Use a Prepaid MasterCard, Avoid overspending on your Credit Card!

In previous article, I’ve written about the pros and cons of the Credit cards and how we need to be careful on how we use them. In this post, I write about another plastic/virtual MasterCard that can be used just like a credit card, but you will be less likely to overspend on!

Prepaid MasterCard is designated to be used exclusively for remote transactions, such as online shopping, phone purchases and ordering. With online prepaid MasterCard you can enjoy the great benefits of credit cards and at the same time have a secured online shopping and manage your spending as well as enjoying anonymous and discreet online purchase.

Enjoy an upgraded online shopping experience; control your monthly budgets, purchase discreetly and comfortably, be generous to people you care about, be in control with your kids’ spending – All in one virtual prepay credit card anywhere and anytime. You can find more information at

Tight Economy? Tighter Budget!

Control bad spending habits with easy access to reliable credit. Secured prepaid plastic MasterCard enables you to stay on top of your monthly budgets and pay debts to avoid much needed utilities from being cut off due to late bills. If you cannot qualify for credit or have trouble staying on top of your debit card usage- you can now budget your monthly allowances by reserving cash in the form of a prepaid MasterCard and avoid the embarrassment and hassle of getting bills paid on time.

Let your family enjoy the freedom of a prepaid

With a prepaid MasterCard, parents all over the globe are letting out a collective sigh of relief. By utilizing prepaid money cards parents can now effectively monitor their children’s spending habits with an allowance card. Whether it’s a prepaid plastic money card for a monthly gas allowance or giving children the ability to shop online with constraint- virtual prepaid money cards is the new carefree alternative in giving children freedom with a budget.

Are you gifted?

Prepaid visa cards are the perfect gift for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Since a prepaid VISA card isn’t a just ordinary gift card or a voucher, and it is not restricted to a specific store or brand, it can be used through any online service. This, literally, puts a world of possibilities in your hands.



Credit Card Users & Financial planning

Credit cards can be an excellent tool to help you manage your finances. But sometimes we make poor choices, or sometimes the events in life take us beyond our expectations and we are left to foot the bill. Perhaps you have had a few months of extra, unexpected expenses that you are now paying for. What can you do?

Gather together all of your credit card bills and add up the amount that you owe. Factor in the extra expenses you haven’t heard on your credit cards since you receive those bills. Add to that about ten or twenty per cent, which is the “whoops, I forgot about that” factor. Then, with that figure, start shopping around for a loan.

Get the loan and pay off your credit card bills. If you think that you may still use your credit cards, you may want to hide them away so that you reduce the temptation to use them. Now, instead of having several credit card bills at a high interest rate due by the end of the month, you now have one bill that is due once a month at a lower rate. This is called consolidation. At first glance it may not seem obvious why you’d want to do this but there are two reasons:

The first reason is that you will save a lot of money on interest rates. In fact the interest rates might be as much as half of regular credit card interest rates. The second reason is that you will get one bill with a fixed amount due every month rather than several bills with several amounts due throughout the month. This will help you budget.

Credit cards can be an excellent tool to help you manage your finances and buy the things you want or need. But when things go on a ride and your bills get out of hand, which happens to even the best of us, choosing a personal loan as a way to consolidate those bills will help you reduce your interest rates and set up a fixed amount of payment. Reduced interest rates will ultimately increase the amount of money you keep and a fixed amount due every month will help you plan your budget.

Finding the Right Credit Card for Seniors

Before even considering a credit card, check your income. If your surplus cash at the end of the month is always near zero, any credit is going to be hard for you to repay. This also means that you will be tempted to buy things near the end of the month on the credit card. This will result in less cash next month when the payment comes due, and that is how a vicious cycle of unending debt begins.

For you the best card is no card. However, if you feel that you need a credit card for things like car rentals and genuine emergencies, get one card and put it away until you really need it.

Start your search for a good card by realizing that your debit card is not a credit card. If you spend beyond your checking balance, overdraft fees will kick in. You will regret it in a hurry. Not very many accounts these days return checks until you are way overdrawn, but the fees still apply.

Sort through the applications that come in the mail. Look for a card with a fixed low rate. Low introductory rates will expire within the first twelve months and a higher rate will be applied to outstanding balances. This will make for higher payments and possible financial hardship on you.

Any card that costs you more than 15% is too high. It is better if you can get it into the 10% to 12% range. Cards that offer cash back are good, but not at the expense of higher interest rates. Read the fine print.

