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Free credit card search makes choosing a credit card easy. Browse the most popular, best credit cards. For added security against fraud, get a virtual credit card number.

 

Credit troubles? Apply for a pre-approved credit card offer based upon your credit history. If you don't know what cards you qualify for, a credit card prequalification service may be best for you before you subject yourself to credit report reviews. Poor and bad credit people can apply for a credit card to rebuild credit or to establish credit. If you have very bad credit, consider bad credit card offers such as a secured credit card like a prepaid Visa, no credit check cards or other types of a guaranteed card. To take advantage of special card discounts, purchase a store gift card.

 

For very high risk people there are options other than a standard unsecured credit card, such as an online guaranteed platinum card for online store purchases, or possibly even qualify for a charge card or a discount card from retail stores like the WalMart card or the Sears card.

 

Prepay credit card offers: Apply for a debit card or a bank ATM card.

 

Rewards credit cards: In addition to perks such as a 0 intro balance transfer, major cards offer other benefits like a travel credit card that rewards free airline miles, a gas card, or family entertainment offers like the Disney credit card, apply for an unsecured platinum credit card.

 

Credit card interest rates: Some cards offer no interest and a 0 introductory period on purchases. There are also some with a special 0% balance transfer period so you can transfer balances from other cards to your new credit card.

 

Special credit card offers: Almost every credit card company will offer a spouse joint credit card account. Other special offers include no deposit credit card, business credit card, student credit card and shopping cards like a Christmas credit card. Read the fine print, compare the card benefits, rewards and ratings before you submit an online application.

 

Credit card company offers, including gold credit card and platinum credit card offers:

Visa credit card, such as the gold Visa card or the platinum Visa credit card.

MasterCard credit card, such as the gold MasterCard or the platinum MasterCard.

American Express card, such as the gold American Express card or the platinum American Express card.

Chase card, such as the platinum Chase card or a rewards Capital One card.

Discover card such as the gold Discover card or the platinum Discover card.

 

Before you apply, review all the credit card facts. Once you get the card right for you, read every credit card statement carefully and request credit card companies to stop credit card mail offers. Browse more credit card resources.

  

   

