Protecting Your Credit Card Personal Information

We all know that criminals are out there, waiting to steal our credit card information. These very criminals want credit card information so they can run up the charges then leave you holding the bags - with nothing to show for it. Even though some are local, most credit card criminals are in far away lands. Worse than that, they like to hide or go by other names so its virtually impossible to track them down.

The most common way for criminals to get credit card information is through phishing, which involves a fake email that appears to be sent from your credit card company. Normally, this fake email states that there was an error with your account, or that it was accessed by unauthorized personnel and needs your attention.

Spotting fake emails isnt hard to do - as long as you know what to look for. The most obvious hint for most, is the fact that they dont even have a credit card from the company that has sent the email. For others, the link is what gives the fake email away. Anytime you get an email from a credit card that you believe to be fake, you should always hover your mouse over the link, then right click the link with the mouse and select view source. If the link is indeed fake, the website address that comes up will be something other than that of a credit card company.
The criminals dont want you to look at the source for their website, as they simply want you to click on the link before you look at anything else. Once you have clicked on the link, youll arrive at a website that is usually an exact copy of a credit card website. Fake sites normally include everything that the actual site does, including the logos and banners. Even for the most amateur of credit card criminals, web pages like this are very easy to create.
Those of you who have fell victim to this scam, probably realized what you have done little too late. Once you have entered in your credit card information, you have done exactly what the criminals wanted and put yourself in violation of credit card fraud and identity theft. Once the criminal has your social security number and credit card information, he is more than likely to use that information to go on a shopping spree - stealing your money and running up your account.

If you receive an email such as this, you should always delete it. Even if you just click on the fake website to investigate, you may do more harm than good. Even though you may not enter any information at all, your computer may get infected with viruses or spyware simply because you clicked on the link. To avoid this altogether, you should never click on a link that you believe to be a fake credit card company website.

If you do your part and protect your credit card information, you wont have anything at all to worry about. Your personal information is very important, as you never want it to fall in the wrong hands. As long as you protect it, you wont have anything to worry about. There are always criminals out there, which is why you should always be on guard. Criminals want your personal information and your credit card numbers - its up to you to ensure that they dont get it. A criminal will do anything to get what they want, which is why protecting yourself is so very important these days.

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How To Avoid Credit Card Late Feed

Many people ruin their credit card score by not paying their credit card bills on time, or by missing payments. Late fees can be very expensive. Before you know it, the fee has piled up and the interest rate can grow and, after a while, you will not even be able to pay the minimum payment. This could be a disaster for you. But with a bit of careful management, you can avoid late payments and expensive late fees altogether. There are seven golden ways to avoid late fees on your credit card. Let’s look at them.

1. Follow the payment rules

This is one of the most important things you can do, and start doing right now. Sometimes we are sloppy about getting our payments sorted out. But remember that carelessness can cost you. If you mail payments, make sure you fill out the paperwork correctly, make sure your checks are legible, and make sure there is enough postage on the envelope. You will be kicking yourself later if you don’t. And be sure there is enough in the account your transferring from to cover the payment.

2. Make minimum payments immediately

We often procrastinate about paying, even when we have enough to cover the minimum. But a safe strategy is to pay the minimum as soon as your credit card statement arrives. You can always pay more later, and you won’t be tempted to spend what you should be paying off.

3. Change your due date
Bank statements always seemed to arrive at the worst possible time - at the end of the month when we are “skinned”. Most of the time, we are surprised that payment time has come around again and can never keep enough aside to make a payment. The solution is changing the date of your credit card bill to be issued right after payday. A lot of credit card companies will do this, if you ask them.

4. Direct Debit Payment

Setting up your accounts so that your bills are paid automatically is a great way to avoid late fees – no human error! It’s a big plus for you, so that you won’t forget about the payment and kick yourselves the day after it is due.

5. Pay by Telephone

This is a great one for last minute payments, if you know you’re not going to get it done any other way – but be careful. Some banks charge for this service, anywhere from $7 to $20. Still, if it’s lower than the late fee it’s definitely a good option to get your payment made fast.

6. Get your fee waived

If you mailed your payment on time, but you still get hit with a fee? Make sure you challenge it. Do you usually pay on time, but were late just this once? Ask your credit card company to waive the fees. They are sometimes lenient with customers that have a consistent payment record.

7. Change your credit card company

You’ll be shocked when you realise how much you could save by changing to a smaller credit card issuer; the local community bank for example, or a credit union. You’ll also be happy to note that they are more forgiving when you are late with payments.

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7 Tips On How To Get Benefit From Using Credit Cards

It is simple really, as far as taking care of plastic cards is concerned, yet so many of us abuse the flexibility of the credit card. Usually, this is due to paying off debts or extraneous spendthrift activity. If this applies to anyone then it should be a firm decision to simply stop using the card, or find ways to make the card work better. That is to say, other than being a financial sinker for the wallet after a few years of constant spending.

Most of us are aware of how hard it can be to avoid using the plastic credit pals like Visa or MasterCard when its time to pay the fiddler. It is right there in wallets upon entering shops. ‘Hey, I’ll take one of those, no cash in my wallet, but I have my trusty plastic buddy.’ This is probably a very familiar thought, and not one secluded to the husband’s spouse on a weekend shopping spree. Let us face it, all people will spend more than they can afford at some point in their lives. These helpful hints on the use of credit cards will help avoid unpleasant debtors:

Hint 1: Do not let the balance build. Ensure that the outstanding amount is paid off quickly, or the card will suffer interest penalties. Not to mention the insurance, if the option for insuring the payments against unexpected unemployment, as this can really add up. This accrued interest will be noticed once the card is used often, and a hefty debt rears its ugly head.
Hint 2: Many credit cards offer rewards to the consumer that can be spent on travel, discounts, and other ‘rewards through points’ programs. Many of the leading brands will support this point system. Examples are MBNA and American Express.

Hint 3: If the credit card currently owned has a high interest rate – get rid of it. Transfer to a card offering 0% for 6 months, or even some others that give a year. Heavy credit card users will notice the benefits of this simple manoeuvre over an annual period.

Hint 4: Find a card that is useful when needed. Don’t just take a card because it has a $10,000 limit; question that - ‘Do I need that much’ and ‘what will I specifically need the card for??’ These are important questions. If discipline is a problem, the card will become a problem. Take care and use it for needful things and not as a daily spender. That is the path to debt doom…

Hint 5: Recognise and stay within personal limits. Use the amount of household income as a frame of reference to establish this. How much can be spent on the card before monthly bills exceed monthly expenditure? That magic word, or bane of family life, called Christmas soon comes. This is when most people tend to go ballistic and attack the trusty credit card. Care should be taken to ensure that limits are withheld. Spendthrifts do not understand limits, and should avoid credit cards at all costs until cured of the spending bug.

Hint 6: Avoid applying for too many cards, as payments can become difficult. Measure the monthly income against the card limits. If they almost match, or the household income monthly falls below the card limit, a good general rule is to only possess one - or at the most - two cards. This may sound generic and too simple. Work it out. If the card is maxed, and the income falls below that amount, the card will be demanding a hefty minimum payment which may mean that there is no further flexibility on the card as it is maxed, plus there is a staggering minimum amount to pay now.

