General Questions About Credit Cards


What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number reflecting your credit history and indicates how likely you are to repay future debt that you accumulate.

 

What is the average credit score and what is a good credit score?

The three main credit bureaus in the US (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) calculate a credit score for you that typically ranges from 300 – 850.

Excellent credit = 760 – 850
Good credit = 700 – 759
Fair credit = 650 – 699
Bad credit = 300 – 649

How many numbers are on a credit card?

Most credit cards have 16 numbers on their front and three security code numbers on the back, which is the CVV (see next question).

 

What is a credit card security code? What does “CVV” on a credit card mean?

A credit card security code is known as a CVV (Card Verification Value), which is a three-digit number found on the back of credit cards. It reduces fraud because it proves you have the physical card in hand.

 

Is a CVV the same as a PIN?

No. A CVV number is not your credit card’s Personal Identification Number or PIN. A PIN is like a password you use for securely identifying yourself for internet or telephone banking.

 

Do the numbers on a credit card mean anything?

The first fifteen digits are determined by the credit card issuer, while the last digit – known as the “check digit” – is mathematically determined based on all the other digits.

 

How many credit cards should you have?

There’s no set answer as to how many credit cards you should have – though many financial advisors recommend having only one credit card for use in a financial emergency.

 

How many credit cards do most Americans have?

According to data from Gallup polling company, the average American has 2.6 credit cards, although 29% of Americans don’t have any credit cards.

 

What is the average American credit card debt?

The average American has a credit card balance of $6,375, up nearly 3% from 2017, according to Experian’s annual study on the state of credit and debt in the US (published January 2018).

 

What is the total credit card debt in the US?

Total credit card debt in the US has reached its highest point ever, surpassing $1 trillion in 2017, according to a separate report by the Federal Reserve.

 

How to get a credit card with no credit?

There are credit cards available specifically for people with bad credit. However, these cards often come with higher fees and interest rates and some may require you to put down a deposit upfront to get the card. Ask your financial institution for cards available for people with low credit scores or you could also get a cosigner (see next question).

 

What is a credit card with a cosigner?

A cosigner is a person who signs an agreement to pay off a loan for someone else if that someone else fails to pay and defaults on the loan. Cosigning allows a person with good credit to vouch for a person with new credit or bad credit to get a loan or credit card.

 

What are credit card dimensions/size of a credit card?

Typically, credit card dimensions are 3.370 x 2.125 inches with a thickness of 1/32 inches and rounded corners, in accordance with ISO/IEC 7810#ID-1. They’re the same size as debit and other payment cards.

Types of Credit Cards


What is a virtual credit card?

A virtual credit card number is a randomly generated card number associated with your actual physical credit card. This is used to protect your credit card when making purchases online.

 

What are instant approval credit cards?

For this type of credit card application, you get a quick response within minutes telling you whether you’ve been approved or not.

 

What are ‘no credit’ credit cards?

‘No credit’ credit cards are cards for people with limited or no credit history. Often the first credit card issued to college students.

 

What is a medical credit card?

A credit card that can only be used to pay for health care services, and only within the network of certain healthcare providers that accept the card. When you use a medical credit card, you’re borrowing money to pay your doctor, dentist, or other medical provider just as you would with any type of credit card.

 

What is a cash back credit card?

A cash back reward program is an incentive program operated by credit card companies where a percentage of the amount spent is paid back to the cardholder. Cardholders typically receive between 0.5% and 2% of their net expenditures as an annual rebate, which is either credited onto the credit card or paid out separately.

 

What is a balance transfer credit card?

Balance transfer credit cards have very low interest rates, often 0%. The aim is to encourage people to transfer their balances from higher interest credit cards to the one with the lowest interest rate to pay off their credit card debt.

 

What is a secured credit card?

A credit card that has a secured payment used as collateral on the account. Secured credit cards are often issued to people who have bad credit. These cards help borrowers improve their credit score over time.

 

What is an unsecured credit card?

Unsecured cards are not secured by collateral. This means that unlike secured loans, such as mortgages or auto loans, unsecured credit cards are not connected to property that a lender can seize if the cardholder fails to make payments.

 

What is a prepaid card?

A credit card that has been secured with a prepayment. Money is put on the credit card in advance and the user draws it down as they use the card and make purchases.

Card Recommendations


What is the best credit card?

It’s difficult to say what’s the best credit card as it depends on your needs. Look for a card that offers low interest rates and no annual fees, but if you want to collect rewards then look for the card that offers the most points and signup bonuses.

 

What is the best first credit card to have?

It depends on what you want from a credit card and how it will be used. Most credit card issuers offer special cards for people who have never owned one before and do not have an established credit history.

