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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Choosing the Right Credit Card for You

Credit Cards are a fixture in today's life. People from all walks of life use them for almost any and every financial transaction, from paying monthly bills to purchasing items off the shelf at groceries and convenience stores. No matter where a person goes these days, excepting perhaps for the absolute remotest corners of the earth, credit cards have become as acceptable as money, more so in some circumstances, because in foreign countries a credit card takes care of the usual bother of having a lot of travel funds converted into local currency.

But with so many different credit card providers out there, and each with their own sets of package deals that offer different credit card rates and advantages, how do you go about choosing one that suits your personal needs? Here are a few simple things to keep in mind when selecting a credit card that will give you the best rates for your lifestyle.

Look at the TYPE of card you'll need. While it may seem like a credit card is a credit card, in reality there are many different types of cards available, just as in a bank there are many different types of accounts, each offering different features. Some of the more common types to choose from are as follows:

Student Credit Cards - As the name implies, these credit cards are designed to cater to the needs of students. Since students generally operate with limited personal funding, the credit ceilings offered by these cards is set to keep purchases made by students within a reasonable level. Also, the interest rates are set to lower levels, again because of the assumption that the people who use these cards wont have as much financial capability. They will generally be working part-time at best, so the rates these cards offer tend towards the reasonable. The biggest drawback to a student credit card is the credit ceiling; this, however, isn't such a drawback when you consider that the lower ceiling also allows the users to preserve their credit standing and not jeopardize themselves with overspending. If applying for a student credit card, look for ones with reasonable interest rates balanced with a credit limit that will keep expenses within the budget.

Business Credit Cards - These cards are tailored to be used by people running a business. The main purpose of these cards is to be utilized in place of a business owner using his/her own personal credit card to help pay for the overhead costs of his/her business. Business credit cards generally have larger credit ceilings than regular credit cards due to the expected expenditures involved in operating a business. The rates for these cards, and the corresponding credit ceilings, are usually based on the financial status of the business entity for which the card is meant. When looking at these cards, keep in mind the projected fiscal ability of your business. Get a business credit card that can cover your overhead costs, and make sure that the interest rates are also at a level that your projected income can cover.

Zero-interest Credit Cards - these are credit cards that have 0% interest initially. The name does not mean that the card permanently does not incur interest; rather, these cards have an introductory period, usually stretching between 6 months to a year, where no interest is incurred. Regular rates are applied after the period is over, however, so it's a good idea to look at the interest rates and available credit ceiling after the initial introductory period expires.

Low Interest Credit Cards - these credit cards generally have a lower interest rate than others; unlike zero-interest cards, which offer no interest rates for an introductory period then switch to regular rates afterwards, low interest credit cards maintain a lower interest rate on credits incurred throughout the lifetime of the card. In the case of these cards, look at other factors when choosing one; there may be annual fees involved in maintaining the card, or lower credit limits, for example. Look into these when deciding on a low interest card to apply for.

Reward System Cards - these are credit cards which possess additional perks for usage. There are many types, including credit cards that offer airline mileage points, hotel credit rewards, gasoline points, and even cash reward credit cards. When looking at one of these credit cards, the interest rates of the card should of course be taken into consideration, but the main point is to see if the interest rates are offset by the rewards offered. AS long as the rewards suit your lifestyle, these cards make for a good option.

These are just a few simple tips covering the different types of credit cards available on the market. When choosing a credit card, finding the best credit rate isn't just a matter of looking for low interest cards; find one that suits your lifestyle and needs, and the rest follows.

How To Deal With Credit Cards - A Definitive Guideline

Various types of credit cards are available in the market. They have evolved from their early days into flexible financial tools for most types of spenders and savers. But with so many types of credit cards on offer it can be somewhat overwhelming. Few examples are Airline credit card, Balance transfer credit card, cash rebate credit cards etc.
 
How to choose the Right Card?

There are literally tens of hundreds of credit cards on offer in the USA, and the list is growing daily. So, which is the best on offer? It very much depends on how each person plans to use their card. The answer lies in asking one simple question; "What do I want to use a credit card for?"

Applying For Credit Cards Online

This option is simple and most convenient. More and more people are applying for credit cards online. Along with online auctions, and shopping, signing up for credit cards, loans and insurance has been one of the fastest growing commercial activities on the net.

How to decide which credit card is suitable for me?

First decide what YOU are looking for then search the web. There are some bigname credit cards that might charge the earth for you to have the privilege of carrying their name in your wallet. Most of them are not worth the extra fees. But what makes a card worth its salt? And what steps should you take in choosing the right card?

Rate Tart Are You One?

Rate tarts are the smart shoppers of the credit card world. They play the system to avoid paying interest on purchases, borrow money for free, and even make money on that borrowed money! The idea is simple. DO NOT leave any balance in your credit card and pay in FULL before the next billing cycle.

