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Everyone wants to make profitable deals. So why some people prefer carrying four or five credit cards: the Visa to pay for clothes; the MasterCard to pay for gas; the American Express to pay for travel? Each card has a different rewards program and since you are splitting up your bills across your many credit cards, it takes forever and a day to benefit from the credit card rewards programs.
If you really want to make the most profitable credit card deal, you should consider making all of your purchases on one credit card... the card with the best rewards program.
Credit Trap
Until XX century it was considered disreputable to be having a debt. Puritans and Quakers, occupying considerable and the most powerful part of the American society, took personal debt as a sin. They were trying to celebrate New Year being clean, i. e. free of debts.

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Credit Card Hazards
Nowadays an average family owns 4-6 credit cards. If we take into consideration that credit limit of each card varies from $2000 to $10000, we may understand that the fact of acquisition of 6 cards implies the growth of family budget up to $12000-$60000. The temptation is overwhelming, so people can't help saving cards, begin to waste unreasonably, and finally ruin.
New FICO Score
The practice of subprime mortgage lending is the reason why customers use credit cards as the main source of getting money, paying the biggest part of the incomes for the mortgage. No wonder that the habit of using a credit card every time when a customer needs money will lead to default one day.
Due to the increasing number of credit defaults and reduction in creditor's income, Fair Isaac Corporation introduces a new system of computing FICO credit score. In 2008 the company is going to put the new method at the disposal of the three major credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

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Credit Card and Mortgage
One of the US financial leaders, Bank of America, agrees to buy the country's dominant mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial Corp. for $4.1 billion in stock. That deal will rescue Countrywide, which seem to be approaching to bankruptcy caused by the slump in the housing market. The transaction is a signal that the things in the mortgage and financial sector are going better. However, as analysts say, the threat to homeowners hasn't been ended yet, because 1.8 million subprime mortgages lent to borrowers with poor credit are planned to shift to higher rates in 2008-2009.
Colorado Credit Cards
In the nearest time Colorado lawmakers are planning to introduce a new measure to prevent credit card frauds and reduce the number of identity thefts. All credit card transactions will require crossing off all but the final four numbers of a credit card.
Current law already demands to do that when cards are being run electronically. So, what is the innovation?
Lawmakers say that many businesses still use manual transfers and don't black out information that might be stolen by identity thieves.
If a thief has a credit card statement with an intact account number, it's not difficult to commit an identity theft. The law breaker can go online and buy practically anything that he or she wants.

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Credit Card Literacy Program
Deputy State Treasurer Michael Mehlhaff presented a free Credit Card Literacy Program that the South Dakota State Treasurer's Office is offering to South Dakota high school teachers. The program will help students to be aware of all aspects of using a credit card, such as how to manage debt effectively, protect themselves from potential fraud or contest an incorrect bill.
Improved Credit Statements
U.S. credit card issuers might be required to warn consumers that making only minimum monthly payments on credit card debt is financially dangerous. The sponsor of the legislation is Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-California.
The minimum payment is the minimum amount of money that has to be paid pay each billing period on an open balance. You can pay more than your minimum payment, but you can't pay less.

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Internet Bank Credit Cards
Internet bank Egg is going to withdraw credit cards from 160,000 high-risk customers. The bank has begun sending out warning letters. Egg informs the customers that their credit cards will stop working in 35 days. The cardholders will not be able to spend any more on their credit cards after the deadline, but they will be able to continue recovering their debts on the credit cards.
Credit Cards in Taxis
Since last month, up to 100 inspectors have taken rides to check whether the new Taxi Passenger's Bill of Rights is followed. Taxi and Limousine Commission has received a lot of complains that cabby drivers refuse to accept credit cards. So together with police officers they organized an undercover operation "Secret Rider", in which inspectors are looking for violations of the city's rules.

