Personal Finance Tips 2019 – 7 Easy Tips

Learn seven essential personal finance tips 2019.

The Top Seven Personal Finance Tips 2019

It’s 2019, and you should make it a goal to get your personal finances in order. If you’re not sure where you’d like to start with this goal, you’re in luck. I’ve put together seven personal finance tips 2019 that I’ve tried because I wanted to verify that they work. Follow them, and you could find yourself going into 2020 with a healthier financial outlook!

Get Your Personal Finances in Order by Following These 7 Tips

Personal Finance Tips 2019 One – Consolidate Credit Card Debt

Did you know that credit card debt can be one of the most expensive forms of debt you can have? Cards with high, variable interest rates can add hundreds or thousands of dollars onto your total balance before you pay it off. One fast way to avoid this interest is to consolidate all of your credit card debt with a personal loan. A credit card consolidation loan is an unsecured loan that ranges in price from $1,000 up to $100,000. You typically have between two and seven years to repay it. You pay off all of your credit card balances with the loan. Then, you pay the loan. Don’t use your credit cards while you pay the loan off.

Personal Finance Tips 2019 Two: Use Your Tax Refund to Pay Your Debt

Yes, getting a larger tax refund is exciting. But, you really should use it to pay off your debt instead of extravagant spending. Whether you have credit card debt, student loan debt, or mortgage debt, putting a large payment toward it can help reduce the number of interest charges you pay. You do want to contact whichever agency holds your debt and make sure that your lump-sum payment goes toward your principal balance. Otherwise, they may apply it toward your next month’s payment. If you have no debt, consider starting an emergency fund to plan for any unexpected expenditures.

Personal Finance Tips 2019 Three: Pay Off Your Holiday Bills

The holidays can be an expensive time in anyone’s life, and you could quickly find yourself with a lot of debt left over. For many people, this means charging gifts. You want to pay off any of last year’s holiday debt as quickly as possible. This will help you avoid interest charges. The last thing you want to do is drag your payments out and still pay on it when this holiday season comes around. Put extra payments toward this debt if you’re able to in order to pay it off quicker.

Personal Finance Tips 2019 Four: Invest in a Retirement Account

You’re never too young to start adding to a retirement account. As of 2019, an individual under 50 can contribute a maximum amount of $6,000 to their IRA. People over 50 can contribute a maximum of $7,000. You may want to start smaller and slowly increase your monthly contributions until you get used to living without the additional money. If you can, stick away a little more each year to ensure that you give yourself a comfortable retirement, no matter when you retire.

Personal Finance Tips 2019 Five: Refinance Those Student Loans

Most student loans have very high interest rates, and you may be shocked at how much of your monthly payment actually goes to interest instead of the principal balance. Refinancing allows you to consolidate all of your existing loans into a single loan. This single loan usually has a much lower interest rate, and you only have to make a single payment a month instead of multiple ones. You can pick from a variable or fixed interest. Also, repayment terms vary from 5 to 20 years. Also, review the best credit cards for young adults to build credit for a stronger credit score.

Personal Finance Tips 2019: Six: Schedule Your Vacation in Advance

Typically, most people plan their vacations well in advance. However, the further out you plan it, the better it will be when it comes to managing your finances. Often you can find more travel discounts by planning early. Ideally, you should schedule at least six months out. This gives you six months to put money away to use to fund your vacation. Additionally, it also gives you six months to take the time off work, arrange for a pet sitter if you need one, and get your house in order for when you’re away. This can help reduce your stress levels, and you’re less likely to turn to a credit card for last minute expenses.

Personal Finance Tips 2019 Seven: Transfer to a Zero Percent APR Credit Card

Yes, we just told you not to add any more credit card debt. But, a 0-percent APR card can help with your existing credit card balances. Look into the two best balance transfer cards; check the 0-percent APR terms. They’re usually 12 months. You can transfer your existing balances to one of these cards. Once you do, you’re just paying on the balance. You won’t pay any additional interest charges. Just make sure you can pay off most or all of your existing debt by the end of the promotional period.

Personal Finance Tips 2019 Bottom Line

You can make 2019 the year you start getting out of debt. These seven personal finance tips 2019 can help you reduce your debt, pay less to get out of debt and get you well on your way to a happier and healthier financial future.

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Comenity Wayfair Credit Card Review and Application

Comenity Wayfair Credit Card Review Pros and Cons Issued by Comenity Bank

Comenity Wayfair Credit Card Review

Have you ever shopped on Wayfair? If so, did you know about Comenity Wayfair? The Wayfair credit card is issued by Comenity Bank, and cardholders get access to perks. In this Wayfair credit card review, we’re going to outline everything this card can do. We’ll also cover what the Comenity Wayfair card can’t do. Can you apply for the Wayfair credit card using the Comenity Bank Shopping Cart Trick? You’ll get a good idea whether or not you could benefit from this card by the end.

Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Comenity Wayfair Credit Card Pros

1. Cash Back

Comenity Wayfair gives you a decent rewards rate on each eligible purchase. You’ll earn three-percent cash back each time you use it at Wayfair, AllModern, Joss & Main, DwellStudio, and Birch Lane. These rewards are good for all purchases that don’t use special financing. You can redeem these Reward Dollars for future order credit.

2. Bonus for Signing Up

The bonus for signing up is extremely easy to get. All you do is make a purchase of $250 or more once Wayfair Comenity approves your application. You’ll immediately get a $40 bonus. So you can apply this bonus to future orders. However, you can’t use special financing means to make your order. If you do, you won’t get the $40 bonus because the order doesn’t count.

3. Special Financing or Rewards on Each Purchase

Comenity Wayfair has a unique perk that you don’t see on a lot of cards. You can choose two different options for each purchase you make. If you choose rewards, you’ll earn three-percent back on that purchase. Special buy now pay later financing is the second option you can choose if you don’t want three-percent back. Spending $250 will qualify you for six months of special financing. Spending $500 will qualify you for one year of interest-free financing.

4. Free Shipping

The Wayfair card gives you free shipping on all orders that are over $49. This is great because you can buy large items on Wayfair and not have to worry about shipping costs. Buy that sofa or dining room table and ship it to your door for free. This free shipping doesn’t count on returns though.

5. Builds Credit

Comenity Wayfair is a retail card. Retail store credit cards offer credit building perks. For one, they’re easier to get. There are less strict approval criteria attached. It also reports to all of the credit bureaus. Each on-time payment can help boost your credit score and build your credit history.

6. No Annual Fee

If you’re smart with the Wayfair card, you can make it work for you. Unlike a lot of reward cards, you won’t pay an annual fee. If you can avoid the deferred interest as well, there are huge potential for savings. Every credit and bonus you earn is yours to put toward future purchases.

7. No Hard Credit Inquiry

When you have lower credit, every point counts. Hard inquiries can drop your score three to five points each. You won’t have to worry about this with Comenity Wayfair. There is no hard inquiry as long as you use a pre-qualification link to apply. Instead, you’ll get a soft inquiry. So this doesn’t drop your credit score at all.

