Credit Card Rewards: How to Earn the Most Points!

Free Points for Credit Cards

With all the various miles, points or rewards available on the market for credit cards, it can be tricky to manage or to get the most out of your rewards program. With the credit card companies offering the exact same programs, finding the card that suits your spending habits, the points you want, the cash back you deserve, or the discounts that benefit your lifestyle can be hard to find. Most of the credit card customers are not getting the most out of the programs that they sign up for. Below are some tips and tools to help you learn how to maximize your credit card rewards, get the bonuses that aren’t advertised and ways to better manage your points!

Credit Cards That Fit Your Lifestyle! Don’t be a sucker for the large bonus points or free miles when you sign up. That can be a great deal but just make sure it’s the right deal for your spending habits. If you spend more of your daily transactions on gas and groceries, don’t sign up for a card that only allows you to earn points on restaurants and travel. Find a credit card that is tailored toward your spending habits and see if the card has any partnerships with local vendors. This will help you earn the most points and incentives for your daily transactions and not wasting any opportunities with a card that doesn’t allow you to earn rewards on your spending habits.

Credit Card Promo Rates. Don’t be lured by fancy commercials with celebrities promising you large percent on discounts, 0% balance transfers or 5% cash back. Read the fine print and make sure that there are no restrictions or underlying minimum spending. Go with the guaranteed long term rates and cash backs incentives. Take the 1.5% cash back versus the 5% cash back with only a 0.5% cash back after the 6 month promotional period.

Combine Your Miles and Points. Credit cards want you to get that trip to Europe or that weekend getaway but that requires a lot of miles. More and more rewards programs are now allowing you to combine points, transfer rewards or even give the miles as a gift. Making some reward programs more desirable by allowing customers to share in gifts, travel, and discounts that they desire. Such reward cards offering these incentives include Bank of America, Royal Bank of Canada, and Chase.

Take Multiple Routes. Airlines offer more and more miles than ever before. A lot of frequent flyers forget that airlines factor rewards with how many miles you fly and also for different routes it takes to get where you’re going can earn double the miles. These flights are usually cheaper and can help with earning you more miles quicker.

Daily Purchases with Credit Cards. If you pay everything with your bankcard or debit card and don’t like have cash on hand, then take advantage of your credit card. Bank of America provides me with bill pay and it’s free of charge. Allowing me to automatically transfer money from my checking account to pay off any daily transactions so I don’t accrue any interest and still earn the points!

Beware of Expiration and Blackout Dates. While 60% percent of rewards programs don’t have any blackout dates or expiration dates, keep track of your status and if you are signed up for that program that does have limits or expiration’s linked to your program. Some programs have rules and restrictions that state you will lose points after a period of inactivity or low spending on the card itself.

Avoid Electronics and Gadgets. When it comes to cashing in those rewards for an LED TV or DVD player, you should think twice before cashing in those points. If you were to add up all the money for the points earned, you most likely pay three times or more than the actual cost of purchasing it at a retail location.

Pay Your Bills. If you can’t afford it then don’t buy it! Your credit card is a tool to help with your purchases and can help you in the processes. If you allow the monthly interest charges to bail up, then your rewards can become a reminder of how much money you wasted.

Link Your Programs More reward programs allow customers to sign up there existing account to a particular program that might not have been available when received your card. Beware that this might mean you forfeit some free upgrades or kick backs, but these programs will allow you to earn double or triple the points for doing so.

Benefits Without Spending! Some credit cards will offer you savings and benefits for free! What if your credit card paid you to drive and all you have to do is send them a copy of your last oil change receipt showing the miles on your vehicle and they send you check! The card that offers this great benefit is the Citi Drivers Edge Card.

Credit Card Debt – A Harbinger Of Bankruptcy?

Credit debt and stress

With the most recent average household credit card debt reaching nearly $16k with an average of nine credit cards possessed, it is not surprising that there is a direct relationship between stress and credit card debt. Similar statistics are reported for countries other than the US, such as the UK, Canada or Australia. The convenience of using credit cards is undeniable, but the psychology of desiring more than we can afford is the devil in the details.

