Amy Fontinelle

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  1. Term

    Private Label Credit Card

    Many stores offer private label credit cards to their customers to encourage them to spend more by offering the convenience of a credit card and deferred payment.
  2. Term

    Returned Payment Fee

    A charge a credit card company may assess to a customer’s account if the customer attempts to pay a credit card bill with a check that is returned unpaid.
  3. Term

    Over-Limit Fee

    A fee charged by a credit card company if a credit card user exceeds the card’s credit limit.
  4. Term

    Visa Card

    A credit, debit or prepaid card branded by Visa, a major payments technology company.
  5. Term

    Credit Utilization Ratio

    An input used in determining a person's credit score. It is the percentage of a consumer’s available credit that he or she has used.
  6. Term

    Validation Code

    A series of three or four numbers on the front or back of a credit card that provide an additional layer of security when a credit card is used to make a purchase online or over the phone.
  7. Term

    Universal Default

    A practice whereby a credit card issuer increases a credit card holder’s interest rate if he or she is late making a minimum payment on any debt that is reported to the credit bureaus.
  8. Term

    Expired Card

    A credit card that is no longer useable because its expiration date has passed. An expired card would be rejected if a consumer tries to use it to make a purchase.
  9. Term

    Wall Street Journal Prime Rate

    An interest rate that large banks in the United States charge each other for short-term loans and that is published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
  10. Term

    Terms And Conditions (Credit Card)

    A formal statement of the rules and guidelines that govern the relationship between a credit card issuer and a credit card holder.
  11. Term

    Merchant Category Codes (MCC)

    A four-digit number that a credit card issuer uses to categorize the transactions consumers complete using that card.
  12. Trading Strategies

    How Good An Investment Is Life Insurance?

    Compared to other options, does it ever make sense to include cash-value life insurance in your investment portfolio? A look at the pros and cons.
  13. Term

    Medical Identity Theft

    Stealing another person’s health insurance information so that someone who is not the insured can fraudulently use the insured’s benefits to get discounted health care or prescription drugs.
  14. Retirement

    Retire? Me? Smart Strategies For Business Owners

    Retiring successfully if you're a small business owner requires both an exit strategy and a good retirement plan. Here's how to get started.
  15. Investing Basics

    Online Portfolio Management, DIY or Fee-Based Financial ...

    Should you use an online financial planning service, or do professional, fee-based financial planners justify their higher costs?
  16. Retirement

    Teachers: Get Schooled On Your Retirement Strategies

    If you're a teacher, you have unique circumstances when it comes to planning for a successful retirement. It's important to start informing yourself now.
  17. Retirement

    Freelancers Don't Have To Retire Broke

    Many freelancers worry, with good reason, that their retirement prospects are financially insecure. Plan early and you can minimize your fretting.
  18. Retirement

    The 5 Top Rules Of Thumb For Retirement Savings

    Follow these 5 strategies and set yourself up for a sane and comfortable retirement. Starting early is best, but it's never too late to help your future.
  19. Term

    Policyholder Dividend Ratio

    The policyholder dividend ratio is a measurement of the profitability of an insurance company or the overall insurance industry.
  20. Credit & Loans

    4 Debt-Busting AlternativesTo Balance Transfers

    Credit card balance transfers can help pay off debts – but they can cost you. Here are some other approaches worth checking out.
  21. Retirement

    Great (Affordable) Places For Retiring In France

    If that's always been your dream, there actually are affordable ways to retire in France. Some regions to explore and some cautions to keep in mind.
  22. Retirement

    The Smart Way To Use Life Insurance For Retirement

    Here's how to incorporate life insurance into a plan to ensure that you and your family have the smoothest possible transition into retirement.
  23. Retirement

    Why Retiree Expats Adore Ecuador

    A delightful climate, World Heritage sites and a low cost of living are just some of the reasons to retire to Ecuador. Here's more about what to expect.
  24. Retirement

    Work For The Government? Top Retirement Strategies

    Government employees don't receive Social Security and 401(k)s for their government work. Learn about these other tools to plan for a good retirement.
  25. Retirement

