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- Editor's Choice Awards 2013: The year's best credit cards
Competition has crept back into the credit card marketplace, with major brands squaring off against upstarts from unusual places. This year, banks and payment platforms worked even harder to give consumers reasons to remain loyal to their brands.
- 5 ways to have a happy holiday free from credit card crime
The holiday season is filled with decking halls, spending time with family and eating delicious homemade treats. But each holiday season, many consumers become a victim of credit card fraud or theft. And spending your days on the phone with the credit card company and worrying about the crime is a sure way to take [...]
- Clever wallets for stashing your cash
Wallets have always been an easy way to show off fashion sense and number of credit cards (or lack thereof). However, wallets themselves are increasingly important multi-functional accessories. As wallets are developed that fulfill a variety of needs and even incorporate useful technologies, and as the holidays approach, they can make unique and personalized gift [...]
- Best rewards credit cards for holiday shopping
Black Friday deals might not be enough to capture the hearts (and wallets) of rewards credit card holders this year, according to new research from Capital One. During the bank's recent Rewards Barometer survey of more than 1,000 consumers with rewards cards, 80 percent of respondents said they planned to surf the Web for the [...]
- When (and how) to ask for a lower interest rate
Even though we're experiencing some of the lowest credit card APRs from the past few decades, you might still be able to save money on finance charges by asking the right question at the right time. Despite competition among banks, it's not always easy to qualify for a balance transfer offer. Besides, you might love [...]
- 4 ways to prep your finances prior to retirement
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 [...]
- Need a frugal vacation? Don't forget credit card perks
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 [...]
- 8 costly mistakes on your credit card agreement
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 [...]
- 5 ways to use credit cards to avoid the holiday rush
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 [...]
- 6 secrets to managing multiple credit cards
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, [...]
- Who's in your wallet?
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 [...]
- What's a credit builder loan?
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, [...]
- Best credit cards for luxury perks
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 [...]
- Is Debt a Four Letter Word or a Good Financial Strategy?
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, [...]
- Sworn off credit cards? It could hurt your credit
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 [...]
- Before picking up the phone to ask for a credit limit increase...
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 save you in an emergency?
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 [...]
- Halftime report: The best credit cards of 2013 so far
According to analysts at Deloitte, 2013 has become a year that bankers have had to "earn back the trust" of the American public. So far, this year's top ten credit cards share common commitments to customer service and added value for consumers with good to excellent credit: Discover it This card has settled into position as an [...]
- My credit card was stolen, but it's still in my wallet!
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 [...]
- The 10 best and worst states for credit conditions
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 [...]
- The 10 best and worst states for credit conditions: The full list
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. [...]
- 5 ways to get the best rate when traveling abroad
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 [...]
- Perfect score: Best credit cards for students
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 [...]
- Co-signing a loan? Better be aware of the consequences
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 [...]
- 9 stupid things you're doing with your credit card
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. [...]
- Best credit cards with no foreign transaction fee
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 [...]
- Danger ahead: 5 warning signs that won't show up on your credit report
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 [...]
- Plastic youth: When is it too early to give a kid a credit card?
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 [...]
- Pass the test: A crash course in college credit cards
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 [...]
- Best credit cards for summer vacation
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 [...]
- Your pre-vacation credit card checklist
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 [...]
- Mother knows best: Your first personal finance teacher
Whether they intended to or not, Mom and Dad gave you your first lesson in personal finance. Hopefully, one or both of them took an active role in teaching you about money. And let's go one further and hope that the experience was a positive one that you chose to model later in life. According to [...]
- Credit monitoring: prescription or placebo?
Identity fraud has become so widespread, it seems hardly anyone is immune to it. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission found 5 percent of identity theft cases are targeting children, while the Carnegie Mellon Cy Lab noted that in over half those cases (54 percent), the child was younger than 14. Adults themselves are no stranger [...]
- Pumped up: Best credit cards for gas purchases
Not paying as much money for gas can feel like a game at times. You can try and work from home to save on your commute. You can reduce your idling or keep your tires properly inflated, which can help improve your gas mileage (up to 3.3 percent, say some experts). But, of course, no matter [...]
- Should you pay for your wedding with plastic?
Gonna get married? The average wedding these days costs more than $28,000, according to TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com's annual survey. Between the wedding and the reception, it can add up to a big chunk of change. While moms and dads are likely to help, you still could end up paying for a good deal of your big [...]
- 5 best low interest credit cards
Medical bills, vacation expenses or even a temporary drop in your income can force you to carry a credit card balance. If you know you'll make payments consistently, but beyond the length of the typical zero APR introductory offer period, look for a credit card that only adds a few percentage points to today's prime [...]
