Best Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

Low interest credit cardsTop Ten Low Interest Credit Cards

The most basic use of a credit card is to extend credit when needed. For consumers who expect to occasionally run a credit balance on their credit cards, a key feature they will be interested in is the interest rate that will be charged on that debt. A 0% promotional APR is of course attractive, but we have put together a list of the top cards for providing low interest rates after any promotional rate expires. And here they are.

1. Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom Card from JPMorgan has that 0% introductory rate for 15 months, applicable to balance transfers and purchases. The variable APR after that will be 13.99% to 22.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. The card also offers 5% cash back on categories of goods that rotate each quarter, for up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter. Cash back of 1% is offered on all other purchases, with no limit, and you can earn a $100 bonus by using the card to make $500 in purchases during the first three months, with an additional $25 offered if you add an additional user and make one purchase during the first three months.

2. Chase Slate

The Chase Slate card offers the 0% introductory rate for balance transfers and purchases, extended for 15 months, and after that the variable APR is 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99%. You can avoid any balance transfer fees on transfers made within the first 60 days you have the card, and after that the fee will be 3%, with a $5 minimum fee. The card has no annual fee.

3. BankAmericard Visa Card

The folks at BofA have produced the BankAmericard Visa Card that has 0% promotional APR on purchases, and on qualifying balance transfers, for 15 billing cycles. This will only apply to balance transfers made within the first 60 days of card ownership. Thereafter, the variable APR is 10.99% to 20.99%. The card has chip technology, making it useful on trips to Europe, where such technology is common. Balance transfers do incur a 3% fee with a $10 minimum fee, and the card comes with a $0 liability guarantee.

4. Citibank’s Double Cash Card

The Citibank’s Double Cash Card will help you will obtain cash back twice with each purchase. You get 1% cash back at the time you buy, and another 1% so long as you pay the minimum balance amount due at the end of the month. The card has a 0% APR for balance transfers and purchases, extended for 15 months, and after that the variable APR is 12.99% to 22.99%. There is no annual fee.

5. Barclaycard Ring MasterCard

Barclays is offering the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard, which has a low interest rate of 8% on purchases and balance transfers. If you don’t mind doing without the 0% promotional rate, this is one of the lowest rates around for ongoing credit card debt. There is no balance transfer fee, and no over-the-limit fee if you spend over your cash limit. There is also no annual fee.

6. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card that charges 0% promotional APR on purchases through February 2016. After that, a variable APR of 11.9% to 19.9% will apply. The card gives you 20,000 bonus miles provided you spend $1,000 on the card during the first three months you have it. For all purchases, you will collect 1.25 miles per dollar. The card has no annual fee.

7. Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card

The Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card provides 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers, good until May 2016. After that cardholders will pay 10.9% to 18.9% variable APR. There are no foreign transaction fees, and a 3% balance transfer fee is applied. The card has no annual fee.

8. Discover It

Discover Financial’s Discover It card provides you with 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, and this promotional rate applies for 14 months. After that, the variable APR is 10.99% to 22.99%. There is a balance transfer fee of 3%, and you can receive 5% cash back for purchases in quarterly rotating categories, up to a quarterly maximum. For all other purchases, you will get 1% cash back.

9. Citi Simplicity Card

Citibank’s Citi Simplicity Card offers 0% promotional APR on purchases and on balance transfers for a lengthy 18-month period. After that the variable APR is 12.99% to 22.99%. This card also offers the very attractive feature of not charging late fees, or increasing your interest rate when you miss a due date for a payment.

10. PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Card

PenFed’s offering is a Visa card that offers 5% cash back on gas purchases with its Plus edition, and 3% on its Standard edition. The Plus edition has no annual fee, and the Standard has a $25 annual fee that is waived for the first year.

Both editions offer a very low 4.99% APR for twelve months on balance transfers made during 2015, and after that the variable APR will still be a low 9.99% for balance transfers. When it comes to purchases, the variable APR is 9.99, applicable from the start. No foreign transaction fees are imposed. A good card for maintaining a relatively low ongoing rate.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards with 0% Promotional APR

Best Balance Transfer ardsTop Balance Transfer Credit Cards with 0% Promotional APR

Paying off credit card debt that bears a high rate of interest is a critically important task for people who want to maintain their financial well-being. One of the benefits of competition in the credit card industry is the emergence of cards that will accept a balance transfer of credit card debt from another issuer’s card, and allow the debtor to pay the debt of at a 0% APR interest for a defined period of time.

We highly recommend taking this course to pay off debt, in order to avoid the significant erosion of your finances that can occur from paying the interest rates that usually apply to credit cards, and that are significantly higher than the rates charged for mortgages or car loans. We have reviewed the credit card offerings in the balance transfer space, focusing on cards that have no annual fee, and here are our top picks.


  1. Chase Slate

This offering from Chase Slate allows cardholders to transfer a balance during the first 60 days of card ownership with no balance transfer fee. After that promotional period, the balance transfer fee with be 3% of the amount transferred with a $5 minimum fee. It’s worth noting that most other cards impose a balance transfer fee of between 3-5% even before they start charging interest on the balance.


After that, you will enjoy a 0% variable APR on purchases, and on balance transfers for 15 months. If possible, you should try to pay off your balance during that period. After that, you’ll be charged a variable APR for both purchases and balance transfers of 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99%, depending on the state of your credit. No annual fee.


  1. BankAmericard Visa Card


Bank America’s BankAmericard offering has a 0% promotional APR on purchases, and on qualifying balance transfers that extends for 15 balance cycles. After that period, the variable APR will be between 10.99% and 20.99% for both purchases and balance transfers. The 0% rate applies only to balance transfers made during the first 60 days of card ownership, and a 3% balance transfer fee applies to all balance transfers, with a minimum fee of $10.


