Credit cards are unstructured debt accounts linked to a plastic card that allows the holder to make purchases from retailers that accept the card. Common credit card networks in the U.S. include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

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23
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14answers
2k views

Do I even need credit cards?

I'm 24, and so far I've been able to live without credit cards of any kind. My wife calls this "If we can't pay for it right now, we don't need it." Obviously this does not apply to our car and our ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How bad would maxing out my credit card once a year affect my score

I just got approved for a $1500 cash secured credit card from Wells Fargo. This means I have no credit history whatsoever, and am going to use this card to establish one. With fall semester at ...
21
votes
6answers
73k views

Can I open a US bank account even if I don't live in the country?

I'm Swedish, but living in Switzerland at the moment. Can I open a US bank account? Either when in the US on vacation or through the internet/phone? Lots of situations when I find myself in need of ...
10
votes
2answers
377 views

What is the optimal ratio of used credit to credit limit for your credit score?

I have been told to never go over 50% of my credit limit on any credit card even if I pay always off in full for each statement, in order not to hurt my credit score. Is this true? What is the ratio ...
28
votes
6answers
9k views

How do credit card companies make profit?

How do credit card companies make profit by giving us credit for 40-50 days (India). I purchase something on my credit card and I pay it to the credit card company after some days. How are they going ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I really pay off my entire credit card balance each month or should I maintain some balance?

I've heard two conflicting things: One is that you should pay your entire credit every month, and the other that you should maintain roughly %30, %50 (it varies by who you ask) of your available ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

I've often heard of the “snowball” method for paying off credit card debt. How does it work?

How does the "snowball" method of paying off credit card debt work? In what ways is it superior over other ways of reducing one's debt?
9
votes
6answers
788 views

Is it OK to use a credit card on zero-interest to pay some other credit cards with higher-interest?

I was reading up on What is the difference between "good debt" vs. "bad debt"? and it says borrowing money from a credit card is a bad-debt. So, I was wondering if the credit card ...
3
votes
3answers
16k views

U.S. credit/debit card for non-U.S. citizens to use on e-commerce sites to buy digital goods, e.g. ebooks?

I am neither a U.S. citizen nor resident there — I live in southeast Asia. I want to be able to buy Kindle ebooks on Amazon.com, and to shop on other U.S.-based e-commerce websites for digital ...
12
votes
2answers
666 views

Can a merchant charge you more in the US if you want to use a credit card?

I'm pretty sure the answer is no for Visa/MC and basically no for Amex, and it's actually illegal in some states, but what if they just rephrase it as "We're giving you a discount if you choose to pay ...
8
votes
2answers
845 views

How is your credit score related to credit utilization?

A few questions: Is it better to use your card and pay off the bill completely every month? [I prefer building the credit score over paying interest] How is credit utiltization calculated? Is it ...
2
votes
2answers
236 views

Can I negotiate a 0% transaction fee with my credit card company?

Whenever a month or two passes without using one of my credit cards, the respective bank usually sends me an offer for a 0% APR for a year or so on balance transfers. They send me these blank checks ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Defaulting on credit cards before leaving the country

I have a colleague who is going back to his country after staying for a couple of years in US. He has 3-4 credit cards plus a personal loan. His total debt would come to around $10,000. Some days ago, ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

Optimal way to use a credit card to build better credit?

I have a credit card with a $700 limit and I am curious how to optimize credit gain with it. Right now, I use it once a month (usually on something small like a drink from a convenience store or ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Oversimplify it for me: the correct order of investing

I have been reading the top posts here, and the recommendations for what to invest in are often similar. What I'd like to know, in as simply of terms as possible, is what the consensus is on priority ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there any inherent difference between Visa and Mastercard credit cards?

Are there any inherent differences between a Visa credit card and a Mastercard credit card? Obviously, there can be huge differences between one Visa card and another. And between one Mastercard and ...
17
votes
4answers
28k views

What happens to my credit history if I pay before my credit card bill is generated?

