10

Smart Ways To Use A Credit Card

Aren’t you sick and tired of hearing how “bad” credit cards are and that we should all just cut them up and start living on cash again. Although this sounds nice in some ways, the reality is that we live in a consumer society and credit cards have become a major part of life. The problem is when people don’t know how to use credit cards. Credit card debt is no joke and it can suck you in like quick sand. You can blame credit card companies all you want but in the end its your responsibility to be smart with your money and your cards.

Credit cards do have a positive role to play in personal finance. If you are smart with it, it can help you better manage and spend your money and it can give you the financial leverage when you need it most. Here are 3 smart uses for credit.

1. Emergencies

I do not recommend or encourage anyone to live on credit. its a recipe for disaster. Instead, the best way to use your credit cards is to use it as backup. We all have financial disasters that usually hit at the most inconvenient times. If you don’t have life savings to fall back on then it can really hit you hard. Having a card as a backup can really be a lifesaver and at a fee of about $50 a year, it’s well worth the security that it provides in case you need it.

2. Controlling Your Spending

One of the reasons why so many people fall deeper and deeper into debt is because they get caught with their pants down – so to speak. They spend and spend and then fail to make the minimum payments. When interest starts kicking in, its usually already too late and you start sinking. The smart way to use your card however is to pay it off in full every month. Its a great way to control your spending and to now exactly how much you are spending on what. It works really well if you dedicate specific expenses to a specific card – like your groceries. However, the secret is to pay it off in full every month.

3. Large Purchases

One of the reasons why businesses like to use credit cards is because it allows you to conveniently make large purchases – even on the internet. We can all get cards with relatively high credit limits and if you have to make large purchases for say a building project or if you buy a lot of stuff online, then its ideal. Once again, the secret is to clear this debt each and every month. On large purchases, the interest can be just as large so make sure you wipe the slate clean every month.

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Guidelines for Acquiring the Very Best Credit Card Offers

If feels like credit card offers are constantly being jammed inside our letterboxes. It seems as if we also see that they are promoted just about everywhere. How can we possibly discover which offers is going to be the best solution for your requirements? There seems to be quite a few more bank cards being added regularly to the large amount of choices you already have.

Should you be thinking about a bank card, you ought to begin with your current commercial lender to see what they currently offer. There are numerous benefits to getting a charge card through your own banking institution. For one, you might believe the credit card is a lot more secure since you have been using this specific lender for a long time. An additional factor is that many banks are offering great bonuses for acquiring one of their own charge cards.

There is simply no doubt that the credit card offers that you can get cash rebates on the things they buy using their card account can be particularly useful. Purchasing the basic needs while earning rewards for doing so is a good blend in any bank card.

As expected, the specific solicitations you receive are all going to print the rate of interest in large numbers. Even so, you will have to make certain you look at the small print that is connected with this specific offer to make sure that you are aware regarding all other fees required and anything that may have an impact on the introductory annual percentage rate.

Oftentimes this is the situation when it comes to considering a card. Many people never read the small print and that inevitably winds up surprising them whenever extra fees are incurred that they previously knew practically nothing about. This is applicable for company bank cards as well which includes Chase ink.

Whenever you get credit card offers that you’ll be taking into account be sure to take a look at the interest charges. This really is pretty much going to determine whether the credit card you choose will be of value. The most exorbitant annual percentage rates you can find are generally for cash advances that you have the option of getting through your account. It’s advisable not to opt for a cash advance and to at all times pay your bills promptly.

It is a fact that credit card offers can come and go, and the reasons for picking one offer compared to others will no doubt change as well. Always remember the reason why you may need a charge card, what interest rate is at present being offered, the benefits that happen to be currently marketed and fees associated with the utilization of the card account and you should not have an issue obtaining one that will benefit you.

3

How To Avoid Credit Card Debt

There are certain things in life that you will wish to avoid if you want to have a secure financial present and future for yourself and your family. Credit card debt is certainly one of those things that you should be avoiding. People do not always realise or think about it but keeping an outstanding credit card balance is one of the most expensive financial arrangements you could possibly subscribe to. If you have even an average interest rate, and not too much of an outstanding balance, you could be wasting literally hundreds of pounds a year by not paying off your outstanding balance in full each month.

There are also other problems with keeping a high amount of credit card debt. You will be making your credit rating worse for one thing. And this is something that you should be concerned about. Credit providers, banks, insurance companies and even employers will use your credit rating as a means of assessing your financial standing. If you have a very high outstanding credit card debt, or are close to your credit card debt limit, this will be regarded as a negative in the assessment of your credit score and for this very purpose, it is something that you should be attempting to avoid.