The card features additional benefits, including chip technology, mobile banking, and a $0 liability guarantee, making the card useful for overall spending purposes as well.


  1. Citibank’s Citi Double Cash Card


Citibank has entered the balance transfer space with an offering that allows Citi Double Cash Card holders to earn cash back twice. All eligible purchases will secure 1% cash back, and you will get another 1% cash back by paying off your balance, provided you pay the minimum due. Cash back is unlimited, and there are no category restrictions.


As for balance transfers, a 0% APR applies both to them and to purchases, for the first 15 months you have the card. After that the variable APR is 12.99% to 22.99%. Again, there is no annual fee.


  1. Chase Freedom


JPMorgan’s Chase Freedom card offers the 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases, also extended for a 15-month period. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% to 22.99% on purchases and balance transfers. New cardholders will be able to earn $100 bonus cash back after making $500 in purchases during the first three months they have the card. Add another authorized user and make a purchase during that period, and you’ll get another $25 bonus.


The card has a rewards system that lets you earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter. To qualify, you will need to sign up each quarter and activate that benefit. For all other purchases, you will receive 1% cash back. A 3% balance transfer fee is imposed on all transfers. There is no annual fee.


  1. Discover It’s 18-Month Balance Transfer Offer


The folks at Discover have produced the Discover IT with an 18-month period of 0% APR on balance transfers, and 0% APR on purchases. After those periods, variable APR of 10.99% to 22.99% will apply. There is a balance transfer fee of 3%.


This rewards card offers 5% cash back for purchases in categories that rotate on a quarterly basis, up to a quarterly maximum, and you will need to register for this benefit. You will receive 1% cash back for all other purchases.


  1. Capital One’s Platinum Prestige Credit Card


This Capital One’s Platinum Prestige Credit Card provides a 0% APR on balance transfers that will extend to May 2016 for new cardholders. After that a variable APR of 10.9% to 18.9% will apply. So the earlier you obtain this card, the longer that 0% rate will run. Balance transfers incur a 3% fee, but there is no annual fee, and the card offers fraud liability coverage in the event it is stolen.


  1. Citibank’s Citi Simplicity Card


The Citibank Citi Simplicity Card gives the longer 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases, with a variable APR thereafter of 12.99% to 22.99%. A balance transfer fee of 3% is imposed with a fee minimum of $5. No annual fee.


  1. NFL Extra Points Credit Card


The NFL has gotten in on the action with their NFL Extra Points card, which offers 0% APR for balance transfers for a 15-month period. After that the variable APR is 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%. You will need to transfer your balance during the first 45 days of card ownership – after that, you’re out of bounds!


You can also choose from 32 NFL team cards, and each has its own benefits and card art, or you can choose the general NFL card. You will get 10,000 bonus points for joining provided you spend $500 using the card during the first 90 days, and you will earn two points per dollar spent on NFL purchases and team purchases. All other purchases get you 1% cash back. There is no limit on points, and they can be redeemed for VIP NFL experiences, game tickets, and cash back statement credit.


  1. PenFed Promise Visa Card


The PenFed Promise Visa Card will get you a promotional APR on balance transfers of 4.99% for a twelve month period, and after that a low variable purchase APR of 7.99% to 16.99%. Purchases are charged at the 7.99% to 16.99% rate from the start of card ownership. The card also imposes no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, no late fee, no penalty APR, no foreign transaction fee, and no cash advance fee. Basically, not many fees!


Advice For Those In The Market For A Balance Transfer Card


If you need to transfer you balance, a 0% promotional APR on balance transfers and purchases is what you should look for. A rate that’s low but not 0% will still add up to lost savings. It is also a good idea to use the card only for paying off debt, and not for accumulating more debt.


In most cases, failure to pay the minimum monthly payment will result in you losing that 0% rate, so these cards have to be used strictly in order to secure the debt payoff features they offer. If you build this into your planning, and prioritize payment of this card, the benefits will be substantial.


It is also a good idea to list all the applicable fees, and try to estimate how much they may come to over a one- or two-year period. If you are planning a high number of balance transfers, getting a card without that 3% balance transfer fee should be a priority. Also, introductory rates of “up to” a certain number of months usually offer the longer period only to cardholders with excellent credit, so bear that in mind when choosing. Again, balance transfer cards can save you a bundle, but only if chosen carefully, and used carefully. Enjoy!

Best Student Credit Cards

Student Credit CardsTop Student Credit Cards

College students who are over eighteen are able to take advantage of a range of credit card options. Along with the convenience of having a card, this can help students get started with the important task of building their credit. Provided they utilize careful spending habits and pay off their balance promptly, student card holders should have a solid credit history by the time they graduate. And that will help launch them into the adult world of employment background checks, and then car loans, housing rentals, and mortgages.

Many of the cards designed for students have a rewards system and other incentives for students who produce good grades and pay their balances off on time. That may be as attractive to parents as it is to the student cardholders. Some also have a point system, or offer 0% introductory APR on purchases, allowing you to maintain a balance for a certain period without incurring interest.

We have reviewed the offerings in the student credit card space, and have come up with our top six credit cards picks for students. If you or your student offspring is in the market for a credit card, a quick review of these student-oriented cards will let you know what is available.

  1. CitiBank Thank You Preferred Card for College Students

The people at CitiBank have put together the CitiBank Thank You Preferred Card for College Students that offers 2,500 bonus Thank You points, provided that you spend $500 on the card within the first three months of card ownership. You will earn two points per dollar spent on restaurants and entertainment, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. The card offers a 0% promotional APR rate for the first seven months that you have it, and after that charges variable APR between 13.99% and 23.99%. The card has no annual fee.

