Rates Current as of Sunday September 24, 2017
Find a list of Credit Card FAQs to help locate the best credit card with the best credit card rate. Credit card FAQs cover new credit card offers as well as information on credit card rates, terms and conditions. Review all credit card FAQs encompassing a wide assortment of credit card categories. See credit card FAQS covering low rate credit cards. Credit card FAQs provides the facts and details on prepaid credit cards and secured credit cards. Learn about business credit cards and business credit card rates in the business credit card FAQ section. Browse information on balance transfer offers in the balance transfer credit card FAQ section. Credit card FAQs holds information on credit card companies and the credit cards they offer.

Does a Credit Card Offer Have to State the Interest Rate and Fees

How Can You Get Cash Back With a Walmart Gift Card

Where Can You Use the Target Red Card

What is the APR on the Amazon Credit Card

Will Credit Cards That Are Open and Not Used Hurt Your Credit Score

Do I Need a Bank Account to Get a Credit Card

Can American Express Change the Interest Rate on my Credit Card

What Happens to My Credit Score if I Only Pay the Minimum Monthly Credit Card Payment

How Does Applying for a Joint Credit Card Account with my Spouse Affect My Credit and Credit Score

Can I Pay My Credit Card With Another Credit Card?

How Do You Get a Cash Advance with an American Express Credit Card

Can You Get a Cash Advance with an American Express Card

Should Someone Apply for a Credit Card if They Already Have a Bank Account and Debit Card

Can I Deposit a Credit Card Cash Advance into my Bank Checking Account

Where Do Credit Cards Show the Charges for Foreign Transaction Fee on the Credit Card Statement

How Can I Pay My Bank of America Credit Card Online

Why do Credit Cards Charge Such High Fees for Cash Advances

When Do You Get the Security Deposit Back on a Capital One Secured Card

What is the Walmart Credit Card Over Limit Fee

What is a Credit Card Penalty Rate

What is the Chase Freedom Credit Card Over Limit Fee

What is the Interest Rate on the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

What is the Interest Rate on the American Express Green Card

What is the Interest Rate on Macy’s Credit Card

What Does the Credit Card Company Mean by a Charge Off on my Credit Report?

Which Reloadable Prepaid Cards Can I find at Walgreens

How Do You Add Money to a NetSpend Prepaid Card

What is the Interest Rate on the United MileagePlus Explorer Card

When can a Credit Card Issuer Review my Credit Report

How Long Does a Credit Card Promotional Rate Have to Last

What is Average Daily Balance on a Credit Card

Will Losing a Credit Card Impact My Credit Score?

When Does a Variable Rate APR on a Credit Card Change?

Is It Better to Get a New Credit Card or Request a Credit Limit Increase?

Can You Get More than One Secured Credit Card

How Will a Credit Card Balance Transfer Affect My Credit Score?

Will a Credit Card Cash Advance Hurt My Credit Score?

What is the Difference Between a Fixed Rate and a Variable Rate on a Credit Card?

What is the Capital One Credit Card Late Payment Grace Period?

What is the Definition of the Credit Card Prime Rate?

What is the Minimum Payment on a Discover Credit Card?

Can You Get Cash from an ATM with a Credit Card?

What is the Minimum Payment on a Walmart Credit Card?

Are there any Credit Card Transactions that will not Earn Cash Rewards?

Can a Credit Card Charge a Fee for Not Using the Card?

What Banks Accept American Express for Cash Advances?

Can I Cancel My Credit Card After One Year to Avoid the Annual Fee?

What is the Chase Freedom Credit Card Cash Advance Fee?

What is an Eligible Purchase on a Cash Back Credit Card?

What is the Cash Advance Fee for Discover Card?

What is the Interest Rate on a Chase Freedom Card?

What is the Late Fee on a Capital One Credit Card?

What is the Capital One Cash Advance Interest Rate?

How Much is Wells Fargo Cash Advance Fee?

Q: I receive so many credit card offers, how can I tell which one is the best credit card?

Q: What’s the difference between getting cash with my credit card and getting cash with my debit card or check card?

Q: If my credit card company sent me a notice to increase my credit card limit, should I accept the offer?

The introductory APR on my credit card just expired and I was shocked at how much more my credit card payment was. What can I do?

The college I went to keeps offering me a credit card with the school mascot all over it. I’d like one, but are there things I should know about these credit cards?

I got a credit card cash advance and the credit card interest rate and finance charges really jumped in the last couple of months. Why?

I lost a credit card. Once I inform the credit card company, am I done?

I want to cancel a credit card. This is always a good thing, right?

My credit has really improved since I got my current credit card. Should I close that account and apply for a credit card?

I have a variable rate credit card and it keeps going up. What are the benefits of fixed rate credit cards?

What is a balance transfer and/or balance transfer rate on a credit card?

My credit card company called to report that an erroneous charge may have been made on my credit card account. I don’t see the charge with my credit card online when I looked at my account, and they asked me for information that they already have. Is this some kind of scam?

On my last credit card statement I noticed that my credit card APR has jumped. I don’t have a variable rate card so I don’t understand what happened.

My high school aged daughter has a best friend who just got a credit card. Now my daughter wants one. Is this a good idea?

I got a new credit card and am constantly harassed with offers for credit insurance. Am I making a mistake by ignoring these credit card offers?

My friends laugh at me when I use my credit card to buy something like bottled water in a convenience store. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

My son just got his first credit card. What should I tell him about how to use it, and what rules should I have?

I opened up a credit card account on impulse at a chain store recently. Is this a good idea?

What’s the best way to establish a credit history if I have no credit history now.

I am shopping for a new credit card and was told to check the Schumer box. What is it?

I’m shopping for a new credit card. What should I consider when I do this?

What is a prepaid credit card?

If I am turned down by a credit card company will I be able to find out why they did this?

Why when someone receives a preapproved credit card offer can they still be denied the credit card?

My credit card has a grace period but I was still charged interest on my new purchase from day 1, why?

Where do I get a secured credit card?

What advise would you give if I were having trouble making my minimum credit card payments?

Which credit card companies report the credit history of the customer to the credit bureaus?

If I fill out multiple credit card applications will it have a negative impact on my credit rating?

Will having too many credit cards adversely impact my credit score?

Can I apply for a student credit card if I am only 16 years old?

Someone stole my credit card number and went on a shopping spree. Do I have to pay for all that stuff?

I bought a television recently and the darn thing’s no good. I brought it back to the store but refused to do anything about it. Is there anything I can do regarding the credit card services?

What’s the most important thing for me to tell my child about responsible credit card use?

What is a debit card?

What is credit card disability insurance?

What is a credit card penalty rate?

Why are there so many offers for credit cards rewards?

With credit card cash back rewards do you get cash each month?

What determines the credit card debt limit on my credit card?

Which is the best credit card for someone with excellent credit that has a high limit, a high cash advance and instant approval?

If my credit rating is poor right now what credit cards are available that I would be able to get and would help build up my credit rating?

What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?

What is an unsecured credit card?

I have bad credit – which credit cards can I apply for?

I am a student – which credit cards can I apply for?

What is a cash back credit card?

What is a rewards credit card?

What is an instant credit card approval or instant decision?

What is a fixed APR credit card?

What is a credit card balance transfer fee?

What is a credit card balance transfer and credit card balance transfer rate?

What is an introductory credit card APR?

Why do credit card companies target students?

I get loads of credit card offers in the mail nearly daily. Should I apply for a bunch of them at the same time so I can start to establish a credit history?

What is a credit history?

I’ve never had a credit card before. What is credit really?

I was raised to always pay cash. Why do I need to use credit cards at all?

I haven’t made any big purchases and I’ve been paying my credit card payment on time but my credit score is suddenly really low. What happened?

What is a secured credit card?

I applied for a major bank credit card but was turned down. Now what do I do?

I keep hearing about shredders. Are they really very useful?

How do I check to see if my identity has been stolen if I’m not sure?

Is there anything specific I can do to protect my identity?

Does a Credit Card Offer Have to State the Interest Rate and Fees

All credit card issuers are required to disclose the cost of obtaining and using a credit card when a credit card offer is made.  Credit card issuers must fully disclose all credit terms as required by the federal Truth in Lending Act and the Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act.  Disclosures covering the interest rates and costs involved must be made when a card is offered by mail, telephone or for any applications distributed to the general public.

The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act was an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act passed in 1989.  The Act was established to provide for more detailed and uniform disclosure by credit card issuers with respect to information on interest rates and other fees which may be incurred by consumers through the use of any credit card.

The Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act requires credit and charge card issuers to provide specific disclosures and relevant cost information to the consumer for solicitation made through direct mail, telephone solicitations, and other applications for to open-end credit and charge accounts and under other circumstances.

Specifically, the Act states that applications and preapproved solicitations for credit cards must include a table disclosing the annual percentage rate (APR), the regular credit card rate if there is a discounted or promotional introductory rate, how variable rates are determined, the annual fee, the minimum finance charge, transaction charges associated with use of the card, the grace period, how finance charges will be calculated, and any other fees, such as those for cash advances, late payments, and fees imposed for exceeding any credit limits established.

The Act was passed to require more transparency in the issuance and operating procedures of credit card companies.  Prior to the passage of this Act, credit card companies could delay the disclosure of borrowing costs until a loan contract was entered into therefore, disclosures regarding fees and interest rates were often not made until a customer’s card arrived in the mail.

Disclosures are required on credit cards and charge cards regardless of the entity that issuing the card.  The disclosures must be made if it is bank or other financial institution, retail store, or private business.

How Can You Get Cash Back With a Walmart Gift Card

Unfortunately, a Walmart Gift Card does not come with a cash back option.  Per the Walmart web site, walmart.com, “Gift Cards and eGift Cards can’t be exchanged for cash.” (Source: http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/178/~/walmart-gift-card-returns-and-refunds)

Even if the card holder or purchaser returns an item that was procured using a Walmart Gift Card, returning the item will not result in a cash back transaction.  Once the return transaction is performed at a Walmart store location or online through the company’s web site, the funds returned to the account holder will be credited back to the gift card and not dispensed as cash to the customer.

There is one, very minor exception to the gift card cash back rule.  In some states, if the balance on the Walmart Gift Card is below a specific amount, the card holder can redeem the gift card for cash when requested.  But, the balance on the card has to be a very low amount in order to qualify and the option is only available in the states that have such rules and regulations.  Of the 12 states that currently have regulations forcing stores to provide cash back on gift cards, the maximum amount that can be remaining on the card before a cash back request can be made is less than $5.00, on average.

There are also some services that allow gift card holders to exchange their cards or get cash by selling the card.  The businesses that offer these services however, will not pay dollar for dollar on the card balance.  In some cases the discounts to sell the card can be fairly steep.  It is also worth noting that Walmart terms and conditions state, “Resale of Walmart Gift Cards is strictly prohibited.” (Source: http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/57/related/1)

Where Can You Use the Target Red Card

In general, the Target REDcards is intended for use in Target stores and online.  However, since there are three different versions of the Target REDcard, which is often referred to as simply the Red Card, the full answer to where you can use your Target REDcard depends on which version of the card you are using.

Target makes the REDcard available to consumers as either a debit card or credit card.  But that’s not all there is to these two card offers.  The credit card version of the Target REDcard has two variations; one is a standard store credit card and the other is a traditional credit card that uses the MasterCard logo and payment network.

Target debit card and store credit card holders may only use the card to make purchases of goods and services at Target stores located in the United States and from the Target.com website.  These cards are not valid forms of payment at other stores outside of Target operations, regardless of whether they are at an online store or traditional brick and mortar retail shop.

The Target MasterCard credit card is accepted anywhere that takes MasterCard.  This credit card can be used at Target or any of the 1,000’s of retailers that accept MasterCard worldwide. However, the Target MasterCard is not available to new applicants for the REDcard.  The credit card is an upgrade that Target may offer later to store credit card holders.

All three versions offer the Target REDcard™ Discount.  Users of the card receive 5% off their card purchases at Target stores and Target.com with some exceptions including prescriptions, some pharmacy purchases, Target gift cards and prepaid cards, clinic services at Target, Target Optical™ eye exams, some independent businesses in Target stores, wireless protection programs and mobile carrier deposits.

The Target REDcard credit cards, Target Credit Card and Target MasterCard, are issued by TD Bank USA, N.A.  The REDcard Debit Card is issued by Target Corporation.

What is the APR on the Amazon Credit Card

The Amazon Credit Card has more than one interest rate for transactions made with the card.  The annual percentage rate (APR) will depend on the transaction type and the applicant’s credit history.  The higher the APR, the more interest charges the card holder will pay on their outstanding credit card balances and transactions.  A lower APR will result in lower finance charges for transactions and outstanding balances.

For purchase transactions, the APR is 14.49% to 22.49%, based on the credit card applicant’s creditworthiness.  The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.  The variable rate is determined by adding 10.99% to 18.99% to the Prime Rate to determine the purchase APR with a maximum APR of 29.99%.

The Amazon Credit Card balance transfer APR is the same as the purchase rate or 14.49% to 22.49%.  This rate is also set by adding 10.99% to 18.99% to the Prime Rate to determine the purchase APR with a maximum APR of 29.99%.

The cash advance APR on the Amazon Credit Card is 25.24%.  The cash advance rate is set at the Prime Rate plus 21.74% with a maximum APR of 29.99%.

There is currently no introductory APR with this credit card.  There is a 21 day grace period with the card.  Card holders have 21 days after the end of the billing cycle to pay the balance in full to avoid any interest charges on purchase transactions.

The Amazon Credit Card is offered by Amazon, however the credit card is actually issued by Chase.  While the card issuer may not be an important consideration for some credit card users it is an important to understand which financial institution is backing the card as it is the credit card issuer’s customer service department that will be handling all transaction inquiries, disputes, and related questions about the credit card.

The credit card rate information is current as of this publication date.  Current variable APRs are based on a Prime Rate of 3.50% as of December 13, 2016.  Rates, fees, and terms may change.  For current terms and offers please review the credit card application and Cardmember Agreement.  Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information, though all credit card information is presented without warranty.

Will Credit Cards That Are Open and Not Used Hurt Your Credit Score

Credit cards that have a zero balance will generally not hurt an individual’s credit score and more often than not, will have a positive impact on the individual’s credit score.  There is no exact answer because there can be more than one factor involved in determining how a credit card account can impact a credit score.  Credit score models evaluate a number of different data points from an individual’s credit report. 

One factor that has a rather measurable impact on a credit score and relates directly to cards without a balance is the credit utilization ratio.  The credit utilization ratio measures how much available credit an individual is using relative to the total amount of credit they have available.  Having a low credit utilization is good while a high ratio is not so good.  Holding a credit card that is open and not being used reduces the utilization ratio which should help, not harm, an individual’s credit score.

Another factor that can come into play with an unused credit card is the length of time the credit card account has been open.  Credit scores are heavily influenced by the length of the individual’s credit history.  Older, more established accounts will help boost a credit score regardless of whether they have a balance or not.  Just because the card is not used doesn’t mean it is not helping with your credit history and credit score.

While the most common influence an unused credit card has on a credit score is positive, there is at least one caveat applicable when not using a credit card.  If you don’t use your credit card regularly or at least occasionally, you run the risk of having the credit card issuer close the account for inactivity.  Using the credit card occasionally will keep the account alive and, from a credit score improvement standpoint, it is better to make purchases with a credit card and then pay the balance in full rather than not using the card at all.

