Swipe it! When it’s Smart to Pay with a Credit Card

Posted by administrator | 31/07/11 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Swipe it! When it’s Smart to Pay with a Credit Card
News from Fox Business:

Credit cards have gotten a bad rap recently and for good reason: if not used responsibly, they can lead quickly lead to burdensome financial debt.

According to Creditcards.com, the average credit card debt per household with credit card debt in the U.S. stands at $ 14,687.

The 2008 financial crisis unveiled our nation’s debt crisis and put credit card companies under the scrutinizing eye of federal regulators. The CARD Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in May 2009, was designed to protect consumers from unfair credit card practices and eliminate predatory credit card lending tactics.

But experts say whipping out the plastic isn’t always a bad idea. The key is keeping track of purchases, evaluating whether transactions make financial sense …………… continues on Fox Business
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Congress’ mishandling of debt ceiling and deficit is surreal
News from CNN International:

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Suze Orman: The debt ceiling is simply a mechanism to pay bills already incurred
  • It has nothing to do with future spending, she says, and the two issues shouldn’t be linked
  • U.S. “credit score” has already been hurt, even without a default, Orman says
  • The issue is jobs, she says. If employment rises, the deficit crisis is eased

Editor’s note: Suze Orman is a financial adviser and…………… continues on CNN International

… Read the full article


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US credit card firms set sights on China: Use of plastic there is soaring
News from Louisville Courier-Journal:

BEIJING — Jin Jitao, an editor at a textbook publishing house, may be the prototype of China’s new urban consumer. Though he never even heard of credit cards until 2004, he now has 79.

He has a card embossed with his nickname, one with a photo of his family, a pink Barbie card and two with Garfield the Cat. He has a card especially for dads, and several with Chinese cartoon characters.

“I like beautiful cards,” he said.

In a country that still largely runs on cash and where the idea of saving money seems embedded in the cultural DNA, the use of credit cards and debit cards is skyrocketing.

China issued 230 million new credit cards in 2010, an increase of 24 percent from the previous year, according to the China Banking Association, and the use of plastic for retail sales is up more than 40 percent this year.

It is a growing market that American credit-card companies such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express and …………… continues on Louisville Courier-Journal

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Action Line: Check out your credit-card perks
News from Tulsa World:

“Cash rebate cards and reward points cards are well known, but there are other perks customers miss from the credit cards they use,” said Bill Hardekopf, CEO of LowCards.com and publisher of its “Complete Credit Card Index” (tulsaworld.com/lowcardsindex) This comprehensive Internet resource allows consumers to compare rates on 1,060 credit cards, including rewards cards.

Attractions tickets: Bank of America’s “Museums on Us” offers free admission to 100 museums in 24 states the first weekend of every month of 2011. Discover saves 5 percent on in-park and online purchases for Six Flags Season Passes, VIP Tours, daily admission tickets, parking, food and merchandise. Citi Private Pass discounts theme park admission.

Travel perks: Visa Signature offers many reward perks for travel. It …………… continues on Tulsa World


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Campus credit on the decline

Posted by administrator | 30/07/11 | Tagged Credit Card

Campus credit on the decline
News from Chicago Tribune:
Credit cards aren’t the big men on campus they used to be.

The number of new accounts opened through colleges, alumni clubs and other affiliated groups dropped by 17 percent in 2010, according to a new report by the Federal Reserve Board.

Payments by the credit card companies to higher-education institutions were down too, as was the number of agreements in effect.

The falloffs are attributed at least partly to the 2009 Credit Card Accountability Responsibility & Disclosure Act. In the past, credit card companies were criticized for their marketing tactics to students. The CARD Act restricts such practices as doling out gifts to encourage students to apply for cards on campus.

The law also requires credit card issuers to annually disclose the agreements — including payment…………… continues on Chicago Tribune
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Why Card-Specific Discounts Don’t Work
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

It’s tempting to sign up for store credit cards that offer perks like a percentage off on every purchase or special sales throughout the year. But is it really in your best interest to open one of these cards? To get an idea, we’ll consider the perks, interest rates and fees of four popular store credit cards.

Target: 5% Off On Purchases
Target’s store credit card, the REDcard Target Credit Card, rewards customers with 5% off on every purchase at the point of sale at both brick-and-mortar Targets and Target online. Excluded from the 5% back are purchases of prescriptions, clinic services, eye exams, Target gift cards and a few other items that probably won’t apply to most consumers.

