Authors

Curtis Arnold
Curtis Arnold, Editor-in-Chief
Joe Taylor
Joe Taylor Jr., Reporter
Amber Stubbs
Amber Stubbs, Managing Editor

Credit Card Information

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Would you like to retire in about five years? Prepping now will lead to smoother financial sailing during your long-anticipated retirement years. Here are four ways to prepare your finances for your fast-approaching retirement years. Credit cards Don't lose money that could be used for your retirement on high-interest credit card debt, advises Kathleen Campbell, a certified financial planner [...]
Categories: Financial Literacy
After returning from a relaxing 12-day trip to Hawaii, I unpacked my suitcase and sorted through vacation photos. You know what I didn't do? Nervously wait for the credit card bills to arrive. Using reward points and some creative thinking, we spent less than $2,500 on our trip for four to Kauai and Oahu. Throughout [...]
Even after scouring the web for the best credit card offer, your choice might still end up costing you more money than you expect. In some cases, unexpected fees and penalties can land you upside down on an otherwise great deal. Other times, a benefit buried among your card's features could have allowed you to [...]
While Christmas may seem months away, holiday songs will be playing on the radio and the malls will be transformed with decorations before you know it. Start researching and shopping for holiday gifts now and you can take full advantage of your credit card's perks. Here are five tips to help you avoid the holiday rush [...]
For Louis DeNicola, it started in college with a student Visa credit card. That was followed by two store cards. Then came the realization that credit card rewards points could hold the key to free travel. One free flight to Europe and a couple free hotel stays later, the New York City resident was hooked. Today, [...]
When you share a credit card with someone, you are effectively giving them access to your wallet and your reputation. You need to be careful about who you grant that access to, and what they are doing with it. On behalf of CardRatings.com, survey company Op4G asked 2,000 adults about their credit cards. The answers give [...]
Categories: Financial Literacy
Looking for a quick way to re-activate or build credit without a credit card? Consider a credit builder loan. "A credit builder loan is actually a loan. It just happens to have the by-product of helping to establish or re-establish credit," says John Ulzheimer, credit expert at CreditSesame.com. "You might pay $100, $95, $75 a month, [...]
Luxury credit cards offer a fast track to elite status, especially for professionals who can funnel both household purchases and reimbursable business expenses through a single account. Living the high life doesn't have to mean shelling out top dollar on travel, though. With excellent credit and the ability to push thousands of dollars in transactions [...]
Categories: Best Credit Cards
Many people assume that all debt is bad while other people have a wallet full of maxed-out credit cards. Interestingly enough, debt can be either a positive or negative, depending on the type of debt and your personal financial situation. "Unless you are independently wealthy, win the lottery or live a poor man's lifestyle by choice, [...]
Categories: Financial Literacy
Up until age 40, Ian Levinson had credit. "I had credit cards and I maintained perfect credit on credit cards for personal and business use," says Levinson, who owns Cloud House Pottery in Delray Beach, Fla. Levinson, who grew up in Southern California, opened a new bank account after moving to Sedona, Ariz., in 2006. He used a [...]
Some people assume that a credit limit increase will hurt their credit score. Some people only request an increase when they have charged up to their limit, while others will contact their credit card company for an increase without giving it a second thought. There are many misconceptions about the reasons to ask for a [...]
Can your credit card be a financial lifesaver? You bet. In fact, there are myriad situations where your plastic can bail you out. Whether it's using a card to pay for car repairs when out of town, or saving you from onerous merchandise warranty fees, your credit card can fix a financial problem -- and fast [...]
I am positive that I had a puzzled expression on my face as I looked at my online credit card statement. I was relatively certain that I hadn't bought Farmville credits for Facebook or registered for an online genealogy website. And I was positive that I hadn't recently purchased a pre-designed website. But what had [...]
America's love-hate relationship with credit continues: it seems people love to borrow, but hate the consequences. Still, as the amount of outstanding consumer credit continues to reach new highs on a national basis, it's important to recognize that credit conditions vary radically from one part of the country to another. To pinpoint where the trouble spots [...]
Categories: Credit Scores
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. Going from best to worst, here is how all 50 U.S. states ranked for 2013: 1. North Dakota2. South Dakota3. Vermont4. Montana5. Iowa6. Nebraska7. Hawaii8. [...]
Categories: Credit Scores
Your flight overseas has been booked for months, you drafted the perfect itinerary for your dream trip, and you have even brought your suitcase down from attic to start packing. But many travelers miss an important step in planning an overseas trip -- determining the most cost-effective way to pay for expenses and access cash [...]
You'll probably owe more than $24,000 by the time you graduate college, according to student debt statistics from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That's just one reason why your student credit card should help you learn how to save money instead of how to dig a deeper money hole. Under today's financial regulations, you'll [...]
Categories: Best Credit Cards
So you have excellent credit? Good for you. A credit score of 700-and-above makes it easier and less expensive for you to buy a home, lease a car, start a business, or obtain any other type of financial credit. But you can degrade or even ruin that credit -- or take a big hit in the pocketbook [...]
You've got a low-interest rate credit card, pay at least your minimum due, and you've never left your credit card sitting in an unlocked car. So, you're covered, right? Wrong. Even the smartest among us are guilty of some of these common credit card mistakes. Improve your credit card IQ by avoiding these common mistakes. 1. [...]
Traveling abroad can be an eye-opening experience: the culture, the food, the architecture… the credit card bill! Using a credit card when traveling can be a very convenient and useful practice, however, despite advances in international payment processing speed and security, many American banks still charge foreign transaction fees of 3 to 5 percent for [...]
Americans are obsessed with protecting our credit scores, and many of us will go to great length to keep that number as high as possible. But even financial behaviors that don't directly affect your credit score can be a red flag that you are headed towards serious financial issues. Liz Weston, personal finance expert and author [...]
Categories: Credit Report
Kids and credit cards. Does that seem like a dangerous mix to you, or simply a normal part of the modern world? Parents have very different views on the subject. An exclusive survey of 500 parents with children under the age of 12, conducted for CardRatings.com by Op4G, found that some parents believe it's best to [...]
Categories: Financial Literacy
While the costs of college continue to rise, another financial side to the campus equation is in decline -- the use of college credit cards. According to Sallie Mae, the leading student loan provider in the U.S., college credit card use is down from 42 percent from 2010 to 35 percent in 2012. College credit [...]
According to the U.S. Travel Association, more than 60 percent of Americans plan to take their families on the road this summer. The best credit card to bring on your journey depends on your destination, your mode of travel and your personal style. Our editorial team found a handful of cards that can save you [...]
Categories: Best Credit Cards
As you plan your summer vacation, you most likely check out reviews of restaurants near your hotel, print out your confirmation information and make sure that everything you will need for your trip is packed in your suitcase. A little bit of planning will go a long way to ensuring a more enjoyable trip with [...]
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