Monday, January 23, 2023

What Your Credit Card Says About You

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Use A Credit Card In Case Of An Emergency

Antoinette Schoar: What your credit card offers say about you

Use your credit card when an unexpected expense comes up and you need some time before you can pay it off. “Be sure to repay more than the minimum on your credit card payments to avoid unnecessary interest,” says McCluney. This can be emergency expenses while you’re traveling, have a flat tire, or other repairs and purchases.

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There is an entire ecosystem dedicated to gaming the credit card rewards system the Points Guy, who has made himself a household name, and a web of websites and influencers who teach all sorts of tricks and hacks. What people might not realize is that the system is already gamed, just not in the way they think: Credit card perks reward rich Americans to the detriment of the poor. The $200 in cash back you got using your fancy new rewards card often comes at the expense of someone who cant afford it.

The US financial system is racked with inequities. Sometimes, theyre obvious: who can and cant get approved for a loan, who has a bank account and who doesnt. But other times, they can fly under the radar.

Many people who use rewards cards have some idea that those rewards are coming from somewhere. But they likely imagine its the bank, not their fellow consumers and businesses, picking up the tab.

Every time a credit card is swiped, the bank charges a fee. It seems trivial, but those fees add up enough to help pay for rewards like points-funded hotel rooms and cash back. To compensate, businesses raise prices, and so cash users are often subsidizing the perks going to credit card users . And the higher the rewards, the bigger the cost to the unsuspecting people paying for it.

The catch on credit card rewards and points is that for the richest consumers, there might not be one. Instead, the catch is for everyone else.

Avoid Recurring Payments On Your Credit Card

A recurring payment lets a company put charges onto your credit card bill automatically. This is also sometimes known as continuous payment authority .

But its not as safe as a Direct Debit from a bank account.

To cancel a recurring payment, contact your card provider and tell them you withdraw your permission for the company to take payments.

If payments are taken after that, the card provider must refund this money to you along with any related charges.

But you have to let them know no later than the end of the previous working day before your bill is due.

Recurring payments are best avoided because of the danger you wont realise how much is coming out of your credit card account, and you might go over your credit limit accidentally, leading to charges.

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Better Ways To Build Credit

Your credit score influences many different aspects of your financial life, from buying a car to buying a house or even renting an apartment. Thats why its critical to monitor your credit and make sure youre practicing the habits that can help you build and maintain a solid credit score.

Building credit can take time, but there are several ways to start that dont involve carrying a balance:

When Things Dont Add Up Run For The Hills

What Does Your Credit Card Statement Say About You ...

There you have it, NerdWallets guide to snap judgments based solely on credit card choices.Who knows, maybe it will save you some time in your next dating escapade.

A guy with tons of money and a prepaid debit card? Probably into a life of crime, move on. A guy with an Amex Platinum or Centurion card? Check his ring finger for tan lines you may just be his new hobby. And a guy with a Costco card? Might be asking you how many kids you want to have before the second date is over.

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Youre Our First Priorityevery Time

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesnt feature every company or financial product available on the market, were proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.Here is a list of our partners.

Applying For A Credit Card

You can apply for a credit card:

  • on line
  • at a bank or building society.

You will have to fill in a form and the credit card provider will check your credit record with a credit reference agency, to see if you are credit worthy.

Your credit record shows information about how you handle your finances, such as your bank account and any other borrowing you have. It tells the provider whether you are a good payer and about any court orders you have had in the last six years. You can check your credit record yourself by contacting one of the credit reference agencies. There is a small fee.

For more information about your credit file and how to contact the credit reference agencies, see Being refused credit in .

When you fill in the application form for a credit card, be careful to make sure all the information you put is correct. If you are not sure about how to complete the form, ask the credit card provider for help. You will have to sign the form to say all the information is correct and any false information you give may be seen as fraud.

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Is It Good To Have Multiple Credit Cards

Any benefit achieved with multiple credit cards ultimately depends on the cardholder and how financially responsible he or she is. According to Experian, Millennials have an average of 2.5 cards each, while Baby Boomers average 3.5.

Some prefer to live without a credit card as a means of avoiding temptation to spend money they dont have. Others can do very well with a single card that pays cash back or maybe two cardsone for everyday spending and one for eating out or for traveling abroad.