Do I Need a Bank Account to Get a Credit Card

It is generally not a requirement to have a bank account in order to obtain a new credit card.  Some credit card companies will ask for information about an applicant’s checking account or savings account but there are still many that do not request this information.  In addition, there are several credit cards on the market today that explicitly do not require the applicant to have an open bank account.

Most credit card companies require just basic information about the applicant such as the borrowers address, their housing status (rent or own), their annual household income with the source of income, date of birth, and Social Security number.  Credit card issuers that request bank account information generally have space on the credit card application that asks the applicant whether or not they have a checking account or savings account and the average amount held in those accounts.  Credit card applications that request bank account information typically do not ask for the bank name where the accounts are held.

The biggest factors that impact credit card approvals are the applicant’s credit score, their debt which is ascertained by the card issuer from the applicant’s credit report, and the applicant’s income.  Bank account information plays a relatively minor role in the approval process.  In fact, getting denied for a credit card because you do not have a bank account is uncommon.

At the time of this publication the online applications at Chase and Bank of America do not request information about the applicant’s bank account.  However, Citibank, Capital One, and Discover do have space on their applications for bank account information.  American Express may or may not request bank information depending on the application.

Can American Express Change the Interest Rate on my Credit Card

American Express, along with most any other credit card company, can increase the credit card interest rate for existing customers on future transactions for almost any reason as long as proper notice is given to the customer and the customer’s account has been open for at least 12 months.  The interest rate may be increased during the first year and account is opened but only if an introductory rate or promotional rate has reached its expiration period, at which time the account rate may adjust to the standard rate or pricing outlined in the credit card agreement.

Credit card companies, including American Express, have to provide the account holders notice of any pending rate changes at least 45 days in advance of the change date.   The notice has to explain why the rate increase is taking effect, reasons may include a general increase for all account holders or an increase for a specific account based on a delinquent payment history, and the details regarding the increased rate or APR that will start to apply for new transactions.

While credit card rate increases by American Express, or any other credit card company for that matter, have been relatively uncommon since the passage of the Card Act in 2009, most credit cards on the market today have variable rates which means credit card companies are likely to start increasing interest rates as soon as the general level of interest rates in the market starts to shift higher.  Variable rates on American Express cards are all based on the Prime Rate and when the Prime Rate moves higher, American Express will adjust the rates on their cards that are tied to the Prime higher.

If American Express increases your credit card rate beyond a level that you find competitive, you can always stop using the card and avoid incurring charges at the higher interest rate.   After holding off use of the card and retiring the existing debt, you can apply for new credit card with a better interest rate.

What Happens to My Credit Score if I Only Pay the Minimum Monthly Credit Card Payment

Making the minimum credit card payment will not jeopardize someone’s credit score.  Credit card holders that are paying the minimum payment on time are paying their credit card as agreed.  Making timely payments as agreed is one of the biggest contributing factors to a good credit score.  Timely payments, even when they are minimum payments, will build an excellent payment history and in turn, help develop a good credit score.

There is one potential drawback with making only the minimum monthly payment, the account holder will not be reducing their outstanding credit card debt by very much or very quickly.  This is not a problem if the account holder has small balance relative to their total credit limit.  But, if the current credit card balance makes up a significant portion of the total credit card credit limit, this situation could impact the card holder’s credit score.

A key factor involved in credit score models is the consumer’s credit utilization ratio.  A credit utilization ratio is a measure of how much debt the consumer has relative to their total available credit.  High credit utilization ratios will negatively impact a credit score and low ratios have a positive impact.  Credit card users that have high levels of debt relative to their available credit and are making the minimum monthly payment are going to have a tough time improving their utilization ratio which could drag down their credit score.

Keep in mind, there are a number of factors used in credit score models.  Credit utilization is just one factor and the credit utilization ratio is reviewed along with the overall credit profile which includes the total number of accounts opened and active, the payment history, the length of that history, the types of accounts, and other factors.

How Does Applying for a Joint Credit Card Account with my Spouse Affect My Credit and Credit Score

Joint credit card accounts are just that, joint accounts that are shared by both account holders.  A joint credit card account will show up in the credit report of both of the joint account holders.  The joint credit card will affect the credit scores and credit reports for both card holders going forward.  In addition, the application for the new credit card account will be based on the data found on both spouse’s credit reports.

There can be both benefits and risks to joint credit card accounts.  The account information will appear on both of account holder’s credit reports, and the payment history is counted as if it’s your own, regardless of which account holder made the transactions.

Joint credit cards can have the potential to help one or both spouses build their credit scores if one spouse is in a worse credit position than the other.  Once the joint account is opened and a series of on-time payments are made, the timely data can improve your credit score.

The joint credit card account could also be damaging to the credit histories of both account holders should payment problems arise once the account is opened and transactions are made.  If one of the account holders lets the payments fall behind, the derogatory information in your credit report stays with you for several years.

It may also be worth considering the impact joint debt will have on future borrowing needs.   Joint credit card debt will be included in the total indebtedness of both account holders.  Future lenders will consider the joint debt and the monthly payments when determining new loan requests whether they are for another credit card, car loan, or even a new mortgage.  Of course, if all borrowing is done jointly, this is not an issue.

Joint credit card holders share full responsibility for the debt and it will be reflected in their respective credit histories.  As a result, doing so can affect your creditworthiness and your ability to qualify for future loans.  There are many things to consider when deciding whether or not to apply jointly for a loan.  For partners in long term relationships, joint loan applications are common, for individuals that are not related or living together, a joint credit card application should be scrutinized more closely.

Can I Pay My Credit Card With Another Credit Card?

Credit card companies accept a number of different means for making monthly payments however; using another credit card directly, to make a payment is generally prohibited.  Not allowing the use of another credit card to make a payment is not because the credit card company is protecting their turf.  Card companies don’t accept this form of payment because they will have to pay an interchange fee required for accepting credit card payments.  Merchants and other service providers pay the interchange fee and accept credit card payments as a convenience for their customers but for financial services, like credit cards, taking the loss in order to accept payments is too high.

A credit card can be used to make the payment on another credit card by indirect means.  A credit card cash advance, if available, may be used to obtain the necessary funds to make the payment.  Credit card cash advances can often be obtained by withdrawals at an ATM, with cash advance convenience checks, and by going directly to a bank that works with your credit card. 

Once the cash advance is performed, those funds can be used to make the payment in any manner that is most convenient for you such as depositing the funds in your account and then sending a check or transferring the money online.

By using the cash advance option with another credit card, it is possible to make the credit card payment you want but, the costs will be high.  Through an indirect payment like this the credit card company accepting the payment is now not paying an interchange fee, which you presumably do not care about, and the card being used for the advance will charge you a cash advance fee as well the requisite interest charges that are assessed on cash advances. 

Credit card cash advances are some of the mostly costly transactions that can be performed with a credit card and using this service to make another payment is probably not a prudent resolution to the pending payment issue.

How Do You Get a Cash Advance with an American Express Credit Card

American Express Credit Cards have a cash advance transaction feature that provides account holders with the option to use their credit card to withdraw cash from their active credit card account.  Cash advances with American Express credit cards are only available at participating automated teller machines. 

The American Express credit card holder has to obtain a personal identification number that must be entered at the ATM to receive the cash.  AmEx card holders can withdraw cash at a participating ATM in amounts up to the card’s available cash advance limit.  The cash advance credit limit will vary depending on the type of card and the account holder. 

Using one of the company’s credit cards to take money out of an ATM will usually result in a fee assessed at the time of the withdrawal along with a separate interest charge assessed on the amount of the cash advance.  American Express cards currently have an average cash advance fee of 3% or $5.00, whichever is greater.  The average credit card cash advance interest rate at American Express is 25.24% which is a variable rate based on the Prime Rate.

Customers that want to enroll their eligible credit card account for cash advances at ATMs and receive a PIN number can contact the American Express customer service number at 1-800-CASH-NOW.  The company web site offers an ATM locator tool, www.americanexpress.com/atmlocator, to help customers find the nearest ATM to perform a cash advance.

Can You Get a Cash Advance with an American Express Card

The traditional and iconic Green, Gold, Premier, and Platinum cards offered by American Express are charge cards not credit cards.  These traditional American Express cards do not have a cash advance feature.  Charge cards do not offer credit terms, the balance that is charged on the card is due and must be paid each statement cycle.  Since no credit is extended with charge cards, the cards do not offer cash advance features like those found with most credit cards today. 

A cash advance is, by definition, a service provided to credit card holders to have the ability to access cash against their available credit on their card.  There is no credit to be extended on the American Express charge card and therefore there are no cash advances allowed.  At least, there are no cash advances allowed using credit with the account.

American Express does offer a feature that allows cardholders to use their accounts to obtain cash but, the cash obtained will be drawn on the customers designated bank account and not be advanced against the charge card account.  Charge card holders can enroll in the American Express Cash program which allows customers to use their charge card to withdraw cash from their bank account at participating ATM locations which can be found worldwide.

With all the American Express charge card products, the amount of the transaction plus the ATM fee is debited against the enrolled checking account.  There is a limit that can be withdrawn, during a certain period of time, which depends on each individual account with the company.

American Express credit card cash advances work like traditional credit cards with preset repayment terms and interest rates.  More information on American Express credit card cash advances can be found at, How Do You Get a Cash Advance with an American Express Credit Card.

To enroll in the Am Ex Express Cash program for charge cards, card holders need to register the card with the company and receive a PIN number.  The program can be accessed by calling American Express at 1-800-CASH-NOW or by visiting the American Express website located at americanexpress.com.

Should Someone Apply for a Credit Card if They Already Have a Bank Account and Debit Card

Having a debit card and bank account are certainly important financial tools to have today’s economy but a credit card can be equally important for a variety of reasons. 

Applying for a credit card costs nothing and if a card is selected that has no annual fee; there is no cost to the account holder to have a card for any future, unexpected credit needs.  A credit card provides a good way for consumers to gain quick access to emergency funds at a rate that can be managed by the user. 

A credit card can be used to build a credit profile and credit history.  A consumer may not see the immediate need to have a credit history that can be developed with a credit card account but there are a number of fundamental services and products available that will require a credit check and good credit history in order to be acquired or purchased at favorable terms.

For all the bad news about over overspending with credit cards, a credit card account can actually be easily managed.  The credit card grace period provide a means to use the account when necessary and pay no interest as long as the balance is repaid within that grace period.

In most circumstances, account holders will not be held responsible for any charges if their credit card account number has been lost or stolen.  Unfortunately, cash users that lose their money will find it lost for good.  In addition, most major credit cards also offer additional benefits such secondary rental car insurance and limited warranty protection on purchases.

Depending on the credit card selected, the account holder can also earn a variety of rewards of other perks from the credit card issuer.

All of these features that come with a traditional credit cards are not available with debit cards and bank accounts.

Can I Deposit a Credit Card Cash Advance into my Bank Checking Account

Most all banks and credit card issuers allow account holders to take cash advances and deposit or transfer the funds into their bank account.  The different credit card companies will provide their own methods or means for transferring cash from the credit card to a bank account and most all of the processes being very convenient for the card holder.

Cash advances with most credit cards can typically be obtained by using a cash advance check, making a direct transfer online, or by making a withdrawal via an automated teller machine.  Once a cash advance is made, the account holder is free to use those funds for most any worthwhile purpose, including depositing the money into a bank account.  The deposit can be made directly using one of the convenience checks or online transfers or indirectly by depositing funds that had already been obtained from the cash advance.

While using a credit card cash advance to deposit money into a bank account is a widely recognized practice by most credit card issuers, this doesn’t mean it is always a wise financial decision.  The credit card fees and interest rates that are linked to cash advance transactions are quite high.  In fact, the fees and interest rates for credit card cash advances are generally the highest among all the different types of credit card transactions.

Of course, some credit card holders may simply need to make the financial transaction, but these users should make sure they are fully aware of the high costs that come with the convenience before moving forward with the transaction.

Where Do Credit Cards Show the Charges for Foreign Transaction Fee on the Credit Card Statement

Credit card foreign transaction fees are required to be disclosed by the credit card issuer when the individual applies for a new credit card and on the monthly statement once a charge is incurred that results in a foreign transaction fee. 

Credit card companies are required to list international transaction fees as line-items on the account holder’s credit card statement.  Based on federal regulations, credit card charges must be separately itemized by transaction type.  Furthermore, these items have to be expressed in manner consistent with consumers’ general understanding.  Prior to updated regulations regarding these fees, foreign transaction fees were often included as part of the total transaction amount for a purchase listed on the monthly statement.

Regulation Z (12 CFR 226) implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) (15 USC 1601 et seq.), which was enacted in 1968 as title I of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (Pub. L. 90-321).  Since the implementation of the Act, the regulations have been amended several times to incorporate changes to the TILA or to address changes in the consumer credit marketplace.  The Truth in Lending Act is intended to ensure that credit terms are disclosed in a meaningful way so that consumers can compare credit terms more readily and more knowledgeably.

Depending on the credit card, foreign transaction fees will generally range from 0% to 3% of the transaction amount.  For detailed information on the foreign transaction fees for a specific credit card, consumers should refer to the credit card agreement or terms and conditions presented by the credit card issuer.

How Can I Pay My Bank of America Credit Card Online

Bank of America credit card holders can make their monthly credit card payments online using Bank of America’s online banking services or by using the online bill payment services provided by their bank including the online banking services of Chase, US Bank, Fifth Third, Capital One, Citibank and a host of other banks.

To make a payment online using a Bank of America checking or savings account, credit card holders should sign in to the online banking service and select either the Bill Pay tab from the menu or the Transfers tab.  Account holders can just follow the limited instructions and have the money transferred to their credit card account instantly from their Bank of America checking or savings account. 

Bank of America credit card payments made online using a Bank of America checking or savings account are credited to the account the same days as long as the payment is made Noon time that day.

Credit card holders that want to use an account that is not at Bank of America can either make the payment through the Bank of America web site or through their banks’ web site.  When using Bank of America online banking service, customers can follow the same procedures as if they were using a Bank of America account but will change the selection under the Pay to/Pay from tab in order to enter their bank account information.  To set up the account for payment and complete the credit card payment transaction, the user will need their bank’s 9-digit routing number and the account number.

When using a different bank’s online banking services the process is generally the same.  Log into your bank’ online banking service through their web site to set up online bill pay and then add the bill payment information for the Bank of America credit card.

Bank of America credit card customers that make payments online from a checking or savings account from another bank will have the payment transfer completed on the next business day.

Why do Credit Cards Charge Such High Fees for Cash Advances

Cash advances made with a credit card are without doubt, costly transactions.  Credit card companies generally charge higher interest rates for cash advances, the interest charges on the cash advance have no grace period with interest accruing almost immediately after the transaction is made, and cash advance fees are added by the issuer just to boost the total charges for each advance taken.

The primary reason for the elevated costs charged to the account holder for cash advances is the increased risk associated with these transactions.  While most account holders are in no greater risk of defaulting on their credit card balance because of cash advances made, historically, credit card companies have experienced higher default statistics on customers that use cash advances.  To mitigate the increased risks with cash advances, credit card companies charge higher rates along with the cash advance fee.  Credit card companies also routinely set a lower limit for cash advances compared to the overall credit limit on a card.

Cash advances can sometimes be a less costly option compared to incurring bank overdraft fees, bounced checks, late payments and lost services.  While a credit card cash advance may appear to be the only option available when faced with a cash shortage, making a credit cash advance should only be a last resort.  Due to the high fees and interest rates involved, it is very easy to get into financial difficulties when using credit cards for cash advances.  Costly cash advances should only be done when the costs outweigh the benefits.

