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Earn 5% Cash Back (Discount) at Hilton Hotels For Q3

By Mr Credit Card

Many folks have been disappointed with the recent devaluation of the Hilton HHonors program. Much has been written about it. But in a nutshell, categories have been increased from 7 to 10 (which meant requiring more points for many but not all hotels). Points for exotic (or as the industry calls it – aspirational) hotels like the ones in the Maldives has seen point requirements almost double from 50,000 to 95,000. Many hotels in major cities have also see requirements increase, though many small European hotels have seen the opposite.

When I checked the Q3 rotating categories for the Dividend Card from Citi (review here), I noticed that Hilton Hotels was in that 5% category. That means that when you book a Hilton Hotel, you could get 5% cash back (up to $1,500 in quarterly spending).

This is the first time that I’ve ever seen a Hotel chain included in a 5% rotating category. Having said that, Citi does issue Hilton’s affinity cards so perhaps it was not a total shock. But this means that for the next 3 months, you have a way of getting what is effectively a 5% discount from Hilton’s chain of hotels for your summer vacation (if you have the Dividend Card).

So if you have ditched the program or their cards, but still plan to stay there during the summer, do not forget to use the Citi Dividend Card (if you have one).

citidiv5-q32013

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  • Can I Leave Singapore With Credit Card Debt and What If I Want To Return?

    By Mr Credit Card

    As mentioned in previous posts, one of the more frequent question we get asked is what happens to credit card debt when one leaves a country? Will they be able to return and get a job again. Most of these questions come from expats who work at very international cities. Today, we will try to address this issue with regards to Singapore.

    For the last few years, the Singapore economy has been booming, fueled by increased immigration, low tax rates and a very economic friendly environment. It has also come with problems like housing inflation and more recently, expats who rack up credit card debt, get laid off and cannot pay it off. Unlike many other countries, Singapore has more stringent laws with regards to debt and bankruptcy which complicates matter for those looking leave the country with debt.

    Scenario #1: You Leave Singapore Without Paying Your Debt and You Never Look Back

    For expats of Singapore, it would seem unlikely to leave the country and never return again. But in the event you decide you’re going to leave your debt unpaid and never look back, you may find yourself in bankruptcy (in Singapore). Bankrupt in Singapore, is a bit different than bankrupt in the U.S. For instance, in Singapore, you can be “made” bankrupt by a creditor, while in the U.S., although it seems like you are being forced into bankruptcy, you still have to make the decision to file for bankruptcy.

    If the amount owed to all of your creditors (including credit cards and car loans) is at least $10,000, you can be made bankrupt in Singapore. The problem however isn’t just being declared bankrupt. The Official Assignee then seizes your belongings which in Singapore can include, property, tools of your trade, property held in trust for someone else, and even clothing and furniture. In fact, the any property can basically be seized including future property that the bankrupt person may come into possession in the future. In fact, if you even try to take vacation, you will need the OA’s permission or you can be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to 2 years.

    You may also lose your job and it will certainly make things difficult when trying to find a job. So, in this respect, if you leave Singapore without paying your debt and are declared bankrupt, plan on a rocky road if you ever try to live there again. It isn’t altogether clear what may actually happen to you upon entering and leaving the country if you have bad debt you have left behind either.

    Maybe you aren’t planning on ever returning to Singapore and you don’t care about being declared bankrupt. If you have family there who co-signed or are guarantors, they may be held responsible for your debt. If you are ever offered a job, you won’t be able to take it. Consider whether it’s likely that you will never, for the rest of your life, be in Singapore again.

    Scenario #2: You Leave Singapore and Take Your Debt With You

    If you are moving from Singapore, it’s very likely that many of the debts you have are transferable. Most banks have relationships and branches in other countries and you will not only be allowed to transfer the debt, but also transfer your credit history. Of course, you still have the option to make payments on your debt after moving, even if the bank does not have a relationship with the country you are moving to.

    Your credit score in Singapore is not transferrable. Many credit card issuers, such as American Express, will issue you a U.S. American Express. It is much easier to establish credit history in the U.S. if you are able to transfer accounts or and payment histories or easily begin establishing a credit history if you have a card when you get here.
    However, whether you have a good or bad credit score in most countries, does not mean you will have the same good or bad credit score in the U.S. It is sometimes more difficult to obtain mortgages and other lines of credit if you do not have a credit score at all, and can be worse than having bad credit.

