Foreign Transaction Fees What is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

Understanding Foreign Transaction Fees

Traveling, if you were to ask just about anyone, they have a destination they’d like to visit. It is on almost everyone’s bucket list to travel, and most of it is to international destinations. However, if you plan to pay with credit cards, you have to watch out for foreign transaction fees. These can add up quickly, depending on the card, and you want a card with a small or no fee. If you have the Capital One card, for example, they never charge foreign transaction fees. This simple fact can save you hundreds if you travel a lot. This article will explain what foreign transaction fees are. We’ll also talk about what, exactly counts as a foreign transaction fee. We’ll also touch on if it counts towards rewards if you have a rewards card.

Foreign transaction fees can make a vacation more expensive. Learn what a foreign transaction fee is and how to avoid being charged.

What is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

You’ve probably heard of foreign transaction fees and credit cards. But, do you know what they are or how they can add up? A foreign transaction cost is added to your bill if you buy something internationally. If you purchase something and it goes through a non-US bank, they will add this fee. Also, if you pay for something with a currency that isn’t the US dollar, you’ll be charged. You see this fee a lot with online purchases and travel. The standard rate is 3 percent for each thing you buy.

What Makes up a Foreign Transaction Fee?

There are two parts to foreign transaction fees. The first part of the fee will come from your credit card’s network like Mastercard or Visa. The second part of the fee will come from the issuer like Chase or Capital One. You will see a range from two percent to three percent depending on the card and the issuer. For example, say you go traveling internationally for a few weeks. In this time, you spend $8,000, and you have a three percent foreign transaction cost. When you get your bill, you’ll have an additional charge of $240. This fee is just for using your card outside of the United States.

Your card issuer will take conversion rates into account when they calculate this fee. If you purchase something for £25, it won’t cost $25 US dollars. Your total will be $29.40 US dollars, and your foreign transaction costs will be calculated using this amount. Now you see how this can add up quickly. Remember that it will also be applied if you buy from a company based in another country.

Do Foreign Transaction Fees Count Towards Rewards?

If you have a rewards card, you know you can get rewards if you spend x amount. Your foreign transaction fees could have the potential to add up quickly. Unfortunately, they don’t count toward earning rewards points or cash back. Say you go out to dinner and spend $150. A fee or three percent is added, bringing your bill to $154.50. You will only get cash back rewards on the originally $150. Additionally, if your fee is three percent, it can negatively impact your rewards.

Other Fees You Should be Aware of

Aside from a foreign transaction fee, there is another fee to watch out for. If you’ve ever traveled, you know it’s expensive to exchange your money. International banks and ATMs will add a foreign conversion fee. This fee can be harder to spot because they don’t bill it separately. This fee differs from foreign transaction fees in one major way. Your card’s payment processor adds this fee to your balance. It can range from one percent to three percent as well.

If you have Visa or Mastercard, you’re looking at roughly one percent for every dollar you spend. To put it in perspective, consider the previous scenario. You travel internationally and spend $8,000. Your foreign transaction fee is three percent. This works out to $240 for just using your card. Now let’s say you have a three percent conversion fee as well. This is another $240 added to your balance. So, just for using your card internationally, you’ll be charged an additional $480.

Alternative Options

If you plan to travel and don’t want this fee, you have options. You can apply for credit cards with no foreign transaction fees, like Capital One. Capital One also doesn’t charge foreign conversion fees for its card holders, on any of its cards. If you apply for a new card, ask about their foreign conversion fee. If it’s more than one percent, keep shopping around. It’s also a good idea to bring cash with you. Not all places accept credit cards. You should have some cash on hand. Cash is a bit riskier to carry, so space it out on your person. Don’t keep it all in one place because theft is common.

This article has gone over what a foreign transaction fee is. We touched on what goes into making this fee. We talked about how this works if you have a rewards card. Finally, we discussed other fees and alternative options you have. Traveling abroad can be expensive, but you can find travel discounts. If you plan to travel, check into Capital One, the savings alone are worth it.


Blue Cash Everyday Card Review Pros and Cons 2017

Blue Cash Everyday Card Review: Pros and Cons

If you’re an individual who spends a good amount at grocery stores and gas stations, this card is for you. Also, if you have kids that are in school, this card is an excellent option for you to consider. If you shop for school clothes each fall, you have the potential to cash in big time. Blue Cash Everyday Card makes it very easy to earn and redeem your rewards.

American Express Blue Cash Pros

Introductory Statement Credit

You can begin earning rewards right away with the Blue Cash Everyday card. If you spend $1,000 within the first three months, you get a $100 credit. This credit will go on your statement, and it is relatively easy to earn. Furthermore, if you use this card every day, you’ll make it well within the three-month window. This can be helpful if you fall short when you’re paying down your balance.

Save Money and Get 3% Back on Grocery Shopping with the Blue Cash Everyday Card.

U.S. Supermarket Cash Back

The Blue Cash Everyday card comes with huge earning potential. They offer a 3 percent cash back on supermarket purchases. If you regularly shop at:

  • Meijer
  • Pathmark
  • Stop and Shop
  • Shoprite
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Whole Foods and more

The 3 percent cash back is for the first $6,000 you spend annually. However, you could easily go through this quickly if you have a larger family. Once you max it out, it’s worth $ 180 per year. The Blue Cash Everyday card counts paper products and cleaning supplies you purchase at these stores also.

