Sub Prime Credit Cards

A sub prime card was designed for those with a damaged history. It was created to give people a second chance with credit.

They are often used to help rebuild a low score. They help because you can create a positive payment history and it can improve your utilization ratio. Your payment history and utilization ratio are both very important to your score.

They do report monthly to all three major bureaus. Your APR will by approximately 19% and you will have some fees. Unfortunately this is the cost of your prior mistakes, however this can be the last time you have to pay fees for a low score.

Your limit will be approximately $300 and you will be eligible for periodic increases. However some like the Tribute Gold MasterCard do offer a card with a limit of $70 for those with very bad history.

These will help to improve your score more than a secured account. This is because those accounts are reported as secured to the bureaus and this will be weighted less than an unsecured account.

It is still wise to remove negative items from your report. However it has been discovered that once a negative item ages four years it will have much less impact on your score.

You should know that to get the most out of your card you should try to keep the balance at roughly 20%. This will help because it shows the bureaus that you do use your card and are using it responsibly.

You can still get approval even with; charge offs, collections, judgments, and even a bankruptcy. However each has different approval requirements. Many of them will give you an instant decision upon submission of your application.

In sum we do suggest a sub prime credit card for individuals with a damaged history. It can be used to help you build positive a positive payment history and improve your score.


Bank Secured Credit Cards - Avoid the Pitfalls

A bank secured credit card is where you pay a deposit into the card as collateral. Normally, anyone who has bad credit or no credit history will be given this option and not a regular unsecured option. For example, if you pay $500 into the card, it means you can spend up to $500, but the deposit will not be used to pay the amount back. The banks usually need a minimum of $300 to open such a credit card.

Many people exist without having to use credit cards at all in their lives. Sometimes a person needs a one to book a hotel, or rent a car, even if you are going to pay cash. The problem comes in when you don't have a credit history, or your credit history is bad.

The benefits of this type of card will be felt for someone who thus has bad credit, or no credit history, allowing that person to improve their credit rating or to begin their credit history, for a person who has a good FICO score, this type of card should not even be an option!

If you can only be approved for this type of card, make sure it has a conversion option attached to it. This will allow you to convert to a regular unsecured card once your FICO score has improved, or has been established within a number of months or possibly up to a year. If you use your card responsibly and pay off your debt regularly and on time, your credit limit may be increased. Rather use this card to make small purchases that can be paid off either fully or quickly to improve your chances of attaining an unsecured card.

The problems with this type of card are as follows:

• There is generally an annual card fee

• Expensive application and processing fees

• The interest rate is high (roughly 22%)

• You only earn 2 to 3% on money you deposit into your account

• Interest starts from the day you use your card (no grace period)

It is always good to look at a number of different secured credit card options. You can find the best option for you in this way. Make sure to read the terms and conditions of each card you look at. Ask the card company if they report to the 3 major credit bureaus, as this will help your FICO score in the future. Often the smaller companies don't report to the 3 major bureaus, but the bigger banks definitely do, making them a better choice of company to work through.

Always do your homework on the different secured credit card options. Some of the offers can really take you for a ride. Go for a card that will have the least fees to pay, otherwise you may be paying money back without having made your first purchase. Remember to read the terms and conditions and be responsible with your money!


Getting the Best 0 Percent APR Credit Cards

When you're in college there are a lot of times when you need money but you find yourself tapped out. Credit card companies know this and so they send you all sorts of mail to sign up for a credit card. It's actually pretty easy to be approved in college so that many kids get credit cards but end up lost in debt several years later due to exaggerated interest rates on these 'easy to get' cards. They approve you easily because they know they can raise the interest so high that they cannot lose!

I had seen several of my brothers and sisters graduate from college and complaining about all the debt they were in. Just seeing them stress out made me want to think twice about it. One of my brothers told me if I ever got a credit card get one with the lowest interest possible, because it's the interest, not the balance, that gets you. He'd say that over and over again ... 'The interest is where they get you bro'. It was only afterwards that I really saw the usefulness of having 0 percent APR credit cards.

When I got to college I found myself in the middle of a dilemma. I wanted a card but I was a bit hesitant to sign up for one. Looking at interest rates all I saw were ridiculous rates. I went online trying to find a low rate and ran into a blog site that talked about 0 percent APR credit cards and how you can get free credit for life. This, of course, grabbed my attention because free was certainly a low interest rate!

I learned a simple trick that enabled me to perpetually keep getting new 0 percent APR credit cards and never had to pay interest! What I did was got one card and used it during the 'honeymoon' period but just before the interest rate kicked in after 12 months I would sign up for another card with 12 months as well, and I transferred my balance over, canceling the first card. This gave me an additional 12 months interest free! When I paid my monthly balance I never accrued interest! This meant that I never paid more than I spent, and I didn't find myself buried in debt like the others.

When I saw them again (they live in different states now but come home for Christmas) I told them about my trick, and their jaws hit the floor! They didn't believe me at first, then I showed them the paperwork. It was then that I realized how I could use this to show them how to hammer their current debt out by parking their balance on 0 percent APR credit cards, by transferring their balance from the card that was charging them an arm and a leg every month, to a card that charged them nothing. They could just do what I'm doing and pay off the balance. If they didn't use the card they were cool. So far I think it's working, I'm not in debt and my siblings are starting to get their heads above water.

I think the best part of this whole thing was being able to help my brothers and sisters with their problem while simultaneously keeping myself out of debt, well the kind of debt they were in anyway.


Getting the Best 0 Interest Credit Cards

I never had a credit card in my life before this year. I was around for the credit card revolution back in the early to late 80's but I was about 18 back then. I don't know how I did it but I ruined my credit a few months after my birthday. It wasn't too bad, but enough that I was turned down for a credit card I applied for and never tried again. I consider myself lucky because had I gotten one I would probably be in the same debt as all my friends are in today. That's until I discovered 0 interest credit cards.

All of my friends say if they had it to do over again they wouldn't have gotten a card until they were 30. They say that that's when they started to realize that using a credit card takes certain kind of discipline and awareness to use and not be caught up in the whole debt thing. By using only 0 interest credit cards I avoid this debt trap completely.

Today I can get as many credit cards as I want, as my credit is actually almost triple A and I haven't done anything to ruin it. Actually I've done everything to keep it good! One thing I learned or rather figured out before getting my first credit card was that there are a lot of 0 interest credit cards out there trying to seduce you in with a 6 month interest free introductory offer. The beauty of this is that you can get the card and use it interest free for that time. Once the time is up you simply transfer the money to a new card with the same offer (or even more time!) and you never end up paying interest on the card! This way I'm getting credit, and not paying a penny more than I actually spend! I never fall into deep debt because the interest isn't there. It doesn't exist.

Most of my friends, in calculating their debt, say that it wasn't the money they borrowed that got them, it was all the interest that compounded over the years. I tell people I meet about this nice little trick and people are amazed that I thought of it. The truth, however, is that I didn't come up with the idea; I saw it on this site when I was looking for a credit card to get. The site had a service attached to a resource site of practically all the 0 interest credit cards that exist, so it both saved me money and also the headache of trying to find them. And they email me when the promotion expires (before it does so I can transfer the balance to a new card!). They even offer a free transfer service so I can transfer my balance in one swoop!


Credit Card Disadvantages For Interest Rate Cuts

With the recent  American Federal Reserve official announcement of interest rates dropping below 1%, it's typically safe to assume that credit cards are cheaper than ever. While lower interest rates make up the bulk of credit value, there are several other factors which will diminish the value of these recent rate cuts.

Stoozing Isn't Possible

Stoozing is the basic way of creating money with credit cards - taking advantage of 0-3% introductory offers and placing that advanced money into a 5-10% high interest savings accounts. When interest rates are high in a period of economic stability, savings accounts rates skyrocket. In times of economic downturn, while 0-3% promotional offers are still available, savings accounts tend to drop as low as a couple of percent.

While there's still room to make money stoozing, the margin of profit is so relatively small that the effort and time involved will generally not compensate.

Consumers get Carried Away

If your interest rate is 20%, you're well aware that you need to be on track of your credit and payments or you'll pay inflated repayments. However when your credit card interest rate is down to the low end of single figures (3-8%), it's easier to adapt a 'carefree' mindset. When you lose discipline and track of your credit cards, it won't be the 6% APR which hurts your $200 purchases - it's the $25 late fee for missing a day on your payments.

More Pitfalls

Everyday people aren't the only ones at stake for loss in a recession - many banks are constantly balancing on a thin line of bankruptcy and liquidation. Thus, they will implement every trick in the book to reap some extra form of revenue from their customers. This often comes in the forms of extra and more expensive 'ancillary fees', which consist of:

  • International withdrawals
  • Increased administration fees
  • Duplicate statements - need an extra statement for any reason? $5-$10 fee right there.
  • Supplementary card charges
  • Late payments - while these are always present, they will typically be more costly in times of trouble.
  • Cash advances - arguably the mother of revenue from unwary credit card customers. Some financial providers will take a large cut of up to 3% of the total transaction per withdrawal.