A lowered credit rating will cause you to receive worse terms and offers for future credit. For example you may get

Higher interest rates
Less favourable terms
Lower credit limits
Refusal of credit

If you wish to avoid one or more of the above out comes, you should be trying to keep your credit card debt under control. One way to do this is to simply stop using them. Discipline yourself, or if this is too difficult, take the credit cards that you are using, out of your wallet or purse, so that you cannot give in to the temptation of using them. This way, the amounts you pay back will start to reduce your outstanding balance and you will get things back under control.

Another thing you should be making sure that you are doing is repaying more than the minimum repayment on your monthly bill. Many cards allow you to repay just the interest, and if you are doing this, it means that you are repaying none of the actual outstanding balance each month so even if you stop using the credit card, you will not be paying them off. You are simply servicing the debt. You should make sure that you are paying back the credit card balance over a reasonable period.

5

Pointers on Consolidating Credit Card Debt

In case you are feeling bothered about your ever growing credit card debt and believe that theres no longer any escape for you at all, then youre undeniably wrong. You have lots of options on how you can manage your credit right, so you can achieve all the benefits of it in the long run. You may also consider consolidating credit card debt.

Consolidating credit card debt, when compared with other forms of debt dealings offers you more advantages than you could ever imagine. Rather than announcing debt bankruptcy or debt management that can only help you in a short while, going after this kind of way is definitely much better than the rest. Here are some important tips you need to know about consolidating your credit card debt.

Since debt consolidation is all about combining all your existing credit card debts and putting them altogether in just one monthly payment, you’ll definitely be able to cut down on excruciating interest fees that further add even more debt to your credit and to your name. You can even make the payment methods much faster through this kind of method so you will also be able to make the most out of your debt as well as your credit score.

The best thing to learn about consolidating credit card debt is it has various forms to do it to maximize its benefit. Therefore there isn’t any strict approach on how to do it and it is as flexible as you can possibly ever imagine. For example, there are several zero or low interest options available, or equity loans that you can use as a homeowner, or you can also go after obtaining a personal loan, which ever you consider will benefit and help you most.

If you are seriously thinking about consolidating credit card debt and you have already made up your mind as to which of these types of debt consolidation choices to go after, then its now time for you to call your creditor to go over other options that you might have. It is important that you will settle all your debts on time, but more than that, you also need to make sure that you can maintain your credit rating as a credit card holder of the company.

If you can follow all of these tips, then you can be assured of that you won’t experience any problems in your future expenses.

2

Credit Card Machines Buying Guide

Credit card machines or credit card terminals allow doing transactions by means of the credit card. Every business that aspires to grow into a larger business should have the ability to handle credit cards. Today, money orders, cheques or cash are simply relics. People hardly use them until and unless the power goes out. Also, banks encourage the use of credit cards to. Once you get a card terminal, you will realise how you can make more profits with it.

Why a business needs card processing systems

A cash transaction using credit cards involve a lot of players. However, in the end, no matter how complex the system may be, getting credit card machines will improve your sales greatly. It is indicated that the moment you gain the ability to accept cards can increase the sales by 23 percent. Therefore, your products will get a larger market. It also improves cash flow, improves productivity, decreases operational costs and enhances your business image.

How the system works

The card payment processing terminal communicates with the bank via a telephone line. It can do the same using the internet connection too. The connection may be wired or wireless. But, usually, the telephone line is used. Some card terminals can also use cellular networks and can do transactions using the GPRS. The credit card information is entered by inserting or swiping the card. It can be manually entered too. This data is then transferred for authorisation and authentication, after which it is funded. Some credit card machines cache the data as authorization might not be available immediately. After the connection becomes available, the payment is processed.

As mentioned earlier, there are many stages involved in how the system works. The customer first chooses a product and buys it using a credit card. The moment the credit card is swiped and the transaction details are provided in the card terminal, the card-issuing bank checks if the data is valid or not, and if there are enough funds to make the purchase.

After the card data is authenticated, the bank sends the payment processor system an authorization code. This authorization is send to the card terminal, where receipt is printed for the customer to sign. The entire process takes only a few seconds.

The issuing bank will then transfer the appropriate amount electronically to the merchants account. Thus the payment is made.

Getting the right machine

There are different types of terminals for credit card machines. Each of these terminals are designed with a specific functionality in mind. Sometimes, the terminals need portability, like in restaurants, while at other times, they need to be fast, like in departmental stores, where there is a long queue. As for the functionality, all include basic transaction and cash back functionality, along with gratuity functionality, pre-authorization and currency conversion.

