Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:14:\"strict warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:62:\"Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically\";s:5:\"%file\";s:63:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module\";s:5:\"%line\";i:906;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965688) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:14:\"strict warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:109:\"Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:86:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:744;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965688) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:14:\"strict warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:134:\"Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:84:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:607;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965688) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:14:\"strict warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:130:\"Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:84:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:607;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965688) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:14:\"strict warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:148:\"Declaration of views_handler_filter_node_status::operator_form() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::operator_form(&$form, &$form_state)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:100:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/node/views_handler_filter_node_status.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:13;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965688) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:14:\"strict warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:62:\"Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically\";s:5:\"%file\";s:63:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module\";s:5:\"%line\";i:906;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965688) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:14:\"strict warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:130:\"Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:79:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:134;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965688) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:14:\"strict warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:126:\"Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:79:\"/home/themoney/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:134;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965688) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: trigger_error(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135

Warning: Table './themoney_2011new/watchdog' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed query: INSERT INTO watchdog (uid, type, message, variables, severity, link, location, referer, hostname, timestamp) VALUES (0, 'php', '%message in %file on line %line.', 'a:4:{s:6:\"%error\";s:7:\"warning\";s:8:\"%message\";s:137:\"Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc:135)\";s:5:\"%file\";s:46:\"/home/themoney/public_html/includes/common.inc\";s:5:\"%line\";i:153;}', 3, '', 'http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed', '', '54.91.172.117', 1454965691) in /home/themoney/public_html/includes/database.mysql.inc on line 135
Credit Cards http://www.themoneytimes.com/taxonomy/term/182/all/feed en Beware!! Perfect Money targeted by Cyber expert criminals http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20130812/beware-perfect-money-targeted-cyber-expert-criminals-id-1701713467.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We have news for you folks!! Cyber expert criminals are eyeing another online currency by the name of Perfect Money; they seemed to have shifted their attention from the Liberty Reserve, the digital currency firm to grab some “Perfect Money”.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Digital-currency-header2.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="95" /> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>The Liberty Reserve profits</strong></p> <p>Three months ago the international law enforcement officials peered deep into the digital currency firm Liberty Reserve to nab the cyber criminals and forced them to go towards Perfect money, another online currency.<br /> Remember the way the criminals had laundered around with the Liberty Reserve's currency in the past? Now these unlawful people are concealing profits and laundering money from the Perfect Money's digital currency affirms Idan Aharoni, the head of cyber intelligence at EMC Corp's RSA security division. Well kudos to the brains of these online thieves and scam artists!</p> <p><strong>The credit card scams</strong></p> <p>Aharoni and his team cater to the needs of ace financial institutions and thus carefully monitor hackers busy meddling with the internet forums. These hackers grab information they steal from details of the credit cards. Aharoni said “After Liberty Reserve was taken down in May; activity on these forums initially slowed and then picked up again, with some hackers saying they would accept Perfect Money for payments”.</p> <p>Aharoni is in charge of RSA unit that provides security services to almost 30,000 government agencies and corporations. Remember the popular Secure Id tokens that prevent anyone from gaining access to computer information without authorization? It’s the RSA unit’s gift for the agencies! But this incident did not come as a surprise to the RSA unit, confirms Aharoni,"We expected a large migration to another e-currency, and that has happened," he said.</p> <p><strong>Perfect Money speculation</strong></p> <p>With the speculation a rife, we still wait for comment from Perfect Money, besides a request made at its website. Perfect Money was started in 2007 but its website details exclude any contact number. It is a mystery as to who owns the website though reports state that it is based in Panama. </p> <p>There is another surprise up the sleeve though; The Panamanian government denied in January that Perfect Money has no offices in the country. The Perfect Money has also not got any operational license issued by the securities regulators. Then it certainly doesn’t come as a surprise that these digital currencies that do not owe their loyalties to any government are the ideal landing ground for cyber criminals, drug dealers and hackers! The US Law enforcement agencies are gravely concerned about these currencies that are an easy prey for laundering money.