This challenge to “keep up with the Joneses” has its casualties – and they are numerous. Credit card debt is a very frequent problem and many therapists and medical staff have to attribute severe cases of depression, stress and anxiety to debt related triggers.

The turmoil that breeds stress

One of the most important human values is that of stability and balance. In addition to the need to feel protected and safe, the necessity for balance rules our lives in maturity. Being in debt is a strong negative factor that interferes with the balance we want. We are at risk of losing what we already own in addition to having to dole out a lot of money for our accumulated debts. Individuals going through lengthy periods of being in debt start developing different behaviors that ultimately cause serious medical concerns.

Depression is one of the most frequent problems relevant to debts, mixed with a feeling of being incapable of reversing the problem. The instability that brings on the lifestyle damaging pressure may often develop throughout time, developing slowly and increasing over time. By the time you recognize how big the issue has become, there are relatively few alternatives available. The turmoil may occur because of poor fiscal planning, living a lifestyle that is beyond your means or simply because of an emergency that depleted all of your reserves.

Tips to eliminate and prevent credit card debt

Learning to stop or reverse a spending pattern is huge, and many individuals resort to extreme measures, such as cutting up their cards in order to remove the temptation. Paying the minimum monthly balance is also extremely appealing and many don’t understand that with each passing month their debt grows because of the card’s interest rate exceeds the minimum payment being made. Following are a few suggestions that will help reduce your debts or keep them from appearing in the first place:

Stop unnecessary spending – never treat your card as a short term loan, as this will affect your lifestyle and you will spend well above what you can repay. Apply advance planning and never spend above a self-imposed limit per month.

Plan your budget – examine your past habits and adjust them. The best way to eliminate credit card stress is to be in complete control of your spending. When you know exactly how much you can allow, you will establish more realistic goals for your cash and your spending will be more controlled, rather than emotional.

Plan for large investments – never use your cards to pay for larger investments, such as a car or major home improvement. Also keep in mind, when getting a mortgage or car loan that your debt will increase correspondingly. It’s hard to believe that you will be able to avoid debts if you take out a huge mortgage and also continue to spend cash just like before the loan.

Don’t use one credit card to pay for another card – this is not a long term solution. Resorting to this will most likely result in bankruptcy, as the accumulated interest rates are too high to recover.

Less is more – do you really need nine different credit cards? Are the points and reward systems offered on some that attractive? Most credit consultants recommend using one or two credit cards, as this is a good idea for better finance management. The more cards you have to manage, the more pressure you will pile on yourself.

Not surprisingly, the persistent stress of extreme credit card debt has taken its toll on people emotionally, physically, in relationships and in their careers. A bankruptcy filing is often the escape route taken with the mistaken belief that it provides a “clean slate” for the future. That clean slate comes at an expense which may cost the loss of personal assets if the bankruptcy isn’t well planned.

Once you succumb to the lure of the credit card sirens, it can be overwhelming to think of the time it may take to undo that mistake. Even though it may seem impossible to pay down the debt while and at the same time living day-to-day without the safety net of credit cards, discipline is key. If need be, consider a credit counselor to intervene on your behalf with your creditors and establish your repayment plan. With discipline and determination you can eliminate your credit card debt and the accompanying stress.

Important Steps Prior To Take Before You Submit A Credit Card Application

Your credit card is one of the most essential financial tools in your wallet. It is important to have the best credit card suited for you. Prior, to applying for one you should do some comparison shopping first.

The first thing that you need to do is gather the card offers that you receive every day in your mail box and classify them accordingly. If you have thrown them all away, then simply go online and look at different offers in various categories and print them. Next, go through each card and try to determine what features are going to be best for you and write them down on a piece of paper for your reference. Once you have determined what features are best for you, then go through the card offers again and begin selecting from issuers who match your criteria the best. Look at features such as the annual APR, the introductory rate or balance transfer options as well.

Today, the Internet is one of the best places to start shopping around for a card offer. Most, if not all the major providers have websites that you can visit for information. The Internet makes shopping for a card a breeze. Simply, sit back in your favorite chair, pour your self a cup of coffee or tea and begin your online search for all the information that you can think of. There are also many comparison websites available online where you can compare features side by side. Essentially, the Internet makes shopping for a credit card easier than tying your shoe laces.