Hint 7: Avoid late payments. Pay the minimum amount plus more. If you cannot manage more, just pay the minimum, but this means that card usage should cease until available income has increased. Always try to pay the debt off completely or as much of it as possible rather than just paying the minimum amount monthly.

Use credit cards wisely, and they will be a versatile friend. Do this not, and they will become apostates of hell. Be wise, and be sensible, and credit cards will always be a useful aid for every financial need.

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7 Vital Tips To Increase Your Credit Card Limit

Having a credit card gives you flexibility and purchasing power that you have grown used to. But what about when it comes to making those big purchases, or consolidating your debts? There are times when everyone wants to charge more on their card, but banks are not always quick to offer a credit card limit increase. What can you do to sway the banks decision in your favour and take that dream holiday in the sun a bit quicker? Here are some tips that should make you a shoo-in.

The banks want to know that you are a good risk; you have to prove to them you deserve it. The easiest and most obvious first step is to abide by terms and conditions set by your bank.

A less obvious, but equally important strategy, is to prove your overall credit rating. Banks immediately look to your credit score to determine whether you might be a bad credit risk. Keep up on your loan (mortgage, student, car) repayments to avoid damaging your credit rating.

Maxing out the card to the limit is bad news, so use your card sparingly. Keep your outstanding balance to less than thirty percent of the limit, even if you pay off the outstanding amount in full every month. When your credit score is calculated, it will also help to have a low balance on your card relative to your available credit. Remember the thirty percent limit.

The older your active credit history is, the better, in the eyes of the bank. Got any old cards lying around that you haven’t used for a while? Pull them out and put them to work. If you use your old card once in a while for a small purchase, and pay off the full amount before the due date, the information will be updated at the credit bureau and your rating will be positively affected. Don’t use your credit card for emergency purposes only. Use it every chance you get. This is another way to increase your credit limit.
Of course you should always make payments on time – nothing damages your credit rating the way consistently overdue payments can. But if you’ve been a good customer and can’t avoid one late payment – you can request a ‘goodwill adjustment’ to prevent the incident from damaging your record. And it’s never too late to start paying on time – if you make 12 consecutive prompt payments, your lender may re-adjust your account to erase a poor track record.

When you do make your payments, try making more than the minimum. The whole lot if possible. The bank will see that you are comfortable making repayments above your current minimum, proving you will be able to cope with the increased minimums that come with a higher limit.

Ironically, having a higher limit can itself improve your credit rating, which makes it something worth striving for. Once you get your increase – spend wisely and protect it by budgeting carefully. Soon enough, you’ll have the credit you need - and more - for a comfortable, stress free lifestyle.

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You Should Know Your Thieving Credit Card Companies

For a number of credit card consumers, lending options are widely available. However for individuals with bad credit, the options are few and far between. With this in mind, lenders may take advantage of individuals who have problems repaying debt. These organizations typically target people with tarnished credit, elderly, or low-income individuals. Predatory lending for credit cards companies are becoming rampant thanks to the ease of targeting certain demographics and markets.

Predatory lending is a practice that provides unreasonable rates and fees for bad credit consumers. They offer high interest rates and, often, high fees for each credit that they sell to the borrower. By doing so, the repayment amount becomes too steep - or fees become unusually high for the average cardholder.

For people with tarnished credit scores, careful consideration should be taken for “bargain loans.” Bargain loans are programs that promise that an individual’s tarnished credit isn’t a problem. The offers are often labeled as a “limited time” offer and consumers are enticed to quickly apply. In many instances, the lenders offer instant approval or even guaranteed approval for their card application.

Interestingly, it’s illegal for lenders to require payment of fees before a loan is actualized. If this happens, the borrower should immediately report this to the proper agencies. There are plenty of scam operations that charge a huge fee and then not offer the loan to the applicant.
Before applying for such a loan, the applicant should check to see the terms of the credit card before signing the dotting line. One should verify that the terms of agreement is the same as what was discussed with a sale representative.

Individuals with bad credit should try to determine if the lender is a trustworthy company. One can simply ask for references from the lender, or contact the Better Business Bureau for any complaints. Sometimes information about the lender can be found by a simple search in a search engine like Google. News or complaints by customers on popular websites such as ripoff.com can raise red flags. There are even forums for credit cards that have opinions and complaints from cardholders.

Card applicants should shop around as well. The consumer should look at the rates and fees for each credit card and assess which one is right. Sometimes customer service is an important factor. Ask for the customer service hours and service quality.

Credit cards can also come in the form of a secured card. In other words, you would need to provide collateral such as cash to get the credit card. For example, a $300 credit card limit will require you to upfront $300. However, if the credit card company requires that the collateral amount should be over the card limit, then it may be best to walk away from the program.

Predatory lenders also take advantage of the grace period. In fact, the lending company could issue the bill with a payment due date of the mail issue date. This means that by the time the recipient receives the bill, the bill will be already past due. The lender now has means to raise the rates and fees.

Consumers need to be aware of Credit Card companies that are involved in predatory practices, especially consumers with bad credit. As more of these practices become apparent, consumers now have the means to arm themselves from such lenders.

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How Credit Cards Lowering Your Interest Rates

Is your credit card interest too high? Do you carry large balances on your credit cards? Do you want to apply for a new credit card? Many people struggle with these issues everyday. However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Interest rates can be lowered, or eliminated, and a higher percentage of each monthly payment can go to the principal amount on your credit card. This can be accomplished by adhering to the following process.

First, gather all of your credit card bills together. List them in order of the highest percentage rate to the lowest percentage rate you are paying. Once you have this list compiled, you can see how much money is wasted on interest every month. You might now be asking, “What can I do about this?” You are now going to call the customer service number from the card that was first on your list (the highest percentage rate you are paying). Ask to be connected to a customer account representative. When connected, ask the representative if your interest rate could be lowered. Tell the representative how long you have been a customer, you always pay your bills on time, and you never are late with your payments. (If you have been late or missed a payment in the past, your bargaining power is reduced somewhat, but still ask for the interest rate reduction anyway – The answer is always “No” unless you ask.) The representative will most likely put you on hold and come back in a few minutes with an answer. If that answer is “Yes,” then congratulations! You have just saved money. If the answer is “No,” thank the representative for their time and end the telephone call.
After you have called all of your credit cards and had your interest rates lowered, we now want to call them back and ask for a balance transfer. (This is assuming you have more than one credit card. You should wait at least two weeks from the time you made your first call.) A balance transfer will transfer the balance from one credit card to another. The advantage of this is that a balance transfer normally receives a lower interest rate. You may be able to get as low as 2.9%. When you speak to the account representative, ask if you qualify for a balance transfer, what the interest rate would be and the length of time the balance transfer rate will last. It is also important to ask what the balance transfer fee will be.
It can be as much as $75 if you don’t ask for it to be waived. Negotiate with the representative to lower or eliminate the transfer fee. (It still might be worth transferring your balance if you have to pay the fee.) If you qualify, you can transfer the balance from your higher interest card over the phone. If you don’t want to transfer the balance over the phone, ask the representative for balance transfer checks to be sent to you in the mail. You may then use the balance transfer checks to transfer the balance to the lower interest rate card.

