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Credit Card With Low Interest Rate
Credit Card With Low Interest Rate

Credit Card With Low Interest Rate

Looking for credit cards with low interest rates? Getting a low interest rate credit card isn’t easy. As the credit card companies are losing their customers, they are becoming desperate and increasing the interest rates. Nowadays, finding a below 10% interest rate credit card is a very hard task. Some cards offer “introductory” good interest rates, but they expire after six months or so and you have the usually high interest rates after that.

Credit card customers are often boasting about how they get “points” and frequent flyers miles on their cards, which is all good, but once they fail to pay off the balance before the due date, they are in a financial mess due to high interest rate on their credit card. Therefore, the best thing really is, to find a low interest rate credit card.

A lot of websites offer credit cards with low interests. Some of them even offer comparison tools. What you really need to do is to research all you can about them: Which tactics the companies use and how to find the best deal for yourself? Ideally, you should be looking for a credit card with an interest rate lower than 10%. It is hard to find a good deal with an interest rate as low as that but it is not impossible. The key is research and insight in the matter, and not to be fooled by the attractive offers the companies tempt you with. If you research for it the right way and give the researching enough time, you can save a lot of money and even save yourself from a possible financial crisis later on. Here are some features you should look for in a credit card with a good package:

  • Your credit card should come with an interest rate as low as below 10% as possible. If it is below 10% percent then you can actually say that you have a low interest rate credit card. If it isn’t, then you are probably kidding yourself. Here is a trick: most websites offering listings for low interest rate credit cards place the cards with interest rate 10-15% first. The cards with lower interest rates than that are embedded somewhere in the middle. While finding a good deal for yourself, make sure than you browse through the complete list and not just go for the top four or five offers.
  • Your credit card should also have a low annual fee. The annual fee should be less than 70$ in a good package of credit card.  If it is higher than that, then your credit card should be offering something good in exchange to that.
  • Do not go for perks such as points or frequent flyer miles unless they are offering low interest rates along with it. Customers seem happy if they acquire a “free ticket” to a local destination, ignoring the fact that the annual fee they pay for their credit card is more than the price of the ticket.

Hope these tips were helpful and will come in handy for your future credit card deals!

Credit Cards for the Wealthy
Credit Cards for the Wealthy

Credit Cards for the Wealthy

At first glance some gold or platinum cards may appear to be a credit card for the wealthy, given their high annual fees and amount of borrowing needed to qualify for any of the perks. The Applicable Representative Rates can be high, too, so why should “ordinary mortals” even be looking at gold or platinum cards?

Cashback Deals

Depending on the card you choose, some providers offer very advantageous cashback deals on pretty much everything you buy. American Express Platinum for example offer a 1.25% cashback reward on most purchases made without imposing any limits as to how much money you can get this way. During the first three months cardholders can receive up to a maximum of $100 (or 2.5% of purchases) as an additional bonus for new membership. Better still, for as long as you have the card, you get the same double cashback offer on the anniversary of your membership – an offer not to be dismissed lightly.

If you think that the assumed borrowing of $1200 is too much for your budget, think of your annual trips to the gasoline pump, when you fill up your car. You’ll get cashback every time winning back your $25 annual fee quickly, that’s for sure!

A credit card for the rich usually refers to credit cards like the Visa Black Card. Here membership is openly advertised as being “limited”. The card is offered with a 1% cash back or optional airfare on any airline without blackouts or restrictions.

Complimentary Cashback Cards

It may be a credit card for the wealthy family, but the American Express Platinum card is not a bad offer, when you take into consideration the platinum credit cards that family members can receive on a complimentary basis. You can combine your cashback facility and share this benefit with all the family.

Other Benefits

The American Express Platinum credit card offers 24-hour online account management through world-wide support lines and you also get emergency card replacement services thrown in for your annual fee.

With the Visa Black Card you get a 24-hour concierge service and VIP airport lounge access thrown in as well as being offered Zero Liability protection against any unauthorised access. It also has the advantage of offering 0% introductory APR for fifteen months upon first signing up as a balance transfer customer, with an APR of 14.99% thereafter. However, this rate goes up to 30.24%, if you make a late payment, exceed your credit limit or default in any other way on the terms and conditions.