Before you go shopping online for the first thing that you need to do is analyze how you are going to use the card. You must also decide for yourself if you are going to be carrying a monthly balance. Those who are planning to carry a monthly credit card balance should consider looking for the lowest rate APR offer available. Perhaps, a no frills credit card offer that does not have any extra features such as rewards is going to be your best bet. On the other hand, if you do not plan to carry a monthly balance, then there are hoards of rewards credit card offers that you can take advantage of. Many issuers will give you free interest for paying your balance in full at the end of the month. Then apply your rewards benefits and you can actually walk away with some cash savings. If this is your situation then you should also want to examine a rewards credit card that is going to best fit your lifestyle. In other words, do not get an airlines rewards card if you do not plan to do any kind of traveling. If you are a frequent traveler who pays the balance in full every month than an airlines rewards card is definitely worth your while.

In addition to the interest rate, always examine fees prior to applying either online or by mail. Card issuers always charge fees such as late fees, over the limit fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees as well as other charges. If you plan to use the cash advance feature than be sure and look for an offer that has the lowest cash advance fees on the market. Keep in mind that cash advance interest rates for the most part always exceed interest costs for purchases or balance transfers. By keeping abreast of all this information you will be able to make the best decision prior to submitting the final application.

Another thing to consider before you apply for a credit card is how well accepted the brand might be. For example, Discover is a very popular credit card offer in the United States and widely accepted here and in Canada, however, if you go to Europe you might not find very many merchants who accept Discover. American Express credit card offers are accepted world wide however there are merchants who do not want to pay the extra fees associated with accepting American Express cards. Apply for a card that is going to be accepted where you go the most. If you travel abroad then perhaps you might be better off with a Chase Visa credit card offer then the Discover More Card. Use your common sense before submitting that final application and make sure that the credit card issuer that you choose works every where you go.

The Evolution of Credit Cards

Life without credit cards is unimaginable. It’s a payment system that has revolutionized the way the consumers and the service providers such as the hospitality and the retail industry communicate. As the name suggests, this plastic card provides with funds on credit for stuff that you may want to buy.

Way back in 1887, an American author and socialist, Edward Bellamy spoke about buying commodities with a card in his novel, ‘Looking Backward’.

In 1914, US-based ‘metal card’ for select customers with an ‘interest-free period’. General Petroleum Corporation followed in 1924. This system of payment became so popular that during the 1920s and 1930s, it spread to other companies such as railroad, hotel chains, airline, oil companies and department stores.

The 1930s saw the launch of the ‘Bell System’ credit card by the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) Company.

One card that changed the face of credit card and gave it the ‘global avatar’ was the Diner’s card. The credit card, launched in 1950 could be used for avail of general services, unlike its predecessors.

This Diners Club Inc card could be used in restaurants, for general travel as well as entertainment. Most merchants began to accept it because it meant more expenditure on the part of the consumers.

In 1951, New-York based Franklin National Bank introduced Charge-It cards. The applicants had to submit a loan application and the approved customers were given the card.

Year 1958, the American Express Company entered the credit card business with their version of the universal credit card, having the marketing tagline as “Don’t leave home without it”.

1959, the Bank of America in California launched the BankAmericard, which was a significant event because it brought in the concept of ‘revolving credit’.

By 1967, the Master Charge or as it is known today, the MasterCard International (renamed in 1979) came into existence. This company was a group of four California banks that had come together to form this new entity.

Visa (earlier known as BankAmericard) came in 1977. These new bankcard processing associations expanded their services and increased income potential, and formed mutual relationships with large national or international banks.

In 1966, Barclaycard in the UK introduced the first credit card outside of the US.

This is not to mean that credit cards were popular worldwide. Even though credit cards gained popularity in countries such as the US, Canada and the UK, there were countries where transactions were much more cash-oriented. Or, alternative forms of cashless payments evolved. Carte bleue or the EC-card was introduced in countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland, among many others.

In these places, the take-up of credit cards was initially much slower. It took until the 1990s to reach anything like the percentage market-penetration levels achieved in the US, Canada or UK. In many countries acceptance still remains poor as the use of a credit card system depends on the banking system being perceived as reliable.

