How to maximize credit card rewards:
* Ask the issuer what discounts, promotions or extra rewards are available when you shop affiliated partners. Many rewards credit cards have online shopping portals which offer extra rewards from popular retailers.
* Earn more rewards by placing utility payments, car insurance and other recurring bills on your rewards credit card.
* Make certain you fully understand how your credit card rewards work and thoroughly review the fine print. Most rewards programs have some limitations on how you earn, such as earn categories, time period (e.g. first six months earn double cash back, etc.)
* If you are a business owner, you may benefit from a business rewards credit card that offers higher rewards on business purchases. Many business rewards credit cards have a higher rewards cap. For instance, rather than earning double points on gas purchases up to $2,500, you could earn double points on up to $5,000.
* If you don't fully payoff the balance every month yet don't make a lot of purchases, consider a credit card that gives rewards for things other than making purchases, such as rewards for on-time payments.
Redeeming credit card rewards:
* Check for an expiration date, limits or restrictions for using your rewards. If your rewards expire, make sure you will be able to accrue enough rewards to redeem before these rewards expire.
* Some rewards credit cards provide extra rewards when you redeem for gift cards from retail partners. You may be able, for example, to transform a $20 reward into a $25, $30 or $40 gift card from a certain retailer.
* Find out the redemption levels or reward increments. Perhaps you can redeem once you've reached a certain amount or maybe the rewards will be sent to you at the end of the year.
Need more credit card information? Read our financial and credit articles related to card rewards.
Credit Card Use: With today's electronic capabilities, using credit cards to manage finances are even more beneficial. For people needing to rent a car, make reservations, or to purchase things for a business, they are the most convenient way to pay. Using statements can be an ideal way to track personal or business expenses.
Cards come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and designs that fit many personalities. They can be placed on a key chain or personalized using your photo. They also vary in price for having the privilege of carrying them. Some do not have any annual fees, and those with the most perks may have a yearly fee. Some credit cards can have fixed rates, while others have variable rates. Choosing the right card can be a valuable financial tool, to get free benefits and rewards that match the spending habits of the cardholder.
Benefits of Having Credit Cards:
*They can be used to get a cash advance.
*They can be safer and easier to have rather than having to carry cash.
*They give people the power to purchase goods and services.
*They give consumers certain protections under the law.
*Major cards are accepted by merchants all over the world.
*They can be used to secure travel accommodations.
*They can be used to reverse charges for purchases that were unsatisfactory.
To qualify for a credit card, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a regular source of income. Even though pre approved card offers may arrive in your mailbox, does not mean you will actually be approved if you complete the form and mail it back. Issuers will only grant credit to those people who have the credit scores that indicate they are not a risk. Lenders like to see good payment history on reports. People with bad credit may only be able to get approved for secured cards or guaranteed card offers.
May 15, 2013
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- Cash back card
- No annual fee, earn rewards from day 1
- 3% cash back US supermarkets*
- 2% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores
Interest Rate, 0% Intro APR
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 12.99% to
21.99%. Based on
creditworthiness & other factors. Earn cash back on eligible purchases, flexibility to pay over time,
no annual fee. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.*Up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
Cash back earned in reward dollars (see footnotes 1 & 2 on their website and
all details for this card offer).
New Study: Americans Say Road to Success Now Paved More with Fulfillment Than WealthNew Advertising Expresses the Value of American Express Membership
NEW YORK, May 15, 2013 -- Today, American Express released a new study on American views towards success:
the American Express LifeTwist Study. The study, conducted by the Futures Company, confirmed that most Americans believe success is no longer rooted in a sense of "arrival," but defined primarily by the experiences they accumulate, detours they embrace and passions they pursue throughout their lifetime. The study dubbed the 52% of American consumers who most exemplify this new sentiment "LifeTwisters."
View and Download: The LifeTwist Study
Supporting this change in sentiment, American Express launched today TV and online advertising to appeal to range of customers by showcasing the value that membership offers through a variety of products and services.
A Redefined Relationship Between Success and Wealth
Today, Americans say they define success by what they do more than by what they have. Dozens of the study's findings reflect this notion of success, but perhaps none more starkly than the sentiment that Americans ranked "having a lot of money" 20th on the list of 22 contributors to having a successful life. Further, the rankings showed that the vast majority of Americans (81%) believe that knowing how to spend your money well is a far greater indicator of leading a successful life, than simply having money in the first place. In addition, the vast majority of Americans (72%) say they'd rather spend money on experiences than material things.
"American Express has been synonymous with success for much of our 163-year history," said Josh Silverman, President Consumer Services, American Express. "Today, Americans say that feeling successful is driven less by the amount of money they earn, and more by having a job they love, rewarding relationships and contributing to their communities. Our products have changed over time to reflect these views, while continuing to stand for trust, security and service – which never goes out of style."
