulent credit card interest rate reduction operation have started receiving refund checks after a three-year wait, according to Federal Trade Commission officials. Operators of JPM Accelerated Services settled with the FTC in 2010 after investigators alleged that the telemarketing firm failed to deliver on promises of credit
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
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
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