8. Optional Furniture Assembly

Do you dread putting furniture together once you buy it? If so, you’re in luck! Comenity Wayfair offers furniture assembly for online purchases. Since you’re not buying it pre-assembled, this is huge. Wayfair partnered with Handy to give Wayfair customers assembly and installation services. You can add this option when you check out. Also, they offer hassle-free returns. If you’re not thrilled, send it back. You do pay return shipping though.

Comenity Wayfair Credit Card Cons

1. Deferred Interest

Using the special financing option comes with deferred interest attached. This can add hundreds or thousands onto your balance if you don’t pay it off in time. Each time you buy an item, you’ll get six months or a year to pay it off with no interest. If you miss the deadline, you’ll get backdated interest. This could be six months or a year of interest all at once.

2. High Interest Rate Charged by Comenity Bank

The Wayfair card comes with a high interest rate. While this isn’t new for retail cards, it can be unpleasant if it backdates for a purchase. You’ll pay 28.49-percent a month with this card. This can put a huge dent in your budget if you get hit with it. This includes only having around $50 to pay on your original purchase and missing the cutoff deadline a single day.

3. Restricted Use

The Wayfair card isn’t co-branded like a Visa or MasterCard. You can only use it at Wayfair or the partner sites. This includes Wayfair, AllModern, Joss & Main, DwellStudio and Birch Lane. If you don’t shop at these stores a lot, the card isn’t much use. You won’t be able to effectively build your credit.

4. Restricted Rewards Redemption

Yes, three-percent back seems like an excellent opportunity. But, stop and think about it for a minute. Comenity Wayfair only lets you redeem your rewards for purchase credits at Wayfair itself or on affiliated sites. If you find a table or sectional on another site and fall in love, you’re out of luck with this card.


In this video, I talk about four credit cards for fair credit including the Wayfair credit card. The video is time-stamped at where the Wayfair card is first mentioned.

These are the three other fair approval credit cards mentioned in this video

You can read the reviews or apply for these offers by visiting their respective review articles.
Blaze MasterCard, Capital One Platinum Card, and Kohl’s Charge card.

CreditSoup® Fair Credit

Comenity Wayfair Credit Card Approval Odds

Fortunately for people with lower credit, Comenity Bank Wayfair as more lenient approval odds. The Wayfair credit card approval score hovers around fair credit levels. Typically, this means between 580 and 669. However, it’s critical that you apply with a pre-qualification link. This way, you won’t get a penalty for checking your eligibility status because it’s a soft pull.

These Way Fair credit card requirements are why retail cards are so popular for rebuilding credit. It’s a great tool for learning responsible use as well because you want to plan your budget to avoid the deferred interest.

Comenity Wayfair Payment Options

You get flexible payment options with Comenity Wayfair. However, it’s a good idea to use the Wayfair credit card because you get special financing or rewards. Possible Wayfair credit card payment options include:

  • Credit or Debit Cards (Wayfair, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa)
  • Wayfair Gift Cards and Store Credit
  • Wayfair Rewards
  • PayPal
  • Affirm
  • Personal Checks, Cashiers Checks, and Money Orders
  • Purchase Orders
  • Wire Transfers
  • Wayfair

Payment Considerations

Keep the following payment considerations in mind when you pay your bill. This will help ensure that you don’t forget a payment or get stuck halfway through.

Accepted Payment Options in the Account Center
If you plan to pay online through the Account Center, have a checking account ready. You currently can’t use a debit card to make a payment. You’ll need to input your checking account number and routing number. You can find this number on your monthly statement, on the bottom of your check, or your bank will give it to you.

Comenity Bank Fees for Paying Online
Comenity Wayfair doesn’t charge any extra fees for paying your bill online. Additionally, it’ll store your preferred payment method for future use. Since the site comes encrypted, you don’t have to worry about your sensitive information going anywhere. So you can switch it out whenever you like.

Wayfair Store Locations

Wayfair also has one brick and mortar outlet stores available. However, you have to know one critical piece of information involving the Wayfair outlet.

IMPORTANT: You are NOT ALLOWED to use your Wayfair credit account at the Wayfair outlet location. You’re ONLY allowed to use the this account online.

However, you’re free to make whatever purchases you’d like with another card or cash. For people who have the Wayfair outlet by their home and need something right away, this is great. The outlet address, hours, and phone number is:

Wayfair Outlet
5101 Renegade Way
Florence, KY 41042

Store Hours:
Friday and Saturday – 10AM to 6PM
Sunday – 10AM to 4PM

Telephone: (857) 559-4994

Can you apply for the Comenity Wayfair store credit card using the Shopping Cart Trick?

See if you Pre-Qualify for the Wayfair Credit Card Without a Hard Credit Inquiry

Important! Click the – “Do you pre-qualify?” – Wayfair credit card application link option
Wayfair Card Application
Or Compare Major Credit Card Offers
CreditSoup® Fair Credit
CreditSoup® Secured Cards

Wayfair Card and the Shopping Cart Trick from Comenity Bank

The Wayfair card is issued by Comenity Bank. This Wayfair Comenity line of credit can potentially be approved without a hard credit inquiry. Learn more about the Comenity Shopping Cart Trick. The Sportsman’s Guide Visa Card is another example of a Comenity Bank issued store credit card.

Conclusion – Comenity Wayfair Credit Card and the Shopping Cart Trick

Finally, Comenity Wayfair is a solid retail card with a lot of unique perks. As long as you pay attention and use it responsibly, you stand to gain a lot. However, there are some definite drawbacks to consider. Make sure that you can make this card work for you before you apply. Also, it may still be possible to use the Comenity Bank Shopping Cart Trick when applying for this store credit card. In addition, you may want to shop around and compare other retail cards before making a final decision. If you shop at Wayfair, this card can be an excellent choice.

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Blaze MasterCard Review – Blaze Credit Card Pre Qualify

Pros and Cons Blaze MasterCard Review - Blaze Credit Card for Fair Credit

Blaze MasterCard Review – Blaze Credit Card Pros and Cons

The Blaze MasterCard is an option for people with poor to fair credit. It’s a very straightforward and no-frills card. The Blaze credit card isn’t a secured card, but the terms are almost identical to other secured options. However, it an option if you want to start building or repairing your credit. We’ll cover the pros and cons of the Blaze MasterCard next. This way, you can decide for yourself if this card is a viable option for you.

CreditSoup® Fair Credit

Blaze MasterCard Pros

1. Blaze Credit Card Approval Odds for the Blaze MasterCard

One of the biggest hurdles in building your credit is getting approved for a credit card. If you don’t want a secured credit card, this is even more difficult. The Blaze credit card offers excellent approval odds for poor and fair credit. So this can reduce the number of inquiries on your credit report. Since these lower your score a few points, this is a good sign.

2. No Money Down

The Blaze credit card requires no money down when the lender approves you. This isn’t a secured card. You won’t have to worry about coming up with additional cash to use as your credit line. However, your credit line will fluctuate until you prove that you’re able to use it responsibly.

3. Premium Club Membership

You can also pay $4.95 per month to have access to a Premium Club membership. This is completely optional for cardholders. You’ll get several perks for enrolling and paying the monthly fee though. These include access to an online mall that gives you cash back rewards. It also gives you lost key protection, hotel, rental car, and prescription discounts.

