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Is Apple Pay going to kill your credit card?

Tuesday,16th September, 2014
For some time now, The Motley Fool has been talking about an innovation that it thinks could "spell disaster for credit card companies" and their grip on their "$21.6 trillion" global market. The innovation? Near-field communication, more commonly abbreviated to NFC, which is the technology that allows you to make in-store payments using a smart device. It's actually a low-power wireless link, which is used to transfer small quantities of data between two devices positioned a few inches apart. In this case, one of them is your smartphone or tablet and the other is an enabled point-of-sale (POS) terminal. Obviously, you .......

Are too many seniors losing control of their credit cards?

Monday,08th September, 2014
TransUnion is one of the nation's biggest credit bureaus, and its Aug. 26 press release had a headline that could cheer up the most morose individual: "National credit card delinquency hits lowest level in at least seven years." In other words, the number of people getting into trouble with credit card debt is lower now than it has been since before the credit crunch and recession. And that fall in delinquencies applies across all age groups, with those over 50 years the least likely to have such problems. Swiping elders So far, so good. However, the press release went on to reveal .......

Hey big spender: best luxury credit cards

Tuesday,02nd September, 2014
It's impossible to discuss the luxury card market without mentioning AmEx's Black card, more properly called the Centurion® Card from American Express. Not that there's much point in getting you excited about it. American Express is tight-lipped about the product, but you certainly can't do anything as vulgar as apply for one. Legend has it that the card is available strictly by invitation, and you can get one of those only if you've already spent a fraction of a million dollars on another of the company's products within a previous year -- and are prepared to cough up vertiginous joining and .......

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 .......

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