Q: What credit card has the lowest bank fees for international purchases?
A: Several of the Capital One® credit cards reviewed on NextAdvisor have no foreign transaction fees, but our favorite is shown below. No foreign transaction fees means you won't pay an additional fee for making international purchases. Foreign purchases will be converted at the foreign exchange rate in effect at the time of processing the charge.
Our #1 rated travel card is the Capital One® VentureSM Rewards Card. Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase and 10,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 within the first 3 month (equal to $100 in travel). There is an annual fee of $59, but it is waived the first year of card ownership. Users can redeem their travel rewards travel anyway they want—from any travel site, agent or airline. Once they've earned points they can be redeemed for travel, cash, gift cards, brand-name merchandise, and more. Add all this together with no foreign transaction fees and you've got an excellent choice for a travel credit card.
We've just gotten our first look at the credit card for Disney lovers: Disney's Premier Visa® Card. If you enjoy all things Disney and like to travel, this Chase credit card will be right up your alley. Cardholders earn 2% in reward dollars on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations and 1% in reward dollars for all other purchases. In addition, cardholders will earn a $100 Disney Gift Card after they spend $500 within the first 3 months from account opening (restrictions apply).
After earning those reward dollars, you can use them for Disney treats at home and on vacation including Theme Park tickets, hotel stays, DVDs, toys and more. Or you can choose to redeem your rewards for airline tickets on any airline to any destination. Our Disney's Premier Visa Card review has the complete wrap-up.
Q: I will be traveling to Australia in July, could I use the AppliedBank Secured Visa Gold Card there? How would I deposit funds for the card?
A: Yes, you can use the AppliedBank® Secured Visa® Gold Card in Australia. According to the card agreement, cardholders are able to use the card in countries outside of the U.S. As a cardholder you will also have access to over 800,000 PLUS ATM machines worldwide. You should expect to pay a foreign transaction fee, which is fairly common for any sort of credit card. The cardholder agreement states that "If you make a transaction in a foreign currency, MasterCard or Visa, depending on your card type, will convert the foreign currency transaction amount into a U.S. dollar amount. We may impose a Foreign Currency Transaction Fee as described in the Interest Charges section of this Agreement."
To deposit ongoing funds for the card, it's easiest to use your savings or checking account and pay using the AppliedBank online portal. However, you can also physically mail payments via personal check, money order, and cashiers check. Or you can pay by phone, MoneyGram or Western Union.
The AppliedBank® Secured Visa® Gold Card is a good card for those with bad credit because it can help improve your credit rating by reporting to Experian and TransUnion credit bureaus. However, if you'll really trying to rebuild your credit you might want to consider the Orchard Bank Mastercard (or Visa) because they report to all 3 credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – and you can use these cards worldwide. Or take a look at all of our Bad Credit Credit Card reviews and pick the best card for your needs.
Q: Is the Orchard Bank Mastercard a good choice for someone who is trying to establish credit? I have a 21 year old who would like to apply for a credit card to get credit established.
A: The Orchard Bank Mastercard is a good choice for helping to establish or build credit history. That's because it reports your credit card payment history to all 3 credit bureaus every month. By making your card payments on time, you can help improve your credit and your credit score. And since even the secured version of this card looks like any other credit card on your credit report, it won't be obvious to potential lenders. To see more cards that might be a good fit, check out all our reviews for Average Credit Credit Cards and Bad Credit Credit Cards.
It's not clear from your question, but if the 21-year-old is enrolled in college there are a number of student credit cards available to him. The Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students features generous cash back rewards and a 0% APR on purchases during the first 7 months. Cardholders will earn 5% cash back on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, convenience stores & utilities (including cable) for 6 months and 1% thereafter, 2% cash back in popular rotating categories and 1% cash back on all other purchases. In addition, this card does not require a cosigner. Or you can read our other Student Credit Card Reviews and pick your favorite card.
Q: Will the Orchard Bank credit card help improve my credit?
A: Yes, the Orchard Bank credit card can help improve or rebuild your credit history but you'll have to do your part too. By reporting your credit card payment history to all 3 credit bureaus, Orchard Bank can help boost your credit. And it will show up on your credit reports looking like any other "regular" credit card (even if it's a secured card). However, you need to practice good payment behaviour by making your payments on time. Just like any other credit card, if you don't make your monthly payments in a timely manner it could adversely affect your credit.
What makes the Orchard Bank Mastercard (or Visa) special is that it was specifically designed for people with bad or limited credit. That means that if your credit history precludes you from being eligible for other cards, the Orchard Bank is right up your alley. Orchard Bank's unique application process pre-qualifies you for either an unsecured or secured credit card, based on your credit history. And don't worry, your credit score won't be affected by applying.
Q: I have recently returned to the U.S. after living in Canada for 35 years. I now find that I virtually have no credit rating, even though I have plenty of assets (home/car etc.) and good retirement income. I keep being turned down for the simplest things such as Department store cards and other kinds of credit cards. Do you recommend the Orchard bank card as a way to re-build credit history, or should I approach other institutions and perhaps explain my situation?
A: You're on the right track. Although approaching institutions to explain your situation is an intriguing idea, it won't do anything to improve your credit history, which is considered to be the primary basis for deciding whether to extend credit in the U.S. Instead, you should take a look at credit cards that were specifically developed for those with a limited or no credit history. These cards help to build and improve your credit.
