balance transfer cards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/13020/all en-US The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_phone_000053601330.jpg" alt="Woman using her credit card on the phone" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Those who live under a mountain of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-do-a-balance-transfer-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt">credit card debt</a> quickly realize that their suffering has two components. First there is the principle, the actual amount of goods and services that was charged to their credit card. Secondly, there are the financing charges imposed each month on their balance. With each statement cycle, their average daily balance is multiplied by one twelfth of the card's Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Therefore, if you owe $10,000 on a card with an APR of 12%, you are incurring $100 in interest each month. Due to the effect of compounding interest, the finance charges incurred each month add to your balance, resulting in more interest being accrued with each passing month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-must-know-before-transferring-credit-card-balances?ref=seealso">What You Must Know Before Transferring Credit Card Balances</a>)</p> <h2>How a Balance Transfer Works</h2> <p>To help relieve the burden of debt and acquire new customers, banks have long offered credit cards with a 0% promotional APR, for a limited time, on balance transfers. Applicants who qualify for a new card with these promotional rates can have their existing balance paid off by their new card. During the time that the 0% promotional rate applies, interest is not being accrued on the balance transferred; however, the amount transferred is almost always subject to a one-time balance transfer fee. This fee, typically 3%-5%, is added to the new balance. Also, cardholders are still responsible for making minimum payments on their account. New transactions may incur interest at the standard rate, although in some instances, the 0% promotional rate also applies to new purchases as well. Finally, no matter how much you are struggling with your debt, it is critical that you continue to make all of your payments on time, as only applicants with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit">excellent credit</a> will qualify for most of these excellent promotional credit card offers.</p> <h2>How to Save Money With a Balance Transfer</h2> <p>First, it is crucial that those seeking a balance transfer do so as part of a comprehensive plan to eliminate their credit card debt. Such a plan should focus on maximizing their income, minimizing their expenses, and regularly paying down their entire credit card before the promotional rate expires.</p> <p>As part of an overall plan to eliminate debt, the benefits of a balance transfer are clear. For example, if a cardholder has an existing credit balance of $10,000 on a card with a 15% APR, that cardholder is currently accruing $125 in interest each month. If the cardholder continues to pay interest while reducing the balance by $500 each month, that person will still have accrued $1,250 of interest over the 20 months it took him or her to pay off the balance (15% interest applied to an average daily balance of $5,000 over 12 months). Alternatively, that person could accept a balance transfer offer of 21 months at 0% interest with a 3% balance transfer fee. In this case, that person's old balance of $10,000 will be paid off, while they will incur a new balance of $10,000 plus $300 in balance transfer fees. If all goes according to plan, at the end of the 21 months, the new balance will be paid off and the cardholder will have saved nearly $1,000 in interest.</p> <p>A 0% balance transfer is not an instant solution to the problem of credit card debt. You should think of these offers as a significant push up a big mountain, but you will still have to do most of the work yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-hidden-dangers-of-credit-card-balance-transfers?ref=seealso">6 Hidden Dangers of Credit Card Balance Transfers</a>)</p> <h2>Top Five 0% Balance Transfer Cards on the Market</h2> <p>Like every aspect of the credit card industry, we are fortunate to enjoy an extremely competitive market for 0% balance transfer credit cards. None of these cards have annual fees, because if you're working on paying off your debt with a balance transfer, you shouldn't be worrying about the extra rewards. Here are the top offers currently available.</p> <h3>BankAmericard Credit Card</h3> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=16&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1015"><img width="154" border="0" alt="" style="float: right; margin: 0px 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/BankAmericard.jpg" /></a></p> <p>The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=16&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1015">BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card</a> offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 billing cycles, one of the longest introductory periods currently offered by credit cards. This introductory rate applies to balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. There is a transfer balance fee of 3% (min $10), and the standard APR for both purchases and balance transfers is 11.24-21.24% variable. <strong>There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=16&amp;pp=1&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1015"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard&reg; Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Chase Slate</h3> <p><a title="Chase Slate&reg;" alt="Chase Slate&reg;" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1015"><img width="154" border="0" style="float:right;margin:0 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/198669/604579.png" /></a>The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1015">Chase