Swipe fees an unfair drag on merchants

Posted by administrator | 30/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Swipe fees an unfair drag on merchants
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

With growing credit-card use by American consumers, the ever-increasing hidden “swipe” fees imposed by the banks and processors have become a drag on our economy, and need to be reined in.

Most consumers are blissfully unaware that each time they use a credit card, as much as 4 percent of the tab goes straight to card companies and banks.

Business owners like me can negotiate virtually all of our costs, but we are powerless to negotiate swipe fees. This is because the major credit-card companies set rates on behalf of the banks that offer their cards, not on the cost of processing. That is the opposite of the free enterprise system, it is not right and it costs consumers as well as merchants.

Don’t get me wrong. There absolutely should be a fee to process credit cards, but the fee should reflect the cost of the transaction, not the banks’ costly promotions and grossly padded profits.

In the 1970s, I was planning to go to graduate school when I was hired as a summer waiter and bartender at Shadowbrook in Capitola (Santa Cruz County). I fell in love with the business, my co-workers and the patrons – and never left. Back then, credit-card swipe fees were no big deal. The cost seemed commensurate with the service provided. But now it is much different.

I can recall when we needed to look up every card number in a mammoth paper b…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle

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Put Away the Plastic: 10 Things Credit Cards Can’t Buy
News from Fox Business:

Apparently, money can’t buy happiness, and if you are using a credit card, that’s not the only thing your money won’t be able to buy. Despite the belief credit cards can take you ‘everywhere you want to be’ – as the old Visa slogan went – the reality is there some places where your plastic won’t be gladly accepted.

Here are ten items for which you might need to pocket the card and pull out the cash or checkbook.

1. Lottery tickets

If you dream of winning millions through your state’s lottery program, you’ll probably have to have some cash ready when you reach the register. Most states prohibit the use of the credit cards for lottery purchases. Even in the handful of states that accept credit cards, your card issuer may put the kibosh on lottery sales. For example, even though Massachusetts allows credit card sales, American Express won’t authorize payments for the state’s Season Ticket program.

2. Gami…………… continues on Fox Business

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The Best Credit Card Perks for Holiday Shoppers

Posted by administrator | 29/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

The Best Credit Card Perks for Holiday Shoppers
News from Minyanville.com:

Conventional wisdom says to leave your credit cards at home when you do your brick-and-mortar holiday shopping. But using plastic can actually be more than just convenient. If you’re savvy, you can get while you give.

According to Capital One’s recent quarterly rewards survey, 25% of reward cardholders say they plan to use their cash rewards from holiday shopping to offset holiday expenses, while 25% said they plan to use the rewards earned from holiday shopping toward spring or summer travel next year, and 44% plan to redeem credit card rewards for gift cards.

While it’s always important to read through all the fine print to make sure you understand the nuances of any deal, here are a few ways to make the best use of credit cards this holiday season.

Card-Specific Shopping Portals

Make sure you take advantage of the benefits your card offers – a…………… continues on Minyanville.com

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CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report: Credit card interest rates …
News from Sacramento Bee:

/PRNewswire/ — Interest rates on new credit card offers idled at 14.96 percent for the third straight week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report.  

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090210/CCLOGO)

The average is comprised of 100 of the most popular credit cards in the country, including cards from dozens of leading U.S. issuers and representing every card category. Introductory (teaser) rates are not included in the calculation.

Rates for card categories tracked by CreditCards.com are listed below:

Credit Card Averages
Avg. APR Last week 6 months ago
National Average 14.96% 14.96% 14.93%
Low Interest 10.40% 10.40% 10.40%

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How I Got in (and Out) of $5000 Credit Card Debt

Posted by administrator | 29/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

How I Got in (and Out) of $ 5000 Credit Card Debt
News from Huffington Post:

When I saw the Citibank credit card offer, designed specifically for students, I hesitated to throw it away. In the past, whenever I had received credit card offers in the mail, I didn’t hesitate to tear them up and not think twice. Now the opportunity crept in my mind and made a nest. Considering I was preparing for a move I couldn’t afford, the offer was perfect timing.

Because my financial aid refund wasn’t coming for another month and no one could loan me the money, I figured the credit card could pay for what I couldn’t, plus any other expenses along the way until I received the refund.

I told myself I would only use it for moving-related expenses. The fact that I would have a limit — maybe $ 1,000 — was comforting. I couldn’t get into too much trouble if they put a cap on how much I could spend, right?