Some people make a hobby out of maximizing credit card rewardsparticularly travel rewards. Travel rewards allow for nearly free flights and luxury hotel stays. There are many routes to take with credit card ownership, but its up to cardholders to decide how many credit cards they need or want.

Is It Possible To Stop The Last Payment This Year


You still have some time to unenroll from the December payment. The unenrollment deadline is Nov. 29. You may choose to opt out of the last check to get a slightly larger payment during tax time in 2022. It also may be the safest option to avoid repaying the IRS if you’re ineligible for the monthly payments, especially if your income changes this year.

The child tax credit requirements are different from previous years. If you ultimately receive more money than you’re eligible for, you might have to pay the IRS back. That’s why it’s important to use the Child Tax Credit Update Portal to inform the IRS of changes to your household circumstances so adjustments can be made.

If you or your spouse unenrolled from the child tax credit program but still got the money, it’s possible you didn’t opt out in time. Note that if you file taxes jointly, both parents need to unenroll. Otherwise, the spouse who doesn’t opt out will receive half of the joint payment.

The IRS will send a notice closer to tax time in 2022 with the adjusted credit amount based on the advance payments already disbursed to you. Hold on to this letter because you’ll need it when you file your 2021 income tax return if you need to return part of your payment.

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What Is A Statement Credit

A statement credit is a positive amount on your credit card bill. If you accidentally overpay, most credit cards will apply a statement credit toward your future purchases. As mentioned above, some rewards programs also allow you to apply cash back to a statement credit, lowering your balance by using your cash rewards.

Development Outside North America

The fractured nature of the U.S. banking system under the GlassSteagall Act meant that credit cards became an effective way for those who were traveling around the country to move their credit to places where they could not directly use their banking facilities. There are now countless variations on the basic concept of revolving credit for individuals , including organization-branded credit cards, corporate-user credit cards, store cards and so on.

In 1966, Barclaycard in the United Kingdom launched the first credit card outside the United States.

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What Should I Do If My Card Is Declined

First, check that you entered your information accurately. If theres still a problem, contact the customer service number for the bank or credit union that gave you the card. They may be able to tell you what the issue is and how to fix it. Try to have another form of payment available in case it takes time to resolve any issues with your card.

Apple Card Monthly Installments

What does your credit card say about you?

You can buy a new Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and more with interest-free monthly payments on purchases at Apple. Just choose Apple Card Monthly Installments and then check out. Your installment automatically appears on your Apple Card statement alongside your everyday Apple Card purchases in the Wallet app. If you have an eligible device to trade in, youll pay even less per month. And youll get 3% Daily Cash back on the purchase price of each product, all up front. If you have Apple Card already, theres no additional application. If you dont, you can apply in as little as a minute during checkout, from the privacy of your iPhone.

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What Tools Are Available To Help Manage My Account

Online account management at allows you to quickly and securely view transactions and make bill payments. You can also stay up to date on your account through custom e-mail and mobile reminders. Text APP to DISCOV to download the Discover Mobile App, and receive all of the convenience and security of online account management, including fraud alerts, the Spend Analyzer, and Paydown Planner to keep you informed and in control.

How Do Credit Cards Work

Your credit card, unlike a debit card, is like a loan. When you open a credit card, youre approved for a certain line of credit.

Also known as a , a line of credit is how much you can spend before your card is maxed out. Once you reach this threshold, you can no longer use your card for purchases at least not until you make a payment and it posts to your account.

Your card issuer will base your credit limit on your credit risk and income. The amount of debt you owe to others may also be a factor. This is referred to as your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI.

Clean credit history, high credit scores, high income, and a low debt-to-income ratio may all work in your favor. The bottom line is this: The more the bank trusts you, the higher your credit limit will be.

Each month, youll get a bill from your card issuer. This bill will include the amount you spent during the current billing cycle , any other charges on the account, and any leftover balance from the previous month. Though youre only required to cover the minimum payment , youll typically pay interest on whatever amount remains.

Because credit card interest rates are usually very high, we recommend paying your bill in full each month to avoid interest fees completely.

Many popular credit card issuers, like American Express and Discover, also issue debit cards and prepaid debit cards of various kinds. Networks like Visa and Mastercard serve both credit and debit cards.

