Jul 25, 2016

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Credit Card Guru, Sean McQuay


Credit cards reign as one of the most ubiquitous financial products for consumers. Yet, they are often still not well understand by cardholders and non-cardholders alike. To bring some clarity to the credit card world, I was fortunate to have Nerd Wallet’s credit card guru, Sean McQuay, join me on this NGPF podcast to help answer such questions as:

  • Why are those 0% APR offers so prevalent?
  • Why can’t you find out the interest rate on your new credit card until it arrives in the mail?
  • What credit card has the best awards program?
  • What’s a secured credit card and how can it help a young person establish a credit history?

I hope that you enjoy this entertaining conversation with Sean!


  • 0:00~1:03 – Introduction
  • 1:03~2:49Sean‘s background
  • 2:49~4:48Sean‘s credit card habits
  • 4:48~7:00Sean‘s favorite credit card
  • 7:00~10:59 – How do credit card companies make money?
  • 10:59~12:43 – Why do some stores not accept certain credit cards?
  • 12:43~16:56 – Should students get a credit card?
  • 16:56~18:12 – Can signing up as authorized user help establish a credit history?
  • 18:12~20:16 – What’s a secured credit card?
  • 20:16~23:41 – Why don’t consumers receive their interest rate on approval of a credit card?
  • 23:41~24:10 – A word from our sponsor, Next Gen Personal Finance
  • 24:10~25:32 – How attractive is the 0% APR offer for consumers?
  • 25:32~30:10 – The genesis story for NerdWallet
  • 30:10~31:47 – Are all credit cards listed on NerdWallet and other comparison websites?
  • 31:47~34:32 – Trends in student credit cards
  • 34:32~37:22 – Biggest mistakes students make with credit cards
  • 37:22~43:02 – Cash vs. debit cards vs. credit cards
  • 43:02~47:52 – How can people protect their credit cards from fraud?
  • 47:52~48:54 – Three tips for every young adult when it comes to credit cards
  • 48:54~50:28 – Are credit cards right for everyone?
  • 50:28~51:25 – Conclusion
  • “An important metric that goes into your credit score, which we can all agree is a very important metric for finances in general, is how old your average history of credit accounts is”
  • “The way I use my credit card is that I completely make sure my credit card statement never exceeds the balance I have available to spend out of my checking account”

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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