Note that the above fees are completely subjective to each individual bank and their policy. While there are more credit card traps in store, they aren't unavoidable. Take the above concepts into mind and watch carefully for the ever changing fine print. If you stay on the ball with your credit card, you can easily enjoy the benefits of low interest rates without the associated bank-traps.


Getting the Best 0 APR Credit Card Offers

With the economy being what it is these days we are all faced with having to find new and innovative ways to maintain our current comfort levels while integrating a way to save money on the things we spend money on. Many have not stopped buying fuel but instead use tricks to make the most of their gas mileage such as coasting on off ramps from the freeway or being very careful to ease into the 'take off' from stop signs and lights instead of 'jack rabbit' starts. One variant of this is the trick of finding the best 0 APR credit card offers.

One area I think many people don't really think of when it comes to saving money or even the area that is sucking the most money out of your wallet like a vacuum cleaner is the credit cards. We think of credit cards as the funding source of getting things we want now or even the way people are affording all that extra gas that their check won't supplement due to the gas hikes. What's baffling however is that people think they are maintaining their status quo but the interest rates on the credit card is putting them deeper into debt, not saving them. The solution is to make sure we are getting the best 0 APR credit card offers.

There is a way however to reverse this effect and it doesn't take much work at all on your part. It is so easy and actually pretty obvious if you think about it, but because many people are used to thinking in another way it is not often thought of at any length. The trick is to use 0 APR credit card offers. I know what your thinking, those 0 APR credit card offers are just temporary then they jack up the interest rate after 6 months or a year when you've completely forgotten your rate is going to change, but I've got that covered too.

You see all you have to do is realize that there are literally hundreds of banks trying to grab your business with one credit card or another. Those banks, yes, are hoping you slip up after the 6 month promotion and if you do the entire balance that you've most likely barely chipped away at paying off become subject to that high interest rate and the company loses nothing, but you lose plenty.

So how do you get around this? Simple, just use the card till just before the 'grace' period is over then transfer the balance to another zero interest introductory rate with 6 months or more before it hikes up. This way you end up paying zero interest. You maintain it by perpetually keeping this up. Now to make sure you don't forget you sign up for a free service that not only reminds you in email which can also be sent to your cell phone, but it also does all the homework of finding all those nifty 0 APR credit cards and bunches them up on one site! Where do you find such an incredible service that doesn't cost you a dime to use? You Google 'automated credit card balance transfers' and you should see it. Good Luck!


The Real Costs of Credit Cards


There is no getting away from the fact that credit is now more widely available than ever making it simple to use a plastic credit card to make purchases. What isn't so straight forward are the costs associated with using credit cards. This article attempts to provide an overview of these costs to help inform your spending decisions.

1. APR

How often do you choose the first Credit Card you see or the most popular one? What most people don't realise is that it pays to shop around and yet we rarely do. Some credit cards charge higher rates than others which will have a major impact upon your finances, especially if you don't pay your bill outright at the end of the month.

If I told you that a top of the range television was for sale for $2,000 but that just down the road you could get it for $1,800, most people would quickly choose to save $200. In essence this is exactly how much of an effect choosing the right credit card can have on your finances, in relation to interest payments.

Annual Percentage Rates (APR) is the means that Credit Card companies use to charge you interest. These can vary substantially from company to company but they range between 15-25%. Ensure you choose a card with the lowest possible APR and don't just accept the first one available.

It should also be noted that credit card companies often charge a higher interest rate for cash withdrawals via your card so read your small print and don't presume it is the same APR rate.

2. International Charges

Using your credit card in another country is often promoted by finance companies as one of the key benefits of their product and yet they often fail to explain the costs involved.

If you use your credit card outside your own country you are liable to pay an additional charge for the privilege which varies from company to company but is usually between 2-5% of the transaction cost. So buying that Ming Vase on a trip to Europe may be more expensive than you think. Credit card companies claim that it is the cost of processing these transactions in another country, but this doesn't hold up well given that most big credit card firms are likely to have offices based in most countries, that could easily process the transaction with limited effort.

3. Balance Transfers

A word of warning about the costs of balance transfers. These were introduced to entice customers to a different credit card company. The company offers you between 6-9 months of 0% interest on your existing debt in exchange for you changing to their credit card. This is hugely tempting for many people however there are some pitfalls to it.

a) You will only get 0% interest on your existing debt. Some people wrongly assume that they will not pay interest on any new spending on their credit card for the 6-9 month period but this is incorrect.

b) Always check the interest rate that your card will revert to after the balance transfer period, as it could be that it is higher than your current credit card provider meaning that you pay more interest in the long term.

4. Late Fees

Late fees are also associated with credit cards if you fail to make at least the minimum payment required each month. These can vary but usually come in at around $35.

5. Over Limit Fees

These are fees that you will be charged if you go over your credit card limit without agreement. Most companies will charge you a 1.5% handling charge for this.


This article has sought to provide an overview of credit card costs and the direct effect these can have on an individual. Attention has been given to the vast differences in APR rates and the use of international charges and balance transfers. Finally we have examined costs linked to late payments and the consequences of going over an agreed credit limit.


Chase Credit Cards - What All You Need to Know

One of the finest leaders in the credit card market Chase who earns millions of dollars annually from the amount of interest people owe them when they delays the credit card dues and don't pays the bills within the given time. People who have credit cards in their wallets are very common and many guys frequently make use of them instead of reserving them for emergency purposes.

Most rich feature of chase credit cards is that they are accepted everywhere around the world where credit cards are used. With their International credit cards you can easily travel across the world using your Chase credit card but don't forget to keep in your pocket. A wide range of credit cards are offered at chase credit card and very convenient to shop. They have various limits too that they offer so parents can get a low limit for college students to help them establish some responsibility.

Chase appears to be a good option if you enjoy accessing your credit card accounts online. If you are afraid of using real credit card number to buy goods or services online don't worry they even offer virtual credit card numbers. You can keep a track of your account and pay your bill while sitting at your home.

Most of the new users take plenty of time to compare various aspects of credit cards which is a good habit and finally Chase seems to offer the best combination of them after comparing with too many other companies. Check their low interest rates charts and high credit limits offers. They also have outstanding customer care service who are always keen to assist with any questions or problems a person may experience. Now grab a Chase card for free without any annual fee, and this is something most consumers are searching for.

Rewards programs have became very popular with credit card offers in recent years. Chase offers excellent rewards programs including cash back on purchases and traveling miles that accumulate based on the amount of money you charge on your credit card which is a great way to earn amazing free items including trips to your favorite locations.

It seems that Chase is the ultimate credit card option when you take a tour of all of the benefits being offered. All you need to do is, use your Chase credit card wisely and never be late in paying the bills on time. Don't worry at all if you trapped into financial problems just make sure to contact the Chase credit card company who would help you better.

Identity theft is very serious problem but chase keeps a special eye on it which makes you feel secure. They monitor accounts closely so you can expect to receive a phone call from them if there are activities on your credit card that don't fall along your normal pattern. They will also help you with getting charges taken off your account that you didn't make if this should occur.

All important information are properly explained at their official website. They often offer a variety of amazing offers for new applicants like: 0% APR for the first six months etc. This offer valid to both purchases and balance transfers depends on you whichever you choose. So enjoy all chase offers such as low APR, the high credit limit, rewards programs, and online access to your account.


Finding Student Bank Credit Cards

A question that comes up a lot between students and credit cards is what banks offer credit cards. Many new card appliers don't realize that over 15,000 institutions offer credit cards. The bank doesn't necessarily have to be big in order to get a card. A big myth is that you'll only get good perks with a major bank.

How do I find the right bank?

With so many banks in the world, it's hard to find the right card. If you're serious about finding one, you'll use the internet to your advantage. So, I only have one word for you and that's research. You'll want to know what you want kind of rewards you want, what kind of rate you want, as well as what kind of fees you're willing to pay. Most of the time, you'll be able to find a card without fees but some cards with great rewards will require you to pay fees.

Are all the banks the same?

While most credit cards work the same way, the rewards and fees are going to be completely different. Let's think of a grocery store. When you go and get your groceries, are all the stores the same? No because they offer different prices, their policies are different, and the customer service is different as well. Think of this grocery store scenario as your bank.

My word of advice to you is to look at who you bank with right now. The chances of them having a credit card are actually pretty great. If you're happy with who you bank with now, I would suggest you stop into a bank to ask them about the deals they have for students. Sometimes, you may find that you can sign up for a card and even get a type of bonus. This will all depend on the bank. As long as you do your research and take your time in finding a card, you'll find the perfect bank.


Axis Bank Credit Cards - Highly Trusted and Useful Cards

There are many advantages of having a credit card. One of the main benefits is that there is no need to depend on your friends and family members, if you are in urgent need of money. It helps you to solve your unexpected expenses. It also helps you to pay amount for some hotels, airlines and travel companies, who do not accept cash payment. Like this, people can enjoy with many benefits of credit cards by using them for right purposes.

