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Don't Spend This Settlement Check All in One Place

Sometimes it pays to wait; sometimes it doesn't. Just ask the roughly 10 million cardholders who were part of the Foreign Currency Conversion Fee Antitrust class action lawsuit settlement. After a decade of legal wrangling, the settlement funds are finally being disbursed -- but a suit this large can dilute even $336 million.

How a Debit Card Fee Cut Backfired on Merchants

Washington's efforts at financial reform keep having strange and unintended consequences. In response to a law that was meant to lower excessive debit card transaction fees on merchants, Visa and Mastercard found a way to raise the fees on a host of small businesses.

10 Companies That Owe Amazon a Big 'Thank You'

Amazon's holidays are off to a great start, but with its stock trading north of 100 times earnings, AMZN shares could be the one thing you don't want to buy from the online retailer. Instead, consider these companies that are riding on the coattails of the online shopping boom.

Beyond Card Fees: Banks Look To Sell Your Data

New and higher debit card fees may not be enough to satiate the big banks. Financial institutions looking for more revenue are now eyeing another potential source of money: Selling your debit-card transaction data to marketers. So which is worth more to you: The deals such targeted advertising will bring, or your privacy?

5 Dates to Watch This Earnings Season

It's been awfully quiet on the earnings front in recent weeks, and there's a reason: This is the time of year when accountants are nailing down the financials for the fiscal quarters that ended in September. Later this week, the conference calls will begin trickling in, and then it will be a deluge of quarterly reports until early November.

How This Credit Card Can Stop Overspending

Americans are expected to accumulate $54 billion in credit card debt in 2011, according to a recent study. So imagine a card that you can program to control your spending -- one that actually shuts off if you blow past your monthly budget at your favorite shoe store, or sends you an alert when you eat out more than you planned.

Paying Off Our Plastic Is Killing the Economy

Here's the good news: American consumers are finally starting to reduce their reliance on credit and pay off their high-interest debt -- a positive development for their financial futures. The bad news: More money in people's pockets means less overall spending in the economy, which desperately needs the cash right now. How might the tension be resolved?

Why eBay Will Never Be Great Again

Remember when eBay was cool? You'll have to think hard, because those days are long gone. The online auction site used to carry cool, quirky merchandise, as well as serving as a source of last resort for otherwise impossible-to-find items. Nowadays, it's basically being held up by PayPal, which will soon face challenges of its own.

Don't Pay for Your Nose Job with Plastic

When it comes to the out-of-pocket cost of medical procedures, several financial services companies -- not to mention health care providers themselves -- are willing to offer lines of credit. But patient beware: Plunking down your credit card to pay for any major medical expense, cosmetic or otherwise, can leave your finances with some pretty ugly scars.

How to Earn, Use Your Credit Card Rewards

If you've been racking up credit card rewards, summer is the perfect time to use them. In fact, a new survey suggests that more Americans plan to do just that -- cashing in their credit card rewards as a money-savvy way to enjoy everything from quick weekend getaways to extended overseas vacations -- during the summer months.

Will Google Turn Android Phones into Credit Cards?

Many major companies are hoping that consumers will use their smartphones as a credit or debit card, and Google may be preparing to join in with its Android phones. But is the trend, which has grown popular in Japan, finally ready to take off in the U.S.?

Inside Wall Street: Turbo-Charged Investment Managing

Wall Street is littered with so-called hot and smart investors who flamed-out during economic downturns or market crashes. But Marketocracy says its investment management teams are different -- with stock picks that have demonstrated proven, long-term staying prowess.

Credit CARD Act: One Year Later, How's It Going?

During the battle over Credit CARD Act, much talk focused on what the legislation would -- and wouldn't -- do. A year after the law rolled out, what's the word now? Here's an on-the-ground look at how card issuers and consumers are adapting to the new landscape.

February Retail Sales: Slow but Steady

Most forecasts expect February will show 3% growth or better over the same time last year when major merchants report monthly tallies on Thursday. One things seems clear: Higher-end households were more willing to spend than lower- and middle-income ones.

Prepaid Cards for Teens:
Tool or Trap?

Prepaid credit cards are marketed as a great tool for training teens about credit. But critics point to a long list of steep fees and penalties. That leaves parents to figure out if the credit lessons are worth the money. Here's what to consider before buying that card.

December Sales Will Warm Merchants' Hearts

Shoppers didn't disappoint merchants, buying presents at both low- and high-end prices, from jewelry to shoes. Most analysts predict sales will show year-over-year increases of 3% to 4% on Thursday, when major chains post December figures and holiday totals.

The Early Line on Holiday Retail Sales: Up a Merry 5.5%

Shoppers did their part this holiday season, spending more on clothes, jewelry and luxury items than last year, according to new sales tallies from MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks purchases by credit card, cash and other payment systems.

Consumers May Get Hit With Higher Debit Card Fees

New rules proposed by the Fed for debit card transactions may mean that consumers end up paying much more for using their cards, while big retailers save billions. The proposed rules would sharply limit the transaction fees sellers have paid, which could push banks to recoup that money directly from buyers.

MasterCard and Visa May Face Legal Battle Over WikiLeaks

MasterCard (MA) and Visa (V) may face a legal challenge to their decision to cut ties with WikiLeaks DataCell, a data-hosting company based in Iceland, says that the two companies%u2019 refusal to process donations to WikiLeaks are costing it revenue. DataCell had previously facilitated the donations.

More People Repaid Credit Card Debt in October

U.S. credit card delinquencies fell in October to the lowest levels of the year as more people were able to restart payments on their consumer debt, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing company filings.

Amex Sued by Feds for Anticompetitive Merchant Rules

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against American Express Monday, alleging that the financial institution has been engaging in anticompetitive practices. Justice also said it reached a proposed settlement with Visa and MasterCard over similar charges.