MasterCard http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1064/all en-US Barclays Rewards MasterCard Review: A Promising New Card From an Old Bank http://www.wisebread.com/barclays-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/barclays-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card-5166100-small.jpg" alt="credit card" title="credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Note: This offer is currently unavailable.</em></p> <p>One of the most venerable banks in the world is now offering a rewards credit card to consumers in the United States. The Barclaycard&reg; Rewards MasterCard&reg; - Excellent Credit is another in the recent trend of credit card offerings that go back to basics with a straightforward, non-rotating rewards system.</p> <p>Barclays promises that the Rewards MasterCard will provide cardholders with extra rewards for the things they buy most every day. Let's take a look at whether or not the Barclays Rewards MasterCard lives up to its promises.</p> <h2>First, a Little History</h2> <p>Barclays has been around for more than 300 years. The founders began as goldsmith bankers in Lombard Street, London, in 1690. The name didn't include &quot;Barclay&quot; until the son-in-law of one of the founders joined the business. Over time, the name evolved, and Barclays is one of the most trusted and well-known banks in the world.</p> <p>Through the centuries, Barclays has helped finance fast passenger ships, car manufacturers, and mass transit systems. The bank even remained open during the Blitz of 1940, when the Luftwaffe bombed London. Barclays was also responsible for the UK's first credit card, the Barclaycard, and the world's first ATM. Today, Barclays sponsors sports teams and youth initiatives.</p> <p>Now, Barclays is working to establish itself in the United States, and one of its offerings is the Barclays Rewards MasterCard.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>The Barclays Rewards MasterCard comes with a straightforward points rewards system. You receive two points for each dollar spent when you buy gas and groceries. You also receive two points per dollar for utility payments made with your credit card. All other purchases earn one point for each dollar.</p> <p>You can redeem your points like cash to pay for purchases you have already made, meaning that your points are essentially redeemed for statement credit. This system means that you don't have to worry about blackout dates and other restrictions on reward redemption. Barclays doesn't limit your ability to earn points and cash back/statement credit.</p> <p>Because there are no category rotations, you don't have to sign up to receive your rewards each quarter. You just make purchases as always to receive your rewards points.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p>You won't pay an annual fee with this Barclaycard. Additionally, there is a 0% APR on purchases, good for 18 months. Barclays is also a running bonus promotion. You receive 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in qualified purchases in 90 days &mdash; enough to redeem for $100.</p> <p>Barclays won't charge you a fee if you are over the credit limit.</p> <p>As with many other credit cards, you receive standard benefits, including $0 fraud liability, travel insurance, and other perks. This card comes with MasterCard benefits, and you qualify for them depending on which account you end up with. Platinum, World, and World Elite benefits apply, depending on which version of MasterCard you receive as your Barclays Rewards MasterCard.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <p>While you won't pay an annual fee, and you don't have to worry about over the limit fees, there are some other costs associated with this card. After the introductory period ends, you will have to pay interest on carried balances. Right now, you will pay 14.99% or 19.99%, depending on your credit situation.</p> <p>The cash advance APR is 25.24%, and there is a penalty APR that can result if you pay late. The penalty APR can be up to 27.24% The regular balance transfer APR is 4% (or $10, whichever is more), and there is a foreign transaction fee of 3%.</p> <p>With the Barclays Rewards MasterCard there is also the chance of paying a late fee of $35 and a returned payment fee of $35. So, if you pay late, you will have to pay the fee, and you could be subject to the higher penalty APR.</p> <h2>Pros</h2> <p>The main benefit of the Barclays Rewards MasterCard is the generous bonus points on everyday purchases like groceries, gas, and utilities. This means that you don't have to worry about signing up for different categories each quarter. The types of purchases that garner you bonus points also make it easy to incorporate your credit card spending into your regular budget. Since you buy gas and groceries on a regular basis, this card rewards you for common purchases, rather than requiring you to go out of your way for entertainment and restaurants to get more points.