I've read that keeping one's credit card utilization below 20% improves your credit score. If for some reason I have an expense that is greater than 50% of the credit limit and I pay by credit card, ...
13
votes
3answers
788 views

Should I keep a credit card open to maintain my credit score?

I have a credit card that was opened when I first got ot of college, and was my first credit card. Since then, I have switched to cards with rewards, figuring that since I pay it in full each month, ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

How are Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass protected against unauthorized use?

Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass have similar description - the card is equipped with antenna that it uses to talk to the terminal. For small purchases (something like less that $50) the ...
12
votes
5answers
568 views

How many credit cards do I need? Should I open another just for the cash back feature?

I just got a mailer from Discover offering a new card, with 5% back on some items and 1% back on everything else. However, I already have a Visa which I have had for a few years. Does it make any ...
12
votes
5answers
8k views

What to do with expired cards (credit, debit, insurance cards, …)

I wonder if it is safe to throw away expired cards (credit cards, debit cards, health insurance cards) with name and card/account/ID number as trash. Even if other people have them, will they be able ...
9
votes
4answers
929 views

Figuring out an ideal balance to carry on credit cards [duplicate]

Until recently, I was under the impression that it's bad for your credit history to not pay all bills on time and in full. However, a banker recently told me that it's a good idea to carry a small ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What does high credit utilization really mean?

I've heard and read that high utilization of credit hurts, but what does that mean exactly? Does that mean high utilization month-to-month, or simply high utilization at all, even when paid off in ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How quickly does decreasing credit utilization affect your credit score?

There is a lot of advice out there about keeping your credit card utilization above 0% but less than 20%. I'm currently carrying about 85% utilization on my card and have plans to lower it. How long ...
6
votes
2answers
413 views

Are travel point / reward credit cards worth the hassle and cost?

Are travel point / reward credit cards worth the hassle and cost? Many such cards have fees, and when you try to book there are often restrictions. What has your experience been with these types of ...
4
votes
1answer
750 views

How do credit card companies track your purchase categories?

I've seen a few responses scattered on the internet that attempt to answer this but they seem to disagree on the matter. When dealing with cash-back credit cards, they offer different percentages for ...
3
votes
4answers
174 views

How does a non-uniform utilization across your credit cards affect you?

I have three secured cards with me, one of which gives me rewards for gas and another for online purchases. The third one is a Mastercard - I use that only where my VISA cards do not get accepted. ...
13
votes
2answers
466 views

Should I keep recently opened Credit Cards that I don't use?

After investigating these questions (1 and 2) I am still in doubt in what to do with my current situation. I have many credit cards because over the years I have been given better deals on them. So I ...
8
votes
3answers
18k views

Should I close my BestBuy Credit Card? Will it affect my credit score and history?

I was young and stupid and opened up a Best Buy credit card 5 years ago. I bought a new laptop and also a lot more stuff during these 5 years. I have bought over 10,000 dollars worth of stuff and paid ...
7
votes
3answers
220 views

Are there advantages to getting a “secured” credit card, if you have poor credit?

I've heard about "secured" credit cards - where you basically pre-pay the amount of your "credit card" limit - surely your use of this type of card is evident on your credit report, and the advantage ...
5
votes
5answers
247 views

What to do when institutions stopped lending you money?

I know the question seems confusing, but this is a real life event. My friend lived beyond his means for a few years, combined with half year of unemployment his Credit Card Debt went to the roof. ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How is “Balance Subject To Interest Rate” calculated?

I was approved for a balance transfer of $2,500 to a card, and that month my statement looked like this: INTEREST CHARGES (APR 2013) ...
3
votes
2answers
416 views

Unable to pay even the minimum payment on credit card

I was in USA for last 10 years, and I am not able to repay the credit-card payment, not even the minimum payment due. I was paying the minimum payment due before, but as I do not have a job anymore I ...
3
votes
2answers
230 views

What kind of an impact does moving have on your credit (score)?

