I recently receive the below promotional bonus offer for my Citi AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard. The offer may be targeted, so it’s best to call or sign on to your Citi online account and see if you have also received this offer. I do use this as my primary credit card as I am trying to maximize AAdvantage miles, so I plan on to take advantage of this bonus. Note, this offer can be used in addition to the AAdvantage Shopping Portal.
Promotional Bonus Offer:
Use your Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® to earn 3 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases you make at department stores, restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores. Earn up to 2,500 AAdvantage® miles through 06/30/2015.1
Terms and Conditions:
1This offer starts upon enrollment and will end on 06/30/2015. AAdvantage®miles are only earned on eligible purchases. Earnings associated with this program will equal 2 AAdvantage®bonus mile(s) per $1 spent on eligible purchases and may overlap with other special offers in which you are currently enrolled. AAdvantage®miles earned with this offer are subject to a maximum of 2,500 AAdvantage®bonus miles. Eligible purchases exclude purchases made at warehouses & discount stores, balance transfers, cash advances, convenience checks, items returned for credit, fees and interest charges. Department stores are classified as merchants that provide a general line of merchandise from departments that usually have separate checkout counters. Restaurants are classified as stand-alone dining establishments that primarily prepare food and drinks for immediate consumption by consumers, either on the merchant’s premises or packaged for takeout, and include bars, cocktail lounges, discotheques, nightclubs, taverns and fast food restaurants. Gas stations are classified as merchants that primarily sell vehicle fuel for consumer use. Grocery stores, including supermarkets, are classified as merchants that provide a complete line of food merchandise for home consumption. This offer includes convenience stores which are classified as merchants who sell a limited variety of food items. All purchases must be posted during the promotional period. We do not determine how merchants are classified, however, they are generally classified based upon the merchant’s primary line of business. We reserve the right to determine which purchases qualify for this offer.In order to qualify for this offer, the account must be open and current at all times. If your account is closed for any reason, including if you convert to another card product, you may no longer be eligible for this offer. You may receive more than one communication regarding this bonus offer with a reply-by-date mentioned within; however, if you have already enrolled in this offer, no further action is required. This promotional offer is non-transferrable and applies to the account ending in the last 4 digits referenced in this offer.If you have transferred a balance to this account or do so in the future, interest will be charged on purchases made with your credit card, unless your purchases have a 0% APR, or you pay the entire balance (including any transferred balances) in full each month by the payment due date.American Airlines reserves the right to change the AAdvantage®program rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers at any time without notice and to end the AAdvantage®program with six months notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the mileage awards or credits that you have accumulated. Members may not be able to obtain all offered awards at all times or use awards for all destinations or on all flights. AAdvantage®travel awards, mileage accrual and special offers are subject to government regulations. Unless specified, AAdvantage®miles earned through this promotion/offer do not count toward elite-status qualification or AAdvantage Million Miler℠ status. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies. For complete details about the AAdvantage®program, visit aa.com/aadvantage.
Citibank is not responsible for products and services offered by other companies.
DiscoverCard recently sent out a targeted offer for a $300 Cashback Bonus. The offer is:
Use your Discover card. Sign up by 1/31/2014. Spend $2,000 every month, from 02/01/2014 to 09/30/2014, and you’ll get $300 Cashback Bonus from Discover.
It’s simple. Don’t change your spending. Just change your card to Discover.
There may have been other variations but they are in a similar structure where you have to spend a certain minimum amount per month to receive a fixed cashback bonus. Essentially, they are trying to make DiscoverCard your primary credit card in your wallet.
I received this offer earlier this year (scanned above) and it looked look a great offer at first. Initially, I mistakenly thought it was a $300 bonus Cashback for each month with at least a $2000+ spend, but it’s really only $300 Cashback bonus for a total of $16,000+ over 8 months. That only translates to a measly 1.88% bonus Cashback. It’s definitely not as a good deal as I initially thought.
Because I had mistakenly understood the offer, I charged my Discovercard to meet the minimum spend for the first two months but after I realized the misunderstanding, I saw that it was worth the work and then I let the offer go. Unfortunately, DiscoverCard is not my primary credit card so therefore it was conscious work for me to always remember to pay with DiscoverCard. Also, DiscoverCard is not as widely accepted as MasterCard and Visa, which means there are occasions where my DiscoverCard could not be charged. Therefore, there needs to be a bigger incentive for me to actively use the DiscoverCard as my primary card.
Do you think this was a good offer by DiscoverCard? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Why do you need to maintain a good credit score after retirement? This is the most common question of every retiree. Most aren’t planning to take any more mortgages in their life, and they often tend to disregard their credit score. However, your credit score is the key factor that determines the rate of car insurance you get and your eligibility for low interest credit cards. So, you need to maintain and excellent credit score along with an acceptable debt-to-income ratio.
Retirement Advice: How to choose a credit card after retirement?
How should you choose a credit card for your retirement years? Well, there are some important factors, which determine the best credit card for your life as a retiree. Let us find out some personal finance tips that will help you keep your credit score in check and choose an appropriate credit card.
