About the Controversy Surrounding the Universal Prepaid Credit Cards

Along with the other forms of debit cards, the popularity of the prepaid credit cards has risen over time. But there are some controversies surrounding these cards.

For newbies who may be unfamiliar with prepaid cards, they are the kind of debit cards that are associated to a savings account. This means, you must have a bank account in order to enjoy the use of these cards.

Looking into some of the controversies, there are concerns coming from some quarters who are worried that illegal entities will exploit these cards to put some legitimacy on their otherwise illegal activities or presence in the country.

When you decide to open your card with the savings account, check deposits can be sent to the account and then withdrawn from using the card. The banks who issue these types of cards charge the account holder fees that are similar to check charges.

Since these universal prepaid credit cards bear the logo of either Visa or MasterCard and is associated with a real, existing bank account, then the card is accepted as an identification card of the cardholder in several places. The problem is since these accounts are tied with a savings account, some of the issuing banks may not have thoroughly or carefully verified the identity of the cardholder.

Regardless of the controversy, there are many advantages that you can get from such a card. This is especially true for individuals who may have the need to send money abroad or receive money from. The process is simple and fast.

Prepaid credit cards are also readily and easily accessible. You can use it to pay for goods or services in any point of sale that bears the logo. The cards may also have the same functions as the ATMs, where you can withdraw money from at any compatible ATM terminals.

If you happen to have children across cities, you can empower and control his/her spending habits by loading just the right amount into the card. And since the card is reloadable, in case he/she needs emergency cash, you can immediately fund the card and in as quick as the same time you have reloaded, the cash is made available to your child.

Nowadays, living has reached that certain point where you must have some form of plastic – debit or credit card. If at one point in your life, you may have to deal with bad credit for whatever reason, you will find solace and a second life in prepaid credit cards. Most often, the issuing banks will no longer subject someone to credit check prior to approval of the account. Aside from getting a lease of life, you also get the chance to rebuild your credit credibility so the next time you may find it necessary to get a regular charge card, your chances of getting approved will increase.

Just a reminder, before you decide to avail of prepaid debit cards, you must have carefully weighed your options and use the card accordingly.

Debit Cards – How They Differ From Credit Cards

The plastic cards in your wallet all look very similar. It is important to know exactly how the different types of cards work, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Also known as bank cards, debit cards are also ‘plastic’. They are the same size as many of the other cards in your wallet or purse and provide a way to spend money without the need to carry cash. Similar to writing a cheque, though, the funds are withdrawn instantly from either your savings or checking account. There are even accounts designed exclusively for shopping online, so in this case there is no physical card involved.

Debit card use has spread like wildfire in many countries around the world and has surpassed the cheque, and in some cases, cash transactions as well. Just like credit cards, they are used to make purchases over the telephone and over the internet, making it easier than ever to spend money that you have, and to also spend money that you do not. If you wish to ‘over draw’ your account, (spend money which is not in the account), then make sure you have your bank’s agreement to do so.

Acting as ATM cards, debit cards can be used to withdraw cash instantly from almost anywhere there is one of these ubiquitous machines. Some business merchants also allow for cash back where you can withdraw money from your account when paying for goods and/or services at their retail outlet.

They differ from credit cards in that debit cards immediately deduct an amount of money, from your checking account, for example.

A credit card allows you to spend money on credit from the bank where you got the card. Basically, a debit card spends money you have and a credit card spends money you do not have.

Systems accepting debit cards have become popular in video arcades, movie theatres and theme parks. Many people really can manage their financial life without carrying any cash whatever.

It is important to know and remember one very important difference between debit and credit cards. It relates to the legal protection you have when you purchase goods which prove to be faulty.

When you use your debit card, it is as if you have paid with cash, so your only recourse is to the retailer who sold you the goods. With a credit card, under many circumstances, the card company will refund you your cash and they will claim it back from the retailer themselves. This can be particularly useful protection when you buy over the internet.

Plastic cards can be very easy and convenient to use, but it is important to know exactly which type you are using to keep your accounts in order.

Legally and Ethically Erase 50-60% of Your Credit Card Bill!

What would it feel like to have all your debt legally wiped out? There are some interesting tactics as well as consumer protection laws which have allowed countless Americans to eliminate past due balances. Wouldn’t you like to stop getting letters from your creditor?

Fact: Did you realize it would take about 20 years to completely pay off $10,000 of debt on your card?

Sadly, many Americans in this situation will end up filing for bankruptcy in the coming years. Creditors have no mercy in regards to your financial troubles. You may have lost everything because of that little piece of plastic, but they won’t blink an eye.

Fact: Delinquent balances cause your credit card debit to constantly increase.