Americans ranked their top contributors to leading a successful life:
1. Being in good health (85%)
2. Finding time for the important things in life (83%)
3. Having a good marriage/relationship (81%)
4. Knowing how to spend money well (81%)
5. Having a good work/personal life balance (79%)
6. Having a job you love (75%)
7. Making time to pursue passions and interest (69%)
8. Being physically fit (66%)
9. Always trying to learn and do new things (65%)
10. Embracing new experiences/changes (65%)
Americans are Embracing Life's Twists and Turns
America is a country where people disagree on everything from pizza toppings to the designated hitter rule. Yet in one of the survey's most telling findings, 95% of respondents – from all income levels, genders and age ranges – agree that the road to success is likely to involve detours and unexpected changes. In fact, an overwhelming 83% of Americans, including 79% of Boomers, still consider themselves to be "a work in progress."
Today's digital world has accelerated the rate of change, making it a more frequent and expected occurrence for a greater number of people. As a result, a majority of Americans say they are willing to take any number of roads less traveled to achieve their goals. When consumers were asked about their life paths, the most heavily populated group (52%) was composed of "LifeTwisters" – those who have a distinct life path in mind but are open to occasionally veering off that path to embrace the changes life throws their way.
Closely related to LifeTwisters, "Reinventionists" made up an additional 11% of Americans. This group is much more proactive than LifeTwisters in precipitating change -- with the specific goal of reinventing themselves again and again.
Designing a Life Well-Lived
Today, 58% of Americans say they're more willing to try new things now than they were five years ago. When asked why, 55% said they have a better understanding today of what makes them feel fulfilled, while 43% said they desired more variety in their lives.
In pursuit of novelty and trying new things, many Americans have a ‘Bucket List' of accomplishments they would like to achieve. The top five "Bucket List" items include:
Traveling to new places (88%)
Having children (76%)
Pursuing passions as a hobby or career (75%)
Volunteering time for a cause you believe in (70%)
Doing something with your hands (60%)
A majority of Americans (57%) still have aspirations to become rich, but when prioritized among items like the opportunity to travel and having a rewarding family life, it ranked #8 on America's bucket list – right below learning how to be a better cook.
The American Express LifeTwist Study Methodology research was completed online among a random sample of 2,184 U.S. adults 18+. Interviewing was conducted by Research Now between April 3 and April 12, 2013. Data analysis was conducted by the Futures Company.
May 16, 2013
Chase Tops Keynote's Mobile Banking Scorecard for Third Time in a Row
Chase takes third consecutive win amongst top U.S. banks for mobile banking offerings
NEW YORK -- May 16, 2013 – Chase took top honors in the Keynote Mobile Banking Scorecard for overall mobile web experience in Q1 2013. This is Chase’s third consecutive win in Keynote’s ranking of mobile offerings among the 15 largest U.S. banks. In the latest Keynote Scorecard, Chase ranked #1 in two of four categories – Functionality and Ease of Use – to take the top spot overall.
“The Keynote ranking further validates that we are on the right track as we continue to make enhancements to the functionality and design of Chase’s mobile banking channels,” said Gavin Michael, the new Head of Digital for Chase’s Consumer and Community Banking division. “More than 13 million customers are taking advantage of Chase Mobile® – and many more are joining every day. They like being able to view, track and move their money in a quick and convenient way.”
Chase Mobile includes the following features:
- Chase QuickDepositSM, the award-winning mobile check deposit capability;
- Chase QuickPaySM, its proprietary person-to-person payment service;
- Payment options such as bill pay, account transfers and wire transfers;
- Mobile website access;
- SMS text messaging; and
- Chase Instant Action Alerts to notify customers of a low balance, and to allow them to transfer money by replying to the text message.
Chase Mobile banking is available to Chase customers using most major mobile platforms, with apps for iPad®, iPhone®, iPod touch®, Android™, Windows® Phone and Kindle Fire, as well as through the Chase mobile website.
The Keynote Mobile Banking Scorecard is an industry benchmark created to set a standard for the expanding mobile banking industry. The Scorecard measures and ranks the 15 largest retail banks in the United States based on a list of more than 100 criteria in four main categories, developed from user testing and research. Banks measured in this scorecard include (in alphabetical order) Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Citizens, Fifth Third, KeyBank, PNC Bank, Regions, SunTrust, TD Bank, USAA, US Bank and Wells Fargo. Winners of Keynote Competitive Research studies and scorecards are invited to participate in the company’s Online Excellence Program which recognizes the "best of the best" Web and mobile sites as ranked in the studies. To view Keynote’s press release: http://www.keynote.com/banking/chase.
Keynote Competitive Research produces leading industry research using the company’s commercially available Web performance monitoring and real user experience testing products. Keynote regularly evaluates the current state of online customer experience, technical quality (responsiveness/reliability) and implementation of best practices on leading Web and mobile sites across a wide variety of vertical markets including financial services, automotive, media/entertainment, retail, travel and technology.
May 14, 2013
Citi Simplicity® Says Goodbye to Frustration of Late Fees in New Advertising Campaign
Citi Simplicity is the only credit card to never charge late fees and a penalty rate
More than half of Americans have paid a bill late; forgetfulness top reason cited in new survey
New York – Ever paid a bill late? You're not alone. More than half of Americans have paid a bill late, and, in a recent survey sponsored by Citi, forgetfulness was the top reason they cited. Designed to provide a simplified credit experience and alleviate the frustration of late fees, Citi Simplicity is the only card to never charge late fees, a penalty rate and an annual fee (www.citi.com/simplicity). You can say goodbye to these fees forever as a Citi Simplicity cardmember, as illustrated in the new television commercial, "Kickboxer" which debuts this week.
