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Credit Cards

Avoid late fees

If you don’t pay your rent on time, the landlord may charge you a late fee – which can be assessed at 5% of your rent payment or more.

“It’s nice to have the flexibility to charge your rent as an option if you hit a particularly tough month,” says Davis. “If tenants find themselves stretched too thin financially one month, it’s cheaper to charge their rent than let it go late – and it keeps them from falling behind and souring their relationship with their landlord.”

Cons of paying rent with a credit card

While paying with a credit card has its advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider as well:

Fees

In the event you are responsible for the credit card processing fee, you’re looking at an increase in your monthly obligation. If the value of your credit card rewards doesn’t surpass the fees, you will lose – not gain – money.

To know if it makes financial sense, look at your card’s rewards program and compare its earnings rates to the transaction fees you’ll be charged. If the fee is 2.5% of the transaction, and you’re earning 1.5% in cash back, you’re losing 1% every month. So, for example, you’ll be out $15 for a $1,500 rent payment.

“It may not sound like much, but over time, it adds up,” says Ande Frazier, former editor-in-chief of MyWorth, a financial education media company. “And if money is tight, [it will impact] what you should be spending on, [like] something essential.”

Credit card debt

As convenient as it is to rely on a substantial credit line when you need it, it’s also easy to over-borrow. Elevated interest rates and low payments will put you into a deep hole.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” says Frazier.“ That debt will grow and grow, and the compounding interest will be huge. If you can’t afford your rent, you’re living in the wrong place.”

Credit damage

Credit scores consider the amount of debt you owe and weigh it against the amount you can borrow. If you hit your limit and the balance stays anywhere near it, your scores will sink. Skip payment cycles, and those scores plummet further.

This puts you in a terrible position if you have to move. Almost all landlords check credit reports to see if you’re a low-risk tenant. So, if they see excessive debt and a pattern of missed payments, they may pass you over for tenancy.

See related: How to rent an apartment with bad credit

Final thoughts

In extreme situations, charging your rent and then paying incrementally can keep you in a positive position with your landlord. To avoid credit card debt spiraling out of control, pay as much as you possibly can to the balance each month. When life returns to normal and you want to continue to charge your rent, make sure you always have the money in your checking account to cover the payment when the bill is due.

*All information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard, and the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. 

Source: creditcards.com



How entrepreneurs can protect themselves from credit card fraud

Posted on by Chloe Fowler

The gig economy has led to an explosion of entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses. In fact, QuickBooks’ 2020 State of the Self-Employed report found 28.4% of U.S. adults identified as self-employed at one point or another during 2019.

One incredibly important aspect of running your own business is security and fraud prevention. Yet, unfortunately, many small business owners underestimate the risk of bad actors and thieves targeting their establishments – whether it be cyberattacks (43% of all data breaches include small businesses, according to a recent Verizon study), cash theft, shoplifting or credit card fraud (an estimated 27% of online sales with merchants were found to be fraudulent transactions in a 2019 American Express survey).

While large businesses typically have hefty budgets to spend on fraud prevention, as a self-employed person or the owner of a small mom-and-pop shop, you may not have a lot of resources at your disposal – especially at the tail end of a global pandemic. However, there are some steps you can take to protect your business from credit card fraud no matter its size and lower the risk of fraud overall.

Protect your point-of-sale (POS) system

“When it comes to point-of-sale fraud, what businesses are most likely to run across is card skimming,” said Jason Glassberg, cybersecurity expert and co-founder of Redmond, Washington-based Casaba Security, in a previous interview.

This could be physical, such as when a chip is inserted into the POS device by a local criminal, or it could be digital, where the POS system is infected with card number-stealing malware. There is also the ever-present threat of card skimmers and shimmers, which are devices that can capture card data from EMV chip cards.

To combat this threat, provide as much physical security to your POS system as possible, Glassberg said.

“That means locking up POS devices during closed hours so they can’t be accessed by anyone except a manager,” he said.

Also, inspect POS devices at least a couple of times a week, “looking for anything out of the ordinary such as loose housing, exposed wire, bulky fitting or anything that seems out of place on the device,” Glassberg noted.

