Credit cards are important players in the financial life of Americans, about 70% of whom have at least one credit card, and most of them use their plastic for everyday expenses -- as opposed to mainly for big-ticket items that they will pay off over time. Not everyone has a credit card, though -- using the figures above and a recent U.S. population of adults of around 250 million, that leaves around 75 million without one. Here's some good information for you if you're among the cardless and are wondering how to go about applying for your own. Image source: Getty Images. Credit cards: Pros and cons It makes sense to spend a few minutes thinking about whether you really do want or need a credit card, as there are some significant advantages and disadvantages to them. Here's a quick summary of the benefits of credit cards: They keep you from having to carry a lot of cash around. They can be handy in a financial emergency, if you don't sufficient cash on hand. Their … [Read more...] about How Do I Apply for a Credit Card?
Best travellers credit card
Kimberly Palmer, NerdWallet Published 4:42 pm, Thursday, January 11, 2018 This article was first published on NerdWallet.com. The credit card rewards that Doug and Debbie Todd earned while building their home helped finance a cruise in the Bahamas and a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Photo courtesy of Debbie Todd. When Debbie and Doug Todd decided to build their dream home in southwest Washington state, they hired contractors to do the bulk of the work. Soon after, they got an unwelcome surprise when the contractors abandoned the project unexpectedly. So the couple decided to build the home themselves. “It took three years. I worked all day [at the office] and swung hammers at night,” recalls Debbie, a certified public accountant. She learned how to use air guns, drills and wire cutters along the way. Business Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Timelapse shows $142M Frost Office Tower construction mysa 10 retailers that have filed for … [Read more...] about How Credit Card Rewards Made Their Dreams Come True
It’s easy to get caught up in credit card incentives, such as cash back, travel perks and sign-up bonuses. But if your credit cards don’t match your spending personality, you might not get the rewards you expect, or you might end up paying too much in fees. One in five consumers carries a card that “has fees or rewards not aligned with their actual purchase habits,” according to J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction study. And circumstances change. Even a credit card that was once compatible with your spending habits might no longer be the best fit. Identify your spending personality to determine whether the cards in your wallet are offering you the most value right now. The jetsetter If you travel in style often and want big rewards for your spending, a premium credit card will go further than a regular travel card. Some premium cards offer credits for airlines, hotels or airport security screening programs, as well as airport lounge … [Read more...] about Does your spending personality match your credit cards?
When Jason Steele took his family to Florida earlier this year, he earned rewards points for almost all of his purchases. The father of three didn’t buy rental insurance for the minivan they used because his credit card included it.Steele, a travel and credit card expert based in Denver, used those rewards points to offset the cost of his trip.Strategic credit card use like his could benefit a big slice of travelers. A 2017 survey of more than 1,300 U.S. drivers by the GM BuyPower Card from Capital One found that three in four Americans plan to take a road trip this year and that almost half of them plan to charge all their purchases. That’s a lot of potential cash back, rewards points and other benefits.Check to see if you have these credit card perks in your wallet before revving up your engine this summer. Just remember not to exceed your budget and to avoid interest by paying off your balance in full each month. Travel rewards: Some cards, such as the Chase … [Read more...] about Credit card perks to pack for your summer road trip
The holidays are the best of times and the worst of times. They’re a great excuse to catch up with family and friends, take a break from work and remember what’s truly important. They’re not so great for either your wallet or your waistline.Using the right credit cards strategically or signing up for a new one won’t do much for your waistline — but both can help you recoup some of your holiday spending. Here’s what you should keep in mind. Holiday spending brings bonuses within reachMany credit cards offer sizable sign-up bonuses, but there’s a catch: Claiming that bonus typically requires charging a certain amount during a certain time period. It might be more than you’d be comfortable spending under normal circumstances.But if you’re like many Americans, the holidays aren’t normal circumstances. You’re likely to spend more than usual, whether it’s on plane tickets, gifts or free-range organic turkey. And you … [Read more...] about How to use credit card rewards to help pay for the holidays