The annual fee is rather hefty at USD 495.00 and in that respect the card is truly a credit card for the rich.

Read the Fine Print

The terms and condition for the American Express Platinum credit card are somewhat vague, when compared to the clearly defined terms and conditions set out by Visa Black Card. Amex states they charge an “over-limit fee” when you exceed your credit limit, but what is it?

Credit Card With Rewards
Credit Card With Rewards

Credit Card With Rewards

What are credit cards with rewards? It seems that every day new credit card offers are coming in the mail offering a wider and wider range of reward programs, everything from mileage to travel, to points for anything, to cash back, to repairs on your car or discounts on purchasing a new car, to discounts on purchases made using the card in certain stores or larger discounts using the card in the issuers store.

Wal-Mart has their own card which gives the user more store discounts. Target has their own VISA card which gives you an additional 10% every time you have charged over 500.00 on card. These are discounts over the sale price and the store discounts.

There are the frequent flier reward programs that give you more and more miles for each purchase you make and double and triple the miles when you buy airline tickets.

Discover has a unique cash back program where the cash can be used to make your payments. BMW and Mercedes have credit cards that accumulate points that can be used in their service center or for an additional discount off the purchase price of a new car.

The programs are endless. Which are the best, all depends on the card holder, if you are dreaming of a fantasy vacation, and well maybe a frequent flier card or perhaps an Amex card with points for travel.

If you are a business owner, the Amex plum card gives you additional terms of payment on charges with certain merchants and higher discounts on shipping and office supplies.

If you are a shopper, perhaps the Target or Wal-Mart VISA cards.

The choices are endless.

Before you pick the program that is best for you find the cards with the lowest interest rate, the lowest fees and best payment offers before you worry about the programs. Choosing a program and not worrying about the monthly fees or interest at the end of the year you might just find out that you paid more in fees and interest then the free airline ticket you just got.

Be a smart consumer, shop and compare. See also reward credit cards to find your best options.

Visa
Visa

Visa

As of Oct 1, 2011, new rules and regulations covering the fees that Visa and MasterCard charge merchants for processing each transaction go into effect. The new regulations reduce the debit fees from approximately .42 per transaction to approximately 0.21. This change has a huge effect on the profits a bank makes. Although it sounds quite small and insignificant when you multiply this fee times the millions of transactions daily, the amount is huge.

A recent estimate has actually shown that the actual cost to the bank is around 0.01 per transaction, so they are still making huge profits.

Bank of America announced recently that effective October 1, 2011; they would begin rolling out a fee to all of the customers, who use ATM/Debit Cards. They could still use the cards free of charge at any ATM machine, but if they used the cards for a purchase, they would incur a $5. monthly fee. This fee is not per use and it not charged per card, it is only if you use the card at least once during the month for a purchase but you can then use the card for as many purchases as you wish.

Other banks have also announced debit card usage fees, but Bank of America is the first to roll it out.

The new government program requires the Bank to notify each VISA and MasterCard Debit Card holder before they can enact the program, so the bank is notifying customers state by state, by sending them new terms and conditions notices, and somewhere in the fine print the bank is explaining the fee.

MasterCard

MasterCard

A recent interview with Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich shows just how aloof our Politicians are to their foibles, when asked about this fee, he quipped, if the consumer doesn’t want to pay it, let them just find another bank, I am sure that not all banks will be charging the fee.

Instead of admitting that Congress worded the new act incorrectly or instead of attacking the bank for taking advantage of the same tax payers that bailed them out, he simply blows it off.

It is like he has no concept of what another $5 per month means to families, or the amount of time and cost involved in changing your business to a new bank.

Americans need to protest. Maybe they need to stop leaving their cash in the banks, withdraw their monthly budgets and stash it in their mattress. Stop their automatic deposited paychecks, which the banks promoted to the customer and to the employers. It seems that the banks have very short memories of promises made to customers. Now that they have the world carrying around debit cards, they want to charge for them. Where is their commitment to the public, to their customers and to the taxpayers?

Austerity
Austerity

Austerity

It is strange sometimes how a word just sneaks into our everyday vocabulary. There are new words that we find ourselves using daily, such as SMS or email or the internet or even microwave, but these are because of new technology and the words themselves are new. How about LOL?  But on the other hand there are words that have been part of the English language for hundreds of years, they have gone out of fashion or are not part of today’s vocabulary or they are dated.  The word Austerity has been around since the 1800’s, it use to define a method of behavior or a look of a woman. During the war, we had wartime austerity. Now like the phoenix the word Austerity has risen from the flames to be named the word of the year by Merriam-Webster in 2010.