</p> <p><strong>The working of digital currencies</strong></p> <p>A single company or entity is responsible for governing digital currencies like Perfect Money. Let’s tell you how it happens! All a user has to do is open an account, then transfer the units of Perfect Money to any other user registered inside the system. After this the units can be exchanged for bank credit or cash exchange deals through third parties. These parties have nothing to do with the company. </p> <p>In exchange for the services offered by the online vendors, digital currencies are used. There is one hitch though- money laundering is based on anonymity! The identities of the users are kept under wraps and sometimes rely on false locations and names.</p> <p>As we wait for some more news on this let us inform you that Liberty Reserve was accused of sleazing an illicit profit of almost 6 billion dollars!! </p> Business Credit Cards cyber criminals digital currency firm Liberty Reserve EMC Corp's RSA security division money laundering online thieves and scam artists Perfect Money's digital currency security services The Liberty Reserve profits Top Story United States Mon, 12 Aug 2013 06:40:22 +0000 Minnie Mahendru 1701713467 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Planning to Reduce Your Debt? Get Practical http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20101002/planning-reduce-your-debt-get-practical-id-10130334.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you are determined to reduce your debt and are serious about this, it pays to get practical. Look at your budget and figure out exactly how you can make the best use of your monthly income.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Stuck in debt? Want to reduce the amount of money you owe? Here is a practical guide on budgeting and making best use of your monthly income.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here are some practical ways of cutting down debt:</p> <p><strong>Shun Credit Cards</strong><br /> Say you've got four credit card debts. How do you get that down to three, to two, to one, to zero? Start by taking a look at the interest rates. Find the one that's costing you the most per dollar and focus on getting rid of that one.</p> <p>If you're not sure how it all works, get some debt advice. It'll set you on the right path, so you can make sure you're targeting your efforts as effectively as possible.</p> <p>The trick is to put all available money towards that debt. Just pay the minimum towards your other debts, and overpay that credit card by as much as you can afford. </p> <p><strong>Determine Amount to Pay off Debt</strong><br /> It's up to you how much of your 'spare' cash you want to put towards this. Some people prefer to cut their spending to an absolute minimum so they can put as much as possible towards that debt. </p> <p>Others prefer to 'sacrifice' 50 percent (or less) of their spare cash, which means that it'll take them longer to clear that debt, but also that they'll still have some money for spending on non-essentials (also known as luxuries). </p> <p>Again, if you're not sure about what's 'essential', what isn't, and where you could cut back on your spending so you can repay your debts faster, get some debt advice.</p> <p>It's up to you exactly how you overpay. Just ask yourself:<br /> <strong>.</strong>how much do I want to get out of debt?<br /> <strong>.</strong>how many sacrifices am I prepared to make?</p> <p>Would I rather:<br /> <strong>.</strong>cut back on everything for a relatively short time, or<br /> <strong>.</strong>cut back less - but for longer?</p> <p><strong>Focus on Interest Rate</strong><br /> The simplest (and cheapest) way of looking at overpaying your debts is to focus on the actual cost, the interest you're charged. </p> <p>Simply overpay the debt with the highest interest rate, and once that debt is gone, start overpaying the next-highest.</p> <p>However, not everyone works that way. Say the debt on one of your cards is significantly lower than on the others. </p> <p>Even if it's not the cheapest, you might still decide to focus on that one first. It might not be the cheapest way (remember the interest factor), but the psychological impact of clearing a debt altogether can really give you the kind of morale boost you need when you're working on a demanding but worthwhile project like this.</p> <p>Whichever way you do it, here's something encouraging to keep in mind. Once you've gotten rid of a debt altogether, that's one less debt to worry about. In other words, your actual required payments will go down, which means you'll have that bit more to use to overpay your remaining debts.</p> <p>And finally, if you're really determined to reduce your debts, don't underestimate how much the right <a href="http://www.debtadvicenow.co.uk/">debt advice</a> can help you, and make sure you don't take on more debt while you're working on your repaying your current debts.</p> <p>This story was originally published on 2010-10-02.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/debt%20solution.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="118" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Simply overpay the debt with the highest interest rate, and once that debt is gone, start overpaying the next-highest.</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20101002/planning-reduce-your-debt-get-practical-id-10130334.html#comments Business Cash Credit Cards credit cards debt debt advise Debt Management interest interest rate Money pay off debt payments practical repaying spending Top Story United States Wed, 29 Jan 2014 06:20:02 +0000 130334 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Top 5 Credit Card Myths http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090731/top-5-credit-card-myths-id-1078462.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Credit card issuers generally do not disclose much information about their product. There are many myths about credit cards in the market, and believing in one can cost you dearly. The best thing to do? Know these myths and get wiser.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Credit card myths can cost you money and affect your credit rating. Here are the five biggest myths.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here are top five credit card myths you should be aware of:</p> <p><strong>Myth No. 1: Some credit cards have no credit limit.</strong><br /> You must be aware of the popular tagline advertised by American Express - "No present spending limit”. However, all credit cards come with a credit limit.</p> <p>This tagline is more of a marketing gimmick. It does not mean that anybody who owns an AmEx card can shop for a sports car worth $250,000. This tagline comes with an asterisk sign which further reads -- “... does not mean unlimited spending. Your purchases are approved based on a variety of factors, including current spending patterns, your payment history, credit record and financial resources known to us”.</p> <p>The credit limit on AmEx cards is dynamic. It means that if your credit history reveals that you make purchases of small amount on your card and one fine day you make a purchase for a large amount, your card can be declined by the issuer. Therefore, it is always wiser to make a call before making any such transaction. </p> <p><strong>Myth No. 2: A credit card company can't change the interest rate until you get a bad credit rating.