Archive for 'Credit card'

Credit Card Rates Drop at PenFed

Credit Card Rates Drop at PenFed

The lower and more competitive variable 9.99% purchase APR* is now available on the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card and Visa Platinum Cash Rewards Card.

 Staying true to course to bring every day value to its cardholders, Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) announced today that as of January 15, 2012, the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card and Visa Platinum Cash Card now feature a new, lower variable 9.99% purchase APR*.

The lower purchase rate will be capped at 9.99% APR* on new purchases until June 30, 2014 and will apply to both existing rewards cardholders, as well as all new cardholders.

For all new cardholders, the 9.99% purchase APR became effective on January 15, 2012. For existing cardholders, the lower purchase rate will be “rolled out” by billing cycle, beginning with the January 15, 2012 effective date.

“PenFed is very proud of its diverse and dynamic credit card portfolio,” says Kevyn Myers,Executive Vice President, Collections and Card Services, PenFed. “Where other reward card programs have exorbitant APRs to fund their reward programs, PenFed’s do not. Our reward cards are packed with value, and the new, lower purchase rate is just one more reason why these cards should be a top of the wallet choice for our cardholders.”

PenFed was the first credit union in the U.S. to offer an American Express® Card to its membership. Since the Card’s launch in 2009, the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card has been recognized as one of the leading travel reward cards available today. Cardholders enjoy 5 points for every $1 spent on airfare, 1 point for every $1 spent on everything else*.

The PenFed Visa Platinum Cash Card has experienced continual, award-winning success as one of the best cash rewards cards available. Cardholders enjoy 5% cash back on all gas purchases made at the pump*, and since cash back rewards are automatically credited back to the statement each month; this card has become a “no-fuss” favorite for these cardholders.

Additional features such as no annual or foreign transaction fees, and no caps on the rewards cardholders can earn, make the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card and Visa Platinum Cash Card both highly competitive contenders when compared to other reward programs currently available in the industry.

For more information about PenFed membership, the PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card and Visa Platinum Cash Card, or to apply for a credit card, visit or call 800-247-5626.

About Pentagon Federal Credit Union

Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed) is the third largest credit union in the United States with over a million members, and more than $15 billion in assets. The credit union provides worldwide service to Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security personnel, employees or volunteers of the American Red Cross and military associations, and many others in the defense community and their families.

  • *9.99% APR: Variable 9.99% introductory purchase and cash advance rate capped through June 30, 2014. During this time the rate can only decrease if the Prime Rate decreases. After June 30, 2014 the cap will be removed and the APR will increase or decrease with the Prime Rate. Balance Transfer Rate: 1.99% APR promotional rate for 24 months on transfers made between January 1, 2012 and March 31, 2012. After that, the APR for the unpaid balance and any new transfers will be 9.99% and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. This transaction is subject to credit approval. Fee is reduced to 1% (Min. $10 – Max. $250) per transaction for transfers made through March 31, 2012. The fee for balance transfers made after March 31, 2012 will return to 3% (Min. $10 – Max. $250) per transaction. How We Calculate Your Balance: We use a method called “average daily balance” (including new purchases). See PenFed’s account agreement for more details. Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on Purchases and Cash Advances: Your APR can change on January and July of each year. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. Additional details will be provided upon card issuance. Loss of Balance Transfer APR: We may end your promotional Balance Transfer APR and apply the Penalty APR if we do not receive your payment within 60 days of the due date. PenFed Visa Platinum Cash Card: Rewards are available only for new monthly purchases made with the card: cash advances, checks drawn from the account, and balance transfers are excluded and do not earn credit toward rewards. Certain limitations apply to the Visa Platinum Rewards Program. Certain restrictions may apply. Visa USA determines which transactions are classified as paid at the pump. Fuel purchases for airplanes and boats receive 1.00% cash back. Note: As of February 1, 2012, the cash back on fuel purchases for airplanes and boats will decrease to 0.25%. PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Card: The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express® Credit Card program is issued and administered by PenFed. American Express® is a federally registered Service mark of American Express® and is used by PenFed pursuant to a license. Rates: The information on this disclosure is current as of January 1, 2012, but is subject to change. To determine if any changes have occurred since this date, call 800-247-5626.

