Financial Freedom should be your goal this season.

  • Bad Credit Basics: Why is credit score so important? How is it calculated? If your score is low, what can you do about it?
  • Bad Credit Cards: For individuals with poor credit, there are several trustable credit card issuers who can give you a line of credit and help improve your score.
  • Personal Loans: Help you build your financial future while providing money for your family.
  • How to Get Out of Debt? Follow these three simple steps to managing your money and become debt free.
  • Is Refinancing Right For You? This article will help you consider all the angles when making your decision.
  • Home Loans From Start To Finish: Buying a home is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make in your life. It’s important that you know what to expect from the moment you apply for your loan through settlement.
  • Beware of these credit scams: Tell everybody in your family and all of your co-workers if you get scammed online or from a lender in person. Before this happens to you read our take on the scams to avoid.
  • The Banklady Credit Library
  • NEW! Find out how to avoid high Checking fees by using some of our suggested alternatives.
Posted in Scams | Leave a comment

Beware of this ATM Scam Device

ATM Card Skimmer Scam DeviceCan you tell which side is the normal slot for an ATM Card?  The left side is the normal slot for an ATM card, the protruding one on the right is called a “skimming device.” It’s so hard to tell and who would think it was this easy to have your card information and data stolen?

Crooks can slide these into almost any ATM then wait for a customer to use it.  The attached card skimmer then stores their information and the identity theft process has begun.  Share this with your friends and warn them about using these ATM Machines.  Clearly you want to check for any signs of manipulation of your ATM machine and call 911 and report it immediately if something is different.

Posted in Scams | Leave a comment

No more CVS Vanilla Reloads with Credit Cards

CVS Vanilla Reload CardsYou may already know this if you have tried to use a credit card to purchase a Vanilla Reload Card lately but CVS is making big changes this year. We knew once they outlawed cigarettes in their stores they will start taking away other pleasures that can get out of hand. I read on some frequent flyer blogs that there is a rumor going around about a memo sent at CVS drug stores that said effective the last day of March there will be a override in the cash registers to stop credit cards from being used. I went to CVS and purchased $1,500 worth of Vanilla reload cards that day and it worked fine. I went today and it no longer works. So it may take some time to reach all the CVS stores but we are pretty certain it is nationwide at this point where you can no longer use anything but cash to pay for Vanilla reloads. Continue reading

Posted in Rewards Programs | Leave a comment

Future of all credit cards is Echo

There are many new apps coming out that work as a credit card the only big problem is that you have to use some type of signal from the card to the register. For instance, the Wallaby app which is basically worthless because it really does not know half of the rewards cards out there nor their current promotions and does not yet have a separate card to use for physical purchases.

Echo is certainly help to an overstuffed wallet. It can work as a debit, credit, loyalty, and prepaid card. It even works as a student ID and combines all of your rewards cards into one elegant black card. Echo fits neatly into a money clip and keeps you from forgetting your rewards cards at home.

The average American owns 6 or more payment cards. 13 percent of Americans own 10 or more credit or credit cards. How many do you own? I know I have around 15 in total for rewards and 2 debit cards.

Echo has a miniaturized computer inside of it that mimics ordinary cards and syncs with your mobile phone. Their mobile app enables you to convert Echo into the card of your choice with the tap of your phone. Once you select a card for echo to mimic, you can swipe Echo as you would any other card.

This is a really exciting service that will take off once businesses are not freaked out about the potential person using it being a fraudster. It will cost from $80 to $100 but well worth it if you save that amount on rewards cards you left at home on accident. The service and card from Protean should come out sometime later this year!

Posted in Credit Cards | Leave a comment

Spring Credit Card Application Party

It is that time again for a roundup of the credit cards I plan to apply for in the next few days. It has been over three months since the last credit card application party I threw for myself. It really is not a party it is more of a night that I set aside to find the best cards that give me the most benefits or rewards in the upcoming spending season.

I plan on canceling a Chase Marriott Card that renews with an annual fee and a Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express that also has an annual fee the second year once these apps go through. I have had the Chase Sapphire Card before as a Visa. I am hoping to get that card as a MasterCard this time since it has been a few years and get the bonus offering.

I have decided to apply for two Barclayscards since they seem to have some of the best offerings right now for immediate gratification of points or miles. One card which is a US Airways card I found with no annual fee gives me 35,000 AAdvantage miles basically before the merger is completed and they get rid of US Airways branded cards. American Airlines will most likely discontinue their relationship with Barclayscard then move the US Airways customers over to a new card with Citi. It could go either way though and both of the banks lose out. They have a longer relationship with Citi so it is best you act on this now. I need all the American AAdvantage miles I can get.

CitiBusiness card was straightforward when I was approved it was instant and said my card will be in the mail within two weeks. This card is a card I have previously held and churned now but I believe I had the Visa version of it. This will be the MasterCard version and will give me 30,000 AAdvantage miles after I spend $1,000 on anything. I am hoping to use this card to just book rental car travel such as Hertz, Avis, or Budget because it pays 2x on these purchases.
Continue reading

Posted in Credit Cards | Leave a comment

Commerce Bank Rewards Visa Card Cash Back Review

I signed up for the Commerce Bank Rewards Visa Card just one year ago this week so now that I have paid off my balance I am looking over the reward program. This card started out as a 0% Balance transfer card for 12 months with no fee if done by February 24th of last year. I took advantage of that offer as I do many 0% offers with no transfer fees. These are hard to come by so you have to move fast. There are only a few of them out right now and those are from Chase Slate and possibly this card. It is rare when they come along but they do from time to time.

