Credit card news roundup–seasonal edition
Credit card use this holiday
Whether or not you’ve made use of your cards recently, the Chicago Better Business Bureau (BBB) yesterday recommended that you frequently check your accounts online or through credit card companies’ call centers to make sure that all the transactions shown are legitimate. In a statement, Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, commented:
Identity theft can happen to you whether you’re shopping online or shopping at the mall, making it critical that we all take specific steps to fight both low and high-tech ID thieves. Having your credit card numbers stolen or your computer maliciously hacked will put a damper on anyone’s holiday cheer.
In addition, the BBB suggested:
- Printing off and keeping all documentation concerning online credit card purchases
- Checking websites’ privacy policies to make sure your personal details are protected
- Making sure sites are secure (look for the locked padlock in the bottom left of your browser window frame, and for the URL beginning “https://” rather than “http://”)
- Ignoring “phishing” emails that claim that you need to provide financial information again via email. Instead, call the merchant to confirm if a problem really exists
- Not letting your credit cards out of your sight–because dishonest store clerks could skim them
Chase credit cards key to $10 billion in small business loans
Last week, Chase announced that it had beaten its $10 billion target for small business lending in 2010. And a significant part of that achievement was down to companies using the bank’s business credit cards.
Chase has a range of popular business cards that it markets under the Ink brand, including the Ink Cash℠ Business Card, the Ink℠ Classic Business and the Ink Bold® Charge Card.
Richard Quigley, president of Ink from Chase, remarked: “Credit Cards are a crucial foundation for small businesses, and we are proud to offer a suite of business credit cards devoted to one thing: helping small businesses grow.”
Credit card debt settlement–avoid the scams
NewsChannel 9 WSYR ran a feature earlier today that warned of the dangers of entrusting your credit card debt to one of the many debt settlement companies that advertise widely. Of course, there are a whole lot of these that are honest and well-intentioned, but all too many are run by scam artists who take your money, ruin your credit score and leave you worse off than you were.
Credit cards with no preset spending limits can hurt your credit score
Having a credit card with no preset spending limit (NPSL) can be a symbol of your success. But it can also hurt your credit score.
That’s because, as Technorati reported yesterday, a large part of your credit score is determined by your “credit utilization ratio”, the proportion of your available credit that you actually use. And NPSL credit card companies often report to credit bureaus in ways that can make it look as if you’re using a large chunk (up to 100 percent) of that available credit.
If your credit score has taken a hit since you started using an NPSL card, you should check with your issuer to see what its reporting policies are. You may find you’re better off not using the card.
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