The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, May 20, 2024

All articles tagged Credit Card Usage (96)

11 Credit Card Habits You Need to Break Now

11 Credit Card Habits You Need to Break Now

Dramatic price hikes across consumer goods and services since inflation began surging in mid-2021 have prompted people to take on record credit card debt — surpassing $1 trillion at the end of 2023, as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported.  While skyrocketing food, energy, and housing costs are much to blame for consumer debt, we can’t ignore poor credit card spending habits. Taking control of how you use your credit card is the first step in getting out of debt.... read more »

What is Credit Card Churning & Does it Affect My Credit?

What is Credit Card Churning & Does it Affect My Credit?

There is no shortage of strategies to maximize the financial benefit of credit card accounts. Most of them are generally positive in nature, with little to no downside. But one strategy that threatens to damage your credit reports and credit scores, both short and long term, is the so-called credit card churning — and it should be approached with caution. Credit Card Churning is the Pursuit of Signup Bonuses Credit card churning is the process whereby a consumer applies for and... read more »

18 Revealing Credit Card Ownership Statistics (2024)

18 Revealing Credit Card Ownership Statistics (2024)

Credit cards have come a long way from their start in the late 19th century, when stores and hotels began offering metal and celluloid charge cards to stamp account numbers on sales slips. It was a decidedly analog beginning for an industry transitioning from chip and PIN cards, where a metallic chip holds payment data on a plastic card, to virtual cards and global digital payment systems. Nowadays, Americans are so accustomed to using physical and virtual credit and debit cards... read more »

7 Best Credit Cards Reddit Users Recommend (May 2024)

7 Best Credit Cards Reddit Users Recommend (May 2024)

Many consumers find the Reddit platform a valuable source of information about credit cards. Reddit’s large community offers diverse opinions on various topics, including how to choose the best credit card for your situation. You can use the subreddit r/CreditCards to add your own comments about credit cards. To compose this list of Reddit’s top recommendations, we’ve combed through many of the site’s posts for advice about credit cards. We also review each recommended card... read more »

3 Best Discover Cards For Beginners (April 2024)

3 Best Discover Cards For Beginners (April 2024)

A beginning is a delicate time. So opens Dune, Frank Herbert’s science-fiction masterpiece. What was true of galactic politics remains true of your first credit card. You want to start off on the right foot -- and that foot could be Discover. Discover’s credit cards provide excellent value without charging annual fees. This article reviews the cards it offers that best suit credit newbies. We also review several competing cards that deserve consideration if you’re beginning... read more »

5 Best Credit Cards to Use at Sam’s Club (May 2024)

5 Best Credit Cards to Use at Sam’s Club (May 2024)

At a time when grocery prices are still increasing, consumers looking to save money will head to warehouse chains like Sam’s Club to find lower prices than they would at a traditional grocery store.  If you already shop at Sam's Club, you know all about these savings — but did you know that using the right credit card can save you even more money? Read below to learn about the best credit cards to use at Sam’s Club, how to sign up, and which one to choose. Best... read more »

Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck vs. CLEAR: Credit Card Benefit Comparison (Feb. 2024)

Global Entry vs. TSA PreCheck vs. CLEAR: Credit Card Benefit Comparison (Feb. 2024)

Airline travel typically involves a lot of waiting in lines. There's a security screening when you leave and, if you're traveling internationally, a customs check-in when you arrive. A prescreening service, such as TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or CLEAR, may give you access to an expedited security process so you can get to your gate faster. These services can be pricey, but smart travelers who plan ahead can access all the benefits with none of the costs by applying for and using... read more »

Capital One Venture vs. Venture X: Which Wins? (May 2024)

Capital One Venture vs. Venture X: Which Wins? (May 2024)

Capital One’s commercials are light-hearted, but the company is deadly serious about attracting new cardholders. This Capital One Venture vs. Venture X showdown reveals how far Capital One will go to gain market share at its competitors’ expense. Its two top travel cards offer excellent value -- your choice hinges on the features you are willing to pay for. Venture X Charges a Higher Annual Fee For More Travel Privileges Though the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit... read more »