Quick Balance Transfer

Balance transfers allow card holders to transfer the money they owe to their existing credit card to another, usually at a special rate of interest. The new credit card company pays off the old credit card debt and transfers it to the new card.

0% Balance Transfers What's The Buzz?

Balance transfers can be a good way of managing large sums of debt. The idea is simple. You have a large debt, loan, store card balance or credit card balance

Cash Back Credit Card

It seems almost too good to be true; a credit card company giving back money to the user just for spending it in the first place! However, as with all good deals, there are terms and conditions.

The Value Of Having Branded USA Credit Card Loyalty Programs

Anyone who has taken even the briefest of looks at the USA credit card industry will immediately notice that there are well over a thousand credit card providers. However, even in this hugely competitive industry, there are still only two main types of card available - the Visa card and the MasterCard.

Secured or PrePaid Credit Cards

So you need a credit card for emergencies, peace of mind, or for your teenage child but aren't willing to go into debt for it? The answer might just be a secured or prepaid credit card.

Airmile Credit Cards

These days most major USA credit card providers offer a vast array of reward programs to try and entice potential new customers to apply for a card. Since the inception of reward packages, one of the most popular packages that applicants go for is airmile credit cards.

Business Credit Cards

If you are either the owner or Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a business and do not have business credit cards, then the following 10 reasons might make you want to rethink your business credit card strategy.
 
How To Manage Your Store Card

Many major outlets offer store cards. These provide an easy way for consumers to defer payment for purchases. Store cards are promoted over public address systems in shops and by shop assistants at checkouts. So it's no surprise that there are millions of store cards accounts in the USA.
 
Identity Theft

Identity theft is a major issue in the USA, and with good reason. It has been estimated that it can take up to sixty hours of work to recover a stolen identity, and in the worst cases, cost up to thousands of dollars to put right. But what can be dome to prevent this?

Payment Protection Cover For Your Credit Card Is It Worth The Cost?

Payment protection cover states quite clearly what it is but what are the ins and outs of the policy and its worth considering taking out payment protection cover on your credit card.
 
Credit Card Charges

Credit cards appear to have only one cost to a user - the interest charged on purchases, but there are a whole raft of hidden charges just lurking below the surface. So, some cards offer an annual payment option in return for certain benefits. What is the best option, and in what circumstance

Smashing The Credit Rating Myths

It used to be said that there were two certainties in life - death and taxes. Today you can add a third - credit. Today, it is almost certain that at some point during your life you are going to need to apply for credit. This credit may be either be in the form of a credit card, charge card, hire purchase, personal loan, home loan, etc.

Credit Building Tactics

Much is written about credit ratings, the score against an individual's name, that rates their eligibility for credit.

Credit Reports

Every time a customer applies for a financial product such as a credit card, the credit company will consult that customer's credit file. This file records all their financial activity in terms of credit applications and banking activity.

Credit Card Options For People With Bad Credit

There are many items that you can only pay for with a credit card. If you want to book a holiday on the Internet, a credit card is a secure way to pay. And if you want to hire a car when you get to your destination or booking a hotel room, a credit card is your only option.

Do You Need To Have More Than One Credit Card?

Deciding whether or not to have more than 1 USA credit card can be a difficult decision to make. On the one hand, you want to keep a careful control on your personal finances and having numerous creditors makes this difficult. On the other hand, it can be convenient to have more than one credit card, for example in an emergency. So, you should have more than 1 credit card.

Credit Card Disadvantages

Credit cards are everywhere; figures show that the average card user has over 4 credit cards in their wallet, and there are more cards always in circulation!
 
Common Credit Card Mistakes

With credit cards now outnumbering people in the USA you would be right to assume that not everyone in this country uses their credit cards either correctly or wisely. But what are the most common mistakes that credit card holders make when using their credit cards?
Are PreApproved USA Credit Cards A Scam?

Appropriately know as junk mail, every now and then you may find a nice glossy letter on your doormat informing you that you have just been 'preapproved' a USA credit card. With your pulse racing, you start to believe then hype of what a wonderful customer you are and how much your custom is valued. Hold on tiger - you may well be falling for one of the biggest credit card scams going!
 
Visa or Mastercard?

The two main credit card types have battled it out since the mid 1960s, but the credit card revolution was started in earnest by American Express, in 1958. Soon, their card was the choice to pay at hotels, airlines and restaurants.

Shopping For A First Credit Card

Long before we are old enough to carry credit cards ourselves, advertisers make sure we know about the power of plastic: "It's everywhere you want to be." "It pays to Discover." "What's in your wallet?"

While using an ad campaign to choose a card is a terrible idea, the slogans have one thing right: A credit card can be a powerful thing. For teens and 20-somethings looking to pick a first card, taking the time to choose carefully can save money and offer a boost in establishing and building a credit history.