As the number of people who apply for the credit cards in India has been increasing day by day, several banks and private companies entered in the market and started offering credit cards with different amounts, interest rates and repayment plans.

Among these banks, Axis bank is one of the leading banks in India that has been offering good services in Indian banking sector for several years. It offers various types of credit cards to suit the needs of all kinds of people. All the Axis bank credit cards are known as high-utility cards. For its honoured customers, this trusted bank offers even the high amount of credit cards at low interest rates.

Some of the most popular credit cards of Axis bank are the Axis Bank Silver Credit Card, Axis Bank Gold Plus Credit Card, Axis Bank Corporate Credit Card, Axis Bank Platinum Credit Card and Axis Bank Secured Credit Card (Gold).

Most of the premier banking establishments give credit cards and, therefore, the user is likely to have the thought about the benefits of taking the credit cards that are being given by Axis Bank. Some of the benefits are given in the above paragraphs and, therefore, a careful thought about each of them is enough to serve the purpose of the utility of these cards.

However, for a person who is financially a little more adept, the reasons can be shown in the form of interest rates that are given by these credit cards. One of the primary features of the interests is that they are formulated while keeping the customer as one of the main factors of consideration.

Hence, the interest rate are quite manageable and so is the repayment tenure of these cards. Versatility and also flexibility are two of the major stalwarts of the features of Axis bank credit cards.

With the advent of the Internet, now, people can find the details of all the companies that offer credit cards at one place. So, they can compare all the deals that are available in the world of credit cards at one place and can select the best one depending on their needs. Axis bank offers online banking services to its customers. So, the persons, who want to get a credit card from Axis bank can fill the application form online without visiting the bank.

If the details that are provided on the application form are correct, the bank employees will sanction credit card with in a short time. If you do not use your Axis bank credit card, you are not required to pay any such type of interest rates. One more benefit of these cards is that you can get extra points and discounts, if you repay the credit card amount in time.

Finally, we can say that Axis bank credit cards are available at low interest rates and are very beneficial for the users.


Enjoy the Benefits of Rewards Credit Cards

Credit cards are now a part of modern living with more and more appearing every day. What kind of credit card would you prefer for your type of purchasing? Most of us would go for the credit card that matches our spending habit. We would definitely prefer the card that would be able to return to us the money we spent. Rewards credit cards are the right one, but which is the best one to choose?

To choose the right rewards credit card, be aware of the details and information pertaining to the rewards. Some banks usually offer this to attract applicants, but before making your decision, make sure that the rewards offered are something that you can use in your lifestyle and spending activities because some rewards may not be suitable for your needs. Check also the detailed APR charges or fees you might incur in the future. Some rewards may be enjoyable but are charged to your account after some time.

For people who love to travel once in a while, rewards credit card that converts points for travel expenses is the right card. While you enjoy your shopping, a part of the money you spend will become points, and as you earn points, you will also earn miles for your travel expenditures. This is done by converting the rewards points earned through shopping or dining into travel vouchers redeemable in some airlines.

Another way to earn miles is through paying the bills using the rewards credit cards. Credit cards can now accommodate different utility bills. It is just like paying the bills on cash but as you pay through the credit card you are earning rewards as well. Just make sure that you will also make prompt payments to avoid incurring interest charges.

Some rewards credit cards on the other hand, offer rewards in the form of gas cards. Some gas stations are affiliated with the credit card wherein you can use your rewards as payment for the gasoline and save on the increasing prices of gas.

Another benefit of rewards credit cards is the cash back bonus for the purchases you make using the card. Some credit cards give you back a percentage on all of the purchases, while some cards give you back a percentage on a portion of purchases you made. Just beware of credit card companies that charge these rewards in the end and make sure that some fees and charges related to your card are not due to rewards.

Among all the rewards credit cards, American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card is the best. It allows the cardholder to choose where to use the rewards for their own suitability. Even the rewards are based on almost every dollar spent using the card. Some cardholders use the rewards for some special or exclusive events, shopping, and even for travel rewards. This is why the American Express Rewards Gold card is the best.

When choosing the right credit card, go for the one that you could utilize in more than one function, go for the rewards credit card. It doubles the fun because it will not only give you the opportunity to afford the things you need; it will also give back to you some portion of the money you spent.


5 of the Best 6-Month Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Balance transfer credit cards are a popular tool for Australian consumers. For example, if you have a $500 balance with a 20 percent interest rate p.a. on your MasterCard, you can move that balance to another card, perhaps a Visa, and have less interest to pay on the original balance. This is ideal in today's economic times. This guide offers the best five balance transfer credit cards for Australians, based on interest rates, customer service, and card benefits.

St. George Vertigo MasterCard

St. George Vertigo MasterCard is great for transferring balances because it offers zero percent interest p.a. for six months. Money Magazine also awarded the MasterCard "Best of the Best" in 2008 for Cheapest Credit Card. St. George Vertigo MasterCard holds an 11.89 percent interest rate p.a. for regular purchases, and a $55 annual fee.

Citibank Clear Credit Card

Citibank Clear Credit Card, a Visa, also offers zero percent interest p.a. for six months on balance transfers. Purchases are assessed a 12.49 percent interest rate p.a. It also has up to 55 days of no interest. With credit limits of up to $20,000 and a $65 annual fee, this is a good bet for dollar-savvy consumers with good credit.

Bank West Lite MasterCard

Like most of its competitors, Bank West Lite issues MasterCards to qualified applicants with zero percent interest p.a. on balance transfers for six months. Cash advances are assessed a 20.49 percent interest rate p.a., while purchases are billed at 11.49 percent interest p.a. Up to three additional cardholders are allowed for free, and the annual card fee is $59.

HSBC Low Rate Visa Card

HSBC Low Rate Visa Card is another solid bet for Australians looking for a balance transfer credit card. Not only is there zero percent interest on balance transfers for six months, but also no annual fee for the first year. After that time period expires, the annual fee is $49. The card also features a rewards program good in more than 40 countries, and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.

GE Money eco MasterCard

GE Money eco MasterCard not only enables customers to "go green," but also offers zero percent interest for six months on balance transfers. In addition, one percent of all purchases on the card is donated to organizations working to offset greenhouse gas emissions. The interest rate on purchases is 18.49 percent p.a., but the card is eligible for up to 55 days interest-free on transactions.


Are Free Credit Card Terminals Worth It?

In today's competitive market place, businesses pull out all the stops to entice customers to purchase their goods or services. One of the most common marketing tools is to give away something for F*R*E*E*. Yes, that's F*R*E*E* in capital letters, bolded, with stars between each letter, not "free" in small case. Companies ensure that they stress the word "free" - akin to knocking them upside the head with the proverbial two-by-four - so that they will sit up and take notice that they can get something, anything without paying a red cent, plug nickel or cool dime.

If you are a business owner, you may be reading this article as you are considering accepting credit card payments. The first step would be to select a merchant account provider. With virtually thousands to choose from, this is not an easy task. Just to warn you, merchant account providers (MAPs) are not above pulling out the free trump card to gain you as a customer. No matter how attractive the offer, it is imperative to first look at the big picture by reviewing each MAP's fee structure, customer service policy, etc. before signing a contract.

Free Credit Card Terminal: Are they really free?

What is the free offer of choice by various merchant account providers? In many cases, it is a credit card terminal. This may entice those strapped for cash. However, upon further inspection it may be discovered that with the free terminal come higher fees - such as annual, batch or termination fees for example. These increased fees may more than offset the price of the terminal. In fact, over a period of time, an individual may pay, in additional fees, two to four times the initial cost of the terminal. Although you may believe that you are "making out like a bandit" you should ask yourself, "Am I really getting something for nothing?"

Depending on the needs of your business you may require a:

· Basic terminal - average cost $150 to $300

· Terminal with printer - average cost $200 to $600

· Wireless terminal - average cost $600 to $1,000

As you can see, terminals are not extremely pricey pieces of equipment. Therefore, before signing with a MAP to accrue a free terminal, you should first ask yourself, "Is what I'm saving upfront really worth it?" To answer this question you must:

· Compare and contrast various MAP's fee structures - are they more when a free terminal is added? If so, by how much?

· Note if there is a termination fee - Some MAPs who do not usually include a termination fee, may add one when offering a free terminal. How much is the fee? For example, if your terminal was $300 and there was a termination fee of $250, would the free terminal (which is not much more than the termination fee) be worth it if you wanted to terminate service for whatever reason? This example does not include other increased fees that may apply such as annual or batch fees.

· Take into account the retail value of the terminal - if it's a basic terminal for example, will the increased fees pay off the terminal within a few months while you are left paying the higher rate over the lifetime of your contract? However, the increased fees may be worth it if you are receiving a more expensive wireless terminal.

· Inquire if the terminal is new or reconditioned - the chance of experiencing difficulties with a new terminal is obviously less than with one that is reconditioned.

