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How You Can Profit from Credit Cards: Using Credit to Improve Your Financial Life and Bottom Line

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How You Can Profit from Credit Cards: Using Credit to Improve Your Financial Life and Bottom Line

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About

Features

Banks maximize their profits by outsmarting their cardholders. Turn the tables on banks and start outsmarting them.  

  • Profit from savvy card usage by earning thousands of dollars in rebates and by making thousands of dollars through creative financing methods.
  • Control, cut, and eliminate your credit card debts, and systematically reduce what you pay for credit.
  • By the creator of the nation's #1 independent consumer credit card comparison and information site, CardRatings.com!

Description

  • Copyright 2008
  • Dimensions: 5-3/8 X 8-1/4
  • Pages: 352
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-235377-6
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-235377-9
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-714806-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-714806-6

Who would not be interested in getting an interest-free loan for 12 months for any type of purchase just for taking a few minutes to complete a credit card balance transfer offer? Or a free round-trip airline ticket twice a year just for making purchases on a rebate card? Or lowering their insurance premiums by hundreds of dollars a year just by raising their credit score? Obviously, just about every consumer is interested in saving money and getting freebies! Hence, the universal appeal of this book cannot be overstated. Today, the average American household has 12.7 credit cards. Banks maximize their profits by "nickel and dimeing" and outsmarting their cardholders: that's why credit cards are their most profitable product. Banks spend billions enticing consumers with rebates, freebies, low-introductory rate offers, and airline miles. Learn how to take full advantage of these offers, without paying for them through brutally high interest rates, fees, and penalties! Arnold offers specific advice targeted to young consumers who are being aggressively targeted by credit card marketers; retirees facing credit discrimination; Americans recovering from bankruptcy or other debt problems; and even consumers with great credit. You'll learn the techniques he has personally used to escape credit card debt, "creatively finance" his wedding, car, and home purchases, and earn thousands in credit card "perks" every year.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Author xxi

Chapter 1: It’s Not Just Plastic–It’s Money! 1

Chapter 2: Show Me the Money! Credit Card Rebates 23

Chapter 3: Unlock the Key to Huge Savings: Master Credit Card Rates and Transfer Offers 51

Chapter 4: Avoid Problems That Hinder Maximum Profits 75

Chapter 5: How to Slash Your Debt and Keep Your Hard-Earned Money for Yourself 89

Chapter 6: Watch Out: Traps and Scams Can Cost You Big Bucks! 119

Chapter 7: Start Out on the Right Foot–Credit Cards for Students and Saving for College 155

Chapter 8: Use Targeted Cards to Your Financial Advantage 179

Chapter 9: Your Credit Report and Score: The Better You Look, the More You Profit 209

Chapter 10: Maximize the Benefits of Your Cards by Taking Advantage of Additional Free Perks 237

Chapter 11: Master Advanced Card Techniques to Save and Make Money 259

Chapter 12: Capitalize on Future Card Trends 283

Glossary 301

Updates

Errata

PrintNumber ErrorLocation Error Correction DateAdded
1 pi This book is a must-read for credit card holders of all ages. Curtis Arnold offers insights into how consumers can not only profit financially from credit cards, but importantly, how to avoid falling into debt.
—Thomas R. Evans
President and CEO of BankRate.com, Inc.
delete 9/8/2008
1 ppi-ii add quotes Curtis Arnold’s new book is loaded with great information, including some intuitive tips about how consumers can actually use credit and credit cards to benefit themselves financially instead of just benefiting the credit card companies. This is a most insightful book.
—John Ulzheimer
President of Consumer Education for Credit.com
“Credit Caoch” contributor on CNBC’s The Millionaire Inside and Author of “You’re Nothing but a Number; Why achieving great credit scores should be on your list of wealth building strategies”
Credit cards can be a valuable money tool when used correctly, and Curtis Arnold tells you how. From enhanced consumer protections to lucrative rewards, “How You Can Profit From Credit Cards” reveals secrets of the credit card industry that can benefit you instead of the bank. This book makes you an expert not only about credit cards, but many of the credit issues in your life. And it blows the cover off some dirty tricks by card issuers. When it comes to paying with plastic, Arnold knows his stuff.
—Gregory Karp
Award-winning syndicated personal finance columnist and Author of Living Rich by Spending Smart: How to Get More of What You Really Want.
9/8/2008
1 pvii To my wonderful wife, Nancy.