</p> <p>Additionally, the ease of redeeming rewards, and the fact that there are no blackouts and no limits, makes this program straightforward and easy to deal with. The bonus cash back, and the 12-month introductory APR, are also great features.</p> <p>It's also a nice touch that there is no over the limit fee, along with no annual fee.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p>In order to participate in the rewards program, your account has to be in good standing. Also, read the fine print since there are account activity requirements associated with this card.</p> <p>It's also a bit disappointing that there are foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards are moving away from these fees, and one would hope that a bank with an international reputation and presence wouldn't charge foreign transaction fees.</p> <p>The &quot;regular&quot; balance transfer fee of 4% is also a little on the high end; there are cards that will do it for 3%.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Barclaycard&reg; Rewards MasterCard&reg; - Excellent Credit is ideal for someone who is interested in earning extra rewards for everyday purchases. It's perfect for the consumer who puts all of his or her groceries and gas on the credit card and then pays the balance at the end of the month. It is also a great card for those who can arrange to pay their utilities automatically by credit card; you can get double the points without having to think about it.</p> <p>Someone who regularly carries balances and who has fair credit probably won't see many benefits from this card, since the interest rate will be on the high end and offset the value of the rewards points.</p> <!--<p><strong><a onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'afclick', 'applytext', 'barclaysrewardmcexc']);" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/9808651">Click here to apply now</a></strong></p>--><!--<p><strong><a onClick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'afclick', 'applytext', 'barclaysrewardmcexc']);" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/redir/9808651">Click here to apply now</a></strong></p>--><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barclays-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards">The 5 Best Secured Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-for-students-rewards-for-smart-spending">Discover it for Students: Rewards for Smart Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-secured-mastercard-the-best-option-for-repairing-your-credit">Capital One Secured MasterCard: The Best Option for Repairing Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amex-everyday-credit-card-review-tina-fey-says-yes">Amex EveryDay Credit Card Review: Tina Fey Says Yes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards barclays credit card review MasterCard rewards cards Fri, 26 Jul 2013 10:36:31 +0000 Miranda Marquit 980865 at http://www.wisebread.com Security Breach Puts 50,000 Credit Card Holders at Risk http://www.wisebread.com/security-breach-puts-50000-credit-card-holders-at-risk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/security-breach-puts-50000-credit-card-holders-at-risk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/safety-first-warning.jpg" alt="Security Breach Puts 50,000 Credit Card Holders at Risk" title="Security Breach Puts 50,000 Credit Card Holders at Risk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="172" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A security breach at Global Payments Inc., a third-party U.S. based processor, may have compromised <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577313411294908868.html">50,000</a> Visa and MasterCard cardholder accounts. According to <a href="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/warning-over-massive-mastercard-visa-security-breach/72829">ZDNet</a>, both Visa and MasterCard have sent out non-public alerts to banks notifying them of the breach.</p> <p><a href="http://krebsonsecurity.com/2012/03/mastercard-visa-warn-of-processor-breach/">Krebs on Security</a> reported that the breach was first detected by Global Payments in early March. The accounts were compromised between January 21st and February 25th 2012. The information obtained in the breach could be used to make counterfeit cards. It is unknown whether or not banks will issue new cards to cardholders as a result of the breach.</p> <p>Affected banks have begun analyzing transactions on the potentially affected cards in an attempt to find common points of purchases. So far, the transactions of the cards that have been analyzed seem to share the characteristic that they were used in parking garages in the New York City area.</p> <p>Visa has released information saying that the breach is being investigated by the Secret Service as well as an unidentified forensics company. The investigation is still in its early stages. Visa and MasterCard have both stated that their networks were not compromised as a result of the breach.