I have changed hosting and turned to Wordpress.

Visit www.realmofprosperity.com.


I don't know what is going on lately but everyone has been turning to me for knowledge on saving money.

HSBC Direct 3.50%

When my family and friends learn that I have all these financial accounts, even though there isn't much money in them, they seek to do the same so that they can develop the essential habit of saving.

Many of them also saw the TV commercials for ING Direct and sought advice from me about opening Orange Savings accounts. I said it was a great place to start a high-yield savings account (although I use HSBC Direct). so, I referred a few people I knew through the ads and made a little commission while I helped them jump start their saving mentality.

Thus, I encourage everyone to do the same!!


Many people know of the switch to digital television in February of 2009. Ever since my father knew this news, he has been planning to purchase the converter boxes for our TVs. Luckily, he didn't jump on buying on so fast.

He was reading the Chinese newspaper and discovered a notice to everyone of the coupons being distributed by the government that were used exclusively towards the purchase of the converter boxes. He immediately told me to sign up for those coupons at www.dtv2009.gov. So this is a reminder to all those who need to buy the converter boxes to get the coupons to save some money.

Each household can receive up to (2) $40 coupons for the converter boxes. They cannot be combined towards a single purchase nor can they be used for any other items.

If you have more questions about the switch, visit www.dtvanswers.com.


Paying for a college education is a financial burden that is continuously becoming more and more expensive to handle. Aside from college tuition, living expenses increase the monetary responsibilities of the typical college student.

Residing in school dormitories is pretty expensive. I pay around $3000 per semester for a single room in my university's residence apartments. Other choose to rent out rooms in nearby homes, but travel time and expenses are added to the cost.

Recently, I received a letter from my school saying that I was charged $33 for the cleaning of the refrigerator and removal of items in the kitchen. This amount was also charged to each of my five suitemates. I know that I'm a very tidy individual and that I left nothing in the kitchen. Thus, it was a stupid thing to get charged for.

A friend of mine, who rented a home with some of his friends ,was charged $1800 by the landlord for a water heater that needed repairing.

These are really silly charged that could be avoided with little maintenance. College students should treat their dorms as their own homes because it IS their home during school. It isn't a hotel room, which many college students treat it as.

This coming semester, I'd be living in the dorm apartment with mostly friends and that would make it easier to communicate and cooperate to keep the dorm a clean and comfortable living environment. And also... to avoid the ridiculous charges!


Debt reduction seems to be the hottest topic in personal finance. That is because it is one of the most difficult thing to do and debt is the easiest thing to accumulate. The credit card is the prime tool for the submergence in debt for millions of Americans. Ever since, I've gotten my credit card, I have racked up a large balance from just the occasional spending on small purchases. Recently, it has caught my attention and has become a concern to my financial stability. Thus, I'm seeking to remove this debt soon.

From reading many other great personal finance blogs, I've looked into the many ways that people have successfully rid themselves of their credit card balances. I don't want to transfer the balance to a new card nor would I want to cut up the card. So the most reasonable debt reduction method would be to pay more than just the minimum in multiple payments per billing cycle.

My credit card balance is currently around $900, which mostly went to my little side gig for making money. I just made payment for $300. In a few days, after Amazon.com transfers my money to my bank account, I'll make another payment of $300.

Hopefully, I'll have the balance close to nothing by the end of the summer because that's when the promotional 0% APR offer would end. If I can prove to myself that I can stick to a plan for reducing my debt, I'd develop a good habit for paying back my college loans in the future.


Anyone running a business seeks to run it with as much efficiency as possible, while still being able to maximize profits and to satisfy customers. My college course classes for the Business Management minor has taught me many ways to streamline a business and to make it more profitable.

In my situation, the one thing I can do to make a drastic change in the way I spend money to make money. Reducing expenses is a common business practice but it is very efficient way of making a larger profit.


The PSP mod kits that I sell consist of a battery and a memory stick. The cost of the battery is already very cheap ($25) and I cannot find a better alternative. As for the memory stick, I've been purchasing 512mb memory sticks for $7.99 each. After some thorough research, I've found that 256mb memory sticks could be used and they were available in a store for only $4.99 each.

Next, I've given a detailed look at the listing fees on Amazon.com. Apparently, I've been selling in the wrong category, which charges 15% commission while the mroe appropriate category charges only 8% commission. That is almost HALF and that's a BIG difference!