  1. Discover It Student Card

The folks at Discover Financial have produced their Discover It Student Card, which features 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend each quarter on rotating categories of goods. The categories include gas, restaurants, entertainment and other options. You will need to sign up each quarter to enjoy that feature, while for all other purchases, you will receive 1% cash back.

The promotional 10.99% APR rate applies to balance transfers for the first six months, and thereafter, a variable APR of 12.99% to 21.99% applies. For purchases, a 0% APR applies for the same six-month, and a variable APR of 12.99% to 21.99% applies thereafter. The ability to choose your own card design is a student-oriented feature, and the card involves no annual fee.

  1. Discover It For Students with $20 Cash Back Bonus.

The Discover people also offer the Discover IT for Students cash back card, which provides cardholders with a $20 cash back bonus provided that they make a purchase using the card during the first three months of ownership. The card imposes no annual fee, and you can earn up to 5% cash back for the first $1,500 in combined purchases you make each quarter in rotating categories. You will also need to sign up each quarter in order to activate that very attractive 5% cash back feature.

For all other purchases, cardholders receive 1% cash back. The cash back is unlimited, and the card imposes no foreign transaction fees. Late payments do not result in an increase in your APR rate, and your first late payment will not result in a late fee.

The card provides a free FICO credit score to cardholders both online and on monthly statements, and this should assist students who are new to maintaining credit to keep their credit ratings where they need to be. Discover assures cardholders that its customer service is entirely US-based, and is open 24/7. The introductory APR for balance transfers is 10.99% for the first six months. After that, a variable APR of 12.99% to 21.99% applies.

  1. Discover It Chrome For Students With $20 Cash back Bonus

Discover’s third offering in this space, its Discover IT Chrome card, allows you to earn $20 cash back simply by using the card to make any purchase within the first three months you own it. You will then get 2% cash back on all restaurant and gas purchases up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, and you will receive 1% cash back on all additional purchases. This double cash back requires no rotating categories, and there is no need to enroll.

The card imposes no annual fee, and has no fees for foreign transactions or for over-limits. Late payments do not raise the cardholders APR, and the late fee on your first late payment is waived. Discover will make your FICO score viewable online and in monthly statements. This will help newcomers to credit understand this brave new world of credit scores and their impact on employment background checks, car loans, apartment rentals, and more. This card is an attractive option for students who want to earn a sign-up bonus, rewards, and cash back.

  1. Capital One’s Journey Student Rewards Card

Capital One’s offering in this space is their Journey Student Rewards Card, which gives cardholders 1% cash back on all purchases. The card also provides a 25% cash back bonus, which can be earned each month, provided that you make timely bill payments. The cash back will not expire, and Capital One does not limit the amount that can be earned. The cash back is also redeemable at any time, and a special automatic redemption feature is provided as well.

As with some other student cards, you receive the educational feature of free access to your credit scores, and your credit line will be lifted after you make the first five monthly payments in a timely manner. All in all, a good card for acquainting newcomers to the credit world.

  1. Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card

Wells Fargo has produced its Cash Back College Visa Card, which lets cardholders earn 3% cash back on supermarket, drugstore and gas purchases for the first six months that they hold the card, with 1% cash back for all other purchases. Student cardholders will be able to redeem their cash back $25 at a time by deposit into their bank accounts or by check, with credit and awards also offered.

The introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers is between 5.90% and 13.90% depending on credit scores, and that rate will be extended for six months. After that the variable APR is between 11.15% and 21.15%. The card features 0% fraud liability and imposes no annual fee.

By making timely payments with this card, student newcomers to credit will be able to build a strong credit history and drive their credit scores upwards, but of course the opposite applies if their payments are not timely. And because the card incorporates chip-based technology, students who plan to travel overseas will be able to use the card during their trip in those other countries that have adopted this technology, which is particularly widespread in Europe.

Advice for Student Cardholders

While students generally receive more advice than they can remember, we would be remiss if we did not provide an overview of what it means to begin building your credit history with your first credit card. By making timely payments on a card, student cardholders will be able to establish a credit history and build high credit scores. This, in turn, will open doors to car loans, apartment rentals, and later, mortgages, all on far more preferable terms than would be available with weaker credit. Over a lifetime, tens of thousands of dollars in interest are at stake.

Equally important is the fact that employers often pull the credit history of their job applicants, using that information as a proxy for the applicant’s reliability. If they don’t like what they see, the job will be going to someone else. When you add in the cash back and other benefits that these cards offer, getting and carefully using your first credit card does make sense.

Beyond that, read the fine print. Remember that many cards offer a 0% promotional APR for purchases, but that the promotional rate expires after a certain number of months, and that the interest will be kicking in after that unless you can clear your balance each month. These cards, therefore, cannot be used as an addition to your student loans, which are offered at much lower interest. So be careful, and enjoy!

Top Small Business Credit Cards

Top Small Business Credit CardsSmall business owners have credit requirements and purchasing patterns and needs that are unique to them. In many cases, they will need a line of credit for business expenses, and of course not every business owner has the collateral that some banks require for larger lines of credit. And in almost all cases, business owners will have office supply needs well beyond what non-business owners experience.

Fortunately there are numerous credit cards offerings out there that are geared especially to small business owners. In fact, there are too many such offerings for a busy businessperson to evaluate, and that’s why we have prepared this review of the best ones out there. Even after weeding out the weaklings, we still have a full roster of seventeen business-oriented credit cards to look at. So let’s get to it.


  1. Ink Cash Business Card


JPMorgan Chase produced this card, which we rate as the best for cash back. During each year that you own the card, you will receive 5% cash back for the first $25,000 spent on telecommunications and cable, and on office supplies. And for the first $25,000 spent on restaurants and gas, you will get 2% cash back. For all other purchases, cardholders receive 1% cash back.