Citibank and Bank of America tend to be two cards that are not too quick to pull the trigger on rate increases. They also work with customers to keep rates manageable if you have minor problems arise. Chase tends to have a short fuse in this area and is not flexible about fixing it, but will sometimes offer a great rate as long as you never have a late payment or a spot on your credit report.

Look for cards that offer better deals to seniors. This can sometimes keep you out of trouble by having room for a mistake or two in the fine print.

The credit card trap.

The credit card trap is what I have come to call any credit card company looking for a new client. I have found myself in large debt because of credit cards, and have watched many friends and family fall into the same trap that I had. Credit cards have become the highest source of where people become high in debt. That isn’t a great thought for anyone who wants a credit card.

Some credit cards have started getting you to pre pay part of the credit cards balance before you even get the credit card. That is great because if you don’t have the money you can’t get the card. That is one thing that I like about credit cards now. But there is so much that is attached to credit cards that people don’t look into when they apply for that credit.

One trap that I have found to be common recently is the “no annual fees”. That is one of the favorite things that I have laughed about. With the no annual fees you find that if you had annual fees the interest rate would be lower. But as things are not read into that far and not very many people have accounting backgrounds I would expect that things just slide by.

Another trap is the introduction rate that creditors are offering to possible clients. By the time that the card has been used, responsibly or not, the interest rate has tripled or more. Paying out more money towards creditors. That introduction rate will not be the only rate that you get.

If the card is used responsibly, then what happens is that the credit limit increases and increases. The more you are allowed to use the more likely you are to drive up the balance and have to pay out more interest. That is the trap that is most likely to have people cringing.

If you do have the opportunity to look into the credit cards before you get them make sure that you specify the highest limit that you will allow yourself. The more that you use the card the more likely you’ll pay more to. There are transaction fees that they don’t count towards your balance until after you have paid minimum payments.

The best way that I can suggest is to stay away from the “easy” money and use cash. If you can’t afford it don’t buy it. The more that you want something the more popular that it is the more likely you are to use the credit card to get what you want without thinking about how long and at what price you are going to be paying the creditor.

Using Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit

Whether you have no credit, slow credit, bad credit or are coming off of a recent bankruptcy discharge, getting approved for new credit can be a nightmare. Sure there are companies out there willing to lend to you, but the terms are so terrible that you find yourself back on a path towards financial meltdown. Using secured credit cards to rebuild credit allows you to limit your costs while developing your revolving credit history, all without the lender risking any money.

Here’s How Secured Cards Work

You pay a deposit to the lender to be held in trust. That deposit is used as collateral to guarantee repayment of the credit that is extended to you. If you default, they simply claim your deposit to cover the loss. For this reason, secured cards can be an excellent way to build or rebuild credit when other options are too expensive or not offered.

Most secured cards require a deposit of either $300 or $500 and then provide you with a credit card that carries a matching credit limit. You use the card the same as you would any unsecured credit card, and you make payments to repay your charges on a monthly basis. In order to benefit from your use of a secured card, you must make your monthly payments on-time and avoid charging too much to the card. Similarly to unsecured cards, if you use too much of your available credit, your credit score will suffer. Missed or late payments will also continue to damage your credit, so you must make sure all payments are made prior to the due date.

Fees for secured credit cards vary wildly. Some cards carry fairly nominal fees, while others carry so many fees that they carve up half of your available credit before you make your first charge. It is important to avoid so-called fee harvester cards, since they cost too much to justify their benefit. Fee harvester cards tend to carry lower credit limits, annual fees, monthly fees and high interest rates. A secured card with a limit of only $200 is not going to be much use to you and it likely carries predatory fees.

Choosing a Secured Card

Make sure that you compare all of the offers available before you apply. Some cards have low interest rates but high annual fees. Some charge an application fee. Those that carry a monthly fee should generally be avoided.

Also, consider how well known the card issuer is. Some shady financial institutions specialize in marketing to lower income and less educated consumers who may unwittingly apply for cards with bad terms. Look for nationally recognized products that are widely accepted.

Finally, ask what opportunities there are for conversion of your secured card into an unsecured credit card. Some card issuers will do this automatically after proper usage for one to two years. This can be a great benefit, since you could eventually obtain an unsecured credit card without a separate application and receive your original deposit back! Choose wisely and protect your credit once you receive your card.

Credit Card Fees and How to Avoid Them

Here’s how to avoid credit card fees without too much hassle.

