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Holiday Credit: 5 Steps to Prepare for Shopping Season

Holiday Credit I purchased my first gallon of eggnog today, which officially marks the beginning of the holiday season in my mind. Let the overspending and overeating begin! Chances are you'll kick off the holidays this week with a tradition or two of your own. And if you're anything like the majority of people in this country, at least part of the excitement will include shopping like a crazy person. But before you hit the malls on Black Friday or your favorite websites on Cyber Monday, you may want to follow these 5 steps to make sure you're well prepared for the full-frontal assault your wallet is about to take.

Why Good Credit is So Important

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You grow up learning that good credit is a near-necessity in life. But the older you get, the more people you meet with bad credit.

They are your friends.

They are your family members.

They are people you like and you respect and you look up to. And it's confusing when they seem to be getting by just fine, even with hefty debts and a bad credit score.

For some, dealing with bad credit is just a part of life. But they are missing out on a lot.

10 Best Credit Card Designs Ever

Your credit card is much more than a piece of plastic. It’s a status symbol. It’s an expression of your personality. It’s how you open your beer in a pinch.

The credit card has come a long way since the Diners Club of 1950. Now with more benefits and custom options than ever before, credit card companies are doing everything to attract customers. Even redesigning the credit card itself.

Introducing the top 10 best credit card designs:

10. Epos Card

Epos released a spectacular lineup of artistic credit cards in 2009. Here are just a few of their 100 jaw-dropping designs:

creditcard numbers

Ask Creditnet: Credit Cards without Foreign Exchange Fees

Dear Creditnet: I know Capital One credit cards don't charge foreign exchange fees, but I'm frankly not a big fan of Capital One. Are there any other credit issuers offering the same perk with a no annual fee credit card? I travel overseas a lot for both play and work, so a credit card with no foreign exchange fees would save me a lot of dough.

How to Destroy Your Credit Score in 3 Easy Steps

Credit Cards Credit cards can be a major pain in the neck. With annoyances like payment dates, interest charges, and annual fees, it's easy to become fed up. So after years of headaches, you’ve decided to do away with credit cards once and for all by destroying your credit.  While we here at Creditnet would strongly advise against this decision, this is America, so who are we to stop you from doing what you want?  In all honesty, you’ll be happy to know that despite spending all those years garnering an excellent credit score, demolishing it can be easy as pie.

How to Protect Your Credit from Identity Theft

Black Friday is just around the corner!  And whether that conjures up feelings of intense excitement or the urge to lose your lunch, the fact is you'll probably spend more time over the next few months than any other season wandering through crowded malls and surfing the web for the perfect gift. To an identity thief, this means one thing—extra opportunities to nab your credit card information and put a real damper on your holiday cheer! So be a smart shopper this year and take some additional precautions to protect yourself from identity theft and ensure your bank accounts, credit reports and credit scores stay safe and sound.

5 Credit Card Myths

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That shiny piece of plastic burning a rectangle-shaped hole in your wallet is one of life's trickiest necessities.

On the one hand, you can't make it much farther than 25 without some line of credit to show for yourself.

On the other, credit cards are often intimidating: whole episodes of Oprah are dedicated to really good people with decades' worth of credit card debt they didn’t mean to accrue. You're a good person. Does that mean you are going to accrue a Kilimanjaro-sized mountain of debt as well?

The CFPB: A New Cop on the Beat

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Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard professor appointed by Obama to get the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) up and running, sat down with the LA Times earlier this week for a Q&A session.

If you missed it and still have lingering questions about what it is Warren and the CFPB will be focusing on in the coming months, I highly recommend checking out the full interview for all the details.

Amazon Card Trumps AmEx Rewards at Amazon.com

 Remember AmEx's announcement early this year that cardholders could now use membership rewards points to pay their taxes? Since it's always annoyed me that we can't pay taxes with a credit card for free, I, for one, was excited when I heard there was a new option for paying taxes online. That is, until I dug a little deeper into the conversion rate and realized what a waste it would be to drop 200 rewards points for every $1 in taxes due. That's 400,000 points for a $2,000 tax bill—ridiculous!

Don't Miss Out on National Protect Your Identity Week!

[caption id="attachment_1849" align="alignleft" width="300" caption=" "]Identity Theft- National Protect Your Identity Week[/caption] I can't believe National Protect Your Identity Week is almost over. I mean, it's almost like it didn't even happen this year. Such a shame. I did make a noble attempt to keep the holiday spirit alive by wishing some random people in the grocery store a "Merry Protect Your Identity Week" last night, but I wasn't feeling the love. All I received in response were some awkward stares and a completely empty aisle to compare my cereal options in peace. Come on people! Don't you care about identity theft?

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