</strong><br /> You have been paying credit card bills on time or your usage is much below the credit limit. However, the interest rate doubles in your next credit bill and you are surprised about what went wrong. The fact is that credit card companies can change the rates at 15 days of notice. </p> <p>This privilege enjoyed by the credit card companies will be ending in July 2010 though as the federal regulations will ban hike in interest rate, with certain exceptions, on the existing balances.</p> <p><strong>Myth No. 3: It is necessary for merchants to ask for your Identification card when you pay through a credit card.</strong><br /> You made a purchase of $3000 at a local store and the merchant charges your credit card without checking whether you are the same person who owns the card. However, the fact is that the Merchant’s agreement with the credit card companies forbids them from asking any kind of identification. </p> <p>Even organizations like American Express and Discover discourages this practice. So don’t be surprised at the merchant’s behavior as your signature is enough for him. </p> <p><strong>Myth No.4: Merchants can set a minimum amount for a transaction on your credit card purchase.</strong><br /> All the credit card companies charge the merchant a minimum amount of 2 percent of the sale in addition to the transaction fee. So if you buy a soap for $3 and decide to pay using your credit card the merchant might not earn much in the transaction. </p> <p>Therefore, most of the times you will see the merchant displaying a board –“Minimum credit card purchase $10”. The fact is that in order to save money the merchant is discouraging small sales, which is against the agreement with the credit card companies.</p> <p>You have the right to charge your card even for a penny. You can inform the credit card company regarding the practice and they will certainly do something about it.</p> <p><strong>Myth No.5: You can improve your credit rating by paying more than you owe.</strong><br /> The total amount due in your credit account is $200 and you make a payment of $500. This practice will temporarily raise the credit limit in your account. It is, however, recommended to keep a certain amount due in your account for better credit rating. The fact is having below zero balance in your credit account will still reflect a zero balance for the rating purpose.</p> <p>These are not the only credit card myths. There are a lot more. It’s a good idea to let some of your friends and family know these myths now and ask some credit card revelations from them, if they have any. Shared knowledge can get you far. </p> <p>This story was originally published on 31/07/2009.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/23card.2_600x361.2.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="108" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p> <Strong>Tips to Improve Your Credit Score</strong></p> <p><Strong>Pay your bills on time:</strong> If your credit history reflects that you pay your credit card bills on time without any default payment, your credit score will improve substantially.</p> <p><Strong>Don’t utilize all your credit limit:</strong> It is recommended that you should not utilize your credit limit lower that 30 percent to improve your credit score. So you should first pay down the cards that are nearing the credit limit.</p> <p><Strong>Never ask the creditor to lower your credit limit:</strong> Asking you creditor to lower the limit will reduce the gap between the balance and the available credit and thus lower your credit score.</p> <p><Strong>Don’t apply for a new card if you have plenty:</strong> Applying for a new credit card if you already have plenty can lower your credit rating. It is always wiser to apply for a loan to help you out of the financial crunch.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Don’t be fooled with the merchant displaying a board – “Minimum credit card purchase $10”; you have the right to charge your card even for a penny</p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090731/top-5-credit-card-myths-id-1078462.html#comments Business Credit Cards credit cards Top Story United States Women's Corner Fri, 24 Jan 2014 08:28:33 +0000 jagmeetgill 78462 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Understanding Credit Card Reward Programs http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20110102/understanding-credit-card-reward-programs-id-10145200.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Typically, credit-card companies try to lure their customers by linking their credit-card purchases to certain attractions or benefits. These reward programs are therefore extremely desirable even from the customers’ point of view, provided a little vigilance and prudence is used while choosing them.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Credit-card rewards are one of the many marketing strategies adopted by credit-card companies to lure customers. The Money Times tells you how to select and make the most of them.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>In this age where most financial gurus discourage the use of credit-cards, credit-card reward programs have emerged as one of the finest examples of smart marketing, having the potential to create a win-win situation for both the credit card company and its customers. </p> <p>Read on to get to know more about these credit-card reward programs and understand which one is designed to suit your needs:</p> <p><strong>Before Enrolling for a Credit-card Reward Program</strong><br /> Today, credit-card users have a wide array of alternative rewards to select from. But before they decide which one to sign up for, it is imperative that they evaluate different credit-cards on the basis of the rewards, rebates and other benefits associated with their usage. </p> <p>As not all credit-card reward programs are the same, a potential credit-card user must compare and contrast the charges, procedures as well as accumulation and redemption of points before taking the plunge. </p> <p>It is also essential that one finds beforehand as to whether the credit-card of his choice automatically enrolls him to the benefits of its reward programs or it necessitates adherence to certain laid down procedures or payments to become eligible for the advantages.</p> <p>But once they are enrolled, they have a wide assortment of credit-card reward programs to choose from.</p> <p><strong>Types of Credit Card Reward Programs</strong></p> <p>Here is a list of the different credit-card reward programs available to a credit-card holder:</p> <p><strong>1. Cash Back/Rebate Cards</strong><br /> The ‘cash back/rebate cards’ are the most sought after reward programs for the simple reason that these enable users to get a part of the payment made by them, either in cash, check or by the way of a discount of the said amount, thus increasing their practicality. </p> <p>However, selecting a credit-card that offers the best cash back may not be that easy. It requires one to evaluate each card closely to find out the hidden costs such as annual fees, balance transfer fees and grace period apart from the list of stores where it can be used.