Matt Brownell Gravatar

Matt Brownell

In Credit Cards, Identity Theft

Matt Brownell previously covered retail and personal finance for MainStreet.com, TheStreet’s consumer news outlet. Now a business journalist based in New York City, his work has been featured on Fox Business, Yahoo, Newsweek and Bankrate.

Rates on a Plane: The Expanding Frontier of Credit Card Sales

Credit Cards

Rates on a Plane: The Expanding Frontier of Credit Card Sales

Rates on a Plane: The Expanding Frontier of Credit Card Sales

Passengers are used to hearing flight attendants give safety briefings and warn of the perils of using their smartphones below 10,000 feet. But in recent years, flight attendants have added a new in-flight announcement to their repertoire: the credit card sales pitch. It’s a bit jarring the first time you hear the pitch and see… Read More

Retailers Predict Massive Online Holiday Shopping Season

Identity Theft

Retailers Predict Massive Online Holiday Shopping Season

Retailers Predict Massive Online Holiday Shopping Season

Projections for holiday retail spending are watched closely every year, with consumer spending during the biggest shopping season of the year seen as a strong indicator for consumer sentiment. While sales growth was sluggish in the wake of the recession, it’s shown strong growth in recent years; in 2011, holiday sales increased by 5.6% over… Read More

Reno: The Biggest Little Debt-Ridden City in America

Managing Debt

Reno: The Biggest Little Debt-Ridden City in America

Reno: The Biggest Little Debt-Ridden City in America

The Biggest Little City in the World is also the most in-debt city in America. Reno, Nev., holds the distinct of having the highest average debt load per person, with the average resident holding $27,320 in non-mortgage debt. That’s according to Experian, which released its annual State of Credit report last week. The report, which… Read More

The Most Costly Mistake to Make With Your Bank Account

Personal Finance

The Most Costly Mistake to Make With Your Bank Account

The Most Costly Mistake to Make With Your Bank Account

There’s nothing more expensive than spending money you don’t have. That, of course, is a lesson you might learn the hard way if you carry a balance on a high-interest credit card. But spending beyond your means can be a pricey proposition even with a debit card. Bankrate.com released its annual checking survey Monday, assessing… Read More

What a Good Store-Brand Credit Card Looks Like

Credit Cards

What a Good Store-Brand Credit Card Looks Like

What a Good Store-Brand Credit Card Looks Like

The list of questions you get asked at the checkout counter seems to grow every year. In addition to the standard “Did you find everything you’re looking for?”, customers may be asked to donate a dollar to a charity or hand over their email address to sign up for newsletters. But the most important question… Read More

10 Cities With the Worst Credit Scores

Credit Score

10 Cities With the Worst Credit Scores

10 Cities With the Worst Credit Scores

They say everything is bigger in Texas. But apparently that doesn’t apply to credit scores. Credit reporting bureau Experian released its annual State of Credit report, which examines various statistics related to personal credit on both a national and local level. That includes ranking America’s cities by credit score, and once again many towns in… Read More

Did Swipe-Fee Reform Help Consumers?

Credit Cards

Did Swipe-Fee Reform Help Consumers?

Did Swipe-Fee Reform Help Consumers?

When the Durbin Amendment took effect in October, capping the swipe fees that banks can charge retailers on debit card transactions, consumers predictably got caught in the cross-fire. Crying poverty over the loss of revenue, the large banks affected by the reform started phasing out their free checking offerings; one bank, Bank of America, even… Read More

4 Bank Freebies That Still Exist

Personal Finance

4 Bank Freebies That Still Exist

4 Bank Freebies That Still Exist

Whether or not swipe-fee reform has hurt or helped consumers remains an open question, but there’s little doubt that it’s made free checking harder to come by at big banks. Most large banks now charge monthly maintenance fees to checking account holders, which can only be avoided by meeting balance minimums or using certain services… Read More

4 Ways to Spot an Internet Scam

Identity Theft

4 Ways to Spot an Internet Scam

4 Ways to Spot an Internet Scam

The quintessential phishing scam goes something like this: An email arrives in your inbox, purporting to be from a financial institution, retailer or other company with which you do business. Some urgent matter requires your attention – perhaps you need to confirm a charge on your account, for instance. You’re then provided with a link… Read More

Which Credit Cards Offer the Best Purchase Protection?

Credit Cards

Which Credit Cards Offer the Best Purchase Protection?

Which Credit Cards Offer the Best Purchase Protection?

Retailers make fat profit margins on the extended warranties they sell on products, so there’s a little secret they probably don’t want you to know: You can get warranty coverage on your purchases just by paying for them with certain credit cards. These sorts of protections generally fall into two categories: Purchase protection, which protects… Read More

Show Me More by Matt Brownell

Find out where you stand.
Get your FREE personalized credit report card.

Sign Up Now