- Give a little, get a lot: Best credit cards for the annual fee
With competition heating up in the no-annual-fee credit card market, it's easy to overlook some strong deals among credit cards that charge for membership. Our editorial team found five cards that pay members back with significant discounts, rewards and perks throughout the year. $: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card If you consistently spend more than $300 a month [...]
- The dos and don'ts of maximizing credit card rewards
Free trips, free stuff and cheap gas. You know you can get it, and you want it. That's perfectly understandable, and it may be why you signed up for a particular credit card in the first place. But as many long-time credit card holders know, just because you have a credit card that offers rewards, it [...]
- How do I know if my credit card does that?
We've all heard about the platinum cards with VIP benefits. And most of us know how to play the credit card and airline miles game. But you most likely have a credit card right now in your wallet with perks and benefits available that you are not using. Many cards available with no annual fee [...]
- I've got a great credit score. Now what?
You have spent the last few years working hard to increase your credit score. And you finally have reached the magic credit score number of at least 760. But instead of just resting on your accomplishments, take this opportunity to turn your high score into more money in your pocket. By leveraging your credit score [...]
- Best credit cards for cash back rewards
As consumers get smarter about using credit cards, banks have discovered that big cash rebates can drive customer loyalty. If you keep just one or two credit cards in your wallet, consider carrying a card that can earn you as much as 6 percent cash back on eligible purchases. Here are some of our favorites: Discover® [...]
- The 60-minute credit card makeover
At least once a year, you should take a look at your credit cards and see whether you're getting the best deals you can for your spending patterns. Is that a groan I hear? Don't worry, this review won't take weeks of research, or even a day! Beverly Harzog, a credit card expert and consumer [...]
- Is owning a credit card even necessary?
Most of us reach into our wallets to pull out a credit card to buy a plane ticket or a pair of shoes we found online without even thinking about it. But for millions of people without a credit card, each of these purchases isn't as simple. People opt to not have plastic in their [...]
- Do online tracking tools inspire spending or saving?
According to a 2012 financial literacy survey conducted by Harris Interactive, fewer than half of Americans track their expenses as part of a monthly household budget. Researchers from Rasmussen Reports reported similar findings in their own survey, adding that many of us without personal budgets rely on credit cards or personal savings when our paychecks [...]
- Know the score: A guide to the four most popular credit scoring models
Your credit score is something every smart consumer should know, but with so many credit scoring models to choose from, it's hard to decide which to use. To help you make sense of the credit-scoring industry, we spoke with four major trackers to find out what sets them apart. Some models, like FICO, include anything [...]
- Best Valentine's Day credit card perks
If you are still looking for the perfect Valentine's Day present for your sweetheart, look no further than your credit card perks to express your love. But if you are wondering if using perks will diminish the gift in your other half's eyes, you don't have to worry. According to the Discover 2013 Valentine's Day [...]
- Identity theft on the big screen: What can you learn from the movies?
With the upcoming release of the movie "Identity Thief," starring Jason Bateman, this all-too-common crime is once again brought into the mainstream media. "While the movie looks very entertaining from the previews, the film also puts identity theft on the front page again and keeps the crime in the front of people's minds. This crime really [...]
- Automatic payments: Time saver or finance wrecker?
Paying bills is a task that most people dread. With many companies, such as utilities and cell phone companies offering a monthly automatic credit card billing option, it can be tempting to sign up for this service. But while we are all looking to save time and hassle, is this actually a smart financial move? Bigger [...]
- CardRatings.com's Hall of Shame: Worst credit cards of 2012
This year's editor's choice awards illustrated so much of the positive change sweeping the personal finance business. With banks competing on price and service, consumers enjoy access to affordable, useful tools to manage their credit and make secure shopping decisions. Still, a handful of companies keep trying to cash in on your worst fears about [...]
- Don't know which card to use? There's an app for that.
I have more than a half dozen credit cards in my wallet. A new app on my iPhone, Glyph, tells me which of these credit cards to reach for to get the most rewards when I'm buying groceries, getting gas, dining at restaurants or shopping at Macy's or CVS. At least two of the credit cards [...]
- Editor's choice awards 2012: part two
This was a great year for customers looking to get great value from credit cards without racking up debt. Since many consumers continued to live lean in the wake of the recession, credit card companies were obligated to provide more tantalizing deals. With this competition among issuers, we saw the return of some excellent 0 [...]
- Don’t let your credit become a Greek tragedy
The ancient Greek tales of misfortune would have us believe that angering the gods might be the cause of all our financial woes. However, these hubristic scenarios aren’t the plots of Greek tragedies; they’re common problems with credit card debt that plague many Americans. Discover how our heroes might overcome their financial fate and learn something from [...]
