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Kristin McGrath

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Kristin McGrath

In her career as an editor and writer, Kristin McGrath has covered everything from personal finance, to politics, to arts and entertainment. She most recently worked as an editor for Bankrate Insurance, tackling topics like coverage questions and complex policy clauses.

Previously, she worked as managing editor of Louie, a small monthly magazine in St. Louis. She also spent a year covering entertainment for USA Today's Life section, interviewing actors, musicians and American Idols.

Kristin holds a master's degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C. She has had the same credit card for nearly 10 years and admits she's sometimes afraid to use it.

 
 

Kristin McGrath's blog posts at CreditCardGuide.com

Video: The Points Guy talks travel perks

Wondering how your credit card can smooth travel hassles and help you fly for free? CCG Editor at Large Erica Sandberg hung out with Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com, to find out how to maximize your card’s travel rewards during the holidays — and year round. In the video, Kelly talks about his time as [...]

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Gone paperless? You still need to check your mail

Like a lot of people nowadays, I pay my bills and get my account statements online. That means I’ve gotten pretty bad about checking my (snail) mailbox. It’s mostly full of catalogs and coupons, anyway. Unless I’m expecting something (such as a replacement for a soon-to-expire credit card, a package or a medical bill), I [...]

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The unexpected expenses that have been attacking my budget

I have an emergency account. And I count myself as one of the lucky folks who can keep enough in a checking account for regular expenses and some fun on the side. But what about those sneaky “gray area” expenses that aren’t quite emergencies, aren’t quite regular living expenses and definitely aren’t fun? Here are [...]

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How to keep your miles alive without buying stuff you don’t need

I got an email from Southwest Airlines warning me that my miles would be expiring in January. Rapid Rewards points expire after two years. Because I now live in American Airlines territory, it’s been a while since I’ve earned points. I’ve already let my points with AirTran and Frontier expire this year because I had [...]

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My gift card audit: I had almost $80 lying around

Short on cash? After you’re done digging around in couch cushions and winter coat pockets, look to the gift cards hiding in the back of your wallet. You may have more money on those cards than you think. Realizing my wallet was thick with not-quite-used-up gift cards, I decided to do an audit. So I [...]

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I’ve been converted: Why I’m now an early holiday shopper

I have a friend (and don’t we all?) who always finishes her holiday shopping before the end of November. I often mocked her — and yet I wanted to be her. Sure, I’d make fun of her “Done with shopping! Good luck out there, procrastinators!” Facebook update on Thanksgiving weekend while I ate pie. But [...]

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When it comes to personal finances, millennials follow their friends

My parents said it, and perhaps yours did as well: “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it, too?” It was a rage-inducing line that generally corresponded with me not getting what I wanted. Yet the underlying advice is pretty solid: “Think before you follow.” Those who don’t learn that lesson [...]

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Stores are tracking your every move via your cellphone

As Black Friday of 2011 approached, two shopping malls (one in California and one in Virginia) announced plans to track holiday shoppers via their cellphone signals as they moved from store to store. The backlash from consumers was swift, and both malls canceled their plans. Score one for privacy, right? Actually, probably not. Since then, [...]

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2 credit card marketing tactics that make me squeamish

Because I work for a card comparison site, friends and family often assume I’m a credit card proponent. But that’s not always accurate. Because I learn about debt and its consequences all day every day, I accept that certain people should steer clear of plastic. Plus, editing stories about deciphering sales pitches, researching rewards programs [...]

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How complex is your financial life?

I spent a lot of time debating getting a second credit card. It wasn’t because the credit line would tempt me. It was because I didn’t want another bill to worry about, another account to manage, another statement to check. In other words, I didn’t want to make my financial life more complex. Still, you [...]

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