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Archive for December 2011

Balance Transfer Day fizzles

Published 12/28/11

Balance Transfer Day fizzles By Aaron Crowe

Balance Transfer Day -- when consumers were urged to send big banks a message by switching their credit cards with money on them to companies that offered lower interest rates -- came and went without much splash on Dec. 11.

"Take that, big banks, we're moving our business to credit cards with balance transfer promotions," or some screech that customers were supposed to make. In other words, moving their business from one credit card to another was supposed to send a message. That's not much of a message of defiance if you're just going from one bank to another...

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4 secrets of travel credit cards

Published 12/26/11

4 secrets of travel credit cards By Justin Boyle

When I first heard about credit cards with miles promotions, I figured they were a passing fad. Airlines had long offered programs for frequent fliers, allowing them to amass hundreds or thousands of miles per trip taken, and the card companies didn't seem to need the extra incentive to get people to spend on credit.

As it turns out, plans that offer travel points and air miles have grown into some of the best credit card reward programs available today. With some prudent credit management and a little attention to detail, credit cards with miles promotions can help you travel almost anywhere for pennies on the dollar...

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Smartphone or computer: Which is safer for credit card payments?

Published 12/20/11

Smartphone or computer: Which is safer for credit card payments? By Megg Mueller

Ho Ho Holy cow, have I been shopping online lately. I shop locally every chance I can, but there are some Internet shopping sites that offer such great deals. Throw in free shipping, and my credit cards and keyboard have been getting a workout. As an avid Web consumer, I have been reading with great interest the stories about online security issues, mobile payment glitches and the scariest words to an online shopper like myself: identity theft.

People still worry about typing their credit card numbers into the shopping cart forms. Clearly I don't, but according to a Javelin Strategy & Research Consumer study done in September of this year, many people still aren't comfortable when it comes time to hit the "place order" button...

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How to teach your kids to save

Published 12/12/11  (Modified 12/13/11)

How to teach your kids to save By Aaron Crowe

As any parent who has used a variation of "Do what I say, not what I do" knows, it's hard to teach your kids a lesson if you're not following your own advice. If you're not a saver and your children don't see you putting money away each month in the best high yield savings account you can find, then they're less likely to learn that habit.

Parents, you don't have to go over every monthly bill with your children, but it's a good idea to show them how you put money aside every month for emergencies, as savings for a rainy day, to save for a vacation or other large purchase, or to invest for the future, such as college. Learning how to set and meet a long-term goal is an important lesson for everyone...

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Tune up your credit on Balance Transfer Day

Published 12/9/11  (Modified 12/13/11)

Tune up your credit on Balance Transfer Day By Justin Boyle

Personal finance topics are all over the news these days. I remember watching as public support for November's Bank Transfer Day grew and grew in the month before the event, and consumer response to recently initiated fees at national banks caused more than one news cycle's worth of stories.

Another national money movement set to take place on Dec. 11, 2011, Balance Transfer Day, has been gathering some momentum as the date of the event approaches. The brainchild of a New York-based freelance writer named Michael Germanovsky, Balance Transfer Day encourages people to use zero interest balance transfer promotions to cut down the interest accrued by standard credit cards with money on them...

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Credit cards: Are you a shopper or a saver?

Published 12/6/11  (Modified 12/13/11)

Credit cards: Are you a shopper or a saver? By Megg Mueller

Standing in a long line at my local big-box book store recently, two thoughts went through my head: (a) I must be the only one who doesn't have an e-reader, and (b) there are two kinds of credit-card users out there; those who have one card, and those who have multiple credit cards.

You could easily see who was who. The one-card shoppers carefully and slowly handed their cards to the cashiers; multiple-card users did a scan of all the cards in their wallets before choosing then quickly handing it over, as if to say, "Don't give me time to change my mind!" I'm thinking that this dichotomy between shoppers is the reason I've been seeing divergent reports on what's happening with the economy and our personal finance choices in general...

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