Guaranteed platinum credit card unsecured credit line - Some lines of credit are limited to catalog merchandise purchases. 0 interest credit card - Major credit card issuers, such as American Express, Chase, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, offer 0 intro credit cards for an introductory period. These types of cards are generally unsecured platinum credit cards with high credit limits, and only people with good to excellent credit can get approved. High credit limit platinum credit cards require above average credit because of the issuer's financial risks. Student Credit Card - Apply online and learn the benefits of a student credit card. Click below to read our article and to submit an online application Secured Credit Card - What is a secured credit card, and what benefits does a secured card offer? Benefits of Credit Cards - Enjoy credit card benefits and perks, ranging from free airline miles, rebates, to cash back credit card incentives and rewards. Types of Credit Cards - Different Types of Debit, ATM and Credit Cards Although you might think that credit cards, charge cards, ATM cards and debit cards are basically the same thing -- a way to make purchases or get cash -- they are quite different. ATM Card - What is an ATM card? Author: Credit Federal. An ATM card used in an automated teller machine (ATM) to access a credit or a debit account to complete banking inquiries and fund transfers between accounts. Debit Card - A debit card offers many conveniences. Read and Apply online for a debit credit card. Click Below!  Balance transfer credit card debt - How to balance transfer credit card debt... High credit limit unsecured credit cards require excellent credit because of the issuer's financial risks and acceptance of existing debt (balance transfer) from another credit card. READ THESE IMPORTANT TIPS IN THIS ARTICLE- Gas Credit Card - Offset gasoline costs with a gas credit card. Earn rewards or cash back on gas purchases from Shell, Exxon, BP and Hess. Cash Back Credit Card - A Cash Back Credit Card is like having a bank savings account, and you can accrue some fabulous interest by comparison. Apply for a Cash Back Credit Card Avoid credit card rate hikes - Understand the universal default interest rate and how it can hit your wallet. Credit card issuers are upping the interest rate you pay on your debt even if you pay your bills on time, according to a study from Consumer Action, a consumer advocacy group. And this survey of 47 banks shows that anybody, not just people with financial problems, can face higher credit card interest rates due to a policy called universal default. Credit Cards with Rewards - Credit Cards With Rewards Are Worth a Look Credit card bill payments - Late credit card payments by consumers remain at a high level. In addition to this article, also reference Credit Federal's prediction titled "Flood, Forests and Fuel". Gasoline prices and rising interest rates appear to be placing the financial burden on consumers. Chase BP Credit Card - Chase, BP Renew Credit Card Agreement Chase Bank U.S.A., NA, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE: JPM] and BP [NYSE: BP] today announced the renewal of their credit card marketing relationship. Under the terms of the new agreement, Chase will continue to issue the BP co-brand card and will assume responsibility for the BP proprietary card. MasterCard PayPass - Prom Catering to Accept MasterCard PayPass at PGA TOUR Events in 2006 PGA TOUR Spectators to Speed through Lines with the Convenience of 'Tap & Go' Contactless Payment Technology at Food and Beverage Stands Credit Card Fine Print - It's difficult, and boring, to read credit card fine print, but it is definitely a necessary evil that should not be taken lightly by consumers. Credit Card Approval - Looking for credit card approval? Read this article about getting approved and using your new credit card. Secured Credit Card Shopping - When shopping for a secured credit card, there are many important terms to review before applying. Small Business Credit Card Approval - The use and acceptance of small business credit cards increase over past year. Visa's second annual Small Business Cash Management survey also notes that cash management, financial planning and budgeting remain key concerns. According to the Visa survey, small business owners are increasingly adopting and are more satisfied with business payment cards as a tool for managing their business. American Express Red Card - In the battle to fight AIDS, American Express offers the Red Card to UK residents to help raise funds. AIDS charity DATA launched the initiative to raise money for the Global Fund humanitarian organization. The American Express Red Card features are:- RED money ? American Express willl transfer up to 1.25% to Global Fund-financed programs in Africa which positively impact the lives of women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. MasterCard Card Promotions - New MasterCard Programs. MasterCard announces two new promotional programs: "MasterCard Monthly Bonus Sweepstakes", and "Small Business Zero Liability" Visa Contactless Mini Card - Visa created a mini card to make paying faster and more convenient. American Express Membership Rewards - American Express Membership Rewards Program offers unique rewards to members, retail and travel partners. Discover Card Ranking - Keynote Systems ranks Discover Card number one for online customer experience in the credit card industry. Discover Card Fraud Protection - Discover Card was ranked Best-In-Class for online fraud protection service and information. MasterCard Small Business Survey - A survey of small businesses conducted by MasterCard reveals 84% of small business owners don't believe they will be victims of natural disasters, whereas 77% believe they are not fully prepared. Discover Card ATM Acceptance - Discover Card is now accepted at 58% more ATMs nationwide. Visa Promotes Small Purchases - According to Visa, the bulk of credit card transactions are for purchases of $25.00 or less. Diners Club Credit Card - Diners Club wins the best Affinity/Charge Credit Card Program 'Freddie' Award. Bank credit card rewards - To lure new customers and to get existing customers to use their cards more frequently, several banks are offering debit and credit card rewards. Here are some highlights: National City Bank is offering points for everyday tasks such as writing checks, paying bills online and using debit cards. Bonus points are offered for customers who open new accounts or get new loans. Free Credit Card Services - Credit Federal announces new, free credit card services for consumers. Credit Card Survey - A Credit Card survey shows that credit cards are being used more and more, even for small purchases. Major Banks and Credit Card Issuers - News article about major banks and credit card issuers. Major Banks: According to the American Bankers Association, banks play a key role in financial education. The ABA testified to Congress that banks help consumers by providing financial literacy. The president of OmniBank said that too many people fail to realize their dreams and lose their hard-earned money because they lack basic money management skills. Credit Card Fees - Are credit cards rewards worth it? What about the percent fee? You might not be earning enough value if you are charged transaction fees. Usually credit card rewards are worth 1 or 2 percent of the amount charged. Most businesses charge a 2 percent fee, and if they do not want to pay the fee that card issuers charge them they may pass this fee on to the cardholder. Pre Paid Visa Cards - Visa pre-paid card offers aimed to capture the debit card market. Visa Contactless prepaid cards are available to clients of Meta Payment Systems, MetaBank's prepaid card division. As with all Visa prepaid cards, the Visa Contactless prepaid card can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Contactless debit cards offer consumers a secure and convenient alternative to cash and checks. Free Credit Card Tips - Free Credit Card Tips by Credit Federal. Avoid extra fees and high interest rates: Keep Interest Rates Down: Credit card issuers used a system called "Universal Default" or; more recently, a "Change of Terms" clause. This means, even if you pay your credit card bills on time, your interest rate can be increased if you are late paying another bill, such as your electrical bill. Credit Card Use - Credit card use for maximum score results, or as a one time use credit card purchase. Bill On Credit Card Bills - Proposed legislation would outlaw some credit card billing and interest rate practices that critics say confuse consumers and can push them deeper into debt. Top Credit Card FAQs - Review Top Credit Card FAQs, with basic tips for secured and unsecured credit cards. Debit Cards Lack Credit Card Power - No doubt, debit cards are convenient and popular, but they lack the power of regular credit cards. Even though they do not offer a line of credit and cardholders can only spend up to the amount they have deposited (pre-funded) into the debit card, their popularity is nonetheless rising. The lack of power doesn't end there, either. Debit cards don't offer the same liability protections as traditional credit cards. Compare Credit Cards - Browse and compare credit cards according to rewards, APR interest rates and consumer ratings. Prevent Debit Card Fraud - Because of their convenience and power, debit card holders are potential scam victims. Bad Credit Card Marketing - Bank settles bad credit card marketing allegation of a fee nearly the credit line amount. Where Have Bad Credit Cards Gone - Sub-Prime (Bad Credit) Credit Card Offers seem to be vanishing from the internet. Not Good Credit Cards - Five major credit card issuers come in second to credit union card offers. Credit Card Interest Rate Cut Impact - What impact does the recent federal interest rate cut have on credit cards? New Credit Card Offers - There are new credit card offers; green is now added to silver, gold, platinum and titanium. Credit Card Savings Accounts - Rewards cards offer automatic deposit savings accounts. Poor Credit Card Application - Poor Credit Score? Credit card applications to choose. Baddest and Best Credit Cards - J.D. Power and Associates' ratings of the baddest and best credit cards. Personal Gift Credit Cards - Personal gift credit cards can offer more wow than simply giving cash. Gift Credit Card Shopping - Tips for Choosing the Best Gift Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping. UK Credit Card Rate Increases - More than one UK credit card company is increasing rates and fees. Purchased and Free Gift Cards - Some credit cards offer the ability to earn free gift cards, or you can buy gift cards directly from retailers. Credit Cards and Credit Reports - Certainly credit report scores decide if you get approved for a credit card and the interest rate you will pay, but what about future rate changes? Bad Credit and Credit Cards - While bad credit people can get credit card approval but at higher rates, now even good credit people are seeing interest rate increases. Bad Credit Card Issuers or Bad Practices? - As the mortgage industry reels and tries to recover, attention is also being cast towards credit cards, the issuers and the cardholders. Will sub-prime, bad credit cards follow the same path of destruction as the sub-prime mortgages? Credit Card Fair Fee Act - Credit Card Fair Fee Act takes on Visa and MasterCard credit card companies to help business merchants negotiate transaction processing costs. Credit Card Phone Number Directory - Credit Card phone number directory. Directly call a credit card company, toll free. AAA Platinum Visa� Card (888) 215-3049 AARP Rewards Platinum Visa Card (888) 215-3049 AARP Travel Plus Visa� Signature Card (888) 868-8618 Academy of General Dentistry Platinum Visa� Card (888) 215-3049 AccountNow Vantage Prepaid MasterCard (866) 925-2036 Keep Credit Card Accounts - With high risk loans outstanding and the threat of federal legislation on the horizon, credit card companies are closing some customers' credit card accounts in an attempt to save money. New Credit Card Company Rules Regulations - The federal government is proposing new credit card company rules and regulations to ensure cardholder fair treatment, particularly bad credit cards. Unfortunately, this may create higher interest costs for good credit people and no credit card offers for poor credit people. Store Charge Cards And Gas Credit Cards - Some people don't want; or don't qualify for, regular unsecured credit cards, and choose store charge cards and gas credit cards instead. Here are free tips for using them. Tips for Using Store Charge Cards and Gas Credit Cards. Negotiate Credit Card Interest Rate - If you've been a good customer with your credit card company, you can negotiate a lower credit card interest rate .Lower Credit Card Interest Rate A $5,000 charge at 16% interest could be paid off in 1 year with monthly payments of $453.65. But, let's raise the interest rate. That same $5,000 charge with a higher 22% interest rate would cost you $467.98 per month. Gas Credit Card Rewards - With fuel prices high, everyone can use some financial