Reporter Sienna Kossman

Sienna Kossman

Sienna Kossman is a staff reporter for CreditCards.com who joined the editorial team in January 2014.

Prior to her graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, she spent a summer writing consumer-friendly health and money articles for U.S. News & World Report.

Sienna Kossman's stories at CreditCards.com

2016 holiday shopping and credit guide -- Wise use of cards can put money your pocket and keep debt off your back ... (See Holiday)

2016 Retail Card Survey: APRs climbing, sign-up deals fading -- We surveyed all the cards from the top 100 retailers, and nearly half carry rates higher than 25 percent ... (See Retail card survey)

The big chip card switch: a year of living with EMV -- Has the EMV chip card shift been successful? What we can expect of our cards in the near future. ... (See EMV )

Survey: Card acceptance for tuition rises, but so do fees -- U.S. colleges and universities are more card-friendly, but fees for charging tuition are rising, according to a new CreditCards.com survey. ... (See Survey)

2016 Credit Card Tuition Payment Survey data -- Find out if the college you're attending will let you pay tuition with a credit card -- and at what cost ... (See Tuition card payment data)

Back-to-school credit guide 2016 -- CreditCards.com resources for shopping, learning about credit and managing debt during the back to school season. ... (See Guide)

Survey: 1 in 3 young women don’t know current card balances -- Credit card, student loan debt overwhelming millennials on tight budgets ... (See Millennials)

2016 Credit Card Fee Survey: Surprise! Fees drop -- As they seek new customers, some card issuers have done the remarkable: They cut fees, according to a new CreditCards.com survey. ... (See Fees)

Fed: May card balances rise 3 percent -- Americans continued to reach for credit cards in May, as card balances rose $2.3 billion (3 percent), according to the Fed's latest consumer credit report. ... (See Debt)

Fed: April card balances rise 2.1 percent -- Americans continued to favor credit cards in April, as card balances rose $1.7 billion (2.1 percent), according to the Fed's latest consumer credit report. ... (See Balances)

Poll: 4 in 10 co-signers lose money -- Helping out a credit-challenged friend or family member by co-signing can damage to credit and relationships ... (See Co-sign)

ATMs changing to accept EMV chip cards -- Consumers should expect some ATM changes as the next wave of EMV migration takes place ... (See ATMs)

Fed: March card balances rise 14.2 percent -- Consumers added $11.1 billion to their credit card balances in March, the Federal Reserve said Friday ... (See Balances)

Poll: Women lose more sleep over money worries than men -- When it comes to financial matters, women worry more and sleep less than men, according a new CreditCards.com poll. ... (See Poll)

Fed: February card balances bounce back -- Consumers are adding to their credit card balances, as card debt increased 3.7 percent in February, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. ... (See Debt)

Poll: 70 percent of consumers have EMV chip cards -- Chip card issuance surges, according to a new CreditCards.com poll, but retailer acceptance lags ... (See Poll)

Poll: Pay with cash or card for $5 purchase? -- Millennials are most likely to use cards for small purchases, and they love debit cards, our poll reveals ... (See Poll)

Activation sticker shock: New card may arrive already 'live' -- If you open a credit account, odds are your new card will need to be activated upon arrival. However, issuing bank practices vary. ... (See Activation)

Fed: Card balances fall first time in 10 months -- Credit card debt decreased 1.3 percent in January, the Federal Reserve said Monday, breaking a 10-month streak of expanding card balances. ... (See Fed)

Q&A with Patrice Washington: 'Getting real' about money -- When managing money and building wealth, progress starts with believing you can tackle anything life throws at you, according to author Patrice Washington. ... (See Money)

Survey: Millions stay loyal to a single card forever -- Millions favor one credit card for a decade, and some never switch, passing up potential rewards, according to a new CreditCards.com survey ... (See Favorite)

Fed: Card balances up for 10th straight month -- Credit card balances rose 7.5 percent in December, marking the 10th consecutive month of expanding credit card balances, the Federal Reserve said Friday. ... (See Consumer credit)

How to graduate from parents' credit, cut 'authorized user' cord -- Ready for your own card? Don't ditch that guest card too quickly. ... (See Authorized user)

Survey: 5 in 6 Americans admit to impulse buys -- More than half of consumers said they've spent $100 or more on an impulse buy ... (See Impulse buys)

Guide to the lottery, credit cards and what winning means -- Giant lotto jackpots inspire big dreams of living large. Here's what you need to know about buying that ticket, and the ups and downs of actually winning ... (See Lottery guide)

Fed: Card balances spike 7.4 percent -- Revolving debt balances increased yet again in November, the Federal Reserve said Friday. ... (more)

