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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21
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14answers
1k 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
1k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
300 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
46k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
929 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
7k 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
618 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
721 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?
8
votes
6answers
651 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 ...
25
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
581 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, ...
14
votes
3answers
12k 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, ...
10
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
438 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
641 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
505 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
265 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
522 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
145 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. ...
7
votes
3answers
973 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, ...
5
votes
5answers
216 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
1k 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
173 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
206 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: ...
1
vote
1answer
182 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 ...
-2
votes
3answers
638 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 ...
57
votes
15answers
16k 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 ...
38
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
531 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
5k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
17
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

Credit Card Newbie - If I pay off my balance every month, what am I actually paying?

So I have never owned a credit card in my life, and am trying to get ideas as to how they work. Sorry if this is too simple a question... Lets say I have a credit card, and in one month I charge ...
8
votes
2answers
864 views

Credit card interest calculator with grace period & different interest rate calculation methods?

Is there an (ideally online) credit card interest calculator that includes grace periods and lets you choose the interest calculation method (eg, "adjusted balance", "average daily balance", ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Any banks in Hong Kong offer credit cards to non-HK residents?

Any way to get a credit card in HK without holding a HK ID card? Are there any local regulations preventing banks from offering that, or do the banks simply not want to bother? I tried HSBC and was ...
15
votes
4answers
7k views

What does it mean to run my debit card as credit?

I've been advised to (and have been) running my normal debit card transactions as "credit" transactions. What does this mean in terms of my security, the time a charge takes to settle, and the fees ...
14
votes
2answers
879 views

Does high credit utilization, coupled with paying off my balance in full each month, increase my chances of an automatic credit limit increase?

The conventional wisdom I've heard is that spending close to your limit and paying the balance off in full each month will often lead to the credit card company increasing your credit limit ...
13
votes
7answers
6k views

What's the average credit limit?

For a number of reasons, I recently asked my credit card company for a credit limit increase. I was hoping they'd propose a new limit to me, but they instead the reverse happened: they asked how much ...
10
votes
8answers
6k views

PayPal wants me to “add a bank account”, another funding source. Credit card isn't working. Why?

This is the second time in the last couple of weeks that I'm seeing the following error from PayPal. (Note: I've deliberately hidden the name of the merchant at the top.) "You cannot use this ...
9
votes
6answers
12k views

Why do some online stores not ask for the 3-digit code on the back of my credit card?

How is it that some e-commerce stores are able to process credit card transactions without getting the 3 (or 4-) -digit security code from the back of my credit card? What value does this code add if ...
9
votes
7answers
678 views

Will be debt Free in 3 years — What order should i pay off my cards?

I have budgeted to the point where i can close all credit cards i have in close to three years from now. My question is, should I simply pay 1/3 to each card (will be over minimum payment on all) OR ...
9
votes
8answers
323 views

How many credit cards is it reasonable to have?

Is there a right number of credit cards to hold? (Please don't say zero :) What would be the excessive number of credit cards, or how else would you judge enough is enough? If I have some cards I do ...
4
votes
4answers
721 views

In Australia, how to battle credit card debt?

I have $18K in credit card debt. What are my options in tackling this? Every month I am left with no extra money to pay anything more than minimum payment required (car, rent, another personal loan, ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the average value of a credit card or debit card transaction?

There are a plethora of statistics regarding credit card usage but what I can't seem to find is the the value of the average credit card (or debit card) transaction. Are such statistics provided by ...