· Read the terms and conditions thoroughly - what happens if the terminal breaks? You want to ascertain that you will not have to wait weeks for a replacement or while your terminal is being repaired.

Types of Credit Card Terminals included in free offers. Are all the amenities included?

A few credit card terminals included in some merchant account providers' free terminal packages are the Hypercom T7 Plus, Hypercom T4100, Nurit 8320 and even the wireless Way Systems machine. Although respectable terminals, upon further inspection, you may discover that some of the terminals do not include a pin pad or a printer if the machine does not have one built-in. Although you receive the terminal for free, depending on the needs of your business, it may be necessary to purchase additional equipment. Once again you would need to ask yourself, "Is the overall package going to save me money in the long run?"

It is only human nature to become excited over the prospect of getting something for free. However, when it comes to matters of business, this is not usually the case. Companies often have an ulterior motive when giving away something for free, even if only to "get you inside their door" to entice you to buy their particular goods or services. Although a perfectly acceptable marketing tool used by millions, are you really getting something for absolutely nothing? In most case, the answer is no.

When a merchant account provider offers a free terminal, it is usually to assist those who may not have the money to purchase a terminal outright. They will recoup their money by increasing fees in other areas. That is not to say that cost effective free terminal packages do not exist. However, it is up to you, the consumer, to look at the fee structure of different merchant account providers to assure that you are receiving the best deal overall. It may be determined that it would be in your own best interest to come up with the money to buy a credit card terminal - no matter how financially strapped - to save money over the long haul.


What is Credit Card Factoring?

With the current state of the US economy, businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about their own financial situation. Many businesses depend on being able to access cash quickly and easily to keep their business running smoothly; often times in the form of a small business loan. The problem is that many lending institutions aren't lending money like they used to. Businesses are left trying to find alternative sources for their business capital. One alternative source that is getting a lot of attention lately is the merchant cash advance or credit card factoring.

What is credit card factoring?

Credit card factoring is one way to get funding to businesses that are suffering from cash flow problems. I don't have to tell you how difficult it is to keep up with vendors and other business expenses each month. Whatever the reason, an interruption of cash flow can seriously hurt the company's credit rating and cause even more problems, ultimately causing the decline or failure of their business.

Generally, a factor is either a single investor or a business that fronts money to meet the company's cash flow requirements that is to be paid back within a set period of time - much like a short term loan. There are credit card receivables, invoice receivables, accounts receivable factoring and other forms that are routinely used by businesses that tend to have cash flow issues every month or during slow seasons.

Specifically; credit card factoring is when a factor gives your company cash upfront based on your future credit card sales.

Who uses credit card factoring?

Merchant cash advances aren't cheap. Merchant cash advances aren't always the best choice for everyone. However, they are a legitimate alternative for businesses that have less than perfect credit or that need cash in a hurry. A poor borrowing history limits the places a business can go for loans and the result is either being turned down for the loan or getting a very high interest rate on the approved loan.

Some of the businesses that use credit card factoring the most are bars, restaurants, retail stores and service providers. In each case, the amount of business done with credit cards allows the investment factor to think about profit availability.

Getting an unsecured loan may be the only way a business owner can survive during tough times, but the owner should be careful because there are some less than reputable lenders out there.

A credit card factor will not necessarily look at a business owner's credit history or score as reason to decline the unsecured loan. They look at the history of steady credit card sales more than the business's credit score. And while banks may take several weeks or even months to approve a loan request, a credit card factor can approve a merchant cash advance in a matter of days.

All in all, it is a win-win relationship for both parties involved. Remember; if you do decide to use a credit card factoring company, you need to verify the legitimacy of the lender by as many sources as possible. You might consider checking the Better Business Bureau or asking for references.


The Downside to Paying Off Your Credit Cards

There couldn't possibly be a downside to paying off your credit card accounts, could there? Only if you close the accounts!

If you've participated in our Credit Scores: Insider Secrets from an Expert teleseminar series, you know that capacity accounts for a full 30% of your Credit Score. What does Capacity mean? Here's an example:

Let's say you have 3 credit cards with a total credit limit of $18,000. If your outstanding balance on each of those credit cards is 50% or less of the available credit limit, you're in pretty good shape.

Example 1:

Card# Credit Limit Balance Capacity

1 $ 2,000 $800 40% 2 10,000 4,800 48%

3 6,000 3,000 50%

In this example, the capacity reached, or outstanding balance, for each individual card is less than 50%. This means that for the purpose of calculating your credit score, you're in good shape with regard to capacity. Now, take a look at the second example:

Example 2:

Card Credit Limit Balance Capacity

1 $ 2,000 $ 800 40%

2 10,000 3,800 38%

3 6,000 4,000 67%

Here's the deal: You are in pretty good shape in Example #1 because your capacity reached does not exceed 50% of any of your available credit limits. However, in Example #2, you would be penalized on your credit score, even though your outstanding balance and total available credit limit has not changed. Why? Because you exceeded 50% of your capacity on the third card.

Looks a little crazy, doesn't it? It gets even worse. Let's say in the second example that you paid off Credit Card #2 and closed the account. That should greatly help your credit score, right? No! Just the opposite, in fact, because now, your picture looks like this:

Example 3:

Card Credit Limit O/S Balance Capacity

1 $ 2,000 $ 800 40%

3 6,000 4,000 67%

Yes, you owe less in total, but you have actually hurt your score by paying off the $3,800 balance on your $10,000 card. Why? Because your capacity reached on Card #3 is still over 50%, and by closing the account for credit card #2, you've reduced your available credit, or total capacity.

So what is the solution here? Pay off the credit card with a capacity reached of over 50% first.

This is just one example of what goes into calculating your credit score you may not know. The Universal Default rules can be even more damaging to your personal prosperity picture. Knowledge is Power. Take charge of your personal prosperity today.


Common Mistakes Made With Credit Cards

Even though the country is currently in a problematic financial situation, there are still many people who are neglecting to pay any attention to the amount that they are spending and how they are spending it. More recently it has come to the attention of money experts of some simple mistakes that many people are making when concerning credit cards.

One of the biggest mistakes made by credit card users is to withdraw money from a cash machine using your credit card. This option to withdraw cash should really only be considered as a last option as it is as good as throwing money away. Many card issuers are now charging up to a 2% or 3% fee for cash withdrawals and will start charging interest on the withdrawal straight away. It is also likely you will be charged a higher APR on the card. The same applies if you decide to use credit card cheques; you will be charged interest straight away. If you are going to use a credit card cheque then you might as well just use your card as the APR charged on credit card cheques is usually a lot higher than the standard APR.

Using your card abroad will also cost you dearly. Many card companies will charge a substantial amount of money if you decide to purchase something abroad with your credit card. Before you go away you should see how much you will be charged to use your card abroad to avoid any nasty surprises when you get home.

Long term borrowing is also a huge mistake made by many with credit cards. With loans currently as cheap as they are it would be silly to pay off a long term debt with a credit card that charges close to 12% APR when there are loans on the market that charge less than 6%.


Things to Know Before Applying For a Credit Card

It is true that having a good payment history on a credit card is a key component of building a consumer credit score. Credit bureaus love a good mix of accounts, including unsecured credit cards and installment loans.

If you do not currently have a credit card, then you might want to consider applying for a card and building a deeper payment history prior to making a major purchase on credit. Building credit can reduce the cost of interest for vehicle or home purchases.

Pre-Approved Offers

A pre-approved offer is not a guarantee that you will be approved. You could still be denied if your stated income does not satisfy the income requirements established by the card issuer. In addition, if your credit score has dropped recently, you could also still be denied.

Still, a pre-approved offer is more likely to be approved than an unsolicited application. Credit card issuers buy lists of potential customers from the credit bureaus. If you received a pre-approved application, your credit met the initial credit requirements of the card issuer for that particular offer.

When a card issuer receives your application, they then conduct a new credit check to see if you continue to meet their requirements. Your credit score will likely be within a few points of what it was if nothing extraordinary has happened to your credit in the meantime.

A simple late payment or even going over the credit limit on another credit account could cause your credit score to drop by as many as 50 points. Correcting the problem will bring your score back up, but not to the original level.

Therefore, you should evaluate whether now is the time to even apply for a card. Any recent negative activity on your credit report could jeopardize the approval of a new application.


Inquiries may also prevent approval. Each time that you apply for a line of credit, an inquiry is recorded on your credit report.

If you are denied a credit application, understand that your credit score will have dropped anywhere from 1 to 5 points. Applying for another card would be ill-advised at this point, since you would have an even lower likelihood of being approved for that account.

Multiple applications in a short period of time can cause your credit score to drop to a point that makes approvals unlikely. Credit card issuers get nervous if they believe you are trying to apply for substantial credit in a short period of time.

If you believe you could benefit from a new account and expect to be approved, then choose wisely. Some credit cards have much better terms than others. Most importantly, once you have opened a new account, take care of it. Maintaining your credit accounts is essential for building a solid credit history.


