Elisabeth Chan's blog

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New Annual Fee: Should I Pay Up or Move On?

Credit questions 


Dear Creditnet: I just received information in the mail Saturday that Citi Platinum Select will now start charging an annual fee of $60. I have had this card since 1989. Of course there are ways to avoid that fee, but should I just start looking for another credit card?

Naughty or Nice? Citi Rewards Students for Being Good

Citibank MTVU Student Card
Citibank Forward Student Card

This holiday season, Citibank is offering new student cardholders of its Citi Forward(SM) Card for College Students and Citi® mtvU™ Platinum Select® Visa® Card for College Students enough bonus points to redeem $25 in gift cards and more. While credit is being portrayed poorly in the media right now, it's refreshing to see some credit issuers like Citibank actually step up and offer incentives to customers for responsible use of credit.

Early Adoption of the Credit CARD Act?

senate Barney Frank, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) are tired of waiting for their new bill to take effect. In fact, last week they announced new legislation that would move the effective date for the remaining provisions of the Credit CARD Act from next February to Dec. 1, 2009 - exactly two months from today. In a press release issued by the House Financial Services Committee on 9/24, Maloney claimed that "credit card companies are taking advantage of this period between the signing of the bill and the current effective date." There's no doubt about that. As you may have experienced yourself, millions of consumers have been forced to deal with reduced credit limits and interest rate hikes averaging 20% ever since the bill was passed, and Maloney believes the "breadth and depth of the rate hikes happening now point to the need for faster consumer protections."

Blog Series: M³ - Marriage Money Mistakes

Welcome back to our blog series: M³ - Marriage Money Mistakes.  The first financial mistake for married couples we discussed was to close all credit cards after you get married; this is a mistake because doing so will lower your credit score substantially.

Continuing our blog series, here is the second mistake we'll discuss:

Blog Series: M³ - Marriage Money Mistakes

On average, about 50% of all US marriages end in divorce, with one of the top causes being money. So whether you're a newlywed, nearly dead, or somewhere in between, it's not too late to strengthen the financial foundation that is vital to a successful marriage. Here is the first in our series of blog posts on financial mistakes made by married couples, entitled "M³ - Marriage Money Mistakes":

Mistake #1: Closing all credit cards so you can open brand-new joint accounts

Marriage introduces a life filled with newness: you get rid of the worn-down, not-sure-if-I-even-want-to-sit-here, bachelor-pad sofa, and get a cool, black leather one. You’ll throw out your mismatched plastic cups and replace them with a set of crystal glasses from Macy’s. And your Star Wars bed sheets just don’t seem to go as well with your sleek bed frame as 1500 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets. As you get rid of the old and embrace the new, make sure you don’t apply this same rational to credit cards—closing out all individual cards and opening new accounts jointly. Doing so is completely unnecessary and guarantees a nosedive in your credit score.

New Concept in Business Spending

The economy, in its current state, is definitely not handing out any favors to businesses, small or large. Getting a business credit card is more difficult than ever. Not only are major credit card issuers limiting the amount of credit extended to business owners, but some issuers (like Advanta) are even closing their doors indefinitely! So how are business owners to handle their day-to-day business spending without a credit card or with a credit card with a low limit?

Advanta to Dry Up Business Credit Cards

One of our favorite business credit card issuers, Advanta, has decided to cease lending to its business credit card holders. Whereas other credit card lenders are simply ceasing to lend to new customers, Advanta will also shut down all existing accounts for future use. So if you have an Advanta credit card, you'd better start looking for another way to pay for your business expenses.

Young Money Fights for Financial Literacy


Our friends over at YoungMoney.com are taking great strides to further promote financial literacy among young adults. As part of a recently announced Financial Literacy Program, Young Money is partnering with multiple universities and businesses to deliver co-branded magazines, both online and offline, to students and young employees.

Enter to Win $500 from Creditnet.com!


According to a study published by Nellie Mae (2005), 56% of undergraduate freshman obtain their first credit card at age 18. Unfortunately, most fail to receive any education about how credit works or what it takes to build a solid credit history after the card arrives in the mail

A Cashless Life

It's a rare day when you are able to walk through any major city's downtown or financial district without being asked at least once: "Can you spare some change?" My answer is always, "No, sorry!" It's not that I'm void of all compassion or that I don't want to give away the money I've worked so hard to earn. But unless the panhandler has a credit card machine in his pocket, I literally can't spare change because I don't physically have any! I cannot remember the last time my wallet even came close to smelling the scent of a USD bill of any denomination.