</p> <p><strong>2. Frequent Flier Reward Cards</strong><br /> The ‘frequent-flier reward cards’ are ideal for those who frequently travel by air. Such a card enables user to collect air miles for the distance traveled and subsequently redeem these air miles by getting free air tickets. </p> <p>There are a few cards that offer hotel rewards entitling its users free stay in hotels either in conjunction to their frequent-flier card or separately. </p> <p>Once again you need to check the various airlines and hotels available on the card’s list before you decide to travel. Read the fine print and pay special attention to the list of services included and excluded from travel arrangement before opting for this reward card.</p> <p><strong>3. Points Reward Cards</strong><br /> The ‘points reward cards’ help you earn points on each of your purchases. You are required to collect these points and redeem them later by choosing merchandises from their list, for free. Often the list of merchandise that you can select is available beforehand. So make sure that you check this list and get enrolled only if it has something worthwhile.</p> <p><strong>4. Gasoline Reward Cards</strong><br /> Lastly, the ‘gasoline reward cards’ entitle you to free gas once you have accumulated a certain number of points. </p> <p>All said and done, one must not forget that non repayment of the amount due for your credit card purchases comes with penalties, and exorbitant interest rates. So, while deciding which credit card to choose, select the one which delivers the best mix of a reward program most suitable to your lifestyle and and has lowest penalties or interest rate. </p> <p>Also, do not forget reading the terms and conditions before signing-up for one, as a reward program might be nothing more than a marketing gimmick.</p> <p>This story was originally published on 02/01/2011.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/woman-with-credit-card.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="120" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Co-branded Cards</strong><br /> <strong>-</strong> Co-branded cards are an interesting way of deriving the most from your credit cards.</p> <p><strong>-</strong> The co-branded cards carry the name of a third party, which may be a retail outlet, airlines and so on. Such cards will have benefits whenever you purchase products from the third party. They may also be co-branded with a charity that will receive a fraction of every payment you make with the card.</p> <p><strong>-</strong> Co-branded cards are more likely to carry significant fees. Make sure that the benefits they provide outweigh the costs.</p> <p><strong>-</strong> Read the fine print and ask questions when it comes to benefits. The descriptions provided are often vague and you need to clarify the details to make sure that the benefits you get are worth the annual costs. </p> <p><strong>-</strong> The usual warnings about credit cards apply to these cards as well. So, avoid getting caught in the debt trap by using them wisely.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>While deciding which credit card to choose, select the one which delivers the best mix of a reward program most suitable to your lifestyle and has lowest penalties or interest rate. </p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20110102/understanding-credit-card-reward-programs-id-10145200.html#comments cash back credit card reward programs Credit Cards credit cards financial frequent flier gasoline reward Markets points reward rebate Top Story United States Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:34:33 +0000 Gauri Retarekar 145200 at http://www.themoneytimes.com 7 Ways to Shun Credit Card Debt http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100816/7-ways-shun-credit-card-debt-id-10124592.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For a shopping freak, credit cards might be the invention of the millennium, but this instrument needs to be handled wisely so-as-to reap its benefits for a long time to come.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In an economy which is virtually powered by credit cards, it is impossible not to use the instrument for enhancing your purchasing power. Though it can prove counter productive, there are ways of limiting its ill effects.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Money Times brings you a set of 7 most powerful guidelines that on one hand can help you keep credit score rating high and on the other avoid the risk of accumulating debt, something you know you find difficult to repay: </p> <p><strong>1. Make Saving a Habit</strong><br /> People are often forced to use their credit cards to cater for their surprise expenses such as a major car repair or payment of hospital bills. </p> <p>To avoid using your credit card under such dire circumstances, make saving a habit. Better still, make provision for an emergency fund.</p> <p><strong>2. Buy Only What You Can Afford</strong><br /> The best way to avoid credit card debt is to charge your card only with expenses that you can afford to make. </p> <p>If you don’t have the cash to go on a Europe tour, there is no point charging your credit card with it and then keep repaying it for the rest of your life.</p> <p><strong>3. Consider Other Credit Options</strong><br /> While making large purchases like a car or a property, it will be more prudent on your part to get a personal loan rather than charging it on your credit cards, or even worst exercising your credit card advances. </p> <p>The rate of interest charged on a personal loan is much lower than that charged by an average credit card.</p> <p><strong>4. Never Give Card Payment Dates a Miss and Pay in Full</strong><br /> Make payments due on your credit cards in time and in full. This is the best way to avoid carrying a credit card balance and not be constantly worried about making the minimum payment. </p> <p>Remember, even the minimum payment option is a financial trap set by your credit card company. </p> <p><strong>5. Keep Credit Cards for Emergencies</strong><br /> To avoid getting into a huge debt, save your credit card usage for emergencies only. </p> <p>Make use of liquid cash and your ATM debit cards for meeting the day to day expenses. This will also guide you towards a healthier lifestyle, where you get used to living within your means. </p> <p>If possible, keep your credit cards at home while visiting malls.</p> <p><strong>6. Avoid Too Many Cards</strong><br /> Too many cards translate into too much debt. It leads to confusion and also reflects badly on your credit score. </p> <p>Have one, at the most two credit cards that you can use sparingly.</p> <p><strong>7. Keep it Small</strong><br /> The whole aim of floating credit cards into a market is to get you to spend more than what you can actually afford to. </p> <p>So, the mantra for avoiding debt is to keep your credit limit small. </p> <p>If you can remember that credit cards are an instrument invented by credit card company to earn huge returns and not for you to enjoy an all- paid-up shopping excursion, you will be able to instinctively limit its usage.