As I have explained in previous posts, credit cards have a large variety of benefits over debit cards and other methods of payments, such as credit profile building, warranty extension, delayed payment, and emergency fund. Apart from APR’s, credit cards are more or less the same with respect to most benefits. And of course, you should never carry a balance because a low credit card APR is still a ridiculously high interest rate. How, then, do you decide what credit cards to obtain?
Well, how about rewards, the most prominent feature of credit cards that are advertised these days on TV and newspapers, as well as brick-and-mortar banking locations? 1% cash back on every purchase. 5 points per dollar spent on honey. 2 miles per dollar spent on US Airways flights. I’m sure you’re familiar with these commercials already. What’s confusing about these reward systems is that they use different types of currencies which are sometimes hard to evaluate. I will attempt to decipher the most common credit card currency types for you below. Continue reading Credit card rewards: when miles, points, and cashback are not created equal
On Tuesday, February the 5th, I finally opened an investment account at Scottrade, after missing out on a lot of good deals from the stock market recovery from late 2011 through 2012. My 401(k) plan with my employer consists of mostly stock rather than fixed income, and sure enough my annual return in 2012 was almost 20%. But I was particularly confident about the revival of Bank of America when its stock price was around $5 a share, and even now I still believe I would have bought a lot of their shares and would have benefited from the 100% return had I known how to invest and had the determination to step into the investment world. Regrets are my life enemy, and to end this agony, I just had to open an investment account.
I have a personal interest in investing, so investing is just especially exciting to me. But there’s another reason I wanted to start investing sooner rather than later, and this reason applies to everyone. Continue reading The power of compound interest: why you should start investing today
Option 3 for credit builders: secured credit cards
I have previously described my personal experience with Bank of America’s Bankamericard Cash Rewards secured credit card. A secured credit card is a risk-free way for financial institutions to extend you credit: the money you deposit is also your credit limit. In other words, you spend your own money; the bank doesn’t lend you anything. Yet you still have the opportunity to build up your credit profile by making on-time payments which would be reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA’s). Continue reading Credit cards for credit builders: what are your options? – Part 3
In my last post: Credit cards for credit builders: what are your options? – Part 1, I talked about the option of being added as an authorized user to someone else’s credit card. Unfortunately for international students like me, this option rarely exists. The next best option is to try to obtain a credit card through your bank. Continue reading Credit cards for credit builders: what are your options? – Part 2
I have previously covered my experience with Bank of America (or BofA for short).
BofA is the issuer of my first credit card: I opened a secured card with them in early January, 2012; this card graduated into a regular credit card a little over a month ago. This is one of the best secured credit cards in the market, a point I explained in the linked thread. Continue reading Why Bank of America is awesome for building credit
One and a half year after I graduated from Colgate University following a commencement where I sang the school’s traditional song with 3 friends in front of 7,000 people, I had yet another milestone graduation. For those of you that start your credit journey with a secured credit card, when your credit card gets converted to a non-secured card, your card is said to graduate. That’s what happened to my card. Continue reading Secured credit card graduation
In my first blog post: Personal Finance 101, I explained the benefits that typical credit cards offer. When it comes to choosing a particular credit card to apply for, it’s hard to make a decision sometimes because of the ocean of options available. I’ve put off writing about credit card offers in favor of helping you – my dear readers – build a knowledge base of credit profile and credit cards. However, today is special.
Dear readers, today is the best day to apply for the Discover More, the signature credit card by Discover, one of the largest card issuers in America. Among my credit card portfolio, the Discover More is my favorite, and I’ve had it for just 2 months! If you’re reading this and
already have a decent credit history that is longer than 6 months even if you do not have a credit history at all, you should apply for the card. And here’s why: Continue reading Discover More