The Most Convenient Payment Options

If you go back 10 or 20 years, I would venture that most people would say that paying in cash was the most convenient way to pay for purchases.  Fast-forward to today, and I think that cash payers would be in the minority.  Just having to go to a bank or ATM machine is a hassle, especially when you don’t really need to do it anymore.  Here are my thoughts on the most convenient ways to pay today.

Credit Cards

I think a credit card is the best way you can pay, and for sure the most convenient.  Almost everywhere I shop takes credit cards, and a quick swipe is all that is needed for payment.  I like to get the rewards for my purchases as well, so I always use my rewards credit card to maximize this.  Paying with cash gets me no rewards (and most places charge the same whether cash or card).  To find the best credit cards, you can compare credit cards online at Totally Money, and so you can use the best card for the rewards as well.

Convenient Payment Options

Debit Cards

The next easiest way to pay, if you don’t have a credit card, is to use a debit card.  Just like a credit card, it swipes at the register, but unlike a credit card, the money comes out of your checking account.  This is a great solution if credit isn’t your thing.  Some debit cards (albeit very few) do offer cash back rewards or other incentives for using their debit cards.

Online Payments

Online payments are now starting to make their way into the brick and mortar payment business.  In fact, I was in Home Depot the other day, and you can use PayPal to checkout.  You just login to your account at the self-checkout machine, and you’re done.  Quick and easy.

I think as more and more people use smart phones, this will become the more mainstream way to pay.  For example, you can use Google Wallet some places to checkout using your phone already, which is very convenient.

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Money Management Tips to Decrease Debt

No one wants to have any financial debt. Unfortunately, there are times wherein we find ourselves pushed to a corner and resort to borrowing money or spending too much credit. The good news is that you can do something about it.

Money Management Tips to Decrease Debt

  • Do Not Buy Things Which May Potentially Lose Value Using Credit: There is nothing wrong in borrowing money or using credit when you really need to purchase something. However, if you are borrowing money just to buy unnecessary material which may likely depreciate in value in a short period then it will just become a liability. On the other hand, if you are putting money towards investment or starting a business then there is nothing wrong in spending a bit of credit or borrowing a big amount.
  • Stick to Your Budget: Discipline yourself in following what you can only afford. Keep yourself from overspending. This does not mean that you should starve yourself but rather, if you are doing the groceries then maybe it would not hurt to keep yourself from buying that junk food for the meantime.
  • Learn How To Save: Having a piggy bank at home or depositing money in a bank is one way to keep you from spending too much. This will help you save more money since there are times wherein having convenient access to money can do more financial harm than not. Make sure that you set aside a certain percentage of your salary before you even spend for anything.

Having debt is good if it is directed towards a financial development plan. But if your debt keeps on increasing because you tend to buy more of your wants than your needs then maybe it is about time that you consider making a debt management plan.

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How to Save on Credit Card Debt

While credit card can be a great cash solution at times that you are out of cash, it can also be a source of financial problem at times. Yes, if you are not careful about your spending habits, you may end up with lots of bills and high interest. It takes a lot of discipline to effectively manage your finances.

Save on Credit Card Debt
Cut your expenses or cut your plastic?

The good news is that there are new offers to save on credit card debt these days. But aside from that, here are some tips that can help you save on your credit card debt:

1. Pay more than the monthly minimum amount.
You can bay more than the required montly payment so that it can cover the amount of interest and lower down the amount you have to pay next time.

2. Be careful with balance transfers.
Some credit card companies have great sign up offers like a very low interest rate and no interest balance transfer option. This can be a temporary fix to solve your monthly charges but if you are not careful about it, your credit card debt can go higher. So you have to use this option sparingly.

3. Adjust your credit card limit.
Your monthly limit usually increase after few months of using your credit card. But as your credit line increase, it can lead you to spending more. Take note that you have an option to keep your limit as it was or even adjust it to a lower limit.

4. Limit your expenses.
You can reduce your monthly charges by avoiding too much use of credit cards. If you think you can afford paying in cash or through debit card, then go ahead and do so. It is very important to know when you have to use your credit card.

Another option that you might consider to completely get over with credit card debt is to close the card. But if you will follow the above mentioned tips, this won’t be necessary especially if you’re really good in managing your finances.

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Credit Card Processing: Rewards Cards Make Comeback

Rewards cards — those credit cards that carrying an incentive or “reward” for use — are hotter than ever in the world of credit card processing. In fact, some of the offers out there are considered by industry observers to be too good to pass up by consumers.

Cardholders have long appreciated the opportunity to reap cash back, merchandise points or frequent flier miles by simply making purchases on their rewards card. But in recent recessionary times, the cards were more difficult to come by as issuing banks curtailed their credit card programs. All that is past history now.

According to the research firm Mintel Comperemedia, almost 60 percent of credit card offers made in the first half of 2011 featured an incentive in the form of gift cards, bonus miles or cash back. That’s up from just 30 percent in 2007.

