With the days of easy credit long gone and the economy still in weak recovery, more holiday shoppers plan to pay cash for their purchases this year, according to the results of a recent poll by CardRatings.com and MSN. And credit cards easily surpassed debit cards, suggesting that more consumers are taking advantage of the [...]
Editor's Note: The CardRatings team of credit card experts picked the best credit cards of 2011 based on their features, perks and overall value to consumers. CardRatings.com was recently ranked the No. 1 credit card comparison site in Bing Editor's Picks.
If you've got a high credit score and a solid income, expect major banks to [...]
If you're the parent of a student in college, you probably aren't worrying too much about getting your son or daughter a new credit card. You have plenty of other things to worry about. Those pictures your son posts on Facebook, in which you hope, but rather doubt, that it's grape soda in that wine [...]
Stealing credit card numbers is a crazy way to make a living, and we've certainly seen more than a few crazies showing up on police blotters lately. You might have heard about the thief who used a stolen credit card account to purchase the same meal at Burger King every day for almost a month. [...]
Although many people want to reduce debt and better manage their finances, Americans aren't quite ready to give up their love affair with credit cards – particularly during the holiday season.
Fortunately, using a credit card doesn't always mean you have to go into debt. For starters, you can charge only what you can afford to [...]
Sometimes an invention can solve a problem. At other times, it can leave you wondering: Was this a problem to begin with? Think of the difference between a TV remote control and a Flowbee. Everyone likes to change the channel without getting out of the Barcolounger, but how many people want to cut hair using [...]
Play your rewards cards right and they can lead to enviable vacations, luxury gifts or cold hard cash. Play them wrong and they can cost you. Maximizing your rewards credit cards boils down to understanding how your card works and minding the pitfalls, say the experts. Here are six strategies to help you get the [...]
If you’ve ever been turned down for a credit card, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the lender to tell you which part of your credit profile hit a sour note, whether it was a past bankruptcy or too many late payments. Since the recent economic downturn, the best credit card companies have made their [...]
The number isn't as catchy as 911 or 411, but for beleaguered credit card holders, 1-855-411-CFPB (2372) could end up being a financial lifeline.
In case you don't know what that last phone number is, that's the direct toll-free hotline to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brand new Federal agency launched on July 21. If [...]
If you've ever filed for bankruptcy, or considered doing so, you probably worried about the impact of a bankruptcy filing on your credit score.
That concern is understandable. After all, a bankruptcy stays on your credit reports for 10 long years.
But choosing bankruptcy protection doesn't mean your overall credit rating has to suffer for a decade. [...]
Every year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency surveys the leaders of America's major banks to understand the overall lending landscape. This year's Survey of Credit Underwriting Practices marks the first time in four years that a majority of credit card issuers left their consumer lending requirements unchanged, instead of tightening them. In [...]
If you buy a bag of corn chips at the grocery, you're probably also getting a container of salsa. If you purchase an iPod, you'll probably want earbuds with it or some apps. Some products, like digital cameras (batteries) and reading lamps (light bulbs), virtually demand that you purchase an add-on.
It's a longer leap of [...]
When we're kids, those shirts in the bedroom closet can look like lurking monsters. Without a nightlight, the dark can seem ominous and chilling. When we're a little older, our fears turn to horror movies, roller coasters and pop quizzes. But for grownups, there's nothing quite as dark and creepy as a steadily dropping credit [...]
New technology usually comes with its share of consumer concerns. It's no surprise that urban legends and myths have proliferated about the new EMV chip credit cards. Here are a few of the most common, along with our expert opinion as to their veracity:
PINs don't matter.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge discovered that a fraudster [...]
Although interest rates are at historically low levels, even the best credit card rates remain in the double digits. So if you're grappling with credit card bills, it can sometimes seem insurmountable to dig out of debt.
To slash borrowing costs and more quickly eliminate debt, consumers are increasingly using alternative repayment strategies, including peer-to-peer lending.
If you've recently traveled to Europe, or if you live in a popular tourist area in the United States, you may have noticed a new kind of credit card terminal at checkout counters. These devices combine the familiar magnetic stripe reader with up to two new sensors: a slot for credit cards with exposed "EMV [...]
What's the scariest thing in your wallet? It might be your credit card – and not just on Halloween. Frightening offers, terrifying terms and petrifying practices still exist in the world of plastic. See what you need to beware of.
Bad deals for bad credit
If anyone needs a break, it's somebody who has had financial trouble. [...]
What's the smartest credit card move you've ever made?
CardRatings.com asked that very question in a recent poll in the weeks leading up to the American Bankers Association's annual "Get Smart About Credit Day," set for Oct. 20, 2011. The ABA's nationwide campaign aims to educate young people about sound credit card use.
The poll first appeared [...]
We've become so comfortable with our credit cards that it's easy to forget about being cautious. Even if your credit card boasts the best fraud protection in the business, you may still be leaving yourself vulnerable to identity thieves who can't wait to get their hands on your account details. CardRatings asked consumer advocates, financial [...]
From our recent CardRatings article "7 ways to raise your FICO credit score", you know the basic moves to improve your credit score include establishing credit early, ditching debt and correcting credit report errors. Now it's time to make your score soar. These seven advanced tips will help increase your credit score even if you [...]
You've surely heard about credit cards that earn you cash back or airline miles. But did you know that some rewards credit cards can benefit your body, too? A number of major credit card issuers, including American Express and Discover have reward credit cards that make it even easier to be a health and fitness [...]
As the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis spread to credit card issuers in 2010, as many as 11 in 100 credit card accounts fell so far behind that banks charged them off as noncollectable. Though that ratio has dropped by half since then, you may be one of the many consumers who now face [...]
Steve Jobs transformed the credit card industry. That's my argument, and I'm going to stick with it. True, if you look hard enough, and judging from all of the tweets, Facebook status updates, trade magazine articles, newspaper stories and television pieces in the last 48 hours, you could probably reasonably make the argument that the [...]
Unless you are intimately familiar with the fine print in your credit card agreement, you might not realize that your favorite credit card can save you more money than you might have thought when you shop online, rent cars, travel abroad, or attend popular sporting events.
Credit card companies often compete with claims of low interest [...]
Credit cards are never more dangerous than when you're unemployed. Of course, if you're underemployed, they're rather dicey as well.
If you don't dread carrying credit card debt and being unemployed, you can always ask someone who's part of the 9.1 percent of the labor force that's out of work. It's simple math. When your income [...]