American Express Blue Cash Gas Station and Department Store Cash Back

If you find yourself gassing up a lot, you get 2 percent cash back with the American Express Blue Cash. So, you’re going to spend the money on gas anyway, why not get rewarded for it? The only catch is you have to use individual gas stations to qualify. The cash back is good at these retailers:

  • Exxon
  • Gulf
  • Hess
  • Mobil
  • Murphy Express
  • Murphy USA
  • Shell and more!

You will also earn 2 percent cash back at certain department stores and drugstores with the Amex Blue Cash. Always check that your store of choice is on the list that Blue Cash Everyday Card uses. If you usually shop at these department stores and drugstores, you’re in luck.

  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Bon Ton Stores
  • Dillard’s
  • JC Penny
  • Kohl’s
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sears and more!

Zero Percent Introductory APR

The American Express Blue Cash offers an introductory $0 APR for the first 12 months. This is helpful if you plan to take a few months to pay off your balance. There is also a 0 percent rate on balance transfers. However, once the introductory 12 month period is up, the APR goes to 13.99 percent to 24.99 percent. This rate will be dependant on your credit rating and history. So it’s a good idea to not carry a balance after the introductory period.

Eligible with a Good to Excellent Credit Score

If you want a rewards card but only have ‘good’ credit of around 690, you could qualify for this one. The Blue Cash Everyday card will allow people will good credit to apply and get this card. Most rewards cards only accept ‘excellent’ credit ratings, so this is a huge perk.

American Express Blue Cash Cons

Foreign Transaction Fee

If you plan to travel internationally, you should probably choose another rewards card. The Blue Cash Everyday Card will charge a 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee if you use it abroad. The card will add this fee to every purchase you make outside of the United States. Furthermore, this can add up quickly if you do a lot of traveling.

Lower Acceptance Rate

Unfortunately, the Blue Cash Everyday Card is American Express. American Express isn’t as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard. This can make using this card a bit more difficult. It might be a good idea to carry a backup card just in case this one isn’t accepted.

Unable to Transfer or Combine Rewards

Some cards allow you to transfer or combine your rewards. So, this isn’t the case for the American Express Blue Cash. The rewards you earn on this card are just for this card. This can make it more difficult to rack up a nice reward pay off across multiple cards.

Purchase Limit on the 3 Percent Cash Back

While the 3 percent cash back is nice, it has a cap. Once you spend $6,000 annually, it drops from 3 percent to 1 percent. This is still a nice cash back option, but you could hit the cap very early in the year. One percent cash back is better than nothing, especially if you continue your shopping trends.

Higher APR

This is a rewards card, so it tends to have a higher APR. However, if you have less than perfect credit, it can be even higher. It all goes by your credit rating. If you don’t carry a balance, this won’t be much of a problem. If you do though, you’ll get an APR of up to 24.99 percent added to your balance.

Blue Cash Everyday Card Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Amex Blue Cash is an excellent card for families. It has a lower acceptance rate than a lot of rewards cards as well. If you have less than excellent credit but want a rewards card, this could be a good option. Also, if you don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month, this card can work for you. Lastly, the Blue Cash Everyday Card can work very well if you’re a person who uses credit cards responsibly.


Prepaid Card Guide – What is a Prepaid Card?

Everything You Wanted to Know About How a Prepaid Card Works

Maybe you’ve heard the term ‘prepaid card’ floating around the past few years. However, you’re not quite sure what prepaid cards are. You’re also not sure if they come with any fees, or if there are any eligibility requirements. This article will answer your questions. We’ll talk about the best prepaid cards and reloadable prepaid cards. We’ll also touch on various questions you may have about prepaid cards. By the end, you’ll know the important key points that go into prepaid cards.

What is a prepaid card and how do they work?

What is a Prepaid Card?

A prepaid card is a credit card that you load money onto. It acts like a debit card, except you can’t spend more than you load onto it. You’re spending your own money, just in a more convenient form. You can use it anywhere your card brand is accepted. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express offer prepaid cards.

What is the Difference Between a Debit Card, Credit Card, and a Prepaid Card?

There are a few key differences between the three cards. A prepaid card varies from a debit card because it’s not linked to your bank account. You spend money you load in advance on to your prepaid card. Unlike a debit card, you can’t overspend. As of the writing of this article, prepaid cards have fewer safety measures than a debit card. This means if your prepaid card is stolen, lost, or used without your permission, you may not have any protection.

A prepaid card and a credit card are very different. With a credit card, you’re borrowing money from a lender. You will eventually have to pay this back. With a prepaid card, you’re spending money you loaded in advance. So, there is no pay back because it’s yours originally.

What Fees are Associated with a Prepaid Card?

If you’re using a prepaid card, there are typically routine fees you’ll have to pay. These fees will vary depending on the card and the company that supplies them. We will go over a few standard prepaid card fees.

Additional Card Fee

If you lose your card, or if it someone steals it, you’ll be charged to replace it. Also, if you want to add an authorized user on to your account, you may be charged an additional card fee. If you choose to do this, you will be giving them access to your money. They will have to call customer service and verify themselves before they can use the card.

ATM Withdrawal

Many prepaid cards will charge if you withdraw money off the card through an ATM. The amount varies by company. You may also only have this fee once a month or every time you use an ATM.

Balance Inquiry Fee

If you can’t remember what amount is on your card, you may be charged to check it. Whether you do it by phone or by ATM, there is usually a fee. It is worth noting that many cards offer at least one free way to check your balance. Checking it online through your account is normally free.

Bill Payment Fee (Convenience Fee)

You will be able to pay your bills over the phone with your prepaid card. However, there may be a bill payment fee or a convenience fee to do so. If this is the main reason you’re getting a card, shop around. Some prepaid cards offer lower or no bill payment fees.