Things to Look For in Applying For Student Credit Card

With so many different student credit cards in the market, how can you pick the right one for you? Here are some factors that you should check on:

The APR. A lot of credit cards for student comes with a 0% APR introductory offer. Before you sign up, make sure that you understand where the zero interest is applied. The 0% APR may only be applicable to purchases or balance transfers while other cards may give the zero interest on both.

Furthermore, make sure that you are clear about how long the introductory promo lasts. Some credit cards offer only 3-6 months while others may offer a much longer introductory period.

Other Charges. Aside from the APR, don't forget to check all the other costs on your card (late fees, over-the-limit fee, annual fees, etc.). Remember, a low interest rate doesn't necessarily mean that you've found the best student credit card in the market. Make sure that there are no "hidden charges".

The grace period. A sufficient grace period ranges from 25-30 days depending on your issuer. Remember to submit your payment before your grace period ends to avoid additional charges.

The perks and rewards. After considering the interest rate and the rest of your credit card fees, consider the rewards that best matches your lifestyle and needs as a student. However, bear in mind that a student credit card with rewards will only be beneficial if you will pay off your balances in full each month. Otherwise, you could be subjected to a higher interest rate.

The terms and conditions. Everything you need to know about your chosen student credit card is in the Agreement. Take the time to examine the complete Terms and Conditions before signing.

The convenience. Can you use your student credit card on various establishments and merchants? Does the card report payments to the major credit reporting agencies? This is very important because a student credit card should help you build your personal credit history.

Online access to your account. Being able to access your account online will help you monitor your balances and keep track of your credit card spending conveniently.


Six Things to Look Out For When Applying For an Airline Credit Card

Airline Credit Cards are very popular right now since they have the potential to get you a free airline ticket. The only thing you need is to be a Frequent Flyer using one of the Airline Credit Cards. But, as always, there are certain things you need to look out for when signing up for one of these Airline Credit cards. The first thing you need to know is that you don't get a free airline ticket just because you have an airline credit card, you get an airline ticket if you have accumulated enough points for an airline ticket. For example, you might spend $500 a month on your airline card, which means that you get 500 miles for each month. Where can you fly there and back with 500 miles? Maybe over a period of 3 months you could cash in your points for an airline ticket. I hope that makes sense to you.

Before Applying for an Airline Credit Card, go through a quick checklist:

1. Signing up Bribe: They will offer you 25,000 miles or more for joining their Airline Credit Card. Great, but check out which airline you can use; is it close to an airport you live by and is it viable for you to use? I mean there's no point having 25,000 miles and only being able to use it in LA when you are in New York.

2. Annual Fee: If there is an annual fee, is it for the first year only? Or is the bribe good enough that you do not mind paying the $49 fee and getting 25 000 miles?

3. Spending Requirements: You will need to spend a certain amount of money before you can use your bonus miles. Let's say it is $2,000 in 60 days, would you have already spent that money or would you have to go spending money unnecessarily?

4. Cancellation: If you want to cancel the Credit Card but you have some miles left, first find out if you can still use them even if you are no longer a cardholder? Some Credit Card Companies require you to be a cardholder for a certain time period before you can claim after you have canceled your card, plus you might have to pay certain fees to claim if you are no longer a cardholder.

5. Claiming: You want to claim your air miles that you have clocked up. With an airline-sponsored credit card the miles already show up on your account and you can claim them immediately. With a non-airline credit card, like Bank of America, you will need to follow a certain procedure before you can claim your miles. Also, check to see if there is an expiry date on the miles you have earned.

6. Blackout Dates: Credit Card Companies may block out dates and specific times when you want to claim your miles, for example they might make you fly off season and off hours and for some people that is just not practical.

Now you know what to ask, and what to look out for, before applying for an Airline Credit Card. You must also decide if this type of reward credit card is worth it for you. Do you have an excellent credit score? Are you able to pay off all your credit balances every month end? If you answered yes to these questions then it makes sense for you to join a credit card rewards program.


Is it True About Credit Card Limit Cut Backs?

Yep, you bet. Actually, if you haven't been contacted by your credit card company yet you should be on the lookout for some form of a notice very soon. As a consumer, what you should expect is an envelope containing specific information that will outline the new terms of your credit card, including interest rates and credit card limits.

Specifically, what you'll be seeing in terms of your credit card limit being cut back are quite stringent and lessened actions. Even with consumer credit already being stretched to the absolute max, there currently are (and soon will be even more of) a plethora of Americans that may discover shrinking or lessened credit limits, despite rising interest rates.

But, the question here is simply "why?" Because, as it is, even those who are responsible in their cardholder positions are getting financially hit here. Having a polished track record and an unsmudged credit score isn't even enough; to no avail and still, such esteemed cardholders are witnessing their credit card limits being curtailed right in front of them.

FICO Ways of Old and Greeting The New

The old way of determining rates and limits via outstanding balances and FICO scores are still in use, to a degree. But, what's now being ushered in the door for determining rates and limits are anything including factors such as where you reside or even to the point of surmising how stable your particular job is. More or less, the stance here is directly from a mindset that's being overly cautious, especially to at-risk borrowers.

Who Are Borrowers That Are "At-Risk?"

Those who would be classified as borrowers at risk include those who are unable to meet their balances. Of course. This makes sense. But, don't get set on just this determinative classification. Here, cardholders who are deemed at a great risk are those under certain industries such as construction, home-building or mortgage brokerage. It is this set of professionals specifically that are seeing their credit lines being cut more than anyone else.

Also, credit card issuers seem to shrink limits and even deny credit lines for those consumers who live in the hardest-hit housing markets, which shouldn't be much of a surprise; consider that major banks did the same thing a few months ago via shrinking credit lines for home equity loan products and services.

Expect Credit Ratings To Be Hit

Typically, when credit card limits fall the ratios of cardholders' debt to their credit undeniably rises. This is not good though. Consider that a domino effect can take place. Just do some reasoning; less credit can lead to an easier means to target over-the-limit charges and subsequent penalties. Also, realize that credit agencies check into individual consumer credit percentages, as far as use is concerned. And, with lower credit card limits cardholders automatically use a greater amount of available credit. This, on its own, can possibly (and would most likely) spur a lowering of a consumers credit score.


Credit Cards For Backpackers

Backpacking is a popular holiday choice for those of us who want to get out there and see the world. With such a variety of destinations in all four corners of the world, there is no end of choice for the adventurous traveller.

When preparing for a backpacking trip, it is important to ensure that you have a number of aspects in place - ranging from medical to monetary - and one of the most crucial of these is making sure you have money available during your trip.

For many backpackers, carrying money is one of the main worries of their journey. Being in an unfamiliar environment can be quite daunting, but not having the money to get by is a scary thought should you run into any trouble. Because of these risks, many backpackers choose to take cards with them on their trips in order to minimise the chances of losing money on their excursions.

Credit cards offer the chance to spread payments over a period of time, and can come in very handy for emergency situations, whilst debit cards allow the chance to set yourself a budget through the use of a balance - usually accumulated during employment before travelling.

Research is key when it comes to deciding the financial route you want to take while you travel, not just about the best deal on a card before you go but also your limits for using the card abroad. There are a number of things you should check about the card before you go:

  • Is it covered for use abroad? Check for the Mastercard or Visa logo before you apply, as these are globally recognised brands and the most likely to be accepted in many establishments around the world.
  • Is there a pre-pay option on the card? Debit cards can be useful for short holidays as they provide you with a budget, so you can prioritise payments and also think about just how much you want to spend on souvenirs.
  • If you're taking a debit card issued by a bank, do they have outlets in the country you are visiting? If not, you must ensure that they allow you to withdraw money at cash machines in other countries, and how much would you be charged for such a service.

As well as ensuring that you find out as much as you can about the cards and what they offer before you travel, it is important to inform your bank or credit card company that the card will be used abroad in order to ensure that any balance transfer that you put through won't be halted due to suspicion of fraud.

By taking the time to research the options available to you before your travels, and by watching your spending limits during your travels, you can ensure that you get the most out of your backpacking experience, remaining financially safe along the way.


Secured Credit Card

Are you tired of defaulting on your credit card payments time and again? Is your credit history suffering from an irregular payment pattern and are you suffering from high finance charges on your credit card? Welcome to the world of secured credit cards, your one stop answer for all the credit card woes.

Let us first know what a Secured Credit Card is. No, it is not yet anther way of protecting your card from some kind of theft. Instead, it is a card made secured against the potential damage you yourself could cause to it by not making payments.

What is a Secured Credit Card?

A Secured Credit Card is one in which the applicant makes a deposit at the time of application which is later used for covering up for a missed payment. The deposit is made with the credit card company and is usually equal or lesser than the credit limit of the card. It is a very good option for people who are not very disciplined about making a payment and usually suffer from huge finance charges and the torture of collection recovery agents.

How Does a Secured Credit Card Work?

