Michelle Crouch

Michelle Crouch is a freelance writer and editor covering personal finance, health, parenting and more. In addition to writing for CreditCards.com, she is a contributing editor at Reader's Digest, where she persuades subjects ranging from airline pilots to burglars to share what they're really thinking for her monthly "13 secrets" column. Her work has also appeared in Real Simple, Parents, More, AARP Bulletin and many other publications. Crouch also writes for businesses. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and loves to travel for free with her husband and three children using credit card points. 

Michelle Crouch's stories for CreditCards.com

Poll: It's easy to get rid of credit card fees if you ask -- It?s easier than you think to get a credit limit increase, lower APR, late fee or annual fee waiver from your credit card, a CreditCards.com poll shows. ... (See Fee waiver poll)

Headed abroad? Which US issuers offer chip-and-PIN cards -- Chip-and-signature cards may leave you in the dust at kiosks and terminals abroad, so arm yourself with a true chip-and-PIN card from one of these issuers. ... (See US chip-and-PIN cards)

Choosing the right credit cards as your family grows -- From having a baby to sending kids off to college, each parenting stage comes not only with different expenses but also opportunities to earn rewards points or cash back ... (See Card needs change as kids grow)

Survey: Who is most likely to carry credit card debt? -- Many carry debt for years; those with more income likelier to hold debt ... (See Credit card debt survey)

8 strategies to resist impulse buying -- Buying something new gives you a buzz, but can break your budget if left unchecked ... (See Impulse buying)

Can you be too old for a credit card? -- By law, banks cannot consider age when they make a credit decision. However, other factors can often impact senior citizens ... (See Too old)

Poll reveals who are the best, worst tippers -- A Northeasterner with a credit card will likely make the wait staff smile ... (See Tipping poll)

Poll: 94 million Americans store their card information online -- Oldest shoppers most likely to let retailers keep their data on file, raising security and impulse shopping concerns ... (See Poll)

Poll: You can get better credit card terms just by asking -- If you want better credit card terms, the best thing to do is call your card company and ask, a new CreditCards.com survey shows ... (See Poll)

Poll: 9 out of 10 millennials admit to impulse buys -- Among all Americans, 84 percent say they?ve shopped impulsively. The poll also reveals a dramatic surge in online impulse buys, as well as gender, political and regional differences ... (See Impulsive)

Poll: 8 in 10 Americans pay for summer vacation with savings -- Less than half will take a break at all; 13 percent who do pay with rewards, says a scientific survey by CreditCards.com ... (See Vacation poll)

Confessions of credit card customer service reps -- Current, former reps reveal what they can, can?t do when you call in ... (See Reps)

Poll: Most cardholders who ask get late fees waived, rates reduced -- Cardholders who ask, receive. Yet only a small number are making those requests, says a CreditCards.com poll of 981 cardholders ... (See Poll)

Tax refund: Using it to pay off credit card debt -- Five questions to help you decide where to apply that refund ... (See Tax refund)

Trended data: the new way credit bureaus rate you -- Lenders now see how you pay your bills, not just whether you pay them ... (See Trended data)

Making sense of confusing credit card statements -- Spotting fraud is hard when so many businesses put unfamiliar, but legitimate, names on your billing statement ... (See Confusing card statements)

Best credit cards for renting a car -- Save money by knowing your insurance needs, what your card covers ... (See Best car rental card)

Student card survey: Offers fewer but more generous -- The Credit CARD Act of 2009 imposed restrictions that thinned the ranks of student-oriented cards, but those that remain are pretty good, our survey finds ... (See Student card survey)

Privacy or rewards? Some card programs force you to choose -- Some banks won't let you fully participate in their rewards program if you opt out of them sharing your data ... (See Rewards vs. privacy)

Push notifications: the future of bank communication -- Six reasons push notifications will dominate mobile banking in the future ... (See Push notifications)

How to sign up for bank alerts on your cellphone (and why you should) -- Financial institutions don't make it easy, but financial alerts can stop fraud and help you stay on top of your personal finances ... (See Phone alerts)

Poll: Fraud alert false alarms common -- As banks get more aggressive in combating fraud, about 7 in 10 Americans contacted about possible fraud received at least one alert in error ... (See False alerts)

1099-C frequently asked questions -- Wonder why you received a 1099-C in the mail? Most taxpayers don't realize forgiven debt is considered income, and questions abound ... (See 1099-C FAQ)

Secret financial escape plan for domestic violence victims -- It?s common for abusers to keep victims in the dark about household finances and to limit access to bank accounts, but using a bit of stealth can help build much-needed financial independence ... (See Escape)

Buy now, pay forever: Beware negative option plans -- Free trials that aren't free, automatic renewals and other types of "negative option" offers that end up on charging your credit card ... (See Negative options)

Renting a car? Know whether your card adds insurance -- Renting a car can put your credit card benefits into play, but only if you know what's covered and avoid the exclusions ... (See Insurance)

30 renowned restaurants that don't take credit cards -- Some beloved eateries refuse to take credit cards from patrons, yet still find a way to thrive ... (See 'No credit card' restaurants)

How credit scores impact some student loan approvals -- Planning to apply for student loans? You might want to check your credit. If you?re applying for PLUS loans or private student loans, your credit history counts ... (See Student loans and credit)

