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.
Table of Contents
- Praise for How You Can Profit from Credit Cards
- About The Author
1. It’s Not Just Plastic—It’s Money
- The Power of Credit Cards
- Choosing a Credit Card That Will Benefit Your Bottom Line
- Stricter Liability Laws
- Consumer Protection
- Establish or Build Your Credit
- Which Card Should Be in Your Wallet?
2. Show Me the Money! Credit Card Rebates
- America’s Love Affair with Card Rebates
- What You Need to Know to Make the Most of Cash-Back Cards
You’ve Considered the Basics, Now...
- What’s an Everyday Purchase?
- Other Qualifying Merchants It Pays to Know
- Do You Have to Reach a Threshold Before Receiving Any Cash?
- You Get Great Rewards for 90 Days, but Then What?
- Is There a Limit to How Much You Can Earn?
- How Is the Cash Issued?
- What Is Meant by a “Year”?
- The Terms Can Change at the Drop of a Hat
- You Might Also Want to Consider...
- Cut Your Gas Bill by 5% with Gas Rebate Credit Cards
- Should You Get an Airline Reward Card?
- Have Fun
3. Unlock the Key to Huge Savings: Master Credit Card Rates and Transfer Offers
- Know Your Interest Rate
- How Your Rate Is Determined
- Is a Fixed Rate Truly Fixed?
- The Three Keys to Using a Low-Rate Card to Your Advantage
- Low-Rate Introductory Offers and Blank Checks
- Use a Low-Rate Credit Card to Pay Down Any Type of Loan
4. Avoid Problems That Hinder Maximum Profits
- Avoid Card Debt: Preventive Medicine for Your Pocketbook
- 1. Keep Some Perspective—Don’t Fall for the Hype
- 2. Actively Manage Your Finances
- 3. Reach Out to Get Support and Save Money
- 4. Avoid Extra Expenses
- 5. Is a Card Right for You?
- 6. Pay the Balance in Full
- 7. Pay Before Your Due Date
- 8. Treat Your Credit Cards like Cash
- 9. Limit the Plastic in Your Pocket
- 10. Cash Advances = Financial Suicide?
- 11. Say “No!” to Extra Products and Services
- 12. Benefit from Planning and Saving
5. How to Slash Your Debt and Keep Your Hard-Earned Money for Yourself
- Is It Time to Get Serious about Your Debts?
- Diagnose the Problem
- Planning a Debt-Defying Strategy: The Basics
- Create a Repayment Plan: The Do-It-Yourself Strategy
- More Proven Techniques to Pay Down Debt
- Is It Time for Professional Help?
- Debt Settlement and/or Negotiation
6. Watch Out: Traps and Scams Can Cost You Big Bucks!
- Grace Periods Are Shrinking
- Confusing Cash Advance Fees
- Small Cash Advances Have Sky-High Interest Rates
- Trailing Interest: A Phantom Interest Charge
- Credit Discrimination: Retirees and Race
- Where to Turn for Help
- Credit Card Fraud and Credit-Related Scams
- Elder Fraud
- Life after ID Theft: A Step-by-Step Plan of Action
- Is ID Theft Insurance the Answer?
- Protecting Yourself from Fraud
- Virtual Account Numbers Offer Extra Online Security
- Virtual Numbers: What’s the Point?
- Some Final Tips
7. Start Out on the Right Foot: Credit Cards for Students and Saving for College
- Why Do Credit Card Companies Court College Students?
- Mixed Marketing Messages
- The New College Order
- Remembering Sean Moyer
- How Students, Their Families, and the Industry Can All Win
- You Have to Start Somewhere: Money Management 101
- Should My Teenager Get a Credit Card?
- Foundations for Good Credit: Tips for College Students
- Keeping It Good
- Developing a New View about Credit
- Advice to Grow On
- Saving for College Tuition
- You Are in the Driver’s Seat
8. Use Targeted Cards to Your Financial Advantage
Need to Rebuild or Build Credit? Get a Secured Card
- What Is a Secured Credit Card?
- What Are the Benefits of a Secured Credit Card?
- Tips for Finding Your Best Secured Card
- Where to Look
- Interest Rates
- Fine Print
- Earned Interest
- If You’re Denied a Secured Card
- How to Use a Secured Card to Help You Build or Rebuild Credit
- When Will I Qualify for an Unsecured Credit Card?
- How Your Business Can Profit from Cards
- Retail and Department Store Cards: Worth a Look?
- Affinity Cards: Using a Card to Help Others
- Credit Cards for the Rich and Famous
- Final Thoughts
- Need to Rebuild or Build Credit? Get a Secured Card
9. Your Credit Report and Score: The Better You Look, the More You Profit
- Improve Your Credit Report
- Protecting Your Credit Reports during Bankruptcy
Improve Your Credit Score
- How Do Scoring Systems Work?
What Goes into a FICO Score, and How Can You Increase Yours?
- 35% of Your Score Is Affected by Your Payment History
- 30% of Your Score Is Affected by Utilization
- 15% of Your Score Is Affected by Your Established Credit History
- 10% of Your Score Is Affected by Credit Inquires and New Credit
- 10% of Your Score Is Affected by Your Mix of Credit
- Does Everyone Use FICO Scores?
- Where Should I Get My Credit Score?
- Final Tips
10. Maximize the Benefits of Your Cards by Taking Advantage of Additional Free Perks
- Purchase Protection
- Purchase Protection for All
- Extended Warranties
- Special Merchandise Discounts
- Travel Insurance
- Rental Car Insurance
- Price Protection
- Lost Luggage Help
- International Travel Discounts
- Card Registration Services
- Credit Card Protection Insurance (aka Credit Insurance)
- Final Thoughts
11. Master Advanced Card Techniques to Save and Make Money
- Reallocating Credit Lines
- Making Biweekly Credit Card Payments
- Using Credit Cards to Make Money
- Paying Your Taxes with a Credit Card
- Steering Clear of Universal Default
12. Capitalize on Future Card Trends
- Trend 1: Cards Will Be Accepted in New Places
- Trend 2: Cards Will Be Even Smarter and Safer
- Trend 3: Issuers Will Keep Finding New Markets
- Trend 4: Seniors and Debt—a Disturbing Trend
- Credit Cards for Seniors
- Trend 5: New Enticements Will Be Trendy, Targeted, and Even Practical
- Watch for New Incentive Programs
- The Rest Is Up to You
- Financial Times Press
- Title: How You Can Profit from Credit Cards: Using Credit to Improve Your Financial Life and Bottom Line
- Release date: June 2008
- Publisher(s): Pearson
- ISBN: 9780137148059