The REDcard Target Credit Card has a purchase
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California tops list of states with the most debt

Posted by administrator | 29/07/11 | Tagged Credit Card

California tops list of states with the most debt
News from Debtmerica Relief:

Many consumers across the country are dealing with high credit card debt as a result of money problems experienced during the recent national recession, but some states have been more affected than others.

New data from Credit Karma shows that California is the most indebted state in the nation, with consumers there carrying balances of $ 336,169, according to a report from Yahoo Personal Finance. That total includes all types of credit – mortgages, auto loans, credit card debt and so forth – excluding student loans. However, that high total is also 4 percent less than the amount last year as consumers worked to continues on Debtmerica Relief
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Imperial Irrigation District audit critical of credit card use
News from The Desert Sun:
Imperial Irrigation District audit critical of credit card use | The Desert Sun | MyDesert.com
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The Card Reality: Credit Downgrade Will Cost You

Posted by administrator | 29/07/11 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

The Card Reality: Credit Downgrade Will Cost You
News from Fox Business:

With only six days left until the country’s debt deadline is reached, Americans need to face the harsh reality that, while the government will very likely reach some kind of compromise, it’s just as likely the nation’s credit rating is going to be cut.

With the Boehner plan being debated in the House Thursday — and both Democrats and Republicans digging in their heels — it is still unclear how the battle will unfold over the next week or so. But according to most experts, Standard & Poor’s and/or Moody’s will be lowering their rating regardless of the outcome, which means climbing interest rates and more difficulty securing loans — not to mention a very volatile stock market.

One immediate effect of a ratings downgrade will be higher interest on cards with variable rates, according to Lynette Khalfani-Cox, money coach and personal finance expert. Most Americans have cards with these fluctuating rates, as many banks have switched from fixed-rate cards to variable…………… continues on Fox Business
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Small businesses take on credit card debt to meet needs
News from Debtmerica Relief:

The economy may be recovering slowly, but many small business owners are still having trouble getting enough capital together to cover their needs, and are therefore relying more heavily on the ability to take on credit card debt.

The majority of the nation’s 27 million small businesses rely heavily on credit cards to provide working capital, and the ongoing economic problems in the country have caused many to increase the amount they borrow and scale back the amount they pay on their monthly bills, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The National Small Business Association will soon release statistics that show many of these companies have allowed their balances to grow to between $ 10,000 and $ 25,000 while fewer now have debt totals of less than $ 10,000.

In addition, fewer are p…………… continues on Debtmerica Relief
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When to use & how to choose a balance transfer credit card: the new basics
News from Fox Business:

Some people get very moralistic about debt, and look down their noses at those who have any at all. But there’s nothing wrong with a little credit card debt. In fact, there are times when it’s a positively good thing. Suppose you’ve recently been unemployed and have eaten up (literally as well as figuratively) your cash reserves. Just as you’re due to start a new job, the car you’re relying on to get you to work breaks down. Is it better to call your employer to say you won’t be able to take the offered post, or to charge the repair to your plastic?

There are limitless similar examples of when the smart choice for those who lack alternatives is to run up debt. And that’s not counting those for whom there’s no choice: when it’s a question of feeding the kids or filling a vital prescription. No, the problem often isn’t moral; it’s practical.

<…………… continues on Fox Business
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Police Look for Credit Card Scammer
News from Patch.com:

PEACHTREE CORNERS — After using their credit cards at The Forum shopping center on Peachtree Parkway, a Norcross resident and a Norcross business owner both began seeing fraudulent charges pop up on their bills. The unauthorized charges add up to just over $ 1,400 in Gwinnett County alone, with additional charges in other counties.

The incidents are being investigated by the Norcross Police Dept. Because of video footage captured at various locations in Gwinnett, Norcross Police believe the same individual is behind the frauds. They are now seeking the public’s help in locating him.

The man, pictured, appears to be a medium-skinned male in his 30s of medium build. In some of the footage captured, he is wearing a black baseball cap and a white sports watch. 

