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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Credit Card Christmas

Christmas o christmas.. This year christmas is being more commercialized. Credit card companies also join the craze of christmas. Today THe Star newspaper, there is an article that state that some credit card companies even offer attractive deal of range of credit cards. They even send those offer to houses. The bad news is most of these offers have interest as high as 18%.

Before applying credit card, take short while to go through the terms and conditions (T&C), as well as take note of those tiny T&C. This can be costly in the long run.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Credit report and score

To apply for a credit card, one need to know about credit report and credit score.

Credit report contains information about the person identity, credit relationships, and court actions. Credit reports are compiled by agencies that gather information about a person credit relationships known as credit bureaus.

Credit scoring is more of a system. These system are used by lenders to determine whether to give a person credit (car loans, credit cards, home mortgages). Credit score is inter-related to credit report. Various information about a person is collected from credit application and credit report.

Nowadays, creditors use statistical program to evaluate the credit performance of consumers with similar profiles. This is beyond our scope of discussion, but basically is to choose the right person to be given credit card.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Credit card transaction process

During a credit card transaction, there are a few step before reaching the bank.

1. Each electronic credit card terminal has a magnetic stripe reader.
2. When the card is swiped through the terminal, the magnetic reader will scan the card information.
3. Then, the transaction amount will be keyed in, together with the name and account number.
4. This data is then transmitted for approval by the bank.
5. The bank then transmits an approval (or decline) back to the terminal.

Easy and simple right!!

Almost every credit card device performs these 5 basic steps. In the modern world, credit card networks have become faster and better. There are lots of features, services and accessories available to the ever-growing market for credit card. This extra features will be discussed in the next post.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Credit Card tips during shopping

Keep these tips in mind when shopping with credit cards.

  • Shop around for the plan that best fits needs.
  • Understand a plan's terms before accepting the card.
  • Hold on to receipts to reconcile charges when bill arrives.
  • Protect cards and account numbers to prevent unauthorized use.
  • Draw a line through blank spaces on charge slips so the amount can't be changed.
  • Keep a record of account numbers in a safe place separate from cards
  • Carry only the cards that will be used.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Guide to credit cards

Credit cards are a convenient method to obtain credit. They are available from all major banks and provide flexibility for the consumer. Some basic facts about credit cards are set out below.

Types of card.

  • Standard - Most common are Visa and MasterCard.
  • Platinum and Gold cards - Available for people with higher levels of income, and have benefits attached to them.
  • Loyalty Cards - Offer incentives such as cash bonuses, points and other discounts.

Rates and Fees.

Credit cards user will need to pay annual fees and interest charges. Interest rates tend to be high and vary between banks. Some banks provide interest free periods. Other banks may have penalty payments for late or returned payments or if you exceed your credit limit.

How and where to apply?

Applications forms are usually completed and submitted to the credit card Company. It will take a few working days for review and decision for an application. Nowadays, some people even offer on-the-spot application of credit card at major shopping complexes. Various promotional techniques are being used to persuade people of all ages to apply for credit card.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Small Business Credit Cards

The Visa Business Card and MasterCard Executive BusinessCard offer unsecured credit lines of up to $50,000 and $100,000, respectively. Those funds are accessed by card, check or ATM. Both credit card offer free quarterly or annual spending reports to help monitor expenses and identify business-tax deductions, along with savings on travel, entertainment and business-to-business services. Visa and MasterCard brand the cards, so shop around for the best interest rate and no annual fee.

There's an explosion of entrepreneurs running businesses from home. The SOHO (small office, home office) segment has 41 million businesses, with one added every 30 seconds. This has caught the eye of credit-card companies, which are aggressively courting small businesses.

Whether it's meeting payroll, making purchases or securing more capital, small-business credit cards can ease the cash crunch, with added perks.

