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Missing payments on a loan, credit card or utility bill can do big damage to your credit score. Fortunately, many companies now let customers set up automatic bill payments tied to a card, checking account or third-party service. But there are some things to know before taking advantage. For starters, “you must not use the auto-pay as an excuse not to still check your... Read More
Are you confused by cash-back credit cards? At first glance, it shouldn’t be hard to choose the card with the highest rate of cash back, but it’s actually more difficult than it sounds. Some cards offer a fixed rate of rewards for different kind of purchases, while others offer an even higher rate of cash back... Read More
It is possible to eliminate gotcha fees and tactics, argues the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in a report issued on Thursday. The bureau says credit card consumers have saved $16 billion since 2011, thanks to a law banning “gotcha” credit card issuer tactics that were common during the last decade. (Such fees were also a... Read More
Some consumers are so annoyed by the new chip-enabled credit cards that they’ve begun avoiding stores that require them, a survey from Mercator Advisory Group, a payment industry research firm, claims. That’s an unwanted headache for small business owners, especially those fighting for shoppers during the busy holiday season. The “avoiders” group is small but significant — 7% of consumers... Read More
Are you getting the most out of your credit cards? Most credit card users focus primarily on key terms such as the interest rate and annual fees, and rewards in the form of points, miles and cash back. But beyond these important terms and valuable rewards lies another realm of credit card perks that few... Read More
Cardholders are a loyal bunch, according to an analysis by TransUnion which found the average consumer plans to put nearly 80% of his or her holiday expenses on one piece of plastic. This despite the fact that spending ramps up in December and the average consumer carries five cards. Putting holiday purchases on one card has some advantages. tI can prompt issuers to send “more attractive credit... Read More
Just as you can count on Christmas arriving on Dec. 25 every year, you can be sure that stores will ask you to sign up for a store credit card over the holidays. In a rush to pay for your purchases, you may not be paying much attention to the details of these offers. But you... Read More
It’s holiday season, which means you are almost certainly going to receive (and give) a plastic gift card during the next few weeks. When you (or they) try to spend it, a familiar process will occur: You will swipe the card’s magnetic stripe, even if you are shopping at a major retailer like Target or Walmart.... Read More
As another hectic holiday shopping season approaches, perhaps the biggest differences between this year and years past are that some retailers are scaling back their Black Friday events, and that shoppers may be inserting their smart-chip-equipped credit cards into a terminal, rather than swiping an old magnetic stripe. But beyond the mechanics of using credit cards... Read More
Purchasing airfare during peak holiday travel periods can be painful for your wallet. It’s even worse if you wait too long and find yourself needing holiday flights at “last-minute” prices. But you can still fly for virtually no out-of-pocket cost if you have been stashing away airline miles. Award availability can be tough on peak travel... Read More
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