EMV changing how we tip? Not so fast -- Even though the adoption of EMV payment technology in the U.S. is changing how we pay with cards, the standard paper receipt tipping method many are accustomed to doesn't need to change -- unless merchants want it to ... (See EMV cards and tipping)

Fed: Card balances rise only 0.2 percent -- The expansion of credit card balances continued in October, marking eight straight months of growth, the Federal Reserve said Monday. ... (See Consumer credit report)

Magnetic stripe begins its farewell tour -- Like paper maps and clamshell phones, the magnetic stripes on the back of credit cards have started sliding into obsolescence. How soon will they disappear? ... (See Farewell, magstripe)

2015 Balance Transfer Survey: Shop around for the best deal -- Balance transfer deals are stable this year, a CreditCards.com survey revealed, and balance-carrying cardholders should take advantage of offers soon before interest rates rise ... (See Balance transfer survey)

Fed: Card balances rise for 7th straight month -- Revolving debt rose 8.7 percent in September, according to a Federal Reserve report Friday. ... (more)

Retail card survey 2015: Average APRs inch up -- The average APR on the credit cards from America's largest retailers has risen to 23.43 percent, according a CreditCards.com survey ... (See 2015 Retail Card Survey)

Chart: 2015 Retail Card Survey data -- In the market for a retail card? Our 2015 survey data offers store-by-store details to help you find the right one for you ... (See Retail card survey data )

Fed: Card balances rise for 6th straight month -- The country’s revolving debt balance grew 5.3 percent August, marking the sixth consecutive month of growth this year, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday ... (See Consumer credit )

7 merchant tips to understanding EMV fraud liability shift -- Merchants who can't process chip card payments may shoulder consumer fraud costs if an incident occurs and they're not "EMV-ready." Here's what you should know about the EMV fraud liability shift: ... (See EMV )

Poll: 32 million adults have started shopping for the holidays -- The calendar still says summer, but millions of Americans have already started -- and a few have even finished -- their holiday shopping. ... (See Early holiday shopping poll)

Fed consumer credit report: Card balances rise 5.7 percent -- The national revolving debt balance rose 5.7 percent to $914.6 billion in July, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday ... (See Consumer credit report)

5 reasons you need good credit in retirement -- You may be about to retire but your credit isn't -- and shouldn't. ... (See Retirement)

Fed: Credit card balances rise for a 4th straight month -- Revolving debt rose 7.4 percent in June, maintaining the highest balance in five years, according to the Federal Reserve Friday. ... (See Consumer credit )

2015 credit card fee survey: Average card carries 6 fees -- Credit card issuers are showing an ever-increasing appetite for fees, a new survey from CreditCards.com shows, with the average card carrying six different fees. ... (See Fee survey)

2015 May credit card balances rise again -- After surging in April, credit card balances rose again in May, according to the monthly G.19 consumer credit report the Federal Reserve issued Wednesday ... (See Consumer credit report)

5 tips for saving money on pet costs -- If the cost of your animal companion is draining your wallet, it's time to rethink how your pay for your precious pet's care. ... (See Saving on pet costs)

Poll: Americans sleeping better as economy recovers -- A scientific survey commissioned by CreditCards.com finds money worries don't keep us awake as often, but retirement and education still make for sleepless nights ... (See Losing sleep poll)

2015 April credit card balances rise -- Credit card balances shot up sharply in April, the Federal Reserve said Friday ... (See June 5, 2015, consumer credit report)

2015 Cash Advance Survey: Convenient cash will cost you plenty -- Credit card cash advances are convenient, but use with caution: Such transactions come with surprising extra costs, according to a new CreditCards.com survey of 100 cards' cash advance policies ... (See Cash advance survey)

Video: Tips for using mobile gift cards -- Mobile gift cards can slim down your wallet while keeping your gift cards organized and safely password protected. They make great last-minute gifts, too ... (See Mobile gift card tips)

How to combat 5 common female financial fears -- Female financial professionals describe the fiscal woes women typically shoulder and how they can be managed -- or avoided altogether ... (See Women's money fears)

Sorry, Mom: Poll says mothers losing financial influence -- A scientific poll by CreditCards.com finds that Americans say mothers are no longer their biggest financial influence. Instead, we rely on self-taught lessons ... (See Money influencers poll)

Video: Protect your privacy while using mobile shopping apps -- If you use shopping apps on your smartphone, you may be sacrificing your privacy in ways you aren't even aware of. Here are four steps you can take to protect yourself ... (See Mobile apps and privacy)

February 2015 credit card balances decline -- Credit card balances declined once again in February, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. ... (See April 7, 2015, consumer credit report)