Every newspaper headline we read today has the word austerity somewhere, whether we are discussing the Greek economic crisis or the US debt crisis. Austerity is the buzz word.

British Prime Minister David Cameron used the term “Age of Austerity” in his keynote speech to the Conservative party forum in Cheltenham in 2009, when he committed to put an end to years of excessive government spending. Since that day we have all been living in the “Age of Austerity”

The simplest definition of “Austerity” is an official action taken by a government in order to reduce the amount of money that it spends or the amount that people spend.

If you enter the word austerity in a Google search, you see lists and lists of headlines from the news and from the internet for Greek Austerity, Italian Austerity, and the UK Austerity programs. The search goes on and on in fact there are over 16,000,000 responses to the word Austerity when doing a search. I bet if we would have conducted this same search prior to 2008 our searches would have been limited to definitions and a few literary quotes using the word.

It is amazing just how fast a word can move into everyday usage. This is one of those words that when it becomes passé out of style we will all be happy, when Austerity is no longer a global buzz word, our economy will be booming and our debts will be reduced and jobs will be plentiful, so this is one word that I would like to bid farewell.

Herman Cain
Herman Cain

Herman Cain

Plan 9-9-9 proposed by Herman Cain, presidential candidate, to reform the tax code would simply tax by imposing the following:

9 Percent Flat Rate Personal Income Tax

9 Percent Business Income Tax

9 Percent National Sales Tax

The idea is to throw out the complicated and outdated tax code that we currently use and bring in a simple method of taxation, thereby eliminating a lot of loopholes and government spending. If the tax code was simplified, the expense incurred by the government to audit and process millions of tax returns would be reduced, thereby reducing cost and waste within the government.

A simplified tax plan would allow businesses to forecast their taxes and reduce their costs for professional tax services and in accounting and book keeping.

An individual taxpayer return would be quite easy to file again reducing the cost to the taxpayer and reducing the governments cost in monitoring and enforcing the tax codes.

A national sales tax, otherwise known as a VAT tax, is used in most countries around the world, this would allow for standardization in sales tax and an easy way of monitoring and collecting and would reduce loopholes such as online sales bring in a huge amount of additional taxes to the state and federal government.

It would also make government budgets easier to follow, and understand, the government would have a base income of 9% plus a portion of the 9% national sales tax which would be easy to calculate. This would also prevent special legislation and special loopholes that are not supposed to be part of the tax code but have been adopted over the years.

It would also make a fair and simple system, thus stopping both tax avoidance and evasion.

Independent economists have a measure called marginal propensity to consume. Low income people tend to spend about 98 percent of their income, middle income people spend 97 percent and high income people spend 90 percent.

Cain’s proposal would result in an individual who makes $20,000 per year, paying $1,800 in income taxes, plus another $1,605 in sales taxes, assuming they spend 98 percent of their income. The combined income and sales taxes would amount to 17 percent of income.

By way of comparison, using today’s tax rates, that individual – married filing separately – would pay $2,575 in combined taxes or 12.8 percent of their income. The economists forget to add in the tax that the consumer is already paying in state and other types of sales tax in their particular state.

A middle income taxpayer that makes $55,000 per year would pay $9,319 in combined taxes, coming to 16.9 percent of their income. Today, that individual would pay $9,875 and would pay 17.95 percent of their income in taxes, if you supposed this tax payer drives to work each day and already spends an additional $1,000. on fuel taxes he comes out ahead. And if you want to then add the 1000.00 that the account charges for the preparation of the federal tax return and now the tax payer will be able to file a simplified return.

The largest effect is on the high income earners, who spend a lot of money and have the largest deductions and loopholes, their tax burden would increase significantly.

Herman Cain’s plan has value and that is why it is becoming a major news topic, he might not have all the details worked out but he has a great framework to start with.

