10 Fun Facts About Credit Cards

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1. The American Express Black Card (aka the Centurion Card) carries a $2,500 annual fee as well as a $250,000 minimum annual spending requirement.

2. Big banks do regular account reviews of your credit profile. If your credit score drops (because of late payments, for example), the rate on your charge card can be increased even though you never made a late payment on that particular account. They can also increase your rate if you have high balances on other cards or if you default on any other account.

3. You can request to have your interest rate lowered simply by making a phone call. These big companies do not want to lose your business and will often compete with other offers you have received if you bring it to their attention.

4. If you report your card as missing, you are not responsible for any charges made after that date.

5. If a thief rips off your plastic and has a party, the most you are responsible for is $50.

6. American Express account numbers begin with 3, VISA cards begin with 4, MasterCard begins with 5 and Discover starts with 6.

7. Each American household receives an average of 6 credit card offers per month. You can opt out of these offers by going to http://www.optoutprescreen.com.

8. If you hold multiple balances with different interest rates on one card, payments are applied to the balance with the lower interest rate. If you have a $2,000 balance at a 4.99% rate and a $300 balance at the purchases rate of 19.99%, your payment will be applied to the balance at the lower rate.

9. Credit card interest rates are not fixed. The bank is only required to give 15 days' notice of a rate change.

10. If you have a teaser rate or low balance transfer rate, you can kiss that rate goodbye if you make even one late payment. If you pay your bill late, it is considered a violation of the agreement with your lender.

Copyright © 2008 Wade Young.

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