The last phase of lowering your credit card interest rates might be to apply for new credit cards. We all get numerous credit card applications in the mail everyday. Don’t just blindly throw these away. Many new cards offer 0% interest on balance transfers. What this means is that you will be paying zero interest. Each payment you make will go directly to pay off the principal amount on your card. You should be aware of the following before you apply for a new card. Do not apply for a card with an annual fee. The credit card company makes too much money as it is and they don’t need an extra annual fee payment from you. As mentioned earlier, try to avoid paying balance transfer fees. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but if you negotiate, you may eliminate the fee altogether.

Credit card debt can be a huge burden. You can, however lighten your debt and pay less interest (or none at all) if you follow the steps in this article. Good luck on your interest-lowering journey.

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Let's See What Secrets Credit Card Companies Hides

Nowadays, almost everyone can get a credit card. Most people get offerings in the mail to apply for them all of the time! Many of these credit cards have very low introductory rates, but then shoot up later, often without you even realizing it! After all, who is going to read all of the fine print on the back of the application? Not many people! In a way, it almost seems deceiving.

The most favorable credit card rates can be found in mid-size regional banks. If a person has a decent credit card history, he or she can apply for a "better rate" card - even if the bank is out of state. They won't come to you though; you have to go to them to apply.

Start by looking at the mid-size banks in your area. If their rates are all too high, you can explore other banks in other low interest states. To find these states you can go to your bank and check out the "American Financial Services Association's Annual Summary of State Consumer Credit Laws and Rates". Or you can go online to explore. One thing to keep in mind when doing your research for low interest states; don't assume that every bank in these states will give you a low credit card rate. Sometimes banks will move their credit card operations to higher rate states that have less restrictive interest regulations. Make sure you find out the credit card rates after you've located a lower rate bank!
Another "secret" that the credit card people don't want you to know is that many of the high-fee, high interest banks try to entice and sign up potential credit card holders by offering special credit card enhancements. These extra services can be almost anything; ranging from insurance and catalog shopping discounts to travel services and rental car discounts. They will also offer "deals" on anything that you can think of, from new cars to pest control!
The reality of these offerings is that you can find just as good or better prices in the city where you live. People living in rural areas might like the idea. But these folks generally can drive to the nearest large city, or shop online for the same savings. These credit card enhancements are usually not worthwhile, and you're still paying those high interest rates!
Remember when using your credit card, that the costliest cash is when you use your card for a cash advance. You will get no "float" or grace period (during which your cash advance or loan is effectively interest-free), and an extra fee will be tacked on to your usual interest charge! If you really need the money it would be cheaper in the long run to take out a collateralized bank loan, even if it will probably be more trouble to arrange.

Use these tips to look around for a lower interest rate credit card from a low interest bank. Don't just sign up for any credit card, especially from the offers you receive in the mail, without first learning what the interest rates will be. If you are careful, and shop around, you should be able to secure a credit card with a rate that you can live with.

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Why You Must Shred Credit Card Applications?

It is common for people to have one or two credit cards. They are convenient to use and can help establish good credit if the cardholder is responsible with their debt amounts and monthly payments. Because credit cards have become so ubiquitous in our world, many of us forget that they need to be protected just as avidly as cash. If your credit card offer has a high credit limit, then you might even want to protect more avidly than cash… unless you routinely carry $10,000 with you.

Identity theft is a big issue these days. You hear a lot about how you should protect yourself. You should shred, rather than just throw away, any documents that have your account numbers on them. This includes bank statements, receipts, loan statements, and credit card offer statements that you want to discard. This is the first form of protection that you should be taking. Often, identity theft begins when someone pulls important numbers out of your trash. You should even shred all of those credit card applications that you get in the mail. Your trash says a lot more about you than you might think. Let’s say that in your trash you have a credit card application that you didn’t want, a doctor’s bill from last month, and a note that you mother wrote you. These are three things that you normally wouldn’t connect to each other. While they don’t have anything to do with each other, the information in these documents could be enough for a savvy thief to steal your identity.

Consider the possibility that the thief already knows your name and address. It’s printed on everything. And even if somehow neither your name nor address is printed on something you throw away, he pulled the credit card application (you can found many applications for MasterCard customers) and other documents out of the trash right in front of your house. Now, also consider that the bill from doctor might use your social security number so that the office will know exactly who the bill is going to and from whom the payment is coming.

What’s your name, your address, and your social security number? These are three questions that are commonly asked by credit card processing companies when they are taking your application over the phone.But could the note from your mother possibly have something in it that would help a thief steal your identity? Credit card companies, in an attempt to offer some protection to current and potential customers, will often ask callers a personal question so that the caller’s identity can be verified.
These questions could be something as simple as “What city were you born in?” or “What’s you father’s middle name?” Stealing someone’s identity sometimes requires the thief to be good at solving puzzles. And a lot of them are. If your mother has signed the note with her first name, then the thief probably has her first and last name. There might be ten people in your city who have your name, but how many also have a mother with the same name as you. By consulting a phone book the thief can then learn your mother’s address. See how the holes start to fill in?

Protecting your identity is necessary, so you should always be certain to shred credit card applications. Throwing them away isn’t good enough. Unfortunately for you, a lot of crooks are very smart.

By: Michael Russell

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Which Credit Card Should You Opt To Use?

Chances are you obtained your credit card because a salesman hailed you in a shopping mall and tossed an attractive prize your way. But is the card right for your needs, as well as for your spending and borrowing patterns? There are two reasons to take a second look at our credit cards now. First, the card market has become more competitive in recent years and you can now take advantage of the latest offers and variations. Second, the ubiquitous credit card is becoming a bigger part of our daily lives. At such high usage levels, the right card could give you hundreds of dollar in savings a year. While there is no one best credit card, there are cards that stand out from the crowd in terms of rewarding you and giving you better savings and there are cards that are right for you based on how you use your plastic. With most cards offering a 20-day, interest-free grace period and late-payment fees, individuals who like to settle their credit card debts in full should opt for cards that provide savings in other forms. For instance, look for a card that has no annual fee and rewards you for spending money. Always read the fine print - several cards are offering 'free for life' deals that come with conditions. For instance, you might have to use the card for a specified number of times or spend a certain amount per annum. If you are in the habit of carrying a substantial balance on your card, forget about 'free for life' cards or bountiful reward programs. Just being in the habit of owing $1,000 on your credit card alone can cost you twice as much a year as the standard annual fees out there. You need to look for a card that minimizes the interest you pay.
That means looking for cards that charge less than the annual 18% industry rate on your outstanding balance and/or cards that give you a rebate on the interest you are charged. What if you pay high value purchases in installments? There are two options available with credit cards. One is offered by associated merchants and is interest-free if you complete payment within the specified tenure. There are also 'flexi-payment' plans provided by the card issuer, and these either have a one-time processing fee or an interest charge. You should find a card that is associated with many merchants since this provides you with the most opportunities to utilize the interest-free installment plan.
In some cases, you may have to pay a processing fee to use this scheme. The best card should then incur lower processing fees if any, to use this plan, while offering long payment tenure. On the other hand, if you prefer flexi-payment, look for a card that charges the lowest interest rate or processing fee and has a good choice of installment time frames.
Remember to compare apples with apples and annualize flat processing fees if you are comparing them with interest rates. To encourage consumers to spend on their particular card, banks give incentives in the form of cash-backs and gifts. Which should you go for? Here's a tip - most gift reward programs give you around 0.5% of every dollar spent. So, it's suitable for the big spenders. If you don't charge a lot to your credit cards, it's wiser to just go for a card with no annual fees.