Finally, stay up to date on any software updates to your POS system.

See related: How small businesses can safely store card details

Card-not-present (CNP) fraud occurs when someone fraudulently uses a credit card number online, over the phone or in another manner where they don’t have to show you the physical card. In fact, a study out of Javelin Strategy found that CNP fraud is 81% more likely to occur compared to POS fraud. Further, retailers could lose as much as $130 billion from CNP fraud by 2023.

One of the best things you can do as a business owner to prevent CNP fraud is to require the consumer to have the card verification value (CVV) number for their card, whether the order is placed over the phone or online, said Glassberg. This three or four-digit number can typically be found on the back of the card.

“You can also ask for the ZIP code associated with the card to weed out many of these fraudulent attempts,” Glassberg said.

Also, be on the lookout for potential “friendly fraud,” or credit card chargebacks initiated by customers looking to reverse a charge on their account for fraudulent purposes, in turn hurting the business they purchased from. In genuine circumstances, a customer can dispute a purchase if their bill was incorrect, the item is damaged, etc. For more information on what to do in these situations, consider reading the following expert business credit column on false disputes.

See related:  Can a collector target my business bank account over personal credit card debt?

Get third-party help

According to Keeper Security’s 2019 SMB Cyberthreat Study, 60% of small business owners said they “do not have a cyberattack prevention plan” and 25% “don’t even know where to start with cybersecurity.”

Even if you don’t have money to hire a cybersecurity staff, you don’t have to shoulder all the risk alone. There are companies, such as NoFraud and Signifyd, that specialize in fraud detection to help online merchants identify a possible risk before the sale goes through.

Dave Hermansen, CEO of e-commerce training company Store Coach, depends on such services to give incoming orders a “pass” or “fail” grade based on advanced algorithms, order histories tied to email addresses and other fraud detection methods.

“If an order gets a ‘pass,’ any loss you incur due to fraud is covered by [the fraud detection service],” said Hermansen in a previous interview. “If it is labeled, ‘fail,’ it’s up to you whether or not you want to ship the order – you will not be covered for fraud on those orders.”

Hermansen said his firm immediately cancels and refunds any orders that are marked “fail.”

See related: Retailers will lose billions to online fraud by 2023: Could a new Amex tool help?

Prevent fraud through training

If you have employees, their habits can put your business at risk (especially as many employees have transitioned to a work-from-home environment sans an in-office security team, guaranteed VPN or in-person “phishing 101” lectures). Make sure employees are aware of threats and train them on what to do and what not to do, said Yair Levy, professor of information systems and cybersecurity at Nova Southeastern University, in a previous interview.

How to dispute fraudulent charges on a corporate credit card

Make the move to mobile

As consumers increasingly use their smartphones to shop, there’s a security benefit to small business owners choosing to upgrade their equipment to accept mobile payments.

If you can accept payments from mobile wallets like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Google Pay, there is no credit card to be inserted into the payment terminal, which can cut down your risk of fraud, Glassberg said.

Consider cyber insurance – and a vulnerability test

As fraudsters and scammers are constantly changing their tactics and evolving, no business is 100% safe. A cyber insurance policy could save your small business from potential bankruptcy, considering it would pay for legal fees, customer notifications and other costs incurred if you do experience a data breach.

“As an added measure, if you have the means to do so, I would also highly recommend hiring a cybersecurity firm to carry out a ‘penetration test’ of your business network and POS system to see how vulnerable you really are to an attack,” Glassberg said.

An ounce of prevention could not only protect your customers, but it could save your business as well.

See related:  Is your small business protected by cyber insurance? It should be

The bottom line

With the tips provided above, you can take the steps to protect your small business from fraud of all kinds, including credit card fraud, and ensure your information (and that of your patrons) is protected.

Should you ever experience other security threats related to your business (think: if your business credit card is stolen) be sure to contact your credit card issuer immediately, place a hold on the card and file a dispute if necessary; you should be able to easily contact your issuer using the number of the back of the physical credit card.

