Finding these Cards
Picking the best points-bearing credit card often is a difficult decision to make, especially when every issuer offers what seems to be a great deal. However, consumers often can narrow down their choice by closely looking at other features of the card and then deciding if the benefits add anything to their spending habits or lifestyle. For example, cards accumulating points for travel are ridiculous to use if you don’t travel a lot.
Searching around for such cards can be tedious when faced with an assortment of rewards, fees, annual percentage rates, and introductory rates; but the trends seem to show that the vast number of Americans do focus on reward points, usually frequent-flier miles, when choosing their credit cards.
Reading Fine Print
Even when point or reward bearing cards tend to be popular among customers, they often charge fees that are higher and need a higher credit rating than other conventional lines of credits. As more and more Americans are trying to trim down debt and raise their credit, lenders may see a shift in the type of credit cards that customers are looking for.
Things to Consider
For instance, most reward or point cards will offer hotel points/travel, deals with cash back or generic points – according to Fox Business news. Customers might begin weighing the pros against the cons by deciding what types of points are most important to them. Do they travel frequently? Are the airline miles limited to a certain flyer? How are reward points redeemed and are there any restrictions? These are several questions that consumers need to ask themselves prior to making a decision.
Higher Fees and Rates
Points cards also have a tendency to carry higher rates and fees than other types of credit cards. Consumers might profit from looking at their financial situation and deciding whether they are able to actually afford variable interest rates or membership fees. Customers need to read any terms on their credit cards thoroughly to make sure there are no fees hidden or conditions that go together with the product.
Transferring Card Balances
A transfer card transfers a credit card balance, or balance on a loan from one APR rate to a credit card that normally has an introduction rate of maybe 0% for a limited amount of time, such as 6 months to 12 months, or the offer may also consist of a fixed interest rate on the transfer amount that is much lower than what you are currently paying.
Some transfer rates are only effective for one transfer from one bill or one credit card, while most card companies will let you transfer as many card or loan balances as you want in order to secure your business.
This promotional rate on balances transferred usually lasts 6, 9 or twelve months and there could be some tricky language if you have a balance on this card already where you are transferring more debt. The best advice is to read the terms carefully before doing anything. By not reading the terms carefully as well as the tiny print, you can often end up with high fees and/or a higher rate of interest than you were expecting.
Initial Balances Only
Some offers on a transfer card might waive fees only for “initial balance transfers”, meaning the transfers that were authorized when you accepted the card and finalized the balance transfer statement. In these cases, every balance transfer after that is handled as a cash advance that will be subjected to cash advance fees that are normally much higher.
Do You Qualify
Another place to be careful is that everyone might not meet the requirements for the super-low rate. The balance transfer card might boast a 3.8 percent rate for a teaser that then bumps to 16 percent at 6 months, you might only meet the requirements for a card with a 7.8 percent teaser bumping up to an annual rate of 22 percent.
Be certain to check if the new card has an annual fee and what the late fees and over-the limit fees are. They could be unreasonably high on the balance transfer card in order to make up for the super low teaser rate.
The only consequence seems to be that if retailers are not capable of accepting them by October 1 they could be responsible for fraud. It seems like the United States is way behind all other countries in using the this technology.
So what is the big deal about chip cards. When using a chip card your credit card number is not transmitted instead a random number combination is used. The theory is that if your credit card information is intercepted your actual credit card number will not be obtained by the thief.
When using your chip card you do not swipe it like the old way. Instead you insert the card into a reader and leave it there until the transaction is complete. You might be also required to sign like before depending on the requirements and rules of your credit card company. There is no doubt that a chip card is more secure than the magnetic strip card. However, for a period of time credit cards in the United States will have both the chip and magnetic strip. The real security should start to come when we can eliminate the magnetic strips from all credit cards.
So does your new chip card provide any additional security for online purchases? The answer is currently no. However, I believe that credit card online purchases are going to change for the better. It could come in the way of card readers attached to our laptops or desktops. Or maybe payment companies such as PayPal® have the answer.
For mobile devices Apple® Pay and Android® Pay are two new options to pay for items using your smart phone. This is like your smart phone taking the place of your credit card. They are both used with pin numbers and fingerprints. Which offers protection in case your phone is lost or stolen. Time will tell if these two new technologies are successful or not.
I think it would add another needed level of security if we had to use a pin number with chip cards.
For all those of you who are oblivious to what this card is let us giving you some insight. Usually a bank might issue its customers a card that can be used as a method of payment. This is what a credit card does. It allows the cardholder to pay for any goods and services based on their promise to the bank to pay back later. The bank usually creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder from whom the cardholder borrows money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance. Most of the times retailers or people in other such businesses own card terminals through which they can charge the people for the required amount of bill that the people have acquired. The money you spend using a your card also helps you earn points in return. Nowadays many people earn money while sitting at home by selling credit card points.
There are many types of card terminals available in the market for the merchants to use in their daily lives. Most of the merchants usually choose to buy the same basic terminals and they are cheap and still provide them with all the services that may need to use them for. A merchant usually inserts, swipes or manually enters the required credit card information so as to transmit the data to the merchant service provider for authorization and finally to transfer funds to the merchant. However the latest models available in the market not only process credit cards and debit cards but can also handle gift cards, checks, and so on and so forth. Most of the card terminals that we see nowadays require a phone line over which they transmit all the data or in some cases through some internet connection (wired or wireless). Some terminals also have the added ability to store much of the transactional data and transmit this data to the gateway processor whenever a connection is available. These types of machines are especially useful in areas where the internet connection or telephone lines are not very stable and tend to disconnect after small intervals.