Finally, I'll be reducing the cost of shipping. Firstly, I'm using USPS Priority Mail with delivery confirmation. The shipping boxes, I order online so they're free. I typically make the effort to trek to the post office and pay for postage there. After looking around USPS.com, online postage is cheaper and tracking is free. So now, I'll be paying for and printing postage labels at home. It saves money and I can just drop off the packages without waiting on line, thus also saving me time.


The total cost of goods, including taxes and shipping fees, was originally $40.55 for a profit of $13.15 per unit. A reduction in expenses would yield a cost of goods of $36.60 for a profit of $17.10. Decreasing expenses by about 10% will increase profits by 30%. A few dollars and cents may not seem like much but as multiple units are sold, there is a big difference in profits.


Following up on my vent post regarding my discontent with the policies on eBay, I've resorted to another method of selling PSP mod kits. Thanks to the glorious creation of Amazon.com, I've been able to sell my inventory of kits in just 3 days.

No wonder Amazon was able to grow to its currently dominant Internet status. Although the fees for selling on Amazon.com are higher compared to eBay, transactions are completed much quicker. Everything is laid out for potential buyers, like in a store. I don't have to wait for buyers to bid/pay nor do I have to go through Paypal to collect my money. They see what they want and pay. Then I ship the next day. The feedback on Amazon.com is of no major concern to me since I provide the best service possible.

Now I'll be ordering starting materials in larger quantities. In a future post, I'd be describing what steps I am taking to make this side gig more profitable!


Here are some links back to some carnivals in which Realm of Prosperity was cited.

Check out the other great articles from other blogs!!


Everyone has their own hobbies and interests where they will begin to gain knowledge and expertise in whatever that activity may be. Some love playing sports, some collect stamps, and some prefer to grow their own plants and vegetables. Often, hobbies and interests are areas where many people's careers revolve around. Sports players go pro, video gamers become programmers, and collectors open their own stores. Hobbies can be an opportunity to make money.

My Hobby
I was an avid collector of exclusive sneakers, namely Nike Air Jordan. Exclusive sneakers have created a culture among many of
the youths that are out to make a fashion statement. I could look at someone's shoes and tell the price range of the shoes.

What is unique about these sneakers is the amazingly large demand for a rapidly gro
wing consumer base, which makes these sneakers appreciate in value since they are released in certain styles and colors for limited times in limited amounts. People get on lines in front of sneakers stores many hours before release time for a chance to own a pair of these exclusive shoes. A brand new pair of Nike Air Jordan III White/Cement (as shown in the picture) retailed for $100 in 2003 would now sell for more than $350. THAT IS A 250% INCREASE IN VALUE!! There is no mutual fund out there that can match that type of growth.

How I Make Money From My Hobby
I've spent hundreds of dollars on these sneakers and I've stopped buying them as I grow older. But luckily, many of the pairs that I still have are brand new. Since I'm home from school, I have put them up for sale and business is going great. One pair that I bought last year for about $145 was sold for $170. Sure, it may seem like a bad idea to tie up cash on a pair of sneakers for a whole year but I've come to see it as buying a share of stock with a 17% increase in stock price. If I had bought many pairs (as in buying many shares), it seems to be a much better option compared to the many low cost index funds available, which lately carries no stable guarantee.


Ever since the fall of 2007 (the beginning of the downfall of the economy), the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates many times to prevent a recession. Many banks with high-yield online savings accounts offered a rate of about 5.00% and it was recently around 3.00%.

Now banks are raising the rates!!! Wooooohooo!!

I just received an e-mail notifying me of HSBC Direct raising its rates to 3.50%. A large increase from 3.05%. It is pleasant news to see this and hopefully it is the beginning of more raises to come.


Ever since getting my eBay account reinstated after staying dormant for the past year, I've been excited to make some residual income with the many selling methods that I have. Sadly it seems that eBay has changed a lot during the past year. They've implemented many rules and restrictions that completely eliminated any means of me making some money.

I used to sell "items" in a video game that was represented by electronic data in the form of pixels. So, that was totally removed from selling throughout eBay. Then, eBooks (electronic books in the form of PDF files usually) became a restricted selling category. All information products, which were delivered electronically, became illegal items for selling on the site.

These were the best items to sell because they came at no cost to the seller. Many sellers' annual income came solely from selling on eBay. Their lives have been ruined. They must make their own websites to sell their goods but that will most likely fail due to the minimal exposure they'd receive.

