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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

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

[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. For current terms and conditions, please see card agreements. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]  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... 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

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?

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.] Retailers make fat profit margins on the extended warranties they sell on products, so there’s a little secret they probably don’t... Read More

4 Ways Your Credit Card Is Changing

Credit Cards

4 Ways Your Credit Card Is Changing

4 Ways Your Credit Card Is Changing

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.] The way we pay with plastic has changed a lot over the years, from the explosion in debit card usage over the last couple decades to the proliferation of rewards cards from retail stores, airlines and hotel chains. But the physical features of cards have evolved. Here... Read More

Five Simple Things You Should Be Doing to Protect Your Identity

Identity Theft

Five Simple Things You Should Be Doing to Protect Your Identity

Five Simple Things You Should Be Doing to Protect Your Identity

For 12 years in a row, identity theft has been the top consumer complaint to the Federal Trade Commission — in 2011, there were 279,156 identity theft complaints filed. There is no air-tight method of preventing the crime totally, however there are steps you can take to make sure you’re not making yourself an easy... Read More

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