Today, credit cards are popular. But, it was only post the 1990s that making such a statement was possible. Regulatory issues and presence of ‘poor countries’ are some of the reasons why this plastic currency took a while to make a niche among the consumers

The Coming Credit Card Crunch, Can Your Retail Business Survive?

The retail business has been grand, absolutely peachy. What a great time to be in retail and especially juicy if you were lucky enough to have been selling, non-essential, tariff-free imported bargains to endless lines of over-extended, credit card junkies. Ahh, those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end.

Now, I’m not saying that it been easy. Business is never easy; still you’ve got to admit it’s been a wide open shopping spree for last decade. It looked like there was no down side. I’m sorry to point it out, but, weather we’ve been aware of it or not, we have all been complicit in the biggest “easy credit rip-off” in the history of the planet and in the following nose-dive and belly flop of the world economy.

For several years now, the wealth of our county, the true base of our economy, the savings and equity of the American people has been quietly pillaged. With the implicit encouraged by the government, wall-street, the banking system and the credit card companies, the American public has been gleefully charging itself into the poor house. Many or more honestly most of us have been enthusiastically involved in the scam.

We have, all of us, to great extent, been living beyond our means; too many have been maxing out our credit cards and getting caught in the dreaded minimum payment undertow. And then, Brainstorm! To get out of the credit card trap, why not take a “leader” loans on our real estate. That’s the ticket, then either not read the fine print {shame on you} or hope we’ll get lucky before the roof falls in, but then what? Of course, max out the credit cards again. Gee, it just sounds too good not to go on forever.

If you have recently been revived from an extended coma resulting from looking at your 401k statement, you may still be too disoriented to have notice that the world has changed, and that it may never be the same again. Where did all the money go? Who is that guy headed for the ranch? No wait a minute that’s for another article.

To tell the truth, we, as retailer got some of the booty, just the crumbs, of course, for doing the heavy lifting. Now we need to find ways to hold on to our pittance and how to prosper into the future. Last year’s retail business model may be as dead as a door nail. Many of you have notices the changes in the wind, smaller crowds, smaller tickets and old customers not coming around as often. There is no end in sight. The credit card business will surely be in decline for some time to come for most segments of the retail world.

Well, here we are sport fans, so what now?

Well one of the things I just loved about this whole fiasco was the way the credit card companies start off charging us, the retailers, a healthy chunk of every transaction, it’s been like having a second landlord sucking on your neck. Then they follow your customers’ home and rifle their pockets, so they can’t afford to come back very often. Ideally they would like to continue this until our customers can only afford to stay home and pay the minimum for the rest of their lives. Even though this arrangement is oh so nice for them, it just doesn’t work out too well for the rest of us.

Don’t start looking for the exit. I’m not going to suggest that you go cold turkey on the plastic. But the truth is, many of your customers will have their limits reduced or their accounts closed and of course foreclosure and bankruptcy tends to slow down the shopping for non-essentials and let’s face it, non-essentials are some of our favorite things to sell.

So what can be done? Well there is one form of the luscious plastic that will not be going away, Thank goodness. More and more people will be using debit cards, it’s already more popular than cash in Canada and soon will be in the U.S. There are already 300 million debit card holders in the U.S and an increase of 160 million a year is projected, 30 percent of these customers have no other card.

So, we are all safe and sound right? Well, except for one little thing. The credit card companies discovered that with debit cards they didn’t get to mug your customers latter and that just didn’t seem right to them. They got sad and cranky. Then they decided that we retailers should be made to pay for this non-muggable transaction.

Did you know? if you run debit/bank/ATM cards though your credit card machine you are charged a premium rate for an absolutely risk free transaction. That’s right, there is no risk in an ATM transaction, if the money is in the account, it is transferred instantly, no chance of a charge-back or anything else, no risk at all. Even so, the credit card companies charge you an extra fee on every debit card transaction.

Drat, cut off at the pass again, so I guess we just bend over and touch our toes and take our medicine, I mean we wouldn’t want to be responsible for making the credit card companies sad. Would we? Sound like the perfect solution, right? The customer doesn’t get mugged, doesn’t cost them a cent and the credit card companies get to slam us twice, so they won’t have to be sad. Only we have to take it in the shorts. Sounds like the perfect plan for everyone…except us. Maybe it’s time we get sad and cranky. You think?

