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Credit

Chase Credit Card Customers Receiving $4.4 Million Refund

by Luke Landes

Earlier this year, JP Morgan Chase surprised customers with a new fee and an increased minimum required monthly payment. For cardholders who carried large balances month to month, Chase began charging a $10 monthly fee and increasing the minimum payment from 2 percent to 5 percent of the balance. The change was announced last November for about ... Continue reading this article…

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The FTC Fights Sites Offering “Free Credit Reports” With Musical Commercials

by Luke Landes

The Federal Trade Commission wants consumers to know that the only website offering the three federally mandated free credit reports each year — one from each credit reporting bureau — is AnnualCreditReport.com. While they don’t name the “other” website specifically, this campaign is a direct response to freecreditreport.com, a service from the reporting bureau Experian ... Continue reading this article…

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Citibank Offers Citi Forward Credit Card, Rewarding Users for Good Habits

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. Is it ironic that Citi, a bank on the brink of disaster, is now marketing a credit card that “rewards” card holders for good financial behavior? This new credit card marketed toward Generation Y and teenagers, Citi Forward® Card (and ... Continue reading this article…

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Received My Bailout From the Government

by Luke Landes

Thank you to all the taxpayers who are footing the bill for this. As Citibank continues to receive money from the government of the United States, funded by investors in Treasury bills and citizens of the future who will be paying more to the government to support the interest payments on that debt, Citibank continues ... Continue reading this article…

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Only a Few Hours Left to Buy Your Experian FICO Credit Score

by Luke Landes

The number that credit reporting bureau Experian supplies to lenders when you apply for a loan, used to evaluate whether the company should extend credit to you, will soon be unavailable to customers. At midnight tonight, customers will no longer be able to visit MyFICO to buy their own credit score from Experian. After today, ... Continue reading this article…

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Chase Adding Annual Fee Out of the Blue

by Smithee

Updated March 31, 2009: Chase has been ordered by NY Attorney General to refund the money gathered from the process described below. I’ve always thought that credit cards with annual fees were a ridiculous notion. Other than having a credit history which requires you to get a secured card (been there), it’s usually no problem ... Continue reading this article…

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What You Need to Know About the FICO Update

by Smithee

Fair Isaac, the company that is responsible for the formula behind your FICO score, has been planning an update for a long time, and it’s now being put into practice, but not without a few wrinkles. Called “FICO 08″, the new re-tooling should provide a more accurate risk assessment for anybody with a credit history. ... Continue reading this article…

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More From Visa About Debit Cards

by Luke Landes

Last month, a representative from Visa offered to answer a few questions for Consumerism Commentary readers about debit cards. It many ways, I find debit cards to be inferior to credit cards, but Visa claims the cards linked directly to bank accounts have some redeeming qualities. Here are three additional questions I asked Visa and ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Card Rules May Be Enacted Sooner

by Smithee

We reported earlier on some new regulations that attempt to curb “predatory” practices by credit card issuers, like an end to Universal Default and more accurate credit offers. One of the interesting things about these new rules is that Congress didn’t vote on them, they were approved by a Federal Reserve committee, and they were ... Continue reading this article…

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A Glimpse at Future Credit Card Statements

by Smithee

Every Tuesday, Smithee presents an article about his own experiences with credit cards and observations about the credit card industry. Back in mid-December we told you about some of the changes that would soon be enforced on credit card issuers, my favorite of which is a new layout and design to the statements so that ... Continue reading this article…

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Visa Black Card Review

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. Related: Comparing the Visa Black Card With American Express Platinum and Centurion Cards. Visa is introducing a new credit card catered to consumers who spend $50,000 or more a year. The Visa Black Card looks similar to the American Express ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Update: January 2009

by Smithee

Every Tuesday, Smithee presents an article about his own experiences with credit cards and observations about the credit card industry. So, nobody’s perfect. After my recent embarrassing splurge that included a digital camcorder, an audio mixer, three microphones and a new Apple MacBook Pro, I was feeling pretty down on myself. My credit card debt ... Continue reading this article…

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Newer Credit Cards Are Less Secure

by Smithee

Every Tuesday, Smithee presents an article about his own experiences with credit cards and observations about the credit card industry. A few weeks ago I was the victim of debit card fraud. In my case the system worked very well. The bank’s automatic mechanisms noticed a few big-ticket items being purchased in Chicago, which is ... Continue reading this article…

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My New Credit Card: Not for Credit

by Smithee

Every Tuesday, Smithee presents an article about his own experiences with credit cards and observations about the credit card industry. Two weeks ago I introduced you to a new credit card that offers 2 percent cash back that is deposited into a brokerage account. Then, a few hours later, I applied for the thing. In my ... Continue reading this article…

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Visa’s Take on Debit Cards

by Luke Landes

A representative from Visa offered to answer a few questions for Consumerism Commentary readers about debit cards. I’ve written previously about five reasons to avoid debit cards, preferring credit cards for plastic payment. Here are three questions I asked Visa and the company’s responses. I have three more questions to post in the future as ... Continue reading this article…

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Upcoming Vote on Credit Card Reforms

by Smithee

Every Tuesday, Smithee presents an article about his own experiences credit cards with and observations about the credit card industry. The U.S. Federal Reserve is set to vote on Thursday (Dec. 18) on a set of rules which could change credit policy affecting all Americans. The full set of proposals is more than a thousand ... Continue reading this article…

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The Schwab Bank Invest First™ Visa Signature® Credit Card

by Smithee

The name of the card has clearly too many symbols and arguably too many syllables, but when the daily financial news is consistently dire, I should just be happy to see something that is this innovative and attractive. It’s a credit card that gives you free money for investing. Of course, we at Consumerism Commentary ... Continue reading this article…

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45% Less Credit in Americans’ Wallets

by Smithee

Meredith Whitney, an analyst with Oppenheimer & Co. is predicting that credit card issuers may cut as much as $2 trillion worth of available credit in the near future, representing about 45 percent of today’s levels. The Motley Fool has decided to call this The Death of Credit Cards, but we’ll be co-existing with them for ... Continue reading this article…

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November Cash Experiment: Successful, Perhaps

by Luke Landes

Early last month, I decided to leave my credit card in my wallet throughout November. Over the last few years, I’ve been using a rewards credit card to pay almost all of my day-to-day expenses. I never pay interest charges because I always pay my credit card in full before the due date. I buy ... Continue reading this article…

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Will You Have a Cash-only Yuletide?

by Smithee

There’s a story circulating that customers are using cash instead of credit for their holiday purchases this year, more than they have for many years past. I found this story detailed in Newsweek. Here are the highlights you should know: Credit card issuers are raising interest rates and fees, while lowering spending limits Some analysts ... Continue reading this article…

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