Browsing "Credit Cards"

Life In A Box: Uncovering Credit Card Fraud

Oct 9, 2012   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Credit Cards  //  2 Comments

According to new research, 43% of us aren’t concerned about having our identity stolen online. Perhaps it’s about time we got more worried about it. A new social experiment video reveals just how susceptible to online fraud we actually are.

Steve Keywood is the average smart internet user. He’s comfortable with shopping online and finding deals, he has his own site, and he’s a popular social networker. But when he volunteered himself to spend five days in full public view with nothing but a laptop and a credit card for company, little did he suspect that he would be exposing his personal details just as readily in the process.

This is the point when the security savvy amongst us turn infuriatingly smug and self-admiring. But even through something as trivial as forgetting to log out of websites, which 62% of us do regularly, Steve had put himself at risk. At the end of the experiment, he was informed that a hacker was able to access all of his personal information and passwords.

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Savings, Secrets and the Psyche

Sep 4, 2012   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Credit Cards, Personal Debt  //  2 Comments

Flashing the CashLast year, we sparked a little bit of interest through a story about people hiding their savings from partners and spouses.

More than one in ten, it was revealed, kept a secret stash of over £1,000 in secret savings accounts, either because they were unsure about their marriage or because they didn’t trust their partner’s financial decision making.

One of the deeper issues at stake was that, to a certain degree, finance remains a taboo subject. One in five of those polled (aged 40+) said that they had never discussed retirement finance with their partner, with most admitting that they were uncomfortable with the idea.

And the culture of secrecy is one that spreads far beyond this localised scenario. Not long ago, I wrote that secrecy and spending was hardly a new phenomenon; rather, it’s the hallmark of some of the most fascinating periods of monarchical history. [Read more.]

It’s turning into quite a fashionable subject. We cannot quite help ourselves but want to know what others are getting up to behind closed doors, not least during a recession when behaviour can change so radically and self-preservation comes to the fore.

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Turning the Joke Upon Yourself

Aug 24, 2012   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Credit Cards, Latest Which4U Updates  //  1 Comment

Not taking oneself too seriously is seen as an attractive quality. In the social media age – if we may call it that – it has also become a crucial strategy for firms attempting to build relationships with customers.

When a campaign is built upon humour, recognising when it’s gone stale is the important part. And sometimes, having the ability to turn it upon oneself is just about the only rescue mission available to keep the campaign alive.

In 2006, Family Guy was subject to a rather savage parody by the makers of rival animated favourite South Park, in which the latter produced a farcical scenario for how the former’s trademark ‘gag’ humour was produced at random.

The Family Guy creators, subtly amused by it all, eventually turned the joke upon themselves. In the 2011 episode ‘Back to the Pilot’, a cleverly constructed piece of metafiction, Brian and Stewie travel back in time to the original pilot episode to witness the old animation, allowing the show the perfect opportunity to poke fun at itself and its old habits.

Peering through the kitchen window, the two witness the family zoning out into periods of motionlessness, before eventually realising what’s going on:

Family Guy - Back To The Pilot (Fox)

The parallel is then switched to their ‘current’ incarnation, where the family set up a sketch, then, ‘off-air’, turn to their phones, make-up, cigarettes and licquor. The characters become actors as the show turns the screw upon itself to hilarious effect.

The result of this was that viewers who had long grown tired of the show found a reason to watch and laugh again. Even those who dislike it started begrudgingly admiring Seth Macfarlane’s ability to make fun of his own show. Turning the screw has rekindled a lot of interest, and worthily so.

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Sponsors: The Rights and Wrongs of Olympic Spirit

Jul 31, 2012   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Credit Cards  //  Comments Off on Sponsors: The Rights and Wrongs of Olympic Spirit

Five Gold Rings

London 2012 Cost Infographic

On the surface, it’s a bit of a gaffe for the French President to state that a French Olympics would be interested in gold rather than money. We all know what he meant, but there’s nothing like a speculative show of one-upmanship between old friends!

Wordplay aside – during a visit on Monday, Francois Hollande confirmed what a lot of us have already observed but that organisers have vehemently denied: that there are “simply too many corporate seats” not being used.