Adapted and edited from http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_6_31/ai_65540864

[Accessed Sept 2006]

Friday, September 01, 2006

Smart ways to use credit cards

The good thing about credit cards is that they let you make purchases when cash isn't an option. The not-so-good thing: They tempt you to impulsively charge items you don't really need. Keep in mind that every time you use a credit card, you're borrowing money. So think of credit-card debt as a high-interest loan, and consider these five smart ways to use credit cards:
SHOP AROUND

With hundreds of credit cards to choose from, it's smart to shop for the best deal. Choose a card with no annual fee and a low APR (annual percentage rate). Read the fine print to see if a low APR is a promotional rate that expires after a few months and then leaps up, often dramatically, particularly if you make one late payment. If you plan to carry a balance, go for the lowest interest rate. Also look for a low rate on cash advances.

IMPROVE CREDIT RECORD

A credit report is a snapshot of your debt-paying activity. Your credit (FICO) score (range from 350 to 850) predicts your chances of getting a low interest rate on a credit card, car loan or mortgage.

LIMIT NUMBER OF CARDS

A wallet filled with credit cards (which represent money you owe or can borrow) may work against you when you apply for a loan or mortgage. Two or three cards are enough. If your credit report indicates that you already owe or can access a great deal of money, potential creditors may determine that added debt could strain your ability to repay.

SWITCH BALANCES CAUTIOUSLY

If you transfer your high-interest balances to a low-interest credit card, be aware that the low rate may last for only a limited time, and that many credit-card companies assess transaction fees, sometimes up to 4 percent of the amount transferred. Call a company representative and ask about all charges before signing up. Once you transfer the debt, stop using the old card.

AVOID CREDIT PITFALLS

Despite the benefits, there are pitfalls that accompany credit-card use. It can be costly, with some interest rates higher than 25 percent and whopping annual fees, finance charges and penalties that can jack up the purchase price. And you risk spending more than you can pay.

Adapted from,
Find Articles
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1264/is_5_35/ai_n6198430
[Accessed September 2006]

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Credit card - Experience

The previous holiday i went to HSBC and there is one lady (her english is bad), persuading me to apply one ATM (automated teller machine) card. Later on, she persuaded me to apply a credit card and all i told her is that i'm still a student. From the look of her face, i could tell that she was sad. Maybe she need to reach her quota of customer for that month. It was nearly end of December 2005. Pity her..

There is once my Malaysian Studies lecturer said that our local newspaper is getting thicker day by day. The reason is the list of people listed bankrupt is increasing exponentially. I agree and one of the reason that i could think of is credit card. During school time, we were taught to keep our money in those cute piggy bank. When we get into working life, we were 'encouraged' to use credit card..

There are pros and cons of using credit card. I would like to have one credit card, but not now obviously. I'll apply for one once i manage to earn 5 or 6 digits figure per month. There is a lot of priviliges provided by all this bank, such as cheaper price for food, air ticket.. etc.. HeHe.. Anyone working and above 21 years old can apply for a credit card, but then proper management is most important. As for supplement card, i've never think of that before..

Monday, June 19, 2006

Credit Card

Credit card system involves a type of retail transaction settlement and credit system. It is named after the small plastic card. A credit card is different from a debit card, in that the credit card issuer lends the consumer money rather than having the money removed from an account. Credit card allows the consumer to 'revolve' their balance, at the cost of having interest charged. Most credit cards are the same shape and size, as specified by the ISO 7810 standard.

Credit Card Networks available:

  • American Express
  • Bankcard
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • MasterCard
  • UnionPay
  • VISA

Adapted from Wikipedia

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Smart credit card

The "smart" credit card is an innovative application that involves all aspects of cryptography (secret codes). A smart card has a microprocessor built into the card itself. Cryptography works in several ways:

  • The user must corroborate his identity to the card each time a transaction is made.
  • The card and the card reader execute a sequence of encrypted sign to verify that each is dealing with a legitimate counterpart.
  • Once this has been established, the transaction itself is carried out in encrypted form. This is to prevent anyone from impersonating either party to defraud the system.

Smart cards was first used in France in 1984. They are now hot commodities. In the United States, Visa and MasterCard are leading the way with their smart card technologies.

