Archive for 'cash back'

Debit Card Use Rising: New Survey

Debit Card Use Rising: New Survey

Throughout the national economic crisis, many consumers have chosen to use debit instead of credit when paying for goods and services, as reported in 2009 research. Personal finance expert Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of “The Real Cost of Living,” said recently on “The Early Show” that these introductory rates are being offered strategically, in an attempt to coax Americans back into using their credit cards more frequently. “Then the rates jump, [to] anywhere from 14 to 20 percent, so it becomes incredibly costly,” cautions Wong Ulrich. “You have to know how to use these cards.”

“Our credit card usage has gone way down [since the economic downturn]. And our revolving balances have gone way down,” explained Wong Ulrich. Credit card companies would like to see this trend reverse, and are doing what they can to boost the appeal of credit cards. By transferring balances from high interest credit cards to low interest credit cards, consumers can save themselves a lot of money in interest charges, but only if they pay off the entirety of their outstanding balance before the teaser rate expires.

Roman Shteyn, a financial guru and CEO at, advises people to outline a payment plan that will enable them to settle their transferred balance within the time frame of the teaser rate and adjust their budgets accordingly.

“Some credit card companies are offering 0% interest on transferred balances for up to 21 months with no annual fee. That gives you nearly two years to pay off your balance and get out of debt. It’s an amazing opportunity to save money,” says Shteyn.

The consumer trend research team at determined the top four balance transfer credit cards favored by consumers.

They are: the Citibank Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard®, offering a 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months; Discover® Card’s Discover® More Card, which has an 18-month promotional 0% APR on balance transfers; the Platinum Prestige Credit Card by Capital One®, which has 0% APR on transferred balances until December 2012; and Chase’s Chase Freedom® Visa, which offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months plus a $100 cash-back bonus.

If utilized correctly, a balance transfer credit card may seem an excellent tool for a financially struggling individual to pay down some of her personal debt. Denial of an application may become an inquiry mark on your credit history, which you may prevent by knowing your realistic credit potentials.

Contact Details:

Roman Shteyn Inc.
2751 S Ocean Drive
Suite 1202 South
Hollywood, FL 33019
Phone: 1-888-281-1556

Web Site:

Credit Score Half Truths and Outright Lies

Credit Score Half Truths and Outright Lies

Credit Score Half Truths and Outright Lies-Image via Wikipedia

Despite the importance of credit scores impacting everything from the ability to get a home loan to being hired for a job, a new Visa Inc. survey finds that many Americans don’t know what determines a credit score.  Among the findings, 60% of those surveyed incorrectly believe employment history factors in to a credit score and 17% who think gender has an impact.

Of particular concern, 42% of Americans fail to regularly check their score. Knowing your score allows you to makes changes, if needed, to improve it in advance of a major financial decision, such as applying for a mortgage. “Credit scores are the equivalent of our financial grade point average,” said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Global Financial Education, Visa Inc. “Understanding your credit score is vital so that you can take steps to improve it. Not checking your score at least once a year is like driving with your eyes closed – you are risking a financial collision.”

Below are the percentages of respondents who incorrectly thought these factors are included in determining credit scores:

  • Employment history: 59.9%
  • Interest rates on debt: 58.7%
  • Assets / savings: 53.1%
  • Age: 38.6%
  • Where you live: 25.3%
  • National origin: 21.6%
  • Ability to speak English: 21.6%
  • Gender: 17.2%
  • Race: 15.7%

“If people believe that unchangeable factors like race, gender and national origin impact their credit score, then there is little incentive to make changes with things that truly do make a difference, like paying bills on time,” said Alderman.

An individual’s credit score is a number (between 300 and 850) assigned by a credit bureau that helps lenders decide how creditworthy that person is – the higher the score, the lower the risk. The most commonly used scoring system is the FICO score. A good FICO score can mean saving tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime in reduced interest rates on home and auto loans.

FICO scores are calculated from different data in your credit report including payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and types of credit used. FICO scores do not include factors such as age, national origin, gender, race, religion, education level, or marital status.

The best way to improve a credit score is to pay bills on time. Working to reduce the amount of debt that is owed is also imperative. Additionally, it’s also important that when applying for and opening new credit accounts, you do so only as needed.

The survey results are based on 1,006 telephone interviews conducted among adults aged 18 or older nationally from September 8-11, 2011 in cooperation with GfK Roper OmniTel. To learn more about credit scores and how to protect or improve a credit score, visit, a financial literacy program run by Visa Inc. The site also features a free FICO Score Estimator that can help consumers approximate their score.