Source: creditcards.com



10 Ways to Master a Virtual Career Fair (+ Questions to Ask)

Posted on by Chloe Fowler

Preparing for a career fair used to mean packing a bag, suiting up, and budgeting more time for travel. Now, preparational tasks include updating video backgrounds and Wi-Fi connections. Swapping in-person events for virtual events may sound like an outlandish idea, but it’s become the star of the show in 2020, as virtual networking events have become the safest meeting alternative amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether you’re seeking a new career or an internship, you’ll likely come across virtual career fairs as a way to talk to potential employers. This is a new experience for many, so we’ve compiled 10 tips to make the most out of a virtual career fair. From preparing your stage to showcasing your skills, here’s how to build your resume and salary potential. Landing a new job is the perfect time to enhance your budgeting skills as you allocate your new income.

What Is a Virtual Career Fair?

A virtual career fair is an event over video that pairs job seekers with employers. For people who want to advance their skills and income, finding a paid internship or new career path may be on this year’s agenda. These events bring together established companies looking to hire people just like you.

Virtual events may feel out of the ordinary compared to traditional in-person career fairs, but there are a few perks — like saving you travel time and expenses. Before signing up for a virtual networking experience, you probably have a few questions. Should you dress like you would for an in-person event? How will you stand out? Below, we share 10 tips to prepare for a virtual career fair and be seen by employers.

How to Prepare for a Virtual Career Fair

First things first, register! If you’re unaware of when or where these events may take place, contact your school’s career center or hosting company. Email, or call, to ask about future career events and opportunities. Keep reading to get the ball rolling with your new career by networking and interviewing from home.

1. Check Your Wi-Fi Connection

Wi-Fi has become more of a lifeline and it’s especially valuable for a virtual career fair. The last thing you want is to freeze or get kicked out due to an unstable connection. If your home has spotty Wi-Fi zones, make sure you set up in a reliable zone. Test your connection by calling a family member or friend with the video software you’ll be using. If your Wi-Fi passes the test, set up your meeting station. If not, reboot your Wi-Fi router and try again in a different area.

2. Set Up Your Meeting Environment

Set your computer up in a professional and distraction-free zone. Setting your computer on your kitchen table with your back up against a white wall may do the trick. Ensure you silence your phone, sit in a well-lit area, and rid your area of sounds or visuals that may steal your attention. Test your video background by turning on your computer camera before starting the event.

3. Research Companies You Would Like to Speak With

Before starting the meeting, make a strategic plan. Ask your career center for a list of employers that may be attending this event. Research each employer on Google, LinkedIn, or job sites like Glassdoor. Scope out which positions you’d be interested in and may excel at. Once you’ve created a list of top employers and positions, ensure you secure a meeting spot to chat with them. During the virtual career fair, emphasize your skills and how they may fit each company’s needs.

4. Dress Up as You Would for an In-Person Career Fair

To get in a professional mindset, dress as you would for an in-person career fair or interview. Thirty-seven percent of employers ranked appearance as one of their key differentiators when seeing if someone is fit for the job. While employers may only see you from the waist up, dress up from head to toe. Dressing the part may help you act the part as a professional goal-getter. A classic button-up shirt, slacks, polished hair, and simple accessories will make the perfect outfit.

5. Test Your Equipment and Log In Early

After doing your research and picking your outfit, test your equipment. Double-check your computer’s battery, microphone, camera, and Wi-Fi connection. Then, log into any accounts or video conferencing software you’ll be using for this event. If possible, ask a friend or family member to video chat beforehand to work through any technical difficulties. Have your notes, research, and a pen close by for the meeting ahead.

The Anatomy of a Successful Virtual Meeting

6. Practice Strong Communication and Body Language

When you’re on the call, present yourself with confidence and attention to detail. Look into the camera, sit up straight, and nod throughout conversations to show you’re engaged. When speaking up, avoid fidgeting or touching your face. When using hand gestures, consider sitting far away from the screen for attendees to see. Practice these skills by role-playing video conversations 30 minutes before the video call.

7. Be Patient and Listen

Technical difficulties and long conversations may happen. And that’s okay! Practice your patience and professionalism by patiently waiting for an employer to sift through candidates or technical issues. If you’re cut short on time, ask the employer for their contact information. After the event, if you want to learn more, ask to set up an additional meeting to continue the conversation.