Recently, I've came up with the idea of selling mod kits for the PSP on eBay and as soon as I purchased the materials to do so, eBay started removing those listings due to infringement of Sony's copyrights (when all coding was actually freeware).

This company is bound to lose a lot of revenue from listings if it continues to restrict the selling of items on eBay. It seems to be a dying business model and its sideways-moving stock price in the past couple years seems to be supporting my case.

When eBay was first introduced it was great because it was a great place to sell/buy almost anything possible. Now, eBay's high popularity is actually ruining its business. When I want to buy an item, I go straight to eBay. I do not go to Dell.com or visit a Gamestop store to purchase something. Why pay retail when I can go to eBay to get it for less? Now all the big companies realize that eBay is actually causing them to lose money and threated eBay of legal consequences and rights just so that the big companies don't miss out on the money.

For example: I represent Coach or Gucci. A seller is selling REAL handbags on eBay for a lower price than one would find at the retail store. I would tell eBay that the handbags are counterfeits and demand them to remove those listings immediately. Now, the money spent on the handbag merchandise by the seller is kept by me. AND, any prospective buyer would have to go to the store to pay ME AGAIN to get whatever item that person sought on eBay. By locking up the capital spent on the reseller, a future customer would have to come straight to me to buy something.

Anyways, I might be turning to Amazon or some other site to sell my merchandise. EBay is no good, anymore, for selling but it remains a great place to find bargains for other useful items.


Well, it has been about 4 months since I opened my credit card account and checked my credit report. The first time, I used Equifax and this time I used Experian. I've learned that one must keep their credit in check, just in case of identity theft and fraud.

Aside from my school loans and the debt on my credit card, everything else is clean as expected.

I don't know if I really need to purchase my credit score since it is most likely around average (and I'm not even sure what that is). I may be interested in getting a car sometime this year but that'll probably be another 4 months.


I entered college not really knowing what to do with regards to how to manage tuition and school finances. I had the idea that every student didn't have the ability to pay their own tuition in its entirety and that they would always need grants, scholarships and school loans.

Now that my financial sense has been upgraded, I regret not taking all the subsidized Stafford loans to the maximum amount possible. My first and second years, I borrowed just enough to pay off tuition, including grants and scholarships. This school year, my sister also entered college so I received much more financial aid and thus, didn't need to take any loans.

Subsidized Stafford loans require repayments half a year after graduation with an interest rate of less than 5%. I checked my college financial aid account and realized that I could have borrowed more than $5000 per year. Even if I didn't need it for tuition, I regret not taking it so I can put it in my HSBC direct online savings account.

It is much better than taking advantage of 0% Balance transfer credit cards since I do not have to pay every month and I could hold the money for more than a year. So this coming year, I'll consider taking the full amount of my loans and making some money from high-yield interest savings, despite the falling rates.


I recently completed my FAFSA application and as I said in a previous post, last year's Estimated Family Contribution number was 50. This year, my EFC was 93... That probably means I'll be paying a lot for tuition. With an EFC of 50, I didn't have to borrow any many and I gave less that $100 out of my own pocket.

This coming year, I'll most likely lose my SMART grant (roughly $3000 for the year). So, I have applied for several scholarships, which I doubt I'll get, but I'll continue to write essays for additional scholarships. Hopefully, I'll be able to cover all the costs.


Here is the sequel to my experience with suspension of my eBay account and there was a happy ending to it!

Recently, thanks to getting my first credit card, I was able to provide valid information to reinstate my account. It felt like a grueling and lengthy process just because they rejected all my previous forms of information over the period of one year. Now that I used my credit card information to reinstate the account... everything went quite smoothly. It took around 7 business days to clear me (that is VERY FAST considering how long I've been suspended).

If anyone else reading this was suspended, no matter what the reason, here is the link to reinstate your account: http://pages.ebay.com/help/community/reinstfaq.html. Follow the instructions. Oddly, this page is very hard to find!

You'd be very relieved as I am now. Time to make some money...


I was browsing around GameSpot and found the infamous Pinecone Research Ad and I thought that I'd share it with everyone. To satisfy those who are curious as to where, I saw it by viewing the in-game images for a PSP game (in a pop-up window).

To save the trouble for everyone here is the link to the sign up form.

They are paying $3 per survey and they are most likely looking for males in the age range of 18-mid 20s. Good luck in joining the panel.