CONTACT: Amy Doane, Direct: +1-541-225-6606, E-mail: Web Site:

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:

Florida-based merchant services company, Commersense, is providing small to medium sized businesses throughout North America with merchant cash advances as banks increasingly deny accounts for small business loans.

“As banks make it more difficult to secure a small business loan, many businesses are at a loss for cash in times of need. At Commersense, we make it easier to immediately secure funds through merchant cash advances,” said Chris Kille, President of Commersense.

Merchant cash advances allow businesses to have cash on hand for items that may not have an immediate return on investment such as inventory, payroll, expansion, advertising, remodeling and new equipment.  In comparison to small business loans, merchant cash advances have higher approval rates and are typically processed much faster, which allows merchants immediate access to capital in times of emergency or need. For businesses within the retail, restaurant or service industry, merchant cash advances serve as great alternatives to traditional financing, especially if the company has minimal collateral and less than perfect credit.

Merchant cash advances are not bound by the laws that regulate lenders and limit interest rates because the deal is a purchase and sale of future income. Instead of requiring scheduled fixed payments, a merchant cash advance provider directly collects a set percentage of a merchant’s daily credit card sales.

“The merchant cash advance industry as a whole is burgeoning. Our clients benefit from the flexibility of our terms. The amount a merchant pays varies with their cash flow, so they aren’t responsible for large payments on slow months when sales may not be that high,”  added Kille.

Commersense’s Merchant Cash Advance Advantage Program offers a 90% approval rate on applications, and Commersense can advance businesses up to $1,000,000 depending on the businesses’ credit card sales.

For more information, visit A Commersense representative can be contacted by calling (813) 489-8501 or by emailing

About Commersense:

Founded in 2006, Commersense is a full service business solutions provider offering merchant cash advances, merchant processing services, credit card equipment sales and leasing, payroll and employee benefits and more. Commersense assists clients in finding the best rates for processing payment transactions and offers efficient solutions for credit and debit transactions, online transactions, check processing, payroll services and mobile-based transactions.

CONTACT: Media, Michelle Boyd, +1-813-382-8810

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:

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:

Credit Cards for Small Business Owners: How to Pick a Winner

Credit Cards for Small Business Owners: How to Pick a Winner-Image via Wikipedia

Introductory bonus rewards on new small business credit card offers remain high, according to CreditDonkey Deals report.

CreditDonkey released its top business credit card picks this week, based on bonus rewards. With hundreds of credit card offers available today, CreditDonkey sifts through the offers to help small business owners cut down on the necessary research time to find the cards that offer their business the best deals.

Introductory Bonus Deals for Small Businesses:

  • Ink Cash – Earn up to $250 Bonus Cash Back; 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on office supplies, cable services, and telecom services; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on gas and dining; 1% cash back on all other purchases with no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn – $0 annual fee
  • Ink Bold – Earn 25,000 bonus points after your first purchase; no interest expense and up to 30 days to pay with this pay-in-full charge card – $95 annual fee / no annual fee for first year
  • Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card – Limited Time Offer: Get up to 30,000 Starpoints in your first 3 months of Cardmembership; Receive 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase, and get an additional 20,000 bonus Starpoints when you spend $4,500 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership – $65 annual fee / no annual fee for first year
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card – Earn 20,000 miles upon your first purchase on the Card – $95 annual fee / no annual fee for first year

Looking at the bonus deals for the four credit card picks above, small business owners are reminded that not all cards are created equal. Between the bonus rewards, reward categories and fee structures, there are many features for future cardholders to take into consideration.

“The unprecedented move by the Federal Open Market Committee to keep interest rates within their current range of 0.00% to 0.25% for the next two years is expected to keep interest rates low for small business owners,” says Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey. “Many small business owners are taking this opportunity to find more capital and expand their business.”

And Tran reminds entrepreneurs that an annual fee shouldn’t necessary be a deal breaker.

“Before you let an annual fee turn you off from a card, you should take the time to look at all of the card benefits,” says Tran. “As long as you are utilizing your business credit card to make purchases you would normally make, earning reward points and hundreds of dollars worth of bonus rewards makes the annual fee more than pay for itself.”

Small business owners can visit CreditDonkey for a free business credit card comparison to find the best offers for your business. CreditDonkey publishes credit card research, informed opinions and trends that empower entrepreneurs to make informed credit decision.


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