8. Ask for Email Addresses to Stay in Touch

You may consider asking each employer you speak with for their contact information. In most cases, you’ll get an email address. After the event ends, compile your thoughts. Write a list of your top three employers and reach out directly. Send each an email thanking them for their time and kindly ask about next steps.

9. Practice Your Interview Skills

Sending in applications and speaking with employers may lead to an interview. And if so, congrats! To prepare for any short notice interviews, brush up on your skills early. Print out a list of commonly asked interview questions and topics specific to the industry. Consider curating responses to five interview questions each morning. Before you know it, you’ll be ready for any impromptu interviews that come your way.

10. Maintain Your Network

You may choose to work for one employer over the other, and employers may go with another candidate. To keep a pulse on future career opportunities, stay in touch. Down the line, these employers may want to hire you. Send each person in your network an email check-in every six months. To ensure you keep tabs on your network, create a spreadsheet with contact information and check-in notes.

Questions to Ask at a Virtual Career Fair

The key to standing out is to ask engaging questions. While 56 percent of recruiters may hire candidates that don’t ask questions during an interview, 44 percent wouldn’t. If you want to be seen by employers in video meetings, ask questions! Here are 10 questions to ask employers you’re interested in working with:

Keep reading for quick tips to mastering the art of a virtual career fair.
your budget. You may have the opportunity to grow your career while getting paid. To track these financial changes, regularly check in on your budget. You may be able to put more towards your savings, credit card debt, or investments. While building your career portfolio, you could build your financial portfolio along the way.

The post 10 Ways to Master a Virtual Career Fair (+ Questions to Ask) appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com



Increased Referral Offers For Referrer On American Express Cards (Up To 35,000 Points)

Posted on by Chloe Fowler

Update 2/4/21: More reports of people seeing increases on some of their lower offers, e.g. 7,500 are now seeing 15,000.

Original Post:

The referral bonus on the American Express Gold card has increased for some people to 20,000 points for the referrer (ht to noahmateen). This is YMMV as some people are still seeing 10,000 or 15,000, hopefully it’ll change over for everyone. The maximum per year is still 55,000 points.

The American Express referral program allows referring from any Amex card to any Amex card. When referring, the key is to refer FROM the card that gives the highest bonus, irrespective of which new card the friend is going to sign up for.

A lot of cards offer the referrer 10,000 points or $100 per referral; some cards offer even less. The Business Gold Rewards card has offered 20,000 points (not sure if that’s still current), and some were getting 20k on the Business Platinum as well at one point.

Related Posts:

Post history:

Source: doctorofcredit.com



Prepare for Holiday Shopping with These Timely Credit Tips

Posted on by Chloe Fowler

According to a YouGov Parent Survey in 2019, a quarter of parents entered the 2019 holiday shopping seasonstill paying down debt related to 2018 holiday spending. Deloitte numbers put holidayretail salesgrowth in 2019 at 4.1% year-over-year. In 2020, Deloitte predicts growth of between 1% and 1.5% year-over-year for the holiday season.

It might be that some people no longer want to pay for holiday gifts, decorations and food a year down the road. But it’s also true that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit consumerwallets and some people might be cutting back this year.

That doesn’t mean that people aren’t shopping. Google and other thought leaders note that changes to shopping habits and the need for social distancing and other measures will likely spread the holiday shopping season out longer. Shoppers are also likely to turn to online shopping.

With a ton of shopping opportunities, a longer holiday shopping season and pent-up pandemic energy, it might be easy to overspend and create debt you’ll deal with into the future. Follow these tips to prepare for holiday shopping so you can protect your financial standing, save money and make the most of the resources you have this season.

1. Check your credit scores

Begin by checking your credit scores and reports. They tell you where you stand if you want to apply for credit. They also give you a baseline of where you are so you know if your score goes up or down later with no explanation.

An unexplained drop in your credit score can be a sign your financial information is compromised. Unfortunately, the holidays are prime time for many scammers. Using a service, such as ExtraCredit’s Track It feature to keep tabs on 28 of your FICO scores, helps you know when you need to act to protect your credit.