Make bold centered and start new paragraph.
fixed 9/9/2008
1 pxvi Watch For New Incentive Programs 296 Watch for New Incentive Programs 296 9/9/2008
1 pxvii-xviii I’m especially grateful for the input of the thousands of members of the CardRatings.com forum as well as the many other people who have sent us emails, posted cardholder reviews on the website, and subscribed to our newsletter. I’m especially grateful for the input of the thousands of members of the CardRatings.com forum. In particular, I want to mention Ira Stoller, who contributed actively to the forum for years prior to his untimely passing in 2008. Ira’s selfless contributions to the forum are sure to help consumers for many years to come. Ira’s spirit is very much alive. I also want to thank the many people who have sent us emails, posted cardholder reviews on the website, and subscribed to our newsletter. 9/9/2008
1 pxxi CardRatings.com also provides a free forum (containing over 115,000 posts)—where Curtis interacts regularly with participants—to discuss credit issues such as sharing ideas on how to make the most of credit cards, get out of debt, and solve credit issues. CardRatings.com also provides a free forum (containing over 130,000 posts)—where Curtis interacts regularly with participants—to discuss credit issues such as sharing ideas on how to make the most of credit cards, get out of debt, and solve credit issues. 9/9/2008
1 pxxii Over the years, Curtis and CardRatings.com have received an enormous amount of national publicity and praise, thanks to interviews Curtis has given to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Money Magazine, NPR (National Public Radio), CNN, ABC News Radio, AARP, Dow Jones Newswire, Bottom Line/ Personal, PBS, SmartMoney Magazine, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, MSNBC TV, The Associated Press, CNBC, TIME Magazine, and more. Over the years, Curtis and CardRatings.com have received an enormous amount of national publicity and praise, thanks to interviews Curtis has given to Oprah and Friends (XM Radio show with Jean Chatzky), The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Money Magazine, NPR (National Public Radio), CNN, ABC News Radio, AARP, Dow Jones Newswire, Bottom Line/ Personal, PBS, SmartMoney Magazine, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, MSNBC TV, The Associated Press, CNBC, TIME Magazine, and more. 9/9/2008
1 p7 More Than Meets Your Eye
Ira Stoller, a senior member of the CardRatings.
com forum, says,
More Than Meets Your Eye
Here’s how Ira Stoller, who was a frequent poster on the CardRatings.com forum, until his untimely passing in 2008, explained preapproved offers:
9/9/2008
1 p12 Table 1.1:
The prime rate as of the printing of this book is 5.25%.
The prime rate as of the printing of this book is 5%. 9/9/2008
1 p15 Figure 1.1 a few letters cut off on the right side. fixed 9/9/2008
1 p19 Learn About Card Features Learn about Card Features 9/9/2008
1 p37 Ira Stoller, a sharp, savvy consumer and frequent contributor to the CardRatings.com forum, likes to have more than one cash-back card so if he does reach the rebate cap on one, he can start earning cash with another. Ira Stoller, who was a sharp, savvy consumer and frequent contributor to the CardRatings.com forum until recently, when he lost his battle with cancer, liked to have more than one cash-back card so if he reached the rebate cap on one, he could start earning cash with another. 9/9/2008
1 p53 Variable versus Fixed-Rate Credit Cards Variable Versus Fixed-Rate Credit Cards 9/9/2008
1 p54 Add the prime rate of 5.25% (at the printing of this book) to the spread, and you’ll find out that the effective interest rate is 11.25% (5.25% + 6%). It’s simple math. Add the prime rate of 5% (at the printing of this book) to the spread, and you’ll find out that the effective interest rate is 11% (5% + 6%). It’s simple math. 9/9/2008
1 p54 If prime drops to 5%, your card would still have a 10% APR. Consider the current prime rate of 5%, your card would still have a 10% APR. 9/9/2008
1 p66 1. Make your payments early 1. Make Your Payments Early 9/9/2008
1 p124 Table 6.1  How $100 from an ATM Can Cost 204% in Interest

break the line
Table 6.1  How $100 from an ATM
Can Cost 204% in Interest
9/9/2008
1 p154 Paying Monthly Credit Monitoring Paying for Monthly Credit Monitoring 9/9/2008
1 p188 Tip
If your personal credit picture isn’t rosy and you’re trying to establish or rebuild credit at the same time you’re applying for business credit, you might need a secured card. As of now, Wells Fargo is the only issuer I know that offers a secured business card to its bank customers. The card boasts up to a $50,000 credit limit, which is secured by, and equal to, your collateral deposit (works basically the same as a personal secured card).

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