About Visa
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transactionmessages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Angela Waugaman, for Visa Inc., +1-703-683-5004, ext. 133, or Steve Burke, for Visa Inc., +1-703-683-5004, ext. 108

Web Site:

New Cash Back Credit Card Program Released

New Cash Back Credit Card Program Released

New Cash Back Credit Card Program Released-Image via Wikipedia

In this tough economic climate where every penny counts,’s cash back credit cards section helps consumers find the best cash back cards in the market that offer the most generous rewards, a financial website based in New York that helps people save smarter and invest smarter, has just launched a new section on Cash Back Credit Cards to help consumers find the credit cards that will reward them with the most cash back when they make purchases with their cards.

Cash back cards are credit cards that give cash rebates when certain purchases are made on the card, and in this weak economic climate, they are becoming increasingly popular as they help people save on everyday expenses, be it groceries or gas. Some credit cards offer rotating categories in which cardholders can earn up to 5% cash back every 3 months, and others offer a fixed cash back percentage that cardholders will earn on all their purchases or those made in certain spending categories, such as travel, gas, dining and more.

“By using a cash back credit card, you will save money automatically when you make your day-to-day purchases on your card, since you will earn cash rebates for each purchase you make and for every dollar you spend,” says Grace Cheng, founder and CEO of “Cash back credit cards will help you save and even earn money when you make your regular purchases without you having to increase your spending by a single dollar.”

Many cash back cards offer a signing bonus when new cardholders make their first purchase on their card. Some of these bonus cash back cards at have a signing bonus of up to $300 cash back.

“In our Cash Back Credit Cards section, there is even an exclusive deal for readers of that offers $300 bonus cash back as a signing bonus and gives you cash back for every single dollar you spend,” says Grace Cheng. “There is also an exclusive credit card offer that gives new sign-ups $100 bonus cash back, and a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.” also has a section featuring rewards credit cards, which lists the best and most popular cards that offer generous rewards programs based on rewards points, cash rewards or airline miles.

In’s Best Credit Cards section, consumers can quickly and easily find the latest credit card offers in the US, along with detailed reviews and star rating of each card. also has a personalized credit card search tool that helps people find the credit cards that will benefit them the most, be it cards that offer the most credit card rewards or lowest interest rates according to their spending patterns.

About is a New York-based personal finance and investing site founded in 2008 by Grace Cheng who was named as one of the ‘new kids in cyberspace’ by Financial Times in 2007. has an exclusive personal finance section, with a special emphasis on educating US and Canadian consumers about credit cards and helping them find the best credit card for their needs. Consumers can browse through the huge selection of credit card offers such as cash back credit cards, balance transfer cards, rewards credit cards, business credit cards, airline miles credit cards, and more. Consumers can also check out the list of Best Credit Cards 2011. For more information, visit

CONTACT: Pedro Pla, +1-646-755-9754

No Fee Debit Cards are Out There

No Fee Debit Cards are Out There

No Fee Debit Cards are Out There-Image via Wikipedia

Despite recently announced new fees from some other banks, First Financial Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIN) today announced its commitment to keeping debit cards free of monthly charges.

Debit cards are extremely popular with our customers and with merchants, and we have no plans to start charging a monthly fee for use of these cards,” said F. Scott Dueser, Chairman, President and CEO.  “Free debit cards are just part of a highly competitive package of banking services we offer our customers, including free online banking, free online bill payment and the choice of a free personal checking account.”

About First Financial Bankshares

Headquartered in Abilene, Texas, First Financial Bankshares is a financial holding company that operates 11 separately chartered banks with 53 locations in Texas, stretching from Hereford in the Panhandle to Huntsville, north of Houston.  The Company also operates First Financial Trust & Asset Management Company, N.A., with seven locations and First Technology Services, Inc., a technology operating company.  With more than a century of tradition, First Financial Bankshares is nationally recognized as a top-performing and financially secure banking company providing superior products, excellent service and personal attention.

The Company is listed on The NASDAQ Global Select Market under the trading symbol FFIN.  For more information about First Financial Bankshares, please visit our website at and follow us on Twitter at

Certain statements contained herein may be considered “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These statements are based upon the belief of the Company’s management, as well as assumptions made beyond information currently available to the Company’s management, and may be, but not necessarily are, identified by such words as “expect”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “target”, “forecast” and “goal”.  Because such “forward-looking statements” are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include competition from other financial institutions and financial holding companies; the effects of and changes in trade, monetary and fiscal policies and laws, including interest rate policies of the  Federal Reserve Board; changes in the demand for loans; fluctuations in value of collateral and loan reserves; inflation, interest rate, market and monetary fluctuations; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits; and acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses, and similar variables.  Other key risks are described in the Company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which may be obtained under “Investor Relations-Documents/Filings” on the Company’s Web site or by writing or calling the Company at 325.627.7155.  Except as otherwise stated in this news announcement, the Company does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements because of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: F. Scott Dueser, Chairman, President & CEO of First Financial Bankshares, Inc., +1-325-627-7155