Slate&reg;</a> card is catered specifically for balance transfers. You get 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and new purchases. After that, a variable APR of 13.24%-23.24% applies. What makes this card uniquely suited for balance transfers is the<strong> zero intro balance transfer fee</strong> when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future transactions is 3% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5. This is a great deal if all you need is a card to transfer a balance to and get a 15 month relief from interest. <strong>There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><strong><a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=39&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1015">Click here to learn more and apply for Chase Slate&reg; Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h3>Discover it - Double Cash Back your first year</h3> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=63&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcard&amp;fot=1015"><img width="154" height="98" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="credit card" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/211101/601525.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=63&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname&amp;fot=1015">Discover it&reg; - Double Cash Back your first year Card</a> is offering a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months (but only 6 months for purchases). After that, the APR will be 11.24%-23.24% (variable), depending on your credit. Balance transfers are subject to a 3% fee. Plus, you get your recent FICO Credit Scores for free on monthly statements and online to help you stay on top of your credit. And Discover's Freeze It<sup>SM</sup> on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers on misplaced cards by mobile app and online.</p> <p>In addition to a great 18 month balance transfer rate, the Discover it card is a great <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash rewards card</a>, offering 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. Right now, they have an exclusive offer for new cardmembers that automatically doubles all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. <strong>There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=63&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend&amp;fot=1015"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Discover it&reg; - Double Cash Back your first year Card today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" alt="Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card" title="Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xcard"><img border="0" style="float: right; margin: 0px 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://content.linkoffers.net/SharedImages/Products/219963/598864.png" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xname">Capital One&reg; Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards Credit Card</a> offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases until November 2016. A 3% fee applies to each balance transferred and the variable APR after the intro period is 13.24%-23.24%. New cardholders also get a $100 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months. This straightforward cash back credit card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase &mdash; there are no rotating categories or bonus categories to keep track of. <strong>There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><strong><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=27&amp;pp=4&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the Quicksilver&reg; Cash Rewards today!</a></strong></p> <h3>Citi Simplicity MasterCard</h3> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=54&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcard"><img width="154" height="98" style="float: right; margin: 0px 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="credit card" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/CitiSimplicityCardMasterCard.jpg" /></a>The <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=54&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xname">Citi Simplicity&reg; MasterCard</a> from our partner Citi offers a 0% APR for <strong>21 months</strong> on both balance transfers and new purchases (that's a long time). After that, the regular balance transfer APR will be 13.24%-23.24% (variable), depending on your credit. There is a $5 or 3% balance transfer fee (whichever is greater). Simplicity doesn't have any cash back or points program, but it does offer no late fees or penalty interest rates, and include exclusive services like Citi Price Rewind. It also includes EMV Chip technology and is compatible with Apple Pay. <strong>There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=54&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Citi Simplicity&reg; MasterCard today!</strong></a></p> <h3>BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card</h3> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xcard"><img width="154" border="0" alt="" style="float: right; margin: 0px 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/BoA_Cash_Rewards-154.jpg" /></a></p> <p>The <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xname">BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; credit card</a> has a decent intro offer of 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 12 billing cycles (then 13.24% - 23.24% variable APR). Plus, the 3% cash back for gas is among the highest available, and you earn 2% at grocery stores (for the first $1,500 in combined grocery/gas purchases each quarter).<strong>There is no annual fee.</strong></p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=19&amp;pid=17&amp;pp=6&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the BankAmericard Cash Rewards&trade; Credit Card today!