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The right credit card can save you hundreds this Holiday Season

By Guest Blogger
at 9:02AM Thursday December 12, 2013
under Shop Smarter

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  In addition to signaling the end of the line for roughly 45 million turkeys and foreshadowing Tryptophan-induced naps in front of festive NFL broadcasts, this holiday also marks the unofficial beginning to the busiest shopping season of the year.

The average holiday shopper is expected to spend $737.95 on gifts, decorations, greeting cards, etc., this year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation.  And while that figure is down 2% from last year, perhaps reflecting consumer caution stemming from the government shutdown, it nevertheless represents a significant financial burden that many of us will be hard-pressed to afford in this still-recovering economic environment.

That's where credit cards come in.  No, I' m not suggesting that you go on a plastic-filled spending spree and worry about the consequences later.  The average household already has about $6,700 Read More »

Why you should stop wasting money on fraud prevention

By Guest Blogger
at 6:00AM Sunday February 17, 2013
under Personal Finance

We all waste money on things we could easily live without. That's no surprise, though, as a quick look at our runaway credit card debt reveals an obvious fascination with overspending. However, you might be surprised to learn what some of our most unnecessary money drains actually are.

Sure, you've got the usual suspects like luxury cars and oversized homes, but we also can't forget about things like rental car insurance and fraud monitoring services either.

While we may consider such things to be essential, they're actually redundant at best. For example, most credit cards automatically provide free auto rental coverage, and by choosing to pay for a policy through a rental company, you're actually negating what you've already got, not supplementing it.

The same goes for fraud protection.
Read More »

The Right Credit Card Could Be Your Bank Account's Biggest Ally this Holiday Season

By Guest Blogger
at 7:49AM Tuesday November 20, 2012
under Holidays

If you're like most people, all you want for Christmas is some savings.  Forget your two front teeth or Mariah Carey singing about wanting "you," the average consumer is expected to spend $838 this holiday season, according to Discover's Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, and it's important to soften the impact on your bank account. 

The question is how.

There are a number of tried-and-true holiday savings methods, including taking advantage of sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, selling unused gift cards for cash, and doing some comparison shopping online.
Read More »

Why Your Credit Card Might Be Your Insurance Policy

By Guest Blogger
at 6:01AM Tuesday August 21, 2012
under Money Saving Tips

If you've ever come across a list of the biggest money-wasting purchases that consumers make, it's likely that supplemental rental auto insurance and extended warranties were high atop it.  But do you know why these things are such notorious drains on your wallet?  Because the plastic residing in your wallet may already offer them for free.

While a lot of people don't know it, the perks that credit cards provide extend far beyond the usual suspects of rewards, low rates, and convenience.  These benefits are generally provided by your respective card network (i.e.
Read More »

Credit Cards Can Cut the Cheddar You Spend on Gas

By Guest Blogger
at 11:33AM Monday April 16, 2012
under Money Saving Tips

The price of gas sure does stink these days, but what are you gonna do about it?  While many will treat that as a rhetorical question, choosing simply to pay up and grumble as the national average price for regular gas creeps toward the $4.00 mark, others will take a more practical approach to the issue and look for ways to ease the financial burden.  You therefore have to wonder:  Can something as simple as a rewards credit card help weather the storm of rising gas prices?

Absolutely! The right gas credit card can save you upwards of 5% per gallon, which would basically be the equivalent of paying last year's prices.  The trick is finding the offer that best matches your lifestyle and spending habits.
Read More »

Big Savings for Consumers as Credit Card Companies Feel the Holiday Spirit

By Guest Blogger
at 11:59AM Wednesday November 16, 2011
under Holidays

The holidays are rapidly approaching and not only does that mean spending time with family and leaving milk and cookies out for Santa, but, for many of us, it also creates angst over budgeting and making ends meet.  The holiday season is the biggest retail period of the year, and, according to American Express, Americans will spend an average of $831 on gifts this year--17% more than in 2010. 