The promotional 0% APR rate lasts for one year, and is followed by a 13.24% rate thereafter. You can also receive $200 bonus cash back, provided that you spend $3,000 during the first three months of card ownership. There is, also, no annual fee. All in all, an impressive offering.


  1. Ink Plus Business Card


This card provides 50,000 bonus points, provided that you spend $5,000 using the card during the first three months of card ownership. You will earn 5 points per dollar for internet and phone services, and this includes both fixed and mobile, and that 5 point-per-dollar rate applies equally to office supplies and cable TV. There is, however, a $50,000 annual purchase cap on this 5 point rate.


A 2-point-per-dollar rate applies for all purchases at gas stations and for hotels, and a separate $50,000 annual cap also applies to this rate. You can transfer your points to most frequent flyer programs at a one-to-one ratio. Cardholders will also benefit from a waiver of primary auto rental collision damage, and trip cancellation or interruption insurance, provided that you pay for your car rental or your trip using the card. The annual fee is $95, but this fee is waived for the first year.


  1. American Express’s SimplyCash Business Card


The folks at American Express are offering, but only until February 24, 2015, the ability to earn a $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 on qualifying purchases with their SimplyCash Business card within the first six months of card ownership. You will receive 5% cash back on office supply shopping, and on your wireless services that are purchased directly from U.S. providers.


This card also offers 3% cash back on a purchase category of your choosing, which you can select from a list provided to you. A $25,000 annual cap applies to all of these 3% and 5% cash back offers, and you will receive 1% cash back on all purchases made above that cap. The introductory 0% APR rate extends for nine months on purchases. Thereafter, the APR rate is from between 12.99% and 19.24%, depending you the state of your credit. There is no annual membership fee.


  1. Capital One’s Spark Miles for Business Card


Consumers who select Capital One’s “Miles” offering in the small business category will receive a one-time bonus of 25,000 miles, provided that they spend $5,000 using the card within the first three months that they own it. An additional 5,000 bonus miles are offered to cardholders who apply for an employee card within the first 60 days.


The Spark Miles card earns its owners two miles per dollar spent on all other purchases. The miles that you earn are unlimited miles, and they never expire. When it’s time to redeem, you can select from travel purchases, cash back, gift cards, or merchandise. And when redeeming those miles, you can select any airline, and there will be no blackout dates. No foreign transaction fees are imposed, and the $59 annual fee is waived for the first year.


  1. Capital One’s Spark Cash For Business Card


Capital One has produced this card for consumers who prefer cash to miles. This card provides you with a one-time $250 cash bonus, provided that you use it to purchase $5,000 worth of goods and services within the first three months of card ownership. You also get a $50 cash bonus for obtaining an employee card within the first two months. The card provides 2% cash back for each purchase made, and the cash back is unlimited and will never expire. The annual fee is $59, but it is waived for the first year.


  1. Capital One’s Spark Miles Select for Business


The hits just keep on coming with Capital One, which actually has four card offerings in the business category. This one, Miles Select for Business, offers 1.5 miles per dollar spent, and a one-time signing bonus of 10,000 miles, provided you spend $3,000 using the care during the first three months that you own it. The card also features 0% APR on purchases until August 15, 2015, and thereafter the variable APR will be between 12.9% to 20.9%. Miles earned are redeemable for cash, of course, but also for gift cards, air travel bookings, and other options. Business people need to keep records, and Capital One recognizes that, providing holders of this card with an annual, complimentary, itemized report on their spending.


  1. Capital One’s Spark Cash Select for Business


This is the fourth and final Capital One offering, and provides a one-time $100 bonus, provided that you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three month that you hold the card. This card will get you 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The cash back will not expire and is unlimited. A 0% introductory APR is available until August 2015, and after that a 12.9% to 20.9% variable APR will apply. There is no annual fee for the card, and no annual fee for additional employee cards.


  1. American Express’s Business Platinum Card


AmEx’s offering in the business space includes a promotion that allows cardholders to earn 40,000 rewards points by spending $5,000 on the care during the first three months of card ownership. You will also receive complimentary access to over 700 airport lounges worldwide, along with forty other premium benefits. You’ll get one point for every dollar you spend, on eligible purchases, and your points will not expire. There is also a 20% travel bonus for using Membership Rewards Pay with Points. The card’s premium features include complimentary, unlimited “Boingo” Wi-Fi usable at over 1 million Boingo hotspots throughout the world. The price for all these premium benefits is a hefty $450 annual fee, but if you can afford it, this card will get you pampered and privileged treatment around the world.


  1. American Express’s Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card


This business card enables you to earn 25,000 membership rewards points once you have spent $5,000 in purchases on your card within the first three months of Card Membership. You can receive three points per dollar on a product category that you can select, and two points per dollar on the remaining for categories.


Each category has a $100,000 cap, which won’t affect most of us, but should be noted by those with higher incomes. Earn one point on other eligible purchases. The annual fee is $175, but this fee waived for the first year.


  1. American Express’s Blue for Business Credit Card


This is a rewards credit card for businesses, and it provides 10,000 Membership Rewards points, provided you make your first purchase using the card within the first three months of card ownership. That comes to $100 in gift cards at certain identified retailers. An annual 30% “relationship bonus” is also available on eligible purchases each year. For other eligible purchases, you will receive one point per dollar spnt, and you will get an additional point per dollar spent when booking travel using the card.


The card as a promotional 0% APR for nine months on purchases, with a variable 11.24 to 19.24% APR on purchases thereafter. There is no annual fee for the card or for additional employee cards.