2. Ask for a credit limit increase

If you have existing credit cards and you’re a cardholder in good standing, the months prior to the holidays can be a good time to ask for a credit limit increase. You’re not asking so you can spend more-it’s typically advisable to keep spending in line with your budget no matter how much credit you have.

You’re asking for a higher limit so you can spend what you already planned to without hurting your credit utilization. Credit utilization is the second-most important factor in determining your credit score-second only to payment history. It’s the ratio between your credit limit and how much of that credit you have used.

If you have a card with a limit of $1,000 and you spend $300, that’s a utilization rate of 30%. But if you get approved for a credit limit of $2,000 and you spend $300, that’s a utilization rate of only 15%, which is better for your score.

3. Apply for a credit cardwith a 0% APR introductory offer

Those with good or excellent credit might want to consider applying for a card with a 0% APR introductory offer. If you qualify for such a card, you typically have one or two years to pay off purchases made during the introductory period without accruing any interest.

This can be a way to finance your entire holiday without paying anything more for the privilege of doing so. However, it’s still important to maintain your budget and not overspend just because you won’t be paying the balance off until later. Otherwise, you make this season’s holiday festivities next season’s problem.

4. Pay down debt before-and after-the holidays

Speaking of last season’s debt: If you can pay it down before you start spending this season, that’s a great accomplishment. It also frees up your credit and your budget so you can better enjoy the current holiday season. If you’re paying $100 a month on your debt, that’s $100 a month that might go toward gifts or celebrations that you don’t have to put on a card this year.

If you do use credit to pay for the 2020 holidays, have a plan for paying it down as soon as possible. That’s especially true with 0% interest cards. The longer you wait, the greater the chance you’ll miss the introductory period and potentially be on the hook for a lot of interest expense.

5. Create a holiday spending budget

Whether you’re using cash or credit-or a mix of both-enter the 2020 holiday shopping season with a plan. Take an honest look at your personal budget. If you don’t have a budget, create one before you move forward. Then decide how much you can realistically spend during the holidays.

Consider which gifts you want to buy and which events you want to host or attend. You might not be able to do everything, and that’s OK. Be honest with yourself, your family and your friends about what you can afford to do with your time and money this year.

Then make a list and assign each item a monetary budget. That can include:

Once you assign a dollar amount to a category, stick to it. That’s a good idea even if you’re spending with credit.

6. Align budgeted spendingwith credit cardrewards

Once you know how much you want to spend, decide how best to spend it. If you’re using credit cards for the holidays, check your accounts to see if any offer cash back or rewards points. If they do, double-check which categories or stores you can shop in to earn the most points with each card.

For example, some travel rewards cards offer 6x points when you shop at supermarkets. You could use such a card to cover the food-and-drink portion of your holiday budget and reap the biggest rewards possible from that spending. You might also be able to maximize rewards when purchasing gift cards.

7. Guard your financial information and identity

As you enjoy holiday shopping, be on guard. Don’t use debit card PIN numbers unless you have to, and shield the keypad when you enter your information. Keep a close eye on your wallet or purse, and check your credit card statements regularly to ensure all charges are yours. You can also use ExtraCredit’s Guard It feature to help keep your identity and account information safe during and beyond the season.

Sign up for ExtraCredit today!

The post Prepare for Holiday Shopping with These Timely Credit Tips appeared first on Credit.com.

Source: credit.com



Why You Should Not Buy a Credit Privacy Number (CPN)

Posted on by Chloe Fowler

What Is a CPN, or Credit Privacy Number?

If you’re looking to repair your credit, you may have come across websites that advertise a credit privacy number, credit protection number or CPN. These numbers are nine digits like a Social Security number (SSN), and sellers claim that you can use them instead of your SSN. However, these CPNs are often actual SSNs lifted from real people, reportedly children, prison inmates and the deceased – and you can never legally buy a new SSN. In other words, a CPN is no solution to your credit rating problem. Under no circumstances should you try to buy a CPN.

