How Credit Cards Work

What does the fine print say on a credit card agreement?

Ah, the "fine print." Overly complicated and wrapped in eye-straining, microscopic font. Where else can you find phrases like "in accordance with law" and "terms shall remain in force"? Yet the fine print should never be ignored, especially in certain areas of life such as medicine, contracts and, especially, credit card agreements. "What's at stake with my [...]

Categories: How Cards Work
Make a new year resolution for your credit health in 2019

Your health often tops New Year's resolution lists each year, but remember to include  your credit card health as part of your improvement plan. According to Melanie Lockert, founder and author of Dear Debt, "…The stress of being in debt and having to pay it back can be so pervasive. When I was paying off my [...]

Categories: Card Basics
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
What to know before applying for your first credit card

Credit cards are powerful financial tools that can open doors when used wisely. They can help you build a solid credit history, which in turn can help you do everything from secure a car loan at a better interest rate to getting a mortgage on a new home in the future. But how exactly should [...]

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

Military families face unique challenges - physically, emotionally, logistically and financially. Long separatithons. 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 the Credit CARD Act of 2009) was passed by the United States Congress in 2009, expanding on the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), 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 [...]

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
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