assistance. Gas credit card rewards can offer some relief via cash back. Filling up the gas tank is expensive and the cost could get worse. Using a gas rewards credit card may offset some of the cost if you have a good rewards rate, but you'll need to tactfully manage your credit. Whether or not you use a gas credit card, your gas cost is going to be the same. Best Credit Card Benefits+Rewards - Credit cards get more than their fair share of bad press, but the truth is that most credit card problems are with the cardholder, not with the card itself. Just like the saying "guns don't kill people, people kill people", a similar statement of "there are no bad credit cards, only bad credit people" could be said regarding credit cards. Credit cards offer us all sorts of benefits and perks. Sadly, many of these go unused by cardholders. ATM Debit Card Fraud Tips - In support of ATM & Debit Card Safety Awareness month, PULSE; a Discover card product, offers tips on ATM and debit card use for privacy protection and to prevent fraud. Instantly Approved Pre Pay VS Platinum Rewards - With multitudes of card offers; ranging from instantly approved pre-pay cards to no deposit platinum rewards cards, how do you choose the best credit card? Before you compare perks and benefits, first weed out cards that may not help you. Subprime Credit Card Lawsuit - The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) files a lawsuit against CompuCredit and Jefferson Capital for its marketing of a subprime credit card. Will this end bad credit cards altogether, leaving only platinum rewards cards that only the rich and affluent will qualify for? If so, how will poor credit consumers be able to obtain an unsecured credit card to rebuild credit? Avoid Over Limit Fees - In a previous article, we warned how some credit card companies were reducing maximum charge limits as they faced high risks of default in a trouble economy. Unfortunately, this jeopardizes many cardholders by making them closer towards exceeding their max charge limits. Here are ways to prevent going over-limit. Credit Card Secrets - Credit Card Secrets: Hidden facts you probably didn't know. Submit an online credit card application for any credit rating. Call To Activate: You've seen those little peel off warning labes that come stuck onto your new credit card, that tell you to call a toll-free number in order to activate your card. Some even proclaim it's for your personal protection. Credit Card FAQs - Common questions turned into credit card facts. Apply for a good or bad credit card. Choosing between the best credit card offers can be hard. Consider a no interest 0 intro balance balance transfer, a pre-pay ATM or a pre-paid debit secured credit card, or unsecured credit card benefits that offer travel, miles, discount and vacation rewards. Your Credit Card Rights - Recently the Federal Reserve proposed new credit card rules that would eliminate several unfair practices in the credit and banking industry. If passed, these new rules will become your credit card rights. Apply for rewards or 0 introductory balance transfer credit card offers. Need help repaying credit card debt? Request credit counseling assistance or unsecured debt consolidation today. Cancel Credit Card Account - Tired of credit card debt? Before you cancel credit card accounts, read this article. Also learn about credit card debt consolidation, counseling and chargeoffs and debt settlement. Close Credit Card Account - Close Credit Card Account. Free sample letter on how to close credit card accounts. Need a new card? Browse the best credit card offers and apply online. Sample Letter To Close Credit Card Account Credit Card Application - Browse for the secured or unsecured credit card that is best for you, with or without rewards. Submit your MasterCard or Visa credit card application online. Best Credit Card Rate - Learn which offers the best credit card rate, a variable rate or a fixed rate credit card? Variable Rate Versus Fixed Rate Credit Cards The interest rate for variable rate credit cards is a rate that is added onto the prime rate, which the Federal Reserve regulates. When the fed raises the rate, the Variable Rate charged to the cardholder also goes up. Extra Joint Spouse Credit Cards - In addition to having a joint spouse credit card, there are occasions when you may want to have extra credit cards for rewards or other perks. Submit your good or bad credit card application online. Credit Cards Vs Checks - According to a Visa survey, more companies plan to increase use of business credit cards instead of paper checks for making payments. Browse and apply for a consumer or a business credit card. Visa's global survey revealed 74% of respondents are satisfied with their commercial credit card payment programs. 50% of respondents currently use commercial cards to make payments as part of their overall cash management strategies. Student Credit Card Advice - Free advice about college student credit cards. Tips to get the best card for you, prevent high balances and to get a good credit score. Bad Credit Card Rap - Credit cards suffer a bad rap, much of which is undeserved. There are both good and bad credit card features. Browse secured and unsecured credit card offers and apply online. Federal Credit Card Survey Ratings - Bi-annual Federal Reserve System survey of plan terms offered by financial institutions and credit card issuers. The credit terms include type of plan; variable or fixed interest rates as well as other credit card rewards such as purchase discounts, travel points and cashback. Credit Card Interest Rate OptOut - If your credit card issuer has notified you that your card's interest rate will increase even though you don't have bad credit, you could negotiate a lower rate, optout completely (which will require you to payoff the balance), payoff balances in full each month so you won't have any interest charges. Really Free Credit Report with No Credit Card - What consumers need to understand, is that there are many different ways to get a free credit report, but there's only one website that offers a truly, really free credit report with no credit card required. Many of the websites offering a free credit report copy do so as a promotional means. Gas Cards with Rewards - Want to get cash back when you put gas in your auto? Some gas cards with rewards include cash back when consumers charge for fuel or other auto related expenses. Many gas cards offer low introductory interest rates, rewards, and bonuses. Sample Credit Card Dispute Letter - Print this free, sample credit card dispute letter to send to your card company. Fill in the parenthesis ( ) to modify this free sample credit card dispute letter to have your card company correct a billing error Apply For A Balance Transfer Credit Card - Browse and apply for a 0 intro balance transfer credit card, but first read our free tips and advice on what to look for before submitting your application. Canceling Credit Cards Causes Bad Credit - Canceling credit cards could cause bad credit if you reduce your credit history and available credit limit. With all the ads to eliminate credit card debts and the hype about cutting up those credit cards, consumers could be also cutting down their good credit scores. Some consumers have a credit card that was obtained years ago - this is a big plus and especially if the charges are paid on time and in full - an added plus. Credit Card Interest Rate Rights and Options - If your issuer notifies you of a credit card interest rate increase, can you reject the higher rate? Learn your options and rights. How To Qualify for Credit Cards - With unemployment and low income problems, mounting debt and delinquent payments, Americans are wondering how to qualify for credit cards and rebuild bad credit. One thing is for certain--- as banks reel from the affects of their previous high risk lending to bad credit people, such people cannot soon expect large credit limit unsecured credit card offers. Joint Credit Card Accounts - Apply for and review these free tips for managing and sharing a joint credit card account. Most gold and platinum unsecured credit cards offer an additional spouse card. No Fee Free Credit Card Offer - Is it really a no fee, free credit card, or only free if certain terms and conditions are followed? In addition to knowing if; and when, fees are applied, consumers should also be aware of credit cards that have too many extra charges for services such as creating the account, monthly management and credit limit increases. Secured cards for consumers with bad credit often have such outrageous costs. Credit Card Holder Rights Act - Whether you have good or bad credit, the Credit Card Holder Bill of Rights Act is to protect you. Review free credit card tips for getting the best deal for secured and unsecured credit cards, and advice on managing accounts from gold to platinum. Best Credit Card Deal Gone Bad - Chase; considered by many to have offered one of the best credit card deals for people carrying a large balance, has reneged on an agreement and upset card members. Some Chase credit card members are suing the company for failure to fulfill promises. A few years ago, the company offered a Chase balance transfer credit card which promised a low rate for the life of the balance as long as the credit card remained in good standing. Credit Card Opt Out Agreement - Does your issuer offer a credit card opt out agreement? Recently some credit card companies have raised the interest rates on millions of credit card holders. Both Citibank and Bank of America raised the rates and sent notifications about the increase. Contacting the credit card company to discuss the rate hike may be in your best interest. Federal Credit Card Survey Ratings - Bi-annual Federal Reserve System ratings survey of plan terms offered by financial institutions and credit card issuers. The credit terms include type of plan; variable or fixed interest rates as well as other credit card rewards such as purchase discounts, travel points and cashback. Choosing the Lowest Interest Rate Unsecured Credit Cards - Free tips on choosing the lowest interest rate unsecured credit cards, from gold to platinum rewards. Credit Card Limit Cut - Was your credit card limit cut? Your options, and why government law pushed your credit card company to cut your max limit. Chargeoff Credit Card Debt To Avoid Bankruptcy - If you are near bankruptcy, you may want to chargeoff credit card debt either yourself for free or by hiring a debt settlement company to negotiate on your behalf. The credit crisis and bumbling government legislation have created a catastrophic domino effect. After consumers had tapped out their mortgage equity and had no where else to turn, they ran up credit card debts. Settle Credit Card Debt - Some consumers have been living off their credit cards by using them for simple things like rent, groceries, or other basic expenses. One reason may be that many consumers have lost their jobs during this economic crisis. Many have maxed out several credit cards and the late fees and high interest rates are getting them deeper in debt. Did you know? A debt settlement company is more experienced and can negotiate a larger settlement amount. Credit Card Medical Bill Payment - With consumers charging more of their medical bills on credit cards, we should wonder why all credit card companies don't create a special health credit card. Due to job losses, some people make medical bill payments with a credit card.  The medical profession certainly would like to be paid by credit card. Many medical offices proudly display a sign if they accept credit cards and they may accept several card types. Close Credit Card Account - Should you; and instructions how, to close credit card accounts and the letter to send to the credit card company. High balance debt may drive you to terminate credit cards, but reducing credit limits could cause bad credit report scores. If you have problems with bills, develop a budget and a money management plan, seek counseling, consolidation or debt settlement. Who Pays Joint Credit Card Account - You may be surprised to learn who pays joint credit card accounts. Options to cancel a joint account or to remove a spouse name from a joint account, including payoff and negotiating a debt settlement. Best Credit Card Company - Whether you want a secured or unsecured credit card for bad credit or excellent credit, first review the best credit card company ratings before you submit your online application. Cancel Credit Card Advice Question - Burdened with credit card debt, some Americans are canceling their accounts while others are simply cutting them up. While keeping the account open is actually good for your credit score versus closing the account, by leaving the account open you could leave yourself open to fraud, too. But what do you do if you dispose of credit cards before canceling them? Credit Question: ATM Debit Card Tips for Secure Handling - Review our free ATM debit card tips for secure handling of your card and withdrawals. What is a credit card chargeoff - Typically a charge off is when a creditor, bank, or bill collector writes off a balance as "bad debt" because they believe they can't collect the debt. Usually this happens when a person has not made any payments for six months or longer. The lender will still try to collect the debt and then write as a charge off. They can report the charge off to credit bureaus. ATM Debit Cards and Rebuilding Credit - Facts and benefits of Debit Cards and how a credit card can rebuild credit. Balance Transfer and How to get the Best Credit Card Deal - Read our article before you balance transfer debt, and learn how to get the best credit card deal. Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers, Tips and Advice - Get the maximum benefit of 0 intro balance transfer credit card offers by reading these free tips and advice. New Credit Card Account Advice - Free credit card account advice about the rates and fees for new card offers before you submit an application. Bad Credit Card Application Advice - When you need a credit card for bad credit, consider banks and credit card companies that specifically offer subprime cards to rebuild credit scores. There's no sense in wasting your time; and having unnecessary inquiries into your credit report, by applying for high limit or rewards cards. Advice to Rebuild Credit with a Credit Card - The purpose of a credit card to rebuild credit scores is to re-establish a positive credit history. Use the card to make small purchases that can be paid in full each month. Secured Prepaid Cards and Unsecured Credit Cards - Credit card tips: There are a lot of choices and variables to choose from, whether you want a secured prepaid card or an unsecured credit card. Credit Card Deals and Education - There are different kinds of credit cards not only for various credit scores, but also for special uses from establishing or rebuilding credit to earning rewards. With credit card education you will be best able to choose the right deals for you. Christmas Credit Card Shopping - Get shopping rewards through special Christmas credit card offers. Christmas Credit Card - Christmas credit card and shopping tips. Best Christmas gifts are low interest credit cards. But use it safely! Read our free Christmas Card Shopping Tips, and apply for your Christmas charge card. Click to Read More! What is Worse than a Credit Card? - With all the government focus on credit card company operations, the real financial thieves remain untouched. Cellular phone companies have far worse negative impacts on consumers' finances. According to a 2009 report by ConsumerReports.org, the average consumer spent $600 a year on cell phone use, but families that talk, text, or use other phone features spend upward of $1,800 a year. Dwell on that for a moment. Credit Card Comparison Guide - Review credit card comparisons of introductory interest rates and special rewards offers to help you choose the good or bad credit card right for you. Note: Rates and Rewards are as of the date of this article, and are subject to change. For updated rates and rewards information, please refer to the respective card issuer website. Good or Bad Credit Card - Credit card issuers are trying to change their image from bad to good. Maybe the bad rap credit card companies get from the federal government and by people who spend beyond their repayment means, are motivating card issuers to improve their image. To help college students and others make their credit card bill payments on time, Chase offers text message alerts. Tips Before Submitting Credit Card Applications - Free credit card tips: Credit cards are very useful as a back up when you have no cash on hand The problem with credit cards is high interest rates or finance charges and also the temptation of spending more than you can afford; like the old saying, " living beyond your means". Credit cards serve as a very important factor to obtain good credit if you pay off your balance monthly. Platinum Credit Card Prequalification - Why is a platinum credit card only for good credit people? Read our credit card article to learn about prequalification. Choosing a credit card right for you. - Article: Choosing a Credit Card Offers - which is best and best for you? Not only are there different issuers, there are many different types of credit cards, so how do you choose a card that's right for you? Prepaid Credit Card - Apply online, and learn he Benefits of a Pre-paid Credit Card. Read our free article: No Deposit Credit Card - No deposit credit card: Apply online, and read our credit card article. Preapproved Credit Card - Learn what is a preapproved credit card and apply online. You may already be pre-approved. Read our credit card article: What kind of card can I qualify for? - Have a difficult time choosing a credit card so you just apply for a lot of cards? Don't jeopardize your credit score and make bad credit even worse. Why People Choose Credit Cards - Credit Card News - People choose credit cards because the benefits can outweigh the bad. People who can control their spending urges to avoid debt, enjoy the security credit cards offer as well as the rewards. Sure, there are a lot of Americans who are neck deep in credit card debt, whether at the fault of the user or the credit card issuer is another story. Credit Card Error Codes: Response Reason Codes and Response Reason Text - RESPONSE CODE RESPONSE REASON CODE RESPONSE REASON TEXT NOTES    1 1 This transaction has been approved. More Easily Understand Credit Card Agreements - ConsumerFinance.gov developed a shorter, simpler credit card agreement that spells out the terms for the consumer. Note that this is not a model form, and use is not mandatory. This simplified approach will help consumers better understand their credit card agreements. Get Out of Christmas Credit Card Debt - Free tips and advice on how to get out of Christmas credit card debt. Did your credit cards gain a few pounds over the holidays along with you? It is fun to make charges on credit cards during the holidays and see the joy that gifts bring. That is until the credit card statements glare at you from inside the mailbox. Just like we put on extra pounds - so will credit card balances during the holidays. Chargeoff Christmas credit card debt - File bankruptcy or chargeoff Christmas credit card debt and other unsecured bills. If you've exhausted all solutions for meeting your financial obligations, it may be in your best interest to file bankruptcy. Although bankruptcy is much the same as simply not repaying debt, it's a legal chargeoff procedure. Credit Cards VS Charge Cards Which Is Better - Credit cards and charge cards serve the same basic purpose... to charge purchases for payment later. As such, the term 'charge card' is often used to describe both although there are important differences. Should I pay off my credit cards or my car loan first? Which option would save me the most money? - In most instances, focusing on paying off credit cards vs auto loans not only saves you more money, but may also help improve credit more, too. Using our free financial calculators, you can determine for yourself which option would save you the most money in interest. Let's review a comparison example: Bad Credit Debt Consolidation Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards - I'm a non-homeowner and I don't qualify for a debt consolidation loan. Is there a way I can get a bad credit loan to pay off credit card debt? One way to get a relatively low interest, long term loan is to use the equity in your vehicle to secure a loan. If you still owe money on your auto and don't hold the title in your name due to a lien, apply for a refinancing loan. Democrats Allow Higher Credit Card Fees - Obama's consumer financial watchdog agency is allowing credit card companies to charge big upfront fees, which is likely to affect subprime, bad credit borrowers the most. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau acknowledged its proposal would increase costs for some cardholders and allow banks to charge more in fees. New Jersey Democrats To Hijack Idle Gift Card Balances - Democrats of New Jersey are eye-balling the unspent balances of their state residents' gift cards. These unused balances could be used by the state to pay its own bills. Soon, New Jersey will require gift card sellers to obtain ZIP codes from buyers so it can claim unused balances of resident cards that have been inactive for two years. What is the difference between a charge card and a regular credit card? - Charge cards are a type of credit card that require you to pay the full amount you've charged each month. There are no periodic finance charges, and charge cards often come with rewards.  Credit cards offer a revolving line of credit, meaning that consumers may carry a balance from month to month rather than having to pay the balance in full every month. Use Extra Money to Payoff Credit Card Debt or Put in Savings Account - A reader asks: "I came into enough money to payoff my credit cards. What should I do. Payoff credit card balances or put that money into a savings account? " Answer: You can win with either option. The option which can save you the most money is to payoff credit card debt. You would save the card's interest charges you would have had to pay, which is a far higher rate than what a typical bank savings account pays. Credit Cards by Credit Score Rating - Not sure what credit cards you qualify for? Instead of wasting time submitting multiple applications, review credit score requirements and use a credit card matching service. Can a Credit Card Company Place Lien on Property? - Actions a Credit Card Company or Other Lender can take Against You for Default Non-Payment: Civil Court Law Suit: When you don't pay your credit card bill or other loan, your credit card company, lender or a third party collection agency could file a law suit in civil court to sue for payment. Be a Smarter Credit Card Comparison Shopper - There are fabulous card offers out there, but don't fall victim to glitz and hype. Here are free tips on how to be a smarter credit card shopper. Most Popular Credit Cards - Review the best and most popular credit cards for gas purchases, sky miles, travel and balance transfers. Getting Your First Credit Card - Common mistakes to avoid when getting your first credit card. Credit Cards for Travel Benefits Abroad - If your vacation leads you overseas, compare the best credit cards for traveling abroad. Add Child as Authorized User on Credit Card - Is it wise to add a child as an authorized user on your credit card? It's hard for teens to establish credit since credit options on their own are limited. In most cases they can't get a line of credit without a cosigner or by being an authorized user. For that reason, many parents choose to add children to their accounts. Vacation Travel Credit Cards - Part of your vacation planning should include which travel credit card to pack along for hotel, motel, airline sky miles and other rewards. Capital One Credit Cards for All Credit Scores - Whatever your credit history, Capital One has a credit card (or secured card) for you.*See website for changes, updates, and for full terms and conditions Student Credit Card Use Tips - How student credit cards should be; and should not be, used. There's no arguing how convenient and life-saving credit cards can be, yet it's equally evident how they can be abused and cause long-term problems. Smart Student Credit Card Management - Read these tips on how best to use; or not use, student cards: Best Credit Card for Gas - The single, best credit card for gas and travel, meets two predominant requirements: the card which best meets your needs, and the one which you qualify for. With that in mind, here are several cards for you to consider. Are Paperless Credit Card Billing Statements Better - You may think paperless billing statements are better for the environment and offer more ID theft protection, but consider the cons. If you elect to go paperless, you'll no longer receive a credit card statement in the mail. Instead your statement is available online to view, download, save and print. Your credit card company will send you a monthly notification email when your statement is ready. Advice for Common Credit Card Problems - During our use of credit cards, certain situations arise for many of us. Here are some which may; unfortunately, happen to you and what you can do. If your credit card interest rate goes up... You can do one of four things:1) Accept the rate increase2) Opt-out of the rate increase, which may result in your card not being renewed or you must payoff current balance3) Stop using the card. First Credit Card Application - Advice for submitting your very first credit card application, receiving and understanding important issues before making your first purchase charge. Affects of Maxxing Out Credit Cards - If you have; or are about to, max out credit cards, you need to be aware of the affects it can have on other credit. Although you may be aware that the issuer may charge an over-limit fee, many people are ignorant as to how this impacts other financial areas. First Time Credit Card and Loan Applicants - How first time credit applicants get approved for credit cards and loans. First timers usually dive in and start submitting credit applications, not knowing that doing so could be a waste of time as well as endanger their credit score with too many unnecessary inquiries. As with any situation, preparation is key. The very first consideration is what credit can you expect to get? Retail Credit Card Rewards - There are plenty of store cards, yet weigh all retail credit card rewards, terms and conditions before you apply. Many of the rewards are restricted to the stores themselves; some also restricted to in-store shopping and do not apply to online purchases, and introductory perks often fall short. The following retail rewards credit cards feature benefits that can be redeemed with specific retailers. Types of Banks for Credit Cards and Business or Personal Loans - Three types of banks to choose to meet your needs for business or personal loans and credit cards, Retail banks: A retail bank is a bank that works with consumers. These banks provide basic banking services to the general public, including:* Checking and savings accounts* CDs* Safe deposit boxes* Mortgages and second mortgages* Auto loans* Unsecured and revolving loans such as credit cards Save Money with Back to School Credit Card Rewards - Take advantage of back to school credit card rewards to save money on student expenses. Some people use credit cards to buy back-to-school supplies because they are short on cash, and others use charge on credit cards to earn rewards and maximize their money. School supplies can get costly even with just one child, so it makes sense to get the most with your money. 