So, getting credit card machines makes a good business sense. It will help you enhance the customer service and give your business an edge over the competition.

4

What is online credit card processing

Online credit card processing can be defined as the processing of any kind of credit card payment. An Online Credit Card Payment Processing company, usually referred to as a Payment Service Provider, will offer merchants online services for accepting payment online including credit and debit cards, direct debit, bank transfer and real-time bank transfers.

The history of credit card processing:

The earliest methods of credit card processing involved submitting credit card slips to a merchant processing bank by mail or by accessing an Automated Response Unit (ARU) by telephone.

These days the majority of credit card transactions are sent electronically to merchant processing banks for authorisation, capture and deposit. In all circumstances either the entire magnetic strip is read by a swipe through a credit card terminal/reader or the credit card information is manually entered into a credit card terminal, a computer or website.

Accepting credit card online payments:

The easiest way for businesses (merchants) to begin accepting online payments through their website is to open a merchant account with a Payment Service Provider (PSP)

A merchant account is a contract between the merchant and the PSP, without such a contract one cannot directly accept payments by any of the major credit card brands.

The reason that merchants need an account with a PSP is that any company wishing to accept online credit card payments need to process the credit card transactions through a payment gateway. The payment gateway service is provided by the PSP, some of whom will have their own payment gateway but the majority of PSPs use third party payment gateways.

The gateway usually has 2 components: a) the virtual terminal that can allow for a merchant to securely login and key in credit card numbers or b) have the website’s shopping-cart connect to the gateway via an API (Application Programming Interface) to allow for real time processing from the merchant’s website.

The fees charged by a PSP are usually dictated by the volume of transactions that are processed by the merchant e.g. the higher the volume the lower the rates. As well as a fee that is charged against each transaction most PSPs will impose a holdback charge. This charge is a set fee that is held by the PSP for a certain period of time, normally 180 days as security against any chargebacks.

PSPs will usually provide merchants with access to the payment gateways back office which allows merchants to view details about the transactions that have been processed including volumes, amounts etc.

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What Do The Numbers Indicate On Credit Cards

Ever wondered what the numbers on your cards indicate? Well you might have written them down at several points, either as reference or as a security measure in case of theft, but did you ever sit down to think what they might mean? Heres the answer.

The first number on your credit card denotes the system of the card. Is it a visa, master, or entertainment card? If the number is 3, it means it could be an American Express or Diners Club card or any other entertainment or travel card. Whereas a card with 4 as the first digit denotes that the card is a Visa card and a 5 means it is a MasterCard. A card that starts with the number 6 means it is a Discover card.

The number on the card also denotes the system of the card. For instance, a Diners Club card starts with 38 while, an American Express card number starts with 37. The third and fourth numbers denote the currency used on the card while the rest of the numbers till the 11th give you the information on account number. The digits from 12 to 14 is the credit card number and the last digit, the 15th is a check digit. This is the configuration in an American Express card.

A Visa and a MasterCard are similar in concept with some variations. They basically provide the same details, though the numbers and rules vary slightly. These numbers offer complete information on the users account and one must keep a photocopy of the card with the number or write the number down safely in case of card theft at any point in time. This reference number needs to be quoted to block your cards from being misused.

If you think this is all there is to a card, you are mistaken. The back of a card is even more configured with information and codes. The magnetic strip you see on the back of your cards (also called the magstripe) is made of iron-based magnetic particles. It is however plastic like in appearance. The card is often swiped at a business center or a store when you make a purchase and it is the magstripe that needs to be read by the magstripe reader.

Sometimes you may encounter problems with your card at stores or even at the ATMs where the reader fails to accept your card. This could in all likelihood be due to a dirty or damaged magstripe. In fact, even if your card has been exposed to magnets, it can damage the magnetized strip. So do take good care of your credit card and keep it protected from damages.

11

International Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees

When traveling abroad, using a credit card can get costly. With the exception of one credit card Company, credit card companies charge a 3% international credit card transaction fee for all purchases made outside the United States. This 3% fee is generally hidden in the fine print of your credit card terms, but unless youre carrying a no transaction fee credit card, youll be paying extra for every purchase you make.

