I hear people all the time use the terms “credit card, ” and “debit card” in the same breath, but they are actually two very different things. A credit card is just as it sounds; when you use it, you are making purchases on credit. But when you use a debit card, you are extracting money from your bank account to pay for the purchase.
Let’s take a look at each one in depth.
You may think all credit cards are alike, but just like fingerprints, they differ greatly. Knowing that, you should shop around in order to get the best terms that you can find. Some people pay their credit cards off in full monthly, and if you’re one of those lucky few that can afford to do this, then you should probably look for a credit card with no annual fee or one that offers bonuses to their card holders. If you are the type of person that carries a balance on your credit card, then you should look for a card that will charge the least amount of interest.
The bottom line is that you need to take the time to learn the terms before agreeing to accept the credit card. Here’s a short list of things that you should ask (or read in the terms section of the paperwork)
* What is the A. P. R or annual percentage rate? Will it change after a specified period of time? Or is it a fixed rate * Is there a grace period and how long is the grace period? (That time between charges and when the interest on those charges begins to accrue. ) * Do they charge an annual fee? Is so, how much? * How will your finance charges be accumulated? * How much are the late fees? * Will there be a charge if I transfer balances to and from this account? * What are the cash advance fees? * What will happen if I go over my credit limit?
In most stores or businesses, the retailer does not charge the customer any fees for using a credit card. And Federal regulation gives the consumer purchase protection. In other words, if you have a problem with merchandise or services and make a good faith effort to reconcile that problem with the seller with no success; you have the right to withhold payment for the merchandise or services.
Recently debit cards have become a really big item, the use of debit cards has doubled; often when asked debit or credit; the answer is debit more and more. In fact, twenty percent of all credit transactions are now done with a debit card. No interest fees are charged on debit cards; however, at certain retailers, they do charge a small fee for using them. Anytime you make a purchase, the money is automatically withdrawn from your checking or savings account. Debit cards look like credit cards and to a certain extent act like one. But because the amount comes straight out of your bank account, you may have a financial fiasco if a debit card falls into the wrong hands or if you forget to deduct the transaction amount when reconciling your account balance.
No matter which card you choose to use—a credit card or a debit card or both—you will experience convenience and ease-of-transactions. It's up to you to decide what's best for you!
If you would like to get more credit information you can visit our website which contains many credit resources. http://www.my-credit-report.info
This article is copyright 2005, but can be freely reprinted, as long as no changes are made, including hyperlinks.