When Do You Get the Security Deposit Back on a Capital One Secured Card

The security deposit on the Capital One Secured Credit Card is a refundable deposit as long as the account holder does not default on the credit card terms, similar to most all secured credit cards available to consumers.  The security deposit is refunded to the account holder if they close the account after paying any outstanding balances in full.  The security deposit is held as collateral against the card’s credit limit to ensure the card holder repays the account. 

Until the credit card account is closed, the card issuer will continue to hold the security deposit in the even the account holder fails to pay the current balance owed or pay any future charges that may incur prior to closing the account.  With Capital One, that security deposit is held as long as the account remains opens regardless of whether there is an account balance.  Card holders will not automatically get their deposit back if they make a set number of timely payments or remain in good credit standing for a period of time.

While some web sites have indicated Capital One offers a graduated card offer or will return security deposits to their account holders that display a responsible payment history, Capital One does not disclose such a policy.

This credit card is a great tool that can be used to help build or rebuild credit through timely payments and responsible use.  Consumers with challenging credit should be aware, when they decide to request the refundable security deposit be returned they will have to close the account which could have some adverse impact on their overall credit score especially, if it is done within a short period of time after opening the account.

What is the Walmart Credit Card Over Limit Fee

Over limit fees on some credit cards can be a real burden, fortunately Walmart does not charge an over limit fee on their branded credit cards.  Walmart offers two different credit cards, the Walmart Credit Card and the Walmart MasterCard.  Neither one of the two credit cards expressly allows the account holder to make transactions that will place them over their set credit limit nor therefore, are there any over limit fees for either Walmart credit card.    

In the past few years a number of credit card issuers, such as Walmart, have shied away from charging over limit fees.  As a result of the CARD Act of 2009, credit card companies cannot charge an over limit fee unless the account holder has opted in to permit the card issuer to allow charges that put the account over the credit limit. 

Even if a customer has agreed to permit over limit charges, they generally can only be charged a fee of up to $25.00 the first time they exceed their credit limit and a fee of up to $35.00 if they are over their limit a second time within six months.  The over limit fee cannot be larger than the amount by which the account holder exceeded their credit limit.

The new rules regarding over limit fees has curtailed their use on many different credit cards including the Walmart Credit Card and the Walmart MasterCard.

The Walmart Credit Card and MasterCard are issued by Synchrony Bank.

All information posted was believed to be accurate at the time of its initial publication however; Bestcreditcardrates.com does not make any guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the information provided.

What is a Credit Card Penalty Rate

A credit card penalty rate is the interest charged by the credit card company on account holders that miss the payment due date.  Credit card penalty rates may apply to all future transactions made with the credit card and can also be applied to an existing balance if the account holder is more than 60 days late.

Online credit card agreements and terms can be very fuzzy about how a credit card penalty rate is applied however; the CARD Act of 2009 is very specific about credit card rate increase and penalty rates.

In general, credit card issuers can impose a penalty rate on a cardholder who has not made the minimum required monthly payment.  The credit card issuer must give the account holder advance notice regarding the rate increase.  If the card issuer raises the interest rate it can be applied to any transactions that take place more than 14 days after the notice was sent.  Once the penalty rate is triggered, the penalty rate or penalty APR will terminate no later than 6 months after the date it took place if the cardholder makes the required minimum payments on time during that period.

If the card holder’s payment is less than 60 days past the due date, penalty rates can only be raised on future transactions and not on the current outstanding balance.  Once the 60-day late payment threshold is reached, the credit card issuer can impose a penalty APR on the outstanding balances as well, provided adequate notification is made.

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 or H.R.627 covers interest rates charges on credit card balances in section 171.  In this section, the CARD Act states:

(a) In General- In the case of any credit card account under an open end consumer credit plan, no creditor may increase any annual percentage rate, fee, or finance charge applicable to any outstanding balance, except as permitted under subsection (b).
(b) Exceptions- The prohibition under subsection (a) shall not apply to—
  (4) an increase due solely to the fact that a minimum payment by the obligor has not been received by the creditor within 60 days after the due date for such payment, provided that the creditor shall–
  (A) include, together with the notice of such increase required under section 127(i), a clear and conspicuous written statement of the reason for the increase and that the increase will terminate not later than 6 months after the date on which it is imposed, if the creditor receives the required minimum payments on time from the obligor during that period; and
  (B) terminate such increase not later than 6 months after the date on which it is imposed, if the creditor receives the required minimum payments on time during that period.

New and existing credit card holders should be aware of all the credit card terms and conditions that apply to their account including what actions will activate the penalty APR.

What is the Chase Freedom Credit Card Over Limit Fee

The Chase Freedom credit card, like most major credit cards, has eliminated the credit card over limit fee.  As of this date, there is no over limit fee on the Chase Freedom card.

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 had a great deal to do with Chase’s decision not to impose and over the limit fee on Freedom credit card holders.  While the over the limit fee can or could be a rather annoying charge that some card holders may have experienced in the past, there were probably many cases in which the cardholder preferred the harsh fee over the embarrassment and inconvenience of having an over limit credit card declined.

The Card Act regulated or restricted over limit fees making these fees reasonable and proportional to consumers’ over-limit spending.  Under the CARD Act, cardholders will not face over limit fees unless they elect to allow the creditor to approve over limit transactions.  With the Chase Freedom card there is no option currently available to consumers to opt in and permit Chase to allow charges that put the card holder over their credit limit.  Without the option, Chase does not and cannot charge an over limit fee.

The credit card information presented is believed to be reliable as of this publication date but is not guaranteed.  Review the credit card agreement for current terms and conditions.

What is the Interest Rate on the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card interest rate varies depending on the type of transaction made with the card and the rate offered to the cardholder when the credit card account was opened. 

The standard rate (APR) on the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card is a variable rate between 12.99% and 22.99%.  The credit card APR is based on the Prime Rate plus a margin.  

Bank of America is currently offering this card with an introductory credit card rate.  The card has a zero percent introductory credit card rate on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months after opening the account.  The introductory APR on balance transfers is for the first 12 statement closing dates following the opening of an account for transactions made within 60 days of opening the account.

The standard interest rate for balance transfers with the BankAmericard Cash Rewards card is the same as the rate for purchases.  The cash advance rate on the card is slightly higher, between 15.99% and 24.99%, based on the creditworthiness of the applicant when the account is opened.

Account terms with the card are not guaranteed for any period of time.  All terms, including fees and APRs for new transactions, may change in accordance with Bank of America’s Credit Card Agreement and applicable law.

Information is displayed regarding the card is believed to be accurate as of this publication date; however, the accuracy of all information is not guaranteed.  For the most current and complete product details, verify the current rates and terms with credit card issuer before applying for a new card.

What is the Interest Rate on the American Express Green Card

The American Express Green Card is a charge card and does not have a set interest rate for transactions that are made with the card.  Unlike a credit card, any balance that accrues from purchases and other transactions on a charge card are due and paid in full each month.  Because the American Express Green Card is a charge card, the account holder does not carry a balance from one month to the next and there are no interest charges when using the card. 

The Green Card from American Express has a late fee that may be assessed on account holders that do not pay the full balance each month or statement cycle.  In addition, account holders that do not pay the balance for two billing periods in a row may be charged a fee of $38.00 or 2.99% of the past due amount, whichever is greater.  Account holders that fall into this situation will find a rate of 2.99% per month quite a kick a rear.

The American Express Green Card terms and conditions refers to a monthly payment option for  eligible account holders, that gives the  account holder the option to extend payment over time on certain charges using a Pay Over Time feature.  Account holders that use this feature may accrue interest on any charges they choose to pay over time.  The terms of the repayment are not mentioned in the agreement.

American Express is the largest issuer of charge cards in the U.S.  American Express also offers a number of credit cards that allow the account holder to carry a balance and these cards will have interest rates and interest charges based on the account type and transactions made.

More information about the American Express Green Card can be found at the Am Ex web site located at americanexpress.com.  Additional information can be obtained by calling American Express card customer service at 1-800-528-4800.

The listed credit card rate information is believed to be accurate at the time of this publication but may have changed and is not guaranteed.  Before applying or using the card, consumers should review and verify the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card company’s web site.

What is the Interest Rate on Macy’s Credit Card

The Macy’s credit card has a variable interest rate that is comparable with most major store credit cards on the market.  The current credit card rate on a Macy’s card is 24.50%.  The rate falls right in the middle of the range of rates for the top store credit cards in the nation which is between 17.99% and 27.99% with the vast majority of the store card rates hovering closer to 24%.

The Macy’s credit card Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.  The purchase rate or APR is equal to the Prime Rate plus a margin of 21.25%.  The Prime Rate is 3.25% as of April 2015 which puts the Macy’s credit card rate at 24.50%, Prime plus 21.25%.  The current APR is the equivalent of a daily periodic rate of 0.06712%.

Based on the terms presented on the Macy’s credit card disclosure, the APR on the credit card may be changed quarterly based on any changes that occur in the Prime Rate.  The periodic rate is calculated by taking the rate disclosed as the “Prime Rate” in the “Money Rates” section of The Wall Street Journal on the 15th day of March, June, September and December of each year (or the next business day if the 15th day falls on a weekend or holiday) and adding the margin (21.25%) to that rate.

Any change in the credit card APR will go into effect on the first day of the billing cycle that begins after the first day of the next calendar quarter.  Rate changes may result in an increase or decrease in the interest charges on the card as well as the minimum payment that may be due on an account.

Before applying or using the Macy’s credit card, consumers should review and verify the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card company’s web site.  More information on the Macy’s store credit card and other store credit card rates and terms can be found at Bestcreditcardrates.com.

The credit card information presented is believed to be accurate as of this publication date however; this information is not guaranteed and may have changed.

What Does the Credit Card Company Mean by a Charge Off on my Credit Report?

Delinquent credit in a credit report is generally the number one reason why a credit card application is denied.  One of the biggest dings or damaging items in a credit report is a charge off.  Having a charge off account in a credit report can result in a lower credit score and have an adverse impact on someone’s ability to get a new loan, credit card, or other credit account.

A charge off is an account with a creditor that has been written off as loss for that creditor.  An account is charged off after the customer has become severely delinquent on the account, this usually occurs after a minimum of six months has gone by without any repayment. 

The important aspect of the charge off is the poor payment history that has led to an account getting moved into the category of charge off.  To get to the charge off status, the account has to have no monthly payments for an extended period of time.  Based on this information, it is relatively easy to see how a charged off account can adversely affect someone’s credit report and credit score.

It is important to note, just because the account has been charged off by the lender or creditor, the customer or borrower is still responsible for the debt.  As long as the charge off is not paid by the borrower, the creditor can continue collection efforts to recover their money.  The term charge off refers to the creditor’s action of taking a delinquent account off of their books and has little bearing on the debtors responsibility to make payments or satisfy the debt.

 The charged off account will remain on a credit report for seven years.  Even if the account is subsequently paid in full, the charged off status will remain on the individual’s credit report.

Which Reloadable Prepaid Cards Can I find at Walgreens

Consumers can find a variety of different prepaid cards at Walgreens many of which are reloadable for continual use.  Walgreens stores offer reloadable prepaid credit cards that feature both the Visa and MasterCard financial payment network.  The current assortment of prepaid cards available at Walgreens include the Green Dot prepaid card, the American Express Serve prepaid card, and the Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard.

The Green Dot cards are available with either the MasterCard or Visa network options.  The American Express Serve cards can be purchased through Walgreens as well as reload packs for future use including the Green Dot reload packs, for a fee.  The Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard can be purchased, activated and reloaded through Walgreens retail locations.

These cards can all be paid for upfront at any Walgreens locations with no credit check to get a card.  The prepaid cards are accepted by all merchants who process major credit cards including transactions over the phone and online.

There are several prepaid cards to choose from at Walgreens, each with different fee plans.  Consumers need to compare the features and fees with each card to see which one works best for their needs.

The Balance Financial Prepaid MasterCard is issued by The Bancorp Bank.  The Serve card is backed by American Express.  Green Dot cards are provided by Green Dot Corporation and Green Dot Bank.  The cards listed are based on information that is believed to be reliable on this publication date but is not guaranteed.  More information on Walgreens products including the prepaid cards can be found the company’s web site located at walgreens.com.

How Do You Add Money to a NetSpend Prepaid Card

As with many reloadable prepaid cards today, there is more than one way to reload or add money to a NetSpend Prepaid Card.  For NetSpend cards, account holders can add funds by using direct deposit, using an authorized retailer that handles NetSpend cards, by transferring funds using a U.S. based bank account, transferring funds with a PayPal account, transferring funds with another NetSpend Prepaid Card account, having the IRS electronically deposit a refund directly to the NetSpend card, or by using one of the NetSpend Reload Packs.

The NetSpend Prepaid card is one of the largest prepaid cards on the market.  There are a number of retailers that sell the cards and handle reloading.  Authorized retailers that allow account holders to reload a NetSpend Prepaid Card include MoneyGram® agents, Western Union® agents, select grocery stores, gas stations, and check cashing stores.  Bank transfers can be performed at a bank using a checking or savings account or a bank debit card.

Prepaid card holders may be charged a fee for adding money to their card using some of the methods while other methods of adding funds may incur no charges or fees.  Review the account disclosures for more details.  Prepaid card users should always carefully review the resources available to reload a card, the costs of doing so, and their funding needs before reloading a card.

NetSpend is a wholly owned subsidiary of TSY headquartered in Austin, Texas.  NetSpend Visa Prepaid Cards and NetSpend Prepaid MasterCard cards are currently issued by The Bancorp Bank, BofI Federal Bank and MetaBank which are all FDIC insured financial institutions.

The account information presented is believed to be accurate as of this publication date however, the information is not guaranteed.

What is the Interest Rate on the United MileagePlus Explorer Card

The current rate for the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card is 15.99 percent. The rate for balance transfers with the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Card is the same rate used for purchases transactions, currently 15.99 percent.  The credit card rate for cash advances is slightly higher at 19.24%.  The rate offered on this credit card is marginally below the average rate offered across the portfolio of credit cards promoted by Chase.

This is a variable rate credit card with an APR that is based on the Prime Rate plus a margin.  The current rate is based on a 3.25% Prime Rate.  For credit card purchase transactions and balance transfers, Chase adds 12.74 percent to the Prime Rate to determine the current rate.  15.99% is added to the Prime Rate to determine the cash advance rate or APR on the card.

The United MileagePlus Explorer Card has a 21 day grace period for purchase transactions.  Chase does not charge interest on purchases if the account holder pays the entire balance within the grace period or due date each month.  Interest charges on balance transfers, cash advances, and overdraft advances begin to accrue on the transaction date

The rates and terms listed are current as of April 2015.  The rates, fees, and terms may change.  More information can be obtained by reviewing the Pricing and Terms listed with the credit card disclosure provided by Chase.

When can a Credit Card Issuer Review my Credit Report

Largely due to the amount of personal information that is contained within a credit report, credit report access is quite limited.  Access and use of credit report information is controlled by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  A credit card issuer, for obvious reasons, may look at an individual’s credit report when they apply for a new credit card.  The credit card issuers may also review an account holder’s credit report during the time the account remains active with the issuer.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits anyone from viewing credit reports, unless they can prove that they have a legitimate need.  Granting credit in the form of a credit card with the borrower’s authorization would certainly fall within the parameters of the act.  Based on the terms of FCRA, lenders that have already granted credit may also access their account holder’s credit reports, this includes credit card issuers.

