Tag Archives: credit cards

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How To Choose The Right Credit Card

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It’s not always easy to choose the right credit card. With the number of different rewards programs, interest rates, and cash-back options, finding the right card can be a real challenge. I was in Toronto two weeks ago celebrating with other bloggers as RateHub.ca launched a new credit card comparison tool. During the event, we got the chance to try out the new tool, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, I learned I wasn’t using the best credit card. Want to choose the right credit card? Try RateHub.ca’s new credit card tool My primary card is the Gold American Express. I’ve had it for a few years, and it’s my favorite for travel rewards. I love the Amex point system, the car rental insurance, and the special perks like front-of-the-line “early” access to concert tickets or deals on other events or gift packages. However, American Express is not accepted everywhere, and it seems the […]

My Credit Card Is My Single Most Powerful Budgeting Tool

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Maybe the title of this post surprised you, as credit cards are often villified in the personal finance community. However, if you’re out of debt and you can manage credit without overspending, a credit card has more perks than pitfalls. I have two main credit cards: gold American Express card, which costs $150 per year, and the no-fee MBNA cash-back rewards card. I used to have the Platinum American Express card, but downgraded to the gold card when I went back to school. I really, really miss my platinum card and the airport lounges and my free car rental upgrades and my gift cards to Coach… sigh. Maybe next year I can get it back. Whenever possible, I charge all purchases to my American Express. At stores that do not accept American Express, I pay with my Mastercard. I have a third no-fee, no-useful-rewards Visa card that I’ve had since I was […]

The American Express Black Card

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The American Express Black Card, or The Centurion, is an ultra sexy credit card for an exclusive club of big spenders. The American Express Black Card: The Centurion   My first encounter with the American Express black card was at a Christmas Party last year. Another guest used the box the American Express black card comes in (a bulk wooden thing with velvet trim inside) to store a present for the gift exchange. It would have been nice if the card WAS the gift. After the gift exchange was finished, not enough people recognized what the wooden box represented, so the gifter whipped out his American Express black card and passed it around. RELATED: How To Choose The Right Credit Card I had no idea what the card represented (or should I say what the cardholder wanted it to represent), but the overwhelming awkwardness of flashing your credit card around a party made me […]

Defenses against credit card debt

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This is my last credit card statement: There’s a fair bit of turnover on my card. As I’ve mentioned before, I use my credit card whenever I can on whatever I can, from my cellphone bill to groceries to shopping. I’ve said this is primarily for the airmiles, but truthfully the biggest benefit to using my credit card for everything is ease of tracking my purchases. If everything goes on the card, then everything is on the card statement, and that makes it really easy for me to see where I’ve spent my money. It also keeps me from getting dinged a fee for using too many debit transactions on my debit card. Anyway, look at that balance: a modest $600 + change. But look at that minimum payment: $12. Seriously? $12? In addition to being a mere 1.90% of the total amount owed, it’s a completely painless charge. I […]

Tracking Spending

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I hate tracking my spending. I know that monitoring where your money goes is the cornerstone of financial health, but I loathe keeping track of every penny. Even as I type this, I have a pile of unsorted receipts in front of me. I know I should go through them but.. ugh I’d rather just fold laundry or something instead. Tracking your spending is hard for a number of reasons. Firstly, there’s so many ways to spend money: cash, debit, credit cards, cheques, automatic withdrawals. It’s easy to lose a transaction or two in the fray. I try to streamline my spending by putting all my expenses on one credit card so my statement does the tracking for me, but over the past few weeks I’ve found it infuriating to be without cash when I go out with my friends. I was thinking of giving myself some sort of cash […]