Web Site:

Credit Card Companies Issue 5.4 Million New Sub-Prime Cards

Credit Card Companies Issue 5.4 Million New Sub-Prime Cards-Image via Wikipedia

 Equifax Credit Trends Report Shows Continued Year-Over-Year Growth Over 2010 Levels, Highest Levels in 3 Years —

Total bankcard originations for January-June 2011 are up by 27 percent over the January-June 2010 timeframe, continuing a sustained growth trend for the year, according to Equifax’s latest National Credit Trends Report.

More than 18 million new bankcards have been originated between January-June 2011. While this total represents a 3-year high for this timeframe, it is still considerably lower than the more than 34 million new bankcards originated during the pre-recession January-June 2007 timeframe.

Continuing a trend reflected by January-May 2011 data, the number of bankcard originations for subprime* borrowers exhibits a sustained increase over 2010 levels, and now accounts for more than 31 percent of all bankcard originations. With 5.4 million new subprime bankcard originations during January-June 2011, the total is now up 64 percent over January-June 2010 levels.

The increase in number of new bankcards coincides with an increase in credit limits as well, as January-June 2011 new bankcard credit limits maintain a 27 percent increase over January-June 2010 levels, and new subprime bankcard credit limits maintain an increase of 68 percent for the same timeframe.

Other key findings include:

  • Increasing levels of credit ($45 billion credit increase since Feb. 2011) coincides with decreasing numbers of bankcard delinquencies.
  • The number of bankcard delinquencies is declining to pre-recession levels, but the average size (dollar amount) of bankcard delinquencies is increasing.

“The latest Credit Trends data clearly indicates a continuation of increasing numbers of bankcard originations and higher new bankcard credit limits,” said Michael Koukounas, Senior Vice President – Special Client Services for Equifax. “While bankcard origination numbers are still far from their pre-recession levels, bankcard delinquency levels have actually declined below pre-recession levels and I expect a continuation of this trend in the near term.”

*defined as those with Equifax credit scores less than 660

About Equifax

Equifax, Inc. is a global leader in consumer and commercial information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates and has investments in 17 countries, and is a member of Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit

CONTACT: Daryl S. Toor, +1-404-885-8858,, or Tim Klein, +1-404-885-8555,

Web Site:

Amscot Financial, a leading provider of convenient, consumer-oriented financial services, has surpassed a major milestone with the opening of its 175th branch in Ocala.

Founded in 1989, Amscot Financial has grown into a dominant provider of financial services across Central Florida, covering now 16 counties lying roughly along the Interstate 4 corridor. Amscot Financial serves more than 2 million customers per month and will conduct this year more than $7 billion worth of financial transactions.

The new branch in Ocala is located at 2594 Southwest College Road. Like most Amscot branches, it is located at a high-traffic intersection, convenient to a multitude of other business locations in Ocala. Also like other Amscot branches, the Ocala location will be open seven days a week, 365 days year. The hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and on Saturdays. On Fridays, the store remains open until 10 p.m. On Sundays, the hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We have found that our customers value convenience,” said Amscot founder Ian MacKechnie. “They want to be able to conduct their financial transactions quickly and at times and places convenient to them.”

Amscot’s new Ocala branch initially will create about 10 jobs, MacKechnie said. Depending on the location’s growth, it could generate as many as 20 total jobs for the Ocala area.

Amscot Financial is The Money Superstore™, offering an array of convenience-oriented financial services, including the cashing of personal checks, out-of-state checks and government checks. The company also offers small cash advances; Western Union wire transfers, notary services, pre-paid debit cards, free money orders and income tax preparation. Amscot Financial also allows customers to make bill payments to more than 200 different utilities, municipal governments, cable and telephone companies.

Amscot Financial employs more than 2,000 associates who work at the company’s 175 retail branches and at the company’s corporate headquarters in Tampa. The company currently operates retail locations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Polk, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee, Sarasota, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Volusia, Brevard and Marion counties.