While the act does restrict access to credit information, the range of legitimate reasons to view an individual’s credit report is fairly wide.  Of course, there are also individuals and businesses that break the law.  Any organization or individual who obtains a credit report under false pretenses is breaking the law and can be subject to serious penalties.

How Long Does a Credit Card Promotional Rate Have to Last

Credit card rate promotions have become a fairly common marketing tactic among credit card issuers.  The terms of a credit card rate promotion can vary from issuer to issuer.  The different terms in a promotion may cover the interest rate offered, the length of time the promotional rate is available, the types of transactions the interest rate may apply to including such transactions as purchases or balance transfers, and other related account conditions.  Depending on the credit card promotion, the introductory interest rate can last anywhere from six months to over a year.  Six months being the absolute minimum amount of time the promotional rate has to run before the standard account rate applies to new transactions.

The reason why the minimum promotion has to be six months is the CARD Act.  The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act) governs credit card rate changes including the minimum length of time on a credit card rate promotion.  The CARD Act states, under Section 172 titled Additional Limits on Interest Rate Increases, no increase in any annual percentage rate applicable to a credit card account under an open end consumer credit plan that is a promotional rate (as that term is defined by the Board) shall be effective before the end of the 6-month period beginning on the date on which the promotional rate takes effect, subject to such reasonable exceptions as the Board may establish, by rule.  The Board in this Act refers to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

The credit card issuer is also required to provide a disclosure that clearly states the rate that will apply after the promotional period is over or the calculations used to determine the future rate.

More about the CARD Act can be found at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr627enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr627enr.pdf.

What is Average Daily Balance on a Credit Card

The average daily balance on a credit card is an important factor in the calculations used by credit card companies to determine the finance charges and therefore, the costs of using a credit card.

The average daily balance on a credit card is the average amount of the unpaid balance over the course of a month measured each day.  The average daily balance is calculated by adding up the outstanding credit card balance for each day in the billing period and then dividing that total figure by the number of days in the billing period.

For a card holder to calculate their credit card’s average daily balance, they need to know the balance each day in the credit card billing cycle as well as the number of days in the billing cycle.

As an example, if a card holder starts the month or the billing cycle with an existing balance of $1,000.00 and that balance remains at that level until ten days later when the card holder makes a purchase of $411.00 and then makes no more purchases but makes a payment of $536.00 five days later, the average daily balance would be $1,006.00.

Breaking down the math for this example:
Start of billing cycle is $1000.00 (this balance holds for ten days)
On day 11 the balance increases to $1,411.00 due to purchase (this balance holds for five days)
On day 15 the balance is reduced to $875.00 after the payment is made  (this balance holds for fifteen days to the end of the billing cycle in this example)

The total of the daily balances is 10 days at $1,000.00 or $10,000.00 plus, five days at $1,411.00 or $7,055.00 plus, 15 days at $875.00 or $13,125.00 for a total of $30,180.00.  The total of the balances for each day, $30,180.00, is then divided by the number of days in the billing cycle, 30 days in this example, for an average daily balance of $1,006.00.

The average daily balance calculation is the most common process employed by credit card companies to calculate finance charges.

Will Losing a Credit Card Impact My Credit Score?

Losing a credit card should have little to no impact on your credit score.  After reporting the lost credit card to the credit card issuer, the general practice is for the credit card company to reissue a new card with a new number.  The data regarding the account such as the credit card account history and payments will remain the same and stay with the account, as a result, the account history and opening date for the account is not affected.

Normally when a credit card account is closed, the closed account will have a negative, albeit minor, impact on the card holder’s credit score.  An individual’s FICO credit score takes into account a number of factors gleaned from the individual’s credit report including how long their credit accounts have been established with the age of the oldest account, the age of the newest account and an average age of all credit accounts. 

When an account is closed and a new account is opened, the individual’s credit score gets impacted by the changing history with the long term account closing and a new account, with a short history, getting factored in.  In addition, if the older account had a larger credit limit the changing account could affect the credit utilization ratio since the amount of available credit is now reduced.

Since lost or stolen credit cards are usually replaced by the credit card company with the same account history being retained by the issuer, there are no negative ramifications regarding the card holder’s credit history and credit score.

For card holders that are concerned about credit card charges that are incurred after the card is pilfered or lost, Federal law provides some pretty good protection.  The Fair Credit Billing Act protects consumers so they are only responsible for a maximum of $50.00 for unauthorized charges.  Charges made after the loss of the card is reported are not the card holder’s responsibility.  In addition, most credit card issuers provide added protection so their customers have no liability for fraudulent charges on an account.

When Does a Variable Rate APR on a Credit Card Change?

Understanding how the interest rate and corresponding monthly payment changes on a variable rate credit card is an important detail in order to recognize the true cost of credit.  A variable interest rate is one that may fluctuate over time.  The vast majority of credit card interest rates on new credit card offers are variable rates or variable APRs. 

Variable credit card rates are made up of two components.  The first component is an index that is not controlled by the credit card issuer and is publicly available for the consumer to discern.  The second component is a margin that is determined by the credit card issuer and is fixed once the credit card is approved.  The credit card rate or APR is calculated by adding the index to the margin.

The margin is locked in at the time of the credit card approval but the index may vary over time based on economic conditions and the interest rate market.  Variable credit card rates can be based on any index established by the credit card issuer however, all variable rate credit cards surveyed by Bestcreditcardrates.com use the Prime Rate as the index. 

The Prime Rate is a widely utilized rate or index employed by banks; it is frequently used to set rates on consumer and business loan products including credit cards, home equity lines of credit and business loans.

Variable APRs that are based on the Prime Rate will increase or decrease when the Prime Rate changes.  If an APR increases due to changes in the Prime Rate, interest charges and the minimum payment due may also increase.  And, while a variable rate can go up, it can also go down.

The variable APR used to calculate the finance charges on a credit card may change immediately after a change is made in the Prime Rate or there may be a short delay before the credit card issuer applies the changes.  The policies regarding when the rate changes will apply to a credit card account will be explained in the credit card agreement.

As an example of how the Prime Rate changes affect a credit card APR, Discover Card stipulates in their agreement, “We calculate variable rates based on the Prime Rate by using the highest U.S. Prime Rate listed in The Wall Street Journal on the last business day of the month.”  Navy Federal Credit Union calculates changes by using, “the highest prime rate published in The Wall Street Journal on the first business day of the previous month.” (See: https://www.discovercard.com/application/terms?srcCde=KB48  https://www.navyfederal.org/pdf/ebrochures/1713.pdf)

Is It Better to Get a New Credit Card or Request a Credit Limit Increase?

There are a number of factors at play when trying to calculate the value of a credit line increase on an existing credit card versus obtaining a new credit card.  However, for consumers that have very few credit cards the answer is relatively simple, getting a new credit card will generally have more value. 

The reason for the additional card in this case is the increase in flexibility afforded the new card holder.  An extra card can be useful if there are complications with any other card in your wallet or purse and when the new card is selected wisely, a second card will have added benefits or perks that can compliment any other card or cards that may be on hand. 

There is also generally very little risk involved in obtaining an additional credit card as a back up or for the additional rewards especially, if the card has no annual fee.  And while many consumers worry about the impact a new credit card inquiry may have on their credit score, new inquiries having very little impact on a credit score unless the inquiries are excessive and frequent (see, http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/Questions/Inquiry-Credit-Score.aspx).

Consumers that may already have other credit cards or are acutely sensitive to changes in their credit score will have a several different factors to evaluate before deciding whether to request a credit line increase or apply for a new credit card.

Credit scores are based on a great deal of data found in a credit report, many of which will change when a new credit card is acquired or an existing credit line is increased.  There are at least four key factors to consider when questioning whether to request a credit line increase or a new credit card. 

Credit scores looks at the total number of accounts a consumer holds altogether, another new account can be viewed negatively if the card holder already holds a number of open accounts.  Credit scores will measure the number of open accounts with existing balances, adding an account that will be used for more debt can be a drag on a credit score.  The account balances and number of active accounts are, in turn, used to measure credit utilization which can reduce a credit score when that number runs high.  Credit scores also calculate the length of the revolving account history in a credit report; a new credit card effectively reduces the average account length.

All four of these factors may be considered when comparing a new credit limit to a new a credit card but the biggest factor is your short and long term credit needs.  A new credit card is often more convenient and the minor setback to your credit score is probably worth the price.

Can You Get More than One Secured Credit Card

Getting more than one secured credit card is not only possible, but it can also be beneficial for some consumers.  Having more than one credit card, when used properly, can be helpful for consumers that are trying to rebuild their credit history and improve their credit score.  Secured credit cards are just one type of credit card available that can be a valuable tool for establishing or rebuilding good credit and having more than one can help with that process. 

The key is that a secured credit card and a standard credit card are reported to credit reporting agencies in the same manner.  The payment history is reported, the balance, and the credit limit.  Having a secured credit card works like any other credit card and by using one responsibly you are creating a credit account that will show future lenders and creditors that you are able to use credit responsibly. 

The main benefit that comes with having more than one secured credit card is that it creates more than credit account in your credit history.  More than one credit account with a good payment history should help develop a good credit score faster.

More than one secured credit card account can also show evidence of an increased combined credit limit.  A high credit limit with select credit usage will show a low credit utilization ratio.  Low utilization rates are a key component to good credit scores.

A second secured credit card can also provide a safety net should an issue occur with the other credit card or any other credit card account.  As long as the appropriate secured credit card, which generally means ones with low costs, are utilized a second credit card can be a very useful resource.

There is one caveat with secured credit cards; some of these cards can have higher fees and interest rates compared to standard credit cards.  Consumers should read the credit card account terms and conditions carefully before applying and getting a new card.

How Will a Credit Card Balance Transfer Affect My Credit Score?

Balance transfers can affect a card holder’s credit score but the impact is generally very small.  The change in a credit score as the result of credit card balance transfer can be positive or it can be negative depending on how the accounts involved in the transaction are handled.

Balance transfers involve the transfer of one or more credit card balances over to another credit card.  This task is usually accomplished to take advantage of low promotional interest rates that result in lower monthly credit card payments and reduced interest charges. 

One key to avoiding a big credit score drop after making a balance transfer is to keep the credit card or cards open after the transfer.  Closing out older credit card accounts and transferring the balance to a new account can reduce a credit score.  A portion of an individual’s credit score is based on the length of time credit accounts have been open.  Older credit card accounts that have long track record of timely payments have greater value in a credit score model over new credit accounts, especially new credit accounts with large balances.

A credit score can also be impacted by the amount of balance transfer relative to the credit limit on the new card.  Depleting all of the available credit on a new credit card with a balance transfer pushes the credit utilization ratio higher, the credit utilization ratio accounts for a measurable percentage of an overall credit score.  Using a credit card that has a higher credit limit than the amount being transferred can help ameliorate any negative repercussions that may come from changes in the credit utilization ratio.

Due to the many different factors used in credit scoring models, balance transfers can either improve an overall credit score or reduce it.  Even with the possibility of a credit score reduction, the benefits that come with the balance transfer often outweigh any small, negative changes in a score that may happen.

Will a Credit Card Cash Advance Hurt My Credit Score?

Cash advances made with a credit card have very little impact on an individual’s credit score or credit profile.  Making a cash advance with a credit card as a tool to obtain short term cash needs should always be carefully evaluated before being drawn upon regardless of the credit score ramifications.  The reasons to use cash advances sparingly has little to do with the credit score models but rather the high fees and interest rates connected to these transactions. 

Cash advances viewed as a single transaction should not impact an individual’s credit score.  The action of making a cash advance is not known to be part of any credit score model that is widely used today.  Indirectly, however, a credit score can be affected by a cash advance.  

A cash advance will result in greater amount of credit being extended to the individual.  An increase in overall debt levels can impact an individual’s credit score.  A credit score can be impacted rather significantly if there is a large increase in credit outstanding without a corresponding increase in available credit.  This relationship between available credit and outstanding debt is known as the credit utilization rate and this ratio is a measurable factor used in determining credit scores.  A high credit utilization rate can result in the cash advance negatively affecting the card holder’s credit score as well as the simple increase in debt outstanding.

Cash advance users may also want to take note that the credit card issuer will evaluate the card holder’s credit use and credit profile when making decisions on whether to extend additional credit in the future.  Cash advances are often considered last resort financing options and card issuers may be reluctant to extend additional credit if there are frequent cash advances with a credit card.

Unless the cash advance is quite large relative to the amount of credit available or the card holder is engaging in recurrent cash advances, the overall credit score impact from a credit card cash advance is going to be very small.

What is the Difference Between a Fixed Rate and a Variable Rate on a Credit Card?

The difference between a fixed rate credit card and a variable rate or adjustable rate credit card account confuses many consumers and can even confuse those in the credit card industry.  The vast majority of credit cards available today have variable interest rates or Annual Percentage Rates (APRs).

A variable rate on a credit card account is an interest rate that can change over time based on an underlying index.  The variable rate APR on a credit card is established based on a formula tied to an underlying index.  Wow, that’s a mouthful.  The definition may be easier to understand by example.

Most credit cards have variable rates that are based on the Prime Rate.  The Prime Rate would be the underlying index.  In theory, a variable rate could be based on any index such as Treasury rates, LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate), or the average rain fall in the Sierra.  The actual credit card rate charged to the consumer is not generally just the Prime Rate but rather, it will be the Prime Rate plus a margin.

The margin is simply a predetermined amount added to the Prime Rate to establish the actual interest rate on the account.  As an example; the best credit card rate available on the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card today is 13.90 percent.  The rate is a variable rate that is determined by using the Prime Rate plus 10.65 percent.  In this example, the Prime Rate is currently at 3.25 percent and the credit card rate is established by adding 10.65 percent to the current Prime Rate of 3.25 percent.

The formula for determining the variable credit card interest rate in this example is the Prime Rate plus 10.65%.  The Prime Rate may change over time which will change the interest rate on the account.  The margin will remain fixed and does not change.

A fixed rate credit card account has an interest rate that does not change based on an index or current rates in the market.  For most types of consumer credit accounts such as car loans and mortgages, a fixed rate means that the interest rate will not change throughout the duration of the extension of credit or the term of the contract.  This is not true with credit cards.

A fixed rate credit card APR may change based on the terms outlined in the credit card agreement.  The credit card issuer must notify the account holder before the change occurs, and in most circumstances the interest rate change will only apply to new purchases and other transactions made after the rate change is in effect.  If the credit card company does not specify a time period during which time the fixed interest rate may change, the rate cannot change as long as the account is open.

What is the Capital One Credit Card Late Payment Grace Period?

Capital One offers a wide assortment of credit cards that have different terms, rates, and conditions.  The grace period for all of the consumer credit cards offered by Capital One is currently 25 days.  The grace period on the Capital One credit cards is the period of time the card issuer provides to account holders to pay their new credit card account charges, without having to pay interest on the new balance.  The grace period does not extend the payment due date on the credit card.

The due date shown on the account holder’s credit card statement issued by Capital One will establish the time frame in which a customer has to make the minimum payment on the account.  Capital One may charge the account holder a late fee if the company does not receive the minimum payment in time to credit the payment by the due date shown on the statement.  There is no additional amount of time after the due date that allows the account holder to send their monthly payment to avoid a late fee.  The Capital One grace period is not an extension of the payment due date.

