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Credit

Deceptive Credit Card Offers, Part 3: Over-Limit Fees

by Luke Landes

Over the past few days, I’ve written a few posts about how credit cards have instituted new penalties in the past few years. They’re deceptive because you often don’t find out these terms until your application for credit has been accepted. Many long-time credit holders don’t even realize these newer practices exist! So far, we’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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Deceptive Credit Card Offers, Part 2: Universal Default

by Luke Landes

This is a short series in which we look at some of the deceptive practices favored by credit card companies. These are terms that are often not discolsed until after you’ve already applied and the company has checked your credit report. The items have been mentioned in an article on MSN, and I’m expanding a ... Continue reading this article…

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Deceptive Credit Card Offers, Part 1: Two-Cycle Billing

by Luke Landes

Although it’s common to recieve mailing from credit card companies offering credit cards with attractive terms, like 0 percent APR balance transfer offers or offers on small business credit cards they won’t tell you all the terms of the agreement until you actually apply for the card. This is often the case regardless of your “pre-approved” ... Continue reading this article…

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Americans Are NOT In Bad Shape With Credit, Sort Of

by Luke Landes

I like Liz Pulliam Weston’s latest article, The Truth About Credit Card Debt because she cites some statistics that fly in the face of conventional thought regarding credit behavior of Americans. We’ve all heard this before: Americans are in an unparalleled level of revolving credit card debt. The average American household carries more than $9,000 ... Continue reading this article…

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Raising Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

Everyone is affected by raising interest rates, but different people are affected in different ways. CNN Money describes how a typical American (homeowner, spender, etc.) is affected by interest rates. Interest rates are simply the cost of borrowing money; the prices paid by institutions trickle down to the consumer. So if you’re in the market ... Continue reading this article…

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You Get Three Free Annual Credit Reports

by Luke Landes

Since September 1, 2005, people in my area of the country have been entitled to three free credit reports each year, one from each credit reporting agency. Last year, I got my report a few days early, avoiding the “rush.” I had planned to space my requests evenly throughout the year, by getting one every ... Continue reading this article…

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Spend More With Cash or Plastic?

by Luke Landes

Liz Pulliam Weston is suggesting using cash rather than plastic because of an inclination to overspend. I’m a big fan of credit cards. Most offer fraud protection and online reconciliations so I always know exactly what I am spending. When I pay the balance off at the end of the month, it’s also nice to ... Continue reading this article…

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Good News For DiscoverCard Holders

by Luke Landes

DiscoverCard has made some improvements to its online features. You can now schedule payments in advance, make payments as often as every three days, and have your payment post the same day if the transaction is initiated before 5:00 pm Eastern. The last improvement is a nice touch for procrastinators. I once tried to use ... Continue reading this article…

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New Emigrant Direct Credit Card

by Luke Landes

There have been rumors if this for a long time, but Emigrant Direct has finally announced their new credit card. This is a “platinum” MasterCard that offers up to 1.25 percent cash back on all purchases with no yearly limit. The rewards are deposited directly into your Emigrant Direct account twice a year. If you ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Secret Bankruptcy Risk Score

by Luke Landes

Now that the methodology behind credit scores has been in the public for a long time, banks have found a new measurement which they’ve managed to keep somewhat private. While this calculation has been in use for twenty years, it has largely been kept off the public radar screen. Your bankruptcy risk score is used ... Continue reading this article…

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American Express One

by Luke Landes

American Express is offering a relatively new (well, a few months old) credit card called One. As you spend, 1 percent of each purchase is automatically deposited into a savings account that’s currently earning 3.5 percent APY. It’s not a horrible interest rate, beating that of most traditional banks, but barely in the mix compared to interest ... Continue reading this article…

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Cop Steals Arrestee’s Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

It’s for cases like these that credit card companies offer fraud protection. A guy was arrested in Chicago last month for being involved in a bar fight. While he was incarcerated for the night, a cop allegedly did his own holiday shopping using the cards confiscated from the person. Here’s what was purchased:

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Cashiers Offering Credit Cards at Register

by Luke Landes

In almost every store I visited while shopping over the last week, the cashiers offered me an additional discount if I’d apply for (and be granted) a store credit card. Usually a 10 percent discount for the entire day is part of that offer. According to MSN Money, some companies have been offering more, such as ... Continue reading this article…

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Dealing With Two Companies

by Luke Landes

I am still in the process of trying to resolve my unaccepted balance transfer to a new Discover Card with a 0 percent APR offer from my existing Wachovia Visa card (offered by MBNA). I am told this will be resolved within five business days. It’s also been a major pain dealing with the University of ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Card Solicitation to the Extreme

by Luke Landes

While we’re on the topic of credit cards, this story was submitted to me by one of my biggest fans. If you ride in elevators every day, like I do for my day job in a big corporate headquarters, then you’re familiar with the emergency telephone. The device is used in emergencies to call for ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Credit Report Affects Your Cards

by Luke Landes

If you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month (which I strongly feel should not be done if possible), be extra careful about negative items hitting your credit card. In the past, credit card companies would raise their interest rates to a card user who misses a payment or two. Missing ... Continue reading this article…

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Balance Transfer Not Accepted

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. In the last few weeks, I opened a Discover Miles Card account, which was offering one of the free 0 percent APR balance transfer deals. I decided to take advantage, to earn some interest on the credit. Everything went smoothly until ... Continue reading this article…

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Delinquencies Increase

by Luke Landes

CNN is reporting that according to the American Bankers Association, delinquencies on credit cards (and other loans) have reached an all-time high. Taking a step back, it feels good to realize that I’m not included in these statistics. It has now been a while since I’ve been financially irresponsible. Sure, I make mistakes sometimes, such ... Continue reading this article…

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An Actual CitiBank Credit Card Improvement

by Luke Landes

With all the talk about CitiBank’s limitations in its online payment services, I neglected to mention an actual improvement that I noticed through the ordeal. (Luckilly, they sent an reminder of the new feature via email.) In the past, when users went to pay their credit card bill online, CitiBank would process the payment immediately. ... Continue reading this article…

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Raise Your FICO Credit Score

by Luke Landes

You may have been offered a credit score when you took advantage of the free credit report offer. CNN is offering tips for boosting that score. But first a note. Often, credit scores offered by the credit reporting agency are not true FICO scores — the ones mortgage companies use when contemplating your credit risk, ... Continue reading this article…

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