How to raise your credit score — fast

Courtney Keating/iStock/Getty Images

Courtney Keating/iStock/Getty Images

Our standard credit-building advice often looks like this: Keep doing the right things for a long time, and your score will grow.

But many people don’t think about their credit scores unless they need them for something, such as a car loan, a mortgage or even an apartment – so they’re in a bit of a hurry.

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Annual-fee cards to keep long-term

annual fee cards worth keepingIf you read rewards blogs, you’ve heard this advice: Apply for a rewards card that waives its annual fee the first year, snag the sign-up bonus and cancel before the annual fee kicks in in Year two.

However, your long-term card strategy may benefit from keeping some annual-fee cards.

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American Airlines Aviator cards to go public

When US Airways and American Airlines merged in 2015, their credit card programs remained separate. US Airways rewards card holders were converted to the new Aviator line of cards from Barclaycard US. Meanwhile, it was business as usual for Citi, which continued to offer its AAdvantage line of cards.

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EMV not acceptedAbout 45 percent of the largest U.S. retailers aren’t fully compliant with EMV standards, according to a CreditCardForum survey.

In June 2016, we looked at the Top 20 retailers (by volume of sales according to the National Retail Federation) and found that eight still hadn’t completely upgraded their equipment to accept the more secure EMV chip cards.
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Why 1.5 percent cash back is so ‘in’ right now

1.5 percent cash backThese days, it seems like 1.5 is the magic number. In the past year, Barclaycard, Discover, Chase, Wells Fargo and U.S. bank have all launched cards that give a flat 1.5 percent back (when redeeming for cash). And, of course, Capital One has been offering 1.5 percent back with its Quicksilver card for some time now.

“There definitely is a trend,” says Ben MacKinnon, CEO and founder of rewards-maximization app Kard. “There are several large issuers coming out with these flat-rate cards.”

So what’s pushing this trend—and is it good for consumers?

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