Well there is an answer; it’s time to let the customer help pay for the convenience of using ATM/bank cards. This can be accomplished with an inexpensive cashless or scrip ATM machine. Many large nationwide companies are already doing this. The new generation of these machines are the same size as your credit card machine, do not need a dedicated phone line and make a transaction fee for the merchant on every transaction. Yes, you heard me right, after all these years you can actually make a bigger profit on a card sale than a cash sale.

In Canada, Atm/debit card transactions have recently exceeded cash and credit cards for retail purchases. This will soon be the case here in the good old USA. There are more than 300 million ATM/bank cards currently in the US. For 100 million this is the only card they have. ATM/bank cards are expected to increase by 150 million new cards a years. These cards can either help your bottom line or hurt it depending on how you process them.

A study by AT&T Global and Visa recently reported that an ATM machine was the most profitable footage in any business, even businesses with gaming machine. The average ATM in America makes a profit of $20,000.00 per year. You can add to that 15 to 25% savings on credit card charges, elimination of bad checks and an increase in gross sales of 20% average.

So, here’s the story; let’s say you have a ten or twenty dollar sale and the customer hands you a visa or mastercard, that is actually a debit card, if you run that card though your credit card machine you will be charged your regular rate plus a surcharge for processing a debit card. This transaction could cost you between.85 and $1.50.

If you run that same transaction through a debit card machine, you receive a surcharge that averages $1.50 so the difference on that ten or twenty dollars transaction is $2.45 to $3.00. On these small ticket sales that can mean the difference between a tidy profit and losing money. You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into building a successful business. Giving the lion’s share of your profits to the credit card companies is not something you can afford to do. In today financial climate you just can’t afford to let an average of more than $20,000.00 per year slip through your fingers. Even if it makes the credit card companies sad.

The Making of Visa Credit Card and Its Protocol

There are different brands of credit cards in the market today. One popular brand is the Visa credit card. However, there are also visa cards that are offered as a debit card, this is a different matter altogether. It is the shortened name of the company VISA or Visa International Service Association based in San Francisco, California. It is a joint economic venture of twenty one thousand financial institutions. They are issuing and marketing Visa products.

The launching of the visa card happened in 1976. It was named after BankAmericacard. The Bank of America is the issuer of BankAmericacard which also have other international names. It was before the Visa brand introduction. In fact, Visa cards also incorporated the motif of the BankAmericacard in their designs. The gold and blue logos of Visa cards represent the golden color of California hills and the blue color of the sky.

The alliance of various banks in Canada such as Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Nova, Royal Bank of Canada, and Toronto-Dominion Bank issued Visa cards in the name of Chargex. French Visa which is currently issued is still using the BankAmericacard logo. It was called Carte Bleue in France which means blue card. The only issuer of BankAmericacard in United Kingdom was Barclaycard.

There are three types of Visa cards. The debit cards which is paid through a savings or checking accounts. The Credit cards which is paid monthly with appropriate interest’s rates. The prepaid cards which is paid through cash accounts and without check writing privileges.

There are two protocols that were developed to standardize consumer services. Visa International Association created the debit and credit protocols basing from the type of Visa cards they marketed.

Visa Credit cards uses credit protocols. The cards can be used at banking centers or POS (point-of-sale terminal) after showing the Visa logo. It contains the signature of the card holder for identification. Credit protocol may be utilized by Visa card holders even if it is being marketed as prepaid cards or debit cards. The reason is the imprinted Visa logo on the card’s front surface.

The users are sometimes confused by the word credit and debit. Well, the words do not necessarily depend on what the dictionary said about it. It is because debit card may still be used for credit transactions. In this case, misnomer occurs that credit cards are only used for loans while debit protocols are used for checking accounts only. The banks actually select several backend methods to handle the accounts. They make “debit” as the generic synonym of Plus/interlink, while “credit” as the generic synonym of Visa and other cards having similar systems including American Express, MasterCard, and Discover Card.

