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How to Use Chip-Enabled Credit Cards Safely During Holiday Season

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This holiday season, more customers than ever have debit and credit cards with EMV chips. While this may cut down on fraud, shopping may be a slower process.

With these cards, consumers don't swipe, but insert the card into the machine instead.

"This will be the first holiday season after the transition," said Rob Nichols, incoming president and CEO of the American Bankers Association. "It will be an instructive holiday season for our industry."

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Credit Card Skimmer Use Is On the Rise

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The police recently arrested five suspects for stealing personal information from gas pumps, prompting an official investigation of credit card skimmers.

"It's crazy," said Craig VanBuren, director of the Consumer Protection Section at Michigan's Department of Agriculture. "What we're finding since August has just really blown our mind."

Skimmers, devices which allow thieves to record credit or debit information, are being found in both large and small towns.

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How to Use Credit Cards for Holiday Savings

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It's no secret that your bank account gets a bit strained during the holidays. But if you use your credit cards strategically, you can ease some of the financial burden.

If you're traveling a lot for the holidays, consider using a travel rewards card. Buy your tickets with the card to rack up miles for future trips and gain other special perks.

When you're cooking big holiday meals, you're going to be spending a lot of money at the grocery store. Get some of that cash back with a grocery rewards card.

Image via Flickr/Alan Cleaver

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Luxury Entry Doors Are Newest Trend in NYC Real Estate

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In New York City, one of the biggest trends right now are luxury entry doors. These doors help to personalize an apartment and create a grander entrance.

"It’s not just the front door — it’s the entrance to the apartment,” Ian Bruce Eichner, CEO of the Continuum Company. “And it’s the message you get when you walk off the elevator and look at it."

Buildings are also going beyond the door and putting more effort and money into creating dramatic entry spaces.

Image via Flickr/Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose

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Warren Buffett Purchases Dallas Real Estate Firm

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Warren Buffett recently bought Allie Beth Allman & Associates, a real estate firm in Dallas which specializes in luxury properties.

"Allie Beth Allman & Associates is a strong company with an exceptional reputation in a growth market," said Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America Inc., an affiliate of Buffett's firm Berkshire Hathaway. "This transaction aligns with our vision of acquiring distinguished companies in leading markets that share our core values."

Found in 2003, Allie Beth Allman & Associates had $1.5 billion in sales last year.

Image via Flickr/Fortune Live Media

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