Innovations, features, new products

All the articles to help you keep up with the latest credit card products, gadgets, gizmos and features.

Latest credit card news

 Innovations, features, new products

Chase rolls out personal loans available to its cardholders -- Chase recently announced it will launch two brand-new personal loan options that will be available to its cardholders. ... (See Chase personal loans)

Marie Kondo's method can be used to organize your finances -- Personal finance experts see value in embracing Netflix star Marie Kondo's organization method in managing your money. Here are five tips for making sure your finances "spark joy." ... (See 'Marie Kondo' your finances)

Apple-Goldman Sachs credit card to launch this spring -- Apple and Goldman Sachs will launch a new joint credit card this spring, according to media reports. It will be linked to new personal finance tools on the iPhone. ... (See Apple-Goldman Sachs credit card)

Contactless credit card: How 'tap-and-go' cards work, which U.S. banks issue them -- Contactless cards, which you tap instead of dipping or swiping, currently make just a tiny fraction of the credit card market in the U.S. But that may be about to change. ... (See Contactless 'tap-and-go' credit card guide)

J.P. Morgan Chase to launch its own cryptocurrency -- J.P. Morgan Chase is the first major U.S. bank to adopt cryptocurrency. It will test the program on its institutional clients. ... (See JP Morgan Chase cryptocurrency)

Wearable payments are finally starting to take off in the U.S. -- A growing number of U.S. brands and financial services companies are embracing payment-enabled wearables that you can tap to pay without fumbling for a physical phone or card. ... (See Wearable payment methods)

Google Pay guide: How to pay, send, receive money using Google Pay -- Google has combined Google Wallet and Android Pay in one mobile wallet and P2P app: Google Pay. Here's everything you need to know about security, privacy, payment options and fees. ... (See Google Pay guide)

Choosing your own rewards makes it easier to cash in -- Many cardholders are likely to find they earn significantly more rewards per year when they choose a card that more closely matches their spending. Customizable rewards cards could be game changer for them. ... (See Customizable rewards cards )

Mastercard free trial rule: Merchants must get your permission before charging you -- Mastercard will soon implement new rules that require merchants to get cardholders' permission before charging them when free trials end. ... (See Mastercard free trial rule )

Credit freeze versus credit lock versus credit monitoring: How to protect yourself -- Credit freezes, which keep lenders and other companies from viewing your credit, are now free. We compared them to other credit protection tools, including locks and monitoring services. Here's how to use them all to protect yourself. ... (See Credit freeze versus locks versus monitoring)

2019 will bring big changes, more control to first-time borrowers -- Beginning this year, young borrowers with thin or non-existent credit histories will be able to proactively influence their FICO scores by granting credit bureaus access to more of their financial information. ... (See Credit scores)

Boost your credit score immediately with Experian's new platform -- Experian has launched a new program that allows the credit bureau to access your on-time mobile phone and utility payments, potentially raising your credit score in real time. ... (See Raise your credit score immediately)

Tipping guide: Who, when, how much to tip ? and save using card rewards -- If you're wondering who, when, why and how much to tip, fret not. This guide includes everything you need to know about tipping ? plus a few tips on how to use card rewards to save. ... (See Tipping guide)

Holiday shopping: As stores speed up checkout, shoppers risk overspending -- A growing amount of research is finding that faster checkout makes for happier customers; but it also tends to significantly increase how much people spend. ... (See Holiday shopping and mobile payments )

Credit card signature requirements getting dropped by retailers -- No-signature retailers may be more common than signature retailers within the next year, according to a new study. ... (See Credit card signature requirements )

Teaching kids about money: Study shows practice is best -- If you?re trying to teach your kids about money, don?t just rely on word-of-mouth alone. A growing body of research suggests parents should do more than just talk with their kids and hope they?ll follow their advice. ... (See Kids' money skills )

Credit card offers: Why you're not getting them in the mail anymore -- As issuers move to cheaper, smarter alternatives to direct mail, you still have options to get access to the best credit card offers. ... (See Credit card offers)

Contactless cards get crucial boost as Chase embraces tap-and-pay -- Chase is preparing to roll out contactless technology on all its newly issued and renewed Visa cards. ... (See Contactless credit cards)

Rewards cards target sharing services, and their millennial fans -- As millennials embrace the sharing economy, card issuers are rolling out new cards or upgrading their rewards programs to offer benefits for using such services ... (See Rewards cards for sharing services )

Square: What products and services does Square support? -- Square supports a wide array of products and services, but not all of them. Before using Square, make sure to read the fine print and understand Square's limitations. ... (See Square)

Card-not-present fraud: How card brands, merchants are fighting it -- Issuers innovate to thwart cybercriminals, but the shift to mobile puts the onus on merchants to step up against card-not-present fraud. ... (See Fraud)

Home renovation projects increasingly funded by credit cards -- New research shows homeowners looking to make over their backyards or revamp their dated kitchens are turning to credit cards instead of traditional lending options to finance their renovations. ... (See Credit cards for home renovation)

Mastercard aims to cut PVC from payment cards -- Mastercard has formed a partnership to cut down on the use of PVC in payment card production, and to ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of cards. ... (See Mastercard to cut PVC in card production)

New "UltraFICO" score will focus on checking history -- For the first time, a FICO credit score will take into account how much money you have in the bank, instead of your credit history. ... (See New FICO score )

Zelle guide: How it works, how to protect your account -- Zelle, the easy-to-use person-to-person payment service now used by more than 100 banks in the U.S., is becoming increasingly popular -- but its simplicity may also make it vulnerable to fraud. ... (See Zelle guide)

Mastercard announces real-time bill payment -- Mastercard announced a system coming in 2019 to pay bills almost instantly using new bank-to-bank payment infrastructure. ... (See Real-time bill payments)

Student ID cards moving into mobile wallets -- Apple is opening its mobile wallet to college IDs that students also use as payment cards ... (See College IDs in mobile wallets)

Why credit card annual fees scare me -- Many cash back cards give you free money without having to worry about a surprise annual fee added to your balance. ... (See Credit card annual fees)

Credit freeze: Less hassle than you may think -- If you feel daunted by financial tasks, you may put off freezing your credit, even though it's now free. But a credit freeze is faster and easier than you may think. ... (See Credit freeze )

Chase considers rewarding customers for boosting credit scores -- Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has hinted that his company might soon reward customers for improving their credit scores. Could other banks follow suit? ... (See Credit score gamification)

How credit cards track criminals -- Credit cards can lead -- and have led -- law enforcement officers to suspects. Often it takes a subpoena to get police and card issuers to work together to find a wanted individual, private detectives say. ... (See How cards track criminals)

More card issuers offering virtual card numbers to cut fraud risk -- Virtual account numbers have been around for years, but they're being used more now in the wake of the massive Equifax hack. ... (See Virtual account numbers)

How AI is being used to help consumers cut their debt -- Fintech startups are using artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze users' personal histories and offer them lower rate loans than they may otherwise be able to get ... (See AI helps consumers cut debt)

With cards, your fingerprint, voice and face will verify your ID -- Credit card networks and issuers are testing and rolling out cards that use fingerprints and facial recognition as identification to verify payments. ... (See Biometrics and credit cards)

Which credit cards offer cellphone insurance? -- A handful of credit cards offer cellphone protection covering loss or damage. Policy details and exclusions vary, but, in general, you must use your credit card that includes the coverage to pay your cellphone service provider's bill. ... (See Credit cards and cellphone insurance)

CareCredit mobile app: New features, but a high APR -- CareCredit has rolled out a new mobile app that allows you to pay for medical procedures without having your card, but consumer advocates warn against getting the card in the first place ... (See CareCredit mobile app )

Artificial intelligence: How AI is changing credit cards -- Artificial intelligence is changing credit card rewards and powering financial tools to help you save more, stick to a budget and pick the perfect hotel based on past preferences. ... (See AI and credit cards)

Crypto cash back card rolls out in Europe -- Revolut's Metal card will offer cash back in the form of traditional currency or cryptocurrency, along with perks such as concierge service and travel insurance ... (See Crypto cash back card)

How credit score simulators can help your score -- A growing number of banks, credit reporting companies and other financial services providers offer interactive credit scoring tools ... (See Credit score simulators)

Multi-attraction passes help you save on big city travel -- Multi-attraction passes in places such as New York City, Rome and Southern California can help you save money and skip long ticket lines. ... (See Multi-attraction passes)

Credit alternatives target millennials -- Leading millennial brands including Venmo, Starbucks and SoFi have debuted new credit products aimed at credit-card-shy millennials. Meanwhile, some retailers popular with millennials now offer point-of-sale loans and have even brought back layaway. ... (See Credit alternatives for millennials)

Personalized credit card designs add whimsy to your wallet -- A growing number of credit card companies allow you to personalize your card with a custom design, or your own photos ... (See Customized credit card)

AmEx 'freeze your card' tool can prevent fraudulent charges -- Most AmEx cardholders in the U.S. now have access to a tool that allows them to freeze their card accounts if they misplace their cards ... (See AmEx freeze your card tool)

End of signature requirement doesn't mean they're extinct -- Though the card networks announced no more signatures by the end of April 2018, many retailers still accept them as verification. Do you still need to sign your payment slip? That depends. ... (See Signature requirements)

Your credit card could score you discounted sports tickets -- Some credit cards cater to sports fans with ticket discounts, jersey insurance or access to exclusive suites. ... (See Card perks for sports fans)

Mobile pay, debt, and fraud: What you should know -- The move to mobile payments has an upside and a downside: increased security versus the risk of overspending. ... (See Mobile payments)

Coin laundry machines accept credit cards and mobile payments -- Washing machines and dryers at coin laundries increasingly accept credit cards and mobile payments. The reason for the change? It's all about convenience. Paying with plastic means there's no reason to save a bucket of quarters. ... (See Coin laundries)

Mastercard patent could let cardholders pay in bitcoin -- A new patent issued to Mastercard covers a method for ?managing fractional reserves of blockchain currency.? Translation: A consumer someday could use a credit card to pay in virtual currency like bitcoin. ... (See Mastercard bitcoin patent)

Metal credit cards aren't just for the wealthy now -- Metal credit cards aren't just for the wealthy now. Once reserved only for affluent, a few no-annual-fee cards now have that "plunk" factor. ... (See Metal credit cards)

Startup will turn plastic credit cards to metal ones for a fee -- The Lion Credit Card startup will turn your plastic card into a metal one for a fee, but why would you want to do that? ... (See Metal card for a fee)

You can earn United frequent flyer miles at the gas station -- United frequent fliers can opt to earn bonus miles with every fill-up by enrolling in the BP Driver Rewards program. ... (See Bonus rewards in unlikely places)

TSA Precheck, Global Entry credits now offered on lower-annual-fee cards -- Credits for TSA Precheck and Global Entry that used to be offered only on premium rewards cards are now available with a handful of $85-$95 annual fee travel credit cards. ... (See TSA Precheck, Global Entry credits)

AmEx to roll out credit card made from ocean plastic -- Credit cards aren't known for being environmentally friendly, but a new card from American Express may change that ... (See AmEx card ocean plastic)

Charged Up! podcast: How to create your own credit card -- If you're an entrepreneur wondering how to strike a deal with a major bank or a person wanting to give back with your card, the story of Charity Charge can help ... (See Donating rewards)

Skim Reaper: The death of card skimmers? -- A grimly named handheld gadget can detect card-data-stealing skimmers in compromised gas pumps, ATMs ... (See Skim Reaper)

Guide to mobile wallets: Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay -- Got questions about mobile wallets? Our guide to Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay has all the answers about operation, security and rewards ... (See Mobile wallets)

Video: Giving back with your card -- Some credit cards let you donate your rewards to the charity of your choice, with no work on your part. ... (See Donating rewards)

Should I get my favorite brand's credit card? -- If you're a fan of a certain brand, you may be tempted to sign-up for their credit card to earn points toward future purchases. But, many of the big brand cards don't offer as much in rewards as a straight travel or cash back card ... (See Big brands and credit card rewards)

How to accept credit cards at your next garage sale -- Mobile payments have made cash-only garage sales a thing of the past. ... (See Credit cards at garage sales)

Chip cards are more popular three years after introduction -- Chip cards are increasingly viewed as faster and more convenient than magnetic strip cards, a Fiserv survey finds ... (See Chip cards)

'FOMO,' 'likes' and card debt: How Facebook might lead you to overspend -- Facebook's business model makes it easy for advertisers to know almost everything about you, increasing the chances you overspend. Here's what you can do. ... (See Facebook and overspending)

New Visa chargeback system aims to speed dispute resolution -- A new Visa chargeback system will speed the dispute process for consumers and cut fraud and costs for merchants. ... (See New Visa chargeback system)

Cardholders desire security features from their mobile wallets -- The No. 1 desired mobile wallet feature: A "No, I didn't buy that" button. ... (See Mobile wallet security)

Chase cardholders can charge advance horse-racing bets -- A decision by Chase to allow credit card transactions for online wagering on horse races is expected to prompt rivals to come out of the starting gate. ... (See Chase and online horse-racing bets)

Video: How to set up your mobile wallet -- Follow these steps to learn how to add your favorite credit cards to the mobile wallet on your smartphone. ... (See Video: Setting up your mobile wallet)

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)

It may soon be safer to type passwords on public Wi-Fi -- New privacy protocol, WPA3, will better secure your online browsing activity and Wi-Fi-connected gadgets. ... (See Safer public Wi-Fi)

MileagePlus X: A unique, mobile way to earn miles on United -- United Airlines MileagePlus X is a unique app that lets you earn miles on everyday purchases. This step-by-step will help you master its use and score major reward miles. ... (See United MileagePlus X app)

Paying with cards at marijuana dispensaries? It's complicated -- Marijuana is legal in 29 states and D.C., but remains illegal under federal law, which has hindered dispensaries' access to card processing options. Still, some might let you pay with plastic. ... (See Cannabis and credit cards)

First credit card dilemma: Student card vs. secured card -- Student cards and secured cards are good options for first-time cardholders, but both have pros and cons. Here's how to decide between them. ... (See Student card vs. secured card)

EMV cards' common errors: A guide for confused cardholders -- Does your EMV chip card not work when you dip? Do you have to hold it in the payment terminal's slot? We asked experts about these common chip card errors. Here are their answers. ... (See Common EMV chip card failures)

11 money, credit management tips for extended vacations -- Launching a long trip? Set up a vacation-friendly money and credit system. Here are 11 tested tips from intrepid travelers and financial experts. ... (See Credit management for long vacations)

More credit cardholders can count on concierges -- You no longer need be ultrarich, or even pay a fee, to obtain the customized services of a credit card concierge. ... (See Credit card concierge services)

Credit card on/off switches: More card issuers adding them -- The digital switches give cardholders greater control over their accounts and can help reduce card fraud. ... (See Credit card on/off switches)

How to set up the right 'default' card on your mobile wallet -- Default cards on digital wallets such as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are the new "top of wallet" cards. Use these tips to set up and pick the right one to maximize rewards. ... (See Default cards and digital wallets)

Etiquette guide for 'refer-a-friend' credit card programs -- You want that bonus, but you don't want to lose your friend. Here's how. ... (See Refer-a-friend etiquette)

Charity Charge nonprofit beneficiaries -- Charity Charge cardholders donate their 1 percent cash back rewards to nonprofits and causes that they select. Beneficiaries are working in local communities and all over the world. ... (See Charity Charge)

Buy bitcoin with credit cards? Big banks say 'no' -- Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Lloyds Banking Group are the latest to bar credit card purchases of bitcoin ... (See Card issuers bar bitcoin purchases)

Will mobile wallets make us poor? -- Mobile wallets are convenient, but hide the pain of parting with money. Will the new payment forms make us poor by making it easier to overspend? ... (See Digital wallets and overspending)

EMV debit card payment prompts create confusion -- Customers face multiple payment options when paying with chipped debit cards ... (See EMV debit card confusion)

Product return assistance: a disappearing perk -- Credit card return assistance programs extend the window for refunds on products you've bought with the card. But they're more rare than in the past. ... (See Return assistance)

Hot, new rewards cards to debut in 2018 -- Which rewards cards will be hot in the coming year, and which ones will be on their way out. ... (See Rewards cards 2018)

4 credit card trends to watch in 2018 -- Get ready for new rewards and ways to pay, but carrying a balance on your card will become more expensive ... (See Credit card trends)

Parking your car? Garages and meters going cashless -- Increasingly, we dip cards or call up an app to pay for parking spots ... (See Parking and credit cards)

Gas pump and ATM skimmers: How to spot and avoid them -- How can you spot card skimmers? Use your eyes, your fingers, a free Android app and your common sense to cut your fraud risk, but nothing is foolproof. ... (See How to spot card skimmers)

3 major mobile payment security risks, and how to avoid them -- Experts say mobile payments are safer than physical cards and cash, but they aren't hacker-proof ... (See Mobile payments)

How to stack rewards to save big on purchases -- Googling for the best price isn't enough these days. The real deals go to savvy rewards stackers. ... (See How to stack rewards to save big on purchases)

Expiration date: With EMV chips, cards last longer now -- Credit cards have now longer expiration dates, thanks to the transition to EMV chip cards, but new payment technologies may render them obsolete. ... (See Credit card expiration dates)

Q&A: Why is there a difference between my credit scores? -- Credit scores and reports vary constantly due to frequent updates. To always keep them in good shape, pay bills on time and keep a low balance. ... (See Differences between credit scores)

Discover drops 6 benefits for shoppers, travelers -- Extended warranties, backup car insurance, purchase protection and return guarantee are among the rarely used benefits that Discover ended Feb. 27. 2018. Price protection will end in October 2018 ... (See Discover ends some card benefits)

5 credit card perks that save you money -- With perks such as concierge services, roadside assistance and price protection, your credit card perks can open doors, help you out when your car has a flat and save you money. ... (See Credit card perks that save you money)

How to get cash while traveling abroad, with no fees -- Bringing the right cards with you, knowing how to use them, and picking the right ATM will help you avoid unnecessary fees during your trip. ... (See How to get cash while abroad)

A credit card checkup includes reviewing annual fees -- Before paying your credit card's annual fee for another year, look at whether you're getting your money's worth and consider other card options. ... (See Annual fee checkup)

Cyber Monday 2017: 10 hacks to score great deals -- Pre-scout deals, get an electronic heads-up on special buys and scrub your computer before you shop. Now you're ready to save big on Cyber Monday 2017 ... (See Cyber Monday 2017)

No signatures required: Mastercard, Discover, AmEx and Visa ditch them -- Mastercard, Discover, American Express and Visa plan to ditch the signature requirement with credit and debit card payments in April 2018. ... (See Signatures not required)

7 easy ways to protect your credit while holiday shopping -- Fraudsters may be more likely to strike during the holiday season when consumer spending is high, so vigilance is especially important from November to January. ... (See Holiday fraud)

Contactless cards: How they work -- Contactless credit cards, already popular in Canada and the U.K., are starting to flow in the U.S. How do they work? ... (See Contactless cards)

Small-business solutions for storing customer card data -- Looking for a small-business solution to storing customer card details? Your merchant processor may offer a service that fits your security and budget needs. ... (See Small business and card data storage)

Price protection ensures Black Friday's lowest prices now -- With price protection, you can skip the Black Friday madness. Shop now, and if your purchase gets a bigger discount later, your card will cover the difference. ... (See Price protection)

Go paperless without neglecting your card bills -- Help the environment, save money - but stay on top of your finances. Here's how ... (See Tips to go paperless)

E-gift cards: 7 tips to pick the right digital present -- E-gift cards offer new ways to connect, save, shop and rack up rewards, but some of them might face restrictions. . ... (See E-gift cards: 7 things to know)

Are credit cards recyclable? It's complicated -- Credit cards are not as recyclable as they should be. But there are ways to reduce their footprint or dispose of them. ... (See Are credit cards recyclable?)

New Uber rewards card is the latest to target millennials -- The new Uber rewards credit card courts millennials with 4 percent cash back for dining and 2 percent for online services. Expect more cards to tailor rewards to consumers ages 20-35. ... (See Cards court millennials)

6 reasons to stop using cash and start using credit cards -- Replacing the use of cash with credit cards can help you improve your budgeting, safeguard your money and score major bonuses and rewards, all without picking up any germs. ... (See Cash)

Infographic: Holiday shopping checkout by device -- About 30 percent of millennial holiday shoppers expect to pay by smartphone, a PwC survey finds. Millennial dads are leading the way, with 49 percent saying they will check out via their digital device. ... (See Holiday checkout by device)

Overseas travel: Tips to use your credit card, mobile banking worry-free -- While geolocation, mobile apps and online tools have made it easy to use your credit card and bank account overseas, your card might still be declined. Follow these tips for a stress-free overseas card and banking experience ... (See Overseas travel)

Bonus card rewards for mobile payments aim to win over users -- While credit cards have long vied to be top of wallet, issuers now aim to be a cardholder's default payment app, too ... (See Bonus rewards for mobile payments)

How digital nomads can process payments overseas -- Entrepreneurs looking to live overseas need to consider payment options for customers. There are multiple software options and processing options for the nomadic entrepreneur looking to take their life abroad ... (See Processing payments overseas)

Credit freeze laws in all 50 states -- States have passed credit freeze laws to combat identity theft and fraud. Here are the details for each state. ... (See Credit freeze state data)

Indulging in food delivery without the debt -- They're convenient, but left unchecked, food delivery services can spoil your budget ... (See Food delivery)

Mobile payments at register climb, but slowly -- Just 1 in 5 Americans made such a payment in past six months, and the projections call for slow growth ... (See Mobile payment projections)

Plastiq, Tio: Pros, cons of charging your bills through an online service -- Services such as Plastiq and Tio let you charge many bills you'd otherwise have to pay straight from your bank account. But their fees range between 1.9 and 2.5 percent of each transaction. ... (See Bill-paying services)

Fashion meets mobile payments in the dressing room of the future -- Mastercard and Marie Claire are unveiling the dressing room of the future, where consumers will be able to shop and pay using a "smart mirror." ... (See Video: the dressing room of the future)

Use free card services to monitor your credit in wake of Equifax breach -- With recent data breaches at Equifax and elsewhere, card issuers offer options that can help guard against errors and fraud ... (See Credit monitoring)

Ex-CEO of Equifax proposes consumer control of their credit files -- Equifax ex-CEO Richard Smith told Congress the company will give consumers ability to lock and unlock their credit file for free, says other credit bureaus should follow suit ... (See Equifax ex-CEO testifies in Congress)

Banks make chargebacks easier -- To dispute a charge, often all it takes is the click of a button on the card issuer's website or app ... (See Chargebacks easier)

How credit freezes work & what they cost -- Credit freezes can be great tools for protecting yourself against identity theft, experts say, but they're not for everyone ... (See How credit freezes work)

Fraudsters target video games for credit card fraud -- When it comes to gaming, your credit card can be compromised in a variety of ways, including account takeover, phishing and card theft through in-app purchases. ... (See Video game card fraud)

Charged Up! podcast: Uncovering cryptocurrencies -- If you want to get into the cryptocurrency game, your credit card can help. Find out what cryptocurrencies to look out for, how to purchase them, how to secure them and how to use them as an investment ... (See Podcast)

You may soon be able to buy lottery tickets at grocery checkout -- States have to approve shoppers using smartphones linked to credit or debit cards to purchase Powerball and Mega Millions chances. ... (See Lottery)

EMV chip card torture test -- We put EMV chip credit cards through a series of tests to see how they stand up to common threats such as extreme temperatures, water and corrosive liquids. ... (See Test)

Merchants say mobile wallets coming but won't cut fraud -- Most retailers and e-tailers believe mobile wallets will be widely adopted in the next five years, but only about a third think mobile payments will cut fraud ... (See Mobile wallet)

Do you have a creditworthy personality? -- Psychometric credit scoring uses personality tests to gauge creditworthiness. Could it come to the U.S.? ... (See Credit score)

Charge cards dying out as rewards get juicier -- The trailblazing charge card tries to differentiate in crowded card market ... (See Charge card)

Alerting card issuers of travel plans may soon be obsolete -- New industry-leading fraud detection technology can recognize when card members are traveling, eliminating the need to notify card companies of travel plans ... (See Travel)

Abolish the password? Card issuers are working on that -- Credit card issuers and banks aim to phase out passwords over the next few years with the help of biometric authentication ... (See Password)

5 apps to turbocharge back-to-school savings -- Mobile discount and coupon apps puts back-to-school savings at your fingertips ... (See Apps)

The history of credit cards (timeline & major events) -- From charge plates to Apple Pay, here's a look back at the many iterations of the credit card over the past 150 years. ... (See History)

The ultimate guide to protecting credit in a freelance and gig economy -- A freelancing lifestyle can create credit nightmares without proper planning ... (See Gig economy)

4 questions to ask to score the best secured card -- Know what to ask when shopping for a secured card to increase your chances to be approved while keeping your score intact ... (See Secured)

Sally Taylor-Shoff: Trended data a no-go for FICO -- FICO's Sally Taylor-Shoff says there's little evidence trended data helps lenders or credit card issuers ... (See FICO)

Bluesnarfing: newest card fraud at gas pumps, ATMs -- With a skimmer and Bluetooth technology, fraudsters can sit nearby and intercept your payment transaction details ... (See Bluesnarfing)

Happy 50th birthday, ATM, you've come a long way -- Inventor of money dispenser says idea came to him in the bathtub. ... (See ATM)

Infographic: Who uses digital wallets, and for what -- For now, they're the province of young urbanites with high incomes ... (See Digital wallets)

10 tips to simplify online shopping returns -- Unexpected return shipping cost and far away brick-and-mortar stores can make online shopping a headache. Here are tips from experts to make it less stressful ... (See Returns)

Cash back cards survey: Complex is out, simple is in -- Flat-rate offers now outnumber cards with tiered paybacks, a new survey finds ... (See Cash back )

6 things to know before requesting a credit-line increase -- Before you request a credit increase, think about how it will affect your credit score and why you need the added amount ... (See Credit limit)

5-star reviews may help your small business get credit -- Online reviews, social check-ins are tested as credit scoring data, amid skepticism ... (See Yelp!)

