How To Not Suck… At Understanding Credit Card Rewards

How To Not Suck… At Understanding Credit Card Rewards

From rewards points to airline miles to cash back, there are many, many ways to earn so-called rewards by using a credit card. But rewards programs are often confusing and are sometimes limited by byzantine rules that can make them worthless or cause points to vanish into thin air. [More]


Even The Former FDIC Chair Isn’t Safe From The Clutches Of Retailer Credit Cards

The next time you’re banging your head against the wall and moaning over what an idiot you’ve been to ignore late credit card payments, know this: You are not alone. Also you’re not an idiot, but if the woman who used to head up the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation can get entangled in problems with retailer credit cards, it can happen to anybody. [More]

How To Not Suck… At Getting Out Of Debt

How To Not Suck… At Getting Out Of Debt

You’re in debt and you know it. But (a brief pause, while I invoke my inner Jersey) whaddya gonna do about it? Credit card debt can seem like a never-ending spiral. As you try to pay it down, more interest charges accrue, and it seems your balance isn’t getting anywhere. Stop the bleeding already so that you can ultimately get back in the black. [More]

How To Not Suck… At First Year College Budgets

How To Not Suck… At First Year College Budgets

Welcome to “How To Not Suck,” a new, weekly series in which personal finance writer and consumer advocate Karin Price Mueller gives you the essential information to avoid being foolish with your finances. [More]

Man Loses Out On $217 In Credit Card Rewards Over Vague Definition Of “Pay At The Pump”

Man Loses Out On $217 In Credit Card Rewards Over Vague Definition Of “Pay At The Pump”

“Pay at the pump” generally means you swipe your credit or debit card at the machine. But in New Jersey, where you’re forbidden from pumping your own gas, there really is no other choice than paying at the pump, though the card isn’t always swiped at the actual pump. This vague distinction between “pay at the pump” and “giving your card to someone at the pump” is why one Jersey driver is out $217 in credit card rewards. [More]


Consumers Saved $4 Billion In Credit Card Fees Last Year, But Fewer Have Access To Credit

It’s been four years since lawmakers passed the CARD Act, a massive set of reforms for the credit card industry. As a result, consumers have saved billions in fees and other charges, but access to credit has also become more difficult for some people. [More]


Chase To Pay $389 Million Over Illegal Charges For Credit-Monitoring Services

It’s not been a banner week for JPMorgan Chase, which has agreed to pay out nearly a billion dollars to close investigations related to the 2012 “London Whale” trading fiasco, and now is told it must pay out $309 million in refunds and $80 million in penalties over illegal credit card charges for ID and fraud-protection services customers never ordered. [More]


Chase: Refunding A Scam Victim Is The Same As Forgiving A Debt

When you successfully convince your credit card company that you were scammed out of thousands of dollars and that a chargeback should be issued, you’d think that would be the end of the story, but not for one Chase credit card customer who just found out — two years after receiving the money back — that Chase now says the refund is actually a forgiven debt, and that he must pay income taxes on it. [More]


Man Tries To Beat Bank At Its Own Game With Fine Print That Gives Him Unlimited Credit

When it comes to fine print on user agreements and terms of service, I’ve found that there are those who blame companies for making these documents so long and complicated that most people will never read them (and might not even be able to understand the terms even after reading them), and then there are those who say consumers can’t complain if they don’t first read and understand everything they agree to. Here’s a story out of Russia that should appeal to both sides of that debate. [More]


Gym Payment Processor Forgets Decimal Point, Terrifies Members

Like many gyms, Fitness Connection in North Carolina charges members an annual fee for “maintenance.” Unlike most gyms, they had something go terribly wrong this year when they charged that fee. It seemed to lack a decimal point, so members saw $2,990 charged to their cards instead of $29.99. [More]


Scammy Pedicab Drivers Using Smartphone Credit Card Device To Overcharge Customers

For reasons I’ll never be able to comprehend, some visitors to New York City enjoy being chauffeured around in pedicabs, which combine the slow pace of a horse-drawn carriage with the discomfort of a rickshaw. But what these people don’t enjoy is when they find out they have been scammed out of money from pedicab drivers who use a smartphone credit card scanning app to tack on hidden fees. [More]


Capital One Sends Me Across London To Get My Debit Card To Work

Lucky reader Twila is enjoying a European vacation right now. Only she has one sort of inconvenient problem: her Capital One debit card won’t work in many of the places she’s visiting. Like her hostel. And entire parts of London. [More]

(me and the sysop)

Young Adults Not Eager To Take On Piles Of Credit Card Debt For Some Reason

Everyone has that one relative who was an adult during the Great Depression and hid boxes of cash all over the house because they didn’t trust banks. Someday, your own descendants might share tales of weird old Aunt Mykayla, who entered the workforce during the Great Recession and refused to get credit cards or even buy a car. [More]

(Steven G. Bisig)

Should I Also Be Picking Up Insurance And Mortgages When I Shop At Costco Or BJ’s?

Warehouse stores sell more than just huge sacks of flour, vats of ketchup, and enough toilet paper to clean an army. You can also use a membership at places like Costco or BJ’s to buy everything from auto insurance to credit cards to home mortgages. But should you? [More]


Here’s Everything We Know About The Rakuten/ Credit Card Breaches

Starting about a month ago, rumblings began on the SlickDeals forums among people who had recently made purchases from Rakuten Shopping, the new brand name of the marketplace The purchases made were diverse, ranging from time clocks in Colombia to newspaper subscriptions in Cleveland to plane tickets in Germany. Something is very, very wrong here: hundreds of victims from recent months have come forward on Slickdeals alone. [More]


Protect Your Credit And Debit Accounts When You Travel

The summer travel season is here, which means driving and flying to new locales and using exciting and unfamiliar ATMs. That increases your risk of both having awesome fun times and of being the victim of credit or debit card fraud, so it’s good to keep that in mind and take a few precautions.  [More]


Ann Taylor Scrambles My Data With My Friend’s, Shrugs

Patty set out to make a purchase from Ann Taylor Loft. Her friend who lives in a different state did not. And yet, their data is somehow tangled. Patty’s friend’s credit card info is part of Patty’s Ann Taylor account record, and no one has any idea why. [More]


Green Billing At Macy’s Is Costing Me Lots Of Green

Robert and his wife aren’t poor: they’re currently in the process of buying a vacation home. His wife opened up a Macy’s credit card in order to get an additional discount, because yay for discounts! Robert set up “green” or paperless billing after gaining online access to the account, but it turned out to be more like billess billing: they never saw any bills. Should they have noticed that no bills were coming and checked their spam folders? Maybe. But no bills came. [More]