Best Credit card services
Credit cards have gained so much popularity amongst the masses that no business can be termed as complete and efficient if it doesn’t use credit card services.
Really, without credit card services, most of the businesses would end up losing a significant chunk of business opportunities.
Some people go to the extent of classifying such businesses (which don’t use credit card services) as non-serious businesses.
So what are these credit card services that we are talking about?
In simple words, by credit card services we mean the ability to accept credit cards as a mode of payment. Well, we can also term the use of credit cards as a credit card service.
However, generally, credit card services will include the services that enable acceptance of credit card by a merchant.
So, for a shopkeeper, use of credit card processing machines to accept credit card payments, is a credit card service that he is providing to his customers
(and he himself is receiving this credit card service from the provider of credit card processing machine and others involved in making this process so smooth).
Since carrying cash is no more a common practice, any shop that doesn’t use/provide such credit card services would end up losing a lot of customers because customers can’t pay with anything other than a credit card.
So, for most merchants, providing credit card services (or credit card processing services) to their customers, has become very essential part of business.
With the internet boom, came a lot of online businesses. These businesses were in the form of virtual shops (or e-shops) that existed either only on the internet or were a virtual extension of physical shops.
All these businesses (some selling goods, some selling services), needed a way to accept payments from their customers. This gave birth to online credit card services.
The simplest use of these online credit card services is in the form of a simple webpage/web-form that asks you to provide your credit card details.
These details are then verified and processed to debit the amount from your credit card and credit it to the merchant’s accounts.
Since credit card details are sensitive information, these websites started implementing mechanisms/technology to secure it and prevent it from getting in the hands of fraudsters. Such sites are now called secured websites and form the backbone of e-commerce.
Besides these basic ways of implementing credit card services, the credit card services are provided in some other forms too e.g.
over-the-phone payments using credit cards, use of third party online credit card service providers who provide you with an interface to accept credit card payments.
So, there are a lot of different ways in which credit card services are implemented and as the time goes by, the expanse of these credit card services is sure to increase.
0% APR Credit Cards – Tips & Tricks
Credit cards can be considered to be one of the many basic necessities of the modern world. Credit cards are available nowadays in abundance.
One type of credit card specifically is the so-called 0% APR credit card. 0% APR credit cards were introduced in the late 1980’s and to this day has still proven to be one of the most sought-after credit card types available anywhere.
As with all credit card types, there are a certain tips and tricks surrounding 0% APR credit cards that all potential card applicants should be made aware of.
With the help of a 0% APR credit card, it means that you need not only pay the outstanding balance; and what more you could even charge up to the limits without having to sustain any monthly interest charges.
However, sometimes, one tends to think just how these credit card companies can afford to provide 0% APR credit cards, and make a profit out of it?
Although 0% APR credit cards may not comprise any monthly charges, it is sure to come with annual fees which you are obliged to pay for the privileges of a 0% APR credit card.
These annual fees usually run from $15 to $20 or sometimes, even higher. Having a 0% APR credit card doesn’t mean that you can pay your dues whenever and whichever way you intend to.
It IS necessary to make your payments on time, or else, you will have to pay for high overdue fees. For each late payment, the 0% APR credit card holder has to pay fees that may range from $20 to $40. With habitual late payments, these meager amounts may accumulate to a hefty total!
It should be remembered that 0% APR credit cards are usually offered for only a stipulated period of time. This credit card interest may hold good for only a fixed period of time, usually ranging from 3 up to 15 months.
On the completion of this period, a higher rate of interest may come in vogue, usually 12% or higher. You could easily transfer any existing credit card balances to a new 0% APR credit card to get 0% interest on the transferred balance.
In this way, the credit card holder has to pay less interest for a stipulated period of time, and thus get a chance to clear outstanding balances as quickly as possible.
When applying for a 0% APR credit card, it is always better to read the terms and agreements of the credit card. Not to overstate an obvious question, but why should one do so?
Simply because many credit cards may come with a default rate wherein late payments not only incur a late payment fee, but it would also include a default rate that will be added to the annual percentage rate.
This in turn doubles the figures on the existing balances and on the new purchases made on the card moving forward. Ouch!