Are in-car payments a deadly convenience? -- Voice-activated technology aims to reduce danger, but safety experts fear driver distraction ... (See Killer app)

FAQs & benefits on Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Card -- Costco switched card partner from American Express to Visa in June 2016. We answer the most-common reader questions about Citi's Costco Anywhere Visa card. ... (See Costco)

Credit cards compete to make you feel like a VIP -- Travel credits, luxurious perks and unique materials aim to turn your and others' heads ... (See VIP)

Rate survey: Average card APR dips to 15.79 percent -- Rate report template ... (See Rates)

6 steps to make amends for financial misdeeds -- How to craft an apology and repayment plan that works ... (See Amends)

The new card skimming is called 'shimming' -- Shimming is the new way scammers are stealing your data from your EMV chip cards. Shimmers are hard to identify, but remain rare ... (See Shimmers)

Refunds can be trickier with ride-sharing, vacation rentals -- Unhappy with Uber or Airbnb service? Check the fine print for refunds ... (See Refund)

Startups use tech to put cardholders in charge of security -- With data beaches on the rise, startup companies are developing new options that help consumers minimize their exposure to a possible hack. ... (See Security)

Corporate cards go virtual, offering added security -- Virtual corporate cards allow companies to generate a card number, unique CVV code and expiration date. And they?re expected to be used to spend billions in 2017 ... (See Virtual cards)

Which banks let you personalize your credit card? -- If you've ever wanted to take you favorite pet with you in the in the grocery store or to a fancy restaurant, consider plastering their likeness on a credit card ... (See Personalize)

Artificial intelligence shines new light on ?credit invisibles? -- Credit scorers are using artificial intelligence to analyze alternative consumer data, but some in the industry are wary ... (See AI)

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 survey shows ... (See Poll)

'The Aisles Have Eyes' author talks privacy and data in shopping -- Author Joseph Turow discusses coupons, data collection and privacy in the personalization of the shopping experience ... (See Data)

Online and mobile banking statistics -- Bank branches aren't a thing of the past yet, but that could be the way they're headed now that consumers can deposit checks, check balances and even open accounts via computer or smartphone ... (See Online, mobile banking statistics)

Cash back cards become more generous with rewards -- Cardholders prefer cash back rewards over points so card issuers are offering bigger incentives to sign up and cash out every month ... (See Cash back)

Digital wallets: Merchants to pave the way for consumer acceptance -- Despite security concerns, more Americans are willing to use digital wallets, if merchants oblige ... (See Digital wallets)

Voice assistants begin to answer credit questions -- Voice assistants step into personal finance, answering questions about special deals and what you spent on your trip to Chicago. They can even pay your balance ... (See Voice)

Tax refund delayed? It?s best to wait -- Many taxpayers will receive their refunds later than usual this year. How can you fill the void? And should you? ... (See Refund)

Congress may repeal CFPB prepaid card rule -- Consumer protections that have been on the drawing board for years are endangered by tide of deregulation in Washington ... (See CFPB)

Poll: Cardholders love rewards but many don?t shop around -- Cardholders love rewards, but many of them don't shop around for new card offers, according to a new poll ... (See Poll)

In-car payments: A wallet that's truly mobile -- Mobile wallets are coming to car dashboards. Is shopping while driving worth the risk? ... (See In-car payments)

Rate survey: Average card APR holds steady at record 15.44% -- Feb. 8, 2017: The national average APR on new credit card offers remained at a record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Tax refund delays spark refund anticipation loan comeback -- Those tempted to grab quick-cash options should watch for fees ... (See Refund loans)

Beacons expanding beyond big retailers, restaurants -- Geolocation technology sends coupons and info to people in shops, hotels and even waiting for a bus ... (See Beacons)

CFPB levies $13 million in penalties for RushCard outage -- UniRush LLC and Mastercard failures in botched system conversion amount to breach of consumer protection law, agency charges ... (See RushCard)

Chatbots will help you with your cards, banking -- Bots use artificial intelligence to answer questions. ... (See Chatbots)

Mobile credit card application is safe -- and easier now -- There's less fraud risk with mobile than mailing your personal info, experts say ... (See Mobile)

6 free tools to stop recurring card charges -- Apps make it easier to spot and end payments for no-longer-wanted services ... (See Apps)

FICO?s Scott Zoldi: Card-not-present fraud a growing threat -- FICO analytics chief Scott Zoldi discusses the state of fraud protection amid the EMV shift and the use of trended data ... (See Fraud)

'Digital nomads' have options for transactions abroad -- As more entrepreneurs start online companies, the freedom to live anywhere in enticing. But, it's important to know what services are available to keep transactions smooth ... (See Digital nomad)

What is a foreign transaction fee? (+ details by card) -- Foreign transaction fees are becoming easier to avoid. If you travel in mind, here's how they work, which cards charge them and which don't ... (See Foreign fee)

Mobile wallet providers roll out rewards -- Incentives offered to get more consumers to pay by phone ... (See Mobile)

5 money-saving mobile remittance apps -- New smartphone apps can be used to quickly send money abroad at a lower cost than traditional methods ... (See Apps )

Purchase protection survey 2016: Which cards offer them -- Using credit cards to buy holiday gifts? Your purchases are likely protected, as 83 percent of credit cards boast added purchase benefits, according to our survey ... (See Protection)

Purchase protection benefit survey 2016 chart -- 4 out of 5 cards offer some kind of extra purchase protection. Does yours? Review this chart to find out. ... (See Protect)

No cards required: New ATMs more accessible to disabled -- Upgraded ATMs and smartphone apps make banking and shopping easier. ... (See ATMs)

Detecting, preventing senior card fraud, abuse -- Seniors are more vulnerable to card fraud, but there are some protections you can put in place ... (See Fraud)

4 ways credit can boost millennials' charitable giving -- With credit cards, it?s possible to support positive change with every charge. ... (See Charity)

Do metal credit cards cause problems with airport security? -- Those elite cards made of metal could cause issues at airports if you try to take them through a metal detector ... (See Metal)

How to avoid credit card problems aboard a cruise ship -- Surprise holds, fraud freezes and going overboard with onboard expenses can all be avoided ... (See Cruise)

Who owns consumer data? CFPB launches inquiry -- U.S. watchdog agency will examine choice, security and control of digital financial information ... (See Data)

Rate survey: Average card APR stuck at 15.18 percent -- Nov. 16, 2016: The average APR on new card offers stayed at 15.18 percent Wednesday for the sixth consecutive week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Holidays bring a surge in retail cards, study finds -- Number of cards, amounts owed, delinquencies all projected to rise ... (See Retail cards)

Infographic: Contactless cards set to hit US -- Next generation of chip cards may speed adoption of tap-and-go payments ... (See Contactless)

Millennials boosting retail 'un-gift' card sales -- Millennials are driving significant growth in retailer-specific gift cards, but they're ignoring the gifting part and using the cards themselves ... (See Un-gift cards)

Blockchain could spur credit card rewards revolution -- Blockchain technology, which powers the bitcoin, could change the way we use credit card rewards ... (See Rewards)

Fraud alerts: Your credit's first (and free) layer of security -- A fraud alert notifies lenders that they should take special precautions to verify your identity before extending credit. But it comes with limitations -- and hassles ... (See Fraud alerts)

Video: At festivals, wristbands are the new credit cards -- Wristbands are becoming more popular at major festivals as a form of payment, allowing attendees to leave their wallets at home. ... (See Wristbands)

No card, no problem: Pay with your ring, watch, bracelet -- The card of the future may just be your scarf, jewelry or fitness tracker ... (See Wearables)

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)

Don't fall into the deferred-interest trap -- Pay late by a day and you face a huge penalty ... (See Deferred)

Consumer agency finalizes prepaid card regulations -- Standardized fee chart makes it easier to compare costs ... (See Prepaid)

ACH network unveils same-day bill pay -- Running late on a bill? Same Day ACH enables credit card users to make same-day payments to issuers through their online banking systems ... (See Same day)

Retailers cash in on booming mobile card reader adoption -- Mobile card readers are a game-changer for former cash-only merchants ... (See Mobile card readers)

9 free or cheap apps to help you get out of debt -- Becoming debt free starts with totaling all you owe on your credit cards and loans ... (See Apps)

Save money on gas, at Costco and elsewhere -- Using the new Citi Costco card can make sense at the pump, but there are other ways to save on gas ... (See Save)

Holiday layaway season now starts in late summer -- Earlier head-start lets shoppers spread payments from Labor Day through winter ... (See Layaway)

New credit card has so-so terms? You have choices -- If the rate is too high or the credit limit too low, you have more options than just sitting and fuming ... (See Meh)

Security concerns keep consumers away from mobile payments -- Older consumers site security concerns, privacy and lack of necessity as reason they don't use mobile payments ... (See Mobile payment concerns)

We'll reach chip card saturation in 2020 -- Mercator Advisory Group forecasts that EMV chip card penetration will hit 95 percent by 2017, and 100 percent three years later ... (See Chip card saturation)

When your card's big data collection goes from cool to creepy -- Some actions from credit card companies might be convenient for some customers and unnerving for others ... (See Data)

Credit card bill autopayments: tips for getting it right -- Setting up autopayments can prevent slip-ups that can ruin your credit score ... (See Autopay)

Buying gift cards with a credit card gets harder, for now -- Merchants waiting for certification of new equipment to process EMV chip cards are putting limits on gift card purchases, a favorite of credit card fraudsters ... (See Gift cards)

'Plain vanilla' credit cards: 5 reasons to choose one -- Credit cards with no frills, no rewards, no hassles have become popular; here's why one may be right for you ... (See Vanilla )

VantageScore turns 10: What it is, why it matters -- VantageScore, launched as a more consumer-friendly alternative to the dominant FICO credit score, has slowly gained acceptance ... (See VantageScore)

How to choose a P2P payment service -- Here are the features to be aware of when choosing an app for paying friends ... (See P2P)

Paper versus online statements: 8 FAQs -- Frequently asked questions about switching from paper to online statements for your credit card account, or maybe switching back ... (See Paper statements FAQs)

Poll: Paper bank statements remain popular -- More than half of us still get them; younger consumers more likely to go digital with bank statements, a national poll finds ... (See Paper statements)

Credit card statistics -- This is the web's largest and best-documented set of credit card statistics, from industry studies, government and university reports, and's original research ... (See Stats)

Prepaid travel cards pros and cons -- Prepaid travel cards can offer a safe way to get cash in foreign currency ... (See Travel)

Video: Chargebacks hit merchants not ready for EMV chip cards -- Small businesses who have not upgraded to EMV chip card readers are facing expensive chargebacks from banks ... (See Chargebacks)

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

Overcoming 5 merchant barriers to EMV chip cards -- What to do if your business hasn't become EMV-ready because of costs, certification delays and consumer complaints ... (See EMV )

Wal-Mart sues Visa over debit choice -- Retailing giant says it wants to require PIN transactions on debit cards to reduce fraud and transaction costs ... (See PIN vs. signature)

Infographic: Mobile payments quickly rising -- Smartphone payments are gaining traction among consumers -- and quickly ... (See Mobile payments rising)

Shopping beacons with targeted marketing messages expand -- Tracking devices that let you opt in to receive location-relevant information on your smartphone are becoming more widespread ... (See Beacons)

FAQs on new Costco Citi Visa card -- We answer the most-common reader questions prompted by the warehouse club?s credit card switch from American Express to Citi ... (See Costco Citi Visa FAQ)

Video: Restaurants fight card fraud with tableside payments -- A pay-at-the-table approach may help stem fraud that can occur when a waiter disappears with your card. ... (See Fraud)

Rate survey: Average card APR jumps to 15.19 percent -- April 20, 2016: The average interest rate on new credit card offers rose to a near record high this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

Study: Payday loans trigger overdraft fees -- Online payday borrowers who miss repayment face average $185 in bank overdraft fees, federal study finds ... (See Payday loans)

Mobile payments laws have gaps but you can still stay safe -- As the use of mobile payments grows, laws offering fraud protections have not caught up. Here's how to stay safe despite gaps in regulations ... (See Mobile)

Credit card companies may be analyzing your voice -- With call-center fraud rising, your voiceprint will authenticate you as a customer ... (See Voice)

Video: Payment biometrics go beyond mobile fingerprint scanners -- The latest wave of biometrics incorporate voice authentication, face recognition and other technologies to keep your payments secure ... (See Biometrics)

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

5 things to know before requesting a credit-line increase -- Before you request a credit increase, think about how it will affect your credit score and why you need the added amount ... (See Credit line)

Survey: For 7th week, average card rate remains at 15.16 percent -- March 23, 2016: The average credit card interest rate held firm this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates)

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)

Options dwindle for paying mortgage, car loan on credit -- It's possible, but requires 'manufactured spending' techniques that are both risky and complex ... (See Points)

How you type, move your mouse may help catch fraudsters -- Some banks and e-commerce sites are monitoring your unique typing and mouse movements to verify your identity and spot fraud ... (See Security)

9 things to know about secured cards -- They start with a security deposit, and, when done right, end with you getting improved credit ... (See Secured card)

New lenders shun FICO, create their own scores -- Alternative lenders are turning to homegrown scoring algorithms to evaluate 'thin-credit' customers ... (See Score)

Financial literacy begins moving into the workplace -- Many Americans lack the knowledge to properly manage their money. Employee education programs are working to change that ... (See Workplace)

EMV chip card rollout in US to peak in 2016 -- While the number of EMV chip cards shipped in the U.S. surged in 2015, that flow hasn't turned to a trickle. Far from it ... (See Chip card rollout)

Best reward card for cable, cellphone spending? -- Credit cards offer reward bonuses for many spending categories, including unsexy expenses such as utilities ... (See Points)

What happens if you don't sign a credit card payment slip -- You might get away with it, but don't plan on eating at that restaurant again ... (See Bill)

Rate survey: Average card rate rises to 15.13% -- Jan. 27, 2016: Average rates on new card offers inched higher this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report ... (See Rate report)

Personal loans surge into mainstream -- Rise of online lenders and a lack of home equity help fuel the growth of this once-small niche of unsecured loans ... (See Personal loans grow )

Automated credit score advice may not fit -- Free online score-improving tips can conflict, depending on which credit-scoring formula is used ... (more)

Gas station skimmer theft rising -- Smaller devices, greater security elsewhere make fuel pumps a target ... (See Skimmers)

Rewards scarce from vacation rentals companies -- Airbnb, HomeAway and other vacation rental companies have no rewards programs of their own, but you may be able to coax some rewards out by carefully using the right card ... (See Vacation rental rewards)

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)

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)

Video: EMV, RFID, NFC, WTF? -- You don't just hand over a piece of plastic anymore. You have EMV chips and NFC cards -- or is it RFID? What's the diff? We explain ... (See EMV, RFID, NFC, WTF?)

EMV chip card tales from cashiers at the front line -- Cashiers and customers express their frustration with EMV chip cards ... (See Cashiers' chip card tales)

Charity gift cards let recipient donate to favorite cause -- They make philanthropy easy, but our survey finds many have large fees ... (See Charity gift cards)

4 in 10 Americans see credit cards as their emergency fund -- About 49 percent say they'd use credit cards to pay at least part of a surprise $2,000 emergency expense, according to a Pew survey ... (See Emergency fund)

US report: CARD Act saved consumers $16 billion -- The U.S. Credit CARD Act has cleaned up the worst practices in the business since it was signed in 2009, but tricks and traps remain, consumer bureau report says ... (See CARD Act 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)

Average card rates remain at 14.96 percent: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- Nov. 18, 2015: Interest rates on new credit card offers held steady Wednesday, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Weekly rate report, Nov. 18, 2015)

Combining cards: Rolling 2 credit limits into 1 card -- Have two cards from one issuer? Trying combining credit limits before you close one ... (See Combining cards)

7 things you need to know about gift cards -- Some things have changed about gift cards over the years. Here's what to know about the No. 1 requested present ... (See Gift cards)

EMV rules for vending machine owners -- Vending machine owners face a small liability risk if their card-accepting machines are not EMV compatible ... (See EMV and vending machines)

Survey: Old mag stripe cards more secure than mobile pay -- Most people think the new chip cards are safer to use than mag stripe ones, but many say the old mag stripe card poses less risk than new mobile payment options. ... (See Mobile payment security)

'Coined' author Kabir Sehgal: Credit cards make money abstract -- Kabir Sehgal talks about the history of money and credit, and its relationship to humankind in his new book "Coined, The Rich Life of Money and How Its History Has Shaped Us" ... (See Kabir Sehgal Q&A)

Fraud risk minimal from contactless EMV cards -- A determined thief could intercept radio waves from a dual-interface credit card, but in practice it's not worth the bother ... (See Contactless EMV fraud)

Lyft, Uber ride-share drivers in a hurry to pay down debt -- Large number of ride-share drivers use spare income to pay down big bills ... (See Ride-share drivers' debt)

Most banks invisible on federal complaint website -- A gap in consumer protection law exempts thousands of smaller banks from the federal government's public complaint records ... (See Invisible bank complaints )

Autopay clients leave you open to more fraud, not EMV liability -- When customers use automatic payments, it's considered a card-not-present transaction. Those sales are not covered by the EMV liability shift rules instituted in October ... (See Autopay and EMV)

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

Video: What are variable interest rates? -- What are variable interest rates and how will they affect you? Find out in this Quick Tip video ... (See Variable interest)

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 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 )

Infographic: What is a chip card? How do I use it? -- What you need to know about how the chip is replacing the credit card's old magnetic stripe ... (See Chip card infographic)

Luxury reward perks: What you get for paying big annual fee -- Beyond free flights lies a world of exclusive privilege, if you're willing to pay the annual fees ... (See Luxury perks)

Author argues have-nots better served by postal banking -- In "How the Other Half Banks," law professor Mehrsa Baradaran says the best bank for the poor already has branches, and blue boxes, everywhere ... (See Postal banking)

Roadside assistance, your credit card's little-known benefit -- If your car breaks down by the side of the road, in some cases your credit card company won't leave you stranded ... (See Credit card roadside assistance)

Think you're a joint account holder? Think again -- Sharing a card can backfire when it comes to who's really liable for the bill ... (See Joint accounts)

Video: Do you need a credit card RFID protector sleeve? -- Thieves can theoretically capture data from your tap-to-pay card. The chance is small, but here's what you can do about it. ... (See RFID sleeve)

US card acceptance abroad grows, even at kiosks -- Travelers' woes diminish as new data suggests the vast majority of U.S. Visa cards work abroad, even at previously troublesome payment machines ... (See Card acceptance abroad)

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 )

Survey: Average card rate stuck at 15% for 15th week -- Sept. 30, 2015: Interest rates on new credit card offers remained locked in place again this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Poll: Most cardholders lack smart-chip cards, despite deadline -- No EMV card yet? You're not alone. Even as an Oct. 1 deadline looms, 6 in 10 cardholders don't have a chip card yet, our national survey shows ... (See EMV card poll)

With chip card switch upon us, who do I call about fraud? -- Retailers will start to shoulder some responsibility for fraudulent charges, but consumers will see few differences starting Oct. 1 ... (See EMV fraud)

Banks making refunds for add-on products -- Fifth Third bank agreed to refund some $3 million to about 24,500 customers for debt protection coverage that regulators say was marketed falsely ... (See Add-on marketing refunds)

How to avoid big costs of deferred-interest financing deals -- No-interest financing is tricky, especially if you have more than one balance on the card. Here's how to avoid hefty costs for back interest ... (See Deferred interest)

How to squeeze the last dollar out of gift cards -- An estimated $750 million in unused gift card money was lost in 2014. Here is how you can avoid that fate ... (See Squeezing gift cards)

My husband won't let me get an EMV chip card for our European trip! -- Many card issuers have switched to EMV chips, but some still have only magnetic stripes. Does it matter? ... (See EMV card )

Avoiding fraud in a post-EMV world -- Think you can breathe a sigh of relief as EMV technology takes off? Not so fast. ... (See EMV fraud)

Beware: Rebate and promotional cards can expire quickly -- They may look like gift cards, but they don't enjoy the same protections ... (See Promotional cards)

FDIC: Store card issuer Comenity must refund $61.5 million -- Cardholders were misled over payment 'insurance' add-ons, agency says ... (See Comenity bank refund)

Basics of minimum payments -- If your minimum payment is $50 but you owe $25, just pay the $25 ... (more)

EMV terminal recommendations for small business -- With the EMV liability shift looming, merchants are looking to upgrade their credit card readers. These recommendations and tips can help you choose the right one ... (See EMV terminals)

Discover unseats AmEx in card satisfaction rankings -- Upstart Discover bumped venerable American Express from No. 1 in customer satisfaction, according to JD Power's ninth annual survey ... (See Satisfaction survey)

If we go to biometric IDs, will hackers try to steal your face? -- Advocates of biometric identifiers say worries are overblown, but a GAO report says digitally stored records of fingerprints, palms, irises, faces raise ID theft and privacy questions ... (See Biometric hacks)

Rocky start for wallet-slimming 'universal cards' -- New devices promise to consolidate all your cards on one piece of plastic. But critics say they already are outdated ... (See Universal)

Video: Small-merchant guide to EMV credit cards -- Small businesses have been slow to upgrade to terminals that can read EMV chip cards. Here's what they need to know about making the switch ... (See EMV merchant)

EMV holdouts: Why merchants are slow to make chip-card switch -- With the EMV liability switch coming in October, many merchants are still in the dark on what is required of them ... (See EMV holdouts)

7 tips for using budget apps safely -- Banks usually would cover fraudulent charges if your information were stolen in a breach. But there are other risks in putting all your account information in one app ... (See Using budget apps safely)

How, when to get your file from specialty reporting agencies -- Little-known specialized bureaus have dossiers of important data, and you can often get their file on you for free ... (See Specialized reports)

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)

How credit cards saved my vacation -- As intrepid travelers know well, few trips go perfectly as planned. That's when your credit card can come to the rescue. ... (See Vacation)

Cardless cash ATMs use pre-staging to reduce fraud -- New technology allows you to use your smartphone to pre-stage cash withdrawals, as a way to fight growing ATM fraud ... (See Cardless cash)

Don't let new card's annual fee take you by surprise -- When applying for a new card, take the time to review its fee structure before you sign up ... (See Fees)

Perks multiply in latest generation of elite cards -- Why shell out $400 a year or more just to carry a super premium credit card? It's all about the perks. ... (See Elite cards)

3 ways to strengthen weak or nonexistent credit -- Building up your credit will take work and time. But knowing where to get started is key ... (See Strengthening credit)

3 tips for using credit card price protection -- Price protection is a little-known credit card perk that could save you hundreds of dollars. But you have to know how it works to take advantage ... (See Price protection plans)

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

Don't fall for Internet loan scam out of desperation -- After bankruptcy, your choices for personal loans will be limited, but don't make a bad one ... (See Online loan scam)

Rebuilding credit? Hybrid 'semisecured credit card' may help -- A semisecured card offers better terms than a secured card and can be a good stepping stone on the road to a conventional credit card ... (See Semi-secured)

6 ways to safeguard cards when shopping electronically -- Shopping online or via an app is convenient, but it can put your credit or debit card at risk. Here are ways to stay safe ... (See Shopping apps )

FCC allows fraud alerts on cellphones -- The federal agency toughens rules against spam calls on cellphones, but creates an exception for banks to alert their customers to fraud ... (See Cellphone fraud alerts)

11 credit card travel insurance benefits -- Your credit card may offer extra insurance protection when you travel. Here are 11 benefits to consider ... (See Travel benefits)

Payment method statistics -- Debit is the favorite, credit cards reign for big buys, alternative payments coming on ... (See Payment stats)

Credit score still damaged after report error fixed -- A "rapid rescore" won't fix a credit issue, but digging deeper into the credit score issue will help ... (See Credit score fix)

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)

Credit card market share statistics -- The top 10 U.S. banks issue nearly 90 percent of all the credit cards. Find out who the major players are, how much of the market they control and how much the overall market is growing ... (See Market share)

How credit mix is calculated in FICO scores -- Having a variety of credit - a good "credit mix" - is the last and often overlooked component to the FICO score formula, but is still vital to a good score ... (See Credit mix)

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 survey of 100 cards' cash advance policies ... (See Cash advance survey)

Fraud risk minimal on canceled RFID chip card -- RFID chips in credit cards continue to transmit information after you've canceled the card. The information isn't of much use to a criminal but it still doesn't hurt to destroy the chip ... (See RFID cards)

How finance companies differ from credit cards, banks -- Consumer finance companies offer an alternative way to pay for big-ticket items. But look before you leap. ... (See Finance companies)

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)

Rates jump to 14.99 percent: Weekly Credit Card Rate Report -- May 20, 2015: Average rates on new credit card offers rose Wednesday to their highest point in more than six months, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rates jump to 14.99%)

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)

PayPal lending arm fined for deception, abuses -- PayPal Credit, formerly known as Bill Me Later, misled customers and ratcheted up their costs with unfair practices, consumer bureau charges ... (See PayPal fine )

5 tips for negotiating rewards cards' annual fees -- Credit card issuers can be surprisingly receptive to cardholders who are seeking a break on their annual fees. They won't always waive them, but you may walk away with a discount or bonus points ... (See Negotiating rewards card fee)

How I fared when I asked for fee waivers on rewards cards -- reporter Tony Mecia tries his hand at getting a deal on his annual fees. The results were encouraging ... (See Annual fee waiver)

Credit card interest rates stalled at 14.92 percent -- May 13, 2015: Interest rates on new credit card offers held firm this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Advances in fraud analytics promise to stop crooks, not you -- Geolocation technology and better analytics should help card issuers more accurately determine when it's a fraudster using your card and when it's you ... (See Anti-fraud technology)

On a foreign trip, should I use credit cards at ATMs? -- The cards you use in the U.S. will probably work fine for international travels, but here are your options ... (See Foreign ATMs)

Got a cellphone? Here come Smishing scams -- Think you're too savvy to fall for email scams? Fraudsters have a new tactic that targets your new constant companion -- your cellphone ... (See Smishing)

Credit card interest rates sit tight at 14.92 percent -- May 6, 2015: Interest rates on new card offers remain locked in place this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Most issuers like to know your travel plans -- Most credit card companies want to know your travel plans to prevent fraud alerts. But you should also choose the right card and make sure you have different payment options ... (See Travel plan notification)

7 tips for using online alternative business lenders -- When banks turn them down for loans, small businesses are increasingly turning to online "alternative" lenders. The loans they provide can be a lifeline, but higher interest rates mean you should proceed with caution ... (See Online alternative business loans)

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)

'Green' your spending with eco-friendly cards -- A handful of banks offer socially conscious credit cards that donate a percentage of your spending to environmental causes. ... (See Eco-friendly cards)

Alternative lenders offer cheaper loans for more of your data -- If you're looking for a low rate loan, new startups are filling that gap, but require more data than what's on your credit report ... (See Alternative loans)

Video: Answers to your most-common EMV questions -- As credit cards with secure chips begin to roll out across the U.S., we address some of the most frequently asked questions about them in a video interview with Smart Card Alliance head Randy Vanderhoof ... (See EMV answers)

Video: Do I need a PIN for my EMV credit card? -- New credit cards containing secure computer chips are being rolled out in the U.S. These EMV cards are sometimes called chip-and-PIN cards, which is confusing because you probably won't actually use a PIN like they do in other countries ... (See EMV PIN video)

Video: Will EMV credit cards protect my online purchases? -- New credit cards containing so-called EMV chips offer enhanced security for in-store purchases but not online purchases. In our ongoing series of frequently asked questions about EMV cards, Randy Vanderhoof, head of the Smart Card Alliance, explains why ... (See EMV fraud video)

Video: Will EMV chip cards work in NFC mobile wallets? -- Banks are issuing credit cards with enhanced security, known as EMV or chip-and-PIN cards. But what happens to that security when you use them in a mobile wallet? We asked Smart Card Alliance chief Randy Vanderhoof ... (See EMV and mobile wallets)

Video: Do I need to swipe my EMV credit card? -- Banks are issuing new credit and debit cards with EMV chips, which enable more secure transactions than magnetic stripes. In the first of our four-part series on frequently asked questions about EMV, we discuss why you may still need to swipe your card ... (See EMV swipe video)

Card shields protect against low risk of RFID theft -- Card shields or sleeves may keep thieves from remotely gathering data from the RFID chip in your credit card. But the odds of such theft are approaching zero, so focus on other concerns ... (See Card shields)

How 'microresolutions' can transform your finances -- 'Small Move, Big Change' author Caroline Arnold was tired of failing her New Year's resolutions, so she took a bold step to break them down in achievable actions ... (See Microresolutions)

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's 2015 foreign transaction fee survey ... (See Foreign fee survey)

Authorized users can sometimes gain late cardholder's rewards -- If a primary cardholder passes away, an authorized user on the account is not usually entitled to the account's rewards points. But program providers are often more generous than their rules convey ... (See Inherit rewards)

Payday loan alternatives more important than ever -- Having an alternative to high-priced payday lenders -- always a good idea -- could become more so if a federal crackdown shutters some storefronts ... (See Payday alternatives)

Q&A 'Future Crimes' author Marc Goodman -- Technology is rapidly evolving and so is cybercrime. Marc Goodman, author of "Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It," explains ... (See Marc Goodman)

4 times to go old-school with your finances -- When organizing your budget or keeping track of credit card bills, technology can get in the way. Here are four situations where old-school pays ... (See Old-school)

