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In these uncertain times we have to be vigilant about protecting our assets and we have some tips for making it through the forest. This week the art of negotiation can be the key to your success, whether it’s using the right ammunition when speaking to credit card companies or downgrading your toddlers credit score, deal making is the name of the game. As always, if you enjoy any of our favorite bloggers, we encourage you to follow them on Twitter for regular updates. And don’t forget to follow Credit.com at @CreditExperts.

Giving Friend and Family Too Much Credit? Time for a Downgrade
If you’re dolling it out for dinner, travel and bills for your loved ones without much coming back in return, a personal downgrade might just get their attention.  Using the same letter rating as rating agencies you can instantly send a message to your once AAA spouse, child or friend. If you’re feeling creative you can make up your own letter ratings. These downgrades can be a negotiating strategy for many things, in this case DVR space. @cjfarley @wsj

Your Phone Bill Can Be A Credit Card – But With Some Risks
Soon you’ll be able to purchase digital content and charge it your phone bill. T-Mobile is touting the system’s purchase security and convenience, but there are major pieces of the puzzle that have yet to be disclosed. How much can be charged, what the interest rates are and charge dispute liability for consumers are unknown. It seems that healthy skepticism is the tone on the new purchase method for now.  @CNNTech

Use This Script to Negotiate Credit Card Late Fees
Missing a credit card payment can happen to the best of us but the late fees that come with them can be sidestepped if you know what to say.  Mint’s simple and direct script for use in negotiating away bank fees is effective and should work for most people. This is a very quick and easy way to recapture some of the money from your bank. @Ramit @Mint

Capital One Snags HSBC Credit Card Business
Store-brand credit cards are a big business and Capital One is at the forefront of the trend after the recent buy out of HSBC accounts. Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Best Buy cardholders just got themselves a new creditor and Capital One is getting closer to dominating the private label credit card market. @washingtonpost

Visa Pushes PIN Requirement With Credit Card Purchases
Visa is bringing the U.S. into a new era of credit card security. Using a computer chip in the card as an auto-identifier, along with customer PIN entry requirements, there will soon be an extra level of  checks and balances in place when we make purchases with our credit cards. Widely used in Europe, the “chip and PIN” system is finally making its way stateside. @informationweek

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