Fact: A charge you make on your card today could lead to thousands of interest dollars if you don’t make careful decisions.

Fact: The average American has been brainwashed by credit card companies and led to believe they can charge anything onto that piece of plastic. They end up living at poverty level. Americans cannot learn from creditors or take their advice because they aren’t looking out for you.

There’s no reason to stay in debt when the law is on the side of the average American. You shouldn’t have to file for bankruptcy because of past due balances. Check before it’s too late to see if you can legally eliminate 50% of your credit card debt.

Every consumer who has a past due balance should check for free to see if they can get half of their debts erased.

Silver Credit Cards

The lowest in the hierarchy of precious metal named credit cards, silver credit cards have been around since the conception of credit cards in the mid-1950s. Today silver cards have been surpassed in prestige by gold credit cards and platinum credit cards and so have more commonly come to be known as ‘standard’ or ‘basic’ credit cards.

Advantages of silver credit cards

The advantages that silver credit cards have over other types of cards include:

* lower annual membership fees (if any)

* lower threshold salary which you need to earn if you want to apply

* the same credit limit as other credit cards if you have a good credit history or manage your card sensibly

* 0% interest for between 6 – 9 months when transferring your account balance from one credit provider to another

The simple fact is, if you are not that fussed over the ‘image’ you portray when you are out shopping with your credit card, and are more concerned with how you manage your credit card debit, then silver credit cards are certainly more favourable than any other credit cards on offer.

Disadvantages of silver credit cards

* lower cash withdrawal limits

* less rewards in rewards promotion packages, such as a lower percentage rate cash back return with cash back credit cards or lower airmiles with airmile credit cards

* less travel perks – for example, if you have a gold or platinum card you may be entitled to automatic upgrades when travelling, but as there are far more standard silver credit cardholders, it is unlikely this benefit will be afforded to you as well

* less prestige, which may mean retailers are less willing to give you the same service as they may provide to gold and platinum cardholders.

Merchant Account – Accept Credit Card Payment

What is a Merchant Account? A retail establishment is able to accept credit cards, debit cards, electronic gift and loyalty cards through the medium of a “merchant account” established with a credit card processing firm. Merchant accounts or credit card processing services are provided by merchant banks or Merchant Service Providers (MSP).

A merchant or retail establishment benefits from subscribing to credit card processing services by tapping into the huge potential held by sales generated through card transactions. Retail establishments with card processing services are a preferred choice among shoppers. Providing such payment options invite the shopper to spend a little extra than planned.

Credit Card Processing

The technology used to make acceptable credit card transactions involves a credit card terminal. This is a single piece of electronic equipment with a telephone like keypad connected to a power supply and a telephone connection. A credit card can either be swiped on this machine or details of the card can be manually keyed -in. The telephone connection is required to verify the validity of the card and authorize the transaction. Advancement in technology allows the same verification process to be completed through the internet or cellular networks.

Credit Card Terminal

The credit card terminal assumes an important role in credit card processing. A credit card terminal can either be purchased independently from a credit card terminal supplier, can be rented, leased or offered at “no cost” by the service provider.

Charges Associated with a Merchant Account.

A Merchant Service Provider (MSP) provides credit card processing services to a retail establishment at a specific rate. This mutually decided rate could either be on a monthly basis, per item or as a percentage of total volume of business generated through card (credit, debit and gift, loyalty cards) transactions. The per-item or percentage basis transactions rely on a schedule of rates devised by Visa and MasterCard known as “Interchange Fees”.

The rates charged by the Merchant Service Provider vary with the type of card or technology used for the transaction. For egs: The rate for a specific card varies with the use of a swiping terminal and a manually keyed terminal. Merchant account services are also made available for different formats of business which includes online, mail-order and telephone businesses.

The merchant establishments are also liable to pay “other fees” that contribute to the authorization of credit card payments. Such fees include: authorization fees, statement fees, batch fee, chargeback fee and a monthly minimum fee.

Who needs a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is subscribed by different types of retailers and by different formats of business. Types of retailers include: restaurants, retail stores, petroleum junctions, lodging facilities, etc. Different formats of business imply physical stores, online businesses (e-commerce), mail-order and telephone order businesses.

Considerations in Subscribing to a Merchant Account

The financial gains and expenditures must be taken into account to devise a successful method to accept card transactions profitably or at a low cost. The key aspects that must be considered in deciding a favorable merchant account must include:

  • The cost of the credit card terminal
  • Charges or rates specified by the Merchant Service Provider
  • Scope of Transactions
  • Application and Setup costs
  • Acceptability of major credit cards and
  • Security of transactions

“Scope of transactions” implies the ability of the service and the terminal to accept transactions involving a wide variety of payment methods. Payment methods include: credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards, electronic cheques, private label cards or store cards and other smart card technologies.

