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Credit

CitiBank Strikes Again

by Luke Landes

About a week ago, I linked my CitiBank Platinum Dividend Rewards credit card to my ING Direct account with the intent of keeping more of my cash in an interest-bearing account. I knew from the last time I made a change to my CitiBank card, I had to wait some time before paying my bill ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Card Grace Period

by Luke Landes

After I learned to stop using my credit card for buying things and paying for expenses, I learned how to use my credit card deals for buying things and paying for expenses. By this, I mean I realized that I can use the credit card as a tool, especially if it offers a rebate like ... Continue reading this article…

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Free Credit Reports Now Available!

by Luke Landes

The rest of the country was given this benefit at varying times earlier this year, but it finally has come to the east coast. I was going to wait until September 1, the official “release date,” but as MyMoneyBlog noted, the floodgates have opened a few days early. I’m talking of course about free credit ... Continue reading this article…

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Wallet of Plastic

by Luke Landes

It’s widely believed that the more credit cards you have, the better your credit rating. MSN Money, with the help of some experts, debunks that common misconception and recommenhds having two to six credit cards, and using them wisely: Keep your debt ratio low. Don’t carry a balance higher than 30 percent of the credit limit. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Urge to Merge

by Luke Landes

According to the New York Times, Bank of America is buying MBNA. This is another reason why consumers should avoid carrying a balance on credit cards if they are being charged interest. As more credit issuers merge, there will be less competition. With less competition, annual fees and interest rates will rise. Update: CNN answers ... Continue reading this article…

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0% Balance Transfers

by Luke Landes

The 0 percent interest credit card balance transfer game is a popular one to play. I had first encountered the trend on the Motley Fool message boards a few years ago. The credit card companies are making these quick-money ideas a little more difficult to navigate, with rules that differ among the many different offers. According ... Continue reading this article…

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Class Action Lawsuit?

by Luke Landes

Today, I received an American Express Card statement in the mail. That wouldn’t be too strange if not for the fact I haven’t used the card in over a year. So I took a look and apparently I’ve been awarded a settlement in a class action lawsuit, and I now have a credit in my ... Continue reading this article…

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Today’s News Items

by Luke Landes

Here is a round-up of some of the stories in the news today. I’ll add more as I find them. * Interest-only loans caused a wave of foreclosures in the Great Depression, and today’s are even riskier. * There are more millionaires now than there have ever been. It’s not such the exclusive club it ... Continue reading this article…

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Wall Street Journal Offers Some Free Content

by Luke Landes

Many years ago, as a reader of The Motley Fool, I came across a community of people who repeatedly jump from one 0 percent APR credit card offer to another 0 percent offer. It sounds like a good way to maintain a credit card balance without paying interest, if you don’t slip up and miss a payment. ... Continue reading this article…

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Be Aware of ATM Card Skimming

by Luke Landes

In New York City, police have arrested two men accused of using card skimmers to steal account numbers and PINs from a Bank of America branch, taking $2,500 from ATMs. Many people wouldn’t spot a card skimmer attached to an ATM, so these photos can help people be more aware of what to look for. ... Continue reading this article…

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Check Your Notices

by Luke Landes

When a credit card company with which you have a card sends a letter in a thin envelope, it’s best to read it. Likely, the company is notifying you of changes within the terms of the agreement. (The thicker envelopes are usually new card offers and unless it’s a great deal, it’s best to shred ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit, Debit, Check or Cash?

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note:  This limited-time offer has expired. According to the Federal Reserve, credit and debit payments surpassed check payments last year. Between credit and debit transactions, debits have been gaining popularity. A Reuters article states that for those with financial discipline, credit cards are the best option for every day purchases. The Citibank Dividend Platinum ... Continue reading this article…

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Sweet Credit Card Deals

by Luke Landes

This article from MSN Money is warning the readers of those sweet-sounding credit card offers, such as 0 percent interest for the life of a transferred balance. Their tips: Clarify the deal. You may have to make a purchase every month, and if you do, your payments go towards the transferred balance first. Be suspicious of ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Card Rates Up

by Luke Landes

Selena Maranjian from The Motley Fool writes about credit card rates going up in an article aptly titled, How to Owe $40,000 by Doing Nothing. She includes tables showing just how damaging having a 40 percent APR on your credit can be. That’s a pretty high rate, and apparently it’s a more common penalty rate for ... Continue reading this article…

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Debt Help

by Luke Landes

From MSN Money and Bankrate.com, 15 signs you need help with your debt. Seek help from a credit counselor if you do: Any trip to a credit counselor should be preceded by a thorough analysis of your family’s personal finances: how much money you have saved, how much you owe, how much you have coming ... Continue reading this article…

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My Latest Statement

by Luke Landes

I checked my credit card statement online today and discovered that my APR has increased from 11.7 percent to 14.7 percent. Now, I don’t think I’ve paid a finance charge in several years because I pay my balance off every month, but still the change disturbed me slightly. I sent a note to customer service asking for ... Continue reading this article…

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Airline Miles Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

So, you’ve got a credit card that rewards with with airline miles or points. Yeah, you know there’s a monthly fee and an above average interest. Yeah, you carry a balance each month to win more miles. It’s worth it, right? You’ll get a free plane trip soon, and the value of that outweighs the ... Continue reading this article…

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Debt is Bad, Mmkay

by Luke Landes

MSN Money – 5 tales from debt hell – Manage Debt Five individual readers of MSN Money Central are singled out in this article for asking the tough questions. They’ve made mistakes, and the author gives them some of the sympathy they deserve. The stories “from debt hell” include co-signing a loan with a relative, ... Continue reading this article…

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Holiday Debt

by Luke Landes

A simple plan to banish holiday debt – Jan. 2, 2004 The holidays are over, but if you’re like most people, you’ll be paying for it for more than a year. CNN has a debt planner which can be a reality shock for some people.

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Longer Auto Loans

by Luke Landes

Lenders are giving huge incentives for customers to take on longer auto loans—six or seven years. At the same time, the average age of a car when traded in is less than 5.5 years. This means that people generally trade in their cars while still owing money. Another result of these longer loans is that ... Continue reading this article…

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