0 Intro Credit Card Reviews - The longest 0 introductory credit card offers. Review this listing of 0% intro cards of up to 18 months for purchases and balance transfers. How to Choose a Credit Card for Christmas - What can be more confusing that filing IRS taxes? Choosing a credit card! With so many variables in interest rates, points, rewards, introductory periods, balance transfer programs and the confusing terms, it's no wonder it's difficult to choose a credit card for Christmas purchases. How to Negotiate Christmas Credit Card Debt Settlement - It's not unusual to go into the holidays with debt already on your credit cards, and then adding yet more charges. This holiday snowball can end up causing extreme financial stress on you and your family. If you've accumulated a mass of credit card debt which you simply cannot afford to repay and if you have no other options, you may want to consider a Christmas credit card debt settlement. Get out of Credit Card Interest Reduction Scams - The FTC requires credit card interest reduction companies to not charge a fee until after the service is performed. So if you've paid a fee before they've helped you, you can pursue a refund. Amendments to the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibit companies that sell relief services like these rate reduction scams on the phone from charging a fee before they settle or reduce your debt. Reverse Credit Card Payment - How to Reverse a Credit Card Payment Charge with your card company issuer or with the merchant seller. Credit Card Grace Period Explained - You know what it is yet you may be surprised by what you don't know. Review our Credit Card Grace Period Explained article. General Financial and Credit Card Account Sharing - There are pros and cons involved with general finance and credit card account sharing, yet mostly negative. There are some surprising ways another person can impact your credit score. We're all already aware of the impact identity theft has, so in this article we will discuss authorized credit entanglements, as well as the pros. Lesser known negative impacts: Someone else's use of your car can affect your score. Manage Credit Card Accounts - There's the wrong way and the right way to manage credit card accounts to save money and protect scores. Credit Card Company Complaints - The Credit Card Companies with the Most Complaints. Credit Cards that Benefit Animals - For lovers of wildlife and pets, here are credit cards that benefit animals. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary - Chase Bank offers an affinity credit card that benefits the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Student Credit Cards - What to look for before applying for student credit cards. First thing you need to determine is what cards you qualify for. Once you narrow down the list, then you can begin comparing offers. In your side by side comparisons, look at the following: What is the credit limit What is the interest rate/ Is there an annual fee or any other fees What is Credit Card Blocking - The definition of credit card blocking and why it is used. Definition: Credit card blocking is when a company reserves a certain amount of money against your credit card limit. Why is credit card blocking used? Since most credit cards have limits on the amount of money that can be charged to the card, companies you are seeking services from want to make sure they get the amount they will charge before you max out the limit. Charge Off Christmas Credit Card Debt - How to Charge Off Christmas Credit Card Debt Yourself You don't need to hire a company and pay fees to charge off Christmas credit card debt. You can do it yourself, free. What Happens After You Swipe Your Credit Card - Everyone knows how to make a card charge, but what happens after you swipe your credit card in the machine? A near instantaneous series of actions transpire when use your credit card: As soon as you card is swiped, your card information is entered into the merchant's payment system (POS terminal). If you purchase online, that data is processed via the merchant site's e-Commerce software. How to get every cent from Gift Cards - Don't leave money on gift cards. But how do you spend money left over on a gift card without having to buy more then the card balance, and then add your own money? It has been estimated that 10 to 15% of gift cards are never redeemed, which totals a billion dollars in unspent, pre-paid money. To draw every cent from the balances of your gift cards, donate them charity. Credit Card Limit Lowered - What to do if your credit card limit is lowered by your issuer.  Did you credit card limit get lowered? You don't have to just sit back and take it, you do have options. Call your card issuer. Call the number on the back of your credit card and request your previous limit to be restored. These tips will make the issuer more open to returning your limit: Be polite and speak calmly Remind the issuer how long you've been their cardmember Credit Cards that can Only be Used for Gas - Browse these credit cards that can only be used for gas purchases. Hidden Credit Card Benefits - The best hidden credit card benefits are the ones right in your face. Free Credit Card Money - How rich people get free credit card money You already know about how to get free money to offset travel expenses by cashing in sky miles, or to help with motels, gas purchases, and even how to get cashback. Too often, we focus only on these direct ways to save or to gain free money. Usually we think about either a cash back card, or 0 intro card to give us more time to repay, or other rewards. How Using Credit Cards Affects Credit Score - Does the percentage of your credit limit used affect credit scores? Yes. Credit scores consider both your total balance to limit ratio (also called the utilization rate), and your balances as compared to the limits on each account. Why? Because how much of your credit limit used is an indicator of your credit risk when seeking additional loans or credit cards. USAA Credit Cards - Compare USAA Credit Cards which offer low rates, rewards, military benefits and no annual fees on select cards. The Affects of Just One Credit Card Late Payment - One mistake can be costly. Beware the affects of just one late payment on a credit card. Here are things likely to happen when you miss even a single credit card payment: Your credit card company will charge a late fee. BUT, if you've been a good paying cardmember, you may get them to waive this fee so call and ask. If they won't waive the fee, you'll see the charge (usually $15 to $35) on your next billing statement. Price Match Credit Cards - Price match credit cards may not be a new offer, yet it can save you plenty of money. Debit Card User Warning - Using a debit card is not as safe; and protected, and using a credit card. For example, if some theft hacks the terminal of a store you patronized with your debit card and he spends using your data, you could be held responsible for up to $500 in charges. Credit Card Cautions - Review credit card cautions so you can enjoy the very best of your card. Credit Cards that Increase Limit for Spending - Selection of credit cards that increase limit for spending on everyday purchases. Car Rewards Credit Cards - With an auto rewards credit card, you can earn points to use toward the purchase of a new car. If you're looking for an auto rewards credit card, read these reviews to decide which has the best terms for you. Chrysler MasterCard Review The Chrysler MasterCard lets you earn points toward a new Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Chrysler or Fiat vehicle with no annual fee. Toyota Rewards Visa Review Places Not to Use a Debit Card - Here are very risky places not to use a debit card for purchases. Retail Store Credit Cards Non Expiring - Retail Store Credit Cards May Not Have An Expiration Date Some retailers are doing away with expiration dates for their store cards. Credit Card Company Free Credit Scores - You may get totally free credit scores from your credit card company. Credit Card Benefits and Perks - Credit card companies offer less advertised perks and other benefits to cardholders. The reason; logically, is to entice customers in a competitive struggle against other credit card companies. READYdebit(R) Platinum Visa(R) Prepaid Card - Review Issuer Comments about the READY debit Platinum Visa Prepaid Card Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Benefits - Sit back and enjoy earning unlimited cash back Summary of Key Benefits: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards Save with a low intro APR on purchases and no annual fee Dispute a Billing Error to Credit Card Company - How to Dispute a Billing Error to Your Credit Card Company, including American Express, Chase, Citi, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, USAA, Bank of America, US Bank, Capital One, Wells Fargo, HSBC Bank and PayPal. How to Report Lost or Stolen Credit Card - How to Report Lost or Stolen Credit Card. Emergency contact telephone numbers to report lost or stolen credit cards, ATM or debit cards. First Time Credit Card Applications to Build Credit - Getting your first credit card can be scary and nerve-racking. Review first time credit card applications that help build credit. How to Compare Credit Cards - How to Compare Credit Cards by Reviewing Terms and Conditions, Interest Rates and Rewards What is Credit Card Churning - What is Credit Card Churning? It's earning rewards for submitting credit card applications. CashBack Rewards TD Credit Cards - Review TD Credit Cards Offering CashBack and Rewards Credit Cards that do Soft Pulls - Credit Cards that do Soft Pulls with No Credit Check Credit Cards that make You look Rich - There are some Credit Cards that make You look Rich, but the Best Require Excellent Credit and Wealth. Some credit cards make you look rich just by whipping them out and slapping them onto a counter. Particularly if the card is made of metal. Instead of cheap plastic snap, the sound of a metal card is almost like a trumpet blowing, announcing the King has arrived. PrePaid Credit Card Fees - Review PrePaid Credit Card Fees and Issuers Offering No Fees. Guaranteed Credit Card with High Limit - Guaranteed Credit Card with High Limit for Bad Credit People Unable to Qualify for Standard Unsecured Cards Credit One Bank Cards - Get the credit card that's perfect for you. Our cards are even available to those who have had credit problems in the past and those who may have little credit history. Pre-Qualify Here for Cards. See if You're Pre-Qualified. It's easy, fast and won't affect your credit score! Takes less than a minute.  Platinum Status 1% Gas Rewards Automatic Credit Line Increase Reviews� Free Online Monthly Credit Score Tracking Credit Cards You Can Use Right Away - Browse Secured and Unsecured Credit Cards You Can Use Right Away and Apply for Card Offers Most Costly Credit Card Perks and Rewards - Review the Most Costly Credit Card Perks so You can Decide if the Fees are Worth it. Credit Card Perks and Rewards are fantastic, but some are incredibly costly. These credit cards make you look rich because you pretty much have to be to afford them. American Express Centurion Credit Card has an annual fee of $2,500. Spot and Stop Credit Card Addiction - Are you truly poor or do you have a charging problem? How to spot and stop credit card addiction. Professional Assistance with Debt Here are signs that you may have a credit card addiction:* You conceal your charging habits from family members or partner. Most all of us are affected by guilt when we do something wrong. As such, hiding over-charging may be your attempt at concealing something you feel bad about which you know is wrong.