While filling out the online application, I hit a roadblock when it asked for my monthly income. My less than part time job would never convince the credit card company that I could handle a credit card. Panicking and still determined to find a way to be approved, I looked to Google. I typed, “Is financial aid considered income on a credit card application?” into the search bar. The question had been asked before, as there were numerous discussion forums with varying answers, one recommending…………… continues on Huffington Post

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Will December Credit Card Spending Bring January Remorse?
News from TheStreet.com:

While Frank Sinatra may have crooned about having a “merry little Christmas,” retailers estimate many consumers may be planning a merry large Christmas with respect to holiday shopping.

The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday spending will see a 4.1 percent bump this year to a total of $ 586.1 billion. That’s an average of $ 749.51 per holiday shopper.

Meanwhile, a recent analysis from TransUnion finds credit card debt and delinquencies are on the rise. Although the increase correlates with a pattern from 2011 in which credit card debt increased and then decreased, should the upward trend continue, it may indicate trouble for those planning to use plastic to fund this year’s festivities.

Joy in December, regret in January?

FIND OUT NOW

Unfortunately, many shoppers may end up overspending. According to a survey from Oxygen Media, 47 percent of adults say they have…………… continues on TheStreet.com

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Will December credit card spending bring January remorse?

Posted by administrator | 28/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Will December credit card spending bring January remorse?
News from NASDAQ:

Posted

11/28/2012 6:44 PM

 by Maryalene LaPonsie from Money-Rates.com in Personal Finance, Banking and Loans

While Frank Sinatra may have crooned about having a “merry little Christmas,” retailers estimate many consumers may be planning a merry large Christmas with respect to holiday shopping.

The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday spending will see a 4.1 percent bump this year to a total of $ 586.1 billion. That’s an average of $ 749.51 per holiday shopper.

Meanwhile, a

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Police smash global gang behind 500000 Aussie credit card thefts
News from Herald Sun:

POLICE have busted an international organised crime gang which allegedly committed the biggest theft of credit card data in Australia’s history.

Computer hackers from a Romanian syndicate got access to 100 small retail outlets where the credit card details of up to 500,000 Australians were stored.

To read more on this story, subscribe to a Herald Sun digital pass now.

…………… continues on Herald Sun
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Three charged in plot to use stolen credit cards

Posted by administrator | 28/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Three charged in plot to use stolen credit cards
News from Greenwich Time:

Three Brooklyn, N.Y., men face a slew of charges after they were involved in a scheme in which they attempted to buy goods from Walgreens, 1333 E. Putnam Ave., Riverside, using stolen credit cards, police said.

When police arrived at the store early Monday morning, two men matching the subjects’ descriptions were walking out of the store. Upon being told to stop, the men refused and got into a waiting Nissan Maxima with Florida plates, police said.

The driver did not obey police orders to stop, and the car left the area at a high rate of speed without its lights on, according to police.

The car continued west on East Putnam Avenue, ignoring the lights and sirens of a marked Greenwich police car attempting to stop it, police said.

While the chase was occurring, the occupants were tossing items out of their car, according to police.

Once police finally stopped the car, they found numerous pre-paid credit cards, some of which were altered, according to police.

The driver was identified as Stephon McDonald, 24, of 785 Macon St. The other two men were identified as Jerome B. Harris, 27, of 489 Hancock St., Apt. A, and Kahlil D. Ramsey, 18, of 282 Kosciusko St., Apt. B.

They were all charged with four counts of unlawful reproduction of a credit card, four counts of credit card theft, receiving goods or services obtai…………… continues on Greenwich Time

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Looking To Save Money? Use Your Credit Card More Often (New Program From …
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Bad Credit Card Moves and How to Avoid Them

Posted by administrator | 27/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Bad Credit Card Moves and How to Avoid Them
News from TheStreet.com:

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — If you are hoping to improve your credit score, paying your bills on time is a great start. But there’s a lot more to it than that. In fact, you might be making some wrong moves even if you have good intentions.

Here are some credit mistakes you should avoid before they damage your good credit standing:

Canceling a credit card you no longer use. While it seems logical to do some wallet cleaning every now and then, canceling old credit card accounts will wipe out part of your credit history, and your credit history is one of the important factors on which your credit score is based. In addition — assuming you don’t owe any balances on those accounts — the cards can actually help you by lowering your debt utilization ratio (the amount of money you owe compared to the amount of credit you have).

FIND OUT NOW

For example, if you have two accounts with a $ 10,000 credit limit each and one has a zero balance and you owe $ 5,000 on the other, your debt utilization would be 25%…………… continues on TheStreet.com

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Endangered: Use of bills, coins falling dramatically
News from Sioux City Journal:

SIOUX CITY | Think about this: Only 7 percent of fiscal transactions in the United States are handled in cash.

Could an American future without bills and coins be in store? In a century where credit cards, debit cards and online transactions are rapidly replacing payment by quarters and $ 5 bills, the end of currency certainly seems at hand.

