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Getting a New Credit Card? What to Do with Old Cards

Dear Creditnet: I'm thinking about applying for a new hotel rewards credit card, but I already have two other cards with high limits. One card has a $34,000 limit, and I don't even use it. Before applying for the new card, should I ask to have this account closed or the credit limit reduced to the minimum? I don't want to have my credit score dinged too bad by having a new card.

CARD Act of 2009 Takes Effect Today

[caption id="attachment_1263" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption=" "]Capitol and flowersPhoto by Silver 7 Photography[/caption]

It's been a long nine months since the CARD Act was signed into law, but the wait is finally over. Today is the day! The Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009 is now officially in effect.

Unfortunately, there's nothing really new and exciting to talk about. Everyone, including myself, has beaten this topic to death for almost a year now. However, I just couldn't let the day pass by without at least mentioning the significance of the new rules taking effect.

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?

Better Safe Than Credit-Less

[caption id="attachment_1239" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption=" "]Girl holding cardsPhoto by Andy Newson / FreeDigitalPhotos.net[/caption]

In spite of all the consumer-friendly changes the CARD Act of 2009 will bring to the credit card industry, there's absolutely nothing that will stop credit issuers from continuing to slash credit limits or close accounts whenever their little hearts desire.

For some changes, such as new annual fees or revamped rewards programs, they may need to provide you with 45-days' advance notice, but there's no such rule in the event of an account closure. In fact, they don't even need to give you prior notice at all.

Capital One Accused of Dishing Out Low Blows

] What would you do for a whopping $1.00 of new credit from your credit card issuer? Hmmmmm...let me see—nothing? You certainly wouldn't agree to move old charged-off debt to a new credit card just so you could start making payments and paying interest again, right? That would be absurd! That is, unless you were tricked into doing so.

Limited Options for Cards Sans Currency Conversion Fees

Dear Creditnet: I received a credit card offer in the mail from the university I attended for graduate school. It's a MasterCard issued by a major bank with no annual fee, and it also boasts no currency conversion fees for international transactions. Is this a perk that's common through other no annual fee credit cards as well? I travel overseas often, so this could really come in handy on future trips.

American Express Points for Taxes? No Thanks

Photo by Andres Rueda[/caption] It's always annoyed me that we can't pay our taxes with a credit card for free. I mean, come on—it's 2010, and I still have to cut a check or set up a direct debit to the IRS each year. It just seems so old fashioned. I would much rather use my credit card to pay online, rack up rewards points, and enjoy having an extra 30 days or so before coughing up the cash to pay my balance in full. Wouldn't you?

Fiore Pokes Fun at Credit Card Reform

In response to the CARD Act, credit card companies are desperately seeking to boost profits by resurrecting old fees and creating new ones.

The long-lost inactivity fee is one that's been receiving a lot of attention in the media lately.  Use your card too much, and you end up in debt.  Use your card too little, and your credit issuer will slap you with a nasty inactivity fee for basically not being profitable enough.

The Inactivity Fee Returns

 Photo by Photos8.com 2010 already looks like it's shaping up to be the year of ever-expanding fees for credit cardholders. While legislators are still celebrating and patting themselves on the back for passing the CARD Act of 2009, consumers, on the other hand, haven't experienced much to be happy about at all. Credit limits continue to get slashed, interest rates are on rise, and credit issuers are resurrecting old fees or adding new ones in an effort to recapture lost profits.

Party Like It’s 2009

party balloons  Remember partying like it was 1999? Yeah, that was ten years ago. Since then you may have been able to hide your collection of Limp Bizkit CDs, stop wearing jean shorts and change your “Rachel” hairstyle (frosted tips for guys), but unfortunately you can’t remove that barbed wire tattoo from around your bicep. Show of hands —who else thought this decade would be dominated by Sisqo and his Thong Song (parts 1-5)? Ok, maybe I’m the only one.

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