Adapted from http://money.howstuffworks.com

Monday, May 22, 2006

Credit Card Terms - Review 2

Account Number
- Unique number assigned by a financial institution to a customer
- This number is embossed and encoded on the credit card

Bank Identification Number (Bin)
- The first six digits of account number
- This number is used to identify the card issuing institution

Expired Card
- A card on which the printed expiration date has passed
- This type of card is not valid

MO/TO
- Mail Order / Telephone Order

Visa
- Visa International Service Association
- Also include all of its subsidiaries and affiliates

Friday, May 05, 2006

Credit Card Terms - Review 1

Annual Fee
- A charge paid once a year for the right to use a credit card

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
- Annual interest rate that the card issuer charges on the unpaid balance of the credit card

Grace Period
- The length of time to pay for the bill before interest is charged on the purchases
- Most companies offer about 20 - 25 day grace periods

Minimum Finance Charge
- The minimum amount that need to be paid if there is any balance on a credit card

Transaction Fees
- The fees that need to be paid for cash advances, late payments or charging over credit limit

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mortgage Reduction Planning (MRP)

Two days ago, i check my letter box and i found one advertisement by MRP, which stands for mortgage reduction planning. Below is the benefit of having MRP done:

  • Can save about 30-80% of mortgage interest
  • Can shorten the tenure by 5-20 years
  • Can pay off loan before retirement or children's higher education
  • Can own multiple and/or larger property
  • Can live a debt free lifestyle

The diagram below shows the high interest rate before MRP.

After...

...half of the interest charges can be saved with MRP.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Credit card - Pros vs Cons

Applying credit card is very easy nowadays. You can see small booth being set up in major shopping complexes and salesman/ saleswoman trying to attract people passing by to apply for credit card. From what i know, each application that is succesful will give the salesperson about RM 50-100. That does not include the basic pay for setting up the booth. Before applying for a card, the pros and cons need to be considered first.

Pros

  • Credit cards are usually needed to make airline or hotel reservations.
  • Most of the online or phone transaction needs credit cards.
  • Carrying credit cards is safer than carrying cash.
  • Credit cards can be particularly useful in short-term emergencies.
  • There are a lot of bonuses when using credit cards.
Cons
  • High interest and fees may outweigh the benefits.
  • Money will be spend much more easier (no limit).
  • Bad credit debt could affect your future applications for insurance coverage, mortgages, and installment loans.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Different perspective..

The photos below are forwarded by one of my friend. The first time i saw the picture, i was fascinated by how creative people can be. By looking at the first picture (without looking at the second picture), you must be wondering what the guy is digging.. Am i right? Try to look at the second picture and you'll be surprised.


However, yesterday was a bad day for me. When i look at this 2 pictures, my perception is totally different from the first time i saw it. These 2 pictures can be likened to my life. Some people really like to make use of another people. I feel not safe being in this world. I admit at times i did make use of another person, but when back into my room, i will think back and feel guilty. People gossiping around, talking good in front of you, but then talk bad behind you. People who promises to keep secret but then spread out to other people. I hate all this.

I know we need to put ourself as the top priority in order to survive in this world. But i totally disagree to the extent of causing problem to other people. Well, i think i'll just go on with my life, observe and learn the good deeds. As we grow older, more and more kind of personality we can observed. This is how we get matured, i suppose. Please correct me if i'm wrong or you do not agree with my thinking.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Student credit card (UK)

This particular post is mainly about student credit card. I tried searching the net, and i found a website which recommend student credit card in UK. The card on the right is the 'Natwest Student Card'. Only permanent UK resident and full-time student at a university or college of higher education in the United Kingdom can apply this card.

On the right is another card, which is from 'Capital One Visa Card'. There is a choice of card designs and the credit limit is between £200 and £2,500.

The topic this time is should student get credit card? What is the pros and cons of having credit card? What do you think?? Well, please feel free to post some response under the comment area.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mastercard and Visacard

The previous holiday i went to HSBC and there is one lady (her english is bad), persuading me to apply one ATM (automated teller machine) card. Later on, she persuaded me to apply a credit card and all i told her is that i'm still a student. From the look of her face, i could tell that she was sad. Maybe she need to reach her quota of customer for that month. It was nearly end of December 2005. Pity her..

There is once my Malaysian Studies lecturer said that our local newspaper is getting thicker day by day. The reason is the list of people listed bankrupt is increasing exponentially. I agree and one of the reason that i could think of is credit card. During school time, we were taught to keep our money in those cute piggy bank. When we get into working life, we were 'encouraged' to use credit card..

