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Credit card complaints set to appear on regulator's website

Monday,25th August, 2014
A couple of years ago, this writer penned a paean praising American Express, "Real people tout AmEx's stellar customer service." He did so because Miranda, a friend of his, who'd been a loyal cardmember since the 1950s, had suggested he should: Her experience had been extraordinarily good, and excellence should be recognized. Recently, he met Miranda again, and she couldn't find terms strong enough to express her contempt for the company. After five or six decades during which she'd never once missed a payment, she needed to spend more on her card than she usually does, but was told that .......

What you need to know about credit card rates

Wednesday,20th August, 2014
Imagine how wonderful credit cards would be if they didn't charge interest. You'd get the safest way to pay, plus perks, extra consumer protections, and miles, points or cash back all for free -- unless you opted to pay an annual fee for extra services. For close to half of Americans, that's already a reality, because they never carry forward balances to the following month. The rest, probably a small majority, do sometimes, often or always have credit card debt. And they pay a high price. Credit card rates today According to the IndexCreditCards.com rates monitor, the average consumer non-rewards card was .......

Credit score reforms could put better credit cards in your wallet

Tuesday,12th August, 2014
Christmas might come early this year for millions of Americans who stand to see their credit scores boosted -- without their having to lift a finger. This "gift," which could see them qualify for better credit cards and lower rates on mortgages and pretty much all other borrowing, is a result of two changes. The first involves a reform of the credit scoring system that is used in 90 percent of lending decisions. The second, so far introduced by two of the Big Three credit bureaus, sees home rental payments being counted when calculating scores. Reforms to FICO scores Aug. 9 saw .......

Prepaid debit cards are no substitute for credit cards

Monday,04th August, 2014
Has it finally happened? Have prepaid debit cards moved from being a distress purchase (once used only by those who couldn't get approved for mainstream debit and credit cards), through acceptability, all the way to exclusivity? At least one company seems to think so, because it's issuing a platinum prepaid product -- made of pure platinum. The Pure + Solid® Platinum MasterCard® weighs in at a minimum of 65 grams (just shy of 2.3 ounces), and costs … wait for it … roughly $38,000. Given that the spot price for platinum closed in New York on July 29 at $1,474 an .......

WARNING: Medical credit cards can seriously damage your wealth

Monday,28th July, 2014
Last year, IndexCreditCards.com warned about the risks posed by medical credit cards in "Dangers of medical credit cards enough to make you sick." This followed a consumer alert issued in November 2013 by New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, who advised patients not to be rushed into committing to agreements for these products. Some doctors' and dentists' offices use high-pressure sales techniques to push consumers to sign up on the spot to terms and conditions they don't fully understand. In the words of the alert: "Give yourself time to understand the terms of financing. Take the time to read .......

Retired? How to pick the best credit cards for you

Monday,21st July, 2014
For most advertisers, retired folk are all the same: They're fit, have deep tans, dazzlingly white teeth and perfect hair, and spend their lives on cruise ships, golf courses or the terraces of ocean-front fine-dining restaurants. If you're retired, you may well fit that stereotype, but the chances are you don't. Seniors are individuals, just like everyone else, and each has different wants, needs and challenges. So there's no such thing as "the best" credit card for retirees. Just as at every other stage in your life, you have to pick the plastic that suits your particular circumstances best. Credit cards .......

More credit cards, more offers, higher limits. Plastic's back!

Monday,14th July, 2014
When it comes to plastic, Americans are partying again -- like it's 2008. The number of new credit cards issued in the first quarter of this year topped 11.3 million, according to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, published early in July. That's the highest number for six years, and represents an increase of 17.2 percent over the same three months in 2013. Meanwhile, the amount of credit originated on cards shot up too, by $57.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014, also a six-year high and an increase of 24.4 percent over the rise during the .......

What happens to card debt when someone dies

Monday,07th July, 2014
If family births are the most joyous occasions for almost all of us, family deaths are the polar opposite. Especially if they involve a spouse, parent or grandparent, they're times of immense sadness and trauma. The last thing you want to think about in the midst of such grief is sorting out the deceased's financial affairs. However, all too soon, the pressure from creditors to do this is going to become intense, and someone must take over the reins. Who takes the reins? When people die, their assets (cash, real property, investments, savings, car and so on) become the property of their .......

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