By the way, the Pinecone Research Panel is THE BEST SURVEY SITE OUT THERE!
For more information about other available survey sites click here.


As the end of my undergraduate college education is coming, I've seriously started to consider what I would be doing after I graduate. My utmost priority is definitely getting into dental school and that is what I'll be working on doing.

I'd would love to make money by working on campus but it wouldn't allow time for extracurricular activity, which every graduate school (no matter what field it is) requires. Therefore, have forfeited any opportunities of job income and devoted myself to my university's volunteer programs where I'd be helping out in the hospital's emergency department and in my university's dental school.

With this experience, it'll help my chances of getting into graduate school and when I come out from there, money shouldn't be a problem (though I'd be drowning in debt).

Many people have stressed that a college education is to be considered an investment and this is the perfect example of why everyone should take advantage of any further education available. My estimated annual salary with just the bachelor's degree would be in the range of $35,000 to $40,000 while coming out of dental school would provide for a salary of no less than $100,000.

Even with the costs of higher education, the intrinsic value of knowledge is priceless. That is why giving up a job for a chance to land a dream job would prove its worth.

Plus, volunteering is a great way to give back to the community!!


After filling out the preliminary FAFSA application form, I looked over the financial history for my college tuition. I looked around trying to estimate what I'd have to pay for the final year of my undergraduate education.

For sophomore and junior year, I received a thousand of dollars from what was called the ACG and SMART grants. I had no idea what got me the grants when I first saw it pop up on the account.When I checked out the FAFSA website this year, I realized why I received those lovely grants.

Since freshmen year, I've never fell below a 3.0 GPA with a Biochemistry major so I got both grants. How great is that!? Sadly though, I am changing my major to Health Science this year so I probably won't be eligible for the SMART grant next year (oh no! I want the $4000!!!). Anyway, it helped junior year at least.

So prospective college students may want to follow my steps (confirm with the university's financial aid office and advisors):

  1. First pick a major that qualifies for the SMART grant such as biology, computer science, or math.
  2. Take the courses that will fulfill your intended major (such as English or music) for the first 3 years.
  4. During the second semester of junior year, change your major to the intended major.
  5. Check with advisors to make sure that these changes allow you to complete the education that you intended to receive. I wouldn't want to be stuck taking biology courses if I actually wanted an education in music.
I hope this information will save some families several thousand dollars!

Here is the info for the two grants (click here for the direct link):

Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is for first-year undergraduate students (eligible to receive up to $750) and second-year undergraduate students (eligible to receive up to $1,300). The ACG eligibility criteria are listed below:

To be eligible for an ACG, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be Federal Pell Grant eligible;
  • Be enrolled full-time in a degree program;
  • Be enrolled in the first or second academic year of your program of study at a two-year or four-year degree-granting institution;
  • Have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study (after January 1, 2006, if a first-year student, and after January 1, 2005, if a second year student);
  • Not have been previously enrolled in an undergraduate program (if you are a first-year student); and
  • Have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for the first academic year (if you are a second-year student).

National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant)
The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) is for third- and fourth-year undergraduate students who are eligible to receive up to $ 4,000 each year.

To be eligible for a National SMART Grant you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen;
  • Be Federal Pell Grant eligible;
  • Be enrolled full-time pursuing a major in physical, life or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering, or a critical foreign language; and
  • Have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale


The wallet is an accessory, that over the years, has gradually grown into a fashion statement instead of serving its intended purpose - to organize money, cards, receipts, and etc.

I see folks at malls pulling out designer brand wallets that retail from $100 to $500 (or more) and there seems to be almost nothing inside them. I know many people that flaunt their expensive wallets and it is funny because I think, "She probably spent all his cash for a wallet that (now) has no cash in it. How foolish is that?"

My wallet was bought from a sidewalk vendor for $3 about five years ago. It seems battered and worn but it still serves its purpose of organizing financial 'stuff'. And yes, its contents are worth more than three bucks.

Aside from the eye-gouging price for these luxurious accessory, they also become targets of pickpockets and thieves. They have the trait of being able to exhibit "wealth" (whether you have it or not) and robberies, unfortunately, do happen. You just bought a brand name wallet and some thug just swiped it, there goes a couple hundred dollars you couldn't afford to lose...

So check your wallet and re-evaluate this financial accessory. If one seeks to 'fit in', buy a knock-off... because I certainly cannot tell the difference.