Two excellent choices are the Orchard Bank Visa (or Mastercard) and the Capital One® Cash Rewards for Newcomers. The Orchard Bank Visa Card's application process will pre-qualify you for either a secured card or a non-secured card. Once you receive your card and start using it, it will help improve your credit history by reporting to all 3 credit bureaus every month so you can establish or rebuild your credit. This makes it doubly important that you pay your card off on time, because if you don't make your payments in a timely fashion it can affect your credit history in a negative manner.
Based on the fact that you have just moved to the U.S., you might find the Capital One® Cash Rewards for Newcomers more up your alley. This card was created for those new to the U.S. with a limited credit history, just like you. It also reports to all 3 credit bureaus to help establish credit and boost your credit history. In addition, cardholders will earn 2% cashback on travel and 1% cashback on all other purchases. Also, if there are no foreign transaction fees which will come in handy if you like to travel to Canada (or elsewhere).
Q: If I use the Capital One Venture card, will my miles earned correlate to any airline frequent flyer rewards? As example, American Airlines charges 65,000 miles to fly to HKG. Would I be able to use 65,000 points from my Capital One card to achieve this exact same award?
A: The concept is similar, but the miles you earn with a Capital One® VentureSM Rewards card versus an airline rewards program card work a little bit differently. Airline reward programs often require a predetermined amount of miles to fly to certain locations, regardless of how much the flight might cost if you booked it without miles. For example, it might require 50,000 miles to fly from California to Hawaii at any time of year or time of day. So even if you're travelling in the "off" season you'd still pay the same number of miles as if you booked a flight for the high season. Travelers are also limited to flights on that particular airline. Additionally, sometimes particular flights and days are limited or sold out for that airline.
The Capital One Venture Rewards card allows you to book your flight on any airline using any method you like. You can purchase the tickets yourself, using your Venture card or you can book your flight through their Rewards Center. Their miles are also easily translated into an actual dollar value for travel—all you need to do is add 2 zeros to the travel cost to see how many miles you'll need.
In the example you mention, 65,000 earned on your Capital One Venture card would be worth $650 in travel. So if you can find a flight to Hong Kong for $650 (and depending upon where you're flying from, it seems likely you could), it would be similar to using your American Airline miles to fly there. Of course, with the Venture card you can choose to fly on whatever airline you'd like instead of being limited to American Airlines.
We really like the Capital One Venture Rewards card, and it even took first place in our Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis. The ability to earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend, combined with the high travel redemption value makes it our number one ranked travel credit card. And if you'd prefer to redeem your miles for non-travel items, you can also get cash back, gift cards or merchandise.
Can I redeem Blue Cash Everyday from American Express reward dollars for cash, or only for statement credits?Posted by Tasha Lockyer
Q: Can I redeem Blue Cash Everyday from American Express reward dollars for cash, or only for statement credits?
A: Blue Cash EverydaySM from American Express users are not able to get physical cash for their rewards, instead they can apply their earnings to their statement in the form of a credit. Cardholders can also redeem their points for popular gift cards or by shopping for a wide variety of products in their online mall. For those that specifically want a check instead of a statement credit, this may not be the right choice. However, Blue Cash Everyday does feature a high rewards earning potential with 3% cash back at supermarkets (excluding superstores and warehouse clubs), 2% at gas stations and department stores and 1% on all other eligible purchases.
If you're in the market for a cash back credit card that lets you redeem your points for cash, consider the Chase Freedom® Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back card. Not only do users receive a whopping $200 cash back after spending $500 within the first 3 months, but they can redeem their earnings for a check that will be mailed to them. In addition, cardholders will earn 5% cash back in rotating categories and 1% cash back on everything else.
Q: What is a balance transfer?
A: A balance transfer is a term used to describe the action of transferring an outstanding balance from one credit card to another. For example if you have 2 credit cards, each with a $1,000 balance, and you decide to combine these balances onto a single card one card would now have a $0 balance while the other card would have a $2,000 balance.
People often do balance transfers to take advantage of low APR rates and save money. By transferring your balance from a high-APR card to a low (or 0%) APR card you can save a considerable amount on monthly interest fees. If you decide to transfer balances, make sure to check if there is a balance transfer fee. Balance transfer fees are usually a flat rate or a percentage of the amount you're transferring. In some cases, the fee you'll pay to transfer the balance is greater than what you'll be saving in low interest rates, so always do the math.
If you're in the market for a great balance transfer card with no balance transfer fee take a look at the Chase SlateSM - No Balance Transfer Fee card. Not only does it offer a 15-month, 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, but if you transfer your balances to this card in the first 30 days you won't have to pay any balance transfer fees. Or consider the Discover® More – Limited Time No Balance Transfer Fee card, which also features no balance transfer fees along with a 12-month, 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers. In addition, Discover More users can earn up to 5% cash back on their purchase.
With the Chase Freedom Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back credit card, does it matter what I spend $500 on in the first 3 months to qualify for the $200 bonus?Posted by Tasha Lockyer
Q: With the Chase Freedom Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back credit card, does it matter what I spend $500 on in the first 3 months to qualify for the $200 bonus?
A: No, it doesn't matter what you spend your $500 on to qualify for the $200 bonus. The only items that won't count toward the $500 are balance transfers, cash advances or using checks that access your account. Otherwise you can spend it on whatever you'd like.
We really like the Chase Freedom® Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back card, and not just because it gives you $200 cash back. Users also earn 5% cash back in rotating categories and 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases. January through March 2012 the rotating categories are gas stations and Amazon.com purchases.
Or, if you're looking for a cash back credit card that includes a 0% intro APR until December 2012, take a look at the #1 ranked Capital One® Cash card. In addition to the 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers it features a $100 bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months, 1% cash back on all purchases and a 50% bonus on the cash back you earn every year.
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