    Don't Pick The Wrong Type Of Retirement Community

    The names sound similar – continuing care, assisted living – but retirement communities differ widely. How to tell them apart and what you'll need to pay.
  26. Term

    Noncancellable Insurance Policy

    A life or disability insurance policy that an insurance company can’t cancel, increase the premiums on or reduce the benefits of as long as the customer pays the premiums.
  27. Credit & Loans

    Best Credit Cards For Making Balance Transfers

    Handled correctly – and very carefully – a promotional credit card balance transfer offer can save you money. Here are some of the best deals around now.
  28. Term

    Personal Injury Protection - PIP

    A feature of automobile insurance that covers the health care expenses associated with treating the injuries sustained in a car accident.
  29. Term

    Policy Or Sales Illustration

    An educational tool that shows a prospective or new insurance policyholder how a life or disability insurance policy works.
  30. Term

    Point-of-Service Plan (POS)

    A type of managed-care health insurance plan that provides different benefits depending on whether the policyholder uses in-network or out-of-network health care providers.
  31. Term

    Future Purchase Option

    A feature of long-term disability insurance that allows policyholders to increase their insurance coverage annually as their income increases, without medical underwriting, in exchange for paying a higher ...
  32. Term

    Paid-Up Additional Insurance

    Additional whole life insurance that a policyholder purchases using the policy’s dividends.
  33. Term

    Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers Of America

    Independent agents who shop around at different insurance companies to find the best products for their clients.
  34. Term

    Disease Management Program

    Disease management programs can help control health care expenses for insurance companies and employers who offer health insurance.
  35. Term

    Debt Avalanche

    A method that involves making the minimum payment on each debt, then devoting any remaining money to paying off the debt with the highest interest rate.
  36. Term

    Debt Snowball

    A method of debt repayment in which debtors pay off their smallest debt first while making only minimum monthly payments on their other debts.
  37. Term

    Hazardous Activity

    If one of your hobbies falls under an insurance company’s definition of a hazardous activity, you may not be able to get life or disability insurance.
  38. Term

    Out-of-Pocket Limit

    Out of Pocket Limit
  39. Credit & Loans

    0% Balance Transfers: Can You Beat the Odds?

    Before you accept that 0% balance transfer offer, understand why you got it and who will probably profit most. Only accept if you can beat the odds.
  40. Credit & Loans

    The Credit Card Balance Transfer Trap

    Before you transfer a balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate, know how it affects new purchases and other fine-print traps that can cost you.
  41. Economics

    What The Department of Housing and Urban Development Does

    The HUD runs programs intended to support homeownership, increase safe and affordable rental housing, reduce homelessness and fight housing discrimination.
  42. Term

    Direct Writer

    A captive agent that only issues insurance policies from a specific insurance company.
  43. Term

    Personal Insurance Lines

    Property and casualty insurance products for individuals that help protect individuals from potential losses they couldn’t afford to cover on their own.
  44. Credit & Loans

    The Pros And Cons Of Balance Transfers

    Do the math before you assume that transferring your credit card balance to a lower rate card will save money. It could – or it could cost you.
  45. Economics

    How A Limited Government Affects A Country's Finances

    Countries with limited governments have fewer laws about what individuals and businesses can and can’t do. What's the net result?
  46. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Strategic Asset Allocation

    Strategic asset allocation is a portfolio strategy that involves setting target allocations for various asset classes, then periodically rebalancing the portfolio back to the original allocations when ...
  47. Investing

    Return On Capital Employed - ROCE

    Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) is a financial ratio that measures company's ability to earn a return on all of the capital it employs.
  48. Investing

    What is Revenue?

    Revenue is the amount of money a company brings in from the goods and/or services it sells. Companies usually calculate and report revenue for a quarter or a year.
  49. Investing

    Filing A Patent

    Want to patent your invention or design? Here's a complete step-by-step guide to the process.
  50. Investing

    Protecting Your Idea: Should You Patent It?

    At what stage of development should you patent an idea – and which ideas can you patent? Here's how to decide and what to do next.
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