Online and mobile payment statistics -- Once upon a time, a brick-and-mortar store was the center of the shopping universe. But online shopping has become the norm for many, and continues to grow ... (See Online payments statistics)

Poll: Public lukewarm about paying by cellphone -- Six months of buzz and media coverage around Apple Pay haven't moved the needle much: Public interest in paying by cellphone remains mild, says a new poll by ... (See Pay by phone)

Q&A with Ron Lieber: How to raise unspoiled kids -- New York Times personal finance columnist and "The Opposite of Spoiled" author Ron Lieber touts the benefits of teaching financial decision-making at an early age ... (See Ron Lieber Q&A)

Poll: Wealthy getting EMV cards first -- Chip-bearing EMV cards, and the extra fraud protection that goes with them, are being issued first to wealthier cardholders, a poll shows ... (See EMV cards)

What to do when a new gift card shows zero balance -- You give (or get) a new gift card, and the first time it's used, pfft! It's empty. Whether the problem is fraud or simple human error, follow these steps to retrieve its value ... (See $0 balance gift cards)

Dangers of applying for an online payday loan -- Considering an online payday loan? Don't. These sites often scatter your personal information to the Internet wind, opening you up to, at best, bad deals, and at worst, relentless fraudsters ... (See Online payday loans)

Financial planning options for the 99 percent -- Getting financial goals together is not as daunting as it sounds. From DIY plans to going to a professional, financial planning is within reach ... (See Financial planning options)

Being financially prepared for the death of a spouse -- If your spouse passed away, could you seamlessly take over the household finances? If not, some quick information sharing can save you from more heartache ... (See Finances)

Not all 'digital wallets' give you bonus reward points -- If you're using a mobile wallet to make purchases using your American Express card, you may not get get those bonus rewards points the card promises ... (See Mobile)

10 tips for using luxury pawnbrokers -- The pawn industry has gone upscale, with 'luxury asset lenders' offering thousands, or even millions, of dollars against your jewelry, art, cars and boats. But know what to watch out for before you use one of these services ... (See Luxury pawn)

Sharing medical cards not allowed -- Medical card expenses are generally reserved for the cardholder, family members and even pets, but not your latest girlfriend or boyfriend or BFF ... (See Medical cards)

How rapid rescore works when applying for a mortgage -- If you have errors on your credit report that could block a mortgage application, choosing a rapid rescore option could help, if your lender offers it ... (See Rapid rescore)

Beware auto-renewals' endless charges -- Signing up for magazine subscriptions or a free trial could haunt you for months or years, ringing up endless charges on your credit card through automatic renewals ... (See Auto-renew)

How to use US Airways miles as merger unfolds -- If you want to redeem US Airways miles, you'll still need to use the US Airways award chart until the airline finishes combining its frequent flier program with that of merger partner American Airlines ... (See Redeem)

Know your fraudster: 8 types of card criminals -- Card fraud has become a big industry, with criminals specializing in each stage of the crime, from malware coders to skimmer installers to mules ... (See Know your fraudster)

Road to rewards redemption gets easier -- Cardholders lose millions of dollars in rewards, but that could be changing after one big issuer lowers hurdles to claiming cash back ... (See Rewards redemption)

New protections from financial 'gotchas' in 2015 -- New rules coming in 2015 from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should make it safer and less expensive to use plastic and other forms of consumer debt ... (See 2015 CFPB preview)

6 ways to give a charitable donation by credit card -- Choices abound for giving to charities by credit cards, but make sure you watch the fees and get your tax deduction ... (See Charity donations by credit card)

Mobile shopping apps raise privacy and security issues -- A 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)

Video: Apple Pay vs. Google Wallet vs. Softcard -- a mobile wallet review -- tried out Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Softcard to see how they stack up against each other -- and your old-fashioned wallet ... (See Compare mobile)

Biometrics: Your body could be your next password -- Call it body language: Finger prints, vein scans, voiceprints and other unique biological means of authenticating a person?s identity for credit card purchases are closer to reality than they are to the Jetsons ... (See Biometrics)

How to get, use a low-limit card -- If a low credit limit is desired, you have to start backward. A higher limit card can be downsized once the account is approved ... (See Low-limit)

9 tips for using mobile gift cards safely -- A growing number of mobile gift cards and apps let you give, receive and use gift cards all on your smartphone -- no traditional wallet needed. Convenient, right? But they also present new security issues ... (See Mobile gift cards)

Banks that make the most money, and the least, on credit card loans -- The most costly card companies are ones you probably never heard of -- but whose cards you just might carry ... (See Yields)

'Webrooming' trend reduces online shipping costs, problems -- This holiday season, shoppers are more likely to price compare online, then head to the store to buy, to avoid shipping costs, delivery problems ... (See Webrooming)

Online fraud may surge after EMV chip card rollout -- U.S. issuers are replacing traditional magnetic stripe credit cards with cards containing counterfeit-resistant EMV chips. But fraudsters are expected to adapt, turning to online and other forms of fraud ... (See Online fraud surge)

'Spam Nation' author Brian Krebs sheds light on card data black market -- An insider on the digital black market, Brian Krebs uncovers major credit card breaches before the big retailers know what hit them. He takes readers along in his book "Spam Nation" ... (See Spam Nation)

Retailer beacons track your phone as you shop, raising privacy issues -- Retailers increasingly are using electronic beacons that track consumers' smartphones to analyze shopping behavior, improve service and offer customized deals. But the technology also raises privacy concerns ... (See Beacons)

Cash-advance PIN on an EMV card doesn't make it 'chip-and-PIN' -- Today's cards may have two types of PINs: one to complete a purchase at an EMV chip-and-PIN terminal, the other that allows you to get cash advances at ATMs ... (See PINs)

Use of reloadable cards surging among millennials -- Ownership of of general-purpose, reloadable cards climbed 11 percent from 2011 to 2013 among younger adults, a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia finds ... (See Millennials and prepaid cards)

Currency changes to aid blind slow to take shape -- New technology and phone apps have made it easier for blind consumers to discern cash, despite delays in physically changing the currency ... (See Blind)

EMV switch won't eliminate travel woes -- As issuers roll out more secure chip cards in the U.S., they're opting for chip-and-signature technology, rather than the chip-and-PIN standard used in many other countries ... (See Chip-and-PIN)

Q&A: 'Bad Paper' author Jake Halpern roams debt collection's Wild West -- Author Jake Halpern goes undercover as a debt collector and uncovers a world of rich characters, conflicts and unsavory behavior ... (See "Bad Paper")

Obama puts federal might behind chip-and-PIN card security -- A White House move to encourage the roll out of chip-and-PIN security strengthens the push for new weapons against data breaches and ID theft ... (See US goes chip-and-PIN)

Banks seek rule change to allow more cellphone fraud alerts -- Despite a plague of data breaches, banks fear lawsuits if they send fraud alerts via text messages and cellphone calls, according to an industry group ... (See Fraud alert texts)

Trip canceled? Your credit card may reimburse you -- Some cards offer reimbursements on failed travel plans ... (See Trip cancellation)

Compare credit cards' trip cancellation, trip interruption policies -- Does your credit card cover you if you have to cut your vacation short or cancel it all together? Use this chart to compare some of the cards that can ... (See Trip cancellation card policies)

The good and the bad of credit account 'piggybacking' -- Authorized users can greatly benefit from being tagged in an account with a good credit score. But they can also be hurt if the account is not so great ... (See Piggybacking)

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)

Small businesses slow in converting to EMV card readers -- With a year to go before retailers hit a major deadline for upgrading their credit card machines, experts warn that many are unlikely to complete the switch in time. As a result, they may find themselves suddenly liable for card-related fraud ... (See EMV)

Preparing your business for EMV migration -- Follow these tips to get your small business ready for the switch to EMV chip-card technology ... (See Preparing for EMV)

Retailers roll out layaway plans early for 2014 holidays -- Holiday layaway programs are popping up earlier every year. Some retailers are even moving layaway online to vie for consumer business ... (See Layaway 2014)

Study reveals rewards cards' rise in popularity -- Rewards cards now make up a majority of new accounts and spending on cards, practically taking over the market, a bank industry report says ... (See Rewards cards rise)

Q&A: Kara McGuire cuts through financial clutter in 'Teen Money Manual' -- McGuire's new book, "The Teen Money Manual," covers earning, saving, spending and protecting money in teen-approved prose ... (See Teen Money Manual)

U.S. Bank refunds $48 million for add-ons -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau extended its crackdown on bank add-on products to U.S. Bank, which charged for credit protection products that consumers didn't always receive ... (See $48 million refund)

New industry tools fight credit card fraud -- Card issuers, retailers and other companies are coming up with a host of new tactics to try and stem credit card fraud ... (See Anti-fraud tools)

Video: Anatomy of a credit card account number -- Those numbers on the front of your credit card? They aren't just random. They give away specific information about your card and where it comes from ... (See Account number )

Don't be 'breakage' -- 7 tips to avoid losing gift card value -- About $1 billion worth of gift cards will go unused in 2014. The industry calls that lost value "breakage" or "spillage" and it means big profits for them and lost money for you ... (See Breakage)

Personal line of credit: Is it best for you? -- Personal lines of credit are becoming more common for bridging short-term gaps in cash flow. Compare them first with other forms of credit, though ... (See Line of credit)

Pay by smartphone? Consumers wary, poll says -- A poll shows consumers are wary of using their cellphone to make payments. But some experts say it's only a matter of time before most do ... (See Mobile payments)

CFPB warns card issuers: Reveal costs of 0% promotional offers -- No-interest promotions are costly for credit card users who lose the grace period and must pay interest on new purchases, regulators warned ... (See CFPB 0% offer warning)

Preparing your cards for overseas travel -- Planning a trip abroad? Make sure your card (and a backup card) has EMV chip technology, no foreign transaction fees and notify your issuer of your plans ... (See Cards abroad)

Payment options budding for legal marijuana businesses -- Eager to profit from the fast-growing, legal cannabis market, some entrepreneurs are offering new payment approaches, but it is too soon to tell how they'll hold up in the long term ... (See Marijuana payments)

Should I 'boost' my frequent flier miles on an upcoming trip? -- Airlines offer travelers the chance to buy miles at a discounted rate, but using cards or shopping portals can be a better value ... (See Miles)

Video: 5 credit card questions to ask before traveling overseas -- Before you hit the road, let your card issuer know where and when you'll be traveling, so it doesn't mistake those overseas charges with fraudulent activity. Then, start asking some questions ... (See Travel)

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)

Customers with overdraft protection pay quadruple in fees -- People who opt for overdraft protection on their debit transactions pay a lot more in total fees than other checking account users ... (See Overdraft protection fees)

8 ways to get friends to repay a personal loan -- A pal was in a bind and turned to you for help. Sensing urgency, you agreed, but now you're not getting repaid and your frustration is growing as fast as the excuses ... (See Repay)

Pros and cons of charging automatic payments to a credit card -- Charging automatic payments on a credit card can be beneficial for busy consumers, but it also has its faults. Here are the pros and cons to think about ... (See Automatic payments)

FICO 9 credit score formula lessens impact of medical debt -- People with paid-off debt or medical debts will see scores rise with the new FICO math, while others will receive lower marks ... (See FICO formula)

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 survey. ... (See 2014 retail card survey)

Virtual debt collection lets you negotiate, settle up online -- With a computer or a smartphone, you can review a claim, set up a monthly repayment plan or even cut a debt settlement deal with an algorithm ... (See Virtual collection)

6 strategies to fight 'frugal fatigue' -- When penny pinching starts to hurt, "frugal fatigue" can set in. Here are six strategies to keep your savings on track ... (See Frugal fatigue)

Game on: Digital tools teach kids money lessons through play -- Video games that teach kids how to handle money can be effective when they are done right, experts say ... (See Learning via money games)

How America pays: Fed study paints big picture of card trends -- How many credit cards are there? How many debit cards? How many checks do we write? The Federal Reserve's new payments study paints a statistical portrait of how we spend ... (See Payments study)

Preapproved vs. pre-screened card offers: a big difference -- At first glance, a preapproval letter from a credit issuer can seem like an official invitation to a hot new nightclub. Yet when you arrive, you may be rudely turned away. ... (See Preapproved)

Study: Data breaches pose a greater risk -- It used to be that just 1 in 9 victims of a data breach had the hacked info used against them. Now the odds are 1 in 3, says a new study ... (See Breach)

CFPB expands complaints system to prepaid cards, pawnshops -- The federal consumer watchdog significantly expanded its consumer complaints program to include an array of financial products found outside banks ... (See Complaints)

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)

Anatomy of a credit card -- With the coming of chip cards, the anatomy of a credit card has become even more crowded. Do you know what all the parts are and what they do? ... (See Card anatomy)

'Supersurvivors' author: Crises carry profound financial impacts -- In the book 'Supersurvivors,' Lee Daniel Kravetz and his co-author looked at those who survived crises and found virtually every type of traumatic event, even if not primarily financial, has profound financial consequences ... (See Supersurvivors)

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)

Small banks, credit unions keep debit rewards programs alive -- Three years after big banks started pulling the plug on debit card rewards programs, many small banks and credit unions are finding surprising success in offering similar rewards to their customers ... (See Debit rewards)

Spotting and avoiding hidden hotel fees -- Taking a page from airline and card industries, hotels are raking in billions of dollars a year in unexpected and sometimes hidden fees. Here's how you can steer clear of such costs ... (See Hotel fees)

Is a smart-chip card needed when I travel to Europe? -- European countries added EMV chips to credit cards years ago. U.S. issuers are just now catching up with the anti-fraud technology. But is an EMV card a must for European travel? ... (See Chip card)

Compare medical credit cards, loans -- Fewer health-care financing options populate the market since the recession. Compare the terms and conditions of the top medical credit cards and loans before you apply ... (See Compare medical credit cards)

Higher One grows to dominate college debit card market -- A little-known upstart has quickly grown to dominate the campus debit card business, but it is now drawing heat from Congress, regulators ... (See Higher One)

Do predictive scores violate your privacy? -- Marketers are combining vast stores of data into predictive scores that help them decide what offers you see -- to the concern of privacy advocates ... (See Predictive scores)

Video: 5 steps to secure smartphone data -- Your smartphone may be lost, stolen or hacked ? and along with it goes your financial and personal data. To secure personal data on your smartphone, take these five simple steps ... (See Mobile data security)

New high-end cards boost average cost of annual fee cards -- A surge of pricey new high-fee credit cards on the market boosted the average annual fee to $163, nearly double a year ago ... (See Annual fee cards)

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)

Capital One's rewards chief: Expect a busy travel season -- In a Q&A, Capital One's rewards vice president Amy Lenander discloses it will be a busy summer season, and what the future holds for rewards ... (See Summer rewards)

CFPB seeks lower-cost ways to serve up mobile banking -- As banking moves to mobile devices, banking regulators want to make sure consumer protections and cost savings go along ... (See Mobile banking)

5 tips to protect your child's data, privacy at school -- 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)

SBA disaster loans -- not just for business -- When disaster strikes, SBA loans may help -- even if you're a consumer. But it helps to know what to expect ... (See Disaster loans)

MasterCard expands fraud protection -- MasterCard is extending its zero-liability policy to more card transactions and dropping restrictions on who is eligible -- putting pressure on Visa to follow suit ... (See Fraud)

6 fears that keep people from financial advice -- Nearly half of Americans don't know who to trust for financial advice. Here are wise ways to get over that and other fears ... (See 6 financial fears)

'Dragnet Nation' author Julia Angwin: May I have my privacy back? -- The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter's book investigates who is watching us online, what they're doing with the data (including selling it), and why it matters. ... (See 'Dragnet Nation')

Kit Yarrow Q & A: Decoding the hidden cues that make you buy -- Retailers use many cues to lure consumers into buying items. In her book, 'Decoding the New Consumer Mind,' psychologist and consumer researcher Kit Yarrow reveals how to find these budget bombs ... (See Decoding)

Prepaid debit cards: With all the scams, are they worth it? -- Prepaid debit cards fill an important financial need for people without traditional bank accounts, but they have fewer protections and are prone to scams ... (See Prepaid debit scams)

Prepaying principal, paying ahead not the same -- Your auto lender would probably prefer you just pay ahead, since that won't cost them anything. But if you want to lower your costs, prepay the principal ... (See Prepaying)

Cashless toll roads and rental cars: 6 tips -- If you ever find yourself stuck in a rental car on an e-toll road with no cash option, you have more choices than get gouged now or gouged later ... (See E-toll rental tips)

Banks' travel rewards search engines fare well in find-a-flight test -- Whether you're using credit card rewards points or cash, you may find the best flight deals by going through card issuers' travel search engines ... (See Travel search )

'When She Makes More' looks at female breadwinners -- Author Farnoosh Torabi plumbs the emotional and financial complexities that pop up when women out-earn their male counterparts ... (See 'She Makes More')

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)

For MoneySavingMom blogger, fulfillment, frugality go together -- Successful blogger Crystal Paine offers an adjustment strategy for the too-tired, too-stressed woman whose supermom outfit has become too tight ... (See Crystal Paine)

Bank of America to refund $727 million in add-on fees -- Bank of America becomes the fifth card-issuing bank to pay a hefty fine for over-hyping debt protection and credit monitoring services ... (See Refund)

Secure, or not? Assess the risk before sending credit card info -- We asked Internet security experts to rate the common methods of sending credit card information to see which pose the greatest risks ... (See Data risk)

What interest rate increases will cost cardholders -- Consumers will pay up to $192 million more a month on their credit card balances starting this month, according to Federal Reserve data ... (See Rising card rates)

Medical card pays for endorsements -- GE Capital's CareCredit card pays dozens of professional societies to help market its high-rate health care credit card, raising questions that could cloud the doctor-patient relationship ... (See Medical card endorsements)

Credit cards that offer free credit scores -- A growing number of card issuers give you a no-cost way to watch the number crucial to your financial health ... (See Scores)

Savings clubs: Not just for Christmas anymore -- Small banks and credit unions have extended the Christmas Club tradition to encourage savings for both good times and bad ... (See Savings clubs)

GAO urges changes in college-provided debit cards -- A federal report questions the fairness of a new breed of college-provided debit cards and urges transparency on the deals -- and the fees charged students ... (See College debit cards)

Surprise! Many credit card agreements allow repossession -- An analysis of the federal database of credit cards finds dozens include a 'security interest' clause that leaves the door open to the repo man ... (See Repossession)

Rewards programs move toward flexible, immediate spending -- As frequent flier and hotel rewards programs get devalued, credit card issuers are offering new ways to redeem your points, from taxi rides to paying your mortgage ... (See Flexible rewards)

Data breaches turn spotlight on EMV cards -- Data breaches lead to a renewed push toward chip-enabled cards, but experts warn they are not the ultimate cure ... (See EMV)

Discover expands free FICO credit score program -- Discover cardholders will not only get a free credit score on their monthly statements, they'll have it explained to them, the company announced ... (See Free FICO)

2014 balance transfer survey: Beware combo deals, two-tier fees -- Long-lasting 0-percent balance transfer offers abound to help consumers pay down card debt, but new tweaks aren't so friendly ... (See Balance transfer survey)

5 financial cleanses to break bad money habits -- Take a page from the nutritional world and go hard core after the parts of your financial life you want to change with these five money cleanses ... (See 5 financial cleanses)

In-person smartphone payments? No thanks, most say -- Most of us say "meh" to the idea of paying by smartphone, though young people, particularly men, show more interest in mobile payments ... (See Payments by smartphone poll)

Professional award bookers promise 'free' flights for fewer miles -- You could book your own frequent flier ticket, but a new trade, professional award bookers, promises to find better free flight for fewer points -- for a fee ... (See Award bookers)

Don't confuse introductory rate, deferred-interest deals -- Interest accumulates like a ticking bomb on deferred-interest deals, exploding into huge charges if you don't pay the balance in time ... (See Intro vs. deferred)

Automated tip amounts: how to regain control -- Clever mobile payment software in taxis and restaurants could be causing you to spend more on tips than you normally would ... (See Automated tipping)

As online gambling booms, credit card acceptance lags -- States turning to online gambling find the credit card industry is reluctant to join the game, leaving gamers scrambling for alternate ways to ante up ... (See Online gambling)

Lessons from abroad on financial education -- The U.S. is not alone in its attempts to address financial literacy in public schools. An international push is on to teach kids the money skills they need to navigate today's increasingly challenging financial landscape ... (See Financial literacy)

How behavioral economics explains 6 common money mistakes -- Ever look back at financial decisions and ask: Why did I do that? Turns out, science can probably answer the question with behavioral economics ... (See Mistakes)

Credit card late fees could rise in 2014 -- The CFPB has added $1 to the amount that first-time offenders can be charged for a late credit card payment, raising it to $26 ... (See credit card late payment fees)

Need a last-minute tax deduction? Try a credit card charity network -- By donating through a major credit card's charitable giving network, you can pledge (and get the deduction) today, pay the bill next year ... (See Taxes)

12 credit card predictions for 2014 -- What will issuers do to woo new cardholders next year? Will rewards get juicier or 0 percent interest deals longer? We talked to the experts to find out ... (See 2014 forecast)

Video: How to use EMV smart chip credit cards -- U.S. financial institutions are finally issuing credit cards with EMV computer chips, which are widespread in other parts of the world. They promise to be more secure than traditional magnetic stripe cards ... (See EMV cards)

Some frequent flyer miles, reward points can be inherited -- You aren't going to be able to take those frequent flyer miles with you on that trip to the great beyond, but you might be able to pass them on to your kids ... (See Inheriting frequent flyer points)

Major retailers' return and receipt policies -- Our survey of 12 large retailers' policies regarding returning items without a receipt shows most allow it -- within limits ... (See Return policies at 12 major retailers)

Holiday card rewards 2013 -- If you want to save a little money while using credit cards at the holidays, card issuers have some deals for you ... (See Holiday rewards)

CareCredit ordered to refund $34 million to cardholders -- GE Capital and its CareCredit unit agreed to refund $34.1 million to medical patients who got faulty information when they signed up for deferred interest cards ... (See CareCredit)

Sample promissory note for loans to family, friends -- If you're lending to a relative or friend, you'll want to craft a written agreement. This free sample promissory note spells out how and when you are to be paid, and what happens if the borrower doesn't repay the loan ... (See Sample promissory loan note)

The high cost of credit card cash advances -- Using your credit card to draw cash at an ATM or writing one of those handy checks that comes in your monthly statement can cost you plenty, an exclusive survey shows ... (See Cash advances)

A quick guide to credit card cash advances: No! Don't! -- In an emergency, when you have no other options, then maybe ? maybe ? taking a cash advance from your credit card makes sense. Otherwise, no. And by that, we mean, NO! ... (See Cash advance guide)

Regretting your recent cash advance? You're not alone -- More than half of those who have taken a cash advance on a credit card say they have regretted that decision, according to a new poll ... (See Cash advance poll)

Card issuers soften mandatory arbitration rules -- Signing away your right to go to court is part of most credit card agreements, but the CFPB is taking a look at mandatory arbitration requirements ... (See Mandatory arbitration)

Mysterious 'Tips for Jesus' leaves behind enormous tips -- Wait staffs across the United States are hoping for a visit from an anonymous customer with a credit card and a taste for outrageous generosity ... (See Tips for Jesus)

FICO credit-score giveaway coming to Discover cardholders -- Discover's the latest bank to add free credit score access as a routine service, completing the route of the once-secret three-digit number to full public view ... (See Credit scores)

No thanks; 12 gifts that cost too much to receive -- Tablet, iPhone, a new puppy? Sometimes your best intentions to fulfill your loved ones' wishes can end up costing them a lot more than what you intended ... (See Too-pricey gifts)

GAO: Information resellers quickly invading personal lives -- Data collectors know and resell your buying preferences, investments, ailments, favorite sports, hobbies and political leanings -- and need to be reined in, the government agency says in a report ... (See Information resellers)

Gift cards 2013: Reload, please -- Our exclusive survey of all the top gift card sellers shows this year's trend is that they'd really like you to get you to register your card and reload (and reload) it ... (See 2013 gift card survey)

Gift cards chart 2013 -- We've researched the terms and features of the cards of major banks and dozens of retailers to let you make a side-by-side comparison ... (See Gift card survey 2013 comparison chart)

8 creative ways to wrap gift cards -- Worried your gift card is too impersonal? With a little wit and a little inspiration, you can turn that shiny plastic into a whimsical gift ... (See Wrap gift cards)

Mobile apps help track business credit card receipts -- A handful of receipt-tracking apps now offer new ways to track business expenses, allowing you to capture receipts and file them on the fly ... (See Receipts)

Dilbert creator Scott Adams: Goals are for losers -- In his new book, the cartoonist who chronicles workplace buffoonery argues to be successful, never, ever follow your passion ... (See Scott Adams)

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

Becoming disloyal: 6 reasons to quit a loyalty program -- Yes, you love your perks and discounts, but at some point, your loyalty may cost you too much time and headaches to be worthwhile ... (See Loyalty programs)

Infographic: Mobile banking coming up from behind -- For the first time, mobile banking has outstripped more old-fashioned methods of account maintenance, such as telephone and mail ... (See Mobile banking)

Government shutdown obstructs credit card applications -- The government shutdown has cut off IRS income verification services that lenders use to approve loans, including some credit cards ... (See Shutdown hits card apps)

Banks soften due dates, offer help to furloughed federal workers -- Banks are offering special help for victims of a man-made disaster -- the federal government shutdown that has furloughed federal workers and forced them into economic hardship ... (See Furlough)

Paperless ticket trend leaves unbanked outside the gate -- Swiping a credit card has replaced tearing a ticket stub as the mode of entry to a growing number of entertainment events. No card? No entry ... (See Fans)

Headed overseas? Get an EMV chip card -- If you're headed to Europe, it would be wise to upgrade your magnetic-stripe card to a chip card as many countries have migrated to EMV technology ... (See EMV)

12 creepy details data collectors know about you -- Think you can keep your rendezvous to Montreal a secret between you and your sweetie? Not anymore. Personal data is no longer considered your own private business ... (See Data)

Do I need a chip card in Africa? -- It's a good idea to bring a chip card if you're traveling to Africa, especially if you plan to travel between regions. Adoption rate of EMV technology throughout Africa was 77 percent by the end of 2012 and continues to expand ... (See Chip card)

4 ways to build credit without a credit card -- If you want to start building credit but don't want to get a credit card, there are other options, including passbook or CD loans, credit builder loans and alternative credit scores ... (See Credit without a card)

Better off broke: Why some choose poverty over wealth -- Not everyone craves a high-powered job, big house, luxury vacations and stockpiled cash. In fact, some prefer to both earn and spend far below their capability ... (See Broke)

Feds fine Chase, order $309 million refund for credit card add-ons -- The megabank took the money for, but did not deliver, the credit monitoring add-on product it sold to its credit card customers, federal regulators say ... (See Chase refund)

Move over cash: Mobile payments go small -- New services promise to make using your phone for small and casual transactions more convenient and secure. The dream: transferring money to your friends will be as easy and quick as sending an email or text message ... (See Mobile payments)

You can now #buy through social media -- but do you really want to? -- In-stream purchasing lets you buy products through social media by posting a simple hashtag or set of words. It's quick, convenient -- and potentially dangerous ... (See Social media)

Buying legal marijuana with a credit card still banned -- The new easing of federal enforcement of marijuana laws doesn't lift a ban on credit cards being used at legal pot dispensaries ... (See Marijuana banking)

Broke at Big U? Short-term college loans may help -- Many colleges offer loans up to $1,000 at little or no interest. For students short on cash while they wait for financial aid, the loans can be a life saver ... (See College cash)

It pays to know these 5 things about payroll cards -- More employers in the U.S. are offering their employees reloadable payroll cards in lieu of issuing checks or direct deposits. There are, however, a wide variety of costs and risks associated with payroll cards ... (See Payroll cards)