Late Retirement
Late Retirement

Late Retirement

Americans have been living longer, each few years the longevity of Americans continues to rise, with the advances in medicine and science and the fact that many diseases and illnesses have been eradicated. Better safety in automobiles and people living generally healthier lifestyles not only do we live longer, but we stay active longer and our minds are more alert and sharp. See how Americans plan to retire later.

Americans at 65 are no longer old and out of touch. Many Americans just do not want to retire, they do not want to sit quietly, or garden, or travel, to most Americans working is part of their personality, and gives them great reward. Before the economic crisis many employers were developing or implementing programs to keep senior employees on staff past retirement age and companies such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot were creating jobs and promoting employment for seniors. McDonald’s just a few years ago initiated a rotating senior employee schedule, as they found a lot of seniors wanted or needed to work and could fill the positions that were most difficult to fill during their daily schedules.

With the change in the economic climate many senior executives and older employees are finding that a lot of their investments and retirement funds have depreciated and can no longer support their planned retirement lifestyle at age 65, so these workers are planning to retire later, so they can replace the lost value of their nest eggs.

Many  Countries around the world are re-evaluating force retirement ages and many companies are realizing that they are losing valuable, hardworking, experienced staff members to forced retirement and are encouraging employees to stay on a few more years.

England has recently stopped companies from having forced retirement programs and state that each employee should be judged by the ability to do the job.

Although this shift to later retirement ages is good for both the employee and for the economy, as it will allow social security and retirement funds and pensions to eventually recalculate their monthly payouts and eventually we will see social security push the minimum age past 65 which will help with their financial problems. This shift can cause difficulties for employers, whose top wage earners decide to stay on and the employer is forced to continue to pay out the high wage and keep the position. It will also slow down the chain of promotions to move up to the higher management levels when senior staff remain on longer. This effect rolls downhill, which means that the lowest paying position or the entry level position will not be opened for young employees because the chain of movement has been delayed.

What the overall economic and job market effect is will not be known for a few years, until we have recovered from high unemployment and we start to see increases in hiring. For Americans as a society and of the health of our elderly it is a change for the better. Not all of us want to be put out to pasture at 65.

Political Gridlock
Political Gridlock

Political Gridlock

To the outside observer, it seems that since President Obama took office that the political shenanigans between the Democrats and Republicans have grown out of control. It seems they are more interested in name calling and blame then they are in what is good for the Country.

President Obama promised the country and the politicians a new kind of government but his efforts have been rewarded with maximum partisanship.  It is hard to see how the outcome could have been different given the now infamous words of Senator Mitch McConnell stating, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

The health care initiative started the entire problem, exhausting the President’s political capital and separating the two parties into irreconcilable defenses. It seems they are like a couple that is headed to divorce that tries one last time to make things work, but everyone knows it is impossible, there have been too many bitter words exchanged to many hateful events to get past.

This seems to be what has happened to our governing bodies over the past few years.

As recently as the fiasco over the debt ceiling, the problems between the parties were brought to the forefront of the world’s leaders. When Standard and Poor’s downgraded the US credit rating, the main factor they stated was that the leaders of our country were unable to lead effectively.

Now we are looking at several important amendments, bills and acts that are needed to help our country to recover from the terrible economic mess we are in, but this partisan separation between parties is making it more and more difficult for politicians to sit down and think about what is good and right for our country without thinking about party lines and votes first.

It is a bit backwards, when votes are more important than our country, when party lines are more important then what is right.

But Washington’s inability to act threatens to create a more profound danger, involving trade, capital flows and the U.S. dollar.

Here’s how: Governments faced with the kind of economic slump paralyzing America have only two real options.

One, they can spend money (or lower taxes for those in the poor and middling classes who are likely to spend) in order to boost demand and create jobs.

Or, two, they can have their central banks literally print dollar bills, in the hope that the consequent drop in interest rates will encourage investment and hiring.

The best case scenario would be to adopt both, which could lead us out of this economic quagmire we are in. But it will take great leadership and that is a question we have to worry about, can Obama muster up the necessary ability to lead us, and can the Republicans forget about politics long enough to allow him to.

The choices are clear. So why is it so difficult for politicians to do what is right and best for our country?