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A Discover Escape Or Costco Credit Card

This guy is more concerned about saving money than his image.

These are amazing rewards cards, but they come from Discover and Costco, not the sexiest brands on the planet.They are definitely the choice of someone who doesnt care much what other people think about his plastic, which may carry over into other areas of life as well.Theres a good chance hes looking forward to fatherhood if thats your thing.

What Are A Few Ways To Avoid Some Credit Card Fees Once You Have A Credit Card

What Does Your Credit Score Say About You?

One simple rule: pay your bill in full and on time every month. Late fees can impact your pocketbook, and late or missed payments can also have a negative effect on your credit score.

Also pay attention to all mail received from your credit card company. While your card may not have had an annual fee when you signed up, you may receive communication that the terms and conditions have changed. You can choose to cancel the card to avoid the fee, but only if you know its coming. Deciding to cancel a credit card is a big decision and shouldnt be made lightly.

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If You Have: Darth Vader

Some say that the Darth Vader design is dark and dangerous. But you know thats not the full story. If this is your card, youre a person of few words, sometimes misunderstood, mysterious and serious. You deeply believe in your convictions. Some people might find you intimidating, but youll take off the mask for your nearest and dearest.

What Do Your Credit Card Spending Habits Say About You

When it comes to shopping, your personality and tastes not only play a role in what you decide to buy. You can get a sense of a persons taste and personality by looking at his or her credit card spending habits, too. Who knew, you might be using your credit card as a way to make you feel better about yourself or because youve convinced yourself doing so will save you money.

While your spending habits can work in line with a budget, its also all too easy for t hings to get out of hand, especially when plastic is involved. If you find yourself nodding while reading about the following habits, there are a few simple ways to correct your credit card spending habits and protect your finances.

Youve Never Met a Sale You Didnt Like

Those boots you were ambivalent about at full price suddenly become a must have item once theyre marked down 75 percent. You dont need canned tomatoes right now, but who knows when they will go on sale again? If you use your credit card to make impulse purchases, particularly when something is on sale, youre not alone. reported that 75 percent of people made impulse buys, according to a 2014 survey. While buying something on sale can save you money, it only does so if it was something you were going to buy anyway.

You Want to Help Your Card Help You

You Forget About Your Budget

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Is Sexy Good For Your Wallet

For a cardholder who can maximize the benefits offered by a premium card, it can offer great value. For others, the card may not be worth the cost over time.

Status symbols, whether its a new phone, flashy watch or sports car, have always been a letdown, their benefit fleeting at best, Atkins says. It is no different if that status symbol happens to be exclusive and high end credit cards.

Premium credit cards are not solely used as status symbols, though, he says.

Its important to note that rewards programs and travel perks make premium cards a true value to the right card holder, he says. But if youre primarily using a premium platinum card to boost your ego, and not your rewards point balance, then youre going to be disappointed.

What Is Cash Back

What your credit card offers say about you

Cash back is when the credit card company gives you a certain percentage of what you put on the card back in the form of rewards. Different programs offer different redemption options. You may be able to use it as a credit toward your current statement, to shop online, to purchase gift cards, or simply have it deposited back into a connected bank account. Discover allows card members to donate their cash back to a wide selection of non-profit organizations as well.

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Plan To Pay Off In Full Each Month

Its a good idea to plan to pay off your credit card balance in full each month. This means you wont be charged interest.

If you dont completely clear your balance, youll usually be charged interest on your outstanding balance. This will exclude anything covered by a promotional rate.

For example, if you ran up a credit card bill of £100 during the month and paid off £90 at the end, you could be charged interest on £10.

If I Use A Debit Card To Make A Purchase Can The Merchant Put A Temporary Block Or Hold On Other Funds In My Account

Yes, in certain circumstances, merchants can take these steps as protection against fraud, errors or other losses. One common situation involves a hotel putting a hold on a certain amount when you use a debit card to reserve a room. Another example is when you use your debit card at the gas pump. Typically, the gas station will create two transactions the first to get approval from your bank for an estimated purchase amount when you swipe your card before pumping gas, the second for the actual charges when you’re done. Until the first transaction is cancelled by the bank, usually within 48 hours, you wouldn’t have access to that amount in your account.

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