What?s the best rewards card for parents with kids in school? -- If you have kids away at college you'll need a rewards card that can help pay for travel -- and everyday expenses. Several fit that bill, but you may have to pay an annual fee ... (See Parents)

Many pay an unexpected price for deferred-interest deals -- About 1 in 5 people who sign up for deferred interest deals on big-ticket items actually wind up owing finance charges ... (See Deferred interest trap)

Deferred-interest, 0-percent financing 'deals' costly for many -- About 1 in 5 people who sign up for 0-percent, deferred interest deals wind up owing accumulated finance charges ... (See Deferred interest)

How to pick a socially responsible credit card -- Consumers who value sustainability have two major credit card options: Affinity cards that donate to charities, and cards issued by financial institutions devoted to the concept of 'the triple bottom line' ... (See Donate)

How 'authorized user' status can help build US credit -- New to the U.S.? There are several ways to start building a good credit history, most notably by becoming an authorized user on another's credit card ... (See Authorized user)

Infographic: Gen Y embraces mobile bill pay, boomers like mail -- When it comes to paying bills, consumers -- especially young ones -- are embracing mobile, according to an August 2013 survey from Western Union. Yet more "old-fashioned" methods of payment still remain popular among all age groups ... (See Bill payment by generations)

Q&A with 'Heads in Beds' author Jacob Tomsky -- Have you ever stayed at a luxury hotel and wondered what's going on behind the scenes? In his new book, "Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality," hotelier Jacob Tomsky dishes the dirt on the hospitality industry ... (See Dirt)

Point-of-sale pioneer Ron Klein looks back -- Ron Klein was heralded as the inventor of the mag stripe in a recent news article. Klein, now 78, is willing to cede credit for that but is keen to tell the story of how he pioneered credit card validation systems back in the 1960s. ... (See Ron Klein)

How 'mindfulness' can curb impulse spending -- By pausing to reflect, you can take a step back and make choices about what you're going to buy based on reason, rather than impulse ... (See Mindfulness)

Summer vacation mistakes that can cost you -- Daydreaming about a lazy day at the beach? Just make sure you don't make a vacation planning mistake that could set your finances back for months to come ... (See Vacation mistakes)

Congress aims to level the online gambling playing field -- Two bills being considered in Congress would regulate poker and other forms of online gambling, and could impose consistency on a patchwork of state laws. But it's a complex subject that blends gaming, morality, money-laundering and credit cards ... (See Online gambling)

How employee salary advances work -- Occasional emergency bridge loans from an employer can be OK, but regular pay advances are fraught with perils that can spill into the workplace ... (See Salary advances)

Didn't make that donation to charity? Watch out for fraud -- If you see a small donation to a charity on your credit card but don't remember making the gift, you may be a victim of fraud. Small transactions like these are often tests to see if a stolen card number is working ... (See Charity donation scam)

Q&A with 'Bootstrapper' author Mardi Jo Link -- Her book chronicles how she mended a broken heart and literally saved her Northern Michigan farm with alcohol, Buddhism and hard-won financial acumen ... (See Bootstrapper)

Jaron Lanier Q&A: Consumers, take back your data -- The computer visionary and influential thinker sees individual and widespread economic risk in turning details of our lives into commodities ... (See Jaron Lanier Q&A)

Are your finances ready for a 'babymoon'? -- Need a little alone time before that bundle of joy arrives? Time to start planning your "babymoon" -- just make sure you don't add to your stress by spending too much ... (See Babymoon planning)

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)

Looking for Mr. FICO: Singles using credit score to filter dates -- Your astrological sign? Pah. A growing number of today's singles employ a FICO filter, using credit scores to judge whether a date is responsible ... (See Creditworthy dating)

Pet wellness plans touted to spread out vet costs -- Some snarl, others purr at the idea of evening out pet care spending; evaluate all the costs and what's covered before signing up ... (See Pet wellness plans)

How to spend money to buy happiness -- "Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending" co-author Michael Norton says you can buy happiness if you know what to buy ... (See Happy Money)

Credit CARD Act: The next generation -- The federal watchdog agency is reviewing the 2009 law's impact; consumer groups are urging a host of fixes, enhancements ... (See Post-CARD Act)

Credit dispute process fix coming soon -- Disputing a credit report error? The bureaus will no longer discard your evidence; it will be scanned in and forwarded to the lender or debt collector ... (See Disputes)

U.S. rolling out chip card technology, ever so slowly -- Rely on your American magnetic-stripe cards for international travel and you could run into problems. Many other countries now use on more secure chip technology. But the U.S. is moving in that direction ... (See EMV card update)

Beware: Risk of data breaches rises when you travel -- The odds your card's data will be taken rise when you're on holiday for an obvious reason: You like to hang out at the same places the cyberthieves do ... (See Data breaches)

Q&A: ESPN's Mike Greenberg takes a write turn with novel -- The death of a friend inspired the popular sports talk show host to try his hand as a novelist ... (See Mike Greenberg)

Nontraditional borrowing alternatives to online P2P loans -- Peer-to-peer lending works for people with solid credit, but if you have a history of late payments, there are other creative alternatives to credit card loans ... (See Creative, nontraditional loan choices)

FTC targets cash-reload code scams -- The FTC has proposed banning telemarketers from taking payments via cash reload codes that are used to fund prepaid cards. The codes make it too easy for fraudsters to take cash without leaving a trace ... (See Cash reload)

Should you charge that new pet? -- Pet regret? If you put that new furry friend on plastic, you may be able to get a refund, but it all depends on exactly where you bought it and what went wrong ... (See Pets)

Two balance transfers means payment dilemma -- The federal CARD Act of 2009 created rules about how payments should be allocated when there are multiple rates, but not for multiple balances ... (See Payment allocation)

7 tips for saving time, money when shopping online -- As online shopping has evolved, so have the ways in which you can use the tool wisely. These seven tips will keep time on the clock and money in your wallet ... (See 7 online shopping tips)

10 ways to get more from your credit card through social media -- Social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube can help you resolve problems, find perks and maximize the benefits you get from your credit cards ... (See Cards and social media )

5 reasons budgets fail - and what to do about them -- Budgets can be a valuable tool to control spending, but many fail. Be wary of these five budget-bursting culprits, and learn how to prevent yours from flopping ... (See Why budgets fail)

Carrots offered, sticks abandoned: Card issuers lure late payers -- If you run a balance on your credit card and even maybe pays late sometimes, credit card issuers would like your business. To lure you, they're offering rewards for paying on time and reprieves from late fees ... (See Procrastinator's paradise?)

Fed holds line on interest rates -- The Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee voted to continue its low-rate policy in the face of stubborn unemployment ... (See Federal Reserve low intrest rate)

CFPB changes stay-at-home spouse rule -- The federal government's consumer agency has finalized a rule change to make it easier for nonworking, stay-at-home spouses to get their own credit cards ... (See Stay-at-home spouses)

2013 survey of balance transfer offers --'s annual balance transfer offer survey finds fees are falling, but a new breed of tempting hybrid cards is on the rise ... (See Balance transfer survey)

Can I get more rewards by using my hotel's app? -- Hotel chains are creating smartphone apps that allow you to reserve rooms, find info and maybe even earn triple points -- all on the go ... (See Hotel apps)

Card add-on products stage a comeback -- Add-on services like payment protection are expected to rebound from regulators' smackdown ... (See Card add-ons)

Feds crack down on payday loans, deposit advances -- Banks and storefront lenders will face new rules on small-dollar loans to protect borrowers ... (See Payday loan rules)

How can I upgrade to a chip card before a trip to Europe? -- Customer service tells a traveler he won't need a smart-chip card in Europe. But many kiosks won't accept cards without them. There are a couple of avenues left to pursue to get an upgrade without having to apply for a whole new card ... (See Chip-and-PIN cards)

GAO: ATM surcharges climbing -- The average ATM surcharge at banks and credit unions is up 20 percent since 2007, not counting inflation, a GAO report says ... (See GAO study: ATM surcharges up 20%)

Infographic: Consumers prefer mobile banking to mobile payments -- Proponents of mobile payment technology tout the convenience of leaving your wallet at home. Yet, while consumers are eager to bank by phone, they're not sold on buying by phone ... (See Mobile payments)

9 tips for traveling with credit cards -- There's more to smooth travel than just keeping your cards working. Here are 10 tips to make your travels with plastic cheaper, easier and more enjoyable ... (See Traveling with credit)

Vacay layaway: Pay now, enjoy later plans spread to vacations -- Cruises, airlines and travel agencies turn to layaway financing options so dreams of faraway places can come true, debt-free ... (See Vaction layaway)

Cash-now promise of lawsuit loans under fire -- Lawsuit loans -- cash advances given to lawsuit filers before a case is settled -- are the latest fast-growing, high-fee lending industry to draw controversy and attempts at regulation ... (See Lawsuit loans)

11 hidden credit card perks -- The phrase "credit card fine print" is usually associated with unpleasant, expensive gotchas, but these hidden surprises bring good news to your wallet ... (See 11 credit card perks)

Who pays your expenses if your company goes bankrupt? -- Technically, you could be on the hook for unpaid expenses you charged if the company goes belly up, but in practice, employees are pretty safe ... (See Company expenses)

Q&A: 'Jane Austen's Guide to Thrift' -- In their new book, Jane Austen fans Kathleen Anderson and Susan Jones proudly apply the romantic novelist's financial sensibilities to today's money problems ... (See Jane Austen)

Medical credit cards: Treatment today, payment headaches tomorrow -- Some say they're a savior in a medical crisis, while consumer advocates decry their high interest rates and few protections ... (See Medical cards)

5 tips when comparing health-care credit cards -- Facing a medical bill you can't afford all at once? Before you consider applying for a medical credit card, know what you're getting into ... (See Medical cards)

Health-care financing comparison chart -- Fewer health-care financing options populate the market since the recession. Compare the terms and conditions of the top medical credit cards and loans before you apply ... (See Medical credit card chart)

6 questions to ask about your company credit card -- Charging your plane ticket and hotel on a company card has big shot appeal, but know that it's a perk with responsibilities and maybe personal credit risk ... (See Corporate cards)

'Pound Foolish' author Helaine Olen takes on personal finance 'gurus' -- In her book, the self-confessed former money dummy skewers the dispensers of personal finance advice for their ill-fitting generic "wisdom" ... (See Helaine Olen)

Creative financing alternatives for small businesses -- Every small-business owner needs credit at some point. Unfortunately, traditional bank loans can be tough to get. But there are alternative financing solutions that could help when traditional credit isn't an option ... (See Small-business funding)

Compare credit card extended product warranties -- Most credit cards offer to extend manufacturers' warranties, but you'll have to meet a laundry list of requirements to qualify. (Hint: Keep receipts.) ... (See Extended warranties)

Prepare for paperless Social Security benefits -- As of March 1, 2013, paper checks for Social Security and other federal benefits disappeared, replaced by direct deposit or, for those with no bank accounts, prepaid debit cards. Here's how the check-less system works ... (See Federal benefits go digital )

American, US Airways merger could launch credit card battle -- While American Airlines and US Airways struck notes of love and harmony when announcing their merger, the union could set up a battle between two major banks over who can offer credit cards to customers of the world?s largest airline ... (See Airline merger rewards fallout)

Pay As You Earn helps some student loan borrowers -- If you're a college grad who used federal student loans to pay for college, you may be eligible for a new income-driven repayment tool: the Department of Education?s Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan ... (See Student loans)

Costly tax refund loans not really gone -- While RALs have effectively been banned, consumers are still being pitched to pay big on costly tax refund advances ... (See Refund anticipation loans live on)

Credit counseling agencies get bigger, but are they any better? -- A wave of consolidation is rapidly transforming credit counseling from locally based agencies to national call centers ... (See Big credit counseling agencies get bigger - but better?)

Why your traditional credit score may be becoming obsolete -- As millions of Americans recover from the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression, a growing number of credit card issuers are quietly testing new, more comprehensive ways to evaluate customers' creditworthiness ... (See Alternative credit scores)

Infographic: Buying by mobile phone hits critical mass -- Mobile payments made some headway toward the mainstream in 2012, according to research from IDC Financial Insights ... (See Mobile payments)

Sock rewards into retirement or college savings with investment cards -- Several rewards programs help you save for the future. Investment rewards can be deposited directly into retirement or college savings funds ... (See Investment rewards)

States limit welfare debit cards to ban tobacco, alcohol, lottery, porn purchases -- Prodded by abuses, states pass laws preventing food stamp and welfare debit cards from being used to buy tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets and porn ... (See Benefit cards)

How to get elite status at hotels quicker -- This is an excellent time to get into a hotel loyalty program with a rewards credit card: Their seasonal promotions can help you achieve 'elite' status faster ... (See Elite status)

What's in the (credit)cards for you in 2013? -- Smartphone magic that lets you breeze through checkout lines? Higher barriers against rapacious card rip-offs? We ask analysts what's ahead in 2013 ... (See 2013 predictions)

Are overdrafts on prepaid cards a good deal or a debt trap? -- Overdraft programs on prepaid cards are sneaky, high-cost loans that should be outlawed, consumer advocates say. But some customers of the card company NetSpend couldn't disagree more ... (See Prepaid card overdraft)

How credit cards can improve daily deals -- Daily deal offers are getting a fresh boost from credit cards. Here are three ways the new combos make deal-snatching easier ... (See Better daily deals)

Prototype credit card, up for auction, drawing interest -- A crudely constructed but historic credit card with the first magnetic stripe expected to fetch more than $10,000 at auction ... (See Historic credit card)

Growing number of jailers allow credit cards to post bail -- To the chagrin of traditional bail bond agents, an increasing number of jails allow arrested people to pay their bonds by credit card ... (See Pay bail with credit)

9 smartphone tips to ease holiday shopping stress -- Ease your holiday shopping experience by employing these handy dandy apps and tips that can save you time and money while preventing headaches ... (See 11 smartphone tips, apps)

Antidepressant use can spur spending sprees -- An unexpected and financially devastating side effect of antidepressants: irrational shopping sprees, gambling jaunts and reckless investments ... (See Antidepressants and spending)

Cards increase VIP experience programs -- Card companies are stepping up their special offers for cardholders, using their leverage as event sponsors to extend VIP-type perks to more mainstream customers ... (See VIP experiences)

Infographic: Bill pay goes mobile -- More consumers are using their mobile phones to pay their bills, a study has found ... (See Mobile bill pay)

Chart: 2012 gift card survey -- A survey of the top 63 gift cards reveals a changing landscape as issuers and retailers cater to consumer demand ... (See Gift cards 2012)

How federal 'Show us your cards' rule would work at the border -- A proposed rule to fight money laundering and terrorists would require people entering the U.S. to disclose their prepaid cards' values. Here's how it would work ... (See Prepaid cards)

'Welcome to the US; show us your papers -- and your cards -- In a move to thwart money laundering and terrorists, proposed U.S. border-crossing rules would include a new intrusion: travelers would have to declare prepaid cards' value ... (See Prepaid cards)

Study: Credit cards carry germs such as MRSA -- A study reveals that half of all credit cards sampled tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- better known as the deadly MRSA infection ... (See Germ-carrying credit cards)

New mobile technology leads to new fraud techniques -- Scammers are always trying to stay a step ahead, so it's no surprise they're finding ways to use QR codes and other forms of mobile malware ... (See New fraud)

Q&A With Daniel J. Smith: What's an honest Nigerian to do? -- Q&A with Daniel J. Smith, whose book 'A Culture of Corruption' describes a country whose best-known export includes millions of scam emails ... (See Nigerian email scams)

We told you not to scan this -- As we explained in our story, 'Mobile technology means new fraud techniques,' QR codes can be used to foist malware on unsuspecting code-scanners like you ... (See QR codes)

Credit card emergency travel assistance plans -- Luggage lost in Lithuania? Jailed in Jamaica? Your credit card's emergency travel assistance concierge service can lend a helping hand ... (See Emergency travel assistance)

Layaway 2012 season begins with an early rush -- Layaway payment plans, reborn in the recession, are retaining their popularity and coming back early, though consumers should be wary of the fees ... (See Layaway)

Basic frequent flier perks shrinking as airlines push top-tier programs -- Airlines are now more interested in luring us to second-level elite status (50,000 EQMs), so they're taking some goodies away from base-level elite members ... (See Frequent flier perks)

With federal law vague, online gambling advocates try to find wild cards at state level -- For online gambling advocates, the federal landscape has become cloudy, so they're turning to states, hoping to rack up smaller wins there ... (See Online gambling)

Q&A with David Urban, lobbyist turned inventor with 'Points for Politics' -- Q&A with David Urban, a D.C. lobbyist whose "Points for Politics" invention makes it easy to donate extra points to the candidate of your choice ... (See David Urban)

6 questions to ask your elderly parents about their finances -- It may be a hard conversation to have, but as your parents get older, you'll need to chat with them about their financial well-being. Here are six questions to get you started ... (See Money questions for aging parents)

Discover agrees to pay $214 million to settle payment protection case -- Discover Bank's tentative agreement with federal regulators includes $200 million in refunds to consumers who bought the high-priced add-on plans ... (See Discover settlement)

CFPB takes over regulation of major credit reporting agencies -- As of Sept. 30, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began supervising the biggest credit reporting agencies ... (See CFPB begins overseeing credit bureaus)

Despite chipless iPhone 5, smartphones morphing into payment devices -- The hot new iPhone doesn't have a chip in it to allow payments, but experts still expect we'll soon pay with the same gadgets we yak with ... (See Smartphones as payment devices)

Infographic: Mobile banking on the rise for young and old -- A quarterly survey conducted by Citi revealed that consumers who bank using their mobile device is growing, even among older age groups. ... (See Mobile banking rising)

Prepaid card debuts for recovering addicts -- A new prepaid card blocks the transactions that may cause a recovering addict to fall back into old habits ... (See Next Step: a card for addicts)

Liz Weston, author of 'No Dumb Questions About Money' Q&A -- Personal finance expert and author Liz Weston talks about everything from kids with credit cards to "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" ... (See Liz Westion Q&A)

Your credit card purchase protection plan: Will it cover your loss? -- You drop your new Nexus in the tub or have your iPhone pilfered from your gym locker. Out of luck? Not if your credit card can reimburse you ... (See Purchase protection )

Chip cards necessary for charging overseas? -- With magnetic-stripe credit cards being phased out in Europe, how necessary is it for Americans to get the new chip-and-PIN variety while traveling? ... (See Chip cards overseas?)

'Jury duty' phone scam makes the rounds, attorney generals warn -- Scam artists' latest trick, authorities warn, is to say you've missed jury duty and face jail -- unless you give up your credit card information ... (See Credit card scam)

After much scrutiny, banks pull back on credit protection plans -- Credit protection plans, lucrative add-ons for credit card companies but panned by critics for their dubious value, are on their way out, a survey of major card issuers shows ... (See Credit protection plans pulled)

Apps begin to fill gaps in giving blind access to touch screens -- While America's love affair with touch-screen payment devices continues to leave the blind and visually impaired in the dark, prospects for a hassle-free checkout in the near future are finally looking up. ... (See Apps for the blind)

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 poll ... (See Credit card surcharges)

Getting the card with the most travel perks for employees - McCarthy -- Reward your employees with a small business credit card that rewards them with quality travel perks ... (See Card perks for employees)

Financing your small business with credit cards: A capital idea? -- In this economy, small business loans are tough to get, so credit cards may be the solution for keeping operations afloat ... (See Small-business funding)

'Upcycling' turns credit cards into jewelry, trash into fashion -- Sure, you've purchased jewelry with a card. But have you ever worn jewelry made from a card? If so, trendy one, you've discovered 'upcycling' ... (See Credit card fashion)

Congress probes whether data brokers invade consumers' privacy -- Congress and regulators are taking a look at data brokers and the privacy concerns raised by the huge volumes of consumer data they amass in the shadows ... (See Data brokers)

Chase agrees to $100 million settlement over minimum payment hike -- The giant credit card issuing bank agreed to pay for its 2009 decision to suddenly boost its "fixed' minimum card payments from 2 percent to 5 percent ... (See Settlement)

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau watchdog turns 1 -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened for business July 21, 2011. One year later, the watchdog still has political enemies but has won allies ... (See CFPB turns 1)

Capital One to refund $150 million to credit card customers -- The bank marketed its "add-on" credit protection, credit monitoring products deceptively, say federal agencies in announcing the consumer refunds and fines ... (See Capital One)

Different rules apply to last two months of deferred interest payment plans -- An exception written into the Credit CARD Act directs more of a consumer's payments be applied to a deferred plan's balance during its final months ... (See Deferred plan payments)

Settlement lets retailers surcharge for credit card use; will they? -- Multibillion 'swipe fee' case tilts balance of power from card issuers to merchants, but whether consumers will benefit is unclear ... (See Credit card surcharges OK'd)

FICO introduces new, less traditional credit score -- Some consumers may hail Tuesday's release of the new FICO mortgage core powered by CoreLogic as a blessing. Others may see it as an unwanted invasion into their privacy that could make it even harder for them to secure a home loan ... (See Mortgage score)

The hidden costs of 'cashless' cruising -- Many cruise ships have gone to a cashless system onboard, but travelers should be wary: With cash out of sight, you can quickly go overboard on charges ... (See Cashless cruises)

IRS to tax-exempt hospitals: Go easier on medical debt collection -- Low-income Americans who fall behind on their medical bills will be spared the worst debt collection tactics under new IRS rules that grew out of the health care law ... (See Affordable Care Act)

Infographic: Credit card mail offers hit a 25 month low in April -- Credit card mail offers are plummeting, according to recent data. Will the dive that began in December 2011 continue? ... (See Credit card mailings)

Federal agency opens credit card complaint database to public -- The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is opening credit card complaints to public scrutiny for the first time. As of June 19, anyone with a Web browser can search the database to sift through cardholder complaints ... (See Credit card complaints)

What VantageScores are, how they work -- FICO scores may get all the attention. But your loan application may be judged through its competitor, VantageScore, which is becoming more widely used ... (See VantageScores 101)

Financial education program for military families launched -- Citi and a leading nonprofit credit counseling and education agency team up with veterans' service organizations to help solve financial issues for military families ... (See Financial education)

Federal officials challenge payday lending from tribal sovereign entities -- Native American tribes have long had rights of sovereign immunity -- but are those rights being abused in the case of payday loans and extreme interest rates? ... (See Tribal-based payday lenders)

3 trends shaping today's rewards credit cards -- No doubt that there are lots of good deals on rewards cards out there, but resign yourself: Maximizing your payoff will take some work ... (See Rewards cards: 3 trends)

Turning miles into cash gains favor -- After years of talking about it, the credit card loyalty program industry is poised to launch several programs where rewards points can be converted into cash ... (See Cash for miles, points)

Hush their mouths! Use credit card privacy statements to opt out of sharing personal information -- This one's not junk mail, so open and act on your annual credit card privacy statement. With it, you can (partially) control how your personal information is shared ... (See Credit card privacy statements)

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)

Winners and losers 3 years after Credit CARD Act -- Three years after President Obama signed the Credit CARD Act of 2009, consumers are better off, there are fewer complaints and huge interest rate hikes haven't come to pass ... (See CARD Act 3rd anniversary)

Passbook savings loans allow you to borrow against your own account balances -- Credit unions and some banks across the country offer a tool to help build credit: 'passbook savings loans' secured by your own savings ... (See Passbook savings loans)

Is it time to hire a daily money manager? -- Overweight? Hire a personal trainer. Dirty house? Get a cleaning service. But to whom do you turn to get a grip on overspending and debt? A daily money manager ... (See Daily money manager)

Credit card protection plans draw state lawsuits, federal scrutiny -- Consumer advocates have long warned against credit card protection plans for their high cost, low payouts and big exclusions. Now regulators are joining in ... (See Credit card protection plans)

7 questions to ask before buying credit card payment protection -- To see whether you're a fit for a credit card payment protection plan, ask yourself these seven questions ... (See Payment protection plans)

The latest privacy invasion: retailer tracking -- Credit and debit card purchases leave a surprisingly detailed purchase trail. What can you do to protect your privacy? ... (See Consumer privacy)

FCC: Prepaid calling cards remain 'a trap' -- PINs that don't work, murky fees, short fuse expiration dates and higher-than-advertised rates are among the prepaid calling cards' continuing flaws, says the federal agency ... (See Prepaid calling cards)

Award-winning card designs show plastic's flashy side -- These winners of the Elan Award -- a prize given to the year's most innovative card designs -- sparkle, shine and don't deserve to be hidden in a wallet ... (See Card design)

Is your doctor checking your credit report? -- A growing number of health care providers, including hospitals, surgeons, dentists' offices and fertility clinics, are checking patients' credit. And some consumer advocates are crying foul ... (See Medical credit checks)

Federal watchdog gives consumers a chance to speak on arbitration -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is giving consumers and banking industry representatives a chance to speak their minds about the long-disputed matter of arbitration ... (See Credit card arbitration)

How to combat 'financial cyberchondria' -- If your finances are floundering or your credit score is crashing, Twitter and Facebook could be to blame. Turns out reading tweets, Facebook status updates and Google+ posts can create a whole new kind of stress beyond 'is my former high school flame still single?' ... (See Financial cyberchondria)

More consumers ditch rewards, go with plain vanilla credit cards -- Basic credit cards won?t help you rack up free flights, wads of cash or gift cards. But new research shows they?re back in a big way, and they?re especially popular with young, financially savvy consumers ... (See Plain vanilla credit cards)

Convenience fees: When is it OK to charge extra to use a credit card? -- Paying with a credit card often yields rewards. But in certain situations those benefits come at a cost, not just through interest, but in the form of convenience fees ... (See Convenience fees)

Renting a car? Beware of phantom toll fee charges -- When renting a car, be aware that if you hit a boothless toll road, mysterious and expensive charges might be added to your final bill ... (See Toll booth charges)

How business cards can impact your bottom line; compare to find the best -- Business credit cards nearly disappeared during the recession, but have come back -- but without the safeguards consumer cards offer ... (See Compare business credit cards)

Rewards points auctions offer chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences -- Whether it's attending the Super Bowl or the Oscars, hanging out with celebrities, or enjoying an all-expenses-paid vacation at a luxury resort, you can probably find someone auctioning it off for reward points. Here's how they work ... (See Rewards points auctions)

High-tech ways to rent out your stuff -- You're happy to let your best friend borrow your mountain bike. But would you be willing to loan it out to a total stranger if you could make some money off the arrangement? ... (See High-tech rentals)

FTC privacy report backs a 'Do Not Track' Web option, better credit data access -- In backing a 'Do Not Track' option online, the agency also says high-tech data mining companies must abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act ... (See FTC privacy report)

7 easy ways to 'go green' with your finances -- As Earth Day approaches, know that when it comes to saving the planet, it's possible to make an eco-friendly difference one transaction at a time ... (See Go green with your finances)

Sally Herigstad: Reduced payment plans not offered by all credit card issuers -- Need help getting your credit card payments reduced for a while? Be prepared to get different answers from your card issuers ... (See Reduced credit card payment plans)

Credit cards' rate ranges make comparison shopping difficult -- Today's card offers have such wide APR ranges it's impossible to tell which rate you'll get and whether it's a good deal until the card arrives ... (See APR ranges)

Does your kid need a financial coach? -- Soccer coach? Sure. Algebra tutor? No problem. But what about hiring a money coach for your kid? A new breed of financial advisers and life coaches, billing themselves as financial coaches for kids and teens, thinks it's worth it ... (See Kids and money coaches)

Cathleen McCarthy: Who owns frequent flier miles from a corporate credit card? -- The company pays, and an employee flies, but who gets the miles for that flight? It turns out that neither party will end up empty-handed ... (See Corporate cards and frequent flier miles)