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Credit Cardholders Legislation
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, introduced the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2008. The comprehensive credit card legislation is targeted at leveling the rights of credit card issuers and consumers. It is actually an attempt to make credit companies play fair. The bill is a result of more than a year's research of credit card market and the ways of improving services and protections for credit card holders.
Premium Credit Cards for Art Lovers
This summer Sotheby's will launch premium rewards credit cards for art lovers: the Sotheby's World Elite MasterCard and Sotheby's World MasterCard. They are focused on personalized experiences over material goods. The cardholders will be able to get access to prestigious cultural events and make donations to U.S. museums. The partnerships with cultural institutions and a vast range of luxurious benefits make this program unique on the credit card market.

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New Funding for Credit Card Education
Financial education of consumers is one of the most important creditors' concerns. Their business success depends a lot on a customer's ability to manage credit cards wisely. In order to protect their funds and help clients understand and control their credit, Chase Card Services, the division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. is donating $1.3 million through the Financial Literacy Grant Program to U.S. organizations which provide educational programs and services for credit card users.
Growing Credit Card Charity
Every year Americans donate billions of dollars to charitable organizations, nonprofit groups and educational institutions. Total giving is estimated at $295.02 billion for 2006. Private donations are the primary source of revenue for health services, education and arts. A growing number of charity credit cards give users more options to make donations. You can support a charitable group of your choice by contributing a specified percentage of your spending.

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New Credit Card Rating
Sen. Ron Wyden proposes a new credit card reform. It involves classifying credit cards according to a five-star rating system. The plastics will be awarded stars for consumer-friendly terms and lose them for unfavorable terms. The new rating will help consumers make smart choices.
Mobile Credit Card Account Access
Citi Cards, a major worldwide provider of financial services, and Firethorn Holdings, a leader in developing and delivering advanced digital wireless communications products and services, have revealed an important strategic partnership. It will enable Citi credit card holders to get a secure and convenient access to real-time account information on their wireless handsets. The innovative service is expected to be available for U.S. Citi credit card holders in several months.

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Discover Credit Cards Global Acceptance
Discover Financial Services is buying 58-year-old Diners Club International from Citigroup Inc. for $165 billion. It means that in a couple of years Discover cardholders will be able to use their plastics abroad: pay for a hotel in Monaco or for dinner in Paris. The deal is expected to increase transaction volume and global acceptance of Discover cards. That will significantly improve the company's competitive position on the credit card market.
Credit Card Users Go Online
Many people consider credit industry as a source of negative experiences due to skyrocketing interest rates or subprime mortgage crisis. However, banks can receive good marks for at least one thing: online credit card services. The financial surveys show that customer satisfaction with online banking has risen significantly: 82% of people highly estimate online credit card services. The consumers think that it is more convenient to use websites than credit companies' branches or call centers.

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Amex Premium Airmiles Credit Cards
American Express, one of the leading U.S. credit card issuers, and Delta Air Lines have announced the launch of new premium airmiles credit cards for American consumers and small business owners: Delta Reserve Credit Card and Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card. They come with added value and expanded rewards program. The new plastics have become the most elite credit cards in the line of AmEx and Delta co-branded products.
Credit Score Improving
Qualifying for a credit card has become increasingly difficult under the dark cloud of the global credit crunch. The lending standards are getting tighter. If earlier credit card holders applied their energy to accumulating cash back or frequent flier miles, now they do their best to improve their credit scores. They understand that positive FICO score is their best guarantee of getting a credit card with beneficial features and terms in future.

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Credit Card Fines Payment
Nowadays you can hardly find a location where credit cards are not accepted. You can pay with your plastic at shopping malls and gas stations, book airlines tickets or rent a car. The number of institutions accepting credit cards is increasing. Now you can use your MasterCard, American Express, Visa and Discover plastics at sheriff's offices in California. They have started to accept credit card payments for traffic tickets.
Increased Credit Card Use
Even though the days of easy credit are long gone, the statistics show that Americans are more actively spending money on their plastics than before. Some people use them to make large purchases; others consider plastics as the main source of getting money for everyday necessities. According to the Federal Reserve, the credit card debt rose to 6.7% in the first quarter of 2008. Now it amounts to $957.2 billion.

