The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

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20 Things You Didn’t Know Your Credit Card Could Do

20 Things You Didn’t Know Your Credit Card Could Do

The most basic function of a credit card is that it allows you to purchase things using the issuer’s funds. Each time you charge, you borrow the amount of that purchase.  At the end of the month, you'll get the bill for everything you bought and are given the option to pay in any increment above the minimum amount due. Your credit card can do plenty of other things for you, too. Depending on the card, yours may entitle you to all or some of the following perks.  1.... read more »

How to Use a Credit Card

How to Use a Credit Card

Credit cards are an essential financial tool that many Americans rely on every day, whether to pay for daily essentials, monthly utilities, or unexpected bills.  There are many good reasons to choose a credit card when deciding how to pay for goods and services, including convenience, multiple layers of protection, and even rewards. But credit cards come with real financial risks you need to consider before you open an account and start charging.  One of the most... read more »

Intrepid Eagle Finance Provides Fee-Only Financial Planning with a Focus on Christian Families

Intrepid Eagle Finance Provides Fee-Only Financial Planning with a Focus on Christian Families

In a Nutshell: Financial advisors tend to focus on investment planning and wealth acquisition with a narrow, bottom-line viewpoint. But many Christian families seek a financial strategy that balances their goals for family, work, and church. That leaves them searching for providers with the passion and perspective to serve their needs. Intrepid Eagle Finance fills that gap with a foundation that enables it to better understand and help families who hold their faith as an essential... read more »

How to Get a Free Credit Score From Your Credit Card Company

How to Get a Free Credit Score From Your Credit Card Company

Checking your credit score is a smart financial habit. While your score isn’t the only criteria for whether you’ll be approved for new cards or other forms of credit, it typically is one of the most important factors that card issuers and other lenders consider. By checking your score, you can determine whether it reflects your own perception of your creditworthiness. If your score is higher than you thought, well done! If it’s lower than you had expected or hoped, you can... read more »

Is Capital One a Good Credit Card?

Is Capital One a Good Credit Card?

We get it. After years of watching ads about the contents of your wallet, you're finally asking, "Is Capital One a good credit card company?" OK, we'll field that softball and introduce you to all the company's cards.  But we'll also devote time to answering other burning questions about Capital One credit cards. By the end of this article, you'll know enough about the company to make your own commercial. Or just sit back and watch Mr. Samuel L. Jackson make his irresistible... read more »

6 Great Reasons to Use a 0% APR Deal

6 Great Reasons to Use a 0% APR Deal

Credit cards that offer 0% APR deals to new cardholders can be compelling. There are two basic types — one for new purchases and the other for balance transfers. Some even offer a 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers. They work like this:  New purchases: When you open the account, you may have a year or longer to use the credit card for purchases without financing fees on any debt you carry over from month to month.  Balance transfers: You can open a credit card... read more »

How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?

How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?

Many people love having lots of credit cards. One for cash back, one for travel, and a third for business expenses. More for other reasons, or just because, why not?  For these card-loving folks, no specific number of cards reaches the point of "too many." On the other hand, other people may have concerns that dozens of cards could facilitate overspending or result in missed payments and impaired credit. With good arguments on both sides of the "How many cards is too many?"... read more »

Westside Food Bank Uses Donations to Deliver Fresh, Nutritious Food to Underprivileged Communities

Westside Food Bank Uses Donations to Deliver Fresh, Nutritious Food to Underprivileged Communities

In a Nutshell: Westside Food Bank provides nearly 5 million pounds of food annually to communities in need across Western Los Angeles County. Much of that food comes from wholesale purchases, which enable the food bank to acquire fresh, nutritious food at a low cost. Westside Food Bank aims to provide nutritionally balanced staples that meet the dietary restrictions and preferences of the people it serves. It also salvages food that’s edible but not cosmetically fit for retail,... read more »

Credit Cards For Kids & Ways to Help Them Build Credit

Credit Cards For Kids & Ways to Help Them Build Credit

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 »

What Are the Different FICO Scores Used in Lending Decisions?