15 Credit Card Tips & Tricks from Experts (Feb. 2024)

15 Credit Card Tips & Tricks from Experts (Feb. 2024)

Using a credit card advantageously is within everybody's capability. You just need to learn the tricks of the trade. There are some strategies you can employ to make sure you are always on top of your account and are using it to your benefit.  You can also protect your account against fraud, establish a positive relationship with the issuer, and just make life easier for yourself. If you falter, though, it can cost you both fees and credit damage. The following 15 tips... read more »

9 Best Unsecured Credit Cards For Building Credit 

9 Best Unsecured Credit Cards For Building Credit 

Do you toss and turn at night worrying about your lousy credit score? You don't need a better mattress; you need better credit. We hate to see you dragging your sleep-deprived self around in the morning, so we've assembled a list of the best unsecured credit cards for building credit.  You can obtain any of these cards without a security deposit (typically $200 or more). The card issuers designed these products for folks with less-than-good credit (i.e., FICO scores below 670).... read more »

Credit Card Ownership By Age, Income, Gender & Race in 2024

Credit Card Ownership By Age, Income, Gender & Race in 2024

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 US 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. Navigate... read more »

5 Best Secured Credit Cards to Build Credit (April 2024)

5 Best Secured Credit Cards to Build Credit (April 2024)

It's true that the best secured credit cards to build credit carry some upfront costs. But for folks with bad credit, they are cheaper and generally better than subprime unsecured credit cards. In many respects, secured cards are very similar to unsecured cards.  They allow you to charge in-store purchases without carrying around cash or a checkbook. Unlike debit cards, they let you stretch your payments over several months, a helpful feature for big-ticket purchases.... read more »

9 Best Credit Cards For Streaming Services (May 2024)

9 Best Credit Cards For Streaming Services (May 2024)

COVID-19 changed the world in so many ways, including boosting the popularity of the best credit cards for streaming services. During the movie theater shut down, folks fought cabin fever by increasing their consumption of on-demand streaming video.  About 85% of US households subscribe to at least one streaming service, and the share of subscribers using five or more services has quadrupled since 2019. Against this backdrop, several credit cards for folks with a high credit... read more »

7 Best Starter Credit Cards to Build Credit (May 2024)

7 Best Starter Credit Cards to Build Credit (May 2024)

In this article, we review the best starter credit cards to build credit. Using a starter credit card is an efficient way to create and build your credit history. Many consumers who’ve never used credit are candidates for these cards, including students. 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 choose, resolve to pay your bill... read more »

7 Best Credit Card Benefits (May 2024)

7 Best Credit Card Benefits (May 2024)

I really appreciate having access to some of the best credit card benefits currently available. My upcoming family trip to Disney World will include freebies such as travel insurance, collision damage waiver on the car rental, access to airport lounges, and free checked bags, thanks to my favorite credit card.  While some benefits only come with premium cards, many everyday cards offer perks to save you money. You can find cards that cover your purchased items against damage,... read more »

Chase Freedom vs. Discover it® Cards (March 2024)

Chase Freedom vs. Discover it® Cards (March 2024)

In the modern consumer marketplace, many industries are often dominated by two leading brands and their latest products. If you want a soda, for instance, you're likely choosing between some version of Pepsi or Coke. Similarly, most people likely carry a phone sporting the latest version of either Android or iOS.  When it comes to cash back credit card rewards, two of the biggest names to beat are the Chase Freedom cards and Discover it® credit card line. These are somewhat... read more »

3 Credit Cards For Kids & Ways to Help Them Build Credit (Feb. 2024)

3 Credit Cards For Kids & Ways to Help Them Build Credit (Feb. 2024)

Children often want to feel more grown-up than they actually are, and that includes craving a certain amount of financial autonomy. Yet as much as kids may want to have their own credit card, minors cannot legally sign a contract.  You must be at least 18 years old to get a credit card as the primary cardholder. Prepaid cards can bridge the gap. They let kids enjoy spending freedom without the risk of amassing credit card debt or credit damage. They can also help children... read more »

