All about variable-rate vs. fixed-rate credit cards
Fixed-rate cards are a way to limit rising interest rates -- at least temporarily. But are those cards better than getting a variable rate credit card?
The answer comes down to your card preferences -- and even more importantly, whether you're able to get a fixed-rate credit card.
You need a good credit history and must find [...]
Do credit cards offer good currency exchange rates?
Yes, especially when you're using any of the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards.
When traveling outside the United States, you'll almost always get the best possible exchange rate by using a major credit card with a hotel, airline or vendor. In addition, you're avoiding ATM surcharges, cash advance fees, and the infamous surcharges at [...]
Are there any credit cards available with a fixed rate?
Strict disclosure rules and a fear of rising interest rates have radically reduced the number of fixed rate credit cards on the market. A scan of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's credit card agreement database shows that only about 17 percent of active offers include the phrase "fixed rate." Many of those agreements refer to [...]
Can you explain what the prime interest rate is and how it affects my credit cards?
When you hear journalists or credit card companies talk about the "prime rate," they're talking about the annual percentage rate that banks charge their very best customers when they need to borrow money. Those banks' very best customers aren't consumers like you or me, though. They're other banks.
Don't worry, though. Your bank's not trying to [...]
If I use my credit card, can I get cash back when I buy something? Will I be charged a fee?
The answer to whether you can get cash back when you buy something with a credit card actually depends on what you mean by "cash back."
While credit cards are great for a lot of things, using them as a way to put cash in your wallet right away when making a purchase at a cash [...]
What does variable APR mean?
Variable APR means that the annual percentage rate on your credit card can change over time. Don't worry, though. Banks can't just adjust your rates without notice or beyond reason. A complex set of rules governs how much you'll pay in finance charges on your outstanding balance.
Banks base your APR on a prime lending rate, [...]
I paid my balance in full and I received another bill for interest. Am I obligated to pay this?
First, congratulations for paying down your credit card balance. In this economy, most of us find that a tough achievement. However, you've already noticed a quirk of modern accounting: a final finance charge representing interest on your balance during your previous statement cycle. So, yes, you do have to pay the amount. In fact, losing [...]
I travel a lot, and it is very convenient when overseas to use my credit card. I know from my foreign colleagues that their credit cards are not subject to foreign transaction fees. What's the cheapest option in this situation?
Q: I travel a lot, and it is very convenient when overseas to use my credit card. However, I am charged a foreign transaction fee of 3 percent. The only cards that do not have a foreign transaction fee have an annual fee. I know from my foreign colleagues that their credit cards are not [...]
I have an excellent record for payments on all my cards, but I'm paying as high as 29 percent interest. How can I lower the rate?
Lots of factors could contribute to your relatively high finance charge, ranging from the relationship you've got with your bank to the way you manage your balances.
In the wake of the Credit CARD Act's passage, consumers wondered what happened to the "protections" lawmakers promised them. After all, hiking the minimum payments and bumping interest rates [...]
I am paying a $20 annual fee for my Chase card. Can I request a no-fee status?
Q: I am paying a $20 annual fee for my Chase card. I am about to cancel this and go with my regular no-fee cards. Should I request a no-fee status from Chase?
A: Changes to the rules governing how banks issue credit cards make it strangely awkward for most lenders to waive an annual fee. [...]