4. Blaze Credit Card Credit Increase

The Blaze MasterCard rewards cardholders who prove that they can use their card responsibly. You’ll be able to get a credit line increase after six months of on-time payments. This increases your spending capabilities. Also, it can boost your credit score. You do want to keep your credit utilization below 30-percent though.

5. No Miscellaneous Fees

Many cards for poor or fair credit add a lot of miscellaneous fees. These can be things like a setup fee, monthly maintenance fee, and more. The Blaze credit card is different. It doesn’t charge cardholders any additional fees. This is excellent news if you don’t have a lot of extra cash to spare.

6. Alert System

There are security features built into this card. For example, you can sign up for credit card text or email alerts. They can warn you when you’re approaching your spending limit. You can also set them for every purchase you make. The alerts can warn you when your payment due date is coming up. This can help to ensure that you don’t miss it or pay late.

7. Credit Bureau Reporting

The Blaze MasterCard reports your activity to all three credit bureaus. As long as you make your payments on time, this is great. However, it can quickly drop your credit score if you miss payments. Lenders also look at how much of your credit line you regularly use. So going over 30-percent will drop your score as well.

8. No Penalty APR

The APR on this card doesn’t move if you miss payments. Everyone pays a fixed fee of 29.9-percent. You won’t have to worry about paying more each month if you accidentally miss one. It is on the higher end, but you should expect this for poor and fair credit scores.

9. Excellent Customer Service

The Blaze credit card comes with highly rated customer service. Reviews show that cardholders are happy with the service they receive. The customer service team make it easy to work with this company. They’re also very responsive to customer questions and concerns.

Blaze MasterCard Cons

1. Blaze Credit Card Annual Fee

The Blaze credit card comes with a slightly higher annual fee. Cardholders will pay an annual fee of $75 each year. This can be very hard to swallow if you get a lower credit line. There are no rewards to balance out this fee either. You pay it every year to be able to use the card to build your credit.

2. Low Credit Lines

The Blaze MasterCard does offer credit lines up to $1,500 at the maximum. However, most people start out with a $350 credit line. You keep this credit line for at least six months. This means that you should only spend $105 per month. So it won’t help you very much in emergencies.

3. Higher APR

The APR on this card is 29.9 percent. If you carry a balance from month to month, this can add up. Even if your credit is slightly higher, you’ll end up paying it. It won’t be a problem if you don’t carry a balance. However, most people do for at least one or two months.

4. Murky Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions say that you could get a higher line of credit after six months. However, it doesn’t say how you go about getting it. You can wait to see if the lender raises it on their own. You could also call the customer service team and ask them to increase it for you.

5. Low Maximum Credit Lines

Credit lines start at $350 for most people who apply. However, it can only go up to a maximum amount of $1,500. For most people, this isn’t able to help them a lot. Once you max the card out, you’ll have to apply for another with less strict terms. This can cause the cycle to start all over again.

6. Pay Extra for a Premium Membership

You can get access to a premium membership. This will allow you to get a few perks and cash back options. However, you have to pay extra for it. You’ll pay $4.95 every month you want to have the premium membership option. This isn’t a lot, but it can be hard to outweigh the other fees.

Blaze MasterCard Apply for the Blaze credit card.

Blaze MasterCard® Credit Card Bottom Line

The Blaze MasterCard is an excellent lower fee option if you don’t have any other credit building options available. You’ll get outstanding customer service, access to increased credit in five months, and it’s also geared towards fair credit. Having the Blaze Credit Card can help build your credit fast. The Blaze MasterCard can turn your fair credit to good credit in no time.

Blaze MasterCard Application 2 Options:

If You Received a Pre Qualified Blaze MasterCard Offer in the Mail?

Enter your Blaze MasterCard reservation number and access code: http://blazecc.com/accept

No Pre Qualify letter in the mail??? Do not worry.

Learn More or Apply for the Blaze MasterCard Today!
CreditSoup® Fair Credit

The Blaze MasterCard is easier to get approved for. It is easy to learn your Blaze credit card status. Please keep in mind that not all applications get approved. Credit approval is easier than other credit card offers geared towards poor to fair credit but not guaranteed. Some viewers have reported in the comment section of my Blaze MasterCard video that they were successful in getting approved. People with no credit or very low credit scores should read this article on the top three secured cards. These secured credit cards have low fees. Two of these secured cards have no annual fees. Only a security deposit between $25 – $200 is required; there are no other fees to acquire these secured credit cards.

So no matter which option you choose, the Blaze MasterCard can help to build your credit. You can see your credit score rise in as little as a few months. Additionally, it’ll allow you to upgrade to a better card when your credit score rises. Finally, the Blaze credit card has lower fees compared to other credit card offers in the poor/fair credit category.

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Using Credit Card Points – How to Use Credit Card Points

14 Ways on How to Use Credit Card Points - Earn Great Rewards Using Credit Card Points

Using Credit Card Points in 11 Different Ways

You do all of the work to earn rewards when you use your credit card, but you might be lost what to do after this. So how do credit card points work? How to use credit card points? If this is you, you’re not alone. We’re going to go over several easy ways of using credit card points. No matter how you end up redeeming them, we’ll help you get the most out of them.

1. Gift Cards

One of the most popular ways of using credit card points comes in the form of gift cards. You can typically redeem them for Amazon cards, retail cards, and more. This is a great option because you usually get more back for the gift card than you’d get for cash back. So make sure you check to see which retailers your card partners with to get the best deal.

2. Statement Credit

Using credit card points to help pay your credit card bill can save you in a pinch if money is tight. Also, this can help to improve your credit score because it’ll lower your credit utilization amount. If you can stack your rewards, you could potentially pay off a good chunk of your bill to save even more money. Do check the number of points you need for a decent statement credit before you redeem though.

3. Spend on One Card

You might also want to do your spending on different cards to try and get more rewards. However, it’s a good idea to concentrate on the card that gives you the most bang for your buck. This is the card you want to use the most because it’ll give you the most back in rewards to redeem. It’s also easier to keep track of payments with one card instead of two or three. So this strategy works well with people who have low usage credit cards.

4. Travel Discounts

One popular way of using credit card points is to get discounts on your hotels or airfare. Some credit cards partner with certain hotel chains or airlines and offer their customers deals to use their rewards points with them. You could also get discounted hotel stays, miles, access to lounges, free baggage checks, travel insurance, and more. Try looking into the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card and the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card.

5. Student Loans

Are you struggling to pay off your student loans? If so, the Citi Premier card can help you pay down a significant portion of them. All you do is get the card, spend enough to earn the bonus, and redeem it for cash. You can send this check to your student loan company. The Citi Thank You program has a specialized option just for student loans.

6. Shop Online

Shopping online is very convenient and fast. It’s also an excellent avenue for using credit card points. Some issuers will let you use your points to pay for a portion of your online purchases, shipping, or even the entire order. Your issuer will have the acceptable retailers listed on their site. This is another way on how to use credit card points.

7. Exclusive and VIP Event Access

If you get certain credit cards, you’ll get automatic access to exclusive or VIP events just for having the card. If you earn enough reward points, you can use them to take some or all of the money off of any purchases you make at these events. Again, check your card to see what your specific issuer offers. Visa and American Express are well known for offering VIP events.

