Credit Card Processing Tips

It’s becoming increasingly common for many businesses to offer credit card processing as customers increasingly demand and expect this as a way to pay for goods and services. As a result, it becomes important for a business to know the many ins and outs of credit card processing to avoid the pitfalls they may encounter.

  • There are no free merchant accounts
    Economists like to say there is no such thing as a free lunch. Quite simply put they are trying to explain the concept of opportunity cost in to get something you have to give up something. Free merchant accounts act the same way in that businesses always have to pay processing rate (sometimes at a higher than normal amount) for a “free” merchant account.
  • PCI is not only smart, it’s required
    Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) quite simply known as PCI are the payments industry security standards everyone involved in processing payments must adhere to. They are simply a set of guidelines to prevent and minimize security breaches by unauthorized individuals. Should a business not be PCI compliant and a breach occurs then they may be held liable, face fines, and even lose their merchant account leaving them unable to processing credit cards which can cause them to lose customers.
  • Avoid too good to be true rates
    Unfortunately, some merchant services companies use bait and switch tactics to lure customers. They may advertise rates that may be well below the Interchange rate which may seem very attractive to merchants. However, this may simply be used as a marketing tactic to get the phones to ring where their sales people sell them on a higher rate then what was advertised.
  • Learn how to prevent chargebacks
    Sometimes during a payment transaction a customer may try to force a situation in which they demand their money back. In a best case scenario, this may still prove to be very costly and a time consuming processing for a merchant. Be proactive and implement practices and policies to prevent chargebacks before they occur.
  • Make sure you understand your statements
    A merchant’s statement gives them a great overview of the funds they processed and received in a given period. Knowing what these statements say is important so your business receives every dollar it deserves. In addition, rate increases are usually communicated via statements. Make sure your read every page to understand any item that may effect your business.

The tips listed above will help your business more effectively handle credit card processing and avoid any pitfalls that may be associated with it.

Avoiding UK Credit Card Fees – Some Tips

 Credit   cards  are infamous for burdening innocent users with high interest rates and fees. The story gets worse when there turns out to be hidden charges, or those mentioned in fine prints which may not be well read and assimilated by the user. All a  credit   card  customer is looking for is some relief from the charges incurred so that they can actually enjoy the benefits of having instant money. The analysis below provides you with some useful steps you can take to at least minimize the fees, if not evade them completely.

Universal default

This is the most burdensome of all the fees types and encompasses all the  credit   cards  following the universal default clause. Under this, if you fail to pay even a single payment due on any of your  credit   cards , you are charged with high default interest rates, as much as 30% in some cases, on all your  credit  balances outstanding on each of the  credit   cards  you have. This is something that can afflict your finances to the core. Therefore, prior to subscribing for a  credit   card  or even for your current  card , confirm from the issuing bank if universal default fees apply to your  credit   card . In case they do, then it’s prudent not to subscribe to this card and if you already have, settle it as fast as possible and pick the one not participating in this clause, while offering you your desired benefits.

Late fees

If you are a first timer with  credit   cards  or it’s your first late payment, you can always request a “waive off” from the issuing bank which is usually executed. At your end also, make payments on time for a good credit history and to avoid the recurrence of late fees as you cannot have them reversed every time.

Over limit fees

Similar to late fees, you may request the issuing bank to zero your over limit fees if it is the first time you have exceeded your credit limit. You generally get exemption here as well. At your end, you should strive to stay within your credit limits to avoid over limit fees.

Annual fees

You can have your annual fees reversed practically each time you request if you are a valued customer of your  credit   card  issuer. If you do not get a concession here, you may opt for another card with similar benefits and no annual fees. No annual fee cards can be found here. The  credit   card  company however, usually forgoes the fees to keep its existing customers happy. Acquiring a new customer in the very competitive UK market is so expensive that the  credit   card  issuers cannot afford to have their current users drift away.

