Convenience Can Be Costly - Understanding Cash Advances

Written by James Dimmitt

You’ve just opened your credit card bill and attached to your statement you find a “convenience check” included. It may already be filled out with a dollar amount such as $300, $500, or even $1,000. Your mind fills with ideas of what you could buy with this “instant” money. A new summer wardrobe, a nice dinner and tickets to a concert, a weekend getaway. But before you go off on a shopping spree, you should be aware that your “convenience check” is nothing more than a cash advance on your credit card. Cash advances on credit cards carry many extra fees, often overlooked or misunderstood by consumers.

Here’s a quick look atrepparttar types of fees most card issuers charge for a cash advance:

1) Upfront fee of 2-4% ofrepparttar 138503 amount advanced. On a $1,000 cash advance your fee will range from $20-$40 in addition torepparttar 138504 interest charges.

2) Higher interest rate than on purchases. Many credit card companies charge 18% or more on cash advances. In addition, most companies apply only a small percentage of your monthly minimum payment towardrepparttar 138505 cash advance.

Some require that you pay downrepparttar 138506 balance on your purchases first before applying payments torepparttar 138507 higher-interest advance. In other words, you’ll be paying fees and interest on your cash advance for a long time, especially if you only payrepparttar 138508 minimum payment.

Protect Yourself From ATM Scams

Written by James Dimmitt

In this day and age, ATM’s have become a fast and efficient way of getting our hands on our money. But if you’re not cautious,repparttar automatic teller machine can also be a quick way for others to get their hands on it too.

Not long ago, ABC News ran a story showing how easy it was to collect account numbers and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) from unsuspecting consumers. In their experiment, they set up a sign next to a banking ATM that offered to “clean”repparttar 138488 magnetic strip on people’s cards as a courtesy to their customers. The sign had a magnetic card reader attached to it so that people could swipe their cards to have them “magically” cleaned.

And how many people fell for it? You’d be surprised. In their experiment, more than half ofrepparttar 138489 people usedrepparttar 138490 special card cleaner before using it inrepparttar 138491 ATM. Fortunately, this was only an experiment and no account information was actually transferred fromrepparttar 138492 “fake” cleaning machine.

But imagine what could have happened if this had not been an experiment but a scam by real thieves attempting to capture your personal information? I’m sure those unsuspecting customers inrepparttar 138493 experiment would have been in for quite a shockrepparttar 138494 next time they accessed their account balances!

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