</p> <p>If you use a Visa or MasterCard credit card, you may be affected by this breach. The good news is that most credit cards have fraud protection, so even if you are affected by this security breach, you most likely will not be affected by fraudulent charges if you catch them early enough.</p> <p>Make sure you spend some time this weekend checking your credit card statements either online or by phone to see if there has been any unusual activity going on. If there has been, get in touch with your credit card company ASAP!</p> <p>Additionally, if you have yet to get your free credit report this year, get your <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/freereports/index.shtml">free annual credit report</a> to make sure there are no discrepancies on your report.</p> <p>Be sure to share this article with your family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, and email so they know about the security breach and can check their credit card statements to make sure they were not affected.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/security-breach-puts-50000-credit-card-holders-at-risk">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-dont-love-capital-one-how-to-get-a-lower-apr-or-possibly-not">I Don&#039;t Love Capital One - How to Get a Lower APR, or Possibly Not</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-debit-cards-as-safe-as-credit-cards">Debit Cards vs. Credit Cards: Fees and Fraud Protection</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards banking credit cards MasterCard security breach VISA Fri, 30 Mar 2012 22:10:52 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 915072 at http://www.wisebread.com Best of Personal Finance Roundup: MasterCard Acceptance Guidelines http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-mastercard-acceptance-guidelines <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-mastercard-acceptance-guidelines" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mastercard.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <strong><a href="http://wisebread.com/topic/best-of-personal-finance">Best of Personal Finance</a></strong> roundup. Today, we give you insight into how retailers should treat your MasterCard, 24 secret menus at your favorite eateries, and how to whip up an amazing stewed lamb ribs dish.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><strong>MasterCard Acceptance Guidelines</strong> &mdash; We&rsquo;ve already shared the ways that Visa can and can&rsquo;t be used at your local merchant, but what about good ol&rsquo; MC? Get the details on policies and guidelines for merchants accepting the card. <a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2010/03/05/mastercard-credit-card-acceptance-guidelines/">Five Cent Nickel</a></p> <p><strong>24 Secret Restaurant Menus Revealed</strong> &mdash; Wonder what will happen if you walk into your local McDonald&rsquo;s and ask for the Land, Sea, and Air Burger? This is just one of 100 items that may not be on your local menu, but you can still order from popular food chains! <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/secret-restaurant-menus-revealed/">Coupon Sherpa</a></p> <p><strong>Is It Smart to Co-Sign for Your Child</strong> &mdash; Parents are usually the ones that know their children the best, so why is it always a surprise when kids default on co-signed loans? These tips can help you determine if it is ever a good idea to co-sign (although each kid will be radically different &mdash; use your best judgment). <a href="http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/is-it-smart-to-co-sign-for-your-child.htm">Million Dollar Journey</a></p> <p><strong>Pop&rsquo;s Stewed Lamb Ribs Special</strong> &mdash; My goodness! If the pictures in this tutorial don&rsquo;t get you, then the simple ingredient list certainly will. This recipe is proof that patience and technique can turn any affordable recipe into a masterpiece! <a href="http://mywoodenspoon.com/pops-stewed-lamb-ribs-special/">My Wooden Spoon</a></p> <p><strong>Make Your Own Bloggy Button or Graphics with Picnik</strong> &mdash; I&rsquo;m a big Picnik fan myself, so I was glad to see someone else taking advantage of this awesome service. If you don&rsquo;t own a blog, consider these tips for making a customizable Twitter, Facebook, or forum avatar. It&rsquo;s easy! <a href="http://kingdomfirstmom.com/2010/03/make-your-own-bloggy-button-or-graphics-with-picnik-com.html">Keeping the Kingdom First</a></p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><strong>How to File A Consumer Complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)</strong> &mdash; If you&rsquo;ve been ripped off and don&rsquo;t want to let it go, there is a legal method to filing a complaint (even if it never quite gets resolved). Check out the PSA, compliments of the FTC. <a href="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/how-to-file-a-consumer-complaint-federal-trade-commission-ftc/">The Digerati Life</a></p> <p><strong>6 Ways to Find Free Money</strong> &mdash; If checking under your mattress has left you disappointed, you may want to review this list for totally &ldquo;free&rdquo; money strategies. <a href="http://www.redeemingriches.com/2010/02/09/6-ways-to-find-free-money/">Redeeming Riches</a></p> <p><strong>Bad Company 401K? There May be Other Options</strong> &mdash; Not all of us get the great 401K&rsquo;s that are supposed to help us all fund our retirement in a seamless fashion. Get some good alternatives here. <a href="http://personaldividends.com/money/miranda/bad-company-401k-there-may-be-other-options">Personal Dividends</a></p> <p><strong>How to Get Work Done Anywhere</strong> &mdash; Whether you're on the road, or just trying to get a little bit accomplished on a sick day, these tools will help you get the job done.