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Entries in Credit Card (15)

Friday
Nov262010

Conn. AG Issues Warning on Kardashian-Backed Teen Credit Card

Kim Kardashian at the Kardashian MasterCard launch event in New York City. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- If you want to keep up with the Kardashians, the family's new credit card that targets teens may not be the way to do it.

In a statement released Friday, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal warned consumers of the perils of credit cards marketed at young adults and disclosed that he has demanded that University National Bank, which issues the Kardashian Kard, provide specific details about how the card is promoted and sold in Connecticut.

He said that the card appears to invoke the E! reality stars’ extravagant and luxurious lifestyle, while specifically targeting young adults. The "gotcha fees" and other charges will cause consumers to lose money before they can even use it, he said.

University National Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Earlier this month, the Kardashian sisters -- Kim, 30, Khloe, 26, and Kourtney, 31, celebrated the launch of their Kardashian Prepaid MasterCard at New York City's Pacha nightclub.

Kim and her sisters teamed with MasterCard to create a prepaid credit card for teens as young as 16 years old. The card allows parents to put a predetermined amount of money on the card, then track their teens' spending habits via cell phone.

The Kardashian card isn't the first prepaid credit card targeted at teens. The Visa Buxx card, which also allows parents to put a fixed sum of money on an account, was launched last decade.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov252010

What You Should Know About Holiday Credit Card Deals

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The biggest shopping day of the year is upon us and many consumers will be tempted to use credit cards that offer special holiday rewards.

Such targeted awards are being aggressively marketed this year, reports USA Today, offering big incentives for shoppers to use plastic over paper.

New Discover More card members, for example, can earn $100 for spending $500 in their first three months.  Chase Freedom offers the same incentive, only card holders must spend $800 to get the reward.

Although the payback is big, the interest rates are bigger and consumers who aren’t prepared to pay their balance off in full could let the temptation get them in trouble.

If balances are paid off, however, the big rewards may be worth it.  Some tips for smart swiping?

Make sure the reward will benefit your spending habits.  Don’t be lured in by a flashy incentive you won’t use.

Be aware of enrollment requirement as some card issuers bank on the fact that card holders will forget to enroll for lucrative “rotating” offers.

Finally, make sure the rewards fit your budget and you are not being required to spend more than you expected to during the holidays just to earn a bit extra.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov062010

Managing Your Credit Cards: Pay More Than the Minimum Balance

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- America has a love-hate relationship with credit cards. Many of us use them every day, even as we struggle with the bill payments, the Wall Street Journal's Wendy Bounds said. Bounds suggested a few tips for managing credit cards in order to make the relationship less stressful.

Paying only the minimum can get you into trouble. If you can, pay off the entire balance, or at least more than the minimum monthly balance. By doing that, you can save yourself a lot of money. New government rules mandate that your bill disclose how much paying only the minimum would cost you.

It's important to understand your interest rate, how your billing cycle works and other terms of your credit card agreement. If you don't understand them, call your credit card company and ask for an explanation.

Credit card usage is linked to your credit score, which in turn helps you qualify for loans. If you combine balances, don't close out the old accounts unless the fees are onerous. Longer-held credit cards look better on your credit record. When you open new lines of credit, be careful to space out the applications. Your score can be negatively affected if you make one application after another within a short time frame. It's generally better to keep a few lower balances on several credit cards than to have a large balance on a single card. Try to keep your total balance at no more than 30 percent of your credit card limit.

Try to use cash as often as you can, especially for smaller purchases such as snacks. Studies show that people are more likely to spend more when they use plastic rather than cash. Remember, if you carry a balance, you will be paying interest on those snacks you purchased on your card.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Oct302010

Feds Combat Online Credit Scams

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Regulators are cracking down on some firms that promise to fix your credit problems.

"The way that debt settlement companies bill consumers has now changed," said John Ulzheimer of Credit.com.

Before these new rules, Ulzheimer said, "the debt settlement companies could have charged consumers an upfront fee for their services whether they actually did anything for the consumer or not,” a practice that is now illegal.

The change means some operators could be forced out of business.

“Many of these companies did nothing more than survive on upfront fees,” said Ulzheimer, who added that the true practice of fixing incorrect credit reports takes time and effort.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct222010

No Need to Phone Home for Cash

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Now you can use your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android to process credit card transactions.  The man behind Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has created something called Square which USA Today says he hopes will do for financial transactions what Twitter did for communication.

It involves a plug-in that allows your iPhone, iPad or other device to read credit card information.  There is a free application you can download that will get the consumer or merchant up and running with the new technology.  Merchants will pay 2.75% of the purchase price plus fifteen cents per card swipe.

Its not the first effort at using cellphones and other digital devices as payment mechanisms.  PayPal and Intuit's GoPayment have been doing it for a while, but experts say there's plenty of room in the market for more. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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