Cash Reload Fee

Many reloadable prepaid cards charge a fee to add money back to the card. You will usually incur this fee when you try to reload at a retail location like a gas station. The company usually sets the amount, and it varies. If you use direct deposit, this is normally free of any fees.

Inactivity Fee

Your card company wants you to continue using your card each month. If you let it sit for a period of time, you might get an inactivity fee. The lengths of time and cost vary from company to company.

Monthly Fee

Your monthly fee is a fixed fee you’ll pay each month whether or not you use the card. The company will automatically deduct this fee from your balance. If you have no money on the card, it’ll go negative. The next time you load money, it’ll take the negative balance right away. You might be able to get this waived if you have your check direct deposited on to your card.

Transaction Fee

This fee may occur each time you use your card for a specific type of transaction. It is common not to have this fee if you pay a monthly fee. The companies usually charge one of the other and not both.

Common Questions People Have About Prepaid Cards

Now that we’ve gone over the most common prepaid card fees, we’ll go over questions. These should help address any remaining questions or concerns you may have.

How Do You Dispute an Unauthorized Transaction with Prepaid Cards?

If you find a charge on your card that you didn’t make, you can dispute it. It is a good idea to contact the lender first and check that you just didn’t forget. You should call customer service as soon as you notice the charge. You may also have the option to dispute the charge online. This will vary by card, so be sure to check their policies.

What Happens if Your Prepaid Card Expires?

If your card expires with a balance, that money is still good. Even if this is a gift card, the money is good for five years. You will have to call customer service and ask for a replacement. Many prepaid card companies will send you one before your original card expires. There is usually no extra charge for this service.

Does Your Credit Score Affect Your Eligibility With Prepaid Cards?

Your credit score usually doesn’t factor into eligibility for one of these prepaid cards. The reason being that you aren’t borrowing money, you’re loading your own. They may ask for your name and address to verify your identity at the initial money load. This is called activating your card. However, if the company can’t verify you, they may elect not to activate the card. Additionally, if they find that you’ve had fraudulent activity in the past, they may decline to activate it.

Should You Use Credit or Debit When You Use Your Prepaid Card?

If you’re paying at a store and there is a pin pad, you have the option of credit or debit. No matter which one you choose, the money will come out of your card’s balance. If you choose the credit option, you’ll sign your name. If you choose the debit option, you’ll enter your pin number. You should check and see which option has higher fees associated with it. If one has higher fees than the other, use the less expensive option.

This article has gone through exactly what is a prepaid card. Creditfast has gone through several of the standard fees that come with a prepaid credit card. The best prepaid cards will have low fees. You might have to shop around to find them, but they’re there. Lastly, we finished by talking about common questions people have had. You should be able to choose a prepaid credit card with confidence after reading this article.

All prepaid card application offers contains our editor’s rating and objective opinion. Most of the credit card offers shown are from our advertising partners, Credit Fast has reviewed the features and benefits of each of the prepaid credit cards discussed and ranked them in the order of our editor’s recommendation.


Annual Fee – When to Pay an Annual Credit Card Fee

When it Makes Sense to Pay an Annual Fee with a Credit Card

Someone may have told you that annual fees are a bad thing, but this isn’t always the case. There are several instances where an annual fee can be justified. It all depends on your lifestyle and how you use your card. This article will go over the top instances where it’s okay to have a credit card fee. You’ll be able to decide for yourself if the annual fee is worth it by the end.

Sometimes choosing a credit card with an annual fee is a smart decision.

What is an Annual Fee?

You may have noticed that many offers are credit cards with annual fees. This can be confusing if you don’t know what that is. Credit cards with annual fees mean that you’ll be charged once a year for having the card. You see this fee a lot with rewards cards. The reasoning is that you’ll have to pay for the better perks you enjoy with that card. Annual fees can range between $60 and $100 and higher. It is always a good idea to check with your card’s issuer before you commit to a card. This way you’ll decide if the annual fee is worth it.

Examples Of When The Annual Fee Is Worth It

Cash Back Cards

If you have a credit card that gives cash back on purchases, there is most likely an annual fee. If it offers 5 percent on groceries and 3 percent on gas, the fee could be up to $125. Also, if you pay for every purchase on a card and pay it off each month, it’s worth it. You should come out several hundred dollars ahead each year by doing this. Also, if you get cash back on each purchase, you could pay for your annual fee with rewards alone. Say your family spends $500 a month on groceries, this works out to $6000 each year. If you get 6 percent cash back, you will get $650 each year. This would amount to you earning $285 per year. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card offers 6 percent cash back at grocery stores.

Signup Bonus

If the card has a really good signup bonus, the annual fees could be worth it. Typical rewards are a generous statement credit or points that you can redeem for gift cards. They may also offer enough miles for a free airline ticket. If the signup bonus is higher than the annual fee, it is usually worth it. For example, if the fee is $100 and the signup bonus is $125, it’s not worth it. However, if you get $700 worth of airfare for a $100 annual fee, take it. It is a good idea to read the fine print to so you what you’re getting. For example, you may earn 60,000 rewards miles, but you have to spend $5,000 in the first three months. If you’re not a big spender, this won’t work for you.

Ongoing Travel Perks

If you like to travel, check for a card with ongoing perks. Many times, these perks outweigh the annual fees. For example, if you stay in certain hotel 3 or 4 times, you earn a free night. You can redeem this over and over again. If the hotel room is $65 a night, this adds up quickly in savings. If you’re planning on traveling in the future, look for a card that aligns with that plan of free travel. It may take some research, but the rewards will pay off big time if you work travel discounts correctly.