With confidence in the economy improving, more consumers are planning to take a vacation this summer than in years past. Budget constraints remain, however, as nearly half of those planning trips intend on spending less than $1,500, according to a recent Orbitz Worldwide survey. Luckily for them, the right credit card can actually subsidize at least one-third of a trip or serve as a gateway to more lavish accommodations. For the last couple of years, credit card companies have been offering initial bonuses - a heap of extra points, miles or cash - to people with excellent credit who sign up for certain cards and spend a prescribed amount within the first few months. The goal of this strategy is to infuse their customer bases with people who pay their bills on time and in full every month and therefore pose a low risk of default in the event of another recession. Travelers, in turn, want to infuse their summer budget with the most possible value, and there are several … [Read more...] about Credit cards that can save you hundreds on summer travel
Are you getting all you can from your credit card company? Maybe not. The new protections for credit card holders changed much about the way card issuers do business. Also, the requirement that consumers must choose overdraft protection before it kicks in has many financial institutions scrambling to replace lost income. In addition, the recession had a lasting impact on the kinds of consumers credit card issuers want as customers. The result, said Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research at CreditCards.com, is a shift toward the best consumers. "Credit card companies are trying to get high spenders with high credit scores, and they're using rewards programs to entice those people. Rewards are kind of a glue in terms of keeping the customer engaged and using the card, which makes it profitable for the bank." If you have a good credit score, pay your charges off each month and you're looking for a new card, you have a lot of power in your hands. Here's how to … [Read more...] about As credit card companies try to replace lost revenue, shopping around can yield great rewards
If you often pay with plastic and like to travel, there's a way to make your everyday purchases work hard for you. All the big airlines have teamed up with a credit card issuer to offer a custom Visa, MasterCard or American Express that allows users to earn frequent flier miles. "I used to have a wallet chock full of credit cards," said Patricia Warshaw, a retired college guidance counselor from Old Westbury, L.I. "Now that I'm doing a lot more traveling, I have narrowed down my credit card collection to two airline cards." As long as she was earning points for charging her everyday purchases on her credit cards, Warshaw, 66, decided it was better to earn frequent-flier miles that she could use for travel. With miles earned on JetBlue, Warshaw and her husband have taken several free trips to their vacation home in Florida. Some cards, including those from American Express, Citibank, Capital One and Discover, allow miles to be earned on your choice of airlines. Credit … [Read more...] about Airlines dangle credit card rewards
It’s the height of summer, and many airline and hotel companies are keen on luring eager travelers with big bonuses. Here are some highlights.Become a Star Alliance mileage millionaire. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Star Alliance, travelers are invited to participate in a competition to win a million miles. One member from each of the alliance’s frequent-flier programs will be chosen. Upload a photo and enter by July 31 for a chance to win.IHG offers double points and opens new Waikiki property. Hawaii-bound travelers will be pleased to know there’s a surprising, new hotel name on Waikiki: Holiday Inn Express. The hotel features the brand’s newest design concept and is its largest in North America (second largest in the world). Road warriors that rack up points traveling for business now have a new option for free hotel stays in Honolulu with the family. It joins the Holiday Inn, the only other IHG property on Waikiki, which is … [Read more...] about Best travel loyalty program offers for July 2017
Ride-sharing giant Uber and banking giant Barclays announced today at the Money 20/20 conference a partnership that will create the Uber Visa Card, a new credit card specifically designed to appeal to Uber's millions of riders. With no annual fee, a generous rewards program, and unique perks, the card could be a strong competitor in its segment.The Uber Visa Card is a co-branding partnership between ride-sharing platform Uber and Barclays that will be available nationwide starting Nov. 2. The card offer will be embedded in the Uber app, and once an application is approved, the card will be added to a customer's Uber wallet almost immediately (a physical card arrives about a week later).The Uber Visa Card has no annual fee and comes with an assortment of benefits specifically designed for Uber riders.The Uber Visa Card has a four-tier reward program. All four reward-earning rates are flat, meaning there are no rotating categories. Cardholders will earn:These rewards can be redeemed … [Read more...] about Uber’s new credit card: Here are the perks worth noting