Today, I signed up online for a Roth IRA through Scottrade. It feels great!

Even though I won't be moving funds over any time soon. I'm definitely looking at mutual funds for possible candidates in my portfolio since several great funds have re-opened and the market seems to have become much less volatile compared to the previous month.

Also, Scottrade has given me a complimentary gift: a 12-month subscription to SmartMoney magazine. Nice!


The school year has finally settle in and now I'll be posting more frequently. Been a little busy remaking the blog layout and I'll be switching to using the Wordpress software.

I've applied for a job that I pretty much got but my credentials are waiting for approval. So I'll be working from 9AM - 3PM and have class from 4PM -10PM. Can't wait to start work, I need the $$$$.

Later this week, I'll be applying for the Roth IRA at Scottrade. I'll be looking into funds from Vanguard, Dodge & Cox, T. Rowe Price, and Marsico.

Today, I've sent my reinstatement request in to eBay. Hopefully they'll allow me to sell again. It would help provide myself with some residual income.

Finally, is a reminder to myself to renew my FAFSA application for the upcoming year. If only my parents would finish up with their taxes.


Coming from a Chinese family, I've always looked forward to this highly rewarding holiday. The point of the festivities of the new year include celebrating a happy and fortuitous year and hoping for another year of good health and prosperity. The lion dances and firecrackers serve to create a lively environment where everyone is happy and active. Also, there's the large family gatherings and tasty food.

This year though, the holiday landed on a weekday and it isn't observed in the United States. Education comes first and the long trip home rendered me unable to return to celebrate this holiday and to collect the red envelopes...

Although I'm not able to participate in the highly anticipated activity, my family would accept them on my behalf. Now I'm home to check how much I received! I might sound like a fiend for money but as I've gotten older, the total amount that I receive seem to have dwindled.

By tradition, it is usually the married couples who give out red envelopes and those who are young and single are the receivers. When you think of it, though I get money from family and friends, my parents are returning the gesture it is almost the equivalent of a large allowance. Having many children may be a benefit??

My Chinese New Year red envelopes accumulated: $270

Can't ask more of this holiday. With age comes maturity, so for me, this holiday is gradually drifting towards a more cultural value than a financial benefit.


Deja vu? As predicted in my earlier post, HSBC Direct drops there rates to 3.80% APY.

We are writing to inform you that based on the recent drop by the Federal Reserve, HSBC Direct has adjusted your Online Savings Account rate to 3.80% APY*. At 8x the national savings average**, you are still earning one of America’s highest savings rates.

HSBC Direct will continue to evaluate and respond to market changes so we can provide you with competitive rates. And if your rate changes, whether up or down, we are committed to always letting you know.

And with today's 50 basis point reduction, we'll expect once again that high-yield savings accounts will continue to reduce their rates next week. Tears falling from my eyes...


I just saw a banner for, what I believe to be, THE BEST PAID SURVEY SITE.

Applying for the panel cannot simply be done by just visiting their website. One must find a banner advertising that they are looking for people to survey.

Here is the website that I saw it: http://slickdeals.net/. Look to the the top left of the page. If it shows another advertisement, refresh the page a few times.

JOIN WHILE ITS THERE!! It is a very limited opportunity.

You may also be interested in taking advantage of joining other research panels so visit here.


Everyone knows that Bernanke has instated an emergency rate cut to resist an impending recession. Dropping the 4.25 percent interest rate by 75 basis points down to 3.5 percent would also lead to the reduced interest rates at the numerous banks with high-yield savings accounts. So far, ING Direct has already dropped their rates from 4.10% APY to 3.65% APY.

I'm with HSBC Direct which still has its 4.25% APY but this rate would most definitely not remain. Again, I'm frustrated at the continuous rate cuts that has followed the U.S. markets ever since I finally got the initiation to open a high-yield savings account.

By next week, I expect HSBC Direct to have a rate around 3.80% APY since their reductions seem follow the same amount that ING implements. A rate above my prediction would make me really happy.....


Sold: 29 shares of ESLR @ 10.46

I'm sick of the stock market! I HOPE THAT DAMN RECESSION COMES SOONER!

Whew! Venting is good... I'll be back in the investing field when I deem it profitable.