    If you consider both scenarios, it appears as though the best decision would be to transfer the credit card accounts and make an effort to continue to pay on the debt. This way, you may be able to establish a credit history in the new country with an already established history as well as be able to return to the original country without worry of jail or being made bankrupt. In most situations, the amount owed on the debt will not be worth skipping out on, no matter how convenient it may seem.

    Resources

    http://app2.ipto.gov.sg/
    http://www.asiaone.com/Business/My%2BMoney/Starting%2BOut/Credit%2BAnd%2BLoans/Story/A1Story20080629-73476.html

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  • What Happens To My Debt When I Leave Canada

    One of the common emails and comments we get are from readers who find themselves wondering what will happen to debt if they move to another country. It isn’t always a plot to skirt responsibilities or rack up huge credit card balances with extravagant purchases and then flee the country. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons to leave debt behind and more commonly, the question is posed because consumers genuinely want to have their finances in order before they move, and when moving or changing countries, the United States is just a common destination. In this post, we will look at the situation in Canada.

    Credit Reporting in Canada

    http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/oca-bc.nsf/eng/ca02179.html

    Credit reporting in Canada works a lot like it does in the United States with the same credit bureaus. In Canada, the main credit reporting agencies are Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada, which hold all of the credit records from banks and finance companies in order to keep track of everyone’s credit worthiness. Credit scores by Equifax and TransUnion range from 300 to 900 and determine all of the regular things like whether a borrower is high or low risk and the interest rate. In Canada, lenders ratings on a scale from 1 to 9 may also be included. A “1” would mean you bills are paid within 30 days of the due date, while a “9” would mean you never pay your bills. There is also a lettering system with “I” meaning installment basis and “O” meaning open line of credit. So, on the credit report, you may see I2 or O9, for example.

    If You Don’t Pay Your Bills in Canada

    It’s safe to say if you don’t pay your bills in Canada, you’re going to suffer much as you would in the United States. Bad credit may result in credit and loan denials, high interest rates and potential lawsuits. According to ServiceAlberta.ca, if your debt is less than $25,000, the creditor may sue you in the Civil Division of Provincial Court which can lead to property being seized or wages being garnished.

    Statute of Limitations and Leaving Debt in Canada

    If you are unable to pay your bills and plan on moving from Canada, you may want to look into the statute of limitations for the province in which you live. For example, in Alberta, the Limitations Acts allows the time for suing on a debt to 2 years. If there has already been a judgment against the debtor, the time period is 10 years and can be renewed by the creditor. The BC Limitation Act in British Columbia is set at 6 years and in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2 years. According to Section 32 of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, things may be a little different when considering different debts such as student loans, child support, taxes and alimony.

    Additionally, the Statute of Limitations time period may be reset when you start making payments or acknowledge the debt in the form of payment or something written. This would mean that if you move from Canada and completely forget about your debt, don’t make any payments and don’t correspond with the creditor past the statute of limitations, the creditor will not be able to take any legal action against you for the debt. The debt will remain on the credit report until 7 years from the date of last activity.

    If you have any assets in Canada when you leave, the creditors may be able to seize those assets in Canada. This would include retirement accounts which can be used to pay off any debt you have left behind.

    Will My Bad Canadian Credit Follow Me?

    According to Experian, you cannot transfer your credit history from Canada to the United States. In order to establish credit in the U.S. , you would basically start over and obtain a credit account and build your credit with a positive repayment history or a secured account, much like you never had credit before. If you have an account with a multi-national lender, you may be able to transfer the account itself to the U.S. division to kickstart your credit history. American Express is one company that has been known to do this and sometimes banks can transfer payment histories on accounts. Depending on your situation, this can be either good or a pain in the neck as far as credit is concerned.

    Angie Mohr, Canadian Chartered Accountant and author of a number of personal finance books, has personal experience with having to start over building credit in the United States. “The Canadian credit score doesn’t follow people to the U.S.- which is a huge issue for those who have stellar credit in Canada but get dinged in the U.S. because all of their U.S. credit is so new.” However, when you return to Canada, your credit score in the United States may be incorporated with your Canadian score.