Luckily, there are a number of ways for the savviest consumers to save, and, for those with excellent credit, the right credit card can help you save up to $500. Read More »

Who's Ready for a New Breed of Prepaid Debit Card?

By Guest Blogger
at 10:58AM Friday September 23, 2011
under Personal Finance

If I asked you how direct deposit works, you'd probably say something along the lines of: "It's when your employer pays you by depositing your pay check directly into your bank account."  Whatever the exact wording is, you're likely to mention a "bank account" or "checking account" somewhere along the line.  While all of that is currently true and to be expected, you answer might be quite a bit different in just a couple of months. Read More »

Gift Card Wedding Registry: The New Money Saving Trend

By Guest Blogger
at 8:55AM Tuesday June 28, 2011
under Money Saving Tips

According to a 2009 survey of brides and newlyweds conducted by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, a wedding gift should cost about $70 if it's from a friend, around $130 from a family member, and never less than $50--no matter who it's from. 

That's an awful lot for most of us to shell out, especially if there are multiple weddings to attend within a relatively short period of time.  Considering both that 30% of annual weddings in the U.S. take place during the summer and that July is the single most popular month for weddings in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, wedding guests definitely need a way to save this summer. 

One increasingly popular way of doing so is the gift card registry.  In fact, gift card registries can help improve various aspects of the gift giving process for both guests and soon-to-be-married couples. Read More »

How a Credit Card Can Save Money on International Travel

By Guest Blogger
at 11:59AM Tuesday April 19, 2011
under Money Saving Tips

With summer fast approaching, many of you are likely in the midst of planning family vacations.  And if your trip will take you overseas, logistics like booking airfare and hotel reservations as well as packing and planning an itinerary are not the only things you must accomplish before departure.  Interestingly, and perhaps counter-intuitively, in order to prevent surprisingly high costs and other purchasing problems associated with traveling abroad, a call to your credit card company is also a pre-trip necessity. Read More »

Simplify Credit Card Use by Avoiding These Six Mistakes

By Guest Blogger
at 10:56AM Saturday February 26, 2011
under Personal Finance

Credit card use is complicated.  In order to be classified as a responsible credit user you must pay your bill on time (and preferably in full) each month and maintain low credit utilization.  In order to avoid wasting money, you must find the right credit card for your lifestyle and steer clear of the myriad fees and usage trappings that trip many consumers up.  As a result, it's no wonder that 25% of Americans have "bad" credit, according to FICO, the largest credit scoring institution in the U.S.

Still, if you know what mistakes to avoid and how to avoid them, you'll be ahead of the curve and far more likely to both garner a great credit score and save money on your credit card spending.  To this end, we've compiled a list of six of the most significant credit card mistakes people make and how to avoid them.  Enjoy! Read More »

NPSL vs. Credit Card Rewards

By Guest Blogger
at 7:54AM Monday February 14, 2011
under Personal Finance

Choosing a credit card for excellent credit seems like a welcome burden. Do you want travel perks or cash back? Maybe you would prefer added rewards on your gas purchases? It's a can't lose situation. Or so you might think.

Unfortunately, many people with excellent credit eschew these traditional perks and instead open a Visa Signature credit card, a World MasterCard credit card or an American Express charge card because they believe that these cards allow limitless spending. In doing so, however, consumers not only forgo conventional rewards but also jeopardize the credit standing that made them eligible for such benefits in the first place. Read More »

Credit Cards for Bad Credit Help You Improve Your Score

By Guest Blogger
at 10:57AM Saturday January 15, 2011
under Personal Finance

Okay, so you have bad credit, and yes, it's not an enviable position in which to be. But are you really going to sit around and sulk, pretending your problems don't exist? Are you going to act as if your credit score is just an unimportant number harped about on TV?

No, of course not!  Because, like it or not, your credit score is an extremely important determinant of whether you can get approved for a loan, rent property or even get a job. You might think that you can live with bad credit now, but one day you're going to want to buy a car or take out a mortgage on a house, and when that day comes, you'll be happy that you had the foresight to build back your credit when you were younger. Read More »