Even though I lifted the moniker from this article on CNN Money, the scare quotes are appropriate. I’ve written about the Credit Card Act of 2009 and its unintended consequences. Lucky for you, the law is starting to bear fruit. We’ve seen issuers who offer cards with 79.9% interest rates, at least this article features a few cards with redeeming qualities. Anyway, you can tell the title is a bit tongue in cheek, but let’s tackle the features in the three cards shown.
Merry Christmas Eve to all my Christian readers, I’ve got a gift for you a day early. What if you could take your credit card now, make it so you can’t run a balance, and add an annual fee? Sound like something you might be interested in? Me neither. However, that’s exactly how a charge card compares to a traditional credit card.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Maybe you can think of an exception, but the only free lunches I’ve been on were for interviews or retirement seminars. How about free credit reports?
Surprisingly, yes, there is a way to get a free credit report. You can get a free credit report from each credit agency every year, to boot. How to do it? For starters, you don’t go to the site with the singing pirates.
Yesterday there was an interesting topic on CNN Money, one which gets touched on at most major personal finance sites: should you loan money to friends? The answer most often given, is no. There are some caveats… this specific article mentioned securing the loan in some way. What’s the best way to structure such a loan, assuming you go through with it?
Yes, the title has a double meaning. New credit card rules to be enacted with the Credit Card Act of 2009 will shake up the agreements you have with your credit card company. Because of new rules which will make it harder to increase fees and APRs after cards are issued, issuing companies will be forced to make terms more onerous up front. How far will you let companies go before you cancel?
There’s nothing worse than having something taken from you that you once had. As Alexis de Tocqueville remarks so elegantly in Democracy in America, “The heart of man is not so much caught by the undisturbed possession of anything valuable as by the desire, as yet imperfectly satisfied, of possessing it, and by the incessant dread of losing it.” Citi Cards stared down the rule makers, and unfortunately for their responsible customers, they blinked first. Maybe I’m being too melodramatic, but what I’ll illustrate in this article is merely symptomatic of the sweeping changes you may see in the credit card industry in the near future.
One of Milton Friedman’s most influential and revolutionary theories was his challenge to the traditional Keynesian consumption function, which includes simple after-tax income as a variable in the consumption. Friedman countered, however, that those who consume today take future taxes, price increases, salary increases, and other factors into account. This is summarized in his Permanent Income Hypothesis. More specifically, this counters that people consume based off of their overall estimation of future income as well as opposed to only the current after-tax income.
If you come into money, don’t ignore paying down debt as an option. Oftentimes paying down debt can save you much more money than you can earn with another option. Additionally, paying off a loan in full will increase your future cash flow. Read on for a look at debt as an investment and a closer look at tax-equivalent yield.
However you got it, you’ve got it now. Cash, and a good chunk of it at that. The big question for you now… Where are you going to put it? When you realize the mattress isn’t a good place to stash it, read on for some ideas!