8. Bonus Offers

When it comes to getting and using credit card points, you want to make every point count to maximize your return. To do this, look for bonus offers. Some cards come with rotating reward tiers that offer up to four-percent rewards points on purchases. Other issuers have special times during the month or year where everything is eligible for bonus points. Two great credit cards that offer special bonus rewards categories is the Discover it® Card and the Chase Freedom® Visa.

9. Pay Off Your Balance

You don’t want to dig yourself into a hole that you can’t get out of by trying to get the most points possible. It’s important that you make a conscious effort to pay off your balance. Make your payments on time and keep your utilization low. So this will enable you to use your points without fear of sliding into debt. This is one of the best ways on how to use credit card points most effectively.

10. Charity Donation

Everyone wants to pay it forward or give to their favorite charities. The Discover It card has a program that allows cardholders to donate their points to over 1.5 million charities all over the world. It’s fast, easy, convenient, and you can feel good about using credit card points to make a small difference.

11. Cash Back

Another simple way to redeem your points is by getting cash back. Most lenders set a specific amount of points you have to have before you redeem them. However, they offer fast cash back in the form of checks or direct deposit. Each lender is different, so it’s important that you double check your specific card’s terms and conditions.

CreditSoup® Points Rewards Cards
CreditSoup® Cash Rewards Cards
CreditSoup® Travel Rewards Cards

Bottom Line on How to Use Credit Card Points

Finally, using credit card points varies by lender to lender. However, it’s easy for cardholders to maximize their points and redeem them in a variety of ways. Double check your terms and conditions, find out how to maximize your earnings, and use your credit card points in a way that impacts your life the best. This will show you how to use credit card points in the best possible way.

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Starbucks Credit Card Review – Starbucks Visa

Earn Starbucks Visa rewards. Learn pros and cons in this Starbucks Credit Card Review.

Starbucks Credit Card Review Starbucks Visa Pros and Cons

Do you drink Starbucks every day? Maybe you buy Starbucks for your coworkers, and your company reimburses you. If so, the Starbucks credit card can be a great option to check. It’s a fast and easy way to earn each time you use it to fuel your Starbucks addiction. However, this card does come with downfalls. This shouldn’t be surprising though since every card has pitfalls and benefits. So we’re going to highlight the good and the bad that comes with the Starbucks Visa.

Starbucks Credit Card – Starbucks Visa Pros

1. Bonus for Signing Up

All you have to do to get the bonus for signing up is spend $500 in the first three months. Since Starbucks can be more expensive, this is doable. You’ll earn a bonus of 2,500 stars when you hit this goal. You can use these stars to get money off your future purchases. Each star is around four cents each when you use them for more expensive items.

2. Additional Bonus

Starbucks credit card holders also become eligible for an additional bonus. All you have to do is use your card to load a registered Starbucks card onto the mobile app. This will earn you 250 additional stars. You can use these stars for purchases on food and drink at Starbucks. Again, you want to use them on more expensive items to get the most bang for your buck.

3. Annual Barista Picks

The Starbucks credit card rewards loyal shoppers. So you want to keep your card active and in good standing. If you do this, you’ll get eight Barista Picks each year. This will be random food and drink items. Cardholders get them completely free each year.

4. Starbucks Rewards Rate

Any food or drink item over $5 you buy will give you the maximum $0.04 per star rate. If you use your stars on cheaper items, the rewards rate will go down. You also get one star for each dollar you load digitally into the app from your card. You also earn two stars for every dollar you spend with your registered card. This adds up to three stars per transaction.

5. Instant Starbucks Gold Status

Cardholders also get treated to instant Gold status when they open a card. This status comes with double star days for added earning potential. You’ll get a personalized gold card as well. Finally Gold status members a free drink reward for every 125 stars they earn. This adds up to a 12-percent rewards rate on Starbucks purchases.

6. Birthday Reward

Starbucks will reward Starbucks Visa cardholders with an annual birthday reward. This reward is typically a free drink or food item of your choice. You do have to register and prove your date of birth to be eligible. Also, you have to go in on your birthday to get the reward.

7. Members-Only Offers and Events

Starbucks hosts members-only events each month. They also send out exclusive offers like coupons for a percentage off your next order to members. So again, you do have to sign up for these things. Once you get a card, you’re automatically enrolled. You’ll get things by mail and online.

8. Free In-Store Refills

Starbucks wants you to stay once you make a beverage purchase. Cardholders get free in-store refills. The catch? It has to be in the same visit that you purchased an item to qualify. You can’t buy something, leave, come back later, and redeem your free drink.

Starbucks Credit Card – Starbucks Visa Cons

1. Starbucks Credit Card Approval

In order to get Starbucks credit card approval, you need good credit to be eligible for this card. The application process itself takes several steps. Once you sign up and wait for approval, you have to download the app. Download the app and register your card. This is how you earn additional stars and bonuses.

2. Low Starbucks Visa Rewards Rate

The rewards rate on the Starbucks credit card is on the low end. You have to spend just over $40 to earn enough stars to get a free beverage or food item. You’ll spend more if you buy cheaper items that are less than $5 per item as well. For people who don’t spend a lot at Starbucks, this can take months to accumulate.

3. Starbucks Visa Annual Fee

This card comes with an annual fee on top of the lower rewards rate. You’ll pay $49 each year to have this card. If you don’t use it a lot, it’ll be difficult to get enough rewards to outweigh it. You’ll end up paying each year simply to carry this card.

4. Restricted Reward Redemption

Unlike many rewards cards, the Starbucks credit card has a lot of restrictions. For example, you can only redeem your stars for Starbucks items or merchandise. You’re not able to transfer them to other dining or drink establishments. You can’t cash them out for gift cards or money. You use them for food and drink directly from Starbucks.

5. Expiration Period

Your unused credit card rewards expire every six months with this card. This makes it very easy to forget about them and lose them. The clock starts as soon as you make purchases and earn your stars. You’ll have to keep a very close eye on them to ensure you use them before they disappear.

6. Cumbersome to Earn Starbucks Visa Rewards

You want to earn three stars per dollar spent to maximize your rewards. However, this is cumbersome and time-consuming. You’ll also need an additional credit card. You take this card and load funds onto your Starbucks card. However, you have to load this money to your card online or through the app. If you don’t, you miss out. Loading them in the store only earns you one star per dollar spent. You might want to consider a simple cash back credit card.

7. Need a Separate Card for Bonus Rewards

Along with the Starbucks credit card, you’ll need a Starbucks membership card to earn bonuses. So you have to refill your membership card by loading funds through the app. It’s easy to waste money this way if you’re not a big spender. For example, say you load $100 but only spend $25. You’ve wasted $75 now.

Who Should and Shouldn’t Consider the Starbucks Credit Card?

This card isn’t all bad. If you’re someone who routinely buys Starbucks for your company in bulk and they’ll reimburse you, you have earning potential. This is especially true if your coworkers like more expensive food or drinks. Maybe you buy lunch or snacks for meetings from Starbucks and get reimbursed. If so, it’s a good choice.