There are pros and cons of using credit card. I would like to have one credit card, but not now obviously. I'll apply for one once i manage to earn 5 or 6 digits figure per month. There is a lot of priviliges provided by all this bank, such as cheaper price for food, air ticket.. etc.. HeHe.. Anyone working and above 21 years old can apply for a credit card, but then proper management is most important. As for supplement card, i've never think of that before..

Friday, February 24, 2006

Biotechnology Lab Practical 2


Today's laboratory is quite easy and straightforward. The objective of this experiment is to make us understand the enzyme kinetic of acid phosphatase. Half way through the experiment, i manage to take a picture of the UV spectrophotometer with my camera phone. It is actually an UV mini spectrophotometer. I still remembered the first time i handle the spectrophotometer, i was really nervous because i'm afraid of the UV light. However, today i manage to use spectrophotometer without any problem. All the skills that i've learn from semester 1 really useful now.
Got to go back class later at 230. Still got a few portfolio to do. 'Nutritional management' portfolio is giving me a lot of problem. Information is insufficient and i make no effort to find. I have been quite lazy this few days.. Can't wait for evening time and i can go meet someone.. : )

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Oral Rehydation Salts (ORS)


I remembered last semester i had a fever and vomiting. My body was depleted with fluid and electrolytes. The doctor that i consulted gave me Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and also paracetamol-containing medicine. I wished Pharmacist can get the dispensing right in the future, as the doctor is charging me as if i'm making big money.

In this post, i would like to share with everyone what i know about ORS.

ORS is indicated for fluid and electrolyte loss in diarrhoea, as stated in British National Formulary (BNF). The dose for adult, according to fluid loss, usually is 200-400mL solution after every loose motion. For doses of children, it will be 200mL after every loose motion.

Note: Any unused solution should be discarded no later than 1 hour after preparation unless stored in a refrigerator. If kept in the refrigerator, the maximum it can be kept is 24 hours.

The ORS that i got contain orange flavour and does not contain artificial colours or sweeteners. It is manufactured by Pharmaniaga Manufacturing Berhad and each sachet contains:

  • Sodium chloride BP : 526mg
  • Trisodium citrate BP : 490mg
  • Potassium chloride BP : 373mg
  • Glucose anhydrous BP : 5.4g

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Broadband speed test

This blog has not been updated for quite some time. Now that i have got wireless Jaring internet connection, i can update my blog more often. While running some test and error experiment with my housemate to obtain the best signal for our wireless connection, i found this website www.testmy.net is very useful. This website allow us to run download and upload test for free. Apart from the test zone, there is a forum where lots of information regarding internet is available.

Actually, just back from Problem based learning (PBL) session. My internet connection follow a 'circadian rhythm'. It is fastest in the morning..

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Valentine's Day gift

Countdown to Valentine's Day: 13 days left. All major websites are busy promoting valentine's gift. From flowers, chocolate, bears to those toy for couple. Well, after going through a few websites, i came across a website that suggest that the best gift is made by oneself. I agree with this..

Today is the 4th day of Chinese New Year. This year CNY is not as merry as the previous year. No firecracker is allowed by the government. I wonder if the government will ban flower for valentine day as it may waste consumer money. HaHa..

This year Valentine i will most probably be in KL. Timetable is very pack, class from 9AM-5PM. In the morning i will have PSD (Pharmacy Skill Development). IMU BPharm programme is really tough. Today morning as i was reading The Star newspaper, one reader said that some local university tried to give their student high marks so that they can obtain good result and need not pay back PTPTN loan. Well, this is not the case for IMU BPharm programme. No further comment..

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Windows Live Local beta version

I came across this website when i log out from my hotmail. Windows Live is a website that is almost similar in concept to Google Earth. You can get to see road, aerial and bird's eye view. However, since this Windows Live is new, so they don't provide any image for Malaysia. They can locate you if you're using wi-fi or GPRS. Also, they can locate our location by our IP (internet protocol). I tried, but they couldn't locate me. I think i must be somewhere in the jungle of South East Asia. HeHe..