ATM fees

When you withdraw cash against your  credit   card  from an ATM, usually you are charged with a withdrawal fee and the worst part is you do not know about it. Therefore, you may call up your bank to get a list of ATMs allowing you cash for free.

Overseas fees

You might decide to use your  credit   card  whilst you travel to different countries but this may be a trap. International  credit   card  transactions are the most expensive ones among all the  credit   card  charges. Therefore, do not use your  credit   card  when traveling out of UK until there is an emergency.

Double billing

Some  credit   card  issuing banks determine charges on a customer’s average daily  credit   card  balance. The interest is charged on the entire  credit   card  balance even if the customer has already paid it off. This subjects the customer to double billing. Therefore, prior to subscribing for a  credit   card  or for your existing card, do confirm that the card issuer has a monthly billing cycle. Change to a  card  with similar benefits as your current  card  but with a monthly billing cycle, in case your existing  credit   card  is double billed.

Top 5 Credit Card Debt Elimination Tips

Recovering from too much credit debt can be a very difficult process. Getting rid of substantial debt can be very difficult, frustrating and even maddening at times. However, it can be done. It will require a ton of commitment, dedication and a change in your attitude as it concerns spending, work and saving.

To recover from  credit   card  debt, you must discover the root of the problem, create a budget and stick to it, keep track of all of your purchases, save and get outside help if necessary. This process will not be easy. However, you will be so relieved and thankful that you did what you had to do, in order to turn your financial situation around.

1. Discover the Root of the Problem: When you have gotten into trouble financially and have reached a point where you are ready to do something about it, the first step besides admitting that there is a problem, is to get to the root of that problem. If you discover that you are spending more money then you should because you are depressed, speaking to a counselor or your doctor may be what is needed. It doesn’t matter how many financial management books you read, if you are not emotionally ready to stop spending, you will not. Conversely, if you find that you are just not making enough money to pay all of your bills, you may want to downsize or get a higher paying job.

2. Make A Budget and Stick To It: After you have gotten to the point where you are ready to do something about your debt problem, it is time to create a budget. This will take some time, effort and will require discipline. You will need to determine what your wants and needs are and then budget your money accordingly. To increase the chances of your budget being successful, make sure that you set aside a little money for fun and incidentals.

3. Keep Track of All of Your Purchases: Some people get into trouble financially because they do not know where their money is going. At the end of the month, there is often not enough money left to pay the bills that need to be paid. Individuals can use software to keep track of their purchases or a simple notebook will do.

4. Save: Saving money for emergencies and the future is so important. Many people end up using  credit   cards  or taking out loans to pay for items that they have not saved up for. Unexpected emergencies are a big reason that individuals end up using  credit   cards  or high interest loans. They simply don’t have the money that they need when unplanned things come up. This ends up giving them problems later on.

5. Reward Yourself: Turning your financial situation around can be taxing and stressful. If individuals do not reward them selves every now and them, it is very easy to get frustrated and to want to quit trying. Setting aside a little money for entertainment, dinner or for a piece of clothing may help keep you going.

6 Tips For Using Credit Cards Wisely

 Credit   cards  come in handy-from booking a hotel or car reservation to paying for a large ticket item, using  credit  can make your life easier. Using your  card  wisely can increase your  credit  score, making it easier to receive a mortgage or car loan. Manage your credit poorly and you will pay-in the form of interest charges, late fees, and more. If you use your  cards  wisely, and avoid some of the common pitfalls, you can have all of the benefits of  credit   cards , and none of the drawbacks.

1. Keep your utilization under 30%. “Utilization” refers to the amount of credit you have available. Having a healthy utilization rate can help boost your credit score. Calculate your utilization by divining your total credit line by your balance. If you have a $5,000 credit line, and a $500 balance, your utilization is 10%. Utilization over 60% may negatively impact your credit score, and hurt your chances of securing other loans.

