The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Friday, February 26, 2021

All articles tagged Credit Card Usage (73)

Best Credit Cards For Building Credit in 2021

Best Credit Cards For Building Credit in 2021

The best credit cards for building credit won’t just help you improve your credit score — they’ll also provide benefits that last long after you’ve achieved the excellent credit you strive for. And whether you’re a student, consumer, small business owner, or all of the above, you can maximize your credit-building potential while developing a positive relationship with a bank and possibly earn some rewards along the way. Every one of the cards below will report your... read more »

What Happens to the Balance of a Closed Credit Card?

What Happens to the Balance of a Closed Credit Card?

There are a few circumstances when a credit card may be closed even when an outstanding balance remains on the account. As nice as it would be for the debt to disappear with the terminated credit line, the cardholder remains liable for the balance until it is paid. Here is how and why a card with an amount still due can be closed, what it means to your credit rating, and how you can deal with the balance you owe (and the rewards balance that’s owed to you) appropriately. You Are... read more »

Best Credit Cards Accepted Everywhere in 2021

Best Credit Cards Accepted Everywhere in 2021

If you’ve ever tried to pay for dinner with a credit card that the restaurant didn’t accept, then you’ll be very interested in our rundown of the best credit cards accepted everywhere. As it turns out, not all cards are accepted by all merchants. Most often, the reason why some merchants say no to cards from particular payment networks boils down to relatively high fees charged by those networks. Fees are the lifeblood of the four payment networks: Visa, Mastercard, American... read more »

Credit Card Ownership By Age, Income, Gender & Race in 2021

Credit Card Ownership By Age, Income, Gender & Race in 2021

Data on who applies for and receives certain credit cards and what they do with credit cards once they’re activated reveals interesting consumer trends. Credit card holders have different characteristics that vary in scope. All the collected facts and data paint a fascinating story about U.S. consumers and their credit cards. Here are the most recent statistics on account ownership broken down into key demographic measures: age, income, gender, and race. Credit Card Ownership By... read more »

9 Trends: Credit Cards During the COVID-19 Pandemic

9 Trends: Credit Cards During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected just about everything in 2020, and credit cards were no exception. From account balances to rewards offered and customer satisfaction among credit card issuers, the pandemic has altered the way consumers utilize credit. Here's a quick summary of what you need to know about credit cards during the COVID-19 pandemic. 1. Credit Card Balances Decreased Consumers paid down credit card debt in the early months of the pandemic. Credit card balances for... read more »

Best Virtual Credit Cards of 2021

Best Virtual Credit Cards of 2021

Identity theft shows no signs of abating, which explains the usefulness of the best virtual credit cards as protective tools. Most cardholders can access virtual account numbers these days thanks to digital wallets. Using virtual card numbers provides you with an extra layer of security without compromising your ability to pay for, return, exchange, or earn rewards on the items you buy. Normally, there is no monthly fee for generating virtual account numbers. Capital One | Chase |... read more »

Cash Advance Limits by Issuer in 2021

Cash Advance Limits by Issuer in 2021

It’s a good idea to know the cash advance limits on your credit cards before asking an ATM to start spitting out money. As it turns out, each card and card issuer has set limits on the maximum cash advance you can get, further tempered by factors such as your current balance and daily ATM withdrawal limit. Read on for a rundown on how several popular credit card companies control how much cash you can borrow from their cards. Amex | BoA | Capital One | Chase | Citi | Wells Fargo ... read more »

The Average Number of Credit Card Transactions Per Day & Year

The Average Number of Credit Card Transactions Per Day & Year

Credit card users make a mind-boggling number of daily transactions every year. The figures are astounding, whether you're looking at what’s happening in the United States or in countries across the globe. Credit card payments in 2018 totaled $44.7 billion in the U.S. alone, according to The 2019 Federal Reserve Payments Study. The speed at which these transactions process is awe-inspiring. Credit cards can settle 5,000 transactions per second. To further illustrate the... read more »