Anyway, i get the picture below from Google Earth. As you can see, the blue-roof building is where i'm studying (suffering) now. I'm staying at Vista Komanwel C Tower with my coursemate (Li Guo, Yen Wei, Poh Hon, and Keng Nam). I just need about 5 minutes to walk from my room to my uni.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Snow Men

Just reached my hometown (Kuantan) at about 9PM. After having supper, i checked my email and found this cartoon. It is Calvin & Hobbes. Quite funny. Enjoy..

This Sunday will be Chinese New Year. This year is dog's year. I would like to wish every Chinese visitor a happy Chinese New Year!! Enjoy the holiday..

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Movie dealer


Got to take the picture above while Alan is doing some 'legal' copyright transfer of movie to Li Guo. It was a full season movie of 'House'. Also, he send me eBook of PaPa Pathology (Robbins 7th edition), which is about 236MB in size.

Just came back from Cheras after celebrating Li Guo's birthday party. Whole night was filled with laughter. Then, the girls from C-22-01 came to celebrate Li Guo's birthday, and war of cake took place at C-05-01. I will try to get the pictures from them and post it here next time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

eBook

Yesterday night, Alan sent me a few eBook. The world of eBook is so wonderful. Imagine having the whole book of Immunology or Biochemistry in your computer and the size of the file is just a few MB. I also have eBook of the Chronicles of Narnia, which i think i only have to time to read it on holiday. I've come across a good website www.ereader.com. They have special offers for certain books.

N.B. Just finished Dispensing Practical, which i gave wrong information to the patient. I told the patient to take Mefloquin 1 week before she goes to Solomon Island. The correct time to start the Mefloquin therapy is 2-3 weeks before she goes to Solomon Island. Aih!! 1 week is for Chloroquine. Will learn from this lesson. Luckily just got minus 2 marks..

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Peugeot 206

Just finish my GI system CAL system, and was waiting for my next class. So, i decided to blog about my dream car (currently); Peugeot 206. This is the description of the car given by the Peugeot official website:
'Peugeot 206, iiresistible!
Its taut lines, its feline look, its racy style all reveal a sporty, seductive personality. Its ideal architecture, its exceptional handling helped by faultless road holding make the 206 the reference model for driving pleasure.'

Last month, i was at Toy City in Kuantan, and i came across this 1/24 scale model of Peugeot 206. It was sold at the price of RM100, expensive! In 2002 World Rally Championship (WRC), the team Peugeot is pushing on toward both the drivers' and constructors' titles with their 206 WRC. Below is the picture of the Tamiya model of 206:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fantasy football team Gameweek 22


For Gameweek 22 of fantasy premier league, i get total score of 80 points. I overtake 2 of my friends and now in the third place. I was really surprised when i heard from my friends that Arsenal won 7-0 against Middesbrough. I chose Henry as my captain, and half of my team points is from him. None of my friends chose him as captain. Above is the picture of my team for Gameweek 22.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Biotechnology Lab 1

Last Friday (6th January 2006), i get the chance to try to build glycine and alanine amino acids and also secondary protein structure using multiple of alanine. It seems boring at first, but i find it quite challenging to build the alpha-helix and also beta-pleated sheet molecules.

The picture above shows a molecular model of glycine zwiterion. Glycine is the simplest amino acid. The black balls represent carbon atom; red represent represents oxygen atom; blue represents nitrogen atom; white represents hydrogen atom.

This is the model of alanine. Cute like dog right?

This picture shows a dipeptide, which was build from a glycine and an alanine molecule.

This picture shows an alpha-helix, with long white stick, which represents hydrogen bonds.

This model looks neat rite? Yea, i build this complicated structure.. It is a beta-pleated sheet with 4 hydrogen bonds. On the upper right part of the picture, there are 6 molecules of water which is the by product peptide bond formation.

All this cute model was build by using the 'Cochranes of Oxford molecular models'.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Guess what??


Have you the picture above somewhere? Try make some clever guess.. Can it be an old pillar in IMU? Or is it a white bag? Post what you think of the picture and post in the comment section. HeHe..