About Amscot Financial

Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., Amscot Financial is a leading provider of income tax preparation and electronic filing services, refund anticipation loans, prepaid debit cards, check cashing services, cash advance services, bill payment services, money transfer services and money orders through its wholly owned division, Amscot International Money Order Company.  Amscot also offers the Amscot Card, a pre-paid debit card that allows owners to make purchases from any location that accepts MasterCard™. Amscot Financial currently operates 175 tax preparation offices and 175 retail financial service centers throughout Florida and employs more than 2,000 people. Amscot Financial has been recognized by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as one of Tampa Bay’s Best Places to Work for four consecutive years. For additional information, please visit the company’s Web site at

Credit Card Processor Reveals Tips on Paying Lowest Rates

Credit Card Processor Reveals Tips on Paying Lowest Rates-Image via Wikipedia, a leading merchant services provider of credit card processing, is pleased to announce the release of a new article on their site titled, “Pay the Lowest Credit Card Processing Rates with Interchange Pass Through.” The article focuses on the importance of understanding the technicalities of credit card processing and interchange pass through rates in order for merchant businesses to thrive.

“Many merchant businesses fall victim to credit card processing scams that can damage the strength of the business,” said co-founder, Gino Kauzlarich. “Our services are straight-forward and we offer interchange pass through rates closest to the wholesale price so that businesses can make a considerable amount of profit by saving on credit card processing rates.”

Interchange pass through can be hard to come by because it is the cheapest merchant account rate. Many merchant services do not even provide this service because it can be detrimental to their company, and some only offer interchange pass through pricing to well-established merchants that can achieve a considerable processing volume.

“The great thing about is that we are looking to build healthy relationships with businesses, no matter how large or small they are. While most merchant services deny the option of interchange pass through to small merchants, we feel as though they need this opportunity the most in order to establish a steady base and from there, grow to become a successful business,” said Mr. Kauzlarich.

According to “The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice” conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, nearly 80 percent of consumers own a credit card, making credit card machine services a necessity in merchant businesses as to maximize profits from credit purchases.

To read the full article, visit:

For full press release, visit:

For additional information, please visit


Established in 1995 by founders Gino and Julie Kauzlarich, is a leading provider of today’s most innovative and cutting-edge wireless credit card machine services. Their innovative method of offering credit card merchant services and solutions through a consultative team approach designed to increase merchants’ bottom line profits ensures their merchant members always receive optimal rates when accepting electronic payments while also increasing total sales, accelerating cash flow and improving efficiency.

CONTACT:, +1-888-288-3816,

Web Site:

A Texas mortgage professional improves his credit score by more than 150 points in 4 months utilizing S&S Private Capital, Inc.’s credit repair technology, S.O.S. – Score Optimization Systems.

“After retaining the services of several other credit repair companies prior to S&S and not receiving the results promised by these firms, I was very reluctant to take any chances with another company,” stated Aidonmiyi. “I have referred many of my mortgage clients to numerous credit repair companies in the past only to be disappointed and not receive the promises they had made. However, after speaking with Gene Schwalen and his staff, I felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I was extremely impressed by their expertise and professionalism as they really know how the credit reporting and scoring system works. Being in desperate need to refinance my personal mortgage, I decided to take one more chance on my personal file before referring any of my clients to them, and they more than delivered on all of their promises!”

With an original credit score of 493, S&S Private Capital’s S.O.S. – Score Optimization Systems was able to analyze Aidonmiyi’s credit report, identify reporting errors and inaccuracies, and take immediate action to eliminate the damaging information reporting to his credit report utilizing the consumer laws and statutes that govern credit reporting practices. In just four months time, his scores shot over a 650 which is more than high enough to meet the FHA credit score requirements which are currently at 640 with most lenders.

Even with the much stricter lending guidelines, mortgage meltdowns and the deteriorating real estate market, Aidonmiyi and his mortgage company, Dynamic Mortgage, have been able to increase their business by utilizing the S.O.S. – Score Optimization Systems for their realtors and clients. They are able to close more loans than ever before while helping their clients obtain all of their home ownership and refinance goals due to the credit repair success S.O.S provides. “After seeing the amazing results S.O.S. provided me with my own credit report, I have been able to use myself as a testimonial to help more clients obtain their home loans by also taking advantage of the success Score Optimization Systems provides,” expressed Aidonmiyi.

S&S Private Capital, Inc. and its S.O.S. – Score Optimization Systems focus on credit report repair, and more importantly, credit score optimization. The S.O.S. consulting services educate clients on how to obtain their home loan and other financial goals while qualifying for the most competitive rates and programs. In business since 1998, the developers of Score Optimization Systems have helped more than 25,000 thousand clients including individuals, families and businesses across the country in realizing the gift of a great credit rating and the value it brings. More information about S.O.S. results can be found at


 Page 1 of 3  1  2  3 »