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Credit Cards Articles

Learning the Value of a Dollar

August 20, 2012 | Credit Cards | Guest Post | No Comments

I got my first credit card when I was just 17 and had no idea what the value of a dollar was. I had no job at the time, and even worse, I didn’t even have a real understanding of how credit cards worked. By the time I was 20, my credit was so bad that I couldn’t get a car and I had been turned down by nearly every apartment complex in the area. I was taking all the steps needed to improve my credit, but it was slow going.

Things got even worse when I lost my job. I was going to be homeless unless I found a way to pay my bills, and that’s when a friend suggested I take out a loan. I didn’t know much about personal loans, but I knew it can make your credit even worse, so I was very hesitate.

I did some research online and found the website OneLoanSource.com. The reason I was so drawn to OneLoanSource.com is because it doesn’t check your credit score like other companies. Instead, the website takes some personal information and then matches you up with several loan companies that are the most likely to provide you with the money you need.

OneLoanSource.com is incredibly easy to use too. All you do is enter some basic information, such as the amount of money needed and your credit score, and the website does the rest. The whole process takes less than five minutes. After that, the website gives you several companies to contact, but I only needed to call one before I got my loan. Overall, I’m very happy with the website and would recommend it to anyone.

Submitted by J. Jones

Credit Cards for People with Bad / Poor Credit

March 1, 2012 | Credit Cards | No Comments

If you have bad/poor credit and want a credit card; there are a few credit cards and prepaid debit cards to consider.  Keep in mind if you get a credit card you must not abuse it and dig yourself in a deeper hole.  If you get a credit card, the goal is to also help improve your credit by ensuring that you pay your credit card bills on time.

If you cannot control using a credit card, then get a prepaid debit card.  However, a prepaid debit card will not help you rebuild your credit history because these cards just provide you a line of credit.

Many people are not aware that the cost of poor credit will cost them dearly in the long run.  Carrying debt on a credit card can cost hundreds or thousands over the years.  Additionally, getting a personal loan, car loan or mortgage will cost more because the lender will charge you a higher interest rate, if you are lucky enough to even get the loan. (Find out more about the consequences of bad debt.)

Many prime credit cards are not available for individuals with poor credit.  The few cards available are called “sub-prime” cards which typically require expensive setup fees or recurring monthly fees.  They often require cash deposits and have very low credit lines.

It’s imperative to improving your credit because it will save you money over the years.  So get started as soon as possible and don’t delay.

Below are several bad/poor credit cards to consider:


Orchard Bank Classic MasterCards
 
 

  • An excellent credit card for help rebuilding credit scores;
    reports to 3 major credit bureaus monthly
  • Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including
    website purchases and reservations
  • Email and text messages are available to remind you of your
    upcoming payment due date
  • Knowledgeable customer service representatives to assist you
    with questions or concerns
  • Regular APR: 14.99%-24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 – $59 the first year, $35 – $59 per year thereafter
  • Balance Transfers: Yes
  • Credit Needed: Bad Credit
 

Orchard Bank Classic MasterCards
 
 

  • An excellent credit card for help rebuilding credit scores;
    reports to 3 major credit bureaus monthly
  • Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including
    website purchases and reservations
  • Your account information is updated and at your fingertips
    24/7 so you can manage it your way
  • Email and text messages are available to remind you of your
    upcoming payment due date
  • Knowledgeable customer service representatives to assist you
    with questions or concerns
  • Regular APR: 14.99%-24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 – $59 the first year, $35 – $59 per year thereafter
  • Balance Transfers: Yes
  • Credit Needed: Bad Credit
 

Orchard Bank Visa Cards
 
 

  • Reports to 3 major credit bureaus monthly providing you the
    opportunity to rebuild your credit
  • Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including
    website purchases and reservations
  • Your account information is updated and at your fingertips
    24/7 so you can manage it your way
  • Email and text messages to remind you of your upcoming
    payment due date with online enrollment
  • Knowledgeable customer service representatives to assist you
    with questions or concerns
  • Regular APR: 14.99%-24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 – $59 the first year, $35 – $59 per year thereafter
  • Balance Transfers: Yes
  • Credit Needed: Bad Credit
 

Green Dot® Gold PrePaid Visa®
 
 

  • $0 Activation Online – with no credit check
  • Access over 18,000 MoneyPass® ATM’s
  • Get a $4.95 credit on your first MoneyPak cash load (see
    site for restrictions)
  • No Monthly fee for any month with at least 30 purchases
  • No Transaction fees on US purchases
  • No Overdraft fees
  • No Minimum balance required
  • Regular APR: N/A
  • Annual Fee: up to $5.95 monthly
  • Balance Transfers: N/A
  • Credit Needed:No Credit Check
 

Orchard Bank Classic MasterCards
 
 