A deposit against the credit limit of the card is made by the applicant before getting the card. If the cardholder faults in making a payment then the credit card provider has the right to take the monthly payment from the deposited amount. The delinquency level at which the company would take a payment from the deposit differs from provider to provider. Usually it is only after missing of 4-5 subsequent payments that the deposit is used.

The Pros and Cons of a Secured Credit Card.

A secured Credit Card is a boon in many ways. It not only ensures that you do not default beyond a certain limit on your card but also prevents you from suffering huge finance charges. It is like a pre payment that you make to cover up for a missed payment and gives you immense peace of mind! It prevents your card to get into late stages of delinquency where you start getting annoying phone calls and even visits from collection agents and saves you a lot of trouble. The bonus is that some companies even provide you with an interest on the deposit you make on the card. So while your money is resting for saving you from bad credit, it will also earn some more moolah for you!

The only concerns you could have with having a Secured Credit Card could be a high application fee and a high annual fee that comes with it. You could also be charged with a processing fee if you want to apply for such a card. The best way is to find out before hand about the cost included and steer clear from cards with heavy fees as eventually, they will eat up from the deposits you make. Also, it is a bad idea to apply for a card with a deposit higher than your credit limit and no interest also.

Good to Know

Another good thing to know about Secured Credit Cards is that in most of the cases, they can be converted to normal, unsecured cards once you think you are stable enough. They are also a very good way to improve your payment profile and in countries where a systematic credit bureau works, it comes across as a very handy tool to regain your credit worth. All in all, it is an excellent option for people who need a credit card but forget to make a timely payment and suffer the damages!


Are Credit Cards Becoming the Most Convenient Payment Methods of Today?

Credit cards, a type of plastic money, seem to have turned into a necessity from a fancy. Previously, they were mostly pointed out as 'vanity of wallets' by the critics and those who defended a random use of credit cards. People would love to flaunt their haughtiness and status by the number of credit cards peeking out of the pockets of their polished leather wallets. However, presently banks and financial organisations have devised multitude of cards to make diverse ends meet of diverse types of users. As a result, both the masses of card members and multifariousness of cards are increasing.

It is utterly difficult to find out whether the increased number of users influences from introduction of various cards or if the variations in credit cards result in-from the growing interest amongst people. Whatsoever be the case, credit cards are evidently becoming one of the most preferred modes of carrying money and payment. Credit cards also give access to online banking benefits to the users. Members can take advantage of online banking for making payments, balance transfer, recharging their mobiles, paying electricity and other bills and in knowing remaining credit limit too.

Diverseness in cards is brought up to complement to purchase and payment ability, and also lifestyle of people. For example, there are frequent fliers and travellers who may opt for credit cards, especially designed for them, to get discounts on ticket booking, reservation of accommodations, booking of car rental services, cost-effective deals on shopping, visiting places, amusement parks or eating at fine restaurants etc.

Multiple categories of credit cards assist people in multiple ways including acquiring reliable health check up and wellness programs, for business and corporate people to offer them special business class benefits with special rewards and money saving advantages to help managing their expenses better. The business users are also entitled to higher credit limits to aid extended capacity to spend money, especially when they are touring on either business or pleasure purposes. Business credit cards include special facilities to help corporate people managing employee care with add on cards for employees. Business cards also assist cardholders distinguish their personal expenses from business expenses as well as offer users with many additional perks and rewards such as airline rewards, cashback rewards etc.

If you are mainly focus on availing rewards, then concentrate on the reward point credit cards and cash back credit cards. These kinds of cards offer yielding incentives for using cards to purchase. While purchasing with these credit cards, the users accumulate points which they can redeem with various kinds of rewards. Cashback credit cards offer cash rewards to card members when these members use them more. Points and cash rewards increase as the usage of the cards gets higher. If you are a punctual credit card payer and do not indulge in postponing your payment cycles, then this type of credit cards suits you better. Otherwise, you have risks of accumulating repayable amount which would one day appear as a too large amount to pay off and generate bad credit reports for users. While cash back credit cards offer rewards in cash, the general reward point credit cards offer rewards in kind on rolling up of points. These rewards can be anything such as gift cards, jewellery, electronic gadgets or home appliances, stay at premium class hotels or suites, flight tickets and many more.

If you advocate shopping, the best way to de-stress and most enjoyable leisure, then apply for any retail rewards card or credit card offering ease of payments. Retail rewards credit card team up with prominent branded retailers ubiquitous around the world. On shopping from those retailers, card members receive rewards, either in cash or reward certificates. There are also those basic cost curtailing credit cards like low interest cards that may charge lower introductory APR before starting to charge higher rates after particular period, also may offer fixed interest rates etc.


Business Credit Cards - Perking Up Your Business

Possibly the most confusing aspect of choosing a business credit card for a new business is wading through the seemingly endless lists of incentives and perks that are on offer to the small business owner. These can vary from things such as cashback deals on selected services and supplies to reward schemes that offer discounts on petrol or hotel accommodation. These perks are designed to benefit the entrepreneur and, ultimately, save the business money. This fact, however, doesn't necessarily make the selection process any easier.

In order to make the most effective choice, the business owner is well-advised to do a little 'homework'. Firstly, it is a good idea to work out just how much credit the business could and should require. This can be done by analysing the projected turnover of the business and weighing it up against monthly outgoings and expenses, such as wages and office supplies. Once these figures have been compared, it should be relatively simple to decide just how much credit would benefit the company and help begin the selection procedure.

Next it is worth considering just how the card will be used, by whom and for what. If cards are to be issued to employees, it may be worth considering a business credit card that offers the facility to 'cap' monthly spending on individual cards, giving the business owner more control over potential overspend. A card that comes with software to allow transactions to be tracked online can also provide additional control margins. Alternatively, the card may be used solely as 'back-up' in times of cash flow crisis, allowing wages and services to be paid for and giving the company cash account a period of grace whilst customer payments are processed. In this instance, a business credit card with an introductory offer of 0% APR would be helpful, as long as the APR that follows the introductory period is low.

When starting out, it is important that the business owner's personal accounts and the accounts of the business are kept separate, and most business credit cards offer this capability. This way, paperwork is kept to a minimum and all business transactions will have an online record of where and when they took place, as well as for how much.

Once the amount of credit to be borrowed has been decided upon, the next piece of homework is to figure out just how much the company can comfortably afford to repay each month. This can have a massive influence on which card is most suitable for a company; certain cards may have great perks attached but, if the interest rates involved are too high, there may be little point in pursuing them. Instead, it is better to focus on details that will constantly benefit the business, rather than on the money-saving advantages that may be of little use during times of economic stress. Having said that, the deals and incentives that are on offer can also be made to work for a business. If there are repetitive payments being made from a business to suppliers, for example, it can be worth sourcing a card that offers cashback or discounts on these services or products. Businesses that require a lot of travel from employees can also make savings on things like petrol, Airmiles and hotel accommodation. Once again, the question, "who will use the business credit card and for what?" becomes very pertinent.

Business plastic can be a very dynamic and useful tool for any company. By continually questioning its purpose, the entrepreneur can build up an 'identi-kit' picture of just what the card ought to do for the business and find the one that corresponds with those requirements.


Credit Card Care

As we sit in the midst of a credit crunch, many consumers will have concerns about their finances in one form or another. Uncertainty in the markets has meant a reduction in spending on the high street and increasing numbers of calls to debt advice help lines.

With Christmas just around the corner, many will be looking at methods of saving money - whether it is cutting back on essentials or taking out further financial products in order to help the cause.

Of the financial products available on the market, credit cards are one of the most widely available. These handy cards can help you spread payments on purchases and pay it back over a period of time, which can be useful when it comes to purchasing Christmas presents.

Interest free credit cards are useful for when you need to make big purchases, such as electronic goods, by allowing you to spread the cost over many months without accruing any interest payments.

But if you're not careful, credit cards can bring with them a few pitfalls that can have an adverse effect on your credit rating, as well as increase your debt levels.

And with more companies becoming more stringent about who and how much they lend money too, getting a credit card in the first place is becoming increasingly difficult. If you're not financially secure enough to afford to add another card to your wallet, it's best to think about getting your finances in order before committing to further deals.

As tempting as interest free deals sound, they also come with limits, and a common mistake with credit cards is to go over your limit on the card, which will practically invalidate your 0% interest rate and return you to the usual APR rate. Indeed, this can be more severe in the case of store cards, which usually have a much higher APR rate than many credit card companies, and overspending on these can prove to be very costly if you don't keep an eye on your finances.

Research is a key part of deciding which cards are best for you, by taking the time to analyse your finances and tidying up your credit rating before shopping around for credit card deals you can help increase your chances of a successful application.

If you feel you need a credit card for those little financial emergencies, or are just looking to spread payments, ensure that you pay off your balance at the end of each month. Not only will this help give you piece of mind when it comes to settling your debts, but it will also help to keep your credit score healthy.


Will Closing My Credit Card Account Affect My Credit Score?

