According to news reports, the United States is a credit disaster. People are out of work, deeply in debt, and having their homes foreclosed. It's a grim picture.
However, that is not an accurate picture of the whole country. The fact is that credit conditions vary radically from state to state. In an exclusive analysis, CardRatings.com [...]
The annual list of best and worst states for credit conditions is based on an analysis of the unemployment rate, bankruptcy rate, foreclosure rate, average credit score and credit card delinquency rate of each state.
Here are the 2012 results:
Once marketed as havens for jet-setting executives, airport lounges now serve anyone who is willing to invest in a less stressful airport experience. If flight delays, crowded departure gates, and challenging travelers make you want to tear your hair out, a handful of travel credit cards can help you escape the fray with airport lounge [...]
Pay for your everyday purchases with a plain vanilla debit or credit card, and you could be leaving as much as 6 percent of your household budget in the cashier’s till each month. Our survey of the market’s best cash back credit cards reminds us that you can earn some significant rebates, just by focusing [...]
You've gotten yourself into some financial trouble - overspending when work is slow or nonexistent. You are hoping to negotiate with your credit card issuer to give you some wiggle room with those monthly payments.
Go for it, says Mike Sullivan, director of education for Take Charge America, a non-profit credit counseling organization in Phoenix. "I [...]
Although ticket prices and associated fees have crept higher over the past few years, the right airline credit card can save you enough cash to offset the cost of air travel. Three of today's best travel credit cards offer bonus perks that can make your next trip relaxing and rewarding.
Virgin America Visa Signature from Barclaycard [...]
It's cool to be a geek these days. It's even cooler when your geekdom saves you money and lets you live a more lavish lifestyle. (Even if that just means you can bump up to three Netflix DVDs out at a time instead of two.) Comparing rates and fees online doesn't make you a credit [...]
Using a credit or charge card when you travel is easy and secure, and you can see everything you spent in one place when you get your monthly statement. But when that statement arrives, you may be shocked to see an extra 3 percent added to each purchase you made in a foreign currency.
This is [...]
Signup bonuses and rewards points aren’t the only ways today’s best credit cards pay for themselves. Customers who qualify for “elite,” “platinum,” and “signature” credit cards often earn extra perks that can save time while eliminating common expenses.
Repaid baggage fees
American travelers have grudgingly grown accustomed to paying for checked bags on flights. While many airlines [...]
Even casual sports fans can’t resist the lure of the Summer Games. The 2012 London Olympics will feature an eclectic group of accomplished athletes from all over the world. Yet, unlike major league superstars, spectators won’t know most of their names. The CardRatings.com research team decided to mash up some of today’s most promising credit [...]
Though few consumers make truly outrageous purchases at the spur of the moment, credit cards offer security for big ticket spending. Likewise, many retailers prefer to handle large transactions with help from credit card issuers' fraud prevention programs. Five of the world's most outrageous credit card purchases illustrate some extreme spending:
A single bottle of beer, for half [...]
When Matt Jabs compared the interest rates on his three credit cards and auto loan with those offered through a popular peer-to-peer lending site, it was a no-brainer to use the service.
"All were at a higher interest than the interest rate through Lending Club," he said. "It also simplified my repayments."
As the founder of websites [...]
Have you used your credit card at a restaurant or gas station lately? That's all it could take to make you a victim of a credit card scam.
The scam in question is what's known as "cloning," which entails stealing your credit card's information and then copying the stolen data onto another card to make purchases [...]
Unless you're prone to overspending, in which case you should limit the amount of plastic you pack in your wallet, there are advantages to having more than one credit card at your disposal. To take advantage of the many features and benefits of credit cards, it can be worthwhile to carry four distinct types of [...]
You are planning to make a balance transfer for a better credit card deal. But you have unused rewards points on that credit card. You don't have enough rewards points to redeem them for something you want, but you'd hate to see them go to waste. Here's a charitable idea: Donate your unused credit card [...]
Valerie Howard of Nashville started planning her financial life at age 14. Now, at age 22, she has two credit cards, a car, a house, a healthy 401(k), and a good credit score.
A good credit score is something you may not think about -- until you need it to get the best credit card, buy [...]
You probably know your credit score is driven by the information that appears on your credit report. But what you may not realize is certain line items included by the major credit bureaus aren't going to have any impact on your actual credit score.
"What goes into the credit score is information that is, first, reliable [...]
Choose a credit card issuer that you think you'll want to do business with for years. Most lenders offer versions of their most popular credit cards with relaxed underwriting guidelines (and smaller credit limits) just for students and recent graduates. Your student credit card won't expire once you hang your diploma, either.
By keeping your card [...]
Barclaycard Ring is out to disrupt the way Americans use credit cards.
Barclays Bank Delaware started accepting applications from the general public in April, capping months of research and testing on a new "crowdsourced" credit card that allows online cardmembers an opportunity to "shape and share in the product's financial success."
Paul Wilmore, managing director for Consumer [...]
You were saving those airline credit card miles for your dream vacation. Finally, you accumulated enough and go online to reserve your flight only to get bad news. Your miles have expired. They are no longer good.
It's a mistake that even John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education for SmartCredit.com, has made, to his utter dismay.
Do you wish you and your family had leaner bodies and fatter wallets?
You might think accomplishing either one of those would involve a lot of grueling work, but that's not always the case. The good news is that making some simple changes in your life can improve both your physical and financial health. Here are [...]
Since April is National Stress Awareness Month - and Financial Literacy Month too - now is the perfect time to identify the personal finance issues that could cause stress for you and your loved ones.
Money problems of all kinds are a major source of anxiety and stress for many Americans. Anxiety and stress can lead [...]
More than 1 in 8 American consumers now carry reloadable prepaid debit cards, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy & Research. Stronger rewards, cheaper fees, and changing attitudes about traditional banks all contributed to the growth of prepaid debit, even during a period that saw many banks shrink the number of their traditional [...]
There's sometimes a penalty that comes with being innovative: often those who copy your idea leapfrog you. It happened with color television. Americans were enjoying this for many years while Europeans and others continued to peer at murky, mushy monochrome screens.
Then, in the late 1960s, some countries adopted the PAL color television coding system, which [...]
When Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson envisioned the first Earth Day in 1970, environmental activists achieved more than they could have imagined. The years that followed saw the launch of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. Since then, companies have worked harder to balance business demands and environmental protection [...]