In general, a grace period in finance refers to the time period in which a borrower can make their payment without getting charged a late fee.  For instance, if a mortgage company allows a five day grace period they are allowing their customer to make their payments five days after the due date without having to pay a late fee.  In the credit card industry the definition is different.  The grace period is the time period a card holder is granted to pay new balances before interest charges apply, if they are not carrying a balance.

What is the Definition of the Credit Card Prime Rate?

The definition of the Prime Rate used in credit card offers is a critical piece of information for consumers to fully understand the costs and charges assessed on their credit card account.  Credit card holders that carry a balance on their card will discover that the APR is the best indicator of the costs for using the credit card and the APR is normally based on the current Prime Rate.

The vast majority of credit card agreements will notify the card holder that the APR or interest rate charged is a variable rate which will be set by adding a predetermined amount or margin to the Prime Rate.  A variable rate credit card will generally display the current interest rate and then define that rate as something such as the “Prime plus 5.0%.”  This means that the interest rate on the card is the Prime Rate plus an additional 5.0%.  The Prime Rate, along with the margin, is the key to determining the interest costs that will be charged for using any particular credit card.

The Prime Rate is the interest rate banks charge their most creditworthy customers.  The Prime Rate was originally established to price loans for commercial or business borrowers.  While, it is a generally accepted practice to quote the Prime Rate as if it were one universal rate, by definition the Prime Rate can be different depending on the bank.  In fact, when the Prime Rate changes due to changes in interest rate conditions in the market, not all banks will change their Prime Rate at the same time.  However, most banks will eventually change their Prime Rate to the prevailing rate over time. 

Because the Prime Rate is often used to refer to a rate at more than one bank, some definitions may refer to the Prime Rate as an index that represents the interest rate most banks are currently charging their most credit worthy customers.  Since the Prime Rate may be different depending on the bank quoting their Prime Rate, most credit card agreements use the rate quoted by an authoritative source, the Wall Street Journal is the most prevalent source used.

The terminology often used in credit card agreements will state something such as, for each billing period the APR is determined using the Prime Rate published in The Wall Street Journal.  The Wall Street Journal publishes the rate that reflects the Prime Rate posted by at least 70% of the top ten banks by assets.

What is the Minimum Payment on a Discover Credit Card?

Discover does not charge a fixed minimum payment on their credit cards, the specific minimum payment amount on a customer’s credit card account is dependent on a number of factors.  An individual’s Discover credit card payment will change from month to month based on the current outstanding balance, the interest rate, and any fees that may be due on the account.

Discover uses the customer’s account information to plug in these payment factors into their payment formula to obtain the minimum payment due.

The minimum payment on the Discover card will be any amount past due on the account plus the greater of: $35.00 or 2% of the credit card balance shown on the billing statement, or any interest charges and late fees shown on the billing statement plus $20.00.

If there is interest due on the account, the minimum interest charge will not be less than $0.50.  The minimum payment due, after all calculations are made, is rounded up to the nearest dollar.

Be attentive about making the required minimum payments you made on the card.  While making the minimum payment each month meets the terms of the Discover card agreement, this payment will do little to erode the balance outstanding.  By paying more than the contractual minimum payment, card holders will pay less interest over time and can get out of debt much faster as well as free up additional credit that can improve an individual’s credit score and be better equipped for future credit needs.

Can You Get Cash from an ATM with a Credit Card?

Most credit cards allow the account holder to get cash by using an ATM.  The process for using a credit card to get cash from a local ATM is straight forward and is similar to using a bank debit card or ATM card.  Instead of using a debit or ATM card to get cash, the credit card holder uses their credit card and PIN at the ATM to withdraw funds.

In order to obtain cash from an ATM, the account holder will need their credit card and their PIN.  The PIN is usually assigned to a card holder after the credit card is approved and delivered to the customer.  Some credit card companies require the account holder to call to obtain a PIN after the card is issued.

Keep in mind that cash transactions made at ATMs are classified as cash advances and the account holder will have to pay the prevailing cash advance credit card rate on the amount of the cash withdrawal as well as the applicable cash advance fee.  There may also be a surcharge fee charged by the ATM operator.  ATM surcharge fees are additional fees charged to the user of the ATM if the credit card used is not part of the ATM network.  It may be helpful to review the credit card company’s website to locate a surcharge free ATM.

Cash advances can be a convenient means to obtain quick cash, but they can also be costly.  The cash advance interest charges have no grace period and the interest charged starts to accrue the day the funds are withdrawn.  Interest rates for cash advances are also generally higher than rate for purchases.

What is the Minimum Payment on a Walmart Credit Card?

The minimum payment on a Walmart credit card is the amount the account holder must pay in order to avoid a late payment fee.  If there are no unusual charges on your Walmart credit card, the minimum payment calculation is quite simple.  Once there are past due charges, late fees, or special promotions it can get complicated. 

The minimum payment for standard purchases made with the Walmart card is determined by adding one percent of the credit card balance plus the current interest charges.  The current interest charges are calculated by multiplying each daily balance on the card by the daily interest rate that applies.  The daily rate is the current interest rate or APR times 1/365.

The daily balance on the credit card is determined by taking the starting balance for each day of the billing cycle, adding any new credit card charges and fees, and then subtracting any payments or credits that have been made.  The total of the interest changes plus one percent of the outstanding balance is rounded up to the next highest whole dollar to determine the total minimum card payment.

There is a minimum of $1.00 of interest charged on any billing cycle and a minimum monthly payment of $25.00.  The formula sounds complicated because the credit card issuer breaks down the interest rate and balances for each and every day and adds these figures based on the number of days in the billing cycle. 

The Walmart is offered by Synchrony Bank.  More information about the credit card, the card terms, and the online application can be found at the Walmart web site under the Walmart credit card link.

The information to the credit card question posted is believed to be accurate however; consumers and card holders should consult the credit card application for details about current card terms and conditions.

Are there any Credit Card Transactions that will not Earn Cash Rewards?

There can be some significant exclusions regarding transactions that earn cash back or rewards on credit cards.  The term used in the credit card industry to describe qualifying transactions is, eligible purchases.  Ineligible transactions, which do not count towards earning credit card rewards, can be put into two categories.

The first category of ineligible transactions to earn rewards or cash back is those that simply do not count towards any type of rewards credit or points system with a credit card.  Transactions that will not earn credit card rewards include balance transfers made with the card, cash advances, any credit card fees, the interest charges, disputed or fraudulent charges, purchases made by or for a business or for business purposes, account refunds credited to the card, and rebates.  These transactions are almost universally categorized as ineligible qualifying purchases.

The second category of transactions that do not count towards rewards are specific to credit cards that have qualifying purchase categories or promotion periods.  As an example, a number of credit cards on the market award rewards based on select categories such as grocery store purchases.  Purchases made at the hardware store would be ineligible for rewards if the credit card is currently awarding points based on net purchases made at grocery stores only.  Often, these rewards categories are offered during certain times of the year.  Rotating rewards categories have become very popular, many of the most popular rewards cards operate on the rotating category system.

Credit card rewards earned by using a credit card with cash back incentives and rebate programs are one of the most popular category of credit cards.  Consumers need only look at the plethora of card advertisements to see how they are overweighed with rewards offers.  Card shoppers that are searching for a new credit card rewards card should be diligent when comparing offers in order to thoroughly review the credit card terms, the transactions required to earn rewards, and the transactions that do not.

More information can be found on this topic at, what is an eligible purchase on a cash back credit card.

Can a Credit Card Charge a Fee for Not Using the Card?

Credit card companies are not allowed to charge a fee to customers that do not use their credit card.  Credit card inactivity fees or fees for not using a credit card were abolished after the passing of the U.S. Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 ( CARD Act).  However, if a credit card has an annual fee, the fee may be charged whether or not the customer is actively using the credit card, this would not be considered an inactivity fee.

Inactivity fees were not common fees within the credit card industry but they did exist before they were banned with the passage of the CARD Act.  These credit card fees were usually assessed by credit card companies on accounts that did not have any transactions or purchase activity over a specified period of time.

The prohibition on inactivity fees was part of the key changes in the CARD Act rolled out on August 22, 2010.  Credit cards issued primarily for business or commercial purposes generally are not governed by the consumer protections in the CARD Act.  Some credit card issuers may also reduce an accountholders credit limit that has a prolonged period of inactivity and nothing bars a credit card issuer from closing an account if the accountholder is not using the card.

What Banks Accept American Express for Cash Advances?

American Express allows cash advances through ATM use.  Cash advances can be made at any ATM that accepts American Express Cards.  Unless the bank ATM has restrictions, almost any bank with an ATM can be used to get a cash advance with an American Express card.  To obtain a cash advance, accountholders have to obtain a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for their card.  American Express will either issue the accountholder a PIN to use to obtain cash advances at participating ATMs or the accountholder may request a PIN for cash advances by contacting American Express.

The cash advances taken out through ATM withdrawals are drawn against the cash advance limit on the American Express cardholder’s account.  The cash withdrawal limits that are set on the credit card account will apply.  Transaction fees will also apply for cash advance transactions using one of the American Express cards.  The ATM owner/operator may charge additional fees for each transaction.

Cardholders can make free ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs in the MoneyPass® ATM network in the US.  For ATMs outside of the MoneyPass network, there is a $2.00 fee that is currently assessed on each withdrawal.  The nearest MoneyPass ATM locations can be found by using the MoneyPass ATM locator.

Can I Cancel My Credit Card After One Year to Avoid the Annual Fee?

Credit card holders can absolutely cancel their credit card after one year to avoid having to pay the annual fee.  A number of credit cards charge annual fees, annual fees are particularly prevalent on rewards credit cards and some of these annual fees can be rather substantial.  While the vast majority of credit cards on the market charge the annual fee during the first year, some waive the fee in the first year which makes the prospect of canceling the card after that first year even more alluring.

There are some caveats that come with the recommendation to cancel a credit card just to avoid the annual fee.  Card holders that are cancelling out a rewards card should make sure they use all of the rewards points and bonuses earned on the card prior to canceling the card.  Upon cancellation, the credit card rewards that have already been earned but not yet used will be canceled by the issuer forever.

By canceling a credit card, you may reduce your credit score slightly.  Credit score models evaluate a number of factors about an individual’s credit use, credit history, and available credit.  When a credit card account is canceled or closed, an individuals’ credit score will generally dip due to a lower level of available credit and a shorter average age on credit accounts.  The latter issue will be of less importance since the card in equation has only been opened a year.  The drop in an individual credit score will often be brief and can be mitigated by opening another credit account.

Card holders that cancel a card to avoid the annual fee often replace the card with a new credit card that has either no fee or a more generous rewards offer.  The new card should already have an application submitted and, ideally, accepted prior to canceling the current card to avoid any reduction in credit privileges and payment conveniences.

What is the Chase Freedom Credit Card Cash Advance Fee?

The credit card cash advance option that comes with the Chase Freedom credit card can a handy convenience but it can also be very expensive one.  The cash advance fee for the Chase Freedom card is going to be either $10.00 or 3% of the amount of the cash advance transaction, whichever of these two numbers is greater. 

Cash advance users should also remember that the interest rate charged on the cash advance is at the cash advance rate and not the standard rate applied to purchase transactions.  Also, keep in mind that credit card cash advance fees start immediately since there is no grace period on cash advance charges.  The cash advance fee is charged or added immediately to the credit card balance.

Fortunately, for those Chase Freedom cardholder that really need a cash advance, a cash advance transaction can be processed in a matter of just a few minutes.  The Chase Freedom® card is a popular cash back rewards credit card with no annual fee but like most credit cards, cash advances made with the card are not free. 

Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information to the credit card question posted however; consumers and card holders should consult the credit card application for details about current card terms and conditions.

What is an Eligible Purchase on a Cash Back Credit Card?

What purchases are eligible for cash back credits or promotions with a cash back credit card can a bit mystifying.  Credit card users that think every time they swipe their card, they will get some money back may be in for a rude awakening.  There are a lot of loopholes with cash back credit cards, one of which is the definition of an eligible purchase.

For standard purchases that earn cash back rewards, most credit cards identify eligible purchases as the dollar amount of purchase transactions made with the credit card minus any refunds credited to the account.  In addition, cash advances and balance transfers will not be considered qualifying purchase transactions.  Credit card fees, interest charges, disputed and unauthorized or fraudulent charges, account refunds, rebates, and similar credits are also generally not eligible for cash rewards on a credit card account.

Additional conditions regarding eligible purchases apply to cash back credit cards that have select qualifying categories or rotating categories.  As an example, a card may offer a 5 percent rebate limited to a single type of purchase each quarter, such as food, clothing, gasoline, travel or entertainment.  Card users should read the disclosures to make sure there are no prior requirements needed to activate the category during the cash back period.  Some cards will not include purchases made at warehouse stores, wholesale distributors, and discount stores as eligible purchases to earn cash rewards within a category as well.

A final caveat with rotating categories is the identification of the products within the category.  It is common for the credit card agreement to give the right to the credit card issuer to determine which purchases qualify for their offer.  The merchant or merchants that accept the credit cards have a merchant code based in part on the kinds of products and services they sell.  Whether or not a purchase is eligible to earn a cash back reward is generally based upon the merchant code.  Some purchases that appear to qualify may not qualify if the merchant processes the transaction with an ineligible or inaccurate merchant code.

The credit card disclosures should let the applicant know that cash back is earned only on eligible purchases defined by the credit card issuer but you may have to read the fine print to see exactly what qualifies and doesn’t qualify as an eligible purchase to earn the card’s rewards.

What is the Cash Advance Fee for Discover Card?

Most credit cards that offer cash advance features have a cash advance transaction fee and, Discover Card is no exception.  With the Discover Card, a flat fee or percentage of the cash advance amount may be added to the account holder’s balance each time the account holder withdraws cash using the credit card.  For both the standard Discover Card and the Discover Student Credit Card, the cash advance fee is either $10.00 or five percent (5%) of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

The cash advances made with the Discover Card will have additional costs for the card user on top of the cash advance fee.  The interest rate for cash advances using the Discover Card is higher than the standard purchase rate. 

Discover Card, like the majority of major credit cards, provides multiple options to get a cash advance using their card almost anytime and anywhere.  Discover Card account holders can get cash with your Discover Card by transferring online cash into checking, using the card at an ATM, making the request through a bank, and using the convenience cash checks provided the credit card issuer.

Whether using the Discover Card or nay of the popular credit cards on the market today, cash advances can be a tempting way to get access to cash quickly but the price for that convenience can be very high.

Please see the credit card provider’s credit card application for details about terms and conditions for cash advances.  Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information however, this information may have changed since the publication this publication date.  All credit card information is presented without warranty.

What is the Interest Rate on a Chase Freedom Card?

The current interest rate terms published for the Chase Freedom card state that it has a 0% introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.  After the introductory period ends, the variable APR is 13.99%, 18.99% or 22.99% for purchase and balance transfer transactions depending o the credit of the applicant.  The cash advance rate for the card is 23.99%.

The Chase Freedom card is a variable rate card based on the Prime Rate.  The listed APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.  Chase adds 10.74% to 19.74% to the Prime Rate to determine the interest rate for purchases and balance transfers on the Freedom card.  The bank adds 20.74% to the Prime Rate to determine the cash advance rate.

The Chase Freedom card is a very popular credit card but it is certainly not a credit card that has one of the lowest interest rates on the market.  Chase Freedom is a no annual fee, cash back card which usually means it will have a higher interest rate relative to other cards on the market.  A higher APR isn’t uncommon for any of the rewards cards on the market.