  • An excellent credit card for help rebuilding credit scores;
    reports to 3 major credit bureaus monthly
  • Acceptance at millions of locations worldwide, including
    website purchases and reservations
  • Your account information is updated and at your fingertips
    24/7 so you can manage it your way
  • Email and text messages are available to remind you of your
    upcoming payment due date
  • Knowledgeable customer service representatives to assist you
    with questions or concerns
  • Regular APR: 14.99%-24.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0 – $59 the first year, $35 – $59 per year thereafter
  • Balance Transfers: Yes
  • Credit Needed: Bad Credit
 

 

>>See more bad credit and prepaid  debit cards <<

Credit Card Extras – Explained

July 7, 2011 | Credit Cards | No Comments

If you’re looking for a credit card, you might be aware of the fact that credit card providers can offer certain ‘extras’ with their cards to help you get started.

In this short guide, we’re going to look at some of the most common extras offered with credit cards to help you make your mind up when it comes to deciding which card to go for.

Rewards for spending
Some credit cards are advertised as offering ‘rewards’ when you make purchases using them. This usually means that whenever you make a purchase with your credit card, you will be given a certain number of ‘points’ (how many will depend on the amount you spend).

These points can then be redeemed against items in selected stores. In some cases, for example, you’ll be able to purchase shopping vouchers or get money off your supermarket shopping. Other cards may allow you to donate your accumulated points to charity by buying things for a community in need.

Cashback
A lot of credit card providers offer cashback deals with their cards. This basically means that you will receive a percentage of the money you have spent on your credit card back. Deals like these might only last for a set period of time – so make sure you check how long the deal runs for before opting for a card offering this extra.

0% balance transfer
If you want to transfer the balance from one credit card to another, some credit card providers offer this service for a fee (often around 3% of the balance transferred). This basically means the debt you’re moving across won’t grow while the interest-free period lasts.

0% interest on purchases
If you’re planning on making some big purchases with your credit card, this particular extra could be helpful. 0% interest on purchases basically means that any purchases you make on your card won’t have interest charged on them. However, these offers tend to have a time limit – so make sure you look into this before applying for your card and making your purchases.

Useful credit card guides and information:

 

Two American Express Cards I Use and Recommend

June 19, 2011 | Credit Cards | My Ramblings | No Comments

I’m one of those people who love to use credit cards.  Not for the convenience or the credit, but for the cash back.  In the over 20 years of using credit cards, I’ve only intentionally paid a finance fee once and I was very upset at myself for doing so.  I thought it was a complete waste of money and swore to myself it would never happen again.

I have several credit cards but the 2 I use the most are the Plum Card® from American Express OPEN and Blue Cash EverydaySM Card from American Express.

The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN

I currently use the American Express Plum Card® that pays 1.5% discount if you pay your balance in 10 days at the end of your billing cycle. Fortunately, I get 2% because I’ve been grandfathered at the old rate. With the Plum Card® you have the option to pay 10% of your balance and take up to 2 months to pay off the remaining balance, interest free which I’ve never used.  Again my goal is to get American Express to pay me.  The card has a $185 annual fee (free the first year) but it’s worth it if you will use the card frequently.  Last year I made $2,462.64 in cash back with the Plum Card® with purchases made for business and personal expenses.

To recap, the Plum Card® from American Express OPEN Features:

  • The Everything, Everywhere Trade Terms Card(SM) from American Express OPEN
  • Pay in full within ten days, get a 1.5% discount
  • OR pay as little as 10% and take up to 2 months to pay off the balance, interest free
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $185
  • A powerful cash flow management tool
  • Terms and restrictions apply.
Blue Cash EverydaySM Card from American Express
Another card I recently signed up for is the Blue Cash EverydaySM Card from American Express Card because it pays 3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.  I use it primarily at supermarkets and gas stations instead of the Plum Card.  This card has no annual fee and no spend minimum.To recap, Blue Cash EverydaySM Card from American Express Features:
 
  • Earn $100 cash back after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months of Cardmembership
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, flexibility to pay over time
  • Get 3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • NO spend minimum, NO enrollment, and NO rotating rewards categories
  • Get a $25 Referral Bonus for each friend or family member who is approved for the Card
  • No annual fee, flexibility to pay over time
  • Terms and restrictions apply.

 

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

Quick Tips to Get Out of Credit Card Debt

August 30, 2010 | Credit Cards | Guest Post | No Comments

Plastic money often tempts us to get extravagant and we spend more than we can afford. When our expenses exceed our income then there is chance of financial crisis and we might get into the trap of debt. This article would share few tips in order to get rid of credit card debt.

