Credit Cards

Tips, news, reviews, caveats, trends, updates and analysis related to consumer and business credit cards, and prepaid debit cards. From the interest rate specialists @

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

CitiBank (Citi) Offers New Business Credit Card: The Professional Card

The professional card? What the heck is that supposed to mean? Yeah, that's what I asked myself when I first heard about this new credit card being offered by CitiBank. Well, it turns out that it's a new business credit card that is targeted towards professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.) who can use a card specifically for business spending purposes. Sounds good to me.

The Citi® ProfessionalSM Card boast some handsome features, like a very attractive 0% APR on credit card balance transfers for the first 9 months (nice!) The card also has a great rewards program:

  • Get 3 ThankYou Points for every dollar you spend at restaurants, gas stations, on auto rentals and at certain office supply merchants.*
  • Get 1 point for every dollar you spend on other purchases*
  • Redeem your points for: air travel, statement credit, gift cards and certificates, merchandise or create your own reward.
  • Plus get 10,000 bonus ThankYou Points after your first purchase that can then be redeemed for a $100 gift card.

Here are some other details about The Citi® ProfessionalSM Card:

  • Categorized monthly statements and quarterly and annual summaries.
  • A unique Online Expense Reporting Tool that helps you use your online statement to customize reports for billing or reimbursement.
  • Access to dedicated Customer Service representatives who understand the needs of today's professionals.

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Monday, August 29, 2005

Cayman National Bank Offers New Business Credit Card

Ever thought about starting a new business in the Cayman Islands? Or maybe moving your current business to the Cayman's? Well, maybe you should. Businesses of all types and sizes often setup shop in the Cayman Islands in order to take advantage of the British protectorate's tax free way of running things. Cayman Islanders enjoy the highest standard of living in the Caribbean Sea. There's no inheritance tax, no property tax and, most significantly, no income tax. Sounds like an entrepreneur's paradise, eh? Well, it is!

And now banking may get a little easier for businesses setup in the Caymans, thanks to a new business credit card that is being offered by the Cayman National Bank. The CNB Visa Business Card has some very attractive attributes like competitive interest rates, a nominal annual fee and a rewards program. Business owners will also like having the ability to manage employee spending by utilizing the card's preset spending limits feature.

If you have a Cayman National Bank Visa Business Card, please feel free to post a comment(s) about the credit card, or perhaps you can provide us with a detailed review!

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Prepaid Credit Card Will Feature Star Quarterbacks from The Canadian Football League

News out of Canada: Plastic Now, Mint Inc. (owned by Mint Technology Corporation) has teamed up with Peoples Trust of Vancouver and The Canadian Football League Players' Association to offer a new prepaid credit card (prepaid MasterCard, to be precise) that will feature League athletes. Here's a snippet from a recent press release:
"Offering football fans the opportunity to carry their favorite quarterbacks in their wallets and to support the players, the CFLPA will initially launch the first of eight prepaid MasterCard cards in their "Signature Series" featuring the image and "autograph" of a star quarterback. Fans will further benefit by using the CFLPA card program to accumulate points for every net retail dollar they spend. Points can be redeemed toward an incredible range of rewards, including authentic autographed jerseys, helmets and official CFLA Pro Players footballs, experiences with favorite players and contests and more."

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

MBNA Cracks Down On Credit Card Balance Transfer "Stoozing"

Credit Card Balance Transfer
Credit Card Balance Transfer
Yup, that's right: here's yet another term used in Europe and elsewhere to describe people who take advantage of 0% balance transfer offers: Balance Transfer "stoozers". What is stoozing? Here's how it works: The stoozer applies for a credit card with the best possible 0% introductory Annual Percentage Rate (intro APR) balance transfer offer, e.g. 0% intro APR on balances transferred and cash advances for 12 months. The stoozer then borrows the maximum amount of cash from the new credit card account at 0% APR (e.g. $3,000 via a 0% balance transfer convenience check.) This cash is then transferred to an interest-bearing savings account, mortgage account, Certificate of Deposit (CD), or some other short term financial instrument that can earn money for the stoozer. The stoozing process ends when the 0% introductory APR period on the credit card terminates, at which point the stoozer returns the $3,000 back to the credit card account.

The practice of stoozing seems to be quite common in the UK, and now MBNA is cracking down on the balance transfer stoozer by implementing a policy change, charging both a 2% fee and interest on any money borrowed stoozer-style. In other words, MBNA (in the UK anyway) will no longer treat the borrowing of cash in this manner as a balance transfer, but instead as a typical credit card cash advance.

Using MBNA for stoozing may no longer be an option for UK's balance transfer stoozers, but other banks/credit card companies like Egg, Virgin Money and Abbey still permit the practice.

I have just one more thing to ad here. UK balance transfer stoozers: keep on stoozin'!

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Business Owners Should Be Aware of Balance Transfer Scam

If you are a business owner, you need to know about a scam that uses a hard-to-resist balance transfer offer to get a hold of your business bank account number and siphon funds from your account. Details below:

The scammer calls a business on the phone and tries to obtain the business's checking account number. Sometimes, the scammer will pose as a "New Accounts Executive" for a phony bank credit card company and offer an unbelievable interest rate and repayment terms for any balance transfer from another credit card. And, being exceptionally helpful, the scammer just wants one minute of your time to verify some basic information over the phone to complete the "pre-approved" credit application.

Of course, one of the pieces of "basic information" that's needed is the business’s checking account number.

The object of this phone scam is to obtain your business's checking account number so the scammer can start writing "demand drafts" payable against your checking account. But no one but you can write a check against your own checking account, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, demand drafts don't require a signature, and when your bank receives the draft with a "valid" checking account number on it, it must honor the draft. You only discover the scam if you closely examine your monthly bank statement.

But that's not all! To avoid getting caught, most of the phony demand drafts are written for very small amounts of money, making it less likely that anyone will notice the monthly amount being withdrawn from the account. While being "nicked" for, say, $4.23 a month may not seem like a lot of money to some, $4.23 times hundreds or even thousands of business bank accounts can provide a very lucrative and illegal income to the scammer.

What to Do: Although it may take some time, be sure that you or your bookkeeper thoroughly review and reconcile each of your company's bank statements each month. If you find any unverifiable debits that can't be reconciled, immediately call and then notify your bank in writing of the suspicious charge

The above quoted text is part of a longer MSNBC story that you can read by clicking here.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Microsoft Offers The New XBox Live Prepaid Credit Card in Germany

Aimed at German teens, the new XBox Live prepaid credit card offers XBox Live fans some great benefits (XBox Live is a worldwide online gaming platform based on Microsoft's XBox gaming console.) Benefits include:

  • Special XBox Live privileges
  • The purchasing power and worldwide acceptance of Visa
  • Special travel reservations and discounts.

The minimum age for the new prepaid card is fourteen (14) so the card should do well demographically.

Will Microsoft offer a similar card in the United States and other large markets? Who knows!?

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