Before applying for a credit card, review and verify the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card company’s web site.  For more detailed information about the credit card rates and terms, review the Chase Pricing & Terms page on their web site located at, https://creditcards.chase.com/credit-cards/chase-freedom.aspx.

The information displayed is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed and may have changed since this publication date.  Review a list of all Chase rewards credit cards to compare the terms, conditions, and interest rates before selecting a new card.

What is the Late Fee on a Capital One Credit Card?

Capital One credit cards have a range of late fees.  The late fee assessed by Capital One is dependent on the credit card product.  The maximum late fee charged by Capital One is $39.00 and the smallest late fee is $19.00.

Capital One currently offers 12 cards for consumers and small businesses.  There is a late fee of $35.00 charged on the Classic Platinum credit card, Venture Rewards credit card, Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card, VentureOne Rewards credit card, Platinum Prestige credit card, QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards credit card, Platinum credit card, and Journey Student Rewards credit card.

Capital One charges a late fee of up to $19.00 on the Secured MasterCard credit card.

All of the Capital One Spark business credit cards have a late fee of up to $39.00.

Capital One may charge card holders the listed late fees if they do not receive the minimum payment in time for the card issuer to credit it by the due date shown on the account holder’s statement.

While some of the late fees appear to be excessive, these fees are avoidable if the card holder carefully manages their account and pays the credit card bill or bills on time.

The information presented is obtained for reliable sources and is believed be accurate and up to date, however we cannot make warranties regarding the accuracy of the information.

What is the Capital One Cash Advance Interest Rate?

Capital One offers a variety of credit cards that have a range of cash advance interest rates.  At the present time, Capital One offers 12 different credit cards for consumers and businesses, all of which have cash advance features.  The cash advance rates on the 12 Capital One credit cards currently available, range from 19.80% to 24.90% with the vast majority at the higher rate.  All of the cash advance interest rates are variable rates that may change over time.

At the low end of the range, the cash advance rate for the Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit card is 19.8% variable APR.  A slight step higher, the Classic Platinum Credit Card has a cash advance rate of 20.9% variable APR.

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards card and the Secured MasterCard both have cash advance APRs of 22.9%, variable rate.

The remaining credit cards offered by Capital One have cash advance rates at 24.9% variable APRs.  These cards include the Venture Rewards card, Quicksilver Rewards card, VentureOne Rewards, Capital One Platinum credit card, Platinum Prestige, Spark Cash for Business card, Spark Miles for Business and the Spark Classic for Business credit card.

Along with listed credit card rates, consumers that use these credit cards for cash advances may also be required to pay a transaction fee as well as the finance charges.  A cash advance transaction is not a regular credit card charge and generally will not have the same rate as charges made for purchases and balance transfers.

The listed rate information regarding the cost of the credit card accounts is based on information that is believed to be accurate but it is not guaranteed.  The information may have changed since this publication date.

How Much is Wells Fargo Cash Advance Fee?

Wells Fargo credit cards charge a fairly standard cash advance fee relative to the rest of the credit card market.  The bank currently offers 11 different credit cards to consumers.  As of this publication date, the average cash advance fee is the same for all Wells Fargo credit cards.  The cash advance on these credit cards is either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance or either $20 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater depending on the method used to obtain the cash advance.

The cash advance fee is either $10 or 5% for each advance using the SUPERCHECKSTM advance, ATM advance, or advance through the Wells Fargo Online® banking program, or via customer service.

If the cash advance is obtained in person at a participating financial institution or other source then the cash advance fee is either $20 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater.

Along with cash advance transaction fees that apply, the credit card account holder will be assessed the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for cash advances for the transactions and not the standard interest rate or APR for purchases.

Please note, Wells Fargo reserves the right to change terms, rates (APRs) and fees, on the credit cards they offer at their discretion in accordance with the Consumer Credit Card Customer Agreement and Disclosure Statement for the applicable account and within the restrictions of the applicable law.

This information about the cost of the credit card accounts is based on information that is believed to be accurate but it is not guaranteed.  This information may have changed.

Q: I receive so many credit card offers, how can I tell which one is the best credit card?

A:  It is always financially prudent to investigate credit card rates and new offers.  The primary purpose is to see how the credit cards that are currently available in the market compare to the credit cards you own and use. 

The first place to start in the process of selecting the best credit card offers is to read the credit card terms and conditions in the advertisement or credit card application.  Use the information on the new credit card offers regarding the rates and terms to compare to the credit card rates and terms on your cards and then further use this information to analyze your credit needs.  Evaluating your credit card needs and uses is a major variable in choosing the best credit card. 

By reviewing your needs and evaluating how you use the credit you have, it is easier to decide on what terms and conditions on a credit card may best assist you.  O% introductory credit card rates are of little value to the credit card holder that pays off balances monthly or who may gain greater value with credit card rewards programs.  Just because the credit card company wants your business doesn’t mean you want their business.  Low initial rates may not always be the best choice, greater rewards or the opportunity for a balance transfer may be more valuable.

After checking the terms and rates on the cards and how you use your credit, review the new credit card offers starting with the annual percentage rate (APR).  Check the new credit card rate for purchase transactions, balance transfers and cash advances.
 
Next, take a look at the credit card fees.  If you plan to pay off your balance every month, avoid signing up for a new credit card that has an annual fee.  If you carry a credit card balance, it may be worth paying a fee if the interest rate is low enough.  Compare the fees you’ll be charged for transferring your balance, using your card to get a cash advance, exceeding your credit limit, or paying your bill late as well.

To choose the best credit card, compare your credit needs with the terms offered by the credit card companies and choose the credit card with lowest costs and greatest benefits.

Q: What’s the difference between getting cash with my credit card and getting cash with my debit card or check card?

A:  This first point to drive home is to try not to use your credit card for cash advances.  Both the credit card cash advances and the debit or check card cash advance can provide consumers with convenient and instant access in times of financial need, but credit card cash advances should be avoided if at all possible.

with both types of transactions money can be obtained by simply using a credit card or debit card at the nearest ATM.  A cash advance with a credit card is an option cardholders can use to borrow actual money against their available cash advance credit card limit.  This is still a credit transaction and therefore is subject to the credit card terms for interest charges and other finance service fees. 

Using a cash advance option for a credit card can prove to be expensive.  The expense comes from high credit card rates for just cash advance transaction as well as transaction fees at the time of transaction.  Unfortunately these credit card rates and credit card fees for this action can be outrageous.  The interest rate for credit card cash advances is often several points higher than the standard purchase transaction interest rate.  Note that there is also no grace period on the finance charges and interest charges for cash advances on a credit card.

When you obtain cash with a debit card or check card, the card is tied to your existing checking or savings account.  The money associated with your check or debit card is already yours.  Debit cards tied to your checking account or savings account can only supply funds on what currently exists in the savings or checking account.  It is not a credit transaction like the credit card cash advance so other than ATM fees than are no interest charges or finance charges associated with this transaction.

Consumers should be very careful to only borrow enough cash on a credit card cash advance to handle only immediate financial obligation and make a real effort to pay back any cash advance as quickly as possible.

Q: If my credit card company sent me a notice to increase my credit card limit, should I accept the offer?

A:  It’s your right to either decline or accept the offer for an increased credit card limit.  In general, there is no reason not to accept the increased credit card limit.  It has no detrimental value to your credit profile or your credit terms.  It may have some value if you want the additional credit and it shouldn’t cost you anything to accept the increased limit.

Your position regarding the indifference you have to the credit card offer is not terribly uncommon.  While it is true that the average consumer would enjoy an increased credit card limit to gain access to additional finds as well as the psychological boost of increased financial resources, most recipients of credit card credit limit increases don’t need the funds.  Credit card companies frequently expand their credit card services and offerings to the customers that need them the least.  Credit card companies have a talent for willing to extend service to people that need the money the least and treat those that do rather poorly. 

The fundamental reason why credit card companies pursue customers such as yourself with increased credit card limits or even a lower credit card rate is to get you to carry a balance.  It’s not just that you are a good credit risk, which is almost certainly the case, but the credit card company wants to entice you to use their services or increase your credit card balance with them so they can make a profit from you as a customer.

A good reason to accept the increased credit limit is that it will result in reducing your ratio of credit card debt to available credit, which can be a significant factor for determining credit scores.  By increasing your credit card limit you are increasing the amount of available credit you have without increasing your debt and thus lowering the ratio of debt to available credit in your credit profile or credit report.  The credit card limit increase could very well help improve your credit score

Logical reasons to decline credit card offer may include displeasure with the existing credit card services or a concern over credit card debt management.  The Achilles heel for most consumers in accepting credit card limit increases is the temptation to travel down a path of greater credit card debt.  

On the other hand, there is no need to be apprehensive about negative ramifications from the credit card company should you decline the offer.  The credit card company has no reason and is not likely to close your credit card account just because they made an offer you can’t refuse.  They simply want your business and consider you a good credit risk.

The introductory APR on my credit card just expired and I was shocked at how much more my credit card payment was. What can I do?

The low introductory credit card interest rate is a great thing but it can lull the inexperienced into spending more money than you can really afford to pay back.  One thing you can do is make sure that you keep making your credit card payment on time and keep the overall credit card debt amount very low.  Maintaining a good credit rating is important for obtaining more credit, and applying for a new credit card with lower rate or a new low rate credit card balance transfer option may help you to get you payments back down to a manageable size.  Then the idea is to spend less and bring the credit card balance down.  Now you’re experienced.  Do the responsible thing and get your balances down by spending less and making on time credit card payments.  And always shop can compare credit card offers to see which credit card company has the best credit card rate now and which is the best credit card for the services you use and need.

The college I went to keeps offering me a credit card with the school mascot all over it. I’d like one, but are there things I should know about these credit cards?

These are called affinity cards and they are used for schools and organizations and sports teams and charities and other good causes like wildlife preservation.  They make you feel good but they do have some drawbacks.  One drawback is that the beneficiary gets only about half of one percent of what you spend, so if you spend $100 on the card your school gets fifty cents, which is better than nothing.  The second drawback is that you pay for it and then some.  You won’t see it on your statement because the payment comes from the credit card processor, but you pay for it in the form of higher credit card  interest rates and additional fees.  Sometimes it makes more sense just to make a direct contribution.  Shop and compare credit card offers first.  See what the best credit card rate is on a card you would qualify for and compare the difference between the savings on the affinity credit card and the one with the best credit card rate.  The savings alone may be enough to increase your direct donation to the school.

I got a credit card cash advance and the credit card interest rate and finance charges really jumped in the last couple of months. Why?

The credit card cash advance is a sometimes necessary but always ugly transaction.  First, the credit card APR or interest rate is always significantly higher on a cash advance.  Second, on most credit cards your credit card payment goes to pay off lower interest rate items like purchases first.  If you haven’t paid off your entire current credit card balance of purchase you are never going to make a payment on the cash advance at all.  It’s not pretty but that’s the way it is.  Pay that balance down to zero if you can.  Most consumers assume the credit card cash advance is handled the same as normal purchases and don’t pay attention to the credit card statement.  Anytime you use additional credit card services such as the credit card cash advance, read the terms and conditions before taking the money.  Since these transactions can be a necessity for some people, prepare in advance and find a new credit card that has the best credit card rate and terms for this transaction.

I lost a credit card. Once I inform the credit card company, am I done?

Most likely not.  Most of us have recurring purchases associated with our credit cards that must be rearranged.  If you send flowers to mom every month, or have a recurring credit card payment to a health club or a credit card online with a web site, you need to arrange something new with them too.

I want to cancel a credit card. This is always a good thing, right?

Not completely.  It may reflect negatively on your creditworthiness if moving the credit card balance to other credit cards increases your debt to available credit ratio.  Ideally credit analysts would like to see you using only thirty percent of your available credit.  If you cancel a credit card for which you have a $5000 credit line you lower your available credit by $5000.  If you have high balances, canceling some of your available credit can especially hurt.  If you want, find a new credit card with a lower credit card interest rate and keep the other credit card with a zero balance.

My credit has really improved since I got my current credit card. Should I close that account and apply for a credit card?

If you are otherwise pleased with your present credit card there is another option.  Call your current credit card company and simply ask them for a lower credit card interest rate.  If your credit has indeed improved and you are making on time credit card payments and keep a low credit card balance they will probably give you a reduction in rates immediately.  It happens more often than you think, but you have to make the call.  If that doesn’t work, pay off the credit card balance but keep the credit card and the find a card with the best credit card rate.  Before filling out the new credit card application compare the best credit cards and search for the credit card services that are most appealing to you.  These services provided by credit card companies may include credit card rewards, credit card balance transfers or credit card cash back programs.

I have a variable rate credit card and it keeps going up. What are the benefits of fixed rate credit cards?

A fixed rate card does save you a bit of money in credit card interest charges when interest rates go up because it’s fixed, isn’t it?  Not exactly.  By law, credit card companies can still raise rates if they give you thirty days written notice of the increase.  This kind of rate increase does lag behind variable rate increases, so you’ve got that going for you.  Often credit card apr and credit card interest rate changes are due to the slow or lat credit card payments of the cardholder or a credit card comopnay that is raising rates regardless of whether they are on the fixed rate cards or the variable rate cards.  Shop and compare credit card offers to see which bank credit card offers the best credit card rate regardless of whether its is a fixed rate or not.  Check to see that the variable rate cards are not teaser rates and apply for the new credit card that has the best credit card rate.  Keep in mind there may be other credit card services you may want to look for before you fill out any one particular credit card application.

What is a balance transfer and/or balance transfer rate on a credit card?

In the most basic terms, a balance transfer is a way of moving a debt from one credit card to another credit card.  This is often done to save money, as the new credit card may have a lower credit card rate interest rate or credit card APR than the old credit card.  Occasionally, credit cards have promotional balance transfer rates that typically last from 3-12 months.  A balance transfer rate is the credit card interest rate (APR) that is attached to the credit card balances transferred to that card from another card.  This balance transfer rate may differ from the rate (APR) that is attached to new purchases made with the credit card.  The key is watch what for the terms are required to maintain a low credit card balance transfer rate.  Making the credit card payment on time will surely be one of them, another would be the length of the time in which the rate is in effect and others may be to not exceed the credit card debt limit.

My credit card company called to report that an erroneous charge may have been made on my credit card account. I don’t see the charge with my credit card online when I looked at my account, and they asked me for information that they already have. Is this some kind of scam?

It is possible that it is.  A credit card company usually will ask you to call them.  Never answer questions for people who call you directly.  If you want to confirm the number that they give you to call, ask them for a web page on their site where it is listed.  There are many telemarketing scams related to credit cards.  Credit card fraud is an escalating problem for the credit card companies and the consumers that get ripped off.  Never give your credit card number to someone who calls you no matter who they say they represent.  If it is your bank credit card calling you they will certainly understand any extra precautions you take.

On my last credit card statement I noticed that my credit card APR has jumped. I don’t have a variable rate card so I don’t understand what happened.

First, you should always call your credit card company when you see something on your statement that you don’t understand.  Being able to read the statement is an important part of responsible credit card use.  In your case several things are possible.  They may tell you that you missed a credit card payment or were late with a payment, in which case they have the right to raise your credit card interest rate.  Or, if rates are going up in the credit markets generally, credit card companies can even raise so called fixed rates simply by giving you fifteen days notice of their intent to do so.  Call them and find out why your credit card interest rate was raised.  If you have been making your payment on time and they are simply raising rates and gave you notice, it may be time to get a new credit card.  Search through the credit card online offers and fill out the credit card application that offers the best credit card rate.  Stop using the credit card services of the higher rate credit card and you will come out ahead.