The associations include the following rules regarding the development of Visa Credit cards.

– For security purposes upon every transactions. The cardholders are identified through their signatures upon using their Visa credit cards.

– It will explain how a bank denies a transaction and how cooperation takes place in a bank to prevent fraud.

– It will ensure a standard protection from fraud and false identification that are not discriminatory.

The founder of the VISA Company, Dee Hock believed that using the word Visa will be recognized instantly in various languages and countries. Besides, it also denotes universal acceptance. However, the consumers must know the rules to avoid conflicts in end when using their Visa Credit cards.

Debt Consolidation For Credit Card Debts

Credit Card Debt – Number One Reason for Debt Consolidation

Most of the customers that sign on to the Internet and look for a debt consolidation company do so because the credit monster keeps rearing its ugly head. This is the reality for a good number of people all throughout not only the United States and Canada but other parts of the world as well. While credit card debt is seen as a North American issue there are debt consolidation companies in other countries and these do quite well with straightening out the finances of individuals who have gone in too deep.

Credit Far Too Easy to Obtain and Abuse

The number one reason for people sign up with a debt consolidation company is credit card debt. It matters not what the credit comes from MasterCard, Visa, American Express are even a Diners Club card account, credit card debt is debt no matter how you slice it. Individuals get into trouble when they bite off more than they could chew and either star robbing Peter to pay Paul or just can’t make the monthly minimum payments. As you probably know by now if you have ever had even one late payment on a credit card account these companies are ruthless and spare not one tree when sending boatloads of late notices and threatening postcards. It is when the individual who has either lost their job or been through an emotionally draining break up or any number of instances where the income is affected when the credit card monster really starts to show its face.

Look for Help and Look for Help Now

The credit companies want their money and you want to pay them their money but not at inflated interest rates and not through threat or coercion. This is where a debt consolidation expert can easily communicate with all of the credit card monsters and put them in their place for once. We do not mean to make this any tug-of-war scenario or a good guy bad guy but the end result is that the image of credit card collectors that man the phones and work the past due accounts are not fine people with big hearts. It just seems that the collectors on the other end of the line are the ones that could use a warm hug each and every morning. That’s putting it kindly. If credit card debt is starting to make you lose sleep at night contact a debt consolidation company and start down the road to financial freedom.

Peter Frost is the content coordinator for leading finance related websites that offer advice and guidance on debt consolidation loans. Find out what to watch out for with debt consolidation loans as well as help to improve your finances and the quality of your life.

Online Pharmacy Risks With Credit Card Processing

Internet companies such as the common internet pharmacies have become beneficial investments. Online pharmaceuticals are solutions to Americans who cannot afford the expensive prices of nearby drug stores. Transactions online are cheaper as they come from an foreign business. These offshore companies take advantage of the individual’s incapability to buy the more expensive charge in their own area. Foreign businesses are commonly based in Canada or India.

The high prices of medicines come from the strict policies of the US and UK authorities for pharmaceutical businesses. These increased prices are an opportunity for pharmaceuticals found in other countries. They can have more sales and still pay smaller production costs. These smaller production expenses set the inexpensive charges of web pharmaceuticals. Profits increase as more customers see the convenience of cheap medicines.

Sadly, these online pharmacies can still pose monetary risks. Most online customers buy from the web without really knowing if the drug store is trusted or not. They end up spending their cash without receiving the medicines they actually need. You may also acquire drugs in the mail but you are not certain if they were properly manufactured. A good number of web pharmaceutical buys are purchased with a credit card. Such credit card charges count as high risk merchant accounts. Banks see these accounts as trouble since the purchaser’s identity isn’t readily verified. There’s a greater chance for charge backs and fraudulent transactions. These dangers make it difficult for online pharmacies to have a proper credit card processor. Though using credit cards online is a popular application, the dangers it can cause make it a high risk transaction. Its state as a high risk business involves higher transaction fees.

Internet drug stores have a better time acquiring a credit card processing account if they establish themselves as a legitimate business. Faster approval happens if an API is found in the site’s shopping cart. The API assures security to your customers as they give away their credit card information. This lessens the probability of chargeback. Companies that deal with their sales via the phone will have a more difficult time. More papers are required for telemarketing transactions. However, the right company plan and an organized set up will guarantee faster approval for a merchant account.

