This is the final CardRatings.com news email of the year. We'll be sending the next one out in early January. We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday.

CardRatings.com's Editor's Choice awards 2012

The editors of CardRatings.com, including founder Curtis Arnold, present our list of the best cards for cash back, airline/travel rewards, low interest and low introductory rates this week. In addition, we offer a forecast on these market segments for the coming year. Part two of the Editor's Choice awards, which will cover different card categories, will be published in early January.

Keeping track of your points

A relatively new website called Usingmiles.com says it helps you keep track of your frequent flier miles, hotel points and many store loyalty programs. So we asked CardRatings.com reporter Jennifer Goforth Gregory to give it a test drive. She talked to the founder, Krista Paul - the idea was hatched to solve a problem she had with her points - and a regular user, and also found it useful for tracking her own rewards.

Consumer Action warns about checkout fees

One of the effects of the merchant swipe fee settlement for consumers is the potential for checkout fees - a surcharge that can be added to a bill when the consumer uses a credit card. Consumer Action released a publication this week that explains the checkout fees, how they came into being and what are the consumer's rights and merchants' responsibilities. The report also notes in which 10 states the checkout fees are not allowed.

Chips and PINs and signatures

IndexCreditCards.com columnist Peter Andrew, who is based in Europe, talks about the challenges of chip-and-PIN cards for Americans who travel frequently. Even American-issued cards that do have chips now still do not have PINs. And chip-and-signature cards are the standard in Asia. He explains the differences between chip-and PIN and chip-and-signature. He also notes that many merchants abroad no longer have terminals that can read magnetic strips.

Current credit card rates from CardRatings.com as of Dec. 18, 2012

Type of card

This week

Last week

Low Intro. Rate

0.20%

0.20%

Limited/No Credit

19.59%

19.59%

Low Ongoing Rate

14.50%

14.50%

Air Miles/Travel

16.32%

16.33%

Rewards Points

16.69%

16.70%

Cash Back

16.09%

16.10%

Student

16.15%

16.15%

Business

15.41%

15.41%