Thursday, November 30, 2006

Low apr credit cards use

Low APR credit cards are much more prevalent than in years past. Competition is stiff and credit card financial institutions offer many nice perks, rewards, points, low annual percentage rates (APR) and other inducements. They want to capture new customers who've never had a credit card but also those who already have a credit card and might like to save money by transferring that card's balance on to their new low APR credit cards.

Although if you're not opposed to doing a lot of switching, you can always purchase a low APR credit card, or zero percentage APR credit card, transfer the balance from your current high APR credit card, and then, once the introductory time period has expired and the APR is about to go up on your newest credit card, transfer the balance yet again to a brand new low APR credit card.

Citibank, for example, offers low APR credit cards that give you five percent cash back on any purchase you making at grocery stores and gas stations with your low APR credit card, and one percent back for any purchase elsewhere. If your transfer transaction is at least $1500 you will earn $5 cash back with the low APR credit card. Discover has platinum clear card whose low APR is continual. Chase Bank offers low APR credit cards as well.

I get applications in the mail and see ads on television all of the time for low APR credit cards as well as 0% APR credit cards, are these a good deal for me? Originally, low APR credit cards were a marketing scheme in America. Well, there are a lot of 0% APR cards available for balance transfer.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Vodacom’s credit card offers rewards

By Cara Muller

Vodacom, one of the big cellular providers in SA, have set their sights on conquering the credit card market and have announced that with their card customers can expect to receive all sorts of rewards like cash-backs and discounts.

“The Vodacom Credit Card provides our customers with an extensive range of rewards and benefits including exclusive offers, cash backs and discounts on travel, leisure, safety and security, education and Vodacom products and services,” says Dot Field, Vodacom’s Chief Communication Officer.

Some of the benefits Vodacom credit card users can expect is 10% of their cash back in Yebo Bucks when they purchase products at a Dion store or Game and up to 2% of their monthly payments.

Yebo Bucks can be used at all Vodashops, Vodacom 4U stores, Game and Dion stores to buy cellular, electronic and technology goods.

Many of the furniture companies are also keen to partner with Vodacom Credit Card and will offer special deals for Vodacom customers brandishing this card.

“Customers will get 10% cash back when they shop at Furniture City, Geen & Richards, Dial-a-Bed and Osiers, and stand in line for Yebo Member Deals which are special deals and discounts offered to Vodacom Credit Card customers on a monthly basis,” explains Field.

Whilst it is strange to see the cellular provider operating in the financial sector this venture has the backing of Visa and is issued under license of FirstRand Bank. There are no annual card fees and customers will only pay a membership fee of R29.00 per month, which will be charged to their Vodacom Credit Card account.

In addition, Vodacom Credit Card users will receive a Yebo SMS informing them about each transaction on their card, how much was spent and where, thereby allowing users to keep track of movement on their account.

“As South Africa’s leading cellular network, we constantly seek innovative ways to reward our customers for their loyalty. The Vodacom Credit Card is yet another benefit of being a Vodacom customer and of being part of the Vodacom family,” concludes Field.

What is good to see is that banks no longer have the final say and this increased competition in the financial sector may force SA banks to rethink their high tariffs and appalling service.

South African banks up till now have not had to place much credence on what the consumer wants, but with other competitors snapping at their heels they may just have to consider writing policies that benefit consumers and not just their pockets.

Friday, November 17, 2006

In for a penny, but not a pound

Miserly credit card company GE Money is short changing customers who took up its offer of cash back on all their grocery and fuel spending.

GE Money launched its Everyday card in May, promising a typical APR of 12.9% and 3% cash back on the first £5,000 spent on groceries and fuel every year.

But customers have discovered that the bank is only giving them money back on every full pound spent per item and not the pennies. So if an item cost £14.99. GE Money would round this down to £14 and then give back 3% of this - or 42p.

Most credit cards giving cash back base the refund on the whole monthly spend.

So if someone bought 100 items costing £14.99 (total £1,499) with a 3% cash back they would get £44.97 back, but with GE they would get £42. In its publicity for the card, GE Money says: 'Transparency also came top of the 'want' list [of consumers], which is why GE Money has cut out jargon.'

But customers argue that the terms are not clear. These state: 'We may pay cash back at a percentage from time to time on the value of all retail purchases. If we do so, we will show the cash back you earn each month in your statement and will pay the total value of cash back you have earned twice a year.'

The Everyday card was withdrawn by GE Money in September. GE Money did not respond to Money Mail's calls.

Friday, November 10, 2006

What are Single Rate Credit Cards?

By Sarah Dinkins

There was a time when credit cards where just used for purchasing goods and financing unpaid balances. However, a number of other uses were introduced and different rates are charged. So, what is a single rate Credit card and how does it work?

The interest rate charged for financing an outstanding balance is different than the rate charged for withdrawing cash from an ATM, and different from the rate charged for overseas transactions or withdrawals. There are also interest rates charged for financing balance transfers, promotional no-interest periods for purchases, and many more.

Single Rate Credit Cards Explained

All these rates can get very confusing and you can easily loose track of all of them. But someone had a brilliant and original idea. And this time it seems that originality implied going back to the origins. Someone thought about charging a simple, unique interest rate for all financial transactions. And thus, Single Rate Credit Cards came to life.

There are no difficulties about this kind of credit cards. Any financial transaction you make, from financing unpaid balances, transferring balances, withdrawing money from ATMs, Buying goods abroad, etc. is charged the same interest rate. Thus, you can easily keep track of your expenses and avoid unwittingly exceeding limits.

Is a Single Rate Credit Card for me?

The answer to this question depends on your usual financial behavior. If you just use your card for buying goods because you don’t like carrying too much cash with you and you always pay the balance in full, you probably won’t make good use of this kind of credit card. A mileage Credit Card or other reward credit card might be a best option.

If you need a new card for transferring the balance of your previous cards and finance them, you’ll probably do better with a Credit Card featuring a 0% Balance Transfer promotional period. But only if you can repay the balance in full before the promotional period has ended, otherwise, a single rate Credit Card is a good choice, since the rate is lower than the rate charged by 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards once the promotional period has ended.

Single Rate Credit Cards are best for people who use their credit cards for many different uses. Mainly if you use your credit card to make purchases but you don’t pay the balance in full, if you also use your card for making cash withdrawals or if you use your credit card when traveling abroad, you should probably get one of these Credit Cards.

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