  1. U.S. Bank’s Business Edge Cash Rewards Card


This offering by U.S. Bank allows you to earn 3% cash back on gas purchases at the pump, and also on cell phone services and office supplies. You will earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. The rewards you earn with this card are unlimited and will not expire. Also, at each anniversary year, you will receive a 25% annual rewards bonus of up to $250, which is equal to 25% of the cash back you received in that year.


The 0% promotional APR period lasts for nine months and applies to purchases and balance transfers. Thereafter, a variable 11.99% to 17.99% APR rate will apply. There is no annual fee so long as you make at least one purchase on the card per year.


  1. U.S. Bank Business Edge Select Rewards Card


U.S. Bank also offers a Select Rewards card that permits you to earn 10,000 bonus points, provided you spend $5000 on the card during the first 90 days of card ownership. You will also earn three points per dollar spent in the category you choose, and the choice is from among the categories of auto, travel, entertainment, or day-to-day expenses.


Beyond that, you will also receive one point per dollar on your other purchases. The points that you can earn are unlimited, and an introductory 0% APR applies for purchases for nine billing cycles. After the introductory period there is an 11.99%-17.99 variable purchase APR, based on your credit. There is, in addition, no annual fee on this card.


  1. American Express’s Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card


This card allows you to earn 30,000 bonus miles, provided that you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card during the first three months of card ownership. You can also receive a $50 statement credit after making a purchase with Delta Airlines, using the card, within that same three-month period. The card will let you earn two miles per dollar spent on qualifying Delta purchases, and you will earn 1 mile per dollar spent on your other eligible purchases.


Cardholders will also receive other travel advantages including free first checked bags and priority boarding. While in the air, you will get 20% off eligible in-flight purchases, received in the form of statement credit. Since they know you’ll be traveling, no foreign transaction fees apply, and the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.


  1. American Express’s Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Business Credit Card


After you make your first purchase with this card, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points, and you’ll qualify for another 15,000 points by spending $5,000 using the card within the first six month that you own it. Above that, you can get two Starpoints for each dollar spent on eligible purchases charged directly to “SPG” participating hotels and resorts. The annual fee is $65, but it is waived for the first year.


  1. Citibank’s AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard


Citibank has designed this card especially for businesses that have a strong and established credit history. Cardholders, for a limited time, can earn 50,000 American Airlines Aadvantage bonus miles, provided that they spend $3,000 on the card within the first three months of card ownership. After that, you will get two AAdvantage miles per dollar that you spend on eligible American Airlines purchases (including codeshare flights booked through AA). You can also get two AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on select car rentals, telecommunications, and office supplies. For all other purchases, you will get one AAdvantage mile for each dollar you spend.
And this card offers plenty of additional perks, including Group 1 Boarding, free first checked bags for yourself and up to four traveling companions whose tickets were purchased with this card, provided you are all on the same reservation. You will save 25% on in-flight food and drinks (again, provided that you buy them with the card) on AA and US Airways flights. The annual fee is $95, but it is waived for the first year.


  1. U.S. Bank’s FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards Card


This card offering by U.S. Bank gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 20,000 enrollment Flexpoints by spending $3,500 on the card during the first four months that they own it. You will also get three points per dollar for qualifying charitable donations, and two points per dollar on the category of your choice, to be chosen from among office supplies, airline bookings, and gasoline. That two-point rate also applies to cell phone service charges. A one point-per-dollar rate applies for all other eligible purchases.


An airline allowance of up to $25 per ticket is also offered, and this can be used toward in-flight food and drinks, or baggage fees. The annual fee is $55, but it is waived for the first year, and it is also waived if you spend over $24,000 per year on the card.


  1. Citizens Bank Everyday Points Business MasterCard


Citizens Bank has a rewards card offering that provides some unusual benefits that bear examining. For example, the card offers 24/7 online account management and $0 liability for unauthorized purchases. You also receive travel assistance services, and enrollment in the MasterCard Easy Savings Program will get cardholders up to 20% in automatic rebates for purchases at participating stores, including DHL, AVIS, and Fuelman. And if you sign your employee cards up to the Easy Savings Program, they will enjoy those rebates as well.


Cardholders will receive rental car insurance, and will earn 3,500 bonus points for their very first purchase, and two points per dollar they spend on business purchases. When it comes time to redeem, these points can be traded for cash back, travel, office equipment, or other benefits. The card has an accessCARD Command feature that places before you on your computer screen all of your related credit, employee card limits and usage, and business purchases and expenses. Other cards do provide higher rewards and features, but the Citizens Bank card, which has no annual fee and many unique and attractive features, is definitely worth a look.


Advice for Business Credit Card Shoppers


If you are a small business owner, you may be able to reap additional benefits by owning more than one of these cards. This will allow you to maximize the benefits that each of them has to offer. Business owners may wish to use one card with a 0% APR to carry balances, which using another card for expenses that are repaid fully each month.


Such an approach will let you make full use of the strengths each card has to offer. Business cards will also allow business owners to strengthen their credit ratings and build a credit history that can be critical at times when a loan is needed to facilitate business growth. Separating you business credit history for your personal credit history is another valuable advantage that these cards offer.



Comcast Xfinity vs Verizon FiOS – A Closer Look

A Close Look at Comcast Xfinity Vs Verizon FiOS

When it comes to the competition for home entertainment and internet connectivity services, 2 leaders in the industry seem to stand out above the rest. Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS each offer a bundle of exceptional services available for one set price to keep any home alive with the latest in broadcast entertainment and superfast internet connectivity including convenient landline phone service.


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These 2 services continue to grow in popularity while in a tight race to be on top in their industry, offering lighting fast internet speed, and a large variety of popular channels available at the lowest possible prices. With each making the claim of being the best offer available, we will do a comparison to examine which features will reveal if one service has an edge over the other. Having enjoyed countless hours using both Comcast Xfinity and Verizon FiOS, I experienced the good and “not so good” of both services. My experience brought me to my ultimate conclusion. While I found both services to be among the best in entertainment and convenience, there are differences you may want to consider before signing up for either.

