American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card – Review

When you think of a gold card the first thing that comes to mind is American Express®.

They are the one who put an exclusive card on the map. 

I’m going to show you what makes the American Express(R) Premier Rewards Gold Card special.

First off, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a credit card, it’s not.

This is a CHARGE card.  That means that the purchases you make are expected to be paid off IN FULL when you get your statement.  There are some exceptions but for the most part this is a card for people who will be able to pay everything off every month (you should really aim to do that anyway).

Being a charge card means there is no pre-set spending limit for the card.  Not that you can go out and spend to your heart’s content though.  Your purchasing power will adjust to your spending habits, your payment habits, your income, and other factors that American Express takes into account.Continue Reading

Credit Card Delinquency on the Decline

Amidst all the negativity that sometimes shrouds credit cards there is some amazing news. For the first time in a decade, bank card delinquencies dipped below the 15-year average.  Earlier this month, the American Bankers Association (ABA) released a report announcing this good news.

According to the ABA’s report, credit card consumers overall have done a better job in meeting their debt obligations in the fourth quarter of 2010.  They indicate that this may be attributed to a slowly improving economy which allows consumers to better manage their debt.  Another contributing factor is that for the first time in two years, over 200,000 jobs were created; therefore the unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 percent.Continue Reading

Paying Taxes with a Credit Card: Pros and Cons

credit card on computer keyboard

Are you thinking of paying taxes with a credit card?

The thought of clearing a debt with the IRS in one fell swoop is certainly appealing, and if your credit rating is not in good standing in order to obtain a bank loan, that credit card can sure look good.

But is using a credit card to pay taxes a wise decision?

Before we explore the pros and cons of paying taxes with a credit card, let’s examine paying taxes through an installment agreement with the IRS.

First things first, contacting the IRS and working out an installment agreement is one possible option to manage your debt.  Complete the IRS Installment Agreement Request Form 9465.  If you owe $25,000 or less this process can be completed online.  The IRS may allow you up to 60 months to pay your tax debt.  Within 30 days the IRS should let you know if your request has been approved and what you will be required to pay.
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Interview with Philip Taylor – Organizer of Financial Blogger Conference 2011

Have you heard about Financial Blogger Conference 2011? It’s happening October 1-2 in Chicago, where personal finance bloggers from all over will be coming together to talk about their trade – everything from trends in personal finance to how to better connect with readers to making a living with a blog.  For me, the biggest thrill is meeting, in person, those people I’ve been “talking” to online all these years.  I’m also excited to meet those bloggers who have influenced me (one being J.D. Roth, whose Get Rich Slowly was one of the first personal finance blogs I found and a primary influence for me starting Free From Broke).  Seriously, check out who’s coming so far over at the Financial Blogger Conference Who’s Coming page.

I had the fortune of interviewing Philip Taylor, the organizer of Financial Blogger Conference 2011 (or for those cool kids, FinCon ’11). You may know Philip as he also runs the incredibly informative PT Money.
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Bankruptcy – What it is, When it’s Used, and How it Works – Adapted from Debt Free for Life

Debt Free for Life

I had the pleasure of receiving a publisher’s copy if David Bach’s latest book Debt Free for Life – The Finish Rich Plan for Financial Freedom. Rather than give a general overview of the book, I’m going to talk about chapter 14 – How Bankruptcy Works, When to Use it, How Long it Will Take to you to Recover.

Bankruptcy is pretty much a last ditch effort to help save your financial situation (and perhaps your overall health and life).  The hope is that no one will ever need to know about bankruptcy but the truth is over a million and a half people in 2010 will file for personal bankruptcy.
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