My high school aged daughter has a best friend who just got a credit card. Now my daughter wants one. Is this a good idea?

It isn’t a good idea if she just wants what everyone else has got, but if you see it as an opportunity to show her the benefits of credit, and how good credit can positively influence her future ability to have a car or home or job, go for it.  You can get her a secured credit card or a debit card so that you control the total amount of money available and not let the credit card debt control you.  Using credit cards to establish credit early can be a good thing so can learning the value and the skills needed to handle credit.  Just by reading about the number of credit card defaults and personal bankruptcies we can see how credit card debt sometimes does control people.  Teaching a child about credit card services, credit management and overall money management is never a bad idea.  Now go get her a new credit card.

I got a new credit card and am constantly harassed with offers for credit insurance. Am I making a mistake by ignoring these credit card offers?

Most likely not, especially if you have coverage in other ways.  For example, the worst credit insurance offer is one that promises protection if your card is lost or stolen.  Since Federal law mandates that you are only liable for up to $50 of wrongful purchases on a missing card, you don’t really need insurance.  Always check the cost of these programs.  If you feel like it’s too much money to pay month after month it probably is.  As a rule, credit insurance is some of the most costly insurance for the amount and form of coverage it provides.  Check the credit card online to see what the costs and benefits are and compare this coverage you can get with standard insurance.  Otherwise you just increasing the amount of your credit card payment for services that are cheaper elsewhere.  Credit card companies offer many desirable credit card services like credit card reward programs but some of the services like insurance are just padding their pockets at your expense.

My friends laugh at me when I use my credit card to buy something like bottled water in a convenience store. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

If you can buy just bottled water and nothing more, that’s great, but often stores have minimum purchases of $5 or $10, and then you end up buying things you don’t need just to get the water, and that’s not smart.  It’s easy to waste money if you get in any spending habit based on simply having the cash or credit readily available.  The ease of using credit cards often leads people to spend more money than they have and run their credit card debt up to an unmanageable level.  As long you are making the credit card payment that covers all of the purchases for the month you may actually benefit if you use a credit card reward program or credit card cash back program.  For consumers who use these credit cards frequently and pay the balance, these credit card services provided by rewards programs can be lucrative.  Always check to see that you have the best credit card to match your spending habits.

My son just got his first credit card. What should I tell him about how to use it, and what rules should I have?

The first and last thing about using a credit card doesn’t have anything to do with using the card.  The most important thing is to make the credit card payment on time.  This will greatly influence his credit score and will ultimately allow him to get more credit for the purchase of a car or a home.  Initially he should monitor the credit card balance closely to avoid getting into a load of credit card debt that is difficult to reduce.  You may want to check the credit card services and the credit card interest rate to make sure your son has the best credit card for this stage in his life.  One other good idea is to leave the card at home, and only allow him to have it with him when he has a particular purchase in mind.

I opened up a credit card account on impulse at a chain store recently. Is this a good idea?

Chain store credit cards lure you into their credit system by offering you a big discount on your first purchase.  You often spend a lot more over the long term because the credit card interest rates on retailer cards are often much higher than on bank credit cards.  If you are disciplined in your spending and keep your credit card balance low with regular on time credit card payments, you can do well with store cards.  If you have problems at all with credit cards it’s best to stay away from them.  The best credit cards overall are going to be the bank credit cards because of the depth of credit card services they offer as well as lower credit card interest rates and credit card APRs.  Store credit cards will not generally have fees which means there is no downside to keeping the credit card other than the lure of spending too much money at that store.

What’s the best way to establish a credit history if I have no credit history now.

Three steps will start you down the right path.  The first is to have or open a bank account.  Most any application for credit and credit cards will ask for this information.  The second is to obtain a new credit card.  Review the credit card offers and look for the best credit card that meets your needs.  Pay attention to the credit card online application to see what the demands may be.  Lack of credit will not get you denied by all credit card companies but the will look for compensating factors such as income and job time.  Find a credit card application for a card in which you know you will be accepted.  Third, always pay your credit card payment on time and keep the credit card balance low.  Keep up that third part and your credit rating will start to look great.  If you have a trouble getting your first credit card, consider a secured credit card or look under the categories for bad credit cards.

I am shopping for a new credit card and was told to check the Schumer box. What is it?

On every credit card offer the credit card companies or issuer is required by federal law to provide the Schumer box.  This is an actual box that contains the information that is considered most critical in deciding which credit card is right for you.  Here is what you will find in the box:

The amount of the credit card APR or annual percentage rate.
The cost of finance charges, including the minimum finance charge.
The amount of minimum monthly credit card payment required to keep the credit card account in good standing.
The method used for calculating your outstanding credit card balance and the accompanying credit card interest due.
The name of the actual company offering you credit which is sometimes not the company marketing the card.
The credit card debt limit.
The grace period that you have to owe on the card without accruing interest numbered in days.
The cost of the annual fee, if any.
The additional fees for credit insurance.
The fees for transferring a credit card balance if applicable.
The fees for making large purchases.
The fees and interest charged for taking out credit card cash advances.

I’m shopping for a new credit card. What should I consider when I do this?

One of the first things people all people consider is the credit card APR or credit card interest rate, but if you pay off all or most of your credit card balance every month that may not be the most important aspect for you.  Instead, consider the credit card rewards offered, or whether there is an annual fee.  If you pay your balance down regularly you should qualify for a card with rewards and no annual fee.  The key elements to find the best credit card are going to be the credit card interest rate. credit card fees, the credit card services such as credit card rewards, credit card balance transfers and credit card cash back.  Viewing the credit card online to see which credit card offer is best suited for you may be the first place to start then go get a credit card.

What is a prepaid credit card?

Prepaid credit cards act like standard bank credit cards but, in reality, are more like debit cards.  With prepaid cards, the cardholder determines the credit line. Generally speaking, a cardholder’s credit line depends on how much money he/she transfers to the card.  Therefore, there is little risk of running up credit card debt, while budgeting is made easier.  Be sure to thoroughly look over the terms and conditions for each specific credit card before filling out the credit card application.  Look for the credit card services you need and then choose the new credit card that fits your needs.

If I am turned down by a credit card company will I be able to find out why they did this?

When your credit card application is denied for credit, the credit card company has to inform you as to the basis for the decision.  The denial has to be included in writing with the specific reason for denial.  If your credit report was used as a determining factor in the denial they must provide information on how to receive a free copy of your credit report as well.  If the reason for denial is your credit profile, by all means use the denial notice to get the free credit report.  Often credit agencies make errors and if there are legitimate credit issues it may be time to look into fixing these credit problems.  Try to also use the credit report to see if you would qualify for a different credit card.  Not only are there prepaid credit cards and secured credit card for those individuals with blemished credit, but there ares several credit card companies that offer credit cards for people with bad credit.  The credit card interest rate and credit card APR will be higher, but this is a great way to reestablish a good credit history and get access to credit.  The credit card online application process is relatively painless, just make sure to read the category of credit cards you wish to apply for that meet your needs and credit profile.  One credit card denial does not represent the complete depth of credit card offers and credit card services that are available.

Why when someone receives a preapproved credit card offer can they still be denied the credit card?

Credit card companies are allowed to have terms that authorize the card issuer to conduct a more thorough screening of the applicant and the credit card application.  If this screening does meet the criteria needed to establish credit with the credit card issuer they have the right to change the terms or deny the request.  Frequent changes include increases the credit card interest rate and credit card apr and reducing the credit card debt limit.  Though the credit card companies are allowed to do this, you are free to find a new credit card.  Filling out the application for the credit card online is quick and easy.  Don’t accept a credit card offer you think is inferior or substandard.  Choose the credit card services you want by finding the best credit card available.

My credit card has a grace period but I was still charged interest on my new purchase from day 1, why?

The grace period for credit cards can vary from the different issuers.  Generally, no credit card interest is charged if you started with a zero balance and the bill in full within the grace period.  Most issuers will charge you interest from the day the purchase posts to the credit card company if you have an existing balance on the card.  If the credit card charge seems in error, call the credit card company regarding their credit card services and determine if they were inaccurate.  Errors can happen.  If you are dissatisfied with their response, find a new credit card.  In this market, having the best credit card generally means having the best credit card rate.

Where do I get a secured credit card?

Our site provides information on several credit card companies that provide easy to obtain secured credit cards.  The credit card application is a safe and secure process.  The appication can be completed for the credit card online.  With most providers you will be asked to deposit an amount of money as security for your card use in the unlikely event you should default on the obligations of repayment on the credit card debt.  Eventhough this is a secured credit card, the application can be completed for the credit card online.  The deposit will be used as security and is generally the high credit limit amount that you will have access to on the credit card.  Secured credit cards still charge interest, so shop and compare credit card services to find the best credit card rate.

What advise would you give if I were having trouble making my minimum credit card payments?

The first thing to do is to get your budget inline.  Please see our links on helping to control debt.  Next, make sure you contact your credit card company.  Explain the situation.  You may be able to work out lower monthly payment terms or temporary reduction in the credit card interest rate.  At a minimum try to get the late fee waived, these can really add up and the added funds can be used to make the minimum payments while you work out your budget constraints.  You are not alone having trouble with your credit card payment and credit card debt.  Don’t ignore the problem, other options may be a credit card consolidation or finding a new credit card with a lower credit card interest rate to reduce the monthly burden.

Which credit card companies report the credit history of the customer to the credit bureaus?

Reporting the individual credit history to the credit bureaus is a voluntary process by credit card companies and financial institutions.  Lenders and financial institutions generally report on each account you have established with them.  They include the type of account, when it was opened, the credit limit, the balance, and the payment history this will be true for credit card payments and credit card debt outstanding.  The decision to provide this data to the credit bureaus is completely voluntary.  The bureaus cannot extract the data without the financial institution providing it.  Unfortunately, they may provide to all the credit bureaus or just one or two.  Some small financial institutions do not provide the data at all.  Do to the voluntary nature of the process and the rights of the credit grantor to change how and when they provide the data it is almost impossible to answer the question.

If I fill out multiple credit card applications will it have a negative impact on my credit rating?

The most widely used credit scoring model is the FICO score by the Fair Isaac Corporation.  The position they take on a new credit card is that looking for new credit can be equated to higher risk but that should this risk factor impact your score it probably wouldn’t be by very much.  According to their model, new credit has a weighting factor of 10% of your overall score.  Within the new credit category, inquiries for credit such as new credit card applications are only a subset of this category.  Instead of applying for more than one credit card check the credit card services you want and find the best credit card to suit you.

Will having too many credit cards adversely impact my credit score?

The most important factors in credit scoring is paying your bills on time inclduing the credit card payments.  This includes monthly contractual payments on mortgages, cars, credit cards, etc.  Next in importance would be amounts of debt you have inclduing the credit card debt.  Not the number of credit cards per se, but the overall amount of debt and more importantly the percentage of debt used to that which is available.  It is generally recommended that you keep a credit card balance that is roughly 30% of the available balance of that credit card.  Credit scoring appears to give very little consideration to individuals that have multiple credit cards with large amounts of credit available.

Can I apply for a student credit card if I am only 16 years old?

 If you are under the age of 18, you will not be able to apply for a credit card by yourself.  You can be added to existing account as an authorized user.  You can also get a prepaid credit card, which can be very useful when traveling without immediate family or for extended periods away from home.

Someone stole my credit card number and went on a shopping spree. Do I have to pay for all that stuff?

You shouldn’t have to.  Most credit card companies already have a fraud protection in place as part of their credit card services.  The most you can be liable for under federal law is fifty dollars.  Call your credit card company and let them know about the theft right away.  Follow up with a letter so there is a paper trail behind you just in case there’s any confusion.  It’s a good idea to include in the letter the name of the person you spoke to over the phone and what was said in that conversation.  You’d be surprised how a theft can occur.  Sometimes problems can occur when shopping with the credit card online but also theft can occur anytime.  Remember behind all those machines doing the credit card processing approvals there are still people running things who may be after your good credit for their own nefarious purposes.

I bought a television recently and the darn thing’s no good. I brought it back to the store but refused to do anything about it. Is there anything I can do regarding the credit card services?

If you bought the television with your credit card and the purchase was paid less than 60 days ago and if you have not paid your bill for the television, you may be able to withhold payment and ask your credit card company to look into the matter.  Make sure you document all your contact with the merchant with the vendor, including any letters you sent and notes of any conversations.  If the store totally refuses to help you, send copies of all your notes, with a letter to the credit card company outlining your dispute, making sure to include your credit card number and the billing cycle where the charge for the device appears.  They will investigate and either they will agree with you, in which you do not have to pay that part of your bill or, they will agree with the vendor, in which case you will have to pay the bill as well as any credit card interest charges.

What’s the most important thing for me to tell my child about responsible credit card use?

The most important concept is paying the monthly credit card payment on time and if you can, pay the credit card debt in full.  This isn’t a negotiable concept, it’s crucial.  Your credit affects many other things in your life, and the essence of credit is making your payments responsibly on time.  If you ruin your credit early it takes a long time to recover, and not just in your financial life because your financial life affects your education and your love life and your ability to drive a reliable car and live in a decent home.  Paying the credit card payment on time and managing the credit card debt is an extremely important aspect of credit management.

What is a debit card?

Debit card sales are similar to credit cards but they aren’t credit sales.  Basically, the purchases you make with a debit card are like electronic checks.  The purchase amount when the debit card is used results in a direct debit from the savings or checking accounts to which the card is connected.  The spending limit on a debit card is set by the available cash in your account, again it is clearly not a credit transaction.

What is credit card disability insurance?

Credit card disability insurance is one of many credit card services provided by some card issuers that allows you to skip monthly credit card payments when you are determined to be disabled.  Often it can be somewhat onerous to get the credit card company to activate the insurance in the event you become disabled.  And in most cases your credit card debt still keeps piling up, you are simply excused from making the monthly payments during the allotted disability coverage time frame.  Your credit card will generally become immobilized along with you so you can not make any additional charges on it.

What is a credit card penalty rate?

The penalty rates is a new interest rate that may be applied to your credit card if you make a late payment on the credit card.  About 2/3rds of credit card companies include a penalty rate clause with their credit card offers.  This clause or condition asserts that your credit card interest rates can increase severely if you make late payments on your credit card debt.  The average penalty rate on a credit card is approximately 19-28%.   Often, after about six months of on-time credit card payments, most credit card companies will consider lowering your credit card APR again.  In these situations make sure you call and request a reduction in the rate if is not applied within a reasonable time period.

Why are there so many offers for credit cards rewards?

Credit cards rewards have quite a few benefits for the right candidate, but they are certainly not for everyone.  These cards reward your credit card spending with cash back, airline miles, and point benefit programs.  If you use your credit cards often and pay the credit card balance in full each month, a credit card rewards program could be a good choice.  Discipline is often the key to success with these credit cards.  Make sure you study the credit card offer and credit card application closely. Some rewards cards have high interest rates or annual fees that negate any of the special benefits you may receive.  Make sure you understand how the rewards are calculated and redeemed to get the maximum value.

With credit card cash back rewards do you get cash each month?

Credit card cash back rewards credit you with a percentage of your monthly purchases.  Some of the best credit card cash back rewards cards presented at this site will surely help you to earn cash back while you spend.  The cardholders receive monetary rewards for making purchases, usually between 0.5% and 2% of the net expenditure.  This may be done either by crediting your account or by paying the credit card holder separately with a check periodically.  Every credit card has its own conditions for cash establishing the amount of the credit card rewards and the method of crediting to you.  This may be annually, every few months, or every time the credits amounts to a set sum of money.  This information is put in the credit card application details or in its terms and conditions, as always, make sure you read the credit card services and conditions carefully.