</strong></a></p> <h2>Low Interest Credit Cards for Long Term Debt</h2> <p>Another option to save money if you have a large credit card debt is to transfer the balance(s) to a low interest credit card. This option is especially attractive if you won't be able to pay off the entire balance within the 0% intro APR period of the cards above. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=seealso"><strong>Click here for good low interest credit card choices.</strong></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">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/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt">Dealing with Post-Holiday Credit Card Debt</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/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">The Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards</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-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores">The 5 Best Credit Cards That Offer Free Credit Scores</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/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</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/oops-i-maxed-out-my-credit-cards-now-what">Oops — I Maxed Out My Credit Cards. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management balance transfer cards best credit cards credit card debt interest rates Wed, 01 Jan 2014 11:36:22 +0000 Jason Steele 846038 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Credit Card Services You Don’t (Usually) Need http://www.wisebread.com/6-credit-card-services-you-don-t-usually-need <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-credit-card-services-you-don-t-usually-need" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3728145.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone who has opened up a credit card in the last five years has been pitched on various supplementary &ldquo;services&rdquo; from the company in question. The offers sound enticing and even logical at times, but are they really justified from a hard dollars-and-cents standpoint?</p> <p>Everyone&rsquo;s financial situation is different, but generally speaking, the answer is NO.</p> <p>Here are six credit card services that you (usually) do not need. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-card-perks-beyond-points-and-miles">Best Credit Card Perks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Identity Theft Coverage</h2> <p>This is typically framed as a way to avoid liability for fraudulent charges made after your credit card is stolen. It sounds appealing, but many consumers fail to realize they are essentially ALREADY covered from this by <a href="http://www.fdic.gov/regulations/laws/rules/6500-200.html">1968&rsquo;s Truth in Lending Act</a>. This law states that if you report the stolen card immediately, your maximum liability for fraudulent charges is $50. As such, it makes zero sense to pay $5 per month (or anything) when, even in the worst case scenario, you are only out $50.</p> <p>While some identity theft plans offer coverage for more extreme circumstances (such as losing other cards or your Social Security number), you would generally be better served investing in a paper shredder and monitoring your credit report than paying the fees your credit card company would charge.</p> <h2>2. Missed Payment Insurance</h2> <p>This was actually offered to me a few days ago while activating a credit card. The salesperson gleefully exclaimed how I could &ldquo;put my payments on hold for up to two years&rdquo; in case I lost my job or ran out of money. The cost? Something like $5 per every $100 on my outstanding balance. It actually sounded moderately appealing at first, until I paused and thought about it.</p> <p>&ldquo;Why would I ever be unemployed or unable to make credit card payments for<em> two years</em>?&rdquo;</p> <p>For one thing, I (like many credit card holders) rarely carry balances month-to-month. It might make sense if you carry huge balances, but even in that case, you probably ought to ask WHY you&rsquo;re carrying those balances. Furthermore, a modest savings account would seemingly provide all the missed payment insurance you would need in a cash crunch.</p> <h2>3. Credit Score Tracking</h2> <p>Given the overall importance of your credit score, this is definitely a number worth knowing. Do you really need 24/7 access to it, as many credit card companies now offer in exchange for additional fees? It&rsquo;s debatable (and there are definitely circumstances where it COULD make sense), but probably not.</p> <p>Although credit scores do change dynamically to reflect your most up-to-date activity, obsessively monitoring it every single day is unlikely to reveal anything of importance. You would be much better off simply getting your free yearly credit score and report from <a href="http://www.annualcreditreport.com/">AnnualCreditReport.com</a> in the beginning of the year, and then perhaps paying one of the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans-Union) for second and third peeks later on. Experian, for instance, offers <a href="http://www.experian.com/credit-report-partner/index-g.html?WT.srch=ECDG1">$1 access to your score</a> in connection with an easy-to-cancel trial.</p> <h2>4. Debt Consolidation</h2> <p>Typically offered by third-party organizations rather than credit card companies themselves, debt consolidation is far from the silver bullet its supporters make it out to be. Consolidating debt lowers your immediate monthly payment (which we always hear), but it also lengthens the amount of time you stay in debt and enlarges the total amount that you pay (which we almost never hear.)</p> <p>Think about it &mdash; what creditor would voluntarily rewrite debt if it only benefited the borrower? No one would. Taking this into account, you should realize that debt consolidation doesn&rsquo;t lower your debt. It simply moves it around and makes it (temporarily) more comfortable. Approach debt consolidation with caution.