So people who don’t routinely visit Starbucks would have a hard time justifying this card. It takes dedicated and routine use to earn significant rewards. If you’re simply looking for a dining rewards card, there are better options available. Finally take a look around, compare credit cards, and pick one that fits your situation.

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Best Credit Cards for Ride Sharing – Uber and Lyft 2019

Best Credit Cards for Ride Sharing With Uber and Lyft

4 Best Credit Cards for Ride Sharing When Using Uber and Lyft

Gone are the days of fearing getting a ride from strangers. Technology has come a long way in recent years. With these advancements came the popularity of ride sharing using Uber and Lyft. You can call a company to have a stranger show up at your location. You pay them, and they’ll take you wherever you want to go. The best credit cards for ride sharing can help ensure that you don’t have to carry cash. We’re going to cover a few of these cards including an Uber credit card review below.

Best Credit Cards for Ride Sharing One: Wells Fargo Propel Card

The Propel credit card is an excellent addition to this list because it has large reward possibilities. You earn up to three times the points for dining in and for transit, including Lyft and Uber. Car rentals, fuel, airfare, hotel stays, and homestays earn you triple points. You get one point on everything else.

Every time you pay for your transit with this card, the rewards add up. For larger cities, this is huge. Taxis, buses, rideshare, and ride services all count. American Express is also widely recognized. This increases your chances to be able to pay for your transit with it. It also works all over the world!

No Annual Fee Fee and Generous Sign Up Bonus with the Wells Fargo Propel Card

There is no annual fee with this card, and this means all of the rewards you earn are profit. Additionally, you earn a bonus for spending $3,000 in the first three months. Do this, and you’ll earn 30,000 bonus points that are worth around $300. So this is worth it if it lines up with your normal spending habits.

Travel and auto insurance are also standard with the American Express Propel card. Book with your card, and you can get accident insurance. Auto rental insurance can save you some money when you’re on adventures as well. There are no foreign transaction fees either. This allows you to use your card anywhere in the world without additional fees.

You’ll get access to the Wells Fargo Go Far portal with this card. This is where you keep track of all of your rewards. It’s also where you redeem your points. Once you have enough, you can cash them in for travel, cash, and gift cards. You can get discounts on future travel through the portal.

One of the biggest drawbacks with this card is the credit score requirement. People have to have excellent credit to qualify. It also has a variable APR. If you miss a payment, it can fluctuate. You could potentially go from a reasonable interest rate up to 27.24-percent. If you don’t carry a balance, this isn’t bad. But if you do, it can add up quick.

The Wells Fargo Propel card is an excellent way to stack rewards by using transit services. If you live in an area with Uber and Lyft and you use them, you should check into this card.

Best Credit Cards for Ride Sharing Two: Uber Visa Signature

First up on our list of the best credit cards for ride sharing is the Uber Visa card. This card comes with a variety of features that make it perfect for services like Uber and Lyft. First up is the cash back opportunities. As one of the best credit cards for ride sharing, it offers one of the highest cash back rewards.

You’ll get four-percent cash back each time you use it for dining. It also offers three-percent cash back for hotels, airfare, Uber, online purchases, and streaming video and music. Finally, you get one-percent cash back on everything else.

Spend $500 in the first 90 days of having the card to get the $100 bonus. This works out to roughly $167 per month. You get rewards for spending up to $5,000 annual as well. You’ll earn a $50 bonus toward streaming services including Netflix, Sirus XM, Amazon Prime, and more.

This card also offers up to $600 in damage protection for your phone just for paying your bill with the card. There is no foreign transaction fee and no annual fee. This means that each reward you earn is profit. You can redeem your rewards for cash, gift cards, or Uber credits.

Cardholders also become eligible for the Uber Visa Signature benefits. You’ll get auto and travel insurance. It also comes with extended warranties on specific products. Cardholders are also eligible for hotel discounts when they travel along with other perks.

You also can earn even more rewards with Uber by using the Sears Shop Your Way program.

Best Credit Cards for Ride Sharing Three: Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa

Do you like to travel and earn bonus rewards for doing so? Maybe you find yourself using rideshare programs like Uber or Lyft. Either way, the Chase Sapphire Preferred can help you save. You’ll get double points for each travel and dining expense that you use your card for. This includes Uber, Lyft, airlines, and hotels.

You get one times the points for every other purchase. You’ll get 25-percent more points if you book your travel using the Chase portal. Also, you get a bonus for spending $4,000 in the first three months. You’ll earn 50,000 points for spending $1,333 per month for the first three months.

You do pay an annual fee of $95 for using the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. However, you won’t pay this fee for the first year that you have the card. This means that anything you earn in the first year is profit. So you don’t need to worry about offsetting the annual fee. Also, traveling a lot with this card makes it relatively easy to earn enough rewards to offset this fee.

You can redeem your points for gift cards, statement credits, merchandise, or travel. Chase allows you to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio. So this can help you pay less for your hotels or airlines each time that you travel with this card.

Cardholders gain access to several exclusive travel perks from this card. It gives you trip cancellation or interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement, and baggage delay insurance. Also, you get primary rental car insurance, extended warranty protection, and purchase protection as well.

Cash Back Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards for Ride Sharing Four: American Express Platinum

The final card on our list is from American Express. You’ll get a $15 credit each month for Uber rides in the United States. Each December will automatically get you a $20 bonus credit for Uber. This card also rewards you with five times the points when you book airfare through the Amex Travel site. Cardholders get access to 1,200 airport lounges, TSA or Global Entry precheck credit, and $200 in airline fee credits annually.

Cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points when they spend $5,000 in the first three months. This works out to spending $1,667 per month. If you travel, you know that this is easy to hit that credit card sign up bonus. You can use these points to book travel, buy merchandise, redeem gift cards, and transfer to hotel or airline partners.

So You do receive a large $550 annual fee with this card. However, you can offset it if you travel smart. Each dollar you spend on eligible hotels or flights earns you five points per dollar. You do have to book through American Express’s travel portal to get this rate. Also, new perks include an annual $200 baggage fee credit at certain airlines and free Wi-Fi access.

Bottom Line With Finding the Best Credit Cards for Ride Sharing Using Uber and Lyft

Finally, researching and using the best credit cards for ride sharing can help save money. The cards come with several perks for cardholders that can save time and money. So each card we highlighted is great for Uber and Lyft uses and general travel. We invite you to take a look. You may just find your next travel credit card and save money each time you use Uber and Lyft ride share services.

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Apply for a Credit Card – Best Time and Worst Time

apply for a credit card

Best Time and Worst Time to Apply for a Credit Card

When people think of timing being everything, a credit card is low on the list. With so many other things on your mind, your credit can wait. Right? Unfortunately, timing is critical with it comes to applying for credit cards. So when is the best time to apply for a credit card?

Applying at a bad time or putting off applying can take a long time to fix. We’re going to make sure that your timing is perfect. We’ll give you both good and bad times to apply for credit cards. This will help you start building your credit the right way.

Eight Best Times to Apply for a Credit Card

1. You Have a Preapproval List of Cards

Your credit takes a small hit each time you apply for a credit card. While this is typically only a few points, they can add up quickly. Banks can usually give you your preapproval odds for certain credit cards. Also, it helps if you’ve had an active account in good standing. They will usually give you your preapproval odds in a few minutes plus a list of cards. So you can compare the credit cards and find the one that suits your needs.

