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The 20 Most Valuable Brands In The World

Every year, BrandZ and Millward Brown Optimor calculate and rank brands based on their global value. These are the 20 most valuable brands for 2013. (Think mobile.)

A Short Guide to Understanding Bitcoin

The bitcoin market is full of risks -- risks that may make bitcoins worth as much as a foil-wrapped piece of chocolate. Here's what to know about this digital currency.

5 Things that Will Move the Market This Week

Among the things sure to help shape the week ahead on Wall Street, Visa will tell us whether we've been choosing plastic over paper; Disney will tell us how much magic it has in its financials; and Panera and Chipotle will serve up their quarterly results.

4 Financial Products to Avoid (If You Can Help It)

The financial industry is always pushing one product or another with claims it will make money management easier, save you cash, make you safer. But in some cases, the hype hides a less helpful, more expensive reality.

Prepaid Cards: Banks and Celebrities Love Them ... But Should You?

When financial industry reforms in Washington nixed some of banks' favorite ways to drain extra profits out of your credit and debit cards, they turned to a slightly different piece of plastic: the prepaid credit card. And celebrities are looking to profit from them too.

Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Guide

The kick-off to the holiday season gets earlier every year, but that doesn't mean that consumers are getting better at finishing their shopping early. As the National Retail Federation notes, American consumers typically have about half their holiday shopping left to go in mid-December.

How to Get the Best Deals on Cyber Monday

On Cyber Monday, U.S. consumers are expected to empty their wallets of more than $1 billion, Merchants are offering some of their best deals, and it's time to take advantage. Here are a few strategies that should help you land the lowest prices.

Marijuana Legalization: 3 Legit Angles to Profit From Pot

When talking about the groundbreaking pot legalization propositions that passed this month, news anchors can't seem to get through a sentence without giggling. But this is a serious issue, and presents investors with a serious chance to profit from the change in America's drug laws.

Wall Street Watch: Icahn Streams Into Netflix, Buys a 10% Stake

Carl Icahn is making a move on Netflix. The infamous activist investor and corporate raider has taken a nearly 10% stake in the DVD rental and video streaming giant, which means he must see a way to make a profit on its recent troubles. So does Icahn have a buyer in mind?

Credit Card Horror Tales: 5 Ways Bad Plastic Kills Your Finances

The credit card market remains plagued by cards built to kill your savings, despite the consumer-friendly reforms of the CARD Act and record-low interest rates for most loans. Here are the five most common ways the worst credit cards prey on unsuspecting consumers.

Democrats Are From Starbucks, Republicans Are From Visa

Can you tell a person's political affiliation from where they do their shopping? According to "global neuro-insight firm" Buyology, you can. And Buyology's come up with some peculiar political observations from the world of retail.

Democrats Are From Starbucks, Republicans Are From Visa

Can you tell a person's political affiliation from where they do their shopping? According to "global neuro-insight firm" Buyology, you can. And Buyology's come up with some peculiar political observations from the world of retail.

Why Your Credit Card Needs an International Upgrade: The EMV Chip

When you're traveling abroad, the last thing you might be worried about is whether your credit card will speak the native language, but because U.S. cards lack a certain key bit of technology, many times, they won't. But in some cases, that will soon be changing.

Your Smartphone as Your Wallet: 3 Companies That Will Cash In

The smartphone revolution is well under way, and its latest advances could eventually let it replace your wallet. But the adoption of these new technologies can do more than reshape how you pay for purchases -- it can also pay off for your portfolio.

3 Reasons Why Credit Card Surcharges Are an Empty Threat

Long-suffering businesses have won a big concession from Visa and MasterCard: the right to add surcharges to credit card purchases. But despite the panicky rhetoric that followed the deal, there's reason to believe not many retailers will take advantage.

How Soon Will You Start Paying More to Use Plastic?

Until now, merchants weren't allowed to charge those buying with credit cards a higher price, although they could offer discounts for cash. But last week, an antitrust settlement opened the door for surcharges -- and could impact the way you shop.

Merchants May Win the Right to Charge Credit Card Users More

Merchants have long sought the right to charge customers more for paying with a credit card, which would help them defray the cost of accepting plastic. That's currently banned by Visa and MasterCard, but deal in the works could change that.

Visa 1Q Profit Rises 16% as Card Use Rises

Visa said Wednesday that its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 16 percent, as card use rose both in the U.S. and overseas. The San Francisco-based payments processor posted a notable 10 percent increase in U.S. credit card use. But debit card use rose just 6 percent. That's the slowest debit card growth rate in more than a year, and comes during the first three-month period that new rules were in place to limit the fees retailers pay to accept the cards.

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.

Visa 4Q profit rises 14 percent on heavy card use

Increased use of debit and credit cards throughout the world pushed Visa Inc.'s fiscal fourth-quarter profit up 14 percent. But its quarterly revenue came in shy of Wall Street expectations, in part because because the company has been cutting deals with merchants to hold onto or attract business as it tries to cope with new regulations.