- The Freshman $1000: How to help your college student with credit card debt
Instead of gaining the infamous freshman 15 of extra pounds, your student has fallen prey to the Freshman $1000 by quickly running up credit card charges soon after arriving on campus. But unlike other mistakes that your student is bound to make, getting into debt and missing payments can affect his future for years to [...]
- Editor's choice awards 2012: part one
It's still not as easy to get a new credit card as it was before the recession, but Americans have shown a willingness to use credit cards more responsibly over the past few years. As credit card delinquencies have declined and household balances have dropped, lenders have stepped up competition over consumers with strong credit [...]
- Do point tracker programs really work?
Whenever possible, we pay with credit and then pay off the balance each month to earn more rewards. I love seeing how many points and miles I've earned when I open my statement each month. But as much of a thrill as I get from getting the points, I have forgotten to cash out countless [...]
- Using Square Wallet: Mobile wallets that stay in your back pocket
I'm often the annoying person in the checkout line who spends four minutes digging out her credit card to pay for a $1.79 soda. So when I heard that the Square Wallet app would allow me to use my smart phone to pay for purchases, I was eager to give it a try and hopefully [...]
- Should you redeem your points to pay for gifts?
With money still tight in many families this year, you may be considering using credit card reward points to save money while purchasing gifts for loved ones on your holiday list. But is this really a smart financial move? The answer, of course, is "It depends." When should you use rewards points to buy holiday gifts? If [...]
- Put away the plastic: 10 things credit cards can't buy
Apparently, money can't buy happiness, and if you are using a credit card, that's not the only thing your money won't be able to buy. Despite the belief credit cards can take you 'everywhere you want to be' - as the old Visa slogan went - the reality is there some places where your plastic [...]
- How will the Visa and MasterCard merchant settlement affect you?
When you use your credit card to pay for groceries, your focus is likely to be how much you are paying for the items in your cart. But each time you swipe your credit card, the business you are patronizing has to pay a fee to the credit card company, called an interchange fee. The fee [...]
- Deck the malls: The 4 best credit cards for holiday shopping
It seems like big box stores start leaking their Black Friday sale flyers around the same time they discount leftover Halloween candy. That gives you a few weeks to work out a strategy for financing your holiday purchases. These four rewards credit cards offer special deals and promotions that can help you stretch your budget, [...]
- Bad credit? Time for tough love and no excuses
Quick, what's your credit score? Don't know? Don't care? You should. If you've been turned down for loans or received high interest rates from lenders, your credit may be, well, bad. The good news? You can fix it. You really can. But there's no magic formula. There are, however, some concrete steps you can take [...]
- Presidential plastic: Which credit cards do they carry?
In case you hadn't noticed, there's a presidential election right around the corner and there's some lively discussion on a host of issues. Voters are inundated with information about the candidates, their families, personal spending records, and little things like unemployment, oil dependency and foreign policy. At CardRatings.com, we decided to take a look at [...]
- Best credit cards to survive the zombie apocalypse
Zombies have haunted our nightmares for centuries. But now, we're embracing zombies in everyday culture. Shows like "The Walking Dead" and books such as "World War Z" have driven popular culture into zombie overdrive. Athletes bored with timed competition can even enter "zombie runs" where you either beat your personal best or get turned into [...]
- 6 steps to protect your financial self
Dina Wohlhendler isn't a very common name. So when the Brooklyn resident saw her name on another shopper's credit card at a Manhattan Best Buy, she chased the woman while shouting for help. Chase had already alerted Wohlhendler about an unauthorized purchase at Urban Outfitters, which led her to check the nearby electronics store. Surveillance [...]
- Good-bye plastic, hello phone: Mobile wallets on the rise
Forget about what's in your wallet. The real question is: will you even need a wallet? The latest trend in credit card payment technology is the use of mobile wallets. This innovation eliminates the plastic and turns your phone into a digital payment portal. From MasterCard to PayPal, major payment processors are jumping on the bandwagon [...]
- You've got a green light for car rental coverage
Rent a car and one of the first questions the agent will ask is whether you want to purchase insurance coverage. If you own one of the several credit cards on the market that offer auto insurance coverage as a perk, you may want to decline this additional expense at the rental checkout counter. Insurance perks "It's [...]
- Rewards roulette: can you pay all your bills with your credit card?
When Beverly Harzog's dog needed surgery in August, she paid the $1,086 veterinary bill with her rewards credit card. "I figured I might as well get a little bit back on it," says Harzog, a credit card expert, author and consumer advocate from Atlanta. A little she did - 1 percent cash back for $10.86. Harzog advocates [...]
