Using Credit Cards wisely!
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Credit Cards
Credit cards have higher interest rates (around 19% per year) than most consumer loans or lines of credit. Almost every store allows for payment of goods and services through credit cards. Because of their wide spread acceptance, credit cards are one of the most popular forms of payment for consumer goods and services in the U.S.

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Using Credit Cards

by Bob Jones

The commencement of the electronic age has made almost everything more possible. Diagnosing and curing previously terminal diseases has become widespread; travelling to uncharted territories is a possibility and most of all, people's everyday lives has been made easier by technology.

However, one of the biggest benefits that most people would acknowledge is credit and debit card companies. It means that we do not have to worry about not having enough cash with us.

We now have more convenient stores, easier means of transportation and a variety of gadgets that makes work and pleasure almost effortless. The credit industry's response has been to promote credit.

With regard to the technology of finance, an efficient banking system and efficient services have given people better alternatives and options with which to control their finances. Among the various financial management schemes that emerged, one stands out above the rest - the credit card.

Credit and debit cards, especially to working people and those who live very busy lives, have become the ultimate financial saviour. More than just being a status symbol or an accoutrement to expensive purses and wallets, credit cards have revolutionized the way people spend their money.

However, besides the glamour and the convenience that credit cards bring, there is much more to these bank cards than most people could ever imagine.

Credit Card 101: Before entering into the never-ending list of the advantages and disadvantages of having credit cards, it is very important for people to have a brief understanding of what a credit card really is, in order for them to miniimize potential problems.

In the simplest terms, a credit card is a device that allows a person to make purchases up to the limit set by the card issuer. One must then pay off the balance in installments with interest.

Usually, credit card repayments are monthly and range from the minimum amount set by the bank to the entire outstanding balance. And since it is a business, the longer the credit card holder waits to pay off his or her entire balance, the more interest piles up.

Since having a credit card is a responsibility, only those people who are of legal age and have the ability to pay off the amount they are going to spend through their credit card, is allowed to have one.

Actually, most of the adults in the U.S. use credit cards, because they are so convenient compared with using cash or cheques every time they want to purchase something. For young businesses, a business credit card is a key step in building a business credit profile.

It is just as important to be familiar with the various types of credit and debit cards before you begin to build up credit card balances in order to avoid having huge debt. Since credit/debit cards are indispensable to most consumers, it is necessary that they understand the types of card that include charge cards, bank cards, retail cards, gold cards and secured cards. All of these kinds of cards come with one or two interest rate options: fixed and variable rates.

If you decide to take a fixed card interest rate, the interest rate remains the same, compared with variable rate cards where the rate is subject to change depending on the credit card issuer's discretion. Fixed-rate cards usually carry a card interest rate.

Basically, credit card issuers offer three types of accounts with basic account agreements like the 'revolving agreement' also called the 'Typical Credit Card Account' which allows the user to pay either in full monthly or pay at least a minimum payment based on the outstanding balance.

While the Charge Agreement requires the payer to pay back the full balance every month so that they won't have to pay any interest charges, The Installment Agreement on the other hand, asks the payer to agree to a contract to repay a fixed amount of credit in equal payments over definite periods of time.

Now that you have an idea of how many types of credit cards there are, it is time to review your goals before applying for one. One of the things you should think about is how you will use the credit card.

If you plan to carry a balance at the end of the month, how much are you willing to pay in annual fees? It depends whether you have a strong credit limit/ rating / history or if your credit is in need of rehabilitation.

Once you have some understanding of what you are looking for, choose the right credit card for yourself by research. You can check the credit cards you've researched and make a comparison online.

Are you shopping for a credit or debit card? Regardless of the type of credit card you decide on, be certain to discuss your specific financial requirements and credit limit with your financial advisor or accountant before applying for any credit card.

It is necessary that you understand the benefits of having a credit or debit card like safety, valuable consumer protections under the law, and the accessibility and availability of services.

Although having a credit card is perceived as being synonymous with financial security, this may also trigger a person's thirst for material things and may lead to the temptation to buy something they do not really need.

A credit card bearer should always have in mind that having a credit card is a big responsibility. If they don't use it carefully, there could well be a problem with debt management, which will damage their credit report, and create credit problems that are very difficult to repair.