2. Pay on time: It sounds simple, but a single late payment can tank your  credit  score-and cause all of your  cards  to inflate their interest rates. Pay a few days early, and make sure your payment clears in plenty of time. Late payments can also trigger late fees of $39-making them an expensive error.

3. Pay more than the minimum. Interest fees are added to your balance every month. If you only make minimum payments, you will take years to pay off a balance-and you will pay thousands extra. Make the effort to pay a little extra each month, and watch your balances shrink more quickly.

4. Pay in full. If possible, get into the habit of paying in full each month. Not only will you avoid interest and fees, you will give your credit score a boost-by having an open credit line, paying on time, and maintaining low utilization.

5. Look for a card with some perks. If you are going to use a  credit   card , look for one that has some benefits that appeal to you. You can earn miles, rebates, or gift cards by using different cards. Be careful, though-don’t be so tempted by rewards that you don’t read the fine print-make sure the interest rate and fees are reasonable, or take your business elsewhere.

6. Shop around for a low interest rate: Make sure you review your interest rate on every statement you receive-they have a funny way of creeping up when you aren’t watching! Interest costs you money every month when you carry a balance, so be sure to shop around. If you do have a higher rate card, call your provider-you may be able to negotiate a lower rate.

Make sure your  credit   cards  are working for you-and that you aren’t making some costly errors. Improving your credit habits today can help your long term financial outlook.

Tips on Resolving Credit Card Debt Problems

A lot of consumers get easily overwhelmed by large  credit   card  debts. They become so affected by their credit woes that they find it hard to search for the right solutions to their credit problems.

However, it is important to note that bad  credit   tips  are almost everywhere. You can easily find them through different media portals such as the internet, books, journals and even television and radio shows. Through the  tips  you will gain from these media portals, you can work on gradually recovering your  credit  reputation and eventually attaining thorough bad credit repair.

Still this question remains unanswered: What are some bad  credit   tips  that you can employ to reduce your balances and solve your  credit  problems? Well, you will find five of these tips below.

Five Bad  Credit   Tips  on Solving Huge  Credit   Card  Debt

1. Stop using your  credit   card . If you want to settle only your current balances, then resolve not to use your  card  until you are able to completely pay off your  credit  obligations. This is a very simple tip that you can use to prevent further debt build up. So make it a point to stop using your card as soon as possible. Keep it in a hard to reach area until such time that you have completely repaid your balances.

2. Consider  credit   card  debt consolidation. How does this program work?

 Credit   card  debt consolidation is a  credit  busting program that can provide you a huge loan that you can use to pay off your balances completely. Still, you are obliged to pay back this loan through single monthly installments. Typically, you will be required to repay this credit account within a period of three to five years.

By paying your charges on time and in full each month, you can successfully manage your debt consolidation. And should you consistently employ good credit habits of borrowing and paying your charges on time, you can soon attain thorough bad credit repair.

3. Make bigger monthly payments. Make it your goal to pay off your  credit   card  debts as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that the sooner you pay off your debt consolidation loan, the less payments you need to make on interest. And the smaller payments you make on interest, the more savings you can generate for yourself.

4. Consider Hiring a Credit Negotiator. You can also employ debt settlement services to resolve your  credit   card  problems. You can approach a credit settlement firm and employ a debt negotiator to help you reduce your existing balances. Through the skills and experience of this trained professional, you can surely eliminate a great percentage, usually 25% to 50% of your outstanding obligations

But, you need to keep in mind that a debt settlement program is not a cheap option. This is because you will have to come up with a huge settlement fund that you will present to your card issuer. You need to make sure that your debt settlement fund is huge enough to convince your card company to accept whatever amount you will be offering. Not only that. You will also need to pay for the services of a professional debt negotiator, and for the additional income tax that will be charged against you, should you take a debt settlement program.

Use some of these bad  credit   tips  and we guarantee that you can find effective ways to settle your huge  credit   card  debts to finally resolve your  credit  problems.