</p> <p>Originally published on 16/08/2010</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/CutCreditCard.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="135" /> </div> </div> </div> charge on credit card Credit Card Debt Credit Cards Investments Top Story United States Sat, 18 Jan 2014 05:12:59 +0000 Gunjan Mehra 124592 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Credit Card Debt & Delinquencies Fall in First Quarter of 2013 http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20130522/credit-card-debt-delinquencies-fall-first-quarter-2013.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Americans are doing a better job of paying off their credit card debt, and they are doing so in a timely manner.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit Card Debt &amp; Delinquencies Fall in First Quarter of 2013<br /> According to the latest report from TransUnion, the average credit card debt per borrower fell 1.7 percent to $4,878 in the first quarter of 2013, down from $4,962 a year ago. It declined 4.8 percent from the $5,122 in fourth quarter of 2012 when consumers charged their holiday shopping.</p> <p>The credit card delinquency rate--defined as payments at least 90 days overdue--dropped to 0.69 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 0.73 percent a year ago. In addition, this rate represented a 18.8 percent seasonal decline from the 0.85 percent posted during the fourth quarter of 2012.</p> <p>The study also showed a decline in new credit card accounts. The latest data from the fourth quarter of 2012 found new credit card originations dropped 1.6 percent from the year before, from 7.695 million new accounts to 7.570 million.</p> <p>"We traditionally see credit card delinquencies and balances decline during the first three months of the year as many people pay down their holiday shopping balances or use their tax refunds to pay off their debts," said Ezra Becker of TransUnion. "The year-over year improvement in credit card delinquencies is indicative of how consumers continue to value their credit card relationships."</p> <p>The report found the four states with the highest credit card delinquency rates were all from the South: Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia. The lowest delinquency rates were South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Minnesota.</p> <p>Alaska had the highest credit card debt per borrower, averaging $6,789, while Iowa had the lowest at $3,810.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/credit%20cards_9.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="121" /> </div> </div> </div> credit card debts Credit Cards Debt Management delinquencies United States Wed, 22 May 2013 05:15:06 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701713194 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Climbing Out of Debt in 2013 http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20130110/climbing-out-debt-2013.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Credit card bills will soon arrive and show how much households spent during the holidays. Chances are good that many consumers added a few hundred dollars of debt to their credit card accounts which already averaged nearly $5,000 per cardholder.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>As we begin a new year, it is important to have a detailed plan on how to pay down credit card debt as quickly as possible and reduce the amount of interest you could pay. Here are 10 tips for paying down debt in 2013:</p> <p>1. Know how much you owe. Collect each of your bills with outstanding debts, including all credit cards, mortgage, student loans, auto loans, personal loans and bank loans. Create a list of all the creditors with the monthly payment amount, balance, interest rate and credit limit for each. Verify the payment due dates and the status of the account.</p> <p>2. If you carry a balance on your credit card from one month to the next, stop paying for purchases and daily expenses with that card. You will pay a high interest penalty on every purchase you make. If you charge meals, entertainment or clothing on your credit card, you could still be paying these off years later, long after the purchases are forgotten. Put away the credit cards and use cash for purchases. Cash is the most immediate, painful form of payment and it will make you think twice about each purchase.</p> <p>3. Call and ask for lower interest rates. Credit card issuers don't act on this as often as they used to, but it doesn't hurt to ask. If you have received an offer for a card with a lower rate, ask your issuer to match it. Tell them you will be shopping around for another card if they don't lower your rate. </p> <p>If you are a good customer, they may be willing to work with you to keep your business. If your rate is lowered, add the amount you saved to your payment so you can pay your balance down faster.</p> <p>4. Pay more than the minimum amount every month. Minimum payments are set at one to five percent of your monthly balance. While it makes your monthly payment smaller, it takes a long time to pay it off and you will pay much more in interest. Your credit card bill is now required to show exactly how long it will take to pay off your balance<br /> if you simply pay the minimum amount each month. </p> <p>5. Focus on one card. Paying off multiple credit cards with high balances may seem overwhelming. Pick one card and focus on paying off that card. Start with the card with the highest APR and pay as much as you can over the minimum amount to start bringing down your balance. When you pay off the balance on that card, direct your efforts to the<br /> card with the next highest interest rate.</p> <p>6. Consider transferring your balance to a card with a lower interest rate. If your rate is above 15 percent, it could pay to transfer the balance on that card to one that offers 0 percent APR for at least 12 months. Citi Simplicity Visa currently offers a 0 percent rate for 18 months. To take full advantage of this 0 percent interest, pay as much as you can above the monthly minimum while you aren't paying interest. </p> <p>Make every payment on time or you will lose the intro rate. Only use this card for the balance transfer, not additional purchases because interest may be charged on purchases. Most cards charge a 3 percent fee for balance transfers so you need to calculate if the interest you save in making this transfer is greater than the fee. </p> <p>This fee is also rolled into your balance. Slate from Chase gives a 0 percent introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. There is no balance transfer fee if you transfer a balance within the first 60 days of your account opening.