If you intend on purchasing from a web drug store, make sure that they deal with payments using credit card. Noting the difficulty of attaining a credit card processing account, credit card purchase is a guaranteed indicator of the business’ legitimacy. You can also check out online pharmacy reviews and read if customers did not undergo any money problems. Don’t buy from pharmacies that require you to send payment. Pharmaceuticals that get pay without any traceable record are just out to get your money. To take added caution, you can ask the company which bank handles their credit card processing. You may double check with the bank to really ensure your cash goes to the proper place. In such a way, you can have your cash returned instantly with the bank’s cooperation.

Orchard Bank Credit Cards Reviewed

Getting a credit card these days is much more difficult than it was just a few years ago. The lousy economy and high unemployment rate has made it very difficult for banks and financial institutions to freely extend credit the way they have in years past. Orchard Bank credit cards, on the other hand, are not as difficult to obtain as some of the other issuers.

Orchard Bank offers MasterCard credit cards and our owned and issued by HSBC. HSBC is one of the top 10 financial companies in the United States. They also maintain a large presence in Canada. As of March 31, 2009, they had assets totaling $547 billion.

So as you can see it is an established and viable financial institution in North America. The company’s businesses also include personal financial services, commercial banking, specialty insurance products and corporate investment banking.

Orchard Bank cards are accepted anywhere MasterCard is accepted throughout the world. They can be used for online purchases, catalog purchases over the phone, reservations, and of course at any brick-and-mortar retail store that accepts plastic.

Customer’s accounts are updated 24 hours a day seven days a week and can be accessed at any time through the secure website. Customer service representatives are available to serve cardholders with any questions or issues they may have.

Orchard bank offers allow people to establish or rebuild their credit rating on some select cards. They also have unsecured offers for people with excellent credit and good credit as well as business cards.

There are many features to choose from including cash back, rewards, low interest rates and no annual fee. Be sure that you familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of the individual offer that you are interested in.

No two offers are the same whether they are from the same issuer or not and Orchard Bank credit cards are no exception so be sure that you do your homework before you apply it to find the right offer to suit your financial needs.

Retail and Food & Beverage Owners Slash Credit Card Charges, Profits Will Soar

A study by AT&T Global reported that the most profitable square foot in any business, even businesses with slot machines, is an ATM. It also reported that the average ATM, in the U.S. made more that $20,000.00 a year. An ATM will also cut or eliminate credit card charges and increase sales by 20% average nationally.

So, why doesn’t every retailer own one? Well, until recently ATM machines were very expensive. They required a dedicated phone line and needed to remain stocked with large amounts of cash, 24 hours a day, which sometimes attracted a criminal element. That in turn required additional insurance coverage.

In response to these short comings several international companies are now manufacturing a new generation of script or cashless ATM systems. There are ingenuously designed models to fit any retail settings. They have all the advantages and none of the downside of the old ATMs,

If you process a debit card though a credit card terminal you are charge an extra fee on top of the credit card charges. These additional charges and fees significantly impact the profit margins of small ticket retailers. A cashless ATM system can mean a $3.00 difference on a $10.00 transaction. On low mark-up items this can easily be the difference between profit and loss.

As the economy tightens more customers will be using debit cards and this will amplify the overall slow-down in business that many retail experts expect. In addition to making a service fee on every transaction, these new cashless ATM systems eliminate the premium credit card charges on debit card sales.

In Canada, debit cards recently replaced cash as the premier form of payment for retail transactions. America will soon follow this trend. In Canada the new cash free ATM systems are now the rule rather than the exception for most small transaction retailers. Many U.S. national chains and smart independent operator have already upgrading to these money making/savings systems.

These new systems require only a modest capital investment. Some companies offer; no up front cost, lease to own deals. This, in most cases, allows the equipment to pay itself down, with a substantial profit left over each month. When you add to that, the saving in credit card charges, for most retailer; these new machines don’t cost money, they make and save money, starting the very first day.

In the current economic climate can any business afford to pay ever increasing credit card charges or to let twenty thousand or more a year slip though their fingers?