Tips For Getting Your First Credit Card

Most of us get a  credit   card  on our name when we go to college or when we are in our senior years of high school and all of us stumble into the same types of difficulties when it comes to finding an issuer and managing the  credit   card . Most banks ask for a prior type of credit history that most of the time lacks and for some type of warranty that we will be good payers. It is true, finding the right issuer and building a  credit   card  history is not easy, but it can be done.

When you apply for a  credit   card  the bank will usually ask you questions regarding your previous  credit  lines. Most young people do not have any type of credit history and this makes the banks unable to positively respond to their application.

There are two things that you can do to go around this problem. One is looking for an issuer with a special offer, as there are many banks that offer  credit   cards  for people who are just starting their first  credit  line. It is true that you will not have an extended credit line at first, but if you prove to be a good-payer and a loyal customer to the bank, you are likely to receive more credit line in time.

If, however you cannot find an issuer that will give you a first chance with credit lines, you will need to build a credit history yourself. You can do this by getting  credit   cards  from gas stations or from stores. There are gas stations, as there are supermarkets and department stores, which offer fidelity  credit   cards  to their customers. Once you become the owner of such a  card , make sure to balance it wisely and after a couple of months you can re-apply for a bank-issued  credit   card .

Actually, the most useful  tips  for those who get their first  credit   cards  now are not those about how to actually obtain the card but about how to use it. Some happy card holders hit the shops as soon as they have the little plastic card and spend much more than they can pay back. The banks will never like that and there are no exceptions or grace periods only because you are new.

All late payments count as bad credit and if you make such reckless spending, you are in danger of having your credit ceased as soon as it was approved. You will also be considered a “bad” client if you lose your  credit   card  or if you forget  credit   card  information often. Avoid carelessness when you deal with money and note down all the information regarding your card and the transactions you have made with it.

Another good advice that all new  card  holders should follow is about owning only one  credit   card  in the beginning. This is a good idea because it helps you get familiarized with the banking world, the card system and it is also a test to see if you can balance money. After one year or so, of good  credit  history you may apply for a second  credit   card ; however, if you’ve had payment problems it is wise to stick to that one single card until you can correctly manage card-money.

It is always difficult for new-comers to break through in the baking world, yet with patience and a bit of wits you can become the owner of a new  credit   card . The difficult and tricky part begins when you start balancing it. Keeping records of card information, of the transactions made with it, remembering never to overspend or delay payments and generally having a careful and wise banking-attitude will make you a good client and a satisfied customer at the same time.

Student Credit Card Application Tips

Since education has become very expensive, students are turning to student  credit   cards . When allowances from home are not enough to cover for the expenses in college, student  credit   cards  can help augment a student’s budget.

A student  credit   card  is especially designed for students. This is a secured  credit   card  which provides control over the expenses and prevents debt accumulation. The student  credit   card  may cover for anything that the student needs. Many resort to this since student loans in schools usually do not cover expenses not related to school such as groceries, laundry expenses, transportation and many others.

The way a student  credit   card  works is the same as any  credit   card  in the market although the student  card  has some restrictions in comparison with the non-student  credit   cards . Application may either be through direct application to the credit company or through online services. Either way, the applicant must be at least 18 years old, should have a valid Social Security number and must be a college or graduate student.

In online applications, the student must furnish the following information: name in full, date of birth, citizenship and permanent residence address. Needed also are home address, email address and telephone number and a relative’s home address and contact details. Details of the college and enrollment details are also needed. The applicant must also state the address to which the card will be dispatched, billing address and the information about the bank account.

Best student  credit   cards  are those that give high  credit  lines with very low interest rates. Initial credit line application would give a credit ranging from $500 to $1,000 and interest rates ranging from 10% to 19.8%. This interest range is based from the rates of good credit payers and those who have mishandled their credit.