Being an international student, the room I rent near campus has been my domestic home address since I came here to study. Now that I am working at a place quite far from campus, I would like to ...
3
votes
3answers
291 views

Credit card grace period for pay, wait 1 day, charge?

Does a credit card grace period apply in this situation: March 1: I charge $1000 to my card. March 8: My billing cycle ends (ie, this my card's closing date). My due date is March 28th. March 9: ...
2
votes
2answers
499 views

Is it possible to get a Visa or Mastercard Gift Card in the US and use it to buy UK products that require a UK billing address?

Is it possible to get a Visa or Mastercard Gift Card in the US and use it to buy UK products/services (online) that require a UK billing address? I know that in the US, I can buy something like that ...
1
vote
1answer
215 views

Maximising total credit limit on credit cards

I am curious about the tactics that someone would use if they wanted to obtain the maximum possible total credit limit. I don't actually intent to do this, but I'm just curious about how much money ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

In what circumstances will a bank waive the annual credit card fee?

I've had my credit card for two years. I use it extensively for all kinds of purchases and I have never gone over my limit or incurred a late payment fee. The card has an annual fee and I was ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

How credit card companies tolerate if you preload your card and use it like a prepaid card? (EU, world)

Can you still get the benefits that a credit card usually gives you (miles, points, etc., the ability of hiring a car, booking a hotel - do you require a CC to book a hotel or only to hire a car?) but ...
63
votes
15answers
18k views

How can Americans get a chip-and-pin credit card for use while abroad?

Background: US banks, without exception, issue credit cards with magnetic stripes. In Europe, though, almost all credit cards also have a chip and require a PIN. Most merchants in Europe don't mind ...
46
votes
6answers
8k views

Pay online: credit card or debit card?

I have a credit card and a debit card. I could use both to pay online. Credit card is only a bit less convenient since I have to transfer the money back in the credit card account later. Is it safer ...
30
votes
8answers
8k views

Why are credit cards preferred in the US?

Where I'm from, credit cards are common, but they're not considered the main daily use-case, as opposed to debit cards. What are practical reasons credit cards are preferred over debit cards in the ...
32
votes
3answers
23k views

My credit card company is asking for my current income citing “Federal Regulations”

So I received an e-mail today from a bank from whom I have an existing credit card as follows: To consider you for a future credit line increase, federal regulations require us to have your ...
15
votes
10answers
3k views

Snowball debt or pay off a large amount?

I recently received a large amount of money, well large in my eyes, around 5000 dollars. I have the following cards: $10619 citi card ($234.35/month) $2500 Best Buy Card - deferred interest ...
52
votes
9answers
10k views

Should I sign the back of my credit card?

When getting a new credit card, what is the policy in regards to signing the strip on the back? Should I sign it? Should I write "See ID"? Should I leave it blank? Should I sign it AND write "See ID"? ...
20
votes
3answers
30k views

What do the numbers on my credit/debit card mean?

I have the following visa card from comdirect.de: I guess: Number A is my credit card number. The 4 groups don't have a meaning. Number B: I have no idea. Might be my security code? Number C is ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

Is 0% credit card utilization worse than 1-20% credit card utilization for any reason other than pure statistics?

Much of the information I stumbled accross (including a short article written by an esteemed member of this site) around the internet indicates that having a credit card utilization of 0% is a ...
13
votes
8answers
714 views

Relocated to USA. How to get credit card without existing credit history / score?

I recently relocated to USA and have no Credit Score. Is Secure Credit Card is the only option for me to start building my credit score? Also please recommend which other credit cards are available ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What are cheap ways to accept small amounts of money (micropayments) on my web site?

I need to receive money from users from my webpage. They will only pay very small amounts, i.e. $1 max, but the total will probably go up to $10,000.00. What is the best way to receive this money ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

Is a high credit limit on a credit card bad?

I've had a credit card for a long time, and every so often they've sent letters telling me they're increasing my available credit. Does it negatively affect my credit score to have a high limit, one ...