Questions tagged [credit-card]

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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146 votes
8 answers
28k 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 ...
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49 votes
12 answers
10k views

Is it ever a good idea to close credit cards?

I have a bunch of credit cards with no balance, while others have fairly high balances. I'd like to close the 0 balance cards, but I know that will reduce my overall balance and hurt my credit rating, ...
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17 votes
3 answers
44k views

If I were to buy something a day before my due date for my credit card bill, would I be charged interest?

First of all, I am a resident of Canada. I am new to credit cards, so I hope my question makes sense. I've had my card for a few months ago and I've always paid the balance in full by the time the ...
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8 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
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33 votes
7 answers
124k 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? There are lots of situations when I find myself in ...
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48 votes
9 answers
20k 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 ...
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97 votes
9 answers
20k views

Do people tend to spend less when using cash than credit cards?

I know this is a popular theory on this site and finance blogs/media in general, but I'd like to know if there is any reliable research on the subject. I can share personal experience that makes me ...
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11 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
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8 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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10 votes
3 answers
72k views

Credit Card Security: First six + last four digits

A company asked me to provide the first six digits of my credit card, along with the last four, to identify a credit charge to my account. I'm wondering - that's ten of sixteen digits. How secure is ...
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39 votes
3 answers
64k 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 ...
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26 votes
6 answers
3k 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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25 votes
4 answers
23k 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 ...
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20 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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  • 425
4 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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2 votes
4 answers
929 views

Why do credit card companies keep advertising balance transfers to those who don't carry a balance?

Given that credit card companies have access to your credit information, why do they keep advertising balance-transfer options to people who have great credit and never carry a balance? What balance ...
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75 votes
6 answers
17k 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 ...
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78 votes
9 answers
15k 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"? ...
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49 votes
8 answers
17k views

Paying off debt and living within means vs. long term planning

My husband and I are divided as to the best way to handle our current financial situation. First, a little background. We are in our high 20’s, have been married for six years and have three kids. ...
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  • 617
38 votes
8 answers
4k 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 ...
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32 votes
5 answers
113k 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, ...
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28 votes
8 answers
302k views

Should I pay off my credit card online immediately or wait for the bill?

I'm a college student and I just got my first credit card (through Chase). The only reason I got the card is to try and build my credit score. I also have a checking account with Chase, and they let ...
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  • 1,048
37 votes
5 answers
22k 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 ...
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10 votes
3 answers
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 ...
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  • 241
18 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
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11 votes
4 answers
2k 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?
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  • 5,403
9 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
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  • 335
8 votes
5 answers
10k views

When to pay a credit card in order to avoid fees/penalties/interest?

I am beginning to build credit and got a credit card a few months ago, I am a little confused about when a payment should be made in order to avoid any late fees/penalties/interest. Here is a ...
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  • 183
8 votes
4 answers
3k 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: (source: mastercard.com) Card Reader & PIN Entry: ...
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13 votes
7 answers
2k 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 ...
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34 votes
3 answers
264k 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 my ...
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66 votes
11 answers
32k views

Should I open a credit card when I turn 18 just to start a credit score?

I spend about $20-30 a week on my debit card, with periodic $200-300 purchases every few months. I've thought about getting a credit card the moment I turn 18 and using it to buy everything, then ...
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38 votes
8 answers
13k 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?...
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  • 489
25 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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20 votes
7 answers
81k 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 ...
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  • 375
28 votes
14 answers
3k 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 ...
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66 votes
7 answers
14k views

Is there a "catch" on my "increased credit limit"?

Today I received a letter from the bank that issued my credit card. Basically it says that, since I'm "one of their best customers" my credit (card) limit has been increased. This is the second time ...
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65 votes
4 answers
26k views

Is this person wanting to pay my credit card trying to defraud me?

A friend of mine is in another state wanting to pay my credit card. He says he needs my credit card number, name on card, username, password, and card limit. Is he trying to defraud me? Or does he ...
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44 votes
14 answers
11k 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 ...
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  • 543
10 votes
2 answers
779 views

How does Paying credit card in full VS paying with interest will affect your credit score?

What is the effect of paying credit card in full or with interest on your credit score?
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  • 361
22 votes
4 answers
5k views

Would it be advantageous for me to pay off these two credit cards and cancel them with a 401k loan?

I'm considering taking a loan on my 401k in order to pay off and close 2 credit cards. I have approximately 30 years until I consider retiring. The amount of the loan will be $1700 which is less ...
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21 votes
4 answers
7k views

How to recover from credit score hit from paying off loan?

My credit score recently took a dip after I paid off my student loans recently. When I look at the credit report via mint it shows a "not bad" rating for number of accounts opened. ("not bad" is the ...
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20 votes
5 answers
38k 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 ...
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  • 5,743
19 votes
2 answers
75k views

Why do credit card transactions take up to 3 days to appear, yet debit transactions are instant?

I noticed that when I use my credit card it takes up to 3 business days (even 5 days including weekends if I use it on a Thursday, I have to wait until Monday or Tuesday) for the transaction to appear ...
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  • 1,767
16 votes
5 answers
12k views

Should I give to charity by check or credit card?

I intend to donate some money to a major charity. I could donate online with a credit card, or by mail with a check. I'd like to choose the method that is less expensive for the charity, so that ...
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9 votes
2 answers
799 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 ...
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6 votes
4 answers
520 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 (...
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  • 160
4 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
38k 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 ...
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