From The Tips Box: Credit Card Payments, Memorising Passwords

Readers offer their best tips for escaping late fees on your credit cards, jumping on the bus you just missed, and getting rid of old CDs.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in — the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Avoid Credit Card Late Fees with a Phone Call

Photo by Jason Rogers.

Standardtune shares a tip that could save you a bit of cash:

Most people (that I’ve talked with anyway) don’t think about it, but calling your credit card company to ask for forgiveness if you’ve missed a payment is usually successful. As long as it’s not a frequent occurrence and you have a good record of paying stuff on time, most companies will waive the late fee and unmark your account as being overdue so you’re not penalised with crazy interest rates.

I know most credit card companies are known for being “evil,” but the customer service reps can and will help you out if you just ask.

Donate Old CDs to the Local Library Instead of Tossing Them

Photo by Matt Galman.

Sean gives us another repository for the old CDs cluttering up your house:

I’m moving residences this month and found an old box of around 100 music CDs while packing. Since I’ve digitized any of the CDs I want to keep and don’t use a CD player anymore, I wanted to find a spot to unload them in one shot. My local library accepted all of them as a donation, and anything they don’t add to their catalogue they will sell at their yearly book sale, with all the proceeds going back into the library.

Help Kids Memorise Info with Usernames and Passwords

Photo by David Rappaport.

Melanie Shelton tells us how she helps her child gradually learn new things:

I wanted my young son to memorize some basic info — spelling of name, address, phone number. He has his own log in on Windows Vista, so I set the information I want to memorize as the password. For example, when I wanted Liam to learn to spell his name, his password was liam, and the password hint was liam. I also had LIAM written on a index card where he could see it (upper case so it would match the keyboard). I didn’t want to quiz him — I just wanted him to think about and type the letters several times a day. It worked, and I’ve been using it for the last two years.

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