Robert McKinley
Payments Expert

ROBERT MCKINLEY INTERVIEWS – CNN-MONEY

Robert McKinley contributed to and was interviewed for hundreds of stories for the CNN-Money Magazine and Fortune magazine, many times on a daily basis. Here are briefs of the most significant and directly referenced interviews of Robert McKinley by CNN-Money Magazine reporters. Third party links to story abstracts and the full text are embedded in the briefs. (Abstracts are generally free but there may be a nominal fee for the full story text by the archive provider.) NOTE: There may be some duplication of stories due to citations for both RAM Research and CardWeb within the same article.

1. Charging into battle

A stetson from Santa Fe? A jacket from J. Peterman? If your credit card is billed for a classic horseman's duster and you never ordered one, you might be in for a showdown with your credit card firm.

2. CONSUMER ALERT: AVOID THE NEW CREDIT PENALTIES AFTER HOOKING YOU ON PLASTIC, CARD FIRMS ARE SQUEEZING FOR EVERY DIME. HERE'S HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF.

When even a Bush-appointed member of the Federal Reserve Board starts running into trouble with the credit-card companies' new tough-love policies, what makes you think you won't be next? Fact is, ...

3. REBATE CARDS THAT ARE WORTH THE HIGH PRICE

THIS MONTH: The weak link that threatens credit unions Why to skip a quickie mortgage prequalification What brokers in banks will have to tell investors

Money MagazineDec 01, 1995

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEBIT CARDS' EXPLOSIVE RISKS

THIS MONTH: Don't rush to buy a bank variable annuity New rules make reverse mortgages far more attractive Much hyped "safe checks" flunk our tests

4. A FINANCIAL SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS TEAR OUT THIS SPECIAL SECTION TO TAKE TO COLLEGE. IT TELLS HOW TO FIND THE BEST BANK ACCOUNT, STICK TO A BUDGET, SNARE A GREAT CAMPUS JOB--AND JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW AS YOU START MANAGING YOUR MONEY.

Congratulations. You've done it. You've endured your high school classes, studied hard--well, at least hard enough--and you've not only graduated but also are heading to a college of your choice. A...

5. CHARGED FOR AN ITEM YOU DIDN'T BUY? DO THIS

YOU'RE SCANNING YOUR CREDIT-CARD BILL and you notice a charge for an item you can't remember having purchased. Sure, a couple of weeks ago, a telemarketer tried to sell you something over the phone...

6. THE BEST BANK IN AMERICA SURPRISE ! OUR WINNER DOESN'T HAVE A SINGLE BRANCH. IT KEEPS ITS CUSTOMERS HAPPY BY PHONE AND MAIL.

Remember when you got a toaster for opening a checking account at your neighborhood bank? Well, things have changed: Today when you open an account at the typical bank you get toasted. Since 1985, ...

7. HOW THOUSANDS OF HARD-CHARGING CITIZENS HOLD DOWN TAXES

What is the price of civic pride? How about 14.7%? But only if you carry a balance on your Hometown MasterCard.

8. HOW TO AVOID BEING SWAMPED BY YOUR CREDIT-CARD DEBT

If you've been dreading trips to the mailbox recently for fear of the monster credit-card bills that may lurk within, you have plenty of company: Americans whipped out their plastic with abandon la...

9. How to net big savings now that interest rates are rising

Funny thing about interest rates: Whichever way they move, somebody's unhappy. Since 1990, when they began flying steadily south, the losers have been conservative investors with a need for income....

10. Now Is the Time to Shrink Your Borrowing Burden The days of falling rates are coming to an end, so don't wait to cut your interest costs.

The big news for borrowers in 1994 is that you can no longer bank on steadily falling interest rates. "I don't see a major change in rates in '94, but any movement will be to the north," says David...

11. Where to get 10% credit cards 22 GREAT LOCAL CREDIT CARDS THAT CHARGE 10% OR LESS

Some of the best card deals are close to home. A growing number of small banks, listed here, offer credit cards with interest rates of 10% or less to customers in their city, state or region. These...

12. YOU CAN CASH IN ON TODAY'S LOW RATES Lenders are offering great deals on mortgages, car loans -- even & credit cards. But the bargains won't last. Now is the time to cut your borrowing costs.

Vice President Al Gore is so tickled about today's low interest rates that when he gives a speech, he often asks for a show of hands from those who have recently refinanced their mortgages. ''Usual...

