As someone who doesn't carry a wallet, I'm always thankful when I find a retailer that accepts credit card payments through my phone.
Such businesses are difficult to find, so my iPhone is inside a small case that opens to hold only three cards: my driver's license, a debit card and a credit card. No, it's not a man purse. It's the size of my phone, but about twice as thick. For me, it beats carrying around both a phone and a wallet.
But even with just one credit card on me, it's tempting to leave it at home and only carry my phone with me.
When I go to a business with a mobile card reader, I'm looking for one that uses Bluetooth technology to connect my mobile phone to its credit card reader so that the credit card stored on my phone can be seamlessly and securely used.
I'm looking for Bluetooth for two reasons: So I don't have to carry a physical credit card with me, and so I don't have to use the chip in the card and spend an inordinate amount of time at the cashier.
There's also a third reason, which I really did't think about much until I went to Europe last summer for vacation: High merchant fees for using a credit card.
The mobile card reader from SumUp seems to solve all of these problems. Here's how: ...continue reading
If you’re having a difficult time getting approved for credit because you have a low credit score, working to improve your credit score can seem like a task that can take years to solve.
There are few quick shortcuts to improving a credit score, but there are some big moves that can raise it dramatically.
Here are some of the biggest moves you can make to improve your credit score:
Know your credit score
Start by checking your credit score at AnnualCreditReport.com for free. The three credit reporting companies must give you a free report once a year, so you can either get all three at once or spread them out by getting one every four months.
The score you receive represents your credit risk at a point and is meant to measure your future credit risk. Scores from the Fair Isaac Corporation, or FICO, are most widely used, with scores ranging from a low of 300 to a high of 850.
The higher the score you have, the more likely you are to be approved for credit and get the best loan rates for auto loans, home loan and credit cards, among other things.
Here’s a breakdown of what the scores generally mean: ...continue reading
Keeping a $20 bill in your pocket can seem like an enticement to spend it. That cash can also help you have less credit card debt by not having to swipe a credit card for small purchases.
A recent study by the Urban Institute found that using cash when a purchase is under $20 left the consumer with $104 less in revolving debt, on average. That dropped their credit card balances 2 percent below their baseline average.
For young people, the $20 cash rule led to more savings. People under 40 who were reminded "Don't swipe the small stuff" and to use cash on purchases for less than $20 had $173 less in revolving debt. ...continue reading