&nbsp; <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/how-to-get-work-done-anywhere.html">My Life Scoop</a></p> <p><strong>Zero Nutritional Difference Between Campbell&rsquo;s &ldquo;Healthy&rdquo; Tomato Soups and Regular (Just Higher Price)</strong> &mdash; Reading the label alone, there was no difference in the nutritional info provided on the &ldquo;premium&rdquo; version. What&rsquo;s your take? <a href="http://consumerist.com/2010/03/tomato-soup.html">Consumerist</a></p> <p><strong>Keep Car Windows from Fogging with a Potato</strong> &mdash; Sick of your goggles and windows fogging up? Try this nifty hack that uses a potato. We&rsquo;re not kidding. <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5485831/keep-car-windows-from-fogging-with-a-potato">LifeHacker</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-mastercard-acceptance-guidelines">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steak-into-gucci-prime-steak">Best of Personal Finance Roundup: How to Turn Cheap &quot;Choice&quot; Steak into Gucci &quot;Prime&quot; Steak</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-20-amazing-fitness-blogs-to-inspire-you">Best of Personal Finance Roundup: 20+ Amazing Fitness Blogs to Inspire You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-3-ways-to-prepare-for-the-card-act">Best of Personal Finance Roundup: 3 Ways to Prepare for the Card Act</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-dont-let-friends">Friends Don&#039;t Let Friends...</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-what-the-ipad-is-and-is-not">Best of Personal Finance Roundup: What the iPad Is and Is Not</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best personal finance MasterCard roundup Fri, 05 Mar 2010 18:00:02 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5668 at http://www.wisebread.com Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout? http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3323417297_154f5f66b3_z.jpg" alt="card" title="card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s a question I&rsquo;m asked at least a few times a day when I use my check card, usually by one of those little card-reading machines (although sometimes, an actual living person asks, too). Being someone who hates the word &ldquo;credit&rdquo; I have always opted for &ldquo;debit&rdquo; and proceeded to enter my PIN number. But have I been doing it all wrong?</p> <p>Most of us carry a check card these days. More convenient than checks, and safer than cash, the check card allows a vendor to take money from your checking account and deposit it in their own. And it&rsquo;s quick. Often, you&rsquo;ll see transactions appear on your online bank statement minutes after you have swiped the card.</p> <p>Now, when you&rsquo;re at the checkout of any store, you&rsquo;ll be posed a question &mdash; <a title="Guide to Using Credit Cards Wisely" href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide">debit or credit</a>? And although the outcome seems the same (a deduction from your checking account), it&rsquo;s a different process with different consequences, and it uses two different networks. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-beat-debit-card-fees">4 Ways to Beat Debit Card Fees</a>)</p> <p>So, let&rsquo;s say you have a Visa check card. Choose credit and you&rsquo;ll be asked to sign for you purchase. All signature transactions go through the Visa network, and come with the additional security offered by credit card companies. That includes fraudulent use protection and Visa&rsquo;s Zero Liability Policy.</p> <p>But stores really don&rsquo;t like this option, which is why they ask you the &ldquo;debit or credit&rdquo; question. And the reason? Banks get a much larger percentage fee from the merchant or vendor when you sign for your goods, and it is an enormous source of non-traditional revenue. That&rsquo;s why banks offer reward points and incentives to check card holders who choose the credit option.