"The commercial is literally hard-hitting with our kickboxer working out the frustrations of a challenging day, yet relieved that with her Citi Simplicity card she never has to worry about a late fee, a penalty rate or an annual fee – ever," said Anthony Merola, Managing Director, Citi Cards.
New Citi Simplicity Advertising Campaign
The commercial features "Erica," who exercises with a punching bag to take out her frustrations over the challenges of a bad day. After missing a payment due date for her Citi Simplicity card, Erica feels reassured that she won't get penalized with a late fee or a rate hike. The "Kickboxer" commercial is part of a larger campaign, which includes television, print, digital, social media and out-of-home installations, highlighting the unique benefits of the Citi Simplicity card.
Citi Simplicity Will Never Charge Late Fees, a Penalty Rate or an Annual Fee
First introduced in July 2011, Citi Simplicity is a credit card that recognizes managing your credit card can – and should – be simpler and easier. Designed directly based on feedback from Citi cardmembers, Citi Simplicity features the following benefits:
- No Late Fees. Ever.
No Penalty Rate. Ever.
No Annual Fee. Ever.
A Single Rate for All Borrowing and Spending. The Citi Simplicity Card offers the same rate for all purchases, cash advances and balance transfers, after any introductory or promotional period.
No Waiting for Live Help. With the Citi Simplicity Card, cardmembers can quickly and easily reach a customer service professional.
Flexibility and Control. Citi Simplicity cardmembers can customize their payment due date and set e-mail and text alerts based on their preferences and needs.
Survey Shows Opportunities for Americans to Save Time, Money and Avoid Late Fees
Research indicates that Americans are still losing time and money due to missed payment deadlines. According to the Citi Simplicity Survey, 59 percent of Americans have paid a bill late in their lifetime (including credit card, utility, cable, etc.), and 88 percent of those have done so in the past 12 months.
- Which bills are being paid late? Half have paid a utility bill late, while almost as many (44 percent) have paid a cell phone and telephone bill after the due date. Credit cards and cable are the next likely bills to be paid late by four in 10 survey respondents.
Why are Americans missing due dates? Survey respondents cited forgetfulness (61 percent), lack of available funds (42 percent) and being busy with work and family obligations (39 percent) as the top reasons.
Approximately 40 percent of those who have paid a bill late have asked their credit card company or bill issuer to waive a late fee. Credit card late payment fees typically start at $15 and can be as high as $35 per missed payment.
More than one-third estimate they are charged up to $25 dollars annually for late payment fees by a biller; one in five estimate they are charged $26 to $50.
57 percent of survey respondents who have asked a credit card company to waive their late fee spent at least 10 minutes on the phone regarding this request.
"Americans are increasingly leading hectic, busy lives and are in need of flexible solutions to help them better manage their credit card so they can avoid late fees," said Anthony Merola, Managing Director at Citi Cards. "By completely removing late fees and a penalty rate from the equation, Citi Simplicity is saving cardmembers time and money."
For more information on the Citi Simplicity card, including benefits, terms and how to apply for the card, visit
15, 2013 Miles Card by Discover Card, This card offer can be good for people who
- $0 Annual Fee 12,000 Bonus Miles
- 0% Intro purchase APR for 6 months, then 10.99% – 22.99% Standard Variable Purchase APR
- 0% Intro balance transfer APR or 6 months, then 10.99% – 22.99% Standard Variable Purchase APR
- 3% Balance transfer fee for each balance transferred
Fees, Set-up & Maintenance Fees
- Annual Fee Zero
- Transaction Fees , Balance Transfer 3% of the amount of each transfer.
- Cash Advance, either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
- Penalty Fees, Late Payment Up to $35
- Returned Payment, p to $35.
12,000 Bonus Miles 1,000 each month you make a purchase
your first 12 months. Double Miles your first $3,000 in travel & restaurant purchases each year, plus 1 Mile for Every $1 you spend on all other purchases.
Double Miles through our exclusive online shopping mall. Unrestricted
travel booked through any airline, travel agent or online travel site. See their
website for all the details and terms of this card offer.
Aventium credit card - Aventiumr Classic Credit Card: * Checking account required to qualify * If approved, your $95 security deposit gets you a $300 credit limit * Pay no interest on purchases by paying your balance in full each month * This credit card may be able to help rebuild your credit history if you make on-time minimum payments and maintain your balances under the credit limits with all your creditors. * Close your account with a $0 balance and receive your security deposit back in full * It's not rocket science - Applying is quick and easy. Aventiumr Gold Credit Card: * Must have checking account to qualify * Bad credit history? We invite you to apply * This credit card may be able to help build, rebuild, or reestablish your credit history if you make on-time minimum payments with all of your creditors and maintain your account balances below the credit limits * This is a credit card, not a debit card or prepaid card * A golden opportunity for a credit card - even if you've had bad credit.
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