There is a mobile scanning device that scammers use to read the magnetic strip on a credit card from afar while you are using it, said Detective Beverly Parnell of the No…………… continues on Patch.com
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Visa Earnings Rise 40%, Exceeding Estimates on Increased Credit-Card Use
News from Bloomberg:

Visa Inc. said fiscal third-quarter profit rose 40 percent, beating analyst estimates for the 14th straight period , as consumers boosted card spending. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Visa Inc. (V), the world’s biggest payments network, said fiscal third-quarter profit rose 40 percent, beating analyst estimates for the 14th straight period, as consumers boosted credit-card spending.

Net income for the three months ended June 30 climbed to $ 1 billion, or $ 1.43 a share, from $ 716 million, or 97 cents, in the same period a year earlier, the San Francisco-based company said today in a statement. Adjusted …………… continues on Bloomberg
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The Skinny On Credit Cards: How to Master the Credit Card Game
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Is it time to switch your credit card debt to a loan?

Posted by administrator | 27/07/11 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Is it time to switch your credit card debt to a loan?
News from FinancialAdvice.co.uk:

As more and more people across the UK continue to try and repay their credit card debts many are seeing a month by month increase in minimum payments as interest rates remain high. However, there is concern that many are not taking advantage of the options available to them. As we mentioned in one of our earlier post, the average credit card purchase interest rate now stands at a staggering 18.1% compared to a base rate of 0.5%. Surely now is the time to consider converting your credit card debt into a standard fixed term loan?

The problem that many people in the UK have at the moment is the fact they would rather bury their head in the sand and hope everything recovers in due course, but unfortunately this will not happen. Those stuck in the credit card debt spiral are unable to pay off their interest which then increases their credit card debt, increases interest payments and reduces the amount of capital they are able to pay off each month. In effect, man…………… continues on FinancialAdvice.co.uk
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Your debt’s probably growing faster than the government’s
News from The Seattle Times:

DAYTON, Ohio — Americans criticize government leaders for running up the federal budget deficit, but do they practice what they preach?

Not really.

Individuals are living beyond their means at an even greater rate than the government is, based on recently released household-debt figures.

U.S. household debt totaled $ 13.4 trillion at the end of 2010, or about 107 percent of the $ 12.5 trillion Americans earned in total household income last year, according to the Federal Reserve.

The government’s total debt of $ 13.8 trillion represented about 94 percent of the $ 14.7 trillion in national income, or gross domestic product (GDP), last year.

“You hear people say that the government should manage its finances like the private sector does, but that’s the problem,” said James Brock, an economics professor at Miami University.

Brock said household debt that was built up largely in the boom years preceding the recession has left millions of Americans s…………… continues on The Seattle Times
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Jumio says use your webcam to swipe credit cards

Posted by administrator | 27/07/11 | Tagged Credit Card

Jumio says use your webcam to swipe credit cards
News from Reuters:

Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:48pm EDT

Jumio, a secretive online-payments startup created by Jajah founder Daniel Mattes, is finally ready for its close-up. That’s a fitting metaphor, because Jumio is enabling online credit card payments made by scanning a card with a computer webcam.

Dubbed Netswipe, the technology allows online retailers to easily process a debit or credit card payment by having a user just hold up their card to their webcam. The video is encrypted and streamed to Jumio’s servers, which extract the card number and information and processes the payment.

If it sounds familiar, we’ve written recently about other recent mobile payment technologies that use a smartphone camera…………… continues on Reuters
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Earnings Preview: Visa to report 3rd-qtr results
News from msnbc.com:

updated 7/26/2011 3:49:04 PM ET 2011-07-26T19:49:04

Credit and debit payment processor Visa Inc. is expected to report a hefty increase in its fiscal third-quarter profit after the market closes on Wednesday, thanks to heavier card use by consumers during the period.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Reports from the major banks that issue Visa cards and from companies that track consumer spending all point to more users reaching for plastic at the checkout during the April-to-June period. Credit card use increased even more than debit use, which bodes well for revenue growth at Visa, since processing …………… continues on msnbc.com

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Oklahoma company offers ‘token’ solution to credit card fraud
News from NewsOK.com:

With nearly 77 percent of the American population charging ahead, these accounts produce an estimated 20 billion transactions valued at $ 1.9 trillion annually.Credit card hacking is consistently on Homeland Security’s top 10 list of Internet crimes. The cost of credit card theft exceeds $ 100 billion a year.This is a big industry with a big problem.So in 2006, the credit card industry adopted specific security standards known as PCI DSS.PCI DSS is administered and managed by an independent body that was created by the major payment card brands — Visa, MasterCard,
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