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Shopping Online With Credit Cards? Here Is 10 Easy Steps To Be Safe

Do you shop online? Do you pay bills online with your credit card? Do you think a credit card is safe to use online?

If your answer is "YES" to at least one of the questions, please read below before using your credit card online again. There are some simple tips that can help you to safeguard yourselves against online credit card theft.

1. Check for fraud protection

Check with your credit card issuer if they provide fraud protection for online purchases. No fraud protection means less safety.

2. Check for temporary credit card number

Some credit card companies offer a temporary credit card number linking to your original credit card. Check with your credit card company if they offer such a thing. If yours doesn't offer such a card then it's always safer to use a credit card with a lower credit limit.

3. Check your computer

Having the latest antivirus software will protect you from trespassers who try to steal your information. Use a browser with 128-bit encryption, which provides maximum security.

4. Check the website

Before entering your personal information check for the lock sign in the bottom status bar of the Internet browser.

5. Check the online merchant

Only buy things from a well-known, trusted merchant. If the merchant is new always check with the local business bureau for any complaints before you buy things from them. Always read the privacy policies, terms and conditions, delivery and return polices.


6. Avoid out of country merchants

Though there are lots of good legal shopping merchants in other countries, it's always difficult to find reliable and trustworthy sellers among them. If you are doubtful, avoid doing business with them since most of the credit card companies will not give much support for international frauds.

7. Keep records.

Maintain all the receipts of your credit card purchases and compare them with your credit card statement. If there are any discrepancies contact your credit card company immediately. If you are a frequent online shopper, don't forget to check your credit card statements often.

8. Know the procedure

You should know what to do and whom to contact when your credit card information is stolen. Keep the phone numbers/contact person name handy so that you can act immediately without wasting time and losing more money.

9. Maintain a diary

If you are a frequent shopper keep records of all your purchases like order number, confirmation number and date of purchase in a diary. If you use more than one credit card, keeping a diary is a must. Even if you lose some of the purchase receipts, your diary will come handy when you check your credit card statement. You know it's easier to lose receipts than a diary.

10. Few more "optional" tips

When you are online shopping don't move from your seat till you are finished and logged out. Make this a habit even when you are using a home computer. Don't do multi tasks.

Online shopping is more fun and easy. Make it safer with these simple steps. "Better Safe than Sorry".

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People With Bad Credit CAN Get Credit Cards Too

Do you have less than stellar credit? If so, you probably know just how difficult it is to get a credit card. If you've looked, no doubt you have found plenty of companies out there, like you can see on the right of blog, that will offer to help you rebuild your credit rating by issuing a credit card. For some people, it is worth it to get one of these cards - even with interest rates around 20%. Just be very careful, because there are extremely high fees involved. Here is what you should know.

Most credit card companies who issue cards to people with bad credit leverage their risk by charging outlandish fees. If you are truly trying to repair your credit, these may be a good option for you. If you are looking for a credit card that you can use immediately, take a closer look. Most of these credit card companies start you off with a low credit limit of around $250. That could be enough to get you out of a bind if you have an unexpected expense. However, these credit card companies charge some pretty hefty fees just to issue you a card.

The first fee that most credit card companies charge is an application, processing or program fee. This can be anywhere from $100 to $150 or more. Most charge a monthly fee of around $10. Then there is the annual fee of around $50. All of this is charged up front, upon approval, and before you even make a purchase. For our calculations, we'll use the best-case scenario. With a $250 initial credit limit, subtract $100 for the program fee, $10 for the monthly fee, and $50 for the annual fee. That's $160 in charges before you make a purchase on your credit card. In our best-case scenario, that leaves you with an available balance of $90 on your new credit card. If the program fee is $150, that only leaves an available balance of $40.

There are other fees you can expect to see each month. Most of these credit card companies require that you have your payments debited directly from your checking account each month. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It will help you pay on time and avoid late payment fees. However, there is a charge for this “service”. It's usually around $10 a month. That's in addition to your monthly fee. If you make a late payment, or if there are insufficient funds in your checking account, you will have to pay a fee of around $35. In addition to the late payment fee, your interest rate will be increased by an average of 5%, and if this causes you to go over your credit limit, another $35 will usually be tacked on.

The whole idea of these credit cards is to rebuild your credit, right? Most of these credit card companies will increase your credit limit when you pay on time. In the fine print though, you'll find that this will cost you around $25 every time you have an increase. You may or may not be able to control whether or not the credit card company raises your limit. Most will increase your limit every six months. This brings the annual cost for your credit card to around $440 for your first year, and that's if you don't have any penalties; and before interest is charged.
If you are trying to get some quick money, and you have bad credit, opening a credit card account for people with bad credit is probably not a great idea. If you are truly trying to rebuild your credit, just understand that it will cost you to do so. You will have to endure high fees that eat up your available credit. You will have high interest rates. And you will have high penalty and monthly fees to contend with. With time and persistence, you will be able to rebuild your credit and get a credit card that does not charge you so much.
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Why I Still In Love With Credit Cards

A conversation from five years ago:

“Today,” said a college freshmen friend, “I’m going to cut up all my credit cards, and never use any of them again.”

“Huh? Why?” I asked.

“Because I can’t stop using them! It’s getting me into a big pile of debt!”

“Oh please. That’s just silly,” I said as I dismissed her opinion, “it can’t be that bad.”

Two years and $10,000+ of my own debt later, I thought to myself: Hmm, maybe Deanna was onto something after all.

Most people know this fact: credit cards, when used irresponsibly, can land your booty in a pit of messy debt. Without credit cards, I probably would have been less in debt, perhaps in the ranges of a few thousand instead of ten thousand — but let’s face the fact, I would have been in debt regardless. It was 99% me and 1% credit card; the credit card didn’t magically swipe itself.

But despite everything, I still love credit cards. I rarely carry cash and I swipe my card on almost everything. Yes, even when purchasing $0.49 chewing gum. In fact, I buy pajamas with pockets just so I can have the credit cards with me while I sleep!

You might ask: what are you, a moron?

Although the answer is a convincing yes, that isn’t the reason why I still love credit cards.

I’ve been paying my purchases in full since I dragged my behind out of debt, and it has been years since I had a finance charge on my credit cards due to purchases.

I’ve racked up enough reward points on my American Express card to keep my subscription to the WSJ going for the next six years; I’ve also gotten enough cash back via my Citi Dividend Card to pay for months of broadband service, and I’ve earned hundreds in interest through various 0% balance transfer offers.