Comcast vs FIOS

Web vs. TV
If you consider the internet your “cream of the crop” in entertainment services then you should go with Verizon FiOS for its faster internet connectivity. For those who are big online gamers, YouTube and Netflix addicts or work a job online from home, Verizon FiOS will not disappoint you with it’s lightning fast internet speed. Those who love the “on demand” trend of watching television online will find FiOS to be exceptional service. Maybe you are not a big fan of the internet form of entertainment, but more enjoy the old fashioned television and movie experience kicked back in a recliner with your feet up and the remote in one hand and your favorite drink in the other. If you even halfway match this scenario, then you will very likely enjoy being a Comcast Xfinity user more than FiOS. For those who are not a big computer user and find they spend less than 2 hours a day online then I would highly recommend going with Comcast. If you consider yourself a TV watching couch potato, yet are one of those people who still likes to experience the technology during your daily TV escapade, then you will love Comcast Xfinity with it’s X1 control box delivering a high-tech interactive viewing experience.

While Verizon FiOS does have a newer version of their television box with better technology available, It still has some catching up to do with the advancements offered by Comcast. The Comcast Xfinity X1 television box has more of the in demand features and conveniences that big TV watchers love. Many users still enjoy the idea of relaxing in front of the big screen with a remote capable of bringing all the entertainment they want with the push of a button. Comcast’s X1 box is a winner in popularity among big TV watchers.

Verizon FiOS has superior technology mainly geared toward it’s internet speed and reliability. With speeds of 500 mbps, the speed of Verizon FiOS is unmatched in today’s internet technology market for consumers. The advantage of it’s faster speed is achieved mainly due to the use of fiber optic networking. Statistics show the speed can even go beyond 500mbps for some customers. Streaming video and online gaming is taken to a whole new level with FiOS. Even Verizon’s 150mbps plan has claims of being faster than Comcast Xfinity’s internet speed. With Verizon FiOS upload speeds have been reported to be approximately 30 times faster than Comcast. Undoubtedly, if you are a big user of the web and one of the people lucky enough to live in an area where Verizon FiOS is currently available, then this one is a winner for you. Comcast Xfinity cannot really compare to FiOS when it comes to internet speed. However, with signals sent using coaxial cable networking it can be considered as good as any other current high-speed internet cable provider. Having speeds up to 150 mbps, Comcast is still a big player for many users in today’s high-speed internet market. The ratings for Comcast show the speed is typically at or just below 150 mbps for the majority of users. For all but the most extreme web users, Comcast Xfinity will deliver satisfactory results for most common web applications.

With Verizon FiOS being superior for gamers and streaming television lovers alike, the down side is the limited availability. The very thing that makes FiOS supreme with speed also is the bit of technology that makes it less available at this time. The fiber optic technology is far faster and superior than standard copper networking cable. Unfortunately, for that reason fiber optic networking cable is much lower in availability nationwide. The good news is that popularity is growing as the demand for faster technology increases, causing it to be installed in more regions of the country. Technology experts predict tremendous growth of networks using fiber optic cable over the next decade.

For many families of today, cost is a large factor in deciding which service plan is best for their household. Verizon FiOS is a little more expensive mainly due to the impressive internet speed available. While Comcast Xfinity can be somewhat less expensive, there are variations of bundle packages available from both companies close to the same price. Therefore the cost can vary and you may find a plan that matches what you need which is very close to the same amount with either service.

After considering the features, technology and benefits of each service, I believe Verizon FiOS is the better service. One leading reason is the superior internet speed. Today, many more forms of entertainment are now being streamed online than ever before. This is a trend that will likely increase even more in the near future. Therefore having a far superior internet speed with Verizon FiOS will have you ready for what comes in the way of online entertainment and web service both now and into the future.

In our world of today, the technology vastly changes how we live. Everything including the way we communicate, share information and enjoy entertainment is affected. Having the best internet speed and reliability is more than just a popular trend, it is the wave of the future.

What Is A Good Credit Score?

Credit ScoreCredit worthiness determines how much interest you will be asked to pay on a loan, how much you will have to pay for insurance, and whether you will be considered eligible for the best deals offered by most service providers. Your credit score is therefore an important number, and there are specific means to raising that score.

It should be pointed out that while there is no one definitive way to scale a credit score in terms of determining eligibility for good interest rates, one thing is clear. The amount you pay in loan interest can mean the difference between saving money and finding yourself drowning in debt. Understanding how your credit score is calculated and figuring out what you can do to improve it is the first step in understanding how to manage your finances.

What The Credit Score Reflects
There are different means of calculating credit worthiness, but the one most familiar to consumers is the FICO score. This is the rating system used to determine whether you are qualified for a credit card account, auto loan, or favorable insurance prices. The FICO score ranges from 300, which is the lowest rating, to 850, which is the highest possible rating.

Factors that influence your FICO score include payment history, amounts owed on loans and revolving credit lines, length of credit history, how often you apply for credit, and what assortment of credit lines you currently have. These are all calculated independently, and the results are mixed to form the final rating score.

In general, anything below a score of 550 is considered poor credit. The average grade is given for scores between about 550-700, and anything above 700 is considered as good credit. In the United States, the average score for consumers is around 720.

Other Credit Rating Systems
Banks that loan money for home purchases often use a different, more secretly calculated formula for determining credit worthiness. Insurance companies and service providers – such as cable and internet providers – often use their own means for determining credit eligibility.