   

  

   

    

Auto Loan: Good or bad credit auto loan quote. Apply for a new or used auto loan, or for car refinancing.
 

Credit Report: Free credit report help to fix credit report errors and improve credit score ratings.

 

Debt Counseling: Nonprofit credit counseling, unsecured debt consolidation or free debt settlement.

 

Free Credit Offers: Get no obligation credit offers and receive alerts and tips to manage personal finances.

 

Home Loan: Stop paying rent and live the American dream.

 

Mortgage Refinancing: 2nd mortgage loan for remodeling, equity cash out or a debt consolidation loan.

 

Payday Loan: Get a good or bad credit unsecured loan with no credit check and no collateral.

  

Personal Loan: Short or long term personal loan.

  

Personal Finance: Create a personal budget, balance a checkbook, file bankruptcy and more.

 

Free Help: Personal finance newsletter, credit advice and tips.

 

Interest rates: National averages of credit card, mortgage, refinancing and auto loan interest rates.
  

                 

 

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Unsecured Christmas credit card and gift charge card. Submit an online application to get a credit card or a retail store charge card in time to buy Christmas gifts. Be sure to read our free Christmas credit card shopping tips to avoid fraudulent charges.

   

   

Free Christmas Credit Gift

 

   

Christmas Credit Card Debt Settlement, Consolidation or Counseling

 

 

Instant Approval Decision Christmas Credit Card Offers with Rewards and CashBack

 

Read our free tips and advice that can help you get the best rewards, then choose and submit online applications for instant approval decision Christmas credit card offers.

 

Online applications for short and long term Christmas personal loans

Online applications for Christmas credit cards with cashback rewards

 

Just like retail stores lower prices and offer other incentives to draw customers to their stores instead of their competitors, credit card companies also offer specials, like a no interest, 0% intro period, cashback or other rewards. The people who can benefit most from these special credit card offers, are those who payoff their balances in full monthly. Otherwise if it takes cardholders too long to payoff balances, the inevitable interest will devour any introductory savings and cashback earnings. Of course, it still lessens the impact of interest charges.