What Are the Different FICO Scores Used in Lending Decisions?

In 1989, a credit score with the brand-name Beacon was made commercially available by Equifax in partnership with a little-known company based in San Rafael, California, called Fair, Isaac and Company. Thirty-plus years, a name change, and hundreds of billions of scores later, checking your FICO (the acronym for the Fair Isaac Corporation) credit scores remains standard operating procedure by thousands of lenders in the United States. One small but important point has to be made... read more »

What Is a Schumer Box?

What Is a Schumer Box?

Credit card agreements contain a lot of information that can be challenging for the average person to digest. In fact, did you even read all of that fine print when you applied for and opened your last credit card account?  The same may be true about the details in your monthly credit card statements. Most consumers don't take the time to read through pages upon pages of fine print. And even those who do may not fully understand what it is they are reading.  One such... read more »

The Greater Boston Food Bank Uses Donations to Help Alleviate Food Insecurity

The Greater Boston Food Bank Uses Donations to Help Alleviate Food Insecurity

In a Nutshell: Food insecurity can be the root cause of social inequality and unrealized promise. Without consistent access to nutritious food, people often struggle to survive, much less achieve their full potential. In Eastern Massachusetts, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) works with hundreds of partners to distribute millions of meals to community members each year. The nonprofit strives to fill systemic gaps in the food distribution system, and it relies on donations to feed... read more »

Card Rewards Donations Help Water Rangers Collect Data and Insights on Water Bodies Around the World

Card Rewards Donations Help Water Rangers Collect Data and Insights on Water Bodies Around the World

In a Nutshell: Water Rangers is a Canadian-based nonprofit that empowers communities to collect data on the world’s water bodies. To accomplish that, the organization designs and provides water testing kits and an online open data platform with information for scientists and the public. Water Rangers’ mission is to help people collect baseline water quality data for their local water bodies so that it’s easier to identify changes in water health status and respond to pollution... read more »

When Do Credit Cards Get Reported to the Credit Bureaus?

When Do Credit Cards Get Reported to the Credit Bureaus?

Your credit reports are not static objects frozen in time. Instead, the information on credit reports tends to change often. In fact, your credit reports change anytime a creditor sends an update about one of your accounts to one of the credit bureaus. This tends to occur multiple times each month, depending on how many open and active accounts you currently maintain.  If you're in the habit of actively checking your credit reports or you have signed up for a service that monitors... read more »

Card Rewards Donations Help The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Support Women on Their Cancer Care Journey

Card Rewards Donations Help The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Support Women on Their Cancer Care Journey

In a Nutshell: Because no real screening tests exist for ovarian cancer, many women remain undiagnosed and unaware of the early signs of the disease. The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition takes on this fact by helping educate the public on the baselines of the disease and providing support for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Through donations, including card rewards, NOCC finds the necessary funding to advance its mission and help save lives.  Receiving a cancer diagnosis... read more »

Which Credit Card Should I Pay Off First?

Which Credit Card Should I Pay Off First?

Unwanted credit card debt can feel overwhelming. Having a plan to pay it off and knowing which card you should pay off first can help you feel more in control of your finances and improve your financial situation. The first step is to make a list of your cards with your current balances and the annual percentage rates (APRs) you're currently paying. If you don't know your APRs, check your most recent monthly statements or contact your card companies for this information. You may be... read more »

Card Rewards Donations Can Help Support the Human Trafficking Legal Center’s Mission for Justice and Prevention

Card Rewards Donations Can Help Support the Human Trafficking Legal Center’s Mission for Justice and Prevention

In a nutshell: Human trafficking is an ongoing but largely invisible problem in the United States. And even when survivors gain their freedom, they often lack the resources to rebuild their lives. The Human Trafficking Legal Center provides the support survivors need to seek restitution and reclaim the personal agency taken from them. It does so primarily by connecting them with pro bono legal representation to help them heal and move forward. Thanks to donations, including card... read more »

What Is the Best Starter Credit Card of 2022?