Survey: More cards bid farewell to foreign transaction fees -- Consumers looking for a card that won't tack extra fees onto purchases when traveling abroad now have more than 60 cards to choose from, according to CreditCards.com's 2015 foreign transaction fee survey ... (See Foreign fee survey)

Gas card survey finds pedestrian rewards -- When it comes to rewards, the most venerable of credit cards -- gas-brand cards -- remain stuck in the slow lane, with high APRs and limited paybacks. They remain useful for credit-building or a quick burst of savings ... (See Gas card survey)

January 2015 G.19 report: Card balances down -- Credit card balances decreased at a 1.6 percent annual pace in January, the Federal Reserve said Friday ... (See Consumer credit)

December 2014 G-19 report: Card balances up -- Credit card balances were on the rise once again in December, the Federal Reserve said Friday. ... (See Fed G.19 consumer spending report)

5 steps to a mortgage-worthy credit profile -- You've decided it's time to make your dream of owning a home a reality, but are you financially prepared? Here are five steps to getting your credit and finances in tiptop shape ... (See Mortgage)

November 2014 G-19 report: Card balances down -- Credit card balances declined for the first time in two months in November, the Federal Reserve said Thursday. ... (more)

Balance Transfer Survey: Offers more generous -- The typical credit card balance transfer offers have become more generous, but you have to act quickly to take advantage of them, according to a 2015 CreditCards.com analysis of 100 popular credit card offers ... (See Balance transfer survey)

0-percent balance transfer payoff calculator -- Figure the monthly payment needed to pay off the balance transfer before the interest-free period ends -- and the price if you can't quite make itUse the following calculator to evaluate whether or not that new balance transfer offer is a good deal ... (See 0-percent calculator)

Mobile shopping apps raise privacy and security issues -- A CreditCards.com investigation reveals that mobile shopping apps may be accessing your phone's camera, text messages, flashlight and more, and collecting data you're not be aware of ... (See Shopping app privacy )

4 ways to evaluate mobile shopping app privacy, security -- While app developers, security experts and the federal government debate how to regulate mobile data collection, there are a number of steps consumers can take to protect their privacy and increase data security while using mobile shopping apps ... (See Mobile app privacy)

Apple vs. Android: Which platform's apps are more secure? -- While Android and Apple devices collect data and grant permissions in different ways, that doesn't necessarily mean one platform protects consumer privacy more than the other. Experts explain the differences ... (See Apple vs. Android)

Credit card interest rates decrease to 14.92 percent -- December 17, 2014: Average rates on new credit card offers decline slightly to 14.92 percent this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Average card rates rest at 14.95 percent: CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- December 10, 2014: Average rates on new credit card offers held at 14.95 percent this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Fed: Credit card debt rises 6.2 percent -- Revolving debt increased at a 1.3 percent annual pace in October, according to the Federal Reserve's preliminary G.19 report on consumer credit. ... (more)

Credit card interest rates decline to 14.95 percent -- December 3, 2014: Average rates on new credit card offers declined slightly this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

4 tips to minimize impulse buying -- Impulse buying is a popular habit, but not always a good one. If you're an impulsive buyer wondering how to avoid making another unplanned purchase, here's how to help keep your spending in check. ... (See Impulse buying tips)

2014 CreditCards.com Penalty Rate Survey -- Those who fall 60 days behind in credit card payments face an average penalty interest rate of 28.45 percent, according to CreditCards.com's survey of 100 major U.S. credit cards ... (See Penalty rates survey)

Fed: Card balances rise once again in September 2014 -- Credit card balances rose at a 2 percent annual pace in September after a short-lived balance decline in August, the Federal Reserve said Friday ... (See September G.19 consumer credit report)

Credit card interest rates linger at 15.07 percent -- Oct. 22, 2014: Average rates on new card offers stayed at 15.07 percent this week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rates Report, Oct. 22, 2014)

Fed: Card balances down in August -- Credit card balances decreased at a 0.3 percent annual rate in August, a first after five straight month of rising card debt, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday. ... (See August 2014 Federal G19 report)

Credit Card Tuition Payment Survey 2014 -- Paying tuition by credit cards is possible at most large colleges, says a CreditCards.com survey, but expect to pay a convenience fee that averages 2.62 percent -- enough to wipe out all but the most generous rewards ... (See Tuition payment survey)

2014 Credit Card Tuition Payment Survey data -- Find out whether the four-year college or university you're considering will allow you to make tuition payments by credit cards -- and at what cost ... (See 2014 tuition payment survey data)

Fed: Card balances rise for a 5th straight month -- Credit card balances increased once again in July, marking the fifth straight month of rising card debt this year, the Federal Reserve said Monday ... (See G.19: Fed says card balances rise)