This is Your Only Option

If your credit score is low, this type of card may be your only option. It is still a great tool to rebuild your credit. You can consider the annual fees a small price to pay for improving your credit score. Your credit score can be the deciding factor in you getting approved or denied for a loan. If you build your credit, you could also get offered lower interest rates on a line of credit. This could potentially save you thousands each year. Use this card as a building block and swap it out when you’re credit score is high enough. Then you’ll usually be accepted for a card with a lower or no yearly annual fee.

This article has talked about what annual fees are. We also discussed several scenarios where it would be worth it to have one. As long as the benefit outweighs the costs, it’s worth it. If you do your research and you make sure the card matches your lifestyle, the fees will pay themselves off. Take your time and read all of the fine print. You want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with your new card. Remember that the yearly fees vary from card to card as well. If you keep this article in mind when you’re researching, you should do fine choosing a card.


Overspending Twelve Steps to Help Save a Relationship

The Top Twelve Steps to Take if Your Partner is Overspending

If you or your significant other has an overspending problem, this can put a strain on your relationship. You want to solve this issue before it gets worse, but you’re not sure how to start. This article will walk you through twelve steps you can take to stop overspending. It may require you to work at it, but your relationship is worth it. You may even learn a few things by the end of this process.
Overspending can cause stress in a relationship when one partner overspends.

Step 1 – Be Honest About Any Spending

The first thing you want to do is approach your significant other in a non-confrontational way. You can start by saying you want to monitor both of your spending habits. This takes the pressure off of one person’s spending and makes it a couple issue versus an individual one. Once you start the conversation, it’ll be easier to broach, and it’ll open communication.

Step 2 – Find Out What is Causing the Overspending

While you’re having this conversation, try to find out what is causing your partner to overspend. There could be an underlying problem you’re not aware of. This is an excellent time to get to the bottom of it. Maybe they have too much free time, or they’re bored or lonely. You can work together as a couple to solve this issue.

Step 3 – Together, Create a Budget

Once you’ve started the conversation, create a budget with your significant other. If you currently have one, it is possibly time to revise and refresh it. Work with your partner to find out what your monthly income is and your debts. The point of this is to get your overspending partner to see how much money is they’re using for ‘luxury’ items. If this is causing you to go into debt, you want to get this point across. It will be easier to do if the proof is in front of them, without you explicitly pointing it out.

Step 4 – Decide How to Control Overspending

This may be one of the trickiest parts of this whole process, but it’s common sense. If you have a partner who can’t go into a store without overspending, you should do the shopping. You could also do the shopping early each month or week, so you have an idea of whats left over. If your partner agrees, bring them along and teach them how to stick to a list. Don’t buy anything extra while you’re shopping.

Step 5 – Avoid Using Credit Cards

If you’re already going into debt, stop using your credit cards until they’re paid off. If the overspender has to pay everything with cash, they might think more before buying. This will also stop you from getting deeper in debt, or at least curb it. Once you spend the money, it’s gone. It’s not like a credit card that you can rack up a balance.

Step 6 – Set Goals

You and your partner need something to work for. A financial goal will help give you something to focus on. Your first goal is to get out of debt. Once you complete this goal, consider setting up an emergency fund. You can also save for retirement or college if you have children. As soon as you complete a goal, have a meeting and set up another. This will help keep you on track.

Step 7 – Consider a Balance Transfer Card

If you’ve set your goals and you realize you need additional help getting out of debt, consider balance transfer cards. If you can pay off your credit card debt into the introductory rate, you’ll save yourself interest fees. Most balance transfer cards have a 12 to 18 month 0 percent annual percentage rate. If may be smart to try and take advantage of this to cut down your overall costs. If you’re not sure on a card, the Chase Slate is an excellent choice.

Step 8 – Hold Monthly Financial Meetings

To keep your partner’s or your spending on track, set a date each month to review your finances. You will be able to discuss and monitor your progress, as well as look for improvements. At first, you will more than likely see regression. However, you should see positive trends as the months go on. This is a learning process, and backsliding is normal. Take this time to encourage and praise one another for a job well done.

Step 9 – Save Some Spending Money

When you’re doing the budget with your partner, save a little spending money. This will be a rough transition, to begin with, and this may help. Make it clear that this is all of the money for the month, and it has to count. Once these funds are gone, there isn’t anymore until the next month. This will go a long way to helping curb overspending. Your partner won’t feel so cut off, and they’re less likely to try and spend behind your back.

Step 10 – Enlist Outside Support

There are outside resources you can join to help you. Debtors Anonymous (DA) can give you and your partner tools to help you transition from overspending. They have a 12-step program you can enroll in. This program also offers support from other people who have been in the same spot. They can provide advice and tricks to help you in a nonjudgmental atmosphere.

Step 11 – Try Financial or Couple’s Counseling

If your partner is resistant to fixing the problem, look into counseling. There is both couple and financial counseling that may be beneficial. These sessions can help find any deeper issue that may be causing your partner to overspend. Start out by attending joint meetings and split into individual ones as time goes on. You have a chance to improve your finances and your relationship at the same time.

Step 12 – Consider Divorce or Separation

If you’re getting deeper into debt and your partner denies anything is wrong, you’re at an impasse. Perhaps you would benefit from more extreme measures. Money disagreements and overspending cause a lot of divorces or friction, and this can act as a wake-up call. If anything, it will get the overspending party seriously looking at what is wrong. They may be more willing to work with you to fix the problem if they know you’re serious. Divorce planning should never be done just to threaten, and it should be a last resort.

