Credit Cards

The Big Debate #3: Credit Cards or Debit Cards?

This week, The Simple Dollar is taking a deeper look at five common personal finance debates. Several people I know have made the active choice in their life to completely avoid the use of credit cards. In the modern era, this seems like an almost shocking choice. Credit cards seem like the foundation of basic …

Categories: Credit Cards

Got Credit Card Debt? Ten Tactics to Use Right Now to Get It Under Control

Jon writes in: I have a bunch of credit card debt spread across several different cards and I’m having a hard time getting started paying them off. You’ve offered a lot of little solutions for debt removal, but I need a plan I can execute to deal with these credit cards. How can I get …

A Portfolio of Credit Cards for Specific Purchases?

Jenelle wrote in recently and described her way of using credit cards: Unlike your advice to minimize your credit cards, I actually have eight open credit cards that I use all the time. These cards cover all of my purchases but each one has a particular bonus program that I can take specific advantage of. …

Categories: Credit Cards, Debt

The Credit Card Holy Wars: There Is No “Right” Answer … But Here’s My Take

One of the most frequent negative comments I get on The Simple Dollar relates to credit card usage. I often advocate using credit cards for their purchasing convenience and rewards points, then paying off the whole balance each month. In effect, this means that I use a credit card as an extension of my checking …

Categories: Credit Cards

Should You Cancel Your Unused Credit Cards or Not?

On a fairly regular basis, I suggest to my readers that they cancel unused credit cards except for their oldest one. In fact, I often suggest that you reduce your credit cards to one or two that you use for regular purchases and your oldest one – cancel the rest. This advice is often criticized, …

I Have A Wallet Full Of Credit Cards – Which Ones Should I Keep?

I often get notes from people who have a small mountain of credit cards. They’re trying to figure out which ones they should keep and which ones they should cancel for various reasons, and they’re (rightfully) concerned with their credit report when they do this. Obviously, a wallet full of credit cards can be a …

The One Hour Project: Reduce The Interest Rate On Your Credit Cards

This post is part of The One Hour Project, in which you can spend just one hour to put your finances in a better place without a big lifestyle change, through frugality or other financial choices. This is something that’s well worth doing if you have consistently carried a credit card balance in the past …

Seven Nifty Tactics Credit Card Companies Use To Get Into Your Pocket – And How To See Right Through Them

I am constantly amazed at the creativity of companies that offer credit cards. They use a wide diversity of tactics to appeal to people and convince them to either start using a credit card or use a credit card more than they actually would. Why? The more you use a card, the more likely you …

Categories: Credit Cards

The Real Scoop On Rewards Credit Cards

Tammy wrote in with the following story and question: I recently got an offer in the mail from Sallie Mae, whom I currently have huge loans from, for a platinum plus credit card with worldpoints rewards. They are offering zero interest on balance transfers till october 2008 and cash back rewards and points (1:1) for …

Categories: Credit Cards

Continuing The Credit Building Discussion: Cancel Cards Or Not?

In response to my two recent posts on building credit (getting credit without a credit card and building up credit), Konstantin writes in and says: I am following your blog daily and I found two conflicting ideas you suggest that I have a hard time reconciling them: “Another tip is that by canceling credit cards, …

Personal Finance 101: Getting Credit Without A Credit Card

Mark writes in and asks: I’m 18, and recently applied for a credit card at Citibank. They rejected me on the basis that I have no credit history. I’ve had a savings account at a local bank for nearly my whole life with all of my money in it, and I’ve started budgeting my money …

What’s In My Wallet? The Two Credit Cards I Actually Use

Over the last few weeks, several people have written to me asking about the credit cards that I actually use. I use two of them, and here’s how I use them and why. My primary card is a cash back credit card: Citi Driver’s Edge Options Platinum Mastercard (here’s Citi’s page about the card). It …

Categories: Credit Cards

Finding The Best Credit Card For You (And It’s Not The Same One For Everyone)

I often get emails from readers asking me what the “best” credit card offer is. I write back and say there isn’t one, which I’m sure doesn’t win me any friends, but it’s the truth. There is no best credit card for everyone, but I’ll certainly say that the best offer for you probably wasn’t …

Categories: Credit Cards

A Reader On The Cusp Of A Great Credit Rating

A reader recently sent in this question about her boyfriend’s credit, which seems to be on the cusp of being quite good. My boyfriend was recently denied financing on a used upright piano because of poor credit. He actually has enough cash saved to buy it outright, but the fact that he couldn’t receive financing …

In Which I Answer The Most Frequently Asked Question: Pay Off Debts Or Invest?

Over and over and over again, readers ask me some variation on this question: I have $1,000 in my hand. I am trying to decide if I’m better off paying off part of my credit card debt or investing it. What should I do? The thing is, my answer is almost always the same, and …

What Does A Manager Obsessed With Chaos Theory Have To Do With 18% Interest On Credit Card Bills?

We are at that very point in time when a 400-year-old age is dying and another is struggling to be born — a shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater than the world has ever experienced. Ahead, the possibility of the regeneration of individuality, liberty, community, and ethics such as the world has …

Categories: Credit Cards

Dave Ramsey vs. Suze Orman: Which Plan For Dealing With Debts Is Best?

Recently, AllFinancialMatters posed the following question: which method of getting out of debt works better, Suze Orman‘s or Dave Ramsey‘s? Here are the compared plans: Here’s Dave Ramsey’s Snowball Method for paying off credit cards: Step 1 – Make a list of all your credit cards, ranked in order from the highest balance to the …

Five Minute Finances #2: Call Your Credit Card Company

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. Tip #2: Call your credit card company According to CardWeb, the average American household has approximately $9,200 in credit card …

A Fascinating Look At Edward Bellamy, Inventor Of The Credit Card

One might have expected that the person who unleashed the credit card on the world would have been a captain of finance, an individual who headed a large bank (or at least an officer at one) or perhaps was the founder of MasterCard or Visa or Diner’s Club. In fact, none of the above were …

Categories: Credit Cards