13. Campus crime figures; employment agency rip-offs; short-term health policies; the year's best books FOUR SUPERB MOVES THAT YOU CAN MAKE BEFORE DEC. 31

Chances are, you've probably long since canned the financial New Year's resolutions you made last Jan. 1. But you've still got time to make amends by employing one or more of the four following mov...

14. WHY THE NEW GIVEBACK CARDS COULD GIVE YOU A HEADACHE

The letter G stands for giveback these days. Or so you might conclude, now that three of America's biggest corporations -- GM, GE and GTE -- have come out with MasterCards that offer discounts or r...

15. HOW TO PROFIT FROM LOW LOAN RATES

Thinking about borrowing? Now may be the right time. Interest charges on mortgages, home-equity loans, auto loans and credit cards are all at their lowest in years, and some may go lower yet. Here'...

16. DON'T SLEEP WITH THE ENEMY: HIGH CREDIT-CARD RATES

Spurred, perhaps, by last fall's tough talk from President Bush and members of Congress about high credit-card rates, consumers are finally starting to wake up. ''Public rate sensitivity has explod...

17. THE CREDIT CARDS YOU NEED MOST WHEN YOU HIT THE ROAD

As the credit-card war heats up, banks and card companies are cutting interest rates, packaging hotel or rental-car discounts, offering no-fee promotions and benefits such as buyer's insurance -- a...

18. THE CHEAPER LOANS BECOME, THE HARDER THEY ARE TO GET

With interest rates on mortgages and home-equity loans plummeting, this is the best time in four years to borrow money to buy or refinance a home. Unfortunately, however, banks are worried about ri...

19. SMART MOVES TO MAKE WITH YOUR CREDIT CARDS

There's an unintended message in all those perfervid ads and letters streaming your way lately, urging you to sign up for the credit card of your dreams. Rejoice! For the first time in their lavish...

20. CREDIT CARD WARS (cont'd)

Annual fees for credit cards seem to be doing a disappearing act. A year ago AT&T introduced its ''free for life'' card, which threatened the fee income collected by the 5,000 institutions that iss...

21. The Bank of the Future Increasingly, banks are selling products you don't need. Here's how to beat them at their game and get what you really want.

Remember when a bank was a bank? A bastion of financial conservatism where no one would dream of encouraging you to borrow frivolously or of coaxing you into an investment simply to earn a commissi...

22. BEWARE THE CASH-ADVANCE COME-ON

Since 1988, credit-card issuers have been required by law to show their cash advance fees in the card application. But a study by Robert McKinley of RAM Research in Frederick, Md. finds they are in...

23. Looking Behind the New AT&T Card You will find some pretty appealing features, such as no annual fee ever. But watch out for the Universal card's steep interest rate, which is now at 18.9%, and a little nickel-and-diming.

Chances are you've been intrigued by the ads for the new AT&T Universal Visa and MasterCard. Guarantees of no annual fee ever (national average: $18.65) and 10% discounts on long-distance charge ca...

Money MagazineSep 01, 1990

24. WITH CREDIT CARDS, AS EVER, IF YOU SEE BAIT, LOOK FOR A TRAP

Received any slick, seductive credit-card offers lately? If not, you're one of the few. Card issuers are now accelerating a promotion blitz to sign up new customers, with enticing come-ons like ''N...

25. Cheap money: The Fed rate cut and you

The Federal Reserve may have cut its key short-term interest rate to the lowest level on record, but that doesn't mean credit will be any easier to get.

26. What the Fed decision means for you

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to leave rates unchanged Wednesday, but why should you care?

27. Subprime may be hitting credit cards, too

Fallout from the mortgage mess and lower home prices may have started to creep into the credit card arena, judging from July payments and some initial moves by issuers to tighten the screws on cardholders.

28. New: Extreme credit cards

The "Black Card" is a status icon. Not only does it offer a range of exclusive privileges, but it looks cool when you pull it out of your wallet. And the titanium it's made out of makes a nice clinking sound when it taps on the counter at the register.

29. American Express: Don't pay for home without it

You pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars on your mortgage every month. Just imagine how many rewards points that could earn on your plastic. Now, American Express is aiming to make that a reality for its cardholders.

30. The new bankruptcy law and you

A new bankruptcy law goes into effect today, making it harder for consumers to prove that they should be allowed to clear their debts in what's known as a "fresh start" -- or Chapter 7 -- bankruptcy.

31. Will consumers rediscover Discover?

Now is the time for Discover Card to show its mettle.

32.Coping with travel nightmares

Life's little emergencies can quickly turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. But there's no reason to panic.

