Saturday, October 28, 2006

Happy Holidays from Discover Card – 5% Cash Back Credit Card Bonus Offer

Halloween hasn’t happened yet, but the television commercials are already pushing holiday spending. Another sign of the impending spending season: Discover Card is launching its "Make the Holidays More Entertaining" Get More program, which runs from October through December.

If you have a Discover Card, and sign up for its Get More program, you can get a total of five percent back on: purchases at certain stores and Web sites, movie tickets and rentals, as well as meals at specific restaurants. Some of the merchants who are participating are, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Circuit City, Crutchfield, Napster and Waldenbooks. (Cardmembers continue to earn up to a 1% Cashback Bonus on purchases in other locations.)

Some might say that the Get More program encourages over-spending. But according to Julie Loeger, Vice President of Rewards Marketing at Discover, it’s:

For complete detail visit Happy Holidays from Discover Card – 5% Cash Back Credit Card Bonus Offer.

Friday, October 20, 2006

SIFE Sense: credit card basics

Given the high prices of tuition and the common lack of hard cash, students often find credit cards a viable way to deal with funding problems. Credit cards are by their nature, designed to be an easy way for people to pay for expensive items over a period of time. The major problem is that many students who do get credit cards are unable to pay the monthly bills on time and end up paying more over a longer period of time due to interest rates.

There are options for students looking for a credit card. Student credit cards are perhaps one of the best ways to begin dealing with credit. The difference between student credit cards and other credit cards is that they allow students to hold a card without a job, income or a credit record. The only requirement is that the individual must be enrolled at a four-year college or university.

However, student credit cards can have some drawbacks. Since students may not have large incomes or jobs, they will be charged with higher interest rates. Research sites, like, offer comparisons between different cards' rates, annual fees, benefits and other terms. An interest rate in the mid-teens is typical for first-time cardholders.

One credit card company offers lower rates to students with higher grade point averages and those who pay on time. Some of the benefits associated with student credit cards are points or rewards at popular retailers.

Unfortunately, only 21 percent of undergraduates pay off their balance in full each month. A cardholder should maintain a budget and stay within his or her spending limit to avoid paying high interest rates and fees.

It is always important for students with credit carts to remember how much they can pay back from their spending and not just how much they can spend. Credit can be a great help in starting a successful financial future, but students must always remember to control their credit and not have their credit control them.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Tips for Finding the Best Cash Back Credit Card

Cash back cards can be great if you use your credit card for a lot of purchases and pay off the balance quickly. Using the card a lot means that you earn more cash back, and paying it off right away means that you don't lose what you earn to interest charges on the balance. Most cash back rates are around 1% of the total purchases, before finance and interest charges. Here are five tips to help you choose the best cash back credit card for you:

1. Consider your credit needs and habits. How much do you use your credit card? Do you use it more on certain vendors or types of purchases? Do you tend to pay of the card each month, or carry a balance? Are you looking for a high credit limit? What about extra services and perks?

2. Consider which card features are most important to you. In addition to cash back, are you looking for a low APR? Is it important to have no annual fee? Are you looking for a card that also offers extra services? Considering how important specific features are to you can help in narrowing down your choices.

3. Compare several cards to find the best one. There are all sorts of combinations of terms and features available from different companies, so it's a good idea to compare several cards that meet your most important criteria.

4. Don't lose sight of what's important to you. If the most important feature for you is getting the most cash back, avoid getting sidetracked by special deals that offer less actual cash. Special features are great - as long as you're also getting what matters most to you!

5. Check several sources of information. The Federal Reserve publishes a survey of credit card terms every six months, and there are lots of websites where you can compare offers. Check a variety of sites to view as many options as possible, and then narrow your choices down to the ones that really suit you.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Credit card rewards can be hard to figure out

SAN FRANCISCO — Airline miles? Cash back? Hotel points? These days, choosing among rewards cards is not for the faint of heart. Not only is there a plethora of cards from which to choose — how about money contributed to your IRA every time you make a purchase? — but they offer perks in a variety of ways.

And they all come with the inevitable fine print detailing myriad restrictions, making it difficult to figure out which is the best deal.

There's some evidence rewards programs stymie cardholders. About one-third of mothers in a recent survey said they're unsure what rewards their credit card offers, according to a survey of 223 mothers with rewards cards, conducted by Harris Interactive for Disney Rewards Visa Card from Chase.

Forty-one percent of the moms said they're dissatisfied with their rewards-card program, 34 percent said their credit card does not offer the types of rewards their family wants and 32 percent are frustrated by the restrictions their card carries. (Disney Rewards Visa says its card comes with no black-out dates or other common restrictions.)

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