Six Mistakes That Can Decimate the Benefits
of a Reward Credit Card

Reward Credit Card MistakesWith so many different offers to choose from, consumers often look for credit cards with the lowest interest rates and the biggest reward perks. But choosing a great reward card is only the first step to benefiting from it. Clouded by the hope of accumulating enough reward points for a dream vacation or a big cash bonus, many people overlook the details found in the small print of every credit card agreement. Credit card companies gain enough of your hard earned money through interest rates and fees, so it seems unconscionable that they would penalize your benefits or deny Continue

Interest Rates Are Lower… Yet Credit Card APRs Remain Unchanged

Credit Card Interest Rates UnchangedSince the credit crisis of 2008, the federal funds rate has dropped and default rates are falling, yet credit card interest rates have remained steady at around 13 percent. So why aren’t people who carry a balance on their credit card getting a break? Banks are paying less for the money they borrow and less people are defaulting on their credit card accounts, shouldn’t they be passing along the savings to consumers? One expert blames this conundrum on “inertia”, a nice way of saying that consumers aren’t shopping around for better deals. Continue

Bad Advice for Credit Card Breach Victims

Credit Card Breach AdviceJust prior to the week of Christmas, an estimated 40 million debit and credit card accounts were breached at Target, leaving millions of people wondering how they would be affected by the massive debacle. In the mean time, financial and security experts have been advising consumers about what to do, if they’ve become a victim or are concerned about their data. While much of the advice is sound, be aware of frauds and profiteers looking to take advantage of your fear. Continue

5 Tips to Offset Rising Interest Rates

Rising Interest RatesThere is generally one small bright spot in the midst of a stagnant economy – low interest rates. But historically low rates are slowly beginning to creep upward resulting in an increase in the cost of borrowing. If you’re already finding it difficult to make a dent in what you owe, rising interest rates will only make it more difficult to reduce your debt, resulting in more time and money to pay off your balance. The thought of more of your hard earned money going to the bank is hard to swallow, but there are some ways to offset the rising cost of interest rates. Continue

Credit Card Security Is Your Responsibility

Credit Card ThreatsBeing prepared is not only good advice to give to a Boy Scout, but it’s an important component in all aspects of life – education, home ownership, retirement, etc. You would never go on a camping trip without preparing for emergencies; likewise, when it comes to your personal finances you should never take security for granted. In particular, consumers have a great deal of responsibility when it comes to their credit cards. Thieves have creative ways to access personal information and credit card fraud is a common (and painful) outcome. Continue

Know How Your Credit Card Bill is Calculated

How to Calculate Credit Card BillMany people open their monthly credit card statement and don’t have a clue about what it contains – they simply make the minimum payment and forget about it. In the past credit card statements were complicated and difficult to understand, but new government mandates have made statements much more concise, providing you with a clear picture of how much you’re paying on interest, as well as how long it will take to reduce the principle. Once you know where your payments are going, you may think twice about paying only the minimum. Continue

Why Aren’t You Taking Advantage of a 0% APR?

Take Advantage of 0% APRIn today’s credit card market, 0% APR offers are plentiful and easily accessible to just about anyone with good credit. Virtually every credit card issuer (and every credit card offer) will feature a zero APR. Paying 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers is a great way to save on interest charges, but for most of us, the savings end when the intro period is over. There are some drawbacks to switching credit cards on a regular basis, but for the savvy consumer, applying for a new 0% APR credit card is definitely worth considering. Continue

Always Pay Contractors With a Credit Card

pay-contractorImproving your home, landscaping or building a new structure are big undertakings and shouldn’t be taken lightly. From major decisions, like how big to build and what materials to use, to personal touches such as paint and hardware, the process takes planning, patience and funding. As anyone who has completed a building or home improvement project will tell you, a successful outcome is largely dependent on the contractor you hire. However, no matter how many references you get from trusted family or friends, problems may still arise. Continue

Three Simple Ways to Save on Gas

save-on-gasFor the last five years gas prices have taken consumers on a roller coaster ride! In 2008 the national average hit an all-time high of $4.11, followed by a rapid slide as the economy faltered. Since then, fuel costs have been on a steady rise and are once again approaching record levels. In May, gas prices broke $4.00 a gallon in some parts of the country – with the National average only 24 cents from the all-time high. Although many experts think we’ve seen a peak for the summer driving season, the high price of gasoline continues to chip away at consumer’s pocket books year-after-year. Continue

Why Your Credit Card Application Was Denied

Denied Credit Card ApplicationWith a long list of potential credit card issuers and dozens of offers to choose from, your chances of getting approved for a credit card are strong – IF YOU CHOOSE WISELY. So when your application is denied and you’re turned down for a new line of credit, it’s easy to become frustrated or concerned. Credit card issuers are required to tell you why, but not necessarily right away. In fact, an adverse action letter that explains the specific reason(s) your application was denied may not arrive in your mailbox for 7-10 days. If you’re looking for an answer now, there are some simple reasons your credit card application could have been denied – and actions you can take to remedy the situation. Continue

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