8 Instant-Approval Credit Cards with Instant Use (2024)

8 Instant-Approval Credit Cards with Instant Use (2024)

If you navigate your life at warp speed, you’ll love these 12 instant-approval credit cards with instant use. Instant approval isn’t unusual, but not all credit card companies allow you to use your card instantly. That’s a shame because when we need a card, we need it now! Am I right, people? The cards reviewed here, for the most part, provide you with your actual card number instantly. This is separate from any temporary virtual account number issuers give you for added... read more »

11 Best Credit Cards For Gas & Groceries (May 2024)

11 Best Credit Cards For Gas & Groceries (May 2024)

I didn't have a clue about the best credit cards for gas and groceries during my undergraduate days. In fact, I'm sure they didn't exist back then. Too bad because I spent most of my meager funds at the grocery store on delicacies like flaked tuna, semi-stale bread, and Vienna sausages. A little cash back would have helped back then, and for many, it still helps today.  And even if I didn't drive a car when I was in college, you probably do and can benefit from a gas rewards... read more »

Which Credit Card Companies Report Authorized Users?

Which Credit Card Companies Report Authorized Users?

One of the most compelling benefits of becoming an authorized user on another person’s credit card is that the account and all its activity shows up on your credit report. If you are trying to build or repair your credit rating, a well-managed account can add a steady stream of data to your reports and help your credit scores rise.  Major and minor credit card issuers report information to authorized users’ credit reports, though some less prominent financial institutions... read more »

6 Ways to Save on Credit Card Interest Fees (May 2024)

6 Ways to Save on Credit Card Interest Fees (May 2024)

A credit card can be a helpful financial tool when used wisely. These plastic forms of payment make it easy and convenient to pay for goods and services so you don’t have to carry cash. They offer robust reward programs so you can earn cash back, free flights, and hotel stays for all your purchases.  Some cards even offer multiple layers of protection, including fraud alerts, extended warranties, extended return windows, and travel insurance. What’s more, you can use credit... read more »

10 Credit Repair Credit Cards (May 2024)

10 Credit Repair Credit Cards (May 2024)

Credit repair credit cards help consumers with bad credit boost their credit scores. That's important because a poor credit score -- below 580 on the FICO scale -- can relegate you to limited credit access, high interest rates, and unrewarding credit cards. Fair credit scores extend from 580 to 669, and your first goal is to raise your score from the bad to the fair credit range. The cards in this review allow you to increase your credit score, but you have to use them wisely to... read more »

How to Choose a Credit Card For Holiday Spending (2024)

How to Choose a Credit Card For Holiday Spending (2024)

For many families, the annual year-end holiday season is synonymous with the year-end spending season. Whether you're buying groceries for holiday meals, gifts for family or friends, or new clothes for holiday celebrations, the costs can take a big bite out of your budget. And not only in November and December, but also well into the new year. Using the right credit cards can help cushion the blow to your budget. You'll get more time to pay for your holiday purchases, possibly with... read more »

5 Best Credit Cards for Auto Repair (May 2024)

5 Best Credit Cards for Auto Repair (May 2024)

Car repair credit cards aren’t limited to the cards and credit lines offered by your local mechanic or body shop. Any reputable mechanic accepts credit card payments, which means that you can use just about any card to pay for your vehicle’s repairs or maintenance. By skipping your mechanic’s branded card and opting for a card with cash or point rewards — or one with a 0% interest promotional offer — you can pay for your repairs over time and get cash back and... read more »

How to Build Credit With a Credit Card

How to Build Credit With a Credit Card

Consumers tend to like credit cards for several reasons. Credit cards offer a convenient and safe way to pay for goods and services, both online and in person.  Many credit cards also offer fee-free rewards programs or cash back that cardholders can enjoy courtesy of their everyday spending. And, finally, credit cards are one of only two common forms of credit where interest is entirely optional (the other being HELOCs). Credit card users receive another considerable perk... read more »