</p> <h2>5. Credit Score Repair</h2> <p>A number of credit card companies (sensing that many consumers have low credit scores) are beginning to offer credit score repair services. The offer is appealing to people who don&rsquo;t understand credit and thus believe &ldquo;the experts&rdquo; can push a few buttons to raise their score overnight.</p> <p>Yet in truth, credit scores are no mystery. As <a href="http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/whatsinyourscore.aspx">myFICO explains</a>, your credit score is comprised of five things and five things only:</p> <ul> <li>Payment history (35%)</li> <li>Amounts owed (30%)</li> <li>Length of credit history (15%)</li> <li>New credit (10%)</li> <li><span> </span>Types of credit used (10%)</li> </ul> <p>Repair services don&rsquo;t have any shortcuts or special tricks. All they can do are the same common-sense things you could do yourself by consulting the list above (paying your bills on time, repaying outstanding balances, ceasing to apply for new credit for a while, etc.)</p> <h2>6. Balance Transfers</h2> <p>Before someone rushes to say how insane I am for calling <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">balance transfers</a> unnecessary, let me state that I do find them worthwhile sometimes. More often than not, however, they amount to little more than a band-aid on a bullet wound.</p> <p>Because those highly sought 0% &ldquo;teaser periods&rdquo; often last just 3-6 months (and most borrowers will not pay off their entire balance that quickly), credit card holders might be left to either stick with the astronomical new APR or &ldquo;rate-chase&rdquo; by balance transferring to a new 0% card. This can actually compound your credit problems because constantly applying for new credit reflects poorly on your score.</p> <p>If you can pay off a balance IN FULL during the teaser period, it can be a smart move. If not, it&rsquo;s likely a waste of time and money.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jay-cross">Jay Cross</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-credit-card-services-you-don-t-usually-need">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/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card">6 Ways to Benefit From Your Credit Card</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/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</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/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt">Dealing with Post-Holiday Credit Card Debt</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/should-you-avoid-rewards-cards-with-annual-fees">Should You Avoid Rewards Cards With Annual Fees?</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/are-you-getting-all-the-credit-card-rewards-youve-earned">Are You Getting All the Credit Card Rewards You&#039;ve Earned?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer cards credit card fees upsell Mon, 16 Jan 2012 11:36:09 +0000 Jay Cross 864196 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Benefit From Your Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007864786Small.jpg" alt="Woman with credit card at computer" title="Woman with credit card at computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No amount of credit card reform is going to help if you don't spend the time to make your credit cards benefit you. As with many things, credit cards can be wonderful if you are disciplined, but they can also backfire and create a huge financial hole for you to dig out of. (If the latter is more likely for you, may I suggest measures such as freezing your credit card?) Here are six ideas for how to benefit from your credit card.</p> <h3>1. Eliminate Annual Fees</h3> <p>You likely looked into this before you applied to your current card of choice, but is your credit card still free to own? Many institutions started charging annual fees, and there's a chance that yours does now as well. With companies likely adding the annual fee as a line item on one of your monthly bills, it may go unnoticed &mdash; so double check to make sure. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fees-hidden-and-otherwise">Credit Card Fees: Hidden and Otherwise</a>)</p> <h3>2. Pay Your Balances Off Each Month</h3> <p>I contemplated whether to put this one in, because it's obvious. But it's so important that everyone needs to hear this again and again. Don't use a credit card unless you can pay it off each month. Got it? Now go read it again, and follow the rules.</p> <p>If you don't believe that it's possible to live without borrowing, just remember that people were fine before the invention of debt! If you can't afford it, just don't buy it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">How Much Does Your Credit Card Debt Cost You</a>)</p> <h3>3. Stick With Cash-Back Rewards</h3> <p>There are zillion different ways to redeem your credit card rewards, but it's probably best to stick with getting cash (or perhaps a statement credit) unless you were going to need to use it anyway. For example, getting a free airline ticket is good if you were going to buy the exact same ticket for the exact same price, but getting a $50 gift card and ending up buying $73.28 worth of useless junk is not worth it.</p> <h3>4. Know All the Benefits You Are Getting</h3> <p>It's always a good idea to know every benefit that your card is providing. In addition to reward points, some cards get you into airport lounges, while others will double the warranty of a product. By knowing all the benefits, you won't be paying extra for something that you can get for free. For example, one of my credit cards provides rental car insurance.