</p> <p>On the other hand, when you choose debit, you&rsquo;ll be asked for a 4-digit PIN number. This purchase is then processed through an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) system like STAR or NYCE. These networks don&rsquo;t provide the additional liability protection offered by Visa. However, the store won&rsquo;t incur the same hefty fee that they will have to pay if you choose credit, so stores like this option. A reader also asked a question about cash back. Only the debit/PIN# option allows this transaction, and as doing it this way avoids ATM fees, it's a good choice when you do need some cash. And it&rsquo;s possible that more people choosing the debit option will equate to lower prices in stores. I say &ldquo;possible&rdquo; because there&rsquo;s really no way to predict what stores would do with any extra savings&hellip;most likely, they&rsquo;ll get passed on to the shareholders.</p> <p>But whether you choose debit or credit, either method is safer than using cash or writing checks. Lose a check card and you&rsquo;re covered for almost everything you lose (usually there&rsquo;s a $50 out-of-pocket cost) and it&rsquo;s easy to cancel cards and order new ones.&nbsp; When you lose cash, you&rsquo;ll probably never see it again. Checks can be easily altered and they&rsquo;re also time-consuming (just think back to how you felt the last time someone paid by check for a candy bar or bottle of soda).</p> <h3>Back to the big question. Debit or credit?</h3> <p>Me, I&rsquo;m going with the credit option from now on (unless I want <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back</a>). Not only will I enjoy the added protection of something like the Visa Zero Liability Policy, but I can also take advantage of my bank&rsquo;s reward programs and incentive policies. Now, it may not be as good for the store, but that&rsquo;s something merchants and vendors need to negotiate. <br /> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-increase-the-chance-of-someone-returning-your-lost-wallet">How to Increase the Chance of Someone Returning Your Lost Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Consumer Affairs Credit Cards General Tips Shopping check card credit debit MasterCard transaction VISA Tue, 21 Apr 2009 16:36:07 +0000 Paul Michael 3072 at http://www.wisebread.com Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit cards.jpg" alt="Stacked." title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to this weeks Best of Personal Finance round-up!</p> <p>Ah, credit. What would we do without it, besides live simpler lives with smaller televisions? </p> <p>We here at Wise Bread are fans of Credit Karma, and we're not alone.<a href="http://frugalbabe.com/2009/03/23/credit-karma/"> Frugal Babe</a> gives the<strong> free credit score service</strong> a try, and reports her findings.</p> <p>Believe it or not, the US government is fighting overdraft fees by reforming some banking legislation that you've never heard of (OK, that I've never heard of). And Uncle Sam is soliciting your feedback on the matter, reports <a href="http://www.usnews.com/blogs/alpha-consumer/2009/3/26/uncle-sam-wants-your-opinion-on-card-fees.html?s_cid=rss:alpha-consumer:uncle-sam-wants-your-opinion-on-card-fees">Alpha Consumer</a>.</p> <p>You might think that only people with lousy finances get their credit limit slashed, but even financially well-off people are finding that credit card companies are willing to take away their credit limits, as <a href="http://www.walletpop.com/credit/article/_a/bbdp/credit-limit-slashed-be-very-afraid/396490">Wallet Pop</a> notes.</p> <p><a href="http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2009/03/20/debt-reduction-vs-retirement-savings/">Five Cent Nickel</a> is asked if one should pay off debt or save for retirement first.</p> <p>WSJ blog <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/wallet/2009/03/25/bofa-drops-spending-caps-on-upromise-credit-card/?mod=rss_WSJBlog">The Wallet reports that Bank of America is taking over the Upromise credit card</a> (the credit card that supposedly helps parents help save money for their children's college tuition) from Citigroup, and may lift the cash back limits on the card.</p> <p>Even if you have credit cards with zero balance that you aren't using, you don't want to close the accounts, and <a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/closing-credit-card-accounts-fico-score">Money Under Thirty</a> is here to tell you why.</p> <p>Then again, <a href="http://www.askmrcreditcard.com/creditcardblog/should-you-close-your-credit-card-once-you-pay-it-off/">Ask Mr. Credit Card says that your credit score will probably recover </a>if you simply hate the thought of having old, unused accounts lying around.</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/03/25/the-low-interest-debt-debate/">The Simple Dollar </a>explains why taking out a low-interest car loan may be a better idea that paying all of the money upfront in one huge chunk.</p> <p>One of the few good things about AmEx (and other major credit card companies) is their chargeback (refund) policies, which tend to favor the consumer. <a href="http://consumerist.com/5185159/woman-who-missed-obamas-inauguration-starts-10000-amex-chargeback">Consumerist </a>writes about a woman who submitting a chargeback for 10k that she spent to secure a spot at the Presidential inaguration in January, which she never got to see.