Student ID/debit card combos bring high fees, controversy to college campuses -- Thought marketing plastic on campus was a thing of the past? Not so fast. Two years after the Credit CARD Act went into effect, banks are still on campus but are luring new customers with college ID cards that double as debit cards ... (See Student IDs and debit cards)

Cathleen McCarthy: Which rewards card is the best for travel upgrades? -- Looking to pay for travel upgrades with rewards points? We'll lay out some of your best options ... (See Rewards upgrades)

Financial literacy online resources for parents, children -- With a decreasing number of states requiring financial literacy courses, what's a parent to do to raise money-smart kids? These resources will help ... (See Financial literacy)

5 smart banking tips for college students -- The bank your college chooses may be more convenient. However, experts say you're better off thinking about what you really want from a banking service before you sign your name on the dotted line. These tips can help you decide ... (See College students and banking)

Personal loans on the rise - are they right for you? -- Priced as high as credit cards, but paid off over a fixed time like auto loans, this financial product is finding a growing audience ... (See Personal loans)

8 ways to save money without feeling (much) pain -- Unless your name is Trump or Kardashian, you're looking for ways to economize. These eight ways will trim costs without hacking away at your lifestyle ... (See 8 ways to save)

How credit cards can help -- or hurt -- you at tax time -- Are credit card rewards taxable? When should and shouldn't you put taxes on a card? Our tax package answers these questions and more ... (See Credit cards and taxes)

Cards with no foreign transaction fees surge -- Competing for well-heeled travelers, an increasing number of credit card issuers have reduced or even dropped foreign transaction fees ... (See Foreign transaction fees )

Airline and hotel rewards donation chart -- Most major hotel chains and airlines allow you to donate unused rewards points or miles. This chart provides links to donation information pages for more than a dozen different airlines or hotels ... (See Rewards donation chart)

How to donate unused rewards miles, points -- Are your miles about to expire? Don't rush out and spend them on something you don't need just to get rid of them. Donate them to charity instead -- you get the same result, minus the useless merchandise cluttering your house ... (See Donate)

Cash-back credit cards survey: More generous, but more complicated -- A survey finds that the days of low, flat rewards are ending, but consumers need to closely watch their more-complicated cards ... (See 2012 cash-back credit cards survey)

Late on your credit card bill? Your auto could be seized -- Credit unions are especially fond of a clause that lets an financial institution seize cars or deposits if loans at the same institution go bad ... (See Cross-collaterization)

Credit cards and high art: Artists draw inspiration from plastic -- Five innovative artists reveal the motivations and messages behind their work -- and how to properly mangle a card for artistic effect ... (See Credit cards and high art)

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)

9 things you should know about your credit card receipt -- They're those annoying scraps of paper that litter your purse or flutter from your wallet at inopportune moments, but receipts for credit card transactions are actually worth paying attention to ... (See Credit card receipts)

Rein in your spending with help from your annual credit card summary -- In the next few weeks, many credit card holders will get a year-end report that can function like a treasure map in helping to find disappearing cash. With it, you can determine where you need financial fine-tuning -- and then you can take action ... (See Rein in spending) survey of 2012 balance transfer cards shows offers getting better --'s annual survey of balance transfer cards show increasingly longer zero percent periods, but with higher balance transfer fees ... (See Balance transfer cards)

Supreme Court backs credit card binding arbitration -- The court's 8-1 ruling is a setback for consumer groups, who see arbitration as a contract clause that gives card issuers an unfair edge in disputes ... (See Credit card binding arbitration) survey: Penalty rates creep higher, but become rarer -- In the wake of the Credit CARD Act's restrictions, many card issuers no longer bother with penalty rates. But research finds for those that retain them, the rate is even higher ... (See Penalty rates)

Can your social network protect against fraud? -- Social network authentication -- it's the latest tool banks and merchants will be using to verify that you are who you really are before they hand over the goods ... (See Social network authentication)

14 fun credit card crafts -- from high art to kitsch -- If the exploding popularity of do-it-yourself craft blogs and sites such as Etsy and Pinterest is any indication, the world is DIY-crazed, furiously crafting objets d'art out of anything we can get our hands on -- and the credit card is no exception ... (See Credit card crafts)

Don't toss out that expired Groupon -- Deals from Groupon and other daily deals sites aren't so great when they expire before you can use them. Luckily, there's some good news for procrastinators: Just because your Groupon expired doesn't mean you lose all your money on it ... (See Expired Groupon)

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)

6 things to know about virtual credit card numbers -- Also called 'temporary' or 'disposable,' these one-time-use card numbers can help keep your 'real' card safe ... (See Disposable credit card numbers)

Financial watchdog unveils prototype of simpler credit card agreement -- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking steps to make those confusing credit card agreements easier to read and understand. The agency released a prototype of a simpler agreement and is seeking public input on its design ... (See Credit card model agreement)

Review asked of rule that hurts access to credit of stay-at-home moms -- A rare, bipartisan congressional group has challenged the fairness of an 'independent income' test for those who apply for credit cards ... (See Congress independent income )

Study: Impatient people have lower credit scores -- Patience isn't just a virtue, it's worth points on your credit score, says an upcoming research paper that found those who succumb to immediate gratification were likely to have lower scores ... (See Impatience and credit scores)

Western Union moves to global prepaid cards -- In a joint effort with MasterCard, Western Union upgrades its cash transfer system globally -- allowing customers the ability to easily transfer funds ... (See Prepaid cards)

Christmas clubs: Start saving now to avoid card debt next holiday -- These old-fashioned savings tools are still around at smaller banks and credit unions, and they can be a useful, fun part of an overall savings strategy ... (See Christmas clubs)

2011 credit card holiday gift promotions -- If your gift list includes the promotional items offered by the card issuers, you could get discounts or boost your own rewards ... (See Special holiday bargains)

Chart: 2011 holiday credit card promotions, special deals -- This chart helps you find details of the special credit card promotions, special deals and bargains that seven major card issuers have offered for the 2011 holiday season ... (See Holiday credit card promotions)

More stores moving to digital receipts -- With the holidays approaching, more retailers are rolling out digital receipts in an attempt to streamline the inevitable glut of post-holiday returns. But not everyone is happy about it ... (See Digital receipts)

Bowing to pressure, BofA drops controversial debit card use fee -- After weeks of negative publicity and customer anger, Bank of America announced Tuesday it will drop plans for a controversial fee for using debit cards ... (See Debit card fees)

7 reasons why your next cellphone should have an NFC chip -- After years of promises, contactless mobile phone payment technology is finally here. Here?s why you might want it for your next -- or current -- smartphone ... (See Contactless payments)

10 creative ways to present gift cards -- Simplify your holiday gift shopping this year by dressing up a plain old gift card to give it that personal touch ... (See Wrapping gift cards)

Gift card survey 2011: E-gift cards take center stage -- Though the economy may be struggling, a survey of gift card issuers shows that the gift card industry continues to innovate, with digital gifting offerings breathing new life into an already strong segment of the retail market ... (See Gift card survey 2011)

Mobile gift cards: the 'cooler' gift card -- Mobile gift cards are the cooler, more sophisticated and smarter cousin to the plastic gift card -- and retailers are jumping on the bandwagon ... (See Mobile gift cards)

Predictive analytics: Issuers' crystal ball into card spending patterns -- Card issuers turn to algorithms to determine if you are about to leave them or are having trouble paying your bills -- and allows them to step in to turn the tide ... (See Credit card predictive analytics)

Big banks get into the payday loan business -- It's the end of the month and money's tight, but instead of going to your local payday loan shop, some banks are offering their version of high-interest payday loans ... (See Banks and payday loans)

Your Wallet Recovery Kit -- Use this free, interactive tool to safely store important credit card and other data you carry with you, so you'll be able to recover quickly from having a wallet lost or stolen ... (See Wallet Recovery Kit)

Experian gets personal to teach about credit, but it'll cost you -- Got a question about your credit report? A major credit bureau is now offering consumers the chance to have their questions answered over the phone by a real, live person -- for a price ... (See Experian Credit Educator service)

Buying online via credit card? FTC proposes quicker refunds -- Rules written before the Internet existed are due for an update, the agency says, including a change that will get credit card users faster refunds for merchandise ... (See Quicker credit card refunds)

ATMs 2.0: Futuristic cash dispensers may include holograms, facial recognition -- Some of the high-tech ATMs being designed and tested may never make it to the market, we have to admit ... since one of them includes a lie detector ... (See ATMs of the future)

Discover expects U.S. 'enforcement action' over its marketing practices -- How the card issuer sold to consumers its fee-based add-on programs such as ID theft protection to consumers has drawn fire ... (See Discover and FDIC)

8 creative credit card designs that flopped -- In this slideshow, we look at eight creative credit card designs that failed to find their place in wallets across America -- and some that never even made it out of the lab ... (See Failed card designs)

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)

Q&A with Hill Harper, 'CSI: NY' actor, author of 'The Wealth Cure' -- In his book "The Wealth Cure," the Harvard Law grad and hoops buddy of the president equates the battle for health to the battle for wealth ... (See Q&A with CSI's Hill Harper)

Reduce gas pump pain with retailer reward cards -- With consumers spending an ever-larger chunk of income on fuel, it helps to know that some grocers can lessen the pain with gas-incentive card programs ... (See Retailers' gas card rewards)

10 weird credit card gadgets, devices and outfits -- Credit cards are useful, but these objects shaped like or inspired by cards let you wear them, shoot them or even floss with them ... (See Weird card gadgets)

Refer-a-friend programs catch on for credit cards, prepaid cards -- Current customers, friends can get discounts for signing up, and some programs use social media to spread the word ... (See Refer-a-friend programs)

New federal credit card complaint system off to a rocky start -- Complaints about complaint system: Banks say gripes to new consumer watchdog bureau's centralized system sometimes don't get through ... (See Credit card complaints)

Cool card networks social media contests -- From Yankees tickets to cash, the four major credit card networks are offering some pretty cool stuff on Facebook these days ... (See Card issuers and social media)

9 low-tech ways to manage money and credit -- Forget the apps, alerts and software. Old-fashioned ways of keeping track of how and where you spend often are the most effective ... (See Low-tech money management)

Flurry of credit cards for affluent people, small businesses launched -- The well-to-do and those who charge a lot are still coveted by card issuers, who offer competing lures of boosted rewards, other goodies ... (See Credit card rewards)

9 steps to take if your credit card data is hacked -- When it comes to protecting customers, all banks are not alike -- but what can you do if your bank's database gets hacked? ... (See Credit card hacked? 9 steps to take)

J.D. Power survey finds consumers happier with their credit cards -- American Express, Discover once again top the annual survey of consumer satisfaction with their cards ... (See 2011 credit card satisfaction survey)

How Capital One buying HSBC credit card accounts affects consumers -- Some 27 million U.S. cardholders awoke Wednesday to a new bank when Capital One bought HSBC's card portfolio. Here's what they should expect ... (See Card deal)

New medical FICO score sparks controversy, questions -- Within the next 12 months, like it or not, about 10 million Americans are expected to be scored -- much like a credit score -- on how likely they are to fill a prescription and take all the pills, on schedule ... (See Medical score)

Mint bans $1 coin trick that let rewards credit card holders rack up big points -- A favorite frequent flier points-building scheme -- buying coins from the Mint on credit cards, returning the metal but pocketing rewards, is no longer allowed ... (See U.S. Mint)

If U.S. can't make payroll, federal workers, aid recipients will have help, lenders say -- Banks and credit unions that cater to federal employees are beginning to offer aid to their account holders should the U.S. fail to reach a debt ceiling deal and stops paying its workers ... (See Debt crisis)

Nonprofits innovate to help low-income people establish credit -- With good credit increasingly important to living a mainstream life, the agencies are finding ways to step into the gaps that prevent people from starting and building credit ... (See Credit help)

Day 1 for new consumer financial protection watchdog -- On its first day of existence, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began policing large banks for consumer protection and launched a website to collect consumer complaints about credit cards ... (See CFPB)

Financing cosmetic surgery: 10 options -- Tummy tucks, facelifts and nose jobs don't come cheap and are rarely covered by insurance. So how do you come up with the cash to get the look of your dreams? ... (See Plastic surgery)

How to get a refund if your airfare drops after you buy -- You book your flight early and then the price plummets. But, if you know how, you may be able to recoup at least some of the cost difference in the form of a voucher for a future flight ... (See Airfare refund)

9 unusual credit card rewards and perks -- If you take the time to peruse the merchandise and reward packages your points can buy, you may be surprised at the bounty you've been missing out on -- from kitschy to luxurious to downright bizarre ... (See Crazy rewards)

Airline, hotel credit cards offering sign-up bonus for adding authorized users -- Adding an authorized user can put you over the top for that free flight, but experts advise caution -- it dings your credit and exposes you to financial risk ... (See Authorized user)

7 tips for maximizing use of a digital gift card -- The market for digital gift cards has tripled in three years. While similar to their plastic counterpart, there are some differences you need to be aware of ... (See Digital gift cards)

7 questions to ask before opening an online bank account -- If brick-and-mortar bank fees and lackluster interest rate are pushing you to consider an online-only bank, how do you decide if branchless banking is right for you? ... (See Online banking)

The rise and fall of the credit card magnetic stripe -- More than four decades after its creation, the credit card magnetic stripe has revolutionized the way we make purchases and share personal information. Before it goes the way of the dodo, we look back at its history. ... (See Magnetic stripe)

Sign-up bonuses for rewards credit cards become more generous -- As cards make a comeback from the recession, issuers chasing new customers are becoming more generous with sign-up bonuses ... (See Reward card bonuses)

With all the airline fees, can you afford that 'free' flight? -- At last, you've earned enough frequent flier rewards for a free trip to your dream spot. But with all the fees, 'free' isn't what it used to be ... (See "Free" flight fees)

Survey: Annual fees kept at bay despite credit card reform law -- Dire predictions from card issuers that a 2009 reform law would boost fees has not come to pass, our fee survey shows ... (See Credit card fee survey)

Want a secured card? Experts offer advice on managing secured card accounts -- Secured cards have higher rates and fees, but their terms vary, so it pays to comparison shop and ask questions ... (See Secured credit cards)

Patelco CU Gold credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Patelco CU Gold credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Patelco CU Gold credit card fees)

Penn State Employees CU Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Penn State Employees CU Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Penn State Employees CU Classic credit card fees)

Pentagon FCU Standard credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Pentagon FCU Standard credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Pentagon FCU Standard credit card fees)

Pentagon FCU PenPromise Standard credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Pentagon FCU PenPromise Standard credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Pentagon FCU PenPromise Standard credit card fees)

RBS Citizens Bank Platinum card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the RBS Citizens Bank Platinum card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See RBS Citizens Bank Platinum credit card fees)

Redstone FCU Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Redstone FCU Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Redstone FCU Platinum credit card fees)

Redstone FCU Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Redstone FCU Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Redstone FCU Classic credit card fees)

San Diego County CU Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the San Diego County CU Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See San Diego County CU Platinum credit card fees)

Security Services FCU Gold credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Security Services FCU Gold credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Security Services FCU Gold credit card fees)

Security Services FCU Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Security Services FCU Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Security Services FCU Classic credit card fees)

Simmons First National Bank Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Simmons First National Bank Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Simmons First National Bank Platinum credit card fees)

Simmons First National Bank Gold credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Simmons First National Bank Gold credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Simmons First National Bank Gold credit card fees)

Simmons First National Bank Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Simmons First National Bank Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Simmons First National Bank Classic credit card fees)

Intrust Bank Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Intrust Bank Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Intrust Bank Platinum credit card fees)

M and I Marshall Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for M and I Marshall Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See M and I Marshall Platinum credit card fees)

State Employees FCU Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the State Employees FCU Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See State Employees FCU Classic credit card fees)

Michigan State Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Michigan State Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Michigan State Platinum credit card fees)

State Farm Bank Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for State Farm Bank Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See State Farm Bank Classic credit card fees)

PNC Bank Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for PNC Bank Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See PNC Bank Platinum credit card fees)

Suncoast Schools CU Classic (Starter Card) credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Suncoast Schools CU Classic (Starter Card) credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Suncoast Schools CU Classic (Starter Card) credit card fees)

US Bank Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for US Bank Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See US Bank Platinum credit card fees)

UMB Bank Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the UMB Bank Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See UMB Bank Platinum credit card fees)

Virginia Credit Union Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Virginia Credit Union Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Virginia Credit Union Platinum credit card fees)

Virginia Credit Union Gold credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Virginia Credit Union Gold credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Virginia Credit Union Gold credit card fees)

VyStar CU Gold credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for VyStar CU Gold credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See VyStar CU Gold credit card fees)

VyStar CU Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for VyStar CU Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See VyStar CU Classic credit card fees)

Navy FCU Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Navy FCU Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Navy FCU Platinum credit card fees)

Wells Fargo Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Wells Fargo Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Wells Fargo Platinum credit card fees)

Patelco CU Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Patelco CU Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Patelco CU Classic credit card fees)

Wescom CU Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Wescom CU Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Wescom CU Platinum credit card fees)

Discover More credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Discover More credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Discover More credit card fees)

Fifth Third Bank Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Fifth Third Bank Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Fifth Third Bank Platinum credit card fees )

First Hawaiian Bank Gold credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for First Hawaiian Bank Gold credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See First Hawaiian Bank Gold credit card fees)

First Hawaiian Bank Classic credit card fees -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the First Hawaiian Bank Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See First Hawaiian Bank Classic credit card fees)

FNB Omaha Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for FNB Omaha Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See FNB Omaha Platinum credit card fees)

Delta Community Credit Union Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Delta Community Credit Union Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Delta Community Credit Union Classic credit card fees)

Delta Community Credit Union Gold credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Delta Community Credit Union Gold credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Delta Community Credit Union Gold fees)

Delta Community Credit Union Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Delta Community Credit Union Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Delta Community Credit Union Platinum fees)

Blue from American Express credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Blue from American Express credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Blue from American Express credit card fee)

First Tennessee Bank Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for First Tennessee Bank Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See First Tennessee Bank Platinum credit card fees)

First Tennessee Bank Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for First Tennessee Bank Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See First Tennessee Bank Classic credit card fees)

First-Citizens Bank and Trust Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for First-Citizens Bank and Trust Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See First-Citizens Bank and Trust Platinum credit card fees)

Clear from American Express credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Clear from American Express, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Clear from American Express credit card fees)

FirstMerit Corp. Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for FirstMerit Corp. Platinum, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See FirstMerit Corp. Platinum credit card fees)

FirstMerit Corp. Classic (Variable) credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for FirstMerit Corp Classic (Variable) credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See FirstMerit Corp. Classic (Variable) credit card fee)

Affinity FCU Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Affinity FCU Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Affinity FCU Classic credit card fee schedule )

FirstMerit Corp. Classic (Fixed) credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for FirstMerit Corp. Classic (Fixed) credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See FirstMerit Corp. Classic (Fixed) credit card fee)

Affinity FCU Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for Affinity FCU Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Affinity FCU Platinum credit card fee )

HSBC Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for HSBC Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See HSBC Platinum credit card fees)

America First CU Classic (no annual fee) credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for America First CU Classic (no annual fee) credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See America First CU Classic (no annual fee) credit card fees)

America First CU Classic (with annual fee) credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the America First CU Classic (with annual fee) credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See America First CU Classic (with annual fee) credit card fees)

America First CU Platinum Rewards credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the America First CU Platinum Rewards credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See America First CU Platinum Rewards credit card fee)

America First CU Classic Rewards credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the America First CU Classic Rewards credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See America First CU Classic Rewards credit card fee)

Arizona FCU Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Arizona FCU Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Arizona FCU Platinum credit card fees)

Bank of America BankAmericard Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Bank of America BankAmericard Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Bank of America BankAmericard Platinum credit card fee)

Baxter (BCU) Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Baxter (BCU) Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Baxter (BCU) Platinum credit card fees)

BBVA Compass Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the BBVA Compass Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See BBVA Compass Platinum credit card fee)

BECU (Boeing Employees) Classic (Rewards option available with $25 fee) credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the BECU (Boeing Employees) Classic (Rewards option available with $25 fee) credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See BECU (Boeing Employees) Classic credit card fee )

Capital One Classic Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Capital One Classic Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Capital One Classic Platinum credit card fees)

Capital One Platinum Prestige credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Capital One Platinum Prestige credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Capital One Platinum Prestige credit card fees)

Capital One Standard Platinum (Average Credit) credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Capital One Standard Platinum (Average Credit) credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Capital One Standard Platinum credit card fees)

Chase Platinum Slate credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Chase Platinum Slate credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Chase Platinum Slate credit card fees)

Citibank Platinum Select credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Citibank Platinum Select credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Citibank Platinum Select credit card fees)

Columbus Bank and Trust Platinum credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Columbus Bank and Trust Platinum credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Columbus Bank and Trust Platinum credit card fees)

AmeriCU secured credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the AmeriCU secured credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See AmeriCU secured credit card fees)

Digital FCU Classic credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Digital FCU Classic credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Digital FCU Classic credit card fees)

Bank of America secured credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Bank of America secured credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Bank of America secured credit card fees)

BBVA Compass secured credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the BBVA Compass secured credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See BBVA Compass secured credit card fees)

Capital One secured credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Capital One secured credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Capital One secured credit card fees)

Pentagon FCU Gold credit card fee schedule -- Here's the 2011 fee schedule for the Pentagon FCU Gold credit card, according to the annual Credit Card Fee Survey ... (See Pentagon FCU Gold credit card fees)

Nontraditional ways to seek financial guidance -- At the end of your rope with money issues? Maybe you should turn to a psychic, hypnotist or kinesiologist to help you work through your hurdles ... (See Financial guidance)

Online layaway: Old-fashioned payment system gets new digital life -- During the recession, the old-fashioned concept of layaway came roaring back to life. Now it even has an online twist ... (See Online layaway)

Erica Sandberg: Are credit protection plans worth the cost? -- In all her years working with people with credit problems, our expert has never heard someone exclaim, 'My credit protection plan was a lifesaver!' ... (See Credit protection plans)

What info can you be asked for when using a credit card? -- When you pay by credit card and a merchant asks you for personal information, do you have to show it? In most cases, no. In some instances, asking for personal information may violate store policy, credit card merchant agreements, and even state law. ... (See Personal info)

Representatives ask for review of rule limiting credit cards to stay-at-home spouses -- A Fed rule limiting credit availability of stay-at-home spouses should be studied to see if it hurts them, a quartet of U.S. representatives said in a letter Friday ... (See Independent income rule)

VantageScore turns 5: What it is, and why it matters -- It's been five years since VantageScore was launched as a more consumer-friendly alternative to the dominant FICO credit score, but has it really made a difference? It depends on who you ask ... (See VantageScore)

Travelers to U.S. may face credit card compatibility hurdles -- If European card issuers remove the magnetic stripe from their chip-and-PIN cards, then how would international travelers use their cards here? ... (See Chip-and-PIN cards)

Gary Foreman: Should you put your money in a mattress? -- Savings rates are still horrid, housing prices are still falling, but hoarding money in a mattress still isn't wise ... (See Money in a mattress)

True or movie myth: Can police trace a phone call in 60 (but not 59) seconds? -- So a mad bomber calls you, threatens to blow up the world, and police are on the line. If you keep MB on the line for 60 seconds, can the call be traced? ... (See Phone call tracking)

Play now, pay later: Sports teams, theme parks roll out payment plans -- Your favorite theme park or pro sports team wants you back, even if you have to pay for your fun over time ... (See Entertainment payment plans)

QA with David Sirota, 'Back to Our Future' author -- The financial excesses of the '80s, epitomized by the fictional character Gordon Gecko, came horribly true in this century with characters such as Bernie Madoff, author says ... (See QA with David Sirota)

7 free ways to reduce the stress caused by money, finances -- If you want to solve those money problems, you need a clear mind, healthy body, experts say. Here are simple ways to get them back ... (See Money stress)

Banks cut, cancel their debit rewards programs -- With banks cutting back or entirely scrapping their popular debit card rewards programs, what's a consumer to do? Here are your options ... (See Debit rewards)

8 credit card strategies of frequent flier mile pros -- These travel junkies earn hundreds of thousands of miles without ever entering an airport. Use their credit card techniques to reap your own free flights ... (See Flier tips)

Study: For some, prepaid card is better deal than a checking account -- With costs on the rise in the banking industry, a recent study found that prepaid cards might be a sound financial decision for people - even outpacing checking accounts in some cases. ... (See Prepaid card vs. checking)

6 key questions to ask before buying an online coupon deal -- Hit the "buy" button too quickly, and deal-a-day websites can quickly turn into credit card debt. Ask yourself these six questions before you take the plunge ... (See Online coupons)

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)

The golden days of having credit -- Today, having the uber-exclusive American Express Black Card is a status symbol. A half-century ago, being approved for a credit card meant you had joined the American elite ... (See Credit cards)

Credit card issuers, banks waive fees for Japan relief donations -- Banks will forgo their usual transaction fees so that 100 percent of the money donated for Japan relief reach its destination ... (See Credit card donations)

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)

QA with 'Super Rich' author and hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons -- In a wide-ranging interview, the hip-hop entrepreneur promotes spirituality, peace and defends the fees on his prepaid RushCard ... (See Russell Simmons)

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)

Citi, AmEx launch pilot rewards card program: Two cards, one account, one statement -- Trying to lure back customers in a post-recession, post-reform world, card issuers are testing programs that offer more flexible rewards ... (See Two cards, one account)

High-tech tithing: Churches embrace online credit, debit card donations -- Tithing? There's an app for that. Churchgoers have moved past the collection plate to swiping plastic, paying at a vestibule ATM or punching the buttons of their smart phones ... (See High-tech tithing)

8 tips to stop banking app fraud -- Having an app from your bank on a smart phone or tablet computer is incredibly convenient, but is it safe? Learn how to protect your mobile device ... (See Mobile banking app tips)

Study: U.S. credit cards more transparent since new law kicked in -- A study marking the one-year anniversary of the reforms enacted by the Credit CARD Act finds they haven't raised prices, and have increased transparency ... (See CARD Act study)

10 ways business credit cards are different -- Business credit cards offer distinct advantages, but not all the protections of consumer cards ... (See Business card differences)

Medical marijuana sellers can't take their 420 money to the bank -- Pot merchants, selling legally under state laws, are shunned by major credit card banks, but a few entrepreneurs see a budding opportunity ... (See Medical marijuana: 420 money is shunned by banks)

How much it costs to attend Super Bowl XLV -- You won't see any credit card Super Bowl ads in 2011, but they'll be everywhere -- mainly because it costs so much you couldn't carry enough cash ... (See Super Bowl XLV prices)

Consumer Reports urges consumers to write Congress about unreadable credit card agreeements -- Consumer Reports launched a campaign urging consumers to write or call their U.S. Senators with this message: Make credit card contracts simple, clear and short ... (See Credit card agreements)

Cookies and credit: Card issuers watch how you shop for credit cards, customize offers -- Shopping online for a credit card? Some issuers have begun to use high-tech marketing techniques to vary their offers based on what they think they know about you from your online behavior ... (See Card issuers' online techniques)

5 tools for rebuilding your post-recession credit -- A number of credit issuers are stepping up offers to consumers working to regain their financial footing, after months of keeping their coffers closed ... (See Rebuilding your credit)

0 percent balance transfer offers stage a comeback -- If you've noticed a fresh spate of 0 percent balance transfer offers in your mailbox lately, you're not alone, experts say. However, the latest offers come with some new terms and conditions that could trip up unsuspecting consumers ... (See 0 percent balance transfer offer)

Free, public Wi-Fi can be dangerous to your credit card, bank accounts -- If you use a free Wi-Fi connection in an airport, cafe or some other public space, you may be taking a big risk with your credit card information. But the good news is there are steps you can take to secure your data ... (See Wi-Fi card threats)