2. You’ve Turned 18

Ideally, you want to start building your credit as early as possible. This will give you a solid foundation to build up your score. Your credit history length counts for around 15-percent of your FICO credit score. You do want to have a stable income and use it wisely though. Also, switch to a lower interest card as soon as you can. Your first credit card will most likely have a higher rate and stricter terms.

3. You’ve Compared Cards

Not all credit cards are the same, and this is why you want to shop around. So you want to compare interest rates, terms, contracts, balances, and more. Do you want rewards for using your cards? Perhaps you want a no-frills and basic credit card for emergencies. Either way, comparing the different credit cards ensures that you’ll get one that matches your spending habits.

4. You’re Repairing Your Credit

Maybe you had a bankruptcy or got behind on your payments due to a medical issue. Your credit can take a huge hit if this is the case. A credit card is a useful tool for repairing or rebuilding your bad credit. You do want to pay attention to interest rates and terms though. You’ll typically have to get a secured card or a card with a high interest rate at first. This is because you’re now a higher risk. Compare the top three secured credit cards to find a low fee credit card for repairing bad credit.

5. You Have Good Credit

Do you have fair credit but not good credit? A good credit card can help push your credit up a few points. With responsible use, you may even break into excellent credit territory. As always, you do want to keep your credit utilization ratio even. It’s also important to pay off your debt and keep good records.

6. You Need to Consolidate Debt

There are credit cards that can help you pay off your balances without paying interest. If you can pay off your debt within 12 or 18 months, consider one of these balance transfer cards. These cards usually have an introductory APR offer of 0-percent for a set amount of months. Anything you pay in this time will be your balance without any additional interest charges.

7. You Need to Add Variety or Credit Mix to Your Credit Report

Banks and investors like to see a variety of accounts or a credit mix on your credit history. This includes things like loans, credit cards, and other revolving accounts. If you don’t have a credit card, it may be worth it to open one. You could even use it for a small monthly subscription if you don’t want to use it for everyday use. As long as you pay it off every month, it’ll help your credit.

8. You’re Buying a Big Item

You may think that buying a big item on a credit card is a bad idea. This entirely depends on the card in question. For example, some cards offer no interest for a set period. You could buy your item buy now and pay later and pay it off during the grace period. Doing this can potentially save you hundreds in interest costs. It can also help you get a bonus for opening your card if the card offers one.

Five Best Times to Avoid Applying for a Credit Card

1. You Have Large Existing Balances

Creditors look at your available credit compared to your debt levels. If you have large balances, don’t open another credit card. This is a quick way to get too deep into debt. It can damage your credit quickly. Additionally, it can make lenders wary of giving you a loan or a line of credit.

2. You Plan to Apply for a Mortgage or Large Loan

Is a new mortgage or a large loan on the horizon? If it’s coming in the next six months, don’t open a credit card. You lose a few points and get a temporary drop each time you apply for a credit card. This could potentially hurt your chances of getting your loan or mortgage. It’s especially true if you’re right between “good” and “great” credit scores.

3. You’ve Lost Your Job

Credit is not a good idea if you have no means to pay it back. Many people make this mistake and charge thousands to their cards if they don’t have the cash. You’ll end up paying hundreds or thousands more than you really spend due to interest. Make sure you have a steady job and emergency fund before you apply for a credit card. This way you’ll ensure you can pay it each month.

4. You’re Impulsively Applying

Maybe you want a credit card, and you don’t want to research. You impulsively sign up for a few different credit cards. This is a bad decision that could impact your finances and put you in debt. Each credit card has different interest rates and maximum credit lines. The last thing you want to do is end up with a card that doesn’t suit your spending habits.

5. You’re Living Outside of Your Means

Credit cards are not a good way to support your lifestyle. So you’ll pay what you owe plus interest. If you’re already having trouble paying your bills, credit can make it worse. You’ll get yourself into a hole that you can’t get out of. If it gets bad enough, you could declare bankruptcy. This could last up to seven years.

Bottom Line When You Apply for a Credit Card

Finally, applying for a credit card takes timing and planning. You do want to do your research. Researching will allow you to compare different credit cards. It’ll help ensure that you match your credit card to your lifestyle. In turn, you should see your credit start to rise and move in the right direction.

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Shop Your Way Sears Credit Card Application

Shop Your Way Sears Credit Card Application Review

Do you have a Sears credit card? Perhaps you have no idea about the Sears reward points you can earn. What about the Shop Your Way program? If these are new for you, you’re in luck. We’re going to go over how to apply for Sears credit card application and how to redeem Sears points. We’ll also talk about the Shop Your Way program. By the end, you’ll have a great understanding of how this card works.

Understanding the Shop Your Way Program

First up is the Shop Your Way program from the Sears credit card. It’s unique, and one huge reason why Sears has such a loyal customer base. Sears rewards points act as your virtual currency. Shop at The Great Indoors, Kmart, Sears, My Gofer or Landers’ End and earn 10 base points for every $1. When you earn 1,000 points, you’ll earn $1 to redeem.

Important: Know When Your Shop Your Way Reward Points Expire

You’ll earn points every single time you shop with your Sears card. They can take up to a week to appear in your account. Once you earn your points, you have one year to redeem Sears points. If you don’t use them within a year, the points will expire. Sears will send you a notification before they expire. So this will allow you to use them up.

Additionally, any Sears reward points you earn from special offers expire before a year. You’ll get an online account where you can view your points. You want to check this account often for Sears reward points expiration dates. When you have a group of Sears reward points that expire at different times, the online app is extremely valuable.

To find your point information, start by logging into your account. Navigate to your Account History page and check your points. You can also click on your username in the upper right-hand corner of the app. Then click on the “My Orders” tab to view your points.

How Do You Earn Sears Reward Points and Where Can You Spend Them?

You can earn Shop Your Way rewards points by first shopping at the stores we mentioned earlier. If you’re shopping in person, give your phone number, Member number or email at checkout. They’ll add your points to your account. If you shop online, you can add your Member number to your profile or add it at checkout.

You can also earn points on layaway. Just provide your Shop Your Way information when you set up the initial layaway. You’ll get your points when you make your final payment.

Do you use the Kmart pharmacy? If so, you can earn 500 points for every qualified prescription you fill or refill. However, they are restrictions to using the Kmart pharmacy. Prescriptions paid for by the state or Federal government aren’t eligible. Prescriptions you buy in AL, AR, MA, MS, NJ, and NY also aren’t eligible. Controlled substance prescriptions bought in LA also aren’t eligible.

How to Shop Your Way rewards points

You may wonder how to redeem your Shop Your Way rewards points. Luckily, there are several easy ways redeem Sears points. You can redeem them either online or directly in person. Places where you can use your Shop Your Way rewards points include:

  • Sears
  • Sears Grand
  • Sears Essentials
  • Sears Hometown Stores
  • Sears Home Appliance Showroom
  • Sears Hardware
  • Sears Outlet
  • Sears Auto Centers
  • Kmart
  • Lands’ End
  • MyGofer

Currently, you MAY NOT redeem your Shop Your Way points Sears on Sears Home Services.

