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Archive for October 2012

6 steps to closing a credit card

Published 10/26/12

6 steps to closing a credit card By Tim Sullivan

Thinking about closing a credit card account? Closing a credit card account can prevent you from using too much credit, reduce your risk of identity theft and make keeping track of your finances easier. However, it can also have a negative effect on your credit score.

Part of your credit score is based on how much of your credit you actually use. When you close an account, especially a larger account, your credit-utilization ratio (CUR) will be affected and your score could go down. In addition, if the card you're closing was the first credit card you ever got, it could shorten the length of your credit history, which can also hurt your score.

Too many cards

That said, tell me if this situation sounds familiar: You have to buy a dress or a suit for a friend's wedding. It's tough financially, but it's their wedding -- a once-in-a-lifetime occasion. You pick one out and when you get to the cashier, he offers you an additional 20 percent savings if you sign up for their store credit card. Plus, with the card, you get free alterations. Done.

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Does Square's Card Case spell doom for traditional plastic?

Published 10/19/12

Does Square's Card Case spell doom for traditional plastic? By Justin Boyle

What's with this war on traditional credit cards? Mobile payment apps are popping up left and right, and U.S. market leader Google Wallet seems to be leading an aggressive charge against all spending instruments marked with embossed digits and shiny magnetic strips.

The attempted rampage is making slow progress, however, and the possible reasons for this are numerous:

  • Apps may have been slow to raise awareness about themselves as an alternative to traditional credit methods.
  • Credit customers may not trust software companies enough to embed all of their financial information in a single electronic device.
  • People may just be more comfortable with their old familiar deck of plastic credit cards and hesitate to make the switch.

Whatever the reason, traditional credit cards haven't seemed to meet their match yet. That is, they haven't until Square came along with Card Case.

Why Card Case is different

Square, the mobile payments company started by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, has already changed the world of credit card payments once ...

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Review: Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

Published 10/16/12  (Modified 11/22/13)

Review: Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card By Peter Andrew

Do you remember that 2009 movie "Up in the Air"? It starred George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. Clooney's character Ryan Bingham was constantly flying from city to city -- and hotel and airline credit cards and loyalty programs were very important to him. You can imagine why. When you're traveling that much, every little perk and privilege that smooths your way through an airport or makes your stay more comfortable is truly valuable. And with that sort of lifestyle, the rewards can soon add up, too.

So what would Bingham make of the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card?

Hotel credit cards: a competitive market

Bingham might find it attractive that as a cardholder, he'd be automatically enrolled with Gold status in the HHonors loyalty program. That brings:

  1. Free room upgrades, if available ...
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Review: Chase Sapphire credit card

Published 10/4/12  (Modified 12/19/13)

By Peter Andrew

You may not believe this, but I wouldn't accept an American Express Centurion Card -- aka the "Black" card -- even in the incredibly unlikely event that the company took leave of its senses and offered me one. I'm just not the type of person who wants the attention that comes with a credit card of that sort.

The Chase Sapphire, credit card however, could certainly make my short list the next time I'm shopping for plastic. True, cute clerks and wait staff won't swoon when you present it, but it's a good, solid product with plenty of attractive features.

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