This article has talked about twelve steps you can take to curb overspending. You want to be happy and financially secure with your partner. This will be difficult if there is a money problem. Communication is the key to working out your problems.


Get Approved for a Credit Card With Your Credit Score

Steps to Take to Get Approved for a Credit Card

Credit cards are increasing in popularity as the years go on. More and more people are starting to apply for a credit card. They are a great tool to build credit and to improve your credit score. There are a few things you’ll have to do to get approved, and this article will discuss them. By the end, you’ll have a good understanding of how to get approved for a credit card.

Learn how to get approved for credit cards for your credit score.

Step 1 – Find Out What Your Credit Score Is

You will need to know what your credit rating is before you apply for a credit card. This is one of the main reasons to get approved. Each credit card will consider your credit rating when you apply for a credit card.

Credit Score Ranges

Rating Score Range
Bad 550 and Lower
Poor 551 to 649
Fair 650 to 699
Good 700 to 749
Excellent 750 and Up

The higher your score is, the more likely you are to get approved for a credit card. If you’re thinking about getting a rewards card, you usually have to have an average or excellent credit rating. If you’ve had problems paying on time in the past, it may be a good idea to wait. You want to have the best score possible, and you can do this by:

  • Avoid Applying New Debt
  • Keep Your Existing Credit Card Balances Low (Less Than 30 Percent)
  • Make Every Payment on Time

You may also want to look into credit cards for people with bad credit. These cards can help build credit and help you get approved for a rewards card. You’ll also be able to get approved for better rates.

Step 2 – Lower Your Balances or Debts

Once you know your credit rating, work on lowering your debt. This accounts for 30 percent of your credit rating. It is called your credit utilization ratio. They get this number by taking your balance amount and dividing it by your credit limits. For example, if you have a $10,000 credit limit, you should try to keep it below $3,000. This will help improve your credit rating. If you’re over 30 percent, take the time and work on paying down your balances. You can also pay off your balances more than once a month. This will keep your running balances lower each month.

Step 3 – Make On Time Payments

Your payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit rating. If you want to improve your chances to get approved, start making each payment on time. A good payment history will look good to your potential issuers. They want to see that you’ll make your payments if they give you a line of credit. Late or missed payments can drop your credit rating quickly. They will also make lenders more hesitant to work with you. Set up reminders if you’re prone to forgetting. Anything you can use to avoid late payments, do it. It’ll only benefit you and help to make your credit rating go up.

Step 4 – Research Credit Cards

You want to get approved for the offer that suits your lifestyle the best. If you don’t travel, a rewards card with miles doesn’t make much sense. If you’re trying to consolidate your debt, a balance transfer card may be best. They offer zero percent APR for an introductory period. This will help you pay off your balances quicker, and with less interest. If you shop a lot, try a card with cash back rewards. As soon as you find a card that fits you, start the application process. If your credit rating is lower, you may have problems getting approved for a card with generous sign-up offers.

Step 5 – Report All of Your Income

When you’re filling out your credit application, report all of your income. Any credit lender has to be able to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. They do this by adding up your monthly income against your open credit. They also have to see what your ability to make payments is each month. Your income will give them a good idea. If you earn money outside of your regular job, report it. However, don’t overstate your income amount. If your credit card issuer finds out you lied about your income, there are consequences. Possible charges include credit card fraud. This carries a possibility of a $1 million dollar fine. There is also the possibility of spending 30 years in prison.

Step 6 – Secured Credit Card

If you can’t get approved for a traditional credit card, try a secured credit card as a last resort. This is an excellent tool to build your credit on a short-term basis. This works for you putting a deposit down, and this is your line of credit. For example, if your card has a $400 limit, you’ll have to put a $400 deposit down. If you make your payments on time, you can get a higher credit line. You may also get to transition to an unsecured card after a year of on time payments. This isn’t meant to be a long-term fix. It will help you raise your credit so that you can get approved for a better card.

Finally, If you don’t get approved right away, work on your credit. You will eventually get your credit rating high enough to get a decent card. As long as you do your research and know your credit rating, you’ll so fine. If you use this article as a guide, you should be able to get approved.


Credit Card Alerts Top 10 Credit Card Alerts

The Top Ten Credit Card Alerts and Why They’re Important

Credit card alerts are so important for your security and peace of mind. These warnings have become popular in recent years with cell phones gaining popularity. It is convenient and easy to have these sent to your cell or email. This article will go over the top ten credit card alerts you can sign up for. We’ll also talk about why a credit card alert is necessary.

Woman using cellular phone to view credit card alerts.

Top Ten Credit Card Alerts for Your Cell Phone

1. Spending Notification

If you’ve ever looked at your statement and wondered if you purchased an item, there is an alert for that. A spending alert will notify you when a lender applies a purchase to your account. This could help you curb your spending. It will also clear up any confusion about whether or not you bought a particular item. This credit card alert varies by issuer. Some may only send you a notification is you spend over $20, others will do it for any amount. If you share an account with an authorized user, this will be particularly useful. You won’t have to wonder about any mystery purchases they might make This makes it easier to check charges as they come, and not wait until the end of the billing cycle.

2. Card Not Present Transaction

One useful credit card alerts you can get is the card not present. This will send you an alert every time someone purchases something without swiping. These warnings come mostly from online purchases. This is very valuable because someone only needs your card number and not your physical EMV chip card. You’ll get a notification immediately, and this can stop possible damage from being done to your credit.

