Credit cards can save you time
and trouble--no searching for an ATM or keeping
Revolving credit makes it easy
to spend beyond your means.
Credit card statements can help
you track your expenses. Some cards even provide
year-end summaries that really help out at tax
You'll need to save your
receipts and check them against your statement each
month. This is a good way to ensure that you
haven't been overcharged.
You can use revolving credit to
save today (e.g., at a one-day sale), when
available cash is a week away.
Your purchase will suddenly
become much more expensive if you carry a balance
or miss a payment.
Cash advances are quick and
convenient, putting cash in your hand when you need
Typically, you'll pay
between 2 and 4 percent just to get the cash
advance; also cash advances usually carry high
From frequent flier miles to
discounts on automobiles, there is a program out
there for everyone. Many credit card companies
offer incentive programs based on the amount of
purchases you make.
No free lunch--
The high interest rates and
annual fees associated with credit cards often
outweigh the benefits received. Savings offered by
credit cards can often be obtained
Controlled use of a credit card
can help you establish credit for the first time or
rebuild credit if you've had problems in the
past--as long as you stay within your means and pay
your bills on time.
Deepening your debt--
Consumers are using credit more
than ever before. If you charge freely, you may
quickly find yourself in over your head--as your
balance increases, so do your monthly minimum
--Most credit card companies
will handle disputes for you. If a merchant
won't take back a defective product, check
with your credit card company.
It's up to you to make sure you
receive proper credit for incorrect or fraudulent
Many credit card companies offer
low introductory interest rates. These offers allow
you to move balances to lower-rate cards.
Low introductory rates may be an
attractive option, but they last only for a limited
time. When the teaser rate expires, the interest
rate charged on your balance can jump