All these rewards and benefits of credit cards came about at the simple and “easy” price of responsible credit card usage. Pretty sweet, in my opinion.

On the Other Hand…

The average undergrad student has about $2,200 in credit card debt, and about one in twenty American households owes $8,000 (or more) on their credit cards. Statistically speaking, if you’re a college student — you probably have (or had) credit card debt.

Credit cards aren’t exactly a consumer friendly financial product. From high interest rates , two-cycle balance calculation method, to fees upon fees — it can be very easy for people to fall into the credit card trap. It’s little wonder why many people advocate avoiding credit cards.

You Don’t Have to Love Them Too

Just because some online nut job loves his credit cards enough to blog about them — doesn’t mean you have to get on the bandwagon too.

There are plenty of people that have stopped using credit cards due to the potential financial trouble credit cards may cause them — and that is perfectly okay. If you have serious doubts about your ability to use a credit card wisely and decided to forgo using them regularly — chances are, you’ll be fine.

Credit cards are not the only way to build credit (although they may be one of the simpler way). Even so, you do not need to actively use your credit card to build credit. You especially don’t need to carry a balance to build credit.

And let’s face it — earning points, rewards, or cash back is entirely pointless if you’re paying hundreds or thousands in finance charges.



However You Want to Swing It

If you manage your budget wisely and spend responsibly but are put off from using a credit due to the numerous horror stories, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Of course, if you use credit cards daily without understanding the cost associated with them, you may be putting yourself in financial risk.

At the end, regardless of how you feel about credit cards, having a full understanding of their pros and cons can benefit you immensely. After all, it’s entirely silly to love or hate something without really knowing it.
Love them, hate them, or don’t really care? You can vote on the top right of the blog.

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Overview Of Chase Freedom Credit Card

Yeah so the blog’s previews (& other upcoming post) takes about a few decade to become a full review… but you know, good things comes to those that wait etc. etc.

If you’re the cable news TV type, you may have noticed the ape-crazy advertising campaign that Chase has set up for the Chase Freedom Credit Card. In fact, as far as I can tell, the Chase Freedom ad is also aggressively marketed on many online news site.


The gist:


  • A cash-back credit card that can be converted to earning points, depending on customer preference.

  • 3% cash back (or points) for every $1 spend at eligible Gas, Grocery, and Quick Service Restaurant purchases.

  • Quick Service (as in fast food joints), but this may also include places such as sandwich, bagel, and coffee shops!

  • 1% cash back (or points) for every $1 spend elsewhere.

  • Save up $200 in cash back and get $250 back! (Essentially 3.75% or 1.25% cash back, depending on purchases).

  • Maximum of $600 in purchase within a billing cycle for the 3% category.

  • Cash back expires in 36 months, while points expire in 60 months.



Pros:

  • 3% cash back may be as good as it gets for now.

  • 3% cash back for trans fat filled burritos, burgers, fries, and donuts! Oh my!

  • 3.75% cash back for those that are patient.

  • No more two-cycle billing method.

  • New Chase site allows for easier cash-back claim and switching to point.



Cons:

  • High interest rate: 14.24% APR for good credit, 18.24% APR for moderate, and finally 23.24% APR for marginal credit. (Prime rate are high these days).

  • 3% international purchase/transaction fee. Yuck.

  • It’s another freaking credit card in your wallet.



by stopbuyingcrap.com

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Why Do People Need More Than One Credit Card?

A few days ago, I was in San Fransisco with a friend, eating burgers at a Korean/Japaneses/Asian fusion (whatever that is) restaurant called Namu (Nothing beats burgers at an asian restaurant. heh. Yelp reviews can be found here).

Being the awesome friend that he is, my friend paid for the lunch with his semi-recently acquired Citi mTVU student credit card. This credit card was his first credit card and it was none other than yours truly that recommended the card to him.

“Ah, so you’re using the card now eh?” I said to the friend calculating the tip amount. “Do you like the card?”

“It’s great! I’ve racked up quite a bit of points already.” my friend told me as he writes down a 15% tip.

The funny thing about all of this, is that my friend is at least a year or so older than me. He is almost out of graduate school, and will soon be making a nice six figure salary. Besides his student loan, which is also of a sickening six figure amount, my friend has never been in debt.

It was only about a half a year ago, when I had lunch with him that he pulled out his debit card to pay for his lunch.

“Why don’t you use your credit card?” I asked him.

“Oh. Um, I don’t have one.” he told me nonchalantly.

My jaw would have dropped, but this was not the first time I came across a situation like this. Despite the media report, there is still quite a good amount of college/graduate students without a credit card — and from my experiences, that’s probably a good thing.

I have already mentioned that I love credit cards (even though it is the very thing that got me into the debt mess), but that doesn’t mean I despise people that use debit cards. Like my friend here, I have many other friends that didn’t get a credit card until a certain annoying friend told them to. All of these friends that don’t have a credit card have an interesting difference to my other friends with credit cards.

What’s this difference?

You’ve probably already guessed it: None of them have high-interest consumer debt.

And so, I went ahead and recommended to these friends that don’t have a credit card to get a credit card. heh.

No no, not because I want them to get into debt — I’m not that petty, dammit. I recommended a credit card to them because I know fully well that they already have the capability to manage their cash wisely, and so I trust that they will also manage their credit wisely.

They have already been paying their purchases in full for years, so switching to a different paying method should not affect their spending habits.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.

As we walked out of the Asian fusion restaurant (heh) and continue to chat about the benefits of using a credit card wisely, my friend asked me this question:

Why do people need more than one credit card?

This was a really refreshing question. I was stumped a bit on the question, not because I couldn’t immediately think of a reason on why people use different cards (mileage, gas, rebates, cash back, etc.), but more so because of whom the question is from.


Here was a guy who has never had a credit card until recently. He’s enjoying the free rewards from the purchases as he diligently pays off his bill every month. He is content with the credit card that he has, and to him, having one credit card is more than plenty. He does not look forward to dealing with more than one bill, nor does he care to juggle various reward cards to get the maximum reward/cash-back.

It is interesting that for awhile, I thought it was normal and perfectly acceptable for people to have many different types of credit cards — all the while, my friend can’t even fathom the reason why people need more than one card.

“Hmm. To be honest, most people probably don’t need more than one credit card.” I finally answered my friend. “There’s plenty of good reasons to have more than one credit card, since you can utilize different card for different transactions. But yeah… at the end, having more than one credit card, or even more than a few, is probably unnecessary.”

I proceeded to tell him the usual story about the average household credit card debt, and how people get one card to transfer the debt from one to another. And then I told him about how people unknowingly get high interest card, neglect to pay in full and became undisciplined in their spending with credit cards.

“So as you can see, credit card can really be a world of trouble for many people.” I told my friend. “The only reason why I recommended them to you is because I know you won’t abuse them.”

And I’ll continue to stick with these guidelines when I recommend credit cards.

If you already have more than one credit card, ask yourself this question:

  • Why do I need more than one credit card?


Depending on your answer, you may be able to see where you stand financially.
If you are considering getting a credit card, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do I need a credit card?

  • What would I use for it for?

  • Will I pay my balances in full?