    What Happens If I Return to Canada

    Unlike leaving credit card debt in a country like Singapore and returning, you won’t be declared “bankrupt” by your creditors. If you return to Singapore after having been declared bankrupt in the courts, you could have a difficult time finding a job and any of your belongings may be seized. In Canada however, returning could be less eventful with just a bad credit rating waiting for you.

    It is always best to tie up any loose ends and see which accounts can be transferred before you move to another country. After all, you never know when you may want to return and it’s always easier if you left under good terms. It is also far less of a hassle to deal with your creditors than attempt to avoid them.

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  • American Giving Awards By Chase On NBC

    By Mr Credit Card

    Most major corporations donate money to various charities. Chase is no different. Last year, they organized an event called “American Giving Awards” where people voted for (the takes place before the events) the charities which they think Chase should donate to. In other words, you have an influence over their charity donations.

    This year, the 2nd American Giving Awards will be held on 8th December 2012 on NBC at 8pm CST. The host this year will be Joel McHale. In addition, Oscar nominee Gary Sinise, Guys with Kids’ Anthony Anderson, and Miss USA 2012 Olivia Culpo will be presenters as well, and hit singer Darius Rucker will be performing.

    25 charities will be presented during the show and five will be chosen to share in $2 million (donated by Chase off course). The 25 charities that were nominated were split into five categories – Youth Developers, Heroes and Leaders, Community Builders, Champions of Health and Wellness and Educators and Mentors. For a sneak peak of the 25 charities, you can go to this page here.

    Out of the 25 charities, the five that got the most votes will split the $2 million in the following way. The one with the most votes gets a $1 million grant. Next is $500,000, then $250,000. The fourth and fifth place will split $125,000 each.

    Voting is already closed (last day was 4th December – they took place on mainly on their facebook).

    Aside from the show, Chase is having another promotion going on between 8pm EST on 8th December 2012 to 4am EST 9th December 2012. I got this email from Chase saying that if I text “FREEDOM” to 68569 (since I am a Chase Freedom Visa member, they will donate $10 towards a charity that provides homes for disabled American veterans returning from war. They are looking to raise $100,000. You will stand a chance to a custom made, special edition Chase Freedom Paul Reed Smith guitar.

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  • Chase Cardholders Get Advanced Tickets For Eric Clapton’s CrossRoads Guitar Festival 2013

    By Mr Credit Card

    I just got an email from Chase (since I have the Chase Freedom Visa®) and was informed that Chase cardholders will be able to book advanced tickets to the Eric Clapton CrossRoads Guitar Festival in 2013 from 12pm 26th November 2012 until 10pm 29th November 2012 (Thursday). The 2013 event will be held on 12th and 13th April at the Madison Square Gardens in New York City. (Note: Mrs Credit Card has the Chase Sapphire Preferred(SM) Card and she also received a similar email). Below are the screen shots of the email and the websites.

    To book the ticket online through the site below, you would need to enter the first six digits of your credit card number under the promo code area. This will be a great concert and you should hurry if you want to get great seats.

    This event was first organized in 2004 event at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (by Eric Clapton himself). It was also organized in 2007 and 2010 just outside Chicago at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

    The proceeds from the concert will benefit the Crossroads Centre, which is a drug treatment center located on the island of Antigua in the Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda. This facility was actually founded by Eric Clapton after he suffered from substance abuse issues.

    There will be more than 25 of the world’s greatest guitarists performing and the line up includes Robert Randolph, Jimmy Vaughan, Jeff Beck, Doyle Bramhall II, Gary Clark Jr., Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Andy Fairweather-Low, John Mayer, Blake Mills, Keb Mo, Allman Brothers Band, Booker T, Sonny Landreth, Brad Paisley, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Vince Gill, John Scofield, Keith Urban, Dave Biller, Buddy Gay, Allan Holdsworth, BB King, Earl Klugh, Jonny Lang, Citizen Cope, Albert Lee, Robbie Robertson, Los Lobos and Taj Mahal.

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