An excellent credit score will be helpful when you start to think about buying a car or getting a mortgage. Even if you do not plan to take out a large loan in the near future, your credit information can be a factor in renting an apartment, obtaining a membership at a club or getting hired for certain jobs.

Lenders use credit reports to determine how risky it is to give a borrower - that is, you - a loan. All in all, the lender just wants to know if the borrower will be able to pay back the loan. If the borrower has bad credit, then he or she probably made some major or ongoing financial mistakes and is more likely not to repay. On the other hand, if the borrower has good credit, then he or she has a history of paying back debt, and the lender will most likely grant the loan.

Credit cards are effectively short-term loans that need to be paid back within a short grace period. Getting the first credit card can be tricky. Credit card companies do not have any basis for your credit history since you have not borrowed any money in the past. So how are you supposed to establish and build your credit rating without a history?

One way is to apply for a secured credit card. Secured credit cards are backed by a deposit that you make upfront. Usually, the amount you deposit will be the same as the card's credit limit. Everything else is like a regular unsecured credit card: You use the card to buy things; you make monthly payments; and you incur interest if you fail to pay off the full balance. A secured credit card should be only a temporary step to building credit. Try to pay off the total balance every month to show that you are financially responsible. After all, not only do you want to build a credit history, you want to build a good one.

Another effective way to start your credit history is to become an authorized user on someone else's card. Many parents will designate their children as authorized users on their credit cards so that the children can build credit without the legal obligation to pay the balance every month. However, if the person whose account you are authorized to use does not handle the account properly, their mistakes could end up hurting rather than helping your credit.

Once you establish your credit history, you can shop for your first unsecured credit card. You will quickly discover that there are many to choose from. A number of factors can help narrow the search.

The most important of these is how you intend to use the card. Are you going to use it only for emergencies? If not, will you pay in full each month, or will you carry a balance on the card? Once you decide how you will use the card, follow your self-imposed rules. It is very easy, and dangerous, to continually swipe the card and tell yourself it is for a good reason. But it is crucial to be stubborn about establishing good spending habits, even - or maybe especially - early in life.

If you plan to carry a balance on your card, you must be aware of the interest rate of each card you are considering. The interest rate used by credit card companies is the annual percentage rate, or APR. There are cards with variable APRs, which are based on a certain index (such as the U.S. prime rate). There are also nonvariable APRs, which are usually fixed-rate credit cards. As a beginner, you will usually want a low-rate, nonvariable APR credit card, because knowing your interest rate will give you a sense of how much money you will need each month to pay at least the minimum amount due. A low-rate, nonvariable APR card will therefore help when you create a monthly budget.

In addition to interest rates, pay attention to penalties and fees. Reading the fine print in a contract can save you from owing avoidable charges. The most common fees include balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, fees for requesting a credit limit increase and online or mobile payment fees. Many cards also impose penalties for not paying your bill on time or going over your credit limit. You should hold out for a card with minimal fees and reasonable penalties. Even if other features of a particular card seem attractive, avoid the potential for exorbitant fees and penalties that could hurt your cash flow and your credit history.

Understanding your spending habits will help you determine which incentives will be important to you. Most cards offer rewards programs to their customers or offer cash back for certain purchases. Many cards offer 0 percent APR for the first six to 18 months that your credit card is open. These cards are great if you plan to carry a balance from month to month. Some cards even offer anywhere from 1 to 5 percent cash back on all or certain types of purchases. If you know how you plan to use your card, then certain cards' rewards programs can save you a lot of money.

As a first-time cardholder, once you have chosen the card that is right for you, you may find it exciting to be able to swipe the piece of plastic and not have to pay in cash. But while credit cards can be useful tools, it is important to not fall into the black hole of credit card debt, which can be all too easy for an inexperienced user. Make sure to know how your credit score works and how to avoid penalties so that you will be able to make larger purchases and secure loans in the future.

Your payment history, the amount of credit you use and the number of negative marks on your credit history have the highest impact on your overall credit score. If you can, pay off your total balance on time each month, ensuring that you have a 100 percent payment history. Paying off your card every month comes with the added bonus of saving you from being charged any interest on a carried balance.

You will also want to use as low a percentage of your credit limit as you can. This ratio is called credit card utilization, and most experts recommend that you try not to go over 30 percent at any time. Credit card companies want to know that you are responsible with your spending and that you will be able to pay off your balance each month. You can either spend less each month or increase the credit limit on your card to lower the percentage used. You can also pay more than once per month.

Obviously, you should avoid any negative marks on your credit history. These can include collection accounts, bankruptcies, foreclosures, civil judgments or tax liens. Although someone applying for a first credit card typically will not have had time to worry about bankruptcies or foreclosures, keep in mind that such problems can severely damage your ability to secure credit in the future.

