Get the Most From Your Credit Card

Credit cards can be a valuable money management tool if used properly.  We have many choices in card features, perks, and rewards.  Getting the most out of any credit card starts with choosing the one (or several) that best suits your needs. Credit cards offer more than a convenient way to pay, and if you manage your credit card accounts well, you can be sure to get the most out of your credit card while paying less for those benefits.  The extras your credit card offers will depend on the type of account you qualify for.  Carefully consider all aspects of any card before you apply, and use your card in the way that will benefit you most once you get it.

Secured cards and credit cards for people with poor or limited credit are usually bare bones credit cards that don’t offer many, if any, benefits.  They charge significantly higher interest rates than other credit cards and usually have a somewhat steep annual fee.  The only real benefit they offer is that they can help you establish or improve your credit until you qualify for better terms.  You have to actually use your card to improve your credit history; just having the account open without using it won’t improve your credit.  The best way for you to build your credit is to use your card every month, use no more than 30% of your credit limit, and pay your bill in full every month to avoid finance charges.  If you’ve had one of these types of credit cards for some time, you’ve stayed within your credit limit, and you’ve always paid your bill on time, contact your credit card issuer to see if or when you’ll qualify for a better card.  They may agree to return your security deposit, reduce your interest rate, or do away with the annual fee. You may even qualify for a card with rewards.  Your credit score can be hurt by closing old accounts and opening new ones, so see if you can upgrade the terms of your credit card while keeping the same account number.

Regular credit cards are for people with average to good credit.  Regular credit cards often have a reasonable annual fee and fair rates.  They don’t require a security deposit and usually have a higher credit limit than cards for people with poor credit.  Some come with limited rewards, such as travel miles, points you can redeem for merchandise, or even cash back.  Cards with no annual fee usually don’t offer as many rewards or charge a higher rate of interest than cards with an annual fee; if you want a low rate or rewards, you might have to pay an annual fee.  Basically, you’re going to pay for the use of credit somewhere.  You can reap the benefits and avoid the costs of a credit card by choosing one with rewards you can use and no annual fee.  If you can pay your balance in full every month, it really won’t matter what the card’s APR is.  Many regular cards, and even cards for people with poor credit are marketed as “platinum”, but really don’t offer many benefits to validate the platinum status.  Find out if you’re really getting better treatment from the platinum card before you apply; you may get a better deal from a plain vanilla credit card.

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Platinum Credit Cards Are What You Want To Have

Beyond the sex-appeal of the card itself, a platinum card often has a much higher credit limit than your run-of-the-mill card and obtaining one is not always as easy as obtaining the lower level credit cards. Most companies require applicants to have a good credit score to receive the platinum credit card since platinum credit cards offer benefits above that of other credit cards. The credit score requirement is related to the amount of credit the card issuer gives with the platinum credit card. Since the credit limit on a platinum credit card is higher than most cards, the card issuer must have some assurance that the cardholder will pay the balance in a timely manner. Platinum credit cards have far more benefits and features compared to a standard or gold credit card and platinum credit cards usually have a lower interest rate than regular and even gold credit cards. Once you have shown credit card companies that you have the ability to pay your bills and you are not a risk, they just might offer you a platinum credit card. As long as you pay the bills on time and build your credit then you may be offered a platinum card in as little as three months. Platinum cardholders work their way up the ranks by paying and establishing better credit for themselves.

So what makes a platinum credit card different from others? When you use a platinum credit card for shopping or any other transaction, you are awarded reward points depending on the amount of the transaction. Generally, one gets a reward point for each dollar spent through the use of credit card. Unlike the regular credit cards, platinum credit card offers you a fixed rate. The other advantages of for the platinum credit card holder include rental car insurance, travel accident insurance, etc. Some of the great advantages that may be associated with platinum credit cards are: as mentioned before, lower interest rates, plus higher credit limits, more frequent credit limit increases, no annual fee, more benefits, savings and rewards, including: fraud protection service, cash back programs, and frequent flier miles. These credit cards offer such great rewards because credit issuers are trying to cater to people with excellent credit.

Platinum credit cards are usually advertised through television or newspapers, direct mail or telephone solicitations. The rules for offering platinum credit card vary from company to company. If a credit card company sees that you have outstanding credit, they are going to want to keep your business, which is why so many companies offer platinum credit cards, to set you apart from the people with just good credit. A company offering you a platinum credit card is there way of rewarding you for having great credit, while at the same time trying to attract, or maintain your business. In nearly all cases, platinum credit cards are offered to those consumers who use their credit card to make a relatively large amount of purchases. A platinum credit card can be a good choice if you frequently use your credit card for your routine and high purchases and pay back the whole debt at the month end. The low interest rate is a reward to platinum customers for the amount of purchases they make using the platinum credit card. One of the best ways to get the platinum credit is to search for it on the internet. Students usually do not have platinum credit cards because they do not have excellent credit, nor do they often own homes or other larger assets with which credit might be built.