The Olympics appear to be fitting in seamlessly to the wider context of 2012: large conglomerates ruling the show; disingenuous implications about tax breaks; and denial of opportunity.

Of course, such events couldn’t cope without vast sums from sponsors. But there comes a point when we have to ask what, and who, sporting events are for.

Frequently, the large corporate crowds at Wembley wander off from England games and FA Cup Finals. It’s cringeworthy, even as onlookers, to recognise how many places have been allotted to those who see these events as little more than a networking opportunity.

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Secret Lives: The Hidden Credit Card Million

Jul 27, 2012   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Credit Cards  //  Comments Off on Secret Lives: The Hidden Credit Card Million

According to new research from Debenhams, over a million Brits hold a secret credit card to indulge in their spending without families and partners finding out.

The poll of 2,000 people revealed that over half of UK adults are dishonest about their shopping habits, either about what they’ve bought, or how much they’ve spent. Men are splashing out on gadgets and alcohol, while women are spending on clothing and shoes.

3% owned up to carrying a secret credit card to hide their spending. This would amount to roughly 1.2 million British adults. And given that 18% of those polled reported feeling “ashamed” of splashing out, we might expect that figure to be higher in reality.

In a way, it is unfortunate that a national governance of ‘austerity’ is dominating the psyche so powerfully. As the economy slumps further into double-dip recession, many have come to feel ashamed of spending at a time when all economic activity is desperately needed.

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Is it wise to take out credit cards if you have bad credit?

Jul 13, 2012   //   by Daniel Morris   //   Credit Cards  //  Comments Off on Is it wise to take out credit cards if you have bad credit?

Credit CardsThe answer to this query depends on another query. Is it even possible to take out a credit card with a bad credit history? It is actually tough to obtain credit cards for bad credit. Even if you get one, the interest rate charged will be high. This again can lead to increased problems. So, the answer to the main query is yes, you may it be possible for you to take out credit cards even if you have bad credit, but the options are very limited. Moreover, the interest rate can be high too, leading you into a sea of debt.

Bad credit and credit cards

Bad credit renders it hard for you to obtain not only credit cards but also other forms of credit. You may not be able to get the best offers like those which offer low interest rates, high credit limits, and maybe really good reward points, and cashback offers.

So, what are the options with regards to credit cards for people with bad credit? You can either take out the bad credit credit cards, or else try improving your credit first. Other than this, there is another option. You can take out a secured credit card, rather than the normal ones. It is much easier to obtain secured credit cards, in comparison to the unsecured ones, which are mostly popular.

In the case of secured credit cards, it is easier to take these out because they are secured. The creditor need not worry about losing money unlike unsecured credit cards. Therefore the interest rate too remains lower in comparison to the unsecured ones. These credit cards are also said to help people with improving the credit. You must be wondering how it is possible.

When you will take out a secured credit card, you should first check if the creditor reports to all of the important credit bureaus. Otherwise, you may never be able to see any improvements in your credit. After taking out a new secured card, you will have to start using it very carefully. Use the secured card to buy items as per your affordability. Then, make the payments regularly and punctually. This will help you with improving your credit history in the long run. However, after the credit improves, you can convert the secured card to the unsecured one. For that, you will be required to talk to the creditor. It is not wise to carry a secured card for too long a time.

While you are using the secured credit card, you can also go on searching for different credit cards, and the related offers. Only after you see some improvement in your credit should you apply for another credit card, however. If you can keep a check on the different offers from the beginning, it may become easier for you to apply for one.

So, you can see that it is not at all good to take out a credit card if you have bad credit. Otherwise, you may have to face increased debt problems. There is no point aggravating the problems, as the job market is still not stable. Thus, it would be wise of you to take out a secured credit card instead of the commonly used unsecured credit cards. Only after seeing any improvement in your credit is it then better for you to take out an unsecured credit card. Secured credit cards serve the purpose of a credit card, and also help with improving the credit.

Description: If you are wondering whether or you can take out credit cards for bad credit, you can refer to the article on the same from easyfinance.com.

Author bio: Jonny writes for various financial blogs. He loves to share the knowledge that he has acquired over time. His submissions include various finance based articles, like those on credit cards, credit and debts, the financial market, and related topics.