</p> <p><a href="http://www.richcreditdebtloan.com/9-steps-for-establishing-credit/">Rich Credit Debt Loan</a> discusses how to establish credit, assuming that you are one of the few people left in the world without a line of credit (or a young adult, just starting out in a world of owing).</p> <p>Breaking the credit card habit can be hard, but <a href="http://www.ncnblog.com/2009/03/19/how-to-break-the-credit-card-habit/">No Credit Needed </a>was up to the challenge.</p> <p><a href="http://www.doughroller.net/book-reviews/debt-cures-kevin-trudeau/">Dough Roller </a>looks at Kevin Trudeau's Debt Cures and finds them lacking.</p> <p>What do you do if your credit report shows a delinquent account that you never opened and you can't get the collections agency to talk to you? Readers respond at <a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2009/03/help-a-reader-credit-report-problem.html">Free Money Finance</a>.</p> <p>And although this is not related to credit cards, it is a blog post simply too awesome to pass up: Trent at The Simple Dollar offers <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/03/26/most-time-management-is-rubbish-here-are-ten-things-that-work-for-me/">honest-to-goodness productivity tips that really work</a>. For him, anyway. See if they work for you.</p> <p>If you have a suggestion for the next edition, please <a target="_blank" href="../../../../../../forums/bloggers-corner/best-web-suggest-link-718.html#post5984">share them in the forum</a>!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-dont-love-capital-one-how-to-get-a-lower-apr-or-possibly-not">I Don&#039;t Love Capital One - How to Get a Lower APR, or Possibly Not</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/uk-banks-are-blocking-customers-credit-cards-will-the-usa-be-next">UK banks are blocking customers&#039; credit cards. Will the USA be next?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-we-really-need-help-in-getting-more-debt">Do we really need help with getting more debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/funding-your-401k-when-youre-in-debt">Funding your 401(k) when you&#039;re in debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Debt Management amex APR credit card interest rates credit cards debit debt finances interest rates loans MasterCard VISA Thu, 26 Mar 2009 22:40:29 +0000 Andrea Karim 2980 at http://www.wisebread.com I Don't Love Capital One - How to Get a Lower APR, or Possibly Not http://www.wisebread.com/i-dont-love-capital-one-how-to-get-a-lower-apr-or-possibly-not <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/creditcard_Sm.jpg" alt=" " width="321" height="233" /></p> <p>I knew there was a reason that I chose <strong>capitalone-bites-the-big-one772</strong> as my log in name for my online credit card account. It&#39;s because, well, Capital One bites. I&#39;m a good customer of Capital One; I keep a revolving balance that should make them happy, and I pay my bill religiously.</p> <p>Now, I don&#39;t have the best credit history. A few years ago, when I was unemployed for a few months, I had to <a href="http://www.kimberlycredit.com/">consolidate a few credit cards</a>. Also, I totally went crazy back in college and rang up some terrible balances paying for <a href="/can-i-conquer-my-vanity-for-the-sake-of-my-sanity">other people&#39;s stuff</a>. Despite this, I always paid off the high balances, and because I&#39;ve been so responsible since, and because I make a decent income, I have a good credit score, much better than the American average. </p> <p>Despite this, I still pay roughly 17% APR on my Capital One credit card.</p> <p>So last Friday, when I heard NPR&#39;s Morning Edition giving totally unoriginal advice about how to lower your credit card costs, I thought, <em>I should try that</em>. </p> <p>If you don&#39;t feel like <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7299407">listening to the broadcast</a>, I&#39;ll give you the gist: <em>Paying a high APR? Why not call the company and ask them to lower your interest rate? They&#39;ll probably do it. If they don&#39;t, threaten to transfer your balance to another card! Or talk to the manager!</em></p> <p>Lots of people seem to think that you can <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Talk-Your-Credit-Card-Debt/dp/0964840154">get out of debt with mere words</a>. I&#39;ve actually tried this method before, and Capital One totally called my bluff. </p> <p>&quot;I&#39;ll transer my balance!&quot;, I shrieked to the customer service rep 2 years ago. When I applied for another card, I got rejected. Mind you, I wasn&#39;t making much money at the time, but still, maybe Capital One probably has a little note on my file that says &quot;Ignore requests for lower interest rate - she can&#39;t get one. Bwahahahaha!