4 Things That You Can Do Now to Eliminate Credit Card Debit More Quickly

If you are in credit card debt (and that does include a lot of us nowadays), here are 4 things that have been gleaned from much of what is currently written that you can do to help lower that debt quickly and efficiently:

PICK A CARD, ANY CARD – Some advocate that you pick the card with the highest interest rate while others would have you pick the one with the lowest balance. It is really a personal choice, but you do have to choose. Make you monthly minimums to all of your other cards beside the one that you have “chosen”. To the card that you have chosen, figure out how much extra you can have (for money saving ideas, you can always click here) that you can pay. Faithfully pay your minimums on time to the others, but any extra money that you have, pay toward the one, lone card. When that card is paid off, pick the next one and apply the same method, except pay additional money (the money that you were using to pay off the “chosen” card in the past plus the minimum payment). You will see the momentum build and your feeling of control will increase.

SPREAD IT AROUND – After sitting down and budgeting what you will be spending your hard-earned money on, take the amount that you have budgeted for paying off credit cards and spread it proportionately to each card. For this example, let us assume that there are three credit cards, one with a balance of $1,000, one with a balance of $1,500, and the final one with a balance of $2,000. This gives us a total balance of $4,500. Take the balance of each card and divide it by the total balance (i.e. $1,000/$4,500 =22.22%, $1,500/$4,500 = 33.33%, and $2,000/$4,500 = 44.44%). This will give you the amount that you are to pay to each card (make sure that your payments are at least the minimum monthly amount, lest you get stuck with late fees). Re-calculate each month. This method may seem a bit on the “work” side, but it does play well to the statistically-oriented person.

RENEGOTIATE – pick up the phone and call the credit card companies and request that they lower the interest rate. Be persistent and if you don’t get anywhere with your first call, call again. Threaten to transfer your balance elsewhere if pushed. Some payment to a credit card company is better than no payment. Ask for a manager if you must (many customer service representatives are not given the authority to lower a rate too many percentage points).

DON’T CHARGE ANY MORE (than you absolutely have to) – One of the sure-fire ways to eliminate credit card debt is to abstain from charging. This will get you in the habit of controlling your financial life and not having it control you.

To be sure, becoming debt-free is a conscious, sometimes difficult proposition, but remember that it can be done. Credit card companies count on you to not have discipline, not have a conscious will to become less credit card dependent, and to keep lining their deep pockets unendingly. Remember that you can successfully eliminate your credit card debt in order to have more freedom and pleasure in the future!

Silver Credit Cards

The lowest in the hierarchy of precious metal named credit cards, silver credit cards have been around since the conception of credit cards in the mid-1950s. Today silver cards have been surpassed in prestige by gold credit cards and platinum credit cards and so have more commonly come to be known as ‘standard’ or ‘basic’ credit cards.

Advantages of silver credit cards

The advantages that silver credit cards have over other types of cards include:

* lower annual membership fees (if any)

* lower threshold salary which you need to earn if you want to apply

* the same credit limit as other credit cards if you have a good credit history or manage your card sensibly

* 0% interest for between 6 – 9 months when transferring your account balance from one credit provider to another

The simple fact is, if you are not that fussed over the ‘image’ you portray when you are out shopping with your credit card, and are more concerned with how you manage your credit card debit, then silver credit cards are certainly more favourable than any other credit cards on offer.

Disadvantages of silver credit cards

* lower cash withdrawal limits

* less rewards in rewards promotion packages, such as a lower percentage rate cash back return with cash back credit cards or lower airmiles with airmile credit cards

* less travel perks – for example, if you have a gold or platinum card you may be entitled to automatic upgrades when travelling, but as there are far more standard silver credit cardholders, it is unlikely this benefit will be afforded to you as well

* less prestige, which may mean retailers are less willing to give you the same service as they may provide to gold and platinum cardholders.

Merchant Account – Accept Credit Card Payment

What is a Merchant Account? A retail establishment is able to accept credit cards, debit cards, electronic gift and loyalty cards through the medium of a “merchant account” established with a credit card processing firm. Merchant accounts or credit card processing services are provided by merchant banks or Merchant Service Providers (MSP).

A merchant or retail establishment benefits from subscribing to credit card processing services by tapping into the huge potential held by sales generated through card transactions. Retail establishments with card processing services are a preferred choice among shoppers. Providing such payment options invite the shopper to spend a little extra than planned.