Educate yourself with the resources available. Learn to utilize cash wisely before you try credit. If you have trouble managing your cash flow, you will most likely have trouble with a credit card. Don’t know which card to choose? Ask around!

Although I love credit cards, you can probably get by these days without ever touching one. Don’t get suck into the idea that you need a credit card. Don’t get more than one credit card because you think you should. Lastly, whatever you do, don’t get a credit card just because the cashier asked you if you wanted one.

by stopbuyingcrap.com

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HOWTO: Understand Credit Card Terms & Conditions, Because You Don’t Want to Get Screwed

Applying for credit cards without reading the card’s terms and condition, is like selling your soul to the devil for a mystery bag. Not a smart thing to do.

In a quest to save more souls, here’s the kick-ass guide to understanding credit card terms & condition, all for your benefit. Let’s use the Best Credit Card Offer Ever as our reference!

FACT: Under federal law, all credit card solicitation or applications must contain certain key information. This key information is usually inserted in a disclosure box, as seen below:




I. A Closer Look at the Disclosure Box

To get a better understanding of the disclosure box, or, the actual credit card offer, you’ll need to better understand the actual terms involved. Before we go further, it may help if you click on picture above and leave it open, so you can refer to it as we go over each of the terms and condition.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases: This is the annual rate you’ll be charged if you carry a balance from month to month. In a credit card offer with an introductory rate, this is where you’ll also see it listed. For our example, the APR for purchases is 9.99%.

Other APRs: This is where other annual percentage rates for other types of transaction are listed. Take our example, it’s balance transfer APR is 9.99% and it’s special opening cash advance is also 9.99%; however, it’s regular cash advance is 19.99%–a hefty interest rate. The delinquency APR is an even higher 23.99%.

Variable-Rate Information: In this box, you’ll see how your variable rate is determined. Generally, the purchases APR will be a variable rate, such as 3% + the Prime Rate, while the balance transfer APR will be a fixed rate. There’s generally also a footnote with an explanation on how prime rate is determined—usually by the highest prime rate published in The Wall Street Journal on the last business day of the month.

In our “Best Credit Card Offer” example, ALL the rates (purchase, cash advance, and balance transfer) are variable! Through your February 2007 cycle, the rates are 1.99% + prime rate, but it will never be lower than 9.99%, even if the prime rate is at a miraculous 1.00%. After 2/07, the rates will increase to a 4.99% + prime rate. Yay! The Prime Rate for our example is also determined a bit differently, but it is still based upon the WSJ.

Grace Period for Purchases: This is the amount of days you have to pay your bill in full before incurring finance charges. It’s 25 days in our example, which means if you start the current billing cycle without a balance, and you bought a brand new Ionic Breeze Air Purifier (for the awesome price of $399) you’ll have 25 days to pay off the charge before interest starts to accrue. Grace period rocks! You should also note that grace period usually applies only to purchases, and not to balance transfer or cash advance, which accumulates interest right away!

Balance Calculation Method: This box will determine how you get screwed over. Specifically, this is the method in which interest on balance are calculated. Similar to our example, most cards these days are calculated by the average daily balance method including new purchases. There are other types of method, such as the funky two-cycle average daily balance method; the better (but rarely seen) average daily balance method excluding new purchases; the adjusted balance method and the previous balance method.

Annual Fees: Straight forward enough. The annual fees associated with the card. They can either be none, like our example and many other credit cards, or $75 to $100, like many airline mileage credit cards. For your benefit, you should probably go with a card without an annual fee, unless you really do take advantage of a card’s benefit.

Minimum Finance Charge: This is the funny box, where they state the minimum amount of finance charge you’ll receive if you carry over a balance. Example, if you carry over a balance of $0.20, you’ll receive the finance charge of $1.00, even though actual interest on that balance is only about $0.02.

Specific Transaction Fees: Most credit cards will have a section that explains the fees associated with a certain type of transaction (e.g., cash advance, balance transfer). In our lovely example, the fees for cash advance and balance transfer is 3% of the amount of each cash advance, but not less than $5 nor more than $50 (fee waived for transaction in connection with accounting opening). This means that if you initiate a balance transfer of $5,000 after you opened the account, the balance transfer fees would be $50. 3% of $5,000 = $150, but fees won’t exceed $50 as stated in the terms. Watch out for credit card offers with high maximum fees, or NO maximum fees!

Late Payment Fee & Overlimit Fee: This is rather self explanatory. According to our example, if you pay late because you’re busy watching Battlestar Galactica, you get a nice $35 late fee. If you went over your limit because you’re horrible at arithmetic, you also get an awesome $35 overlimit fee.


II. Footnotes That You Really Should Read



What’s a credit card offer without asterisk and footnotes? Some of the most important terms and condition are within the vary footnotes of the card’s terms and condition. The very solicitation itself requires a footnote, as many Pre-approved offers are rather like a craps shot. Example of footnotes below:



Here are some more important terms that you should look out for:

Other Fees: Yes, more of them. Return Check Fee, Returned Payment Fee, Stop Payment Fee, Copy Fee, you name it, they probably have it. For our specific “Best Credit Card Offer,” if you pay off your balance transfer early, there’s a cool Early Pay-Down Fee of $600! Before you apply for a credit card, you should always check for all types of possible fees associated with the usage of the card.

Pre-Qualified Status: In these explanation footnotes, the terms spell out exactly what it means to be Pre-qualified for an offer. Usually, a credit card company receives information about you from a credit reporting agency—based on that information, the card company has determined that you may qualify for the credit card offered. Problem is, the information they received from the credit reporting agency may be out of date, or your credit history may have changed since, which might result in your credit application being denied. Just because they say you’re Pre-approved or Pre-qualified, doesn’t really mean you are!

Cash Advance Definition: Some credit card offers will specifically lay out what a cash advance is. Cash advance is the most expensive type of credit card transaction, as most cash advance have no grace period—the interest starts accumulating the second you initiate the transaction! In our example, cash advance is basically any transactions that are directly converted to cash. This includes purchase of gaming chip and gaming transaction! So the next time you’re thinking of using your credit card to pay for your chips at the casino, you better make sure your credit card doesn’t consider that as a cash advance.

Delinquency/Default APR: This is the fixed, foobar rate. It is usually the highest rate within a credit card terms. If you pay your credit card late too many times, you may be in danger of having your rates changed to the default (penalty) rate. Most credit cards offer will explain the default APR more clearly when you’re actually approved, however our pre-qualified offer here actually spells it out quite nicely. Basically, if you pay in two consecutive months, or two times in any six months period, you get hit with the default APR. To get out of the high APR, you simply need to make six consecutive timely payments.

III. Other Things That You Really Should Know

Credit Limit: Although usually not mentioned specifically in a credit card offer, the credit limit of a credit card determines the maximum amount you may charge on your credit card. This includes regular purchases, balance transfers, cash advance, fees and finance charges. If you go over this limit, well, you know what happens.

Cash Limit: The cash limit is the maximum amount you can utilize of cash advance. This is generally a specific dollar amount (such as $1,000) or a percentage of your total credit limit (e.g., 50% of your credit limit).