3 Factors to consider before choosing a credit card
Your income after retirement: One of the biggest changes that you will face after retirement is a drop in your income. According to the Social Security Administration, 74 percent of single retirees and 53 percent of couples receive half of their income from social security. Further, nearly 46 percent of single retirees and 23 percent married couples receive 90 percent of the income from social security program.
Most of the individuals and couples have low-income levels after retirement. It is important to choose a card with zero annual fees and an excellent cash back program. Avoid cards with changing cash back benefits and rewards policies.
Debt balance that you carry: Most of the retirees, nowadays, carry a balance on their credit card. It is best to pay your debts back in a timely manner. If you carry a balance, it is best to transfer to a card with low interest rate and long introductory zero-interest period. Make sure that the interest rate after the introductory period is low enough to manage any balance in future.
You can start with an on-line research and compare the interest rate and balance transfer fees charged by different providers.
Your retirement plans and lifestyle: Are you planning a healthy retirement with lots of travelling plans? It is a common trend among retirees to travel to different countries. If you have plans to travel across the world, choose a card with zero transaction fees overseas. Most of the providers charge transaction fees of up to 2 percent on foreign purchases.
Find cards that offer great cash back offers for airline travels and hotel stays. If you are looking for a national road trip, it might be best to get a card that offer rewards for gasoline. Make sure to confirm the reward policies and rules to redeem your rewards.
Tips to keep your credit score healthy
Make full bill payment every month for your credit card
Avoid maxing out your credit card and keep your usage below 30% of the credit limit
Keep a track of your credit score with regular credit reports. You can claim your free credit report every year and inform authorities about any mistakes or fraud.
Are you maintaining a good credit score in your retirement life? How do you choose a credit card?
Credit cards are a charm to use. All you need to do is to flash that card for your favorite services and shop your way around the market. However, do you consider the interest rate you have to pay on the balance? Credit card debt is one of the major personal finance problems faced by the average American consumer. Your credit card interest influences the amount of interest you pay every month. It has a direct impact on your monthly expenses.
What do you know about the low interest credit cards? Low interest credit cards offer cheap personal finance for your regular expenses. These cards offer several benefits in addition to the low interest finance. Let us find out some important benefits of low interest credit cards.
Save money with low interest credit card
How low interest credit cards can help your personal finance?
Introductory interest free period: It is easy to find a low interest credit card with an interest free introductory offer. In most of the cases, this period stands between 50 to 60 days. It means you can make the repayments without any interest at all during the grace period.
Low interest rate can help reducing your financial burden: Most of the people are unaware of the fact that credit card interest rates are calculated on a daily basis and charged every month. Higher interest rate credit cards (16%) might cause extra financial burden with the compound interest being calculated on your current debt. You can save money by shifting to a low interest credit card (10% interest) along with the introductory offer and a low rate for balance transfer. You can cut down your debt quickly.
Low interest rates: As the name suggests, low interest credit cards charge a lower interest rate. Having a low interest credit card with 11.9% interest rate would require you to pay $4.95 on every $500 as compared to the $9.13 for regular credit cards (21.9%). A higher interest rate means that you would be required to pay higher personal finance charges. Many finance experts advise consumers to lower their credit card usage and prefer debit cards or cash for the payment.
Low minimum payment: Most of the low interest credit cards have comparatively lower minimum payment. Minimum payments depend upon your outstanding debt and interest rates. Generally, minimum payment is calculated as a specific percentage of pending payment along with the finance charges. Therefore, a higher interest rate would affect your minimum payment amount.
It takes time and effort to improve your financial status. Low interest credit cards can be an effective beginning to your financial transformation.
Feeling the burden of credit card bills! Quick tips to pay off your credit debt
High interest charges and pending balances can drain your wallet rapidly. Credit card debt is among one of the major problems in the US. A recent study has revealed that out of every four individuals, one has a credit card debt exceeding his/her savings. The average household credit card debt is $15,000 (creditcards.com) and it indicates the current financial status of average families in our country.
Top 5 Tips to Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt
Are you sailing the same boat? Taking care of an outstanding credit card debt can be overwhelming. However, it is possible to get out of the credit crisis with a systematic and determined approach. You can easily get off the credit card debt provided you follow a debt diet!
How to pay off your credit card debt?
Build a plan to pay off your credit card debt: Start with all your credit card statements and list down their respective balance and rate of interest. List the credit card with higher interest rate at the top and lower ones in a similar manner. Find out the amount of money that you can pay off every month and you need to move from one credit card to another.
Start with highest APR: Every expert would advise you to start with the card having highest annual percentage rate. Start by doubling your payments and add up as much as you can to the amount. Paying off the credit card with highest APR will help you save money in the longer run. In the meantime, make sure to pay minimum payment on rest of the cards.