When applying for student  credit   card  online, choose  credit  companies that offer zero percent introductory APR, has no annual fee, has an interest free grace period and zero percent liability in case somebody uses the student  credit   card  without the owner’s knowledge. Go also for those that give extra features such as cash back bonus, rewards program and competitive interest rates.

Before completing the application form online, be sure to look for the best credit companies offering better credit packages than the others. A few referrals may also help you choose the kind of credit line to apply for. Asking a friend or a classmate who has had experiences with online student  credit   cards  can be the best way to get the opinion and help make decisions or choices.

In the internet, there are quite many companies offering different packages to entice more and more number of students resorting to student  credit   cards  since applications online have been made easy. With just a few clicks and information, the student  credit   card  may be granted within seconds. Just be sure to furnish the different information completely.

Be sure to read properly the terms and conditions of the student  credit   card  before submitting your application. Counter-check the information that you have entered in the application form. Do not go into agreements if there are unclear terms. Inquire in the credit company immediately. Be sure also to have a clear payment term so as not to acquire huge debts that will be harder to pay if not properly handled.

Credit Card Debt Reduction Tips

A debt reduction program is generally offered by obligation settlement companies that work with creditors and collection agencies in order to cut down your owed balance by 40-60%. Debt reduction is similar to a debt settlement program. Before offering reduction services, the settlement company will arrange for a free debt counseling session with you. The intention is to find out whether owed money reduction is the right choice for you or if you need to choose some other way of obligation relief option.

There are a few  credit   card   tips  to look for. If you follow these steps and you will find some help.

  1. The minimum payment that you pay includes mostly the interest you pay on your  credit   cards . As such it’ll take a long time for you to clear the due. Paying more amount than the minimum reduces your outstanding balance thereby helping in due reduction.
  2. If you are unable to pay more than the minimum payment, split it into half and make 2 payments a month. Since interest is calculated on the basis of average daily account balance for the entire month, hence, making a payment after every 2 weeks reduces the average balance. It also decreases the finance charges included in a single minimum monthly payment.
  3. Whenever it possible for you, try making extra payments towards your  credit   card . It will help reduce your bills and help in  credit   card  due reduction.
  4. You can transfer the outstanding balance of your card from a higher interest to low interest rate. Just watch out for balance transfer fees incurred while you do so in certain cases.

The services are mainly all about helping you to settle dues for less than what you owe to the financial institution. You can lessen the overall payable amount by choosing a consolidation program. This can be done by negotiating with creditors for lowering the interest rates on your bills. When the interest rates are lowered, you pay much less in interest and hence you’re outstanding due balance is reduced and you enjoy a better life.

4 Tips To Easily Earn Credit Card Reward Points

Credit cards are well-known for giving their users a number of useful rewards. Unfortunately, many cardholders still think that overspending is necessary in order to qualify for these rewards. This is another myth that is simply not true.

Anyone can make the most out of their rewards card. You just have to follow a set of rules. You won’t even have to go over your budget. This article presents a couple of easy tips to help you do just that.

Choose the Right Card

It is of paramount importance that your rewards card should be perfectly suited to your spending habits. After all, your lifestyle dictates the way you use your card. Of course, this is easier said than done.

There are a number of different factors that go into the selection process. You should also take the different card categories into consideration. For instance, should you get a student card or a business credit card? These card types were made with specific demographics in mind.

Ultimately, you need to make sure that you weigh your choices carefully so that you end up with the best one.

Settle Routine Expenses with your Credit Card

Many newbie cardholders try to inflate their total spending in order to earn additional reward points. It is important to state here that this is the wrong method. Overspending is never the way. It will only lead to financial ruin and excessive credit card debt.

Instead, you need to start paying for your recurring expenses with your card. Keep in mind that everything you need can be easily charged to your credit card. This would include your groceries, rent, and utilities. This is probably the best way to earn reward points since you won’t need to go over your monthly budget. Just make sure that you settle your statement in full at the end of the month.

