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News Tips & Updates on Finance

Surge in credit cards as banks gouge customers

Monday,24th November, 2014
New evidence has emerged recently of a continuing resurgence in the popularity of credit cards. A study, published by Equifax on Nov. 10, shows both these and store cards being issued and used at the highest levels for many years. It seems likely that the biggest reason for this is consumers and lenders growing more comfortable again with debt. But a secondary one may the the growing recognition of the fee gouging practiced by many banks on checking accounts. During the Great Recession, many saw debit cards as the safer and smarter way to pay, and shunned credit cards. Are .......

The best balance transfer cards

Tuesday,18th November, 2014
Credit card rates are rarely low. Right now, according to the IndexCreditCards.com rates monitor, the average for all consumer plastic is 17.20 percent APR, and 17.91 percent for rewards credit cards. Someone with balances totaling $15,000 is likely to be paying well over $2,000 a year in interest alone. Imagine such a person being offered a deal that allowed her to pay zero interest on those balances for anything between six and 18 months. She'd be mad, you might think, not to say "Yes! Yes!! Yes!!!" And you might be tempted to say, "I'll have what she's having." Some caveats Balance-transfer credit .......

Don't get a business credit card -- unless you're a business

Monday,10th November, 2014
There are some really attractive offers for small-business credit cards around at the moment. You might find a sign-up bonus that could give you tens of thousands of free miles just for getting your application approved and meeting a spending threshold in the first three months after your account's opened. You might get extra-generous rewards. And you might find the cost of your borrowing cheaper. At the time of writing, this site's credit card rates monitor shows business rewards plastic charging an average APR more than two percentage points lower than that for consumer rewards cards: 15.53 percent against 17.87 .......

Best credit cards for 2014 holiday shopping

Monday,03rd November, 2014
In defiance of the laws of chronology, the holiday season is looming. Wasn't it only a couple of months ago we were taking down last year's decorations? Unfortunately, for most, the holidays mean huge expense as well as family and religious significance. It doesn't matter how smartly you use your credit cards, such expense pretty much inevitably involves some pain. But your plastic, deployed wisely, can take the edge off. Rewards credit cards Rewards, in the form of miles, points or cash back, are probably the most obvious way to get back some benefit from your holiday shopping. These typically give back .......

Cash or cards this Christmas?

Monday,27th October, 2014
Does plastic rot your brain? No, this isn't another of those food packaging scares that regularly make the rounds on social media. The plastic in this case is of the credit card variety, and the question relates to whether using a card rather than cash affects how much you spend. Some believe that simply using plastic for transactions makes us spend more, because it changes how our brains work -- or, at least, how we think -- when we're making purchases. However, their case is far from conclusive. Credit cards and spending A couple of years ago, IndexCreditCards.com reviewed some of the .......

Are federal regulators up to protecting us?

Monday,20th October, 2014
Have you heard of Carmen Segarra? She was an employee of the New York Federal Reserve until she was fired for doing her job. She had refused to tone down a report that criticized her bosses and colleagues. She had witnessed -- and had the secret recordings to prove it -- timidity and servility on their part when dealing with the major banks they were supposed to regulate. This wasn't just a toothless watchdog: it was one that saw its role as licking the faces of the very people it was supposed to deter. You can see why some who work .......

Credit cards, mortgages, student loans … How our borrowing's changed in a decade

Monday,13th October, 2014
The credit crunch and recession caused financial fear -- or much worse -- for almost all Americans. So it's no great shock that our borrowing habits have changed. However, you might be surprised by a new report from TransUnion, one of the Big Three credit bureaus, that reveals just how different things are now from less than a decade ago. Debt shifting onto older shoulders One of the biggest and most significant shifts is in the age distribution of borrowers. Imagine everyone in the country (age 20 and older) who has one or more open loans of any of the types reported .......

Are you losing out on your credit cards' hidden benefits?

Monday,06th October, 2014
Does one or more of your credit cards offer special consumer benefits, such as extended warranties, or price or purchase protection? You don't know? You don't even know what those phrases mean? Don't be embarrassed. Plenty of people are in your position. But you really should find out by checking your card agreements or issuers' websites, because you could be missing out on thousands of dollars in savings. While you're reading up on these, try to get your head around the relevant terms and conditions, because these can vary between both companies and individual cards. Even if your plastic does .......

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