It appears that banks are competing to shock and awe consumers with reward card deals like:

  • $300 cash back after making $500 in purchases, plus 1 percent back on all purchases and higher percentages in specific merchant categories (Chase Freedom Visa).
  • 50,000 bonus miles after the first purchase and an additional 50,000 miles after spending $2500 in the first three months (Chase British Airways Signature Visa)
  • spend $100 online the day the account is opened and get a $20 cash rebate, save 5 cents per gallon at Walmart gas stations and get 1 percent cash back on all purchases (Walmart Discover)
  • 15 cents per gallon rebates on gasoline at Exxon and Mobil stations, plus up to 2 percent rebates on the first $10,000 spent on other purchase and 1 percent rebates on purchases above $10,000 (ExxonMobil MasterCard)
  • Up to 6,000 ThankYou points for making $600 in purchases and signing up for paperless statements, 1,200 bonus points for paying the bill on time and not exceeding the credit limit and a reduction in APR for making a purchase, staying under the credit limit and paying on time three consecutive billing periods (Citi Forward Card)

Of course, these offers aren’t altruistic on the part of the banks. They’re determined to recoup some of the debit card interchange fees lost when the Durbin Amendment went into effect on Oct. 1 by promoting credit cards over debit cards (credit card interchange fees were not impacted.) Naturally, the banks also expect that many cardholders will carry a balance, incur late or over-the-limit charges or otherwise run up additional profits for them.

Unfortunately, merchants will likely watch their interchange fees climb because these premium cards generally carry a higher processing rate than standard cards. Increased sales may help to cover some of the jump, but businesses should consult with their provider of credit card processing services to see how they may be impacted.

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BPI Offers My ePrepaid MasterCard

Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) offers My ePrepaid to every shoppers out there. It is a reloadable prepaid card that allows users to shop at different stores affiliated with MasterCard. This can be done internationally and online. You can reload your “My ePrepaid MasterCard” through different BPI channels which are available 24/7.

BPI My ePrepaid MasterCard

My ePrepaid MasterCard Key Features:

  • Guaranteed 100% Application Approval
  • No Maintaining Balance
  • Use wherever MasterCard is accepted – at the widest selection of online shopping sites and stores here and abroad.
  • Pick the card color of your choice, available in Azure & Indigo.
  • Valid for two (2) years.
  • Load up to P10,000
  • Easy loading & reloading through numerous BPI electronic channels.
  • Check your card balance real-time through text (SMS) or by dialing 89-100; press 4 for Express Cash and press 1 for Balance Inquiry.
  • Enjoy instant discounts and freebies from BPI Real Thrills.

Having this card has lots of rewards and benefits! You can even use it in booking your Philippine Airlines tickets or from TicketWorld, and use it in buying and downloading apps for your gadgets. Contact the nearest BPI branch to apply. You can also apply online through bpiexpressonline.com!

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Some Tips In Lowering Credit Card Interest

If you are a credit card holder, you have the option to revolve a balance on a monthly basis however, once you do, you will pay the interest rate for your purchases. This is basically how Credit Card Company earns their profit. A credit card’s annual percentage rate or APR is what determines how much interest you will pay for the balances of each of your purchases.

As you are well aware of, signing up for a new credit card may be easy especially if they are offering that zero interest rate for like six months. But then again, if you are not careful in keeping your account current, you may suffer consequences. Furthermore, you should realize that not all people can simply call and ask the credit card company to lower down his or her interest rate.

Lowering Credit Card Interest

Most credit card companies nowadays utilize systems which determine if you are eligible for an APR reduction. This system is often incorporated with the customers’ credit and payment history. The main idea here is that customers who have a good credit history and or under special circumstances may qualify for a rate reduction. On the other hand, if you are not qualified, it does not mean that you are no longer qualified for it forever.

There are still ways to become eligible for it such as being diligent when it comes to your balances. Though your credit card allows you to revolve a balance, you may want to opt for paying all the charges that you put through your credit card. You can also surf the internet for online deals that may provide you a better way of paying your balances. Checking your monthly statements in your mailbox or online email is also a good habit to develop. This will at least let you know if you need to make a payment anytime soon. If in case you find yourself unable to pay your complete balance due to unforeseen circumstances then you may call the credit card company and ask for alternatives.

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Pointers When Getting A Balance Transfer

There are some companies who may offer a zero interest rate if you transferred your credit card’s remaining balance to them. However, make sure you inquire the duration of the promotion and the go to percentage rate. Yes, a credit card may offer you a zero interest rate for six months but after six months, the interest rate may change to a higher rate compared to your old credit card’s standard interest rate. Make sure that before you sign up with a new credit card company is that you make sure you read the agreement between you and the company. Review it a couple of times.

Balance Transfer - Interest Rate

At the same time, the promotional rate may only apply towards the transferred balance but not towards new purchases. You also have to make sure that you understand all the conditions offered and the terms used because one term may mean another. Also take note of the credit card’s annual fees if there are any before you even cancel your old card and switch to the new one. You can also check with your existing credit card’s company if they can offer you a better annual percentage rate. Remember, if it is about money matters, make sure you think not just twice but many times as much as possible.

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Basic Idea About Balance Transfer

The financial industry has changed a lot for the past couple of years. It was only a few years back when the first credit card was introduced to the people as a means to help them cope up with their daily expenses. Now, there are a number of companies out there competing with each other to be the best credit card company. But more than the benefits of having the credit card and other special quirks which comes along with signing up for one, competition mostly is about who has the better interest rate. As you are well aware of, these financial institutions make their money through interest. The idea here is that people who start revolving their balance will have to pay their balance plus any other interest on it. So as long they continue to not pay the whole amount of their balance, the credit card company will continue to earn extra through the interest.

Basic Idea About Balance Transfer
Because of this, companies are then employing marketing strategies such as balance transfers. Balance transfers allow you to transfer all your balance on your credit card to another credit card of a different company. The idea here is that the credit card company offering the balance transfer promotion will be the ones to pay the remaining balance of the customer from the old credit card. The customer will then continue paying the balance transferred to the new credit card with the new interest rate offered by the opposing credit card company. It may sound simple but then again, you have to be very careful considering credit card companies’ offers.

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