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Years ago people had A credit card... one, uno. Rarely did people carry around two, four, six, ten, twenty plus cards in their wallet or purse. Today, people do carry that many cards and donít even realize it. Take a look at all those card slots in your wallet. Theyíre full arenít they? Debit cards, credit cards, discount cards, membership cards, rewards cards, gift cards, and access cards. Iím sure there are others, but thatís just a quick look through my Card Cubby. Yes, I said ĎCard Cubbyí.
I have an official organizer for all of my cards and oh yes, they are alphabetized. Itís a great invention and I receive complements all the time on what a great idea it is. Itís an easy way to track all of my cards and a quick way to find out if I have a gift card to a store or find my discount card in line at the supermarket. (Everyone behind me in line probably doesn't want to wait for me to dig through my Mary Poppins purse to find that little 1x2 inch card so I can save a few dollars.)
Reviewing the transaction activity on your cards is just as important as knowing where your cards are. Did you know that fraudsters can steal your card number and use it without actually having the card? Logging into your online banking and credit card websites regularly, or at a minimum, reviewing your monthly statements can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in fraudulent charges.
If you carry a zero balance on your credit cards, itís still important to see if there has been any activity. If you donít have a balance that means there is more spending money available for the fraudsters. (If you donít recognize a merchant name, do a search online because it might be a parent company.) It is important to contact the merchants where the fraudulent transactions are coming from and explain that they are fraudulent transactions. Also, It is extremely important to contact your bank or credit card company to close your card. Without closing your card and getting a replacement with a new number, fraudulent charges can continue to hit your account.
I login to my online banking and credit card websites weekly. Last month I had $4,000 in fraudulent charges in Texas on a credit card I rarely use and was in my possession. WOW! I contacted the merchants and called my credit card company right away. Because I didnít wait to notify them, Iím not liable for the charges. If I would have waited days, weeks, or months, I could have been liable for some or all of the $4,000. When you notice fraud, donít wait to take action. The longer you wait, the more time fraudsters have to take your money. (And the greater chance youíll have to pay for it.)
Having and using these cards make our lives on-the-go easier and more convenient. We donít have to worry about carrying cash; just swipe, earn rewards points, and go. I couldnít live without my debit card and donít intend to stop using it any time in the future, especially with all the rewards points I earn. And yes, I cash those points in for more gift cards to keep in my Card Cubby.
We're serious about doing all we can to protect you from debit card fraud. MutualBank customers can call 800-382-8031 to report any instances of fraud or suspicious calls.
Now that the Holidays are over, it is now time for those credit card bills to arrive and the determination of what was actually spent on holiday gifts become reality.
As many Americans utilize credit cards to purchase gifts during the holidays and other items all year long, the repayment of that debt is always a challenge. The excitement of the holiday season is over and the stress rises. We use credit cards either as a convenience or because the cash is not available when we want. Then the credit card bill arrives and we have a choice to make, pay the minimum payment and payoff the credit card in about ten years or try to make payments to reduce the balance more rapidly. The following are a few suggestions to make the credit card debt go away and then utilize cash for the next holiday season or purchase.