What determines the credit card debt limit on my credit card?

The credit limit is the maximum amount of money you may charge on your credit card.  It is set by each credit card company individually.  The credit card companies determine the limit according to your credit risk.  This credit risk is determined primarily by your credit history but will also take into account other factors such as income and residency.  The limit is also based on the terms of the credit card you’ve applied for and may be changed as your credit history changes.  If you prove to be a good credit risk over time, you’ll often be given a higher limit by that credit card issuer.  Thus, before filling out a credit card application consider your credit report and assess your financial state.  The credit limit is not necessarily an unvarying value.  Credit card issuers may vary the credit limit as you credit card payment history changes.  And it may not only go up, but also go considerably down.  If you want to obtain a higher limit you must use your credit cards with attention to the existing credit card balance compared to the credit limit and make all the credit card payments on time.

Which is the best credit card for someone with excellent credit that has a high limit, a high cash advance and instant approval?

If you are fortunate to have excellent credit, you will be considered to be a creditworthy customer by most credit card companies.  This will general entitle you the best credit card deals available.  Remember, other factors can play a role in the credit card terms other than credit history.  Please view our list of credit cards under the search tags for credit history.  Here you will find a good choice of low interest rate cards and low credit card apr’s from different credit card companies.  The credit card issuer, taking into consideration your credit score and other factors, usually determines the exact amount of the credit card debt limit.  Credit cards for excellent credit can combine many beneficial options, read the terms and conditions, compare the cards’ choices and functions to choose the best credit card for your use.

If my credit rating is poor right now what credit cards are available that I would be able to get and would help build up my credit rating?

Even if your credit history is poor there is no need to worry that you won’t be approved for a new credit card.  In fact, this website has credit card offers that allow you to apply for special bad credit cards and secured credit cards as well as prepaid credit cards.  These types of credit cards have been created to help people repair their credit.  Regardless of your credit you may apply for either a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card and there is a big difference between them.  The secured card will require having a deposit made in the same bank and you will be able to use no more than 100% of your deposit.  Still the deposit will bring you interest and, besides, you will not spend more than you have.  The unsecured credit card goes without deposit, however it may have a higher credit card interest rate for the card usage, and some may have annual fees as well.

What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?

A credit card is a line of credit or a specific type of loan.  Charges on a credit card are attributed to the cardholder’s credit line that can be paid down and used as the credit card balance changes within the credit limit.  A debit card is not a loan, it is linked to either a checking account or savings account that are debited each time a charge is incurred with the card.

What is an unsecured credit card?

Unsecured credit cards are not secured by collateral.  Customers qualify based on credit history, financial strength and earnings potential.  Most bank credit cards would fall under this heading of unsecured credit cards.  Credit card companies will usually differentiate secured credit cards but do not identify the remaining credit card types as unsecured.

I have bad credit – which credit cards can I apply for?

Credit can go from good to bad to poor for a number of reasons, including missed credit card payments, late payments, etc.  On the other hand, bad credit can improve to good credit, too.  But this takes a little bit of work.

Depending on your situation, debt consolidation and/or credit repair may be the route to take.  Also, certain credit cards are made to help rebuild credit histories.  Secured credit cards are for people with no credit or poor credit who are trying to build or rebuild credit history.  But some unsecured credit cards can also serve similar purposes.

Often with credit cards that help to rebuild credit, low credit lines are given ($250 or so) and additional fees may apply (application fees, etc.).  Be sure to read over any terms and conditions for any of these credit card services before applying.  Be certain of any fees that you may incur before proceeding.  But if you use the credit card responsibly and pay all of your bills on time, you can ask for a credit increase down the road.  The extra fees and low credit lines will be worth it if it helps get your overall credit back on track.

I am a student – which credit cards can I apply for?

Students generally have little or no credit history.  Because of this, students may often find it difficult to get approved for a credit card.  Luckily, student credit cards do exist. This type of credit card is set up to help students build up the credit history that most don’t already have.

Student credit cards are often scaled-back in terms of rewards, features and other benefits, but can still be a valuable commodity.  If used wisely, a student can take the first step towards building a solid credit history.

Every credit card is a bit different and promotional credit card offers often change, so be sure to thoroughly look over the terms, conditions and credit card services for each specific card before filling in the credit card application.

What is a cash back credit card?

Cash Back credit cards give cash rewards to cardholders for making purchases with the credit card.  A cardholder accumulates cash rewards based on the dollar amount of his/her purchases with that particular credit card over a period of time

A typical credit card cash back rate hovers around 1%.  However, some credit cards offer a higher cash back percentage with increased usage and some offer a higher cash back percentage at select merchants.  Many credit card cash back offer cash back on purchases but do not offer cash rewards on credit card balance transfers or cash advances.

Each credit card cash back program is a bit different, so be sure to read the terms and conditions to find out what cash back percentage you can expect, whether there is a limit on how much can be accumulated in a year, etc.  Be sure to thoroughly look over the terms and conditions for each specific credit card offer as well as the credit card services.

What is a rewards credit card?

Rewards credit cards give various rewards to the credit card holders for making purchases with the card.  A cardholder accumulates credit card rewards based on the dollar amount of his/her purchases with that particular credit card over a period of time.

Currently, you can find credit cards rewards that give:
– Free airline tickets
– Other travel rebates
– Automotive rebates
– Gasoline rebates
– Entertainment rewards
– And more …

Because some credit card rewards programs can be costly for credit card companies, some rewards credit cards come with an annual fee.  Every credit card is a bit different and promotional offers often change, so be sure to thoroughly look over the terms and conditions for each specific card before applying.

What is an instant credit card approval or instant decision?

Certain credit cards offer instant response (or instant decision), otherwise known as instant approval, to people applying for the card.  With these credit card offers, you should be able to find out if you have been approved for that particular credit card or not in a matter of minutes. These instant approvals are most frequently done with an application for a credit card online

However, certain circumstances do occasionally arise in which the credit card companies will need more time to determine if you are approved for the specific credit card or not.

It is not guaranteed that you will receive an instant decision with these credit cards. However, these credit cards do offer this feature in most cases. 

What is a fixed APR credit card?

Fixed APR credit cards carry a fixed interest rate that typically lasts for an extended period of time but may not last as long as you use the credit card.  For example, if you transfer a balance to a credit card with a fixed APR on balance transfers of 10%, the APR for this balance will typically stay at this 10% level until the credit card balance is paid in full, but for future transactions the credit card company has the right to raise the credit card interest rate if proper notice is given.

In summary, a fixed APR on a particular balance lasts for the life of that balance.  This differs from a variable credit card APR, which can change over time.  Some credit cards offer a fixed APR on only purchases, some offer a fixed APR on only balance transfers and some offer a fixed APR on both purchases and credit card balance transfers.  So it is possible to have, for example, a credit card with a fixed APR on balance transfers but a variable APR on purchases.

Some people choose a fixed credit card APR to ease the burden of constantly switching balances from one card to another once low introductory APRs disappear and higher APRs take over.

Every credit card is a bit different and promotional offers often change, so be sure to thoroughly look over the terms and conditions for each specific card before selecting the best credit card and applying for that new credit card.

What is a credit card balance transfer fee?

A fee charged by a credit card company to transfer a balance from another account to that particular credit card.  It is generally 1% to 5% of the transferred balance (sometimes up to a certain dollar value).  For example, a balance transfer fee could be 3% of the transferred balance up to a maximum of $50.  Not all credit cards charge this fee.

What is a credit card balance transfer and credit card balance transfer rate?

In the most basic terms, a balance transfer is a way of moving a debt from one credit card to another credit card.  This is often done to save money, as the new credit card may have a lower credit card interest rate (APR) than the old credit card.

Occasionally, credit cards have promotional balance transfer rates that typically last from 3-12 months.  A balance transfer rate is the credit card rate (APR) that is attached to balances transferred to that card from another card.  This balance transfer rate may differ from the credit card interest rate (APR) that is attached to new purchases made with the credit card.

Every credit card is a bit different and promotional credit card offers often change, so be sure to thoroughly look over the terms and conditions for each specific card before deciding which the best credit card is.

What is an introductory credit card APR?

An introductory credit card annual percentage rate (APR) is a temporary APR that typically changes to a higher rate after the intro period (typically 3-12 months).  Many people make use of these promotions to make a large purchase (or purchases), which they can then pay off the credit card debt in a series of months with a low rate.

Some credit cards have an intro APR attached to only purchases, some have an intro APR attached to only credit card balance transfers and some have an intro APR attached to both balance transfers and purchases.

Every credit card is a bit different and promotional credit card offers often change, so be sure to thoroughly look over the terms and conditions for each specific card before completing a credit card application.

Why do credit card companies target students?

Surprisingly, students are a good credit risk, despite the fact that they often do not have jobs and are also borrowing student loans.  Research has shown that student borrowers are valuable customers because they tend to stay loyal to their first credit card, continuing to make purchases for many years to come.  Student credit cards also tend to have higher credit card interest rates making them very profitable for the credit card companies.

I get loads of credit card offers in the mail nearly daily. Should I apply for a bunch of them at the same time so I can start to establish a credit history?

No!  Most of those credit card offers should be run through your shredder and forgotten.  If you do open those tempting enveloped make sure you read everything inside, especially ALL the fine print!  If you are looking to obtain a credit card you must shop around for the best credit card deal.  Do not apply for more than one credit card at a time because it will adversely affect your credit score.  Apply for one and wait.  If you get the new credit card, celebrate with a modest purchase you can afford and make the credit card payment right on time.  If your credit card application is rejected, don’t panic.  You may need to seek credit from a smaller institution first or a secured credit card.

What is a credit history?

Your credit history is reported by three major credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.  It is a record tracking your entire your credit activity including credit card balances and credit card payments as well as car loans, mortgages, utilities and others. This means that even if you do not have a credit card that you still have a data trail behind you.  Every person who has ever had service with the phone company, other utilities, or had services provided that you promised to pay at a later time has a credit history.  Your credit history shows if you paid early, on time or late and how much credit you have had and for how long.  These reports create a profile of your credit practice and most importantly of your reliability in paying bills. Nearly all companies use credit histories to make determinations about whether or not they will do business with you as a consumer or even as an employee.

I’ve never had a credit card before. What is credit really?

Credit cards can come from various kinds of sources.  A short list includes; lending institutions, banks, department stores, catalog stores, oil companies and many more possibilities.  When you use a credit card you get to take home or consume the product you are buying without paying for it in cash right then and there.  You are using the credit card company’s money to purchase the item and you repay the credit card company in one or more payments with interest.  Every time you use your credit card you will be asked to acknowledge a receipt.  This indicates your promise to pay the bill later when you will get a bill from the credit card company.  Paying your credit card debt on time helps you establish a good strong credit history.  Paying credit card payments late will cause problems for you since most credit companies will no longer want to extend credit to someone who does not pay their debt back or on time.  Both the good and bad information will appear on your credit history.

I was raised to always pay cash. Why do I need to use credit cards at all?

Many of us were raised with the notion that you should always pay by cash.  It’s an idea born of a simpler time.  Today we live in a world in which in an individual’s credit worthiness plays a significant role in all aspects of our personal financial lives. Credit histories are routinely checked when applying for jobs, signing up for utilities and other services, and when making any major purchases.  The only way to establish credit and build a strong credit history is to obtain and use credit.  One of the easiest ways to do this is by using credit cards.  Every time you use your credit card and then make your credit card payment on time, you are helping to build a strong record of good credit.  That positive record will help pave the way for other goals you may have in your personal life, like buying a home, a new car, or seeking a new job.  Like it or not, establishing good credit is one of the essentials of contemporary living.

I haven’t made any big purchases and I’ve been paying my credit card payment on time but my credit score is suddenly really low. What happened?

There are a number of possibilities here.  There may be errors on your credit reports. Human beings are after all, the ones entering all that data all day long.  Mistakes can and do happen.  It’s also possible that your credit report was pulled repeatedly.  That can really lower your score too.  Beware of credit card companies that try to catch you at the cash register with offers of 10% off if you take their credit card offer right now!  Each time a company makes that offer, your credit report is pulled and this will lower your score.  It can be a negative net loss against what may seem like the gain of getting a credit card.  Those little cards only do so much to help your score and all those credit reports being pulled without you having to think twice are no good at all.

What is a secured credit card?

Though it may sound a little funny at first, a secured card is really a very straightforward product.  Secured credit cards require collateral for approval.  With secured credit cards, a security deposit is needed to secure the credit card.  The amount of the security deposit usually equals the credit limit for that particular credit card.  Technically speaking, a secured credit card isn’t really a credit card because you the money you are securing is really your own.  It walks like a duck and acts like a duck, it must be a duck, is the idea here.  A secured credit card nearly eliminates the risk for the credit card company because you secure all your purchases before you make them.  A better name for this card would be a pre-paid purchase credit card.  It works much like pre-paid phone cards.  You pay the money up front, say $500.00.  Then you can use that amount up however you like.  When you get near the end of your funds, the credit card company usually alerts you and then you can pay in more. Generally, secured credit cards are for people with no credit or poor credit who are trying to build or rebuild credit history.

This is a good, low-risk way to build your credit mainly because you cannot spend more money than you have in your card’s account and get into a large pile of credit card debt.  So if you have a secured credit card in the amount of $500.00 and you go out and try to buy something with it that costs $1000.00, you will not be able to do it.  This is also not a bad thing if your credit card is stolen as it limits the amount of stolen goods to your credit limit and no more.  When you use your secured credit card, it works exactly the same as any other card and no one will know if it’s secured or not.  Not the vendor and not the hot date your trying to impress with a nice dinner out.

I applied for a major bank credit card but was turned down. Now what do I do?

Whatever you do, keep breathing!  You probably want to find out why your credit card application was turned down.  You can ask the credit card company you applied to but you are likely to get to the crux of the biscuit by seeking answers with the credit bureaus that keep track of such things.  The three biggies are: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.  Through them you can find out what the problem was and take steps to fix it.  Meanwhile, you may want to consider trying to build your credit by getting a secured credit card or even easier, a department store credit card.  Make sure though, that when you get your shiny new credit card, that you don’t run through expenditures like a Porsche on the Autobahn or soon you will be facing the Great Wall of credit card debt.

I keep hearing about shredders. Are they really very useful?

Yes.  If you don’t have one, we suggest you run out right away and buy one.  The security they provide is worth way more than the cost!  Credit card numbers and credit card statements are often stolen and used to purchase goods and open new accounts without the account holder’s awareness.  Making this information harder for thieves to get at is worth it.

How do I check to see if my identity has been stolen if I’m not sure?

One good way is to check out your credit reports.  You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of three credit repositories.  Also keep track of your bank statements, credit card statements and any bills and invoices from any services providers to make sure they reflect your actual usage.  If you find errors contact the appropriate credit card companies immediately and get things straightened out.

Is there anything specific I can do to protect my identity?

Yes indeed there are many things.  Mainly, be proactive and don’t leave personal information or your credit card lying around where just anyone can get to it.  Use secure passwords for your credit card online activities, shred papers, keep your social security number close at hand and don’t give out your credit card number out unless needed for a transaction.  For more information see our complete list on the web site under a How-to for Your Identity Theft Protection.



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