Type of Credit Card: Are you applying for a secured credit card or a regular, non-secured credit card? There’s a big difference here. Secured credit cards are generally for those with poor or no-credit, requiring a security deposit to open an account. Generally, the larger the security deposit you make, the larger your credit limit. Non-secure credit cards are of course the ones that do not require a security deposit; these are the regular cards that you see most of the time.

IV. Is That All You’ll Need To Know?

You wish. This is a brief glimpse into the basic terms and condition that you’ll find on a credit card offer. When you actually apply for the card and you’re approved, the real terms and condition sent to you can be an even more confusing read.

Still, the gist of things and the important terms you should know about are all above. Because credit card terms and condition are always changing (and usually not in your favor), you should definitely pay attention to the modified terms and condition sent to you by your credit card companies. After all, it would be awfully silly to pay for fees that you didn’t even know existed.

by stopbuyingсrap.com

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HowTo: Avoid Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is becoming more and more of a problem, and if you are not careful then you could lose money to fraudsters. If you are worried about fraud but are unsure how you can protect yourself and your credit cards, then this article could help you. Here are some useful tips and advice about how to protect yourself from credit card fraud:

Methods of fraud

The methods and types of fraud are increasing as criminals learn new techniques and get improved technology. The most common methods of fraud today include:


  • Copying and ‘cloning’ of cards

  • ATM fraud

  • Internet card fraud

  • PIN number stealing


All of these methods are used more commonly than ever before to effectively steal your money. Obviously, it is impossible to totally eliminate the problem of credit card fraud, but there are things you can do to greatly reduce the risks.

Keep cards close

Make sure that you never let your cards out of your sight. Never leave cards unattended, and certainly don’t lend your card to anyone. If you are paying in a restaurant or shop, make sure you pay attention as to where your card is. A common method used to copy your card is to get the details whilst you pay, so keep an eye on your card at all times.

Check receipts

Whenever you get a receipt or a credit card bill, check that all the items and amounts are correct. If there are any amounts that you are unsure about, contact your card issuer immediately. Any paperwork that you throw away should be disposed of properly. Shred documents so that people cannot go through your rubbish and discover your card details.


Look behind you



When withdrawing money from a cash machine, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder to read your PIN. The easiest way for someone to use your card illegally is to see your PIN and then steal the card. Also, make sure you never keep a written record of your PIN, especially near your cards.

Use reputable firms



When buying on the Internet, make sure that you only purchase items from large and well-established providers. Small or unknown providers should be avoided as even if they are genuine, their security and encryption may be poor and allow fraudsters to access your details.

Keep contact numbers

If you have your card stolen or you think you have been the victim of credit card fraud, then you need to sort the problem out as quickly as possible. Keep all the contact numbers for your card issuer in a safe place so that you can call them up and sort out problems immediately. If you are careful and act quickly, you can limit the damage of fraud or prevent it occurring at all.

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Airline Credit Card Necessities

An airline credit card is the perfect addition to the wallets of those who spend a lot of time traveling on planes. These cards allow you to build up points that you can spend in any number of different ways. Not all airline credit cards are created equal, in fact some are not any good at all and it is your job to determine which is which before you sign the contract. You do not want to get sucked into a bad credit card contract, believe me, this is something you want to avoid like the plague. So what can you do to make sure that the airline credit card you choose has all the necessities that you’ll need?

The very first thing that you need to look at when trying to choose the airline credit card for you is the interest rate. Do not get blinded by the flashy introductory rate, look at the long term rate. This will be the interest rate that kicks in after the first few months. This will be the one that you pay for years and years and years, so obviously it is the important one. You will be able to find out all about the interest rate in the airline cards contract.

If you do not read through the contract of your airline card then you deserve everything that comes you way and let me tell you, there will be a lot coming! Airline credit cards just like any other credit cards on the market can have all kinds of hidden fees and loopholes that will cost you a bundle over the years. These are what you need to be on the lookout for at all times when you have an airline credit card.

Here are some things to find out before you sign for that airline card:

What are the minimum monthly payments going to be? These are usually a percentage of the principal of the balance owed on the airline credit card.

How long is the grace period? This is the amount of time that you will have before you have to make a payment on what you have purchased with your airline credit cards. This can be anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month. If you fail to make the payment on time you could be faced with late fees and a higher interest rate.

What are the penalty fees? Most credit cards have all kinds of different fees that they can slap you with. There are late fees, annual fees ad dozens more that can pop up when you least expect them. You need to know what all of these fees are if you want to be able to avoid them each year.

What are your credit limits on the airline card? If you do not know your credit limit you will not know when you need to stop spending. If you go above your credit limit then you will be faced with charges that can cripple you. You must always stay on top of how much you have owning on your airline credit cards, always.

Your airline credit card can be a great way for you to learn points towards any trips that you want to take down the road. You can use these points to travel for business or to travel for pleasure. These airline cards are especially useful to those who spend a lot of time in the air. The best part of airline credit cards is the fact that often times you can use the money for other things besides traveling in the air. You can also use them to pay for hotel stays or even food or gadgets! If you have not yet looked into all of the many benefits that come from having your own airline credit card then now is the time.

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0% Credit Cards

These days, credit cards in the UK are competing with each other on two very attractive offers with a headline rate of 0%. These 0% credit cards will be either balance transfers; introductory purchases offers or a combination of the two. This article looks at how to get the best out these types of card and the things to that the credit card companies want you to do and therefore the things to avoid. There is a school of thought that believes that these types of card will soon be a thing of the past as they cost the credit card companies too much profit, as consumers get wiser to the pitfalls.

A balance transfer credit card is basically an offer of either a zero interest rate or very low interest rate for a set period. The typical period is 6 months although there are variations on this and there have even been some low rates set for the lifetime of the balance. However, these are becoming rare. Once, the offer period expires then the outstanding balance reverts to the standard rate on purchases. This is very important, as at this point the credit card company will hope the consumer will not take any action and so the company can begin to earn money on the balance.

A 0% purchase offer credit card has many similarities to the balance transfer offers. The introductory rate and period are usually 0% and 6 months in the same way as the balance transfer. Also, once the period expires the outstanding balance is subject to the standard rate on purchases. It is an important point to note that the introductory rate does not apply indefinitely on purchases made in the period, but only applies for the duration of the introductory period.

It is often the case that credit card companies will offer both the balance transfer and 0% on purchases on the same card. When this is not the case it is wise to keep balance transfers and purchases separate. This is because the balance transfer portion of an outstanding balance will be paid off quicker than the standard rate purchases. Therefore an increasing portion of the balance will be subject to the standard rate and the balance transfer portion will decrease at a faster rate. There is nothing to stop a consumer obtaining a credit card with a balance transfer and a separate low interest credit card for any purchases to be made. That way the benefits of the offers are maximised.

In summary the balance transfer and 0% purchase offers can be of great benefit to the consumer provided that the consumer understands how to use the offers to their advantage. A degree of discipline is required in managing repayments. Also, the cardholder should be aware of any penalties that may cause the offer to be cancelled. Armed with this knowledge then these cards can be made to work for the consumer, but remember that when comparing credit cards to pay close attention to the typical APR, which is, always stated where UK credit cards are promoted.

