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How Credit Cards Work

11 tips to protect your credit this holiday season

Your credit score can tank as fast as the holidays approach if you're not careful. You get in the spirit of the season, feeling grateful for friends, family and… plastic and suddenly things are out of control. Freezing the cards no longer deters you because nowadays you can swipe, slide, tap, enter or scan credit cards. [...]

Categories: Card Basics
5 unconventional ways credit cards can save you money

It's coming. That moment when you realize it's time to buy a new car, pay for your child's education, retire, replace your refrigerator… and the list goes on and on. It's a fact of life that major expenses are going to come up. They just do. Sometimes you get years to plan ahead – as [...]

Categories: Card Advantages
How do credit cards affect your credit score?

Your credit score - that, single, all-important number - has an enormous impact on your financial future. But too many people don't understand how this number is formulated or how their actions will help or hurt their score, especially when it comes to credit cards. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, just more than 70 percent [...]

Categories: Card Basics
3 steps to take ahead of applying for your first credit card

Credit cards allow you to build a solid credit history, which can help you do everything from secure a car loan at a better interest rate to getting a mortgage on a new home. But how do you go about getting your first credit card? If you're an 18-year-old college student with no credit history or [...]

Categories: Card Basics
What military credit card features do you need to know?

Military families face unique challenges - physically, emotionally, logistically and financially. Long separations. Multiple moves. One or both parents working amid hostile environments and cycles of rapid redeployment. According to the 2015 Blue Star Annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, 56 percent of active duty military personnel said stress over financial issues was a "Top 5" stressor for [...]

Categories: Card Advantages
What did the Credit CARD Act of 2009 do?

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (or Credit CARD Act) was passed by the United States Congress in 2009, expanding on the Truth in Lending Act, and took effect in 2010. Its purpose was to curtail deceptive and abusive practices by credit card issuers. A new Federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [...]

Categories: Card Basics
Types of credit cards: A comprehensive cheat sheet

Choosing the best credit cards for your wallet is a strategic way to save money, score perks, and build a strong credit profile. But like most things these days, consumers have a ton of choices when it comes to plastic preferences, which is why it's important to evaluate your options. "People don't realize how much credit [...]

Categories: Financial Literacy, How Cards Work
Processors vs. issuers: What consumers should know

Believe it or not, whenever you use your credit card, there is a lot going on behind the scenes of each transaction. While a lot of it might seem as exciting as reading a legal document, it does benefit you as a consumer to understand the major players involved in your financial business. Here, we break [...]

Categories: Financial Literacy, How Cards Work
Handing your credit card to someone else? Be smart about it

It can happen in an instant. Employees at your local department store, repair shop or supermarket just have to turn their backs to you for a fraction of a second to swipe your credit card with skimmers connected to their belts. Once they do, they have your credit card information. They can then do with [...]

Categories: ID Theft / Fraud , How Cards Work
Should you get a credit card after bankruptcy?

If you've recently had a bankruptcy discharged, your mailbox may be filling with new credit card offers. Although it seems counterintuitive, some companies actually seek out and market their cards to recently bankrupt individuals. That may be due in part to the fact that once you've declared bankruptcy, the law limits how quickly you can [...]

Categories: Building Credit, How Cards Work

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