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Diamond Preferred Credit Cards
Great news for Citi credit card holders! The company announced that it has added more benefits to the Diamond Preferred credit cards. Now they come with a range of outstanding privileges that make them extremely valuable. New features include 24/7 concierge service, significant discounts on various items from apparel to travel services, a free annual account summary, access to golf tee times, dining reservations and events at nightclubs and museums.
Automotive Credit Cards Guide
Toyota Motor Corporation announced their plans to enter the crowded automotive credit card market. In October, they will launch a new credit card providing auto rewards. The plastic will work similar to other affinity credit cards. The customers will be able to earn points and redeem them for the purchase of a new car, including the 2009 Toyota Prius, vehicle parts, accessories or maintenance. Toyota credit card will be available online.

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Free Credit Monitoring
TransUnion LLC, one of the largest credit reporting agencies, made an announcement that could impact 160 million Americans. The company will offer six or nine months of free credit monitoring service to consumers who had an open line of credit from January 1, 1987 to May 28, 2008. The deal is a part of a preliminary legal settlement which will close a class-action lawsuit stemming from the sale of consumer information to marketing lists.
Credit Card Debt Stress
The current economic situation and rising costs of living are leading to the increase of consumers' credit card debt. A large balance can cause more than just a blemish on your credit report. A chronic debt stress can worse your health problems. That opinion is supported by medical researches that have linked stress to a wide range of ailments. However, don't panic: a well-considered financial behavior will help you get back on your feet and ensure your healthy and financially fit life.

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Credit Cards at Gas Stations
Several American gas station owners have stopped to accept credit cards. They claim that credit companies make more money than they do from each sale. The costs of accepting credit cards are going up in accordance with gas prices. Nowadays nearly 98 cents for every $50 of fuel price go to credit companies. The gas station owners say that they are no longer able to afford such high surcharges.
USTA Visa Credit Card
Chase Card Services is teaming up with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to issue the USTA Visa Signature credit card. It comes with a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases, no annual fee and a great rewards program specifically geared to meet the needs and interests of tennis fans. Having this credit card, you can show your support to USTA and enjoy great saving of your own.

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Teens Identity Theft
Identity theft, the fastest growing crime in the United States, has taken on a new twist. Now the prime target group is teens. According to the Federal Trade Commission's report, one third of all identity theft victims are between 18 and 29 years old. Young people and teenagers are more vulnerable to this credit fraud than adults because most of them don't have established credit reports that can be monitored.
Lower Credit Limits
Borrowing money has become difficult under the dark cloud of the global credit crunch. Nearly 30% of credit companies have tightened their requirements for credit card applicants. Even if you haven't felt the result of the subprime mortgage crisis yet, your credit score can take a hit. Trying to reduce their risk and preserve capital, some credit card issuers are lowering credit limits of their customers even if they have done nothing wrong.

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American Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt is a very serious problem in today's world. Financial statistics show that about 40% of US families spend more than they earn. As a result, they accumulate a large debt. Fortunately, the biggest part of the consumers can manage their money wisely. Trouble-free regions are situated in different parts of the country. Let's look at the cities whose residents can show the best examples of smart financial behavior.
Discover Supplemental Insurance
Discover Financial Services, a leading credit card issuer and electronic payment services provider, has launched the Income Gap Protection program. It is a new supplemental loss-of-income insurance designed to help credit card holders maintain their finances during difficult life events. You can receive up to $500 per month if you lose your job, take unpaid family leave or become totally disabled. Discover will be your helping hand when you most need it!

