What Do The Numbers Indicate On Credit Cards

Ever wondered what the numbers on your cards indicate? Well you might have written them down at several points, either as reference or as a security measure in case of theft, but did you ever sit down to think what they might mean? Heres the answer.

The first number on your credit card denotes the system of the card. Is it a visa, master, or entertainment card? If the number is 3, it means it could be an American Express or Diners Club card or any other entertainment or travel card. Whereas a card with 4 as the first digit denotes that the card is a Visa card and a 5 means it is a MasterCard. A card that starts with the number 6 means it is a Discover card.

The number on the card also denotes the system of the card. For instance, a Diners Club card starts with 38 while, an American Express card number starts with 37. The third and fourth numbers denote the currency used on the card while the rest of the numbers till the 11th give you the information on account number. The digits from 12 to 14 is the credit card number and the last digit, the 15th is a check digit. This is the configuration in an American Express card.

A Visa and a MasterCard are similar in concept with some variations. They basically provide the same details, though the numbers and rules vary slightly. These numbers offer complete information on the users account and one must keep a photocopy of the card with the number or write the number down safely in case of card theft at any point in time. This reference number needs to be quoted to block your cards from being misused.

If you think this is all there is to a card, you are mistaken. The back of a card is even more configured with information and codes. The magnetic strip you see on the back of your cards (also called the magstripe) is made of iron-based magnetic particles. It is however plastic like in appearance. The card is often swiped at a business center or a store when you make a purchase and it is the magstripe that needs to be read by the magstripe reader.

Sometimes you may encounter problems with your card at stores or even at the ATMs where the reader fails to accept your card. This could in all likelihood be due to a dirty or damaged magstripe. In fact, even if your card has been exposed to magnets, it can damage the magnetized strip. So do take good care of your credit card and keep it protected from damages.

Consumers Could Pay More if the European Commission Caps Credit Card Fees

The European Commission (EU) has threatened to cap the credit card processing charges that banks impose on businesses and shops. In turn, the banks have threatened to add higher fees and other charges onto cards used by consumers. When it all finally boils down, it’s likely that UK households will take another hit in their billfolds.

As it stands now, credit cards like MasterCard and Visa charge businesses a 0.9 percent charge on all credit card purchases. This credit card fee costs businesses 850 million annually. The charge in debit cards is 0.2 percent. The EU wants to set a flat service charge fee of 0.3 percent.

On further examination, this matter gets more complex. The fees that businesses pay to banks are known as interchange fees. These fees cover the bank’s costs of processing credit card transactions such as fraud insurance and administration. Shops and businesses give banks different interchange fees based on size. Big retailers generating tons of sales tend to pay a smaller interchange fee. A mom and pop store will pay a larger interchange fee. These fees can vary from 2.5 to 0.1 percent.

The European Commission (EC) estimates that this fee payment market has a value of 112 billion. The EC is laying out the argument that the credit card sector is expensive and fragmented. Retailers tend to agree with the EC opinion. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has been hammering the EC for a decade to end what it calls excessive and anti-competitive fees for processing credit cards. The BRC argues that consumers will benefit via lower prices if the fees are capped. At present, retailers eat these fees and charge them back into the business.

“We’re delighted with this landmark proposal,” said Helen Dickinson, the BRC director. “Capping these excessive and anti-competitive fees will support the UK retail industry by 362 million a year, boosting the industry’s ability to invest and innovate while continuing to deliver lower prices and value for customers,” Dickinson added in an interview at Daily Mail.

MasterCard Europe contends that if this EC cap goes through, consumers will be hit with a 25 annual fee per credit card. Marion King, president of MasterCard, warned that lower fees will result in less income for issuing banks, and that will force banks to charge consumers for using cards.

The EC fee proposal will force credit card companies to separate their payment card schemes from the business division that processes transactions. Essentially, this would destroy the current credit card model. The Financial Times (FT) describes this matter as the final battle in the long war between EU bureaucrats and payment providers. The Commission proposal calls for a 0.2 percent cap on debit transactions. Credit card fees would be capped at 0.3 percent. The EC estimates that EU debit card fees will be cut to 2.5 billion from 4.8 billion. Credit card fees will tumble to 3.5 billion from 5.7 billion.

Compare Various Credit Card Options In Uae As Per Your Requirement

UAE is a sole marketplace that is overloaded with the credit cards which surly matches all the requirements and demands of the customers. Well getting a genuine credit card is not that easy because a lot of companies are present who declare to offer great credit cards with numerous advantageous, but at the end they may cheat you to pay really very high. Therefore, it is very essential to compare the numerous credit cards which are available in UAE in order to assure that you get the best deal for yourself that matches all your needs and has low interest rates.