Insurance providers may take your FICO score (check out our free Credit Score recommendations) into consideration before deciding how much to charge you for auto insurance. This is because statistics show a correlation between credit history and overall financial responsibility. After all, an insurance company wants to retain you as a customer for a long period of time, and they want you to pay them a lot of money, much more than you will ever ask for on an insurance claim.

Insurance companies and service providers therefore look at your credit score as well as your income and your current dwelling situation before they make a decision on rates and contract lengths. It is important to understand that your credit score is used by more than just VISA and MasterCard issuers.

Improving Your Score
If you already have several lines of revolving credit as well as a car loan, you probably don’t want to apply for any additional credit at this time. Every time you apply, the credit bureaus notice and may slightly decrease your score. Therefore, concentrate on paying down the balances you currently have, and make sure you always pay more than the minimum amount. Unless the balances decrease significantly over the next 12 months, your credit score is unlikely to improve.

Consider transferring your credit card balances to a single card with the lowest interest rate. Often, credit card companies will raise your credit line if you specifically ask for these transfers. You can then eliminate the other accounts and pay a single monthly bill to one company.

If you are in default with a credit card company, contact their second-party collector and negotiate a settlement amount. If you receive notices in the mail about paying only about two-thirds of the balance in order to settle, don’t believe it. You can probably settle for even less if you talk to them. This will not affect your credit score for up to five years after you settle, but it is a better option than continuing to have a defaulted account.

List of Free Online Checking Accounts

online_bank_freeThere’s nothing worse than checking your account balance and seeing you’ve been hit by outrageous fees for the stupidest things. Seriously, it feels like you have to jump through a million hoops, such as having an account open for a certain number of months, signing up for online bill pay, staying under a certain number of transactions, and so on, just to enjoy the “free” checking account your bank promised you.

As the Internet has evolved and technology continues to advance, however, a number of banks have introduced robust and easy to use online checking accounts that are not only 100 percent free, but provide excellent interest rates and perks as well. In fact, here’s the rundown on some of the best free online checking accounts available today.USAA

The United States Auto Association is known for providing members of the military and their families with insurance and financial products, but they also offer several other products, such as checking accounts, that are available for the masses to take advantage of.

USAA’s free checking account is linked to over 60,000 ATMs that can be used free of charge. Furthermore, as a USAA free checking accountholder, you become eligible for reimbursement up to $15 to pay for any fees charged by other bank ATMS. To top it all off, they offer free unlimited Web Bill Pay, a phone app for easy account management, and easy deposit options as well. Combined with top notch customer service, USAA’s free checking account is definitely worth considering.

Capital One 360

The Capital One 360 free online checking account is tough to beat. Not only does it earn interest just like a savings account, but there’s no maintenance fee whatsoever, the website is incredibly easy to use, and making deposits is even easier. When you also consider the fact that a Capital One 360 account provides you with access to thousands of free ATMs to use at your leisure, it becomes apparent why more and more people are ditching their brick and mortar banks for Capital One.


When it comes to paying interest, the folks at EverBank are far from shy, paying 0.88 percent on balances under $10,000 and more for higher balances. In addition to offering a higher interest rate than what is typically offered for most money market savings accounts, EverBank also provides a Yield Pledge guarantee, ensuring your account will yield a better return than 95 percent of the competition. Talk about putting their money where their mouth is.

Ally Bank

Another online institution offering a free interest-bearing checking account is Ally Bank. With no minimum opening deposit, a free MasterCard debit card, no monthly maintenance fees, and the ability to conveniently make eDposits from your smartphone, it’s hard to go wrong with an Ally Bank account.

Mutual of Omaha Bank

Most people associate Mutual of Omaha with insurance products, but the longstanding Nebraska-based company has been providing folks with banking services for decades and has some pretty sweet offers for new customers. In fact, one such offer is a free online checking account that only requires a meager $100 opening deposit and pays an interest rate of 0.50% APY. Plus, they provide a free order of checks and access to a network of nearly 23,000 ATMS.

Bottom Line

Traditional checking accounts are slowly becoming extinct in today’s world. Long gone are the days of getting a free microwave for opening an account. Today, you get blindsided with absurd fees that chip away at your balance. Thankfully, online banking has emerged as a moneysaving alternative, allowing you to kiss your greedy brick and mortar bank goodbye and begin enjoying a free and rewarding banking experience. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that all of the online checking accounts mentioned above are FDIC insured, so you really do have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What is the Cheapest Tax Software

Tax Software ChoicesPlenty of tax filing software is now offered for extremely cheap prices—but nothing is cheaper than free. These free tax filing programs offer the cheapest filing and still offer plenty of great features and savvy tax advice.

TaxACT not only offers free filing software, but this company also gives its customers free tax guides, resources and complimentary email support for any questions or problems that might arise. TaxACT allows customers to file the basic forms that the other free software companies allow, like the 1040 and the 1040EZ, but this company also allows customers to file more complex forms and can tell customers if they need a more complex version of the software in situations like filing a Schedule C form. One of the other benefits that TaxACT customers receive is an inexpensive state tax filing. Other programs might charge up to $40 to file a state tax, where TaxACT only charges $14.99.

Turbo Tax
Turbo Tax now offers a free version of its software instead of just the paid versions. Customers can still get many of the Turbo Tax paid benefits without the high price tag. This software is extremely easy to use, and Turbo Tax does a great job of walking customers through the filing process, step by step. They also ask well-thought questions to ensure customers do not miss any deductions or face any fines or penalties for unpaid taxes. Turbo Tax also offers free advice and free online messaging throughout the process, so customers can feel confident they understand the line items and questions. Like TaxACT, turbo tax does charge a much higher fee to customers who need to file a Schedule C or other complex form. The entire process is saved from start to finish, so customers can pause or take a break from their taxes without worrying about lost information.