One way to avoid paying international credit card fees is to use your debit card. Although rules and fees vary from bank to bank, many national banks only charge a foreign currency conversion charge when you make a transaction. Unfortunately, there are a number of very major drawbacks to using your debit card to make purchases abroad. First, if someone steals your debit card info, your bank account may depleted before you realize it. This can lead to overdraft charges and other issues. Secondly, if your debit card is stolen, the funds that should be available to you in your bank may not be available for a substantial amount of time as the bank investigates your claims.

Clearly, this scenario could prove a nightmare. Imagine being stuck abroad with no available cash and returning home to spend weeks waiting for funds to return to your bank account.

Avoiding this scenario by using a credit card is must do. If your credit card is used fraudulently, you can contest the charges immediately and the money in your bank remains safe. Of course, paying a 3% fee for international credit card usage can cause a problem. However, simply apply for a credit card that charges no foreign transaction fees and you avoid excess fees and prevent all the issues that can arise when you use your debit card.

In addition to charging no international transaction fees, the same credit card company offers high limit credit cards. High limit credit cards offer consumers credit limits in excess of ten thousand dollars and, in many cases, up to twenty five thousand dollars.

Traveling abroad without a no foreign fee credit card can be more expensive and, in worst case situations, nightmarish. Using a debit card can obviously create some serious, time consuming and unnecessary financial headaches. Paying a 3% fee is generally worth avoiding the potential headaches, but since it is possible to avoid this fee, the best option is to apply for a credit card that doesnt charge a 3% international transaction fee.

10

Things to Know about Credit Card Rewards Programs

Credit card rewards programs have come a long way. At first, they were reserved for the elite credit cards, which mostly required high priced annual fees to participate. Now, most every credit card has a rewards program, and most every program doesnt even require an annual fee. Thats the beauty of rewards programs nowtheyve become a major way for credit cards to compete for your business. So you should take advantage of your opportunities and get the best rewards program possible.

1. Experience Rewards

The first thing you should know about credit card rewards programs, though, is that todays are not your grandmothers rewards programs. Today, you can basically get anything that you want as a reward. This new system is sometimes called “experience rewards”by which you can practically name anything as a reward to the credit card concierge, and he or she will tell you then how many rewards points you need.

2. Is it for You?

Of course, you should know whether or not you need such extravagance. If you dont have the time or the inclination to, say, ask for an experience reward like an African safari, then these fancy cards are not for you. You may be better off looking for cash-back rewards programs, or a smaller scale travel rewards program with no annual fee.

3. Are You a Dedicated Customer to a Particular Brand?

A third aspect of rewards programs to know about are the very specific cards out there from, for example, a specific car maker or a theme park company. Usually, rewards from these programs go to free or discounted items from only that particular company. That makes these cards only worth it for very dedicated customerssomeone who only buys GM cars, for instance, or someone who regularly visits Disney parks or stores.

4. Shop Around for the Best Deals

Whatever type of rewards program you pick, you should be sure youre getting the best bang for your spent dollars. Many average programs offer 1 reward point for every dollar spent, or 1 percent or less cash back for every dollar spent. If you shop around for specials, however, you may be able to find even better deals in rewards programs.

5. Know the Ins and Outs of Your Deal

Lastly, never pass up the chance to beef up on your rewards points. Most cards offer chances to load up on points through special promotions. They may, say, offer triple rewards points during the first six months you have the card, or offer more cash back if you shop at specific stores or eat out at restaurants. Know these deals. Take advantage of them!

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Abn Amro Prepaid Credit Cards

There are various kinds of credit cards available in the market at present. Prepaid credit cards are getting more and more popular now days. However, many people do not have any knowledge about prepaid credit cards. A prepaid credit card is allotted to a customer by a bank when he deposits a certain amount of money in his prepaid credit card account. An individual can use this card at all the place where he can use a normal credit card. However, in case of these cards, one cannot spend more money than he has in his credit card account.

It means that these cards have no risk of spending more than what you have. These cards work on the same principle, on which debit cards works. As you can spend only that much money which is deposited in to your account, there is nothing like interest charges associated with these cards. There are a number of banks available in the markets, which are offering such cards to their customers.

ABN AMRO bank is famous for offering various types of credit cards to a large number of customers. It offers credit cards to its customers according to their requirements and profile. ABN AMRO credit cards can be used at a large number of places. The prepaid credit cards offered by this bank are used by various people. These cards offer a lot of benefits to the customers. For instance, parents can give these cards to their children. Most of the parents hesitate to give regular credit cards to their children because they may spend a lot of amount through them. The procedure for getting an ABN AMRO prepaid credit card is very simple. You just need to contact your nearby branch of ABN AMRO Bank and after the completion of a few formalities; you will get your prepaid credit card.