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Credit

Another Form of Credit Card Arbitrage

by Luke Landes

After writing about the effect CitiBank’s new balance transfer fee has on balance transfer arbitrage, I received an email from a reader, Andy, who has an idea to take advantage of healthcare savings account (HSA) reimbursements. This is a summary of his idea. A good way to make some extra money is to take advantage ... Continue reading this article…

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CitiBank’s New Fee: Forget About Credit Card Arbitrage

by Luke Landes

The thing about playing the credit card balance transfer “game” is that you have to pay by the credit card companies’ rules — and they can change these rules with very little notice. On my most-used card, the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card, CitiBank lowered the cash back rebate last year, making it more difficult ... Continue reading this article…

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Question for Readers: Closing an Old Capital One Account

by Luke Landes

A reader wrote to me with a question, in response to my entry regarding how Capital One credit cards hurt your credit score. She is concerned with Capital One’s bureau reporting tactics and their junk mail, but it’s her oldest account, so she doesn’t know if closing the account is the best thing to do. ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Cards at T.J. Maxx Hacked, Checked My Credit Report

by Luke Landes

A few weeks ago, I heard the news that credit card numbers were stolen from T.J. Maxx computers. Coincidentally, I had shopped at that store recently. In fact, it was the first time I had shopped there in many years. This was a good reminder for me to check my credit report. Last night, I ... Continue reading this article…

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Discover Business Card or AmEx SimplyCash Business FreedomPass?

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available. Here is an instant messaging exchange from last night which may assist anyone trying to decide between a wide selection of business credit cards with cash back. [23:53] DoNotBlink: Hi there! [23:53] DoNotBlink: Was reading your blog and hoped ... Continue reading this article…

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Best Credit Cards for 0% Balance Transfers

by Luke Landes

If you’re going to play in the credit card arbitrage game, first, make sure you’re a Type B credit card user. This means you avoid fees and interest, and use credit cards as a tool without letting the issuers use you to make money for the corporations. Next, you have to find cards with no ... Continue reading this article…

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Business Credit Cards With Cash Back and No Annual Fee

by Luke Landes

In 2007, I plan on creating an official business entity (LLC) to handle any income not coming to me from my day-job employer. As I do more work online, I’m dealing with more expenses, so I’m going to look into getting a business credit card. Having a card with no annual fee is important to ... Continue reading this article…

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Credit Cards, Part 3: The Ugly

by Luke Landes

This is the third and final part in a short series about credit cards and the people who use them. If you haven’t yed, read Part 1: The Good and Part 2: The Bad. Keep reading for something ugly. Part 3: The Ugly Credit cards are in business to make money. The fact of the ... Continue reading this article…

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Rule for Building Wealth: Ditch Credit Card Debt

by Luke Landes

Isn’t it ironic that while I’m in the middle of writing a series about good credit card use vs. bad credit card use, to be concluded later today, I came across the ninth rule for building wealth from Fortune Magazine: ditch credit card debt. Fortune is talking about the Type A credit card user, who ... Continue reading this article…

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Credit Cards, Part 2: The Bad

by Luke Landes

This is the second part in a short series about credit cards and the people who use them. If you missed the first part, take a look. Part 2: The Bad If you are a Type B credit card user, you are making money off the credit card companies, not the other way around. Taking ... Continue reading this article…

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Credit Cards, Part 1: The Good

by Luke Landes

If you listen to gurus like Dave Ramsey, you may find yourself feeling like you’re listening to a sermon in which the evil character is the credit card rather than the devil. Perhaps the two are interchangeable. Yes, credit card companies use marketing to lure customers with the hope of making tons of money in ... Continue reading this article…

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Get Free Money: Comparing Cash Back (Rebate) Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available. Almost all of my spending is done by credit card. It’s convenient and I receive cash back for every purchase. Since I pay the balance off every month, I never pay any interest charges or late fees. I don’t ... Continue reading this article…

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Once Again: Credit Cards at Fault? A Compelling Argument

by Luke Landes

Through some discussion about placing blame for poor money management, we managed to gather several differing opinions about the source of the problem. Kids with no skills and parents who don’t teach seemed to be the biggest culprits, followed by schools without money management classes (which, when attempted, do more harm than good), and finally ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine: 7 Shortcuts for Major Money Hassles

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine is running an extended feature targeting 7 of the most annoying money problems, and proving some easy solutions. Here is a shortcut to the seven shortcuts: 1. Ace your retirement. Buy a target-retirement fund in your 401(k). If you believe you’ll be retiring in 2030, you can buy a fund that targets that ... Continue reading this article…

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The Blame Game: Poor Money Management, Part 2

by Luke Landes

Before reading on, if you haven’t participated in this week’s giveaway, open up this article in a new window or tab and add your comments about asset allocation. You can win two interesting books just by leaving a comment. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussion about who is to blame for poor money ... Continue reading this article…

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The Blame Game: Poor Money Management, Part 1

by Luke Landes

There’s a discussion at StopBuyingCrap about credit card companies’ evil tacticts. In fact, Cap comes clean with this humble admission: No body forced me to buy the mountains of Japanese comic books, computer hardware, and automotive parts. Sure, the credit card made it easier for me to spend money I didn’t have — but the ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Score Question From a Reader

by Luke Landes

Hi, faithful readers. I received a question through e-mail from Brian. He’s looking for some advice for managing his credit score. Here is what he asked: If I pay off my minimum balance due, and say my remaining outstanding balance to credit ratio is 0.75, is this very bad for my credit score? I don’t ... Continue reading this article…

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0% Balance Transfer: You May Be a Terrorist

by Luke Landes

If you deviate from your banking habits by initiating a transaction more than $5,000, your bank will help the government spy on you. The federal government wants to catch terrorists and money launderers, and banks are required to assist. Since 1996, banks have been required to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) whenever they detect ... Continue reading this article…

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The End of Credit Card Rewards?

by Luke Landes

An article on CNN Money seems to imply that Credit Card rewards programs will be decreasing. I mentioned at the beginning of the month that American Express would be changing their reward program. This may be a sign of things to come; it’s possible that more card companies will follow suit. Today’s article says programs ... Continue reading this article…

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American Express Raising Fees and Changing Their Rewards Program

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, the information in this article is no longer current and the offers mentioned have expired and are no longer available. The annual fee for holding certain American Express cards is going to increase by $35 to $125, while other card holders might see fees decline. Are these fees ... Continue reading this article…

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