33. What the BofA merger means to you

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If you hold a credit card issued by Bank of America or MBNA, you may be wondering what their merger announced Thursday morning will mean for your card accounts.

34. President signs bankruptcy bill

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - President Bush on Wednesday signed into law a bankruptcy reform bill that will make it harder for individuals to clear their debts through bankruptcy.

CNNMoneyApr 20, 2005

35. House passes bankruptcy bill

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - In a widely expected move, the House on Thursday approved a bankruptcy reform bill that has already passed the Senate.

36. Bracing for the bankruptcy bill

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - If you were thinking about filing for bankruptcy to clear your debts, you might think twice ... or act twice as quickly.

37. What the Fed will cost you

What the Fed will cost you Mortgages SEE ALSO: Home equity loans | Lines of credit Credit cards | Car loans | Student loans Mortgage rates tend to track movements in the yields on various U.S. Treasurys and other indexes, which price in anticipated Fed rate hikes. If you already have a 10-year or 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, Fed hikes won't affect you. But if you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), you're more vulnerable if you've only locked in your rate for a short time or it's due to adjust. Take a 1-year, $200,000 ARM that will readjust by December. If the Fed indicates it will raise rates again and the 1-year Treasury rate rises 25 basis points, the 1-year ARM rate may jump from 4.1 percent now to 5.02 percent.

38. Coping with travel nightmares

Life's little emergencies can quickly turn your dream vacation into a nightmare. But there's no reason to panic.

39. Higher interest rates and you

It had to happen sometime. It's been four years since the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, but experts agreed that a hike was in the offing today.

40. Bracing for rising rates

It had to happen sometime.

41. Where the rate hike will hurt

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Let's assume everyone's right and the members of the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday will hike the Fed funds rate, the overnight lending rate between banks.

42. Fed rate hikes and you

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - You're probably expecting to feel a pinch when the Fed decides to hike its target for the Fed funds rate, the overnight lending rate between banks. That's because it can have a domino effect on a host of interest rates consumers pay.

43. Punishing credit card rates? Just wait.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The closest I'm guessing most Americans would ever want to get to a mob boss is watching "The Sopranos."

44. Get the most from travel reward cards

Offers for new plastic are pouring in and they sound great.

45. The right reward card for you

If you're looking for plastic, chances are there's an option out there for you. Banks and other financial institutions offer some 30,000 different credit cards to consumers.

46. Top credit card issuers hike fees

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Credit card issuers keep raising the bar on fees, as evidenced by two recent changes in fee structures at MBNA and Chase, two of the largest issuers of Mastercard and Visa cards.

47. Banking with a behemoth

BEND, ORE. (CNN/Money) - The pending merger of J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank One is a big deal on Wall Street. But, the merger's effects on Main Street probably won't become apparent for at least a year, say experts.

48. Best credit card perks

If you're like most people, you'll charge about $1,275 on your credit card this holiday season. What if you could get 1 percent back in cash? Or how about those $200 monthly gas station bills? What if you could pocket $10 every month to put toward your next tank?

49. Frequent flier alert

Do you hoard frequent-flier miles the way you save for retirement -- banking them for a day in the future when you'll finally hop that free flight to Borneo? Well, don't.

50. Miles To Use Before I Sleep Frequent-flier programs may be getting stingy--soon

Do you hoard frequent-flier miles the way you save for retirement--banking them for a day in the future when you'll finally hop that free flight to Borneo? Well, don't. Some industry watchers have ...

51. It's Payback Time Credit-card companies are now clamoring to pay you. Is there a great rebate card out there?

If you're like most people, you'll charge about $1,275 on your credit card this holiday season. What if you could get 1% back in cash? Or how about those $200 monthly gas station bills? What if you...

52. Miles To Use Before I Sleep

Frequent-flier programs may be getting stingy--soon

53. It's Payback Time

Credit-card companies are now clamoring to pay you. Is there a great rebate card out there?

54. Best Buys: Strategies for your finances

Americans are up to their you-know-whatsies in credit-card debt. We owe, on average, nearly $9,000 per household, the largest amount ever, and hold an average of 16 different cards.

55. Spend Smart THE INSIDER'S GUIDE TO GETTING ALMOST ANYTHING YOU WANT-- CHEAPER, FASTER AND BETTER

What was the last thing you bought? Whatever it was--a bottle of wine, a sweater, insurance, a car, a mortgage--chances are you spent time wondering whether you could've gotten it at a better price...