9 Best Credit Cards for Home Improvement Projects

9 Best Credit Cards for Home Improvement Projects

Whether you're doing necessary maintenance like replacing moisture-damaged wood or you're adding a cool new addition to your home, homeowners have to put some cash into their domicile from time to time. In this article, we'll take a look at our choices for the best credit cards for home improvement. No matter how outdoorsy you are or how much you like to paint the town, just the time you spend sleeping can add up to more than 2,900 hours a year at home — and that's likely the... read more »

5 Ways to Use Your Credit Card for Social Action

5 Ways to Use Your Credit Card for Social Action

Credit cards may not seem like an obvious tool for social action. But in fact, credit cards provide multiple opportunities to make a difference and support causes you care about every day. Whether your aims are social, political, or charitable, here are five ways to use your credit cards to promote a cause. 1. Donate Your Cash Back or Card Rewards One way to support a cause with your credit card is to donate your cash back, miles, points, or other rewards to an organization that... read more »

10 Best Starter Credit Cards to Build Credit

10 Best Starter Credit Cards to Build Credit

In this article, we review the 10 best starter credit cards to build credit. Using a starter credit card is an efficient way to create and build your credit profile. Many consumers who’ve never used credit are candidates for these cards, including students and unbanked millennials. In addition, you can work to rebuild a low credit score by getting a starter credit card and using it responsibly. These cards are easy to acquire and most offer cash back rewards. Whichever one you... read more »

13 Best Credit Cards for Electronics Purchases

13 Best Credit Cards for Electronics Purchases

Many consumers struggle over whether to purchase a store’s extended warranty plan when buying a new electronic gadget. But, if you carry one of the best credit cards for electronics, you can confidently decline the offer and still feel safe. That's because you can automatically extend your warranty without having to pay an extra fee when you use any of the cards listed below to make your purchase. Some cards will even offer price protections that refund part of your purchase price... read more »

5 Best Credit Cards for Buying Bitcoin

5 Best Credit Cards for Buying Bitcoin

Early 2018 was a rough time for speculators who regularly purchased cryptocurrency using their credit cards. In a single two-week period, just about every major credit card issuer banned the purchase of Bitcoin and other alternative currencies using their cards. But a select few of the best credit cards for buying Bitcoin are still available. American Express remains the lone holdout among major issuers to enable the purchase of cryptocurrencies. The others referenced the lack of... read more »

10 Best Credit Cards for Buying Money Orders

10 Best Credit Cards for Buying Money Orders

Money orders are handy alternatives when you want to send money. You can buy them at the U.S. Post Office as well as at retail stores and online. You prepay the money order with cash, a debit card, or with one of the best credit cards for buying money orders, so there is no chance that the money order will bounce. When you pay with a credit card, the transaction is considered a cash advance. The 10 cards in this review are best for purchasing money orders because they charge no or... read more »

How to Use a Credit Card Responsibly

How to Use a Credit Card Responsibly

When you’re smart about the way you use credit cards, they come with fantastic benefits. When you’re not smart about the way you use credit cards, they can become problematic. Responsible credit card usage will save you money, build your credit reports and scores, and even help you earn valuable rewards or cash back. Irresponsible usage of credit cards can lead to defaults, debt collector calls, and even bankruptcy. Credit cards, along with student loans, have become the most... read more »

13 Best Credit Cards for Buying Furniture

13 Best Credit Cards for Buying Furniture

While getting new furniture is exciting, it’s often an expensive endeavor. The good news is that you can pay with one of the best credit cards for buying furniture if you don’t have the cash for it upfront. Maybe you recently moved into a new home and need to furnish it. Or, maybe you’re tired of that 10-year-old couch in your family room and are looking for something new. Whatever your reasons for buying new furniture, these cards all offer 0% financing and rewards for your... read more »

12 Heaviest Credit Cards in 2021

12 Heaviest Credit Cards in 2021

If you are of a certain age, the word "heavy" may rekindle fond memories of your college days when, sitting in a smoke-filled room, you would respond to a friend’s unexpected minor confession with a heartfelt “heavy, man.” In the here and now, heavy means weight, which brings us to the topic of the heaviest credit cards. These cards are fabricated from metal rather than plastic, giving them an air of permanence and solidity. Just holding one in your hand can make you feel,... read more »

