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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129
votes
8answers
23k 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 ...
48
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12answers
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, ...
17
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3answers
37k 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 ...
46
votes
8answers
19k 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 ...
5
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4answers
3k 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 ...
30
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6answers
123k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
845 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 ...
8
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3answers
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 ...
40
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3answers
61k 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 ...
26
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6answers
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?
8
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2answers
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 ...
4
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2answers
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 ...
2
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4answers
859 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 ...
74
votes
6answers
16k 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 ...
75
votes
9answers
14k 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
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5answers
106k 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, ...
35
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
274k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
22k 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 ...
20
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3answers
2k 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 ...
9
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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 ...
18
votes
2answers
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 ...
8
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1answer
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
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: ...
12
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7answers
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 ...
91
votes
9answers
18k 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
214k 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 ...
64
votes
11answers
26k 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 ...
37
votes
8answers
11k 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?...
28
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 ...
16
votes
7answers
60k 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 ...
65
votes
4answers
23k 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 ...
62
votes
7answers
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 ...
22
votes
4answers
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 ...
20
votes
5answers
32k 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
2answers
744 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
4answers
480 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 (...
6
votes
5answers
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 ...
4
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2answers
2k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
6k views

What method do I use to pay current expenses while paying off credit card debt?

I’m hoping you can help me with a question that seems very hard to google for some reason. I have $20K in debt on 4 cards, and I have set up a plan to pay off the deferred card on time, and the ...
18
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4answers
5k views

What's the point of a chargeback when they just ask the merchant whether they owe money to the buyer?

In my case, a big-name tax chain gave me incorrect information which would have cost me thousands of dollars. I had pre-paid, as is their policy, but did not file my return with them due to their bad ...
12
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
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?
8
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1answer
24k views

If my credit card payment is due in 3 days time, will anything I order today have to be paid by then too?

My credit card has a balance of $600 due on the 12th every month (I'm looking to get this date moved to later on in the month, how do I do that?). I'd like to make a $1000 purchase on my card in the ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
5k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How can I get out of the debt-trap as quickly as possible?

I have a credit card with 30% interest and a real estate loan with 11% interest. The amount of debt on my card is lower than the real estate loan. I want to redeem the installments of the real ...
38
votes
8answers
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 ...
18
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...