56. Why are credit card rates so high?

You can't talk about interest rates anymore without using the phrase record lows. But the same can't be said for credit card rates.

57. Lower your credit card and refi costs

You may hate haggling, but chances are good you hate throwing money away even more. Yet that's exactly what you do when you accept the interest rate on your credit card at face value, or settle for a less-than-competitive package when you refinance your home.

58. The best credit card perks for you

Dinner's over and your friend breaks out the plastic. Don't get excited. He's not paying for you. He just wants to get more miles on his credit card.

59. Why are credit card rates so high?

You can't talk about interest rates anymore without using the phrase "at or near record lows." And, believe it or not, the same can be said for credit card rates.

60. Time is up, my pretty!

Credit-card companies are imposing late fees at an ever-increasing pace. "There is enormous competitive pressure on credit-card interest rates and annual fees, and this has given way to a fee frenz...

61. Trend Watch

Time is up, my pretty! Credit-card companies are imposing late fees at an ever-increasing pace. "There is enormous competitive pressure on credit-card interest rates and annual fees, and this...

62. More credit late fees paid

Credit card holders are paying more in late fees to banks than ever, according to a survey by an online publisher specializing in payment cards.

63. Family Matters:Financial Security

Attaining (and keeping) financial security is one thing. Optimal financial planning is another.

64. What paying with plastic really costs

Since Bank of America began marketing its BankAmericard in the 1950s, the credit card has become as much a part of American culture as fast food and football.

65. 5 ways to cash in on low rates

66. Rate Moves Last call for mortgage refinancers, debt consolidators or anyone looking for a low rate

Last year, as 11 Fed rate cuts and a slowing economy pushed consumer-loan rates to their lowest levels in years, millions of Americans cashed in--refinancing mortgages, paying off credit-card balan...

67. Rate Moves

Last call for mortgage refinancers, debt consolidators or anyone looking for a low rate

68. Lower your credit card rate

Although credit card rates have come down with Alan Greenspan's string of interest-rate cuts, issuers are far more sensitive to credit risk than they were in years past. And for good reason.

69. Family Matters THE STOCK MARKET MAY RISE OR FALL, BUT ONE THING REMAINS THE SAME: OUR FAMILIES NEED US TO MAKE THE RIGHT FINANCIAL CHOICES. WE ANSWER YOUR TOUGHEST QUESTIONS HERE.

A father tells his firstborn that as a graduation gift he and Mom are paying off her college loans. When she thanks him, flabbergasted by her parents' gesture, he smiles and says, "That's what mone...

70. Family Matters

THE STOCK MARKET MAY RISE OR FALL, BUT ONE THING REMAINS THE SAME: OUR FAMILIES NEED US TO MAKE THE RIGHT FINANCIAL CHOICES. WE ANSWER YOUR TOUGHEST QUESTIONS HERE.

71. Credit cards ignore cuts

Credit card finance charges are declining at a dramatically slower pace than general interest rates so far this year, costing consumers billions of dollars in potential savings.

72. Christmas season credit tips

'Tis the season to spend. And spend too much.

73. Year-End Teaser Offers Abound

Credit-card issuers may have just the gift this holiday season--introductory rates of 0% to 2.9%. Better Yet, As long as you have good credit, many of these interest rates stay low when the teaser ...

74. More responsible shopping

mericans are using their plastic more, but also using it more responsibly, according to a company that tracks credit card spending.

75. What First USA's Woes Mean To You

It's no secret that most major credit-card issuers woo customers with ultralow rates and then hike fees to make up for lost profits. But First USA, the country's second largest issuer, was recently...

76. What First Usa's Woes Mean To You

It's no secret that most major credit-card issuers woo customers with ultralow rates and then hike fees to make up for lost profits. But First USA, the country's second largest issuer, was recently...

77. Picking a credit card

With a constant flood of credit card offers making its way into your mailbox each week, it may be hard to resist those envelopes promising sky-high credit limits and almost inconsequential interest rates.

78. Make sense of store credit

If you're like Mike Hughes, you've got more store cards than you can remember.

79. Credit card rejection

No one likes to be embarrassed in public. But it doesn't get any worse than that feeling of humiliation when the clerk or waiter breaks the news: "credit card rejected."

80. Checking up on debit cards

They're easy to use, interest free, and some say they can help wean credit card users from debt dependency.

81. Finding good credit cards

If you feel like credit card debt is smothering you to death, you might be tempted by those low-rate card offers that come in the mail.