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How I Quickly Doubled My Money

I have never told this part of my story - I guess I was
a little concerned that people would feel that this strategy
was the "RIGHT" strategy - it isn't, but it can really be a
good strategy if you have the right education.

When I started trading for a living in 1997 I borrowed money
to invest in stocks. I started by getting margin loans. I had
used my home equity to buy investments in the past so it wasn't
totally new to me.

First I borrowed $50 000 and then I borrowed another $60 000.

Was this risky? YES - it was, because I was learning what to do
as I went. What I did was I looked at stocks I liked and I went
from trading the stocks to trading leveraged instruments like:

instalments, options and warrants.

At the top my portfolio was worth over $800 000 and a lot of
that was due to the re-investment of profits. I always re-invested
my profits into the next stock or play.

The other aspect which acted as a roller coaster was that I chose
speculative situations. Within three years I had made $700 000
and started to lose money big time in 2000.

Now please don't use this recipe - it is very dangerous to do
any of these things. What would make it less dangerous?

Good question - I'm glad you thought of it! Firstly, you need to
have a system. Your system tells you when to buy and when to sell.
I also suggest you get educated in the market you want to trade and
technical analysis.

To make anything less risky you must be in control. Is it possible?
Well you can try - but there are no guarantees!

1*Have a system
Your system rules are so important because they help you keep what
you make.

2*Next you need money management rules. One of the reasons I lost
a lot of money was because I was putting too much money in the
trade and not limiting my risk.

3*You can't run a trading business successfully or for very long
without training. It's like, would you want to operate on people
without the qualifications of a doctor?

There are professionals that produce trading methodology and you
MUST have this knowledge and a "system" - I nearly got cleaned
up because I didn't have it. The methodology also helps you learn
to play the market UP, DOWN or SIDEWAYS. Playing the game only
when the market is going "up" is too limiting on your profits.

Get to know your market and use a charting program to study price
movements. Metastock is a well-known charting package, but there
are others.

4*Don't borrow unless you can cover the lost money.

Please don't be foolish. If you play with borrowed money you should
have a similar amount in cash sitting in your bank account. Playing
with profits is good and easy, but when it's not your money you become
an emotional player and you will LOSE BIG TIME!

5*Following on from that point - get a grip on yourself. You must act
mechanically - not emotionally. You make decisions because your system
tells you to BUY or SELL, not because the rent is due.

Trading for a living is possible when you have no problems paying your
living expenses. I'm talking from experience. I've had to take on a job
just to help me get through my losses. It wasn't an easy time for me,
but I did learn a lot from my experience and I make that available to
anyone who is interested - check the link below in the author's bio.

If you choose to live by trading week to week you may find trading won't
work for you. There are a few things to sort out first and one of them
is peace of mind - then you can make good decisions.

6*Know when to quit a trade - before you enter and apply "stop loss" during
the trade. Quit the losing trade. Protect your profit by getting out while in
profit.

7*Decide the type of trader you wish to be, but don't try daytrading till
you are successful with your method. You can trade different time intervals:

minutes, days, weeks, months or years.

The shorter the time interval the more you have to be on the ball. You need
to get to know your market very well. Your market could be: stocks, options
or futures. If you choose a currency to trade then gewt to know the chart
of that currency very well.

Well now you know how I made money very quickly by compounding my profits.
Of course the same works in reverse - you can also lose your money very
fast!

Regards,
Joseph Sgro

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How Poker Sites Progressed Into The Most Lucrative Deal?

Less than a decade ago, gambling is seen in casinos, sports betting, horse races, scratch cards, and other types which require betting money or goods in some cases. And just a few years ago, online gambling has started to sprout everywhere internet arena is located. Today, online gambling sites are rampant and becoming an entity to whichever website you are going to visit. The system has penetrated the widest storage of information and database just as easily as gambling would change the life of an individual. If it happens that you are reading this article and visited other websites, chances are good that you will unexpectedly come across a website or pop-ups that are promoting a certain online gambling.

Online gambling is easier than the traditional procedure of placing bets. Through this new trend of gambling, you need not got out of your home and spend your money all night over a game. With online gambling sites, you can pick one that you like most to place bets with. And when you have chosen the best one that suit your fancy, all you need to do in betting is enter your credit card account number or take an amount from any of your account and then there you are, playing at your own time and convenience. And when you’re lucky enough and won, you have the option to place bet your winning money to other online gambling games.


Online gambling sites cater to different games such as sports of horse racing, basketball, and football. Many patronize these game websites to serve as pastimes. And then there is this game that is growing rapidly in popularity: the poker game. Poker can be considered the most popular card game all around the globe. It is a game that started centuries ago and evolution of how it is played resulted for the now standard 52-card in a deck. In casinos, the money that you are going to spend on the poker game is traded in for its equivalent number of chips. After the game, the winning chips are once again to be traded for money.

Online poker sites are blatantly scattered in the internet. This is because this has provided a lucrative deal with the website owners. Unlike other similar commercial programs, poker sites bring in more promising business revenue. In fact, many website owners are using poker sites as partner affiliates. This started when many were able to uncover the lucrative potential goldmine in the poker game sites. This is why the affiliate programs are giving poker sites first priority to tie-up with them. Consequently, the competition on this multi-billion dollar poker industry is rising into what apparently is already a ceaseless progression.

The Revenue That Affiliate Program Benefits

In order to play in the poker site, you should sign-up an account with them. The average life span of the account that online poker sites will usually provide the player is in as short as 3 months. During this timeframe, the affiliate program earns revenue. But in the cases of the players who enjoyed the site much, they tend to extend their stay with the poker site. So, when the player opts to sign-up an account that will last for several more months or even years, the affiliate program will gain even bigger amount out of the revenue.

By: Robert Langdon

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Paying Off Your Credit Cards

Credit card debt is a huge problem for many if not most Americans. We know that we need to get the cards paid down but it can be difficult. You might never seem to be able to make a dent in them. Read this article and get a few tips to help you pay your credit cards off for good.

The first tip and the one you have probably heard the most is that you must pay more than your monthly minimum to get your cards paid off. This is absolutely true. If you just pay the minimum payment on your card it will take decades to pay them off. Try to at least double the payment so that you are actually paying principal off instead of just interest.

Next, transfer balances to 0% interest cards. Many credit card companies will give you promotional rates of 0% interest when you transfer card balances over to them. This will save you a huge amount in interest payments. Be careful not to charge up the new card or the card you transferred the balance from. Cancel your old credit card or at least cut it up to keep from being tempted.


If you have a home and have equity, get a home equity loan to pay off debt. If you have equity in your home cash it out and pay off that debt. The interest you will pay on the home equity loan is much less than you will pay on your credit cards. This can save you hundreds of dollars a month, depending on your debt.

My last tip and the most important one is to not make nay new charges. Take all of your cards out of your wallet and leave them at home. If necessary, cut them up. This will keep you from making those impulse credit card purchases that will keep you from paying them off.

Overall the most important thing to have when trying to pay down credit cards is discipline and patience. make yourself a plan, follow these simple tips and have patience. Eventually you will get yourself out of debt.

By: James C

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