Browsing "Credit Cards"
Credit cards can be a wonderful thing, and in a capital driven economy where banks and companies are competing for consumers, the rewards can be high. Yet this is not always the case. Although the CARD act of 2009 was created to provide a tighter reign on banks by restricting their ability to scam unsuspecting card holders into contracts with high interests and fees, banks are still coming up with new ways to make big money by getting around them. Therefore in order to keep reaping the benefits of a credit card without inadvertently falling for the unadvertised fine details which entail high membership costs, unexpected fees and policies, be sure do your homework before you sign up.
Read the Fine Print
You might think you are getting a fantastic deal only to find yourself paying exorbitant fees at the end of the year that far exceed your savings. Read the fine print before you decide to go with a credit card. You might also find after reading the fine print that one bank is actually better than another when you look beyond the advertised numbers. For example, American Express Delta Gold SkyMiles Card has a $99 annual fee and comes with a $99 companion certificate, while the Platinum SkyMiles Card that is also offered by American Express has a $150 annual fee, but comes with a free certificate. Obviously the $198 card that offers its members a higher annual fee is the better deal. In addition, mileage cards and the such can advertise great benefits which in all actuality translate to false or minimal savings. Don’t lose out on the real rewards by not reading the fine print.
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British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed that shoppers are being a lot more reluctant to spend in the lead up to Christmas this year.
The company’s retail sales monitor saw that retail sales only grew by 0.7% last month (November), making it the weakest month for growth since May.
The BRC have suggested that one major reason why this could have happened is due to the mild weather that we have seen across the UK, which will have affected sales of items such as winter clothing and footwear.
Sales of non-food items online, by mail order and telephone have grown by 8.6% compared to the same month last year. But again, this is still the weakest growth since March. Read More »
Christmas shopping trip to Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Vienna, New York, anyone?
We could all do with taking some of the stress out of the Christmas shopping period, which only tends to add to an already manic list of commitments.
A trip to one of Europe’s finest Christmas market towns might be just the ticket.
Anyone planning to shop overseas for Christmas, though, even from the comfort of their own homes, should note the duty-free limits, which have been amended slightly in November.
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The tide is turning towards the next phase of financial transaction technology. It now remains to be seen whether this spells the beginning of the end of the trusty plastic credit card, or whether consumers will resist in number.
With the increasing number and popularity of mobile apps, major financial bodies have been looking towards innovative new payment systems for mobile devices.
The launch of these new mobile payment systems could now spell the beginning of the end for the traditional credit card.
Commonwealth Gold, American Silver
Last month, Google launched ‘Google Wallet’, an application designed to make payments easier for consumers while offering retailers more ways to offer loyalty programs. Its system, developed using Near Field Communication technology (NFC), is expected to reach the UK by early 2012.
In terms of development, however, they may be beaten to the chase by Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, which today launched ‘Kaching‘, an app which allows smart phones / iPhones to connect with cash registers and to make payments by email and Facebook. It will be available within two months to iPhone users with operating system iOS4 or above. This would make CommBank the first commercial provider of such a mobile payment system. Read More »
Research findings released by Mintel in July revealed some fascinating information about the lack of credit card accounts held by 18-24 year olds. The research found that young adults are one of the most underrepresented age groups when it comes to credit card ownership, with only 30% holding an account.
Do the simple maths and you’ll realise that 70% of 18-24 year olds in the UK do not hold a credit card, creating a massive untapped seam of business for card providers. The only problem is, this generation is very difficult to sell to and motivate as they are struggling to gain financial independence and often living at home. Rising living costs, student debt and limited credit are all factors that Mintel believe are holding this generation back from reaching financial adolescence.
Conventional marketing techniques and card offers are unlikely to persuade the 70% to sign up for a credit card. Instead, providers need to push more than credit, they need to sell a product that can help give young adults some financial freedom. Suggestions to achieve this include financial health checks, personalised advice and help with financial plans. Read More »
Barclaycard has taken the bull by the horn and unleashed yet another aggressive move that has once again increased its lead in the 0% balance transfer credit card market.
Until last year, the Virgin credit card dominated this side of the credit card market with a 16 month 0% deal, but Barclaycard recently rolled out a series of changes that saw it move ahead of every other provider, while continuing to gain distance from its competitors and pulling away, giving Barclaycard a significant lead.
The credit card provider made its most recent move yesterday, after beating its previous record for the number of 0% balance transfer months offered on its Platinum card, from 20 months to 2 years.
This gives Barclaycard customers the means to transfer debts across to the card and effectively freezing all further interest charges for up to 24 months, taking off the pressure of growing debt and allowing you to set up a manageable repayment plan.
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