How to find the right rewards credit card

Are you looking to get your finances in order this winter? Perhaps you want to change the way you spend? Whatever the case, a credit card with rewards could be the right option for you. They’re available online from reputable banking groups, so let’s find out how to choose the right bit of plastic.

Look for a card that suits you

With a rewards card, you will earn points whenever you spend. These can be redeemed against a wide range of products, so it’s important to find a card that suits you. If you like music, for instance, it’s a good idea to select a credit card that will give you access to music vouchers, CDs, concert tickets and more. Similarly, if you’re a fan of the beautiful game and regularly create your own football fantasy team; opting for a football credit card will allow you to enjoy exclusive offers and discounts, so always do your research.

Search for a low interest rate

When searching for a new credit card, you must always look for the lowest interest rate possible. This will help you clear your debt quickly and enable you to avoid high charges if you fail to clear your bill on time. Many credit cards – including a wide range of specialist credit cards – offer 0 per cent on card purchases and balance transfers for an introductory period – so be prepared to shop around.

Compare and contrast

If you want to find the best deal possible, compare and contrast credit cards online. This will give you a good idea of what’s available and will help you to make a well-informed decision. Don’t forget to check the balance transfer and purchase rates of each card and look to see how many rewards you can earn. As internet banking is so convenient these days, it’s also wise to see what free online card services are offered – as these can come in useful.

Read reviews online

Before applying for a credit card online, there’s no harm in reading reviews and comments from other people. Credit card and banking forums will give you a good insight into what certain cards are like and could help you make up your mind. Not all comments are likely to be positive, but they could steer you in the right direction if you’re struggling to decide. It’s also worth reading press releases from banking groups, as these will give you a more detailed overview of each product.

Choose the right rewards card today and get more for your money.

3 “Investment Opportunities” to Avoid

If you feel flush with cash, imagine how scam artists feel knowing you’re walking their way. Having a little spare money to invest is a great feeling, but don’t let your enthusiasm and greed get the best of you. Con artists often target people on a cash high to turn that spare money into an extra payday – for them, not you. Here are the top three ways not to learn about investment opportunities. For these, it’s simple: The answer is always no.

1) The Family Business

If you’re a soft touch with family, don’t mention the windfall you now have to invest. Before you know it, the “investment” you got sucked into has your cabinets full of products ranging from multi-colored lipsticks and vitamin supplements to all manner of equipment that you think might either be used in the kitchen or the bedroom. Multi-level marketing schemes are not an investment, no matter how they are portrayed. While many people do make a nice side income with them, an investment is something that works for you, not you working for it.

2) Email Come-ons

No, your long-lost great-grandpa didn’t leave you riches in Africa that need you to post hundreds or thousands of your own money to get delivered to you. Likewise, it’s very doubtful you are the last heir to any kingdom that sounds so foreign it probably never existed. Anyone with a secret so powerful that it has made them million and can show you how (if you just pay them to teach you) to invest is also probably a liar. If that secret was so successful, what are they doing mass-mailing people telling tens of thousands instead of keeping their lips shut and making a killing?

3) Time-Limited Investments

Buy that piece of land now – sight unseen – or someone else might scoop that investment out from under you!  Unless the person making you an investment offer is someone you have worked with for years, don’t take their advice. Time-limited investments all have one thing in common. The moment you leave and do your research, you will find out the true reason they were time-limited: So, you don’t have a chance to ask questions.

This timeless wisdom was brought your way courtesy of the awesome team at National Payday, the web’s oldest payday lender.

Why It’s Still a Good Time for a New Mortgage or Refinance

I have been thinking lately that I don’t want to miss out on some real values in real estate because of my financial situation. I’ve done a lot over the past two years to improve how my personal financial statement stacks up when I finally apply for a mortgage and I definitely think I have made a few key improvements which matter to lenders like:

  • Shown a track record of regular employment, and have been at my current job for over two years
  • Reduced my Debt to Income ratio by both decreasing my debt and increasing my income
  • Have at least 10% if not 20% for a down payment, depending on just how much of a “fixer” I want to buy

You guys know I really love real estate. I check the MLS listings on a daily basis. I try to figure out all kinds of scenarios that don’t necessarily apply to me, like whether I would be eligible for a refinance if I did have a home. And the good news is that completing a California or Florida refinance is not as arduous as it was even two or three years ago. The best way to find the most competitive mortgage or refinance rates is to do your own research and ask the tough questions. If you know what all of your costs are and have accounted for contingencies such as not being able to close within the original estimate or deciding to switch from a 30-year to a 15-year loan, then you will be able to complete a refinance in a reasonable amount of time and get the best rate possible. In the case of some first-time homebuyers, you might find a more favorable rate awaits you after a year or two of your first home purchase. Your credit history will have improved considerably with regular, on-time mortgage payments, and your score should have improved as well. Refinancing can seem like a long process, but when you consider the possibility of immediately saving thousands of dollars, both in the near and long-term, then refinancing at historic low rates becomes a no-brainer.

Have you done a refinance lately? What was the best part of the entire experience? Any tips to share for newbies considering their first refinance?

How do international bank accounts work?

I would say most of us have figured out the tricks of savvy traveling by now. You know how to avoid baggage fees and waiting at baggage claim by not checking your bag until you’re planeside – and the agents are offering to check your bag for free and have it ready for you when you exit the aircraft, which is the best of both worlds, isn’t it? You wear lightweight travel gear and comfortable shoes. You know to use travel sizes for toiletries and pack them well in a ziplock bag. You even bring an extra battery for your laptop. But when it comes to handling your money abroad, it’s often the last thing we think about. “Hey, I’ve already budgeted for it,” you think. But what about exchanging currency? And is your credit card going to be accepted everywhere you travel? Although you’ll probably be fine for the most part, but you will come across a few places no matter where you go that would prefer to be paid in local currency. One way that you can avoid encountering any payment issues when you are traveling or living abroad is by considering international bank accounts to transfer money safely between your domestic account and international account.

If you are moving abroad or travel abroad frequently, an international account could save you in fees and transaction costs and make calculating expenses simpler by dealing in only one currency.You’ll potentially save plenty of money by avoiding additional foreign ATM withdrawal fees. I’ve always had a good habit of thinking about my smallest expenses…I know those $2 charges can add up. And if I can avoid a $2 charge at the ATM or for a transaction fee, then I can either save $2 or spend it on something delicious, like churros con chocolate in Madrid or a cherry tart in Paris. So to recap, here are a few good reasons to consider using an international bank account for your next move or trip abroad:

  • You can save on transaction fees and ATM charges.
  • Your account and all of your transactions can use the local currency.
  • You can deposit checks using the local currency.
  • You can take advantage of using multiple currencies in one account.
If you love your own hometown bank and can’t bear the thought of using a different bank, an international bank account can be an alternate form of payment. We can always benefit from having options, and a global bank account is just one more option to keep you moving smoothly through your next trip abroad.