Consider credit card debt as an emergency: You have to consider credit card debt as an emergency and try to get out of it as soon as possible. Start with a new budget and learn some frugality tips such as use coupons, use different groceries, prefer public transport for few months, and limit restaurant eating. Try to get a part-time job to increase your income stream. It might include typing, organizing, and even writing. These small steps will prove to be critical in paying off your debt.
Transfer balance to low interest credit cards: It is best to consolidate your debt to a single card with low interest rate. The key is to make a large payment every month and it might help to automate these monthly payments. Low interest credit cards might even offer an APR of 12% or even less as compared to the regular 21% credit cards. Make sure to follow the consolidation program in an effective manner.
Find a source of motivation: Motivation plays a crucial role in every difficulty. You need to find a source of motivation while paying off your credit card debt. It can be from your family, friends, and even an online support group. Give yourself a treat at every milestone. You can even reach out to some non-profit credit consultation firm for a spending budget plan.
“Credit” is an excellent word used for loans. Most of the people do not consider the fact that credit card debt is a loan rather than free money. Consumers often borrow money to pay their existing debts. However, borrowing money is not the solution and it can even pile up interest you need to pay on multiple credit cards.
Start with a differentiation. It’s a “borrowing card” instead of a credit card. This minor change will help you control your spending habits. Let us find out some common credit card mistakes that could cost you money.
Top 5 credit card mistakes to avoid
Are you making these credit card mistakes?
Image Credit: abcnews.go.com
Multiple credit cards: Having too many credit cards is the first and most common credit card mistake people commit. Do you really need another credit card? Having multiple credit cards makes it difficult for you to stop. What if you used all of these cards for products or services you don’t even need? Get rid of any extra credit cards and for most of the people, having 2 credit cards is more than sufficient. Moreover, applying for multiple credit cards can lower your credit score.
Paying the minimum amount with late fee: Keeping balance and making minimum payment on your credit card is another common mistake consumers repeatedly make. With minimum payment, it will take considerably longer to pay off the debt and you would have to pay more interest on your balance.
Ignoring monthly credit statement: Credit card statement states the date for payment and the amount that you need to pay. It will ensure that your card is not charged mistakenly because of an ID theft. Do not ignore your monthly credit card statement and file a dispute for any mistakes as soon as possible. The credit card statement will keep you posted on any new credit card terms and charges.
Maxing credit card limit: Many credit card users tend to max out their credit limit because they do not check the credit statement regularly. Exceeding your credit limit time-and-again can damage your credit score. You are liable for over-the-limit and additional interest fees. A regular habit of exceeding this limit can affect your eligibility for loans.
Using cash advance service: A lot of people choose cash advance for emergencies without considering the high rate of interest of these loans. You might have to pay an additional transaction fee for this cash advance. Cash advance services do not offer grace period and interest incur instantaneously. It is important to limit the use of cash advance for emergencies only. Get a loan from your family member or ask your creditor for an extension instead of a cash advance.
Credit cards are made for comfort and it is best to make a complete payment every month. If you are planning to improve your financial status, stop making these mistakes and take control of your life!
Clearing up your credit score can be one of the best things you can do for your credit. If you have a low score, get a copy of your credit report and determine why it is low. The IRS says that everyone is entitled to one free report annually, so use this to your advantage to get your credit cleaned up and in great standing. You may find that there are things on your score that are inaccurate, and if that’s the case you can file a dispute to have it fixed.
How to File the Dispute
Once you have a copy of your report, you can file a dispute based on the information you are given on the report. There will be the name of the reporting agency listed, as well as an address and telephone number to reach the agency. You can call that number to inquire about their process for disputing a claim on your credit report that you feel is incorrect. Many of these reporting agencies require that you put any disputes into writing and provide evidence that the report is false.
How Long It Takes to Reflect
Once you have used a copy of your free credit score to dispute this information, it can take up to 10 weeks for it to be corrected. It can then take another 30 to 60 days before it shows on your credit report. The agency has to verify your identity, remove the claim from your score, and then find the right person to which the claim should have been given. This can take a bit of research, which will take time. Plus, there is paperwork you must fill out and sign, and the faster you do that the faster the agency can fix the mistake on your score. If you take too much time getting them the paperwork, you are only delaying the process to have your credit report free of inaccuracies. In the meantime, if you do require a credit loan, there are several reputable companies liken Positive Lending Solutions specializing in loans e.g caravan,car etc.
How It Helps Your Credit
Every time a debt is removed from your credit, it reflects positively on your credit. If an agency reports that you owe them $800 for a credit card you’ve never own, it shows as a negative against your score. Once you have that totally removed, your score is brought up because the negative score is gone. Any time you have the opportunity to improve your score by paying something off a debt or clearing up mistakes, you should take it. It only helps your score.
Filing a dispute against adverse things you see on your credit score can help you rid yourself of bad credit, and this is especially important to do if that bad credit doesn’t belong to you. While credit reports are generally accurate, there are times when one number can be transposed, and now you’re stuck with the credit score of someone who isn’t as responsible as you are. File a dispute with the reporting agency and follow up with them to get your credit back in good standing.