Why a CPN is No Credit Fix

Websites have sprung up all over the internet, offering CPNs to people with bad credit or low credit scores. They advertise that this number can serve as a “get out of jail free” card for your bad credit. In theory, you can use a CPN instead of your SSN on credit applications to hide the poor credit associated with your personal SSN. If you have bad credit but still need a credit card or loan, this can seem like the solution, assuming you can pay anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

That price might seem worth it for a chance to wipe the slate clean. However, these offers are essentially a big scam. The CPNs you can buy online are not legally assigned credit protection numbers. Instead, they are usually stolen Social Security numbers, taken from children, the deceased or inmates.

Also, using a purchased CPN puts you in some hot water, too. Credit agencies can easily spot discrepancies if you try to use a CPN on an application instead of your SSN. Not only will this fail to help your credit, but it’s also committing fraud which is punishable by jail time.

How to Avoid CPN Scams 

What Is a CPN, or Credit Privacy Number?

If you’re dealing with some bad credit, don’t turn to a CPN. Only scammers sell CPNs, and they in turn may cheat you out of your personal information as well as hundreds or thousands of dollars. Using a purchased CPN can also put you in jail, even if you didn’t know the number was fraudulent. This is why it’s important to be aware of this popular scam.

If you really need a CPN or new SSN, it will be free. The process will go through the Social Security Administration Office, since a new number would be tied to your old SSN. That said, it is very hard to qualify to receive a new number. Having bad credit is never a qualifying reason.

How to Get a Legal CPN

With so many fraudulent websites and companies trying to sell you a way to reset your credit, it’s hard to know how to get a legal CPN. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Some experts say that you can speak with an attorney to obtain a legal CPN. The attorney can then contact the Social Security Administration Office on your behalf. However, others maintain that all CPNs are illegal.

Generally, it seems that you cannot get a legal CPN unless you actually need one. These situations include celebrities, government officials and people under witness protection. You can also apply in other specific instances, like if you’re a victim of abuse, stalking or identity theft. A real CPN would be attached to your SSN, so it’s still not an escape from the credit tied to your SSN.

You may also stumble upon offers to obtain an EIN, or Employer Identification Number. The IRS does issue EINs, but only businesses can use them for business costs. This means that you cannot legally obtain an EIN as an individual looking to improve your credit. You also cannot make up a home business, apply for an EIN and use that new number for a credit reset. It is a federal crime to obtain an EIN under false pretenses. In any case, the credit profile for your EIN is still tied to your SSN.

Bottom Line

What Is a CPN, or Credit Privacy Number?

You shouldn’t ever, under any circumstances, try to purchase a CPN. These offers are fraudulent and don’t provide any credit repair or relief. At the very least, buying a CPN wastes money you should put towards repaying your loans in the first place. At worst, you could go to jail for fraud. There are better, more constructive ways to repair your credit. If you’re truly in a situation that calls for a CPN, contact your lawyer for assistance.

Tips on Rebuilding Your Credit 

Photo credit: Â©iStock.com/becon, Â©iStock.com/Xesai, Â©iStock.com/Kerkez

The post Why You Should Not Buy a Credit Privacy Number (CPN) appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.

Source: smartasset.com



Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Credit Cards

Posted on by Chloe Fowler

Credit cards can be a useful tool if you do your research a make a plan for your spending. Here’s how to get the most out of your credit cards.

The post Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Credit Cards appeared first on Bible Money Matters and was written by Peter Anderson. Copyright © Bible Money Matters – please visit biblemoneymatters.com for more great content.

Source: biblemoneymatters.com



Can you buy a money order with a credit card?

Posted on by Chloe Fowler

Money orders offer guaranteed payment of funds upfront for goods and services. Think of a money order like a prepaid check. There isn’t the requisite waiting around for the bank to clear the funds.

Paying via a money order might be a good option for a wide range of scenarios – transactions occurring between two people who don’t know each other too well, an establishment that wants a payment in cash or someone who doesn’t have a checking account but wants to purchase goods or services.

Paying an individual or institution via a money order sounds like a good idea, but what if you want to charge a money order through your credit card? Is this in your best financial interest?

Find out why paying for a money order via a credit card should be a last resort for most individuals.

See related: Can you send money with a credit card?

What is a money order and how does it work?