</p> <p>7. Make micropayments instead of one monthly payment. As long as you pay the minimum payment by the due date, you can make multiple payments during the billing period. This is a more active way of taking charge of your credit card payments and can help pay your<br /> balance faster. </p> <p>Credit card issuers typically charge interest on a daily basis, so reducing your average daily balance can save you a few dollars in interest. Eat a meal at home and immediately apply the money you saved to your credit card balance. If you receive gift money or make a little extra cash, immediately apply that money to your<br /> credit card balance.</p> <p>8. Obtain a free copy of your credit report and review it for errors. Inaccuracies could pull down your credit score and cause higher interest rates on your loans. Correct the errors and contact your creditors to notify them about your improved score and ask for a lower rate. You can receive one free credit report each year from the three major credit reporting agencies. Obtain this at AnnualCreditReport.com.</p> <p>9. Prioritize which bills to pay first. If you can't pay off all your monthly bills, the first priority is to pay the bills that are a necessity for health, shelter, basic groceries and basic transportation. Then pay the secured loans such as your car loan.<br /> Payments on unsecured loans, such as most credit cards, should come last in these critical situations.</p> <p>10. If you are in danger of missing a payment, contact your creditors as soon as you realize you have a problem. They may be willing to work out a payment plan, lower your rate or decrease your monthly payment. Explain that you are in debt, the steps you are taking to repay it and what you can pay today. </p> <p>If you request a lower interest rate and get turned down, politely ask to speak to the supervisor and ask again. Document all conversations, including whom you spoke with, the date, time and the results. If your debt problems are more than you can handle, contact the National Foundation for Credit Counselors to get a debt repayment plan.</p> <p>LowCards.com simplifies the confusion of shopping for credit cards. It is a free, independent website that helps consumers easily compare credit cards in a variety of categories such as lowest rates, rewards, rebates, balance transfers and lowest introductory rates. It also gives an unbiased ranking and review for each card. </p> <p>The LowCards.com Complete Credit Card Index is the most objective and comprehensive<br /> resource on the Internet which allows consumers to compare rates for over 1000 credit cards offered in this country. Created by Hampton &amp; Associates, the company has been analyzing the credit card industry and supplying objective websites on various consumer expenses for 13 years.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/debt_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Tips to climb out of debt</p> <p>1. Use cash as much as possible. Avoid credit card for daily purchases</p> <p>2. Get a clear idea of how much do you owe</p> <p>3. Check with your credit card issuer if it can offer you low interest rate</p> <p>4. Try paying as much as you can, do not fall for the minimum amount limit</p> <p>5. Prioritize which bills you need to pay first</p> <p>6. Talk to your creditors for a way out.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Tips to climb out of debt </p> </div> </div> </div> Citi Simplicity Visa Credit card Credit Card Debt credit card tips Credit Cards Debt Management Personal Finance personal loan Top Story United States Thu, 10 Jan 2013 04:57:13 +0000 Dinesh Dhiman 1701712711 at http://www.themoneytimes.com How to Deal with post Christmas financial blues http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20130108/how-deal-post-christmas-financial-blues.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Christmas may just be over, but it can take months for some people to get their finances straightened after the festive period. January is one of the worst months for debt.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Finding yourself neck deep in debt after a gala Christmas? Here is help</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Follow our guide on how to deal with post Christmas financial blues to prepare yourself for one of the busiest times for debt companies.</p> <p><strong>Sell Your Stuff</strong><br /> Many people go shopping crazy in January and some super organised people even use this month to shop for next Christmas. So parcel up any unwanted Christmas presents, have a clear out and list them on eBay or head to your nearest indoor car boot. Some people make a living from selling their stuff on eBay so there's no reason why you can't earn a little cash to keep the wolves from the door.</p> <p><strong>Gather Your Debts Together</strong><br /> Have a financial clearout by gathering together all your debts, including any overdrafts, to see how much you owe. This might be difficult but you can only start to solve the problem once you acknowledge it. Once you have a list of how much you owe to whom you can start prioritising.</p> <p><strong>Claw Back the Charges</strong></p> <p>If you have been charged by banks or credit cards for going over the limit then you may be able to get some of those charges back. If you have an agreed overdraft and the bank have added excessive charges to this which have made the debt worse, then you can complain and in some cases the charges have been refunded in full.</p> <p><strong>Credit Card Repayments</strong><br /> If you cannot pay off your credit card in full then do make sure that you meet the minimum repayment as failure to do so could affect your overall credit rating.</p> <p><strong>Talk to Lenders</strong></p> <p>If you've had an expensive Christmas and find yourself in dire straits during January then don't hide your head in the sand. Talk to your bank and lender, explain the situation to them. Banks are obliged to treat customers fairly otherwise they can be reported. </p> <p>They are much more likely to be flexible if you contact them early rather than just ignoring them and this way you can prevent yourself from getting charged even more.</p> <p><strong>Get a Cheap Personal Loan or Payday Loan</strong></p> <p>If you just need some cash to get you through the month until payday then you might consider a short term loan that offers you just that for a fixed fee. Be warned that interest rates are high so you should pay back on the date agreed. <a href="http://www.comparepaydayloans.co.uk">Compare Payday loans</a> to find one with the cheapest interest rate and most flexible terms.</p> <p><strong>Debt Counsellors</strong></p> <p>If you have been under mounting pressure through debt and feel that Christmas was the last straw, go and see a debt counsellor or agency such as the Citizens Advice Bureau. They can often speak to lenders on your behalf and they carry a lot more weight, plus they are experts in their field.</p> <p>Act now and you mind find January a lot more bearable.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/Christmas%20Blues.jpeg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="180" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In order to manage debt accumulated on Christmas:</p> <p>1. Sell the unwanted stuff that you collected for the heck of it and the gifts you do not need.