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Credit Card Satisfaction Survey
J.D. Power and Associates, a global marketing information services firm, analyzed the responses from 7,665 credit cardholders to understand what features and services made them satisfied or unhappy with their current plastics. The experts took into consideration five areas: reward programs; interaction; fees and rates; billing and payment process; benefits and services. This is the second year that the company conducted the survey, and American Express has become top-rated lender both years.
Scented Credit Cards
The global credit crunch has caused many financial institutions to reduce their lending activity due to volatility in capital markets and high default risk among borrowers. Commerzbank AG, one of Germany's major banks, has taken a brave step to offer a new product during the tough economic times: Visa and MasterCard branded credit cards with aroma. The plastics will be also visually pleasing, with 44 designs to choose from.

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Credit Card Sport Promotions
Have you ever dreamed of going to Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament and meeting Arnold Palmer, a famous golf player? Or attending NFL Playoff game? Your dreams may come true with new sport promotions from two major credit card issuers! Having a Visa credit card, you can win a VIP trip to NFL Playoff game. MasterCard offers their customers a chance to attend Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida!
Halloween Credit Fears
Halloween night reminds us of our hidden fears. What are you afraid of - ghosts, witches or maybe spiders? According to statistics, nearly 75% of Americans think that identity theft and other kinds of credit card fraud are scarier than Halloween monsters. Just compare: only 9% of people find holiday's horror movies scary, less than 3% are afraid of haunted houses and about 1% of people don't like stories about ghosts and evil spirits.

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Credit Results of the Year
The end of December is an excellent time to sum up the results of the year. In general, 2008 was a depressive period for financial markets. Subprime crisis and the following recession have affected many banks and financial institutions. Trying to retain profitability in the difficult economic time, many lenders have increased their interest rates and fees. You can be disappointed to find out that the days of generous credit card offers may have gone.
Credit Card Debt
Credit card debt settlement has much in common with dieting. When we start gaining weight, we feel some sort of discomfort. When we struggle to keep up with our monthly payments, it can be even worse. In both situations, people try to gain balance, but as a rule it is not that easy as some might assume. Soon after winter holidays we can notice some excess weight or excess debt as a result of overspending during Christmas holidays. Learn how to resolve your credit debt and become debt-free.

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Credit Mistakes
They say that to err is human, and it's especially true when it comes to financial matters. The recent survey held among card holders has shown that a vast majority of borrowers have little idea of the changes to their accounts.
It's not news that banks and companies adjust their risks by making changes they deem appropriate. Slashed spending limits and increasing interest rates are just a few of them. Even minor changes can affect you greatly. Learn how to stay on top of your finances by avoiding typical credit mistakes during tough economic times.

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Credit Cards Tips

Balance transfer is one of the most common solutions if interest on your credit card balance grows faster than you can pay it off, and your debt keeps growing more and more. In order to draw in customers from their competitors, credit card companies offer promotional 0% or low interest rates on your debt. And if you get this introductory low APR for say a year, your balance would be easier to manage.

Do you want to use a car during your trip to Europe or Asia without the hassle of trucking your own vehicle overseas? Consider renting a car. It's a great opportunity to use a late-model automobile and go everywhere you want. Renting a car abroad is quite a simple process. There are a lot of local and international car hire companies that will help you cruise around the country. Just find the most suitable rates and use your plastic to make a deposit. It will save your time and money: car rental companies heavily favor customers who use credit cards.

Slowing economic activity strains budgets of many companies. Nobody is protected from job losses or other unexpected life-changing accidents. If you lose the source of income, you can get into a serious financial trouble. Don't make your situation worse by falling into bad credit! Otherwise you can increase your borrowing costs and make it harder to get a new job - some employers take into consideration your credit history. Keep paying all your bills on time to maintain a positive FICO score. Our tips will help you manage your finances and, hopefully, ensure your peace of mind during difficult life events.

Applying for a credit card can be a smart idea or a huge mistake depending on the circumstances. Those people who understand the basics of responsible credit usage are likely to benefit from this financial tool. But if you want to make the most of plastic money deals without knowing how they work, you just waste your time. The cases are not rare when credit mishandling ends up in massive debts. Learn how to protect yourself from financial mistakes and use your plastics responsibly!

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