3. Bill Due Notification

Life happens, and maybe you forget to pay your bill. If you do, your credit could take a hit. Your annual fee could increase, and you could incur a late fee. All of this can happen if you’re even one day late with your payment. Credit card alerts can stop this from happening. If you don’t use the auto pay feature, this could be especially important to have. You’ll get an email at a preset time each month to serve as a reminder.

4. Gasoline Transactions

Gas stations are extremely popular for thieves to get your card information. The risk goes up even more if you pay at the pump. The person will install a skimmer over the credit card slot on the gas pump. Once you put your card in, it’ll take your card number, security code, and expiration date. They can then copy this onto a blank card and use it as they choose. Credit alerts will send to you as soon as there is a transaction.

5. Balance Notification

If you’re getting close to your credit limit, you’ll get an alert. You want to spend 30 percent or less of your available credit. A few apps will let you choose the limit you get an alert at. The lower your credit balance or credit utilization is, the higher your credit score will be. Credit card alerts like these are very helpful for people with small lines of credit. Individuals who are first-time cardholders or persons who tend to overspend would also benefit from this credit card alert.

6. Transactions Over a Set Amount

You can set credit card alerts that notify you if there is a purchase over x amount. You can set this at $0; you’ll get an alert for each purchase. If you set it at $30, you’ll get a notification for each purchase over $30. The higher you set the amount, the fewer alerts you’ll get. This is good for people who don’t use their cards much. People who don’t purchase large quantities could benefit as well.

7. Missed Payments

If you’re worried about payments being posted by the due date, this notification is for you. This will send an alert to your payment misses being posted by the deadline. An alert like this will help you plan better in the future. It can also help you not to rack up any more late fees and save your credit rating.

8. Credit Card Alerts for Suspicious Transactions

Once a card issuer suspects fraudulent activity, they will try to reach out and notify you. Federal law prohibits them from contacting you via text without permission. So once you permit them, they can text you suspicious transactions. They can call or email you without permission though, but texting is more convenient for you.

9. Low Balance Alerts for Debit Cards

Have you ever tried to use your card as a debit card only to have it declined? If you have, you know how humiliating this can be. Credit card alerts can notify you when your account balance falls below a certain amount. This will help you curb your spending, as well as avoid embarrassing situations. You can choose and adjust the amount you want notifications for as you see fit.

10. International Transactions

A lot of fraudulent activity happens internationally. Card alerts can prevent some of this if you have it set. As soon as an international purchase goes through to your account, you’ll get an alert. This is particularly useful if you never travel overseas. However, if you do, you can turn it off while you’re out of the country.

This article has talked about the top ten credit card alerts. We touched on why they’re necessary tools to utilize. We also talked about how they can vary by issuer. It is a good idea to look into them. Contact your lender and ask about any credit card alerts you might have access to. These credit card alerts can potentially save you from fraud and credit damage.


Best Credit Card Choose Best Credit Card Application 2017

How to Choose the Best Credit Card

If you don’t have a credit card, you’ll want to shop around. You want to get the best card for your lifestyle. This can take a little bit of research before you settle on one. If you don’t shop around, you might end up getting the completely wrong card. The rewards won’t be anything that you’re interested in. You want your card to work for you. The best offer may be something small, but if it works for you, it’s worth it. This article will go over how you choose the best credit card for you.

How to find the best credit card?

Get Your Credit Score

Before you can apply for any credit card offers, check your credit score. You’ll need this number so you know what the best card you can apply for. You can get your free report once a year. Once you have your credit score, you can start the research process.

Think About What Type of Card You Want

You want the best credit card with the best rewards that match your lifestyle. There are three main categories of the best credit cards, and they are listed below.
1. Cards That Save You Money on Interest.
2. Cards That Give You Rewards.
3. Cards That Help You Build Credit.
You’re looking for the best credit card for your lifestyle. For example, if you don’t travel a lot, a travel rewards card isn’t the card for you.

Low or Zero Interest Cards or Balance Transfers

The best credit card has low or no interest, at least for the introductory period. This is a good choice if you plan to use the card for emergencies. If you don’t have a steady job, this card will work for you. You may want this card type if you plan to do balance transfers. This could help you pay off any high-interest balances you may have. These might require you to have a higher credit score to obtain.

Rewards Card

If you don’t plan to carry a balance and you intend to pay your balance each month, try a rewards card. The best rewards card will offer things like cash back, travel miles, or sign up bonuses. However, these cards can come with high annual percentage rates. If you plan to travel, this is a good card choice for you.

Secured or Student Credit Card
If you don’t have that much credit, or if your credit is poor, you can try these cards. A student credit card is for college students who don’t have a lot of credit. These are unsecured cards, and they’re easier to apply for than traditional cards. You can also get a secured credit card. You’ll pay a balance to open the account, and it’s usually around $200. Once you close the account in good standing, you’ll get your deposit back.

Ask Questions to Find the Best Credit Card

Now that you’ve chosen a card category, it’s time to ask questions. This will help you narrow down your choices even more. The difference in the questions depends on which card you want to apply for.

Anyone Who Wants a Low Interest or Balance Transfer Card

The first thing you should find out is how long the 0 percent APR is for. The best credit card will give you enough time to pay off your debts. If you’re going to have a balance for several years, try a low, continuous APR rate. If you’re going to transfer balances, look for those fees. Also, look for any restrictions on how much debt you can transfer. Finally, you can look for optional rewards if you’re only going to use it for a few months.

