Credit Cards

What Is a Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus?

Unless you’ve opted out of junk mail or targeted offers altogether, you’ve probably gotten at least a handful of credit card bonus offers in the mail. Most of them read something like this: “Spend $500 on your card within 90 days and earn $200 in cash back.” “Spend $3,000 on your credit card within three …

The Unregulated World of Identity Theft ‘Insurance’

It’s all over the news: celebrity photo hacking scandals, digital security breaches at major retailers, and banks that have misplaced unencrypted backups of confidential customer data. More than 13 million consumers suffered from identity fraud in 2013, according to a study by financial services research firm Javelin Strategy & Research. This is second only to 2012, when …

Credit Card Interest Typically Compounds Daily – Here’s How to Take Advantage of That

A few weeks ago, I posted an article on the idea of interest that accrues daily. Here’s a brief explanation; check out the full post for more details: Some banks will accrue interest daily. Some even accrue it continuously. Rest assured, the more often a bank accrues interest on your debt, the worse it is …

Best Business Credit Cards of 2015

You don’t need to have 1,000 employees and a mahogany-walled board room to reap the rewards from business credit cards this year. Small businesses with few employees, sole proprietors, and independent contractors can all use business credit cards to manage cash flow and earn rewards on their spending. In fact, even if you don’t have …

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, …

Categories: Credit Cards

Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2015

While prepaid cards were once a last resort for those who couldn’t qualify for a traditional bank account, new features have moved some of the best prepaid cards into the mainstream. According to a Nilson report, prepaid cards with the top 50 U.S. Banks and credit unions accounted for $118.09 billion in spending at merchants in …

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 …

Categories: Credit Cards

The Best Hotel Credit Cards for 2015

In Part 4 of this series, I write about the best hotel credit cards. If you missed the other parts, I already covered the best all-around rewards credit cards, best airline credit cards, and the best cash back credit cards. In 2015, the best hotel credit cards still offer impressive perks and rewards for frequent …

How to Fix Your Credit Properly

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 …

Personal Finance Advice For Store 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 …

Categories: Credit Cards

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 …

Credit Counseling Guide to Debt Management

You may feel like giving up. Suffocating under a mountain of debt can make you feel helpless. Perhaps you’ve even been considering bankruptcy.  The jury is out on whether bankruptcy should be an absolute last resort, or one that should be considered seriously in order to deal with exorbitant, unpayable debt. Still, most people do …

Categories: Credit Cards

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 …

Understanding How Prepaid Debit Cards as Payroll Works

We’ve spoken before about the ins and outs of prepaid debit cards. They carry both benefits and drawbacks for the everyday consumer. The perks — including convenience and assistance with personal budgeting — need to be weighed against the drawbacks, which include ample fees for a variety of card-based activities. Prepaid debit cards have recently …

Categories: Credit Cards

When to Use Your Credit Card — and When to Not

Want to become a savvy credit card user? You’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss when to pull out your credit card, and when to keep it tucked away. We’ll also talk about surprising places that do accept credit cards, as well as a few places that do not. Use this handy …

Categories: Credit Cards

Prepaid Credit Card Right For You?

You know about credit cards and debit cards, and you may even be familiar with secured credit cards, but did you know there’s another option out there? Millions of Americans rely on prepaid credit cards to handle their finances. Prepaid credit cards work just as you’d expect: after acquiring a card, you load it with …

Categories: Credit Cards

How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

$15,216. That number reflects the average US household credit card debt among indebted households. That’s a scary number, and it means that for every household with $1,000 in debt, there’s another household with over $30,000 in debt. Why is credit card debt so high? After dramatically reining in credit card issuance during the recession, some …

Categories: Credit Cards

Traveling with Your Credit Card: Safety Precautions to Consider

It’s summer, which means that many of us are packing up our bags and heading for the hills (or the beach, or the museums). The last thing you want to worry about is your credit card. Unfortunately, all too many of us face hassles with credit card security while traveling — especially during trips abroad. …

Categories: Credit Cards

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