Hotel Reward Credit Card
Hotel Reward Credit Card

Hotel Reward Credit Card

The troubled economy in the United States is forcing airlines to cut back on flights and ‘fly full’ in an effort to avoid airline bankruptcy. This reduction in the number of seats available is making it more difficult for travelers to use their airline miles card or frequent flier miles. Add less seats to the number of airline fees, and weakened consumer trust and it is no wonder that a recent study states that frequent fliers have a higher perceived value in hotel loyalty cards and programs as opposed to frequent flier cards or programs.

Interest in hotel rewards go up

Hotel reward cards or loyalty programs have stepped up to the plate in the face of weakening support of frequent flyer cards and miles. Hotel rewards cards now offer a variety of redemption options and even access to airline inventory.

Marriott rewards program

One of the more popular hotel rewards programs is offered by Marriott. The rewards program is available through the use of the Marriott Signature Visa card or by signing up online lets the business traveler choose from over 3,000 hotel properties and more than 250 different ways to redeem earned points. The company also offers participation with several airline partners. Rewards earned through the Marriott program can be used for travel, or at the company’s online mall. You can create a wish list of items you want to work toward with the mall site’s DreamRewards Tracker. Some great advantages to this program include the fact that reward points can be transferred to other Marriott rewards members and e-rewards certificates go directly to the hotels meaning you don’t have to print them out and present them. On the con side paper reward certificates cost $10 and come in the mail up to four weeks after ordering them. You can also not make rewards reservations at the company’s Ritz-Carlton facilities online.

Hilton HHonors rewards program

This business traveler rewards program includes 3,500 participating hotels around the world and fifty airline partners. There are a variety of ways to earn points in the program. The program allows you to earn both miles and points for hotel stays. Your membership level is determined by your stay activity. To reach VIP levels you are required to stay a minimum number of days per year. The minimum level is fairly low. To reach the silver VIP level you need to stay at least four stays or ten nights within a one year period. The rewards can be used toward hotel stays, golf, car rentals, cruises, entertainment parks, shopping, dining and experience rewards. To sign up you just visit the rewards website and set up your program. Advantages of the program are that you can transfer miles to your family or friends or even charitable organizations. There are also multiple membership levels available. You do have to print out your reservations and bring your printed reservation and reward confirmation ID when using your rewards.

Note: Program details can change so check with the hotel provider for the most recent information. See also Starwood Preferred Card and airline miles card

FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

FDIC – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

In the United States, we are lucky when it comes to banking; it is one of the Institutions that our politicians and legislatures set up properly. Over the years the government has made changes to banking laws and policies but the basics of FDIC insurance is the spine of our banking system.

Congress determined that for our country to grow and prosper we needed to have a safe banking system, when everyone would deposit their money giving the banks money to lend to growing businesses. The government set up the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, known as the FDIC to insure all deposits in federally Insured banks.

Over time the rules and a regulations pertaining to this insurance has changed, but the basics are every depositor in the United States depositing their money in an FDIC insured bank will be guaranteed by the government that their deposits are safe and secure regardless of what happens to the bank. For many years the limit on deposit insurance was 100,000.00, this has recently been increased and also redefined.

FDIC insurance basics are as follows:

The standard deposit insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category.

The FDIC insures deposits that a person holds in one insured bank separately from any deposits that the person owns in another separately chartered insured bank. For example, if a person has a certificate of deposit at Bank A and has a certificate of deposit at Bank B, the accounts would each be insured separately up to $250,000. Funds deposited in separate branches of the same insured bank are not separately insured.

The FDIC provides separate insurance coverage for funds depositors may have in different categories of legal ownership. The FDIC refers to these different categories as “ownership categories.” This means that a bank customer who has multiple accounts may qualify for more than $250,000 in insurance coverage if the customer’s funds are deposited in different ownership categories and the requirements for each ownership category are met.

To make sure your deposits are safe there are some simple guidelines that you can follow.

  1. Make sure your bank is a federal insured institution. You can do this by visiting the FDIC website or just look for the FDIC logo displayed by your bank
  2. Make sure you are putting your money into an insured account, not all accounts are insured today, because banks also offer investment type accounts. Ask at the bank and make sure that you are putting your money into a deposit account and not an investment account.
  3. Never keep more the 250,000 at one bank, this is not branch but at one bank share the wealth.

If you follow these guidelines you should be safe regardless of what happens.

To date no depositor in the USA has ever lost money from a bank failure or closure. Learn more about the FDIC.

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