One very important point to take into account when applying for a 0% APR credit card is to read all paragraphs of the agreement, otherwise known as the fine print.
This is because though it is illegal for a credit card company to hide their fees and charges, it is nonetheless legal for them to mention these points in small print!
The 0% APR credit card companies thus usually announce in large and bold print about their 0% APR but hide the facts that this is only for a limited period of time and any extra fees which might be included are done so in very fine print.
Another trick that is up the sleeve of 0% APR credit card companies is to install sky-high APR’s right after the amount of 0% APR balance transfers are paid down.
In other words, the money you first pay to the credit card company is applied to the transfer, and any other purchases you make will be charged a high APR.
Sometimes, credit card companies may also go to the extent of sending you a different card than the 0% APR credit card you had initially applied for. In this way, you are not allowed the 0% APR but a different card offer with different terms and conditions.
The card issuers typically rationalize this behavior based on the card issuer determining that you do not meet the qualifications for a 0% APR credit card. Qualifications for a 0% APR credit card is usually found in the small print of the agreement, and is usually overseen by applicants!
It can thus be seen that though 0% APR credit cards do seem to be rather inviting, there are some loopholes and tricks to their use.
As always, it is highly recommended to read the terms and conditions on the card application agreement for the 0% APR credit card, or any type of credit card application, thoroughly in order to avoid any future problems, headaches or financial surprises.
Identifying Student Credit Card Basics
Often, when people are browsing through the different types of credit cards available, they come across the category of “Student Credit Cards.” Many people, however, are not sure what a student credit card is or why they are even offered.
Generally, these cards are meant to be credit cards for college students, although they can be used with high school students as well. To better understand what student credit cards are all about, it is helpful to take a look at student credit card basics.
Who can use a student credit card?
While student credit cards are generally marketed toward college students, anyone can usually apply for one of these cards.
Some cards, however, will ask the name of the college the student attends and will require verification in order to receive one of these cards.
Why does the credit card application ask for the name of the college?
Companies offering credit cards for college students realize that college students generally do not have any type of established credit history.
A limited credit history makes it more difficult to receive a credit card. On the other hand, these companies realize the importance of having a credit card while in college.
The fact that you are attending college demonstrates to the credit card company that you are responsible and you are looking toward your future. This gives them a small reassurance that you might also be responsible for taking care of your debts.
What is a secured student credit card?
A secured college credit card is really more like a debit card. With these cards, you (or your parents) deposit money onto the card ahead of time.
The amount of money you can spend with the card is limited to the amount of money that has been placed on the card.
Why would I want a secured student credit card?
Secured college credit cards are beneficial for parents who want to give their college-aged child an allowance while at college. In addition, there is no risk of accumulating a debt that you cannot repay.
What are the drawbacks to secured student credit cards?
Secured student credit cards usually have a large number of fees. Often, there is an enrollment fee. This fee can be as much as $100. There are also usually annual fees or monthly fees. In addition, there is a small fee every time money is put onto the card.
What kind of interest rates do student credit cards have?
Secured student credit cards do not have an interest rate since you are not actually borrowing money from the credit card company.
Unsecured student credit cards that extend a line of credit, however, often have a higher interest rate than other credit cards.
This is not because the card is a “student credit card.” Rather, it is because the cardholder has a limited credit history. Therefore, the interest rates are comparable to other credit cards offered to people with a similar credit history.
Do student credit cards offer rewards programs?
Some college credit cards do offer special reward programs. As with other credit cards, however, student credit cards with special reward programs usually have an APR that is higher than those without reward programs.
Why should I get a student credit card instead of a traditional credit card?
There are credit cards available for people with a limited credit history that are not specifically meant for college students.
There is nothing wrong with getting one of these cards. Student credit cards, however, sometimes have a lower interest rate than other cards for people with a limited credit history because the fact you are attending college demonstrates a certain level of responsibility.
In addition, student credit cards often have benefits associated with them that are meaningful to college students, such as discounts on school supplies.
Cash Back Credit Card Tips
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get an extra cash rebate on every purchase you made? Well, that is completely possible with cash back credit cards.