 

In addition to standard unsecured credit cards that can be used anywhere, there are also retail store charge cards (which can only be used in that particular store). And now, there are hybrid cards from major issuers like Visa and MasterCard, that give special rewards and discounts for shopping at a particular retail store.

 

These various Christmas credit card offers and special deals all reveal a truth: The credit card companies; and stores, are competing to get you to be their customer. This puts you, the consumer, in a very good position.

 

If you add shopping strategy, you can really save big time.

 

One tip you may want to consider is to begin purchasing in advance of Christmas instead of waiting until December. By doing this, you'll actually start paying on your Christmas debt before January. Start purchasing in October and start making your first payment in November (if you won't be paying off in full each month). Not only does this give you an early start on paying off charges, this strategy can also curb your spending and will have less of an impact on your budget. How many Christmas' have you experienced in which you don't realize until January or February exactly how much you've gone over budget. People in this situation who intend to carry a balance, may find it best to get a 6 month 0 intro credit card instead of one that offers cashback... or especially one that offers both if qualified.

 

Carry a balance, or charge and payoff immediately? If you will be carrying a balance, a credit card with the lowest rate may be a better choice than one that offers cashback. Typically, cashback credit cards are only up to 5% of purchases, whereas interest rates could easily be in the double digits. So, carrying a balance would cost you more with a cashback card than a 0 intro card, especially if you can repay the balance before the intro period expires.

 

Just as you are looking for the best credit card offer you can qualify for, the people you plan to shop for are likely also looking for credit cards. Maybe you should use your unsecured credit card to purchase pre-paid debit cards, or retail store charge cards, for them to use? You can save money by not having to buy wrapping paper and paying for shipping other than the cost of mailing a Christmas card. Simply slip the prepaid card into a Christmas card and mail it off. Your recipient will be able to buy something they actually need and you won't have to wonder if they returned your gift to the store. If you choose this option, consider a major brand pre-paid card that isn't tied to one particular store, so the recipient can spend the funds anywhere for anything. Although giving 'gift certificates' was once viewed dimly, with economic problems many people would actually prefer to receive cash cards.

 

Tip: If you get a cashback credit card, be sure to understand how to get the max cashback. Some credit cards offer the highest cashback percentage for certain select purchases, like gas. Find out what types of purchases your credit card company offers the highest cashback percentage.

 

 

Make safe credit card purchases with offline and online Christmas gift shopping. Our Christmas credit card safety tips.

Sign your credit card before Christmas shopping.

Treat your credit cards as you would cash. Don't leave them unattended. Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.

During Christmas cashiers are hurried. Ensure yourcredit card is returned after every gift purchase.

Don't be victimized by telemarketer fraud during Christmas. Never give your credit card number on the phone unless you initiate the call.

After delivering Christmas gifts and your receipts are no longer needed, shred, tear, or black out account numbers before tossing into the trash.

Close all unused credit card accounts and destroy unwanted cards.

When using a credit card to purchase online Christmas gifts, ensure the merchant has proper security measures. If unsure, order your Christmas gifts online but consider sending a check or money order for payment.

When you buy Christmas gifts, each time you use your credit card; whether for Christmas gifts online or offline, make a record of the date, merchant and amount of charge, then compare with your credit card statements to look for fraudulent charges.

New wallet Christmas gift? If a credit card was carried in a wallet, before tossing the old wallet not only should you ensure removal of the credit card, but also examine the old wallet and destroy "impressions" of the card number in the material.

Remember: it's far safer to carry a credit card with a $5,000 spending limit than to carry $5,000 in cash while Christmas shopping.

 

Need more information? Read our financial and credit articles related to Christmas credit cards, and join our online financial newsletter.



Digital Gift Cards for Christmas Presents

The popularity of store gift cards is rising each year, as many people consider these as the most likely way to give a gift the person would actually use. As with most all purchases; however, some gift cards are better than others.

Comparing gift cards can be time consuming, particularly since stores will ramp up their card promotions during the holiday season. Some retailer ecards or digital gift cards can be used both online or in store, so be sure to which offers more flexibility.

Some retail stores; such as JCPenney's, offer e-gift cards which can be emailed within minutes to you or the recipient. They also offer shipping on a specific date and the buyer can customize the egift card with a message, a photo or even a video at no extra cost.

ECards offer another benefit over hard plastic gift cards... they can be accessed through mobile apps and email applications, whereas a regular gift card may easily be lost.

Certainly there's also a benefit for the retailers. In addition to making sales value equal to the card, some shoppers will actually end up spending beyond the value of the card thus earning more revenue for the store. That's why the aggressive gift card promotions begin quite early as the holidays approach. Some stores offer extra ways to obtain gift cards versus simply buying them outright. CVS; for example, has a program which their customers can earn a $10 gift card for places like Macy's or Darden restaurants if they spend $30 or more during a time period on specially marked items in the CVS circular. Kmart's offering members $15 off the next purchase when they buy $250 or more of Visa gift cards.

Gift Card Shopping Tips:

  • Check for any upfront fees for general purpose gift cards, including charge shipping fees.

  • Make sure protective stickers are intact and verify that nothing was scratched off to reveal a PIN number.

  • When giving a gift card, try to include a gift receipt to verify the card's purchase so the recipient can prove the card's validity should any problems arise.

Facts:

  • Per the Federal Trade Commission, money on a gift card cannot expire for at least five years from the date the card was bought, or from the last date extra money was added onto the card. If the expiration date listed on the card is earlier than these dates, the money can be transferred to a replacement card at no cost.

  • Be wary about buying gift cards from online auction sites. The FTC recommends avoiding buying gift cards totally on auction sites because the cards may be counterfeit or may have been obtained fraudulently.

  • If a restaurant or coffee house closes a store near the recipient, it may be hard to find another spot where the gift card can be used.

 

 



Holiday Gifts for Poor Families - Organizations that offer free Christmas Presents for Needy Children:

ToysForTots.org - Apply on their website. This organization provides information, education, and an opportunity to donate to Toys for Tots to the American public. To obtain toys for your children or for other children go to the toysfortots.org website. There are a few steps to sign up for toys on the website:

  • Selecty the City or County nearest your location.

  • Contact by phone, FAX, email (Recommend you use email. Click the hypertext email address. An email form will appear)

  • Fill out the form by providing your name, phone number and address.

  • Provide the ages and gender of your children and request that Christmas toys be provided for them.

  • A coordinator will contact you. Your local toysfortots may be able to assist children up to age 12. In some local communities the age limit may be extended to 14-16 years of age.

  

SoldiersAngels.org - Applications are accepted from military families from November 5 – December 1. Soldiers’ Angels helps military families in need, with presents for children and a grocery gift card or prepaid Visa gift card so they can purchase their holiday dinner and trimmings. Submitting an application does not guarantee participation in the program because each application is reviewed on a case by case basis and prioritized based on the level of need. The program is not meant to provide for your family's entire holiday support, but to serve as a token of appreciation from the community.


OperationHomefront.net - Is ready for its HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE program to distribute toys and gift cards to junior enlisted military families. Last year, millions of toys were donated at Dollar Tree stores nationwide. Items and other holiday gifts were distributed to junior service members to show our Nation’s appreciation and supplement the family holiday. To contact someone about emergency financial assistance, please call the Emergency Assistance Line at: 1-877-264-3968 (toll free); 210-549-4600 (local); and 1-855-552-0838 (fax).