QA with Matt Taibbi, author of 'Griftopia' -- Gonzo Rolling Stone writer Matt Tiabbi doesn't just pick a bone with Wall Street in his latest book, "Griftopia." He dissects the entire rotting carcass ... (See Matt Taibbi)

Watch what you post! Collectors turn to social media -- Social networking websites are becoming hotspots for collection agencies wanting to track down elusive debtors ... (See Debt collection, social media)

Issuers use incentives to push paperless billing -- While more consumers pay bills online, far fewer have given up on paper bills and statements entirely. As a result, card issuers are dangling incentives as sweepstakes and extra features to get consumers to switch off the paper ... (See Paperless billing)

Comparing pro sports leagues' credit cards -- From Major League Baseball to the UFC, credit card issuers are offering something for every sports fan. It's fine to root, root, root for the home team, but if they don't offer a credit card with decent terms, it's a shame ... (See Compare pro sports cards)

How to change financial bad habits in 8 steps -- Making lasting changes requires time, discipline and a dive into the psyche to figure out why, exactly, you handle money the way you do ... (See Change financial bad habits)

Experts' credit card and debt predictions for 2011 -- Debit cards cool off, mobile payments soar and we return to some of our old habits, say our prognosticators of plastic payments ... (See Credit card 2011 predictions)

Store loyalty programs: Discounts can have hidden costs -- Sure, the popular store loyalty programs offer discounts, but is it really a discount if you're chasing savings on items you wouldn't have otherwise bought? ... (See Store loyalty programs)

Discover test credit card offers draw criticism -- The test offers Discover made skirt the edges of federal regulations requiring complete disclosure of terms, say consumer advocates ... (See Discover)

Video: No more naked gift cards -- Amp up the wow factor when you give gift cards this Christmas.'s Cynthia Drake -- on a mission to rid the world of naked gift cards -- presents three fun, simple ideas for jazzing up those gift cards this year. ... (See Video)

15 fun, easy ways to wrap gift cards -- Amp up the 'wow' factor when giving gift cards this holiday season. All it takes it a little creativity -- and a personal touch ... (See Fun, easy ways to wrap gift cards)

Prepaid city cards boost 'shop local' campaigns -- The introduction of "city cards" boosts support and shopping for town and cities who want to keep more dollars local ... (See Prepaid city cards)

You made a layaway purchase? How to retrieve your merchandise -- Buying by layaway has made a comeback, so many people are new to the process. Here's how to make sure your merchandise retrieval goes smoothly ... (See Layaway retrieval tips)

How to solve credit card problems through Twitter -- Why wait on endless hold to dispute a credit card fee over the phone when can post your complaint on Twitter and often resolve the problem more quickly and with fewer hassles? ... (See Twitter customer service)

The Credit Card Hall of Shame: All-time worst credit crimes -- What's it take to make our list? A fast-buck scheme. A willingness to wreak widespread financial havoc for personal gain. And a taste for larceny -- and prison ... (See Credit card crime)

Goodbye, checks: State governments move to paying by debit cards, direct deposit -- More state programs are switching to paying benefits via via debit cards, but programs vary widely. Here are nine things to know ... (See State debit cards)

11 buying, spending tips:: Your holiday credit card self-defense guide -- If you don't do your homework and take the time to protect yourself -- not just from fraudsters, but from yourself and your own compulsions -- your holiday bills could go sky-high. These 11 tips can help ... (See Holiday credit card shopping)

2010 holiday credit card and debit card special promotions -- The halls are decked with deals this season as stores, credit card and debit card issuers team up for holiday promotions ... (See Holiday deals)

Chart: 2010 holiday credit card and debit card special promotions -- Card issuers are rolling out special holiday deals to entice reluctant, recession-weary consumers into spending once again ... (See Chart: 2010 credit card holiday deals)

2011 brings expensive changes to FSA, HSA use -- Unless you have a prescription, that card you've used to buy drugs could have a surcharge tacked on ... (See Health care law)

Debt's most tragic toll: murder-suicide -- While a poor economy doesn't make someone abusive, financial hardship can turn someone already on the edge into a violent criminal ... (See Debt and murder)

Your credit card can make you elite -- Achieving elite status on a frequent flier program may be easier than you think -- especially if you have the right credit card ... (See Frequent flier)

2010 gift card comparison table -- Even in a tough economy, gift cards are always popular. The 2010 holiday season should be no different. Use this chart to find the gift card that's best for you ... (See Gift cards)

Credit card insurance perks: Does your card have you covered? -- Your credit card can help make life's little emergencies a tad easier to handle. But the next time disaster strikes, your card could be there for you in ways you didn't expect -- as long as you play by the rules ... (See Credit card insurance coverage)

Little known credit card hardship programs offer help for problem debt -- Card issuers don't publicize them, but most have internal hardship programs for customers who have trouble paying their debts ... (See Credit card hardship programs)

Forgot to pay your credit card bill? You could lose your rewards points -- Here's another reason to pay your credit card bill on time: If you pay late, you could lose your rewards points ... (See Credit card rewards)

Sending money to jail, managing it while in prison pose challenges -- Need to send money to someone in jail or prison? Restrictions abound, rules vary and jails are their own mini-economies ... (See Prison and finances)

Medical credit cards: Watch for these warning signs -- With out-of-pocket medical costs skyrocketing, medical credit cards are on the rise. But can they hurt more than they help? ... (See Medical credit cards)

Paid late? 6 on-time payments can erase penalty rate -- Missed a couple of credit card bills and get socked with a penalty APR? New rules give you an opportunity to get your old rate back ... (See Penalty rate cure)

The good, bad and the ugly of credit card offers -- Credit card offers are back from the dead, so if you've got a high credit score, you're in demand and are likely to have a mailbox stuffed full of offers. If you've got average or bad credit, however, the story's likely quite different. ... (See Credit card offers)

4 ways to avoid debit card overdraft fees -- and 3 times when you should consider opting in -- The rules have changed on debit card overdraft fees; we offer four cheap ways to avoid them and list three cases in which you should consider opting in ... (See Overdraft protection)

Been 'preapproved' for a credit card? Sorry, you may not get it -- A reader who's never had a credit card in her own name wonders why she's getting rejected for preapproved credit cards. Our expert explains that preapproved doesn't always mean that you're a cinch to get the card. ... (See Preapproved)

U.S. looks to create a financial literacy pyramid -- Like the food pyramid, the Treasury Department wants to create a financial literacy pyramid to help make financial education concepts more memorable and accessible. ... (See Financial literacy pyramid)

Video: Should you enroll in overdraft protection? -- New federal rules require banks to get your permission before they enroll you overdraft protection. Should you opt in? Before you decide, watch this video explaining the ins and outs of overdraft protection and the advantages and disadvantages of opting into it. ... (See Video)

Fill your car's tires with nitrogen, not air? It's not worth it -- Although proponents say nitrogen reduces leakage and prevents tires from deteriorating, the claims don't stand up to scrutiny ... (See Nitrogen-filled tires)

Going mobile to make payments? You could be losing protection of consumer laws -- When it comes to mobile commerce, all payment methods are not created equal. Transactions linked to prepaid cards offer the least protection against unauthorized use and billing disputes ... (See Mobile payment protections)

Vending machines that take credit, debit cards catch on -- Newfangled machines take plastic and sell everything from fancy electronics to wine -- and yes, they can check your ID, too ... (See Credit card vending machines)

Save money with online coupon services -- Traditional paper coupon-clipping is fine, but as long as you steer clear of the too-nosy ones, online coupon sites have advantages, too ... (See Online coupons)

What does it cost to get a credit card in your pocket? -- What does it cost to get a single credit card into a willing consumer's pocket? Not much, industry experts say, and most of the cost comes once the card's already made. ... (See Creation)

Video: Why you don't understand your credit card agreement -- A study found that the average U.S. credit card agreement is written on a 12th grade level. That means 4 in 5 Americans can't understand their agreement, since the average adult reads at a ninth grade level. Why are they so hard to read? Senior reporter Connie Prater explains. ... (See Credit card agreement)

Instant-issue debit cards go flat - no raised, embossed numbers -- Lost your debit card again? Your local branch can probably issue a new card on the spot, but beware, it looks and feels quite different ... (See Flat debit cards)

Credit CARD Act begins final phase -- Gift card protections, requirements for reasonable fees and mandatory account reviews when interest rates are hiked are among the new consumer protections in Phase III of the Credit CARD Act of 2009. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

American Express No. 1 in customer service survey -- AmEx trumped other major issuers in customer satisfaction in the 2010 Credit Card Satisfaction Study, conducted by J.D. Power and Associates ... (See J.D. Power survey)

Are cash back debit cards worth it? -- Cash-back debit cards are becoming more common, but are they a good deal? Maybe -- as long as fees and restrictions don't bite into your earnings ... (See Cash back)

Help for bad credit: Getting a credit card -- You need a credit card to improve your credit score, but you need a good credit score to open a credit card account. If you're stuck in this frustrating cycle, don?t give up ... (See Help for bad credit: Getting a credit card)

How to create a price book to help you comparison shop -- It takes a while to gather the information you need, but once you do, you'll never be fooled into buying an overpriced 'sale' item again ... (See Price book)

What next generation credit cards will look like, do for you -- Next-generation credit cards are moving from the lab to wallets, with touchscreens, bigger memories and the ability to tell you your balance ... (See Credit cards of the future)

7 reasons your credit card gets blocked and 7 tips for handling it -- When your credit card company stops a thief from charging fraudulent expenses to your card, you're thrilled. But what happens when they mistake you for the thief? ... (See Blocked card)

Jeremy M. Simon: What exactly is a 'pre-screened' or 'pre-approved' credit card offer? -- The term "pre-screened" describes card offers that banks have targeted to certain consumers based on their borrowing histories and other personal information ... (See Pre-screened)

Video: How a credit card is processed -- Find out what happens after you swipe your plastic with this animation showing the complex, multi-party operation that is credit card processing. ... (See Card processing)

Bill allowing online gambling - but not by credit card - passes House test -- Online gambling may make a comeback: A law that would permit it passed a House panel, but credit cards are still barred from the poker table ... (See Online gambling bill)

Bank of America stops disclosing default APRs -- Despite regulations aimed at making credit card agreements more consumer friendly, new cardholders carrying plastic from the No. 2 U.S. bank won't know the exact cost of making a borrowing mistake until it's too late. ... (See Penalty rates)

Consumer financial protections at least a year away -- Long ramp up time for new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau means consumers will have to wait for credit card protections ... (See Consumer financial protection)

New federal credit card agreement database shows potential, isn't user-friendly -- A new federal database of credit card agreements contains a wealth of information, but it isn't presented in a user-friendly way, critics say ... (See Credit card agreement database)

10 wordiest credit card agreements -- Of all the credit card contracts posted online in a new Federal Reserve database, these droned on the longest, according to a analysis ... (See Credit card agreements)

Video: Consumers try in vain to read credit card agreements -- took to the streets of Austin, Texas, armed with a credit card agreement. Then we asked the people we met to read it. It wasn't pretty. ... (See Video)

Quotable: What lawmakers, experts say about's readability study -- Lawmakers, consumer advocates, banking industry officials and financial literacy and readability experts react to the analysis of the readability of U.S. credit card agreements ... (See readability study)

Readability of the credit card agreements from 20 largest issuers -- Large national banks issue more than 90 percent of the cards in the United States. Here's how their credit card agreements compare for readability ... (See Credit card agreements)

3 language experts try to make sense of a credit card contract -- No joke: An ex-spy, a rocket scientist and an etiquette expert wade into a credit card agreement and try to make sense of it ... (See Credit card agreements)

10 most unreadable credit card contracts -- Of all the credit card contracts posted online in a new Federal Reserve database, these were the 10 most unreadable, according to a analysis ... (See Unreadable card contracts)

10 most readable credit card agreements -- Of all the credit card contracts posted online in a new Federal Reserve database, these were the 10 most readable, according to a analysis ... (See Credit card agreements)

6 credit card fees you might not know about -- In the aftermath of new regulations that cracked down on some of their most lucrative practices, credit card companies are looking for new sources of revenue. If you're not careful, you may get hit with a broad array of old and new fees ... (See Obscure credit card fees)

How to keep track of all those rewards points -- The idea of earning free stuff is so alluring that many consumers now have too many reward programs to keep tabs on ... (See Rewards points trackers)

Study: Credit card annual fees most hated -- A recent survey reveals that of all the costs associated with credit cards, annual fees are the most despised. ... (See Credit card annual fees)

4 key questions to ask when considering a cash advance -- Recession-bitten consumers are stepping away from credit card cash advances with a vengeance. That's a good thing, financial experts say. Cash advances are a bad financial idea, except in the most dire of emergencies. ... (See Cash advance questions )

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)

Travel tips for countries where cash, not credit, dominates payments -- Going to a country where cash and coin, not plastic cards, must be used? These tips will help you minimize the risks that ATMs and carrying cash can bring ... (See Tips for traveling with cash)

Video: How to accept credit cards at your next garage sale -- Garage sales are usually old fashioned and low-tech, but if you're selling a high-priced item such as a flat screen TV or an elliptical machine, that might not be good enough. Here are some tips that can help you accept credit cards at your garage sale. ... (See Garage sale)

How structured settlement buyout offers work -- Structured settlement buyout firms let you get cash quickly in exchange for giving up a stream of payments you got from a lawsuit settlement or accident claim. How do you know whether it's a fair payment? ... (See Structured settlement buyouts)

Proposed Treasury rules take hard line against prepaid card fraud -- New rules aimed at fighting crime and terror financing could impact gift card buyers, experts warn. ... (See Prepaid cards)

How to find your credit card security code -- Every credit card has a card security code printed on it. It may be called a CSC, a card verification value (CVV or CV2), card verification code (CVC) or card code verification (CCV), but you need to know what -- and more importantly, where -- it is ... (See Security code)

7 tips for using your yearly credit card summary as a budgeting tool -- Plastic gets a bad rap for destroying cardholders' personal finances. But increasingly, users and personal finance experts alike tout the annual year-end statements provided for free by card issuers as one of the most useful personal finance tools available ... (See Budgeting)

QA with 'Paying With Plastic' author David Evans -- In this book author Q&A, 'Paying With Plastic' author David Evans argues we're going through two payment revolutions: paper to plastic, then plastic to "virtual" payments ... (See 'Paying with Plastic' by David Evans)

Feds cap credit card late fees at $25 -- The fee limit is among several new protections from Credit CARD Act that were finalized Tuesday ... (See Card fee caps set)

Home improvement financing: Compare 8 choices -- As a contractor matches a saw to the cut, match your home improvement financing choice to the job at hand ... (See Home improvement financing)

Your credit card's Da Vinci Code: How the 'Luhn formula' evaluates credit card numbers -- Think of it as your card's Da Vinci Code: A little known, low-tech mathematical sleight-of-hand is used to see whether numbers on credit and debit cards are real or fake ... (See Luhn formula)

8 ways to maximize your credit card rewards points -- Once you've gone to the trouble of earning all those bonus points, spend them wisely. Here are eight tips from experts on getting the most from your rewards ... (See Credit card rewards)

Zero-liability policies: How they work, what to do when they don't -- So you found some suspicious-looking charges to your credit card or bank account. No big deal. You're covered by the bank's zero-liability policy, right? Not always, so know the rules ... (See Zero liability policies)

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 to do if your credit card is discontinued -- Since the credit crunch hit in 2007, card issuers have become swift to shed cards. While your discontinued card won't be turned away at the grocery store, you do have to react. ... (See Discontinued)

Cellphone payment system options multiply -- The trend of paying by cellphone, slow to catch on in the U.S., is finally gaining traction with the big players showing interest ... (See Cell phone payment systems)

FTC report on ATM 'emergency' PIN numbers throws up its hands -- Congress mandated a year ago that the FTC study whether it's feasible to create ways for people to summon emergency at ATMs. Dunno, the long-awaited study says. ... (See Emergency ATM PIN)

Video: Replay of credit reporting, scoring Q and A with Experian -- On Thursday, May 6, 2010, Experian director of public education Rod Griffin answered your questions on credit scoring and credit reporting live via a video stream from the studio in Austin, Texas. The event is now over, but if you missed it or just want to see it again,watch it here. ... (See Credit reporting)

QA: 'Your Money Ratios' author Charles Farrell -- How can you tell at your age if your financial ship is headed toward open water or veering toward the rocks? Ratios, says 'Retirement Roadmap' columnist Charles Farrell ... (See Q&A with Charles Farrell)

Debit card rewards offers grow in diversity, not so much in generosity -- Though their rewards remain meager compared those of credit cards, debit rewards grow in popularity, type ... (See Debit rewards)

Plastic love: How to protect your credit while online dating -- Use online dating services? Your credit and other financial interests may be at risk if you don't guard yourself from those falsely fishing for companionship. Here's how to protect more than just your heart when seeking a mate via the Internet ... (See Online dating)

10 credit card perks you didn't know you had -- Think all that's in the fine print of your credit card is trouble? There may actually be some good news in there: hidden perks, from car rental collision insurance to return protection, that can save you cash ... (See Credit card perks)

Shredded bliss: 5 steps to choosing the perfect paper shredder -- Protect yourself from identity thieves with these five steps to paper shredder perfection. ... (See Paper shredders)

Currency changes slow to aid the blind -- Most of the Western world helps the visually impaired by altering bills to make denominations different. The U.S. is now studying the same idea ... (See Blind)

Blippy's blooper: Social networking site leaks consumers' card data -- The social networking site's goof rekindles a debate over how much private data should be public ... (See Credit card data breach)

How to read, understand your credit card statement -- A lot of work goes into something no one likes to see: a credit card bill. This interactive guide breaks down how yours should look and what it must contain ... (See Card statements' new look)

5 questions to ask before getting a credit card with an annual fee -- More credit card issuers are adding or increasing annual fees, but there are still plenty of no-fee options. Before you get a new card with an annual fee, make sure the benefits are worth the costs ... (See Annual fee questions to ask)

Video: 4 easy credit card crafts -- Don't throw out that old credit card, debit card or gift card -- make something with it.'s Cynthia Drake shows you how to make earrings, a bracelet and a guitar pick and a decorative pin out of those old pieces of plastic ... (See Crafts)

Credit card industry searches in vain for a 'green' card to replace PVC plastic -- Roughly 6 billion credit cards are produced each year by card manufacturers worldwide. Can they be made from something besides plastic? ... (See Green cards)

5 Earth-friendly credit card moves you can make now -- You may not be able to immediately ditch your plastic card, but there are several moves you can make to soften its eco-impact ... (See Eco-friendly credit card moves)

Travelers checks decline in use: Most leave home without them -- Once you wouldn't leave home without travelers checks. Now they're fading from use ... (See Travelers checks)

DIY, credit card style: Issuers roll out 'do it yourself' cards -- More companies are rolling out tools on the Internet that give consumers greater control over the features of their cards ... (See DIY cards)

8 crafty ways to recycle, reuse old credit cards -- Don't want to clutter a landfill with all of the plastic in your wallet? Turn your old, expired cards into clever new creations ... (See Card crafts)

Avoiding new rules, 'free' credit report sites switch to offering 'free' scores -- On the eve of new rules sharply restricting offers of 'free' credit reports, companies switch to offering 'free' credit scores ... (See Free credit report)

Games that teach kids financial responsibility -- Kids learn best from experience, which is why financial games aimed at teaching fiscal responsibility can make a boring topic fun. ... (See Play debt)

Magnetic mysteries: 6 answers about magnets' impact on credit cards -- Can cell phones erase the data on a credit card's magnetic stripe? How about MRI machines or those magnets that keep your purse closed? We took these questions and others to a physics professor in search of the truth. ... (See Magnet)

QA with Manisha Thakor, author of personal finance book 'Get Financially Naked' -- 'Get Financially Naked' with your honey -- or face big money woes, book author says. ... (See Naked)

10 financial spring cleaning tips -- Taking these 10 steps will help you to renew, review, refresh and regrow your finances. ... (See Financial spring cleaning)

Gift card rules mean fewer fees, more time to use cards -- Concerned that your old gift cards may become little more than worthless plastic before you get the chance to use them? Exhale. That's much less likely than it used to be. ... (See Gift card rules)

Law compels speedy estate settlement for card debt -- A little-noticed provision of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 makes it easier for the estate's administrator to settle the account in a timely fashion. ... (See Death)

What to ask before getting a lawsuit settlement loan -- You may have seen the ads on TV -- "Cash for injury and employment cases!" These lawsuit loans should be a choice of last resort. But if you're considering one, asking yourself these key questions first can help keep your costs down. ... (See Cash)

Varied credit card travel perks make them good vacation partners -- Travelers can count on all kinds of special treatment from their credit cards. Benefits vary widely; shop for a card that fits your travel plans. ... (See Card travel perks)

Credit card issuers' financial cell phone apps -- Back when, your cell phone was just for talking on the go. Now, mobile banking applications let you manage your finances, and include tools for credit cardholders. ... (See App)

Consumers shying away from credit cards when shopping online -- The poor economy and consumers' growing aversion to carrying large credit card balances may be why more alternative forms of payment are being used for online purchases. ... (See Shop online)

Video: Can magnets really make a credit card unreadable? -- If you expose your credit card to a magnet, will it still work? In an earlier video, Cynthia Drake with said that it would not, but some viewers disagreed. We set out to see what the truth really was. ... (See Magnets)

Can a magnet really make your credit card not work? -- Will your card become unreadable if it's exposed to magnets? In a previous story, we said yes, but many of you begged to differ. Seeing that, we took the challenge of clearing things up once and for all. The results surprised us. ... (See Magnet)

Fed proposes rules to limit credit card fees -- Credit card fees would have to be 'reasonable' and 'proportional' to the offense under new rules proposed by the Federal Reserve. ... (See Fees)

White House online town hall credit card reform transcript -- This transcript chronicles the conversation between administration officials and readers on Feb. 22, 2010, the day a federal credit card reform law took effect. ... (See White House credit card town hall)

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)

Graphic: Statistics of ATM use in the United States -- The amount and use of ATMs in the United States has grown slowly since 1999. Check out this graphic that breaks down the amount of monthly transactions, total stand-alone and total machines and total transactions. ... (See ATM stats)

Video: White House town hall on credit card reform -- Austan Goolsbee of the President's Council of Economic Advisers answered questions on Feb. 22 about credit card reform and what it means to you. The questions were both submitted live and in advance through ... (See Town hall)

Video: New card law changes relationship between colleges, issuers -- The Credit CARD Act changes the once-secret agreements between card issuers and colleges by requiring schools to report any deals they make with card companies to the Federal Reserve Board. ... (See Campus)

What's NOT covered by the credit card reform law -- The sweeping credit card reform act's regulations omit several types of cards and many practices consumer groups find objectionable. ... (See Untouched)

Want to avoid a rate hike? Don't carry a balance -- The best way to deal with a looming credit card interest rate hike is to not carry a balance on your credit card. ... (See APR)

Era of readily available credit cards for young adults ends -- Students, once coveted by card issuers, now have fewer choices for obtaining credit. ... (See Era)

Do non-English-speakers have a chance in today's banking system? -- How much does the ability to speak English affect desire or ability to participate in the American banking system? That's what Congress aims to find out with a new study that was mandated by the Credit CARD Act. ... (See Study)

No payments, no interest -- not anymore! -- Traditional 'no interest, no payment' plans are going the way of the cassette tape, done in by a change in federal law that went into effect Feb. 22, 2010 ... (See Interest)

Video: Big changes coming to bad-credit credit cards -- The new credit card law -- much of which takes effect on Feb. 22 -- has provisions that protect people with bad credit. Specifically, the law limits fees on subprime credit cards. What other changes will the law bring for those with poor credit? ... (See Bad credit)

Video: 5 smart moves to make before Feb. 22 -- Sweeping new credit card laws arrive on Feb. 22, 2010. But before that day, you might want to make one of these smart credit moves. ... (See Moves)

Visa expands 'no signature' credit card transactions program -- That once-familiar credit card ritual -- signing for your purchases -- will become a rarity for purchases under $25 once Visa expands its no-sign program in July. ... (See Credit card signatures)

Poll: On eve of credit card reform, few understand what new law holds -- Significant numbers of consumers are unaware of the most important elements of the new package of credit card rules. Worse, many have erroneous assumptions about what the new rules do address. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

'Emergency PINs' to summon help at ATMs: Law could bring urban myth to reality -- It's not true: Punching your ATM's PIN in reverse won't summon the cops. But Congress liked the urban myth enough to mandate a study of the idea. ... (See Reverse PIN)

Piggybacking is still an option, but proceed with caution -- If you're looking to help boost a FICO score, piggybacking as an authorized user on a spouse's credit card account remains an option. But if you're looking to pay to do it, you might be out of luck. ... (See Piggybacking)

Credit card penalty rates can top 30 percent; how to avoid them -- Think it costs a lot to use your credit card now? Make a late payment and your interest rate could jump to more than 30 percent. ... (See Rates)

Credit card reform arrives in the form of the Credit CARD Act -- The most sweeping credit card changes ever are being imposed on credit card issuers, which in the course of complying, are making dramatic changes in consumers' credit card accounts -- not all of them welcome ... (See Credit card reform law goes in effect)

Take steps to prevent bipolar card splurges -- One of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be overspending. To prevent rampant shopping, there are obstacles you can set up to derail your urge to splurge. ... (See Bipolar)

Credit CARD Act of 2009 article archives -- All the coverage of the credit card reform law ... (See CARD Act)

Frequent flier cards evolve, become trickier; tips to maximize rewards -- For consumers willing to weigh the costs and advantages of so many different reward programs, the changes can be a real boon. But there?s also no denying that deciphering reward programs is becoming more complicated. ... (See Frequent flier cards)

Think twice before lending your credit card -- or it will cost you big -- If you let someone -- such as your underage daughter -- borrow your credit card, watch their spending carefully. If they go overboard, you're likely responsible. ... (See Beware)

New credit card fee: Pay $1 to get your own monthly billing statement -- Pay a buck to get a bill sent to you? That's what users of credit cards from Ann Taylor, Victoria's Secret, Beall's and some 90 other retailers will have do. ... (See $1)

Credit card interest rates hit highest level since 2007 -- The holiday from rate hikes has ended -- in a big way. Interest rates on new credit card offers skyrocketed this week to their highest levels since October 2007, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Bulk up your thin credit in 4 easy steps -- When getting started with credit, the key is to start small, then build up gradually over time. These four easy steps can get you on your way. ... (See Thin credit)

Social networking: Your key to easy credit? -- In their quest to identify creditworthy customers, some creditors tap into the information you and your friends reveal in the virtual stratosphere. ... (See Credit)

Fed issues final Credit CARD Act rules -- The Federal Reserve issued final rules implementing the second phase of the credit card reform law. They are the most significant changes in credit card laws in decades. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Credit card ads reflect changes in economy, public attitudes -- Gone are the days when credit card ads encouraged spending and more spending. They're here for us now; they feel our economic pain. ... (See Credit card ads)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your credit card -- Expect dramatic change in an industry roiled by recession, reform. Whether the net is good for consumers is unclear. ... (See personal finance)

Giving charity gift cards? Mind the fine print -- Whether you're looking for a tax write-off, a meaningful gift for a loved one or just a way to do a good deed, you may want to consider a charity gift card. But be warned: These cards' fine print can hold terms that are, well, less than charitable. ... (See Charity cards)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your debit card -- As credit cards continue to retreat, debit cards will evolve, advance ... (See personal finance debit card)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Rewards cards -- For years, card companies footed the bill for these expensive programs. In 2010, rewards will go on a diet of fees and frugality. ... (See personal finance reward cards)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Phones become payment tools -- We may look back on 2010 as the year our cell phone became a pay phone. ... (See personal finance phone payments)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your paycheck -- One day, perhaps this year, your paycheck may disappear -- replaced by a prepaid card. ... (See Predictions)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Housing's comeback -- Delinquencies predicted to level off, finally ending the bleeding that took us into a steep recession. ... (See personal finance housing)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your mail -- Credit card offers fell precipitously in the recession, but experts see a renewed flow in 2010. ... (See Predictions)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: ID theft -- Like wolves to injured prey, identity thieves are out to turn the recession struggles of average Americans to their own advantage. ... (See personal finance ID Theft)