Anyone Who Wants a Cash-Back, the Best Rewards, or Travel Card

If you shop or travel a lot, look for a card with miles and cash-back. If you plan to travel internationally, pick a card with no foreign transaction fees. Also, look for chip-and-pin capabilities. This is standard in other parts of the world. The United States uses chip-and-signature capabilities. The last thing you want to do is get stranded somewhere and not be able to access your money. If you want a card with low hassle, consider a flat-rate rewards card. Finally, the best credit card will offer quick rewards. Make sure to check how fast you’ll be able to access your rewards.

Anyone Who Wants a Secured or Student Credit Card

If you’re looking for this card, you should ask if it’s going to help build your credit. Pick a card that reports to all three credit bureaus. Double check that they report because many secured cards don’t offer this. The best credit card will do this for you. You should also ask how much it costs to open the account initially. You must also look for an annual fee. Unless you have extremely poor credit, you shouldn’t have an annual fee with a secured card. Finally, choose a card that will let you graduate to a higher credit line. This will make it easier to stick with the same card for a long time. This will also look better on your credit history.

Start the Application Process

Once you’ve picked the best credit card, start applying for it. If you still can’t decide on the best credit card, look for other perks. Your rewards card should have lower spending limits. This means you won’t have to wait a long time to get your rewards. If you pick a secured card, look for the lowest on time payments option. This will give you access to a higher line of credit at a faster rate. The low-interest card should have no late fees or penalty APR rates. These questions should help you narrow your card choices down to one.

Use Your Card Responsibly

When you choose the best credit card, use it responsibly. This will be the key to rebuilding your credit. Make sure you make every payment on time. Don’t run up a large balance, and pay it off each month. Your card should help you continue establishing your credit. It can only do this if you use it responsibly.

Now that you know about several credit card choices, you can pick the one that suits your needs. If you choose the best credit card, it’ll work for you. This process may take time, but researching the different cards is worth it. So take your time, and double check every card you’re considering.


Credit Card Churning – the Dangers of a Credit Card Churner

The Hidden Dangers of Credit Card Churning

I’m sure you’ve noticed the dozens of credit card signup offers out there. These offers can seem tempting, and many people take advantage of them. Some people go to extreme lengths. Those people are credit card churners. If you’ve never heard of this before, you’re not alone. This practice doesn’t receive a lot of attention, and for a good reason. This article will go over what credit card churning is. We’ll talk about how it can hurt your credit score and what a credit card churner can gain.

A credit card churner can earn free travel with credit card churning.

What is Credit Card Churning?

The phenomenon of credit card churning is simple. A person opens the same card multiple times to get the particular card’s signup bonus. It can also include opening and then closing the account after you’ve gotten the bonus. An example of a bonus would be that you earn 10,000 miles after you spend x amount. So you do this, get the miles and then close the account. You repeat this process over and over again. You’ll rack up thousands of miles by doing this. Credit card churners are usually people who want to travel for extremely reduced costs or for free. Credit card churning gives them a way to do this, at least temporarily.

Will This Affect the Credit Score of a Credit Card Churner?

If you participate in credit card churning, your score will start to decline. Each time you apply for a new card, there is a hard inquiry added to your credit report. Each time you do this, your score will drop a few points. Say you open 30 cards, and your score drops 3 points with each inquiry. That is 90 points, and that can put you from excellent credit to fair credit. It is also good to know that inquiries count for 10 percent of your credit score. They stay on your credit report for two years and affect your score for one year. Also, opening a new account can lower your average credit age. This is negative because your credit age of accounts is 15 percent of your overall credit score. You want a long, healthy credit age to raise your score.

What Are The Consequences of Credit Card Churning?

This process comes with several possible consequences. Some of them are more annoying than truly damaging. However, there are a few more severe ones if you’re not careful.

Interest Payments

Each card’s bonus comes with a string attached. You have to spend x amount of the money in a given period. If you’re tempted to go on a shopping spree to hit that goal, you’ll end up in a disastrous situation. You can easily get yourself in a financial hole that you can’t get out of. Even if you leave the balance and pay the interest, your rewards won’t be worth it.

It Looks Bad to Mortgage Lenders

The last thing any potential mortgage lender wants to see if multiple open and closed accounts on a credit report. They like to see a long history on one card. They also like to see on time payments. If you are credit card churning, they’ll see the opposite. This will make them hesitant to work with you.

Multiple Monthly Payments

If you have multiple cards open that have a spending bonus, you’ll have multiple payments each month. Also, if you add more cards, it is even more likely that you’ll miss a payment. If you do, the lender can charge late fees and interest more interest expenses. This has the potential to drop you further into debt. Your credit score will also drop if you start to miss payments.

Off Focus and Sidetracked

It is very easy to lose focus of what you originally wanted the points for. You could start trying to get a Disney cruise and switch halfway through. However, the thing you changed for has an entirely different strategy. That means anything you previously saved for the cruise may go to waste. You’re also in danger of having redemption values chance. If you start a new tangent and then come back to your original one, it could be too late. Then you’ll be stuck with something you can’t use, and you wasted your time and effort.

Very Time Consuming

The entire process of credit card churning is very time-consuming. If a credit card churner really into it, you could spend over an hour each day looking at offers. They do this so that they can get the best offers and the best rates possible.

You’ll Pay Annual Fees

If you forget to cancel your card, you can end up paying annual fees. If you have ten cards and they all have an annual fee of $50, that is $500. Your issuer will usually waive this fee the first year. However, it’ll automatically charge you the second year you have the card. It will also get tough to keep track of each card’s annual fee due date.