- Sweet dreams: best credit cards for hotel rewards
If you're a casual traveler, signing up for a hotel credit card can qualify you for upgrades and special perks usually reserved for touring rock stars. Frequent guests can cover the costs of personal trips to the kinds of resorts not usually covered under corporate travel policies. Our list of this season's best hotel credit [...]
- 2012 balance transfer survey
With holiday shopping on the horizon again, many banks have shifted their marketing toward interest-free purchases and away from fee-free balance transfers. The CardRatings.com team revisited 15 credit cards from our February balance transfer survey and added 8 more accounts to our watch list. Our September review of 23 balance transfer credit cards reveals that [...]
- Retail rejection: Top six reasons your credit card was declined
There are few things in life more embarrassing than having your credit card declined, especially if you're attempting to make a purchase while you have people with you ("Hey, boss! I'll get the check!" Oops…). But before you slink away in shame, consider that there are a number of reasons your card could be declined, [...]
- Do investment cards really add up for college?
Here's a smart thing to do: Use your credit card rewards to save for your child's college education. You can earn 2 percent on your purchases with the Fidelity Investments Rewards American Express credit card and the Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards American Express credit card. Upromise World MasterCard issued by Barclays Bank offers rewards of more [...]
- Is it time to upgrade your credit card?
High interest rates and limited rewards got you down? If you aren't pleased with your current credit card, you don't have to go to the trouble of applying for a whole new account. A credit card upgrade may be all you need. "I upgraded my Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express to a Delta [...]
- The 10 best and worst states for credit conditions
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 [...]
- Best and worst states for credit: the full list
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: Rank State 1. North Dakota 2. Vermont 3. South Dakota 4. Montana 5. Iowa 6. Nebraska 7. Wyoming 8. Hawaii 9. Minnesota 10. Alaska 11 Maine 12 (tie). Kansas 12 (tie). Massachusetts 14. New Hampshire 15. Pennsylvania 16 (tie). Connecticut 16 (tie). Virginia 18 (tie). West Virginia 18 (tie). Wisconsin 20. New York 21. Washington 22. Utah 23. Oklahoma 24 (tie). Maryland 24 (tie). New Jersey 26. Oregon 27. New Mexico 28. Rhode Island 29. Missouri 30. Idaho 31. Texas 32. Kentucky 33. North [...]
- Best credit cards for airport lounge access
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 [...]
- 5 credit cards to turn your wallet into a workhorse
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 [...]
- 5 things your credit card company won't negotiate
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 [...]
- Flying high: Best credit cards for free airline perks
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. Four of today's best travel credit cards offer bonus perks that can make your next trip relaxing and rewarding. The Platinum Card® from American Express This [...]
- 10 signs you might be a credit card geek
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 [...]
- 36 top credit cards without foreign transaction fees
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 [...]
- 6 luxury credit card perks
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 [...]
- If Olympic athletes were credit cards...
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 [...]
- 5 outrageous credit card purchases
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 [...]
- Should you use peer-to-peer lending to pay off your credit cards?
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 [...]
- Attack of the clones: why you're at risk for a credit card scam
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 [...]
- The well-rounded wallet: 4 essential credit cards
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 [...]
- A billion reasons to donate your credit card reward points
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 [...]
- Running up the credit score
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 [...]
- 5 credit report items that won't affect your score
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 [...]
- 5 best cards for newly minted alumni
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 [...]
- The making of BarclayCard Ring
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 [...]
- 7 mistakes your credit card company wants you to make
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. The [...]
- 8 tips for better credit and better health
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 [...]
- Does your credit pass the stress test?
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 [...]
- The prepaid debit card comes of age
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 [...]
- Rewards credit card showdown: US vs. UK
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 [...]
- Best credit cards for going green
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 [...]
- A Card Day's Night
Fifty years ago, the Beatles signed their record deal with EMI, found a new drummer, and started recording their classic songs. In September 1962, with no clue about the fortunes they'd amass as one of the world's biggest rock and roll acts, the Fab Four had to borrow money from manager Brian Epstein for airfare [...]
- Not your father's credit card
Different versions of the tale offer various inspirations for Frank McNamara's brainstorm at the start of the 1950s. A personal loan business going stale, an embarrassing night out, and a nervous conversation with his wife all factor into the creation of Diners Club, the first general purpose credit card designed to work with multiple merchants. More [...]
- 7 worst credit card habits
Likely you've done it -- lost your credit card bill under a pile of papers and by the time the bill surfaces, it's past due. Guess what: You've just committed one of the seven deadly sins of credit card use - and the costs will add up. Yes, the best credit cards are a convenient way [...]