But Morningside College Economics Department Professor Jeff Zink said while the economy is experiencing “a sea change,” a cashless society is still a considerable way off.

After all, school concession sales and kid lemonade stands don’t have a card swiping reader. At least not yet.

Zink said people have to have a basic faith in any means of payment before it can be embraced. Although there are some naysayers, people quickly moved to see online transactions for buying and selling things, and with that came a reduction in the usage of currency, he said.

“When you begin to do that, then you being to really reduce the need to carry cash around,” Zink said.

The number of $ 1 bills made since 2001 has fallen considerably, Zink noted. The U.S. Department of the Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing reported the number of new $ 1 bills in fiscal year 2001 was at 5.15 billion. That number fell to 1.86 billion dollar bills in 2010.

A March 2012 Federal Reserve Bank survey showed young consume…………… continues on Sioux City Journal

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How 4 Families Conquered Their Credit Problems

Posted by administrator | 26/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

How 4 Families Conquered Their Credit Problems
News from U.S. News & World Report:

Molly Stillman, 27, will never forget how financial panic feels. “Your chest starts to feel hot, your heart’s pounding, you get dizzy and nauseous,” she says, recalling her realization in 2008 that she owed more than $ 36,000 on her credit cards. Today, the marketing director from Hillsborough, N.C., is free and clear, and she vows, “I’ll never be in debt again.”

That’s a promise more Americans have been making these days, since the financial crisis and recession shook their sense of wellbeing. A Federal Reserve Board report issued in June revealed that only about 39 percent of card holders carried a balance in 2010, down from 46 percent in 2007, and those balances average $ 2,600, compared to $ 3,100 three years earlier. In part, that’s a reflection of stingier banks’ credit requirements. But it’s also the result of a mass awakening among consumers to the fact that paying off debt is one of the only surefire ways to increase disposable income. That’s especially true when it comes to credit card debt, often the first recourse for savings-challenged families without much home equity, since it often carries cripplingly high or variable interest rates.

“People forget that when they charge something on a credit card they’re in essence decreasing their future income, because they’re committing those earnings in advance,” s…………… continues on U.S. News & World Report

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In our opinion: Christmas credit card debt a tradition we could do without
News from Deseret News:

In this Nov. 19, 2009 file picture stickers on a window show which credit cards are valid in a shop in Frankfurt, central Germany. There are some traditions that all of us can do without — namely, the time-honored holiday practice of decking the halls with credit card debt.

Michael Probst, File, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

With the Christmas season officially underway, people take the time to continue traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Many of these traditions are sources of happiness and joy and they shou…………… continues on Deseret News

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Credit Cards And Kids: Should You Let Your High Schooler Have A Credit Card?
News from TheStreet.com:

Your 16-year-old wants a credit card for essential shopping trips and school excursions. That way, she explains ever so reasonably, she doesn’t have to carry wads of cash or drag you along to the mall, and she’s covered in case of an emergency.

Meanwhile, you envision wild spending sprees and whopping credit card bills. Should parents ever add teens as secondary card holders to their accounts? The answer depends on a variety of factors, and there is no correct answer for everyone. Here’s what you should consider:

Financial experience before credit card

Children who have handled a savings account, earned money from household chores or a part-time job, and saved money for special purchases are better prepared for handling financial responsibility than those who haven’t had any experience with making and saving money. Make sure your child is grounded in some basic money know-how before handing over a credit card. Have you taught your child about interest rates and how credit cards work?

Your kid’s maturity

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Does California’s credit card law apply online? – Lexology (registration)
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Tell Mel: Morsels of good advice

Posted by administrator | 23/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Tell Mel: Morsels of good advice
News from Lehigh Acres News Star:

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Calif. supervisor fires back over credit card use

Posted by administrator | 22/11/12 | Tagged Credit Card

Calif. supervisor fires back over credit card use
News from Contra Costa Times:

SAN JOSE, Calif.—A Santa Clara County supervisor under fire for his use of a county-issued credit card is firing back.

George Shirakawa told fellow supervisors at a board meeting on Tuesday not to be distracted by what he characterized as a “political lynching.”

The 50-year-old Shirakawa—the board’s president—has been criticized for charging taxpayers more than $ 36,000 over the past four years. The charges include more than 180 meals, often at high-end restaurants, a high-definition television and trips to luxury resorts and casinos.

The San Jose Mercury News reports (http://bit.ly/QX32Ue) that Shirakawa’s remarks preceded a discussion about policies surrounding use of so-called “Procurement Cards,” the credit cards issued to hundreds of county employees and a handful of elected officials.

———

Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

…………… continues on Contra Costa Times
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How to avoid credit-card blues this holiday season
News from Alaska Dispatch:

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