Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Microchip-Embedded Credit Cards Ease Travel Hassle for Americans Going Abroad

Though microchip-embedded smart cards are issued and accepted in 130 countries around the world, the U.S. has been slow to adapt. Americans traveling overseas have been frustrated and annoyed when it comes to using their old-fashioned credit card with a magnetic stripe, also called a mag-stripe.Magnetic stripes on credit cards have been around since the 1960’s, and at the time were a big security improvement over manual imprints of the number on the card face. But...
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Using Credit Cards Safely

Credit cards are wonderfully convenient and safer than carrying around a wallet-full of cash. Keep these points in mind to make your credit card use as safe as possible: Manage the risk of lossTo reduce the hassle involved in reporting missing credit cards in case of loss or theft, keep a list of all your credit card accounts and card issuer’s phone numbers issuers in a safe place at home. Consider leaving most of your credit...
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Sub-Prime Credit Cards

Sub-prime credit cards can offer consumers with a poor credit history a fresh start - a chance to improve their credit score while enjoying the advantages of using a credit card. Sub-prime cards work the same way as a regular credit card. The cardholder will get be able to make airline and hotel reservations online or over the phone, pay-at-the-pump at gas stations, and get “swipe, sign, and go” convenience anywhere credit cards are accepted. But...
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Smartphones to

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are working on a program that could make smartphones a source of payment - taking the place of credit and debit cards, according to a report released last week by Bloomberg.It’s reported that a pilot project is planned for stores in Atlanta and three other U.S. cities, where consumers can pay by simply waving their smartphone in front of a reader. No date has been set for when the project will commence,...
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Will a Balance Transfer Work for You?

Are you juggling payments on high-interest credit cards and wondering how to finally get ahead of your debts? A popular offer with both card holders and card issuers is a balance transfer to a 0% introductory rate credit card. These offers are typically for new applicants with excellent credit history and usually last anywhere from six to 18 months. When the introductory period is up, the remaining balance will begin to accrue the normal purchase interest...
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Credit Card Interest Rate Reduction Scam

Consumers should be very skeptical about offers from companies who claim they can reduce credit card interest rates, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned on Friday.The FTC, the nation's consumer protection agency, said that consumers are being flooded with robocalls - automated sales calls - from companies who offer to negotiate a lower interest rate. Of course, these companies charge a fee for their "services" but the FTC said that many of these claims are fraudulent.The...
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Fed Proposes New CARD Act Rules for August

In the next stage of implementing the credit card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD Act), the Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday proposed new rules to cut cardholder's late fees and interest rates.The rules will amend Regulation Z, the Truth in Lending Act, and are set to go into effect in August 2010. The CARD Act, signed into law by President Obama in May of 2009, was set to go into full effect in...
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CARD Act Rules go into Effect Today

Beginning today, consumers are now protected against many tricky credit card practices that once caused confusion for cardholders. The new rules are part of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009.Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in a statement, "With today's implementation of new rules, we are taking a critical step forward in our effort to protect American families by prohibiting the use of unfair retroactive rate hikes and late fee and over-limit...
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Credit Card Rules Part 2

This article is a continuation of credit card Rules Part 1. Here's a look at key changes you can expect when the new credit card rules take effect February 22, 2010. Rules about once-common practices that penalize cardholders who pay their bill on timeCard issuers will be prohibited from charging interest on debt that is paid on time. The "double-cycle billing" practice penalizes cardholders for carrying a balance in past months even if they paid off...
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Credit Card Rules Go into Effect February 22

The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday approved a final rule amending Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) to protect consumers who use credit cards from a number of costly practices. credit card issuers must comply with most aspects of the rule beginning on February 22, 2010."This rule marks an important milestone in the Federal Reserve's efforts to ensure that consumers who rely on credit cards are treated fairly," said Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth A. Duke. "The rule...
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