• Can “Churning” Credit Cards Really Work?

    There are a lot of credit card offers out there that reward you for signing up by giving you a bunch of frequent flyer miles, hotel discounts, or big gift certificates. If you weren’t particularly worried about your credit in the short term, wouldn’t it make sense to sign up for a bunch of these, …

  • Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2014

    Finding the best prepaid debit card was once a task traditionally reserved for people who had trouble opening a bank account. Today, prepaid debit cards are becoming much more versatile. Many families and college students are regularly using them to manage their finances. If you have poor credit and can’t get a credit card, for …

  • Best Travel Credit Card for 2014

    Updated: April 3, 2014 As my wife and I were looking at our schedules and budgeting for our 2014 vacations, I thought about what might be the best travel credit card to open. If you’re like us, with two young children, your budget might be stretched so thin it’s hard to figure out how you’ll …

  • Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2014

    Updated: April 10, 2014 Changing credit cards can be a challenge, but finding the best balance transfer credit cards for your situation can be the key to transitioning effectively. I wanted a credit card ever since I got my first job. I saw credit cards as a great way to manage cash flow and build …

  • Six Tactics for Handling Piles of Credit Card Debt

    This article first appeared at U.S. News and World Report Money. A lot of American families have a lot of credit card debt. The average U.S. household credit card debt is $15,270. That’s almost a third of the annual median household income in the United States. On top of that, 72% of Americans are living …

  • Best Credit Cards for Students in 2014

    Updated: March 31, 2014 The best credit cards for college students hold one major advantage over the other sources of funding that can be used to pay for college expenses: Student credit cards help students establish credit while other methods of funding do not. Sure, you can give your kid a prepaid debit card and …

  • Barclaycard Review: Arrival™ World MasterCard® Annual Fee vs. No Annual Fee

    Updated: Feb 21, 2014 The Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® is hands-down one of the best credit cards around, but there’s a lot of curiosity and confusion around which is the more valuable of the two: the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® – Earn 2x on All Purchases (with an $89 Annual Fee) vs. the Barclaycard Arrival™ …

  • The Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2014

    Part 4 of 4 from the best rewards credit cards series Updated: March 27, 2014 In Part 4 of this series, I’m writing about the best hotel credit cards. If you missed the other parts, I already covered the best all-around rewards credit cards, airline credit cards, and the top cash back credit cards. Part …

  • The Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2014

    Part 3 of 4 from the best rewards credit cards series Updated: April 3, 2014 In Part 3 of this series of posts on the best rewards credit cards, I’m covering the best cash back credit cards. I already covered the best all-around rewards credit cards in Part 1 and the best airline credit cards …

  • The Best Airline Credit Cards of 2014

    Part 2 of 4 from the best rewards credit cards series Updated: March 27, 2014 In Part 2 of this series covering the top rewards credit cards, I focus on the best airline credit cards. I already covered the best all-around rewards credit cards in Part 1, and I analyze the best cash back cards …

  • Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2014

    Part 1 of 4 – The Simple Dollar 2014 Rewards Credit Card Series Updated: April 3, 2014 This is the first part in a series of four posts on rewards credit cards. In the other posts, I focus on the more specific types of rewards cards, like cash back, hotel, and airline credit cards. I …

  • Four Free Helpful Online Credit Resources That I Actually Use (Or Highly Recommend)

    Sometimes, it seems like you can scarcely turn on your television or radio or web browser without seeing someone offering you a great solution to your credit woes or proper protection against credit worries. Pretty much anything involving the word “credit” is a hot commodity. There are thousands of businesses out there who want to …

  • Some Thoughts on Store-Specific Credit Cards

    You can barely visit a chain store these days without being offered a credit card associated with that store. From Wal-Mart and Best Buy to Target and JC Penney (and countless others), offering credit has become a big part of the business for many retailers. The usual advice for store-specific credit cards is to avoid …

  • Credit Cards and Annual Fees

    As I’ve mentioned before on The Simple Dollar, I’m a believer in the healthy use of credit cards. As long as you keep your balance low and pay it off in full every month, I view credit cards as being almost entirely positive. They help your credit. Many cards provide discounts and other bonuses. They …

  • Reader Tip Tuesday #4

    A little late, but a good one! Here’s this week’s Reader Tip Tuesday. Once you’ve gotten into dangerous waters with a credit card, it’s tempting to swear off of plastic entirely. But before you do, it’s important to understand know that there are plenty of ways to use credit cards to avoid and get out …

  • Learning to Trust Credit Cards

    Hey Simple Dollar readers, I wanted to share an article by a new contributor to the site, Ellen Gans. In it she examines her own relationship with credit cards over the years, focusing on what it takes to really trust yourself to open up a card at all. Ellen is right in believing credit cards …

  • Financial Independence: What Does It Mean?

    We’d like to thank Experian for having us on their Twitter chat a couple of weeks ago. The topic was financial independence, and we heard a lot of great opinions from Ready for Zero, Wise Bread, the Better Business Bureau Military Line, Madam Money and everyone else who participated. Here’s a look back at the …

  • Examining Two Credit Card Repayment Strategies

    Kim writes in: My dad told me that the best way to pay off a credit card is to pay it all off at once so I have been saving up the money to do that. My boyfriend argues with that saying that the best way to do it is to make the biggest possible …

  • A Seven Year Old Learns About Credit Cards

    Here’s some food for thought for those of you out there raising children and hoping to teach them good lessons about money. I was at the store recently with my seven year old son. When it’s just the two of us, he’s very quiet and observant of what’s going on around him (he can be …