</p> <p>2. Discuss your situation with your lenders and chalk a way out.</p> <p>3. Consider availing a personal loan to pay off whatever bad debt you have collected. </p> </div> </div> </div> Christmas blues Christmas presents Credit Card Debt Credit Cards debt management Debt Management Personal Finance Top Story Tue, 08 Jan 2013 05:21:59 +0000 Sam 1701712702 at http://www.themoneytimes.com The Debit Card vs Credit Card http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100928/debit-card-vs-credit-card-id-10129929.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Although, there are many alternatives to cash like the credit and the debit cards, the common man is yet to understand the nitty-gritty involved in their usage.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Which one should i use, my debit card or credit card? Which is the difference between the two? MT inquires into questions like these.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the debit and the credit cards might take similar appearances, both these instruments are d</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/ASKOKI_credit_cards.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="120" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Co-branded Cards</strong></p> <p><strong>1</strong> Co-branded cards are an interesting way of deriving the most from your credit cards.</p> <p><strong>2</strong> The co-branded cards carry the name of a third party, which may be a retail outlet, airlines and so on. Such cards will have benefits whenever you purchase products from the third party. They may also be co-branded with a charity that will receive a fraction of every payment you make with the card.</p> <p><strong>3</strong> Co-branded cards are more likely to carry significant fees. Make sure that the benefits they provide outweigh the costs.</p> <p><strong>4</strong> Read the fine print and ask questions when it comes to benefits. The descriptions provided are often rather vague and you need to clarify the details to make sure that the benefits you get are worth the annual costs. </p> <p><strong>5</strong> The usual warnings about credit cards apply to these cards as well. So, avoid getting caught in the debt trap by using them wisely.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Which should I use, my debit card or credit card. Is there any difference between the two? </p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100928/debit-card-vs-credit-card-id-10129929.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100928/debit-card-vs-credit-card-id-10129929.html#comments ATM co-branded cards Credit Cards credit cards credit score credit worthiness debit cards fees fraud identification instruments Money payment perks repayment rewards Top Story United States Tue, 28 Sep 2010 07:16:43 +0000 Gunjan Mehra 129929 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Building a Desirable Credit Score http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100926/building-desirable-credit-score-id-10129702.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It is your credit score that will eventually determine your credit worthiness and make your access to loans and other kinds of financial instruments either easy or difficult.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>To enjoy greater financial options, it is advisable that you have a good credit score. MT gives you an idea on how to go about ensuring a superior credit score.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let’s face it. In today’s time, you cannot survive without your plastic money or your credit card. No matter how much you try to avoid this evil, you are bound to need it to carry out a few essential transactions. </p> <p>When the health of your personal finances can be impacted by this instrument, why not use it wisely to generate a good score over the years? </p> <p>Here is what you could do to ensure that you have a decent credit score.</p> <p><strong>1. Settle Your Credit Card Payments on Time</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/GoodCredit.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="119" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Credit Card and Divorce</strong></p> <p><strong>1</strong> Your decision to file for a divorce can even lead to your bankruptcy if you haven’t taken enough care to protect your finances and keep them separate from that of your spouse’s. </p> <p><strong>2</strong> From a financial point of view, it will be wise on your part to maintain separate accounts for your spouse and you. This will prove to be useful in case you decide to file for a divorce.</p> <p><strong>3</strong> It is prudent to get a prenuptial agreement. Getting one can help to ensure that a divorce will not adversely affect your finances and lead to a ruined credit rating.</p> <p><strong>4</strong> Make sure that you have a lawyer to look over the terms and conditions of your prenuptial agreement to reduce the risks of unfavorable agreements that can put you at a disadvantage during divorce.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Minimum use of your credit limit is a good idea to have a good credit score which in turn influences your probability of accessing a loan in future.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100926/building-desirable-credit-score-id-10129702.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100926/building-desirable-credit-score-id-10129702.html#comments credit balance credit card payment Credit Cards credit history credit limit credit points credit score instrument loan personal finances protect security Top Story transactions United States Sun, 26 Sep 2010 10:03:13 +0000 Gauri Retarekar 129702 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Getting a Travel Card? Watch Out For These http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100722/getting-travel-card-watch-out-these-id-10121505.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>When traveling around the world the last thing you want to think about is money.<br /> Unfortunately, the dirty little paper notes, coins, and plastic cards are what takes us to our dream destinations. </p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A travel card can be very handy while on travel, but you need to avoid the pitfalls to get the best out of it. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Without these vital travel tools the closest we'd get to magical islands or mind-boggling cities would be through magazines in office waiting rooms. </p> <p>Fortunately, finance companies and banks are on the same level as those with itchy feet and have created travel credit cards, making it easy for you to fulfill your dreams without the financial pain.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/holiday-credit-card-debt_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="120" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Tell your provider you will be using your credit card overseas. Some companies will block cards if there has been an unexpected purchase in a foreign company.