9 Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco

9 Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco

In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of the more than 94 million people who are Costco members. I love shopping for huge packages of paper towels and seedless grapes, and the prices are great. Our experts took a look at the best credit cards to use at Costco and identified 10 strong candidates. And while you may think you can use any credit card you want to pay for Costco purchases, that's not correct, because Costco only accepts cards on the Visa payment network. Read on... read more »

Is it Bad to Cancel a Credit Card?

Is it Bad to Cancel a Credit Card?

You may eventually want to purge one, some, or even all of your credit card accounts. Whether it's out of need or desire, you have every right to back out of the deal. There are potential drawbacks to canceling a credit card, however, so it’s important to learn what they are before ending the relationship. The downsides may inspire you to keep an account active. Of course, there are times when it makes sense to kiss your card goodbye, too. Here’s what you need to know to make... read more »

21 Best Credit Cards for Shopping

21 Best Credit Cards for Shopping

Most people have experienced heading out to the supermarket, a department store, or the mall, to pick up one or two items and leave instead with four bags full of stuff. Sometimes a sale is just too good to pass up. That’s why consumers often look for the best credit cards for shopping. And while 90% of retail shopping in the U.S. still takes place in brick-and-mortar stores, experts forcast that online shopping will account for 20% of all sales by the year 2025. That means having... read more »

5 Wise Ways Couples Can Use Credit Cards When Planning a Wedding

5 Wise Ways Couples Can Use Credit Cards When Planning a Wedding

When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and you’re ready for that long-term commitment, the next step is usually marriage. Celebrating this big moment is always better with your close friends and family, but planning a wedding that can accommodate everyone can quickly become overwhelming and stressful thanks to the pricey fees imposed by venues and service providers. From food and drinks to decorations and music, and, of course, the dress, wedding... read more »

Purchases You Shouldn’t Make with a Credit Card

Purchases You Shouldn’t Make with a Credit Card

Credit cards are a smart way to pay for your purchases. They are convenient, safe, and many can pack a large amount of buying power. When you are using your credit card to pay for pretty much anything, you can enjoy some great fraud protections that can help to keep your money safe from crooks and scam artists. Believe it or not, credit cards may help you save money -- if you use them wisely -- since many of them offer attractive perks. With some credit cards, the use of the account... read more »

How Credit Cards Can Impact Your FICO® Scores

How Credit Cards Can Impact Your FICO® Scores

It goes without saying (or writing) that your credit scores are a big deal. They are especially so when you want to apply for a new loan, credit card, or some other service that uses credit scores as part of its underwriting process. And while there are two primarily utilized scoring platforms, FICO and VantageScore, FICO is still the most commonly used credit score by most lenders. What you may not understand is exactly how FICO and other scoring models get to that three-digit... read more »

Adopt These 7 Credit Card Habits to Stay Out of Debt

Adopt These 7 Credit Card Habits to Stay Out of Debt

The average credit card debt per U.S. household hovers over $8,000. Although this number is shocking, it doesn’t mean you should cut up your cards and banish them from your life altogether. In fact, when used wisely, credit cards can actually improve your financial health. From increasing your credit score to offsetting everyday costs and travel expenses, and providing additional protection for big-ticket purchases, credit cards can be valuable tools toward managing your money... read more »

2 Ways to Reduce Your Credit Card Interest Rate

2 Ways to Reduce Your Credit Card Interest Rate

If no one has told you -- and you've yet to discover it for yourself -- credit card debt can be expensive. And, the longer you carry that debt, the more expensive it can get. For example, on a card with a typical 17% annual percentage rate (or APR), a $500 purchase could cost you almost $100 extra in interest fees — and could take nearly two years to pay off — if you only make the minimum payment. That means the great suit that was on sale for $500 could actually cost you $600... read more »

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