The 0% APR was fine I just paid it month to month the minimum payment so I would get no interest or fees then paid off the final amount owed before the last bill was due. The exciting part about this card is when I signed up I thought it might offer some rewards program worth using but you have to accrue interest to the 3x rewards points. You do get 1 point per dollar spent on purchases then 3 points per dollar on interest accrued on monthly balances. Basically this card pays you to spend money at 1 point per dollar then wants you to earn money off of the interest you owe. This can be tricky and something I really do not want to mess with since I pay off my credit cards before they accrue interest each month.

I did however get a special bonus of 1,500 points in the mail which advertised their new enhanced rewards program. It enabled me to look inside the program and see what reward I could get for 1,500 points. Keep in mind that most rewards programs 1,500 points means you get $15 worth of rewards because it means 1% of %1,500 in purchases.

However, with this rewards program at Commerce Bank you only get a $5 gift certificate for spending $1,500 which is really not 1% per dollar spent and not worth your time at all. We were also disappointed with the cash back redemption which really takes no effort for the credit card company to do a statement credit. This was 5,000 points redemption at only $25. So you are getting half a percent per dollar spent with this?
Continue reading

Posted in Credit Cards | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Discover to revamp their cards in 2013 with the Discover IT Card

The Discover it Card is a “revolutionary” CashBack Bonus rewards card that will be available to both regular consumers and college students. There will be two Discover it™ Cards available to consumers and one for Students. As you can see below the main difference in the two customer cards is the purchase APR and the length of the introductory 0% APR offer from 14 to 18 months. We see no difference in the cash back or the annual fee remaining at zero. We see lots more flexibility compared to older versions or current Discover cards but still no mention of when you can redeem your cash back which is a major problem with Discover. They make you wait until you get to $50 in Cash before you can get a credit statement so we are hoping they change this also to compete with Chase Ultimate Rewards where you can redeem with any amount of points. The 1% cash back on all other purchases with an asterisk may be the only real change we see in this new card besides the IT name and perhaps the design. We will wait to see if they bring out something more “revolutionary” than these bullet points because this so far is nothing THAT or “IT” new.

he new Discover it card is out to change the way people think about credit cards.
Fair…No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee & no pay-by-phone fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And we won’t increase your APR for paying late.*
Generous…5% cash back at restaurants and movies right now through March on up to $1,500 in purchases with free and easy sign-up. And 1% cash back on all other purchases.*
Plus a Cashback ConcerigeSM who guides a free, personalized online tour to help you get the most rewards for how you use your card.
Flexible…Choose your own due date and pay up to midnight ET online or by phone.
Human…talk to a real person any time with 100% U.S.-based service.
Safe…Because you’ll never pay for unauthorized purchases with our $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.
0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 20.99%. *Click apply for Terms & Conditions.
Introductory 0% APR Offer: 14 months on purchases and balance transfers
Regular Purchase APR: 10.99 – 20.99% (V)*
Ann Continue reading

Posted in Credit Cards | Leave a comment

DoubleDip Kohl’s CashBack for Holiday Spending

Kohl’s this season has been one of my favorite places to shop thanks to some extremely hot cash back offers from Chase. We are also double dipping our rewards points with this retailer. Kohl’s is offering an extra 25% off when you spend $100 or more with code MOREGIFTS25 and free standard shipping for orders $50 or more. Make sure you pair this with 10X per dollar spending cash back via the Ultimate Rewards Mall and using your Chase Freedom Visa or MasterCard to complete the purchase gives you an additional 5X cash back. If you have a Kohl’s credit card don’t use it but instead use the Chase Freedom Card until the end of the year. Get it here if you do not have it yet.
Continue reading

Posted in Shopping | Leave a comment

Free 500 AAdvantage Miles for a 1 min Facebook Survey

American Airlines has one of my favorite miles programs out there so this is pretty exciting to get an easy 500 miles added to your account especially if you need some activity in the account. All you need to do is fill out a 1 or two minute easy survey on Facebook that awards 500 American Airlines AAdvantage miles. Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

You can now use ThankYou Points to Make Purchases on Amazon.com

This is the greatest thing since sliced bread… really. Citi’s ThankYou points has been junk for years and not worth anyone’s time if you ask me until now. Citi is following the lead from Discover Card and is now letting you make purchases with Amazon by signing in. This could not come at a better time since Black Friday is next week and Holiday Shopping is in full swing. Ordering from Amazon with the Thank You Points is simple and it seems to be closer to 1 point per $1 purchase than redeeming for statement credits or cash.

You can make eligible purchases with your points, your Citi Card or a combination of both. Eligible Citi cards include all Citi ThankYou Cards, the Citi Forward Card, CitiBusiness ThankYou Card, Citi PremierPass/Expedia Card, AT&T Cards, and Sunoco cardmembers with available ThankYou Points.

Linking your accounts is easy. Simply go to the Citi ThankYou page at Amazon.com and click the Get Started button in the blue box. From there follow the online instructions to link your ThankYou Member Account to your Amazon.com account
Continue reading

Posted in Credit Cards | Leave a comment