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20100722/getting-travel-card-watch-out-these-id-10121505.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Credit card Credit Cards fee finance companies Financial plan holiday Money shop machines Top Story travel United States withdrawal Thu, 22 Jul 2010 09:19:30 +0000 121505 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Credit Cards: Still No Sign of Recovery http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090924/credit-cards-still-no-sign-recovery-id-1085262.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Moody's released an industrywide report on credit card quality earlier<br /> this week, and there's really only one takeaway from it: There's no<br /> recovery in the credit card industry.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>First, let's take a step back. Last week, most major card providers released August default rates:</p> <table class="ed-table" border="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> <th> <p align="center"> <strong>Bank</strong> </p> </th> <th> <p align="center"> <strong>August Default Rate</strong> </p> </th> <th> <p align="center"> <strong>July Default Rate</strong> </p> </th></tr></tbody></table><div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/credit%20cards_7.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="120" /> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090924/credit-cards-still-no-sign-recovery-id-1085262.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090924/credit-cards-still-no-sign-recovery-id-1085262.html#comments Business Business ups and downs Credit Cards Finance financial markets financial recovery investment Top Story United States Thu, 24 Sep 2009 21:21:22 +0000 Morgan Housel 85262 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Cancel Credit Cards Very, Very Carefully http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090717/cancel-credit-cards-very-very-carefully-id-1076824.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With all the controversy surrounding consumers' dependence on credit,<br /> it's only natural to think that you'd be better off with fewer cards<br /> weighing down your wallet.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not so fast. Many people rush to streamline their wallets, thinking<br /> that fewer cards will make them look better to lenders. Often, the<br /> exact opposite is true: Canceling credit cards can actually hurt your<br /> credit score more than it will help.</p> <p>Before you dash off "Dear John" letters to your lenders, learn the truth about canceling credit cards.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/credit%20cards_2.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="120" /> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090717/cancel-credit-cards-very-very-carefully-id-1076824.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090717/cancel-credit-cards-very-very-carefully-id-1076824.html#comments business & investments alertness Credit Cards credit cards using advice Finance Top Story United States Fri, 17 Jul 2009 18:17:36 +0000 Dayana Yochim 76824 at http://www.themoneytimes.com 5 Tips for Credit Card Management http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090618/5-tips-credit-card-management-id-1072886.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With their tremendous financial benefits, credit cards have revolutionized the American way of life. Their universal application has done away with the need to carry cash or sign check books for every single purchase. But their successful application calls for certain precautions.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-lead"> <div class="field-label">lead:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Here’s how to ensure that your credit card works for you and does not become a liability.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>1. Analyze your Needs</strong><br /> Always opt for a card that will be used over the years. Avoid store cards. Majority of them have introductory offers to dazzle you, but eventually it turns out that these cards offer low credit limit at high interest as compared to ordinary cards. </p> <p>Experts say that it is beneficial to have two cards. One can handle the day to day purchases and other for big ticket purchases. This will help you keep track of your expenses. </p> <p><strong>2. Awareness about Card Company’s Policies</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/woman-credit-cards1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="120" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-imagecaption"> <div class="field-label">imagecaption:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Avoid many cards:</strong> Though having many cards with no balances help improve your credit score, it could prove counter-productive</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090618/5-tips-credit-card-management-id-1072886.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090618/5-tips-credit-card-management-id-1072886.html#comments Credit card Credit Cards Services Top Story United States Women's Corner Thu, 18 Jun 2009 11:39:55 +0000 Jaspreet Virk 72886 at http://www.themoneytimes.com Sell Visa. Now. http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090610/sell-visa-now-id-1071582.html <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Let me get one thing out in front: <strong>Visa</strong> <span class="ticker">(NYSE: <span class="qsAdd qs-source-isssitthv0000001">V</span>)</span><br /> is a phenomenal company. I mean really, really good. High-quality.<br /> Strong moat. Well-managed. Sturdy balance sheet. The works. It's the<br /> epitome of what you should look for in long-term investments.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Alas, Visa's stock scares me silly. Why? Amid all the happy things<br /> you can say about the company, it's easy to overlook two important<br /> points:</p> <ul> <li>Investors are infatuated with this stock. They seem to<br /> ignore the considerable uncertainty and risk that lie ahead. Now up<br /> more than 30% year to date, Visa's shares are priced for perfection and<br /> nothing else.</li> <li>Visa's not invulnerable to the dwindling economy. In fact, it's <em>extremely</em> vulnerable to consumers' strength or weakness.</li> </ul> <p>Before you send that hate mail, let me explain. &nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img src="http://www.themoneytimes.com/files/imagecache/picturethumb/visa.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-picturethumb imagecache-default imagecache-picturethumb_default" width="180" height="113" /> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090610/sell-visa-now-id-1071582.html" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.themoneytimes.com/featured/20090610/sell-visa-now-id-1071582.html#comments Banks Business Credit Cards investments phenomenal company Top Story United States Wed, 10 Jun 2009 19:51:37 +0000 Morgan Housel 71582 at http://www.themoneytimes.com
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