This type of credit card gives you a certain percentage back on many of your purchases. You can receive the money from your credit card either monthly or yearly according to the credit card company.
You may be wondering what type of items count for your cash back credit card rebates. Most of the time such things like balance transfers and cash advances do not count and you will not receive any type of credit card rebates.
You will have to check with each credit card company to learn which cash back credit card applies to purchases that you normally buy.
How much can you get from a cash back credit card is another issue. You can search and determine which ones yield the best percentage, however, make sure they are stores that you personally shop at or are items that you normally purchase.
You may even enjoy more cash back with different cash back credit card policies if you shop at certain stores such as Wal-Mart or Sears. This can give you more money in the way of cash back.
Redeeming points from your cash back credit card is easy. Normally, you do not have to do anything. It is according to how often the credit card disburses the cash back.
Some credit card companies are now offering the cardholder to redeem points on their cash back credit card rewards to be applied to their balance. You can even use your cash back for charitable contributions.
There are fees with any credit card receiving cash back is just a reward so to speak. A cash back credit card can have other fees such as balance transfer fees, annual fees, high interest, high APR, or other charges that may make the cash back credit card less desirable.
Be sure to read the terms and conditions when applying for a cash back credit card. Be sure to find out if you can shop at your favorite stores with the card.
Also, find out all you can regarding the applicable fees for the card for cash advances, balance transfers etc., as these extra charges may make this card an expensive proposition.
However, if you do choose a cash back credit card, it can be incredibly useful if you shop at those stores and receive money for purchases you normally buy all the time. Just an added bonus for using products you love while shopping at your favorite stores.
Business Credit Cards for Businesses With Good Credit
You will find that the various business credit cards offers can become confusing, especially while you are in the process of doing some comparison shopping for the business credit card that best suits your needs.
Platinum, gold, rewards and cash back are some of the nomenclature used to describe a business credit card type.
These different names for business credit cards also imply significant differences in the features offered to the business credit card holder. You will notice that among these types, platinum business credit cards stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Platinum business credit cards work best for those business credit card holders who prefer to carry a balance on their account and who have the ability to effectively manage business expenses. Platinum business credit cards are usually only granted to persons with excellent credit histories.
Platinum cards make many exceptional perks available to their cardholders, perks that are not available with regular business credit cards.
One of the reasons is that businesses that qualify for platinum business credit cards have high, if not sterling, credit scores.
Some of the advantages that you get from having a platinum business credit card may include: a waived annual fee, higher credit limits, lower interest rates, and more benefits, rewards and savings (fraud protection service, frequent flier miles and cash back programs).
The travel-related benefits you get from a platinum business credit card also include travel accident insurance, car rental insurance, lost luggage insurance, and a number of travel and emergency services while you are traveling in another country.
Platinum business credit card users receive generous business-related special discounts from participating merchant accounts, including hotel rooms, office equipment and car rentals.
All things being equal, the extent of benefits you get from each participating merchant will vary, as described in their disclosures regarding limitations and restrictions.
The credit card company does not have much control over these terms and conditions that the merchants impose on business credit card holders.
They make every effort to negotiate the best possible terms on behalf of its business credit card customers though.
This is why it is also important for you to give feedback to the business credit card issuer regarding particular service areas where you, as a business credit card user, would like to see improvements.
Business credit card companies often provide a low-cost program to platinum business credit card customers, knowing that platinum business credit card holders are more willing to charge business expenses as long as they can carry a balance without paying too much in finance charges.
Remember, business credit card companies make their profits from those business credit card users that carry balances on their accounts.
They also offer a 12-month introductory period at zero percent APR and zero annual fees. After the introductory period expires, the subsequent APR is usually reasonable.
However, the platinum business credit card holder should realize that the APR on transactions is indexed to the highest prime rate within a specific time frame.
The business credit card issuer retains the option to choose which rate within that period of time. For this reason, you can be sure that the APRs may approach, but never quite reach, the lowest possible rate within the period.
If you are not a platinum business credit card holder yet, but have been diligently paying your bills every month, credit card companies will most likely offer you a platinum business credit card.
This is to encourage you to keep your business with them and to reward you for being a responsible borrower.
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