SalvationArmyusa.org/usn/christmas-assistance - Donations and financial assistance provide Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need, including families of prisoners. Volunteers distribute gifts to shut-ins in hospitals and nursing homes, and shelters are open for sit-down dinners. Many families receive aid over a period of months after the Christmas season, as well as people struggling with difficult family, emotional, or employment problems. All of our holiday assistance programs are administered locally. If you require assistance, you will need to contact your local Corps Community Center by using the location search on our website (SalvationArmyusa.org/usn/christmas-assistance). Most locations begin registration as early as October, so it's recommended you contact your local Salvation Army as soon as possible to inquire about registration dates.

Check your local churches for toy drives: Some churches and religious organizations may have a toy drive for Christmas. Visit or call your church or other churches for information about getting toys for Christmas.

Check your local schools, Soup Kitchens, or other local organizations about toys for needy children.

RedCross.org - No information about free Christmas presents for needy children.

Goodwill.org - No information about free Christmas presents for needy children.



Use money to buy Christmas gifts, or charge to a credit card? If you plan on using cold hard cash for buying Christmas presents so you won't have debt and interest to pay, re-consider using a rewards credit card. It only makes sense, considering you have the cash to pay the charges in full. Why does it make sense? Because paying with cash does not give you any perks. Think of it this way: A rewards credit card which pays you 5% cash back, will end up giving you $175 of free money just for charging $3,500 of Christmas purchases to the card. And since you had the cash to pay in full, you won't have to worry about the free money being eaten up by interest. Just repay the balance within the grace period. Paying with cash doesn't offer cash back (unless the store offers a discount for cash purchases). Also, cash does not offer any additional perks such as an extended warranty on certain purchases, plus getting reversals for undelivered purchases, and protection by limiting liability to only $50.00. Another benefit to using a credit card, is that you can leave your hard-earned cash in your bank savings account (earning interest), instead of carrying the wad around town with you and risk being robbed or having your purse/wallet stolen. Of course, a credit card statement provides a back-up receipt should the retailer receipt become lost. Finally, consider the on-going benefits: If you spend $3,500 on Christmas gifts, how much money do you spend throughout the year? With a cash back credit card, you can continue earning money - not merely during the holidays.

Charity credit cards for Christmas gift giving - By charging purchases to a card which donates to charity, you give twice with each gift. You also get to enjoy that holiday warmth of sharing when you charge on a card which aids a nonprofit organization. Examples of charity cards are: Bank of America's American Heart Association, and Chase's World Wildlife Fund cards. Additionally, there are some charity cards which allow you to choose the organization to send the donation to. For example, Target's REDcard Take Charge of Education program can help your child's school, or it will split the money between up to five Israel-related charities through the HAS Advantage Visa Platinum card. Typically the participating issuer awards from 0.3 percent to 1 percent of each transaction to a charity. Although that may seem quite a small donation, it adds up with those from other users. If you want to give more, get a card which offers an initial donation of $10 to $50 when each card is activated like the Chase, OneCause, and CardPartner. If you don't like using credit cards, you can still join the giving-spirit by using a debit card. Some banks offer programs that link check and debit cards to charity. To give more, choose a rewards credit card that offers a higher cash-back bonus. The American Express Blue Cash and Discover More cards, and instead of cashing the rewards, donate the cash back check to charity. Not only will the charity receive a larger donation than they would through most cause cards, but the tax deduction belongs to you instead of the credit card company.

Christmas Credit Card Application Advice: Don't apply for just any credit card for Christmas shopping. There's much more to charging presents than simply deferring payment or establishing a monthly installment for eventual payoff. In addition to meeting qualification requirements, you also want to apply for a credit card which will bestow a total loan amount that is acceptable without being much more than you actually need. That's because having too large of a credit limit can encourage debt, and a card with a low limit may not offer a big enough credit line for making all your gift purchases. Any why not get the most out of the rewards as well? If; for example, you don't fly often and you'll mostly use the card for buying Christmas gifts, avoid sky miles credit cards and instead get one which offers cash back for the kinds of purchases you will make. Again, don't bother to submit a credit card application for a card which rewards cash back for purchases at stores you don't frequent. If you're unsure of the interest rate and credit limit you qualify for, consider a credit card finder service which can assist you.



Debt

 

People with poor credit may keep damaging scores just by getting deeper into debt or keeping debts. Those who want to find an answer to financial problems often seek a consolidation service. It is best to search one that has experience helping those with credit challenges. Many of these services, do require clients to have a certain credit score to qualify, yet there are some requirements to be eligible.

  

Some consolidation companies require borrowers to have a minimum level of unsecured debt, no existing enrollments in debt consolidation programs, and be willing to cancel credit cards included in the consolidation. People with excessively high levels of debt may not be able to qualify.

  

Having debts with high interest typically leads to credit problems, which can prevent some consumers from being able to consolidate. People with excellent credit, usually are able to get approved for a home equity, debt consolidation loan. When there are blemishes on credit records from the burdens of overwhelming debts, some debt relief programs may not be an option. 

  

However, there are many debt consolidation services who can assist those with bad credit and credit challenges. Lenders define "bad credit" in various ways, but a score of 620 or below is usually classified as poor. For scores like this, it can be next to impossible to get loans to pay bills from traditional banks and credit unions. Applicants are considered a sub-prime borrower, and few lenders are willing to assume that risk.

 

Consumers with poor credit do have some options to put a stop to constantly damaging credit scores. There are choices like credit counseling, consolidation loans, debt settlement, and the last solution could be bankruptcy. Finding the right service for individual debt needs can take some thought and research, which can be started by using online sources. Using online resources provides privacy and the ability to compare services. It can be one of the quickest ways to get a quote or check out a company to see if they are reputable.

 

Having bad credit usually does not disqualify people from receiving debt consolidation services. However, some consolidation companies may require that payments are no more than three months behind. For people who have more serious delinquencies, debt settlement or debt negotiation may be an option to consider. 

 

Some lenders offer debt consolidation loans with less eligibility criteria. Many debtors with bad credit can use these loans and pay off high-interest debts. These loans may have high interest rates, yet most loans for bad credit people do anyway. There are hundreds of choices for using professional services, the important thing is to start early, before debts and late fees are out of hand. Quotes are usually free, and it may be a step in the right direction to get one. Debt relief can help ease some of the stresses of life and may eliminate some sleepless nights.



Horizons Federal Credit Union - Low Holiday Loan Rate: 3.99% rate is based on credit worthiness and relationship discounts with Horizons FCU. New money loans only. Borrow up to $10,000 with monthly installment payments up to 12 months. Minimum 30 days 'Free' interest with no payments until 2012. See a Member Service Specialist for more information. Signature Personal Loans: The Horizons FCU Signature Loan is a great way to borrow for any worthwhile purpose or to consolidate existing debt into one, low monthly payment. Whether you use your loan to buy a new TV, finance a home improvement or take the vacation of your dreams, approved members will enjoy: * Attractive fixed rate, based on your credit history and your relationship with Horizons * Low Rates * NO pre-payment penalty * A variety of loan terms to make monthly payments manageable * Affordable fixed payments that won't change for the life of your loan. Making your Horizons FCU Signature Loan payment couldn't be easier. Choose from these convenient payment options: * Transfer funds from your Horizons FCU Checking or Savings account via Telephone Teller, our 24-hour telephone account access service, C.U.@Home Online Banking or at any Horizons FCU ATM. * Have your payment automatically deducted from your paycheck. * Have your payment automatically deducted from your Horizons FCU Checking or Savings. * Mail your payment with the handy coupons provided. * Drop off your payment at any Horizons FCU branch. Unsecured Loans: Unsecured loans are ideal for paying off high-interest debt with a non-variable interest rate and a fixed monthly payment. They provide easy budgeting that can eliminate your debt at the end of the term.



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