What Is the Best Starter Credit Card of 2022?

Folks regularly ask us, “What is the best starter credit card?” These cards represent the means to build credit history, which is an important consideration for young people starting their work or academic careers and not-so-young folks who are reluctant to use any type of credit.  That’s why we’ve assembled a list of our highest-rated cards that welcome new cardmembers who have little or no credit history. Read on to see which one works best for you. Cards... read more »

When Does Interest On a Credit Card Start?

When Does Interest On a Credit Card Start?

Interest charges for credit card purchases don't have to cost an arm and a leg — or even a finger or toe. With its relatively high interest rates, credit card debt can be among the most expensive debt you'll ever experience. But a few smart habits can set you up to never pay a penny of credit card interest, which can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars that you can reallocate to higher priorities, such as living expenses, savings, and investments. The first thing you need... read more »

14 Types of Lenders You Should Know About

14 Types of Lenders You Should Know About

The United States has no shortage of available lenders. Some are financial institutions that offer many different products and services, while others are more narrow in scope. They may be for-profit, nonprofit, or even peer to peer.  It is important to approach the best lender for your needs and credit rating when you want to borrow money. Thankfully, you have plenty of options from which to choose.  Here are 14 types of lenders you should know about and why you would... read more »

Positive Coaching Alliance: Card Reward Donations Can Support Positive Youth Sports Experiences

Positive Coaching Alliance: Card Reward Donations Can Support Positive Youth Sports Experiences

In a Nutshell: Positive Coaching Alliance provides resources and guidance to youth athletic coaches. The resources are designed to help coaches and parents foster positive athletic environments where participants can have fun, build skills, and learn valuable life lessons. The organization offers an online series of self-paced courses, and it also delivers content through live workshops held in person or via Zoom. The educational materials are supported largely through charitable... read more »

When Were Credit Scores Invented?

When Were Credit Scores Invented?

Credit scores are an important part of everyday financial life in America. Do you want to buy a house? Do you need to finance a new or used vehicle? Are you looking for a loan, credit card, or insurance coverage? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, it's almost certain that some business will use a credit score or several of your credit scores to evaluate whether it's a safe investment to work with you. That same business will also probably use a credit score to... read more »

Soldiers’ Angels: Card Rewards Donations Can Help Military Service Members, Veterans, and Families in Need

Soldiers’ Angels: Card Rewards Donations Can Help Military Service Members, Veterans, and Families in Need

In a Nutshell: When Patti Patton-Bader began sending care packages to her son deployed in Iraq, she learned he was giving most of the supplies away to service members who weren't so lucky. That sparked her idea for Soldiers' Angels, a care package charity that has grown into a massive support network for military members. Active duty service members, veterans, and families can register on the Soldiers' Angels site and connect with volunteers and services in the U.S. and abroad. And... read more »

How to Read a Credit Card Agreement

How to Read a Credit Card Agreement

Credit cards can be hard to resist, thanks to enticing sign-up offers from free cash back to zero-percent interest for the first year on purchases to enough miles that could cover a couple of roundtrip tickets to an exotic destination. Some even extend a one-time discount off your store purchase or may provide a rebate when booking a hotel. Though all these rewards and promotions seem great on the surface, spending time to understand a credit card’s terms and conditions is more... read more »

Your Money Geek Takes On Pop Culture, Responsible Credit Use, and Smart Financial Living

Your Money Geek Takes On Pop Culture, Responsible Credit Use, and Smart Financial Living

In a Nutshell: Money gurus often point to the little things that affect a person’s budget. But while it's true that small daily indulgences — like the millennial penchant for avocado toast —can add up, Michael Dinich of Your Money Geek shows readers to look at the big picture, and not sweat the small stuff. That’s because a bad credit score can have such a broad negative impact that skipping brunch doesn't begin to make a dent. Readers of Dinich's popular blog can learn... read more »