H&R Block
Though H&R Block is probably most well-known for their in-person tax filing and advice, their free online tax software gives the accountants a run for their money. They offer a user-friendly software that talks customers through the tax process, line by line. They also offer free tax support and audit advice. The best part about H&R Block is that a customer who has filed their taxes through the free software can call H&R Block or go into any local branch to ask questions regarding their filing. Like Tax Slayer, H&R Block offers free Schedule C and 1040 filing that is perfect for the self-employed. H&R Block also offers a standard refund or an additional five percent added to their customers’ refunds if they choose to opt for a gift card to one of 40 retailers instead of the standard refund.

Tax Slayer
Tax Slayer is one of the best free filing companies on the market since they offer many of the same features as other tax companies—plus a few other bonuses. Filing for a federal return is always free, and Tax Slayer has step-by-step instructions that assist customers in taking deductions and filling out line items. Like with Turbo Tax, Tax Slayer asks probing questions that help customers get their maximum refund and get deductions they might have missed going it on their own. One of the best features of Tax Slayer’s software—that trumps the other free software providers—is their free Schedule C and 1040 filing. Any worker who was an independent contractor or freelancer can finally file their taxes for free without a huge hike in filing software fees. Tax Slayer also offers audit assistance for a small fee and state filing for a reasonable price.

Best Place to Buy an Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring TipsFor many people, proposing to a loved one is one of the most important decisions they will ever make. Amazingly, over a third of all proposals occur between Thanksgiving Day and Valentine’s Day. Apparently, something especially propels people to pop the question during the extended holiday season. If you plan to propose in the near future, you may be nervous about the engagement ring purchase. After all, this acquisition might be one of the most expensive purchases you make during your lifetime. Before deciding on the perfect stone, you need to consider the following variables. After contemplating these items, you will be ready to shop at the best place to buy an engagement ring.

BudgetIf you need to purchase an engagement ring in the near future, you might equate considering your budget with not loving your future bride enough. However, this way of thinking isn’t accurate. Actually, the reality is quite the opposite. If you care about your future spouse, you will think about your budget when shopping for a ring.

By planning for your future financially, you are in no way being cheap or tacky. However, you should approach this issue delicately. You should broach the subject gently, positively, and confidently to your intended. Reassure your future spouse that you aren’t trying to put a price tag on your love, but you don’t want to compromise your financial future together. The two of you can create a price range for the ring that you’re both comfortable with.


For many engagement ring shoppers, the selection of the stone is the simplest part of the process. After all, aren’t diamonds the only style of engagement ring to choose from? Actually, you do have other options. Nowadays, more and more brides are opting for gemstones besides diamonds. Some popular choices include:

• Morganite
• Tanzanite
• Emerald
• Sapphire
• Ruby

Usually, these colorful substitutes are much less expensive than diamonds. Besides being more affordable, colorful gemstones allow brides to showcase their individuality and unique style preferences.

The Critical Four C’s

After determining your budget and preferred stone, you should pay attention to the critical four C’s. When purchasing an engagement ring, the four C’s refer to:

• Carat
• Clarity
• Cut
• Color

Carat refers to the size of the stone. Engagement rings, especially diamonds, can be extremely expensive. As the size of the stone increases, the price tends to skyrocket. Many couples decide to purchase a smaller carat weight initially. They then plan to purchase a larger ring for an upcoming milestone anniversary. Couples assume they will have more money to spend on jewelry years from now.

While carat weight is important, you shouldn’t concentrate on it solely. The clarity of a stone refers to the number of imperfections in it. Diamonds are classified from flawless, also known as FL, to included, referred to as I. Most couples will select a ring that falls somewhere in between these two classifications. If the clarity of a diamond is slightly included, the cut of it can make up the difference. A well cut diamond will showcase immense amounts of fire and sparkle. Some popular cuts for engagement rings include:

• Round
• Marquise
• Princess
• Emerald
• Heart

Most brides prefer a colorless diamond engagement ring. This type of diamond is given a D grade. While D graded diamonds are considered the best, Z graded diamonds appear yellow. Like the classifications for clarity, most people will purchase a ring that falls somewhere in between these two grades. Because D graded diamonds are so expensive, many people shop for stones that reside between the G to J range. Before purchasing your ring, you may want to rate the critical 4 C’s in importance. In doing so, you can choose the best ring at a budget friendly price.


Once you know what type of ring to shop for, you need to choose your retailer. Nowadays, many people are turning to online vendors for engagement rings. Besides the internet, you can find your significant other’s dream ring at a local jeweler, a large jewelry chain store, or even a pawn shop. If you plan to reside in the same location after marriage, a local jeweler might be your best option. Often, this type of establishment will periodically clean your ring and check your ring’s prongs free of charge for the rest of your life. Many people have success purchasing an affordable ring at a local pawn shop.

An engagement ring is one of the most important purchases you will make in your lifetime. Therefore, you should map out a definitive plan before shopping for one. After creating a budget, determining a style, and prioritizing the critical four C’s, you can select a retailer. Don’t rush this special process. Instead, enjoy it. More than likely, you will remember it forever.

Chinese herdsman stumbles onto a 17-pound gold nugget

gold-nuggetHoly cow, for all of you wasting money on the Powerball hit the mountains instead. Read this story:

Berek Sawut, a Kazak herdsman from Qinghe County in Altay Prefecture told Chinese news agency Xinhua that he found the giant nugget “practically lying on bare ground.” The area is in China’s far western Xinjiang Uygur region.

That gold nugget, assuming it’s at least 80% pure, would be worth 1.6 million yuan ($255,313 U.S. dollars), says Xinhua, which also points out that a 1.84 kilogram nugget was discovered in the region in 2010. Gold GCJ5, +0.59%  for April delivery was trading at $1,261 an ounce on Thursday.

More Here.