People often think that if they pay off a credit card or don't use an existing card and then close the credit card account that they'll get a better credit rating or raise their credit score. This is not the case and here's why.

Let's say you have two cards or more from the same credit card company. You do not want to close these accounts.

Credit scores are determined by what types of credit you have and how long you've had your accounts open. They look at your payment history too. Even if you've had a credit card for 15 years or more and have an excellent credit rating, FICO score and credit history and you go ahead and close it, you can do a lot of damage to your credit score, and especially if it's the card you've had the longest and it's still an open account.

No matter how many credit cards you have, and no matter what your credit history is, no matter how many payments you've made on time or not on time, no matter how many late fees you've paid or not paid, it doesn't matter. The standard advice from the experts is NOT to close any credit card account.

If you are working on bad debt credit consolidation you don't want to close your accounts.

Let's say you are paying a high annual fee on a credit card and that may be reason enough to want to pay it off and close the account. Don't do it. First contact the credit card company and ask them if they will demote (use this word when you ask) your card to a card without any annual fee. That way you can still keep your credit rating and FICO score intact and you'll avoid paying the higher fee as well.

You can do this by calling the company's toll-free number. Ask for customer service.

In any event no matter what happens when you call customer service don't close the account. You can always ask for a supervisor and if you still don't get anywhere then ask for the customer retention department. This department is not common knowledge and they have a lot more power to give you what you want or need.

Of course you want to do everything in your power to keep your rating up and as high as possible. But getting rid of or closing a credit card account will only cause a possible drop in your rating or credit score. Make sure you get your copy of your personal free annual credit report online to check the status of your accounts.


Who Qualifies For a Merchant Credit Card Cash Advance?

Among the other important factors to be considered when applying for a merchant credit card cash advance, one must consider the average size of each transaction of his or her company. One might ask him or herself why this is of any importance at all to the funding source making the advance. The answer is actually a fairly commonsensical one.

To illustrate the significance of this data, let us use two examples, both of which are seeking a merchant credit card cash advance of $20,000.


The first example shall be that of a local diner. Let us suppose that said restaurant averages $20,000 per month in credit card sales. We have all been to diners, so let us assume that the average cost of a meal paid for by credit card is $30.00. This means that in a given month, to maintain the level of $20,000 in sales, the diner would have to serve 667 meals at the average cost of $30.00. Achieving that amount of turnover and sales would seem to be quite a daunting task.


For the purposes of this discussion, let us say that the second business is a high-end furniture store. This store, which sells custom made pieces, averages $80,000 per month in credit card sales. The furniture is sold in sets, however, so the average cost per transaction is $8,000. As you can guess, this means that the store would have to make only 10 average sales to maintain its monthly average of $80,000 in credit card transaction.


As we have discussed in previous posts, the advances are repaid to the funding source on a per-transaction basis. This means that the funding source will hold back a percentage of each transaction - anywhere from 8% to 25% - until the advance is repaid. Common sense would seem to dictate that it would be easier for the high-end furniture store to make 10 sales than it would be for the diner to make 667. Therefore, the furniture store is the apparently obvious answer.

But we must delve further to better understand who the more qualified candidate for a merchant credit card cash advance is.

While the diner has to do more volume, the relatively small size of the sales makes it impossible for any one, two, or even fifty to materially affect the income of the restaurant. This is not the case with the furniture store. A decrease by only 5 sales would cut the income of the store in half, affecting its ability to repay the advance. Now, while funding sources understand and account for the fact that some months are slower than others - resulting in less being repaid in those months - they like to hedge as much as possible.

Thus, in the end, the diner is the better candidate for a merchant credit card cash advance than the high end furniture store. This is not to say that the store would be summarily rejected for an advance, but it would certainly be more of a challenge to find a source. So if you are considering a merchant credit card cash advance, understand that smaller ticket items sold in greater volume are looked upon more favorably than higher ticket items sold as in lower volume.


Lies, Lies, Lies - How They Trick You Into Amassing Credit Card Debt

Credit Card Debt Lie #1

You Can't Live Without Credit Cards

The reality is if you are depending on credit cards to fill the gap in your pay or take care of emergencies, you are waltzing right into the credit card debt trap. You may feel that you can't live without credit cards but the truth is, you can. It may take a major shift in your spending and saving habits, but you can do it. Most people don't know that credit card debt is the number one factor that leads to debt trouble. That is until their plastic money runs out and their massive debt load starts to resemble Mount Everest.

Credit Card Debt Lie #2

You Need Credit Cards For Emergencies

One of the greatest debt accumulation lies ever told is the one about credit cards being great for emergencies. Time and time again, credit card holders convince themselves to apply for a credit car for emergency purposes only. But what they don't do is properly define what an emergency is. Is it a one in a lifetime sale on a Flat Panel TV? Is it a buy a sofa, and get the loveseat for free deal? As it happens, the majority of individuals start using their plastic money for the basic necessities of life: grocery shopping, paying bills, gasoline, ordering products online, entertainment, etc. You know the rest of the story; eventually they amass thousands of dollars in credit card debt they cannot afford. Now they are having a true emergency, how do they pay those bills before the debt collectors start calling?

Credit Card Debt Lie #3

No Money Right Now? No Problem! Just Charge It!

When the "get it today, pay tomorrow," ads first appeared on the scene, the average consumer didn't see this economic Tsunami rapidly heading their way. The ads touted some pretty tempting benefits. You could extend your buying power by 30 days or more, get 0% interest and receive credit card rebates with every purchase. The best one of all is the one were there's no payment for 12 to 24 months! Like lambs to the slaughter, people bought rooms full of furniture on credit and charged thousands of dollars in purchases to zero percent credit cards. The thinking was, when tomorrow came, they'd be in much better financial shape. By the time tomorrow came, their credit card debt was totally unmanageable. There was simply not enough income to pay all of the minimum monthly payments and take care of their households. That's when they realized what a massive mistake they made in believing that lie.

Credit Card Debt Lie #4

You Need Credit Cards To Have a Good Credit Score

Smart consumers realize that the credit and finance industries worked together to create what we now know as the credit scoring system. What they may not know is this is a perfect example of social engineering. Unbeknownst to the average consumer, this system was engineered to steer consumers into accumulating debt. Have you ever read some of the credit score printouts? Did you notice how they suggest certain actions to improve your credit score? Actions such as:

1. Request a credit line increase

2. Never close unused credit cards

3. Never leave any credit card unused for a long period of time, and

4. To increase your credit score, open one or two more accounts.

Each of these actions requires a person to take on more debt, (whether short term or long term) in order to increase/improve their credit score. The only ones who win when consumers increase their debt load are the credit card companies and those involved in the debt industry.

Credit Card Debt Lie #5

We Have Great Payment Plans

It shouldn't take a mathematical PhD to figure out that there is no such thing as a great payment plan. In the final analysis, credit card debt is extremely costly. For example, let's say that you ring up a balance of $5000.00 at 14% APR. If you were only making the minimum payment of 2%, it would take you approximately 22 years and $5,887.00 in interest payments to pay off this debt.

That means you would have paid more than double for the items you bought. The credit card companies love it! You literally work for them, for the next 22 years of your life. When it comes to credit cards, don't believe the lie, there is no such thing as a great payment plan.

Credit Card Debt Lie #6

Every Time You Use Our Credit Card You'll Earn Points!

This is another slick tactic credit card companies use to bait people into accumulating credit card debt. It starts off innocent enough. To get points, a person starts charging little bitty things such as breakfast and lunch at fast food restaurants, gasoline, trips the store and other little nick-knacks.

These are things they should be paying with cash. The next thing they know, those $4.00, $6.00, $10.00 and $20.00 charges have added up into the thousands. It happens so fast most people never realize what's happening. Yes, they got the points, but they also accumulated more debt in the process.

If you have fallen for any of these credit card debt accumulation lies and realize what a monumental mistake you've made, congratulations! You are now on your way to breaking free from the all-consuming debt trap.


How to Become a Pro Credit Card Finder

Financial companies have mastered the art of direct marketing. If you have been living in the United States, you have probably received lots of credit card offers in the mail. There is such a case as having too many options. Card companies are constantly trying to up one another by offering more lucrative deals to their prospects. Having alternatives is not a bad thing, but when it comes to credit card, one needs to do the proper due diligence to avoid signing up for the wrong offer.

In order to find the right credit card, one needs to have a plan. In other words, you need to know what exactly you are trying to get from your next card. If you are looking to get cash rebates at the end of each month, you need to look at cash back cards. If you are hoping to save money on your air travels, then you should look into airline card offers.

Research has shown that most prospects settle for cards that come with the lowest APR on the surface. But a lot of these folks fail to due the proper due diligence and end up signing up for offers that come with hidden fees.

Financial institutions are notorious for hiding certain facts about their offers. If you have taken a look at credit card applications, you have probably the small-font lines that are put right at the end of each application. Card companies know that a lot of folks don't look there, which is why you can expect to find hidden and miscellaneous fee there.