 

What is the easiest credit card to get?

Instant approval credit cards and credit cards designed for people with bad credit are often the easiest to get. However, these cards often come with higher fees and interest rates.

 

What is a good APR for a credit card?

APR, or the interest rate, charged on credit cards ranges from as low as 10% to as high as 25%. The average APR on a credit card issued in the United States is 16%.

 

What are the best credit cards with no annual fee?

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Capital One VentureOne Card
  • Discover it Cash Back
  • Bank of America Cash Rewards Card
  • Citi Double Cash Card

 

What is the best credit card to rebuild credit?

  • Capital One Secured MasterCard
  • Indigo Platinum Mastercard
  • Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa
  • Milestone Gold Mastercard
  • Total VISA Unsecured Credit Card
  • Discover it Secured
  • USAA Secured American Express Card

 

What is the best credit card for international travel?

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Amex Platinum
  • British Airways Visa
  • Citi Prestige
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus

 

What are the best credit cards for beginners/teens?

  • Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
  • Citi Double Cash Card.
  • Bank of America®Travel Rewards credit card for Students
  • Capital One Quicksilver One Cash Rewards Card
  • Discover it Secured

How to Use Credit Cards


How long does it take to get a credit card?

If approved, it will take approximately 10 days from the day you applied to receive your credit card in the mail.

 

Can I pay a mortgage with a credit card?

It depends on the credit card issuer. Visa allows mortgage lenders to accept Visa debit and prepaid card payments, while Mastercard allows the use of debit and credit cards for mortgage payments. However, some credit card issuers don’t allow mortgage payments under any circumstances.

 

Can you pay taxes with a credit card?

Yes, through a third-party payment processor. However, there’s a convenience fee, which is charged by the payment processor. If you owe the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and you’re e-filing, select the option “Charge my credit card” when asked how you want to pay your federal taxes.

 

Can you buy a money order with a credit card?

Yes, however it’s considered a cash advance, which makes it quite expensive — the transaction fee will be around 3% and 5% of the amount, plus interest. e.g. if you use a credit card to buy a $1,000 money order, you’ll pay at least a $30 fee.

 

How do you send money online with a credit card?

This can be accomplished through companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram. See company websites for details.

 

What is the best way to pay off credit card debt?

To get out of credit card debt, pay as much of the balance owing as possible each month. Ideally, pay the balance in full each month before interest is applied. If you have multiple credit cards, pay down the card with the highest interest rate first while making minimum monthly payments on the other cards. Once that first card is paid off, then move to the next card with the highest interest rate and focus on paying it off in full. Repeat until all cards have a $0 balance.

 

How do I consolidate credit card debt?

Using a consolidation loan to pay off credit card debt essentially means paying off the amount owed on several different credit cards at once and consolidating the total onto one bank loan. The advantage of consolidating debt on one loan is that the interest charged is typically lower than the interest rate charged on credit cards. This enables people to pay off the principle of the loan faster. You can also consolidate all your credit card debt onto a single card. But be sure that the interest rate on that card is low.

 

How to dispute credit card charges?

To dispute a credit card charge, you’ll need to contact the card issuer. Beware that you’ll likely have to provide detailed information and proof that you didn’t make the disputed purchase or charge.

 

How does credit card APR work?

Interest on credit cards is the cost of borrowing money and it’s expressed as the “annual percentage rate”, or APR. The APR on credit cards differs depending on what a credit card is being used for and when payments are made. APR charged on cash advances is often higher than the APR charged on straight purchases. Also, penalty APR charged when people fail to make a credit card payment on time can be as high as 30%. A credit card can either have a fixed or variable APR. A fixed APR typically remains the same, but it can change in certain circumstances, such as if your payment is more than 60 days late or when an introductory interest rate expires. A variable APR usually changes with the prime rate as set by central banks. Many variable interest rates start with the prime rate, then add a margin on top of that.

Credit Card Company Customer Service Phone Numbers


Chase credit card phone number:
302-594-8200

Macy’s credit card customer service:
1-800-289-6229

Bank of America credit card customer service:
757-677-4701

Walmart credit card phone number:
1-877-294-7880

Best Buy credit card customer service:
1-888-574-1301

Kohls credit card number:
855-564-5705

Home Depot credit card phone number:
1-800-747-3787

Victoria Secret credit card customer service:
1-800-695-9478

Capital One credit card customer service number:
1-800-481-3239

Lowes credit card phone number:
1-800-444-1408

Wells Fargo credit card customer service:
1-800-642-4720

Citibank credit card phone number:
1-800-374-9700

Sears credit card number:
1-800-815-7701

Target credit card customer service:
1-800-424-6888