What is a Visa Signature credit card?

The Visa credit card has a long and interesting history with a slew of different tiers that have come and gone. As of today, only two tiers remain: Visa Platinum, and Visa Signature. Sometime in the past, Visa Platinum was the premium Visa credit card, and before that, Visa Gold was the premium Visa card. Now the torch has been passed down to Visa Signature. Continue reading What is a Visa Signature credit card?

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How to save your credit in bankruptcy

Today, after watching some NFL games, I suddenly became curious about bankruptcy, so I did a quick google search and the first figure I found was astonishing. According to official records, in 2013 there were over 1 million non-business bankruptcy filings. 1 million. 1,000,000. On average, for every 300 people in the US you know, 1 of them filed for personal bankruptcy last year. This figuratively blew my mind.

So the topic for my blog post today was quickly decided.

You know, life happens. Someone in your family falls critically ill and you have to borrow money to pay for medical expenses without being able to pay it back. You lose a job because of the financial crisis and can no longer pay your bills. I offer my condolences to those that have a legitimate reason to file for bankruptcy. The road ahead, credit-wise, is going to be tough. Bankruptcy stays on credit reports for up to 10 years, and this is not the kind of record you want on your credit profile. Lenders that see bankruptcy when reviewing your credit report will not be very likely to extend you credit.

So, if bankruptcy is inevitable, how can you minimize its negative impact on your credit?

Continue reading How to save your credit in bankruptcy

Today’s feature: Discover It credit card review

2 years ago, when I had just started this blog, the Discover More was one of the first credit cards that I reviewed. Since then, Discover Financial Services has replaced the card with the Discover It which is in many ways the same as the Discover More. I personally still have the Discover More, but most people these days have already switched over to the Discover It. It is about time I reviewed the Discover It as well.

discover-it-web-page-header

Continue reading Today’s feature: Discover It credit card review

How I achieved 760 FICO credit score in just over 2 years

How I achieved 760 FICO credit score in just over 2 years

My credit journey has now lasted for 2 years and 10 months, and I’m in the mood for reflecting on the journey thus far. I did a lot of research about credit along the way, especially in the first year, to make sure I could achieve the most, credit-wise, in the shortest amount of time. And at this moment, I am about exactly where I wanted to be, and in just about the best position there could be for someone with 2 years and 10 months of credit history.

760 FICO credit score has long been considered a hallmark of excellent credit, and I hit it about 3 months ago.

FICO score 767
From MyFICO Score Watch

Continue reading How I achieved 760 FICO credit score in just over 2 years

Step-by-step guide to build credit in one year

I have written this guide as a balanced approach to building credit if you are starting out. It is not intended to give you the maximum credit score, since that would require that you know perfectly how to manage credit from the beginning, an unrealistic expectation. If you follow this guide, at the end of the first year you should have a solid credit history that would allow you to get approved for most credit cards and obtain reasonable interest rates on auto loans.

Continue reading Step-by-step guide to build credit in one year

10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 10: travel accident insurance

Travel accident insurance is yet another travel protection benefit that many credit cards provide for free. I honestly have never paid attention to this benefit, because deep down, I really hope that nobody ever has to use it. It is what it sounds like: insurance against travel accidents. Most, if not all, travel rewards credit cards cover this, and the coverage limit is typically very high, up to $1,000,000 (1 million dollars!). Restrictions apply.

Even terrorist attacks are covered by some credit cards.
Even terrorist attacks are covered by some credit cards.

Continue reading 10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 10: travel accident insurance

10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 9: trip interruption/cancellation insurance

I’ve talked about risks associated with traveling in earlier posts in this series. Credit cards are amazing for protection against unfortunate events along your travels, and apparently they are helpful even if you cannot make your trip or cannot complete your trip for unforeseen reasons.

Continue reading 10 reasons to use your credit card – Part 9: trip interruption/cancellation insurance

10 reasons to use a credit card- Part 8: Baggage delay reimbursement and baggage damage/loss insurance

I don’t seem to have good luck with checked in baggage. For the approximately 20 one-way trips I have made with checked in bags, I have had baggage delay 3 times, all within the past 2 years. One of these times, on my flight from Seattle to Boston in December 2013, I had an opportunity to test out the baggage delay reimbursement feature of my credit card, the Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard (later name changed to the Arrival +).

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I got my bag delayed somehow.

Continue reading 10 reasons to use a credit card- Part 8: Baggage delay reimbursement and baggage damage/loss insurance

10 reasons to use a credit card – Part 6: price protection

Have you ever bought something from a website or a store and realized a month later that the exact same thing was being sold elsewhere for much cheaper? That TV you had bought from Best Buy the week before for $600 was selling for $500 on Newegg? In my college days, I hated it every time it happened.

Lower price on something you've already purchased. What to do?
Lower price on something you’ve already purchased. What to do?

And then I got a credit card, and I’ve never had to feel that way again.

Continue reading 10 reasons to use a credit card – Part 6: price protection

10 reasons to use a credit card- Part 5: purchase protection

So it’s Halloween, and a cunning elf breaks into your house and steals your Xbox One for his early Christmas gift. You are angry because you just bought it for yourself 3 days ago as your main entertainment through the end of the year. What do you do?

What to do if your stuff gets stolen?

Well, you’d better have used your credit card to buy the Xbox One, because then you’d benefit from purchase protection.

Continue reading 10 reasons to use a credit card- Part 5: purchase protection