DOMA ruling cuts both ways financially -- The Supreme Court's ruling may spur same-sex couples toward marriage, but the financial consequences of such unions aren't all favorable ... (See DOMA and dollars)

Same-sex marriage means gay couples get joint custody of debt -- As more states allow same-sex marriage, gay couples discover they must take on one of matrimony's biggest legal burdens: a partner's debt ... (See Same-sex marriage)

Poll: Card debt the No. 1 taboo subject -- Credit card debt? Shhhh! It ranks as the No. 1 taboo subject, ahead of sex, politics and religion as a conversational no-no, says a CreditCards.com poll ... (See Taboo)

Credit card surcharges now allowed, but retailers hesitate -- A court settlement gives retailers the right to recover "swipe fees" by charging extra for credit card use starting Jan. 27, but will they? ... (See Credit card surcharges)

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)

4 ways your credit card can boost happiness -- If your credit card doesn't make you happy, you're not doing it right, says new research. So forget a big-screen TV; go for experiences ... (See Credit cards and happiness)

American shoppers emphatically say 'no' to credit card surcharges -- Nearly two in three Americans say they would stop using their credit cards if retailers start tacking on extra fees for paying with plastic, according to a new CreditCards.com poll ... (See Credit card surcharges)

Use caution when making political donations, especially with credit cards -- It?s easier than ever to give to a candidate or cause by credit card, but be wary: Candidates aren't always security savvy, and crooks abound who aren't honest as Abe ... (See Credit card political donations)

Pros and cons of putting your tax refund on a prepaid card -- Getting your IRS refund on a prepaid card -- offered by most big tax preparation firms -- has its benefits, especially for those without a bank account ... (See Tax refund prepaid cards)

Credit card concierges offer last-minute holiday shopping help -- If you?re panicking about how to finish your holiday shopping this year, help may be as close as your credit card concierge ... (See Card concierge holiday help)

Tales of credit card crooks' quirky charges -- Some credit card crooks rack up the most unusual charges on stolen cards -- often leaving themselves wide open for being busted ... (See Credit card crooks)

10 things you can't (easily) buy with credit cards -- From mutual funds to lap dances, there are some things your credit card company just won't let you put on your plastic ... (See 10 things you can't buy with credit cards)

8 creative ways to build credit card rewards points quickly -- If you?ve had the same card for a few years, happy to be collecting a few hundred points here and there, we have two words for you: Wake up ... (See Rack up rewards points)

Why overexposing kids to money problems is a bad idea -- Parents who use money to control their kids or share too much information about financial problems can create lasting damage ... (See Financial incest)

Financial denial: When avoidance creates money mayhem -- In our final installment of money disorder stories, we focus on financial denial -- when the anxiety of dealing with debt is so great that you just check out ... (See Financial denial disorder)

Financial rejection: When wealth is uncomfortable -- Being rich is the American Dream, right? Not for those who suffer from financial rejection, a money disorder that prevents people from enjoying their wealth ... (See Money disorders: Financial rejection)

Money disorders: Financial dependency means losing self-worth -- Having someone else pay your bills may sound nice, but not being in control of your finances can lead to feelings of helplessness and depression ... (See Money disorder: financial dependency)

Money disorders: Financial enabling is help that hurts -- If you?re repeatedly giving money to an adult child, he may not be the only one with a problem. Part 2 of CreditCards.com's series on money disorders ... (See Financial enabling)

When being frugal becomes an obsession -- Do you or someone you know go beyond being a cheapskate? If so, you may have a money disorder -- one that financial therapists call ?underspending? ... (See Money disorders)

Are you suffering from a money disorder? Maybe it's time to consider financial therapy? -- Do you overspend, blow your budget, obsess over your cash (or lack of it?). Then a new breed of expert -- financial therapists -- are ready to help ... (See Financial therapy)

Credit cards magnetic stripes get smarter -- The humble credit card is about to get smart with buttons and displays to keep you on a budget and protect you from fraud ... (See Magnetic stripes)

Dan DeFelippi: Secrets of a former credit card thief -- What would a real credit card thief tell you if he had the chance? Dan DeFelippi, convicted of card fraud, says you can't be too careful ... (See Credit card theft)

Prepaid cards a new way to bank? -- Though they don't carry the same protections as credit or debit cards, reloadable prepaid cards are how a growing number of Americans are doing their banking: ... (See Prepaid cards)

Financial role reversal: Adult children increasingly co-sign for parents' loans -- In a case of financial role reversal, more parents are turning to their children for loans due to the parents' rising debts, falling retirement funds ... (See Co-signing for parents)

7 easy tricks to remember numbers, codes, passwords -- In today's digital society, everyone from your bank to your office to your parents in their new ZIP code, want you to memorize numbers and codes. Here's how ... (See Password tricks)

What records to keep and how long to keep them -- Keep too little paper and you'll be stammering at the IRS agent at audit time. Too much and paper can take over your house. How much is just right? ... (See How long to keep records)

Chart: Compare credit cards' rental car insurance policies -- It's no longer wise to automatically refuse extra coverage at rental counter. This chart will help you compare policies among major card companies. ... (See Chart)

Don't always refuse rental car insurance coverage; credit card protections become iffy -- It used to be a no-brainer -- credit card holders refused costly additional insurance policies offered by car rental agencies. Now it's not: The rental agencies charge new fees and the card issuers' policies aren't uniform or universal. ... (See Car rental insurance)

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Updated: 05-19-2019