Banks like money, fees make money, banks like fees. That’s what makes the world turn, but if you can be vigilant and avoid these fees, you’ll need to get a bigger mattress to stuff all this extra cash under. Here’s a list of the different ways banks try to drain you dry and different ways to avoid them.

Annual fees, balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, late payment fees…the list goes on. Most of these fees can be avoided up front when shopping for a credit card. Annual fees are the easiest to avoid, just don’t sign up for a credit card with an annual fee. If you’re looking to transfer a balance, look for a card with a promotional balance transfer period with no fee attached. Certain rewards cards that are marketed towards travelers waive foreign transaction fees altogether.

One of the easiest fees to avoid, but for some people also the hardest, are late fees. For those (including myself) that can be a little forgetful at times, it helps to set a reminder on your phone or your computer to pay your bill on time, or even better, even early. Avoid mistakes on the banks end by paying it a few days ahead of time, then there should be no excuse why your payment wasn’t processed.

Another way to get bitten by the fee bug is exceeding your credit limit. Always keep in mind where you are at with your credit card spending and try not to go over 30 percent of that number. Not only will this keep you far away from exceeding it, it will also bode well for your credit score.

And lastly, make sure the account your paying your credit card off with has sufficient funds. This might sound obvious, but always double check which account you’re paying for and with what money, because if you overdraw you’ll not only be slapped with a fee on your checking account, but a return check fee on your credit card as well.

Avoid these certain pitfalls and along with common sense, you’ll be pocketing cash instead of shelling out even more.

Five Credit Card Tips for College-Bound Millennials

It’s that time of year again. A summer full of partying, baking in the sun, and maybe even a job (heaven forbid) is coming to a close for hundreds of thousands of college-bound Millennials.

Retail companies love them because they are prepping for the big move by spending, or convincing their parents to spend, millions on MacBooks, iPods, iPhones, furniture, and the latest in trendy clothes. It’s no secret that credit card companies love them too. On-campus events are filled with local banks and credit card issuers giving away free subway sandwiches, glow-in-the-dark pens, and floating keychains just to attract their business.

You may wonder why credit card companies are so interested in targeting a demographic that statistically has minimal income and a lot of debt while in school? The main reason is these consumers are generally lifelong customers who will keep spending and spending, even when they have nothing to spend. It’s a proven fact that the first card in a student’s wallet will stay there for a very long time, and even if they do default, parents are often willing to step up and bail them out.

56% percent of undergraduates get their first credit card at the age of 18, and 91% of students have at least one card by their senior year. The average outstanding balance on undergraduate credit cards was $4,169 in 2010, and that number continues to increase at a dramatic rate each year. Add the credit card debt on top of students loans and Millennial students are beginning their lives in the “real world” in a real deep hole of debt.

The problem is most college students get their first credit card at the young age of 18, but many have never been taught how to properly manage credit and establish a solid credit score. It’s not taught in High school classes, and parents often fail to teach their children the importance of credit and its role in their financial future. There certainly aren’t any step-by-step directions in the credit card application either. As a result, tens of thousands of college graduates enter the workforce each year with a lot of debt, poor credit scores, and a rude awakening when they apply for a loan on their first car, condo, or home.

If you are a college-bound Millennial, or a parent of one, keep the following five tips in mind as you head off to freshman orientation this year. They will not only save you from headaches later on, but they will also save you a lot of money.

1. Beware of freebies with strings attached

Nothing is better than free stuff. But if you have to fill out a card with personal information before they give it to you, you’re better off moving onto the next booth. Don’t fall prey to a free sandwich that will reward you with an unexpected credit card in the mail two weeks later. You’re smarter than that.

2. Don’t sign up on the spot – Do your research online!

There are many reputable companies providing excellent cards for students at on-campus events; however, signing up on the spot is generally not a good idea. Take the informational pamphlets home with you, and then do a little online research to find the best possible card. The online credit card marketplace provides consumers with more power than ever to compare and contrast the best offers in the industry and apply securely online in about 60 seconds.

3. One card is enough

Once you have found the perfect student card, keep life simple. One credit card is enough for a college student. Set up your account online, keep your credit utilization under 30% of the credit limit, and pay off your balance each month. If your limit is too low at first, use cash or a debit card to pay for anything that would take you above the 30% threshold. When you are prepared to responsibly manage a higher credit limit, call your credit card issuer and they will likely be happy to increase your limit.