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your kids -- The CARD Act crackdown on campus card promotions will likely have a chilling effect on how young adults obtain credit. ... (See Predictions)

New Year's personal finance predictions for 2010 -- You'll change the ways you and your family will spend, borrow and save, experts predict. ... (See 2010)

More credit card issuers ditch mandatory binding arbitration -- With legal pressure rising against the often-criticized way to resolve disputes, card issuers are abandoning compulsory arbitration and recasting their agreements with consumers. ... (See Arbitration)

Instant in-store credit card offers in jeopardy -- Retailers say instant credit card offers won't be possible if consumers have to provide paycheck stubs or other income information at the cash register. ... (See Instant cards)

Issuer of 79.9% interest rate credit card defends its product -- Subprime credit card marketers are looking for ways around new restrictions on sky-high fees for bad credit cards. One option they're testing: sky-high interest rates. ... (See 79.9 percent)

Co-signed credit cards: Unloved option poised for comeback? -- Experts say they're a headache, issuers rarely offer it, yet the co-signed credit card may be making a comeback as a more-regulated industry searches for its lost profits. ... (See Comeback)

Personal loans offer less risky alternative to credit cards -- Think of a personal loan as a credit card's more-stable, less-popular cousin -- it's just as pricey, but its terms tend to be fixed. ... (See Personal loans)

Sending remittance money to friends, family abroad? Options abound -- Sending money across the country or to a foreign land used to be costly and time-consuming. Today it may be neither, but there are still tricks to it. ... (See Payments)

Decade-old credit mistakes shouldn't appear on your report -- A delinquent loan should no longer appear on your credit report if the loan's more than seven years old. But if it does, take steps to remove it ASAP. ... (See Mistakes)

Buyers' guide to gift cards: 5 questions to ask before buying -- Want to save money on gift card purchases? Ask yourself some key question and do a bit of homework; your extra effort can mean cash left over in your pocket. ... (See Gift card questions)

5 key federal laws help protect credit cardholders -- There are many federal laws that are in a credit cardholder's corner, and it's important that prospective and current cardholders are knowledgeable about their legal rights. Here are the top five laws covering consumer credit that you need to know. ... (See Laws)

Worst case co-signarios: How do you escape credit card co-sign contracts? -- Despite experts' advice, you did it anyway: You co-signed a for a loan or credit card. Now that you've wised up, can you escape? Maybe. ... (See Don't)

4 questions to ask before you co-sign on a credit card, other loan -- Explore alternatives and find out what you're in for with these questions for anyone who asks you to be a co-signer on a credit car or other loan. ... (See Co-signing a loan)

Video: 3 fun ways to wrap a gift card -- Spice up those impersonal gift cards this holiday season with some fun, creative gift wrapping suggestions. Cynthia Drake with offers some inexpensive and easy ways to make those presents more exciting. ... (See Video)

2009 gift card comparison table -- Times are tough, but gift cards will continue to be a popular present during the 2009 holiday season. Use this chart to find the gift card that's best for you. ... (See Gift cards)

Gift card regulations: Fees, expiration limited by US law -- Clearer disclosures of gift fees terms and conditions were mandated by the Fed in August 2010 and still impact gift cards today. ... (See Gift cards)

11 golden rules of practical gift card giving -- Pampering at the spa? Expensive round of golf? Out. Practical gifts are in this holiday season, and that goes for gift cards, too. ... (See Practical)

Collectible gift cards can be both practical and fun -- Although the holidays this year are expected to be heavy on practical presents, giving gift cards can still be fun -- including those featuring 'Twilight' and 'Star Trek' themes. ... (See Robert Pattinson)

The high price of cash-advance convenience checks -- The checks put instant cash just a signature away, but convenience costs: Watch out for fees, high interest rates and ID thieves ... (See Convenience checks)

Don't blow first-time home buyer tax credit with credit card bills -- Running up credit card bills before closing can jeopardize that $8,000 tax break you were hoping would make you a first-time home buyer. ... (See Sprees)

Credit card interest rates push higher again -- APRs on new credit card offers inched up to 12.64 percent this week, says the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. This continues recent trends of rising interest rates this year, as banks continue to make moves ahead of a new card law. ... (See Rate report)

6 ways to prevent bank overdraft fees -- Banks and credit unions collected nearly $24 billion in overdraft fees last year. Find out how you can help keep some of that money in your pocket. ... (See Overdraft tips)

Credit card rates flat as banks look for other ways to boost profits -- Interest rates may be flat, but don't cheer yet: Banks are simply shifting their money-making strategies, experts say. ... (See Rate report)

Toys R Us joins retailers offering layaway plans -- 'Pay now, buy later' plan feeds on consumers' new distaste for debt. ... (See Layaway)

10 flu-fighting credit card tips -- Cards can carry germs, but with these precautions, you can be an inhospitable host for flu and other bugs. ... (See 10 tips)

Getting an iPhone, other fancy cell phone? Mind that other number: your credit score -- If you want to get the latest iPhone or other fancy cell phone, you may find your credit score is a key number. A bad one turns your phone into an expensive connection. ... (See Dialing dollars)

Credit card APRs fall slightly, reversing recent rate-hike trend -- Credit card interest rates dropped slightly this week, after several banks made a commitment to abstaining from additional rate hikes. ... (See Rate report)'s guide to online holiday shopping 2009 -- The sour economy will push more people online to do their shopping this year; these steps will help keep your experience free of cybergrinches. ... (See Shopping)

Major issuers' rate hikes send national average card APR higher -- Several credit card issuers raised interest rates this week, driving the national average annual percentage rate on new credit card offers upward for the third straight week to 12.64 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

States with laws requiring consumer notification of ID theft -- Until recently, if ID thieves stole your credit card data, you were kept in the dark. But a host of new state laws force firms to reveal what they used to keep secret ... (See Data breach notification)

American Express boosts national average credit card interest rate -- American Express this week raised annual percentage rates on several of its card offers, pushing the national average APR higher for the third time in four weeks. ... (See Rate report)

Study: Touch money and you feel less pain -- Sticking your hands in scalding water is less painful if first you've handled a stack of bills, researchers find. ... (See Brain)

College students love, hate new credit card law -- College students across the country praise and condemn a new law that will restrict issuing credit cards to anyone under 21 beginning in February 2010. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Credit card marketers drop out of college campuses -- Fall 2009 is card issuers' last unfettered chance to sign up students. Rather than give an all-out marketing blitz in its last chance, issuers pulling back. ... (See College)

Piggybacking, meant to jump-start credit, can backfire -- Becoming an authorized user on a parent, guardian or other adult's credit card account can have pitfalls as well as rewards ... (See Piggybacking)

Fed: Want a credit card? Prove you can pay the bill -- In an 800-page document released Sept. 29, 2009, the Fed lays out rules that require credit card issuers to confirm borrowers' ability to pay ... (See Fed: prove ability to pay credit card )

More employees say 'hello' to payroll cards -- When the nation's largest private employer announces it's discontinuing employee paychecks in favor of a 100 percent paperless payroll system -- in part through the use of payroll cards, or pay cards -- it's time to sit up and take notice. ... (See Debit)

Reform law, recession lead to 'retro' credit card offers -- New card programs offer payment control, plain vanilla features, but consumers still face a rocky road. ... (See Retro)

Prepaid cards replace checks as rebate payment of choice -- The next time you're due a rebate or refund, don't expect to receive a paper check. An increasing number of stores and manufacturers are opting to issue prepaid debit cards instead, and some consumers aren't happy about it. ... (See Rebates)

APRs rise, even after Fed leaves rates unchanged -- The Federal Reserve chose to leave lending rates unchanged earlier this week, but credit card issuers didn't follow suit. ... (See Rate report)

Banks' checking and debit overdraft policies draw scrutiny -- Banking overdraft fees are the subject of studies and scrutiny as consumers, legislators and industry officials weigh in on the controversial practice. ... (See Fees)

FTC eyes new rules on (not-so) free trial offers -- So-called 'negative option' deals mean unless you act, the free trial morphs into a permanent debt. ... (See FTC)

Credit card rates steady as banks struggle with uncertain economy -- Amid mixed economic signals, banks kept interest rates unchanged on credit cards offers this week at 12.28 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Got great credit? Credit card offers improve as crunch works in your favor -- While shedding people with credit problems, card issuers are sweetening the deals for those with excellent credit, putting them in good bargaining position. ... (See Deals)

How cell phone technology is helping combat credit card fraud -- Mobile phone technology is fast becoming the latest crime-fighting tool against credit card fraud ... (See Mobile detective)

After a pause, credit card interest rates resume upward march -- After staying flat the previous week, the national average interest rate on new credit card offers rose to 12.28 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

How to safely, securely destroy a credit card: 6 tips -- With credit card fraud and identity theft on the rise, a single scissor snip won't cut it anymore. ... (See Destroy)

'Pay for grades' movement stirs passions among teachers, parents -- The 'pay for grades' movement has spread from urban cores to affluent middle-class cities around the country, with supporters and opponents squaring off in equal measure over its effectiveness. ... (See Students)

Credit card APRs steady, though banks are tweaking other terms -- Even as banks continue to tinker with their business models in reaction to new credit card legislation, the national average annual percentage rate on new credit card offers was unchanged this week at 12.17 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

9 new places where you can stash your cash and flash your plastic -- No cash in your wallet? No problem! Retailers and service providers are moving -- very quickly -- toward easy, rapid on-location payment systems. Here are 9 new places where you can flash your plastic. ... (See Plastic)

After run of rate hikes, banks leave APRs unchanged -- Banks paused this week following a recent run of interest rate increases, leaving the national average annual percentage rate on new credit cards unchanged at 12.17 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

7 signs Americans are getting smarter with credit -- Lately there have been a handful of signals that consumers are getting a lot smarter when it comes to the cards. Here are seven. ... (See Wiser)

Study: Prepaid cards full of hidden dangers -- Though touted as a way to stay debt-free, the use of prepaid cards may subject consumers to high fees -- and the money may not be safe. ... (See Fees)

How magnets can ruin credit cards -- "Demagnetization" can render a card useless; know what to do if it happens. ... (See Magnets and credit cards)

Are elite credit cards worth it? -- If your credit rating is outstanding, you earn big and spend big, you could win an elite credit card, which provides premium benefits -- at extreme cost ... (See Elite credit cards)

Q and A on first phase of new credit card law -- Consumers get the right to opt out of rate increases, notification and billing requirements become clearer. ... (See Law)

Consumers gain right to opt out of credit card rate increases -- The first phase of the new Credit CARD Act of 2009 kicked in Aug. 20, lengthening notice requirements to 45 days and giving consumers the right to opt out of rate increases. ... (See Law)

States weigh limits on credit checks for employment -- In July 2009, Hawaii became the second state to limit the practice of allowing all employers to make hiring decisions based on a job applicant's credit score. ... (See Score)

Will there be a global credit score someday? -- Imagine all the people of the world united -- under a single credit scoring model. Depending on whom you ask, the concept of a global credit score is either a far-fetched pipe dream or an eventual reality. ... (See Global)

How credit scoring varies around the world -- Dominant in the U.S., the FICO credit score doesn't hold the same status worldwide. That leaves many international lenders looking to local versions of credit scoring models to help judge risk. And the differences from nation to nation can be great ... (See Scoring)

Implantable credit card RFID chips: convenient, but creepy -- Forget the science of it -- and yes, it does work remarkably well. Forget the convenience of it. Forget that similar identifying technologies, from bar codes to mag stripes, overcame similar obstacles and are now ubiquitous. RFID implants face a hurdle the others did not: It's icky. ... (See RFID)

12 cool uses of RFID chips -- Implanting a tiny radio device may not be for you, but it can do some cool tricks. Here are a dozen. ... (See RFID chips)

Decline in credit card mailings slows -- After months of decline, recent data show banks have begun reconsidering card offers. Synovate, which tracks credit card direct mail, reports that U.S. households received 349.1 million offers in the second quarter -- down just 6 percent from the first quarter ... (See Credit card mailings)

U.S. magnetic stripe credit cards on brink of extinction? -- Europe is considering an all-out ban on magnetic stripe credit cards, favoring chip-and-PIN transactions. Will U.S. plastic be left in the dust? ... (See Ban)

Credit card APRs jump for 4th time in 5 weeks -- Following a brief pause last week, the national average annual percentage rate on new credit card offers rose for the fourth time in the past five weeks to 12.06 percent, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. ... (See Rate report)

Credit card issuers shift rewards to 'platforms' -- Credit card issuers are increasingly consolidating their rewards programs to allow points shopping across categories for numerous cards. ... (See Cashing in)

After weeks of increases, credit card APRs finally stand still -- Ending a streak of three straight weekly APR increases, the national average interest rate on new credit card offers held steady this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report. Just don't expect it to last. ... (See Rate report)

Credit card binding arbitration system crumbling -- A controversial, but common practice in the credit card industry -- requiring consumers to go to arbitrators rather than the courts when disputes arise -- appears on the verge of collapse. ... (See Credit card arbitration)

Closing credits for filmmakers: Credit cards no longer viable as movie funding source -- Credit is the lifeblood of America's independent film industry, but stringent loan regulations curtailed access to credit and threaten the industry. ... (See Indies)

Leading arbitration firm abruptly quits the business after lawsuit -- A lawsuit by Minnesota's attorney general caused a quick retreat by the leading firm that provides binding arbitration services to millions of credit cardholders. ... (See Credit card arbitration)

Credit card APRs rise for third straight week -- Borrowing money on a new credit card continues to become increasingly expensive, as banks work to protect themselves from a weak economy. ... (See Rate report)

Will that be cash, check or cell phone? -- Credit card issuers are working hard on rolling out mobile payment technology to U.S. customers. However, compared to Europe and especially Asia, payment by cell phone here is still in its infancy. ... (See Mobile)

Credit card interest rates keep moving higher -- The cost of using credit cards continues to rise, giving consumers yet another reason to keep their plastic in their wallets. ... (See Rate report)

Summary chart: Restrictions rental agencies impose to rent car with debit card -- Renting a car with no credit card? It can be done, but rental car agencies impose many restrictions and extra demands on debit card users. ... (See Car rentals)

24 hours of credit card tweets on Twitter -- To find out what Internet users think about plastic, read and evaluated 24 hours' worth of tweets about credit cards on the social networking site Twitter. ... (See Twitter)

Credit card issuers dip a cautious toe into social media -- Credit card companies have made only tentative steps into the social media fray. But while you?re talking on sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, they?re listening in -- and planning their next steps. ... (See Antisocial)

Credit card interest rates rise ahead of new law -- Regulations plus recession make card issuers pull the APR trigger and hike cardholders' rates. ... (See Rates rise)

Is your credit card making you sick? Swine (H1N1) flu germs and plastic -- It may not be just that late fee that's making you feel ill: Flu viruses can last for hours -- even weeks -- on plastic surfaces. ... (See Sick)'s Weekly Rate Report: Rates barely lower -- The national average annual percentage rate on new credit card offers edged barely lower this week, according to the Weekly Credit Card Rate Report, but analysts expect interest rates to rise in the not-too-distant future. ... (See Rate report)

Credit cards around the world -- Credit cards have spread around the globe, but the differences in how they're offered illustrate differences between cultures. ... (See World)

Credit card personalization: Does Spaghetti Jimmy really win? -- Credit issuers are jumping aboard card personalization trend, convinced family pics on plastic will cause consumers to pull out the card more often. ... (See Jimmy)'s Weekly Rate Report: Rates unchanged -- Credit card interest rates didn't move this week, but experts say recently introduced laws and an eventual economic recovery likely mean higher credit card APRs in the not-too-distant future. ... (See Rate report)

Summary: What a Consumer Financial Protection Agency would mean to credit card users -- This table summarizes how credit cardholders would be affected by President Obama's sweeping financial reform proposal. ... (See Consumer financial protection)

New FICO auto score screens out more buyers -- You may think you're ready for a new set of wheels. But your new credit score could have other ideas. ... (See Autos)

A guide to the Credit CARD Act of 2009 -- The federal government has enacted sweeping reforms into how credit cards work; learn what they mean to you through this interactive guide. ... (See A guide)

Videos: What people are saying about the Credit CARD Act -- A lot has happened since the Credit CARD Act of 2009 was introduced, and much of it recorded on video cameras. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Credit card foreign transaction fees going up - but a few issuers drop them -- The general trend is up for foreign transaction fees, but a few issuers have bucked the trend and dropped the fee from top-end rewards cards ... (See Foreign transaction fees)

New credit cards to help in fight against breast cancer -- A new credit card launched by Bank of America will allow consumers to help support breast cancer research and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a prominent breast cancer organization, through their everyday banking activities. ... (See Komen)

Capital One launches nonprofit card program -- Capital One Financial Corporation announced June 2 the launch of Card Lab Connect, a program to help nonprofit organizations of all sizes expand the ways in which their supporters can donate to charity programs. ... (See Donate)

Mobile payments predicted to skyrocket -- Mobile payment transactions are expected to catapult to nearly 4.5 billion in 2012 -- a 429 percent increase from an estimated 850 million in 2009, consulting firm Gartner Inc. predicted in a May 28 report by CardLine Global (subscription required). ... (See Mobile)

'Free trial' offers can bring unwanted credit card charges -- Ever fall for the "order now and receive a free trial offer" on the latest energy booster or anti-aging cream? You're not alone. Here's how to avoid getting scammed. ... (See Scams)

Credit card mail offers with annual fees on the rise -- Once nearly extinct for people with good credit, card offers with annual fees are rebounding, research firm Synovate says. ... (See Fees)

Credit card reform legislation time line -- This interactive time line shows how the sweeping credit card reform bill became a law, and when its different provisions take effect. ... (See Credit CARD Act of 2009)

No more free pizza? Law will alter cozy relationship between credit card issuers, colleges -- New credit card legislation will change the cozy relationships between banks and colleges -- and mean less free pizza for students. ... (See Students)

House easily passes credit card reform bill -- Following today's 361-64 House vote, President Obama is poised to sign credit card restrictions into law. ... (See Vote)

8 tips to reduce unemployment prepaid card fees -- For many unemployment recipients, the switch from paper checks to prepaid cards is hardly the win-win situation ... (See Fees)

Eco-friendly initiatives focus on plastic gift cards -- A handful of eco-friendly initiatives are giving new meaning to the term "green card." ... (See Green)

Rep. Frank introduces bill to allow online gambling -- Don't bet on it quite yet, but you soon might be able to use your credit card to place online wagers, legally and without giving your card numbers to -- and funneling your money through -- a foreign company. ... (See Gambling)

Organizations launch sites to promote financial literacy -- As budgets tighten, bankruptcies mount, and students accrue massive debt, several consumer and banking groups have stepped in to help with new financial educational tools. ... (See Tools)

MasterCard releases 'ATM Hunter' app for iPhone -- Search no more! The free ATM Hunter application allows iPhone users to locate the nearest ATM machine. ... (See ATM iPhone app)

Hybrid credit, prepaid cards may offer crunch relief -- Consumers trapped in the credit crunch may soon have another choice when hybrid credit/prepaid card combos become more widespread. ... (See Hybrid credit, prepaid cards)

Citi 'Payment Partner' plan: Bonus to volunteer for credit limit cut -- Citi is the latest credit card issuer to get creative in encouraging customers to make big payments -- or just go away. ... (See Citi)

IRS rules that fee for paying taxes with credit, debit card is deductible -- New ruling creates a break for paying tax by plastic -- but only for some ... (See IRS)

Capital One pulls out of health care financing market -- Capital One will end its Healthcare Financing program April 10, 2009. The company cites the credit and economic environment. ... (See Cap One)

12 consumer protections in the Credit CARD Act -- The 2009 credit card reform law made sweeping changes; here are it 12 biggest consumer protections ... (See CARD Act 12 consumer protections)

Federal Reserve's public comment period ends on automatic overdraft protection -- Almost 2,000 consumers and financial institutions answered the Federal Reserve's call to voice their opinion on overdraft fees. Consumers want see change; banks want little change if any. ... (See Fed)

New York AG claims Chase fee victory -- Chase Card Services insists "customer feedback" -- rather than attorney general or pending lawsuits -- prompted company to rescind $10 fee. ... (See Chase fee)

Calling Dick Tracy: Credit card watches debut -- The wristwatch-credit card combo is fashionable, keeps good time and has a $10,000 credit limit. ... (See Watch)

'Contactless' credit cards spark concerns for data privacy -- The credit-card swiper you now use at the checkout counter may eventually be obsolete, but privacy advocates question whether contactless cards are more for convenience and less about keeping customers' data safely protected. ... (See RFID)

U.S. Bank, AeroMexico forge airline rewards card partnership -- U.S. Bank has partnered with Mexico City-based AeroMexico to offer a frequent flier program through the AeroMexico Visa and AeroMexico Visa Signature credit card. ... (See U.S. Bank)

Study of credit card binding arbitration says the practice is fair to consumers -- Northwestern University School of Law's Searle Civil Justice Institute's study says arbitration -- at least as practiced by the one group that was studied -- is fair to credit card users. ... (See Arbitration)

Citi teams with MySpace for unique rewards program -- Cardholders of the new Citi Forward by MySpace will be able to earn rewards by helping their communities. ... (See Credit card rewards)

Visa changes worldwide slogan from 'Life Takes Visa' to 'More people go with Visa' -- Visa kicks off a new global advertising campaign that is geared more toward living in the moment rather than paying for it later. ... (See Visa)

Credit card biometrics making its way from the movies to the marketplace -- Credit cards with biometric security features may no longer be the stuff of spy movies, but a mainstream alternative to sloppy signatures and forgotten passwords. ... (See ID theft)

'Tokenization' touted as a new way to increase credit card data security -- Rather than spend more making credit card data hackproof, a new concept would prevent ID theft by never having merchants store the data in the first place. ... (See ID theft)

New credit card to assist Holocaust survivors -- The new Blue Card Visa affinity credit card can be used by consumers to provide care for Holocaust survivors. ... (See Blue Card)

Exercise caution when selling jewelry to pay down debt -- Selling off jewelry to pay down credit card debt can be a good idea -- as long as you don't get ripped off ... (See Jewels)

Your future in the cards: What will credit cards look like in 25, 50 or 100 years? -- Your future in cards will probably not include plastic, experts say. ... (See Future)

ATMs aren't just for cash withdrawals anymore -- Stamps? Gift cards? Bill pay? Concert tickets? In the past few years, automated teller machines have started offering more than cash. ... (See ATMs)

Credit card forbearance programs offer reprieve from debt -- Major credit card issuers' programs that allow temporary relief for overstretched cardholders are busier than ever, and some of the issuers are improving them. ... (See Forbearance)

Small-business credit card comparison chart -- Credit cards are among the biggest source of financing for small-business owners. This chart compares the rewards, rates and fees of the top small-business credit cards ... (See Credit)

6 tips for choosing a money club -- Looking at joining an existing money club? Here are six factors to consider to make the best match. ... (See 6 questions)

Money clubs make a comeback -- If you're one of those people who finds that a little group support never hurts, you may want to organize a money club. ... (See Clubs)

Unlawful Internet Gambling Act regulations finalized for credit card issuers -- New federal regulations take effect Jan. 19, 2009, that require credit card issuers to enforce a bewildering set of federal regulations aimed at stopping online gambling. ... (See Regulations)

How to turn your driver's license into a debit card -- If you live in one of 24 states that attach a magnetic stripe to their driver's licenses, you can easily transform yours into a debit card. ... (See License)

How your credit card can bail you out of debt -- Often criticized for encouraging overspending, several credit card issuers recently rolled out programs and rewards cards to help customers pay off debt, save and invest. ... (See Bailout)

9 predictions for credit cards in 2009 -- This has been a tumultuous year for credit cardholders and issuers. What does 2009 hold? We'll take a look. ... (See '09 card predictions)

2017 credit card special holiday promotions -- Credit card issuers are sweetening their deals at the end of 2017 by adding rewards and special limited-time offers from merchants. ... (See Holiday promotions)

Gifts that give twice: Charitable gift cards -- Give more meaning and economize your holiday gift giving by purchasing gifts that give twice -- charity gift cards. ... (See Charity)

Give more with less through charity credit cards -- If you're skipping your charity's annual black-tie fundraiser to make ends meet this season, try giving with a charity credit card to give a little back without affecting your budget. ... (See Giving back)

Gift cards: Practicality is in for '09 -- Gift cards are still wildly popular, even as Americans struggle through the recession, but many people are rethinking how they use them. ... (See Holidays)

10 creative -- or desperate -- uses for credit cards -- The pieces of plastic in your wallet are good for more than spending. In a pinch, they can scrape ice from a window, pick a guitar and more. ... (See Ice scraper)

Compare credit card rental car insurance coverage: Policies vary widely -- Credit card companies' policies vary sharply, so don't always be quick to turn down rental car agencies' optional coverage. ... (See Rental car)

Issuers launch 'environmentally friendly' payment cards -- Responding to what they see as customer demand for environmentally friendly products, American Express and U.S. Bank this week announced the introduction of payment cards that aim to help -- or at least not hurt -- the planet. ... (See Green cards)

2008 gift card comparison table -- Gift cards will continue to be a popular present this holiday season even in the face of the current economic disorder. Use this chart to find the gift card that's best for you ... (See Gift cards comparison chart 2008)

Top 10 creative ways to wrap gift cards -- The solution for gift-card lovers or skeptics comes in the form of thinking outside the box -- the ubiquitous, gift card-sized gift card box, that is -- and in getting creative ... (See Gift card wrapping ideas)

As holiday budgets tighten, gift cards remain popular -- Although holiday sales overall are expected to take a hit this year, analysts say gift cards' popularity will continue. ... (See Gift cards)

Discounts: 8 ways to get gift cards for less -- Use these techniques to pay less than face value or boost buying power of a gift card ... (See Discount)

Credit card survey: They're not status symbols, they're just plastic -- Advertisements try to persuade us otherwise, but almost no one puts any weight in the brand or appearance of their credit cards, according to a new national survey. ... (See Branding)

How to buy a car with a credit card -- and when not to -- Not all car dealers let you, but for those with rewards cards and faith in their ability to repay, buying a car with a credit card can make sense. ... (See New wheels)

Debt collection goes virtual -- Companies are trying new ways to get delinquent borrowers to pay up. One firm recently launched a 'Virtual Collection Agent' that's being rolled out by several major issuers. ... (See Virtual collections)

Advocates for the blind take aim at touch-screen terminals -- For the blind, it's tough enough already to tell a $5 bill from a $20. New payment technologies such as touch-screen point of sale terminals now pose new challenges. ... (See Screens)

US credit cards outdated, less useful abroad, as 'chip and PIN' cards catch on -- Sure, you can swipe to heart's content here in the United States. But bring that mag-stripe card to Europe and chances are it won't work as the credit card technology there is years ahead. ... (See PIN)

Treasury, Ad Council team up to promote credit smarts among young consumers -- New educational campaign targets younger consumers with the message: Take control of your credit and personal finances. ... (See Control your credit)

Review the new interactive credit card game -- asked young consumers to review a new interactive game designed to educate 18- to 24-year-olds about credit and personal finance. ... (See Credit)

12 tips for automatic bill paying -- If managed well, using your credit card or your online bank account to pay your bills online is a great idea that could manifest in anything from free plane tickets to actual cash back rewards. ... (See E-pay)

