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Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses for Summer Travel

One of the best ways to make this year's summer vacation easier on the bank account is to take advantage of some lucrative credit card sign-up bonuses. By simply signing up for a new credit card and meeting a reasonable spending threshold within the first few months, consumers with good credit scores could rack up more than $500 in free travel awards to use this summer! Not sure where to start searching? Don't worry, because we've already reviewed hundreds of card offers this year in order to find the very best travel rewards credit cards with the most generous sign-up bonuses. Check out our top 5 credit cards for summer travel below and start planning your next free vacation today.

Chase Sapphire® Card Review: Flexible Rewards & No Annual Fee

It's becoming increasingly difficult these days to find no annual fee credit cards that offer flexible yet competitive rewards programs. Chase, however, with its launch of the Sapphire Card a few years ago, is doing its best to fill the void. And while this card probably isn't for the hardcore frequent flier who only cares about one thing - racking up serious miles to redeem for free travel - the Chase Sapphire® Card is definitely a great option for consumers with good credit who want to use their card for travel while retaining the ability to trade points in for cash, gift cards, or other merchandise.

Ask Creditnet: Is it Worth Paying Off Debt in Collections?

Dear Creditnet: What's the advantage of paying off credit card debt that's still within the statute of limitations but already charged off and sold to a collection agency? If it's not going to help improve my credit scores right away, I'm beginning to think I might be better off just keeping the cash in my own pocket. -Adam from VA

Chase Slate: No Balance Transfer Fee and 15 Months 0% Interest

0% interest credit card promotions with no balance transfer fees haven't come along too often during the past few years.  In fact, I think the last one we saw hit the market was for the Discover More card over a year ago. And while we don't know how much longer this latest deal from Chase will last, the good news is that the Chase Slate Card is still offering 0% interest on balance transfers for up to 15 months with no balance transfer fee.  This offer was launched towards the end of 2011 and has been quite popular among consumers since all the other balance transfer credit cards on the market right now are either charging 3% or 5% balance transfer fees.

5 Ways to Save Money with Credit Cards

Credit card issuers proved to us in 2011 that they are once again prepared to compete for the best customers by offering some amazing sign-up bonuses. Based on what we've seen so far this year, I think we can expect to see more of the same throughout 2012, but taking advantage of sign-up bonuses and earning rewards for the money you spend aren't the only ways you can profit from credit cards. Here are 5 ways credit cards can actually help keep more cash in your bank account this year:

Spring Clean Your Credit in 5 Easy Steps

Spring is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. For many, there's just something about the spring season that makes us want to declutter life and move forward with a fresh start. This might include scrubbing the entire house from floor to ceiling or finally getting around to cleaning out piles of junk from the old attic. But what about all the financial clutter that makes its way into our lives? Shouldn't it get some attention too?

Would You Pay the Mortgage or Credit Cards?

Here are some interesting credit facts to contemplate while you take your Friday-morning coffee break. Prepare yourself, because I know you're excited! According to TransUnion's most recent Credit Risk Index (CRI), the amount of credit risk taken on by consumers is rising for the first time since its peak in 2009, and the driving factor is mortgage delinquency. Apparently the numbers of homeowners who were at least 60-days late on their mortgage began to rise again during the 4th quarter of 2011. Check out the chart below which shows how the CRI has moved since 2005.

New Data Shows Inquiries Have Little Effect on FICO Scores

It's true that too many credit inquiries can have a negative effect on FICO scores, but my experience has been that most people focus WAY too much on this small factor in the FICO credit-scoring model. In fact, I receive emails quite often from both readers and personal friends who are concerned about something as simple as applying for a new airline miles credit card because they're planning on financing a new home or a car in the next 12 months. Their reasoning is they don't want to risk taking any sort of unnecessary hit to their credit scores before applying for a major loan, and I completely understand that. I wouldn't apply for new credit within a month or two of closing on a home loan either.

Ask Creditnet: Should I Close My Son's First Credit Card?

Dear Creditnet: I wanted my son to have a credit card in his name when he went off to college. However, the only way we could get him a card was to apply for one in my name and add him as an authorized user. He used the credit card responsibly for the last four years and upon graduation was able to open a new credit card in his own name. We'd like to close the old one now, even though it doesn't have an annual fee, but we're concerned about how this might affect both of our credit scores. Should we just close it since we don't plan on using the card again?

62% of Adults Don't Check Credit Reports

Each year I look forward to checking out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's Consumer Financial Literacy Survey. The NFCC has been sponsoring this report for six years now, and the results are generally released around the beginning of April in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month. As in previous years, the 2012 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey includes some pretty alarming statistics surrounding credit reports and credit scores. Here's what really caught my eye as I perused the key findings in this year's report.