Use Your Card to Settle Other Outstanding Debts

Most of us have debt. This can be in the form of student loans, mortgage, car financing, and insurance. You may not realize it, but you can also use your credit card to pay for these. This may seem like a bad idea, but the concept behind it is very similar to paying your recurring expenses with a credit card. You have to pay for these things monthly anyway, so why not do it in the most efficient way possible?

As you pay for your outstanding debt with your card, you will also be able to earn reward points, even cashback. Nothing could go wrong just as long as you settle your bills on time.

Use Your Card To Make Large Purchases

Let us be clear: you shouldn’t make large purchases just to earn rewards. However, if you were already planning to spend money then try using your card to make these purchases. This will be like hitting two birds with one stone. Not only will you be getting the items you wanted, but you will also be adding reward points.

Aside from this, you will be also be able to maximize the benefits that come with using your credit card. This would include fraud protection as well as an extended warranty service.

Maximizing your reward card is the right financial move. As illustrated above, you can earn reward points without having to overspend. You will still be able to follow your monthly budget. The tips presented above are simple enough for anyone to follow. Just make sure that you always keep them in mind.

Travel Tips for Credit Cards At Vacations – Your Friend In Need!

One of the most important travel tips is to carry ample cash while going on vacation. However, keeping large amount of cash with you is not safe. International  Credit   Card  is an alternate to avoid hassles of keeping cash. Here are some important travel  tips  and travel money  tips  to use your  credit   card :

International travel  tips  for  credit   card  usage

The first of the important travel  tips  for international travels is to find out from the  credit   card  company if you can use your card in international locations. Also find out from the  credit   card  company the charges that are applicable on your card. Confirm from them if the current PIN will work in other countries or you need an international PIN to use ATM machines at international locations and what are the conversion charges. It is also important to have their local help line numbers and the list of ATM locations close to the destinations you plan to visit.

Free Travel and Airfare Tips

Your  credit   card  not only helps you pay for your vacations but also earns some fun-filled vacations for you. Some  credit   cards  offers discount on international vacation if charges are made from their card and if you choose a hotel or airline from their list. Airlines Mileage Card offers bonus points every time you make a purchase. After making purchases from this card for 3-4 months, you can even get 1-2 free airlines tickets.

Business Travel  Tips  for  Credit   Card 

 Credit   card  security is very important while on international vacation. It does not take much time for a waiter to copy your  credit   card  information and use it to go on an online shopping spree. Keep an eye on the waiter after you give your card. Ensure he does not take unusual time and does not get out of sight. Most hotels keep the  credit   card  machines within the sight of the customers for assurance.

While traveling abroad, you have to follow travel  tips  of financial safety while using your  credit   cards . Do not give your  credit   card  or  credit   card  numbers to suspected people and outlets. Avoid seeking help related to  credit   card  usage from strangers.

Cash safety travel tips during travel for seniors and women

Seniors and women are easy victims while on vacation. By following basic travel  tips  for cash and  credit   card  safety, they can avoid financial loss and prevent potential threats. Keep the cash at least in two places. If you loose cash from one location, you still have cash to manage emergencies. Get a list of all ATM locations in the destination where you can draw cash. Do not wait to draw cash until you have spent the last penny. Do not take out large amounts of cash in public places. Do not disclose the amount tat you are carrying with you.

Toddler travel  tips  for  Credit   Cards 

Do not give  credit   card  to kids or minors. They can lose the card and land you in trouble situation. They can also spoil the magnetic impression of the card and render it useless. However, it is necessary to keep some cash in the pocket of the kids to handle emergencies.

International Travel  Tips  for  Credit   Card  Losses

Keep the international number of the  credit   card  company to promptly report loss of card. As soon as the card is lost, report it to company, find your balance to look for any frauds. This would be a great help for you to avoid financial loss related to fraudulent use of your  credit   card .