Cash can get stolen, while carrying a card the only risk you have is over-shopping. If a card gets stolen, you simply deactivate it at the touch of a button and incur no loss – even if you do, you are reimbursed more often than not. It’s highly convenient than carrying paper cash, and people prefer it. That’s why each shop or store is equipped with the ability to allow credit payment. Another widely known advantage is that each time you use your card – depending on which card you have – you acquire credit card points. These are reward points which accumulate and they can be used to buy more stuff – it’s free since you’re using points. Thus shopping with credit cards enable you to shop further. Different reward/loyalty programs exist and the more exclusive ones can offer some great deals on hotels, shops and all kinds of stuff. You are rewarded for spending your money. Sounds nice right? That’s because it is – especially if a person uses their credit card wisely.
Credit card points bear a semblance to frequent flyer miles. In fact technically they are the same thing – the only difference is that one gets you miles, the other gets you points. You can virtually use the two for the same things. In fact often when you book a ticket with a credit card – depending on the airline you can get a sweet discount. And you can earn miles from the ensuing flight to add to your miles tally. Using them is an art which many have mastered. Another rather obscure way to take advantage of both miles and points is to sell them online. Sell credit card points or air miles at a variety of websites. There may be several reasons for you to do this – you do not fly that often to acquire that many points and instead of wasting them for no reason, you might as well make some cash out of them.
At times, people do not know how to effectively manage their credit cards. This is why, their credit score is severely affected and they find it hard to acquire financial assistance from banks and other lenders. In order to make sure that your credit score is not affected, you need to effectively manage your cards. You need to be careful about making payments and using the card for any purchase.
When you make your credit card payments on time, your credit score improves and you can obtain higher amount of credit. On the other hand, if you fail to make the payments on time, your credit score is negatively affected and you may not get any further credit from financial institutions. Here are a few important tips which will help you in effectively managing your credit cards:
- Plan your purchases – Before purchasing or buying any product, determine if it is necessary to buy it. You must make a list of your priorities and stick to that so that you can arrange for the money needed to pay your credit card bills. At any point of time, make sure that you do not purchase something too expensive as it will make you cross your monthly budget or the credit limit on your card. An effective way of way of planning your purchases is to make a shopping list. At the beginning of the month, try to make a list of things you need to buy with the card and stick to that list as much as possible.
- Always check your statements – Check your statements on a monthly basis as the statements will help you understand your spending pattern. Based on your observation, you can try to avoid unnecessary purchases. Also, checking the statements will help you in knowing the minimum payment due for a particular month, so that you can make that payment on time and avoid extra charges or fees. You can easily check your statements online, and you can also use your smartphones to keep a track on your card usage. Mobile alerts can be very helpful in ensuring that you do not end up paying more than what you are supposed to, when you use your credit card for any transaction.
- Try to make full payment – Try to make full payments, whenever possible. When you pay your credit cards in full and within the due date, you do not have to pay any interest on the billed amount. Besides, paying the credit card balances in full will help in improving your credit score. Even if you are not able to pay your credit card balances in full, you should always make sure that you pay the minimum amount due, within the due date. Apart from saving a substantial amount of money on interest, you will also be able to improve your credit score and increase your chances of obtaining more credit in the future.
- Keep a track of supplementary cards – At times, you might forget the fact that you have provided supplementary cards to your family members and these cards are linked to your credit card account. The way these cards are used can have an impact on your credit card account. Hence, you should keep a track on them and also ensure that the transactions completed with them are paid for within the payment due date. Besides, you also need to keep a track of these cards so that you can ensure that the credit limit of your card is not exceeded. If it is exceeded, you will end up paying an over limit fee and other hefty charges.
- Look out for promotional offers – Why pay more when you can get the same product by paying less? Be a little smart when using your plastic money and make sure that you utilize the variety of offers and promotions provided by the card issuers from time to time. These promotions can provide you with access to discounts, deals and privileges across different segments such as dining, travel, shopping and so on. You can not only save money through these promotional offers but you can also enjoy a variety of other exclusive privileges which will enhance your experience of using a credit card. Make sure that you always visit a website where you can find information about such promotions so that you can take full advantage of them.
How does a reward program work? Typically, the program awards points, “dollars” or a cash value based on the amount you charge. The rate at which you collect points varies depending on what you charge or where you charge it. Some programs offer extra points for using their card at a specific place such as a supermarket or fast food restaurant or for certain items.
Some programs offer a variety of rewards. Consumers can earn meals, tickets to sporting events, airline tickets, electronics, or even create their own reward program.
The goal is to get you the consumer to use your credit card as much as possible. Why? FEES! The credit card issuer makes money from two sources each time you use their card. First, from the merchant who pays the issuer a merchant transaction fee and secondly, from you through finance charges and late fees.
A recent survey found that nearly half of U.S. cardholders enrolled in a credit card rewards program have never redeemed their points. However, 60% of consumers said rewards program influences their decision when deciding which credit card to use for a purchase.
When considering an offer for a card that offers rewards, be sure to read the fine print. Find out what you have to do to earn points. Look carefully for any restrictions as to when you can redeem them. Also check to see if your points carry over from one year to the next.