You think your credit smells? Cards with aromas issued -- Smell experts -- yes, there are some -- say the aromatic cards could excite the emotions and cause us to spend more. ... (See Sniff here)

Despite early controversy, payment cards for immigrants continue to roll out -- Issuing credit cards that didn't require Social Security numbers sparked controversy in 2007. In 2008, banks go after immigrants' business with reloadable prepaid cards instead. ... (See Card programs)

Australian credit cards and statistics -- Our ongoing series heads Down Under for a look at credit card use and credit card statistics in Australia. ... (See Australia)

10 questions to ask about layaway plans -- Looking to layaway? Here are 10 questions to ask that will help you find a good layaway plan -- and avoid those that should be thrown away ... (See 10 layaway questions)

Electronic voting by ATM idea hasn't caught hold -- After 2000s contentious election fades into the chaddy past, so does the call to use the banking system's ATM networks as voting machines. ... (See Paper rules)

Credit card scam: credit card shaving -- Forget high-tech hacking. This credit card scam relies more on X-Acto knives and glue sticks than wi-fi and laptops but can help criminals steal your money just the same. ... (See Card shaving)

More gas stations offer discounts to customers who pay with cash -- Many gas station owners, struggling under the weight of rising credit card fees, are offering discounts to customers who pay by cash. ... (See Pumps)

Back-to-school credit card advice for students, parents -- Tips for financing the school year, dealing with credit wisely and learning how to finance post-graduation life. ... (See Credit education)

Good dog, bad bill: Veterinary care financing options -- Pet owners have more veterinary treatment choices than ever, which is good for pets, but can strain finances. We review the payment options. ... (See Pay the vet)

Even credit card purchases at home may now trigger 'international' fee -- Credit card purchases may be 'international,' even if you aren't. ... (See Not so foreign)

Many airlines now accepting plastic for in-flight purchases -- Weary travelers, take heart. On most airlines, you are now free to pay for your in-flight Heineken or Harry Potter movie with your credit card. ... (See In-flight charges)

Shariah-compliant credit cards become more common -- As credit card companies reach out to specific groups by offering credit cards with ties to everything from charities to pro sports teams, they are also actively pursuing a group of people who have traditionally shunned credit cards because Islam forbids paying interest. ... (See Shariah-compliant credit cards)

Credit card issuers' policies for active military service members -- While federal law guarantees some debt relief for soldiers, many top credit card issuers ease the burden of debt for active military by offering protections significantly beyond what the law requires. ... (See Credit card protections)

Unemployment benefits switch from paper to plastic -- With jobless rates rising, more and more Americans are entering their state's unemployment insurance maze. Just don't expect to receive the traditional paper check if you find yourself needing assistance, as nearly half of the country has started delivering these benefits through debit cards. ... (See Unemployment benefits)

Foreign transaction fees and rules for the top credit card issuers -- Here are the foreign transaction fees, also known as currency conversion fees, charged by top American credit card issuers to consumers who travel abroad. ... (See Foreign transaction fees)

Auto manufacturer reward credit cards: a car deal on wheels? -- Many of today?s credit cardholders aren't interested in just any old rewards -- they're holding out for perks that come in the form of brand-new, all-leather-interior, fully loaded, shiny status symbols to adorn their driveways. ... (See Auto manufacturer credit cards)

Rent a car with debit card or cash? Expect to try harder -- A survey of 45 car agencies across the U.S. finds you can rent a car without a credit card, but you have to jump through more hoops. ... (See Car rental)

Credit card secrets: How bagging and licking make cards work better -- It's gross, but licking a credit card's magnetic stripe can make it scan in a reader. We explain why. ... (See Credit card secrets)

Retail rewards cards: Stores give points and more -- Department store credit cards used to offer one-time discounts. Now they offer a variety of ongoing rewards in an effort to build loyalty. ... (See Store credit cards)

Lunch money goes cashless in many school cafeterias -- Getting your lunch money stolen is so 20th century. Today's school students pay for school lunches with ID cards and fingerprint scanners. ... (See Cashless payments)

Contactless credit cards' future in doubt -- Contactless credit card technology is supposed to be the wave of the future. So far, according to experts, few seem to care. ... (See Contactless cards)

The real dirt on celebrity credit cards -- We'll buy their branded clothes, their branded perfumes, their branded sheets -- but we won't use their branded cards to buy them. Why celebrity cards haven't found a place in our wallets. ... (See Celebrity credit cards)

Credit card travel tips -- From airline frequent flier miles to foreign currency conversion, know the rules of the road before you hit the road this summer. ... (See Credit card travel tips)

Cashless campus 2.0: Student IDs evolve into multiuse payment systems -- Today's student ID cards open doors to dorms and labs, earn discounts with local merchants, sub-in for loose change at vending and copy machines, and even help with the laundry. ... (See Cashless payments)

3 must-ask questions for multiuse campus / student ID cards -- Campus cards, like anything involving money, are not free from potential pitfalls, and the cards' fees and policies can be as different as Buckeyes and Wolverines. ... (See Campus debit cards)

Artists recycle credit cards into craft creations -- Some creative crafts people are happy to breathe new life into old cards -- and are doing their part to keep that plastic from heading to the landfill. ... (See Recycled credit cards)

Credit card arbitration: What it is, how it works -- Many large credit cards and most store cards require you to bring disputes to an arbitrator, an alternative to court, if you can't reach a solution with the company ... (See Credit card arbitration)

'Green' credit cards reward the environment -- This interactive feature contains information about numerous 'green' cards, credit cards that use rewards points and money to benefit the environment. ... (See Credit cards and the environment)

Being 'green' with credit cards -- Opting out of paper credit card statements is one way to protect the planet for Earth Day. ... (See Credit cards and the environment)

A 'green' snapshot: How some U.S. banks are making environmental eco-friendly moves -- A 'green' snapshot: How some U.S. banks are making environmental eco-friendly moves. ... (See Credit cards and the environment)

More landlords accepting rent payments by credit card -- While acceptance is hardly universal, a growing number of landlords allow paying rent by credit card. ... (See Rental payments and credit cards)

Credit card extreme rewards: Card issuers get creative to reward cardholders -- As the quantity and variety of credit card offers seem to expand like options on a Chinese food take-out menu, card issuers keep searching for new ways to capture and retain customers. ... (See Credit card rewards)

Pros and cons of tapping your retirement with 401(k) debit cards -- Now there's a debit card that allows you to access the funds you've saved in your 401(k). It offers flexibility for borrowers -- and scares the pants off financial planners.). ... (See 401(k) debit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Leo might look like -- Hail, King Leo! No mere mortal card for you; only the regal LeoCard will do! ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Capricorn might look like -- A credit card marketing pitch for a Capricorn might start like this: Your goal is the mountaintop. Your plan: Steady ascent. Your tool: CapricornCard. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

What a credit card for Aquarians might be -- Apply today for this (imaginary) card and receive triple bonus points toward your next protest march or bail bond. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for an Aries might look like -- The credit card industry has thus far missed out on one of mankind's oldest known loyalty groups, the 12 signs of the zodiac. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Virgo might look like -- Introducing VirgoCard, the one financial instrument whose terms of use are so deeply mired in legal obfuscation that we Virgo perfectionists will never tire of trying to crack the code. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Taurus might look like -- A credit card for solid, conservative Taurus? Don't be absurd. And yet your practical Taurean nature keeps whispering maybe, maybe just one card wouldn't hurt. Just for emergencies. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Scorpio might look like -- Inhibited you're not. So why would you call it an early night just because a few nagging bills are piling up? You need a credit card that rocks when you roll, pays when you can't and, most importantly, sleeps late when you do. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Sagittarius might look like -- You're one of the dreamers. And for dreamers like you, there's SagittariusCard. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Pisces might look like -- Deep down, we all want the same things: love, happiness and world peace. Wouldn't it be great if we could just buy them? Well now you can with the PiscesCard. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Libra might look like -- Do you need a LibraCard? Probably not. Who needs any credit card, right? I mean, you've got cash and the bank just opened that nice barista station with the free chocolate spoons. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Gemini might look like -- Conflicted about which card to choose: A debit card that's easy to manage or a credit card that has more features? Now you can have both with the GeminiCard, the one card that's really two cards -- for you and for you! ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

Zodiac credit cards: What a credit card for a Cancer might look like -- Home. We know how much it means to you. That's why we designed the (imaginary) CancerCard, the one credit card guaranteed to keep you safe and secure. ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

What's your sign? Zodiac credit cards -- The Internet is buzzing with word of a new Zodiac calendar -- even including a nearly unpronouncable new Zodiac sign. But why no Zodiac credit cards? We'll fix that! ... (See Zodiac credit cards)

4 ways to safeguard personal information online -- As Internet criminals grow smarter and sneakier, it's increasingly difficult to keep your credit card and personal information safe. Here are four fundamental tips. ... (See Credit card fraud)

MasterCard, Clear strike discount deal on airport security 'express lane' -- MasterCard announced a multiyear deal with the Clear program -- an express lane at some airport security checkpoints -- to allow MasterCard issuers to discount the program's cost to their card members. ... (more)

Credit card thieves 'skimming' pay-at-the-pump gasoline buyers -- As if the high cost of gas wasn't enough, credit and debit card users who pay at the pump have to face a new way to be gouged at the pump: skimmers. ... (See Credit card fraud)

Buying pirated music with credit cards: potentially risky -- Those who use their credit cards to buy songs from controversial Russian-based Web sites may be engaging in international piracy. ... (See Charging pirated music )

Despite lingering online fears, virtual credit cards stall -- Although the paranoia that spawned them and the hoopla that accompanied their birth have died down, virtual credit cards are still available for those who want extra assurance ... (See Virtual credit cards)

529-linked credit cards help make college more affordable -- New credit cards link to 529 plans and function like cash-back credit cards, putting rebates into a college savings plan ... (more)

Best to skip most 'skip-a-payment' offers -- Offers by credit card issuers to skip a monthly payment can seem like a godsend, but if cardholders think such payment holidays are a free ride, they'd better think again. ... (more)

Credit card spending increases for health care -- A poll found that nearly two out of three Americans say they or their family could face hard financial times if they experience a serious illness. ... (more)

Health care credit cards rise to fill insurance gap -- As the ranks of the uninsured soar and medical costs rise for those with insurance, a new generation of health care cards is emerging on the market, but not everyone is cheering their arrival. ... (more) poll results: Credit and health care costs -- A poll finds a majority of Americans realize that inability to pay their share of health care costs has the potential to wipe them out financially. ... (more)

Comparing health care credit options -- Credit card issuers are offering a growing number of options for financing medical expenses. Use this table to compare and find the best deal. ... (more)

United Way links card use to donations -- One of the country's best-known nonprofits is trying to raise money from the rise in Americans' use of credit and debit cards. ... (more)

Cellphone plus contactless credit card equals Yak, wave, buy -- What do you get when you add contactless credit capabilities to your cellphone? A single device for making calls and credit card purchases. You yak, you wave, you buy ... (more)

Shifting environment in fees, security breeds Revolution Card -- An well-financed upstart is taking on the card network giants and hopes merchants and consumers will embrace it. ... (more)

'Regulation Z' overhaul to change credit card fine print rules -- The Federal Reserve Board has proposed the most sweeping changes in nearly 30 years to credit card disclosure rules, known as Regulation Z. ... (more)

Verifone VX 670 allows diners to pay at the table -- The Verifone VX 670 allows transactions to be made at the table, keeping credit cards out of servers' hands. ... (more)

The history of credit cards -- A history of credit cards, including the first general use credit card and the first charge card. ... (more)

The short, unhappy life of a credit card -- On average, a card lasts must three years before delamination, degaussing or (ulp!) scissors, so asked one credit card to reminisce about its short unhappy life. ... (more)

Charitable donation by credit card gives quick tax deduction -- The end of the year is the time to consider wrapping up your charitable donations to qualify for the current year's tax deduction, and there's no quicker way to donate than with a credit card. ... (See Deduction by credit card)

How to claim expired gift card funds -- Tips for reclaiming 'lost' gift card money ... (more)

Gift card survey shows it pays to comparison shop -- If you want a 'use anywhere' gift card, expect to pay for the privilege, says the survey. ... (more)

7 tips for paying winter heating bills -- Having a hard time paying astronomic heating bills? These 7 tips can help. ... (more)

High winter heating bills, meet credit cards -- With heating bills sky high, consumers will be tempted to use utilities' new credit card payment options. Should they? ... (See Pay high heating bills by credit card?)

Life before plastic: Historical look at credit card materials -- Before there were modern credit cards, charge plates, charge coins and celluloid cards did the trick. ... (more)

Interest in collectible credit cards won't expire -- Most just shred old credit cards. But for a few devotees, expired plastic -- especially if it came from an expired celebrity -- can be worth collecting. ... (more)

Despite 'no-blackout' promises, fliers' freebies limited -- A survey of the 16 frequent flier cards offered by 10 large issuers finds it's hard to book that coveted holiday seat, no matter how loudly the card company proclaims 'no blackout dates.' ... (more)

Credit card fraud and online shopping -- Learn the credit card fraud dangers of online shopping and how to avoid them. ... (more)

'Point cards' offer virtual rewards to video gamers -- A new plastic currency for Xbox 360 and Wii lets video gamers pay real money for unreal advantages in their virtual worlds. This 'gamer currency' might be a great gift idea, but there are drawbacks. ... (more)

Credit freezes go national, get chilly welcome -- All three major credit bureaus have rolled out credit freezes as an identity theft fighting tool, but consumer rights groups say the changes don't go far enough. ... (more)

Cardholders in Wildfire Stricken CA Aided by Banks -- Banks are working with victims of the California wildfires. Learn how at ... (more)

Older Americans' credit card debt rising -- Bankruptcy filings up among older credit card users, but experts offer quick ways to rein in debt. ... (more)

Bill Pay Priorities: Mortgage payment takes precedence over card payment -- The majority of homeowners will make house payments even if it affects other bills. Learn why at ... (more)

Debit card and credit card usage rise as primary payment choice -- As debit card and credit card purchases become increasingly popular, check and cash payments wane. ... (more)

Bail yourself out of jail -- with a credit card -- The difference between spending a night in jail and getting out on bail may depend on whether your wallet contains a credit card. ... (more)

Credit card arbitrage: Easy, but dangerous money -- Credit card companies usually make money from consumers. For a few daring consumers, it's the other way around. ... (more)

Pro football credit cards debut from NFL, Bank of America -- Credit cards for the sports nut have gone pro, just in time for the kickoff of the National Football League season. ... (more)

Credit card offers continue even after bankruptcy -- It used to be difficult to get credit card offers after bankruptcy, but it has changed. ... (more)

Gas buyers fume at credit, debit card limits, 'blocks' -- High gas prices, industry practices leave consumers sputtering at the pump when they pay with plastic. ... (more)

Best Credit Card Rewards: Amazing experiences with experiential rewards -- Today's best credit card rewards can earn you golfing tips from Tiger Woods. ... (more)

Artist peddling designs for your credit card -- Anthony Adams makes unique credit card designs and skins. Read more at ... (more)

Personalized cards allow you to customize your credit card -- Personalize your credit card! lets you know the options for creating a unique card. ... (more)

Credit Card Services - Chase Clear and Simple Program -- Chase credit card services include receiving credits for enrolling for free alerts, automatic payments, and online statements. ... (more)

A soup peddling entrepreneur uses a credit card to finance his career switch -- A soup peddling entrepreneur uses a credit card to finance his career switch. ... (more)

Contactless credit card technology now available in the USA -- Wave your contactless credit card to effortlessly charge your purchase. Why are retailers slow to adopt it? ... (more)

AmEx Clear: It's a no fee credit card -- Clear is an AmEx credit card with no annual or late fees. ... (more)

The house that Jessica built with small business credit cards -- Learn how small business credit cards got the Svoboda clothing line up and running. ... (more)

Credit checks are required before iPhone activation -- Consumers wanting the iPhone must submit to credit checks and may be required to pay up to $1,000 security deposit if credit's no good. ... (more)

Major credit cards may deny purchase of lottery tickets -- Can you buy lottery tickets with your credit card? Perhaps not, as reported by ... (more)

Buying a car with a credit card -- Using a low interest credit card rather than a car loan to finance a car could be an option, as long as you are aware of what could trigger an increase in the card's APR. ... (more)

BofA, Citi bet on black for wealthy customers -- Bank of America and Citi introduce black credit cards featuring the American Express logo designed for the banks' wealthiest clients. ... (more)

Foreign travel, your credit card and currency conversion -- Fees such as those generated by a new credit card payment process known as dynamic currency conversion (DCC) could raise the cost of purchases travelers make while abroad. ... (more)

Personalized credit cards can display your logo with co-branding -- The personalized credit card is a rapidly growing business through the use of co-branding. ... (more)

AmEx asks cardholders to join 'members project' -- With 'The Members Project,' American Express is inviting its cardholders to offer and vote on ideas aimed at making the world a better place, with AmEx contributing up to $5 million for the winning concept. ... (more)

Credit card study shows Americans' feelings toward credit cards -- A new credit card study shows many people think credit cards are an easy way to fall into debt ... (more)

Credit Card Deals: Available in Iraq for the first time -- Iraqis can now apply for credit cards and use them for overseas business transactions. Learn more at ... (more)

Card Services from American Express extend to Mortgage Payments -- Do you own a home? Soon you can pay your mortgage with American Express. Learn more at ... (more)

Review of documentary "Maxed Out" -- This review of the documentary film "Maxed Out" gives readers an idea of what to expect from the movie's critical look at the U.S. credit card industry. ... (more)

Citigroup pledges $50 billion to the environment -- Citi announced a commitment of $50 billion to environmental projects during the next decade. ... (more)

Smart card protection reaches card issuers -- National Envelope Corporation's Smart Card Guard is a new line of protective sleeves and envelopes that protect the information on contactless cards. ... (more)

Deal signed on one-time credit card security passwords -- New one-time passwords designed by VeriSign will boost credit card security. ... (more)

Prepaid Visa PAYjr Buxx card provides options for parents, teens -- PAYjr, the prepaid Visa, allows parents to monitor their teens expenses while instilling financial responsibility. ... (more)

Citi cards now offering paperless statements -- Save trees with Citi Card paperless statements. ... (more)

Paperless credit card statements: Right for you? -- Paperless statements from banks and other financial institutions can be beneficial for corporations and consumers, but consider these issues before you go electronic. ... (more)

MasterCard hosts a charity auction for children -- MasterCard is hosting a charity auction where eBay bidders can bid on experiential prizes. ... (more)

Best credit card rewards are green: Giving to the environment -- Let your best credit card rewards benefit the environment when you make purchases. ... (more)

Credit cards helped launch 'Apprentice' star's early career -- Randal Pinkett, winner of "The Apprentice," explains how credit cards helped him get early ventures off the ground. ... (more)

Make credit card purchases via text messages -- Make purchases via text message and pay with credit your credit card. It's 21st century shopping. ... (more)

Use your credit card for small purchases in vending machines -- Vending machines increasingly accept credit cards, making small purchases easy. Read more at ... (more)

Bank of America to offer credit cards in China -- Bank of America plans to join forces with China Construction Bank to offer credit cards to Chinese consumers.  In an announcement by the two companies on April ... (more)

MasterCard to be used at Coca-Cola vending machines -- Following a contract with Coca-Cola, MasterCard will be accepted for vending machine purchases. Learn more at ... (more)

AmEx updates advertising campaign twice in three years -- American Express introduces 'Are you a cardmember?' as its new advertising catchphrase. ... (more)

Discover updates some of its top credit cards -- Discover has updated the names, appearances, and rewards programs for some of its popular credit cards ... (more)

Visa Card in Board Game: Learning credit responsibility -- The board game Life is going to feature the Visa card, teaching players credit responsibility. ... (more)

Visa outlines plans for cell phone credit cards -- The president and CEO of Visa announced investments and partnerships that will help the company move ahead with the concept of using cell phones like a credit card or debit card. ... (more)

Discover card rewards on time payments with the Motiva card -- Get rewarded for paying on time with the Motiva Discover Card. ... (more)

Pay taxes with a credit card -- Need to pay your taxes? Try using your credit card. ... (more)

PAYjr Prepaid Credit Card: Online account access and more -- The Payjr prepaid credit card is a MasterCard lets kids shop, but prevents them from making certain types of transactions. ... (more)

Bank of America to offer "green" credit card -- Bank of America plans to offer eco-friendly credit cards later in 2007 as part of a $20 billion environmental program. ... (more)

Visa: A short history -- Read the history of Visa credit cards at ... (more)

Discover card and Morgan Stanley spin-off news -- Morgan Stanley provided details on its plan to spin off the Discover credit card business. ... (more)

Security-conscious GratisCard is a credit card that shows no personal information -- The GratisCard credit card will show no personal information and uses a PIN number for transactions. ... (more)

RFID credit cards ripe for theft -- Two UMass computer scientists demonstrated how easy it could be for credit card thieves to grab information from no-swipe credit cards that employ RFID technology. ... (more)

Wells Fargo customers could be next to get credit cards without Social Security numbers -- Wells Fargo offers unsecured credit cards for those without Social Security numbers. ... (more)

New Visa signature cards to target upscale consumers. -- Find the rewards for you from the new line of Visa Signature cards. ... (more)

Your credit card may provide rental car damage coverage -- Your rental car may already be insured with credit card coverage. Learn more at ... (more)

Pay via cell phone with new MasterCard credit card application -- ViVOtech plans to put a MasterCard credit card application inside cell phones for tap-and-go payments. ... (more)

Learn more about the prepaid Visa RushCard -- Get your prepaid Visa RushCard developed by Russell Simmons at ... (more)

All about the Baby Phat Prepaid Visa card -- Baby Phat fan? Apply for a prepaid Visa Baby Phat Rushcard at ... (more)

Apply For Credit Card without a Social Security Number -- Bank of America has started offering credit cards to individuals with no Social Security numbers, opening the way for illegal immigrants to gain a credit history. ... (more)

Bank of America student Visa credit card helps young people establish credit -- The Bank of America Student Visa Platinum Plus Credit Card is geared toward college students looking for a credit card that can help to build their credit history. ... (more)

Credit card tax payments provide security for taxpayers -- Learn the benefits of credit card tax payments including transaction security and e-filing. ... (more)

Credit card vending machines: Dallas snacks can be purchased with plastic -- Credit card usage has expanded into new areas, including vending machines in Dallas. ... (more)

Credit card technology reduces the number of cards you carry -- New credit card technology may allow you to carry just one universal credit card. Learn about the iCache. ... (more)

Chase Freedom interactive ad showed to DISH viewers -- Chase launches an interactive ad campaign with a credit card offer visually tailored for DISH network viewers. ... (more)

Personalized Credit Card: New card designs and styles -- Innovations in style and design allow consumers to have their own personalized credit card. ... (more)

Plan requires NYC taxis to accept credit, debit cards -- New York City Council is evaluating the costs and benefits of a new plan that would require city taxi drivers to accept payment by credit ... (more)

MasterCard and Bank of America Debit Card News -- MasterCard has revised its agreement with Bank of America regarding debit cards. ... (more)

Chase credit card ads displayed on bike cabs -- Chase its marketing its credit card products to college students in Ann Arbor, Mich., by providing free bike taxi rides. ... (more)

Home improvement credit card offers -- The credit card offers that were offered on this page have been discontinued. See our current list of home improvement rewards credit cards. ... (more)

Online payment with credit cards pave way for alternative payment methods -- Retailers are gradually moving from online credit card payments to alternative payment methods that cost less. ... (more)

Visa $100K sweepstakes for the holidays -- $100K holiday Visa Sweepstakes! ... (more)

Why some businesses still don't take credit cards -- Small businesses do not always accept credit cards. Find out why at ... (more)

AmEx cardholders pay their condo down payments with their cards -- Luxury condo buyers in New York City may use their AmEx cards to make down payments. ... (more)

Airline credit card: Using your card in the air -- While on an airline, credit cards might be the only way to purchase food, drinks, and entertainment. ... (more)

Credit card protection Insurance: Information about card protection insurance -- Credit card protection insurance provides security against unforeseen circumstances. ... (more)

Credit card technology installed on vending machines -- Buy your candy bar with a credit card! Some vending machines take cards. ... (more)

Throwing away old computer? Beware unerased old online credit card data -- Throwing away your old computer? Ensure you remove valuable information left from online credit card transactions. ... (more)

CapitalOne's Mascot of the Year Competition: Celebrating colleges' unsung heros -- Capitalone holds furry competition to see who will be the "National Mascot of the Year." ... (more)

Check card popularity: Benefits of the card -- Payment by credit card or debit card offers convenience and security to consumers, and the assurance of payment to merchants. ... (more)

Popular Credit Card Companies Plan to Introduce No-Signature Transactions -- This new feature from popular credit card companies could save you time making small purchases. ... (more)

Credit cards used for bail in New York -- Get out of jail with your credit card! Some county jails accept credit cards to pay bail. ... (more)

Contactless credit card: Technology reshaping the way we spend -- The contactless credit card is one way your shopping experience will change in the future. ... (more)

Pay online with extra security: New password technology -- Generate a one-time password with your credit card, adding extra security whenever you pay online. ... (more)

Chase Credit cards will be profiled on -- Chase credit cards have begun to appear on, following an agreement between the company's credit-card services unit and the popular social-networking Web site. ... (more)

Credit card receipt rules change: Is your card receipt safe? -- Laws attempt to keep credit card and debit card receipts safe from criminals looking to use account information, but consumers must also keep an eye on their card receipts. ... (more)

Consumers increasingly use their credit cards to purchase small-ticket items -- Consumers increasingly use credit cards for to pay for small-ticket purchases. ... (more)

Chase platinum is all about choice -- Chase Platinum credit cards have no annual fee and 0% introductory interest. ... (more)

American Express: Find a credit card that fits -- Is the American Express credit card right for your financial needs? View details on this card program. ... (more)

Best Visa Credit Card for Small Business Shoppers -- If you love and own a business, has the best Visa credit card for you. ... (more)

21st century 'vending machines' don't take cash -- Credit cards are the only payment option with a new form of 21st century vending machine that doesn't take cash, as the Sony vending machines that dispense Sony products require you to pay by credit card. ... (more) Rewards Visa from Chase -- Earn points with the rewards card from Chase Bank. ... (more)

Occasionally, charging your taxes is OK -- The IRS now allows consumers to pay their taxes with a credit card through companies like Official Payments Corporation and how using credit cards for tax bill or tax payments can be a life saver. ... (more)

Online payment with virtual account numbers from Citibank -- Citibank offers its members virtual account numbers to use whenever they make an online payment. ... (more)

Best Credit Card Offers: AmEx Blue Card -- Press release describing the American Express Blue card. ... (more)

Lost a card? Carmember services limit loss -- Your cardmember services can help you curb financial losses when you lose a card. ... (more)

Credit card reward points from Starbucks Duetto Visa -- Coffee addict? Get cash back for your coffee from the Starbucks Duetto Visa card. ... (more)

Fixed rate vs. variable rate credit cards -- Fixed rate cards, once a staple of the credit card marketplace, have now become exceedingly rare ... (See Fixed vs. variable rate credit cards)

Chase Blink card: New card for speedy checkout -- The Chase Blink Card involves remote scanning technology that allows cardholders to breeze through lines at participating locations. ... (more)

Advanta small business credit cards -- Press release: Advanta introduces platinum business card with a 0% introductory APR and cash back rewards. ... (more)

Instant credit card approval: What it really means -- Does instant credit card approval mean you can use your card right away? Not necessarily. ... (See What instant approval means)

Household Bank, HSBC becoming major credit card issuer -- After acquiring Household Bank, HSBC became a major issuer of credit cards, offering various programs. ... (See HSBC)