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Role of Credit Bureaus in Credit Card Approvals

If the credit bureaus rate your credit high, you may find your mailbox flooded with credit card offers from the thousands of credit card issuers in the country. There are many banks offering various credit cards, with rewards this and rewards that; platinum, gold, or silver; and so many variations thereof. You may get offers from your professional organization (lawyers, doctors, and engineers), your alumni association, and your environment club or sports association. Thousands of others, who are rated as safe payers by the various credit bureaus, receive similar offers. In fact, every year credit card issuers send out several hundred millions of offers.

To process all of the applications resulting from these offers, the credit card industry makes extensive use of quantification, or credit scoring, to double check whether an applicant should be issued a credit card (or even become target for other kinds of credit). The industry turns to credit bureaus for the quantification part.

The credit bureaus credit scoring systems give creditors the capability to evaluate millions of applicants on a consistent and impartial basis. This has made the credit card one of the most highly efficient methods of obtaining, granting, and expending loans. The credit bureaus base their credit scoring systems on large samples of the population in order to make it statistically valid.

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Prepaid Credit Cards And Student Credit Lessons

Prepaid credit cards for teens do not have interest charges or monthly payments, but be aware that they are not normally free and there are fees levied by the service provider. These cards are perfect to help your teenager learn money management skills that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives, which means that they are not only almost a necessity these days when so many outlets expect payment by plastic card. Prepaid credit cards for teens allow parents to curb their teen’s expenditure, as the cash has to be put up upfront. While advance payment credit cards are not free, they can be an affordable alternative to borrowing their parent’s credit card.

Credit card debt can so often become a vicious tightening noose, and many young adults have been forced to file for bankruptcy because they have overused their cards. We would even go so far as to suggest that this type of card is possibly the best way to teach your children about credit card use and the avoidance of debt. This in itself would be a good reason for the use of these payment cards.

Credit Card Requirements

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Average Credit Cards With Great Rates

Average credit cards are usually low on features and carry higher rates when compared to other credit cards. Most of the credit cards that consumers will find online are designed for people with very good credit or poor credit. However, in today’s market, the average credit scores nationwide for consumers have been trending downward. This is forcing banks and credit card issuers to focus on consumers who have fair to average credit more so than they have in the past.

When shopping online for average credit cards, consumers are typically offered credit cards that are geared towards consumers who have poor credit. This is simple economics, credit card websites make money when you are approved for a credit card, and credit cards in this class will allow them to get more credit cards approved. Unfortunately, in this scenario the credit card issuers win and the consumer loses.

However, if you know where to look, and which cards to apply for, consumers with average credit can find great deals in today’s credit card market. They may be buried on the last page of most credit card websites, but they do exist. Direct Banc is one of the few credit card websites that prominently displays the best of the average credit cards up front. These credit cards will carry the lowest rates and the best features for applicants with fair to average credit. Here are a couple examples:

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Different Credit Card Debt Solutions

The tidal wave of consumer debt accumulating from unchecked personal credit card debt threatens to overwhelm our nation even as the lenders themselves reap the benefits. Americans have grown addicted to spending without care for their own income and budgets are something our grandparents used to employ. As a nation, we have almost lost track of the notion of saving for the future – aside, of course, from the exceedingly wealthy who no longer bother with banks within the United States – and our economy suffers as a result. More to the point, our citizens suffer as well from the drop in property values and rise in unemployment that are direct results of the consumer debt explosion. Credit card bills are killing this country, and it is past time that we do something about it.

It is more than understandable how this all happened. Just turn on the television: every other commercial advertises either the untold benefits from plastic purchasing (The sheen! The class climbing! The convenience!) or the consumer credit counseling surgical practicalities (The desperation! The condescension! The oh so marketable convenience!). Somehow, along the way, the average American household managed to rack up around eight thousand dollars in unsecured debt almost wholly from credit card usage. The past decade, as home appraisals skyrocketed and well paying jobs could be plucked from the vine, there was not much reason to worry. This was the American millennium, after all, and things would never change.

Somehow, an unprecedented period of economic expansion came to an end, and the real estate bubble finally burst. And, more to the point, a good number of borrowers found that they were having trouble making even the minimum payments upon their various credit cards. Who knew? The tyranny of unsecured debt has at last seeped into the household accounts of most of our citizenry and the effects are everywhere. Beyond the new budgeting, though, and the tightening of belts, families need to take a close and educated look at their credit card problems and see what can be done. There are a number of debt managements solutions that have arisen in the past few years purely to deal with such situations although the simplest debt relief is the most annoying: a halt to purchases. Serious attention paid to expenses and savings accounts are the foundation of any lasting credit card debt relief.

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