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Credit Card

Foto de tres tarjetas de crédito

You need to feel comfortable managing your money before you should consider a credit card. Even those who are usually very good with their money can get into deep financial trouble with these cards.

When you apply for a credit card, and get your favorite sports team cup or t-shirt, you are signing a contract with a bank. This contract says that you will use their money to buy things and pay them back later. 

Credit cards can do good things:

  • You can buy something now and pay for it later.
  • They're safer to carry around than cash, because if your card is lost or stolen, you can cancel it
  • They're convenient—you can use them for emergencies, to buy items over the phone or online, or for car rental or plane reservations, etc.
  • You can develop a positive credit history, which can help you get a home loan and get other credit in the future.

Credit cards also have some negatives:

  • Credit card companies charge interest for not paying your balance in full each month. Many times, fees and interest cost people more than the actual item.
  • Card companies charge late fees for not paying at least the minimum balance on time every month
  • Your credit report and credit history can be seriously damaged if you pay late or don’t pay at all.

Where can I get and compare credit cards?

If you are at least 18 years old, have a regular source of income, you may qualify for a credit card. The fees, charges and benefits for credit cards vary among different companies, so you should shop around for the best rates. Start with your credit union and/or bank first, as credit unions often have some of the best rates. You can also try creditcards.com. Compare the annual percentage rate (APR), late payment charge, annual fee (some are free!), and grace period to make sure you get the most out of your card.

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Average: 2.6 (16 votes)
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I think the most important qualities are the safety they provide and the ability to build good credit history. I've tried to get my money back from scam transactions on my debit card and it was hell! With credit cards that's so much easier. It's too bad how it's getting harder and harder to get a decent credit card for the middle class. Looks like you can no longer just pick a bank and get a good deal. I found that using websites which rank credit cards based on different criteria will be the best place to look for good deals. Two months ago I got a new MasterCard with low APR and cool rewards features from http://www.applyforacreditcard.com. I would of course prefer to get the same from the bank I regularly deal with but they simply don't offer anything like that.

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