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Credit

Reader Question: Timing of Credit Card Payments

by Luke Landes

Today I received a question from a reader about the timing of credit card payments. He asked, “Is it better to pay credit off right away or wait until the bill is due?” Assuming you are in the habit of paying off your credit card every month — and therefore you are never charged interest ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One’s New Breed of Debit Cards: Would You Use It?

by Luke Landes

Capital One has created a new kind of debit card, and the company is hoping it will replace traditional debit cards or even credit cards. This new debit card can be linked to any account at any bank and can be used for purchases or ATM withdrawals. There will be no fees, and Capital One ... Continue reading this article…

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Rent Payment Options at My New Apartment

by Luke Landes

Reminder: So far there has been a very good response to the Consumerism Commentary reader survey. If you have not yet done so, please complete the survey so I can learn about you and improve this blog. Last night, I signed the lease for my new apartment. While doing so, I asked about payment options. ... Continue reading this article…

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FICO Will Eliminate Common Way to Build Credit

by Luke Landes

One of the most common ways for young people, say teenagers, to build credit is to become an authorized user on one or more of their parents’ credit cards. This way, they immediately have a significant amount of available credit, and by the time they need a credit score after college, they might have a ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Cards With Sign-Up Bonuses

by Luke Landes

If you’re a responsible user of credit cards — someone who pays their balance off each month — or if you use credit cards for business purposes, then you may be able to benefit from some of the offers from credit card companies. I wouldn’t suggest these cards for anyone who pays interest on their ... Continue reading this article…

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Components of Your FICO Credit Score

by Luke Landes

While the formula that Fair Isaac uses to determine your credit score is a closely-guarded secret, the company does provide an overview of what they use in the calculation. Looking at these components, it becomes pretty clear what the company looks for when providing the best scores, which will assist in qualifying the borrower for ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You Pay Your Mortgage With a Credit Card?

by Luke Landes

Whenever it has been allowed by my landlords, I’ve paid my rent with my credit card. For me, this type of arrangement makes sense. I have the money to pay the credit card bill right away, and I earn cash back for using my Citi Dividend Platinum Select. The cash back isn’t the only benefit. ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine’s 7 Best Reward Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

Updated: Here are 15 Credit Cards With the Best Rewards. This month’s issue of Money Magazine contains an article with credit card recommendations for a variety of spending types. Here’s the run-down. For big spenders: Blue Cash from American Express. This card offers an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases for six months, but the best ... Continue reading this article…

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4 (Plus 1) Great Credit Cards Offering 0% on Purchases

by Luke Landes

For people who are responsible with managing money, sometimes it makes sense to pay for large purchases with a 0 percent APR loan or credit card. The reasoning is fairly simple. If you have a card that is offering an introductory rate of 0 percent on purchases, and if inflation for the year is running 3 percent to ... Continue reading this article…

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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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3 Ways Waiters Can Steal Your Credit Card Information

by Luke Landes

The Real Hustle is a BBC show that describes how criminals, scammers, hustlers, and average tricksters manage to fool everyday people in typical situations. The three Hustlers — confidence trickster Alexis Conran, scam artist Paul Wilson and ‘sexy swindler’ Jessica Clement — carry out notorious scams on unsuspecting members of the public to reveal how ... 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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Senate Has it In for Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

An item in today’s Marketplace Morning Report started out with this condemnation: Credit cards. Aren’t they evil? A convenient, maybe even necessary evil, perhaps, but such a temptation. They reported that the Senate’s Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee heard testimonies from consumer advocates today who want to see more regulation of the credit card ... 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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