It is very essential to compare the various credit cards as there are loads of cards that are offered in the marketplace of Dubai but all of them might not be genuine. The significance of comparison should not be ignored at the time of expensive and any important shopping. When you compare the different types of credit cards that are offered to you, then you will get a chance to know the various features of the credit card. It gives you an idea of the various capabilities of the credit card that you hold in future whilst considering your expenditure habits.

There might be a lot of credit cards in UAE, which might be best for your friends or relatives by not very good for you. Your requirement may not match your relatives requirement. Thus, before applying for any credit card, it is very important to figure out your requirement.

Without doing a fully fledged comparison of the credit cards in the Dubai market, there might be a chance that you end up in a huge disaster and incur a huge financial loss. Thus, while you decide to get a credit card for yourself in Dubai, look out for the various options that are available in UAE and only after making a deep study, apply for the credit card that suits your entire requirement and also has a low rate of interest.

The Best Secured Credit Card Five Things To Look For

If you’re looking for the best secured credit card, you’re not alone. Too many consumers have applied for a secured credit card only to find out too late just how bad the card really was. Do yourself a favor and forgo the whole trial-and-error approach. Use these five tips to find the best secured credit card available.

1. Acceptable Fees

Almost every secured credit card in existence has its associated fees. That doesn’t, however, mean that you should have to pay an arm and a leg to open a secured credit card account.

The best secured credit card will offer an acceptable fee schedule. While the fees associated with a secured credit card vary from company to company, you should never pay more than $50 or $60 in total annual fees.

Avoid applying for a secured credit card that breaks their total annual fees into multiple charges. Some credit card companies charge an annual fee, a monthly maintenance fee, a processing fee and an application fee. The best secured credit card will charge an annual fee and perhaps a low processing fee — nothing more.

2. A Good Deposit/Credit Limit Ratio

The best secured credit card will extend you a line of credit equal to 100-percent of your security deposit. Your security deposit is intended to guarantee your line of credit. If you place $300 in the deposit account, you should have a credit limit of $300.

Some secured credit card companies only grant you a credit line of 50-percent of the amount you put on deposit. This isn’t acceptable.

3. The Interest Is Yours

When you open up a secured credit card your deposit money is put in an account. Who gets to keep the interest earned on that deposit?

When looking for the best secured credit card, make sure that the card you apply for gives you the interest earned on your security deposit. The credit card company should make their money on the interest charged to the card, not the interest earned from your deposit.

4. Rewards For Good Behavior

The best secured credit card will reward you for good behavior. Before applying for a card, check to see what they offer in regards to credit limit increases and transitioning from a secured card to an unsecured card.

5. The Reporting Factor

Of course, one of the main purposes of a secured credit card is to rebuild your credit. The best secured credit card will report your monthly account activity to the three credit bureaus. Don’t waste your time with credit card companies that don’t.

Everyone knows that there can be huge differences between one credit card and the next. These differences can be even greater when dealing with secured credit cards. If you want to make sure that you’re only applying for the best secured credit card possible, check to see if the credit card follows the five guidelines above.

Hsbc Credit Card In Dubai A Must Have

Dubai is counted among some of the richest economies in the whole world. Dubai has a much higher per capita income in comparison to various other countries. At present, no one wants to carry large amount of cash with him. Credit cards are a great way to pay at various places. Credit cards provide freedom to people with respect to move without carrying large amount of cash with them. There are a large number of credit card users in Dubai.

Most of the credit card holders in Dubai prefer to use visa credit cards. There are a lot of benefits associated with using a credit card having a Visa logo. Visa credit cards are accepted at most of the restaurants, hotels, shopping outlets etc. It is very rare that some famous restaurant or hotel in Dubai does not accept payment through a visa credit card. People take visa credit cards as a status symbol now days.

HSBC credit cards are also very popular in UAE. Various people in Dubai are availing the great services of HSBC credit cards in Dubai. These cards provide various advantages to the customers. You will get a lot of cash back and other schemes with HSBC credit cards. There are various types of credit cards offered by HSBC in Dubai. HSBC Premier credit card, Platinum visa card, Gold credit card, Classic credit card are some of the credit cards offered by HSBC in Dubai.

The cards are categorized according to their credit limit. Usually the bank offers credit cards with high credit limit to its old customers who have a history of huge money transactions through that bank. With time, banks increase the credit limit on your existing credit cards. HSBC Amanah Credit Card has become very popular in UAE. HSBC credit cards are made after understanding the requirements of the credit card users in UAE. This is the main reason behind the success of HSBC credit cards in Dubai.

Abn Amro Prepaid Credit Cards

There are various kinds of credit cards available in the market at present. Prepaid credit cards are getting more and more popular now days. However, many people do not have any knowledge about prepaid credit cards. A prepaid credit card is allotted to a customer by a bank when he deposits a certain amount of money in his prepaid credit card account. An individual can use this card at all the place where he can use a normal credit card. However, in case of these cards, one cannot spend more money than he has in his credit card account.