Fed: Card balances rise, keep pace with slow spending growth -- Credit card balances increased a modest 1.3 percent in June marking a fourth month of continued revolving debt growth, the Federal Reserve said Thursday ... (See Card balances rise)

CreditCards.com 2014 retail credit card survey data -- Compare interest rates, rewards and more from this detailed comparison of 61 cards issued by 36 retailers. Part of CreditCards.com's 2014 Retail Store Card Survey ... (See Retail card data)

Retail card survey 2014: APRs higher, rewards complicated -- The cost of borrowing from your favorite retailer has gone up: The average APR on the credit cards from America's largest retailers has climbed more than 2 percentage points to 23.23 percent, according a new CreditCards.com survey. ... (See 2014 retail card survey)

P.F. Chang's names 33 restaurants hit by data breach -- P.F. Chang's China Bistro has named the places and times it suffered a data breach, with 33 of its 210 U.S. restaurants being hit for weeks or months ... (See P.F. Chang's data breach)

8 FAQs about EMV credit cards -- The way you use a credit card is changing as the U.S. catches up with the rest of the world and moves to cards. Here, in Q&A format, is what you need to know about the transition ... (See EMV FAQ)

Fed: Card balances extend growth -- Balances on credit cards grew again in May, extending April's record-setting surge, the Federal Reserve said ... (See Consumer credit report, July 8, 2014)

P.F. Chang's goes old school to combat fraud -- P.F. Chang's China Bistro restaurants in the U.S. have dusted off old-school manual card readers to use while the chain investigates a potentially large-scale data breach ... (See P.F. Chang's)

Are schools putting students’ personal data at risk? -- It's become the norm for school districts to turn over sensitive student data to outside "cloud computing" companies, a practice that has ignited concerns about student privacy ... (See Student data)

Protect your child's data, privacy at school: 5 tips -- As cloud-based technology moves into schools, it puts more data about your children onto remote servers. Here's what to know and do to safeguard that information ... (See Children's data: 5 tips)

4 ways crooks cash in on your personal and financial data -- You've heard about data thieves, but have you wondered what they do with it once it's stolen? Here's how crooks convert your info to their cash ... (See Cashing in data)

Applying for a credit card? Your odds for approval -- Thinking of applying for a card? The odds of having your application approved depend on the issuer, the card and your credit score ... (See Application approval odds)

Wal-Mart store card switch gives consumers reason to compare -- If you're a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club co-branded credit card holder, you're about to get a new credit card -- and with it comes a new reason to check up on the benefits of holding a co-branded card. ... (See Wal-Mart card switch)

Not all free credit scores are created equal -- More than 25 million credit cardholders now have regular access to a credit score through their credit card issuers, but that free score may not be the comprehensive, tell-all number you think it is. ... (See Scores)

Familiar fraud: When family and friends steal your identity -- When identity fraud victims know their imposters, it can rip apart relationships as it ruins finances, making it a tough crime to overcome ... (See Familiar fraud)

Students seek financial transparency from college administrators -- Students from 20 colleges and universities across the county delivered letters to their school administrators Thursday asking for greater transparency about school partnerships with financial institutions ... (See students seek transparency )

Households are borrowing money again -- A new federal report shows U.S. consumers are steadily building debt once again, with the end of 2013 seeing the first annual increase in debt since the Great Recession ... (See Consumer debt increases)

ID theft disconnect: We fear it but still engage in risky behavior -- A survey conducted by Experian's ProtectMyID found that consumers are increasingly worried about the threat of identity theft, but are not doing much to protect themselves ... (See ID theft: Fear vs. actions)

Infographic:Rewards program use declines across all ages -- Study by Mercator Advisory Group finds consumers less interested in reward programs, more interested in tailored credit card advantages ... (See Rewards program use declines)

Buy lottery tickets with a credit card? Probably not -- A web of state laws, retailers, card policies can all ban the practice ... (See Lottery tickets and credit cards)

Taxes, tuition can rack up rewards, for a fee. Is it worth it? -- Large payments for taxes or tuition can rack up big rewards, but they often come with extra costs -- 'convenience fees.' When does it make sense to pay them? ... (See Big reward, big fee)

5 reasons you don't really want to win the lottery -- While it's fun to daydream about it, winning a lottery, fortune comes with risks, responsibilities and a flood of moochers, fakers and false friends ... (See Win the lottery? No thanks)

How to finance a wedding or an engagement ring -- If you want her to marry you for richer and not poorer, study the fine print to make sure the bauble on her finger doesn't turn into a ball and chain on your newlywed finances ... (See Engagement ring financing)


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Updated: 12-05-2016



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