Ways to get out of credit card debt:
   
1) Negotiate to pay off your debt:
Negotiate with your creditor so that the payment plan is affordable for your pocket so that you can repay your debt. Choose debt negotiation and show a reasonable excuse to the creditor for being a defaulter. While you negotiate make sure that you not only lower the outstanding balance but also the interest rate. You can threaten him of filing bankruptcy if the creditor does not agree on your terms of settlement. The creditor would be aware that if you file bankruptcy then he might not get a penny. So he might agree on your clauses as he would be hopeful of getting back a partial amount of his money.

2) Pay the outstanding balance and not the minimum:
Make a monthly payment of your debt instead of paying the minimum amounts make sure you pay off the owed amount. If you are only paying off the minimum balance then your debt would keep on piling as the outstanding balance is not being paid along with the interest rate. And you might take a long time to get rid of debt if you only pay the minimum amount.

The credit card company has used the minimum payment plan as a trap for the consumers to ensnare into the maze of debt. But the debt settlement company can help you pay off your debt and you would be able to achieve financial freedom.   

3) Relatives can be of some help:
Pay off your credit card debts by taking loans from your relatives or friends. In order to come out from the trap of debt you can take loans from them as the family member won’t charge you interest on the amount. But ensure that you repay the owed amount other wise they might not be willing to help you next time in your financial crisis.    

4) Budgeting is essential:

If you think of paying back the owed amount then you have to prepare a budget so that you do not spend more than you can afford. You need to pay off you debts immediately and then plan a budget. In order to avoid the labyrinth of debt budgeting is a crucial part of it.  But if you constantly dissuade from your budgeting track then you might land up in severe trouble.   
 
5) Financial advisor can be helpful:
You can easily come out from the debt trap with the help of the financial advisor. The credit counseling services are beneficial for you as it would show you a path for a debt free life. The financial advisors would help you to manage your finance and get you out of this financial doldrums.

These are the few tips to fight debt and secure your financial future.   

Citibank Offering $50 with Back-to-School Promotion

July 19, 2010 | Credit Cards | No Comments

Citibank is currently offering a $50 credit with their “back-to-school” promotion (ends 9/30/10) for College Students.  Customers receive the $50 credit in addition to standard card features for the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card, the Citi Forward Card, and the Citi mtvU Platinum Select Card.

The Citi mtvU and Citi Forward cards offers 5x rewards on bookstores (includes Amazon.com), movies, music, and restaurants, which amounts to 3.45% cash back or 5% gift card credit from certain retailers.

The mtvU appears better if you get good grades and are willing to send/fax in a transcript every semester, while the Forward card has a better sign-up bonus and ongoing rewards for simply paying your balances on time.

Card features include:

  • $50 statement credit when you make $50 in purchases within 90 days.
  • No annual fee.
  • No cosigner required.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 7 months.
  • $0 liability on fraudulent charges (as with other credit cards).

Tips for Using Credit Cards to Protect Yourself

June 30, 2010 | Credit Cards | No Comments

Credit cards are easy to abuse, but if used correctly, you can use them to your advantage.  I try to use my credit card for everything possible for cashback and rewards.  Over the years I’ve received thousands of dollars in cashback and free airline tickets.  I never worry about the interest rate, because I always pay off the balance.  So far this year I’ve gotten back almost $1,600 in cashback from American Express thanks to personal and business spending.

However, credit cards are not only a convenient way of paying for things, they can also protect you.  Depending on your credit card, services may include fraud and identity theft protection, purchase protection, travel assistance, rental car insurance and credit protection.  Some of these services maybe free with your credit card or cost a small fee.  Check with your credit card company to determine what type of protection you can receive, especially the free ones.

Credit Card Security
U.S. law limits your liability for unauthorized purchases on your credit card to only $50; however, many credit card companies will waive this amount.

Purchase Protection

According to The federal Fair Credit Billing Act, you are allowed to withhold payment for damaged or low quality goods or services purchased with your credit card, as long as you first try to resolve the problem with the merchant. This is subject to certain limitations; however, many credit card issuers have gone far beyond the legal requirements.

Many credit cards offer extended protection against theft or damage, or may reimburse you the difference if you find the same item for a lower price.  Again, you will have to check with your credit card company to determine if this is offered.

Travel Assistance
Many credit cards also offer many different services for travelers that may include roadside assistance, flight insurance and baggage protection. The major credit card companies may also offer emergency assistance to travelers, via a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week hotline.

Rental Car Insurance
Most credit cards companies offer rental car loss and damage insurance if the rental car is paid for with their card. Even if you have car insurance, your credit card company may cover the deductible.

Credit Protection
If you are concerned about your ability to make card payments when times get hard, most credit card companies offer optional plans that will cancel or suspend your monthly minimum credit card payment during certain protected events. Credit Protection products come with a fee, but can be helpful in case of an emergency.