As a first-time applicant, you may find that the length of your credit history, the total number of accounts open or closed in your name and the number of credit inquiries also have an adverse rating on your credit score. Your credit history will be short. You will not have many open or closed accounts. Your first credit inquiry will most likely be from the company where you applied for your first credit card. Be patient. Building a credit history takes time, but as a young adult, staying on top of your finances, and especially your credit cards, will help you in the long run.

Credit cards can be both powerful and dangerous, but they are also a convenient part of everyday life for most of us. A first credit card offers a great opportunity to establish positive financial habits that will serve you well for a lifetime.

Consider a Prepaid Card to Aid Your Business Start Up

Starting up a business can be an exciting experience, taking full control of your company's direction as well as being your own boss is very empowering, however there are also a number of hurdles to be aware of. Many people feel as if they have to jump through hoops just to get a business bank account set up, all the red tape makes the drawn-out process inconvenient, and even when an account is arranged, almost 60% feel that their business bank charges were too high.

But there is an alternative that more and more business professionals feel is better than a traditional bank account, a prepaid card.

This option offers value for money and could save any company a significant amount of money - and that's especially vital for start-ups, when the first few years can make or break a new business. What's more, whatever the company's credit status, approval is guaranteed so you can be up and running as soon as you apply for one.

But easily getting approved for prepaid cards is just the beginning. Once set up, they can help with everything from reducing banking costs with free deposits and bank transfers, to cutting the risk of fraud via purchase protection. With a range of details to worry about when you're trying to kick start your company, anything that streamlines the process is a welcome investment.

In fact, by reducing cash fraud with online statements that show transactions on the account in real time, prepaid cards can help ensure staff always stick to their budgets. Although most staff are pretty honest when it comes to using business expenses, some staff may be tempted to use it for fancy dinners out at the cost to the company.

Perhaps staff wouldn't feel so tempted to exploit their expense account if they knew that their spending could be monitored online 24/7, and that transaction information for all their company's prepaid cards was downloadable by their employer at any time.

On the other hand, when staff really do need to make purchases, whether they are over the phone or in shops, a prepaid card is accepted worldwide. And businesses that carry out transactions in Euros or US Dollars will find the fact that some prepaid card accounts can be linked to currency cards particularly handy. This isn't something a start will have to worry about immediately, but if your new business takes off like you hope then international deals will definitely be a future possibility.

So whether a business just wants to be able to set up an account quickly without hassle, or is looking for better value than typical business accounts offer, a prepaid card could be the way forward.

Zac Colbert writes on a myriad of monetary subjects, from general interest to niche, such as how to use a prepaid card to improve your financial situation and juggle your monetary responsibilities.
 

Selecting the Right Credit Card Terminal For Business Budgets

If you operate on a budget, as most businesses do, and you need to accept credit cards, you need the right credit card terminal for business budgets. Suppliers of business machines such as these understand that different businesses have different level needs when it comes to the machinery, but they also know that they are dealing with a wide range of budgets as well.

While you may not think that you can afford this type of machinery for your business, if you crunch some numbers, you will find that you can afford to not accept credit cards even less. Remember that there are typically solutions for every budget when it comes to accepting credit cards. You just have to find the right solution for your situation.

Just because you have a small budget, this is no indication that you have to purchase a less quality credit card terminal for business. Instead, you could purchase a high quality terminal with fewer features, such as smart cards and store and forward features.

You might also find that one of the cheapest solutions is to use your own computer as a terminal, instead of purchasing a separate one. In this instance, you simply use software provided by through your merchant account, but you must find a merchant account that offers this type of processing. However, this option will not work in many instances. For example, customers are not able to swipe their own cards. In most cases, this solution works best for online payments, and not as a Point of Sale solution.

If purchasing a credit card terminal for business is beyond your budget, even with fewer features, you can also explore the lease option that is often available. This option is usually used by businesses that need a mobile solution, for a short period of time. You can use this option as well, but over a long period of time, it does become the most expensive option. Ideally, if you go with the lease option in the beginning, it should be for the purpose of gaining the funds needed for an outright purchase in the very near future.

It is vital that you use caution when purchasing this equipment as well. In this case, it isn't the equipment that you have to be concerned with as much as the rules and regulations of the company that you purchase your equipment through. Their equipment may only work with their processing service, and if you change to a different merchant account, you may be forced to purchase new equipment. Ideally, you want 'universal' equipment that will work regardless of the credit card processing company that you choose to work with.

Finding the right credit card terminal for business isn't difficult. In the end, it is just a matter of asking the right questions, and determining what the best options and features are for your business. If you are working with a quality company for the purchase or lease of your equipment, your sales representative should be able to help determine exactly what you need, and introduce you to options that you can afford.