Caught Credit Card Churning? What are the Repercussions?

Several new regulations are going into effect that is used to curb this behavior. The credit card issuers intended to use this bonuses as a reward for loyal customers. They frown on people who are taking advantage of it, and they are moving to stop it.

1. Banned
Your credit card issuer could blacklist you and stop you from opening any new accounts with them. They could also ban you from ever opening an account with them again to discourage this practice.

2. Close Accounts
Your credit card issuer could close your accounts. As soon as you get flagged as a credit card churner, they start watching you closely. Credit card churners can lose multiple lines of credit in one blacklisting. This can drop your credit score because it counts on lines of credit for your credit utilization ratio.

3. The Credit Score of a Credit Card Churner Can Drop
As stated above, you want strong lines of credit. If you lose many at the same time, your score will fall. Your credit utilization ratio could go from an acceptable level down to very skewed. You can recover from this, but it can be a long process.

How Are Credit Card Lenders Putting a Stop to Credit Card Churning?

Many credit card companies have started putting limits on cards. For example, you can only open five cards a year. They’ll deny you if you attempt to open more. Chase won’t open any new cards to applicants who have had five new cards in the past two years. This rule is called the Chase 5/24 Rule. Lenders like American Express limit how many accounts you can have open with them at one time. This limit is four accounts, and it makes credit card churning harder to do.

This article has defined what credit card churning is. We also talked about why it is risky to be a credit card churner, and how it can hurt your credit score. We touched on what can happen if you’re caught doing this as well. Finally, we finished by talking about steps lenders are taking to limit this activity. In the end, the choice is yours, and it may pay off for a while. However, if you eventually get caught, it could be more of a hassle than it’s worth.


Build Credit Without Credit Cards With Loans

Building Credit Without Credit Cards

If you have low credit, you know how hard it can be to build your credit back up. If you don’t want to use credit cards, there are several alternative options available. Some of them may even work out better for you. Therefore, if you’re afraid of going deeper into credit card debt, this article is for you. This article will go over the top seven ways to build credit without credit cards.

How to Build Credit Without Credit Cards

How do You Build Credit Without a Credit Card?

1. Report Your Rent

If you pay rent each month, you can have this reported to the credit bureaus. So, if your landlord doesn’t report it already, you can register with sites like Rental Kharma or Experian’s RentBureau. As long as you make on time payments, this will help raise your credit score. This is an easy way to build credit without using a credit card.

2. Pay Your Student Loans

Your student loans report to the credit bureaus. You can use these to build credit without credit cards. You should make your payments on time each month. It is also a good idea to double check that they are in your name. This will also reflect positively on your credit history. However, if you miss payments, this can drop your score quickly as well. So, if you want to cut your interest rates, you can apply and have your loans consolidated with a company like Sofi.

3. Take Out a Credit Builder Loan

You can build credit without credit cards by taking out a credit builder loan from Self Lender. A credit builder loan is a secured form of a personal loan. Also, it acts as a savings account for the loan, and there is no credit check. It reports the payment activity to the credit bureaus. You open an account and deposit $12 to get started. You choose your amount, and you pay it over a year. Once you have paid it, you get access to the money you’ve put in. This loan has an interest rate of 10.67 percent. This means you will pay a little more than the original loan amount by the time the year is up. For example:

  • A $550 Loan – You pay $48.50 for 12 months, and you will pay a total amount of $44 in fees.
  • A $1,100 Loan – You pay $97 for 12 months, and you will pay a total amount of $76 in fees.

4. Pay Your Bills on Time

Your utility company may report your payments to the credit bureaus. You can ask if they do this, and you can request for them to report your payment history. If they do this for you, you should see your credit score rise by a few points. It will also build up your good payment history, and this looks good to any lenders. They will be more likely to help you if you request a line of credit. This will help build credit without credit cards, and because you’re paying them already, it’s worth a shot.

5. Apply For a Loan Through Your Credit Union

If you bank at the Credit Union, use them to build credit without credit cards. They will look at your history with them, and not rely on your credit score as much. Also, they’ll look at your transaction history and your overdraft history. Therefore, if you have good scores in both, they may approve you for a small loan. You can pay this off and take another out to keep building your personal credit score. This can go a long way to making your credit score rise. You can also get a higher loan amount if you take out and repay more than one loan.

6. Become an Authorized User

If you know someone who will add you to their credit card account, ask to become an authorized user. Once you do this, the card holder’s activity will show up on your credit report. You don’t even have to use the card. Once they add you as an authorized user, you should see your credit score improve. However, if the card holder misses payments, this will reflect poorly on your credit history as well.

7. Peer-to-Peer Loan – Build Credit Without Credit Cards

You can build credit without credit cards by using a peer-to-peer lending site. Investors, rather than banks fund these sites, so there is a higher chance of getting approved. Your current credit score determines your risk rate, and the investors will see this. This type of loan will show up on your credit report as well. Furthermore, if you make on time payments, you will see it go up. Companies like Avant and Lending Club are good examples of peer-to-peer lending.

This article has gone over the top seven ways to build credit without credit cards. We talked about alternative loan options like a credit builder loan. We also discussed getting your rent payments reported to the credit bureaus. Each of these small things can help raise your credit score. Lastly, the best part is, you’re already doing some of them. The next step is reporting them to the credit bureaus. Try some of these methods and make on time payments. You should be on your way to a higher credit score.