Credit card or plastic money has now become an indivisible part of our lives. It is an indispensable tool in the hands of those who know how to use it efficiently. But for those who misuse it, a credit card can spell their doom. Thus, the same credit card, which can be a boon for someone, can be a bane for another.
Before opting for a credit card you should carefully evaluate your financial situation. First of all you should analyze your spending habits and then assess yourself, whether you really need a credit card or not. Normally, if you spend money only when you have got it in your pocket or in your bank account then you don’t need a credit card. However, if you are an avid shopper and want to purchase those things, which are out of the budget of your pocket or your bank account, then you can surely consider applying for one. Moreover, if you are a frequent traveler then a credit card can be of great use for you. It will allow you to go anywhere without carrying any cash. Also, if you are an internet savvy person who buys and sells things online then a credit card is indispensable for you, for most of the transactions online are done through credit cards.
The wide range of credit cards that are available today has made the selection of one a very difficult task for the consumers. Different credit cards are designed keeping different consumer types in mind. Thus, one should be very selective and choose that credit card that perfectly suits his needs. First of all, you should consider the credit limit offered by different credit cards. If you spend a lot on costly items or pay huge bills then you surely require a higher credit limit. Secondly, you should carefully check all the hidden fees involved with the credit card. These are basically late payment fees, annual charges, bounced check fees and over limit fees which generally outlined in the fine print of the terms and agreements. After checking the credit limit and hidden fees you should compare the interest rates charged on normal purchases, balance transfers and cash advances, by different credit cards. Don’t forget to compare the rewards programs offered by each credit card. If you are a frequent traveler, go for a reward program that earns you discounted flights, hotels and car rentals. Also, read the fine print associated with these reward programs. Some credit cards forfeit all rewards for the month in which your purchases exceed your credit limit, or you fail to make the minimum payments.
Hence, the bottom line is that a credit card can be a very useful financial tool if used judiciously. This can be done by being conscious of your credit limit, paying your bills regularly and by not allowing your purchases to linger on your account overtime. Otherwise, its misuse can ruin your finances and can lay an unnecessary burden on you.
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