Additionally, you can use your points with any other special offers or discounts you may have. They also work with checks, credit card, and cash purchases. You won’t need to use your PIN if you redeem $25.00 and under in points and can show a valid ID. Anything over $25.00 requires a PIN. You get your PIN by logging into your account, clicking your username and clicking the “Membership” button.

These are Some Helpful Sears Links:

Sears Store Locator
Kmart Store Locator
Sign Up for Shop Your Way Rewards
Sears Store Ads
Kmart Store Ads

Sears Credit Card Application

The Sears credit card application process is very straightforward. You can fill out the Sears credit card application online or in your local Sears store. You’ll need your relevant information like your name, social security number, address, etc.

Once you fill out the Sears credit card application, you’ll know within minutes if you can get the card. The Sears credit card application is a good choice for people with not so perfect credit. You’ll be able to use your card right away once you get approval. Sears will mail your Sears credit card to your home within 7 to 10 business days.

Shop Your Way® Sears Mastercard® Application

Shop Your Way points are easy to earn with the Shop Your Way MasterCard Citi Sears credit card application.

Reviewing the Sears Credit Card

Now that you know what the Shop Your Way program is, you have a good understanding of this card. We talked about earning and redeeming points as well. We’ll do a quick review of the Sears credit card next.

Citi Sears MasterCard Pros

Statement Credit
You’ll earn a $40 statement credit when you purchase $50 in items within 30 days of opening the card. This is extremely easy to earn, and it’s a great incentive to use your card right away. You do have to do an online application for it to count. This offer is valid from 11/1/18 through 1/31/19. So if you don’t have a Sears card, now is an excellent time to open an account.

Monthly Deals

Cardholders also get access to exclusive events and monthly deals through their email. So you’ll be eligible for special Shop Your Way bonuses and in-store specials. Also, you’ll get coupons and discounts linked directly to your account. Finally, you can find all of these deals by checking sears.com/credit every month.

Purchase Protection and Account Protection

Worried about fraudulent purchases or not getting the best deal? With the Citi Sears MasterCard, you don’t have to worry. This card comes with $0 fraud liability for all cardholders. You’ll get Citi Identity Theft Resolution as well. If you find the item for a lower price, you’ll get price protection. Finally, cardholders get an extended warranty on certain purchases.

MasterCard Global Acceptance

You can use the Citi Sears MasterCard all over the world. MasterCard is one of the most widely recognized credit card companies. This means that it’s very easy to find a vendor that accepts this card. You’ll be able to use it to travel without a problem.

Shop Your Way Rewards Points

Your Shop Your Way points can stack up very quickly depending on where and how you use your credit card. You get a $10,000 cap for purchases on gas, grocery stores, and restaurants. Once you hit it, the below percentages drop to one percent. Current Shop Your Way redemption percentages include:

Purchase Percentage of
Points Back
Points
Earned
Value
Gas Stations
$2,000
Five Percent 100,000 $100
Grocery Stores
$4,000
Three Percent 120,000 $120
Restaurants
$1,000
Three Percent 30,000 $30
Sears and Kmart
$2,000
Two Percent 40,000 $40
Other Items
$1,000
One Percent 10,000 $10

Easy to Complete the Sears Credit Card Application

The Sears credit card application is very simple and straightforward. So you can fill it out online or in the store. It only takes a few minutes to fill it out. You’ll get your approval or denial within minutes. Additionally, you can use your card straight away after approval.

Citi Sears MasterCard Cons

Reward Percentage Drops

Unfortunately, your Shop Your Way rewards have a cap. Once you hit $10,000 between gas, groceries, and restaurants, the rewards percentage drops. You’ll go from five and three percent for these categories down to one percent. While this isn’t a terrible rate, it can take longer to earn points.

Rewards Expire

For base points, you have one year to use them before they expire. Special points can have shorter expiration dates. This means that you have to pay extremely close attention to expiration dates. If you don’t, you’re in danger of losing your points. It can be difficult to track all of your points if you shop a lot. Avoid letting these credit card rewards from expiring.

Prescription Restrictions

While you can earn huge points at the Kmart pharmacy, there are several restrictions. Only certain classes of medications count for your rewards. Therefore certain states don’t participate. You also can’t get your points if the Federal or state government covers part or all of your costs. You need private insurance, or you pay out of pocket to use your card on non-controlled substances.

Shop Your Way® Sears Mastercard® Bottom Line

Finally, the Sears credit card is a solid choice for people who do a lot of everyday shopping. So if you spend a lot of money at Sears, you may want to consider this card. The Sears credit card application is very straightforward as well, and this makes it popular. Finally, the Shop Your Way program is an excellent incentive for new customers to sign up and use this card.

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Traveling Using a Credit Card – 13 Credit Card Travel Tips

Traveling using a credit card have 13 advantages.

13 Tips for Traveling Using a Credit Card

Traveling using a credit card abroad or even to another state requires smart use and wariness. The last thing you want is to have your credit card stolen when you’re away from home. However, there are several great reasons why people use credit cards to travel. We’ll go over them as well as useful tips to safeguard your information.

13 Tips for Traveling Using a Credit Card

1. Carry a Backup Card

Not all credit cards are accepted everywhere. You want to carry a backup card if your main card is Discover, American Express, or another limited card. You’ll have a wider acceptance with a Visa card or a MasterCard. So, it’s a good idea to carry one as a backup. You don’t want to get stranded and have no way to get funding when you travel.

2. Let Your Issuer Know You Plan to Travel

Credit cards regularly monitor for fraud. If they suspect it, they could freeze your account. It’s a good idea to contact them and tell them what your destination is. You also want to tell them the dates you plan to travel. They can note your account, so they don’t mistakenly think that it’s fraudulent transactions. This is also the time to check for any ATM or daily spending limits. Do this if you plan to travel abroad or even to another state.

3. Get a Card Without a Foreign Transaction Fee

Traveling using a credit card abroad can be expensive, especially if you have a foreign transaction fee. This fee automatically adds to your bill each time you use your card through a non-US bank. This includes ATMs and purchases. Travel for two weeks, and you may have an unpleasant surprise when you open your bill the next month. These fees usually range from one to three-percent, per transaction.

4. Keep Your Issuer Contact Information Accessible

Some issuers don’t require that you call them before traveling. However, you want to get their contact information before you leave. Most 1-800 numbers don’t work outside of the United States or Canada. You’ll want to call and write this information down and keep in easily accessible. This is in case if you lose your credit card. You’re going to need your card when you travel, and you don’t want to get stuck without it.

5. Check for Traveling Perks

Did you know that some cards have perks specifically set aside for traveling? Check for concierge service, discounted travel insurance, late hotel checkouts, and emergency evacuation insurance. These things can really help you in the event of an emergency. They can save you money and make your travel more enjoyable. Not all cards are the same, so it’s a good idea to double check.

6. Keep Emergency Cash Stashed Away

It’s a good idea to keep a stash of emergency cash when you travel. Keep this in your hotel room somewhere or in your luggage. You don’t want to carry it with your card. If your card is stolen in your purse, you’ll have cash to travel and get home. You may want to carry a small amount of cash with you for vendors as well.