A pro credit card finder will go through the terms and conditions of each offer to make sure she don't fall for hidden/misc fees. You should also try to figure out if you qualify for a credit offer by going through credit comparison sites. A few of these sites provide information on the credit score range you need to be approved for an offer.

A credit account can help you build a better credit reputation and receive lower interest rates on your future purchases (e.g. car, house). But the wrong credit offer can not only bring you headaches, but also affect your credit score as well. In these tough economic times, the last thing one needs is dealing with a dishonest card issuer. By doing the proper due diligence, you can make sure you get the biggest bank for the buck from your card.


Save Hundreds of Dollars by Getting the Best Credit Card Deals

Do you always see those credit card commercials on t.v. with all those great rewards and you're thinking, "What? I don't get any of that stuff with my credit card!" It kind of leaves you with an empty feeling - doesn't it? Like you're being taken advantage of by your big credit card company; like you're missing out because other people are getting better deals. You just know you could save hundreds of dollars if you switched to one of "those" credit cards. This article is going to take a look at how you find the best credit card deals and see if it's really possible to save hundreds of dollars by getting the best credit card deal.

The best credit card deal for you, if you don't pay your credit card off every month, is a low rate or low fee card. There are several cards offered by Visa and one from American Express that have a 0% balance transfer fee. This by itself will save you hundreds of dollars. If you have a large balance riding on your credit card, don't ever switch to a new credit card that is going to charge you a transfer fee - no matter how much they tempt you with rewards and promises of money back. I guarantee you that the money they are supposedly going to give you back will not amount to the transfer fee they will charge you upfront.

If you pay your credit card off regularly, you can actually make money with several of the cash-back cards. American Express has one card that pays you 5% back at grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores and 1.5% cash back everywhere else. Wouldn't that make you feel better? I don't know about you, but anytime I can get something back out of a big corporation, I feel much better.

Capital One also has a good credit card if you are one of those great money managers who pays their card off each month. With this card, you get 2% cash back on gas and groceries. Discover has a card that gives you 5% back up to $400 per quarter. I think it's safe to say that with these cards, you can definitely save hundreds of dollars by getting the best credit card deals.

With gas prices the way they are these days - up, then down, and then who knows - you can appreciate a gas card that you will get rewards with. Chase, PerfectCard, and MasterCard, have the best deals on these with 6% rebate on gas for the first 90 days and then 3%. They also give you 0% APR on new purchases for up to six months.

With the information in this article, it's easy for you to see that it is possible for you to save hundreds of dollars by getting the best credit card deals. These deals are easy to locate on the internet and you can soon be saving hundreds of dollars.


Should High School Students Have a Credit Card?

The younger students mainly in their teens are now the flavor of the credit card companies. They are now being targeted by these companies by providing them with the high school student credit cards or popularly known as teen credit cards. These are mainly the prepaid or secure credit cards in which the money is preloaded onto the cards. The teenagers can only spend the amount of money that is preloaded on the card and not beyond that limit.

The high school students are falling into the trap of credit card companies because they are those set of population of who spend more amount of money and not have required amount of knowledge about borrowing and to use a credit card. Teens are now becoming more powerful customers and are often trusted by their parents to take most of the purchase decisions. Credit card companies mainly encouraged by those numbers have saturated the adult card market and now eyeing the younger high school students.

A student interested in getting a teen credit card must first open a prepaid credit account by depositing some money into that account. The student is then issued a prepaid credit card once he has deposited the money in the prepaid account. The prepaid credit card can be used anywhere. It is just same as using a regular credit card. A student cannot spend any more until he makes further deposits into his prepaid credit account.

These days, parents also provide teen credit cards to their children's in order to ensure that they will overspend as they will only be able to spend the amount of money that their parents have deposited in their prepaid credit account into the bank. The use of high school student prepaid credit cards is generally very prevalent among the students nowadays. The students use the prepaid credit cards to learn the credit building ability and also learn good money management skills.

The parents can help students a lot in building money management skills of the students. They both must discuss what types of purchases are appropriate with a teen credit card. It is important to consider that the appropriate purchase excludes anything that a teen can eat, drink or wear. The main motive behind this is to inculcate the habit of savings and using credit card wisely. Thus, the students must be responsible enough to use their card wisely otherwise their credit score can plunge very quickly, which is not good for their credit history in the long run.


Business Credit Card - Why Get One?

The most obvious reason for getting a business credit card is so that you will have cash available when you need it. A business credit card is simply an immediately available loan. There are often unexpected expenses in business, and sometimes you just don't have the cash to cover them. For example, perhaps you have a high deductible on your car insurance, and you just can't come up with the extra $1000.00 needed immediately for repairs. Or your computer quits working and you've got to replace it right away. Having a business credit card simply makes it possible for you to handle these types of emergencies right away. Of course, these examples would apply to a small business, but having ready cash available may be even more important to a larger business. Maybe the opportunity to make the expansion for which you've been striving for years comes up, and you've got to have that extra cash to make it a reality. If you don't really have the time to go through all of the steps to secure a loan, having a business credit card could enable you to make the expansion (or at least start it until other financing can be obtained).

Secondly, a business credit card can improve accounting in your business. For example, you could get individual credit cards based on your expenses. Some businesses issue individual credit cards to each of their salesmen. That way all of their expenses can be tracked. It's simpler than requiring them to turn in all of their receipts, and their spending can be monitored easily. Or if yours is an individual business, it could be used simply for your own travel and client entertainment expenses. One card could be used for all of your office supplies, another could be used for building supplies (if you're a contractor, for example), landscaping supplies, art supplies, advertising, etc. This, of course, would depend upon your business. One card might be sufficient for all of your expenses. I would plan on paying off these cards (or one card if that's what you decide) every month. (If you're getting into debt on your regular monthly expenses, you'd better take a real hard look at your business and cut some expenses soon -- you're losing money!) Of course, this second function could be done with a debit card. The only differences being you don't have to worry about being overdrawn and paying overdraft fees and you do have credit available for unforeseen expenses.

Hope this information has been helpful.


Do We Really Need Credit Cards?

I wonder how many people reading this article are old enough to remember S & H Green stamps? These trading stamps made a small fortune for Sperry & Hutchinson back in the fifties and early sixties. Consumers felt they deserved to get the stamps with everything they purchased from gasoline to groceries and merchants felt they had to offer them or lose out to competitors. Then one day, everybody woke up and realized this was a middle man raking off money on every transaction and that it was costly to both business and consumers. Thus S & H Green stamps became obsolete.

Today we have a similar situation with credit cards. I recall in the fifties when you could go into a retail store and buy a television set and the merchant himself would carry the credit, at reasonable terms. Now most retailers accept credit cards on purchases, even if you are making small purchases. Like S&H Green stamps, this is costly to consumers and businesses alike.

A merchant will typically pay from one to two percent of every transaction to the credit card companies. The credit card company gets it from both sides because they also charge the consumer interest rates of upwards of 30 percent. In addition they make excessively high fees for over the limit fees, late fees and whatever else they can add in.

Have you ever wondered why it is so easy to get a credit card? Why is it that credit card companies don't worry about whether or not you can pay? Here's the answer. If you default on your payment, the merchant still has to pay. The credit card companies can't lose but the merchant can.

Credit card companies have done a real sales job on convincing consumers that they can't live without credit cards and in convincing retailers that they must accept credit cards to remain competitive. The U.S. financial crisis, which was largely caused by credit card companies, might be just what we need to wake us up to the fallacy in these ideas.

Suppose merchants went back to the old method of granting credit themselves, and suppose more consumers went back to the old way of simply paying for merchandise with cash and only buying what they can afford to pay? It might solve a lot of problems.

One last thing retailers should ask themselves is what do they get for the one or two percent they are charged? Security? Not likely since they still have to pay if the consumer defaults. In the old days businesses included a percentage in their pricing to account for the possibility of bad debts. You can bet the credit card companies also keep this in mind when they issue credit and they simply pass that cost on, either to the merchant, or the consumer, or both. Aside from the one or two percent the merchant loses when he allows credit card companies to handle his credit transactions, the merchant also loses the interest he could be charging the consumer directly. If, for example, a merchant were to charge simple interest of ten percent per year on a major purchase, he would receive more money than he could receive by putting that money into a certificate of deposit and the consumer would pay far less interest than he would be paying to a credit card company.

Consumers also have been led to believe they can't do business without credit cards. In spite of what you are told, there are car rental companies that will accept a cash deposit instead of a credit card There are companies who will sell you merchandise online without a credit card One option is a debit card, although there are similar issues with debit cards as there are with credit cards. Some banks offer electronic checks and a few online merchants (too few) offer the option of billing you and allowing you to pay by check. The fact is, if enough consumers demand other answers, online merchants, car rental companies and other businesses will find other ways to allow you to pay. You don't have to have a credit card.

If credit card companies were cut entirely out of the picture, it could be a win-win situation for merchants and consumers alike.