&quot;. </p> <p>But, I reasoned, I make good money <em>now</em>. I have a <strong>mortgage</strong>. Capital One will have to respect me. Just to be on the safe side, I applied for a credit card with 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 months, and 7.9% thereafter. I only have a couple thousand to pay off, but still, the APR makes a difference to me. And besides, I&#39;d never missed a payment, never been late, and long ago stopped adding to my credit debt. So, they&#39;d be sure to oblige this time, right?</p> <p>As usual, Capital One managed to disappoint. I was informed that &quot;There isn&#39;t another interest rate that we can apply to your card&quot; as though 1 and 7 were the only numbers on her keypad, and bygummit, they could only be entered in that exact order. I asked to speak to a manager, and an equally unmovable person got on the line to inform me that there was no way in which my rate could be lowered.</p> <p>&quot;I&#39;ll transfer my balance!&quot;, I shrieked, experiencing a keen sense of deja vu. The rep was unconcerned.</p> <p>Sadly, it seems like <a href="http://money.aol.com/smoney/credit/canvas3/_a/plastic-penalties/20060928152709990001">I&#39;m not alone</a> in my rejection.</p> <p class="blockquote">Negotiating Power Back in 2003, a study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a Washington, D.C., a consumer advocacy group, found that 56% of the consumers who called their credit-card companies to ask for a lower interest rate were able to get it within five minutes. <em><strong>That may not be as easy today</strong></em>, says US PIRG consumer program director Ed Mierzwinski. &quot;They are being much more difficult because they&#39;re trying even harder to squeeze the last dollar out of your pocket,&quot; he says. &quot;But if you&#39;re a good customer you should understand they don&#39;t want to lose you because the cost of acquiring new customers is very high.&quot;</p> <p>I did apply for a new credit card, and was accepted, but then I read this:</p> <p class="blockquote">But be wary of balance transfer fees, which lately have also been on the rise.... While most fees used to be 3% of the transferred balance, up to a cap of $50 to $75, many card issuers now charge 4% of the balance with a cap of $90, Arnold says. Notably, Bank of America recently eliminated the cap on its 3% fee. So on a $10,000 transfer, you&#39;d be hit with a $300 charge.</p> <p><a href="http://blog.washingtonpost.com/thecheckout/2006/07/borrowers_beware_of_balance_tr.html">Also</a>:</p> <p class="blockquote">What&#39;s particularly troubling... is that most consumers probably won&#39;t realize there&#39;s no maximum fee because it&#39;s completely absent in the fine print. Up to now, the balance-transfer fee listed in the terms and conditions usually notes a maximum, but in some of the latest offers, there&#39;s absolutely no mention of any maximum. And that could mean you may have to pay the entire 3 percent charge. Best advice: Call and ask about all balance-transfer fees, including maximums, before accepting any new card offer.</p> <p>This is important to note: when I applied for my credit card online, there was no immediate or obvious information about transfer fees. What was written was this:</p> <p class="blockquote">We include Transaction Fees when computing finance charges. Incurring Fees results in an APR exceeding 0% for the billing statement on which Fees appear. The Daily Periodic Rate (DPR) will remain 0% as disclosed.</p> <p>Is it just me, or is that wording not exactly straight-forward? </p> <p>Now, I could just pay off the credit card (this may seem logical to people whose brains are not addled by consumer greed and shoe lust). Using <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/brm/calc/creditcardpay.asp">Bankrate.com&#39;s credit pay down calculator</a>, I determined that by paying my minimum payment every month (which is what Capital One helpfully hints that I should do when I pay my bill online) it will take me 43 months to pay off a debt of $2500. If I pay $400 a month (tough, but doable), it will take me 7 months. </p> <p>But even in that case, Capital One still gets $300 in interest from me. </p> <p>Anyway, when I called and spoke to my new credit card company this morning, it turns out that my transfer fee for balances would amount to roughly $75. Which is much better than $300 going towards Capital One. I could then take my sweet time (11 months at $250 a month) to pay off the card, which would be easier to swing than $400 a month. </p> <p>So take THAT, Capital One! Take that. I&#39;m taking $300 out of your coffers and giving $75 to another company! Yes!</p> <p>It is a bitter victory indeed.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-dont-love-capital-one-how-to-get-a-lower-apr-or-possibly-not">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-interest-rates-are-about-to-go-up">Your Interest Rates Are About to Go Up</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management APR Bank of America Capital One credit card CSR debt lower interest rate MasterCard NPR VISA Mon, 12 Feb 2007 20:49:06 +0000 Andrea Karim 269 at http://www.wisebread.com