Featured Articles

Is it better to pay off your credit cards in full every month or leave a manageable balance?

An excellent question with kind of a complicated answer, since I can easily say "yes" in both cases. Ideally, you should always pay your credit cards in full every month. Yes, you'll hear that credit issuers like to see a debt-to-credit utilization ratio of about 25 to 30 percent, meaning that if you have a credit [...]

Categories: Miscellaneous, How Cards Work
6 critical lessons to teach your teen about credit

If you're the parent of a teenager, at some point he or she is going to ask you about two things that may make your heart skip a beat: getting a driver's license, and getting a credit card. Before your son or daughter can get behind the wheel of a car with a license, he or [...]

Categories: Financial Literacy, How Cards Work
The thief behind the counter

You hand your Visa to the waiter to pay for your dinner and he disappears with your credit card. He returns a few minutes later with your bill. You sign the credit card receipt and leave. You don't think anything of it until the end of the month when you receive your Visa statement, and you [...]

Categories: ID Theft / Fraud
The 12 days of...credit cards?

Despite an inexplicable drop in the price of four calling birds, PNC Wealth Management estimates the cost of all the gifts in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" at a cool $101,119.84. Following the song to the letter means delivering 364 gifts to your true love this month. If you're going to charge all of those [...]

Categories: Tips
7 worst times to use your credit card

Your phone rings. It's your favorite charity on the line, asking for a donation. You could give generously by simply rattling off your credit card number. You're in the market for a new car. You just received an offer for a cash back rewards card. Why not put the new car on the card and pocket [...]

Categories: ID Theft / Fraud
Before you say yes to a store credit card

You've clipped your coupons. Scanned the ads. Cleaned out the trunk of your car. You're ready to shop for your family, your friends, your co-workers and the aunt you see only once a year, but are you ready for the question you'll invariably be asked every time you whip out your wallet? "Do you have a [...]

Categories: How Cards Work , Department Store Credit Cards
5 holiday spending traps to avoid

We want to make the holidays special for our loved ones. And when advertised deals are calling your name and seasonal ambience is enveloping you, it's easy to get enraptured by the holiday spirit, succumb to the offers and spend, spend, spend. "And then you get the hangover," says Julie Mayfield, author of the personal finance [...]

Categories: Tips
Holiday spending without the hangover

With the days of easy credit long gone and the economy still in weak recovery, more holiday shoppers plan to pay cash for their purchases this year, according to the results of a recent poll by CardRatings.com and MSN. And credit cards easily surpassed debit cards, suggesting that more consumers are taking advantage of the [...]

Categories: Tips
Student credit cards on campus: Who's the biggest player?

If you're the parent of a student in college, you probably aren't worrying too much about getting your son or daughter a new credit card. You have plenty of other things to worry about. Those pictures your son posts on Facebook, in which you hope, but rather doubt, that it's grape soda in that wine [...]

Categories: Student
Who's been scanning your credit card?

Sometimes an invention can solve a problem. At other times, it can leave you wondering: Was this a problem to begin with? Think of the difference between a TV remote control and a Flowbee. Everyone likes to change the channel without getting out of the Barcolounger, but how many people want to cut hair using [...]

Categories: ID Theft / Fraud , How Cards Work

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