Money orders essentially work like cash since funds are guaranteed. The only caveat is a specific individual or institution is specified on the money order. Once a money order is purchased, the purchaser must fill out the recipient’s name, the amount and, in certain cases, the buyer’s address and phone number.

“A money order is a paper certificate issued by a government agency or banking institution,” said Steve Weisman, a Massachusetts-based attorney and professor. An individual pays the money order issuer cash to cover the money order plus a small fee.

One of the advantages of using a money order over checks is it “avoids putting bank account numbers or routing numbers on the document,” said Zach Reese, a CPA from Atlanta.

It is a secure way to make a payment, and there is less likelihood of fraud or identity theft associated with checks.

Money orders often have a receipt, so individuals can track if and when a recipient receives payment. It is possible to put a stop payment on a money order, and it is a safer option than sending or mailing cash.

Where can I buy a money order?

Money orders can be purchased from the U.S. Postal Service. Daily, approximately 269,000 money orders are sold at post offices across the country.

In addition, money orders can be purchased from “supermarkets and convenience stores, through checking or savings accounts in banks, credit unions, money transfer shops and payday loan stores,” said John Li of Fig Loans. Money orders usually have a maximum limit of $1,000. Depending on where a money order is purchased, there is a fee associated with the transaction.

Can an individual buy a money order with a credit card?

Yes, but only from a couple of merchants – Western Union and 7-Eleven stores. The U.S. Postal Service and other places will accept only cash, debit cards or traveler’s checks for a money order, according to Chris Panteli, financial expert and small business owner.

If a buyer decides to charge a money order to a credit card, be aware the credit card company may consider a money order purchase to be a cash advance, which has a downside. Significantly more interest is charged on a cash advance than a regular purchase.

See related: How credit card interest works

What are the pros of buying a money order with a credit card?

Financial experts are hard-pressed to identify more than a few positives associated with purchasing a money order via a credit card. If an individual has no other option and chooses to purchase a money order, there are some benefits:

What are the cons of buying a money order with a credit card?

Most experts agree that buying a money order with a credit card isn’t the most cost-effective option for individuals. Michael Sullivan, personal financial consultant at Take Charge America, explains the disadvantages:

One additional disadvantage is “taking cash advances can affect your credit score. So if you’re trying to improve your credit score, don’t even think of using your credit card to buy a money order,” adds Reese.

See related: Do bank overdrafts affect your credit score?

Bottom line

Most experts agree buying a money order through a credit card isn’t the ideal option and should be reserved as a last resort. It is more expensive, it will take longer to pay off your credit card balance, and could damage your financial future by adversely impacting your credit score.

It is possible to buy a money order with a credit card, but you shouldn’t. Your best bet is to pay for the money order in some other way rather than using a credit card to make the purchase.

Source: creditcards.com



The Workplace of the Future: How to Prepare and Preserve Your Career

Posted on by Chloe Fowler

Workplaces have always evolved with technology, trends, and research. The changing environment of our global economy and advances in technology mean organizations have to adapt to stay competitive. This also means employees should keep their eyes forward and focus on the skills that will keep them employed and open new career opportunities. 

Looking into our immediate future, we’re seeing offices embrace telecommuting tools and implement flexible schedules to retain qualified employees and maintain social responsibility for the health and wellness of their teams. 

With increasing reliance on technology, we’re also seeing a large shift towards prioritizing soft skills. Early adopters of artificial intelligence technology are reporting a 16 percent increase in the need for business leadership roles as the need for researchers drops and advanced technology fills the gap. 

The best way to prepare for the office of the future is to set career goals and develop new skills, like how to run a productive meeting and collaborate within a team to increase productivity. Taking ownership of your skills and output can impress your manager and set you up for success when you negotiate your salary at your next performance review. 

Read more about workplace trends and how to invest in your future below:

Sources: Global Workplace Analytics | NPR | CareerBuilder | SHRM | Gartner | Gensler | Lifesize | KFF | Cengage | Deloitte | IWG | World Economic Forum | Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

The post The Workplace of the Future: How to Prepare and Preserve Your Career appeared first on MintLife Blog.

Source: mint.intuit.com




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