At last, it is here! After the search for my first credit card, I applied for the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students and it finally came in the mail. Oddly, I was entitled to only a $3000 credit limit but that doesn't put me down since I know that I wouldn't be carrying a balance that is anywhere close to that amount.

One great feature that I found to be very practical and defensive, with regards to unauthorized purchases, were Virtual Account Numbers. It generates a substitute account number for an online purchase so that I won't be surprised by a fraudulent charge on the card.

Uncharacteristically, I charged the credit card the day that it arrived. I bought a prepaid refill minutes for my phone and a book from Amazon. So, I actively used that great Virtual Account feature to my advantage. Looks like it will become a frequent practice...

It's the FIRST DAY and I already have credit card debt? Well, of course not. I'll be paying it off online soon. (I hate to owe people stuff.)

P.S. Here are the links to carnivals in which The Search For My First Credit Card was presented.


As everyone else has done already, setting goals are important in financial planning. with realistically achievable goals, it gives purpose and motivation to complete them. I might as well do the same although I already had goals set in mind a while ago. To join the hype of resolution-making, I'll create a checklist as a record. In the order that I hope to pursue them, here are my financial goals for the year:

  1. Open a Roth IRA.
  2. Have $2,000 funded in my brokerage account.
  3. Have $2,000 funded in my Roth IRA.
  4. Have $5,000 funded in my high-yield savings account.
  5. Reach the total net worth of $10,000.
These goals are considered downgraded since I'll using the end of the year as the deadline instead of early summer. The previously configured setup of my financial accounts will not change. This year would prove to be painful and the impending setbacks include:
  • College tuition
  • DAT prep
  • DAT fees
  • Dental school applications
A couple thousand of dollars would vanish with ease. I guess this is what is called "investing in your education".


So as I have said in an earlier post, I've been looking around to get my first credit card.

First off, I had no knowledge of how credit cards work besides knowing that swiping it is similar to borrowing money, instantly, and that I had to pay it back with interest. They seemed confusing to me and so I was sort of determined to never deal with credit cards. All these perplex terms, numbers, percentages, and offers have definitely drove me away from understanding them.

Now, I see that credit cards are not as frightening. They can be very beneficial to boosting my credit score and some provide specific discounts and offers that can also help save money. Before jumping to the process of filling out credit card applications, here are the steps I took to choosing the right card for me:

  1. Learn the terms and the numbers. I've spent some time researching the terms online at the Federal Trade Commision, CreditCards.com, and Bankrate.com. Those are some of the best places to find information about credit cards. After looking through the sites, I had a much more educated know-how of the credit card industry. It felt great to be able to be able to understand the Terms and Conditions of my credit card offers. I try to pick up the tricks the issuers use to lure in customers - it helps to find right card for me.
  2. Check my credit report. I visited AnnualCreditReport.com and requested my free credit report from only one of the three major credit agencies, I'll save the other two for the rest of the year. This procedure is a checkup of my credibility and to make sure that I was not already a victim of identity fraud. Seeing that my credit report claims that I am clean besides my subsidized loans for school, I'm cleared to continue.
  3. Do a self-evaluation of my financial habits. I am not an impulsive spender. Besides shopping for groceries once a week, rarely do I shop for other things. Since I look at my financial situation pretty much everyday, I would always be aware of my balances and know to pay it off.
  4. Know what I am looking for in a credit card. Based on the self-evaluation, I know that the standard APR on purchases would have very little effect on me since I'll most likely pay the balance quickly. I'm looking to SAVE money so I definitely would hunt for a rewards or rebates card. Here is criteria that I decided to choose a card from:
    • A rewards/rebates card (preferably a Cash Rebate card)
    • No annual fee
    • Identity theft protection
    • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases
    • Online account management
    • A photo card
  5. Find the right card. Looking at the offers I get in the mail, none fulfill the offers I want so I once again turned to CreditCards.com. From there, I reduced the favorable card issuers down to Capital One® and Citi®. Then, one specific card caught my eye - the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students. It completely meets all my requirements.
Result: I applied for the perfect card for me: Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students. I've read many satisfying reviews of the protection that Citi® and this student card also comes with educational information and tips that I'm sure will be useful for a rookie like me. This is a great start to improving my credit.

Maybe, after I feel that I've become acquainted with the system and have increased my credit limit, I'll start to look into making money by borrowing and putting the money into my high-yield savings account as the author of My Money Blog had successfully done. Here is his guide for How To Make Money From 0% APR Balance Transfers.