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 [...]
Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, SunTrust and Regions Bank have all announced plans to charge a monthly fee to use a debit card, running between $3 and $5 per month. And debit rewards programs look like they're next on the chopping block. JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, SunTrust and Comerica have ended their debit [...]
In 2010, Bank of America reported revenues of over $25.5 billion from their global card services business, of which nearly $18 billion, or about 70 percent, came from interest. That percentage has remained fairly consistent in the credit card industry over the past decade.
A year earlier, in the last two quarters of 2009, Capital One [...]
With hundreds of credit cards available, choosing the best one can be mind-boggling. Do you want cash back? Do you want airline miles? Do you want points when you shop? So many decisions!When it comes to choosing the best credit cards, it pays to be proactive rather than reactive. Credit card offers through the mail [...]
Credit cards attract star power, just like any other product.
Morgan Freeman has narrated many a Visa ad. David Spade has appeared in a few zany Capital One ads. NFL great Peyton Manning starred in some MasterCard commercials. And, of course, American Express has turned the celebrity endorsement into something of an art form.
Anyone over a [...]
I'm a student. Can I get a credit card? Do I need a co-signer? Do I need a job?
I'm a parent. Will card companies target my child at college? As a co-signer, how liable am I? What exactly are the rules now? How do they affect me?
These questions continue to puzzle students and parents in [...]
Every year at about this time, pretty much since TV was invented, the summer of reruns ends and a new fall programming season begins. Turn on the TV and you'll likely find a variety of new episodes from ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX that present realistic life dramas that sometimes poke fun at that great [...]
Over the summer, we asked a sampling of our site visitors to tell us how they spend their credit card rewards. The results of our survey show that you're a frugal lot, with plenty of spending and traveling to do! Our respondents chose from five broad credit card rewards categories, with the rankings turning out [...]
No cash? No problem. As credit card processing services reinvent themselves for the mobile era, there's now an app for that.
Credit card payment apps transform any mobile device into a cash register and credit card terminal in one. Swipe-and-charge simplicity brings mobile sales to the masses. Traveling sales representatives, small-business owners and even yard-sale bargainers [...]
There's a myth that carrying a balance on your credit cards will help your credit score. Of the Americans who use credit cards, half (about 54 percent) pay their balances in full every month, according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances. But can this practice help or hurt your credit history?
In fact, it [...]
The honeymoon is over.
In the beginning of your relationship, when your credit card was all shiny and new, it attracted your attention by teasing you with a low interest rate and the promise of a lifetime of lavish rewards and lots of laughs. So you and your card hooked up, and at first, it was [...]