7. Check Into Card-Based Travel Insurance Benefits

Traveling using a credit card can entitle you to card-based travel insurance benefits. Some cards will reimburse you personal hygiene products or clothing for delayed or lost luggage. Other cards will give you discounted or free meals for delayed flights. Things like trip reimbursement for canceled or interrupted trips are also great. Traveling can be expensive, and having these benefits can give you a safety net.

8. Stay Alert to Potential Fraud

Traveling using credit cards opens you up to fraud. You want to watch for credit card skimmers on ATMs. Also, watch for any suspicious activity. It can be more difficult to spot it if you’re in a foreign country. However, staying vigilant is essential to preventing fraud with you card. Just be very aware of your surroundings and pay attention to where and when you use your card.

9. Use a Travel Rewards Card

You want to earn as many rewards as possible when you use your card. This is where having a travel rewards card can come in handy. When you use it to travel, you can get more benefits. Things like greater cash back, more miles, and a higher earning potential are all possible. These perks vary from travel card to travel card, so you want to double check.

10. Get Your Card’s Specific App

It can be very easy to lose track of what you spend when you travel. You don’t want to hit any daily limits and get stuck either. Downloading your card’s app to your phone gives you a quick way to monitor it. You can log into the app anywhere there is public Wi-Fi. You’ll be able to check your balance, recent transactions, and how much is left on the card.

11. Update Your Card

Traveling using a credit card can take you around the world. However, you want to make sure that your card will work wherever you go. Although chip technology is relatively new in the US, it’s not in Europe. If you don’t have a chip card, check that your destination will allow you to use just a magnetic strip. If not, you may want to consider upgrading while traveling using a credit card.

12. Schedule Your Payments

You don’t want to fall behind with your payments when you travel. If it’s possible, schedule your payments ahead of time. If you have more than one payment, try to schedule them close together. Also, make sure that you have money in your account it cover the payment amount. This can make traveling using credit cards less stressful. It’ll also help keep your credit history in good shape.

13. Consider the Exchange Rates

Traveling using a credit card is one way to take advantage of local exchange rates. Your money can go further with a card then it would cash exchanges or ATM exchanges. It’s a good idea to take advantage of this with your larger purchases. Pay for things like your hotel room or rental car with your card. Keep your smaller purchases in cash.

Bottom Line

These 13 tips for traveling using a credit card can all work to save you money. Being vigilant and using your cards in a smart manner will all help you enjoy your vacation. Double check your cards and do your homework before you leave for your destination.

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Nine Disadvantages of Store Credit Cards

Learn the nine disadvantages of store credit cards

Nine Disadvantages of Store Credit Cards

Have you ever visited a department store and looked at the store credit card? It may seem very tempting to sign up for it. However, these store credit cards can be the start of a credit trap. We’ll discuss the disadvantages of store credit cards in this post. It’ll help you see why you want to avoid having one at all costs.

Nine Disadvantages of Store Credit Cards

1. Store Only Limited Use Credit Options

Store-branded credit cards usually have a very small acceptance pool. You’re only able to use it at the specific store and participating partners. This means that this card could potentially go long periods without use. This can actually hurt your credit score if you leave it to sit long enough. Additionally, most cards aren’t widely accepted brands like Visa or MasterCard. This can lower your acceptance rate even more. Consider carefully if you should have a store credit card.

2. Low Impact on Your Credit Score

A huge selling point of credit cards is that they can improve your credit score. Unfortunately, store credit cards have a lower overall impact when it comes to raising your credit score. It may improve your score with a strong payment history. However, it won’t count as much as a traditional credit card from a well-known brand will.

3. High Interest Rates is One of the Main Disadvantages of Store Credit

Traditional credit cards can have high interest rates depending on your credit score. But, those interest rates pale in comparison to store credit cards. It’s not unusual to see a store credit card with an interest rate will into the 30-percent range. It can get expensive for people who routinely carry balances from month to month. You could almost double the amount you pay for an item in interest fees alone.

4. Low Credit Limit on Some Store Cards

Most store credit cards come with very low credit limits. They may improve over time, but it’s rare to find credit limits over $1,000. This drives your credit utilization up, and this can hurt your credit score. For example, say your store card has a $100 credit limit. You want to keep your credit utilization at or under 30-percent. To do this, you should never spend more than $30 per month. For most stores, this will barely pay for one item.

5. Deferred Interest Options on Store Credit Purchases

A lot of store credit cards advertise store financing promotions that cardholders get 12 months of deferred interest. This can lead people to believe that it’s zero interest, and there’s a huge difference. True zero interest cards say something like, “0-percent APR on purchase for a year.” Deferred interest cards say. “No interest if you pay in full within a year.” The “if” is huge. It means that if you don’t pay off your balance, you’ll pay retroactive interest rates. The manufacturer will add 12 months of interest onto your balance.

6. Few Store Card Reward Point Redemption Options

Not only are the rewards lower, but the redemption choices are as well. You may earn rewards points, but only if you shop at that specific store. You typically earn between three and six points per dollar. However, you’ll need around 5,000 points to earn a gift card worth $25. You’ll have to spend over $1,500 to get $25 in rewards, and this doesn’t add up in your favor.

7. Store Cards Can Encourage Excessive Spending

Once you sign up for a store credit card, they’ll swamp you with offers. Typically, you can expect emails about sales, discounts, and rewards for spending. This can encourage you to spend more than you normally would. This is one quick way to get into debt that just keeps piling up. Additionally, your card may get a credit increase. This increase can encourage you to shop even more.

8. Retail Store Closing

Retailers close all of the time, and sometimes without warning. Once the store closes, you can’t use your card anymore. You’ll still be responsible for any balance or interest charges. You want to pay them whether or not the store is still active. However, you’ll lose all of your rewards once the store closes. You won’t get a payout or anything. It’s best to spend them quickly if you know that the store is going to close soon.

9. Finding the Terms and Conditions is Confusing

You usually get your store card as soon as they approve you. Then, you’ll get a small brochure that outlines some things about your card. However, you won’t have a lot of time to look at them or compare it to other cards. This means that you may rack up a balance without truly understanding what it’s going to cost you. It’s a fast way to get yourself into debt and have trouble getting back out.

Reasons to Consider a Store Credit Card

Avoid store credit cards as much as you can. There are legitimate reasons to get a retail credit card. Only apply for a store card that offers special discount deals for a store you frequently shop. Below are review articles for some of the most popular store credit cards. Consider these store cards carefully before applying. If a store card suits your lifestyle and offers special store card only deals, then it could prove very helpful. Just keep in mind that you should pay your balances in full each month to avoid interest charges. Otherwise, these high store credit card interest charges will negate the value of these store card only deals.

Walmart Credit Card
Target REDcard
Macy’s Credit Card
Nordstrom Credit Card
Kohl’s Credit Card
Home Depot Credit Card
Lowe’s Credit Card

Bottom Line on the Disadvantages of Store Credit

You want to avoid store credit cards as much as you can. The rewards you earn simply don’t outweigh the negatives that come with these cards. Look to see if a secured credit card is good for you to build your credit. They usually have better interest rates and more opportunity to advance to a better card. Finally, make sure you clearly know the disadvantages of store credit cards before applying.

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