How is the economy doing? It depends on where you look. In some states, people are practically choking on credit problems, while in others, serious financial difficulties are relatively rare.
For example, more than one out of every 500 homes in Florida is in foreclosure, while foreclosures are virtually unheard of in North Dakota. Similar differences [...]
If you use your reward credit cards wisely, you can double and, in some cases, even triple your rewards quickly and without spending more. Here are five ways you can make your rewards work for you.
Follow which categories offer bonus rewards
Lots of rewards credit cards offer bonuses for rotating categories throughout the year.
"Some of the [...]
According to data collected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the typical American household spends close to $3,000 each year on gasoline. That's just under 4 percent of the average pretax household income. Fortunately, with the right gas rewards credit card, you can earn some of that back each year in rebates or statement credits.
How can you earn extra cash-back rewards or airline miles simply for making purchases online? By using an online shopping portal, of course.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall, Discover's ShopDiscover.com and Bank of America's World Points Mall are three of the biggest players in the click-through online shopping game. By offering customers additional cash-back rebates [...]
What do you do if you've been the victim of a data breach, and your personal or account information has fallen into the hands of criminals? That's not as theoretical a question as you might hope. Some 41 percent of American consumers have experienced just card fraud -- let alone other losses -- in the [...]
Military families have many worries that other families do not have. And a recent study from National Federation of Credit Counseling of active duty military personnel showed that military families have one more worry on their plate -- financial instability. The survey showed the 77 percent of respondents have financial worries and 55 percent feel [...]
Believe it or not, whenever you use your credit card, there is a lot going on behind the scenes of each transaction. While a lot of it might seem as exciting as reading a legal document, it does benefit you as a consumer to understand the major players involved in your financial business.
Here, we break [...]
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 kinds of job offers you'll [...]
Many people use the terms credit score and credit report interchangeably. Everyone from journalists to consumers often refer to a credit score when they mean credit report and vice versa. Credit reports and credit scores contain different information, are used for different purposes and are accessed by different companies.
What is the difference between a credit [...]
It's hot. The laundry room is filled with towels from afternoons at the pool. My current goal is to see how many meals I can cook on the grill and not turn on the oven. And my days are filled with trying to stay in our air-conditioned home as much as possible and entertain children [...]
It can happen in an instant. Employees at your local department store, repair shop or supermarket just have to turn their backs to you for a fraction of a second to swipe your credit card with skimmers connected to their belts. Once they do, they have your credit card information. They can then do with [...]
Is your mail carrier experiencing back pain as a result of hefting your monthly credit card statements into your mailbox? No? Well count yourself lucky. A recent poll commissioned by CardRatings.com reveals roughly one in seven Americans saying they're unable to go more than 24 hours without using their credit cards. And that's more than [...]
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 currency. Last minute travelers often [...]
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 American vacation travel market often [...]
Your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life. If it's too low -- say, under 640 -- you'll struggle to qualify for a mortgage loan. And if you do get a loan, you'll have to pay higher interest rates.And here's the unfortunate truth: Your credit score can be low even [...]
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 bunch, Capital One's innovative Purchase [...]
It's no secret that a sizable percentage of small businesses are financed with credit cards, but there's enough to think about when starting your own business without having to sift through the tons of business credit cards currently on the market. We talked to a few entrepreneurs and did some digging of our own into [...]
Your credit card company owes you one, perhaps in the form of a drink at the end of the working week, a round of golf or a spa treatment.
You may not immediately associate credit card companies with such generosity, but it's true -- your next outing could be their treat! And there may be many [...]
The list of prom essentials seems endless -- young ladies need the perfect dress, a glamorous hairdo, flawless makeup, matching shoes and evening bag. Young men need a suit, shoes and a corsage for their date. Don't forget about prom tickets, dinner and transportation to the dance. According to a recent study by Visa, 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, you'll earn Starpoints on eligible [...]
If you've recently had a bankruptcy discharged, your mailbox may be filling with new credit card offers.
Although it seems counterintuitive, some companies actually seek out and market their cards to recently bankrupt individuals. That may be due in part to the fact that once you've declared bankruptcy, the law limits how quickly you can [...]
Target's recent data breach hit a little too close to home for my family. Why?
I found myself stranded at a restaurant without a working credit card
my kids had to eat the dreaded veggie plate at school because their lunch account was frozen for nonpayment
I didn't get to read People magazine after my online magazine account [...]
It's bad enough we have to turn over anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of our hard-earned income to the federal government at tax time, but some unlucky cardholders may have also received tax forms for their credit card rewards this year.
The question of whether credit card rewards are taxable has been the subject of [...]
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 please shareholders, very few of [...]
When I cash out my reward points, it's generally for a $50 Gap or Home Depot gift card. I don't have the patience to let it build up for years and years -- I want it now. Since I do almost all of my banking and bill paying online, I keep pretty close tabs on [...]