Credit Card Processing

The technology used to make acceptable credit card transactions involves a credit card terminal. This is a single piece of electronic equipment with a telephone like keypad connected to a power supply and a telephone connection. A credit card can either be swiped on this machine or details of the card can be manually keyed -in. The telephone connection is required to verify the validity of the card and authorize the transaction. Advancement in technology allows the same verification process to be completed through the internet or cellular networks.

Credit Card Terminal

The credit card terminal assumes an important role in credit card processing. A credit card terminal can either be purchased independently from a credit card terminal supplier, can be rented, leased or offered at “no cost” by the service provider.

Charges Associated with a Merchant Account.

A Merchant Service Provider (MSP) provides credit card processing services to a retail establishment at a specific rate. This mutually decided rate could either be on a monthly basis, per item or as a percentage of total volume of business generated through card (credit, debit and gift, loyalty cards) transactions. The per-item or percentage basis transactions rely on a schedule of rates devised by Visa and MasterCard known as “Interchange Fees”.

The rates charged by the Merchant Service Provider vary with the type of card or technology used for the transaction. For egs: The rate for a specific card varies with the use of a swiping terminal and a manually keyed terminal. Merchant account services are also made available for different formats of business which includes online, mail-order and telephone businesses.

The merchant establishments are also liable to pay “other fees” that contribute to the authorization of credit card payments. Such fees include: authorization fees, statement fees, batch fee, chargeback fee and a monthly minimum fee.

Who needs a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is subscribed by different types of retailers and by different formats of business. Types of retailers include: restaurants, retail stores, petroleum junctions, lodging facilities, etc. Different formats of business imply physical stores, online businesses (e-commerce), mail-order and telephone order businesses.

Considerations in Subscribing to a Merchant Account

The financial gains and expenditures must be taken into account to devise a successful method to accept card transactions profitably or at a low cost. The key aspects that must be considered in deciding a favorable merchant account must include:

  • The cost of the credit card terminal
  • Charges or rates specified by the Merchant Service Provider
  • Scope of Transactions
  • Application and Setup costs
  • Acceptability of major credit cards and
  • Security of transactions

“Scope of transactions” implies the ability of the service and the terminal to accept transactions involving a wide variety of payment methods. Payment methods include: credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards, electronic cheques, private label cards or store cards and other smart card technologies.

4 Things That You Can Do Now to Eliminate Credit Card Debit More Quickly

If you are in credit card debt (and that does include a lot of us nowadays), here are 4 things that have been gleaned from much of what is currently written that you can do to help lower that debt quickly and efficiently:

PICK A CARD, ANY CARD – Some advocate that you pick the card with the highest interest rate while others would have you pick the one with the lowest balance. It is really a personal choice, but you do have to choose. Make you monthly minimums to all of your other cards beside the one that you have “chosen”. To the card that you have chosen, figure out how much extra you can have (for money saving ideas, you can always click here) that you can pay. Faithfully pay your minimums on time to the others, but any extra money that you have, pay toward the one, lone card. When that card is paid off, pick the next one and apply the same method, except pay additional money (the money that you were using to pay off the “chosen” card in the past plus the minimum payment). You will see the momentum build and your feeling of control will increase.

SPREAD IT AROUND – After sitting down and budgeting what you will be spending your hard-earned money on, take the amount that you have budgeted for paying off credit cards and spread it proportionately to each card. For this example, let us assume that there are three credit cards, one with a balance of $1,000, one with a balance of $1,500, and the final one with a balance of $2,000. This gives us a total balance of $4,500. Take the balance of each card and divide it by the total balance (i.e. $1,000/$4,500 =22.22%, $1,500/$4,500 = 33.33%, and $2,000/$4,500 = 44.44%). This will give you the amount that you are to pay to each card (make sure that your payments are at least the minimum monthly amount, lest you get stuck with late fees). Re-calculate each month. This method may seem a bit on the “work” side, but it does play well to the statistically-oriented person.

RENEGOTIATE – pick up the phone and call the credit card companies and request that they lower the interest rate. Be persistent and if you don’t get anywhere with your first call, call again. Threaten to transfer your balance elsewhere if pushed. Some payment to a credit card company is better than no payment. Ask for a manager if you must (many customer service representatives are not given the authority to lower a rate too many percentage points).

DON’T CHARGE ANY MORE (than you absolutely have to) – One of the sure-fire ways to eliminate credit card debt is to abstain from charging. This will get you in the habit of controlling your financial life and not having it control you.

To be sure, becoming debt-free is a conscious, sometimes difficult proposition, but remember that it can be done. Credit card companies count on you to not have discipline, not have a conscious will to become less credit card dependent, and to keep lining their deep pockets unendingly. Remember that you can successfully eliminate your credit card debt in order to have more freedom and pleasure in the future!