</p> <h3>5. Write Down Why You Applied for the Card in the First Place</h3> <p>A good way to remember all those benefits is to actually write them down in simplified form somewhere, so you can look at it once in a while to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/perform-a-credit-card-rewards-annual-review">refresh your memory</a>. I know it is a bit of work, but I applied for one of my cards eight years ago. Would you remember all the details from eight years ago? Or let's say you applied for a 0% balance transfer credit card. Now that the introductory 0% APR period is over, do you still need to keep it?</p> <h3>6. Use Credit Cards Whenever Possible</h3> <p>This is only for those who can pay off the balance of course, but remember to use your credit card every chance you get! I know there are many people who like to make fun of those who use credit cards for the smallest purchases, but did you know that it is actually easier (and faster) for both the buyer AND the seller when small purchases are paid using a credit card? When you don't even need to sign for a purchase at some of these stores, using a credit card is a no-brainer.</p> <p>There are many more ways you can save with a credit card, but if your credit card isn't working for you yet, start with the tips up above.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-benefit-from-your-credit-card">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/6-credit-card-services-you-don-t-usually-need">6 Credit Card Services You Don’t (Usually) Need</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/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</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/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back 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/25-easy-ways-to-save-money-but-still-get-what-you-want-during-holiday-shopping">25+ Easy Ways to Save Money But Still Get What You Want During Holiday Shopping</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/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt">Dealing with Post-Holiday Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards balance transfer cards cash back rewards credit card benefits credit card fees Wed, 23 Mar 2011 11:00:08 +0000 David Ning 508477 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Save Money on Everyday Expenses http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-money-on-everyday-expenses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-save-money-on-everyday-expenses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009438380Smallcr.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;There's no such thing as a free lunch&quot; is a phrase we often hear. That's certainly true, but even if you can't have it for free, any little bit of savings helps, right? Luckily for us, there are ways to spend less on practically everything as long as you look for proven strategies. Here are five ways to save on your everyday expenses.</p> <h3>Go Generic</h3> <p>Whether it's the brand of spaghetti that you are used to or a prescription drug that helps you feel better, chances are good that there is a generic brand that costs less. In the case of food, it might taste a little different, so weigh the pros and cons. But when it comes to something like pills, they are medically proven to work the same, so make a change and lighten the load on your wallet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/generic-drug-price-lists-for-six-major-pharmacies">Generic Drug Price Lists for Six Major Pharmacies</a>)</p> <h3>Get 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</h3> <p>This is only for those who already carry a high balance, but with credit card interest rates going up, it makes no sense to pay that ridiculously high APR when you can just apply for a credit card with a 0% balance transfer rate.</p> <h3>Refinance</h3> <p>Rates are creeping back up, but if you are still holding onto a 6%+ interest rate on your mortgage, then it's definitely time to look into whether you can refinance at a lower rate.</p> <p>You do pay fees in most cases, but as long as the difference in interest rates is big enough, the move will be worth it. With a $10,000 balance, you could be talking about $2,000 in interest payments every year!</p> <h3>Re-Shop Your Insurance Policies</h3> <p>With the help of the internet, it's painless to comparison shop. And when it comes to insurance premiums, it really pays to take a look at your policies regularly to see if a competitor can offer you a lower price, since your situation is always evolving.</p> <h3>Change the Way You Shop</h3> <p>Frugality is gaining ground in our society, but the majority of people still always pay full retail prices. Tricks such as shopping off-season, buying at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-you-might-not-know-about-your-local-thrift-store">thrift stores</a>, clipping <a href="http://couponshoebox.com/">online coupons</a>, or limiting your shopping sprees to only outlet malls are all fairly easy ways to save money and still get the same quality that you are used to.</p> <p>It takes discipline to not just whip out your credit card whenever you see something you want at the store, but eventually, the money you are able to save will convince you to be patient. The key to success is to start somewhere and continue to make improvements.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-save-money-on-everyday-expenses">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/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer 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/learn-something-new-with-these-9-cheap-apps">Learn Something New With These 9 Cheap Apps</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/10-great-side-jobs-for-extroverts">10 Great Side Jobs for Extroverts</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/6-ways-the-sandwich-generation-can-get-ahead">6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Get Ahead</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/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle balance transfer cards generic brands refinancing Wed, 23 Feb 2011 13:36:13 +0000 David Ning 493689 at http://www.wisebread.com Dealing with Post-Holiday Credit Card Debt http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000011024035Smallcr.