What is a credit card?
A credit card is a plastic card that allows the holder access to a line of credit from a financial institution. Using the line of credit is like getting a short-term, pre-approved loan from the bank, but the interest on the loan is much higher than a regular loan. Some cards offer perks like frequent-flier miles, cash back, warranties or rental car insurance with use, so in many cases paying with a credit card can be more beneficial than paying with cash.
Why is credit card important?
Credit cards allow consumers to have access to more money than they can safely carry around, and they can provide an extra source of money to use for unexpected expenses. Additionally, goods such as airline tickets, rental cars and hotel rooms, can only be secured with credit cards since they offer protection for companies in case you don’t pay the bill.
- Shop around for credit card terms that are best for you.
- Make sure you understand the terms of a credit card plan before you accept the card. Review the disclosures of terms and fees that must appear on credit-card offers you receive in the mail.
- Pay bills promptly to keep finance charges as low as possible.
- Keep copies of sales slips and promptly compare charges when your bills arrive.
- Protect your credit cards and account numbers to prevent unauthorized use. Draw a line through blank spaces above the total when you sign receipts. Rip up or retain carbons.
- Keep a list of your credit card numbers and the telephone numbers of each card issuer in a safe place in case your cards are lost or stolen.