It means that these cards have no risk of spending more than what you have. These cards work on the same principle, on which debit cards works. As you can spend only that much money which is deposited in to your account, there is nothing like interest charges associated with these cards. There are a number of banks available in the markets, which are offering such cards to their customers.

ABN AMRO bank is famous for offering various types of credit cards to a large number of customers. It offers credit cards to its customers according to their requirements and profile. ABN AMRO credit cards can be used at a large number of places. The prepaid credit cards offered by this bank are used by various people. These cards offer a lot of benefits to the customers. For instance, parents can give these cards to their children. Most of the parents hesitate to give regular credit cards to their children because they may spend a lot of amount through them. The procedure for getting an ABN AMRO prepaid credit card is very simple. You just need to contact your nearby branch of ABN AMRO Bank and after the completion of a few formalities; you will get your prepaid credit card.

What should you do if you have credit card debt

Yesterday I read some worrying news that credit card spending is still increasing dispite the past 12 months warning we’ve had in the form of the credit crunch.

UK consumers are using credit cards as means of day to day living, so using their credit cards every month just to ‘get by’ with the increased cost of living. Unfortunately the Bank of England has announced they expect inflation to continue rising in the UK and expect it to hit 5.5 per cent before the end of 2008. This level of inflation has not been experienced in the UK for well over 20 years.

Unfortunately people will continue to struggle to make their finances stretch and it looks as though people are already turning to credit cards as a means of survival.

If you already have credit card debt the best immediate action you can take is to transfer the balance onto a 0 per cent balance transfer deal. There are plenty of cards on offer and I’ve described 4 of the better cards on offer in the UK on my blog yesterday; thefinancialblog.co.uk One thing to consider is the balanace transfer fee the credit card provider will charge you. This is a set charge, usually a percentage of the total ammount you wish to transfer. For example, if you transfer 5,000 to another credit card the provider usually charges from 2.98 per cent to 3.5 per cent, so you will be charged from 149 to 175. The balance transfer fees vary from provider to provider so make sure you find out exactly how much you will be charged.

The benefit of transferring a balance to one of these credit cards is that the provider offers you 0 per cent interest for a specified time period. The longest 0 per cent deal in the UK today is 15 months. So you have well over a year of no interst, of course you still have to pay the monthly minimum ammount, but interest on a balance of around 5,000 can be as much as 20 or more.

If you are really struggling to clear your credit card debt and, as many people do, you’re using one credit card to pay off another, then now is the time to seek professional debt management advice. If you are unsure where to start looking for good, free debt advice then contact your local citizens advice bureaux; details of which can be found online or in your Yellow Pages. Take action today.

Virginia writes for the Virgin credit card. Thevirgincreditcard.co.uk is still one of the best UK credit cards and offers 0% on balance transfers. The Virgin credit card could be the perfect solution if you have other credit card balances to transfer. Get 0% on balance transfers for 20 months! With the Virgin credit card, you could get an instant decision today!

What Are The Most Prestigious Credit Card Offers

For a lot of elite credit card consumers, the most prestigious credit card is the American Express Black Card, officially called the Centurion Card.

The reason most elitists deem the Amex Centurion Card as one of the most prestigious credit card offers is due to the fact you cant apply for this exclusive card membership, youve got to wait for an invitation to join from Amex.

To qualify for the most prestigious American Express offer you first need to be an Amex cardholder of one of their elite offers such as the Platinum Card from American Express which certainly does give you elitist rewards.

However to get accepted into the most prestigious American Express Centurion Black Credit Card exclusive membership youve got to be an existing AmEx cardholder and not only do you have to have a membership to a card such as The Platinum Card from American Express, youll need to be spending at least $100k on you existing American Express Platinum Card annually before you can even think youre going to receive an invitation to join the Centurion Card membership.

Its the false scarcity tactics that American Express uses that makes their Centurion Card offer, in your minds eye, one of the most prestigious credit cards on the market today.

Having said that, if you want to get this elite credit card in your wallet someday, the first step is to apply for the elite rewards offer theyve got for you, The Platinum from American Express card.

This is a platinum credit card offer that gives you elite luxury benefits such as 24 hour concierge service and access to airport lounges and a lot of other luxury perks and benefits, not to mention bonus miles rewards points.

The most prestigious credit cards such as the Centurion Card are made of materials other than plastic, so the elite black credit cards are very unique and instantly recognizable, giving you instant social status respect.

The respect you gain from the most prestigious credit cards such as the American Express Centurion black credit card or the competing offer, The Visa Black Card, gives you instant VIP status in the eyes of everybody that sees your card.