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here we are about a month after Christmas, and the first credit card bills from the holiday season are starting to arrive. Many consumers are experiencing a little sticker shock at the extent of their overspending. According to <em>Consumer Reports</em>, shopping with credit cards during the holidays often leads to overspending by an average of 16%. This is part of the reason that the same <a href="http://blogs.consumerreports.org/money/2010/10/tightwad_tod_holiday_spending_poll_2010_bargains_shopping_gifts.html"><em>Consumer Reports </em>survey</a> revealed that 13.6 million Americans were still paying off holiday purchases from 2009 in November of 2010.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">cost of credit card debt</a> is often a hidden expense, particularly for people who are juggling multiple credit cards. It is easy to overlook the total interest expenses when they are spread across three, five, or even seven credit cards.</p> <p>But credit card interest expenses add up quickly. Having an average monthly balance of $3,000 may not seem like much, but at a 15% interest rate, it can cost you $450 a year.</p> <p>Now is the time to assess the situation and make a plan to pay off the debt.</p> <h3>3 to 24 Months: Transfer Your Balance</h3> <p>If you know you can&rsquo;t realistically do it in two or three months, seek out a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards" title="5 Best 0% APR Balance Transfer Cards">credit card that offers a 0% balance transfer</a>. With a balance transfer, you pay a small transaction fee, typically 3%, to move your high-interest debt to a card that charges no interest for anywhere from 12 to 24 months.</p> <p>During this time of no-interest repayments, all payments you send to the credit card will <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-places-to-start-your-debt-management-crusade">reduce your debt</a> directly. This will help you pay off the holiday debt faster than sending a minimum payment each month and paying interest all year long.</p> <p>Balance transfers are a good option for consumers with good credit, but these offers should be used with caution. Refrain from running up new debt when you transfer the balance to a new card &mdash; and focus on paying down what you already owe.</p> <h3>24 Months or More: Credit Counseling</h3> <p>If you have more than $10,000 in credit card debt and are beginning to feel like you&rsquo;ll never pay it off, using a non-profit credit-counseling service may be your best option.</p> <p>Credit counselors work with your credit card companies to come up with a repayment plan that fits your budget. Make sure to research credit counseling agencies before you sign up &mdash; not all agencies work with all credit card companies. Also, you want to make sure you choose a reputable credit counseling agency. You can use the <a href="http://www.bbb.org/">Better Business Bureau</a> to find out about consumer complaints and a company's reputation.</p> <p>Generally, credit counselors will negotiate lower interest rates on each of your credit card accounts, so more of your payments go towards debt. Legitimate non-profit credit counselors do not offer to settle your credit card debt for pennies on the dollar. Avoid companies that use this language, as these companies often charge high upfront fees and can end up hurting your credit while doing little to improve your credit card debt situation. Visit the <a href="http://www.nfcc.org/">National Foundation for Credit Counseling</a> to learn about credit counseling and search for approved companies in your area.</p> <h3>Avoid Credit Card Debt Next Holiday Season</h3> <p>As you are concentrating on paying off your post-holiday credit card debt from this holiday season, you can also prepare to avoid credit card debt for the next year! The winter holidays come the same time every year, and the best way to manage them is to prepare for them well in advance.</p> <p>Take a look at your total holiday spending for the most recent holiday season. Divide the total amount by 12 months, and you'll see how much money you should set aside each month for next year's holiday spending. Consider opening a Christmas Club account at your local bank or credit union or an online savings account dedicated to holiday savings.</p> <p>Ignoring credit card debt or only paying a fraction of your debt every month can cost you a lot of money in the long run. Consider a balance transfer credit card or working with a reputable credit counseling agency to get out of credit card debt and avoid paying high interest and fees.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debbie-dragon">Debbie Dragon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealing-with-post-holiday-credit-card-debt">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-14"> <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-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer 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/6-ways-debt-settlement-can-leave-you-deeper-in-debt-even-with-trustworthy-companies">6 Ways Debt Settlement Can Leave You Deeper in Debt (Even With Trustworthy Companies)</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/how-to-rebuild-your-credit-in-8-simple-steps">How to Rebuild Your Credit in 8 Simple Steps</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/10-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score">10 Surprising Ways to Negatively Affect Your Credit Score</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/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">The Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management balance transfer cards credit card counseling credit card debt holiday debt Sun, 23 Jan 2011 22:00:22 +0000 Debbie Dragon 471123 at http://www.wisebread.com