How to Calculate the Value of Your Credit Card Rewards

July 31, 2018

Earning credit card rewards is a great way to offset the cost of purchases you already make. But it’s worth calculating just how much those rewards are worth if you have to pay an annual fee on the credit card, or are trying to streamline your rewards strategy to focus on one or two cards that are most valuable for you. While it may seem easy to dismiss all credit…


The Best Secured Credit Cards

July 27, 2018

Secured credit cards have a bad reputation, and most of these products deserve it. Too often, the companies that offer secured cards do so to prey on those with poor or little credit history by charging exorbitant interest rates and outrageous fees. But using the right product from a reputable institution, holders of secured cards can repair or build their credit while enjoying many of the benefits of standard credit…


Unlimited Cash Rewards with the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

July 26, 2018

If your spending falls into many different purchase categories, cards with rotating rewards categories can be a hassle and particularly difficult to manage. A flat-rate rewards card like the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card can often provide more rewards and convenience. Why We Like This Card Bonus offer of $150 cash rewards after meeting spend requirements Unlimited 1.5% cash back How This Card Works This card awards unlimited 1.5%…


How to Get Your First Credit Card and Build Credit

July 18, 2018

When my husband wanted to propose to me, we were just finishing up college. He went to a jewelry store at the mall and picked out the prettiest engagement ring he could reasonably pay for with a payment plan. He provided his Social Security Number for the credit check — but was disappointed to learn that his credit history was not long enough to qualify to buy the ring on…


Credit Card Signatures Are Going Away — Should You Be Worried?

July 12, 2018

Major credit card companies no longer require consumers to sign for credit card transactions, signaling a day when you can say goodbye to signatures forever. That will eliminate a decadeslong practice. Having consumers sign a credit card receipt was considered the best way to protect against fraudulent purchases for many years. You may even remember the manual credit card machines that made an imprint of the card onto a sheaf…


Does Your Teenager Really Need a Credit Card?

July 3, 2018

Giving your teenager a credit card may seem like a scary proposition, but it could be the safest way to teach them about credit. Credit expert John Ulzheimer says it’s just like teaching your teenager how to operate a car, but in a controlled environment. “Nobody would just let a teen hop in a car and drive,” says Ulzheimer, who formerly worked with Equifax and FICO. “And nobody should just…


When Should You Pay a Credit Card Convenience Fee?

July 2, 2018

One of the great things about credit cards is that consumers typically don’t have to pay for the convenience of using them at the point of sale. You usually swipe your card, and the merchant bears the 2%-3% transaction fee that covers the cost of processing the payment. Merchants are actually permitted by law to pass those costs on to consumers in the form of a credit card surcharge, except…


7 Times You Definitely Will Be Charged Credit Card Interest

June 25, 2018

Credit card interest is the worst. For one thing, most cards have APRs of nearly 17% on average, according to That’s compared to less than 4% for a mortgage or 11% on a personal loan. When you use credit cards, you should aim to avoid paying interest whenever possible. Every time you open a credit card bill, check the line at the top that shows how much interest you…


Why It Pays to Wait Before Applying for a New Rewards Card

June 14, 2018

When I got my first credit card, the only incentive I was offered was a two-liter bottle of soda. That was enough to get me to pause at the table set up on my college campus and fill out the paper application. Nowadays, bonuses for getting a new credit card can be much more substantial. It’s not uncommon to be able to take an international flight using the bonus miles…


Why the Worst Drought in 50 Years Won’t Bankrupt American Farmers

November 22, 2015

If you’ve been worried that this year’s drought will put farmers out of business and leave Americans short of the staple crops they need to survive, relax. In its latest farm income forecast, the Department of Agriculture is reporting that U.S. farmers will make more money in 2012 than ever before, even as the country is facing its worst drought in 50 years. How is this possible? Rising prices, for…