4. Imagine you never heard of a Cash Advance

If you ever need quick cash, your credit card is generally not a good option. Forget about it. Interest rates for cash advances could be up to 30%, which is highway robbery. Sell old textbooks back for cash, throw something you never use on craigslist at discounted price, or call good-ole Mom and Dad to give them the sob story. Anything is better than paying 30% on a cash advance.

5. Educate Yourself

An integral part of every college student’s education should be developing an in-depth understanding of consumer credit and how it will affect their personal financial future. Take 15 minutes to browse the net and provide yourself with an important education you won’t receive from even the best Ivy League schools.

Getting a secured credit card can build or rebuild credit

Negative information on your credit report can destroy your credit. Charge-offs, settlements, and foreclosures can stay on your report for seven years, hurting your chances of getting a low interest rate on any new loans you might get. As your settlements and charge-offs get older, their negative impact on your report shrinks. You might be able to ask the credit bureaus to remove the bad stuff, but this typically happens only when the information is incorrect. There is an alternative way to recover from poor credit other than pleading with the credit bureaus.

It might not seem logical, but opening a new credit account can boost your score. If you’re looking for a way to dig yourself out of a poor credit morass, consider a secured credit card. A secured credit card can be obtained with a deposit account. (A deposit account is an account you have at a bank, from which money can be deposited or withdrawn. Your savings and checking accounts are examples.) To get a secured credit card, you must deposit between 100% and 200% of the amount of credit for which you are asking. This deposit is held in a special savings account, which is controlled by the credit card issuer.

The good news is you don’t have to put up any piece of property, such as your vehicle or house, as collateral. The deposit you make to obtain the card is the actual collateral, so if you default on your secured credit card, the deposit will be used to recompense the creditor.

Using a secured credit card is a great way to rebuild credit because most companies report regularly to the three major credit bureaus. You want to be rewarded for handling money properly, and if the bureaus don’t get the information, then they can’t reward you. Of course, you can’t be using the card to grow a new debt. Start off with small purchases, and make sure you can pay them back in full to gain some positive history. If you maintain good credit on this card for an extended period of time, you could even gain interest on the original deposit.

There are some fees to be aware of when getting a secured credit card. There will be a one-time application fee, as well as a once-a-year annual fee, and a processing fee. If you can make timely payments over the course of a year, your creditor may give you the option of transitioning to an unsecured account, which would eliminate these extra fees.

If you have enough funds to make a deposit, and you have the ability to keep under the credit limit, a secured credit card can counteract with the negative information on your credit report. Having the patience to maintain this type of credit is a great start to rebuilding your credit history.

How to Avoid Credit Card Fees


Credit card distributors always advertise handsome promotional rates just to allure potential cardholders. If you want to become a new cardholder, you must watch out for credit card fees. Although they offer the lowest of interest rates, the credit card company will definitely be getting back at you by embedding extra fees. How to avoid paying them more than what you owe?

Many people just rush into applying to get a credit card without even being aware of all of the accumulated costs. Almost all credit cards come with some hidden fees and unknown charges; and you should always pay extra attention to them before applying.

Almost all cases, all of these fees and extra charges will not even be noticed until it is too late. And you easily end up paying thousands in the end without even realizing it.

Here are some tips to help guide you in avoiding excess credit card fees:

Pay the bill ahead of time

Never wait until you’re the due date arrives before settling payment. Pay off all the necessary charges as soon as you got cash to do it. It is required that all credit card issuers provide at least 28 days grace period.

Try to sign up for an automatic payment facility especially if you are prone to forgetting monthly due dates. This very ideal for people who have multiple credit cards and those who are managing many types of credit lines like car loans, mortgage, and personal loans.

Request for waive

In some cases, wherein an emergency could not be avoided, at the same time you will not be able to make your payment on time, try to call the credit card company immediately and request them to waive some late payment fees and promise to make your next month’s payment on time. In addition, if your records prove that you have become a very reliable client, chances are, you may be granted that wish, thus avoiding additional credit card fees.

Do not go over the credit limit

It is obvious that exceeding your credit limit will automatically cost you extra fees on your bill. Always check your credit account to assure that all the charges are accurate. Before making a large purchase using a credit card, be sure that you have enough credit left. And always keep your credit card spending to just a minimal portion.

Don’t borrow cash from your card

All credit cards offer cash advance features. This provides the cardholder an option to get from their account by withdrawing cash thru the ATM. Although it seems like a good provision, especially in times of emergency, these are charged with very high interest rate. And cash advances are not automatically covered by the grace period; you will incur extra credit card fees every time you make cash withdrawal.