Credit card is a card issued by a bank or financial services company which enables the cardholder to borrow funds to be used to pay a merchant for goods and services. Credit Card is an agreement where the cardholder promises the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges on time. In the United States, there are around 191 million adults who owns a credit card according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Around 45% of them use the card to buy stuff that are worth $25 or higher.
Many people use credit cards irresponsibly which is why they end up in debt. But do you know that if you can use the plastic responsibly, you’re actually much better off paying with a credit card than with a debit card?
Why use a credit card?
Cash back is a credit card benefit that refunds a small percentage of the sum spent on purchases.Back then, cash back credit card offers 1% of your purchases rebated; but nowadays, the concept has grown and matured with some cards offering even as much as 6% cash back on selected purchases. The best cash back cards are those that charge minimal fees and interest, while offering a high rewards rate.
Unlike standard debit cards most credit cards offer initial bonus opportunity of as much as $150 or even higher upon approval of the application. Bonus reward points or miles that can be redeemed for travel, gifts cards, merchandise, and more are also used to entice the applicants.
Many credit cards provide rewards points for certain spending like in groceries, gasoline, restaurants and shopping malls. When certain earnings thresholds are reached, points can be exchanged for travel, gift cards, or for merchandise items.
Credit cards are not connected to your money or to your bank account and that’s an added layer of security. When your credit card is used, it’s the card issuer that’s paying for the transaction, at least until you pay the bill. It is also easier to avoid losses from fraud when paying with a credit card, since you aren’t out any money if used fraudulently. You don’t have to pay for the transactions you didn’t make while the credit card company resolves the matter.
Certain transactions such as renting a car or checking in a hotel room is made easier with a credit card especially if you are out of the country. Rental car companies and hotels want customers to pay with credit cards because it is easier for them to charge customers for any damage they cause to a room or a car.
Your credit card options are almost endless. The trick is to find the card that best fits with your spending patterns. To help you manage your credit card better, take a look at this online credit card calculator. You can use this to compare your credit cards to find which best suits your lifestyle. It also features calculators for credit card amortization, minimum payments, and principal and interest.
Finally, here is a guide on what to avoid with credit cards. These are behaviors that lead to negative financial outcomes in times of crisis, like the ones the world is facing nowadays.
Avoid using the credit card all the time. When making purchases using your credit card, gain a lot of self-control.
Never use your credit card when you have a revolving debt or just pay the minimum monthly payments. Do not give in to the pressure of adding your credit card balance especially during the shopping season.
Don’t be tempted to withdraw from your retirement fund. It might become a habit that you might repeat it a couple of times or more for expenses that aren’t necessary.
Don’t lose track of your spending. Keep tabs for every purchase made so you don’t spend way beyond your budget.