Americans want to use credit card rewards in summer plans
News from Debtmerica Relief:

Millions of Americans are now happily taking on credit card debt because their accounts will grant them points, cash back or airline miles for doing so, and half of those making summer travel plans will redeem those perks to make their vacations more affordable.

About 50 percent of all consumers planning to take a trip this summer will use their credit card points to finance at least part of it, up from 42 percent at this time last year, according to the latest Rewards Barometer from Capital One Financial, which tracks how borrowers are feeling about their rewards cards. The majority of those who plan to use their rewards points in this way – 58 percent – will do so to buy airline tickets, while another 42 percent will redeem their accumulated rewards for hotel stays, and 18 percent will use theirs for gasoline purchases.

However, many consumers who use rewards cards may not be aware that doing…………… continues on Debtmerica Relief

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Credit Card Balances down 28% with New Credit on the Rise
News from Sacramento Bee:

/PRNewswire/ —¬†According to Equifax’s May National Consumer Credit Trends Report, existing bank credit card balances as of April 2012 were 28% below their peak.¬† Balances were $ 531 billion in April 2012 compared to slightly more than $ 730 billion in January 2009. Retail card balances have not trended up or down, remaining even with seasonally adjusted pre-recession levels, however the number of retail card accounts fell sharply. Over the 28 months ending December 2010, card accounts fell by 22%. They have since grown by 4.7%, now reaching 173 million accounts. In April 2012, available credit for retail credit cards (the difference between total credit limits and balances) increased approximately $ 5 billion after bottoming out in Q4 2011, driven primarily by rising credit limits.

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“The combination of increased available credit and more timely payments among card borrowers has led to the recent growth in card lending,” said Equifax Chief Economist Amy Crews Cutts. “Consumers are starting to respond to increased credit availability both in cards and other tradelines, a signal of both their financial confidence and improving economic c…………… continues on Sacramento Bee

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I Create Reality: Beyond Visualization.