The respect you get when you are a cardholder of either one of these most prestigious credit cards, either the Centurion Card or the Visa Black Card, goes a long way in you getting better service at hotels, restaurants, or any other venue for that matter.

When you are a cardholder of one the most prestigious credit cards, everybody, in every social or business situation will notice and consider you to be one Very Important Person (VIP), because not everyone can qualify for such an elite credit card!

Find the Greatest credit card for college students via the internet

Many credit cards provide a 0% apr introductory price as a way to get students to join their services. This may be a good way for students to buy the things that they want without having to fret about interest accumulation for a given time period. Uncover is just one of the credit card firms that supply these introductory rates.

Additionally, among the best credit cards for faculty students additionally haven’t any annual fees and assure that a student will not be held accountable for fraudulent purchases. This keeps students from having to pay necessary fees.es.

Some students can even wish to benefit from credit cards that provide cash back rewards points. This is a good way for students to be rewarded for making common purchases. Students can use the rewards that they earn to pay off some of their debt or reward themselves with a new purchase.

Cashback rewards are another type of reward that’s available. A certain proportion, often 5% to twenty%, is earned on the amount of cash spent at certain retailers. That amount is translated into factors and people factors will accrue over time. Theses points can then be redeemed for money that is utilized in the direction of the stability on the credit card. Another choice for the factors is to redeem them for prizes. The prizes will fluctuate from card to card and company to company but there are usually an enormous amount of prizes from many classes to choose from.

A rewards credit card, regardless that it is supplied to a younger group, is a great way to determine credit and a credit score score. These cards, if used responsibly, will be a good way to deal with any needs which will come up and get an excellent start on life. The rewards packages that associate with these cards are just an added bonus.

Another glorious choice for pupil credit cards with low APR is a secured credit card. The Public Savings Open Sky Visa charges the prime interest price plus 6.5% interest. There is no such thing as a annual payment and anyone can open an account. The Public Savings Open Sky Visa may be the good choice for a scholar who cannot get hold of credit score from a conventional company as a consequence of an absence of earnings or no cosigner.

There are many students who have to receive credit cards. Nonetheless, the CARD act has not helped students to obtain the credit that they need. Fortunately, there are still quite a few low APR credit cards accessible for students. Students simply want to concentrate on their choices and know how you can get hold of the credit cards which might be available.

With careful research and consideration, college students are able to get a credit card that meets their particular person requirements. If a pupil makes nice credit score decisions throughout faculty, he or she will have the ability to make the most of many new financial alternatives within the future.

Credit Card Processing How the System Works

Establishing a merchant account for your business enterprise is the wisest financial decision you will ever make for the growth, expansion and success of your business. Once you’ve set up a merchant account, you can accept credit and debit cards payments from your clients for your products and / or services. You can also arrange to accept online and mobile banking payments for your products and / or services.

A merchant account opens up new avenues for your business; therefore, giving your business many more opportunities to flourish. But, have you ever understood how the credit card processing system works? Have you tried to perceive the complexities of the players involved in the process and the intricacies of the system?

While it is not entirely essential for you to know the inside and outside of the card processing system because your Merchant Service Provider will do the needful for you; it is good for you to acquaint yourself with the system on a general basis.

The Participants Involved in a Card Transaction

A typical credit or debit card transaction involves the following players:

The customer
The merchant
The payment gateway
The customer’s credit card issuer
The credit card interchange
The processor at the acquiring bank
The merchant’s acquiring bank

The Route the Money Takes from the Customer to the Merchant

Let’s take an example to understand how the card processing system works.

Suppose that a customer walks into a clothing store and she finds a bag that catches her eye. She immediately proceeds to the payment counter and makes a payment of $100 towards her purchase with her cards.

The cashier at the merchant’s store accepts the cards and uses a card swiping machine to set the process into motion.

The $100 amount makes its first stop at the payment gateway where the payment is first authorized with a minor deduction in the amount.

Now, $99 travels to the appropriate processor and after a minor deduction is submitted to the card interchange as $98.5.

Once the transaction gets a clear at the interchange, it moves on to the issuing bank with a further deduction where the issuing bank verifies the availability of funds in the customer’s credit / debit card.

If the transaction is declined, it makes its journey back to the customer from here.

If the transaction is approved, $98 reaches the processor at the acquiring bank, just one step closer to the merchant account.

Once authorized, $97.5 gets deposited into the merchant’s account, which is now at the merchant’s disposal.

(The figures and fees involved in card processing are based on the number of players in the process, merchant type, card type and risk factors)

In the present age, quite a number of payments are made electronically, especially with the extensive use of credit and debit cards and online funds transfer. Although typical card processing takes seven participants, the entire transaction amazing takes a maximum of five seconds for approval.