Everyone can benefit from owning a credit card, and these days they are practically a necessity. Credit cards offer a convenient way to borrow money when you need it. If you are hesitant about getting a credit card, you should know about some of the benefits they have to offer. As long as you use your card responsibly, you can get financial assistance at the drop of a hat. It is especially important for young people to have a credit card.
1. Establishing Good Credit
Young people who don’t have much of a credit history will find that applying for a credit card is a good idea. The more you use a credit card, the more you will establish your credit. Whether you build positive or negative credit is all up to you. As long as you make all of your payments on time, you will be able to keep raising your credit score. Those who have bad credit can use these cards to improve their rating fairly effectively. You won’t get perfect credit overnight, but it’s definitely a good place to start.
2. Cash Back
You will find that most credit cards will provide you with cash back. This means that you will get back a percentage of the amount you spend with your card each year. This is usually a fairly small percentage, but it’s still something to keep in mind. The more you use your card, the more cash back you’ll receive. Just make sure that you make your payments on time, because otherwise you won’t be eligible for cash back. If you are looking for a card to apply for, pay attention to what percentage cash back each one will give you annually.
There are various rewards that you can get from using your credit card as well. This usually comes in the form of vouchers or points. You can use these vouchers at specific businesses, or you may opt for a cash back card so you can use them wherever you want. A lot of credit cards allow you to put your points towards airline tickets and hotel rooms. Those who use their credit cards a lot can really rack up some great rewards.
Retailer-branded credit cards often come with discounts on merchandise. This means that you save money on products or services that the business offers simply by using your card as you normally would. If you want to get a credit card from a travel company, you’ll want to keep in mind that there is sometimes a surcharge for paying with your credit card. These discounts can really add up over time. You can also sometimes apply these discounts to airline tickets and other things to help you save a significant amount of money.
5. Protection Against Theft and Loss
If you are unfortunate enough to have your wallet full of cash stolen, it’s not very likely that you will get it back. Those who have credit cards can get a refund from their issuer for any fraudulent charges. Each year thousands of people are the victims of identity fraud. If you have your identity stolen, you will have the law on your side. If you ever lose your credit card, it is important that you notify your bank right away. The faster you cancel your card, the less likely it is that you’ll have to deal with getting refunds for fraudulent charges.
6. Keep Track of Your Spending
Using credit cards makes it very easy to keep track of the money you spend. It can be easy to get carried away when you just have cash, which is all the more reason to consider applying for a credit card. Using plastic for your purchases makes it easier to reign your spending in. You will be able to go online and look at exactly how much you have spent at any given time. Those who are prone to losing track of how much they spend will need to keep this in mind.
7. Earn Interest
You can actually earn interest from certain credit cards, but it’s important to look for one that offers this option. Take the time to find a card that will provide with a 0% interest deal. Make sure that you have direct debit set up to make at least the minimum required payment. It’s always a good idea to pay more if you can. Not all credit cards will allow you to earn money this way, but there are quite a few that do.
8. Buying Online is Easy
Chances are you will want to purchase products or services online at some point, and you’ll need a credit card to do so. When you want to make an online purchase with your card, all you have to do is enter the card number, expiration date and security code. You also might be asked to submit your phone number and address for verification purposes. These days most people do at least a little bit of their shopping online, and it’s one of the best things about having a credit card.
How to Find the Right Card
There are some tips that you will need to keep in mind when you are trying to find the right credit card to get. If you are currently a college student, there are many credit cards with low introductory interest rates that you can take advantage of. Look for cards that come with 0% interest for at least the first six to 12 months. This will help you save a lot of money.
If you have poor credit, it might take a while to get approved for a credit card. There are certain cards for people with low credit scores that you should look into. It’s important to remember that having a credit card can be very convenient and helpful, but it’s a big responsibility. The last thing you want to do is abuse your card by using it recklessly.