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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57
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7answers
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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 ...
10
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2answers
486 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 ...
33
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
4
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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 ...
19
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5answers
2k 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?
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6answers
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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 ...
23
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5answers
9k views

How can a credit card company make any money off me? I have a no-fee card and pay my balance on time

How does a credit card company make any money off of me using their card if there are no fees associated with the card (I don't pay any extra) and I pay off my balance on time every month (so I don't ...
21
votes
4answers
51k 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, ...
19
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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 ...
13
votes
2answers
764 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 ...
6
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4answers
253 views

What should I be looking for when applying for a credit card?

I am looking to open up a new credit card. Throughout college, I had a credit card from a store, but since I don't really shop at the store anymore, I am not really getting value out of the card (...
3
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2answers
868 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
950 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 ...
60
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
57
votes
9answers
11k 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"? ...
32
votes
3answers
35k 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 ...
25
votes
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

If I pay my credit card balance immediately, will my credit score still go up fast?

I heard that it's good to have a balance because then the bureaus report that balance -- if you pay it off before they report it, they report zero. Since you want the bureaus to know that you use ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Achieving ideal credit card utilization above 0%

So everyone is aware of the general rule that you should keep credit card utilization below 30% of your credit limit. It's also a good idea to keep this utilization above 0%. It's very easy to stay ...
3
votes
2answers
395 views

Does being added as an authorized user help credit score?

My wife and I both filed bankruptcy 15 months ago, and are slowly getting our credit back. We both got a credit card from Capital One. Does adding each other to the other's card as an authorized ...
0
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
65
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16answers
20k views

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

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 ...
32
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
33
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 US?...
36
votes
13answers
7k views

Would I ever need credit card if my debit card is issued by MasterCard/Visa?

My debit card is issued by Visa, but MasterCard AFAIK doesn't differ in that case. I can use it to pay in shops, online, to reserve place in hotel etc. I manage to constantly have enough money on ...
21
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3answers
3k 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 ...
16
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3answers
12k views

How can banks afford to offer credit card rewards?

I understand Visa and MasterCard make money on transaction fees, but how much (if any) of those fees do banks see? Do banks make money on people who pay their bills on time, or are reward programs ...
11
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
908 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
7answers
32k 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 ...
12
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5answers
644 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
15k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
577 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
291 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
16k views

Deductible expenses paid with credit card: In which tax year would they fall?

If I paid my business expenses with a credit card during the month of December, which year can I deduct them from my taxes? 2011 (when the purchase was made) or 2012 (when I paid off the credit card)? ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
580 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
492 views

My “credit limit” is now a “credit access line”. Does it matter?

My credit card just got "upgraded". Tucked in among all the notes about new benefits I've got access to is this line: Please note: Your credit line/credit limit will now be referred to as a ...
5
votes
1answer
990 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
3answers
23k views

How do I avoid paying for an item that I was refunded for on a credit card when the payment due date is coming up?

I purchased an item which the merchant then refunded to my credit card. However, the payment due date is coming up, and my credit card has still not been credited with the refund on my credit card ...
3
votes
4answers
202 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. ...
9
votes
4answers
517 views

What value is the 3-digit code on the credit card?

How do those 3 digits on a back of a credit card make it more secure?
8
votes
3answers
6k 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, ...
8
votes
3answers
25k 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
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4answers
2k views

Are the new “Smart” or “Chip” Credit Cards better from a security standpoint?

The new Chip credit cards are being introduced to provide better security to consumers, merchants and credit card vendors. Sample Card: Card Reader & PIN Entry: Are they really better ...
5
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5answers
259 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
7k 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) -------------------------------------------------------------------...
4
votes
1answer
168 views

Will moving my debt from one credit card to another affect my credit score?

I have a card that is 50% used with 7% interest. The max credit limit on the card is $10,000, and I used $5000. I have another card that is $14,000 and I have $2900 used, but the interest is 14.9%. I ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Can merchants tell the difference between a credit card and embossed debit card?

I don't have a credit card, still some merchants (e.g. car rental companies) require a credit card to use their services. If I have an embossed debit card issued, may I be confident to use it when ...